Nature's Peace for the Human Spirit

Creek at Pilcher Park. Joliet, IL ©CindyRippe2014 
Instead of sitting in the waiting room at the Auto Repair center today I took advantage of the free car rental option in my warranty and headed to the woods.  I've posted pictures from the greenhouse at Pilcher Park before but this one is from the Nature Trail.

I was in search of Virginia Bluebells and there were millions of them.  Waves of the bell shaped blue flowers covered the landscape.  I will be posting pictures of them soon, along with an assortment of other spring flowers, but wanted to share this picture first.  The creek winds through the woods along the trail and was incredibly peaceful today.  If you look closely in the upper left you can see some of the bluebells growing under the trees.

The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man. Author Unknown

Butterfly Fun!

Colored Pencil Butterfly ©Kelly Hoernig 2014 - Art Play Date Class - Week 1
So excited! Today is launch day for ART PLAY DATE!  First class is by Kelly Hoernig, 23 more teachers to follow (including me!).  A new online lesson will be posted each week, with a variety of techniques and mediums for you to try, until October!  You'll then be able to view the lessons over and over until April 2015. Have you joined us at the playground ?  For more INFO and to SIGN UP click HERE.

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.  ~Author Unknown

"Art is when you hear a knocking from your soul and you answer"

Want to be inspired by 25 teachers and have art classes available to watch in your own home for the next year? You'll be able to view the lessons after each has been posted any time you want until April 2015. I'm excited for Art Play Date to begin next week so I wanted to share once more! 
Art Play Date - Inspirational Art Journaling - ©CindyRippe2014
The first class starts Monday with Kelly Hoernig's Colored Pencil Butterfly. (pictured: bottom left in the image below) Registered attendees already have instant access to two bonus classes right now and anyone can sign up to receive the Art Play Date newsletter for free.  
Art Play Date Projects 2014
What are you waiting for? Hope you'll be joining us soon. Sign up HEREhttps://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?cl=235423&c=ib&aff=269086

“Art is when you hear a knocking from your soul — and you answer.” Terri Guillemets

A reminder to get creative - Flora's Art Adventures

Flora enjoys the Hyacinths at the Chicago Flower and Garden Show - ©CindyRippe2014
Quote by - Rainer Maria Rilke
Flora sits on the shelf above my painting desk in the studio.  She has been watching me walk by the room without coming inside.  She sees me in the kitchen through the open door of the studio as I'm busy making meals and when I pass by on my way out the back door.  I have been working but it's mostly marketing and accounting lately.

I can imagine her tapping her foot, crossing her arms and thinking, "What the heck are you doing? You should be in here creating something new!" I think I have a mix of Spring Fever, as I get a glimpse of flowers and new growth on a warm day, and then get totally bummed out and depressed because it's still cold here most days.

OK, Flora.... next week I'll come back to the studio and we'll get creative.  Until then I get to spend time with the family on this glorious Easter weekend.  Looks like we're FINALLY going to have nice weather again.

The resurrection gives my life meaning and direction and the opportunity to start over no matter what my circumstances. Robert Flatt 

Easter and a Cross to Paint on.


Blessings Cross by Cindy Wollenzien 

My friend, Cindy, has been making these crosses.  They are so perfect for Easter as well as for every day wall decor. We've been collaborating a bit on the project and I've decided that I'd like to paint a white rose on the bowl.  I just noticed that Mary Jo Leisure has included the pattern for the serving spoon along with the larger design on the silver tray for her Art Play Date project.  Yeah for me!  I look forward to painting more of the crosses that I haven't decorated yet.  Can't wait for her class to start next month!

 Mary Jo Leisure's Art Play Date Project


Isn't this a perfect gift for the dining room or kitchen wall?  Contact me in the comment section if you'd like to purchase one to paint on too!

Come Lord Jesus be our Guest; 
And let these gifts to us be blessed.

Cooking up a little Spring in the Kitchen

My kitchen island this week - ©CindyRippe2014
My love of flowers and plants expands beyond the art that I create.  I've been forcing spring bulbs each year under the skylights in my studio for about 15 years now.  This is the first year that I'm officially working more from my home studio so the bulbs needed to go somewhere else.  They ended up lined up along my antique oak cabinet in the middle of the kitchen. There's more light coming in the windows this time of year so the plants are doing well.  I have to turn them often as they reach back toward the light but it's become a bit of a morning ritual.

Once the plants finish blooming they'll be moved to the basement under grow lights until I can plant them in the yard for the summer.  Just thought you might like a peek into another part of my life.

I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden.  Ruth Stout

Tiffany Stained Glass Poppies - Flora's Art Adventures


 Pair of Poppies by Louis Comfort Tiffany on display at Navy Pier Chicago - Photo ©CindyRippe2014

For our art adventure this week, Flora and I went to Navy Pier in Chicago to see the stained glass exhibit. Our favorite was this poppy design by L.C. Tiffany. Don't you love all the patterns in the handmade glass?

 Flora's Art Adventure with Tiffany glass Poppies

Flora was so happy that she wanted to dance among the flowers!  For more information about stained glass like this click HERE.

The ART PLAY DATE winners are.....

 ART PLAY DATE 2014


ART PLAY DATE has chosen the lucky winners for our 5 Free Class Registrations. And the winners are Chris Bunkosky, Karen Fenter, Donna Harcourt, Pam Robinson and Paula Stout. Congratulations ladies and we are thrilled to have you come PLAY!

If you didn't win but would still love to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity of 24 teachers, 27 lessons, 25 weeks and one great price of $99 please visit
ART PLAY DATE to find out more.

Last day to enter - FREE ART CLASSES!

https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?cl=235423&c=ib&aff=269086
https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?cl=235423&c=ib&aff=269086 
ART PLAY DATE is giving away 5 spaces in the upcoming online class event.  Today is your last chance to enter so don't miss out!   Winners will be announced on Monday.

To ENTER just leave a comment below after you've gone to the Art Play Date website and tell me what you are looking forward to most in the event.  Simple right?  It's gonna be great!  And... if you've already registered, and you are chosen as one of the winners, you get your registration fee fully refunded!

Remember... you need to enter a comment below about the website and what you are looking forward to.... ready?  set?  GO!

I shared this post on the following fun blog hops today!

WIN FREE CLASSES in the Art Play Date event - Contest runs March 17 - 21

 Enter for a chance to win FREE classes in ART PLAY DATE - Cindy Rippe 2014

I'm working in my class for Art Play Date.  The picture shows one of the early stages of the lily.  In this class you'll get an introduction to  Inspirational Art Jouraling.  The class will include lessons on sketching a flower, playing with layers of acrylics, pen & ink with colored pencil and then you can fully develop the painting if you want.  We'll discover different backgrounds and surface prep for working on a printed page and experiment with decoupage, stenciling and stamping as options for the mat that we'll attach the finished design to.  You'll have the choice to work on a book page or a plain white background but I can promise that there will be charming embellishments and ribbon added to finish the design.

What is ART PLAY DATE?  It's This 25 week online e-course features 24 of the leading teachers in the decorative painting market and a lot of mixed media creativity and inspiration for just $99. You will receive 27 pre-recorded video lessons delivered right to your home. It fast, easy and you can watch them any time and as many times as you like until April 1, 2015. So, what are you waiting for? Visit the ART PLAY DATE website for more information and to see the list of incredible teachers
And now, some EXCITING news for you!  


Announcing the ART PLAY DATE giveaway!

There will be 5 FREE Class Registrations awarded next week.  Have you been wondering about signing up?  Now's your chance to win a free space in the event.  If you've already registered that's great!  If your name is drawn as one of the winners your registration fee will be refunded to you.  Do you have a friend that would like to join us?  PLEASE SHARE the link to this post.



Here's how to enter:
In the comment section below:

1. Answer the following question -
What's the most fun you ever had in an art/craft class?  
2. Be sure to add your name and email address (or we won't know who to give the prize to if you are chosen.)
3. The contest runs from Monday, March 17 - Friday, March 21.  BE SURE TO ENTER BY THAT DATE.
4. FIVE winners will be selected randomly and announced on Monday, March 24th.
GOOD LUCK!

Sketching Orchids - Flora's Art Adventures


Orchid Show 2014, Chicago Botanic Gardens, Flora's Friday Art Adventures, Cindy Rippe, Drawing, Art Mannequin
Flora gets up close to check out the details of the orchids.©CindyRippe2014
Today I took Flora with me to the Chicago Botanic Gardens.  It's the last weekend of their Orchid Show and I didn't want to miss it.  There were thousands and thousands of flowers and even though the March winds were chilly today,it was nice and warm inside the greenhouses.  Flora and I want to thank Amy Litner for helping us get up close to the flowers and take this picture.

Chicago Botanic Garden, Orchid Show 2014, Flora's Art Adventures on Fridays, CindyRippe.blogspot.com, ©CindyRippe
Relaxing by  the greenhouse where it was nice and warm. ©CindyRippe2014
Actually this is just one of my 15 minute sketches.  When you sketch a flower it makes you look closer at the details and you learn more about the plant. Why don't you try making a few sketches?  They aren't meant to be a perfect, finished, drawing.   Just a way to "see" the shapes that make up an object.  No pressure, just fun!

Great art picks up where nature ends. Marc Chagall


Spring Fever?

Snow in the Garden, Chicago Area Snowstorm, CindyRippe.blogspot.com,
Illinois Snow - March 12 - ©CindyRippe2014
I'm warm and cozy in the studio today working on a design for Art Play Date but thought I'd share a few pictures of last night's snow storm.  I am SO grateful for our neighbor, Adolph, this morning as he clears our sidewalks with the snow plow.  This is one of those really wet and heavy snows.  It's pretty but not easy to clean up!  Also thankful for all the times that Lee cuts Adolph's grass in the summer.  Lee likes the heat and Adolph doesn't mind the cold so it works out for all of us.  Speaking of work.  It's back to work for me as I long for some beautiful Spring weather for the garden.

It's spring fever.  That is what the name of it is.  And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!  Mark Twain

Bonus Lesson for ART PLAY DATE - Flora's Art Adventures

 Information about the ART PLAY DATE event, Flora's Art Adventures, Online Art classes, Cindy Rippe, Kelly Hoernig
A free lesson for ART PLAY DATE participants - Design by Kelly Hoernig
Registration is going well for ART PLAY DATE but there's still room for more.  If you've already signed up, I look forward to sharing my class with you in June.  Invite your friends to sign up too! 

I'm working on my project today but Flora wanted me to tell you about the BONUS class that Kelly Hoernig created for those that sign up for the event.  It's a design you can personalize for the cover of a notebook to hold all your class lessons and notes in.  I just had a sneak peek and it's so cute.  Kelly gives you suggestions for using what you have on hand in your own craft supplies along with the steps to create the design the same way she does.  There are 3 videos and a PDF.  What are you waiting for? Visit the ART PLAY DATE site today to check it out, register for the newsletter and classes. The BONUS class will be released March 13th and then you can view it at your leisure if you've registered for the event.  

You may not be a Picasso or Mozart but you don’t have to be. Just create to create. Create to remind yourself you’re still alive. Make stuff to inspire others to make something too. Create to learn a bit more about yourself. Frederick Terral

Creative Dreams - Flora's Art Adventures

Art Mannequin, Dreaming is another form of thinking - CindyRippe.blogspot.com
Not much Art being made around here lately - Flora's Friday Art Adventures
I've spent most of my time here lately.  On the couch, catching up on all the episodes of Doc Martin, sleeping and getting over whatever flu bug went around this year.  On the days I felt a little better I spent the time at my sister's house with Mom and rested on her couch.  This sounds so depressing, I know, but the truth is that I did a lot of dreaming about my future art projects. My creative mind was in overdrive. I have a cuckoo clock project to finish but in my dream it became an entire story about how time was created in a garden.  There were also Angels, flowers made of clock gears (which is the project I started before getting sick) and bees instead of a bird coming out of the clock. Each dream was different but with the same theme. I also planned a trip to Port Isaac in Cornwall, England (the village where they film Doc Martin).  So overall I'm not as depressed as I could be about missing the creative side of my design business.  I accomplished more than I thought I would!

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.  Jeremiah 29:11 ESV

Flora's Art Adventures - Helping with a Lily Study for Art Play Date

Flora's Art Adventures, Stargazer Lily, Art Mannequin, Art Play Date Project, CindyRippe.blogspot.com
Flora helps out with the Lily Drawings today - ©CindyRippe2014
I'm working on my project for the Art Play Date and Flora was a big help.  I was able to move the flowers around to study each angle. Her bendable arms really helped!  Most of the time I use a scientific clip to hold the stem of flowers, while sketching, but this was a lot more fun.

Watch for the photos of the completed project soon.  You can learn to sketch the lily and paint a finished design in my class as part of the Art Play Date event which starts in May.  There will be 24 teachers and 24 weeks of projects with videos and written instructions.  For more information about the event and to sign up click HERE or the logo on the side of this blog.

To be overcome by the fragrance of flowers is a delectable form of defeat.  Beverly Nichols




Flora loves Pink - Valentine's Day

Pink, Hearts, Vintage Rose print, Flora Art Mannequin, Caregivers, 1 John  4:19, Cindy Rippe, Family, Caregivers
Flora loves Pink - ©CindyRippe2014
Happy Valentine's Day!  Lee and I don't have any fancy dinner plans and we don't buy expensive gifts for each other but we do take the time to recognize how lucky we are.  We know that our relationship is special and realize that it is a blessing.

This post is supposed to be about Flora's Art Adventures today but I've been pretty busy as a caregiver and helping family members and there hasn't been enough time for art.  But I guess that's what love is all about and I'm lucky to be here on earth to celebrate that love and those relationships.

So I'm spending my Valentine's Day today taking care of Mom and loving all the pink that I see in the holiday decorations around me.

We love because he first loved us.
1 John 4:19 

Art Play Date 2014

 Sign up today for Art Play Date 2014


I'm pleased to announce that I'll be teaching a class on Inspirational Art Journaling for Art Play Date.  This is an online event that runs for 24 weeks with 24 classes in art and mixed media and will be taught by 24 nationally known teachers.  

Classes begin in May and will be available for your crafting pleasure through April 2015.  Use the link above for more information and to reserve your spot.

Fabric Painting Fun - Flora's Art Adventures

Bella, Flora and Sage have a painting party ©CindyRippe2014
Bella and her doll, Sage, came to visit for a few days. As usual, we worked on projects and she has a great time in my "craft room" sampling things like washi tapes, paints, colored pencils and more.  Today we decided to make a blanket for Sage.  One of the easiest ways to personalize a fabric design is to use Pentel Fabric Fun Dye sticks on pre-printed cotton fabric.  The line work and shading is already on this fabric panel.  I just taped it to a foam core board and Bella used the dye sticks like crayons to fill in the design.  Of course, Flora was on hand with suggestions for colors and technique.

Close up of the fabric print - I'm sorry that I don't remember the manufacturer.

Bella really enjoys this easy project. ©CindyRippe2014
Just fill the design with color and iron to set the dyes.
I love the fact that this product is permanent when heat set (follow product instructions) but will wash out before ironed. This eliminates the worry about kids ruining their clothes with dye.  The hardest part of teaching a project like this is that it's so smooth to apply that the kids can get carried away with their scribbles. By the time it's ironed it will soften a little and become a little more translucent so the scribbles won't matter as much.

Painting on the Go - Flora's Art Adventures

Mom was feeling a little better so I set her up with watercolors at the hospital ©CindyRippe2014
I was thinking that the title of this post "Painting on the Go" should probably be "Painting when you're stuck in Bed" but it works for both I guess. I've spent so much time away from the studio lately that I started figuring out ways to bring a few creative tools with me.  I had my book of Peerless Water Color Sheets, a brush and one sheet of watercolor paper with me while visiting Mom at the hospital yesterday.  She started feeling better so I drew a quick vine on the paper, set her up with a paper cup, water, brush and the design. 
She really enjoyed painting for a while.  Flora helped by hold the water color book and Mom thought that was pretty funny. She has "busy hands" syndrome now with her Dementia and this will help.  There are a few other things that she can do but both Flora and I are partial to this one!  I bought her a set of pan watercolors today (washable) that she can use at home. I wish I would have thought about bringing one of my Aquash™ Water Brushes with.  That would have been even easier for her to use.   No worries about knocking over the cup of water.

I have another kit set up for painting acrylic washes with pen and ink.  I'll show you that one later.  

Flora wants to know what is in YOUR travel art kit?

Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time. Thomas Merton

 

Starting the Countdown to Spring -

Record cold temperatures and snow this year ©CindyRippe2014
I just checked the Spring Countdown widget.  I'm ready for this stuff to ease up a little!  At the same time I have to admit that it's made me extremely grateful for my cozy little house, warm coat, a car that works and has heated seats and that the snow has been (most of the time) easier to shovel.

All seasons are beautiful for the person who carries happiness within.  Horace Friess

Art Treasures - Time to share with others! Flora's Art Adventures

Flora tries to help out with my book sale - Flora's Art Adventures - ©CindyRippe2014

This week I've been moving more art supplies from the big studio to my home studio. Part of the process is downsizing.  Sorting through what I have left. I've donated the basic supplies to schools, churches and decorative painting books in the past.  Found that I was not wanting to part with anything... these are treasures to me!

After realizing that I haven't done anything with the books for a ling time I decided to start selling them.  Flora agrees with me on both counts.  They are wonderful tools to learn by and I don't have the room for them now!

Please help us out and visit my ongoing sales on facebook.  I'll be posting them in "destashing" groups and will let you know when each group is listed on my Cindy Rippe - Artist facebook page.  To make sure you don't miss any of the the bargains (there will be much more than just books eventually) CLICK LIKE on my page

To make sure you see my posts CLICK the little arrow which will give you a drop down menu. Then CHECK the Show in News Feed link.    THANKS!  I'll see you there!




Decorating my Datebook - Mixed Media - Flora's Art Adventures

The Documented Life Project, Artistic Calendar, Daily Planner with Mixed Media Techniques, Pen & Ink with Colored Pencil, Washi Tape page edges, Decoupage, Acrylic Color Wash, ©Cindy Rippe2014
Flora's been helping me with my 2014 Daily Planner - Mixed Media Techniques - ©CindyRippe2014
For the last few years I've been using a planner that has a full page for each day. (more room to write the lists that I love to make)  The DayMinder that I bought this year doesn't have monthly calendar pages or dividers.  The talent designers over at The Documented Life Project inspired me to get creative and make it fun. Flora inspired me to paint flowers, but then again, that's the first thing I think of when designing a new project anyway.

The Documented Life Project, Watercolor paper dividers for the months, layering Acrylic Wash, Colored Pencil, Pen & Ink, Washi Tape, Narcissus Flower and Bulb, ©CindyRippe2014
Before and after - Mixed Media Daily Planner for 2014 - ©CindyRippe
I cut page dividers and tip-outs (pages that fold out) from watercolor paper. If I do this project again I would use bristol board, the watercolor is a little thicker than I like but it worked.

After drawing a blank calendar template on the monthly pages I taped the edges with washi tape (butterflies by Tim Holtz) and then taped the divider directly onto the first page of each month with matte transparent tape.  While sketching a flower for each month I laid a piece of tracing paper on the top of the template.  My original intention was to only paint/sketch over the blank squares but as you can see I got carried away. I just reinforced the inked dates and lines after I finished painting.  Freehand sketching gave me the freedom to make the plant grow in any direction that I like.

Each page has a different color scheme that I carried out to the border with a wash of acrylic paint.  I painted right over the transparent and washi tapes.  I chose one butterfly on the washi tape to paint and detail (SEE ARROW above)  To add more color to overall look of the planner the tip-out pages and loose "TODAY" divider are decoupaged with scrapbook papers. (not shown here)  I used matte medium for that.

The whole project is brighter than I usually create but I'm liking it! I won't be able to do the weekly challenges but I will be adding a few more colorful details as the year goes on.  I really appreciate the ideas and inspiration from the group. Check them out!

You can find more information about The Documented Life Project here:

Art to the 5th
http://www.robenmarie.com/
Rae Missigman: http://raemissigman.squarespace.com/
Sandi Keene: https://sandi-keene.squarespace.com/
Barbara Moore: http://instagram.com/barbaracmoore
Lorraine Bell: http://lorrainebell.com/

Intro to Watercolors - Flora's Art Adventure

Flora's Friday Art Adventures - Jan 10, 2014, What Color is Love?, CindyRippe.blogspot.com, Intro to Watercolors, Cindy Rippe, Family Art Projects
Samantha and Flora learn to mix watercolors ©CindyRippe2014
We celebrated Samantha's birthday last night.  She's a budding artist and wants to use "real" art supplies now.  I don't get to see this part of our family very often so last night was a special treat for me.  Flora came along for the fun too!  We gave Samantha a set of watercolors for her birthday present and I brought the rest of the supplies for the kids to play with.

Flora's Friday Art Adventures - Jan 10, 2014, CindyRippe.blogspot.com, Intro to Watercolors, Cindy Rippe, Family Art Projects
Nolan, Samantha, Cash and Flora mix watercolors and we have a great time! ©CindyRippe2014
During our Art Time I told them all about Flora, how to use watercolors; along with the reason for the special palette, brushes, papers and mixing the colors to make new ones.  They are all so smart!  They shared their own insights and things they've already learned with me.  We had several discussions about pigments and how crayons have pigment in a wax base, oil pastels are pigment in an oil base, watercolors are water based, etc.  They already have a basic understanding of the color wheel but were eager to learn more.  I can't wait to have more mini art lessons with them and hope to continue with the rest of my nieces and nephews, and of course my granddaughter, Bella, very soon through the magic of the internet.  We have been crafting together since they were babies but now that they are growing up we're ready to move on to "real" art!

I've been playing with watercolors again in my sketchbook and Drawing Devotions project and this was a way for me to share my inspiration with them.  I had a wonderful time and we imagined that Flora did too!

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. Pablo Picasso

Winter Snow - Blessings and Exhaustion

Garden in Winter, Garden Shed, Birdhouse with snow, Aristotle quote about Nature, Cindy Rippe, Florals-Family-Faith
Snow on the Garden Shed - photo ©CindyRippe2014 - quote by Aristotle
Last night I was in awe as I watched the snow fall in the back yard at midnight.  I knew it would lead to work today, and boy oh boy, was I right!  After 3 hours of shoveling out cars and clearing paths for two houses we decided to shop for groceries too!  You know how it goes, "while we are out we might as well do it"....

As we pulled up to the front of the house we realized that we needed to start all over again because the snow just hasn't stopped yet.  We did the work, then I dealt with all the wet clothes while Lee put groceries away and both grumbled about being exhausted.

By the time I made it from the front of the house to the back door with the clothes my mood changed in an instant.  There I was again ... marveling at the beauty just outside my own back door!  I love how the snow is piled high on the bird feeder and twig wreath.  It's even hanging on to the edge of the little trowels that we used to make the door handles.  So.. right now I'm feeling blessed with this pretty view of my garden shed, and lucky to be inside our cozy little house drying out those boots and coats.

In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.  Aristotle

Snow Falling Soundlessly in the Middle of the Night

Snow Falling Tonight - ©CindyRippe 2014  Quote from Missin' by ― Novala Takemoto
It's been snowing .... again... since this afternoon.  Sounds like it will continue for several more days but that's not unusual for January in Northern Illinois.  Now that my kids have made it safely home after a long day of travel I can enjoy the beauty.  I probably won't enjoy shoveling, or driving in it, so much tomorrow though!

It's almost midnight and for this moment, this quiet and peaceful moment looking out of my back door, I can enjoy this "Snow falling soundlessly in the middle of the night".

I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields...  It covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, 'Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.  Lewis Carroll



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