good morning! just popping in to let my loyal readers know that jenni and i are offering $50 off our 2016 retreat as our contribution to cyber monday. the discount is for today and today only! for those of you that aren't familiar with the retreat, it is a weekend of art making, new friend making, and yummy food eating nestled in the community of serenbe, ga. visit www.southerncircleretreats.com for more information. we would love to have you!
when i learned that May Arts and Faber-Castell were doing a blog hop, i had to join them! seriously, they might be two of my favorite artsy companies so it was a complete no-brainer. i was tasked to create a project using May Arts ribbon and Faber-Castell Gelatos and Whipped Spackle. if you know me and are familiar with my work, it shouldn't surprise you that i chose to make some flowers. yes, they would be a perfect gift for valentines day, but really are just a great way to add a pop of color to your house during these grey winter months.
i pulled from my stash Bakers Twine Ribbon, Mini Pom Pom Ribbon and those gorgeous Olive Faux Suede Leaves i love so much to create the flowers. i had used Gelatos before, but the Whipped Spackle and plastic Texture Cards were new to me so i was excited to see if the project would turn out as i had imagined.
to create the leaves, i cut off a small section of the green Gelato, broke it down with a palette knife, then mixed it in with the Whipped Spackle. this mixture was then applied to the tops of leaf shapes i randomly cut out of canvas fabric. the fun part was when i used the texture cards to create the leaf veins. you simply place the card where the center vein should be and then pull towards the leaf edge. to get the natural curved look, i let them dry laying on random objects in my studio rather than on a flat surface. what surprised me was how quickly the spackle dried and it was super light! the leaves were then hot glued to branches along with the May Arts suede leaves. the multiple layering of different textures gives your bouquet a more natural look.
next i created the flowers with a simple pom pom maker and bakers twine. the center section is about an inch of the mini pom trim, rolled up and hot glued into place. it really was so easy! the finished flowers get hot glued onto the stick tops.
below is the line-up for the week - hop on over to each ribbonista's blog for your chance to win a $50 prize pack of Faber-Castell goodies and 3 rolls of May Arts ribbon. to enter, just post a comment on any hop post listed below. good luck!
my life has been full, full, full of artsy endeavors these past few weeks and i couldn't be happier. i have been feeling super calm lately and i know that my mood is 100% attributed to this. the above pic is a little crop of a much larger painting i recently finished. it is now on it's way to big and exciting things. i stretched my boundaries for this one and once i worked through a lot of struggle, i can say that i am so very proud of it.
finally, i am sewing again! i have been staring at my fabric stash for so long, waiting for the urge to sew to hit, but it never came. then, i got a commission for one of my upcycled quilt purses and i've got the bug again. woohoo!
and this, this yarny goodness is what is taking up most of my time. i am completely, 100% hooked on knitting. the patterns, the texture, the colors, i can't get enough. i might even be planning my first pair of knitted socks. gasp!
as always, if you want to see what i am up to on a daily basis, follow me on instagram @ linwoodavenue - because it's the only social media that can hold my attention in between painting, sewing and knitting.
ok, so all modesty aside... i think this might be the cutest thing i have ever made. like ever.
you might remember that i used to be a ribbonista for mayarts, a fantastic ribbon company. i was one of the 12 women who were tasked with creating tutorials on their blog using their ribbon. in fact, a lot of the tutorials on this site were created during this time. well, even though i am no longer a ribbonista, i still love looking through their blog. a few weeks ago, a challenge was posted to create something using the retro palette of ribbon that was preselected. you had to email them your idea and they picked 20 people to move forward. i was one of the ones picked and anxiously awaited my ribbon in the mail. i knew right away that i wanted to create an easter scene with pom pom bunnies and the addition of ribbon. the colors were just perfect for it.
mr. bunny sports a yellow ribbon bowtie...
while mrs. bunny is wearing a sweet skirt out of the coral scalloped grosgrain.
i used 4 different ribbons along with vintage thread spools, a thimble, miniature paper roses, glitter and buttons. and i am in LOVE!
hopefully i will win this challenge, but even if i don't, i truly had soooo much fun bringing something from my imagination out into the world. i hope you guys enjoy it as much as i do.
i know, i know, i haven't yet shown you pics from the 2014 southern circle retreat and i am already announcing the next weekend date, but i couldn't hold it in any longer. jenni and i have secured the lakehouse at serenbe for another weekend of crafty goodness. are you in???
you can check out the newly designed www.southerncircleretreats.com for more info or to take a peek at the pics showing what you can expect from the weekend. the spots fill up faster and faster for each retreat, so if you are interested, be sure to let us know.
yay for girlfriends, crafting, snacking, dreaming and laughing!!!
i really love to entertain, i just don't do it all that often. i love getting out a fancy table cloth and my pretty glassware. i love making a few snacks and buying some drinks that i know my friends will like. well, it was an hour before my book club hosting last month that i was on the phone with jenni and she was laughing about my preparation. she said "you need to blog about this, you are definitely waaayyy more southern than me!" this just made me laugh so hard because jenni is the epitome of being raised in the south with her manners and upbringing and i, well i was raised in pittsburgh. definitely not the south. i even cringe when my kids say "yes, ma'am" (as they are taught in school because we now live in the south).
but, as any true southern lady will do, i thought i would be gracious enough to give you the recipe for my famous cheese straws. which aren't actually straws in the above pic because i was trying circles instead, but have since decided that circles just won't do and that they always, always need to be straws.
- 1 cup salted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
preheat oven to 350. sift together flour, and cayenne pepper into a bowl and set aside. in another bowl, add butter, cheese and mix until creamy. slowly beat in flour mixture, a scoop at a time until blended. put the batter in a bag and squeeze into lines on a cookie sheet lined with a silpat if you have one. refrigerate for 10 minutes to firm back up and then cook for 12 minutes until lightly browned.
super easy! in fact, i do every little bit in my cuisinart with the sharp blade paddle. even the shredding of the cheese.
i have been so delinquent in writing this post, but during the month of february, i took a fabulous ecourse through studio calico. the class was "life scripted" taught by kal barteski and i really loved it. first, the videography and backdrop was perfection! second, kal was a fantastic instructor. she was so very photogenic and the camera loved her. this made watching so easy and really kept you alert to what she was saying.
the pic above is my first night of practice and i definitely need to dedicate some more time to the technique. but overall, i can see this script sneaking its way into a lot of my work. yay for money well spent!
wondering what the mystery stuffie in my last post was? here it is in full view—my favorite elephant stuffie! making these for baby showers started back about three years. ever since the first one, it seems i can't show up to a shower without one. the blue guy is made out of a pair of cords i had that i accidentally dropped some glue on and could not get out. definitely the hazards of being crafty. and as you might be able to guess, this was going to a new baby boy.
and this little lady with her pink eyes went to my vintage loving "sister" in all things second hand. the main fabric is a vintage sheet that incorporates all the colors in her baby's nursery.
ps: the big floppy ears kill me with cuteness every time. never fails!
babies, babies, babies – i am surrounded by pregnant women! i have friends just starting their families, friends on their 5th baby and a friend who already has an established family who got a little surprise a few months ago ;)
so... what better way to practice my knitting skills than by making some baby hats. these were so fun to knit up and came together really quickly. the hat on the left with the cute flower wasn't always so cute. i was in the process of teaching myself the magic loop method of knitting and kept dropping stitches towards the end. oh well, when in the throws of failure, add a flower!
one sweet little baby arrived today, but before the big moment, we had a shower for her mom and this was my contribution. seriously, baby leg warmers - can it get any cuter??? i always say if i had a girl, that i would go broke buying tights and leg warmers. also included was a baby pride and prejudice book which is perfect for any little girl who has been given the middle name of jane in honor of her mom's literary hero. and that hidden stuffie in the back right? well, that cuteness is for a whole nother post!