Under the Willow

Friday, January 31, 2014


Lately I've been knitting.  I am horrible at knitting, I would much rather crochet, but none the less, I've been knitting.

Here is something, possibly, eventually, a large infinity scarf, that I have been knitting with huge plastic needles.  It's going pretty well.  Keep in mind, I only know one stitch.

I decided to try a knitting loom.  I think it makes everything more consistent but seems very time consuming.

By the time I get either of these done it might be spring and I will no longer have a need for warm knitwear.  Sorry this post is not very entertaining or informative.  I am in no position to teach anyone how to knit!

Monday, January 27, 2014


I have a french door refrigerator, and I want to find a better way to organize it and keep it clean.  One big goal is to make sure it is easy to figure out what I have so nothing goes to waste.  This is a picture on the freezer side.  As you can see, and as is the problem with everything else, I have to much stuff!  I guess I think I may starve if the freezer isn't crammed full!

While I am not yet ready to organize it yet, since I need to be eating some items to make room, I have been researching organizing tips for this style of refrigerator.  I have found a few good things, but not much.  I feel like it is harder to organize the tall narrow space on each side.  If I ever get it looking better I'll definitely make a post to let you know what I did.  But if anyone has any suggestions that would be great!  I also think I need to be looking for a running list of what is in my refrigerator, freezer, and pantry.  This way I will know what I have on hand and what I need to purchase.  Any thoughts?

Friday, January 24, 2014

More Recent Works

Some fun paintings I made to hang in our basement.  I just love the circles!

And of course I had to attempt to paint portraits for my girls!



I had more of a difficult time with Talley's portrait.  I think it's because she is in strange position in the photo I made the painting from, and I had trouble showing depth with her arms.  It would be better if I cropped it.  Roxie's photo fills up the canvas and is more off center, which looks better to the eye.  But all in all I'm pretty happy with them, especially since I was just trying to have fun with it and painting them because I had nothing better to do at the time.  Wish I had that kind of free time now!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Unhappy Chickens

Sorry I haven't been posting.  We are having another extremely cold week with snow and ice.  I have been putting all my energies into staying warm, and not much else.  Earlier this week it snowed a ton and the wind blew much of the snow horizontally.  So now the floor of the run and the ladder down to the run is covered in snow.  I don't know if the chickens are scared of the snow, or they just don't like it on their feet but they won't come out of the coop.  I don't blame them.

But this is a problem, they are getting bored and that always means they will be up to no good.  I have been trying to take food like pears to their coop.  Things like this give them something to peck at for at least a little while.

The chickens and I both can't wait for winter to be over!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Other Artwork From College

For this assignment I was asked to make a triptych.

This is a painting I made of a local park after I studied pointillism.

This is one of my favorite.  I never was very good at titling my work but someone named this Sex in the City.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Lotions and Potions

In winter all I want to do is hibernate.  I get so lazy!!  I am actually impressed that I have taken down my Christmas decorations already.  Last year I believe the tree was still up in March.

One thing I have been interested in is skin care.  Mainly moisturizers since this cold dry weather is messing with my skin.  I have wanted to make some stuff with items I already have laying around the house.  Before the Coop Warming party I had purchase some oils, peppermint oil, lavender oil, rosemary oil, and lemon oil.  I chose those oils because I though they could be used for many different things, and at the time I wanted them to make a natural bug repellent. Something I saw on pinterest and used for the party was to take some mason jars and put some water,some drops of oil, and some herbs from my garden in them and then floating candles on top to set around the yard, for insect repellent and ambiance.  Point being, I still have these oils and want to continue to use them.  I looked for different ideas and recipes online, and finally decided what I wanted to make.  I didn't follow a recipe, and therefore don't have a recipe to give you.  This is partially because I just decided to wing it, and also because most of the recipes were for large quantities and I just wanted a little of this and a little of that.  I made a moisturizer with coconut oil rosemary oil and lavender oil.  I also added some vitamin E as well.  Just mix it all together and done.  Then I made a rosemary and lavender scrub using the rosemary and lavender oils, coconut oil, organic cane sugar, and fresh rosemary from my garden.  I simply but some fresh rosemary and sugar in a food processor.  Then I removed that mixture from the food processor and added the oils and sugar until I got the consistency I wanted.

My rosemary and lavender scrub.

This winter I have been loving peppermint scented stuff.  Before Christmas I bought a lotion and a lip balm from Go Primal that is peppermint and vanilla. Even though Christmas is over I am still loving the scent, and I have all of these peppermint candy canes left over so I decided why not make a lip scrub!  Same as a sugar lip scrub right?  I crushed up some candy canes in my little food processor then I mixed that with coconut oil and some peppermint extract from my baking supplies.  Smells delicious.

My candy cane lip scrub.

I can't wait to use all of my homemade products!

Friday, January 10, 2014


This is the first abstract violin painting I made, which eventually led to my senior series.

This was the second I made as a study to try and figure out what direction I wanted to take with my senior series.

Monday, January 6, 2014

It's Cold Outside

It's so cold outside!  I feel like I get brain freeze every time I walk out the door.

So far the chickens are doing fine, and don't really seen to mind the cold.  They just go in their coop and snuggle up to each other.  

Also I have been fighting a cold so I have been snuggling up with my dogs and taking lots of naps.  The cold weather is a great excuse to be lazy!

Stay warm!!!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Artwork: Senior Project

In college I had a hard time deciding on a major and on a whim without ever taking a college art course I declared studio art as my major.  I loved it.  

For my senior project I painted a series of abstract violins.

Artist Statement

I enjoy being creative, whether it is painting, drawing, making sculptures, or simple crafts.  I am a visual person and I like to have different images of things I find interesting around me.  As an artist I want people to be interested in my work and to be drawn toward it, and I do not believe art needs to be controversial or aggressive to be interesting or important.   

Most of my decisions, especially initially, are made intuitively.  As I reflect on my work, I can see certain commonalities in color relationships and pictorial organization even though I do not plan these things from the beginning.  Most of my other decisions come from brain storming about what direction I want my work to take, and what I may want to experiment with.  Then I begin exploring one of these ideas through trial and error.  When I feel like a work is complete I can see that the entire composition has been equally worked and everything belongs together.  I feel like there is nothing else that can be done to the work.  Often, when I feel a piece is done, I still am not sure if I am happy with the work.  It takes me time to analyze my work, decide if it is good, and to determine if it pleases me.   

This small series of paintings deals with the emotions that can be behind art and/or music.  In a work I did a number of months ago I made a paper collage of an image similar to a violin and then I made a painting that resembled the collage.  Looking at this collage allowed me to see the interesting textures that were in the collage and then to simulate those textures in my painting.  Music and specifically the violin are some things I am fairly familiar with.  I am a minor in music at Transylvania University, and I have played the violin since elementary school. I love the image of violins because they are organic and very interesting to me.  I tend to use shapes that are curvy and seem to flow.  So now, out of the success of my previous work, I made these paintings using different color combinations to create the different emotions and different styles that music and art can have.