Monday, April 21, 2014

Hobby spotlight

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I don't talk about all the other interests I have much because my business has kept me so busy lately that I just don't have time to do much anymore.  I hope to get things settled down one of these days and be able to devote a little bit more to the "me" time activities again.  Ha!

My Mother got me started with primitive rug hooking when I moved back to Nebraska in 2004.  It involves using a hook to pull strips of wool, anywhere from 1/2 to spaghetti thin inch wool strips, through a a piece of loosely woven linen.  I typically buy my linen with the patterns designed by one of the many, many talented individuals out there, but occasionally I have been challenged to design and draw my own to hook.

This particular piece was from a Rug Hooking Retreat in 2013, and finished by me last winter.  The design is by Cammie Bruce and the rug is called "Spot the Horse".

This rug is mainly 1/4 inch or #8 cut wool strips.  There are a few narrower or #6 cuts in there to make it all fit well.  The original piece that Cammie hooked was done with a light background and a dark colored horse.  I wanted a dappled mare, so Cammie and Janice Lee, owner of The Rug Hooking Store in Valley Nebraska and hostess/organizer of the Rug Retreat, found me the perfect colors to make my pony dappled gray.
Here's a little close up of her pretty little spots.

I love how the spots on the horse are mimicked in the background.
Sometimes I use close up photography like this to see how my colors are blending.  It is much easier to spot in a photo than it is with the naked eye at times.  See that really light piece in the leaf on the upper left  side.  I will need to take another look at it to see if it makes sense to leave it as a hi-light or if I should take it down a bit so it doesn't stand out so much.

So there you have it, another little piece of me.  I find that I am much happier when I have artistic pursuits in all their different forms.  I like to paint, I like to rug hook, I occasionally sew and stitch, and I used to dabble in stained glass.   Each one brings me much joy and keeps my hands busy.  I'm not very good at just sitting still with nothing in my hands!

How about you?  What hidden talents or other pursuits do you have?

Wishing you Sunshine this week!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Oldies but Goodies

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I think this title could also be referring to the different "Throw Back Thursday" Music groups I heard on talk shows today while I painted.  I mean Hall and Oats and REO Speedwagon all in one day!  At first when I heard them I was too busy painting to look up, and then when I did I was almost sorry.  They don't look like they used to, of course I don't look like I did when I used to listen to them either.  I just don't need the reminder if you know  what I mean.

Now let's transition right on over to another oldie but goodie.  I scored a nice sturdy fairly plain oak dresser not long ago.  It had such simple lines that it kind of begged for some form of embellishment.
Graphics? Stencil? Subway Art? In the end I honored the simplicity with some simple stripes in some gorgeous colors.

This entire pallet of paint colors is from American Paint Company line of paints.  The main body color is Rushmore.  I love this warm gray/taupe color.  This color goes with nearly everything.

The outside light color is Limoges,  part of APC's limited edition Ellis Island collection.  I love so many of these I hope to see them added to the main line!  The green is Waistcoat, a gorgeous chartreuse green.  The thin line is Tea Leaves and the large center stripe is Peacock, my favorite.  It is the most spectacular rich color!
The top was full of water stains which fortunately we were able to sand down.  A little dark stain and some antique oil and this baby is looking pretty again.
Don't these pretty little wood tone  knobs look sweet with this dresser?  With this close up you can see why I like these colors so much.

I think I definitely like simple pieces once in a while.  They are so very satisfying.

I'm knee deep in a large custom hutch right now.  It's coming along beautifully and I'll hopefully snag some photos before it goes back to its home when finished.

Have a great end of the week!

Linking to:
Elizabeth and Co.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Senior Year & stencil fun!

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My oldest is a Senior in High School this year.  And yes, I am slightly freaked out by that!  It is both an exciting time in their lives and a nostalgic time in their parents lives.  Anyhow, just so you know I am a bit scattered right now with all those "last" this' and thats' for her, while also enjoying the last quarter of the 10th, and 2nd graders' year also with my other 2 kiddos.  Here is a little Prom moment. to share.  I'm definitely biased, but she is just so lovely.

I am so proud of this young woman!  She is just a joy to have around, and I just can't believe how fast the years have flown by.   Next time I'll pick on another child to plop up here in a post.  Love them all!  There are just lots of programs, parties to plan and attend, graduation, and other obligations so if I'm absent a bit for the next couple of months you'll know why.

 I am continuing to work on projects, though not as many and most are client projects that I often have a hard time photographing before they leave.  I do have 2 pieces that have been finished for a while and just waiting for a spare moment to get their 15 minutes of fame on the blog.  This piece has been done for a while and was so much fun to work on.
It's early life was steeped in golden oak, with great lines, and eventually some water damage that caused it to be abandoned at a thrift store.  I'm there for you baby.  I brought her home and worked to level out the raised areas left by the the water damage.  This piece was just for pure fun and I do wish I had taken more close up photos, but it was bitterly cold out at the time.  Don't let that Nebraska sun fool you!  I chose to work with some of the American Paint Company Limited Ellis Island Collection.  There is a haphazard layering of 'Crushed Tea' and 'Peacock' over the entire body.  I finished with a coat of 'Limoge'.  Sanded down a bit to knock off any paint strokes a bit, then wet distressed.  I love how this clay and chalk based paint distresses so easily, and the colors in both the regular line and special collection are fabulous.  I wish you could see the Peacock peeking through the top coat.  

If it hadn't been such a wickedly cold winter I might have tried to get a few more photos.

I broke out one of my new stencils and used the Crushed Tea color to stencil a hounds tooth pattern on top.  I distressed again as I liked that contrast of the more formal styled table taking on a bit of a shabby/rustic style.  3 coats of APC's no odor clear wax finished it all up.  It's finished and ready for someone fun and hip that needs it!

Have a super week!