2015 Whimsical Wares Spring Show

whimsical wares

 

After a very successful show with Whimsical Wares this past November, I decided to team up with them again and participate in their spring show. Debbie And Helaine have worked endless hours to find artists who offer interesting arts, crafts, jewelry, and other unique gifts. This show is just in time for Mother’s Day shopping and the upcoming wedding season. It opens today, located in Marietta at 255 Village Parkway, Building 500, Suite 580.

Show times:

-Thursday, 4/23, 10:00 am-8:00 pm

-Friday, 4/24, 10:00 am-7:00 pm

-Saturday, 4/25, 10:00 am-5:00pm

-Sunday, 4/26, 11:00am-3:00pm

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For this show I decided to include a mix of my encaustic mixed media, letter prints, and pottery. I love working with a variety of media, and I am excited to present the wide range I work in.

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This year, I started experimenting with slip casting after teaching a slip cast lesson to my high school, 3D Design II students. I fell in love with the process, and began making my own slip cast molds of antique milk jugs and mason jars. You can shop my new slip cast creations at the Whimsical Wares show, at Crafted Westside, located off Marietta Street in Atlanta, or at the Crafted pop up shop in Avalon, Alpharetta.

IMG_2437In addition to my slip cast pieces, I also have my usual flower decorated bowls and mugs. I also have a few saggar fired bowls, which creates interesting smoke like patterns on the pieces.

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I hope you find time to check out the Whimsical Wares spring show. If you miss it this weekend, you can also check out my artwork at the 17th annual Wesleyan Artist Market, opening next weekend, 4/30/15 through 5/2/15.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog and read about my latest art and craft endeavors. Help me spread the word about my blog and artwork by subscribing or sharing on your social networking site of choice. Thanks for stopping by!


 

 

 

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Visual Journal Page 7: What I Need to Teach

Visual Journal Page 7-What I Need to Teach

For the first two years of my art education career I struggled to get the supplies I needed to teach my classes.

For two years I begged, traded, sought out donations and grants, I even sold baked goods at lunch to raise money for my art program. Each year I found a way to scrape by. My students were still exposed to drawing, painting, and a bit of clay when the budget allowed. Occasionally, assignments had to be altered in the middle, when supplies began to run low. My sculpture class turned into a drawing/painting class towards the end of the semester, when I could no longer afford the supplies. But, we made do, and my students still created amazing works of art.

While the experience was frustrating at times, I did teach me an important lesson in conservation and waste. Suddenly, every sheet of paper was precious. When students hit the point of crumpling their paper in frustration, they would learn a lesson in perseverance. Instead of being thrown away, their paper was flattened, and they had to continue on.

In addition to learning how to conserve, re-use, and extend supplies, I also learned who the resourceful people in school were. A nice smile, a thoughtful gesture, and going out of your way to ask someone how their day is, is a simple thing to do, and it comes with its own benefits. By the time I left my school I had the janitors on the lookout for items I could use, teachers sending over random assortments of bottle caps and wire hangers, and I had the notoriously difficult to please bookkeeper on my side. While every person who sent over a stack of paper or extra supplies played an important role in keeping my program alive, the bookkeeper was the reason my final year there was a success.

I remember the very first day I started at that school. I was assigned a mentor teacher to show me the ropes, explain the grade book process, attendance, expectations, everything I needed to know to get by. While each of these pieces were essential to surviving my first year, one of the most important things she introduced me to were the school politics. Who you needed to be sweet to from day one, whose toes not to step on, and who really held the power in the school. I learned quickly Mrs. Bookkeeper was not one to mess with. People were moved to her bad list on a whim, and she was definitely the blood supply of the school.

From day one I was sweet to her. I always read her instructions twice, immensely apologized if anything went wrong, and made sure to get to know her, rather than just ask for favors. Over the years I learned she was married, with no kids, but loved her nephews as her own, was a big supporter of all the school sports, and was kind despite her tough exterior.

My third and final year I walked to her office, dreading the budget conversation. Each year my budget was reduced a little more, it went from $750.00 to $300.o0, for supplies to cover 150+ students. Rumors of further budget cuts were already in the air, and I expected them to say I couldn’t spend any money. In the back of my mind I already had pencil and paper only projects on hand.

We sat down, she shuffled some papers, and I couldn’t believe what came next. She explained she knew I had a tough couple of years and I had done a good job staying within my allotted budget. She knew I was extremely low or completely out of basic supplies. She said to make a wish list of everything I want, covering basic supplies and additional supplies I could never get before. She told me to hand over the list, and she would see what she could do. It was scary to think I may get some or none of my requested supplies, but I felt confident she would help me out.

I put together my dream wish list. I added everything I thought was feasible, and had nearly $2500.00 in supplies. More than double any budget given to me in the past. I prioritized the items and submitted it, keeping my fingers crossed that I would maybe get half. A few days later Mrs. Bookkeeper called me into her office yet again. “We are getting you everything on the list,” she said. I almost fell over.

Finally I had the tools I needed to teach my students the way I wanted to teach them. Finally I had the support I needed and the supplies I needed. Mrs. Bookkeeper played a very important role in making my final year at that school a good one. I didn’t go out with a bad taste in my mouth, full of resent for the public school system. Instead, I went out feeling like I saw a glimpse of what the school should be.

Thank you.

SUPPLIES

  • Visual journal
  • Rubber cement
  • Scissors
  • Mod podge
  • Paint brush
  • Laser printed images
  • Blue tissue paper
  • Ripped up book page
  • Black sharpie

HOW TO

Although this page may seem simple at first glance, this was a very long process. I decided I wanted to print pictures of all the supplies I ordered, and do a Mod Podge transfer directly on the book page of each item. This meant I had to plan ahead for what image would layer what, if dark colors would cover up lighter ones, and how many to do at once.

I started by printing out all of my pictures on a laser printer, a must for a successful Mod Podge transfer. I had to reverse all images that had text on them, Mod Podge transfers reverse the original image. I then cut each image out using scissors. Next, I began playing with placement. Because Mod Podge transfers create semi-transparent images, I had to be careful if any image overlapped. I had to place light colors together, and space out dark colors. Once I had my placement down, I began the Mod Podge transfer process.

First, you paint a  layer of Mod Podge on the front of each image using a paint brush. Allow the layer to fully dry. Paint a second coat, allow it to dry. Paint a third coat, and while the Mod Podge is still wet, place the image face down, and rub the back until it is completely stuck. After it dries on the page, wet the back of the image with water, and begin peeling off the white paper. The ink from the printer should stick to the Mod Podge, dried onto the book page, and all the white paper should come off. This creates transparent areas where there were light or white colors, and semi-transparent areas where it was dark.

Because I had to complete a transfer before layering another on top, I had to place images away from each other, finish them, allow them to dry, before putting the next image near them. It turned into a multi day visual journal page. When all the Mod Podge transfers were finally complete, I realized a lot of detail was lost, and a lot of the images blended together. To help bring the detail back in, I outlined certain images with black sharpie.

To finish the page I glued a strip of blue tissue paper with a strip of a book page on top of the background. I added the text using sharpie.

CHALLENGE

Create a visual journal page about a person who helped you through a tough situation or a pleasant surprise. Use at least one Mod Podge transfer in your page.

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Visual Journal Page 6: Blue Chairs

Visual Journal Page 6-Blue Chairs

Almost five years after buying my first house, I am still not finished buying furniture, painting walls, or decorating in general. At this point, it feels like a never ending cycle. As soon as one room is complete, I move onto the next one, until I return to my starting point and realize, I no longer like that pillow pattern, wall color, or need a new throw for the sofa.

This visual journal page was created only 2 and a half years after moving in. It was slow progress saving up the money we needed to complete critical projects, such as adding a table and chairs to the empty space in our kitchen. For two and a half years, a pendant light hung over nothing but air and tile in our kitchen. Not only did the space feel incomplete, the hanging light was also a hazard. With no table blocking the path, people would walk through and bang their head on the light. I had been patient long enough, it was time to finish the space.

When Nick and I got married, one of the places we registered was Crate & Barrel. I love the modern style, clean lines, and bright colors that are carried throughout their products. We registered for the typical pots and pans, place settings, and flatware; but I also added a few items I feel in love with, but knew no one would buy us, such as the beautiful, turquoise, slat-back chairs.

I yearned for the chairs from the first day I saw them, but at practically $200 a piece, they were no where near our budget. For two and a half years I checked the Crate & Barrel website, searching for a coupon, sale, or any option to bring them into my price range. After what seemed like an eternity, a sale popped up, and my chairs were marked down. I immediately went to the store, thrilled to finally complete my kitchen.

When I arrived, only two chairs were left in the state of Georgia, and they were mine. Now all I had to do was find the perfect table…

SUPPLIES

  • Visual journal
  • rubber cement
  • Old book pages
  • Pencil
  • colored pencil
  • Scissors
  • Xacto knife

HOW TO

To create this visual journal page, I decided to create a cohesive image using just one material, colored pencils. I started by re-drawing the kitchen space on two book pages. I sketched out the windows, walls, and floors, using pencil, then layered colored pencil on top. When drawing with colored pencils I highly recommend using the Prismacolor brand. They are expensive, at nearly $1.00 a pencil, but worth the cost. If you slowly layer a mix of tints and shades of one color, it creates an interesting blend, with a lot of depth.

Once I completed the background, I used rubber cement to glue the book pages to my visual journal. Next, I sketched out the chairs. I used at least 5 different shades of blues to achieve the range of darks and lights. A white colored pencil was used last to add the highlights to the chairs. Remember, when shading in color, shadows are rarely black. Typically the shadows are a darker version of the color they are overlapping.

After my chairs were drawn and filled in, I used scissors and an Xacto knife to cut them out. I glued them on top of the background, and my page was complete!

CHALLENGE

Create a visual journal page about the one thing you want to purchase most. It could be something you are saving up for, will never be able to buy, or are heading out to pick up today. Good luck and have fun!

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog and read today’s post. Help me spread the word by sharing with others. I couldn’t do it without you. Thanks for stopping by!

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Ceramics: Watermelon Themed Tea Set

Watermelon Tea Set

It is amazing how time flies. It seemed like just yesterday my sister and I were at home, playing with our American Dolls and Barbies, dreaming of our future weddings and husbands. In the blink of an eye we were both graduated, married, and Christy was pregnant.

The nine months it took for us to meet Payton Grace was incredibly fast and painfully slow, all at the same time. I couldn’t wait to meet my third niece, the first for my side of the family. The day she finally decided to come into this world, she was perfect. I was thrilled to be an aunt once again.

My sister and I live in the same city, which means I get a good amount of Payton contact time. I love making her laugh, chasing her around, and giving her snuggles, when she allows. I was shocked when summer returned once again, July 21st hit, and Payton turned one.

When my first niece, Rylie, turned one, I made her a tea set that matched her first birthday theme, Rylie in One-derland. I loved having the opportunity to make her something special, that she could treasure later in life. After Rylie, came Kyla and Payton. I realized I couldn’t favor one niece, they all deserved their own special teapots.

Payton’s first birthday was watermelon themed, and came and went before I had a chance to get hers complete for her first. However, her watermelon tea set came just six months late, for Christmas.

As soon as Christy shared the theme I knew I wanted to create a teapot with a slice taken out of it, showing the bright red and dark seeds on the inside. When I finally got started, I allowed the body of the teapot to dry out slightly, before cutting the triangle shape out. I added clay slabs into the area, creating the watermelon slice. I added a stem like handle, leaves, vines, and the easy to recognize watermelon striping.

Teapot

After the body of the teapot was complete, I made small teacups, with corresponding colors and patterns to match. I used black glaze to splatter the interior of the cups, to reference the black seeds of a watermelon.

Teacups

After completing the set, I decided it still wasn’t finished. I took the cut out section from the teapot, added slabs to it, and turned the watermelon slice into a creamer pitcher. A small vine was added for the handle, and a section was cut out of the top, to create a lid.

Cream Pitcher

I was excited to finally hand Payton’s teapot over to her. I hope she will cherish it for years to come.

Teapot and Pitcjer

Kyla’s teapot is currently in the works, hers will be Carnivale themed for her second birthday. Check back for an update in the coming months. Check out Rylie’s Alice and Wonderland teapot here.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog! Help me spread the word about arts and crafts by sharing with others. Thanks for stopping by.


 

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Visual Journal Page 5: Year 25

Visual Journal Page 5-Year 25

My birthday is one of my favorite times of year. While I don’t require week, or month long, celebration, I do require a lot of attention the day of. I begin the countdown around a month before, constantly reminding Nick the first of the month is quickly approaching, August 1st is almost here, and it is a very important day.

I love birthdays in general. I love being the center of attention, pampered, and treated like royalty one day of the year. I also love celebrating birthdays. In college, I made it a point to make sure my roommates always had a full birth-day. My friends and I always tried to go above and beyond for each other to  make our days special while away from home. Waking up Theresa at the crack of dawn to surprise her with pancakes and balloons, Elly and I spontaneously buying a happy birthday blow up lion to use every year to celebrate, making all of their favorite dinner dishes, even if it meant fried ravoli and mashed potatoes in the same meal.

Nick knows my birthday enthusiasm. Every year I make a point to make him “big family breakfast,” a feast of bacon, potatoes, eggs, and toast, even if it means getting up an extra hour before work. After all, it is “birth-day” not “birth-dinner” or “birth-coupleofhours,” and everyone deserves a special day to celebrate.

While in school I hated having a summer birthday. I meant less attention was paid to me. I didn’t get to carry around balloons, get my locker wrapped, or be surprised with gifts from my friends. I didn’t get the time in the spotlight when everyone feels obligated to wish you happy birthday, because you have a giant sign, in the form of a balloon, announcing you made it another year.

However, as an adult, summer birthdays are my favorite. It means no work, regardless of whether or not my birthday falls on a Monday or Saturday. It means I most likely get to spend the day doing one of my favorite summer activities, lounging by the pool with a good book and adult beverage. I cherish my days off and the complete laziness I am allowed to enjoy on August 1st.

Needless to say, when I discovered pre-planning started on my birthday in 2011, I was devastated. I was going to have to get up early, make myself presentable, and do work, for the first time in two months, on my birthday. My birth-day was being reduced to what I never wanted, a quick dinner after work. I hoped, at the very least, I would be able to go out for lunch with my coworkers, without having to announce to the world it was my birthday and I needed special treatment. However, being the first day back, everyone decided to work straight through lunch.

It was a difficult day to stay focused, and I was glad when the clock hit 3:30, and I could head home. Nick and I did enjoy an amazing sushi dinner, and I was surprised with the usual pile of presents Nick insists on creating. I was most excited for my Nook, an easy way for me to consume book after book while being lazy at the pool, something to look forward to next summer. I still enjoyed my day, I still appreciated everything I was given, but perhaps this was the final nail in the coffin of my first teaching job. I needed to get closer to home and in a school that did not start on my birthday.

SUPPLIES

  • Visual journal
  • Rubber cement
  • Watercolor
  • Scissors
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paint brush
  • Sharpie
  • Pencil
  • White paper
  • Book pages

HOW TO

For this visual journal page I wanted to include a day of activities and gifts into one image. After thinking about ways to simplify the page, I decided to focus on the Nook Nick gave me for my birthday, and include snapshots of the day on the screen.

Once I had a plan in place, I began working on the Nook. I wanted the screen of the Nook to stand out from the background, so I layered lighter colored book pages on a white sheet of paper. After, I began sketching out the Nook. I focused on all the small details, the battery icon, side buttons, home screen icons, etc., to make it look more realistic. I then used acrylic paint to fill in the the Nook.

To reflect my birthday day I divided the screen into three sections. One area to represent my desk at work, one area for the pile of presents, and one area for my delicious sushi birthday meal. Once I had a rough sketch, I added color and details with acrylic paint. Since the images were fairly small and loosely painted, a lot of detail was lost. To emphasize shadows and line I used an extra fine Sharpie to add detail back in.

Once the Nook painting was complete, I set it on the page. It filled up the space nicely, but overall, the image fell a little flat. I decided to create watercolor splatters to outline the Nook to add a little more interest to the page. On a separate sheet of paper I collage a light brown color book page, then painted a line of green watercolor on top. Before the paint dried, I blew the paint to splatter it. I continued this process until I had enough to outline the Nook.

I used rubber cement to glue all of the elements down.

CHALLENGE

Create a visual journal page about your last or upcoming birthday.


 

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