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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!

ruthfiege.com

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

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

labradeer!




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!!