December 29, 2009

Portraits and Rice Bags!

What do portraits and rice bags have in common?  Not a lot, usually, but this year they are the items I made as Christmas gifts for my family. 

I can finally show it off. The portrait of my lovely daughter, that is. 

Yes, I know the shadows and the mid-tones could have been better, not to mention the hair but I loved it and I think (I hope) she did too. Alma's Portrait

It was painted from this photo:


The portrait was started a while back and sat in my studio in various stages of completion for such a long time. It became a part of my day to walk in the studio, look at the picture and wonder what else I should do to it. I know this is going to sound crazy but I procrastinated finishing it because I knew it would be gone when it was done. It was comforting having it around. Having it in the studio was like having her there to keep me company while I worked on other projects.  Just in case you are wondering if I’ve gone off the deep end, No, i didn’t speak to it. Ha ha!!

But now I’m going to miss it too.

Best compliment ever - When I gave it to her, her husband said I captured “Milli” perfectly. That’s his pet name for her cute as a button nose. Awww!

Several years ago, I made a rice bag (i.e. heat therapy bag) for my husband because he suffered from migraines. He loved it. Since then I have made rice bags for other members of the family because almost everyone in his family has migraines.   This year, in addition to the painting, I made a few more. 

In case you are wondering what a rice bag is, it’s simply a small cotton fabric bag filled with rice and includes a washable flannel cover.  You put it in the microwave for 2-3 minutes and then place it where it hurts.  Because it’s filled with rice, not too tightly, it conforms to your face and feels good. The smell of the microwaved dry rice is comforting as well.  It’s a quick and easy gift that keeps on giving.


Do you make any gifts for your family?  If so, what were they? Please share.


  1. My daughter and her husband just left after spending almost a week with us. How lucky we were to have them that long. Yet, it never seems long enough. I loved your portrait and think I would like to try this too. I get the mixed emotions in giving it away. Maybe you can paint another for yourself.

  2. Now, Linda, you know you can have a digital print made and hang that. What's the name, a giclee or something? Anyway, I sure as heck WOULD, because your piece is gorgeous! You nailed her eyes and nose. She's so pretty.

    Thanks for the info on the rice bags. That might help me with my neck. All of my roll-type heating pads are too thick for my short, fat neck. A rice bag might be able to get in there and do some good, hehe.

    Oh, thanks for letting me know you got my card. I'm so glad you enjoyed it and your trip. Thank you for my e-card. That was very thoughtful of you. Happy New Year!

  3. Oh, hey, forgot to ask you, do you know if they make vibrating rice? LMAO, winkwink ;-))))))

  4. Linda I absolutely love it. You did a perfect job.

    Happy New Year dear friend.

    Love Renee xoxo

  5. You have done a truly amazing job with the painting of your daughter. I love it and I'm sure she did too.

  6. This is a beautiful portrait! I want to learn to paint from photos of my girls. You do magnificant work!

  7. That was a sweet portrait of your daughter. I make portraits sometimes but they never really look like the person I'm giving it to! I think your rice bag is an interesting idea. My husband gets migraines,he'll probably benefit from a rice bag! thanks for sharing!


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