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Sunday, June 15, 2014

deadline for artmakers denver is june 30th!!

for those of you who have been thinking about, but have not committed, the registration deadline for art maker's denver is fast approaching.  to enroll in the workshops, you must sign up by june 30th, which is only a couple of weeks away!!

please see the website at for more information about the awesome opportunities to learn from some pretty amazing master artists!!

on another note, i've decided that after over 200 posts, it's time to change up my blog.  in the next couple of weeks, i will be redesigning, reinventing, and rethinking what has been an artist blog for the last few years.  i have not been creating in the same way as before, and have so many things i want to talk about besides the art-making i have spoken about previously.

thanks, and speak to you very soon!!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

busy with the birds (and lots of other things)!

i've been busy at anthropologie the last few weeks.  we are in the midst of changing out many of the display areas in collaboration with some big floor changes.  my co-worker/display coordinator, john (who is the nicest, most talented guy, ever) has finished a gigantic elephant constructed with wood, canvas, and other materials.  he is standing at the entrance of the store to greet the customers.

behind the elephant, there is a large weaving on the upper display space.  this was one of my jobs.  i used just about everything lying around the art room to create it.  there is bamboo, twine, paper, 
rattan, even masking tape in the mix.  it's pretty large, about 10 feet long or so.

here's another shot (before it was hung):

in addition to these pieces, i have been making some paper cranes to accompany some bamboo bird cages that our anthro display friends darcy and wyatt created.  the birds were a labor of love…each feather was hand cut and glued to the armature by yours truly.  these pics were taken before i finished the feet, which were done in place.  the legs are actually screwed to the table and floor to keep them secure.

Here are a couple of images for you to enjoy!

 in addition to the cranes, we are in the midst of some other projects.  coming soon, will be a rope installation that was designed by john.  it's going to be super cool!  

here is a sneak preview of the ropes, ready to be hung.  i'll post a photo of the end results once they are up and ready!

it's been a super fun job so far.  i am still bring to get used to getting up at 4:30 am to make it to work by 6.  so far so good.  i think i would die without some extra sleep on the weekends, though!!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

i got the job! and an awesome paint-by-number!

before i unveil the most awesome of all paint-by-numbers, i will formally announce that my new job is official!  well, it will be truly official in february when i actually start in the new position.  the exact title of the job is "visual sales associate", which means i get to make displays most of the time, and also work on the floor a bit when i am not needed as a display person.  this will also (hopefully) train me in the ways of anthro display so that one day i can be full-fledged as a display coordinator.  in the meantime, i will be working full-time.  most days begin at 6 am, which will be hard to get used to.  it's not much different from when i was teaching.  i had to be at school pretty early, and got off at a similar time.  it's just going to take me a while to adjust.

i am so very excited!  what a dream job!!

ok, it's kinda creepy.  like a bad dream.  but it's also ultra kitschy and so dang laughable!  i have been collecting paint-by-numbers for a long time.  even when it was pre-cool.  i could get them for a few dollars each.  i won't tell you what i paid for this one!  (well okay, it was $28.  that's ridiculous…i know…)  i had to have this, though!  it was described on etsy as "the skipper and a really young gilligan", which is quite hilarious.  in fact, every time i walk by it i start singing "the skipper, too…a millionaire…and his wife…"

i have cut up many a paint-by-number to use in my work.  but this one?  never!!

by the way, when i was teaching i had about 20 pbn's on the wall of my classroom.  and you know what?  the kids had no idea what they were.  i had to explain it to them.  oh my…showing my age!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

so frustrating!!

screenshot of my website
i am so mad!  i went onto my website today, and realized is was not working correctly!! turns out when you clicked on the images, nothing happened.  the site usually brings up a larger image with details after clicking.  i think it is now fixed.  the web hosting company i work with recently updated their software, and i guess it messed with some of the inner workings on my site.  my apologies to anyone looking recently!!

some other news lately, i have been working at anthropologie.  i decided back in the fall that i needed to get out of the studio and around people.  my husband john had been traveling a lot, and my son ben was off at college. it was too much time by myself!! i love making art, but not so much solo.  it's the collaboration and feedback that i miss while working alone.  this fall, i found that my creative juices were just not flowing.  i sat in the studio, materials surrounding me…but i couldn't find my muse.  i thought about where i could make a few dollars, and make a few friends, and anthropologie came to mind.  i was sure there were a lot of creative types working there, and thought it might be a good fit.  so i applied for a seasonal position, and got the job!

about a week or so into working on the floor, they needed someone to help out with the holiday displays.  of course, i raised my hand as high as it could go!  it was always a dream of mine to work with the display team at anthro, so this was perfect!!  i got to go to work and make stuff all day long!  and they paid me!  woo hoo!!  i had such a good time that when the days of art making ended, there was a bit of sadness.  don't get me wrong, i do like working on the floor.  but making stuff is pretty dang fun.

right around the holidays i found out that one of the display team was leaving to work in boulder.  i was really happy for him, and his promotion!  wyatt was a wonderful guy, great to work with, with a super sense of humor.  he's also very talented, and deserves his new job as the display coordinator!  that said, wyatt leaving left a spot for a display person at our store.  so i decided that i would like a chance at the visual sales position that was available.  i am in the interview process, and am not the only candidate.  hopefully the art gods will shine their light on me and help me to get the job. 

in the meantime, i submitted a project for the interview.

i had to come up with something that was "anthro-like", using a main material with other things to support it.  i made these boxes, meant to be used as a modular display system in the store.  my material was plywood, supported with found window panes and paper.  of course i used glue, etc. as well.

my idea was to create a box that had a sculptural element for interest.  i did a layered paper piece inside.  i also figured that the interior could be taken out at a later time, and changed out.  anthro likes to re-use their pieces, so that was the idea.  on the outside of the box, i decoupaged old pattern pieces, french fashion drawings, and old ephemera (i know it's a bit hard to see in the photos--sorry!).  over that, i repeated the circle pattern with a transparent wash of white gouache.  i thought it would be cool to group or stack these boxes next to mannequins, in a window, or on a large table.  you'd have to have a few more…maybe even a door for height.  the tops of the boxes could be merchandised with home goods or accessories.

total for each box, about $20.  i got the windows from a junk shop, and most of the other stuff besides the plywood was free.  the french drawings were given to me a few years ago, and i was waiting for the perfect project for them.

so shine on me, art gods.  hopefully my next post will tell you i got the job!!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

art makers denver!

art makers denver venue: the mcnichols building.  it's an awesome space!!

i am so excited to announce my participation as an instructor at art makers denver this coming september!  it's going to be an amazing experience for me personally, and also for the city of denver.  my friend helen rice at willow-an artisan's market in littleton has done the organizing for this event.  it will bring a real live art retreat into the city.  the list of instructors is quite impressive.  please check out the official website for more information about the event!

early bird registration opens on january 15th!!!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Oy. It's been forever!

i have not posted in…forever.

it's been a wild ride.  we moved several months ago, and the house has taken all of my time.  it's been pretty fun, actually!  since NOTHING in the old place really fit into the downsized space, it was the time to get rid of, sell, donate, and repurpose much of what we had.  we took 15 loads to the thrift shop, had 2 huge garage sales, sold tons on craigslist, and traded more to a local antiques dealer.

we finally managed to get everything set, installed, hung, and stored in the new place.  it's a lot less cluttered, which goes well with the modern vibe of the new house.

the new kitchen!!

in between were vacations, a sweet son sent off to college, and a new job.  yes, i decided to enter the real workplace!  i am currently working as a temporary salesperson at anthropologie!  i determined that staying home 24-7 by myself was not a good thing.  i tried to make art, but was feeling…alone.  so i figured i'd get out into the world and be around people.  creative and fun people to be exact!  so there you go.  a whole lot of life in one easy paragraph.

Monday, May 6, 2013

orange powder coat! (and some grey)

 before smith and hawken closed their retail stores, we purchased a very heavy set of patio furniture.  our plan was to buy it at smith and hawken since they were known for their quality.  we also thought since they were a staple in the garden furniture industry, we could easily add to our collection as we needed or could afford.  

fast forward a couple of years later...the retail stores were closed, and the brand was sold to target.  yes, target still carries a style like the one we bought. but the quality is seriously undermined, it's made in china, and the chairs weigh at least two-thirds less than the ones we have.  we were seriously bummed.

our imminent move had me asking how to deal with the set.  should i sell it and start over?  i was worried that we would get nothing for the set.  you can buy a set at target that looks almost identical for about 10% of what our set cost.  (seriously!!!!)  i knew if we tried to sell it, we would get nothing.  and to replace it with one as heavy would be expensive.  

the black finish was getting a bit oxidized after many years on a south-faced deck.  and the traditional style of the pieces was just not right for our more modern space.  so i got this idea to get them powder coated.  i called around, and found that it wasn't horribly expensive.  and the finish will last a really long time.  so off they went.

tony, the guy at premier coatings, came to the house to pick them up and bring me a color chart so i could choose the colors.  when i looked at the chart it was mostly boring blacks or severely dull colors. so i asked him, "do you have anything in orange??"  he actually laughed at me (in a good way), and explained that he had more colors, but didn't expect patio furniture to need the crazy ones.  off he went with the pieces, and a few days later the new (crazy) chart was in my mailbox.

here are the new crazy orange chairs, paired with a grey table.  there are two more orange chairs that you don't see, and a grey side table that's hiding in the rear of the photo.  i am reallly excited.  i think the color kinda makes them modern, and now we can add other furniture to the collection and tie it all together with color in the fabric cushions.  that's the idea anyway.

they are going on our roof-top deck.  and the good news is that they will definitely not blow away like their target imposters!