Wednesday, January 28, 2009

VIDEO: How to Make Soap, Quick and Easy!

Watch my tutorial on how to make soap using the melt and pour method below:

I've had a mellow week so far prepping some fiber for batts, sewing, and working on some drawings that I hope to make into rubber stamps...once I figure out where/how to get rubber stamps made! I went thrifting with a friend yesterday and found an awesome deer head planter that is totally up my alley (pictures soon!), a cute dress, a lion embroidery on burlap (!), and a few other little clothing items to alter and play with. Tonight I'm teaching an art class at home, and I'm excited because we are going to be making things with polymer clay as well as dyeing some yarn while we're at it. We might even have time to go over how to use a hand spindle! And if that's not enough crafting for you, I'm looking into some new (to me, at least) materials to make jewelry out of, so hopefully I can have a little jewelry studio going at home too! Oh, and I've been spinning lots of yarn and making new things for my Etsy shops... It's just the listing things on the computer that I procrastinate on. I'd rather be covered in paint or fiber dyes than sitting behind the computer uploading images, so the actual updating always takes a little longer to get around to.

I'm glad that my art and craft output is on the upswing this month, because last month, I had a much harder time getting motivated to make stuff. I think part of it is due to the bad economic times and the fact that my sales aren't what they used to be, so it's tough to stay upbeat and to keep making things when you are having trouble making ends meet. I toyed with the idea of getting a "REAL" job, but when I looked at the classifieds, it was just so depressing. There are slim pickings, to say the least, and I didn't want to end up in a job that I hated just to earn a paycheck. I'd rather work harder on my own, making things that I believe in, than working at a job I despised somewhere. Sometimes my art friends and I talk about how things would have been easier if we'd majored in something more practical, hee hee... But I know that making things is all I want to do; anything else would feel like settling.

So instead, I am doing what I do best: playing with color, making pictures, making yarn, and making anything else I know how to make, because it makes me happy and satisfied at the end of the day. I keep the cycle going because all of the money I make goes right back into supplies for making more stuff, and I get to spend my days creating and dreaming up new ideas. Oh, and staying at home and playing with the puppy and watching Netflix videos is pretty sweet, too!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

New Yarn and Fiber Shop!

playground, originally uploaded by howtouseart.

I've been neglecting my blog again, but it's for good reason... I've been a busy girl!

I'm excited to announce that I've opened a second Etsy store for all of my yarn and fiber goodies! It's called Fluffalcious, and it will exclusively sell my How to Use Art brand hand dyed, handspun, and hand carded fibers. You can visit it here:
Let me know what you think!

I've been toying with the idea of opening a second shop or second shops for a while, since my How to Use Art store is just so cluttered with all kinds of random stuff. Sometimes I like that it's eclectic, but other times, I feel like I need to organize the chaos a little bit! Since the fiber and yarn stuff is so different from my other stuff, I thought it deserved a different shop. I'm still thinking about opening a third shop either for just my prints or just my t-shirts, to organize things a little bit more... I could use some feedback before I do that, though, so what do you think? Any thoughts would be very much appreciated!

Happy Post-Inauguration Day! Did you watch it on TV like I did?

Friday, January 09, 2009


{brand new bag in the shop!}

My friend LaurenSmash posted a fun interview challenge on her blog, so I decided to ask her for some interview questions... Here are my answers:

1. What is your favorite animal and why?

My favorite animal is Miss Ruby Roo, my bichon frise because she is the smartest, cutest, bestest doggy in the world! I was obsessed with bichon frises when I was little, but my parents wouldn't let me get a dog...this was before I developed really bad allergies, which meant I had limited choices of what dog breeds I could get. Bichons were one of only a few breeds (like poodles) that were a possibility for me, because they have continually growing (non-shedding) hair!

2. What is your biggest inspiration?

Right now, my biggest inspirations are the instances of creativity I come across on the internet and in books. There is NO art scene at all where I live (grrr...), so I have to seek out art in other ways since I can't see any in person. I love browsing,, websites from random galleries, artist web pages, and things like that. I love checking out books at the library or going to a bookstore to see the latest art magazines. I really wish I could afford to travel to see some great art in person one of these days...

3. If you could drop everything and go *anywhere* you wanted right now, where would it be and who would you bring with you?

My friend Sam and I could both use a vacation, so I would whisk us away to Paris and Rue Montmarte, the street where they have tons of artists, some who will sketch your portrait for a fee. We would have a magic suitcase full of cash so we could have our portraits done and eat lots of buttery croissants! Then maybe we could jet to Italy for some pasta... ;)

4. What are your 3 favorite movies?

Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, and maybe High Fidelity.

5. What is one of your goals for 2009?

To try to make Etsy/art my full time job! Pretty lofty goal, but I would love if I could make that dream come true.


Want to be part of it? Follow these instructions:

1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."

2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.

3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.

4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.

5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The Junk Fountain

I had a couple of friends come into town and visit during their holiday breaks, so that was a lot of fun, especially because they were people I went to art school with, so I got to hang out with creative people - yay! I always miss hanging out with other artists, because there aren't too many here in town. (This is a college town that revolves around football, definitely the furthest thing from my interests...)

When Sam was in town, we decided to spend a day thrifting, which was lots of fun, because we got up early and powered through it and were able to hit every thrift store in town (and there are a lot!). We also found two brand new thrift stores, and one was really good, but the other one was really scary. Sam got some cute little baking dishes, clothes, and a lot of great gifts to take home to New York, and I got a bunch of skirts and a really weird picture. We also had a lot of yummy food at Burrito Brothers, and that is always a plus.

We also decided to stop by Satchel's Pizza, even though it wasn't open, just to look at the new Junk Fountain that they had in the back. That's what the video is about that you see up above. It's made of all sorts of random toys, kitchen tools, and other junk all stuck into concrete. Usually, there's water flowing through the fountain, but since the restaurant wasn't open, it wasn't on. I love that it's a great example of making art out of trash, making something beautiful out of bits and pieces of discarded life...