Monday, January 23, 2012

Creating like Crazy for my New Online Shop, the "Artful Crab"

I love a good challenge. My goal: 2 Valentine's Day themed paintings, 3 heart-beaded necklaces and 15 fused glass pendants and earrings by February 2nd. I'm hoping to debut them in my new online store, the "Artful Crab" late next week!  In the meantime, I've been cutting glass like crazy, hoping to get some beautiful pieces from the firing. 

The store idea has been churning in my head for quite some time now.  At first, I was thinking Etsy would be a good place to start putting my things, but then I began to dream what it would be like to be in total control of my artwork and the way it was presented.  My husband is helping me put together a website, and we've chosen the webhost and the template, and now we just have to get our content in it!  I suspect this weekend will include taking a lot of photos of my artwork for the site.

This is the fused glass fresh out of the kiln, after slowing cooking for 9 hours.

I'm also craving to do a little beading lately, so we'll see what I can fit into the time I have.  I've got some great heart-shaped pendants just screaming to come alive with some cute beads framing it.  

It's exciting and scary, starting my own shop, but I've got to dive in sometime!  Stay tuned for our debut day!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Wine Bottle Flattens for Second Life With Cheese

My husband and I woke up this morning REALLY excited, and no, not just the sexy kind of excited....

The day before, we put 2 empty wine bottles in the kiln to fuse flat.  It took the WHOLE day to heat these to get the results we were looking for.  Several different ramps of heating went from 10 am to 8pm, and finally we turned off the kiln to cool off before we slept.  This morning we hurried to the kiln to see the results and were thrilled to see it worked!  We have the power to flatten a wine bottle!  Of the two we put in, the clear bottle (a fine cabernet) had a bit of opaque texture going on, but the green bottle of "Two Buck Chuck" worked perfectly.  Here are the before and after results of the two.

I've given the green bottle a little beautifying with some chain and glass beads.

Here's the clear bottle.  Not quite good enough to use.

Here's the green bottle, fresh from the kiln.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Pet Rock Returns from the 70's to Replace the Cupcake

It's my son's birthday tomorrow, and I am a terrible mother.  I forgot to plan for something special to give his classmates at the end of the school day.  This morning, knowing that the teacher does not like the parents to give out cupcakes or candies, he asks what else can he give them...pencils?  erasers? granola bar?   I am running around trying to get ready to take him to school and it dawns on me...what's cheap, in the house and fun?  Rocks.  I love rocks.  We've got rocks everywhere.

I show him a google image of a pet rock, one of my favorite crafts of the 1970's.  He goes for it!  Out he runs and quickly chooses 31 perfect rocks from the garden and we quickly wash them before heading out the door at 8:10 a.m.

I'm excited.  I had scheduled "art time" for myself today, and this may not be of the same calibre of painting a picture or making a fused glass piece, but I'm up for it!  I painted each one alien green, drying them off in the oven between coats.  Then, with a paint pen, I gave them a few different faces, amazed at how each one seemed to take on a personality of it's own.

While all the paint was drying, I found a cute "how to care for your rock" instructional piece, which I included with each rock.

This has truly been one of the more fun hours of my week, and I can't wait to see my son's face when he sees all the different creatures he can give to his classmates.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Taking the next step with Etsy

I've been working pretty hard on my artwork; some of it I've posted here, and others don't quite make the cut.  Until I've got my own web page designed, I thought I'd try selling a couple pieces on -- sort of a trial balloon.  It's a great site that will give me a little more exposure while I improve my craft.  I feel I still have so much more to learn,  and never enough time to really work on things to bring it to the next level. Do you ever feel that way?  However, I do have to begin SOMEWHERE, so here it is....putting my work out to the world!   Care to join me on my rollercoaster ride?

My Etsy store is called, artofbeingcreative, so you can check in there once in a while and see what I've been up to.  (I think you just click on "favorites" so that it will come up when you go on Etsy everytime.)  I am grateful that so many of my pieces were sold in December, but I hope to have new, wonderful artworks up soon.  Wish me luck!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Day of the Dead Alter

It's January, and I've finally finished my Day of the Dead alter, albeit 60 days late.  It was supposed to be finished at the beginning of November, when Day of the Dead is celebrated, but life got in the way, and I was not feeling like I had a good grip on how I wanted the alter to look.  Over Christmas vacation it finally came to me, and I had a wonderful time in the garage completing the art work.  I love all the detail and I used a little glitter on the skull to give it pizazz.  I think my favorite part though, is the mirror I glued to the back of the box so that the viewer can reflect on their own mortality.

The box is simply an old Ikea organizer drawer that was destined for the trash, and the cross, an old necklace that had not been worn in close to 20 years.  I look forward to seeing it hang with my student's Day of the Dead artworks at the Mountain View City Hall Art Show coming up!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year! Reflecting on a Year of Blogging

Happy New Year!  Looking back, 2011 was an interesting year for me creatively.  I rung in the year on a low note, believing that despite teaching art, I seldom allowed myself time to create art for pleasure.  That is how this blog came about.  At the beginning of the year, I decided to challenge myself to see if I could create more, take more art courses,  paint more, bead more and generally make art a greater part of my life.  The blogging itself was another way to challenge myself creatively.

After 48 posts in 2011, it looks like I succeeded!  I've painted, zentangled, beaded, fused, manipulated glass with fire, created sculpture, stamped, hot glued, monoprinted and crafted my way through the year.  I think that having the blog was a definite impetus to get off my butt and do something; to reach out and stretch my imagination a little more.

Many thanks to the 1780+ readers who read my posts this year, from 9 different countries: Canada, Alaska, across Europe, Malaysia and Japan.  Whether you've "facebooked" me, got me on an RSS feed or found the blog on a search engine, you've really spurred me on!

The scariest thing I did in 2011: Made a glass paper weight by manipulating a flaming, red ball of hot glass on a stick!
The biggest surprise in 2011: Realizing I had the patience to sit long enough to do detail-oriented zentangling.
My favorite art of 2011: My little 4X4 paintings for the holiday boutique; I did one a day for two weeks.
Wierdest thing I tried in 2011: It's a tie between nailing chicken wire on one of my paintings and making earrings from cut-up plastic gift and credit cards.
Most visited post: doodling of rocks with Sharpey markers!

Please join me in making 2012 a wonderful year artistically, hoping all of us will stretch our creative horizons more than ever before.  Happy New Year, and much love to you all.


Checking out my first works in my new Christmas present -- a ceramics/glass kiln.