Thursday, June 7, 2012

Waldo Art Ware Alliance

Just a quick post to put the word out about the Waldo Art Ware Alliance- it's the new art market that will be happening in conjunction with the Belfast Farmer's Market at Waterfall Arts this summer. They will feature rotating artists, but some people will be art vendors for multiple weeks. I get to help kick off the first market tomorrow which I am excited about. We will be set up inside Waterfall Arts, so if you are going to the farmer's market, don't forget to stop inside and check us out! Here's a link to the Waldo Art Ware Alliance's new web page:

And here's a showing of what you'll find at my table onesies, kid's t-shirts, festive banners, lavender eye pillows, hand stamped cards, jewelry and more! If you can't make the market but see something you covet, email me at!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sew Obsessed

I never thought I would love sewing- it has never come easily to me. That and pottery are the two artsy realms that have brought me the most frustration every time I've tried them. Maybe it's the nesting instinct that's kicked in, or maybe it was the amazing fabric store that opened in town this year (Fiddlehead Artisan Supply Browsing around Fiddlehead and seeing shelves upon shelves of brightly colored fabrics with fantastic patterns made me wish I could do something with them. So I asked for a sewing machine for Christmas and Aaron indulged me in pursuing yet another area of craft. After I completed my first thing that actually looked like something (a banner for the baby's nook), I was in love. A semi-sedentary activity- perfect for my pregnant self! Plus the end result is the creation of something functional, wearable, or decorative, which I always find rewarding. Here are some of my recent completed projects...some were done on the machine and some were done by hand. I'm now selling the felt and cloth banners and garlands, as well as the baby tag toys.

Banner made with Echino fabric hanging over baby's changing table


Kitchen wall hanging made with leftover fabric

I love these prints!

Taggie toy (babies love to play with the ribbon tags on the edges)

Crinkly tag toy (I added a sheet of mylar wrapping paper between the fabric for an extra awesome sensory experience)

Burp Cloths made with super-soft jersey fabric

Art bag for Rowan

Valentine's Day Family Heart- I got this pattern from Amanda Blake Soule's Handmade Home. The front pocket is for little love notes and you can send it off with one of your kids if they're having a rough day, or with a loved one when they leave the home for a trip.
Not the best picture, but a felt flower banner I made Rowan for her birthday

Felt springtime garland

Bluebirds of Happiness! (Pattern from the book Fa La La La Felt!, which Aaron relentlessly made fun of me for taking out of the library)

New Onesie Designs

Still having fun creating new designs for onesies and kid t-shirts....these ones are drying in the studio and will be up for grabs in a couple of days. I can't wait to have my own baby model for my photos soon! If anyone is interested in purchasing these, email me at I can accommodate other size requests too.

Tree Design (0-3 mos)

Whale (0-3 mos)

Red Flowers (0-3 mos)

Love Bunnies (newborn size)

Mod Flowers (0-3mos)

Magenta Flower (newborn)

Bee and Honeycomb (not for sale, but short-sleeved version coming soon)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Playing with Prints

Winter is always a slow time for my art business with holiday shows over and summer festivals a long way off, but it marks an exciting time for me to mess around and play with new mediums. I'm a little burnt-out on jewelry making at this point, so I've been letting myself try new things this month and it's been a lot of fun! I've been wanting to learn more about printmaking for a while- I love the idea of taking one of my original drawings and then making that image into a stamp or stencil that can be used over and over again and applied to a variety of materials to create usable and wearable items. I bought some rubber blocks at the art store in town, made some pencil sketches of designs I'd like to put on cards and then transferred the pencil drawing to the rubber block by placing it face down on the block and rubbing the back of the paper. I use a Speedball carving tool and an Xacto knife to cut out my design and then Color Box ink pads to ink the stamp and transfer the image to paper. I'm working on some winter and Valentine-themed cards that I'm going to put up on Etsy soon.

This card was made from three different stamps I carved.

Love Birds- I made this one today- on the right you can see the carved stamp and on the left, the finished card. This one is a draft--when I use the stamp the first few times I can see some places that still need to be scraped away to create cleaner lines.

After I started doing the carved stamps, I decided to try printing on fabrics. I bought some onesies for Lulu and t-shirts for Rowan along with some fabric paints and stencil brushes. I did some research and found out that you can use freezer paper to trace over your designs in your sketchbook, and then after cutting them away from the freezer paper with an Xacto knife, you can iron the freezer paper directly onto the fabric without harming the shirt in any way. It temporarily fuses to the shirt and makes a great stencil with no paint leaking in around the edges. Here are my first shirts, hopefully more to come, with some for sale on Etsy soon. I am washing them as we speak to test out this type of fabric paint and making sure it holds up well to everyday wear and tear.

Onesies for the baby!

A t-shirt for Rowan--of course, the flowers are purple.

Love Bunnies! A good Valentines Day or Easter Shirt...

If you are interested in playing around with stamping, stenciling, or learning how to do screen-printing (hopefully my next endeavor) I highly recommend the book Printing by Hand, by Lena Corwin, which laid everything out in a very clear, easy to follow way. It has lots of great ideas for projects. I got a sewing machine for Christmas and am especially excited to print some of my artwork on fabrics that I can then sew with-- printed curtains, dish towels, baby blankets, pillow covers, tote bags...the list goes on and on!

Monday, January 9, 2012

These are a few of my favorite things...

So I originally wrote this post a few days before Christmas when I found that I had an unexpected morning to myself at a coffee shop...I saved the draft but am just now getting around to finishing it. It's so 2011, but I figured if I took the time to write it, I might as well post it! 

I'm not entirely sure why "My Favorite Things" is considered a holiday song since it's from the Sound of Music, but given that it is the season to be joyful and express gratitude for those we love and the things we cherish, I thought I'd pay homage to some of the things that have made my world a brighter place in 2011. Of course, being surrounded by wonderful family and friends, the li'l babe kicking in my womb, and good health top the list, but here are some of the little things that I'm happy to have encountered in 2011...

  • The Creative Family by Amanda Blake Soule: Oh my gosh, I devoured this book. It was one of those books that seemed to be written just for me. The author lives in western Maine and has tons of ideas about how to raise a creative child and how to incorporate loads of creativity into many aspects of everyday life-- as soon as I read it, I felt so inspired to try a lot of the suggestions and project ideas with Rowan. I reorganized her play area, made her a knitting basket, brought more natural toys into the home, created her own art shelf, started a tradition of expressing gratitude at the dinner table and doing a nightly blessing, etc. This book is chock full of simple but great ideas to give any parent new ideas to enrich everyday family life.
  • The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin: Another gem. Although the author is even more type-A and into list making that I am, I like how she set out to find ways to make her everyday life happier. Again, I got lots of ideas of little things I can do in my life to make each day happier.
  • Clean by Dr. Alejandro Junger: I flirted with the idea of reading this book and trying this program for a long time before I actually sat down and read it. I am not one to read food and diet books and I usually approach life with the attitude that life is short and if some sort of food item brings you joy, you should ingest it with gusto, not guilt--but in moderation if possible. This past spring I found myself feeling really off and a lot of it seemed to be related to what I was eating. After reading this book, I was so excited to try the Clean Program that I devoted May to drastically changing my eating habits. This meant no gluten, no dairy, no lots of things. At first I flipped out and felt like I could eat nothing but nuts and fruits, but once I started following the recipes at the back of the book, I was in food heaven. Everything was so delicious, so fresh, and I realized how much I overeat on a daily basis. Within a few days of doing the Clean diet, all of my digestive issues disappeared and I felt more clear-headed and alive and happy than I have in years. I realized how many aspects of your life food can really impact, and it made me much more aware of what I put in my body and how it will effect my overall well-being.  
  • New and Selected Poems, Volume One by Mary Oliver: Aaron and I have fallen into the habit of keeping a Mary Oliver book on one of our nightstands and reading her poems before bed sometimes. I don't know what to say except that lady sure has a way with words, and the way she conveys her deep connection to nature on paper is really pure poetry. It's calming to end your day with a few of her lovely musings.

  • Drawing Lab for Mixed Media Artists By Carla Sonheim: A great book to give you ideas of new ways and subjects to draw when you're feeling stuck. 

One Day by David Nicholls: This isn't one of my favorite books of all time, but the premise of it was very interesting. It's a love story, told by two people, but each chapter is told by one or the other and takes place on anniversary of the day they first got together. The book spans 20 years or so, but you only get a snapshot of their life once each year, but it's enough to piece together what happens to them from the day they meet until the day their relationship is over. It was a good read-- haven't seen the movie yet though.
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett: The movie was excellent, but as usual, the book was even better.

Movies and Documentaries
  • Waste Land: This was an incredibly inspiring documentary about an artist that decides to use his power as a world-renowned artist to help trash pickers at the world's largest garbage dump in Rio de Janeiro. After gaining the trust and respect of a group of trash pickers, he takes their portraits, hires them to collect trash and recyclables from the dump for him, and then together they assemble these amazing large scale portraits of the workers entirely out of trash. The work is shown in a gallery and auctioned off for loads of money, all of which goes back to the trash pickers to help lift them up out of poverty and change their lives for the better. Watch it. 
    •  Exit Through the Gift Shop: This is a fascinating documentary about the guerrilla art movement, the elusive street artist Bansky, and another crazy wannabe street artist. It is amazing to see what these guys pull off under the cover of night, and Thierry Guetta, the crazy guy, is very entertaining to watch.
    •  Life in a Day:  A super cool documentary showing just a slice of the things that can occur in one single day on earth. As part of this project, thousands of people around the globe were given video cameras and asked to document their day on July 24, 2010. It is sort of mind-blowing to see all the things that happen simultaneously in our world, touching to see how much we all have in common, and also shocking to see the major differences in lifestyle highlighted. 

      These are both awesome, addictive blogs made by super crafty women that must never sleep or make messes. At any rate, the photos on their blogs make me drool and wish that I could find a way to spend my days baking bread and painting birds in well lit, cozy, clean rooms.

      • AFAR: Awesome travel magazine, but beware, it will make you want to sell your house and hit the road.
      • Whole Living: Inspiring magazine with great recipes and healthy ideas.
      • People: I know it's trashy, but it's just one of my greatest guilty pleasures. Eating a chocolate coconut donut while reading People would be even better.
      Experiences/ Highlights from 2011:
      •  Rowan turning 2: We both took the day off to go swimming together, eat her favorite lunch at Dysarts, and go to the Children's Museum in Bangor--she was so happy and excited!
      • Our trip to the Everglades and the Florida Keys and spending my birthday in Key West
      • Finding out I was pregnant at the Empire State Building and telling Aaron at the top!
      • Spending my summer Thursdays looking out at the ocean selling my art at the Rockland Art Market
      • Storyland: Rowan still hasn't stopped reminiscing about riding in the Flying Dutch Shoes :)
      • Polar Express train ride: again, pure kid joy--there's nothing better
      • Night Hike up Mount Battie under a full moon to have a winter picnic and see the star lit up on top
      So many things great and small to be thankful for as we finish up one year and start another!