Posts Tagged mixed media

Jewelry for ArtsFest 2012

found object earrings


upcycled earring organizers


plastic bottle caps and found object pendants


found object necklaces



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April’s Art Auction

Something I should have blogged about three months ago, but never got around to it- Guacamolly’s first grade class project that I helped with back in April for Teasley Elementary’s Purple Party and Art Auction!

I did write up a little blog post about the piece of art that I donated to the auction to help them raise money, but I never got around to writing about the piece of art that Guac’s class collaborated on.

So, each class at the school made something to be auctioned off at the fundraiser. Mrs. Ivey (Guac’s teacher) and I brainstormed about what to make- something that all 20 kids in the class would each have a part of. I suggested something having to do with recycled materials, or “upcycled” art. We didn’t really have any kind of budget for this project, so we wanted to make sure that whatever we used, could be free, or at least as cheap as possible. I donated pretty much all of the materials including the 4′ x 3′ canvas, all of the paint and glue, and tons of stuff I had lying around like buttons, stamps, confetti, paper scraps, plastic lids from soda bottles and milk cartons. Mrs. Ivey also had lots of stuff in a huge storage bin in her room- scraps of paper, string, tissue paper, cotton balls, etc.

I gave the canvas a coat of pale lavender paint, gridded it off so that each kid would have their own square to decorate, and viola! After spending the entire day on the floor (egad, my knees hurt BAD for the next week!) of the classroom helping the kids each become fabulous artists in their own rights, the finished product was this:

Isn’t it great? The pictures don’t do it justice. I took this particular picture right after it was done, so the glue and paint and what not was all still wet. I didn’t get a picture of it standing up on an easel or hanging on the wall, darn it. Oh well.

There were 4 squares left over after each kid designed their own, so Mrs. Ivey decorated one, and I filled in the last 3 with leftover paint and odds and ends. I wrote Teasly 2011 in one of them:

After I left it to dry over the weekend on the floor of the classroom, I came and picked it up, took it home, and painted layer after layer of Modge Podge and Elmer’s glue over it to seal in all the buttons and stuff. I really hope that it’s held up well for whoever bought it at the art auction. It would suck if all the stuff started falling off, piece by piece, and ended up on the floor behind their sofa or something.

I sent out a few emails to the PTA mothers who were in charge of the auction and the donated art pieces, trying to find out how much things sold for. I would really like to know how much money my personal donated artwork and this classroom project raised for the school. Nobody ever got back in touch with me though. I do know that the entire auction (tickets and dinners included, not just the art) raised roughly $11,000 for the school, all of which paid for field trips for everyone- a little over 500 kindergarten through fifth graders at Guac’s school.

I never thought I would be such an involved mom at my daughter’s school, I just never thought that was me, ya know? Grownup responsibility? That’s crazy talk.  But the older Guac gets, the more I do. I paid my PTA dues at the beginning of the school year, I volunteered 3 days a week in the media center, I volunteered at the Scholastic Book Fair,  I helped with art projects at Xmas and and this auction, and I chaperoned one of the field trips to the petting zoo. I never thought I would ever admit this, but being a mom’s not half bad :)

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My first commission is… “strangely professional.”

Hello friends and loyal readers. I’ve been absent from my blog for a week or two now. Life has been going full force recently. Which is good– I’m not complaining or anything… I just haven’t had the time to sit down and write a new post on here for a little while. I figured what better day to waste time in front of the computer than the day I have a huge job interview? I have so much to do today to get ready. EEEEP!

So last week, I completed my first actual commission of my artwork. I was asked to make some wall decorations for my husband’s work, Social Street Media. Our friend Jennifer is the owner of Social Street Media and she said just to make something cool. She wanted something mixed media. Instead of making one piece of art, I made six different framed mixed media/found object pieces that go together.

I delivered them out to their office last week, but I wasn’t able to install them yet because Jennifer’s waiting on a large vinyl business logo to go in the center of the wall of the front reception room, and as soon as it’s up the pieces I made will go up around it.

I snapped a couple of quick pictures here in my makeshift studio (aka my dining room) before I delivered them. I was planning on taking some photos of them once they got hung up at the office but since that didn’t happen last week, the photos for my portfolio are forthcoming.

I went with a wood and metal theme for the most part. I chose to make the backgrounds of the pieces pages from various books- a Spanish/English dictionary, Peter Rabbit, Huckleberry Finn, Super Fudge (remember that book from when we were kids?), etc, because the business is all about writing. Professional Writing Services and what not. Sorry the above picture is kinda yellowish, my camera at the time sucked horribly. I have a new one now that seems awesome so far. I have yet to take pictures of my art with it. I think it’s gonna kick ass, though.

The background for this one is made of pages from an English thesaurus. The pages contain the words “social,” “street,” “media,” and various others. I’m super proud of the four hand-cut filigrees in the corners. I made them from paperback book covers. I impressed myself. I also wanted to incorporate a handmade look to the business logo in juxtaposition to the sleek graphic-designed actual logo.

Jennifer said she loved them and even ended up paying me a little extra than what I charged her for them. I thought it was super sweet.

When Chuck (my husband) first saw the finished project, he described them as “strangely professional.” I gave him shit about it, but it was an awesome compliment, actually. For the most part, my art can be described as contemporary: fun or funky, young, modern, and “hip,” if you will. teehee!  But when I need to knock something out that’s appropriate for an office- a professional commission- I think this proves that I can do it.

Do you have any more ideas or suggestions for me for the next time I have a commission? Do you have an actual commission you want to hire me for? I need the work for my portfolio! Now is the time to contact me about it because I’m still an up and coming artist as far as that goes, so my prices are quite reasonable still. Just wait until I’m rich and famous! Soon I’ll be charging exorbitant amounts :)

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Teasley Art Auction

In two short weeks,  Teasley Elementary School (where my daughter is in first grade) will hold its biggest fundraiser of the year- the annual Purple Party Art Auction! This year it will be held on Saturday, April 30th, at The Vinings Club here in Smyrna, GA from 7:30 to 10:30 pm. Tickets are pretty expensive (for our one-income family) to attend the dinner and silent auction, so I’m totally donating a couple of items, but sadly, I won’t be attending. Boo.

I was contacted via my Etsy page by one of the PTA moms in charge of the auction and asked if I would like to contribute some of my Upcycled Art items such as paper ornaments and gift bows, and then I also decided to make one of my mixed media sculptures as a second donation. I should have taken a better picture of my upcycled donation before I gave it to her, but oh well. I made a cool box/container, a picture frame, a few envelopes, some gift tags, paper ornaments, and gift bows. The total sale value of the package was $60 and I hope it brings at least that at the auction.

I did have the presence of mind to get some good pictures of the mixed media sculpture I made and donated:

It’s titled “The Yellow Mold,” from my Mold Series that I’ve been working on recently. It’s by far my favorite one I’ve made, and if I hadn’t donated it to the auction, I totally would’ve kept it for myself. Sheesh.

The Yellow Mold is approximately 10″ x 14″ and priced at $75. Who knows how much someone will pay for it at the auction? I hope the school gets some money for it and I hope whoever buys it loves it as much as I do.

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The Mold Series

I’ve started a new series of mixed media sculptures recently…

I’ve always worked with found objects. My favorite part of using all the small objects that I find in the trash and in junk drawers and stuff is what they become once they are all joined together. It’s the merging of all the tiny parts into one large piece that I find fascinating. Each piece of junk is given a new life that it couldn’t have had on its own. It’s only through the combination of all the items that they start to live as one. Here’s a photo of my first piece that I made back in 1998, I believe. It was an assignment for my 3D-design class in college:

Probably the thing I love the most about “My Box” is that I can pretty much tell you where each individual item came from. Some of it is from when I was a kid, some were my mom’s, some were my nana’s, some were my roommates’ in college… This piece holds so much emotion and love for me.

A few years later, I made this piece:

It looks a little different now than it did when I took this picture. I added a layer of polyurethane to the top of  it and took some of the items off, freeing up some space. The colors are a little more muted now because of the polyurethane layer. As a matter of fact, now that I’m looking at this photo of it, I’m seeing at least one piece off of it that was used in something else recently. Huh. Here, take a look at this next picture and see if you can see it.

It’s like one of those “Where’s Waldo” images, isn’t it? Hint: it’s the Maggie Simpson head.

So with that last picture, you can see the path of evolution that my found object pieces have followed. I now paint them. It’s neat, because the focus has now become the texture of all these individual pieces put together as one. They honestly look like they are all molded or sculpted out of one piece, one block of something… like fudge. Fudge that’s been painted grey or yellow or pink. To me, they look almost edible.

So the title of this piece is “The Black Mold.” It’s a great example of how my husband’s work and my work play off each other on a relatively regular basis. He just recently wrote a short story called “The Black Mold” for an upcoming publication. In his case, mold means fungus, but in my case, it’s the other meaning of the word, mold, like sculpt.

Anyways, I thought it was neat. So all the rest of this series will be “The ____ Mold.” The pink mold, the yellow mold, the grey mold, the blue mold, etc., etc., etc.

And finally, my favorite:

I like the bunny :)

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ArtsFest 2011 was a success!

This past weekend was spent down in Statesboro, Ga at the 29th annual ArtsFest, hosted by the Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art at Georgia Southern University. I had a booth in the artists’ market there, and I actually did very well, selling quite a bit more than I thought I would! I found out what my most popular items were, and figured out what people loved, but didn’t buy. My business strategies are evolving!

While we were there, we had a mini birthday party for Guacamolly. Her birthday is actually this coming Tuesday, but she definitely wanted to see her friends while she was in town. I made goody bags for them and they had cookies and juice, then went around and did all the crafts together. She loves ArtsFest and I love the fact that it’s a practically free birthday party :)

Here’s a little gallery of all the photos I managed to sneak in (Thanks to Bekah, who took my camera around with her while I was stuck at my booth):


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ArtsFest at GSU

Oh my gosh, I have been so incredibly busy the past few weeks. I haven’t really been posting anything new in my Etsy shop or any new links to my Facebook page or posts on here… I’ve been working 24/7 at creating things to sell at ArtsFest next Saturday at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, GA, down in south Georgia near Savannah. Georgia Southern is my alma mater. I graduated from there in 2008 with a double major in Art History and Studio Arts (just a credit or two shy of Painting, I decided I had been in school long enough and Studio Arts looked good enough, right?).

Anyway, ArtsFest has been an annual event down there for how many years? Almost 30, I believe. It used to be called the Youth Arts Festival, but now it’s geared more towards people of all ages, not just kids. I know I’ve been going almost every year since I was in kindergarten or something like that. Two years ago, Molly had her birthday party there. It was just a little get together of her and a few of her friends and they all went around and did the crafts together, and got their faces painted and stuff like that.

So this year I have a booth in the Artists’ Market down there. I’m so excited! I’ve gone as a kid, as a student, as a volunteer, as a mom, and this year I get to go as an artist. Pretty cool. I’m listed under the Artists’ Market as Upcycled Art by Maggie Horne Thomas. Some of the things I’m selling- gift bows from book pages and magazine pages, recycled gift tags from cereal boxes and etc., decoupaged keepsake boxes, decoupaged frames and mirrors, assorted quilled ornaments, paper ornaments made from book pages, book sculptures, hair bows, and framed, mixed media collages. Most of these things are listed in my Etsy shop or pictures of them are in my Facebook albums.

I’ll write up another quick blog post later this week as soon as I get closer to finishing all the items for sale, and I’ll make sure I post pictures. Right now, I’ve got to get to work!!

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