bookish owl

 

Meet Mr. Owl.

We met yesterday in the dollar aisle at Target. He had red wings and an orange-ish belly then – very fall-ish, but he asked for some new feathers…

 

And so some old book pages, a piece of a warm grey envelope, some tacky glue and gesso later…

 

 

And he’s a new owl. Not perfect… but ready for his new home in Isaac’s room…

 

 

Someday I will post pictures of Isaac’s room all ready. Someday. Promise. 

 

 

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A little embarrassed to admit…

I joined the make-art-out-of-paint-chips train.

Ugh. The rebel in me cringes! I feel so cookie cutter! Bleh!

But when your free-money budget is dwindling and you don’t have any scrapbook paper that’s the right color for your baby-to-be-born’s room… well, maybe it’s okay…

 

 

Also, I think I need to invest in some non-glossy mod podge… the glare of the glossy stuff is kind of driving me insane here! But you can only see it in certain lights so I’ll live with it for this piece.

Just in case it’s not self-explanatory enough…

1. Find colors you like.
2. cut a ton of leaves
3. cut a trunk
4. arrange on canvas without glue to determine whether you have enough leaves or want more
5. cut more leaves
6. TAKE A PICTURE if you like where your leaves are positioned so you can glue them down that way! Otherwise you will be frustrated (ahem, like me) later when it doesn’t turn out like you originally had them laid out… also this will reduce the amount of mod-podge or glue that dries all glossy-like where leaves are not because you will not have to move them around so much… (should have done this step…insert pouty face here)
7. remove pieces
8. glue down trunk
9. glue down leaves

 

handmade rug {for baby boy’s room}

Isaac’s room is finally starting to look like a baby’s room… maybe pictures will come soon ;)

But I have to admit something.

With Eli’s room, my main focus was to make it feel like a little boy’s room – one he could grow up in. We did that, and for him I am so glad because now he loves his room. He plays in there, reads books in there, and it has become a special hang-out-with-daddy-alone-in-the-evenings place for him.

But you see… it didn’t take long for me to realize that Eli didn’t do much in his bedroom those first, oh, twelve to fifteen months besides sleep and it took an even shorter time to realize that sleeping was the most important thing that he could do. And it also didn’t take long to realize that I was going to be spending quite a few hours in that space every day night.

So creating a place for my second baby boy has had a completely different focus. I’ve had two things in mind:
1. a sleep-inducing space for Isaac to, well, sleep in.
2. a calming, simple space for Chris and I to slow and relax in whenever we enter that room.

Right now the room is still pretty empty {besides a rocking chair, basinette and baby swing} and the wood floor is bare. My belly has been begging me, with ligament pains and braxton hicks, to slow down and so this week I’ve slowed some… and found some old yarn and bought a few new ones and dug out my crochet hooks and got started on a rug…

Obviously the circles are not connected yet, but his is just to get an idea of what it will look like.

Grays and browns and creams…

I love these colors, which is probably pretty obvious if you were to walk into my home.

We will need the rug to be quite a bit bigger than it is so far, and so I will be happily crocheting through the weekend :)
Right now the plan is to make a ton of these circles and stitch them together {which I have an idea of how I will do that to fill in all the gaps… but the process will likely be how I described in my last post ;) so I’ll tell you later how that goes}. Then I want to attach some sort of backing to it that is machine washable but will help the rug keep it’s shape, and then get a no-slip stick-to-the-floor rug thing to put underneath.

Umm, yes, that’s the plan. We’ll see how it goes!

If you want to know how I am making the circles go look at the tutorial here. My circles have all had between 3-10 rounds, depending on yarn thickness and how big or small I want them to be.

Linking up with Jennifer from StudioJRU for the first time in tooooo long!
StudioJRU

process

Do you let yourself enjoy the process?

Do you let yourself play?

With no intention of product resulting from it? {at least… not at the moment}

With no expectation?

With no standards?

With abandon?

Without knowing what it might turn into?

And when you are working towards that goal – that finished painting, that complete nursery, that cozy entryway nook…

Do you look at what’s currently in front of you – the blank canvas, the eraser shavings, the half-organized room that will someday hold the baby, the box of shoes and tent and banjo that keeping your nook space from feeling very nook-ish – and feel exhausted, defeated, frown-y? Or do you let excitement, inspiration, and grace in?

Dreaming is good… and goals are fine… but I can get so stuck in finished-product-dream-mode that instead of letting the process of getting there be part of the dream, too, I just… stop.

I tend to start a project just to have it sit there for a while half-finished (my cat has peed on several half-crocheted afghans over the years). Sometimes, yes, the art needs to sit… but sometimes, sometimes, I just forget to play, to enjoy, that the art is the process, not the product. I forget that it is the process that I am in love with – otherwise why wouldn’t I just go buy paintings for my living room instead of painting them myself? Why wouldn’t I buy nursery decorations at name-your-favorite-store instead of handcrafting them?

You are not finished. You are messy, incomplete, maybe a little dysfunctional.

You are God’s Art. His Poetry. He loves you. And He is not dissatisfied. He doesn’t beat Himself up over you, and He does not give up on you. He does not wonder why you’re not done yet. In fact, He made you and declared you as very good. Right now. As you are. In process.

Art is a verb. The verb that my soul was made to do. The verb that I am in love with.

{Grammar junkies, please don’t criticize me}

Go. Art. And love it.

art with my Eli

The other afternoon, I brought Eli and a canvas and a foam paintbrush out to the backyard. I squeezed some robin’s egg blue and some creamy white onto the canvas and let him go. {He quickly decided that using his hands was better :) haha!} This is what he created – with only minimal help from mommy… I only smoothed out the paint globs he left untouched :)

So today when Eli decided to nap for 3 hours {!!!} I got out a smaller paintbrush and my espresso brown…

Trees were inspired by these designs.

After nap, Eli was my helper for making sugar cookies for daddy.

He was in charge of the sugar and flour. And he did great! BUT… apparently he turned the mixer speed onto high while it was unplugged down there… and when I lifted it back to the counter and turned it on… well…

Little brother even got in on the fun…

And while Isaac is getting some camera time I figured I might as well take a 27 week shot {technically tomorrow, but oh well!}

I love my boys :)

miscellany monday at lowercase letters

board game art

We were very lucky to find a house that had a beautifully finished basement… and now that our second baby boy is just three months away from arriving (ummm… hmmm…), we are in the process of cleaning up his room and also cleaning up the basement as another play area for big brother Eli on those Eli-wants-to-show-off-how-loud-he-can-be days. And also just because it would be nice to move some of the toys downstairs so that mommy can ignore the mess easier feel less cluttered and toy-claustrophobic upstairs.

If I am going to make the basement into another play area for Eli, I might as well make it so that I like being down there, too, right? And so the board game art…

This monstrous cribbage board was a Christmas present from Chris’ parents a few years ago, and I finally realized that it was very easy to hang, and we just so happened to have two nails in the wall downstairs that were the exact distance apart as the cribbage board was wide.

A while back I made these oversized scrabble letters … okay, I lied – I started making these oversized scrabble letters, but really, how you see them in the picture is exactly how they stayed until, oh, Monday. You see, I messed up, one of the letters got a little messy, and then I got busy with the online art class I was taking and those scrabble letters just sat there on my desk, making me feel guilty every time I passed them. But I just didn’t feel like finishing them. And so I didn’t. Until I realized that they would fit much better downstairs instead of in my nook, and then I got excited again.

Sometimes you just have to let the art sit. Slow cook. If I’m not excited about it, if it isn’t speaking to me anymore… doesn’t that take away some of the point?

Anyway… here they are now…

They’re imperfect. I went over the black paint (on the two letters I had painted) with brown, then did the other two letters in just brown, and the letter O is slightly lighter than the rest but, I don’t care! I like them that way. I just need my awesome husband to help me hang them :)

And the last, most recent piece… the one that I am totally unsure about but it’s hanging out on the basement wall for now anyway, is this one.

Yes, those are real mini playing cards. You see, Eli got ahold of these one day a long while back and bent a few and ate the box and so we just let him keep them. They’ve been hanging out in the drawer of our TV stand for months, if not a year already, which was okay because it is at Eli’s level and only Eli-safe things can go in there anyway. But, whenever Eli’s friend comes over, he goes straight to that drawer and next thing I know I am cleaning up little playing cards that have been scattered all over the living room. And my belly won’t let me bend over comfortably anymore… I have purposely changed some things recently just so I don’t have to bend over. And so one of those things was to get rid of those cards. And they were just about to go in the garbage can when I realized hey… those could be art. Why not?

So they got stuck to an extra 12 x 12 canvas I had lying around. ModPodged. And I am still playing with the idea of spreading some Gesso down in the middle and painting some words over that but for now it just is as it is…

Have you ever seen those crafty people who take board games and frame them without glass, and then attach all the game pieces to the underside of the game and hang it??? Really neat… but I don’t have the energy to go search out a frame that exactly matches the size and shape of Monopoly or Pictionary, nor do I have the funds to have them custom-made… but I’m kind of liking this home-made stuff anyway :)

 
StudioJRU

a rock

I painted a rock today.

And wrote on it grace.

Because this is as far as the Lord has taken me. And He has shown me grace that stretches further than the cross.Grace I didn’t know existed. And He is taking me farther still.

{Did you know that you can use watercolors {or in my case, Neocolor crayons} on a rock if you paint it with gesso first?!? I suppose maybe you could paint with watercolors on almost anything if you gesso it first… but still…}

StudioJRU

Linking up with Jennifer from Studio JRU

art

Art made quite accidentally by my little boy who always wants to be outside… {I think he stepped on the heart I’d drawn and filled in with chalk}

Art made because it was the only way I knew how to breathe today…

Art that will eventually take up enough space in my abdomen that breathing might start to feel a little funny…

Art that is still changing and growing and I don’t know what this Art will look like tomorrow or 10 years from today but I know that I will love him…

 

just a baby post :) {and a little more}

So I’m still kinda quiet around here. Being a pregnant mama of a toddler is exhausting. And I’ve let some things go. And I was talking about my husband about the things that I’ve been letting go of, and his reaction? I’ve let go of the wrong things.

I guess my first reaction, when my hands are too full, is to drop everything that only directly benefits me and grasp tightly to the things that do directly benefit everyone else. Imagine my hands full of tiny strips of paper labeled with everything that actually do, that I wish I could do, that I think I should do. The slip labeled “laundry” stays (much to my displeasure… everyone needs clean underwear at least). The one labeled “art class” floats to the floor. The one labeled “feed the husband and kid (and self)” is firmly grasped. The one labeled “take a shower every couple of days” is… dropped. The slip labeled “give the toddler a bath” stays and I frown a little at it because I really should probably add the word “daily” to the end of that one. The one labeled “blog” is sitting at my feet.

Yeah… I need to do all of those things. The laundry, the bathing of the child, the feeding of us all… but also gripped tightly in my fingers are other slips of paper. Ones that I keep well hidden behind and between the ones I really must do. And those other hidden slips are written by me, in my handwriting, but they have the voices of other people. They are words that I imagine my friends, my family, even people I pass in the grocery store but don’t really know… what those people would tell me to write down. Scroll back. Did you see that word imagine? If not go back and read that sentence again. There aren’t (usually… ahem) people telling me what to do, but I see their faces (or imagine their faces) and hear the words and see the disappointment (again, imagined) in their eyes and so those pieces of paper sit there… partially hidden, because they’re not really mine and so I am unsure of them… but I prioritize them anyway. I keep them and let the parts that are really me – the parts that may in fact (according to my wonderful husband) benefit not just me, but also those people around me, the ones that love me – fall to the floor.

And so here I am. Writing a blog post. Not because I actually have anything of importance or profound-ness or any wit to share. But just because my husband, when I told him that I’d let my blog kinda go, told me “that is one of the last things you should let go.” And to be honest that kind of shocked me. And I’m still not sure I quite get it, quite believe it… but because I love my husband and trust that he knows what is good for me (because, afterall, I am the unshowered-for-the-second?-third?-day-in-a-row woman that he lives with and still loves)… I’m here.

So to give this blog post an actual point, and because it just so coincidentally is the day that the tiny baby is 15 weeks along, my ramblings are going to end with some baby stuff :) Just because. {Well, and also because I don’t have any art to share… because I haven’t yet picked that slip of paper labeled “art” back up off the floor, besides to write down an idea for a sketch…}

A picture! That sounds like a good idea…

That is 14 and a half weeks along. And, as I said when I posted it on facebook, a very very realistic moment in my life. Eli is not two feet away, and did you see the cat? Plotting. And I’m in pajama pants, and I’m pretty sure it was after noon that day. And my hair isn’t brushed. Yeah.

Did I tell you that I felt the baby move? At 13 weeks to the day. With Eli it wasn’t until 16 weeks. And it was Eli’s fault that I felt the baby move so early because he decided that day to plop down right on my stomach, and the baby jumped. Since then I can feel it shifting positions, and I finally felt some tapping the other day, too. And? When our pastor told us to stand up at the end of the service on Sunday, and think about Jesus walking right into the room and standing right in front of you… YOU… while he prayed… the baby moved. A lot. I started to cry… because up until that moment I was having trouble imagining Jesus right there in front of me. Well, baby knew. Teaching me things already…

On a random note… are you friends with your pastor? Because I am. And every time that I talk about him (on here or to somebody) I just want to call him Tom. Not “the pastor”… because to me he is Tom. Not the pastor. But noone would know who I am talking about…

Before this post gets too much out of control and really loses the claim to being a post about anything in particular I’d better go. You’re probably bored with all these words and not much pictures anyway. So I’ll leave you with saying that on Thursday Husband and I leave for three nights. Alone. Yay! Sooo needed. I can not wait :)