update… and, scooters!

wow, it’s been a while since i wrote here last. sorry bout that, y’all. but ever since i made up my mind to go into the dog-walking/pet-sitting biz, it’s kinda all i’ve been doing. there’s been no time for making of art or craft. i pretty much have been walking dogs 9am-4pm every weekday, sometimes more, and pet-sitting on the weekends. and when i’m not actively caring for people’s pets, i’m recuperating from being out in this scorching heat all day. it does really take a lot out of a person. it’s been hectic, and i’m just now getting to a point where i’m learning how to tailor my schedule to have some downtime.

but i know it will get better. i will figure out how to have more free time, and how to balance out the work with the creative time and the leisure time. it’s a whole new world for me now. and it will just take a little while for me to figure it all out.

all this being said, i did actually find the time this weekend to make a fresh batch of scooter clocks, inspired by the fact that amerivespa – the national scooter rally put on by the vespa club of america – is in town here in nola this weekend. i had originally been thinking, months ago, that i was going to be a vendor at the event, setting up a booth over the weekend. but as my life took its exciting twists and turns, it ended up not really being possible. but then my friend mallory of missmalaprop.com said she had been asked to be a vendor, and since she carries some of my stuff in her online shop, i thought, well maybe i can give her a few things to try to sell at the event.

so i woke up early on saturday morning, before the heat got too bad, and whipped up a bunch of new scooter stencil clocks in different colors. (see pic above.) i have to say, it felt really good to be making something again. i had actual *fun* doing it, which was nice.

as it turned out, however, the organizers of the vendor area never got back to mallory to confirm her participation, so she didn’t end up doing it. so now i have seven fresh scooter clocks in various colors that have no way to actually be seen by the scooter-fanatical attendees of amerivespa.

so i suppose i will spend some of my time this lazy sunday afternoon posting these to my etsy shop. but if you’re interested in any of them before i get around to doing so, just email me. if you are local or in town for amerivespa, i can deliver. or, as always, i can ship to anywhere. $30 cash and carry. $8 more for shipping/paypal fees. (i charge $40 on etsy to cover the etsy fees too.)

hopefully i’ll find the time and inspiration to make some more stuff soon. stay tuned!

sale!

i decided to test out etsy’s new(ish) coupon codes features yesterday. the coupon is good for 20% off everything in my store through friday. some people have rent parties at the end/beginning of the month – i’m having a rent sale! (though, actually, the rent is covered, so now i’m working on the entergy bill! january was a sssslllooowwwww month, y’all!)

use the code: 20OFFSALE til midday friday, at which point i need to pack everything up for the freret market the next day. yes, i decided to go ahead and do it. thankfully, it looks like it will be sunny, though kinda cold. i’ll be wearing my long johns, for sure. i will hopefully have lots of new stuff (if it doesn’t all get bought up in the sale!). lots of funky handmade gifties for your valentine, and maybe even a few things to decorate for carnival. see you there!

putting it out there…

one day last week i got the sudden itch to make myself yet another website. i’ve been thinking for a while it might be nice to have a simple page for myself that was not about my art and craft, but all the other things i do and have done. sort of a calling card for all my side-gigs and other so-called professional life. (as it were.)

much to my surprise, i had a free domain registration with my hosting service, dreamhost, who i love. i’ve been using dreamhost for years and years and have never ever had any problems with them (knock on wood). i highly recommend them if you’re ever on the hunt for a hosting company.

anyways, half a day later, http://www.margaretcoble.com was born. catchy, isn’t it? i thought about trying to come up with some snappy business name or nickname but since i do so many different things and none of them are full-fledged businesses, it just seemed easier to make it a vanity site of sorts. it is, of course, all about me.  😉

you’ll notice a few things are missing now from this artbymags.com site. i moved the non-art/craft menu content over to the other site. this blog will still cover just about anything i want to talk about, but i am going to try to talk more about art, craft, my various creative projects, and my process here. and i guess if i end up having anything to say about, oh, dog-walking or digitizing vinyl records, i’ll say it over there.

for now, it’s just basically a business card site for me, very basic and not meant to garner loads of traffic. just a sign-post on the information highway. and now you know.

pretty pretty princess…

take two using this stencil. it’s not the best photo, as it was really overcast when i took the photo. the colors aren’t showing up all that well. but i like it, for the most part. i wish i had used smaller letters on the meow’s but since it’s the last layer, there’s no way to fix it without starting over basically. so i’m leaving it. i’ll fix that in the next take. (fae and i have always referred to our cat sticker as a pretty pretty princess.)

really have to get working on a stencil of the other cat, stencil, before he gets jealous!

new work…

so i’ve been busy over here in the outdoor studio (otherwise known as my backyard), despite the rollercoaster weather. a few weeks back, i decided i wanted to start doing more stencil portraits, of pop culture icons, local (s)heroes, and yes, even pets. i know it’s crowded field – artists doing paintings of people’s pets – but i frankly don’t know anyone at least in new orleans who is doing stencil spray paint/urban folk-pop art style stuff. so i figured i’d give it a shot.

the above piece is my first attempt at doing a cat. my cat, specifically. sticker is his name, but my friend nita calls him mr. toes because he’s one of those hemingway cats (polydactyl) with extra toes all over the place. he has big mitten feet, and he’s a tubby, not very coordinated, princessy feline with a lot of character. i love him dearly. it was challenging trying to get a good one-color stencil that captures his unique look, but i think i pulled it off. after shooting about a hundred photos of him, i found one that worked well as a stencil, even though it didn’t include his funny feet.

about a year ago on one of my daily walks around the neighborhood, i salvaged four small weathered cabinet doors from a rotting set of cabinets on the curb out for the trash. i just really liked their look, and they’ve been sitting in my shed ever since, waiting for just the right project to come along. so when i did the first portrait in the series – frida kahlo (yes, i know she’s overplayed, but i’ve been a fan of hers since the early 80s and looking back through books of her work actually did help get me out of my funk, so i thought she deserved to be the first portrait i tried in this new style) – after testing it out on a scrap piece of plywood, i just jumped right in on one of these cabinet doors and started to play. i think it turned out pretty cool:

i love how using the cabinet doors makes it look like a readymade, already-framed piece of art. and gives it that folk-art feel. i had originally envisioned making mixed media pieces, putting various paper items as a background that would then be painted over such that parts of the print peeked out of the paint blasts… but i just spontaneously started making this one and decided i didn’t want to wait for all that mod podge to dry (usually takes overnight) so i just went with layering paint and design motifs. and this is what i ended up with.

i also did another rachel maddow piece, because, well, i’m obsessed. clearly. those of you who’ve been following me for a while know that i did a bunch of rachel maddow pieces a year or two ago that were really labor-intense 7-layered stencils. while it was a really good challenge and fun to do, once the stencils started deteriorating, i quickly realized i didn’t really want to keep recutting 7 different layers of facial features over and over again. i was able to make about 4 small canvases and a handful of prints on paper with them, but decided that was it for that particular incarnation of rachel maddow in stencil form. so this time, i chose a different picture to work from that was easy to turn into a one-layer stencil. whew.

so that’s 3 out of the 4 cabinet doors. not sure what i will do with the 4th, though i’m considering doing my other cat, the mighty hunter, stencil. but after playing around with the photos i took of him recently, i’m realizing it’s going to be much harder to do. as an all-black cat, it’s hard to create a one-layer stencil that isn’t just a silhouette – that actually gives him some dimension and features. but i’m going to keep playing with it. he’s already jealous of sticker because he has the extra-toes thing going on – i don’t want to slight him, you know? i love him just as much!

so yeah. that’s what i’ve been up to. i’ve also been making a bunch of love signs and posting up more stuff on my etsy site – valentine’s is coming up soon. but i’m hoping this new direction with the stencil portraits ends up being something i can market and turn into some steady income soon.

let me know what you think.