The New Year gave us a kiss of cold weather, and a dusting of snow on the Superstitions. Lovely vista. The first photo is the way we see them from our back yard. The second photo was taken from a dirt road a few miles from our house, but the same angle.
We also woke to a thin sheet of ice on the swimming pool! That was a surprise.
Also seen through the loft window - our first hot air balloon of the year.
More painting, better art - we are working right along on making this place our own, finally! Last weekend I was lucky to find a really, really good buy on a large piece of art, much more suitable for the space over the loft dresser. (Compare this to the "after" photo in the Before and After post a couple entries back.)
We still need new lamps, and will also be adding some sort of vignette to the top of the dresser. As large as that dresser is, it is now full to the gills with family photo albums and boxes and boxes of un-albumed photos!
Here's a peek at the front wall of the loft, now that it has color. Please ignore the dust rag on the railing.
The new paint in the front entry has been done for a couple weeks now.
Next up is a creamy yellow for the living room, with some blue accents; a silvery gray for the main floor bath; a pale green for the guest bath; and something fun/funky to go with the new chandelier in the laundry room.
Finished two dolls on my work table, more on the way.
I bought the "warty" gourd at the Running of the Gourds last February, painted it shortly thereafter, and just recently was inspired to finally complete the doll. She's a good refresher of the things I learned at the Iowa Retreat a few years ago. The face is from Sherry Goshon's mold "Cherie." The scarf is from a seller I met at the CIFI conference several years ago - Elma Simpson. The beautiful orange overskirt you see in the back is from Gypsy Pamela's monthly fabric club.
This Carolina Sea Hag is my response to Linda Hollerich's challenge for a summer mermaid project. I molded the face using instructions from one of Linda's patterns. Building the doll on a paper towel tube was inspired by an online class years ago with Jacque Uetz.
Well, it's done! I didn't think it would be done this quickly, as we both had some concerns about starting it. We still need lamps and other "fluff" for the top, but the drawers have been put to good use already, storing photo albums and old photos not yet in albums!
I haven't been able to get an accurate photo of the shade of green to upload here. It looks right on my monitor, but when I upload it to the blog, it distorts. Just take it from me that it isn't quite so vivid, OK?
Edited to add this photo of one of the doors. Hopefully, this shows the green a little better:
Signing up for Amazon Smile is easy, and takes no money from your pocket. Allow Amazon to be good community citizens, and make donations on your behalf. You get to designate which charity you wish to support. I suggest Pets for the Elderly!
Earlier this year, I purchased an e-pattern from Linda Hollerich to make her "The Cook, The Thief, and Her Young Accomplice." (www.rhsartdolls.com - if you go to the site, you can sign up for the quarterly newsletter, well worthwhile)
Because I'd taken a class with Linda last year, I felt I "knew" her well enough to offer to write up some lessons learned from the pattern. She was just lovely with her response and asked me to write an article for her newsletter. Since then, I've refrained from posting much in the way of photos of the process, so I wouldn't front-run the newsletter. Since the newsletter came out yesterday, here are some photos of Minerva (all should be clickable to view larger).
After the doll told me her name - Minerva - I did a little research and found she needed at least an owl, and maybe a staff. I was far enough along in the process to have trouble incorporating them. She now holds a pearl in her right hand (for a "pearl of wisdom") and there's a small cage with an egg in it hanging from the staff that is resting on her shoulder. Owl and moss at her feet.
As a dollmaker, I've always said I wouldn't sculpt in clay - the most I would ever do is use another dollmaker's pressmolds. Linda made it fun, not at all intimidating, and though I have much to learn, I'm willing to play with this process. It's nice to have options!
We heard on the radio yesterday that the beautiful sunrises of late are due to the changes in the atmosphere with the coming monsoon season. The weather news is all about the coming monsoon season, full of safety tips, warning signs, and dates to be alert. It reminds me a lot of the tornado preparedness season when I lived in Minnesota. Whatever the reason for the beauty, I'll take it.
My internal clock must be set to read daylight. I've been up and out of bed at precisely 5:20 am every day for a couple of weeks now. The good thing about that is that I not only get to see the pretty sunrises, I get to see the few four-o-clocks that are blooming in the low-lighted and cooler part of the day:
This snail flower vine has been a real find. We love the way it has taken over the shepherd's hook and is blooming madly:
And, let's see... what am I working on in the "treehouse"? A collage on canvas, metal "fabric" similar to a Rebekah Meier technique, the Petie bird from Frowning Francis patterns, and sculpting ala Linda Hollerich :
Only the Petie bird is finished. It seems I'm still dealing with my fear of finishing.
On Friday, I found a project piece on the local barter and trade board. I've been hoping for a second dresser for the empty wall of the loft. We'll work together on this one - right now the plan is a refinished wood top with a distress-painted green bottom. (I've chosen a color called asparagus.) We also plan to do some accent walls and add some color. Right now, we're thinking this wall will be a rosy terra cotta. It should all work well with the beloved Sedona painting.
So, that's the before shot. Don't expect the after any time real soon...
Here's an after shot, though! Remember the "before" of the rock I posted? Here's the after:
My Oldtimer works so hard around the yard, I had to get a few grab shots of things as they've progressed. And, of course, a few shots of birds - especially the frowzy looking hummingbird that uses the chime as a merry-go-round. And the mockingbird that lifts off the roof in ecstasy.
I think the salvia has endured a few too many Rosco leg-lifts, but the four-o-clocks are doing well.