Sunday, December 27, 2015

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Nutcracker for Gallery One

My nutcracker is painted and off to Gallery One, where it will be part of the Ellensburg December Art Walk.  I’m a huge fan of Gallery One and enjoy visiting when I’m traveling through Ellensburg. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

What the heck?

I came home from running errands this morning with only one dog greeting me at the door.  My Chihuahua, Ellie, was M.I.A.  For most dogs, this is no big deal, but little Ellie is as naughty as the day is long.  I quickly searched the house and found her asleep in my bed, all tucked in and cozy.  Now it looks like someone tucked her in, but no, she did that all on her own.  She sleeps in her own kennel, but apparently when nobody is home, she follows her own agenda.  

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Assemblage Sculptures for Linus Galleries

I created two assemblage pieces for Linus Galleries in California.  This sculpture is a tribute to the 1953 horror movie, “House of Wax,” starring Vincent Price.  I have memories of watching this movie with my mom and sister.  I sat on the edge of the couch, scared speechless.  I’m now a big fan of vintage horror films that use suspense to scare, rather than a bloody chainsaw.  Anyway, I made the shadow box using cardboard and paper mache.  It was a challenging task as it took a lot of time building the box up from a basic shoe box.   The sections of the shadow box feature elements of the movie. 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Craft Fair Tip

I’m getting ready for December craft fairs and wanted to share a tip.  You’ll find “what to bring” lists everywhere on the internet, even on Pinterest.  I won’t add to the many lists, but rather give you a tip to add a folding chair to your list.  At my first craft fair, I learned that getting a table doesn’t ensure a chair comes with it.  My event was at an elementary school and there were no chairs at my table.  I noticed that the veteran crafters were sitting in chairs.  I asked them where the chairs came from.  These women had all brought their own.  As I said, they were experienced and knew what they were doing.  I did find the chairs in a room off the gym, but unfortunately the door was locked. . . . and the person who had the key was gone for the night.  Fortunately I live close to home and my husband was able to bring me a chair.  So my tip:  If you have one, bring a folding chair for you and possibly one for your customers who need to sit down for a few minutes. 

I rather like this Terai Folding Chair.  Looks much cozier than my cold, metal one.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Book Review: The Salvage Studio

I was browsing the shelves of my local library and found the book, The Salvage Studio, by Amy Duncan, Beth Evens-Ramos, and Lisa Hilderbrand.  This book is filled with great ideas and directions on how to create rustic home décor out of things you already own (often known as junk).  And if you don’t have a particular item you need, you can purchase it fairly cheap at a Goodwill Store.  This is the perfect book to flip through while relaxing in front of the TV.  Although I will warn you, It’s also the kind of book that makes your brain start racing and thinking “what can I do with my junk?”  You may find yourself in your garage digging through boxes of stored possessions to see what you can make. 
One of my favorite items is the caddy made from a fireplace tool holder and glass ceiling domes.  Throw in a couple of chandelier crystals for embellishment, some wire and Voilà, the perfect silverware holder for your next party.  It does look fabulous for a party and I can think of a hundred ways I could use it daily to organize art supplies.  I’d probably fill the domes with colored or pastel pencils.  But wait . . . there’s room for both.  I actually have a fireplace holder out in my garage.  I wonder if I have any glass ceiling domes as well. 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Craft Fair Display

Here is the table display I designed for last year’s craft fairs. It drew people to my table and I received many compliment.  I used crates purchased from Michaels.  They’re sold in most craft stores, but I’m all about using my 50% coupon at Michaels.  To age the crates, I dabbed Walnut Ink onto a cotton balls and spread the ink across the crates to give them a rustic/aged look.  To display earrings, I strung rows of picture wire inside two of the crates.  I hung the earrings using a deck of playing cards and clothes pins.  As for the necklaces, I used cabinet handles drilled into a crate for the necklaces to hang from.  I was able to find most of the handles around my house, but did have to buy one from a craft store.  You can also purchase them from your local hardware store for a few dollars.  I made my “vintage jewelry” sign by painting chalkboard paint onto a vintage tray.  I made the mannequin displays out of paper mache’ (previous entry). The beauty to this display is that you can stack the crates and carry your merchandise in them.

I found it easiest to sketch how I wanted my table to look, then to build my props from my sketch. 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Craft Fair Props

Last year I used paper mache’ mannequins to display my jewelry at holiday craft fairs.  The mannequins were eye catching and worked perfectly for displaying both jewelry and scarves.    A huge advantage is that they are very lightweight to carry.  Trust me, if you have to carry your props and supplies a long distance, weight is everything. And here’s the best part:  they’re so cheap to make (brown paper bags and glue).  I used book pages as my last layer and printed a crown for the front.  I finished by added a few rhinestones, jewels, and a ribbon around the neck.  If you want to give your mannequin an antique look, spray it lightly with Walnut Ink. 

Saturday, October 10, 2015

How to Make Buttons for Collage Art

I had a Tim Gunn “make it work” moment today.  I was wanting some funky buttons for a collage I’m working on.  I dug through my button jar, but nothing inspired me.  I decided to make my own buttons using cardboard and Washi tape.  That way, I could create a button exactly how I wanted it. 

Here's how I did it:  Draw button size circles on cardboard.  Cut the cardboard buttons out and stick them on the Washi Tape.  Cut the Washi tape around the cardboard buttons.  Use a hole-punch to punch holes in the center of your new buttons.
You can also substitute cardboard with an actual button and simply cover the button with Washi tape. 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Art Gala

What a perfect night.  Live music, family and friends, art, delicious H’orderves, and wine.  I have a collage on exhibit and last night I enjoyed the gala that often accompanies an opening art exhibit.  The collage I created is an emotional piece for me.  It’s the first piece where I poured my heart and emotions into my art.  Here’s to many more exhibits and celebrations. 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Letterpress Draw Turns into a Craft Supply Organizer

I found an amazing letter press drawer during an afternoon antiquing with my girlfriend.   Prior to purchasing this drawer, I used spice jars to organize my small craft supplies.   I’m thrilled that I’m able to recycle my spice jars and place all my findings in one spot.  A special bonus to this piece is that its square size fits perfectly on top of my trunk, allowing me to keep it visible at all times. I find this inspiring and helps me create.  I absolutely love it!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Halloween . . . already?

I’m finally able to cross off all the back to school chores.  School supplies and clothes purchased.  Check.  Orientations attended.  Check.  Paperwork filled out and turned in.  Check.  School fees paid.  Check.  It’s time to sit back and relax.  That’s when my 10-year-old starts talking about Halloween.  What are our plans?  What should he be for Halloween?  Will there be any parties?  That’s when I realized Halloween will be here before we know it.  As I chatted about Halloween with my excited son, I was inspired to sketch a Halloween picture . . . . a witch throwing a fireball.  The witch was quick and simple.  That small fireball was my struggle.  I’ve never drawn fire before and didn’t realize how difficult it is to make a drawing resemble fire without using color.  After many erasures I still wasn’t happy.  That’s when I decided to adopt my teenage son’s adage:  Good ‘Nuff.  So here’s my sketch entitled:  Flying Witch with a Good ‘Nuff fireball. 

Friday, September 4, 2015

The Power of Paper Mache

I’m a long-time fan of Paper Mache.  I think it’s simply amazing what you can create with just paper and glue.  I’ve also found a health benefit to Paper Mache. . . . it’s very relaxing.  I find it relaxing to build a sculpture one piece of paper at a time.  Perhaps the magic is that Paper Mache simply forces you to slow down and focus on creating.  When I’m working on a sculpture I can immediately feel the tension in my body decrease.  All my worries vanish. 
If you find yourself stressed-out or filled with anxiety, get out your paper and glue and start a Paper Mache project.  It might be just what you need. 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Photo Shoot Gone To The Dogs

Along with selling jewelry I design, I also sell authentic vintage/antique jewelry.  A few days ago I was contacted by an Art Director in Manhattan who wanted an antique bracelet for a photo shoot.  I immediately envisioned Project Runway, or perhaps I would be mentioned in a fashion magazine.  I was so excited I had finally made it. 

After I quickly shipped the bracelet, I had some time to sit back and look at the website I had shipped to.  I wanted to see what kind of modern or edgy clothing would most likely be paired with my bracelet.  When I opened the website, I was a little surprised by what I saw.  Some type of rodent in curlers was looking back at me.  Apparently this company produces hysterical animal cards, where many of the animals are dressed up.  I immediately broke into hysterics.  It won’t be Heidi Klum wearing my bracelet, but rather Princess the Dalmatian.  Thank you Avanti Press for the purchase and a much needed smile on my face. 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Product Review: Colored Pencils

Years ago my passion was sketching and doodling with colored pencils.  I had acquired quite a collection of pencils during this time.  Recently the desire to use colored pencils returned.  I was curious as to which brands I had in my collection and how they compare to each other.  I did some experimenting and discovered that my favorite colored pencils are Prismacolor Premier.  They have the brightest, most beautiful pigments and blend the easiest.  Unfortunately these pencils do have a negative side that you should be aware of before investing.  They are rather expensive, so be sure to use your Michaels coupon and buy them at 50% off.  The other concern is that they are very delicate and break easily.  Don’t drop these pencils, and whatever you do, don’t fling one across the room to distract a naughty Chihuahua. 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Vintage Straw Dispenser Turns Into A Washi Tape Organizer

I originally stored all my Washi tapes in a bowl.  It worked, but I always forgot what tapes were hidden at the bottom of the bowl.   Recently I was at a second hand store when I looked up and saw two vintage straw dispensers. What a find!  I immediately knew I had to have them to store my Washi tape.  Now I’d love to say that this fabulous idea was mine, but not so much.  When I saw the straw dispensers I remembered seeing a picture of this idea – probably on Pinterest.  Anyway, I purchased the dispensers and I have to say that this is an amazing way to store Washi tape.  No more digging through a bowl for me!  Now all I have to do is pull the dispenser top up and tear off tape as needed.   And the best part:  These dispensers take up less space than my bowl.  Oh happy Day!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Resources: Free Online Art Workshops from Strathmore

Finding affordable art classes can be such a challenge.  My friend introduced me to the free Strathmore workshops (thanks, Becky).  We both took a sketching workshop online and had fun sharing our sketches with each other.  I later took an art journaling workshop through them.  These are great classes that teach the basics and work well with any budget.  Some of the free workshops include acrylic painting, sketching, printmaking, and Calligraphy.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Product Review: White Gel Pen

I’ve been hunting for the perfect white gel pen to complete several projects.  I had purchased a few at the craft store that seemed great when purchased, but didn’t perform well at home.  I decided to take a piece of art to the craft store to make sure my next purchase would be successful.  Here’s what I found:  the only white gel pen that did everything I wanted it to was the Uni-ball Signo broad.  It was able to write on pastels, acrylics, even washi tape.   I’m using mine all the time and only wish I had purchased several.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Finding Inspiration: The Animation Art of Chuck Jones at EMP. What’s Up Doc?

EMP (Seattle) is currently displaying the works of Chuck Jones, the artist/animator behind Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Wile E. Coyote, and the road runner (among others).
I really enjoyed looking at the original sketches of the Looney Tunes gang.  I loved how the sketches were drawn upon simple white paper, similar to copy paper.  No art journal or fancy papers here. There were also several large abstract backgrounds on display showing just how creative Chuck Jones was.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t allowed to take any pictures of the illustrations to share.   

I enjoy sketching and after seeing the works of Chuck Jones, I wanted to go home and grab my sketch pad. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Book Review: Junk Beautiful

I’m an avid junk fan.  I love to take discarded items and make them into something beautiful  . . . or at least useful.  I found the book, Junk Beautiful, and fell in love with it.   I felt like it was written with me in mind.  The book features room by room makeovers using flea market finds.  And if you don’t enjoy upcycling, this book still has great decorating ideas with tons of photos.  There is a lamp made from a boot form that I absolutely love and plan on making.  Directions look straight forward and include step-by-step pictures, which I always appreciate. 

I highly recommend this book for ideas and inspiration. 
Authors:  Sue Whitney and Ki Nassauer
Boot Form Lamp

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Tutorial: Sketching Braids

I decided to add braids to the last portrait I sketched and had to come up with a quick step-by-step guide for sketching them.     Here are my easy to follow steps in case you want to add braids to your portraits.    

Friday, July 24, 2015

Getting Inspired: 2015 Bellevue Festival of the Arts, Bellevue, Washington

I love attending juried art fairs for inspiration.  My son and I attended this year’s Bellevue Festival of the Arts.  I’ve gone to this event for many years and have watched it grow from a small art fair to one with over 300 booths.  It can easily take a day to really enjoy the exhibits.  A quick walk through will still take a couple of hours.  If you find yourself needing inspiration, this type of event will fill your soul.