Saturday, May 19, 2012

Crafting with Mom again...

The last few days have been a rare treat as my parents have been visiting JP and myself, here in Colorado. Together, we have been sharing memories, laughing and bouncing creative ideas off of one another. With their pending visit in mind, I took some much needed time to clean up my workshop. Wow, what a mess it was! Fortunately, I was able to find my worktable underneath layers of stuff, and  mom and I spent a few hours crafting. I was working on the base coats on a new Rhyme Time original piece, slated to sell this summer while mom brought a bag of woolen textiles to sew into keepsakes for her Kathy Parker Collection. It was fun, and it reminded me of the good 'ol days growing up and joining her at the kitchen counter to work on creative projects together. Of course, JP took the opportunity to catch us in the act, and soon we found ourselves elevating our level of silliness as the camera lens spied on our activities. Now, my parents have already left for home, and I'm sitting here enjoying the photos and wishing they lived closer. For now, I thought it would be a treat to share a few images from yesterday's fun in the workshop. Here's hoping that we will have more opportunities to craft together in the future.......

Best wishes,
~ Johanna

* After a few eye-watering moments of laughter, the two of us settled down for a sweet photo together...
(This one would have been perfect for my Mother's Day post!)

* Earlier, JP snapped a few funny overheads which made it difficult to concentrate on our work...

* Peek-a-boo!

* "Now get serious girls"..... I'm painting a one of a kind Halloween bulldog character, while mom works on a Valentine's keepsake. Clearly, we do not work with the current seasons.... haha!

* Mom joins me by my side for a closer look at my dry-brushing technique...

* Looks like we couldn't keep a straight face for too long :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Back to Nature in Style...

The garden is flourishing outdoors, and the birds and bugs are happily buzzing around! I love this time of year when everything pops with color and texture. The breezes are warm, and artistic expression is freely flowing from everything. As much as I adore creating Halloween, it's lovely to be inspired by nature all around us. This month, between sculpting spooky cats, owls, and other haunting characters, I have been illustrating a new look in a more soothing and soft palette. An owl, followed by a butterfly, followed by a bluebird were the first characters to materialize in this sweet style. All of which including others yet to be seen, are up for consideration for decorative box sign art and possibly other product applications to be licensed to Primitives by Kathy. I have a POLL on my JPD Facebook Page asking for your feedback as to what other characters I should create to complete this collection. Please do share! I'm thinking that these could be quite sweet on some of my Zazzle products as well. So, stay tuned!

If you would like to see their full images, please visit my Artist Page and let me know your thoughts..... Thank you for your feedback, and make sure to stop and enjoy the sights and sounds and sweet smells of  spring!

~ Johanna




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Monday, May 14, 2012

Works in Progress...

Just thought I would share a peek at what is in the works this month. A bulldog on a ball, a cat on a moon, a pinocchio-nosed jack-o'-lantern and a witch with a wild "do" are becoming fast friends in my workshop studio. More characters are underway, and I am pondering the idea of hosting a web sale with a summer carnival twist. We'll see! The current cast of characters may end up in the Halloween vault, but that's the beauty of these guys as they can swing either way :)  Stay tuned and please Join My Mailing list to receive my next newsletter with all the details!

By the way, if you are an artist, craftsman, painter, etc... What are YOU creating? Do tell.....

Best wishes,
~ Johanna


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Celebrating Mom!...

Mom often says it's that creative connection that ties us together despite the long physical distance that we are apart. Often it seems each one of us is creating along the same wavelength, albeit miles apart and in our separate studios. The other day, owls were the theme, and it was fun to find that each one of us had been designing little hoot-hoots simultaneously and unknown to the other..... This past December, it was a treat to have mom in town for our holiday home show! We rarely get the chance to have our photo taken together, so this is a special one.

Best wishes to you Mom. Thank you for sharing your creative spirit with me, and I look forward to sharing more joyful occasions with you, whether near or far, in the days to come.

~ Johanna :)


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Playing in the Dirt...

OK, I admit it's been a while since I have posted to my blog. Although it seems that I have been missing in action, let me just explain where the action has been taking place. As April rolled in, the weather warmed, unseasonably, and JP and I jumped at the opportunity to work on the necessary irrigation aspect of our "new" frontyard. Since September of 2010, our property has undergone a major transformation, and it has been a rather daunting task. With the exception of a few older trees, really nothing remains the same. Due to an old leaky basement, we dug below basement level, added rooms and waterproofed our old 1939 cottage. Then, we started from scratch with a yard that looked more like a debris field. Today, it is starting to take shape, and there is hope for that storybook setting that I want to manifest around our home. I snapped several photos last month of the soaker hose configuration, or topo-style art that JP and I created. It has since been buried, and we just seeded with clover last week! So, stay tuned for more photos to come. Tiny little seedlings are bursting through the soil everywhere we look, so the excitement level and satisfaction factor are kicking in! This has been a labor of love, and we only hope that it gets better and better...... The front porch, insulation and siding are next on the to-do list! For now, enjoy a few BEFORE & AFTER photos and more pictured below!


* JP stands off in the distance admiring our maze of twisting soaker hoses, strategically placed across the front berms. Take a peek below at an image from the same vantage point, about 20 months earlier...


* The serious transforming began in the fall of 2010 when we dug around the front 3 sides of our house below basement level, in order to waterproof, add french drains, and create additional basement spaces...


* Today, this is our "knoll" which I just seeded with a delicate poppy mix. I am still looking for the perfect small specimen tree to mark its center. Pictured below is the same scene 20 months earlier...


* EEEK! This was a day of chaos as I recall... The yard was a muddy debris field of asphalt, sand, dirt and rock. It was very difficult to visualize the berms, the knoll, and the paths, while keeping in mind the proper run-off grades and placement of french drains. It was a MESS, but we are now BEYOND that, much to our relief!...


* Currently, this is the view from the corner of our lot looking toward our garage. It's difficult to imagine that this was once an old crusty driveway, full of weeds and broken asphalt. No longer can wild drivers use our yard as a short-cut to avoid the stop sign!  Now, they would have to go 4-wheeling....and they better not!....


* Well, there's that old crusty driveway before we started the big dig! It left much to be desired, and now it's a joy to see the possibilities come to life. Today, it's looking more like a rolling park!


* Here, JP is absorbed in the complicated maze of soaker hoses...


* And this looks like art to me!


* It's rather odd to go from a flat landscape to a slightly mountainous terrain. You become one with the dirt, and your appreciation for the soil awakens...


* The soaker hoses will keep the berms moist and will promote healthy growth for our new trees, future perennials and the clover plants that will soon emerge to add green and retain the soil.


* We placed an irrigation valve box close to the path for easy access. Eventually, I will plant something to disguise it a bit!


* The soaker hoses wrap around toward the front path, weaving in between a trio of newly planted evergreen trees...


* JP strikes a pose next to the main supply line...


* Above, you can see a wee bit of the hose submerged and covered with mulch. Crawling around on all fours, we gradually covered every inch of that hose, protecting it from the intense heat of the sun. Then we added jute mesh to the slopes, more soil / compost mix and prepared it for the clover seed. Seedlings are poking up everywhere, and now we must keep them moist. What a chore!

So, that explains why I have been missing in action. The projects have required teamwork to get the job done, so JP and I have been spending many a day, playing in the dirt. As we live at the corner of two streets with one being rather busy, we have had plenty of "traffic". Folks drive by, slow down, give us the thumb's up, cheer us on, ask questions, want tours, take photos, bring us food, and the list goes on! I never expected ALL the attention :) We are overwhelmed by the favorable response from neighbors and even folks that don't live in the hood. What will they think when it's all done?!!!..... There is still plenty yet slated in order to complete the picture, so stay tuned.

And, yes I am back to the workshop this month as my folk art is calling....... Of course, the dirt is calling too... :)

~ Johanna