Tag: hilton head island

Joining the Art and Craft Fair Circuit

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After a two years of collecting parts I finally have my outdoor booth set up ready to go. It’s officially June, and I have two outdoor fests under my belt with one more before the month closes out.

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Atlanta is not shy when it comes to hosting festivals, the latest addition is the Mac n’ Cheese fest, often with multiple festivals per weekend come spring and fall. This makes weekend planning difficult, but it allows me to have a variety of options when choosing which festivals to apply to and participate in.

Chastain Park Arts Festival was my introduction into the outdoor festival circuit. The weekend couldn’t have brought more perfect weather. It was low eighties, a light breeze, and a good continuous crowd. I was pleased with my profit earnings and the connections I made in the Atlanta art community.

Joining the festival circuit doesn’t just mean I have another venue to sell my art. It also means I get plugged into the art community. I have a much greater opportunity to meet likeminded and goal oriented people. I have the chance to build relationships, learn more about my craft, and be inspired by others. I love feeling like I am finally part of the community I have observed from the outside in for so many years.

Virginia Highlands Summerfest came next with an even better weekend, better foot traffic, much hotter days and a lesson in rain. I learned to place my oil paintings at the front of my booth, to save my encaustics from the direct sunlight (and potential melting) that inevitably pours in. I learned that if there is a chance of rain everything that sits on the ground should be placed on a raised surface. The later was a difficult lesson to learn when I opened my tent the next morning to deep puddles and a bag of ruined mats and prints.

Next up is Old Fourth Ward Park Arts Festival in just a week and a half. In between spending time with my family on Hilton Head Island, I am ordering new mats and prints, gluing paper to panels, and painting a new batch of fruit and veggies. I can’t wait to see what comes from this next festival and the break afterwards until my schedule fills up for the fall. Check out more about my new oil paintings below!

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When I first set up my booth to take pictures I realized my encaustics could melt if it was warm enough outside and they were in direct sunlight. I began to panic. After all I had just invested a lot of money for my set up. What would I do if I couldn’t display my product outside?

Version 2While teaching an idea hit me. My students had just started oil paint studies of food. I was itching to paint with oils on canvas again and started my own so I could work along with my kids. I loved getting back to the basics of just paint and I was pleased with the way my bell pepper and pomegranate turned out. I wanted to do more.

After thinking about it I decided these would be the perfect solution to my encaustic melting problem. If I moved around my artwork based on where the sun was hitting I could keep my encaustic out of the sun by displaying my oils in the sun.

Since my bell pepper and pomegranate studies I have completed blueberries, eggs, a cabbage, orange, cauliflower, garlic, mussel, oyster, and I am finishing up a kiwi, tomato, onion, and papaya. Each of these food studies are 6″x6.” I start with an underpainting, typically choosing the complementary color of the food I am painting for the background.

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After allowing the underpainting to dry I mark out the shape of the food and add some detail before applying my first layer of white to the background.

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I like to leave hints of the underpainting peeking through. Whether it’s along the edge of a bowl or in between eggs, I think it adds another interesting detail to the piece.

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I also pushed myself to loosen up my painting style by trying out palette knife painting. I started with portraits of my chickens Rachel, Thackary Binx, Sir Sylvia, and Linda. I loved the texture and the sense of movement the palette knife marks made.

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I decided to go even bigger than the 12×12 chicken portraits and I completed a 32″x32″ positive/negative space painting of the Crescent City Connection bridge in New Orleans.

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I will post additional information about my upcoming festival, Old Fourth Ward Park Arts Festival, next week.

With sweet Cooper, my 13 new chicks, finishing up teaching for the year, and prepping for four festivals, I have had little time to update my blog. I hope to get back to posting weekly this summer. I look forward to keeping in touch. Thanks for stopping by![subscribe2]

 

Back to the Grind: My Summer Off

Trinidad, CA

So far, 2015 has proven to be a busy year. I feel like I’ve been on the go since the beginning, and a lot of changes and new beginnings have presented themselves in the past 7 months. As the school year wrapped up and summer began, I readied my summer to do list, which included posting regularly to my blog. While 2015 has been an eventful year for me personally, my blogging life has fallen a little flat, and summer was no exception. In between the vacations and projects, I kept pulling up my site, starting a post, before being distracted by something else. Eventually I hit a point where I decided it was okay to take a break. What used to be a passion had suddenly turned into a to do burden. I was no longer putting the time or effort into my posts to make it worthwhile for me to write or my readers to read. But now I find myself back from summer and excited to share my new projects and life stories. I look forward to once again fulfilling my weekly goal of sharing my interests with you!

New Orleans

Lets recap. January started off slow and typical. Winter was cold, snow never coated the ground, the weather was dreary, and I was feeling the gray creeping inside my brain. I was tired, run down, and needed a pick me up. I got just what I needed in the coming months, and the work/sleep/eat routine was broken in February when I took my first trip to New Orleans for Mardi Gras 2015.

It was an experience like no other, in a city like no other. I felt the tremors of the city as soon as we hit the bridges leading into town. There is an underlying sense of excitement and life in every tree, building, plate of food, and person you pass by. The city is full of color and culture. I took in the beautiful, huge, stretching trees that I have come to associate with my childhood and the south. My eyes devoured the architecture, flying beads, and costumes, while my stomach ate up some of the best food I have ever had. I ate my first crawfish out of a bag, sitting on the ground in the park. It was a beautiful city and breath of fresh air, just what I needed to get back on track.

Seattle to San Fran

Not long after our trip to New Orleans, I was once again packing my bags, getting ready for Nick and my long awaited west coast adventure. For 10 days wse spent time on foot, in cars, on bicycles, on buses, and hiking trails from Seattle to San Francisco. My recently relocated cousin gave us a good excuse to go out to Seattle and visit. What began as a long weekend trip turned into an all out tour of the Pacific northwest. This trip was a like no other, and is an experience I will never forget.

Each city was as unique and interesting as the last. In Seattle I discovered a city built on hills, with an underground city hiding underneath. In Portland I found amazing natural beauty nestled directly outside of skyscrapers. In northern California I fulfilled my childhood dream of standing in front of a redwood and we feel asleep to the sound of barking of sea lions. In San Francisco I saw an amazing harmony of cultures coexisting in the bay side city. In ten days we experienced mountains, forests, beaches, and cities. I wore sundresses in the sand, galoshes in torrential downpours, and layers of coats in feet of snow.

This trip was not only a testament to our beautiful country, culture, art, and architecture, but it was also a reminder of how much I love my Nick. We packed into our tiny rental and drove hours from location to location. Perhaps we would have made better time if we didn’t stop every mile on the Pacific Coast Highway for me to snap yet another picture, but Nick noticed every time my eyes lit up in need of another snapshot memory. I never tired of his company, I could have spent another 10, 20, 30 days packed into a car with just him, touring the countryside and cityscapes.

Many of the pictures I took on this trip have already made their way into my encaustic art. Be on the lookout for future posts about my new projects!

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Although it was difficult to leave our vacation bubble and return to the real world, I headed back feeling rejuvenated. I was so inspired by everything I saw, felt, and experienced, and I couldn’t wait to infuse that into my teaching, artwork, and home. With the passing of March came the warming of the air, spring showers, and the coming and going of my busiest time of year at school. Before I knew it, summer was on the cusp, and so was our first dinner club.

As an effort to keep in touch with our dear friends in our growing, busy lives, Nick and I decided to get a group together once a month to eat good food, share recipes, and enjoy each other’s company. The first one was hosted at our house, a crawfish boil in the backyard. It was a taste of New Orleans brought home, the perfect start to the spring and coming of summer.

CharlestonBefore I could even start my summer countdown, school was over. I began my first weekend of summer in one of my favorite southern cities, Charleston. It marked the beginning of my much needed extended vacation, a very busy wedding season for Nick and I, and the addition of a sister-in-law to my seemingly ever growing family. We celebrated Nick’s brother marrying his perfect match, and spent the weekend piled into a house on the beach with his parents, 5 siblings, significant others, and extended family.

Teapot

We were reunited with Nick’s sister, brother-in-law, and our two nieces in the house on Folley beach. After a year in Italy, it was wonderful to see their faces again, hear about their traveling adventures, and witness the hyperactivity of toddlers. It also gave me the chance to give Kyla her birthday teapot, designed to fit her two year birthday theme, Carnivale, a traditional celebration in Italy. Be on the look out for a more extensive post about this tea set in the future.

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I was very spoiled to be able to enjoy three weeks of my summer in Hilton Head Island. Hilton Head has been a part of me since I can remember. Every summer our family of five braved the five plus hour drive to the small, tennis shoe shaped island off the coast of South Carolina. We learned to crawl, walk, and ride bikes on the sandy beach. I realized my first nugget of independence as my parents allowed the kids to ride the bike trails unsupervised.

This summer was spent between two houses, which felt like a living metaphor. The old and the new, the coming and the going. My parents closed on a new property in Hilton Head in the spring. A beautiful house, only one street away from the original house, but many steps closer to the beach. Although my parents are keeping the partnerships of both houses intact, there was something monumental about heading to the new property. All the kids are grown up, my sister already has one of her own learning to run on the beach just like we did. The old house will always hold the memories of my siblings and I growing up, but I know this new house will soon hold the memories of our kids growing up.

Sarah Showers

After Hilton Head, another wedding was celebrated in another amazing southern location, Asheville, North Carolina. As I headed home I began planning a bridal shower for another future sister-in-law, Sarah, and getting information about her bachelorette party, to be held at the end of summer. A couples shower cook out was hosted at my house, full of crafty projects and decor I can’t wait to share. Be on the lookout for these how tos coming soon. Since January I have gained two more sisters. I am incredibly lucky my brother-in-laws know how to pick girls I click with, I couldn’t ask for better family.

Aruba Scenes

The next wedding location of the season required an international voyage to Aruba. Nick was honored as Jared’s best man as he married his other half, Ashley. Not only did we get to see some of our best friends commit their lives to each other, but we got to do it in an unbelievable location. For five days we sat next to turquoise waters, tanned alongside iguanas, and ate fresh-caught-daily seafood.

5 Year Wedding Anniversary

A few days after Jared and Ashley tied the knot, Nick and I celebrated five years married. Aruba was the perfect location for our anniversary celebration, and our last full day on the island, we spent together, crammed on a 1980’s dirt bike touring the island. I can’t believe we have been a couple for 10 years, with 5 years of marriage under our belts. I’ve never regretted picking him, I’m not sure I had a choice in the matter, it felt right from day one. As I’ve said before, and as I will say again, I think we have at least another 75 years together in us.

Starlight Six Drive In

The end of summer is bittersweet. I begin to realize I am losing a portion of my freedom for another nine months, but I am also ready to see my kiddos, and ready for my birthday, which always seems to mark my last weekend of summer. Year 28 of my life was closed out with a drive in movie, lots of junk food, and lots of attention and love from my family and hub. School was about to start again, and it was time to wrap my head around the coming work, and get ready for another great year.

Cooper James

In addition to all of our trips and busy schedules, we also found out we were pregnant with our first baby in March. Now I find myself back to school, almost 7 months pregnant, planning a nursery, and prepping for our baby boy. I can’t wait to see his sweet face in flesh and color, and discover which features he decided to model after his dad and which ones he modeled after me. With the coming of baby also brings a lot of home projects, which will also be coming soon to my how tos.

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I hope you enjoyed the recap of the last 7 months, and I promise to stay on top of my postings as things continue to get busier. Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog. Help spread the word about easy craft projects, art making techniques, and visual journaling by sharing it with others! Thanks for stopping by.

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Visual Journal Page 73: It Was Worth It

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We were wrapping up another week at the wonderful, Hilton Head Island, beach. I enjoyed quality time with my family and the sun, while I worked on my tan, played on the beach, and consumed book after book. Overall I was well relaxed.

My relaxation ended the second to last day of our trip. My parents decided it was time to shake things up a bit, and do something different. They rented two jet skis, I couldn’t wait to try them out.

My parents doubled up on one, while my brother and I doubled up on the second one. As we began climbing on, getting ourselves settled in, my nerves began to take hold. I decided I wasn’t ready to drive first, Ramsey should be the first to go. I climbed on the jet ski behind him, and readied myself for an adventure. I felt less nervous knowing I could sit back and relax in the beginning stages. What I didn’t know was by being my brothers passenger, rather than the driver, my nerves were about to go into overdrive.

All went well at first. We slowly pulled out of the marina, and putt-putted our way to open water. The no wake rule, until we hit the larger area, kept my brother at bay for the first leg of the trip. However, as soon as we hit the open seas he went full throttle. My laid back posture, hands resting on the back of the jet ski, was immediately replaced by squeezing around my brother for dear life, feet slipping off the bottom, my butt bouncing on the seat, threatening to fly right off.

I tried yelling, screaming, saying his name, trying to get him to slow down. The swishing, rushing wind took every word with it, as I came to terms with my situation.

By the time he slowed down my entire body was exhausted, less from fear, and more from every muscle in me tensing up, trying to stay on the jet ski. I was ready for my turn, and my revenge. I did a nice slow loop at first, then hit the throttle, sending my brother into the same situation he placed me. I felt more secure in the driver’s seat. Knowing I had full control. I had the handlebars to hold onto, and my brother anchoring me on the back. Unfortunately, my speedy ride didn’t faze him on bit, he had the time of his life.

We continued to switch off, every time he took control I prepared myself for another, possibly life threatening ride. In no time it was time to head back to the marine. I was incredibly tired and sore the next day, just from trying to stay onto the jet ski while my brother drove like a crazy person. Despite the fear he placed in me I still had an amazing time, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

I’m pretty sure you almost killed me once or twice… but it was worth it…

SUPPLIES

  • Visual journal
  • Rubber cement
  • Scissors
  • Bleeding tissue paper
  • Water
  • Colored pencils
  • Sharpie

HOW TO

To create this visual journal page I wanted to make a very nautical feeling page. I decided the best way to accomplish this was to use water based materials, something along the lines of watercolor or bleeding tissue paper. Eventually, I decided bleeding tissue paper would work best. However, rather than simply squeeze the pigment out of the paper, I decided to use the actual tissue paper in my book.

To do this I took a stack of different shades of blue and green bleeding tissue paper, and splattered water all over them. I set it out on my counter until it dried. Once dry I carefully separated the layers and fell in love with the results. The dark and light blues bled colors into each other, creating pops of color, areas of white and gray. The green sheet had a beautiful pop of white and yellow among the tie dye sections of green.

I took the paper and cut them into strips. I glued the green strip, using rubber cement, 3/4 of the way up the page. I left a small space, then began gluing the layers of blue paper. I overlapped the blue, and varied the amount of space I left before adding another layer. The result was a wave like, tie dyed ocean. It was just what I envisioned.

Next, I began working on the jet ski. I looked up a picture to reference, and began sketching it out on a white sheet of paper. I then added color, shadows, and highlights, using colored pencils. I glued the completed jet ski drawing the the right side page. I added some ripped up book pages, to look like foam on a wave, and overlapped a strip of tissue paper, to make it look like it is sitting in the water.

Last but not least I added sharpie words to the space between the green and blue tissue paper.

CHALLENGE

Create a visual journal page using bleeding tissue paper. Try stacking the paper, wetting it, letting it dry, and gluing the actual tissue paper in your book. Have fun!

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog! Help me spread the word about my blog and visual journals by sharing on your social networking site of choice. Thanks for stopping by!

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Visual Journal Page 61: Walking Down this Path

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Hilton Head Island is my second home. When I think back to my childhood many of my memories stem from this small island off the coast of South Carolina. Learning to ride a bike, collecting sea shells, playing games, and as a teenager trekking down to the Marriott to meet boys.

Since I can remember my parents have had our house off of Hickory Lane. It was purchased when I was barely walking, and we still own it today. Even though the house is split between good friends and extended family, the 6 weeks we have every year makes it feel like our house.

It feels like our home making the 4 1/2 hour drive down familiar interstates and roads, pulling into the driveway, seeing the screened in porch, the gray/blue color of the house. Every moment is nostalgic, with glimpses of past years. What really completes this sentimental feeling is the first walk to the beach. After quickly unloading the car as a family we walk to the beach. Down our street, across Pope Avenue, and finally down the path.

Hilton Head is a very bike friendly place. Bike paths parallel streets, wind through trees, and take you anywhere you want to go on the island. The beach consists of compacted sand, unlike the white loose sand of many coasts. The compact sand allows bike trips up and down the shoreline. Because so many beach goers are also beach bike goers the beach paths have to accommodate the bikers; and the houses along our beach path decided strips of discarded carpet was the way to go.

Layers upon layers of carpet has been laid on this path for years. Slowly the carpet began creeping from the entrance to the beach all the way to the intersection of Pope Avenue. Covering tree roots, and loose sand blown back from the beach, the carpet does wonders for a bicyclist trying to reach the beach.

On our first night I always take a minute as we hit the path and consider how strange it is to have a carpet trail leading us to the beach. The moment we hit the end of the carpet, the beginning of the sand, and crest the final slope allowing us a glimpse of the ocean, I truly feel like I am home. I have come from home number one in the city to home two on the beach. Even though walking down that carpeted path to the beach is leading me away from my house it some how feels like I’m going home.

SUPPLIES

  • Visual journal
  • Rubber cement or mod podge
  • Old book pages
  • Water color
  • Paint brush
  • Water
  • India ink
  • Colored pencil

HOW TO

To create this visual journal page I started with a base of layered book pages put together outside of my visual journal. Since I knew I wanted to use watercolor I decided it would be best to paint it on separate paper, then glue it into my journal. By doing this I avoid wrinkly pages and the color accidentally seeping through this journal page and staining others.

I used rubber cement to glue the pages together to create a base. I then got out my watercolors and got to work. I wanted to keep it loose, so rather than sketch everything out first, I went for it. I started with the sky and layered blue watercolor. Every now and then I took a paper towel and dabbed area of the sky, pulling the blue paint back up. This is a good technique to create clouds. Next I painted in a slightly darker blue for the ocean, followed by green lines for the tall grass. I decided to leave the path unpainted, letting the color of the pages in the background define it.

After I had my base painting down I went back in with gray to create shadows in the grass, and yellow to create the tops of the sea oats. I then used India ink to better define areas. I painted a loose line between the ocean and the sky, and used short, wiggly lines to bring out the shoreline and waves. I randomly scattered black lines in the grass and outlined the tops of the sea oats to create shadows.

After the background was complete it was time to add the words. I wrote them out with pencil first, then outlined them with a black colored pencil. They looked a little too plain, so I outlined them with a yellow colored pencil that matched the yellow in the sea oats.

CHALLENGE

Create a visual journal page about your nostalgic childhood vacation spot or home.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog and read today’s post! Help me spread the word about my blog by sharing with others. Thanks for stopping by!

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