Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Blue Sky, Green Grass

So here is a little project that I worked on at the beginning of August...
(Please pardon the mess.  Seriously, the studio did not get cleaned that week!  Too big of a project to finish!!!)

A very large (72 inches by 22 inches) painting of sorts.  This was for the Loyalhanna Watershed Associations Ground Saving project.  They are updating an dilapidated but absolutely beautiful farm and this will eventually hang in their new barn.  Susan Huba, the director is a dear friend and I am so proud of all of her accomplishments with the organization.  I was very happy to be able to pull this off!!! 

 People often ask me how I get all this art stuff done...
Well, the truth is, I couldn't do any of it without my helpful hound dog.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Pitter Pattern!

Yahoo!!!!  I did it!!!!!  This is so exciting!!!!  And also, makes me totally nervous!!!

So, I have wanted to write a felt stitching pattern for ages.  Finally, this year I put it at the top of my new year's resolution list and wouldn't you know it...I did it!!!  This has been my secret little project for what seems like a really long time but it is now finished and I just posted it in my etsy shop here.  I hope and hope and hope that people like it and buy it and make their own little set of cheery veggies!
Whooo.  I think I can take the rest of the night off...

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Oh Happy Day!

This is so exciting.  This is so exciting that I almost don't know how to put it into words.  Just a few years ago, this little gal was pouring over magazines, blogs, show guides, books, you name it.  Completely DUMB FOUNDED as to how anyone gets to be in there.  Or gets their work in a magazine or gets accepted to a show or gets to make a go at being an artist full time.  It was my one and only dream for my career.  I just had no idea how to do it.  But while I searched and learned and dreamed and hoped soaked in all that I could, I kept making and making and making.  And making more.  So I could write about 15 posts about this but I will just say that something happened recently that means the world to me.  If someone would have told me from a few years ago that my work would be featured in Niche magazine, I would have giggled.  And then passed out.

Thank you to everyone that thought my work would fit in to this feature.  And especially to Hope Daniels.  Please hop on over to for more info!

Happy, Happy, Happy Day....

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Pretty Beads, All in a Row...


So...For those of you that have read my old blog many moons ago, jewelry making is something that I absolutely LOVE but every time I bust out the beads - everything that comes out is...Well...Not going to win any awards.  I always think that I just have to make things that I would love to wear and I just haven't been able to accomplish that.  I almost always prefer someone else's jewerly over my own.  BUT!  Hold the phone!!!!  I LOVE THESE!!!  And I MADE THEM!!!!!  Happy, happy girl.  I want to keep all three and wear them proudly.  I am only hoping that it is like working a muscle, the more that I make, the better that I will become and the more the jewelry will develope into what I have in my brain.  These will be for sale at the Ligonier Country Market this Saturday.  If you are local - please come on down and say hi!
PS!  If anyone sees these and wants to purchase, send me an email!  We can arrange that to happen and they are quite affordable in my opinion!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Mr. Big Stuff

There is always a little part of me that wants to try to take the tiny things that I normally make and make them BIGGER!  Even 8 inches tall, rather than 4 or 5 inches tall would make the creations the giants of the studio.  A few years ago, I pulled off a set of bigger figures.  I don't think I have ever shared this before and the reason that it is coming up is because I am revisiting the idea currently.  I made a series of children playing.  They are made to be hung on a wall.  They are about 16 inches tall (GIANTS!)   I absolutely love them and have kept them in order to someday get them displayed properly in my home.   My apologies for the terrible pics.  They are in storage now and so I am just using the hastily taken pics from when they were made. 

 Last year I made the Woodland Santa figure (about 8 inches tall.) I sold them wholesale but they were an incredible amount of work for batch work so I am no longer carrying them in my holiday line but I like the idea of one of a kind creations that I can fuss and fiddle and put in lots of details and sell in my Etsy shop or at the Country Market. Right now I am working on a little witch that will (hopefully) be riding a broom. It is my hope that I can figure out how to display her so that she hangs and looks like she is zooming around on her broom. We shall see. No pics of that yet as she is just a nudey wire body and a big funny looking bald head!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Heavy Metals

This past weekend, I did something that I have wanted to do for years and years!  I took a class at Touchstone Center for Craft in Farmington PA.  If you have never been, please check out their website.  It is really incredible.  I don't even know where to begin!  The facility itself is really like a summer camp for creative folks - in the woods, cabin-like studio with tiny sleeping cabins.  Really beautiful and I can't wait to go back!  The class that I took was entitled "Imagery in Jewelry"  Totally out of my comfort zone!  (Hence the hilarious and totally TRUE map that a friend sent me.)

We learned etching, decals on enamel, using epoxy and various other ways to finish and add color to metals.  For someone who LOVES metalwork and jewelry but no absolutely NOTHING about making or working with metal.  I was in heaven.  I was so jazzed (like over the top jazzed) to be learning how to cut and drill and manipulate materials that are very very different than the ones that I just everyday (felt, thread to be exact!)  Now I just have to take photos of what I made to show and tell here.

Now I just have to figure out what course I want to take next!!!!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Carved Blooms

Every so often, I try my hand at stamping.  From afar, I love everything about it.  I love the look, I love the endless handmade design possibilities, I love the simple materials needed to do it, I love the idea of having a cache of beautiful stamps to make other things with, specifically pendants.  So, I gave it another shot recently.  It's been a long time since I tried my hand at this, I was amazed that I even found my supplies so quickly!  So the first stamp that I tried was this one.  I ruined one eraser on my first go around but this one, the second one, I like!  It wasn't easy!  All those tiny branches and the centers of the circular flowers???  Yikes.  But I love it and I am so proud of my first stamp.  I hope to do more soon!  Now off to try to make a pendant for myself out of these...

Friday, May 9, 2014

New in the Shop

Still working on something that I am so excited to show and tell and am not ready to show and tell just yet!  So, here are things that can be shown and told and they are in the shops!  Peasoup on Etsy for felt goodies and elmerandeleanor on Etsy for jewelry. 

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wooden (Pirate) Ship

This post could also be titled "The one in which I build a ship..."

A pirate ship to be exact.  Oh how I love this little creation.  It is my entry for the Novel Art event held at the Ligonier Valley Library.  It is a wonderful fundraiser that asks the community - young, old, crafty, artsy,  - to make a piece of art from a book.  Last year, I made a castle (see a few posts down) and this year, I wanted it to be sort of a companion piece to the castle.  And fairy tale castles, seemed more appealing to girls, so I thought a few swarthy pirates were in order for the boys in the audience.  So I started, of course, with making the pirates.  That part was easy.  Peg legs, hooks, bandannas, goatees and long hair pulled back into a pony tail - so so so much fun to make.  For some reason, I have always wanted to try making a mermaid.  So I did that too!  And a treasure chest.  Then I moved on to the ship.  I had NO idea how to do it.  I didn't want to get too fussy with the structure and if you really look at a good pirate ship.  It's fussy.  There are all kinds of sails and cannons and details that I knew I could get lost in but I did have a deadline for crying out loud so I just went simple.  The ship itself is just card stock with cardboard supports and I literally built it from the bottom up.  I drew the base out of cardboard and measured how long the sides needed to be and how tall I felt like they should be and I drew the shape of the sides based on these measurements.

Then the fun part...The "boards" are just lots of watercolored book pages cut into strips and decoupaged onto the sides and the flooring of the ship.  Between all the layers of paper, adhesive and cardboard - it's a sturdy vessel!  And of course there had to be sails!!!  SO much fun.  So much fun that the evening of the day that I turned it in to the library, I actually uttered the words "I miss my ship."  That is how much fun this was to make. 

The other photos included in my show and tell this post is - it's spring!  Thank you thank you thank Mother Nature!  It's beautiful.  And someone has REALLY been enjoying the nicer weather.  Here is my doxie Bean taking a little rest after a long walk. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

It's the time of the season...

I hope I hope I hope.  It is turning into spring...slowly, soggy, murky, musty, fresh, tender, vibrant, dazzling - SPRING.  Okay, they are calling for snow tomorrow but I refuse to spend any time with that.  I have lots to show you but no real pictures to show you....Hmmm.... 

I am working on my project for Novel Art.  I love it.  I am trying to take lots of pics while I am building.  So I will eventually have a little show and tell with that.  I have a bunch of things finished and half finished that I have in the "To be photographed" bin.  (I really should have photo-ed before typing but right now we are in the middle of a lovely rainstorm - you know, before the snow comesso no photos now.)  So pictures first and then I will be back with a much more interesting post.  But before I go, I posted this pendant over in my jewelry site

Friday, March 28, 2014

Tooth Fairies and Peg Legs

Greetings!  Aren't those little pouches cute??  If I have said it once, I have said it many times, I get my greatest ideas from my customers.  The whole tooth fairy idea came from a customer (thank you kindly!)  And the idea to take it a step further and combined the tooth fairy with a little pouch also came from a customer.  A gallery customer in fact, The Clay Pot in Brooklyn NY.  So if you are in the neighborhood of Brooklyn, please take a gander in the shop and see if you can spy these little lovelies!!!  

Okay, I know this last picture looks weird.  Real weird.  But I am working on my entry for this year's Ligonier Valley Library Novel Art competition...Can you guess what I am making???  More pics of this project soon. 

Happy Friday!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patty's Day

Okay, so here we are again!  And I have things to share!!!  (Nothing green or Irish but a well wish to you in the post title!)   First up... 

Look at that tree.  Isn't it incredible?  This was spotted on a walk in the woods with my doxie Bean.  I love this picture so very much.

Then there is this.  This is a take on my Chickadee pin design.  It was a gift for a very special friend.  I like how it turned out.  I wanted it to look like the Indian animal garlands made from sari cloth - I believe - but this one is made from wool felt and painted wooden beads.  Someday, I would like to make one for myself.  Amazing how little I make for myself.  I try to remedy that every year and I hope to do better this year.  I guess in a way, that is the point of resurrecting the blog.  It's something for me.

Lets see, lets see....  I do have some new dolls that I am making that I am so excited to show and to post in my web shops but they are not quite finished so that will have to wait....  Here is something I can share!  I dusted off the old Elmer and Eleanor jewelry website.  (That is also something that goes on my to-do list every year and sort of fizzles sadly.)  But I love it and I believe in it and having this very empty little shop just waiting for whatever sort of jewelry that I may get to make one day/today/etc. makes me so happy.  There is something deep down in me that is a jewelry maker, I can feel it, I just haven't quite tapped fully into it yet.  Until then, I have a very very good time making these little pendants.  There are two in there now - these two -
And you can go there too - (PS Elmer and Eleanor are my grandparent's names. And Wait!!!  My Grandfather was 100% Irish!  So we have indeed come full circle!)

Monday, March 10, 2014


So, something occurred to me.  (Yes, it's been almost a year since my last post!)  I have no idea about this blogging thing.  Firstly, it may have gone by the wayside with all of these other avenues for typing to people/photo sharing/etc.  Secondly, I don't think, in fact I know, that I have never gotten the hang of it.  There are plenty of incredible blogs that I visit and ooh and ahh over and love so much.  Some people just know how to do it!  And I think I have been trying to do what they do in one form or another and as we all know, that rarely works out for anyone.  You can't be successful trying to be someone else.  Or at least trying to be someone that you aren't.  So that was my realization.  My blogging skills are about as good as my gym class skills.  Zero.

And then, early one morning, just before I was about to open my eyes to start the day...And you know that twilight time right before falling asleep and right before full consciousness from sleep is magical!!!  So, it was that twilight, loose time and I haven't thought about this blog in ages, there is very little time for it and again, getting back to my blog skills - I am not going to win the great blogger of the month award anytime soon but it was that moment of lucidity that this blog came into my thoughts, with this very strong thought - it isn't for other people.  It's for me.  Hmmm.  What?

So I thought about that.  And I thought about how being an artist allows one to try out all different types of styles and mediums and how you naturally evolve your own process and style and how a lot of times, it's fleeting.  I often don't get to keep the works, they go to the intended homes or shops.  Or I forget what it's like to be inspired and excited about - whatever it is that has me going.  Inspiration is like a fluttery moth or that glimpse in the forest that you get and you swear you just saw something that you couldn't have really seen.

Where am I going with all of this?  Oh yes, this blog is for me.  It's for me to chronicle my process, mostly creative and artsy (I have a journal for all of the life stuff) but it's here for me to make a record of this glorious life of creativity and spark and love and all of the other things that go in it.  You know, all the stuff we will find out together.  And by together, I mean me.  (I don't really expect anyone to actually READ this!) but it's here for me and maybe, just maybe, it will strike a chord with someone out there too. 

First.  Real. Entry.  Go Nicole.

Oh wait!  And the pictures!  Those are very important to this whole process.  The first one is the latest stack of books I have collected.  It's a weakness.  I love books and I love craft and process books.  Old and new.  I just spent a good bit of time going through my collection, like visiting old friends.  And so inpiring!  The second photo is the very latest, not only do I have weakness for books but for Japanese Craft books especially (swoon.) This one is SO GOOD.  Third photo - a batch of "Bird and Branch" penny pouches for two spring shop orders.  I usually make these in dark gray - my sweet and smart shop buyer asked for some bright, spring-y colors.  Of course!!!  I love them SO much more!!!  And forth photo's a secret!  I can't tell you yet, but aren't they cute?????