Friday, November 23, 2012

Create a keepsake Christmas Ornament!

Create a special keepsake ornament for your Christmas tree!

Begin with a clear glass ball.  Remove the metal cap and hanging wire.

Copy your child's list to Santa, adding the year at the bottom.  Tear or cut the paper to fit inside the glass ball.  Gently roll the paper starting at one side, with the writing on the outside.  Slide it inside the glass ball, so it will unfold and you can see the writing.

Make a similar keepsake ornament each year for your tree!

Ornaments like this one become keepsakes over the years and make your tree unique!

Have fun!!
Linda Harbin - Midwestie Lady

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Halloween Ghosts for my yard!!

I absolutely LOVE this circle of dancing ghosts.  I am going out tomorrow to find the supplies and will post a photo when mine are finished!

Are YOU ready for Halloween?

Midwestie Lady

Friday, October 19, 2012

A creative idea for FALL

Try marbles or beads and add the tops from real acorns!


Midwestie Lady

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My "Grapes of Wrath" art has been published !!

I entered a challenge from Stampington & Co. earlier this year to create art representing Classic Literature.  At first I imagined creating a mixed media piece of one of my own favorite books.  Then I began to browse through the vintage photos I have saved on my PC.  When I found the photo of two children working in the vegetable fields, I knew that was the one I wanted to use for my art.  I've saved this vintage photo for several years because of the look on their faces and the story that the photo told.  So this photo became the beginning of my art representing "Grapes of Wrath."

During my creative process for this art, I went to the library for a copy of "Grapes of Wrath" to reread.  It's amazing how different it read for me now from how the story was for me many years ago. 

After searching through my photos I chose another one - this time it was my father and his friend sitting on the running board of an old pickup truck - a photo from the 1940s.  I found a photo of cotton fields to add, and a US map showing Route 66 crossing the country. 

I wanted a brown and tan look to the art to echo the Dust Bowl feeling, and based the canvas in acrylic paints in those colors.  I added vintage lace, vintage papers and pieces of my handmade paper.  Under the photos I used burlap and wrinkled fabrics.  I printed quotes from the book and glued them to coffee stained tags, along with the cotton field photo.  I added a vintage car key, a vintage button and an envelope dated in the 1940s.

While the style of this mixed media was a bit different for me (I didn't include any of my own drawing) I really enjoyed the process!

You can find my "Grapes of Wrath" in Stampington & Company's magazine Somerset Studio Gallery, Winter 2011 issue.  Thank you Stampington & Co. for publishing my art!

Friday, September 30, 2011

"Creativity is not something you wait for"

Three times a week I receive inspirational messages via email from Neale Donald Walsch, the author of the book series "Conversations With God."  He titles these short little emails "I believe God wants you to know."

Today I received the message below.  It's the perfect message for me right now.  When you read it and you reach the word "Linda" put your own name in that first sentence.  Perhaps it will be the perfect message for you too.

On this day of your life, Linda, I believe God wants you to know...

...that creativity is not something you wait for.

It is something that waits for you.

You must decide to be creative, not wait to be.

You must challenge yourself. Pick up the brush.

Grab hold of the camera. Turn on the computer.

Start cooking the meal. Get to the workplace early.

Propose the solution. Advance the idea.

Become the answer.

How do you suppose these very words were written by me?

Do you think I have time to wait for "an inspiration"?

I must be the inspiration. And so must you.

Print this out and put it right in front of you today.

So I printed this email and it's now taped to the shelf above my printer.  It will be a reminder that I have everything inside me already to inspire me, to release that creativity I am seeking and allow me to BE the artist I was born to be.  I hope this inspires you too!
Linda Harbin
Visit me at my Etsy shop:
my ArtFire shop:
and my ArtFire shop featuring animals:

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Stampington and Co.

Woo Hoo !!!   Thank you, Stampington and Co.!   My art is in the latest issue of GreenCraft magazine along with an article that I wrote!  This is truly a dream come true for me!

In May, I received an email from Amanda Crabtree, Senior Managing Editor of GreenCraft, that several pieces of my art would be published in the Autumn 2011 issue of GreenCraft.  She also asked if I could write the article about my pieces with the background, material list and step-by-step instructions.  My answer was "Yes! I'd love to try..."

I had loved creating the bird tins and dress banner. When I first read about the call for art created from the Stampington calendars, I wasn't sure I wanted to cut up my beloved calendars.  Then I saw all the birds and bird nests in the calendars and my idea was born - I love birds and I'd make tins covered with birds, feathers and bird nests.  I could display these tins in my art studio and fill them with paint brushes, colored pencils and ink pens.

Next I noticed all the little paper dresses in the calendars and began to cut them out.  I used mini clothespins from my collection to hang the dresses from a twine clothesline and added one cute little lady too. I added some unique legs from the calendars to some of the dresses and my dress banner was finished!

The two photos above are the ones I took before I sent my altered calendar creations to GreenCraft.

In May I wrote the article with my story, the materials list, the instructions and my bio, and sent it via email to Amanda.  My article was accepted!   I was thrilled when the GreenCraft magazine arrived this week!  The photos that the staff at GreenCraft took of my creations are beautiful and and the layout is perfect!  Thank you, Amanda, all the staff and the photographers!  I'm so honored to be included in this magazine filled with unique, altered and repurposed creations made by talented artists.

You can find this latest issue of GreenCraft, Autumn 2011 at your local bookstore, craft store or news stand.  You'll read about how I learned to "make do" from my mom and about how I learned to recycle too.
Be sure to check out all the wonderful creations in this issue, like the darling pincushions on the cover made by Amber Demien.

And on pages 116-119 you'll find my feature article about my repurposed calendar art!

Thanks for stopping by MidwestieLady!  I'd love it if you'd leave a comment and say hello!

Linda Harbin

Visit me at my Etsy shop:
and my ArtFire shop:
and my ArtFire shop featuring animals:

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day - Midwest Memories

Memorial Day has always been a very special day for me.  It's the day to remember all the men and women who have served in our military, those who have given their lives to protect our freedoms.  It's also a day to bless those who continue to serve and their families who wait for them at home.

I grew up in Iowa, in the heart of the Midwest where Memorial Day was also known as Decoration Day. It was a day to decorate the graves of our family and friends in addition to honoring Memorial Day and we spent the entire day decorating graves with fresh flowers.  By the end of May in Iowa, we had fragrant lilacs, beautiful peonies and wild flowers to pick, and we used three pound coffee cans for vases.  My mother and I would put all the fresh flowers in buckets of water, and load them and the empty coffee cans in our car for the trip to Colfax.

On the way, Mom would share stories of growing up in Colfax, of how her Daddy worked in the coal mines and where they lived.  Another favorite story was when her mother sent her to town to buy bread, and let her ride one of the farm horses.  She wasn't supposed to gallop the horse, but she did and lost the quarter for the bread.  By the time these stories were told, we were at the Colfax cemetery where we put out coffee cans of water and arranged the flowers on the graves of our family.  She would show me her parents' graves, tell me about each gravestone and explain who they were.  Some of our family had served in the military and the veterans would have already placed flags at their graves.

In later years, after my Mom's sister died, we added a trip to the Mitchellville cemetery to our Memorial Day plans; there we decorated the graves of Aunt Opal and Uncle Virgil.  When my son was old enough to go with us, he too learned the stories Mom would share and where all the cemeteries were located.  

By the time I moved away from Iowa in 1984, my parents and paternal grandparents had passed.  They are buried in Newton Union Cemetery in Newton, Iowa where they create an avenue of flags for Memorial Day, with huge American flags on flag poles lining the main drive.  I continued the tradition of putting fresh flowers on all the family graves until I moved.

Here in Florida I honor Memorial Day and Decoration Day both.  I hang my American flag - this is a photo of my flag today.  And I always plant colorful annuals in a huge flower pot to enjoy all summer.  These flowers remind me of Decoration Day and all the traditions I learned many years ago.

Linda Harbin

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