Tuesday, December 1, 2015

There Must Be A Purple Pony!

With craft sales taking up so much time, it was nice to have a free weekend recently to finish up some gifts for friends, such as this paper and pastel picture.

Moonlight Skate with Princess Luna and Spike by calzephyr on DeviantArt

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween!

Here in the Bennett household we are always looking for new things and new ways of doing things. Last year for Halloween I bought loads of fun toys and stickers for the young ghouls and goblins. Surely the wee ones appreciate Play-Doh over Dubble Bubble and I hate spending money on cheaper than usual candy, and I like to be sensitive to kids that might have a food allergy or diabetes. I almost had this idea too late - making my mini pony colouring book even more mini! It was simple to scale down the artwork, cut up, make covers from card stock and staple together! I squeezed 8 pictures on to one letter sized page, but could have scaled them down to quarter fold size too. Have a fun and safe Halloween peeps!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Celebrating 100 Etsy sales this week

It's funny - I still have to indulge in the little milestones after all these years. I just happened to be on my cellphone that the Etsy seller app went cha-ching too! It's silly, but worth celebrating :-D If I had more items in my shop, I would offer a coupon, but...

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Fancy Fashion at Lougheed House

My most recent visit to Lougheed House was a reminder that I don't visit enough. The last time I visited there was an art association in the basement and it has been a few years since they left! Lougheed House is really a local treasure. It's hard to imagine that it marked the edge of Calgary when it was built in 1891. It's actually remarkable that the grounds and house are still preserved. Locals know how Calgary is always in a constant state of construction.

Mom and I visited recently to catch the 1920s "Daring Deco" fashion show. I really enjoyed it because the dresses were once owned by Alberta women and it represented my great-grandmother and grandmother's era. I only have a few pictures of my great-grandmother, so to imagine that she may have once worn such fancy clothes was pretty cool. The 1920s don't really get a lot of appreciation - anything beyond 1950 is thought of as dull and bland sometimes. There were all sorts of exciting things happening such as new textiles, new music and new freedoms for women.

Textiles and clothing tell a silent, but ever present version of history. We wear clothes every day and special clothes for special occasions. Clothing conveys social status and wealth or personal history. Memories are stored in them. Studying clothes is more than meets the eye!

It took me a few moments to realize that the dresses were about 100 years old. That in itself is an amazing fact. Textiles aren't very good at surviving the ages. Pests, disaster, climate and poor storage all count against fabric. Natural fibres naturally degrade and wear and synthetic materials have an end of life too. As a fibre major, I was thrilled to see a sample book of fabric to touch. Fabric is so very tactile and taken for granted. Some of the fabrics felt scratchy, but other ones were very plush and smooth.

Back to the house however - unlike some historic houses where the building and belongings pass from family to trust, Lougheed House had many lives as a women's military barracks and blood donor clinic, so the museum is in the process of repatriation. This isn't a disadvantage at all though - one can still enjoy admiring the architecture and decorations in the house like the stained glass windows and ornate ceilings. It's a lovely place to have a wedding or event, and yes, the staff can help you out with that :-)

The gardens are lovely to visit starting after the May long weekend, but there was much and even during autumn there was much to admire such as ornamental cabbages, rudbeckia and sweet Williams. Our main reason for visiting was to catch the 1920s fashion show - I will be sure to keep abreast of the events at Lougheed House in the future though. And I must return next summer and get some more iris photos.

The conservatory has been turned into a restaurant that is open for lunch on weekdays and brunch on weekends.  It was delightful to have a cup of tea from a vintage tea cup :)

Mom and I finished our visit with brunch in the restaurant that used to be the conservatory. It was so dainty to have tea from a vintage tea cup and the staff were kind to let Mom and I split a bacon and waffle breakfast (otherwise it would have been too much food for her). The brunch has a good variety of meals along with a feature dish. The restaurant staff were fabulous and friendly. It's a good place to take small groups or friends. If you visit Lougheed House, check out some reviews on TripAdvisor and remember to show your AMA card and save on admission.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Just what's new and current in my Etsy shop

I haven't made an Etsy Mini in forever! I'm just a couple of sales away from 100 :-)

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Made in Canada Etsy Show

It's been a few days and I am still exhausted from the Etsy Made in Canada show on September 26th. The sheer amount of preparation that went into the show was itself exhausting, from my trusty printer breaking down in August to a supply shipment that was lost in the mail. I was afraid of not having enough inventory and started getting up early in the mornings to cut paper, trim magnets and print design sheets. Nine to do lists kept me on track :)
It was worth it though as customers were lining up outside bright and early to get in! I have only seen that kind of enthusiasm at the comic expo. The time to wait in line varied from 20 to 60 minutes...when I managed to sneak away for a bathroom break, the line was still winding through Golden Acres Garden Sentre and out the door. I wasn't able to get a picture of my table either because I could just not get in front of it :)
Speaking of Golden Acres, the staff were so helpful to the vendors. It was a unique location and bedecked with orange Etsy flags. It rained in the morning, though, and drips happened throughout the day. That's why I plastic wrap everything...in fact just after a staffer gave me a flower pot to catch the water and joked about it with a customer, someone had a coffee spill :D Sales were really good and steady and a lot of old customers stopped by. Four people used Square, which was pretty amazing too! I was also able to test out a new foam board display that worked like a charm!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

If I'm more quiet than usual...

...it's just that I'm super busy getting ready for the Etsy Made in Canada Show :-) It's almost a month away!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Now You Can All Say...

You know an award winning artist ;-) My last minute idea for the Papercraft and Calligraphy section at the Calgary Stampede Western Lifestyles showcase really paid off - literally! My second place section win came with a cash prize. This is the best photo I have been able to get of this picture, which is called Three by Three. It's three layers of paper that features three different animals in three different environment in three feathers. Whew! The idea came to me around the end of May and then thankfully my friend at Sketch Art Supplies had ample time to frame it :-)

Saturday, June 27, 2015

WIth a Snip Snip Here and a Snip Snip There...

I have been doing a lot of papercuts lately, and I have a super special one that I can show off in mid-July...but here's one that I also had to be patient sharing. It was a gift that went all the way to Australia for an online friend. Definitely one of the finer papercuts that I have made to date.

Hello Polly

DevArt ::: Etsy ::: Flickr ::: Zazzle ::: Purple-Pony.com

Monday, May 18, 2015

Updating This, That

I finally had some catch up time yesterday and today to make some changes across social media (including renaming my Etsy shop to PurplePonyArt). I even managed to list something new on Etsy.

 I made a few mini colouring books from my recent pony drawings to sell at the Calgary Expo. Half of them sold (including the display copy that someone stole...ah well!). This letter sized version has ten pictures of ponies, unicorns and pegasus to colour. You can purchase it as an instant download on Etsy or, if you don't want to create an account and have more patience, on Artfire.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Easter Rabbit Papercut Card

I have been rushing around madly getting things ready for my Artist Alley table at the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo, April 16-19. You might say I have been bouncing off the walls :-D Fortunately this rabbit brought me back down to earth. This papercut card has pink details added with marker, on top of layers of tissue paper. I found some fab new adhesive squares that show up invisible on vellum and tissue paper. Have a lovely Easter weekend friends!

Friday, February 20, 2015

My Fun New Custom Sizzix Die!

Today I have a very exciting blog post. It's the story of how I ordered my own die from Ellison, probably better known to crafters as Sizzix, makers of the Big Shot die cutting machine. Some of you know I used to make a lot of artists trading cards. But I always got hung up on being precise about the measurements and cutting all the cards from different materials. Thought was killing action! So, I thought, I'll just find a die and crank out tons of cards.

Well, it turns out that it's very hard to find a die with the right dimensions. If it exists, my Google-fu is severely broken. I could find rectangle dies for sure, but none were the same dimensions as an artist trading card. The closest I came up with was 2.25 x 3.25". The size of rectangles seemed pretty arbitrary. So I just happened to be on the Sizzix website and saw a Thanksgiving sale on custom dies. I sent off an email and found out that they only made custom block style and not wafer thin dies. Not a problem though! I put the order through, approved a proof and a few weeks later, my die arrived through FedEx.

I couldn't wait to try it out and got a piece of scrap paper. It cut a perfect crisp Artist Trading Card. Look at all the cards I cut from old brochures, paper scraps and maps. It made dozens of dies in minutes.

It's true that I have a digital die cutter, but it uses sticky mats, and delicate materials like thin paper and fabric wouldn't work very well. I really enjoyed the friendly and prompt service from the Ellison rep, and yes, they ship to Canada. It was wrapped in a bubble mailer inside another bubble mailer. I promised the rep that my next order would be far more exciting than a plain rectangle.
Probably something with a horse or a bird, you know me!

Now I just have to get into action and make some completed ATCs and ACEOs :-) Stay tuned!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Some years are upgrade years

Over the past few years we have been doing little renos to our house. It's almost twenty years old and we've lived here for twelve. Last year we got a new sidewalk, and thanks to a hailstorm, a new roof. This summer I am hoping to have the wood trim replaced. 2015 is really going to be an upgrade year for my business too. I just got in a big order of display supplies, ordered new business cards, made some postcards, and updated my brochure. My last brochure was made in 2008, yikes! But, finally, I have a nifty vinyl banner for my business thanks to the good folks at Ingraph. A banner was something that I had been promising myself for years. After passing by some websites, especially one that a too good to be true vibe, I picked Ingraph and the helpful staff produced my banner for under the cost of the quote. Their turn around was extremely fast. The banner is made on heavy duty, grey backed vinyl and looks fabulous! This banner is going to last for years to come before I need to upgrade it :-)

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Two Scherenschnitte Cards

Scherenschnitte - what the heck is that? It's one way of saying papercuttings! I really enjoy making silhouettes and over the Christmas break I made a whole bunch of them. Drawing and cutting a silhouette is harder than it looks, because of the lack of detail. Here's the first one I made, a moose (click for larger):
And the second, a pegasus flying over a rainbow. You will notice it's a three legged pegasus, doh!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Here's to 2015!

For many years now, I haven't been good at sending Christmas cards. I think a few trickled out though. Over the holidays I made a lot of special cards for friends, and you'll be seeing more of them soon. Here's one for a budgie friend of mine:

I really enjoyed making the cards. Truly, my friends inspired me! Best of all, I didn't let thinking get in the way of doing. I just went with what I felt and didn't worry about being perfect. I would love to do a giant disco Muffin down the road. In terms of 2014...well, for the Year of the Horse, I felt more like the horse was dragging me through the mud and gleefully running under trees instead of me riding it. Hopefully I don't get headbutted by the ram next month :-)