Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Off to see Baby Hope and the Gang!

Just a really quick note to let you know I will be gone to Louisiana for a few days to see our newest grandbaby Hope as well as all the rest of the kiddos and grandkids (I'm still getting used to saying that - but I love it!!!)

Have a lovely week of creativity and inspiration and wonderful times with those you love! We'll see y'all soon!

Becky Schultea

Monday, September 24, 2007

Makeover Monday: Our Guest Bathroom

$8.00 Guest Bathroom Makeover!

Hello friends - it's time for another installment of Makeover Monday where I choose a makeover project, large or small, home or art-related, and share with you the before and after photos with commentary.

This week I will feature the makeover of our guest bathroom. It already had good bones and some basics in place (like a good shower curtain), but just needed some accessorizing in the worst way. The BEST part about this makeover was the price tag - approximately $8.00!!! Practically free!! (I LOVE decorating on the cheap!!) I gathered up stuff from here and there around the house and from my craft supplies (see below) and went from there...


I should mention here that my sweet-handy-hubby saw this cabinet in the trash and rescued/re-purposed it for the bathroom1! It had 3 cabinet doors and a blond/light oak finish - he cut it down to 2 cabinets, painted it glossy white, and hung it there as you see it. A nice blank canvas ready for me to embellish...


Using regular craft paints (Ceramcoat), I applied a green wash to the panel insets in the cabinet doors, then I painted the flowers in coordinating colors with the shower curtain, and topped it off with a brown antiquing glaze (brown paint and water) which I ragged off. This helped tone down the colors to better blend with the color scheme and give it that older,more shabby look. Hubby then added 2 little knobs ($1.50 each at WalMart) to the cabinet doors to finish it off. Finally I topped the cabinet with some greenery and a couple of hand painted birdhouses for vertical interest.
I had this tin hydrangea sign for forever (it was a cheapy from Marshall's) - I just added a sage grosgrain bow above (attached with thumbtacks) for a little interest. The little framed mirror (below) was a mini-makeover in itself. (This piece was a garage sale find from years ago - probably a dollar) The mirror had fallen out and the top panel was a piece of Masonite with not-so-pretty hand painted pansies in harsh colors. I re-glued the mirror and covered the top Masonite inset with fabric, buttons and a tiny quilt-scrap heart to coordinate with another wall-art project I did for the room(coming up later in the post). It really fit the bill for that little space - and once again, zero dollars...

More Before...

These were a pair of framed prints that I had bought about a year ago or so - they had been hanging, rather blandly, here for a while above the towel rack. I liked their size, but decided to completely re-do them, just keeping the frames and glass...
And More After...

So, I pulled them all apart, flipped the prints over (which were glued to cardboard) and attached fabrics in coordinating colors with fusible webbing to the cardboard. Then I glued on coordinating vintage quilted heart shapes, trims, lace, floral wire, and buttons for bit of a shabby look. Finally, I placed them back in the frames, re-stapled them in and re-hung them.

I bought 2 sage green hand towels ($2.44 each at WalMart) to use in the space - one of which I draped over my existing pink towel on the towel rack - I tied it off with a 6 inch scrap of ribbon (it's just pinned in the back) to tie it all together. I put the other hand towel through the little towel ring by the sink and embellished it with a stuffed quilt heart I already had...

Hubby and I finished off the rest of the room by hanging this china ivy platter above the door (china - its not just for the dining room anymore).

And one last little touch hung on the doorknob - a velvet pillow with ribbon embroidery given to me by a dear friend - with a nice thought that's a good promise to remember...

Illustration Friday: Juggle

“To learn and never be filled, is wisdom; to teach and never be weary, is love.” - Anonymous
“A good teacher is like a candle - it consumes itself to light the way for others.” - Anonymous
“Teaching is the greatest act of optimism” - Colleen Wilcox
“Teachers are expected to reach unattainable goals with inadequate tools. The miracle is that at times they accomplish this impossible task.” - Dr. Haim Ginott
Just a bit of a tribute to teachers for this week's Illustration Friday topic: "Juggle:. Teachers truly do quite a juggling act to hold a classroom together, plan lessons, create bulletin boards, grade papers, resolve conflicts, and oh yeah, teach. Thanks to all you brave souls who endeavor to do this often thankless job for very little pay - we appreciate you!
See a similar teacher tribute I did in 2005 for IF- Heroes

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Happy Fall Y'all!!

Welcome to the first official day of Fall!! I am not going to let the 90 degree temperature deter me from celebrating the arrival of my favorite season! For the last several days, though the daytime temperature is 90+, it has been significantly drier and the mornings and evenings have been cool - a hint of the things to come. The cooler weather is just one of the many reasons I love this season - here are a few more A-Z - feel free to add your own to the list...
  • A- Acorns, apples, apple cider, antique-hunting, azure-blue skies
  • B- Bales of hay, beauty berries, baking goodies, Bible reading on the back porch
  • C- Candy corn, caramel apples, corduroy, chili and cornbread, crisp cool air, cozy nights
  • D- Daylight savings time ends, deer, ducks, dogs, dunking for apples, drawing outdoors, dancing in the moonlight
  • E- Extraordinary sunrises and sunsets, easy-going Sundays, espresso, extra covers on the bed
  • F- Fall leaves, fires in the fireplace, football, flannel shirts, funnel cakes, flea markets, furry critters
  • G- Grapevines, gourds, garage sales, good hair days
  • H- Hay rides, horseback riding, hot chocolate, harvest moons
  • I- Iris bulbs, Irish coffee, Indian corn
  • J- Jellies and jams, jackets, jerseys, jeans, junk stores
  • K- Kids laughing, kittens scampering, Kettle corn
  • L- Logs on the fire, leaf piles, layering, lounging at a lake house
  • M- Movie nights, mochachinos, marshmallows roasting on an open fire, making memories
  • N- Nibbling on nuts, nests, naps on nippy afternoons
  • O- Owls, oatmeal for breakfast, oldies on the radio, open windows at night
  • P- Piles of pumpkins, pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pretty flannel PJs, painting from nature
  • Q- Quilts, quiet walks
  • R- Riding a bike, raccoons, raking red leaves
  • S- Sunflowers, scarecrows, s'mores, savory soups, school supplies, sweaters, star-gazing, state fairs, singing for no reason, snuggling on the sofa with my sweetie
  • T- Tailgate parties, turtlenecks, tea for two, Thanksgiving, turkey and dressing
  • U- long Underwear, undertaking new projects
  • V- Vanilla extract, votive candles, voting
  • W- Wheat, wagons, warm cinnamon rolls
  • X- foXes, eXtra e-Bay boXes from Fed-eX
  • Y- Yellow mums, yummy yams
  • Z- fuZZy bunny slippers
Ahhh Awesome Autumn - Fun Fabulous Fall - Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Illustration Friday: Wedding (part 2)

Well, I just had to take the time after all to create a new illustration for "wedding" this week. Just couldn't get this phrase out of my head - plus, I wanted to do something way-girly with soft colors. I had also read a number of great wedding/marriage quotes that I wanted to share - so here goes - Enjoy!

"Don't marry the person you think you can live with; marry only the individual you think you can't live without." ~Dr. James C. Dobson
"Love is a flower which turns into fruit at marriage." ~Finnish Proverb
"A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person." ~Mignon McLaughlin
"Success in marriage does not come merely through finding the right mate, but through being the right mate." ~Barnett R. Brickner
"What a happy and holy fashion it is that those who love one another should rest on the same pillow." ~Nathaniel Hawthorne
"A happy marriage is a long conversation which always seems too short." ~Andre Maurois

And just for grins...

"A man in love is incomplete until he has married. Then he's finished." ~Zsa Zsa Gabor
"Marriage means commitment. Of course, so does insanity." ~Author Unknown
"Marriage halves our griefs, doubles our joys, and quadruples our expenses." ~English Proverb
"Men who have a pierced ear are better prepared for marriage - they've experienced pain and bought jewelry." ~Rita Rudner

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Illustration Friday: Wedding

Well, I would have loved to have taken the time to do something new for Illustration Friday this week, but when I saw that the topic was "Wedding" I knew I would have to post the invitation to my own recent wedding (June 23rd, 2007). I know quite a few of you have seen the artwork I did for my invitations (and you're rolling your eyes right about now saying "not again with the wedding stuff..."), but to some of you in Illustration Friday-land, this will be new. As you can tell by the invitation, it was a different sort of a wedding - very over-the-top country and western - but it was so much fun!

We had T-shirts made (CafePress) with this design that we used as our "going away" outfits. We were so exhausted and sweaty when this photo was taken because we had been dancing for a couple of hours...but gosh, we had a blast!!

And now to go WAY BACK, just for fun, here is a wedding-themed illustration I did circa 1981 when I was working for Christian Enterprises, a Christian gift manufacturer:

Boy, this was really old school - pen and ink (LOTS of stippling), watercolor, and rub-on Letraset letters for the verse (there certainly were no personal computers in those days with Photoshop). Well, the illustration may be outdated, but the scripture verse is timeless:

"Therefore what God has joined together let no man separate." Mark 10:9

John & Becky Schultea
June 23rd, 2007

Monday, September 17, 2007

Introducing Hope!

I am pleased, proud and ecstatic to announce the birth of PaPa John and Miss Becky's (mine and Johnny's) beautiful new granddaughter!! ~

Hope Madison
Friday, September 14th, 2007
11:04 AM
8 lbs. 2.8 oz.
20 inches long

We got these photos last night from Hope's Mommy Jill, John's 3rd daughter, so I got them posted just as soon as I could! Mom and baby Hope are doing just fine! What a blessing she is - only girl with 2 big brothers! She's got lots of wavy dark hair just like her Daddy Ryan. Johnny and I will be heading back to Louisiana next week to spend some time with Miss Hope and all the kids - can't wait!!

Such a cutie, huh?

Love the little LSU hat! (Mommy Jill is a BIG LSU fan)

Here's a photo of Mommy Jill, Daddy Ryan and the big brothers taken at our wedding in June...good looking and very sweet family!

My dear hubby and I couldn't be more proud - can ya tell?? :o)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Contemplating Styles & Techniques

I wonder if other artists deal with the subject of their "style" and what medium to use from time to time as I do? As I said in a previous post, I do have eclectic tastes - well, I also have a variety of styles of illustration (as well as new styles I want to explore) and often feel fickle about which one I should concentrate on. Thanks for indulging me as I ramble about this a bit...and by all means, feel free to leave a comment - I'd love to hear your thoughts, your own struggles, etc

Digital - "Cut Out" Style:

IF submission for "Float"

This is the style many of you are probably most familiar with - my layered cut-outs with drop shadows. I have been creating cut-out images since my first version of Painter (v3) back in the late 90's (used it to make cutesy web icons for an OLD website of mine) Here are my earliest cutouts - they have always been fun to make:

Then I picked up Painter again after a several year hiatus, upgraded to v9, and started a blog ostensibly to participate in Illustration Friday and build up my portfolio in 2005. With these illustrations (most of my IF work) I began to expand the cut-out concept and try new applications of it on full illustrations, including these...

IF submission for "Cats"

IF submission for "Sea"

The pros of this style/medium: 1) it's fairly unique, and 2) it's relatively quick and easy (and fun) to produce. The cons of this style/medium: 1) It's cutesy-ness limits it's appeal to the kid's market and maybe some parts of the women's/gift/craft market (but that's OK by me), and 2) it's"uniqueness" may somewhat limit it's wider appeal in general....hmmm. I have started doing some early experimentation with less cutesy - more modern "altered art" looking application of this technique - it's looking kinda promising...I hope to be able to share some finished pieces soon....stay tuned...

Traditional - Colored Pencil/Watercolor/Ink:

This was the staple for my artwork/illustration/product design since the early 80's when I first began my art career - to this day it is still more comfortable to me than digital, though the digital work is almost that comfortable to me now - (and the "undo" function is hard to resist!) My overall drawing style is what it is in all these pieces as well as my digital work -it's cute and whimsical and colorful. I have been heavily influenced by Mary Engelbreit over the years and still struggle to pull away from that and find my own voice - with varying degrees of success (You'll see black and white checks and dots showing up often :o)...

IF submission for "Wisdom"

'95 concept for a Bunny series/greeting card line/whatever

IF submission for "Sports"

Personal illustration

Pros of this style/medium - 1) Marketability? - at least in the women's/gift/greeting card market it still seems to be the most accepted, and 2) I still have better overall control in this medium. Cons - it takes longer, requires more space and is more messy. All this really speaks more to the medium though - what I really may be getting at here is; am I drawing/painting the wrong stuff...? Should I be doing more work like this still life I did for an auction in '02 - more realistic subjects...??

Painting for auction - watercolor and colored pencil

Digital - Realistic/Painterly

Mixed in with the digital cut out style, I created some IF pieces using digital media (Painter v9 still), but doing more realistic

IF submission for "Broken"

IF submission for "Red"

IF Submission for "Reflection" & "Moon"

I have thoroughly enjoyed creating these more painterly pieces - they allowed me to stretch my realistic "muscles" that needed some workout - they did take a while longer however - but still not as long as a traditional media piece of similar complexity. I think there is much more for me to explore here - might be the "best of both worlds" in some ways - the use of digital media to produce more traditional subject matter...??

Misc. - Mixed Media

Acrylic, colored pencil, ribbon, ric-rac, buttons and wire on cork board -
done as a swap with Holli Conger in '05

I LOVE doing this kind of piece - I love using fabrics, trims, etc. along with paint to make a textural collage-y treat - and there is even more that I would love to experiment with in this space (more "altered art" type of work - but with a bit of a whimsical twist). Here are a couple of artists that are doing this kind of work that I admire:

Holli Conger - "Junk-a-Doodles"

Roz Fulcher - Felt/Fabric Art


So, perhaps the real question should be - what am I trying to do with my artwork - what are my goals - what do I want to accomplish...? Here are a few goals/ideas (by the way, my over-arching goal in all I set out to do is to glorify God and encourage and bring joy - that is the primary driver behind all of this) :

Too broad...?? Too scattered...?? Should I select one or two and just focus on those...?? Can I dabble in all of them - if so, will that be all I ever do - dabble...?? Is that OK....?? Some of these are just rhetorical questions - some I think I know the answer to, some I really am struggling with...

It was good for me to write through this - I forget sometimes that one of the great benefits of blogging (or any kind of journal-keeping) is being able to clarify your thoughts and work out your dilemmas and challenges. Thanks for the opportunity to do just that - and as I said before, your comments are always welcome and greatly appreciated....