Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Go Hawks!

Here's something I've never done before:  a family tree in Hawkeye colors:  Black and Gold!  

My piece is toned down a bit from the bright gold usually associated with the emblem, but still!

Sorry, you won't find any hidden tigerhawks.

This piece was commissioned by the children to give to their parents on their 40th wedding anniversary!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Trippin' down Memory Lane!

Aah, yes! Good old memory lane. Mama Winger here and sometimes my memory lane comes to a dead end! if you know what I mean! But I did think of a couple things I use to make to add to Jill's list. You did REALLY good, by the way, Jill! I also made art using nails pounded into a board and a thin wire wrapped around from nail to nail to form a picture. And I might have done a macrame project or two. No wonder I'm so tired these days! But what I decided to tell you about today is that people use to call me "The Angel Lady" not because I was so holy or beautiful or anything, but because I painted nothing but angels for a number of years. These were done on wood, metal, matboard, paper, you name it, whatever I could get my hands on. I even used one of those old wooden pineapple shaped dishes upside down to make an angel out of it. Sorry no photo . . . just as well - trust me on that one! I have a few angel photos to show you from my past. They won't be great, cause my photo-taking skills are lacking, but you can get the idea anyway. Whoops! I guess the first one is above us. See, this is why I don't post on here very often - I obviously don't know what I'm doing and my other Wingers get frustrated with me. Can you blame them? Anyhow, the fairy one with striped tights is probably at least 16 or 17 years old. Going to add another one now. Yeah, ok, the purple one with the pointy hat is equally as old and she hangs in my purple kitchen! Thanks for hanging in there with me, but I am going to quit here while the quitting's good. My phone will be ringing soon and I can just hear it now, "Mother!........."

Friday, August 26, 2011

Will You Take a Trip Down Memory Lane With Us?

The other day, Just Something I Made was asking her facebook readers what crafts they liked to do when they were kids.  It got me thinking and remembering some of our favorites.

(My sisters are going to be totally impressed with me because I'm sort of known as the sister who blocked out our entire childhood.  Not because anything traumatic happened, but just because I have a horrible memory!)

Will you take a trip down memory lane with me?

We were totally obsessed with our Fashion Plates.  You could mix and match tops and bottoms, then create a rubbing off of the raised plates.  The reverse side had different textures so that you could make your fabrics have different patterns to them!  This picture shows the exact set we had.  MAN, do I wish we'd hung on to these!  Why don't they make anything like this anymore?  When googling for these images, I discovered that there was a New Kids On the Block version of fashion plates!  Why did I never know this?!

We had a set of Childcraft Encyclopedias exactly like these.  Can you guess which book was our favorite?

Yep, it was the one entitled "Make and Do."  We did tie dye projects with food coloring and paper towels from this book.  I think we also attempted some sock puppets.  Anybody remember what else was in the Make and Do book?

Another big hit in our house were latch hook rugs.  Mamma Winger made a big wall hanging in rusts and browns that she designed herself and so we thought we'd like to do it too.  I don't remember what we ended up making but when I googled it a lot of Care Bears, rainbows and unicorns showed up, so I wouldn't be surprised if it was something like that!

  Then of course there there was the potholder phase.  Everybody had one of those stages, right?!

Man, it was frustrating to get those stretchy loops pulled long enough to hook on the loom, especially near the end, but the results were oh so worth it!  I mean isn't that what every relative wanted from us? 

Mamma Winger has been crafting for a loooong time.  She's gone through some phases of her own.  When country crafts were really popular, there was a tin punching phase.  I SO wanted to do it too!  She'd buy big rolls of tin flashing (super sharp!) and use her tin snips to cut out shapes for ornaments.  Then she'd use an awl and hammer to punch out a design.  One year she came to my elementary school and taught a group of us how to do this craft with tinfoil pie plates. 

We also spent lots of time making paper snowflakes and fortune tellers, playing paper dolls, and coloring in our barbie coloring books.  We would also ask to help our mom with her artwork so she'd give us backgrounds or other areas that didn't require a lot of detail to paint.

One thing we wish we'd learned how to do when we were growing up was sew.  Mamma Winger is a GREAT sewer - she even went to school for fashion design!  There's some difference of opinion on why exactly we never learned to sew.  Something about trying to teach us, and us not being interested, or it not going very well due to the frustration factor....  I can't imagine ME being difficult! :-)  All I know, is now I really wish I knew more than I do! 

Mom made us lots of barbie doll clothes including a tuxedo for Ken!

 ....or I mean Michael Jackson!  Pay no attention to the fact that he's pantless.  A few years back we got out the ol' box of barbie stuff (THAT stuff we did hang on to!) thinking it was time to pass the torch to the only girl child of the family - Laura's daughter.  Here's a funny post I wrote about it at the time.  

Green Girl and I often wore matching outfits in different colors that Mom had made us, which prompted people to ask if we were twins although there is 15 months between us.  She also made all of our prom dresses and my bridesmaid's dresses!  Now I'm going to show you something that will really take your breath away, or mine at least.  Are you ready for this?  I can't believe I'm doing this...

Let me start by prefacing this picture with these facts: One, it was 1997.  Two, we all thought we looked good in short hair.  Some of us were right, some of us were wrong.  Three, our dad passed away completely unexpectedly 2 1/2 months before this, leaving us devastated, pale and walking around like zombies.       
L to R: Sis-in-law Shelly, Youngest sis Emily, Me the Blushing, ok extremely pale Bride(Jill), and sister (aka Green Girl) Laura

We celebrated our 14 year wedding anniversary earlier this week and my husband's aunt wrote me that our wedding had been beautiful and it was the first time she'd ever heard of the color "eggplant!"  So see, even back then we were 'somethin' else!'  (You can interpret that phrase however you want!)  That purple fabric was shinier on one side than the other, so we used both sides to make the "vests" and skirts. 

Anyway, this post sure has gone in a different direction than I thought it was going to!

Looking back, I'd have to say we had pretty crafty childhoods.  It definitely has led us to where we are today. 

I would love if the other Thing With Wingers would add their own input, memories, or corrections to my faulty memories at the bottom of this post.  If each of my family members writes in a different color and signs their name, then it'll be easier for you readers to come back to this post later and see what's been added!

How about you, readers?  What was your favorite thing to make, create, or craft as you were growing up?  Share your memories in the comments!

*And come back later on this weekend or next week to see what my other family members have added to the discussion below!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Need Inspiration? Try Laying It All Out There!

 When you're looking inside a fresh new bottle, can or tube of paint, sometimes it's hard to predict what that color will look like once it's dry. The dry color is often quite a bit darker.  Sometimes our custom projects require us to work within a specific color scheme.  Hey, Green Girl - believe it or not, not EVERYBODY is as in love with green as we all are! Gasp!

Green Girl made us this color chart to help us collaborate on a project.

If you use a wide variety of colors in your work or if you are ever in need of inspiration, try making yourself a color chart.  You could make a chart of just your favs.  (Sometimes you can picture the "just right" green, but the name escapes you!)  Or make a chart of new colors you are unsure of + want to get to know better. (You might be surprised to discover a new favorite!)  Try making a chart that experiments with different color combinations.  (It's always a great source of inspiration.)  Or make one for muted colors + one for bolds.  In our opinion, there is no right or wrong way to make a color chart.  You just want it to be useful for you, so organize your colors however you want!

Having some of your paint colors charted and labeled by color name + maybe even by brand too (if you use a variety) may sound anal retentive and we certainly do not refer to it every day, but it's kind of a fun exercise + handy to pull out later for reference once in awhile.   And if your very fondest, favoritest color gets discontinued + you are desperately searching for just the right replacement, you could make a color chart of just all greens....(ahem).....or reds, or whatever. 

"Laying it all out there" gives you a new perspective sometimes. And you might find that the chart itself ends up being its own kind of masterpiece!      

Linking up to WhipperBerry and Tatertots + Jello!

Monday, August 15, 2011

My New Wall.

This is my new wall. First of all, I need to explain how extremely difficult it was to take a picture of this!  It was a serious struggle and I hate struggles!!! Then, Jill and Mom came over and I made them struggle, too. And then there was some creative positioning of body parts in order to get a proper angle to shoot this. And there may or may not have been a video shot in there somewhere, too, of a certain someone army crawling down my hallway with a camera. I ended up climbing about halfway up my staircase, grabbing the railing, and doing a death defying lean out of the doorway.
I've been making signs with this sentiment on it for a very long time and people seem to identify with it! DEMDACO has produced a wonderful piece with this exact wording if you're interested! For this display, I basically went down in my basement and scrounged around until I found this collection of things. I like how it's funky and dimensional and "one of a kind"! It tells the world that I embrace the loud craziness that we call family. Some days it is easier than others! As the kids get read to start another school year, I realize someday my house will be quiet, so I'm going to love it while I can!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Easy Peasy

Faith makes things possible....not easy.

11x37 inches

but, but, but "easy" is so much....easier!  Doesn't it just figure that it's usually in the difficult things that we do the most growing.  

My kids say this nonsense phrase, which no one wants to take credit for: "Easy, peasy, arctic cheezy."

I have no idea what it means and neither do they.

Random, right?

How about you?  Got anything random to share?  Go for it!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Dysfunctional Family Tree.

Well, the summer is coming to a close. I have pretty much spent my summer artless. I should maybe say not completely free of art, but certainly not doing anything to get ready for the two back to back shows we have coming up in September. I've had enough custom orders this summer to stay relatively busy and some deadlines to complete for some things coming out next year. I did get to make a few things for my own house, which doesn't happen very often. I did a mini makeover in my living room, and made up a new family tree for our wall. I tell you this because this has also been the latest "drama" in our family as well. My darling Lily has asked me no less than 10 times a day, "Mommy. Why isn't Cookie's name on our family tree? Don't you love Cookie anymore? Isn't Cookie part of our Family? Why don't you like Cookie anymore?" I just want to set this straight. Cookie is our dog. Yes. I like her. Love her? Depends on the day you ask me. Will I ever put her name on a permanent piece of art in our home? No. Am I an animal hater? No. Do I consider Cookie my daugher? No. Since I know you all are so curious, here is the vicious beast I speak of.............

Friday, August 5, 2011

Love Birds on Cloud 9

 This first one was painted on old dictionary pages that peek through the paint.

10x24, $65

This second one was painted on top of paper with a pattern of very colorful circles.

10x24, $65, SOLD!

Both of these are for sale and are one of a kind originals. If you're interested, email me at paperprayers@hotmail.com and I'll give you more info!  These would make good wedding/anniversary gifts!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Love Me...

Came across an image today of this piece that I created awhile back and it hit me in a whole new way.

Love me when I least deserve it, because that is when I need it the most.