Friday, May 22, 2015

Let the Celebrating begin....with an ETSY sale!

Gorgeous spring day....Getting ready for the Memorial Day weekend with LOTS to celebrate!  Our remodeling project is showing light at the end of the (very) noisy tunnel....Ollie still has feathers....good medical test results...SO many birthday greetings today...SO much to celebrate!

And what better way to celebrate with all of you than to offer special sale prices in my ETSY shop!
ALL my original art dog, cat and wildlife note cards are 25% off!  WOW....

Take a peek..... www.sweetpetatoes.etsy.com 





Hint:
There's a lot more items in addition to the note cards (scrapbook kits, hand painted silk ties, etc). so scroll all the way through to see them all....

And have a safe and happy holiday weekend!  Blog hopping with Linnie Blooms and Stampendous next week...stay tuned!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

It is SUMMERTIME in Craft Chicagoland! Just in time for Mother's Day.....

Hi all!

Warm weather has finally arrived this week here in Chi-town....which means it is summer outside.  Yay! We kind of bypass spring here and usually go right from winter (which has been waaaaaaay too long again this past season) into the toasty warm summer temps.  With rain mixed in, of course. And everything blooming on hyperdrive and all at once.



Both of these events address the reasons I haven't posted in the past week or two.  Yes, I've opted to spend the time outside instead of inside on my computer blogging. (Can you blame me after the winter WE just escaped from?!).  It's been so amazing not wearing winter gear (heavy coats, hats, gloves, the works) and breathing in air that doesn't burn my lungs.  So yes, I have to say opportunities to walk outside have definitely trumped computer time indoors.

If you don't suffer from seasonal or other environmental allergies, this next reason probably won't really resonate with you.  Basically, it's been tough to see clearly through itchy, watering (and very irritated) eyes.  Whatever I'm mainly allergic to every spring was apparently mega-dosing the past couple weeks. Even with windows closed as much as possible, both humans and dogs brought pollen and other allergens right into the house each time anyone stepped outdoors for even a few minutes. Staring at a computer monitor had to be limited to "deadlined" projects and  necessary tasks.

The misery lasts until it rains and washes much of the mess out of the air and keeps it trapped on the soggy ground.  Which happened yesterday evening so....here I am!  Perhaps relief only for a day, but I'm enjoying the respite, nonetheless.

HOWEVER....allergies and outdoor fun has not stopped me from creating new art or crafting new projects! Or creating a sale in my Etsy shop!  25% off ALL original art dog, cat and wildlife note cards!  Visit www.sweetpetatoes.etsy.com to visit my shop.  Lots of items listed...from scrapbook kits to handcrafted one-of-a-kind silk ties.

If you have not done so yet, please drop by www.mixedmediaart.net and take a peek at my debut article on the blog.  It is under the Product Review Section but you can just search on top under my name Gail Green and the article will pop up.  Or try this direct link......http://www.mixedmediaart.net/?s=gail+green

And, in the spirit of the season, here's one of the projects in the blog article....


I also have another project posted on the Linnie Blooms Design Team Blog....it's pretty cool so take a jog over to that site, as well... www.linnieblooms.blogspot.com

For more info on Linnie Blooms products, visit their website.


Another article will be posting sometime next week...

Have a Happy Mother's Day!




Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Faux WatercolorCanvas Bookmark

Faux Watercolor Canvas Bookmark
By Gail Green

Welcome to the Linnie Blooms Design Team Blog Hop! A link list appears at the end of my project so you can continue hopping and leaving comments to win a prize....$50 worth of Linnie Blooms products!  WOWZA!


And now...here's my project!

My NEW attractive bookmark project is truly a functional work of art! 


This clever design includes a canvas feather to hold your reading spot.  Simply place the bookmark behind the page and slip the feather over page! 




MATERIALS USED:

Linnie Blooms Canvas Bookmark and Canvas Leaf Shape, Bloom Stencil/Mask, Shabby Trim (green)

Kreinik #16 Braid #5520

Sakura Micron PIGMA 08 Waterproof Pigment Ink Pen

Plaid Decorator Glaze (Linen, Aqua, New Leaf, Bluebell, Lemon Yellow, Paprika, Neutral); #12 Flat Paintbrush

Misc: Toothpick, Embroidery Needle, Button

Note: Use Neutral  Glaze to blend or soften colors, as desired.


INSTRUCTIONS:

Stroke a smooth coat of Linen in center of bookmark. Apply Aqua and New Leaf side-by-side on brush. Using a vertical stroke, quickly brush paint onto bookmark, using Neutral to blend and extend drying time. Stroke Bluebell along bottom edge and dab along the top edge; blend into the other colors. Dry.





Place stencil over bookmark, 1/3 from bottom edge.




Brush or sponge Lemon Yellow in center, blending a small amount of Paprika along edges. 





Place straight stencil edge in center of shape, as shown. Using the toothpick, draw a line across to establish a horizon. 



Working quickly, use long loose strokes and blend down to create reflection. Dry several hours






Add Lemon Yellow and Linen to brush and brush up into the sky. If desired, dab additional layers of Linen and Yellow to Sun section above the horizon line. Add swirling lines of Line and Lemon Yellow in the reflection below the horizon. Dry several hours.


Paint the feather Aqua; add Bluebell along the edges. Dry several hours. Write phrase and draw feather lines with pen.  Attach the feather and button to the bookmark with cord. Place Shabby Trim bow as shown and secure with cord. 




















Keep Hopping! Return to the Linnie Blooms blog http://linnieblooms.blogspot.com until I can get all the Design Team links checked and added!

Here's the list of participating designers and their direct links:

Gail Green   (You are here)
Don’t forget to leave a comment on each blog so you can be entered into our giveaway!




Monday, April 20, 2015

Linnie Blooms BLOG hop on WEDNESDAY!

Attn all mixed media artists, crafters, stampers, painters....and creatives!

Watch for WEDNESDAY!

Linnie Blooms Blog Hop begins....

Prizes!  Prizes!  Prizes!

All you have to do is comment on my blog to be entered....so check back on WEDNESDAY!


Friday, April 10, 2015

More Ollie the Monkeyman Stories!

It's time for another Ollie story!

Ollie is a male red-side Eclectus parrot who LOVES crafts, watching me create art, feeding the dogs (and playing with their toys...aka stealing their toys), whatever we are eating...and music!

He also talks.  I mean talking as in actual communication using appropriate sounds and/or human words/phrases.  Most people who do not know birds well assume that talking birds just mimic words and have no idea what they mean.  Intelligent parrots like African Greys and Eclectus, however, are capable of actual appropriate use of words--which are sounds--and other sounds to communicate their thoughts, needs, and feelings.

For example, Ollie learned a long time ago to imitate the sound of a dog squeaky ball and use that sound to convey happiness. He will always make that squeaky ball sound whenever we turn on the shower and ask him to step up so he can be transferred onto his perch inside the shower stall and enjoy a bath.  He spreads his wings wide and allows the water to thoroughly soak his feathers during his bath.  When I tell him to step back onto the perch (so he won't get soap or shampoo on his feathers), he will immediately step back and up onto his perch.

HOWEVER....if he just HAD a bath the previous day and doesn't really need another one, he will not make that sound.  He'll go into the shower with us to keep us company and enjoy the higher humidity, but won't spread his wings or attempt to get wet.  And no squeaky toy squeal of delight!



After his bath, I place one of his small towels around him, dry him off for just a moment and then replace him and his perch into the bathtub where he then listens to country music and preens himself in the sun streaming in the window. He sings to the music, then takes a nap.

 Hopefully it will finally warm up so the windows can be open and he can once again enjoy full spectrum light!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Trends, Colors and other Predictions

Whew...it has definitely been a busy, busy trade show season!  I've personally attended three shows in three industries over the past three months (Craft & Hobby, Gift and Home + Housewares).  And, while I didn't attend the Atlanta Gift Show myself, my licensing agent did....so I had to create new art collections for her to present, simultaneously with my getting prepared for everything else !

One of my favorite things about trade shows is spotting and/or validating trends. This can include overall design themes (like chalkboard or Steampunk), image specific themes (such as owls or forest creatures) or color palettes.  Not sure how or why, but I've always had a weird ability to "feel" trends coming in way ahead of the curve.  All of a sudden I'll have an overwhelming desire to use colors I normally don't use or combine...or want to ONLY paint certain images or themes.  I may not catch every trend or color palette because some colors or images I just don't like naturally, but when it is a major shift, I'll pick it up light years ahead of when it actually appears.

This odd trait surfaced when I was fairly young. In fact,my first memory doing this was when I was a teen.  I was a student at the Junior School of the Art Institute of Chicago and in the downtown area every Saturday.  After class, I would stay down in the city for hours, either exploring museums, enjoying the city or looking for other visual inspiration.  Or, I'd do what any other normal teenage girl would do....SHOP!

Those shopping excursions, of course, eventually took me down Michigan Avenue (or "the Mag Mile", as we native Chicagoans call it) and into all the trendy high end stores. I'd see the latest trends, the newest designer fashions, and soak in colors and fabrics and everything I could!  And that's when it started.

Before the internet and instant access to what retail stores carried, we had to make trips to stores to see everything.  Shopping malls or strips didn't really exist either.   Except for limited catalogs, we couldn't order things, have them delivered and then return them if they didn't fit.  We had to actually GO to the stores.  And, sometimes  we had to make countless trips to store after store during specific times of the year for certain types of purchases...like winter boots or matching accessories.  Individual stores only carried what they could put out on their shelves and keep in their back rooms.  Mass market merchants didn't exist except as department stores like Marshall Fields, Sears, etc. There were no Targets or Walmarts. We also couldn't compare sale prices online. And discount sales only occurred at specific times of year.

It was a different world. Fashions and trends moved much slower because we literally couldn't see everything instantly.  Taking public transportation to and from shopping was time consuming so all seasonal shopping took longer.  Which leads me to how I first discovered my ability to sense trends before they even appeared.

I wanted a pair of fashion boots.  But I had a VERY specific look in mind.  I wanted a pair of boots that came up to or over the knee and folded in a cuff.  The styles at the time were lower or mid calf and absolutely nothing had a cuff.  So I started my search late summer when  fall fashions started appearing. And found nothing.  I continued my search all fall.  I found nothing even remotely resembling what I wanted so I gave it up for that year.

Next summer, I started the process all over again.  What had started as a simple search rapidly became a frustrating and impossible waste of time.  Now I was getting mad. I really WANTED  boots in this style!  But, since I also needed boots for the practicality of wearing boots, I eventually gave up, caved in and finally bought a pair of fashion boots as tall as I could find them...without a cuff.

The following summer, high boots with cuffs--exactly as I had envisioned them...in the colors, styling, etc--appeared in ALL the high end shoe stores on the Mag Mile.  They were ALL the rage in fashion that year!  Of course, I never got a pair because I had spent all my money the year before.  That's the irony.

It's up to you to decide whether I had actually sensed this big fashion trend or whether someone had listened to this persistent artsy looking teenage girl when I kept reappearing at the shoe stores asking for tall boots with cuffs.  Either way, I knew this was all a bit too coincidental.

Over the years, I've identified many trends and color palettes before they were apparent to most. Finding paint or fabric in the right colors has always been frustrating because I am always SO far ahead of the curve when a major color shift is about to happen.  I had already called out the travertine palette  and was redecorating my home long before it was announced 3 years ago by the Pantone Institute... but  I'm still currently OBSESSED with this palette, along with the incredible subtleties of travertine, gray and all the neutrals.

Don't worry.  I'll let you know when the next major color shift is happening. It will be obvious when I can't find anything in it.


Friday, March 13, 2015

Introducing....Ollie the Monkeyman!

For those of you who may not already be familiar with my "Ollie" stories, let me explain.  Ollie is a 5-1/2 year old Eclectus parrot who LOVES, LOVES, LOVES crafting and all things artsy, colorful and creative.  Not sure if it is the positive energy I give off when creating and creating art--or the sheer fascination he has watching things happening--but Ollie is at his happiest when he can watch creative things going on.

Lately, he has taken on new responsibilities. One of his new jobs is to tease Lacy Lulu, our 7 month old Border Collie puppy.  Like all "siblings", each wants to have what the other has.  In Ollie and Lacy's case, that means food and toys. Each, of course, will immediately grab the other's toy(s).  Ollie has also discovered how much fun it is to reinforce training the puppy by saying "Good boy!" when Lacy obeys a command and will often drop tasty bits of food off the side of his feeding station (aka the kitchen island) on purpose just to each her eat them up. Sometimes his enthusiasm goes a little into hyperdrive, however, and he will (literally) empty his entire bowl over the edge, one piece at a time. Maybe that is just his own way of expressing himself creatively!