Thursday, December 31, 2009

Creative New Year's Plans

What are your creative plans and resolutions for this coming year?

Are you planning to start painting or sculpting again?

Is there a home improvement project you will complete?

Do you have plans to grow your business, or to turn your passion into a business?

Have you been waiting to work on an artistic creation, and this is your year to do that project?

What creative enterprise are you going to follow through on this year? What do you long to accomplish? What one creation will, once completed, help you feel complete?

Maybe this is the year that you schedule regular appointments with yourself to work on your art.

Maybe this year you try a new hobby, craft, or media you have always wanted to experiment with.

Share with us what you will do this year to grow creatively.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Riverdale Kiwanis Medieval Faire

The next Renaissance Festival that Lady Artisan is aware of is the Riverdale Kiwanis Medieval Faire. The dates are January 16th, 17th, 23erd, 24th. This two weekend festival is in Florida. Florida is, in the opinion of Lady Artisan, a good place to be in January!

Lady Artisan wonders if any of her blog readers have been to this festival? It appears to be a very nice festival, with entertainment, artisans who create their own wares, good food, and a festive atmosphere.

Please contact Lady Artisan with your information if you have been to this festival and would like post your pictures on this blog. Post comments telling us how you enjoyed this festival.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

December Etsy Blogger

This month the featured Etsy Blogger is Calkat - Kathy and Carrie. They create an number of creative works featured in unique shops. These busy gals have four shops to keep up with!

Their jewelry is lovely, often using natural stone and beautiful metalwork. Their use of color and texture is eye catching. You can find their jewelry at

Kathy and Carrie have a shop named Ametista. You will discover wonderful items like apothecary bottles, that are not only useful, but also works of art.

At The Clay Shoppe you can purchase molds with which to do your own casting.

At you will find fairies in yoga poses. I love the bright colors!

Their blog offers a lot! Don't miss their monthly giveaways. Winning is always fun!

Lady Artisan wishes you a Merry Christmas!

Lady Artisan wishes all of you a very merry Christmas and Happy Holiday!

Those of you who have stopped by know about the curious merge of holiday celebration and art gallery that occurs in the home of Lady Artisan during the holiday season. The living room of Lady Artisan becomes a show room. Holiday themed Lady Artisan creations and dressed up sculpture fill the room with holiday color and cheer.

Lady of the Leaves (a bronze sculpture) dons her Santa hat. Every lady should have a collection of hats. Perhaps Lady of the leaves will find that Lady Artisan has a few hats wrapped and ready for her under the Christmas Tree.

Patrons who live in the area stop by to select items they have planned for gifts, or to give a gift to themselves! A festive showroom and gallery is perfect for the season. Today Lady Artisan had the delight to visit with patrons who stopped by for last minute shopping.

Several of these ornaments moved from the Tree of Lady Artisan to those of Patrons in the Twin Cities area.

Decorating a room to be both a Lady Artisan gallery and holiday display is natural when many Lady Artisan designs are created for this holiday season.

Stop by next Holiday Season to enjoy the creative holiday atmosphere at Lady Artisan. E-mail invitations go out for an open house held every holiday season. Sign up for my newsletter by sending your name and e-mail address if you would like to be informed of open house dates and times.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Care for the Artist's Tools

The most important tool an artist has is his or her body! Any other tool used by an artist is dependant on artistic senses, as well as coordinated bones, tendons, and muscles. Almost any object can become an artistic tool used to communicate the artist's message.

Lose a brush, then use a pencil. Lose the pencil then use an interesting wood fragment. Lose everything you have then use the mud you are left wallowing in.

No body though, no art.

Today Lady Artisan took care of her body. Bending over this week's project resulted in knotted back muscles and pain. So off for a massage Lady Artisan went. Then, before bed, a long soak in a hot tub finished the healing process.

Prevention though would have been wise. Lady Artisan asks you to please take care of your artist back and set up projects so that your back is aligned correctly. It is better to redo one's set up or to purchase/find the right tables and chairs so that you can work without bringing injury into your life. Lady Artisan's back testifies that this is true. A project that was believed would take a day took a week. It is a wise artist that never assumes the poor body posture tolerated for creative purpose will be short lived. Lady Artisan is a wiser artist now. Until the next project comes along that she assumes will take only an hour or a day. It is so easy to be in a hurry and decide that this project will not do that much harm. Try not be like Lady Artisan and treat your back with contempt. Your back will not be silent if you mistreat it as Lady Artisan did hers.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Photographing Small Shiny Objects

The last three days Lady Artisan has been learning how to photograph small shiny objects. Lady Artisan Christmas ornaments require professional quality photographs. The plan is to replace all photographs previously taken with professional quality images.

The photograph of the Star Ornament was taken against a black background. The crystal reflects its black surroundings.

It was a rude awakening. Overly optimistic Lady Artisan did not realize that taking quality photographs of small shiny objects that have a crystal accent is not at all the same as photographing bronze, or even most pewter sculpture.

The ornament taken against a white background, white balance corrected. The background looked brown in previous photographs. Although Lady Artisan preferred a white background, this ornament could become lost against a white background.

The professional light box that gives astounding results for most Lady Artisan creations did not provide quality results for this project.

A return to a black background with the addition of greenery for background interest and setting. Depth of field is set to blur out the background detail while keeping the ornament in sharp focus. The crystal again picks up black from its background, yet by using two lights to flash the crystal compensates. Elimination of the black reflections can be worked on, or left as is - that is the next question.
Here are a few highlights on the learning curve. Facts that might help you with your small shiny object photography.
  • Crystals pick up background color. Surround the object with a lovely black backdrop and the crystal will shine black.

  • White backdrops require learning to set the color balance on one's camera. Otherwise the white can come out any number of colors. Humans see white - digital cameras see what they want to see.

  • White backgrounds can be blah when the object is flat, shiny, and rather light colored.

  • Diffused lighting does not light up a crystal. Shine light directly onto the crystal. Lady Artisan found that two lights shining from different directions worked best to light up the crystal. Hold one of your lights in one hand and move it around while viewing the object through your camera. When you have the light held to light up the crystal take the picture.

  • Research backgrounds that others use online. Look for the background that works for your art.

  • Learn to use manual settings on your digital camera. If you do not have manual control over the aperture, shutter speed, and focal depth then borrow or purchase a camera that gives you these controls.

Tomorrow, after three days of research, practice, trial and error, Lady Artisan should be able to take her photographs. That is if she can decide on the best background for her ornaments.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Contest Link

My apologies if you tried to enter the Name the Dragon contest and had trouble due to following my copy and paste directions. Copy and paste works fine for web sites. But not on blogs, facebook, twitter, myspace, etc. So I have modified the linking directions to make it more flexible. YAY!

Dragon Lovers everywhere are needed!

Win this dragon by finding the dragon's true name!

How to name the dragon directions can be found at

No one should be without a name. Help me find this dragon's name!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Lady Artisan's Favorite Holiday Tradition

Thinking about the holidays, contemplating beyond new Lady Artisan ornaments for collectors and commissions that are gifts and under deadline, what is it that Lady Artisan would like for this year's holiday?

What holiday tradition is one that will most cheer the soul this year's season? Traditions run the gammet from foods that are served, holidays productions one attends, and rituals that one enjoys in the home.

My sister has a tradition that her husband's family passed down that is quite fun. I do not know its origin, but the ongoing playfulness is one that any family with children through teenagers should have delight incorporating. College dorms and other community living situations can find this tradition to be an easy and free source of entertainment. Free once you have an elf.

Lady Artisan traditionally has created a new ornament every holiday season. Maybe this year Lady Artisan should create a Christmas elf!

It starts with the elf. Make an elf, buy an elf doll or sculpture. An elf is required.

Elf Hiding on Deer Ornament

Hide the elf in your home. Whoever finds the elf has the fun of finding a new hiding place for the elf. The elf must be hidden in plain view. Even if only a hand, foot, or a face peeks out from a branch on the Christmas Tree the elf must be placed so that it can be spotted. That is spotted by those not blinded with business, worry, frantic activity, or preoccupation with the tasks they must do!

Elf hiding on wall art.

This tradition is fun, brings a lot of joy and laughter. It helps young ones to learn to pay attention to their environment. It is ongoing fun that helps prevent bordom. Guests that stop over can join in on the elf game. Finding creative ways to hide the elf in plain view is educational for the young and just plain fun for everyone.

Perhaps best of all, busy mothers and fathers will find that this holiday tradition does not take a lot of time.

Elf reveals hand from within stocking.

Lady Artisan may have to sculpt a Lady Artisan original elf to use in her home!