Monday, December 30, 2013

More Zentangles

These two statements were taken from a website devoted to teaching people about zentangles: The Theory of Zentangles

Deliberate Stroke
In our Zentangle way, you draw each stroke consciously and deliberately. We are always making "strokes" (thoughts, words, deeds) in our life. By practicing the Zentangle Method's suggestion to make each stroke deliberate, you understand how those apparently small and insignificant "strokes" of our moment to moment lives contribute to an overall life pattern. This is another reason that we say that life is an artform and everyone is an artist. Indeed, everyone draws.

Deliberate Focus
As you make a deliberate pen stroke on your Zentangle tile without concerning yourself of what it will look like when you are done, that very act of putting your pen to paper focuses your attention in a special way. As your eye follows your pen strokes your attention shifts to a state that allows fresh thoughts, new perspectives, and creative insights to flow unhindered by anxiety or effort.

So with that here are my latest Zentangles:

And because my 5 year old was so fascinated when watching me that he asked for a piece of paper to create his own zentangle:

To see my previous posts on my zentangles the link is Zentangles

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year (almost)

Yes I know I've been MIA for a while but because of my job I now have less time to devote to my artwork.  I love my job (pre-k asst. teacher) and I love my art so I've really been torn these past few months.  But because I am making money as a teacher my artwork had been pushed aside.  During Christmas break I have had time to create again and I love it!  I made 2 fabric bowls for Christmas presents.  One for the director and one for the teacher I work with.  Our theme at St. Andrew's Preschool is The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle so the bowl for the director looked like this:

Each of the classrooms is an animal from Eric Carle's books and I am the assistant in The Blue Horse class. I made this bowl for my teacher:

The other things I've done on Christmas break are zentangles, cutting fabric for a new quilt, working on an old quilt AND...

I got a dress form for Christmas (actually it was a present to myself).  I have sewn garments in the past but never with a dress form.  Every season when my husband and I watch Project Runway I get so inspired to start garment sewing again.  I love the fun and funky challenges these contestants must do: create an outfit using only products from the pet store. The beach and the souvenir shop will be the only two places you will be allowed to buy your materials, these were two of the more fun challenges.  I don't think I'll be that "outside the box" when I create my garments but I now have a board on Pinterest called Altered Clothing that has inspired me.  I also have a board called Wearable Art that look more like some of the challenges from Project Runway.

Just because I've been absent doesn't mean I've given up art, on the contrary, I have so many new ideas that I'm not sure when I'm going to have time to work on them.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Beachy Themed Magazine Holder

I love being in festivals, farmers markets, art shows, etc. because I meet amazing people both vendors and customers.  I love when customers have creative ideas of their own, whether it is "renaming" one of my art dolls or coming up with a new idea for a fabric bowl.  I met this lady at the Fall Festival that said her bathroom was "beach-themed" and it would be neat if I could make a magazine holder for her for that room.  All I need is a spark to my imagination and I can run with it!  This is the biggest bowl I've ever done and it took me a lot longer than I thought but here are the results:

This is a look at the back:
This is a custom order but if for some reason it isn't what she wanted it will be for sale in a few weeks.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Newport News Fall Festival of Folk Life

A BIG, HUGE thank you to everyone that came out to support me.  I ran into old friends and met new ones.  I forgot how much fun these shows are!  The comradary between the artists, the park rangers who took care of the ground bees (I only got stung once) and being able to wave to my parents who had a tent in the marketplace section (I was in the juried section) was a blast!

And some close ups of some of the new items I had for sale:

I got so many new ideas from customers last week that I've already bought fabric for 4 more bowls.  And please remember you can contact me directly ( for a custom order and I also sell my stuff at a shop in Yorktown called Auntie M's American Cottage

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Great news and MORE great news!

My first bit of news is that I got a job!  I have been a stay-at-home mom for a few years now and since both of my boys are going to school full days I decided to look at the job market again.  I know finding a job is hard and career changing is even harder but I have the most loving and caring husband, he encouraged me to find something that I liked and to not take any job that I was offered.  I am excited to announce that I have been a pre-k assistant teacher for four weeks now and I absolutely LOVE it!  This is quite a career change since I've been in the retail industry and in banking BUT since having kids I now know that working with children is my passion, besides art of course.  Art will be in my blood forever.

My other bit of news is that I got my packet for the Newport News Fall Festival of Folk Life two weeks ago and I cannot be more excited about my location!!  I am in J1.  What does that mean?  I'm in the first spot on the juried side, I am the first person you see as you enter the juried section!  Woot Woot!! And since I'm "front-and-center" I figured I better step up my game and order a banner so you all can find me easier.

Six days until the Newport News Fall Festival!!!!!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

More Art Dolls!

Here is a glimpse of some of my new (and not so new) art dolls that I've been working on this summer:

And now a look at a few "dolls" from my Halloween collection (my favorite holiday)

All of these will be for sale plus many more (including my Christmas collection) at the Newport News Folk Festival the first weekend in October!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Still Spinning

After I let the fibers settle for a few days I took it off the back of my chair (because I don't have a Knitty Knoddy yet):

And for anyone wondering what a Knitty Knoddy is:  (images taken from Google images)
I was so excited to start knitting I decided not to wash it because then I would have to wait for it to dry!
I just did a straight knit stitch because, again, I was excited to see how it was going to turn out.
I love how some parts of the yarn is skinnier than other parts, it gives it a very handmade look.  But after knitting a few rows I think I've decided to take it apart and knit on larger needles.  I used size 10 US but I think I want to go up to 14 US.  And since I've seen what it is going to look like I may wash it and then knit/purl this time.

Learning and practicing, learning and practicing, that's what art is all about and I love it!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Whimsical Painting

Last year I painted two chairs for a silent auction that was held at Warwick Memorial United Methodist church.
This year I will be painting a little child's hutch (the same style) for this year's silent auction
After I took this photo (and took all the hinges off) I base coated it.  The silent auction isn't until  December so stay tuned for photo updates!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Shearing and spinning

In 2009 while at the Kutztown Folk Festival in PA I watched lady shear her beautiful angora rabbit.  I was fascinated to say the least!  Her booth was dedicated to all things fiber.  At that time I knew how to knit but was not interested in spinning my own yarn.

Can't you almost feel how soft he is!
Look how fluffy her angora rabbit is!

A lot of children that were watching were scared that she was hurting the rabbit. She explained that in no way was she hurting the animal and as a matter-of-fact he loved getting sheared because it was so hot outside that it was like taking off his winter coat. 
He was so still you would have thought he was dead!
 I realize as I post this that it may look kind of scary if you didn't know
she was just SHEARING her rabbit.

As some of you know I try to go to Lancaster, PA once a year because I am fascinated with the Amish lifestyle.  (I also write an Amish blog called My Fascination with The Amish Culture). I plan my trip around two Amish auctions (called mud sales) AND The Kutztown Folk Festival. 
This year when I attended The Kutztown Festival I looked for the "angora rabbit lady" because just recently I've become interested in spinning and I knew she would have wool, angora and alpaca fiber for me to buy and start practicing.  She wasn't in her usual location and it had been four years so I wasn't sure she was even going to be there.  I noticed a vendor selling wool so I went over to her tent.  To make a long story short it was the same women!  I was thrilled!  They were super nice and I got a quick lesson in spinning.  I bought lots of fiber and went back to my hotel happy as a lark.
This book came highly recommended by another fiber artist and this is what I spun last night:
And this was taken outside today for natural lighting so you can see
how rich these colors are:
Now I need to let the fibers rest before I take it off the spindle
and start again, I can't wait!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Creating more art dolls for the NN Fall Festival

I think about Halloween year round which is good because the Newport News Fall Festival is the first weekend in October and there will be lots of Halloween themed booths (by the way I received my official acceptance letter a few days ago).  So my latest creation will fit in with my Halloween themed art dolls.  Let me first show you the "before" photo:

From the photo you can't tell that the moon (and on the other side the sun) are both raised.  So I first needed to sand them down a bit.

After I sanded it it was still raised a bit so I covered it in a texture medium then painted it orange

I then painted a spider web on it, drilled four holes then reattached it with fun yarn.  Next was to create the rug for the cat.  For the rug I used the same technique as my fabric bowls then I added a decorative trim around the perimeter.
The fabric I used is black with candy corn on it but because the sun is shining on it it makes it look grayish.
And another "before" and "almost after" photo of one of my other art dolls:

(More on her later)