Tim’s Sally: Painting for me, is a nostalgic descent back to my childhood – a time when dolls were a huge part of my life. Today is not altogether different. I think of my paintings as play sets where I dress my dolls up and create their own environment. Sometimes this “land” is a sweet setting of animals, nature, and innate innocence while others are captivated by a mysterious engulfing darkness. I can relate.
Memories of playtime and my special collection of “neat stuff” that I kept in a wooden trunk made specially for me by my uncle were treasures to me. Baby doll heads, vintage dolls, sweet scents of everything yummy are areas of great inspiration. Artists such as Mark Ryden, Joe Sorren, and Casey O’Connell also capture my heart with a sweet tenderness encompassing subtle moments of time we all would like to revisit; a dream state so unique one could only wish to take part.
Handmade Journal from Time for Tea Me
I’ve got bad news! Yes, you’ve probably heard already, back to school is right around the corner. Growing up I was that geeky kid who looked forward to back to school – big time! Sure I loved vacations, winter and summer breaks – but by the end of the summer I was ready for some new school supplies and to see what the new year would bring. It’s been years now since I’ve gone to school, but I still find that with fall approaching I’m usually starting to think it’s time for a sweater or some new kicks right around this time of year. And this year’s no different. Because I work from home here and again I justify some fun new office supplies or some art for around my desk. At this point I’ve got more art than I need and am thinking it’s time to get that art wall started that I’ve planned for ages….. But I digress!
Today I’d like to show you some of my finds from the world of handmade that might help you face a new school year with a smile or to feel just a little happier that fall is right around the corner. Personally I couldn’t be more stoked that fall is almost here. It’s been just so darn hot all summer that I know I’ll be happy to see the leaves change color and to feel that nice bit of briskness in the air. Heck, I might as well start unpacking my scarves and fall clothes now with the way I’m talking….
Without further ado – here are some of the fun handmade back to school picks I’ve found.
Flower Notebook by Chikabird
Laptop Sleeve from Byrd and Belle
Pencil Case from Kukubee
How about you? Are you looking forward to fall and back to school or would you prefer an “endless summer”?
If that’s what you’ve got in mind – this 2011 calendar can be purchased now from Myan Print Shop!
Matthew Parker is a photographer with a distinctive point of view, and an incredibly unusual technique for sharing that point of view. He makes photographic collages, but don’t let the word “collage” let you think of chopped up, scattered, and randomly pasted-together images. Matthew’s photographic collages take the same time, planning, and critical decision making that any master painting would take.
Each collage starts out as a sketch. As a trained architect, Matthew is drawn to objects in the built environment, and how structures interact with their space. After sketching out how he would like his subject to appear, the camera comes out. Instead of chopping up photographs to create the individual collage elements, each piece is actually a single, complete, unaltered photograph, which was deliberately framed and angled to follow the lines of Matthew’s original sketch.
In addition to viewing his subjects through multiple angles, Matthew’s collages also add an element of time. The collages are made up of multiple photographs – more than thirty, sometimes approaching one hundred separate images – but they also span multiple time periods. Sometimes the photographs are taken over the course of a single day, or a time span of several hours. Some of the collages include images from several different months or years – all taken from the same spot, and all of the same subject.
Adding the element of time allows Matthew to portray how moods and atmosphere change over the time of day, or seasons of the year. The variations in the images allow the viewer to experience the subject in a way that a single photograph (or even a real-life visit) never could. Matthew’s collages are a totally unique way to understand and experience a subject.
Because of his background in architecture, Matthew is very drawn to the abundance of beautiful buildings in Washington DC. But one of his favorite subjects is the cherry blossoms, because the look of the blossoms change so dramatically in different light. Additionally, images of crowds are another favorite subject. People are never static, and multiple images layered on top of each other really help the viewer to feel like they are actually part of the crowd.
Matthew’s customers also love images of the cherry blossoms, probably for the same reasons he does, but also because they are such an iconic symbol of Washington, DC. If you see one you like, you need to act fast, because all the prints are limited edition, and won’t be available forever. New collages are always being planned, but there is no set schedule on when new ones will be introduced. After all, it could take years to capture all the necessary images!
Matthew is currently working on a collage of the tidal basin that has already been three years in the making. It’s not hard to imagine the difficulty of capturing the cherry blossoms during their notoriously short lifespan, and finding and maintaining the exact spot in the tidal basin days, months or years apart!
There are plenty of amazing collages in his current collection, depicting beautiful scenes of Washington DC as well as other cities. He’s even open to suggestions for new collages. If you have an idea, drop him a line and let him know!
You can see all of Matthew’s work at his online gallery, as well as purchase prints in various sizes from his online store, or from the National Building Museum shop. Also, you can visit Matthew’s web site to find him at fine art and craft shows in the DC area.
One drawback to ordering handmade goods is that they are not always in stock. As a consumer, I appreciate that this means everything I do order has been freshly produced. However, I choose not to live without black mascara.
I have become a fan of the mineral mascara that Myra makes at Funkey Monkey company. But the last time she listed it, it sold out before I got around to placing an order. And the mascara that I had was about to run out.
I was happy to discover that Lucy at Mum Mum’s Crafts, whose lip balms I tried and liked several weeks ago is also making mascara now. So I tried it. Like the other mascaras that I have recommended it is non-toxic and expires in three months.
The black natural lash building mascara is smooth and creamy. It slides evenly onto the eyelashes. I let it dry, then combed out a clump. I was very pleased that the clump went right onto the brush in one piece, and did not splinter and make a powdery mess on my face, or get into my eyes.
I reapplied the mascara later, for a touch up. And I am pleased about that too. It went on easily, and the brush did not stick or make lumps.
I have not had any problem with the mascara running or flaking. And I even took a shower with it on one day. I tried not to get my face wet. But that usually does not prevent mascara from turning into a splotchy mess. I do not expect that from mineral mascara. I expected to have a wet mess on my face from the steam, to clean it up easily, and then need to reapply.
My past experience has been that any mascara mild enough to provoke no irritation on my skin does not stay on in the shower, or even on humid summer days. So I’ve definitely found my new summer mascara (months away I know.)
One other positive note. I received this mascara five days after I ordered it. I mean exactly five days, not five business days. And yes, I am so ridiculously detailed that I keep track of the shipping time for every handmade order that I place and only recommend those which ship within two weeks.
Happy holidays everyone.
I’d like you to meet the art of Sarah McNeil! I would say her style is delicate with pinch of nostalgia. The soft colors and sturdy lines draw me in. Sarah’s sketches and paintings each produce a small friend to collect.
Have a furry friend that you would love to have captured in a painting? Sarah McNeil does that to! It’s special when an artist can combine their personal style & portrait work to create unique pieces. I’m sure it’s both challenging and rewarding.
Sarah writes this about herself:
“Sitting in my studio making pretty things and drinking tea and coffee at the same time.”
To me, that sounds simply lovely. I wish I could join her!
I just adore this sweet collection of art. You will find originals, prints and even some soft, knitted brooches (cutest little things ever). All available in her online shop, Sarah McNeil! She also maintains a blog entitled Everything for your viewing pleasure!