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Friday, December 12, 2014

Christmas Cottage Home/Garden Tour

Welcome.  I am so happy that you stopped by. Since I  have had so many requests from my readers to see my home/garden decorated for Christmas  I decided to have a little home/garden tour.  My front door is open for you to come in and enjoy a cup of spiced tea and take a little Holiday  home tour - this is where my family and friends celebrate Christmas and the birth of Jesus and enjoy the joy and warmth of the season.

                                       The garden entrance to our home.

                     Bentley, my Studio Assistant, is waiting to welcome you.

 The red front door opens into the dining room that opens into the living room where the blue cupboard is.  I bought the  cupboard at a garage sale across the street - it was originally in a neighbors garage and used for tool storage and is one of my favorite finds for $25.00 .  I removed the bolted down vice and painted it blue.   With the exception of the dining room all of the ceilings are high and open beam.

I fell in love with the red front door and wonderful light in my house and bought it on the spot.

This shot shows the dining room table without a cloth -it is an early 1800's  pine 3 leg "cricket" table that I had strengthened to hold the weight of the round glass so it will seat six comfortably.

I am often asked what my decorating style is and I suppose you could call it  flea market  "coastal cottage". My home is very casual - filled with sea shells, baskets, flea market finds and my coastal cottage art.  Books are stacked everywhere  in the living room and we call it the "reading room"  as it is the perfect place to read -enjoy long visits- cozy fires - music - or just day dream!

I like to keep our Christmas decorations simple and natural and use  fresh greens, berries, sea shells, and little American flags and bring lots of potted bulbs and Poinsettias into the house from my garden. The Christmas tree is a living one that lives in the garden and is placed on a vintage fern stand in the living room.   When it gets too big to bring into the house - my gardener finds a home for it and plants it in the ground. 

I just painted the large coastal cottage painting over the mantel  - it is a little Christmas present for my house- and II decided not to add any decorations or greenery as the painting  already has so much color.

                     I love the way my old paint brushes look in a blue and white vase.

The French doors and window look out onto the garden.  The outdoor plants do very well in this room as there is so much light. The burlap wine bags are filled with greens, berries and tiny flags.

View of the garden from the living room French doors  all decorated for Christmas - the pillows are all indoor/outdoor so I can leave them out in the rain.

                    View of the garden eating area from the window in the living room.

                            My kitchen is furnished with more  flea market finds.

                                  The French doors overlook a little patio kitchen garden.

View of the little garden off my kitchen French doors where I grow herbs for cooking and have morning tea.  I use a lot of red accent pillows year round  in my house and garden - they are perfect for Christmas decorating - the rest of the year I mix the red with stripes and/or florals so it does not look so much like Christmas year round. I buy them in indoor/outdoor fabrics and they last for years.

This used to be the outdoor eating area of the garden and I recently switched it around and made it into a little reading nook.
This little nook is where I keep some of my rusty flea market finds.

                      Bentley is waiting on the stair landing to give you a little peek at the guest room upstairs.

                           Guest room decorated for Christmas waiting for guests to arrive.

Thank you for stopping by.  I sincerely appreciate your visits, e-mails, comments and those following my blog. I will be taking a blog break to be with my family and will return January 1, 2015.

          "When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy."  Matthew 2:10

May the Peace and Joy of Christmas be with you and your family throughout the New Year.

Thank you to our Service Men and Women and their Families who give up so much to protect our freedoms.

Blessings, Erin

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Paint Along with New Snowman Paintings

Welcome.  I am so happy that you stopped by.  My studio is always open for you to come in and sit and relax for a few minutes with a cup of tea while I share with you the inspirations for my art.  One of my customers asked me to paint little snowmen canvases using burlap or burlap trim/ribbon etc.  that she could use as favors on the table at a Christmas luncheon.  She is using burlap table runners - tiny red and green apples, red berries and bright green leaves for decorations and wanted the base color on the canvases to be a bright green.

I thought it would be fun to share the process with you in the event you want to make your own.  Bentley. my Studio Assistant, is waiting to welcome you into the studio.

I have two snowmen with the reds and apple greens similar to the colors she  wants for her Christmas luncheon

The indoor/outdoor chair cushions on the wicker rockers are the perfect colors.

I used 3x3, 4x4 and 5x5 gallery wrapped canvases as you can see by the photo below that the gallery wrapped canvases stand on their own and are perfect for a table setting.  You can paint yours on any size - they would be cute on blocks of wood or traditional canvas.  

I used the reds and greens on the burlap to echo the colors the hostess is using.

The little canvases stand well on their own and make charming little table decorations.

I found 5x5 burlap canvases at Aaron Brother for 50% off.  The burlap canvas is a little difficult to paint on as it does not take the paint as well as the cotton canvas.  I used white gesso to paint the burlap canvas snowmen bodies and 2 coats of heavy body liquitex to paint the hats, scarf and details.  

I used liquitex heavy body in a bright green to base coat the cotton canvas snowmen and painted the bodies and details with liquitex heavy body paint.  You can use craft paint - it is much thinner and will take 2-3 coats - however - it will work just as well.

I bought squares of burlap made by Mat Stack and found the sheets were easier to use than actual burlap material off a blot.  I was able to fringe the edges before gluing to the canvas and thought it gave it a nice look.

Below is a sample snowman drawing  - you can also find other  snowmen and snowlady drawings and instructions under Art 101 on the navigation bar at the top of my blog.

I added  a small screw eye hook on top of the square gallery wrapped canvas to add a little ribbon for decoration. Use caution in adding decorations or details to your paintings that small children or pets  may put in their mouth. 

For this one I attached  a piece of burlap cloth to the painted canvas using Liquitex gel medium to the top and bottom - you can also use mod podge to attach the burlap to the canvas.  The white body was painted with white gesso and the details painted with heavy body liquitex.  A small screw eye hook was attached to the top of the canvas to use to attach the ribbon and burlap.  The one below was painted on the mat stack sheet and I like the way the paint looks better on the square than on the actual canvas burlap - it reminds me of an old fashion sampler.

Thank you for stopping by.  I sincerely appreciate your visits, e-mails, comments and those who follow my blog.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

'Have a lovely week.  Blessings,  Erin

                                         "Always be full of joy in the Lord."  Philippians 4:4