Category Archives: painting

Ideas for Pumpkins!

Since the weather has begun to cool down a bit, more layers are added to our outfits, and the smell of pumpkin spice is filling my room…I thought I would do a post about one of the pumpkins I decorated last year.  I have loved the fall for as long as I could remember.  As I have gotten older I have wanted summer to end to see the leaves change, watch football games, and drink hot coffees outside.  My mom is huge on noticing the small things in life.  One statement I have heard hundreds of times in my life from her is

Take note.

I now say this to my friends and family members.  This can be used for any situation.  At anytime.  During the fall season is when Mama says it the most.  “Allie, Take note of that tree on the right.” (the leaves have begun to change color)  “Allie, Take note of those squirrel nests.”  (my niece is the master at finding squirrel homes thanks to my mama’s teaching.) “Allie, Take note of that sunset.”  The possibilities are endless.

So take note of the beautiful weather change, and an idea for pumpkins.  Carving pumpkins is a must.  I have never gone a year without carving a pumpkin for Halloween.  I love decorating for each holiday (take a look at my previous post where I explain how to create some yummy 4th of July treats)

I love to give gifts.  Especially during all the different holiday seasons.  Not just Christmas presents, or birthday presents, but for all of the holidays.  If you are going to give them a present, why not make it a holiday themed gift?  Doc is a man that owns an auto repair shop.  I have taken my 1994 Honda there many a times in the past, and now my family takes their cars there for repairs too.  I love local mom and pop shops.  At Docs you can sit down and have a cup of coffee and shoot the shit for hours with the regulars.  Doc is like another dad in my life.  He is also my landlord.  I have been out to his home and had drinks with him and his wife.  His son is my neighbor, and I get along well with his daughter.  Overall I feel very comfortable at Doc’s auto shop, and I wanted to make him something that he could put out for the Halloween season.  So here is it!

Painted Pumpkin:

I decided to paint a pumpkin because it will last a lot longer, and I love to paint.  Also by doing this you are able to make it very specific and unique.

  • Get a pumpkin.  Make sure it has a good surface (not too many bumps or cracks, this will make it easier to paint)
  • Next draw out your design on paper, I did this and then cut the paper so I could put this on the pumpkin to make sure the design will fit.  You don’t have to do this, but I recommend it.
  • Once you have the design made, (and made sure the image fits) use a pen/sharpie/marker to draw out the outlines for the design.  This is will assist you while painting.
  • Use acrylic paint.
  • You can use water to make it more transparent or mix different colors to create a new color.
  • Start to paint!  Use any brush you feel comfortable with.
  • Let it dry, (it won’t take long at all).  If you are going to keep it inside you don’t need to put on a clear coat for protection.  But if you are going to put it outside you need to let it dry and then then use the add a clear coat.  I usually use a spray paint form of the clear enamel.  But any kind you find will work.  But the paint must be dry or it will smear and be ruined.
  • You can add any 3D pieces by attaching them with a glue gun.  Or glitter with glue.  Make it beautiful.  Make it full.  Keep it simple.  Whatever you want!
  • Once it is finished, sit back and enjoy your piece.

Here is my example I made for Doc: 

I didn’t take a photo of just the outline drawn on the pumpkin, but you can see it in this photo.  The blue is the start of the flames that went around the whole pumpkin.

Next step, white detailed outline around the blue flames.

Final product!  Blue flames with white detailed outlines. Done. Red lettering of Doc’s with black  detailed outlines.  Done.  It may have a few parts that I would have corrected or adjusted if I was going to make it again, but overall I loved the finished piece!  Doc told me that he receive a lot of complements, and he would like another pumpkin for this year!

Start thinking about what designs you will use for your pumpkins this year.  We have time before October, so get your brains working!!

Until again, alc


Enjoying Others Art

I woke up this morning on the cranky side of the bed. Which is weird because I am not even sleeping in my own bed. I am currently staying at my parent’s house to take care of their pups and the house while they are enjoying a nice vacation in Florida. I worked until 3am and then went home, let out the pups, brushed my teeth, and then climbed ini bed to read a bit to help me fall asleep. First problem: do not read a book that is a page turner before bed… You will never fall asleep. I finally drifted off to dreamland to be woken up way to soon to my handy alarm. Second problem: do not get less than 4 to 5 hours of sleep. Your body will not like you. I stretched and went straight to the coffee. After the morning routine with the pups I headed off to work to begin my 9 hour day.

I was going to unfortunately start my shift cranky, but luckly for me the co-worker that I would be working with is one of my good friends, and the hours began to slip away with girl talk. During my break I walked down to a local shop to grab some comfort food, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, and steamed veggies and I stopped to take a deep breath and actually notice this “cold front” we are having today in Iowa. While I was taking this moment I looked up and noticed this huge mural that was completed this summer. It amazes me how one man produced this piece of artwork in a short amount of time. I have never even thought about creating a painting that would fill a wall of building. This piece is so simple and yet the meaning is thoughtful and progressive. It made me realize how small I am. I love that feeling that even though my thoughts that overwhelm me nd worry me, I know that my problems will be solved. That I am okay. And that things happen the way they should in the end.


What do you think this mural means? What does it represent to you?

The sky was a vivid blue with fluffy white clouds. I haven’t used the ac once today. There is a breeze that has given me the chills a few times. It is a great day that was almost ruined my my bad mood…

Until again, alc

Separating the Time

My first 4 1/2 years of college were spent with friends, learning how to drink coffee, working, dating, studying, trying to have a “normal” sleep schedule, and of course counting down the days for those glorious breaks. After I graduated in December 2009 I have tested my career opinions as: bartender. waitress. restaurant manager. insurance agent. artist. babysitter. Honda front receptionist. parking cashier. Then I decided I wanted to go back to school once again to become an elementary school teacher. So now I am in my last year of the program at The University of Iowa, and instead of counting down the days for my breaks to begin….I am counting the days for them to end and classes to start up again. During this break between my summer and fall courses, (which is a whole 24 days long) I have found myself trying to fill my time with different activities. I didn’t realize how much I relied on my crazy school schedule, and how my days truly revolve around my classes.

One of the ways I have found to pass the time, and to actually relax my always spinning brain is with embroidering. I made my first pillow in 8th grade home ec. It was a rectangle shape (different than everyone else’s square pillows which in 8th grade meant way cooler) and it had little kittens all over it. I traced around every light brown kitten with tiny stitches, and it took me hours to complete. That wonderful pillow was loved over the years, and it now resides in the truck of my car…I have used this pillow many a times when I have worked way too many hours at the parking ramp. I usually zombie walk out to my small two door Honda Accord, grab my pillow, curl up in the back seat (thank goodness I am short and I can fit back there comfortably), and then drift into my kitten nap. Currently I have set my sights higher with a more “mature’ fabric, and I have even set my goal at making more than one pillow! I have once again spent hours working on these stitches, but instead of sewing these new pillows like my old kitten one, I found the most wonderful invention of fabric glue. Where would the world of crafts be without hot glue guns, duct tape, and other fine adhesives?

One flower completed and other one to do…. I do love this fabric, which was 30% off at JoAnn Fabrics. One pillow for myself and one pillow for mama


This amazing piece is not my own, but from a sweet website I found while doing what I do best, using Google. The website it came from is and I highly recommend this site for anyone who would likes hand embroidery.

One of my classic rituals to fill my time is to paint. I haven’t actually completed a full series in years. And it seems like even though I paint with fast drying acrylic, I still end up losing my attention span on any given painting. I began a new triptych honoring our country. I started it right around the 4th of July, and even though I have a long way to go in order to complete this piece I think there is some potential shinning through the waving red, white, and eventually blue.

Updated photos to come for this blooming piece.

Until again, alc