Saturday, April 27, 2013

My First Painting Since the Reagan Was in Office and The Craft Barn's Challenge

Well it has been an interesting week. I have actually picked up a paint brush and tried to paint something that is recognizable.  The Craft Barn in the UK  is hosting a challenge going thru the alphabet (NOT in alphabetical order ~ to make it more fun) ~ selecting a letter and a special twist for each challenge.  Soooo since I am trying out my artsy shirt to see if the old girl (me) still can hold a brush and paint/draw something recognizable, I thought I would give it a whirl.  I mean it sounded simple ~ put together something artsy that begins with a 'W' and put some circles in the background. So here is my entry ~ a waterfall. 
 Back in the 60's, 70's and 80's my father's mother's family (the Sterlings) held family reunions. I loved to go to them and miss them terribly now. Back then one of the favorite places to hold the reunions was Noccalula Falls park up on the mountain in the edge of Gadsden, Alabama.  It was a playground for all of us kids. You could climb down to the bottom of the falls and go around  behind the falls in this huge room-like place and some of us braver (or dumb) kids would climb the rock face on the far side of the falls (no climbing gear ~ just our hand and feet in tennis shoes). It really was a dangerous venture but as the old song goes 'we were young and without a care'. Luck and the good Lord protected us.
Here are few pics of the falls:
the room behind the falls

the rock face we used to climb 

looking out thru the falls from the cave

The falls are 90 feet high. They are worth the trip to see them and the park with all their features.

Now to my entry for the challenge ~

I have to admit I am enjoying the challenges. I thought the circles would give a bubble effect. It is fun to get the paint brushes wet again. Like my sister-in-law is always saying ~Use it or lose it~ I think I will use it for a while - it can only get better.

Thanks to the Craft Barn for interesting challenges and for letting me play with ya'll.


Monday, April 22, 2013


Hi everybody!! This is my first post on my art blog.  I am trying to expand my horizons and touch my inner artist here. It has been a real learning experience.  I have spent most of March and April prowling thru art blogs, and steampunk sites, altered and mixed media sites etc. and let me tell you ~ there is a treasure chest full of blogs and sites that are sharing a wealth of art styles and every technique known to man.  It is mind boggling.  I started out just saving tutorial sites to one folder on my favorites list and now I have 4 and some with sub folders.  Just trying to organize the sites that I have found so far. The biggest challenge for me is trying to recreate techniques without having all the tools and doodads that all these places talk about and show.  Now that I am retired I have a very limited income whereas once upon a time I would have just logged on to ETSY EBAY or Amazon and ordered whatever I wanted to try out.  Alas those days are gone ~ but ~ I have to say it is kinda fun to 'wirework' my way around a lot of the roadblocks.  Like I am making my own stamps  ~ no not the super detailed ones but a lot of simple ones. I already had an Exacto knife with a lot of blades.  I had plenty of sheet plastic to cut my own stencils and I already had a lot of neat stencils that I purchased mostly at Walmart (when they sold REAL craft supplies not the sorry excuse supplies they have now!).  So I have played and have found some challenges that cater more to the altered and mixed media type challenges than the cute and frilly and VERY commercial look in cards etc.  Don't get me wrong you will still see a lot of the roses and lace things over at my other blog Mary's Rose Cottage. But here I plan to be more artsy with my creations.  So to get things started here is my first challenge piece:

The folks at Sandee and Amelie's Steampunk Challenge have a monthly challenge going where they pick a subject (this month ~ FAIRYTALES) and you give it the steampunk treatment.  Let me tell you that is NOT easy especially for a roses and lace girl.  But I want to try something different and something that stretches my imagination and creativity. So here is my entry :
I guess the title will be ~ "The Three Little Pigs Celebrate Their Victory Over The Big Bad Wolf".

The background is my own. I painted cardstock black, dabbed metallic gold with the flat side of a foam brush and then stamped bricks from a stamp I made out of foam board (I knew if I saved those old yardsale signs I made they would come in handy on day!!)

Then I printed a copy of a cigar ad from the Valerie's blog The Sum of All Crafts .  Let me tell you if I had to pick only TWO blog sites to get all my free images from the Sum of All Crafts and the Graphics Fairy would be the two.  The cigar ad gave the guys body and table and chairs.  The Graphics Fairy gave my the globe like thingy.  And Vintage Printables for that lovely clock.  The victory banner is from a foamboard stamp that I made.  The pigs heads are from a coloring book that I reduced and reduced some more to get tiny (where is my new Printmaster program I need sooooo bad).  It doesn't look like I colored them but I did a tan colored pencil.  I think my camera is on its last legs too. So there you have it. It's not perfect but it came pretty close to the mental image I had.  The Steampunk Challenge is just in its second month and has some reallllly artistic and innovative entries.  It is worth the look~see  and come play with us ~ the more the merrier.
Love Mary