Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas is Over....back to work!

I have a love/hate relationship with this season.  On the plus side, I adore my family and getting to spend time with the daughters without the pressures of school (my youngest is homeschooled (sounds easy...it's NOT!), my Senior goes to a very prestigious school...translation:  lots of WORK and not much free time for her!).  On the minus side:  while I so greatly appreciate orders for Christmas, I don't find much time for random creativity during this time.  I am finally finished with orders and got some studio time yesterday.  Here's a photo update on the Legions (no features yet but some glazing!):

Next...some amazing art from the amazing artist Justin Wayne Butts.  Taylor (my Senior) recieved this painting for Christmas.  She was so happy, she actually cried!  She had mentioned this painting multiple times and couldn't believe she actually became the owner!  It's very large, maybe 48" x 60":
I received this painting...also by Justin:
Justin is writing and illustrating a children's book.  I got to see the originals over the holidays and I must say, they are incredible!  I can't wait to see the book completed.  He's also working on a Zine...busy guy!!  Check him out! 

One more thing (for now!!):

Those crazy girls of mine are at it again!  Here is their Christmas video.   Does it seem like my daughters just keep multiplying?!  LOL   Actually this is all of them, I have 3 daughters (and a son, who is NOT in the video!).  Watch to the end for the bloopers.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Christmas project plus Lots....and LOTS of sculpting!

I took a little time last week to do a Christmas project called "A Carvalho Christmas Story" (referencing, of course, the movie "A Christmas Story") using myself as "Flick", my daughter Taylor as the "Major Award" box, daughter Bailey as "the Pink Nightmare" and my husband Ray as "Ralphie".   I hope it makes you laugh!

I've also spent the last week sculpting my little people. I've decided to call them "Legions" because I read somewhere that a Legion is about 6,000....and it sure feels like I've sculpted that many!!

I just took them out of the kiln about 5 minutes ago and I was so excited to find that nothing had exploded...a rare occurance!  I thought you might like to see them before I started painting them.  I'll also be painting the little pendants from a few posts back.  There are actually 25 of them even though I only photographed this box of about 17 or so.

Back to the studio!!  Merry Christmas to you all!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Progressive Painting

This painting is not my usual style!  My mother always asks me "Why can't you just paint a landscape?".  If you've ever seen my paintings, you know landscapes just aren't my thing!  But, funky paintings are...so, as a Christmas gift for my dear mother...a funky landscape!  I wanted you to see the progress so the pictures posted begin with the background and show the progression through the process to the conclusion.  I really enjoyed painting in this way so I may do more!

And finally, the finished painting!

Giveaway Results!

Ok....here it is!!  This morning I went to Random.org.  I had 24 comments but I eliminated one that was a repeat, making it 23.  Here is the first page:
And here is the winner!!

That means the winner is TRACY!!!!  Please send me an email at SunnyCDolls@aol.com with your address so I can get your bag to you!  Congratulations!!

Friday, December 2, 2011


Ok, Girl-zoes!  Here we go!!  I finally made a decision as to what I would do as a giveaway to celebrate hitting 100 subscribers.  It is a handmade art pouch (made by me, of course).  The front features a sublimation print of my painting "We All Are Sisters In This World".  With the sublimation process, the print is actually a part of the fabric and will not fade or peel.  The fabrics are handpainted batiks.  It measures 9 1/2" x 6 1/2".  Perfect for packing up pens, pencils, a small watercolor set....whatever you can think to fill it with!

I will also be putting a bunch of bags in various sizes into my Etsy shop within the next week in case you don't win but still want a bag.  I make them in many sizes and handle lengths with LOTS of different prints.

To enter the giveaway to win this little gem....just leave me a comment!  I will have a drawing (using Random.org) on Friday, December 9th at 8 a.m. Central time and announce the winner here later that day.


Good luck!!!!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Boho Skirt!

Ok...so last week was a blur of metal (pendants) and fabric!  I'm still working on the pendants.  I am so obsessive....I'm up to 51 pendants but only about 15 have the images and resin in them so far.  I'll get back to them.

I really wanted to finish up a new skirt.  I have been making these skirts from men's shirts from the Thrift Store which I launder, cut up and piece back together.  I have sold several of these at my shows and I'm thinking of putting this one on Etsy.  I also made the crocheted hat and boot cuffs.

I have finally decided on what to do for the giveaway!  Details later this week!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

New Tinies

Anyone who knows me, or knows my art, knows I have a warped sense of humor!  When I am painting, I never add any words until the very end because I love how words can completely change the meaning of a painting.  So yesterday afternoon, I was putting the finishing touches on a couple of new small paintings.  As I found just the right words, I was actually laughing out loud!  My husband looked at the "Kiki" painting and said, "Well, I guess there are people out there who share your weird sense of humor."  All I can say is, "Thank God there are some who do"!!!!

Both of the following paintings are acrylic background (with paper and watercolor thrown in), the circular focal is watercolor and colored pencil.



Oh, by the way...I haven't forgotten!  I'll be having some sort of giveaway when I reach 100 followers.  I'm at 98....WOOHOO!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

In Progress

I've been very busy this week...but nothing finished to show for it!  Some of the things I do are just so darned time consuming!  I wanted to make some little Dolly Pendants so I spent all day yesterday sculpting.  I ended up with 6 pendants, 2 figures and a large head for a Dollandia person.  Now I have to wait about a week before I can do the first firing.  If they aren't dry all the way through, they will blow up in the kiln.  Here are the pendants before the first fire (the little girl second from the right is a little figure, not a pendant):

Next, I glanced over and saw the little rat painting and thought "how cool would it be to sculpt that?"!!  Here it is.  Of course, the wheels will have to be added later and the stilt is just to hold it up while it dries.  I am so excited to see it painted!
If you are interested in the music of my daughter, Bailey, here is a link to her original song Dear California .   Also, she and her oldest sister, Daryl, made a fun video of Count on Me together.  Make sure you watch to the end for the bloopers.  They were pretty funny!

Monday, November 7, 2011

An Artfest Love Letter... and a New Painting

As I'm sure most of you have heard by now, Artfest 2012 will be the last one.  Teesha Moore has decided to follow a new path.  I can totally respect her following her instincts while at the same time, I am heartbroken.  Artfest has meant so very much to me.  I first went to Artfest 2008 and I have to say, it changed my artistic life.  At the time, I was mostly painting in watercolor on ACEO size  (2.5" x 3.5") paper.  I was happy with my work but I had no focus and no real style of my own.  I kept seeing artists I respected talking about this amazing event called Artfest.  I decided to check it out.  I came home so invigorated, inspired and excited that I felt like I might burst into flames!  I got home at 10 p.m. on a Sunday night.  At 8 a.m. the very next morning, I walked into my garage and spotted a piece of plywood cut in a rectangular shape.  I have no idea why it was there.  I'm guessing my husband cut it for some household project at some time but my only thought was, "That's what I am going to paint on!"  I developed my own techniques, painted like a maniac for 2 months and sent in my application to teach.  I have taught there every year since.

The best thing about Artfest is hands down, the people.  There is a spirit of acceptance and love there that I have never found anywhere else.  There are very few negative personalities, very few artistic secrets.  Almost everyone is not only willing, but excited, to tell you how they did something.

The first year, I posted a little note on the Yahoo bulletin board looking for someone to share a car with.  I met my best bud Cheryl McCloud (thank God for her!!).  For that week each year, we are bonded like sisters, I love her so much!!  Also in my little love circle:  Mindy, Kathie, Kate, Tammie, Regina, Michelle, Jennifer, Nikki.....there are so many, many more people that I pray I will be able to see in some other venue at some time.  You have all meant so much to me.

So....if you have always thought about going to Artfest but always said "maybe next year"....make your plans.  It is not to be missed for this last time.  It could change your life.

Here is a new painting.  This one is larger, about 12" x 20" on plywood.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Double-Sided Copper Pendant Tutorial

A few people have expressed interest in a tutorial to make the copper pendants so here ya go!!

First a few notes:  these pendants turned out to be pretty time-comsuming but well worth it in the end.  I tried several diameters of copper pipe.  I settled on 1 1/4" or below.  The larger diameters are too hard to cut.  You can buy the copper pipe by the foot at Ace hardware.  Unless you are going to go crazy and make bunches of these, 1 foot will be plenty.

Supply list:

Copper Pipe
Copper Pipe Cutter (Get a good one.  I had a cheap one and it was nothing but a problem.  I bought a new one for about $18 at Ace and it was MUCH more successful!)
Small clamp (but large enough to hold the pipe)
18 gauge wire (I used copper but brass would be nice, too)
Air dry clay (I used LaDoll but Creative Paper clay works)
foam sanding block
fine steel wool
small metal file or dremel with sanding bit
Wire cutters
Flat nosed jewelry pliers
Round nosed jewelry pliers
Hole Punch for metal (available on Etsy or any jewelry supply online)
Matte Medium
Aleen's Tacky Glue
ICE Resin

1.  Begin by clamping the clamp onto a work surface.  Clamp in the pipe.  Don't tighten it so much that the pipe is being crushed, just enough so that it doesn't move.

2.  You will want to make your cuts about 3/8" but I didn't measure.  I just eyeballed it.  Attach the pipe cutter from underneath with the wheels and cutting blade facing up.  You want it to be able to turn freely but not loosely.  It shouldn't be hard to turn but shouldn't fall off either.  Reach underneath the cutter and pipe and begin spinning the cutter back and forth smoothly.   After you make a few rotations, turn the screw at the end about a quarter turn and continue rotating.  It's not fast...it does take some time, but eventually, you will cut through the pipe and the piece will fall off.

3.  The piece (I will now call it a bezel) will have some burrs.  You will need to remove these by inserting the corner of the foam sanding block into the opening and rotating it.  If there are and burrs that are too large to be handled that way, use the dremel or file to remove them.  When all feels smooth, use the steel wool both inside and outside to remove any tarnish.

4.  Using the hole punch, make a hole in the top and bottom of the bezel.

5.  Cut a piece of wire about 6 inches long.  Using the round nose pliers, make a couple of loops in  one end of the wire.  Thread the wire through the holes and make a wire-wrapped loop for hanging.  Cut off any excess wire and tuck the end underneath the wrap so it doesn't snag.

6.  Pinch off a small piece of clay (about the size of a small acorn) and flatten it out like a quarter.  Fit it nicely into the center of the bezel.  You may need to add another tiny piece on the other side of the wire.  You are making a base to hold the resin.  Try to keep this as flat and thin as possible and centered around the wire.  You want it to still be recessed on both sides.

7.  Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.  Bake the pendant 20 minutes on each side.

8.  The clay will have shrunken slightly.  Fill in the gaps with Aleen's (or any thick) glue.  Let dry.  Make sure you are thorough!  If not, the resin will find any cracks and flow out the other side (may I say...NOT fun)!

9.  While you wait, print out your images for the inside of the pendant.  I used my own art but there is some cool digital art on Etsy, if you prefer.  I printed them on my inkjet printer on the thinnest photo paper I could find (48 lb).  I'm not sure that matters but it's just information!  Brush on a layer of Matte Medium across the back and then across the front of the print.  Do this with a gentle touch so as not to smear the ink.  This step will seal the print making it safe to use with the resin.  Cut your image to fit the bezel.

10.  Put a thin layer of glue on the clay insert and position your print.  (Just information:  My clay wasn't exactly perfect!  I was worried that the images being not completely flat would affect the outcome.  It didn't.  The resin is very forgiving.  You don't want the image just crammed in, but a slight curve didn't change the outcome.)  Let dry.

11.  Cover a tray with either a piece of trash bag or wax paper in case of spills.  Mix the resin according to the directions.  Be very exact in the measurements.  I used a popsicle stick to put the resin into the bezels.  That way you can control the amount you are putting in.  Cover the images up to the rim of the bezel with the resin.  According to the instructions, if you want a domed top, do the first resin pouring and after drying, do another layer to create the dome.

12.  Look closely at each bezel.  If you see any tiny bubbles....(From experience!!:  HOLD YOUR HAIR BACK!!!!) carefully breathe over the resin.  The heat from your breath will make the bubbles come to the top and burst.  I also noticed a couple of more stubborn bubbles.  I held my heat gun about 2 feet above the bezels and let the heat encourage the bubble to burst without letting the air from the gun push the resin out of the bezel.

13.  Resin takes several days to harden.  After they harden, flip them over and do the same thing on the other side, making them 2-sided.

Ok, Girl-zoes!!!  Post me some pictures of your creations!  I will post final pictures in a few days!!

I love you ALLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Small Distraction

Ok...so last week I was on a roll making the double sided copper pendants....

Me being me....I wanted some new images to put inside the pendants so I spent a few days painting some new small paintings!  I still have a few more I'm working on but here are the first three.

Now that they are done, I will go back to the pendants and finish the tutorial for you guys!


Also, someone just sent me a couple of pictures of Bailey playing at the festival last weekend.  Thanks, Karen!  Here they are:

Friday, October 21, 2011


Hi!  Sorry I fell off the earth for a while!  The show last weekend was much larger than I expected so I have been playing catch up all week, rebuilding inventory and filling orders.

I recorded several of Bailey's songs.....she was great!  I'm bugging her to get them edited and ready for posting.  Hopefully next week.

I have worked all day today on some cool double sided copper pendants.  I'm thinking of doing a quick tutorial.  Is anyone interested?  If so, I will do it in the next few days.  Let me know.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

New Painting

Here is the painting I referred to in my last post.  I titled it "Get A Long Little Doggie" for obvious reasons!!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

My New Journal

I'm still working on a couple of paintings.  They are getting closer to being done.  In the meantime, I was needing a new idea journal.  I bought a premade journal at Hobby Lobby.  I rather like the paper that is inside.  Most of my journal ends up being pen and ink, not complete pages so I didn't need really heavy paper for this.  First, I sanded the outside covers to rough them up.  Next, I put down a layer of titanium white, not really thick as I wanted a little of the black to show through and then some fluid acrylic color.  The little stripes of black are from a paper napkin adhered with matte medium.  I did the painting of "Sweet Baby's Incident" separately and put it all together using gel medium.

Inside the covers, I adhered some scrapbook paper for a more decorative look.
On the back, I drew the little pen and ink drawings on deli paper and adhered them with matte medium.

The Front Cover

The Back Cover

A Little Peek Inside!

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Giveaway is in the planning!

I am planning to have a giveaway when I reach 100 followers.  So spread the word!!  I haven't decided what the giveaway will be yet (I'll decide in the meantime).  Thank you all so much for checking in!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

This week.

I came up with an interesting idea for a new large painting today....it's started but nowhere near ready for you to see!  I did manage to finish a new small painting.  She's a little strange...like me!

Sweet Baby

Next, I went back and looked at my last week's painting.... I decided she wasn't finished.  I added some more color so here she is again.

Pumped-Up Kicks

I also made a couple of cool skirts.  I'll post pics soon!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Lovely Gift!

I have had a great week so far!  First, my sweet (and gorgeous) friend Kathie Vezzani (Washington State) sent me an amazing "open letter" called Dear Gorgeous Girl.  It was just the perfect way to start the day.  I encouraged her to post it on her blog so everyone else could enjoy it as well.

Next, I went to the mail box and there.....completely unexpectedly....and in a beautifully decorated envelope, was the sweetest little handmade owl from my (also sweet and gorgeous!) friend from Canada, Tammy McGee.

These 2 amazing people are representative of the wonderful, life-changing event known as ARTFEST!  I first went to Artfest 5 years ago.  I went alone but made fast friends immediately (with my Artfest Other-Half, Cheryl McLeod).  It was such an inspiring event that I came home, changed my whole artistic life and by the next year, I was teaching there!  Every year I meet people that stay in my life.  It is so refreshing to have an extended family of like-minded artists who are so accepting and encouraging.  Please look into the event.  It will change your life!

One final thing (really 2 final things!):  Here are 2 paintings from this week.  The first is one of the black and white drawings from last week.