Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!

I hope everyone is having an absolutely wonderful Thanksgiving! I am out of town and will return on Monday, December 1st. Have a great day!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Amazing Carolina Etsians Team - ACE Team

I'd like to introduce to you the diverse group of very talented and creative individuals that make up the ACE Team, Amazing Carolina Etsians. The ACE Team is a relatively small Etsy Team of 28 unique Etsy shops located in the great state of North Carolina. ;) Last week I was given the honor of being offered team membership which I gratefully accepted! I'm very excited to be involved with such an energetic and passionate group, and am looking forward to working with such accomplished artists.

Here are the next ten amazing members and his or her shops:

Lauren of Austin Branson Company is located in Sophia, NC. She creates children's clothing and accessories. In her shop she has everything from door hangers, to bibs, to holiday dresses. Here is her cute Black and White Jumper.

Gayle of What's Her Name is located just outside of Charlotte, NC. She creates a wide variety of handmade items. In her shop she has items for children, holiday items, teas, and more. Here is her Spice Scented Hot Pad/Trivet.

Meredith of Merriwood Designs (who actually won the most recent giveaway) is located in Burlington, NC. She creates baby slings and carriers, t-shirts, blankets, and quilts. She is currently having a clearance sale in her shop. Here is beautiful her Pink Sparrow Pouch Sling.

Patricia of Tricia's Creations is located in Asheboro, NC. She creates a variety of hand-painted items including glassware, pocketbooks, ceramics, and more. Here is her Hand-Painted Ceramic Santa Head Container.

Dana of 31 Summers is located in Spindale, NC. She creates jewelry, bags, and baby things. In her shop she currently has several beautiful necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. Here is her Autumn Flower Necklace.

Debbie of Debbie48 is located in Charlotte, NC. She creates floral designs, decorative plates, hand-painted gourds, and more. Here is her unique hand-painted "Gone Huntin" Wood-Burned Gourd Birdhouse.

Elise of In The Light Glassworks is located in Asheville, NC. She creates hand-blown glass, jewelry, ornaments, candle holders, and oil lamps. Here is her gorgeous Natural Glow - Hand-Blown Glass Circle Pendant.

Jenn of Newfangled is located in West End, NC. She creates jewelry made out of paper, decoupaged objects, and collages. In her shop she currently has bangles, bracelets, earrings, necklaces, and rings. Here is her one-of-a-kind Elegant Flower Bangle.

Esther of Jazzturtle Creations is located in Mebane, NC. She creates one-of-a-kind hand-spun yarns, unique fiber batts, and wearable textile art. She also dabbles in decoupage here and there. Here is her Pumpkin Patch - Hand-spun Art Yarn.

Crystal of Pampered Ponytails is located in Thomasville, NC. She creates notepads, matchbook notepads, mini envelopes, mini note cards, promotional items, and more. Here is her Woodland Collection - Mini Notepad/Journal.

Stay tuned for more great and talented members of the ACE Team. Remember, if you are looking to shop with the ACE Team on Etsy, be sure to search with our tag 'aceteam.' Happy shopping!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Congratulations, Merriwood's Designs!

Congratulations to Meredith of Merriwood's Designs! She has won the giveaway of the $15 gift certificate plus free shipping to my Etsy shop! What I think is funny is that of over 130 entries, the winner is someone I "know." Meredith is a fellow ACE Team member and also has an Etsy shop at She creates baby slings & carriers, t-shirts, blankets, and quilts. She also has a blog. Be sure to check out her shop! She has a lot of beautiful high-quality handmade items.

A big "Thank You" to everyone who entered! Be sure to come back around Dec. 15th for the new giveaway.

Amazing Carolina Etsians Team - ACE Team

I'd like to introduce to you the diverse group of very talented and creative individuals that make up the ACE Team, Amazing Carolina Etsians. The ACE Team is a relatively small Etsy Team of 28 unique Etsy shops located in the great state of North Carolina. ;) Last week I was given the honor of being offered team membership which I gratefully accepted! I'm very excited to be involved with such an energetic and passionate group, and am looking forward to working with such accomplished artists.

Here are the first ten amazing members and his or her shops:

Brandy of E.B Spider, Accessories and Gifts, is located in Charlotte, NC. She creates crocheted and knitted accessories, ornaments, gifts, and more. Here is her medium sized Mint Cupcake Purse.

April of April's Originals, Handmade Creations Just For You, is located in Mebane, NC. She creates everything from tote bags to diaper bags and everything in between. Look here to see one of her great bags, the Pleated Bag in Alexander Henry fabric.

Kelly of Gone Doggie, Handmade Items for the Dog and Dog Lover, is located in Pinehurst, NC. She creates dog-related items like dog collars, leashes, plushes, and tote bags. Here's her WONDERFUL large Duke University Blue Devils Dog Collar. Maybe while my husband is sleeping I'll trade out Kasey's collar...

Michelle of Mychelle creates a variety of things and is located in Graham, NC. Her common theme is that she likes to use recycled and re-purposed materials. She currently has bags and a couple hairbows in her shop. Here is her Blue and White Geometric Placemat bag.

Stefanie of Stefanie's Bownanza creates hair bows, braided & woven headbands, korkers, streamer bows, hand-painted bows, bow holders, and more. She is located in Asheboro, NC. Here is her Thanksgiving Woven Headband with Detachable Tommy the Turky Bow.

Jackie of Survivor's Therapy is located in Pinebluff, NC. She creates pillowcases, grocery bags, and more. Here are some of her beautiful Handmade Cotton Pillowcases.

April of Moore Magnets is located in Siler City, NC. She creates magnet boards and other fun stuff. She is also my fabulous supplier of wooden tiles for my hand-painted pendant necklaces. ;) Here is her Brown and Blue Wall Mount Magnet Board.

Beth of UberArt is located in Greenville, NC. She creates a wide variety of journals and pendants. Here is her beautiful Amber Gothic Pendant.

John and Emily of McCoy Toys, Hand-Crafted Toys, Games, and Puzzles, is located in Asheboro, NC. They create wood toys, games, and puzzles. Here is their fantastic Wooden Train Set.

Bernie of Laksaware, Handcrafted Scrubbies and Other Wares, is located in Stallings, NC. She creates scrubbies and other kitchenwares, diningwares, bags, and cases. Here is her brightly colored Cherry Berry Kitchen/Dish Scrubber.

Stay tuned for more great and talented members of the ACE Team. Remember, if you are looking to shop with the ACE Team on Etsy, be sure to search with our tag 'aceteam.' Happy shopping!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

NEW - Fine Art Resin Pendant Necklaces!

I've been a busy bee getting ready for upcoming holiday art and craft shows. Today (and probably tomorrow) I have been and will be listing LOTS of new hand-painted pendant necklaces in my Etsy shop! I have numerous different designs ranging from cartoon dogs to Christmas ornaments. I have also added a new shape; the rectangle!

In addition to ones that I have already made, I am also offering custom-made pendants. One of the custom listings is for a custom portrait of your pet. You can find the listing here. Basically it's a tiny acrylic portrait of your pet that I create based on a photo you give me. The other custom pendant that I have listed in my Etsy shop is for a pendant painted with your business logo. I made one for the K9 Circle as an example.

If you're looking to do a little Christmas shopping, why not swing by my Etsy shop? ;)

Monday, November 17, 2008

JPLC 4th Annual Shopping Extravaganza Tuesday Night!

Looking to cross some loved ones off your holiday shopping list? If you live in or around the Triangle area, head over the the Johnson Pond Learning Center in Fuquay-Varina tomorrow night, located at 6523 Johnson Pond Road. From 6:30-8:30 you browse the wares of over 40 different vendors all in one convenient location.

Several of the vendors, myself included, will be hosting raffles but you'll have to come out to see what fabulous goodies you can win. ;) I will be there with a plethora of new hand-painted resin pendant necklaces that are not yet available online, along with some original oil paintings, reproductions, note card and envelope sets, and more!

So whether you want to get a little Christmas shopping done or buy a little something for yourself, come pay me a visit at the Johnson Pond Learning Center tomorrow night. I hope to see you out there!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

It's Giveaway Time!

It's that time again. Time to win some free stuff! :) This month's giveaway runs from Saturday, November 15th to 11:59pm EST Friday, November 21st and the prize is a gift certificate for $15 plus free shipping! The gift certificate can be used in my Etsy shop,, where I have a wide variety of items. I have several hand-painted fine art resin pendant necklaces, fine art prints of some of my original paintings, note card and envelope sets, original oil paintings on canvas, and more!

Here's how you can enter:

1) Go to my Etsy shop and pick out your favorite item.

2) Come back to this post and leave a link or comment telling me what your favorite item is, as well as a way to contact you in case you win. This could be an email address or your Etsy shop.

3) Only one entry per person, unless you blog about my giveaway. If you blog about the giveaway, be sure to leave a link to your blog in your comment and you will be counted twice.

4) I will assign each entry a number. The winner will be chosen by a random number generator. I will announce the winner on November 21st on this blog, as well as contact him or her.

Good luck!! :)

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Step-By-Step Journey Through The Creation Of A Pet Portrait

I have just completed another commissioned oil paint pet portrait on canvas, and this one I can share with you! In anticipation of sharing what is now one of my favorite portraits, I took photographs of the work in progress from beginning to end so that I could share with you what I do from the moment a client contacts me to the delivery of the painting.

Step One: I am given a photograph, either digital or print, to work from. It is important to keep in mind that the better the photo, the better the portrait. (For tips on taking great pet photos, click here.) The client and I discuss how he or she wants the portrait to look, and I get started. Here's the original photo I had to work from for this portrait.

Step Two: Next I sketch out the portrait on gallery-wrapped canvas with staple-free edges. I usually begin painting the background and lay down a wash of colors for the subjects.
Step Three: I typically leave the faces of my subjects for last, so the next thing I did was paint in the darks and midtones on the bodies, and some of the darks on the faces.
Step Four: Next I worked on the face of the Great Dane on the right, and then continued to add the highlights to the face and the body. In this photo the subject on the right is complete, except for some minor tweaking I always do at the very end. What a good-lookin' dog! ;)
Step Five: Next I worked on the Great Dane on the left. Here he is with all the midtones and darks, and maybe a smidge of highlights on the face. He looks like a zombie dog without all the highlights.
Step Six: Finally, I finish with the highlights on the Great Dane on the left, on both his face and his body. At this point I usually stand back away from the canvas and look at the entire portrait, and then come back and tweak a highlight here and add a shadow there. Then, this is the finished product!
After that, the next step is hopefully meeting a happy client, and giving said ecstatic client his or her portrait. ;) I hope you enjoyed the step-by-step process!

**CANCELED** - Canine Carnival at Crowder Park in Apex Tomorrow

The Canine Carnival will be held at Crowder Park in Apex, NC tomorrow, rain or shine (unless there are severe thunderstorms). Highlights include:

  • Agility/Obedience demonstrations
  • Flyball demonstration
  • Pet pictures
  • Free nail trimming
  • $10 Microchip & $5 Rabies vaccine
  • Adoption opportunities
  • Local Pet Services
  • Games, Giveaways, & Dog Treats
It should prove to be a fun event, especially if the weather holds out. However, if it is raining tomorrow Allover Art will not be there. I have done one event in the rain and discovered that it is not a good thing for me or my work. Click on the image to the left to read more about the event!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Featured Etsy Seller - Christy's Critters

It's time for another fabulous Etsy seller interview! Meet Christy of Christy's Critters, a fellow pet portrait artist, but in a different medium than my own. ;)

Who are you?

My name is Christina (Christy). My Etsy shop is Christy's Critters (cbarjcrafts).

Where are you located?

I live in a city called Statesville, just north of Charlotte, North Carolina.

What do you do/create?

I work in clay most of the time, creating custom sculptures of people's pets and some of my own original ideas. I also enjoy painting in acrylics, when I have time, which isn't very often anymore.

When did you start creating; how did you start doing what you do?

Like most people who create art, I've been doing something or another most of my life (I'm 30). The clay bug hit me back in 2001, just after the September 11th attacks, when I wanted to do something patriotic and my Mom gave me some polymer clay and an idea she had for a lapel pin. From there it went to making beads, then simple 'critters', and eventually evolved into the animals I make today. I really enjoy sculpting animals due to the 'instant gratification of dimension', which is something I really struggle with on paper and canvas at times.

Where do you create/work?

My FANTASTICALLY FABULOUS and generous Mom has allowed me to turn my old room at her house into an 'art studio' of sorts. It's really made all the difference to have the space to myself and not have to worry about cleaning up everytime I leave. I share my studio space with my ferret. So I guess it's kind of a dual purpose room.

What is your most popular item that you create?

Most popular item? Probably custom ornaments at Christmas.

What do you do when you are not creating/working?

I look after my flock of chickens and ducks, go bird watching, love on my dogs, take photography walks, and read. Oh and surf all the great Etsy shops of course!
Is there anything else you'd like to share?

I think if I were to share anything else it would be: Never give up on your creative inclinations, you never know where they may lead you! I am a firm believer that everyone is an artist of some sort- you don't have to paint beautiful pictures or sculpt works that would put Michelangelo to shame. If you doubt your artistic abilities, just go hang out with a bunch of 1st graders and see how much enthusiasm they put into their work. It may not be as refined as some aesthetic sensibilities require, but they are most definitely enjoying themselves which is the most important part of creating.

You can also read more about what Christy is up to on her blog. Be sure to check out her Etsy shop! She has so many fun and beautifully created pieces of animal art.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tips For Taking Great Pet Photos

I've posted this before, many months ago, but I think it bears repeating. Whenever someone is interested in having a portrait of his or her pet painted, I am often asked what photos I need to work from. To help you take better photos of your pets, whether you wish to have a portrait painted based on a photo or you just want a nice photo of your pet for your own use, I've created the "Top Ten Tips for Taking Great Pet Photos".

1) Have a friend or family member, someone that your pet is comfortable with, help you take the photo. It may help to have someone hold your pet in place or to hold a treat or favorite toy over your head while you take the photo.
2) Get as close as possible to your pet. The more detail you capture the better your picture will be.
3) Make sure that your camera is on the highest quality setting.
4) Only use the flash if absolutely necessary. Just like some people have "red eye" in photos, some pets' eyes will "glow".
5) Pay attention to the lighting around your pet. Avoid taking photos in low light so that you don't have to use the flash.
6) Use a favorite toy, treat, or friend to help your pet look in the direction you want.
7) Take photos from many different angles. Sometimes extreme angles can create more interesting photos. Try shooting from above, below, and all sides of your pet.
8) If your pet is a dog, take him or her out for some exercise before taking the photo. This could get rid of extra energy making him or her more likely to listen to you. Also, sometimes when a dog is panting the corners of his or her mouth turn up creating a "smile".
9) Be sure that your pet is in a comfortable environment. Your pet will be on edge and not show it's true personality if it is unhappy or unsure of its surroundings.
10) Finally, take lots and lots of photos! The more photos you have, the more you have to choose from, therefore allowing for the creation of a pet portrait that really captures the spark of your pet's personality.

Happy picture-taking!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Etsy Wishlist

If I could, I would have my entire Christmas wishlist come from Etsy. (Hey! I really need that external hard drive to backup my laptop and new running shoes, and unfortunately they don't sell those on Etsy. ;) Otherwise, Etsy would be my one and only.) In turn, I am also doing a lot of holiday shopping on Etsy for friends and family. There are so many wonderful stores to choose from with such a wide variety of goodies! Here's a list of four fantastic Etsy shops that I would love to find a gift from under our tree this year.

Tee Petals
makes handmade wallets and accessories, and I love her slim clutch wallets! My wallet that I've had since freshman year in high school has seen better days and is getting pretty full since it now melds business and personal effects together. Tee Petals' wallets are the first to make me want to get a new one. She even does custom work! She has all her fabrics up on Flickr so that you can choose the one you want your wallet to be made out of. This one is definitely on my wishlist.

Another one of my favorite shops is sunbasilgarden. Her shop's motto or tagline is "A little art in every bar of handcrafted soap!" Visit her shop and you'll see what she means. She has a wide variety of soap ranging from Honeysuckle Garden soap to a sweet-smelling Pancakes, Bacon, and Eggs soap. I mean, look at this soap! It truly is a little work of art. I love how whimsical it is. All her soaps make me smile; I wish I could try them all.

Decorate the Diva is another one of my favorite shops. She sells all kinds of jewelry, ranging from the conversation-starter Fortune Cookie Anklet to the Big Beautiful Gold Earrings. I am in love with the Big Beautiful Gold Earrings, as well as many of her other Diva Wooden Earrings. According to the description for the Big Beautiful Gold Earrings, these bright bold gold earrings are 2 3/4" long and she used Niobium ear wires. Niobium is the metal of the future! It is hypo-allergenic, so even those who have trouble with other ear wires, should be able to wear these. If I don't get these for Christmas I'll probably end up buying them for myself. ;)

I am also in love with the large clutches from Plonka by Dalinda. They are all made with such fantastic fabrics! Her shop has other items besides clutches, but her large clutches are my favorite. I especially love the Plonkas II Clutch. The fabric has a rich gold hue that really shows the high quality of the workmanship. Linda of Plonka by Dalinda is from Norway and has had her Etsy shop up and running since 2006. She also has a blog.

Be sure to keep Etsy in mind when you are making your holiday wishlist this year. Even if you don't find exactly what you want, I guarantee you that someone will be happy to make it for you, just put a request for a custom item on the site. If you are in the Triangle area and want to shop local Etsy sellers, simply search for the tag 'nctriangle team.' Happy shopping!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Secrets, Secrets Are No Fun...

It's not very nice when my husband and Kasey conspire against me...