Saturday, January 24, 2015

Grow Your Blog Party-Meet and Greet

Welcome to Grow Your Blog  Meet and Greet Party hosted by Vicki Boster at For those of you who don't know me my name is Erin Houghton - I  am retired and a lover of  gardening, painting, photography, re-purposing and finding vintage and flea market finds for my home and garden - some of which end up in one of my paintings. 

 Part of the fun of creating is sharing  and I started my blog to share the joy of creating all things that make my heart sing.

Along the way blogging has become a fun way for me to make new friends all over the world who share similar interests as well as open my eyes to new and interesting ideas for my home and garden.
It changed my life in ways I never dreamed of and as a result several magazines have published my photographs and used them to write articles about my home, art and garden and I was invited to be a Contributing Editor to a new on line life style magazine Southern Guide to Life . Just goes to show that you never know who may discover your blog!!

Meet Bentley, My Studio Assistant, he is a rescue Soft Coat Wheaten Terrier and was 2 when he became part of our family and is almost always involved in my blog.

                 My garden gate is  always open to welcome you.  My blog takes my readers on seasonal tours or visits around my small space garden that is divided into rooms and gives tips on container gardening and using flea market finds in the garden. We also leave the garden to explore - here - there -everywhere!

Spring with the container flowers in full bloom.

                          Summer on the  kitchen patio with newly painted "faux" flagstones and flea market finds.


                                           Fall  in the garden with my metal dress form "Blossom"

Winter/Christmas - note Blossom traveled to a new spot in the garden for Winter - she moves around a lot and likes to wear different outfits.

Sometimes we have "art in the garden" where I share with you the flowers or vintage items  that inspired my art.


My mother's family was from Ireland and I grew up in a family where sharing a cup of tea with friends was an act of friendship, and it has become part of my blog to offer you a cup of tea.

Sometimes we have tea in the garden or the kitchen if it is chilly outside. 

Some times I share my re-purposed  flea market finds in my cottage home with my readers.

                  I live in Southern California just over a mile from charming Balboa Island on beautiful  Newport Bay across from the Pacific Ocean. We may take the ferry to Balboa Island to my visit the annual art show (where I sometimes show my art) or look at the charming cottages for inspiration.


We may  go to Rogers Gardens in the fall to look for pumpkins or inspirations to paint and if you want you can join in on my art 101 class and paint something yourself.

Some of the easy Art 101 paintings we have painted  together..

                        At Christmas time you are invited to my cottage home and garden tour and  if you want you can  join in and paint a cute snowman painting in one of my Art 101 classes.

                              My art studio in my garage where we have our Art 101 lessons.

                               Sometimes we go to Old Town Orange to visit charming shops.This is the studio of my friend  artist Libby Williamson who is a designer, teacher and fabric artist.

                                                        Some of Libby's fabric creations.

                                                          GIVE AWAY

  I am a lucky 13 year breast cancer survivor and use my "pink"  art to help raise money to find a cure during October Breast Cancer Awareness month. To celebrate Vicki's fabulous Grow Your Blog Party I am giving away one of my most popular original  8x10 paintings of a pink bicycle in a lavender field.  All you need to do to enter is leave me a comment that you would like to be in the drawing - everyone is eligible including international visitors.  The winner will be randomly picked and the winner announced on February 15, 2015 on my blog.

Thank you for stopping by.  For those of you new to my blog I am delighted to meet you.  For my regular readers I sincerely appreciate your visits, e-mails, comments and those who follow my blog.

Thank you to Vicki Boster for hosting the Grow Your Blog Party.  Please stop by her blog to join the meet and greet party at where you will be able to visit lots of new blogs and meet everyone participating.

Have a lovely day.    Blessings, Erin

I always end my blog with a Bible verse or Psalm.

         Peace be to you, and peace to your house, and peace to all that you have."  1 Samuel 25:6

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Creating With Eastside Art Group

Welcome.  I am so happy that you stopped by.  My studio is open for you to come in and sit and relax with a cup of tea while I share with you some of the art created from card board boxes by the Eastside Art Group.  

Bentley, my Studio Assistant, is waiting in the studio to show you around and the fun we had.  Our Eastside Art Group is made up of 8 very talented and diverse artists who once a month  get together to teach a class and share their artistic gifts. With so much diversity in the group during the past 2 years we have painted Roses, Sunflowers, Hydrangeas, done metal work and made jewelry, made clay beads, journals, gourd dolls, drums, scarves,fun sewing projects and print making, made adorable Santas and Witches from gourds and learned to use wax and plaster on wood surfaces. as well as wood burning.

My studio very quickly went from this .......

To this . . . . . . .as Marilyn Gallas taught a class on making charming books from re-purposed and reused cardboard using ink, paper, paint, paper packing tape , scissors, etc.  Marilyn is a very talented  artist who combines her love for photography with mixed media, paper, paints, inks, collages, etc. and has a popular blog  where you can read more about her class. 

 Everyone started creating in their own style.  Most of the artists used 10x5 pieces of card board for their art and cut the edges fairly  neatly for their books.

I received an 8x8 box at Christmas and fell in love with the hand  written words the manufacturer wrote on the shipping box -" Made With Love" and decided to use the box for my project.  I cut up the box using a serrated kitchen knife that left the edges ragged.  The ragged box and wording lead me to create a whimsical cottage garden book. 

I decided to decorate my little book with handwritten garden quotes in keeping with the handwriting on the cover and keep the paintings very whimsical and simple.

The pages were put together with paper packing tape and we left any labels on the boxes showing to add character.

All of the artists are different and it is so much fun to see how the art projects turn out.

Libby Williamson is a fabulous teacher, designer and fabric artist and tends to paint more with her hands than a brush. The art she creates is colorful, whimsical and charming !

Libby uses a lot of recycled material in her art and the piece she is holding on the right of the photo is a smashed up egg carton that she painted and was using to incorporate into her art.

Diane Calderwood is an amazing gourd artist and teacher and loves the outdoors, organic art, travel and creating art from recycled materials.   Bentley adores her and  was so happy when she let him sit in her lap and help her  in creating a photo album of a  trip that she and her family took. She  made little pockets to hold family  photos.

Norma Prickett is an amazing teacher, gourd and doll artist and generally creates something in our classes for her adorable Granddaughter.  Today she created a little book for herself and used various papers embellished with paint, stamps and inks as well as actually carved out designs in the cardboard to add texture.


 Marilyn, our teacher for the day, created a book using mainly black and white.  She also did a lot of carving out on the cardboard to add dimension.

Linda Bucci is the visionary who put our Eastside Art Group together.  She is a published jewelry designer, mixed media artist, teacher and metal smith.  She created a dramatic cardboard book using lots of black and sparkle and cutouts made from the cardboard.  She has a new blog where she shares tips on art, art shows and happenings and her beautiful jewelry and you can visit her at

Jacki Long is a teacher, collage and mixed media artist, and graphic designer,.  She had to leave early before she finished her collage art  shown below.

I borrowed the collage below  she made of some of the works in progress to share with you. You can see more of Jacki's wonderful completed collage art on her blog at where she posts every day - yes a blog post every day!!!

Thank you for stopping by.  I sincerely appreciate your visits, e-mails, comments and those who follow my blog.  I will be on a little blog break while my floors are being refinished and will be back on 
January 25th to participate in Vicki Boster's Grow Your Blog Meet and Greet Blog Party over at 

"To set the mind of the Spirit is life and peace."  Romans 8:6