Tuesday, March 31, 2009

pretty little baubles!

I have many ways to pass the time. In the summer, I am a beach glass hunter! I grew up on Owasco Lake (a little finger) and I have been combing the shale beach since I was about 4 years old. I can spot an old shard of glass from miles away, and I have jars of the stuff! A few years ago I decided I needed to do something with all my "treasure" and so I started making it into jewelry. I paint the pieces, cook them, add a loop, and macrame. Yes I said macrame- I am trying to bring back this "hippie" art form from the 70's! Actually in the 70's, I started my first business when I was in high school- MACRAME! I taught myself how to do it from a book, I made and sold many plant hangers, large jewelry pieces, wall hangings, and even a hammock. Today things are a bit toned down- no feathers or huge beads. I work with waxed linen, and small glass and crystal beads. These are a throw back, but a bit more polished. I always tell people I am going back to my roots- MACRAME is here to stay!

Monday, March 30, 2009

A sneak- peek!

So, I have made some progress on a rather large piece of pottery. This is a very up-close shot of a utensil crock (thrown by Gary Rith). I still have much to paint, but I wanted to show how great "olive drab" works as a background color! I will use your glaze mistakes anytime, dear Gary!

Yesterday was the annual Maple Fest in Marathon, NY! Every year we take the double decker train from Cortland to Marathon- it is a bit of a "Spring Tradition"! Although, almost every year it rains, we taste the maple candy, syrup, and The usual "fair food". We see the craft show, and I say "Hi" and catch up with artisans I haven't seen in a while. I'm always looking for new local artists that might be interested in displaying their work in my gallery. Every year we come home tired, wet, cold and muddy with a big jug of NY State maple syrup, and a feeling that it is SPRING!
The photo is Don and Wils riding the train to Marathon!

Friday, March 27, 2009

WOW! If I may say so!

My New floorcloth is really coming along- AND I LOVE IT! This is an "in progress" photo, I have added more since I took this picture. I am really happy with the way it is turning out. I still have to do the border (hopefully I will get that done today) and the poly and wax finish.
I never plan these out before, I like to let them develop as I go- that way I am always surprised, and usually pleased with the finished product.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Adult classes at the Gal!

These workshops are for artists and inspiring artists of all ages and skill levels. The workshops are designed to be a fun, comfortable place to play, explore your creative side, and collaborate with other artists. Cost is $20.00/workshop and include all materials.

Saturday April 25th- Spend the afternoon painting and loosening up with watercolors, pastels, and your favorite mediums as we explore the paths of impressionist painters. Warm up exercise will uncover the many brush stroke techniques of impressionist painters such as Monet. A limited color palette will make these fast and loose paintings successful.

FREE-Saturday May 2nd- Iterations 2009- Don’t miss being part of Iterations 2009, the third year of a community collaborative involving over 120 local artist age 3-93. This year, 50 plaster sculptures will be altered and created by you, and then will be drawn and painted in a still life. A plethora of materials will be provided for your imagination. Weather you choose to add to the sculpture or draw/paint the interesting objects, you will become a critical part of the collaboration. This is a great way to make friends, set your imagination free, and add a prominent exhibition to your Artist Resume. Details about the exhibition and opening will be available at the day. Join the Fun!

Saturday May 9th-Explore a variety of mono-print making techniques and create your very own set of 5” x 7” note cards or miniature masterpieces. Experiments will involve things that you might find right in your own home such as watercolors, jello, potatoes, lettuce, found objects, yarn and more. There is always serendipity to discover when your mono printing!

Saturday May 15th – Dive into the world of abstract expressionism as we look at the movement’s most prominent artists. After discussing some of the big names, we will make action paintings of our own, influenced by the work of Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollack. If the day is nice we may paint outside. The large kinetic paintings will be used to connect us with our creative source.

Saturday May 23- No matter your sewing level or gender, making a Faith Ringgold-Inspired Story Quilt is always a treasure. Cut, sew, glue, and create your own 16” x 20” story quilt frame-ready heirloom. No sewing skills are required. Sewing machines will be available and all present will learn to feel comfortable threading the machine and controlling simple appliqué stitches.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Will paint for pottery!

I have been doing a lot of work on canvas lately. I painted this cat mat as an example for my floorcloth class, and my friend Gary liked it so much he made a trade with me for it! Gary has a cat named Spike, a very large cat, and he needs a bigger mat, so I am going to do another one (a bit bigger)- more pottery for me! I usually paint on 3-D objects, so it really is nice to work on a flat surface for a change.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

class update!

It is amazing how much the artwork has changed from the first class we did! We are finishing up the painting part and next week some people will start with the poly finish- about 4 coats!
Half way through the class, and right where we should be. What excellent students I have!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Vegan dEGGorator kits!

Here they are- My creative answer to the "Pet Rock"! Now vegans can decorate easter eggs too! I started making these for last Easter, and believe it or not people have been asking me for them again! The kit contains one chalkboard wooden egg, six colored chalks, an eraser cloth, and a little festive nesting in a take-out container! I must admit, it is fun to color on the egg- for kids too. I sell these at Thou Art Gallery for $7.00.

Well, it is the start of another week, where did the weekend go? I have to get set up for my floorcloth class tonight, more playtime for grown-ups! I LOVE doing this class!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Kids workshops at Thou Art!

New Kid's workshops starting April 25!

Classes are Saturday's 10:00-12:00.

Please register early, class size is limited.

Workshop fee is $20.00 per class and includes all materials needed for a

finished piece, a snack, and lots of FUN!

Call 898-5706 or nance@thouart-gallery.com

Saturday April 25th -Monet Watercolors- Learn about famous artist Claude Monet and his pond/garden paintings. Look at other impressionist artist and identify characteristics of their loose style. Create a beautiful 16” x 20” watercolor painting in the style and colors of Monet.

Saturday May 2nd- Henri Matisse Cutouts- Learn about famous artist Henri Matisse and look at his later works. Through
cut and paste create your own 11” x 14” Matisse- Style Cutout while
learning about the interactions of shapes and colors.

Saturday May 9th- Explore a variety of mono-print making techniques and create your very own set of 5” x 7” note cards or miniature masterpieces. Experiments will involve jello, potatoes, lettuce, found objects, yarn and more.

Saturday May 23rd- Learn about Famous Artist Faith Ringgold and her imaginative story quilts. Turn your own illustration into an 11” x 14” quilted heirloom. Learn to control and use the sewing machine for simple appliqué technique. Learn other adhesive techniques for telling stories with cloth.

Children's Workshops are taught by Reagen Troutman.

Reagen likes to think outside the box.
She has an animated and motivating teaching
style and loves working with all
age groups. Reagen regularly
instructs art classes at the
Cortland YWCA. She also teaches
Summer Art Workshops at the
Homer Center for the Arts and
teaches classes at the Thou Art
Gallery in Groton and the Cortland
Free Library.

Reagen was the owner
of Pinstriped Pokadots on Main St. in
Cortland until a destructive fire
destroyed the building in 2005.

We are very lucky to have Reagen,
she is a fabulous teacher.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Premonitions and lucky cats!

Last Saturday my son Wilson got out the chalk and wrote in front of my gallery door- "Moving the shop". When I saw what he wrote, I was a bit miffed. I explained to him that I was NOT moving and the shop would be staying where it is. 2 days later I find out that I AM MOVING!!!

I am a little superstitous, I feel anything lucky can only help. I found these "lucky cats" in Japan (at EPCOT in Disney World). The gold one is supposed to bring luck in finance and business, and the white one is general happiness and luck. I put them on my register area, and I sold a bunch of stuff!

Finally, Here is a photo of my new storefront. I will be doing some painting and plants in front to polish things up. But, I keep wondering how did I get so lucky??? This totally fell in my lap! Was it my cats? Was it the planets? Did my son see into the future? This is going to be a prime location soon, and my shop will be HERE!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Big news for my small business!

My Address as of May 1st will be 103 Main St. This little storefront just dropped in my lap yesterday! The Groton Hotel was just purchased by an innovative young guy from LA (he grew up in Groton)- and this shop is right next to the Hotel. It has a big front window and enough space for fabulous merch, my studio and a large storage room! I think it is perfect for the new location of Thou Art. I am downsizing, but I think I will be gaining some much needed exposure! I can start freshening up the place, and it needs it, with paint and a good cleaning starting in May. The antique shop that is there now will start moving mid April. I am SO EXCITED about my new digs!!!
I am also hoping some of my fabulous friends will be willing to maybe help me one day or so with the move???
What do you think? I'm about ready to jump out of my skin!!!
I want to add this, I LOVE the space I currently occupy, and I will truly miss the atmosphere and the beauty of the windows, but, atmosphere don't pay the bills! I feel Main St. will be a better location for me and the wonderful artisans I represent. I would also like to thank Janet, who is a great friend and "landlord" for giving me the opportunity and the support to start my business where I did. I can only grow from here.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Everyone is an artist!

The class went GREAT last night. Everyone had such a good time letting go and creating! People don't realize what a great stress reducer it is to pick up a paint brush, and "have at it"! I always find it so interesting the different results you get when you give someone a white canvas and paint! Great class guys, see ya next Monday!

Monday, March 16, 2009

My Class starts tonight!

I am busy getting everything ready and set up at the gallery for my first floorcloth class! I have 8 fabulous students ready to paint a rug- and hopefully have a great time doing it. I am really looking forward to this. It is going to be a nice day too- a good Monday to all!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

feeling better...

I'm feeling a bit better today although yesterday was a tough one! I was so out of it all day. I even lost my pan of brownies somewhere between the gallery and home! I have no idea where I set them down. I went back to the shop to see if they were around, but I didn't see them anywhere. Then I realized after I meet Wilson at the bus, the zipper was totally down on my jeans! Thank goodness I had a long sweater on, and I don't think anyone noticed! Luckily I slept well last night, and I am feeling better today. I am getting ready to get to the gallery- I am hoping my pan of brownies will be sitting there waiting for me- and my zipper is up!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Space case!

I thought I would make banana muffins today- use those over ripe bananas on top of the fridge... I mixed them up and cooked them. They came out of the oven and looked a little pale, but they were done- a little hard actually. Then Wilson and I tried one- YUCK!! What had I done wrong???? I forgot the baking soda- rookie mistake, man what is wrong with me? I'll tell ya what is wrong- HEAD COLD! I can hardly see straight. Plus I look like I'm wearing a little clown nose.
So I whipped up some brownies, Don and Wils will eat them even if nobody else does, they came out perfect!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

goodies in the oven

A few fresh baked goodies in the oven. Here is a single switch plate, a picnic salt & pep set, and a votive candle holder, all cooked off and ready to display. I have been working on a bunch of smaller "quick sale" items lately. These less expensive pieces always sell well and make great gifts that pretty much anyone can afford. I like to have a really good stock of this kind of stuff when I start the Farmers' Market in May.
Pretty interesting story this morning on GMA. This women did an experiment on spending $1.00 a day to eat for a month. Great idea, although it would be a lot of work just to figure out exactly how much is spent on food per meal everyday. Wow, it makes my head spin! Still, kind of a good story.
I just caught a glimpse out the window- It is snowing! Big, fluffy, white flakes! So much for my "ode to Spring" yesterday. It might not be here yet...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Have you seen one yet?

I am waiting for a sign of spring. I took this photo of a baby robin last year, and I am on the look out for one of my favorite signs of spring. I have a feeling with the warmth and the wet ground (it smells like worms) they are on their way north! Keep a look out for spring!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Still a bit under the weather...

Wilson is still not quite back to normal. His fever has gone down, and he has a bit more energy, but he needs at least one more day of rest. I took him to the doctor, and he said it was viral, and should clear up in the next day or so. The fever has gone down, and he is feeling better, but he needs one more day. It looks like I will be dragging him to the hair salon- I can't let a sick kid get in the way of beauty! Actually he will welcome the change of scenery. I have his little DVD player charged up and he will be happy to watch a movie while mommy gets gorgeous.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Nurse Nancy????

My husband just informed me that "Nurse Nancy"(see post below) was the porn movie that Paul Reubens (Pee Wee Herman) was at when he was arrested. Now there is a trivia question! I'm not quite sure how he knew this...

Sad, sick kid!

My day off is planned out for me. I will be taking care of my poor little guy! He has had a fever and nasty cough since yesterday. He will be getting out of bed to go to the Doctor, hopefully this morning. Wilson loves school and I think he is more upset about missing a day of school than he is about being sick. Fevers are scary- the thermometer read 104 degrees this morning! I gave him a couple of acetaminophens and it has gone down to 101.
Today I will be known as "Nurse Nancy".

Friday, March 6, 2009

Good Morning!

Cookies of the day: Oatmeal with English Toffee! YUMMMMM!

I can't believe it is Friday already! WOW! I have been really busy painting at the gallery- it is nice to actually use my studio there. Of course, if I am busy doing my own work that usually means I am not talking to customers and selling fabulous art work made by other local artisans. It is kind of a double whammy!
I am looking forward to a visit from my usual Friday lunch club- always fun to visit with my girls!
I hope everyone has a FABULOUS FRIDAY!

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Okay, so I finished this oil bottle last night and I cooked it this morning. It looks great, and I am excited to take it to the gallery and put it on a shelf. Then, I look at the bottom and discover I had forgotten to sign it! It will be on display tomorrow- after I sign and cook again! It is a nice looking bottle though.

I need some of these!

I love this piece! It is a large utensil crock- very functional, and would look great in almost any kitchen. The problem is, I have a very hard time finding plain colored crocks to paint on. Maybe I can ask a certain pottery guy I know to throw a couple for me? I really need to do more of these. What do you think pottery guy???

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wacky Morning!

I have had a morning to forget! Wilson, who is usually the most well behaved child had a meltdown about 15 minutes before the bus was to come. He wanted to play on the computer before school, and didn't have enough time. This started a massive chain of crying, yelling, and pure distress! Finally he understood, and said he was sorry, and he would try to have a good day at school. We made the bus just in time. Mommy was left with a headache!

I have been working on a new biz card for Jodi at Bun Appetit Bakery. I will be showing her this before I hit the gallery this morning. I think it looks pretty good- hope she likes it!
If you are ever in town, stop by a get yourself a treat- good, naughty stuff! Since I am a bit stressed out I am sure I will be looking for a "comfort treat"!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

items to finish today

Here is a collage of pieces I would like to get to the gallery tomorrow. They are all waiting for finishing touches, and another "cooking".
My first floorcloth class is full- I was a bit surprised it filled up so fast, but people have been really receptive. I am excited, it is a fun project.
On with my day, I'm glad I will be inside and warm- It is COLD out there!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Productive weekend

I started this bowl yesterday, and It is almost finished- my brush was flying! I still need to finish the rim with my dots, but I am happy with my progress.
I also have 2 oil bottles almost finished- my inventory is starting to fill up nicely. If I keep production going I should be in good shape by the time I start the Ithaca Farmers' Market in May!
My floorcloth class is almost full- I have room for 1 more person in this session, I will be doing another class later in the spring.
Well, I will be picking Wilson up early from school today- we have to go to the dentist- YUCK!!! I HATE going to the dentist, I'm sweating already!