Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Weekend Busy time!

Step right up ladies and gentlemen! Come see the The Cosmorama of the Great Dreamland Fire of 1911! Come one come all, step right this way.

Friday night climbing the stairs into the Coney Island museum I was not quite sure what I was getting into. Lee (my husband) and I do some weird things sometime. This was billed as being a reenactment of the 1911 Fire that destroyed Dreamland in Coney Island. I was not sure how they were to reenact a fire and I was a bit concerned that the fire department was going in ahead of me. But I figured their presence was a good thing, even though they didn't have their hoses with them!

Anyway it was a really cool event. Everyone was in their vintage attire and it was sponsored by Hendricks Gin.

There was a dramatic reading of the News Paper article about the fire complete with "mouth made" sound effects. There was a contortionist. There was a puppet show with a creepy doll and then there was the Cosmorama.

Sorry no photos. I'm such a goody-goody. The signs said no touching, no photos and I listened. Probably the only person that did. But here is a diagram. I have to go back actually to see the full thing. It was just way too crowded and I'm way too short. SO really I didn't see a thing. But it is a permanent exhibit and I'm sure I'll be back at Coney next week for some event.

I joke all the time that I need a summer home out at Coney. 

I also worked on Jewels all weekend. I did a few more necklaces several more bracelets or what I am calling "art corsages" Plus I got many more in the works.

Oh! I also got the go ahead to do my pins for the Art-o-mat machines. (See earlier post) So I'll be rolling with those soon and will let you know where they go.

Here is my "Lil' Tattoo Maker" necklace. She is part of my series "The Butcher, The Baker and The Lil' Tattoo Maker"

This piece features a hand painted "Cameo" in oil with red crystals and a  red rose adornment. The charms are all "old school" tattoo items. There are swallows, nautical stars, an anchor and a stone skull all in black. There are also some vintage beaded charms for added decoration.

A few years back I got into painting big eyed Jesus. I thought I'd revisit him again for a necklace. I just love this piece! There are some vintage crosses that I found in a little town called Cool Spring New York. There are red beads representing the blood from Jesus.

Again this is a hand painted miniature oil painting. So tiny but I still put a lot of detail in. Check out the crown of thorns!

Also in view in this photo is one of my art corsages. This is a print from one of my original paintings titled "Not So White" It is made with super soft tulle, vintage tinsel and tiny velvet flowers. All attached to a vintage watch band.

Fashion note: Dress from H & M about 20 bucks. Red lips by MAC- Russian Red.

For all who have been asking when I plan on selling my jewelry. I hope to have my ETSY store up next weekend, fingers crossed. To those in Winston-Salem, I hope to send some of my pieces to Urban Artware. I'll keep ya'll posted.

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Have a happy Memorial Day everyone!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Coney Island Wind and Rain photo shoot

Two posts in one day! I know crazy.

Confession time. I spent the morning in Coney Island doing a Pin up photo shoot with my good friend Jim Poulos. Well it was raining and the wind was blowing like mad. SO my hair was a hot mess!

Anyway I had a great time. I met a new friend. Cecilia Ciamaga. She was such a dear. I do believe it might have been one of her first shoots and she was great!

After combing through the pics I decided there were several worth sharing!

Here's we are in front of the parachute jump. Here is what it looked like back in the day when you could actually take a ride. I'm sure it'd be quite a scary ride in the wind like we had today!

Next we headed to the Gazebo where during the summer they have great dance and Karaoke parties!

We decided to just a couple more shots before heading to Totonno's Pizza. They have been there since 1924! It is really great if you like thin NY style pizza. Probably the best in the boroughs. But I'm a deep dish gal. But shhhh... don't tell anyone.

Cecelia was such a looker. Even the mural couldn't keep his eyes off her!

Like I have said before... any day at Coney is a good day!

The Butcher, The Baker and the Lil' Tattoo Maker?

Well as most of you know- I like to work in themes. So for my first necklaces that I've been doing I've chosen The Butcher, The Baker and the Lil' Tattoo Maker. Cause who wants to create a necklace about a "Candle Stick Maker" after all. Tattoos are much better than candle sticks.

For these necklaces I am finding pieces and parts from all over. From antique stores, fabric stores and the web. I first find me a cameo frame then cut a tiny canvas to paint on, which I then back with canvas board to give it more structure.

After I do the tiny painting I decide how to lay the necklace out and what type of charms and goodies will tell the story.

For "Bettie the Butcher" I made my own "meat" charms out of polymer clay. Really it's Sculpy like from back in the day. But POLYMER CLAY just sounds better. I added vintage glass beads to make it quite fancy. 

Bettie the Butcher 

Bettie is complete with her bloody apron as not to mess up her cute blue frock.

So for the Bonnie the Baker piece I knew cupcakes were in order. So I got myself a tiny cup cake mold and made nearly a dozen or so cupcakes again out of Polymer clay. I chose only the finest few for this piece. Then I added vintage beads and findings. Even some silk ribbon and swarovski crystals make an appearance here.

Bonnie The Baker

So here are the first 2 in my series. You'll have to wait till next week to see the "Lil' Tattoo Maker" She is well underway and will probably be my favorite. But goodness I just don't have enough hours in the day to get everything done that I want to do.

These photos were shot in my kitchen and on the mean streets of SOHO. Normally here I'd mention a bit about my outfit I put together. But this outfit merits no mention of anything. It was Freaking Cold today. It is near June and I was freezing all day! Maybe one day spring will come!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Art•O•Mat here I come (fingers crossed)

Have you ever heard of Art•O•Mat?

Well... if not where have you been for the last 13 or so years?
Clark Whittington a good friend of mine from good ol' Winston-Salem, NC started refurbishing old cigarette machines to dispense ART instead of cigs. BRILLIANT. Read more here, he has his own Wikipedia page! 

Anyway I have participated on and off through the years. I've even painted one of the machines myself. My machine was to go to an antique store named Monkey Hill. Clark thought I'd be well suited for the job since the owner of the shop had a PUG and at the time I did too. (R.I.P. Dakota). 

The Pug at Monkey Hill supposedly had a seriously long and crazy tongue. Well, I figured this Pug needed to be in the Circus. And that was my inspiration.

The front panel features the long-tongued Pug doing an act of balancing on a ball while juggling Art•O•Mat pieces of art. The side panel features stripes and close-ups of Pugs encircled with flowers. 

Clark now has machines and artists all over the world. Check it out!

So any way I have not participate in quite some time. Till now...
With the new jewelry that I am doing I am looking for more ways to get my work out there and naturally Art•O•Mat came to mind.

Now I just finished up a batch today. I'm doing pins. I have to send in some prototypes for approval then it is just a matter of finishing up my 50 pieces and getting them to Clark to be assigned a machine. I'll keep you posted on that. I still need to design a wrap to go on my box that holds my tiny treasure.

I'll give you a brief rundown on the makings of these lil' bits.

1. I take recycled cardboard (like cereal boxes)and use one of my fancy die cuts to cut a bunch of pieces.

2. Then using old fashioned Elmer's Glue, I glue 3 pieces together. Taking care to line up the edges carefully.

3. Next I put them under something heavy to press them flat while they set.

4. I paint the backs and sides with acrylic paint at least 2-3 coats. Plus I sign and decorate each back with black ink.

5. Then I print out on archival paper from my trusty EPSON, pieces of past paintings.

6. Using my same fancy die cuts I trim out these pieces and adhere them to the fronts of the pressed boards. I like matte finish Modge Podge. Which I also use to seal and varnish the whole thing, front and back.

7. Last but not least I use some pretty ribbons from my fave trimmings shop here in the city. M and J Trimming. Wholly Molly!

8. I adhere my vintage brass pin-backs then cover ever-so-neatly with a felt dot!

Be sure to sign up to follow my blog at the top of the page so I can keep you updated on where to pick yours up when and if they are approved!

Shirt featured is from Odd Molly brand. I actually found such in Austin TX amongst all the Western Wear.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Jewelry photo shoot at Coney Island

Yesterday was a beautiful day for a shoot! The sun was shining and there were lovely little pouffy clouds in the sky.

I gathered up all my new jewelry I have been making from my art work. I hired my favorite model... Me... cause she works really cheap. I got my favorite photographer... my husband Lee. He also works really cheap. And we headed out.

The F train was as slow as molasses. I guess I was just so excited to go go go that it seemed to take forever.

First we shot my NECKLACES. Each one features a tiny oil painting. Not a print but an original painting. Vintage findings and trimmings. I have done 3 so far. Many more to come.

First we have Bettie the Butcher. Each of her cuts of meat are hand made and painted. She is going to be 1 in a series of 3, titled "The Butcher, The Baker and The Tattoo Maker." I can't wait for you to see the others once they are complete.

My next necklace is actually the first one that I did. Her name is  Sweet Bee. She is adorned with metal bees embellished with crystals, glitter trimmed ribbon rose and vintage beads. What a little gem she is.

Last but not least we have "My Dear" She has stone crosses the color of the Coney Island sea and tiny little dear shaped charms along with other beads and findings. She really is a little Dear!

About this time in the day we took a little break and had us some tacos from the taco stand on the board walk. I must say they were quite yummy!

I've also been making what I call PORTRAIT CORSAGES. These are made from prints of my original oil paintings. I print them on archival matte EPSON paper. Then I hand make rosettes out of beautiful tulle, velvet or satin. Next I embellish them with glitter, crystals or what have you. Have a look at some of these.

These are not merely just pins. These are statement pieces for sure. Tiny pieces of art that you can take with you! Here are a couple more.

So now was time to have another little break. RUBY'S here we come! We had some nice tunes on the Juke Box. They even have my favorite singer, CHRIS ISAAK, on there. What more could a girl ask for? So we took this opportunity to shoot my last piece which is a Wrist Corsage. I will be making more of these for sure, as I think it might be my favorite piece. I've taken a vintage wrist watch and in place of the watch I have places a printed painting mounted on a wooden disk. I then put resin over the top to protect it. It is then embellished with tiny vintage flowers, a ribbon rosette and vintage tulle. 

Well that is a little sneak peek at what I've been up to. Soon these little gems will be for sale. I'll probably send some to Urban Art Ware in Winston-Salem, and offer some on ETSY. So keep checking back. I will give all my followers a discount coupon for their first purchase on ETSY!

I'd like to mention a bit about the styling of the shoot...
DRESS- Daffy's- about $20
SUNGLASSES- Betsey Johnson (From Syms)- $20
PARASOL- Bagley Mischka (From Syms)- $20
SWEATER- J. Crew- $39 on sale
HAIR BOW- Anthropologie- $18.00

Well I am off... almost time to get ready for the Reverend Horton Heat tonight. No rest for the weary and I don't mind that.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Carnival inspired art through the years

I have been painting professionally for probably 8 years or so. People often ask me what I paint. My usual answer is "Creepy kids and Circus Side show People". Here are just a few Carnival themed pieces I have done through the years.