Wee Cottage Lane Christmas

Wee Cottage Lane  Christmas
by Laura Pallatin of LaBelle Mariposa

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Playing dress-up with my vintage dress form :)

Full size view of my mannequin
I just love this mannequin I purchased last spring in the darling town of Diamond Springs, CA. She's been waiting for me to get my studio tidy enough to really appreciate her and now I'm ready to play dress-up with her. Today, I took off her Holiday attire in favor of something soft and sparkly. The tiara and crystal necklace look so pretty against the silky sparkly scarf I found at Empress on Main Street in Placerville. I tried it with and without the antique shoes. They're so cute, I included a picture, but I think I'll leave them off till I re-do her for Easter.

She still doesn't have a name.... Just haven't come up with the right one, yet. :)
Antique shoes with little hearts I found in Jackson, CA

A closer view of the jewels and birds.

An Ode to Coffee

First thing every morning, I think about coffee. I've been that way for as long as I can remember. My first memory of coffee was of my grandmother talking about going across the street and to have coffee and "visit" (code for gossip) with the neighbor that had this great window that looked out into the street and  of everyone's business. My grandmother lived in a neighborhood in Long Beach, CA that was always being annexed. It started out Long Beach, and was briefly Wilmington, Carson, Los Angeles, and finally returned to having a Long Beach mailing address. It was called the "Presidential Estates" which is really funny because they were all tiny bungalows, mostly no more than 1,000 square feet. Every day, just after breakfast, grandma would anounce that she was headed over to the Boone's for coffee. Strange, because she'd already drank a pot, but there she'd go...

At her house, I always wanted to try coffee. It smelled so good! She seemed to love it. I just had to give it a try. So, she filled this teeny tiny little cup with a drop of coffee, a teaspoon of sugar, and some milk. It tasted like coffee flavored candy! So sweet and yummy. I sipped at my little china cup and soon it was gone. As time progressed, I graduated to larger cups and a stronger mix, but my favorite way to drink coffee is still with sweetener and milk.

Working in hospitals through my teens cemented my addiction to java. I loved how we flouted convention and treated day no different from night. Coffee was a big part of that! If you're going to go to school in the day and then work all night, you gotta have your coffee.

When I was just 20 years old, I joined a fellowship which helps people who want to quit drinking alcohol. Let me tell you, that group loved it's coffee! I remember getting a cup at my first meeting over 25 years ago. I remember how the hot coffee sounded when it came in contact with the Styrofoam cup. I remember how my hand shook a little. I was reassured by an old-timer that the shaking would stop; and it did. To this day, I love to go to meetings and listen for the sound of hot coffee on Styrofoam, I find it comforting.

During my 30's I was introduced to Starbucks and fancy coffee drinks. I must admit I fell in love with the fat-free, sugar-free, vanilla latte! For Christmas that year I got an espresso machine. It didn't taste quite as good as the ones at the coffee shop, but it was wonderful to have it whenever I wanted and not pay a fortune for it. When my espresso machine finally died, I didn't replace it, though...

I guess, for me, what I love about coffee is the ritual of it. Setting up the coffee maker, waiting for it to brew, stealing a cup if I can't wait till it's all the way done. Although I've had some wonderful coffee in pretty fabulous places, there is just no coffee that compares to the first cup in the morning in my own kitchen.

Friday, December 30, 2011

The third Chakra Tree is complete!

Following a very busy and overwhelming December, I've finished the third painting in my Chakra Tree series. I was planning to do three paintings however, my daughter looked at all three together and asked, "Are you going to do Fall next?" The funny thing is I just painted each painting independently and didn't notice that they certainly do look like winter, spring, and summer. I haven't decided if there's a fall to be created. I was just enjoying have the three complete. :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Life and other stuff

It sure has been a while since I had something fun to share here. My former husband of 20 years (Joe) was diagnosed with cancer in October and life has been pretty crazy ever since. I think we all must live with a belief that those who are close to us will continue to be there. If we focus on how much our friends and family mean to us, and how fragile we really are, I think we'd live in a state of fear. So, we go along confident that those we love will be there for a long time. Having Joe become suddenly and seriously ill, has been earth shaking for me and my whole family. I've been working hard at helping my children feel secure, and my business when I can. But, I openly admit, the kids come first. :)

As for art... I'm developing work in my imagination which I look forward to bringing into real life. When my mind drifts to scary thoughts when I'm going to sleep, I use my imagination to create beautiful pictures. It's fun, life affirming, and gives me ideas of images to create when I actually get to paint again. Following Thanksgiving, I'll be working on a new ornament for Christmas. A gallery that has invited me to do an art showing in April has asked me to participate in a Christmas ornament fund raiser and I'm ready for a new fun assignment. I'm planning to paint a special dove and then embellish printed copies to press between glass. Then I'll use the same method I use for the pendants to make an ornament. I can't wait to see them in real life! I'll post pictures when I get the first done.

Till then, Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, October 28, 2011

One day at a time

Life has been more crazy than usual here at my house. My sweet ex-husband is sick with cancer and my sons are now with me full time. When he was healthy, their dad had them from Friday to Friday and we traded off. So, I was a 50/50 mom. Having them here all the time is a blessing, but it makes getting work done pretty tough. I can't imagine how single moms who work out of the home have time to get any thing done at home. Today Joe starts chemo, so we are praying that he'll be back up here in Northern Cali to enjoy his boys very soon!

As far as the art business goes, I've created a few new pendants from the art I've been painting. I have an opportunity to do an art walk (FOR FREE!!!) on Saturday and I'm looking forward to getting feedback from folks on the new stuff. I really love them and it's always interesting to see what other people love. I've been surprised by what gets people excited. Here's the original painting that I took the images from:

And, here are the pendant images that I used for pendants:

The second dove is from another painting in the same series. It's always interesting to see what other people see in our art work. I believe that the imperfections in art leave space for the observer to insert themselves and interpret from a personal place. While I admire artists who can recreate the world so perfectly that it looks like a photograph, I also appreciate a folksy style that leave lots of room for the observer to interpret.

Friday, October 21, 2011

A new series of paintings

I just love it when I wake up in the morning with fully formed creative ideas on my mind. Last week I had just such a morning. I had just bought a whole bunch of canvases at Aaron Brothers because they were 70% off!  Some of the canvases were a size I've never used before, 12x30. I didn't know how I would use them until I dreamed up this chakra tree idea. Since I love symbolism, I thought this would be super cool, if I could pull it off. My goal is to a three painting series (at least!)

In case you're not familiar with chakras, according to Wikipedia: Chakra is a concept originating in Hindu texts, featured in tantric and yogic traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism. They include seven colors, starting with red at the base of your spine (root), orange for the sacral (reproduction, creativity), Yellow for solar plexus (gut), green (sometimes pink) for the hear (compassion, love), light blue for the throat (speak your truth), dark blue for the third eye (intuition), and white or purple for the crown (enlightenment).

I used these symbols and the tree to represent the human body. The first one I did in a primitive style.The second painting is in a bolder more whimsical style. I love them both and can't wait to work on the third.
Chakra Tree Prim

Chakra Tree Bold

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My creative process

Today I've been thinking a lot about my creative process. I guess it's different for other people, but for me it is a wild ride. First an idea starts small in my mind. I visualize the project coming together and very often switch it around many times in my imagination. I thoroughly enjoy this process as it gives me a chance to make the project over many times without using any resources other than my time. I can change everything about the project, the colors, scale, etc. Finally, when I'm ready to commit my idea to canvas, start the quilt, begin to sculpt, or write it down, (depending on the kind of idea I'm noodling) I love the beginning. I'm thrilled as my vision begins to take shape...

Then, almost always at the half way point, I HATE it! It's wrong, what was I thinking? Since this always happens, I push past the middle point and begin to fall in love again. Once it's finished, (in the case of a painting) I sign it and put it up on the mantle. When I pass it, I have mixed feelings of love and displeasure as I see what I think are imperfections. Within a couple of days, the imperfections become my favorite parts and I no longer want to part with the project at all! :)

Here are my latest pieces. I'd love to hear your process, too!

Monarch on California Poppy (16x16) on the mantle.

Monarch on Sunflower II with Karen Wall Garrison's little gift

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

New butterflies just in time for my big show on Friday

I just finished these little paintings for the art show I'm doing on Friday. I'm so excited! Please stop by J27 Gallery between 2 and 9 this Friday, September 16. Check out my web site www.LauraPallatin.com events section for more info!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Butterfly and Lantern Gallery visit

Jim and I went to visit Sunshine, the owner of the gallery in Pacific Grove that carries my art, Butterfly and Lantern. Since I've been invited to show my work at J27, we motored over to the coast to get a few of my pieces so I'll have plenty to show. Here's a picture of me at the gallery with Sunshine.

While I was admiring Dick Crispo's work, I noticed this cute little birdie pair in a nest that I created! How fun! Now I've been shown with Dick Crispo! I'm really moving up in the world. :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Two galleries have invited me to show my art!

Can you believe it! On Thursday, I received two requests for my art! As I type this, I'm in denial... My artwork is wanted... I'm so excited!

So, just to let you know, this didn't happen all at once. One gallery (Heart & Soul - more info at http://www.facebook.com/HeartnSoulStore) is also a shop which sells my book, cd's, and pendants. The owner, Carly, has been working on her gallery for some time. I wasn't sure that my work was what she envisioned for her shop, so I didn't really say any more than, "If you'd like to see my work, to see if it fits in, let me know and I'll bring a few pieces by." Well, she went to my website (www.LauraPallatin.com) and checked my work out herself and decided that my work is what she wants! Woo-hoo!!!

The other gallery, in downtown Sacramento called J27 (www.j27gallery.com) was recommended to me by another gallery I am in called Trezhurs in the Land Park section of Sacramento. I submitted some images of my work and was invited to do a showing on a Friday, September 16th!

I guess that this success feels sudden, but really it's the result of working on my business. Every day I get up excited and happy because I get to work on products that help people feel good. Be it art, pendants, books, cd's, cards... they all go together to help people live happier lives.

Laura P.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

EnVision Cards

I've been working on putting together a workshop to share my love of art as well as support people in their personal goals. The result is EnVision Cards. The cards are 2.5 x 3.5 (ACT/ACEO size) and are all inspirational in theme. I'll post some examples of the cards here. I also started a blog just for the cards at www.EnVisionCards.Blogspot.com

I'd love to get your feedback, and maybe see you in a workshop sometime!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Getting Ready

I feel that I'm in a "getting ready" phase right now. I have so many wonderful things coming up, my head is swimming. On Friday the 5th, Jim and I will be attending the grand opening for an art gallery which features my work in Pacific Grove. Sunshine, the owner of "The Lantern and Butterfly" is such a wonderful lady! I'm so excited about seeing her and celebrating her special day. (now to figure out what to wear!!) I wish I knew Robin Brown of Magnolia Pearl personally, I know she could help me pick out the perfect outfit.

At the end of the month, August 27th, I'll be teaching a class I'm really excited about, too. I'll be helping people create their own personal inspirational art cards. I am pleased that it will be a fun class that will uplift and inspire each participant. And, everyone will walk away with little works of art that inspire and support their life's path.

Then, when Jim's knee is all better, we'll be heading up the coast through Oregon and maybe all the way to Washington. We're going to wander up the coast as the spirit takes us. I'm really looking forward to the adventure.

But, before then, the boys will go back to school… Rachel will be coming home... Jamie’s working her fanny off and will be back in school soon… The work and family blend into a wonderful life.

I hope you're feeling as blessed.

Monday, July 25, 2011

First steps in the Art Truck "Belle Mariposa"

I've been working on creating an "Art Truck" in my mind for months! I love to visualize my creative ideas and, when they're solid in my mind, drawing them out on my sketch pad. So, I've been playing with this idea for quite a while. In earnest over the last few months but, in truth, I've loved the idea for years!

At first I started visualizing a car, then a vw bug. When I started bringing art to galleries and doing street fairs, I was led to the idea of an art truck. I'll have a shell to put over the bed so that I can put my art back there and not worry about it blowing around. I also want a tiny backseat for my dog, Gracie! She loves to come along wherever I go!

If you take a look at my art, you'll see that I love painting butterflies. My first one was at the suggestions of my son, David. We were doing a mural on the side of our shed and I found a picture of a purple cone flower that happened to have a lovely monarch visiting it. When we finished the flower, David reminded me that it was time to add the butterfly. I told him I didn't think I knew how to paint a butterfly, but I'd try. Well, it was pure magic. The giant image just flowed and I dearly love that first butterfly and see it almost daily when I look at the artistically painted shed in our yard.

Since I'm probably a ways away from being able to buy my truck :(, I thought I'd start practicing painting on cars with bits of car that I can get from wrecking yards. So far I've gotten a piece of bumper which I've hand painted a couple of butterflies on. I used acrylic paint and brushes to do these two. I'm going to try creating a stencil and using my airbrush to do the background and adding the details with brushes.

Finally, I have a friend who is an auto body guy. He'll clear coat the whole truck and protect the images as well as the original paint.

If you've created an art vehicle, I'd love to hear from you and learn what you found worked and what didn't. I'll continue to share my experience and, hopefully, will have a finished truck to show you!

Here's the piece of bumper I've been practicing on.
Open  view of monarch

side view of Monarch, no legs yet!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Two new monarchs

I've always loved butterflies. There's the brighter than life colors, the fact that they FLY, transformation symbolism... The cover of my book, Walk in Your Own Footsteps is a photo of the trail that ends in a butterfly sanctuary in Santa Cruz, CA. There are really a lot of reasons that I love butterflies. About 2 years ago I painted my first one. I fell in love all over again. Each one is like a snowflake, it looks just like the others, but not quite. Today, I finished two more paintings. I have so many ideas for butterflies fluttering around my head, it looks like I will be painting many, many more. So, here's what I finished today.

I will be printing out tiny versions and creating pendants with them. Gosh, what a lovely way to spend my time. It surprises me that my heart, soul, and imagination can be so excited and my body gets so tired that I can't create. I'm never out of ideas or inspiration. I hope you enjoy these, too.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

My art work is now in a gorgeous gallery in Pacific Grove!!!

While on a little vacation to celebrate our anniversary, Jim and I happened upon the most wonderful gallery in Pacific Grove, CA. We were lucky enough to meet the owner of the gallery and I told her about my artwork. The owner, Sunshine, invited me to bring in my work for consideration in her shop. Well, I'm excited to share that she included everything I brought in.

The town of Pacific Grove is tucked in with Monterey and Carmel and is a quaint romantic getaway known for it's Monarch Butterfly migration. Well, if you've looked at my work, you know that I love to paint monarchs. Here's a couple of the paintings that are in the gallery.

I also created pendants from these images. If you'd like a copy, stop by the gallery or contact me directly.

The gallery also stocks copies of my book, inspirational cards, an original handmade purse, as well as my little hand sculpted and painted birdies.

Please let her know you learned about her shop from me.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Original art pendants are ready for McCloud

The philosophy of Cowgirl Gypsy Queen is all about AND! Dress up as a Cowgirl, Gypsy, or Princess? Yes! Boots or a tiara, why choose?

Living life with this philosophy opens me up to all sorts of exciting adventures. Very few of us define ourselves with just one aspect. Still, we naturally choose an answer to "What do you do?" And, we feel the need to have an answer for ourselves to the question, "Who are we?" What if we throw the doors and windows open and just refuse to choose? Refuse to stuff ourselves into the round hole, or the square one?  Let go of the idea of limits. It's fun!

I'm a homebody that loves to travel, a serious person who loves to laugh till my tummy hurts, I like cats and dogs, babies and teenagers. I'm a walking contradiction and I like it that way! Some people feel that, when it comes to art, you should choose a medium and focus on that. Well... I know that I would have much less fun if I had to pick just one thing. So far, my creative pursuits include writing, painting, sewing, quilting, beading, making stained glass, gardening, creating soft sculptures and photography. I may be forgetting something because sometimes I do. I'm interested in learning new things, too. Needle felting has me very intrigued.  

This explains why the last time I posted I showed the Kindle/ereader pouches I made. Today, I'm posting pictures of pendants that I made from my original art work and a darling picture form a vintage children's book. I made these to take with me to the McCloud flea market and I'll be posting some on ETSY when I get back.

I hope that you embrace your inner Cowgirl Gypsy Queen and, the next time you feel you should choose between two wonderful things, DON'T CHOOSE! Say, "Yes!" I'll take both, thank you!

A batch of finished necklaces

A tiny version of my painting "The One"

Lucky charm necklace

Mt Shasta painting with little heart bead charm

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Living the life of an Artist! Woo hoo!

I'm so excited that a beautiful store in the Land Park area of Sacramento called Trezhers is going to host my first Art Class in June. Because I want these classes to be a special experience for all my participants, I'm going to be putting on a show and inviting the students to play along with me.
I'll be handing the class over to my alter ego The Cowgirl Gypsy Queen and encouraging everyone to let their own inner child out to play. If you'd like to learn more about the Gypsy Queen, check out my new website at www.CowgirlGypsyQueen.com.

In class, we'll be making inspirational and fun artists trading cards (ATC) Here's a sample of a few I made. These tiny mixed media works of art are so fun because they are not overwhelming to complete yet allow each artist to express themselves!

I hope that you can come out and play with us!

Monday, May 9, 2011

More birdies for my ETSY site

I've been working on birdies to add to my ETSY site. I just love the little darlings! It all started when my sweetie and I were planning to get married. I went looking for the perfect wedding toppers for me and, while I liked a lot that I saw, none were exactly what was in my head. So... I tried making my own. My first few attempts were still close but no cigar, then I came up with a couple I dearly love! They are the birdies pictured at the top of my blog. While they are perfect for me, I must admit that they are a little small. So, I think I've come up with the perfect wedding couple.

Taking pictures is always a challenge. I especially like this one because it looks like the birds are looking at the penny.

I also sculpted and painted a whimsical little purple couple for fun. They are pictured here to give you an idea of contrast in size between the slightly larger green couple.

For the rest of the week, I'll be working on my pretty pouches which I plan to submit to Somerset by this weekend.

Happy creating, friends!

Friday, March 25, 2011

a BIG sign for my book signings

I thought it would be a good idea to make at least one BIG sign that could be seen across a fair or other large venue so I painted this one. It was really fun to work in a large scale. Wouldn't it be an absolute blast to be able to paint a HUGE something on the side of a barn! Ah, a girl can dream. Until then, 3 feet by 5 feet will have to do. :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Walk in Your Own Footsteps Cards

I've been working on some beautiful cards to support my book Walk in Your Own Footsteps. I used original photography I've been collecting for years! It's so fun to share images that I've been enjoying for so long. Here are a few of the cards...

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Kindle Pouch

I just love the Kindle I got for my birthday this month. When I shopped for covers, however, I found that most cost more than third the cost of the unit! And, since I've been inspired by Magnolia Pearl for a while, I decided to make my own! Using scraps I made this pretty bag and an extra little sack to keep the charger in. I just love having everything in one place!

I used fabric that was a sample from an upholstery shop. The green trim is left over from a quilt, and the hand-made lace doily I picked up at a thrift shop. I used seam binding tape fused to itself for the closure and the button is from my stash.

Here's a view of the back showing the doily. I used free-handed quilting to applique the doily. There may be a better way, but I didn't want to use glue.

Finally, the Kindle and charging cable tucked in their safe cozy home. I made the extra little fabric bag to keep the screen safe from the prongs on the charger. I think this is a much more fun and creative solution to keeping my Kindle safe from harm. :)