Tuesday, October 10, 2017

We moved, Irma came and went, we're okay!

I need to catch you all up! I want to get the blog back up and running, and things are finally settling down enough to get back to it...



My little family moved back to Florida in May. When I say 'back', I must say that Florida is my home state. It's where I was born and my family has resided for the last 50 years. So, when husband got an offer, we packed up, left California, put an offer on a house from the 60's and moved to an island between two rivers near Florida's Atlantic coast.

Lots happened this summer between tradeshows and new-home tasks and starting a new school...

And then Irma.

I was beyond terrified by the size of the storm. I hadn't lived in hurricane country in over a decade, it's a new-to-us house and we have big trees all around the house. I evacuated us as fast and left as early as possible just in case. My art is now at a nearby co-op gallery, and after I checked on the art gallery, we shuttered the house, packed up supplies and drove north. And drove. And drove. And drove. We made it to Georgia in pretty good time, and the next morning I drove some more and we made it to a friend's house where we watched from afar the storms progress.

Every day, we were glued to the noaa.gov site watching the very slow progress of the storm as it headed toward Miami (where much of my family resides). The predictions of the storm's path kept shifting from east coast to west coast of Florida, but it didn't matter. Hurricane Irma was so huge, if you were in Florida, you were gonna feel it. In fact, even in north Georgia we felt Irma's winds. Even that far away from the center of the storm, we were out of electricity for a few hours. Once we knew the storm had passed, we made our way back.

As we drove back to Florida, we saw a lot of fallen trees and blocked state roads. When we got back home, it was dark, but we could tell some of the traffic lights were out. Electricity had just come back online, and we were a boil-water notice for a while BUT, there was water coming out of the tap. I'm counting our lucky stars there was no significant damage to our house (just a small leak in the front entryway)!

I've included photos so you can see the nearby boardwalk after the storm. As of this writing, a few weeks after, boats that lost their moorings are still tipped over the former boardwalk edge. Piles and piles of foliage and debris are still on people's curbs, but they are receding each week.

Cocoa Village Park, 9/2017

Boats that lost their moorings, 9/2017



Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Insider Tips: Showing at Printsource



Hello Blog Readers,

Thanks for stopping by! We recently exhibited at Printsource NYC in January with my art collective, Finch & Foxglove, and I wanted to share with you my experience in case you're trying to figure out what tradeshow is best for your work.



- Why Printsource? -
Printsource NYC is known for having apparel industry buyers attend the show to purchase prints for upcoming collections. We have several artists in Finch & Foxglove who have great patterns for apparel, accessories, and home decor and we thought their work would be better served by exhibiting at Printsource (as an alternative to Surtex for example).





- What was it like to exhibit at Printsource? -
The show is 2 days. The venue is cozy and the atmosphere was relaxed, professional and friendly. I found it to be more comfortable than Surtex which can be visually/energetically overwhelming at times. The booths are smaller in general than at Surtex and the prices are more reasonable for the emerging artist.



- What to bring? And, how to sell your work on the show floor. -
Buyers that came to our booth ranged from small one-person shops to mega corporations. This meant we had to be ready for anything! Our exhibit consisted of hanging indoor vinyl banners, covered tables, and lots of prints both printed on paper and on fabric! We had promotional materials to give to potential clients and we had a way of collecting their information to follow up with them.

Selling on the show floor is thrilling! Be ready to take orders with a receipt book so clients have something to take with them as proof of the purchase. Many take the physical paper print with them along with their receipt of purchase. If you're selling digital prints, as most of us are, be ready to send files within 24 to 48 hours. This takes a leap of faith in many cases. We're taught not to give raw files until we're paid, but very few clients paid in cash on the show floor. The rest paid through invoices. Almost all clients wanted to buy the work outright (rather than do category licensing or category buyouts). Be ready with prices that you'll be happy with and don't show work you don't want to sell!

- Closing Thoughts -
Overall, I really enjoyed Printsource and will definitely exhibit there again. I found the level of clientele matched our work really well and we came away with lots of sales. Compared with Surtex,  which is more of a licensing tradeshow, income from licensing can be slow to trickle in and the initial expense is prohibitive for many emerging artists. Sales from Printsource were either immediately paid or paid within a month of the exhibit (we had just 1 exception to this due to the negotiation process).


Monday, November 21, 2016

Quilting in Progress! (sort of)

My quilting time is definitely limited these days, but I persevere. The quilt sandwich is complete, and I rushed a bit... this was my mistake. I did go through and pin baste. But, I tried skipping my usual stitch in the ditch then free-motion quilt process and have paid for it dearly!

My toddler is now totally intrigued by the sewing machine, and every time I was manipulating the quilt doing free-motion quilting, he kept running at me and the machine to slap and try to stop the fly wheel, which is a most obvious no-no! So, I'd stop sewing, and he'd run away cackling. In the meantime, I wasn't smoothing the fabric and I ended up sewing several pinches of fabric on the back side of the quilt!

((big sigh))




Ah well. One of my online artist friends said to keep it as a reminder of the the moment. It's an idea. I don't know if I can though, as the fabric just gets worse and worse pinched as it gets further away. I may leave one in, and un-sew and re-sew the worst ones.



Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Bright & Cheery Tea Set


Project Brief: Design a cheery tea set for a Sunny client. 1x tea cup, 1x saucer, 1x napkin

The brief called for the design of a teacup, saucer, and napkin... but who could resist not designing the entire set?! Not I! I love tea!

What should it have on each piece? I'm not a big fan of the lacy, teensy, frilly flower on my tea sets as many traditional ones do.  And lately, I've been really enjoying working with traditional printmaking methods especially linocut. I made a bunch of patterns and arrangements using stamps I made on my own, and some I took into the digital realm and began testing repeats that way. I was really excited to use my recent patterns on something I'd love to own and see every day. I'm a big fan of tea and the paraphernalia that comes with drinking it.

So I set about sketching and came up with a concept that I'd love to have in my own home. The sketch gave me a general idea of how I'd present my work, and then I set about testing colors.
My first tests with pink...

Oh, I was so unhappy with this color combo! It's not me at all! I'd never buy it. After asking my fellow finches why I hated this so much, they reminded me I don't usually use pink in this way... and they're right, this is not really my shade of pink, nor do I own any pink tableware or pair it with sunshine yellow. Out went the pink!




Once the bright aqua and seafoam green went in, I was gelling. The work just came together so quickly. I knew I had to have sugar tongs and a sugar container, a little creamer, too! Finishing touches...



And lastly, I went to work balancing the tea-set. I wanted to have a nice mix and match tea set and napkins that could work in many different combinations. So the second saucer carried the more intense color, and the mugs match. The tea tray got a nice under-pattern and texture to match.

There you have it! Tea for two... a cuppa for me and one for you!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Simple Guacamole Recipe

Looking for a simple, delicious guacamole base that your kids will eat? You can add spice to your own batch, but this one's plain delicious and even toddlers will eat it (at least mine does).



The most basic ingredients:
2-3 Hass avocados
1 small/medium red onion
1 handful cilantro
1 clove garlic
Lime juice to taste
Salt to taste

...
After that, add what you like! We usually add tomatoes if they're in season. My partner loves adding spice so he usually adds jalapeƱo pepper and some cayenne.

Also, for best results, don't eat it immediately. Let it sit in the fridge for an hour or so, to let the flavors blend together.

Enjoy!!

(You can see the large version of the illustration here on They Draw & Cook )