Part of what Cynthia likes to capture in her photography is what she and her father started doing when she was a wee little one. They would travel around the countryside in southwest MN looking for abandoned houses and farmsteads. To this day, the excitement of seeing these abandoned or neglected properties is beyond any words that could be written. He would remind Cynthia that there are stories behind these places and sometimes, they would even make up their own.
In her words
I am fortunate to have found someone who can share the excitement of back-roading and photography with me; we tied the knot last November. Dan always has a way to make me smile. We share our home with two adorable, stubborn, and mischievous Dachshunds – Tindra and Audrey. They become very excited, and somehow know, when they get to go on a photography outing with us. We are proud to be owned by a Dachshund or two 🙂
Photography allows me to view the world differently as there is beauty all around us. With creativity, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and sometimes this allows us to turn any ordinary item into a piece of art. I encourage you to open your eyes and see the beauty around you in everything and everyone.
To read the stories behind the photographs and photographer visit Cynthia’s blogor website.
i Recently, I was thinking about how important details are in artwork. For my most recent DIY projects, I’ve give you an overview tutorial on how to make each craft. What I’m going to show you for this one is the details for a watercolor flower. It didn’t take long and you could add so many more flowers to this one to turn it into something lovely. The flower is very basic so there are no excuses here!
Things You Will Need:
*Watercolor paper is preferable, but cardstock is more common. Either will work. You can find them at craft stores like Michael’s.
Wet your paint and dip you brush back in the water. Then, lightly dry it on the paper towel.
Paint the petal. The color should be very light like in the image above.
Dip the brush back in the paint, then lightly dry it on the towel again. Paint your second layer like in the above image.
Dip your brush back in the paint. This time, don’t dry it. Just paint a thin line around the edge of the petal to create a shadow effect.
Repeat steps 1-4 for the remaining petals.
If you’ve had enough, you can start painting some accent elements like vines or leaves.
If you think it looks a little rough, you can outline it with a black sharpie. This helps to clean up the lines and give some detail.
Let me know what you think! Did you like this tutorial? Would you like to see more of these types of tutorials?
My mom’s birthday was last week so my family and I decided to take a trip to Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh. My mom LOVES plants (that is no understatement). They are all over my parents’ house, so I knew she would thoroughly enjoy the 17 botanical gardens at Phipps. I had never been there, but I have seen picture that friends taken. It looked beautiful, but was nothing compared to the real thing.
There was an artist exhibition while we were there as well, and you know I wasn’t going to miss taking pictures of that. All of the pieces were glass sculpture variations created by artist Dale Chihuly. Check out his work, it is fantastic. You can check out more of his art in the botanical gardens as well.
Below are some cool shots I got while we were walking through, but if you ever make it into the area, you have to check it out for yourself. Pictures don’t do it justice. I apologize for the lack of descriptions in some of the captions. I’m really not a flower person and don’t know the name of some of the plants, so “pink flower” had to suffice.
Spiral glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly
Instrument fountain in gardens
Hand painted instrument. I think it’s a cello. It was larger than a violin but smaller than a bass.
Flower garden close up
Close up of instrument fountain. It actually lit up and sprayed water out of each instrument. Pretty neat!
Glass sun sculpture by Dale Chihuly
A tequila plant. Yes, this is the actual plant we get tequila from.
Sausage spurge cactus
I don’t remember what kind of cactus this is, but the arms looked pretty cool.
Golden barrel cactus. Supposedly, you can cut this open and get water from them.
Americana cactus. This is probably the coolest looking plant I’ve ever seen. It looks prehistoric or something.
More of the americana cactus.
Some type of cactus
Rock fountain with fish
Outdoor garden. It looks like something out of the movie the Secret Garden.
Another phenomenal sculpture by Dale Chihuly
In the train room, there were set ups like this where dinosaurs were taking over. Made me laugh.
Train room, again
Glass reed sculpture by Dale Chihuly
I have no idea what this is. So I’m just going to call it an orange and pink flower.
Who doesn’t love a tree house? You can’t honestly say that you didn’t make a tree house as a kid, right? I hope not. I was always climbing around when I was little and making tree houses was one of my favorite past times. This tree house is waaaaay beyond anything I could’ve dreamed up though. this is just proof that you should never let go of your childhood hobbies. As an adult you can make them so much greater.
This tree house is better know as the Hemloft. It is a “secret” (and I put that in quotes because it can’t be a secret if there are pictures on the internet) tree house deep in the woods of Whistler, Canada. The maker used plywood ribs to make the frame and scavenged wood to fill in the rest. To learn more about the Hemloft, check out the original post on My Modern Met.
If you live in or around PA, you should spend a weekend in Cook Forest. It is one of the most relaxing, non-commercialized areas I’ve ever visited. It is a national park with plenty of camping areas, bed and breakfasts, and a few hotels. I guess I should preface this with, if you don’t like being outdoors, maybe don’t try vacationing here.
What is Cook Forest
Cook Forest is a great place just to get away, even if it’s just for the weekend. There’s no cell phone reception so, even if you want to reconnect with the world, you can’t (unless you need it so badly that you’re willing to drive about 15 miles to get it).
My boyfriend and I spent the weekend up there at a lodge called Clarion River Woodland Lodge and it was awesome. The lodge is a combination bed and breakfast with a restaurant and bar. The chef there made the some of the best food I’ve ever tasted (including pork belly mac and cheese, Dr, Pepper braised beef short ribs, Carmel Apple pork chops, bacon or duck fat fries, etc. not to mention the fantastic Easter buffet). Breakfast was included in our stay, and it was within a few miles from some great hiking trails.
The best part? We were in great company. We met some very nice people (some of which stayed at the Clarion River Woodland Lodge, all who worked there, and some nice people on the trails) while we were up there that really made the whole trip for us.
I really wish I could share pictures of the lodge, but I didn’t take any. I know, shame on me 🙁 but we will be going again so I’ll be sure to take some then. Here’s some shots from a 7 mile hike we took yesterday.
Everyone needs something to spice up a room. A little pop of color or some wall art usually does the trick. Even as an artist, I find a lot of artwork to be too expensive, so I think it is important for people to be able to create their own decorative art. When you’re looking to upgrade a room, you aren’t necessarily looking to spend a lot of money doing it. Save the billion dollar artwork for the art collectors and make your own decorative elements.
With this DIY project, I wanted to accomplish just that. Originally, I wanted to use several more mini canvas, but I thought I would test it out with these 4 to see how I liked it. You can get these canvases at any craft store and, if they are on sale, you can get them pretty cheap. Watch for the deals.
Things You Will Need
2 4×4 black mini canvases
2 4×4 white mini canvases
As usual, don’t forget the newspaper.
Paint your white canvases two different colors. I chose orange and red because it will look good with the white paint.
Let them dry.
Position the canvas so that the black canvas and the colored canvases are diagonal to each other like in the image above.
Get out your white paint and make some fun designs that span the canvases. You can experiment with different colors or brushes to get a different effect.
Hang them up for some fun, new accented wall art!
I plan to add more canvases throughout the summer. Maybe I can take over the whole wall, haha. Wouldn’t that look awesome?!
Hopefully you give it a shot if you like my results. It was an enjoyable project and, if you add 10 or so canvases, it could make a great family weekend DIY project!
I was browsing the other day and found a DIY tutorial on http://recycle-craft.com I thought you guys would like. It is similar to my Cardboard Flower Wreath tutorial from a while back. Honestly, I like her method better. I will have to try using spray paint next time instead of acrylics. The effect is much nicer.
This is a cute one for giving out candy for the holidays. I made these for Valentine’s Day. They are especially great for children because you can’t fit a ton of candy in there, so they aren’t eating a crapload of sugar.
This one is soooo cute and I really want to try to make it. I wasn’t sure what to call it because it looks like a wind chime, but it doesn’t have any elements that would make noise in the wind. We’ll just call it a wind chime.
Anyway, this one doesn’t have a tutorial attached to it, but I don’t think it would be hard to make. Some toilet paper rolls, paint, a sealant, some wire, and clear thread and I think that’s it.
If you have more to add, let me hear it! Leave your ideas in the comments.
You still send birthday cards, right? I hope so, because people appreciate them. Sometimes they appreciate them more, though, if you make your own.
My friend Jennifer at Station Teen Makes and sells some really cute whimsical stationary. The goal of the business is to encourage teen girls to build strong relationships with family and friends while also providing a community for them to share and appreciate good design. I completely endorse the idea.
Station Teen has a really awesome video tutorial on a DIY Cupcake card that I wanted to share with you. A fun, bright, adorable card.
If you liked the video tutorial, make sure you let her know!