Gift and Art Show

Planning and putting on an art show can take over your life. I begin the process months in advance, and the buzz doesn’t end until the lights go out on the last day. Today’s the final day of my 2013 show, and I’m so thankful to the wonderful friends and collectors who have come by. Many out-of-towners asked for some eye candy, so here’s a quick tour for you guys!

First, some of my mixed media art hangings, including art quilts using fabric, Lutradur prints, canvas prints, and more.

Mixed media hangings

Fabric bowls and a vase – I sew these from my original design (and self-printed) fabric, and decorated wooden boxes using heat transfer techniques.

Boxes and bowls

My silk scarves – I design the fabric from my photographs and have them professionally printed.

Silk scarves

I love to make purses from the fabric I design and print. Two of these are upcycled from fabric sample books.


A table-full of goodies! Several of my handmade art books; Lutradur-decorated night lights; tiles; my original-design postage stamps; upcycled envelopes; Evolon bracelet cuff; upcycled Kindle covers.

Books and more

Fabric creations: my Owl Totem Doll, a stuffed Lars doll adorned with my pet collars (dog and cat), and fabric postcards.

Owl doll and fabric postcards

Two of the products I designed and Zazzle made: a glossy-covered notebook and a clock.

Clock and notebook

I have many new prints, including several on metallic gloss paper. Treasure bags – great for small gifts or to hold your phone, wallet, etc.


Necklaces! I print my photos on fabric, paper or canvas, and sandwich them between glass slides. Some have copper-embossed backs.

Glass slide necklacesA selection of my photo art ornaments. I print my photos on transparency film and insert them into glass ornaments. There are also lavender sachets, hummingbird prints on small canvases, and stuffed toys with animal photo fabric prints.
Photo art ornaments

George’s wonderful beeswax candles and his sublime soap are going fast!

George's beeswax candles

A basket of George’s soaps; fabric-covered light switch plates; my “Life Cycle of the Monarch Butterfly” poster.

George's soap; light switch plates

I’m having so much fun making upcycled envelopes from books that are torn up, scribbled on, or otherwise unusable. I even use a special glue so you can lick and stick them closed!

Upcycled envelopes

A bracelet cuff that I made using fabrics from a discarded sample book, with lace.

Upcycled bracelet cuff

Today (Sunday 12/15) is the last day – if you’re in the East Bay please stop by – I’m at The Village Shops and Galleries, 10330 San Pablo Avenue, between Eureka and Stockton Streets in El Cerrito, from 11 am to 6 pm. There’s street parking out front, and along with my artwork and crafts I’ve got plenty of snacks and friendly converstaion to offer.

New Zazzle Dazzle

I haven’t written about Zazzle in a while. I told you back in 2008 that I was an instant convert to the new print-on-demand site when I heard that I could have sneakers made from my own artwork and designs. Sadly, they stopped making sneakers, though they recently added flip-flops to the lineup. So far I’ve only designed one flip-flop (they call them sandals) out of my Peacock Feather kaleidoscope design.

Peacock kaleidoscope flip-flops

For about a year I wasn’t paying much attention to my Zazzle shop, beyond adding a few items here and there when I’d create a photo that called out to be used in a design on one of Zazzle’s products.

But I got really excited when they added clocks to the lineup! They don’t offer a template with numbers on it, so you either have to go number-less, design your own, buy a template, or find a free one to download. For George’s birthday I ordered a clock that I designed with my photo of our hen Maureen, and was really impressed with the quality. (My watermark doesn’t appear on the products.)

Hen clock

The image is sharp and bright, completely true to my photo file, and the clock itself is sturdy and well-made.

And for more Zazzle dazzle, they just started making wrist watches! One of my favorite photos of a hummingbird hovering works great on this watch, don’t you think?

Hummingbird hovering wristwatch

Some of the watch styles have numbers on the dials, but for the ones that don’t, I discovered that my clock template works for the watches as well, which makes it more worthwhile to invest in buying a good template from an expert if you’ll be designing clocks and watches.

You know me, I’m incredibly happy when I can use my artwork to adorn useful things, so I’ve been going crazy designing watches. Here’s one of my favorite new photos, a monarch butterfly on a zinnia flower, on a wristwatch.

Monarch butterfly on flower on Zazzle

Click here to go to my Zazzle shop to see all of the products I’ve adorned with my artwork. Do you have a Zazzle shop? I’d love to check it out, please leave a link in the comments. And if you’re an artist and haven’t tried designing on Zazzle, it’s really fun (but addictive! )

Fourth of July Festival Fun!

Get out your funky bunting and put on your dancing shoes! It’s celebration time again in El Cerrito, only a few days until the amazing free Fourth of July festival put on by worldOne — with incredible free music, great artisan booths, food, games, tons of fun for everyone!  Booths and rides are open from 10 to 6 pm, and the great music continues until 7 pm. The worldOne website has a full schedule of the music events.   And this is the City’s web page.

Corey Mason, director/founder, and Debra Sue Kelvin, co-producer, are the heart and backbone of this great event.  This is Corey at the Festival last year… Learn more about worldOne radio, and about the festival at worldOne’s website. Here’s a fun promo clip for the Festival. This year Corey and I worked to add two more 12-foot banners made from my mandala designs, to the six we had last year.

You can see more of my photos from the 2009 Festival at my smugmug site. The Festival starts the evening of July 3rd, with a DJ set of music from 5 to 7 pm.  The main event is Sunday, July 4th, from 10 am to 6 pm.  The Festival is at Cerrito Vista Park.  There’s lots of free street parking and it’s about a mile from the El Cerrito Plaza BART station.  The address is 950 Pomona Ave, El Cerrito.

Stop by the Garden Delights Arts & Crafts booth to say hello…  see you there!

Open Studio and Gift Sale 2010

Okay, I know it’s early to think about the holidays — I couldn’t believe that they already started airing Christmas ads on TV.  So think of this as just a “save the date” post.   After five steady years of holding Open Studios twice a year, I skipped last year.  But I have so many new wonderful gifts and creations to share with you, I decided to resume and I will hold my Holiday Gift Sale and Open Studio the first two weekends of December this year.   If you’re in the Bay Area, come on by for some yummy treats and good conversation — December 4-5 and 11-12, from 10 am to 5 pm.  You can email me for directions or if you have other questions.  I have a wide range of  my handmade gifts (for yourself or for friends and family), at all different prices – many under $20.  And if you follow my blog, you know I have some special new gifts for your pets!

I’d love to send you a postcard reminder – just email me your mailing address.  If you can’t make it this year, I have a lot of work to share with you in my new Artfire gallery, or check out the new ornaments and other things (t-shirts, totes, sneakers, ties, etc.) with my images on them in my Zazzle gallery.

Today’s Best Award on Zazzle – my honeybee design necktie!

Whee-ha! I’ve posted before about zazzle, but it has been quite awhile since I wrote about it.  I put things up there once in awhile, when I have a new design I usually add a few things on zazzle — a card or print,

Zazzle orchid print

Zazzle orchid print

some funky sneakers, a bumper sticker with some hard-hitting message:

Zazzle bumper sticker

Zazzle bumper sticker

Back in 2008, shortly after I started posting my work on zazzle, I won a “Today’s Best Award” (TBA in zazzle lingo) for sneakers that I designed using my photo of a zebra’s stripes:

Zazzle zebra sneakers

Zazzle zebra sneakers

Now, zazzle doesn’t tell you when you get a TBA, you have to either check the TBA list every day (which I stopped doing long ago), or you may find out if some kind soul leaves you a “Congratulations for your TBA!” message.  Well, guess what? I got one of those today (thanks again JuJuGarden)!

So, first the story behind the piece that won. This is the photograph I started out with: I shot it  through the window of a top bar beehive, of some busy honey bees working hard:

Honey bees in hive

Honey bees in hive

I took an element of this photograph, and started making different kaleidoscopic designs using my favorite software program, Kaleider (I’ve written posts about Kaleider, just click on the tag at the right for Kaleider to bring them up, and you can check out the software at this link).  I made several designs that I really liked, and this was one of the ones I loved most:

Honeybee kaleidoscope

Honeybee kaleidoscope

Next, I did a repetition technique (I’m going to be teaching this on CraftEdu, so email me if you’re interested in that class).  I took the repetition design and uploaded it to zazzle.  The only thing I’ve had time to make so far from it was a necktie, and that won a TBA award!!

Zazzle TBA, honeybee design necktie

Zazzle TBA, honeybee design necktie

I’m donating 10% of everything sold on my zazzle shop through the end of July to the fund to help rebuild the Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society after their fire, so if you’re thinking of buying anything — now’s the time!

Printing with Golden’s Digital Grounds on Lutradur

I made a blended photo collage from my photographs of a hen’s feather and a white phalaenopsis orchid. The end design is abstract, although you can see the feather shape repeated three times in the center of the piece. I shifted the colors to get subtle golds and shades of blue.

Phalaenopsis and feather collage

Phalaenopsis and feather collage

I prepared a piece of lutradur for inkjet printing by coating it with Golden’s Digital Ground matte (see my posts about lutradur and digital ground), and printed the collage. I backed the print with thick Pellon interfacing, and sewed along some of the lines of the image.

This is the printed/quilted piece (it’s 5 by 7 inches):

Phalaenopsis and feather collage

Phal/feather collage on lutradur

This is a closeup of part of the lutradur print, to show the quilting:

Phal/feather collage printed on lutradur and quilted

Phal/feather collage printed on lutradur and quilted

I decided to finish the lutradur print by mounting it to a 9 by 12 inch canvas board.  To enlarge the phal/feather image so it would fill the blank portions of the board, I printed segments of the image on Transfer Artist Paper (see my posts about TAP).  I transferred the segments to the canvas board with my iron set on the cotton setting.

Phalaenopsis and feather collage

Phal/feather collage, TAP on canvas board

This is a closeup of one of the corners.  The TAP transfer to the cotton board resulted in a pleasing texture, and the abstract nature of the design worked well with the transfer, I think.

Phalaenopsis and feather collage

Phal/feather collage - TAP on canvas

When the weather permits, I will spray the piece with fixative (probably Golden’s new archival varnish because that was designed for use with digital grounds prints).

The end piece, with the lutradur adhered to the center of the canvas board, will look like this:

Phal/feather collage, lutradur and TAP on canvas

Phal/feather collage, lutradur and TAP on canvas

To hang, I will probably drill two small holes near the top of the piece and string with metal chain.  Alternatively, I might put the piece into a frame.    I finally decided how to hang the piece!  I  drilled two small holes near the top.  I wanted to reinforce the holes, but normal eyelets aren’t long enough to go through the canvas board and grab onto the other side.  The only grommets I could find were much too large for the effect I wanted.  I finally found some slightly longer eyelets and set them.  I debated stringing decorative chain or wire, but dug out some raw leather cord I have, and decided it worked well with the tone of the piece.  I’m very happy with it now, see what you think.

Upper corner of piece with leather cord as hanger

Upper corner of piece with leather cord as hanger

Completed piece, with leather cord as hanger

Completed piece, with leather cord as hanger