Thursday, March 31, 2011 and possibility

last may, i posted about my goals for the future, my goals for linwood avenue. something made me revisit those goals today and i am happy to say that a lot of them have been accomplished! take for example, the above screen grab from from earlier this week. why yes, that is my photo, right there front and center on a website i love. a website which i have a hunch, a LOT of others love as well. seeing my readers share article posted for all to read was so crazy! it proves that all it takes are tiny steps like pushing the send button on an email and voila, another goal can be checked off the list.

but the thing is, do i really believe it is that easy? no, i don't. there are many hours going back and forth deciding if you have the courage to submit an article. trying to boost yourself up that you do in fact have something to say. talking yourself out of the fact that you think you will appear silly. but the truth is, all those things are made up and once you push that send button, all is forgotten and excitement in possibility simply takes over.

i try to remind myself of something i heard a while ago "you can't win the lottery unless you buy a ticket". i don't know who came up with that phrase, but it is pretty smart advice :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

sewing and standards

i popped into our library yesterday and popped back out with this fabulous book - for FREE! there was a plastic bin full of free books hanging out in the lobby and ta-da, a sewing book just for me. i am definitely a sucker for free, but i think i would love this book even if i had to pay for it.

there is no date in the book, but i would guess it is from the 60s. it discusses button holes, hemming, pattern making, drapery, slip covering furniture, you name it. if it has to do with sewing, the instructions are in here. being that it is a better homes and gardens book, i imagine it has graced shelves in many homes.

aren't old craft books the best???

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

may arts and a ribbon tutorial

remember when i went to the atlanta gift mart show and came home with some fabulous ribbon? that ribbon was from may arts and they are currently looking for a tutorial writer for their blog - how cool would that be??? when i read the design team call, i knew i would be perfect for the position. because, if there is one thing i love, well, it is ribbon!

for my tutorial entry, i wanted to carry on the path that i have been going with embroidery hoops and flowers. i created this sweet flower vignette using only may arts ribbon, buttons and embroidery thread.

want to make one for yourself? click here to download the pdf :)

Monday, March 28, 2011

estate sales and loot is my new love, no more searching the paper for sales. instead, i get a customized list delivered to my inbox every friday showcasing all the sales in my area. something about the sale i went to last week spoke to me. i poured over the preview photos and mapped out my plan of attack because there were so many items i wanted. there was an amazing blue glass set of dishes, but when i showed up, the $60 price tag was waaaaay too expensive. never fear, i managed to find a lot of other goodies to fill my basket.

i scored 2 pairs of lamps, that are going to be gorgeous when i fix them up. a deviled egg tray also came home with me because, well, i go weak in the knees for deviled eggs! i also found a bunch of old buttons and thread spools and last but not least, a beautiful teal candy dish perfect for easter. never mind the fact that it is currently holding my last bag of candy corn that was stashed away last october :)

Friday, March 25, 2011

scallops and scissors

thanks to mmmcrafts, i am now the proud owner of scalloped fabric scissors. i had been on the hunt for a pair of these for months now, and apparently i wasn't the only one. they aren't cheap, but they are oh, so worth it.

i am awfully glad i scooped them up because when i went back to the site to copy a link for all of you, it wasn't there. these scissors vanished off their pages. crazy that these aren't in every corner craft store!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

flowers and markets

a fresh market store recently opened up in my little atlanta suburb and i am speechless. this store is exactly what my town has been missing! from a full florist to a butcher to a prepared foods counter, to an old fashioned candy bar - i think i could live here. seriously, i might ask them if i can move in.

but back to the flowers - i told my husband he never has an excuse for not buying me flowers again!

Monday, March 21, 2011

pretty and pink

here is another new piece that will be getting a frame shortly. (still haven't gotten around to that task :)

the background floral is a vintage sheet wrapped onto a 14x11 canvas frame and is already very cherished by yours truly. i think this is the true test of whether or not you are on the right track with your creative life. the more you dread selling a piece is directly proportionate to the fact that you have finally found that one thing that has been in you all along.

a big thanks to everyone who has cheered me on with this new endeavor. your words of encouragement are exactly what i need.

Friday, March 18, 2011

lemons and joy

i am please to introduce you to my first lemon bud. remember the lemon tree my husband surprised me with at christmas? the one i was scared i would kill in a week? well, it has already bloomed abundantly and from those blooms, i have a bunch of tiny lemons taking shape. i still can't believe that you can grow lemon trees inside your house. how cool is that???

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

art and journals

i have a confession to make - i am addicted to buying journals. the problem with this addiction is that they rarely end up as an art filled, thought filled thing of beauty. they usually end up as a to do list, scribble filled mess.

another confession is that i never write on the first page of a journal. crazy, right? i always have such angst about what should go there because i believe it sets the tone for the whole book. should it be an image, a few lines of thoughts - such pressure! so i just leave it blank and then the book can be filled with whatever i want.

however, i am pretty excited about my new journal. it is the one where i am going to break my habitual cycle of thinking too much about what goes on the pages. the best part about it is the pages are really thick and shouldn't have any show through. because, let's face it, what is worse than a journal where your ink hemorrhages through to the crisp white of the next page?

are you a journaler? do you plot out your journal before you start? or is it a whimsical sliver of your life? i need direction folks!

Monday, March 14, 2011

rain and shine

this past week has been one of those where yuckiness has rained down on me. i have a graphic design client who is trying very hard to drive me nuts, nuts i tell you! but i have to remind myself to push on through the rain. if i let the rain roll off my back, i can shine right on through.

the above image is the second piece i have done since my breakthrough. this time, i experimented with canvas and couldn't be happier. the daffodil is my drawing, appliqued onto fabric which is then wrapped around a sturdy canvas frame. the top is a cream, rain filled sky with a speckled brown muslin for the dirt.

next on the agenda? a chunky white frame so that when someone buys it at my next show in may, all they have to do is put a nail in the wall and hang it. i am actually quite excited to start on the frame, i think it will complete the look very nicely. i have the wood all picked out - all i have to do is get out my miter saw and nails and i will be ready to go!

Friday, March 11, 2011

dreams and life

good morning! remember last week when i talked about all my sleepless nights? well, the above piece is the product of my "likes" list. i just love it so much, i love the color, i love the composition, i love the process. everything - love!

the flower might look familiar to anyone who reads this blog regularly because it is actually one of my colored pencil drawings (and seen in my banner above). i transferred the image to fabric, then hand appliqued it to the stretched canvas. of course, the flower wouldn't be complete without a sweet little milk glass vase. i went a bit crazy with the french knots, but i ask you, what better way to depict a hobnail pattern?

thank you to everyone who cheered me on with this creative break though. i am so inspired that now i cannot sleep again - only this time, it's for a much different reason. all i want to do is make!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

art and soul


almost a year ago, i posted a business goal list on this blog. the top item on my list was "go to an art retreat". well... i am so excited for next october when i will be attending the art and soul retreat in portland, oregon. yes, i know that it is months away, but i am sooooo excited. first i get to take amazing art classes, second i get some much needed mommy time, third, i get to go to portland for the first time. i have had a love affair with this city for a long time, which has been made stronger with the fact that over half of my etsy sales are from this city alone. that must mean i belong there, right???

the class i am most excited about is one i am taking with doreen kassel. she is the artist behind the whimsical tile above. i just love her tiles, their joyful quality is simply contagious. i can totally see this technique meshing with my florals. really, my hands and fingers are dying to build and paint a flower garden.


to add to the excitement, i will be bunking with my artist friend jenni horne, who is going to be an instructor this year. for one of her classes, she is going to be making this adorable bird mobile and for the other, she will be showing the class some of her tried and true painting techniques.

if you live in the area, i would love tips on where to go - i like quirky, eclectic neighborhoods. and who knows, maybe i will see you there!

Monday, March 7, 2011

an assistant and model

say hello to my new assistant that started working with me last thursday. she is very helpful with photo shoots, has excellent posture and doesn't talk back. however, i do think she lied about her weight. she seems to be a size 0-2 adult, rather that a 4-6 adult, but i can't hold that against her - that's what you get when you interview someone over the internet. however, i wouldn't fire her for it, she is with me for the long haul - it was love at first sight :)

now if only i could come up with a name for her. i'm thinking "bitsy", or maybe "dotty". what name would you all give her?

Friday, March 4, 2011

sleeping and dreaming

i haven't been sleeping very well lately. i try to go to bed early, but then before i know it, 2 hours have passed and i am still awake. thinking is my problem, i can't seem to tell my brain to be quiet!

for a while now, i have felt like i am on the right path in my life, but that maybe, maybe i haven't found that one bitty step that is missing. like i am almost to a place where my art can be recognizably mine. where someone can see something on a blog or at a show and know that it is something that i have created. but what is that one little step? what have i been missing? these are the questions i ponder.

during one 2 hour stretch of sleeplessness, i listed in my head all the things i am drawn to. at the top of this list was...

1. flowers
2. colored pencils
3. fabric
4. buttons
5. embroidery
6. graphic design
7. bright vibrant colors
8. ribbon
9. milk glass (of which i have a huge collection)
10. black ink drawing pens

that's it, this is what i think about at night when i can't sleep. i ran through many different creative ideas and think i have finally settled on something which has me so excited. it is something that incorporates all of my loves above which means i won't get as bored with a technique as i usually do. you see, i don't want to create one product and mass produce only that one product. i never want to take the creating part out of the equation.

i feel like my studio has been a little testing space all week. i cannot wait to get started in the morning and hate to stop in the afternoon. i am even pulling out paints, which if you know me, you know that is a rare thing. i am working on finishing my first idea and then i will put it out in the world and cross my fingers that you all will love it as much as i do. because i really do, and i can see it taking me far, far down my path :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

embroidery and a threesome

my embroidery cravings have gone into overdrive here on linwood avenue. this is currently the view behind my computer and i love it! as i said in a previous post, i had a few vintage embroidery hoops lying around from a yard sale which i thought would be a great way to showcase some embroidered artwork.

this piece centers around a photo i took of a tulip magnolia tree last spring. these trees are beautiful and will always remind me of the south! i printed the photo onto transfer paper, ironed it onto canvas and went to work. i really didn't have a plan for the embroidery - just wanted to highlight the flower bits. this might be my favorite one, mainly because the composition of the flower/background turned out so right.

this daffodil is 8" circular and is created from a photo i took of a daffodil garden. this one took a bit of experimenting. i first tried to do the transfer onto some yellow and white polka dot fabric, but it didn't take the transfer too well. next, i tried transferring the photo to some oatmeal colored muslin. this just turned out too dark. in the end, i used the muslin piece for the background and cut the daffodil head out of the polka dot fabric and stitched it on top. the top flower is left loose at the end of the petals which turned out to be a great affect. in the end, i really love how it turned out - even if it is a bit too dark. just goes to show me that yet again, accidents can be a good thing.

the last hoop to round out the trio began as a lovely embroidered tea towel. i really had no business buying another tea towel, but i couldn't resist the cute ducks! to this fabric, i embroidered the word "Spring" and added little freehand flowers in hot pink and tangerine.

with spring just around the corner, i am dying to get some great floral photos so i can make more of these. they are the perfect project, because they don't take too much time, but make such a big impact.


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