Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Black Friday recap

Last year I didn't take pictures of our Black Friday sale because I was trying to be "in the present." This year, I didn't take pictures because we were busy every single minute! We shortened the show by one hour and closed at 4 p.m. and we had people shopping literally from 9:59 a.m. until after 4. We had 10 artists this year and everyone was really pleased with how they sold. The guest feedback was terrific.

At one point, two police officers came in and the air changed (can you imagine it?). But they were in the neighborhood and just wanted to shop. All was well!

Every year I want to post holiday stuff (favorite crafts and recipes, lovely blog posts, etc.) and every year we're too busy. So I think in 2012, I will have a week of "Christmas in July" where I post these things as well as my pointers for hosting a Black Friday sale. I think we're onto something special here - encouraging the holiday tradition of Black Friday while supporting local artists.

To those of you who were able to come - thank you!!!! xo

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Riverfront Times photo!

Craft Outloud at New City School
Well this was fun to see!
I wish I looked a bit happier to be there
(I was soooooo happy to be there),
but a photo of my booth was on the Riverfront Times' website!
Here's the whole photo! xo

P.S. Do you love my business card  holder?
I bought it here

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. 
Thornton Wilder

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

crunch time

 The art room...right now! Hope you're enjoying (embracing) your own chaos this week?! xo

Monday, November 21, 2011

Love to Alicia

Do you read Alicia Paulson's blog? Of course you do!* Alicia's was the first blog I ever followed - don't remember how I stumbled upon her site, but it was life changing for me. Three years ago when I turned 40, I went to Portland on a bit of a solo retreat and I didn't drive by her house. But I wanted to. And I googled her address. And I thought about it.

She and her husband had an adoption fall through this month. Thanksgiving week is always a time when I focus on mother love and how thankful I am for all of it in our life. Alicia embodies the quintessential community mother and her generous spirit and warm heart have brought many a person - in cyperspace and otherwise - comfort, perspective, laughter and kindness. Please send a little blessing/energy/karma Alicia's way this week. xo

*I copied this from Matsutake. I wasn't sure if I should acknowledge Alicia's story in blogland, but Katie did and it was lovely.

Friday, November 18, 2011


I love the word "kitschy" so I thought my post title was pretty clever until I googled the spelling and learned that it can mean, "tasteless"....

I disagree and I'm leaving my title. One week to our Black Friday Sale! If you're local, I hope that you'll come. 

Last year, my artist trading card (ATC) kits sold out before lunch time. I couldn't believe it. So this year I'm selling ATC kits and Design Your Own Journal kits. We'll see how they do.

If you're not local, please be forewarned that posts next week will primarily be shameless self-promotion for our sale! Hope you have a great weekend! xo

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Big Dig {take 2}

Just like last year, we loved excavating our sweets from our garden this past weekend.
 It's just truly fun. I highly recommend that if you have a patch of land and no goals for it, just throw some sweet potatoes in there next Spring.
 Kyle actually unearthed the first one - we found a bunch of these little nothing shoots. I'm thinking there's probably a very gourmet word for them?
 It's like fishing - the bigger the better as far as the game of it all goes.
 Here's our black gold. The soil is so healthy, I'm thinking about putting it in my raised beds and putting new soil here so I can grow potatoes in the same space next year (for year three). Has anyone out there ever done this?
 They're not much to look at, but yum-yum.
You may have noticed my new gluten-free links in my blogroll to the right? I'm trying to eat gluten free and this is one of my kids' favorite sweet potato recipes. Hmmmm...I think we'll have it tomorrow! xo

Friday, November 11, 2011

Two weeks until Black Friday!

Those of you who know me know I do NOT promote mindless materialism in anyway. So it would make sense that I encourage a no shopping day on Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving). And I do - I do. But last year I started a new tradition and invited some amazing women to my home to sell handmade gift items. And the show was a great success for the artists and the shoppers both. 

So we're doing it again. And if you love shopping on Black Friday, we hope you'll pop in. My house, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. We'll have holiday treats, wine, cider. 

The artists' wares are going to be fantastic: ceramics, jewelry, fiber arts, apparel, holiday gifts, photography, journals and more! Hope you'll join us. And of course you can bring a friend! xo

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Collage houses

Just a glimpse at one of the projects I teach in my Life Is A Collage class. I'm going to add this house project to my art party selection too because they are so so so fun to make! xo

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Meet the roommates!

Art shows are funny, because as an artist, you're clearly there to share your work and (honestly) to make money. So it's not uncommon for a show to come and go, and for artists to not meet their colleagues or neighbors, even if they stood within feet of each other for two days in a row. That did not happen at Craft Out Loud! We were plenty busy, but we also had time to chat and it is my pleasure to introduce you to my neighbors from the show. I was very disappointed in my photographs from the weekend, so please do visit the website links - these three women are uber-talented:

Taylor Saleem
Taylor's business is called The Rare Bird and her jewelry is soul-ful. I'm not kidding (remember, my photos are mediocre). Birds are so trendy right now, right? Yes, but Taylor's are extra special. She has items ranging from $25 to $500+ and it is all a joy to behold. Her work is the kind where you see it and immediately someone you love comes to mind - I witnessed people connecting with her work for the whole show. (If you go to her etsy shop, check out the ring in her mast head....breathtaking!)
Laura Miquelon
Laura hand sews wool into beautiful figures, ornaments and dolls. She uses upcycled materials whenever possible and her holiday table is a feast for the eyes. I know that St. Louis already has a Queen of Cute, but Laura, seriously, could give her a run for her money. Keep an eye on her etsy shop as she hasn't added her winter holiday items yet. People would stop by her booth and start talking about what they wanted their winters or holidays to look like - her work makes you think of home, and cozy, and family and time. Beautiful.
Julie Donaldson
Finally, our last roommate was Jenny Donaldson and I don't have a decent picture to share. Please go check out her website. Jenny makes these oh-so-whimsical animals with clay, fires them and then collages them with various papers. They are so fun! The best part about being across from Jenny at the show was watching people interact with her figurines. People would walk into our room, look at her stuff and squint oh-so-slightly, not fully understanding what her artwork was. Then, they would walk closer (I think the color pulled them right in), pick one up and their eyes would light up. LIGHT UP I tell you (!) when they realized that there, underneath the art paper and the color, was their favorite animal, or a creature whose mouth could hold paperclips on a desk, or whose eyeballs were staring right at you. She only had a few turkeys (tis the season) and they sold immediately with people coming in for the rest of the day, "Are you the turkey woman?" So fun!

Thank you Taylor, Laura and Julie for a wonderful weekend! (And yes, I do plan to check out their studios in the future and share them with you here!) xo

Monday, November 7, 2011


Craft Out Loud! could not have been more fun! I sold one painting and 22 journals. I cannot believe I didn't take more photos - I've never had so many books together all in one place. I was in the Spanish room (filled with its own artwork obviously...making the photos a little chaotic I believe) with three other artists who I'll introduce you to here in a day or so. 

Thank you New City School for this wonderful event! xo

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sherwood Linders: : Upcycled Metals

Today we are visiting the home studio space of Sherwood Linders, a self proclaimed tinkerer who transforms everyday cans from this:
Into this:
Luminaries! Just a few years ago, Sherwood bought a friend's welding tank and rig with the intention of "playing around" and learning the equipment. This is his workshop:
He started working with cans - they came in all sizes and were readily available. So he tinkered and experimented and eventually started making luminaries. 
Sherwood's equipment provided all the support he needed to make his luminaries except for the fine detail work, so eventually he purchased a jewelers torch.
Sherwood marks his cans using patterns he found at Zen Alcohol Stoves.
His designs are all done freehand.
This wire brush on Sherwood's drill press helps with cleaning and buffing the cans.
When Sherwood's ready to design his luminaries, he heads to his garage so there is plenty of ventilation.
He uses a very small space to make a lot of art!
Schools, friends and a local pizza parlor all pass along their various sized cans. Sherwood can make virtually any can into a luminary.
His luminaries cost between $10 and $35. Sherwood also designed a high-intensity light kit so you can get the 360-degree effect you see in the second photo above. They also work beautifully with candles.
To finish his luminaries, Sherwood paints them all with clear lacquer.
In 2009, Sherwood started selling his luminaries alongside his wife, photographer Jane Linders. Then, in October, he had his first solo booth at Art Outside and his luminaries sold out.   One more before and after:
To inquire about a luminary:
Thank you Sherwood!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Getting there...

Just a little sneak peek of some of the paintings I'll have for sale this weekend at Craft Out Loud! I'm painting all day today and making journals all day tomorrow. Great fun, but I have to be honest - I'm looking forward to slowing down just a bit next week! xo