See My Work with Patty Lakinsmith for the ISGB/Bead and Button Convergence Exhibit

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What Inspires You ?

I'm always curious about what inspires artists. There's plenty of inspiration around, if you just know where to look! I take my inspirations from nature first, and my surroundings second, and sometimes - in fact, often - from other artists. I don't copy, mind you, just interpret things in my own, warped way.

This year I was blessed with a fantastic Eastern European river cruise down the Danube. So much inspiration, my camera was hot,hot, hot, just trying to keep up. The architecture was magnificent, but oddly, I found my greatest interest in all the graffiti I saw. Some of the towns were war torn and depressing on first sight, but the graffiti was a welcomed splash of color in a mostly gray area.

My latest designs, soon to be featured in my Etsy Store, relect what I saw - or at least my own interpretation of it.

Take a look!

I'd love to hear from you about where you get your inspirations for what you create!


Sunday, June 5, 2011

FEST Giveaway!

It's Giveaway time again!

Our lucky June Winner will have an opportunity to select one item from either of Carrie's Shops - HappyLittleMonkey or MonkeySeeMonkeyDo. Carrie is a Florida native now living in Tallahassee. She creates wonderful products for kids with practicality, utility and parents in mind.

HappyLittleMonkey specializes in great baby gifts and you can choose a Premium Swaddling Blanket and Burp Cloth Set from this Shop similar to this lovely blue, aqua and white blanket combo as your Giveaway.

MonkeySeeMonkeyDo features items for bigger kids, from age 1 to around kindergarten and growing. Or select as your Giveaway, an Appliqued Shirt from this Shop. Here's an example of Carrie's special designs.

Carrie spends hours searching for just the perfect materials and fabrics for her fabulous creations and, in addition to the Giveaway, if Team FEST members purchase a Swaddling Blanket Set by July 4th, Carrie will monogram the blanket or burp cloth FREE when FEST members use the code GOTEAMFEST in the comments.

HOW TO ENTER: Enter to win by visiting Carrie at either or both of her Shops HappyLittleMonkey or MonkeySeeMonkeyDo or any of the FEST Team members listed in the Member Section. Find your favorite item, share it with us and tell us why you love it. Remember to add your email address so we can contact you if you are the Winner! Winner picked on 07/04/11. Simple and Easy!

About the Artist:

Carrie is a stay-at-home mommy of two little ones and loves the opportunity to create great things! Her product inspiration comes from her kids, and then she create things that Moms will love too.

Carrie learned how to sew as a little girl, along-side her mother who gave Carrie her very own machine at a very young age!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Teach Them While They're Young!

Well, it's been an exciting week around the Smith household! A visit with my son and granddaughter always has me hopping! Now I know why we have kids when we're young! We "old folks" just don't have the energy level that is required with an "almost" four year old!

The wonderful thing about all that energy is that they have such inquiring minds! It's the best time to teach them! And of course, I did my best to introduce art....coloring books, stickers, and....Studio time!

During their stay, I had a couple of custom orders to finish up. My little angel, Amaya, was full of curiosity about the room that was "off limits", so I set up a little table, far from the tools and other "dangerous, don't touch" stuff, and gave her some rings with prongs I had made and a box of lampwork beads. She was so excited to be creating and her hand/eye coordination was right on! She sat there, talking a mile a minute about her creations as she fitted bead after bead onto the ring prongs. I was facinated and thrilled! How better to fuel her curiosity about what Nana makes, and start her off in the art world.

She asked about colors and wanted to know how the beads were made. I almost Skyped my friend, Patty Lakinsmith, the maker of all those wonderful beads Amaya was using, to explain the process, but didn't want to bother her and wasn't sure Amaya would really understand anyway. However, I need to mention that her favorite beads were the lil meanies that Patty makes. She thought the teeth and tongue sticking out were funny, and understood they were glass and would break if dropped on my concrete studio floor.

I read a lot of artist bios and one thing always strikes me as infinitely important. Many learned their trade or developed their interest at a very young age, at a grandparent's knee or another adult mentor who was wise enough to develop a young person's curiosity about the art. As an artist, not just a grandmother, I feel an obligation to carry that forward at every opportunity. Art needs to be cultivated and nurtured at all ages and when better than when they're young and full of questions and open to new things???

Tah Dah! The finished product! (And look at her smile!)

Ok, then...time to get back to the studio, though it'll be a little lonely now!


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