Sunday, November 13, 2016

New Artwork at Amiro Art & Design

Come see my new artwork at Amiro Art & Design 

On display now through December 31st 2016

9C Aviles Street
St. Augustine, FL 32084

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Halloween Etchings

When I was growing up my favorite classes for sure were my art classes.  And I think this craft idea came from one of the projects we did when I was in about the third grade.  Ever since then I’ve wanted to do it again.  No kidding.  Life gets so busy that we have to really make the time to do the little things we want to do.  Here’s a perfect example of that kind of thing.

Cut poster board it up into the sizes you want to use for your project. 
Use crayons to color the entire piece of each piece of poster board.  I like putting different colors in patches.  But it’s up to you.  You could use one color crayon if you like to cover the piece.  The important thing is to press down really hard when you are using the crayon so your waxy colored coverage is thick.

Once they are covered with crayon wax spray each piece with black flat spray paint. 

Take a tool that has a fairly sharp point.  Something even like a pencil or knitting needle could work.  But don’t use something so sharp that it will cut the paper.  I used a tool called a burnisher.  Jewelers typically use these to shine up metal jewelry.  With the tool draw the drawing you want to draw by carving out the black paint. 


Now, what can you do with your finished pieces?  You could either use them to make greeting cards or maybe place cards for a monster bash type of dinner party.  You could also use it for wall art.

Happy Crafting.


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Friday, October 14, 2016

Halloween Wreath Tutorial

If you like doing Halloween crafts I’ve got a really good one for you.  I’ve decided it’s one of the coolest crafts I’ve ever found on-line.  Well “hello”.  That’s because this lady burns paper to get the overall affect.  She’s totally speaking my language with that part right there.   We all know I have a total fascination with burning things with my torch to see the affect.  I love the randomness of burned edges on paper.

Wreath Tutorial

I did this craft with two friends and we had such a good time.

Here’s a few tips for you to keep in mind if you do decide to undertake making these paper flowers for something like a Halloween wreath.

  • This craft takes a LONG time.  I can’t imagine how many days it took this lady to create the wreath with all those flowers shown on her blog.  My friends and I each created about 10 flowers in one day.
  • Be sure to crinkle the plates before you soak them in the coffee bath.  I didn’t catch that part of the instructions and my paper plates were not nearly as cool as my “extreme-direction-following” friend’s plates were.  The crinkle makes all the difference in the world of the coolness of the flower once it’s all said and done.
  • Also, we used seed beads instead of cookie sprinkles.  Because frankly, if I’m going to take this long to create a cool craft I want it to be something that can survive over the course of more than one spooky season. 

And last but not least, if you attempt this craft do be warned.  It is a very messy process once you start burning the paper.  Be sure to put something like a big sheet on the floor below yourself and the flames to catch the burned remnants that fall to the ground as the paper burns. Oh yeah, and…..if the burned paper lands on carpet, getting the ashes  up without further smearing black into your beloved flooring is quite hard to do.

Happy Crafting,

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Wishes, Hopes and Dreams

Who among us can’t relate to the notion?  While we’re embroiled in our currently bustling lives, many of us carry along with us a pocket full of wishes, hopes and dreams for our potential future.  If we work hard and stars align some of these aspirations may actually even come to fruition.  Some may get a little singed on the edges.  Many rest in the flame so long they merely turn to cinder, rather than turning into the thing we want most for them to become.
This collection is about the journey that our hopes take with us.  Its’ about the desires we actually realize.  It’s about the delicate fringes of the wishes that get a little crispy.  And it’s about the hearts of the dreams that simply turn to ash.
So often when I’m using my jewelers’ torch I think of these notions.  I say I like burning things and there’s a lot of reasons why.  I like the randomness of papers’ burned edges and I love the effect heat has on metal.  But mostly I like the trip my mind goes on whenever I’m working in the studio.  I think about all of my wishes, my hopes and my dreams and how so many of them are truly coming to fruition.  I also think about how charred some are on the edges.  You see, the road to get them where they are today has been a little toasty at times.  And what do I do with my dreams that that turned into embers?  I leave them alone and move on because somehow I really can understand and accept that they simply were not meant to be.
Come visit Amiro Art & Design.  There my Wishes, Hopes and Dreams collection will be featured during the months of October, November and December.  It’s not just jewelry.  I do other creative things too.  You just may not know that yet.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

It’s Official: I’m OVERWHELMED!

 Louise, on the Other Hand, is TOTALLY RELAXED!

So this happens every now and then.  And it’s happening now.  I’m overwhelmed.  I have too many art obligations on the upcoming horizon to feel remotely comfortable. I have several fall shows lined up for my jewelry.  On top of trying to prepare for that I’ve been working on several other creative things.  I’m all over the place.  Can you relate?

Anyway, over my morning coffee this is what I do these days.  I look at my BIG calendar and wonder how can I squeeze more days into the month?  How can I squeeze more hours into the day and more minutes into the hour?
Recently I've been working hard trying to paint.  It takes so long for me to paint.  But I’m not complaining.  I love painting! 
I’m painting for two reasons. I’ve been asked to provide artwork to be used for the Arts in the Park 2017 art show poster.  I’m really excited about this opportunity.  And the other reason I’m painting is that my work is going to be featured in Amiro Art and Design through the months of October, November and December.  I’ll be in there with new book necklaces, paintings and assemblages that I’ve been working on lately.
I’m also working hard at trying to get lots of jewelry made for my fall jewelry Show Schedule.

Louise, on the other hand, is totally relaxed.  She loves hanging either with me in the studio or just outside the door, whenever I'm working in there.  I think if the truth were to be told, she's an artsy girl on the inside (like me), even though she's a little bulldog on the outside (not like me at all).

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Thrift Store Junkie: A Blouse Becomes Art

Well, hallelujah!

I completed my project and I’m feeling pretty darn good about it.  Check it out. Here’s what became of my last big thrift store find, a blouse.   I knew I loved the fabric, but the cut of the shirt was kind of lame, in my opinion.  It just didn’t look like something I would wear.  Though, this is probably a classic case of me finding fault in something that I might love if I saw someone else wearing it.  But, it just didn’t have a lot of hangar appeal to me.  Aside from that I knew I loved the fabric.  That’s a given.  So, what did I do you ask?  I cut it up!!  And then I got to work.

I found a 2’x2’ board of plywood in the garage.  You know, we’ve talked about this.  I’m a bit of a hoarder.  But, as a result, there’s always something lying around the house somewhere, just waiting to be turned into a great piece of artwork. 

The sheer material of the shirt had sort of an ombre effect on it.  It was purple on the bottom that subtly turned into a yellow on the top.  So, I played with paint and created my own kind of ombre-esk background. I actually played with chalk paint, a new thing for me.  I like it a lot.  It doesn’t render the somewhat plastic look that acrylic paint often does.

Once the chalk paint part was completed I attached the torn pieces of fabric on top using acrylic gel medium, one of my all time favorite craft supplies.  And once the fabric was on the board I started painting.  I added depth to the leaves and loved how it turned out.  But I soon realized I needed more leaves.  So, I got out my black fine-tip sharpie and drew in lots more leaves and vines.  Then I painted inside all of them.   I was so into this project that I completed it all in one day.  This is very rare for me.  Going this fast is just not something I usually do, especially when I’m painting.  But I was enjoying the process so much I didn’t want to stop.  I guess you could say I got into the zone.

I get into the zone a lot when I’m making jewelry.  But an artsy girl needs more than just one medium.  Honestly, I think doing all the other creative things I like to do really adds to my jewelry making ability.  I get a little re-inspired every time I do something new.  This was another one of those cases because this was new to me indeed.

Anyway, I love the painting so much that I hung my new piece over our fireplace.  It’s perfect.  Out with the old piece of artwork and in with the new.  Our house is forever changing. 

Can’t wait to get back out there and make another big thrift store find so I can do something like this again.  And don’t worry.  I won’t leave you behind.  You know when I do this again you’ll be informed. 

Thanks for reading.


Saturday, June 4, 2016

My Art “Box” Chronicles


One of my favorite things to do in my studio is sort through my scraps.  This is something I do about once or twice a year, depending on what’s been going on in there.  It’s a result of months of working hard at jewelry making.  I often work on several pieces at a time.  And it’s not uncommon for me to abandon one assemblage during its construction.  My brain may be focused on one thing for the moment.  But then suddenly a new idea pops up in my head.  I spin on my heels and move on to the new idea.  Or I may become somewhat bored or uninspired while working on a piece.  Or maybe the piece just isn’t turning out the way I had planned when I originally started.  So, I simply move it to the side.  Eventually, usually when I clean up my work area, it may get dropped into one of my “boxes”.  Several months later, when I start sorting through my boxes I may run across a piece like this and become re-inspired.  Its exciting because it then becomes me (a different me because it’s a new me).

It’s kind of like the book, “The Art Doll Chronicles”. If you haven’t ever read the book you should.  I mean if you love art dolls, as I do, you would really love the book.  It tells the story of several artists’ shared projects.  Each artist started a doll construction and then mailed it to another artist, who then picked up where the prior artist left off.  After she added her personal touches she then passed it on to the next artist and waited to receive her next doll.  I love this collaborative project idea.  If I were to find a group who was willing to undertake this sort of project together I just know that every time I new partially made doll came into my studio I’d be totally re-inspired and excited to begin working.

So long story short, that’s why I like working out of my “Art Boxes”.  I’m a different person and artist every day.  So picking up where I left off months ago, sometimes even years ago feels like I’m practicing the notion of “The Art Doll Chronicles”.  I mean, in a way of course.

It’s also great practice for days when I’m in a slower starting mode.  It can get me going in a heartbeat even on the most sluggish of mornings in my art studio.

Gonna’ go snoop around in my boxes right now actually, and see what I can start cooking up in my studio.  My fall show schedule is currently developing and it’s starting to look a little crazy.  Need to get a head start on production for sure.

Thanks for reading and as always, thanks so much for your support!

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Outdoor Festivals are SO NOT for Sissies


Spring has sprung!  In fact it sprung so much that I totally spaced out and forgot to post in April.  For April, I was planning to welcome spring and tell you that spring means ART FESTIVALS are coming.  And then I was going to tell you about several of my prior outdoor art festival experiences.  Well, since it’s May I’ll tell you about some old shows and some of the most recent shows as well. I mean, hey, it’s still spring right?

I’ve attended many art festivals as a patron and always LOVED being surrounded by so much creativity at once.  Attending them is inspiring and motivating to another creative person.  They are great places to do shopping when I’m looking for something unique.  And they offer great opportunities for me to just stroll around leisurely and enjoy the outdoors. 

Now, I’ve also attended many shows as a vendor.  Again, I LOVE being surrounded by so much creativity.  I also love getting a chance to mingle with other artists.  I always meet new wonderful people, whether they are patrons or fellow artists.  As an artist, I’m here to tell you, every show presents a completely unique experience.  And I’ve loved them all.  I’ve had many shows that have gone over without any hitches.  I call those “Bright and Shiny Show Experiences”.  I’ve also had many shows that have presented unique challenges.  Those are called “Great Stories”. 

You want to hear about the “Great Stories” don’t you? I tell them best over a glass of wine.  If ever we share a glass of wine – which sounds fun so just let me know where to be when – I’ll tell you all about last year’s “Great Stories”.  See the list for the quick overview of last year’s “Great Stories”:

·      The Hottest of all Hot Shows:  A heat wave came to visit this particular “Florida fall festival”.  It was over 98 degrees in my spot. No foolin’.  It was that hot!  Patrons who came to see me made comments about the temperature inside my booth in particular.  They couldn’t wait to get out of there.  When you’re participating in a festival it’s all about location, location, location.  And for this one, I was not in a good spot.  Not a tree in sight.  And the sun was a blazin’ all day long.  Oh, and it rained a little too, intermittently that day, which made things pretty sticky.
·      The Torrential Downpour Show:  This show was great in the morning and then the storm came.  It didn’t just rain, it poured, and it poured and then it poured even more.  The second half of the whole show was completely deluged out.  Everyone – I mean everyone –"split the scene”.   This was the day when I learned that pop up tents are not waterproof.  If it rains hard enough water comes right through those suckers.  Who knew???
·      The -Holy Cow- There’s a Parked Car in my Spot Show:  I was completely stressed out about setting up for this show because my husband was not going to be able to help me in the morning for much longer than an hour.  When we arrived and found my spot we noticed that there was a parked car IN MY SPOT.  No other cars were there at all.  Just one in my spot and the owner was nowhere to be found. The show’s producer found me a new spot very quickly, so all was good.  But I’m telling you that fiasco had me on the verge of tears for a bit.  Every second counts when you are setting up for a show.  Well, especially when the person who is there to help you needs to leave in an hour.
·      The Blustery, Gusty, Bitter Cold Show:  We entertained gale force winds and 40 degree temperatures during this entire two day show.  Working like crazy in order to try to stay warm and hold my tent and jewelry down kept me from being able to attend to my customers.  It was a rough one indeed – ALL WEEKEND LONG!

You know, looking back over my list, I can’t help but wonder if perhaps someone fashioned a little Voo-doo doll in the likeness of me at some point along the way.   Hmm….?

But one thing I can tell you about me – I mean if you really want to know what I’m like, read on.  My overarching feeling about all of that is that I’m lucky to have had each and every one of those challenges.  I can’t fathom the thought of facing a challenge and not figuring out how to get through it.  I think that may mean I’m stubborn or something like that.  In the midst of a challenge I’m definitely all about figuring it out and making it work.  I accept that things may not be perfect.  I understand that perfection actually rarely (if ever) exists.

Now this year’s spring festival experience was very different for me.  I participated in four shows this spring and had great experiences: so great in fact that I won two first place awards.  I won first place for my booth display at the Mandarin Art Festival.  And then I won first place – BEST OF SHOW – for everything at the Atlantic Beach Arts in the Park festival.  How exciting!  I don’t mean to brag  - though I am mighty proud.  What I really mean to say is that as we go through life doing the things we love to do we face challenges.  But if we muster on through those challenges we are often rewarded.  I think the universe has a way of honoring hard work and tenacity.

I really do love doing these outdoor festivals.  I love seeing old friends and meeting new people.  I am a people person and I’m definitely not a sissy.  So, outdoor festivals are for me!

Thanks for reading!
E-mail me if you want to reply.  I love hearing from you!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

We Are All Works In Progress

When I was a child my family had a pool.  Lucky us.  We had a patio table that had Zodiac signs engraved in the metal tabletop.  Gotta’ love growing up in the 70’s, right? I was told at a very young age that the signs on the table had a lot to do with the days on which people were born and that I, in fact, was a Pisces.  So, I came to learn that the image on the table of two fish swimming around each other was the Pisces sign.   My sister, Ellen was born exactly one year after me – on my birthday.  So the fact that I was a Pisces made total sense to me.  I assumed that I was one of the fish and that the other fish was my sister, Ellen.  And I assumed thus, that this engraving was a picture of us swimming in our backyard pool.  Ellen bought my theory for a while too.  We even, at times, would go back and forth bickering over which fish she was and which one I was.  Mom still has the table and I still love it.  I went over to her house the other day and made a rubbing out of the Pisces symbol so you could see the exact image that I’m referring to.  It was cool for me to remember it and then go back so many years later and take a close look at it again, after all these years.

Here’s a little information about we Pisces people.  Frankly, I was a bit shocked to see how close to home this little blurb hit me.  This is text taken right out of Christine Broadbent’s web site, Astrology.  So check it out if you want to learn more about your sign too.
Pisces we are the mystic of the Water signs, sometimes even a mystery to ourselves – the frequently changing ‘mutable’ Water sign.  The Water element means we are a feeling type, motivated by strong emotion, visionary impulses and feeling attachments.

As the ‘mutable’ Water sign, we flow from feeling to feeling, plan to plan, vision to vision.  This makes us highly creative or gifted at working with other people and sometimes just predictably unpredictable.  We are the sign most likely to motivate ourselves to do something by saying we will never do in again.  We are also very skilled in a helping capacity, naturally comfortable with services.  Yet we easily evoke the help of others by readily expressing vulnerability.  We are most happy when we can follow our dreams, while intimately linking with other people’s dreams.  As the dreamer our key phrase is:  “We imagine”.

Well so, my main point is it’s my birthday month.  Yay!  Another birthday is just around the corner.  Unlike so many people my age, who seem to want to shy away from their birthdays, I look forward to them.  Maybe that’s because I’ve always yearned, in a way, to be older.  That may sound odd but I’ve always felt as if becoming older would likely earn me a robust amount of experiences from which to draw, whenever I face obstacles.  Just think how much knowledge and experience older people have.  Bottom line, I really do look forward to becoming older every year. There’s always so much more to learn. 

Don’t get me wrong.  Although I do love the notion of getting older and wiser, I do (at times) yearn to stop the clock.  I’m sure a lot of people can relate to that.  I personally have a drawer full or anti-wrinkle creams and a calendar full of regularly standing hair color appointments.  Aside from my personal struggle with vanity, I need to remember that becoming older really does, in many ways, mean becoming wiser. I certainly don’t know it all and that’s why I desperately need more years under my belt.  See, I like to think I’m a “work in progress”.   Ever think of it that way?  We are all truly great works in progress.  I’m convinced.
Thanks for reading.

Monday, February 1, 2016

So it’s the month of LUV...

Gosh, I love the title so much I’m not sure I want to fiddle with writing the rest of this blog entry. But I will.  So, it’s the month of LUV, you know what with Valentine’s Day and All.  Who do you love?  What do you love?  I sure know who and what I love.  Thankfully my list is very long.

One of the things that I love dearly is “making jewelry”.  I’ve been an artist all my life.  In fact I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t designing and/or making things.  I’ve experimented with all kinds of mediums.  But jewelry seems to be one of my all-time favorites.  Because every time I sit down to create in my jewelry studio I get re-inspired all over again.  And I just love what comes out of my head when I’m in that place (my studio). I love the process of trying to figure out how to make a new type of connection or turn a metal a different color.  I love the challenge of trying something that’s difficult and then practicing it over and over again until I feel that I fully understand how to do it right more often than not.  I like to refer to it as my “mad scientist” frame of mind.  But don’t worry.  I’m not mad – just excited.

And I love inventing a jewelry making process, technique, and/or design.  Even if I find out later (after I came to it on my own) that it’s been done before, I still feel really jazzed about having realized it on my own, in my own way.  In fact, one of the most exciting things I do is come up with new ideas and new ways of doing things in my studio.  My mica and resin earrings are a good example of that.  The idea first came when I saw two shells and the way they were laying in the sand propped up on one another.  They were shimmery from the water and sun and the whole assemblage looked like it could have been an earring.  I mean if it was held together somehow, which it was not.  A wave proved that to be true and in a quick moment it all soon fell apart.  But the idea was already in my head.  So next time I had a pad and paper handy I doodled the idea and thought about what I could use to from my creation.  I couldn’t wait to get into my studio and start the “experiment”.  I was so happy with the way the earrings turned out and became obsessed with making more of them.  This is the practice that I love so much.  As I further develop and refine an idea new ideas continue to come. And that’s something I truly love. 

But you know what else I truly love:  Your support!  Each and every person who has ever bought a piece of my jewelry definitely makes it to my “A-list”.  That support and encouragement really keeps me going.   Without it there would be little reason to keep “mad scientist-ing” on a regular basis.  So, I just want to extend a big fat Thank You to everyone who wears my jewelry!  You keep me going and I just can’t thank you enough!!!!


 Mica & Resin Earrings

Friday, January 1, 2016

Making My 2016 List


So this is one of my favorite times of the year.  Every January I re-evaluate my goals. I take time to consider the good and the bad that happened over the prior year.  This leads me to think about how to move forward in the upcoming year.  And then I start making my list.  It’s a list of both personal and professional goals.

I used to call it “the list of broken promises that I make to myself”.  But honestly, I do better these days about sticking to the list than I did in my prior life.  I used to list things like lose ten pounds, go dairy free and run a marathon; Yup.  Broken promises.  That stuff just never happens. Believe it or not, losing ten pounds made it to the list again this year.  It always does.  If at first we don’t succeed we’re supposed to try-try again, right?  And like my lovely niece said one time, “Even if you lose you win because you tried” right?  (I have a great attitude about those ten pounds, don’t I)?  By the way - I’ve given up on the dang marathon thing.  That just sounds way too painful.

Anyway, so aside from my beloved ten-pound goal and a few other personal goals, there are things I want to do to improve my creative business as well.

I want to refine my on-line presence and tie all of my web sites together.  Did you know my business has a Facebook page , a web site and this blog?   Much to my dismay, they all look and feel different.   I need to beef up my blog.  Heck, I just need to write in my blog.  I want to put some things on my web site that are for sale and set up E-commerce.  I want to create a place where you can go to buy some of my things whenever you want to do so.  I want to put some things out there that may help inspire you (and me) on days when maybe we feel like we need that little creative boost.  And I want to tie all of these sites together and put them under one domain (like they really should be) so people like you know where the heck to go to find me.  I know, I know, I’m tired already just thinking of all the work I need to do in 2016 to accomplish these things.  But I am highly motivated when it comes to this year’s list.

I’m motivated largely because of you!  So many of you came to my shows this past year and I loved seeing you there.  Doing the shows is so much fun because I get a chance to see you and talk to you.  I love that energy.  It really keeps me enthused and makes me excited to get back to my studio and fire up the torches again.  So, 2015 was just an amazing year for me with respect to creative things.  I taught myself some new Jewelry techniques that I’m super excited about and can’t wait to further develop in 2016.   I’ll share more details later. 

Gosh, the more I write the more I feel I need to sign off and get to work.  There’s so much to do and only 365 days in which to do it.  Wish me luck!  And stay tuned.  And most of all I would love to hear from you so please don’t hesitate to comment or share.  And you know you can always E-mail me too.  I love hearing from you.

Let's make it a great year!