Thursday, April 28, 2016

Getting Out of Funkytown and Learning New Things

Musically, Funkytown is a great place to be. Creatively and professionally? not so much

Recently I found myself in the Capitol of Funkytown, I may have even been the mayor for a few months. Things just weren't going well and it was a chore to come into the studio and get to work. I had spent a good amount of time and energy on a couple of projects that didn't pan out financially and I was struggling with some pretty harsh inner voices. 

In a nutshell; I was creatively miserable. 

I made the decision that if I was going to create art for other people and not make any money then I might as well create art just for myself and not make any money. Funny how when you say something like that to yourself, everything changes.
With drama and flourish I announced to the universe "That's it, I am done with licensing" and then I said "Well what are you going to do?" 

There is a lot of talk out there about doing what you love and following your passion. It all sounds nice  but what if you don't know what that is, or rather, what if you THINK you don't know what that is? 

I have long been a follower of Beth Kempton's "Do What You Love for Life" blog. I knew Beth from a  Kelly Rae Roberts e-class and liked her writing style as well as her insightfulness. One morning while wallowing in my misery, an email came through from Beth offering a class called "Do What You Love". Clearly the universe was listening, either that or Beth has really great hearing.
Although I am a person who holds on to my money with a vice like strength (it comes from my grandmother), I asked myself "Am I worth investing in?" I couldn't exactly say no, and I took the plunge.

I am so happy that I did. It changed my perspective on everything, it allowed me to see things that I hadn't seen before and it made me realize that I am in control of this creative ship. It also made me realize that I am doing what I love, it just needed a little tweaking.
In other words, it was a game changer.

Being so impressed with the class, how it was presented and organized and the tools and reference material; I signed up for another of Beth's classes. This one is called "The E-Course Creation Masterclass" and I can't wait to start it. 

I have no idea if I want to create an E-Course but the moral of this story is that you absolutely have to keep learning and challenging yourself creatively and intellectually.
And more can escape Funkytown

and you are welcome for that Funkytown link.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Story Behind the Art-Kathleen Taylor

The Story Behind the Art-Kathleen Taylor

Hello and welcome to the eighth installation of 

If you are new to my blog, The Story Behind the Art will take you on a little journey into the STORY behind a particular piece of art or collection created by one of my talented friends from around the globe. The stories are posted on the first Wednesday of each month.

This month's guest is Kathleen Taylor. I have known Kathleen for so long that I can't remember how we met. My best guess is that it was at an art fair where one or both of us had a booth. 
I have always been a fan of her work and have enjoyed watching it develop over the years.
Recently Kathleen posted images from her Envelope Project on Facebook and I knew that it would make a great Story Behind the Art

(If you are in Atlanta the weekend of April 8, 9 and 10, Kathleen will be in booth #137 at The Atlanta Dogwood Festival.)

Introducing Kathleen Taylor and the Envelope Project 


Paula Joerling

The Envelope Project began with a recent estate sale find.
I found a $3.00 basket brimming with vintage postage stamps and cancelled envelopes. The envelopes told touching stories of connection between soldiers and sweethearts at home, relatives and distant family, best friends.

Paula Joerling

I am an artist and collector of all things vintage. I began to draw images and words on the envelopes, incorporating the original stamps and markings.

Paula Joerling

Creating art out of these ordinary papers gave me a way to preserve a dying form of communication in this digital age. The letter writers, their stories and words are given new life through the art. I wanted to bring attention to the power and beauty of words on paper.

Paula Joerling

Most of my adult life I’ve been fortunate to be a working artist. Today I create mixed media art that I sell through my website, galleries, art shows. My images are licensed to gift and needlework manufacturers.

Paula Joerling

Follow the links to learn more about Kathleen and her work.


Kathleen Taylor Studio on Facebook

Instagram- Painted Pieces

Thursday, March 31, 2016

New Products from the Studio!

2015 was a busy year here at the studio. Between creating art for Lang calendars and my new fused glass line for Transpac, there wasn't much time to come up for air. Truth be told, I loved every crazy minute of it.

It seems as though 2016 is going to be just as busy,  but I wanted to take a few minutes to show you some of the new product.


 This was my third year designing art for the "Tres Chic" calendar.  2017 got a face lift and I think, in my 13+ year history of creating calendar art, that this is my favorite. Shhh, don't tell the others......

"A Stitch in Time" is in it's second year and I just completed the art for year three-yeah!  This title has been so popular that I was asked to create a "spin off" of sorts, but you will have to wait until August to see what that's all about. Wink, wink.

The 2017 "Family Plan-It" is a staple in the Lang family of calendars. I think I did my first one back in 2008 when I was a staff artist at Lang. I have a lot of fun flashing back to childhood memories to come up with art for each month.


Sewing Hoops were a popular item for my "Sew Happy" line so I designed a few new ones to add to the collection. 

I also designed several fused glass pieces for Transpac Imports "Glass Menagerie" line. I love how these turned out.

The "Sew Happy" line started with banners, there are 30+ designs in all. The LED banners were new this season. In addition to these two, there are several holiday designs.

The Mini Banners and Mini Write On line was expanded. The size 5-1/2" x 4-1/4" makes them perfect to pop in the mail.

I love that you can write a personalized message on these.

Currently, I am not sure where to purchase the "Sew Happy" or "Glass Menagerie" lines from Transpac Imports but I have a few in stock. Feel free to message me if you are interested in purchasing. 
 As soon as I have them all photographed, I will have a SHOP page on my blog.

As always, thanks for stopping by and check back Wednesday, April 6th when Kathleen Taylor will be my guest on THE STORY BEHIND THE ART.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Story Behind the Art-J. Wecker Frisch

The Story Behind the Art-J. Wecker Frisch

Hello and welcome to the seventh installation of 

If you are new to my blog, The Story Behind the Art will take you on a little journey into the STORY behind a particular piece of art created by one of my talented friends from around the globe. The stories are posted on the first Wednesday of each month.

Many years ago I did a should out on Facebook to illustrators who were attending the Atlanta Gift Show. I was hosting the first of many of these gatherings at my studio/home. As luck would have it, there was a terrible ice storm on the day of the party and quite a few people couldn't make it due to flight delays. Janet and a few other hardy souls, braved the slippery sidewalks and freezing temperatures. We have been friends ever since.
I am a big fan of her Handmaids®  and asked if she would share her story with you. 
Happily, she agreed to!


The Story Behind the Art-J.Wecker Frisch

My first licensing goal, a Lang calendar was realized and launched

to the trade in January. It was Paula Joerling who made the

introduction and the kind gesture to feature the product collection. 

Paula Joerling

Paula Joerling

The group of art chosen by Lang Publishing is a collection from my 
Handmaids® series of creative characters, "She Who Sews". The line
originally designed for high end quilt fabric, offered many
possibilities and images of all sizes. The large patch panels translated
to calendar pages seamlessly. Specs for both are nearly the same. The
many motifs used for coordinates, provided Lang’s in house designers
additional options for the grid page borders.

Paula Joerling

The intent for the artsy girls was to combine an array of artisans 
who would deliver significant positive messaging. The Biblical
spelling Handmaids® was derived from the often referred to ‘hand-made’
term coined in recent years. These deliverers of the good news, as in
much of my work, contain a gentle spiritual influence using decorative
text within the page or patch design. Subtle suggestions of scripture
and sewing ephemera are selected to accompany the illustration or theme
for the group. Sometimes a tiny liberty is taken like a play on words,
as in the title of this collection of sewists.

Paula Joerling

The characters are rendered by hand using ink and then watercolored
after many study sketches are executed and finalized. I attempt to
achieve a modern vintage appearance with a playful yet somewhat serious
style. I also like to come up with a humorous hint of steampunk and elements
of surprise wherever I can. They are then scanned into the computer where
they can be layered and formatted into the desired layout.  

Paula Joerling

The “She Who Sews” calendar for 2017 will be available later this
year wherever Lang products are sold. Happily, I have been invited to
create a second group of creatives for 2018 which, I am having fun
doing now! 

Follow these links to learn more about Janet.

For Janet’s company:

For Handmaids

Etsy Shops:

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Handmade Valentine's, Traditional and, well, Otherwise.

Ever since I was a kid, I have enjoyed creating handmade cards and making Valentines has always been my favorite. This year I was a little under the weather so I kept them rather simple and I am really happy with how they turned out.

Using Pinking Shears, I cut some hearts out of vintage french postcards and added a decorative zig zag stitch. 

handmade valentines

I cut a bunch of little petals out of assorted papers and stitched a little button to the center. In photoshop, I made "patches" that said HAPPY, VALENTINE"S, DAY and drew little stitches around them. All of this was glued to the heart. I then glued the heart to a piece of watercolor paper, and then I straight stitched a border around the edge.

handmade valentine's

handmade valentine's
Sweet, cute and classic, right?

Now for the Otherwise.........
While I normally make Valentine's that lean more to the traditional; I really get a kick out of coming up with something in, what I consider, the "otherwise" category.

My friend Bryan and I have a long running joke about clams, so every year I make him a clam themed Valentine. Some years they are cute, some years they are funny but I totally outdid myself last year and made one that was SPECTACULAR (if I do say so myself).
As Bryan is a big fan of Vampire movies, project Clampire was hatched. 

Paula Joerling
 His little mouth opens and closes just enough.

Paula Joerling
After this one, I will never be able to outdo myself.

My Wonder Twin and studio mate, Chad, always gets a Valentine too. His are always an altered and personalized vintage valentine. Hang on, it's about to go south here..........

Paula Joerling
 It all started innocently enough with an organ grinder and his monkey. 
and then it got personal......

One night a bunch of us were sitting around my kitchen table (where all great ideas happen) and we decided that Chad should open a place called "Chad's Nut House". It was the perfect inspiration for last years Valentine. 
Paula Joerling
Again, a cute valentine with a nice sentiment

 and then it got really personal..........

These still make me laugh and I have no idea how I am going to top these this year but I have a plan. Oh you better believe that I have a plan........................

and thanks for reading my blog

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Story Behind the Art-Lori Siebert

The Story Behind the Art-Lori Siebert

Hello and welcome to the sixth installation of 

If you are new to my blog, The Story Behind the Art will take you on a little journey into the STORY behind a particular piece of art created by one of my talented friends from around the globe. The stories are posted on the first Wednesday of each month.
This month, I am happy to introduce you to my friend, Lori Siebert. Lori is one of the most creative and versatile artists that I know. You can't walk into a shop without seeing her beautiful art on products. She also likes to make things just for the joy of making them. Her Story Behind the Art will tell you about the creative spark that led her to start creating her angels from things she found in nature.

Heeeeeere's Lori...............................


The Story Behind the Art-Lori Siebert

Last summer, when on vacation in Hilton Head...on the walks to and from the beach...I started collecting little bits from nature along the path. The slow pace of vacation allows you the time to just notice things and appreciate them more. I had a nice little collection started on our back porch and decided to start creating with these beautiful finds. At first,I was making mandalas. But,then it occurred to me to make an angel. I have always loved angels and have collected several made by artist friends. I have also given hand made angels to several friends and inspiring women in my life. 

Paula Joerling

Paula Joerling

Paula Joerling

Paula Joerling

This started an obsession that has continued throughout the last year. When I am out and about,I keep my eyes open for bits from nature that would make beautiful angel dresses or wings. It has really made me pay closer attention to the changes in seasons. It also opened my eyes more widely to the vast array of colors,textures and shapes that are everywhere. It has become a crazy passion. I don't have a reason to make them. They are not for a client or a job. They are just a wonderful creative practice. 

Paula Joerling

Paula Joerling
I have recently evolved the angels into little nature dresses photographed on a tiny wire hanger. I have always loved fashion and secretly long to be a costume designer. This fulfills a bit of that interest (and since I can't really is my quick little  clothing design fix.) Since there are endless materials out in the world to play with...I plan to keep making these for who knows how long? It's nice to just create with no deadline, no art director,...just because!!
Paula Joerling

Paula Joerling

Want to see more of Lori's beautiful work?

Check out her etsy shop

Follow her on Instagram 

She has some great boards on Pinterest 

and you can keep up with her on Facebook 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Story Behind the Art-Chad Barrett

Hello and welcome to the fifth installation of 

If you are new to my blog, The Story Behind the Art will take you on a little journey into the STORY behind a particular piece of art created by one of my talented friends from around the globe. The stories are posted on the first Wednesday of each month.
This month, I am happy to introduce you to my Wonder Twin, studio mate and partner in crime, Chad Barrett. In addition to being a talented artist he is also a fantastic whistler and can make a mean cocktail. 
Chad's Story Behind the Art is about a coastal collection he designed for Creative Co-Op. If you happen to attend the winter gift shows be sure to stop in and check out his beautiful new line.
Ladies and Gentleman........Mr. Chad Barrett........

The Story Behind the Art - Chad Barrett

This collection all started with an art director’s request for a coastal series. I’ve done many coastal collections in the past and its one of my favorite themes. Maybe that’s because the beach is my happy place and the idea of sleeping under a palm tree is so relaxing. 

Getting started I first like to hear the client’s ideas.  Their inspiration, color direction, expectations, etc.  Quickly my mind starts spinning with direction of my own and I can’t wait to get into the studio. I always start out each project with tons of research and this one was no different. I scoured the internet, hit the book store, looked at fabrics and went through all my past beach trip photos. When I travel, I’m always snapping photos for possible references for anything that might be useful in the future.

Basically I was thinking “coastal” 24/7. My ideas started to focus round specific locations in Florida; places like Rosemary Beach, Alys Beach, and Sea Side. If you’ve never been there, you’re missing out. I love everything about those locations. The color of the water, the architecture, the vegetation, you name it… I love it all. The idea of those communities set the tone for the collection, so after that it all came together.  

Chad Barrett

Chad Barrett

I started painting many different shells and sea creatures all in transparent layers of watery acrylics. I focused on shades of blues and aquas accented by hits of coral, keeping it all very simple and clean. Then I started adding in patterns and what I call “supporting” elements. 

Things like borders, little sketches, stamps and text. All the extra pieces are used to complement the artwork and help round out a good collection. 

Once I’m finished with all the work, everything is then transferred into Photoshop. There I do all the little tweaking, create new elements if needed and make the final compositional arrangements. 

Then I like to take my images and create a mood board with a few, basic product mockups and I give this to the client along with the final artwork files. I do this, not with the expectation that my products will be created as I see them, but mainly to inspired the client.  Showing them what I envision hopefully helps them think about how they will incorporate my artwork into their product line.  To me this is part of the collaboration process and I love to see if any of my ideas show up in the end. 

Paula Joerling

I started this collection almost a year ago and the products just hit the wholesale market back in October. Samples were delivered to me a few weeks ago and I’m over the moon happy with the final outcome. Fingers crossed other people will like them too! 

Creative coop

creative coop

Follow Chad on Instagram
Find Chad's line at Creative Co-Op