Posts Tagged ‘art’

Ivory and lace

In crafts, decor, Etsy on April 17, 2012 at 12:08 pm

The latest Etsy splurge involved a set of distressed, ivory frames. There were three frames in the set which were perfect to put up pictures of our kids – the two-legged and four-legged kinds.

Unfortunately, not all the frames came with glass, and the glass on one of the frames broke  during shipping, so Chloe and Connor’s portraits are currently unprotected. Somehow seems fitting with the “shabby chic” look.

This intricate design on the frames remind me of lace, and reminds me of other items I could splurge on in the future.

And Balinese lace to wrap it up – if you have never heard of Uluwatu, they make the most beautiful clothes out of handmade Balinese lace.


Blank wall space

In crafts, decor, Etsy on April 9, 2012 at 3:45 pm

Some of the things I love window shopping for online includes art and picture frames. Blank wall space just begs to be filled with personality. Here are a couple of coastal-inspired pieces that I love. Click on the pictures to pick up an accent piece for yourself.

And of course the fastest way to brighten up a room in my home: Chloe and Connor.

Marine and green

In crafts, decor, Etsy on March 18, 2012 at 2:23 pm

A friend recently asked me to make her a coastal wreath like the one  on our front door. My clever husband decided that orange would be a good color for the flowers and I admit it came out quite nicely.

I was actually quite impressed with the way our camera captured this wreath in the warm light of our living room. I also got to thinking about how well terrestrial plants look with marine species, and there are a few items on Etsy that I would love to add to our home. Here are some air plants in sea urchins that Robin Charlotte’s Etsy store makes so beautifully.

This nautilus terrarium is also amazing (from Tall Poppy Gardens on Etsy). Who would have thought calcifying organisms could go so well with green plants?

So there’s only one thing left to add: Connor – go get me some sea shells to turn into miniature gardens!

Malaysian batik art

In crafts, decor, Etsy on February 25, 2012 at 10:50 am

My latest illustrations were inspired by Malaysian batik. Here Chloe tolerates me using her to model my only piece of Malaysian batik in the form of a sarong. A sarong is a long piece of material sewn together in a giant hoop, and typically it is worn around the waist (ala Chloe, below) and is used by both men and women. Note:  men would also wear it around their waist, and not as a head-dress (ala Connor – who was just too lazy to model it the right way). I love the detail and use of colour in the designs. The traditional batik art is a painstakingly long process thanks to the intricate details. It’s really amazing how much detail and colour can be found in the traditional clothes of Asian cultures.

I did not see why batik art wouldn’t look just as beautiful printed on an animal, and these two illustrations below were my whimsical interpretation of batik art and wildlife. However, I admit I cheated and used watercolors to create them which saved me a LOT of time.

An emperor penguin chick with batik details.

 A Sumatran rhino.

A little Hawaiian touch

In crafts, Etsy, wrinkled sea dog on February 16, 2012 at 5:23 pm

Chloe in her Hawaiian costume

I realize that I am quickly running out of shoes for my dogs to model on the blog. Luckily  my slippers look acceptable with Chloe’s  Hawaiian outfit. Anyway, the theme for this post is related to my artwork. Why on earth are all my animals wearing flowers or leis? Two reasons: 1) I love (and miss) Hawaii; 2) it is a small attempt to broach an environmental concern – namely, climate change.

Living near Washington DC can be a little amusing. The political circus is impossible to escape here, as are the follies of politicians who take offense to any mention of climate change. Likely these same politicians don’t believe in evolution either. Anyhow, polar species stand a lot to lose in a warming earth. In an effort to inspire without the gloom and doom of climate change naysayers, I created the Hawaiian-themed accents for animals typically suited for colder climates – such as this little polar bear cub. The world is changing, might as well start accessorizing appropriately!

Incidentally, I have never seen a wild polar bear even though I’d really like to. Unfortunately, they are having a rough go with this changing environment, and some have even turned to cannibalism (see story here ). It is a sad, sad time for wildlife.

Inspiring Alaska

In crafts, Etsy, travel, wrinkled sea dog on February 15, 2012 at 7:41 pm

Alaskan field research gear is typically not very flattering. Particularly if you’re only 5′ 1″ and everything is made to fit bigger people. Here’s Connor demonstrating some of my Alaskan gear – although he sure looks a lot cuter in it.Alaska ready dog

After spending three whole summers in a tent in bush-county Alaska, I am now seriously considering living there full-time. True, most of my time in Alaska has been in the summer AND I spent a significant portion of my time there in a boat – but, I think we’re ready for this change.

The greater part of my idyllic Alaskan adventures involved stalking these critters.

Oh sea otter, how incredibly cute you are with your fluffy fur coat. That coat has the most hairs per square inch of any marine mammal, and self-grooming helps to keep air trapped in their coats for insulation. When resting in the water, the hair on their heads and paws dry out – and otters will do their BEST to keep their paws dry until they absolutely have to dive. I have seen many an otter perform  contortionist worthy feats while rolling in the water in order to keep their paws dry in the air. However, that air-trapping ability of their fur is completely lost if an otter’s fur gets oiled. A well-groomed sea otter is perfectly happy in the frigid Alaskan waters, but an oiled otter risks hypothermia.

Another great quality of sea otters is that they are incredibly photogenic, and they inspire countless pieces of art, which now includes this addition to my Etsy shop. Here’s hoping that the increased oil extraction activities off Alaska’s coasts does not leave otters seeking warmth in the future.

The Job Hunt Continues

In crafts, Etsy, jobs, Uncategorized, wrinkled sea dog on February 13, 2012 at 3:14 pm

Picture3 Here’s Chloe doing her impression of me from two weeks ago – going to my 9 to 5 office job, complete with hour-long commute. Now that my fancy fellowship is over, it is back to the drawing board. As many others (exhibit 1, exhibit 2, exhibit 3) have blogged before me, it is tough times for a PhD or any young professional in this job market – much more so when you are still considered a lowly foreign immigrant.

A higher degree certainly puts you out of the market for a lot of jobs, and after years of studying to be an academic, I’m still not sure that is the best path for me. In the meantime, I am working on writing up by dissertation for publication, and keeping my sanity with little art projects.

I think that a lot of scientists get burned out these days. The pot of research funds is shrinking, competition is increasing, and the work-life balance is becoming increasing UN-balanced. I’m slowly becoming more drawn to the idea of owning my own business, and doing small research projects in Alaska.

I miss being out in the field – in addition to being outdoors and doing good science, it inspires me to paint my little cards like this one. Unfortunately, art projects don’t pay the bills and the Washington DC area is a very expensive place to be unemployed. Thank heavens my husband was smart enough to have skills that keep him employed. In the meantime, it’s back to the part-time jobs classifieds for me.