Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!!!


I can't believe how quickly October buzzed right by!  Now it's Halloween and here in upstate New York the weather is dark and gloomy, the leaves are blustering about on the lawn, and the house is warm and cozy all decked out in festive flare.  I just love it!  Ben wants to steal one of our nieces for trick-or-treating tonight...I think he's getting excited about taking our little one out around the neighborhood when she's old enough.  Of course mommy is getting excited about going through her candy afterward to "make sure it's safe"...hehe.  We don't get any trick-or-treater's here, but one thing is for sure...scary movies and pumpkin carving is on the roster for tonight!  

Ben snapped a whole bunch of photos of our decorations.  I tend to gravitate towards mantels when decorating for the holidays and since I have three of them, there the majority of my decorations live. 

I love old Halloween party hats.  And can you spot Ben's shopping list?  lol

The mantel in the front foyer area is where I really pile it on.  I love the cluttered look...almost like a spooky old antiques shop.  And believe it or not, I didn't use every single blow mold pumpkin I have...

Sophie and the bushel gourd man hang out together on the pew bench.

Some great Halloween repros (love the Bethany Lowe paper mache lanterns).

A little flare on top of the piano.  The tiny baby photo of my dad almost looks like he's wanting to run away from the pumpkin.  lol

 The reading room mantel got a little bit of a Halloween makeover.

 These are probably my favorite pieces from my Halloween collection...a row of vintage crepe paper witch...and one cat.

The gourd men I made years ago.

The guy on the left got dropped a couple of times...but it's the big crack in his face is somewhat appropriate. 

 My crepe tree in the dining room...

 Filled with some vintage and handmade Halloween goodies!

Witches on brooms that I made a few years ago based on vintage ones hang from the chandelier.

What?!  No!  That pumpkin isn't caving in on itself!!  Ok is.  I still have one other one that I can carve tonight and toast the seeds and all of that goodness.  This one will get chucked into the garden tomorrow morning.  :(

Tiny Halloween goodness arranged in Eye Spy style. 

 A pipe cleaner devil made by an artist friend.

 This line of heavy iron black cats is on my mantel all year round, but vintage black and orange festooning behind them adds some seasonal umpf.

I hope you enjoyed my little showing and hope you all have a spooktacular Halloween!!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

On the work table tonight...

We've been uber busy in the studio since returning from the Martha show and it's been nice working into the night with the whole studio dark but the workspace right around me.  I've been make make making things for wholesale orders scheduled to go out to shops all around the world for the holidays...phew!  But next week?  I'll be getting ready for the first Christmas update!!  So excited about that!  But until then...late late nights watching Goosebumps on cable and lots of paint and glitter.  :)

Friday, October 25, 2013

Bad Cody Foster!!

I usually am living under a rock, not too aware of what's going on around me.  My life consists of happy things...decorating, creating, gardening, animals, etc.  Most things roll off my back like so many water droplets and there's not a whole lot that gets my temperature up.  But...just now...I've lifted my rock to see what's going on out there in the crafting world and while it's mostly awesomely great things...there's one thing that's really got me going.... 

Many of you may be very familiar with holiday ornament mogul Cody Foster.  His designs are mass produced and offered for sale all over the country and are very beautiful and oh so irresistible.  The only problem...they aren't his designs at all!  And he's been getting into some real heat for it lately too!  

Turns out he's been copying the designs of real artists and designers for years, illegally and without their permission or knowledge!  I heard once a few years ago from someone that if you see Cody Foster at a trade show, you better hide your wares!  I thought it was an exaggeration, but I was wrong!  I just got an email from a very perceptive and outraged gal who informed me that he's even copying me!  Eeek!  I've had copycats before that I've nipped in the bud, but nothing like this.  He's not asking for permission and is certainly not sharing any profits with the small independent artists he's stealing from.  It seems to me that he just cruises the internet, collecting images of original artwork and sending it to China to have it mass produced under his name.  He's making millions from the hard work of the "little people".  I've long avoided having my items mass copied in China myself for a variety of reasons, despite the ease of profit I could collect from it, and it's sad to know that someone else is doing it for me against my will.  For now it seems that my alligator is the only victim of mine, but who knows about next year and the year after?  And of course not to mention the countless other artists...

Luckily, it seems that big name retailers are finally catching on and pulling all Cody Foster merch from shelves and severing ties with him.  Anthropologie, Fab and West Elm among them.  Check out this Los Angeles Times article.  Thank goodness!!  Paper Source is currently considering it as well and I would urge anyone who reads this little post to do the same!  Does that mean you can't have the wonderful (stolen) things offered in his catalog?  Of course not!  You can always get it from the person who originally designed it.  :)

The alligator is the only design of mine that I know of that he's copied...but my friend Mimi?

 She's had several of her design stolen by Cody Foster...including her awesome lumberjack dolls...

 Any adorable sweater owls.  Grrrr....

 Here are just a few more examples...

 Check out this flickr page to see tons more examples.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

A few last Halloween goodies!

I made another collection of Halloween cuties for the Martha event and a few last characters are still up for grabs!  I've been onto Christmas this week, which is exciting, but a little weird too because I'm still into watching scary movies, lol.  But a bitter sweet ending to one of our favorite times of the year nonetheless.  They are all posted on Etsy now so grab them quick before they are all snatched up!

 These guys are a brand new thing I was playing around with and I'm totally in love!  They are made from gourds that my mom grew in her garden about 10 years ago (and have been waiting patiently for some creative flare) and have sculpted paper mache facial features and lots of hand painted detail.  They were a blast to create!!

 Ok, I admit it.  I have a strange fascination with conjoined twins...and bats...

You might recognize these three from the last blog update.  I know zombies aren't the most loving of creatures, but Zoomba Zombie and Zombie Daryl are quite charming once you get to know them! ;)  And of course Miss Webington is all charm...

All on Etsy!  Or you can email to inquire (  :)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

American Made Recap!

 What a week last week!  Ben and I are both finally back in the studio and still on a high from the fantastic turnout at Martha Stewart's American Made Awards event.  We met tons of great people, old friends and new.  Saw lots of great things, and sold tons and tons of wishful little characters to very happy people.  It was bliss!

We crammed tons of stuff onto our tiny table space.  

 And thank goodness for Ben!  He allowed me to sit a lot of the time (the hours were long) and was so good with all the customers and people who stopped by.  Doesn't he look super crafty?  :)

 I made a new display tree the week before we left as I knew we wouldn't have much horizontal space to work with.  It's super sturdy, unlike all my other display trees and can hold a ton.  We had to stand on a chair to reach the pieces at the top though.  lol

I always tend to cram everything together during shows and luckily people are still able to spot and pick out their favorites!

 Thanks to Ben helping in the studio in the weeks prior, I was able to really make a whole bunch of goodies for the show!!

 I made another collection of great Halloween pieces for the show and we have a few left.  We'll be posting those to Etsy tomorrow. 

 The first night they had a private cocktail party filled with glamorous people like Christie Brinkley and Ben's favorite, Carla from the Chew and of course, Martha herself. 

 My favorite?  The awesome food!!  I stuffed myself on little tomatoes filled with butternut squash soup (they're sitting on mushroom pedestals!) and tiny veggies.  Even the mixed nuts were to die for and I was so grateful that the guy with the cheese cart stopped right in front of our booth...the Camembert and dark raspberry jam was pure heaven!!  Even the mixed nuts were incredible (although strangely had meat in them, which I picked out).

 To cap it off?  Tiny caramel apples and pears with chocolate inside!  Wowsers!!  Hard to eat but so so delicious.  I might just make these at home for myself. 

 They had 40 vendors there this year (compared to last year's 15), which is why we had so little space.  But wow were there some amazing ones!!  Like this button and acorn shaped candy from Andie's Edible Sweets.  Check out their Etsy shop...they have this amazing mechanical gear candy too...crazy!!

 The award honorees had amazing Spoonflower, a company that lets you design your own fabric.  The fabric designs they featured were to die for!

 Grow a box of mushrooms!!  I can't remember who this honoree was, but how cool is that?!

 Really neat things on fabric from Lucky Fish.

 And Nancy from Parcel was there too!!  It was so great finally meeting her!  Check out her New Jersey shop...she's making beautiful paper pom pom creations and carrying some of my goodies too!

 Green Vase Flowers were simply amazing...all crafted from tissue paper and absolutely stunning!! 

What a great and fabulous week!!  Thanks Martha for inviting us back!  :)