Tuesday, September 30, 2008

FEEDING MY MUSE with some Halloween Spirit

I have decided, since recapturing my Muse, that I must feed it daily with activities which promote creativity and imagination in order to keep things flowing and keep artist block at bay.

During my blog searching this morning I happened upon several creative blogs which post a daily art challenge. Today's challenge is from www.createdbyhandchallenge.wordpress.com and requires that you use a coffin shape (they provide a template) and make a piece of art using the coffin in some way and themed toward Halloween.

The photo above is my submission for today's challenge. It is an ATC sized (2 1/2 X 3 1/2 inches) Diptych. It features the coffin shape on the front which unfolds to reveal the inside of the coffin where my own original hand drawn vampiress rests in peace and solitude, surrounded by all hand drawn elements of webs and spiders. On the left hand side, I have used my own hand carved "Happy Halloween" rubber stamp. I really enjoyed this challenge.

To take the challenge yourself visit www.createdbyhandchallenge.wordpress.com and FEED YOUR MUSE!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Recapturing my MUSE!

I have been in a sort of funk lately. Dealing with all the issues of home and family, my art has taken a back seat to everything, and when I would finally find some time to sit and create............I drew a blank!

Well, thanks to a LIVE TRADING SESSION with some women on my ATC trading site AFA, I have successfully recaptured my MUSE. After spending this past Saturday creating and socializing with these wonderful women I returned home renewed , my creativity revived.

Here is an example of the cards I have made over the weekend......and I am pulling an all niter tonight to finish up some cards and other mail art for swaps that I have been putting off.

Since Saturday I have been spending a lot of time on the AFA site and I stumbled upon a thread by one of the members showcasing her very first Video Tutorial. It is wonderfully made and interesting to watch. Check it out below. I have added a video reel of her Youtube Channel under Tutorials in the Menu at the top of my blog, so keep checking in for new additions to her video library.

I have a lot of plans to add much more interactive and informative links to my blog that I find interesting and I hope you find them interesting too.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Butterflies, Slugs and Dragonfly Wings......

I feel like I have been running around like a chicken with my head cut off lately:-) I am trying to make new items for my Etsy Shoppe each day in addition to getting the house organized as my sister moves out and my daughter moves in. On top of this I am also cleaning the remnants of my dad's last garage sale out of his garage and into my house so that I can sell everything that is left either on Ebay or by hosting a yard sale of my own. whew!

Well, I have managed to finish a few new hand carved stamps for My Etsy Shoppe. I spend a lot of time browsing the stamp aisle at my local Michaels and Hobby Lobby and I rarely buy any stamps. I always think, I can do that, and then most of the time I never do. Now that I have finally tried my hand at carving my own stamps I just can't get enough of it. I cut my teeth on some small and simple designs, and now I am trying things a little more intricate or involved.

I had the idea to carve a Monarch Butterfly Stamp first as a special gift for someone I trade often with on AFA.Then I thought I would carve a special Slug Art Signature Stamp for another person I trade with on AFA.Once I got those 2 stamps under my belt I thought...okay....now let's try a dragonfly. I was really nervous about those wings, but they turned out pretty good......

So I went one step further and carved a set of Dragonfly Wings so now I can add wings to anything I want.I am going to try and set aside some time each night for me to spend on my altered and mixed media art only. I really do miss it right now...but it will have to wait a little longer.

The final thing I am working on right now is 20 sample items to submit to The Spotted Box on Etsy to be included in their October Box Sale. I am going to try to keep all the items themed for Halloween since that holiday will be right around the corner by then. I will have to post an update once I get all the items completed and ready to mail.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Historic Home Tour Weekend and the Art Faire!

On the corner of Madison and Michigan in Historic Marshall Michigan, during the Annual Home Tour Weekend, I attended the Art Faire with my sister Lissa. Lissa is my baby sister, and she came down from Kalamazoo to visit me on Saturday. I thought it would be nice for us to spend a little time together browsing the Art Faire that was being held a few blocks from my house. According to our local paper, the Advisor, this was a juried Art Faire and Artists from all over the state would be selling their work Saturday Afternoon only.

The City blocked off the street and vendors set up tents along the street and across the lawn next to the local Post Office. You can even see the Marshall Middle School, where I attended 6-8th grade, in the background.

One of the first items to catch my eye was this pretty little handpainted Mary Engelbreit style child's table and chair set.I really liked this glass artist who made lawn and garden ornaments out of glass dishes, I think they resemble flowers.
There were also many pottery booths. I saw a group of lamps with handmade clay bases, their metal necks glinting in the sun, and couldn't resist taking a picture.
One of my favorite items was what looked to me like a bird bath, but it was shaped like a giant leaf. It is absolutely stunning.
During the day you could also take a leisurely carriage ride through town.

My sister Lissa took a special interest in some handmade tribal drums and ended up playing a duet with the Craftsman. She purchased the drum in the end, and I am sure she will play it often.

Here is some video of my sister jammin on her new drum. Please forgive my shaky camera work. Hopefully I will get better at this the more video I take.

After the Art Faire we decided to take a walk through downtown on our way home. Marshall is full of Gift Shoppes, Art Galleries, Artsy Shops, and Antique Stores. Marshall generates alot of its income from tourism. We are a National Historic Landmark. Here are a few pics of some of the things we saw on our walk.
The Mole Hole Gift Shoppe has been around town for as long as I can remember. They always have many unique things to display, including this Military Band Organ.

I was able to upload the videos to Google Video, so here is the Organ playing. Please excuse my shaky camera work, I am still getting used to using my camera to capture video.

For more information on this National Historic Landmark town, Marshall Michigan, Please visit the Marshall Historical Society.