Around the Home, Art & Creativity, Uncategorized

A Room for Baby

In anticipation of our first baby boy, I wasted no time dreaming up, preparing and decorating a nursery for him. I had plenty of energy to invest with all the extra napping and free hours on my hands. However, I’ll admit, this second time around has been a little different. I kind of dreaded cleaning out the “dumping grounds” that our guest room closet and bookshelves had become. Furthermore, I wasn’t too sure how to combine the purposes of a guest room and nursery into one lovely space. But mostly, I’ve just been trying to keep up with the ball of energy that is my two year old toddler.

Needless to say, I put off preparing a room for our second baby for quite some time. But then a wise and creative friend reminded me that the second baby doesn’t deserve to feel like “baby #2”, with all the leftovers and none of the effort! She also made a recommendation that I feel like made all the difference for the dynamic of the room, she suggested I paint the wall behind the bookshelves a color that had some pop to it and remove some of the extra shelves. It really became my favorite part of the whole room.

So now I’ll stop rambling and share some photos of baby’s room, ready just in time for him to arrive…

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That sweet little baby crib in the corner was passed on to us from friends

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Bookshelf transformation with a little paint and some rearranging

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Love the colorful throw pillows from Castaway Cove Decor, on Etsy

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Had this lamp from Home Goods and found the perfect nightstand at Target

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Painted and older dresser and turned it into a changing table

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Had fun working on some art and a mobile to add some color to the wall

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Closeup of mobile, made from sticks, string and patterned paper

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Close up of whale painting

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Baby’s initials. The little wood animal cutouts and letters came from Michael’s

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I love the dresser pulls from World Market, and the yellow tulips from Aunt Leslie

Thanks for checking out the baby’s room! We’ll put him in our room if you’re needing a guest room to sleep in 🙂

 

 

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Art & Creativity, Uncategorized, Works in Progress

Painting Process: Lhasa Ladies 2017

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Lhasa Ladies 2017 // Mixed Media on Wood // 18×24 inches

I first received a request for this commission back in October of 2016. Now here we are in February of 2017. Thank goodness my kind neighbor who wanted this done has been so patient and understanding! I’ll admit, I wondered if I would ever be able to push past the creative mental block brought on by keeping up with a toddler while pregnant. Let’s just say that motivation and inspiration have been lacking and, lately, the desire to take a nap usually wins out over painting.

All that to say, I’m so glad I had a goal to work towards. The creation of this painting truly brought me so much joy and a sense of accomplishment. It reminds me to not give up on creative goals and that there will always be an excuse or seem like there’s not enough time. If I want it badly enough, I will make the time. What’s your excuse for not doing that thing you love?

Here are just a few process photos…

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Close up of final painting

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Activities & Events, Art & Creativity, Uncategorized

Large Abstract – Into a Land Flowing With Milk and Honey

Recently, I enjoyed working on one of the largest paintings I’ve ever attempted, and it’s an abstract, nonetheless. As much as I like working more abstractly, it exercises a different set of muscles that I have yet to really develop. The process still feels a little foreign and uncertain to me, but maybe that’s what also makes it exciting.

When I started work on this piece, I had a very vague idea of what direction this would take. It began one way, then took various twists and turns along the journey of process. Here’s what things looked like towards the beginning (my little helper, as pictured, is fascinated by brushes!):

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My son, Asa, was having some fun in the studio.

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Whipped yogurt is one of my favorite snacks. Don’t forget the baby monitor.

There were several features I began with that ultimately were edited out, including the long stream of dark paint drips on the right (see first post image). I just kept building upon the texture and continued to add subtle color variations into the background. Metal stencils, honeycomb pattern, gold leafing…it all kind of converged for the final effects:

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Applying gold leafing to a few honeycombs.

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I couldn’t really capture a good photo of the whole painting that did it justice. But if you’re local to San Luis Obispo, you should come see it on display for Open Studios Art Tour, 2016. The tour is two weekends in October, 8-9 and 15-16 from 10am to 5pm. Come by studios #73 and #85. Joining me at my home studio will be the incredibly talented encaustic artist, Maura Fox. We hope to see you there!

 

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Art & Creativity, Weekly Art

Weekly Art: Wallpaper Sunset & a Commission

Since my last post, Open Studios Art Tour happened. I can gladly say that it felt like a big success. And it was such a joy to talk with so many different folks about art, inspiration, creative processes and anything remotely related. Several originals found new homes (hooray!), and I’m working on a couple commissions. So I’ll share one of those here. But first, I wanted to show you last weeks piece, Wallpaper Sunset.

Here’s what I started out with…

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And here’s how it ended up…

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Detail of texture and the sun

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Detail of tree and sky

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Wallpaper Sunset – Acrylic and Mixed Media on Wood – 16 x 20 inches

Then I worked on a commission for someone who was really drawn to a painting that had already sold this weekend. Here’s the original version of Cranes on a Branch:

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Cranes on a Branch – 16 x 20 inches (Original Version)

And here’s the commission that I just finished working on today…

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Cranes on a Branch Version II – 16 x 20 inches

Grateful for these opportunities (and baby Asa really loved socializing with some of the folks who came through for Open Studios!)

~Holly

 

 

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Weekly Art

Weekly Art: Another World & Key to my Heart

Wow, it’s been forever since the last blog post. I guess I’ve just been focused on being a new mom to baby Asa and put a few things on hold. I’m loving the new role, what an incredible blessing. Asa is a really sweet little guy and it’s so much fun seeing him change before our very eyes. As each new phase comes and goes, I try to just appreciate the moment, knowing that it’s all so fleeting. But knowing, too, that those little moments, experiences and lessons build into a precious life.

All that being said, creativity is such a part of who I am. In my desire to be the best mom that I can be for Asa, I find myself feeling conflicted over when and how to squeeze time in for creativity. I’m trying to make some space for it without taking away from the time, care and attention I give to baby boy. But I also know it’s rather vital for me to have a creative outlet to help fuel energy and passion for my most important roles as wife and mother.

Here’s the challenge I’m giving myself: to work on art a little bit each week and share it here. Maybe on some weeks I’ll finish multiple pieces, while on other weeks I’ll be lucky to make progress on an existing piece. But it’s worth it and necessary to keep making art. I look forward to the process and sharing it with you.

Without further fuss, I’ll get this started by sharing two recent pieces. The smaller one I worked on during this past week and it got me through a particularly frustrating day related to our home renovation (I know, of all the silly things to get frustrated about, we’re very fortunate!).

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Key to my Heart – 6×8 inches – Mixed media on wood

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And then there’s this piece from two weeks ago. I love the rusted metal rings…

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Another World – 16×16 inches – Wood, metal, acrylics, embroidery floss on wood

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Thanks for allowing me a space to share a bit of my “creativity” with you!

~Holly

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Around the Home

Furniture Refinishing: A Dresser for Baby

With hubby having some vacation time off between Christmas and the New Year, we were able to get a start on our baby nursery. Hooray! The walls got a fresh coat of paint (white walls with one gray/neutral accent wall), and I was able to refinish the dresser/changing table I found at an antique/thrift store ($82, not bad). We also got everything cleaned out of the room so we could put down the new zebra stripe area rug I found on Amazon…love!

Here’s what I started with…

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before3before1Here are the materials I used to refinish the dresser:
1. An electric, hand-held sander
2. Dark Walnut Wood Stain and Sealer (Varathane at Home Depot)
3. Polar Bear White Paint on the drawers
4. Foam roller to smoothly apply the paint
5. CLR (hubby cleaned the hardware to bring out that copper shine!)

And here’s what it looks like now…

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Now it’s on to the next phase of nursery for baby! Stay tuned for more.

~Holly

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Around the Home, Art & Creativity, Works in Progress

Happily and Completely Lost – Assemblage Art

When’s the last time you were so lost in something, undistracted by the world, completely absorbed in the moment, expressing your creativity, unhindered and unafraid? That beautiful place is exactly where I lived for large sections of the past three days. Initially inspired by a sleepless night, when my brain just wouldn’t shut off, I formulated an idea for some artwork. Artwork that I wanted to create for my favorite person (AKA, hubby) and myself. Just because. Just to enjoy in our home. Not to sell or to get anyone else to like it or for any other silly reason.

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Here I’m experimenting with layout of my objects

I got really excited about this art. There wasn’t anything else pressing on the agenda. It’s funny how I almost felt guilty for fully enjoying three days of pure creative process. I don’t know if I’ve ever had that much fun making and hanging art. Perhaps it’s important to interrupt the “ought to’s” and agenda on a regular basis to keep those creative juices flowing in other work, no? I think it’s true and beneficial, for the soul even.

I started out with three 24″x24″ wood paneled old paintings that I decided to repurpose. I also gathered other small, inexpensive canvases and painting surfaces, old frames, etc., things I already had laying around. I even picked up a few random goodies at Brook’s Woodcraft, one of my favorite stores in town (full of treasures!).

Anyhow, here’s a little about the process (in pictures & captions), as well as the finished three collages. If you feel so inclined to create some personal and significant art for your own home, feel free to steal ideas…

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Metal, wood, silver, gold, canvas, you name it

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I taped off some simple patterns on the small canvases to include in each collage then used gold spray paint

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Once all my components were ready to go, I used Gorilla glue, wood glue and lots of heavy objects to hold everything in place while drying

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The Yellow One – FinishedCollage #1

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Details. I love the “banana paper” on the left, it’s such a fun texture

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Picture frame and embroidery floss. How can you go wrong?

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Here you can see the thickness of the 24″x24″ wood panel that it’s all mounted on. No framing necessary

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The Red One – Finished Collage #2

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Some hand lettered (white paint) scripture

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Yes, I used a bit of graphic design too and printed out some compilations of digitially colored vintage wallpaper patterns

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The Blue One – Finished Collage #3

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Our wedding date

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Of course my favorite part of this one is the metal letters…but the “E” was painted in

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All three up above our dining room table. I definitely made sure to mount these into wall studs, they’re a bit hefty

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It’s about time we had more art on those white walls

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I love the way the sunlight and bold colors reflect off the metal

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thanked God for the gift of creativity and beautiful white walls to hang art on, especially in the past few days. If you’ve tried something like this, or decide to, feel free to  link back to your project in the comments of this post, I would love to see it.

~Holly

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