Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pretty Poppies!

 I'm so in the mood for spring! I just dropped off a group of new jewelry pieces to The Muse in Frederick. This one is definitely one of my favorites. Poppies will be sprouting up in many of my new jewelry pieces this spring.
I'm also really having fun with new wire earring styles. This pair never made it out of my neighbor bought them before I could even put them on a earring card! I will be making more of this style for spring.

Just wanted to share a few new pieces with you. Hope you are having a great day!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Spreading the Creative Word

Creative Coconuts

From left to right:

As I shared on an earlier post, I have joined a wonderful group of inspirational artists called The Creative Coconuts. I wanted to share their amazing artwork and talents with you. Above is a listing of the artists and links to their websites. I hope you enjoy visiting with the coconuts.

On Friday, April 1st I will be featuring Monica Soeldner as the Artist of the Month. Make sure to stop back then to learn more about Monica and her artwork!

Thursday, March 24, 2011


I was trying to think of a subject to create a treasury around the other evening. I'm sitting on my bed with my laptop while my daughter is dancing around getting ready for her bath. My mind of course goes to the "I don't have enough time to do everything I want to do" voice that seems to constantly be lurking in my head.  So, I thought time. That's it! So I titled my treasury A Block of Time.
A block of time

The funny thing is that I didn't have time to finish it that night. My 14 year old son called me a computer crazy person, picked up my laptop and carried it down to the den. Apparently it was time for the three of us to read in bed together. I have to admit reading together is one of my favorite activities and it was just what the doctor ordered. I felt much more relaxed.

The next morning I brewed myself a cup of coffee and of course sat down to finish my treasury. Before I hopped over to that tab, I stopped for a visit in my Etsy shop and saw that my watch was featured in this beautiful treasury. Notice the title! How funny!

Where has time gone?
After spending a few minutes thinking about time, I remembered this poem that I used to have on my office bulletin board a long time ago. It was written by an 85 year old man. I love the whole message in this poem and hope that you enjoy it too.

If I Had My Life to Live Over Again
by Don Herold
I'd dare to make more mistakes next time. 
I'd relax, I would limber up.
I would be sillier than I have been this trip.
I would take fewer things seriously.
I would take more chances.
I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers.
I would eat more ice cream and less beans.
I would perhaps have more actual troubles, but I'd have fewer imaginary ones.
You see, I'm one of those people who live sensibly and sanely hour after hour, day after day. 
Oh, I've had my moments, and if I had it to do over again, I'd have more of them. In fact, I'd try to have nothing else.
Just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each day.
I've been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a raincoat and a parachute.
If I had to do it again, I would travel lighter than I have.
If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances.
I would ride more merry-go-rounds. I would pick more daisies.

Hope you take time to enjoy your day.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Blog Hop

Blogging For Lila

One of my fellow artist friends from the Creative Coconuts, Sarah Stevenson is sponsoring a Blog Hop in honor of this beautiful little girl, Lila. I will be participating in the Blog Hop on April 15th and will share more information about Lila at that time. I just wanted to put up the link to Sarah's blog in case you would like to participate in the Blog Hop as well. It's a great way to meet other artists, get your blog a few views and help out a little girl in need.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

New Look!

Thanks to the many talents of Jennifer Parker my blog has a new background. Jennifer not only created this wonderful and colorful background for my blog, she also created my new Etsy shop banner.
I really love Jenny's work, it's very organic and full of soft warm colors. Jennifer is the artist behind Jennifer Parker Designs and offer's a variety of artistic services to include the following:

  • licensing opportunities with JuniperTrail product line

  • gift/paper products design and production

  • product development

  • publication design: book design and calendars

  • packaging: bath and body, kitchen

  • marketing: brochures, postcards and business cards

  • invitations and announcements

  • website banners and layouts

  • personal assemblages and digital collage commissions 

  • For more information about Jennifer and her lovely designs, visit her website Jennifer Parker Designs.

    Of course since I have a new background, I had to play around with all the other fun details of my blog. I have to admit, I really haven't spent much time doing anything else but play with my blog for the past two days. It's so addictive! Today, I will stay away from my blog, twitter, email and facebook and spend time creating jewelry! Hope you have a wonderful day.

    Monday, March 14, 2011

    21 Secrets Art Journal Playground Class

    I'm so excited! I just signed up for this new class called 21 Secrets an Art Journal playground. I can't wait to get started. There are 21 different teachers all sharing their experience and secrets about drawing, painting and art journaling.

    My friend Jane Davenport is one of the teachers. Jane was my March artist of the month if you'd like to read more about her and her amazing work. The class is sponsored by Dirty Footprints Studio. I could definitely get lost on their website, just reading about all the different teachers and visiting their blogs could fill my whole week.

    Take a look at the class and see if you'd like to sign up too. Off to the jewelry studio!

    Thursday, March 10, 2011

    Number 100!

    Well, it finally happened...I had my 100th sale on Etsy this week. It couldn't have happened to a nicer customer.  Minda Metz purchased my 100th item and selected this lucky four leaf clover charm as her gift.  Minda owns a great little cafe here in Maryland called The Buzz . The Buzz offers ice cream, pastries, and coffee among other goodies.  If you live in the area, stop by for a visit with Minda and her yummy food.

    I'm very excited about my Etsy shop and watching it grow. Although I started my Etsy shop four years ago, I didn't really start fully selling from it until last year. Like many others I felt overwhelmed about how much there was to learn about marketing and selling on line. So last January I started scheduling just 15 minutes a day to learn a little about Etsy. It sort of snowballed and now I'm having trouble getting myself off the computer! It's so exciting how much information is out there.

    Yesterday and today I did limit my computer time so I could spend some uninterrupted time in my studio. I made a group of silver pieces that are just about ready to fire in the kiln. I will post photos once I get the new pieces created.

    Hope you have a wonderful day! Thanks so much for stopping by. Stacie

    Tuesday, March 8, 2011

    Rainy Day Treasury

    It's not raining today's coming! We are supposed to get up to 3 inches of rain over the next few days. Here is a new Treasury I created in honor of the rain.

    Hope you enjoy the Treasury and stay dry! 

    Monday, March 7, 2011

    New Sterling Cable Necklaces & Giveaway!

    Just finished these new Sterling Cable Necklaces with photo transfer pendants.  The theme here is wishing you were in Paris with your love!
    I will be listing these new pieces in my Etsy shop this week. Getting really close to my 100th sale on Etsy! There will be a give away for the customer who buys the 100th item! They can pick their favorite charm for free!  Who will it be?

    Thursday, March 3, 2011

    Definitely not a dog

    I am having fun with a great book I found called Drawing Lab for Mixed-Media Artists. Last weeks exercise was drawing 20 quick sketches of a dog on index cards. I pulled out my kid's Winn-Dixie book to have some idea about what a dog might look like, grabbed my cards, marker and got to work.  When I was done, I spread out the cards and enjoyed a good belly laugh. I wasn't looking at a dog, maybe some other animal, but definitely not a dog!

    I called the kids upstairs to get their opinions on the drawings. So here they are, some of the quick sketches and what my kids thought they looked like.

    Guy with a mustache

    Just so you know, what I was shooting for was a dog that looked something like this picture of Winn-Dixie.  Ok, so I have a ways to go, but I had a great time drawing.

    Last year I took a drawing course at the local college with my friend Allison and really loved it. I would love to find the time to take another course, but as we all know there are only so many hours in a day.

    The Drawing Lab book is really a lot of fun to work through. The next lesson is on drawing Monkey Faces. How fun is that going to be!  So far all of the lessons have been about drawing animals and drawing quickly so you don't have too much time to think. 

    I think the most important thing that I learned in my drawing course was, "draw what you see, not what you know". It's the best advice to hear when you draw because we can't help it, we start trying to draw what we think something should look like and miss a whole lot about what is actually right in front of you.

    So you don't think I'm a completely hopeless drawing cause, I will close with two drawings from my class last year that I am pretty proud of.

    Tuesday, March 1, 2011

    Artist of the Month - Jane Davenport

    I am very excited to share this month's artist with all of you.  Jane Davenport is an artist, author and shop owner from Byron Bay Australia. Yep, beautiful Australia. Jane's work is simply amazing and very diverse. Her new Sidekicks series created from her favorite colored pencils (more about that later) is so soft and beautiful. To start the post today, I'd like to share this great video that Jane created of her drawing the Zebra Crossing and the song that motivated her to draw the Sidekick Series.

    I find her drawing so motivating that I've watched this video a bunch of times. I feel like I can reach right into the soul of the girl through her incredible eyes.

    I was curious about how Jane gets her ideas and what motivates her work. She said,

    "Hmmm...I work in Series. I have an idea and it takes a few images/ artworks to fully express it, delve in to it and explore it. I usually work in one medium per series. My memories and inner world are what mostly arrive out of my brush/pencils/camera. Nature inspires me and that is a constant."
    Jane grew up drawing and continues to love it. She starts her day drawing at the beach while her husband surfs. What a way to start the day! She then goes home to create her art in one of her five studios. Yes, I said five. She has separate studios for Photography, Big paintings, Digital studio, Sewing and Crafts, and her Drawing/Art Journal/Water colors and Library area.  As you can see Jane has quite a diverse artistic life.

    Not only does she create art, she also owns a Gallery in Byron Bay called The Institute of Cute.

    The Institute of Cute is filled with Jane's other love, Ladybugs! All types of products including jewelry, clothing and even a surf board!

    Jane also sells all her other artwork at the shop. So, if you are ever in Australia (love to go!) be sure to stop by for a visit.

    Jane's love of drawing sent her off to school for Fashion Illustration. I have always had a dream of becoming a Fashion designer ever since I was young, so I wanted to know more. I asked Jane about her work surrounding Fashion, and here is what she said.

    "I have always been around the industry especially in my 20's. My mother is Liz Davenport, an Australian fashion 'Icon' , having been in the ragtrade for over 35 years!  It's a super-high pressure career option. I had my epyonomous fashion label, but aside from working on the textile prints, I'm just not that entranced by fashion at present.  I have so many other things that ignite me, if I'm not passionate about something it just seems like hard work. 

    My first job was as a fashion illustrator. I was actually at University doing Commerce and I was visiting my mother at her work, and I saw someone drawing up her Collections. I was amazed that sitting around drawing all day was a job! I chucked the Uni degree at the earliest opportunity, enrolled in Fashion College, and struggled away at sewing, but excelled at drawing and designing. My mothers illustrator left, and I applied for the job. Fashion Illustration is quite specific, you are presenting the Designers often scrappy sketches and ideas in a polished, stylised way.  My job grew to textile design, and then fashion design. But the commercial realities construe to make it nowhere near as exciting as you dream at fashion school! I got to do less and less drawing, and it was relegated to a hobby.  And I discovered photography and everything changed for me.  My latest blog post picks up my journey to becoming an artist from here. "

    When I asked Jane if she would be my Artist of the Month for March, she said yes and "Can I talk about colored pencils?" They are her current favorite tool for illustration. I asked Jane, what she liked about colored pencils and what other types of medium she uses to create.  Here is what she said;
    "Did you know that I have already declared 2011 as Year of the Colored Pencil? I am a complete coloured pencil nerd and am working on a series of reviews of all the different brands as they each have their own unique traits.  There is a lot to be said for them as an art tool as they so IMMEDIATE! No set-up time, no washing up or spills. No waiting to dry between layers.  I can use them at the beach because sand doesn’t worry them (sand and paint or oil pastels – bad combinations!)They are expressive and fun to use. And the colours….oh, the colours…

    I also use acrylic paint, watercolor, ink, markers and pastels.  And I use them all together too. I am an Art Supply junkie and always adding to my hoard! A hopeless case."

    Jane is also a remarkable Photographer. Her photos are so crisp and sharp, yet somehow soft. Her work has been published in various periodicals including Qantas Diary.

    I really enjoy the feeling of clarity as well as mystery that I have when I admire Jane's photography.
    Daisy's have always been my favorite flower. When I was a little girl, my bedrooms always had daisy wallpaper. Even now, my jewelry studio is painted daisy yellow with a lovely daisy photograph hanging on the wall in a prime spot.  I love the simplicity of the clean white petals and the more muted soft yellow centers.

    Jane is planning on teaching her first E course soon. She is teaching at 21 Secrets - an Art Journal Playground. She said that she discovered Art Journaling herself about a year ago and it has changed her whole creative process and life.  I can't wait to sign up!
    To find out more about Jane and visit her shops visit her blog and her websites listed below.

    I hope you have enjoyed your visit with Jane and her art. Thank you so much for stopping by. Stacie