Friday, October 29, 2010

Another Fun Craft Day!

Yesterday we had another fun craft day with the girls.  My friend Kathy hosted and graciously served us with mimosas and yummy foods.  She also made each of us these beautiful Halloween centerpieces.
I spent the day making textured circle bracelets and peace sign jewelry.  I changed the style of the new peace jewelry by using beads that have warm fall colors. 

This morning I was planning on finishing up the silver clay that I started on Monday...but I ended up sewing plastic spiders and arranging black spider webs to my daughter's Halloween costume!  She is going to be a Zombie Bride.  Of course it took me way longer than expected, but I'm done and ready to drive to the school and help her get dressed for the parade and party. 

I hope to find time this weekend to finish my silver and get my studio together. It looks a bit haunted now with silver clay, tools, spiders & black web everywhere!  Have a Happy Halloween.  See you Monday.  Stacie

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Kaci Lorance - Artist of the Week

Spirit Doll
I thought featuring Kaci Lorance's Art Dolls would be perfect for Halloween week!  Especially after I saw her Spirit Doll she listed on her esty shop!

Not all of Kaci's Art Dolls are quite so spooky!  Kaci is a Fashion Design graduate from Brooks College in Long Beach, California.  She currently lives in Ventura, California where she grew up.  Kaci found her love of dolls by making cloth dolls with her grandma as a kid out of odd socks.  She started getting into the more complex and artistic art dolls as an adult about 3 or 4 years ago. 

You can find a few of Kaci's Art Dolls for sale on her etsy shop Daydream Retreat.   
OOAK Art doll - Rilo

5X5 Original Fabric Collage
Kaci also works with other mixed media types like the Fabric Collage pictured above.  She plans to branch out further and create some more functional items with her images such as journal covers and jewelry boxes.  When I asked Kaci what is her favorite part about making Art Dolls, she answered; "My mind works best with dimension, for example in fashion school I was great at draping patterns on a dress form but couldn't flat pattern draft to save my life. As much as I would like to be a painter, it's just not a strength of mine and creating these little figures just feels natural. I also love the diversity, you can work with various types of clay, paint, wire, fabric, yarns, fibers, fabrics, and found objects all in one piece. I'm a fashion designer, make-up artist, and hairdresser all in one and there are no limitations except your imagination."

Kaci's "Sprout" doll was selected by Art Doll magazine in the "Upcycled Doll" challenge and published in the Art Doll Quarterly issue released in January, 2010.
Sprout Doll Published in Art Doll Quarterly
If you'd like to read more about Kaci and her creative works, read her blog at Daydream Retreat Art dolls and Other Creative Explorations.

Thanks so much for joining me today.  I hope you have a wonderfully creative day!  See you on Friday.  Stacie

Monday, October 25, 2010

Getting into the Halloween Spirit

My daughter Madison and I had a spooky and fun Halloween day yesterday.  We started our day by dropping my son off for a religious class field trip at Mount Saint Marys. There was a very old cemetery there with headstones from the 1700's that we decided to walk through.  Had to take a few photos to share.

It was both beautiful and a bit creepy walking through the cemetery.  The monuments and head stones were amazing. After that spooky experience, we moved on to the happier side of Halloween with a visit to the pumpkin farm.

It was a beautiful day, weather in the high 70's.  We found the perfect pumpkin and had a blast.  When we got home we had a wonderful meal waiting for us in the slow cooker.  I found this great recipe in Real Simple Magazine.

Chicken with tarragon and leeks

1 1/2 lb baby new potatoes
8 small skinless chicken thighs
3 leeks cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup dry white wine
Kosher salt
1 10oz frozen peas
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon

  • Place the potatoes on the bottom of a slow cooker.  Add the chicken, leeks, wine and 1 teaspoon salt.
  • Cook, covered until the chicken and potatoes are tender, on high for 3 to 4 hours, or on low 6 to 7 hours.
  • Transfer the chicken and all but 4 of the potatoes to plates.  Using a fork, smash the remaining potatoes into the cooking liquid to thicken.
  • Add the peas and cream and cook just until heated through, 3 to 5 minutes.  Spoon over the chicken and sprinkle with the tarragon.
I didn't have fresh tarragon, so I used dried and added it at the beginning of the cooking process.  It was so good!  Everyone in the family loved it, so I definitely have to make this one again.

On another note, Cathy Nichols released her 2011 calendars and they are amazing!  I had to buy one for my studio.  If you'd like to take a peek at them here is the link to her etsy shop

Off to make clay for The Mystic Jewel today.  I'm excited to make more pieces with the new frames.  See you on Wednesday for the Artist of the Week post.  Thanks so much for stopping by.  Stacie

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sarah Stevenson - Artist of the Week

Sarah Stevenson is the creative force behind Red Line Design.  She is originally from Australia, moving to the US when she was 10 years old.  She now lives in Northern Nevada with her husband and two children.  Sarah is a designer who is interested in creativity and how it is expressed through various mediums.  She has a passion for photography as you can see from the following beautiful photos. Sarah is a self taught photographer and said she is learning everyday to become better.  She has a limited edition 2011 Calendar coming out over the weekend, so be sure to watch for it.
The Clock Strikes Nine
You can find these Original Photography Prints and more on Sarah's Red Line Design Etsy Shop.  She also has several card collections on her Etsy site.  I love the brilliant colors in this Harvest Card Collection.
Harvest Card Collection
The Napa valley gift card set makes me want to hop on a plane to spend a weekend with friend sampling wines in the valley.
Napa Valley Gift Card Set
Sarah's creativity is not limited to photography.  She spent many years as a corporate interior designer and project manager.  She brings this experience and her creativity into Red Line Design and has plans to offer color palette services and sourcing guides via her website. 

I think Sarah sums up her business best in the following quote, "Most importantly for the readers, I just want people to know that when they come to my blog or my website that you are dealing with me and my genuine love of sharing, creating and teaching. I love meeting new people, hearing their stories and learning something from them along the way."

If you'd like to get to know Sarah better and learn more about Red Line Design, visit her blog What is design?  Thanks for stopping by, I'll be taking this Friday off.  I will be spending time visiting with my sister after the show Thursday night.  Can't wait to play a little!  I'll see you on Monday.  Have a great weekend.  Stacie

Monday, October 18, 2010

Jewelry For the Show

Busy weekend in the studio, but rewarding.  Here are a few pieces that I made for the show this week.

I am off to my friend Allison's studio today to work. It's always fun and motivating for me to work with her, and the conversation is great too!

Come back to visit on Wednesday for the Artist of the Week post!  Have a great day!  Stacie

Friday, October 15, 2010

Working and Walking

Today was a beautiful fall day.  Finally a day where the temperature was cool, the wind was blowing and the sun was shining.  I spent the morning and early afternoon working in my studio polishing and getting all my silver pieces ready for creating.  I don't have any new photos of my work yet, everything is still in process. 

I did take some photos from my walk this afternoon. I somehow talked my teenage son into joining me and my dog on the walk.  It was great to spend some quality time with him. I'm very lucky to have two wonderful kids.
Small Lake
Ryan and Scooby Doo

I am also lucky to be able to live and walk in the beautiful area of Lake Linganore, Maryland.  We have a wonderful walking path that I walk several times a week with my dog Scooby Doo.  The path goes around a lake and is covered in trees.  This time of year is particularly gorgeous with the trees turning colors.
Big Lake with the walking path
View from the walking path

The path leads all the way to a beach area where you can go to read, canoe, play in the water or just hang out.  I have always loved the way all the boats look lined up and ready for their owners to pick them up and take them out to the lake.
Canoes by the beach
By the beach

So tomorrow it's off to the studio again to work on the pieces that I prepared today.  I will have some finished pieces for you to see on Monday's post.  Have a wonderful weekend!  Stacie

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Artist of the Week - Tania Welch

This weeks Artist of the Week is Tania Welch.  Tania's work is both refreshing and charming.  She creates hand-printed textiles and modern goods for the home and sells her work on Etsy at Indobay Inc..  Tania uses textile paints for her beautiful pillow covers, napkins and other textile items. For her ceramic work like these great mugs, she uses ceramic paints and for the wood items pigment and dye inks. 
"Oh so Poppy" Hand-illustrated 12 oz mugs
Simple Sentiments Wooden Eggs-Live Simply

Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Tania now lives in Downtown, Orlando Florida.  She started seriously creating the indobay brand a year ago and loves it!  I have to say that I love it too.  I love the simple and refreshing designs on her work.

When I asked Tania about her creative process, she said, "I'm inspired by absolutely everything!! More ideas than I could even keep up with pop into my mind constantly. I usually will be inspired to create a particular design and then I think about which medium would look best with this design. For example, some designs look great on a pillow cover but don't look as great on napkins or on a mug. Does that make sense? Also, I am inspired by simple, thoughtful items that sometimes merely function as reminders of a simpler, slower, more thoughtful way of life. I am instinctively a nester and value creating a warm home. I strive to create items that also help bring that sense of warmth and the importance of HOME into your home."
Watermarked Moleskin Journal

If you'd like to read more about Tania and her artwork, visit her blog at indobay inc. One of the messages that I love that Tania portrays with her work is to provide "...a gentle reminder to embrace living a slower, more thoughtful life-where one can take pleasure in the simple, lovely moments..."  So, today why not slow down and take a look around you.  In honor of Tania's beautiful work, let us know what you noticed today that is simple and lovely.

Thanks for stopping by. Have a wonderful day! Stacie

Monday, October 11, 2010

Fall Jewelry Show

Our Girls day on Saturday was great!  We ended up buying new bedding for my daughter's room in the morning.  Spent Sunday morning redoing here's the new more grown up room.

I love how it turned out!  More importantly, my daughter Madi loves it too. She did great with the ear piercing, but Mom had to sit down. I was fine with my ear piercing, it was watching Madi get her ears pierced that almost made me faint! Madi had to get me a coke so I could continue on with our day! Lol.
Madi with her ears pierced in her new room.

So, on to jewelry. I am only doing one jewelry show this fall and it's next week at my sister's house.  So, for any of you in the area that would like to come, it will be Thursday, October 21st at 7:00 pm.  She lives in Annapolis Maryland, if you'd like to come just email me for more details. 

I will be closing my Etsy shop from Thursday, October 21st and reopening on Friday, October 22nd.  So if there is anything special that you have had your eye on, you may want to buy it before then or it may be gone after the show! 

Off to make a new batch of silver today!  Have a wonderful day & I'll be back on Wednesday for the Artist of the Week post.  Stacie

Friday, October 8, 2010

It's Friday!

I have to say, it's been a long week and I'm glad it's Friday.  My 8 year old daughter and I are planning a "Girls" day together tomorrow and I'm really looking forward to it.  We are going to start the day with a hike around the lake, then move on to lunch and shopping in Frederick.  Then it's hair appointments for new haircuts and off to the mall for ear piercing!  Should be fun.  We plan to cap off the day by having a family movie night and watching Karate Kid.

So, on to jewelry. I finished working on some of the pieces using the new frames.  I really love how they turned out.

Now, I am finishing up the rest of the jewelry that I will send off to the Waygoose in Rockville tomorrow.  I am really excited about the new pieces.

I wanted to share a good karma story with you.  One day this week I just had a bad know that kind of day where everything goes wrong and you don't do too great handling it all.  Well the next morning I woke up very early because I was still feeling down and I couldn't sleep.  I decided to drive to the local Starbucks and pick up Mochas for my husband and I to drink that morning.  While I was driving I saw a car with a license plate that read "R U OKAY".  It made me smile.  I wonder how many other people smile each day when they see that car.  I thought, what a great way to spread good karma.  My day even got better, the cash register was broken at Starbucks, so I got our drinks for free!   

Spread some good karma today and have a wonderful weekend.  Stacie

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Faith Evans-Sills - Artist of Week

Everything is Beautiful

Faith is a painter, labor support doula and creator of Leaves and Feathers, her Etsy shop.  She lives in New York City with her husband and two children. Her son is almost 6 years old and her daughter is 3 and 1/2. Faith started painting in High School and then more seriously in college.  As a busy Mom myself I can appreciate the challenges as well as the inspiration that she encounters being a working Mom.  If you'd like to read more about what Faith experiences as a working mother, take some time to read her recent interview on Art Biz Mama.

Faith's artwork truly portrays beauty and a message of serenity and giving.  When I first discovered Faith's work, I felt a sense of peace and calm as I scrolled through all her beautiful paintings. To read more about Faith and her amazing work, visit her Leaves and Feathers blog.
Strength and Beauty Surround You
I love the mix of bright color and soft earthy tones that she uses to create her paintings.  They all seem to tell a story and carry a positive message.  If you'd like to see more of Faith's paintings, view her Etsy shop; Leaves and Feathers. She just released her 2011 calendar full of her wonderful artwork.  So if you are looking for an inspirational calendar for your studio, this may be the one!

Leaves and Feathers 2011 Calendar
When I asked Faith what her favorite part of creating her art is, she responded with, "My most favorite part of making my art is the thrill of seeing the actualization of my ideas into a concrete form. I never tire of taking an image from the spark of an idea through to a finished painting. With all of my images I am working with botanical imagery that become metaphors for emotions and contain a personal iconography, with the titles of my paintings I offer an idea of what the image means and then I give the viewer space in which to bring their own meaning to the piece. This leads to my second favorite part of creating my work, which is when people respond to, and resonate with, those ideas that I have given form to...this is bliss for me and just never gets old."
If creating beautiful art isn't enough, Faith also is a professionally trained labor support doula who offers support to women and their families through out pregnancy and birth.  I wasn't familiar with the term doula before I read about it on Faith's blog.  "Doula" is an ancient Greek work meaning "handmaiden". If you'd like to find out more about this interesting practice, read Faith's blog about birth doula service.

I hope you enjoyed getting to know Faith and her artwork as much as I did.  Thanks so much for stopping by!  See you Friday. Stacie

Monday, October 4, 2010

New Necklace!

My son has studied Tae Kwon Do with the Jhoon Rhee Black Belt Academy for the past 6 years.  He has had the privilege of studying under the owner of the Academy, Master Amy Dudrow.  Master Dudrow is a high ranking black belt and an amazing teacher.  She has helped my son grow and find confidence in many ways.  This past May Ryan earned his first degree black belt. We are really proud of him!

A few months back, Master Dudrow asked if I could design a necklace to represent the Academy.  I have to admit it was a bit of a challenge.  I wanted to design something that represented the Academy and also incorporate my own design style.  After many drawings and paintings, I finally came up with a design that I am excited about and proud of!
The message incorporated in the necklace is based on the Grand Master Jhoon Rhee's philosophy of the importance of Truth, Beauty and Love.  Grand Master Rhee is a fascinating man. He was at the Black Belt ceremony that my son and I attended on Saturday.  He's 80 years old and a 10th degree Black Belt.  I really enjoy hearing him speak.

The necklace will be available for sale from the Academy's on line shopping website, Jhoon Rhee Black Belt Academy Shop.  To find out more about classes in the Academy, visit their main website at Jhoon Rhee Black Belt Frederick Academy.

Off to work in the studio!  Thanks for stopping by. Stacie

Friday, October 1, 2010

Inspirational Friday

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I signed up for a great online class called the Creative Coconuts through Creative Thursday.  Today they posted this great video on creativity by John Cleese.  I really liked it so I thought I would share it today on my blog.

I found the part about setting boundaries of space and boundaries of time really hit the spot for me.  I have often thought that it would be wonderful if you could freeze time at any point during the day for a three hour period and do whatever you'd like.  After you had your time to create, rest, exercise or whatever it is that you decide to do, you could unfreeze time and go about your day.  Wouldn't that be great?

The other bit of Inspiration that I'd like to share today is a book called Instant Karma.  It is filled with 8,879 ways to give yourself and others good fortune right now. The author of the book, Barbara Ann Kipfer, has a great website called Things to Be Happy About. The site is based on one of her other books, 14,000 Things to Be Happy About.  It's a fun place to stop by for a quick pick me up.

I did work on a new batch of silver this week. Here is a photo of a few new silver frames that I created to  use for photo transfer necklaces and bracelets.  I'll post photos of the finished products next week.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.  See you next week.  Stacie