An A+ Idea

February 5, 2016 at 7:59 pm (Decorative Painting, mixed media, Musings...)

An A+ Idea-2

Buying Christmas presents for adult children is very difficult.  I honestly don’t know their tastes and I purchase most things with a gift receipt.  This year my son-in-law and I had a great partnership… I gave him a dollar amount and he ordered his presents and had them shipped to me.  I wrapped them and he acted surprised when he opened them 😀

I had one great idea…  I think I came up with it during one of my nights of insomnia.  I gathered the wedding pictures of my parents, Dan’s parents, Danny and I, Amanda and Hengyi and the “save the date” picture for Brent and Marissa.  I got some cool picture frames from Michael’s. These I painted black because they were “shabby-chic” and neither couple likes that look (sad for me because it’s my favorite look!).  I had the pictures printed in 4×6 size.  Actually, Dan’s Mom and Dad’s picture is considered a “portrait” and Walmart wouldn’t print it so I had to use my home printer.  Who knew???

I inserted the pictures into the frames and wrapped them, anticipating Amanda and Brent’s reactions.  Surprisingly, my son cried, Amanda didn’t 😀

An A+ Idea

My son-in-law called it “an A+ present!”  Christmas 2016 is only 11 months away.  🙂

I must report on the art class I went to last Saturday.  I wrote about it in Courage… Be Brave.  It turned out, it was more of a “wine and paint” party.  Groups came and stuck together.  I love learning from Paul Seymour.  I don’t know if I will go again, but I painted a beautiful picture.

Snowmen-1

Paint Party Picture

I am working on a “Journey” piece.  I originally made one for my friend from college.  She was away when I posted it on my FB page and another classmate, from high school, wanted to know if she could purchase it.  So… I made a second piece.

The first piece…Courage-Tammy Fast

The second piece…

So, that’s my story.  I hope you enjoyed seeing my A+ idea, my paint class piece and my two new “Journey” pieces.  Be blessed my friends!!

 

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My Happy Place

January 9, 2016 at 2:12 pm (Decorative Painting, mixed media, Sewing)

With my house undressed from the Christmas season, I am ready to hit the ground running in 2016.  I have some orders for my mixed media and subway art.  While I wait for some basecoating to dry, I thought I’d share with you pictures of my favorite place in our house (besides the coffee pot). 🙂

My little art studio is about 10’x 14′ in total.  I have to keep it relatively clean or else I cannot work.  I tell DannyO, he has the basement, garage, and woodworking shed for all of his hobbies and I have my little room… sort of like trying to get a Saint Bernard through a cat door!!

My little room has 7 large windows and because it is 3 stories high, in the summer time I feel like I’m in a tree house.  In the winter, it is a refuge for me as I hibernate.  I love to watch snow fall as I sit at my work tables.

I have covered the walls with posters from my daughter’s music endeavors, newspaper clippings about my son and family photos.  I have two file cabinets, which are stuffed full of books and patterns.  My fabric wall is pretty well organized.

I have a great place to put my paint and pencils and markers, a rolling cart from Ikea.  In fact, I’d like another one (hint, hint to my family… Mother’s Day present!!).

My Happy Place-1

I have a long table that holds my art projects.  I need that much space because I often work on more than one thing and need places for art to dry.  I have a picture of my Grandma Millie (more about her in a later post) and my original “Millie” sketch where I can see them all the time.  I have a card table for my computer and Silhouette Cameo.  I had to purchase a covered garbage can because Jazzy Joy has a paper towel fetish.  The more paint it has on it, the better.  It’s a good thing that Heritage Multimedia paints are safe!!

My Happy Place-9

I also have a dedicated sewing table.  I used to paint for relaxation but since I have orders to fill, I sew to relax!!  I have a few finished pieces to post another day.

My Happy Place-10

Of course, every happy place needs music!!  I have my iPod filled with about  5 days of music!!  I usually “shuffle songs” so I can have a variety.  DannyO got me a TV for my birthday and he has it mounted on the wall.  When the Steelers make me nervous, I go up to my art studio and move paint around while watching the game.  That way if they lose, I don’t feel like I’ve wasted four hours!!

Since I haven’t blogged in a long time, I am going to show you some pieces that I finished in the last six months!!

It is my practically perfect place for relaxation and work!!  Thank you for taking the tour with me!!  I hope you have a place in your home where you can be happy too!!

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Find Joy In The Journey — Mixed Media Art

July 25, 2013 at 2:12 pm (Decorative Painting)

With a name like “Melodye Joy,” I’ve got to have joy… right???  To be honest, practicing JOY is harder some days than others, but I always start each day intending to be joyful.

I have had many people love me and support me throughout my journey with MS and TN.  I had a pile of cards and letters collecting dust.  I spent one afternoon going through all of the cards, cutting out special sayings, words, signatures and pictures and verses.

Inspired by Kelly Rae Roberts and Cotton Candy Girl’s workshop by Natasha May (which I took), I took a deep breath and made my first mixed media art piece.  I used Millie as my inspiration.  I used Heritage Mediums by David Jansen instead of Modge Podge or gesso.

I am so pleased with the results.  This is an extremely personal piece as I honor those who have helped me along my journey — You know who you are (if you look closely, your names will be on the piece).  May the Lord bless you for your encouragement to me.

My angel's wings are my Daddy and Momma

My angel’s wings are my Daddy and Momma

 

Darling DannyO, Amanda and Brent are Millie's head and neck

Darling DannyO, Amanda and Brent are Millie’s head and neck

 

The notes and verses and signatures as I laid them on the canvas

The notes and verses and signatures as I laid them on the canvas

I began to distress the background

I began to distress the background

Millie on tracing paper.

Millie on tracing paper.

Beginning the face...

Beginning the face…

 

I printed "Find Joy In the Journey"

I printed “Find Joy In the Journey”

Before the final distressing

Before the final distressing

 

The finished piece.

The finished piece.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Finding Joy in the Journey

July 11, 2013 at 12:12 pm (Decorative Painting, Multiple Sclerosis, Sewing Projects, Trigeminal Neuralgia)

I am having a trigeminal neuralgia attack.  If I could rip off the right side of my face, I’d be golden!!  Instead, I have taken four rounds of medicine and am thinking positively that this last round will kick-start pain relief.  I was going to sew and paint today but, with this amount of medicine in my body… hmmmm… inserting a zipper is out of the question and unless I am painting an abstract piece… So, I am writing in my blog.

My new MS medicine, Tecfidera, seems to be working.  I was able to wear heels to a funeral yesterday.  I will never give away my high heels, even if I just look at them sitting in my closet.   I am very blessed to have financial assistance to pay for my medicine.  It costs $4,550.00 for 60 pills each month!!  I only have to pay $10.00.

I want to share with you the two projects I am currently working on.  The first is a sundress designed by Gretchen Hirsch of Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing.  I love the vintage vibe of this dress. I wanted a light, breezy look so I chose flocked cotton for the body of the dress and sweet polka dot cotton for the bodice contrast.  I have the main pieces of the dress and lining sewn together but I need to insert boning, a zipper and put everything together.

Butterick Pattern

Butterick Pattern

Finding Joy In The Journey-2

My second project is a mixed media piece I am calling “Finding Joy in the Journey.”  I was inspired by a book by Kelly Rae Roberts called “Taking Flight.”  I have received so many cards and letters over the last 22 years and have saved nearly every piece.  Last week I pulled them out and re-read all of them and cut out things that meant the most to me.  I actually have enough material to create four or five more pieces.  I honor those of you who inspire me.  YOU help me find my joy each day.

Finding Joy In The Journey-1

Finding Joy In The Journey-3

I am using Heritage mediums by David Jansen instead of Modge Podge or gesso.  I used his multi surface sealer (MSS) to affix the cards and messages to a 16×12 canvas. I need to distress the surface of the piece and plan to use extender (to make the paint more transparent).  I haven’t decided on a color palette yet.   I am drawing an angel, most likely Millie, and am going to paint her over the patchwork of encouraging notes, signatures and pictures.

Right now I am going to take a wee nap.  I can’t wait to share the finished pieces with you !!

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Finally Finished!!

July 5, 2013 at 10:58 am (Decorative Painting, Jewelry)

Like most artists, creative souls that we are, sometimes I just don’t finish a piece.  They lie around, collecting dust, in the corners of my art studio/exercise room, taking up too much of my limited space.  As I am crawling out of another hole, I have decided to undertake the very large task of finishing my decorative painting pieces, jewelry projects and sewing endeavors… except for my M.O.B. dress, which is too overwhelming right now (plus I need to lose about 15 more pounds for it to fit me).

I finished a leather necklace for Brent, which included two of his requested charms, a deer antler and acoustic guitar and one of his Momma’s… an angel wing.  I included this verse in the package:

For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.”

Psalms 91:11-12

It doesn’t matter how old your kiddos are, you still pray protection over them!!

Of course, as I usually do, I forgot to take a good picture of it with my camera.  I used my cell phone so excuse the poor results!!

Brent's charm necklace.  What you can't see is that instead of a clasp, I made two sliding knots, so he could adjust the length!

Brent’s charm necklace. What you cannot see is, that instead of a clasp, I made two sliding knots, so he can adjust the length!

I also finished three decorative painting pieces.  I don’t have a clue where to hang them, but they are D.O.N.E.

I love this color of blue!

I love this color of blue!

Rosemaling piece

Rosemaling piece

A French country piece

A French country piece

Close-up... :-)

Close-up… 🙂

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Grammy’s Dresser

April 5, 2011 at 12:45 pm (Decorative Painting)

Let me say right up front, if you believe that one must perfectly preserve furniture, don’t read this blog.  A few years ago when I was helping to clear out my dear Grammy’s house, there was a dresser in one of the upstairs bedrooms.  It was wedged under the eaves beside the window.  It was dark, stained and scarred AND it smelled like mothballs.  It was balky and weighty and no one had room for it.  I brought it home and sat it in my basement.  It’s been there for about 4 years. I thought I had a “before” picture.  I will need to look further.  However, I have lots of “afters.”

The first thing I did was to clean the dresser with soap and water.  It was really dirty.  I let it dry overnight and then stole darling DannyO’s orbital sander from his workshop and sanded away.  I re-wet the surface to bring any wood grain to the surface and sanded again.  I wiped the dresser down really well.  I took an old white candle and rubbed it onto the places I wanted to distress.  I then, without priming, rolled Benjamin Moore’s semi-gloss “antique yellow” on to the whole dresser ~~ 2 coats.  The next day I started sanding.  The parts that had the candle wax on peeled right off.  There were places where I obviously didn’t sand well enough (the first stain was probably oil-based) and the paint peeled off too.  At first I was panicked and thought perhaps I needed to start all over again.  However, the look grew on me (although it isn’t DannyO’s favorite style of furniture 🙂  ).  I then free-handed a design on the top of the dresser and drawers and side.  It took me about 3 days to complete the decorative painting treatment.  I then sanded a bit more and put 2 coats of wax (Trewax) on the whole project.

 

I’m not finished decorating the top… adding as I live with the dresser
The bottom drawer
Corner ~~ decorated 🙂

The top drawer

I am confident that if Grammy would see it she would say, “Melodye it is bee-uu-tiii-ful!”  even if she hated it 🙂 What do you think?  Do you like this look??  It is very primitive and while lots of pieces in a room would overwhelm it, one piece makes a statement!  If you click on the pictures, they will show larger.

As an aside, the topiary I made for the top of the dresser uses a flower pot I culled from Grandma Amelia’s basement ~~ full-circle.  I like it when things have meaning 🙂

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After #2

March 23, 2011 at 3:10 pm (Decorative Painting)

One of the great things about the creative process is just that… it is a process.  Yesterday I posted pictures of my “before and after” little end table.  While I absolutely loved, loved the pretty blue and the distressing, I was not 100% in love with the decorative treatment so… I changed it.  I like the second version much better.  It is lighter and suits the piece’s vibe.

After #1

My very happy end table

After #2 ~~ Now I'm happy 🙂

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Before And After ~~ Weekend Project #1

March 22, 2011 at 10:59 am (Decorative Painting)

Last weekend Darling DannyO went fishing with his buddy, Dave.  I knew I had almost 2 1/2 days to start and (hopefully) finish a project.  I started TWO projects.  Neither was finished on Sunday evening, but I did complete the little side table yesterday.  I have been inspired by what I’ve been reading in Design*Sponge’s blog. This is my “before and after.”

$9.99 at Goodwill

My Happy Blue Endtable

I know it is very blue ~~ but that was an “on purpose.”  I removed the hardware and sanded well.  I then took an old white candle, broke it in half and rubbed on the design ~~ where I wanted the chipped/crackled effect.  I then painted two coats of  Benjamin Moore’s poolside blue.  I allowed it to dry overnight.  Sunday I started to sand and chip.  I wanted the look to be very, very distressed.  I painted the little design on the inside panel.  I wire-brushed the hardware and used a brass cleaner on it.  The hardware is not perfect, but that was my point.  I then put 2 coats of paste wax on the whole piece and re-attached the hardware.

Very, very distressed look

The decorative paint treatment ~~ not sure if I'm 100% happy with it... I may change it

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Creative Reflections of 2010

January 7, 2011 at 10:38 pm (Decorative Painting, Jewelry)

I didn’t think I had a very creative year until I started to compile pictures for this blog!   I don’t always take pictures of things I give away (a very bad habit I need to correct) so these will just be a “snapshot” of my year.  I progressed in my decorative painting and grew by leaps and bounds in my jewelry-making endeavor.  I haven’t opened an Etsy shop… that is one of my 2011 goals. 

The very interesting thing about my MS is that I do not have “intention tremors” when I shift to my right brain to create.  I can only work in short periods of time because my right eye “flips” and I see double ~~ focusing is an important part of my art! 🙂 

All in all, I am happy with my 2010 creativity.  I have lots more to learn and much to do…

"Bonnie's Necklace" I created this for a lady, using her grandmother's, mother's and aunt's jewelry.

I love working with memory wire!

 

The more bling, the better 🙂

"Psalm 139"

Santa Plate

My very favorite purple earrings !!

My very own design ~~ "I Sing"

A happy teapot ~~ My Design

From an art seminar I took

My little snowman design for my friend, Jana

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Creative Souls ~~ No Rules

December 3, 2010 at 10:20 am (Decorative Painting)

I learned the art of decorative painting from Paul and Cathy Seymour, Seymour’s Creative Legacy Studio, in Ebensburg, PA.  After four years, they decided to close their shop, opting for monthly weekend seminars.  I love to take their seminars, but miss the weekly gathering of creative minds.  One of the ladies approached me and asked if I would be willing to host/facilitate a semi-weekly painting night at my house ~~ Thus “Creative Souls ~~ No Rules” was born!

I can fit four people around my dining room table.  Deanna, Nancy, Nadine and I paint from 6:00 to 9:00 every other Monday.  We laugh, paint, eat, drink coffee, critique each other’s work… generally just have fun!  I truly miss having a teacher, but this is an important option for us.

We have been working on a Santa piece designed by Bobbie Takashima.  While my piece doesn’t look anything like the original design, I am so pleased with my effort! 

Creative Soul Sisters rule!!

"Santa" Plate 12-3-10

 

A close-up look 🙂

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