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Painted Stones - The Perfect Sandbox Toy

       Being a boy mom is so much fun, when else would I have a reason to paint tiny vehicles on rocks? Our boys and I have been painting the alphabet letters and pictures on rocks to learn the ABC's. I was encouraged by friends to paint cars on rocks for sandbox/outside toys so I have made a few of these sets available on Etsy if you would like to check them out! We love playing with them in the sandbox, and also they are just adorable hanging out in our garden to enjoy. 

Spindle Life Etsy Shop

 

fire truck
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A City Transportation Set including Stop Sign, of course. 

A City Transportation Set including Stop Sign, of course. 

A painted dot on the back of each rock - to learn colors & easily find rocks that are turned over

A painted dot on the back of each rock - to learn colors & easily find rocks that are turned over

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Construction Site Set - Dump Truck, Cement Mixer, Excavator, Backhoe, Construction Sign

Construction Site Set - Dump Truck, Cement Mixer, Excavator, Backhoe, Construction Sign

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Each stone is sealed to be weatherproof and fit for the outdoors. However, no sealer will permanently protect the painted stones left outside. I recommend spraying your outside painted rocks with a Krylon acrylic sealer if the design begins to fade with lots of love, or if you notice any sign of wear and tear. 

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Central Texas :: Small Gardens

         I have loved living in Central Texas. One of the great things about living here is being able to garden almost year-round. I wanted to create a post of the plants and flowers we have had success with here at our home in Temple, Texas. Our two young sons are very involved in our gardening. They help with picking out and planting the seeds, pulling weeds, and harvesting our fruits and veggies (and by harvest I mean they eat almost everything before we even have a chance to bring our hard work in the house). I don't care where they eat them as long as they are eating VEGETABLES! Our vegetable/sunflower garden receives morning sun and late afternoon shade, we have it in the lowest sunny spot in our yard. Our fenced-in garden is 8 x 12 feet and Preston built it in the very hot summer of 2013 right after we moved in to our home. We had great success with squash and zucchini that first year! We used the existing soil and added about 6 bags of garden soil at this time.

One of our favorite plants to grow are sunflowers! We have grown all types and my boys absolutely love them! We follow the directions on the seed packet and always plant the seeds in early March. There is nothing like seeing a giant flower towering over your head, we leave the dried up sunflower heads out by our bird feeders for the dove to feast on when they are spent.

We have two planters attached to the fence to grow our strawberries. I like having our strawberry plants off of the ground and hard for little boys to reach. This keeps the snails and rolly pollies out of them...as well as anxious fingers trying to pick the green berries too soon. We uncover the green berries and prop them up on top of the leaves, I think it makes them turn red faster but this is not a proven fact ;) Holes were drilled in the bottom of these planters so the water doesn't collect in the planters and drown the plants. I like hearing hummingbirds whizzing by while working in the garden, so we've had a feeder here two summers.

We have two planters attached to the fence to grow our strawberries. I like having our strawberry plants off of the ground and hard for little boys to reach. This keeps the snails and rolly pollies out of them...as well as anxious fingers trying to pick the green berries too soon. We uncover the green berries and prop them up on top of the leaves, I think it makes them turn red faster but this is not a proven fact ;) Holes were drilled in the bottom of these planters so the water doesn't collect in the planters and drown the plants. I like hearing hummingbirds whizzing by while working in the garden, so we've had a feeder here two summers.

Picking berries on a chilly May morning.

Picking berries on a chilly May morning.

We have sugar snap peas (we planted the seeds in late February/early March) growing up the side of our garden fence. Our Gordon setter likes to help herself to a little sugar snap snack. Sugar snap peas like to climb, make sure they have a trellis or fence to travel up. Garden basket to keep all the shovels and rakes for the little gardeners. This is our garden and youngest son this year, May 2017.

We have sugar snap peas (we planted the seeds in late February/early March) growing up the side of our garden fence. Our Gordon setter likes to help herself to a little sugar snap snack. Sugar snap peas like to climb, make sure they have a trellis or fence to travel up. Garden basket to keep all the shovels and rakes for the little gardeners. This is our garden and youngest son this year, May 2017.

This was our garden last April 2016, little boys grow faster than a garden. Youngest spindle boy chomping on asparagus.

This was our garden last April 2016, little boys grow faster than a garden. Youngest spindle boy chomping on asparagus.

Sugar snap peas. Crunchy and sweet! Little boys love em'!

Sugar snap peas. Crunchy and sweet! Little boys love em'!

Mama kitty, Tiger, surrounded by nasturtium, basil, cilantro, bell peppers, and a flower I planted last summer that is trying to take over. 

Mama kitty, Tiger, surrounded by nasturtium, basil, cilantro, bell peppers, and a flower I planted last summer that is trying to take over. 

  Italian oregano will quickly take over your garden if you let it! I've given parts of mine to all my gardening friends around town.

 

Italian oregano will quickly take over your garden if you let it! I've given parts of mine to all my gardening friends around town.

These two also like to help out in the garden.

These two also like to help out in the garden.

We plant poppy seeds every October, I have to look out for them first thing in late January/ February as the tiny plants start popping up in our garden! We have to remember not to cover them over completely with new garden soil. I have always had a handful of the seedings do well. Here they are in April with sunflower sprouts all around them, and some asparagus trying to grow in them.

We plant poppy seeds every October, I have to look out for them first thing in late January/ February as the tiny plants start popping up in our garden! We have to remember not to cover them over completely with new garden soil. I have always had a handful of the seedings do well. Here they are in April with sunflower sprouts all around them, and some asparagus trying to grow in them.

Our favorite gardening attire is pajamas. To the left we have an asparagus bed, I planted two year old asparagus roots (from Home Depot) in February 2014 and have had asparagus in the spring ever since! We let our asparagus turn in to trees late summer and build up energy for the next harvesting season.

Our favorite gardening attire is pajamas. To the left we have an asparagus bed, I planted two year old asparagus roots (from Home Depot) in February 2014 and have had asparagus in the spring ever since! We let our asparagus turn in to trees late summer and build up energy for the next harvesting season.

We have blackberry vines all along our backyard fence, one of our plants produces huge berries in late summer!

We have blackberry vines all along our backyard fence, one of our plants produces huge berries in late summer!

You can root the ends of the blackberry off shoots in to the ground, once roots form cut it from the vine and you will have a new blackberry to plant some where else in your yard! Or give to a friend.

You can root the ends of the blackberry off shoots in to the ground, once roots form cut it from the vine and you will have a new blackberry to plant some where else in your yard! Or give to a friend.

The previous owners of our home planted two peach trees and we are grateful! Summer 2015 we had an amazing peach harvest!

The previous owners of our home planted two peach trees and we are grateful! Summer 2015 we had an amazing peach harvest!

THIS delicious recipe made from our peaches & blueberries from HEB!

THIS delicious recipe made from our peaches & blueberries from HEB!

Nasturtium is easy to grow in pots and in the garden, their circular leaves and beautiful flowers are edible and so pretty to look at!

Nasturtium is easy to grow in pots and in the garden, their circular leaves and beautiful flowers are edible and so pretty to look at!

Little Tikes makeover : Fire Truck

      Preston and I found a Little Tikes car on the side of the road 2 years ago that had a "FREE" sign on it. I finally got around to making it in to something fun - just in time for Halloween! This little Paw Patrol Marshall puppy was pretty happy about the whole thing. I went through lots and lots of painters tape to make this ride. There is a red tupperware from the dollar store on the top for the light plus the metallic silver spray paint really made this well-loved and beat up coop shine. 

Fire truck
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This truck is sure to get many dings and scrapes but hey, that's a sign of a beloved boy's toy.  

If you liked this post you may want to check out our son's first room - and artwork made by me to go along with it. 

Gabe's Woodland Nursery

Woodland Artwork

Hot Air Balloon Series

Red Deer

    This is the first piece of artwork I've created since I had sweet baby Gabe. Motherhood has changed me and I am excited to see how I grow as an artist through this new journey. This painting is very special to me because I had my sweet little baby in his carrier, snuggled up against me through the whole painting process. It's definitely boy inspired, blues from the baby room, with dark browns and yellows.

    I painted this piece from a photo I took last december of a very old elk or red deer. I've always loved the photo and have wanted to paint him for some time now.  I am excited that this piece will be auctioned off for a good cause in March in Texarkana. I hope someone really enjoys having this piece in their home...I really wanted to keep it! 

old elk artwork

 Red Deer

20 x 24"

Mixed media on canvas

 

    I kept this painting simple with loose strokes and lines made with color pencils. Mixed media was collaged in the background but painted over. I thought the subject was beautiful and wanted to keep the focus completely on him, I thought he was a very elegant creature. 

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details...

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Peek Children Portrait

Peek Children Portrait

36 x 36"

Acrylic on Canvas

 

        I loved creating this piece for the Peek family. This painting shows their precious daughter holding a cookie away from the family dogs and her little brother. 

Cowboy Troubadour :: Nursery

     Recently I was contacted by my friend Kim to create a piece of artwork for their baby boy's room. The nursery designed for him is absolutely adorable, all it needed was a portrait of the family dog to display!  I loved creating this piece for such a sweet family, and I know they are going to enjoy that baby boy when he gets here!

Also a BIG thank you goes out to my awesome mother for playing with baby Gabe so I could finish this in a timely manner!!

 

Here he is, Troubadour in all his glory:

Troubadour

24 x 36

Acrylic on Canvas

 

Artwork by Lauren Spindle on www.spindlelife.net

Marilyn Pop Art

It has been a long time since I have had the opportunity to paint some pop art pieces! In college I painted pop art to sell at Sweet Eugene's in College Station. When I went to dental school I used to paint pieces like this for Cafe Brazil in Deep Ellum. They were always so much fun to create.

This Marilyn Monroe pop art piece is for sale at Southern Bling Boutique in down town Denison, Texas. Prints will hopefully be available soon!

Marilyn

Ink & acrylic on canvas 20 x 30"

Dining Room Painting

Our dining room was in desperate need of a painting! I had found this interesting frame last year at a thrift store in Houston for $12! Preston and I decided a loosely painted landscape would be a good compliment to a kitchen that can be very busy at times. 

I created this 18 x 24 piece with acrylic paints on watercolor paper. 

Botanical Drawings :: Living Room

Preston and I finally decided on the style of artwork we wanted in our living room! After getting our sofas and coffee table in place, we decided on some simple botanical drawings to hang over the dark leather sofa. Our living room is getting pretty cozy, it will be a perfect place to watch movies and drink hot chocolate when the weather gets cooler! I also found a fiddle leaf ficus on sale at Home Depot that I just could not pass up, so it has joined the family.  

I created the botanical drawings with watercolor pencils and acrylic paint. They are 16 x 20 on watercolor paper.

 

Let's not forget Preston's awesome Elk Sketch hanging over the fireplace!! 

Poppies for Beth's Kitchen

My sweet mother-in-love needed some artwork for her beautiful kitchen that was remodeled last year! We found a painting in a store we liked so we used the same concept to create this piece to match her kitchen better!  I hope you enjoy your poppy painting Beth!

 

Below we have Beth with her painting. I also showed some beginning stages of the painting process and Nana Libby modeling with the piece! 

Turtle Sunrise :: Illustration

 I am so thankful for the opportunity presented to me earlier this year by my sweet and talented friend, Ann Higginbottom.  Ann had been dreaming about the creation of this book for years and I was so honored when she asked me illustrate Turtle Sunrise. Illustrating a book has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl! I love how God is constantly placing people like Ann in my life to help me glorify Him and take me on new adventures. I hope you enjoy Ann's story of three turtle brothers and their journey to the sea!

You can purchase Turtle Sunrise here!

Thank you for taking the time to view some of my work :)

North American Wildlife

 I was recently asked to create two paintings for a pediatric dentist's office in Texarkana, Texas. The theme was North American wildlife and I could not have been more excited to begin working on these paintings! When I was a little girl I was constantly drawing wild animals in my sketch books so getting to create them for children on such a large scale was really fun for me. Thank you Preston Spindle for taking these photos of me with my latest paintings and putting up with my big painting messes in our little home!

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Acrylic on canvas

48" X 60"

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Acrylic on canvas

48" X 60"

 

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It was a little chilly outside during this photo shoot, so thankful to have a husband who entertains my interesting ideas :)

1939 Chevy

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Commission painting for little boy's room!

 I felt very honored to be asked to paint this piece, it represents a part of his grandfather's amazing legacy.

In the collection of the King family.