Saturday, June 29, 2013

Where did June go?

It flew by! It always does though. I love June, because the weather is usually very nice.  It's been a little on the warm side, but not too bad until this week.   When it starts to get hot, like it has this week, I stay inside and work in my studio a lot more.   I seem to get more accomplished in the studio when the weather is not good outside.

But just a little picture today of some of the clay things I've been working on. More clay owls, a house, and a couple of hanging tiles.   I didn't draw the little drawing of "Bethie".  That was done by the talented Tim Hunter.  She sits on my shelf in my studio.

Time for some sleep. I'll be posting some of these hanging tiles in my Etsy shop soon.  The owls and the orange house are already spoken for.  More to come soon.

 Love my job!

Beth  ♥    

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Pink Hydrangeas Blooming this Month

 I love flowers and love to have them in my yard.  I just don't seem to have the time to baby them like I used to.  But this hydrangea is looking very pretty with a lot of blooms right now.  I love all colors of hydrangeas, but pink is my favorite.  This is the only one that I have in my yard.  After we moved into our current house, I received a cutting from my mother's hydrangea and because our house was new (17 years ago), there was no shade.  I tried to find a shady spot to plant it, but it was difficult and it was a little droopy and slow to grow at first.  But now I have some shade and I moved it to a better spot several years ago.  Now it gets plenty of shade and is pretty healthy.   I plan to try to root some cuttings off this plant, so I can take some with me, when we move...whenever that happens.
Hmmm...I guess I need to do some rooting technique research.  And maybe draw this one too!


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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A little bit of this and a little bit of that...

Colored Pencil and Ink
Beth S. Macre ©2013
My love of clay and paint and colored pencil and ink, can be really confusing to some...even me! But it can also be a blessing to me!  I never get bored with what I do, because there is always another project or media that is waiting for me to play with!   But sometimes I'm just not feeling the clay work, or sometimes I just don't have the time to really get much of a painting done, so I will work on something small to just relax in front of the television.  I enjoy the variety!

I have been working on several different projects lately. Some of them are commissions that I cannot post photos of, just yet, so I will share some of what I have been working on, on the side. I like to experiment with new ideas for my online sales and for future art festivals.  Right now I have one festival scheduled for the fall.  My little clay houses are the biggest seller in my booth at the art festivals. But I also like to include other items for customers who may not be interested in little houses.  So I've been creating clay tiles and acrylic paintings.  But I need more variety of clay pieces.  So I am working on some functional pieces to try out at the Norcross festival.  I have decided to make some small bowls and small cups with whimsical designs painted on them.  Here is one of my first experiments.  I like how it turned out, so I will definitely be making more.  Hmmm...I think I need a larger kiln!

Beth  ♥    

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Thank you for buying Handcrafted and How Time Flies...

...when you are having fun. I knew that I would enjoy retirement, because I have always had something to do in my spare time.  Spending time creating is the best job for me! Many people that I see around town ask how I like being retired.  I do miss the interaction with my co-workers and the students, but I love working from home. And now I get to have interactions with customers and other artists.  So I don't call it retirement, I just call it my change in careers or work place.  Because I am working on my art career every day. I never get bored (except when I had to wait in the Doctor's office for 3 hours the other day! ) because I work on a variety of media...clay, paint, pen and ink, or whatever a customer may have an idea for a custom piece!  Some of that time is working on the computer, listing, marketing, and paperwork, but many hours are spent thinking, planning, and creating.  Although I would like to spend more time on the creative process, marketing and paperwork are necessary to be able to continue to create.  Because if I do not sell my creative work, then it would soon overtake the house and I would have to get another job that is not so creatively fulfilling!  So thank you to those of you have purchased my artwork at some point along my artistic journey! I hope that you enjoy having a little piece of my creations. And hopefully I will be able to continue on this journey for many years to come!

My thoughts on buying directly from an artist or craftsman...just my 2 cents, for what its worth if anyone really reads this.
If you buy handmade you are helping to support someone and their career, which translates into that person being able to pay their bills and support their family.  Know that when you buy something that is created by an artist/craftsman, you are getting something that is handcrafted, usually one of a kind, and not shipped from a foreign country.  (I am not talking about children's craft or hobby craft, but a dedicated artist/craftsman)  And the artist appreciates customers who support them and are willing to pay them for their skill. And many times you can get an original work of art, jewelry, pottery, or even clothing, for the same price or close to it, as what you would pay in a nice store.  Now if you go to a discount store, you will get inexpensive and cheap...and probably made in China or India. Buying from or hiring an artist, is no different than hiring a contractor to remodel or fix something in your home.  You hire someone who you know does good quality work and you pay them what they charge. They have the training and experience to do a good job, so you pay them what they are worth.  An artist puts many hours into training, practice, and working on their
art/craft, not to mention expenses such as supplies, taxes, fees, etc.   Next time you go to a chain store and start to buy some artwork, look on the label on the back and see where it comes from. Is it made in China? Or India? Is it mass produced?  Is it one of kind?   Probably not.  I will always remember the painting that my parents had over their couch when I was growing up. (See part of it in the photo here, complete with the 1960s wood paneling, and the gold colors of the 70s. (I cut out the photo of my friend sitting on the couch from 1977...I can't do that to her!)   I don't know where that painting came from, but I also saw that same painting in several of my friends houses!  So it must have been a department store purchase.  Its was a 60s standard, I guess.  Back then, artists were not as accessible as they are now on the internet. It definitely was not an original painting, but it is definitely retro!   It seems like only a few years ago that I was sitting on that couch watching our big box TV with 3 channels!

Time flies!  If it doesn't, then you are not having fun! Make the most of every minute with whatever you enjoy doing.  And try to buy something handcrafted from someone you may know this year.

Thank you for supporting handcrafted!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Slowly but Surely...

...checking my list.
I have a long to do list for the Spring Spruce up project. Some of those things on my list are outdoor activities and some are indoors.  I checked a few things off the list as finished. Some have been started, but need to be completed.
Flowers planted...check! (must plant a few more when the rain stops)
I moved the art studio to one of the spare bedrooms...check!
The old art studio was painted and turned into an office...check!
De-clutter and organize the new studio...well the new art studio is still a work in progress.
I did get some things off the floor and hung on the wall...shown in the picture.  These are shelves that I use to display some of little clay houses.  I've also added a little drawing of 'Bethie' (Me), that was created by an artist friend, Tim Hunter, a few years ago. A little souvenir shot glass I got in France, that I put some colored pencil nubs in. A little clay owl ornament (in the house shadow box) that I purchased from an artist, that I met at the Dunwoody and Norcross Art Festivals.  She has since moved back to her home country of England, but you can find her very very cute creations here on Etsy... JoyElizabethCeramics.  The rest of the little clay items in the shadow box can be purchased  from my etsy shop here:  HeartHomes .

Slowly, but surely I will get everything done from my list.  But the list seems to be getting longer each week! The goal is to get the house ready to put on the market to sell.  I am hoping that that will be easier to do now that school is out and hubby can help with some of those things on the list!

For now, on to the next item on the be determined by the weather.  Hmmm...For now I am going to  draw.


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