Monday, November 8, 2021

Filling my Etsy Shop

 It's been a long time since I've posted here--getting back to a bit of normal around here and enjoying it, so needless to say,  I've been very busy and active in a good way.  I've still been making art and playing in my journal.  I post on Facebook just about every day, but I've really neglected my blog here.  I'm hoping to get back into it now that the winter (the dark days) is fast approaching.

But I do have to say that my favorite season is happening right now, and around here Fall lasts for about 3 weeks before the cold comes in, so I'm enjoying it as long as it sticks around and it has been more than usual this year.  Love the brisk air, the changing of the leaves, the specialty foods! and everything else that comes along with this season.

And I'm winding down from all my preparations from my gigantic show that I had in October--it was amazing--the people that came and supported all of us artists was overwhelming!

I've had time now for myself and was able to add items in my Etsy shop   plus make some new Christmas items for it.  Here's a sampling of what you can find there:

And also I've added my Christmas cards--can be purchased individually or  as a set:

You can find everything HERE

I hope to be back soon with new art and what I've been up to--hope you all are getting back to a normal life after this last crazy year we've had and enjoy the holidays that are coming up!

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Altering a Cigar Box From Beginning to End

 It's been a while since I've showed a step-by-step project here, so I decided it was time.  And with what else?--a cigar box!  I never get tired of making these.  Here's the finished box first--

I like the look of mosaics, but have never actually tried making a mosaic piece, so I go with the paper to mimic the look of mosaics, which is how I went with this box.   But let me back up and show you the before picture--

Just a plain old cigar box from my local tobacco store (actually this one was a little fancier) but it's all wood which is what I look for.

Next was deciding on my color palette , and pretty much all of the time when I make a box it's with collaged papers, and usually my own painted ones.  So here's the palette I decided on--

...some newly painted, and some scraps (which I have a ton of!)--

Next was figuring out my design, and since I was going the mosaic route--here's the result of the first step--

This is where a paper punch comes in handy.  I used a 1 inch paper punch for all of my 'mosaic tiles', and once they were on the box I  edged the top and bottom with washi tape.  I always use a matte gel medium for this step and also seal everything with it too, before I go on to the next step, plus on the top I added tape measure--I love using vintage cloth tape measure!

Next I had to do my black 'grouting'--

For the 'grout' look I use Faber Castell pitt pens--I like these because they blend well, but end up being permanent once dry since they are an India ink. I also like to finish off all the edges too with these pens.

Next is giving the box a little more of a design-- adding wood feet that I painted (you can find these at any craft store), and also giving thought to the top of the box

Now the final details--

It's these little details that lets the box shine...

And again here's the finished result--

A couple of notes.  I always seal my boxes with gloss varnish--the varnish really makes the colors pop. And also, I didn't take a photo of the inside, but I always finish it off by painting it usually the color of the feet.

I hope I've inspired you to create and if you do, I would love to see it--you can share it on my Facebook page or on my Instagram

Thursday, April 1, 2021

March Art--Painting Faces and Mixed Media Art and Happy Spring!

 Happy Spring everyone!  Even though it's still a bit cold out and snowing right now (April 1), there are definitely signs of Spring in the air which makes me happy!  And looking forward to warmer weather and getting out more especially now that I am officially fully vaccinated.  Times are still definitely wierd but a little more hopeful than it was last time this year--little did we know that in a year's time we would still be basically staying close to home and wearing masks (kind of a way of life now).  Ok, but I'm here for the art which is my way of being content and less anxious.

So as the title says I've been painting fun faces--thanks to Lifebook2021  and Next Jeneration Art (Jenny Manno's Facebook group).  My first one here was from Maria Pace-Wynter's lesson in Lifebook--

I loved how she came out!  I was so happy that Maria was an instructor there this year--I love her art and so glad that she shared her talent with us.

Next 2 girls are inspired by Jenny Manno--

I love how Jenny shares how to use so many different mediums--the last girl here was done entirely in chalk pastels--so fun.  Remember she also has a You tube channel too, and each Tuesday she has a How To Tuesday video--it's great!

And another great lesson in Lifebook  from Susan Nethercote--

painting loose and free florals, which was a bit hard for me--I'm glad I tried it and trusted the process, because I had a hot mess going on for a while before the end result

Back to my Etsy shop-- for this month some mixed media art with lots of dimension and some assemblage--

I've also been playing with my painted papers--love how they come together to create a story--

So these last 2 were painted but I like to give the feel of the collaged papers--I love color as you can see  :-)

So, needless to say, I've been making lots of art.  I 'm always more content when I can spend every day in my art studio even if it's just for a short time--hope you can do this too everyday--whatever makes your heart sing!

Friday, February 26, 2021

February-- Art Playing Discoveries, Lifebook 2021, and More Etsy

 I've been doing a lot of playing in February and cleaning and sorting--not much else to do in this part of the country--too cold!  So every time I go to de-clutter and 'clean' I end up stopping and making art, because I find little things that I've forgotten about and then discover that I can put them together to make some art pieces--like these--

I've also been discovering new art supplies again--this time--Stabilo CarbOthello pastel pencils.  I've always loved the look that you get from chalk pastels but not the mess--these eliminate a lot of that mess, but you get the same result as a hard pastel--

 they blend beautifully too--love them!

 And another new discovery--the artist Jenny Manno--I first found her when I took a small online class from her and realized how much I loved her style, and then found out she had a Facebook group  called Next JENeration Art (with lots of prompts) which anyone can join and also a great you tube channel--every Tuesday she puts up a video sharing different art supplies and demonstrations--she focuses mainly on quirky portraits, but just learning about the supplies alone are very generous on her part.  Here's one (out of the many prompts on her Facebook group page) that I tried--

I made her with mainly the CarbOthellos--lots of fun art playing in Jenny's group!

And still loving Lifebook 2021--such a supportive and talented  community there--really happy with my latest portrait from Tam's (Willowing) lesson--

and another lesson about celebrating yourself--I put my own variation on it, but the message is still there--

Meanwhile back in my Etsy Shop I've been adding more art.  I 've decided to cut down on the number of art shows that I used to do (not sure what this year will bring anyway) and focus on more online business.  I  really do enjoy getting out there and meeting like-minded people at shows and fellow artists, but I don't enjoy the setting up and tearing down of a display and huge tent that's only been up for 2 days, not to mention about worrying if the weather will be bad.  I'm rambling here, so let me just show you what I've been up to this month for Etsy (remember--I've been trying to declutter my art room and house :-)

I've been having lots of fun!  You can find these HERE.  Hope to see you next month when Spring (hopefully) will be in the air!!


Wednesday, January 27, 2021

January--Lifebook 2021--Art Journaling

 Wow, can't believe we got through 2020--let's hope this year will start to turn around and we can get some normalcy back--although I'm so used to living this way--that it now seems the normal way  :-)  I'm just happy that I'm able to do what makes me the happiest and content--it really does make a difference to find that in your life and make time for it everyday!

So now that Christmas craziness is over with and the quiet month of January has settled in I've been able to do the same thing--settling in--in my art room and playing.  

And this year I'm so happy that I decided to sign up for Lifebook 2021 hosted by the wonderful Tamara Laporte.  I haven't been in it for a couple of years, but this year I knew I needed to make some art for just me.

Our first lesson was with Tamara--our goddess of light--

Love all the layers and texture--it was just fun to play with different mediums.  And the next lesson from Tamara--our happy owl--

I took it in a little different direction from hers, but loved her owl design and kept to that.

So the next week's lesson (yes there is a new lesson every week with 32 different instructors!) was with Cinnamon Cooney

Again, I put my own spin on this piece--except for the tree girl--I love her!

And I've been playing around with different art supplies--I decided to give charcoal a 2nd chance.  A few years ago I used it and gave up on it--I didn't like the messiness of it.  But this time I got past that and discovered it's fun and forgiving!

Definitely will be  experimenting with these pencils some more--I like the way they work with other mediums.   And the best way to experiment is where else, but your journal.  I'm committed to the one I started last year when the quarantine started, and I'm getting there--adding more pages--

....mostly faces, which I love to do and when it's in my journal I have more freedom to play around, because that's what a journal is--a place to experiment in--this is what I like to put in my journal--painted faces!  and playing with different art mediums.  I think my favorite thing about art journaling is that they are all unique with each artist--it's each person's own individual voice coming out--in words, or paintings, or marks or whatever--no rules--love that!

I've also been making other art that's now in my Etsy shop.

Altered a cigar box with one of my journal girl images--

some of my whimsy art on 6 x 6 surfaces--

this one has a polymer clay bird that I had made some time ago--I found the right home for her

and also some assemblages

I really enjoy making vintage children themed art like this--I just like the nostalgia of it.
So these pieces are all available and you can find them HERE
This has pretty much been my month in the art department of my life--my favorite department!  :-)
Hope where ever you are life is good for you and getting back to a happier time!


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