Monday, October 31, 2011

Creative Mornings- Portland

I am proudly born and raised and currently reside in the ever rainy Portland, Oregon. (it's the state right on top of California) :)  I have lived here all my life- and I think I know this little city pretty well.  I always think Portland as a little city because I remember when we got our first Target.. when we got our first Walmart.. our first Krispe Creme Donut (the line was a nightmare for months just to get your hands on one of those dreamy glazed donuts..  Starting this last Friday- we had our first Creative Mornings.  Creative Mornings is a once a month free lecture series- featuring creative types.  They have these talks all over the world, and I feel lucky enough to attend the first Portland one.
Kate Bingaman Burt was the first speaker and she was completely inspirational.  She is a graphic design professor at PSU and an illustrator whom has done work with client like VH1.. and Target- just to name a few. I think what I enjoyed most about her lecture is that she talked a lot about her process for making work and the process of her "art projects".   I think one of the hardest things about being an artist is having to focus on the marketing and networking.. and sometimes those things time wise.. over take the making things time.  I have gone to quite a few lectures.. conferences.. artist talks- that don't necessarily talk about the work.. they talk about exposure.. and marketing.. and networking.. and all of the business ends of things.. which is great but isn't it about making the work?  She talked about doing what you love- but work really hard at it. :)
Go make some work :) Have you been to a creative morning?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Happy Halloween Weekend :)

This weekend- my hubs and I are going to attempt to make dinner together and cuddle up and watch True Blood. I love those vampire shows.  The hubs usually gets a little scared of scary movies (I know he is a big strong man lol) so we usually stick to vampire shows for Halloween shows, but I do love a scary movie.  When I say attempt to cook- I can make a mean grilled cheese but beyond that I hope I have some luck on my side... and the thought of trying to bake.. scares me a little.   What are you up to this Halloweeny weekend?

PS The pic is of Yoda with his favorite toy octopus. :) He carries that thing around like it's his child.  I just love accidental pictures don't you?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My life in Instagram/Take 3

I love instagram and I can't get enough of the different photo editing filters and it's always interesting what you end of capturing.. It's my little slice of life.. my digital scrap book. 
It has been so gorgeous out here lately- and can't help snapping photos when I am out in the country.
Aren't they just darling? The boys just had a beauty day which included a bubble bath and a little pedicure.
I have been on the globe hunt while thrifting lately. and love the resin base on this globe.
Painting my living room a fabulous tooth paste color.
I think what I love most about instagram is these tiny memories you have and little pictures of happy thoughts.  Are you using instagram?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

And in art news! the Big 200!

I have been in my art studio working away on a few up and coming projects. I have been a little quiet sharing some of the work I have been working on because I am under top secret orders on a few things coming! So this year I am lucky enough to be participating in the Big 200 annual show. It's my 6th year doing it and I look forward to this show every year.  The Big 200 is 200 artists given 10 panels to paint on and it's the set price of $40.  It's a cash and carry show- which means that you take the pieces of art off the wall and take them home that day.  It's a really amazing show and people line up to get into the gallery.  For this show I am doing something a little different for the show- and I hope you like it because I love what I am making.  The above photo is the first piece finished for the show.

Since I am currently addicted to thrifting- I have come across quite a few estate sales with vintage oil paint from the 60's and beyond. I am not sure what it is but I feel like there is something more vibrant and even makes me wonder about who owned this paint.  If you want more details about the Big 200 click here.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Not-so ordinary.

The hubs and I had a interesting conversation over the weekend while we were on our way to visit some old college friends.  My husband and I met in college :) I always say we met over the keg. We were friends for about 6 months before we started dating and the rest is history.  I know some of his highschool and college guy friends are really competitive with status-having the best job.. the best car.. the best house and trying to compete for the best life. My husband is still really great friends with a lot of his old roommates and still goes on his yearly man man trip with his highschool boy friends. (If I call my gal pals .. girl friends. I should be able to call his guy friends boy friends *winks*)  We both come from really hard working parents and appreciate everything our parents has taught us and given us, but a few years ago we decided that we were ok with not wanting the white picket fence.  We both love to work on our businesses- in fact it consumes us! We are both obsessed with making things- and making our dent in the universe.  It's funny that we didn't really discover this until after we got married or at least our passion for it.  I think one of the hardest things in life is deciding what I like with out influence and developing independent thought and being a visionary for my own future.  

I want only a few things out of life- but I don't really need that fancy car, or that fancy house or spend my life in a cubicle hoping that one day I can break free. I want to make as much art as I can and visit as many paintings as I can.  I also want to see as much of the world as I possible- when my grandmother passed away she never set foot on an airplane.  I want to live a happy life- and grow old with my hubs.  In different parts of the world- there are places you make a wishes- there are walls you crumple a note in or maybe a fountain you throw a coin in.  It's funny because me and my husband always wish for the same thing. :) Which I am sooo not telling! Thinking about all these little things- it seems like they have nothing to do with status but more about leading a "rich" life. We both stay on budget in order to make our dreams a reality but our dreams aren't the average ones. 

Have a super Monday! Creative thoughts your way this week.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Future.

Hello! Happy Weekend! I can't believe it's already the weekend. I have sooo many projects starting up I feeling a little overwhelmed :) but being busy is good! and I love being busy especially with painting projects. This weekend I hope I can get more painting in and I think the hubs is going to take me on a little dinner date. It's funny just looking at the calender and thinking of all the amazing things that happened through out the year and am starting to schedule out 2012! Can you believe 2012 is just right around the corner- and I always think wow this has been an amazing year- is it possible for next year to be even better?

What are you up to this weekend? Have you started thinking about 2012?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

DIY Pug Power Pumpkin

I wanted to do a pumpkin dedicated to my little dogs this year. I know I know it's a little crazy but they are seriously like my little furry children- since I don't have human ones. They both get very excited to dress up every year for halloween.  I am thinking maybe this year they should be little sharks- dressed up little twins.  Going into the pumpkin carving process I wanted to use a block stamp method- so I used the same little tools that you use to make a stamp.   

Supplies!
1. 1 pumpkin- depends on how large you want to make your pet's darling face.
2.  stamp carvers- I used one that looked like a small exact-o knife and another that looked like a U shaped tip-
3.  acrylic paint if you want to paint your animals face a color
4.  a piece of paper
5. regular knife
6.  pencil
7.  tape
8.  paintbrush
Time to get started! Are you ready to carve?
1.  Take your piece of paper and draw your pet's face.  It doesn't have to be perfect - but the simplier the better and just do a line drawing.  If you want to add any words write them out- I suggest using a block style
2.  Cut out the top of your pumpkin and take out the brains of your pumpkin. They are brains right? or is it pumpkin guts?
3.  Tape the drawing to your pumpkin
4.  Take your exacto knife shaped tool and trace the lines of your pumpkin and be patient! Do not cut all the way through to the inside of the pumpkin.
5.  Remove the bits of paper
6.  Take your U shaped tool and start carving out your pumpkin.  Can you see your pet's face shining through yet?
7.  Paint the words and pets face. and that's it! Your done :)
I have gotten more compliments having this bad boy sitting on my front porch.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Portland Blogger Meetup.

Over the weekend- I had a chance to meet up with some really awesome fellow bloggers. I have always wanted to meet bloggers especially in my neck of the woods- and finally had the chance.  The gang included Corey, Nicole and Kat. We chit chatted over a coffee date and it was so great!  We talked about doing another one in the near future and can't wait to get together again real soon.   I walked away really inspired about the blogging world and trying some new things on my blog. It was great meeting some IRL new friends :) hugs ladies :)

If you are interested in joining us for next time- drop me a note- at erikaleesears@gmail.com .

Monday, October 17, 2011

Pumpkin Patch

 Over the weekend the hubs and I went on a little trip to the pumpkin patch to pick up some pumpkins and vegetables. :)  Going out to the pumpkin patch is one of our favorite things to do in October because you get to see all the gorgeous changing trees and get some fresh veges from the farms.
There were little creatures :).
and lots of pumpkins of course! The hubs was a little afraid of going in the corn maze- :) So we did not enter- I think he has seen Children of the Corn too many times.

Isn't that little pink pig hat adorable.

and of course we found the perfect pumpkin!  :)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday Love

O'verlays are pretty amazing. They are a flexible panels for customizing furniture, walls or mirrors .. and they come in a ton of different designs. I can't wait to try them out.
I am participating in the 2012 Sketchbook Project! I have always wanted to participate and this is the year :) Thousands of people participate in this project and the sketch books go on tour- at the end of the project all of the sketch books are part of the permanent display in the Brooklyn Art Library.
 Loving all things pumpkin- courtesy of Country Living.  I would so love to do this in my house.
Did you get the new Iphone 4s? My husband was passing the house back and forth on Friday- waiting for the UPS man to come deliver it to our little home.  Isn't this one super cute?  This one is from Sublimeswag.
Vintage bus light from Modred.  How phenomena is this thing?

Happy Sunday :)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday!

Happy Friday :) This week just zipped by- it feels like pretty soon it will be Christmas. I have been in the studio this week and can't wait to show you some of the paintings I have been working on.  I am really looking forward to this weekend because I'm hosting a Portland Blog Meet up! Click here for more details.  I am so looking forward to meeting some old and new friends... when I say old- there are some bloggers that I have read their blog for quite some time and now can meet them face to face! :)
Also in Portland- it's the last weekend of Portland Open Studios which is seeing 100 artists at work in their studios.  It's pretty amazing and have several amazing and talented friends participating in it this year.

What are you up to this weekend?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tips on Buying Vintage

I have been doing a ton of thrifting lately and I just can't get enough. I think it might be me being able to find a hidden gem in pile of junk.  :) I previously talked about some thrifting pointers here.   I wanted to talk about some pointers on knowing if you have a treasure and some tips on haggling for your prize.
1.  I know when I go into an thrift store or a garage sale- sometimes it can be overwhelming and crowded or there might not be much at all.  Take your time and look carefully.  Sometimes when you go into a garage/estate sale- don't be afraid to look in a drawer or open a cupboard.  If they want everything gone- and there is a lot of stuff- look slowly and look in all the corners. :) I found this vintage map behind a bookcase and they wanted everything gone- so I got it for 12 bucks.

2.  You found something you want to buy.  Determine your item's condition.  Look and see if the item is damaged and how damaged.  Sometimes when you go to a thrift store or a garage sale the person selling it might not realize it's damaged and don't be afraid to ask for a discount.   Even the big chains- like Goodwill will give you more off the item if it's damaged and they didn't note it.  Also think about the time it's going to take for you to fix it.  Sometimes your time might be more valuable then the item.

3.  How to know when you are getting a good deal?  If you are looking for a specific item- do a little bit of research and see how much an item is worth.  I will check ebay for a really specific item and see how much that item is going for- then I know for sure it's a good deal.  If the item is marked high at a store or a garage sale- let the seller know it's high and see if they are willing to come down in price.  

4.  Always ask for discount.  Sometimes I will ask is the best price you can give me for this? Antique malls run different discounts that they advertise and some they don't.  Estate sales/Garage sales always ask for a reduction and if you are buying multiple things- ask if they will throw in something for free- for example- if you are buying a piece of furniture and see some books you want. Ask if they will throw in the books. Be creative when you haggle. :) The worse they can say it no.

Happy thrifting!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

DIY: Easy Breezy- Halloween Kitty Ears

Halloween is one of my all time favorite holidays- it's so great to dress up as whatever you want and it's also an excuse to eat your weight in candy corn.  I really wanted to put together an easy costume idea  and easy on your budget. :) Here is a really simple DIY for kitty ears for under a couple of bucks.
Supplies:
Felt- I used Black and Pink.
Headband- whatever you have on hand.
Glue
Scissors
1.  Fold black piece of felt and cut two little holes and put the head band through the holes.
2.  Cut your kitty ear. :) Aww how cute is that.
3.  Ok! Cut out your second kitty ear on the bend of the felt.
4.  Now you have 2 kitty ears.
5.  Fold your pink felt and cut out a little pink diamond. Cut the pink diamond into 2 triangles.
6.  Fold the black kitty ears around the head band and glue the two sides together. Do not glue them on the head band.  Just squeeze the two sides together and wait a 20 seconds for the glue to dry.
7.  Glue the pink triangles on the ears.
8.  I used a little black eyeliner for the nose and whiskers. And VIOLA! all done.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Did you know?

Happy Monday! When I was a kid I was extremely imaginative- always drawing and thinking up little stories and pretty much living in my own little world.   I know in reality life can be tricky, life can be hard, life can be a whole lot of average, life can be above average, and life can be amazing.  I think a lot about where I live and I am an average girl and I live in an average place but you know what I realized. Imagination can grow anywhere. Did you know that? Imagination is something that can occur no matter where you come from or who you are.  Creative thoughts your way this week.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Out with the Old and In with the New.

Happy Friday! I don't know what it is about fall but for some reason this time of year... I always think about cleaning.. reorganizing.. out with the old and in with the new. I have been repainting my house- room to room.. ceiling to ceiling this week but I am loving how everything is turning out. I am a little nervous to try and clean out my studio and closet because both are stuffed to the brim.

What are you up to this weekend?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs


Steve Jobs the former CEO of Apple passed away yesterday.  My husband is a pretty big geek and changed his career path to be an IOS (apple) developer.  We have 3 apple computers in the house, about 5 iphones (they are for testing), 2 ipads, an apple tv, and I am sure I am forgetting something. I remember the day my husband was talking to me about wanting a mini mac (apple's cheapest computer) and I told him he already has a computer but if he wanted it- he had to promise me he was going to make something.  It took him about 6 months, but he made something.  He made Robotvision, which was one of the first augmented reality application on the app store. It was featured in Tech Crunch, Wall Street Journal and the list goes on.. it also led to some really fun projects like a Paris application with the french government.  The app is called Culture Clique and it's an application that gives you all the facts about Paris with all of the historical data and my husband did the augmented reality portion for the app.  I am very proud of my husband for following his dreams and doing what he loves. Steve Jobs changed my husband's life and he never met Steve Jobs.  Thank you Steve Jobs for inspiring my husband and inspiring me.  My favorite speech of his is this Stanford one because he talks about how important it is to lead a life of passion.  If you have time and haven't seen it- I promise you it is inspirational.   

“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.” -Steve Jobs


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

DIY: How to Make an Awesome ZigZag Rug!

Since my hubs has me convinced that I need to makeover our little home.  I have taken it upon myself to do a ton of DIY projects for our house.  He loves very modern design and I am more of a thrift queen with lots of art around the house. So I have decided the perfect mesh is adding a few accents with a modern flair.  This turned out to be a really easy project and cost me under $10 bucks.
Supplies:
1.  Rug- The cheaper the better- I really wanted it flat and I got this one at Target for 3 bucks.  I also chose a charcoal gray because it's easier to lay light on top of dark because if you screw up.. like I do.. it's easier to fix.
2.  Block Print Ink. Ink instead of spray paint because I wanted the pigment to get the ink into the rug.  Don't use acrylic paint because it will lay on top of the rug and not look like apart of the rug.  The ink cost me 1.50 with a coupon from Michaels.  I picked just the basic white.
3.  Sissors.
4.  Painters Tape- Do not use anything else- because this is how you get even beautiful crisp lines.
5.  Paint Roller- I got the cheapest one at the hardware store- for 1.50 :) You can use one you have but make sure it's a small one.
6.  Tape Measure
7.  Hair Dryer- this is optional.

Step 1.  Lay Out your Rug.  This Rug is 30 inches Long and 18 inches height.  I have enough to make 3 rows of chevron.  This Part goes into two phases, put a piece of tape down at the 5 inch mark.  This is your first row you are going to do a diagnal line and each row is 5 inches.  We are working left to right.  The next piece of tape at the 10 inch marker- the right hand edge needs to be at the 10 inch marker.   Keep going until the end of the rug.  To help me out with the measurements- I marked the plastic underneath the rug every 5 inches.  It should look like some rows are skinny and some rows are a fat. The fat rows are the sections that you will be laying down your ink.
Step 2.  Place a piece of tape at around a 45 degree angle in one corner.  Place all the tape down side by side.
Step 3.  Remove a piece of the angled tape every other row.  The tape that is left press firmly into the rug.
Step 4.  Put your ink in your pan and put your roller on the ink.  It's tacky! So move your roller over the ink several times and loosen the pigment.  If your not used to working with ink- trust me it's easy.  The trick is to work the pigment into an a easier flow.  Roll the ink on to the 5 ink sections that are the larger sections on your rug.  The ink adds thin layers- but I rolled over the same sections maybe 2-3 times. 
Step 5.  Remove Tape.  If you have any ink in unwanted places on your rug. Take a paper towel dabbed in water and it takes the ink right up.
Step 6.  Let your ink dry.  If you want the ink to dry faster use a hair dryer :)
Step 7.  Tape up your rug.  This opposite direction is easier because you can line up the tape to your existing stripes. What is great about using painters tape is if you don't get the line exactly right- left it up and try again. 
Step 8:  Roll on the paint on the sections connection your V's.
Step 9.  Lift off your tape.  If you need add a little dab of paint here and there- use a paint brush and use a dabbing motion to get the ink in.
Step 10.  All done :) Time to think of an appropriate reward for making an awesome rug.. maybe a delicious coffee?