Saturday, December 31, 2011

LIttle school of new fishies

A potential customer has first dibs on these big fishies but whatever she doesn't want will be for sale on etsy after I hear from her.

...and Pinky has a bonus ball...
...and laces!

I had someone ask what people do with the fish so here are a few serving suggestions!
Of course, the other day I showed you this lovely necklace. They could be light chain pulls, a knick-knack on a shelf, or hanging on a chain like fish on a stringer:

No new resolutions for 2012 but one goal, set last year, for the looming 50th birthday was to not look like a "dumpy old lady" when the day arrived. Thanks to Dr. Dukan, I succeeded! I indulged in a few cookies at work, my stepfather's tasty pecan, apple, and cherry pies over Christmas, and a few other non-approved snacks. I was up 6 lbs when I got back home a week ago. But I did two protein days and am back to the target weight today. I cannot even believe it myself, but I now weigh only 11 lbs more than I did in high school 33 years ago!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sketchbook: Getting there

Been working and re-working pages in my Arthouse Coop sketchbook. My last one was all black and white ink sketches so I'm making this one in color for variety.
(January 7 comment: Jenny B asked what I used to color these. The ladies were first sketched with pretty pastel fine-tip markers, then inked with a black gel pen, and finished off with colored pencils.)

When I was in elementary school and Junior High in the '70s I wanted to be a fashion illustrator. My grandmother was quite a seamstress and I would go to the Piece Goods store with her when she went shopping for new patterns and fabrics. When I started sewing in 8th grade, I realized how much more useful it was to see the clothing on an actual person. Every outfit in the pattern book looked good on a super skinny watercolor-and-ink lady with legs that were 3/4 of her height! After that I just drew fashion photos from Grandmother's "Harper's Bazaar" and my "Seventeen" -- hairstyles and clothing for fun and practice, I decided being a fashion illustrator had limited utility.
Above and below are more detailed and colorful examples of what I do
while listening to a conference call or staff meeting.

I try to encourage my mom to draw. She'll say, "I don't have anything to draw" and I tell her it doesn't matter what it is, just draw whatever is in front of you.
You can see this one before I added color. Maybe it was better before....oh well, too late now!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Where my babies end up

I found a bunch of polymer artists on flickr last night who were not already in my contact list so I remedied that situation. One of them was Conny Brockstedt of Way of Clay. This morning I awoke to a nice email from her. Earlier this year she purchased two pastel fishies (here and here) and some matching beads so she sent me a photo of the necklace she made. She and her daughter share it and I'm sure they get lots of compliments when they wear it. It's big and bold...those fish are about 2.5 inches long and some of the beads are over 1". I love how she strung them with the round blue beads with a few coordinating colors tossed in. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Buying Handmade for Christmas

A friend and I took a road trip north to Sharon, PA to check out a gallery and craft show. We made a few sellers happy today!

We started at 29 Logan Ave (photo at left and article about owner Donna Bostardi are here) and then stopped by a show called "Arts on the Avenue" that was right around the corner from the Gallery. I can't show exactly what I bought because they're for Christmas, but you can see the artists' works at the links below:

Gail Trunick -- These works are more serious than the light-hearted clever creature I bought today. I will post a photo of it after Christmas. I challenge you not to chuckle when you see it!

C&C Ironworks (Charles Hughes) -- Some cool items that look like they would be right at home in a medieval castle

Sandpiper Soap Company (Susan Crisan) -- The most delicious smelling whipped body butter in a scent called "toasted rice" -- I want to eat it!

Carolyn Parker -- Colorful "fabric pottery" -- On this postcard you can see the loopy trimmed blue basket my friend bought. So cute!

Wet Dog Studios -- The item I bought has a most interesting carved texture on the outside and functions as a basket. It has a very graceful shape.

The party was fun and my dress was fantabulous!

The necklace I made for the dress worked great and I used links from one of the chains to make matching earrings.

See those straps on my shoes? These formerly slightly-too-loose shoes stayed put and were comfortable for dancing after I wrapped a skinny black stretchy headband twice around each foot at the arch.

This very cute little beaded purse came from Dress Barn. It was just the right size.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Craft Class: Enamel pendant

I took an Enameling class tonight at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts with Lindsay Huff. I have an enamel pendant I made in first grade but that's my only other experience I ever had with it. Lindsay showed us the basics and then we all went to town with colors. To get the most done in a short period of time, I chose a large 2-inch diameter disk and made different designs on both sides. As so often happens with me, the vision I had in my head for side one didn't turn out good at all, and the side I tossed together with no thought actually turned out really nice. Lesson: when starting out, simpler is better!

This was the no-thought, just make something quick to go on the back design. And I really like how it turned out so now it's the front.
I tried to make a sky and hillside with flowers. I ruined it with the purple. I should have left it simple with a loose cluster of orange flowers. Oh well. If the class hadn't been almost over, I could have salvaged this by putting a orange or yellow over the purple to tie the colors together better.

I just became aware of the website "Damn You, Autocorrect." It's definitely good for a few laughs! I texted my mother once to tell her I was "Almost to Kirwan Heights. Be home in 45 minutes." Autocorrect helpfully changed it to "Almost to Korean hysterical."

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sketchbook 2012: due soon, not nearly finished!

I just realized how close the deadline is and of course my sketchbook is not nearly finished. Here are a few new pages. These are fancier versions of my usual doodles I make during meetings.


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