Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

I think I have all of the pages designed for Alex's book. Now I have to make a cover, and then print and assemble. I hope it works! I've done this pretty quickly and am amazed how easily it came together once I got started. And isn't that just the way it works! Sometimes getting started is the hardest part. I hope he likes it!

So, today is Halloween, and only having a 16 year old at home it could be a non-event here. But our block party is today so it might be a good time--although pretty darn cold out! I did make a tiger costume out of a gold shirt yesterday, though. I hope to get a picture of Evan in costume before the party, but that is always a battle! He's going as Hobbes, of Calvin and Hobbes. Still has to find some hair paint.

Friday, October 30, 2009


I really worked like crazy yesterday! It felt so good to do some creative work, instead of just printing and assembling like I've been doing for my shows. These are 2 more pages of Alex's book. I want to give him sayings that will help in the hard times when we are apart. I'm a little late on this--I did one for my older son when he went away to college. Alex is a junior now, but I guess better late than never.

As you can see, the pages are not at all the same. Just the size and the fact that I am combining lettering and text. It goes alot faster that way! Especially since I have files on my computer of background painted paper that I've done in the past. I did 7 pages yesterday and the Albert Camus one this morning. It is pouring rain outside and has been since yesterday morning so this is a good activity for me! Although I do have a few small jobs I could be working on.....

Thursday, October 29, 2009

getting started

Woohoo! I got started on the book that I want to do for Alex. Talked to him last night and I am really looking forward to seeing him next week. I just hope I can get this done by Tuesday! I am not hand-lettering the whole book--just parts of each saying and then scanning and assembling it with text. I decided to make it 5 x 5 but with an extra inch for binding. The page shown above, the first one done, is the 5 x 5 page size. I think I am only going to have a saying on one page of a spread--12 in all-- and the facing page will just be background color--probably to match.

It really helped get me working just by cleaning my office/studio! Now I have a clean space to work. After seeing it posted, I think I may need to alter the color of the text....

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I said I wanted to take a week off and try to make a book for Alex. Already those plans seem to be unattainable... I have been stressing about my dad and so not getting anything accomplished. Was hoping to get something artistic done today or at least get my home and studio straightened and his e-mail this morning sent me into a small tailspin.....I'm working on getting out of it right now!

The photo above was taken from the gate at Oak Knoll Park, the day of the art show. I start out with something like this, and then just crop it in, and make it fit my 1.25 x 2 inch rectangle. Think it will make a good "G".

If you want me to post your name in letters, leave a comment.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Taking a week off

I'm thinking of taking a week off of doing art for shows....did pretty well at Artstravaganza , but since I don't have too many orders, and my next show is not until Nov. 13th, I may just take a break from the Sign Language Collection. I have been wanting to do a book for my son Alex since he went to college 2 years ago. We are going to see him next week..yay!..and I want to try to make a book of sayings for him to take along. So, if I get to that, I will be posting some of those pages this week. Would love to have a little down time too, but that's probably not going to happen!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Time to finish up all the odds and ends today before the show this weekend. Tomorrow I need to be packed and ready to set up. I am in the tent this year and am not sure how I will set up my booth, so it may take awhile. The last day before a show is always a little stressful, hoping you remember to do and pack everything you need. Of course, for me it is a minor concern, I suppose, since I am only 10 minutes away! Can't imagine traveling for this. The thought of that just wears me out. Am I getting old?

Another concern is that the postcard, provided by BOMH, does not even say the location on the front of the card, and I've had people confused as to where it is! I hope that the customers find us!!! For any St. Louisans, it is at the St. Louis Artists' Guild in Oak Knoll Park. Hope to see you there---although not between the hours of 6 to 9 Friday night, when I'll be at an anniversary party and my son will be selling for me (hopefully!).

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Chocolate is therapy

Had votes for the Chocolate is therapy mug as well so decided to make one of those. I'll let you know if any of these sell at my show this weekend! It is listed in the sidebar to the right...Artstravaganza at the St. Louis Artists' Guild. It is a three day show, and I am a little nervous about Friday night. We had another engagement so I am having my son and his girlfriend take care of my booth for 3 hours. I hope that they can handle it. I won't be taking credit cards or personalized orders that night, so I think they will be okay.....

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Coffee is therapy

Another new image for the travel coffee mugs. I like the colors and the lettering--wonder if the saying will sell. A few years ago, I did a "Chocolate--it's cheaper than therapy" card and T-shirt (on my etsy site) and while the cards sold okay, the T-shirts didn't. Still have a bunch of those...guess people don't want to admit to eating a lot of chocolate, or needing therapy! I'm figuring coffee drinkers are proud of it! Who knows?

The letters are: C, from a plant stand in St. Louis Hills; O, the Chinese symbol of heaven and earth at STL Art Museum; F, from a painting at STL Art Museum; F, the railing at the Contemporary Art Museum in STL; E, from a painting at STL Art Museum; E, from a house in St. Louis Hills.

Let me know what you think. If you comment, I will post your first name in letters on my blog!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pray always

Another example of my letter frames. This one is in a stand and I painted "always" on the front---after I took this picture. I will take another picture of the "finished" version this afternoon, because I want to post it on my etsy shop. These letters are in ivory "frames" and set in a brown base. They are: P, from a gate at the City Museum in St. Louis; R, from a lamp in Palm Springs, CA; A, from a painting at the STL Art Museum; Y, from City Museum.

I like the sentiment and try to remember to pray always throughout my day. I remember a saying that says something like: "If you only say thank you, that is prayer enough." I think that is probably the most important part of prayer, but not sure it's enough for me! But right now I'm thankful that it is finally a beautiful, sunny, seasonably warm day here in St. Louis! I'm also thankful I'm inside right now because tons of acorns have been falling outside my window and they sound like they would hurt!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Hello Kitty

Okay, I did a mat for cat lovers, too. Can't play favorites, you know. Not sure if I need anything in the background, other than the tiger stripe. And there is always the question, will they want a pink and blue mat? But I liked these letters--they are all from the Saint Louis Art Museum. I think it's kind of cute, but who knows if it will sell. Maybe I'll try these pet mats on etsy today.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Puppy love

Someone at Art in the Park suggested that I do a photo mat for pet here is one that I came up with yesterday. I worry that it might be hard to read--with that 3rd P being a little different. All 3 of the Ps are railings--the first from Oregon, the second from the STL Zoo and the third from STL Science know what the U is (I hope) and the Y is from Country Club Plaza in KC. I was thinking, for a cat, of doing Hello Kitty!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Hot Stuff

This is an insert for a travel coffee mug. I've been successful with a line of mugs that ask the question: "Where'd you go to high school?" That's a big thing in St. Louis and I have a lot of mugs with different school names--mostly the Catholic schools--SLUH, Cor Jesu, Rosati, DeSmet etc. But I haven't had a lot of luck with other mug designs. So the other day, I thought maybe I need something cute and colorful (some of my other mugs used the graffiti letters and were darker). So here is my attempt at cute and colorful. I need more ideas of what sayings to use, so I'd welcome any suggestions.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ornaments galore

A box of "ornaments" waiting to be finished... These are some of my new designs---I think I like the HOHOHO and WISH the best, but who knows what the customer will like, right? I've taken small wooden tiles and glued them together and spray painted them silver. Then I attach the letters and the "jewels" --thats the fun part. These are waiting for the the hanger--which I finally found an easier way to do. Before, I was, believe it or not, poking a hole with a large safety pin. But doing this many ornaments killed my hand so I finally went to Lowes and found a TINY dremel drill bit and it works like a charm! I'm actually looking forward to drilling those tiny holes for the tiny loops. Then the last step is to add Diamond glaze to the top. I love the way it looks---really finishes them off---but too much of that a one time gets my neck and shoulders! Wow, after explaining all of the steps I feel I should be charging more for these!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Package delivery day

I came home from painting furniture at my son's high school and had 4 packages in the door! Two for my oldest son and 2 for me. One was the notecard order--shown above--that I had made for a customer from Art in the Park. I took the letter photograph of the L with tulips, and used it as a border and I think it turned out really cute. Looks kind of like a garden.

My other package was my business cards--yay!--because I had run out of them at my last show. Didn't plan very well ahead.... And just a minute ago UPS rang my doorbell and left another package--a large bottle of Diamond Glaze. If you don't know what that is, it makes a crsytal clear raised finish on top of anything you want...I use it on ornaments. And it is almost as valuable as diamonds and rather hard to find around town.

So now I can work on my new ornaments. I'll try to take some pictures and post them later. I'm coming up with new Christmas words to use and my favorite new ones are HO HO HO and WISH.....

Monday, October 12, 2009

Family letter frames

This is a photo of my family sample of letter frames. Using my last name (because it's short!) and displaying it on a stand that I made/found. That was fun...I found this wood at Lowes back in April and it has a track in it that fits the 1/4" foamcore. But then I accidentally got 3/16" foam and they wouldn't stand up! But I figured out that if I nailed straight nails in I could set the letter on the nails which works pretty well and even gives the 1/4" stability.

But then, in September, when I was getting ready to offer them at Art in the Park, I went to Lowes and they didn't have the boards anymore! Luckily, just this past week I found some and bought a few extra just in case. I have them cut to size and then I prime, paint and polyurethane. Lettering on the side is a bit tricky, but I'll figure a way to make it work. I just like how they look in a stand! But I also like that they fit perfectly above a door frame!

If you want to see your name in letter frames, leave a comment and I will post your name here!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Letter frames

This is another example of my letter frames and how they can be used ---above a door jamb is the simplest because they are the perfect size and weight. They do need to be attached to the wall though because these fell whenever the air vent went on! I use 3M command strips and they work great.

I offered these letter frames for the first time at Art in the Park. I had inventory of 4 different frame styles with coordinating letters in them--already printed and attached to foamcore. I sold about 40 of them and was happy that people actually understood the concept and thought it was cool. And I took only a few to a high school night and sold those too! I know they sell because they are reasonable. But I also think they are cool looking--including the frame already with the letter. My tag line on the sign I used says: Fun framed photographic letters light enough to go anywhere.

Friday, October 9, 2009


Now its time to gear up for my next show in 2 weeks....Artstravaganza! It's a nice show at the St. Louis Artists' Guild. I have a problem this year, though, in that the Friday night opening conflicts with a big parish celebration. So I am trying to get my son and his girlfriend to cover for me from 5 to 9. I'm sure I'll have to pay him, and I won't be able to offer any personalized items or credit cards, but I hope that it will work. My friend, who always helps me at Art in the Park, will also be at the 75th anniversary gala, so I can't ask her! I hate when things conflict like this---especially since for this weekend and last I've had nothing to do. Figures!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Art in the Park

Art in the Park, the art fair in my neighborhood park (the one I walk around everyday) has come and gone. We once again had a gorgeous day! How many years can we pull this off? I think we had record crowds and I was so busy, even with my friend, Anne, helping that I didn't see most of the people who might have come to see me! We hardly sat down all day. I had some new small items--magnets and Christmas ornaments--and they sold like crazy! But I wasn't sure how well I did because it was $1 here and $5 there.....until I got home, exhausted, but with enough energy to total it up. And it was the best show I've done yet! Selling 200 magnets and 57 ornaments put me over the top, I guess!

The program cover, above, was another of my designs. Not as great as last year's close up lily, but good enough. They didn't put it on T-shirts or coffee mugs though! Below is a picture of my booth. The big frame to the right is all of the magnets---small painted wood tiles with one letter per tile so you can spell anything you want! I also had another new item--letter frames--- in the center of the stand. They sold pretty well too! I will post more on that later--and actually, my April post was about them too.

How about this--posting 2 days in a row! Having it pouring down rain outside kept me from running errands though. Most of them are getting moved to Friday's list cause I hate running around in the rain. I do have to get glass though for a rush name frame order from etsy.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Getting back into blogging and writing...

Okay, I have got to get back into blogging. How does everyone do it? I can't seem to find enough time in a day to do my work--especially this time of year with fall shows. I don't know how I'm supposed to keep up with etsy, and blogging and now facebook! I know it's good exposure and should link and all, but obviously I'm lacking motivation or energy! My brother would say its because I don't drink coffee!

But today I got a convo from a lady in St. Louis, my hometown, who has a blog called She is working up to a month or more of giveaways and she asked if I want to be featured. It will just cost a couple of donations so I think it may be worth it. She has so much energy, writes everyday featuring different on-line shops. And she inspired me to get back to it. Of course, she has an 18 month old so she's alot younger than I am!

I am working with my Sign Language letters for upcoming shows, but did take a break to take a 2 day workshop with Laurie Doctor entitled The Poetry of Handwriting. The photos above are of a small book we created in that time. Will get more of my commercial work up soon. There's always etsy to check out if you just can't wait.