Thursday, December 14, 2017

Little mitten knitting pattern

 Doves, wanting mittens!
I adapted this pattern from slightly larger little mittens. These measure about 3 inches long, and look really cute decorating a wreath. I think this is for an intermediate knitter, because using double pointed needles on such a small thing can get tricky.
  • 4 size 4 double pointed knitting needles
  • yarn. I used wool-the lovely Lion Brand 100% wool, regular weight
  • large holed needle for sewing in ends
  • scissors
scrap paper for keeping track of rows, or row counter

CO 12 stitches, divide the stitches between 3 needles, don't twist the stitches
Rows 1-6: K1,P1
Row 7:K1,M1,K10 (you have 13 sts)
Row 8:K
Row 9: K 6, M1,K1, M1, K 4 (15 sts)
Row 10: K
Row 11: K 6,M1, K  2, M1, K 5 (17 sts)
Row 12: K
Row 13: K 6,M1,K 3, M1, K 6 (19 sts)
Row 14: K
Row 15: K 6, M1,K 4,M1, K 7 (21 sts)
Row 16: K 6, place 5 sts on a safety pin for thumb, finish row with knit
Rows 17-21: Knit, pulling yarn tightly to close gap above thumb sts
Row 22: K 2 tog, K 2, repeat (you may have to transfer a st to another needle as you k 2 tog)
Row 23: K
Row 24: K 2 tog, K 2, repeat
Row 25:K
Row 26: K 2 tog, repeat
Cut yarn, leaving a tail long enough to draw through sts on needles. Weave end of yarn down through mitten, hiding end.
Thumb: Place 5 held sts on 1 dpn. Join yarn and k 1 row. Work I-cord (please look this up if you don't know how to do it) a few rows, last row, K 2 tog, repeat, cut leaving tail, weave into end of thumb. If there are any holes, weave loose yarn ends and pull up yarn to close holes. (I usually have one by the thumb)

I used little clothes pins to attach the mittens to the wreath, but you can crochet or braid loops for the mittens to hang them. A long garland of mittens in all colors would be very pretty. They also look nice as package decorations, or with little ornaments stuffed inside and hung on the tree.
*** I adapted this pattern from Interweave Knits Magazine, Winter/99/00, pattern originally by Barbara Albright, page 56.
I've made hundreds of these-one mitten this size takes less than an hour to knit.

Monday, December 11, 2017

A good place to go-PFATT- Prominent Folk Artists Trinkets and Treasures

For some reason, Blogger isn't letting me put photos on my blog today.
I guess we all have those days!

I wanted to let you know about some GOOD art sites that I did find in my research this past summer.
One of them is PFATT
I applied for admission and they accepted me-that was way back in early summer. I was so excited I about jumped to the moon. When I was getting started in doll making, that site was a goal of mine. I never thought I'd be good enough to be a part of their site.

Long story short-I backed out of being on the site once, changed my mind, was accepted again, and backed out again! I want to say that Dan Gracia, the web master, was incredibly kind to me-both times. I think that deserves some recognition in this world.

Please hop over and take a look at the beautiful prim art, folk art and beautiful HANDMADE work at PFATT.

A footnote: The reason I was so uncertain about joining this marketplace is that I was having a real battle with myself about what direction I should take with my art. It sounds so egotistic to say I feel I have a calling to paint-but that's exactly how I feel.
I hope someday my calling and my painting ability will match! Right now I am fumbling through the painting part!

Saturday, December 9, 2017


 The geese around here mostly fly from lake to lake. I live in the heart of the Finger Lakes area of NY. I am only 2 miles from Seneca Lake. I have to get up a little higher than our place to see it between the trees on a road that borders our home.
 These geese were flying north. The picture was taken in September, so they are certainly stay-around-here geese. Or else they are not quite making up their minds about where to go....
 And I have been having the same kind of uncertain thoughts. I said in the previous post that I wasn't going back to Etsy-I edited the text so it doesn't read that way now. 
Since May I've researched like mad other sites where I could maybe set up a shop, or feel comfy doing it. I have to say-I found NOTHING.
There are some sites that are downright scary, and most of them just can't compete with the following and popularity of Etsy.
I have to say, as an artist-most of the other sites I looked at are unattractive to look at-let alone to sell at. I know as a shopper, I want to see things displayed nicely, especially since I can't pick the item up. I rely totally on the picture.

 I'm still thinking about it, but I probably will go ahead and open back up. My shop is listed again, but it says I'm on vacation.
I know I have made some wonderful friends there, and never had a bad experience buying things there. I do wish it was more about totally handmade, like it used to be, but every site has some drawbacks. I can live with the few that I've found, comparing the others to Etsy.
This post is so unimportant to anyone but me-so maybe it's just like a journal of my thoughts, with some pictures for you to look at....

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

playing with watercolors.....and ramblin' thoughts

Birds, © 2017, Debra Smith
 There are so many watercolor artists I admire....
A few of them are on my blog reading list.
Debbie, Jeri, Diana.
Golly Bard.
Michelle Palmer.
Each of these fine artists have perfected their style, and the craft and art of water coloring.
The Never Ever Bird, © 2017, Debra Smith
 A long time ago I started out with oils, and loved using them until the smell got to me, and now- adays, I am careful to go as non-toxic as possible. I know there are non-toxic oils, but since I have so many acrylic paints, I'll stick to them for that type of painting.
Detail, The Never Ever Bird, © 2071, Debra Smith
There are effects in watercolor that can't be done with any other paint. A small for instance, I love the spots on the bird's neck. I love the transparent quality of watercolor-and it's immediacy. Conversely, it can be frustrating and slow. Waiting, waiting, for that layer of paint to dry. And it can be so unforgiving of mistakes.....
But there is something that draws me to it over and over.
Last winter I spent many hours just practicing in a sketchbook. It was fascinating fun and I learned so much!
I appreciate sharing what I'm doing as far as painting because I have no outlet except this blog. I miss Etsy, and I may go back.
Thank you for looking!!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Small Cabin, chapter Two

 In the little hours of the morning, it began to snow.
The girl awoke to find trees white against a blue sky, and frost on every twig and seed pod and branch.
At night when the moon came out,
the girl sat in the small cabin and read an old book, with just snow and moonlight to read by.
Owls called to each other from the Far-Away woods.

Story and art by Debra Smith

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Angel of the Lost in Heart, by Debra Smith

 Liquitex fluid acrylics on cradled birch panel, 9 inches by 12 inches, with a 1 5/8 inch deep cradle.
These lovely panels don't need a frame. The cradle is so deep, all you do is hang a nail and hang the painting. American Easel makes these panels and I can give them a five star rating. They are very well made and lovely to work on.

 Detail of "Angel of the Lost in Heart."

I think the lighting made the other photos a shade of blue, and this last one is the most true. Depending on the light, the gold paint shows more.

This painting came from a place in my own heart.
I hope it speaks to your heart too.

My paintings may be for sale if there is an interest. Just comment.

Thank you so much for looking!

Monday, November 20, 2017

My first Angel Painting & Hello Huffman, Texas.

This will be a bit of an odd comment with this painting, but I just found a comment that ended in my spam file for what reason I don't know. A follower from Huffman, Texas-does that ring a bell? I was so inspired by your comment, anonymous. Because-you don't need to feel any shyness to comment on my blog. I feel bad that the comment got shuffled under the rug, kinda. I'm so sorry!
Your comment inspired me because I struggle So Much with my art. It is just so nice to get such a humble and sweet comment, and I thank you so much....
I have had angels on my mind for quite a while, and this painting came from somewhere deep I think. Maybe that sounds funny or pretentious and I don't mean it that way. 
I want to give credit where it goes though.
I PRAYED about this a lot.
I felt like something was begging to come out and be a painting, and yet I also felt I had no strength to make it happen like I wanted it to. So this is what came out...
And I was so, so thankful.

I call it

fluid acrylic on heavy paper, 6"x6"