All of my life I have had animals as parts of my family. They really make the best companions. They are always happy to see you, they don’t judge and never stay mad at you. This is why I have enjoyed drawing portraits of companion animals. I feel that it is just as important that our memories of our quadrupedal friends last forever. As a former veterinary technician, I have seen many people lose their loyal friends and it can be just as painful as losing a human friend. Although you can go out and adopt another pet, no one forgets their lost companions. They are all unique with their own personalities, just as we are.
Most portraits were made for friends and co-workers, but a few were for some lucky raffle winners.
(click on the images for slideshow and info)
Chloe in color. 11×14, colored pencil, 2010.
Jackson pop art. 8×10, acrylic paint, 2014.
Commission. 8×10, pastel, 2013.
Sunny Afternoon. 5X7, graphite, 2006.
Rio. 8×10, graphite, 2011.
Sisko. 9×12, chalk, 2010.
Same Sleepy Dog. 8×10, chalk, 2006.
Chloe in the Snow. 8×10, graphite, 2010.
Jack. 8×10, graphite, 2009.
Penny. 8×10, pastel, 2011.
Joe. 11X14, charcoal, 2010.
Australian Shepherd. 9×12, chalk, 2010.
Bruschi. 8×10, graphite, 2012.
T-Dough. 4×6, graphite, 2011. Frame painted with acrylic.
Bailey. 11×14, graphite, 2010.
I use high quality, archival drawing paper for graphite drawings, textured paper for charcoal and pastels.
Flowers, whether in a garden or a vase suggest beauty, life and fragility.
One of my favorite artists, Frida Kahlo once said, “I paint flowers so they will not die.” She was often seen wearing them in her hair, which has become synonymous with our memory of this legendary woman.
I am currently working on a new mixed media collage painting based on my own sketches of Ms. Kahlo and recycled paper products that have bright colors and flowers on them. I’ll be sure to share pics on Instagram and Twitter @tarawhitestudio when it’s finished!
Floral prints add a certain timeless charm and femininity to anything. This makes them a staple for Spring wardrobes and any romantic getaway.
My favorite online fashion shopping venue, Modcloth has created a special Romantic Roadtrip Collection. There are more than 1000 beautiful items from dresses, blouses and jackets to bags, watches and shoes.
I’m hoping to plan my own romantic road trip and would love these items to wear:
While perusing through the collection I came across four items that would make a fun, flirty and comfortable springtime road trip outfit. The floral crown in pastels is reminiscent of those worn by Frida. The faded denim blue dress is casual and comfy but could be dressed up too. The mint green bag would fit all my necessities. And the multicolored slip on sneakers would make it easy to jump in and out of the car to check out all the sights!
If you love Spring, flowers and anything pretty, definitely check out their collection and leave your comments below!
8> Tara <8
**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking through my links.
My latest go-to gift item has been bags – I find a fun and unique pattern, or come up with my own, and then put a bunch of awesome stuff inside! For a few bridal showers I made bags and then purchased small items from the registry to put in it. Saves on wrapping, looks really pretty and makes a great keepsake gift!
Here are some of the bags I’ve made recently…
And here are some of the many, many bags that I have accumulated over the years…
Uh oh, I think I might be hoarding bags, maybe I should donate a few of these, hehe. Thankfully, for my wallet’s sake, most were gifts!
That being said, I definitely enjoy finding unique and interesting bags when I shop. Modcloth actually has an amazing collection of super cute bags. Here are some of my faves…
**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.
ModCloth may be your go-to for cute dresses and clothing, but did you know they have a flourishing decor department? Think fun and unique adornments for your home, kitchen, bedroom, office space, and more. If that’s not incentive enough to check it out, they just so happen to be having a 20% Off Decor Sale that’ll give your place a pop of personality. No code needed, so just shop ’till your heart is content and there really will be no place like your home! Hurry while it lasts!
If you like bags as much as I do, I hope you found something you like here! See you next post!
Here’s a peek at some of the things I’ve made this Spring…
I wanted a beachy but rustic welcome sign for our front door so I painted the word on a piece of old driftwood, attached it to an old, weathered basket and embellished it with scallop shells and vintage mother-of-pearl buttons.
For Mother’s Day, I knew I wanted to make gifts for my mom and my mother-in-law. I had acquired a huge bag of vintage fabrics, including tablecloths, dish towels and doilies, many, many doilies! So, when a doily bag post from Sew Mama Sew came up in my blog feed, I was beyond excited. I came up with this bag for my mom. I altered the pattern a little by using the trimmed outer edge of my green doily as an accent for the top edge of the bag.
I was able to use a combination of some fun fat quarters that I had in this adorable little tote, pattern courtesy Oliver + S blog. I gave this to my husband’s Mom along with the Family wall hanging inside.
I decided to make something for my Mom to hang as well. She now works from home, using my sister’s old bedroom as an office, so I thought an office sign would be neat. I attempted to make it look old-fashioned, and even painted a vintage rotary telephone on it.
The wall hangings / signs were relatively easy and fun to make, so you may see some in my Etsy shop in the near future!
Before I started on Etsy, I participated in a holiday fair at my work where I sold my handmade clay ornaments. I had a great time and made many sales. Sadly, the organizers got busy, people lost interest and the fair did not happen for the next few years. I then took it upon myself to start it back up again. In 2012, I organized the first official Employee Holiday Craft Fair at my work. I reached out to my coworkers who were also crafters and artists as well as their friends and family. We had a variety of items ranging from jewelry to crocheted octopi! This past year was the second annual Holiday Fair, where we had about 10 different vendors, half employees and half friends and family. Everyone did very well considering there was no cost to us and we held it for only 3 hours.
Before the 2013 holiday fair, I participated in several public craft fairs in my area. These were my first experiences at more professional, open-to-the-public, vendor shows, although many were the first ever. I learned a lot and would like to share what I leaned from each experience.
Destash Bash (first one)
How I found it: Etsy team
What it was all about: selling crafts and “destashing” excess materials and supplies
Duration: 6 hours
Cost: $25 for 10 x 10 space
The good and the bad: For my first public fair, this was pretty successful. I sold a lot of my jewelry but not much of my supplies. I found it helpful to have someone there for part of it so that I could take breaks, use the bathroom, etc. This fair was indoors and possibly not as advertised as it could have been so there were a lot of lulls where there were no shoppers.
My personal seller rating: B+
Todd Farm Flea Market (has been around for many, many years)
How I found it: Been going for years!
What it was all about: mostly antiques, some handmade
Duration: ~8 hours (first come first serve for spaces, so have to get there early)
Cost: $35 for 20 x 30 space
The goodand the bad: I took a chance trying to sell my small, handmade items at a place known for its furniture and antique decor. I brought my Dad along who was selling some of his antiques and other items, so we split the cost and shared the space. The hardest part was getting there as early as we had to just to barely get a spot. The market is outside, so you’re exposed to all the elements and it was a hot day! In the end, my Dad sold more items than I did and I even put many things out for free near the end to get rid of stuff. I still love Todd Farm, but will probably just go as a shopper from now on!
My personal seller rating: D
Essex Shop and Stroll Event (first one)
How I found it: Invited through Etsy
What it was all about: Bringing together Artisans and shop owners in Essex, MA
Duration: 6 hours
The good and the bad: This event was spread along the main street in downtown Essex, MA. Each participating shop was paired with two local artisans who were set up along the road out front. Myself and a local sculptor were paired with an antique shop very far from any other vendors. We were near the end of the route, so shoppers who were walking had to go quite a distance to find us. My Dad and Grandmother came down and almost didn’t find me! Since we were so spread out our potential customers came very sporadically throughout this long day. I would love to participate in this event again and hope that it will be planned a bit differently so that we can get more visitors.
My personal seller rating: C
Fall Fest 2013 (first one)
How I found it: Friend
What it was all about: Local vendors from Cape Ann area ~ food, drinks, music, fun for the family
Duration: 7 hours
The good and the bad: This was one of the longer events I did, but it did not feel that way because of all the festivities happening around me. I also did very well, selling many of my items and making more than any other fair. I met a lot of great people too! I guess I don’t have anything bad to report here! Thanks to The Bridge for having me! If there is another next year, I hope to be part of it and encourage you to come!
My personal seller rating: A
Holiday Craft Market (4th annual)
How I found it: Last year’s advertisement
What it was all about: Craft fair at local elementary school
Duration: 6 hours
Cost: $60 for 8 ft space, plus donation item for raffle (all proceeds went to the school)
The good and the bad: This was the most expensive fair that I was part of, but the money went to the school that I went to as a child, so the cost was easily rationalized and I didn’t mind donating a raffle item because I had an overflow of merchandise. While the fair was only 5 hours, with setup and breakdown it was more like 6 or 7 hours for the vendors. The organizers were definitely not noobs though, and had the whole process under control, everything from unloading and parking vehicles, getting vendors to their spaces, having adorable kids bring around lunch orders and surveys. I was impressed. But, the turnout was not as impressive. I didn’t even make back what I had paid, which was very disappointing. I did have a chance to walk around and there were so many amazing vendors there. This was the largest fair I had been part of, so that may have been why I didn’t make as much, too much competition! I would probably not sell there again, but would definitely like to do my Holiday shopping there!
My personal seller rating: B+
After the last one, I did a fair at our sister company in Ipswich, MA. This one was free as well, I sold several items and met some more awesome people. There was another vendor who we had at the fair that I organized and I was proud to say that both of us did better at my show! All of these experiences have taught me a lot about what people like, how to display my items, how to network and so much more. If you have any questions about other aspects of selling at craft fairs, I am certainly not a pro, but I’d love to share more of my perspective with you!
The phrase, Spring is Coming, evokes much different feelings than that which is commonly uttered by those of the House Stark. (If you don’t get the reference, you’re missing out!)
For me it evokes fresh smells like cut grass and salt air ~ feelings of cool breezes coming through newly re-opened windows ~ sights of people walking their dogs, brightly colored flowers and beautiful sunsets.
This truly has been a cold and harsh winter, so I am very eager for Spring to arrive.
In the meantime, we can rely on lovely images to remind us what it is like since we can’t experience it just yet!
I came across this wonderfully vibrant image of garments from the last New York Fashion Week, with one designer’s vision of Spring 2014 fashion:
I love these outfits, not only for the amazingly in-your-face colors, but also because they each have a very handmade feel to them – the first with its tie-dye, the second with the woven shorts and the third with all of the little cut out triangles. I would love to see these accessorized with some of my jewelry!
Now that I’ve done my self-promotion, it’s time to share the love! Here is a Spring-inspired treasury of items from my Etsy team from Cape Ann:
I thought I’d check in and give you a little update on some of the things I’ve been up to this month.
One event that I’ve been planning for this month is the Employee craft fair I organized at my work. We held one in December that was pretty successful so we wanted to see how a summer one would go. The items ranged from sea glass jewelry to crocheted octopi. This time around, we will have baked goods and gourmet salsa too! I will be selling some of the clay jewelry and figurines that I’ve mentioned here as well as some new items that are not on Etsy yet. Here’s the story behind one of my projects for the fair…
A while back I purchased a paper making kit from Wooden Deckle. I had made some paper a long time ago and still had a container of pulp that I made myself from recycled paper, in the fridge that I was afraid might go bad soon (I guess that just means get moldy). I broke out the kit again to make some grass paper – yup, paper with grass clippings in it! It came out looking very natural and rustic, I love the look.
It made eight 3 x 4 pieces and had a ton of pulp leftover. Instead of throwing it away, I decided to make some bowls out of it. I just molded the pulp into various bowls that I had in the kitchen and let them sit, for a very, very long time. Of course I got impatient after a few days and tried to speed up the process in a low temp oven, unsuccessfully. So I worked on other projects while waiting for them to dry almost completely before I could remove them from their molds. I neglected to take photos at that point. I decided to paint them instead of leaving them natural, because it would make them more durable and perhaps slightly functional, definitely not meant for food though! And I was quite pleased by how lovely they turned out…
Hopefully there is some interest in these at the fair, otherwise I will definitely be listing them on Etsy soon!
Last year I mentioned my love of flea markets and how my father, sister and I frequented the local ones. This year we had yet to go so my Dad and I went a few weeks back and I hit the jackpot! And bonus, it only cost me $10!! My score is pictured below and includes a bag of multicolored threads, a bag of black buttons, a giant spool of gold thread, a seashell stamp, a bag of ivory ribbon, a bunch of leather laces, several pieces of moon and stars costume jewelry and a vintage gingham scarf.
I am a huge fan of having things delivered to my door, anything that means I don’t have to shop in public is amazing to me! So when I saw an ad for healthy, all natural snacks that are automatically shipped to you every month, I had to try it out! A few weeks ago I registered with Nature Box, for only $5 for the first month and $19.95 each month after. Not a bad price for all natural foods that are the most expensive type at the supermarket. Plus, a “no questions asked” cancellation policy if unsatisfied. Basically, nothing to lose. Another major bonus with this company is that for every person that you refer (who joins through your referral link) you get a $10 credit and could, in theory, end up with free natural snacks!!! Well, I got the introductory box today and I was majorly impressed! It came with six decent-sized bags of various healthy, many vegan, snacks, including plantain chips, cherry granola and mango almond bites. I tried the latter already and they are delicious, seriously! I highly, highly recommend trying them out, and not only because I want credits (but if you sign up through my link, I will be forever grateful!!) Share the NatureBox Love!!