Monday, October 12, 2015

Symmetry is Overrated

I don't paint faces or people very often because I struggle with the symmetry and proportions.  Yet I ended up painting two today. Kind of. Or two halves. Which is one whole.

This weekend I did a major clean up of my studio/office space which always inspires me to dive into a painting.

I applied black gesso (I'm out of white) to a couple of canvases I'm going to repaint and set them aside to dry. They were from school assignments years ago. Time to make them new again.

I have a couple 12" x 24" canvases that have just been sitting unopened. They are an awkward size and I don't remember what project I bought them for. I've been wanting to try to do an abstract painting and decided these would be good to practice on since if they don't turn out I'm not counting on them for a particular space. Plus, I need to restock my paints so I'm working with lots of purples today. Not my usual color palette.

I sketched a few ideas and decided I was going to do half of a face with a cascade of flowers for hair and a phrase.  I loosely sketched it on the canvas and blocked in the background color and skin tone. So far so good. Then I started the first flower trying a new technique.  It looked terrible.  So,  I changed my plan.  Changed her look. Abbreviated the phrase.  Made her a little more rocker and a little less hippy. Went with silver leaf for a little bling. And best of all, with only half a face everything was nice and even.

Next, I pulled out one of the dry black canvases. This time I was determined in going with an abstract painting. I selected my colors, mixed my paints, sketched my shapes.  I was ready.
I started painting.  It was okay.  Not great.  I added some more contrast,  It started getting better. Some drips of textured paint added interest. I almost liked it but it wasn't balanced. There was too much negative space. It needed something.

So, yet another face began to take shape.  This one I called Moon Face.  She was round and glowing.  Lots of texture and built up elements. I'm not sure about her but Anique says she likes her better than the first one. 

I think I'm liking painting only half a face.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Favorite Links: 10/9/2015

via Alisa Burke Glow In the Dark Painted Pumpkins

Okay, here's a mish-mash of my favorite links from this week. I'm afraid there's no common theme of food or attractive men this time. Just some things I've come across and found interesting.

Best and Worst Deals at Target

 I spend a lot of time at Target so this article drew my eye.

Must Have Beauty Brushes

I was a little late to the makeup brush game and only recently graduated from three to four. I like reading about what someone else uses and what she uses them for. Next time I'm standing at Target (see above) staring blankly at the brushes before walking away because I don't know what they're used for, I'll actually know what to pick.

Large Woven Rug

This large woven rug looks awesome and would be super cool. But let's be honest, between you and me, it'll never happen. I know my limitations. I don't have the focus and would never complete it. But hey, if you need a loom built, I might be able to get through that much of the project.

Glow In the Dark Painted Pumpkins

I've been painting pumpkins for year but never anything very elaborate or fancy. Alisa Burke creates amazing pumpkins. I thought these glow in the dark ones would look cool on the porch on Halloween night. Very dramatic but check out her site and look at the rest of her pumpkin tutorials. Her art is amazing too.

Pesto, Roasted Red Pepper and Mozzarella Flatbread Pizza

 Yes, there's still one food item in here. This recipe looks amazing and easy. Which makes it perfect for me!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Glitzy Bathroom Reveal

If you follow my Instagram feed at all you've seen a few photos of the finished bathroom already. 
Here's a more in depth look at where it started and how it all came together. 
I couldn't track down a good before photo and forgot to take one. You can see the bright green walls though. The bathrooms in our house are pretty small. It is the one the kids use and also the one guests use. It was bright green and had white accents with bright elephants to decorate.
The kids are older now and we've been working on make our home decorating style a bit more contemporary so the bathroom was next up as we work our way down the hall.
First up, was new floors. Honestly, there was nothing wrong with the linoleum that was in there. I just like the look of tile and feel like the cool gray tile would complement the look I was going for. I chose 24" x 6" tiles for this room in an attempt to make a boxy room look less boxy. Did it work?
White grout was used mostly because it's what I had on hand. And I liked the clean brightness. I did use a grout sealer because I'm a little worried about staining and the wet floors.
Next up was the walls, I knew I wanted to paint them black but I wanted to add something extra. Lowe's carries these fabulous things called Paint Crystals by Valspar. You can choose how many packs to use depending on how sparkly you want your paint to be. I put 3 packs in. It's like a fine glitter for paint.
You can't really tell in the photo but the walls have a definite glimmer of glitter all through them. They walls are definitely black but the glitter reflects light back so they're not oppressive.
I also chose to paint our woodwork white. I'm usually not a big fan of painting cabinets but I wanted to brighten the space. I love the white but I do regret not priming the cabinets first. If you choose to paint your cabinets find yourself a good tutorial and follow it. I am not that tutorial.

Yes that is the toilet in the tub. It lived there during the makeover.
The final step was to replace the light fixture. Our previous one came with the house and was rusting. A new shower curtain and artwork brought it all together.
What do you think? Would you paint a small space black?

Monday, October 5, 2015

Senior Pictures

I typically do several senior sessions in the Fall but this year is special because it is my own senior. 

It's a little bittersweet honestly. I'm proud of him and who he is and is becoming but at the same time, he's my baby!!!! It doesn't seem that long ago since elementary school and science fairs. Now it's all work and plans for after school and so on. Ack!! Too much. Too fast. 

He's really not fond of having his photos taken but allowed me to do his. And he held off on any extreme hair changes until after they were taken. (He's currently an extreme blond again.) We hit the Washington Arboretum because I thought it would be pretty and Gasworks park because he wanted the Seattle skyline. I think he would have been happier about it if I had fed him first but I kept promising him food if he would smile just a few more times...I'm pretty sure I've been using that line since elementary school too.

This year I also had the privilege of shooting Ellie's senior portraits. If you have followed the blog for any period of time you know that she is Bailey's girlfriend. They have been together a bit over 3 years. Which in high-school years is like forever. Actually, Ellie is pretty much family at this point. 

We did a marathon session with several outfit changes and a few different locations. Her mom and brother's girlfriend were both there to help with the changes, make up and to help hold the reflector as the sun set.

She's a natural in front of the camera. Her fun and playful personality shines and she needs little to no coaching on poses. She's beautiful and smart but honestly we love her most because she's a bit of a goofball too. 


Saturday, October 3, 2015

Favorite Links

Here's a few a my favorite links from this week. Some news stories. Some blogs. Some new. Some old. 

I love ice cream, so an Ice Cream Crawl sounds amazingly fun.

4 Steps to an Ice Cream Crawl | Oh Happy Day!
via Oh Happy Day

Can you tell I'm currently trying to reduce my calorie intake? Because all I want is food. And this Grilled Cheese Sandwich is on the top of the list.

Ultimate Grilled Cheese
via The Pioneer Woman

And next up, but not less important, a ranking of all the men who have played James Bond. You may not know this about me but I am a major James Bond fan. I like to eat my ice cream while watching James Bond. Okay, maybe not (well, I'm not opposed to the idea). My grandpa introduced me to the James Bond films when I was a little girl and I've been watching them ever since. This passion is not shared by the rest of my immediate family. Do you agree with how they've been ranked?

james bond thumbnail
via Business Insider
Here's some photo goodness that has nothing to do with either food or hunky men. This photographer finds scours Google Earth to find perfect square miles and has an awesome Instagram feed. This article tells you a little bit about the history. I recommend following his feed too for complete visual eye candy.

Gallery Image
via Wired

What good links did you find this week?

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Capsule Wardrobe


Way back at the end of July I was searching for some fashion inspiration. I wanted to update my wardrobe but wasn't sure exactly what I wanted. I stumbled upon the idea of Capsule Wardrobes. I spent time reading through I read through her recommendations and I planned.

I purged my closet. I mean, I REALLY purged. Two huge big lawn bags full of clothes were donated. Stuff I hadn't worn in years, stuff that hadn't fit in years. Stuff that had broken zippers, that didn't fit and if it ever did I would like to have a zipper that worked. Lots and lots of stuff.

Next I boxed up clothes that were more suitable for Fall and Winter.

I looked at what remained and determined what holes needed to be filled. I gathered up my birthday money and I went shopping. I started on August 2nd and I documented what I wore everyday. But then I fell off the end of the blogging world.

It was a success though and I loved having those go to pieces. Everything in my closet fit. Everything could mix and match. It was great.

So, it's October 1st and it's time to switch out the wardrobe. Here's what I have lined up for the coming season. I'm still working on picking the perfect items for each season but I think this will cover work and home needs. I've tried to include lots of layering pieces. Some are from this new and some a year or two or more old but I've tried to list sources.

There are a few items not pictured (because I'm behind on my laundry) including:
skinny dark denim jeans, medium wash regular fit denim jeans, black Inc. jeggings.

Also, I didn't snap photos of my shoes but I have black ballet flats, burgundy ballet flats, grey knee boots, camel knee high boots, black booties and of course tennis shoes for my weekend errands.

What would you include? Exclude?

Mudd (Kohl's)

Mossimo (Target)


AB Studio (Kohl's)

Jennifer Lopez (Kohl's)

Mudd (Kohl's)

Apt 9 (Kohl's)

Delirious (Ross)

INC International Concepts (Macy's)

Mossimo (Target)

Apt 9 (Kohl's)

INC International Concepts (Macy's)

Rock & Republic (Kohl's)

INC International Concepts (Macy's)

Olivia Moon (Nordstrom's)

Style & Co (Macy's)

Mossimo (Target)

INC International Concepts (Macy's)

So (Kohl's)

So (Kohl's)

INC Internantional Concepts (Macy's)

Joe Benbasset (Kohl's)