Monday, August 31, 2009

New Art Supplies Breeds New Art

This is my first ever piece on cradled hardboard. I'm hooked! I love the firmness of working on wood and the detail it allows me to create. I finished this piece off with some UV-resistant acrylic sealant and now its ready to hang. I have a show coming up in a few weeks and the less framing I have to do the better.

Thanks to my flickr friend LethaColleen, I started using mounting film (basically glue in a sheet form) on this piece. Its the best! The pieces stay nice and flat and theres no glue seeping out of edges. It also makes it possible for me to still embellish with pen/ink on the hardboard surface, something I can't do when working on canvas.

New art supply finds are the best! Hardboard and mounting film may just revolutionize my work!

"I'll Be There", the print is available for sale in my Etsy shop and is included in my Chair Sale.

Have a good week all. I'm actually a little excited for my first full week with my art babies.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Feelin' the Love

Yesterday, my "Good Vibe" mixed media piece was featured on the front page of Etsy and consequently sold! I never actually got to see this front page - I was busy at school getting ready for the kiddies to come. It's amazing how much exposure being on the Etsy front page brings to your shop. I got 30 new hearts yesterday! I'm a little sad to see "A Good Vibe" go....Its really one of my favorite pieces I made this summer. On the other hand its fun to think that someone in California now owns this original piece of art that I made!!

Again today, I noticed that I was getting a lot of views and hearts in my shop. I did some investigating and found out that I have a piece featured in the Etsy "Shades of Peridot" Gift guide and was today's featured artist on Papernstitch, an awesome art and design blog. (This month I have a shop on Papernstitch - check it out here.)

I am feeling like all of the hard work I have put into my art is really starting to pay off. I'm certainly feelin' the love today! I am looking forward to a big holiday season and hope that someday art can be less of a summer job and more of a full time job.

Today was the first day of school (with students.) More to come on that subject tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Back to School Sketchbook

Monday was my first day back to work: teacher institute. Just as I had predicted, I spent the entire time drawing in my sketchbook. I know some people believe its rude to doodle/sketch while others are talking, but it really does keep me focused and in my seat. I'm listening, I swear! Another half-day institute today. Hopefully I'll have something else good to show you.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Blog Shout Outs

On Friday, my "Where I Belong" print was featured on the Scoutie Girl blog feature, "The Weekly Dig". This is a very cool big deal! Scoutie Girl, a design blog which focuses on handmade goods gets on average 13,000 unique visitors per month! Its so fun to see my work out there in the blogosphere.

On Sunday, Brandi of the Etsy shop Sweetharvey featured one of my original ACEO's on her blog. Brandi has a very cute letterpress shop and her work is right up my alley.

I'm heading back to work today. As you read this I am at the Teacher Retreat and most likely doodling in my sketchbook while I listen to the speaker. I don't know how often I will be posting to the blog during the school year. I'm hoping to still update at least twice a week, but my time is rarely my own when I am teaching.

My Chair Sale is still going on until Sunday, Sept 6th. Check it!

Have a great week. Patronize these fab blogs.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Uninvited Guest

Thursday already! My, this week has flown. I've been trying to savor my last little bits of summer as I head back to work on Monday.

As the school year begins, my to-do list lengthens and sometimes that makes it hard for me to sleep. I can't seem to get my mind to turn off. That's exactly what happened on Tuesday.

After fighting sleep for several hours, I got out of bed at 3:00 AM and went into the studio to get on the computer. Out of the corner of my eye I saw something moving in the hallway. I got up and found a BAT flying around my bedroom!!!!

I don't really know what happened next, but I did manage to get it out of my bedroom and into the studio, closing the door behind it. I just was too freaked and too tired to deal with it at 3:00 AM.

When I got up in the morning, I slowly opened the studio door to look for the bat and hatch a plan to get it out. It was nowhere to be found! I looked in the closet, under all the furniture, behind the blinds and could't find it. Not knowing where the bat was made it even worse! Was it going to pop out and bite me when I least expected?

The day went on and I started to almost forget about my furry intruder. I was in and out of my studio all day and even thought that maybe the bat had gotten out somehow. Well, I wasn't that lucky. While I was sitting at my computer, I heard a scratching noise, and realized it was coming from behind a large painting I have hanging on the wall. I bravely peered behind the stretchers and found that blasted bat! Now I had to get it out!!!

I took the screen off the window in hopes I could direct the bat out. I got a broom and swiped at the bat. It fell on the floor and just laid there, all curled up. I poked at it with the broom again, trying to get it into a bag. Thats when it came to life. The wings unfurled, it hissed and snarled at me, showing its creepy little teeth. (I'm sure the neighbors heard me screaming bloody murder at this point.) I wacked at the bat with the broom trying to stun it, as I know its illegal to kill bats now. But it still hissed and showed those fangs. Instinct kicked in and I wacked and wacked and it still hissed and came back for more!!! Eventually the bat latched itself onto the broom and I was able to pitch it out the window.

When I went outside to put the screen back in, I found my uninivited guest on the ground just below the window. Don't worry, it wasn't dead and it was gone after a few minutes. I did manage to snap a picture for posterity before it flew off. Ewww!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Two Reasons to Sale-A-Brate! (ha)

This is my last week of freedom before I'm back to the grind of school. I'm also introducing a new line of chair pieces to my shop. Seemed like two good reasons to Sale-A-Brate!

All of my 5"x 7" chair prints are reduced to just $5.00. That's half off!

All of my new 8" x 8" chair prints are initially being offered at $10.00. After the sale they will be priced at $18.00.

Get a set of four ACEO sized chair prints for just $10.00 - Thats $2.00 a print people!
There is even one original, "The Red Room" marked half off! (Sorry, my 3 newbie original chairs are not on sale.)

All of my prints are created with archival pigment inks and are printed on smooth matte archival paper. The colors are bright, the detail is sharp and will remain that way for decades to come!

Visit the "Chair Sale" section of my shop to see all works included in the sale.

The Chair Sale runs until Monday September 6th.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Lazy Day

Yesterday was quite an eventful day. School and art supply shopping in Schamburg and then a Cubs game at Wrigley. What should have been the most fun part of the trip (the game itself) was pretty much a nightmare! The Phillies opened the game wide open in the 4th inning, with two 3-run homers and 8 total runs. Embarrassing!

After yesterday's overindulgences, I'm feeling pretty lazy today. I was so unmotivated this morning I even skipped yoga. I never skip yoga! Shame on me. I'm trying not to be too hard on myself, realizing that soon I really won't have time to be lazy. Next week is my last week of freedom before the onslaught of school!

I leave you with my newest piece "A Mod Spot." It seems like a nice place to waste away a lazy summer day.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

ACEO Four Pack!

ACEO's (Art, Card, Edition, Original) are easily the most popular item in my shop. Those tiny 2.5" x 3.5" beauties can be made quick and sold inexpensively. I often make them while I'm at school and the kiddies are busy working.

When I got my fancy-dancy Epson R2880 printer I started selling ACEO prints. These have also become quite popular and a great way to collect my art on the cheap.

I've decided to offer a "4-Pack" of my ACEO prints at a discount. You can choose any 4 ACEO prints from my shop and pay just $14! My ACEO prints sell for $4.00 each, so buy a 4-Pack and save two bucks.

Check out the "Tiny Prints" section of my Etsy shop.

Off to Yoga. Have a great day!

Monday, August 10, 2009

In My Place - My Newest Work

I've been in a bit of an artistic frenzy the past few days. I'm realizing that my summer is coming to an end and I won't have as much time to devote to art in the coming months.

I have been creating floral pieces all summer, and have grown a little tired of them. (Don't worry, they'll be back!) I sat down at my desk on Friday without a plan and created this! I've done chairs before - I created a whole series of them in 2007. But I have to say that this is the best one yet!!!! There is something very endearing about this little space.

A chair piece takes much more time and concentration to create that the florals do. When I'm working on a floral piece, its very much an improv. I find come great colors and patterns in my magazines and start cutting away. I have to do more planning with the chairs. Each piece has to fit together, so the cuts have to be precise. I pay attention to the value of the pieces, so that there is somewhat of an illusion of depth. The floor and the chair have to work together to create a sense of perspective. The whole process is labor intensive. I spent a good five hours on this piece.

"In My Place" is for sale in my Etsy shop.

Have a great week.

Friday, August 7, 2009

A Friday Find

A few weeks back I came across Meltbrianna in an Etsy Finds email. I was immediately in love with her eco friendly shop! As she states in her shop announcement, "Melt Brianna is flurry of handmade projects and lovely randomness. From clothing and accessories to original art works, all of the materials are recycled and reincarnated into a truly unique item to cherish."

Brianna has a knack for turning a rather ordinary clothing piece into something fun and quirky. I adore this "Truffle Shuffle Ruffle Dress". She's removed the sleeves and added the ruffle at the chest. And, believe it or not, its only $17.00! What a steal!

I bought the adorable "Super Mushroom Magic" sweatshirt from Brianna. Anyone who knows me knows about my obsession with cardigans, so I couldn't pass this one up. Brianna covered an ugly "Aeropostale" logo with the super cute mushroom applique. I've worn this several times and get all sorts of complements!

Brianna can also be found here:

Myspace: www.myspace/meltbrianna
Cosa Verde:

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

High Tea in the 17th Century

I just spent the most amazing afternoon with six other women, having high tea at the Brewster-Randall House in Janesville, Wisconsin. The private home is owned by French national Yoinai DuKunze, who cooked us amazing European style meal.

Yo (as he's commonly known) has an amazing life story that he shares with you throughout the four hour meal and house tour. He came to the United States five years ago to receive a heart transplant. He knew that he would have to stay in the States for some time to recover, and didn't want to rent. After seeing pictures of it on the internet, Yo bought the rundown 1840's Victorian home. He's lovingly restored it and has decorated it with 17th century furnishings that he shipped over from his family home in France. Besides shipping over 10 shipping containers of furniture, he also shipped 4 Olympic caliber horses and 5 dogs! If you couldn't tell already, Yo comes from a very wealthy family. They have a chateau in the south of France that has been in his family for 300 years for goodness sake! And I'm telling you the short version of the story!

Now for the food! We started with hor d'oeuvres on the sun porch including brie baked in brioche, olive and anchovy bruschetta, bacon and quail on toast points, with a champagne and pomegranate punch. I really could have just ate this and have been in heaven, but we had two more courses to go!

We were served our main course in the dining room. I wasn't able to get a really good shot of this room, it was a bit dark. But I did manage to snap this pic of the chandolier. Amazing! Our lunch consisted of pheasant quiche, french green beans, potatoes and the most decadent croissant ever. We ate, we talked, we ate some more. It was very leisurely and relaxing.

For desert we were served an Italian style cheescake with fresh berries, a lemon tartane, and French press coffee with lavender infused creme. Delish!

The whole event was a foodies paradise. And don't get me started on the interior design. I could have walked around that house for another four hours! I could write and write about this experience. What a day!

If you'd like to see more photos of the house, head on over to my flickr photostream.

Monday, August 3, 2009

A Little Bit Disappointed

A few months back I applied to the Renegade Craft Fair, that will be held in Chicago in September. I haven't ever done a show of this size, where I'd have to put together my own booth, but thought this could be a good opportunity for me. I've been making work all summer in the hopes that I got in.

Today I found out that I was not chosen. Bummer. On the positive side, I get the hefty $300.00 booth fee back that I had shelled out.

I'm disappointed that I don't have a show lined up for the fall now. I have a lot of work that needs to be seen and sold!!!! I am hoping to do Artscene somewhere this fall. (Artscene is a twice yearly event in Rockford, where businesses and galleries all over town host art exhibitions.) If anyone knows of any places looking for exhibitors for Artscene, please let me know!

I'm also looking to do a holiday show somewhere, and I would appreciate your suggestions. I'd be willing to do a good holiday market in the Rockford, Chicago, or Madison areas.

Until then, I'm concentrating on Etsy and I guess I have to start thinking about school since its now August! I'll leave you with this currently unnamed piece. (Suggestions appreciated.) This little piece measures 5" x 5" and was completed on mustard colored paper. It will be for sale in my Etsy shop just as soon as I come up with a name.