May 26, 2013

Meet Liss Silverwing

I met Liss Silverwing in a Tophatter handmade auction one year ago. She was selling these neat hand painted pendants. 

I immediately fell in love with her style because each pendant looked like a wearable piece of art. Heck, she even signed the back of each one like artwork! It didn't hurt that she was a huge Michael Jackson fan, either (I used to own the sequin glove when I was five and "Man in the Mirror is one of my favorite songs... hard core). This is a digital painting she did of the King of Pop. Amazing.

I recently met back up with Liss on Facebook. I was so excited to see she had a Facebook page for her work and an Etsy shop, too, since I also use these methods to sell my work. Liss explained she's looking for more outlets to show new people her work, so I offered to write this blog about her to introduce you all. 

Liss Silverwing's process for making these unique pendants is somewhat of a secret, but she was kind enough to tell me some of it: set a casting stone, paint it, let it dry, then ship it to it's new home.

Check out this unique piece of wearable art that Liss did of Marilyn Monroe. She really made it special using a holographic mosaic process that catches all the colors of the rainbow when light hits it. 

CLICK HERE to view this pendant in her Etsy shop. It can be yours for only $27, which is a steal for a one of a kind art piece. 

Other items in her Etsy shop, Cute Little Things by Liss Silverwing, range from a very affordable $7 to just $37. She offers digital paintings, wearable art pendants, and these neat ACEO cards. 

ACEO stands for "art cards, editions and originals." They're like trading cards for artists. I've thought about making some years ago, and after seeing Liss Silverwing's cards I have the itch to make them again. 

Here are two of her ACEO cards that I've got my eye on... 

The card on the left is available on You can CLICK HERE to buy it. Bidding starts at only $20! Liss said she was inspired by a painting on the back of her son's bible to make this card. I love the color of the sky and the way she captured the ocean waves. 

The card on the right is available in Liss' Etsy shop. CLICK HERE to buy it for just $37 while it's still available! She calls this one "Love Never Fails" and used an intricate design of various patterns that build up to the holographic mosaic heart in the center. 

Liss lives in Romania and ships worldwide. The pendant I bought from her on Tophatter last year came in a neat international envelope, too. It was so neat to receive a piece of mail from another country!

Now that you've met Liss Silverwing (and hopefully liked her Facebook page and checked out her Etsy shop) please leave her a comment below. Thanks a bunch, guys!

May 4, 2013

Animal Hospital Keychains

I received am email last month requesting a quote for a bulk order of keychains which would be resold in a vet's office. I was excited about the bulk order and having my keychains displayed for sale at a physical location... but a vet's office? I had to know more!

Ruby, the kind woman who contacted me, told me how the vet's office sells certain items in hope of raising money for needy animals. They had a financial donor until last year when he passed away. Now the office is trying to raise their own money by ordering items in bulk at discounted prices from artisans and reselling at a retail price. I respect the animal hospital for utilizing artisans and trying to raise their own money. Heck, I always say that buying handmade goods keeps the artisan community alive, so you know I was interested in helping their cause! 

I had Ruby's order done and shipped in half the time I quoted her. I made 15 keychains with Tibetan silver charms. The colors varied (she gave me free rein on the color schemes) and the charms had different saying like "never never give up," "live your dream," and "karma." 

Here's what Ruby had to say about the order once she received it:

"Could there be anything more beautiful? I think not! I love these and I bet they will sell... I want more!"

Ruby was right. She contacted me three days later to tell me that five keychains sold on the very first day they were for sale in the vet's office. How fantastic! She even sent me this photo of one of the wall displays where my keychains were being featured. It was neat to see some of the other beaded items for sale there, too.

Ruby has been taking her family of animals to Dr. Rourke at this animal hospital for a while now. She says the owner, Dr. Rourke is more caring than some other vets she's been to. Check out these photos of her dogs. (I love how Oreo is lounging on the couch!)

Personally I think dogs are cute as long as they don't belong to me. I've always been more of a cat person. I don't have any animals right now, but here are three of my past fluffy babies. 

Groucho was named after Groucho Marx because of his mustache. He was my shadow for almost 8 years. Trouble was HUGE. I adopted him from a friend at work, and he stayed with me for a few years. Starkey was the quiet one. I named him after Ringo Starr (real name Richard Starkey) because on the way home after adopting him he meowed every time The Beatles played on my mixed CD. 

Do you have pets? Gloat about them like the proud pet-parent you are in the comment section below!  

April 25, 2013

DIY Euro Coin Table

I got this neat bamboo table from a friend today. It's small enough to use on my porch, and the glass top will be easy to clean on an outdoor table. As soon as I got it home I felt a craft project coming on! All I needed was good music, my Circle K drink, and craft supplies.

I've had these Euro coins for years (found them all under the seat of my old GMC Jimmy when I bought it). Since it's not worth cashing them in at the airport because of their fees I saved them for something crafty. Today was the day to break them out and put them to good use.

I started with the copper coins around the outer edge. I couldn't glue them right up to the edge because there was a gap at the end of the circle, so they're about 4mm from the edge so that all the coins are butt up against each other. 

I used my E6000 glue that I got at JoAnn Fabrics for jewelry making. It dries clear and holds better than super glue in my opinion.  

The music I had blaring on my cell phone woke my youngest sister Jennifer up, so she and my niece, Gemma, came outside and kept me company. Isn't Gemma the cutest little girl ever! This is her "cheese" face. They live next door to me in a secluded duplex. We actually share a porch, so this outside table was for them, too! 

Gemma is such a ham in front of the camera. Jennifer took some photos of her while I was crafting.

It felt like forever had passed before I had glued down the first round of coins. It's a good thing I had some jams playing to help pass the time. Did someone say 90's radio? Yes please! Gemma came over to help me out, too... how sweet.

After the first row of copper tone coins were glued down I began to place more copper and some gold tone coins down for a second row to give the table more color and unique-ness. I had 50, 20, 10, 5, 2, and 1 cent pieces to choose from. The outside ended up being one full round of 5's with an inner circle of 10's and 2's because they fit together the best. 

Meanwhile on the other side of the porch... I guess I inspired more creativity! Gemma wanted to keep playing with the coins as they dried on the table so my sister gave her some paint, paint brushes, and an empty box to have fun with. Her creativity spilled over onto the concrete slab that is our porch, so now we can remember today forever!

Once I had the outer edge of the glass top table covered with coins I moved onto the middle of the table. I wanted to make another smaller circle, but I wanted to layer the coins to create more depth.

I used the 20 pieces because they were larger with unique edges. Besides, I only had one of the 50 cent pieces. (It took me a while to center that circle of coins on the table. My sister still doesn't think it's center. I think she's silly.)

I placed three layers of gold tone coins down first. Then I used some leftover 5 cent pieces and staggered them on top of the 20's so more of each coin would be visible once they were all in place. One more layer of 10's for another pop of gold and I was done!

Here's the table all complete:

I made sure the inner circle of coins was large enough for our community ash tray and tall enough to keep it in place. You could also put a small vase with some flowers there. No matter what you use there, the depth those coins add to the table is awesome.

I love how this table looks on our porch. Now all we need are new chairs (and more of them so it doesn't become standing room only). These old chairs have seen better days. Do you like the cartoon stickers my niece put on them? She was trying to dress them up for me.

(Jennifer and Gemma live on the left, and I am in the apartment on the right with my boyfriend, Will.)

April 23, 2013

Graffiti the World

My boyfriend, Will, found an older CD of his last week from the band Rehab. I've never seen a grown man so happy. I love how he gets attached to music just like I do. Turns out his nephew "borrowed" it last year. Maybe I'll burn him his own copy. 

Anyhow, Rehab was a one hit wonder 5 or so years ago with their song titled "Bartender Song" (which is hysterical). He's had the CD in our car for a couple of weeks now so I've had time to listen to the whole thing. You know how you start to mumble a song under your breath and keep the beat with your toes as you learn it? That's me in the car now. You see, our car's radio doesn't work so we rely on our extensive collection of (mainly 90's and classic rock) CD's. This CD has lasted a bit longer that others because I'm still learning it and Will has missed the crap out of it. 

So we're driving down the road one day and Will is thumbing through all the songs on the CD until he remembers them. I thought I heard a spray paint can (which reminded me of high school art class - always does) so I frantically tapped his hand away from the buttons. I wanted to hear where this song was going. Was it about art? Was it about huffing? Was it about arts and crafts? I had to know. 

The song "Graffiti the World" blew my freaking mind away. I haven't felt this strongly about a song since I had lyrics from Blind Melon's song "Change" tattooed on my chest. No worries though, I won't be tattooing Rehab's song on me... yet. This song has such a powerful message and I totally agree with every point it makes. Play the below YouTube video to hear the song. There's even some graffiti and other art during the video that kinda go along with the lyrics for you to watch. Tell me what you think of or how it makes you feel. I just can't get the song out of my head, which isn't a complaint. Enjoy.

I know some of the lyrics may be hard to make out so here they are in text form: 

You know, they say hell hath no fury like a woman scorned
So vengeful and mother earth has been done wrong
And I think she's sick
Yo, she's puking up LAVA
Her nerves tremble along fault lines ready to drop an entire city of filth
that's been forced upon her
We built these towers of Babel and feel remorse for nada
The momma divorce the father
The children are dropping bottles
The rich get richer, poverty's hot under the collar
Taking prayer outta schools and we're trying to raise scholars
Creationism vs. the theory of evolution
Air, water, land, mind, body and soul pollution
Kids stepping on land mines from wars we're all losing
We're chasing false idols, erasing from our bibles the golden rule
the youth are becoming more suicidal
Who teaches them, you and I do
No wonder they want to fight you
Raised by hypocrites, you feel lied to. 

Graffiti the land with skyscrapers
Graffiti the sky with airplanes and satellites
Graffiti the minds of children with your man-made laws
Graffiti the world, I saw the writing on the wall
We've got ABC, NBC, MTV, TNT, the BBC, DVD, VHS, DSL, A&E, XTC, mp3, FCC, THC, NRA, JOB, ADD
The fight for free speech, lack of responsibility
Thieves in positions of power
Internet pornography
Guns in the home for fear that the next knock at the door could be death
The terrorists are in the White House and oversees
Racists, separatists, vicious militias
The Buddhists, the Hindus, the Muslims, the Christians
Could it be our biggest barrier is language
Or is oil that important that one would inflict anguish
So cars can deplete the ozone on highways
That stretch across the land where Indians once raised families
We're in denial, the world is afraid
And you say there's no more slaves

Graffiti the land with skyscrapers
Graffiti the sky with airplanes and satellites
Graffiti the minds of children with your man-made laws
Graffiti the world, I saw the writing on the wall
We're addicted to planes, trains and automobiles
We're addicted to addiction
We dig living in fiction
For money, power, respect, the Army's got to go kill
They're under contract so let the blood spill
Sorta morbid ain't it this picture that I just painted
It's an epiphany I had
I realized just how tainted our thinking really is
While in New York when I saw a teenager being arrested for tagging a fuckin' wall. 

Graffiti the land with skyscrapers
Graffiti the sky with airplanes and satellites
Graffiti the minds of children with your man-made laws
Graffiti the world, I saw the writing on the wall

April 9, 2013

Getting the Word Out

As most of you know from my previous post, I am now in the process of writing my first book. My mind has been overwhelmed with fantastic ideas that I have been trying to keep up with. I can't remember the last time I was this excited about an art project!

This week I started to get the word out about postcard submissions and how other artists and crafters can be a part of my book. I have posted links on Facebook and Twitter, emailed blog writers, and contacted my old art teachers. I am giving everyone 5 months to complete and send in their postcards. I can't wait to receive the first one! 

I got an email back from Mr. Bridges today, my old art teacher at Harrison Arts Center. I attended high school there with a concentration in visual arts. I asked him to use my book as a school project for his current students and he said yes. Actually, he said "absolutely" in all caps, which just made my day! I wonder if he will send one in himself, too. 

I am still waiting to hear back from Corrinne at Pin & Tack. I used to be a guest blog writer for her. I would write for her once a month about the day in the life of a jewelry artist, which seemed to be popular. I asked her if I could write a one-time guest blog post about my new book and possibly get postcard submissions from her and her readers. She has a large blog following. 

The other big email I sent out was to Megan at Katie at Tophatter. Up until recently, I was a live auction host for Tophatter. I would frequent the handmade and artisan jewelry auctions to welcome newbies, cheer on sellers, and help liven up the auction rooms. It was a lot of fun! 

Tophatter has a blog called The Monocle & Moustache where sellers can share their success stories, DIY craft tips are given, and much more. 

Wait... I just checked my email and I had a reply from Megan at Tophatter. She said she's very interested and sent me a list of questions for the blog interview. Oh, this is just fantastic! Let's see, I will have to wait until after work tonight (every artist needs a day job until they make it big) to reply to her email. 

I have a few other things in the works as far as channels I've reached out to about my postcard book. I have Sunday and Monday off this coming week so I am hoping to start the cover art for the book. The cover will be my postcard and the back of the book will look like the flip side of a postcard. Neat, right? My sister Jennifer helped me brainstorm that one. 

You can click on the "Postcard Entry Info" link at the top of this page for info on how to submit your work. Please share the link with anyone you think would be interested. Thanks!