Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Henrietta the Butterfly

As some of you who follow me know, I rescued a monarch butterfly as it eclosed from its chrysalid two weeks, four days ago. She was deformed, probably from a parasite called OE. She had an abnormality on her abdomen and deformed wings.  

I've kept milkweed in my garden for years now and have had my fair share of monarch watching and even had a monarch nursery in my back yard the first year. Since then, I've let nature take her course. 

But, seeing this little butterfly drag herself across my patio after watching her chrysalid on my garden hose for 2 weeks, I felt compelled to not leave her to  the elements and predators. So, I brought her indoors and named her Henrietta.

In this photo her wings look ok, except for the left wing tip. But her lower wings were always a bit crumpled too.

I fed her fresh flowers daily, watermelon, strawberry and fresh milkweed several times a day since it wilted fast. 

She lived behind my lace curtains on my desk in my studio. Every night she climbed the curtains and slept. In the morning, she would be waiting on the windowsill, I swear, just for me. Waiting for her fresh flowers that she would jump right on to eat. 

As the days progressed, her most fragile wing broke. After watching a video on YouTube and reading different monarch websites, I did a wing replacement. Ugh, I was nervous. Had to use a different species wing that I had on hand from a dead butterfly found in my grden once. It looked pretty for a little bit and totally invigorated her. She tried to fly more. Which only made the wing break again. 

As the days progressed. She kept eating and her wings kept falling apart. But she kept eating. So as much as I felt sorry for her, watching her try to flap vigorously, she kept eating and seemed content. Well, as content as one can tell, since I don't speak butterfly! 😊

Today she ate all day, climbed the curtain. It's been over cast and started to thunder outside this window. She started to act oddly. Then her wings folded inward and she stopped moving. 

So I picked her up. And said goodbye as her little Antennae twitched. Until she stopped moving.  

 Some Might say, really? You did this for a butterfly? Well. In Mexican tradition, the Monarchs bring with them the souls of the departed during the celebration of dia de los Muertos.  In many cultures, butterflies have significant spiritual meaning. They signify transformation and change. I am currently trying to go through some personal transformation myself and truly feel she was here to help me with this. 

I painted Henrietta and started an illustrated story about her. 

I learned some things while tending this delicate life. Taking time to stop and observe Henrietta the butterfly, closer than I ever have been able to observe a monarch before.  Being reminded about how even the smallest life can and does matter.  The job these pollinators hold in our world. We are more dependent on them, than you realize. That despite her being disabled, and disfigured...she had a place of honor and value.  As I believe all living beings do. 

I'll never forget these few short weeks, tending this beautiful little broken butterfly. It's been special and she will be immortalized into a children's story I hope to have published one day. 

Fly on Henrietta. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Franken Marie

Franken Marie is ready for the Monster Mash Ball!

This doll has some amazing little sculpted details. From the mouse and skull on her cakes, to the bats in her hair. 

Incredible attention to detail has been done in creating her. 

I love the playfulness of this piece and I LOVE Halloween! 

She is the only one available and is SOLD.

Thank you! 

Custom Marie's

Since making my first pink haired Marie a few years ago and this revamped one last December, I've taught two classes and made about 30 of them. (Actually, it's probably more, but I lost count)

These are my last two: 

A Gothic Victorian Marie.

I loved doing this black lacy Marie! Adding the red and gold accents were just too fun and her headpiece is my favorite element!  This is for a dear client of mine who collects my work and is getting married soon. I bet she looks a lot like this as her wedding is Gothic Victorian! Can't wait to see her wedding  pics! I believe this little girl will be on display at her nuptials. 

The second Marie is a gift from a mother to a daughter. A housewarming for her first apartment. Her daughter is a fan and follows my work. She knew exactly what she wanted. A pink and blue Marie with a tiny ship and a swan. 

The tiny ship is a vintage Cracker Jack charm that I delicately repainted. It's perfect!

The swan is sculpted of polymer clay and black details hand painted. 

I just adore these dolls and making them. It is such an honor they have r resonated with my customers and fans! 

Just finished a few seasonal pieces that will be available as custom orders or in class format at my studio. 

I will also be making just tiny cakes that will be for sale, so stay tuned on that! 

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Paints and Pinterest

Storing paint in ones studio is often a challenge. Especially tube paint. It doesn't stand upright. Gets shifted and buried in bins, etc. then you have to dig for colors. Ugh. Waste of time. 

After seeing this on Pinterest...
I knew I had to recreate it in my own studio. So, to the sideyard I went. A few years ago, I trash picked this fence piece. It was in my garden for awhile with an assemblage junk angel I made on it. 

But in my classic fashion, I tired of the angel and disassembled it...saving the fence piece for a future project. 

Voila! The future had arrived!  After blowing every tiny spider and web from every nook and cranny. My honey attached it to the wall. 

I even used the flowers sign from the garden angel and made the "just paint" sign. The little plastic paint palette
was one of my first ones from 20 plus years ago. I liked the dried colors and just used it as decor. Plus the paint use to adhere to those older plastic palettes different than the newer ones. 

I'm super duper happy with this! Here is how it looks in my studio overall. 

Now...I'm off to finish that sweet coyote painting for a client. Thanks for stopping by and go make one of these for your space! 

Xo, Lisa

Friday, July 22, 2016

Making videos

I'm finally joining the world of online teaching! Yay! After many years of procrastinating, or maybe Just the fear of the ensuing learning curve I would have to embrace. I am in the midst of recording my first video.  While doing this the past few days, I've learned more than a few things and laughed along the way. Thought I'd share some levity with you!

Recording oneself for an online class might just be one of the funniest things I've done (sad, huh?) but then again, being able to laugh at oneself is a good thing, right? After calling the stepson to ask the stupidest question and have him point out what should be the obvious. Duh!,, The following are some thoughts, musings, etc:

#1 Use good lighting 

#2 not such good lighting that I look more washed out than my pasty white skin already makes me. 

Which brings me to...

#3 Oh my gosh woman, go put more makeup on. Don't you remember your high school thespian days and what stage lights do to you?

#4 NO horizontal stripes, "I think these stripes make me look even fatter, crap now I have to go change)  

#5 Make a script and try to memorize said script (unless you are good at shooting form the hip improvisation) I clearly am not as spontaneously clever as I thought. Hmpf

#6 wow, I look old! Oh well. Move on, no camera around is going to turn back that clock.

#7 record, watch, laugh, delete, record, Curse, watch, laugh, delete some more

#8. My dogs wonder what is going on, though they should be use to me talking to myself 😉

#9. Camera angles. Thank goodness for a joby, it can cling to anything. Even the dogs squirt bottle, propped up on a stool on top of the workbench. 

Wow, I'm so professional.

#10. I now clearly understand why there are lots of blooper reels. I could make my own.

Anyway, needed a little break from the insanity to share my insanity with you!

Back to recording! See you soon, in a online class perhaps.

Xo, Lisa

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

A new Marie Antoinette class

Last year, I thought I'd totally phase out dolls from my work. To concentrate solely on painting. But a dear customer of mine pleaded for me to make a new Marie Antoinette class since she missed the last one. At first I struggled with it honestly. But thought, "come on, Lisa" have fun with this. 

So away I ran with it. Spinning on the "let them eat cake" theme. Which by the way, Marie Antoinette never said. I thought, "let's eat cake" because....heck. Who doesn't Love cake?!?! 

So here she is, big hair and all! I plan on doing this design all year. (Think Marie la Mer or Halloween Ball Marie) 

My first class on Feb 6th sold out. I have a few spots left for my March 12th class here. 

The Marie's can be done with different color hair too! 

The cakes are super fun to make too!