Friday, June 18, 2010

open studio....

today is OPEN STUDIO day!!!
come in and browse....


today i am going to be sharing a bit of my studio space with you. i know that i frequently post pics of my space (and probably more than you ever wanted of my kittehs and works in progress). but today is a very special day... today is the second annual WHERE BLOGGERS CREATE  blog party!!! yay!!! i've said it before and i'll say it again... i love that we are a global community.


for those of you who don't know me - i am amber leilani -a beader and mixed media artist who enjoys making things and sharing my stories along the way. i also really love my cats. and food.

i share a two bedroom apartment with my significant other, mr. b and our two cats, patches and cash. we live a pretty quiet life in the gorgeous and decaying city of new orleans. we can walk to pretty much anything we need to. we don't though, because we're lazy. we have a big tv and a huge movie collection, hundreds of books ( mr. b is an AVID reader ), and of course...i have my little corner of heaven - my studio. craft room. work room. whatever you want to call it. it's mine! ALL MINE!!! mwah haa haa...


we've only lived in this space a year and it took us that long to get unpacked and organized ( see above = lazy ) and i have just recently started clearing out and organizing my studio. it's in the back room of the house, and is the only room with carpet - which i hate. but, i have it from our good friend and landlord, big steve, that underneath this heinous carpet is even scarier linoleum. shiver. i'm good. i can live with carpet.


several things have changed in my life over the last year and in the last month an even more drastic change has taken place: i am finally going down to part time at my day job and giving amber leilani design a real go. whoo hoo!!!



since i am finally starting to devote more time to my own work, i now spend most of my days in the studio. it's still not the creative space i want it to be, but it's getting there. i have dreams of chinese lanterns and strings of white lights. lots of art on the walls. hopefully soon. still, it's my favorite place in the house. the kittehs always keep me company and  i have my ipod docking station, tape player, my comfy office chair, lots of candles and incense, and i am surrounded by many of my favorite things - works by other artists, gifts from friends, my books, and of course, my beloved crafting supplies.


i suppose you could say that i am first and foremost a bead artist. i've been beading since 1992. i sell pretty well, but i could always do better. i just don't really stress out about it anymore. i do what i can.

since we adopted these crazy cats i use an antique writing desk as my beading station - it has a top that closes when i want to walk away from what i am doing. this thing has saved my sanity on more than one occasion. and it has saved my cats from being returned to the shelter more than they realize! just kidding. kind of....


i just started working in mixed media over the last year, beginning with rubber stamping and moving to paper collage, mixed media collage, and then to art dolls and shadow box assemblages. i am still in the learning process for each of these pursuits, but i have never in my life been as happy as i am when i am sculpting my dolls and masks. the freedom that it gives me to just get down and dirty and let my imagination fly is something i have longed for, for many years. there are no constraints. i can just be me. weird. creepy. odd. eccentric.


so, that's the rundown on little ole me. and now i would love to give you a tour of where i spend my days. i hope you will enjoy yourself and do come back often!....


this is my beading station. it also serves as a photo booth, cat bench, and general catch all when it is closed. this is how i keep the kittehs out of my beads. which keeps everyone happy!

this shelving unit came with the apartment and i immediately snatched it up. my friend, jim gave me the drawers from a movie he worked on, and aside from holding all my stamps and most of my inks, they also serve as a propping/drying station for my dolls and masks. the cats can't climb up here because of the tight space and clutter, so it works well for that purpose.

big wall. tiny masks...

sewing machine drawers which will house dolls for a shadowbox show i am doing in october. i am terribly excited and terrifically frightened by this prospect. but, the show must go on!

the theme of my room: where the wild things are!

a giant hand carved, guatemalan armoir which holds linens and art supplies. i think those two things go well together, don't you?!

yes, those are mixed tapes. from this century. my good friend ande sends them to me and i listen to them while working. she has THE BEST music collection and has shared so much of it with me that i am forever grateful. some of my favorite discoveries are the decemberists, tinairwren, azam ali, andrew bird, the infamous stringdusters, and ryan adams.

mr. b has a bookshelf in my work area, filled with boring financial books, so i had to make a fun little shrine on top of it. you can see my mardi gras cold weather parade hat, my who dat wig for the superbowl, my crafting queen crown which my friend, laurie gave to me on my 40th birthday in march, a sand fibers original triangle necklace, and gaston the green nosed alligator which is a character in a series of books the mister's company publishes.

this area is ALWAYS a mess. there's nothing to be done with it. i give up!
and yes, that is a tiny bottle of scotch. i've been keeping it there since i pulled a muscle in my back last weekend...it's not half bad, if i do say so myself...

party devil mask completed yesterday.

this is cash's basket. he sits in here while i work on dolls and collages. sometimes he swats at the styrofoam balls i use. this often gets him booted from the craft room.

patches is a fierce creature. she diligently guards the studio...

surly bunny mask in progress

surly bunny mask completed

jar of vintage mardi gras beads. some are czech glass and some are plastic. i love the plastic ones and they work very well with my retro 1985 pendant series

i decided to start a line of tiny watercolors based on my dolls. this is as far as i've gotten...


...and that, folks concludes our open studio tour for today....


i truly hope that you enjoyed yourself. i enjoyed having you over! i tend to keep to myself and very few people ever come to visit...so it is lovely to have guests today!

now i am off to visit all the other crafting spaces that are open today and i wish you all a very
happy and creative weekend!

cheers!
amber


49 comments:

Janet said...

This was such a fun tour. Your studio space looks wonderful and filled with lots of fun items. I especially like your masks....and your kitties!!

Christina J. said...

Thanks for sharing your space, Amber! It's so interesting to see where others work. Your space is fantastic!

Katsui Jewelry said...

I like your space, amber. You are lucky to get that extra room (well, I really think you deserve it!) Love those tiny masks and really appreciate the beauty and work that goes into beading around a cabochon. Yours are truly stunning.

Susan Reaney (Suz)
http://katsuijewelry.blogspot.com

Michelle May (Shell) said...

Hi Amber!
Wonderful studio! I love your kitties and I love your bunny mask! Your work looks like so much fun! Best of luck to you now being able to work on your own bliss.
Hugs!

Jill said...

Thanks for sharing your space and your art. I wish you well on the transition to your design business versus the "other job". Also, sewing machine drawers as shadow boxes--great! I love those old drawers and use them for storage.

Kristin said...

Oh, you are so cool! I love your spirit and your sense of humor shows in your space and your art. Congrats on the big part-time move, it sounds like you are on the right track, and you are very talented! Happy to meet you in this way and I will be back as I am now a follower, Kristin xo

MosaicMagpie said...

Thanks for sharing. Love your masks.
Debbie

Magpie's Mumblings said...

I enjoyed the tour Amber! Thank you for inviting us.

Diane said...

Hi Amber, Thanks for the wild and wonderful tour of your creative space. Your masks are wonderful and so are your cats. It's so great to see how others make it work. Diane

Lynn said...

WoW! That was fun!! I love your masks - very fun-ky

Kiss those kittehs for me!

Gloria said...

I enjoyed the tour Amber. Lot's of fun and your space is awesome. I love your work. Thanks for sharing.

vicki said...

Oh those beautiful beads! Love those sweet kitties. Love your high ceilings and your MUSES garland! Your creative masks are wonderful - such artistic talent!

Vicki

marcia said...

I love your art, your storage and your wall color!
oh and the felines :)

happy day!
~marcia

Kit said...

Your masks are incredible! I just love your space, your cats, your creativity. I wish you good luck on your new endevor. I just know you will do great! Kit

Creative Breathing said...

Truly the space of an artist. Your work is original and beautifully made. Much success on your fall show. Thank you so much for sharing with us today! Elizabeth

imaginationlane said...

I don't know where to start! There are so many goodies to look at in your creative space. I'm still delighting in your blog's great name and wonderful description. I'm very pleased to meet someone else a little wacky...and I mean that in the best possible way!
I love your cats, too...I have a little tortoishell kitty of my own. If you get a chance, you might want to stop bu my page and see my studio pics. Thanks for sharing...

Lynette

TheBlakkDuchess said...

What an awesome space! Thank you so much for sharing with us. ^-^

Your cats are beyond adorable... and they look soooo smart... and a rather mischeivious as well... ^_~

I'm happy you've been able to cut back on work so that you can focus on YOUR work! So great! Best of luck to you, and I know you'll do just wonderfully! ^-^

TheBlakkDuchess said...

Thanks for the wrinkle tips! I'm excited to try them out. ^-^

kluless said...

Love your space and love your commentary even more! Thank you for sharing.

Connie Eyberg Originals said...

I have been visiting a lot of cats today. They all seem so accomodating. Enjoyed seeing all of your awesome creations as well, especially the beads! You have a wonderful studio and I appreciate your sharing it! Connie

Rebecca said...

Thank you for inviting us into your wonderful creative space! This party has been so fun!

Creative Blessings,
Rebecca

Only Cute Things said...

Hi Nice to meet you! I´m lovin´your blog! is so cuteeeeee! and I fall in love with your cats! what a nice kitty you have, and so cute place!
I love your arts too!
what a pleasure to be here!

I love your quote If you could open a door to anywhere, where would you go? me??
I´ll go to "OZ" Or Lost Island!;)

XOXO From so far away!
Marina

Queen Bee said...

Amber, I agree with you that we are a global community and that's terrific. You are so talented and have so many goodies to see!!! Thank you for showing us into your creative workshop.
Queen Bee Studio

My Arts Desire said...

Enjoyed seeing your space and your work! The beading looks very tedious with stunning results though. I hope your doll "adventure" goes well. They do seem to be all the rave these days.

Gail said...

Amber,
I love your creative space and your creations as well.
Dh and I honeymooned in New Orleans many years ago.....what a magical city, nowhere else like it.

VERBENA.... NESTED TREASURES said...

I really enjoyed looking at your artwork.. you have a very unique style. You space is very calming & beautiful.. I will be back to visit.

Tobi Britton*pinkpixieforest.blogspot.com said...

Hi Amber!
What a cool space! You made me laugh a lot- especially about the "kittehs" and linoleum.
My fave pic is the one of you and cash at the end... you will never be broke with a basket of cash!
We enjoyed our visit a lot.
Sparkly Hugs,
Tobi and the Pixies!

Michele Seraphim said...

There is so much to enjoy here. Love your dolls or sculptures and all your wonderful "things". Thanks for sharing this space even though you frequently have in the past as this is my first time here... I will be back!

zandra said...

What a colorful inspiring space you have created. Good luck in your new journey. So, enjoyed my visit with you. I started this party friday night and I am just now getting to you. Have a great week.
Hugz,
Zandra

Hi, I'm Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

What a wonderful creative space!

I adore your storage solutions. You have inspired me to work on my own crafting paradise.

Whimsey Creations said...

Thanks so much for the tour. Your masks are awesome and I hope you'll post some pics of the shadow boxes when you finish them. Thanks for visiting my blog earlier and nice to meet you!

cindy-stitches-n-stuff.blogspot.com said...

What a gal you must be. I love your beads and you antiques. Good luck with your work. Sorry about the carpet and what's underneth.

comevisit
cindy@stitches

She'sSewPretty said...

I enjoyed the fun tour of your studio. I want to paint mine that same shade of yellow! Your kitties are the cutest little studio assistants!

~Becca~Bluebird Rose said...

I enjoyed seeing your space, learning about your art, and of course seeing the kits! We have three (soon to be four, cause a new one adopted us ;)
~Becca~

Liz-Anna said...

What a quirky, lovely space! Really enjoyed the tour!

The Polka Dot Closet said...

What a fun space. i have a crafting companion also. My creative space is not to exciting, but if you get a chance stop by!

Carol

. said...

Love the high celing in the studio, thats really neat. And your littel figures in front of the small red boxes are cool. The bead work is amazing, love it.

Claudia said...

Love those high ceilings! Love the kitties and your wonderful space.

Scrap Krazed said...

I love your art, you are an amazing artist. You make beautiful masks. I love your sweet cats too. Terry F

Scrap Krazed said...

I love your art, you are an amazing artist. You make beautiful masks. I love your sweet cats too. Terry F

Abby's Paperie Garden said...

Your space is dreamy and amazing! I love all of the little details and that mask is so inspiring!

Terri said...

Love the fur baby...super creative space and wonderful art work thanks so much for sharing it all with us.

Frosted Petunias said...

Hi Amber! I had such a fun tour of your studio and I loved seeing your great art and meeting your kitties. I think all art spaces should have a kitty or two don't you? I love your creative space and how your artful spirit shows through. Thank you so much for visiting mine and letting me visit you in Nawlins, my absolute favorite city!

donnaj said...

great space, love those masks~thanks for sharing~

sandy said...

I enjoyed your tour and your whimsical creations!
Sandy

Just For Keeps!!!! said...

What a blast!! Had so much fun visiting!! Love the wild side too!! And your studio guardians are precious!! :)

Blessings!!
Niki
Kaniki's Prims & Whims

Miss Sandy said...

I adore the whimsy of the faces of the mini masks you made for your wall, the expressions are priceless! Fantastic work. Thank you for a peek into your creative process and into your creative haven.

Karen Valentine said...

Oh! What fun this has been! Your studio is wonderful and so is your art! Thank you so much for joining
the party and sharing it with us!!!
xo,
Karen
My Desert Cottage

marnie said...

It was great seeing your creative space! Love your gorgeous beadwork & creative masks. And your kitties are adorable!