Thursday, March 5, 2009

A New Use for the Pantry

Wow, blog peeps. I ask a question and you all show up with transparent hearts. You never cease to amaze me. It was so hard not to write back to each one of you yesterday, but entering myself repeatedly in my own contest seemed like the wrong thing to do. :) I want you to know that I went back and read them more than once and really had you all on my mind yesterday.

Last week when my faith sharing group met at my house, my friend Leslie had us all write down a worry and pass it to the person next to us. The thinking behind it was that we could let it go and give it to someone else to think about for us. That’s not what I intended to do yesterday, but I think that’s what happened as we all did that for each other in the comments.

And that’s why, when picked number 7 my jaw HIT THE FLOOR! The winner of the canvas is:

LESLIE [house on ranchero]: This is one of my favorite blogs!!! You have touched so many people with this specific one. I am so glad you have given all of us a very concrete way to break up our worries. Just sharing our worries with a friend breaks them up into more manageable pebbles. We all just need a good pair of shoes to walk thru the path of pebbles!! (See, I tell Bill this all the time when I buy a new pair of shoes.....IT'S ALL ABOUT THE SHOES!!) 

Congratulations!!! You can just get your canvas at the next faith sharing! :)

***** ***** *****

I have had so many questions about the canvases that I paint and how I got started doing them [at least half of those questions were from Anita], so I got out my fancy-schmancy camera and took a few photos to show you!

There’s a couple of reasons I started making them. First, I’ve always liked playing around with scripting… changing my handwriting and making it decorative. My Aunt Mary got me a Crayola marker calligraphy kit one year for Christmas when I was little, and after that I was obsessed.

But the painting really started because there were so many other activities I used to keep myself busy with, which I no longer can do. One of my favorite hobbies was scrapbooking, but it became difficult to work on a page that included a lot of cutting and intricate work. I eventually switched to digital scrapbooking, which I really enjoy, but it still left me not working with my hands. And I missed that part.

I tried different things like crocheting, but doing that for five minutes would leave the joints in my hands crippled for days. And after I started doodling on my wall, I realized I could do the same thing on a canvas. It was really perfect because I have to take long breaks while waiting for the paint to dry, so I don’t overdo physically, and it gave me the opportunity to still do something with my hands.

This is the first canvas I did, which was really large, as a way to have all of my nieces’ and nephews’ photos up without having more picture frames sitting all over the place:


And after that, I was hooked.


As you can see, I’m really quite high tech about it all [did I just hear you laughing?]. That’s a photo of my dining room table with the canvases laid out, ready to be painted. And that black garbage bag underneath them is my high-tech drop cloth. :)


And this… this is my pantry. My mom finds it funny how I manage to have an art closet in this tiny condo, but I’ve definitely learned to utilize space. I use paint colors that match my house and have accumulated a few other colors along the way, which makes playing around with them a little more fun.


As you can see, I’ll grab anything from canning jars to water bottles to store paint in… my friends and family are starting to realize that paint and canvases are about the most exciting gift to give me. I’m easy to please. :)


For the record, the Hershey’s chocolate container doesn’t contain chocolate… just odds and ends that I want to try adding to the canvases. But I do get a little chocolate craving every time I look at it…


This is where I store the canvases I have made. All of those have been shipped out to Hump Day Giveaway winners, though, so it’s time to get on the ball and start making a few more.


And these are my essentials. I recently got some art brushes for Valentine’s Day, but as you can see, I’ll use anything that I think might make a nice effect… including that blush brush and eye shadow applicator that’s in the mix. Never let it be said I let anything go to waste!


In case you think I try to be glamorous… this is my painting outfit.  Crocs, sweatpants and the shirt I stole from Dad’s closet when I was in college and the grunge look was in. [Sorry, Dad. And sorry to everyone who I inflicted my grunge look on. I’m totally aware it didn’t work for me.]


And finally, the cute little step stool my friend Susie and her dad made for me. It was originally a plant stand that I needed in front of a low window, but since I no longer have a low window and it’s a rare feat for a plant to survive my presence [for a farmer’s daughter, I don’t have a green thumb], it’s now a step stool. And it comes in very handy when I’m having pain in my leg or hips and need to offset how I’m standing. Susie’s dad passed away a few years ago and it’s nice to have a little piece of him in my home.

Now, for all of you who have commented/emailed/asked about canvases and if they’re for sale…

We’ll talk about that soon. :)


  1. i'm just gonna say it: i love you.

    i love these glimpses into not just your heart but also your life. i love seeing what you see around you. thank you for bringing me into your home.

    and your heart.

    Recent blog post: time to talk about it

  2. Hi,
    Just came across your blog today. I love your canvases! Very fun. Do you have any sayings for farm girls? :) Also, I noticed you have a UNI waterbottle. I'm from Iowa, grew up about 30 minutes south of Cedar Falls. My 2 sisters went there as well. Good school! Thanks for sharing your talents

    Recent blog:=- Little Critters