Friday, February 28, 2014

in the paint

It has been a paintier-than-normal winter around here! It started with the living room. The olive drab we inherited with the house two years ago finally depressed us all so much that I got up one morning, went to Sears and came home with one can of primer and two cans of Orange Spice.

Then, on one of our snow days (I've lost count) I whisked the kids off to IKEA in their pajamas...

and stumbled on these fabulous (and cheap) paints in the kiddie section!

They are thicker and more opaque than watercolors -- closer to a gouache effect. Unapologetic color. I love them.

And they work wonderfully for a quick & simple wash, so I can move on to my documenting with ease. 

I've also been collaging it this winter (cut & paste is one of my favorite winter hole activities)

and, in what might be the biggest shocker in Artsyville history, I got on the air and did a 90 minute "Free to be Me" watercolor & collage art journaling demo for 21 Secrets Live. It was hosted by Lisa Wilson and we had a blast!

This picture has nothing to do with anything, other than I like the way the light hit the bottles and it was a novelty to see the sun.

I finished the scrappy light garland -- but only half of it lights up now, which looks horrid, so it will have to live life unlit.

Doesn't everyone need giant clothespins? I scavenged these from the bargain bin at Michaels.

I made my 5th grader an ID tag to give a shot of color to the charmless cello case.

A nice surprise in the winter wonderland -- our neighbors have a little red doghouse!

Yesterday I went browsing at the candy shop (Blick Art Materials) but had to pass on the watercolors, because my mission was to find & buy an enormous paper cutter...

to go along with my new wide format printer -- which means jumbo prints are coming to Artsyville soon!

The magic word magnets will be back as soon as I get them sorted into packs. I'm also letting go of a few of my handpainted magnet boards. (And as for the shop -- big changes are-a-coming in the next few weeks.)

That's it for this fine Friday morning in the ville & the last day of February. Thanks to everyone who stopped by The Artsyville Cafe this week!

 {joining Paint Party Friday once again after a full season in the winter hole.}

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

out of the winter hole

Back from the break I never meant to take! It just happened. I fell into the winter hole. If you're a hibernator, you know how it goes. Over December I read every book by Alexander McCall Smith I could find, during January I don't even know what I did, and the greater part of this month I spent on the sofa with a crochet hook working on a new neurotic blanket, drinking beer and watching the Olympics. (If only the Olympics knew what a couch potato it inspired in me this year!) 

I've been Instagramming regularly from the winter hole, which I love to do, because it captures fleeting moments quite neatly. Snap and post. The downside of it is that Instagram doesn't really support extensive introspection or prattling on; time and attention spans there are short, so who wants to hear it? But I've missed doing that, so I'm back here where I can talk to myself. 

Working backwards (and I will probably have to break this up into several posts over the next week to connect to where I left off in December):

How I woke up yesterday (a little prankster jacked up the iPad to full volume)

On top of all the snow days, we also had a February break last week and were sick of being housebound, so we hopped a train to the city (the novelty of having New York City in our back yard has never and will never wear off).

We met the bubble guy while walking through Central Slush (the day everything started melting)

Partook in an artsy activity at the Jewish Museum (we were there for the Art Spiegelman Co-Mix exhibit) and I fell in love with these arty thingies, which I found out later were Crayola Color Sticks. Not crayons, not pastels. Pure colored pencils -- without the wood. They are geniuses of little devices. Gorgeous color.

And the same goes for the posies on the Upper East Side. Thank you New York for always having fresh flowers on the street.

We took to the ice, where we got top scores in falling down and hanging onto the side railing.

Scaled trees that didn't look very scaleworthy.

Built a downright kick-ass Slip & Sled slope in the back yard (with feet of snow, it rather built itself.)

Took a whirlwind trip to see Grandma J for the day.

I left a clue for my Valentine to find his prize (it was a lemon meringue pie which turned out to be more like lemon meringue pudding)

Cleaned my art room; no longer do I have to shove around stacks of crap to get to everything! At least for now.

And this is what happened when the girls woke up early one morning and made their own breakfast.

During January, the school runs a lunchtime workshop program staffed by parent volunteers to help keep the kids from going insane from day after day of recess in the hallways. I taught Do-a-Doodle again to the 1st & 2nd graders (I also brought donuts, which upped the popularity this time).

After each Do-a-Doodle session I hightailed it to the other end of the school & did Tape Crazy with the 3rd - 5th graders.

I started a scrappy light garland inspired by Lisa, which has me squealing in delight one minute (it looks really neat when it lights up) and cursing the next -- it requires a lot of fabric scraps and is slow moving. But I will finish.

Same goes for the neurotic blanket. Crochet is agonizingly slow. Ideal for a winter hole activity. Four more stripes to go.

I also doodled a new welcome sign, which seems like a good place to halt for now. If anyone is still out there, welcome back! I know there are two friends who still check in, because they kindly wrote to find out if I had perished, and I think Bella stops by once in a while too. So I'll put the virtual coffee on for at least four, and if anyone else is in the neighborhood, come on in. The door to The Artsyville Cafe is open again!