May 8, 2009

If I can do it, anyone can do it

[Unrelated to content of this post: Is anyone else having issues with Blogger formatting your posts incorrectly? I can already tell this one is going to be weird. It wants to insert line breaks where they shouldn't be, and it won't accept hard returns where I put them. That's why sometimes my text bumps right up against my pictures. IT'S DRIVING ME NUTS. And I don't need extra things driving me nuts.]

There's a franchise in Birmingham named Sips n Strokes, and it's a place where you sign up to paint a particular painting (usually with friends), and a teacher walks you through it. It's practically paint-by-numbers.

I'm fairly creative but am not artistic AT ALL, and I think it's a lot of fun -- and pretty easy!

The first time I went, we treated a friend from work who was moving to another city to an evening at Sips n Strokes. We painted "Funky Tree," and it was intimidating at first ... but then we really got into it. Here is the "inspiration painting" we were copying:

Wendy walked us through it line by line, and we used the same colors she did for the background and tree because we weren't brave enough to go out on our own. (On subsequent visits, we tried to be a little different.)
Here's how mine turned out:
One thing you'll notice is that I didn't do the yellow hatchmarks on mine. Actually, I DID do them, and I hated it so I painted back over them! I added highlights, instead, and I ended up being happier with that.
And here's our whole group with our finished paintings:

The next time we went, it was again a group of friends from work to celebrate my good friend Melanie's birthday. On this visit, we painted one called "Bloom" (I think). It's not on their Web site anymore, but they have a similar one. I didn't take pictures that night for some reason (shocking, I know), but I took one of my finished painting at home later. The original was more pinks and purples, I think, but I went with other colors.

I actually donated this one to a charity because it didn't fit anywhere in our home.

Most recently, our Bunko group met there and painted "Cross." Here's the "inspiration painting" that we were copying:

And here's how mine turned out:

Again, I didn't do a lot of the detail work that the teacher did on hers. I get jittery when there's too much clutter, and it just felt cluttered to me. I donated this one to my church recently because, again, it didn't go in our house at all. (I think I need to go back to painting in neutrals, reds and blacks so I can keep some of my paintings!)

And lastly, here's our group! We had a lot of people who really did their own thing and were really proud of their final paintings.

Sips n Strokes has locations all over Alabama, one in Georgia, and a couple opening in Tennessee, I think, based on their Web site. If you ever have a chance to go, I highly recommend it! (And by the way, I don't know anyone associated with the business and they have no idea I'm promoting them. I just thought you might like to see the paintings.)


RLR said...

Wow - those are great! Wish we had one here. I'll have to see if there's something similar around...

Rebekah said...

I really love your tree one, it's more feminine and pretty than the "inspiration painting

Katherine @ Grass Stains said...

It really is fun, ladies! Worth doing once, for sure.

Chris D. Hilton said...

I am working on a fairly ambitious project in blogger requiring literally hours of my time over the past week. Yesterday I am doing an edit to a side bar comment when all of a sudden everything is underlined. Not only have I not underlined anything but I haven't seen, nor can I find an option for underlining. I am stumped! So, I take a look at the HTML code and, sure enough, the program has added an "underline" command at the top of the entry. Taking a chance I delete it, not being sure that I will not create havoc. It worked, and the underlining disappeared as quickly as it appeared. Lets name it "Ghost Code".

The formatting issue is a whole different issue and drives me bonkers. The other is that you can insert HTML code and then delete something over or under it and the code entry will disappear. You can also insert different links on a page, change one link and it changes both. Isn't blogger FUN!

Katherine @ Grass Stains said...

Chris, I am pretty familiar with HTML, since I was a Webmaster for BellSouth when I worked there. I do go in and edit the code sometimes, adding and deleting tags, inserting hard line breaks, etc., when I see that there's a problem. Sometimes it helps, and sometimes it doesn't. I can't tell what makes the difference between a successful tweak and an unsuccessful tweak. Patrice and a couple of other bloggers I read all have similar issues with Blogger. I just keep telling myself that it's a great program and I'm lucky that it works MOST of the time!

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