Flash back Friday - Healing Through the Arts - Cat Mural

Heal Grief Through Creative Expression and Art

From my Archive:

I have been investigating the many ways art can effect healing both as a creative outlet and as a way of exploring unexpressed feelings.
I have personally experienced arts healing power.
My hope is to help others navigate grief and express feelings with creative freedom.
I hand painted this cat on a wall for a client of mine in Arizona.

It was the same day that I had to unexpectedly put my beloved Himalayan cat (Nutmeg) to sleep.
While it was my client’s cat and not mine that I painted, it was cathartic and therapeutic.
When I look at this photo of my mural, I see my cat’s soul and it makes me feel good.

Custom Rose Tattoo with Son's Name

I really loved how this came out. Everything just seemed to flow.

Clients Description Request:
Rose tattoo with soft lines around edges and real look flower. Would like Son's Name "Colby" incorporated into tattoo. Would prefer not to have a name ribbon, but will not veto designs that have one. I would like the writing to be custom ex- no computer fonts.
Can be black and grey or color- if colour would like rose to be a lavender/bluish color.

Client Feedback:

LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!! VERY VERY HAPPY :) Looks awesome! Great work!

Custom Tribal Dragon Tattoo Design

Client’s Description Request:
I'd like it to be very unique and individualist with smooth lines.

I would like a tattoo (black) for my left deltoid. The size should be about 4x6 inches to cover and accentuate the "V" / horseshoe shape of my deltoid, i.e. narrower on top than on bottom. It should consist of a semi tribal dragon, however slightly smaller body relative to head to accommodate the addition of wings on its back. The claws should grasp an ankh (Eqyptian symbol of Eternal Life). Within the ankh's loop I would like the following dates enscribed..."6.24.38" and "2.22.29". Please have the dates fill in the loop. I like detail but of course not too much for it's size. Please design somewhat compact, i.e. not much open space.

Flashback Friday - Simple Hangtags for your Handmade Jewelry!

When I started my business, homemade tags off of my computer were a great option. They were fast, custom and economical. It also gave me time to decipher what my tag needs were and which shapes and sizes would work best with my displays and jewelry pieces.

As my business evolved, I found that I wanted something a little more professional that would take less of my time…leaving more time to make jewelry!

I began to research custom tag companies on the internet, but being a small business, I found most minimum purchases and prices too high. Plus, I don’t know about you, but when I was starting out, it seemed like every time I actually put something “in print” it changed! Phone number, web address, mailing address, favorite display photo, business description, etc…

I was determined to find a flexible, affordable option.
I had been ordering my business cards from an online company for years, and was very happy with the value and quality of their products. I started cutting up my business cards and trying out different ways to hang and attach them to my jewelry…BINGO!

Problems solved:
1. Extremely economical…so if information changed it was no problem re-ordering
2. Professional…heavier cardstock than I could fit through my computer and really clear, sharp full color printing
3. Smart…eliminated wear and tear on my printer…not to mention the cost savings on color printer cartridges
4. Easy, time saving… I could design my cards, in the privacy of my home, on my time, in my pajamas, while my son was asleep!
5. Good marketing…I could create a “look” for my printed material so that items coordinated.
6. Gave me lots of options…I could choose from hundreds …maybe thousands of their stock backgrounds and graphic designs…making it really simple when I didn’t want to think.
7. Cut down on “back stock”…small boxes and quantities of 250

I began designing my tags right on their website. It was very user friendly and the best part was that I could upload full color photos! (and at the time, I didn’t even know what “uploading” was)

Some examples of how I used regular business cards for my tags…

I would print my information multiple times on the card and then cut them while watching TV or during a slow point at a show…(see below)

1. For necklace, bracelet and earring hang tags I printed my material “4-up” on a horizontal card…cutting length-wise and width-wise to create 4 small rectangle tags from each full business card. I would attach with pretty string, (used for needlepoint), ribbon or plastic “lock-ties” (from the office supply store)

2. For necklace hang tags I printed my material “2-up” on a horizontal card…cutting it length-wise, for two long, skinny tags from each card. I would attach with pretty string, (used for needlepoint), ribbon or plastic “lock-ties” (from the office supply store)

3. For smaller earring cards I printed my material “ 2-up” on a horizontal card…cutting it up and down to create two square tags that I could attach a self adhesive, plastic hanger to the back of. I would poke two tiny holes for the ear wires to fit through with a straight pin.

4. For larger earring cards I printed my material “ 1-up” on a vertical card…that I could attach a self adhesive, plastic hanger to the back of. I would poke two tiny holes for the ear wires to fit through with a straight pin. These fit perfectly in 3” x 4” baggies for storage and display.

5. I created a gift enclosure or gift tag with my information to coordinate with my holiday wrap. I kept the design neutral so they could be used all year.

6. In a pinch, I have printed a vertical business card…keeping the printed information to the lower half of the card so that I could fold it in half and use it to hang it on my wire displays.

Jewelry Display Idea - Naked Puppet Displays for Jewelry and Other Things!

I am so excited to be able to share (with other jewelry designers and artists) something that has really worked for me!

When searching for creative, versatile, affordable displays for my own jewelry shows and fairs, I became very frustrated!

I wanted something cool and interesting to display my handmade necklaces, earrings and bracelets,that wouldn’t draw attention away from the jewelry…but instead would highlight it…and I didn’t want something mass produced that everyone else would have.

When I didn’t find what I wanted, I decided to design and handcraft something on my own.Being a jewelry designer myself and doing quite a bit of shows and fairs I am intimately aware of the special concerns regarding space and versatility.

In my experience, at every show I’ve done…table surface (no matter how much they provide) is never enough! Maximizing your visibility is important and going vertical is a huge space saver.

Each with their own personality, these funny little handcrafted soft sculptures are not “just another jewelry display”! Sure to be a conversation starter, they can integrate seamlessly with your current and future displays.

Time tested by me, they have become an effortless, economical and whimsical way to show of my handmade jewelry.

My goal was to keep the design earthy and organic looking…definitely handmade. I knew I wanted something that would be versatile and would work with a wide range of styles… romantic, country, vintage, contemporary, urban, etc…

As you can see in the photo of my jewelry display (from one of my shows)…I chose to leave my wood bare and in it’s natural state. I like how the displays just disappear.

The Naked Puppets are removable so the combinations are endless.They could also be used to display scarves, baby items,etc...

The pieces are interchangeable…all the holes and posts are the same size making it possible to add on to your set with a variety of shapes, heights and colors so your display can change and evolve along with your inventory and the seasons.

If desired, the posts and bases can be customized and embellished with paint, decoupage or stain to suit your creations.

The padded fabric protects your jewelry while still making it easily accessible to your customers.

Being able to secure your items with U pins can help deter theft.The naked puppets can display single or multiple necklaces and coordinating bracelets and earrings by using the U pins.

Naked Puppet sets are light in weight and easy to transport…in fact some bases can even house the jewelry item/s that will be displayed on the puppets at your show…making “set up” easy and organized.

Flash Black Friday - Before and After Decorative Painitng Mural in Jamestown, Rhode Island

After I’ve painted something it’s usually pretty difficult for me to remember what it looked like before I got my hands on it.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a mural, decorative finish or piece of painted furniture…
Once it’s had it’s adornment or reincarnation…
that new version becomes it’s reality in the present.

Knowing that, I always try to take before and after photos of my artwork.
They are fun to look at and can be pretty dramatic.
I think it helps me see some of the value in my work.

For example, with this job that I just finished, I was really happy with how it came out but when I looked at the finished painting compared to the before pictures I realized how my art transformed a space…giving it some light and life.

That’s when I’m happy to be an artist.
You can click on the photos to see more detail...

An indoor lap pool room

Tuesday Tips - Pokemon Invitations - Handmade

Hand Crafted Poke-ball Invitations for my Son's Birthday Party
When my son requested a Pokemon themed 9th Birthday...the pressure was on.
Pokemon was completely foreign to me and as I soon discovered, Pokemon is a world all it's own!
This is the simple invitation design I came up with.
Using pre-cut white paper circles that I purchased at a craft store I colored half red with a sharpie marker.
I printed the invitation details on a piece of vellum and secured all of the layers to colorful card stock with a large black brad. That became the poke ball center.
I slipped them into envelopes I already had and voila' Pokemon themed invitations!

Flash Back Friday - The Birth of a Business Card

I always have a battle with the part of me that says “more is better”…especially when it comes to designing my business cards!

It’s funny because when I see other people’s cards that are clean and sparse…I love them. Then when it comes time for me to reorder or update mine, I run out of room trying to fit tons of info on “just in case”.

I made quick cards when I opened my shop on Etsy many years ago but they didn’t have my blog address and I didn’t really love them. The good news is I did use them all up.

I ordered mini Moo cards (
http://www.moo.com/) which I just received and LOVE! So cool…but a bit expensive to hand out in stacks.

So a new card…hmm…my goal was to
* stay simple
* use less words
* use more images of my work

Above was the planning of the design and below is the finished front of the card…

The back just had contact information and brief description of what I do.

I think it shows growth for a “word addict”!

Since then I have had many new card designs with even less.