Artist Inspired Mini Canvas: Miró and Picasso

So happy it’s Friday! Even though the weather isn’t awesome, it’s kinda of a good thing because I want to get some projects done around the house. Apart from that, Ryan and I are having a sushi date night this weekend. It’s been a loooong time since I’ve had the deliciousness that are rolls and sake, so I’m super excited about this. I’m also looking forward to my long run this weekend. It’ll probably be a slow one, due to a combination of rehabilitating foot and minimal running this week, but I know it’ll feel awesome to get it done. 8 miles, keep your fingers crossed for me…

sushi time

My last post about the Artist Inspired Mini Canvas only had two paintings. Today, I bring you the other two. These ones turned out to be a little easier probably due to the fact that all you have to do is fill in shapes and then outline them.  They are inspired by Joan Miró and Pablo Picasso, which both happen to be from Spain.

One thing I love about surrealist Miró is how his paintings experiment with shapes, structure and colors. (Image source)

Miro

Once again, I started with a quick sketch. For this one, I drew a bobber. Crossed some lines across the page and added some random details around it.

Miró Lure sketch

I drew it on the canvas a little darker to be able to see it through the background color.

Miró Lure draft

The background layer of paint was on the thin side, again to be able to see the guides.

Miró Lure base

Then I filled in the shapes with various colors.

Miró Lure colors

Finished it off with the black for the outlines and details. This one might be my favorite.

Miró Lure

My inspiration for the last one came from Picasso during his cubism period. (Image source)

Picasso

I used this style of cubism, with the colors and vibrant backgrounds, but went with straight lines instead.

Picasso Crab sketch

I drew a crab because crabs are awesome, plus I’m a cancer.

Picasso Crab draft

Filled in the shapes with colors.

Picasso Crab base colors

Added some details to the backgrounds.

Picasso Crab textures

Then, used the black for outlines to make it pop.

Picasso Crab black outline

Overall, this was a super fun project and hopefully I’ll frame them up soon. Maybe this weekend?

Any favorite artists?

Artist Inspired Mini Canvas: Seurat and Van Gogh

Hello hello! Hopefully it’s a little warmer where you’re at today. It got cold again in Iowa, and after being warm for a few days, the low temperatures feel 100% colder. We’ve also been getting some rain, so I haven’t gotten the chance to get back to running. It’s OK though, because I’ve been nursing my foot, so hopefully the rest will be good and I’ll be able to get  out there again tomorrow. I might be thinking of starting to train for a half, or just continuing from my 10K training. In the meantime, I’ll just keep hanging out with this goober. Look at that concentration!

Boone attention

Remember when Ryan and I redid our kitchen floors? We still love them!

Artist Inspired Mini Canvas

I’m not sure about you, but I’ve always admired how a lot of painters developed a very specific style in their work. Hand in hand with that, is me always wanting to mimic what others have mastered. Which is just what I did with my next project. Finding inspiration from some of the greats, I made four mini canvas paintings for our three seasons. I was actually able to paint the all in one day. My setup included my laptop and some movies. Today, I’m going to show you how I did two of them. Remind me to clean my computer screen…

Painting SetUp

I started with four 4×5 mini canvases.

Mini Canvas

The theme of the paintings was the sea and the lake, so I used hues of blue, violet, green, black, white and yellow.

Color Palette

My first inspiration came from Georges Seurat who is know for pointillism. (image source)

Seurat

First up, I made a sketch of the design. This one would be a bobber.

Seurat Bobber sketch

Then, I lightly transferred it to the canvas to guide my painting and with a very fine paintbrush, started filling in the spaces with dots.

Seurat Bobber white dots 

Once done with the white, I moved on to the next color.

Seurat Bobber purple

Once the bobber was done, I moved to the water. To give it a dynamic effect, concentrate the dots in bands and by color.

Seurat Bobber water start

I used different shades of the same blue and silver for the first part and greens and whites for the second.

Seurat Bobber water colors

The sky got the same effect but with brighter blues,

Seurat Bobber sky base

With this technique, you want to make sure to fill as many spaces as possible and not be afraid to mix color that might not seem to go together.

Seurat Bobber blue sky

Here’s the final product.

Seurat Bobber 

My second inspiration came from Van Gogh and his swirly strokes in Starry Night. (image source)

Van Gogh

This time, the drawing would be a jellyfish. The faint grid on the sketch serves as a guide to transfer the image to the canvas.

Van Gogh Jellyfish sketch

Remember the sketch on the canvas is just for guidelines, it doesn’t have to be perfect.

Van Gogh Jellyfish draft

Start with one color for the background and make short rounded strokes.

Van Gogh Jellyfish blue strokes 

About three layers of different blues, whites and greens should be perfect to finish the water.

Van Gogh Jellyfish blues 

The same technique was used for the jellyfish with purples and pinks.

Van Gogh Jellyfish reds 

I finished with a few touches of yellow and white for interest.

Van Gogh Jellyfish         

The beauty of these is that the size isn’t intimidating and it’s a fun way to experiment with new painting techniques that might not come naturally to you.

Whatever you do today, find the beauty in it!

We Run Lucky Run 10K

Good morning! This weekend was quite perfect if you ask me. It had a little bit of everything: quality time with a friend, Boone snuggles, a great run, good food, relaxing and some crafting.

The first thing I did Friday night was get my items ready for the race on Saturday. Rachael, my friend and roommate from college, came over for the night and I wanted to spend my evening chatting with her, instead of running around getting my race gear ready. Once she got in, we pretty much just hung around chatting, which was exactly what I needed. I love spending time with her.

Race Prep

Saturday morning, Ryan and Rachael dropped me off at the race and they went to eat while I ran. They were there for the finish though. Even though the sun was out, the air was kinda chilly, so I opted for a long sleeve and leggings. It definitely warmed up during the run, but I never felt too overdressed. Maybe a lighter long sleeve would’ve done… Anyways, I was pretty nervous at the start line. My foot has been bugging me so I wasn’t coming with super high expectations, better be safe than sorry as far as injuries go, but I still wanted to run faster than my previous 10K. I decided to go for it and gauge how I felt as I went.

Lucky Run start line

Well, my foot only bothered me for the first couple of miles and afterwards I was on cruise control. my first mile was kinda fast, so I adjusted after it as well. The race was pretty good. Not a whole bunch of people, but enough that I was never running alone. Note for  next time: bring my water bottle. I could have used one more water station this time around. I did finish with a PR in the 10k!!! Ran 6.22 miles in 57min 53 secs at a 9:20 per mile pace. I was struggling at the end, but it felt great to finish with such a great time, way above my expectations. I was going to shoot for the 9:30-9:45 pace.

We Run Lucky Run 10K

There was soooo much food afterwards. Seriously, apparently runners eat a lot after a race. I chugged my water and grabbed a brownie, banana, bagel and energy drink. Plus, I have one more medal in my collection. It’s pretty cool.

We Run Lucky Run 10K medal

After a shower and lunch, Rachael and I headed to get a couple of pedicures. I might need to make this my after-race ritual cause the hot water and that massage felt pretty good.

Pedis

Once we got back to the house, we chatted some more and then took a nap. I must say, it was glorious. Then, it was time for Rach to head home. Tie just flies by when we hang out together. It’s always fun and relaxing. Love that girl!

Rach and I

I ended the night running some errands, which included a trip to Target. I kinda fell in love this these white nautical figurines. If only I had a place to put them and money to buy them… Instead, I opted for an iced coffee from Starbucks,

Sealife Target

Sunday was a pretty low key day as well. I made some awesome breakfast, french toast and all the bacon. Then I did some baking, some sewing and tended to random organizing around the house.

Breakfast        

One of them was tending my seedlings. I cut back the seedlings to only leave one per pod. The tray on the left is the first one I started three weeks ago. The one on the right is two weeks old now. With a few exceptions, they’re both doing pretty well. I’m getting excited to get this garden going!

Seeds Week 3

Anything awesome going on with you this week? Not much over here!

Have a great week nonetheless!

NYC Care Package

Good morning and Happy Friday! Yesterday my sister Hanna moved to NYC to start a new chapter in her life. I’m so super excited for her that I almost feel like I moved myself. I wanted to somehow be part of her move and help her transition. My options were flying to NYC and welcoming her or sending her a care package. I obviously went with the package because it saves me a lot more money and they’re super fun to give and receive. All through college, and still now really, I got super excited when I received a package of goodies from my mom. It’s the best!

mailtime bluesclues

So, I got all sneaky and stalked the internet to find the address of her temporary roommate. A good care package has a little bit of everything, including food. In it I gathered a few of my favorite things, some cold weather essentials and items I thought would be useful in NYC. I wrapped them all individually with a note in each one to make it even more exciting to open, ALL the presents! To add a little more pizazz, I sloppily decorated the box. Seriously, it took five minutes and not a lot of care. I might have been running late for work.

Care Package for NYC

Care Packages ideas:

Food. Everybody likes treats, so I sent her some tea (Harney and Sons Hot Cinnamon Sunset) and her favorite gum (Dentyne Ice Artic Chill).

For the belly

Entertainment. Of course you want to provide some fun. In this case, I sent her a book I finished reading not too long ago (Paper Towns by John Green) and a deck of cards. Everybody needs a deck of cards.

Entertainment

Beauty items. Why not? My favorite hand lotion because it truly is the best (Eucerin) and some hand sanitizers and holder from Bath and Bodyworks because subways. I probably spent about ten minutes trying to pick one, the smells are just amazing.

Hand Care

Weather related essentials. I sent her the scarf I knit just recently and THE best pair of gloves I have every tried. I just found them this last year and I’m never going back. I’ve tried Isotoner before, but these ones really do keep my fingers nice and warm.

Cold Weather musts

Site specific needs. What’s one of the first things that come to mind when thinking of NYC? The subway of course. Well, I couldn’t buy tickets online, so instead I sent her the fare on a little gift card holder.

Getting around

Personalized items. I wanted to give her something fun to keep memories in. With a 4×4 album, I gathered some older pics for her to have and included empty pages to gather new memories. This was actually super fun to make, but I love looking through old pictures.

Album of Memories

Gifts that keep on giving. I made a set of cards for her to open on different occasions. All titled “Open when…”, they were: you need inspiration, you’re super bored, you need some encouragement, you need to smile, you miss me, you need a hug, and finally, you feel awesome. These took some time to come up with, but I really loved the result.

For the future

I love coming up with gifts for people and try to make them as personal as possible. I think I nailed it with this one. Here’s to an awesome time in New York for my sister!

Have a great weekend! My bestest friend from college is staying over and I have a 10K tomorrow, should be fun!

Black and White Infinity Scarf

Good morning! How was your St Paddy’s Day? Nothing special over here, other than a corned beef dinner. It was quite good, if I say so myself. Unfortunately, we didn’t have leftovers for reubens, but will run to the store to get more for the weekend. Ryan and I are big fans of those delicious sandwiches.

Although last week was pretty warm, the high temperature yesterday was 40 degrees lower than on Monday. Thanks weather! On the other hand, it means it’s not time to put away those scarves just yet. So, I’m bringing you another tutorial for an infinity scarf. This one is two-toned. Just knit with two pieces of yarn at the same time. This will give you the color contrast and a thicker gauge with less knitting to be done, so you’ll get done faster. Win Win!

Black and White Infinity Scarf pattern

I used two skeins of  Medium weight (4) yarn and size 10 needles.

Black and White Infinity Scarf diy

Pattern:

Cast on 32 stitches

R1: SL1, K1, *SL1, K3, PSSO* repeat 7 times, K2

R2: SL1, *P3, YO* repeat 7 times, P3

R3: SL1, Knit til last sticth

R4: SL1, Purl til last sticth

Black and White Infinity Scarf sides

Repeat pattern until desired length. For an infinity scarf, 30” per wrap around the neck should be enough, depending on how snug around the neck is your preference. I made this one 60” long.

Black and White Infinity Scarf

Bind off.

Black and White Infinity Scarf bind off

Use an embroidery needle to weave both ends of the scarf together to create the infinity loop.

Black and White Infinity Scarf weave ends

SL1: slip stitch. Just place the right needle as if to knit and remove from left needle without actually knitting

Slip Stitch

PSSO: pass slipped stitch over. Once you slip one stitch and knit the following three stitches, pass the slipped stitch over the last 3 knit stitches.

Passed Slipped Stitch Over

YO: yarn over. After a purl stitch, wrap yarn around right needle, purl another stitch.

 Purl Yarn Over

I wish I was keeping the scarf because it is quote cozy, but it’s a gift. I really enjoyed doing this scarf and I might experiment soon with more crazy color  combinations.

Black and White Infinity Scarf how to

Have fun knitting!