Friday, December 27, 2013

Custom Log Slice Painting - Lakeside

 Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all! This has been an amazing and wonderful year for me and my handmade business. I'm so thankful for all of the lovely people who support me and enjoy the items that I work so hard to create!

I've been excessively busy this past month (who hasn't been? the holidays always seem to have a way of doing that to a person.) As a result, I've been a little lax with my blogging. I'm going to use my next few posts to show off some custom orders as well as some gifts I made for this holiday season.

One of my favorite custom projects this season was this custom log slice painting. I used acrylic paints to recreate (in the abstract) a photo of a lake. I hope it was well enjoyed by the recipient of this gift!

I have several ready to ship log slice paintings on hand at any time in my Etsy shop ( and I am always happy to take custom orders!

Monday, December 16, 2013

My First Clock - Randolph Cardinals Style

I love clocks, and not the digital kind, the ones with hands and gears. They make that fantastic, soft, ticking noise, and they're one of the most useful decorations that I can think of. So, when I was approached about making a retirement gift for an employee of Randolph Public Schools, a clock seemed like the perfect idea. I've had numerous ideas for clock faces recently, but I just hadn't yet had the push to actually create one. This was just the push I needed, and I sure am glad of it!

The clock is made from plywood, and is the same shape as most of my shadowbox paintings. It can sit on a mantel or be hung from a wall. I decorated the face with a painting of Randolph's tough looking cardinal mascot, and, of course, used the school colors.

Perhaps there will be more clocks in my future... If you like this one, I'm definitely open to more custom ideas - just send me an email: for a quote.

Friday, December 13, 2013

3' Penguin - Front Porch Decoration

I had a recent request for a large-scale wooden penguin to decorate a front porch. At the time, the largest penguin I'd made was 18" tall - so I doubled it to create a monster stand-alone bird. I had to request a little help from my husband, Jason, and I'd say we ended up with a wintery and fun front door decoration. I'm thinking of making one for myself, too!

Here's Jason posing next to the monster penguin we created so that you all can get a sense of scale.

He looks rather thin from the side... a little look at the prop that's holding the penguin up, it's hinged for easy storage.
Portrait of a Penguin. Here he is all alone in all his wintry glory.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Whale Shark Necklace - Custom Order

This morning I conquered the difficult task of saying goodbye to another one of my custom orders. I always feel  a little sad to see my creations go, but seriously happy at the same time, because I know someone else will get to enjoy them!

This special piece of jewelry was created for a gal who loves whale sharks. I don't know why I hadn't already created a whale shark character for the Aquatic Avenue Crew - they're such pretty fish!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Custom Friendship Necklace - Sunset Style

Today I finished up a custom order for a set of wooden friendship necklaces. I've made mountains in the past (which I still love), but I have to say, this sunset is my new favorite necklace set.

It's always fun for friends to have a little something to bind them together - and what's more awesome than hand crafted jewelry? If you and your posse need some necklaces, I can make a set of 2, 3, 4, or 5 (like the sunset necklaces). I'm also always open to trying new designs!

I still have a little bit of time open for custom Christmas orders - if you want in on all of the hand crafted custom action, make sure to get your order in by this Saturday (December 7th). My last pre-Christmas ship date will be December 13th, so all holiday orders need to be in by the 12th!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Custom Name Sign

I just finished up a custom, hand painted name plate for a college student who's in to volleyball and math (two things that I'm rather fond of myself!) I decided to paint a girl spiking a volleyball that explodes to reveal math confetti (YAY!) Which, by the way, math confetti sounds awesome. I'm considering making some for my next party.

This sign is for a college dorm, so I added Velcro Command Strips to the back instead of a sawtooth hanger, so no nails will have to be used. This was a fun one to make!

Friday, November 22, 2013

RAWards Showcase

RAWards was a success! I had a blast showing off my jewelry, and seeing all of the other artist's latest work. And even though I didn't win Accessories Designer of the year, it was still pretty darn cool to see my latest masterpiece on the runway! My only regret is that I didn't think to have my models wear peg legs and eye patches while modeling the slightly pirate-y runway accessories I made.

Here's a shout out of THANKS to my models who did a fabulous job: Lauren Swadener, Josh Robberts, Sydney Boatman, Jennifer Barker and Katie Estes!

My booth

The pièce de résistance

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

It's all happening!

RAWards is tomorrow. I just finished a whole load of new jewelry. The Modern Makers Holiday Bazaar is soon.

I'm so excited!

I wrote it small and am thinking it in a whisper so that I don't explode with excessive anticipation.

Learn more about my upcoming events here:

Here are a few snapshots of the new bling that I'm bring to RAWards tomorrow.

Monday, November 18, 2013

RAWards Runway Preview #3

The Omaha RAWards show is in three days! To celebrate the fast approaching show, here is the third preview from the jewelry that I will be showing on the runway this Thursday evening.

Tickets are still $15 if you buy them from my RAW artist profile - get 'em quick, because the price raises to $20 if you buy at the door!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Very Beachy Christmas

I now have some very sea-worthy Christmas ornaments available at Watercolor Submarine. These little beauties are composed of a carefully hand drilled and wire wrapped seashell and a pretty little accent of faux pearls. Hang them from your holiday tree this year as a reminder of sunnier times!

Monday, November 11, 2013

November Welcome Sign "Give Thanks"

I have completed month two of my latest personal goal: to make a new welcome sign for each month of the year. This month's sign is a little late, but I'll still have plenty of time to enjoy it. I decided to make November's sign read "Give Thanks" instead of "Welcome" to encourage a Thanksgiving spirit. I still have to drill a couple of holes and add a hanger, but the important part (the painting) is all finished!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

RAWards Runway Sneak Preview #2

I know it's not nice to pick favorites, but Zebra the Lionfish is my favorite Aquatic Avenue Crew character. He was one of the first characters I ever created, and he's also one of the most fun to paint. Here is a little peak at my latest Zebra portrait. This one will be featured on the runway at the Omaha RAWards semi-finals. See its first public appearance by attending the show!

Tickets and info for RAWards:

More about Zebra the Lionfish:

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Millard West Fall Show 2013

This weekend I participated in the Millard West fall craft show. I had a great time displaying my new wooden brooches and sharing my paintings with everyone who attended the show.

Here are a couple of photos of my display. It's always interesting dealing with the added 'bonus' of lockers in your display space, but it's fun to have a challenge every now and then.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Sneak Peek #1 RAWards Runway Pieces

I've been a little slack with my blogging lately, but it's for a good reason! These last couple of weeks I've been insanely busy creating things for the holidays and working on some pieces for the RAWards show coming up in only three weeks. My fingers can only do so much painting, but they've seriously done so much painting recently. I love every second of it!

I'm creating some special statement pieces for the RAWards show. I will have five models prancing down the runway in my handmade accessories, and I wanted some pieces to be brand new and extra exciting for this event. It's really difficult to keep myself from posting all kinds of pictures of my new stuff, but I want there to be some surprise involved. So, I'm just going to post a couple of little peeks at my new work. To get the full effect you'll have to come to the show!

Tickets/more info is available here: If you decide to go (and you definitely should) make sure to select my name from the drop down menu for "artist you are supporting" when purchasing tickets.

Part of a secret something that I worked on today...

Monday, October 28, 2013

Halloween Party

Jason and I hosted our 2nd annual Halloween party this weekend. I really had a blast decorating this year. I wanted to spend as little money as possible, so I limited my purchases to streamers, balloons and scrapbook paper. It was fun to deck out my dungeon-y basement with over 100 balloons and hand made pennant banners. I also covered old tin cans in Halloween themed paper, and made cute little food labels that I had my guests write on with the name of the dish they brought. My guests really got into the spirit of the decor and used their fanciest handwriting!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

RAWards Semi-Finalist!

Yesterday evening the RAW:Omaha semi-finalists were announced, and I am excited to be able to say that I am one of the three semi-finalists for Accessories Designer of the Year! The semi-finals will be held at Sokol Auditorium on Thursday November 21st. I'll be bringing all of my accessories including some brand new statement pieces that I'm currently working on.

To check out the rest of the artists that will be showing, and purchase tickets for this awesome event go here:

In other slightly related news, there are six new wooden badges available at Watercolor Submarine. These badges are hand cut and painted, each is a unique little piece of wearable art, and they make great stocking stuffers (for those of you who are already doing your holiday shopping).

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Woodland Circles Update

I couldn't resist taking a picture of some of the new log slice paintings I've been working on recently. I wanted them all to be a surprise for my upcoming holiday craft shows, but I'm just too darn excited about how they're all turning out! Don't worry - there will still be a reason to visit my booth at the holiday shows this winter, this isn't all of my new creations, so some surprises are still in store for this craft show season!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

New Brooches

It looks like there are some new wooden brooch designs in the works. Be on the lookout for the watercolor submarine; it may end up in your stocking this holiday season...

Friday, October 11, 2013

RAWards Update - Thank You's - and Lots of Little Critters Hatching

Thanks to all of those who voted for me this past week I've made it to the next round of the 2013 RAWards! I am now grouped with five other Omaha accessories designers who also got plenty of votes. The next step is to wait while the Omaha judges decide which three designers will be showing their stuff at the semi-finals show on November 21st. I'll know if I'm in on October 18th, and I'll be sure to share the news right here on my blog. If you'd like to see all of the fine artists that made it to the top five of their craft visit the RAW Omaha website here:

I'm feeling pretty pumped about all of my Watercolor Submarine accessories right now, and I'm in the process of prepping for the holiday season, so... I spent a good chunk of my day working on a brand new batch of river critters badges! So far they've been drawn, cut, and painted with their first coat.

Monday, October 7, 2013

RAWards Voting and River Critters Badges

Don't forget to vote for my hand painted jewelry in the 2013 RAWards competition. Remember, you can vote once per day through October 9th. Thanks for your support!

The newest addition to Watercolor Submarine is the River Critters line. I wanted to pay homage to my home state, so these animals can all be found in and around Nebraska rivers. Each critter is hand cut and painted onto scrap wood (sustainable!) and has it's own story to tell. My particular favorite is Petey the Pallid Sturgeon. Pallid sturgeons are very dinosaur-esque fish. If you get the chance to see one in an aquarium (or in real like if you're extra super lucky) you'll have a hard time taking your eyes off of him!

Download and print Petey's story and coloring page by clicking this image!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

RAWards Voting Day 3 - How I Make My Handpainted Seashell Jewelry

The accessories I design and create through Watercolor Submarine are a labor of love. Each necklace takes me anywhere from 1-4 hours to create. Today, I thought I'd share the process I go through to create my hand painted seashell necklaces.

I begin by selecting, thoroughly cleaning, and drilling a hole into each seashell. I don't always select 'perfect' shells, because I believe the imperfections that naturally occur in each shell add to their beauty and uniqueness.

I then layer on the color. Using bright watercolor pigments and ample amounts of water, I dab on colors. This is my favorite part of the process, because I get to let the water do its own work, and the results are often more beautiful and surprising than I ever could have imagined!

After the color dries, I use a tiny brush and black acrylic paint to outline a sea creature onto the shell. This is all done freehand, so no two paintings are ever exactly alike. Next, colorful bubbles are painted on the shell with acrylic paints to add accent.

At this point, the painting is finished, so I seal the shell to protect against water and UV light. I then use the hole I previously drilled into the shell and a length of wire to turn the painted shell into a pendant.

A chain is then added to complete the necklace. I use several different types of chain, but may favorite is stainless steel for its durability.

Finally, a small tag is attached to the necklace that describes the character featured on the complete one-of-a-kind jewelry piece.

Thanks for visiting and don't forget to vote for me for RAW:Omaha's Accessories Designer of the Year! Vote on my RAW Profile at

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

RAWards Voting Day 2

It's day two of seven for RAWards voting. Please help me win a chance to showcase my original jewelry in the semi-finals by voting HERE.Your support means a lot to me! I know the site was slow yesterday, but it seems to be running much more smoothly today. The deadline for voting has been extended one day due to the issues they were having with the website yesterday, so you can now vote once per day through October 9th!

All of my hand painted seashell jewelry features an original character that is part of my Aquatic Avenue Crew, a group of eccentric ocean dwellers and undersea neighbors. Each one-of-a-kind necklace or trinket tray comes with a description of the character it displays. You can read more about my characters by checking out the free downloadable coloring pages on this blog, click HERE. Below is an example of one of my favorite characters.

Thanks for your support!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

RAW Voting Starts Today

In May I participated in a RAW: Natural Born Artists showcase in Omaha. I had a blast showing off all of my hand painted jewelry, and checking out the other artists' work. Each year RAW honors the top artist in their category (mine being accessories) in an event called RAWards. The first step in promoting my jewelry is to get as many votes from my supporters as possible. So, for the next 7 days I'll be posting all about the artful accessories I put my heart and soul into creating through Watercolor Submarine, and asking for your help to advance to the next round of RAWards!

Click HERE, take a small moment to register your email address and vote for me from my RAW profile. If you're feeling extra generous come back and do the same tomorrow. You can vote once per day through October 8th!

Here is an example of what you're voting for. All of my jewelry features some type of water-dwelling critter:

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Needle Felted Toadstools

I am working on some more tiny needle felted ornaments. I can't get enough of the pumpkins I've been making, and I'm so excited to be creating new miniatures. So far I've developed these little spotted toadstools. The ones I have pictured here have brown tops, but I'm planning on also making red and green mushrooms for Christmas!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Halloween Prize Ribbon

Paper crafting is usually not my forte, but I did manage to make this fancy Halloween ribbon today. This will be the ultimate prize awarded to the best costume of the 2nd annual Schmit Halloween Costume Party. I'm pretty excited about how nice it accidentally turned out to be!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Christmas Gift Tag & Ornament Preview

Just painting up a little holiday cheer (I know it's a little early for this, but I wanted to get a jump start on all of my hand painted Christmas items!)

These will all eventually be wooden gift tags that can double as ornaments for your tree. I've chosen two different asthetics so far - toadstool Christmas, and snow mountain holidays. These will be hitting the virtual shelves of Tangents within the next week, so you can start that extra early holiday shopping that I know everyone has been looking forward to.

Monday, September 23, 2013

ZOOm Lens

This weekend I visited the wildest place in Omaha - the Henry Doorly Zoo. For the first time ever, I came equipped with my new (used) zoom lens, and I really felt like I got up close and personal with the animals. Here are a few of my favorite shots:

Show me your teeth...

He wanted to look extra tough in his latest Myspace photo

Gibbon Senior Pictures. Voted most likely to throw his own poo.

Eye of the Tiger

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Hummingbird Moth

This summer Jason and I had plenty of visitors in our flower garden. Our front porch impatiens were the most popular (incidentally, they were also my most beautiful bed of flowers this year). We saw monarchs, swallowtails, honeybees, and, on one short and sweet occasion, a little green and brown hummingbird. Some of our most frequent visitors were hummingbird moths. I'm normally not a big fan of moths (to be honest I absolutely hate them), but there's something so unique about hummingbird moths that I almost find myself enjoying their presence, and I just had to capture them on film.

Unfortunately, taking a good picture of a hummingbird moth is next to impossible. I swear their wings move at the speed of light, and the only one I've ever seen sitting still was also dead. I did get some unique shots, though, and they definitely portray a sense of motion.

This series of photos cracked me up when I saw them, it seems like this guy was having a rough day - allow me to narrate for you:

Moth: "Well, this party is kinda lame..."

Moth:"At least the punch is spiked." *Glug* *Glug* *Glug*

Moth:"And, once again, I've fallen headfirst into the punch bowl. Ugh, why do I even show up to these things anymore?!"

Monday, September 16, 2013

A Witch's Hat

I got mail today and not just any ordinary mail - a package filled with craft supplies! I got some brand new felting needles (since I so mercilessly destroyed my first set), and some fluffy new wool batting. Of course, I immediately set to work on a needle felting project - some cute new miniature pumpkins and, in the spirit of Halloween, a witch's hat!