Friday, December 31, 2010

arianna the pisces girl...

...knew that she would always be a fish out of water...

i had planned to share my wish list for the new year with you this morning, but i'm afraid i am just not in the right frame of mind for that today....
so we'll save that for another one.

have a very happy new year everyone!!


Thursday, December 30, 2010

sharing is paintings....

as promised yesterday, i want to share with you some of the new acrylic paintings i have been working on this week:

***first attempt at collage and experimentation with rosy cheeks***
i have been thinking of ways to broaden the ideas that i have for my art dolls. not everyone likes dolls. i am aware of that. and that's fine. i don't always want to make dolls.
so, i decided it would be fun to put my dolls on canvas. just to see how they would transfer from one medium to the next.
and you know what?....

i like it!

i experimented with a couple of different techniques over the last few days and found, to my surprise, that i like just plain ole painting!
putting a brush to canvas is extremely fulfilling!

i bought kelly rae robert's book TAKING FLIGHT earlier this year, and i love the techniques she uses, but the aren't for me.
i think she does a marvelous job with collage, but it really eludes me.

***i tried collage here. layers of paper - which you can't see. doily and spray paint. rubber stamping***

 i like layers of paint instead.
so, that's what i'm sticking to, after all the experimentation! ha!

so, i think i'm going to stick with this painting thing.
it's very enjoyable. very relaxing. and i think they tie in with my dolls very well.

***daisy, the illustrated woman is my latest, and i think i've finally found my style...i finished her
late yesterday evening and was very pleased with how she turned out...***

i do hope you ( and others ) will like them as much as i do....

have a happy happy day...i'm off to buy more art supplies!


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

yes, amber there is a new year approaching...

christmas is behind us. we're moving toward new year's.

and then of course....MARDI GRAS!

i start getting excited about twelfth night around evening on dec 25th...yes, i know...but you gotta have something to look forward to when all the presents have been unwrapped and the stuffing is gone.

mr. b and i had a pretty darn near perfect holiday. i managed NOT to have a teary meltdown or want to blow someone's head off, so i considered that pretty good before we even got to christmas day.

our only real let down was that my folks caught the flu and we didn't get to drive over and see them on the 26th like we planned.
but....our stay in alabama allowed us to catch some flakes.

it was just weird seeing snow on christmas!

but, now we are home, and back to our semi - normal life...

yesterday i hit the art supply store with the gift certificate mr. b got me ( and spent waaay more than it was for) and was back in my studio by early afternoon.

the hearts i made for valentine's are leaving a bit to be desired paint wise. i need to figure out how to fix what keeps going wrong, brush stroke wise. the hearts themselves look great, but getting the color and texture of the paint i want is eluding me.

i did start on the paintings i told you i wanted to make.
i will have the first pictures of those this afternoon or tomorrow.
to be honest, the first one turned out almost exactly the way i pictured it...:)

of course, i am thinking ahead to the new year, when, as i have told you, i will have to look for work again to supplement my little art business. i think that i may have come to terms with it and have figured out how i want to approach it as well as several places i intend to offer my services ( their customer service SUCKS!!!).
but, i am not even going to begin that quest until AFTER the new year....

i have also been giving some thought to things i want to accomplish in 2011.
i don't make resolutions, and you'll have to forgive me, but i think it is a silly practice.

 my MIL had on regis and kelly while we were home, and they were taking a poll in their audience of which resolutions the audience members wanted to make.
 the only choices were: 
loose weight, stop smoking, exercise more, get out of debt, and one other that eludes me at the moment, but it was along the same line.
jaysus h. macy! is this what we've become?! it seems like these are the only resolutions any one ever makes!
what about: be a kinder person. appreciate art. ponder nature. play with a kitten.
really?! i guess we are a nation of excess.

and, i'm as guilty of excess as the next person.

 i TOTALLY racked up some pretty spectacular christmas presents including a new coffee maker and a butt-load of yergga chaffee coffee...

but, i don't consider myself to be an excessive personality.i like quality. not quantity.  i have always tried to approach my life in that everything is good in moderation. except maybe cheese. i do hit the cheese pretty hard from time to time...

so, while thinking about the things i want to acheive this year ( in 2008 my only goal was to drink more of better wines and i acheived that goal with a trip to napa and sonoma that summer) i thought about the things i want from my life that will not only make it richer and more rewarding and enjoyable for me, but also for those around me.
i am still working on my list and i plan to post it later this week.

so, i suppose my little brain has been a whirl of activity these last few days.
i bought the sketchbook i wanted ( and boy! is is a whopper), i got the paints i need to work on the paintings i am envisioning, and i am still planning and scheming and test driving new ideas for my shoppe....

i guess that's about it for now.
i do need to get moving this morning. i have quite a bit to do today including taking a thank you gift over to our moste recent kitty sitter.

later, y'all...


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

planning, scheming, thinking, dreaming...

i've dropped in twice over the last week to chat, update, and just hang out here, but every time i've started a post, it hasn't felt comfortable and i have deleted it.

i'm weird that way. things have to feel right.
i treat my journals/sketchbooks the same way...the house is full to the brim with half and quarter used moleskines and the like because if i don't get a good vibe off the book, it doesn't get used;

 when i get it in my head that i need a new sketchbook, i go get one. never mind that i have more than a dozen barely used ones lying around. they have had their moment. and the moment i am in now will not work with the moment that has passed.
and i am having that moment now...

for the last few days i've been thinking about painting.

i can't get it out of my head. i haven't done anything about it, because i usually butcher canvases when i get in this mood, and by golly, those things are expensive! but, i bought a set of 6"x6" canvases a few days ago at michael's ( about the time the " i want to paint" thought crept into my head ) and they are stowed quietly in the armoir in the studio until i feel confident i won't make a mockery of their surfaces.

truth is, i'm not a very good painter in the traditional sense.
but, then again, there's nothing about my art that is traditional.

and when i start to WANT to paint, that means a new journal...
see where i'm going here?

i haven't done much, creatively over the last few weeks.
 the holidays have swooped in and taken over my life- which is fine. this is the first year in many, many years that i have actually enjoyed this time of year. so, i've just been going with it...

i've spent most of my days this last week or so fiddling around the house - cleaning, doing laundry, rearranging the studio; christmas shopping for mah boo; lunching with friends; and basically doing festive things that involve crowds of other merry makers, but not so many that i want to hurt anyone.
it's been nice.

but, as the holidays are coming to a close, and normal life (well, as normal as it gets here, since twelfth night is january 6th and that's the start of carnival) gets back underway, i've been thinking, and planning, researching, and scheming what i want to do next, art wise.

i have several ideas for new dolls which include valentines and mardi gras; i want to look into the prospect of making cabinet card-esque postcards for my sideshow troupe to offer for sale to those who maybe like my dolls but can't afford one; and i've been thinking about doing some painting.
but, i don't want to rush this aspect. i want to think on it some more...

mainly, i want to enjoy the holidays with my mister and our families, hang out with my cats, and just dream.
i love dreaming. it's my favorite past time. but, i don't let myself do enough of it. i have often tried to keep that aspect of my personality in check, because i am, so very often, not present in what is going on around me. and sooooooo many times i have been told that is bad. i should BE present.
truth is...i rarely am.
i love dreaming.
meeting new characters in my imagination. planning new work. dreaming of new designs.
it's when i'm the happiest.
so, i dream. and dream. and dream....

it doesn't mean i don't enjoy my life,
i'm not just not ALWAYS present.
you may have to repeat yourself.

so, as i sit here, in the early morning glow of a wednesday with images of new paintings, new characters, new glittery goodness to bring into the world....

well, i think i'll go buy a new sketchbook.
then stare into it's clean creamy pages and dream...

happy happy holidays everyone...
don't shoot your eye out!


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

just a pop in to say hello...

i thought i would pop in for a minute and share a few things with you...

first of all, today is the first day in about 2 weeks that i've worked in my studio.
i've been taking a little "down time" to kind of figure out what direction i want to move in this year. for me, sometimes, i need to just sit and dream. let my mind wander. or wonder. whichever you like. that is part of the creative process for me, and i haven't been doing as much of it as i should.

i didn't get much accomplished, but a few things are starting to take shape:

i started work on a new fortune teller doll. don't you love her curls?

and i worked on some gifts for family members and friends ( but i won't show those to you, just in case they're peeking....)

the rest of this week is going to be taken up by festive outings and holiday shopping, so there will plenty more time for me to just dream...

and, believe it or not, i'm already thinking about valentine's day (!)

and mardi gras will be here before you know it...

have a happy rest of the week!


ps...i got a pretty good clean bill of health from my dr. this week! i was sweating that... so happy happy!

Friday, December 10, 2010

an local interview with yours truly....

i had to pass share this with y'all this evening since
i will be wrapped up in all sorts of holiday cheer the next
few days.

here is a link to an interview with yours truly by cat landrum and joe rawley of

have a jolly holiday!


winter wonderland....

every year the mister and i head out to city park to frolic among the lights of celebration in the oaks....
this year was no different, except for the fact that we went early, on a thursday and actually got to see the lights and ride some rides, as opposed to last year when we went late and all we saw were other people jostling for the same view. sigh...

we had such a fun time....

and it was just cold enough to feel holiday-ish without me wanting to leave 15 minutes into it...

a friend commented yesterday that i was making a valiant effort to not be grinchy-scroogy this year.
i have been trying. it's not that i hate christmas. i just hate crowds of angry, pushy people.
i'm trying to avoid that at all costs...we'll see what happens.

so, i just wanted to share these few pictures of our own little winter wonderland.

i have basically taken this week off except to make a few necklaces for myself to wear...

i was very very pleased with the way they turned out.
it's been about 6 months since i picked up a bead-which i never even thought i would want to do again- but i had fun making these. i don't think i will sell any more jewelry. i find that it is not enjoyable to me to make jewelry to sell at this point in my life. but i sure have been having fun making myself a few little trinkets...

this weekend is going to be a busy one at our little abode!
we have so many festive activities planned, i have no idea how we're going to fit them all in...
but i think we'll have fun trying...

so, until monday moste likely...


Thursday, December 9, 2010

the weather outside is...


at least for us here in the humid south.
anything below 65 is cold to us! ha ha!

but, i am happy to have my doc martens on today...

i wanted to thank you ladies who left such inspiring, lovely comments yesterday. that was a hard post to put up. i felt very dark on the inside yesterday. today seems much lighter....

i've been giving some thought to your comments and of course, i know that it is up to me to make my world whatever i want it to be. i know this in my brain. but my little arty heart just can't feel it sometimes.

but, i'll keep working on it.

i'm off today to do some networking, take some pictures for a new project i have planned, and just enjoy the holiday spirit a little.

thanks again for listening!



Wednesday, December 8, 2010

change is hard...

i must give you all a head's up that this is going to be a long and rambling post, with A LOT of personal information about yours truly and her art....if you want to duck out now, i won't blame you....

so, yes, as the title of this post claims....change is hard.  it feels like my life has been one big change after another for the last 2 years. i really shouldn't complain. i've done some things i've wanted to do ( quit two crap ass jobs), had some opportunities i've wanted to explore ( paper clay doll making), and gotten to meet some folks i've always wanted to meet ( you know who you are).


it looks like it's back to the daily grind for me after the first of the year.


i'm looking about as forward to going back to work as i am to getting punched in the face. actually, i got hit in the face with the trunk of our car a few weeks ago and i would have to say that i preferred it to working!

i hate people. generally managers and supervisors who, it has been my experience, couldn't find their arses with a map and a flashlight. they blow smoke but couldn't run a business if their life depended on it.
but, alas, my little art doll business just hasn't panned out the way i had hoped... so it's back to work for yours truly.

i've been so depressed about this prospect, that i spent a good bit of november just sitting on the bed, staring off into space. i've imagined the interviews. seen the hourly wage. cried. cried some more. wanted to run away. and thrown parmesan cheese across the kitchen at least once.

none of it did me any good.

so, to alleviate the depression, resentment,  and anger over this change to my creative life, i have been trying to focus on my art and what it means to me. why do i create? what drives that desire to make things with my little paws? and what can i do to ensure that whatever shit job i end up with will not suck the creative juices out of me the way the EVERY OTHER JOB I'VE EVER HAD has done....

will i be able to keep creating when i go back to work? i don't know.

i thought, pretty hard actually, about giving or throwing away all of my art supplies, from the beads to the clay to the stamps and inks, never ever touching another creative thing in my life.
i really did. and i haven't actually given up on the prospect of doing so. i think about it daily.
it would make things much easier. because when i'm working 8 hours a day, coming home and trying to be a good partner, a good kitty mama, a good errand runner, and a good friend doesn't leave a gal with many hours to craft--especially if you are trying to build a business. so, it seems prudent to just give it up. use my creative juices to keep my house clean ( shopping can be creative, right?) and just immerse myself in LAW & ORDER reruns and movies.....

i dunno.

i don't have an answer yet...

all my life all i've ever wanted was my own business. my own art business. trouble is, i'm a terrible business person. i love creating. suck at marketing.  i don't have an entrepreneurial brain. i like making things i want to make. i suck at making things people want to buy.

le artiste. what can you do?!

i've also been thinking a lot about this blog and what it's morphed into... what it was, when i first started ( kind of a way to vent a little about the shit job i had at that time and a way to try and keep myself motivated) and what i tried to make it this summer ( a place of joy where no negativity lived - to keep myself motivated and inspired).

truth is, i'm not really a very positive person. i'm a happy person, but i think waaaaay too much to be positive all the time. i do get depressed. i get discouraged. i take the people i love for granted. and i'm am super duper extra selfish when it comes to my art time. i have tried sooooo hard to keep that part of me out of here. to be honest, i wanted to build a place that made people happy. where they could come for their inspiration and uplifted-ness.

but, that's just not who i am, and it's time i stopped trying to be someone i'm not. i fall prey to that more than i would like.

i think, if i am completely honest with myself, that if i am going to survive in the work day world again, that i am going to have to use this little place that i've built as a bit of journal: to help me work through the pain, depression, doubt, anger, resentment, joy, hope, and encouragement that i experience every day. THAT'S WHO I AM.

i'm a real person.

who feels.

i guess it's like alan jackson says: i'm a work in progress.

there's a little tidbit about me i bet you didn't know - i'm a alan jackson fan. there. i said it.

so, i guess that's where i am today.
tomorrow will be different i am sure.

i am dealing with a lot of personal stuff right now that is neither pleasant or interesting and i am just keeping all my digits crossed that everything works out so that i can continue living ( which i do enjoy) and will have the opportunity to make other opportunities for myself and my family that don't include me punching some dipshit's timeclock until i'm 80.

and i guess i prolly won't throw out my craft supplies. i have so many ideas i want to explore, that i am sure the minute i did it, i would regret it wholly.

so, if you read this blog to see what i'm up to art-wise, fret not. more work is forthcoming. i guess i just need to make things....

but, be forewarned that i may not always be happy and positive. artful blogging be damned. sometimes i just need to tell it like it is.

my name is amber leilani and i'm an artist....and sometimes that is hardest thing in the world to be....