Monthly Archives: February 2011

Randoms

It’s been awhile since I posted some of my random ramblings. I’m sure you’ve all missed them terribly. Heh.

So, here’s some stuff…

It’s the last day of the month, and being that I am a stat-checking freak, I am happy to report that my number of visitors more than quadrupled this month! So crazy. I’m not just standing in a room talking to myself anymore.

My studio is a serious mess. It is definitely time to purge and I’m thinking of doing it in the form of some giveaways. I haven’t done one in forever and I need to come up with some creative ideas.

I really shouldn’t have bought that bag of Cadbury Mini Eggs.

I added a page to the blog for coloring pages. Hopefully, it will make it easier to find/print the pages. Because when the kids are bored and screaming, the last thing anyone wants is to make them wait for their coloring pages. Heh.

I’ve been meaning to tell everyone who thanked me for including them in my Friday Favorites that no thanks is necessary. You all earned your spots!

I’m finding that I’m spending more time blogging these days than actually creating anything. I’m not sure exactly how I feel about that.

Show me some love on Facebook, if you haven’t already. Pretty please? (Pssst, that’s the first place that I post about giveaways.)

You know, no one ever tells you what kind of ridiculous things will come out of your mouth when you become a parent. Honestly, if someone had told me that I would utter the phrase ‘Don’t lick the furniture!’ not once, but multiple times, I probably wouldn’t have believed them.

Eh, I guess that’s all I’ve got.

photo : brightly colored candy coated downfall by yours truly

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ACC Baltimore Show 2011: Part II

As a mom, I have made a habit of not buying things for myself. When I go shopping, my purchases typically fall into one of three categories – groceries and other necessities, things for Sir (clothes, toys, diapers, etc.), and art supplies (which are viewed as necessities for me to work). I don’t buy new clothes or shoes anymore unless I am to the point where I run the risk of having to leave the house naked (the horror). I especially don’t make luxury purchases like jewelry (which I rarely have occasion to wear) or art (which makes me giddily happy and therefore feels like a selfish purchase).

But every now and then (like when the IRS happens to dump some cash into our bank account), I let myself go a little crazy. Saturday was one of those times, and though I didn’t buy nearly as many lovelies as I would have liked, I did get some pretty sweet stuff.

After purchasing the coolest little wooden toy for Sir (a Flipsy Car from Baldwin Toys – so fun!), I decided to buy at least one (and then another and then another) thing for myself.

The gorgeous necklace above is from Seeka – the collaborative effort of Israeli artists Nachshon Peleg and Stavit Allweis. There was not one piece of their work that I didn’t love and having to choose just one thing was extremely difficult.  This piece is unofficially my anniversary gift (12 years next Sunday!). Heh. Thanks to my friend, L., for talking me into that!

Early on in our art adventure, the work of mixed media artist Michael Baxley caught my eye. Probably because it is extremely eye-catching. Seriously.

His pieces start with a wood box onto which paint and a litho print are applied. He then creates hand-formed porcelain blossoms that are cast onto the painted wood in very flowing organic arrangements. Beautiful.

It took me three trips back to his booth before I finally just let myself buy the piece that made me over-the-top happy. Now I am challenged with finding the perfect place to hang it.

I’m sure it won’t surprise anyone that my final purchase of the day was from Tsuga Studios. As I mentioned previously, I was very excited to see Nick Kekic’s work in person. He has been a client of mine for a while and I love looking at the photographs of his pieces. I was very happy to find that his work is just as gorgeous in person.

After much deliberation, I chose a vase from his Miniature Form Study. He described these frosted pieces as the ‘marzipan’ of his collection. I agree, they are quite delicious! As much as I would love to display this piece in my living room where everyone can see it, part of me wants to keep it hidden away with me in my studio where I can look at it whenever I need a little eye candy and inspiration.

photos : my treasures by yours truly

 

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Free Coloring Page – C is for Chomping Caterpillar

Here is the next page in my series of Alphabet coloring pages. C is for Chomping Caterpillar.

Things you can share while coloring this page:

  • Chomp means to chew food noisily
  • What is this caterpillar chomping?
  • What do you think caterpillars like to eat?

To print this coloring page, open the .pdf file by clicking here or on the picture. When the file opens, choose File > Print.

Please be sure to read the post A Word About Coloring Pages before printing and using this page.

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ACC Baltimore Show 2011: Part I

I have a lot to share from my experience at the American Craft Council Baltimore show because, well, it was completely awesome! There’s so much, in fact, that I am going to have to split it up into a few different posts.

This year the ACC celebrated it’s 70th ‘Rebirth’ Day. As part of the celebration, local cake designers were invited to create cakes inspired by handmade pieces from artists participating in the show. Two of my friends are cake artists and I strongly encouraged them to participate, but the timing just wasn’t right. If they had done it, I know they totally would have rocked it!

While checking out the entries, we got a chance to speak to one of the bakers who let us in on a little secret…they weren’t real cakes, shhhhh. The fondant and buttercream were real, but the ‘cakes’ themselves were cardboard. Yum.

The sheer amount of talent at this show was staggering. I am going to do my best to talk about as many of the artists as I can and share links to their work, although I must admit that I had to narrow it way down to a select group of favorites.

The photo above is a sculpture by Massachusetts artist Dale Rogers. My good friend and trusty sidekick was ready to strap this to the top of her Prius and have her husband install it in their front yard. Sadly, we were pretty sure their HOA wouldn’t approve.

Here are a few of our other favorites from yesterday…

  • Susan Madacsi (blacksmith/artist) : How cool would it be to be able to tell people you’re a blacksmith? Really, how cool would it be to be a blacksmith? Pretty cool (not in the literal sense), I think. Susan Madacsi’s hand forged steel forms are painted with enamel and then distressed. I especially like the way that her cloud pieces take something typically thought of as industrial and turn them into something whimsical.
  • Christine R. Schukow (mixed media artist) : Her dioramas combine two of my absolute favorite things – photography and miniatures (!) (Okay, so the latter is a guilty obsession pleasure and I had to keep myself from squealing with delight when I saw her work, lest I blow my cover as a closet fan of all things teeny tiny.). Sadly, the photos on her web site don’t do her little works of art justice (unless you have a REALLY big monitor). I assure you, they are great!
  • Sandra Bonazoli & Jim Dowd (metalsmiths) : The fact that I have the smallest kitchen ever (one teeny tiny thing that I am NOT a fan of), does not hinder my love of kitchenware one bit. It does keep me from being able to buy all of the wonderful things that I would love to have in my kitchen, however. Boo. I was especially upset by this fact when I saw all of the wonderful things offered by Beehive Kitchenware. They make the sweetest little things for cooking, entertaining, and decorating. Their little birdies make me smile (and to my owl-loving friends, there are a few of those hooting around on their web site too). Love.
  • Jenn Bell (metal/enamel/awesome) : Okay, before you even look at her work, read her bio. Brilliant. Now, for the work. Also brilliant. I adore simplicity, especially when it is, in reality, extremely complex.
  • Christine Kaiser (mixed media artist) : Truly, words fail me when I try to describe her work. It is like looking at a three-dimensional sketchbook – a three-dimensional sketchbook that I just can’t stop looking at. When my friend asked what the sculptures were made of, the reply was ‘Wood. I’m very particular.’  So am I and it works.

I have much more to share, but it will have to wait. Duty calls (in the form of a cookie tasting this afternoon!).

photos : acc awesomeness by yours truly

 

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Friday Favorites : Layer

So, here it is, my first Friday Favorites! I came up with the idea of choosing and sharing my 15 favorite illustrations each week in order to introduce my friends/family/readers to Illustration Friday and some of the great talent that is out there. A major bonus is that it gives me an excuse to spend time looking at a lot of really great and inspiring work.

This week’s topic was ‘layer’. With that in mind, sit back, get clicking, and breathe in the awesome!

  • Little Monster’s Guide to Getting Dressed by Emma Weisman : Completely adorable! I think Sir would greatly benefit from Little Monster’s lesson.
  • Colorful Houses by Junko Miyakoshi : Love this style of illustration as it reminds me of one of the favorite books in our house The Giant Jam Sandwich.
  • Layer by M. Lee : Very clever and well done.
  • Bricklayer Cake by Wesley Osam : Someone else is as weird as me!
  • Artichoke by Sarah Melling : Simply gorgeous. Is there anything better than beautiful food illustrations?
  • Birdy by Joanna McMullan : Simple, lovely colors, and a bird. Perfect.
  • Layer by Heidi Fuchtman : Gorgeous in its simplicity and understated colors.
  • Peacock by Natalie Magnuson : A lovely twist on a lovely bird.
  • Happy Birthday by Penelope P. Neal : Not only is this a lovely illustration, but it reminds me of my good friend M. who works at the zoo and celebrated her birthday this week.
  • Layers by Q. Cassetti : I have quite an affinity for pen & ink drawings and this one makes me swoon. Wow.
  • Morning Glories by Valerie Lorimer : Love the style and the use of my favorite color in the whole world.
  • Layer by DoodleStreet : A peeler! Ha!
  • Lil’ Cowpoke by Brad Renner : Love, love, love the mid-century modern style.
  • Piggy by Abbi : Not only is the illustration adorable, but the photography is wonderful.
  • A Simple Onion by Auki : Always nice to end with a snarky onion. Heh.

More cool stuff:

Illustration Friday: Layer

cake is serious stuff

The topic for this week was layer. The only things that kept popping into my head were bricklayer (I know, I’m weird) and layer cake. The latter being more interesting than the former, that is what I decided to go with. I still didn’t know what to do exactly, until I remembered a conversation I had recently had with two friends who are highly skilled in the art of cake baking/decorating. Part of the conversation went something like this:

It’s just cake.

Hey! Cake is serious stuff. (Although, I must admit that ‘stuff’ wasn’t exactly the word that was used. But, in the interest of keeping things rated G in this entry, we’ll say that it was.)

And, there you have it. Some serious cake.

I really feel that, if given the time, I could have done a lot better on this. We’ll call it a work in progress.

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I’m So Excited!

It’s almost the weekend and that means that tomorrow is Illustration Friday AND Saturday is my day to check out the American Craft Council Baltimore show!

Despite the fact that I’m not entirely thrilled with my IF submission this week, I am very excited to see what other people have done. And, I have decided to share some of my favorite submissions here for those of you who may not be familiar with the Illustration Friday concept or web site. I am going to try to limit myself to 15 favorites this week, which will undoubtedly be very hard.

Saturday, my trusty sidekicks and I will head downtown to drool over peruse the awesomeness at the American Craft Council show. I will be fully armed with camera and laptop in order to share eye candy with my loyal readers (all two of you, heh).

And, because I don’t have enough irons in the fire, I have added a new project to my list of things to add to the blog. More on that later.

photo : jcc art by yours truly

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Drawing: Week Two IF Musings

I started work on Illustration Friday earlier this week than I did last week because my changing schedule warranted it. When I finally came up with an idea, it fell into place quickly (probably because it was based off of my illustration from last week). I did some very rough sketches on Friday and started working on the actual colored pencil drawing on Sunday.

It didn’t go so well.

Seriously, they are colored pencils, I’ve been using them since I was a toddler and suddenly they feel so foreign and unwieldy. I just COULD NOT get them to work. It was very discouraging. So, I scrapped the original drawing.

I started again and things went along a bit better, but the final product still wasn’t what I was hoping for. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to start a new drawing. So, I’m just going to call this week’s illustration a work in progress and maybe use the idea for something else in the future.

I have to confess that after scanning my drawing, I did a little *ahem* extra work on it. I blame Photoshop and my ridiculous need to make things ‘perfect’. One of the things I am finding most difficult about drawing is that there is no Edit > Undo in real life. If I screw up, it either needs to be erased (which doesn’t always work) or covered up (which I’m not very good at yet). So, for now, I’m cheating. Heh.

photo : colored pencils by yours truly

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What I Like Wednesday: Tsuga Studios

I have always wished that I had the skill to work with glass. Years ago, I lived a stone’s throw from a major art glass supplier. I used to love walking around perusing all of the glass art supplies and I kick myself for not taking advantage of the opportunity to take classes there.

I realize now that it is probably better that I didn’t pick up yet another medium that I would end up being mediocre with, especially when there is such a high price tag attached. Oh, but how I would adore having my own kiln…and blowtorches (!).

Best that I leave all that to the experts, like Nick Kekic of Tsuga Studios.

The whole concept of glassblowing is completely amazing to me and the flawless beauty of Nick’s work, from everyday dishware to gorgeous decorative bowls and light shades, just blows me away (no pun intended – heh).  Seriously, amazing.

This weekend, I will be attending the American Craft Council show in Baltimore where I will finally get to see Nick’s work in person *insert embarrassing girlish squeal*. I can’t wait! Expect lots of photos (and possibly more embarrassing girlish squeals). If you happen to be in Baltimore this weekend, definitely check this show out!

In the meantime, go get your daily dose of COLOR at www.tsugastudios.com!

photos : small bowls, dinnerware, ribbon cane incalmo bowls by Tsuga Studios.

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