Monday, December 9, 2013

Take time....

This time of year it's easy to slip into the madness and rush of the holiday season, and super easy to loose sight of what's important. 
I'm completely guilty of it.
I wake up at 4:00 am in a panic and go to my phone to plug in an alert on my calender, or jot down a note. I'll pass on a party invite because I'm too overwhelmed to go etc. etc.
 you know the deal.
 But every once in awhile I'm able to reel myself back in and focus on what matters. And that's family and friends.
All the other stuff can wait.
So this past weekend I spent time with my daughter and a friend. We pet alpaca, goats, and a sheep at downtown home and garden. bought a Christmas ornament, and some Christmas crackers---(those fun explosive little paper things that reveal a tiny treasure or treat.)
My friend Andy got a pair of toenail clippers in his, no joke. Most hilarious thing.
 I love that that place carries on old world traditions like selling oranges for stocking stuffers.
 Remember when life was so simple like that?
My mom used to get one in her stocking when she was a kid growing up in Texas. As a child I remembered thinking 'really? An orange?'  But now I see the value and charm in something so simple.
After our trip down the street We came home and decorated my tiny apt. For Christmas and ate tacos, Andy and Fiona played video games.
It was a really great night just doing nothing but being with people.
 I work every day all day long...and most days into the night. so these times are truly a treat.
 I'm back to work today finishing up a special project. And working on more things. I also have some exciting news to reveal in the future.
 But for now I'm just savoring the season as best as I can and keeping myself busy, but not too busy I can't take a second.
I highly recommend it. It's good for your soul, and the souls around you :)

Friday, November 8, 2013

Roadshows, making stuff, collaborations and things

    The past few weeks have been challenging to say the least. I have been hustling beyond the norm,  but it's been fun and new so there's that.  
  I am so lucky that I surround myself with Artists and creatives. Every day is an inspirational moment and I learn something new. I have hand picked some amazing people to work with and get to know,  so the future seems really exciting even though I am a little sleepy.  ;)
  My Talented friend Andy Tanguay and I decided to do the Ann Arbor Antiques market together.  It was a show with a focus on Re-purposed and handmade along with Vintage.  Even though it was a smaller show in scope,  but we had a great time!   It was a TON of work, literally packing up the whole shop and moving it to the farm grounds for the weekend.  But it was worth it!  We had a great show,  and would do it again.

  I made all sorts of things,  and sold a bunch.   My friend Andy made these great signs in the traditional old school way of hand lettering and using one shot paints with brushes made out of squirrel hair.  he's amazing!    he also made this fantastic Hello sign that lights up!

    SO freaking cool!  and can I tell you,  that he can make you a sign in any font and whatever phrase you choose?  yes.  pretty dang awesome if you think about it.
   It was fun to do displays at the show,  I did a kind of wildwest themed/funky one here,  and a colorful one on top......
  once it was over and my shop all packed up,  I decided to move things around at the shop because I now was inspired to do different things and make different vignettes at the store.   One of the first things I decided to do was to move my studio to the back of the shop,  and open up the middle room back to being a show room.   So painting walls was the first step.

dealing with the mess and fall out was the second.   In between taking care of kids of course.
Thank goodness they are part of my creative team and enjoy working at the shop in a variety of mediums.  here they are enjoying carving stamps.  Fiona made some killer ones,  and Jackson was still tweaking his.  :) 

 of course,  my bird likes to be part of the action as well,  he likes to roost in my bead box.  what a silly creature.    it then dawned on me that perhaps he thought they were seeds!  so I had to put my stuff away.   yes,  he is still alive and didn't appear to eat anything.  do not worry. 
 In between all that,  I worked on mosaic pieces and was happy to get back into that, until i realized how freaking laborious it is!  but I do love it,  and yes,  I sold this one,  but will make more eventually..........zzzzz.

   so this is what the shop looked like all torn up and in a mess.........when I started to flip out and think about all the work ahead of me,  my friend showed me this hilarious E-card that put everything back into perspective for me.     ;)
  So I continue to trod along.....
    Setting up my new work spaces,  all warm and cozy....

Painting fairy doors to gear up for the season...... and working on new shop displays........for when I re-open the shop,  because yes,  I've been closed for a bit,  and will remained closed for the next week or so,  because I want it to be amazing when I re-open. :)

In addition to all of that craziness above I have been working very limited hours at a jewelry shop downtown to help my buddies The Hart brothers on Main street.  They are closing their downtown shop Seyfried Jewelers, in December.  Their shop has been an iconic store for decades, and a huge part of our downtown merchant landscape that is definitely being squeezed out by high rents.  I will have more to say about that at some point,  but for now,  I am sad.  I love those guys, and am happy to help them.

I also was part of a collaboration with one of my online friends Chrissie Grace.  I had been involved in a book project with her years ago,  and know what a hard working talented sweet person she is,  so it was not hard to choose to be part of it.    You can take a peek at our Art print project here that I participated in with some of my favorite and  very close friends
And speaking of close friends.....Please visit my friend Jenny Elkins Blog!
she is giving away------  yes GIVING away an ART DOLL!!!!
that is amazing!

she is super talented,  has a fantastic eye,  and is one of the hardest workers I know.  so head over there and take a look. 
you can thank me later.  :)
  on that note,  I am off to kick some booty somewhere cuz i'm on a ROLL......
more on that business soon....
but for now,  please know I am always so thankful that you took the time to  stop by.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

spinning minds and little things.......

     I create something everyday,  mostly because it occupies my mind and takes me away from thinking about the world.  I rarely watch T.v. because it honestly depresses me.  Half the time I think we're going to hell in a hand basket. ( this is coming from a true Liberal mind you)   So I choose to observe the silly stuff and laugh at life because its so much better than dwelling on the negative.  I'd rather be a positive person,  wouldn't you?
So with my twirling, confused,  trying to figure it all out mind,  I paint and think.......sometimes my ideas don't really pan out like I had envisioned they morph....

what started out as a simple bird house painting,  turned into something deeper, and more abstract.  I liked the layers that were starting to develop.  (this seems to be my route lately....seeing what emerges with just flinging paint around and letting go)

I like how it turned out in the end.  (and even better that it went to a good home)  :)

because my mind can't stay focused on one medium I have been dabbling with jewelry and different themed pillows.....raiding my stash of recycled fabrics.

 I've also been doing more special orders, and commissioned pieces.  I really like this new direction.
The Eat sign was for the corporate offices at the Sidetrack bar in Ypsilanti.

playing around with sewing on paper.....

 and writing out weird things that pop into my head over coffee on a sunday.  ;)

made a big puffy doll.......I need to do more of these,  they make me happy.

and finishing up large special projects for more furniture show rooms.

 in between all of this I squeezed in our end of the year annual vacation up north to Wandawood, a   favorite spot for me and my people.

i've also been fantasizing about getting a little camper.  I think i need one. don't you?

 up north is so relaxing for all of us.  we relax, re-charge, and have fun.

 so good for the soul.......
 most zen dog ever.

 I of course bring art supplies with me,  cuz i have to keep my mind rolling and the ideas churning.

after a week up north I came home feeling refreshed,  decided to go for a walk, and had my window smashed and my purse stolen out of my car.  a fine how do you do after my trip,  but I chose to look on the bright side,  I really like my new license picture better than the one that was stolen. ;)

     The past few weeks have gone by so fast,  summer ended so quickly and fall is here.  it's actually one of my favorite times of the season.  back to school,  chilly temperatures, and thinking about all sorts of things that I want to create.
 I also start nesting, and rearranging my spaces for the millionth time.....oh but who's counting.

I look at my daughter who is in the last year of elementary school and my heart hurts just a little bit.
(ok,  a TON)  but we won't go there.    She is still so much a little kid at 10,  enjoying twirling on a merry go round. it kills me to see her off to middle school next year.  I just want her to stay 10 for a little while longer.

 because I look at my son now, and see how fast it goes by.   I am thankful that he still will hang out with me and create,  but My heart hurts thinking that its only a matter of time before he leaves and is out on his own too.
so I create stuff,  to not think about these things.

sometimes I start out simple.

 then my mind goes dark and I start flinging black paint.  (just kidding,  not really dark,  I just get wild hairs sometimes and do stuff)

 my son hanging out with me in the studio doing his thing too.  Last night he was here with me creating with his friend Sterling.  My daughter was making clay,  and my friend Andy was making these amazing hand lettered signs.
for the record,  these are just his practice boards,  and the words on them were things he was doodling from song lyrics,  so just nevermind the 'hail satan' -----he's a really sweet guy, who is super talented!
  In fact we are doing a show together on the 19th and 20th of October.
I've decided to pack up the whole shop and do the Ann Arbor Antiques market.
it's a new direction for them.  they are now doing only select shows with an emphasis on recycled and re-purposed which is right up my alley!   I think it will be great!  I can't wait to see what signs Andy comes up with,  because they are gonna be cool that's for sure.

 So we spent the Saturday night being creative,  the boys listening to music on a record player,  old school and it was awesome.

 I'm working on more recycled jewelry that incorporates old buttons and charms.
i'm also working on some graphic hand lettered and numbered pieces myself, though mine are not free hand like Andy's,  who is seriously amazing.  I cannot say it enough.
 I have to use graphite paper,  then paint,  but he just free hands it like the old school sign painters.

      noticing silly stuff.  -----this bird kills me.
 and scoring some killer vintage stuff in between.
 oh hello.
 trying new techniques.......and don't see me now.....
 look at my bird trying to hide.  haha
 and tank wearing a sweater.     good grief, this post is all over the place..........sorry.
Anyways,   I also started working on a huge project making pillows out of sweaters and coats that belonged to a woman who passed away.  her family hired me to make keepsakes out of her things.   It's been kind of an emotional roller coaster for me working on it,  but it's also a huge honor and my mind is spinning with ideas.  This toggle from a coat became a small puffy fish.  :)
 So in between that,  I've been socializing------  hello pickle backs  I love you.
 making painting mistakes, and learning new things....going in different directions and

 Trying to keep my mind occupied.   It's hard when you're the type of person that notices everything and thinks too much.
but it's also nice being the type of person that notices the little things too.  because those are some of the most beautiful things there are.   :)
happy Sunday!