Friday, June 26, 2015

Finished at Last

     Finally!  I finished the coverlet for my bed. 

     Please don't judge me harshly.  Married 33 years to a mechanic made me very thrifty.  And old habits die hard.  I learned to make things from others' junk and castoffs.  Being a quilter, I've accumulated quite a "stash" of fabrics.  So my idea of cleaning house is to use up as much fabric as possible in a utilitarian way - namely a quilt.

     Here's a quick progression.  

I sewed 3" strips together, then cut them into 3" strips.
These strips were joined to make  squares.
And the squares were joined to squares of muslin to form strips.

       And the strips were joined to make the top middle of the bedspread.  Then more strips were added to expand it to fit the full size bed.  Then, the thrifty really kicked in.  I had some old window valances in the closet that I split to form the border.  The fun part was - they were already hemmed.
Now I have my lightweight coverlet for the summer.  (Big Smile!)
     Here is a similar coverlet that my Mom and DeeDee (grandmother) made in the 30's from my grandfather's silk ties.  Then they embroidered feather stitching around all the joins.
     And you ask why it stays in the closet?  Because Miss Honey loves to roll in anything smelly, then roll on the bed.  So, now you know why I don't put anything expensive on my bed. And I'm too cheap to pay dry cleaning bills.  Told you I sacrifice for that doggie!

     Oh, and the dust ruffle - it is two brocade tablecloths and an old sheet from a garage sale.

Now, try to  be thrifty today,

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Miss Honey

                    Christmas 2011 was getting nearer and I was lonely and depressed.  The weather had                   been gloomy, wet, and cold.  I had had 3 dog portrait commissions in a row.  It had been 6                   years since I'd had a dog, having had one in the family from birth.  So, it was only natural for               me to be yearning for doggy companionship, having lived on my own for those 6 years.
                   I looked online to see what breeds were best for apartments.  Shih Tzu was one                             mentioned.  So, when I contacted the animal shelter and was told they had a Shih Tzu, I drove             out to inspect.  There were 5 rooms with kennels in 2 rows each.  The second room housed the             Shih Tzu, but, I made a thorough inspection of all rooms before returning to the second room.             I had asked the Lord on the way over to give me a peace and a surety of the one I should take.            When I returned to the Shih Tzu, I knelt down and said, "Honey, (being from the south, I call               everyone "Honey") you're coming home with me, and your name is 'Honey'".  At that point I               was sure!
                     Honey was in a kennel between a large lab and a German Shepherd.  She was huddled                shivering in a puddle of her own pee.  Even the leash they provided was soaked in pee.  We                went immediately to the vet.
 Honey after a week at the vet's
Crystal from Honey's bladder

     He found this large crystal in her bladder. Her recovery was rather quick, but she was weak and shy.  By the time I paid the vet bill and accumulated everything a small dog would need, I was out of pocket 2 paychecks.  I was really beginning to doubt my decision to be a dog owner.  The first few weeks were an emotional roller coaster with Honey.  I put her on Craig's List twice, but just couldn't give her up.  I had made a commitment, and we were beginning to bond.  It was like having a baby in the house.  She was constantly demanding and my liberty was fleeting.
     Once again, I started thinking I'd made a serious mistake in keeping Honey, and once again began wondering if I ought to give her away.  Quite suddenly, I could hear that inner voice speaking rather loudly, "NO - I did not give you away.  I died on the cross to keep you - you will keep her as a reminder.  I sacrificed My life for you, and you will sacrifice for her".  Couldn't argue with that!
     It took 2 years for Miss Honey and me to trust one another and become buddies.  Well, as you dog owners know, it took 2 years for Miss Honey to train me.  She is a great companion - still stubborn and demanding at times, but really a very good dog.  We have a house with a fenced in back yard now (chosen specifically for her).  And she gets the occasional play time with the Good Flea's Chewy and Gadget.  Aaaaahh, Miss Honey has the good life and a happy human.
 Honey walking the park in Style!
"Pretty Please"  portrait of Honey in watercolor and color pencil 2014 by Kareen Ramsey

     So, now, when I refer to Honey, you'll know who I'm referring to.

So, be a honey to someone today,

PS  I tried to copy and paste from Word.  The text was too big. 
 But, Blogger had already saved the format.
So, when I typed the text, it was in the former format.
Does anyone know how I can correct this?  Please let me know.
Thanks, K

Monday, June 22, 2015

Kareen's Artwork: Progressions

Kareen's Artwork: Progressions:      People are always asking me, "Is it hard to draw that?"  "How do you do that?"  "How long does it take?" ...


     People are always asking me, "Is it hard to draw that?"  "How do you do that?"  "How long does it take?"  "But, it looks easy."
     So, today, I'll take you through the process.  Not all of my drawings are done this way - but, the process is similar for most.
     I work from photos - either hard copy or digital.  But, they all end up in the computer to manipulate in Photo Shop.  This way I can play around with background colors or combine people and/or pets.

      Here I printed out my google image picture on glossy paper.  Since I used 9"x12" bristol board for my surface, I also printed out a copy on computer paper.   I transferred the picture to the board using my homemade graphite paper (the black paper you see behind the photo). Simple tracing! Now I have a faint copy on the board to start the drawing. 
     For larger drawings, I print out a transparent copy to put on my overhead projector.

      In this particular drawing, I was experimenting with the Derwent Inktense blocks.  They are solid color pencil - water soluble.  When dampened, they fill in all the white spaces so evident in regular color pencil drawings.  It gives an intense ink like wash.  These are great for backgrounds.  The smaller orange areas, I used Prismacolor watercolor pencils. These are good for small areas.  
      Please have fun trying out different mediums and experimenting.  It's fun to find a new favorite now and then.

          Here, I just kept refining it with lightfast Prismacolor pencils.  The small black areas, are                                                                               India Ink.

     The finished product!  It was sprayed many times with a workable fixative to prevent smudging.  Then I always recommend an acid free mat to keep the glass off the drawing.  Color pencils are wax base and in high heat could make the drawing cling to the glass if touching.  And always keep it out of direct sunlight.  
     This drawing took about 15 hours spread out over a week in my spare time.  And is it hard to do?  No, it is great fun and relaxing.  And any creative endeavor is very satisfying.  After all, we are created in the image of God who is the Great Creator.  

Have a creative week,

Thursday, June 18, 2015

My Second Passion

     I've been sewing since I was five years old.  My grandmother (DeeDee) taught me how to embroider.  The dime store sold a prepatterned material encased in a plastic frame with a simple design to make it easy for children to learn.
     I sewed most of my college clothes, then the children's clothes and my husbands work shirts.
And then I discovered QUILTING!  At first it was some very awkward looking scraps thrown together for dog covers for the back of our old school bus yellow VW van.  Then I progressed to aplique and trapunto.  But, piecing has always been the standby when I start to feel guilty about all the fabric cluttering my closet.  You quilters know all about "the Stash"!

My sewing/craft room

     I just started a light coverlet quilt for the summer.  Here I'll show you my progress so far.  And in future posts I'll show the finished product.  Hopefully very soon.

     I've just sewn strips together, then cut them every 3".  These will be sewn together to make squares which will be sewn together in rows that will be joined to make the quilt top. 

     This is one I sewed about fifteen years ago.  But it is somewhat similar to the one I'm working on now.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

In Olden Days

I've been reminiscing about my maternal grandparents lately. They were divorced in the 1950s and took turns living with us in their later years.  PawPaw was a district judge in Baton Rouge, LA, and DeeDee was a socialite.  He loved hunting and deep sea fishing, and she could shoot when she wasn't at a tea or playing with grand kids.
I drew this picture of them for my brother from two separate black and white photos I joined in Photo Shop.

"To the Hunt" colored pencil, watercolor, ink 2014

I just have to add these next two photos from my Mom's album.  I love old clothes.  I'm sure that DeeDee and her friends thought they were the grandest in their latest fashion.  How we laugh looking back, and yet how charming.

DeeDee and her cousin Lulie

But, my all time favorite is this one.

DeeDee and Lulie - bathing beauties

I asked DeeDee if she had trouble swimming in all that fabric.  She just laughed and told me that no one knew how to swim.  They were there to get some sun and attract the boys. 
Well, I guess times haven't changed so much.  Girls are still luring the guys, and the guys would still rather be hunting and fishing.

I was so blessed to have my grand parents live with us when I was growing up.  They taught us kindness, service, and respect for our elders.  I wish more families could experience such a blessing.

I hope y'all have a very blessed day,

Friday, June 12, 2015

Working It

My daughter The Good Flea came over two days ago and walked me through setting up this blog.  Since then, I've been tinkering  with it.  It is fun learning, and I enjoy the challenge (just not really big ones).

I'm still having trouble getting the slide show going.  And the Comments section isn't working right now.  At least that is what I'm told.  So, please bare with me until next week when the Good Flea comes back to help me work out all the kinks.

Until then, I'll add a picture or two of my latest drawings.  My younger daughter whom I'll call HoneyHair (it was when she was little, and I still think of her that way), asked me to send her a drawing for her office wall.  And I did one just for fun of a statue on Rossini's tomb from my visit to Italy two years ago.


"Butterflies on Lantana", color pencil and ink 2015 

"Grief" India ink 2013

Thanks for visiting and "y'all come back real soon".

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

My First Post

"Dixie", a color pencil drawing by Kareen Ramsey circa 2004

Welcome to my blog about my artwork.  This picture of Dixie was my first endeavor in the professional realm of portraiture.  She was a lab mix, never well trained.  A lovable galoot of a dog. She was lost to Hurricane Katrina because there was no room in our car when evacuating.  

"Audubon Park Squirrel" a color pencil drawing by Kareen Ramsey 2015
 Thanks for visiting my site.  I'll be posting again soon and sharing some tutorials and my latest works in progress.

Until we meet again,