My name is Erika. I'm in love with making art, collecting old things & chasing after my two kiddos. This blog is a peek into my happy accidents & plots of total world domination.


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

a painting a day- nighty night

Last day of august? Can you believe it? This summer seemed to have passed by in a blink.  I can already tell that fall is approaching because there is a crisp cool breeze already in the air.  My favorite time to make art is in the fall because in my town you can really see the seasons change- and during the fall the leaves change from green to red/orange/yellow and you can really smell the trees in the air.  I know it's a little odd but you can smell Christmas approaching. :)
Here is the latest for a painting a day- I wanted to do an impressionistic... blurry.. scratchy.. night scene. Painting dark on dark is pretty tough because the layering of the different depths of dark. I had the most fun painting the lights. 

Oil painting on board- 8 inch by 8 inch. :)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I have the fever- the thrifting fever!

 I have come to accept that I am an avid junk collector or maybe I should call myself a junk connoisseur or maybe call it a thrift connoisseur.   I have had a love for thrifting since highschool where I used to dig in the dollar bins and rummage through my parent's attic searching for old prom dresses and old hats.  I love a good thrift because it's like finding a treasure that has been forgotten all about and the treasure found me.  Maybe I am a little bit of a sucker for a nostalgia thrift- because I love thinking about where something came from.   I have been noticing there are a ton of tv shows revolving a good junk hunt and I wanted to share with you my favorites. 
Dirty Money is the much watch if you love a good thrift. The show is about two brothers in New York City- they do everything from dumpster dive, pick up broken junk from antique dealers, and plenty of haggling.    They basically turn old junk into vintage treasures and sell it at different flea markets all over New York City.  The brothers are a little crass but they call their love for junk- the fever. So anytime they see a hoarder- they say that person has the fever.  The show is funny- and completely inspiring to fix up old junk.  My fav is when they turn a broken busted up Schwinn into the Pee-wee Herman bike.
Storage Wars- is a show about when people default on their storage locker they go up for auction. This show is completely addicting because they are all treasure hunters.  Even though they are looking to just turn the unit into fast cash.  I love seeing what's inside the units and they all make highschool jabs at one another.  A couple of cast members own thrift shops- and it's neat to see more of a whole sale end of a thrift shop. 
Picker Sisters- is a show were they go into the south and literally go through people's rusted old junk.  It's two ladies who are interior decorators that turn an old tractor chain into a coffee table.  Even though they don't do the dirty work- their business partner does- it's pretty remarkable what something can become.   The show is a little candy coated but the show has some great thrifty ideas.
Do you have the fever? 

PS- I have some DIY's and paintings coming this week. ;) Photos courtsey of Pinterest.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Well Hello There Stranger!

Where I have I been? to a place with trees, no internet, lots of paint supplies and were little pugs run free. I can't even tell you how nice it was to unplug for a few days.   We traveled out to eastern Oregon with the hubs, pups, and family members in tow. 
We saw a ton of deer while we out here and one morning I had the pups off their leashes and about 3-4 deers came by and the pups were so excited that they decided to chase the deer.  I think I ran after my dogs for maybe 1/4 of a mile before they stopped and were too tired too move.  I think they thought that they could out run a deer... :)  Well thank goodness deers don't dine on pug. I heard the deer around these parts will actually let you get close enough to feed them. 
We rode bikes, did some art projects, went hiking, and drifted in canoes.  Up above is the hub's little brother and his girlfriend.  I was nervous having my camera in the canoe because the hubs kept trying to tip the canoe and splash me with paddles.  Drifting down the river is the best in the summer time.. were you can just let your feet dangle in the water while you float and have not a care in the world.  It was such a great trip!
Can you believe it's almost September? I hope we get a bit of a long summer this year.

Monday, August 22, 2011

You & Me

Happy Monday! Did you have a super weekend? I am still out on my road trip with the hubs and family and we are having such great adventures.  I can't wait to share with you all my pictures- I have been snapping and all my little paintings I have been doing a long the way.

Don't you just love that quote above? It reminds me that there is only one me like me and only one of you like you.  I think we all get influenced by life on how we should be or should act and maybe even the green eyed monster comes out when someone else has a different set of circumstances then you.  Am I the only one who is a little jealous of the teenagers on my super sweet sixteen? :) or maybe even a little jealous when the rich and famous are complaining about the paprazzi but they still make a million dollars a year and get to live their dream everyday? Granted I don't personally know any famous people (will I did meet the guy from American Pie once in an airport like 10 years ago) and I don't know anyone who has ever thrown any of those over the top sweet 16 parties.   Whatever happened to you just being you? and me just being me? I think life is full of twists and turns and everyone has a story but isn't life about what you make it and all of the little victories in between?

 Maybe I was a little inspired by Dr Seuss! You know I can just be me and you just can be you. :) Happy Monday- stay inspired today.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

That Tiny Wonder- Gidget

Ohh Moon doggie! I love watching those old movies from the late 50's-60's and it's always fun when they are redo the films in color because the color is so vivid but still with a kick.  One of my all time favorite is the Gidget series- the styling is classic late 50's and they talk with that same sort of jive.  The first Gidget is a coming of age movie for a young girl who falls head over heals with a surfer named Moondoggie.
Can you imagine living in that time :)?
There were a series of movies and tv series but my favorite was the first movie with Sandra Dee.
So dreamy! Oldie but goodie movies always a great source of inspiration.
Wanna go to the beach?

PS Photos courtesy of : Pinterest , View, Discovering the Classics,


Friday, August 19, 2011


Happy Friday! I am so happy it's Friday! The last couple of days have just zipped because of the Paint Your Art Out event was yesterday and being one of the main organizers I was really knee deep in the trenches.   It was really crowded and it was well worth all of the hard work.  My only bit of bad luck is that  my camera ran out of battery! I know the worst!  Nights like this remind me that I am a lucky girl to work with some amazing and talented people, who inspire me to be a better artist and creative business owner.  I am still working on the my thank you notes and final number crunching for the event.  Here are some sneak peaks from the event.
Once I finish wrapping up my loose ends then I can enjoy the weekend.  We are packing our bags and my paint supplies and doing a road trip!  I can't wait to show you all the paintings I have been working on for a painting a day.  :)  What are you up to this weekend?

PS Some of the artists in the pictures above are the sassy Jenn Feeney and Mr Chris Haberman.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Birthday Wish List

My birthday is vast approaching in a few weeks and I am already starting putting together my ultimate birthday list.   My dear sweet hubs isn't the best at going hunting for gifts.. if I didn't give him a list I think I would end up getting a big bundle of bulk socks or maybe a new toaster.  I know he means well but why not give him a little help. :)
Aren't these the cutest shoes ever? I am normally more of a converse girl but I found them a few weeks ago and I can't stop thinking about them.  I am a sucker for houndstooth.
I finally decided which instant camera I want to purchase.  After must thought and consideration I finally picked the Instax 50s.  I am so excited for this one and I can not wait to get my hands on it!
I go through a ton of journals through out the year and I really want to make my own.  So what do I need to make my journals? a book binder? what else! They started selling these at the paper store in my town and I think I might need this too!  If I get one of these for my birthday- I promise I will make a couple and do a fun giveaway.
This is Japanese decorative tape- I wish I would have brought home more art supplies while traveling through Asia a few months ago.. but a girls suitcase can only hold so much. Isn't this cute bears and cupcakes!
I think I need to this little clip for my birthday get together. :) I am so loving this mustard color.

The only thing I don't like about birthdays is the getting older part- when do we get to go in reverse?  I think this is a pretty good list :) .

Top photo from pinterest! :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

a painting a day- yellow couch

I really wanted to paint a fun old yellow couch for a painting a day chellenge.  This is an oil painting that is painted on wood panel.  I started out with a pencil sketch directly on the panel.  How I came up with the image- is that I use a series of images and piece them all together to create one image! This way I can get exactly everything that I want in the picture. :)
I  wanted to have the light streaming through the windows and do an outside in kind of effect.
What are you making today?


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

DIY- Preppy time..

I wanted to do a little DIY on how to prep your surface for making a beautiful art project.  This can apply to lots of different types of mediums.  Why is it important to prep your surface before your amazing art project? because it seals the surface and prevents the medium from soaking into the surface and in turn you will use less of your medium.  
1.  Your surface for your dazzling artwork
2.  Paint Brush- not too big and not too small.  Something with a soft bristle- something that the hairs don't fall out.  Doesn't have to be fancy- it can be synthetic.
3.  Gesso- if you don't want to use Gesso you can use acrylic paint.
4.  A Cup
5.  Water to go in the cup.
6.  some sand paper- I use one of those square sand paper sponge like things- under $2 from the hardware store.

1.  Lightly sand your surface if it's not canvas.
2.  Put a little gesso on your surface.   Less is more! It's easier to add gesso then remove it.
3.  Dip your paint brush in water. This is so you can thin out gesso, which is important! You want to apply the gesso thin and even.
4.  Let it Dry.- which shouldn't take too long- maybe 20 minutes.
5.  Sand away!  It's important to sand because the paint can grip to the surface easier.
6.   Repeat steps 2-4 - 3 times.  Make sure that gesso is thin! and watered down.
 7.  Admire your hard work and give yourself a reward. Mine was a delicious latte.


Monday, August 15, 2011

paint your art out!

Happy Monday! My weekend was so incredibly busy! but busy is good right? I am organizing the annual Paint Your Art Out event and it is happening this Thursday.  I think the event snuck up on me a little bit but I know that I put a lot of time and effort into organizing the show.  This weekend we worked on a lot of finishing touches for the show including taking in art check in.  The artwork that was brought in- is completely beautiful and I am still in awe at the truly stunning of the work.  Below is one of the pieces submitted by Suzanne Elizabeth.   Pretty fantastical! :)
Paint Your Art Out is Siren Nation's annual art show.  Siren Nation is a non profit that showcases and creates performance and exhibition opportunities for women throughout the year. They are the only women’s collective that produces an annual festival showcasing the original work of women working in music, film, performance and visual art.  Below is artwork by Viktoria La Paz. 
Paint Your Art Out | Live Art Demos | Silent Auction | Art from 50+ artists, all under $100 Location: Secret Society, 116 NE Russell Street, Portland, Oregon, 97202 When: August 18th, 6-9 pm 6-8:30 pm — Silent Auction and Art Demos. Free Admission – Event is all ages Paint Your Art Out is Siren Nation’s annual celebration of visual art, including live painting demos, silent art auction and a showcase
My reward for all my hard work this weekend.  The hubs decided to take me for a little ice cream date at Salt and Straw.  Mine was a sea salt and caramel ice cream and the hubs was brown ale and bacon .. they both were in homemade waffle cones. MMMM!  Seriously what can't bacon do? Both were extremely delicious.

What are you up to this Monday?


Saturday, August 13, 2011

painting a day- i'm mad!

 Well my painting a day is ode to Mad Men. First of all I can not get enough of the show- I just love the style and the drama.  I also love their creative department and how they look like they have hand drawn story boards and I simple just die over all the outfits..
 It's so funny watching the pregnant ladies drink and smoke- I am guessing they didn't know better back then?  I am only in season 3- so don't spoil it for me!
I didn't think my painting a day yesterday was finished so I repainted it with a mad men theme :)  I repainted the lady mostly as a naughty housewife face from the 50's with a modern twist with her body and body language.   I always think the people in Mad Men are like people from the late 50's with a wink.  I also wanted to keep some abstract shapes in the back ground to give it a little bit more depth.
Happy Saturday. :)

© Erika Lee Sears