Thursday, February 26, 2009


It's been a suck week. We had to put our little dog, Ruby Sue, to sleep. Ruby was Brendan's dog and followed her around everywhere. She was great with cats and they would literally crawl over her to get to where they were going without even a flinch from Ruby. She had a good life with Brendan and the cats and I'm glad for the great folks at Fairway Animal Hospital, especially Dr. Gage. RIP

Way Cool Art

I was watching one of my shows, That's Clever, on HGTV. They featured an artist who did encaustic paintings. I had never heard of that medium before, but it involves mixing melted resin from tree sap and bees wax to coat an image.

When I did a search for encaustic on Etsy, I found Ingrid Blixt

This is her piece and it's a little square about 2" x 2". I thought the picture of the piece online was cool, but it doesn't even compare to how it looks in person. The depth the wax adds to the image and the way Ingrid has subtly carved into it is amazing. Ingrid features vignettes of these pieces in some of her Etsy pics and I must have more!

Since I haven't managed to do any mosaics lately, I thought I'd take pics of some of my home decor. This heavy chunk of wood came from the Mission Road Antique Mall years ago. I wonder what it was. I love it.

This is Repentent Magdeline. I got the print at the National Museum in DC when I was visiting my fabulous friend Barbara years ago.

This picture and the one below came from Blackwell's Thrift on 63rd and Troost. If you are in KC and haven't yet been, GO.

Another print I got in DC. Not sure what it's called, but I love the Frenchie feel.

Random pic of my fabulous fresh flowers. Today is my fourth wedding anniversary. Seems like four years has gone by fast. Wow, this has really become a random post.

Taylor Triano rocks. She's a local Kansas City Artist, burlesque dancer, and all around cool little chick.

I can't believe what she does with textiles.

I added another clock to my collection. This one came from Sentimental Journey in Olathe. My shopping trip with Dawn last weekend was a blast!!! Yes, we're making our junk trips a monthly event and we're thinking about Independence for our next destination.

And a pic of my fabulous clock from where else? You guessed it, The Curious Sofa.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Spoiled Rotten, Part Two

Around my birthday, I did a post about all the cool stuff Jason got me and called that, "Spoiled Rotten." This is a continuation of that theme -- I am so excited about my Valentine's Day present!!!! I didn't understand ipods, truly, until Jason got one and then I started disappearing into the basement with it to do my mosaics in complete isolation. Ahhhhh . . . Then we went to Alabama for the holidays and it was fantastic not to have to pop CD's in and out of the player for 12 hours. I know it hurt Jason to think of having to download all of MY Morrissey, The Cure, Depeche Mode, etc. onto his ipod. He also knew I'd be thrilled not to have all the Springstein; so these things may have played into his choice of Valentine's Day gifts for me, and for that, I am grateful!

Since my event at Stuff, I haven't done anything but custom hearts. I've started some other things, but they aren't yet finished, so in the meantime, I thought I'd post some past faves. The picture frame above, "swim in my ocean," was another I did for the goodie bags for Kahn and Kavi's wedding shower.

This is the first outdoor-worthy birdhouse I did called, "Feathers Foundry." It's full of keys, fuses, wrenches, screw drivers, get it? Anyway, I am super excited to say that this was purchased by Kelly Sue and Matt some time ago for their friend in San Diego, so it's currently hanging in the sun on the west coast.

This is the back. Kind of a surprise to turn it around and see a giant ceramic bird back there. I did this because it is really troubling for me to see how unfinished the backs of some houses are. I wanted to be sure that Feathers Foundry was just as cool from the back as from the front.

I stuck an old, chippy doorknob on the top. You can see a screw up there too, adding to the theme.

This is one of the very first things I did when I learned how to do mosaics in 2006. It was for a little girl, Allison, who is quite the dancer. I made the boot out of polymer clay.

This was a custom frame I did for a woman who really liked her reptile. He's also made of polymer clay.

I did this one for one of Jason's editor's wives. I love that head. It's fun to see the transformation of your style as an artist. If I made this today, it would probably have bigger chunks of china and of course, it would be antiqued to give the grout a darker look in places.

This is the switch plate in Brendan's room and has been for years. He has not requested that I replace it and I'm not going to until he tells me. I just think he's used to it by now.

This is another frame for Kahn and Kavi's shower. It says, It smells like love, and has some perfume bottles stuck in it. It is currently in Kimbo's living room. I'll post more current projects as I finish them. I scored some cool stuff at Urban Mining a couple of weeks ago and am eager to use it. Also, Dawn and I are going junking next Saturday in Olathe and possibly beyond. Yeah!!!!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Custom Lub, Part Two

I wanted to post these last hearts that are going to Stuff today for delivery to Kurt, another fabulous customer I got to talk with for a long time during my in-store event on January 31st. I was so touched by the time Kurt took to describe each of the women in his life to me. This is a man who would not settle for wilted roses picked up in a rush so he could keep out of the dog house. I know because I have a man myself who gives great care and consideration in the gifts he gives.

We started by talking about Kurt's wife, Shell. They love the beach and look forward to spending much more time there once all the birdies have flown from the nest, as the wording in this heart implies, "We are almost there." The bottom portion of the heart represents water and the yellow and pink are the sunset. The darker blue above the setting sun is the night sky. I also had to throw in a few shells. I painted the bevel with a light tan to mimic the sand.

This is for Kurt's daughter, Nat. He described her as the rock star daughter and wanted lots of bright colors. I thought the large, chunky red and blue beads were very rock star-esque. Nat lives in Chicago and is a nanny for a great family.

Bub is Kurt's second daughter we talked about. She went to MU and loves the team colors of gold and black. He described her as high fashion and glamorous. I think the big rhinestone brooch represents some of that diva-ness.

Last, but not least, we talked about CC. CC goes to school in Arizona and loves the desert. Kurt wanted colors to represent the muted browns and soft greens found there with a pop of color to mimic the beautiful blooms that can often be found in the desert environment. I hope these hearts capture the uniqueness of each of the wonderful women Kurt described and that he's proud and excited to give them to his girls. Ahhhhh . . . have I mentioned how much I love custom art?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Custom Lub, etc.

I guess I should explain the title of this post. My toddler pronounces his v's like b's, so he says lub instead of love. He also does not recognize the shape below as a heart, he recognizes it as "a lub". Not sure if anyone would have been able to guess that one.

I've been working on lots of custom lub lately, including this blue heart featuring an antique tin toy watch. This one is for Jane's husband. Jane is a classical musician and a customer at Stuff and she is giving this gift to her husband as a paperweight. I wanted to give it kind of a masculine feel. The blue jewel piece came from a cool bag of stuff I purchased last weekend from the Mission Road Antique Mall.

This heart says Je T'aime, or I love you in French. I know this because I had to ask Brendan's French teacher to be sure I got it right. I have never been to France, but when I picture it, I don't think of bright, glossy pink; I think tarnished, antiqued, chipped, cracked, rusty, been-around-forever. I think of Henri Toulouse Lautrec hanging out at the Moulin Rouge with the cool people; the underbelly of society. Needless to say, I had a great time making this heart for a work friend's son's girlfriend. I hope she enjoys it as much as I enjoyed making it.

Big, chunky porcelain heart.

This Frenchie-esque earring came from the same cool bag of stuff as the blue jewel on the first custom lub.

And of course I had to get my chalk board fix. I am crazy about this chalkholder!!!

He's a chalk alligator I found while on my adventures with Dawn at the Jessie James Antique Mall in St. Joe, MO. Dawn and I are headed on more antique mall adventures in a couple of weeks. Yeah!!!!!

And while I'm on a French kick, this chalkboard contains some of the same dusty pink and cream antiqued elements as the French heart. The vase is made of tiny shells and looks kind of broken and banged up -- ahhhhhh . . . perfect.

A close-up of the funky vase.

That is a super cool button on the top left -- yep, part of that Jessie James stash. I am in love with buttons. I finished gluing another custom lub last night and will post it along with some others when my husband, Jason Aaron, Wizard Magazine's top comic book writer of 2008, returns from his trip to the New York comic convention. Jason, PLEASE leave your laptop!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Big Event

Yesterday was my promotional Valentine's Day event at Stuff. I'd like to thank the owners, Casey and Sloane Simmons, for the opportunity. They are pros and got the word out with radio ads on NPR (which attracted some sexy, smart men to the store, of course!), and a huge email campaign.

Here's me sitting at my table. This is actually the only time all day that I actually sat down. I needed to be standing so I could talk it up. This store has been in existence for 12 years and it's a one-of-a-kind for Kansas City. They feature the work of about 65 local artists, aroud the same number of national artists, and a handful of international artists. If you're looking to give art as a gift, or to spoil yourself, this is the place to do it.

You could be in this store for days and not see everything in it. It is jam packed with wonderful Stuff. Here's my Valentine chalkboard.
Here's a grouping of my things.

Some chalk boards.

A corkboard.

More corkboards.

This flying pig made of recycled metal is great. The fabulous little people hanging in the background made of old tins are by local KC artist Ninette Maumus.
The great shirts are by Amuck.

More great work by Ninette Maumus. We obviously share a love for wonderful, tiny, old objects.

Great ceramic sculptures.

More great ceramics.

Still more ceramics that incorporate fused glass. These are just great.
I'd like to thank all of my friends and family who made it out yesterday to show their support. I felt like a celebrity; there were so many of you!!! Also, thanks to all the wonderful customers of Stuff. I talked with so many fun people yesterday and I hope I even inspired a few to get started on that mosaic project they've been contemplating. I told them to stop thinking about it and just do it!!!!!!!!!! Please look for me at Stuff again on May 1, 2, and 3 for the Brookside Art Fair. I'll be on the sidewalk in front of Stuff doing mosaics as one of their "artists in action". Now off to the basement I go to knock out some of the custom heart orders I received yesterday!!!