Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Support Monarch Butterflies through Seeds of Spring Silent Auction

I am pleased to participate again in Monarch Joint Venture's silent auction fundraiser. Proceeds from this fundraiser advance MJV's work in protecting monarchs and their migration, and collaborating with partners to deliver habitat conservation, education, and science across the United States.

For this auction I have donated a set of eight blank note cards that feature a photographic art image of a monarch that I created. The note cards are individually wrapped in a clear sleeve, along with an envelope. The bid price includes shipping to the winning bidder's address. As of this writing, the auction has only recently begun and already they have received the minimum bid.
The bidding closes at 8:00pm CST on Tuesday, May 24, 2022. There are lots of great items that have been donated. Please consider helping raise funds to support monarch butterflies by bidding on any items that speak to you.

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Wildflower of the Year (2022) According to Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

This year, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center has named blanketflower, or firewheel, its wildflower of the year. I commend this flower too. It bursts into glorious color (mostly reds and yellows) over a long period of spring and early summer across much of the United States. In Texas it can often be found covering large sections of open fields alongside bluebonnets.

I snapped several photos of blanketflowers when I visited the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center a few years ago. To celebrate it being named wildflower of the year I created a couple of photographic art versions of one of the images. You can click on them for a larger view. Out of curiosity, which version do you like better?

Monday, January 24, 2022

Valentine's Day Gifts from Eclectic Design Choices

Click to enlarge the image.

I have a large selection of heart themed gifts for your Valentine. A sampling is shown in the image above. If you don't see what you want in either my EDCCollective Etsy shop or my EclecticSkeptic Etsy shop, contact me asap to see if I can create what you are looking for. If one of my ready to ship items catches your eye, you should still have a little over a week from the date of this post to purchase and have it shipped to you in time.

Sunday, January 9, 2022

New Year, New Exhibit - Birds & Bees

Actually the "Birds & Bees" exhibit began a couple of weeks before the new year, however I am just now getting caught up enough to share it with you.

Three of my photographic art prints were selected to hang in this exhibit. The exhibit is part of an ongoing Art Spots project by Tournique Art and the Mansfield Commission for the Arts. Art Spots are pop up galleries hosted by various businesses who love being a part of the arts in the community! This exhibit is in a public portion of the Texas Health Mansfield Hospital near the front entrance. The artwork will be up through Feb. 27, 2020.
Click on the images to see a larger view. These framed pieces are for sale and available to be delivered after the exhibit is over.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Eclectic Design Choices Will Once Again be Part of the Happy Holidays Pop-Up Shop

Last year the Happy Holidays Pop-Up went virtual. This year it will be back in person, however it is moving from its Downtown Arlington centered location(s) to Pantego. This year you will find my handmade creations, along with those of about a dozen other artisans, at Simply Divune Cafe.

The shop's hours and the cafe's hours are similar but not exactly the same. Simply Divune Cafe is open for breakfast and lunch. The shop will not open at the crack of dawn like the cafe and many days it will be open for your shopping convenience through late afternoon. There will also be Sunday shopping hours when the cafe is closed.

On Small Business Saturday, November 27, from 9am-3pm, get a preview of some of the hand crafted goodies that will fill the Happy Holidays Pop-Up Shop this year. Even though this is a preview day, the unique creations on display will be for sale too. Pop in and purchase anything that catches your eye since many of our items are one or few-of-a-kind finds.

Happy Holidays Pop-Up Shop will be fully stocked and open beginning at 10am on Tues, Nov. 30, 2021 and remain open through Thurs, Dec. 23. Shop hours will be: Mon. 10am-2pm, Tues - Thurs: 10am - 5 pm, Fri - Sat: 10 am - 6 pm, Sunday: 1pm-5pm

You will find more information about this unique shopping opportunity, including some idea of the range of creations that each artisan will be bringing to market on the event website.

Friday, November 5, 2021

Donating Artwork and Celebrating the Grand Opening of the New Dalworthington Gardens' City Hall

As a member of the building committee that helped the new city hall in DWG take shape, I am happy to announce that the grand opening of the building is almost here. On Thursday, November 18 beginning at 5pm, the City of Dalworthington Gardens will hold a grand opening celebration.

There are some very special elements in the new building. Another alderman built and donated the big table for the conference room. It is awesome and even includes the DWG symbol burned into the wood by a custom built branding iron. The table is very elegant with a dash of rustic charm that gives a nod to the City's tag line, "a rural oasis in the heart of the metroplex".

I offered to donate some artwork that would tap into that theme as well. I brought up several examples of my photographic art images I had printed for me as gallery wrapped canvases for the mayor to look at a month or so ago. After looking around the building we thought the conference room was the perfect place to hang some pieces. With the way the windows were laid out in there and the plans already anticipated for the other walls, it looked like two horizontally oriented and two vertically oriented 16" x 20" works of art would be most appropriate. I wanted the images to be of nature that had been photographed in DWG. I had two landscape oriented dragonflies that I had photographed in my backyard and a portrait oriented study of a great egret that I took in Gardens Park. I needed another vertically oriented image.

Great egrets are large birds that frequent Pappy Elkins lake in Gardens Park. A comparably sized bird that also hangs out around the lake is the great blue heron. I did not have an image worked up yet for a 16" x 20" piece of art based on a great blue heron photo I had taken, but thought that was what the fourth image needed to be. I hunted through the photos I had taken over the years in the park to see if I had a suitible one. I wanted to find one where the heron was standing in a similar posture as the egret on the canvas that was already printed and I wanted them to be facing each other once they were hung on the wall. I also wanted the final alteration of my heron photo to take on a similar characteristic as the other three pieces of art I was donating. I found a few original photos of mine that I thought had potential. After working with this group, I settled on one that I thought best fit the criteria I had set out. After completing the image it was time to send it off to be printed on canvas. I always cross my fingers when I do this with a new image. Some images look better printed on different substrates so even though I print out proofs on paper on my printers, I am never 100% sure of how the print on canvas will look. I think it turned out nicely and compliments the egret very well.

One other donation I made to the overall project was to save some of the plants that continued to grow on the original homestead site, even though the old house had been removed years ago, and ultimately return them to the site. I cared for them for over a year until we could tell if there was an appropriate place to set them around the new building. We decided the bed on the north side of the building would make a good location for these hardy, easy care plants. When the plants in the bed mature a bit more, I will take some pictures and make a post about that garden.

(Click on the images to enlarge them.)

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Design This - Earrings for Sensitive Ears

Some percentage of people who wear pierced earrings have sensitive ears that cause them problems if they wear earrings with base metal ear wires or other ear attachments. That has to be frustrating for them when they find the perfect pair of earrings, but can't buy them because they have the wrong type of ear wire to keep their ears happy.

I was very pleased when a recent visitor to my EclecticSkeptic Etsy shop wrote to me asking if a certain pair of my earrings were okay for someone who prefers hypoallergenic jewelry. I told her that I did have a solution for someone in her situation and sent her a link to a previous blog post of mine describing the benefits of niobium ear wires. Later I took a photo of the niobium ear wires I had on hand that would complement the earrings she was interested in. After reviewing the photo, she picked out a pair and I made a private listing for her to purchase.

I do also keep a small supply of sterling silver findings on hand, but in this case they would not have been a good color match for the earrings my customer was interested in. I am always happy to receive inquiries about making changes to an existing piece of jewelry or making a new item that meets a person's needs. In addition to options for people with sensitive ears, I also have options for what is probably a small percentage of people these days who do not have pierced ears but still want to wear earrings, like me.