Back from the Market!

Well, the weather here in Houston put a damper on our Holiday Bazaar. It was cold and rainy and gloomy. But we all had a great time with coffees, cookies and crafts! I made some sales and met some very nice craftisans.

Now to relax and tomorrow, I'll get back to the studio and create more lovely things!


School's out for Christmas!

Submitted my last final project today. Just one more final on the 13th and fall semester is a wrap! So overjoyed!

Also super excited about spring semester. I'm taking a book arts class! Oh, little books, you will be mine!

Finally got in my order of Czech glass buttons for my button rings for this weekend. I have tomorrow, Saturday at work and Sunday early to get everything ready for the Houston Handmade Holiday Bazaar & Crafting Bash Sunday evening. Woo woo. It's crunch time!


Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Just taking a quick minute before all the gobble-gobble madness starts to wish my readers a Happy Thanksgiving and a beautiful start to the Xmas season. Who's putting up their Xmas trees tonite? :)

Today, I'm thankful for my awesome and hilarious husband, my pain-in-the-butt cat, my mom and brother and those friends who stand beside me every day. I couldn't wish for a better gang of people to surround myself with.

Off to turkey races!


Everyday I'm Hustlin...

I didn't have anything on my 2011 Xmas production schedule for today so I was just going to take it easy and watch some tube with the hubby. Then I said to myself, "Oh, you can probably crank out some Xmas cards tonite in a few hours." And that's what I did!

Handmade felt trees with paper, foil, metal brad and button decorations.

Needlefelting is so fun! I came up with this idea a few years ago when I first got into needlefelting and I've used it occasionally to give cards at Xmas. Looking forward to debuting these babies at market!


Hot off the Creation Station!

Here's one of the drawings I made tonite:


Marker & Ink on Bristol

I've got 14 more in that style. Check out my Flickr because I uploaded all of them. Now I have to decide on how I'm going to package them for market. Eep!

not enough time in the day, not enough sleep in the nite

Another nite I'm up and raring to go but I'm being smart and trying to get some rest. I laid in bed for about 2 hours before I got up to submit some paperwork and tweak the Etsy shop. I finished a ton of stuff in the last 24 hours and I have the blisters on my hands to prove it!

Here are some non-excellent photos of what I've been working on:
xmas-themed wooden spool dolls fully outfitted

bottle cap earrings

embellished photo frames

nifty, huh? and the mad dash towards holiday market continues!


time crunches me

I sent off an email late last nite inquiring about a spot at a craft fair on December 3. I hope I can get in, it's a pretty popular event. I also found out about Second Saturday Craftacular. If I can swing all the making I have planned for myself, I should have enough stuff to vend there. If not next month, then maybe January.

So exciting! I went through all my craft stuff last nite and got so excited about the possibilities. I didn't go to bed until almost 2am and then I was just laying there thinking and thinking. I'm so glad I'm a creative person. Life would be so boring without craft adventures.

I'm actually going to try my hand at inspired jewelry as well as my usual prints and paintings and dolls. I raided the Bead Society's Bead & Jewelry Market last week so I have lots of fun stuff to work with. In the meantime, I have fun music on the stereo, delicious incense burning and the house all to myself!


i forgot the 5th of november

so yesterday was my main job's big fundraising gala and 30th annniversary celebration. i was so wrapped up in tissue paper, glitter and tablescapes, i forgot to remember, remember, the 5th of november! i'm so sorry, guy fawkes!

i've also been busy preparing for several holiday art shows. i had an opening reception at a local gallery last friday and the closing reception is this coming friday. december has two, possibly three shows for me. i'm looking into acquiring a display system. i have no idea where i'll keep it since my studio is busting beyond busting between art supplies, auction items and clothes. ugh.

i'll be revamping my website in the next few weeks as i get more shows and exposure. i usually go all out on my websites which is why i use this blog as my main site now. i really wear myself out with all the html drama. hoo wee, chere.


october, october

i'm actually using my laptop at work today. i also brought three goblin dolls i've been slaving over for weeks for a class project. i think i finally hit my stride on this project last nite. i was totally in the zone! however, they are due bright and early on monday morning. that's the way it always goes, isn't it?

i wanted to post a process post after i'd finished them, but they've been so ugly for so long, i just couldn't bring myself to do it. i have still taken photos here and there throughout the process so maybe when they are finally born and totally beautiful and spooky, i'll post all that drama.

these goblins are really getting me in the mood for halloween, especially with the cool weather that came to houston a few days ago. mmm hmm. somebody needs to get herself a pumpkin or two!


it's been a while, my friends...

so...i got married, moved in with my husband, finished spring semester, started fall semester and i'm picking up my G&A blogging and facebooking. i'm determined not to slack any more. i made a ton of bracelets, necklaces and earrings today to list on etsy.

here's some samples of one style of necklace:

i had a ton of fun making these. my husband called all my hammering "the foundry." he's ridiculous. the process was hilarious. i can't wait to stock up on more metal blanks to hammer more things out!


The Beginning of a Very Long Day

Which actually began yesterday about 2pm when I finally got out of bed. Of course, I was on the borderline of being late for something, so I ran out the door and was gone til about sunset.

I worked all evening and part of the early morning on a project for school which I dubbed "Operation: Elsa!" I didn't quite finish it as some parts too much longer than expected, but I will post pix as soon as I do. When I finally went to bed, my stomach was putting up a fight so, after about an hour, I got up and started cleaning my studio. I also finally set up the massive canvas that I'm donating to a charity art auction on Wednesday. I did a rough sketch of what I want to paint. Now, to paint!

It will probably take me all nite and then I'll be going on two nites with no sleep. *sigh* Such is the life of a busy girl!


T Minus Forever!

I've been working up a storm at school, planning a wedding on a shoestring, still working at my job and getting ready to move. To say that I am stressed is an understatement. However, my loving fiance is helping keep my blood pressure down through his calming influence. Tonite, I placed the order for his custom wedding jacket. And I sent my attendants emails regarding their attire. Need to place orders soon!

My final projects for school are massive but attainable and definitely a challenge to my time-management skills as well as my technical skills. On top of these things, which are all due within the next two weeks, I signed myself up to paint a 4'x5' canvas for the Young Texans Against Cancer "Kiss My Grits" Gulf Coast Throwdown Art Auction. Say THAT five times fast. I'm surprised I remembered it all. I have to have that behemoth canvas ready by next Wednesday morning. The subject is the Texas state flag. Since my sanity is flagging, I'm pretty much going in with all guns blazing.

All this and I'm happier than I've ever been. Art, not blood, is pumping through my veins with a good helping of Love and Good Will. I just updated this blog with a new Artist Bio, Statement and CV as well as added a sample of my art in anticipation of "Kiss My Grits" traffic.

Currently Listening to: The Decemberists - "Down By the Water"


Zero to a Million in Five Seconds

I am so glad I did nothing over Spring Break and got lots of rest. This week is jammed packed with school projects and art activities. I got my roots bleached on Saturday and I haven't even been able to apply my color, I've been so busy. So I'm stuck hiding my white/green hair under a hat all week.

Today I have a time management workshop here at the University, my Artist's Way Meetup and a visit to my friend at her tattoo appointment because it's her birthday. She's having a sushi party before the tattoo sesh but I can't make it. I love sushi so much.

I am entering the final 6 weeks of the spring semester. It's only gonna get crazier from here on out. I better fasten my seat belt!


Yay New Materials!

I was able to find some of the materials in my new mixed media book. I even found a black velvet remnant at Joann. I think I have just about everything else.

It's just a matter of starting...which is where I get stuck. I never start or I never finish. Conquering procrastination & poor time management are two of my artistic goals this year.

Onward, ho!
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Books, How I Love Thee

I love books! I owns hundreds of books. Mostly arts-related non-fiction. My fiance surprised me this week with a book off my Amazon wishlist: Mixed Media explorations by Beryl Taylor.

It's about combining paper, fabric and metal to make multi-layered, multi-dimensional art. Really beautiful art in the examples.

It's currently out of stock on Amazon but definitely worth the wait!
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Sprrrrring Brrrrrrreak!

I spent the morning snoozing.
I spent the afternoon snoozing,
Just got back from eating a late lunch and now I'm waiting on my fiance to get home so we can go to the gym together. I didn't mean to be so lazy today especially since I slept all day yesterday, too. At least I'm going to the gym to make a little energy. Then to cook dinner!

Tomorrow, I'm meeting with my academic advisor at school to outline my classes for the fall. I also said I would attend a Texans' Day of Outrage protest at City Hall. I think it'll be fun especially since we'll be right in front of my old office on the first floor. Ha ha. I just don't know what to protest that would also make a funny slogan on a posterboard. I haven't been outraged in a while. Between the appointment and the protest, I plan on visiting the new community garden on campus and doing some photography. Yay cabbages!


Burning that midnight oil

I feel like I've been working all day. Between briefs stops at school to drop off mid-semester projects, I've been photographing, mounting, editing, listing items all day. I added 9 new items to my shop tonite! I didn't even get up from editing photos to eat dinner; i ate it at my desk! And then I went and added the best photos to Flickr and DeviantArt. Phew!

I wish I had a chocolate cake right now because I deserve a BIG piece and a glass of milk!

Tomorrow, I'll be pressing the first batch of flowers for my botanical art line and starting a polymer clay project. Busy bee! And to finish the day off, my fiance and I are going to a concert featuring my best friend's band. Yay!



I did some soul-searching last week after reflecting on comments from my Etsy Team Members and the treasuries wherein they featured a Gold & Apel item. I think i've been in about 10 treasuries in the last few weeks and most of those treasuries have featured my art rather than my crafts.

My fiance said my art looks pro while my crafts are just stuff I do. I agreed with him wholeheartedly so I'm taking Gold & Apel (and myself, of course) back to my art. I have a long list of subjects to draw/paint/artify next week during Spring Break. I'm also going to mount, mat and frame my art now. Total packaging. Why by a print that you'll have to have professionally framed when I can offer that same print or original I framed myself? I have about a year's worth of professional framing experience so I feel up to the task.

I spent all last weekend researching framing supplies and it feels right. Elsa, welcome to the Universe. :)


Liking Sushi Doesn't Translate into Origami-fu

I need to make a paper sculpture still-life drawing for class so I thought I'd be clever and find some sweet origami to spice things up.

This is a clam shell. Battered but not broken.

I am slain.
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Living in Finland Through My Dreams...and Fabric

I've been a huge fan of Finnish music and culture for years. Last year, I finally got the chance to travel to Finland. I spent about 6 days in Helsinki and they were the best 6 days of my whole Scandinavian tour. I was walking down one of the main streets in Helsinki one morning and almost died from excitement when I saw the Marimekko store! Marimekko is one of the top Finnish textile companies. I swear I jumped up and down in the street!

A few days later, I felt brave enough to venture in and make a purchase. Everything was so cute and colorful. I decided on a duvet cover and got it in this pattern:

Isn't it precious?! And tonite, I discovered the website for Marimekko New York: http://www.kiitosmarimekko.com/index.html so I can buy beautiful fabric for all my projects! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!


Drawing Class Project

Some mixed media drawings of my shoe. I need to add text to the last two but I'm not sure what I should write. Hmm....
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Building Steam

I created a new weekly schedule for myself last week. It includes gym time, meals, study time, craft time, etc. I also on a new social media schedule. Today was my first day of the new schedule. So good, so far. I finally finished the signs for the gift shop at work that I started before Xmas last year. They rook mahverous. I used my Cricut machine to cut the letters so the signs would look professional. Right now, we have hand-written, but neat signs up.

Next on the drawing board is catching up with my 2011 production schedule. I'm already 3 batches behind. I may not be able to make a million things tonite since I want to go to bed on time, but 2 or 3 items will make me feel very accomplished. Eating elephants through one bite at a time!


Which of these don't belong?

This is my cat, Pnickel, being her usual in-the-business self. She gets in the way a lot of the time but rarely disturbs my supplies. She steps very deliCATely. Ha. But then she'll plant her furry butt right on my work. Her butt also enjoys my late nite reading in bed books.

Do you have a busybody cat or dog that always wants to be where you are?
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another business chat

had a test earlier today and finished that pretty quick so i came to the art dept computer lab to put in some social networking time for Gold & Apel (Facebook & Twitter) and i ended up updating my shop banner and avatar. Go take a look and tell me what you think! i think they're nifty!

business chat

omg am i working hard to drum up some business. i joined a few etsy teams and have been exchanging links, friending, liking, following, replying, sharing, tweeting, facebooking like a madwoman! i'm also partnering with azrael's accomplice designs and black swan theory to cross-promote our etsy shops and facebook pages.

as i mentioned in an earlier post, i hit 100 fans this week on facebook. 200 fans is the next goal. then i'll do a giveaway. my google analytics reports are exciting. i want to increase my total page views and view time per page. hopefully, all this promotion frenzy will pay off.

spring break (mar 13-18) is the next big craft-a-thon. my classes have me so busy with homework, it's impossible to spend the needed hours on gold & apel. i can't wait! my sewing machine is going to earn it's keep that week!


It's Finally Here!

I finally broke 100 fans on facebook! I promised a coupon code, so here it is: THX100FANS! It's for 10% off so get to shopping if you've always wanted some Gold & Apel items. Next up: 200 fans, new coupon code!



shake it like a salt-shaker!

my brother brought home a truckload of kambuche last nite. so glad that stuff is back on the market! i wonder if the mango one i like is back, too. nom nom.

haven't had a chance to work on anything gold & apel. i'm on this new diet and exercise thing in order to get back to size cute before my wedding. all the exercise makes me sleepy at nite so i'm actually sleeping again instead of staying up all nite making things.

i'll find time. i know i will. in the meantime, why don't you join me on facebook at .facebook.com/goldandapelshop?


snow day work day

all of houston is shut down in anticipation of snow and ice on the roads. there's ice all over my truck and driveway but so far, no snow. :( my brother needs a snowball in the ear, actually.

my university canceled all classes tomorrow so i'll be home working on my first official Gold & Apel project of the year. i'm a little late starting it because of classes and homework and fiancé-time. i'm making ribbon and felt cuffs and it involves using my sewing machine and changing out the thread constantly. i'm actually glad i've put off working on the cuffs because i keep coming up with better and better twists on the idea.

late last year, my dear friend carol of vaniteux salon & nano spa enlisted me to revamp her website. we got busy with halloween and then our annual gala at work and then christmas, so i finally finished it tonite. i think she's used to getting emails from me at all hours of the nite. i'm super happy with the design after fooling around with it off and on for months. but now i'm wanting to redesign other things. like my business card. i already have two boxes of cards that i barely use.

i'll probably work on prettifying this page in between fights on jersey shore.


busy bee

it's amazing how quickly i can destroy my  nice clean studio. i swear.

in between cleaning and organizing, i've been reading my etsy success newsletters and trying to meet the challenges. this series of newsletters is about revamping your shop to improve sales. this week, it's updating your listings. last week was updating your photos.

i got home around 11pm last nite and started fooling around on etsy, waiting for my mom to get home from her travel this week. well, i got way into revamping my listings, my mom came home and went to bed, and now i'm still here at 5am working on my listings. i just took some melatonin and i hope that will help.

i added a few original portraits to my shop, too, so go take a look. i'm loathe to part with them but i'm tired of lugging them around, trying not to damage them. better they go to a good home than get destroyed because i keep initiating craft explosions all over the place.

i think i actually feel sleepy now...toodles, everybody!


more creation station pix

today was another huge stride in making my studio more efficient, more organized and my materials more accessible. i picked up a metal shelf from a friend and while i was there, she offered me an even bigger shelf so i took both. i was cleaning the shelf that had been outside and found a tiny praying mantis. he's now resting comfortably in a potted plant.

i used the big industrial shelf to get all my brother's extraneous computer equipment off the floor since the other half of my studio is his computer room. yes, i make crafts while listening to him and his friends yell on skype about WoW. i need to start using my mp3 player again.

i used the smaller shelf to store all my fiber, felt, yarn and sewing hardware and thread. i posted on facebook about having a craft fortress since those two shelves now stand in front of the window.

here are my new shelves:

you can see my home-made coat-hanger ribbon rack on the right. i'm going to make a better one that can hold more ribbon since hobby lobby is having a 50% off ribbon right now and i just bought everything that was cute.

here is my studio after it was made nice and tidy. of course, i've gone and destroyed it again.

i keep my favorite friend-art up to inspire me. the green rose-man painting was a birthday gift. there's a red portrait in my glitter undershelf basket (from ikea!) that was done by the incomparable Julie Zarate and i have a black cat watercolor that my mom picked up in santa fe, new mexico. i also have a "birthday card" that my fiancé made for me last year. it's the huge neon green poster looking thing in the second photo.

i'm dying to upload a few more items to etsy that i photographed the other nite, but it's the 2nd day of classes and i already have homework. but it's fun, exciting homework!

my sister is opening an etsy shop soon! she had a skype craft-along with our other sister so i've plugged in my webcam so i can craft-along with them, too! my big sister lives in AR and my little sister lives in college station, texas, where she is finishing up her undergrad at texas A&M so i don't get to see them often. oh, and little sister just opened her etsy: kj's shop!


I know it's corny...

One of 3 new sets of foamy heart magnets up in my etsy shop!

new items up!

finally. took two rounds of photos with my new studio light. i worked on valentine's day cards all weekend and came up with 10 super original and unique sets. here are two of my favs:

  i really love the ribbon i found in my crazy ribbon stash. :)

this is my take on the current steampunk trend. pretty in (steampunk) pink. :)

as always, these and more are available for sale in my etsy shop: Gold & Apel


my studio around xmastime

i thought that today, before i start a massive photo editing session for etsy, i'd show  you how my studio looks when i'm in the middle of about a dozen projects. the photo below was taken just after xmas. i was finishing a commissioned painting, working on some felt pieces, thinking about some polyclay things. just a massive mess. last nite, i reorganized a bit to make more room on my very cramped studio table. i'll have to take a photo of it with my nice camera, not just my phone. anyway, here you go:


before i forget!

Gold & Apel on Facebook!

Join now! 100 fans = coupon code! only 25 more to go as of right NAO. spread the word!

i hate wordpress

i really do. i've been going back and forth between this site and my newer wordpress site. the wordpress backend screens are just plain ugly and i hate the gallery functions...even with plug-ins that are difficult to use. i used to code massive sites by hand and hack all kinds of scripts. i guess i have gotten lazy and wanton in my old age.

good news, however, i've decided on this site and i've been hard at work on my Late Winter Collection. unfortunately, my computer died over the holidaze and now i'm back to working on my ancient college computer. it took hours to download product photos and edit them and then upload them to etsy. if my computer worked as fast as i do, i'd have a million things up and done instead of having spent the majority of two days fussin and fightin with this darned thing! *stamps foot*

school starts again for me next tuesday, so it's a race against time until all my extra time is consumed with studying and art projects. PLUS, i'm getting married this summer so i'm trying to save up for those expenses. so, yes, this is me begging strangers to buy my wares so i can haz a pretty dress please.

here is a little bit of something new:

  a beaded hand-dyed cotton organdy & felt flower brooch
a hand-dyed and -felted tentacle ring

check out my etsy shop Gold & Apel for more lovely wares! more coming as soon as i can make it and post it!