Thursday, February 06, 2014

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

(second to) Last Post on Blogger... Housekeeping for RSS subscribers



Hi there! I am SUPER excited to unveil my new blog + site (and NAME!! New name to go with everything else NEW) to you. I'll post the links right here when it's up.

I am in the home-stretch now and I wanted to give a quick heads-up to those awesome possums that email-subscribe to my RSS feed. Here's the news on that: I will have a new RSS-subscribe (and an altogether new RSS feed) when my moved blog goes live.

when that happens, I'll post all of that information here. Since you are still subscribed to this blog URL, you should get it in your email like usual... and I hope that you will re-subscribe to my NEW URL, when I am live at the new address. :)

More soon!!

Kathy

Friday, November 22, 2013

Change is good. (And imminent.)


This post has been a long time coming.
A little back story first... I've been really busy over the past couple months. I've been working on, well, the machine, so to speak. The inner workings of WellerWishes (and also on a nothing-short-of-meteoric, pinching-myself collaboration with a d-r-e-a-m partner that I c-a-n-n-o-t W-A-I-T to share the news with you, when I have clearance to.)

If you visit here with any frequency, you know that I took two classes in October.
(Whaaaat? Yup.)

The first one was Monica Lee's Smart Creative Style. The second one was Lilla Rogers' Make Art That Sells. Both of these— or I should say each of these—B-L-E-W my mind, in completely different ways. But together, okay...  they were like THE BEST peanut butter cup. EVER. Do you know the old commercial:  "Heeeyyy, you got YOUR chocolate in MY peanut butter!" "Heeeeyy, you got YOUR peanut butter in MY chocolate!" YUP! It was like I was poured into a beaker and put on the bunsen burner in the most extraordinary + remarkable art + branding laboratory EVER. But I was the experiment AND the scientist.

The classes totally—and I mean TOTALLY—complimented each other, in just about every way. Needless to say, I also had to maintain the status quo of daily activity,  so it wasn't exactly smooth sailing. Opposing parts of my brain were fighting for alpha position some weeks, and truth be told I'm still playing catch up a little bit.

But this is where it got really interesting: one class would pose some peripheral questions that were complimentary to your learning in the class, but were not really covered in the class, while the other class was magically putting me to work on them at the same time. Then, the second class posed some peripheral questions complimentary to the curriculum but also not primarily covered in class, and—Ta-Da! — those questions were part of the curriculum of the first class.

For instance, whereas MATS touches upon branding and identity as a very important part of your package, but does not cover the details of that in the class,  in SCS I was totally deeper than I have EVER been working on identity, brand and style and core values and brand traits and business plan, and... I could go on and on. But isn't this post getting long already? And guess what? I'm leading up to something else here to share with you.

(This is where it would not be out of scope for me to ask you to hang onto your hat.)

During SCS class, it became quite crystal clear that my brand identity, was something I was FINALLY ready to revise. To who I am NOW, TODAY. (And believe me when I say, this has been a long time coming.) Today, I am Kathy 3.0 and it is time for me to lead that parade. Like, with a tutu and a tiara. (Or, maybe more realistically, in black boots, knee socks, and a hat with a pom pom.)

Hey... I am still the same Kathy! I am still the same me.  I am just a little MORE... More evolved, more focused, more distilled. MORE ME. (YOU'LL SEE!) And it feels so good to be in this place.

So...

The name WellerWishes, as the UMBRELLA name for ALL of my work, will be changed to a name/title that is more real and true to who I am, on the whole. But the happy news for the WellerWishes name is that it will remain my brand name for my greeting card work that I do. This is truly how the name it started out so many years ago. But at that time, I produced my own cards and sold them wholesale to stores. At the time, I was only WISHING to work with the likes of Recycled Paper Greetings and RSVP. (So, do you see how well the name worked out? :D Pretty good, I'd say!)


Along with this change is another brave, bold, BIG step. Something I have wanted to do for a VERY LONG time, but was, bak-bak, kind of chicken. Well, no more... (drum roll...)

I'm moving to Word Press! For my web site and my blog. So after eight (EIGHT! eighteighteight!) years of blogging here on Blogger, I'm migrating to WordPress.

(Dear Blogger: I LOVE you, THANK you. YOU ROCK. Now this little bird needs to spread her wings and fly!)


This is the last OR the second-to-last post I'll be doing here on the Blogger platform. When I launch Kathy 3.0 (no, I PROMISE that is not my new name) my current links will take you there (except for this particular blogger link, of course - wellerwishes.blogspot.com, because it is native to Blogger).

You'll be able to find my site/blog/shop at the usual places:

http://www.kathyweller.com
http://www.wellerwishes.com
http://www.wellerwishesworld.com
http://www.wellerwishesblog.com will redirect to my blog in it's new location.

Social media: For now and at least until the last speck of dust settles on my rebrand, I'll still be wellerwishes on ALL social media for the time being. (One earthquake at a time.)

This is happening... and I'll have updates (and, if I can still post here after the migration, I'll post a last good-bye and links here.)

THANK YOU for reading my blog whether you're new here or have been reading since the beginning. I honestly don't know what I did before blogging. It's changed my life for the better and started some real amazingness rolling in my life—creativity, experience, experiments, trying new things, above all, sharing, writing and community. It's kind of hard to articulate it all. But let's just leave it at this:  Let's Go, 3.0!

XO
kathy




Monday, October 28, 2013

Make Art That Sells Week 3: Children's Illustration


So I'm gonna be honest here. Taking (1) two intense classes, (2) working my day job and (3) prepping a DREAM PROJECT for launch, all at the same time, is a bit of a challenge. (More on (3) down the road!) That said, I could not be more excited and thrilled by the level and the QUALITY of my busy-ness at the moment. This is high-level, high-quality busy-ness!



This week, in Make Art That Sells class, we tackled Children's Book illustration. I had a tremendously busy week between (2) and (3) and my beloved  (1) 's did take a hit. I'm glad that one of my classes has a little more flexibility every week in regards to assignment due dates, and I will be concentrating on some major catch-up tomorrow and the rest this week on that score. (By the way, SCS is an *amazingly awesome* class for those interested in personal branding and I highly recommend it!)

However each week our MATS assignment has a hard deadline. Sunday, 5 pm. You either get the work in on time, or you don't! So I worked really hard to get my piece in on time. But I did get it in on time!! :D Wahoo!



For our assignment, we illustrated either a cover or an inside spread of the Russian folk tale The Language of the Birds. I did some initial sketching on the Monday that the assignment was posted, but I did not have the ability to pick it back up again until (gasp) Saturday.... Eek?




Luckily my sketching on Monday was high quality work, and the later sketches I created didn't quite capture the same magic and gesture as my first ones from Monday. This is something not uncommon to me when I'm working on an illustration project. It's also part of why I found it so unusual and oddly exciting to sketch bromeliads to exhaustion before I started my final assignment for Week Two (to see some of those sketches, see my Facebook album here ). Anyway, with the Bromeliads, I felt like the more I drew them, the more interesting the results were getting. So that was a good thing! But I didn't have the same experience this week, and I know when to say "when"... so, I knew "when" it was time to get busy!


I powered through my piece on Saturday and Sunday. I finally got my composition set on Saturday. I'd sort of been piecing it together in my head over the week, truth be told! I completed about half the line work by the end of Saturday night. I picked up on Sunday with half the line work and ALL of the painting to do (gasp). This made the possibility for any "new technique experimentation" a non-issue.




But to be honest, I was cool with that! Because (1): I strive to continually mini-experiment in my regular work anyway, so even though I love to experiment, and this class is a big "permission to experiment" for me, it was really, really okay for me to stick with my signature techniques because I in no way feel they are stale and I always seem to find new ways to shake them up! And (2): Since I had an incredibly enjoyable (and challenging!) experience doing my Bromeliad plates for Home Decor week, last week, and I definitely pushed myself out of my comfort zone in a big way, I really maxed out on experimentation last week! So I feel like as long as I'm pushing my comfort zone in some way, it's okay to mix up the HOW, week by week. And this particular week, my comfort zone was pushed by the race against the clock!



Ta-da! So that's the story of MATS Week 3. If you are so inclined, please share your favorite little detail in the comments!!







Monday, October 14, 2013

Make Art That Sells Part A Week One



This month, I am taking Lilla Rogers' Make Art That Sells e-course. When I heard the class was being offered for the second time, I had a gut feeling that I just HAD to take this course, no matter WHAT, and regardless of the business angle. From a personal standpoint of being a commercial artist who needs to continuously grow and step outside my comfort zone, I knew it was WHAT I needed. It was just a matter of WHEN.

The first time the class was offered back in June, I was very deep in personal stuff: our six-month-long home renovation was coming to a close and our move was imminent, PLUS, I was recovering from a surgery. NOT the best timing. But then, in August, it was announced that the class would be running again in October. Zing! I knew that THIS time, I simply HAD to find a way to make it happen. If I did not seize the opportunity NOW, I figured it would be at least an entire year until I could take it again, and that's before factoring in WHEN it would even be offered again. I thought, "a LOT can happen in a year. A year is a LONG time to wait... and I CAN'T wait. My future growth is waiting for me!" Well, the stars seem to have agreed with me on that because I actually won the pre-class giveaway, awarded to one student who social media'ed about the class. Hey, I won my course fee back! This was definitely a gut-check gone right. The universe was giving me a big, giant pat on the back for taking the leap.

Here is some of the work I've been doing from the first week.

You know what? I never drew Pyrex before this. It was really fun. I was kinda surprised I'd never drawn Pyrex before. I am definitely getting the sense that I'm going to have surprises like this during every single week of the MATS class. :D And I am so, so excited about it. And ready for it.



Ta-Da!




Really want to show you the details...



...of course...




I'd love to hear what you think.



I hope to post more about the MATS class! Right now I'm taking it one day at a time though. :D And I am glad to be doing that. I'm putting learning and creative experimentation first right now, and it feels so good.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Halloween Heirlooms





Hell-ooo and TGIF! So... Big news today! I currently have eight original, super-special treasures from the vault, so to speak. (That story is here) They are now finally seeing the light of day, and getting all sparkly, just like Edward. These are m
antle candy of the highest order. One-of-a-kind mixed-media works of art, varnished & constructed on sturdy wood panel. Guess what? NO FRAMING NEEDED. Just prop it or place it and you're set.

Five of them are 12"x12" , $70 each+$10 shipping worldwide (or FREE shipping on this item with another purchase- yay!). Three of them are 5"x5", $35 each+$5 ship US or $8 worldwide (same deal on the shipping-double yay!). And, if you buy more than one of these pieces, free shipping on your entire order. Can I get a triple-yay! (That makes things a lot simpler, eh?)

12x12: Yikes  |  Spooky  |  Trick or Treat |  Scary  |  Halloween Rag Doll

5x5: Spooky  |  Yikes Jr.  |  Trick or Treat Jr. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Crafty Christmas ornaments using Studio M DrinkBlots by Magnet Works Ltd.



Hi guys! Guess what? I have a video for you today! My studio updates videos from a couple weeks back inspired this one... namely, the segment about my Winter Whimsy DrinkBlots with Studio M / Magnet Works Ltd.  Of course I had to immediately get crafty with the coasters. Take a look at the cool ornaments I made with them! So much fun.
Here they are close up...









The one above I crafted from one of the DrinkBlots in Katie Daisy's set. Isn't it cool?




Which is your favorite?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

SOWA Open Market: Elizabeth Benotti Pottery

At Sunday's SOWA Market, one of the first booths I was drawn to was that of potter Elizabeth Benotti. I got to the show fairly early, and her booth seemed to have a steady flow of traffic, every time I looked...






I'm lucky I finally took my chance and edged my way into the booth and could take in all the eye candy up close. What a cool drink of water, her booth was!

Any time I see line art work on pottery, I am so there. I just LOVE line on pottery.... and the palette!






 Raw wood... little cacti... Clouds with rain drops. (Hmmm I'm humming a tune now...) GREAT display with  beautiful work. (This girl has got it going ON!)





Ooh, a real Lady tea cup! I love a fanciful, hand-crafted tea cup like this...





Elizabeth's style is so fresh. I'm feeling a minimalist Japanese aesthetic (in fact these really remind me of my stepmom) mixed with some Native American elements, a little seafaring style, a dash of boho hippie in there.... So organic in form and in the line and the glazing. I love the rustic quality, the functionality and the hand of it.. this is what makes a handmade piece so special- the hand! :D







I talked a bit with Elizabeth and I learned that she is originally from New England. She went to school at the University of Colorado in Boulder. (I found out later from her Etsy bio that she went on to study at the Mendocino Art Center in California, too).  Once she mentioned Colorado, it really clicked for me. Her work feels infused by Colorado. But now that I have learned that she also spent time in California, it's clicked even more. I can really see it and feel it in her work five times over!  I never lived in Colorado, but I did live in (its state neighbor) Utah for a time. And once you spend some 24/7 time in that part of the country, you really do experience it inside out, and it is a special sort of mood and feeling to life out there. I was also born in California and I lived in the Hollywood Hills (like, in the hills - canyons, the Hollywood sign, succulent shrubs, long dusty hikes, coyotes, lightning storms) for the first 9 years of my life so I really do understand that 'West Coast' feeling ... I have it a little bit deep inside of me and I can really just feel it throughout her work. No wonder I was so drawn to her stuff (you know, aside from the fact that it's just plain awesome.)




 (Aren't we lucky she moved back?)




You can find Elizabeth and her pottery here:

Etsy
https://www.etsy.com/shop/ebenotti

Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/ElizabethBenottiCeramics

Web site
http://www.elizabethbenotti.com/Elizabeth_Benotti_Ceramics/Home.html

Pinterest
http://www.pinterest.com/ebenotti/

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

SOWA Open Market: BENDYWHO Jewelry



I fell into a fluffy cloud of flowery joy immediately when I first came upon Wendy Baker's booth at SOWA Open Market. Wendy's jewelry business goes by the name BENDYWHO. I am not sure how the name came about -- I'm sure it's a fantastic story... perhaps involving Dr. Seuss... but I digress.... The JEWELRY!! Now this is RIGHT up my alley. I felt like there was a magnetic force field that would not let up until I purchased something fabulous...





...and, it is ALL fabulous!




In fact, and this may sound trite, but honestly, these photos do not do this jewelry, or the displays, justice...




Wendy sometimes uses junk to make treasures! Here is an old brass belt buckle. Or, it might be a cabinet pull. Regardless, she rescued it and created this stunning focal point necklace. 




Look at all of these fancy brooches! I don't think these photos do them justice, either. The details and the paint color gradations are really nice on these. And really, they are weathered 'just so'!



Wendy has a great selection of accessories to choose from. It was fun to really mull it over and decide on the perfect accessory for me.... Or rather, wait for the perfect accessory to scream at me, once I laid eyes on it. (And eventually, it did.)





Look at these cuffs! these are cool and quite on trend right now, yet they fit right in with Wendy's visual story. It's perfect synergy when a trend merges so well with your brand that is truly a seamless marriage... Like these cuffs!






Some gorgeous brooches here. I like how Wendy takes her philosophy of trash-to-treasure  upcycling and applies it to her entire display. these brooches are packaged on old paint chip samples from the hardware store. Kinda perfect!







These were a delight to see. Here, Wendy has these neat multi-charm necklaces on ball chains. These were a less expensive price point than her other items at $18 a pop. I love it when an artist really considers ALL of their potential customers, and works to find ways to cover all of the price points that they can with their offerings, WITHOUT short-changing the integrity of their work OR their artistry and effort. These necklaces do this successfully. I really loved these necklaces.






Here is one of Wendy's major masterpieces. A chunky and spectacular crown for your neck!






How adorable are these items displayed? Don't you want to eat up the whole table? I do...

OOH! I see my soul-mates!



..and they now live on my ears!  Like 'em?

Want to check out some BENDYWHO jewels for yourself? Follow her FACEBOOK Page and her Etsy shop.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

What I saw at SOWA: Antique Market

Went to SOWA Market today with my fabulous artist friends Gina Perry and Vita Mechachonis. I've been to SOWA so many times yet I have actually NEVER visited EVERY part of the market in one day (Open Art Market, Antique Market, Farmers' Market and Food Trucks@SOWA). Well today I (WE!) finally did. I'll sprinkle posts about a few of the markets and artists, over my next few blog posts. First up is the Antique Market.  :D




Door knobs. I've lived in old houses for most of my life, and vintage door knobs have just creeped into the big pile of disorganized creative inspirations that live in my brain.... not unlike this big pile of disorganized door knobs.



Ah I love old novelty travel souvenir postcards! (Wyoming=Wyomin'. Awesome.)
These old western-flavored ones are just perfect and remind me of ye old Gold Rush bubble gum from my childhood.




Always love these old printed frosted glass drinking glasses. How neat are these with the hand line art, lettering, map art, compass, and anchors.. hey, these are right on trend!



Hello, creepy bartender man!




Mannequin figure with lots of costume jewelry. (Workin' the look! She owns it!)




OH GLOBES! How I love globes. Globes, globes, globes. Wish there were more. Shelves and shelves FULL of globes. (...on second thought, it's probably a good thing there weren't.)




Pile of random stuff... Except for the itty bitty bunny-rabbit-and-chick metal egg in the deep right bottom corner. That is definitely NOT random. (At least it's not random that it's in this photograph.)




Old glass bottles!




Do you find clowns creepy? So many people do! I sometimes do, and sometimes don't, but I am just plain fascinated by the whole clown-phobia thing. Which makes them all the more curious of a subject for art! Cute clown? Creepy clown? You decide. (As an aside, the little taggie sticking up on the middle one looks like a candle wick... these would make magnificent candle holders! Imagine the flickering light behind the clowns head on "creepy movie night"! Cool...) 





I am koo-koo for vintage postcards. I used to collect them. Not officially. I just sort of acquired them over time by default. They would be the thing I was drawn to buying in an antique store. I have never repurposed the ones I collected in the past, and now, I'm really into not acquiring stuff that doesn't scream at me loudly. So I was easily able to resist these... 





Ok. These two were harder to resist. I still resisted though... For today, at least.