Little Boy Blue

Snatches of time are about all I have for art these days.  Beautiful, rejuvenating snatches of time. 

This one was a few minutes on the floor, cooing to my son and trying to capture his chubby cheeks on a piece of cardstock.

My goal was to use unlikely colors to express his babyness, keeping it realistic but freeing it to be “sketchy” and unusual.

“He looks so chubby!” you may say.

He is.  Especially when he’s lying down.

“He has so much hair!”

Yes he does.  We make hairy kids, apparently.

“But he’s BLUE!  And pink!”

Obviously not for real, but in my imagination a personality can be a color, and a mood can be a squiggly or straight line.

There he is for real.  Normal.

I hope you can tell what mood he was in based on my sketch.  Not a perfect representation of his face, but close – and it was so much fun to draw again.

By the way, oil pastels are a mother’s best friend.  I don’t have time to lay out all my paints, get messy, clean up, and stash away all those tempting treasures before my toddler can tromp through them and wreak havoc.

But I do have time to grab a pastel and dab on a little texture, capture an eyebrow, or a gleam in his eye. 

It all boils down to contrast – to highlights and lowlights…

…especially if you look at it in terms of black and white.  Just dark and light values. 

Those values could be expressed in ANY color you like.  I just grabbed whatever interested me at the moment. 

Thus, Quinn appears to be blue, yellow, and pink, with some blended greens and purples showing up by accident. 

And why not?  I’m glad I had a snatch of time to capture my little boy’s vibrant and serious mood.  He won’t be still like this much in the future, when even the camera will have a hard time keeping up.

Love you, Quinn.  ~Mommy


Household Heroes: The Spray Bottle

Very often I find myself musing, “I use this thing ALL THE TIME…” about some object in our home.  Things that make life easier, or more fun, or cheaper.  For the next few Mondays, I’ll be spotlighting these household heroes and inviting them to take a bow – before they get back to work!

Household Heroes: The Spray Bottle

Ah, spray bottles and their many uses.  How did I ever live without them?  I say “them” because I use at least three of them regularly.  This is not counting the store-bought bottles of cleaning fluid, etc.  No… homemade heroes.


Just how many uses have I found for these so far?

  1. Spraying our daily bread before it goes into the oven.
  2. Misting our house plants.
  3. Spritzing Riley’s cloth diapers with a mix of water, vinegar, and lavender (keeps the flies away… you know…).
  4. Misting a good hairdo (not that I ever linger that long anymore to try).
  5. Mixing up a good aphid killer and spraying our tomato plants out back.
  6. Hydrating seedlings in the basement when they’re too weak to be really watered.
  7. Keeping a palette of acrylic paints from drying out mid-project.
  8. Spraying homemade cleaner on windows and mirrors.
  9. Squirting an errant family member who just NEEDS to be wet???  Must try.

And if you live in any number of my family member’s houses – disciplining a misbehaving cat.

Depending on where you shop, you can pick up a squirt/spray bottle for about $1-$2.  Very little investment for all the work it will do for you. 

And for whatever reason, I just find them fun to use.  Maybe the next time I’m feeling cranky, I should pick up the kitchen one that has nothing in it but water, and squirt something random.  A shoe.  The microwave.  My ear.  It would probably lift my mood.

I’m sure there’s many more uses for these things, but I’m a little cloudy in the head lately, running on little sleep.  So can you help me out?

If you own a spray bottle, what do you use it for?

Burlap Wall Hanging (Part 1)

It’s Spring.  It rains a lot.  The weather-people try to predict it, but… it’s Spring.  So I have a rainy-day project in my art spot that is always waiting for me – one of those fun things you look forward to working on, but don’t stress over if you never get the chance.

A burlap sack! 

(What’s so exciting about a sack?)

So glad you asked!  First, it smells awesome.  Sniff one sometime!  Second, it’s cheap material.  Bargain bin at JoAnn’s – or a literal sack.  Third, it’s got great visual texture, my FAVORITE.  Fourth, it looks unusual hanging on a wall.  I’m sold.

I have a lot of these sitting around in boxes…

…beautiful dried flowers from Jon or from occasions in the past, like our wedding.  At our apartment, there was a great built-in corner hutch that I filled with dried flowers.  There’s no such thing at Casa Full Vine. 

So the plan is to turn a burlap sack into a free-hanging canvas, stenciled with flower names or sayings, and actually hang the flowers from the burlap.  If it turns out like I envision it, we’ll have a very cool dining room instead of a very bare one.

Here’s my progress so far:

Laid out the two sections of material and chose dried flower arrangements that were in good condition.  Figured about how many I could fit on each section.

Headed to my art spot, where only flash photography works.  Yuck.

Repurposed a leaf bag: stencil!  Gotta love Exacto knives.

Played with color.  🙂

Discovered that hand cut stencils and acrylic paints work beautifully on burlap. 

Went ahead and made another.  And then left my seat in the art space…

…because there was most likely a little boy waking up in his crib, wondering where Mommy was.

That’s it for now!  If Part 2 is slow in coming, thank the weather – if it’s nice out, you know where I’ll be…