Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg, and owlet's wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
William Shakespeare, Witches in Macbeth

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Halloween Decorations

I just wanted to share a few of our Halloween decorations.
We made a scary, spider infested hallway. We hung fake leaves, Spanish moss, and webs from the ceiling. On the floor, we brought the forest indoors by making a runner out of burlap, Spanish moss and leaves, as well as loads of fake spiders and bugs.

Using Martha's inspiration, we made "spider egg sacs" out of white nylons, fiberfill and plastic spiders. Clear thread suspends three egg sacks as well as spiders from the ceiling. The overall effect was creepy.

Also from Martha, I made Apothecary style candy jars. The labels were easy, downloadable and printable from her site. Finding black candy that wasn't licorice flavored was the hard part. (I can't stand licorice!--I couldn't stick to all black. I did find a mix of Halloween colors, though).

And from Somerset Home, Kerry and I each made a magnetic calendar to countdown to Halloween. Sort of an advent calendar idea. It was fun to find all the different images and items to use for the numbers and details on the calendar. The back is sheet metal covered with tissue and sealed. Each number and the month are magnet backed. The kids have enjoyed putting up a piece on each date. We have a November topper, too, so the fun won't stop tomorrow.

Now that it's almost time to take it all down, what shall I put up for Thanksgiving? Turkeys flying from the ceiling? Just wait and see....

Monday, October 29, 2007

More Decor -- Black and White

Oh -- I feel like I have been absent. I have been an absent blogger, certainly. But, today, I return!
As Kerry told you in the last post, we both strive to live artful lives. What is an artful life? There are so many aspects I can think of; hanging fabulous, original art on the walls of your home; wearing unique clothing items; carrying a fun purse or tote bag; making art (for art's sake); owning a pair of crazy shoes (and wearing them); making and sharing beautiful food; choosing or making home accessories that reflect a sense of artful style. I am sure there are many more ways to let art filter into everyday life.

Taking pictures around my house, to look for the sense of artful life, I found myself in the bathroom. What, the bathroom?!? you may ask. Yes, even a bathroom can reflect a sense of art and style. I have used my guest bathroom as a display for various black & white objects and pictures that I already owned. It is amazing what an impact things can have when grouped together. I framed a number of old black & white photos and art pieces in black frames and hung them together. Some of the photos are family shots, some of them are vintage finds. The sketch is one my great uncle did. I love the overall effect.

I looked for a tissue box that would complement the vintage theme. I had no success. Why buy one, when I could make one? Using a wooden tissue box from Michael's Craft store, and vintage images from Dover Publishing, Somerset, and others, I created this box. I love it! It really completes the look I was trying to achieve. The candle is one I made, also. I used black and white tissue paper on a tall white, prefilled candle.

I, too, will continue to look for ways to let art be a focus in my life. As I find those ways, I will share those worthy of photos. In what ways to you live an artful life? Let us know how you express your creativity.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Halloween Decor

I have been trying to take a cue from Somerset Life magazine and live a more artful life. It is a challenge but still a lot of fun. So, this month I created a new piece of Halloween decor for the house. Rachel and I found this great Halloween paper and I loved it so much, I couldn't even cut it to use for collage. So, I used it whole and added vintage flash card words and metal numbers from 7 gypsies. The finishing touch was this great 'Trick or Treat' ribbon that was tied on a gift my mom sent me a few years ago. So, easy and I get loads of compliments on it.

So I will keep moving ahead with my challenge and try to infuse art in every aspect of my life. It makes me feel good when I surround myself beautiful and original items. There are always more places to incorporate art into my surroundings. I just need to continue to be aware and continue to work on it.

Friday, October 19, 2007

More Sale Photos

Art & Craft Sale

In case you can't make it to the sale, I thought I would share some photos with you. Everything looks fabulous! We are open tomorrow, too. Pop in from 9am - 1pm if you'd like to take a look for yourself.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Unique Boutique and The Light Idea

This Friday, October 19 and Saturday, October 20, we have invited 4 artists to join us for our fall art and fine craft sale. Today I would like you to meet Linda Brookover.

Ok, Kerry and I have been in serious hummingbird mode this week. We had crazy-busy orders for jewelry plus we were hard at work getting ready for the sale and publicizing. That part is hard. Does anyone have an easy button for that? Anyway, we are finally all ready and I can stop and take a breath and introduce you our friend Linda who is brave enough to have two businesses, Unique Boutique Handbags and The Light Idea Lamps.

Linda is the maker of high quality fabric handbags and purses. She uses interesting yet durable materials. She has an eye for combining fabrics, buttons, and ribbons to make these fantastic creations. Her bags also have lots of detail, with lots of pocket, magnetic snap closures, and even a hook inside to snap onto your keys. Boy, do I need that! I am forever digging in the bottom of my purse to find my keys.
Linda also makes beautiful lampshades! She finds adorable lamps and matches them with the perfect shade which she embellishes with fringe, ribbons, and beads. These creations are quite the focal point in a bedroom or on an end table. Again, her eye for combining texture and color is fantastic. These lamps evoke a sense of softness, femininity, and style.

Linda says this about coming into creativity:
"My love for arts and crafts started at a very young age, while taking art classes at the McNay Art Institute and all the way to college. I love many forms of art from painting, stain glass, pottery, but there is not enough time to do them all. Along the way I became a flight attendant and was able to experience the world and many different cultures. With that came new forms of art and color combinations I had never seen before. Unfortunately I was in an accident and I am not able to fly again, but now focus on my art and bring to you some of the experiences of the world through the art that I create. I live a few miles from the Flatirons range near Boulder Colorado with my husband and two kids."
We love Linda's attention to detail and her lovely color combinations. Her work is high quality and first rate! We know you would agree.
Join us tomorrow at the studio (and Saturday) from 9 - 1 to see We'll even have some nice treats to nibble on, and some warm tea to sip on as you get a head start on your holiday shopping. Can you stand it? All these wonderful women in one place! We hope you can make it to the sale!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Fun Lovin' Art - Paintings by Ruth Meere

This Friday, October 19 and Saturday, October 20, we have invited 4 artists to join us for our fall art and fine craft sale. Today I would like you to meet Ruth Meere.

Ruth is the artist behind Fun Lovin' Art. She paints whimsical, fun, bright original pieces. Her subject matter spans the imagination of every child, from mermaids to dragons, lady bugs to lizards, flowers to fish. She even has some fantastic pieces for adults, using fruit, martinis, or jazz as their inspiration.

The common factor in her work is that it reflects Ruth's bright, exciting personality. She uses vibrant colors and pays careful attention to the details, in the designs of the borders and even in the embellishment the frames on many of her works of art.

Ruth says this about how she became a full time artist:

"In search of personal fulfillment, five years ago I decided to quit my job in Marketing and Public Relations to become a full-time artist. Though I enjoyed my work, I found I always had a hand in the more artsy side of my job. I still do marketing and P.R. part-time for Crawdaddy's Toys in Lafayette, CO.I paint at every available opportunity - at night and during naptime - thus my housekeeping is very sporadic, but we couldn't be happier, messy house and all."

Ruth's approach to making art accessible is what I find appealing. In addition to offering original paintings, she offers mounted prints of her work so that each piece can be more affordable. According to Ruth, a mounted print is a high-quality reproduction of an original painting. A photograph of the original piece is printed directly onto a 3/8" thick wood board. The board has a finished, beveled edge and requires no framing. It is easy to hang and easy to clean. Most importantly, it looks great!
Join us at the studio this Friday and Saturday from 9 - 1 to see Ruth's paintings as well as some other fabulous art! Tomorrow I will introduce you to Linda, maker of fabulous handbags and lamps.

Can you stand it? All these wonderful women in one place! We hope you can make it to the sale!

Re-Purpose, Re-Use, Re-Cycle, Reflect

Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world.

~John Muir
I learned from my blog-friend Rick that today is Blog Action Day. What, I asked myself, is Blog Action Day? After following the links Rick provided, I discovered that today is a day for all bloggers to unite in a discussion about the environment.

Whether you are a "tree-hugger" or not; whether, you recycle your soda cans, or not; whether you buy organic, or not; we are all on this earth together. We all co-exist. It is a good idea to reflect on our impact on the world, large and small, around us.

The Changing Face of Colorado

The Colorado forests are under attack. The Mountain Pine Beetle has infested much of Rocky Mountain National Park as well many of the forests in the Western United States. These insects attack several varieties of pine trees, notably ponderosa, lodgepole, Scotch and limber pine. This infestation will have a lasting, significant impact on the face of Colorado. These little critters will kill hundreds, upon thousands of trees. In the photo, I took this summer, you can see the number of brown (read "dead") trees out number the healthy, green trees.

This, however, is a natural occurrence. What can I do about it? There isn't a lot I can do about this insect nuisance. But we, as people, seem to compound the problem. We cause forest fires. We use de-icers to clear our roads that make the soil uninhabitable. We build and build and build. Perhaps we should be thoughtful in the choices we make.

Unfortunately, I have no solution. Only reflection. And a wish that we are all careful with this irreplaceable earth.

In my small world, I will respond by re-purposing when I can. I will support artists and crafts people who recycle. And I will reflect on what good I see around me.

In my part, today, I hope I have joined the cause set forth by the folks at Blog Action Day.

It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.

~Robert Louis Stevenson

Friday, October 12, 2007

Elizabeth Hagen - Photography

To continue the introductions, today I would like you to meet Elizabeth.
We were looking for artists to participate in last year's art sale. Elizabeth's sister-in-law, our friend Kathy, introduced us to Elizabeth. Elizabeth had recently moved from California to Colorado; and we were told that she was a great photographer. And is she ever!
She takes beautiful black and white photographs of landscape and scenery around the world. Then she adds her own artistic flair when she hand tints those photos. The results are fabulous! Some of the photos have lots of hand-tinted detail, some have minor touches of color, and the works of art created with Elizabeth's careful attention to detail are wonderful.

She takes things one step further as she experiments with the presentation, using tasteful matting and framing, and printing some of her creations on canvas for a truly unique look.

Elizabeth says this about her work:
"My professional background has been in real estate finance though my passion has always been photography and art. I took a course in hand tinting photographs about 15 years ago which combines photography with painting which was perfect for me. I could actually take a black and white photograph and bring either one particular object in the photograph to life with color or create a unique color scheme to the whole photograph. I now love being a stay at home mom and try to do my artwork during naps and in the evenings. What a wonderful life!!! "

Kerry and I were thrilled last year when Elizabeth agreed to teach a class in our studio. We had several students, including us, who were able to learn Elizabeth's craft. With her gentle, thoughtful instruction, we all thoroughly enjoyed the knowledge and expertise she shared with us. It was a delightful evening.
Elizabeth doesn't yet have a website or a gallery showing her work. But her art shouldn't be hidden away!

We hope you enjoy the pictures Elizabeth sent me to share with you. Kerry and I are glad that she is joining us for a second year of the Fall Art Sale. We would love to have you come to our sale to enjoy her work in person. And if you know any galleries looking for work this beautiful, I will pass along the information.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

S a n d y l a n d - Handpainted Pottery

Next Friday, October 19 and Saturday, October 20, we have invited 4 artists to join us for our fall art and fine craft sale. I would like to take the opportunity to introduce you to each of the artists who will be joining us.

Today, you will meet Sandy. Sandy has a gentle soul, and a big heart. She is new to selling and marketing her art; it is a challenging and vulnerable position for anyone to be in. We think that Sandy's art is special because she takes regular items and turns them into magical, whimsical creations. When looking at her pieces, it's hard to even imagine that they had a "life" before she got her hands on them.

She says this about her work: "My work takes on many forms from pottery, painted tiles and "found" objects to greeting/post cards, prints, magnets, pins, containers, tote bags, clothing, et cetera. A large part of my inspiration comes from a desire to honor the Earth and all living Beings. I RECYCLE gently used items so that they will be REUSED, thereby RENEWING each item so that it is REBORN. Each piece has a chance to return to life rather than taking up dead space on our planet. Inventory is constantly changing as I "find" new treasures to paint/rebirth. This process also supports local agencies, charities, those-in-need as I purchase most of my items at places like the Habitat for Humanity Thrift Store, Greenwood Wildlife Thrift, Ares, Salvation Army, Savers and many, many more. Most of my work involves recycled parts, some does not. My images range from the comical to the spiritual. "

Sandy redefines "recycling" and uses it as a creative outlet. Her pieces are special, she gives new life to carefully chosen pieces with her magical painting. She takes re-purposing to a whole new level. We are glad that she will be joining us for the sale. And, we are happy to be able to share her work with you.
You can read more about Sandy and see her work on her website. You can come to our studio on October 19 and 20 and see her work in person. What more could you want, a unique piece of art that is eco-minded as well?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Art & Craft Sale

We are busy getting ready for our sale! If you are in the area, stop by next weekend!

Monday, October 8, 2007

A Horrible Discovery

Kerry and I went on our regular walk around Waneka Lake today (in Lafayette, Colorado). It was a lovely fall day. The air was cool, the breeze had a crisp fall smell. The sky was bright blue, not a cloud in sight.
As we walked around the south west side of the lake, we saw a horrible sight! The boathouse was gone, or mostly gone. All that was left was ugly, charred remains. (photo from
We were both saddened by this. We had each brought our kids here to ride on the paddle boats this summer. We have enjoyed looking at it on our twice a week walks.
Later, at home, I tried to find out what happened. Arson is suspected in the Saturday morning fire that destroyed the boathouse and it's contents. There was an estimated damage of $400,000.
It is a shame. A shame to lose an asset to our community; a shame that someone would set a fire; a shame to see such senseless destruction.

and the winner is.....

Thanks to everyone who signed up for our giveaway! We were excited to read all the suggestions people made for our studio.

Using the random number generator, the number 5 was picked. That number belongs to Kari and Kijsa, who left us the fifth comment on our giveaway blog. Congratulations, ladies!

Kari and Kijsa have a great blog and website with fabulous design tips and ideas! They are two talented sisters!

Stay tuned, we may do another giveaway!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Oh No! Another quote....

Free is the best. Anything free is good.
--Sandra Bullock

Okay, okay. I need to stop looking for quotations. It is hard to find a quotation on getting things for free. Just wanted to say, that we are giving out a FREE goodie bag. Just one more day to sign up. We will be closing the sign up Monday morning and drawing a name from the list.
Good luck!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Halloween Goodies

I spent a little time in the studio yesterday, getting in the Halloween Spirit. I love Fall and all the things that come with it: changing leaves, chrysanthemums, asters, cool nights, pumpkin patches, apple cider, jack o' lanterns, Halloween, family gatherings, roast turkey, pecan pie, and Thanksgiving.

I made a Halloween candle to go in the guest bathroom. The bathroom is decorated in black and white, including vintage photos (which I should show you) and a few silhouettes that are just beautiful. I wanted the candle to be black and white, too. The Halloween cats are from a vintage postcard. I added the pumpkins as a splash of color. I am pleased with the result.

I also took my first stab at making Artist Trading Cards. I have never made any ATC before. I love the size and the openness of the medium - anything goes. I have been held back because I don't know what to do with them! What is their function? Do they need a function? What do you think?

Anyway, here is my first endeavor into the world of ATC. I am fairly pleased with the result.
Oh- not many people have signed up for our goodie bag give-away. Look at Monday's blog to sign up! Good luck!

Halloween is coming...

When witches go riding,
and black cats are seen,
the moon laughs and whispers,
‘tis near Halloween.

~Author Unknown

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


As I mentioned, we have been puttering in the studio. I decided to make door tags for my girls' rooms. It was purely an experimental project, not too difficult, but I didn't really know what the end result would look like when I started. I just wanted to get my hands working with some of our new materials: papers, letters, and stickers. The frilly yarn, clips, and rubber stamps were ones we already had.

I assembled the tags using Mod Podge as a glue and sealer. The papers came from a large paper stack (on sale) at Hobby Lobby, and ones we had ordered last year from Oriental Trading Company. The stickers are new ones from one of our favorite catalogs, 7 Gypsies. The letters are a pale sparkly green from the dollar section of Target.

The girls were pleased with their new door signs, which made me proud of my work.

Don't forget to sign up for our great giveaway. Check out Monday's blog for the details.

Quote of the Day-

--on creativity

"So you see, imagination needs moodling [sic] - long, inefficient, happy idling, dawdling and puttering."

Brenda Ueland

We have been doing lots of dawdling and puttering with new projects. What have you been working on?

Monday, October 1, 2007

Deal of the Day: Swag Bag Giveaway!

We have some wonderful goodie bags left from our launch party. We would love to share! So it's time for a swag bag giveaway! We will draw a name, at random, to select the winner. To qualify for the giveaway:

  • leave us a comment and give us a piece of advice about the best way to get people into our studio;
  • you must have a US mailing address (which we will contact you for, should your name be drawn);
  • leave a link to your site or blog, or if you don't have a site or blog, leave your email address;

If you win, you will receive one (1) goodie bag via the USPS. You will receive a bag similar to the ones pictured. The items (and colors of the items) in the bag will vary, but each bag will contain 3 handmade items. The drawing with be on Monday, October 8.

Good Luck! We can't wait to read your comments!