Friday, November 20, 2009

Hoot! Hoot! And the Winner Is...!!!

First off, THANK YOU, fellow tweeters, for RTing like pros! Your love for the owl necklace made my heart glad! :-)

Without further ado, the winner is lifeonprint!!!
lifeonprint, please convo me through Etsy with your address; and I'll give you the details when your necklace will be finished and on its way!

And for the rest of you sweet followers (and, I'm assuming, owl lovers!), my Black Friday/Cyber Monday special is extended to you early! 20% off of ANY JEWELRY piece in my shop!!! Please convo me if you're interested, and I'll mark down the listing and reserve it for you!!!

Much hugs and hoots to you all! Oh, would you stay and look around a bit? I love visitors!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Letting Go...

Let go.

That was a really hard sentence to write. I think I'll write it again for good measure!

Let go.

I've decided that there is an area in my artistic life that I need to let go. And let go with intention. Sometimes things happen and things are pulled from you. That is not what I'm talking about here. I'm talking about purposefully walking away from things that no longer feed you. For me, that is portrait work.

I can't tell you how many gummy smiles I've drawn of adorable, chubby babies. Or touching portraits drawn to commemorate a life cut too short. Or sweet, furry portraits of the family pooch. I'll miss the stories. I'll also miss watching my wildly supportive hubby hawking my wares in stores in lovably weird Austin and LA.

So why am I letting portrait work go? Well, empathetic reader, I'm just no longer in that head space. It is such a gear shift to draw again that it takes from me instead of giving. I'm letting go. For the record, I am thrilled that my last portraits are for sweet friends and their equally sweet babies...what a way to go!

So here are my "Kick-to-the-Curb" boots! Every artista should have a fab pair of boots. :-) (Flowy skirt, favorite jeans--you name it--they make everything look "cha-ching"!) I think I'm going to don these boots every time I need to purposefully walk away from something. So how about you? What areas in your artistic life maybe need a trim? All I can say is that when you make up your mind, you will be walking on dangerous yet lovely ground.

Let go.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Nurturing Whimsy...

I wanted to share with you the burgeoning artistic talent known simply as "Boog." She has recently been introduced to the world of crayons; and except for a brief moment when I thought she was going to permanently maim "Mr. Blue," she has been in Crayola-colored bliss!

We are proudly displaying her first work.

Please note the free-form scribbles and the lovely tear here and there. Future collage artist? Hmmm. . .

I have been struck lately by the newness of things for Boog. A new song to hum along with or to dance to (she's a mean dancer, folks!). The first time seeing the color "Violet Red." And my responsibility to her becomes a tad more clear. It is part of my job and privilege to nurture her whimsy. Her passion. Her joy. Whatever it may be. And though it's terrifying (I truly don't know what I'm doing!), it's also amazing!!!

I just read in a magazine that we are most in tune with our whimsy, our passions, when we are 10-14 years old. While I don't know how true this is (and I'm not quite sure you can draw super clear parallels in the manner of, "Well, I was a connoisseur of the mud pie, dahling, so, of course, I would have my own bakery!"), it is an interesting window into who we were and are. And, perhaps, a way to bring back that "newness" again. For me, it was dancing and singing and the start of musical theater. And drawing, of course! What was your whimsy? Who were you at 10 years old?

This painting was a custom piece that I did a while ago with the theme of being rooted in love, but its message has changed for me. It seems to speak of being rooted in our passions--what we love. I hope it speaks to you, too . . .

Here is Boog on Halloween. She was a dancer. Oh, excuse me, a modern dancer. Preferably in the "Twila Tharp" or "Martha Graham" veins. :-) She was a whirling dervish and so excited.

In case you're wondering, the "D" on the wall is an old marquee letter from an opera/movie house from the early 1900's. Fab!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Red Sets Out....To Your Home? My First Blog Giveaway!

And the winner is: Girl216Designs!!!

Thank you to everyone who left a comment and for the offers of custard! You are near and dear to my heart! I would have had Boog draw the name, but I was fearful for a couple of reasons:

1.) I was afraid that she would fall head-first into aforementioned tall, stylish hat.
And 2.) I was afraid that she would eat the winning name. She has a fondness for small bits of paper, and the drawn name would have been a goner!
(Seriously. When do babies stop eating everything that they find? It is so bad (and comical!) that if I could attach wheels to her and push her around, she would hoover the floor!)

Much love to you all! And thank you to the new followers! Have a lovely, creative, and handmade rest of your week, and I'll be adding new posts soon! :-)

One handmade red cape = $65
One stinkin' cute nickname = $50
Homemade custards for ailing grandmother = $25
Dog whistle = $12
RED's chutzpah to make it through the wood to YOUR home? = PRICELESS!!!

Hello, everyone near and far! I hope that you have had a lovely and creative week and that you have had the courage to go through whatever "woods" you are facing! To celebrate the fact that we are all courageous artists (!), I'm having my FIRST GIVEAWAY! (I'm just a tad excited, so I hope that my writing is coherent!)

It's very simple and very sweet. Just leave a comment. I love them, you know! (I toyed with asking for custards. But I figured that would be quite time-consuming and messy, and the weight gain would be unforgivable.)

In a week's time, I'll draw a random name out of a very tall, yet fashionable hat!

Oh, you could do one other thing... Stop by my Etsy shop! (Click on the small banner above.) Browse a little. Heart a few items, if you're so inclined! I would "heart" your visits very much.

I have a few "thank you's" that I must, must, must extend! Thank you's to Jolie of JolieArt, to Melissa at Sew Sweet Stiches, and to Tara at Jewelry by Tara for the lovely blog features. You didn't have to do it, and I'm so thankful for your thoughtfulness! Please check out their blogs and then click through to their wonderful Etsy shops!!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

It's a Handmade Revolution!

Yeah!!! I was awarded my first blogger award!!! Actually, I was awarded the "Kreativ Blogger" award twice! (So is that two separate awards if it's for the same award? I don't care! I'll take what I can get! :-) "Thank you's" to the lovely and talented Michelle Eaton and to the lovely and talented Shonna Bucaroff. Check out the fab work of these two wonderful artistas!!!

So here goes. 7 facts about me:

1. I was an actor in LA which meant that I did a lot of odds-and-ends jobs, including background work on a gob of television shows and a game show where I had to stay awake for 24 hours and then perform physical tasks while answering questions. The game-show bit is not all that different from my life now. :-) And the rest sounds way more glamorous than it was. But, oh, the stories...
2. I think Indian food is divine. I could go for that right now.
3. If I had the means and time to do it, I would be a total groupie for "WovenHand."
4. I danced for 18 years, and I have the creaky joints to show for it.
5. I successfully avoided diapers until I had a Boog of my own.
6. I enjoy a good cigar. BAD, I know!!!
7. I'm Scottish, German, Cherokee, and Osage. So I guess that makes me a Scotch-German-Native American.

And the 7 bloggers that I am bestowing the award to are (drumroll please!):
1. Jolie
2. Julie-Anne
3. Darla
4. Pinkglitterfae
5. Amy
6. Nicola
7. Lisa

I know that I should probably write a new post, but leap with me. There is continuity here, I promise! These blog awards are fantastic, and what an amazing opportunity to be able to see each other's work and to gain insight about each wonderful artist and to offer feedback. It's just dawning on me how connected we are and how we are a part of something truly special! We are in a Handmade Revolution!
No matter if things are slow for you right now in finding your particular audience or if you are rockin' out, I am thankful to be a part of such an inspiring group!
So here are my latest creations: "Alice's Reign" and a little owl bib necklace.

In the meantime, I'm thinking of slogans for our movement. "Make crafts. Not war."--too cliche. "Artisans do it with their hands." --kind of makes me giggle like a 14-year-old. "Handmade...embracing the human touch."

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Creative Drink of Choice

After reading some frightening literature about what comprises my daily cup(s) of joe, I decided to encourage my love of tea. :-) Black, white, green, flavored--all are lovely. Combine that fact with the perfect cup (I'm talking the feel of the cup--the perfect cup has a certain "weight" to it. Like the one pictured. Perfect.), and you have a heavenly drink. Not to mention a creative aid! I do have a question for you ladies across the pond: Is PG Tips really England's #1 tea? I've grown quite fond of it, but please don't hesitate to shoo me on to something better! Oh, and one other thing. No matter how many antioxidants red tea has, if you add sugar and cream, you will GAIN WEIGHT. Ahem. You can have too much of a good thing as I recently found out. ;-)

Here's a shot of Boog (a.k.a. "Punkenhead") and her pumpkin!

Wearing Different Hats

Confession: The "mommy" ME and the "artist" ME are fighting. More like duking it out. I can honestly say that I'm not sure who is going to win... It is a miracle that I finished a painting yesterday and a necklace today.

It was a small painting and a simpler necklace, but finishing anything is a HUGE win--for the artist and the mommy.
Here's to the act of completion!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Angel with Sunflowers - What Would This Angel Tweet?

I wanted to share my latest angel painting because she is a completely different painting style for me. I can sometimes feel that my brush strokes are tight, so I wanted to work on spontaneity and a more "painterly" quality. I made myself use an oversize brush and have at it, not worrying too much about placement. I think she turned out quite romantic and soft--like an old postcard!
On a more flip note: She looks like she has a thing or two to say. I would what she would tweet about? I am new to the twittosphere, and I had a mild panic attack when I didn't know what "RT" meant! I must admit that I'm liking it! I like getting updates on what people are creating, and I like the glimpses into their creative process... So, do YOU twitter? And if you do, what do you tweet about?
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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Dragonfly Maiden

I just finished this custom piece, and I wanted to share her with you. She has quite a bit of moxy, don't you think? I do feel that sometimes my paintings capture the way I want to be. :-)

Or maybe I just need to find the perfect shade of red lipstick (I just know that it exists!) and work on my 'tude!

Monday, September 28, 2009

It's Fall--Time to Turn a New Leaf?

I have a secret: I am a closet fabric artist. If you could see my yarn stash, my eclectic collection of knitting and crochet needles, and my ever-growing sewing-book collection, you would agree. So I decided to do something about this desire. I made a necklace. Oh, alright, I made three necklaces. And a brooch. (I was on a roll.) And, besides, I'm tired of my angels and collage ladies getting to wear nests and birds and butterflies! I want to, too!

So I approached these necklaces like mixed-media, collage pieces. Vintage jewelry, buttons, crochet accents, feathers, felt--you name it. It was like painting but with fabric! Wearable art . . . maybe I just want to be able to take my art with me . . .
The above piece is "Flutter" made up of a butterfly and blooms. I am playing around with the theme of renewal and new life with these pieces.

The cross and blooms is "Renewed Creation." See, I'm even giving these necklaces titles like paintings. :-)

And, finally, the wee brooch--a little bird nesting with her eggs. And I would be remiss if I didn't mention the model. She is my neighbor, the lovely Miss R who is well . . . simply lovely!!! I am going to be listing these necklaces on Etsy. I think I am going to keep these sample necklaces as examples and offer custom orders from their designs. I'm not sure what the response will be, but I am so excited to share them with you!

Carousels, Kitsch, and Baubles

Last week was a slow blog week. We had family in town the weekend before which provided a much-needed rest. Whenever things slow down, I try to soak it up. I know that inspiration lurks in unsuspecting places. Boog had a lovely time with grandparents and rode on her first carousel! She sat on a feisty cheetah and waved and waved. I wouldn't have been surprised if she had let out a "Xena" yell! (By the way, do you know how hard it is to take a photo while riding a rickety wooden lion? I need some props, people! :-)

And Hubby and I got to go out on the town and go junking. I found some lovely baubles for future projects . . .

. . . some sweet handmade charm with this kitty doorstop for Boog's room (It cost 71 cents at a thrift store--who comes up with these whacky prices?!) . . .

. . . and a touch of kool kitsch. Hubby has a not-so-secret love of anything mid-century to mid-'60's. If he could live on the Mad Men set, he would! And if '50's glassware was another woman, I'd be very afraid. :-)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Creativity. One Baby Step at a Time.

For years, my mom has had an old fiddle on a shelf in her living room. It was technically mine, but I don't think that I had ever actually held the thing. It had become a decorative piece and had sat there looking at me whenever I'd come home to visit. Over the summer I decided to take some initiative, so I took it to the music doctor and had the bridge and the strings replaced. I bought a bow. I bought rosin for the bow. And then it came home with me and sat on top of a cabinet in my living room, once again collecting dust. You see, I have a habit of starting things and not finishing them. Small things--a book left unread here, a knitting project coming unraveled there. So on Monday, I decided to take a small step with regard to my fiddle and my large pile of unfinished intentions. I would rosin the bow. Nothing else. Rosin the bow.

That seemed to open the door because on Tuesday, I met with a sweet friend who gave me my first official fiddle lesson! I now know how to hold the bow. (Can't do it yet--it's really hard to keep my thumb bent up like that!) And I learned the "A" scale! Can I play the "A" scale well? Heck, no! It sounds like a dying cat. But it is so much FUN!!! (Although, I am going to avoid bringing up the subject with my neighbors!) All this to say that I took a baby step on one of my zillion projects, and it really helped with my creativity. I painted this RED with more ease than I have had in a while.

While I don't think that it's a formula (playing "A" scale = heightened creativity!), I do think that I need to challenge myself to find inspiration outside of my art realm.

This RED is titled, "Red's Calling." I painted her for a lovely art patron from Australia--my first piece to travel down under! I'm a little bummed because I'm nearing the end of my vintage wolf images. I now have an excuse (not that I need one!) to go junking and find some more collage goodies. :-) From her expression, I think that she is perfectly able to handle her situation!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Is it it Etsy...or is it a little bit of both?

The Boog is sick. Nothing heinous, but enough to throw her off her game of foraging and digging through Mom and Dad's things. (The kid really isn't that interested in toys. How boring. She wants whatever you have, preferably paper.) When one of us is sick, the house implodes.
It's like Thing One and Thing Two have been given the run of the place, but there is no magic box that I can cram them back into! So, amidst this chaos, I am trying to establish order somewhere. I think I am going to start with my whole eBay/Etsy conundrum. You didn't think that I would start by cleaning the kitchen, did you? :-) So here it is: How do I manage both eBay and Etsy? I know that there are many, many talented artists/biz gals who do a fab job of it. So how do they do it? How do you do it?

I would love to hear your strategy! Do I list originals on eBay and prints on Etsy? How many listings should I have in my Etsy shop at one time? How do I keep traffic going to both my eBay and Etsy shops? I do think that I will try to keep some originals on eBay (like this angel painting--I listed her last night, complete with fun, dimensional flowers!) and try one on Etsy every now and then. Prints on eBay seem to be . . . unpredictable. Time and energy are of the essence, and it seems to me that knowing where to put your focus is key. Well, I didn't answer my question; but I feel much better putting it out there!

Oh, I did come across a site on the Etsy forums for getting your art more exposure. It's and it looks promising. (But please don't blame me for the hours you'll spend gawking!)

Well, I'm off to wiping Boog's over-active nose and working on drawings for future paintings. That's the extent of my multi-tasking. I'll leave the crazy house for later!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

So What Exactly is IN That???

It is no secret to my friends and neighbors (Actually, my neighbors are my friends! The Boog, The Hubby, and I live in student housing, so we are a rather close lot!) that I'm rather OCD about what goes into products. Without going into the gory details, most of the lovely-smelling products (for hair/skin--you name it) break me out horribly. I've come to view this sad development as God saving me from a massive product-buying addiction!!!

Since The Boog's arrival, I've been even more concerned about what is in things, especially food. We watched a show over the summer where one of the characters remarked that the fast-food chicken they were about to devour would cause her daughter to grow (cover your eyes if you have delicate sensibilities) a third nipple! Well, I don't know about you, but TWO are quite enough, thank you!

So we are trying to be more mindful about what we eat, and I've started making my own products. I can't claim these recipes as my own (I'm not that clever!), but here a few starter recipes, if you are so inclined:

Baby powder: equal parts baking soda and corn starch with a few drops of essential oil (either lavender or sweet orange). If baby bums and rashes are no longer on your radar (you lucky duck, you!) this recipe can double as a wonderful deodorant, or add some white clay or bentonite for a dusting powder and then go ahead and luxuriate!

Face serum (This one is such fun to make! Oh--keep it in the fridge.): 2/3 cup aloe vera, 2 tablespoons pure vegetable glycerin, 3 drops essential oil of rose or lavender. I chose lavender and added a couple drop of German chamomile for its healing properties. Love it!!! And the chilly serum is really fun to apply. :-)

Bug Spray: 1/4 ounce witch hazel, 3 drops thyme essential oil, 6 drops lemongrass eo, 4 drops peppermint eo. Fill a small spray bottle with the ingredients and then top it off with water. No chemicals. No DEET. And no third nipple. And you smell sweet, too!

If you would like more recipes, let me know. The above recipes were found in "Well Being" by Barbara Close and "Easy Green Living" by Renee Loux.

Little Birds

So I thought that she was finished. Well, she morphed into something completely different! I just had this sense that she wasn't quite complete. So . . .

I added script in the background inspired from sentences from my trusty vintage school primer. (This primer is truly a treasure. It has the sweetest sentences about little birds and nests and children. I love it!)

And, finally, I collaged butterflies and actual practice sentences from the primer onto the piece. With a new look and a new title, she has made her second debut--if that's even possible!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Romantic Red

Maybe it's the hint of fall in the air that has me wanting to be outside more--enjoying the last weeks of summer and looking forward to anything "pumpkin-spiced"! Combine that with the fact that I can't go for long without painting Red, here she is in the woods.

Titled, "Determination," I like to think that Red is a little tougher than the story would have you believe. I like to use vintage school-primer pages on my fairytale pieces. Her dress is collaged from a primer from the early 1900's with wonderful character--a little creased here, a little frayed there. Makes me think about the children who would have originally read that primer!

She is 24" x 12" and I'll be listing her on Etsy soon!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Step Away from the Canvas!

Do you ever wake up, look at your art materials just waiting for you, and go, "I have no idea how to paint" (or sculpt, or sew, or whatever it is that makes your creative juices flow)?

I have had one of those art days. Actually, two art days! It's as if I have artistic amnesia! Today's block had me honestly thinking about taking up some form of fabric art. Or maybe jewelry.

This dilemma got me thinking: Does it really matter if the process is easy or not? Does it matter if the muse is present or if she's out for a mani and a cup of chai?

While it's definitely more enjoyable when things are flowing (and maybe a little less humbling!), I guess it's more important to just show up.

So these photos show a little of my hit-and-miss process with "Gentle Guardian," complete with a PB&J lunch break with The Boog in the park and a moment of chaos when I thought she was going to tip over my easel!

Almost complete.

With the finishing touches.
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