Nov 26, 2011

Drawing and Painting with Water Soluble Oil Pastels

In this episode we experiment with drawing and painting with oil pastels, acrylic paint, and water.


To follow along you will need these supplies:

  • Watercolor paper
  • Omnigrid ruler
  • Pencil and eraser
  • Titanium white paint
  • Porfolio series water soluble oil pastels
  • Water
  • Paper towels
  • Paint brushes
  • Wax paper

As you follow along with this episode you may find the music a bit annoying because there is a lot of it! Just hit the mute button. As you watch the show you will see that there are just a few simple steps in this project.

1. Draw a grid
2. Sketch a face with pencil
3. Color face with oil pastels
4. Paint picture by adding liquid to picture (use your paint and water)

If you would like to learn how to draw a face check out some of the online classes taught by Suzi Blu. They are well worth the price! Also, I highly recommend the book, Unfurling by Misty Mawn. I used one of her creative prompts as a starting point for this project.

Oct 18, 2011

Chicken Processing on Saturday

We spent the weekend processing chicken and canning tuna. I love the feeling of knowing that we have all the meat we need for an entire year. Here are some photos of the chickens before they are processed.

The first picture is shows one of our adult hens checking out the soon to be dead meat bird. I think she was saying, "hey guys, what are you doing int there?" Maybe.


The second picture shows another layer next to the meat birds. Notice the size differance between the "regular" egg laying chicken and the meat chicken in the cage. They are both the same age but the meat bird is substantially bigger than the other chicken. We ate "Santa Fe chicken over rice" last night for dinner. Yum. Thanks chicken.

Here's a photo of the chickens 8 weeks ago. So cute. It's hard to believe a bird can grow that fast!


Oct 13, 2011

Creepy? Or an Olive?

I was able to spend some time yesterday working on an exercise that I got from the book "unfurling" by Misty Mawn. I enjoyed working through this and want to try again. Next time I will record the process. I think the final image looks creepy. I asked my youngest daughter what she thought. She said, "I think she looks kind of like an olive." Ok, so a creepy olive lady. That is what I painted. This is definately a case of "the reward is in the process not the final product."

Oct 11, 2011

Keeping Busy with Life

I have heard some people say that there is something wrong with saying something like, "I am too busy." Or, "I am so busy." As if being "busy" means that a person is not taking the time to do something worthy or important. But I have another thought. To me being "busy" means living my life. If I wasn't busy what would I be doing? Sitting? Watching tv? Going to the Bahamas and bathing in the sun? It's hard to imagine. I like being busy. I like working hard, feeling a high level of energy in my life. It keeps things interesting.

So what have I been busy with over the last few months? Just this last weekend I helped with the Schafer Meadows Fiber Art Festival. My mother and I worked together to set up our Fiber Guild space which was full of luscious fiber products (I'll post photos soon.) Preparing the display items was a lot of work. I also brought along over 100 items to sell at the event. I also cooked food for the event for the weekend. Just this last week I attended several volleyball games (my youngest plays for her high school team.) I also squeezed in my gym workouts. In between doing that I continued to feed my pigs, goats, and chickens (we have about 70 right now.) I slowed down enough to watch the two blue herons hang out around our creek. I watched the two coyotes stalk our chickens on a daily basis. I helped my oldest daughter get ready for her year long trip to Ecuador. In the last month I have also spent hours at the local middle school volunteering for their volleyball program. In this last month, I have needle felted pumpkins, finished over a dozen cuffs that I am super proud of, started a lovely needle felted wallhanging, spun some yarn, and the list goes on. Yes, I would call that busy. But that is my life. I enjoy it. I don't think there is anything wrong with busy.

The point I am trying to make is that I have been busy. That is why my site hasn't been updated in a while and why there isn't a new show. It's not an excuse, it's just the way it is. I am living my life. I am guessing that you all have similar stories and understand where I am coming from. Now, I am ready to get busy with my next podcast! Yep. Can't wait.



Sep 05, 2011

Spinning Lumpy Bumpy Yarn

Join Michelle as she stumbles through making a skein of lumpy bumpy yarn.


To follow along, you will need these things:

  • Spinning wheel
  • Fiber
  • Niddy noddy
  • Hot water
  • Scissors
  • Scrap yarn or ribbon

If you don't have a local source for fiber you can find all kinds of fiber online just do a quick search for "fiber" and you will be on your way. One of my favorite collection of fibers to spin is made by Crosspatch Creations. It is a bit spendier that most stuff but so much fun.



Sep 01, 2011

More than just chicks

It has been so long since I have posted anything. I recorded a show at least a month ago and am just now getting around to editing it. We have finally gotten some good weather and I can't seem to drag myself away from all the work that needs to be done outside.

A few weeks ago our baby chicks (68 of them) arrived from Murray McMurray Hatchery. They were cute. Now only half are cute. The other half (Cornish Crosses) are freaky weird chickens. Their size and behavior just weirds me out. I don't think we will get the Cornish Crosses again. We have nicknamed them "The Fatties." We will butcher them on October 15th. It should be interesting. Our first time.


I have been busy with a bunch of other stuff like yardwork, goats, gardening, and a few mud runs and triathlons. Stuff. So busy. Oh, and my youngest daughter and I played volleyball 3-4 times a week all summer, including several tournaments. Fun. Now that school is about to start I have been busy driving my daughter back and forth to volleyball practices. She is going to a high school about 1/2 hour away so I am spending a lot of time in my car trying to figure out how to keep myself motivated to work (instead of taking a nap while I wait for her practices to finish!) Ok, so I promise to get this show edited and up by Monday.

Aug 17, 2011

Sitting Down with Somerset Studio

My mom came over yesterday so that we could work on some of the projects/ideas from the latest issue of Somerset Studio. We ended up working through two projects in the May/Jun 2011 issue of the magazine instead. We started with the bird drawing exercise on page 30. I wasn't too sure about doing this one, but I actually really enoyed it and found myself wanted to draw more birds later.


In the instructions it suggest to use ink pads for color. We tried. It didn't work so well for us (probably because we used wc paper) so I broke out the water soluble oil pastels. Much better.


After spending time on the birds we moved on to the Lively Layers workshop on page 99. I thought I would really enjoy this one but it didn't hold up to my expectations. I could have been that I was so excited about the bird results that anything after that would have fallen short. I kind of think that I have developed enough of my own style that it is getting harder for my to follow the step by step directions of someone else without feeling like what I am working on is a bit off. In the end though, I was please with my background. Now I need to make something with it!

Jul 21, 2011

"Peace on Earth" Wallhanging with Vintage Text and Paper Flowers

Some may say it is too early for Christmas decorations but it is never too early to try a new craft technique even if the project is Christmas related. In this episode Michelle revisits her "Peace on Earth" holiday decoration project with a new technique. Using large strips of craft paper she creates paper flowers which then frame the saying.

To make your own decoration gather these supplies:

  • Large piece of cardboard (a cereal box works great)
  • Vintage text (old text book pages work)
  • Tulle
  • Scissors
  • Pinking shears
  • White glue, like paste or a glue stick (not liquid glue)
  • Scrap of ribbon
  • Stamps
  • StazOn ink Pad (black or brown)
  • Circle templates (round plates work well)
  • Stickles
  • Ruler
  • Long craft paper or paper bag to make flower
  • Tacky glue to glue paper flowers
  • Alphabet or word stamps
  • Black Sharpie
Jul 19, 2011

Backyard Visitors

Each year we have a duck that comes through our creek with a few babies. I was super excitied the other day to see a new duck in our backyard.


If you look closely you can see two little yellow babies off to the side. I am not sure what kind of duck this is. It isn't the same kind of duck that has visited us in the past. It has great big orange feet. In other news, I also found a fresh pile of horse manure in our backyard. Another visitor! We don't have horses anymore so I thought this was kind of funny. Especially since we never saw a horse. Such a big animal and we missed it.

p.s. - New show tomorrow!

Jun 26, 2011

Newest Members of our Farm Family

My youngest daughter and I brought home three baby goats this week. Part Boar and part Nubian. They are so cute. Cute with a capital "C" cute. They are still pretty young so we are bottle feeding them. They love to play and jump around. They are very entertaining. We hope as they get older they will help us keep some of our brush down.