Wednesday, May 29, 2013

AR Vacation Day 6/8

I spent today finding all types of critters (spiders and lizards and dragonflies - oh my!) as well as future art inspiration at Petit Jean State Park.

I love the look of these tree roots, and I am definitely envisioning some type of tree root inspired painting in my future.

Who doesn't enjoy being in the presence of a waterfall? It's fun to think about the awesome destructive powers of water. No matter what we do, nature will always win (that's some engineering 101 from my college days.)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

AR Vacation Day 5 of 8

I'm halfway through my Arkansas vacation. We're doing our best to see all we can see, but we're still taking time to stop and smell the rhododendrons. You don't see many of these beautiful shrubs in Nebraska!

Friday, May 24, 2013

RAW Expressions

Last night's RAW showcase was a ton of fun. Thanks to everyone who came out to support me and see my jewelry!

Today I will begin my road trip to the great state of Arkansas. I've temporarily closed my Etsy shops while I'm away, but I'll have them up and running as soon as I get back (June 2nd!)

A close up shot of my display

A snapshot of my entire booth at last night's show

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Amos the Poison Dart Frog and RAW Setup Preview

RAW expressions is tomorrow! Here are a couple of sneak preview pictures of my setup. It might be fairly dim at Sokol so I'm trying to incorporate as much lighting as possible.

Those antique glass dishes I bought to decorate for my wedding have sure come in handy - here I am using them once again!

A small LED candle in every dish

Trinket Trays! A new way to enjoy the Aquatic Avenue Crew and store rings, earrings, keys or other miscellaneous small items.

And now, the character of the day: Amos the Poison Dart Frog. You're probably wondering how a rainforest amphibian fits into the Aquatic Avenue Crew - here's the explanation:

It's a well known fact that frogs get lost easily. Amos should be in the rainforest, but he took a wrong turn somewhere and has found himself submerged in the watery depths of the ocean. Oh well, Perhaps someone on Aquatic Avenue can give him directions.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Winston the Whale

I am officially getting extremely excited for my RAW expressions show this Thursday! I'm working on my display ideas today - so hopefully some pre-game setup pictures will be posted here later.

In other news, I'm also excessively excited to go to Arkansas with my sister Katie, cousin Jennifer, and friend Erin! I'm looking forward to a week of live music, family and fun.

Now, without further ado, my character of the day (also, a kindred spirit, as we share many of the same hobbies): Winston the Whale.

Winston is a scholarly fellow. You can often find him wearing thick rimmed glasses and reading the daily paper or solving calculus problems for fun in his spare time. His favorite drink is piping hot earl grey tea, which he sips in copious amounts from his favorite magenta recliner located in the library of his undersea home.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Barnacles Garden Pests of the Sea

Today I am working on attaching all of my stories to my jewelry so my customers can enjoy them. Here's a little sample of my new jewelry tags along with my character of the day.

Oh Barnacles, garden pests of the deep, these little critters have a habit of latching on to rocks and undersea homes. They are fairly innocuous, but their incessant giggling can easily grate on a sea creature's nerves!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Coral - Trees of the Sea

I don't want to give away all of the surprises, BUT - I have a lot of new things made for my Raw Natural Born Artists show next Thursday. New chain styles and new lengths, new characters and designs, even new seashell styles!

If you haven't bought your tickets yet - DO IT! This show will be phenomenal. And, in case you need a bit more convincing, if you buy your tickets by May 20th from my profile (or select my name in the drop down menu for artist you are supporting) I will mail you a Totally Coral Bookmark (you may have to provide me with your address if I don't already have it.) Each mark is a laminated original painting by me that represents my watercolor shells line.

Git yer tickets here: 
$15 each ($20 if you wait until the night of the show) - well worth it for all the fantastic creative folks you will see that evening!

You could find one of these one-of-a-kind bookmarks in your possession if you buy your RAW tickets from my by the 20th of May!

A small sample of the NEW things you will find in my jewelry collection. Copper colored chain and angelfish!

Now, after that shameless little plug, onto my "character" of the day (character being a term I'm using rather loosely today.)

Coral. Trees of the sea. The residents of Aquatic Avenue take great pleasure in using the abundant varieties of coral to landscape around their homes.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Oscar the Octopus

Whew! Last weekend was BUSY. Jason and I attended two graduation ceremonies (congratulations to both of my brothers-in-law, Nick and Tim, on graduating from high school and college, respectively.) And we also got to spend some quality time with our favorite moms in honor of mother's day (even if that quality time was very brief!)

Here's my character of the day - Oscar the Octopus:

Oscar dances across the ocean floor on his eight graceful tentacles. A classical music enthusiast, you can often find him hopping from rock to rock while humming Beethoven's "Symphony No. 9"

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Amelie the Jellyfish

Amelie floats about dreamily in an undersea world of her own. She is known as a fortune teller, and is surprisingly accurate in her predictions. Although, her predictions are often quite vague, so no one is completely sure if she's truly gifted or just lucky.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Zebra the Lionfish

I'm normally not into supporting an invasive species (especially not one that is currently "devastating reefs" according to CBS), but it's hard for me not to appreciate how unique and beautiful lionfish are. So, as a disclaimer, I am not in support of releasing exotic animals or insects anywhere they don't belong!

Now, moving on, this particular character presents a good example of what I mean by "one of a kind". Even though I've painted him on several different pendants, you still get a unique perspective on my lionfish character in each piece of jewelry.

Zebra refuses to be a 'Lion'fish, preferring, of course, to be referred to as a 'Zebra'fish. He can often be found swimming hastily in circles and repeating the words: "Lions are frightening, much too frightening!" Somehow, amongst all his nervous quirks, he still finds time to work on his favorite hobby, knitting. Using his own poisonous spines as needles allows him to work on up to seven sweaters at once!

Monday, May 6, 2013

2013 Spring Open House - Art Studio and Greenhouse Pictures

Yesterday was our Spring Open House (or as my sister, Katie, prefers to call it "The Second Annual Schmit Home Solutions Grand Opening Event") We had an excellent afternoon visiting with customers and friends, and I snapped a significant amount of photos, because the entire shop was clean!

Here are a couple of my art studio which, in my opinion, is the most important room in the shop.

This, of course, is where I sit/stand/dance about while working on my projects.
A view of my gallery/display space
A closeup of one of my displays - Jason helps me make most of the components of my displays, like my spinning jewelry rack and the reclaimed window frame that holds my "The Pirate's Cove" painting in this shot. Tim has helped me collect all kinds of interesting old things (like the window frame) from estate sales he's been to.
And now for some photos of the greenhouse - the second most important portion of the shop!

You can see most of the plants and some of Jason and Tim's clever watering system in this picture.
Some of our hanging basket selection - It was my first year planting them all by myself and I think they turned out quite nice for a novice hanging basket planter!
I think the dianthus was looking particularly stunning yesterday - so they got their own photo.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Grover's Story - Sea Turtle

Grover is an elderly sea turtle. He is a slow mover and and even slower talker, but for those with the patience and consideration to listen, he will depart upon them his infinite wisdom of the deep. He often seems to know everything, after all, he's been around to see almost everything...

I already have a couple of necklaces available featuring Grover. Sea turtles are quite possibly my favorite animal of all time. I'm also working on some jewelry featuring a younger and more sprightly sea turtle.


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Aquatic Avenue - An Introduction and Braily the Orca

Every time I paint one of my sea creatures onto a shell, I imagine a story - a personality, a set of hobbies and an entire life that the creature lives. Recently, Jason has convinced me to share these stories. I'll be slowly posting them here, but first a little back story to get you set up for character introductions.

All of my watercolor shell sea creatures are neighbors living somewhere in the vicinity of Aquatic Avenue (which is essentially Main Street in their small undersea town.) Their interactions are mostly amicable, but of course, no neighborhood would exist without the occasional squabble amongst friends. One thing they all agree on, though, is the enemy - sharks and the fairly uncommon, but still frightening, deep sea fishing lure.

So, I'll begin with my character of the day: Brailey the Orca whale.

Brailey is an orca, often referred to as a killer whale. Curiously enough, however, she is a strict vegetarian and an active member of Save Our Neighbors (SON), an organization that concerns themselves with helping sea lions evade death by orca and shark consumption. 

Orca Necklace - Yellow, Orange and Red Shell Necklace