Painting my son’s LEGO inventions

One day I decided to paint some of my son’s LEGO creations. He has dozens of these vehicles on the go right now, and I thought it would be a fun way for me to practice illustration by creating a small series. I am using ink and watercolour on rag paper so far. I’m planning to create a photo book for him when I’m finished. I might do the same thing with my daughter’s Calico Critters displays.

My son was very impressed with the first painting, and immediately lined up all his other sculptures for me on the piano. Whenever I finish one, he takes it away and puts the next one on my art table. I love being able to collaborate with the kids and include them in my artwork.

Here are the first two:

Lego painting

First Lego sculpture and painting combo

lego painting

DIY Ergo Accessories: Drool Pads

ergo with DIY chew pads

My giant four-month-old in the ergo with chew pads.

My favourite baby item from the beginning has been my ergobaby carrier. It was the one main baby item I didn’t get rid of when we had decided to stop having kids. But I still bought another one because I liked this teal colour. I used my ergo until my babies were no longer toddlers. I even carried my daughter when she was four on a hike one time because she got such a bad blister. I love walking everywhere I can and not having to stick to the sidewalks like you do with a stroller.

I saw these DIY drool pads that people had made for their carriers, and I didn’t think I’d ever use them. But I’ve had this lovely bird cloth since I went to Cannon Beach last summer and hadn’t found the right use for it. I noticed that it goes well with the ergo’s teal colour, and after washing the carrier because my four-month-old has been drooling all over it, I decided to make them. It was easy to whip these up in a couple hours. I did not use a pattern.

Cut cloth and an old towel to 8x11 size

Cut cloth and an old towel to 8×11 size. I also cut a square not pictured for the backing.

ergo baby chew pads

Sewed the pieces together inside out, and rounded the corners slightly. Sewed a loop of ribbon on one for toys. Sewed on velcro. I purposely didn’t sew the velcro all the way to the bottom so that the pads can spread out at the bottom a little.

teal ergo with DIY drool pads

Drool pads completed

drool pads for ergo carrier

Homemade teething toy for baby to play with.

I’m so full of ideas, there are not enough hours in the day!

Handmade baby items.

A few handmade items I created for a friend’s expected baby.

Today is the kids’ last day of school, and I’m looking forward to the break in routine of driving them to school every morning. But I’m not sure how this will impact my time for creating art. I’m sure this thought has passed through your mind at one point or another, but it is so true for me right now: there are not enough hours in the day!

Being creative, I never run out of ideas. Because I am on maternity leave, I have a good 9 hours a day that I am normally commuting and working, so I feel like I have so much extra time. But with taking the kids to school, picking them up, making lunches and meals, housework, and–of course!–taking care of a baby, washing his diapers, cleaning, etc. it doesn’t leave tons of time. I can sometimes carve out about one hour during that school day period to do something. I’ve been hiking and taking pictures tons, which I find life-giving and calming.

That being said, I have still found time to make some things over the past few months, and dream up new ideas. I have been struggling for years to get over the hurdle of feeling I can sell my art. I prefer to either keep my artwork or give it away. But I am starting to research and prepare to sell some things on etsy. I am working through all that preliminary research on what my shop will be like, and the big question – the name. How to price things so that I’m not just running an sweatshop. I’m not expecting to be able to support the family through this or anything, but it would be nice to have a venue for selling.

Also, I want to write. I’ve always wanted to write another novel or write and illustrate children’s books. I am getting to the point where I really want to do it, but am finding I can’t escape to that writing place – you know, where you are in that zone and can focus on getting into your characters, etc. Maybe because…..there aren’t enough hours in the day.

I just wanted to add an update here because this is my creative place and wanted to capture what it is like to be four months post partum with three kids and to be so full of ideas!! I’ll post a few things I’ve worked on this spring soon.

 

Tree watercolour

Similar to my last post, here is another watercolour sketch. I tried to capture the energy that I find present in the forest. When I walk there and experience God’s creation, I feel rejuvenated. Again I enjoyed being able to just play. My baby was kind to me and just sat in his baby chair looking up at a balloon that was taped to the ceiling for an hour.

tree watercolour painting

Step 1

tree watercolour painting

Step 2

tree watercolour painting

Step 3

tree watercolour painting

Step 4

tree watercolour painting

Step 5 – dry – it’s always sad how flat watercolour can look once it’s dried. I don’t think it helped that there is raw pigment on my pallette right now.

tree watercolour painting

Step 6 – final – jazzed up with a bit of mixed media.

Great weekend adventures

We had a truly lovely weekend. I enjoyed visiting Squamish, BC and taking photos at Britannia Mine Museum and the Sea to Sky Gondola. The textures and scenery were inspiring for me so I wanted to share them with you creatives. Sunday we hiked bear home so there are a few pictures from that walk as well.

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Cliff watercolour

watercolour palletteI’m kind of excited to be writing a post that is not baby-related! I decided to just pick up my watercolours today and do some “fun” paintings. I find it so much easier to work on art when the pressure is off – I’m not working on a big canvas, but rather what looked like scraps of watercolour paper.

I am inspired by nature, and if you are following me on instagram you will see that I spend a lot of time out in the forest. So today I decided to also paint what inspires me! Below are just some snapshots of the process of painting a mossy cliff landscape.

watercolour process

Step 1

watercolour forest

Step 2 – still wet

watercolour scenery

Step 3 (I think this is just Step 2 after it dried)

mixed media watecolour painting

Step 4 – added more colour and texture with pastels, watercolour pencils, and more paint.

 

Bandana bibs

handmade bandana bibsOne of the fun things about having a baby girl is dressing her up. Luckily there are still some fun things to make for baby boys! I decided to make a few bibs last week for practical reasons, as well as for fun. Here are the ones I made with cloth on hand. Doesn’t baby A look impressed??

bandana wearer green bandanabibs blue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ha ha. He tends to look a bit stoic at 2.5 months old. I used a free pattern shared by Lurel White (thank you!). Thanks also to my mom who helped keep the baby happy so I could get this done.

Here are a couple of action shots from my kitchen:

sewing the bibs

Seemed hard to believe these two pieces were going to sew together, but with some patient pinning and ironing, it worked out fine!

sewing