Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Welcome 2013!

Happy New Year from Chicago!  I had the pleasure of attending a jewelry show at Navy Pier several years ago, and staying downtown, but I hadn't been able to really get out and SEE Chicago. 

This time, I went to visit relatives, take in art galleries, eat, tour around on the nice days, feast with family, get a view from Sears Tower, and attend a Bulls game.  Although the snow was thin, the boys did get to go sledding and to walk on an iced over lake for the first time.  We were impressed at how fast the younger family members could get their snow gear on.  Not something we in Oregon face often. 

It's lovely to travel, feel inspired and then get a long weekend at home before Winter break ends.  Love to you all and best wishes for the new year. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

One Bird Tree

I'm celebrating year FIVE of making my wrist warmers!   While I enjoy full time work in my new wholesale jewelry business, I am happy to have time, between orders, to get new warmers made for the holidays.  I would miss the etsy community, and all my wonderful customers much too much, if I closed up shop.
Peacock Tree
 I love wearing fingerless gloves, but don't seem to tire of making them.  This color combination is a new discovery- I might need to keep a pair for myself.........

Winter Forest
With love from me and my Etsy shop:  Aly The Red at Bliss Monkey Studio.


Friday, November 30, 2012

Wrist Warmers/Fingerless Gloves

 What do you call them?  Fingerless gloves, wrist warmers, arm warmers, gloves, or bohos? 

 Names seem to  vary by region.  I call them One Leaf Tree, though another leaf snuck onto this pair!

 Here are some spankin' new designs that I've posted in my Aly The Red etsy shop, to make your winter a little warmer and give giving season a little brighter. 

 Keep your hands happy and warm while driving, playing music, typing, reading in bed...
Guaranteed to give you greater confidence and comfort on your way to the big job interview, while at the dentist, and taking tests.  Loved by teens and grandmas alike.  Yes, I do have solid colors and men's sizes. 

Snuggle Season

Toli loves having a little brother.  They hang out, wrestle, fetch, eat, and doze off together.  They love walks and dog park visits, though Jackson really cuts loose when he's in the "small dog park" section, with others of his size.

Jackson has such short hair, he's happy to wear a coat indoors and out.  The kids and I have had fun making custom dog coats out of old sweater sleeves and this polar fleece one. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Secret November Garden

What is going on in the garden? 
 Did some Halloween ghoul spill it's secret potion on it's hop over the fence?  On this first rainy and quite cold morning, the camera and I went to explore a mysterious explosion of greens and colors in the corner of the garden..........

 I planted these here a few years back, to accompany the beans up the trellis.  The spicy, peppery, edible flowers sport a variety of color.  In the gloom, they lit me up like a LED.

 I've never seen leaves this large.  Bigger than my hand.

 The jewel of a water drop, seems to be making a face at me.

Who else has been under here?

 Still blooming in November.........

 I put Dad's chair in the garden this summer, when I could keep his blanket on it for comfy sitting. I like the idea of it over-looking the gardens, and keeping an eye on the fairies.  I hope the rains don't take it apart too soon. 

 Why don't you have a close up look at your garden in November?  You never know what you will find.............

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Make your own Washi Tape

 Make your own Washi tape.  Washi tape is Japanese paper tape that's decorated.  All the rage for art journals, art projects, scrap booking.  But what about making your own?  We used different types of tape, sticking them on plastic sheets until use. Above is my collection. 

I took a class with Jill Cardinal at Oregon Art Supply in Eugene.  We had a great deal of fun, painting our own tape and stamping with hand made stamps.

 Medical tape is see-through but also easy to tear and hard to remove from the plastic sheet.  Here's a few samples put in my tiny art journal.

Hand made stamps are my favorite.  I quickly carved this eye stamp in class.  The feather stamps, I made previously.  

I am always on the look out for good abstract design stamps and tend to over-think it.  Jill and I were playing with "random designs" and she showed me her best trick.  In her box of carving material scraps, there are many discarded designs and broken, or cut-off pieces.  They make GREAT random stamps!  Cut off a few edges and try lining them up in various ways to make repeating patterns.  Many of my "fancy" washi tape designs were made with these so called scraps. 

We played a game: on person cuts lines into a stamp section and hands it to the next person, who cuts out a piece that looks fun to stamp with.  We tried lining up the prints every which way.  See more examples on the bottom photo.

 This morning, I applied the random designs to my colored envelopes.

(The little tree stamp was made by my kids- part of a set they made for me with mushrooms and a gnome.)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Open Studio Party!

The transition from retail to wholesale has been wonderful for me.  I've been so busy getting set up shop, and filling orders, I haven't seen many friends recently, so it's time for a little open house.  Drop by the studio and say hi after school (parents) and after work, 4-7 this Thursday.  Wine and chocolate and free raffles.

 My nature themed pendants and earrings will be available at great prices.  Pre-holidays sale.  But really just come say hi, I'm inviting neighbors and friends.  xo Alysse Hennessey