Tuesday, July 30, 2013

This and That...

~~~If you are looking for my Where Bloggers Create STUDIO TOUR, go here.~~~

I just joined the group that blogs over at Tag Tuesday, and posted my first tag today.  I miss the collage challenges I was doing over at Green Paper, so this will give me that creative outlet instead.  The tag theme challenge was "Travel" and here is my tag:
I started with a great vintage illustration of a couple about to embark on a trip.  From the looks of their clothes, I'd guess it to be from the 60's, back when traveling by airplane was quite an event and meant dressing up for the occasion (Sweats and flip-flops?  Never!).  Their cut-out image was placed on a vintage map of Europe, and behind that I added a Roma Pass saved from a trip I took to Italy a few years ago.  An old stamp from Spain went in the corner, and a dictionary definition of "explore" was added, along with a little brass handbag charm to complete her chic ensemble.  A compass is at the top, holding the ribbon ties that match her coat.
 Makes me want to go on a trip!

In other news, after a long hiatus, I got back to teaching a little jewelry class here in my studio last week.  A group of 12-year-old girls made sweet little glittery soldered charms for a birthday party.  It has been a long time since I had a class, and it was a lot of fun! Here are the girls, proudly showing off their little creations:
Their initials went on one side of the charm, and a glittery word went on the other side. We had a "Bella", a "Sparkle" and a few "Twinkle"s, all surrounded with German glass glitter.  So cute!
I'm now spending the next two and a half weeks helping my daughter purge and sort and pack for her big trip across country to start her freshman year at college. Whew...what a challenge!!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Where Bloggers Create 2013!

Hi and WELCOME to my creative space! It's nice to have both old and new friends drop by!
I'm pleased to be participating again in Karen Valentine's 5th Annual Where Bloggers Create Tour (Click on the link to visit lots of other artists' inspiring studios. See list in her sidebar).  Since my space hasn't changed that much since last year, I decided to freshen things up on a bit on the blog with a new photo of myself and a wider main column to allow my photos to be larger.  Just little tweaks, but it feels cleaner to me.  But on with the tour!  Come on in and let me show you around...
As you enter the room, there is a long counter with file cabinets below and shelves above.
I'm lucky to have a room dedicated solely to the artwork I do both professionally (illustration, graphic design, textile design)  and 'just for fun' (jewelry, mixed media, collage).  I'm showing you the "company's coming" version of my space--in real life it is MUCH more chaotic, with several projects going on at once, and messes left everywhere. I am a hoarder collector of SO MUCH stuff, this room is pretty packed full.  And what doesn't fit in here, is stashed in other parts of my house, much to the chagrin of my patient family. I can't help it....I love so much crafty stuff!  And, like most of you, I love to be surrounded by all my treasures!
Can you tell I like little houses?  I store treasures and supplies inside my vintage doll house.

Old game pieces, my stash of pearls, and other trinkets crowd the shelves.

Precious old photos of my mother-in-law and my dear old dad (how great is that cowboy outfit!?)

A tiny guardian angel perched on top, watching over the stash
 Beneath the big house are a couple of smaller wooden houses.  One of them has hooks inside and is just perfect for my etsy jewelry inventory:
The bird hooks below hold samples for the soldering classes I teach.

My Etsy inventory is low right now...but I'm busy making new items!  Check back soon.
As we keep going to the right, you'll see shelving, cupboards, and filing cabinets holding lots of supplies.  Like many of you, I like to collect old baskets and cases for storage.
I added these cool old metal cases last year, and finally got around to filling them up with jewelry supplies:
I've dedicated one shallow shelf to my collection of cute face cups.  I'm always on the lookout for more:
Baskets on the shelves hold stamping supplies, soldering equipment, and more.  The vintage white doll case holds glass and cutting tools.

Continuing along the wall, I have closed cupboards plus my photocopier, printer, and computer. 
Next to my computer monitor, I've hung some of my mixed-media angel paintings.  I scan the originals and from them make wood-mounted prints and cards.  I usually have a few of these paintings in the works.
The french doors lead out to a small balcony, ao even here in rainy Oregon I get lots of natural light.  The pennant banner above the doors is also part of my blog header, and welcomes crafters who come to my studio to attend my collage and soldering workshops.  In a couple of days, this space will be invaded by 6 twelve-year-old girls, making glittery charms for a birthday party.  Glitter, glitter, everywhere! (sorry dear husband, I know how much you HATE glitter!)
Lots of collage supplies fill these shelves: old books, sheet music, maps, wallpaper, etc.
The baskets hold textiles, trims and laces.  Then there are my tins full of old postage stamps, and cute wooden boxes filled with old buttons sit below the little window.

My drafting table is the hardest thing to keep organized.  As I work, I am just MESSY, and end up doing my work on any tiny clean surface I can find.  The built in light box is invaluable, and its glass top is great for xacto-cutting.

Next to the desk is a storage closet.  More hoarding lurks behind the door, in a semi-organized state--bins full of this and that:
The inside of the door holds several illustrations done for Simplicity Pattern Company.  I spent years as art director of Daisy Kingdom, Inc., a fabric, craft, and publishing company based here in Portland, until it was bought out by Springs Industries, and they did a great deal of licensing with Simplicity.  I still do freelance illustration and design for them and other clients.
Sorry this photo is so murky!
This is a clearer example of the type of illustration I do for sewing pattern companies.
Well, that's the end of my tour. Thanks so much for visiting and seeing where I work and play.  I'm so looking forward to spending the next couple of weeks peeking inside your creative spaces.  So many kindred spirits out there--and a special thank you to Karen Valentine for hosting this wonderful event where we can all hobnob with each other!  Again, I'm so glad you stopped by, and I'm hoping you'll leave me a comment and let me know you dropped in!  And I'd love for you to become a follower...a girl can never have too many friends!

 And now, I'm off to go snooping inside your studios!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Let Them Eat Cake!

A quickie post today, just to share the yummy Boston Cream Pie I made to celebrate our 36th wedding anniversary.  We devoured it last night, while ruminating about how quickly the years have gone by!  We dated for 4 years before we got married, so I have been with this man for FORTY years...it shocks me so, because I still feel like a kid in so many ways.  Yes, I'm getting creakier, grayer, and more out of shape as the years go by, but I feel like I blinked and four decades slipped by!

Usually I make this for my husband for his birthday, which happens to be tomorrow, the 4th of July.  It has been his favorite birthday cake since he was a kid, first made by his mom, and now me.  But tomorrow, we are going to a barbeque to celebrate the 4th with friends, so I thought I'd make the cake early.  Every year, we have all of our celebrations crammed into one week:  my birthday is June 28, our anniversary is July 2, and Dan's birthday is July 4.  Festive!!  and Fattening!!

I tried this recipe for the Boston Cream Pie this year, and love the addition of the whipped topping folded into the vanilla pudding filling....makes it light and fluffy.  Super simple, made with easy 'cheats' (boxed cake mix, instant pudding...not exactly gourmet cooking, but hey, it was quick and easy:-)), this took almost no time and was so yummy.  Best of all, Dan loved it!

Happy anniversary to my darling husband.  Hope we have many more happy years together!!