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  • Use what talents you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.
  • My Art, my Life, and a little Geek Speak.

    Handmade Dough Ornament : 2009

    December
    24
    2009

    Each year since 2001, when our youngest was born, I’ve handmade these beautiful photo dough ornaments from scratch. Last year, I shared my entire process for those who are interested in the dough recipe and the supplies and materials I use to create these sweet homemade memories. You can find those instructions here.

    This years ornament was quite fun. First – I chose a whimsical shower curtain from WalMart to use as our photo backdrop and chose complimentary acrylic paints to decorate the ornaments. Next up – the photo shoot! I selected clothing for the girls to compliment the backdrop, and we had a fun little photo shoot in my studio! From there, I mixed up the dough and baked the ornaments. I printed out photos and sized them on my monitor to fit into my little heart shaped window, and then got to work on decorating the dough ornaments!

    I followed the whimsical pattern on the backdrop and painted the whole heart a cool shade of pewter. I painted the edges and inside of the heart opening with silver glitter – that concealed the rough edges of the dough ornaments. Then I painted a random pattern of circles and bubbles in a pretty teal, and once that was dry I outlined a few of them with a lime metallic sharpie. I used a glue gun and attached a few sparkly gems, dated with a navy sharpie, and then sealed them with mod podge. I traced each ornament onto sticky back felt, punched holes in the felt for the wire – lined up the photo on the back, applied the felt to hold the photo and give the back of the ornament a soft, finished look – and wired them up with floral wire!

    It is definitely a day long task, just decorating and assembling – but in the end, it is completely worth it. Just in the past 8 years, we have all come to cherish these ornaments and I know that in the years to come, they will take on an even deeper meaning for us as the girls grow older and leave the nest. Some day, they’ll be fighting over who gets them! Perhaps we should draw up a joint custody agreement in preparation for that event. hehe!

    I have to share our previous years, so you can see the progression. It’s fun to look around the tree for each year and not only see how the girls have grown – but see how much more elaborate the ornaments get from year to year.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours, I wish each of you a blessed day!!

    dough ornaments how to recipe by Leanne Wildermuth
    2007orn2006orn
    2005orn2003orn
    2002orn2001orn

    Custom Portrait Winner & FINAL 2009 GIVEAWAY : Week #52 (12/21-12/25)

    December
    21
    2009

    custom dog portrait pencil drawing by Leanne Wildermuth
    Today begins the final week, Week #52 of my 2009 weekly graphite portrait giveaway! And also – Merry Christmas!! It’s Christmas week, and though this giveaway will end on Christmas Day, hopefully you’ll have a chance to enter before the week ends.

    Last week, I chose Tabatha’s entry of Mackie as the winner. Tabatha has entered several times over the course of the year – and as many of you already know – perseverance pays off! Mackie’s photo is adorable and I kept hoping she would enter him again so that I’d have the opportunity to draw him!

    LAST CALL FOR 2009 ENTRIES!

     

    WEEK 52 : CALL FOR ENTRIES
    Theme

        : PERSON OR ANIMAL (single subject person, dog, cat or any other critter!)

    Deadline

        : Friday, December 25, 2009 (around 5pm CST)

    To Enter

        : Leave a comment as your entry (your chances are greatly improved if you share something about your subject), include a link to

    your

        photo (a photo that you have full permission to use). If you do not have a photo uploaded online, please indicate that you are e-mailing the photo and e-mail the photo to: gallery *at* intricateart dot com.

    Your entry must be left below, or it will not be considered.

    Note: *G* Rating only

    A note on framing for portrait winners: I recommend
    Nielsen Bainbridge Archival Gallery Frames

    available through Dick Blick.
    Sox & BJ (below) are framed using this frame:

    cat portrait drawing by Leanne Wildermuth
    Each Monday, I post the weekly Call for Entries along with the previous weeks completed portrait (above). I may change the subject theme each week, or leave the theme open, so please pay close attention to the details in each announcement.

    Entries will be accepted through Friday afternoon around 5PM CST, at which time I will close comments and select one winner from the entries received. I’ll publish the completed winning portrait with the following week’s Giveaway announcement. If you’re a fan on Facebook, you might just get a sneak peek at the winning portrait before I publish it here!

    Qualified entries will include a valid e-mail address, and the comment should include one link to a photograph owned/taken by the entrant. If you do not have a place to upload photos to link one, you can e-mail it to gallery *at* intricateart dot-com. Your entry, however, should be included in the comment section below, with your story – should you choose to include one.

    The Selection Process: In case you’re curious, I’ll share my little artsy process in selecting the winner. First – I do not read any entries at all during the week. I do not read them because I don’t want anyone’s entries to have any more time than any others to settle in my creative brain. At the end of the week, I close comments. When I sit down to go through all of the entries, I read the story first, and open the photo link in a new window. When I finish reading, I flip over to the photo and my initial reaction is what I go by.

    If your entry is not chosen, you may enter again. I encourage you to include a short story with your entry.

    Once you have won a portrait, I ask that you refrain from multiple entries, to give others an opportunity to win one as well.

    Your challenge? To inspire me! Choose your photo wisely – I will select a winner based on how the photo and/or story moves me.

    Good luck!!

     

    Weekly Portrait Giveaway
    Put this button on your blog to remind yourself to enter each week!
    Link it to:
    http://intricateart.com/browse/blog/getting-creative/graphite-portrait-giveaway/
    Or just copy and paste this code:
    Get the latest updates – Subscribe by Email!
    Don’t want to wait? Commission your own 5×7 graphite custom portrait
    for just $70.00 right here in my shop!

    (Checkout using PayPal)

    The Perfect Sibling Christmas Card Portrait

    December
    19
    2009

    Christmas Portrait kids siblings child pose photography by Leanne Wildermuth
    For several years, I’ve been taking photos for friends of ours that live just down the street. (They’ve been great practice over the years!) This year, since I had all the new gear and recently, a huge burst in photographic creativity, I concocted this fantastic Christmas Card pose in my minds eye for them.

    I was a smidge worried about pulling it off, only because if you can’t get kids done in under 5 minutes, it starts to get tedious on them (and undoubtedly, someone starts fidgeting, itching something, being crazy or generally being children who want to go play!) and since I don’t keep any ritalin on hand, I had to be quick about it. (haha!)

    Thankfully, Alex (the one being brutalized and decorated by her brothers) was a really great and patient sport about getting it all set up and ready for the boys to enter and create the chaos that would be this finished pose.

    I am totally excited to get my Christmas postcard from them this year!

    Noodle Angels

    December
    15
    2009

    noodle angel ornaments handmade photo by Leanne Wildermuth

    I have three of the sweetest handmade ornaments on my tree – little noodle angels that were hand made by my mom and sisters a few years ago. This one was catching the light just right this morning so I chose her to share with you today.

    You can sort of see how she was made – so tiny!! A star glitter halo around a wooden ball for her head, a bowtie noodle for wings, elbow macaroni for arms and a tiny little bit of pine to look like she carries a tree. All of this, painted and glittered – just adorable, and genius. I had to get the glue gun out this year to make a few repairs, but they are all just as precious as the day they gave them to us in handmade paper boxes.

    Yes, we are an artsy craftsy bunch of people!

    Custom Portrait Giveaway : Week #51 (12/14-12/18)

    December
    14
    2009

    Today begins Week #51 of my 2009 weekly graphite portrait giveaway! ONLY TWO WEEKS REMAIN IN MY YEAR LONG GIVEAWAY. Only two more entries will be selected to receive one 5×7 graphite (pencil) drawing from their photograph.

    There were no submissions last week. Christmas is coming so fast, I know everyone is very busy getting things ready to celebrate! This week’s winner will be the last one that would be received in time for Christmas – so if you’re wanting to gift something special, this is your last opportunity to win one in time for giving.

    Weekly Contest Announcement!

     

    WEEK 51 : CALL FOR ENTRIES
    Theme

        : ANIMALS (single subject – dog, cat or any other critter!)

    Deadline

        : Friday, December 18, 2009 (around 5pm CST)

    To Enter

        : Leave a comment as your entry (your chances are greatly improved if you share something about your subject), include a link to your photo. If you do not have a photo uploaded online, please indicate that you are e-mailing the photo and e-mail the photo to: gallery *at* intricateart dot-com.

    Your entry must be left below, or it will not be considered.

    Note: *G* Rating only

    A note on framing for portrait winners: I recommend
    Nielsen Bainbridge Archival Gallery Frames

    available through Dick Blick.
    Sox & BJ (below) are framed using this frame:

    cat portrait drawing by Leanne Wildermuth
    Each Monday, I post the weekly Call for Entries along with the previous weeks completed portrait (above). I may change the subject theme each week, or leave the theme open, so please pay close attention to the details in each announcement.

    Entries will be accepted through Friday afternoon around 5PM CST, at which time I will close comments and select one winner from the entries received. I’ll publish the completed winning portrait with the following week’s Giveaway announcement. If you’re a fan on Facebook, you might just get a sneak peek at the winning portrait before I publish it here!

    Qualified entries will include a valid e-mail address, and the comment should include one link to a photograph owned/taken by the entrant. If you do not have a place to upload photos to link one, you can e-mail it to gallery *at* intricateart dot-com. Your entry, however, should be included in the comment section below, with your story – should you choose to include one.

    The Selection Process: In case you’re curious, I’ll share my little artsy process in selecting the winner. First – I do not read any entries at all during the week. I do not read them because I don’t want anyone’s entries to have any more time than any others to settle in my creative brain. At the end of the week, I close comments. When I sit down to go through all of the entries, I read the story first, and open the photo link in a new window. When I finish reading, I flip over to the photo and my initial reaction is what I go by.

    If your entry is not chosen, you may enter again. I encourage you to include a short story with your entry.

    Once you have won a portrait, I ask that you refrain from multiple entries, to give others an opportunity to win one as well.

    Your challenge? To inspire me! Choose your photo wisely – I will select a winner based on how the photo and/or story moves me.

    Good luck!!

     

    Weekly Portrait Giveaway
    Put this button on your blog to remind yourself to enter each week!
    Link it to:
    http://intricateart.com/browse/blog/getting-creative/graphite-portrait-giveaway/
    Or just copy and paste this code:
    Get the latest updates – Subscribe by Email!
    Don’t want to wait? Commission your own 5×7 graphite custom portrait
    for just $70.00 right here in my shop!

    (Checkout using PayPal)

    An Irish Egg

    December
    12
    2009

    irish blessing egg ornament photo by Leanne Wildermuth

    Another new ornament to our tree is a gift, from my best friend of 25 years.

    Each year, my dear friend sends a care package with lovingly selected gifts for everyone in my family. I know. I lucked out in a BIG way. She’s totally amazing like that!

    Last year, I opened up my very small package to reveal this incredible hand painted egg. One side, painted in 24 karat gold, is the Irish Claddagh symbol. The heart held in the hands show love, the hands represent friendship and togetherness, and the crown on the heart symbolizes loyalty. Sweet little shamrocks adorn the spacing between sides, and on the other side is a shortened version of the infamous Gaelic blessing –

    May the road rise up to meet you.
    May the wind be always at your back.
    May the sun shine warm upon your face;
    the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
    may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

    You may not know, but my grandmother, Julie, came to the US when she was just a teenager, on a boat from Ireland – to care for her sister in Chicago. She met my grandfather in McHenry (she was a nurse) and they bought a farm in Hebron, Illinois where they raised 9 kids! My fondest memories of my grandma were when she would talk to me in Gaelic, and also – waking up to the smell of fresh bread baking when we stayed with them at their home in Florida. I still have relatives in County Cork, Ireland, and it is my dream to visit Ireland one day, if not move there!

    I am not the kind of Irish gal that has a lot of green shamrocks around the house, but I do cherish the heritage my grandmother left us and hope one day to be able to explore the area and home she was raised in. That’s what makes this ornament so very, very special to me.

    A New Nest In My Tree

    December
    11
    2009

    owl ornament natural photo by Leanne Wildermuth
    This year, I joined in on an ornament exchange hosted by my good friend Lisa at Lisa’s Chaos. Did I mention that Lisa, her husband Dennis and my family met up a few months ago for dinner at a fabulous little Italian restaurant here in the Quad Cities? No? Well we did, and it was amazing, and it was so cool to meet up with someone that I’d only ever talked to online. Her husband is sweet and funny and together, they are quite a team. So it made sense to me then that her ornament exchange would attract like-minded people who not only enjoy nature, but who are sweet and kind and good-hearted. I love it when I’m right! Lisa paired me with Tracey, from These Nine Acres. A photographer, wife, mom, and owner of a HUGE piece of land (in my eyes) out in Maryland, she is one talented lady and also, has a shop on Etsy you should check out. Not only did she send this gorgeous owl to adorn my tree, she threw in a set of Thoughtful Question cards. Dinner conversation cards – genius! Especially for me, who lacks skills in random topical conversations that don’t involve … um … art, design or my kids! So, the ornament I must share with you today is my brand new addition, this lovely owl from a new friend, met through a just-met friend. I love the internet. Thank you, Tracey!

    In Anticipation of Christmas

    December
    8
    2009

    cross ornament photography by Leanne Wildermuth

    Welcome to my Christmas Tree, where symbols of Christ can be found tucked away fondly in the best nooks and crannies of our Douglas Fir.

    We began collecting crosses a few years ago. Each year, we will choose a cross ornament to add to our collection – and over the years we anticipate that our tree will be filled with handmade ornaments, special ornaments from friends, and most importantly, Christ. Christmas is, after all, the celebration of His birth.

    Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be sharing more ornaments from our tree, both new and old – captured with my (absolutely fantastic) new camera (that makes me seem magical, though truly, I am just a regular girl).

    I will also be making our annual dough ornaments – how they turn out each year is always a sweet surprise!

    I’d love for you to tell me about your tree – do you have special ornaments? Upload them to flickr (or somewhere) and share the link here! I’d love to see them!

    Custom Portrait Winner & Call for Entries : Week #50 (12/7-12/11)

    December
    7
    2009


    custom cat portrait art pencil drawing by Leanne Wildermuth
    Today begins Week #50 of my 2009 weekly graphite portrait giveaway! There are only THREE GIVEAWAYS REMAINING!! For the remaining weeks in 2009, one winner will be selected each week to receive one 5×7 graphite (pencil) drawing from their photograph.

    Thank you ALL for sharing your pets with me! It has been a fabulous year, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to touch each of your lives with an original drawing, that you might not otherwise have the opportunity to own.

    Again, I encourage you to re-enter if your entry was not chosen! (Tip: you can repeat your entry and photo! One entry per animal per week, please.)

    Last week, Kristen won a portrait of her beloved kitty, Bullet. Here’s her story:

    Bullet was definitely a one of a kind Cat, Very anti social Except with me and stubborn at times I might add! But was very sweet and was always purring in my ear when I came to bed at night…. he was the one cat I could count on to be waiting on me every night. He never took much to the kids and was just my cat.

    I had got him from my mom as a birthday present in September of 2003. He came from the Amish store and was a handful as a kitten . He got outside and took me two days to catch him because he was really fast that is how he got his name Bullet.

    He was just a great Cat who was full of love and very loyal to me and His favorite place to be was in my room usually on my bed till night time when the kids where sleeping. Sometimes when My son Micah was little he would hang out in the crib till I came in the room. He would sometime cuddle with the kids if he was in the mood for it usually they had to be in my room for him to cuddle he never really ventured out of his space much. And if he did he was sneaking to get outside he got out a couple summers ago I search every where put up flyers around town for two weeks finally I spotted him coming onto our back pouch. Within the week I figured out a way to catch him, I set up a baby monitor and a crate and captured him. Finally he was home. Not to say he didn’t try again lol. I know I could always count on him for cheering me up after a bad day. When I would go to bed he would snuggle up with me just purring away and rubbing his nose on my head. He Just was The best cat ever! He had tons of personality.

    Sadly He became ill and Passed away two days later 11/06/2009.

    He was in my lap cuddling with me that morning comforting me and just being the Cat he was when he passed. It has left a big empty spot in my heart. When I go to bed at night I miss him so much sometimes I walk in the room and expect him to be hanging out on my bed just waiting for me. :)

    Weekly Contest Announcement!

     

    WEEK 50 : CALL FOR ENTRIES
    Theme

        : PERSON OR ANIMAL (single subject person, dog, cat or any other critter!)

    Deadline

        : Friday, December 11, 2009 (around 5pm CST)

    To Enter

        : Leave a comment as your entry (your chances are greatly improved if you share something about your subject), include a link to

    your

        photo (a photo that you have full permission to use). If you do not have a photo uploaded online, please indicate that you are e-mailing the photo and e-mail the photo to: gallery *at* intricateart dot com.

    Your entry must be left below, or it will not be considered.

    Note: *G* Rating only

    A note on framing for portrait winners: I recommend
    Nielsen Bainbridge Archival Gallery Frames

    available through Dick Blick.
    Sox & BJ (below) are framed using this frame:

    cat portrait drawing by Leanne Wildermuth
    Each Monday, I post the weekly Call for Entries along with the previous weeks completed portrait (above). I may change the subject theme each week, or leave the theme open, so please pay close attention to the details in each announcement.

    Entries will be accepted through Friday afternoon around 5PM CST, at which time I will close comments and select one winner from the entries received. I’ll publish the completed winning portrait with the following week’s Giveaway announcement. If you’re a fan on Facebook, you might just get a sneak peek at the winning portrait before I publish it here!

    Qualified entries will include a valid e-mail address, and the comment should include one link to a photograph owned/taken by the entrant. If you do not have a place to upload photos to link one, you can e-mail it to gallery *at* intricateart dot-com. Your entry, however, should be included in the comment section below, with your story – should you choose to include one.

    The Selection Process: In case you’re curious, I’ll share my little artsy process in selecting the winner. First – I do not read any entries at all during the week. I do not read them because I don’t want anyone’s entries to have any more time than any others to settle in my creative brain. At the end of the week, I close comments. When I sit down to go through all of the entries, I read the story first, and open the photo link in a new window. When I finish reading, I flip over to the photo and my initial reaction is what I go by.

    If your entry is not chosen, you may enter again. I encourage you to include a short story with your entry.

    Once you have won a portrait, I ask that you refrain from multiple entries, to give others an opportunity to win one as well.

    Your challenge? To inspire me! Choose your photo wisely – I will select a winner based on how the photo and/or story moves me.

    Good luck!!

     

    Weekly Portrait Giveaway
    Put this button on your blog to remind yourself to enter each week!
    Link it to:
    http://intricateart.com/browse/blog/getting-creative/graphite-portrait-giveaway/
    Or just copy and paste this code:
    Get the latest updates – Subscribe by Email!
    Don’t want to wait? Commission your own 5×7 graphite custom portrait
    for just $70.00 right here in my shop!

    (Checkout using PayPal)

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