Sunday, January 29, 2012

Art 101

So earlier this year, like three weeks ago, I mentioned how I wanted to pick up a paint brush again.
Not one for the walls, but one for canvas.
I took art classes all through high school and college and have always loved to paint and draw.
I have been a bit nervous since it has been about 17 years since I have painted and "learned" how to paint.
I have so much to relearn and so much to learn that is new.

Since I am a very visual learner, I picked up a few books and found a wonderful website that hopefully will start me on my way.

"Color Mixing Recipes" is great.  
This book shows what colors and how much of each to use to make almost any color under the sun.

"Paint Charming Seaside Scenes" is a wonderful step by step guide.   
"Jacqueline Penney's  love of the ocean is always 
present in her art, which feature sailboats, 
sandy beaches, ocean views and warm 
tropical vacations. Her award winning 
paintings include a self-portrait entitled, “Me”, 
that is in the National Association of Women 
Artist’s permanent collection housed at the 
Zimmerli Art Museum."
You can click on her name to see some of her beautiful seaside paintings.
She also has two other books that I hope to get my hands on one day as well.

She starts off by telling the reader what brushes, paints and other supplies that she uses in the book for all her lessons.

She lays out each step by telling the reader which colors to use with what brush and how to do strokes and/or techniques for that step.

Before each "lesson" she tells us what colors and what brushes/supplies she will be using for that particular lesson.
Great for me because I am be able to have what I need instead of guessing what brush or color I will need.
I don't normally guess well.

So, I lined up my supplies and jumped right in!

Learning new ways to lay out your paint.

Of course I have my little helpers.
He is doing his watercolor, the dog is apparently deep in thought or bored out of her mind. :)

After a few hours of reading, rereading, trying, retrying I finished my first lesson.

I have to say I have a LONG way to go but it was so fun and felt so good to pick up a brush again and create something,

even if it is a copy of someone else's work.

The website that I am in love with right now is Will Kemp's Art School.
He is amazing and give's both written and video tutorials and goes from beginner to advanced.
I have to tell you that I have learned so much already from him and he is so kind and always answers questions and his wonderful accent and enthusiasm for his work just makes me want to learn more.

Hopefully I will begin another lesson this week and it is good for me to take things step by step.  
I have learned a some patience (which is not easy for me sometimes) and I am ok that I am not a master artist in one week. :)
It is the journey, right?

I also wanted to welcome my new friends and THANK you so much for joining me on my crazy journey!
I am having so much fun getting to know you.


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Cool Change

Saturday morning we took another drive.  I know I have shown lots of lake photos but I love, love taking photos on a windy day.
It seems that when it is windy the seagulls love playing by the mouth of the channel, riding the wind and dodging the waves.

We have another lake by us, a much smaller one compared to Lake Michigan.
Lake Macatawa.  The lake is long and narrow and runs into Lake Michigan.
It is a bit more secluded but some seagulls where riding the wind, soaring high up into the sky perhaps fishing or just enjoying the sun that peeked from behind the clouds from time to time.

The sky was so beautiful..

and I even managed to get a shot of one of the Bald Eagles that was joining in.

Not the clearest photo, but one of these days I am going to get that "perfect" picture. :)

I also wanted to share a a little video with you that I found on YouTube.
It is one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite bands;
"Cool Change" by The Little River Band.
 The photos in the video are amazing!

To listen, just pause my music and my sidebar first. :)


Friday, January 27, 2012

Be Mine Bonanza - Beach Inspired Heart

Heeelllllooooooo all!
I hope you are enjoying your week.
Today I am over at At Home with K for the Be Mine Bonanza.
I will show you how I made a little beach-inspired heart out of these.

Even the beach can inspire Valentines Day . :)

Have a great weekend!!


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Decorating Resolutions

Last year we did some major changes in our home, the biggest one being our family room where we installed new floors and painted.  We also spruced up our bedroom with a faux fireplace and then I completely changed our bonus room. ( which reminds me I still have to show you the whole room yet. : ) To top it off, my daughter and son got a room revamp as well.
Wow I was crazy!

I was thinking about what I wanted to do this year.
We are running out rooms to completely redo but there does remain one.
Our "big" bathroom that really isn't so big.
This room has haunted me since we moved in and I put it off every year, only changing accessories. 
It is narrow and consists of about a 3 x 7 foot area that you can walk in.  There is a huge vanity, a tub and of course the toilet.
The floor is made up of the sticky linoleum tiles that worked well at the time but are now starting to peel up.
Here is a look.

Very small!

Too much vanity!
Notice that the knobs are gone on the drawers by the door?
Either the door or our knees would hit them and they eventually broke off.

The door takes up too much space when open.
A pocket door would be perfect.
Trying to fit two kids and me in there is not fun in the morning.

SO here are some ideas that I have been ooohing and aaahhing over.

I would love to open it up with a pedestal sink and mirror like this.
(I actually really love this bathroom)

I would also like tile such as this or the smaller octagonal shapes and subway tile half way up the wall or even beadboard.

And of course a clawfoot tub which I am pretty sure that that won't happen because I don't even think that you can fit it into the room unless you blow out a wall.

These are the colors that I am leaning towards, something serene yet beachy.

I also need to finish up painting the the stairway wall that leads up to the bonus room and possibly doing something with the stairs themselves.  Right now they have carpet on them.  I am also going to re-re-repaint my entryway/laundry room.  It is a mud brown and I will just brighten it up with the white that I have used throughout the house.  
The last two will be easy fixes and I am not even sure when  the bathroom will get started because we want to do some landscaping this year as well.

I am linking up to Sally Lee by the Sea blog hop party on Decorating Resolutions!


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Be Mine Bonanza Reminder

Hi everyone!
Thank you so much for all your sweet comments about our little adventure yesterday.  The sun is long gone and it is supposed to snow/rain at some point.  Also my poor daughter has fallen victim to the flu now but luckily is was quick and she is already feeling much better. :)

I just wanted to remind you that today is the start of the Second Annual Be Mine Bonanza over at At Home with K.
This week we will be featuring sweet Valentine inspired crafts so head on over by clicking HERE and see what Kindra has planned for everyone today!  

Here is the schedule so you can follow along all week!

January 23 Christina-Christina's Adventures
January 24 Heather-Summerstead
January 25 Tiffany-Ladycrafter14
January 26 Sarah-All Roads Lead Home
January 27 Michelle-Emerald Cove
January 28 Gwen-Gwenny Penny

You can also link up your Valentine crafts until January 28!

(gosh, is this month almost over already?! )

Thank you!!!!


Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Winter Lighthouse

 A few weeks ago my sweet friend Marie from Sally Lee by the Sea posted this photo on her blog.

I immediately recognized the photo because it is the lighthouse in Grand Haven, MI, which is about 15 minutes away from me.  I told her that I drive out there almost every day and I have seen the lighthouse look like this through out the years.
Unfortunately, this winter has been very mild so it doesn't quite look like this.

 This morning the sun was finally shining and it was a balmy 18 degrees out so I drug the kids to Starbucks and off we went to take some photos.

Let me first say that Grand Haven is very special to me, it was where my mom was born and raised and where my Grammy and Papa lived until the day my Papa passed away in his home 16 years ago.  We would go often, like every week and it was more or less my second home.
I think that I have told you that my Papa would love to take a loop (or two) around the beach, he LOVED watching the waves crash (must be where I get it from) and the best thing is is that the cemetery they are buried in is actually just up the hill from the beach. :)

This is the channel that comes out to Lake Michigan, it was beautiful, calm and full of pastels this morning.

As you come around a curve you begin to see the mouth of the channel and the red lighthouse.


There is a small parking area that you can park and get out and walk the pier.  
It is so beautiful during the summer watching all the boats coming and going to and from the the big lake.

This morning was pretty sparse, but there were a few brave souls.
No one on the pier because as you can see, there is ice out there and one wrong move would not be good.

The sun shone brightly and the ice just sparkled.

This is looking back into the channel, you can see all the ice on the hand railings from the storms that we just had.  
Waves come washing in and over them.

Below we parked in the city beach and snapped a few from that angle.

Lighthouses are so much a part of Michigan and over the years groups have been formed to save and preserve these beautiful structures, Grand Haven being one of them.
Large boats still come in through the channel.
The catwalk is no longer open but was used when lighthouse keepers would have to avoid the large waves as they headed out to their post during storms.

It really is a beautiful site any time of the year.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Beach Love

Today is FREEZING and very windy and snowing.
This morning, after my Starbucks run, I headed out to the beach to see what this wintery Michigan day had to offer.

(Sorry, camera phone, a bit blurry)

Waves were high,

and crashing over the pier.

And before I left I saw that the beach sent me a little message.
I say me cause I was the only one crazy enough to be out there. :)

I heart you too beautiful beach.

Have a wonderful weekend!!



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