"If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud." ~ Emile Zola

30 September 2010

Top Ten Reasons to Buy Original Contemporary Art

This post comes from Paula Lewis of Scorched Eyebrow Studio, as shared by Nick from the Handmade in PA blog.

"Free Flight", by SilentLotus Creations. Watercolork, and gesso on birch panel.

Top Ten Reasons to Buy Original Contemporary Art

10. Bring yourself into your décor. Surround yourself with art that speaks to you and of you. You are unique, so why would you settle for the PierWhatever/BullseyeBox carbon copy stuff?

9. Assure your place in civilization by supporting the Arts. Bonus: By buying from local (and there are fabulously talented people in your community) artists, you stimulate the local economy directly.

8. Develop your own collection. Art is lots cooler to collect than stamps or coins and when you collect contemporary art, you can collect artists as friends- and we are a very cool group.

7. Make your neighbors jealous. All of them will wish they had your self-confidence and sense of style!

6. Connect with your deeper self. Buy original work that speaks to you emotionally, not because it matches the couch. (NOTE: It’s okay if it happens to match.)

5. Feel less like a cubicle-dweller and more human by surrounding yourself with art born of real live passion and creativity – art made because the artist was moved to do it, not paid by the brushstroke.

4. Tap into the mystery of the muse. There is something magical that happens within artists that often pushes them beyond their initial vision; share that wonder.

3. Learn something new. Exercising your mind is healthy and realizing you are developing your eye for quality, style, talent while you’re having fun looking at art is a real kick.

2. Honor your inner creative spirit. We all have the need to express ourselves. Twitter, Link’d In, board meetings, and lawyers are not sufficient. Express yourself visually by living with art you love. Get back in touch with your own creative self.

1. Delight in the presence of art that “you get” and realize that the art “gets you!”

22 September 2010

Vending Awesomeness!

Just got done vending at a string of awesome shows over the past few weeks! Lots of interesting venues, environments, people, handmade eye candy, and colorful sights! :) Thanks so much to Steel City Rockers vs. Mods, to PCC for a terrific Crafts N'At, to Friends of Ohiopyle for a delightful weekend at Music in the Mountains, and to the Steeltown Shakedown for the most colorful, old skool-ified weekend I've had in a while. :) And a big welcome and fat 'thank you' to all of my new customers!

Check out some of the best sights!

Cuties in the Rockers vs Mods pin-up contest!

Testing my new display setup at Rockers vs Mods.

Adorable rocker baby with her rocker daddy (who just happen to be my brand new niece and brother-in-law- lol).

The fabulous space and artisans at the Pittsburgh Craft Collective's annual show, Crafts N'At!

Can you believe this view of the Monongahela River from my tent at Ohiopyle' Music in the Mountains? It looks photoshopped! It was beautiful!

Crafty pal Rachel in her flirty and fabulous hand-altered dress at Steeltown Shakedown (that she helped organize). You should see the awesome flame applique she handsewed onto to the bag to match her sweetie's car! :)

Old-skool cool!

This weekend will be my last show until the holidays! Come and check me and lots of other fabulous local artisans out at
Art Harvest on Sunday, September 26th from 12-5 at the East End Food Co-op! :)

21 September 2010

New Studio!

It took a freecycled-from-the-curb bookshelf to transform the second room in our apartment into a working studio! After years of working on my dining room table amidst boxes and bags and clutter and of storing my supplies in disorganized piles and stacks and mayhem, I finally have a craft room and work space! :D Who knew a shelf could make that all possible? I am SO EXCITED! Our yoga/massage room turned storage room is now a craft room/art studio (well, and storage space for clothes and sheets and laundry, but you can't have everything)!

My dining room table was never the most ideal space for creating.

Neatness and actual room to breathe! My work table sits in the middle of the room now, with plenty of light to prevent me from blindness from working with tiny things. :) Yay!

The Big Fake Meat Debate

In the veggie community, discussion about whether or not folks can "stomach" meat substitutes and how a *true* veggie can eat them (due to the opinions some have about the similarity fo their taste, texture, and smell to the "real thing") has come up quite a bit. So I thought I'd chime in.

I have no problem with fake meats, and I eat them quite a bit. Their texture and smell don't in any way remind me of meat, nor does their taste.

I find the texture, smell, and taste of meat to be highly unique and unreplicatable. I don't eat "faux meats" to "pretend to eat meat" or because I am hungry for meat but want to avoid eating it. I eat them because they are yummy, protein-packed, and time-saving. I never ever get hungry for meat after nearly 13 years of being vegan and 2 of being veggie before that. My palette and mouth don't ever think that anything I eat is 'like meat' cause it's such a foreign concept to me anymore (that doesn't mean I don't recognize the taste of the real thing- I do).

When I think, "Mmmm, I could sure eat a Celebration Roast or veggie burger right now," I am getting hungry for the specific yumminess of that food, not any sort of meat at ALL. In my mind and spirit, there is no connection between 'fake meats' and the real thing . There is no way any kind of veggie food could "fake" the blood, flesh, suffering, and terror of the real thing. And in fact meat "substitutes" are meant to save other beings from ever becoming that in the first place. I don't even consider them "fake meats" unless I use the term to explain to someone with no familiarity what such a food is.

To me, they are just a protein source and way of changing things up a bit. Bring on the BBQ Veggie Riblets! ;)

13 September 2010

Pittsburgh Walk for Farm Animals 2010!

I am thrilled to be part of the upcoming Pittsburgh Walk for Farm Animals 2010 next month! On Saturday, October 2nd, Pittsburgh will host its very first Walk for Farm Animals to support the lifesaving rescue, education and advocacy work of Farm Sanctuary! This event takes place annually in more than 75 cities across the United States and Canada to celebrate and promote compassion for farm animals and raise funds to enable Farm Sanctuary to continue its vital work. One of the amazing walk organizers, Kim Piper of Sunstone Soap, states, "Our goal is to walk together as a compassionate community while we have fun, raise money and help better the world for all beings!"

Please consider walking with us! Everyone compassionate about animal welfare is invited, and non-vegans and non-vegetarians are absolutely welcome! You can walk solo, create your own team, or join my team called "Team Craftastic." :) When you go to register for Pittsburgh's walk, you will be given the option of choosing a team.
Register here by clicking ‘Get Started’ & selecting the Pittsburgh Walk. Advance registration is only $15 and includes a t-shirt. Or visit my page and follow the registration links. I hope you'll join me!

You can also help by sponsoring me in the walk. Any amount donated, whether $1 or $100, is hugely helpful. Visit
my fundraising page or look for the widget on my left blog sidebar to contribute!

If you would rather, you can also donate by sending to me directly via PayPal- let me know if you'd like my email address for that.

You can also donate a prize for the event, whether handmade, a gift certificate, or other item.
Contact me to arrange this.

GIVEAWAY ALERT: Every fan of
my Facebook Fan Page who donates toward the Walk for Farm Animals via my fundraising page will be entered in a giveaway to win two 5x7(ish) art prints of your choice! Yay!

Just donating any amount gets you one entry. Every $10 donated gets you another entry. So a donation of $10, for instance, would mean one entry for donating and one entry for $10 and so on. :) Just "like"
my Facebook page and comment there to let me know you've donated!

Thanks so much for your support!

Lady Gaga... WTF?

Okay, so I adore and am a huge fan of Lady Gaga, but I am so disappointed in her and so pissed off about her wearing an outfit entirely made of meat for a recent magazine cover and for the Video Music Awards. I won't post a picture, but you can Google it. To Ellen Degeneres she claimed she did not want to disrespect vegans and vegetarians, but how is wearing meat as a fashion statement NOT disrespectful?!?! Never mind whether or not she offends us veggies, but what about the animals who died to make her outfit and the million more who will die because society is still sending the message that commodification of animals for human use is okay? For fashion, for food, for sport... It's so f***ed up and WRONG! :( >:[ It's the ultimate disrespect of life!