Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Countdown...


One of my best friends is getting married and I'm one of the bridesmaids.  Next weekend, we are throwing said bride-to-be her bridal shower and bachelorette party.  

Planning these things is exhausting!

And yes, this is the first one I've had to help properly plan.  However, that doesn't diminish the fact that this needs to be awesome.

It's so exciting because, literally, this shindig can be anything the bride bridesmaids want it to be.  (haha!)  My head was spinning with so many ideas (stupid Pinterest), but the one most important thing I think chics forget when planning this shit is $$$.  


Let's talk about price...cuz Whaaa??  

Dude, this stuff adds up quickly.  Once you settle on ideas and everyone agrees on the cost, then pulling together the decor, etc. sort of falls into place.  By fall into place, I mean I actually need to finish them!  

I like how everyone is really instituting a sort of focal point over the snack table, or seating area using decorations in the showers' theme, and paper lanterns were heavily used.  I've seen a lot of different things done with those lanterns, but those things can get pretty pricey, and if I can avoid spending money on new things that will only get used once when I can just make it myself but better - then why not?
bottom line - I decided to create my own lanterns.  That way I can make them in the beach theme we are implementing everywhere else.  I had some of those needle working wooden rings lying around, so I actually just constructed the frames using those and hot glue. The screw at the top allows a sort of access point for tying the lanterns up when I'm finished and ready to hang. 

For covering the outsides, I debated over what exactly I wanted to do for about a week.  There are so many neat ideas out there, but it all boiled down to one factor - time.  I only have about 4 or so days to complete any last minute details and get the heck down to Virginia Beach.  (Ah!!)

I think what I'm going to end up doing is use a larger circle punch and layer them around the outside for the cover then water down some acrylic paint in a beachy teal/blue color and spray them.  Once dry, I have little battery operated tea lights I will use to light them up from the inside  The color will blend well with the theme and the circles will create a sort of scaling affect to match too.

So much to do!  I only hope that in the end, the Bride has a good time and really enjoys herself.



Tuesday, June 17, 2014

ATC - Whaaa?

ATC's, or Artist Trading Cards, was a concept that intrigued me for a long time.  Common sense told me that, obviously, Artists made and traded cards...but with who?  
When did they do this? 

Is there a super secret, invite-only, event to trade these specifically?  

How do I get in on this action?!

Luckily for me my new craft meet-up crew explained the general concept.  And no - there is no super secret event where this takes place - but wouldn't that be awesome?!

Anyway.  ATC's have 1 rule from what I've heard and researched online - they must be made in the dimensions of 2.5" x 3.5".  Basically baseball trading card size.  After that, it seems like anything goes as far as what you can put on them.  I even saw an awesome paper quilling of a robot on one.  

Say what?

Naturally....I became obsessed.  I mean - REALLY obsessed.  

Come on....How cute is it to make a tiny work of art with anything you can think of?  This opportunity reeks with experimental possibilities.  Guys, seriously.

Okay - you make these tiny cards.  Awesome.  Then what?  

You trade them!  Once you complete your card, you write the title of your tiny piece, include your contact information, etc. and then trade away.  A website I recently joined,, has endless boards with organized craft swaps, and one of them is specifically designated for ATC's.  Apparently this is a pretty big thing and people love to collect them.  I haven't signed up for any swaps just yet, but...soon.  

I figured this would be an awesome advertisement for myself, my style, and my Etsy shop.  Here are the cards I've created so far:

"All Stitched Up with Nowhere to Go"

"Take me Away"

"Body Snatcher Tuesday"

"B Awesome"

"Lovebot Bear"

"Classic Scaling"

Don't worry - I've also been rolling away with paper, working on the big paper project as well.  Just took a mini break to experiment a bit with these cards.  

Happy Crafting!



Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Rebranding Yourself... hard.

I recently felt that the logo I originally created for my shop just wasn't cutting it anymore. 

It was one of those "Ah!  I need a logo for my shop; I better create one real quick"  type of situations.  I'm sure we all have had those moments before with one thing or least it makes me feel better to think that anyway.  Of course, after all those design type classes I took through my tour of college, I should have known better...  

A logo is basically your brand - your identity.  Something that people look at and remember down the road...

hopefully.  (Fingers crossed!)

It needs to represent, at least in some way, what you are offering to the consumer.  My original logo just didn't have that connection with my work I think.  Here is the original:

It is pretty to look at, but it does not represent my body of work well.  This logo, to me, says that I create more classical designs with an emphasis on color.  My inventory is more on the modern edge with an emphasis on the black and white.  

O.o  Cue the "False Advertising" chant now, please.

While my main factor is currently black and white, I don't want to completely discount adding color to my body of work.  I eventually want to cover a full range of stuff, including colored works, so I need to have a logo that expresses my vision and ideal for the future of my brand. 

Okay, great.  My brain is asking me "Where do we go from here, boss?"

That is the tricky part.  I want something that will last me quite a while.  Something solid, but not super plain and boring with a slight artist flair to separate me from all of the generic corporate logos out there.  

Dude, figuring out your brand is hard stuff.  Like, headache hard.  

Here is what I came up with:

In the end, I still wanted to emphasize my identity (the ANF in the logo represents my initials).  This branding portrays everything I currently am as an Artist, my vision for the future of my work and shop, and will stand the test of time as a solid logo.

I'm pretty pleased with the results.  

Due to the re-branding, I've had to go through and update all of my bases to keep myself consistent.

That is the other important part of this that I've had to learn as I go - consistency is huge.

Well, that took up half my day.  I suppose I should get to work!



Tuesday, June 10, 2014

My First Meet-Up...

Was. Absolutely. Awesome!


The meet up was last Sunday with a group I joined called Triangle Arts and Crafts Group.  I was actually having a conversation about finding this group with Mike on Friday before the event (we were on our way to the Amphitheater for John Williams night with the North Carolina Symphony --- AMAZING!).  I was thinking how amazing it was to find groups of people with the same interests that easily and quickly.  

What did we do before Google??

What did we do before the Internet?!  


I imagine there used to be bulletin boards posted at the local library, or some other community grounds where people could easily access it.  Magazines or word of mouth?  I feel like if that were still the case today, I would never be able to find out about these types of things unless I seriously hunted them down.

The meet up this past Sunday was themed - Whimsical Woodland Themed Crafts and Potluck.  It was super cute!  Everyone brought a dish that met with the theme and worked on their own crafts while we chatted.  I chose to bring Chocolate Kiss Acorn treats and I just drew in my sketchbook for the time.  I'm so glad I went and everyone was so incredibly nice and welcoming;  I signed up for the next couple of meet ups coming up!

The snack I brought was super easy to put together too -  Here is the recipe to make your own.  I also added a couple of photographs of my finished sketch I did while there, below.

If you, yourself, want to meet other people with similar interests in your area I strongly suggest checking out!  :) 



Monday, June 9, 2014

Art of the Ancient

Has an interesting sort of mystery to it, doesn't it?

I think it encapsulates the inspiration and literal meaning to my work.   I'm pretty sure that will be the title of my piece when finished.  Pretty sure.   

Like,  63%?

Okay, it will probably change, like, a million more times.

Let's call it a working title for now until the thing is actually finished.

As mentioned before, the idea for this came in the form of a dream.  I came down to my studio, cleared my desk and worked out the idea a little in my sketch book.  The idea was this:

It would be really interesting to create a 3D piece on a larger scale [than I'm used to working] showing the changes in color using a medium I've used countless times in the past.  Just in a different way.

Scratch that.  

COMPLETELY different way.

Using watercolors.

I have zero skill when it comes to watercolors.  

So this idea will push me completely out of my comfort zone in all aspects, presenting the ultimate challenge.  

My mind is asking:

"Um, babe...can you pull this off? I mean, can you actually do this successfully and not feel like you wasted an exorbitant amount of time on absolutely nothing? ...Just asking..."

I know.  Self-doubt is a total bitch, and yes I DO have Internal conversations with myself like this.

I like to keep it real.

And of course I answer myself and declare: CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.

Because if I didn't follow my own advice and take the leap with the knowledge that, even if this becomes a failed experiment, I will come out of this with a few new pieces of knowledge that I didn't have before - I would be a total hypocrite.  And that would be super lame.
So, to recap - a 3D color theory work of art...more or less.

Here is my artist road map (or rough sketch) of my idea:

By now, I'm sure you're probably looking at this and scratching your head, becoming more curiously confused but I accounted for this!  By that I mean that I just took more photos of my work in progress.

Let me start continue by stating that the medium I'm using for this project is paper.  The  circles represent the paper in the sketch above and the color spectrum I've filled in will be worked into the paper and assembled roughly as represented.  Let me add that the paper circles are actually rolled strips of paper for me to achieve the 3 dimensional look I am going for.

Due to the fact that this is being worked into a larger scale and I'm dealing with super thin strips of paper, recycled paper was an appealing idea.  As I was thinking about how and where I could look for masses of "scrap paper", my gaze swept across an old text book sitting in the corner of my studio.

Light bulb.

What old college textbook would that be you ask?  

Well none other than this one, of course:

What better use for an old Art History text (that weighs 900 lbs mind you) to be recycled into modern art?  And Color Theory related at that!  It is choc full of pages for me to use for this.  

I may or may not have danced a little jig of excitement upon rediscovering this treasure...  

Hence the working title for this piece.  

Anyway, Here are some photographs of my work in progress:

The above is where I am currently in the project.  I plan to make the strip as long as my studio table so I have a little bit more blue left to fill in.  Then, I will be working left and right into the varying shades of the color spectrum to represent the transitions from one to the next (as noted in my sketch).  

Yes.  This will be a very long process, but it is something I've never tried to do before.  The challenge of it is exciting and I hope the end result will be better than I imagined it to be.  

I will update you on this particular project when I can!

Wish me luck! :]



Wednesday, June 4, 2014


Guys.  I was totally sitting here, working away on the piece-that-must-not-be-revealed (just yet) , thinking about what it would be like to actually have something in an art show or gallery show.  I thought of how much anxiety would be coursing through my body - probably enough to fuel a car. 

For real. 

Then I wondered if there was a support group for that.  No, not the anxiety part - I know that exists. 

I mean for artists. 

I Googled this.  (duh)

And there totally is.  Like a total artist meet-up kind of thing once a month. 


My mind is blown.  

Now a different type of anxiety is building....

Should I stay or should I go...