Monday, November 29, 2010

Booth 39 at Knott's Berry Farm

Yep, we're finally here!
The crew at work. (Front Row) Elissa Wildermuth (left) Raylene Hile (rt) and me in the back row.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Glitter, Glitter Everywhere!

Latest bulb installments. Opening booth at KBF next week. Glitter everywhere (despite daily vacuuming!) In my studio, clothes, on the cats. Hubby left for work with glitter on his face! I not only seem to have glitter on my face constantly (despite daily showering!!), apparently I went to bed with that blue artist tape stuck in my hair...ah, production mode...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Word about Production Mode

I'm in the thick of it. Production mode. Hand duplicating hundreds of bulbs. And may I say that it has been an enlightening, frustrating, boring and exhilarating experience thus far? I love Christmas, so painting all these Yuletide designs is a joyful process--until something goes wrong. I've painted these glass orbs for the past 5 years, and never had a glitch...but as the numbers increase, so it seems, does the opportunity for Murphy's Law. For example, having numerous bulbs done and hanging on the tree,  after a week or so, the paint began to slough off the inside of the bulb! I was about to do a complete redesign, when my BH (Brilliant Husband!) figured out the problem (saved me once again!) and rigged up a little machine in the garage that solved the problem. Whew!

On to the next design! Exciting! The prototypes came out beautiful. Then the task of cutting out one of the elements by hand. Discovered that if I cut 1/16 in either direction the element was ruined and I had to start over. Grrrrrrrrrrr. Things got very slow and labor-intensive. Opps, messed up another one, sigh, okay - I admit it ---tears. This is NOT working. I'll redesign...and of course, y'all know what happened next! Yep, hubby figured out a process to mass produce these elements! They were done --hundreds of them - in a couple of hours. I think he hides a bunch of production elves in his workshop!

Currently back in fun mode. Painting in my studio. Beautiful weather. Windows open--listening to birdsong. And crunching. Crunching? On the wall, under our pink bougainvilla is a squirrel eating a walnut. Hey that reminds me - I set down a bag of walnuts yesterday when I brought in the groceries...
that has got to be one happy squirrel! I laugh. Pick up my paintbrush. Productions problems and all--life is very, very good. Crunch.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thank You Whimzy!

Whimzy Halloween Display

I received notification last week that I was a Glitterfest Lottery winner! It's an incredible art show. Held in Fall and Spring, Glitterfest is juried -all the participating artists are elite I was excited to discover I had won!

To claim my prize, I headed over to Whimzy located in charming Old Town Tustin and spent a few hours in eye candy heaven. Imagine walking into a storybook land filled with pretty and magical items. Glitter ornaments, crowns galore, and along with many old and familiar friends--60's Santa mugs, wooden angel ornies, bingo cards... I ended up purchasing some great vintage pieces along with items to create my own artwork.  

My prize? A beautiful pendant necklace by Robin Dudley Howe My first soldering class was taught by Robin, which gives this gift additional significance. Robin used a beveled glass overlay which reflects the light in a myriad of dancing patterns. I love my prize! 
Pendant Necklace by
Robin Dudley Howes
A big thank you to Diane White, Sheryl Simpson and Robin Dudley Howes. I can't wait until the next Glitterfest!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Broad Squad Art

Art by The Broad Squad
Pillow/Sharon Hughes  Fleur de lis Bulb/Me
Glitter tags/Candy Gloves/Lydia Reza

Last January Lydia Reza approached me with the idea of starting an art support group. I leapt at the opportunity to participate. Just a group of women artists getting together to discuss ideas on growing our art business, managing time/ family/home/art, what's working, what's not working, how to achieve our goals --- all over a steamy mug of java. Thus, the Broad Squad was created. Monthly meetings ensued, and the results are nothing short of spectacular (IMHO).

When I look back to last February, I am amazed at how far we have all come and am so proud of everyone! Sharon has been featured in Romantic Homes and will be participating in the Two Wild Roses show in Redlands on Nov. 5 & 6, Lydia and Candy's artwork is now available at Paris in a Cup, and later this month my Christmas ornies will be available at Knott's.

I'm very grateful to this group of women for their willingness to share ideas, listen, make suggestions and just be all around great girlfriends. Women working together is a very powerful combination. Can't wait to see what next year holds!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Bulbs, Bulbs, Bulbs

Halloween Bulb
The Drying Station 
Officially joining the blog-a-sphere today. I should begin by saying that I've been a Blog Lurker for a couple of years. And now,  with encouragement from some incredible women/artists/friends (yes, that is you -Beth, Paulette, Julie, Raylene, Lydia, Sharon) have crossed the Rubicon into Blogland! I'm excited, nervous - feels a bit like the first day of school. 

As an artist, I'm very grateful for the help I've had along the way. My hope is that my journey (via this blog) may encourage/help/inspire another artist or artist to be.

Thought I would share briefly about my current artistic endeavor - the gig at Knott's Berry Farm. I was invited to sell my ornies (short for ornaments) -  at the KBF Christmas craft fair. This is my first time so ALL the processes are new - sourcing bulbs, storing 700 bulbs, painting the bulbs...the process that really stumped me was how to dry 25 large bulbs at the same brilliant husband came up with "The Drying Station". He put a six foot white Christmas tree on my studio table. All the glitter and twinkling lights look magical. Even my cat likes it. It also creates a holiday atmosphere despite the 80 degree weather. 

Created a few Halloween bulbs - hence the pic above. I'm a ardent believer in using bulbs year round - but that's fodder for a future post.  That's about it for now - thanks so much for stopping by :)