Saturday, January 31, 2015

unpause

hello.




















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







































hello!

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.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

so many earrings



i recently rediscovered my stash of jewelry making supplies. the whim to create jewelry strikes me every few years, but i had some newer beads left over from projects used as gifts last year, and a donation of five pairs of earrings into an auction this spring reminded me how fun it is to make earrings.

dangle earrings are my favorite kind of jewelry to assemble. the beads, findings and tools are extremely portable (so much more than paint!), and the process goes so quickly that the feeling of accomplishment is sudden. i love all of the textures and colors and combinations of the beads. i like rearranging beads until they look right. also, i can work on earrings and still focus on other things (the emmy awards were a three hour long earring making session, and i still feel like i got to see everything).

these will be a great addition to my craft booths this year.

so far, there are over 120 pairs. they don't photograph well on the cork tray i use to corral this crafty mess, but here are some of the finished pieces:








Enjoy this week!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

a post for the end of August






















Hello and goodbye, August.   I couldn't let the month pass without writing something!

This summer, I put most of my energy into the school where I spend most of my time. Changes needed to be made. It was the perfect time for big transitions so I planned (and paid attention to many lightbulb moments) and worked really hard to put everything into place for my students. It's work that I love, but it consumed most of my creative energy. It has already started paying off, though. The first month of school has been great!

So my painting table wasn't really used, except for last weekend, when I created the painting above. I think this happens every summer. I have to practice to get back into the creative process. This painting started out as an experimentation of something new to me - but it *wasn't* me or my style. So I kept going until it looked like something that might look like mine. SO MANY LAYERS. And then it just felt finished-ish, and I don't know how I feel about it, and I'm not going to think about it too much. I like it more than I dislike it, and most of what I dislike is how long it took me to get to the end. And there were lessons learned in all the experimentation.

Similar experimentation is what got me to the end of this painting, which became the most pinned thing I've ever put on Pinterest:
























So it's all good. And tomorrow, this girl who has lost her keys too many times this month and can't remember words is going back on vacation.

Have a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

monogram painting 2014





This summer has been full, and it feels like it's almost over. School starts in less than three weeks! Many districts in Indianapolis have switched to a "balanced calendar" - typically nine weeks on, two weeks off, with an extended Thanksgiving break. That means school starts at the end of July or beginning of August, and lasts until June. I like the two week breaks, and I don't work a typical teachers' calendar. If I did, I might love the two week breaks!

Anyway, this has been a fairly cool summer temperature-wise, which is awesome. I just spent the past weekend in Cincinnati and the first week of July in northern Michigan. There is so much to tell! Today I just want to post this photo of a painting I made for my niece, Gretchen. It's 11x14. It's cemented my inkling that my next painted projects will be strictly painting - no additional media. I love creating with mixed media - but I love just painting, too.

Gretchen's painting is a follow up to the monogram painting I made last summer. I've worked on my flowers a bit, and I like these shapes more. Gretchen, once again, was the color advisor. She has a keen eye.

Have a wonderful week!