Painting big bold flowers

Bold flower paintings are all around us these days, so I decided to jump on the fun wagon. It all started with my niece wanting a large painting above her bed. We searched all of the stores in her area and could find nothing that she could afford. The search wasn’t wasted on me since I developed a good idea of what kinds of paintings that she gravitated toward. Expensive ones, LOL, but based on what she liked, I decided to try my hand at a bold, riotous floral to surprise her.

Of course, with anything that is “in” at the moment, you know that it will be “out” soon, not to mention that this art is highly derivative. Still, I figure that it’s for a private home – no sales involved- and it was fun slapping colors onto a canvas just because I wanted to paint some “sofa art”.20180315_173702

Sometimes I like to paint with absolutely no pressure as to the outcome. It clears up my confusion about too many things piled up and makes me able to focus on just a few things at a time again.

painting-in-bedroom

You can see, by her bedding, that my niece favors colorful prints. So that was my direction – a large, loud floral painting. I told her that she did not have to use or keep the painting. However, I’m thankful that she loved it and hung it right away.

Painting like this was so enjoyable that I already have five other canvases primed for more stylized floral paintings. Yes, it was that fun! The next set of canvases will be less a conglomeration of paintings that I saw while shopping and more “me”. But, I swear that they will be just as loose and crazy flowers because that was the fun of it. I can picture masterpieces now… hmmm…Did I just pile up even more stuff to do? LMAO…ah well, the lies we tell ourselves…

sandy-signature

Homemade Healing Salve

I tried this balm without the tree oil -only because I don’t care for the smell of it. I needed it within days of the making and LOVE it! This is definitely something that I HAD to share. I hope it helps you too. ❤

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Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

I’ve recently been researching the healing benefits of calendula oil, specifically in salves and creams.

“One of the best reasons to keep calendula handy is due to its healing abilities. If you apply this flower oil to your cuts, scrapes, bruises, and insect bites, you can quickly speed the healing process, partially due to the anti-inflammatory properties of the oil, in addition to the unique antioxidant compounds found in this miraculous plant. By protecting against infections, it keeps wounds and scrapes safe, allowing them to heal rapidly.” – Source http://www.organicfacts.net

While I’m thankful that no one in our family suffers from any skin conditions. I think a healing cream is nice to have on hand. I’ve been checking different recipes on Pinterest and decided to base my recipe off of different ones I’ve seen on Pinterest. Thankfully, minus the calendula oil I had all of the ingredients I needed on hand. With a quick trip…

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Cricut scrapbook elements

Scrap-booking has become another one of my obsessions. I said, for years, that I was not interested in scrapping and then…tada…my great niece was born. Only the most adorable and smartest little girl ever! So, here I am, documenting every step in her young life. I also said that I wasn’t interested in kids. Now I’m completely gaga over Tat. hmmm…I think that it must be because I am now at a Grandma’s age. Anyway…as for scrapping…

October-cutie

Sometimes I only have one picture that turned out really cute for a certain event. That means that I want to decorate a page around a single photo. Continue reading “Cricut scrapbook elements”

Scrapbook 4 page layout

How do you scrapbook a layout if your event has waaay too many photos? And your client wants most, if not ALL, of the pics in said layout?

That was my dilemma when I scrapped my great niece’s birthday party. My niece is a really busy single mom, so I offered to make scrapbooks to document her daughter’s life. I mean, I love it and it’s fun, but sometimes my niece has her own ideas of how a certain event should be scrapped and those ideas don’t always gel with mine. So it was with this fourth birthday party.

Under-the-Sea-scrapbook-2 Continue reading “Scrapbook 4 page layout”

Dollhouse Construction – Flooring

The next part of my dollhouse construction involves flooring of the living room and kitchen. About 20 years ago, I built a dollhouse in the way that was instructed. Whooo boy! I learned from that experience that it is way too hard to paint tiny little trim, walls, install floor covering, wallpaper and lights AFTER the build. That was just crazy, so now I am trying to do paint and installations as well as making any plan changes as each floor goes up. So to begin this post, I have the first floor base built as well as the walls. The outside walls are painted. The inside walls have a base-coat of paint on them

After carefully cutting and gluing down each piece of my pine wood floor in the living room, I stained it a nice chestnut color. ARGH! I hated it! Continue reading “Dollhouse Construction – Flooring”

Abstract Paintings of an Early Snow

mixed media painting by Sandra McCall

Our snow has come late this year. I’m calling it an early snow, in spite of its lateness,  because it’s our first and an unusual amount of fall color remains on the leaves. It has stayed warm for so much of this winter that, even after the snow has melted, there is still a fair amount of autumn foliage surrounding us. This past year has been a year of record breaking statistics and total strangeness. Then, along comes January and it’s STILL strange. Ah well, no matter my opinion, life goes on. What to do about it? Paint it!

abstract apinting by Sandra McCall
Early Snow on the Old Homestead

After a quick gathering of supplies, Les and I set off for another art day in the woods. We chose a close campsite with a long table and got right down to our experiments. It was too cold to stay overnight, so this was strictly a short day trip.

pen and ink by Sandra McCall
Autumn Outing

My experiments were all about using a limited pallet of ink and only white acrylic paint. I smeared, splattered and painted. For some reason, I LOVE struggling in trying to paint a good abstract. Les asks me why I don’t just paint in realism because it comes so easily to me. And that, I think, is exactly the reason that it is not as challenging to me.

ink and paint abstract by Sandra McCall
First Snow on Autumn Leaves

Long ago, I had an art teacher, in college, who critiqued my sketchbook. He said, “You are not an artist, you are a draftsman. Sure, you can draw what you see, but there is no “art” in what you are doing.” He further went on to pour salt into my wounds by proclaiming loudly, “Your paintings are homogeneous.”

Boy! I’ve never forgotten that slam and it still stings after waaay too many years. So, struggle I do, because someday I WILL be an artist!  (grin) Don’t worry, I do know that he was just a jealous old fart – as I told another female student who was in tears over his critique. Oddly, all of the guys in class got glowing reviews. hmmmm….OK,  STILLED pissed! (Smacking my Head)

mixed media painting by Sandra McCall
Snow Over Autumn Landscape

But, back to painting- These abstracts are about trying to depict what I saw and felt that day. The air was crisp, there was a light snow covering the area, but the sun was shining and there was still lots of fall foliage peeking through the snow.

Autumn-campsite
Letters From an Autumn Campsite

S McCall

Journey into 1/12 Scale Miniatures

When Les asked me what I wanted for Christmas this year, I already knew months ahead of time. A 1/12 scale dollhouse! The miniatures hobby has always been a favorite of mine since I can use all kinds of art and craft skills to make tiny little treasures. To have a dollhouse of my own has been on my  mind for years. It had to wait though, until I was closer to retirement and not working such long hours. That day has finally come! Les and I recently went together to pick out my Christmas present.  Poor Les had to stand and stare at miniatures for hours. He’s such a good sport.Image result for real good toys victoria's farmhouseAfter lots of deliberation, I chose the Victoria’s Farmhouse kit from Real Good Toys. 

As soon as the ground floor build began, I started thinking of alterations to the floor plan. Yep, that’s me, not content to do anything as prescribed. My first thought was that I want to make a contemporary dollhouse. I love modern-farmhouse decor, so that will be my route.

dollhouse-living-room-1

The photo above shows the originally intended plan with a wall and door dividing the living room from the kitchen. I want a more modern, open floor plan, so I will put a short divider jut so that there will be an entryway to decorate. There MUST be a place to deposit tiny little letters and keys after all. Furthermore, I don’t want stairs to interrupt the decorating- so no stairs even as cute as they are.

lv-modifiedHere is a mock-up of the shortened wall that will form an  entryway into the house. Before putting that wall in, I will need to set a floor.altering-dollhouse-flooring.jpgIn my mind, a store bought wooden floor sheet would be easiest (and fastest since I am anxious to decorate). But once I got the sheet home, it looked too “regular” and flat. I may as well have printed out a picture of a floor, it looked that unreal. The fix-step was to cut the strips apart and into irregular lengths. Then, the edges were sanded to give a more separate look to each board. Gluing the boards down individually brought up a whole new set of problems. Can you see, in the photo below, that the strips are of variable thickness? Who knew that a store bought sheet of flooring would have such high-low spots! After I glue all of the floor boards into place, I will sand them down again to have a more uniform thickness. I don’t want my mini people tripping over floorboards!

laying-LV-flooring

After a week or so of deciding, this is as far as I’ve come. I plan on documenting my little journey on every step of the way so, if you are into minis, stay tuned for future progress.

S McCall

 

Easy Seasonal Cottage Decor

Autumn demanded new decorations for my Cottage style home. A welcoming wreath was on the list for my front door. It’s hand crafted and turned out pretty if I may say so myself. door wreath blog sizeAn inexpensive grapevine wreath was the jump-off point for this project. I added a little pine greenery, then fall colored picks and pumpkins. A cute Welcome sign that I found at Bell’s department store fit perfectly into the center of the wreath. A big shiny copper ribbon bow completed the look.

 

Thanksgiving decor

As usual, I changed my entryway to suit the season. This time, I wanted to focus on fall colors and decor to welcome the Thanksgiving holiday.

The design is simple and was based on a couple of new text art pieces that I found at Hobby Lobby. The metal bucket and  faux foliage is also from Hobby Lobby.

Fall-floralA silver, grey and ivory beaded pumpkin place-mat was from Ross- my favorite guilty pleasure shopping store. Well- Ross, Tuesday Morning and TJ Max are equal shopping fun. Since I nearly die of sticker shock every time I go into a store with full retail prices  –  you get the picture. It’s discount and thrift stores all the way for me.

wall-decorLes made many of the elements in my wall arrangement. Yes, I’m showing off his talent again. (grin). That strange little bird assembly at the top of the arrangement? It’s made with an oak burl and root piece that he found outside. Pretty awesome, huh? I LOVE found art!Text-art

fall-sap-bucketCompleting the fall decor in the living room was a snap. Cotton ball branches, twigs and red berries were tossed into my sap bucket and DONE! Pretty, inexpensive and easy- that’s my kind of decorating.

S McCall