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May Day basket - repurposed ice cream container

Yay for May!  May Day was always one of my favorite spring days.  We came home from school and quickly created baskets using paper cups and pipe cleaners, filled them with candy and snuck over to leave them for our neighbor friends.  I woke up this morning and made a ‘basket’ for my nephew, complete with two of his favorite things – dandelions and fruit snacks.  Too bad this only occurs once a year, or I might have hope for ridding my yard of the weeds.

dandelions

Speaking of dandelions… have you ever tried dandelion wine?  About ten years ago, after reading a newspaper article, I decided to make some.  I let the weeds blossom until the yard was thick with them (my landlord at the time, not so thrilled), then picked hundreds and meticulously cut off the yellow petals (the green parts are too bitter to include) while my roommates teased me.  I added honey and some other fruits and let it hang out in a dark spot for a long while.  After bottling, it looked beautiful – crystal clear with a slight golden hue.  Then came tasting time… it smelled like bananas covered in brown sugar.  Yum, right?  Well, smell can be deceiving.  My wine tasted something akin to ‘band-aid smell’.  Something somewhere didn’t go quite right, but it packed a punch and my friends were more than happy to chug it down.  I’m happy to say that my subsequent attempt at wine (apple) went much better.

Back from that tangent…. all it takes to make this kid smile is handful of dandelions!

May Day basket - repurposed ice cream container

What are some of your favorite spring childhood memories?  
Happy May Day!
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Green Velvet, acrylic painting by Heather M. Roberts

I promised bread in my last post… and that’s this weekend’s mission – but in the meantime, I couldn’t help but share a new painting in honor of the first official day of spring!

Lots of cool minty greens in this piece.  Painted in super thin layers on a lightly textured wood panel, giving it an amazing velvet like finish that makes you want to reach out and touch it in the biggest way.  Can’t wait to have prints made.

Green Velvet, acrylic painting by Heather M. Roberts

Happy Friday!

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Spring Thaw, watercolor painting by Heather M. Roberts

The cold weather has me dreaming of spring today… which translated into a floral watercolor painting.  Watercolors are still really new to me, but I like how this turned out and (with a few touch-ups) am thinking it would make a fun notecard design.

And… congrats to the painting giveaway winner, @graphixgrrl!  Thanks to all who entered. :)

Happy Monday! 

Up next, a delicious bread recipe.

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minted collage

I promise to take a break from the art bombardment after January is over!  Today though, I want to tell you about an Art Challenge I recently entered on minted.com (a really cool site, check it out if you haven’t!).  Here’s where you come in – anyone can vote in the challenges – and winners will have their work available to purchase on the site.

So, if you are a fan of any or all of my submissions, I’d be super grateful if you’d take a moment to rate my designs (you’ll need to set-up a free account, if you don’t already have one).  I’ve posted photos of my entries below (a click on each photo will take you to the voting page), but have a look around and vote on others while you’re there – tons of great entries.  Voting ends on January 21st.

 

Smoke and Lace, photograph by Heather M. Roberts

Midsummer Majesty - acrylic painting by Heather M. Roberts

'On the brink', acrylic painting by Heather M. Roberts

 

Thanks and Happy Tuesday! 

-Heather

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'Slow Growth', 6x6 acrylic botanical painting by Heather M. Roberts

For some reason, WordPress is not letting me re-blog this entry from my art site (heathermroberts.com).  I won’t be posting each painting on this blog (aside from a few favorites), so please visit the other page if you’d like to see them each day.

Where’d painting number 3 go?  Hmmm, let’s not talk about that. :)  It may make a reappearance at a later date if I can salvage it.

Today’s painting is botanical and a bit more abstract than the others… a colorful take on a hosta bud.  It’s a reminder: take time to enjoy the simple things – beauty can be found everywhere if you look closely.

'Slow Growth', 6x6 acrylic botanical painting by Heather M. Roberts

Slow Growth, 6×6 acrylic painting – available for purchase on Etsy

Happy Thursday!

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Highway 55, 11x14 oil painting by Heather M. Roberts

First – there’s a SALE going on in my Etsy Shop!  All mini-ornaments/gift wrap accessories and cards are 10% off if you use coupon code HAPPY at checkout.  I also have a few corn heating bags all made up and ready to go – just need to sew the outer cases for them (I have a ton of flannel choices) – if that’s something you’re looking for, drop me a note on Etsy to light a fire under my bum.

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Next, this new painting.  My mom asked me to do a painting based on a photo I took in Montana.  The goal for this one was a cool-toned vintage feel.  I officially dislike painting clouds, and am therefore making it my mission to improve in this area.  Staring at clouds seems like the best place to start.  Other suggestions, anyone?  This was painted in water-miscible oils, and the jury is still out about whether or not I like them.  They dried faster than expected, halting my ability to blend.  Despite the annoying stench and my lack of patience when it comes to dry time, I think I just might be a traditional oil paint kind of girl.  Now, if only I could afford some Williamsburg paints…

Highway 55 Painting by Heather M. Roberts

Happy Wednesday!

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I’ve been a bit absent on here over the last several weeks.  I like to keep things on here ‘happy and simple’, which is a bit of a struggle at the moment.  It’s just one of those months – a zillion things to get done around the house, and unfortunately, a great deal of time spent caring for my nearly 14-yr-old pup with several health challenges, one of which is a deteriorating spine.  Yet, my chaos is nothing compared to the struggles facing so many after this week’s tragedy in Boston.  My thoughts are with all those whose lives changed on Monday and all those who may be struggling to comprehend.

…Heading back to simplicity for a moment – here’s a photo update of a painting I was asked to do and am slooowly completing.

One of my favorite things about painting is that it requires full focus, allowing everything else to temporarily fade.

Image

(click photo to enlarge)

Note that I still need to add trees to the barren horizon line, and perhaps a pheasant feather on the ground near the dog.  The grass has some issues since I typically paint from photos and didn’t have one for this.  Suggestions (from anyone!) would be wonderful and appreciated!!  Portions that look strange or ways to improve it?

When time allows, I’ll be back with the gardening post I promised awhile ago, a new recipe and a DIY desk I built a few weeks ago!  

Hope your week is happy and simple!

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