Cards In the Mail

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My step-mother asked if she could turn my Christmas in Rhode Island etchings into Christmas cards for the upcoming season and I thought, what a great idea!

Since I was getting them made for her, why not try to sell them at the holiday shows I attend?  The original etchings I created were at a pretty high price point last year -mainly due to how labor intensive they are to create.  But a Christmas card can be plenty affordable.  I’m always trying to get some lower-price-point options at shows which is really hard to do when items are hand-crafted.  Hand-crafted=A lot of time.  Time=Money   ….yadda, yadda you know how it goes… so selling a print seems like a win-win.

Anyhoo.  The cards came in the mail today and I absolutely LOVE them.  My step mother said to leave space to sign them.  People loved signed prints and again I thought another great idea step-mom!  I will sign them for the holidays.   The color looks great, the paper is high quality…

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and I even got to add an “official mark” on the back side. I tell you…it’s the back of the card that made my inner-art-geek gleam!

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Well, since I was printing…I thought I might as well create a card out of this little “I love South County” Rhode Island gouache painting I did this summer.  It has all of the special details from our community.  It turned out cute as a button too.  (why chickens?  Our state bird is the Rhode Island Red !)

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I have been collecting vintage Czech glass buttons for sometime now.  I actually get them shipped to me from Czechoslovakia.  Many range from the 1930’s-50’s.  I pulled them out because for Christmas I am going to de-shank them and turn them into pretty necklace pendants…  I’ve begun and I’m already very excited with the progress…

So that’s the quick update.  I’m working on mugs in pottery too… I shall have more to share next week.  Have a great weekend everybody!

Angels Among Us

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These are a little weird right?

I think it’s the faces…

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I made a mold from an “Infant Child of Prague” Christian icon statue…

Believe it or not, they looked better today after they dried out.  The shiny clay did them no justice.

This was the last of the ornaments.  So far, I made 12 of each style.  However, these angels are only 8.  They were taking forever, combined with being well over the 50th ornament to pass through my hands!  I burned-out.  I started wheel-throwing mugs today…maybe I’ll go back and make those extra 4… maybe when I burn out from throwing!

 

Produce! Produce!

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I already never want to see another Christmas ornament ever again ;)

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My plan is to tie the tops of these to driftwood.  All of the sayings are made with over-sized alphabet pasta we found.  It burns off after firing leaving your sayings engraved in the clay.  What will be good, is if someone doesn’t want a heart for their Christmas tree, I’m pretty sure I could sell them at Valentines Day.  Better yet, if they didn’t sell then, I could give my husband all of them as a gift.  Wouldn’t he think I was so thoughtful… (Don’t tell him – in case it comes to that!)

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I found this pretty feather which inspired me…

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These are about 7 inches long… I plan on dipping them in a white glaze and adding silver wrapped wire to the tops…

So many little things…I dread the day I have to glaze them!

One more ornament idea to conquer…then I’ll be on to something else.

For sure!

Ready Set Go

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Dropped those kiddos at the front-door of the school-house and floored it to the pottery studio! Quick sigh.  I’m ready to get busy doing creative stuff!

I made 5 or 6 templates for ornaments I am going to sell during the holiday season.  The first I chose to work on were these birds.  They are quite large actually -about 8×9″ inches.  They have two holes, so they can be strung like a triangle.  My inspiration came from Swedish Folk Art.

OK…what’s next on my list…

 

Anxiously Awaiting More Pottery

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I’m so excited!

I’ve been eagerly sketching ideas for pottery creations for this up coming fall.

I start up again Tuesday after Labor Day.

A friend of mine Karen Stackow from Signs O’ Fire, has a booth for the next three days at The Rhythm and Roots Festival here in Rhode Island.  She is graciously selling some of my pottery in her booth. For doing so, I filled all my larger vessels with flowers from my gardens.  She sells my wares, I help decorate her booth.  Win-Win!

It reminded me, I never posted the finished outcome of the first pitchers I ever made.

I especially like the heart one.  It’s soft and smooth. Plus the colors look old like they’re from a country cottage.  I shall have to remember the glaze combination for future endeavors…

Even better  containing nature’s bounty!

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Of course in digging everything up, I found these little sugar bowls I never posted about either…

Yes, tearing  through all the boxes has left me most definitely overly excited…

Now I just have to patiently sit through a three-day-holiday weekend…dag nabbit!

 

 

 

 

Crazy Hair

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One more project for you as school is about to begin…

I don’t know how much the parents appreciated this project, but since I’m still 89% kid at heart, this project made me laugh my head off!

While the kids were busy working on another project, I asked to take their pics.  I told them to look at me as if their finger was stuck in a light socket.  They had no idea what they’d be doing with the photos, but like all good kids, they simply did what they were told!

I took the pics with my phone and at home converted them to black and white. I printed out a full page image of each kid and then carefully cut everything away from their faces -hair and all. I then glued each kid to the center of a poster board 3-4 times the size of their heads -a blank slate.

When I unveiled what we’d be doing for the day, for an extra laugh, I gathered the kids around and said “let’s take a look at what everyone in the class looks like bald”.  Oh their were some red faces and some really loud laughs… all good sports though!

So it wasn’t hard to get them to want to fill in the posters.  1-make yourself not bald 2-have fun creating something out of this world!

I think it’s a great thing about camp.  Sometimes teaching people to not take themselves so seriously can be just as useful as seriousness.  It’s a great lesson in releasing control.

I find the 7 year olds draw with reckless abandon while the 11-14 year olds sketch with pencil, then erase, then erase, then erase…. the session is done and they never got past sketching.  Which reminds me.  I gave the kids a black sharpie, not a pencil.

Such an early age and everyone is already worried about being perfect.

If I can leave the kids with anything from Art Camp, it’s this.  Laugh –period!  Don’t take yourself so seriously –it will ruin your creativity!  And finally, KEEP ART FUN. If you can manage to do that, art will be your friend for life.  You have to work at this though, society has a way of wanting to suck the joy and spontaneity out of one’s creativity.

Laughing is the key!

 

 

Think Outside The Box

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In the summer, my own art-making gets put on hold because I’m home with my kids for school break.  I always manage to teach a few weeks of camp to help pay for my own kids camps and thus it works out – all kids are happy and busy :)

So, here are some pics from what I called the “Think Outside the Box Challenge”.

The kids were given some plain old brown boxes I found at a recycling center.  Then they were shown a world of materials that they could use to transform their boxes into something else.  When they were done, their teacher shouldn’t be able recognize their creation as a “box”.

I had a black hefty garbage big filled to the brim with fabrics.  I had yarn, scrapbook paper, wall paper, 1980’s colorful buttons, feathers,basket fill, paint, markers, card board thread bobbins , glue, old jewelry components and a giant lump of polymer clay for each kid. I also had old clear transparency paper for the kids to use for windows… The sky was the limit on odds and ends that could be used to CREATE.

Here were some of the Think Outside the Boxes…

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When the kids were done, one of them said “Ya know, I could actually play with this at home.  I have little dolls I could put in there”.

Yes dear.

In the olden days, that’s what we used to do.  We’d create something to play with!

It’s a great skill to be able to think outside the box.  It’s a life skill that if started early will show up in everything you do later in life.

I promise!

Art Camp 2016 D.O.D.

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By far the most favorite project of camp – Oversized Day-of-the-Dead Skulls!

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Because time was limited, I cut out the outer skull.  The rest was up to them.  Ready…Set…Grab your glue guns!!!!

I showed them the trick to making the facial features 3-D.

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We dowsed them in white paint to give ourselves a blank canvas…

And then the fun began!

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I’m pretty sure many a tween bedroom will now be adorned in sugar skulls!

Best of Art Camp 2016

 

 

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I’m wrapping up my second session of Art Camp and thought I’d share some amazing child creativity. The kids ranged in age from 7-14 and were both girls and boys.

I gave each kid a 2ft x 4ft piece of black poster board, a close up of a symmetrical sarcophagus face, the exterior shape of a sarcophagus and many, many library books with real images as reference.

The kids were overwhelmed.  “How can we create something so massive and complex???”  I knew they could do it by breaking the sarcophagus’ into quadrants.  Focusing on symetry, each kid simply had to create one half of the image and then replicate it on the other side.

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Dare I say it went from a scary venture to something really fun.  On hand, I had 4 different shades of gold paint, black and gold washi tape, gold paper and gold pens.

The results were amazing!

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  These kids were maticulous and really taking their time, but I think it was well worth it.  I alotted two hours for the project but many were still plugging away on hour four.  The finished pieces sparkle and the detail is simply amazing.  I’m very proud of them!