Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Home For Us.

Breaking news... We got the house!! We officially close June 29 which feels like forever ever away. I'll be married by then. I'm still in shock. We got the house that was our favorite. I don't want to show too many pictures yet because the house is filled with someone else's stuff but I do want to show this picture. This amused me from the minute we first looked at the house. This little "booth" is in the basement, I've been calling it the "kissy booth." This is the room where my studio will be so I'm going to have a booth. Who knows what I'll do with that booth.
I've been going crazy on Pinterest finding all kinds of inspiration. I thought I would share some studio room inspiration with you.

Source: bhg.com via Ann on Pinterest

Source: bhg.com via Ann on Pinterest

Source: bhg.com via Ann on Pinterest

Tell me, blog readers, by sharing pics from Pinterest am I properly crediting where the pic is coming from? It seems like it is but I'm not sure. I want to make sure photos get their proper credit and I'm so new to this thing.

I'm super excited to be setting up a new space. What does your studio look like?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Glittery Sparkly Jars

Good morning! Thank you for the kind responses on my last post both here and on facebook. Sometimes writing things down helps me better form a dialogue with others and gets me out of my own head. I'm going to keep making and keep exploring and keep finding places for my work.

Today let's look at something glittery. I first saw this tutorial at A Beautiful Mess and fell crazy in love. I thought this would be a perfect way to make my Animal Jars even more fun.

First I bought a couple of jars to try this out on. I went for smooth jars but I also tried it on a smaller jar that wasn't smooth. I bought Mod Podge for the first time in a million years. I can't believe I've gone this long without using it.

Smooth Glass Jars and Mod Podge

I painted a pattern inside the jar and used a paper towel to clean around the edges.

Paint with Glue

In this one I attempted a chevron design but it looked more like a squiggle.

Attempt at Chevron design.

And then pour the glitter...

Fill Up with Glitter

And wait....

More glitter.

When that dries go with the next color.


After waiting a very long time most of it had dried but the squiggle jar was still pretty white.
Wait Foreverrr

The next day I had better results but the squiggle jar is still being kind of weird. I'm thinking maybe a hairdryer will get that last little bit?

Now I just need to coat the inside with a final layer of Mod Podge to keep the glitter in one place.

This was super fun. I can wait to add something cute to the lid. I'm trying to come up with ideas for the lids that aren't just animals. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

This Again

I feel like I am having a little bit of an art crisis... (who me? No.....) Ugh!
Today I was going through work in my studio and I'm seeing stuff that I have to admit I'm really really happy with but I feel like I'm in this weird limbo with my work and I don't know what to do with it (longest sentence ever). The most logical thing is to show it, right? I just don't know what that venue would be for my work. I could apply to shows but what shows? Most of the shows that come through my email seem quite academic. My work crosses the academic line. So where does that leave me? I have no idea.
I used to put my work on Etsy but I think it's so super duper hard to sell art online. Can I just tell you for the millionth time it's hard to be making art outside of school. Only for me the problem is not the making. It's the showing. I make work all the time. I have some pieces for sale at Cracker Jax and I adore having my work in that venue but I would really love to try to get it into shows and traveling.

Please is there anyone out there with advice for a girl who just wants to draw hearts all day and then hang them in a gallery?


Run This Town


Owl Detail

Unicorn Crush

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


I don't want to jinx anything but we are making an offer on a house!! And This is a picture of the livingroom/dining room. I'm super duper excited and scared and a million other feelings at once.
All I can think about is how I want a space in the house that looks like this:

Source: odetteny.blogspot.com via Ann on Pinterest

Yes, I joined Pinterest, finally, so I could get house ideas. I originally saw this beautiful picture on the beautiful blog Jikits. Pinterest is not as overwelming as I thought it would be. Follow me on there at abeautifulparty.

Anyway, back to the house. My toes are antsy with anticipation. I hope to know soon soon soon if this beauty will be mine. More pictures to come when things are more real.

I'm off work tomorrow, paper terrariums are in my future.

Exes and Ohssss....

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Kale Shake

Now for a little something different...

This morning I made myself a kale and berry smoothie and it was actually good! It definitely has a leafy taste to it but I don't mind that. My boyfriend and friend were both skeptical and though the color is not intriguing at all it is definitely something I can see myself drinking daily.

The ingredients:

2 cups packed kale
1.5 cups water
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 whole banana
1 scoop protein powder
A handful of chia seeds

Start by blending down the kale with the water. Then add everything else and blend until smooth and an ugly brownish color. Drink up and feel good for being healthy.

I found several recipes on the internet but changed several around to make my own concoction. I had chia seeds on hand so I thought they would be a bonus powerhouse ingredient. Also I love the texture they add. Several of the recipes want you to add way way more kale than the two cups but I thought that would be pushing it on my first try. I may add more as time goes by.

Now go make yourself a yummy smoothie!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Crafting Anthem

My good friend Adrienne sent this to me on facebook. This should be the anthem for every crafter. I'll be working all day today in my studio and singing this song at the top of my lungs!

If you don't know Leslie Hall check her out here. She's super duper neat-o!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Messy Studio Means Working Studio

Remember when my studio looked like this? Well that was pretty short lived.


This is the state it's in now. But you know what? That just means I've been using it. I used to get in trouble in school for having a messy studio space but all the clean spaces belonged to people who never came to the studio. So I take this as a sign of studio success!


I've really been wanting to make a terrarium for a long time now. I've seen a lot of cute ones lately but I've been so perplexed on how to create one that is my own idea. My friend is making cutie ones in teacups and a very creative lady just brought some sweet ones in to the store that are in old salt shakers. So what is a girl with absolutely no green thumb supposed to do? Paper terrariums! I'm working on combining leftover banner paper and little odds and ends like dinosaurs and feathers and jewelry bits and making my own version of a terrarium. I'm still playing around with the materials right now and think I need to figure out a way to glue the pieces in so it can be permanent but here is a sneak peak.

Paper Terrarium

I also got out my digital camera and played around with photography yesterday. I've been wanting to take photos of my rocks and crystals so I'm just experimenting right now with space and light. They are kind of fun.


I'm finally putting these gold toy animals to work...






Gold Horse


I can't wait to see how these pictures print out. I think there is more photography in my future.

What are your studio projects?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Houses and Weddings and Bears, Oh My!

Sorry I have been away so long. I just got back from visiting my family for Christmas! I missed Christmas day with them but this way was much better because we weren't so rushed and there was real quality time. While I was home we took care of some wedding things. It's a little stressful but fun, too. I can't wait for the big day. I'm trying my best not to be a Bridezilla but there are definitely a few things I would like to see played out exactly right.
We registered for some of our gifts. I picked out Fiesta dishes! I love how they have a vintage feel. Click here for some great info on Fiestaware.

So, on top of all the wedding day adventures my beau and I are also looking for a new home. The image above is not a home we are looking at, it is just one I admire when I google "bungalows." A bungalow would be my dreamy dream home but unfortunately there are only a few on the market around here and they have not been great at all on the inside. Did you know finding a home is so stressful?! Especially considering we are trying to find a home where we can raise a family. When I look at houses I have to picture myself with two teenagers driving me crazy. I need space! They need space! Who are these people and why are they making house-hunting so hard??!

That's what I am up to. In the few minutes of alone time I had yesterday I got into my studio. It's been a mess because of the holidays. I was spray painting jar lids like crazy trying to get gifts made. I didn't want to waste my time cleaning up so I watercolored in the middle of the madness.

Today I am back to work and couldn't be happier. Sorry this post was way wordy and less picture-y. Next time more candies for your eyes!


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Dripping In Candy

I used to be (and still am) a huge fan of the fashion house Heatherette. In fact if you go for enough back in my blogging I'm sure I have blogged about them more than once. Their crazy designs and Andy Warhol-like Superstar muses like Amanda Lepore make me feel like my artwork is coming to life. I would definitely count Heatherette and Amanda as Muses to my own work. From the tiniest bit of research I have done it seems that Heatherette are no long producing work. I could be wrong? (Please!! Tell me I'm wrong!!) But I found another great designer to fill that fashion muse void.

Meadham Kirchhoff is design team Ed Meadham and Ben Kirchhoff and their Fall 2011 show is absolutely dripping in candy.

Do you think it would be okay if I decorate my future home exactly like this runway with balloon arches everywhere? This show is truly my art dreams come to life. I'm dazzled. Who are your art and/or fashion muses?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Julie Tillman in 2012!

Happy happy 2012 to all of you!! I hope your holidays were wonderful and happy and all other words related to these two. Did you make any resolutions? It seems like the popular thing to do is not make resolutions but rather achievable goals. Or maybe that's just the popular thing for me to do. My goal is to work more with my blog. I love blogging but don't do it regularly. I know a lot of people say that's okay and it shouldn't be a chore but I think regular blogging is important and I want to get better at it. I want to interview more artists and do more studio tours. I also want to bring back my Dreamy, Artful Couple posts and BFF Artists posts. Those were fun to do. Maybe we will even check back in with some of those couples and see where they are now.

So, in working to meet my goals I bring you my first official artist interview of the new year. Julie Tillman is a dear friend who lives on the west coast and makes beautiful portraits. She has a couple of shops on etsy, one for her artwork and one mostly focusing on collage. Check out the interview and then visit her online!

Hi, Julie! I am always a fan of your work. Tell me a bit about what you are doing and what you are thinking about with your work.

It's kind of simple, really: I love people, and so I draw and paint them. I am fascinated by the human experience, and I just love painting faces. It reminds me of being a little kid, when you'd get those "watercolor" coloring books, but you just used water and the color was on the page and would magically appear. That was like magic to me! And I still get that same feeling when I paint.

You are in school in Portland by way of California. What was that change like? How many more years until you graduate? What does the future hold for you?

Since leaving home at 19 I've kind of been a gypsy, living all over California and in Las Vegas, but I was always searching for a place to call home, to put down roots. When I moved to Portland, I fell in love. To me this city offers everything (and more) that I could ever ask for. My plan was to move back to California after graduating (in 2013), but now I'm pretty sure I'll be staying here, indefinitely!

I'm really excited about my future. I came back to school with the intention of being a high school art teacher. So once I'm done with my BFA, I'll get my teaching credentials and start working with kids. I'd prefer to work in an inner-city school or an at-risk school, in order to share the catharsis and emotional outlet that art can be with kids who need a positive outlet. But we all know that art programs are frequently the first programs to be cut, so I think I'll just be open to what comes my way. And, of course, I will keep making and (hopefully!) selling my art.

Tell me about your etsy shop, do you have more than one?

I currently do, but I am thinking about combining them. I have my original shop: joyfulstudio.etsy.com where I send my art - both original works and prints. Although I opened the shop in 2008, it wasn't really until this last spring I put sincere effort into it. The growth has been somewhat slow, but steady. And I'm really happy to say I am gathering some wonderful collectors along the way. I recently just opened joyfulcollage.etsy.com for my collages and more "craftsy" type of art. I made the decision to keep the two separate, but I find my buyers are shopping at both, so I am wondering if my time would be better spent with everything in one shop, so I only have to work on promoting and advertising the one. I'm going to give it a little more time as is, so stay tuned and see how things go along with me!

You blog, too. What is your blog about?

Oh, my blog! (www.julietillman.com) It's just a mishmash of my art, my life here in Portland, photos I take, bits and pieces of my sketchbook, things that inspire me, and whatever else comes to mind. To give you some ideas of what I blog about, recent entries include: tales of a recent Band of Horses concert, notes from the Hello Etsy! Portland seminar I went to, some recent Etsy treasuries I put together, my answers to the famous Proust questionnaire, some inspirational quotes, and, of course, some of the newest art I've been making.

As a mother and an artist do you find it hard to balance those two identities or do they pretty much go hand in hand? Did it take you a while to get to where you are now with doing both?

I started making art as a serious endeavor when my girls were both in school, and as just about all moms know, you get what you want to do in whenever you can. My girls are older now, and both are very supportive of my art and my desire to get my degree. I frequently paint at the dining room table, which is right next to the living room. So we'll "watch" shows (I mostly listen!) together, or they join me at the table and do their homework. And sometimes I ask them for help with my math homework! It's not always easy, and I certainly don't get a lot of sleep, but it is always worth it. Being a single mom on top of it makes it even tougher, but I make it to almost every volleyball game (both my girls play), I just sometimes bring my own homework and/or sketchbook (especially on the long tournament days!) We just try to make the most of every moment.

Where else can we find you on the internet?

facebook: here
twitter: twitter.com/#!/joyfulstudio
pinterest: pinterest.com/joyfulstudio/