Friday, February 29, 2008

Royal Tea anyone?

Today, I brought seven pieces to the Royal-tea Garden Tea Room at Mulberry Art Studios.

Check out my pieces now and on First Friday March 7, when I'll be stopping by the Tea Room.

Have a little girl? Take her for a tea- I like the theme tables and they have all sorts of things to look at- handcrafted items and all types of neat things little girls and their ladies need!

Royal-tea Garden Tea Room and Gifts
19 N. Mulberry Street
Studio 212
Lancaster, PA 17603

IKEA on Thursday

beats a weekend there, always. My son had free reign to sprint up and down the aisles. Unfortunately that resulted in him running straight into a display coffee table. Poor kid.

I have been desperately looking for ladder back chairs for a set I am working on for the Niederhoffer family and their Maine house. I ended up getting two at IKEA to start with. They have that LL BEAN coastal look, so I think they'll be just great. Also they are unfinished which means they'll take my paint better.

(just a side note: this family is the coolest bunch of folk art collectors ever, so I am so proud to do these chairs for them. Living with them allowed me to know the freedom of folk art and painting what you feel and can do- the bolder and more honest and brave the better, what a lesson). For an experience that is more real than you'd ever believe, pick up Galt Niederhoffer's book, "A Taxonomy of Barnacles."

I guess sometimes it's hard to use salvaged everything.

Is it just mean or does going to IKEA make everyone want to have a big yard sale and get rid of half of your possessions and then go to the store and get all sorts of new stuff?

If we did that there wouldn't be much left of the contents of our house, since we have many many IKEA things- but I am itching to replace my living room rug, and my basement futon, for sure, and really make it funky.

I am beginning to brainstorm about the first "Maggie French Folk Art Spring Open House" for family and friends, so I want the house to be extra spiffy. You see, if I did that each spring, it would give me a goal every winter, and also be a celebration to end my painting all winter hybernation thing I have going on.

oh, it's too late.


Sunday, February 24, 2008

Prince Street Garage

I photographed some of my new "blitz" pieces on the roof of the Prince Street garage today after we bought 50 pounds of fruit at Central Market. I thought I was going to freeze my hands off. I was going to wear my new Dansko shoes, but I ended up in my's very cold and slushy here. (For some reason I can't add pics to my blog at the moment, so bear with me.)

Lancaster looks so wintry in these photos. but there's lots of fresh fruit inside!!!!

PS: I may have performed an illegal, yet very artistic action today, as I crossed yellow tape and entered the unplowed roof of the garage. Also that little red door nearly went careening to the levels below...but we won't talk about that.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Snow Blitz

The first significant snow of the year arrived last night. I am now officially on a weekend painting blitz. I completed four doors today, with a few more in the works tomorrow. (mostly small doors).
Here is what happened when I realized I could use crayons on unfinished wood! (just seal it with a sealer when you're done!)

In other news I ordered my new business cards. Am I crazy?!
They say: Call for an Appt. to Visit my Studio!

but they also say a couple of cool things:

Available for Commissions and Shops
Support the Arts in Lancaster City!

and they look really cool :-) "Art made from Salvaged Treasures"

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Moi? The one who paints on her oven?

Today Claudia came to the house to interview me for an article for the Intelligencer on marketing your craft or art business. Soon, the whole of Lancaster may know that I do the majority of my painting on top of my new oven, or on the counter next to it!

Paint one coat on a small door while the water boils for the macaroni and cheese.
Paint a second coat while your child is still eating and you are clearing the table.
Warning: this is also how I got yellow paint on the top of my butter dish the other day.

Here is a picture of something else I made on my oven. :-)
Maggie's BBQ chicken pizza with cilantro, onion, and peppers on a homemade crust!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Maggie's Toy of the Last Century Award goes to....

PLAYSKOOL BLOCKS, the Nursery Kindergarten ones!

I have been DYING to find these for my are photos from Ebay. Playskool came out with several block sets, but this is one I wanted. The arch, the columns. This set sold on Ebay for $39.99. I found it today at the Ephrata Goodwill for $7.94.

I haven't had this much fun playing with a toy since I was a kid. We are busy tonight building garages for the CARS cars. Talk about old school meets new.

My husband says to me: "remember THIS one?!" and holds up the triangle. what a riot.
They remind me of the Southwestern landscape when you pile them up. It's super cool.
Oh yah...the CARS movie is set out west, that's funny.

In addition to this find (which will remain in my family for the next 100 years), were many things for my art stand including a white tablecloth, a wrought iron hook holder, a retro piece of fabric, and things for my art including vintage buttons, a giant spool of green thread.

For all you arty folks out there, Ephrata is one heck of a stop. The Goodwill is good, and even better is the ReUzit shop on Main Street. It's run by Mennonite volunteers and has so many neat things including craft supplies, suitcases, toys, housewares. There is a ReUzit furniture store too on State Street, but I don't get much there except for books. If you want an inexpensive dresser or hutch that might be the place for you, and often the things are slightly mid-century, just usually a little dark for me. Oh yes, they have old library books from children's schools. That's another trip down memory lane right there.

But NOTHING tops these blocks, NOTHING!!! ok...back to building...

Monday, February 18, 2008

Lancaster City Bird

My college roommate visited today with her two boys.
She had not been to the house in over a year and a half. This was the first time she saw my 2007 art (and that consisted of the pieces I never sold- shucks) and my 2008 crazy colorful, kid inspired art and increasingly more recycled pieces (you should SEE what my dad gave me over the weekend....more on that later)
I showed her my album of art stuff, photos of Eastern Market- told her about the Indie art scene and Handmade Nation...while fruity Cheerios and Cars were flying all over my hardwood floor- :-) I showed her "Lancaster City Bird" which is my sons favorite by far.
It's one of those days where you have not too much planned and people in your life show up and make your day interesting. I am waiting now for a call from my sweetheart Mexican au pair (I am the Lancaster coordinator for Cultural Care Au Pair), as I am picking her up from the train station. She spent the weekend in NYC, lucky senorita.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Sunshiney Day - Snowy Day

Add Image

Inside it's a "Sunshiney Day" but outside...oh look at my gnome!
Sunshiney Day is available on Etsy:

I'm on a bit of a roll with the painting, I guess I should clean the house at some point. :-)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Sweet Maggie May...welcome to my blog!

Hi there and welcome to my blog!
This year I am really :-) embracing my inner how about I blog?
(Last year was "artist-by fire": a market, a gallery, and a restaurant accepted me within a month, when I only had about 12 pieces made). so there was lots of money spent buying an art stand and lots of supplies- this year in comparison, I am finding more and more salvaged solutions and it's been very rewarding.
I'm using salvaged house paints, Freecycle, upholstery tacks to hold my wire in place on the back of my doors, recycled clothes, buttons...oh yes my little's a pic.
It's very cold here...but my paint still dries.