I have several spots in my home and studio where I display art from friends: art that I've bought, swapped for, received as a gift, won, you name it. It is so inspiring to look at these treasures every day. And although the hutch over my art desk is only one spot, I wanted to show it off for now, because there's some pretty fantastic stuff right there. The "Artist" canvas I received Saturday in a swap with Cindy DeLuz http://apurpledaisy.com/. I blogged about meeting her at ZNE 2008 here http://lillysoflondonish.blogspot.com/2008/08/zne-does-not-rhyme-with-halloween.html. We worked out a swap, but she worked overtime! Not only did I receive her painting, but she sent me a darling necklace and notecards to match. She is as sweet in person as this gesture, and she wrote me a very special card and message on the back of the painting. I think I'll only have to remember what she said to find my muse.
The darling poppet box with the pointy hat is by Mica Garbarino of Garboodles Soup http://garboodles.blogspot.com/. She used a tiny porcelain doll head, which she is practically famous for, and the box she sent me says "through the open door." I think I'll go. You can find her work on etsy, and she has a totally separate store for incredible Sock Monkeys, too. She'll also be teaching how to make these darling boxes, including sewn crepe paper skirt, at the ZNE Convenzione 2009 in April-May http://www.znecon.com/, so I'll get to meet her then. The box I sent her is here http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_hmNQtEt6sZw/SIwMPByek0I/AAAAAAAACnM/Z3TVD4gObEE/s1600-h/moremariesmica+001.jpg.
The black and white box by Iva Wilcox http://www.ivascreations.com/ I have posted before, but in the dolly-headed-box theme spirit, I just wanted to show it again by itself because it is so darling. Iva and Gina Gabriell http://www.elevenmorning.com/ will be selling their wares Sept. 13 at a fantastic show at Tinsel and Treasures in Danville, CA. If you're on that side of the world, GO!
The bottom picture is the view over my art desk in my basement studio. I have more work from friends upstairs in my "real" office, where I have not one, but two more desks! If you look closely in the picture, you'll find artwork from Debrina Pratt http://whimsicalworldoffairies.blogspot.com/, Carla Naron http://www.collagecat.typepad.com/, Elaine Thomas http://artful-spirit.blogspot.com/, Sally Jean Alexander http://www.sallyjean.typepad.com/and more, along with my newest goodies in their new home spot. For now. I like to rearrange, too, for more inspiration!
The top photos are some paper clay figures/sculptures I made this weekend, trying to use the skills I thought I'd learned in Gina Gabriell's class at ZNECon last month. It's a lot easier to make something when someone is telling you what to do each step of the way. And while these might not look too bad in pictures, I can't decide how I feel about them in real life! I know how much glue and goop I used to hold everything together. I know I tried to rush the drying and put them in the oven, forgetting that styrofoam melts, expands and will eventually explode...but apparently that takes longer than 30 minutes, thank goodness! I've already blown out my oven element once this year! Dishwasher has been out 16 days now, but that's another story.
But I digress. These paperclay peeps were fun to imagine and create, but I think I do better at decorating their papier mache or balsa wood box bases. The Halloween witch might be my favorite. I used a very old porcelain head from my new dear IRL friends Shoshannah Jennings and her husband Mike who run Hannah Grey http://www.hannahgrey.com/. They have tons of cool old doll parts, dug up from factories in Germany. Email them if you don't see the parts on their Web site. I "work" for Shosh and Mike as a member of the Hannah Grey Design Team and was lucky enough to meet them in person recently, along with a darling team member, Julee Herman. She's so pretty you want to claw her eyes out, after you find a way to steal her gorgeous hair. That's supposed to be humorous, dear reader (and Julee), because she's a doll.
These might be gifties going to fellow art friends in some upcoming swaps. You know who you are, so don't look too closely, and skip over the part where I said these might not be 100% perfect. Handmade is supposed to be heart-made, right?