Posts Tagged ‘mixed media’

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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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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I’ve found more items that I created, then sat off to the side until I either:

  • finished them up
  • reworked them
  • or just finished scanning/seaming together

First, a bunch of heart collections…

Click on image to see wording better

These I grabbed from words in a book that I brought together to form unique sayings…writing is a little on the small side, but still quirky I think…

These are vintage-inspired hearts I created to break out of my colorful heart mold.  I stuck to warm tones, beiges, tans, etc.

This is the “reworked” Pregnant Girl I did a little while ago…I just never liked the original and learned quickly that I need to work on my side profiles!!

These girls got finished up…

And this collage is an old one I did over a year ago, but felt like it was never quite ready to go so I reworked it a bit…

And finally a newer girl, Starlight Angel.  All these originals are available (soon to be listed in my shop) and of course I can create a card, journal, magnet, bookmark, mounted print out of any of these images using my pick any options.

I just scanned 20 more pieces today of mostly newer stuff (and I have 20 canvases prepped and ready for some seasonal/harvest-type stuff) so I’ll be sharing lots over the next couple weeks.  Please check back or see my shop for more :)

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As I’ve been alluding to on my Facebook page and mentioning here, I’m in a serious mood for fall and Halloween.  My friend is not having her Halloween party this year, we get no trick-or-treaters out in our rural parts and we are too introverted (and also know no one in Denver) to attend a Halloween Ball “down the hill”.

For these reasons, I have to get my Halloween mojo through the creation of art, which I am happy to do.  Actually, I’m having trouble stopping.  I’ve created 6 pieces, have 2 more sketched up and a bunch of more ideas on the brain.  Part of me says that not everyone appreciates Halloween like I do, but the other part of me is trying to not get so focused on what sells, but also what I like to create.  Plus Halloween art fits perfectly into my quirky, whimsical style.

Here are the 6 pieces I’ve created this past week…

Bat Girl, Halloween Bee, Halloween Dracula, Halloween Ladybug, Owl Girl, Pumpkin Girl

And here are two from last year that I never shared because of my (then) licensing agreement:

Halloween Good Witch / Halloween Kitty

I’ll be making merchandise with all these images, but I’ve started to list some of these originals in my shop.

Bring on the candy corn, fake spider webs and cooler weather!!


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It’s been a while since I shared some girls, so here are two I worked on during the fall:

Big Dreamer Girl

Lesson Girl

I’m taking a little break from creating this week so I can catch up on orders, inventory wrap-up and shop maintenance but hope to get back to the “softer” girls I was once creating.  I still think we can take a couple cues from these girls.

Hope your first week of the New Year is going swell!

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Sorry all – I’m trying to get over a miserable, long-lasting cold and holiday traffic has picked up quite a bit, so I’m utilizing all my energy to work on orders then going to bed at 7 or 8pm at night.

The silver lining in this all is that I’ve had some of the best sleep in months.  Ever since our older dog developed Cushing’s disease in the spring, I’ve been woken up every night, several times a night to let her out which led to pretty bad insomnia for months.  Luckily we found some great herbal and homeopathic drops for her and she sleeps until 5am.  I am thrilled to get up at 5am with her because it means I get a solid 6-7 hours of sleep a night.  With my latest cold, my dear hubby has been kind enough to let her out up until he leaves for work (3rd shift) and I’ve been able to sleep a whopping 10-12 hours a night in some cases.  It feels great to sleep so much.

In addition to my art shop, I still run my supplies shop where, among other things, I make and sell blank, folded cards (white and Kraft colored) for people to make their own greetings with, so this time of year is busy as a lot of DIY’ers are hitting me up for supplies for their holiday card making.  I’m very appreciative of the business!

My parents are also due in today for their annual trip to our home.  This time it’s a 9 day visit so I’ve also been been spending free time cleaning up, getting things organized and prepping lots of food.  I’m also in the final crunch of organizing my portfolio and getting my images that I’m licensing ready for the Atlanta gift show in January.  It’s been a busy, tiresome, stressful couple of weeks!

I do have some new material I want to share with you.  First the tree you see up at the top; trees make me happy…I have another one similar to this as well and hope to create more down the road.  I also have created some vintage ladies, like the one above, using the 100 y.o. french postcards I procured from France…love those girls.  I also created a collection of whimsical birds, like the one below:

I’m working out some kinks with my “girls” right now but hope to have some to share with you in the near future, so stay tuned!

As for my art shop, I’ve added new options like matted ACEO’s for those who like to collect mini art but don’t have a great way to store/show them.  These double mats fit perfectly into a 5×7 frame:

I’m also in the process of creating mounted wood blocks…that is, taking a print and adhering it to a wood block so that it has the feel of an original but is much, much cheaper to do so as it is a reproduction (though still handmade by me!).  I’ve been wanting to do this for a while and when a buyer recently contacted me about replicating some originals to give out to her staff, I knew this would be the perfect option.  I was in a hurry to get them out to her so I forgot to snap a picture, but will let you know when those options are listed in my shop!  (Of course, let me know if you’re interested in anything in particular meantime!).

I’m also ramping up my options of journals, sketchbooks and planners for the new year which is just around the corner!  I’ve always had these but didn’t necessarily show a lot of options.  If this is of interest to you, don’t forget that I have Pick Any options which allow you to pick any image to go on any piece of merchandise.

Finally, in honor of Small Business Saturday, which occurs every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving and promotes small and local businesses, I’m offering 20% in my shop for a full week, starting today 11/22 through the end of next Monday 11/28 (shipping excluded).  Just use the coupon code SBS2011 when checking out (click on link that says Add on Coupon Code, next to the Paypal icons).  My mom is all excited to help me out with orders this we and I’m grateful to have the extra hands!

Thanks for waiting on me during my hiatus; sending you and your family love during this holiday week! ♥

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So today I thought I’d share a little bit about my process since I’ve created more in the past month than I have in the past 3 or 4 months!

First, can you tell I’m craving cooler weather?  Ha!  Actually it was only 34 degrees when I woke at 7am (so I’m sure it got to below freezing last night) and today was spent in flannel PJ’s (oh happiness!), so I made a fall girl and also a winter girl.  And I’m also craving seasonal holidays, so I’m having fun creating lighter, more whimsical girls at the moment (but my serious toned, inspirational-themed girls aren’t going anywhere!).

I’ve shared this before (almost a year ago now) but most people are surprised to learn that my girls (or any pieces for that matter) are assembled piecemeal (in true collage form!) and my girls are colored in with pencils rather than paints (I have a couple that were painted but I can’t seem to get the shading right and they seem to look less warm than when I used colored pencils).

First I sketch out my girls on my sketch pad with a regular ol’ pencil.

Then I color in with my pencils.  This (combined with the initial sketch) takes me a good hour.  Luckily I can do this on the couch while watching TV. :)

Then I move onto my background which varies depending on what I’m feeling like doing, but combines decoupage (glue and paper), paint, inks, charcoal and oil pastels.  Lots of layering goes on in this stage.  Once it’s dry, I scan it (a new thing for me since I’ve gotten into licensing; my agent recommended I scan my images at different levels – called layered scans – in the event a manufacturer wants a background and not the girl or the girl without the background, etc.).

I embellish my girl with paint, markers, pencils, stamps or plain ol’ paper (here’s a cautionary tale if you’re a collage artist wanting to get into licensing – don’t use patterned or scrapbook paper!  While it may work for a small scale artist/crafter, you can’t use it for large scale reproduction; tough lesson for me to learn!).  I scan this girl too.

I then layer my girl on top of the background and do some touching up.  I then scan again before adding words in case a manufacturer wants to use my girl without words or with their own.

Finally I add some edging, some shadowing, add my words and signature stamp.  And yes I scan again!

This whole process takes about 3-5 hours.  Today I did two girls and together they took about 7 hours.  I also spent about 5 hours on shop related tasks/creating products/putting together orders, so it was about a 12 hour day.  Still beats a day at the office any day!

Hope you enjoyed this little peek into my artistic process.  Anything here surprise you?

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in the hood?  Nope.  The sticks?  Nah, doesn’t rhyme.

Let’s just say this mountain girl is much, much lighter today.  It’s so challenging when your head and heart are in conflict and you’re unsure what to do.  So that’s when you have to listen to your gut.  I did that, made a difficult decision and wouldn’t you know that in response, I got the best outcome possible.  Relief.

This morning I woke up to it being only 40 degrees outside and all day today, it’s been in the 60′s.  I’m a happy girl.

If you’ve been following me for a year or two, you know that fall is my favorite time of year.  It’s definitely the New Englander in me.  And I LOVE Halloween.  So I’ve created a bunch of Halloween girls (though only 2 complete at this time).

This is Jack 0′lantern girl who like me can hardly wait:

And this lovely lady who is ready for the masquerade:

I’ll have the originals, cards, magnets, etc. in my shop soon, but it’s hard to keep up as I’m creating way faster than I can get all the possible options up.  So if you ever see a piece that you like but it’s not listed in my shop, know that you can choose any of my “Pick any” options and when checking out, let me know which image/girl you’re interested in.  Don’t ever feel like you have to wait for me to list something.  I make everything myself in my studio so I can make anything as soon as I complete a piece.

I also just finished another coffee collection, have a heart collection in the works and more and more girls.  It’s mayhem over here but I’m really enjoying all this creating.

Tomorrow I’ll talk more about my creative process, from sketch to finished product and now the extra steps that needs to happen now that I’m licensing my art.  Lots of new stuff I’m learning (and wish I had known when I first started mixed media!).  It’s all good.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

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Sneak Peak

Saturday is the day when I put orders aside, business to-do’s on hold and focus on creating.  And yesterday I was prolific – got 3 big pieces done and 10 original art cards/ACEOs.

So since I’m having trouble coming up with content, I’ll give you a sneak peek ahead of my whimsical Wednesday post and show you the ACEOs I did yesterday.

But as they are pin-up re-creations and being that it’s a holy day, you just might have to say a couple Hail Mary’s after viewing.

They are wicked, naughty and fun.  Love pin-ups.  They make me giggle.

Hope you are having a good weekend!

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So a couple months ago I ordered recycled paper mache boxes for a customer as part of a custom wedding favor I was making for her and her partner’s wedding (here’s what how they turned out):

Problem is, in my haste to get the order in, I didn’t double-check my measurements and ended up ordering the wrong size.  I knew that if I returned it back that I’d have to pay the shipping back and probably a restocking fee.

But I didn’t sweat it because I knew that I’d find a way to use these in my art and this week, I took a stab at it with these whimsical boxes…

I completed 14 boxes in about 6 hours and I am thoroughly painted out.  But I like how they each have their own unique personality and inspirational message.  I’ve started to list a couple in my shop…only $15 for one of a kind art.

Thanks for taking a peek and seeing what I’m up to!

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