Monday, May 24, 2010

Oganizinig 101

I have been organizing like crazy these last 2 weeks. The studio, the website, the blog...and a little in the house.

I put myself on a schedule a couple of weeks ago and it is working great! I feel more satisfaction at the end of my day now rather than that feeling of never completely accomplishing anything. If I'm going to do everything I say I'm going to do I HAVE to be organized.

When I volunteered at the zoo's wildlife rehab center, we were extremely organized. The entire organization runs on volunteers with only 2 paid employees. The same people are rarely there two days in a row and the place runs like a top.  Lists were the key. There was one for daily, weekly and monthly jobs. I loved it and always intended on getting my home and studio on such a schedule.

This is NOT my nature...or it hasn't been until now. It may be that "age thing" again creeping up on me. Whatever the reason, though, it's working. I'm on a daily/weekly schedule so far...the monthly, I'm working on. I like this feeling of knowing what to do and when to do it. It's not like it used to be when someone else dictated my time or even when I had the gallery open and had to be there when I really had other things I'd like to do. This time it feels right and easy so it must be "meant to be".

So, the blog has some new features now, if you want to take a look. I found that you can add stationary pages (I'm always the last to know these things) so I listed my new services and workshops that will be available in September when we open. Yes, we can safely say we will be ready by then. Finally!

They are listed under the banner at the top. Let me know what you think or if you have suggestions for workshops etc.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Thursday's Thrifty Finds

Besides being wonderful glass globes do you know what these were in their first life?

 This one may give it away...the large ones are street light globes and the smaller ones are from security lights like you would have in your backyard. This one is the outer covering for the small one above. I thought it would look beautiful with a candle inside since it has a hole in the top. Imagine an outside dinner party at dusk. The ribbed glass will probably have a dramatic affect on the flickering light.

This one is hard to see through as well so it may serve well just as a cloche to protect young plants from a late frost...any decorative ideas?

We have the 3rd one on our kitchen table. This wasn't the best time of day for photographing but you can see how beautiful and purposeful they can be in their next life. My chickens are finally protected from accidental beheading by roudy kittens.
Like them? We will have two more large ones and two more small ones in the shop this summer. We are keeping our eyes open for more but so many were destroyed by the utility company when they were taken out of use that they are hard to come by.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Identity Crisis

The title of my post today is in jest but it could be an actual theory if I were to stop and think about it long enough...but I won't do that. Who has time for contemplating these days?

This image of chaos has been evolving for months now and only since my husband suggested to me last night that I "may be having an identity crisis" that I realized it looks like I truly am all over the place these days. My studio looks like an explosion occurred leaving things from one end to the other.

I know the importance of branding and doing that one thing and doing it really well. The experts continue to teach these first steps to success. For over 20 years I've essentially done the "one thing"....floorcloths... and my brand, Free Rein Art and Design, is established. When I look back at my accomplishments they far exceed any first thoughts I ever had about painting rugs. I just wanted to sell enough to afford to stay at home with Erin until she started school. I never knew that before she would be a year old my floorcloths would have been featured in Country Living Magazine or that the year she actually started school we would build a new studio with the profits from my sales.

Now, our daughter is on her own, we have a son in high school and I am about to turn 50. Time flies when you're having fun! I guess it's really going to jet now that I'm having major fun. I almost feel like I should be apologetic that I'm not painting so much anymore. This time I've had to wait for Rick to get his shop built so I can begin working on my store has been a blessing.

I have found that I have unlimited resources from the trailer for being creative and I am thrilled that so much that may have been thrown away will be recycled and re-loved. I am first a designer by nature and degree, and secondly an artist. Below is a couple of boxes I have on my work table this week. They are almost finished and will be available in the shop this fall...possibly in my etsy shop as well if I find more string boxes. On Wednesdays, I will be featuring what I am working on during the week. I'm trying to make myself some sort of schedule so I will post more regularly.

Wooden Cigar Box (from my junk swap partner) decoupaged with selections from vintage 1960's travel brochures.
Inside lid still has original cigar logo

Banjo Strings box sealed with poly with marbles for feet
 Lid and bottom fitted with old sheet music

So, if you have wondered if I still paint, the answer is yes. I have begun accepting commissions again and have work scheduled on my calendar for June. This means a busier summer since now we have to begin working on the store rather than working from it as previously planned. Due to the time constraints I will not be traveling to Wyoming to exhibit this year as I had hoped either but nonetheless I am very excited about what is happening here on the home front.

I hope to in the future continue to design and paint floorcloths, but too I want to be a designer on a daily basis and do more than that "one thing". I think turning 50 does something to us that says it's okay to do it our way and the heck with what the experts say. If I want to design a belt today and an rug tomorrow who's to say that's incongruent and won't work? Not me. I feel like diversity is essential today.

What do you think? Diversity or that one thing? There is no right or wrong, I suppose...just whatever works for you.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Do you remember?

I've gone back in time to 2nd grade this morning and have been lost in this 1967 gift catalog. I remember scouring these kinds of catalogs at my grandparents' home on Sunday afternoon visits when I had to stay inside and keep my dress clean....did you do that too?...Sunday afternoon visits to relatives or friends and have to keep your Sunday best on all afternoon?...We only did this for a short time while I was a very little girl. It was torture for me at the time...but fond memories today.

 This one, as you guessed, came out of another box from the trailer. It's a Gold Bond Gift Catalog.

The camping and picnic pages were some of my favorites. Gosh, I'd love to have some of the things on this page! I hope to find the trailer.

 Check out this collage style page...

 These gals could be a modern day girls here in the 21st century.

I honestly hated these styles back in the day but now...well I've changed.

You have to take the good with the bad...
 And, who didn't love the toy pages?

I'm planning to list this on ebay this evening. Not much demand here in Randolph County that I know of, but there are collectors out in the world that may like to have it. Check in about 9 pm eastern by clicking on the ebay button at the top of this page.

In the same box were some Eastern Airline travel brochures. Some from places in NC that I will keep to put in the shop, but these are more special and I will first offer them online through ebay.

 1957 Love the illustrations!

 Further inside

 Opened up completely
This one doesn't have a date but I assume its about the same time in the 50's.

Destinations Inside

Back side

Do you keep things like this stored away for years in boxes? What are you going to do with them? I wonder what the Hughes family was saving them for...wishes and dreams? I wonder if they bought something from the catalog or went on a nice vacation? I imagine the more I dig around through their belongings I may find some answers.

Monday, May 3, 2010

My Newest Addiction

I have always loved the beautiful scrap booking papers and all the embellishments to go with them...but I don't scrapbook. For years I have wondered what I could do with them and now I've found my solution. These little boxes are so addictive. I made these last Thursday morning in just a couple of hours. If I'd have had more supplies I'd have kept going.

The possibilities are endless with the combination of paint, papers and all sorts of embellishments. The top is faux painted while the bottom is paper covered. This size makes a nice gift box for jewelry and as a keepsake. 

The same combo of paint and paper with velvet ribbon trim.

This one is for dreams and wishes...or anything else you want to keep inside.

 Back view

Top View
 Stay tuned...More to come