Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Pool and Park: June

Podgekin rockin' her new swimsuit after a work picnic.

Love my water baby.

Monday, June 25, 2012

#8 Sketch Book: Draw 2012

One of my goals for the year was to fill a sketch book. After my goal review a few weeks ago I decided to buckle down and start. I filled the first half of my hand-made sketch book in one night, and decided to keep with the momentum and make it a two-day project and fill the second half the next day. 

Whenever I show this book to anyone, or look through it myself, it fills me with joy and an awesome sense of accomplishment. 

I just have to say how awesome it feels to create something, use a talent, and have a finished product as an end result. 

Most of these drawings are my attempts to recreate other people's artwork. I wanted to have hard copies of beautiful things, ideas, humor, and inspiration that I have found (and saved) all around the internet. Some of these are not that great, but others turned out awesome. 

This was a great exercise to get back in the flow of pen and ink drawing, and creating in general. The first three were drawn from life, and the rest were drawn from looking at references on my computer. (You can tell that it took me a few drawings to remember how to effectively use pen and ink as a medium.)

I decided to include all the pages (even the bad drawings) to show the full range of the results, and to give an honest representation of the outcome. Some subject matter doesn't translate very well into pen and ink drawings, and some subject matter I'm just not that good at drawing either way.

With pen and ink you also have to learn when to stop and let it be finished before you ruin it. With no way to erase a line, you have to think out your drawing before you start, and when you do put your pen to paper, you have to really commit to the mark you are about to make. When you make a mistake you chalk it up to a learning experience and try to not make it again on the next page. I also enjoyed the fast pace of doing one drawing right after another and finishing the book in two days. 

It is also a learning experience trying to translate a painting or three-dimensional piece that has shades and values, into a pen and ink drawing with stark black and white. You have to decide what to leave out, what to simplify, and what to try to emulate by hatching or cross hatching to imitate the gradual value changes present in the original. 

I would like to add a second layer to this project by going back and adding color to some (or all) of the drawings and gilding the pages. We shall see!


Title page

The inspiration. I love her heart-balloon-flower.

The inspiration.

Needs color.
The inspiration.

The inspiration.

The inspiration.

The inspiration.

The inspiration.

The inspiration.

The inspiration.
The title just makes me laugh and laugh.

The inspiration.

The inspiration.

The inspiration.
Needs color.

The inspiration.

Really needs color.

The inspiration.

My favorite.
The inspiration.

The inspiration.

The inspiration.

The inspiration.

My Lullabelle. 

The inspiration.

The inspiration.

The inspiration.

My hand-bound sketch book made on my first day of Book Arts in college.

What do you think? Favorites?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Balsamic Bruschetta

I like the idea of a quick, fresh, summery dinner. This was my first attempt at bruschetta and I enjoyed it. 

Original recipe found here.

Balsamic Bruschetta
Tomato Topping:
8 Roma tomatoes, diced
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup shredded or grated Parmesan cheese (I used shaved)
2 cloves garlic, minced 
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon olive oil 
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

French bread (I used split ciabatta rolls)
Olive oil
Minced garlic

1. Slice bread, put on cookie sheet, brush top of each slice with olive oil and sprinkle garlic on each slice. Place cookie sheet with bread on it in the oven and broil it until bread is toasted. Keep a close eye on it so it doesn't burn! Pull out and set aside to cool when it is toasted to your liking. 
2. Mix remaining ingredients into a bowl to make tomato mixture. 
3. Top each slice of toasted bread with tomato mixture. Drizzle with additional balsamic vinegar if desired, and sprinkle with Parmesan.
4. Enjoy!

Buns split, garlic/oiled, and toasted.


After: Ready to go on a toasted bun

I would recommend chopping the tomatoes as small as possible to make it easier to eat and keep on the bread.

The leftover tomato topping made a great fresh salsa with chips the next day.

If you have a favorite bruschetta recipe to suggest, please share and leave it in the comments below!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Luciticus Podgekins

I'm sitting here with ol' Lullabelle, while mom gets a little sleep. Lucy has been putting together some serious sentences and stories lately. She loves her bunny named "Money," and was laying her blanket over him and saying "Good night!" I asked her if she was going to tuck him in and say a prayer with him. She tucked him a bit and then reached down and took off the blanket. I figured she was moving on to do something else, but she grabbed her bunnies arms and folded them. She told her bunny, "Close your eyes!" and then sat for a few seconds.

"Thank you for food, and thank you for food, and thank you for food.. thanks for mommy, and thanks for daddy, and thanks for Peter, *mumble mumble* Jesus Christ, Amen."

I told her she did a good job and she scampered off to go eat some of her beloved food.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Pinspiration: DIY Wooden Neon Necklace

Neon being a hot trend right now, I wanted to add some to my wardrobe on the cheap. This is what I came up with!

String, sandpaper, paint brushes: had on hand
Beads: upcycled from old game
Hot pink paint: bought at Walmart

The inspiration:

Pinned Image
Found here.

Pinned Image
Found here.

Pinned Image
Found here.

Pinned Image
Found here.

What did I learn from the examples above? 

1. The first two necklaces are made out of clay, but the color scheme can easily be translated onto wooden beads (the medium of choice for me, because that is what I already had).

2. The easiest necklace to make is the first example because it has the fewest beads, and the pink beads are solid pink, which would be easier to accomplish as opposed to trying to get a perfectly half-pink painted bead. 

3. The last picture shows a necklace that looks homemade to me. (I don't want things I make to look "homemade".)  I think it has to do with the lack of shine on the them. My suggestion would be to paint them with a varnish or top coat of some kind after you are all done if your beads are matte and your paint has a dull finish.

4. The necklaces that use chains look better than the necklace that used string. Alas, all I have is string for mine. Maybe down the road I will upgrade to chain.

Here is my attempt!

The beads are pieces of an old board game I thrifted, played, and deemed unworthy to keep. I salvaged all the beads from it for future projects, like this one!

Stick the bead on the end of a paintbrush so that you can paint it without having to touch it and get fingerprints on it. 

Pink: so hot right now.

These beads have a lovely varnish on them. Unfortunately, said varnish makes it impossible for paint to stick. I had to sand it off before painting it. 

Place paintbrushes in jar so that the beads dry without sticking to any surface. After completely dry, rotate bead and add second coat. Repeat until beads are to your liking.

My new favorite necklace! You could tie knots at the outside of the pink beads to keep them perfectly straight, but Lucy loves pulling them up and down on the string and practicing her counting. 

I love this necklace and it goes with everything. I used two slip knots on the string ends so that the length of the necklace is adjustable. Make sure to let it dry overnight before wearing.

Quick, cheap, and easy! And I have a whoooole lot of extra beads I could use to make you one. :)

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