Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Lust a Small Space: Tiny Mobile Studio Quest

With this year's tax return, with funds I've saved and with the funds I raised, gulp, nearly two years ago, I'm finally ready to build my mobile studio.  The delay had to do with life choices and the finalized decision to build it on wheels - thus making it a far more expensive venture.  Non-the-less, this year is going to be the year.  In my planning for the big event, I've been revisiting just what I want to do with the space; how I'm going to utilize the space, design, efficiency etc.  A lot of decision making is going to depend on the trailer, which I have yet to purchase, due to size and weight limitations.  That being said, I've come across some very interesting things in my research.  One of which is this awesome idea: Range Studio, by a husband and wife team in CA.

On the short side of the story, this was built to fit into a parking spot and is being used as a studio for residencies and such.  I highly recommend you check out the website, Range Studio, for all the details and info, but in the mean time, let me ponder all the interesting ways I could take this idea and use it right here where I live.   

Take for example, First Fridays (let's not forget neighboring towns have special art events as well)!  A mobile art gallery! Perhaps one month a gallery, the next a live music venue all of which fits in a typical parking spot!  Connecting with community!  Grants to build a possibility? Sometimes a mini shop to sell my goods?  Sometimes a little workshop? Oh my my!  I'm so very excited about the ideas!   

I would think 4x8' or 5x8' would be good using nearly all refurbished goods.  .  . 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Arc-en-ciel: Onesie

On keeping with my January stitching theme, I present this:

Not only have I stitched up a blanket [actually two], a pair of jeans, but I've also managed to work it into some art work too [more on that coming soon]. I've finally started making a website through WIX, which of course incorporates the rainbow theme.  I've also been more active on Pinterest, where I originally found this image - so many wonderful rainbow images and of course oh so much more!  Should I also mention I'm going through some servere baby fever again?  In addition, it's been snowing, snowing and snowing some more, so some color on these cold white covered days is, to say the least, refreshing! Hence a white knitted baby onesie with a rainbow!

[ onesie can be bought @ ]

Monday, January 19, 2015

Arc-en-ciel: Heart Matters

In matters of the heart today, I'm trying to discern what the best path is.  I wanna feel like I've got my groove on.  I've been working on mantras, thinking positively, hanging mantras about, and yet, I manage to get myself sucked into negativity.  My job, my home life, that of others. . . I wish I could use some sure-fire ways to eliminate some of the negative juju I seem to be swimming in.  This is a year I want to move forward.  This is a year I want to feel good and accomplished.  This is a year and really every year, that should be ours to love, live and laugh fully!

[ from the Moxiedoll Shop on Etsy ]

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Work in Progress: Mini Scrap Exchange

The deadline to sign up is today, but if I've sent you a personal email with a shipping address, all you need to do is get it in the post by February 2nd 2015!  In the mean time, here's a glimpse of two sets of mine. . .

Mail Delivery

This lucky gal received two more sweet art pieces in the post last week! Oh lucky me! Thanks so very much for sharing with me!!!

 [Thanks Elisa! ]
[ Thanks DeAnn! ]

[ & sorry ladies, photo quality is not prime! ]

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Arc-en-ciel: Oh My

Marc Johns. . . He continues to be my hero!
I simply couldn't wait another week to do this posting.
It's just too magical!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Work in Progress: Hello! Thank You! Blessings!

For nearly the last ten years I've given up on getting Christmas cards in the mail.  While working retail was pretty much the number one reason I didn't have time for it, college, living abroad and paying off college have been factors too.  However, I do, on occasion like to send some greetings the old fashion snail mail way and postcards are one of my favorite ways to do so - less waste [envelopes are often over rated.]  This year I upped my usual 4x6" postcard rate size to 5x7" and used watercolor paper so I could paint a base layer to make the printed design pop.  Plus, I have a good amount of regular postage stamps and it was too cold and snowy to venture out for postcard ones! 

Showing the watercolor progression.

Here are two examples of the final watercolor bits.  
Each one was just a little bit different.

Now this is where I had a serious learning curve!  Mind you, I ruined quite a few trying to print my linocuts on the watercolor paper.  If you're not familiar, watercolor paper is very textured and much thicker [in order to handle all the water of course] and thus, significantly more difficult to print detailed carvings.  In addition, I was using water based printing ink as well, which is also not the best ink!  It dries very quickly and can get oddly thick-sticky posing all sorts of issues. 

Quite frustrated at first with the very patchy and overall lousy printing, I decided to experiment.  First I tried a different design thinking maybe it was just the pattern I was using.  Nope.  Same issues.  Then I cleaned all of my goods - linocuts, brayers and such to start again.  While doing so, I thought "Hmm, maybe if I wet the postcard?"  I did get a few good pulls from my first attempts and the postcards that where still a little wet from painting seemed to be those. The trick here is that I couldn't rewet the front where I wanted to print, so I decided to try using a sponge brush to wet the back - not much mind you, just a little.

In addition to this, I still had to deal with the ink issue.  Oddly enough, it occurred to me [now why the heck have I struggled with this issue so long when I used to use the technique all the time in France and Korea? ] that all I needed to do was add a little water to the ink and roll it out evenly - eh viola!  It worked and putting the two techniques together...Wouldn't you know I had GREAT results!!  

Normally, since I painted all the backgrounds the same, I would usually print all of them with the same design on top and they would all be oriented the same on the paper.  However, with a serious learning session in order, I just sort of let go of the standard edition and enjoyed the process.  

Now, to get them all written up and posted out!

Ah, now I almost forgot! While I was cutting up the watercolor paper to make the postcards, I just so happened to have some scrap paper left - 3"x by? Now just how many 3x3" prints could I make of these scraps? Exactly 22 and perfect for the Mini Scrap Exchange! Keep an eye out on how these scraps evolve!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Arc-en-ciel: Three Year Itch or Stitch?

I went to visit my mother on new year's and some how our discussion moved to sewing and cross stitch, and the importance of teaching these skills to our various family young-ins. In the traditional sense, I've always failed at cross stitch.  Counting and being diligent never seemed to work for me as my piece always ended up lopsided or in some grand way all wrong.  I've long since given it up.  

I don't mean to say I've given up sewing, but rather the very traditional form of cross stitch. However, scanning my Etsy feed this morning, I found this.  Of course there is rainbow love, tiny home heart, sunshine, moons, greenery and a general love for nature portrayed, but also there are patterns and a newer way of thinking about the traditional stitch.  

I am truly thrilled how she took a somewhat simple drawing and turned it into a lovely hand stitched work of art.  

The imagery, the simplicity, the intricacy, the color, the changing. . .On a whole other level, it got me thinking, as does the change of the new year always does: a review of the last year. I read over last year's new year post and I realized I set no goals and had no aim. Perhaps that is exactly why the year ended in much the same position as it started.

This year, much like this cross stitch, I hope to transform into something warm, inviting, lovely, hopeful, and to continue capturing my dreams. I'm aiming for more blissfulness in my world - more calm, more love, more at ease with myself and surroundings. February 1st will mark three years since I've returned from India and abroad. Three years makes the longest I've stayed in once place since I've graduated high school. . . Gulp, nearly 18 years ago.  It's amazing how time flies and how one can just let it pass by.

I'm determined to make more of my time in the coming year and so I've got some ideas in mind for what I'd like to do and/or accomplish.  Here's to hoping for a wonderful 2015!

No. 1] Use tax refund to buy a trailer + Funds I raised almost 2 years ago = Studio!
No. 2] Mini Scrap Exchange + Postcard Project + 6th Annual Rainboeliza Print Portfolio Exchange
No. 3] Be proactive: Get an exhibition!
No. 4] Try for a week long Art Residency @ Sparks Box Studio in Canada
No. 5] Go on a new adventure [aka: a trip to somewhere new preferably with my love]
No. 6] Live more art fully - Hang some art, make more furniture!
No. 7] Show, Share and Live with more Gratitude
No. 8] Stop obsessing about the things I cannot change
No. 9] Find a new more fulfilling job
No.10] Apply to grad school come fall
No.11] Continue hot yoga and drink more fluids!
No.12] There are, of course, a few I will not share here but are on my mind!


 [ Check out the Cozy Blue Handmade Shop on Etsy. They've got sweet goods galore including stichery, t-shirts, patterns, prints and more! I just love this one. . . Oh the things I could do and never even thought about doing. Though I did do a little stitching while living in Pont-Aven, France. You can click on the France tab above to see what I've done. ]

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Arc-en-ciel: Baskets

[ I meant to post this for the Christmas holiday, 
but my retail work world collided with exhaustion and a cold.  
Alas, it is here for you to browse now. ]

[ from skinny laminx ]

Monday, December 29, 2014

m: Quiet & Listen

This very morning I was walking in the woods by the river near my home and for a split second I felt transported to the Bois d'Amour along the Aven. I kept thinking of this moment throughout the day, and so, when this arrived in the post just a few moments ago I was floored. A most lovely piece of art I admired a couple of weeks ago from the most wonderful Melissa Ferreria! 

Merci beaucoup, my dear friend!

[ You should really take a moment to check out 
some of the other lovely gems she's been creating lately! ]

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