Thursday, December 27, 2007

Painting: Zoe Dog Portrait for Christmas

After having fun with landscapes I decided to get back into what I've always loved: portraits. I thought I'd start a bit easier with a portrait of our dog, Zoe. (Explanation about Zoe: I got her when I was dating David and then about a year after we married we moved to the Bay Area and Zoe went to my in-laws in Phoenix, we thought for a few months, but it's been about 8 years. When we moved back to Utah, and a fenced yard, we just couldn't take her away from them, so though she still seems like ours she is a pet we visit rather than live with.) I also thought it would be an easy pick of a subject to do a painting for David for Christmas because he loves Zoe!

Well, it was so much fun working on this! I do love portraits. I love the challenge. I can't be lazy at all if I'm trying to get a good likeness and that was the case here. I thought Zoe would be a bit easier but I might as well have been painting my daughter, Audrey, because it seemed that degree of difficulty.

I feel like this is my first strong painting since getting back into it. It's nice to have completed something I'm excited about. It was especially fun to see David's, and his parents', reactions when he opened it for Christmas. They were surprised and loved it. In fact, I should probably do one sometime for David's father because he's always drawn to dog paintings.
This is a small canvas too--8"x10--but because it's a close up it felt about right in terms of brush size, strokes and the level of detail I wanted. Now I know...

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Crochet: Christmas Dress for Audrey

I thought this was a sweet pattern when I saw it in Crochet Today. They showed it with a red velvet skirt but I made it all in off-white, because I can't get enough of babies and children in white or off-white.

This was actually a very last minute project because I had so many other fun things in the works for Christmas. I finished it just in time for Audrey to wear to church today. That was even with 2 re-dos on the crochet bodice! It kept turning out too big, no doubt because I never bother with a gauge stitch and I substituted Paton's Divine yarn instead of what was called for. Anyway, I got it done.

This skirt is a babywale corduroy I found at JoAnn fabric store. I love babywale--so soft and yet so much less care than a velvet.

We took these photos of Audrey with our Christmas tree this morning. Pretty adorable Christmas photo if you ask me. She looks like a little angel!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sewing: Girlie Aprons for My Nieces, and their Mom, for Christmas

This year my family is trying a new type of gift exchange for Christmas: rather than exchanging individual names, or giving to everyone (as, to be honest, I love and prefer it but I guess it's a bit out of control that way) we are rotating through our sibling order and each giving to a family. So my family is giving to my younger sister, Christy's, family. She has two little girls, 3 1/2 and 1 1/2, and they are getting a kitchen playset for Christmas, so I talked to Christy about getting them play food to go with. Found this adorable HABA BIOFINA felt food at Moolka--I'm all about natural materials for toys--and decided I should sew some little aprons to go with. My friend Amy, of OurScoop, showed me a pattern for a reversible child's apron made from fat quarters so that kicked off the project.

I found these adorable girlie fabrics to match the pink play kitchen and I decided to add rickrack to the pockets and a pompom trim on the bottom for extra girlie-ness. Also found some great pink and green striped ribbon that coordinated perfectly for the ties.

I loved these fabrics so much I decided to buy extra and make a little reversible tablecloth, with rickrack of course.

Once I'd finished the aprons and tablecloth I couldn't resist making an apron for my sister, Christy, so they could all don matching aprons and play in the kitchen, or cook for real. I didn't use a pattern, just made it up as I went, mostly using fat quarters. To make it really simple (avoid rolling hems) I folded the fabric for the ruffles, stitched to the apron back, and then covered the seam with a topstiched pink ribbon. So if the ruffles flip up, no messy seams. I love this apron--it's so feminine and flirty! I'll have to make one for myself someday.

I really had fun with the trims--rickrack and pompoms and ribbon. I stopped before making their dad, Justin, one too...sorry, Justin.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas Card 2007

I took a more simple approach with our card this year. I found this template on KodakGallery--it's a Martha Stewart design. It wasn't part of their Christmas selections, so I think there is less chance that several of our friends have chosen the same design.

I thought this was a cute photo of Audrey to use--one thinks of children being full of joy at this time of year.
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