Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Eclectic Design Choices to be at Event Dec. 9-23, 2017

Hand crafted creations representative of both my EDCCollective and EclecticSkeptic Etsy shops are included in the Happy Holidays Pop-Up Market being held at The Sleepy Cottage in Downtown Arlington. I am one of thirteen artisans whose handmade wares are on display and waiting to brighten someone's day on your holiday gift list. The pop-up market opened last Saturday and many items of mine and the other artisans have found new homes already. Quite a few of the items on display are one of a kind, so come out and shop before that fabulous find is gone or before the market closes on December. 23.

I took the images in this post as the market was beginning to be stocked. My flying pig note cards share a display with note cards from the artist Kristy Jarvis. While my photographic art print is of a wine bottle, I love the juxtaposition with the sleep mask that reads, "Wake me for Champagne".

There is much more than cards, art and sleep masks to be found at The Happy Holidays Pop-Up Market. You will find pottery, soap, jewelry, crochet, tile and glass mosaics, candles, ornaments and more. Thanks in advance for those of you who stop by to browse.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Eclectic Design Choices Events Dec. 1-2, 2017

With some family support, I, or rather Eclectic Design Choices, will be able to be at two events at the same time on Friday, December 1.

The event beginning first on Friday is the annual Olde Town Christmas craft show at the Dottie Lynn Recreation Center. We set up in the morning and the show opens to the public at noon. I will have a good selection of my jewelry and photographic art prints, note cards and bookmarks, along with a small selection of my ready to hang artwork. Olde Town Christmas remains open to the public until 7 pm on Friday and resumes on Saturday at 9 am and runs through 3 pm.

The second event on Friday is a ribbon cutting, which begins at 4 pm, hence my need to be in two places at once. My supportive family member allowed me to twist his arm to hold down the fort at my Olde Town Christmas booth so that I can attend.

What does a ribbon cutting have to do with my creations? It is a ribbon cutting and grand opening for both CenterSpace and a business that offices in their expanded location, Cadmus Dental. You have read about my involvement with both of them. As 817ArtsAlliance, I have partnered with CenterSpace to give artisans who do not have a brick and mortar presence, a way to display some of their work where people can come and view it in person during work hours. They can even purchase it and take home a piece of art if one speaks to them. I wrote recently about the dental art challenge presented to me by Cadmus Dental. I definitely wanted to be there to show my support for these companies and their founders. After the ribbon cutting, there will be a grand opening party.
Three of the artisans on display in CenterSpace will be there with more of their work and to talk about their creative process. I will stay until I have to head back and help close down my booth at Dottie Lynn.

I hope to get a chance to see you this weekend. If not, my Happy Holidays Pop-Up Market will open for a two week run on December 9 in Downtown Arlington so you will have another chance to see my creations and those of other local artisans. More on that next week.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Seasonal Awareness

I took both of these photos two days ago.

Which plant is confused about what season it is?

If I had not told you both pictures were shot on the same day, when would you have guessed each image was taken?

Add you answers in the comments.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Dental Art

Those of you who follow my blog realize that I am inspired by nature and that is the theme of most of my photographic art. I am always up for a challenge however, so when the founder of Cadmus Dental asked if I could create some dental art, I told him I would think on it. Unfortunately, try as I might, I was stumped. I finally asked to see some examples of pieces of dental art that he liked. It gave me a better understanding, however now I had the problem of trying to figure out how to come up with something that put my own spin on new or different imagery.

After some thought, I decided to do a proof of concept piece using the one dental tool I could easily put my hands on and a couple of my jewelry tools as stand ins for dental tools. I arranged a still life using the tools and took some digital photos of them. I then worked with the photos to see what type of photographic art they wanted to be. The first image in this post is one of the images I came up with from that session. I met with Scott to find out his likes and dislikes with regards to the concept images. He liked several of the treatments so we discussed what he had on hand that might serve as input for some proper dental art. I also found out about an event that Cadmus Dental was going to be holding soon that might be a good place to show others in the business any new pieces I could come up with by then.

I set another appointment a couple of days later when the light would be good to do a photo shoot of some demonstration pieces and samples. We also went to one of his facilities to shoot some images of a piece of equipment in use. Those last photos were interesting but not conducive to quickly working up some new artwork. In fact I now have a better idea of how to try to get better input images and will try taking more photos later. Several of the demo and sample piece images turned out to be good starting points for dental photographic art. I sent some jpegs over for Scott to review and provide feedback about them. I took that feedback and came up with five finished pieces that I framed for the Cadmus Dental event. The second photo in this post is those pieces displayed at the event. (Click to enlarge.)

Where do we go from here with the dental art? Scott said he received good feedback from attendees at his event. I need to get a page together with images and pricing. Scott wants to be able to point people from his company's website to the dental art that is available for sale. In the meantime, the five framed images I brought to the event are hanging outside and inside of Cadmus Dental's main office at CenterSpace in Downtown Arlington if you want to see them in person. These pieces will soon have tags with prices and be for sale on the 817ArtsAlliance Art for Sale - CenterSpace page. In addition to what I am creating, I have contacted two other artists and thrown ideas to them that should be in their wheelhouse of creative talent. I am looking forward to what they are able to come up with. Hopefully I will be able to expand the art offerings through their creations too.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Texas Arbor Day, November 3, 2017

Arbor Day in November? The official Texas Arbor Day is celebrated on the first Friday of November, compared to National Arbor Day, which is celebrated on the last Friday of April. You will find plenty of Arbor Day celebrations in Texas in April too, so why did Texas feel the need to establish an official Texas celebration of trees in November instead?

The answer lies in Texas' weather outlook. Hot and dry weather is just around the corner in Texas by the time late April comes around. Newly planted trees benefit from weather conditions that allow their roots to get established before hot and dry weather hits. Even deciduous trees' roots grow when the trees are bare, as long as the soil temperature is above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. This describes the soil temperatures across most of Texas for most of the winter. Therefore trees planted in November will have a decided head start getting established over trees not planted until late April or early May. Trees that are better established will be less stressed by their first Texas summer in their new location, meaning a healthier and better growing tree.

The official Texas Arbor Day celebration moves around. This year Grand Prairie will host the official state event. The event will kick off at 10am, Friday, November 3 in Grand Central Park with a ceremony featuring keynote speaker Dave Lambe, president of the National Arbor Day Foundation, along with other local representatives. After the ceremony, guests can browse about 25 informational and kid-friendly booths that cover outdoor-related topics like tree planting and maintenance. Attendees can take home one of 1,300 Texas red oak seedlings being giving away with planting instructions.

If you are near Austin, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center will host their own Arbor Day celebration from 9am - 5pm on Saturday, November 4. Their event will include tree climbing (adults too!) walks and talks, a historical tree sale, and a special presentation on Comanche marker trees of Texas.

I hope you find a Texas Arbor Day celebration near you. If not, get out and see if you can find some fall color and appreciate the trees around you on a walk around your local park or neighborhood.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Monarch Migration in North Texas 2017

The fall monarch butterfly migration is still going on in my part of North Texas for this year. I noted my first Monarch moving south in a facebook post on August 28 of this year. Several made their way through my yard today, stopping to refuel on my blue mistflower and lantana plantings. (Yes, I took these pics today.) The most I saw at one time today was four. I have been watching on and off since just before lunch.

Monarch butterflies are such fascinating and beautiful creatures. You can follow their progress and/or provide data to track their progress with Journey North.
This is another great citizen scientist opportunity. From the looks of the data, there are quite a few monarchs that are behind schedule in other parts of the country.

You can feed migrating monarchs by planting nectar plants like those seen here. Find out specific suggestions for your part of the country on the Xerces Society website.