Saturday, February 14, 2009

Inspired by Anatomical Hearts, Love, Sayings & an Olive

Happy Valentine's Day! I meant to do this post well in advance of V-day, but of course I never got around to it. I am going to try to explain my train of thought concerning the inspiration of some of my new items and hopefully you'll be able to follow along.

When I created my Valentine's inspired items this year I started by thinking of hearts and anatomical hearts. I didn't want to try to make an exact anatomical heart, so I started with an actual heart shape and added valves coming out of the top in a design that appealed to me. I call it more of a representational heart since it is far from anatomically correct. Next, I thought of what I would put in the hearts which led me to thinking about words associated hearts and love.

Love in my heart
Lust in my heart
Joy in my heart
Passion in my heart (Unfortunately, "passion" didn't make the cut because it was too long)

From "love in my heart " I started thinking of "My Heart is filled with Love" which made me want to literally fill the anatomical heart with the word love. I added the hearts as a fun accent and to add some color since I new I wanted it to be black on white. It made me think of graffiti or writing on a chalkboard (like when your teacher used to make you write the same thing over and over).

The black on white and black on red clay that I used in the previous pieces reminded me of last year's XOXO design, so I decided to take that pattern to another level with my "Love to Give" necklaces featuring the same pattern inside the anatomical heart. The X's and O's represented the love that was stored up waiting to be showered on someone. ( I think we've all been there).

Finally, I figured if I was adding to last years XOXO design , I should also think about doing something with my popular "Wood You Love Me" series. The obvious idea was to create a faux bois representational heart pendant called "Wood You Have My Heart"

The silly play on words from that series made me think of another silly love pun "Olive You". I had actually been thinking of making something with that saying ever since I made some custom olive cufflinks for a customer last summer. I never figured out how I would do it though. I thought of putting an olive sitting in the bottom of a letter U, but I thought it was a bit too corny. With the valentine's inspiration flowing, a light bulb went off and decided I should turn the pimento into a heart (Duh!). So I took my original design from the custom listing and added the heart. I just loved the thought of a man giving the silly sweet necklace to a woman. It would be sure to bring a smile to her face. Cufflinks will be coming soon. Wouldn't they be sweet for a wedding.

Well, I hope you were able to follow along, as my mind can be a bit manic when I am creating. I will be keeping these items in my shop as well as adding a few more love inspired items that I didn't have time to finish. I figure Valentine's day is nice for celebrating love, but we should celebrate on the other days too, so my love items are here to stay.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Be Inspired to Make and give a heart - Mini tutorial

The very best Valentine is always a handmade one. Here's a little tutorial for making some fun crayon hearts for your littlest valentines.
1. Gather up all of your broken and unloved crayons. Remove all of the remaining paper (a perfect thing for little hands to do). Get a heart mold. I used a silicon cupcake/candy mold which is perfect for getting the molded crayons out once they have solidified.

2. Break the crayons up into little pieces and put them into the heart molds. We filled ours up about 1/2 way. Mix the colors up for a crazy fun crayon. We call them mystery crayons because you never know which color you'll get.

3. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees. and place the crayons/mold onto a cookie sheet and melt for about 10-15 minutes or until totally melted. This was the first time we've ever made these crayons, and I was surprised by how liquid they became.

4. Remove the melted crayons and let them cool. Once they are set, remove each crayon by flipping the mold inside out (this is where the silicon really comes in handy). Voila! You have super fun crayons in the perfect shape for your favorite little Valentine. They will love the chunky shape and all the colors and you'll love that they are a Valentine's treat with no sugar added!

Here are some of our finished crayons:

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Be Inspired by 100

Today is the 100th day of school for my boys so I thought I would take some time to be inspired by the number 100. My son's kindergarten class had to bring in 100 of something to help the class visualize 100. Over the weekend Kyle created 100 polymer clay balls. I loved that he decided to create 100 things instead of just counting one hundred paperclips or grains of rice. His idea to create 100 things inspired me, so I thought I would pass that on to you too. Once the balls return from school we have decided that we will display them in some way since they represent not only his first 100 days of school, but also the creativity and perseverance it took to create all 100 of them. I think we may get a tall glass vase and fill it up with the balls, or glue them to a piece of wood to display on the wall. I'll ultimately ask Kyle what he'd like to do with them since I am sure he will have an opinion one way or the other.

Check out these items that might have been inspired by the number 100:

Get lucky with
100 Pink origami lucky stars by

Get the first "Onion Sets Delivery Day" print in a limited edition of 100. Created by

100 Paper Bead Mix by

Need some more inspiration? Or just something to do? Check out this comic/zine with 100 different things to do by Philippa Rice/

Take some time this week to ponder the number 100. Will you make something using the actual number? Will you create 100 of the same thing? will you create 100 different things? Will you use 100 different colors? Will you start a new series of 100? Will you create something new each day for 100 days? Will you create for 100 minutes? I'm not sure what I will do yet, but you can bet I have some ideas. If only I had 100 years to create all the things in my head!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Through My Eyes - Taking a Walk

Whenever I am feeling less than inspired, I try to get out into nature. I never cease to find something new and inspiring. We had some lovely mild weather this weekend, so I decided it was time to ignore the groundhog's prediction and get out for some fresh air and inspiration. Here are some of the beautiful and inspiring things I found right in my small suburban neighborhood. Keep in mind that a lot of the things I saw would be overlooked by most people just taking a walk. Always remind yourself to take a closer look or to try a different angle to see something new and inspiring.

Take some time to walk around your neighborhood this week and see what treasures you can find!

I also saw this sign which cracked me up, but if I ever blog about creating a "Stop.. Hammertime" necklace, please advise me that I've gone too far!!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Be Inspired by a Groundhog's Shadow

Well, the groundhog saw his shadow which means there will be 6 more weeks of winter. For some this is good news and for others not so much. Personally I am still waiting for that one big snow storm so we can get at least one day of sledding in. In the art part of my life though, I am already pining for spring. I have noticed that my palette has started to include more pastels and my sketchbook is starting to fill up with new foliage and florals, but with Phils news, I have decided to take at least another week to focus on winter and all it has to offer in terms of inspiration. So take some time this week to revel in the chill, revere the snowflakes and the icicles, and rejoice in the cool colors and bare trees of winter. Here are a couple of winter pics I took last week that inspired me:

Today - Macro 365/264

Ice -  Macro 365/265
For those of you in warmer climates, or who are done with winter, you can still be inspired by Punxsutawney Phil by taking some time to be inspired by shadows. Checkout these great pieces which are not only art themselves, but they create amazing shadow art.

This fantastic Bronze Swirl Wall Sconce by creates incredible shadows and looks amazing even when not lit. I got several pieces from mariposaavenue before the holidays and I can personally vouch for their great quality and wonderful artistry. My kids just love their nightlight and the shadows it casts are just beautiful. And if that didn't sell you, everything is created from recycled cans!

I love this Gecko Shadow Caster by . It's like art times 2.

Checkout the great shadow puppets from This Pippi Longstocking Shadow Puppet is my favorite. Maybe you'll be inspired to create your own shadow puppet show.

So thanks for the inspiration Phil! See you next year!

Fantastic Punxsutawney Phil Groundhog Magnet by .


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