Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Jump Into These Coastal Creatioins! ~ Meet The Boardwalk Artist Series ~ Featured Artist ~ Norma Gafford of Beachcombers Cove

Many thanks to Norma for such a great bio! Next week another Boardwalk artist will be featured - so don't forget to stop by!

"I am a retired hippie..... livin' the dream of being a creating artist and loving every minute of it. (Actually I am a retired art teacher.) Inspired by the ocean and sky, every day is an adventure on the Texas coast.

My philosophy is: Life's a Beach and we may as well jump in and make a splash!

I love to design in sterling silver wire. Most of my pieces are inspired by the natural beauty of the ocean and beach. All of the work is designed and hand-made by me.. I make my beads by the lampworking method. This is an ancient process where glass rods are heated until molten, then wrapped around a stainless steel mandrel, which forms the bead. Then the beads are kiln annealed for durability. Other materials such as Thai Silver, Gemstones, Shell, Bone, Leather, & Beach Glass sometimes add to the variety of design.

My 2-dimensional work is also inspired by the sea and air. I love to draw and paint fish, mermaids, turtles, dolphins, all kinds of sea and beach creatures. My favorite media are colored pencil, pastels, and watercolors.

Life is too short to wear boring jewelry. Jewelry should be FUN!"

See more of Norma's work here:

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Couch 2 5K Program - Week 1

I am on week 1 of the couch 2 5K program. If you haven't heard of it is a program designed to get you running a 5k in 9 weeks. So far so good - I finish my 3rd and final day of week 1 on Friday. You are supposed to do this every other day for one week. I am using this supplement to my weekly workout routine. I hurt everywhere right now -but it is a good hurt. My ribs... legs... you name it. After completing this program, I am looking forward to being able to hit the roads again for morning runs along the coast!

To find out about the program check out Cool Runnings

Here is the official Couch 2 5K website

Here is a great site to download the
podcasts Robert Ullrey has composed. I saved them in mp3 format which is pretty universal for ipods, mp3 players etc. To do so on just right click on the "Podcast" link under each week. Then select "Save Target As" or "Save Link As". You might want to create a folder on your desktop for this. Then when the window pops up add .mp3 to the end of the file name and save. This should convert it to an mp3 file so you can add it to your mp3 player or ipod. This is a great tool Robert Ullrey has created because it gives you all the timings for the weeks - as far as when to run, when to walk etc.

Good luck!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Overcoming Creative Blocks with Meditation and Yoga

Often times we can get away from ourselves and let the daily stresses of life overshadow our inner calm. Sometimes, we can just suffer from a good old creative block for reasons unknown. A good way to help and get those creative juices flowing again is through Yoga and meditation. This is a good practice for total body, mind and spiritual health. It helps you get centered, balanced and just more grounded.

It is good to find at least five minutes in the morning - in a quiet space... away from any distractions. You can either sit on the floor or lay down. Try to take 1 short and 1 long deep breath in and 1 short and 1 long breath out. Do this many times... then start to slow your breathing down until you find your baseline breath. While doing this keep your eyes closed, but look as though you were looking above a horizon line to prevent falling asleep. Think of something in calming - blowing fields of wheat grass, or the rolling surf hitting a sun soaked beach. Doing this will give you the boost you need for the day, clearing your mind and getting you ready to tackle obstacles that may arise with more of a level head.

Yoga has been a source of total body wellness (flexibility, joints, organ health, strength and detoxification) for more than 5,000 years. Having your body and mind in a relaxed state allows for the creative energy to flow. There are many resources available on the Internet and through books that can teach basic practice. If you have a local YMCA or gym, most often you can find Yoga classes there as well. Remember - healthy mind and body can yield limitless creative results!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

It's Time To Deck Your Walls! ~ Meet The Boardwalk Artist Series ~ Featured Artist ~ Wendy Russell of Artrussell

Many thanks to Wendy for such a great bio! Next week another Boardwalk artist will be featured - so don't forget to stop by!

"I'm a native New Englander, having been born and raised in southern Connecticut. My family lived within walking distance of Long Island Sound and I spent the summers of my youth at the beach swimming, playing in the sand, boating and chasing after ice cream vendors. Bliss. Ocean themes have naturally become important additions to my portfolio of paintings.

Art has always been an essential part of my life. After graduating from college with a degree in Interior Design, I was determined to give city life a try. I moved to Boston and after working in the city for a while, I realized that although I'd always love to visit cities, living there was not for me. I tried the Massachusetts suburbs and worked on a visual merchandising team for a major department store chain. The work was varied and creative, but also very physical. I carried more sofas and ladders than I care to remember. In the meantime, I had taught myself to spin and weave and eventually, left my job to pursue my art and craftwork.

The country life began to beckon and I moved to Vermont in the early 1980's. Three children, lots of gardens, and piles of artwork later I still awaken each morning wondering what subject might catch my eye and become the focus for my next painting. My husband and I consider ourselves very fortunate to have found a home on a gem of a lake in this beautiful state.

My motto: There's an artist in each of us. Trust in yourself to let go and create what you need to create."

Take a stroll down The Boardwalk next week for another featured Boardwalk artist... until then...

Friday, April 10, 2009

Happy Easter!

Fun Friday Find will be back next week! Wishing everyone a happy Easter! Check out this cute bunny from Bliss Forrest.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Photographing Sea Glass Using A Light Table

Natural light is really the best method for photographing sea glass - however, sometimes it is fun to try out other alternatives.

A great way to illuminate sea glass - without getting glare - is to use a light table. This can be done at any time of the day and the results are pretty neat. I have an inexpensive Crayola Crayon light table, of my daughter's, that I use. To keep a continuous flow when photographing something at a side angle... I just placed a piece of white poster board behind the light table. Another thing you could do is place the light table in a white light box to get the same effect. You can get cool effects without spending a lot of money!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Rock Out to Some Heavy Metal with Heather Gill of Cherry Creek Designs ~ Meet The Boardwalk Artist Series

Many thanks to Heather for such a great bio! Next week another Boardwalk artist will be featured - so don't forget to stop by!

"I started out my career in 'the arts' in a very different artform. I went to culinary school and became a chef. That kind of life is not for a young family so when I gave birth to my daughter 4 1/2 years ago I 'retired' from the food business.

I needed to do something creative so I signed up to take a class in making jewelry. I found PMC (precious metal clay) and traditional metal shortly after. I love what I do everyday!

I've been featured in a couple books and magazines in the last year and I'm getting very busy. This is much more then I ever dreamed it would be and I'm looking forward to seeing what this year has to bring."

Take a stroll down The Boardwalk next week for another featured Boardwalk artist... until then...

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Antiques... Trash To Treasure... Made Into Art!

The North Shore, MA has some fantastic places to shop if you love antiques! You can head up the back roads to Newburyport - hitting Rowley, Ipswich and Rt. 133 into Essex on your way. Salem even has a few shops that are fun to poke around in. I love to pick up random pieces to mosaic or just refinish for my house. Sometimes you come across something you can't even imagine changing.

One shop in particular is Olde Naumkeag Antiques in downtown Salem, MA. To me, the outside just draws you in.

Originally, Salem was called Naumkeag when it was founded in 1626... as it resides at the mouth of the Naumkeag River. Three years later Roger Conant, a fisherman from Cape Ann, renamed Naumkeag... Salem. He then built the first house in Salem on Essex Street. However, there are still many places that carry the old name this city was once called. You can find out more if the history here.

If you are ever in town - you should check out Olde Naumkeag Antiques! Maybe you can find something to upcycled for your own home!

Photos of upcycled furniture from Knack Studios

Monday, April 06, 2009

Brand Your Business with a Great Logo Design

I wanted to do a spin/repost on great logo design from last year as I think it is very helpful when starting your business.

When I started to get serious about marketing materials for my business - I knew I had to start with a logo. I wanted a "brand" and a logo that was eye-popping - something that if people saw they would say - "Oh yeah - that is Sea Glass Things!". I know this type of thing can be costly if you were looking into a design firm or something of that nature... So I started exploring other non-traditional avenues.

Keeping with my theme of handmade, I decided to look on Etsy. I set up a "Custom" call out to see if there were any graphic designers that would be willing to take a crack at what I wanted. I wanted a catchy logo... it need to envelop the essence of my work... something that could easily be translated for advertising online or print... and lastly, it had to be cost effective. I ended up getting a slew of responses and chose Curious Ink. I loved her proposal - not only is she super talented - she is easy to work with and keeps you involved in every step.

She took my notes and off she was to create my logo. Once she had drawn it out - she colored it digitally in either Photoshop or Illustrator (can't recall) and presto! I had one amazing logo. She let me choose from 6 designs she had created and worked to fine tune the one I selected until it was perfect. She also emailed me MANY various file formats - so I was all set! The whole thing cost me about $30 - not sure what she has for deals now - but her work is top notch!

If you are looking for a talented designer to get you started and brand your business I think Curious Ink is the way to go - check out the shop and her work!
Check out my post last year regarding this logo design - Click here!

Friday, April 03, 2009

Fun Friday Find #3 - Taylor's Eclectic Shop

How cool are these finds for the day - wow... to think what you can make out of paper.... the mind wanders. I am in awe when I come across such art... love these vibrant colors!

The light seems to just illuminate like stained glass windows of a church.... little hues of mosaics to make your mouth water... could be on your end table for $175.

Mmmm.... here is another beautiful piece that could be yours for $125 - love these two colors together - it has a very modern island feel to it!

And to think you could have these tiny mosaics envelope your body... here is a little finger candy that would be fun to wear for only $25.

Well - I think you have seen... there is no going wrong with Taylor's Eclectic Shop and the many pieces of art they have to offer!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Handmade Labels for Your Products...Make Em' Yourself or Purchase Handmade...

When I started to design my clothing for my business I knew I needed product labels that spun off my current logo design. At the time - I had no clue there was actually fabric you could run through your printer to create them yourself.

Once again - I turned to Etsy because it seems you can find ANYTHING on there.... if you want... chances are someone has made it.

Here is a pic of the handmade product labels I had created by Mommie Made It on Etsy. I got 50 labels for approximately $20. I supplied my logo - and she whipped up a design. Super easy process and excellent quality!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

It's Time to Suds Up! ~ Meet The Boardwalk Artist Series ~ Featured Artist ~ Jess Glendinning of Chase Street Soap Company

Many thanks to Jess for such a great bio! Next week another Boardwalk artist will be featured - so don't forget to stop by!

"My name is Jess and I have been making soap for almost a year now. I began in our home in Maine, as something to do as a stay at home mom and soap making seemed to fit easily into my schedule with my daughter (I make soap late night after the family is asleep). Now we live in New Jersey and my soaps were an easy thing to transport. It also, although not in the very beginning, makes us some extra money here and there, plus I love it!

My soap ideas came to me immediately. I knew I wanted vegetable based, vegan and environmentally friendly, but to be different and a bit edgy. I knew what I wanted the name to be, how I wanted the packaging to look, the scents, etc. I also wanted to do a men's line, thus, The Salty Dog™ line was created.

I began with 4 different scents in the basics and 6 in the Salty's. Now I have over 40 scents to choose from, available at different times of the year...

My biggest inspiration has been growing up in Maine, my love of the ocean and sea adventures. I feature a sea monster from an old 16th century map as my main logo and paintings by the American artist Howard Pyle on my Salty Dog soaps. I do everything myself, from
measuring, to mixing, pouring, cutting and designing the labels. My standards for quality and perfection border on obsessive-compulsive.

I have included a few pictures of the factory, some of my favorite soaps and one of myself, on a beach back in my home state of Maine, taken by a friend of mine professionally."