Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Quilt Auction is Live!!

If you have followed my blog, then you already know about the Endangered Species Quilt that is now up for auction. In case you DON"T know about it, check out the eBay listing here and then watch the companion you tube video here.

This quilt has been a labor of love and all proceeds will be donated - 100% - to the World Land Trust for a project in the Cosanga Valley, Ecuador.

Please tune in on December 5th for the actual auction - it should be spectacular!!!

Monday, September 01, 2008

ACEO Quilt

Wow, another month has passed since I posted here last, but that's only because I've been so busy with those darn ACEO cards! I continue to post cards for sale on ebay most weeks and I try to participate in the group theme weeks and swaps. The ACEO Art Cards Editions and Originals is a very active group!

In fact, August was really busy. The month started out with our theme week, which for August was "Endangered Species". It was a great theme with a lot of interesting entries and I discovered during my own research that the Earth's Rainforests are considered endangered. They are disappearing at an alarming rate but there are groups trying to save them. One is the World Land Trust, which uses donations to buy rainforest land and keep it from being developed. Our ACEO group decided to make a donation from our Endangered Species sales to buy some rainforest land for preservation. We will be designating it to the Cosanga Valley in Ecuador.

Then the idea grew. One of our members offered to make a quilt using the images from our theme week cards and donate it to be auctioned to raise more funds. The idea really took off and she was a dynamo on making the quilt. Even better, the quilt got shipped to me this weekend to help do promotional work for the quilt auction and to do the actual listing on ebay when the time comes. It will probably go up for sale in early December.

Meanwhile, I took some photos of the quilt and made a little slide show to share with the other participants. I am the fortunate one who actually gets to see the quilt, besides Char, the quilt maker/artist. Here is the video.

Profiles of the artists can be found on the ACEO Quilt Blog. New ones are being added as each artist gets theirs composed and turned in, so keep checking back for lots of info and updates.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

catching up in July

Again, I haven't updated in a while but I have been painting ACEO cards on most days. I usually have auctions going on ebay under user ID starrgirlblue.

Here are some recent sketchbook pages. This one is about making bread - this is a great new book on making bread everyday with a very simple method that really works!

This was a "pre-determined" page in my sketch journal. When I first start a new journal, I alter some of the pages to make me think about what to do with them when I get there. This one had some torn paper and paint streaks on it.

Some ivy.

Poor mousie...

I watch lots of movies while painting ACEOs.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

52 Playing Card Deck

My goodness, I haven't posted here in a while, but that doesn't mean I haven't been busy!! I am still smitten with ACEOs - those little art trading cards that measure 2.5" by 3.5", just like official baseball trading cards. Only these are original art and if you go searching for them on ebay, you'll find a blue million of them - all creative and artistic and an absolute STEAL for the price.

One of the organized ACEO groups that I belong to on ebay has undertaken a project to make and publish a deck of playing cards. This has been a hoot to be part of! First of all, the signup for the cards took place a few weeks ago and the list of cards was filled in the first twenty minutes. Good thing for me that I was available during the Sunday afternoon signup!!

Thankfully, I got in on requesting a card and I was assigned the five of spades. I was thrilled to have an "ordinary" card and put some thought into the design. I wanted something that there would be "five" of and also something that would look good, design-wise, no matter which direction it faced. Here is what I came up with:

and here is what it will look like as a playing card...

This is just one of 54 original art cards that will be professionally produced and available for sale at ~ $5 per deck. Let me know if you would like one!!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

ACEO time of the week

I'm rather surprised I'm still going strong on the ACEOs, but I am. It feels great to come home and paint these little cards in the evening after work. I usually skip around more than this and it will soon be time to get outside and clean up the yard, but meanwhile, more cards. Here are this week's dogs.

For the link to this week's auctions, click here.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

catching up again

Well, in spite of the ACEOs that I still work on every single day (I'm totally addicted), I have made some moleskine journal entries lately. I just haven't stopped working on ACEOs long enough to get them posted! So here's some catching up of late.

Have you heard the word "copacetic"? It jumped out at me recently and I had to do a page about it.

Then, in early March, we had a most delicious snowstorm. The timing was grand - it started on a Friday, so all I had to do was get myself home from work that day. I did slide right past my street on the way home, but managed to get on home without mishap. The storm continued through Saturday and we accumulated 12" of snow on the ground. That's just plain gorgeous when you can stay inside and watch it come down. Then, on Sunday, my family arrived to help dig me out. I helped - and then fed them - and it was a grand time.

On the first day of Spring I had a nice outing with my daughter and grandkids...

Later that day I watched a fascinating documentary about ole Ben...

The full moon is always a wonder to me.

And today, of course, was an ideal spring day that I just had to write about.

And lots of ACEOs are in the works, of course. Flowers, dogs, birds...
Here are the current ebay auctions...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

you got it - more ACEOs

Well, I'm still on the ACEO bandwagon. I'm totally addicted to making these little cards and they are selling well, so that's what I am doing in my free time. This week I had to post some flowers (it IS spring after all...)
for a link to a current auction, click here.

The dog series have been very popular and I am getting requests for certain breeds. I will do those as soon as I can find references for them. Meanwhile, here are the doggies for this week:
Click here for a direct link to a current auction.

And I really do try to come up with something unique when I can. Last week it was "towers and turrets". This week it is old-fashioned iron lanterns. These things add tons of architectural interest to any building.

click here for a link to a current auction.

Thanks so much for visiting my blog and my auctions. I appreciate the wonderful messages you've all sent!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Still ACEO land here...

Well, I am falling into a pattern of producing the ACEOs. I work on them in the evenings after work and assemble the new ones that are ready over the weekend. On Monday evenings I do a five day listing of the new ones on ebay that will end on the following Saturday. I'm not selling GOBS of them, but am moving a half dozen or so per week which I think is decent in terms of what is selling. All I can say is that if people saw these in person, they would fight to buy them! They really are very NICE and very AFFORDABLE original art and worth much more than they sell for.

This week I have some more dogs - about half of my dogs sold last week. I am so anxious for the buyers to receive them and see how nice they really are.

Click here for one of the current doggie listings. From there you can click on "view seller's other items" to see everything listed this week.

Then, I have a series of Cottage Homes listed. I think they are rather unique and the sort of thing we all grow up dreaming about. Click here to get started. They really are dreamy....

I've done a couple of moleskine entries but nothing worth shouting about. Stay tuned for all the latest artwork...

Monday, March 03, 2008

and even more ACEOs

Well, when they say these little art trading cards are addictive, they aren't kidding! I've been doing nothing else for weeks in my spare time. They are selling pretty well, which is encouraging me. I truly love making art and if the hobby can spread some joy AND pay for itself, I'm thrilled. No real money to speak of, but supporting the habit is a good thing.

This week I am excited to list the first dog paintings. I adore dogs and am too allergic to have one. If you are a reader of my blog, you will know that I researched dogs over the past year and got a rescue poodle for a companion last September. After six weeks I was having life-threatening allergic reactions and had to give up my new, much-loved companion. I'm still angry that I can't have even the most loving, non-allergenic dog, but I enjoyed doing these paintings that might share my love of the critters with others.

For a link to one of the doggie ACEOs, click here.

Also listed this week is a series of Fern paintings. It is almost spring and the ferns will soon be unfurling in the shady corners of the yard. I can't wait.

Click here for one of the Fern Series. You can click on "view seller's other items to see the rest of my listings.

And finally, this week I listed a second Orchid series. Orchids are so amazingly versatile. Oh, how I wish I could grow them! There really isn't time for that right now, so I'll just have to look at pictures of them and do studies like these.

Go to one of the orchid listings here.
These things are simply spectacular!

I'd also like to thank some of my regular blog readers for coming over to ebay and actually buying my art cards! Thank you so very much for your support. I hope you enjoy the cards - I send them off to you with a small piece of my heart attached.

Monday, February 25, 2008

more ACEOs

I've spent an awful lot of time lately on making these little cards! They are quite addictive, and hopefully sale-able, so here's the latest. Doesn't this strawberry look yummy?
You can see the ebay listing here.

Maybe radishes make you long for spring gardening...

The ebay listing is here.

I also did a series of spring flowers

(ebay listing of one is here.)

And here is the first series of orchids. These are fascinating plants!

(ebay listing of one orchid is here.)

And after all that, there's more! Later in the week I'll be posting and listing another set of orchids and a full set of ferns. Stay tuned!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

couple new things today

As always, I've been busy creating some type of artwork in my free time, but it hasn't yet made it onto the blog. Lately it has been the trading cards known as ACEOs. I've got a whole big batch of them going, but I'm working assembly line style. Right now I'm painting them in the evenings and when I get the bunches accumulated, I will glue on the backs, attach the labels and scan them in to post here. Just let me say that I am getting better at this and I am excited to get the new ones posted.

Meanwhile, there have been changes at ebay. Just as I joined the ebay ACEO group to be part of the community that chats and supports each other on these little cards, ebay had changes in place to take effect on 2.20.08. Those changes are not particularly beneficial to artists and other small sellers on ebay and so a strike has been launched this week in protest. Even though I am new to the group, I did want to support the strike by not buying or selling on ebay this week. For more information on WHY the strike is happening, read this post at Mousewords. It is very complete in explanation as well as clarity and I plan to bookmark this site to read the excellent writing there.

In other news, I did sell some of my cards before the strike started and was pleased with my first efforts. Besides the ebay sales, one of my knitting friends, Hattie, was kind enough to purchase my first flower series, Alstromeria...

I am so pleased on several levels. One, Hattie is a young mother who is devoted to her family and who I know is on a limited budget. Still, she supports the arts and I couldn't be happier that she wanted my flowery art cards. Hattie is a proficient knitter that you can check out at her blog, Stitch Therapy. She also has an Etsy store, Yarnophilia, if you like yarn and roving. I am very fond of Hattie and enjoy following the masterful projects she tackles. Thanks for your support, Hattie!

So stayed tuned for more ACEOs. These little cards are addictive and I have oodles of ideas for them...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

ebay listing for the ACEOs

Well, just when I was considering listing my new ACEOs on ebay, a special came along. Today, for one day only, listing fees were reduced to 20 cents per item. Naturally, I had to snag onto that. And so, my listings are made for the recently created ACEOs. It has been a bit more work than I expected, but then again, I don't do anything half-way. I wanted good artwork, with good, sturdy backing, and I think I have a quality product to offer. If you like, you can check me out here. From there, you can click on "view seller's other items" and see the whole shebang.

Here I go again - off on yet another tangent...

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

ACEOs for Leslie

OK, here is a post for Leslie. She asked me about the ACEOs and how I am mounting them and I want to reply since it is rather interesting information.

First of all, it was suggested to me that one can buy ready-made ATC/ACEO card-size paper. I knew that and may do it in the future, but for now, I am using up good watercolor paper that I already have. I am also cutting the paper a bit oversized by 1/8" to 1/4" larger overall so that I can crop it after the original sketch/painting is done. I know this is not necessary, but I feel like it gives me a bit of leeway to correct the composition in such a small format.

And so I have a little frame cutout with an opening of 2.5" x 3.5" to position over the original small paintings to mark where to crop. After I mark those, I get the card-stock backs ready.

So far, I've tried a couple of different glue-ing methods. I bought a small Xyron machine (2.5" capacity) that makes "stickers". (It was on sale at Michaels) I also bought pre-cut card stock in the 2.5 x 3.5 size and ran those through the Xyron machine. The card stock came out perfectly sticky and I attached it to the back of the watercolor paper within the crop marks I had made. I pressed the little "packages" between stacked books to cure.

After a day or so, I took out the glued "packages" and trimmed them to size. I used a purchased punch to round the corners of each card. However, the glue seemed to come loose on some cards and the edges would separate. Bummer.

On the next round, I used YES! Glue for attaching the card stock backing. When I opened the pot of glue it was much thicker than I was expecting. I used a palette knife to swipe some glue onto each piece of cardstock and then spread it to the edges with a disposable craft brush. I placed the back onto each hand-painted card and pressed them between heavy books to dry. This glue seemed to make a better and more permanent bond and the cards came out nice and flat. I then trimmed them to size with a rotary cutter on a self-healing mat.

Meanwhile, I made a WORD document of my general info for the back of each card. It turned out to be easy to cut up the word doc and feed it through the Xyron machine (sticker maker) so that each card has the essential information on the back. Naturally, there is enough free space left for an original signature and date.

So it remains to be seen if these little pieces of art will sell. My main interest is in making a quality piece of work that will be worth the purchase price. I want the artwork to be on a good surface and have the piece secured to an acid free backing that will preserve it. So far I am happy with my efforts and will try to get the ACEOs listed on ebay later this week.


I recently discovered "ACEOs". These are an offshoot of "ATCs" (Artist Trading Cards) and stands for "Art Cards, Editions & Originals". The difference is that ATCs are based on an old tradition of artists exchanging original cards with one another and they are never made for sale. Rather, they are given to other artists as a representation of their personal work. BUT. One innovative artist, Lisa Luree, known as Bone Diva on ebay, started a movement in 2004 to sell ATCs. That required separating from the purist "trading" group and ACEOs were born. Today, more than 3000 artists list ACEOs on ebay. I am about to become one of that number.

For the past week and a half, I've been researching ACEOs and what it takes to make them. First, they are a specified size - 2.5" by 3.5". Other than that, there are no rules. They can - and are - made of anything an artist can conceive of.

Me - I'm just sticking with what I know, and that is painting. There are a lot of BAD ACEOs out there. When I see good ones, I see that they sell. People love to collect real art and this is an amazing venue for small scale, affordable, real art that you can collect and own. What is not to love about that?

My first series is a group of lemons.

and then there are some onions and some sushi - which was remarkably hard not to eat while sketching!

and flowers, of course.

It has been quite a process figuring out how these things are made. First, you paint on good watercolor paper. Then you mount the small painting to acid-free cardstock. The piece gets trimmed and a label with all the relevant info gets attached to the back. A real signature on the back along with real initials on the front completes the piece.

Now, I will list these on ebay when time permits. Hopefully I will sell this first batch and recoup my investment! Other artists can probably relate to my dilemma - I get so interested in new projects that I spend what I might have made upfront just getting involved! Yikes! Hopefully, ACEOs is a hobby that will pay for itself...

latest sketches

This sketch is from last Saturday. It was on one of the "prepared" pages of my moleskine and documents a trip to a favorite market.

On Sunday evening I watched a bit of TV and drew an EDM challenge - #156, Draw a Sandwich. I was so hungry that I ate it before I was finished drawing and had to use a bit of imagination....

postcard exchange

Recently, I engaged in an original art post-card exchange with an EDM member in England. It was so exciting to compose a postcard to her and wait for one in return. I sent mine off a couple weeks ago and today - I finally received hers! This is it! Anita checked out my profile here and found that I do love my lipstick and so that is what she drew for me. It could not be more perfect! I love love love my lipstick and even carried it in my fanny pack when I used to walk marathons. So this is a lovely, thoughtful and cherished post from a fellow artist across a mighty ocean from me. How fun!!

And this was my postcard to her a couple weeks ago. I looked for something unique to draw for her and decided on this sterling cucumber spoon from my collection. Others seemed fascinated by it, as well as unfamiliar with such a thing. Well, guess what? I also have a tomato spoon! It is a bit larger on the rounded end.

And now I will have to watch for others who want to trade artwork - it was quite fun to do and I love Anita's card.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Thursday evening

Tonight I rushed home to play with the new gouache. Flowers again.

And a page in the moleskine

the gouache came!

I was excited to find my gouache order on my doorstep on Wednesday after work. I couldn't get in the house fast enough to unwrap it! I don't have an official palette yet - I want to make one out of a small tin, so I squeezed out the three primaries and the three secondary colors into a small divided porcelain painting dish to get started. Oh - and white in the center section. Out came the onions again. The paints felt new and weird and before you knew it, I had worked the first onion to death. Even the white gouache couldn't save it. What a dark and muddy onion. Oh well...

So I flipped the onion over and tried again. This time I remembered that less is more and quit before the cause was lost.

Still wanting a top view, and by now being very familiar with this particular onion, I did another version. This time I felt more comfortable with the paint and was pretty pleased with the rendition.

Back to the kitchen to see what else I could find. Aha! A leek!

The Schmincke colors are quite brilliant! Maybe not quite as brilliant as they show on the computer screen, but very clear and bright. Very intense. I think I will like these a whole lot. And... I know that watercolor purists strive to save the white of the paper on the page for their highlights, but I just never did very well at that. I admire it when I see it, but I have to admit that I like the opaque white gouache for letting me go back and lay in a very rewarding highlight. Yum!

love that pizza!

A sketch from Monday night's dinner decision:

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

another onion

Well, I had to do this onion twice before I got loosened up and it still isn't loose and sketchy like I wanted it to be. It seems like my drawing is good and strong, but I definitely do not have control over the water paints. I start off fine and before you know it, I'm working too tightly and losing the lights. Drats.

I guess that's a case for practicing more. I'm looking forward to getting the gouache to see if I can work better with a more opaque medium. Watercolor was never my forte.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Sunday evening drawing

While the rest of the world watched the Super Bowl, I plugged in a movie and sketched. Here is EDM Challenge 141 - Draw something with Bristles

and EDM Challenge 92 - Draw a Paper Bag

Then I raided the kitchen for subject matter and painted these on Arches 140# paper with W&N watercolors:

and Onions:

I'm loosening up! I ordered some gouache paints this past weekend, so that will be something new to look forward to. Now, off to sketch.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

beginning February

A new month has begun! I sketched some fresh flowers on Arches watercolor paper. The drawing doesn't flow as much as I would have liked, but, oh well...

I had some errands to run late today and called my daughter to see if she could go with me. She almost never leaves her little ones but today she did and we had a great time - shopping and eating!

an EDM Challenge (Draw a Lemon) but I forget which one...