Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Spring Vacation In Summer...

Well, folks.... it's time. Time for an escape. A well-earned vacation. It's been too long! And my mom was kind enough to recognize this and buy me a ticket to Steamboat Springs, Colorado for my birthday. So that's where I am right now. Hanging out with mom and our relatives who have a condo here. My week is just getting started — as we arrived here yesterday — but I already feel right at home-away-from-home. If you'd like to keep up with my adventures, you can follow my tweets or check out what I'm up to on my Facebook page. See ya when I get back next week!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Ocean Grove Boardwalk Art Show...

If you're local to Ocean Grove, New Jersey... come visit me at the Boardwalk Art Show this Saturday, July 28th. Set right on the Ocean Grove boardwalk, this juried show boasts one-of-a-kind art, jewelry, photography, pottery and more by local artisans. I'll be there with my unique art and tons of new upcycled jewelry, boardwalk themed items, my new vintage rag doll creations and so much more! It's a great opportunity to stroll the boards of this cozy Victorian town and see some spectacular art! Hope to see you there!

Ocean Grove Boardwalk Art Show
Saturday, July 28th • 9am - 4pm
Auditorium Park • Ocean Grove, NJ
I'll be at the corner of Ocean and Heck Ave. 
Click here for more information

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Real Steal... With A Side of Guilt!

This past weekend was my favorite Rummage Sale in Ocean Grove. It's put on by the Ladies of the Auditorium Ushers and it's a doozy. People line up an hour before and as soon as the local church bells chime 10 o'clock... well, it's a free-for-all. Part of the reason why is that the prices are so freaking awesome! For example, I got this box of 25 never used Cray Pas oil pastels for 50¢! The woman actually told me 25¢ but I felt so guilty... I gave her the 50¢ instead (it's for a good cause)!

I quickly ran over to the toys table to see if there were any good board games available, but none this time. However... I found all these awesome doll books. Some are actual paper dolls, some are flip books and I even got a box of Dolls Across The Sea with stand up dolls and outfits from around the world. The funniest/creepiest book I bought is that Let's Play Dolls... it's a glossy book of 3 dolls and the story of their day of shopping, picnicking, baking and such. But it's so weird because... well... because they're dolls! And their expressions never change! Love it.

Over to the fabric and linen tables I'm always searching for fun vintage fabrics to repurpose into new creations like rag dolls and such. I love using dish towels and cloth napkins, sheets and drapes, and all kinds of castaway textiles. This lovely chenille bedspread caught my eye and the price was right at a mere $2!

Heading back to the craft table (they're always putting out new stuff when they sell a bunch of things) and I found these 2 amazingly detailed, folk art style, embroidered scenes. I had no idea what I was actually going to do with them, but the amount of work that went into the pieces and their whimsical nature simply captured my heart. When I asked how much they were, the woman said.... a dollar for both. And now they're mine.

I purchased some other odds and ends as well... vintage kitchen utencils to use as doll arms and legs, vintage Santa ornaments just because they were so awesome, a circus girl figurine, an antique frame and some metal funnel thing that looked like it could be a stand-up doll body. All-in-all I spent $12 and am extremely pleased with my finds. So what's your favorite summertime flea market or rummage sale and what did you find?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Happy Birthday To Me!

Yup! Today is my 44th birthday. I certainly don't feel that age. I still wear Goody barrettes in my hair and shop in the Junior department. I still make rag dolls and sand castles. I even play with toys and sometimes with boys (if they're not too icky). So I'm definitely a kid at heart.

But another year under my belt... sheesh! Where does the time go? So much I'd like to do and so little time. Mom was right... it does go faster once you get older. I guess I'll just take life one day at a time until it adds up to 45.

So let's see what wonderfully creative things I can accomplish in this upcoming year. Let's see how many interesting adventures might come my way... and what marvelous opportunities are out there for me to discover. I can't wait!


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Brushing Up... or is it Penciling Up?

Any time I get the chance or need a break from painting, jewelry, dollmaking, or anything that involves multiple tools and supplies.... I like to practice my drawing skills. Truth be told, I got into mixed-media because it was an excuse not to draw. Making stuff out of other stuff was way easier for me than drawing from scratch. But I have to say that every time I go to put pencil to paper... I still get scared! But I'm getting braver. For the cupcake sketch, I actually pulled out one of my many cupcake cookbooks and drew from a photo.

I had so much fun with that I thought I'd draw some my favorite boardwalk and carnival food items... and tried my hand at this double scoop ice cream on a sugar cone. I'm trying to get better at facial expressions, so I thought having the bottom scoop being unhappily squished and the top scoop having a snarky grin, reveling in the fact that she's on top would be cute.

So what next? A candy apple of course! Once I finished this little guy, I thought it needed a fun text treatment to balance it out. So I got on my computer and stylized some text, printed it out and traced it onto my drawing. Filling in the letters was kind of therapeutic because I didn't really have to worry about shading... just a light hand for the center and a heavier hand for the darker outline.

So when I have some extra time, my new favorite guilty pleasure is grabbing a pencil and my sketchbook and brushing up on some penciling.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

How to Get Paint Off Your Clothes!

A couple weeks ago I realized I got paint on one of my favorite summer shirts... most likely because I have this habit of "drive-by painting". I like to paint on my kitchen table and subsequently leave the pieces there, in case I get inspired. That's a good thing... except when I neglect to grab my apron!

Then I remembered that my friend and fellow artist Claudine Hellmuth, had a fabulous tutorial on her blog a while back with step-by-step instructions on how to get dried paint out of your clothes! I gave it a try and sure enough... it worked! Whew. So I thought I would share it with you all, since I'm pretty sure you've had some of these mishaps yourselves!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Upcycled Jewelry: Everything Has A Repurpose...

Lots and lots of jewelry-making... that's what I've been up to lately! Since I had all my jewelry stuff out from a recent custom order, I figured I would take that momentum to build up my inventory for an upcoming art show. And suddenly... I got on a roll...

This "official" Junk Dealer's badge became a whimsical necklace with all kinds of junk (I mean that in a good way) on display. This fabulous flea market find turned into a real statement piece.

At a recent church sale, I found these vintage metal bobbins — a whole margarine tub of them actually — for a buck! When I grabbed them for inspiration, I realized I had a complete rainbow of colors. Add a tape measure neckpiece and voilà!

These are a couple of pieces I collected over the years. I knew I wanted to turn this fun little kitty pin into a necklace, but had no idea it would take me here. I love asymmetrical balance and it kind of makes me think of the Cheshire Cat! Meeeeow.

At a recent wholesale show, I found this awesome antique booth with lots and lots of one-of-a-kind salt and pepper shakers. I was pleased to be able to create more of my bird nestlaces with them, like this blue birdie here.

And while this hand grenade (yes, I said it myself... hand grenade?) salt shaker was gorgeous in its complex design, it gave me quite a challenge with a theme. I looked for items that matched it's beautiful patina and went from there. Once I found the daisy pin and the watch, it all came together! Let's give peace a chance... because time is running out!

I also had a collection of these cage-style purses and thought I'd like to do something with them. I engineered a way to make them hang correctly and was going to leave it at that. But when I started pairing up vintage pins on the front... Pow! Yeah... that just makes the piece.

And speaking of purses, I found this adorable little beauty (only 2" wide) at a flea market a few months back. Sewing on a vintage fleur de lis pendant, adding some well-patina'd chain and some luminous pink glass beads added just the right touch.

So that's only a little bit of what I've been working on these past two weeks! Getting ready for the Ocean Grove Boardwalk Art Show on July 28th. After that, I'll be adding the rest of these upcycled, mixed media jewelry creations to my Etsy shop.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Happy Independence Day!

I know it's a day early, but hopefully you won't be on the computer tomorrow. Instead you might be at an old timey 4th of July parade, or at a yummy BBQ, hanging with family and friends, sunning on the beach, going to a local fair, or any number of fun summertime activities.

I'll be heading into town for Ocean Grove's annual parade... then to the beach for a bit... and finally, drinks at the Watermark in Asbury, with a roofless view of the firework celebration. I hope you have a happy and safe holiday!