Wednesday, November 28, 2012

If You Make That Face... You'll Get Stuck That Way!

Yup, that's what mom used to tell me... if you keep making that face... you're going to get stuck that way! And she was right. Once I started making these old-fashioned-looking rag dolls back in May, I couldn't get them out of my head.

I had a few little souls sitting by my sewing machine for months, and I finally got a chance to start the process of bringing them to life.

Picking out the buttons for eyes and noses is one of my favorite... and quite difficult tasks (believe it or not!).

There are so many combinations I could choose that eventually I just have to stop myself and say... these will work!

Sometimes I find some really cool buttons (like this flower one here) and use them to add some whimsy to my doll. I also like to use more "floppy" buttons for the nose, as they make the funny face funner!

And sometimes I don't use any buttons at all. This little Japanese Shogun girl just "happened" when a few scraps of fabric were piled together. I love it when stuff like that happens!

I have lots more work to do on these modern vintage rag dolls, but I can't wait to get started. I leave them laying on my dining room table so they can remind me not to wait so long this time!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Cyber Monday Sale!

After an incredible discount-focused weekend at these big box stores, I have to ask myself, "How can a small art business compete with such low prices on mass-produced goods?" This is how — I don't. I have to look at it like this... they can't compete with me! I'm unique, friendly, real, approachable, honest, flexible... and everything in my shop was made by me... with Love!

So I invite you to shop this Cyber Monday, but also to shop hand made. Shop my shop. Hey, I'm not afraid of shameless self promotion! And, just because I like you... I'm offering 25% everything in my Yesterday's Trash Etsy Shop — now through Friday, December 2nd at 5pm EST. Just enter the code CYBERMONDAY when you check out. You'll find lots of unique items made from vintage, found and everyday items including...

Rag Dolls! Like these fun and whimsical 3-tiered cakes!

Uncommon Jewelry! Made from vintage items, interesting finds, and antique pieces and parts... like this Carousel Necklace using an upcycled pin, vintage bracelets and 1960's Asbury Park boardwalk tickets!

Tons of Carnival & Circus Fun stuff! Including arcade-inspired Knock-Down Dolls and Assemblages.

Mixed Media Art! Including shadowbox-framed collages and some really weird and interesting stuff too!

Prints! The newest addition to my shop... prints of my original art. Lots of fun and whimsical pieces to choose from. 

And then there's the token holiday stuff like Kitschy Ornaments for your wacky relatives and some Holiday Home Décor items too.

So skip the malls, don't fuss over parking, avoid the crowds... and be a Cyber Shopper. Shop loud. Shop proud. Shop in your underwear if you like, because I can't see you! And... Thanks!

Visit my Etsy Shop!


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Going With The Flow...

Recently, I took Flora Bowley's online class... Bloom True. The basis of the course was to take "a groundbreaking and transformational approach to painting (and living) that celebrates intuition, connects body, mind and spirit and allows unique and expressive paintings to emerge naturally and authentically." Much easier said than done!

The first thing we had to do was... let go! Creating layers and layers and layers of color. Alternating warms and cools... not worrying about the end result... just paint strokes and mark-making. Whatever felt good in the moment. It was tough... but I went with it.

Then it was more layers. Layers upon layers. Alternating with the warms and cools again. Still trying to keep the end result out of my brain. Still hard! But I went with it.

Then it was time to add contrast to my canvasses using blacks and whites. Ooooh, I'm liking that.

But now... is it too much? Darn it! So I went back to making layers and layers and layers and layers. And eventually it was time to find some imagery and do some masking. Still with no preconceived images in mind.... these are what my 2 canvasses turned into...

The funniest thing is that I can't even tell you what canvas came from what original because there were so many different layers that I mindlessly created without really paying attention! And the coolest thing was that I learned to let go a little bit more. Just a little!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Sandy Kicked Our Butt!

I've been absent for quite awhile because Hurricane Sandy swooped in and devastated parts of New Jersey! But, wow! We made it. We’re safe. We’re so, so, so, very lucky! Hurricane Sandy hit the New Jersey shore on Monday, October 29th and she was relentless. I’m sure many of you saw the destruction she caused on TV. It’s really heartbreaking. 

this gazebo is from the OTHER side of the lake!!
I live 3 blocks from the shore and 2 blocks from a lake and the Atlantic Ocean actually came up to our front steps!

I had some damage to the third floor studio. . . an entire piece of wall caved in during the height of the storm! 

It was me bracing myself against it at the height of the storm with 60mph winds, while I tried to drag a dresser over to keep it from completely caving in! Then we found a neighbor to help us batten down the hatches and as he was putting the last screw in.... Poof! The electricity went out. And stayed out for 11 days. Yes, 11 days. It was cold. I was cranky. It was a whole new world. An Amish life. It was like indoor camping. Not only that but our cellphone towers were knocked out. So there was no way to communicate with friends and loved ones for quite a few days. 

We're back up and running now and I'm trying to catch up on 2 weeks worth of life, work and sleep! I could tell you all the stories I heard, but I'm sure you all saw more than me on the television (that we were without for nearly 2 weeks!). So I'll just let the pictures tell most of the story of our little square mile that is Ocean Grove... which was lucky!

Neighbor's gigantic that did not hit our house!!

Lots of fish on the streets and sidewalks.

End of pier and fishing house gone!

This is a few blocks in from the beach.

And so is this!

Bulldozers piled all the sand from the roads back up before the Nor'Easter hit last week!

The boardwalk actually has so many peaks and valleys now... that it looks like a roller coaster. But the funny thing about the shore and the people that live here is that they were walking on it like nothing ever happened. We're just like that. We live at the shore. These things happen. We stay strong and we rebuild. We work together and help each other. Neighbors helping neighbors. And that's the beauty that comes out of something like this. Amen!