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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

clean a room a day

there is about to be a surplus of artwork in our house.  with the closing of the shop this weekend, and the end of the shy rabbit show, i will have a bunch of stuff that needs a home in the casa for a while.  john and i were very aware of this issue, so have been working on cleaning a room a day for the transition.  we haven't really stuck to the room a day rule, but we have been pretty good about the project.

this was our guest room yesterday.

john decided to install some shelving in the closet to take care of some of the clutter that was stacking up from the move.  nothing fancy, just some melamine shelving from the home depot.  he installed it on either end of the closet, leaving the center open for a rod.  we thought it would be nice for our guests to have a functioning closet when they visit.

he even painted the interior with gloss white, and trimmed it out with white trim.

here is the after.  we still have a lot to fit in here from the shop, but i am thinking that it won't be a problem.  

ta-da!!  all ready for a visitor!  it feels so good to be organized!!  

(did i ever tell you my favorite store is the container store?  heaven!  i may have to go spend some cash getting some more organizing tools tomorrow!!)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

merry merry!

happy, happy!
merry, merry!
hope your christmas is wonderful!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

spirit of christmas

my mother was a huge lover of christmas.  one of my fondest memories of her was when she would hang the old lead tinsel on the tree after all of the other decorations were present.  she hung that tinsel strand by strand.  it was perfect.  my way of putting on tinsel was throwing a handful at 3 feet away, and seeing where it would land.  i am sure my poor mother spent hours re-doing my abomination to her tree.

my mom was not the kind of person who like old things.  our tree mostly had newer ornaments.  she was very crafty, and we spent a lot of time making things to put on the tree.  we painted little plaster shapes, and stuck pins through sequins and fake pearl beads into styrofoam balls.  the tree was always beautiful to me, and is still a symbol of my mother at our house.  

i inherited my passion for the season from mom, but this year i didn't feel the magic.  i don't know what it was, but i felt like i couldn't bear to get out the boxes.  it just seemed like too much work, and the thought of putting it all away again overwhelmed me.

two saturdays ago, i came into the shop to work for the day.  i had a cloud of non-celebratory funk over my head.  as i drove home for the day, the cloud was still over me.  but when i hit our street, it vanished.  john and ben had put up the christmas lights, and they were sparkling my way into the driveway.  and when i got into the house, things were even better.  those two had put up the tree, decorated it, hung the stockings and wreaths, and filled the fireplace with pots and pots of red poinsettias.  

i burst into tears.

it was one of the nicest things that anyone had ever done for me.  as i type the story, i still tear up a bit.

now the house is decorated and cheery.  my collections of antique and kitschy christmas items are out for the world to see.  and the spirit is back inside me thanks to my son and my husband.  

thanks, guys.  and thanks, mom.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

collecting cigarette cards

i have been collecting cigarette cards with bizarre imagery for about 10 or 12 years.  it all started with a set of chinese swimmers.  at that time, you could get a really cool set on ebay for just about nothing.  now it's a different story.  i look for cards that aren't in complete sets now.  or ones that have damage or creases.  they are still a bargain, and perfect for me.  

another collection of mine is old first aid books and other medical stuff.  as you can see, the card in the piece below fits both categories.  i am working on 5 pieces for this series.  i have the center blocks all done.  they are 5x7 blocks of birch plywood, which i have covered with old letters and then various found objects.  cut up tins, window marker tacks, tiny nails.  under the block, there is a monoprint, an overall pattern.  i thought it re-emphasized the text from the tins, and gave a modern twist to the work.  the whole deal will be placed in a deep frame.  haven't decided if i will just seal the piece or use glass to protect it.

right now, the series is comprised of cards with first aid imagery.  but maybe there are more to come.

Friday, December 9, 2011

official announcement

here it is. the post card we sent out this week, telling our friends that we are officially closing.  
we have had some terrific feedback, and lots of compliments about our little place on prince street.  please stop in and say goodbye!  we will miss you!

please keep in touch!

oh, and by the way, all of our vintage items are now 20% off, excluding radios!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


we are getting revved up for the holidays here at the fweger household.  the best part of christmas is that i get to dig the antlers out and put them on our dog, vinny.  it always brings joy and hilarity to the house.  and i really think he kinda likes those antlers!

Monday, December 5, 2011

the sk3tchbook's closing

i'm feeling a bit sad today, as i have chosen today to publicly tell my friends and associates that the  sk3tchbook! experience is coming to an end.  we will be closing our doors at the end of december.  it's been a tough couple of weeks, knowing that the decision has been made.  now we have to go through the hard task of physically and mentally doing the work to finish the job.

we will be open until the 31st, and will continue to offer affordable art and cool vintage and handmade items.  and we will also be selling the fixtures.  so if you are in the market for some great gifts this holiday season, or if you need a vintage display case, give us a call or visit!!

i am not one bit regretful about this whole experience.  it has taught me a lot of things, including that i am able to make a whole lot of art.  it has also helped me and my partners continue our professional journeys as artists.  before sk3tchbook, i had never really made art full-time.  as an art teacher, i was constantly working on my art, but i could never give it the time it needed to grow.  i have found that my work has become more sophisticated, and has multiplied exponentially.

i have also found out what it really means to run a business.  it's a lot harder than i expected.  and i am tired.  

right now my plan is to continue my artistic journey at my home studio.  i have spent the last few weeks cleaning it up, and purging unnecessary stuff.  as a person who creates art with many objects, i have had to figure out how to store my things efficiently.  it's been a big task, but i feel like i am ready.  

i have had interest in the baker section of denver as a possible new area for a studio.  but right now i think i need a while to regroup, get lots of work done, and see how it feels to work full-time at home.  i have not done this since my son was a toddler, and that was at least 15 years ago.  i am sure there will be some challenges i have yet to see.

btw, the image above is taken from a website that promotes a very interesting project.  i have contemplated participating, but lack of time has won out.  maybe it will be something i can do now that i have more minutes at home. click here for more information.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

brush is moving again!

i've had a bit of a dry spell.  i think i needed a little break, as i had been going non-stop making art for over 2 years.  we decided to have our invitational this holiday season, so there was really no need to push for the  winter show.  so i made ornaments for the shop, and stopped there.

my husband asked me the other day if i might consider making some art for christmas presents this year.  and since it was snowing today i decided to stay in and paint.  nothing grand, but it was good to get the brush moving.  i decided on a small piece using gouache on black paper.

the first two shots show the work in progress.  i draw with graphite on the black paper, and then fill in color on either side of the line, leaving the black showing.  it's a really fun process.  i will tell you that my eyes are crazy tired when i am done, though.  the last step is to erase all of the pencil so it looks finished. i like the almost naive look the slightly undulating black line gives.  this one is about 5x5 inches, and took me a couple of hours.  i use acrylic gouache, which is like really nice tempera paint.  it's really opaque and has a matte finish, which i love.

that's all for now.  time to put it in the frame and wrap it for the receiver!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

new stuff at the shop and on etsy!

i've been busy assembling for the last few days.  i just listed the items above on etsy (click here for a link to my shop), and am going to bring them down to the shop tomorrow for public viewing.  

believe it or not, i am completely out of items to make any more game piece boxes, and the crosses aren't looking too good, either.  i think over 2 years of making these kinds of assemblages has taken their toll on my inventory of objects.  i have been scouring the antique malls, etsy, and ebay for the stuff i need to renew my stash.  and it's been quite frustrating, really.  i even drove up to fort collins this past weekend (thanks john for the company!xoxo) to see if i might be luckier there.  and i came back muy empty-handed.  so i guess what i am saying is that if you want a box, better get one now because the larder is looking pretty bare.

im thinking of maybe going to the midwest this spring or summer on a buying trip.  i was always lucky with stuff when i lived in iowa and missouri.  maybe it's the same deal there?  could the world of antiques and junk actually be running out of stuff??

ok.  time to get myself out of my PJs and into some sort of working mode.  oh, and i guess i still haven't had breakfast!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

snow day!!

it's hard to believe that one week ago i was walking on the beach, eating dinner outdoors, and jet skiing with the dolphins on the gulf of mexico.

we have had two snow storms already in colorado.  we have had almost as much snow this winter as we did the whole of last winter.  crazy.  the trees still have their leaves, and we lost one big branch on the russian olive in the back yard.  i put a yardstick into the pile of snow on our outdoor table, and it said 9 inches.  but that was hours ago, and it's still snowing.

my friend jane and i took our dogs to the park to play this morning.  her dog, zoe is the blonde, vinny is the tall dark and handsome one.  with the ridiculous tail.  they had a blast running in circles,  joy in every leap and bound.  now vinny is fast asleep on his bed as i type.  

i do love the snow.  it always feels all cozy and warm in the house, and it's so quiet.  i think i need to make a hot cup of tea, and then get back to work.  i have been making some things to sell in the shop for the holidays.  here is a sneak peak at one of the assemblage pieces.  more to come!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011


i have been on some junking trips lately.  and i have found some good fodder.  some of these things were real bargains, and some i had to pay the price for cool.  the good news is that i am honing in on some ideas for a new series of boxes.  i think (duh) they are going to involve drawers somehow.  i don't know if i will do a box within a box, or just let the drawer be the box on its own.

some great news today.  i went to the curtis arts and humanities center in greenwood village with teresa.  we met with the gallery director there about a show.  turns out that teresa and i will have a dual show in may.  the center was originally a one-room school house back in the day.  there are two rooms on the main floor of the building.  teresa will have one room, and i will have another.  i will be showing assemblage, teresa pottery.  how exciting!!

it's a bit overwhelming, really.  so much to think about.  i know the time will fly, and the next thing i know, it will be may.  so i better start getting the ideas rolling.  and assembled!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


i saw this list today on facebook, it was posted by the jealous curator, one of my favorite blogs.  it was originally created as part of the artist's survival kit, by keri smith.  click here to a link to the blog post in which it was included.  the idea was that you could print out the kit, and use it when you were ready to quit the whole art thing.  i know some of you may find this a bit negative, but for me, it truly resonates.  a sense of humor is also nice to add while reading!!


Friday, October 7, 2011

pagosa springs sun article!


check out the article from the pagosa SUN newspaper!  yours truly was the featured artist!  

here's the link:

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

sk3tchbook invitational

we received our announcements for the upcoming show!  if you happen to be in the denver area, please mark you calendars for the event!  we promise there will be some great art, food, and fun!

you can click on the images to see a larger size!

front of announcement

back of announcement

Sunday, October 2, 2011

trek to pagosa springs

entrance to the show!

denise coffee, marti bledsoe, kathleen isberg, sandy applegate

family photo series

marti bledsoe

gail hershey

we made trek to pagosa springs for the reception to the INK invitational.  it was a great trip.  we saw some terrific art, and met some great people!  great thanks to denise and michael coffee for the wonderful show!!  they worked really hard to put together a fabulous collection of prints.

on the way home, we also got to see some spectacular fall colors, and some awesome colorado scenes.  they are below for your viewing pleasure!

aspens in wolf creek pass

south fork

la veta pass

on the ground as we walked the dog at la veta pass
what a great weekend!! 

 thank you pat and sylvia for accompanying us to the show!