Monday, December 27, 2010

Looking forward

Sorry, I kind of dropped off the face of the blogosphere in the middle of my promotions of other ArtFire artists. The Christmas rush finally caught up with me, and it was drop blogging or drop other things. As it is, I'm just finishing our "Christmas" letter today. So I sincerely apologize to all those in the group on ArtFire that I'd agreed to help out. Hopefully the little bit I did do made some difference to someone.

Moving on... looking at how I can further my artwork in 2011, I joined a challenge on Etsy to do one piece of art each day for the month of January. Now, being that my style is so realistic and detailed, and taking into account my office job, there's no way I'm going to do a finished drawing each day, but I am going to sketch. It's something I need to do more of anyway. I might experiment on some days with oil pastels or ink, but those will be strictly as I feel up for them. I may not have the chance to photograph and post my sketches each day, but I will be posting as often as possible, so stay tuned for that. I will be in Wisconsin to visit family Jan. 1 and 2, so not only will I not be able to post until the 3rd, but it will be a real test of my dedication to even get sketches done those days! If there is anyone who'd like to join me in this challenge, please post here - I'd love to follow your progress!

Other art-related goals for 2011:
I completed three finished drawings the past year. I would like to make it four for 2011. I cringe at the sound of such a measly number, but I do have a job with a commute, housework, and a farm as well. Even improving on the past year would make me very happy!

I also want to accomplish more in the distance education art course I'm taking. I'm going on year six of what is supposed to take two years to complete, and I think it's time to buckle down and get it done! I think I'll align this goal with the other and say four lessons in 2011. I want to say I have 6-8 lessons left in the course, but I'm not sure.

So, there it is, I just wanted to document my goals, so I can look back later and remember what they were.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Candy!

I'm really trying to eat healthy and lose some weight for my sister's wedding next summer, but last night, while cutting mats at my mom and dad's, my mom was making Chex party mix, and there was a whole bunch of peanut butter chocolate star cookies - two of my weaknesses! I'm also partial to the almond bark dipped oreos and pecan pie.

What are your favorite Christmas goodies?

In case you need some reminders, here're some candy-inspired finds from ArtFire:


Garnet Earrings from Bella-Sweet Jewelry

These look just like hard candy to me - such wonderful colors! And the design's pretty nice too! :)



Pink Pom Pom Scarf from ByCamille

This looks like a scarf made of lollipops!



Flower Earrings from Zenith Jade Creations

These remind me of the rosettes my grandma always made for Christmas. I loved them so much!



Cotton Facial Rounds from White Dandelion Works

Admit it, at first you thought these were peppermint candies! They're actually a rather neat idea - basically reusable cotton balls. I'll admit I'm not the most eco-conscious person ever, but I never would've thought of this! And they're so cute too! :)



Pyramind Packages from NewCreatioNZ

If you actually plan on giving candy (or another small gift), what a fun way to package it! My sister and I loved our advent calendar when we were young. Wouldn't it be fun to have 25 of these little boxes numbered and hanging on the tree with a small surprise for each day?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Trying to stay warm

We're actually in a warm snap today; it's 18 degrees! Of course, today I'm stuck at work. Couldn't have been nice yesterday when I was home... such is life.

Before I forget, one of my drawings was featured in a new collection on ArtFire All the Pretty Horses. Go check it out!


And now, on to today's finds inspired by my quest for warmth!


Blue Shawl from ByCamille

Isn't this beautiful? I finally looked through all 27 pages of items yesterday in this shop. It's pretty amazing - go check it out!



Red Hat from White Dandelion Works

Oh, how I wish this was in my size! My fleece vest and scarf and both red, so this would fit in perfectly!



Fall Color Jewelry Set from KatsAll That

This makes me feel like I'm walking through the trees on a beautiful (WARM!) fall day! :)



Shaded Crystal Earrings from ZenithJade Creations

And these make me feel like I'm sitting next to the fireplace. :)



Hearts Candle Holder from Exquisite Studios

And because nothing can make you feel warmer than love does, I have to include this beautiful candle holder covered with hearts.


Also, before I go, I finally got my Beagle print listed in my Etsy shop yesterday. You can see it here.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Curling up with a mug of cocoa

... I wish! With the single digit temps outside, my drafty old farmhouse isn't exactly pleasant right now. I'm trying to delay going outside, but I will have to at some point as I have a package to mail, and my horse might want to be fed sometime today too! Hopefully, the clunky old diesel pickup will start.

Today, I looked for items that let me at least pretend to be curled up with my cocoa:


Mug Cozies from By Camille

These are so cute! Crochet always reminds me of my great-grandma who taught me to crochet. Even though I haven't crocheted in years (since I took up quilting), seeing crocheted items always makes me smile.



Striped Agate Bracelet from Hog Wild Jewelry

Doesn't that rich brown with swirls just remind you of hot cocoa? Looks good enough to drink!



Brown Agate Necklace from Exquisite Studios

Ditto for this one!


And now that we're all curled up with our cocoa, we'll need a snuggly friend to share it with:


Stuffed Lamb from White Dandelion Works

I think that photo speaks for itself! :)



I did spend some time today in my sewing room/guest room (warmest room in the house - go figure!) working on my current sewing project - a jersey top with one of those strange twists in the front that I could never figure out how they do.... now I know!


The front is done now. The next step is sewing it to the back and then adding the sleeves. I do kind of wish I'd been told how difficult jersey is to work with BEFORE! :) I love the feel of it though, and I can't wait to see how this turns out.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Dreaming

That's right - dreaming... what I wish I was doing right now! I'm running on five hours of sleep instead of my usual eight, and I really feel like I never woke up and am still in dream land. Not a good state for someone who's proof reading a newspaper being readied to send to print. Thank goodness for lunch break!

So in honor of my stupidity in staying up half the night, here's some dream-inspired finds from ArtFire:


Moon and Stars Necklace from Exquisite Studios

This necklace is just gorgeous! From the deep blue color of the pendant to the little gems accenting the stars on the chain to the delicate cut outs in the moon. It's just perfect!


Turquoise and Lapis Necklace from Hog Wild Jewelry

Another gorgeous necklace! Very southwestern style, which I love. I'm a huge fan of both deep blue and turquoise, but I don't see them together very often.


Blue Chandelier Earrings from Kats All That

Does jewelry remind me of dreaming or what? This is the last of the jewelry for today, I promise. I love the design in the silver accenting the crystals in these earrings.


Music T-shirt from Bad Ink

Yes, I know, I like blue! The musical notes design on this tee could sing me right to sleep. I like the tops in this shop. Most times, you buy a top with a design just on the front, but these have a little extra embellishment on the back making them extra special.


Ribbon Pine Cone Ornament from Curiosity's Piqued

Isn't this adorable?!? A little pine cone made from ribbon. I love the pine needles and holly accent as well. These are available in a few different colors, so go check them out.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas tree inspired finds

I got my Christmas tree lit up last night. Took a while longer than I'd planned - my lights were tangled in an absolutely hopeless mess. I  had to leave them and come back later more than once or I was going to start breaking things!

Here are some items on ArtFire inspired by Christmas trees:


Candle holder from Exquisite Studios

Doesn't that just remind you of Christmas tree lights? I love candle holders that let the light shine through like this!


Colorful beanie hat from By Camille

More Christmas light colors!


Christmas tree pendant from ZyriFrost

Isn't that cute? Looks just like a little snow-frosted Christmas tree with the northern lights dancing in the sky behind it!



Cute little reusable gift bags especially for wrapping up a bottle of the recipient's favorite drink. Have you ever tried wrapping a bottle with paper? I'd highly recommend these bags! :)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Winter-inspired finds

We are in the midst of a raging blizzard here in southwestern Minnesota, and my picks for today were inspired by the weather.




Red and white is such an elegant combination for Christmas - I much prefer it to the traditional red and green. The embossed snowflakes, sparkly rhinestone accents, and silky red ribbon are beautiful together!




This piece is just stunning! If I didn't have the horrible tendency to lose every bookmark I ever had, I would buy this in a heartbeat.... I might anyway! :)




This is what it looks like outside my window right now - only this bag is much prettier.... I'd also much rather have this bag than this weather! Go its page for the fun story about where all the different fabrics/laces came from!




This is a fun idea! The snowflake on the card is removable, so not only are you giving a card, but a small gift as well!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Raindrops on Roses

It's always nice to get a pleasant email first thing in the morning, and while it's not a sale, one of my items has been featured in a collection.


My photograph "Raindrops on Roses" was chosen to be part of this fun collection.



This collection inspired my picks for today. Seems everything I was drawn to was pink or rose red.



My favorite skirt has a crocheted overlay, and I just love everything about it. I'm loving the red on black of this piece!



I'm just amazed at the amount of work that must've gone into this! Can you imagine?




Don't ask me why, but in my mind, roses and stars go together, so yes, this does still fit my theme. :) I just love the look of these stars, and if you go check out the other photos, there's something on the back of it too!




Thursday, December 9, 2010

Some great finds!

A group of Artfire artists are trying to promote each other's work and reach goals set for the new year, so for the next few weeks, I'm going to feature a few items/artists each day.

Here are today's picks:



I'm a sucker for handmade journals, and measuring only 3 inches, this one is just adorable!




I'm not usually a pink person, but that deep pink with black? Yummy!




I'm in love with the simple beauty of this card. It's just perfect!



Also, I got my Christmas cards listed in my ArtFire shop:


Go check them out!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Drawing assignment

I don't think I've mentioned before, but I'm enrolled as a student of the Art Instruction Schools in Minneapolis - this was the school that trained Charles Schultz, the creator of the Peanuts cartoon. It's a distance education course where you work from home at your own speed and mail in the finished assignments for grading. I'm just finishing up my "Drawing Objects" lesson, and the final assignment is to draw a sight-size (it's the same size on the paper as it appears to the eye) shoe. This is all set up on my studio table, so until I finish it, it's the ONLY thing I'm able to work on - don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

Here's some photos of the setup, the shoe, and my progress on the drawing. It's still far from complete.







The difficulty with drawing from life rather than photos is that each eye sees a slightly different image. For instance, the dark inside part behind the main strap isn't visible in the photo since it was taken from my right eye perspective.  When I had the camera lined up to my left eye perspective, the toe straps took on a completely different arrangement than what I'd drawn. It's a challenge to combine these two images.

Monday, November 22, 2010

A special discount for my faithful blog readers! :)

Use blog5 as your coupon code during checkout for either my ArtFire or Etsy shops (links can be found above and at the right) and receive a discount on your purchase just for reading my blog! Enjoy! :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Inspiration in my own back yard!

I'm very excited about the new view from my yard:


Meet Sawyer (aka Sawyer Brown SDA), my 3/4 Arabian 1/4 Quarter Horse gelding.



Since I moved out on my own five years ago, he's been living at my parents' place with their horses, and Tuesday, I finally got to bring him home!



He's still pretty skittish about the new place, and he's never been all alone before, so forgive the far off views. I didn't want to make him any more nervous with the camera.


He's been pacing the fence for two days, but now I think he's finally starting to get comfortable:


I'm so excited he's finally here, but I wish the weather was warmer 'cause I'm itching to sit out there and sketch him!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Art & craft sale finds

Yesterday, I went with my family to a local craft show and also to a smaller art show. The craft show I displayed at last year and debated doing it again this year as it was mildly successful, but in the end decided against it. It's more fun to attend as a shopper. Here's what I found:

Unlighted:

Lighted:

It's a beautiful fused glass (I think) tart burner. I've always been a pyromaniac and swore I'd never give up the flames in my candles, but this is GORGEOUS! I got a pack of cedarwood-vanilla scented tarts too.


At the art show, I talked to many wonderful artists. The one that stood out the most for me was Anndell of AW Design & Photography. She had some incredible panoramic photos, one made up of 35 individual photos! I bought this photo from her for my (someday) John Deere themed dining room:

Andell Wubben

I also met this artist who had some beautiful work as well.
This is one show I'd like to display at next year. Everyone was so friendly, and I had a great time!

I also mentioned a few days ago that it was my birthday, and this is the beautiful print that my parents bought for me:

Caballero - Mona Majorowicz

I've seen her work a couple times at a show, and everything is beautiful!

Seeing all these incredible artists this weekend makes me itch to draw. Unfortunately, it's back to the desk job grind tomorrow.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

It's my birthday, and I'm giving out gifts!

In honor of my birthday today (11/11), I've marked everything 11% off in my ArtFire shop. The same deal also applies to my Etsy shop, but that will have to be refunded through PayPal.

In addition, for every $10 spent, you will receive one notecard with envelope - specify which design(s) you'd like or they will be chosen at random.

This offer is today only, so don't miss out!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Stripes!

I've been toying with the idea of departing from my typical western/country themed art. Here's what's tickling my fancy at the moment:


He seems like he needs something more than just the face shot, but I can't decide what. I was thinking maybe putting a fancy horse bridle on him, but I don't know if I want to go that quirky. I'll have to stew about him a little longer. :)
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