Thursday, January 22, 2015

love on SALE!

I've got a fresh batch of my Heart to Art Remix for Demdaco love scarves and love pouches in shop. I think they make the perfect Valentine's Day gift or any time gift and from now until February 14th I've got them marked down! Head on over to the shop HERE for a little SALE on love!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

office statement wall

While I have a great studio space where I host classes and work on all kinds of creative (and messy) projects, my home office is actually where a lot of the magic happens for me. And by magic, I mean hours upon hours spent in front of a computer screen editing photos, writing and editing video and online class content. At this point in my life I really love working from home but sitting in an office, in front of a computer can feel anything BUT inspiring so I am always changing things up to keep things feeling more creative and less office-like. So with the new year, I got busy cleaning and organizing my office. Just as I was finishing up, I felt like there was something missing and I got that familiar hankering to paint a wall- you know how I love to paint a wall!

I knew right away that I wanted to paint a mandala inspired design. A mandala is actually really easy to create because it is simply a series of repeating designs in a circle. I don't get too crazy with measuring things out, I just start with a circle (I usually trace something round) and then go for it! 

When I am painting a wall with a lot of pattern and line work I like to use acrylic paint mixed with a little bit of water. 

Since our walls have texture on them it keeps things from lines being really clean and perfect but I just work go ahead and embrace it.


I kept building and building the embellishments until the entires section of the wall was filled.

The wall adds just the perfect amount of creativity (for me) and my work space and the best part is that it's just paint! When or if I ever want a change I can paint over it!


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

kid's art journal

Something I get asked all the time is what do we do with all of that art that Lucy makes. Let me first say that I've kept everything that she has drawn and painted. Her art is precious to me, just as precious as photos because it is a history of her growth and all those little stages she has gone through (scribbling, dots, lines, circles, color choices, faces, etc). As an artist, it has been amazing- like one of the most amazing things I've ever seen- to watch creativity develop in a tiny person and I cherish each and every scribble. With that said, we have three years worth of art organized in files and boxes. One of the most important things that I do is scan or photograph a lot of that art so that I also have a digital copy but lately I have been sorting her art and binding it into books or art journals.

These bound journals have been a great way to begin organizing all that art and keeping track of Lucy's creative history and development. Over the holidays we created a huge journal from Lucy's art as a gift for my parents. They are the most difficult people to shop for so this collection of art was the perfect gift.

The best part of this project was getting Lucy involved in selecting art and making art for the book. Together we spent weeks digging through boxes of her art, picking out favorites and even making new art. 
We included art from all her creative stages.
I added photos here and there but I didn't want this to be a photo album or scrapbook so I kept most pages simple with one photo and the rest art and threw in a few spreads full of photos.

The result is a beautiful art journal with over 40 pages of Lucy's art. Needless to say, it was a HUGE hit. 

Something about collecting and binding all that art makes everything feel and look so much more special and it is really fun to flip through all those colorful pages and see her growth. 

Speaking of art journals, I've got another batch in the shop HERE and a couple of those journals are really large (11 x 14), have 40 pages and doodles all over the front and back.


Monday, January 19, 2015

tin tile coffee table

I've been busy tackling all kinds of DIY projects around the house and something I have been putting off for WAY too long is remaking our ottoman. A few years back I bought a big tufted ottoman in a very light beige and over the last 3 years, the fabric was destroyed by a certain (cute) someone (thank goodness for our white slip covered couch). From spilled juice to permanent markers, the ottoman was pretty disgusting and it was time to figure something out. 

Before getting rid of it, I thought I would at least see if there was something under the stuffing and fabric that I could salvage. I considered making a slip cover for it but I really wanted a coffee table with a surface that could actually be used. Much to my delight, there was a nice sturdy wood frame underneath. At first I thought I would tile it with glass tiles but then I came across faux tin tiles at my local Home Depot and I thought they would make a really cool coffee table!

I have to say this was one of easiest projects I have tackled! The tiles, while they look like tin are actually a light weight plastic (they can even be painted) that you can adhere with heavy duty double stick tape or construction adhesive. I cut my tiles to size- they come in large sheets- and then covered the entire table (top and sides). It was SO fast and easy- even Lucy helped out with this one

The result is a really cool large coffee table that has a little bit of a boho vibe to it.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

in the studio with sara torbett




Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I have always loved anything and everything creative!  I grew up knowing my heart beat very loudly with excitement over diy projects, decorating, and art. My mom is an excellent seamstress so it was very normal for me to see a maker complete something with satisfaction within our home. I tried to mimic her as I became an adult and bought my first sewing machine. I couldn't yet see how my heart-thumping excitement and my mom's sewing had a connection. After a few years of being an elementary teacher and then becoming a stay-at-home mama I found my truest calling. I began painting and learning about mixed media and the lightbulb went off.  The idea that sewing and painting and paper and photography and all the things I already loved could be combined into something new was life-changing to me.  And so, I began to paint and step into my calling as a mixed-media artist.  


I love seeing how other artists set up their creative space. Can you tell us a little bit your studio?

My husband and I had our home built before my oldest daughter was born. Though I hadn't yet stepped foot into the mixed-media world I very much knew I wanted a craft room for supplies, fabric, and my sewing machine. The idea was born to combine the laundry room and craft room, giving me plenty of cabinet and counter space.  This space has transitioned so well to a studio for me!  I try to keep as much counter space free as possible because I'm a very messy creator. I also like to make sure my space is super inviting, colorful, and inspiring. That means plenty of photographs, pages from magazines, and sketches of mine are hung and strung around the room. I have most of my supplies in cute jars, buckets, and containers because I'm a very visual person. This allows me to stay inspired and stay organized at the same time! I also have supplies for my shop organized in this room, as well as my Epson printer to easily make my own art prints.  My favorite part of the room though?  The colorful bunting hung from the ceiling that was a collaborative effort between my husband and I! I sewed, he hung. It is the first thing people notice when they see my studio. 
 



What inspires you? What motivates you to create?

We live on a farm and spend most of our days (when it's not too cold) outside, traipsing around the pastures and fields. We also garden and the colors and textures of our everyday life are a huge inspiration to me. We try to live a slow, simple life and I find that's the message I want to send out into the world. A message of kindness and light and joy.  Whether it's the bright green moss I discover on a walk with my girls or the pattern on a feather found, I am constantly inspired by God's handiwork. I'm also very inspired by my girls!  They are two and three years-old and love to create with me. They hold nothing back when they paint and boldly mix colors and shapes, never stopping to fear or question their ideas.  They are my biggest teachers about grabbing hold of an idea and just going for it. I am motivated to create because it's simply something I just have to do, as much as I need food and air.I need creating.  My world is quite lifeless without it.

How do you organize your creative schedule?

I wake early, before my girls and sneak into the studio with coffee and my bible. After reading I usually type a blog post for the day and then play in my art journal! Afternoons are for packaging orders and answering emails and then after my girls are in bed I like to pull double-duty. Sometimes I'll fold laundry and watch an art video or online course. Other times I'll relax with my husband while continuing to try new ideas and sketches in my art journal.  Of course there are always times I end up spending the entire evening in the studio, painting away.  




What is a typical day like for you?

A typical day for me includes my creative schedule but also includes plenty of play and art time with my girls as well!  I love to be inspired by my girls' imaginations as well as the illustrations in the kids' books we read. We roam on our farm a lot and in the spring, summer, and fall spend time gathering in the garden. Some of my best art ideas have hatched in the garden! 


What are you working on right now?

I'm currently working on adding more stitched paper flowers to my Etsy shop, as well as wood photo blocks. I also have a list a mile long (at least) of new canvases I'd like to paint.  I'm creating in my art journal daily, sometimes coming up with a finished idea, but mostly just playing and letting myself be free to learn.  

One of the biggest things I'm working on is art for my first show in April, called Vintage Market Days!  I'm also hosting three Rosy Retreats this spring and summer. 

And that's not even mentioning the other crafty things I want to try, like weaving and bookmaking.  Sigh…so many projects, so little time. 


Want to see more of Sara?

Check out her blog therosylife.blogspot.com 

She's also the host of Rosy Retreats in NW Arkansas and information about the retreats (which were featured in Mingle magazine this month!) can be found on her blog.  This spring and summer Sara is offering three retreats : a craft night, photography retreat (about recording the rosy in your routine), and a mama and me craft morning for parents and kids! 

You can find her  mixed-media shop at etsy.com/shop/TheRosyLife



"In the Studio" is a new feature here on the blog where I share a glimpse into friends and fellow artists and crafters spaces. 

If you are interested in submitting your studio to be featured, send me an email at alisaburkesubmissions@gmail.com

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