Friday Photo Roundup - Feburary 24

Happy Friday!

Only four images this week-- I was off on Monday and totally thought it was Sunday. I know, what a terrible problem to have!

These pretties are from the much anticipated Chicago Botanic Garden Orchid Show. I went on Friday AND I went back with mom on Monday. What a fantastic showing this year! Well, to be honest, I think they outdo themselves every year.

If haven't been, and you love beautiful and exotic orchid, you should go. My photos may be pretty but they really don't do the orchids justice. You just have to see (and smell) them for yourself.

Chicago Botanic Garden Orchid Show 2017
Orchid Show 2017 at the Chicago Botanic Garden
Orchid Show at the Chicago Botanic Garden 2017
Orchids from the 2017 Orchid Show at the Chicago Botanic Garden

These were just a few of my favorites. I'm sure I will be posting more next week!

If you love orchids and want to add their beauty and vibrancy to your home, I have many orchid art prints, photo note cards, and even pillows in the shop. Many of these were photographed from previous Orchid Shows and I will be adding many more soon! Be sure to stop by and let me know which is your favorite!



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WIP - Two new little cuties

Hi! Today is the most non Wednesday feeling Wednesday, isn't it? I'm pretty excited that the week is half over already. I know I just got back to work yesterday, but I'm ready for the weekend, how about you?

This past weekend I got in a lot of painting time. I finished the four little coffee & succulent paintings that I mentioned last week. I LOVE how they turned out, and I cannot wait to photograph them properly and list them in my shop. They are the cutest!

I also started a new set-- succulents & teacups (perhaps you notice a theme?) I'm really excited about these paintings too.

Succulent in Teacup Painting in Progress
Teacup and Succulent Painting in Progress


What projects are you working on? Let me know in the comments section below!



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Friday Photo Roundup - February 17

Happy Friday! I hope you've had a good week. My week was fantastic, especially because I took a half-day at work on Monday to go to the Botanic Garden to see the Orchid Show.  And it did not disappoint! In fact, I'm bringing my mom there today so she can enjoy it and take photos. Be prepared for a ton of orchid photos next week, and maybe the week after, and the week after that...

This week, since I'm still editing photos from Monday's extravaganza, I decided to post some favorite non-orchid photos from my second trip, this time with mom, to the Nicholas Conservatory in Rockford, and, as predicted, she LOVED it. We were even able to take a few more adorable gnome photos that I will be posting and listing in the shops! 

Nicholas Conservatory-Red Antherium
Nicholas Conservatory-Koi
Nicholas Conservatory Orchid Heads
Nicholas Conservatory - Greenery
Nicholas Conservatory White Antherium

I hope you have a lovely weekend and if you get a chance, get out and enjoy it.

See you next week!


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WIP - Two of my favorite things

Happy Wednesday! I decided to combine two of my most favorite things into a painting--coffee (cups) AND succulents. I absolutely adore this painting. I don't have a lot of in progress photos because this painting just happened so quickly. I didn't even sketch it out first. I just...painted. And it happened.

Succulent and Coffee Mug painting by april bern

The canvas is 6"x6" and 1 1/2" deep. It was a beautiful little canvas that I picked up on clearance from Blicks.

step 1- coffee cup and succulent painting
succulent and coffee cup painting
side profile of succulent and coffee cup painting

I love it. Because of this little painting, I was inspired to create a few more coffee cup and succulent paintings. I can't wait to show you those! This tiny painting is definitely going in the shop as soon as I can photograph it properly. Don't worry, I'll keep you posted!


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10 More Super Cute Ways to DIY Your Flower Pots

It may be only the middle of February, but it's never too early to be thinking about getting your garden ready for spring. I am considering re-painting all of my terracotta planters this year. A few years ago I distressed my flower pots and they looked so pretty. Sadly, I left those pots out over the winter and most of them cracked and broke. This year, I have a bunch of new terracotta pots and I've been looking for new, really cute ways to decorate and paint them. Here are a few of my favorites:

10 super cute DIY painted flower pot ideas


1. Hello There Flower Pot Crafts

2. Funny Face Flower Pots

3. DIY Hand Painted Succulent Pots

4. DIY Terra Cotta Pots

5. DIY Painted Terra Cotta Pot

6. DIY Marbled Terracotta Pots

7. Houseplants That Will Make You Smarter

8. How to Create Beautiful Finishes on Flower Pots

9. Decoupaged Terracotta Pots

10. Chalkboard Herb Pots

Aren't these super cute? They seem fairly easy too, which is a bonus for me. I'm leaning towards number 7 for some of my indoor flower pots because I love the colors and the super cute faces.  I'm really loving number 3 and 4 for my outdoor flower pots and number 10 for my herbs. What about you? What's your favorite?


If you're looking for even more ways to DIY your flower pots, check out these posts about 10 DIY Flower Pot Painting Ideas and 10 MORE DIY Flower Pot Painting Ideas, and my newest collection of 10 Super Cute Ways to DIY succulent planters. I'm sure you'll find something you'll love!






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Friday Photo Roundup - February 10

Happy Friday! I hope you had a stellar week. This week, I posted some orchid photos from my smallish adventure to the Nicholas Conservatory. I hope you aren't tired of ochid photos yet-- I am hoping to take mom to the conservatory in Rockford this weekend, and I have a date at the Chicago Botanic Garden for their very much anticipated Orchid show next week. I seriously can't wait.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy these orchids!

Nicholas Conservatory - Orchid
Mini Orchids at the Nicholas Conservatory by April Bern Photography
Orchid by april bern photo
Orchid face by april bern photo
exotic orchids by april bern photography

I know you saw the yellow orchids earlier this week, but I couldn't help it-- I just can't get over the spectacular color and beautiful shape of these orchids!

Have a great weekend!



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WIP Wednesday - Trying out Abstract

Happy Work in Progress Wednesday! Wait, it's not a thing yet? Don't worry, it will be soon.

In Between Days - Abstract Art by April Bern

This week, I worked on something completely different. I tried abstract art! I'm so used to painting what I see and from reference photos and I want my paintings to be as close to photo realistic as possible. But I LOVE abstract art. I've always to be more "free" in my paintings. I am a "tight" painter and I tend to blend the heck out of everything (this isn't a bad thing.) I think painting abstractly might be a way to achieve that "freedom" in my painting.

This painting was fun. I had a canvas that I whitewashed with gesso and I thought to myself "Why not? What have I got to lose?" and I plopped a few colors down. I did blend the paint a little bit, but I made sure to leave some brush marks showing.

In Between Days - Abstract Art by April Bern

I put it down and came back to it a few days later and added a little more color, and I added those splotches. The splotches are my favorite part of the painting so far.

In Between Days - Abstract Art by April Bern

I'm not sure if I'm finished or not. That's the problem with abstract paintings, I think. You aren't ever quite sure if it's finished. I could go back and play with it some more, but then I worry about "ruining" it. It's at a good place right now. Who knows, in the future I might think "why not" and play with it again.



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Smallish Adventures - Orchids at Nicholas Conservatory

This weekend I went on a smallish adventure to the Nicholas Conservatory in Rockford. I had never been there before, and up until I created this post about 40 spectacular gardens in and around Chicago, I had never even heard of it. I'm so glad I went. It's a pretty little conservatory and, the best part, they had an orchid show going on!

Nicholas Conservatory Rockford Illinois
Orchids at the Nicholas Conservatory Rockford Illinois
Rockford Orchid Show by april bern photography
Orchids Nicholas Conservatory by april bern photography

I wish I had taken photos of the outside of this conservatory. It's pretty impressive. It's glass (as most conservatories are) and quite large. I was a tiny bit disappointed in the size of the actual flower space inside. Don't get me wrong-- it's gorgeous. I imagine wedding and engagement photos would be amazing here. I just thought it would be a little bit bigger, based on the impressive shape of the building. I can't wait to come back in the spring and summer to check out the actual garden section.

The orchid show itself was quite lovely. The tropical smells hit you when you first walk in, even before you notice any of the flowers. They really did a fantastic job of creating gorgeous eye catching orchid displays and showcased a lot of different varieties of orchids. Keep an eye on my flickr or instagram account for a lot more photos.

Would I go back? Yes, definitely. I plan on taking my mom here so she can enjoy the orchid show. And we will check out the rest of the garden in the spring, and at least one more time in the summer when they have their rose event.  And because I always make a trip to the Anderson Japanese Garden in the fall, I'm sure we will be stopping here and checking out their fall colors too.



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