Taking a breath…

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Golly gee, what a whirlwind!

I think I have an hour and a half to breathe here before I have to get back on the mommy train, so I’m carving out a little artistic catch up time.

So…hi! How ya been? Don’t know about you, but I’ve been pretty freakin busy.

In case you haven’t been keeping track, the RAW showcase was this last weekend–the culmination of my mad creative sprint of a painting frenzy. Frenzy over. Which makes me feel a little itchy, like I’m supposed to be painting in every spare second…hard to decompress!

Anyway, the local news article was released the day before the event–a day I spent driving around to every shopping center in the city (mostly) looking for copies, because I didn’t realize the Irvine World News no longer just magically shows up in my driveway. Huh. Never did find the mystical repository of newsprint, so I had to beg and borrow copies from friends–although there is the online version, which is pretty spiffy . Still, I wanted to hold it in my grubby little hands and gloat over it a little. There is something thrilling and visceral about opening up a newspaper and coming face to face with yourself. At least to me! I’ve really got to send that reporter a thank you box of chocolates or something, she made me sound kinda cool.

Thanks to those begged and borrowed copies, however, I did manage to frame a copy, to display at the showcase. So all’s well there.

The whole showcase thing…wow, what an experience. Loud, messy, crazy, fun, frantic…it had it all. Just a side note–nightclubs are kinda gross. And there’s a reason the lights are dim. Dimness does not mix well with displaying art, which meant lights were brought in and…well, ew. There was much handwashing going on. And I think some spraying of Febreze.

But still, cool venue, wide open space, pretty good traffic flow. I just wish I had paid better attention to the artwork already on the walls when I selected my space, and vetted it for suitability with children’s furniture. There was some very careful selective angling with the camera going on, to block out the two naked ladies on the wall, one of whom is apparently assisting the other with lactation, I surmise. This was located right behind the cute little Western rocking chair that I borrowed back from my very nice cousin for the evening. I promise I’ll disinfect it before I return it. Yeah, awesome.

You can just see their heads peeking over the top, because I scrunched down just enough. You’re welcome.

This one was taken before the weird Austin-Powers-round-red-couch-of-love in the bottom left corner was dismantled and taken away to another corner of the room. Where later on I spotted at least four twenty-somethings sprawled out on it, tweeting or texting or something. I wouldn’t have touched that thing if you paid me, let alone permitted full-body contact.

Photo Here’s me at the event! With specially-purchased-for-the-evening bright red lipstick! And with one of the guest stars of the evening, the Tommy chair. Thanks to Tommy for letting me borrow it!

But anyway…I’d like to publicly thank my friends and family for coming, saying nice things about my pieces, and making me look like the hip, happening artist of the evening by virtue of the crowd around me. Nothing like generating a little buzz! I’m kinda glad they all left before the make-up/jewelry fashion show, which also featured whips, handcuffs, nun-chucks, and garter belts…because I just don’t think I could have handled those two worlds colliding like that.

I wouldn’t say I got tons of traffic–I was so very, very different from the other artists there, and I think casual glancers-my-way could not immediately figure out what they were seeing, based on the puzzled expressions. But by and large, the people who actually stopped and talked to me seemed genuinely interested. I had some conversations about potential future projects, some attentive price-writing-down…good stuff all around. And I got to schmooze and trade business cards with other aspiring artists and photographers, which is always fun, and who knows! And technically I made a sale that night–even though it’s to a close family friend, it still counts, right? Of course right.

And I swear, I am really starting to believe in this whole good-vibes-karma thing, because right in the middle of the event I happened to check my phone, and had a message from someone wishing to buy one of my Lulu, Tuffets n Bows, girly chairs (I haven’t totally settled on a name, can you tell?), which she did the next morning. And it had nothing, nothing to do with either the article or the showcase. What are the odds?? Seriously, spooky stuff.

So I actually DO have some projects to keep me busy, so all that frantic energy I had generated which would otherwise have no place to go and would drive me insane until it dissipated, won’t. Drive me crazy, I mean.

Oh, and in all that crazy, I totally neglected to properly introduce my newest piece, my current favorite (and the possible inspiration for a total redesign of my son’s room, if he has anything to say about it…mixed feelings about that, myself), my new Shipwreck Stepstool. Variation on a theme, here, but I really like the direction it took, and I feel like it’s an improvement on my under-the-sea designs (and if there’s now a Disney song running through your head, I’m sorry or your welcome, depending).  Needs a catchier name, though…any suggestions?

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Meet the artist!

That would be me. The artist, I mean.

Really, you can come meet me. Soon, in fact. I’m doing silent (and largely stationary) cartwheels over this. Which is hard to do, so feel free to be impressed. Go ahead.

Now you’re probably wondering why……

………………………….

You are, right?

Excellent! Allow me to explain!

So you know how you make those resolutions at the New Year, about all the things you’re going to do, be, embody, apply, improve, eliminate, eschew, reconsider, reconnoiter…etc, etc? Big spoiler here: someone’s listening when you do that. I KNOW. I was shocked too.

Here’s how I know: I made one. And it happened. Like, the very next day. One day into the new year, and a message appears in my Etsy inbox from someone at an organization called “RAW: natural born artists”, inviting me to participate in an artist’s showcase. Okay, so it’s not like I specifically said “I resolve to be be invited to an artist’s showcase within 24 hours,” I was vague and non-specific and more about putting woo-woo good vibes out into the universe about my little corner of it, specifically as pertains to my art and business and life. And there you go, flies into my lap. I’m a believer. Once I checked to make sure this was legit, not a scam, and something that would genuinely be a good decision for me. I did: it is, it isn’t, and I think it will be. In that order. THEN I was a believer. Are. Am. Whatever.

Here’s the deal with these folks: they’re all about artists, and helping them in any way they can. That’s it. Seriously. Again, I KNOW! How can this be true, you say? Check them out for yourselves, I say! Honestly, their whole mission is, in an indie, underground sort of way, to give as much support and as many tools as possible to artists of every ilk. Apparently I’m one of the ilk. I didn’t even know I had an ilk!

So I’ll be there. I’m painting my fingers off (well, not right this second, since I need them for typing, but as soon as I post this the fingers are coming back off) to try and get as many pieces ready as possible–did I mention it’s in a matter of weeks? WEEKS? (Hang on, need a paper bag to breathe into for a sec…stand by…’kay, I’m good) Yeah. Weeks. 5 of them. Okay, painting and breathing, that’s all I’ll be doing. Maybe some light snacking. A couple of breaks to watch Downton Abbey. But that’s IT.

Sooooo….you can come too! The skinny is that there are 40 artists in different categories–photography, fashion, music, my kind of stuff, other kind of stuff, many kinds of stuff–at a cool, hip venue called the Shark Club in Costa Mesa, you get to dress up, you get to listen to music and feel all cultured as you peruse the booths, one of which will be mine. Mine!!

Oh, oh, I almost forgot the other kharmic, divine, woo-woo element here: I’m 98% certain that the Shark Club is the same same exact building where my husband and I had our first date. After he cyber-stalked me and tracked me down and was somehow not an axe-murderer…I’ll tell you that story sometime. But…first date! First showcase! Same piece of architecture! Could that BE more woo-woo-y?? See???

So you’ll come, right? I’m slightly worried that I’m not quite cool enough for these people, and that they’ll figure it out…but if you’re there you can nudge me if I start to geek out or sound too mom-ish or fail to use the most current lingo, or something. The tickets are only $15 if you buy them ahead of time, $20 at the door–and did I mention that buying tickets through my profile directly helps reduce my costs? Just sayin.’Kay.

Click here to check out the event!

This is super-duper-mega exciting people!

Let’s all do silent stationary cartwheels together!!

Featured Pick of the Day–Handpainted Rocking Chair

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This one is kind of special. Okay, really special.

I made this recently for my cousin, who’s about to have a baby boy. The theme was a no-brainer (the nursery is a really adorable cowboy motif), but it became very meaningful to me. Our grandmother was a Missourian farm girl, who owned horses when we were all kids, and we’d all go out to her house in Elsinore and ride, and swim in the pool, and get really dirty out in the hills.

Grandma died a few years ago, and it was my cousin’s idea to have her saddle sitting on a sawhorse up in front at her funeral.  This just about undid me when I walked in to the church, but it was so her, and so perfect. (side note: he and his bride also had Grandma’s cowboy boots sitting on the sweetheart table at their wedding. We’re a little sentimental in our family. I like that about us.)

So, fast forward to a couple of months ago, when I’m brainstorming about what to paint for this new baby we’re so excited about, and speculating on whether it should be a rocking horse, a step stool, a rocking chair, or what…suddenly, as I was looking at a picture of the rocking chair I was considering, it occurred to me that, if you kind of squinted and looked at it the right way, the curvy back looked a little like a saddle. Grandma’s saddle.

So even though the colors, the lasso, the deputy badge are inspired by the nursery decor, and it’s little Travis’ name tooled into the leather, it’s Grandma’s saddle in my mind.

another side note: please, please, please forgive the quality of the photographs. I took them myself (and a photographer I am not) with my dinky little point & shoot, because I finished the chair the night before the baby shower, so there was no time to beg one of my talented photographer friends to do it for me. Sorry. Did I mention I’m not a photographer?

Of course, once I had come up with this design, it sure seemed like a keeper, which is why you’ll also find a footstool in this same theme.