This past weekend my sisters and I held a memorial service for my Mother. She had suffered for many years from Alzheimer’s disease, and we walked that journey with her. It was a horrible thing to witness and I know that my Mother is now finally free from her mind that had abandoned her, and is in a place where she can feel joy again and live without fear. It was a beautiful day, shared by a very special group of relatives and friends who were able to spend time together remembering my Mom.
My Mother was known to those closest to her as “Dottee Lou”, and she absolutely LOVED pansies. In honor of her, and this day of remembrance, I created a special card (above) to commemorate the day. Check out the amazing pansy reference sheet below I used to inspire my pansies. After putting this together I can absolutely see why my Mother loved them so much. They are amazing flowers! I had the cards printed by my favorite card company, MOO, and they turned out fantastic! I ordered extras to bundle into little groups to give as gifts to those who were able to attend. I know my Mom would have loved them and the day.
To Support Alzheimer’s Research – Please check out the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America
I had a lot of fun with the love theme, which is definitely wider spreading than only for Valentine’s Day. Each of my ornaments is handmade by me and totally unique. They are one of a kind collectables and once they’re gone, they’re … sadly … gone.
Also NEW in my “Nutcracker Sweet” Collection (the final one for 2012):
And Coming Soon my ”Namaste” Collection:
Last, but certainly not least:
I know they’ll be bringing a little ‘Happy’ to someone special!
Last Saturday I mailed my little Nutcracker Sweet Dancer ornaments to my three new friends, Michele, Jana, and Kijsa. I want to send out a BIG thank you to Cindy Ann Ganadan for organizing another wonderful ornament exchange! What a treat it is to participate in such a fun Holiday activity and meet new friends all at the same time! That’s the best gift I can recieve. Here’s a peak at what my exchange group will be receiving from me. I’m already looking forward to next year! xo
BTW, check out my exchange buddy Michele’s post on the ornament she made that I will soon be receiving in the mail! So cute! I can’t wait for it to arrive!
On my desktop and all over my house are Nutcrackers! We’ve been collecting them for my boys every year since they were little, and let me tell you – We have A LOT! We haven’t found this year’s models yet. We’re getting very picky about getting just the right ones with the most unique and relevant looks. I’ll let you know what we find for 2012′s installment. Fun thing is that this holiday obsession is now translating into some new art that I’m really loving. I started with this traditional nutcracker below and have sketched out some more pretty crazy ones. Stay tuned …
I got an early start on my ornaments for this year’s Blu Penny Ornament Exchange , and I’m pretty excited about my little Sugar Plum Fairies. Here’s a quick view of my process. In the beginning they looked like “little naked ladies without limbs”, kind of creepy – but they pulled together nicely in the end. I know I’ve said this before, but I’m absolutely loving creating with polymer clay. Stay tuned – I’m going to have some of these ornaments available for sale on my new etsy store (not quite up yet, but soon).
The story behind these “Little Ladies” goes back to when I was a young girl and a close family friend (my adopted Grandma, Mrs. Averhoff), gave me a little handmade doll (2″ tall) made of porcelain and with wired arms and legs. Mrs. Averhoff told me that the doll belonged to her mother and had been carried over to the midwest on a covered wagon. I always loved that little doll, but unfortunately when I was first married we had a house fire and I never saw it again. This past summer I got the idea to create little dolls like that one and now I’m absolutely hooked!
If you’re interested in signing up for the Ornament exchange you have until midnight on Friday, 11/23! Don’t wait! It’s truly a blast! And you never know, we might be in the same exchange group and you could get one of these Sugar Plum Fairies!
xo and Happy Holidays!
I am so thrilled to share with you the great news that my rug design, “Against All Odds”, won the ‘Fans Favorite’ spot (Los Angeles) in the upcoming ARZU Studio Hope Designers Collection Series! This charity competition was such a thrill to be apart of, and I am honored to have been able to participate in the company of such amazing designers. Even better is how this competition helped raise awareness to ARZU Studio Hope and their incredible efforts in supporting, educating, advocating, and empowering Afghan women (amazing weavers and artisans) in a war-torn country. Profits from the sale of ARZU rugs are regenerated into the organization where housing, education, and daily life needs are provided for the women weavers and their families. They support the idea of “Slow Design”, a mindset I believe in wholeheartedly. Click HERE to read more about that. Being apart of this event was a thrill, and I couldn’t be more excited to see my design become apart of this newest ARZU collection!
A big component to the entry process was to provide a detailed write up of what the inspiration for our design was. I had a lot of fun changing hats a bit to design from a different perspective, drawing inspiration from other areas of interests than what I usually do for my licensing work. Below is my inspiration write up from my presentation board. I thought you might want to check it out. Since finishing this piece I’ve had more people tell me how Steve McCurry’s photograph has had the same affect on them as it has on me. Do you remember it?
In 1985 I was a sophomore in High School when I first saw the cover of National Geographic Magazine and Steve McCurry’s haunting photograph of what is now known as the “Afghan Girl”. At the time this picture was taken she looked to be only a few years younger than myself and I remember staring for hours at her paralyzing gaze. Those crystal green eyes seemed to be harnessing back an unimaginable amount of pain, anger, fear, and wonder, and I was mesmerized by her image and longing to know her story. Years later, in 2002, National Geographic set out to see if they could try and find this now thirty-some year old woman. The odds were against them. The chances of her surviving to adulthood during a time of such great war and hardship would have been unthinkable, however they set out with the hope of succeeding. Against all odds they found her, a Pashtun woman named Sharbat Gula, now a mother of three children living in the mountains near Tora Bora. Steve McCurry is said to have known is was her the moment she walked into the room – those eyes could not deceive her identity. For my design I chose to focus on the part of this infamous image that drew me in as a young girl – the intensity of her gaze. When National Geographic found Sharbat Gula they employed the verification method of Biometric Testing, in this case Iris Recognition Scanning, to confirm the link between the child and thewoman. It is in this action where my design takes its form and flows into focus.
One last thing – if you are in the market for a wonderful gift, check out ARZU’s ‘Peace Cords’. These bracelets are only $10 each and they’re beautiful with a wonderful message! They even have theme colors and buttons (military branches, schools, memorials, and flashy colors). I received a red one at the awards ceremony and I love it!
I’ve been horrible lately about blogging, and I’m bummed about that. I really, really love to blog but September has hit me like a bulldozer and I’m suspecting that the remainder of the month through to the end of football season I’ll be a little slower at making new posts. I am, however, working very hard creating new art and I thought I’d take this opportunity to slip you a sneak peak at what’s on my desktop.
I just finished five new Autumn collections and sent them off to my agent. I like them a lot, and even though they’re all a little different, they work well together as much as they do individually. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for some fun placement. Above are some of the product sheets I put together for the designs. I know a lot of artists struggle with this part of presenting for licensing so I thought I’d show you how I like to do it.
Everyone has a different style and way of doing their sell sheets, but I like to do my product mock-ups on a vertical 8.5″ x 11″ page. This way a manufacturer can easily print it out and it is easy for me to spot because my product mock-ups are always on the vertical. For my collection sell sheets (the elements of each “Collection”) I lay-out the artwork on an 11″ x 8.5″ sheet. Same idea – easy for a manufacturer to print out and also have everything on one sheet, and I always know my collections are lay-ed out on the horizontal. Some artists choose to have all their sell sheets for both products and collections be set up the same way. I don’t really know why I chose to vary from that, but it’s what I like to do now and I’m kind of stuck on it. Of course if a manufacturer wishes to see individual art images I have those available as well.
Making product mock-ups can be both fun and tricky to do, especially when you’re just starting out. The key to doing this part is to start creating a library of product templates to use. It’s taken me four years to accumulate a good library, but now I’ve got quite a lot to pick from and if I don’t have something I need I know how to quickly create a template. It’s fun to do, but if you’re not really sure how to make templates for yourself check out Joan Beiriger’s article HERE, or look at Tara Reed’s product mock-up template e-books HERE.
I had SO MUCH FUN this past Sunday on the Set of the “Life Inside Out” movie. What a treat it was to be in the film and even better, I met a whole new group of wonderful creative women friends! I am seriously excited for a reunion at the screening. It was a full 12 hour shoot day and, not being an actress, that was exhausting for me. I have such respect for actors. It’s amazing to watch the professionals at work and see their natural ease and talent first hand as we took multiple takes of the same scene over and over again. For me, I had it easy because I didn’t have any lines, I was a “reactor actor”, and that suited me just fine. I did have some chances to interject some improvisation dialogue here and there so we’ll see if that makes it in or not. Otherwise, it was just fun, fun, FUN to be able to say I was in a movie!
Here’s a shot of the set. The scene is a “Scrapbooking Party” hosted by Lydia (Lori Nasso) at her sister Laura’s house (Maggie Baird). It’s a small group of friends dutifully gathered at this party to support Lydia’s venture in her new scrapbooking business. My input into the film was shown in this scene. I created the colorful and wild patterns for the papers and elements used here. It was really fun to see the tabletop filled with my artwork, and it was also hilarious to see how gawdy and loud the pages looked with added flowers, mixed (and totally contrasting) patterns, punched shapes, and fancy trimmed edges. We laughed A LOT both on camera and off.
How cool is this! The Art Director put together this “Magical Memory catalogue” of all the scrapbooking papers for the scene. It was so real looking – it even had a barcode on the back! What was even better was watching Lori Nasso work her magic as “Lydia” and use the catalogue to try and convince all her friends how fun scrapbooking with her product could be! She’s brilliant.
QUIET ON SET!
Here we are inbetween takes (I’m in the purple shirt). Such fun! The scrapbookers starting with me and going clockwise around the table are: Stacie Rasmussen (Janice), Angela Garcia Combs (Angela), Jen Finch (Pam), Maggie Baird (Laura), Mickianne Bradshaw (Allison), and Kristy Bauvais (Heather). Lori Nasso (Lydia) is off to the side and out of the picture here. The man in the white and red hat in the background is David Cowgill who plays Laura’s husband, Mike.
There you have it! CHECK that off my bucket-list … DONE – been in a movie!