Friday, April 15, 2016

Why I do challenges

I am easily bored.

I love making things, all different kinds of things.

I enjoy discovering new things to make.

My brain is often overloaded with ideas of new things to try making, new techniques, recycled materials, etc...

And the only thing that settles my mind is trying to express the brain stuff with moving my hands.

I love learning new things.


Golden snowflake

January's challenge was to make a snowflake each day. (#snowflakes2016) I learned so much about cutting them and using different materials.  It was FANTASTIC!

no 2 snowflakes alike

I made big ones and small ones, 4, 6 and 8 sided.  Used aluminum foil, card stock, filter paper and anything you can fold and cut with scissors.

tiny silver tea packet flake

February was my heart month challenge (#heartmonth16) and I thought maybe I'd get bored with hearts but nope, kept my hands moving and me out of trouble, well...

I really love this heart.   It's wood covered with layers of paper and paints and topped with "love" cut from layered old book pages, sprayed with golden ink.  


"Lovingly" heart has butterfly wings, layers of paint and book text.  Setting it on this vintage photo transformed this behatted beauty :)

photo play, "lovingly"

I like challenges because they force me to look around and see old things in a new way.  All the components for this assemblage piece were already in my studio.  The brown picture frame got a wash of red which pulled it all together.    

All you need  is love

For March, I focused on plants (#plantart).  This took me beyond the studio, to look around at what all was emerging from the ground!  Got me to use macro setting on my phone.  Such fun!


This leaf mono print made by spraying a dried leaf with ink and pressing it onto paper, was easy and is beautiful.  

monoprint on pretty paper

I challenged myself to make something every day of the year, which when I began seemed like too much, but by breaking it down to monthly themes and placing no strict "guidelines" has made it a real pleasure.

dried cone flower pod (macro)

At times I thought why are you pushing yourself?!  But this challenge has gotten me to try new things like the macro setting on my Iphone and Instagram!  On days when I felt blah about everything, this challenge got me up off my butt and moving my hands and mind.  

Daffodil triplets

Looking down in March for signs of plant life and Spring, got me out of the house and I found lots of happy signals that Winter was over.  For April, looking up has been terrific.  (#raindropskeepfallingonmyhead)  This cropped windshield water droplet shot just shows me what can be seen if only I stop to look.  

trees captured by raindrops

Even clouds and blue skies can make me smile after a few days of rain.  If you're interested in seeing all my challenge photos check out my Instagram feed @ddhurlbut   

blue sky, hooray!

Hope that you see or create something today that makes you smile.

Peace all!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Encouraging words

Sometimes I need encouragement, how about you?! 

this is so true

My plan is to share encouraging words whenever I can :)  This "temporary art" was made from deli paper print and plain white paper on a clipboard.  Wondering where to keep these pieces later...

I am loving Instagram right now because it's so much fun to snap a picture, play with it a bit and share, bing, bang, boom!  Here's the link to my feed, check it out if you want to see more fun stuff.  Or follow me at @ddhurlbut.

smiles and peace,

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Exhibiting my art at Red Riding Hood's Basket

I got a great email from Moe, the owner of Red Riding Hood's Basket, asking if I'd like to exhibit some art at her restaurant!  What a fabulous little place and opportunity.   

Add caption

Tin walls and ceilings and antiques fill this quaint place, originally a train depot:)  

main dinning room

Opening back up Friday, March 18th, Red Riding Hood's Basket Facebook page has address, phone number and menus available to check out.  I can't wait to try the chicken salad and homemade breads.  

a lovely way to display utensils

Antique charm

This place and these people welcome you to come set a spell, isn't that nice to find in our rush around world?!

pot belly stove

The library is where you'll find the art, mine hangs there for the next month and then someone else has the room ;)  I look forward to seeing all the art from local artists Moe has lined up.  

The library

I made some assemblage pieces using vintage photos, doilies, laces and picture frames, that were inspired by the history and energy of this beautiful place.  Nice to let vintage stuff shine once again. 

I've got an eclectic mix of mono prints, clipboard and canvas art hanging in the library.  Please be sure to check out the art and contact me if you're interested in purchasing anything.  

sneak peek of my exhibition

I'm very grateful to Moe for this opportunity to share my art with all the folks who'll be stopping by Red Riding Hood's Basket.  

Street/bike path view

The Southwick Jog rail trail runs right by Red Riding Hood's Basket and runs south into Connecticut or north to Westfield.  It's a great trail with a few small hills and traffic signals on some busy crossroads. 

I'll be dropping in when cycling in the area, as it's right next to the bike path!  Hope you'll check this sweet restaurant and my art out when you're in Southwick.  

signed one grateful artist

PS.  My friend Craig, owner of Agawam's Java Stop, once gave me some coffee beans and asked me if I could make art with coffee and it turns out I can!  His  encouragement, support, wall space, recycled materials and ideas have been invaluable to my growth as an artist,  thanks a million Craig!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Puppy love

To say we love our rescue dog is an understatement.  

me and Jojo

Jojo has worked her way into every aspect of our lives...she can be so sweet.

Jeff and Jojo

And she's very photogenic :)

beautiful pup

Sometimes Jojo crosses her paws when laying down.

crossed paws

She can smell a skunk from inside a closed up Winter house.

macro nose shot

And she can spot a cat from a mile away.

amber eyes

Jojo loves to play fetch, tug, and destroy the toy.  She enjoys perching on the back of our love seat to keep an eye on what's happening outside.  But I believe her favorite thing is to snuggle with us anywhere, anytime.  LOL.   

Elizabeth, Jojo and Will

If you're considering getting a pet, may I suggest adopting from a local shelter. We adopted Jojo from Dakin and are so glad we did.  

Peace & puppies people 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Got broken crayons?

Here's what I did to reuse my broken crayons...

1. Removed all the papers from crayons and set them aside.

2. Preheat oven to 200° F.

3. Overfill silicone molds with crayon pieces ½" or smaller.

4. Put silicone mold onto a cookie sheet and place in oven.  

melting crayon pieces

5. Check oven every 10 minutes until crayons look like this ↓↓↓↓↓

all the pretty colors 

6. Carefully remove cookie sheet from oven and allow liquid crayons to cool completely.

7. Once solid, pop your NEW crayon blocks out.  

8. Have fun seeing what new color combinations you've created :)

aren't they pretty?

The leftover crayon papers were cut into small pieces and will be used as colorful confetti for another mixed media project.  

crayon papers pile

Any type of mold could work for this technique, cube shaped molds were all I found and they came out great.  The blocks still have that distinctive crayon aroma that always brings back fond childhood memories.  There are a few more techniques found online for melting and remaking crayons.  Let me know if you try them out.  Hope you enjoyed this crayon redux. Peace.

Thanks for stopping by today.