Wednesday, August 19, 2015

MerBaby Kewpies



Having an fond affection for both Mermaids and Kewpies, I've wanted to make them for quite some time...over a year to be exact. Finally got to them a few months ago  and made this one for an upcoming class...


The subsequent ones were to be for sale and have more sculpted features. 


The tiny Kewpie puss really killed me and were super tedious to make. Kinda one of those, "what was I thinking moments". But their cuteness propelled me along.



I also made necklaces.


And more learning to swim Merbabies as well...


I was so fortunate and happy to sell out quickly and scrambled to make an entire new batch for orders. 



Lastly I made only one of another style kewpie. Lots of sculpting and mounted to wood. This little darling with her octopus friend is 18 inches alone, top of octopus to tip of tail.  


I simply adore her and her octopus and seahorse friends...she is staying with me and now graces my studio wall. 


I plan on making more in a few months after I complete my Halloween work. She makes me smile each time I look at her.


I want to thank all of my wonderful customers who adopted my Merbabies.
Can't thank you all enough for supporting me in my work.


Have a great week! Halloween is in full swing here in my studio for my upcoming shows, Halloween and Vine and Glitterfest. Hope to see you there! 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Tidying up

Last week this book popped up in my feed on Facebook. "The life-changing magic of tidying up" by Marie Kondo.



I clicked the link which directed me to a book review by a mom/author. I liked what I read and the pictures of origami like neatly folded and color graduated clothing in drawers totally hooked me. 

Like a baited fish, I quickly went to Amazon and ordered the book. On Saturday, the family was gone. Ah, solitude.  Deciding to skip my studio, I  ploppped on the couch with this book and a cup of tea. 4 hours later I was done with the book. Grabbing a pad and pen, I did what Marie recommended; writing what I envisioned my ideal home life to encompass and what I hoped to gain by putting my household in order. 

Now, I am and have always been a regular "cleaner outer" of drawers, closets, etc. having raised three boys in an 1100 sq ft, two bedroom condo for several years, helped me with organizing and cleaning things out regularly. But I still believed there was a better way. Like, who ever thought stacking clothes in a drawer was a good idea? I know I've questioned it over the years. How many times forgetting what articles of clothing were at the very bottom and back of a drawer. I swear this is what always lead to messy drawers as a teen, digging for something at the bottom. 

By 2:30, I dug into my room. Here are a few before and afters...(no pride here in showing my messy drawer!) ;-)


Before of tank top drawer above, which always ended up being my most disastrous drawer. Here is the after...


 I particularly love my organized vintage lace slips that I wear...


I really had to laugh, Marie says in her book that in many clients homes they find the most random stuff in a bedroom drawer and coins are always spread all over the house in odd places. When I started in my first drawer (the catch all drawer of my dresser) I had to laugh... 


In her book she says, how many of the "extra buttons" you save from new clothing, do you just collect. Then when you look at them, you often have zero idea of what they go to or if you even own the article of clothing any more. Wow, truth in this! 


Why oh, WHY is this stuff in a dresser  drawer? Little memorabilia from deceased family members. Sheesh, put it somewhere else where it makes sense...like with the other family memorabilia.  

When Rob came home, he dug my new way of folding so much that he cleaned out his drawers, pitched old stuff, added to my thrift store donation bags and re folded his clothes as I had. Even my daughter decided to read the book and wants to try to apply it to her messy teenage room. 

Hey, this might work after all. Wouldn't it be great to get all three of us on board the tidying train?

Sunday, it was time to tackle the bathrooms. Overall, I didn't have much to go through. But, along with popcorn ceilings, my second least favorite household thing is the UGLY metal medicine cabinets. Circa 1978. Ugh. How could I improve this eyesore and make me actually enjoy using it???


Pinterest to the rescue! All the cool medicine cabinets were either high end modern ones or cool old wood cabinets you see in vintage homes. With wood shelves and beveled glass wood trimmed doors. (Sigh) People often lined them with cute paper and did some decorative painting.  I did like the ones that used chalkboard paint on the inner door. So I thought....how about spray painting the metal, painting flowers and doing the chalkboard paint on mine? So I did...


It was really super fun to do. Really loose flower painting using Martha Stewart multi surface paint. Here it is filled...


Then I did Emily's bathroom...



The family approves and now I don't want to shut the medicine cabinets I use to despise looking inside!

Of course, Marie Kondo might scold me for getting off my tidying track, but a bit of home improvement mixed in was good. 

Next up is my kitchen and hall linen closet...goodness knows what trouble I will get into there...�� 

Monday, June 8, 2015

Kitten Volunteering


Recently while on the Rancho Cucamonga Animal Shelter website, I saw they were needing volunteers for a their Kitten Nursery. This is a brand new program. A huge effort is being made to save these little lives. They take in about 600 kittens a year, most of which need some type of care, many critical and bottle fed. Our shelter is not a "no kill" shelter, but it is a low kill one. It's clean, well run and I'm proud my city has such a place for abandoned animals. 

Emily was dying to get involved. To be honest, I thought it was something I could drop her off to volunteer for. I do after all, have a business to run. But...teens under 18 need to have an adult to volunteer with, so guess I was in in on it too. We also encouraged my mom to join us.  

Emily is considering a career with animals or environmental education and conservation, so let her get a taste of, not just the glamorous part, but all the work that goes into it. 

Here is a bit of what we did today. 

Folded 5 huge bags of towels, sheets and blankets, all donations and laundered regularly. 




We had kittens flirting with us from their pens while we folded. 



This location currently has about 150 kittens. That's a lot of cages to clean, litter to change, bowls,  bottles and litter boxes to wash.



I didn't snap pics of the dozens of teeny tiny baby bottles and nipples we washed and had to be boiled to sterilize. 


Two different colored eyes, what a love. 






I could have taken oodles of pictures, but we were working hard. 

Emily was thrilled to get to feed the younger ones. Each of the 150 kittens there needed to be weighed and their weight logged into their chart. You must sterilize things between cages and change gloves often. 



Bless the girls and vets that work there, often on their own non paid time, the volunteers they have and still desperately need. If you live in my area and can help by volunteering as little as 2 hours a week. 24 hours a day they need help. Check it out. Even if you can donate cat litter, which they ran out while there today, more had to brought to them. Or other supplies. There is a wish list for the kitten nursery on Amazon . https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/ls?lid=B6XNUK72L915&ty=wishlist

It was rewarding, we are pooped. But will do this each week until September, when kitten season slows down. 

"Be the Change" 

Love and hugs,
 Lisa and Emily!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Making Space

Been crazy busy around here...How about you?

My Man's Mom was very ill and he was off tending to her. She is on the mend, but far from out of the woods.  Prayers for her if you please.  My middle son flew the coop...again.  I gained a room...again.
We have some other, more personal things we are working through as well.  Life is full of mixed blessings, isn't it?

Last year, I taught a lot and did few shows, this year, doing the opposite.  I have signed up for 6 shows, with apps pending on 3 more. Teaching only 3 classes this summer. Plus custom orders are consistently coming in...THANK YOU!!!!

Since this means I have literally hundreds of pieces to make...AND store until each prospective show.  It was time to expand the studio space. I've created three specifically dedicated spaces for my work. (having a kid fly the coop has its upside) First, the studio you walk into as soon as out enter my house.  It is now dedicated to painting and sculpting...plus computer and business paperwork. 


I dig my giant easels covered in old paint I scored at a Habitat for Humanity Restore.







My son and I moved furniture quite literally ALL day last Friday.  Big heavy pieces.  Pretty much shifted three rooms. Sheesh, was I worn out and irritated an old wrist injury.  My tenacity pushed through and I worked my butt off all weekend, getting things shifted from one place to the other. Offloaded things on Craigslist, thrift store donation pile, vintage treasure pile to sell to antique dealers...on and on.  Advil was my BEST friend on Saturday.

Happily transformed one bedroom...Now solely for sewing and doll assemblage.



This room is FILLED with loving memories as well.  Pulling it together brought out many memories of my childhood and I shed some tears in the process.  Much of my childhood, my Mom was single parent.  It was tough on her, but she did it.  My father was never around, I lost one grandfather when I was only 8 and my other grandfather was just never the warm fuzzy type.  I was however surrounded by the LOVE of the women in my family.  Despite my father's absence, my mom maintained that we should still have relationships with his parents.  My paternal grandmother I affectionately called Dolly.  Ironically, it was her two composition dolls that inspired my working with old dolls. The lamb quilt was mine from infancy.  Made my a family friend of my Dolly.   Being the only granddaughter for Dolly, she also left me her Wedding dress. I use to put it on as a young girl and prance around in it. I Lost my Dolly to Lung cancer when I was 17. I was devastated. For years, I have kept the quilt and wedding dress in the same storage bag, now they proudly grace my Doll room.


My late husband and I made the Moon cradle for our daughter before she was born. It's now doll storage! 



Scored this craft table with baskets for 20 bucks on craigslist. I love craigslist.


My Maternal grandmother I call Nana.  We are blessed to still have her with us. I spent a couple weeks each summer at each of my grandmother's homes.  Nana worked full time, but I got to go to work with her on Thursdays, as her office was open half day and she mostly did paperwork.  I LOVED going with her on those days.  It meant helping with the filing, helping my great aunt (who also worked there) count pills in the back office (it was a medical practice).  Then Nana always took me out to lunch at her regular coffee shop and we would go shopping.  Nana was always my greatest cheerleader, we sang songs together, did crafts and she always had special treats at her house for my brother and I. She decorated beautiful cakes and every birthday growing up, she made my cake!   Both my grandmothers, my Aunt Nancy and my Mom were highly creative women, literally doing everything from decorating cakes, bead/needlework, sewing, crocheting, gardening, ceramics, all kinds of arts and crafts.  I was always encouraged to dream and create, each of these women giving me lessons, tools and extra scraps & jewelry baubles of this and that to use.  None of them made their livings at art/craft. But SO much of what I do today,  can be attributed to each one of them encouraging my imagination growing up.  This room is dedicated to them. Though it was very painful to grow up without a Father, I cannot imagine life without the strong, independent women who influenced me and still do.

The Teddy Bear was my Mother's as a child.  As were all the little dollies in the basket. The yo-yo clown made by a patient, gifted to me by my Nana.


The Fairy was gifted to me by my Nana, I LOVE her!!!


The shoes were my eldest son, Brandon's. 


These were Dolly's Dolls, she called them Big Sister and Little Sister. I had them restored by a doll hospital.  Still in their original clothes from the 1930's. 



My garage is dedicated to storing art for upcoming shows, for soldering and doing wood/plaster work.  Life is GOOD and I am grateful.  Never underestimate the power you have at forming lives, encouraging your children, the young people that cross our paths and even our peers/friends.  NEVER lose sight of your dreams and always strive to be the BEST version of YOU that you can be.  Have a beautiful day!!!