Daddy D and John Mark drew the plans for this bird feeder, based on an old feeder we had hanging in our back yard. John Mark went to carpentry camp last summer, so he was able to do most of it himself, with Daddy D watching over his shoulder to make sure he did everything properly. It came out really nice, and won grand prize at the fair.Daddy D also helped Philip and Ben build these blue-ribbon birdhouses from a kit:
Santa brought Becca a digital camera for Christmas, and she entered some of the photos she took last spring into the 4-H photography exhibit. The raindrop photo was her dad's favorite, but the Dogwoods won champion:
On a whim, my mom and I signed up for a day-long oil painting class at Michael's. My mom has been painting forever, but I've never painted anything besides a wall, and I probably never would have had the guts to sign up without her encouragement. But the good news about oil painting is that about anyone can do it, and here's proof:
Ok, so it's not a Rembrandt, but it's good enough to hang in some corner of the house. I also signed up for my very first quilting class. It took all day to learn the technique to do the four-square pattern, and you fold the edges over and finish them as you complete each row. I didn't intend to end up with a pink quilt, but I didn't have enough of the yellow I needed. I do like the old-fashioned look of the floral patterns though. I had big plans to continue working on my squares, but it appears that this will be next summer's project too.
And this is what a finished project looks like. It's the lap quilt Becca made at Quilt Camp:
My mom and I signed up for a basket class together, but she had to go to Alabama on a family emergency, leaving me to fend for myself at the basket class. The technique is actually a lot of fun and I should have left the class with a completed basket, but my thread kept breaking, causing much wailing and gnashing of teeth. Here is my half-finished basket:
My mom has already finished two, plus a lid. Sigh.
And here's my final project, completed this weekend:
I purchased a ratty old lapboard at a garage sale, sanded, painted, and decoupaged it with pictures from an old calendar- very easy. But as you can see, very easy is apparently right up my alley, because it's the only project that I've completed!
John Mark, Becca and I have also been working on new piano pieces all summer. John Mark has nearly driven the entire family insane with "Saber Dance," (no, that link's not John Mark, but listen to it a few times and you'll be ready to start banging your head against the wall out of sheer frustration :-) but I can't complain because I've been working on Gershwin's Prelude #1, which is almost as bad. He's also been playing "Memory" from Cats and the theme from Phantom of the Opera, and considering that my poor family had to endure endless repetitions of "Ice Castles," "Endless Love," and "Nadia's Theme" from The Young and the Restless when I was his age, I figure I can endure just a little too much Andrew Lloyd Webber.
I finished Bach's Invention #8 last month and I'll be done with Beethoven's Sonata "Pathetique" by the end of this month. Becca has been working on fun stuff- mostly Disney songs- but this is the first summer she's asked to take lessons all summer. I'm just glad she's learned to play for the sheer fun of it.
And that's the end of this year's summer art tour.... (did I hear a sigh of relief from the peanut gallery??)