I’m Learning To Knit!


On Saturday I attended a $15 knitting class for two hours!  A great deal indeed and the teacher was fabulous!  Where you ask?  Down in the Harbor.  If you are from this area, you know where I’m talking about – a cute little shop called “Rainy Day Yarns”.  I highly recommend checking it out if you want a quaint place to learn to knit and fellowship with a few really nice ladies.  Also, it’s across from the little white church with the steeple bells that chime on the hour.  Beautiful!

I looked around the shop and found a toddler dress that the owner had knitted and then picked out some yarn to make it.  She was very helpful and encouraging, and even though I had no idea what she was talking about, because I crochet instead, I didn’t feel silly at all.

Knitting Photograph by Constance of SimplyLiving101.com
Knitting Photograph by Constance of SimplyLiving101.com

The first thing I learned in the class was to cast on using both ends of the yarn ball!  I have never heard of such a thing, have you?  Once I got the hang of it and got through that first row, it was a breeze.

Knitting Photograph by Constance of SimplyLiving101.com
Knitting Photograph by Constance of SimplyLiving101.com

The cute little dress starts at the bottom and is knitted on these round needles which I have never used before!  The bottom of the skirt is about 3 ” of the seed stitch, so the teacher had to teach me how to read the instructions and then how to make this cute little stitch.  Purl one, knit one, purl one, knit one and so on.  After 3″ then I get to move on to 9″ of just knitting.  I love it.

Blinkin Squiggle

Have you started any knitting or crocheting projects since fall is here?  Have you wanted to learn something new lately?  If you’ve never learned to crochet or knit, it’s never too late and it’s really fun too 🙂

Happy SimplyLiving!

Inspired by Color

Banner3333333threehearts2In my post “Getting Inspired Artistically”I talked about what I do when I don’t know what to do to get inspired artistically and I showed you these colors that my son had photographed that really inspired me.

Photograph by Matthew R.
Photograph by Matthew R.

I laid items that I had in my art supplies out on my art table to inspire me to create something.  It worked so well that it kept me busy creating for a few days.  Let me share the three projects with you.

SimplyLiving101 art desk
SimplyLiving101 art desk

In the picture above from left to right, I wanted to create something on the canvas you see with the materials laid out in front of it.  It turned out like this…

"Wings & Wheels" inspired by Ezekiel's vision in Ezekiel 1
“Wings & Wheels” inspired by Ezekiel’s vision in Ezekiel 1

I absolutely love how this picture looks on my wall.  The colors are amazing and it continues to inspire me to be creative every time I walk by and see it.  The perfect place for it is on the wall above my art desk for sure!

Next I wanted to create some pendants using the teal and brown colored leather you can see in the picture, as well as the adorable heart and oval shaped metal pendants. They turned out so cute!

Pendants, Metal & Leather: Love, Believe, Wisdom, Inspire
Pendants, Metal & Leather: Love, Believe, Wisdom, Inspire

I  think these will be adorable on key chains or a necklace and they are so fun to make!

Finally, my third project was to make a sketch journal cover using my lovely house mixed media art  that I call “Cloudy Days”.  These come in three different sizes and although they are sketch journals, I use mine for notes and drawing and  I love it!

"Cloudy Days" Sketch Journal Covers
“Cloudy Days” Sketch Journal Covers

The smallest one is so cute at 4.5 x 6″.  It’s perfect to pack in a small purse.  The medium is 6 x 8.5 ” and this is the one I carry with me everywhere.  The largest one measure 6.75 x 10″ and is great for a backpack or a larger purse/bag.  Of course I add Scripture or something to inspire us to cherish the things of God above all else!

"Cloudy Days" Sketch Journal Covers
“Cloudy Days” Sketch Journal Covers

Well, there they are, all three projects inspired simply by checking out the Facebook of someone who has similar tastes to mine, then placing some materials on my art desk to catch my eye as I pass by.

Three Art Projects by SimplyLiving101
Three Art Projects by SimplyLiving101

Let me know if you find this post inspirational and helpful.  I would love to read your comment if you  leave it below!  Have a wonderful and safe Labor day.

Happy SimplyLiving!


Eggs and Art?

Around our homestead chicken eggs and art go hand in hand, but I try not to mix the two 🙂  I’ve been working hard on a couple new art projects – the second of the three projects I mentioned in my “Getting Inspired Artistically” post is the heart and oval pendants.  They are made with a deep metal pendant, a piece of teal or brown leather, some fabric glue, a leather stamp and a complimentary colored pen to do some highlights.


But as I looked out the window from my art desk, I saw the sun peaking through the big fluffy white clouds and from the front porch I saw the yard is greening back up with the rain we’ve been having of late, and I just had to go out and play!


The first thing I noticed was my Hon- cleaning out the gutters and getting ready for the heavy rains we typically have during fall, winter and spring.  He looks happy to do his “Honey Do This, Honey Do That” list (that’s what my Grandpa Millican use to call it 🙂 – I hope he doesn’t mess up the patio I swept and re-arranged this morning.  But I’m not going to complain – I’ll just sweep again, if I have to.


Then I headed down to the pasture to see how the chickens were enjoying this beautiful sunny, but not too hot day.


This new flock of chickens we purchased in May are now busy laying eggs – and lots of them!


They are so fun to gather from the hen house every morning, and again a few times through the day.  The nine girls are being quite obedient in putting them into the nesting boxes inside the coop.  If you are living in my area and would like some eggs, I sell them for a reasonable price – just let me know.  They are freshly picked every day, organic and free-range.  The best eggs ever!

My husband is glad to see that he didn’t waste any time by building the boxes.  I like to keep some nice clean hay inside each box to encourage them to “Come on in and lay an egg!” It seems to be working…

Inside the coop, I can see all is well…


Oh look, one more egg !  That makes 6 that I’ve collected so far today!  You go girls!


They are still so small and adorable!  And they are all different colors since I have an “Easter Egger” hen in their midst.  Her name is Egger Allen Poe, but my kids call her Lois.  I’m not sure why…


After checking out the chicks, I stopped by to see how Mopsy is doing.  I found her in her run, sitting on her throne in the sun – what a cutie pie!


Well, I have to buzz out and run some errands.  Hope you all have a blessed Day – take some time and enjoy the sunshine! 🙂

Happy SimplyLiving!


“Wings & Wheels”

Banner3333333threehearts2In my last post, “Getting Inspired Artistically”, I laid out some materials for a mixed media idea.  I ended up being more on the minimalist side than I imagined, but that’s okay.  It leaves me lots of supplies for another art project 🙂

I stayed with the original color scheme I presented and here’s how it turned out.

Click on picture for a larger view

I like it on my wall….

I like the butterflies and the doily, because they are something concrete, but the abstract piece of orange and the random circles, are just well…  Random. 🙂   I am not an abstract artist or thinker at all, so I’m not sure why I went with this.  Still, I like the colors and it was fun.  It reminds me of Ezekiel’s vision in Ezekiel 1.  I think I’ll call it
“Wings & Wheels”.

Blinkin Squiggle

Happy SimplyLiving and a Blessed Day with Jesus!





Getting Inspired Artistically

Banner3333333threehearts2How do you get inspired artistically?

One thing I do, when I don’t know what to do, is think of a color scheme I like.  For instance, the other day I was checking out my youngest son’s Facebook page and was totally inspired by some colors he had posted, probably for one of his covers or something.  He has always been a great source of inspiration for me, since we have the same taste in color.  Well, this is what he posted:

Picture taken by Matthew R.

This just resonates with me and it makes me happy and full of ideas for art.  If you have a favorite artist or blogger that inspires you, scroll through their site and just look at the color schemes they use.  We should inspire each other in this manner.  There’s nothing new under the sun, it all comes from God, so don’t be hesitant to allow yourself to be inspired by other artists. You have probably done the same for those around you, and it’s a good thing to help each other out.

Now before I lose that inspiration, I gather some things together that give me more ideas.  Usually, I work with what I have – rather than buying more stuff that I may never find the time to use.  Here’s a picture of what has been laid out on my art desk since I saw Matthew’s colorful photo the other day.


There are three projects that I have in mind here.  I have them all sectioned off with some of the crucial tools I will need to complete each project.  I try to lay out tools that I enjoy working with, which gives added inspiration and encouragement as I pass by – to get working on them and not just leave them sitting out to collect dust.


This first project (you can see how it turned out HERE) is a mixed media idea that would be added to the canvas I painted in the background.  I have a stamp, some colored doilies, some vintage papers with various articles and butterflies, some large words, and my stencil for added texture. Most of these items are from Tim Holtz and can be purchased at Michaels.  Also, I have pulled up a video from one of the classes I take with Jeanne Oliver.  The video is not teaching art.  It’s a video of Miss Mustard Seed sharing her business story.  It’s very inspirational and just gets my brain thinking.


The second project (you can see how they turned out HERE) I have in mind is to make some pendants that I learned how to make by Sheila Atchley.  These fall into the scheme I have in mind because of this amazing teal colored leather I found at Michaels. This project is so fun and easy to do and the outcome is so sweet!  I love making them 🙂


This third project is a smaller version of the “Cloudy Day” journal covers I make.  To make the houses for the front cover, I have pulled out some colored papers that work in the color theme I have been inspired by.

Blinkin Squiggle

Well, there you have it.  This is what I do when I don’t know what to do and need some inspiration.  Hope you enjoy it!  I would love to hear from you, so leave a comment below 🙂

Happy SimplyLiving!

Two Faces and an Angel



Well, I’ve been working along with Jeanne Oliver on her Documented Life Project Art Video, and the results are so cool!

If you check out Jeanne’s Documented Life Project Art Video, which I highly recommend, you will quickly see that I did not follow along with her beautiful sketch idea of “Ephemera”, her theme for July.  However, I did have a great time using the technique that she showed while making three different faces.  One of the faces, on the left, I was inspired to sketch after looking through Melange, “On a Roll With Journaling” by Jenny Walker, that I found in the July/Aug 2015 issue of Somerset Studio magazine, p. 86.

Here are some pictures of my double page layout in my newest plaster cover journal:

I first used matte medium to cover the entire two-page spread in my journal with tissue paper by Tim Holtz
I first used matte medium to cover the entire two-page spread in my journal with tissue paper by Tim Holtz
After it was totally dry, I began sketching out my images using my Stabilo pencil and my charcoal pencil.
Then I began shading with my wet round brush, periodically dipping into white Gesso as Jeanne suggests.
Here is a close up of the largest face – I chose to leave the butterfly from the tissue paper in the background as part of the face, and I like how it turned out.
Here is a close-up of what will eventually look like an angel, she’s kind of strange looking… But you can see the wings beginning to form…
This is the face idea that I got from Somerset Studio magazine – Melange, “On A Roll With Journaling” by Jenny Walker, p. 86.

It’s not done yet, but I thought I’d let you see how it looks so far.  It has been such a fun process and I really think if you are feeling artistic and are looking for some way to get it all out, definitely try this two-video series by Jeanne Oliver.  You will be so glad you did.

UPDATE:  You can check out this completed piece at Daily Art Journal.

SimplyLiving Blessings!


Luke 9:57 on Canvas!



Well, I got inspired and again, took my advice and put my journal page on canvas.  A hard back 16 x 20 canvas!  It was so cool to paint on something so BIG!  I love it!  I love praising my Saviour through art!  The Cross is made out of paper that has Psalm 23 printed on it in gold, and although you can’t see it real well in this picture, it is beautiful to look at 🙂  You can find more details on this piece of art at Daily Art Journal.


Here’s a close up of the tag with Luke 9:57 –


Happy Simply Living with Jesus!



Birds For A Friend



When a friend asks you to paint her a picture, well… There just aren’t enough words to say how that feels!

Here’s my latest thoughts on canvas…  Made at the commission of a sweet friend, whom I love dearly.

I can see her when I look at it, all bubbly and happy as the wonderful, Godly Mom she is…  Matthew 10:31 says, “So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

Blinkin Squiggle

Blessings for a cooler day at only 81 degrees instead of in the 90’s – Not complaining, not complaining! 🙂


A Weekend of Art

Banner3333333threehearts2Last weekend I was blessed to be chauffeured by my Hon- to Valerie Sjodin’s amazing art studio in Oregon for a grand weekend of painting.  How fun to walk into the studio and be warmly greeted by a sister in Christ who I have only seen in photos on her blog, VisualBlessings.blogspot.com.  What a wonderful delight to see and touch her art and take in all the bright colors that depict the glory of our Awesome God in such a wonderful way!  She is truly a beautiful artist inside and out.

Of course we all got to work right away making our art journals.  I have continued to work on mine at home and have changed it several times, but have finally settled on my inside pages with the theme of “My sheep”.

This was my first class using acrylic paints. Valerie suggested the Golden Fluid Acrylics – they are so smooth, bright and beautiful in color!

We learned how to stitch our binding on our journal and she showed us many of her fancy ideas that she uses in her own journals such as making swirlies out of paper (these are so fun, you won’t want to stop and get back to painting), making marbled prints on watercolor paper and tissue paper, making spray paint, making stripes for the edges of our pages, highlighting the edges with paint and so much more!  It truly was the best time I have spent making art on a weekend retreat.

I added a little paper buttoned insert that I made when I returned home. On the inside it says, “Know that the Lord Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.” -Psalm 100:3

Here is a close-up of “My sheep” that I decided to keep as my theme in this journal as well.


The spray paints were super easy to make and added so many more possibilities for our personal journals.  We also used stencils of all shapes and sizes and the marbled paper that we made was fun to create using shaving cream!  Yep, I said shaving cream 🙂


We even designed our own tissue paper!


Blinkin Squiggle

If you ever get a chance to take an art class, especially one of Valerie Sjodin’s, I highly recommend it.  It was soooo worth the personal investment.  Here is a picture of one of our many fun workshop moments:

Blessings for a wonderful and safe 4th of July.  Father, thank You for the freedom You have bestowed upon us to worship you in Spirit and in Truth.  “Come Lord Jesus, Come.”


You can find more info on Valerie’s Workshops by clicking here.

“My sheep” have arrived!



Well, after a long and much needed break to end our 18th year of homeschooling…  (WOW! where has the time gone?), I have picked up my paint brush again and decided to try my hand at mixed media.  After taking a class with Cathy Bluteau and learning how to make some whimsical houses, I made a few journals and canvas pictures and they turned out really cute.


But as I began my art journal titled “Waiting For Jesus, 2015” while taking an on-line class with Donna Downey, “Inspirational Wednesday”, I made a page that turned out so cute, I just had to make a journal and two cute little canvas paintings as well.


I will be attending a workshop this weekend to learn from a wonderful Christian artist, whose art I have enjoyed over the past couple of years.  I am extremely excited to attend the workshop and will be following up with a blog post as soon as I return early next week.

Leave a comment and let me know what you think.  I love hearing from you and hope that you stop by often through the summer months.  I plan to let my imagination flow with praise for our Awesome God and all He has done for us in His Son, Jesus Christ.

Blessings for a wonderful and peaceful SimplyLiving summer!