Friday, 7 December 2018

Advent Calendar - Days 1 to 7

Blog 49

As I had already announced last week, the blogs of the final weeks of 2018 will contain an Advent Calendar of my 2018 artworks.

This blog contains the images of the first seven days. If you do not wish to wait for the weekly count-down to Christmas, you can go to my Facebook page at, where a new image is revealed every morning at 8:30am.  As not everyone sees the images automatically on their timeline due to the Facebook algorithms, I decided to bundle them weekly in my blog.

Day 1 of my Advent Calendar:
This is the first year in which I did not create anything related to winter. Things in my personal life were too busy, but I was very active during the summer. My first image is a drawing of the sculpture "Friends" that I created at the Humanics Institute Sanctuary and Sculpture Park. This is one of my favourite sculptures of the park because family and friends are such an essential part of my life. I created this watercolour pencil sketch on site when I went to the park with a couple of members of the Ottawa Plein Air Adventures Group. In some areas of the drawing I added water to create the watercolour effect. I love my watercolour pencils, as I do not have to carry a lot of materials with me, and I can decide to leave the drawing as a coloured pencil artwork or turn it into a watercolour painting.

Day 2:
I finished the “8 x 10” acrylic painting “The Old Shed” during a July morning at the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum. where I painted an old shed that nature is slowly taking over the old shed.

Day 3:
"Flower", the little skunk, was a gift for a friend of mine. Isn't she cute? If you would like to learn how to create felted little creatures, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Day 4:
This 10” x 10” acrylic painting “Climax” is a painting of greenhouse tulips that I purchased in February when I just needed a reminder that spring was coming. The tulips were at their prime when I painted them. Months after I had finished and signed the painting, I looked at it while sitting in front of my easel and working on another painting. Suddenly, I felt the need to make some slight changes to the bottom shape of the vase to and felt much happier when I was done.

Day 5:
“Grounded” is the very first painting that I created during my painting trip to Kamouraska, Quebec. We set up our equipment right in front of the rented house at Ave LeBlanc in Kamouraska, Quebec.

Day 6:
“Baby Bateau” is 8” x 10” oil painting that I started in 2011 and finally finished on the only rainy day during our painting trip to Kamouraska in September. This boat has been anchored across from the house for all of these years that we have come to Kamouraska. We have only seen it being driven once.

Day 7:
“ Pink St. Lawrence River” is a 5” x 7” oil painting that I created on the bank of the St. Lawrence River in L'Islet-sur-Mer. I did not feel inspired by the scene but the rest of  my painting buddies had agreed upon the spot. At home, I changed the colour of the water to a stronger pink to bring more liveliness into the image.

I hope you are enjoying the review of my artworks and the stories behind them. Next week, I will post the next seven artworks.

Friday, 30 November 2018

Angel Painting

Blog 48

This is my last holiday project for this year. Starting next week, I will post my yearly advent calendar that gives you a review of the artworks that I created during the last 12 months. I will post a new image every day starting on December 1 on my Facebook page In my blog, you will receive a weekly summary of the posts.

The last project is the angel painting that I also am offering as a painting party. It is the perfect project for all ages. Who can say no to such a cute angel?

Here is a list of the materials:
16” x 20” (or 8” x 10”) canvas
Acrylic or poster paint (I used white, yellow, red, and a little bit brown, but you could also get premixed skin colour.)
Stickers (hearts, stars, etc.)
Glitter glue (optional)
Palette, white plate or cutting board
Water container
Paper towels

Here are the steps to create your Advent calendar:

1) Draw the angel onto the canvas
Start with simple shapes: a circle for the head, then attach a triangle without the top for the dress. The shoes and ears are half circles, the hands half ovals. The wings can be any shape you like. Mine look like parts of a star.

2) Paint your background.

3) Paint the dress, the wings and the face.

4) Add the details once the base colour is dry. You could also use googly eyes, or use a marker for the detail work.

5) Attach the embellishments.

I hope you enjoyed my holiday crafts and got inspired to create your own masterpieces. Handmade gifts are so special in this age of consumerism. Creating something also gives you a nice break from your daily responsibilities and too much time spend in front of your computer and TV. As it is often even more fun in a group, get your friends and family together and make it a craft event. If you need some help, please do not hesitate to contact me at Winter is a great time for painting parties and workshops to have fun together and create memories.

At the end of today's blog, I would like to invite you to my 5th Annual Open House and Customer Appreciation Day on December 1, 2018 from 1pm to 4pm at 1270 Kinsella Dr, Cumberland, ON K4C 1A9, Canada. You will be able to talk to me about my new paintings and greeting cards while enjoying some holiday treats. Every visitor will receive a $10 discount coupon to be used when registering for any of my 2019 workshops.

Friday, 23 November 2018

Advent Calendar with Removable Ornaments

Blog 47

Is your house already decorated for the holidays? The recent snowfall here in Ottawa has certainly set the mood for Christmas. When I was a child, I could hardly wait for December 1 as this was the day that my mother put up the Advent calendar.  She had made it herself, and for every day there was a treat hanging on a little hoop. The Advent calendar was invented in Germany in the 19th century and is used to count the days of Advent in anticipation of Christmas. The date of the first Sunday of Advent can be anywhere between November 27 and December 3 as the first Advent is on the the fourth Sunday before Christmas, however most Advent calendars start on December 1. With one week to go until December 1, this is a project you cannot postpone.

Here is a list of the materials:
  • 16” x 20” canvas
  • Blue fabric, 20” x 24”
  • Scissors
  • Felt sheets in different colours (I used red, orange, beige, and white)
  • Felt piece of 16” x 20” in green for the tree
  • Liquid Stitch, stitchless sewing glue
  • Sticky back hook and loop fasteners (Velcro)
  • Embroidery Floss
  • Needle
  • Felting needle (optional)
  • Small piece of foam sheet (optional, for felting)
  • Small amount of brown roving for the dark patches on the bears (optional, for felting)
  • Small bag for the decorations or cloth to sew one

Here are the steps to create your Advent calendar:

1) Fold the piece of fabric around a canvas and glue it to the support frame.

2) Draw the image of a tree onto the large green felt piece and cut the shape out. The tree does not have to be symmetrical.
3) Put the tree onto the blue fabric and glue both the tree and the corners that you cut out to make the tips of the tree onto the fabric. I started with the cut out corners.

4) Cut out two different sized stars as the tree topper and glue them to the top of your tree.

4) Cut out 24 (or 25) ornaments of your liking. You could also get small store-bought embroidered patches.

5) Decorate your ornaments if you like. I added eyes and a snout for the bears, some stitches on the Christmas balls as well as the numbers of the days to all ornaments. I also used a felting needle to felt the dark spots onto the bears.

6) Use “Liquid Stitch” to attach a small piece of sticky back hook and loop fastener to each ornament as well as the opposite side to the tree itself. This way you can remove the ornaments.

7) Buy or sew a small bag as storage for the decorations. A Ziplock bag will work too if you do not have time to get another one.

Starting on December 1, each day another ornament is attached to the tree until December 24 or 25. This is the perfect Advent calendar for everyone who wants to avoid the extra sweets during the Christmas season, or as an additional one to your chocolate calendar. Please let me know if you would like the templates for the ornaments and the tree. You have exactly one week to get your project ready in time.

Friday, 16 November 2018

Christmas Cards

Blog 46

Do you still send out Christmas cards? With the hike in the prices for stamps over the years, I send about half the cards I used to send. Nevertheless, writing Christmas cards at the end of November is still part of my holiday tradition; by the same token, I also cherish all the cards that I get. Therefore, this week’s craft is a handmade holiday card; even if you do not send out cards, you might attach a smaller version as a gift tag.

Here is a list of the materials:
Card stock paper
Old magazines, books, flyers
Glue stick
Scissors (optional)
Markers (optional)
Stickers (optional)

Here are the steps to create your card:

1) Fold a piece of card stock paper in half.

2) Draw the image onto your front page.
3) Find images with the colours you need for your card in your magazines, books, or flyers and rip shapes of different sizes and shapes out of the pages. This looks more natural, as opposed to using scissors.

4) Assemble the pieces on the image on your card and glue the pieces to the paper. The scraps paper might slightly overlap each other which is fine.

5) If you would like, you can use scissors to cut out letters. You can also attach some stickers to your card.

6) If you do not like the slightly rugged edges of the ripped pieces of paper, you can outline your image with a dark marker.

This craft required some patience as it takes a while to find the right colours and then rip and assemble the paper scrapes on your card, but it is a lot of fun and a great recycling project. It would be lovely if you shared your cards with me.