Wednesday, November 20, 2013

MATS Blog Tour

Welcome to my blog!  This is day one of the MATS Blog Tour!

My name is Jill and I love to make things.  I started this blog after buying Lilla Rogers book "I Just Like To Make Things".  The book led me to enroll in the Make Art That Sells class which led me to the MATS class discussion group which led to today!

I'm posting today with two other classmates Aisha Khan @ and Linda Tordoff @
Be sure to check out their blogs too.
This blog tour will take you around the world!  Over the next 3 weeks you will get to visit the blogs of some of my fellow classmates and see some beautiful work that was created during our 5 week class.

I thought that I would invite you into my studio today, tell you a bit about myself, show you what I've been working on since school ended, talk a bit about my grandma and send you home with a recipe. 

I wish I could offer you a drink while we tour...

I didn't want to miss a minute of my daughter when she was young so I left my job as a stylist for a wallpaper company when she was born.  In my opinion... there is nothing better than a 2 year old.  I wouldn't trade those days for anything.   She is now 8!  I'm just now starting to get back into surface pattern design trying to find my own style and my niche in the world.  Lilla's MATS class has really helped me focus on my goals, it's slow going but I think I'm making progress.  I love to paint, garden, and sometimes cook.  Oh, I'm happily married too!  My family lives in beautiful Rhode Island and I'm always inspired by the ocean, and the world around me.

Here is where I spend a lot of time.  It's an 8'x13' room that was maybe supposed to be a large closet?  It's affectionately referred to as "the closet".  It is not always so clean and tidy.  The floor and walls are usually covered with whatever I'm working on.  It's really frigid in here from now until spring so that heater near my chair gets a lot of use.  My left hand is usually resting on it while my mouse hand freezes.

Since MATS has ended I have started to rework my designs from the class.  The class was so fast paced that it's been nice to take a step back and rethink things.  This week I wanted to make my fabric design from week-1 look a little less rigid and more playful.  I love pizelle cookies and I like the snowflake shape that they have so I've added them to the background.

Lately, my grandmother has been working her way into some of my designs.  I used some of her brooches in the zipper pouch from my last post about week-5, and this design has her rolling pin, pastry cutter and now... the addition of pizelle which she used to make for us.

My grandmother was ALWAYS baking.  She lived with us until I was 5 and then after moving to her own apartment she would visit every Sunday with some kind of homemade treat.  She did not always use recipes and I must confess that I preferred when she did.  She often made "good for you cookies" that would usually consist of oats, molasses and whatever was in her cupboard that day, usually walnuts, raisins and/or dried apricots.  They were often very dry but if there happened to be chocolate chips in them, I would manage to eat them.  When I was a child, Christmas time at our house meant lots of cookies, not the "good for you" kind but the ones that followed a recipe.  This is one of Gram's tried and true recipes.

Thanks for stopping by today!  If you want to hear more about my MATS experience check out my previous blog posts.  Please be sure to check out the other blogs too.  My favorite part about MATS was every Sunday when I got to see what everyone had created.  Now, you get to have a little peek too!  Here is a schedule (subject to change)...

November 20

Martina Lenhardt-
Melissa Doran-
Sarah Gager -

November 27
stephanie corfee -

November 25
Son Atwal Sonia Atwal -

November 26
Sarah Ehlinger-
Jordan Vinograd Kim-

November 27
Jen Burbridge -
Carolina Coto -

November 28
Eva Marion Seyffarth -

November 29
Anna Whitford -

December 2

December 3
Melinda Hopkirk -

December 4
Antje Martens-Oberwelland -

 December 5
Renske de Kinkelder-

December 6

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Make Art That Sells - Week 5- Gift

I can't believe how fast the last 5 weeks have gone by!

If anyone is wondering if I would recommend taking Lilla's class I would definitely say YES!

Lilla describes the class as "Art Boot Camp" and it really is true.  You definitely need to be able to devote a lot of time.  I put in so many hours of work and almost every week I wished that I had more time.

Lilla has so much market knowledge, she knows artists and how we think and she is very positive!  Every bit of advice that she gives is so true and I've even printed out some of her quotable pieces to hang in my studio as little reminders to myself.

You get to see video interviews with very accomplished artists that Lilla represents and interviews with design directors of great companies and their insight is invaluable.  Throughout the class you feel like you're picking up a bunch of little gems that you'll hold onto forever.

You get to be a part of a great community of artists that are really supportive and encouraging.  The talent level of my group was amazing!  It's definitely inspiring and so much fun to see what everyone created each week.  You also learn so much from your fellow classmates as well.

You will definitely see an improvement in your work!

You can read my previous posts to get a sense of the emotional toll the class had on me.  At times, I got a bit discouraged to put it lightly.  I've learned that I'm not alone in feeling self doubt every time I put something that I've created out for the world to see.  It was amazing for me to hear that some very accomplished people feel the same way.   It's perfectly normal and basically I need to just get over it!

I will be reworking some of my designs from the class.  Week 4 was a disaster!  In hindsight... I should have just sat out week 4.  I killed my painting, brought it back to life and then killed it again!  I then did a really quick piece Sunday morning because I felt the need to submit something.  I thought that I would be giving up by not submitting but I really should have just called it... Time of death Sat., Nov. 2, 2013, 9:45!
I'm also going to rework my book cover from week 3  and my fabric from week 1.  I'm keeping week 2 as is... those plates are growing on me!   I'll blog about the revision process so if you're interested you can check back if you would like to.

This final week we were designing a zipper pouch for the gift market and our theme was "Hyper-Lush".  It's a really fun look with over the top icons, patterns and color.  This is nothing like anything I have done before and it was fun. Lilla had us find things we collect as the images for our piece. I used some of my grandmother's brooches in my design.  It was fun to do and I'm kind of happy with how it came out!  Really.  This one is a keeper.