Thursday, September 30, 2010

Linda Solovic : : mixed-media collage

Welcome to the magical world of Linda Solovic.  Her studio is a feast for the eyes, a sunlight bath and a color explosion all rolled into one. 
Linda is a mixed-media collage artist and illustrator in every sense of the word, creating in paper, fabric, plush, and ephemera galore. (I'm sorry I don't have a photo to show of a heart she created out of wooden spools...brilliant!)
 When she's not creating art, she's mentoring artists, teaching at Washington University in St. Louis.
Linda has been featured in Holiday Craft magazine, Mary Englebreit's Home Companion, Print + Pattern, and the book 1000 Handmade Greeting Cards. Most recently, she was featured in the magazine Australian Homespun.
A colleague named this space "Linda Land." The name stuck and is now shared with her new blog.
Everywhere you look, things are in place. I'm working to convince her to share organizing tips on her blog - wouldn't that be fantastic?
She even let me peek in her closet, where I assumed I'd find something shoved in. Nope.
Linda loves to collect illustrations from the 50s and 60s, beautiful old books, handmade plushes, artwork with birds...
 ...and snow globes. Here's a small sampling! She also loves to collect art that she finds on etsy.
Here are just a few of Linda's prototype items.
Linda often uses recycled paper and ephemera in her work. Original illustrations are constructed on old book and record covers because of their beautiful textures and patinas. (The black owl print in the background is one of her best etsy sellers!)
Wondering about all those intricate details? Linda says she couldn't create without a Zig 2-way glue pen, Fabri-tac, an Xacto knife and her mini Fiskar scissors. She also loves Uniball Signo gel pens, reporting they work every single time and are perfectly opaque. I'm hoping to come back another day to show you her beautiful home and garden, which she shares with her husband and daughter (who are also artists)!

Thank you Linda!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

zentangling + atcs

I love zentangling (the process and the word itself!). Today I'm working on my kids' party agenda (my business opens in six days...hooray!) and I wondered if zentangling on a full sheet of card stock to then cut into artist trading cards would be a fun idea.

Using regular cardstock and a felt-tip marker, I started with hearts, on purpose because I'm going to paint those (traditional zen tangling wouldn't start with a graphic, but I'm thinking kid-friendly).
Then I divided the page into segments. (See my pen pointing to an imperfection? It never matters...)
Next, I started filling in (doodling)...
And filling in some more...
When my shading was done, I painted in my hearts (next time, I'll use colored pencils for better texture).
I cut the page into artist trading cards (2 1/2 x 3 1/2) for someone else to finish.
Yes this was very fun! But no, I wouldn't include this in a party because it takes a really long time to complete. This would be a great project to send home with someone. It will definitely be on my list when my kids are home for the holidays. The process is indeed meditative.

Are you interested in trying it? The shading takes a bit of time, but many people zentangle with just a ball point pen and do little to no shading - check out these! Usually, when I make a zentangle, I have a much smaller piece of paper (half of a junk mail envelope for instance) where I scribble while something is cooking, or while waiting for soccer practice to end. You can make a 1 inch x 1 inch zentangle!

For artist trading cards, I'd just start with a card and keep the design small - this way it takes fewer than 10 minutes to complete. 
Ahhhhhh....there are plenty of how-to videos about zentangling on youtube. Just be careful - they can be hypnotizing. Happy Tuesday! xo

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Upcycled vintage book journal - giveaway!

I love making journals out of old books - books that are in tag sale boxes marked "free", available for a quarter at my local library, or sitting long-term at Goodwill.
For my second giveaway, I'm offering this upcycled journal. It has more than 40 pages inside, with room for you to add your own pages if you wish. I've included several pages of vintage paper - sheet music, ledger paper, book pages.
Please leave a comment and I'll draw a name on Friday evening. Thanks! xo

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Making Progress!

I'm so delighted to report that my website is progressing! Can't thank the Mac people enough for my weekly classes.

The winner of my Percy Jackson t-shirt giveaway is susielarose! I'll be in touch! xo

Friday, September 17, 2010

Camp Half Blood t-shirt giveaway!

Today is my 100th post and my first of three celebratory giveaways! So far, this blog has definitely been a one-hit-wonder. It started here and then continued here. Months have passed, and people still find their way to my blog via whipup and google when searching for a Camp Half Blood shirt.

So if you're a Percy Jackson fan, please leave a comment with the t-shirt size you require (please specify adult or child tee) and the cabin symbol you wish to have printed on your shirt. International entries are welcome!
Comments will be closed on Monday afternoon. Please only one comment per family.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend! xo

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Chris McCarthy : : glass

Welcome to the studio of Chris McCarthy, award winning artist and owner of Park Avenue Glass.
Chris opened his professional studio more than seven years ago. He built most of his equipment himself, teaching himself to cut metal and weld. One thing I learned from my studio visit is that glass artists are always moving. The work has to be kept spinning at all times. Today, Chris is making pumpkins.
This furnace (set at 2011 degrees!) stores Chris' glass. It can hold 300 pounds of molten glass at one time. Three hundred pounds will last Chris about two weeks.
This beginning-stage pumpkin is getting dipped in frit, glass shards that will add color to his work. 
The work is intense. There's no room for error and no time to second guess what you're doing.
This is the glory hole. "Yes, really." Chris said when I assumed he was kidding.
Chris adds a stem to his pumpkin. He also has an assistant so that pieces with two elements can be ready simultaneously. His assistant prepared the glass stem and colored it and then Chris added it to his piece, curled it and cut it. (Chris would never point these out, but I will....notice the ribbons?)
Finally, all finished work goes into his annealer which is set at 900 degrees throughout the day. When Chris goes home, a computer program slowly returns the annealer to room temperature. This takes about 12 hours. The next morning the pieces are ready.
While the majority of Chris' work is fine art (70 percent), he also creates utilitarian pieces (glasses, magnets, paperweights). He travels from February to October selling his masterpieces at art fairs throughout the country. 
All of Chris' glass is recyclable. If something breaks at an art fair, he can bring the pieces to his studio, heat and flatten them and use them for jewelry, broaches, magnets. He also collects the broken and surplus pieces from his work. When he accumulates a 5-gallon bucketful of glass scraps,  he'll tumble it in a cement mixer with sand or rocks. After a couple of days of tumbling, he has a unique collection of pieces that look like beach glass and can be used for landscaping or aquariums.
This weekend, you can meet Chris at the Hidden Glen Arts Festival in Olathe, Kansas.

The weekend of September 25th, he'll be in Nashville.

Thanks Chris!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Thank you to my dream weavers...

Had a fun fun fun mix of friends over today to collage and "model" for photos for my website. I am getting so excited about starting in October. So many great ideas and helpful suggestions were harvested...both for the creative and the "nitty gritty" sides of business ownership. Thank you wonderful women! My cup is overflowing. xo

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Mindy Carney : : jewelry

Welcome to the studio of Mindy Carney, jewelry designer. Mindy has a beautiful, sun-lit studio space in her home that she shares with her two daughters, her dog Mei Mei and her cats, Abby and Ziva.
Her space is warm, welcoming, and impeccably organized. And as often as possible, you'll find her right here in her favorite chair designing her beautiful wire creations.
Mindy's company is Curled, named after one of her favorite jewelry techniques - working with wire to create circles, coils, and swirls. Recycled goodness? Yes, Mindy often incorporates vintage buttons, old keys and sea glass into her work. She has just started upcycling vintage jewelry components.
When more space is required, Mindy heads to her dining room table (you can see her dreamy chair in the background). She painted this table herself and it provides plenty of space for designing, flattening and coiling wire and sorting beads.
Mindy's work is constantly changing and very unique. She's now experimenting with chain mail and creating with guitar strings. 
You can also find her work at Charm, a boutique in downtown St. Louis.

Thanks Mindy! xo