Friday, September 26, 2008

Tree Hugger :)

I guess it's pretty obvious that I love nature and it inspires my art. When I was originally starting my cafepress shop, walking the dog helped me to refine my ideas. I'd leash up Talon and take a walk to the park down the street from my house. On the way, we'd enjoy the shade of the trees, look for squirrels and I'd practice identifying birds and birdcalls (a little side hobby I picked up from a biology class at SJSU). This is as close as I can get to nature, living where I do. But, I can see Mission Peak from my house and I can see the stars from my balcony. That's enough for me! Here are a few designs I remember pondering as Talon and I walked through our neighborhood.

That last one has a very special place in my heart. I made it for my nephew Bailey when he was just a little guy. If I remember correctly, it was one of my first cafepress designs! I also love Butterfly Maiden because I made that specifically for my niece Zoe :) Even when my initial inspiration is a child who is dear to my heart, I express my feelings with the language of nature. Trees, animals, flowers, they are the symbols that I know best. The Queen of the Underworld refers to Persephone, Maiden of Spring and Queen of Hades. She eats 3 pomagranate seeds after being captured by Hades. This means that she must remain with her husband for a third of the year. The rest of the time she can be with her Mother, Demeter who is the Earth Mother represented in the other design. So many of the ancient myths are about nature but also about us. We forget that we are a part of nature sometimes... anyway, enough philosophy! Nah, never enough. I'm sure I'll talk about nature and myths again ;)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Halloween Tree...

I googled this phrase hoping to see some inspiration and maybe even a tutorial. I found that there are many variations, not all of which are my style. For instance, I don't really want a black and orange version of a Christmas Tree! I may want a few ornaments but I'm not sure if that is going to be the main reason to have the tree. I've also seen Easter Trees that are made specifically to hang collectible ornaments... hmmm... So, let's review my choices...
I could get some gnarly branches from the trees at the park and spray paint them black...
This example leaves the branches natural and uses cobwebs and orange lights to make it more Halloweenie. Also, the bucket is cute, very country. OR.... I could make one out of paper or cardboard.
This tree from HGTV is made out of plywood, but couldn't I do something similar with thick stock? Finally, I could go all the way and use paper mache or some other sort of sculpture to achieve the most detail and the most realistic effect. Also, pipe cleaners and wire seem to give that twisted, crooked, bony hands reaching for snow white in the forest look!

Okay, I think I'm gonna go look for creepy branches at the park... if I don't find any, I'll know that it's time to head to the craft store!!! oh darn ;)


Friday, September 19, 2008

Fall Bride

I was actually a summer bride but I've been involved in two very special fall weddings. The first was my sister's wedding in 2003. It was a beautiful Catholic wedding with a classic style. My sister took care of many of the details herself and created a truly memorable work of art! I was very inspired by her conviction to stay true to her own sense of style and followed that with my own wedding even though our styles are radically different. I had the pleasure and honor to sing Ave Maria at her wedding and will never forget those precious moments. It wasn't until after my own wedding in 2005 that I began creating my bridal line of CafePress designs. I remembered how, although my sister's wedding was in the fall, she did not use fall colors. She had always wanted Blue and Lavender so, that's what she used! I was also adamant that the details of my wedding, big and small, be reflective of who Kevin and I were during that time, and not be influenced by some arbitrary rule that didn't apply to us.

The second special Fall wedding was that of my good friend Penny to her hubby Mario. I was flattered and terrified by the fact that Penny had asked me to officiate the wedding! Her wedding was in beautiful fall colors but was deeply influenced by Penny and Mario's unique interests and spiritual beliefs. There were some grumbles from family about their non-traditional approach, but in the end, everyone was swept up in the spirit of love and celebration. Isn't that what it's all about anyway?

My bridal line is dedicated to the idea that every bride and groom should have free reign over their wedding plans. It is their special day, one that will always live in their memories. I envisioned the t-shirts and accessories being worn while dress shopping, creating the bridal registry, making favors and of course, bachelorette parties or bridal showers! I also created a line of post-wedding shirts for the honeymoon and beyond, for whenever a bride wants to relive that special day.
So these designs are for those brides that don't mind being unique and standing up for their choices (so basically all you modern ladies out there ;) For instance, my friend Corissa got married at the Renaissance Faire in full Renaissance garb! It was spectacularly original and definitely true to her style. I also know a bride who wore a gorgeous red gown! Don't let anything stand in the way of making your wedding day (or any ol' day) truly yours.
until next time,

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Witchy Jar

As promised, I have photos of a craft project today! The witchy jar I'm going to show you was inspired by many things I saw other great artists doing on For example, I love witch balls, glass orbs you hang in your window to catch bad spirits or witches (who come in the window I guess??)

I also kept seeing seed pods from sweet gum trees all over the ground as I walked Talon (my doggy). As I kid, I always called these witch balls. I imaged that a witch had captured some kind of fierce bird and magically imprisoned them in the pod, only their beaks sticking out desperately cawing and snapping.

Finally, I love the look of vintage/old fashioned/primitive Halloween decor. Here are some examples:

So, my little creation is a cross between a witches ball and a potion jar...

Inside is a black papel picado. Mine is very simple, nothing compared to the intricately cut decorations, kind of like a snow flakes, that are used during El Dia de los Muertos, Mexico's festival for the dead. The papel picado I made is decorated with silver glitter. As a side note, El Dia de los Muertos is a huge creative inspiration for me and I will be sharing more related art pieces as we get closer to that time of year (Nov. 1,2).
Also inside the jar is one of those sweet gum seed pods that I scented with some essential oils. The outside is decorated with a variety of beads, eyelash yarn and feathers. I also made special embellishments like the bat pendant and a small, stamped tag on the other side. I'm really proud of it! Just to let you in on my creative process, this poor thing took me a month to finish at least. I usually don't know what my object will look like at the end so I make it up as I go along! I rely a lot on filling my head up with images from etsy, art blogs and catalogs then waiting for whatever comes out... Anyway, I've enjoyed creating this post for you all :) Please forgive my photography, hehe. My pro-photo hubby will surely be giving me some pointers in the future!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

New Feature!

Yes! I figured it out! I added a slide show at the bottom of this page that features my favorite Crafty Curio designs from CafePress. I'm so excited! I'm working pretty hard this week at my "real" job, so I hope you will be patient with me :) Hopefully I will be able to post some interesting things before taking off for the weekend to L.A.
Thank you all for reading!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Off the Shelf: Oracles

Here is the first installment of my Off the Shelf series! I plan on taking my special, handmade treasures off the shelf and sharing them with my readers :) The funny thing is, I chose to feature a craft that I don't actually own anymore! Back in 2004/5, can't remember, I made a set of pendulums. This type of oracle can be made of many different items, a crystal, a ring, anything heavy that can be suspended on a chain or string. The item is held aloft and questions are asked of the oracle to determine which swing patterns equal "yes" and "no". For example, some pendulums swing right or left while others swing in clockwise or counter clockwise circles. All of the pendulums below were given away as gifts or for a love donation. The pics below show the points of the pendulums. They are the Oracles of Malta, Giza, Atlantis and Cypress.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Find the Crow Goddess...


Crow Goddess

This is by far my most popular Cafepress design. Crow Goddess. It has gone through many incarnations and it wasn't until I added the tattoo design and the black tendrils that it really took off. Let me share with you my thoughts and the image's backstory.

This designs is part of a series of Goddess homages. For many years, Goddesses were the foundation of my spiritual and creative life. Every goddess legend held infinite possibilities for art, ritual and fantasy. This particular image is an homage to The Morrigan, a Celtic goddess of battle, death and magic. She can appear as an old woman, a beautiful maiden and of course, a crow. She embodies the triple goddess along with other deities of Celtic lore. She knows of our deaths and can bestow great gifts on those who will acknowledge her and not run in fear or dismiss her.

It is common in the study of Goddesses to run into figures that are frightening and disturbing. The Morrigan is certainly not the only one whose realm includes death and destruction. The flip-side of this is the peace that comes with accepting death as a natural part of the cycle of life. That knowledge can be a blessing because it urges us to appreciate every moment.

I began the project of putting these deities of old on t-shirts in order to create a sort of talisman. So, on the day that you wear your Crow Goddess design, you may find that you feel more in tuned with nature, subtle forces, cycles or just your own inner strength. I really did intend to bring out the Goddess in the woman who wears this. I hope the many people who have purchased this design are enjoying bearing the title Crow Goddess.

My life is not so much influenced by Goddess spirituality at this time but I am still very proud of this piece. If any of my "Crow Goddesses" are reading this, I'd love to hear about your connection to the crows.

Until next time,


This blog is where I plan to share my crafty endeavors. Also, I'd like to showcase some of my cafepress designs. This is the perfect season for me to begin this blog. Fall! Well, almost ;) Since I live in California, we're not quite there yet! Still, Autumn, Harvest and Halloween are definitely on my mind and inspiring my work. I hope that my readers will be inspired by my art as well :)