Swapathon- your stuff for my art

Aug 29, 2012

running low on tea and yarn

Welcome to the third Swapathon event on my blog! This is where I trade my art for something you have or make.  Anyone can participate, even those who have swapped with me in the past! The exchange is for any item in my shop valued up to $25 (plus free shipping).  Or, if you prefer, a $25 credit towards an artwork.  

Here are some items I would love to trade for:

Yarn remnants (preferably natural fibers), tea, vintage fabric, homemade soap/lotion/lip balm, kitchen towels, fingerless gloves/mittens, homemade baking mixes, and, of course, anything drawn, printed, or sculpted. 

I'm pretty open to whatever you come up with, and I look forward to reading some of your ideas!

On Sunday at noon (PST), five names will be randomly chosen from the comment list below, and the names will be posted here.  Can't wait to start swapping!

9/2: Thanks so much for all of your wonderful swap ideas!  My [very unbiased] husband picked five names out of a bowl, and here are this year's swapathon winners:

Lamina, Linda, Sally, Katie, and Annie

For those of you without contact info in your blogger profile, please email me at catmcmurray[at]gmail[dot]com.  Thanks!

show and tell: swaps

Aug 26, 2012

There are times when I think we should go back to the barter system.   I have yet to trade my art for more practical things, like chickens or grain.  But I have had the good fortune to swap my art for some pretty sweet stuff.  Here's a look at a few recent trades with some talented folks. 

These hexagonal shelves in my bedroom were custom made by furniture craftsman and fellow blogger, Josh Jackson.  Working only with reclaimed wood,  Josh salvaged the wood for these shelves from the living room of an L.A. home.  

I really love how the shelves finish off the room. To see more of Josh's handiwork, go to his website here.  Josh is also a very gifted writer, capturing the beauty and fragility of life on his blog, Jack at Random.  A must read, especially for those who have lost a child in utero. 

This beautiful silk blouse was made by Dani Kishino of Xsilk.  The silk is hand dyed in small batches using non-toxic dyes.  Dani also hand paints on some of her shirts, which can be found in her Etsy shop here.  So comfortable and flattering, this blouse has become my new favorite piece in my wardrobe. 

I've been a big fan of Natasha Newton's handpainted rocks for awhile now.  We connected this summer via Etsy, and we decided to swap painted rocks.  These beauties came from the beaches of Suffolk, England.  That's about a 5000 mile trip!  Be sure to check out more of Natasha's lovely art  here

Some of you may recall that I've run a couple of swap-a-thons in the past.  This is where I swap credit in my shop for items that readers make or already own.  It's been a year and a half since the last one, so I'm thinking it's time to run another swap-a-thon.  (And my tea selection is quite pathetic, so I'm really hoping that a winner or two can help me out with this.)

Look for more details and not so subtle hints in the next post. 

new projects in the works

Aug 24, 2012

Working from home, I often get sidetracked with house projects.  This week, I painted the living room, dining room, and my daughter's room a nice milky white color (Yolo Colorhouse Imagine 04 to be exact).  Nothing like a new coat of paint to freshen things up a bit.  And, by the looks of it, I think we got the cat's approval. 

I really should be working on some paintings, but I've been focusing on a few new project ideas, including some glass magnets, art pendants, and a mini book of my creative works.  It's taking a bit of time to flesh out the details, but things are slowly coming along.  I'm hoping to upload a magnet set and a couple of necklaces to my Etsy shop within the week. 

canning in a heat wave

Aug 17, 2012

Most [sane] people seek reprieve from the heat in 100° weather.  I decided to spend it over a hot stove making jam and pickles.  I'm usually the first to complain when it gets over 73°, so I was even surprised by my sudden keenness to can in a heat wave.  But, over-ripened fruit and vegetables is actually a big pet peeve of mine, much more than perspiration.  And, seeing I had plump pickling cucumbers on the vine and a vat of freshly picked berries, I was growing increasingly anxious with each rising degree.  

I had to purchase more jars, and you can say I got a little sidetracked with a couple of art related projects.   I love good food, and I love it even more when it's packaged well.  So, I created decals for the jars and illustrated stickers for the lids.  The decals are famous quotes on food.  The one in the photo reads, One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well, quoting writer Virginia Woolf. 

For the canning lid stickers, I scanned a couple of my illustrations and printed them on glossy label paper.  I was pretty pleased with how they turned out, so I ended up making some more and listing them in my shop.  I'm not planning on going into the sticker business, but I do like the idea of handdrawn art on canning lids.  Maybe I'll be inspired to create a few more designs in my next round of canning. 

star gazing

Aug 12, 2012

Star Gaze and Alpine Ridge
If you can get away from the city lights tonight, you have to grab your significant other and spend some time looking up at the night sky.  You will be awed by the spectacle of shooting stars.  I know this for a fact because the Perseid Meteor Shower just happens to land on our anniversary every year.  My goal tonight is to count at least 17 shooting stars, one for every year we've been married. 

Camping in the rain forest

Aug 10, 2012

Hwy 101 to Lake Quinault
The Olympic National Park is a magical place.  Our four day trip to the lush rain forest was the most anticipated trip of the summer.  We traveled the west side of the park, jumping from river valleys to the coastal strip.  Wherever we went, we were greeted by giant moss covered trees, teal-colored waters, and wild huckleberries.  I was honestly half expecting to spot an ewok or fairy in the woods.

Quinault Rain Forest
world's largest known western red cedar ///  19.5' in diameter
This 1926 lodge on Lake Quinault was completed in 53 days. 
The first two days were spent camping on Lake Quinault, not too far from the historic lodge.  My highlight of the trip was swimming in the glacier-fed lake on a sunny afternoon.  So refreshing and beautiful. 

Hoh River
Hoh Rain Forest
I can see why the famous Cullen family of Twilight would choose to live in this area.  The rain forests of the Olympic Peninsula receive 12 feet of rain a year.  So if you're trying to get away from sun, this is the place to be.  It rained every day of our trip, preventing wet clothes or towels from completely drying out.  Fortunately, modern outdoor gear, for the most part, protects us from the elements.  I can't imagine what it would've been like for native people and pioneers 150 years ago. 

Rialto Beach
Ruby Beach
The rocky beaches along Washington's coastline are a wondrous site indeed.  We camped one night at Rialto Beach, which is a 20 minute drive from Forks.  I found the band of skeletal trees to be a little eerie, but they do make for some great pictures.  We looked for some rocks to add to our collection, and we found a number of beauties.

We're still unpacking from our trip, but I can't wait to sit down at my art desk while the images are fresh in my mind.  And we're already mapping out a trip to the northern side of the park next summer.  Hurricane Ridge, here we come.     

new painting, "summer peak"

Aug 5, 2012

In my last post, I talked about blue being my favorite color.  Funny that I've been drawn to lavenders and pinks this week.  I love this oil painting of a pink cloud by Osaka-based artist, Ayco.

I'm also surrounded by lovely shades of purple and pink in my garden.  My daughter and I harvested lavender from our yard and plan to make more sachets.  

I imagined my latest painting to involve more soft, rose-colored features.  But, somehow I got carried away with bold colors and graphic elements instead. 

summer peak, 8" x 8" wood panel painting

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