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Downsizing My Art & Art Supplies

The past three weeks have been jam packed with packing, reduction and letting go of ever so many things I never imagined I could give up. But, it’s for a good cause. I’ll be renting my house out for a few years and traveling. I have a place to stay for the winter months in Arizona. I’ll come back to Ashland for the summer. And in between, I plan to travel the U.S.

It was even hard to let go of this failed necklace made from circles punched from Sunday comics. It failed because the newsprint rubbed off on my skin.

I’ve sold most of my furniture. Letting go of it was hard, but not as hard as it’s been to let go of paper and art supplies. I gave many car loads of art supplies to my friend, Cynthia, who has promised to find good homes for all of it. My two drafting tables went to be sold at a shop whose profits go to our local Hospice.

I gave the framed original for these Happy Valentine’s Day cards to our clubhouse to be used for Valentine’s Day decoration.

On Friday I hope to head out for Arizona and Kansas for a month. I realize this is the wrong time of year for that, but Paul has a couple of family reunions in Kansas and I want to drop off some of my art supplies in Arizona where we will be spending some time this winter.

Paper flowers with some of my vintage buttons didn’t make the cut. I figured it would be easy to make more at a later date.

So, no art has been done lately. My home studio looks barren. My display shelves are empty. I still have my studio at the Ashland Art Center. I will be working there when I’m in Ashland and I’ve added a couple of other artists who will work there while I’m traveling.

I spent untold hours punching and stringing circles from the Sunday comics. My intent was to make a necklace. Now I’ve let them go, which I should have done long ago since the newsprint stains skin.

It will be interesting to see what paper art I do and what paper art I find on my travels.

Happy trails, Candy

La Vie en Rose

It’s been raining here in southern Oregon for about four months. I’m not kidding. I’m no weather stats expert but it has been the wettest soggiest blusteriest coldest are you effing kidding me how can the sky produce so much water kind of winter/spring season. I’m antsy. A little stir crazy. Yes, I can leave the house and water doesn’t melt me but I admit, I’m affected by the non-stop grey skies, whipping winds and deluge of rain. It just doesn’t inspire the cute outfit and a walk along Main Street. It inspires hibernation, yoga pants and a rotating selection of sweatshirts that moved from the Never Be Seen in Public Moving Day wardrobe to Don’t Bug Me, At Least I’m Dressed pile.

The up side of all this weather related dreariness is that it’s been a very productive prolific season of creating. The rain has literally grown my garden and I am painting, writing, shipping on a steady pace. That feels good. There are flowers on the easel, lots of flowers. In fact, so many that I have created a new category “Vintage Florals”: a series of custom paintings, greeting cards and…who knows what else. They have literally and figuratively blossomed. Okay, one point rain.

In other art news , I released a fun new card launch to my customers (well received, yay!), reorganized by itty bitty office that holds my inventory (ah, space!), and dipped my toe back into painting seascapes (heaven). I also held a spring floral still life painting workshop at my home, purged a whole lot of clothes, books, art supplies and thought a lot about exercising while not doing it. This has been the season of hibernation, creation and resting. There has been a lot of travel in this season (and thank god other cities have sunshine) and a lot of coming back home to the “boring”. The necessary. The list making. The Mailchimp setting up. The website. But upon reflection on this rainy day, it’s been this wet season that has created a lot of beauty. I feel ready for something fun because I’m not tired. I am rested and restored. I’ve leaned into this season. It hasn’t always been with a smile on my face but but I have somehow managed to grow a vintage floral garden in this la vie en rose life of mine. xo

“La Vie en Rose” 11×17″
Available at elizabethW Carmel

Puffy Pentagon Boxes and Chocolate Make Perfect Travel Gifts

I always like to have a bunch of gifts on hand when I travel as I never know when I may want to give a little “thank you” to someone. It doesn’t seem to be a problem for me when I’m traveling by car or in my van. There’s always a little space to pack my gifts.

These puffy pentagon boxes pack flat for packing. They’re the perfect size to hold a Dagoba Chocolate taster square.

But it becomes a little more difficult when I travel by air. And our current trip was even more difficult because because we flew back to Arizona where we had left our van. Our suitcases were full of clothes and supplies for six weeks of traveling. There wasn’t much “extra” room. I solved the problem with two of my favorite things, my puffy pentagon boxes and Dagoba chocolate taster squares.

It takes just moments for the puffy pentagon box to go from flat into a delightful little box.

The puffy pentagon box stores flat, making it a perfect choice for taking with me when traveling. And the taster squares don’t take up much space either. The only hard part has been not eating all the chocolate before I give it as a gift.

The perfect paring for a gift, chocolate and a handmade little puffy pentagon box.

Here’s a link to my DIY blog post that details how to make the clover fold box and the template so you can make your own.

Blog post: DIY – Puffy Pentagon Box

Template: Puffy Pentagon Box

Enjoy, Candy

Paper Illuminated Online Class – Weeks 5 & 6

You may wonder why weeks 5 & 6 come before weeks 3 and 4. Well, there were a few equipment and materials glitches that happened due my traveling. They will show up later, but this is the foldable paper chochin lamp that I made this past week.

I collaged my collapsable the paper on my chochin lamp rather than using the template Helen provided.

Week 5 was building the armature (which can be used over again and again). Week 6 was making the lamp shade. I collaged mine rather than following the instructions exactly. I like the way it came out.

Collapsable paper cochin lamp.

The chochin lampshade can be made in different shapes and sizes. There are so many different possibilities with this type of lampshade. My mind is swimming with possibilities.

Enjoy, Candy

National Letter Writing Month 2017 – Week 2

I have been having a lot of fun with making envelopes and writing letters this past week. I have finally found something that works well with traveling. I still don’t quite have things as organized as I’d like, but at least I’m not losing my art supplies as I was on my last trip.

These are two of the letters and envelopes that I sent out this past week.

I love it when April rolls around each year. I seem to be way behind in my correspondence and National Card & Letter Writing Month gives me permission to drop everything else and concentrate on writing letters and making unique decorated envelopes.

I was delighted to find that there was no additional postage for the folded envelopes with the diagonal corners. Yea!

This year, I’ve been making a bunch of folded envelopes that have diagonal corners. I took some of them to the Post Office to ask just how much extra postage they would require. No extra postage. So, I’m making lots more of these envelopes. I’m including another little origami envelope in with my letter. See my blog post DIY Origami Envelope and a link to the instructions.

Two of the letters and envelopes I sent out this past week for National Card & Letter Writing Month.

I feel as though I might actually get caught up on my letter writing. Of course, with being away from home for a month and a half, I’m sure there’ll be a bunch more mail waiting for me.

Two more of the folded envelopes with diagonal corners.

I have lots of pen pals who enjoy folded paper, so I’m sending them the folded envelopes with diagonal corners. I made my envelopes from wrapping paper samples.

Two more letters and envelopes that went out this past week for National Card & Letter Writing Month.

Enjoy, Candy

Boats on the Bay

I did a brave scary exhilarating thing yesterday. I sent a detailed book proposal to a literary agent in New York.  It’s taken me at least 4-5 missed self-imposed deadlines, a year to meet with an expert editing friend to get me to twelve sample chapters and one chaotically messy living room where there is art and paper and more art on every inch of the floor for easy viewing. What goes where, what stack belong to which and on it goes.  I had all of the individual pieces ready for months; the chapters, the art, the sample cards, postcards and catalogues from my company. The fabulous box I had to have to put the whole thing in! (Priorities!) It was the assembling of the pieces, the bigness of the project, that put me in Tomorrow Overwhelm.

I’ll do it tomorrow. It’s Sunday, I’ve got nothing planned. Tomorrow. It’s Monday. The printer is open in case I need to run down there. Tomorrow, it’s Thursday, I’m always productive on Thursdays. Really? I am? Tomorrow starts today. Please don’t’ mistake me for someone who can follow my own advice for overcoming procrastination. I’m a work in progress. I do know though, that I’ve made strides. There are tools. It’s not willpower. It’s action and accountability and telling your most productive organized friend your plan to start (and finish) and knowing you’ll have to face said friend the next day and you’re no longer in the mood to wiggle out of the why it’s still sitting on your coffee table excuse. It was hailing! In April! The cat was moody. I had no groceries, had to run to Trader Joe’s. I got a phone call. I had to ship an order. I’ve been traveling, I have to unpack.  (Your excuses are probably much more exciting and elaborate, mine are that boring and embarrassing that I have not been able to push through this block.)

So, I did it. I’ll save the details of the proposal, the agent, the why I did this the way I did it for a later post because today, after lovingly packaging up all the pieces for this person i have never met on the other side of the county, I know that it was the doing it that mattered. I have no control of the outcome. I can’t be pre-disappointed that it’s a long shot. Because it is. It’s a long shot. But if this doesn’t work, I’m not the right fit, I know I can do this again. I broke through some invisible self-imposed barrier that New York agents and publishing world are “out there” and I am “here” and the two can’t quite meet their fingers a la Sistine Chapel. But they can. They do all the time. I see it, I read it.

And what do boats on the bay have to do with this brave scary exhilarating thing I did yesterday? Not much. But I like this painting, took risks with it that are new for me (sensing a theme here!) and it took me outside my comfort zone. So maybe it has everything to do with my scary thing. I’ve written about this a lot but bears repeating, mostly for myself, this painting would not have happened unless I had done hundreds before it. Writing, running, cooking, sending proposals to literary agents. It’s no different. Practice. Show up. Rinse repeat. Hit send. Write the letter. Put a stamp on it. Buy a box. Go to Fedex. xo

“Boats on the Bay” 16×20″ SOLD

National Letter Writing Month 2017 – Week 1

I’m just getting started on my letters for National Card & Letter Writing Month. As in past years, I’m sending out at least one letter (in a decorated envelope) for the entire month of April. This year, with all the traveling I’ve been doing, I’m way behind in my correspondence, so I’m going to try and get caught up this month. Wish me luck!

My first two letters and envelopes for this year’s National Card & Letter Writing Month.

My first letter went to Susan, a dear friend who could use a little pick-me-up. I decided to send her a flower envelopes I though it was cheery and she could enjoy it without having to water or care for it.

More envelopes sent out this week for National Card & Letter Writing Month.

As the month progresses, I’m hoping to get some inspiration for decorating envelopes from my “new” stash of old stamps that I acquired last fall from a stamp collector. I got to go through a bunch of his stamps and pick out ones that I liked. They’re so cool, I’m going to have trouble parting with them.

These are just a few of the stamps I purchased last fall from a stamp collector. Aren’t they wonderful?

Happy Mail Art, Candy

April Is National Letter Writing Month

I brought a bunch of my correspondence with me on this latest trip. With April being National Letter Writing month and me being behind on answering all the wonderful letters and little paper gifts I’ve received lately, I figured this would be a win-win.

Some of the wonderful mail art I’ve received lately.

There’s not much space for art supplies while I’m traveling, but I have enough space for envelopes, a few pens and brushes, and a little paper. As with the past few years, I will be sending out at least one letter a day for the entire month of April.

It’s so much fun to open my mail and have such great surprises inside the envelopes.

I have many more than just 30 letters to write, so I’m going to try and double or triple up on as many days as I can. It’s going to be a fun month, and I’ll be sharing a few envelope projects with you.

I have such creative friends. It’s a joy to open my mail.

Tomorrow I’ll be driving to Tucson. I remember from my last trip that they had wonderful artwork on the bridges along the trip. This time I will have time to stop and take photos, maybe even sketch some of the designs in my journal. I’m hoping they will make their way into some of my envelope designs this next month.

Some of the wonderful mail art I’ve received lately.

For those of you who have been following my blog, here’s an update on the Paper Illuminated online class that I’m taking from Helen Hiebert. We left the van in Arizona and flew back home and then back to Arizona. I hadn’t planed that when I signed up for Helen’s class. I thought I would be home for the entire 6 weeks of the class. I got my first two projects done (More Traveling Ahead & Paper Illuminated Online Class – Week 2) and brought the rest of the supplies with me to work on while traveling. However, I decided TSA wouldn’t take fondly to my taking a saw in my carry on luggage, so I left it at home and just purchased one here. So, my shoji screen, which was this week’s project will be a little late. I bought a little saw and mitre box yesterday and should be able to get started on it on Sunday. Biosphere2 and Tucson are tomorrow and Saturday.

It’s wonderful having such creative friends. Long live snail mail!

I am looking forward to writing lots of letters and decorating lots of envelopes this next month. I hope you are too!

Enjoy, Candy

Paper Illuminated Online Class – Week 2

I’m taking an online class from Helen Hiebert called Paper Illuminated. This past week I made a wraparound lampshade. I didn’t have a lamp the right size so the photo shows a bit of the bulb base. Still, I do like how the lamp looks when it’s lit.

Wrap around lampshade I made from paper.

When I signed up for the class, I thought I’d be home during the time of the class. I was for the first two weeks. Now, however, I’m traveling again. I packed the remainder of the supplies and have them with me. I am hoping I can make the rest of the projects while I’m gone.

Wrap around lampshade made from paper.

Enjoy, Candy

Happy St. Patrick’s Day 2017

I made this shamrock some time ago and shared the instructions last year. See the link below to make your own.

See the link below for the instructions to make your own paper shamrock.

DIY Paper Shamrock

Enjoy, Candy