Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays!

Joy to the Modern Family!
I could just post the above picture, wish you happiness and move on to the next holiday task....
No, that's too easy. I want to share a couple more things. My Playmobil manger and three Playmobil advent calendars (yes, three!) had been lost for years. it drove me crazy that I couldn't find them. Then, when I moved all my junk from my mom's attic a month ago - I found all sorts of forgotten treasures, including the Playmobils.

Lilah and I set them ALL up on the dining table - four scenes in a row. There was Santa's Workshop, the Christmas Market, and the Heavenly Bakery. Everyday she opened a few boxes and set up the characters and objects in their respective scenes.

Here are the three advent calendar sets, in the back, with the calendars in the front.
As the days passed, I started noticing that characters were migrating from one scene to another. Angels were trading wings with elves and cats... and then those mischievous penguins hopped out of their boxes...

"Uh... Mary? Where's the baby?"

I will post a picture when all the scenes are completed. Should be interesting...

On a different tangent, you may have seen, on the internet, the amazing snow tangles created by Simon Beck? OMG those are so incredible. But, seriously? The whole point of Zentangle is to simplify so that anyone can create beautiful designs. But thanks to Simon, we are all desiring our own snow tangles, right? Here is a video of Lilah showing you how to create your own snow-tangles. This is the FUN, relaxing, stress free way...

Now, I will wish you HAPPY HOLIDAYS! And I hope this New Year will be more Zen and less Tangle for everyone. ;-D

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A little photo tour of The BeeHive!

Zoooooom!!! That's time whooshing past us! I had planned to just tell you about my ideas for the new studio space.... but then I realized you were probably wondering what I have been doing for the past month. And I was kind of shocked that it has actually been a month! Although I still feel like hiding in my studio and puttering for the rest of the winter, when I'm in The BeeHive - I actually feel like talking to people... and I start getting really excited about all the possibilities! The space keeps changing, but this seems like a great time to take you on a little tour and show off some of those possibilities. Come on!

We won't dwell on the past, but just to put things in perspective, this is the sign that was on the door exactly one year ago. :-( It was really sad, but it was also a wonderful feeling to get to play Santa. We gave away so much stuff before Christmas, but even so, it took a few months to pack up all the remaining inventory and clean out the place.

In the process of cleaning out the store room and the attic, I found some cool stuff - the best being the front and back of our A-frame display. The display was actually a "house" from a childrens' bookstore in Concord that closed when we first moved up here. Dan Hamilton put it back together for me and built new side walls. He even added carpeting. Lilah's dolls would tell you it is very plush. But no shoes are allowed in the house!

I painted it with purple chalkboard paint and let Lilah and her friend, Danny, go at it with chalk markers. Sooner or later (I'm guessing later) I will paint the trim and the hearts too. I did wash the windows...

Here's Dan putting together a super cool wooden door from India that I found in a junk shop in Bar Harbor, ME. That's the back, you should see the front!

 Since there is nothing like a deadline to motivate me to action, I decided to do an Open Studio on Dec. 8th when the whole town had a Holiday Shopping Tour. Even with the deadline, I was still floundering until Jacque showed up and actually started moving stuff. We resorted to the ages old tactic of "shove everything unnecessary into the other room and hide it with a curtain". Fabulous trick. Of course, everything is still in that room, but the studio looked great. Her son, Danny is in Kindergarten with my daughter so we brought them both back to the studio to "help"- which always seems to involve a lesson from Lilah on how to draw Lilah Beans....

This is part of the classroom. The neat part. Although this table is currently covered by a Playmobil zoo... if I turned around I would fall over all the "stuff" we shoved into this space for the Open Studio. On the far wall, you can see half my Accucut die collection. I have two die cutters and a bunch of other cool art-toys. Yes, you too can come play in my studio!

 Beyond the classroom is my inner sanctum - actually, this is Bumblebat - where I do all my Etsy orders. The amazing painted cabinet (I used to paint furniture) features two characters from my old stamp company (Bartholomew's Ink), Edgar with his raven, and the Baroness with her cat Gus.

Going back out to the front shop/studio space, there is a little "lounge" area with comfy chairs and a K-cup machine - since I don't know how to make coffee, you can make it yourself. There is a giant Zentangle on lokta paper on the wall. Sets the mood, no?

Yes, that brown chair needs painting. It has been waiting 20 years for me to "get to it". It will wait a bit longer.

I did paint the old (Personal Stamp Exchange!) display - purple, of course - to hold all my Anachronistic Castle stamps. I am still trying to decide if I am going to restart this stamp company. maybe if I have some free time...

And here is the Art Bar for demos, face painting, shrink plastic... this is my favorite spot. Notice the little bookcase shrouded in black? This technique of hiding things behind curtains could become a crutch. Sooner or later I will have to actually clean all this stuff up!

These big tables would be good to spread out your projects, take a class (a clean one, like Zentangle), or have a meeting, or birthday party...

The green theater chairs in front of the giant chalk board are from a closed theater in Concord, NH. The giant Munny (Meg) on the cabinet is for inspiration, not for sale, but the books are for sale. There is definitely a lot of inspiration around here.

The "plan" is to have the studio open, starting in January, every Friday from 3-9pm. There is a little shop area, so you can buy some supplies or books, but most of the space is dedicated to "creative community". You can hang out and chat, work on your own projects, get inspiration, or take a class. I'm working on my own schedule of workshops, but I'd like to find lots of other artists to come share their expertise and passions. We'll see what happens! If you'd like to know more about what happens at The BeeHive, please go to and put your name on the mailing list. I'll add events and classes to the site as I get them, so be sure to check back.

And please, if you know anyone creative in the New England area, pass the site's link on to them.


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