Long ago, I created a blue jay block live at a neighborhood fundraiser. I’m bringing it back into my work, and it makes sense as certain ideas are really circling around as I’m reviewing what it means to be going into year 10 of business. The blue jay is such an interesting, beautiful, and amazing bird yet it often gets a bad rap for disrupting the typical backyard community and people unfairly judge it for all that it really offers and what they think it is. The blue jay is simply misunderstood and sometimes therefore ultimately feared or even disliked, but alas, it is an asset to have if you take the time to appreciate and understand. As you really start to research them you’ll find they are highly intelligent, highly adaptable, social, and family oriented. I’m a therefore a fan of the blue jay. As I’m typing this I’m suddenly remembering as a child I would put on my navy corduroy’s and navy zippie hoodie, pull the hood over my head and declare that I was a blue jay! I still wear a navy blue zip hoodie, and maybe I am still feeling like that blue jay from time to time… And now to the swan. I’m wrapped up in the blue jay in my brain at the moment and I’ve talked briefly before about the swans significance so let’s cut to the chase here. There’s a brand NEW colorway in town and the organic swan tea towel is now available in Navy to go with the existing 16×16 designer fabric swan pillow, and of course back to the blue jay, also NOW available in shop the NEW 16×16 designer fabric pillow!
March! Yes! Getting close to Spring and green and gardens and plants, my fave! I got a nice dose of Spring while I was out in Seattle. I also got a nice dose of seasonal allergies there at the end of my trip which I was mindful to just embrace while I enjoying the daffodils, crocuses, gorgeous blooming camellias, and other amazing flowering plants and bushes that really popped. Plus, I find that having a dose of pollen from a trip pre at home allergy season helps in an immense way, so I should be all set this year! Anyway, ode to all things green with this color of the month. A bit of a dingier green mix, the kind that starts to surface from the grungy muck of post winter.
I just took an unprecedented 2 weeks off and headed to the great Pacific NW. It was a great and much needed break. I enjoyed lots of old school friend time, exploring more neighborhoods, hitting some great spots I’ve been to before and lots of new places, live music, great food, some vintage digging of course, and just general chill time. I even assisted my friend in her textile studio and in installing custom bedding on a yacht which was pretty fun. I shared a few pics on instagram and the pic below is by far my fave from my trip, but I really tried to unhook from technology and be present which was pretty awesome. I’m feeling calm and relaxed and enjoying a much slower work pace. I’m all ready for Spring and my next adventure!
Jumping right into February! Slowly creeping closer to Spring, my favorite. Here’s some perky pink to help guide you through this drab month by adding a little extra bit of color. Wherever you are, I hope you’re getting more sunshine than we are here in MI, blah. I’m feeling a bit under the weather as I write this so…extra blah. Cabin fever is setting in and it’s waivering between 99.1 and 101.6 degrees. I think I’m on the mend, but seriously, I could use some real vitamin D from that thing we call THE SUN.
Nearly 20 years ago I made a bee print. It was significant in my early work, perhaps largely due to process. It wasn’t an etching, or engraving, or linocut. I made a wire sculpture and rolled it through the press in metalsmithing, hammered my copper plate flat and voila my bee print was born. I made several prints this way including “sad man” and “funny lady”. I guess I’ve always looked for ways to keep with traditional process but combine it with something else and go outside the lines trying to merge both 2 and 3 dimensional work. This time the bee, a linocut, makes an appearance again in a significant way. I’m still enjoying very process rich work and the poor bee is in a state of demise due to our over processed world. The natural world has and always will be a theme in my work, life, and live close to my heart. This new work reflects with a little more blatant seriousness my feelings on the subject matter.
January can feel a little bleak so let’s jet forward to the next holiday while I’m working on new designs (stay tuned!) In the meantime, here’s artgoodies Valentine’s buying guide. If you’re looking for a way to give a sweet treat to anyone you care about, artgoodies can help, because everyone deserves a little love. Nab a sweetie pie towel set and SAVE or help someone celebrate a new engagement with a blingy ringy towel, tis the season. Whoever it is, remind someone you care, a friend, a neighbor, a loved one, be nice, that’s all.
Hello New Year! I was working on another project which slightly delayed my color of the month post but here it is in its sunshiney glory. I think warm sunny yellow seems like a bright way to start off the New Year! As usual I have an optimistic list of ideas, dreams, and things to do in 2016.
Finally. Here’s a blog post for you. There was NO time to post after the shop happened. I rushed right home into holiday shipping and family obligations and this year there’s basically been no rest, just jumping right back into work. I suppose that’s alright, but it might be nice to experience what some call a “weekend”, ha. Maybe for New Year’s?? …Nah. Anyway, I had a pop up shop, INSIDE a giant Christmas tree outside of Chicago, and it even had it’s own musical light show that happened every 30 minutes. What an experience. I basically WAS inside roadside kitsch and made a beautiful little boutique in there. My bucket list has some strange things checked off…roadside kitsch style store, check. Once in a lifetime, done and done. My display fit better than I had even planned after working up my schematics. Afterall, I was building a store inside a stop sign shaped space smaller than a 10×10 booth. Felt pretty roomy in there given my design and I was really pleased with it, nice job myself. It was indeed MAGICAL! Here’s a link to a virtual tour inside, and here’s a link to the music light show outside the tree.
I’m a little delinquent on my post here. Because well, I wasn’t home for the holidays for a week, I was off doing my Magical Pop Up Shop! I’ll do another lengthier post soon on the tree shop. I came home from that and literally got out of the car and ran down the steps into the studio and starting shipping like crazy! Bing bang bam packages and product flying everywhere and out the door to all my awesome customers! I was shipping through the 23rd, with a half a day escape to put my tree shop display in storage so I could park in my garage, and a lunch visit with a dear family friend on the 22nd. Then with a half a day to prep for family coming on the 24th and 25th and a project in between, well, my legs felt like noodles from exhaustion and there’s not much rest here still. And here in the exhaustion, the rest of the holiday decor happened, so last minute, there was almost no real tree this year, and then there were 2 because I was so late they were half off, so why not. Enjoy the decor, and Happy New Year to you and yours! Stay safe if the weather outside is frightful. The Christmas eve and day walks were welcome and the dandelion sighting was odd, we knew it couldn’t last.We’re now in the middle of an ice storm here in MI, yep, winter has finally found us again.
The Magical Pop Up Shop INSIDE the giant Christmas tree is now OPEN for business! Come see me at Westfield Old Orchard in Skokie, IL NOWthrough Sunday! artgoodies is located near Macy’s across from West Elm. Join me for this truly unique shopping experience! Enjoy the tree’s music and light show and then step inside and shop my independent and handmade product line!