Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Etsy Pick-O-The-Week - TheFlyingEwe

What's one of the biggest sellers on Etsy? Well, in my opinion, ONE of the biggies is wool. Wool for spinning and wool for felting. Almost every time I look at the newly sold items in the Time Machine, I see some kind of wool that has recently sold.

So I thought this week I would find a shop that specializes in supplies for the fiber arts. There's a lot of shops that have wool, but I found TheFlyingEwe. I like this shop for the obvious... it has lots of wool roving for your spinning needs...Both in solid colors and these varigated beauties like the picture you see here. But they also have supplies for the fiber artist-gadgets, spindles, felting needles, kits and patterns. Go to their website at

When I see these natural fibers it makes me want to give spinning a try. But I know my time won't allow it. So instead I'll have to try out some needle felting.

Yes, I always see wool for sale, that and hand-spun yarn. It's funny how spinning your own yarn is making it's comeback. What use to be an ancient neccessity is now a novelty. Our society is so modern with it's high-tech communications, and gizmos. I'll take the hand-crafted unique item over the mass-produced, Wal Mart junk any day! And I do believe the trend is growing!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Snowplants in the Forest

A snowplant is one of the more unusual things to find in the forest. Many sprouted up down the road from my house. That's what they do, they just suddenly appear. Their color is so unusual for our forest. When you first see them, you're bound to think they are man-made. And I don't know why they're called "snowplants", it hasn't snowed for weeks now. Another short lived beauty, these are so fun to see, and fairly rare. So enjoy them if you're lucky enough to see one!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Art Lesson - Pointillism - Lilacs - 1st Grade

This is an art lesson on pointillism that I did with a class of first graders. The very first art lesson that I did with a class was on pointillism. Back then I let the kids basically do what they wanted, as long as it was "spring-like." This year I gave them more of a focus, and we painted lilacs.

I first gave a little talk about pointillism, keeping it simple and quick because these were first graders. I showed them the famous Georges Seurat painting, as well as some pointillism I'd done before, and other examples that I found in magazines. I also talked about the process a little bit. I gave them small straws with non-drying clay stuck in the end. I showed them how to make the dots with tempra paint. And I explained to not use it like a brush, rather to just "dot" with the straw.

It was lilac season when I did this lesson, so I had a bunch of freshly cut flowers for every table. I tried to help them notice that the flowers had different shades and colors, not just a solid purple. I did a little example with them while lightly drawing a simple shape then filling with the dots. I asked what shape that might be, and it was cute when a little girl called it ginger shaped (CS). I told them to look at the flowers and leaves on their desk and try to duplicate them.

There's always a few kids who want a solid-colored picture with no different shades of purple. And they also want no white showing - like they just could've used a paint brush and painted it much more quickly. But then there was quite a few who actually got it. And I like how they really did do their own version of the flower, as you can see in these examples I have here.

A fabulous quote of the day was "You can mess up in life, but you can't mess up in art" !! by another first grade girl. (AL) The kids are so smart when it comes to art!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Well I'm getting my POW posted pretty late in the night. My Wednesday was a busy, hot one at a track meet/field trip with a bunch of 4th and 5th graders. Fun, but hard to find the time to search for my Etsy Pick-O-The-Week.

I was thinking that I wanted to find a talented stained glass artist on Etsy. So I did a little search and the work of Kathryn over at INTERIORGLASSDESIGNS kept jumping out at me. There are some very stunning and unique designs over in that shop. And a good variety of types of items, too... Business card holders, kaleidoscopes, night lights, sculptures, jewelry, suncatchers, and boxes. I thought this carousel nightlight was so cool, and I always love a merry-go-round! I just love these beautifully unusual designs! She also does a wonderful job of soldering her items in a decorative style, adding to their charm.

INTERIORGLASSDESIGNS is a pretty new shop on Etsy. I wish her luck, but I think the outstanding work will take her far!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

NibbleFest-The Groovy 60s

It's NibbleFest time. This month's theme was "The Groovy 60's" - always a fun theme!

So I did a groovy little cat. She looks quite peaceful in her sunshine daydream.

I enjoyed using some tissue and colored inks so much, that I had to do another. The tissue gives the piece lots of texture. And the colors are oh-so-60s! Well at least to me.


Sunday, May 20, 2007

Bees and Manzanita Blossoms

A Manzanita becomes a little habitat when it blooms in May. Just walk by one in bloom and you can hear the friendly humming of many a flying creature. Hummingbirds and bees of every variety enjoy it's luscious nectar. They are subtly beautiful, only when you look real close can you truly enjoy the lovliness of the blooms. It's a very short lived joy and is the true beginning of the warm season here.

I've heard a lot lately about how the bees are dying. What a scarey thought. But I'm happy to see we still have lots here on the mountain! I had to get a pix of one of the busy bees. Have you ever tried to photograph one? It's not real easy. I was lucky to get this shot. I've also realized the bees don't mind when I'm going about my own business - gardening, sitting, or even just watching them at work. But when I went to the tops of the bush and tried to get some pictures, well they started to get angry and a couple swarmed me. I had to run to the house for a break! So you can see just how lucky I was to get this photo... and with NO bee stings!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Etsy Pick-O-The-Week - 1ofmykind

Wow! Is this some gorgeous jewelry, or what?! There's a lot of incredible jewelry on Etsy, and it can be overwhelming to find only one to pick! I was drawn to these beauties made by the very talented and unique Jody at 1ofmykind. These jewels are created with vintage filagree, made into mini masterpieces. They are very old-world, or nouveau and deco all in one. And the stones are just glowing with loveliness. Definitely a treat that I would love to give myself! And yes, she has mastered the fine art of photography, a must for any successful online seller. Find Jody's website here.

I'm also attracted to this jewelry not only because it is so beautiful, but it also reminds me of a special time in my life. I grew up going to the Laguna Beach Sawdust Festival every year since I was a wee kid, back when the Festivial was also new. It was a fun place to go as a kid, and I always enjoyed when my parents bought me something there. Well, more than once I chose some jewelry that was displayed in a cute little gypsy wagon. Wonderful little baubles that I could stare at forever. I'm not sure if that artist is still around, but now you can find some other remarkable beauties here on Etsy!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Illustration Friday - citrus

This week's Illustration Friday theme is "citrus." And here we have a lovely Goddess of the Citrus fruits.

I guess you would call this mixed media. It's a little bit of collage using tissue paper. I also enjoyed using my new Winsor & Newton colored inks, both with brush and a pen. I've wanted a set of these little colored inks for a long time. I finally splurged (using my 40% off coupon) and bought some at Michaels. They have the cutest labels and boxes, and the colors are so vibrant.

This is an ACEO (2.5x3.5), art card, mixed media on 140 lb. watercolor paper.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all of the Mama Bears out there! I hope your day was lovely!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Art Lesson - Mixed Media, Self Portraits

This is the example that I did for this lesson. I thought it was a very fun project to do.

I did this lesson a couple of weeks ago in my son's 4th grade class. It does take a lot of prep work, but since it was with my son's class I felt I had the extra energy to put into it. First, I had to take pictures of all of the kids. I tried to get real close-up views of them. This also gave the portraits a fish-bowl effect which I thought went with the project well. I thought they should be black and white and I also made them a higher contrast. I used card stock instead of flimsy regular paper. (Thanks to H. for all the help!! :) ) So you can see, for 29 kids, this whole process can take some extra time.

I provided the copies of their faces. Luckily, Michaels had a big sale on scrapbooking supplies, so I was able to have a good supply of neat paper. Plus, I had an old dictionary and some magazine images, and contruction paper for collage. As well as markers. I showed the kids my example. Then explained how I had put different things that I liked onto the design. I also mentioned that I was trying to make it look kind of funky, and abstract, not very realistic. I tried to have them think of the process in 3 steps... 1. First, do the background and try to keep it simple. Like strips of plain construction paper. 2. Add their head and make a body, either draw or use some sort of collage body. They were thrilled when they asked if they could make any kind of body, like an animal, and I said yes. 3. Add different things they like, or represent themselves. They could draw or collage shapes and images.

It's always so interesting and fun to see what the kids come up with!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Etsy Pick-O-The-Week - MarmeeCraft

Here it is Wednesday again, already... Time for my POW from the many choices of creativity over there on Etsy.

This week my Pick had to be MarmeeCraft. This young lady is a girl after my own heart! I discovered her while looking through the Etsy Forums, looking at all the Etsy blogs out there. At her shop you'll find her oh-so-adorable original paintings, prints of these wonderous originals, needle felted animals, stuffed creatures and dolls, and other little sculpted cuties. She is 100% whimsy, and with a historical costume thrown in. Just the sort of thing that I enjoy the most!! I truly can't choose my favorite. And even better, she has a most enjoyable blog - MarmeeCraft - Cozy Little Whimsy Nook! So go check her out!

I'm amazed at the amount of wonderfully talented people I am constantly finding in blogland. It's a fun place to go!

Monday, May 07, 2007

A Day at the Herb Extravaganza!

This weekend I went down to OC for the "Herb Extravaganza" at the Fullerton Arboretum. The grounds there are so beautiful, lots of blooming flowers and so many rare varieties! I use to go to the Herb Fair or The Green Scene almost every year, but I hadn't made it there in about 5 years. It was free this year, but much smaller than it use to be. Still a lot of different plants for sale, just no other vendors selling plants and arts and crafts. I also missed the Lavender Lemonade which I was so looking forward to.

The pond was as lovely as ever, with lots of turtles basking in the sun.

And the little baby ducks were there too! I just love ducks so much!!

A special moment was seeing this dazzling bird. I kept seeing 2 of these beauties across the pond. I even took some pix of them, but they were far away. So I was giving up and had run out of room on my camera. Then suddenly the pair flew over to me, and landed on the grass 2-3 feet away! They did a little chirp and dance with their feathers fluffed. I quickly made room on my camera, and miraculously got this beautiful shot of the one. I think they are Red Winged Blackbirds. I don't think I've ever seen them before in OC. Only at the beautiful Arboretum with it's natural, gorgeous setting!

I have a weakness. I love to buy plants, especially herbs!

Friday, May 04, 2007

I've Been Tagged!!

Yes, I have been tagged by the lovely Sandra Eileen - Artisan Jewelry. How nice that she thought of me!

I'm to do a little write up about myself. So tough to sit and contemplate yourself!

The Rules:

--List seven random facts/habits about yourself
--Choose another seven bloggers to tag and list their names in your blog
--Leave your seven tagged bloggers comments to notify them of their tagging and to direct them to your blog for tag instructions.

1. My favorite thing to do is go on a road trip and do some art in my Travel Journals. I love getting an ice mocha at an independent coffee house and sitting a bit to doodle. This pix is a journal entry from my last summer's trip.
2. I'm NOT a morning person.
3. I absolutely love swimming. I need more places to be able to do this.
4. Despite it's being overly commercialized, and is brain washing our children - I love Disneyland, and most all things Disney.
5. I'm a big fan of old music. All decades really, but especially 20's and 30's jazz or country.
6. I live in a funky old house but have one of the best yards around.
7. As a kid I usually had different interests than my friends. When my friends loved Leif Garrett, Andy Gibb, and Scott Baio, my hero was Grizzly Adams! This is the trash can I've had since then.

Now I must go and tag 7 more bloggers...

The oh so sweet SamIAm Creations
The ever so witty mrs. kwitty
The most gracious gardenpainterart
The very kooky handbag maker - cArried AwAy
The oh so rare and fun RetroAttic
The most charming fluffyflowers
The ever so talented redheadart

Thank you ladies!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Illustration Friday - Remember

The weekly theme for Illustration Friday is "Remember". It took me a while to think of an idea, and even longer to get the painting done. Life was just too busy this week. Well I'm getting it onto IF with just a few hours to spare.

I was thinking about how young women use to make a special message for their lovers who were going off to war. Then I wanted the overall look to be like the vintage needle packages. I've always liked those packages. I guess because I remember my mom having some in her old sewing machine drawer way back when I was quite young. They probably belonged to her mother before that.

It's an ACEO (2.5x3.5 inches) acrylic. Find it on Etsy.

Etsy Pick-O-The-Week - Stoneriverstudios

This week's POW is Stoneriverstudios. There is a lot of variety to be found in this shop. You'll find Limited Edition prints, fiber arts such as hats, scarves and java jackets, and hard and soft sculpture. The things that got me to her shop, and I bought, were the beautiful plant starts! Plants are more of a rare thing to find on Etsy. And I envy the people that are able to do it. That's one of my dreams to make money off of the land, from my own garden. I actually did a little bit of it years ago when I had a shop.

I bought 2 plants starts - Flowering Fringe Cups for a shady spot in my garden, and English Alba Climbing Rose. This rose has a great story...

"These are cuttings taken from my 35' ft tall mother plant! (WOW!) The Mother plant was made its way to our property by the father of the woman we purchased our home from. She was originally from London and moved here in 1973. Her father came to visit soon after, bringing with him 4 varieties of old english roses for the garden to remind her of "home." -Stoneriverstudios.

She goes on to say... "The 35' ft Mother plant outgrew all of its arbors over the years, and was lucky enough to be befriended by an Ash tree, which doesnt mind supporting all its flowering canes. All summer long people stop to take pictures of our "Rose Tree"!"

It must be a beautiful sight to see!

What sold me the most on this seller was her excellent customer service! Only a couple of days after my purchase, I got a note explaining that the package was returned to her damaged. She then sent me a new package that I received in record time. And because I had to "wait" she included an extra plant and some mixed varieties of squash seeds. Very sweet and yet unnecessary because I still got the plants sooner than I've gotten a lot of packgages that I've bought! So check it out and maybe you'll find some little gems for your garden!

Sorry that my Pick-O-The-Week was not on Wednesday as it's suppose to be. Because of testing I couldn't help in the class yesterday. So instead I did some shopping off the hill. Then we had a baseball game that I co-coach. There was little time left for much else. I went to bed and right then realized I had totally skipped over my POW entry! Luckily I already knew who to write about, and instead of a late night Wednesday, you have a some-what early entry for Thursday.