Showing posts from January, 2016

DIY: Embellished Feather Handbag

Over this snowy weekend, I had the opportunity to embellish a handbag with a Zentangle-ish feather design.  I have been thinking of how I would decorate this canvas bag for at least a couple months.  This was a super-easy project, and I've shared the steps with you, in case you would like to make a similar design. First, I made my canvas, crossbody bag purchase at good old .  (Thanks, Jeff Bezos!)  I picked one that was affordable and fashionable, and an ipad fits in here with room to spare! I would love to tell you that I spent the last two months sketching out potential designs in painstaking detail in preparation for this project.  Alas, I did not do this.   However, I have kept a sharp eye out for beautiful designs to inspire my work.  In particular, I love Riverluna's designs in her Etsy shop as well as SutilDesigns ' more natural-looking feather template.   Second, I sketched a feather design with a white colored pencil.  I

Family fun in the snow and Robert Frost

Winter always brings to mind Robert Frost poems. "The only other sound's the sweep of gentle wind and downy flake..." (and Herbs saying "hello" beside our hawthorn tree). - from  Stopping by Woods on Snowy Evening Herbs making a snow angel "A tree beside the wall stands bare, But a leaf that lingered brown, Disturbed, I doubt not, by my thought, Comes softly rattling down." - from A Late Walk Clarice and Alex He's loving it. Wishing you a warm fire, a cup of hot tea, and a great book on a snowy night.

Artomat Sales: Chicago, OK, and more

Just got my little green cards from Artomat , and here are the latest venues to peddle my Little Inspirations , so I updated my sales map. There are two machines in Chicago, Yusho Japanese Restaurant on North Kedzie Avenue hosted my art.  Evidenly, Yusho takes Ramen noodles and turns them into heaven .  Here's a snapshot of the Artomat machine in Yusho. Another really cool thing I learned from my green card is that I have Little Inspirations now living in a machine owned by private collector Christian Keesee .  He has a lovely Art-o-mat living in Oklahoma. I appreciate the purchases of each collector who happened on my little pieces at Whole Foods Austin , Whole Foods in Downtown Los Angeles, the Smithsonian , and Artfully Elegant in good old Pennsylvania.  I also enjoyed some very nice letters (3!) from this batch of tiny paintings. I cherish each letter!

The Story behind Simplicity

A kind art collector, Christine from Oakland, California, recently wrote me.  She bought one of my Little Inspiration series pieces called Simplicity  from an Art-o-mat machine.  (Thanks, Christine!) I promised to tell her the story behind the artwork. You will find  Simplicity  at the top:  blue flowers on green blocks. Simplicity is near the middle of this group of Little Inspirations.  It's on a red block here. I was one of those little girls who liked to pick flowers for my mother.  Our tough, red Piedmont earth in Charlotte, North Carolina, allowed tiny little bluet wildflowers to dance in the breeze on a warm day. Here is an up-close look at bluets: There is a pearlized finish on each petal.  These tiny flowers are remarkable, even though they require the daintiest bud vase to hold them. When I imagine what Simplicity is, I remember the delight I took in finding these wildflowers for my mother and displaying them in our tiny vase.   Whe

DIY: Bunting Design Project for teen girl's room

December 2015 marked Clarice's thirteenth birthday.  As a new teen, Clarice desired an updated look in her bedroom.  So, today we did a quick DIY project to craft some bunting for her room. First, I bought the bunting supplies from Hobby Lobby.  There you will find kits made of fabric (as shown), burlap, or paper for sale.  While at Hobby Lobby, I bought a stencil set with bold, modern designs.  Because Clarice loves butterflies, so I purchased a butterfly stencil, too. My original plan was very sketchy.  My main thought was to alternate a bold design flag with a more detailed drawing flag.  There are five fabric flags in this set. Clarice works on hand drawing in some sketches of butterflies... while I break out my favorite Posca fabric markers. Clarice did detail work with this Pentel fabric pen.  These black pens feel as good on fabric as a rolling gel pen on paper.  They allow for precise work, but they run out fast! Crystal

Kandinsky books to enjoy

Are you looking for some excellent additions to your 2016 reading list? Recently, I have shared with students in my abstract art class a children's book about Kandinsky.  The first book, The Noisy Paint Box was written by Barb Rosenstock and illustrated by Mary Grandpre. The book deftly explains Kandinsky's gift of synaesthesia ; he could hear colors and see sounds.  Readers young and old will enjoy the imaginative drawings in this book.  Be sure to share this book with the budding artist in your life. The backdrop of the beginning of the book is architecture of society of Russian aristocracy.  Kandinsky came from a well-to-do family.  However, his family lost everything during the course of civil revolutions and the first World War.   Despite his relative poverty, Kandinsky always dressed like a well-heeled gentleman as he painted for his classes at the Bauhaus School.  His students described him as genteel and mannerly -- almost other-wordly. Th