Tuesday, May 23, 2017

My Second Try, A Little Better Than The First ...

Hello my dear friends,

I am so determent to get better at watercolor painting and like I said in my last post ...'practice makes perfect' and if not perfect, at least a little better! And that is what I am doing ... I am practicing and hopefully getting a little better. 

This time I decided not to watch another video but try it on my own.
 I chose a  picture I recently had taken at Lake Huron (Sorry, I haven't shared them yet with all of you, once again I am behind in posting.) I found a photograph that I liked very much and set to work on it. I also changed another thing this time round. This time I drew very fine pencil lines to mark the areas out on my paper and then went over them with an almost empty Micron marker. Once that was done, I erased all of the pencil lines completely. Now it was time to put paint to paper. Just going by what and how I saw it, I mixed the colors I needed and bit by bit my colorless paper turned into a little painting and this time, I am quite happy with it!

This is the photograph I chose ...

... the beach at Grand Bend, Lake Huron.

My line drawing followed ...

... and then the colors.

And this is my little painting completed.

It's called ... 'A Morning At The Beach'.

My colors aren't quite there yet as they are in the photograph but it is a little step in the right direction I think.

I know, it's not perfect again but it is a little better than my first painting and that already is a huge success to me and that has put a tiny smile in my heart.

Seriously ... everyone of you! ... Try something new!
 Challenge yourself  to do something you haven't done before. It doesn't have to be this huge thing, it can be something little, just like I did. You might just find 'your thing'!

Thank you for stopping by and visiting me here at Todolwen today, it is always so nice when you do.

I hope you are well my dear friends and life is treating you kind.

Have a peaceful and creative day.

Monday, May 22, 2017

A Rainy Sunday Well Spent ...

Hello my dear friends,

yesterday was a dull and rainy day and I didn't have to go anywhere which was so nice!

I had cut my lawn, front and back and tidied the front of our property up the day before and now it was time to relax. But what to do? I have been playing with the thought of trying myself at watercolor painting since a little while now and today was the day. I found an artist on YouTube that I really liked. His name is Peter Sheeler and he is actually from Ontario! I took to watching several of his tutorials and then it got serious ... time to try it out myself. 

My painting didn't turn out as amazing as his in the tutorial but that was obvious to me from my first brush stroke. Mine suddenly had land in the distance where his had storm clouds but for the first time I don't think it turned out too terrible.

It's meant to be a scene of a approaching storm.

Mine just turned out the be a seascape instead. I don't need it to be perfect just a little better than it is. How does that old saying go ...'practice makes perfect?!' I so need to practice much more.

 Once that was done, I just had to do something else and this time I knew exactly what that something was going to be right away. 

I had bought some vintage rhinestone earrings in a beautiful shade of blue ...

... and I now needed seam binding to go with them so out came the white ribbon and fabric dye. Fifteen minutes later and I had two new colors in my seam binding collection.

The top one is a light ocean blue and the bottom seam binding is China blue. I only made approx  2 to 3 yards each and for now that is all I need. What do I need it for?! Unfortunately you will have to wait and see for now. I am waiting for a parcel in the mail or rather two parcels to arrive with some very neat treasures to work with in it. I was the winning bidder on eBay a few weeks ago and I am so excited about it but also so impatient too. I am hoping the mailman will ring my door bell this week some time and until then I will need to find something else to keep me busy but I am not sure what that is going to be just yet. What ever it might end up being, I will make sure to share it with all of you here on Todolwen.

I hope you are well my dear friends and life is treating you kind.

Have a peaceful and creative day. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

At Last ... Pincushion No.4 For Pat ...

Hello my dear friends,

at last I have finally made pincushion no.4 for the lovely Pat.

For some reason it took me much longer than I thought it would to come up with the right idea for this one. At first I didn't have any clue of how I wanted this pincushion to look like and then I did think of something but I was unsure, so I thought and thought a little more and then went right back to my first idea. I chose to go with something I love to make and went back to using a design that I have done before ... my drop cloth strawberries. These fabric berries turned out to be perfect for the beautiful candle holder.

I made one large strawberry and two small ones from my favorite drop cloth.

 I added an embroidered design to them in the shape of little swirls which were neatly stitched using upholstery thread in a slightly darker color than the drop cloth. Some of my purple lines were still visible when I took this picture but shortly after they too disappeared. (I love disappearing ink!)

Of course this creation needed that final special touch and that turned out to be a lovely piece of vintage sparkle in beautiful colors that harmonized perfectly with the gold color of the candle holder.

I also added my seam binding frill to this creation in a very close matching color to the drop cloth. I was somewhat worried it might look a little too much but in my eyes it turned out to be just right. Now it is finished and that is what I am sharing with all of you today.

 I gave this pincushion a bit of a whimsical and neat name that my daughter Caylagh thought of and I think it suits this creation very well or as Mary Poppins would say ... "Practically perfect in every way!"

And here it is ...

... "De'light'ful Strawberries".

I have already shownd a few photos of the pincushion to Pat. She has been very patient with me and she loves my newest creation for her. I am so grateful and happy that she likes it so much. All that is left to do now is to wrap them all up and send them on their way home to Pat.

Last but not least ...

... I am happy to do custom orders.

 If you have something you would like to be turned into a pincushion, just drop me a line with a photo of your piece and your thoughts on how you would like it to look. I will get back to you and let you know my thought on it.

Thank you for visiting me today, it is always so nice when you do.

I hope you are well my dear friends and life is treating you kind.

Have a peaceful and creative day.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

My Sweet Ladies ...

Hello my dear friends,

I just wanted to wish all you Moms, Mums, Mothers all over the world and every single one of you ...

... a Happy Mother's Day!

May your day be filled with sunshine, hug and kisses, much love and a few flowers and maybe a chocolate or two too!

Many hugs.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

A Update On Our Nesting Doves ...

Hello my dear friends,

over the past weeks every once in a while I would very carefully glimpse into our blue spruce to see what was happening and the little dove would be sitting there calmly, keeping the nest warm. She sat there patiently for days and days, week after week for about 3 weeks. I didn't dare to look for more than a moment and I didn't take any photos for fear of scaring her. Every two or three days I would look out of our living room window and I would see one of the doves flying in/out of the tree and things were looking promising.

Yesterday morning I was even more hopeful when I saw both doves out of the nest and sitting in the sunshine for a few moments before one of them returned to the nest.

The other one stayed sitting on our rock in the shade for some time and unfortunately this turned out not to be a good sign after all. A little while later both doves flew away and I didn't see them come back.

 Later in the day I carefully took a quick peek to see what was happening and there was the nest, no adult, no babies and what I could see was one little egg.

 I must admit that it made me a little sad, I had so hoped for little dove babies. For the rest of that day the doves did not return to the nest but flew around in our back yard.

This morning there were still no doves in sight at the blue spruce and I decided to carefully take a proper look at the nest.

Just as I saw before, there was only one little egg that unfortunately hadn't hatched and after a very cold night last night and no adult dove keeping the egg warm, I knew that it wouldn't hatch at all. I saw a little hole in the shell and my thoughts went with that the little chick might have tried to get out of the shell and died. I removed it from the nest. It was very cold. Using a flashlight I looked through the shell and I felt a little better after seeing that there was no baby in the egg. I think the adult dove must have pecked a hole in the egg to see if there was anything in it and when the discovered that there wasn't, they then left the nest. That made me feel a little better because I then knew, that I did nothing  wrong and the doves didn't either, it just wasn't mean to be this time but hopefully the next time the doves return, things will have a better outcome.

Nature is beautiful and for a baby bird to hatch from an egg is one of those little things that I call a wonder of nature. Maybe next year one of those wonders will happen in our blue spruce, right outside our front door.

I hope you are well my dear friends and life is treating you kind.

Have a peaceful and creative day.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

It's The Simple Little Things ...

Hello my dear friends,

sometimes it's the simple little things that count too.

This past Christmas I received the most lovely handmade crochet hook form my daughter Ashleigh.

It is from Aumsville, Oregon and it was turned from a beautiful piece of myrtle wood. The end of it looks very much like a wizards wand does and I just love it! (I am a bit of a Harry Potter fan!) 

Until yesterday, I had not gotten around to using it sofar but I finally had the opportunity to made something with it.

 Both of my daughters are trying to have less of an impact in this world and anything really helps, even the little things. They both shop mostly second hand for their clothes these days, they donate everything to charity stores that is not needed most of the times. My older daughter stopped eating meat almost 2 years ago now and my younger daughter would like to become vegan in the future.

 Both of my girls use makeup as young woman do and they use cotton pads to take their makeup off. This too might become a thing of the past now and that is where my Christmas gift comes into the picture.

 I bought some white cotton yarn from Michaels and using my lovely crochet hook, I crocheted little round cotton pads for my older daughter to use to remove her makeup.

They are so easy to make and can be washed in the washing machine with their normal laundry, so no more cotton pads for the trash! That is such a good thing! Like I already said, it's the little things that count too. More than some people think and know.

Just in case any of you would like to make some of these too, here is the way I made mine. 

I used white cotton yarn by Bernat which is called 'Handicrafter'. My crochet hook is a size H or 5 mm. I crochet my stitches a little looser because it makes the little crochet cotton pads softer to the touch and that is what you want when it comes to using them on your face.

Crocheting three rounds is all it takes to make one.

Make a magic circle and crochet the following into it ...

Round 1 ... 2 chain stitches and then 8 half double crochet (hdc), slip stitch into the top one of the two chain stitches.
Round 2 ... 2 chain stitches and then in each hdc from the previous round, crochet 2 hdc. (16 hdc), slip stitch into the top one of the two chain stitches.
Round 3 ... 2 chain stitches, then * 1 hdc in the first hdc and 2 hdc in the following hdc *,  Repeat form * to*.(24 hdc), slip stitch into the top of the two chain stitches. Pull the center yarn tightly. Cut your yarn and secure the ends and that is it! One skein of the cotton yarn made 17 little soft crochet cotton pads.

 These will hopefully make my daughter a little happy because it's another little step to making a smaller footprint on this earth by her and I know that it mean so much to her. In the beginning of this post I wrote "some times little things count". I would like to change that to "little things always count!"

And last but not least, one more thing I wanted to share with you. 

It is the weather forecast for the rest of this week for us here in SW Ontario. Not only has it been raining since days now and it has gone quite cool again but the forecast for this Sunday includes this symbol!

Really it does! Just take a look below ... Sunday May 7th, a chance of rain and/or snow showers!

Mother Nature is keeping us on our toes these days. I guess we will have to wait and see what happens ~ snow or no snow.

I still have a lot on my to-do list and I still haven't come up the right idea for Pat's last pincushion just yet but hopefully I will very soon. There is a chance that this weekend might be a busy one again, all depending how bad the weather will be. We are taking a break from having a garage sale and instead maybe visiting a huge one at a small town at Lake Huron. Fingers crossed it wont' be too wet for us. So have you got anything planned for this weekend? ...

I hope you are well my dear friends and life is treating you kind.

Have a peaceful and creative day.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

More Daffodils For Me ~ This Time My Porch ...

Hello my dear friends,

daffodils are one of my favorite flowers.
They just bring so much color and joy to Spring time.

A couple of weeks ago, my daughter Ashleigh and I walked past a flower store where they were displaying potted miniature daffodils and I commented on how much I like them. A few days later my daughter visited me and gifted me one of those little pots of bright yellow Spring flowers which are now happily live on our front porch.

I took these photos on the day I got the little flowers. 
Now there are three times as many flowers blooming.

Don't these little flowers just shout out ..."IT'S SPRING TIME!"?

This fall I am for sure going to plant daffodils in our back yard along our dry riverbed and under the willow tree too. I might even throw in a few colorful tulips and I already can't wait for next Spring to see if they will grow. Hopefully the little squirrels that visit our garden won't eat too many of them though.

Spring time is also the perfect time to have a garage sale or two. 

We had our second garage sale in two weeks this past Saturday and it again went very well. I am sure I am going to miss one or two pieces that I have now sold but hopefully not too much. This time not a single rude person showed up but instead many nice people and a very funny British gentlemen did. We laughed so much about his jokes. He actually left at one stage and returned with his lovely wife Annie. We all had such a good time and it is so good to declutter. It gives you a little fresh breathing space in your home and maybe a tiny bit of space for a new treasure too? 
After the garage sale was done, we donated almost everything that was leftover to a charity store. All of the children's books that were leftover were taken to my older daughter place of work to be donated. People that come to the Credit Union where she works, can buy a book and all of  the proceeds go to the Children's Hospital here in London. Such a good thing to do!

The next project that I am hoping to work on, is to finally paint the hallway and upstairs landing. I have a thing about challenging myself to do things ... like painting my living room, dining room and kitchen a week before Christmas and now ... high walls. I will see if I am going to be able to do it or if in the I will have to hire a painter to do it. I would love to try myself at water coloring. I need a few little paintings for our house, so why not try and make them myself. I also have one more pincushion to make for the lovely Pat which I would like to get done very soon and there is still much more on my to-do list! One thing at a time, I have to tell myself and which ever is done first will be shared here for you too read about.

It is so nice that you stopped by to visit me today ~ it always is!

I hope you are well my dear friends and life is treating you kind.

Have a peaceful and creative day.