Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Get some inspiration from all the ghosts and goblins out tonight. Add a little macabre to your work and if inspiration still doesn't strike, eat enough sugar until you get a sugar high and that is bound to inspire you to create something amazing!! Here's some Halloween Cupcakes from me to you! Happy Halloween!

Spider Web Cupcakes

Monday, October 29, 2007

Inspired by Zombies - Artist Feature with Tinaseamonster.etsy

Since it is almost Halloween, I thought it would be the perfect time to showcase Tinaseamonster.etsy and her Zombie t-shirts. They aren't specifically Halloween shirts, but zombies are certainly scary and the thought of a Zombie plague is down right worrisome!

Last month I had a chance to meet Tina at the Crafty Bastards show in D.C. We have convoed back and forth on Etsy, so it was very cool to meet her person. She was sweet enough to give me 2 t-shirts for my boys, as long as I sent her some pics of them in the shirts. That was a pretty sweet deal if you ask me. So the kids modeled the t-shirts and now you can see them in Tina's Etsy shop. The phrase on the t-shirts says "Sometimes I worry about Zombies" and I began to wonder what inspired the phrase, so I asked Tina and here is what she said:

What inspired this piece?
The first "Sometimes I Worry About Zombies" shirt was made in the middle of the night last year before the Crafty Bastards Arts and Craft Fair. I had one Gocco screen left and 9 shirts so I made this new design. I had just painted a collage about worrying about owls and I thought, "I am not that worried about owls anymore. But zombies, everyone worries about zombies." :) The shirt is really not about zombies at all, but about people who worry about things that they cannot control. I think worrying about most things is useless and a waste of time, really. Living is better than worrying.

Can you detail how you translated your inspiration into your work of art?
My Print Gocco makes it easy for me to write just about anything on any piece of fabric, so there isn't much detail involved. This design has evolved in the past year, though. I added Mr. Z and now he makes the design less scary and more funny.

Where do you tend to find inspiration for your art pieces?
Most of my work comes from my own blog. I know that is weird. But I totally search my blog for past entries that are interesting. I always find something that is ready to be a new design. It is like a past self is sending my future self new designs. I also always check to see what people are Googling to get to my web site. This can often times be hilarious.

Any advice for someone feeling uninspired?
Live. Don't close yourself off from life. Living is the only way to create something new. I spent all of my early twenties not living, just existing and I didn't make anything. What a waste of time.

Zombies aren't all that she has to offer, although they can also be found on underwear, Christmas cards, buttons, magnets and even Christmas ornaments. You will also find ghosts, seamonsters, yetis and even panda poo (yes, I said panda poo).

Tina and her goodies are all over the web and you can check them out here:


Television Podcast:

Craft Mutiny Collective and Podcast:

Handmade for kid's Etsy Street Team:

And just in case you didn't know, Zombies are the new bunnies. Seriously, they are.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Masquerade Ball - PCAGOE October Challenge - VOTE & WIN

It's that time again for the PCAGOE (Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy) to display our talents in our monthly challenge. With Halloween around the corner, we decided on a mask theme. The members came up with some incredibly innovative mask designs. You can go to and vote for your favorite to be entered to win one of 2 polymer clay prize packs worth over $100 each and donated by PCAGOE members. Here are all of this month's entries:

My entry is the last one and I call him the "Avian Prince" :

I was inspired to create a bird mask from these prints by (formerly Menta). I used one in a treasury list a week or so ago and I just couldn't stop thinking about the bird masks in her prints, so I decided on the bird from there. I didn't really use her imagery so much, as she had full face masks, and that seemed like too much work for me. I also new I wanted to do individual feathers since I could easily carve a stamp of those and i was thinking more along the lines of a bird of prey than a song bird.

This was my first mask and will have to say it was not easy. I burnt the first base that I made, but luckily I was able to salvage the beak (thank you liquid polymer clay!!) Then some how a bunch of feathers on one side got broken off while it was sitting on my kitchen counter before cooking and mysteriously the broken pieces were missing (obviously some was trying to conceal the damage, hmmm....). I finally got it in one piece and baked and then was able to paint. Of course I was in a hurry and tried to distress it before the paint was thoroughly dry. That's why there are some large chunks of paint missing. I decided that rather than painting, I would go with it and started chipping away at all the feathers to make it look like it was purposeful (Ha!). He turned out looking a little more like the Chicken Prince than a bird of prey, but overall I like the way he turned out. I even found out that if I leaned him on his beak, he can stand alone, so now he is on display in my living room. It's always fun to try something new. Making a mask was never high on my creativity to-do list, but I found it to be a lot of fun. Be inspired by the PCAGOE's masks and either create your own or use their innovation and creativity as a jumping point for you to try something new, stretch your creative muscles and create a masterpiece of your own. (And don't forget to vote!!) Polymer Clay Productions also has a polymer clay mask tutorial on their site. Check it out for some more inspiration.

I almost forgot. Kyle was inspired by my mask to create his own. He mixed the colors, I cut out the base and he did all the embellishments. The mask is wearable , is all polymer clay and is modeled by his brother,Trey. It also glows in the dark! For fun, we entered it into the Etsy Costume contest:

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

You Were Inspired By What? - An Ogre & An Onion?

A couple of months ago one of the Etsy forum challenges was to create something inspired by a fairy tale. Being forced to watch Shrek almost nightly, I started sketching things inspired by the movie. My favorite part of the movie is when Shrek says that Ogres are like onions because they have a lot of layers, so I started drawing some onion shaped things and then began adding swirls and leaves and ended up with this pendant, which I entered into the challenge and that was basically the end of it.

Recently, I was going through my sketchbook when I came across one of the sketches and it made me think of a crest that would be perfect for Princess Fiona. So I headed off to create the block and ended up with this necklace, which I call "Ogres Are Like Onions".

You may not be inspired by onions and big green ogres, but I was. Think about a favorite movie character or fairytale character this week and make something inspired by them, or something that they might wear or keep in their house. Putting yourself in a movie character's "shoes" can help open your eyes to possibilities that you may not have seen on your own. Their character traits, where they live, their family and their likes and dislikes can all become your inspiration. Here are some more works of art inspired by onions and ogres (click the photo to be taken to the artist's Etsy shop):

I even found something that would be perfect for Shrek and Fiona's triplets:

Monday, October 22, 2007

Through My Eyes

Just a quick post to share a favorite photo. It was taken on a recent field trip with my oldest. This one encompasses so many of my favorite things: circles/spheres, texture, nature and an incredible shade of green. I hope it inspires you too! Check out some other inspiring nature photos in this thread in the Nature Inspired Art Flickr group and if you haven't already, come by and join the group and share your nature inspired art and your inspiring nature photos!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Be Inspired - By Silhouettes, Taking a Step Back

Do you remember standing in front of a projector in Elementary School, while your teacher traced your head and then cutting it out and proudly presenting your silhouette to your parents? Well silhouette's have made a comeback in a big way. They are no longer just for proud parents, now they come in all shapes, sizes, colors, subjects and mediums. Silhouette's are very popular these days and searching on Etsy, you will find all kinds. I was inspired by a treasury list a couple of weeks ago that featured silhouette's, and I have been meaning to do a piece on them for the blog.

Most of the time I am telling you to take a closer look, but this week I want you to take a step back. My purpose for featuring the silhouette's isn't so much to inspire you to create a silhouette in your work, but to get you looking at the shapes and forms of things without looking at the details and texture. I know, I know me telling you to simplify and not look at texture? Crazy huh! But honestly while I love to focus on the details, I also like to look at things in a graphic sense, focusing on the overall shapes. I really love block printing and screen printing because they often feature silhouette's and simplified graphic images. Here are some amazing silhouette's I found on Etsy (click each photo to see more work by the artist). Pay close attention to the shapes and forms.

I told you silhouette's are big, and no object is off-limits. A lot of artists are also incorporating patterns into their silhouette's to add further interest. Take some time this week to step back and focus on the shapes and forms of the objects around you. Blur the details and you may find a new inspiration or an intriguing shape or grouping of shapes that will spur your creativity. Just make sure that when you step back, there is nothing behind you. I would feel terrible if anyone got hurt while trying to find inspiration.

Friday, October 12, 2007

You Were Inspired by What?

OK, yes I have been extremely delinquent in my blog posting this week. I was so proud that I got a weekend post in last week, and then I just haven't been able to get it done this week. I actually have several posts already created in my head as well as 1 interview and another one I hope to get soon, so hopefully I will carve out some time to get back to blogging. I apologize for lack of inspiration this week, but hopefully this little post will make up for it.

I am often saying "take a closer look" at things and you may find some new inspiration. Well while looking a little closer at my sons treasures from the last post, I found a very interesting pattern inside the little hats of his acorns. The same pattern is on the actual acorn where the hat sits. I am guessing the pattern is created from the place where the 2 connect. (I know a brilliant deduction) Well I thought it would make a cool texture for something, so I went ahead and carved a stamp. I actually carved several of the little circles on one stamp, but I didn't like the effect when I put it to clay. So I put it away until I bought some great antique brass finished ring bases. The warm brown color made me think of the using the little stamp again, only this time using just one circle. Oddly enough the circle fit perfectly in my cutter, but it left an untextured ring around it. I wasn't too sure what I would do with that, so it sat a little longer. Meanwhile the boys and I went on one of our nature walks and found a bunch of acorns in different colors. I had an inspiration. The non-textured part would be perfect for a little punch of color, so I took the cues from the acorns again and used a golden yellow, green and rust red. of course I distressed them a bit, and I really love how they turned out. They are perfect for fall and a bit smaller than my other rings, so hopefully they will appeal to folks who though the others were too big. I think overall they have a lovely texture and organic feel. I already have some ideas for similar pendants and necklaces, so we'll just have to see if I have any time to create them. So, I tell you to take a closer look again, and if inspiration strikes, but doesn't turn out how you thought it would, walk away and come back to it, you may find that the inspiration just needed a little more time to marinate in your brain.

These last 2 photos show a different pattern that I found. Maybe they will inspire you. Also check out and/or join my new Flickr group, Nature Inspired Art. It is a showcase of artist creations inspired by nature. We already have over 200 members and 128 photos in our pool!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Through My Eyes - Tiny Treasures

My sons and I often go on nature walks and inevitably Kyle, my little collector, will pick up this and that along our travels. We have boxes of rocks, seed pods, acorns, leaves, and bark, etc... Sometimes we make art with them, but mostly he just likes to take them out an look at them. Recently I have started photographing some of his collections. It helps me practice my photography skills, and also helps me look closer to see the textures and colors of the item. Sometimes items appear very different when they are photographed. They also serve as a memory of the little treasures my son brings home almost daily. One day I will have to get rid of most of his collections, but I will still have the photos to help me remember. So, since it is Saturday and I rarely post on the weekends, I thought I would share a little of his collection, and hopefully they can inspire you the way they have inspired me. Go for a walk this weekend. Pick up some tiny treasures of your own and have an inspired weekend!

Friday, October 5, 2007

You Were Inspired by What?

If you have been reading my blog , you know that I can be inspired by just about anything and this past week I was inspired by my leftovers. I like to recycle and use recycled items in my work, so when I took a picture of the cardboard that I use for painting pendants for the Flickr Crafting 365 Group, I saw the potential to create a new line of ACEO's called "Leave Nothing Behind". This is the original photo that inspired them:

I was encouraged by Liz from Madeinlowell.etsy to make the cardboard into an ACEO. I decided to start painting my pendants on cardstock so that I could make them into ACEO's easier than using cardboard. Here is what I came up with:

The pink ones were featured this week on the ACEOToGo blog.

These will be going into my Etsy shop sometime this week and they are also available for trade!

Remember, keep your eyes and mind open and you may be surprised at what inspires you! If I hadn't taken that picture, I may not have seen the potential in using my scraps to create something new.


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