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.

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.

 

Hummingbird Hospitality: 6 tips and 5 gifts

hummingbird art

Hummingbirds are such amazing creatures. I love watching them and have made several designs honoring these magical little guys including a wall clock, alarm clock, set of magnets, nightlight and magnetic bookmark.
So tiny, the smallest hummingbirds can weigh in at less than the weight of a penny, full-grown. Though small and delicate, they are also incomprehensibly fast and vigorous and can amazingly migrate hundreds of miles in windy conditions, all while subsisting on a diet of flower nectar and gnats.
Many people like to attract these brightly-feathered friends by hanging a backyard hummingbird feeder. I just put one out last week and am so thrilled to watch them flutter in to feed. I did some research afterwards and to my surprise, learned that hummingbirds rely on these feeders in areas or times of year when blossoms are scarce. So they are not only for our enjoyment, they keep them alive. Hummingbirds can live many years without our help, but I had no idea that they often rely on the charity of us bird-watching humans.
Sadly, feeders can also kill them. The wrong ratio of sugar to water, or a dirty feeder can be deadly to hummingbird.

Here are some tips I found on how to safely feed and care for hummingbirds in your backyard habitat:

1. Use the secret recipe for hummingbird nectar: Boil water to kill any fungus or bacteria that could be harmful to the birds. Measure 4 parts post-boil, and add 1 part sugar-just enough to keep them coming back. The secret is that this is the only recipe. (Too sweet can damage their liver!)

2. Hang feeders in a safe place: in the shade, spaced from window panes, not accessible to cats or other predators.

3. Keep it natural! Commercial hummingbird feed, or additives like red dye are unnecessary for hummingbirds and may not be healthy for them. Keep it simple with the sugar water recipe above, which is close to the nectar substance they get from flowers in the wild.

4. Keep it clean! Hummingbird feeders can host a fungus that is deadly to these winged beauties. Wash the feeder thoroughly in hot water every couple days, and if it ever looks funky, wash it out immediately.

5. Feed hummingbirds gourmet wild foods! If you want to go beyond the sugar water feeder, flower and seed mixes for hummingbirds can be purchased at a garden or feed store, and spoiled fruit set out in a bucket will attract fruit flies which make a very nutritious food for hummingbird babies. Who knew!

6. Never mess with a nest of baby hummingbirds. While the mothers may be gone for long periods, and back so quickly you don’t see her, the babies have the best chance of survival without human interference. Never attempt to remove a baby from a hummingbird nest at any time. They are extremely delicate (as small as honeybees) and can lose their legs if pulled from their perch.

Enjoy your visits from hummingbirds, but always leave them in their natural environment undisturbed. If you want to bring them in your home, choose one of my hummingbird gifts, created from my original paintings, appropriate for all indoor environments.

1. Battery-powered alarm clock  great for travel! This tiny 2″ alarm clock is made from a print of my painting of this nectar-seeking hummingbird in a flower patch. The yellow and purple flower counts off seconds, appearing to hover magically over the clock face. Such a moment, when observed in your yard is quickly fleeting, but here it is appropriately captured in time. Wake up to this beauty every morning.
hummingbird alarm clock

2. Glass gem magnets – in a reusable gift tin. Would you like to see hummingbirds get even tinier? These tiny magnets are super strong. They are perfect for sticking notes and pictures on your fridge and will not fall down like many magnets do. They are made from micro prints of my hummingbird paintings encased in real glass. A beautiful flock of guests to cheer up your kitchen.
hummingbird fridge magnets

 3. Nightlight – Light up the summer nights with the image of your brilliant garden friends. Our night lights plug into any outlet and bring colorful cheer to the darkness. The nightlight is made from a print of my original hummingbird paintings sandwiched between two pieces of durable acrylic, with an easy on-off switch. These make great decor for a kids’ room or guest room.
hummingbird night light

4. Wall clock- Keep time with one of our whimsical wall clocks. My wall clocks are made from colorful high-quality prints of my original artwork affixed to a durable lightweight backing, and look just like tile. Unlike ceramic, it is light enough to hang on a pushpin and will not shatter if dropped, making it easy to hang on just a pushpin and safe anywhere in your house. bedroom clock hummingbird

5. Amazing magnetic bookmark – Keep your place with this unique bookmark. My hummingbird image sandwiches the page of your book, holding steadfast even if your book is moved, using magnets hidden inside. These bookmarks make an affordable and functional gift for anyone, and can slip right into a birthday or holiday card.  Show your appreciation of reading and make a mark with this artistic memento!

hummingbird bookmark

Unique gifts for Dad $5-$35

It’s not too late to order for father’s day – we ship every order within 24 hours and are rushing our fathers day gifts out by priority mail this week. We’ve got gifts for dads (and other dudes!) at prices you can afford.

Under $35 – Wall Clocks

Our unique wall clocks look exactly like a tile. Even when you open the box, you’ll be sure they are ceramic, but they are so light you can hang them on a pushpin, and they will not crack or break like ceramic. Each clock is made from a print of one of my original paintings.
dadclock photo stripWe have hundreds of designs, traditional to whimsical – all unique. From sports, nature, spirituality, inspirational and more, it shouldn’t be hard to find the right clock for the dad in your life.

baseball wall clock

Our wall clocks have a lifetime warranty on the movement.

crab wall clock

Under $30 – Alarm clocks

Our alarm clocks’ lightweight, durable, 2-inch square design means you can take them most anywhere, so they are great for home or for travel.


The round clock face features original colorful art by artist Pam Corwin (that’s me!) The second hand is a small image that appears to magically float around the clock face (see the olive above and Mr. Van Gogh’s ear, etc.)

van goghs ear

We have over 70 different alarm clocks, just check out the gallery to see all of our fun themes. Pictured here: Happy hour and Van Gogh alarm clocks.

Under $15 – Glass gem magnets

soccer glass magnets

My handmade glass gem magnets are durable and super strong. Perfect for a proud papa to display pictures and art from kids or grandkids.

happy hour magnets
Magnets are tiny reproductions of my artwork under glass, and are handmade in our Olympia, Washington studio.

basketball magnets

These tiny powerful magnets come in more than 65 fun themes (Pictured here: soccer, basketball, happy hour, tattoo).

tattoo glass gem magnets
Sold in sets of 7 in a metal gift tin, and an affordable gift at only $12.50 a set!

Under $5 – Cool magnetic bookmarks 

turtle bookmarkMy bookmarks are prints of my watercolors reproduced on quality card stock. The magnets allow them to clip onto your page without slippage. You can slip one into your Father’s Day card as a little bonus gift,

Spring Sale- 30% off everything-2 days left!

winwhatyoulovesale

Spring Special
30% OFF Everything!
two more days only!
 
Get 30% OFF 
on any purchase over $12
We’ve added some great new designs including our brand new
Day of the Dead Clock.
dia de los muertos clock
   Use Discount code SPRING30
Offer Expires Sunday 4/6/14 11:59pm

New York Times Bestselling Author Garth Stein at Pike Place Market

On March 1st I was lucky enough to host Garth Stein the author of The Art of Racing in the Rain when he rang the bell to start our day at Pike Place Market, in Seattle.

If you haven’t read The Art of Racing in the Rain, you’re missing out. It’s a fabulous book, and was a New York Times bestseller for 156 weeks.  The story is told from a dog’s point of view. You‘ll fall in love with Enzo, who believes in the Mongolian legend that a dog who is prepared will be reincarnated in his next life as a human.

garth stein at pike place

Before he rang the bell, Garth told us all a story about his sister who once sold her art at the market.  On days when business was slow, she’d make origami cranes out of dollar bills and put them on her table on sale for $1.00 each. One day two women paused to look at them, shook their heads, declared them an overpriced rip-off and walked away. That got a huge laugh from the crowd.

 Garth Stein and artists gift shopping

Garth is a fascinating person. He was a race car driver himself and co-produced an Academy Award winning short film, The Lunch Date. And he is as wonderful a human being as you’d expect after reading his book. Kristin Schwartz of Silver Cherry jewelry greeted him with me, and after we showed him the underbelly of the market and told him a couple of legendary market stories Kristen showed him around the Market and took him to our famed mini-donut stand for a treat.

She then escorted him to meet the many market fans who had brought books for him to sign and wanted to gift him with their art.

garth stein art of racing the rain

Garth has a new book coming out. A Sudden Light, will be published on
September 30, 2014. And great news for kids: Garth’s children’s picture book, Enzo Races in the Rain, will be published in November of this year.

Garth is also one of the founders of Seattle7Writers, a collective of Pacific Northwest authors creating connections between writers, readers, librarians and booksellers to foster and support a passion for the written word. They are hosting a Book Club Brunch at Mount Baker Community Center on June 21, 2014.  Keynote speaker is Daniel James Brown (The Boys in the Boat).  See www.Seattle7Writers.org/events for information.

Insert Movie (on dropbox) here

Follow Garth on Facebook and Twitter 

To be sure you get all of Garth’s news sign up for his newsletter.

Violinist Andrew Joslyn, celebrity bellringer at Pike Place Market

Link

You may not know the amazing violinist Andrew Joslyn by name yet but you have surely seen him. It might have been playing with Mary Lambert on the Jay Leno Show, at Radio City Music Hall or on tour with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, or at the Grammys when they performed the amazing mass wedding that brought the crowd to their feet. It could have been touring with Judy Collins, Mark Lanegan (Queens of the Stone Age), Duff McKagan (Guns N Roses), or Tim Lopez (Plain White T’s).  Or if you were very, very lucky – when he rang the bell to open our day at Pike Place Market.

Andrew ‘s visit to the market was so much fun. He is a lovely, warm and wonderful person. He grew up on Bainbridge Island and had a fascinating upbringing. His parents are both Buddhist monks and he was encouraged to think creatively from a very young age. His sound is exciting and refreshing, playing his own arrangements of contemporary music ranging from rock, folk, world to hip-hop, and electronic on violin.

He played for the crowd at our request and we spent several hours walking the market as he visited artists, learning about their work and being welcomed and thanked with gifts from many of the crafts people.

andrew joslyn at pike place market AndrewandBeth

Before he left I invited Andrew to take his pick from anything at my table. He thought about the Buddha for his parents, but ended up choosing the Music clock for himself. (He even hummed the Bach Sonata I used on the border for me. I’d never heard it!)

Buddha laughing wall clock whimsical music notes wall clock

He made everyone laugh, spent time chatting with everyone he met, was humble and appreciative and clearly understood the life of an artist and the passion our community has for what we do. The entire market fell in love with him.  (Fun fact:  his brother is Chris Kattan, from Saturday Night Live)


Andrew is spending all of March touring with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Japan and China
But you can see him when he returns to Seattle in April. He’s playing at the Triple Door on April 8th with Susy Sun with the Passenger String Quartet and April 11th  with Victoria Contreras and the Andrew Joslyn Orchestra.

You can follow Andrew on Twitter @JoslynMusic and I hope you’ll visit his website to learn more about him, the Passenger String Quartet and hear more of his music.

www.andrewjoslynmusic.com
www.passengerstringquartet.com

And just because I love it so much, I have to end with this video of “Irish Celebration” where you can see and hear Andrew playing.