Sunday, January 31, 2010

New Pieces! Halloween with a Valentine's Twist!

Here are some pieces finished here this weekend. Offered on eBay this week, the one on the left shown below is a Jack o Lantern sitting on a heart shaped red velvet cake. Whilst painting his chocolatey, fudgey frosting, I wished for a real cake. It's my birthday soon, so maybe I'll make one!
Untill then, I can feast my eyes upon this one, salivate, and keep working out...thus avoiding the whole calorie bomb of a REAL cake.

Here he is lit up....
The little guy on the right is a candy container, the "frosting" and the jack are one piece, the lid of the little heart shaped cake-box.
Here is some Fancy Finery for your Valentiney...
A Moon with hearts on his cheeks...I must say my first ever PINK moon. He has marble glitter highlights and A RED metallic tinsel hanger. Frosty, Wintry, and Sweet!

That's all, Ya'll!!!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Valentine's Day Jack O Lantern WIPs!
I finished a few things today, but not as much as I had hoped, because we had snow! My kids were out in it till 9:30 tonight and it only started right before dark. A few inches already on the ground, and may do it all night tonight and through the day tomorrow too. When I was growing up in this area, it snowed 12 inches at least once, sometimes even twice, a winter. A nice snow lasting a few days that we could sled in and saucer down hills on was something you could count on happening. We even had a nice sled, untill my mother ran it over in the driveway one year. Ha ha. We probably left it out way after the snow came and went and she decided to take out that piece of un-attractive yard art. I remember the best things about playing in the dad would come out in it with us...and we made a REAL igloo, it probably rivals the Eskimos' as my dad does NOTHING half ass. He and my mom were married in Alaska and lived there for seasons at a time when he was a smokejumper. Maybe he got some pointers from his friends there, however, it was the summer there...who knows how he learned how to do EVERYTHING he knows? There were Eskimos at the small un-formal ceremony in a log cabin and they got a wolf skin as a present. I used to cover myself with it and run around on all fours pretending to be a wolf! Of course he also showed us how to make all kinds of snow sculptures.
We lived in town, in Charlotte, NC, in my elementary school days next to a main busy road in town that was on a steep hill. I remember for fun, we would all go help push cars that were stuck up the hill. I remember this happening at night a lot too. Lots of laughing and fun. I love the snow. I know, I know, you yankees will laugh. But its special down here when it occurs, and it doesn't occur often enough to be a pain! I love a good snowfall as much as I love Halloween!!!
Speaking of wolf skins...its a Wolf Moon! Every moon has a name...December's was the Blue moon because there were TWO full ones that month. Makes me want to sculpt a wolf. A wolf has got to be my favorite animal besides a horse. I guess that's why I love my dog. I love any animal I can GO in nature and run with. Or on. What a tangent I'm on!
Back to the art...
I am doing some Halloween Valentine's Day crossover pieces. I think that these Jack O Lantern's on heart cakes with fudge chocolate frosting are so cool! I've had it in my head for a while now to make some faux cakes...because I love making real ones, and although I am a good baker, I am not the best decorator with real frosting. It seems I can never get it stiff enough or cold enoigh to come out of the bag out of those frosting decorator's tips...or the whole mess explodes out past the bag and I have an ugly cake that tastes REAL good. My favorites to make are red velvet, coconut, carrot, and chocolate. I use sifted Gold Medal Brand unbleached flour and REAL vanilla and fresh ingredients all around! Making these little heart shaped cakes made me want a chocolate cake!
The bigger Jack o Lantern below will have painted paper eye inserts and teeth and I will have a real little night light bulb wired into the bottom of the cake and piece so that it lights up and is a Valentines Day Lantern! The smallest one is just an ornament. I am trying to decide on whether they get hats or not. Then the black cat will be a shaker on a stick but for Valentine's day. There is also a cup of hot choclate in the works that will have little grumpy faced marshmallows floating in it! The cup is grumpy looking, too.

Here are my Valentine's ornaments..they will come with wire hangers too. I put them on eBay tonight.

I also love making the crescent moons now....
and you can't see them in this pic, but three HUGE moon forms are drying and awaiting face sculpting.

I'll be in that snow tomorrow with my three kids, so check back soon for more tale telling!
Thanks for dropping by!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

January Update...

Well I've been a pitiful blogger lately, I have so many irons in the fire at once right now, and I've been doing a lot of physical things, even more than usual. Working out harder and longer and
running with my dog through the woods..this morning, as cold as it was, reminding me that it is still in the heart of January, I heard frogs..a whole chorus, that song of sweet abundance. Let's you know nature is still doing her thing! It was music to my ears, and to top it off, the crows were calling too. I can easily spend two or more hours in my personal nature haven, and often do. I love running through and navigating the wet muck and ditches. Angus circles me, races haead, then races back to me touching his nose to my hand. He is a fine companion. Makes running a true pleasure. Here he is bounding back to me...

leaping over a branch...
Angus looks regal standing at the top of the mound above the creek bank...

Here is a favorite place, almost my own little temple..there is a cattle gate here, and I stop and stretch on it...and this is the view...I know this place in every weather and season. Beauty is a constant.

Here I am down in the creek bed looking up at the morning rays shining through the tree tops...
Brrrr its cold!!

As always, Angus spends more time in the air than in the water or on the ground...

Back in the studio, I have so many projects going on at once with my sister and on my own, that I know it must appear I am doing nothing...however I am moving a large amount of things forward simultaneously while also planning even bigger things. My sister and I are bringing the family ShopSmith, a large wood shop machine that does everything and anything, to my large basement studio, and plan on making many things with it for various shows this year. I have never been so excited, because my sister, who silently and without complaint suffers from MS, has gotten her groove back and is in good and steady health now and is raring to go! We are plotting and planning and setting up and that has taken time this month , too. This year is going to be big for us production wise. I have been waiting years for this! I don't know how to explain our energy, but we were lucky enough to be born with opposite and overlapping talents. We love all the same things, and making things, and as far as skills, my weaknesses are her strengths, and vice versa.

Below are some examples on our collaborative pieces last year:
We made a pair of Moon Candelabra Floor lamps...she found these old lamps in a salvage place, restored them, made the sleeves look like real dripping wax, painted them black, and I made the moon tops. The moon tops have built in sleeves that slide on and off the lamp bulb bases and are also set with screws to tighten. As soon as she bought the lamps, we came up with the idea together! We will be making another pair this year for the Halloween Convention, this time the moons will be in my Yellow color, with black base.

Next to the lamp is one of our Halloween Trumeaus. The frame is hand carved and built from "scratch". People see these things and think we have re-purposed them from something older. or already made. Nope. We built it with pieces of wood that started out looking like...pieces of wood. Dusti carved the wicked skulls and JOL details and does the frame building...we love painting the final layers of grungy patina...they truly look like ancient antiques from someone's haunted old mansion! The bottom half of a trumeau always includes a mirror. We may experiment with etching the mirrors this year.

Here is the painting I did to go with the rendition of an old 1920's era Halloween postcard...mine is a bit more painterly.

We will be doing some more of these for shows this year, and some about half this size as well.

In short, everything we do together is ten times better than what we do alone. We were both shocked to learn as we grew older that "sister" does not mean "born best friend" for everyone.
Speaking of alone, here is a moon I finished, offered on eBay this week. My first Halloween double sided for 2010, and he is unique because he is a medium 8 inch size. I usually only do double sided ones in the x large size. I just love them lit up.

My collectors are often generous enough to send me photos of what they do with my pieces. Here is one of my sold moons hanging above a collection of a Department 56 village...I just love this!

And here, in another collector's home are some examples of pieces on display...I often find that my art is collected along side other artists', and its no surprise, but in two pictures from last week, I also found Tammy from Light and Shadow Studio's art next to mine! Her witch ornies are divine...I love her work!

In another home, here below, two of my moons on a stick, shaker and a lantern, again nestled with a cat shaker by Tammy of Light and Shadow Studios, (A fellow STJ artist!)

Here is my Moon-o- the-Week...

Lots more in store coming up soon! Two wicked feather trees totally decked out, and some Halloween/Valentine's day crossover pieces too.
If I can keep out of the woods I will be back with WIP pics soon!
Thanks for stopping by!!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

New Pieces!

I have had a hectic and fun filled week that has also been very are a few finished pieces. These will go on eBay soon, maybe tomorrow unless someone requests a direct purchase from my blog here. Here is a medium sized Halloween Moon Ornie, he is about 4-5 inches and goes with a star of the same size. This pair is bigger than my previous moon and star pairs...and I am so in love with being able to do HALLOWEEN and a Halloween color palette again!
This moon is shown hanging from a very special BLACK FEATHER TREE that my sister Dusti and I are hand crafting together. We are using a vintage footed metal lamp base for the base of the tree..have wired on the branches and are about half way done with the feathering. I will be topping this one off with the coolest crescent moon I have yet made, and every branch will be adorned with a hand made ornament from myself or my sister...she loves skulls, I love moons, we both love vintage should be to die for!!And its a large tree too...could be considered table top, but is between 4 and 5 feet tall..I also am working on a Valentine's Day tree...

And here is my "Black Cat Flying With The Moon" ornie...he is carved of wood and holds a mini moon lantern in his out stretched paws...this piece is one of my favorites.
Moon is really minature, maybe one inch to one and a half inches high..hollow with a real wire bail hanger...

I love the look on the cat's I love cats!!!


about this piece...

is pure....




Oh, here are the snowflake ornament men I finally finished...they will go as a pair, too...

And my FIRST stab at Valentine's...
I handmade these little mache and paper clay on wooden heart ornies...then added the feather fringe...the feather tree project has me slapping feathers on anything that will sit still...HA!

Mr. Pink...
Mr. Red....
And here is the medium moon and star pair seen together...the star is entirely paper mache and clay wood in there and the star's arms are curled inward...

Just look at those bright and shiny teeth on the moon!

And here are my STJ pieces, already sold...a Wintry Moon and Star ornament pair in my basic small size...

And my Halloween Moon Shaker with hat...
Many More pieces with hats and collars are in the next moon lantern is a 8 or 9 inch DOUBLE yellow witj a painted hat...hat will have a vintage postcard illustrated style witch flying by....I can't wait to paint her with her scary grin...and lots of new lights I am going to incorporate into my designs this year as well.

Thanks for stopping by to see what I am up to here...and please leave a comment if you have the time!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Birthday Blog Party!!!

Head on over to gobble up some eye candy!
My friend Amelia of Sweet B has thrown the SWEETEST little soiree....just a real TREAT to see....

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sunday Morning Messy Studio, Paintings, and WIPSs!
Good morning people! Its been a week since I've posted! I have a mess on my hands! About 30 things all ready for the final stages of sanding/paintings...constructing their final forms...STJ update is coming up the 13th, pieces are due by the end of TODAY for uploading! I am pulling things out to finish at breakneck speed this morning! Most of my week was consumed by finishing these large commissioned paintings...putting me behind on the folk art front. (Actually, they have been"finished" for a while now, but as I went to prepare to glaze and varnish them I saw some spots that I thought I could improve...and I pretty much became lost in both the paintings again for a time!)
Its 18 degrees out this morning, the crows are cawing, the sun is shining, I've had my coffee so its back up to my mess to finish some surprises to put on for the Spookytime Jingles update! Maybe you can look through my mess and guess what I might be up to...then again, maybe not. I should be too embarrassed to show the public this mess! Oh well, I'm nothing if not completely forthcoming. Here are some shots of the paintings...pastoral LARGE paintings, two separate tall narrow canvases.

shots up close of sky detail, I love painting skies the most!

Distand shoreline with was really hard to photgraph these paintings due to their size.

And here we have the aforementioned mess! Its a fun mess, and MY mess...and I assure you I myself am even messier! Everyone in the family laughs at me in my work apron, safety goggles on top of head and exposed skin dappled/ covered in mache, paint and plaster dust.

This metallic moon ends on eBay tonight. He may be the last large 15" double sider for a while now as my local suppliers are all out of the large marbled children's play balls I use as forms. I ran out of my cache and am now going to hav to order a huge case of deflated ones to use. At any rate, he may be the only one offered in January atleast. I don't think the pics on eBay truly showed how large and magnificent he was, so I took a few shots this morning outside in the bright, cold light and a shot next to a gallon of milk for size reference!


Hope he goes to a good home! Bid by tonight at 9pm est or so to win!
Back to work for me!!