Fire In the Soul

Fire In the Soul
"Fire In the Soul" From the Merka series in The Elves of the Woodland Realm

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Selling Our Home

It is official, our home is for sale. After 8 years and a crazy amount of renovations, we are leaving. If you know anyone that wants to live in the metro-Atlanta area, this is a great house!

Here are some of the renovations we did.

Living Room & Fireplace Before
Living Room Before

Living room after (still need to put photos in that frame)

Living Room -Front Door

I have actually changed the colors twice since we renovated. I can't help it, I like change I guess. My husband and I did 95% of the interior work ourselves.

Before of the Dinning Room
I believe this is a wall in the kitchen.

After of the Dinning Room

The kitchen was the last project because some other things came up, like the roof needing to be replaced sooner than we anticipated. But when it was done, it was worth the wait and not having an oven for 3 years. (It was a wall oven and it broke and since we weren't going to go with a wall oven in the new kitchen, we didn't want to waste our money on replacing it.)


Where the hood to the oven is used to be where the black microwave is in the picture above this one. It's that same wall in the kitchen.

Here is a work in progress shot showing the new drywall

We renovated pretty much the entire house. Even new HVAC, new roof, new plumbing, wiring, security system. You name it we did it all except the flooring, it is original. 
Lots of work and love in every square inch of the home

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Design, Artisan Craftsmanship and Mess

I keep just about everything, broken jewelry, bits of paper and fabric. I just can't help myself. Fortunately, I am fairly organized so I kind of know what I have on hand when I get an idea for something.

Jelly jars to hold my bits and bobs, like Victorian era buttons and vintage gears

A tea box to hold my small works in progress pieces

The boxes that I store my personal photos for scrapbooking

I reuse lots of different things to store my stuff. However that doesn't mean it doesn't get messy. When I am actually designing pieces and crafting them I make a HUGE mess. I tend to get bored or stuck artistically, so I move to something else and just leave where I left off on what ever it was that I was working on. Because I do this it tends to look like all of my neat little boxes and jars just got dumped in the middle of the floor by my toddler. I assure you, it was me. Though my home is fairly tidy, my creative space it very messy. I have to pause and clean it up when it gets to the point that I can't find anything in the general area where I left it. Kind of like it is right now actually.

What my floor looks like when I am paper crafting

If it wasn't for my mess making I wouldn't be able to create my products and art pieces. I turn this mess into these beautiful things.

Yet to be listed bridal necklace crafted entirely out of vintage brooches

In teaching my children to value creativity and the things of the past, we read lots of literature together and look at artwork of all sorts. Some of our favorite stories are, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, Through the Looking Glass-and What Alice Found There and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Well at the World’s End and Phantastes, and the artwork and illustrations that have been created by others inspired by these literary pieces.

Fantasy and whimsy have always influenced me and my creative process. This influence shows in my work. Steampunk, Victorian color palettes and a hint of our Celtic roots, myths and all, flavor my pieces. I pour a little bit of my heart, soul and history into everything I create.

I pull from my ancestry and the world in my head to create my Woodland line of products and fine art photography. It is the world I lived in as a child. When I create these pieces I am literally creating the images in my minds eye. I see these people and cultures, and see their lives, where everything has meaning. Which is why most of my pieces have a title and a story behind them. I photograph my woodland pieces in a story. It is my joy to create these images. It is my way of painting what I see. My way of honoring the One who created me. Using the Gifts I have been given to encourage others and tell stories, even the messy ones. 

Be Still- Merka of The Elves of the Woodland Realm series

A Pawn No Longer

I say, if your mess can help you create pieces that speak to you and to others, then have at it my friends. Makes mess, design, create, live life on all of it's roads, and only look back to remember that you have lived, even if it is messy. 

The Weaver

Monday, May 5, 2014

A Peek at What's To Come.

I have been working like crazy doing all kinds of fun things. Everything from new products for Made Again, Atlanta like this fun piece:

The Secret Garden
And some new bridal pieces created from vintage brooches, like this beauty:
Wedding of the White Queen
Aaanndd, working on some mixed media piece for my own personal sanity, such as this work in progress:
Needless to say I have been a busy bee.
What I really wanted to show you is something
for my next photo shoot coming up very soon.
I have created a fairy! Well, I am nearly convinced
that one of my children is an actual fairy. Seriously.
Just not the one I am sing for these images.

Here is a look at the progress of her wings. I used 16 gauge galvanized steel wire to sculpt the wings. It's pretty light weight and stable. At least for the size wings I
am trying to create. Mind you, I haven't created wings like this before, so I am kind of winging it. No pun intended.

After getting the size and basic shape, I added details and veins using a smaller gauge wire. I wanted to have a natural look to the wings. Like a bug would have. I didn't want a "dress up" look to them. After I got them how I wanted them to look I painted them a mat black using spray paint. The used some thick iridescent cellophane and  silicone caulk for make the "membrane"
Before Being Painted
After Being Painted

Cellophane Ribbon
Silicone used as an adhesive

After the silicone dries I will trim it to the wire so it has a cleaner look. I just have to put the arm straps on and the decorative details, and they will be finished. 
I am super excited to do this session. I am making some other fabulous props and costume pieces. Follow along for more behind the scenes and how I create my images and products.