Monday, May 30, 2005

Evolution of a Fingerpuppet

It's time for...EVOLUTION OF A FINGERPUPPET (cue music from 2010: A Space Odyssey: da...da...da. dada...bombombombombombombombom):

Posted by: fernhouse
Evolution of a Fingerpuppet
This photo shows the 3 stages in making a Fern House Studio fingerpuppet. 1. I start with a plain wooden base, which is hollow. 2. I sculpt the puppet over the base using Creative PaperClay, and 3. I paint and varnish the puppet..and viola!-- a toy, figurine & objet d'art is created.

**And now a word from our sponsor (that's actually just Me)**

This blog is updated every Monday with news about Fern House Studio . You'll also find random updates about things I like and crafty and artsy projects I'm up to. This Wednesday I'll be posting the winner of this month's Fern House Studio giveaway. The lucky winner can choose between a Fern House Studio fingerpuppet or pack of my cards -AND- he or she will also get some other treats from online crafty indie businesses.
If you'd like to be entered in the random monthly drawing, sign up for Fern House Studio's bi-monthly enewsletter. In the newsletter you'll get special access to deals I make available only for enewsletter subscribers, studio news and information about upcoming shows & events (for those of you with slow dialup, you'll be happy to know my enewsletter is non-html). I'll never share your email address.
See my privacy policy

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

A Strange Tale of Synchronicity

It all started with this Robin that was building a nest in my garage. Not a good place for The Robin's to raise a family, as they freaked out and flew away every time I entered the garage to get wood or take out the trash.

So, sadly, my mom & I had to remove the nest today, which turned out to have 4 beautiful blue Robin's eggs in it. We relocated it to a nearby tree, hoping the couple would find it, but I fear the worst for those eggs.

I was still feeling sad about the Robin Incident, when later that night, I saw a dead little bird on my deck. A victim of flying into my big paneles windows. Intent on not being the perpetrator of more bird deaths, I dug out my lastest issue of Organic Style Magazine to look up the web address of this company that makes decals to put on your windows so birds don't fly into them (according to the blurb in Organic Style, maybe as many as 100 million migrating birds die each year flying into take note!)

Success, I found the article and web address for Blik , the company that makes these decals.

So, I get to the site, and it turns out to be not just for decals to put on windows and save birds, but these cool design-inspired removable decals that you can decorate your walls with. Just up my alley, right? So then, I'm looking around the site, and I see that they are advertising these:
new decals designed by this artist based in Portland, Oregon named Matthew Haggett .'s the synchronicity part... I WENT TO HIGH SCHOOL WITH THIS GUY! It's too wierd! Ok, so it's not that wierd, but kinda wierd.

Furthermore, I go to the same Buddhist group that this Matthew's parents do (they still live around here), and we were just talking about him the other day, and I asked about his website, because I wanted to check it out.

It's my first big case of internet synchronicity. Internet synchronicity is fun!

Monday, May 23, 2005

Giving Back

It's part of the artists's life that we give back to our communities. I think that's one of the reasons for art, to convey or give something to others.

In a very tangible way, most artists do this by donating work to auctions or other fundraisers for nonprofits. You would be amazed at the number of requests for donations to such events I get each year (sometimes I get a little grumpy about it, actually, just because we are artists doesn't mean we can afford to give our work away for free all the time!). However, when I do give, it does make me feel good...

I tend to focus my giving to local nonprofits, and often ones associated with children or the arts. Here are some nonprofits I've donated artwork or time to over the past few years: The Children's Museum of Maine(Portland, Maine), The Maine Discovery Museum (Bangor, Maine), the Grand Theatre (Ellsworth, Maine), The Doweast Aids Network ("DEAN", Ellsworth, Maine), Habitat for Humanity (Local Chapter), A Kid's Place (Trenton, Maine), Schoodic Arts for All (Prospect Harbor, Maine), The Bay School (Blue Hill, Maine).

Posted by: fernhouse
Rocking chair
I painted this rocking chair a couple of years ago for the Maine Discovery Museum, a children's museum in Bangor, Maine. This chair was painted for an auction they had of artist painted chairs.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Galleries galore- Local shopping

It's been a busy week getting my work out to galleries for the summer. Here in Maine, the phrase, "make hay while the sun shines" really does apply. It's a short summer season, so for artists here, a lot of effort goes into creating work for sale in the summer.

Just this weekend, I delivered cards and a couple of my Mexican Lottery Ticket paintings to Monroe Saltworks in Ellsworth, Maine. They have really neat stuff... kind of a surprisingly funky sensibility. If you are in the local area and have never been there, stop in.

Last weekend, I dropped off work at the Naskeag Antiques & Artisans (In Brooklin, Maine) and The Blossom Studio & Gallery (In Deer Isle, Maine). Firstly, the drive out there alone is just amazing! Go on a sunny day just for the scenery. Crossing the Deer Isle Bridge is a unique thrill all of its own. (unbelievably, I once rode my bike over that bridge!)

The Blossom Studio & Gallery is such a wonderful place...the owner Sihaya Hopkins, makes lovely lampwork glass beads. She's carrying Marimekko work, things by Portland Maine designer Angela Adams and lots of beautiful jewlery, and of course, puppets, cards and artwork by yours truly. It's a shopping treat. Naskeag Antiques & Artisans is a cute little shop with lots of treasures and one-of-a-kind finds. I always say its in Brooklin, Maine, because it is pronounced like Brooklyn, New York. But couldn't be more different.

I'm busily making more puppets for Island Artisans in Northeast Harbor, Maine. They will be opening on June 15th. Their Bar Harbor store is already open and looks lovely. They are carrying my hand and fingerpuppets.

You can get news on where to find my work and other shows I'm doing this summer on the galleries and shows page of my website.

This blog is updated every Monday, so visit again!

Monday, May 09, 2005

Fairy Godmother: Behind the scenes at Fern House Studio

I think every artistic person has to have special supporters who help them out along the way. In honor of Mother's Day, I want to write a bit about my mom, and her behind the scene's role in my creative endevour known as Fern House Studio. First of all, despite being 30 years older than me, my mom is probably in better shape than I am. She's also a real trooper. She has probably sewn over 500 basic puppet bodies for me on her sewing machine. So I call her "Sweatshop Ursula" whenever I drop off another load of fabric. She helps me carry all my stuff into shows, and set everything up. If I were making jewelry, this would be no big deal, but framed artwork can be a handful -- box after box after box. It was my mom who had the idea of the lion handpuppet, which has been my best seller from day one. So when she recently suggested making polar bears out of a certain fabric I'd picked out, of course, I listened (polar bear puppets coming soon!). Girl Friday, sweatshop puppet body seamstress, business workshop co-attendee and financial mom has played all these roles and more in support of my art business. So here's to my mom, the Fairy Godmother of Fern House Studio.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Win one of my paintings at many things are going on here at Fern House Studio. My boyfriend says I have to get some elves to help me out! it's a nice image, at any rate.

CONGRATULATIONS to Cheryl of Canada for winning April's drawing for a pack of Fern House Studio cards & some other goodies from online indie businesses. Do you want a chance to win? Well, sign up for our enewlsetter and you are permanently entered into our monthly drawing.

Speaking of winning, you can win one of my animal watercolors at online magazine (their tagline is: "for families who love, live and visit Maine"). It's a great magazine (I like the Lifestyles page), and by signing up for their newsletter, you can be entered to win my "3 Friends" painting. You can sign up here:

I have been making handpuppets like crazy. The most recent ones have been: a cute blue bear, a sweet orange kitty with an Asian print body, a rooster with a body of vintage cloth, and a very cool alligator with a turquiose retro print body. Most of them are going over to The Blossom Studio and Gallery in Deer Isle, which is opening for the season in May. I'm going to have hand and finger puppets there, as well as many of my NEWEST still life paintings.

Come back next Monday when I update this blog with more news.

Enjoy the sun!