Body Art: Tattoos!

Hey guys!

I have always loved tattoos, ever since I was small I remember always wanting one (or two or several...). The first tattoos I remember seeing were my dad's. I thought that they looked so cool and I wanted one right then. The tattoos I have wanted and thankfully never got have ranged from kermit the frog to moons and stars.

So instead of getting something that was already done, I spent a long time working with a tattoo artist to help me create a personal, one of a kind tattoo. This baby is a work of art, he did a fabulous job putting it on this canvas of skin. Each bit has a special meaning to me and reminds me of what's important to me when I start to forget. (The hard part is that it's on my back! HAHAHAHA!) Anyways, I have the itch to add to it now. It's been several years since I've gotten this piece done. And since then I have a few more symbols to add to it.

Here is a peak, I have yet to get someone to take a picture of my whole back.

 Peak at the tattoo!

Peak at the tattoo!

The two big symbols that need to be added are my two newest baby girls. I've worked on a few symbols and have decided that one will be a little ham (we called her ham while she was baking in the oven) and the other a bumble bee (she is cute but spicy, she'll probably sting you!). I still haven't figured out size and placement, but I need to talk to an artist to figure out how much detail I can have squeezed in without the lines bleeding into one another. Anyway here are some of the sketches for it:

 

 Tattoo sketch ideas.

Tattoo sketch ideas.

So these are just sketches and I will work on something more final once I talk to a tattoo artist. On that note! Any recommendations for an artist in the southern california area? I'm willing to drive a bit. Anyway, later I want to have a full sleeve on my left arm...Oh but that's a while off I think.

Dying to get a new tattoo!
Love,

Liz

Crafts for Sale!

Hey Everyone!

Studio Liz is having a holiday sale on the ETSY shop! Be sure to check it out! If you are looking for something that is truly unique and one-of-a-kind you are sure to find it there. We have hand painted mugs, hand dyed pillows, drawings and paintings. If these particular items aren't exactly what you want, we can help you there too! We do custom orders on mugs, pillows, as well as drawings and paintings in different mediums! 

There is also a RUSH! My Order option to make sure your awesome present gets to where it needs to go in time for the holidays! And if you like we can gift wrap it too! Be sure to add the WRAP! It Up option for each item you want to gift. 

And of course there is the Studio Liz website shop, where all finished pieces are currently on SALE!

The code you will need to save a little bit on your holiday shopping in our ETSY store is: HOLIDAY2016

No code is needed for Studio Liz website store!

Remember to sign up for our newsletter or follow us on any of our social media platforms to stay up to date on the goings on of Studio Liz, special offers and coupons!

Moving Out West After 30 Years in the South

Hey Everyone!

Last year around this time we moved out to California, nothing like what you think of when you think of California. We live in the high desert of California, the Mojave desert. It's beautiful in a bleak sort of way, expansive, vast, and windy. There is a very different sort of wildlife there to be sure. Our cat was eaten by coyotes. Lots of Joshua trees, crazy rock formations and loads of poppies in March to May. 

I dunno, I have a hard time liking this place, but it definitely makes you think of things differently. You appreciate humidity and thunder storms when they make it over the mountains, you love the vivid splashes of color from flowers, and little things that surprise you. Like humming birds and the unbelievable amount of roses that are pretty much year round. 

One other thing it reminds you of is the importance of community and having a support network. We moved out there not really knowing anyone, pregnant with our third child, and not knowing much about this place. I ended up being really depressed and went through a lot before I got any sort of treatment. Having a kid (hormones), while staying home with two others, not being able to work because of the child care costs, and no real support network = major depressive issues. Oh and southern hospitality is for real. I'm not saying people in California are rude etc, but there is a HUGE difference in the way people treat strangers and people in general. You don't notice while you're in the south, but when you leave it's very obvious.

I'm happy to say that we have since made friends that have moved and stayed, found a rhythm and routine, and are treating the depression from both ends. Not just the symptoms but finding out why it's there and what makes it somewhat better. Anyway, I'm going to try keeping this updated to get better at it, and maybe these random posts will be helpful to different people. 

love,

Liz

Grill Table Project --- Part 2

Update time! 

Now we have the final staining done on the grill and the multi-layered stenciling. This is how we did stuff and how it looks now.
Enjoy!

So we took the beautifully stained grill table and did a light sanding to prep the surface area of the table we were going to  be painting on. Then gave that area a good rub down with paper towels to pick up any particulate stain. It doesn't take much and you don't want to over do it. Next we laid out this low adhesive contact paper, (it looks more like a clear film than anything) and drew out the first of seven steps, the Moon section. Once we had it drawn out we cut the section out with an exacto blade and peeled it off. (This is actually rather difficult if you don't cut all the way through the freaking sheets...So make sure you cut all the way through the first time!)

Afterwards we did the spray painting, we did two layers, once it has started to dry on the second coat but is still damp, you can peel up the clear sheets. If you wait until it is completely dry, you risk messing up the paint. 

Okay, we have to do this for each layer of the design, which would be fine, except it's crazy cold outside, so it takes a while for it to dry. The lowest we could get the steps down to was seven. Roughly, these are the seven steps in the design: the moon, the pig base, the pig highlights, the fishbowl helmet, the fire base, fire highlights, all the freaking stars. We're going to do a few on the top with the pig, and let the girls do some on other parts of the grill table. Evie really wants to be able to help out and sign it at the end before we seal it. Our rule is you have to help out to sign. She actually did a lot of the staining at the beginning. Crafty kid is only seven! 

Use the arrows on the slide show bit below to see all the different stages!

Slide show of our progress for this project so far. 

The final reveal will be posted as soon as it's all done, which has to be no later than the morning of the 19th of this month...so a few days tops. Come back for the rest guys!

Love,
Liz

Concerts, Graduations and Birthdays! Oh My!

Hey Guys!

Back to the crazy stuff going on with us over here before the big move! The rest of this week is packed with all kinds of good things: holiday concerts, graduation ceremonies and birthday parties!

First up is Evie's holiday concert where she will be singing with her class a bunch of Christmas carols. There will be pictures and videos on facebook for sure. Tomorrow is an all day affair for Jon's graduation. It turns out that when you get your PhD you have to have not one, but two ceremonies; one in the morning and another one in the evening. Again loads of photos will be up I'm sure. The third event is Sylvia's birthday party, she's going to be three this year and going to a jumpy place where she will consume copious amounts of sugar with her sister and friends. This ensures maximum jump power!

So some of these pictures I'll post on this blog later, but if you want a bunch of them as they happen, check out my personal facebook page. :D

Oh! And we get to have dinner with some friends we don't see very often! I'm so excited to hangout with Monica and Andrew!!! YAY! ^__^ 

Of course in between all of these wonderful times we will be unpacking boxes for the movers, purging stuff we don't need, getting ready for Christmas and working on the different projects like the grill table and a few Christmas presents. (More on those in later posts!)

Lots going on, pretty much all good, just a little crazy; sounds like a normal holiday to me!

lots of love,
Liz

PHOTO-grapher --- Benjamin Von Wong

I would like to highlight an artist who has a message behind his fabulous work; his name is Benjamin Von Wong. He is a great photographer with a STRONG message and unique vision. He makes it so his audience is captivated and intrigued by his stunning images. His photography has a theme of being SURREAL and FANTASTICAL and in a lot of ways tied to nature. He takes the seemingly impossible and makes into reality.

In this particular album he brings all of that to share a message, a single wish: to reduce the amount of plastic used in the world. There is a huge amount of waste in the oceans, especially plastics. So take a minute and see for yourselves something beautiful, magical, but upsetting when you realize what that picture is telling you.

Here are a couple of his pieces from the Mermaids Hate Plastic shoot:

All photos are from Benjamin's website www.vonwong.com

His website and portfolio

About Benjamin.

For those who want to make a CHANGE, check out his change.org page. Or do one better and stop buying plastic. :P

Grill Table Project --- Part One

A while back my husband and I got this great grill, the Kamado Joe, which is very much like the Big Green Egg. We used it for parties, daily cooking and smoking meats, the grill is wonderful. The only downside is that it doesn't really have a lot of storage or a place to set down anything at all. And when you are grilling having some sort of surface to set your stuff is pretty handy. Jon and I started to look around for a good one, but they were all either unoriginal, not well made or crazy expensive. So we decided that we should make a grill table to put the grill in or next to. 

Well we've run out of time to make one so we looked again, this time for an unfinished table and found this fantastic place that hand makes all of their tables. His name is James and the store is Cypress Grill Tables. We thought, "okay, we'll have a nice, sturdy, plain stained (do it ourselves) grill table." Weeeellll, that isn't really our style, like the Keezer we made, it needs to have a little personality, Art for our daily appliances. :D (Just in case: a Keezer is a freezer that has been turned into a refrigerated tap system. Yea, we brew beer too! ^__^) 

So we have a beautiful hand made, now black cherry stained grill table, a bad ass Kamado Joe grill, and a design for our grill table.

 This image is from the Cypress Grill Tables website. We stained ours before I took a picture of the original piece.

This image is from the Cypress Grill Tables website. We stained ours before I took a picture of the original piece.

 Stock image of the Grill from the Kamado Joe website.

Stock image of the Grill from the Kamado Joe website.

 This is mine! We're putting a light blue pig with a fish bowl helmet, jumping over a white crescent moon, with flames coming out of it's butt in a starry sky. I obviously have to make the bigger version of this to put on the grill so we can paint it on. But you get the idea. 

This is mine! We're putting a light blue pig with a fish bowl helmet, jumping over a white crescent moon, with flames coming out of it's butt in a starry sky. I obviously have to make the bigger version of this to put on the grill so we can paint it on. But you get the idea. 

I will put up tonight's progress later this week. The stain should be finished, the drawing will go on, and we will do the first coats of paint. Stay tuned!

Love,
Liz

P.S. The Craigslist link if you are interested is here.

Artist Spotlight ---Ikeda Manabu

Ideally I would like to do spotlights on local artists, new and upcoming artists, and artists who are doing something pretty incredible. I think this guy is a good place to start. Ikeda Manabu is one of my new favorite artists. 

 'Rebirth' by Ikeda Manabu This thing is 13 x 10 feet!

'Rebirth' by Ikeda Manabu
This thing is 13 x 10 feet!

This dudes work is done on such a large scale and isn't fully appreciated until you get closer to the work. The sheer amount of detail in every inch of his work is phenomenal. There is one theme that shows up in a lot of his work which really resonates with me: mankind and nature. The relationship there has always been incredibly interconnected despite the world view now that we're quite separate. Manabu's overall image is one of nature, life, and the incredible power there, yet inside the big picture, the touch of humanity and nature struggling together to live is there. 

I've attached a few links that have images of his work, his blog, interviews, and a few video clips. Be sure to check them out, some may require the website to be translated. The stuff this guy comes up with is crazy in a good way and very reminiscent of Hayao Miyazaki. Who is also very reverent of nature and our relationship with it. 

Check it out:

https://www.artsy.net/artist/ikeda-manabu

http://ikedamag.exblog.jp/

http://thecreatorsproject.vice.com/blog/meet-the-artist-drawing-wall-sized-illustrations-of-cities-and-natural-disasters

http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2016/11/rebirth-manabu-ikeda/

http://www.booooooom.com/2016/12/01/artist-manabu-ikeda-completes-monumental-pen-and-ink-drawing-started-back-in-2013/

Watercolor Tutorial Prize!

Hey guys!

As you know for the rest of the month I will be posting watercolor tutorials and for those that participate by submitting their version of the tutorial will win a prize! So this month the prize is an Aquafine Mini Watercolor Travel Set and A Pad of Blank Pro Art Watercolor Postcards. This is the perfect set for anyone getting started or the artist on the go. 

The Prizes:

 Aquafine Watercolors and ProArt Watercolor Paper

Aquafine Watercolors and ProArt Watercolor Paper

 Inside are the following colors: Lemon Yellow, Cadmium Yellow, Vermilion Hue, Alizarin Crimson, Prussian Blue, Ultramarine, Leaf Green, Viridian Hue, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna  It also includes a brush and palette!

Inside are the following colors: Lemon Yellow, Cadmium Yellow, Vermilion Hue, Alizarin Crimson, Prussian Blue, Ultramarine, Leaf Green, Viridian Hue, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna

It also includes a brush and palette!

How it Works:

So in order to win all you have to do is do one (or all) of the tutorials and submit your final product to studioliz221@gmail.com. At the end of the month I will choose a winner and mail your prize to you! It's that easy! I hope you guys have fun creating things with me! I can't wait to see what you guys make! And send me suggestions for other projects you would like to see!

Love,

Liz

DIY Watercolor Mugs!

Hey Everyone! 

I have a new and fun tutorial for you guys! I've been seeing a lot of nail polish watercolor mugs online lately and thought, "WOW! These are gorgeous!" However they aren't exactly food safe or dishwasher safe. GROSS! So I decided to show you all how to make some that are food and dishwasher safe and just as gorgeous! (Not to mention a little more durable!)

 Obligatory final product first.

Obligatory final product first.

So first off here is what you will need for your project:

  • Ceramic Mug(s)
  • Gloss Acrylics (I used several brands)
  • Water
  • A container you don't care about
  • Paint brushes
  • Something to set your mugs on to dry
  • Paper towels/cotton balls
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • A palette or something to put your paint on
  • Oven

Instructions with photos:

  1. Take your materials and set them out. Put everything so that you can easily work and not get paint on the other mugs or anything else that you don't want paint on. 
 In this picture I didn't have my palette out yet. And some of the other paints are just off to the side.

In this picture I didn't have my palette out yet. And some of the other paints are just off to the side.

    2. Peel off the stickers from the sides, bottom, etc. of your mugs.

 My mugs ended up having multiple stickers on top of each other. Meh.

My mugs ended up having multiple stickers on top of each other. Meh.

       3. Take your cotton balls or paper towels and pour some rubbing alcohol onto them. Then                    use that to clean off any residual stickiness from the stickers. Using a clean cotton ball                        or paper towel clean the rest of the mug off before painting.

 Sometimes it takes a minute to get all of the sticky stuff off.

Sometimes it takes a minute to get all of the sticky stuff off.

       4. Wet your brush and then dip into whatever colors you want. Try mixing colors, different                  color combinations and different techniques. I took mine and let the paint drip in                              different ways, swirls, splatters, paintings and then added drips. You can do pretty much                    anything, I even tried using some q-tips and sponges.

 As you can see I made a mess.

As you can see I made a mess.

      5. After you've finished your mugs, set them aside so they can dry. You can wait until they                     are just tacky (about an hour or so) or you can let them sit for a full 24 hours. I have cats                   that would object to anything of importance being on the counter, so I only waited                           about 2 hours.

 Some of my mugs drying. :)

Some of my mugs drying. :)

      6. When your mugs are dry you can place them on a baking tray inside a COOL oven.                         Once they have been placed in the oven, turn it on to 350 degrees for 30 minutes. After                     30 minutes, turn off the oven and let them cool INSIDE the oven. (You don't want to                       touch them, trust me.)

 Seriously put them in a COOL oven.

Seriously put them in a COOL oven.

     7. Finally, after they have cooled you will have some beautiful and durable mugs.

 All done!

All done!

Studio Liz is Going to Lilburn Daze Art Festival!

Hey everyone!

I'm super excited (kind of spazzing) about going to the Lilburn Daze Art Festival again this year! I will be doing some different stuff this time around, so be sure to come and check out our booth! Something else to look forward to are some giveaways that will be happening there, so make sure you stop by and enter to win! 

I was looking on the Lilburn Daze website and I found this picture someone took of our booth last year! How cool! A really nice surprise to be on their site!

 My awesome aunt Patty helping me out at the Studio Liz booth!

My awesome aunt Patty helping me out at the Studio Liz booth!

Hopefully this year it won't rain, that was a bit of a bummer, but we were able to keep all of our painters dry with some preparedness and ingenuity! So guys there is no way for you to know what exciting changes we've made to the festival plan unless you come out! 

Before I head out I want to make sure you guys know about some new tutorials that I will be posting! Now you can follow along with me at home and make all kinds of wonderful things! The best part is that some of the tutorials are contests with fabulous prizes! Make sure you look for and try the online painting tutorials!

still spazzing out,

Liz

New Website Design Launch

Hey Guys!

I finally got the bulk of the new website design up and running! YAY! FINALLY! I still have to add some images and stuff, but that shouldn't be too hard. :D I also plan on putting in the new listings for commissions and changing what's available for scheduling. I hope you guys like the way everything is coming along. Oh and the best part is the new logo I am designing, the one I have up right now is temporary. (It is pretty though!) 

Some other exciting things to look forward to are tutorials through the blog and eventually youtube. (Never thought I would have my own channel!) You guys can create things right along with me! Be sure to check it out! I will also be doing product reviews, giveaways and more!

And depending on how long we will be here in Georgia I will put on another art show or two, and a festival for sure! The festival I am aiming for will be in early October, I will be sure to post details about that on the events page as well as the blog and other social media. 

Cheers guys!

Liz

Change is in the Air

Hey Guys!

SO I have had a lot going on lately. And during the hurricane that is my life I've been thinking about a lot of stuff. One of the things I'm thinking about changing is what I do exactly as a business. I am definitely into putting on shows and festivals, doing commissions, photography work, and helping other artists. 

The teaching aspect of the job is going to be on hiatus for a bit. (Maybe longer...) There are a lot of things going on right now that don't allow the time. I've also been happy to focus more on my own work. The mad dash to make art before the Passion Fruit Show was incredible and very enjoyable. I want to do more of that in general. Making the happy times with markers and paint.

So, no classes will be on the calendar and no drop in classes for the time being.  HOWEVER, private parties are still a thing that's happening. So if you have an event in mind, let me know. The drop in classes will resume once some reliably warmer weather rolls in...aiming at March for right now. :)

More to come!

Love,

Liz

Show Success! What's that? Another Show? YES!

Hey Guys!

We had an incredibly successful show! We had loads of people come in to support all of us! It was absolutely crazy! I don't think I have EVER gotten so much work done; creatively and logistically. I met a bunch of new artists and friends too! I am still overwhelmed with it all! I am so happy! Oh my god guys! GAH!

So, we had live music provided by the talented Mark Grundhoefer, a multifaceted poet A. R. Cofsky, and several local artists (lovely friends) performing and displaying their work! I am putting up pictures and information about them and how you can get in touch if you are a fan. :D Also a shout out to Kavarna Coffee for displaying our work for a whole month! Thank you for providing a wonderful venue and awesomesauce staff! 

We also had some prizes that were given out! YAY! FUN! Some pottery from Tania Julian Ceramics and Gift Certificates from Studio Liz! And let's not forget all the yummy food and drinks!

Since this show was a great success, there is another one in the works. Updates to come! Thinking February/March. Oh! Lastly I would like to thank Daniel Smith and Theresa Dodds for their supporting Studio Liz! Your help and encouragement really mean the world to me. I'm incredibly grateful. (Look forward to something lovely in the mail!)

Don't forget to check out the Finished products page! There are loads of new drawings and paintings (framed) up for sale! 

Well that's all for now folks! Stay creative!
Love,

Liz

P.S. Hunter's website: https://www.etsy.com/shop/HsqrdCreative

Also check the links within the page!

The others I will post when I get specific addresses. 

Fiverr Launch and Kavarna

Hey everyone! 

I just set up a few gigs on Fiverr! That means everything starts out at, that's right! $5! There are custom drawings and paintings listed. You tell me what you want, answer a few questions about specifics and then I get to work. For $5 you get the basic gig, other things you can add to it of course. I think it's pretty cool. Be sure to check it out!

Other news is that we now have an indoor location for classes! Every Wednesday from 6:30 to 7:30 pm we will be painting at Kavarna! Please check either the Facebook page or the sites event page for details. There will be food, drinks, and treats available at the counter! There will be a discount available for those who buy something from Kavarna. ;)