Tuesday, February 3, 2015

So...as usual....life here is busy, but full of fun and family.  I'm not sure if I'd know what to do with myself if my 'to do' list wasn't a mile long.  It keeps me on my toes.
We've been 'enjoying' the recent snow- -snow day, sledding, hot chocolate, the whole works!
However, my heart is beaming with thoughts of spring and summer.
I think this is why so much of my work lately is filled with robin's egg blue, sunny thoughts and daydreams of summer day trips.
Here's a sampling of my recent work at Prairie Hearth in Fremont, Nebraska.
You'll love this wonderful jewel of a boutique FILLED with high quality handmades.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The missing step!  Here is an image of the penciled-in design being 'inked' over with markers.  Notice I've used different sizes of permanent marker.  Make sure you're using permanent marker or, like a bad mascara day, you'll have black running all over the place.
This is one time that I actually did do a test piece.
Trust me.

Monday, December 1, 2014

It's that time of year when my large fall licensed collection has been completed, my fall shows are over and I've created one-of-a-kinds for a local boutique's holiday needs. 
It's a time when I can focus on other licensed pieces, custom orders and the designs I wish to make for holiday gifts.  Importantly, it is one of the times throughout the year that I decide to do some experimenting- - trying new techniques and playing with new materials.  I purposely block out time to wander around Michael's and Hobby Lobby and always seem to throw some things in the cart that will push me to think more creatively and learn new techniques.
Speaking of new techniques, I have been meaning to show you something 'new' I've been up to.
I've been watering-down acrylic paint and applying it in layers on to my wood creations.
Step 1:  Here I'm showing a piece of wood cut from a cabinet door.  The piece has been primed.  The edges have been roughed up by a hand-sander...

Step 2:  Of course, something goes wrong here and I'm unable to attach the visual of where I pencil in my basic design and 'ink' over that basic sketch using different sized black Sharpie markers.  No color at this point- - just drawing the design on in black permanent marker.
Step 3:  I water down the acrylic paint and begin blocking in the general colors...

Step 4:  I continue to layer on more and more watered-down colors to mix colors right on the piece, add shadowing, etc.  If the black Sharpie marker begins to look 'faded' by the layers of watered-down paint, I have gone in and markered over the marker.  Here, I had to do so on some of the wording.


Step 5:  Once it is dry, I varnish the item.  Here I've wired on a star, drilled for a wood dowel tree 'trunk' and assembled it into a wood layered base.
(The wood layered base consists of two pre-made wood blanks from Michaels' which I've stacked, glued, painted and dusted with glitter 'snow'.)
I'd like to try this technique on some wood frames and such.  It's a fun 'new' method that has really made me stop and think when creating and has also allowed me to paint outside the lines- - literally.
My wheels are turning with the possibilities.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Yesterday after school we popped in the movie The Polar Express, made popcorn and hot chocolate and....put up the Christmas tree!  I know.  I know.  It's not even Thanksgiving.  However, the kids have been so excited for Christmas and the forecast called for very cold temps this week, so we have been anxiously anticipating the holiday season.
Fast forward to today.  It snowed.  The kids were so excited....until we walked to school, trying not to slip on the ice and fighting against the strong gusts of bitterly cold wind.  Welcome winter.
Christmas has always been my favorite holiday.  I love finding just the right gifts, getting together with family, the excitement of Christmas morning....all of it.  I've been busy creating holiday pieces for Prairie Hearth's upcoming open house (scheduled for November 19-22).  I noticed that this year what most inspired me were pieces for kids to countdown to Christmas and write letters to Santa.  I'm having fun experimenting with some new techniques- - like fabric on wood, assemblage art and (soon) eggshell crackle.  Here is a sneak peek of some designs that I've been working on....

Stay warm!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The past few weekends have been a whirlwind- - back to back shows.  This past weekend was the Weeping Willow Boutique.  Today we are packing away the last of the show signs and cleaning up the 'workshop' (a.k.a. our garage). I need to dive into the studio to finish cleaning and reorganizing. 

This year the show celebrated it's 9th year and a new location.  The weather was GORGEOUS and we welcomed two new vendors.  The most heartwarming aspect of the boutique is that so many of our customers are family and friends....it truly is like a big party.  There were lots of hugs, laughs and catching up.  Many thanks to those of you who stopped out to visit us! 

If you were unable to make it to the 2014 Weeping Willow Boutique, you can find my work at Prairie Hearth in Fremont, Nebraska.  My fall work is currently there and, in a few weeks, I will be delivering Christmas creations!  I'll have my paintings, ornaments and giftables....all sorts of handmade one-of-a-kinds....for you and yours.

Many, many thanks to everyone who supports my work!  I am so blessed to be doing something I love for a living. 

Oh- I haven't forgotten...I need to post my new painting technique I've been so excited about!  Stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Hello all!
It was so nice to meet all of you who stopped by my booth at the Clarinda show!
Thank you for supporting my work.
Your well wishes and kind words really meant so much.
Even with a dead car battery things turned out well.  Many thanks to my family who helped make the day a success!  You are awesome!
No time to relax though...this weekend is my family's annual Weeping Willow Boutique!
I'm always trying to create a collection of work that addresses fall/Halloween, winter/Christmas and everyday....as well as a wide range of price points.  For many of the past shows I think I was heavy into fall (as it is that time of year and the falling leaves and cooling weather are such an inspiration).  This year, in addition to fall, I really wanted to make a concentrated effort to have a big winter/Christmas collection.  The new Holiday Red paint by General Finishes is my new FAVORITE!  Oh my word, these paints are life-changing!  Seriously.  They are a bit pricey, but you won't believe how far they go.  Another personal favorite is Driftwood.  LOVE IT!  I've painted a dresser, night stand, basecoated loads and loads of paintings with it and I STILL have some paint in the pint can.
Many thanks to Robin at Robin's Nest (Springfield, NE.) for being our matchmaker!
Robin carries General Finishes paints, so stop in and pick some up....you'll also get to shop for great items that have these colors on them.
Mark your calendars and be sure to visit us this Friday night (and then again on Saturday!).

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Busy, busy.....
Please stop by my booth at the Clarinda, Iowa craft show this Saturday...and then visit us at the Weeping Willow Boutique the following weekend (Friday, October 24th from 6pm-9pm and Saturday, October 25th from 9am-1pm).