Thursday, June 16, 2011

Gallery Open Friday and Saturday, Sale on Cards

50% off, only $5 for box of four different Wisconsin trees, winter, spring, summer and fall
Swallow Nest Art Gallery is open Friday, June 17 from 11 to 4 PM and Saturday, from 10 to 3 PM. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Making Paper Beads

Part of day's work

Step One-cut paper into strips, triangle shaped.

I made some one inch beads.  Make one inch marks on one edge, turn the paper over, start one-half inch from that edge, mark one inch ticks, then connect the lines.

I use PVA glue.

Roll the strips on wooden skewer or knitting needle.

Apply glue on the tail and wrap around.

Once the beads have dried, varnish with matte or gloss varnish.  My drying rack is shown in photo #1, a board with straight nails pounded in rows.

I like to have a supply of beads available for embellishments on future projects.  Possible uses are in mixed media projects, on cloth banners, to add to knitted purses, and even jewelry.  They're fun to make and once you get into a rhythm, the work goes quickly.  It's fascinating to see a magazine page of photos become an interesting design on a bead.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Studio Windows Work as Mini-Greenhouse

My cool studio located in the former milk house still retains the original windows that tilt in so the rain can't get in.  They face south and are absolutely great for starting seeds in the spring.  Here's my egg plant, an Italian variety that produces small fruits.  I transplanted them to the garden this morning.  I can hardly wait to try them in some new eggplant recipes.  If you have a good one, please send it my way!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

More Talented Wisconsin Artists

I am constantly wowed by the talent in my home state.  I'd like to share a few of the artists with you.

Faith Ann Originals from Milwaukee and Appleton often uses my favorite shade of green.  I go wild with joy when I see that soft shade of green.  I reminds me of Chinese celadon pottery.  Here is a link to Faith Ann's store:

There's a shade of blue I also adore, and funny thing, I found it on a clutch from another Wisconsin artisan.  Here's that link:  Pieces By Jen hails from Janesville, WI, and she loves to sew.  Check it out.  You might just need a new purse.

I'm thinking about buying this unique sunflower necklace.  It's sort of retro--got to love retro--and calls to me.  
Whimsy House has lots more cool jewelry.  Working from Middleton-Madison, I could hop on the freeway and be there in three hours.

Do check these out.  I'll be posting more ideas in the next few days. 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Today's Studio Time Project

I am working on a series of bird cards cut from lino block.  This one features a wren.  A wren signifies joy; that's why I chose the wren, plus they are cute as can be.  I've also done the swallow.  Swallows signify good fortune.  I believe they symbolize good fortune because they return year after year.  We think we are lucky to have a barn full of swallows.  They keep our insect population in check and are thrilling and fun to watch as they dive and swoop in the farm yard.

I envision four birds in the series to make a set.  I am enjoying the process so much I may end up making more.  Today I used easy cut lino block, a pink plastic material.  It is easier to cut than linoleum block and easier to turn to make details pop and well as make lines. 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Wearing Two Hats

Tribute to Louis Armstrong for you jazz lovers.
This card is called "My Father's Blessing"
I've written since childhood and people know me "as a writer" so no one was more surprised than I when I bloomed into a visual artist.  Interestingly, none of my friends were!  "We always knew you were an artist too" is what they said.  At first, I kept the two artistic expressions separate, but now I find I am integrating the two more and more.  A quick and easy way for me to do this is to make poem cards, my art with one of my poems.  Here are two examples for you to enjoy!

Swallow Nest Art Gallery Collection on Etsy