Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Back to Basics

So I've been struggling with finding my voice on my blog as I restart my artistic journey and I just decided to go back to basics. Start over like I started my blog. Write about my surroundings, my art, and the journey of the experiments.

Lamp work is still on hiatus so I'm playing with polymer again. I've also started looking into classes on ceramics and fusing glass. It turns out I don't mind these opportunities to experiment in different mediums!

When I first started with polymer, I have to admit I felt like it was "too easy." I wanted art that I had to work at. But, as I've learned, polymer isn't that easy. In fact, in some ways it's harder than lamp working. Conditioning clay takes a long time! Plus, I've been following Polymer Clay Daily for a couple of years and this website confirms that polymer artists can manipulate the medium in magical ways. There are some beautiful works of art on there. I aspire to getting published there someday. 

But for now, I'm starting at the basics. While clay manufacturers create a lot of pre-mixed colors, when I was in Hong Kong, I had limited access to the pre-mixed colors. So, I learned to mix colors from the primaries through Maggie Maggio's color scale experiments. I have found that I much prefer mixing my own colors from primaries rather than buying pre-mixed. You get the more gradients that are more natural. I worked with FIMO classic (very crumbly) and just found I loved the colors I could mix from it. I have access to FIMO soft, which I much prefer and I'm thrilled with the color scales I can get. 

So below is last night's work at mixing. I have some rough ideas that I want to experiment with. I'll share as I go.

Below is my new studio. It's the other half of my messy office. I just moved in 3 weeks ago, so I'm still going through and filing papers. I may show that side of the room (and all the wonderful windows) when I get it cleaned. Don't expect that any time soon.

Gratuitous cutie pie pictures. I still miss my dog, Molly, but I'm thoroughly enjoying this new generation of puppies. Sophie (on the left) is 5 years old and Trixie (on the right) is 7 years old. I have a work-from-home job and they sit in my desk drawers while I work. I love that they are so comfortable that they sleep on their back. Sophie has been doing this for a year and I have a ridiculous amount of cute pictures of her sleeping on her back. Trixie just got comfortable enough to start sleeping on her back in the last two weeks. She's been with me for over a year, so it makes me happy that's she's feeling secure enough to sleep on her back.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Zazzle Products - Pear Pillows

I've ordered some of my products from Zazzle to see how they turned out and I'm VERY pleased with the pillows. I designed these pillows with different backs to give you more options depending on the mood. I love the bohemian artsy look you get with having four different pillows.

 These are the 20x20 pillows cotton throw pillows. They are available in 16x16 cotton and also available as options for the polyester depending on your preferences. Zazzle runs regular specials and I bought these when they were 60% off. They are very soft, and the printing turned out wonderfully on them. 

Here are the regular prices for the different sizes and different pillows. If you sign up for Zazzle, they'll send you notices when they have different discounts. The prices are comparable to Pottery Barn pillows and I was just as happy with the quality.

If you're interested in purchasing unique pillows for your home, click on the link below each design to bring you directly to the link for that design in my Zazzle Store store!

Pear 20x20 Throw Pillow Pillows

Pear 20x20 Throw Pillow Pillows

Pear 20x20 Throw Pillow Throw Pillow

Pear Plaid 20x20 Pillow Pillow

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Seriously good restaurants

I'm finding some more treasures here in Jacksonville and St. Augustine, Florida beyond the lovely beaches. The food!

First up, St. Augustine Beaches restaurant Mango Mango. So far I've only eaten here twice, and both times I've had the Chipotle Shrimp Tacos. Oh, my! Southwest flavor + island influences = I-dream-of-these-tacos delightfulness.

Next, I also love Indian food. I've been able to eat at some wonderful restaurants, but I think Zesty India restaurant is the best so far. It's brand new, super clean, and the best... the food! Their signature dishes are so good! Because I don't eat Indian food every day, I usually order Saag Paneer. It's obviously one of my favorites. Since I was living near this restaurant, I started branching out. My favorite so far is one of their signature dishes Lasaniee Aloo Mutter. It has a tantalizing smoky flavor. Another treat is that street foods have been included in their menu.

Both of these restaurants are so tasty they have me dreaming of their food. If you ever make your way down to Jacksonville and St. Augustine, put these restaurants on your list.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Textured Apple Collection

Next up to share is a sampling of the Textured Apple collection. My goal with this collection was to start adding light layers and texture. I really love how the bottom right complementary pattern turned out. It fits the rough, distressed texture I love in design. 

In other background news, I'm working on background items like working with a lawyer on proper filing of paperwork, copyright, trademark, etc. I've starting hiring freelancers to help with areas that are beyond my skill set or too far beyond my capacity. I'm excited and nervous at the same time.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Fruit Collection - Pear

A peek of upcoming work and the story behind the scenes. I've been working on this collection off and on between moving and getting settled into a new place and organized to get this business going! 

I did a bunch of what I would call "ugly sketching"... just doodling on the color palettes I picked out. I pulled out previous work I had done that never made it into an official collection and picked out components I liked. I used sketches that surprised me... half-finished pieces that I liked better than the finished work. Below are the final drawings that made up the above collection. Yes, it's that "simple." It took a few hours to create these drawings. The heavy lifting of the work was done in Adobe Illustrator - coloring, manipulating, placing, sizing. Illustrator has recently gone through a major upgrade and I'm having to relearn the tool. I'm struggling a bit and it's taken me longer to finish work than I would have liked. 

8x8 prints are available in my Artfire shop.

Country Plaid Pear PRint

 Country Gingham Pear Print

I'm also testing out having these prints on Zazzle products as pillows, coasters, and smart phone cases. I've set up shop here, but I have not yet ordered my own Zazzle products, so I cannot comment on Zazzle's quality or speed of delivery. However, I'm planning to order all of the pillows and will share the ideas I have. I'm really digging the bohemian vibe of mixing and matching this collection!

I also have a Spoonflower fabric shop and have some of my Pear Collection. I'm planning to make room darkening curtains out of the green plaid (my absolute favorite of the collection). It's currently the background of my blog right now!