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.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Wine Glass Charms Are Not Just for Stemware

I have been making nature themed wine glass charms now for a few years. They are very useful to help your guests tell their drinking glasses apart when they have been set down.

It occurred to me last night that they might also be useful if you are serving your guests drinks in coffee or tea mugs that have handles. I grabbed a mug from my cabinet this morning and placed a couple of wine glass charms on the handle to see how they would work hanging from different locations. I liked the end results. The design of your mug handles will affect the usefulness on this type of drinkware to some extent. Mug handles that arch up slightly at their top attachment point will be the most useful for utilizing my wine glass charms.

So when you are comfortable hosting some number of guests in your home again, make sure you have some wine glass charms on hand. Now you know you have an alternative to serving your liquid refreshments in stemware to be able to utilize the benefits of wine glass charms. Help your guests easily identify which piece of drinkware sitting on the table is theirs for them to safely drink from.

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Happier 4th of July 2021

We have come a long way from cancelling or at the very least making significant changes to our 4th of July celebrations of 2020. However, it is very easy for those of us who are fully vaccinated to forget that Covid-19 has not been fully defeated. And it is very easy for the vaccine hesitant to take their cues from the fully vaccinated who are now so much safer ditching their masks and not social distancing. Unfortunately we are not out of the woods yet, but if everyone continues to take appropriate precautions and preventative measures like getting vaccinated, handwashing, wearing masks appropriately and being aware of when social distancing is still a good idea, we will gain our independence from this virus.
So on this Independence Day of 2021 as we celebrate the birth of our nation, let's do so in such a way that we can continue to celebrate and protect our independance from the strictest restrictions we experienced from this past year or so of the pandemic. And while you are at it, don't forget the sunscreen. Happy 4th of July!

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Edgy Filigree Jewelry

What do you get when you cross geometric polygonal shapes with scrollwork? You get edgy filigree (filigree with hard edges, literally).

As often happens, I bought some supplies a while back that I really liked but life was busy and they got tucked away for future use. I was looking for something else when I came across them recently and decided I really needed to make some jewelry from the geometric cutout brass shapes and get them listed in my EclecticSkeptic Etsy shop.

The novel pose, coupled with the polygonal cutouts of the brass unicorns seemed an unconventional take that screamed strength and attitude but still needed some rainbows. I thought they would be perfect as long, dangle earrings. Each unicorn is topped with two faceted, rainbow colored beads.

The geometric T-Rex seemed perfect for a simple, short necklace that would sit about at the collarbone. I paired the dinosaur charm with a golden cable chain and spring ring clasp to create the necklace.

Additional mythologically themed jewelry, accessories and art can be found in my Math and Myth Geekery shop section. More dinosaur jewelry can be found in my Science Geekery shop section.

Friday, April 23, 2021

New Cardinal Art from Eclectic Design Choices

Images of northern cardinals have been a popular subject with my customers. I have created two new photographic art images recently to celebrate this iconic bird. Both of these images are of male cardinals, which a lot of people refer to as red birds (for obvious reasons).

I developed one of the images for my most recent substrate for my artwork, vinyl stickers. Like my other stickers, these cardinal stickers are made from durable, weather, scratch and fade resistant vinyl with a laminate coating. A male cardinal stands on a rock slanting towards the flowing water in my backyard stream. He is looking around warily before dipping his beak into the water for a drink.

The second image was developed for one of my traditional offerings, a matted print. (The unmatted, signed 4x6 image is shown here.) I seem to have unintentionally chosen a theme for the photos I have developed this year. This picture is also of a male cardinal coming to my backyard for a drink. He stands on a branch just above the surface of the water in my pond. The water is still and allowed me to capture a great reflection of the cardinal and its surroundings.

I expect to have each of these items with me the next time I am able to do an in person show. Until then, you can reach out to me to inquire about purchasing these or other images in my portfolio.