A woman who works with her hands is a laborer;

A woman who works with her hands and her head is a craftsperson;

A woman who works with her hands, her head and her heart is an....


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Chair for Diane

A New Chair -
I met Diane during a Holiday Sale that I participated in.
It was a small and intimate pop-up boutique sale at another artists home.
We spent some time talking and she decided that she wanted an art chair for her studio.

This weekend, I completed her chair.
Full of whimsy and tributes to nature.
Lot's of purples and lime greens and tangerine colors.

Hope it inspires Diane as she works in her studio.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Adventure at Saturday Market...

Portland Saturday Market.
An icon of the city.
In operation since 1974, it is one of the largest tourist attractions in the state.
It is a non-stop party every weekend.
It is the source of many full-time artists income.
It is one of my favorite places to visit in my city.

I remember attending Saturday Market while I was still in High School.
A series of tents set up under the Burnside Bridge in old town.
Every tent housed an artist selling their creations. Every creation handmade.
I would spend hours watching and talking to the artists.
I took photograph after photograph - on my 35 mm SLR camera, shooting on real black and white film which I later developed in a dark room.
Many of those shots gained me great grades in my photography class.
I even took second place with one of pictures in a local photography contest - I didn't win anything except bragging rights. Which was enough for me.

I listened to all sorts of street musicians.
I watched jugglers and performers.
I remember watching one performer juggle and do a comic routine who later went on to star in a long-running television sitcom.
When I visited the market in my late teens, I felt like I was home.

Fast forward to 2012.
I went on a field trip to the Saturday Market recently.
It is now a favorite destination of my almost grown children.
It has expanded in recent years.
The artists have changed. The styles have changed - some.The location has even changed just a bit - it has moved across the street to accomodate more people. It's now on Sundays as well as Saturdays.
But it remains the same - the same energy, the same types of performers, the same yummy elephant ears and other delicacies, the same great handmade art, the same quirkiness and eccentricities, the same people watching that just can't be beat. . .
A perfect place to be inspired and after all these years -
I still feel as if I am "home".

Setting up where ever possible.

A little music

Found object art - do you just love the light fixture made out of the old bedsprings?

Walkers, riders . . .stay tuned to see how this photo of the bridge will be turned into something special soon.

Traditional old Portland light fixtures

Great architectural designs in old town

Add caption
If you come to visit Portland between now and Christmas Eve - be sure and include a trip to the market on your agenda. You'll be glad you did!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Update - Installed Looooooong Board

As a follow up to my earlier post, here is the loooooong board installed in the kitchen of my client.
Looks great!
What a great way to address a plain space - don't you think?

And if you look really close (next to that subtle pink arrow) you will see
one of my photo frames. :)

Thanks, Bill for sharing this picture.
I Love, Love, Love seeing pieces I have created for my wonderful clients after they
are hung in their homes.

It feels like a kind of closure.

More work coming -
I'm working on custom chairs and banners and paintings and mirrors and more!
My cup runneth over and I am grateful to everyone who reads this blog and chooses me to help brighten their world.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Switch Plate Covers can make your room very colorful!!

A few years ago, we repainted our living room.
All new colors.
Then I put the switchplate covers back on - and they were so. . .
They were like a neon light on the wall - and not a cool neon light.
The kind that is tacky and constantly buzzes.
Not acceptable.
So I found some wonderful plain wood switchplates and customized them in my style.
WOW! I never, ever expected the comments I received.
I couldn't have received more comments if I had painted a huge mural on my living room wall.
And I realized that almost everyone feels the same way about switchplates.
They are so, so boring.
And overlooked.

All of the switchplates above are for a client.
This is our fourth go-round.
She is replacing all of the switchplates and outlet covers throughout her entire house.
We have attacked 1-2 rooms at a time.
I think we are almost done after this set -

Seriously - you cannot go through a day without coming into contact with the switchplate covers in your house.
Shouldn't they receive the attention they deserve?
PS - Custom orders are always welcomed!

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Birth of A Tree . . .And A Fort.

  A few years ago - I was commissioned by the Salvation Army to create some art work to decorate a new Youth Center that had been built in my city of Portland, Oregon. The piece above, was one of several from the original commission.

About four weeks ago, they contacted me again. This time they wanted a wall mural.
Hmmm . . .let me think about that.

So what are we doing on the mural?

Two of the directors of the Center shared some statistics about the Youth Center.
They serve a large number of at-risk children and youth every day.
These kids struggle with very real issues related to . . .you name it.
They come to this Youth Center after school and in the evenings.
They get homework help.
The make crafts.
They play games.
They get to be with caring individuals rather going home to an empty house after school.
The Youth Center is a safe place.
Therefore, they wanted a symbol of a safe place for kids.
They also teach about  the symbolism of a strong tree.
Establish strong roots in your morals and belief system.
Then you can stretch out your branches.
Once you have established your roots and grown and reached high with your branches . . .
you can enjoy the fruits of your hard work.
A great message.
And what offers kids a better safe haven than a tree house!

What follows below is the birth of a tree and tree house . . .

Involved in this project . . . 2 ladders, several paint brushes, over 20 feet of wall space that reached 10 feet high, 586 leaves (yes we counted), about 42 hours of labor over 3 days, and the unselfish support and help of my daughter Cierra and my Mr. Man, Jon.
Could NOT have accomplished this project in the this amount of time with their help.

Now onto the next project . . .

Friday, April 6, 2012

Decorate your post in your home, like Bill

Bill met us at one of our summer sales last year.
We had a great time talking with him.
He bought a piece or two.
Then I helped him out with a holiday gift for some friends of his.
Then he called with a special request for his home.
A post that divides two rooms -
you see them in houses sometimes.
They just seem to be right in the middle of things - but since they are kind of important to keeping the roof up, you have to leave them there.
Bill decided -if it has to be there, it might as well be decorated.
So with the help of Mr. Man -
I painted a 4 1/2" x 8 ft board.
Vines and flowers, with a few adds-ons representing his dogs.
Long and narrow.
A burst of color.
Now I am looking around my house for a lang and narrow space that needs a little life.
Thanks Bill!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Your dream is calling . . .

New painting - 16 x 20 canvas. The dark shadow in the corner is due to photographer error - not very good lighting I was using.  :)
A Work in Progress . . .
Here is the start of a new piece I am working on.

Every once in a while I need to work on a painting.
A painting not associated with an order or a sale or anything else.
Just a painting for creativity's sake.
This is one I began working on recently.
This was started on a day when I should have been working on one of several orders.
But I needed a break to do something mindless that didn't have a required "end result."
I got lost in the process of smearing on the background colors, splashing and flicking the paints around,
sketching in the face and wondering what message she had to share with me.
Time and responsibilities drifted away as I was lost in the process.

It not finished yet -
I still don't know how I am going to mount it or frame it.
But it sure felt good while I was in the moment.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A message with every word...

I've said it before . . .
I'll say it again.
Words are powerful.
I believe in the power of words.
I believe that the more you surround yourself with uplifting affirmative statements,
the more you start to live the uplifting affirmative statements.
These little minis are just the right size to hang in all sorts of spaces.
Hang yourself a note to keep positive thoughts with you where ever you go.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I'm feeling very Lazy Susan Today!!

I don't know who Susan was . . .but I am guessing that she was not lazy at all.
I am guessing if she had a rotating surface named after her,
she was very, very busy and needed to find a way to be more efficient.
All I know is I love painting on these surfaces.
And I love using them in my kitchen . . .or bathroom . . .or family room . . .or ???
I'm sure Susan was a multi-tasker - so the (un)Lazy Susan can be a multi-tasker, too.
Don't you think?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Medium mirror

This will be a mirror - right now it is a frame.
The mirror will be inserted next - but taking the picture with the mirror is a bit difficult.
You end up not knowing what you are supposed to look at . . .
all of the background scenery or the mirror frame?  LOL

Either way - I hope this brings a smile to your face!