Friday, November 30, 2012

Dreaming of Pastries

Just finished painting my Christmas Cards!

This is a record for me.  I usually plan to do them in August, then hope to have them done before Thanksgiving.  Then tell myself I will paint them Thanksgiving weekend.  Thanks goodness Thanksgiving came early this year.  I was able to get my Christmas cards painted this week ... after the weekend.

Now I would love to show them to you, but that would spoil the surprise to those who are on my Christmas card list.

Each year, since 1995, I have been hand painting my Christmas cards.  Except for maybe 2 years when it was just impossible to do so.  And yes, I got complaints from those on my list!  Can you believe it?  And from people who just sign a store bought card and stuff the envelope and at least half of those use computer printed address labels.  What nerve!

While I was painting my cards, this afternoon I started craving M&Ms.  You'll have to wait to see the card in a few weeks, I'll post a picture.  Then you'll see how the M&Ms fit in.  After handwriting, yes handwriting the verse on the inset and signing my name I started thinking about Napoleons.  On November 3rd I baked for the very first time Napoleons for my husbands birthday.  I started at 10 am and was finally done with them at 5 pm.  They were awesome!  Someday, I will bake them again.

And for non-believers, here's a few of my step by step photos.  It all starts with a square of homemade dough.  The secret is that it is not really hard, it just takes a bunch of steps with a bunch of waiting in between steps.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tuesday's Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Wet Your Brush First 

A super important thing to remember when watercolor painting is to always always wet your brush in clean water first before dipping the brush into the paint.

Wetting the brush first will help your brushes last longer.

This is super important if you have the very nice and very expensive sable brushes.

Wet the brush first, even if you have a puddle of color on your palette.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Cigar Box Guitar Video

Last week we learned how to create videos using the iPod touch.  It's short and simple.  But you will be able to hear the sound of some of the cigar box guitars and amps found in our Squier Etsy Shop.

Click here to see and hear more of our CBGs on YouTube.

Cyber Monday Sale

Today in our Squier Etsy Shop

Our Cyber Monday Sale

25% Off select Rustic Tea Light Candle Holders

Click here to get to the Rustic Candle Holder Section

Prices have already been reduced!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tuesday's Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Twist Drag and Roll

Need to form a point with your round brush to paint a nice fine line?

Dip your brush into your color.
Twist, Drag and Roll the brush backwards across your palette to get the brush back into its pointy shape.
Paint your line.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Cigar Box Guitars

My husband Michael builds cigar box guitars he calls them Country Boy Guitars.  There's a new batch of new CBGs for sale in the Cigar Box Guitar and Amp section of our Squier Etsy Shop.

The neat thing is ... we have figured out how to make videos with out little iPod touch.  This will give you an idea of what the cigar box guitars sound like.

Here's where you can find the videos on YouTube:

If you want to see a sampling of other CBGs Michael has built check out this page:
It also includes an awesome sound clip and is linked to a few videos on YouTube.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tuesday's Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Pale Pale Wash 

Have trouble seeing where you put the clear water when creating a wet into wet background?

Use a super pale pale color when creating your background or sky to dampen the paper before adding in your colors.  This way you can see where you have painted already painted the wash and where you need to go.

The super pale color will dry back and almost disappear when dry and you will have a guide as to where to place your wet into wet colors.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Miniature Christmas Ornaments

Look what's new in my Squier Etsy Shop!

Miniature Christmas Ornaments
Made from my torch fired enamel beads.

Perfect for that little Christmas tree.

These little ornaments would also make a great hostess gift or grab bag gift.  I have them in sets of three and sets of five.

Look for the ones shown here and more:
Squier Christmas Ornaments

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Watercolor Wednesdays

Tonight's watercolor class we will be painting a snowman.

Sometimes I give my students a black and white print out of a sample painting I have created before class.  The black and white shows the value.  Lights, mediums and darks.  This way they have a guide and are not influenced by my color choices.

You can create your own value studies before painting, by sketching out your painting in pencil, adding in lights and darks.

You can also take a digital picture of your painting, edit it in Photoshop, remove the color so all you see is the grayscale image.  This will help you see if you have enough value tones in your painting if you have trouble deciding if you have enough darks and cannot see the color values.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tuesday's Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Test Paper

Have a piece of good quality watercolor paper handy for testing colors, testing brush strokes before you apply it to your painting.

Use the same type of paper you would normally paint on, don't be stingy and use something cheap.  Colors won't appear the same, the paper won't absorb the same way, the technique or stroke may differ on different types of paper.

Use a small piece of watercolor paper.
Use the back of an old painting you don't like.

Will this color look good?  How do I make that tree stroke?  What will this color combo look like?  Test it on a piece of scrap paper before adding it to your painting.


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