Category Archives: Artists

Seattle Visit Part 1

It’s been crazy busy at our house as we try and get everything in order for our big move. Luckily we aren’t moving ourselves! Just a little bit of packing on our part. I did find out that we have so much stuff it will take TWO days to pack and one to load. This is after we’ve done a major purge. Ugh.

Anyway, we left on Friday morning for Seattle with the kiddo. She hasn’t been on a plane since she was 5 months old with our trip to Vegas. She was a trooper. This one, she did pretty well. As long as she had her paci and Peppa Pig no problem. Although no electronics at take off and landing did not seem reasonable to the toddler. Also, this is the cleanest that lamb was for four days. By the time he made it home… ICK!

Sophy AirportLanding at SeaTac she was out. I would’ve been happy to hang out for a nap. Cleaning crew had other plans.

Sophy Mommy planeI have no idea why I can’t get this pic rotated but they are super cute. You can see she’s getting drowsy.

Sophy and DaddyWe stayed at a fantastic hotel in an amazing location Downtown. Starbuck’s was attached and we walked out the door with restaurants and a Whole Foods right there. Even fancy yoga and spabut I did not partake. Boo! Whole Foods was Sophy snack greatness. Will, our front desk check in guy, also gave her a super cute panda when checking in. Panda made several trips out with us and she enjoyed throwing him to throw ground to watch us pick him up. Dance monkeys, dance! Even the valet guys there are awesome. They were super speedy, loaded everything quickly and asked how it went after every outing. Some were better than others. :/

Hotel ViewView from our hotel room. Several buildings on the right are Amazon’s. Woo hoo!

Hotel LobbyCute toddler in the lobby. There are incredible statues in front of the Whole Foods that I LOVE. There are fabric versions of them in the hotel lobby. You can kind of see them behind her. I’m now hooked on most of his pieces. Greatness.

Near where we think we’ll be living, fingers crossed all the paperwork is good!, is Alki Beach. I’ve also referenced it as the “Sleepless in Seattle” beach. This has garnered some odd looks.  Apparently not everyone can remember every random scene from movies they watched years ago. Weirdos.

Alki Beach FerrySophy’s first beach and playing in the water! We bought sturdier shoes that didn’t leave her feet exposed later in the day. There may have been a tide/wet foot incident.

Mommy Sophy beach 2 (2)Tiny sliver of water view in the back. This was the best of the family photo choices. Kind of love her expression.

photoBeach Snuggles!

Mommy Sophy beach 2 (1)

Rental hunting was exhausting. I was kind of prepared for the increased cost of living but not the state of a lot of the places we saw. It was crazy how much people wanted in rent compared to the cleanliness of the house. Ugh. We got really lucky and found some place that was pretty roomy, relatively speaking, in a good neighborhood with kids, in the city and really reasonably priced. I’m hoping we get everything finalized this week. It will be a huge relief to get an actual address where we’ll be for at least a year. I admit to having already started house purchasing looky looing.

Next up is Gas Works park and I figure out how to post larger images.


I’m incredibly behind in posting but wanted to share all the goodies from my trip to visit the amazing and lovely Maija in Phoenix. She graciously invited me to stay with her while we went to Terri Brush’s class hosted by Melrose Vintage. This is a pic of their gorgeous sign. I love the mix of retro/vintage and shabby chic.

The classes were held in the courtyard of a fabulous house in a lovely neighbor not too far from the Melrose area. All of the houses looked like they were from the 1920’s-1940’s with lots of character, stained glass with streets lined with palm trees. If I didn’t know it could be up to 117 in the summer this neighbor could convince me to relocate. Alas, I’m scared of melting in the summer sun! I’m sticking with lots of visits.

A great pic of me and Maija taken by the lovely Tricia. She had a super cool printer that printed out these amazing pics in different styles including calendars. I’ve got my eye on a new toy!

The immensely talented Terri Brush, and a weird pic of me. Terri’s class was one of my best classes ever. She does a great job of gearing it towards all levels so that beginners and more experienced artists all learned new techniques with everyone taking home awesome finished pieces. Terri and the Melrose ladies also went above and beyond in terms of supplying everyone with anything they might need including finished necklaces from Terri, sweet treats and all the sparkly goodies one might need to finish a piece. If you get an opportunity to attend a class, I can’t recommend it enough.

One of my finished pieces – shield bracelet that I’ve worn 3 times since coming home!

Previously mentioned sparkly goodies!

p.s. For any foodie nerds out there, Maija also took me to the Trader Joe’s where I wanted to take home one of everything! I settled on peanut butter, assorted chocolate and some recyclable bags since I can’t resist a graphic bag!

p.s.s. Next post, I’ll catch you up on this weekend and some of my new favorite shopping haunts. Plus, tomorrow is the premiere of V and I’m super excited as well as a giant geek!

Latest fun

I have been obsessed with Lisa Kaus’s Dollies and wanted to take one of her workshops but so far it hasn’t been doable with the schedule or the budget. I decided to tackle one on my own and it’s been in pieces on my desk for a couple of months but she finally came together. I decided to layer her necklaces just like I would mine and added a little sparkle. I definitely have not mastered Lisa’s beautiful glazing and layering, or the limb attachment trickery, but as a studio muse I think she’s pretty good.

Now, for my other obsession, charm bracelets. My husband started one for me forever ago which is gold, not the most budget friendly, so I decided to start one in silver for places we’ve visited (pictured). I’m not sure the chain is going to work since it tends to get tangled but I love all the little collected charms. One of my favorites has to be the carriage from New Orleans and the Sherlock Holmes collection from London. This is giving me the perfect reason to scope out more trips!


I’ve been finding that I’m lacking inspiration lately. I’m contemplating settling in this weekend for some sure fire inspirational favorites like this and this and also this. I may also start working through this one with the exercises. I bought a new journal that just needs to be broken in and filled with lots of pretty things. I’ve also had a necklace sitting on my desk that I’ve been working on for 3 months now without noticeable progress. The sad part is that I know exactly what I want to do and it’s simple wire wrapping and wire looping but so far, still only two sad beads have been attached. 🙂

I just got in some new beads perfect for earrings… see I think the books are working already!

Scotty Charm

This little guy I made a couple of weeks ago but wanted to share him with you guys. There’s just something about this illustration that I found adorable like he’s just about ready to pounce for a treat or kisses. He hasn’t completely decided yet. I added instant age with my favorite charcoal pencil and a favorite number grouping just because I love typography and can’t stop myself. Now, I wear him whenever possible! He’s inspired a few new things I need to get up in the etsy store fairly quickly or I’m not going to make the monthly addition update goal I set for myself.

In other non art news we have lost all internet and cable at our houses for reasons AT&T have been unable to explain. Hopefully someone will be providing answers between 4-9 tonight. Yep, that’s perilously close to my bedtime! We’re hoping they mean close to 4. In the meantime, my internet access from home will be pretty limited but I have ways around it. 🙂 Without cable or internet to entertain me, I’ve been perusing Amy Hanna’s new book and I love it. She’s such an inspiration and just generally an awesome women so I encourage anyone who loves vintage, jewelry or pretty things to grab this one at the first opportunity.

Slow moving Saturday

This is one of the favorite groupings in the house. It’s got a great mining photo I found at the flea market (framing made it gorgeous but not quite a bargain), lovely prints from The Black Apple and a photo I got at the artists’ market in Portland. I’ve been inspired by lot’s of decorating blogs so decided to do my own little decorating update.

I did manage to get a few updates to my own Etsy shop today. One of my resolutions was to add to the shop monthly so I made it in the nick of time. I’m working on a couple of larger shrine pieces and may add one or two of those. I do have a tendency to get attached to the things I make probably because I tend to make things that I specifically like. Go figure! 🙂
I’ve been frantically trying to catch up to the latest in the Pink Carnation series by Lauren Willig. They are the perfect historical romances and I find I stay in the bath tub far longer than I intend when reading them! These books also have lovely covers that I find really yummy.
Sunday’s plan involves leaving the house for breakfast and a movie. We’re thinking Taken looks like a good choice for the movie. I’m not sure we’ve seen a movie since this fall, we’ve become quite the homebodies!

Only half-dressed

This one is still in progress. She definitely needs a little something to perk her up although I’m very happy with how the charcoal pencil (thank you for the awesome tip Sally Jean – and if you could send the pendant I ordered in Sept or reply to my email I would be overjoyed!!!) really adds dimension and instant age/grit to the box.

I’m thinking of adding in some crayon coloring but have to admit I’m concerned about jacking it up but I just need to try it and add until I have a final result that I love. Tolerate. Don’t mind. But, I have to tell you guys that I slam into the giant brick wall where I get nervous about experimentation. I have no idea why since it’s just a fun kind of piece made with a broken doll, a $3 ornament, a cardboard box, paint and glitter so not a large or expensive cash output here. Still I hate to admit that the two months I’ve been working on it slowly were a waste but somehow everything feels like an art project that’s getting graded by a super strict art teacher at the end and I really want that “A” and a gold star damn it! Okay, I’m just going to add some color, numbers, whatever I find on the desk and get over it.
Well, let me sleep on it.

Love Box

I’ve been working on this box since last week trying to get the paint layers right plus all the layers of paint and collage. I can’t even say how happy I am with the results. I’ve talked about my love of Lisa Kaus here before but I really appreciate how open she’s been with her work and techniques so I was able to create my own interpretation of her pieces since it’s unlikely I’ll be able to attend a class soon. Although it’s definitely on my wish list for 2009!

The photo shows how I started with a few layers of paint. I wished I had taken step by step photos but I would be working on it then remember I should’ve taken a pic! Here’s my step by step process. The base was two round wood chip boxes from Michael’s that I gessoed then used absorbent ground on the entire piece. I coated with a few coats of red/pink/iridescent silver mixed with glazing liquid. Next I added a glaze of iridescent stainless steel (golden) and glazing liquid then started on the finishings. I discovered a nice trick of creating the scallops and circles with charcoal pencil so when I went in with the white paint the charcoal created a nice aging effect. The entire pieces were aged with charcoal pencil and I sealed them with workable fixative so the charcoal doesn’t smear. Finally I added the collaged text, glitter and 3d elements (like the washers I keep on hand just for such purposes!). The final step was to use epoxy (this holds like magic) to connect the boxes together add the green handle, dice and doll head. Now, the entire piece is going to the mantle!

New Day New Post

I’m feeling much better about the world and my general state of well-being. Well, except for the part where I whacked myself in the head with the car door while trying to load the puppies in the car for doggie day care – seriously, clumsiest person on the planet. But even that doesn’t have me down. Today’s the last day of work before the holiday week and I plan to spend tomorrow with the puppies in the new studio. I’ve got tons of pics to show of the new construction on the patio, arty goodness and finally Silver Bella updates, whew! Big plans people, big plans!

But, in the mean time, I wanted to share a quick link with you in case you’ve been looking for a special way to give for the holidays. Kelly Rae Roberts has an incredibly inspiring story on her blog today. Check it out and if you have the means, give a little something to start the holiday season.