Yikes!

I have really been terrible about posting, haven’t I? I have made an early New Years resolution to get back to it, and keep everyone updated on all the news and fun going on here at the studio. I have been super busy and the result of all the hard work is my new coloring book for grown-ups. Meditations In Color. It was so much fun to design and I am so excited  about it.

To celebrate the holidays, I am offering a special sale this week JUST for readers of this blog. Enter code PSRBLOG to get $2.00 off each copy of the book ordered by this Saturday, December 5th. Shipping is free!

Coloring Book and page


Update: Designing a new line

Over the past couple months, I’ve been in deep with a new project- developing what has become a new line of products. At first, I was just experimenting with a new illustration style…very soon I was in over my head! I wanted to share some of my process for how this has happened.

Here’s the first drawing I did on that first Sunday, moving through its phases of development- a pen and ink owl.

When I finished I couldn’t believe 7 hours had gone by since I settled in on the deck with my pad and pens. I hadn’t gotten this blissfully lost in the process of making art in more years than I can count.

I could hardly wait to start on the next creation- an elephant.

Since I embarked on this journey, I have spent many days immersed in this process, resulting in about a dozen new designs! I will share more of them on the blog upcoming, and they are being introduced as high quality prints, suitable for framing.

Obviously, this line is a departure from the colorful style you see in my current gifts. These have a different feel with the intricate pen and ink detail, but I think the new designs, while fresh, retain some of what makes my stuff my own. I’m still drawn to the whimsical, to images from nature, animals, and celebrating the important things in life. Stay tuned to see how I these themes appear in this new line of prints. You can get your hands on them this holiday season!


Mary Engelbreit inspiring change

A few days ago, Mary Engelbreit, a fellow artist and designer and a native of St Louis, posted this illustration and reflection on her Facebook page:

“When situations turn horrible and I find it hard to move on, I usually draw my way through it. These drawing hardly ever see the light of day, since they’re really just a form of therapy for me. But these events unfolding now in my hometown and across the country , shining a light on the ugly racism that still runs rampant in our country, made me think that maybe this drawing could help in some small way. While it’s not a cheerful little picture you’d want to hang over the sofa, you might know of a school or an office or a police station that could use it. All proceeds from the sale of this print will go to the Michael Brown Jr. Memorial Fund.
mary engelbreit hands up don't shoot

http://www.maryengelbreit.com/store/In-The-USA-Fine-Print.html

Mary received a huge response to the image, raising $25,000 over the next few days for the memorial fund. While most of the comments were positive, she also came under criticism from some who viewed the image as inflammatory.
Mary kept her resolve, later posting this update:

mary commentary

The above was removed by Facebook, and she followed with another update:

“Thank you all—-well, most of you!— for your kind words and support over the last couple of days. They far outweighed the negativity I received. Obviously tempers run high during a terrible situation like this, and without any clear leadership in Ferguson or St. Louis releasing accurate information, it’s going to take a long time to settle down, I’m afraid. I hope my drawing was a help to some of you, anyway. We’ve made well over $10k so far that will be donated the the Michael Brown Jr. Memorial Fund, so thank you for that. I know it’s been difficult to get on our website due to the large numbers of people trying to get on, but the print will always be available, so there’s no need to rush!
Also, Facebook got in touch with us and said they would put the post back up (although I don’t know what’s taking them so long; we put it back up in about 5 minutes, without the picture) and they told us they would make sure it wasn’t removed again.
I’m going to return to my “regular programming” later today, which I know will bore the crap out of a lot of you, so thanks for being here for these few days, and thanks to most of you for being so kind.
Meditate, pray, hope and/or work (whatever works for you!) for peace and SANITY to return to our world. Be the change you’d like to see.
Love,
Mary, A Known Subversive. ( My absolute FAVORITE comment!)”

Thank you, Mary Engelbreit for showing compassion and conscience in the face of a difficult situation. It is the role of artists to do what we can to make this world a better place- through inspiration and encouragement, but also through responding with courageous truth-telling. Your actions point the way to a better world.

Mary Engelbreit was interviewed on her local NPR affiliate about the story. Listen to what she has to say here.

 

 


Brian Nunes new Film – Find your Way: a Busker’s Documentary

Filmmaker Brian Nunes was our most recent guest bell ringer at the Pike Place Market. The crafts community was thrilled to meet him, especially since Brian made a film called Find your Way: a Busker’s Documentary, which is about the buskers at Pike Place. These folks are a special part of the fabric of the market and they are a talented and much loved group of musicians.

Buskers are hard working folks who are often misunderstood and under appreciated and Brian’s wonderful film shows their true stories and opens your heart to their passion. The film follows the musicians over three years and features world renowned violinist Joshua Bell and 90’s rocker Chris Ballew of The Presidents. I promise you will see street musicians in a new way, and never pass them on the street again without appreciating them.

Brian says: “The film is a discussion of how we define success – both culturally and personally.  It examines the way we create value based on context and challenges audiences to think deeper about how they consume culture.

 My passion in life is being true to one’s personal creative path and encouraging others to do the same.  My personal work is a reflection of that passion and I will always bring a level of authenticity to any story I tell.”

Here’s the trailer:

You can attend a special screening of Find Your Way in Seattle. Providing enough tickets are pre-sold by September 4th, it will be shown at the Uptown as part of the Seattle International Film Festival – Thursday, September 11at 7:00pm – 9:00pm. Let’s help make this happen – hurry and get your tickets here.

Not in or near  Seattle? Check the website for details about the other screenings in Portland Santa Monica, New York, Breckinridge, and Bellingham


Back to School Gift List

Back to School lists are out, and now is the time to stock up for a great year. Pencils, binders, backpacks, new shoes, and don’t forget this unique alarm clock from Paper Scissors Rock. This tiny clock makes a great gift for your favorite teacher, ensuring that they will start their day right, bright and early.

Clock with an apple on the face and the words "to teach is to touch lives forever" with floating pencil second hand

My alarm clocks are not just for teachers. Look through the dozens of designs in my alarm clock gallery to find the perfect one for the student in your life- preschool through graduate school!

ballet alarm clock
The clocks feature reductions of my original paintings and collage work, on a tiny 2 X 2 clock face. They are cordless and lightweight- perfect for travel. But what makes them totally unique is the miniature image that floats around the face counting the seconds. For instance, on the ballet alarm clock above, its a miniature ballerina. Check out the whole collection for great back to school gift ideas.
Its also the perfect time pf year to get a classroom in shape and off to a great start with clever decorations that celebrate the work of teaching and learning, such as this teacher wall clock.

teacher wall clock

And don’t start off the year without these stylish glass gem magnets, perfect for displaying student work, reminders, and to-do lists.

teacher glass gem magnets

Here’s to another great year of learning, growing, and teaching!


Lily and the Rock

My new neighbor Bob has this great dog named Lily. He moved into the house at the end of the dead end road we live on, which has almost no yard. So I told him Lily could play in mine anytime.

The other day I looked out the window and saw Bob watching Lily play with something. I couldn’t tell what it was, but it looked like she was having a blast. I went outside to check it out and join in the fun.

It turns out that Lily is in love with a rock. Not any rock, just this one particular rock. She could care less about any other rock.

When Bob moved in he brought her rock with him and put it under the coffee table. Lily has spent months laying near the table with her head on her paws staring longingly at the rock. This is the first time in 6 months he brought it outside so she coud play with it.

 

I honestly have no idea how I made half of the second film film in slow motion. But I think it’s pretty cool.

 

 


Any time is coffee time! (gifts and recipes)

Coffee lovers enjoy their joe in all weather- cold brews and blended drinks this time of year. But there is more than just the same old iced coffee and frappucinos. Cold coffee lends itself to desserty shakes, cocktails, and all kinds of fresh combos. I’ve found some fun recipes to share with you at the end of  this post.
My lineup of gifts for coffee lovers are a hit here in the Pacific Northwest, where coffee is a way of life.

Check them out:

coffee time travel alarm clock

Wake up and smell the coffee with our portable battery-powered coffee time alarm clock. This clock was made from one of my original paintings. The little red cup is the second hand which seems to magically float around the clockface as it ticks.

coffee glass gem magnets

Coffee appears in seven forms in these super strong glass gem refrigerator magnets, made from miniature reproductions of my paintings. Use these to post recipes and memos on your fridge, like: “get more coffee”. They come in a reuseable metal gift tin.

coffee time wall clock

 

This colorful “Any time is coffee time” wall clock is made from prints of a bright mixed media piece I did-colored pencil, collage, and acrylic. It is dry-mounted on black foamboard and laminated, creating a tile that looks exactly like ceramic but is lightweight and break-resistant.

Coffee-lovers, try out these hot weather coffee recipes:

1. Nutella Coffee Frappe Take your hazelnut coffee to the next level with this yummy blended drink made with real Nutella.

2. Iced Brazilian Mocha-Cola The fictional drink on the Nickelodeon tv show Drake and Josh is actually all the rage in Brazil. It sounds weird but the combo of cola, coffee, and chocolate milk appeals to many.The taste is like a cross between a rootbeer float and coffee ice cream.

3. Vietnamese Iced Coffee with Sweetened Condensed Milk Simple and sweet– this is a traditional recipe that makes the list.

4. Cold brew coffee with Lime Simple and refreshing, sweetened cold brew with lime. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it!

5. Shoeless Joe This unique cold brew mocktail again brings in the cola- along with black cherry syrup and soda. Try adding vodka or rum to the mix.


New knobs and drawer pulls!


I’m so excited to introduce my new line of knobs and drawer pulls! They are a colorful way to customize any room or piece of furniture to reflect your style. My drawer pulls and knobs are exclusively available on Houzz.com at this time. (They are not even available on psrock.com.) And right now they are listed on Houzz.com with low introductory prices, so grab them now if you want this deal. 
DRAWER PULLS measure 1″ x 4″ with standard 3″ centers
KNOBS are 1.35″ diameter
knobs and drawer pulls

Carved watermelons make fresh art!

In my 30+ year career as a working artist, I have enjoyed working in a variety of different media. One of my favorite things is to try out making things with a new, interesting medium. I have done painted eggs, painted furniture, beading on various objects, and more. Now I mostly produce my painted or collaged designs on functional household gift items- clocks, alarm clocks, night lights, magnets. I am always inspired by discovering artists who work in creative media, and the internet is full of examples, such as this master watermelon sculptor I recently discovered, Takashi Itoh. It turns out that watermelon carving is a traditional Japanese art called Mukimono. 

From his FAQs:

Q: Can you eat carved watermelon?
A: Yes. They are natural and delicious.

carved watermelon

His intricate carvings are as refreshing as his medium.

wedding watermelon cake

It was fun to see some of my same themes and inspirations pop up.
Why hello, Mr. Van Gogh…

van gogh watermelonvan goghs ear

Dolphins and penguins, on watermelons and clocks:
dolphin and penguin watermelondolphin alarm clock


penguin wall clock

Love:
hearts watermelon

 

 

hearts alarm clock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We both do lots of flowers:
flowers watermelon carvedflower bouquet wall clock

A quick google image search revealed tons of other watermelon talent. Here, a dia de los muertos carved watermelon! (Next to my Day of the Dead wall clock.)

dia de los muertos watermelondia de los muertos clock

Mermaids!

mermaid watermelonmermaid wall clock

Turtles:
turtle watermelonturtle wall clock
W
hat are your favorite watermelon designs? What other new media for have you discovered that makes for awesome art?

 


Here comes the sun…4 facts and 3 gifts to help you enjoy it

sun alarm clock

Its summer and we’re finally starting to get more sunny days here in the Pacific Northwest. Time to get outside and enjoy some of the benefits of the sunshine…load up on that vitamin D for the year. If you love summer, check out the celestial gifts I make featuring my original paintings of the sun. (Moon gifts also available)

A few solar facts:

1. We need the sun! Our bodies need sun exposure to make vitamin D. Many people are deficient in this nutrient which builds our immunity, and protects our hearts, muscles, and mental and emotional wellness. Enjoying 20 minutes outside every day, rain or shine is good for maintaining healthy vitamin D levels.

sun wall clock

Here Comes the Sun wall clock on a light-weight break-resistant non-ceramic tile.

2. Don’t enjoy it till it hurts! Getting a bad sunburn raises your risk of skin cancer significantly. Enjoy sunny days in moderation according to your skin tone’s tolerance.

sunlight

3. Clouds, pollution, and water change the sun’s effects! You may think that a cloudy or hazy day is a safe day to be outside all day, but the sun can be powerful enough to give you a sunburn even when covered in clouds. Water makes the sun far more intense, so always cover up or use sun block at the beach.

sun night light

Sun night light keeps it burning through the night.

4. Every hour the sun beams enough power to meet the world’s energy needs for a year! Solar power in its primitive form began in ancient times with harnessing heat through magnifying lenses. Now solar technology is highly advanced and cheaper than ever. Check out how you can use the sun’s power in your home and save or even make money.