Friday, January 1, 2016

hello 2016

I like painting on New Year's Day.  I like the illusion of the blank slate on January first, and I feel welcome to fill that blank slate with creativity.

Last year, almost every crafty thing I did was made for a specific purpose or project.  It felt really great today to have only the color green and a large flower in mind, as I sat at the painting table.  I like the result.  It's a little bit freeform mixed media, and a little bit sharp lines and perfectionist.  It's good to find that balance.

May this year be not only one of balance (by which I may be here more than in 2015), but one of accomplishment.  May we be able to look back at 2016 as a year in which we worked to make good things happen - not just in our own lives, but in the lives of others.

This blog post is a good place to start.

Happy 2016.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

first painting in a while

greetings from my corner of the world!  i have missed this.  my hands want to create.  i took time off from that, and now i'm feeling glad to pick up a paintbrush again.

this little painting above was a gift for jennifer, my friend sarah's adorable three month old daughter.  i based it on the colors of jennifer's nursery, and adapted the style from monogram paintings i had made for my niece and my nephew's girlfriend.  i really like these paintings and i'm thinking of making some more to sell.  also - painted initial pendants.  i'm drawn toward pure painting rather than mixed media lately.  i drawn to paint in general - did i mention that i've missed this?

i hope to fill this space with some more colorful goodness soon.  i know that time seems to move more quickly than ever and i just want to slow it down, to make time for everything i want to see and do and read and make and try.  and to stay well rested while doing it.  and to keep up with responsibilities.  i think this is something most of us feel.  i had a milestone birthday last month and that emphasizes all of this even more.

the paints and canvases are waiting.  it's time to start painting again!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

a painting from start to finish

this month has flown by.  i started painting with thicker acrylics again, like i did when i was in high school.  there is definitely a re-learning curve that is still happening.  i am so used to the control and detail i can get from liquid acrylics, but i love the adventures in color mixing with the more viscous acrylics.  the painting above used both, which works well for me.  this is a happy bouquet.

 i also spent this month by:

*researching and purchasing books to modernize our school's library collection
*planning the istep schedule for school - an everchanging puzzle each day
*celebrating my niece's 21st birthday and my Dad's 84th
*enjoying the last few episodes of parks and recreation (goodbye, parks and rec), the grammys, snl's 40th anniversary, and the oscars (i don't really watch movies, though, so the oscars are basically lost on me)
*more time with friends than usual lately, including two birthday parties, and a baby shower today that was so nice!
*trying to read books, but not finishing them.  trying to beat level 470 of candy crush.
*trying to get more rest.
*helping family.
*painting a little, but not enough.

Saturday, January 31, 2015



i'm still here.  just feeling quiet lately.  there have been times i've wanted to write and didn't.  those thoughts are still fresh in my mind.  i'll keep them around for another time.

the truth is that i've been prioritizing some things in my life that are important.  good things, and life maintenance things that just need to happen.  work and family, and self care (trying to be more intentional about rest again, and eating - i did not eat or drink from a fast food restaurant once this month - because the truth is, except for an occasional starbucks run, i don't even like that stuff, it's just convenient, and i'm over it.  i just really like veggies for lunch.), and friends, and more adjustments to be made at work, and that's the bulk of what i've been doing.

i had an awesome christmas.  my sister and niece surprised the family with a visit from texas.  we didn't have much time together , but i loved sharing indianapolis with gretchen, and i miss them all the time.

i have been ignoring my creative life.  i really miss it.  i can feel how much i miss it.

this year i want to learn to sew - to really learn, because i have never had the patience for it before.  i don't like to follow patterns (or directions, really), and in middle school we had to make jumpers and a girl in my class unintenionally cut a huge hole in the middle of mine and i loathed that whole project, so sewing became something that felt intimidating to me.  i have tried a few times and lost the drive to continue.  my mom is amazing at sewing so i've asked her to teach me.  i'm completely excited about it this time.

i want to paint big canvases and experiment with my style.

i want to paint a canvas with a quote from a family member who recently passed away.

i want to make many more earrings. maybe a necklace?

i want to play with clay and make beads again.

i want to paint more rings and earrings for the mirthmarket.

i want to buy a printer and make prints from my mixed media pieces.

there is so much to do!  i'd better get started.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

reversible pendants

i painted some reversible pendants and i've added a few of them to the mirthmarket.  each features one side in the style i like to call "petal burst" (that name just sticks with me, it's kind of like an abstract chrysanthemum, right?) and another side in a similar color scheme with a different image.  they were fun to make!  

the colors i used looked so nice together that i opened up my art journal and covered two pages with them, which was a relaxing experience.

it doesn't feel like christmas is so soon, and i'm absolutely not "ready", as far as preparations go.  this is nothing new in my world.  may your week be peaceful.  

Saturday, December 6, 2014

tiny flower painting

Last week, eager to get back into exercising creativity after some time away, I created a tiny flower painting, and wanted to share its progression with you.  This piece is about three inches square, and such a nice way to spend a few hours one evening.  I wish I could paint every day.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

craft booth display


i've been pressing on to complete a lot of items for the two craft booths i'm preparing this month. yesterday was the sugarplum holiday fair, and now that it's over, i am excited to share what i've learned.

it can be intimidating to put together a booth if you've never done it before. this was my fifth craft booth, so i'm certainly not an expert, but i'm learning as i go, and finding this process really fun. this is what works for me - which may not work at all for someone else. it really depends on how you want to display your items, how large, heavy, fragile or numerous your items are, and your own aesthetic.

for me, i want to use as few items as possible. i drive a camry. i need everything to fit in my car. i want tables to be lightweight and easily portable. i prefer to exhibit indoors (though i **love** to visit outdoor fairs) so i haven't needed to buy a canopy.

this year, in a 10 x 10 booth space, i used one standard-sized square coffee table, and two 20" x48" tables by cosco. i could have possibly used another cosco table if i had one. i chose an L shaped arrangement for the tables...mostly because i was positioned right in front of the restrooms and didn't want to block access.

i brought my belongings in unfinished wood crates. one crate doubled as a display shelf, and the other became area to keep bags and behind-the-scenes items that aren't visible behind the booth. i also brought an ikea bag filled with a few display pieces, swiffer cloths and cleaning wipes (because you never know), and a plastic container that held some smaller items. i also brought some additional materials for creating signs and price tags (kraft paper, paper punch, sharpies, number stamps, stamp pad, washi tape), small plastic bags and brown paper bags.

earrings three ways
this is the first year i've displayed earrings, and my challenge for the past few weeks was figuring out how i would display them. i had visited a few shows where people used purchased black velvet-ish earring holders for each pair, and shows where people used purchased earring holders, with each earring attached to a separate hole in the rack. neither of those options sounded right for me. i wanted the customer to be able to pick up a pair of earrings without having to take them apart from a rack, and i wanted the earring holders to match the rest of my booth's aesthetic (and i didn't want to pay a lot for any of these things). i liked the idea of using framed chicken wire or a frame with stretched ribbon and hooks or clothespins, but the volume of earrings i'd made didn't seem to fit either of those options.

here are the ideas that stuck:
1. i made my own earring holders using kraft cardstock, a hexagonal paper punch, and two sizes of hole punches.

2. i elevated an unframed, cardboard-backed corkboard on a frame stand, and pierced sixty pins through it.

(yikes from behind the scenes:)

3. i used a three-tiered stand that i already owned, bought 4 packs of 8 picture hanging hooks for 88 cents each, bent them around the top two tiers, and put the stand on a turntable. (then, because this piece was also magnetic, i attached magnets to it in lieu of bringing a magnet board this year.)

4. i bought two deep frames on clearance, then inserted iridescent white glitter scrapbook paper.

there are some things i could have done differently. i could have chosen a different table configuration, as the display could have been somewhat hidden from one walking direction. i could have chosen tablecloths for all tables, but made the last minute decision against them. i could have used more shelves, or an additional table. but i received compliments on the earring displays, and loved the comments from little girls, including, "Ooh! Shiny Things!" and "This is fabulous!"

it was the best craft fair yet.