Monday, March 28, 2011

Chatting with The Brilliant Magpie

This is a new series of "chats" I am starting to help feature other creatives. I couldn't wait to chat with Amy Abshier-Reyes, Owner/Artist of The Brilliant Magpie on Etsy. Please enjoy and be sure to check out her shop and other work on her website/blog and Flicker - it's fantastic!!

Tell us a bit about yourself:

I grew up in rural Texas, on the gulf coast, surrounded by rice fields and cow pastures. Came to Kansas city to go to the Kansas City Art Institute, graduated, moved to California with my guy, got married, had a baby, moved back to Kansas City where the rent's WAY cheaper, had another baby. I never stopped creating, never stopped painting, it's a necessity in my life.

How/what are you inspired by, what sparks your creativity most?

I have these incredibly vivid dreams full of bizarre, colorful imagery. I wish someone would invent a brain/thought camera to capture these images. They'd blow your mind! So I get a lot of ideas from dreams, and books, and odd conversations. Sometimes I'll see a great painting or photograph, and I just get the itch to go paint. Seeing good stuff is like a virus; it infects me and it'll haunt me until I can go draw or paint something cool of my own.

Have you always known that were a "creative"? And by a creative I mean anything such as - artist, designer; re-designer; seamstress - you get the picture..

Always. Since I could hold a crayon, and even when I was too young to write, I'd tell my mom my stories and she'd write them down. Then I'd illustrate them. I was always in trouble in grade school for drawing in class.

Is this your only line of work?

I wish! Nope, I work days at an auction house, which is a fascinating line of work. And it pays most of my share of the bills, so...

What is a typical day for you?

Up at 6 to get my oldest ready for school, get everyone breakfast, pack lunches, take her to school, come back home and get myself and the baby ready for work, work til mid afternoon, go pick up the oldest from school, come home and get dinner started, then baths and bedtimes, then maybe a bit of television with my husband (I keep a sketchbook by the couch) or I try to work on painting for a bit.. I'm usually in bed by 10. I do usually get a few hours to paint on the weekends though, when my husband's home to watch the kids. He works two jobs, so he doesn't have much time off.

Your favorite medium?

Oil paints by far, then watercolor paints next.

Where can we find your work?

My larger oil paintings are at the Blue Gallery in Kansas City:

My watercolor pieces and prints are on Etsy:

I nearly always post photos of my paintings and progress (and other stuff) on Flickr:

And my blog:

Your favorite shops/blogs:

I'm pretty bad at following blogs, I just don't have the time. I don't even keep up with my own! But I do love Regretsy (they say the mean things that I'm thinking!), Miss Moss (she has a great eye), Shorpy (wonderful collection of vintage and antique photos), and Design Sponge (it makes me jealous of cool people and their cool homes).

What has been the best form of promotion/marketing tip you can give to aspiring "creatives"?

I'm the worst at marketing! All the gigs I've gotten have practically fallen into my lap. I'm just too lazy to stay on top of things.

Here's a few for fun:

Vices? I eat too much, I'm super-lazy, and I procrastinate way, way too much. Shame on me.

Elvis Presley or Elvis Costello? Elvis Costello!

Ice cream or French fries? Ice cream, YEAH!

Cotton or spandex? Definitely cotton.

Modern or Mid-century? Mid century, although there's a lot of modern things I like as well. Good design is good design, no matter what era it's from!

The Rat Pack or the Brat Pack? Ooooh, that's kinda tough. I guess Rat Pack, though I watched my fair share of Brat Pack movies back in the day.

Thank you Amy!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Me and my bestfriend

This is me and my best bud March 2011.....

Ans this is me and my bestfriend in like, 1985/ parachute dress, with big shoulder pads, my over-tanned, over blonde hair and of course, florescent make-up - eww. She still looks relatively normal in both pic's . My excuse was beauty school...

Treasury Items at Etsy: The Doe-Eyed Deer

Found at: Anomaly Jewelry

(To view all treasury items go here)

Found at: Owl Cove

Found at: Sea of Bees

Found at: Lizart

Found at: Mel's Baby

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Scrap materials: Project 1 - Leopard Collar

Here are a few pictures of some scrap materials I had laying around from earlier projects or donated items: scrap leopard material and some floral cherries. Sometimes, I can look at something and just get a picture in my mind of how I want to do something. And, since I am a huge fan of "no scrap left behind", I am always finding new ways to use left over stuff.

To start: I cut out two half-circles (note to self: next time include photos of the process), cut out the center of each, pinned the ends together, set them on my neck for good measure, and sewing away! I pinned all the scraps every which way, some ruffly, etc. When finished with that, I sewed all along the outsides to help with fraying -though I do like raw edges. I then took a scrap ribbon piece, cut in half and attached, along with scrap red lace binding and black lace pieces. Lastly, I attached the cherries with a few stitches to secure.

Va-la! What do you think? I think it is pretty nifty - approximately 45 mins.

Do you have a speedy little craft.-scrap project that you are proud of? Post a link in the comments and maybe I will feature it here. Along with your blog or shop link, of course!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My most recent purchase from LovVintage Finds on Etsy

I bought this amazing vintage clock radio for my husband's birthday! Eeek! He love love loved it! You must check out this place: LoVintage Finds

Our most recent beautiful day trip.....

Here are some photos of a day trip we took one Sunday afternoon to spend a beautiful day at a place called Gardens of the World in Thousand Oaks, CA. It is a small, but serene place...


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