Deck the Halls! 2014 Ornament Swap is here!

ornament 2014 badge

This is a favorite swap hop of mine! 

Sally makes it festive, and keeps it small, personal. I was thrilled to get Patti’s name as my partner; we are ARTBliss friends! I sent her a silly survey, to keep our emaill conversation going, and to harvest a few ideas… 

And a silly Survey: 
1. Fav beverage. 
2. Fav color
3. If you won a million dollars you would_____
4. fav Xmas tradition/decoration. 
5. Last good book you read
 
I took some of her answers ( blue & green, coffee) and made this:  

felt for Patti

Inspired by winter window landscapes, when you sit inside, snug, with a furry kid at your feet, and coffee in your hands, watching the snow sparkle. The trees dusted with glitter, a cardinal bright in the evergreen… I was on a felt jag this year, after finishing a crazy complicated felt/sequined/beaded stocking for my 9 mo. old nephew. His first Christmas – so exciting! Well, there was more felt, and embroidery floss… So there you have it. 

Art beads: 
Porcelain Celtic knot by Caroline of BlueBerri Beads.
Lampwork red bird by Lori Lochner

 

And what did I receive, you ask? Gorgeousness!

ornament from Patti

It’s too cool for the tree. It needs its own place, and is right now hanging in the dining room window. Heavy, luxurious wire wrapped nest/wreath! Adorable house charm from Marla/Marlas Mud! Lampwork bluebird from Donna Millard. And an embellished hanger/hook… I tell you Patti has outdone herself – this may stay up all year! 

I’m sorry to be so brief today – I have presents to wrap… WAIT! I still have presents to finish making! And there are blogs to hop… please join us! The links of the partner/pairs are listed below. Happy Holidays everyone! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spirit of the season…

My hearts and prayers go out to all those affected by the tragedy in Connecticut. And at this time of year, let us remember the season is one of love, family, and friendship. Hold your loved ones close, and remember to breathe…

 

It seems like ages ago that Sally of The Studio Sublime sent out a call for participants – the 2nd Annual Ornament Swap. I worked on mine and sent it away before Thanksgiving – that also seems like so much time has passed… ( My original partner was unable to participate – so I will be sharing what I made. Sally adopted me as her second partner, and I will be sending her something along these lines in the very near future. Sorry for any confusion. )

And so it begins

My idea started with a tiny vial of snow, of ice, of crystalized winter. I prefer to do seasonal motifs, as everyone’s beliefs are personal and varied… I set up the polymer oven – as I have been doing more and more of late. Polymer is versatile and immediate. Earthenware and stoneware have such a long process time: dry, fire, glaze, fire… For something like this polymer suits the bill nicely. 

Comes together

The swap brief said to include an artist bead. Although I am creating the entire piece, I wanted to be true to the challenge, and created these snowflake charms. You will see them again…The bird and tree are stamped and hand painted onto ivory polymer. Here it is all together:

Winter wonder

Ornament reverse

And my partner/friend? So sweet! Sent me this …I may have to keep this up in the studio all winter!

Oh Christmas Tree!

Ooh! I love the flame patina on the copper, the SueBead with silver, the accents of olive and aqua! Its so lovely…

Light and shadow

So – those extra snowflake charms… They ended up here: 

Snowflake earrings

Two pairs were already sent on their way to lucky winners of another challenge. I think I will save one pair for my MiL… So that leaves YOU dear reader. If you want to be entered into the give away – mention that in your commment! ( And it would be so easy if you were willing to leave your email as well…)  I will pick a winner Monday afternoon! 

So – thank you all for celebrating and hopping with me. Here are my friends and fellow swap partners. Happy Holidays!

Sally Russick 

Lesley Watt

 Jenny Davies-Reazor 

  

Therese Frank 

Andrew Thorton

 

Jeanette Blix Ryan

Maryanne Gross

 

Rebecca Anderson

Melissa Meman

 

Veralynne Malone 

Miranda Ackerley

 

 Jen Cameron

Sandi Volpe

 

Susan Kennedy

Kristen Stevens

 

Shirley Moore 

 Cooky Schock

 

D. Lynne Bowland 

Tiffany Smith

 

Patti Vanderbloemen 

Pam Ferrari

 

 

Alice Peterson 

Bette Brody

 

Julie Anne Leggett 

Lola Surwillo

 

Kathleen Lange Klik 

Erin Prais Hintz

 

Mowse Doyle

Kristi Jaro

 

 

 

 

 

 

I want to wake up in the city that never sleeps…

The Garden

OK – so technically I didnt wake up in NYC. We took the train up for the day. This was a belated trip for my birthday. Happily – the belated time frame meant we could see the Frouds’ exhibit at Animazing Gallery, and perhaps a festive holiday window or two? 

Wendy's window

“Faerie Tale” and “After the Party” – polymer and mixed media by Wendy Froud. 

Toby's window

polymer and mixed media sculpture by Toby Froud

Labyrinth sketches: Brian Froud

Concept sketches for “Labyrinth” by Brian Froud. 

Brian's sketches of Ludo

This detailed sketch of Ludo was incredible. so detailed in the face, yet so loose and fluid in the figure.

Animazing Gallery

The exhibit is a must see if you are a fan of the Frouds’ work. (It runs into February.) I was excited to go – naturally. I have my original copy of “Faeries” by Brian Froud and Alan Lee – dog-eared, tattered, and well loved. I cannot think of another artist who influenced me more during my adolescence and early teen years. To know that there were working artists, creating fantasy artwork, seriously and successfully was huge to the fledgling artist in me. I feel fortunate to have met Brain and Wendy at FaerieCon, as I have discussed previously. But this exhibit was simply outstanding. Original paintings, in luminous color, that reproductions sadly do not capture perfectly. Sketches – the doodles, thinking out loud, as it were – the look of “Labyrinth” at its inception. Sculptures in the round, textures, fabrics, leathers right there in space in front of me. Images that I know well from the Heart of Faeries Oracle, seen framed on the gallery walls. 

Recently I borrowed and watched Wendy’s Faerie Figure DVD (available at Gnomon Workshop. Thanks to Sarah!) I dont sculpt figures very often, but I do create 3D work. It is a phenomenal video, and her hands work magic right in front of you! But to have seen the process, and heard her tricks and techniques, which she gladly shares – and then to see the originals! Simply breathtaking. I am humbled and amazed. 

Story Teller and Listeners

Listener detail

Listeners detail2

“Story Teller and listeners” Wendy Froud

And always humor mixed in with the magic and the mystery: 

window peeper

(He was a tiny wee fellow. The reflection of buildings, the angle, the cropping – do give him a sense of grandeur, do they not?)

Please stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 of the NYC adventure. Wait until you see the Macy’s windows…and the Flatiron art installation. Come back tomorrow. 


 

Post re-do: Snapshots from Texas

 

I first attempted this post on the road during vacation. My apologies to anyone who went looking and found the post lacking… pictures, that is. I have some bugs to work out between my iphone and Flickr – to enable posting on the go. So here is my holiday post, better late than never…

 

I hope you and your all had a fantastic holiday filled with family food and fun. Here are a few snapshots from my Christmas in Austin with my family- Texas style. 

Highways trees

These trees – all along the highway. Random Manifestations of holiday cheer. We saw two cars of people spontaneously decorating. So cool!

Wine fueled Trivia

Kahlua and coffee. Trivial pursuit and Star Wars marathon. Chocowine anyone?

Jack of hearts

Zentangle with Francie

Family time! 

Lucy!

 

So much fun crammed into a few short days! Now it’s time for a nap, or at least that’s what Schatzi thinks!

Schatzi naps.

 

The fire is SO delightful…

The weather outside IS frightful – in the 30’s with wind chills in the teens at certain parts of the day. Blustery, breath-stealing wind gusts. And today – the fire was so delightful: 

kiln burner

Kiln

 

And to finish the song reference – Let is snow, Let it snow, Let it snow…

Now this kiln load is eagerly anticipated. (SPOILER ALERT if you are my sibling, or in-law!) I have many gifts inside, firing away to the neighborhood of 2400 degrees. I wont go into more detail, as I know some of my siblings read my blog. ( As well they should, ahem.) Since FaerieCOn, all thoughts have been geared toward the holidays. J and I are heading west, to Austin for the family festivities. We are driving – who doesnt love a road trip? And I can pack anything I want! since I dont have shipping concerns or airline restrictions. That helped inspire my gift-giving and gift-making this year! Now you get a sense why I havent posted too much lately? 

One thing I do want to share with you out there…

The Ceramics studio where I work and teach has an annual pottery sale. It is a diverse offering, featuring the work of novices, hobbists, experienced craftsepople and talented artists. ( I know that categorization treads on dangerous ground. Art vs. craft? What makes someone an artist?  Yadda Yadda Yadda. Thats another blog post, or a whole series.) There will be functional pottery, sculptural pottery, fused glass, jewelry, perhaps some fiber art. Diverse offerings, indeed. If you are in the area – please stop by: Monday to Wednesday, Dec 13-15 10am to 8pm, and Thursday, Dec 16, 10 am to 5 pm. It’s at the Art Studio, Ab Jones Bldg, 310 Kiamensi Rd, Wilmington DE 19804.

earrings in progress

packaging

These earrings are brand new, never before seen wee ceramic charms, with gemstones. The necklaces are simple, everyday pieces. Pendants and stones, as well. These will end up on Etsy sooner or later, if not this batch , then the next. They are fun to do…

This Sunday I also put together a box-o-treasures – ceramic pendants, that is…for the Shepherdess. I was thrilled to be invited to be a part of “Twas the Art before Christmas” open house/trunk show event this Friday. So if San Diego is where you call home – check it out. I am in amazing company there…