I received this picture from the woman who bought my tin map. Her original intention was to gift it to someone but it turned out she couldn't part with it. I couldn't be happier to see it here and to know that someone loved it too much to lose it. What's better than hearing that about something you made?Pretty stoked about 2014.Onward.
Have you? It's definitely spring here in Western PA (I saw some House Sparrows doing-the-do this morning so I know it's true) and we're all coming out of hibernation and greeting the new season. A few Spring Cleaning items: last weekend was Craftin' Outlaws in lovely Columbus, OH. Thanks to Megan and everyone for putting on another great show. I will be at the Mt Lebanon Earth Day event this Saturday to celebrate. Stop by my booth to say hi and feed some mealworms to my hens. It goes from 11-3 at Main Park. I will be adding some new pieces from my tin series to my etsy shop later today. This one is already there: Lastly - I designed and printed a 5x7 piece featuring a Great Horned Owl. I am going to be selling the print and a portion of the proceeds from each sale will go to Wildbird Recovery Center. Details to come in the next post. Onward.
Thank you to everyone who stopped by to say hello and meet the girls at today's Mt. Lebanon Earth Day Festival. I loved seeing so much excitement over keeping backyard chickens. Also wanted to show everyone the three gorgeous eggs that the girls laid as soon as we got home. It was hysterical to see them dart from the crate, across the yard, into the hen house and up the ramp into their coop. And then, like, magic, these:Please don't hesitate to contact me with questions about chickens. I will do my best to answer or direct you to great resources. Email foxbury [at] mac dot com.
OK - I am NOT tooting my own horn, here. I don't like to do that and I cringe when other people do it. What I'm talking about here is the loveliness in something - anything - that is so clearly made by hand. Yes, I did some illustrations for Wendell August but their artisans turned them into something really worth putting on your tree. I was happy with the photos I saw in their catalog and online but when I received the samples in the mail this past week, I loved what I saw. You can tell, looking at each ornament, that someone - a real, live person, touched every piece of pewter and softened the rough spots and polished the surfaces. Each piece is stamped on the back and - gasp - the stamps aren't uniform! I love it. I am so thrilled to be a part of this great group of people in Western PA that appreciate the value of the handmade.
Contrary to what this blog would make you think about our lack of progress on the house we have been working like crazy. Our recent big project was a hen house for our girls, Chunky Penny, Lady Whistle and Ms Jackson.Naturally before building a hen house we thought we should go ahead and tear out the non-retaining retaining wall that the previous owners "built" out of broken bricks and concrete blocks. Here's a quick BEFORE shot to make you see just how heavenly our back yard looked when we moved in:FULL DISCLOSURE: the yard didn't look this nice when we moved in. I took this the morning we started the new retaining wall which was just a couple of months ago. Since we moved in we added the butterfly bush and the rain barrel that will eventually catch the run off from the garage.Anyhow - after a day of building the wall and learning that our next-door neighbors are really amazing, wonderful and generous (even moreso than we previously suspected) this is what we had to look at: The next step was to build the hen house. Little Brother Anthony arrived (in jorts) to aid in the construction. We made a ton of progress that weekend and then promptly walked away from the project for awhile due to work, travel, etc. You can see by the change in attire and the leaves on the trees how much time passed.TIME WARP:This is much nicer to look at, no?Now the girls live out there as happy as can be. I love to look it every day as more leaves fall and it settles in to look like part of the landscape.This project would not have been possible without the help of friends and family who donated time, supplies and food. I feel like I'm dedicating a book. Huge thanks go out to Anthony for jumping in and getting us moving on the construction; to Sierra and Tommy for helping to engineer and build the wall; to Ton and Sonja for lunch, tea service, gravel and dirt moving and all around moral support (and for giving birth to Sierra all those years ago); to Tammy, Barbara, John, Eric and Jan - neighbors who donated scrap lumber, chicken wire, shovels, etc.; to Dad, Kate L, Terry, Natalie, Cliff M and Janice D for donating license plates; to Mom for hanging out with Whistle and most of all, to Steve, who continues to indulge every crazy whim I get.I am so happy to have built something for the hens to live in that makes our home a more interesting, fun place to live, with the generosity and kindness of so many people involved. My heart swells.
Wendell August Forge is America’s oldest and largest forge, producing hand-wrought ornamental metalware and elegant giftware in aluminum and other metals since 1923.It's here! I've been working with Wendell August since early this year and I'm excited and proud to announce the first launch: Gifts from the Sea. A hearty thanks goes out to Hilary Meurer for hooking me up with the great team at Wendell August and making this collaboration possible.The first step was to create a thumbnail sketch for a 9x12 piece of art featuring shells and their names. Below is my sketch.And here is the final illustration:From there the craftsmen at Wendell August made their magic happen and hand-hammered the design to create a mold from which to cast the products in the collection. I am going to head up north soon and take the tour of the factory and learn more about the production but in the meantime their website says this: "This process includes Die Engraving by a master engraver, Material Selection and Cutting, Repousse (Hammering), Surface Anvilling, Edging, Carbon Coloring, a three step polishing process, and Forming. "I am thankful for the opportunity to work with Wendell August as so few things seem to be made in America anymore, let alone made with care by artists and craftsmen who love what they do and take pride in it.Today feels good.
Oh, little orphan blog. I haven't forgotten but I have been wrapped up in living. Whistle and I took a week-long trip to New York and upon our return I jumped into preparing for the National Stationery Show next month. And Spring is springing so I'm constantly outside checking out the progress of the perennials.The sort-of-secret project I was working on is coming to fruition and I hope to have some new photos and info about that soon.I also swear that we have been making progress on the house. I just have been terribly remiss at posting pictures. Well, actually I've been remiss at cleaning enough to take pictures. No sooner than we get a room "done" we fill it with our messy life.So - thanks for your patience and I swear to get busy on this soon. In the meantime, some NYC photos.Whistle took this one.(and this one)
Opening Friday, NOV 19, 2010I am busy busy busy getting ready for my upcoming show at Wildcard in Lawrenceville. I am collaging and sanding boxes and burning screens and mixing ink and printing and repeating. And repeating. And repeating. I am so thankful to Rebecca and Brian for giving me this opportunity.Now, back to work.More details and photos (maybe NOT from my phone?) to come. Until then...
Recently a super terrific woman contact me through my etsy store and asked if I would be open to creating four "boxes" for her son's room. The jumping off point was this print:She requested that I use this and another illustration of a tractor that I had already done. Additionally she wanted a hay truck and a hay squeeze. "Oh sure, a hay squeeze," I said. Of course. A hay squeeze. Who doesn't know what a hay squeeze looks like? I could draw one from memory, with my eyes closed - like those art class exercises where you had to do "contour drawings." But fret not, Fox, she was kind enough to send me some photos of the very hay squeeze that her husband drives.I loved this project. I was super bummed to package them up and ship them off. But just last week she sent an email and said (and I'm for real quoting - hope she doesn't mind) "they are perfect! My son and husband are completely mesmerized with them."I am blushing.14"x14" screenprints on wood. Four coats of varnish.
A woman asked me to create this for a friend's baby shower. I get so excited when strangers contact me. I think I've mentioned before that of course I love when family and friends show their support but somehow, when it's someone I don't know, I feel like "they must really like my work...not just pretend to since they know me." Terrible thought, I know. I can't help it.Anyhow, I loved doing this piece. Thank you for asking for it, great customer. Now I need to do a bunch more because my stores are pretty well cleaned out and what remains is looking a little stale to me. Tell me to get on it, will you?
Merry Christmas to you!Please take a moment in this hectic holiday season to place a memory in a Moment Jar. I am so honored to have been included in this wonderful collaboration (in its eighth year!) with some of my favorite people on the planet.Have a wonderful holiday with your friends and family.
Got the burst of Spring Fever energy I needed and I started two new pieces this past week. I have the ink work done and now I'm just mulling over colors. I got so lucky this week, too. A "customer" bought SEVEN pieces from etsy! "Customer" sounds so lame. I consider this person a friend now. I might invite her to my kid's third birthday party, I like her so much.
Anyhow, as great as it is to sell seven pieces (I still can't believe it) it certainly cleans me out and make my etsy and supermarket storefronts look especially bare. Thank God for the burst of energy... Here's a quick snap from the phone camera. I have to admit that I quite like the quality (or non-quality) of the phone pics. I hope to have them painted and varnished and posted by the end of the week.
I am so stoked to report that I coated my first screens in my rinky-dink, basement darkroom this afternoon. The boy is asleep and it's snowing and the time seemed right to mix up the photo-emulsion and get to it. Hopefully this portends an avalanche of inspiration and printing! A great friend came by today with her girl and a box of cinnamon rolls. We spent a couple of hours watching the kids try each other on for size. She asked me to do an assemblage piece for her brother's 40th birthday. It is so great to be asked to create something "for the man who has everything." Thank you for your support! Off to enjoy the snow.
Drew White is an AMAZING painter and great friend. He's been working like a dog curating shows in Orlando, Florida. He just included me in a show last month. It just came down last week and I'm happy to have a few of the pieces back (and super happy to have sold a piece!). Thank you, Drew. Check out Drew's site here. Here is one of the pieces that came back to me (which is a gift to my awesome husband). More images to see on my flickr site and stuff for sale on my etsy site.