Wednesday, February 29, 2012

sailing and relaxing

surprise! i snuck away last week for a much needed vacation! last sunday, my husband and i along with 2 other couple friends headed to the british virgin islands and boarded a catamaran for a once in a lifetime vacation. when people would ask where i was going, i told them and then i said "this is so not my life!"

we had 8 days of beautiful weather, great food and lots of relaxing. although, the relaxation might have been brought on by too many fruity drinks - namely one called the pain killer.

one of our favorite stops was potters restaurant on the island of anegada. i wish my backyard could permanently look like this!

the absolute best part about this stop were the HUGE lobsters we ate for dinner. they were bigger than my head!

now it is back to the real world. however, with all my relaxing, i am having a hard time entering the world of blog reading and twittering, so it might be slow going for a bit.

Monday, February 27, 2012

metal and wood

one man's junk is another woman's treasure. well, after a little spray paint that is!

Friday, February 24, 2012

fudge and frosting

i got it in my head the other day that i wanted to make fudge. there are so many recipes floating around - i even thought for a while about making root beer float fudge, but none of the 3 grocery stores in my area stocked root beer concentrate. instead i settled on plain old white chocolate fudge and used this recipe. OMG - this is super addicting. i have made it twice now and the family loves it. i added the little ball sprinkles to the top for some color, but i actually like the addition of a small crunch, so i think i will always use them. the first time around, i used regular sour cream and the second time, i used reduced fat. while still good, i could tell a difference and prefer the regular sour cream better. the directions say 5 minutes, but i used a candy thermometer and both times, it took me 6 minutes to get the mix to the correct temperature.

now i just have to figure out how to add flavors to this, like, peanut butter - yum!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

ribbon and shades

my latest mayarts tutorial is this ribbon embellished vintage lampshade. here is what i wrote as an introduction...

I have a complete obsession with anything lighting related. If I see a wire lampshade frame at a yard sale, I can’t pass it, especially the vintage ones, which have such pretty details. I use them as risers on a party buffet, displays for my festival booth, you name it. This tutorial shows how you can embellish them, but still keep their original shape. Best of all? It is super easy and can be accomplished in under half and hour.

click here to download my latest make-it!

Monday, February 20, 2012

marks and property

you might have noticed that i started adding a watermark to my images here on the blog. i have been struggling with this for a while now because i feel that they do distract from the image and the extra step of adding one is just another thing to do, but with the arrival of pinterest, it is now needed.

let me first start by saying that i love pinterest - i haven't become obsessed with it like others have, but i definitely see it's worth. for what seems like forever, i have torn pages out of magazines of things that inspire me and i place them in a binder. actually many binders, separated out into different themes such as decorating, kids, craft, food, etc. so for me, pinterest has allowed me to do the same thing, only online which is great because i can stop buying binders.

right now, i don't think of pinterest in terms of social media, i just want a place to store cool stuff. if i had my preference, i would have all my boards be private. i have the "pin it" tab in my internet tool bar and pin when i see something i want to remember. rarely do i search in pinterest to find something. the funny thing is when i speak to people about the site, they have no idea how to pin something on their own or that it is even an option. the site is evolving into a search and repin site which in turn causes images to be taken so far down the road from their original source that no credit can be found. i know that they are working on resolving this, but for me, as someone in a visual business who's images and tutorials drive my business, it is troubling.

all i am saying right now is pinterest has entered very sticky, sticky territory. i honestly don't have an exact clear viewpoint on the subject, i just have uneasy feelings.

my career as a graphic designer has made me very sensitive to image copyrights. taking an image from a site and using it on your own or in a printed piece is simply a no no. it is stealing plain and simple. there are times when i find photos of mine on other peoples blogs and even though they link back to me, i still feel a bit uneasy that i was not contacted for approval. i push this unease down and tell myself that i have to let it happen in order to get my name out there, but really, do i? do i have to succumb to what makes me feel icky in the name of my business? the thing is, i would most likely give my approval 100% of the time if i was asked. do i want people to stop showing my work of talking about my blog? absolutely not, i just want to be kept in the loop.

i feel like this is all a mishmash of thoughts - hopefully it makes some sense.

this is a very interesting article i read last week which has made me reconsider everything. should i delete most of my boards since they are filled with others work that i do not own? am i too in violation of everything i just wrote about because the owners of this work do not know that i pinned them?

sticky, sticky territory i tell you.

but what i most want to hear about are your thoughts on having your OWN work pinned and referenced without proper credit on blogs, etc.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

etsy and it's home page

i woke up this morning to a flurry of activity on my etsy site all around 1:00 am. so after a bit of digging, i discovered this sweet treasury was featured on the etsy's home page. woohoo!!!!!!

so exciting to see my vintage hoop art displayed for all to see. over the past few weeks, it has been featured in a lot of treasuries and i am happy to say that it is now flying up to canada to a new home.

thanks etsy!

Friday, February 17, 2012

bowls and dips

i hit a few estate sales last friday and walked away a bit disappointed. not much left by the time i got there, but when you go on the second day, that is the risk you are taking. the one thing i did find is the yellow chip and dip bowl pictured above. about a year ago, me and a couple of my friends were at a sale that had a few of these. one friend took one home, and i always regretted that i didn't buy the second one. then a few months ago, i found the white one in the background of the picture and was thrilled. no more non-buyers remorse :) when i saw the smaller one on friday, i had to add it to my collection!

these bowls feature a large bowl for chips/bread and then a metal piece that sits around the rim which holds a smaller bowl for dips. it was such a great invention and i don't know why people aren't reproducing them (at least i haven't seen any). maybe i am the only kooky person who thinks these are cool :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

paper and presents

one of the things I love most is wrapping presents. seriously, if I could make a living wrapping presents, that would be my career of choice, hands down. I know most people do not find joy in it, but there is something about making a gift pretty for its recipient. there is a satisfaction in making crisp corner folds of beautiful wrapping paper. I love seeing the look on a friends face, especially when they make a comment like "i knew this was from you". I am not a center of attention person by nature, but somewhere in that bit of recognition, my heart soars :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

hearts and yoyo's

happy valentines day my friends.

can't talk long because i have a to do list about a mile long sometimes i feel like i fail at follow through. i do such a  great job decorating the house and planning for a holiday, but then the day comes and i feel like i have nothing substantial like, um, a card or plans. one of these days i will learn :)

Friday, February 10, 2012

thrifting and sheets

i might be reaching hoarding capacity with vintage sheets.

what? you say this stack doesn't look that large to you? well, it doesn't, but combined with the 8 other stacks not in the photo, i am overflowing! the thing is, i just can't pass them up. the patterns, the softness, the fact that you get about 4 yards of fabric for $2 - all this makes them irresistible to me.

the good news is i finally have a plan for them and i am so excited about the idea. once i make a prototype, i will share the goodness with everyone.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

roots and growth

this piece had been lying around my studio for months and i just recently finished it. i currently have a love affair with vintage pics - they are inherently anonymous, but somehow, deeply personal.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

headboards and chandeliers

i hit the jackpot thrifting last week - finding good stuff is a better high than drugs!

i got accepted to be a vendor at the revival in atlanta this summer and my festival brain has been spinning. i took a break from festivals this past year because of some unfortunate experiences, but when i read about this one, i knew i had to give it a go.

so last week, joy and i headed to one of our secret locations (actually it's two thrift stores right next to one another). not many people venture here because it isn't in the greatest part of atlanta, but really, it is all in your mindset.

this headboard was my find of the year. why, you might ask? well, because it is $5. yes, $5 for the head board and foot board combined. i went right out and bought some lovely yellow and grey chalk paint and i cannot wait to give this piece a make over.

the other thing i have sworn off is chandeliers. i really love giving them new life, but it is a logistics thing for me - they just don't travel well. but, i am going back on this break as well. one is a brass and white ceramic chandelier and the other brass one is a 3 tier chandelier. it is huge and beautiful. i plan on spraying it 3 consecutive colors of blue to give it the ever trendy ombre look.

Friday, February 3, 2012

tools and tips

since i have been creating a lot of turorials for may arts and my make-it section of the blog, i have come to realize that there are a few studio items that i go to for everything. i am always on the hunt for new to me products so i thought you might be as well and would like to know my top 5 tools. (which in no way have sponsored this post - i just like them and wanted to share the knowledge ;)

super 77 spray glue: i have talked about my love for this product here before, but really, it is amazing. i spent over 10 years of my life working in advertising agencies and this was the number one item stocked in every office. i have most likely inhaled way too much of it, spraying it in random stairwells when a ventilated spray booth wasn't handy, but what can you do. this is the ultimate "glue stick". i use it when i need to adhere paper to anything. it has a near permanent bond and dries immediately. it's also great to use as an adhesive when adding glitter. tips: spray outside and keep away from your fingers - it is not fun at all to pick this stuff out of your nail beds.

matte gel medium: i am new to the product, but have acquired a quick dependence on it. it seems that golden's brand is the go to for artists, but before i knew that, i bought the utrecht brand. the containers have a wide opening so you can dip your brush right into the pot which is great. i use this in place of mod-podge for any of the new canvases i have made. a coating underneath and a coating on top seals everything up perfectly.

aleene's clear tacky glue: this glue is my grown up version of elmers. i use it on fabric, paper, beads, glitter, ribbon. it is clear and dries pretty quickly.

various scissors: i have scissors specific to fabric and paper (each one labeled with a death threat if used for the other). then i have a set of pinking sheers which makes sharp triangles when cut and a set of scalloped scissors which creates, well, scallops. everyone should really have more than one set of scissors in their studio.

disappearing ink pen: this could be the most used item in my arsenal. this pen is amazing, you write on fabric with it and it will eventually disappear. i tried to use sewing chalk pencils for a while, but the tip of the pencils would get rubbed down quite easily and i would end up marking a super thick line. obviously, you can use the disappearing pen to make pattern notations when sewing, but i use it a lot in my fabric canvas art. i write in script on the fabric and then have a guideline for my word embroidery. i can pinpoint exact marking of where i want to place a button or even do a light sketch. whatever you do, you don't have to worry about messing up, because it will eventually disappear.

so those are my current go-to items. any favorites from your studio that you want to share?

post linked to between naps on the porch

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

uniqueness and crowds

last week, i received this sweet comment from my new blogger friend, margie. it was written for one of my new mixed media posts.

"I love your new style too. Uniquely you and unlike any I've seen, which is always hard since there is so much out there."

first of all, it is no secret that i love comments, i adore them. for me, it isn't about praise, because i even like the not so nice comments. it's about the dialogue, and meeting new people, learning new things, the back and forth.

anyway, this comment struck a particular chord because uniqueness is what i strive for. when i see what other artists are doing, i do not say "that's beautiful, how can i remake it", i say "that's beautiful, strike another thing off the list that i can't touch." i have come to realize that it is a bit self-sabotaging to think this way, but that is how my brain has always worked. i shut the door on a lot of things before i even put one foot over the threshold. this causes a lot of artistic downtime for me and a lot of freezing up of thoughts.

my website and booth setup used to contain a lot of beautiful yellow and white chevron prints, but once chevrons became all the craze, i am now working on removing them because i don't want to seem like i jumped on the bandwagon. i LOVE all the somerset magazines, but you see a lot of art made from cremes and tans and a LOT of music note paper. don't get me wrong, the artwork showcased is very beautiful and i would cherish any piece should i own one, but you will rarely find music notes in my art because i am tone-deaf and they are not unique to ME.

having said that, i do believe the saying that there are no new ideas, but i am trying really, really, really hard to find them. so thank you margie, for recognizing my efforts to be unique :)

what are your thoughts on this? are you as self-sabotaging as i am?


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