Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Glitz and Glam

[caption id="attachment_1955" align="alignleft" width="224"]Paper mache jewelry in the studio today Paper mache jewelry in the studio today[/caption]

I'm so glad you stopped by! Summer is flying by and I'm trying with all my might to catch it! I really am. My children call me "Vacation Barbie" because I'm constantly wanting to put off summer reading and math reviews to play in the art room. They secretly love it!

I honestly believe there is a "crafter" inside of all of us. We have different styles and techniques, but we are all creative. When my children were little, we would make masks from paper plates, puppets from paper bags, and elaborate chalk drawings filled the driveway almost every afternoon waiting for daddy to get home. The crafts were fabulous, the finished product always a surprise, but my favorite part was and still is  the process. It's during the process that all the good stuff happens. For example, designing a zoo for hours with chalk in the driveway was great, but it was the conversations during the creative process that I treasured most. The precious conversations when they are little are so important. That's when you teach and shape what their little hearts think and believe. That's when you nurture those relationships between siblings. That's when the magic happens! It really does. There is nothing like it! When they get a little older they paint fingernails and toenails more than canvases, but the process is still the same. Put down the  phone or the laundry and paint your nails! I promise the laundry will be there when you're done! Conversation might not be!

Vacation Barbie was in the art room the other day with KK. We put off laundry and dinner to design our own paper mache jewelry. New projects are the best. It gets wheels turning, ideas blooming, and of course always promotes fabulous conversation! This was a blast! We made bracelets out of newspaper. A couple of them were horrible, but a couple of them turned out kind of cool. I've not worn any of them, but remember, it's all about enjoying the process. Having said that, get out your glue and newspaper, find your children (no matter what age) and follow along! Enjoy the process!


First I gathered up my materials. You will need: mod podge, cardboard, scissors, tape, newspaper, craft paint. I cut a piece of cardboard from an old oatmeal box. I eyeballed a width I liked and cut it to fit loosely on my wrist. Obviously no measuring here.


Next I taped my cardboard into a circle in order to make my bracelet form. I decided at this point I wanted my bracelet to be thick and not flat, so I padded the bracelet form with dry folded newspaper like you see in this photo. I taped it into place and began the paper mache process.


Let me say, if you did this when you were younger, not much has changed. I think I use to use wall paper paste. Mod podge is so much easier!!! Have fun. I tore the newspaper into strips and covered each strip one at a time with mod podge. Then I began wrapping the bracelet with the wet strips of paper until the form was completely covered in strips of mod podged paper. (I used my fingers to spread the mod podge rather than a brush. I thought it was easier. Messy, but easy)

DSC_1104I like this pic because you can see how thick my bracelet is. I like that. I also like that my sides are soft and rounded. Once you've covered your bracelet in mod podge and paper, I put another light coat of mod podge just for good measure. I took this opportunity to smooth any rough edges and add paper where I felt like it was sparse or lacking.

IMG_1585This was the fun part and the hard part. You have to wait for the mod podge to completely dry.That is definitely the hard part! I have to say, I let mine sit overnight. You don't have to wait that long, you just want to be sure it's dry. Then the fun begins. Paint! Paint! Paint! I chose to paint mine lime green with stripes. I love green. Be creative! Paint it. Be dazzle it. Add glitter. It's all you! Whatever you like! Go for it.


You're done! Easy and fun! I love that! When I was finished painting and it was completely dry, I added a coat of mod podge to seal the paint and give it a little shine! I am all about a little sparkle and shine! So get out your glue and paper mache something today. Remember it's all about the process! Enjoy!                                     love love love Ruthie









Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Churches and Chapels

[caption id="attachment_1948" align="alignleft" width="244"]Commission Naval Academy Chapel Gallery Wrapped Canvas 24x30 Commission
Naval Academy Chapel
Gallery Wrapped Canvas 24x30[/caption]

I am so glad you stopped by. Do your remember as a child intertwining your fingers and manipulating them to form a "church?" I would chant the rhyme, "Here's the church. Here's the steeple. Open the door and see all the people." Then I would open my hands and wiggle my fingers like crazy to represent all the "people."

I remembered that rhyme as I painted this commission piece of the Naval Academy chapel. I absolutely loved painting this piece. I painted this piece from  a photograph. I hope to see it in person one day. It is an absolutely gorgeous chapel with breathtaking details. Just from studying different photographs, I was moved by the grandeur of the architecture and the feeling of strength from the structure and size. From my pictures, I was mesmerized by the beauty of the landscaping. However, it was the steeple that caught my eye. I could hardly wait to paint that part of the chapel. I love to paint commissions, but this one truly stole my heart.

[caption id="attachment_1949" align="alignleft" width="234"]Rough Draft Rough Draft[/caption]

Since that commission, I've contemplated painting a series of churches and chapels. The idea hasn't made it out of my head into my art journal yet, but I am working on it. A couple of sundays ago, a precious man that I've known forever stood in front of the church and made a public profession of faith. In other words, at 95 years of age he humbly and sweetly recognized that he was a sinner and needed a savior. At 95, he asked Jesus to come into his heart. His sweet wife stood beside him weeping with joy, because she had been on her knees praying for him for 58 years to come to know Jesus. There wasn't a dry eye in the sanctuary that day. I don't even think the preacher closed in prayer that day,

[caption id="attachment_1950" align="alignleft" width="237"]Thinking about my paint. Layering color. Thinking about my paint.
Layering color.[/caption]

because of everyone filling the isle to wait their turn to wrap their arms around this man. That's what church is. It's not the steeple. It's not the door. Church is all the people. How on earth do you paint that?!

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son; that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16

Love love love Ruthie

Friday, July 5, 2013


IMG_1883 I am so glad you stopped by! Wow! Have we ever had the rain. I love it! It is so yummy to stay home on a rainy day! I got up early yesterday morning with a cup of coffee and my husband. We sat in my favorite little room, illuminated by the glow of one small lamp, and listened to the sounds of the rain as we read and talked. That kind of morning is hard to beat! Once children began to stir, Eddie's need to move kicked into gear. Within minutes, he was outside in the rain with a project. I also had the need to move, but down a more creative path. I am on the tail end of finishing sewing projects in my daughter's room, so my sewing machine was out and ready with fabulous fabric scraps calling my name.

I made a precious and easy little pocket for treasures. I love little treasures. I was jogging the other day and picked up a perfectly smooth white rock with a cool shape and brought it home. No idea what I'm going to do with it, but it is my little treasure. When my girls were growing up they shared a room until they went off to college. Three girls in one room is a little tight so you can imagine, they shared just about everything. (That was my treasure)  Being so close and sharing everything, it was important to me that the girls had a special place to keep their little treasures. It might have been a drawer or a cabinet or a kaboodle box, but it was their own space for treasures, and it was respected and protected.

As I made my pocket yesterday, I was remembering all the treasures my children used to collect. They would take such incredible care of their things, displaying them prominently on a shelf or bedside table. To the world their treasures were worthless, but to my children, they were priceless. If you belong to Jesus, you are His treasure. When thoughts of guilt or fear creep into your mind, cast them away. Isaiah 43:1, "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you! I have called you by name, you are Mine!" It does not matter where you've been or what you've done, He loves you with an everlasting and unconditional love. You are not worthless!  Psalm 103:4, He redeems your life from the pit; He crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion. You are His treasure!


Here's how I made my pocket. I began by cutting a piece of backing the size I wanted my pouch. I did not measure, I eyeballed it. I backed with two layers of fabric liner. Then I cut different fabrics into strips. I did not measure. They were all different widths.


Lay the strips of fabric on the backing in an order that is appealing to you.


Pin the strips to the backing. Sew each strip down the middle. This is not neat, there are raw edges and strings everywhere. That's the cool part.


Trim edges and strings. At this point, I decided I did not love my edges being free so I used different size zig zag stitches to secure them to the backing. I love the look. However, I did think if I did it again I would back the strips with a good looking fabric and try not tacking down the edges and then you could see the pretty fabric underneath. (something to think about when you're designing your pocket.)


This was a last minute decision and I think it was a good one. First of all, in this Photo you can see the different stitches I used. Anyway, I took a piece of backing, doubled it, and stamped it with permanent ink the word "Love." Then I stitched it to the front where the flap is going to be. Again, nothing neat about it. You can see I have raw edges and strings all over.


This was the fun part. I folded it and stitched up the sides, and Bam! a Pocket. I also used a zig zag stitch on the top of the flap that folds down. It gave it a more finished edge. (not that any of the edges look very finished) Then I decided to put a button hole on the flap and add a button. Really you could do anything for a closure. You could use a safety pin, or velcro, or snap. I just chose a button because I had one.


How adorable is that? I "Love" it! It took me about an hour from start to finish. I'm sending my pocket to Towns. She is living at camp this summer and collecting lots of treasures. So the ones that she can't put in her heart can go in her pocket.

Thanks for stopping by! Make a pocket today and send me a pic! love love love Ruthie