Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Captured Fairy

I have a lovely little captured fairy under lock and key. She is going up for auction on Ebay tonight. Although I did not make her specifically for Valentines Day, the colors I chose would make her a perfect Valentine gift!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Childhood Art

I've joined another small group of marvelous Ebay artists to do a weekly post together. Our topic this week is childhood art.

The first piece of childhood art I can recall making and having feelings about, I was in the sixth grade. It was a year of first's for me, my parents bought our first home, no more renting, a new neighborhood in the suburbs of Chicago...I mean even the neighborhood was new, building had only recently started. A new school, my first male teacher we affectionately called Mr. V. My first really best friend. My first time as a school patrol girl on the bus...how exciting I got to wear a special white belt! ;-)

Parent's night was coming and we were going to decorate our classroom with our own art for all the parents to enjoy and we would also be graded. I decided to make a kewpie kind of doll on posterboard. But instead of drawing or painting , I decided I would make mine from all those different colored, tiny aquariaum rocks.

My mom took me shopping, I carefully picked out all my colors, for the flesh and the eyes, lips and clothing. All those little bags of colored rocks! I had never felt anything so exciting in all my young years. It quite literally took my breathe away to think that I was actually creating something from nothing. I slaved over my picture at home and at school until she was just the way I envisioned.

Then came parents night and I couldn't believe all the compliments I received for something that brought me such joy. Even Mr. V liked it. I just knew I would get a good grade for my kewpie. Until the next day in school.

It didn't matter how much anyone liked it, I was told that I got a low grade because I didn't listen to the instructions. We were only supposed to work on our projects in CLASS. Taking the project home was WRONG! I was devastated. I suppose in my excitement of thinking about the art I would make, I really hadn't paid attention to all the instructions. It was long ago and who can remember.

But out of that devastation came something else, a love of art that no low grade, no one person, could ever take away from me. Making art still takes my breath away. And to this day oh SO many years later, I thank Mr. V for that. I still slave over my art, but not any chained slave am I. I am but a slave of my heart and my love of creating......and I still do it at home. And there are some who would say I still have trouble taking instructions! ;-)

Saturday, January 27, 2007


Our topic this week was actually an art project. The theme was night. I've found a simple enjoyment in the creating of shadow boxes and plan to do more. And I've also had this image of a night sky for quite a while I knew I wanted to use somehow, some way. I had no idea after that. So I started thumbing through my images, hoping something would just "jump" out at me. I had totally forgotten about this image of the fairy and once she "jumped" out at me I didn't look any further. I think this is a perfect marriage of two completely different images. I will be putting this 4"x4" shadow box on auction this week.

The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve.
Lovers, to bed,'tis almost fairy time.

~William Shakespeare
A Midsummer Night's Dream

Thursday, January 25, 2007

New items headed for Etsy!

I'm still trying to find a balance in trying to create for Ebay and Etsy. But I've finally got some new items to add to my Etsy shop. I'm not a fast artist, that's always been my biggest drawback. Yet on the plus side of that, the reason I'm not fast is because I pay so much attention to detail and put my whole heart and soul into everything I create. And I never put anything up for sale that I wouldn't purchase myself. That said, I'm still wishing for a clone. ;-)

These items will all be in my shop by the end of the weekend.

Rose Fairy 2"x2" Dangly

Rose Fairy ~ other side

Fairy Reverie 6"x 6" Collage on wood

Fairy Belle 2"x2" Dangly

Fairy Belle ~ other side

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Another ValentineTag Book

This is another wooden Tag Book but instead of Fairies I have used reprints of vintage cupids. There are five tags, both sides decorated for a total of ten pages. I'm having so much fun designing my own patterned paper and was glad for the opportunity to use them as background in this piece of work. This book goes up for auction tonight on Ebay and it would make a great gift for any special Valentine!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

New Work up on Ebay ~ Fairies Galore

Three pieces go up for sale tonight. The fairy shawdowbox in the post below, a Fairy wooden Tag Book, and a 6x6 Art Squared assemblage piece called Reverie. I apologize my Reverie photograph is not very good. I normally take my photos outside in natural light, but the weather today prohibited that and I had to take pictures in my studio.

Check them out on Ebay...these are one of a kind originals and would make great Valentine gifts.

Monday, January 15, 2007

A Love Story

I thought I'd put a little teaser out. The picture top right is going to be on the cover of my new Paper Bag Album. Watch for it next week on Ebay, my user name is ShabbyCottageStudio, or just click on the link to the right. This album is going to be very elegant and would make a great Valentines gift! ;-)

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Fairies for Valentines

A new piece I finished this weekend. It goes up on Ebay Tues. evening and is looking for a good home! :-) This shadowbox is 4" x 4". The feet are two vintage building blocks. The sheet music in the background is called "In the Garden of Tomorrow". I adorned it with silk flowers and tiny vintage millinery flowers.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Balancing business and creativity, oh my!

Our topic this week is the balancing of business with creativity. Today is a good day for me to write about this subject as it is much on my mind. Right now I sell on two venues. I sell on Ebay and I sell on Etsy. (Don't ask me what it means, no one is telling, except to mention it is referenced from a Fellini movie?)

I have been selling my artwork since 1992. I have done craft fairs, garden shows, home shows, rented space in different venues from large to impossibly small, I have sold on consignment, I have owned a brick and mortar store, I have sold thru private commisions, I have sold thru interior designers, I have sold wholesale (only on a tiny scale). And always, the underlying connecting thread to all those different ways of selling was trying to balance the business side with the creative side of me.

My items have always been one of a kinds. I don't like production work, it doesn't suit my personality, I find it boring. So, that being said... I'm it...if I don't make it, I certainly can't sell it. And I can't produce quality work in a few minutes or a couple hours.

I'm sure a secret wish of many of us creative types is that we could sit and "spin" our wares and someone would miraculously come along , claim us the Queen of Art, happily skip off to sell our art and bring us back buckets of money.

Ok, so maybe that's only MY dream. :-)

The reason I find this topic relevant today is because of a discussion going on over in the Etsy forums about Ebay vs Etsy. Etsy is only about a year old. The administrators work very hard to provide the sellers with a venue to sell their hand crafted work. But with Etsy you have to do so much self promotion I wonder where everyone finds the time to make their art.

It is a problem for me and I am in constant debate with myself as to whether I shall stay with Etsy. At Etsy I'm told the keys to selling is to list something new almost daily and to be active in the forum. If I follow that advice then my Etsy store stays empty because I'm spending so much time on "business" I'm not making anything. And if I'm not out there making myself known, trying to keep my store from being buried and unnoticed, I'm not going to make any sales. I know people who have been there longer than me and have had none to very few sales. When do you call it quits. I mean, the bottom line of selling, is well, selling.

Balance? I guess I don't really know how to balance the two sides. I've always found it to be a struggle and don't foresee it changing anytime soon

Unless someone wants to step forward and pronounce me the Queen of Art? ;-)

Monday, January 8, 2007

Altered Art goes Digital

Over the holidays my photographer friend Rick (see his link) spent several hours teaching me some basics of using layers in Photoshop. I have been trying for a long time to learn but this particular skill has eluded me. I even failed Photoshop for Dummies.

So you can imagine how excited I was when I told Rick what it was I wanted to do in Photoshop and he said, oh, sure, I can show you how to do that. He opened up a whole new world for me. It was just what I needed...a new obsession.

I'm so excited about what I learned I wanted to share some of the fun I've been having

This will definitely be a photo I use in a new piece of work.

I know some people would say, oh puh-leze, that is so basic Photoshop. But for someone who has struggled and struggled to learn on her own, and failed miserably, this is like getting your first taste of candy and then being turned loose in a candy store. :-)

I'm now in the process of learning to make my own digital brushes and it IS A BLAST!!!

Saturday, January 6, 2007

I LOVE this song. If you don't, just turn down your volume.
Or click on pause! It will repeat over and over. :-)
This is just KT playing the instruments and her voice.
That's it. No band.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007


Our topic this week is about art that inspires us. I have two artists I have become enamoured of this year who have inspired me to think totally outside the box. They don't know me and that's ok. They don't have to. Their work speaks volumes to me and arrows swift and straight to my heart.

The first is JoannA at Moss Hill Studio.
http://www.mosshillstudio.com/gallery.shtml I first became aware of JoannA's work while surfing Ebay and stumbling across one of her art dolls. Her assemblages and art dolls made from found pieces are so stunningly beautiful I have no words. Her work gave me the courage to try my hand at my own dolls. I know JoannA was diagnosed with cancer this fall and I have sent prayers winging in her direction.

The other artist who has so inspired me this year is Misty Mawn.
http://mistyeyedart.blogspot.com/ Another artist who combines painting and collage into the most beautiful and whimsical art I have see in a very long time. I love her use of use of color and pattern and figures. I struggle daily with an unwanted and undesired sense of perfectionism in my work and I feel it inhibits me. Misty's work makes me strive harder to loosen up.

There are times when I feel so chained to the earth, heavy and dull. These two women inspire me to knock off those chains and try to fly.

This is my new 6x6 Art Squared piece that went up onEbay tonight. It is entitled Sweetheart.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Some Days!

6x6 Art Squared Assemblage

Some Days I Feel Like My Head is Just screwed on Wrong

Well, we're off and running for 2007! I hope everyone had a great holiday!

This is a new piece that goes up on Ebay tonight. I had my hubby cut me some 1/2" thick 6x6 pieces of wood with the idea of doing some Art Squared work. I had SO much fun doing this piece. And I found out that 6x6 works really well for me. It's kind of a MaMa Bear, not to big and not to little. :-)
I thought this theme was one a lot of us could relate to.