Thursday, October 7, 2010

New Growth

Fall is coming so slowly to the Ozarks, and it is still so warm that I find myself confused as to what time of year it is! I know that it will only be a few weeks before the leaves are gone and all the green things go into hiding before they emerge, well-rested, next spring. Personally, I have a lot of projects that are incubating. Some are ready to bloom, and others are going through their own periods of hibernation. I wanted to share a few of them with you. Why? Because I've missed you, and I wanted to let you know why I've been MIA...

The first project/event is that I have been accepted into my first juried art show--War Eagle Arts and Crafts Fair. The show is next week, and I have thrown my all into getting ready for it over the summer. (Props to my sweet sis-in-law for helping me survive my "to-do" list!) The real kicker is that the show is over 50 years old, and the attendance is 180,000! You've got to start somewhere right? Well, I'm just starting at the mother of all craft shows! Say a prayer that I survive the throngs!

This piece is titled, "Allies," and it is an original painting of Lil' Red and Alice that I am taking to the show, along with several framed prints, signed prints, note cards, and jewelry. Excited is an understatement. :)

The next bit of news is that I'm a finalist in the Cloth, Paper, Scissors Artisan 2011 search in the Mixed-Media Jewelry category!!! I was absolutely floored when I read the blog post that I was a finalist, and I'm honored to be in such a talented pool of artists. Seriously, the talent level of this magazine's readership is crazy good, and I'm still in shock. I submitted these three jewelry pieces for their further consideration.

I also have a line of greeting cards entering the test market right now! The market is worldwide; and I'll know in less than a year (hopefully sooner!) if they are a go or not. The cards use my images, and I had the privilege of writing and designing the cards, as well.
Working with an editor through this process was such an amazing and challenging experience. When the last card was approved, I wasn't quite sure what to do with myself--I was a tad bit bummed that it was over. Now I'm in the waiting phase, and I hope that this summer's work will find its way to stores near you!

Lastly, I want to give a hats off to all you momma's/artistas who can juggle blogging and "mommying" and creating. I tend to have periods where I can do a little bit of everything and then times when I can only do what is exactly put in front of me. This summer has been the latter for me. I hope to be able to check in more and share how the show went. Until then, I hope that you all have creative projects that are getting ready to bloom.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Bridge to Freedom Foundation

This post is long overdue, but I wanted to share exciting and humbling news with you. The Bridge to Freedom Foundation is using one of my images, "Little Birds," on their posters and art cards in order to raise funds and awareness of their efforts. This foundation does amazing work in helping heal the effects of slavery. In their own words, they are working to bridge " . . . survivors, service providers, corporations and the community . . . " in order to " . . . bring those victimized by all forms of modern slavery from surviving to thriving." I am so honored that my art is having a role in their vital work. Please check out their latest newsletter:

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Whispers of Wonderland

I had to share with you Boog's first encounter with the White Rabbit.

Oh, the secrets being told! And the daily glimpses of wonder that are all around us...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

'Bout Time

I love lists. Lists are beautiful things. There's nothing quite like sitting down with a new notebook and listing away! (Actually, my inner geek has a love affair with all office supplies. Oh, the smell of paper...) Things begin to get a little murky, however, when I fail to actually do the items on my lists. Hang tags had been on the list since late last fall after I had learned about them from an Etsy virtual lab, but had I followed through on ordering them? NO!!!

It wasn't until I read the Storque article, "Label Maker: Don't Orphan your Micro-Brand" that I realized how my lack of action was affecting the way I viewed my art. In short, the article stated that if you aren't labeling your products well, you are doing yourself, your work, your brand, and your patrons a disservice. It was a nudge out of my comfortable art nest to view my work not as a hobby, but as a business.

I'm not quite certain why I hadn't labeled my work before. (Fear? Laziness? Self-Doubt? Who knows?!) But I can tell you that when I attached the hang tags and fabric labels to my work, I couldn't stop looking at them! It was as if they said: Hello! I loved making this item! I think it's grand, and I hope you think so, too! Now won't you share the love with others as well?!

If you've been nudged out of the nest and are wildly flapping around like I was, not sure where to begin, sometimes it's easiest to start with the work that you've already done. Returning to your lists can be a positive and rewarding move, especially when you start crossing off items that you've perched on awhile. Pick a simple one that you can tackle and just begin. Another fabulous place to start is Etsy itself. Sign up to receive Etsy's emails. Attend the virtual labs. Read the blog. I guarantee that you will learn from people who have been where you are, made the mistakes you've made, and have advice on how to proceed.

If you are interested in STUNNING hang tags, I highly recommend These little beauties are my business cards, and I'm absolutely thrilled with them! I want to hang them from everything, including Hubby and Boog! Don't shy away from the ordering process on their site--their support staff is helpful and friendly. The fabric labels were purchased on Etsy from JennifersJewels. Lovely lady. Lovely labels.
So here's to leaping out the nest (or being booted out the nest, in my case!). I'd love to hear the steps you're taking to move forward. One thing's for certain, it was 'bout time for me to do it, and I sure wish I'd done it sooner!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Blessings and Goodbyes

Things come to an end. It's a sad fact of life, but they do. Today marked our last Easter with our lovely community here in St. Louis. (And what a wonderful day it has been!) And while we have almost two months before Hubby graduates, and we really have to say goodbye, I've got to start thinking about the end now. You know, start working through it and trying on different possibilities for our future. If I don't, I fear the backlash will leave me a big, sappy mess, completely unsuitable for public appearances.

It's strange and wonderful that in the middle of big life changes, it's the little things that affect me the most. Like Boog's first dyed Easter egg. Or the joy of neighbors dropping by for a chat. Or shared snacks on porches. Unexpected blessings...

Like new pieces receiving surprising attention on Etsy...

Or Boog, decked out in her Easter finery, looking for all the world like she's ready to hop and skip into the next adventure of our life. Or complete and utter atonement wrought on my behalf. It's strange and wonderful how blessings can be wrapped up in goodbyes.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

It's Official -- I'm In Print!!!

Here she is, folks! The premiere issue of Jewelry Affaire, and she is absolutely lovely! Yours truly is featured, and I am so honored and thrilled to be in a publication that is 1.) Stunning. And 2.) Filled to its gorgeous brim with outstanding and talented artisans. If you want to be inspired, don't hesitate to grab a copy. You won't be disappointed!

Jewelry Affaire reflects the heart and soul of its wonderful editor, Beth Livesay. When she contacted me last fall to submit a piece, I was ecstatic. By the time my issue arrived in the mail, all composure was gone; and I tore into it, well, like how I tear into pastries when my blood sugar is low. :-) I then proceeded to corner unsuspecting neighbors (you are all dears, you know) and yap nonsensically about said magazine. (Small aside: Beth also has another publication that is equally jaw-dropping: Altered Couture. I love this magazine. Period.)

An interesting thing about the magazine is being featured with other artists whose work I've admired--some for quite a while now and others whom I've just discovered. It brought back to me again how connected we all are as artists and what an exciting time it is to be an artist! You just never know where your work will end up or what kind of friendships/collaborations you will forge. Kind of thrilling, don't ya think?!

My article boils down to this: You don't have to know what you're doing to be creative. It's that simple. Sometimes you just have to get started--build upon what you do know and learn as you go. I definitely have some projects this week where I'm going to practice what I preach. Are there any creative projects on your horizon where you can throw caution to the wind and "wing it?"

Friday, March 19, 2010

It Ain't Done 'Til I Say It's Done

We all have our quirks, right? Some more than others; but I can tell you with all confidence that I am pretty quirky. One of my many quirks is that I am hopelessly neurotic. I've been told countless times that at two-years-old I would check my mother's diaper bag to make sure that she had all the necessities for my baby brother. While I'm not to the Jack Nicholson level in "As Good As It Gets," I'm fairly sure some professional somewhere could dub me with a fantastic sounding disorder--oops, I meant quirk! So the amazing thing to me is that I can actually FINISH a painting and be happy with it.

Sure, there are times when I think that something is missing, and I'll go back and rework the painting until it feels right. (There's even an earlier post where I did just that!) But, usually, I'm able to come to the end of a piece and know that it's "The End."

I was asked recently if it was difficult for me to let paintings go. For some reason, it's not. And I think part of the reason is that I've really finished it--no going back and checking and rechecking--and I want to pass it along and make room for other ideas and other projects. It creates a flow, this passing on... So how 'bout you? When do you know that your pieces are finished? And do you rework and obsess over the details? Or do you know when the time is right to pass it along and go with the flow?

This piece is titled, "Beyond the Page" and features a kind-hearted Queen Alice. ;-)

Friday, March 5, 2010

I'll Show You Mine If You Show Me Yours

ART STUDIO!!! ART STUDIO!!! What else did you think I meant?! :-) I love seeing other artist's creative spaces in magazines or on the net. They are lovely. Inspirational. And they make me want to write the artist and ask permission to come and . . . DIG!

I have no shame. I would love to sit down with some of these artistas, have a cup of fabulous tea (with cream, of course!), and poke around all their baubles, art supplies, and pretties for a good day. (Boog comes by her foraging talents honestly.)

Trouble is, my studio space just doesn't look like the magazine spreads. Okay, let me back up just a bit. My original studio space flooded, so I had to regroup upstairs to the computer desk/kitchen-table studio. You know the studio--the one eked out of whatever space can pull double duty.

And my studio space is never as neat or as organized as the beautifully pictured examples. In fact, I've come to realize that "The Fast and the Furious" should not have been about drag racing. Oh, no. It should have been about how we mom/artists have to create. Like wild women! Banshees! With one goal in mind: finish the project before the kiddies wakes up from their naps, need a diaper change, want to try on a tutu or break your glass hutch with their Hotwheels. . . you get the idea.

There are times, after a creative spell, when I'll wake up from my art frenzy and think some burglar on the prowl has ransacked my art studio in a desperate search for treasure. . .

But, no. It's just me. Going berserk in my own small art space. I have learned, however, that small spaces do have their perks. It's harder to lose stuff. I can keep better track of what supplies I have on hand. And I can eat a four-course meal while drawing painting ideas, crocheting, or surfing the net. :-) So I've shown you mine. What does your art studio look like?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Making Time

A phrase my mother has told me at many points in my life is, "You'll never have more time than you have right now." Being an author and an artsy person herself, what she meant was that I would never have more time in my life to be creative--I would have to make time. (Darn it, but she has a knack of being right.)

This has been especially important for me to remember right now, especially since Boog is hellbent on being danced around the apartment for a good portion of the day. At 18-months-old, every day is like Christmas; and she is diggin' it! Which means that I am usually digging her out of stuff and not digging into my art projects.

So I have been revamping my schedule and trying to squeeze in creative time whenever possible. I think a lie that I tell myself is that tomorrow (you know, that magical tomorrow that somehow eludes us), I'll have more time, more money, more talent, more drive, more whatever. But the truth of the matter is, my life is RIGHT NOW. And I know that there are times when art does have to be put on the back burner. (Being pregnant and not able to stand the smell of acrylics made painting somewhat difficult!) But a lot of the time, I find myself waiting when I should be doing. Something. No matter how small.

So while I'm not going to push myself to the snapping point like I did in December, it might mean that I have some late nights hunched over a painting or textile piece like Quasimodo. Not pretty; but when I'm not creatively pursuing something, I'm simply not me.

This fabric necklace is a sweet and simple little number. I worked on it over a period of days--not because it was difficult but because I had to grab snippets of time here and there. The detail that I love about it is the vintage tablecloth flower. Have I mentioned my love of vintage linen? I'm mad about it, I tell you, MAD!!! The stories tablecloths could tell! I just love 'em! And I am equally unapologetic about my love of owls. It is a joy for me to share this piece with you because I was able to carve out the time to make it, hunched back and all!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010




Anyone out there???


Well, hello, crickets! And, hello, to you sweet people in blogland! It's true that I haven't blogged in ages, and I am terribly sorry for that fact. Truth be told, I was put out of commission with an unexpected illness for the greater part of December, and it all boils down to a very bad habit that I have. I don't listen very well. My body was giving me all sorts of hints that things weren't going so hot, but I trudged forward anyway. That is, until I woke up one morning and couldn't do much of anything. When I was dancing, I was much more in tune with my body. (We did exercises for our toes, for cripe's sake!) But several years, some unfortunate injuries, and a Boog later, I'm afraid that my radar is slightly out-of-whack. So I'm making it a point to try to slow down a little for my body's sake and to listen more. And I don't want to go all "zen" on you; but, grasshoppers, we're being told things all the time. So here's to an attentive 2010 for me and for you, too! I hope that everyone's year has kicked off to a lovely start. I'm excited about blogging more, listening more, and blowing more bath bubbles with Boog! Happy New Year!!!
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