Thursday, May 17, 2012

Four very lazy susan's sitting in the Sun!!

After all of my talk yesterday about watching American Idol,
I didn't get to spend any time watching it at all.
I worked on completing a wholesale order for
the Made In Oregon stores.
These are a few of the pieces that are heading there today -
one design of the lazy susans they purchase from us.
Also included are mirrors and plaques.
So even though I missed the American Idol show - I can always catch it on Hulu.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

My hand won't stop drawing!!

A new piece - actually a special request from a friend. And it shows some of the influence from my online class with JoAnn Sharp!

You saw this one a few weeks ago - but it is finished now and not so blurry!

It's Wednesday.
That means American Idol.
I admit it . . .I am an American Idol junkie.
I love the show - I grew up singing and performing.
I don't do it often now - but I do love listening to the performers.
However, there is a problem.
I don't have a cable connection in my art studio. I don't want tv in my art studio.
I do watch movies in there - and I have been known to netflix entire series of tv shows in there.
(OK - confession, I watch alot of tv shows on netflix in there - but it doesn't count, because there are no commercials!)
But I don't want the commercials in my studio. My studio is my sacred space and I don't want that in there.
So when I choose to watch AI on Wednesday nights - I either have to move everything that I paint with into another room - or forgo painting all together.
So instead - I compromise and doodle and draw and experiment with my paper and pencils and new markers.
And I am having a great time -
And I am enjoying the fact that they are so portable!

And now another confession . . .
I did it.
I broke down and have started my collection of copic markers.
I do not; however, have them yet.
It was more affordable to buy them online.
And now I will be experiencing Christmas is May!
So I will have to wait . . .and wait . . .and wait.
In the meantime, I will keep playing with these tombow markers and I'll keep you posted on my experimentation with the new copics once they arrive.

So to say the least - if you wonder where I will be at about 8:00 tonight -
it's a pretty safe bet that I will be sitting on my bed,
the tv remote close at hand,
and my drawing supplies spread out it front of me.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Get Them While There In Season!!

It's Spring . . .finally.
Mother Nature has been a bit finicky this year - but she seems to have finally decided to start waking up.
At least in our corner of the world.
With that - we are working on yard stakes.
We introduced these last year and we are quickly working on rebuilding our inventory.
We start the first of our spring/summer shows this coming weekend.

So it's time to take a breath and move forward!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Everyone Enjoy's A Good Bench!!

So I gave a sneak preview of this bench project a couple of posts ago . . .
One of our great customers had requested a long coffee table bench for her home.
I have one very similar and she wanted one as well.
The benches that we used were castoffs.
My sister-in-law works at one of the local elementary schools.
Last fall, when the employees were "back to school" and cleaning and organizing for the new school year,
she discovered two solid wood benches.
Their fate? The dumpster.
Are you kidding? They were just going to toss them in the dumpster???
What were they thinking.
She called and asked if I wanted to perform a rescue -
I have my friends and family so well trained on cast-off furniture.
And FREE is a very good price!
What was wrong with them?
The paint was a bit chipped - but that was about it.
They were heavy and solid and in great condition.
My superhero - (aka my husband Jon) - dropped what he was doing and immediately drove over the school and rescued them.
He then sanded them down and connected them together with bolts.
Primed them.
And then I took over.
Blocks of color. . .

Followed by  an undercoating of white for the various designs. . .

(sorry. This one is little blurry . . .)

Then color, words and detailing. . .
Words and images face different directions so you can view it from any angle.

The end result?
A very sturdy creation, full of whimsy and bright color.
The final product measures approximately 2 feet wide and 8 feet long.

Next on the agenda?
A bridge painting . . .details to come.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Is there anything more indulgent and enjoyable than sitting in bed,
watching a favorite guiltly pleasure on tv
and creating something fun?

this was some more fun that I was having with my new markers.

I wish I had curls like her.

Monday, May 7, 2012

A New Dining Experience

Recently, my husband and I drove to Newberg, OR.
My daughter's high school choir was participating in the State choir competition held at the College there.
Newberg is an interesting town.
Several years ago, there was very little reason to go to this town.
It was old, run down and rather sad.

But then Oregon discovered that it had some ideal growing conditions for grapes.
Since then it has become know for more than it's rain - but also it's wines.
I myself, am not a wine drinker.
But I do appreciate what that industry has done for towns like Newberg!

Lots of antique stores, charming businesses and restaurants.
It seems to have gone through a rebirth.
the perfect balance between "small town feel" with enough of the conveniences of city life.

After our choir was done, my husband and I had an hour long drive to get home.
And we were hungry.
So we decided to see what Newberg had to offer.
I checked with Yelp on my smartphone and we found this place. . .

The reviews looked very promising.
The outside of the buidling looked even more promising.
And the clincher for me . . .look at the picture above. See the planter box next to the
They grow their own herbs.
Not a huge thing, I know - but you don't find that at chain restaurants.
I mean- no offense to the "applebees" of the world - but I like to independent places.
I like restaurants that use local ingredients and have changing menus.
I like restaurants where they actually prepare and cook the food on site!

We perused the menu and our server offered suggestions and recommendations.
By the way . . .I love that, too.
Our food? I ordered a pastrami sandwich. My husband had a hamburger.
Simple right?
Well they smoked the pastrami on site - it was flavorful with a slight kick of spice.
Grainy mustard and grilled onions so tender they seemed to melt.
An absolute mess to eat. No napkins were spared in the consumption.

And dessert - well, what can I say about dessert?
From the presentation to the description to the taste. . .

Jon's dessert consisted of a dense semi-sweet flourless cake. More like a piece of fudge. So rich.
A homemade biscotti cookie.
And on the side - a coconut creme brulee.
Oh the tastes. Oh the textures.

My dessert was a rice pudding.
I mean how exciting can rice pudding be?
But this pudding was topped with salty toasted hazelnuts - warm and crunchy.
On the side was a salted dark caramel sauce.
Drizzle it on the rice pudding.
Taste the pudding, feel the smooth texture with the grains of cooked rice.
Then comes the sweet caramel - with an after taste of the salty nuts.
Oh my.
So very, very good.

Quite frankly - this was one of those meals that makes the next days meals pale by comparison.

And my daughter who opted to ride back on the school bus?
She had Subway.

Romlin's Chair and Bench in progress

I met Romlin and Amanda a few years back at one of our summer festivals.
Romlin and her daughter Amanda are the types of people that instantly becomes a friend.
I've done several pieces for their home in the past.
These are the most recent items I have been working on for them.

The chair . . .well that is pretty self-explanatory.
It's one of "those" chairs - the kind that I wish I could find more often.
The kind you find in a library or law office.
The kind that is heavy and solid and seems to wrap around you.
Soon - it will be wrapping around Romlin and Amanda.

The bench - that is a more unique item.
Last year I found a large bench on Craigslist that I made over for our living room.
Romlin saw it and wanted one.
She liked how my bench was long and narrow - different from most standard benches.
I have never found another bench like mine - maybe that was because it had been custom designed.
But I did find 2 long and narrow benches.
That's another story that I will save for another post when this is finished.
We decided to take the creative approach and connected them together.
I am working on this right now.
Blocks of base color have been laid in.
Tonight . . .I will start to bring it life.
More pictures to come!

I love taking cast-offs and giving them new life.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Another special order for someone who loves to share the joy a good message and lots of Color!!

I met Lisa during the holidays.
She bought a few things.
She then ordered a gift.
She then ordered something else.
Now we are decorating her new office.
Filling it with positive messages to help remind her of the importance of life, love and laughter. . .
Once again the power of words combined with color . . .
Lisa - I hope these pieces (meant to be a wall grouping) will add a splash of color to your plain walls
and will also help you keep a positive thought in your heart!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

If You Give An Artist A Pencil . . .

And evening doodle created using sharpie and TomBow markers on watercolor paper.
So recently I decided to take an e-course.
I signed up and have been practicing (some) on decorative lettering with JoAnn Sharpe
If you are not familiar with JoAnn . . .seriously - drop what you are doing and check out her happy whimspirational art!
I have to admit - I have a bit of starstruckedness. (I know that isn't a word - but go with me here.)

As part of the class - there was a supply list.
Pens - check. Pencils - check. Rulers - check. Watercolors - check. Paints - check. Paper - check. Markers - Markers???
I don't usually buy markers. I've never liked markers -
Markers always leave lines and look . . .unprofessional.

I was really surprised when I learn that markers play a significant part in JoAnn's work.
And I LOVE JoAnns work.

So that got me to thinking -
Why markers?
What have I been missing?

Then I started researching and found a whole world I have never explored.
Now you experienced people are probably thinking . . .
Who is this girl who doesn't use markers?
I mean - I know all about Crayola markers.
And then there Pentel markers, and the LePlumes. They are nice. They are ok.

But there are so many many many more.
I learned about TomBows.
Did you know they are waterbased and you can create a watercolor effect with a brush and water?
How cool is that???

And Copics
Oh Copics.
There are no words to describe the world of Copic that I have discovered.
Again - you seasoned artists are probably thinking - "Aah, who is this person? And she calls herself an artist!"

I shopped and perused online sites for information and pluses/minuses of the various brands and what they would do and what they were good for and one and one and on.
I watched video after video.
I have become obsessed.

In the end . .. I bought some TomBows. Two sets.
(Which in the end - one would have been sufficient, I think. But oh well.)

And finally - I am now adding pennies to my piggy bank to save up and buy copics.
Lots and lots of copics.
I am considering making a sign and standing on a corner.
The sign will read -
"Will work for copics".

And so you can see . . .
just like that little mouse in the children's book
"If You Give A Mouse A Cookie" . . .
This may never end.