Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Are Facebook Ads Worth Their Price?

For any of you wondering if promoting your Facebook page with Facebook ads is worth it, I have done the research for you.

After a few years of struggling to build my Facebook audience, I finally decided to put some money into my business and advertise my Facebook page. I just feel that there is no point in posting on Facebook if no one is seeing the posts! I was also beginning to question the quality of my art, which is a fatal thought to have as an artist. I decided to do some research and see if it's the art itself that is keeping people away or if it's simply a matter of too few people being exposed to my art. I kept my budget to their lowest setting. ( $5 per day and an estimate of 4-14 likes per day)

 I began this experiment with 467 likes on my page. After Day 1 of advertising, my page had gained 10 likes. As it had been taking me months to acquire that many likes, I was pretty happy with this. The next day I gained 16 likes, which surprised me since it surpassed the maximum number that my budget was supposed to earn. The most likes I gained in a day after that was 28. The fewest was that initial day of only 10 likes. My average for 11 days of advertising was about 16 likes per day.

For me, advertising with Facebook was worth it. It has gained me access to almost 200 people in a rather short amount of time. I'm not sure how the more expensive budgets would pan out, but if my small budget of $5 was able to gain me this many likes, then I assume that the other options would increase your exposure in correlation to your daily budget.

I would like to mention that I have not been paid by Facebook to push their ads or anything. I am simply an artist struggling to get my business up and running and know that many other artists are in the same boat. It's difficult to be seen, especially on the internet where you are a very tiny needle in a massive haystack. I'm hoping that my experience will help answer questions that any other artists may have had and will help other artists to gain the exposure that they are desiring.

Have you advertised your art before? Where did you decide to advertise and did you find the expense worth the end result? It's always difficult to know where you should spend your hard earned money and it would be nice to get a list of websites or magazines that have left artists with positive results.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

An Unruly Haired Fairy

My sketches have been taking me a bit longer these days. I just find myself getting lost in details, but I'm so happily lost that I can't really get angry with myself.
It's much like losing oneself in the woods, because you are enjoying the wildflowers growing underfoot or the various wildlife that you see scurrying about.
It sort of reminds me of my childhood when I would spend hours playing in the woods while imagining all of the fantastical fairy creatures that I just knew were hiding from me at that very moment. My latest 'adventure in the woods' brought about this sketch of a rather unruly haired fairy.

I think that she and I would have gotten along quite well. (especially when I was a child)

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Ten Ways to Stay Inspired

While doing my 'Sketch A Day' series I have had to find ways of getting inspired in order to keep up with the task of creating something new in my sketchbook each and every day.

                                                           Sketch for June 1st

Here are ten ways that I keep the creative juices flowing. Here's hoping that they help you as well!:

1. Listen to the beat- I often find music to be quite inspiring and often have images forming in my head as I listen to certain songs.

2. Walk it off- If the weather is nice and I'm experiencing a bit of a block, I take a stroll. While I'm out and about I take the time to check out the wildflowers that are blooming in the neighborhood and will often take pictures of them with my phone to use in future pieces.

3. Grab some magazines- I often find inspiration while thumbing through fashion magazines. If you ignore the merchandise that they are trying to sell and start looking at the photos from the perspective of figural poses or interesting faces, then you being to find inspiration easily.

4.Go down memory lane- I will often take photos of things during my vacations that I intend on painting at a later date. Ironically enough, I often forget about them and they end up sitting in either a photo box or in a folder on my computer. While clicking through photos from past vacations I'm often found by the creative bug.

5. Become an art teacher- I don't mean literally, of course, but giving yourself projects is a good way to keep yourself creatively active. Some simple art projects could be to draw/paint a self portrait, still life, etc. You could give yourself a theme to illustrate or the task of illustrating a poem or short story.

6. Step outside your comfort zone- Another good way to keep yourself inspired is to challenge yourself with a new medium. If you haven't done a simple pencil drawing in a long time, then hop to it! If you only ever use white paper, change to black. You've never used pastels before? Now is a good time to try it.

7. Look at art (duh!)- Looking at other artist's work is obviously a good way to gain inspiration. If you don't have a museum or gallery near you, you have plenty just a click away on the internet. If nothing else, head to your local library and grab some art books.

8. Get involved- Getting involved with other artists is also another way to stay inspired. Places like are a good way to meet and interact with other artists. Check out your local area to see if there are any paint outs or other types of meet ups with artists in your area.

9. Open your eyes- Being more aware in your life is a very good way to find inspiration. We go through our days half the time in a semi-awake state. When you start to pay attention, you'll realize that your friends and family are often a good source of inspiration. Weddings, anniversaries, births, and other events might not be happening for YOU, but I guarantee that you know someone who is experiencing these. Just a trip to a local restaurant with friends can often give you some inspiration for a few sketches or painting.

10. Practice makes perfect- When in doubt, it's always helpful to practice drawing hands, feet, facial expressions, etc. With each sketch and study you do, you will find yourself becoming more and more comfortable with rendering them.

Lastly, taking a trip to your local art store is certain to bring forth an eager desire to create. Art stores are to an artist, like toy stores to a child. You want everything in it, and will often be unwrapping things before you've even made it out the door. Heading to the art store for a new fangled pencil/ pen or paintbrush is a good way to stay excited about creating.

How do you keep your creative juices flowing? Which of the ways mentioned have you tried? Did you find it helpful? Which way will be the most difficult for you to try?

Online museum websites:
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Tate Britain or Tate Modern

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Universe Illustration

In my effort to continually stay inspired this year, I sought out inspiration in the form of the website Illustration Friday. This website offers artists weekly themes to create pieces based on. It sort of felt like an unsupervised art class project. :)

This week's theme was 'Universe'. When I think of the universe I think of the swirling fluctuations of light and color and the glowing luminescence of the stars.

For this piece I decided to finally make use of a pad of black drawing paper that I had bought on a whim years ago. I used colored pencils with a small amount of pastel pencils for this piece. It was a challenging experience after working on white backgrounds for so many months. I had to reverse my way of seeing as I began to build the light from the shadows as well as adding shape and definition to the shadows.

Monday, May 26, 2014

A Portrait with Plumeria Blossoms

I enjoyed drawing my Cherry Blossom portrait so much (Click here to see my blog post showing this piece) that I decided to do another portrait. I was having some trouble deciding upon a flower to use for this one so I asked people on my facebook page to come up with some suggestions. The winning suggestion was plumeria. I had never heard of this flower but fell in love with it's lovely shape and beautiful color immediately.

Something that I had played around with for the first time in my Cherry Blossom portrait was the idea of keeping the portrait in black and white while adding a pop of color with the flowers. I added the color using Adobe Photoshop Elements. I enjoyed the final look so much that I decided to try it on this one as well, though the colors of the plumeria blossoms are MUCH more complex and I have never been very adept at photoshop.

This is the original black and white portrait done in graphite

Here is the portrait with the plumeria blossoms painted.

Which do you prefer?
Shall I continue on with this series? 
If I do continue with it, which flower do you think that I should incorporate in my next piece?

Friday, May 23, 2014

Japanese Cherry Blossoms

My latest sketch is inspired by all of the cherry blossoms in bloom during the spring months.
I've often wanted to travel to Japan for their Cherry Blossom Festival, but apparently I can travel to a much closer location in Macon, GA. How many times have I traveled through Macon on my way to North Carolina and never knew that it's considered the 'Cherry Blossom Capital of the World"? It's home to approx. 300,000 cherry blossom trees!! I had no idea!

Anyway, all of the photos on Facebook of these various festivals is what inspired this 'Sketch-of-the-Day'. It's just a basic pencil drawing on paper, but I added some color to the cherry blossoms in my computer just for fun. I sort of like this monochromatic look. This pencil drawing is far more detailed and realistic than my usual sketches, but I was really enjoying just building the layers of shadows.

What do you think?

Are any of you from a place that has it's own cherry blossom festival? What sorts of activities do they have for you to do? What are some of your favorite spring blooming flowers?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Blog Under Construction and Top Ten Mistake to Avoid when Blogging!

I've been wanting to re-vamp my blog for awhile now. It's been a few years and seems like it's about that time again.

Rather than just sort of winging it this time, I decided to actually do a little research on blogging.
I picked up the book 'Blogging For Creatives' by Robin Houghton. You can pick up this book at here or you can just do what I did and look for it in your local library.

I will say that this was a very helpful book. Some of the things mentioned were things that I had already discovered through trial and error, but other things I had no clue about.

I'm not going to do a review or summary of the book, but I will at least list her

 Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid.

1. Too many gadgets and embellishments
2. Light text on a dark background (ooo I was guilty of this one! Sorry for any eye strain and headaches that I've given you over the years! )
3. Too Much Information (TMI) Don't get too personal with your blog posts
4. Too Little Information- Don't be anonymous.
5. Uninspiring Blog Post Titles
6. Links not saying where they go.
7. Mixing too many topics or lack of focus.
8. Using automatically loading music or video ( I did this early on when I started blogging and quickly figured this out myself)
9. Not posting frequently enough. She recommended at least once per week. (I have definitely been guilty of this one, but am hopefully better now)
10. Spelling and grammatical errors. (I always try 2 spell gud) ;)

Anyway, I'm afraid that you'll have to put up with an ever-changing blog for a few weeks or so while I work out the kinks and get it to a point where I'm happy with it. The current look of it is downright terrible, in my opinion, so it's definitely not going to stay like this for long. Just trying to figure out a banner and template that I am happy with.

Any suggestions or ideas are more than welcome! What sort of mistakes have you made while blogging that isn't on Ms. Hough's list?

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

New Sketches for the Week!

This week's 'Sketch A Day' project has been pretty productive. In the past, I've had a hard time finding the time or energy after my day job to sketch anything. This week I was pretty good about doing something everyday. It's sort of funny though. My week started with me just drawing from my head. Then it was drawing from my head, but inspired by events in my life and by the end of the week I was just drawing from events in my life. This is why I'm loving this project though. It allows me the freedom to just draw whatever comes into my head or inspires me at the time without any sort of constraints. I've also stopped doing my sketches solely in pen and ink and have added watercolors into the mix.

Fairies have been a common theme amongst my sketches, but this one has more of a Jane Austin feel about her. Probably due to all of the Jane Austin books I've been indulging in. ;)
May 5th, 2014

Two of my friends had babies within hours of each other so it only seemed natural that my 'sketch of the day' be inspired by them. Their daughter's names are Winnie and Violet and I drew this sketch as a way of celebrating this happy occasion and welcoming them into our world. This was also my first time attempting to draw a baby and I'm surprisingly happy with the way she turned out. :)
May 6th, 2014
I saw some ducklings playing in the water the other day and took a million photos to capture them.
Once I started drawing them, I realized that I would really like to add color, so I changed my definition of 'sketching' to include watercolors. :)
These two siblings were hiding underneath the lily pads and I just thought that they were too cute!
May 8th, 2014

This little guy had a lot of character. It was really a lot of fun drawing these sweet little bundles of fluff and webbed feet! I just might end up drawing a few more of them...
May 9th, 2014
I haven't seen a blue jay in our neighborhood in years, but I saw this one the other day in my backyard and just had to draw him. The colors of his plumage take my breath away. Nature is so incredible!
May 11th, 2014

What sorts of things have been inspiring you this week? Has spring brought about a return of some of your favorite flora or fauna?

Friday, May 9, 2014

Etsy Featured Artist: Olivyea

I am often stumbling across inspiration when clicking through the internet and have decided to share some of these discoveries with my faithful readers.

Etsy is a wonderful place to find inspirational pieces by some truly amazing artists and artisans. While 'taking a stroll' amongst Etsy's wares I came across the shop Olivyea (artist name Danielle Olivyea Christian ) Her works are definitely inspired by the impressionists with a few pieces moving more into pointillism.

This is the piece that first caught my eye. I absolutely LOVE her use of color and the way that she's captured the light here is beautiful.

She's also not afraid be more abstract and allow the light to take center stage

Here is a piece that definitely appears to be more inspired by the pointillists, but her love of light and color are still clearly visible even as she plays around with her brushstrokes.

Not very many of the paintings in her shop have people in them. Of the pieces that do, I personally like this one the best. I love her use of aerial perspective. I've stated that she's never afraid to allow things to get more abstract and that's true of the background in this piece as well.

If you love color and light, then painting a sunset seems like a pretty natural subject to be drawn to. I'm again drawn to her lovely use of color to capture this.
I would love to hear what you think about Danielle's work so please feel free to share! :)
Did you enjoy this blog post? Would you like me to continue posting features on various artists and artisans?
To see more of Danielle's work, check out her shop at When you do, be sure to click on her profile page as well. Her bio is as inspiring as her work!
You can read more on impressionism by going to
You can read more on pointillism by going to

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

From the Land of Faeries to Mermaids...

This week I've started working on my Sketch of the Day series again. I took a slight hiatus, but am back on track now. I'm not sure why, but my mind has been particularly filled with images of faeries lately. Just lots of wings flying about in my head! The only exception is the last one in this blog post. After so many faeries I threw in a mermaid just for fun.

As expected, some sketches I like better than others, but I am trying not to dwell on that as much. This series is about creating, not about creating masterpieces! I always find myself focusing too much on being a perfectionist and have thrown away countless pieces because of it!

April 30th, 2014

May 1st, 2014

May 2nd, 2014

May 3rd, 2014
Are you your own worst critic? We often hear that 'one man's trash is another man's treasure' ,but do we apply this concept to our art? I have often found that when I post a piece that I'm not particularly satisfied with, I receive a comment from someone who is moved by, or in love with the piece. For this reason, I ignore my own inner struggles with my pieces and just post them anyway. I create with the hope that I will give someone a bit of joy, hope or beauty and that's not always going to come from the pieces that I think they should.
To see more of my Sketch a Day series, check out my blog post 'Practice Makes Perfect'.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

7 Simple Ways to Start Your Day On the Right Foot

As an artist, I am always working to improve my skills. As a human being, I am always seeking ways to keep myself healthy in body, mind and soul. Here are some things that I have been incorporating into my morning routine that have truly helped me to start my day off on the right foot.

1. Stretch Your Body
When I wake up in the morning, the first thing that I do is stretch my body. I have lower back issues, so I focus a great deal on stretching that area as well as my hamstrings and legs since I spend a great deal of time on my feet.

2. Move Your Body
Getting to the gym can be a challenge with a busy schedule, but I feel so much better when I get exercise in. I have started to incorporate a small amount of exercise into my morning routine. After my morning stretches I will focus on one part of my body and work on that. For example, I will do as many push ups, squats, lunges, crunches, etc. as I can. I usually only have time to focus on one of these, but even that little bit will get my heart rate going and help me to have more energy through my morning.

3. Hydrate Your Body
After a night of sleeping, my body is generally pretty parched. Drinking a full glass of water gives me an instant boost and helps to keep away headaches and other aches and pains that might deteriorate my mood throughout the day.

4. Fuel Your Body
Your body needs fuel to function. So make sure that you keep breakfast as your most important meal of the day! I have personally found that 1 egg on a slice of multigrain toast will keep my body satisfied for hours. I will often pair it with a green juice or acai juice so that I get a nice dose of fruits and veggies too. Play around with what breakfast works the best for you, but stay away from overly processed items and make sure to throw in some fruits or veggies.

5. Stay Inspired
I personally find a great deal of inspiration in the bible. So I have an app on my android called Laudate that I refer to every morning for the daily mass readings. Each reflection that it has also contains a prayer. However, if this isn't your thing, there are plenty of apps and websites that have daily inspirational and motivational quotes, such as Words of wisdom are always inspiring!
For art related inspiration, 'The Daily Book of Art; might be a good option for you. It has 365 readings that teach, inspire and entertain. It can be found on here

6. Stay Cheerful
When you are in a good mood, it instantly changes the mood of others around you. You will also find yourself better able to handle the problems that you encounter throughout the day. I find that driving to work with my local Christian Rock radio station instantly changes my mood. I drive to work with Wally from The Wally Show (website here) and his show makes me laugh so much that it's difficult to be in a bad mood. We have all encountered the drivers who should never have been given drivers' licenses. Often these encounters leave us in a less-than-amicable mood. If I am playing music that makes me happy, I find that I stress less, drive slower and enter my workplace in a calm and happy mood. If you don't already have a favorite radio station, start experimenting. Otherwise, grab some of your favorite CDs or your Ipod.

7. Make Goals for Your Day
I find that setting realistic goals at the beginning of my day really helps me to stay on track. I'm personally a list maker, so I keep a small notebook where I can physically write these tasks down. I love being able to physically cross things off of my list. As I get things done, I feel a sense of accomplishment that helps me to keep my good mood going.

What are some things that you do in the morning to keep yourself healthy and happy?

Which of the things that I've listed would you find to be the most challenging to incorporate and why?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Finding Joy in Simple Pleasures

Let me confess something to you, dear readers. In my 'old age' I am finding myself to be more and more attracted to the simple things in life and less and less attracted to the things that society tells us we should be attracted to. ( wealth, power, etc) I am currently engaging in one of my favorite day off activities. That is to say, I am sipping my favorite tea and writing a blog post to you while planning out my day. An added bonus this time is that I also have some beautiful roses to enjoy as there was a wedding at my day job and I was able to take a few of the leftover roses home with me.

 So let me amend my original statement. I am sipping my favorite tea while gazing in awe upon the beauty of these roses. Upon reflection, I don't believe that it's the roses, or the blog posts or even the tea that is making me so happy though. It's the stillness in the morning while I plan my day and take a moment to ENJOY THE PRESENT. The present is lovely and still and the future is filled with hope and possibilities. Once I get going working on all of the things on my to-do list, that stillness will be broken, but for now I am embracing this peace with every ounce of my being and reveling in it.

With holy week impending I am finding my life to be in a constant state of chaos. My day job is frantically preparing for Easter and my responsibilities as a cantor and choir singer are also quite frantic. From this Sunday, through Easter Sunday I have no less than 5 performances at my church. Finding time to create is getting to be more and more of a challenge right now. I am still doing my sketch-a-day series but am finding myself missing days here and there and frantically trying to catch up with them. This has been leading to even more stress. I don't know about you, but I want my art to come from a place of joy. If I'm stressed out and frantic, then all of the fun has been taken out of the creating. I was reprimanding myself for missing days, but I've stopped that now. I am simply doing my best and not beating myself up when I am too tired to do a sketch.

Here are some of my latest sketches...

What are a few of your favorite things? What simple pleasures do you enjoy?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Unspoken Stories Behind Famous Paintings

I recently came across a very interesting blog post by James Gurney. (author and illustrator of the Dinatopia books) If you love art and aren't following his blog, then I highly recommend that you do. He is always posting interesting historical facts about past artists as well as helpful information regarding techniques. This particular post was about the artist John Everett Millais and his friendship with John Ruskin (a famous art critic,author and artist at that time)

We all know that art is a form of storytelling, but we forget that there are sometimes even more interesting stories hidden behind that artwork.

Case in point...

"The Waterfall" by John Everett Millais, 1853, oil

John Everett Millais painted this careful study of a woman beside a stream during a painting trip to Scotland. The woman is Effie (Euphemia) Gray, the wife of John Ruskin.

During the long days that it would have taken to paint this picture, one can imagine John and Effie getting to know each other. Effie was unhappy in her own marriage to Mr. Ruskin, in part because of a very awkward situation that unfolded on the Ruskin's wedding night. 

Until his marriage, Ruskin's idea of women's bodies had derived from his encounters with classical statues and paintings. Confronted by the reality of Effie's nude body on the wedding night, he was shocked and dismayed. 

No one knows for sure what exactly blew his mind: it might have been either the pubic hair or the menstrual blood. Some have argued recently that the sensual reality of woman's body conflicted with Ruskin's mental image of an idealized young female. Others have argued that Ruskin was a pedophile as he later had relationships with girls very much his junior.  (though many believe that he never had any sexual relations within his lifetime) The way Ruskin put it later at the annulment proceedings: "It may be thought strange that I could abstain from a woman who to most people was so attractive. But though her face was beautiful, her person was not formed to excite passion. On the contrary, there were certain circumstances in her person which completely checked it."
Millais and Effie had fallen in love, but this led to a big problem, because the whole point of the Scotland trip was for Millais to paint a standing portrait of Ruskin in a natural setting. Having established the natural backdrop, Millais returned to London, where Ruskin posed for him in the studio. Millais called it "the most hateful task I have ever had to perform." 
    "John Ruskin" by John Everett Millais , 1953-1954, oil on canvas

After the portrait was completed, Ruskin and Millais broke off relations, and Ruskin's marriage was on the rocks. Effie, still a virgin, sued for annulment.

Ruskin may have been turned off by Effie, but Millais wasn't. They married in 1854 and had eight children together.
If this story interests or fascinates you, then you'll have a chance to see more in the upcoming movie 'Effie' which was written by actress extraordinaire Emma Thompson. ( who also acts in it)

I'm excited about one of my favorite art movements finally coming back into vogue and am looking forward to seeing the pre-Raphaelites' artwork finally taking it's much deserved spotlight. I'm also a huge fan of Emma Thompson so I'm REALLY excited to see this upcoming film which was released in the UK on March 4th, but currently has no US release date. Hopefully it will be brought across the pond soon! :)

To read more about John Ruskin
To read more about John Everett Millais
To learn about the Pre-Raphaelites

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Practice Makes Perfect

I remember back in college, we had a speaker come to talk about being a professional artist. One of my fellow students asked him what advice he could bestow on all of us. He said that if you would like to be good at something, then you need to practice it all the time. If you'd like to be better at drawing hands, then keep a journal just for hands and draw in it every single day. This wasn't necessarily profound advice, but it still managed to have a profound effect on the students who heard it. Many of us went out and purchased new sketchbooks and used them to better ourselves on whatever subject we felt we were lacking in.

Now, years later, I am finally putting this into practice again. I'm not focusing on a particular subject matter, but I am forcing myself to sketch something each and every day. There are no rules as to what the sketch has to be about, but typically I give myself only about 30 min to create it. Some days I'll be inspired to create something from my head, while other days I'll be short on ideas and will therefore devote my sketch time to observing something around me. I expect that some of these sketches will be good and some will be downright terrible, but I'm not going to allow myself to focus on these things. I'm only focusing on the act of creating and allowing whatever comes of it to remain as it is.

My goal with this is to keep the creative juices flowing so-to-speak. I would like to make sure that I continue to grow as an artist each and every day. So ensuring that I am creating something each and every day (no matter how small it may be) seems like a good way to do that.

I'm calling it my Sketch-A-Day Series and have added 5 sketches so far. I'm looking forward to adding each days' piece as they are finished.

Here are some of my sketches so far...

March 20,2014- A sketch I did while at work on my birthday.

March 21,2014- A concept sketch for my next painting

March 22, 2014

March 23,2014- some sketches I did while attending a musical concert at my church

March 24,2014

What do you do to keep yourself in tip top shape? If you could give advice to someone wishing to pursue your line of work, what would it be?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Mermaids On My Mind

Last April, I discussed some concept sketches that I had done for a client who wanted me to do a painting of her two daughters as mermaids.  I realize now that I never posted the final decision that my client made nor the final painting that was created for her. Sorry about that!! As always, life seems to get in the way of my good intentions.

Here is the final painting that was created for her.

Perhaps it's because of my work on this painting, but it seems as if I'm stuck on mermaids right now. Here are a few more mermaid pieces that I've created since then...



             Handpainted polymer Mermaid Barrettes

Do you ever find yourself getting stuck on a theme? What concept or theme have you gotten attached to? Children? Portraits? Landscapes?

Hope that your week is going swimmingly...  ;)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wearable Art Show

As promised in my last blog post, here is a video and some photos of the amazing work from this year's Fashion Artillery Show.
This show featured 36 different pieces from about 27 different artists.

I would recommend muting the sound for this video as the background noise can get rather obnoxious. As I was modeling my own piece, I wasn't able to create a video of my own so am posting one that was taken by someone from Broward College's North Campus Art Club.

Next to me, Amanda Thompson models her piece 'To Meme, With Love', which used magazines, cardboard food boxes and aluminum can scraps

Sandra Kuba's piece 'Epiphyte' made using airplants and moss

Kes Elliot's pieces 'All Tomorrow's Parties' featuring hand-painted hoodies and jeans

A collaborative piece entitled 'Sweet Nothings' using candy and candy wrappers

Page R. Burow's piece 'The Cartographer's Daughter' made from maps

Eden Manresa's piece 'Aqua' used melted down plastic bags for parts of it

Jennifer Love Gironda's piece 'Floral Bridal Gown' used recycled paper

Jessica Benton Kelty's pieces 'Haute Bath' and 'Oodles of Pool Noodles' used shower caps, bath loofas, pool noodles and pool towels

Amy Shannon's piece 'Craft Vodka Couture' featured over 300 cardboard bottle neck tags and over 100 copper bottle tops

Alexandra Kirschner's piece 'Dare to Wear' featured a top made of sea glass

Karen Chandler's 'Elven Mischief' which recycled old sweaters

The back of Sarah Buchanan's piece 'Bloom' which featured plastic bags and had strings of lights within the train

Joni Sarah White's piece 'Year of the Horse' used an old English saddle, Sisel rope and porcupine quills

Julie Silk Beaumont's piece 'The Spring Collection' used plastered gauze and paint

Aidana Baldassarre's piece 'Wedding News' used recycled newspaper
Of the pieces shown, do you have a favorite? Have you ever created a piece using unconventional materials? What material do you think will eventually work it's way into mainstream fashion?