16 December 2013

Enormous Crush: Ariele Alasko

Ariele Alasko photo taken by Kinfolk
I have the biggest lady crush on Ariele Alasko from Brooklyn To West. I've mentioned before that I wanted to share things that inspire me. Well this lady is at the very top of my list.

A tour of Alasko's studio by Design Sponge 
When I first stumbled across her about a year ago I sat my ass down and didn't move until I had looked over the images of every single post she'd ever done. Over the top? Yes, but I do not regret my actions.   I didn't say I read every single word cuz that would just be crazy. I'd like to think of myself not as a stalker, but as a passionately curious individual. If I lived in Brooklyn, would I try to find the same coffee shops Alasko likes in hopes to "accidentally" bump into her and become best friends...hell yes. But again that just makes me passionately curious.

Recently sold Faceted Walnet Spoon by Alasko

Alasko's hand written tag
Seeing her work and reading about her story stirs in me the needs and desires to build with tools imperfect, beautiful wooden and metal objects for everyday use. I have a "small" pile of wood just waiting for me to execute the ideas floating around in my head. Knowing someone has come before and how they got to where they are now makes me feel encouraged. Should I choose to I could become an artist welding furniture creator! But alas, for now I'll be stick with inks and paints applied to paper and wood.
Coffee Table Four by Alasko
Reupholstered and hand stamped chair done by Alasko
Alasko adding a butterfly joint to a cutting board

artist photo: http://www.kinfolk.com/practical-handicraft/
studio shelf: http://www.designsponge.com/2012/08/sneak-peek-ariele-studio.html
walnut spoon: http://arielealasko.bigcartel.com/product/faceted-walnut-spoon
hand written tag: http://instagram.com/p/WubbMGCEeq/
lath coffee table: http://www.arielealasko.com/p/tables.html
chair: http://brooklyntowest.blogspot.com/2013/02/projects-at-home.html
butterfly joint: http://instagram.com/p/W5PkGNiEZZ/

13 December 2013

Ooo. Aaa.

I have embarked on the great branding journey. I started a few weeks ago with re-skinning this blog and creating a matching banner for my Etsy storefront as a test run of sorts. Opening my storefront earlier this week really forced me to sit down and research packaging which then led me to thinking about business cards which then led me to redesigning my website. This cascading of events all came down to fonts. To provide a consistent and solid brand, I wanted to start by selecting a font that I could applying across all platforms (banners, websites, business cards, packaging, etc). For me the best place to get a real sense of a font is my website. Trying things out on a website doesn't cost me any extra money like printing test business cards or doesn't involve save banner files in Illustrator and then uploading them to a blog or Etsy. So into the web designing I dove Thursday morning and this is where I landed:
I couldn't be happier about how my website is shaping up. I'm still working on ensuring the site is responsive for desktops, phones, and tablets. I also still need to work out how I want to display all my art work and write the jQuery which is why the full site won't go live until the end of January. But now I'm going to let the site marinate for a few days before ordering business cards!

And for reference this what my website looked like before today:
Previous Website Design

09 December 2013


Storefront open? Check! See my shiny storefront on Etsy.

Currently there are a few things in the shop one of which is my hand-painted nativity nesting dolls. Here are a couple shots that didn't make it into the etsy listing.

I decided against offering "Catch Hope" as a print in the shop despite mentioning that I would before. Depending on how things shake out I plan to add inventory throughout the next couple weeks in the form of some new watercolor prints and another one or two nesting doll sets. All of which are already in progress.

Aside from opening my storefront things I've tackled recently:
  • finished my first crochet project in the form of a bag to hold all my crocheting supplies
  • finished Christmas shopping
Things still on the docket among other things:
  • Polish up new watercolor painting and scan
  • Polish up holiday card design for friend

02 December 2013

Waa Waa Waa Waa

Imagine a distraught trombone like this one expressing the title of this post. Turns out opening a virtual storefront is a huge deal. I kneeew there were a lot of things I didn't think of…but damn there are a LOT of things I didn't think of. Did you know that the non-toxic chalkboard paint I picked up take 3 WHOLE DAYS to dry before you can draw on it. I didn't know either until I bought the new paint thinking the dry time would be 24 hours tops like the toxic stuff I use to pick up. Silly me, I should have known better. Also my print samples may have gone missing in the mail. So I'm crying uncle and postponing the opening of my Etsy shop for up to one week. If things start falling into place I will open shop before next Monday. As soon as things are up and running I will announce the official opening here. For glimpses of the action before then check out my instagram at glpaints.

Hope everyone didn't overstuff themselves too badly over the Thanksgiving weekend! Even though I couldn't control dry times and the postal service I did control getting my Christmas decorations up over the weekend. First time for everything.

22 November 2013

It's About to Get Real

It’s announcement/accountability time! The past several weeks I have been secretly plotting and now it the time for an announcement of intent. I am going to be christening my etsy shop with wares in time for the holiday hustle.

The storefront will be officially open and stocked Monday, December 2nd. That gives anyone in the US (international order not yet available) until December 18th to ensure purchases arrive in time for Christmas. I’m starting off with a couple of low-cost prints and a few completely-new-surprise products that will make perfect gifts for the holidays. The two prints will be 9x12s of the watercolor paintings ‘A Good Idea’ (first image) and ‘Catch Hope’ (second image).

As for the completely new products well…that will be a surprise. I’m working on the finishing touches and will hopefully share some sneak peeks mid next week. For now I will leave you with this partial quote as a vague clue, “.. riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma”.

Wishing you all greatness.

13 November 2013

The Latest: a Love of Lettering

Recent lettering from my mini moleskin found on my instagram.

Aside from lettering I'm currently loving on:
  • Almond milk, especially when made into hot cocoa
  • OneRepublic's Counting Stars song off their new album
  • A Beautiful Eulogy…been listening to both albums on repeat
  • Designing holiday cards for close friends
Things that fluster me and I could really do without:
  • Two hour round-trip commutes every. single. day.
  • Deshallacing (shutters)
  • Poo-eatting puppy season

Be Great.

20 February 2013

Free Printables + Backgrounds!


To be honest until 7 days ago I've been dreading this year. Until 7 days ago I've being trying to think of how to ignore, skip past, or prevent this year. This year I turn 30. :deep breath: Even typing that took all my resolve. I kid you not, I paused for a couple minutes psyching myself up to type those two little numbers in a row. 30. I feel unending bliss about my life. I'm incredibly blessed with all that I have. Of course things are not always easy, things are not always perfect, but such is the way of life at all points along the road. I was commenting to my friend, Callie, on her latest house remodeling project and she said the most inspiring sentence to me, "It's a great year to turn 30! ;)" I knew from that moment that a hand lettered chalkboard drawing was in my near future. Hell yes it's an effing amazing year to turn 30. I would rather turn 30 this year than last year or even :fake gasps: next year. Take that social construction.

There is something about blank chalkboards that make me breath easier. Something about hand lettering that makes me melt a little on the inside. Put the two together and you have an easy breathing melty artist, me. I can't think of a more fulfilling way to realizing such a personal and powerful quote.

Here is a list of links to all the different image resolutions/types. Spread the love and ENJOY!

Callie, thanks again for being my lovely muse on this one. She is one talented and ambitious lady. Check out her blog, House-Capades, where she tackles remodeling, physics and foster kitties.

09 February 2013

Unspoken January Theme

One month down and only 11 more to go. At the beginning of the year I wrote about my focus to find balance in 2013. Looking back, the month of January was a month of focusing on health. I splurged at the beginning of the month and bought a juicer which I used piously every morning for more than two weeks. Now I used it several times a week, but I don't get bent out of shape if I miss a day. I also stopped eating dairy as part of an experiment at the beginning of the month. I switched over to almond milk which isn't too bad in cereal and with the help of my charming man I trying out different non-dairy cheeses. Turns out having non-dairy, non-melting, fake cheese is WAY better than nothing at all so I'm content. Then quite recently, I splurged again and got a treadmill. I broke the beauty in today and dubbed her Millie. Silly, I know, but I couldn't stop myself. End of month conclusion: While I haven't reached all my health goals, I'm plodding along in the general direction I want and I will continue.

Reviewing the progress I've made in January and it's unspoken theme of health encourages me to apply a spoken theme to February. After a bit of hemming and hawing between art and house I've settled on house. That's not to say no art will be done during the whole month of February, it's just to say art will not be my main focus. In fact I spent the better part of the evening working on something new and I have proof in the form of an in progress sneak peek. SEE!

More to come on that early next week. Now back to the theme for this month. The scale tipping fact for focusing on house was my studio desk which is once again buried. Less than a month after cleaning the darn thing off, it's buried under a three foot stalk of magazines, shoe boxes, a turtle light, mail, bills, 6 pillar candle holders, an array of miscellaneous  light bulbs, and the list goes on. This isn't the only surface in the house which has been buried, its just the worst. The dining table, the kitchen counter, the wardrobe, and side tables all have piles of homeless/misplaced things. Clean house = breathing room = clear mind = art. Right? Right.

Here's to a month of organizing, cleaning, de-cluttering, reducing, and completing pre-existing in-progress projects. May my list of in-progress projects be whittled down to 1 or 2 instead of well over 10. Yikes.

16 January 2013

Studio Shot

Well it's not Monday and it's not the morning, but here are some shots of my studio without any prepping, yellow dog toy on the floor and all. Th pup was being lazy in my bed or she probably would have make it into some shots. Perhaps next time.

Not much happening on paper right now mostly just idea swirling in my head. Did a couple sketches which show up at the end of this collection.

05 January 2013

Cleaning the cobwebs

Updating and cleaning. That's what I'm up to today. Not very glam, but in the lazy hazy of 2012 I lost top billing on internet searches. Gasp. So time to clean out the cobwebs and spruce things up. If not with shiny new art then let it be with a shiny, new google account and a glossy, new blog skin and maybe even a brand-spanking-new web design. ...Ok, well maybe the last one is getting a little ahead of myself. Baby steps.

Still need to snap a image for the header and snap some photos of studio for the studio tour page now located in the right panel.

I took the below photo over the summer while driving. Perhaps not my best idea, but I love the white factory smoke billowing straight up over the tree line.

Oh to be summer again.

01 January 2013

2013: A year of big things and balance

Hello 2013. Year of the snake. Not my Chinese zodiac, but here's hoping it's my year. 2012 - you were absolutely great, but like many years before you I missed the boat on a lot of things I wish I hadn't. No pressure, but 2013, you're going to be the year of big things and balance. My sole goal is to find balance. Balance with health, art, life and the chaotic space I call a home.

I did two things today to start the year out on a balanced foot. I ordered a juicer and I cleared out my studio. Everything that was junking up the studio is now junking up the porch which is a useless space until summer. My desk is cleared off. My easel is unburied. ALL my art supplies are all stored in places I can find and access with ease in a single room. It's all just crazy enough to work.

Speaking of desk.... I like to build shit. ALL THE TIME. A decent chunk of 2012 went towards building this that and the other thing for the house. It's a cozy fit in this palace of mine and to get something that works well in any given area usually involved building it yourself. Who am I to say no to using power tools? That said I built a new desk. I let my old one get hijacked by an adorable man, who lets me call him husband (like I said 2012, was brilliant).
photo taken circa fall 2012
I love warm wood and industrial pipe. There was much trial and error to get the piping just right which was a huge pain in the arse, but worth ever minute. Of course I can say that now because I've all be forgotten the pain much like I hope birthing a child will be. In the future I would love to switch the top out for something chunkier. Maybe a whole 2" instead of the unimpressive 3/4" it is now.

With 2013 being the year of balance I believe a little balance on the blog would be good too. A) While regularity has never been my strongest point, I plan on showing up here more than never. B) I hope to expand the diversity of my content. I want to take time to share things, images, and artists that inspire me as I trip across them. I already have two artist's that I'm secretly stalking and excited to share. C) I intent to share photos of my studio on a regular basis. I am absolutely fascinated by artist's studio spaces. I drool and gawk every time I find one online. I'm memorized by seeming the spaces in their natural state with current work being done. Perhaps Monday mornings will become "studio shot" mornings. Who doesn't need a stiff one on a Monday morning?

...Good thing tomorrow isn't Monday, but just because I'm on a roll here is a freshly snapped photo of the top my desk. Pile of kleenex and all. No art to be seen, but hey baby steps.