Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Terrible, Horrible, No Good , Very Bad Day

I hope that everyone has had a wonderful holiday season this year!

Mine has been pretty good for the most part. My parents have been spending the holidays with my little sister this year which has left me home alone. I had a nice party with some of my dearest friends and my aunt invited me to come down to her house and stay the night Christmas night.Unfortunately I started to get a scratchy throat on my drive down to her house and it's been pretty much downhill from there.

On Monday I sounded like a mix between an 80 yr old smoker and Darth Vader. After taking some mucinex I began feeling even WORSE as that stuff makes you cough up stuff that has been inside of you for decades. It definitely helps knock the chest congestion out, but you begin to wonder if you were really that badly off with that chest congestion. (Breathing is highly overrated after all) Today I slipped down my wooden stairs in my socks and pulled some muscle in my chest that now makes coughing even more uncomfortable. If you are familiar with the wonderful children's book "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" by Judith Viorst then you know where I'm going with this. When crappy things start piling up one after the other, I can't help but think of that book and declare that I'm moving to Australia.

On the positive side, I have been getting a decent amount of rest because I refuse to overdo it until I am 100% better. I am almost finished with my masquerade painting and have begun working on my entry piece for the Polymer Smooshers Guild January Challenge. Pictures will be following soon!

Until then I wish everyone a very safe and happy new year!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Spreading Winter Joy

This Christmas I won't have my family with me. My parents have gone to visit my little sister this year. Since I'm home alone I've definitely had to make an effort to bring Christmas cheer into my life. I've decorated my house and gotten a tree. I had a small Christmas party with some of my closest friends.

Overall it's worked pretty well. I'm still sad that my parents and sister aren't around to celebrate with me, but I'm not depressed and have even found that old sense of Christmas joy and euphoria.

Here's some pictures of things that make me smile. Hopefully they will do the same for you. If you are home alone for Christmas like me, just remember that Christmas spirit is something within each of us. We just need to find a way to tap into it to find that sense of euphoria.

Happy Holidays!!

Christmas lights always make me smile!

I love the way light dances on glass.

The Nutcracker is one of my favorite ballets and reminds me of my childhood

Mary waits for her baby boy...

A clementine tree that I made for my party. The silliest things make me smile!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Catching Up on Artwork

With the holidays here I've been quite busy between my "real job" and my artwork. So much so that I haven't been very good about keeping up with my blog. I've been producing so much work and haven't been able to really share any of it with you. So here are a few new items that I have recently made for my shop. I am especially pleased with some of my new hair accessories. I recently ordered more supplies and am hoping to do quite a few of them. I have some really great bridal ideas for the upcoming spring season.

                                                        I really love the headbands a lot.

A medium sized barrette that sold at my show. I really love the colors in this one and will probably try to reproduce it once I get my supplies.

Some smaller barrettes that I've been working on.

I have also been reading a lot of fairy tales from around the world. Some of them were from India and as I imagined the lush iridescent silks, brilliant colors and beautiful embroidery I created these pendants.

I had a personal goal to list 100 items on my etsy shop and recently reached it! I'm so proud of myself! It's been extremely hard getting that many pieces up while working full-time. As a reward for my perseverance (something I've struggled with in the past) I have begun working on some pieces that I've wanted to do for awhile. One of them is a series of masquerade paintings. I LOVE masks and have always wanted to do some illustrations/paintings of them. I have just begun my first one. It feels like I haven't done a painting in forever so I'm feeling a bit rusty. I'm just so happy to be painting again though that I don't really care about the end result. So far I am decently happy with how it's going. I'll definitely share the end result once it's done.

This is the inital sketch that I did in my sketchbook.

Still lots of work to go...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Change in Perspective

I recently participated in a holiday arts and craft show. Art shows are always an interesting experience. I always seem to learn something new with each one that I do. Sometimes the new learning experience is something pertaining to setting up my booth, or storing the items in a better way. This time the learning experience pertained to my customers and more importantly a change within me.

How people treat you and your work is very interesting at these shows. Some carelessly grab things and sort of throw them back on the table, others rather indifferently touch things and the rest seem to touch the work in an almost reverent fashion. There are people who won't even acknowledge your presence, even though you've welcomed them and said "hello". Then there are the customers who really want to know about you and your process.

This was the first time however that I had ever had someone ask me if I would take less for an item. My initial inner reaction was one of anger. It frustrated me that this person was treating my artwork as if it were something at a garage sale or flea market. I was insulted. I've always felt that each piece I create is a small part of my soul. I put so much time, effort and love into each piece that I create. I felt that this person was telling me that my work wasn't worth the price that I was asking. Thank God for parents because my mom helped me to change my perspective on this. She told me to think of it more from the perspective of this person really loves the piece but is on a strict budget and can't pay the price being asked. However, because they really love it they are hoping that I could make some sort of exception for them. This completely changed my attitude and I'm grateful that my mom was there to instigate that change.
Since then I have helped other artists change their perspective when faced with similar situations. I have discovered that the inital anger response is quite common amongst artists. ( must be an ego thing. hee hee hee)

Overall, I really love going to the shows because you meet such wonderfully creative people there. The most satisfaction I get however,is in getting to witness the change that your work can create in a person's face when they first see it.

My New and Improved Booth Look

This is the most inventory I've ever had for a show! I had a few people seem to be more interested in whether I was selling my display butterflies than in the work itself!

Liked the Shelf/ Bookcase. It really added some nice height to the display.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hate Breeds Hate, Love Breeds Love

I've noticed that no matter how messy or disorganized our homes are, we as humans seem drawn towards organization. Especially when it comes to people. We organize them into groups of sex, color, race, religion, age, etc. Often we make generalizations, labels, categories and subcategories for each of these groups. The danger, of course, is that this can ( and often does ) lead to segregation and prejudices. In my personal opinion there are just people. Human beings. Sometimes these people do good things, sometimes they do bad things.

I have been noticing quite a few organizations trying to help out Afghanistan and other Middle Eastern countries. They seek to help these people recover from recent natural and war based disasters. When newspapers have sought to promote these acts of kindness they receive an onslaught of readers' comments voicing their opinions. I was shocked to see how many hateful comments people had! Comments essentially saying that these people are murderers and that they should suffer and die. I was so incredibly saddened by this. These are people who are suffering. SOME of them have done bad things, but there are plenty who have not. Every race, culture, sex, age, religion, etc contains individuals capable of great evil as well as great good. In our need to lump people into categories we want to punish an entire culture based on the actions of a few. How can we wish for death and destruction for an entire culture based of the actions of these few?

Atrocious acts have been performed throughout all of history. White people, black people, yellow people, etc. Heck purple, pink and blue people too. No one is exempt from this. This is merely my opinion, but from my small and insignificant existence I have realized this one truth. Hatred will bring hatred and love will bring love.

I vote for propagating love.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Falling Beautifully

I was recently able to spend some time in North Carolina. It was wonderful getting away from the stress of my daily life and spend a moment being awed and inspired instead. My family and I were heading to North Carolina to spend time with my little sister and her beautiful daughter who was celebrating her first birthday. In the end, we accidentally timed it perfectly to see fall in all of it's glory. It has been a long time since I've been able to see fall at it's peak and I was so amazingly happy to get to see it this year. I really felt like I needed to see this. It's simply awe inspiring how gorgeous nature, and life in general, can be.

Here are some pictures from my trip. Enjoy!

                                           Happy Birthday Coralie!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Being Busy in October

I feel like such a slacker when it comes to my blog! I’ve been so terribly busy with everything else that my blog sort of fell through my fingers. It’s been an exceptionally busy week and a half or so.

Of the many exciting things that have occurred, these are some of my favorites:
I was featured a blog by shabby n’ chic
I made a treasury collection on etsy that stayed on the treasury front page for over a day!
I've also been featured in a dozen different artfire collections.

It’s just been wonderful the overwhelming amount of support I’ve received from fellow artists!It's all been happening at a much needed time in my life as I was beginning to question my validity as an artist and such. (the usual artistic angst)

OH!! Before I forget, go to this blog post and enter yourself into my giveaway for a $25 gift card! Many of you are already followers of my blog or facebook page so you can already qualify for more than one entry. It’s just silly to not enter for free stuff.

On the home front I have been admiring the amazing resilience of my bougainvillea bonsai tree. It’s actually BLOOMING! Many of you might think nothing of this, but to me, the fact that this bonsai is even ALIVE is beyond a miracle. I’m just stunned that it’s managing to be happy and blooming when I am its mother. I am such a horribly absentminded gardener. (Especially during the times when I’m in a creative trance.)

I’ve been very productive as far as my jewelry goes and I am excited about some of the new pieces I’ve been creating. Here are some samples. 

I also finally received an original drawing that I got from sarambutcher, also known as Sara Burrier. I just LOVE her work and while I can’t afford any of her original paintings right now, I COULD afford to get one of her lovely drawings. The one I purchased is of the Lady of Autumn. I just LOVE her. Sara was also kind enough to include a print of her Lady of Peridot as a bonus. Highly recommend her store to anyone who loves fanciful, beautiful work as much as I do. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Halloween is Getting Closer!!!

Halloween is getting closer and the baddies are coming out to play! Here are a couple more ACEOs that were clearly inspired by the upcoming holiday. I'm getting in touch with my dark side. They aren't really bad, they're just drawn that way! ( sorry, I couldn't resist ) They are also now available in my etsy shop.

I'm having so much fun with these!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Rough Night, Worse Day, But Something Nice to Show in the End.

Last night, a little after midnight, I got a creative itch that wouldn't stop. I knew that this was a big one and that no sleep would come until I had satisfied this late night urge to create. So I sat down at my drafting table and went to work. The only problem is that after I was done, my brain was super stimulated and I spent the rest of my night desperately trying to sleep while visions of artwork not yet created danced on the insides of my eyelids. When I woke up, I received a nasty surprise as I discovered that an ex-friend of mine had decided to attack my artwork on a public portfolio page with over a dozen nasty comments. He also decided to post my address and phone number all over the comments as well. Pretty sure that this isn't legal. Also not sure how this man thinks that this is anything other than extreme loser behavior since I haven't spoken to him since last Thanksgiving. Definitely a bit more than pathetic.

Not the best way to start the day.

Overall, I've had a pretty rough night and day, but I'm excited to share the small ACEOs that I created last night during that feverish burst of creativity. I also worked on a small painting of some zinnias picked from my parent's garden, but it still needs about another hour or so of work before I'll be ready to show it.

" Sisters " ~ 2.5" x 3.5" Watercolor and ink

"The Blue Flower " ~ 2.5" x 3.5" Watercolor and ink

Has anyone else out there ever gotten a creative itch that just wouldn't stop? Have you discovered, as I have, that the internet is a lovely place to meet lovely people but also a terrifying playground for psychopaths? Just wondering...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Through the Looking Glass

 In the past I have been writing about artwork by deceased masters. Now I want to begin incorporating artists who are currently creating and producing amazing works of art. As some of you know, I took my first mosaics class earlier this year and loved it. It was such an exciting new way to create! I took one of my illustrations and simplified it for my first mosaic. It was extremely time consuming, but also very rewarding. It was a lot of fun to create an illustration using such a permanent and sturdy medium.

I would now like to share the work of an amazing mosaic artist that I have recently stumbled across. Her name is Doreen Adams and she is currently working on some AMAZING mosaics that she hopes to have completed for Lewis Carroll's 150th anniversary of 'Alice and Wonderland'.

Her work perfectly combines my love of children's book illustration with my love of mosaics. This is such a time consuming medium to use and is also quite difficult. The amount of detail incorporated in these pieces astounds me. She is a definite kindred spirit and shares my love of illustration, children's books and mosaics. So much so, that she has also written and illustrated a book entitled 'Skinny Malinky Long Legs, Big Banana Feet'. I have only shared two of my favorite Alice in Wonderland mosaics. For the rest, as well as more information about this artist, please visit her website. www.creativemosaics.com
Spread the word, share the love and put a smile on someone's face!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Grand Opening Sale!!

I'm afraid that I haven't been nearly as active on my blog as I would have liked. I have been super busy creating fall inspired jewelry and getting my new artfire shop up and running. I've posted a few images of items from my Fall 2010 collection. They will be available for sale very soon.

  I would also like to announce the grand opening of my artfire.com shop!
 To celebrate I'm offering 20% off of everything in my shop from now until Oct.1st!! Please help spread the word! This is a great time to pick up some gifts for yourself or a loved one.


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New Items and New Shop for September!

Here are some new items that will be going up in my etsy store this month. I'll also be opening up an artfire shop very soon. Once everything is posted and finalized I'll be posting the link as well as holding a fun giveaway contest! Stay tuned!

I usually dread having to take photos of my artwork. It's such a tedious and time consuming process. This time I was determined to change my attitude about it and even managed to have a little bit of fun. I'm actually pretty pleased with the way these photos turned out. Hoping that this starts a new trend for me. :)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Only Thing We Have To Fear Is Fear Itself

Franklin Roosevelt’s inaugural address contains one of the most profound statements for me and one that I often quote to myself. In my life, I have personally discovered that I am my own worst enemy. I have been given a talent and a drive to create, but my fear of rejection and failure have been debilitating in my past. It caused me to have artist’s block for years!

After my husband left me I had to rediscover who I was. I had spent my married life basically living for my husband. I hadn’t been creating very much, nor had I been nurturing my friendships. When he left I realized that I had nothing but my family. At first I sought to create out of a need for expression. It was an outlet for the horrific pain that I was enduring.

My parents sought to push my artistic career forward and began peddling my art to various galleries. This led to a showcase exhibit in which I was required to create about 8-10 landscape paintings in approximately 3 months. While frantically working to meet the deadline I discovered that my skills, while rusty, hadn’t left me. I had abandoned them, but they certainly hadn’t abandoned me. I also rediscovered my need to create. Thank God for my parents! Because of their faith in me, I pulled myself through that hard time and have been creating ever since.

It has been nearly three years since then but I STILL have to struggle with myself each and every day. Fear still lives within me. I would easily give up before I even began a piece of artwork if I allowed myself. I hope that with perseverance I will eventually become free of my fears, but at the moment I’m still struggling. It seems silly to be at war with oneself. Perhaps it is something that is unique to me, but I take comfort in knowing that a president seems to have understood my condition. As he was speaking to a large audience, I hope that there are others out there who can relate.

This being said, I have avoided putting too many of my current projects on this blog. I have unwittingly allowed my fears to get in my way yet again! I promise to stop with this nonsense and share what I am working on with whoever is interested. I somehow feel that making this declaration to the internet void will force me to keep my promise a bit better.
Keep your fingers crossed!

One sleepless, agitated night I woke up and created this rather crude sketch. It's not a masterpiece by any means, but I do feel that it conveys the immense pain I was feeling at the time.
I lovingly refer to this as "The Scream", in homage to Edvard Munch.