Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Nature Journal: Conifers

Last week we studied conifers in my nature journaling classes. Conifers are cone-bearing plants with needle-like leaves. 

 We looked specifically at the differences between pines, spruces, and firs. It's so fascinating to learn details like the direction cones grow (up or down), the way needles grow either singly or in clusters, and whether or not the needles have white stripes underneath.

 I love the kids' drawings! It makes me excited when I watch kids grasp an idea, find something to be beautiful, or learn something new about a plant. 

Look at all these lovely pine branches!

And the texture and colors in this Hemlock!

I also love seeing how organized some students are with their pages.

 I'm fascinated watching the way kids uniquely interpret what they see and record it on their page.

I've been scrutinizing conifers all week as I drive around. It's good to have a reason to pay attention to something and notice.

Monday, February 26, 2018

February 30 in 30 Picture 26

I begged this twig of magnolia off a friend of mine when I saw those gorgeous velvet buds by the side of her driveway. They'll be perfect for our nature journal studies of buds this week.

February 30 in 30 Picture 25

I've loved pussy willows since I was a little girl and my mom first introduced them to me. Since then they've always seemed like a bit of spring magic. I've got a vase full of them on my table right now, just waiting for nature journal class.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

February 30 in 30 Picture 20

We are studying conifers in nature journaling class this week. It's always fascinating to start looking at the details of nature: needle construction, minute stripes underneath needles, suction-like attachments to stems, etc.

These are my journal samples for this week's class:

I have vases of six different conifer branches laid out along the center of the table like strange flower bouquets. It's good to see the differences in person, feel and smell the characteristics of each one.

More daily paintings can be found on the 30 paintings in 30 days website

February 30 in 30 Picture 19

My painting time had to double as valentine-making time this weekend. These little cards on craft paper were so sweet and fun to make.

More paintings from Day 19 of the 30 in 30 challenge can be found here.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

February 30 in 30 Picture 15

Painting time today was taken up with a little nature journal page for the Red-Tailed Hawk.

 We had the privilege of having "Zorn" visit all three nature journaling classes this week. She is a young red-tailed hawk who belongs to a falconer friend of mine. What a magnificent bird she is, and so accommodating to sit for hours on end while we admired and drew her.

The kids were enthralled and I loved all the paintings that they created.

Nature Journal class might seem a little boring next week without Zorn around.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

February Flowers

February has, so far, been a month filled with flowers. 

My sister, Emily, just opened up a floral studio of her own!!! It's called "Blooms" and is located in Fountain Square close to their Wildwood Market. 

(Check out Blooms Facebook page.)

Emily's shop is filled with the most beautiful flowers!


 And of course she has other treats for sale too: jams, chocolates, candies, cards, candles, and other little gifts.

You can buy single stems or ready-made bouquets.

There is plenty to choose from!

Just look at these delicious roses!

And the pink of those carnations!

Candles made by Wheeler Mission:

It seems like you could enjoy an eternal spring working in a floral shop!

More bouquets just waiting to go home:

There are cards to choose from:

More lovely bouquets.....Those of you in the area must stop and check out the shop!

Earlier in the month I had the chance to do wedding flowers for a friend!

The color palette of ivory with greens was absolutely perfect.

There were small bouquets for the tables:

And one large arrangement for the front of the church:

A cake topper:

Lots of corsages and boutonnieres:

And then came the bouquets:

Set against navy dresses these flowers were so classic and elegant. I highly recommend this color choice!

 The rehearsal dinner room with flowers on the windowsill:

And the happy bride and groom who are off on their new life together serving in a church in Minnesota!

Last weekend a friend needed centerpieces for a function downtown. I decided to steal the wedding palette and do a repeat. (I do the same thing when I find a good meal to serve guests: I make it again and again!)

The plan worked. It's always easier to do something when the decisions have been made and the design worked out earlier.

I think that's it for flowers in my life for the moment. It's almost time to start watching the garden for the first signs of spring. I finally bought and planted snowdrops last year and I'm so afraid they haven't come up that I've stopped looking for them. I better remedy that and go have a look around the garden tomorrow.

February 30 in 30 Picture 14

Today I took a break from painting nature to do something fun for Valentine's Day. Painting food is the next best thing to eating it!

For more 30 paintings in 30 days visit this website.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

February 30 in 30 Picture 13

This is a little sketch of my friend's juvenile red-tailed hawk. The hawk visited my nature journal class today and we were mesmerized by her size, beauty, and strength.

For more 30 in 30 paintings, visit this website.

Monday, February 12, 2018

February 30 in 30 Picture 12

More feather practice.....

Today was sunny and seemed warm, so warm that Laura tried to convince me she could be outside playing in just a shirt. She didn't understand how 33 degrees (F) could mean it was actually cold and required a coat.

It was a Monday sort of day, ordinary, with mundane household tasks, meals, and doctor appointments. But there was sunshine, and reminders of God's promises.

For more 30 in 30 paintings visit this website.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

February 30 in 30 Picture 10

For the last few weeks I've been working on cake paintings to hang on the wall of my sister Emily's new floral studio! Today I got them finished, framed, and delivered! 

I'll have to do a separate post about the new floral shop, but for now you can check out Blooms on its Facebook page

For more 30 in 30 paintings check out this website.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

February 30 in 30 Picture 6

I woke up later than I planned this morning so the only painting I managed was the sample nature journal page I needed for my Nature Journaling Class which started this afternoon. I also had the date wrong all day, as evidenced on my journal page.

For more 30 in 30 paintings head over here.

Monday, February 5, 2018

February 30 in 30 Picture 3, 4, and 5

Spent my painting time working on winter skies. It's the best time of year for colorful sunsets!

For more 30 in 30 pictures head to this website.