Thursday, February 28, 2008

Vote for your Favorite Spring ACEO Sketch

Finally the sketches are here! I tried to incorporate some of the words that were suggested, and I even used some of the original theme suggestions which also fit the "Spring" theme. They are a little heavy on flowers, but that is really what I think of when I think of Spring. Please vote for your favorite at the bottom of this post. If you haven't been following along, read this post to get the background of this project. Don't forget to leave a comment (if you haven't already during the project) so that you can be entered into the drawing for the finished ACEO!

Vote here:

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Inspired by Early April Showers

I am still sketching for the "Spring" ACEO (they should be up tomorrow, I hope! I have made a ton, so I am trying to whittle it down to a select few). While you wait here's a little inspiration. I created a treasury list inspired by yesterday's forecast for today... Rain. For once they were correct and it is a very gray, wet day, but don't let the rain get you down, get inspired. I was inspired by the idea of a red umbrella amidst the gray/blues of a rainy day. I even sketched an umbrella for the "Spring" ACEO in honor of April Showers. Apparently a lot of other artists were inspired by the red umbrella and the rain too. Click on the picture to be taken to the list.

Here's another list created from a fellow BEST Artist, Jen from, who's experiencing the same inspiration from the rain. She even featured my "Downpour " Magnets (notice the bit of red there too). Thanks Jen!

So even if it is sunny in your neck of the woods, be inspired today by rain, clouds, umbrellas and a bit of red in a sea of blues and grays.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Through My Eyes - Searching for Signs of Spring

Here are some pictures I took yesterday while looking for inspiration for the Spring themed ACEO ( It's a bit early here, so not a whole lot of signs available). I though I would share them for those of you who are creating something of your own alongside my collaborative project. I am working on my sketches and plan to have them up tomorrow, so in the meantime, check out my pics, and if you can, get out and see if you can find any signs of Spring yourself. Keep commenting with inspiring Spring words, signs of spring or links to inspiring Spring photos of your own. Remember, anyone that comments will be included in the drawing for the finished "Spring" ACEO!

Here are some of my favorite signs of spring: bright green moss, birds nests, Robins, daffodils, tulips, red tree buds, flowering trees, bees, butterflies.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Spring is the Theme!

Well Spring fever is in the air so it is no surprise that the Spring theme won in the poll, but I have been thinking about it and Spring can be a lot of different things. I am thinking we should narrow it a bit more before I start sketching. Here's what I think about when I think of spring:

robins (birds)

Comment below with some words about Spring that will inspire me while I sketch. Anyone who comments will be added to the drawing for the finished ACEO. If you haven't been following along, check this post for the details of this project and the giveaway. Here is some inspiring Spring items I found on Etsy :

Artist credits:
1. Green Hoppity Bunny Toy by
2. Afternoon Tea Jacket in Nottingham Toile by
3. Artist Beads SPRING by
4. Spring Sprouts by
5. Mini Sprout Vase by
6. Robins Egg Blue Nest Mixed Media Collage by
7. Floral topiary centerpiece gift by
8. Tiny Blooms Cherry Tree ACEO by

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Vote for your Favorite ACEO Theme

If you haven't been following along, read this post to get the background of this project. Here is a poll to vote for your favorite suggested theme. If you didn't make a suggestions, make sure to comment at some point during the project so that I can add you to the drawing for the finished ACEO. I was going to pick my top 3 favorite for you to vote from, but I decided that since there weren't too many suggestions, I would open it up and let you vote for any of the them. I will take the one with the most votes and make a couple sketches and then post them as the next step in our collaboration so stay tuned! Thanks to everyone who has participated so far. You all had great ideas. Maybe one of the suggestions will inspire you this week!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Giveaway - Win an Original ACEO

I think my last post may have been a bit to wordy since I only got 1 response so far, so I will make this a little easier:

I am looking to collaborate with my readers to create an ACEO. I will add anyone who contributes with a comment into a drawing for the finished ACEO. I am currently looking for suggestions about the theme or main subject of the ACEO. So share your 2 cents with a comment and be entered to win an OOAK ACEO! Then continue to follow along and help with imagery and color scheme . Don't be shy!! Any idea will be considered! Let's see what we can come up with together! See my Feb 15th post for the details behind this project.

Hopefully that was easier to follow! Let's hear your suggestions!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Let's Inspire each other with a Collaborative Project!!

With all my recent posts about collaborations and collectives, I have decided it would be fun to do a collaborative/collective project with my blog friends/readers. I recently posted a blank tree design on my flickr and asked for color combination suggestions and I got some great ideas. I am now planning on a small ACEO series and I will be incorporating some of the suggestions. So.... I thought it would be fun to create something with suggestions and inspiration from my blog friends. I will ask your opinion for each step of the process and together we will create something cool. I may include polls or I may just ask you to post your ideas in the comments. In the end, anyone who participates will be put into a drawing for the finished piece! I also think it would be fun to have other artists follow along and use the suggestions to create something as well. Then you can send in your pictures of your items and we can create a collective mosaic of all the finished pieces. Maybe I am being a bit ambitious, but I think it would be fun even if only a few people participate.

I think the easiest project would be an ACEO. The size is not overly ambitious, but there is a bit more to work with than a pendant, and not everyone wears jewelry, so I won't have to worry about if the winner will be able to use it. The finished piece can be added to any Art Card Collection or framed as wall art if you are not a collector.

The first decision that must be made is the subject matter. The sky is the limit here, so give me your ideas and your inspiration. Just post a comment with your suggestions and what inspired your idea. Depending on how many suggestions we have I will pick the top 3 that I like and then we will have a poll on which one we all like. I will then sketch a couple of ideas and let you pick which one we will use. This process will go on like that until the ACEO is finished. I would also love it if you created something along with me in the medium of your choice using the decisions we all make. Then we can all compare our finished projects at the end!

I look forward to hearing your ideas!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Be Inspired By Hearts

Well, I am not usually a big fan of Valentine's Day (My birthday is the next day, so I am usually more interested in that). I am not the mushy type and I am kind of from the school of let someone know you love them everyday and not just once a year. My dh usually provides the requisite card, chocolates and flowers, but today I have really been feeling the love. Not only did I wake up to a sweet card from my boys, and a great card from my dh which actually serenaded me with the song "Ain't No Woman like the One I Got" (you gotta love the singing card). I also got a big heart box of chocolates, so coffee and chocolates it was for breakfast (and lunch! and an afternoon snack). Then when I checked Etsy, my pear pendant was on the front page and it netted me 58 hearts and 2 sales!!! 58 hearts in one day is definitely a record for me and I am really feeling the love. While I do love sales, it is still exciting to know that someone likes and appreciates your work, even if they don't buy something it's still an acknowledgement, so hearts actually do mean a lot. I just broke 3500 hearts earlier this week which kind of blew my mind. So.....since I am feeling the love, I wanted to share a little with everyone else. Here are some inspiring heart items I found on Etsy. I personally heart them all!

Even though Valentine's is almost over, take a little time to incorporate a little heart into your work this week and share the love!

Happy Valentines Day! If only I could send chocolate by e-mail!! I guess these pics will have to do!

Artist credits:
I heart Ninja Robot cup by
a valentines black heart mini plush by
Pink Hearts on Chocolate Brown Felted Ankle Booties by
Would You Love me Ring by me (blockpartypress.etsy)
Hearts and Love strapless top by
Valentine CupKozy by
Valentine bracelet by
I've Got Something to Say Print by

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Be inspired by a Collective Project or a Call for Artists - Swimmy

This past week Etsy put out a call for a collective project to create a fish representative of the classic children's book Swimmy, by Leo Leonni. Etsy founder, Rob Kalin, sees this book as an inspiration and sees how it correlates to Etsy. He said this in a recent Storque post about Etsy's future direction:

"So our vision is to be the eye — to be a kind of organizing principle. We do not want Etsy itself to be a big tuna fish. Those tuna are the big companies that all us small businesses are teaming up against."

So if Etsy is the eye, all of the surrounding fish must be the artists/sellers. An Etsy artist,, sent Rob a little black Swimmy fish that she created after reading the article and this inspired the idea to ask Etsy artists to create their version of the surrounding orange fish in their medium of choice to create a larger art piece at the Etsy Labs. They offered up a basic template and parameters and left the rest of the up to the artists.

I was pretty excited to create a fish because I have been very busy over the last couple weeks filling several wholesale orders and I have been craving the chance to create something just for fun. This was my chance. There was no pressure of whether or not is would sell or if anyone would like it. I also didn't have to think very hard about what it would be like since there was a template. I decided to keep it simple and just fill in the details of the scales and fins and add a little interest to the eye. My process creates a relief, so I really wanted to play up the texture of the fish. Since the fish will be combined with the fish of the other artists, I wanted to make it as recognizable as a Block Party Press creation as possible. Here is a slide show showing most of my process:

I will be shipping my fish up to the Etsy Labs tomorrow and will post a picture of the finished collective piece once it is posted. The idea of a collective piece can be very inspiring. I know I loved the idea of having my work included with a bunch of other artists to create a larger piece. The call for "fish" inspired me to create something I may not have created if I hadn't read the article. A call for art or artists can help you when you are in a slump to help you get out of your head and to give you a starting point. I find often times when you have a starting idea, the rest seems to fall into place fairly easily. You don't even have to submit your creation. You can just use the idea and run with it, although submitting for the right project can be very rewarding and some even offer money, prizes and or notoriety (if you are into that sort of thing). You can find local, national and international calls for artists in art and craft magazines, book publisher sites, museums, through your local arts council or art center as well as on the internet. I found quite a few on ,, & I would recommend that you research any call for artists before submitting a piece, and always read the fine print.

If you are an Etsy seller, take some time this week to create a fish for the Swimmy project. It doesn't have to be elaborate, but use it to showcase your medium of choice and to be included in something larger than your own art. Plus, it's just fun! There is a Flickr Group, Underwater Diorama , established to showcase the individual fish. Here are some of my favorites so far:

Swimmy by

Handmade Swimmy Wild by tumboweed

Swimmy I Spy Bag by lindseyrae

Buttoned Swimmy by


Swimmy's Friend by mamazakka


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