A NW Flower & Garden Show Thank You!

Posted in Uncategorized on March 8, 2011 by figmentsstudio

I just wrapped up exhibiting at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show in downtown Seattle, Feb. 23-27. Whether I’m an exhibitor or a spectator, I never miss this incredible show. The garden displays are spectacular, and this year was no exception. This year’s theme was “Once Upon a Time…Gardens with a Story to Tell”…a perfect fit with my Figments Studio collection! Wednesday and Thursday were a bit on the quiet side due to a winter storm that hit the area, but Friday, Saturday and Sunday were great. Met lots of wonderful new customers and many who have purchased previously. THANK YOU so much to all of you!

Here are photos of my booth and some of my favorite garden displays.

Figments Studio Booth

Figments Studio Booth

Caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland Garden

Caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland Garden

Tree Stump Home of the Big Bad Wolf from the Three Little Pigs Garden

Tree Stump Home of the Big Bad Wolf from the Three Little Pigs Garden

Happily Ever After Garden

Happily Ever After Garden

Rustic Garden Shed

Rustic Garden Shed

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Figments Studio Featured in “Art Doll Quarterly!”

Posted in Uncategorized on August 29, 2010 by figmentsstudio

FYI…my Jack-in-the-Boxes are featured in the latest issue of “Art Doll Quarterly” magazine (Autumn 2010, pp 8-10).  In the article I explain my inspiration and process for creating these pieces, which are available through my website and catalog.

The magazine is available at Barnes and Noble and Michael’s Craft Stores, among other locations.

If you get a chance, take a look!

Figments Studio Jack-in-the-Boxes in "Art Doll Quarterly"

Mad About Alice

Posted in Uncategorized on April 12, 2010 by figmentsstudio

"Alice" - Arthur Rackham

I finally went to see Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” and thoroughly enjoyed it.  I’m such an ‘Alice’ fan that pretty much anything based on Lewis Carroll’s 1865 novel is a ‘thumbs up’ to me.  I couldn’t wait to see Burton’s interpretation of all the curious characters of Wonderland, of which, in my opinion, the Red Queen stole my ‘heart’.  Johnny Depp was wonderful as the Mad Hatter but it’s hard to beat Martin Short in the 1999 version. I suffer from vertigo, so the 3D effects and the chase/falling scenes were a bit too much at times, but all in all, a fun adventure!

Alice in Wonderland’s classic theme of a young girl’s search for meaning in a confusing world really strikes a chord with me. This theme can also be found in the Grimm’s fairy tale “Little Red Riding Hood,” L. Frank Baum’s “The Wizard of Oz” (and, by the way, the Figments Fairy Tale that appears on my website.)  One of my favorite artists, Arthur Rackham (1867-1939) illustrated his version of “Alice in Wonderland” in 1907 and his “Mad Tea Party” is featured on the cover of one of my Large Frame Journals.

Rackham's illustration of the "Mad Tea Party"

Figments Studio "Mad Tea Party" Journal

Alice! A childish story take,

And with a gentle hand

Lay it where Childhood’s dreams are twined

In Memory’s mystic band…          

-Lewis Carroll

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Posted in Uncategorized on March 12, 2010 by figmentsstudio

With St. Patrick’s Day fast approaching, I’d like to share some photos of three one-of-a-kind pieces I made some years ago. 

First, a customer in Oregon wanted a life-size leprechaun for her annual St. Patrick’s Day party and I loved making him! He stands approx. 4 ft. tall and is dancing a little jig with his pipe and shalaylee.   

Leprechaun-face detail

Dancing Leprechaun

 The second piece, Father Christmas, is approx. 3 ½ ft. tall. This client wanted a large Santa for her entry way to greet her family and friends during the holidays, complete with a long scroll with everyone’s name on it.  

The faces and hands of the Leprechaun and Father Christmas were sculpted with Creative Paperclay then painted with acrylic paint. To assemble the bodies, I used dowel rods, heavy wire, newspaper and masking tape. I used mohair for their beards and hair and sewed their costumes.

Father Christmas-face detail

Father Christmas

 The third piece is a jointed rabbit puppet that stands 26” tall. The rougher texture of this papier mache clay (Celluclay) gives him a more primitive look.

Rabbit Puppet

Romantic Homes Magazine Feature!

Posted in Uncategorized on March 3, 2010 by figmentsstudio

I recently began advertising in Romantic Homes Magazine, a beautiful, vintage-inspired lifestyle and home decorating publication. In the current April issue, I was so excited to see that, in addition to my ad, they did a full page product feature of two of my best-selling journals!  Here’s the page from the magazine.  Better yet, go pick up a copy of this gorgeous issue!

Romantic Homes Product Spotlight

From Civil War Daguerreotype to Figments Studio Gift Box

Posted in Uncategorized on February 22, 2010 by figmentsstudio

Inside Daguerreotype Case

Wandering through antique shops and antique malls is one of my favorite things to do.  For me, it’s relaxing, nostalgic and visually stimulating.  I often discover something unexpected that is inspiring or that gives me a new idea.

That’s why, when I was working on the design for my Figments Studio gift box, I went to an antique mall in Seattle’s Pioneer Square to see what might turn up.  After a bit of searching, I spotted something I was vaguely familiar with, but had never looked at very closely  – Civil War era photo cases. Photographic technology was in its infancy during the early to mid-1800’s, and a number of different processes were invented for taking photos (i.e. daguerreotypes, ambrotypes and tintypes).  The photographs that resulted are beautiful and haunting.  Because the technology was new, these photographs were very expensive and rare so they were treated as family heirlooms.  As a result, the design of the cases used to protect these images became an art form in itself.  And, it was these decorative cases that caught my eye in the antique mall that day.  They had beautiful and delicate embossed leatherwork and fine hinges and clasps.  They were dark, ornate and worn.  I couldn’t take my eyes off of them! I purchased three that day, but one in particular stood out.  The embossing had an interesting frame of curves and corners around an urn of flowers, and a border of swirling scrolls.  This was IT!!! The inspiration for my gift box design! 

I had high resolution photographs made of the front, back and sides of the case.  I then worked with my graphic designer to pick out font styles and colors that would integrate well with the original design of the case…and Voila! The Figments Studio Gift Box! I’m so happy with the way it turned out and customers seem to like it too.  Best of all, I include a free gift box with every purchase!  Take a look at the images below and let me know what you think. 

Daguerreotype Case Cover Design

Figments Studio Gift Box Inspired by Daguerreotype Case

A Fairy Tale in the Making…

Posted in Uncategorized on February 13, 2010 by figmentsstudio

Edmund Dulac is another artist who has inspired a lot of my work.  One of my favorite Dulac paintings is “The Princess and the Pea,” which appears in “Stories from Hans Andersen.”  The rich colors, textures and patterns are eye candy!  For a recent craft show, I designed a booth display, inspired by this beautiful painting.  I had a blast making the table skirt out of ripped Dupioni silk strips and ribbons…all done with a glue gun and duct tape! See the photos below.  The “Once upon a Time” scroll you see behind the table has the “A Figments Fairy Tale” printed on it.  You can read that fairy tale on my website.  In addition to my array of blank writing journals and desk accessories, I like to display small antique collectibles… glass and ceramic inkwells, spectacles, trinket boxes, letter holders, old books, etc…little treasures I find at my favorite antique shops.  If you look closely, you can see these on display in the photo. 

Edmund Dulac’s “The Princess and the Pea”

Dulac Inspired Figments Studio Booth Design

For more info there is a good article and additional links about Dulac at Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmund_Dulac

An ebook version of “Stories from Hans Andersen,” which includes “The Princess and the Pea,” is available for free at http://www.gutenberg.org/files/17860/17860-h/17860-h.htm