Saturday, December 29, 2007

Of Ships And Peculiar Things

Ahem.It's official! Family, friends, fans, followers, and curious cats alike: Come Friday, Jan. 4th at 2pm EST / 11am PST there will be quite the little unveiling of original paintings both small and biggish along with new prints of favorites and other things in the shop.

Lots of ships! Whales! Strange bird-like creatures! All sorts of tentacley sights! Hot buttery popcorn for early birds! I'm quite excited to show them to you.

Hope to see you all there!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Holiday Inspiration

I hope everyone's holiday went well! Mine was gloriously relaxing. Spent time with the family, of course, but also got to have a wonderful silent break for myself, in which I made myself peppermint hot cocoa and brainstormed painting ideas. Nothing quite beats that.

We were also lucky enough to have a nice bit of a snowfall this year on both Christmas day and now, two days after Christmas as well (a mighty rarity in the Puget Sound area, let me tell you). I love the look of a fresh snowfall--quiet, bright, blue and cyan tones... Ah.
The presents were all a hit. I gave everyone hand-painted pottery made by myself and a select few also got homemade candied walnuts and pecans as well, which turned out dang good if I may say so. I definitely need to make more.

I received some lovely gifts as well--candles, coffee, dvds (lots), sweaters, cds, matted photographs (thanks again, Rachel!), and a good deal of gift cards and some cash. Last night was spent ordering a nice handful of dvds via gift cards for my growing collection. The star of the order is, naturally, the 1st season of Flight of the Conchords. It can't get here fast enough!
Today I also played around in the sketchbook, working out painting ideas and various color combinations.I have some smallish works to finish up tonight as well and then will hopefully have enough time to begin some larger ones.

This has been quite the month for the shoppe! Thank you all for your wonderfully kind words and support! I can't wait for 2008. There's some fun things in store, oh yes....

I leave you now to go watch a movie and eat a quick parmesan garlic pasta dinner (thank you, Pasta Roni), laid atop a dark ship sailing on another fine adventure....

Friday, December 21, 2007


Hey gang! One last thing before I hit the holiday hibernation routine...

Tamara from Block Party Press on Etsy recently published an interview with me on her blog! Feel free to go here to check it out while sipping your peppermint hot cocoas and chai teas. And do check out the rest of her blog as it's filled with all sorts of inspiring words and images.

Take it easy, kiddos!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

In which I wax on about fabulous Etsy finds & show off my Christmas Tree

I've received my first wave of Etsy holiday purchases and *must* show them to you. What a joy to receive these in the mail!

First up is this incredible wee whale pin made by the ever-so-talented Casey of Elegant Musings (picture above is from her site).
He's every bit as handsome as in the photo and came unbelievably lovingly packaged. I am so, so thankful to have this little guy on my jacket! Casey has temporarily closed her Etst shop for the holidays, but will be back up and running the day after Christmas (and I can't wait!).
I also received this cutie stuffed gnome ornament (complete with an itty bitty jingle bell attached to his hanger!) from
Sweet Ninja. I think it would be hilarious to have a whole army of these on your tree...(photo below is from her site).
And, lastly, I splurged and bought this incredible hand-spun cotton octopus ornament from Vintage By Crystal (photo below from her site).I found him one night while browsing Etsy and was awestruck but resisted getting him because I had just bought a handful of ornaments from other Etsy sellers. I woke up the next morning realizing I had to have him no matter what. I'm *so* glad I snagged him. Hand-spun, hand-painted, and his arms are even wired so you can bend them into snaggly positions. Truly keepsake quality. And look how amazing he is in the tree! I'll be buying more of her whimsies soon.
On their way in the post are these neat felt key ornaments from Something's Hiding In Here:
And this lovely screenprinted birdie ornament from Things Are Better With A Parrott:I think collecting handmade ornaments may just be a new obsession of mine. I just want to go out and snag all sorts of gorgeous, weird, and lovingly hand-crafted ornaments from other artisans.

And, speaking of ornaments, you certainly need a tree to display them on, no? I have a small aqua tinsel retro-modern tree that I love dearly (you just can't find nice aqua ones anywhere! What gives?) but wanted to get a slightly larger white tree this year, preferably that I could put lights on (the tinsel trees are unlightable due to fire hazards, unless you get a safety pre-lit one).

I searched everywhere and finally wound up trekking through a new Kohl's store in the area. Well, what do you know, they were having a massive Christmas sale and I got a 3 foot pre-lit white tree for under $20 (originally $40). Mega score. It's so perfect! Perfect size, shape, and it lights up, which makes me very, very happy indeed. Here it is, all decked out in funky ornaments in my living room:Here's a close-up:And here are some close shots of some of my fave ornaments on it:My palace guard was collected on my recent trip to England in glorious London.

I made a bunch of Beatles ornaments a couple years ago for a Beatles-themed tree and four of them are made just like the one above--that is to say, out of toilet paper tubes. I cut them in half, painted them black, then mod-podged my favorite panoramic Beatles shots on each one. A little ribbon and decorative trim and voila! Instant kitschy ornament! I really need to make some more of these.

Well, this was quite the long post. Are you still with me? This will probably be the last time you'll hear from me until after Christmas. Lots to do, and lots of busy work days ahead. I'm busily preparing for a big shop update filled with paintings, new prints, mini print trading card packs, and other surprises. Not sure yet when it will be--probably the last week of December or early days of January--but I promise it'll be worth the wait! When the details are worked out, I'll let you all know.

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays, dear friends! I love you all dearly and hope your last days of December are filled with merry-making, food-stuffing, and friendly conversations with your loved ones.

Friday, December 14, 2007

An Oncoming Armada

Hard to believe that Christmas is less than 2 weeks away. Wow. I only yesterday put up ornaments and a mild spattering of Christmasy decorations (which of course means that they'll be staying up well-after New Years. I have to get *some* use outta them). Long hours at work = very little time to paint, which of course translates to me staying up late at night painting because I need to paint, dang nabbit. I'm currently working on a nice little spread of originals to sell within the next week... They look so happy together! And hidden in this rather horrid late-night photo are two little whale paintings (not finished yet, but when they are, they'll be doosies). Paint-stained hands, ships, AND whales? Life is good.

Here's what's been cooking in the mighty sketchbook lately (I have a love affair with nautical imagery & have been letting myself get carried away with oceanic themes lately in my drawings):
And I also finally finished painting up this circus-inspired pie plate at work (the text reads "The 2 Headed Buck Klaus Jr"). 6 months. That's how long this one has been sitting on the back burner. When I started it, I was so thrilled with how it was coming along, but after seeing it nearly every day unfinished and begging for me to sit down and add the final touches, I became horribly disinterested in it. I'm still undecided on whether or not I'm gonna keep it or give it away.In between work and painting, I've also been watching a whole lot of movies. Went and saw No Country For Old Men, which I loved (what an amazing comeback for those Coen bros. My goodness). That movie still gives me the chills--and I saw it more than a week ago. Also recently watched these goodies:
Hadn't seen
Titus, but always wanted to (*loved* it! Julie Taymor does such stunning work), and of course, Dr. Strangelove is an old friend (but one that I hadn't seen in ages and ages).

That's all for tonight, kiddos! I made some lovely purchases from Etsy this week that I'm dying to show you all. Time for bed for this little painter, but next time, I'll host a wee "show 'n tell" of the mailbox goodies. Happy trails!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Good Tidings

I have re-entered the blogging world, after what seems like an eternity of show prep, shipping, show attending, more shipping, bookkeeping, and finance mingling (and other boring business tidings). Whew! I hope every one's doing well and enjoying their December (don't even ask me where November went--I'm still trying to figure *that* one out).
A big hug and word of thanks to friends, family, fellow blog readers, collectors, lurkers, supporters, and everyone else for all their wonderful words of encouragement this year. I love you all dearly! My first show went off without a hitch in Seattle, despite the somewhat rickety weather (snow one day, lots 'o rain the next) and lots of learning experiences (#1--invest in a backdrop/screen of some sort, unless you want to be engulfed in the screenprinted tees of your neighbor). I was nervous and excited but getting to meet so many of you first-hand was such a joy. Sometimes I feel like I'm stuck in my own little odd digital realm online, but meeting folks at the show who knew me or recognized my art or bought from me on Etsy brought me right back to reality. You guys are swell!
I'm slowly getting items that didn't sell at the show listed into the shop, including Squiddy Note Cards!! Yes! You read correctly!
The nautilus ones always get lots of comments on Etsy, so I had decided for the show to branch out a little with a couple more designs. I think the squid ones are my new faves--I even love them more than the nautilus cards, which is a tall task, let me tell you. There's only two packs of the squid ones at the moment...

Also, with the new year will come new and exciting things as well as some bold decisions, amongst which I've decided to stop making charms and pendants, except for special occasions. I've noticed that since I've started pushing my artwork and getting a great response, I've been neglecting the claywork. I know that's what I started selling on Etsy (and what my featured seller interview is about, which will be weird once I don't have any sculptural work for sale...) but I've come a long way and have been evolving as an artist. It's time to cut back on some things so I can really focus on painting and my artwork.

So, as a bit of a last-ditch goodbye, I'll only have a couple charm designs available for the Winter season. They're very limited edition, maybe only 4-8 of both designs, and once they're gone, that's it. I sold a few of these last year and they sold out unbelievably fast.
Mr. Frosty charm is live in the shop at the moment, with the Lollipop Guild charm design to come in the next day. *UPDATE: Both designs are all sold out! Thank you!*
So, while there may not be any more sculptural pieces available, that just means there will be more art--including lots more originals (of both the larger, extravagant kind along with the smaller, extremely affordable kind) and prints, as well as other fun surprises. And of course, I will keep you all posted.

Without further adieu, I must leave you all to do up some mini paintings. Within the next week I hope to have a nice assortment of mini nautical paintings up for grabs (I *need* to paint some ships and whales. That's all I know at the moment). Take care of yourselves, have a splendid weekend, and once again, thank you for your kind words and thoughts!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Holiday Surpises and Dreams of India

A spur-of-the-moment surprise...The Lonely Peppermint Tree print is on sale for just $9.50 as a Holiday Shop Special! But only until December 1st, when it will get bumped back up to $12. This is my most popular print, so if you've been eyeing it, jump over to the shop and snag your own right now!

I have a few more tricks up my sleeve for the holidays, so you'll have to keep your eyes peeled. I'm thinking perhaps of throwing together a few grab bags (with trading card-sized prints, perhaps?...) and special one-of-a-kind theme packs, so please stay tuned! I just need to work out the logistics.

Also, I went and saw this gem last night with a friend.
Loved. It. I'm still absorbing it, I loved it so much. My fave Wes Anderson movie is still Life Aquatic (and no bad critic reviews or angry moviegoer can change that) but this latest film of his was so lovely, that I'm dying to get the dvd already (Criterion, do you hear that? Huh?). Sigh. How fabulous.

More to do. Frantically getting ready for the show, so if you don't hear from me for a while, you can picture me covered in alizarin crimson and glittered fingers. 'Cause that's exactly how I'll look. Have a good weekend, kiddos!

Monday, November 12, 2007

It's Raining Men

Popping in briefly to let you all know those fancifully mysterious gents are now live and in the shop!

There's only one of each, so if you want a particular fellow, hop on him quick (that didn't sound *nearly* as dirty in my head...).

Oh, and if anyone has any good dvd recommendations, I'm all ears! I'm beefing up my Netflix que and am in need of some suggestions (I especially love period flicks as well as good indie films).

Thank you all and happy trails ahead this week!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Men of Mystery

Oh my. In between the incredibly long hours at work, late nights working on ornaments & prints, and mornings spent packaging up goodies, I put up my 3 ft aqua tinsel tree.
Yes. It is in fact only November. And Thanksgiving is still a good two weeks away. But with the way things are around here, by the time I actually get a moment to savor the holiday senses, it will be gone. At least, that's what happened last year. I haven't gotten to the point yet where I can listen to the holiday tunes (give that a couple more weeks still...), but apparently I've reached the "must-decorate-and-make-the-house-Christmas-cozy" state. I put the tree on a vintage melamine tray I bought last year at a small antique/boutique store (it's just so adorable!). There's also a bunch of yummy candles burning away (I found the best Roasted Chestnuts scented one at Michael's the other day)
A large batch of glitter birdies has flown through the post and is merrily heading towards MY MY boutique down in Hatboro, PA for east coast shoppers. Yay! I'm laying off the glitter bird ornaments for a few days until I can cleanse my space of all glitter. And get the remainder of said glitter out of my curly hair.

I also want to tell you that there will be a Shop Update of sorts on Monday, November 12th in which a handful of newly handpainted brooches and other goodies will be put up for greedy hands. I'm crazy about them! A mysterious English gent adorns each pin with snippets of text clipped from an antique book. Fanciful ribbon and lacey bows make each one a darling addition to a jacket--I put one on today to see how it looked and had a hard time getting myself to take it off. Each is a completely original, one-of-a-kind miniature painting for you to pin wherever you wish! Here's all four that will be listed as "Dear Chap" brooches:
Handsome gents, no?

Back to the painting table I go. Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Halloween Treats and What Lies Ahead

My goodness. What a whirlwind it's been around here. I hope everyone had a splendid Halloween! Mine was...perfect. I spent Halloween-Eve by myself and made a wonderful dinner (something that, living alone and all, doesn't happen very often), popcorn balls, lit a herd of candles and watched a couple late night films (American Psycho--which is one of my all-time *fave* horror/black comedy films--and, of course, Nightmare Before Christmas--which I have to watch every Halloween).

Then on Halloween day, I got dressed up in my last-minute costume and went to work. Who did I dress up as, you ask?
Why, a member of Team Zissou, of course! The track pants were the perfect shade of pale blue and the darker blue stripe + the "Z" emblem were both done in colored electrical tape. And I must say, that was a last minute "eureka!" moment that worked unbelievably well. The hat ($1 from a local dollar store) was perfect and my belted gun was nothing more than a dog's leash and a cheap modified black cap gun from the dollar store as well. I did an adaptation on the navy blue sweater with the white Z from the movie (which is in one of my favorite scenes between Ned And Steve). I'm such a dork.

I got to wear it to a Halloween party at a friend's house, where we ate and drank ourselves silly and watched a pile of horror films. It was so fabulous.

And now, with the beginning of November, there is loads of work to be done in preparation for the December show. I have my work cut out for me. Supplies have been ordered, plans have been made, and now I just need to find the time to get it all done. I'll also be working on a wonderful painting project for a hip Fresno, CA nursery's catalog and am beginning to consign with a boutique in PA. Needless to say, it's mayhem here in the studio. Nonetheless, new work is still being eeked out of me.
This will be a rather large (for me, at least) painting that I'm still planning and tweaking. I'm very excited about it though!
And these miniature painted wooden plaques have some fun things in store for them. They were originally part of another project that was changed at the last minute and now, shall be resurrected into little projects of their own. I'm planning on putting together a couple themed holiday gift packs for sale in the
online shop and they will more than likely go in them.

I can't believe it's already November! Where oh where has the year gone? I do hope you are all well and enjoying the first weekend of the month!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Fly Away

Birdies have landed in the shop for the holidays! There's 3 bright hues to choose from:They look splendid alone, of course, but even better when grouped up together. I'm a big fan of unconventional colors for the holidays (pinks, shocking greens, black, yellow...). Love red as I may, come December, I need lots of bright off-beat punches of color alongside it.

And peppermint stripes, of course. Gotta have the peppermint stripes. :)

Off to see Across the Universe on Friday in Seattle with a couple friends from work and am extremely excited! I've been looking forward to this film for months--almost as long as I have for the Darjeeling Limited (which I am DYING--dying, people--to see). I know it's getting odd reviews, but I don't care. Beatles tunes AND odd/stunning surreal visuals? Sign me up, please.

Ta-ta for now, dear friends!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Step Right Up...

My mailman just brought these highly anticipated double-sided beauties to my doorstep! Yay for new business cards! I'm ever-so-thrilled with them and couldn't be more pleased.
I also received a pile of these splendid new postcards to throw into packages: Eek! I'm delighted.
More glitter ornaments shall be loaded into the shop soon (birdies in multiple bright hues--you'll love them!).

Happy Tuesday, dearies!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A Little of This, A Little of That

The power never did go out, alas, so instead I had a "faux power outage" (in other words, the lights and computer were left off and candles were a'blazing). Sometimes, you just can't count on Mother Nature.
I did very little other than dishes, ordering supplies, and tidying up a bit. I did however work out some fun sketches for a couple little dessert plates I want to paint for myself. I've been meaning to do up some London-themed plates for a while but never nailed down my idea.
Well, it's nailed now and I'm definitely going the oh-so-graphic route of flat black/white paint. I think they'll look charming on the wall (...or with a colorful cupcake underneath...). I'd like to do a similar design on canvas/panel except in very London-like muted hues and brownish grays. We shall see though.
Way, way back I painted up a trio of miniature truffle paintings and they've been hanging out, waiting to be either put up for sale or used in some fashion. I've finally created a little display that fits them quite nicely, I think.
A wee candy shop banner! Peppermint-striped ribbon, truffles, and a framed old photo of my great grandfather from Italy. Perfecto! I bought this awesome pitcher at the thrift store the other day for three dollars and love it. It's currently residing on my bookshelf, but I think it'll look splendid with some fresh flowers in it come next Spring.And this AMAZING little photographer's calling card book I bought at the antique store last month is still making me dance with glee. The cover is completely worn off and the book has long since fallen apart, which is much expected as it's dated from the mid 1800s.
Filled with 18-20 different photo cards (the one above being my fave), which I plan on framing individually and hanging in a grid-pattern on some lucky wall. The best part (besides the fact that it's so old)? It was only $10!! Craziness.

I have a new painting idea a'brewing and I think it will be quite large. I'm hoping to get started on it tomorrow--all other painting/crafting ideas are getting thrust on the back burner for this one. I will certainly keep you all posted!

Keep warm for the weekend!