Follow along, It'll be fun!!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Chalkboard Rustica

The overall dimensions of this chalkboard(including frame) measures approximately 10 1/2"x12 1/2".

I hope to have my etsy store up and running tomorrow.

I also will try to do at least one pastel drawing tomorrow. It was a busy and enjoyable weekend spent with friends and family. You can see some pictures on Hayley's blog When I Grow Up! I also found some more beautiful frames for more chalkboards!

It's the last week of school this week. Time to start planning summer activities. Have any good inexpensive ideas? Some of the things on our to do list are; swimming, reading, painting, and going to the beach. I also may teach some art classes.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, May 29, 2009


Introducing Chalk It Up! Chalkboards!

Here is a peek at my first two custom chalkboards. The frames are recycled and do show a little wear but they are still in good shape and add to the character of piece.:)
This chalkboard has the word "Invent" painted directly on the board. This would make a wonderful gift for a Science teacher.
I will be offering custom chalkboards on etsy as soon as I get my shop up and running.

I love the way the black chalkboard instantly dresses up the frame. It's like the little black dress, perfect for any occasion!
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Practice pastel portrait

1. Make a loose sketch using your photo as a reference. Some kind of grid is always helpful. The process of drawing is all about proportion and relating one element in your picture to another, so whether you use a grid on not the process is the same(a grid just offers extra reference points.) Here I have roughly (without precise measuring) drew in a four section grid.
2. Block in some color paying close attention to value. If you squint at your picture you will block out the distracting details and see only values

Posted by Picasa
3. Build layers, (dark first, then medium, and highlights last) being sure to focus on contrast and value.

I could probably spend another 10 hours on the painting and still not be satisfied.

Notes to self:
1. Buy pastel pencils for detail work. It was very difficult refining the details of the face with my fat sticks.
2. Buy sand paper for sharpening sticks to make sharp edges for detail work.
3. Always have baby wipes on hand to clean hands. It's very annoying when you're working on highlights and you blend it with a dirty fingertip covered with black chalk.
4. Spend a little more time on the initial sketch, if you get the proportions wrong in the beginning it's hard to correct once you have layers of chalk on your surface.
5. Invest in a table top easel. It's easy to work in a vertical surface so the dust slides off you picture.
6. Know when to move on from your work, when the paper won't hold any more chalk.
7. Pick a simpler subject next time.

Chalk it up to practice!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Re-Discovering Pastels

As I find myself entering the world of chalk, I am discovering that this simple medium (which is really called pastels, much different than the chalk used in school) is quite versatile. Edgar Degas is most famous for his pastel paintings. I love his ballerinas, but this one of the bather is quite beautiful too!
I love the warm glow of the bather's skin and hair, against the cool surface of the tin basin.

Edgar Degas, Le Tub
Some other famous pastel painters are Leonardo Da Vinci, Auguste Renoir, Mary Cassatt and James McNeil Whistler.

Jason Chang PSA- Man with Hat
This painting amazes me! The flesh tones are so warm and believable! I found this painting on the Pastel Society of America website.

Here is a completely different application of the medium. This artist uses his photography skill to capture shadows at night in New York City. To emphasize these magical shapes he outlines them with chalk. Reminiscent of a crime scene.

You can see more of Michael Neff's chalk photos here.

"Buttery soft, velvety smooth and brilliantly hued pastels bring true pleasure to many artists and art lovers. Florals, figures and fauna manifest themselves in bursts of light captivating radiant color upon toothy surfaces as if through sheer magic." Pastel Painting A brief history

Here are a couple pastel paintings/drawings that I did several years ago.

Honey 11"x14" (my childhood dog)

below- "Man with his dog"- 11"x14" (commissioned piece)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Missing my old blog

Just a little update on the new blog.  This rebuilding thing is a more work than I thought.  I'm trying to customize my background with my own art.  The only problem is, the instructions that I used are on my old blog.  :(  Also, I miss all of my old posts.  I really loved my old blog and feel a little lost without it.  I hope to get back in the swing soon.  Who knew that one could become so attached to a blog.(weird)  So much work to be done.  The saddest thing of all, now I really feel like I am talking to myself.  
I hope to have some more artwork up soon.

Monday, May 25, 2009

A day of Remembrance

I drew this eagle and flag on my kitchen door chalkboard this morning, using chalk pastels that I have had for about 15 years or longer. It is my tribute to the brave men and women who have given their lives for our freedom and for those still fighting for and protecting this great country. Happy Memorial day!

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A glimpse at what's to come...

Posted by Picasa

Random acts of kindness

On my art spectrum blog I had listed 100 ideas for random acts of kindness as a tribute to Heller 
On this blog I would like to continue thinking about doing kind deeds (not just thinking but doing).  Here is the list:

1. Deliver fresh-baked cookies to city workers. 

2. Collect goods for a food bank. 

3.  Bring flowers to work and share them with coworkers. 

4.  Garden clubs can make floral arrangements for senior centers, nursing homes, hospitals, police stations, or shut-ins. 

5.  Adopt a student who needs a friend, checking in periodically to see how things are going. 

6.  Volunteer to be a tutor in a school. 

7.  Extend a hand to someone in need. Give your full attention and simply listen. 

8.  Merchants can donate a percentage of receipts for the week to a special cause. 

9.  Bring coworkers a special treat. 

10.  Students can clean classrooms for the custodian. 

11.  Buy a stranger a free pizza. 

12.  Distribute lollipops to kids. 

13.  Sing at a nursing home. 

14.  Offer a couple of hours of baby-sitting to parents. 

15.  Slip paper hearts that say “It’s Random Acts of Kindness Week! Have a great day!” under the windshield wipers of parked cars. 

16.  Have a charity day at work, with employees bringing nonperishable food items to donate. 

17.  Serve refreshments to customers. 

18.  Draw names at school or work, and have people bring a small gift or food treat for their secret pal. 

19.  Remember the bereaved with phone calls, cards, plants, and food. 

20.  Treat someone to fresh fruit. 

21.  Pay a compliment at least once a day. 

22.  Call or visit a homebound person. 

23.  Hand out balloons to passersby. 

24.  Give free sodas to motorists. 

25.  Be a good neighbor. Take over a baked treat or stop by to say “Hello.” 

26.  Transport someone who can’t drive. 

27.  Mow a neighbor’s grass. 

28.  Say something nice to everyone you meet today. 

29.  Send a treat to a school or day-care center. 

30.  Volunteer at an agency that needs help. 

31.  Wipe rainwater off shopping carts or hold umbrellas for shoppers on the way to their cars. 

32.  Give the gift of your smile. 

33.  Send home a note telling parents something their child did well. 

34.  Adopt a homeless pet from the humane society. 

35.  Organize a scout troop or service club to help people with packages at the mall or grocery. 

36.  Host special programs or speakers at libraries or bookstores. 

37.  Offer to answer the phone for the school secretary for ten minutes. 

38.  Volunteer to read to students in the classroom. 

39.  Write notes of appreciation and bring flowers or goodies to teachers or other important people, such as the principal, nurse, custodian, and secretary. 

40.  Incorporate kindness into the curriculum at area schools, day care centers, or children’s classes in faith organizations. 

41.  Give a hug to a friend. 

42.  Tell your children why you love them. 

43.  Write a note to your mother/father and tell them why they are special. 

44.  Pat someone on the back. 

45.  Write a thank-you note to a mentor or someone who has influenced your life in a positive way. 

46.  Give coffee to people on their way to work in the morning. 

47.  Donate time at a senior center. 

48.  Give blood. 

49.  Visit hospitals with smiles, treats, and friendly conversation for patients

50.  Stop by a nursing home, and visit a resident with no family nearby. 

51.  Plant flowers in your neighbor’s flower box. 

52.  Give another driver your parking spot.

53.  Leave a treat or handmade note of thanks for a delivery person or mail carrier. 

54.  Give free car washes. 

55.  Clean graffiti from neighborhood walls and buildings. 

56.  Tell your boss that you think he/she does a good job. 

57.  Tell your employees how much you appreciate their work. 

58.  Let your staff leave work an hour early. 

59.  Have a clean-up party in the park. 

60.  Tell a bus or taxi driver how much you appreciate their driving. 

61.  Have everyone in your office draw the name of a Random Acts of Kindness buddy out of a hat and do a kind act for their buddy that day or week. 

62.  Give a pair of tickets to a baseball game or concert to a stranger. 

63.  Leave an extra big tip for the waitperson. 

64.  Drop off a plant, cookies, or donuts to the police or fire department. 

65.  Open the door for another person. 

66.  Pay for the meal of the person behind you in the drive-through. 

67.  Write a note to the boss of someone who has helped you, praising the employee. 

68.  Leave a bouquet of flowers on the desk of a colleague at work with whom you don’t normally get along. 

69.  Call an estranged family member. 

70.  Volunteer to fix up an elderly couple’s home. 

71.  Pay for the person behind you in the movie line. 

72.  Give flowers to be delivered with meal delivery programs. 

73.  Give toys to the children at the shelter or safe house. 

74.  Give friends and family kindness coupons they can redeem for kind favors. 

75.  Be a friend to a new student or coworker. 

76.  Renew an old friendship by sending a letter or small gift to someone you haven’t talked with in a long time. 

77.  For one week, act on every single thought of generosity that arises spontaneously in your heart, and notice what happens as a consequence. 

78.  Offer to return a shopping cart to the store for someone loading a car. 

79.  Invite someone new over for dinner. 

80.  Buy a roll of brightly colored stickers and give them to children you meet during the day. 

81.  Write a card of thanks and leave it with your tip. Be sure to be specific in your thanks. 

82.  Let the person behind you in the grocery store go ahead of you in line. 

83.  When drivers try to merge into your lane, let them in with a wave and a smile. 

84.  Buy cold drinks for the people next to you at a ball game. 

85.  Distribute kindness bookmarks that you have made. 

86.  Create a craft project or build a bird house with a child. 

87.  Give a bag of groceries to a homeless person. 

88.  Laugh out loud often and share your smile generously. 

89.  Plant a tree in your neighborhood. 

90.  Make a list of things to do to bring more kindness into the world, and have a friend make a list. Exchange lists and do one item per day for a month. 

91.  Use an instant camera to take people’s photographs at a party or community event, and give the picture to them. 

92.  As you go about your day, pick up trash. 

93.  Send a letter to some former teachers, letting them know the difference they made in your life. 

94.  Send a gift anonymously to a friend. 

95.  Organize a clothing drive for a shelter. 

96.  Buy books for a day care or school. 

97.  Slip a $20 bill to a person who you know is having financial difficulty. 

98.  Take an acquaintance to dinner. 

99.  Offer to take a friend’s child to ball practice. 

100.  Waive late fees for the week.

I will relist these ideas on my chalkboards one by one.

A new beginning!

When one door closes another one opens!

Here I am again! Why am I starting a new blog? Because my old one, of almost two years and over 300 posts, has been removed by blogger. I'm not 100% sure why it was removed, something about it being hacked I think. I have looked into getting it back but it doesn't look promising.

When I first discovered that my blog was gone I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. It documented my life for the past two years, my creative endeavors. I had 28 wonderful followers. My blog was linked to some terrific blogs. And I had a list of links to some very inspiring blogs. But now all of that is gone.:( I hope to be able to contact some of these people so they know where I am.)

On to the new!! It's time to rebuild! My new blog Chalk it up! My family and I have been faced with a lot of rebuilding lately. My husband lost his job several months ago and we decided to view it as an opportunity to start fresh and make our dreams come true. On my old blog I was documenting the journey, of starting our own bagel business. Now I will begin to document the new blog journey and new found opportunity of starting my own internet business. This new business has to do with chalking it up!

I am recycling old frames to make vintage, decorative chalkboards. I'm working on some chalkboards, to be posted soon and listed in my new etsy shop. I hope you will join me on my journey of new beginnings.

As many of you knew, the thought of losing your blog can be unsettling. I would love for this blog to serve as an inspiration in finding opportunity in adversity (granted, losing your blog isn't the greatest adversity but I think you get the idea)

So please join me on my journey by following (hint) along and helping me rebuild my blog life. I hope to have new and fun features too, like giveaways!!

Thank you,

It is July 5 2009, you may be visiting from Our Chaotic Life's McLinky Weekly Blog Hop.
As you can see, my blog is doing well. I actually love my new blog even more than my old one. Sometimes things that look like problems actually turn old to be blessings in disguise. As the top of this post says "When one door closes another one opens" If you are going through something in your life right now that seems terrible, please remember there is always hope and if you look at your current situation as an opportunity for something new, rather than just a sorrowful misfortune, you are bound to find a sliver lining in your cloud. Hang in there and never surrender!

I just created a blog award, inspired by one of my wonderful followers. It is for all of the social butterflies who love to blog hop.

Everyone who reads this post will recieve this award, because the only reason you would be arriving at the very first post of my blog is because you are social butterfly blogger.

So please take this award. You have earned it! And give it out freely!
Posted by Picasa

Here's how this award will work.

The recipient, of this award, will mention any events, parties, or activities, *anything with a mister linky* that they may participate in.

Give this award to 3 people who have also participated in the activity

*Really the number of awards you give out is totally up to you*

Also, post this award on your blog and mention and link it back to the person who gave it to you!

I hope to see butterflies everywhere!

To me, butterflies symbolize a rebirth much like my blog! (Ironic)