Posts Tagged ‘mixed media art’

Letting Go Girl

I mentioned in my previous post that I felt I needed some time away from the internet (save for my work) to clear my head, my psyche and so I wouldn’t compare myself to the success of others.  But the other reason is because I tend to get over-inspired by ideas on the internet and it can be so overwhelming that I become paralyzed to start!

So when I announced to my husband that I was going on an internet diet for a month, he kindly replied, “Why don’t you try it for a week?”  Though I wanted to do something drastic, I knew he was right and reasonable.  A week was a good start and I could always extend it out.

And so for a week I stayed away from Facebook (my personal page), Twitter, Pinterest, and other’s blogs.  I tried to stay off the Etsy forums (where I spend about an hour each day) but I was unsuccessful because it really does contain nuggets of information for micro-businesses and I learn something new nearly every day (though it can also be a major time suck so needs to be managed).  The only other time spent on the internet was to run my shops, promote my goods and purchase supplies for my business.  Nothing social, nothing recreational, nothing to waste time on.

And the results???  Major productivity!


I made it a point to be at my painting table by 7pm every night, if not earlier, and found that I was able to create a lot of new material.  It was refreshing.

Knowledge girl

I created new pieces, actualized old ideas and even finished up previous pieces like these square blocks that were once butterfly pieces I wasn’t crazy about that I painted/decoupaged over and made into new tea pieces:

PicMonkey Collage

I only painted Mon.-Thur. as Friday was a date night for us and this past weekend we started working on house projects, but even in those 4 days I accomplished quite a bit.  We are hoping to put our house on the market in the spring, so there is lots to be done on that front to get it move-in ready and turn-key for the next residents so I won’t be able to earmark as much time for continual creating.  But the change in schedule has freed up a lot more time for me and I’m hoping to stick with it so I can tackle my to-do list and find time each week to create.

And you know what, as addictive as it can be, I’m going to stay off my personal FB page (the drama on my newsfeed just annoys me, so I’m staying off), I’ve unsubscribed from a lot of blogs and when I need inspiration, I’ll just refer to all my journals/sketchbooks which has tons of ideas waiting to be sprouted.

And it helps me to stick to my new year’s theme of decluttering; just getting rid of a lot negative space, negative energy and negativity in my life and that’s always a good thing.

Deserving girl

Hope you take more time to take care of your needs, block out the negatives and spend more time on what you want to be doing (instead of wasting time on the time-sucks and energy-sucks of the world!).  Wishing you all a good week.

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So holiday decorating is in full swing and this week I finished decorating our great room (it’s not that big, it’s just one room that holds our kitchen/dining room/living room) and bedroom (where we’ve decided to put the tree this year).  It might be a little silly to decorate as we don’t have any visitors for the holidays, don’t have kids and a random neighbor might stop by once every 6 months.  It can feel a little isolated here so decorating for the seasons really lifts my spirits.

You’ll see a lot of familiar items in my decorating.  I’m big on re-using items in your home in different ways for different seasons.  It’s easier on the wallet and environment.  I’m also big on eco-crafting and upcycling old/unused items into new things and of course, vintage elements which are natural eco-friendly (as they’ve passed many hands and have been used over and over and in many different ways).  I’ll explain as we go…


If you’ve been following me for a little while, you know I love to dress up our mantel (and yes, it has an unsightly TV above it, but we only have one living area, so the TV’s staying!).


In this photo, I used my trusty water can o’peonies (I use these in all my decorating regardless of time of year!), the vintage glass bottles I decorated earlier this year for my booth (these are angel/cherub specific so work well for this time of year) and my favorite bird house of all (I usually keep this on top of my kitchen cabinets, but took down for decorating.  The piece itself is made of reclaimed barn wood, a vintage doorknob, recycled aluminum “flashing” and an iron final from an old gate.  Love.


I have more vintage apothecary bottles here (will be selling in my shop in the future but just didn’t get around to it this year), my vintage kitchen scale topped with discarded library books that have had covers removed and tied up with ribbon and a vintage skeleton key.  The big star used to be our tree topper but it was always too heavy and bent the top branch, so I decided to use it as a decoration this year.  The print is of one of my first angels, Lovely Angel, which I popped into an old frame I used to have and was going to donate, but then I painted white, distressed and voila, now I like it again!


On our mantel, I also have lots and lots of pinecones (they are everywhere around here and add to the wintry feel) and I added a familial element by transferring some of my grandmother’s white vintage buttons into a mason-like jar.  Adds a personal touch and is a lovely connection to my white Christmas theme.  Have I mentioned I love blue and white for the holidays? *wink*  As if that wasn’t already evident!


On our endtable, I added some more goodies including this tin of vintage ornaments (mind you, during the rest of the year, our mantel and table tops are not nearly this cluttered but it’s the holidays…why not go all out!).


In between our picture window and the doors to our deck, there is a small area of shelves that I like to have photos on; I switched it up for the holidays and since I have a bunch of holiday art, I figured I might as well as put some of it up and mix it in with rusty and chippy paint vintage elements we have on hand.


We live in a log home, so pardon the cracked wood.  Notice all the old doorknobs?  I have a weird obsession with vintage hardware!


These are just rolled up book pages, which are ready to be made into a vintage book paper wreath (more on that later this week).  The circle piece in the back is architectural salvage that you might see on the trim of a door in an old house.  I bought a couple of these at an antique store (and move them around my house every month or so as a decorative element).


Over our dining table (which is now my paint area, so it’s not very photogenic at the moment!) we have a simple candelabra (instead of a light fixture) filled with candles and pine cones and from it I hung some vintage spoons that have been stamped with words like “joy” “love” and “peace.”


At the wall near our entrance is a wreath I made last year after buying up a bunch of marked down ornaments the day after Christmas.  Yes, I know this isn’t eco-friendly, but I couldn’t bring myself to use delicate vintage ornaments on this (not to mention this wreath took about 75 ornaments to make).  I did however use up some jingle bells that I had fallen out of love with (and other blue ornaments that I was going to donate) but then utilized in this project.  Now I’ll be honest, it was a bit time intensive and if using regular priced ornaments, would be quite expensive (hence the reason why most of these sell for $50 and up on Etsy).  Since I made it last year, I can’t quite remember the exact tutorial I used but here’s a good one as well as this one.


At our entrance, we have have a “sofa table” that we use to put our keys/wallets/phones/mail when we walk in the door (and has bins underneath to hold our shoes).  Usually I have a photo of us and some light decorative element on it, so I also jazzed it up for the holidays…


Look, more pinecones!  In this shot you’ll see an old clock in the background (a $2 thrift store find that was black, but I painted white and distressed for a shabby chic look).  I did the same with that heart baking tin (I always find a ton of these at thrift stores for under a dollar).


And look, another scale (another weird obsession I have – you may also recognize this and the tall tin from previous displays)!.  The paper cones are from a deconstructed giant paper wreath that I made last year (my first one and not so well made, so it started falling apart).  Then I have another birdhouse also made with reused/recycled materials.

So, there it is…holiday decorating which incorporates a lot of vintage/used/recycled elements (and shopping your home for items that you can use in new ways).  I still have Part 2 to share which includes our bedroom and tree…to come later this week.  Here’s a sneak peek:


Season’s Greetings!!

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Christmastime is here

Gosh, I’ve been gone a while!  After I got back from spending the week at my sister’s for Thanksgiving and into the first week back, I had over 50 orders to make/pack and get out the door, so I’ve been a bit tuckered out but happy to catch the wave of Holiday sales.  Things have started to slow down quite a bit so now I’m getting time to do some holiday decorating and even paint!

I’ll share some holiday decorating posts over the course of the week, but meanwhile, I’ll leave you with these two pieces inspired by Charlie Brown’s Christmas special, my favorite one of all for the holidays!

Silent Night

Don’t forget to check back on my holiday decorating posts including some linked tutorials on things like paper wreaths, ornament wreaths, vintage button garlands, etc.  See you soon!


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Credit: Facebook via Jennifer Pasalakis

I just love this sentiment, especially as a small business owner myself!

And as an artist and small business owner who is grateful to her customers, blog readers and fans, I’m offering a 25% off sale from Thursday 11/22 to Monday 11/26 in my art shop and Goodies shop (which takes us through Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday!) *not eligible on wholesale orders which are already discounted

This is my biggest sale in my Etsy shops to date so I hope you take advantage of this sale to get some Holiday (or personal) shopping done!

I’ve just added a bunch of original pieces of artwork, so here’s a chance to get 25% off for that one-of-a-kind piece you or a loved one may have been eying!

Or if you need to send Christmas cards, I’ve got you covered…

Need unique holiday trim for your gifts or cards?  Check!

And stocking stuffers?  Oh yeah, I’ve got plenty of those…

When checking out use the code HOLIDAY2012 to receive 25% off in my JCSpock shop and my GreenEarthGoodies shop

I’m so thankful for the love, support and encouragement I’ve received here, on Facebook and in my Etsy shop this past year.

Grateful today.  Grateful everyday.

Wishing you all a great Thanksgiving week! xo

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So recently I’ve added some new prints and originals of newer girls to my shop, including…

Unconditional girl


Messenger Girl

And a collection of cakes reusing backgrounds of other artwork that I decided not to sell…recycled art!

And coming soon, I have some holiday art that I’ll be adding, including these holiday cupcakes I made last year after the holidays (per a request from my then licensing agent) but were never added to my shop:

And ornaments…

And I also have some more snowmen like the one above but want to add some wording to them still.

It snowed the last two days, so I’m officially ready to wrap up Halloween and move onto the Holidays!  How ’bout you?

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Alright, I’ve been busy going through my house trying to go through every corner, basket and closet trying to find every last project that needs finishing and item that I could possibly place in my booth space while I still have it for the next 3 weeks.  Trouble is, with the thousands of dollars in merchandise I have there and even with the 20% off my entire booth, I’ve sold a whopping $20 in 4 days.  Worst week ever!  Perhaps it’s the universe confirming that I need to get the hell outta there!

Still I’ll try to clear out my house in the hopes of generating the most amount of sales by Oct. 31st and have the least amount of inventory to count come Dec. 31st!

I still have several dozen vintage/antique apothecary jars so I decided to decorate a bunch using bits and bobs of paper, ribbon, twine, vintage ephemera and metal embellishments to create these cute altered bottles:

I enjoyed making these so much and still have a lot of bottles left that I think I might try selling these in my shop as well.

I’ve listed some new and “newer older” work in my shop as well, including the last two of my Halloween girls for this year:

And an Autumn Girl that I sketched out last fall but finally incorporated into a painting this year!

And these older pieces featuring the French macaron (which I completed months ago but needed to add captions to and scan):

And here’s a new girl that I created last week…I have angels on the mind a lot lately…

And a re-do on an old piece:

Finally, I’ve updated my goodies shop with some seasonal items…like these eco-friendly gift tags:

And eco-friendly stickers:

I’ve been clearly keeping busy, but doing everything I can to make it work!  Thanks for checking out what I’m up to and passing it along :)

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It’s been a while since I created a new girl…and several months since I’ve created a girl that was 16×20 in size.  As you know, I’m big on gratitude and with Thanksgiving not that far off, I wanted to create a piece that spoke to both.

Usually the imagery of Thanksgiving is a cornucopia of fruit and vegetables; but this girl I wanted to paint a cornucopia of hearts or love.  Give thanks for the love in your life and be sure to give it back as well.

I’ll be listing her in my shop for $175; you, my blog readers, get a sneak peek before I get the listing and additional photos in my shop, so if you’re interested in her before I list, let me know!

Now, if you like this girl, but want a more cost effective option, you can get a mounted print of this girl. (like the segue into my new topic? *wink*)

Here’s an example of an 11×14 mounted print I created

Mounted prints on wood give the look and feel of an original, but cost much less.  The print is literally mounted onto a cradled wood panel and is ready to hang.  Choose all black sides or patterned paper sides for a more quirky look.

You can choose from 4 sizes: (the following are for rectangular images)

11×14: $55

8×10: $32.50

5×7: $22.50

ACEO (2.5×3.5″): $7.50

To give you perspective on the different sizes…

These are the small ACEO mounted prints; they’re popular in the art world as their inexpensive price makes it easy to collect a bunch. These are the only ones that are full wood blocks and 3/4″ on the sides

With the exception of the ACEO blocks (as mentioned above), the mounted prints come on cradled wood meaning they are open on the backside for easy hanging.  The sides measure 7/8″

And for the square images in my shop…

I also carry mounted prints in square sizes

12×12: $50

8×8: $27.50

6×6: $22.50

4×4: $15

Click here to get to my mounted print sections in my art shop but note I’m still just beginning to add specific mounted prints, but you can choose any of the “Pick any image” options for any size and let me know the print you want mounted.

What my kitchen island looked like the other day when I cranked out a bunch to bring to the Barn (several have sold already, yay!)

Last night I prepped a bunch of backgrounds on canvas for some fall-themed pieces I’m working on, so stay tuned for some more new artwork!  Thanks for checking out what I’m up to!

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I realized that I have “newer” work that I haven’t shared in entirety here just out of of sheer forgetfulness…

First, these are 4 girls that I created about 2 months ago…a little different from my usual style but I was trying out a new background technique…

And I also created a set of Halloween cupcakes a couple weeks back…

These originals are available in my shop now!  I can also make cards, prints, journals, magnets and bookmarks using any of these images with my “Pick Any” options in my shop as well.

While flying back and forth and having down time in between, I created lots of sketches…these among dozens of others:

I’m making it a goal to get these from sketches to full blown collaged paintings by working a little bit each night on these, so hopefully I’ll have new pieces posted soon.

I’m SO excited that it’s September and fall is around the corner, so I’ll leave you with a photo from a previous fall here in Colorado.

Have a great week!


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Man, my mojo is back, with a vengeance!

I suffered for MONTHS without inspiration or the drive to create.  “How can I be an artist if I don’t want to paint?” I’d wonder.  I even questioned if I should keep doing artwork since painting/creating was the last thing I felt like doing.  My self-confidence wavered, I hit a bit of depression and I’ve cried more in the last 12 months than I have in the past 10 years.  It’s been a really tough year on my psyche.

David told me to take the summer off and revisit in the fall.  If I felt inspired, by all means I should create, but if I didn’t, then I need not punish myself.  He was right, I needed time to step away (and lick my wounds) before I could move on.

Thing is, I had spent most of the fall of 2011 and early part of 2012 in mass-production mode for a licensing agent, producing the kind of generic artwork they wanted.  Things I submitted were always critiqued or sent back (which I totally understand is part of the business) and I felt as though I was being asked to change everything about what and how I created.  They thought I had potential but they weren’t ready to license my current work.  I was expected to crank out hundreds of “vanilla” stuff I couldn’t stand doing.  My style began to change (not for the better) and I began to hate what I was creating.  And how could they like what I was creating when even I didn’t like it?  It was constant pressure, constant pushback, no publicity, no reward.

As you can imagine, my sensitive soul cracked and in May, I made the very difficult decision to part ways with my agent and give up on licensing.  I felt ashamed.  I felt deflated.  And I stopped creating.

Luckily I had enough unpublished material that I needed to keep secret while under contract that I was able to share “newer” stuff on my blog and in my shop, but the reality is that I was rarely creating for about 4-5 months.  I have since repainted over a lot of things I’ve never shared because I just didn’t like the material.  What really bothered me is that I couldn’t remember how to create my girls the “old way” because I was forced to change it to a newer way and I had repressed a lot of my old techniques in order to fit the mold.  When I tried to create, I hated what I was making, so I stopped.

Now I’m not knocking licensing, licensing agents or even the agent I had.  They do incredible things for lots of artists.  But what I’ve mentioned is just the tip of the iceberg, it’s the nature of art licensing and I couldn’t hack it.  I love to create what I love to create (part of why I made the leap to work for myself) and trying to create something I never had and/or couldn’t stand doing and trying to create perfection like a digital artist was killing my spirit (which let’s face it, handmade mixed media is a MESSY art form, no perfect circle/repeating patterns here!).  It’s why I love mixed media – it’s painting outside of the lines, trashing boundaries and forgoing symmetry for imperfect yet unique beauty.

It’s also the reason I don’t do commissioned/custom artwork – it’s just too stressful trying to create someone else’s vision and part of the the joy of creating art is creating from the heart.

Now, with no external forces cramping my style and having had a few months to “shake the funk” I find that my ideas, inspiration and my actual work is blossoming in incredible ways.  Though I was creating during the “gray period” I find that the quality of my work and the flow of inspiration is so much better now and I am over the moon with happiness now – conjuring up ideas, sketching, collaging, painting.  It’s like the old days where I can’t be too far away from a journal as the ideas are constantly flowing.  Now my main issue is finding enough time to keep up with all the ideas (and after being dried up for so long, this is a wonderful problem to have!).

Once again I’m not against licensing; I just encourage artists who think they want to jump in to REALLY do their homework, examine if they can work under other’s directions/expectations without feeling like their wings have been clipped (and for collage artists, I can’t stress enough about researching the legal limits/ramifications of using pattered paper, book scraps, vintage photos, etc. which takes on a whole new legal dimension when mass producing; I spent many nights paralyzed with fear over possibly being sued for incorporating the smallest piece of legible text in a piece!).

So while I won’t be reaching a national platform quickly (so long Target!) I’m happy to be sticking with my lil’ Etsy shop and meeting people who have found my work there, or in a small, family-run boutique, or on Facebook, Pinterest, this blog or with my partnership with FORCE.  That is much more validating in the long run; I just missed that notion on the sprint to notoriety.  Now it’s about slow, steady and at peace.

So what’s on the horizon?  More girls, lots of fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Holiday themed pieces, and tea!

Stay tuned!  And thanks for hanging on during my roller coaster year.  Feel like I’m out of the gray and back in full color. xo

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Earlier this week I mentioned that I sat down last Sunday and spent the day making a bunch of girls; they follow two themes so I’m grouping them as two sets of four.

Here’s the first set:

Clockwise from top left: receiving girl, faithful girl, worry girl, perceptive girl

Prints available in my shop now; I’ll share my other girls next week once I get my act together and get them listed for my shop.

Hope you all had a nice 4th of July; enjoy the upcoming weekend!

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