Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year - 2012!

3 pairs of fingerless gloves
And WHERE did December go? Answer: school! I am working on the first piece of 'National Board for Professional Teaching Standards' certification, I am on the RSU curriculum committee representing the Visual Arts, I taught right through 12/23... and I didn't have a single SNOW DAY! I did sell two of my paintings at the Harlow '8x10x80' show, and knitting probably saved my soul (once again). After finishing up a couple of custom (holiday) knitting projects, I have been working on a fingerless glove pattern.
fingerless gloves let you keep warm while knitting!
I was even knitting on Christmas morning before the guys woke up ... and this would be considered one of the advantages to having your children reach young adulthood - Christmas starts at a reasonable hour. My best to all my family and friends. May 2012 be a truly wonderful year for everyone.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Harlow Gallery Show "8x10x80"

I have much to be thankful for. Our sons were just home for nice visits, and I got time to work in my studio painting watercolors. I made 3 pieces for The Harlow Gallery "8x10x80" show. This is a fun annual fundraiser. All works are 8" x 10", and sell for $80.00 each. The gallery gets half (or all if you choose to donate all) and the artist gets half. Here are my three pieces. The opening is this Friday night - I'll be there! (I sold 2 paintings!)
'I Love You'  (think about it... olive ewe)

'I Love You, Too' (... olive ewe, two)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Weekend life on the farm - planting garlic, knitting frog mittens

We've had wonderful weather this weekend. The snow we got this past week, the first for the season, has melted. We mucked out the chickens and planted garlic today. It's nice to get something in the ground knowing that you'll enjoy a harvest next summer. This year's garlic made it into dill pickles and dilly beans, and there was plenty to plant with today. The cloves are huge. I do love garlic.
We got a lot done on 'this old house' this summer, but we still have one side to go on the clapboarding. There's always next year....
Frog Mittens
I'm still working on my Frog Mitten pattern. I'm thinking that I should simplify the 'ruffle' & forget the possibility of 'feet' - just go with a ruffle similar to my other designs. The latest, finished today, are the pair in the middle.
Have you heard of 'Craftsy'?   This site contacted me through Etsy and asked me to post my knitting. Check it out:

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fingerless Gloves - Floral Design

Etsy Shop - Fingerless Gloves 
I'm working on a Fingerless Glove pattern. These were knitted with a double strand of yarns: Lamb's Pride worsted weight 'Sapphire', and a Chenille (Lion's Brand 'Paris Print' - I believe). The leaves and flowers were added after the 'gloves' were done. They are so soft, and they fit me perfectly.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

'The Starry Night', by Vincent van Gogh and 280 Elementary School Students, the Principal, Teachers...

'The Starry Night' by: Vincent van Gogh

The long view from the gym.

Here is this year's mural! I chose Vincent van Gogh's: 'The Starry Night' to paint because many students asked why we hadn't done it yet. This mural is made up of 300 squares, 5.5" each. It is painted by 280+ students, our principal, teachers, 2 cooks, and a bus driver. I am so proud of my school - we are a great team!
A close up view.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fiber College, Frogs, & Feet

Fiber College, Searsport, Maine
I took a class at Fiber College last weekend on the coast of Maine. I had a great time. My class was taught by Mary Jane Mucklestone. The class was Colorful Andean Accents. Here's what I made. I am not (yet) a crocheting person, so my first attempt was rough - too tight to work with! After my second attempt, I had some time before dinner (excellent lasagna) so I sat in my car and tried again - I think I got it. Now I'd like to incorporate these techniques onto some of my mitten designs.

Frog Mittens
Here is my first pair of FROG MITTENS. I am working on this pattern for my Etsy Shop and Ravelry. This pair is for sale in my Etsy shop. The body of the frog was knit with Lamb's Pride: 'Limeade' - I can not get enough of this color. This is my kind of color!

And now, would you like to know what elementary school Art Teacher's feet look like after a day at school? On Friday I came home after a 10 hour day and looked at my feet. The school secretary put a positive spin on it, "At least they're school colors!" In fact our school colors are blue and yellow. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Back To School

'American Gothic'     By: Grant Wood, 2005
Wow! This summer is flying on by. It's 'Back To School' time - which means it's MURAL TIME. Every autumn I have my students and staff (who choose to) paint a square of a mystery mural. I give everyone a 1" square of the original, and they enlarge what they see onto a 5"-6" square. We paint with tempera. These murals end up being approximately 7.5' tall, and various widths - depending on the original painting. When the murals are done and hung in the hallway, the students try to be the first to guess the name of the original painting and artist.
'American Gothic' was our first mural, in 2005. Why a school-wide mural? Because we are a K-8 school, and I see this as a way to show how well we work together as a whole. We are truly a learning community. We enhance and support each other. Check back in a month to see this year's mural!
'Light at Two Lights'   by: Edward Hopper, 2006
hallway view

'Snap the Whip'       By: Winslow Homer, 2007
'Island Farmhouse'        By: Fairfield Porter, 2008
'The Boating Party'          By: Mary Cassatt, 2010

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sun Illustration

I'm just about done with this illustration - for my favorite poster contest. I used pen & ink, and watercolor. It's a minor miracle the ink didn't splatter, because the pen nib kept catching on the paper. It's a tough time of year to be working with pen & ink - the summer heat makes the pen stick to my fingers! The colors were inspired by a sea-compass drawing from 1766. The sun feels a little like a compass.

My vegetable garden is bursting with beans, peas, spinach, baby carrots, cucumbers, and TOMATOES - WAHOOO!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

New Mitten Pattern - Monkey Mittens

Here's my 3rd version of the Monkey Mittens:
MONKEY MITTENS ~ Snow-Day Artist Design
I like this version of the eyes, they are closer together. I knitted many ears before settling on these.   All in all, I'm pretty happy with this design. I'll write up the pattern now, and then look for some test knitters on Ravelry. I am also working on a picture book manuscript. It's a story about a turtle. The prop I am using for my illustrations is in this photo.

Here's a link to the pattern:
Knit these in traditional 'Sock Monkey' colors - or design with your choice of colors

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Pattern in Progress... Sock Monkey Mittens

Final design with a twist... in pink & purple! Monkey Mittens
I'm working on a new mitten pattern. I want them to look like the traditional 'Sock Monkey'. In the March 24th blog post are the first pair of Sock Monkey mittens.... Do these need ears? I'm thinking that the eyes are too far apart. Hmmm...
Later edit: check out final pattern here: Mitten Pattern - Monkey Mittens
or at: Snow-Day Artist ~ Etsy Shop

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer in Maine... bugs, art, gardens, more art

Today is the first day of summer! School and teaching Art, ended yesterday. School year endings are always bittersweet. I have to say 'good-bye' to my 8th Graders. And YES! - they were the most awesome class of 8th Graders I have ever had. I wish them well, and hope they have wonderful experiences in high school. 'TAKE ART CLASSES!'
With summer, comes my chance to work full time in my studio. I have a couple of books I'm working on - writing and illustrating. I know of a poster contest... And I have some large paintings in the works. I hope I'm not planning too much. I do like the feeling of getting things done - but I don't like to be overwhelmed. When I'm juggling a nice combination of creative projects, they play off each other, and add a depth to each that can't be predicted.
There's also the garden, the chickens, a new mitten design, reading books, and visiting family and friends. Life is good. Well, except for the bugs.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Web 2.0, E-Commerce, a Mermaid, Purple & Orange...

I actually can tie this all together - watch: I recently took a workshop by Women, Work and Community.
This was an informative, quick paced workshop on Web 2.0 & E-Commerce at UMA. I highly recommend these workshops - they are for free! I had a few minutes to spare prior to the workshop so I went to the Student Center to photograph a sculpture I did in 2004. The mermaid sculpture, entitled 'Whole', was my solution to an assignment. I took the Sculpture II class in 2004 because the Dept. of Ed felt I needed an additional 3-D course to add
to my BFA in Drawing, to approve my Visual Arts teaching certificate. This assignment involved making a body cast in plaster and incorporating some sort of structure for support. My support structure was an old dining chair.
There is a good story to go with this sculpture... and in the end this piece was juried in to the annual art show and was chosen for a purchase prize. It is on display at UMA.
At the Web 2.0 workshop we discussed branding and brand identity. As a group we analyzed a few websites to critique their 'brand identity'. I learned that the two colors you should NOT use in your branding (logo, avatar, headers, etc.) are Purple & Orange. I don't mean together. Don't use either one! Purple & orange are supposedly the two most offensive/disliked colors by the general public. What does this say for a major donut company that uses pink & orange in their branding? Anyway, to the left is the avatar I use on Etsy and Ravelry - and I like it!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Butterfly Mitten Pattern now available on Ravelry & Etsy!

My mitten pattern is now available on both Ravelry & Etsy:
The pattern comes with 2 additional variations. 
      Size small: 3-4 year old.   Size large: 5-6 year old.  HAPPY KNITTING!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Lin Oliver...NESCBWI Conference in Fitchburg, MA

The New England chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators held its annual conference in Fitchburg, MA, May 13 - 15 (next year it will be held in Springfield, MA). This was the 6th conference I have attended. NESCBWI is a truly amazing society.  In such a competitive industry as publishing is, this society is comprised of wonderfully generous and friendly individuals. I actually crave these conferences because there is so much information and positive energy. This year's conference was filled with wonderful  stories about our beginnings as it was our 25 consecutive conference, and the 40th anniversary of the founding of SCBWI. Our key note speakers included Lin Oliver. Lin is wonderful. She is a hoot, and she is a GREAT story teller. One of the most significant points I have taken home from the conference is a word/concept that Lin Oliver closed her key note speech with: 'Ubuntu'. This is an African word/concept. Loosely translated, this is "a person is a person through other persons."  Google this, check it out. All that makes me an Elementary School Visual Arts Teacher wants to jump up and SING when I think about this concept (you would have to ask a family memebr of mine to know what this means - I am the worst singer on the planet - so this is BIG). Thank you, Lin.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sunday, May 1, 2011

May Day

Got back at midnight - short trip to Vermont and Massachusetts. Working in my studio this beautiful May Day. Here is the first version of the Grimm Brothers cover design. I will probably play around with this until the NESCBWI conference in two weeks.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

NESCBWI Conference May 13 - 15

Here are some illustrations I have been working on - portfolio pieces perhaps. The NESCBWI spring conference is right around the corner - I can't wait. NESCBWI is the New England chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.
This will be my 6th conference, and it is the 25th anniversary of NESCBWI.

These illustrations are for a Grimm's tale.                      
Guess which one?

This illustration takes off from the Grimm tale... I was thinking that it might make a business card image, or postcard handout for the Poster Competition table.  I placed 3rd in the 'soon to be published' category last year. (See the illustration at the bottom of this blog.)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

What is it about Sock-Monkeys?

I've been knitting Sock-Monkeys for my school's Fun Fair.  They are a LOT of fun to make.  At the fair these will be bid on, and the proceeds will go to my classroom for supplies. I always need supplies, so I was motivated!

I wonder what else I can turn into a sock-monkey....

Yes, that IS a pencil.

More pics on Ravelry: