Apr 16, 2014

Pointillism Abstract in the Works

Dear Chicago House,

 Anyone following me on Facebook will have seen my weekend dabble in pointillism

pointillism  abstract
pointillism  abstract

It is a lovely relaxing painting technique where your painting is built from small dots of color. It is not a fast method and my design is far from complete.

pointillism  abstract
pointillism  abstract
I am using drawing ink and a fine brush ...and it will probably take me a few weeks to finish.

Love from

Creative in Chicago
XX

Apr 10, 2014

Seahorse Art: Different Mediums

Dear Chicago House,

Am I a little bit obsessed with seahorses? I didn't think so but maybe I am, as when I was browsing through this blog the other day I realized I  have three different pieces of art that feature this most wonderful of underwater creatures.


What's more the three pieces are all made with different mediums...who says art should be restricted to paint and paper... but is was where I started, with this watercolor


seahorse art -watercolor

My next adventure was with driftwood collected on the shores of Lake Michigan and I even shared how you can make a beautiful piece of driftwood art yourself in this post

seahorse art- driftwood

My final creation is long gone, washed away by a New Years tide on a Florida beach, and made simply from shells.

seahorse art- shell

I sure my adventures with seahorses are not over...who knows what I will use to create one next?

Love from

Creative in Chicago
XX

Apr 5, 2014

How to Create Pattern Dyed Eggs

Dear Chicago House,

Got 5-10 minutes spare. Why not have a go at making these fun dyed eggs for Easter?

pattern dyed eggs

You will need
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Gel food coloring
  • White vinegar
  • Painters masking tape tape
  • Craft knife
  • Plastic cup
  • Empty plastic bottle
how to dye eggs

How to create pattern dyed eggs 

  1. Start off by making your dye. Into a plastic cup add hot water so it is about 2/3rds full. Pu in a dollop of gel food coloring and give a good stir to make sure it is completely dissolved. Top up the cup with white vinegar so it is half full.
  2. Prepare your eggs. I am going to assume you know how to make hard boiled eggs. Once they have cooled cut thin stips of painters mask tape and stick them around the eggs. I went for a simple random placement but you could go for something more exotic.
    how to dye eggs
  3. Put you egg into the dye and turn the eggs over slowly with a spoon. the longer yuo leave the egg in the deeper the color.
  4.  Set the egg to dry on an uncapped bottle
  5. Once the egg is dry remove the painters tape
The dye only takes to the exposed area of the egg. Aren't they pretty.

how to dye eggs


Love from

Creative in Chicago

XX

Apr 1, 2014

Creative Picture Journaling: How to

Dear Chicago House,

Over a year ago I started a sketch journal. At the end of each day I sketch out a series of simple pictures that capture my day. Mr Chicago house and Miss Chicago teen enjoy seeing what I draw ... particularly if it involves them.

creative journaling


There are no great masterpieces..in fact some of the drawings are terrible. Put it down to late night  tired eyes syndrome, when I  have a difficult time focusing. Some days absolutely nothing interesting has happened. But  picture journaling is a great way of capturing the passing time and now I have started I find it difficult to stop.

How to keep a  Picture Journal

  1. Buy a good quality blank book...something that inspires you. I use these classic black sketch book available from Barnes and Noble.
  2. Invest in some drawing pens. I use fine line markers from Prismacolor
  3. Sketch what ever pops into your mind and be yourself. It may help to sketch at the same time everyday but don't beat yourself up if you miss a day. Below are some example sketches from my journal and because I am being myself there is a fair amount of swearing!

Here's the day I braved the cold and snapped these photos of ice on Lake Michigan

a sketch from my creative journal


and another when I had a bit of a melt down with my sewing machine while making this Christmas advent calendar. Mr Chicago bought some tools that day and Miss teen was rather irked that she had 50 pages of her AP euro book to read.

a sketch from my creative journal
Some days my picture is something as simple as enjoying time in the kitchen with Miss Teen
a sketch from my creative journal
and other days I just draw a pattern

a pattern from my creative journal
a pattern from my creative journal
picture journal

Love from

Creative in Chicago

XX

Mar 31, 2014

Dear Chicago House,

While spring break generally conjures up trips to the beach somewhere sunny and warm, beautiful white sand and lapping water, we do not march to the beat of the masses. How about somewhere cold, wet, grey and why not throw in a visit to Pennsylvania's Eastern State Penitentiary?

Yes please!

Eastern State Penitentiary:

I have to say this is one of the most amazing places I have ever visited

Eastern State Penitentiary:

It was opened in 1829 and closed in 1971 and today stands as a living relic with amazing peeling paint. I only wish I 'd have taken my big camera with me to capture it in better detail.

 and eerie prison wings with cell after cell
Eastern State Penitentiary:
Eastern State Penitentiary: barbers chair
Eastern State Penitentiary: operating room
Eastern State Penitentiary: hospital wing
Eastern State Penitentiary: haunted wing 12
Creepy, creepy creepy!

Love from

Creative in Chicago

XX

Mar 27, 2014

Unique Wooden Bird Feeder

Dear Chicago House,

I am. by nature, an optimistic person. I want to believe that Spring is right around the corner and I will soon be enjoying the hundreds of bulbs I planted in the fall and keeping my fingers crossed that one ones I planted in previous years, survived the wrath of the polar vortex.

I am so ready to get outside and start enjoying a bit of gardening and am currently  drawn to anything outdoorsy. In a farm shop I visited the other day I found these treasures... bird shaped bird feeders

bird feeder

The bird's body gets filled with seeds and it is delivered on the white tray underneath.

bird feeder
bird feeder

This lovely yellow one was my favorite and I would have bought one but I feared the shape of it would give the squirrels that plague my garden, too easy an access ...despite using a baffle.

bird feeder

Sweet though!

Love from

Creative in Chicago

XX

Mar 18, 2014

Dabbling in Water Soluble Oil Paints

Dear Chicago House,

Today the sun is shining and the snow is melting. I can at last see some of my front lawn...it maybe brown and rather disgusting looking but it's a start and I am going to take it.

One of the things I have been dabbling with  during this miserably cold winter are water soluble oil paints, and this past weekend I completed my first canvas.

Here is a close up

oil painting of birds on sea shore

and the entire composition of three sea birds on a Florida beach. It helped me to paint something that brought back warm sunny memories while dealing with "The Mother" of all winters!

oil painting of birds on sea shore

I have never taken any art classes so Miss Chicago Teen has been giving me a few pointers.
She even joined me for a few of my painting sessions and is painting a much larger canvas.

miss chicago teen painting in oils

Painting along side her was a bit intimidating as she can literally throw the paint on the canvas and it looks good.  I promise to share it when it's finnished.

We both painted from photographs and used our ipads to display them.

oil painting of birds on sea shore

One of the most useful tips she gave me was to pick a neutral color and paint all the shadows in first. In photo above the far right bird is just rendered mostly in blue and this concept can be seen even more clearly in the lover two thirds of Miss Chicago teens painting.

miss Chicago teen painting in oils

I am excited to break out another canvas and continue with my dabbling!

water soluable oil paints

Love from

Creative in Chicago

XX