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Tag: coloring book

Gifts and Goals

Gifts and Goals

Endings Are Beginnings: Goals

There’s ALWAYS a HUGE flurry of activity in November and December, trying to finish up final projects and commissions of the year, doing sales/shows, and prepping shipments, along with my own household holiday “stuff”. 102 cloverI am thrilled to have completed ALL of my 2016 business goals, considering that my husband was bedridden for over two months and in the hospital for almost a week.  An ocean-themed coloring book was created, 100+ bowls painted (!), and diorama “Daydream” boxes put together, among other things. An odd item on my personal list was to find 100 four-leaf clovers in 2016. I found #100 in October, and ended at 102 (unless I find another before New Year’s)!

tabledoneGoals give you focus, and reaching goals leaves room for more learning experiences! Breaking big goals into bite-sized pieces helps you accomplish what you set out to do (learn, create, grow, build, accomplish). For example, painting a whole dining set with 6 chairs is a HUGE undertaking, so we broke it into steps which made the project less daunting. We removed the seats and cleaned the chairs. Cleaned the table. Sanded rough spots. And so on. You can’t do it all at once. Baby steps.

What makes you say YES? What do you WANT to do in the next year (not what do you HAVE to do)? Name your GOAL!

ocean coloring bookThe Making Of An Adult Mandala Coloring Book

Producing “My Mother’s Garden” adult coloring book (last year) meant labor-intensive sketching from garden photos, scanning the sketches, cleaning up the scans, and then laying it all out the book format. It took a long time! My latest adult coloring book, “Ocean Rhythms,” was done on my laptop in around 50 hours (including creating the art and finding suitable quotes and ocean facts for each page). The mandalas I was creating needed to be more precise than my hand-drawing skills could produce, and building them in CorelDRAW was the best way for me to accomplish the task.

mandala creationAfter laying out a blank page to the correct size and format for publication, I chose five or six creatures and a tiny decorative motif for each mandala. I started with the center, created a circle, and then aligned objects (sharks, fish, starfish, whales, turtles, etc) along the path of the circle varying the numbers in each piece. Increasing the size of the circular path, I added more creatures in various configurations. Some of the pages are distinctly Hawaiian (in fact, I used Hawaiian petroglyphs in some of the pieces), and each mandala has a main focus, whether shells, deep sea, sharks, or turtles. It was a very interesting learning process as I got my hands on some tools in Corel that I’ve never used before. I’ll admit that it still is a very unusual but pleasant, feeling to color in a book that came from my brain and hands!

ARTIST’S PICK: 10 Beautiful Gifts

dolphin dioramaHere are some of my top picks from the store (at this moment). Clicking on each will take you to the product in the shop. 1) The “Daydream” diorama boxes with beach scenes are my absolute favorite…and I have some gnome dioramas, too! Dive into a magical world when you open the lid…this Pacific dolphin swimming near shore makes me smile every time I open the lid!

2, 3) I still have a wonderful selection of 35″ square hand-dyed Kaleidoscope silk scarves. Some of them look like stained glass windows, and all of them have glorious colors! And in the same sort of design vein, the Ocean Rhythms adult coloring book fulfills that need to “color all the things”.

silk scarf     mandala sample
4, 5) Hand-painted ornaments for the bird lovers and turtle lovers! Birds and turtles are cute, but add a Santa hat, and they are super adorable!

painted ornamentspainted bird ornaments

6, 7, 8, 9, 10) Unusual new pieces: a realistic three-toed sloth, a fiery mandala bowl with “lava” dripping on the edge, a tiny peacock feather ring bowl, a yarn bowl with a nest inside (the other two yarn bowls sold immediately), and a whimsical jewelry tray (or trinket tray) filled with pretty swirls of pink, white, and black.

1539 sloth bowl  volcano mandala bowl    tiny peacock feather bowl  bird nest yarn bowljewelry tray trinket tray

So there you have it! Pretty things, an adult coloring book project, a gift sale, 102 four-leaf clovers, and GOALS!
Remember, the completion of goals leaves room for new goals, new projects, and a chance to learn new skills, and I hope that you are looking forward to 2017’s gifts with the anticipation of a child. Let me know what you’re dreaming GOING to accomplish in 2017!

THANK YOU! Thank you so much for your incredible support this year! It meant so much to John and me (and he is doing MUCH better now). Until next time, have a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Year, no matter how you celebrate!

Eclectic Dawn

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Spring Decor Tips

Spring Decor Tips

SPRING DECOR TIPS: Spring! It seems like we’ve all got a bit more energy; longer days, flowers blooming, and more sunshine. Remember to slow down, look around, and have fun and restorative moments in between your spring cleaning tasks! Want a fresh feel in your home for Spring?

  • Put away heavy, dark curtains and install lighter, slightly sheer curtains to let in more of that wonderful spring light.
  • Add more plants to your living areas, or a vase of spring flowers to your table.
  • Pack away “heavier” decor items (ie: massive dark pottery pieces), trading them out with lighter objects (think open weaves, thin profiles, bright colors). Example: swap out the heavy velvety throw on your couch with a light colored lacy throw.Spider Plant and Shells
  • How about a basket of pretty shells on a coffee table with vintage crochet work underneath? You can almost hear the ocean and feel summer coming!
  • Swap out dark wall art with brightly-patterned fabric in a frame.
  • After the danger of frost has passed, set a couple of pots of flowering plants at your front door to to welcome you and your guests home. It sets the tone before you even enter the home.
  • Remember, think bright, light, airy…open the curtains and let the sunshine in!

dev1SPRING PROJECTS: We also made time to visit friends and delve into some new projects. Recent commissions have included  a white rose, the story of Jesus in four parts, two elephant bowls, a decorative bowl for cellphone/keys as a sister to a piece I painted for Christmas, and a custom sign for The Vintage Idiot Re-Tiques. The Kukui Lagoon is HOPPIN’! (photos are below)

We took a day to deliver the sign to our friends, John and Tracy, in Woodlawn, VA. Their house is chock full of AWESOME thrifting finds, re-purposed items, and special items with great stories behind them. (photo: the new sign in their booth at Briar Patch, Galax) We had a great day of thrifting, laughing, and meeting the goats down at road at Cranberry Acre, too (Arwen makes divine scented soaps, and omg, she has the most glorious sewing room). Miss Lola came along for the ride and got to meet Jax, too. Sometimes it is QUITE alright to mix business with pleasure, as it refills your artistic gas tank. Thanks for the wonderful day, Tracy and John!

 cathy1 cathy2

dev3   dev2  dev4

SPRING SAVING: As promised, here are a few of the Cocktail Kitsch aprons in the shop.

A1616ab  A1605ab  A1604ab

mt1602.lotuslove1_tb silks3.2016ALLSPRING SILKS: Spring means budding trees, sunny skies, daffodils, red bud trees, and tulips. Much of my work is influenced by the colors and lines of nature, and in spring there is such a vibrant quality to the new light, it makes me want to shout in color! The silk tapestry project certainly accomplished that!
Customers have been asking for small tapestries to hang on their walls, but with limited wall space, they want something smaller and higher-end than hippie tapestries. Using shibori and tie-dye techniques, I created these luscious silk mandala tapestries (tapestries that look like kaleidescopes or lotus flowers), and at 35″ square, they can be used as scarves, table accents, or wall hangings. And they make awwww-inspiring gifts!

SPRING BOWLS: After commissions, aprons, and silks, it was back to painting my world culture-influenced monkeypod bowls (my favorite projects). This work is so meditative, and the pieces just “become” what they are meant to be. I start painting the bowls, and before I know it, hours have flown by! Here are a few recent pieces…

mid mod bowlHenna Inspired BowlTribal Hammerhead

Tribal TurtlesTribal Horned Toad Whale Fluke Bowl

SPRING GIGGLES: I LOVE getting photos from clients, and this one made me smile BIG, because I love the gentle voice of Bob Ross (RIP)! Connie had just settled in to work on some pages in “My Mother’s Garden” coloring book, wheconniebobrossn she noticed who had popped up on the tv to create something pretty right along with her…Bob Ross! How perfect – creating happy trees together! Thanks for the photo, Connie! <3

And that’s it for our April Newsblog issue!  Remember, live with Gratitude Attitude for the simple things.
xo
Eclectic Dawn

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