Monday, January 28, 2008

It's My Party and I'll Buy if I want to.

Today happens to be my birthday, so I decided that I'm old enough to buy myself a few presents. These days, I'd much rather pick something out myself than be given something that I won't use (no matter how much I appreciate the thought). And since one of my new goodies came from her shop, I think this is a good time to showcase Elizabeth Scott.

I now have two pair of earrings from esdesigns, which is Ms. Scott's Etsy shop. I wear my others, a lovely pair from her petal series, almost daily. I know these don't fit into our usual upcycled featured pieces, but she was actually the second shop I ever purchased from on Etsy and that wondeful experience has stayed with me. I've had quite a few packages from Etsy purchases show up in the mail since then, but none have had quite the same feeling as that one from her. Aside from the beautiful jewelry, the buyer can expect a pretty little green package carefully adorned with a little green bow. No gimicks. No pile of promotions. Just elegant simplicity. I couldn't be happier if it were a blue box from Tiffany's.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

A Light in the Darkness

Fairy illustration for Titania Blossoms by Lani Mathis from GreenSpaceGoods
First of all I'd like to thank Titania Blossoms for taking an interest in my colored pencil work. Despite my nervousness, she recently commissioned a piece to use in her shop. I had a great time drawing this little lady, and she seems quite pleased as she glides over her flowers. Perhaps I should pick up the pencils more often. It's been quite a while. :)

Please visit Titania Blossoms here.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Monty Python and Killer Bunnies

Pen and Ink illustration of the Killer Bunny from Monty Python and the Holy Grail by Lani Mathis of GreenSpaceGoodsI'm paying homage to Monty Python, and a great teacher- Mr. Dan Henderson. This is my submission to Illustration Friday.

I had one of the greatest illustration professors anyone could ask for. Dan Henderson is an incredibly inspiring kind man who never made anyone feel pressured to work inside of his box. So one day, he asked us to create an image illustrating a movie title and the feeling of fear. Well, I immediately got the giggles, because the only thing I could picture in my mind was the evil bunny from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Unfortunately, my vision didn't fit within the rules of the assignment. It had to be a movie title. Try as I might, I couldn't get that bunny out of my head, so I ask Mr. Henderson if he would allow it. It took a little pleading, but I think he was mostly glad that I was excited about illustration. Oh, and I also insisted that it had to be done in ballpoint pen. He wasn't thrilled about that either. I still love this bunny. There are always things you would have done differently, but that's all right. He still gives me the giggles.

You can see some of Dan Henderson's work here.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Reclaiming Time: IMOTIME

When we cleaned out my grandparent's house we found receipts they had saved from everything they had EVER bought. Slips of paper documented their furniture, the building supplies for their house, even their car! (no, they didn't finance) I realized that they weren't people who replaced things often. At one point in time, a person saved up enough money to buy something and then were proud to own it. Today, we are dissatisfied as soon as we leave the check out line. When did things become so expendable? Now we have to have the newest model, the freshest fashion, the trendiest "insert useless object here". Out with the old (or slightly dusty) and in with the new. Rest assured that some of our discarded goodies might have an extended life after all.

IMOTIME is an awesome little shop out of San Diego, California. Their mission seems to be turning just about anything into pretty awesome (and useful) clocks. Anyone who read our review of Roger Wood knows that we're pretty fond of time pieces. My grandfather made clocks himself, so I have a particular appreciation for them. These however, are not your average tick tock. From hard hats to cake covers- IMOTIME isn't afraid to challenge the idea of what a clock should or could be. So the next time you donate an old pair of shoes or a tennis racquet to Goodwill, imagine what it might look like as a clock. It just might become one.

Visit the IMOTIME shop here.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Are You an Ecoist?

Ecoist candy wrapper hand bagI am! And I'm super excited because my new Ecoist bag finally arrived yesterday! Michael gave me a blue one last year for our anniversary, and I use it every day. This year, he bought a confetti bag for me for Christmas and they accidentally sent the wrong style. He let me open it anyway and said he had already contacted the company about the mix up. They were really sweet and yesterday, I received the correct bag. Ecoist's candy wrapper line is full of colorful bags made out of misprinted labels that they collect from printing houses. This is keeping tons of material out of landfills, making awesome products, and planting trees (they plant a tree for each bag purchased).

Ecoist candy wrapper hand bag
They have many other flavors to check out including billboard bags (made from heavy duty movie posters), and soda can tab bags.

Other shops to find recycled bags:

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Selling Ink Blots as Prints?

We often run into a dilema with our Ink Blots. First of all, we currently only sell originals, so all of our time and effort is poured into one possible sale. Secondly, we get way too attached to some of the blots and refuse to let them go. Thirdly... ok, so I don't have a thirdly. We have a poll on our sidebar to judge how much interest there might be in offering the Ink Blot collection as individual prints in the shop. Please help us out by giving your honest opinion. Thanks :)

Monday, January 7, 2008

5 Easy Ways to Go Green in the New Year

Make a resolution to make a few simple changes and you'll be off to a great green year.

1. Reusable shopping bags
Approximately 5 trillion plastic bags are used worldwide each year. There are so many great options available today that there is no good excuse for using paper or plastic. Remember that recycling is only half the battle. Some great bags are available here:
Going Green
Olive Smart

2. Help your co-workers recycle
If your office doesn't offer recycling, why not put a bin by your cube and take recyclables home? A co-worker might think twice about chunking that soda can if they are faced with an alternative. Most people don't recycle because it isn't convenient for them at the time. (warning: this could turn into a big job!)

3. Turn the light off. It's simple. Just do it.

4. Try using eco-friendly cleaners
There are tons of options out there including the ones your grandmother always told you about: vinegar, rubbing alcohol, and baking soda. If you aren't into mixing up your own, the folks at Low Impact Living have some great options.

5. Clean out your closet
Making a donation of items you don't use or need gives them the opportunity to be used by someone else, which will keep that person from buying a new item, which means fewer items need to be manufactured! Think of it as top level recycling.

Go get started! Check out our sidebar for other sites that will help you go green. And if you have another easy tip for going green, please share it with everyone in the comments :)

Saturday, January 5, 2008

The Red Coat: Colored Pencil Drawing

The Red Coat: Colored pencil drawing by Lani Mathis here on GreenSpaceGoodsThe Red Coat is my entry for Illustration Friday's "blanket" theme since it is covered in a thick blanket of snow. This one has been framed and is now on display at a little boutique in Augusta, GA. I have a large collection of children's books and am always looking for new ones with amazing illustrations. I've tried once or twice to write one myself, but if I write one, I would of course have to illustrate it. I have a small problem with that. I get bored....way too bored, way too fast. By the time I finish one panel, I'm ready to move on to a different story! That is what happened with this little girl. I was thinking of this layout for the book cover, but the book hasn't been written! Ultimately, that's ok. She was a joy to draw, and hopefully she will brighten someone else's home soon.

Stay warm everyone :)

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends

The Gallery of Imagination, an iteractive piece for Foster's Home For Imaginary FriendsThe kids over at cartoon network are really outdoing themselves with some of their new site features. Michael and I are HUGE fans of Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends, probably the smartest and most entertaining cartoon on air today (I love Futurama and Family Guy too, so give me a break.) The series is lead by Mac (a little boy) and Bloo (his imaginary friend), as they run into all sorts of quirky situations and meet an array of imaginary characters. Today I came across the "Gallery of Imagination", where you can build your own imaginary friend. This is a great little piece of flash with a slick and friendly interface.

Give it a try. It is a heck of a lot of fun. We have a great appreciation for impressive flash work, so kudos to the team that built it. I wish they were still putting this much finesse into their dvd menus. Season 1 had a beautifully witty menu with washing machines for navigation items. We felt that every penny spent on it was well worth it. Season 2 has more of a standard menu with whimsical frames around each item, but some of the graphics are terribly aliased, as if someone made a mistake in production. It looks like very low quality compared to the first. And Craig McCracken- (if you ever happen to read this), we don't care what the marketing department says, WE HATE CHEESE. But don't worry, we still love you.

Make your own totally awesome friend here.

Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © Cartoon Network.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The Green Fairy

The Green Fairy colored pencil illustration by Lani Mathis of GreenSpaceGoods.This is my submission for Illustration Friday for "forgotten". She looks like she has been hurt and left behind, although I don't know who could just forget her.

I think it is important as an artist to look back every now and then. I tend to forget about phases I went through, pieces I was proud of, and techniques I abandoned. This is one of my favorites in colored pencil, a medium I'd nearly forgotten about. I keep thinking I ought to sell her, but I haven't been able to let go yet. A sensible person would at least hang her on the wall, but no... alone she sits waiting for me to make up my scattered mind. There are so many pieces I wish I had pictures of. My head has lost track of so many.

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