Saturday, December 26, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Well I survived the Christmas rush! Yesterday was our last family get together for Christmas. We travelled to my parents house for Christmas dinner and gift exchanging with the family. The trip took about an hour longer than it usually does because of flooding on the highway! Many areas got snow this week, but we got lots and lots of rain. My parents part of the state got about 10 inches of rain over a few days, so many creeks, lakes, ditches, and some roads and homes were flooded.

But we finally got there, ate the wonderful food, exchanged gifts, watched some Christmas special music and said our goodbyes before leaving for the trip back. The highway was still closed for flooding, but the traffic seemed to be moving more quickly going to other direction.
Above is the Tree House tile that my niece asked me to create for her. She gave it as a gift for someone special. The tile has special meaning or him and he really loved the tile.
Hope you were the recipient of a special gift this year! I was! I received an unexpected box of candy in the mail on Christmas Eve for no reason! It meant so much to me that she thought of me at this time of year! Thank you so much!
I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

From the Workshop...

Whew! I think I can breath out and relax a little now! The past month has been a very busy time for me. I've been busy creating tiles for custom orders and trying to keep up with school stuff too. But I'm almost finished with the custom orders! Not quite, but I'm too the point that I'm pretty sure that it will get done in time for Christmas....short of an ice or storm storm that knocks the power out! Thank goodness, that is not very likely, here at least, for the next week! Anything is possible, but I don't believe we have any major storms in our forcast yet. January and February is usually the time that we have more winter weather.
I have been working on custom tiles of clay, like the one shown above. These two were done of the same house. I created the whole house first. The details were so small that I thought I would create it again, but closer to the house. I decided that I liked both just as much! So much for deciding after they were finished! I guess my customer liked both too, because she purchased the 2nd one too! But I did give her a discount. She was a good customer.
I've been to the post office and other errands today, taken photos of new mini houses from the kiln, and had a nap, so now I'm ready to go do more glazing. The kids are home for the holidays, so I have plenty to do this week....along with a good nap each day!
Hope you are having fun preparing for Christmas!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Tree House Tile

Well I sound like a broken record, but again I have been very busy! I have been creating custom home tiles for several people. So when I get home from school, I tried to get busy working on tiles and glazing mini hearthomes. I am excited to create some custom tiles, but they are more difficult to create. Having customers that give you a few photos and what you want!! That is pressure! But it is fun. I just wish that time was not so short right now. Christmas is coming quickly! I have to finish my shopping and finish these tiles.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving Activities and Clay Houses

Unglazed Bisque Tile

It has been another busy couple of weeks. I don't know where the time has gone lately! It seems like it was just last week when school started and we will be winding down this semester in just a few weeks! Thanksgiving is behind us and the holiday season rush has begun! My Christmas tree is up, thanks to my daughter and husband! They took care of that last weekend. So now I can enjoy the next few weeks and not have to worry about setting up the decorations.
This week we traveled to have Thanksgiving dinner with my family. Wednesday we had my husband's parents over for dinner. Both kids have been home all week, so we have had a full house and the 2 granddogs! They are like having babies to take care of! But they are cute.

Small bisqueware Mini HeartHomes

I've have been busy working on some new tiny houses and tiles, as seen in my photos. I posted a photo of the little clay houses a couple of weeks ago when they were freshly made. In these photos, they have been fired once. I have also put the black glaze wash on them. Next, I will be adding the rest of the colored glazes and fire them again and they will be done. It usually wouldn't take so long to get one or two finished, but I made several and it will take me awhile to glaze them all. I've also been very busy with school and family, so I hope to finish them up in the next week. I hope to post them in my Etsy shop soon. This time, I made Small, Medium, Large, and Extra wide sizes for different price points.

Extra wide Mini HeartHomes
Medium Bisqueware Mini HeartHomes

Stay tune for pictures of the final version of the little houses. If you think you would be interested in buying one of my little houses, just click on my Etsy shop .

For those of you who have asked about the materials that I use, I will list a few of the things that I use for my houses and tiles.
Glaze: I use a low fire white Pottery Clay. If you do not have a local source to purchase clay, there are plenty of resources online.
Glaze: I use Mayco Stroke n Coat Wonderglaze for almost everything I glaze. I found these when I was teaching and have used them since.

Hope you all had a wonderful week of Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

One of my clay hearts is being featured in a collection in a post on 'the creative JAR: d is for...d here---> the creative JAR: d is for ...d
I will be working on more clay tiles soon. The next batch of clay houses will go into the kiln soon. Stay tuned!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Week of Travel

Its been another busy two weeks. But part of last week, I was out of town. I went to the state conference for Art teachers, which I enjoyed alot. After spending 3 days with other art teachers and going to workshops, I went to Fayetteville to a Razorback game. That was a great way to end the week! And the Razorbacks won! It was a good game and beautiful weather, but I was ready to come home. I've spent most of today resting. It is exhausting to live out of a suitcase for 5 days. So hopefully this week will get back to normal, and I can work on some art.

The Live mascot is in the red trailers just to the left of the center of the photo. (You can double click on the photo to see it larger.)
His name is 'Tusk II'
The mascot that dances around on the sideline is at the end of the 10 yard line, across the field, standing next to the cheerleader. I'm not sure if he/she has a name or not.
Go Hogs!!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

New Clay Houses

Now that the colored pencil show preparations are finished, I was able to spend my afternoon yesterday creating more mini hearthomes. I had so much fun with the clay! I also made some little angels. (on the right) You can click on the photos and see it larger. I plan to be working alot with clay in the future. I'm preparing to go to an artfest in May. It will be my first, so I'm looking forward to it. (More info to come about this.)
These mini houses have been fired and are ready for glazing. I believe they are tired of sitting around on my shelf! They are beginning to talk to me, they've been sitting there for too long!
Oh my!

Landscape Workshop & Busy Week!

Oh my, its been a busy week! I haven't even posted an update on the workshop and artshow from last weekend! After coming back from the workshop on Sunday, I tried to recover enough to get through this week. At school, we had 2 late days at work for parent/teacher conferences and a teacher in-service day on Friday. But apparently I didn't recover well enough, because I got sick this week. All week, I have been...well not sick, but not feeling up to my usual self. At first I thought I may be coming down with a cold or the flu, but it never really got that bad. Just enough to make me feel yucky. I'm feeling better, but I still have the sinus issues that are complicating my breathing through the nose. (I'm trying to say this without too much unwanted details! haha)

So, all that to say, its been another busy week! I'm ready for things to slow down! Work just isn't going to cooperate though. I'm really thinking that the time is getting close for me to hang up the teaching business. My goal is to get through next year and see what life brings to me.

I won a ribbon! It was a People's Choice ribbon. No cash, but its nice to get recognition. One of these days, I hope to win a ribbon that gets money with it!
I stayed with my cousin, who lives near the area. She went to the reception with me and my husband. It was really wonderful to get to spend time with Kay. She is a very special part of my childhood (and adult) memories.
Linda Wesner is shown here during her presentation of her colored pencil workshop.
She does beautiful landscape drawings.

Here is my landscape drawing that I started at the workshop.
It is unfinished, but I will go back and finish it.
I don't do alot of landscapes, but I did enjoy this and we learned alot about taking our own photos for drawing ideas. I took some photos on the way to the workshop on the 2nd morning, that I'm looking forward to doing something with in the future! Even though I am not a morning person, I loved the light that time of the day. And to always keep the camera handy!
Hope you have a beautiful day!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Door... from a photo that I took on my trip to France last year.

It was interesting to me because of the colors first and the intricate details of the door. It is attached to the hotel where we were staying, but I'm not sure if it was an apartment, or an entrance for employees of the hotel. I went for a walk to take some pictures. While I was taking photos, I noticed that there was movement inside the door, so I cut my photo shoot short and moved on. I didn't want to seem invasive to whomever was on the other side of the door. So the shadow figure is a mystery as to who it is.

This piece is, like the French Cafe, done with Prismacolor Color Pencils on UArt paper. This will be in a group show with the CPSA Chapter in Memphis starting next Friday.

I haven't been able to think of a title for this besides "The Door"...but anyone has a suggestion, I'm open to them!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Group Art Show Preparations

I have been working hard on my second piece for the upcoming show of the Memphis Chapter of the CPSA that will open next weekend! So I haven't had any time to write or do much of anything else. I am almost through with the 2nd piece now and will post a photo soon.
So I just thought I would post a little dose of cuteness! My daughter sent me these pictures of the 'granddogs'. She lives right in the middle of Razorback country. I think I need a photo of the dogs sitting in front of the tv with the razorback on. Don't you think? Too cute!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

ATC Exchange and Future Project

We just finished another ATC exchange over at ScribbleTalk** and this is the little piece that I created for the exchange. This one will be going to Nancy. I hope that she will enjoy it. I am also working on a larger version of this door in colored pencil also. I don't have much time to get it finished, so I will be working on it alot this week. That is, if these sinus headaches don't put me out of commission!

**You do have to be a member to see the other images on ScribbleTalk. But it is a great forum to be a member of and the exchange is set up for members who actively participate on ScribbleTalk.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Newest Mini Hearthomes...

I glazed and fired some mini hearthomes this week and I will be listing them in my etsy shop too. I chose fall colors for the season. I'm looking forward to having some fall weather soon and seenig some color in the trees. Its one of my favorite seasons of the year...except the allergies that come with it!
Oh and if you want to see them close up, just click on the images!

Little mini row hearthouses.

Birdhouse Tile

The birds need some hearthomes too! I wish the little bird that sleeps on our porch could find a home like this! He sleeps perched in the corner of the ceiling of our porch every night! Not in a nest, just perched on the top of the column.

Fall colors Hearthome tile

I'm finished with the French Cafe in colored pencil and will be starting another colored pencil piece this week. I will post some updates as soon as I can. I'm on a tight deadline for that one. I hope I can get it done for the show next month! But for now, I'm sitting with a heating pad on my neck. I've pulled a muscle or something and its trying to tighten up on me. Its difficult to draw with tight muscles!

What is your favorite season?


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Drawing, doodling, and glazing...

...has been keeping me busy, besides my day job. I'm sure everyone knows that school started. I've been a little lax in my blogging since school started. In a way, that is a good thing, because I have been keeping busy at my drawing table. I've finished up the French Cafe and need to start another colored pencil piece for the show. I don't know if I will get the 2nd one done, but I'm going to try. I've also been glazing some clay tiles and little houses that I'm going to fire this week. I'll post photos when I do. I've also been doing some drawing at school, with my students. I always start out my beginners with a line design, which I love to do. So I got started and cannot stop with the little doodles. Here are a couple of my efforts. Just little playful doodles. I've also listed them in my Etsy shop here. They are colored pencil and ink on stonehenge paper.
So, hope you will hang in with me. I'll be posting more soon!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Squares, squares, and more squares...

I've just finished painting a large canvas with squares! Sounds silly, but it is for the wall of the children's sunday school hall at my church. They are remodeling the hall and I was asked, by a friend of mine, to paint squares on this canvas. The open house is tomorrow, so it had to be done today! So that is what I spent my day doing. Its simple and abstract, but it will look cute with all of the other decor and colors that have been used. We also made some painting with the children's handprints on two large canvases. Those canvases will also be displayed on the same children's hallway. I have photos of those being created. I will post them later.
I'm pretty much finished with my cafe drawing. I will get a photo of the finished painting as soon as my time and the weather permit!
Have a wonderful Sunday!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Cafe Update

It has been a busy few weeks. When school starts I have more things to take care of than usual, and end up spending time after school doing those duties. By the time I get home I am too tired to do much with my drawing. deadline is getting closer, so I need to finish the cafe drawing ASAP. With the long weekend, I have been be able to work on it some. But we also have the kids at home this weekend, so I've been spending time with them. So here is my update:

This is where I was yesterday. Just need to go back and refine some areas, then I will be ready to find a frame. I already have an idea for the next one. I hope to finish it for the October show. We'll see about that.

I am looking forward to Fall weather! It is one of my favorite seasons!
Hope you are having a wonderful holiday weekend.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Smooth First Week

School started Wednesday and it ended up being a very good start to the school year. I hope that my classes continue to go so smoothly! My students were very attentive and respectful and seemed very interested. I know the first few weeks of school the students are on their best behavior, but they just seem better than usual. So I am hopeful that that will continue.

I was not able to work on my Cafe drawing as much as I had hoped this week, but I am posting this update. I hope to get more of it done this week. Maybe even close to finish, but that is probably more wishful thinking. I woke up with a headache Friday morning that became worse during the day, and by Friday night I had to go to bed early because I felt so bad. I felt better Saturday and Sunday and worked quite a bit on it. I need to go back and fix some areas, do some touch ups, and just refine some details, then hopefully be finished!
Have a good day!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Almost time for School!

School starts back next Wednesday, but teachers started back this past week with in-service workshops. Most of the workshops that we have are pretty long and boring. After 26 years of attending workshops for teachers, I have to say that they get very monotonous. But today was a little different. The district actually planned for the district art teachers to get together and discuss art lessons and issues that we deal with. Being the only art teacher at my school, it is nice to get with other art teachers! We had a lot to talk about. It is very motivating to get with the other art teachers and I'm beginning to be ready for the new year. I just don't understand how the time during the summer just flies by!

So after sitting in meetings for the past 4 days, I am exhausted from meeting. So I didn't feel up to working on my Paris Cafe drawing today, but I did work on it some during the week. So I will show an update and hopefully by the end of this weekend I will have more progress to show.

♥Beth S. Macre © 2009♥
No title yet, but I'm thinking about it!
I will be working on this today, because next week I probably will not have the time or the energy to work on it. I am having fun with this and wish I could just work on it all the time! I will definitely be using the UArt paper more.
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

2009 CPSA Exhibition in Duluth, Georgia

Gee, its taken me all week to think about what I was going to talk about in this post about the CPSA convention! I usually have a photo to go along with everything, but there are a few things that I just didn't have the appropriate photo to go along with the story!

I came back from the Colored Pencil Society of America Convention on Sunday and I've been trying to catch up and recover all week! It was a wonderful week spent with other colored pencil artists from all over the country and even Canada (Teresa)! I enjoyed getting to see artists that I have met at previous conventions, online artist friends, and making new friends as well. I left on a Monday to pick up my traveling buddy, Toni James, at the airport in Memphis. From there we drove, well I drove, Toni read the maps, to Georgia. It seemed to be a very quick trip, but I'm sure that had more to do with the fact that Toni and I talked the entire way, across 3 states! We had lots to talk about, so the time flew by! We were given the nicknames of Thelma and Louise for the adventure that we were taking, however, we behaved, unlike the movie version of Thelma and Louise!

We were able to get to our destination with the help of preprinted maps to Duluth and some additional help from Charlene, the good lady on Toni's cell phone! She gave us turn by turn instructions to the hotel! (I must get one of those phones that can give me directions!)

Tuesday and Wednesday we had the privilege of going to the Presidents forum as representatives of our CPSA Chapters, where we learned about what other chapters are doing as a group. We also took a trip over to the gallery to view the exhibit. If you haven't seen a colored pencil exhibit in person, you should try to do so. This show is an international show, with the most amazing work in Colored Pencil. The CPSA website has the winners pieces posted here: 2009 17th Annual International Exhibition • Atlanta, GA•

I also attended two colored pencil workshops while I was there. I like to attend workshops to get ideas for myself, but also for my high school art students. Both of these workshops were full of ideas that I can take back to the classroom. The first one was taught by Betsy Holster, who gave us many ideas on how to be more creative with our work. She had a table full of supplies that we could use to experiment with. It was a lot of fun to play with the supplies and techniques. Then I went to the workshop given by Pat Averill about rendering water with various techniques.

In between the meetings that I attended were the other activities such as the members meeting where we viewed a dvd of all of the entries for the show and they gave away many art supplies as door prizes. There was also a silent auction of small cp works that are donated by artists who have been in the shows in previous years. The banquet on Friday was also a highlight of the week. After the banquet meal, the awards winners from the show were announced. Those are listed in the link I gave previously.

Saturday morning was the only free time that I had all week, so we had a late breakfast at IHOP and went to Joann's Fabric and Craft store. I didn't buy anything, but I did get some ideas for some drawings! Saturday afternoon we attended the Artists reception at the Hudgens Art Center where the show is on display. It is a must see if you are in the area!

Finally, Saturday, after the reception, some of the artists from ScribbleTalk got together at Luciano's Restaurant. We had 2 tables of ST members and guests. The food was wonderful, but the visit with online friends was even better! Its great to get to know people that I've talked with online for years!

Sunday we left Duluth, for our drive back to Arkansas. This time we took a different route, taking us through Georgia, Tennessee, Missouri, and into Arkansas. The weather was great going and coming, but while we were in Duluth it rained off and on all week, but it did keep the temperatures cool and comfortable.

This week I've been catching up on sleep, rest, putting up art supplies and all of those things that don't get done while away from home. But I have been working on my Paris Cafe piece as well, so I hope to have an update on that soon.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Working Vacation?

I am attending the Colored Pencil Society of America Annual Exhibition and Convention next week in Atlanta, Georgia! I call this a working vacation, but I think it will be alot more fun than work. I will be attending 2 workshops, plus all of the activities of the convention and spending time with other artists! So I'm sure it will be an enjoyable, but busy trip.

I am working on some ATCs for trading at convention. One of the new activities for this year will be a groupwide ATC (Artist Trading Card) exchange. I have one completed and hope to do another before I leave. So, I have to get busy packing and drawing!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A New Colored Pencil Painting... on the drawing table! last!

I took the photo reference when I was in France last summer and have been wanting to do this for awhile. It may take me awhile, with all of the interuptions and responsibilities that seem to creep into my life. But it is started and so far I am pleased with my results. So I will post the first couple of steps now and hopefully sometime over the next month or so, I will be able to work on it. Next week I will be attending the annual CPSA convention and exhibition, so I will not be able to work on it then.

This drawing is on UART 500 13" x 15" approximately. It may be larger or a little smaller. I will be using Prismacolor pencils.
I hope you will follow along with my progress and push me for updates for motivation! I tend to get distracted on other little projects.

Oh and by the way, the 2 photo, the 1st drawing photo, is a little crooked. Please excuse that. I will try to shoot the rest of them straighter. My little easle slants a little and I forget about that!

So, what it on your drawing board or craft table?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Home Decor Art Project

With all the moving going on, my daughter and I did manage to get in an art project. She wanted something unique for her new apartment wall. Well, she was downsizing from a larger apartment with more wallspace, but she did manage to save some space for our project. She found an old window at a junk store. So she decided to add art paper with her kitchen/living room colors in the glass areas. We painted brown paint on top of the white paint that was already on it, then wiped away some of the paint to make it look old and weathered a little. Put a hangar on the back and it was ready to go on the wall. It looks very nice on her kitchen. It is also a neat recycling project! What better way to create beautiful art, by using old building supplies?

What other ideas do you have for recycling old windows or building supplies?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Moving, moving, moving...

...I feel like I have moved so much, but actually I have lived in the same house for 13 years, and probably will stay in that house for several more...if not until I die! But my children are in college and they move in and out of apartments, dorms, etc...on a regular basis! Did I mention that I hate to move? It is so expensive and stressful to pull it all together. This week both of my children managed to schedule moving on the same weekend in two different towns! Good thing about it was that we used the same moving trailer for both moves. Bad thing is that it means getting two apartments situated with furniture, groceries, etc etc, all at once!
So that is why I have no art updates or photos to share for now. I hope to go on a photo taking trip around the college and mountains in the area today. So when I get home tomorrow night, I will share some photos.
Have a wonderful Sunday afternoon!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Christmas in July?

Well, not really but I am participating in the Christmas in July Sale on Etsy, along with many AREtsy Team (Arkansas Artists on Etsy) members. I'm sure many people are wishing for some of those cooler temperatures, but then summer vacation wouldn't be the same, now would it?

In both of my Etsy shops, I am offering FREE SHIPPING on purchases of $20 or more. With $50 or more, you also get a free gift! So, if you are interested in anything that you have seen me post here, then hop on over to my shops to see if it is still available! is all clay items featuring the Home is where the heart is! is mostly paintings, drawings, and a few prints, and a few clay items.

Check out the Sale section as well! I have a few items that have been marked to down to clear out things to make room for more items! My studio is getting crowded! Please help me clear out some items!
Check out the Arkansas Artists on Etsy blog for information about some of the other sales.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Its already July?

Where has June gone? It went by soooo quickly! I have a feeling that July will go by even more quickly. I will be going on a couple of trips this month and have plenty to do around the house, so time does fly...when you are very busy!

We will not be traveling for the fourth of July, but we will be having company, so I am looking forward to the holiday. Hope you have nice holiday plans.

I created a patriotic flag heart a few weeks ago and just listed it in my Etsy shop. Here is the link and a photo to celebrate the arrival of July!

What do you plan to do on the Fourth of July?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Lost in the shuffle...

5" x 5"
♥Beth S. Macre © 2009♥
This tile was finished a couple of weeks ago, but in the process of opening my second Etsy shop, listing many new things, blogging about the new things, I forgot to blog about this tile. The excitement of being out of school usually sends me on a whirlwind of activity trying to get as much accomplished in 8 or 9 weeks as possible! This years it no exception, but this week I've haven't been feeling so well. I am nursing a severe sunburn that I got last weekend on a trip to the lake...which was very enjoyable, but...I'm paying for it this week!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Home Tweet Home!

This is one of my newest Hearthome Tiles.

Of course birds have homes too! This lucky bird already has a home. It was made especially for a member of the AREtsy Team (Arkansas Artists on Etsy). The team had a swap for the members that wanted to participate in the swap. We were to make something to go with the theme SpringTweets. So I created this Hearthome for this little birdie.

The second photo is the tile before it was glazed and fired the second time. After it is bisque fired (the first firing), I then glaze it with a thinned black glaze. After it is dry, I wipe off the excess black glaze from the raised surfaces of the tile. Then I add the other glaze colors. Once I get all of the colors added, I glaze the entire tile with a clear glaze. When that is dry, it is ready for its' final firing.

What do you think should live in a Heart Home?  ~Beth

Thursday, June 18, 2009

It was so fun painting with texture...

...that I did another one! Earlier I painted a larger painting with 5 red flowers for our guest (my daughter's when she's home) bedroom. I liked it so much that I decided to do a smaller version of it with 3 flowers. I had fun painting it also. I plan to do some other things using this texturing medium. It is a heavy gel medium that you mix with the paint to make the acrylic paint thicker and hold its texture. You can use a pallette knife to smear it onto the canvas like icing on a cake.
This one is finished and listed in my Etsy Shop.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Santas Vacation?

Have you ever wondered what Santa does during the summer? Well apparently they go meet with other Santas! And they dress very cute!
Apparently this group meets here each summer and learns how to be great Santas! Of course Santa needs to be good at what he does, but he also needs to stay up to date with technology and the latest toys and gadgets that kids like these days!

So I guess Santa does get to leave the North Pole and go on vacation! This one seems to like barbecue. Of course you have to come South to get a good barbecue!

Doesn't he look cute in his red and white flowered shirt?

These two must be discussing the latest in Santa furniture!
Only 6 more months till Christmas!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

New Clay Tile...

'Evening at Home'
Heart Home Clay Tile
4" x 4" finished and listed on Etsy. This is the tile that I blogged about here: Textured Tile. I thought I might not get to fire it because earlier this week I went to fire some things in my kiln, but it wouldn't turn on! So I had to get an electrician to look at it. He was able to fix it up for me, so I fired it up yesterday. I had another tile in the kiln that I will post later. It was made for a trade with another Arkansas artist on Etsy.

Garden Markers for the Creative Gardener

Ceramic Plant Markers Plant markers are a fun way to decorate your garden and to mark your new or existing garden plants. I've se...