Monday, February 28, 2011

Monday tidbits

1. Yes, my etsy shop opens tomorrow! Noon! Yay!
2. If you enjoy watching artists do what they do, check out Alisa's sketchbook video. She posts these from time to time and they are always fun.
3. Craigslist is cracking me up these days! Yesterday I saw a listing for a "one person couch." The picture showed - wait for it - a chair. (??) Jenny suggested putting the word "pair" in the search box and it was fascinating what came up. (I'm trolling craigslist these days because I'm converting my art room into a classroom - so excited!) I also would love to try something like this.
4. I'm loving this quote so much right now: Love is the extremely difficult realization that something other than oneself is real... (Iris Murdoch).
Wishing you a Monday filled with little things that lift you up! Hope you'll pop in tomorrow! xo

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Joy Stinger: : beeswax

Today we are visiting the studio of Joy Stinger. Best known as Mrs. Stinger, Joy is an almost iconic presence in the locally-harvested-honey-community here in St. Louis.
It's almost impossible to introduce Joy's craft - beeswax ornaments and handmade candles - without also mentioning the other "hats" she wears: bee keeper, bird collector, painter, furniture maker, quilter, papermaker, urban homesteader...
Joy shares her home with her husband, two dogs, two cats, 35 chickens, 35 tropical birds, one rabbit, a swimming-pool-turned-pond-full-of-fish, an aquarium and eight bee hives.
She began keeping bees 20 years ago and began creating with wax about 12 years ago when she retired from her career as a graphic artist.
Joy's studio is her basement. It is also home to her honey business.
The double boiler she uses to melt her bees' wax is just behind the red stool to the right in this next photo.
"When you're a beekeeper, you have to deal with wax," Joy said. When she started beekeeping, she made candles and gave them away. Soon she had more wax and honey and candles than she could keep up with - so she started selling. 
And then she started getting commissioned. Her work is decorative and utilitarian. She has made custom easter figures, complex nativity scenes and simple (but so beautiful) candles.
Her antique molds are displayed throughout her home. This collection is in her kitchen. 
Many of her custom molds were made from cookies that she purchased in Prague more than 12 years ago (see first photo). She brought back the cookies and made silicone molds from them.
This is her collection of wicks. It's also where she keeps her paints.
Lots of honey means lots of storage. Joy encourages her "regular" customers to return their jars for reuse, but she still has to maintain an inventory of jars for harvest time.
Candle molds.
Joy also sells bee pollen, a natural health supplement believed to help suppress allergies.
This beautiful bottle is for honey wine, yet another thing that Joy creates from scratch.
Joy was featured in the premiere issue of Where Women Cook.
You won't find Joy's business on the internet, but you can call her for a catalog. She's also a regular at the Clayton Farmers Market each year, and her honey is sold at most grocery stores in town.
Stinger's Ornaments & Honey
Thanks Joy!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Shaw Performing Arts & Crafts Fest

This is an exciting new event in St. Louis, organized by the same folks who host the Shaw Art Fair every year (my number one favorite art show in St. Louis). The festival is the weekend of May 20th, and they're looking for artists for their juried show - take a peek! xo

Monday, February 21, 2011

Shop Opening!!!!

More details coming soon! xo

Friday, February 18, 2011

Still not saying it...

...but it rhymes with "fetsy". Things are being made, gathered, packaged, photographed. So exciting!

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

And then I knit cocoons...

In the interest of not being called the girl who cried etsy, I am not going to tell you what I have been up to and how work and gluey hands have kept me from blogging. I will tell you that when I need a break, I knit cocoons.
So I thought I'd do a little post on cocoons, originally designed and named Laurel Love Cocoons.
When organizing our Black Friday Holiday Sale, I tried and tried to find a fiber artist. Finally, a friend said, "Just knit up some of those cocoons you love and sell those."
So I knit up 10 and sold 16 within three hours or so - I couldn't believe it!
Knitting them is relaxing and easy. Not surprisingly, packaging them is the really fun part for me.
I wrap each with new ribbon and art paper (each cocoon is wrapped differently) paired with vintage sheet music and kraft paper (and a darling picture of my neice) fun!
I changed Melissa's pattern at the opening/collar and lengthened it - but just a wee bit. If you're interested, I'll share my version on ravelry soon.
They'll be for sale before the end of the month...really! xo!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Arlene Ligori: : Mixed Media

Today we are visiting the studio of Arlene Ligori, mixed media artist. By day, Arlene is a graphic designer. In her own time, she is a fine artist with a very diverse art background.
Arlene's work has literally evolved - she has taken the best of each medium she has worked with and carried it forward into each line of her work.
She began casting bronze sculptures about six years ago and loved creating the female form. This lead to experimenting with casting in resin and plaster - materials with beautiful finishes, but lower price tags for buyers.
She loved the work but found her midwest audience to be a bit conservative, and she turned to digital art and medical illustration. In her personal time, she began painting abstracts.
And finally, her work evolved to what it is today. While her work may appear minimalist, up close you see that the birds and animals she creates are very complex and look almost like glass. Can you see the reflection in this painting?
Arlene loves to see people interact with her work. She participated in more than 20 shows last year and said it is very common for people to ask to touch the pieces in an effort to figure out her approach.

In the last year, Arlene began creating smaller pieces so that her work was affordable to a wider audience. These 6x6 inch paintings are very popular.
Arlene's studio is the second bedroom of her home, located in the uber-cool loft district in downtown St. Louis.
I can't tell you why there's plastic lining the floors and walls, but know that her paint method is definitely non-traditional, with many layers and many different materials. "Each piece is really an abstract painting that I then cover up," she said. She paints here and then finishes her work at her off-site studio at the Koken Art Factory
"It's taken me years to get here," Arlene said. "I'm very disciplined and I'm not a procrastinator." Arlene tells new artists they have to have passion for what they're doing, and a thick skin.
This work is ready for Arlene's next show. Currently she's working on several commissioned pieces.
Arlene is also very committed to the local art community. She's been a part of several group shows and installations in St. Louis. Arlene's next collaborative show, "Just Left of Spring" opens on February 19th in the Syndicate Loft Building downtown.
You can find Arlene's work at The Foundry Art Centre in St. Charles, Missouri, and at Four Muddy Paws in St. Louis.
Thanks Arlene!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Art of Mary Fedden RA

If you need a break from winter...take a peek at this. Exhilarating!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Why didn't I think of that?

I'm facilitating a creativity workshop this weekend, and the hostess mailed me one of the invitations for her event! She's calling her Valentine birthday gathering a "creativity festivity" - brilliant! This card is a print, but it looks like 3-dimensional fabric letters doesn't it? Love it! Thanks Katie!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

GYPO: : Week 1

Well, here is my first painting for GYPO11. Our inspiration was supposed to come from the Gees Bend Quilt series. I'm pretty sure no one will conjure up images of quilts when they look at my piece...hmmmm. 
As a total beginner, I learned a lot about some of the brushes. I still have such basic questions like how much to mix the paint with water, how the different brush tips work, how many layers should you paint? I enjoyed the week, but I have A LOT to learn - no denying it. 

At first I wanted to white wash over this, sand it down and collage on top, but at the end of the sessions, I'm guessing I'll paint over it completely and start again. Also, it seems like some of my classmates are painting smaller pieces but more of them - I'm going to try that this week, so I can experiment a bit more and still feel like I'm "completing" the assignment!

Fun first week! xo

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Ice Day

St. Louis is under a severe blizzard watch. So far, what was supposed to happen hasn't happened, but we'll see. The kids are home today though and it has been raining ice all. day. long. It's fascinating.
So we're having a home day. David's camped out in my art room telecommuting (he had a colleague email pictures of himself iceskating down his street), the kids and I have baked bread, cleaned the basement, watched a movie, made some origami (F), read a bit (J) and played some music (K). Then said bread was eaten - first time I've made bread in years. Really good day. 
 This photo is completely untouched/altered. Isn't it cool how the green color comes in? Spring will come, it will. xo