Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Unique Santa Ornaments

I've been as busy as the "Big Man" himself, at Christmas time!!! ...or maybe as busy as his elves are, within these last few weeks before Christmas!!! 

Yep, I'm creating the adorable, handmade, handpainted, unique Santa ornaments. I have always loved Santa Claus...and I have always adored the charming, old-fashioned German ornaments. Each ornament is different from the other...making it difficult to choose a favorite!! They last forever and will quickly become your treasured pieces on your tree each year!

I finally have some available in my Etsy shop at-  ..but they won't last long --so get them while they are here!!! So, hurry over and check them out... By the way, have a Merry Christmas!!!

Old Fashioned Saint Nicholas
 , Kris Krinkle or Santa Ornaments are now available in my shop! $12 each or 3/$30. Handmade & handpainted, they are truly a unique hostess gift, teacher gift or favor for a place-setting at your holiday dinner!...See More

Friday, May 31, 2013

Patti Ballard - Painter, Sculptor, Illustrator!


                              Soaring to Success 

                       Interview with Orlando Artist: 

              Patti Ballard - Painter, Sculptor & Illustrator           

1.My name is Patti Ballard.. I live in Orlando Florida. I am a self taught painter, mixed media artist, sculptor, and illustrator)

2. When did you know you wanted to be an artist. 

I always knew i liked art, never knew I wanted to or could make a living from it, it first happened out of necessity when i was laid of my job in the Restaurant business and i went to work for Disney World as an artist because i did know how to draw.

3. What are your fears? 

At this time i feel very confident about my work and the direction in which i am heading. have i had fears? , yes of course, many of the normal like why would anybody like my art or could i sell it. 
*How have you faced them?  
straight on.. i don't really allow myself to entertain them much, I just do as much as I can and face the world head on ...

4. What makes you different…unique from others?

 My mind works in a qirky way.. I see things with a sense of humor or magical i should say.. i always find qirky and positive ways of looking at things or situations and try to interpret them through my art. 

I have been recently published in the summer issue 2012 of sommerset studio Gallery and also two more articles in the winter issue 2012 of the same magazine. I am currently illustrating a childrens book.

5. Any secrets to reveal about the tools you use or your techniques?  Tips or tricks?   What makes your art special? Are your supplies unusual? 
I create art on and with anything that crosses my path and I usually just let the inspiration take me as i am creating without much planning that is how i create my best work. I do start with an idea but sometimes it takes me in a different direction as i am creating.

6. What are your goals and inspirations?  Where will you hope to be in 2 years?  5 years?  10 years?

my goal is to keep creating and my favorite thing to do is bring a smile to people.  I want to help them to believe in love, friendship, kindness, and hope. To have fun,enjoy life. I want to inspire them to remember the child in themselves and take moments to enjoy this beautiful journey of life.  People sometimes dont get my art they think it is for children but i create art for the child in all of us. I want people to see my art like a child sees life. To take a moment and become that child again.

7. Where is your creative space or studio?

At home i have a small studio which is the messiest room ever and somehow and no matter how much i try to keep it clean it never stays that way, so when its too messy (I shamelessly admit) i move to another room in the house!:)

8.How much time do you devote to your work?  Is it at same time everyday? Are you disciplined to go into your studio at 9:00am every morning?
I usually have a schedule unless i am doing a commission that needs to be finished or if i have an art show coming up, i will paint all day and everyday.  
Or do you wait until you are in a creative mood?

 if i wait until i am in a creative mood it might not ever come so i just start even if i don't feel it.

9. What are your “whispers” or callings begging you to do?  What do you want to achieve?

 I just want to paint and create art... i wish i had an assistant to do all the other stuff for me..:)

10. Do you keep a daily journal or sketchbook, or write in a diary?
 i always take a sketch book wherever i go but i also have my mini ipad that i draw on constantly.  "Follow me" is a sketch i created on my ipad... you can see more on my instagram just look for pbsartstudio...
Lucy, Patti's studio assistant! 

Patti Ballard

Thank for doing this interview with me, Patti!  I have always enjoyed seeing your artwork.  You fascinate me with all your ideas.  I am sure you will be an inspiration to all of my blog readers!  
Wishing you lots of creative days to make your art...and tons of art sales!!!    Thanks again, JOAN

            If you are an artist, photog or writer contact me to be featured on my Making Waves Blog!                  

Friday, May 24, 2013

I'm Melting!!!

I'm Melting!!.... 

                                           (let me explain...LOL!)

Seems to me, ever since I was a child, I was obsessed with the movie the Wizard of Oz. Who would've thought that I would eventually, (in my early 30's)  begin the dream job of opening my own business, an art school (in Concord/Charlotte, North Carolina) and name it The Wizard of Art!  

"Wizard"- meaning a very skilled person and "Art" is what I love to create!! I taught children at first, and soon afterward added teens and adults to the line-up of classes that I offered. I didn't "over do" the Wizard of Oz flying monkeys, or munchkins, no Emerald City..I guess I could've use the "horse of a different color" idea, but I didn't!! LOL  I loved teaching art and sharing art techniques... and I loved painting.

I still love to paint. This new work I'm creating has evolved from the seascapes and water that I love to paint, to the water reflections and water surface shapes and colors, I have been doing lately. It seemed only appropriate, when choosing a new series.. to continue the style I'm known for, and the one that I personally enjoy.

So the new work of  oysters and shells into water-like creations, just happened naturally!   They almost "grow" out of the water...or maybe they liquify themselves as if they are melting!!!  (I didn't realize how my life has so many parallels to this old, yet clever Oz movie.... the line where the witch says she's melting...  LOL! )   Better than than, I'm thrilled with this new idea, and yet so seemed to evolve for me.

Oysters on the Half Shell I     36"x 36"  oils

Oysters on the Half Shell II   36"x 36" oils
Both paintings available Fairfax Gallery

I have been busy as a bee... painting!!!
 I think I broke my own record of painting more than 8 oil paintings in the month of April!  They were large paintings, too! Four of them were 36x36", a 40 x30" and a 36x 24", two 48"x60"...and another started 36"x 48" (I have since completed in the month of May!) I was anxious to complete this new work, because of the interest of an art gallery that wanted to include me in their "family" of artists!

Low Country Oysters 40"x 30" 

This gallery, Fairfax Gallery, (Click link), located in Jacksonville, Florida, was so warm and welcoming to me...they accepted all of the work that I had to offer.  I have since decided to begin a new series of paintings...still along the same ideas and style of what I've been doing.  Water and water reflections, will still be a focus of mine, but now, I'm including oysters and shells that become liquified and water-like!

"In Harmony with Nature"  36" x 36"

You should see this in person!!!.... visit Fairfax Gallery!

 Also, still wet on my easel I created some oysters that have become melted, in a fluidity type of style.

Coastal Loving!

One piece I have just begun working on, is almost like a "creation".. it is taking on a life of it's own.  It's so exciting when something like that happens!!! (that one will be posted a future post!)

A w e s o m e !     Happy Dance!!!!

All these pieces and more are available at Fairfax Gallery 
4216 Herschel St. Jacksonville, FL. 32210
904-384-7724  Just contact them!

I put some of my new work onto notecards, pillows, mousepads, and etc.. check it out! Click on:  joancarver
Keep checking back, I plan to keep adding new products with the new paintings I'm creating!
                                                               Thanks for reading!  Leave a comment, an idea or some inspiration for me...or please share this post to spread the word! I always appreciate the encouragement!! : ))   JOAN 

Want to see more????   Visit my web-site at:

Friday, May 3, 2013

From Los Angeles California - A Mixed Media Artist that hand-crafts Journals!


              This week's interview is with a Mixed Media Artist                              

                    from the beautiful city of Los Angeles, CA



                                        Soaring to Success  

             This week's Interview is with a Mixed-Media artist                that creates beautiful hand-crafted journals.                    From the beautiful city of Los Angeles                                           

                                        Kristen Fairgrieve 

          1. Introduce yourself.  Name, City, State, Country  .. and describe what you do, what’s your passion?       
Artist: Kristen Fairgrieve

Hi Joan! I’m Kristen Fairgrieve, currently residing in Los Angeles, CA, USA. I design and create one-of-a-kind handcrafted journals. I use brown paper bags as the foundations for my journals, and I tend to give them sort of a vintage feel. I love using lots of tags and postage stamps and postcards, tons of fun embellishments.

2. When did you know you wanted to be an artist, or writer?

Well actually, I’ve always been crafting in some form or another, but when I was 5  I decided I was going to be a writer. I was going to write and publish a novel. I wrote and crafted simultaneously for many years, but writing was my true passion. After I left my 18-year career in the film entertainment industry back in 2010, I was free to pursue both my writing and crafting potential. I opened an Etsy shop (click link) in July, 2010, and also began feverishly writing my 3rd attempt at a novel [never finished the first 2]. Then late in 2011, I finished the first draft and put it away. While my novel was “stewing”, my journals in my Etsy shop started taking off! Orders for custom travel journals were coming in and I found that I absolutely loved creating them. This was something I hadn’t planned on – I was going to be a writer. But the journals brought me so much joy, and made my customers so happy, that I made the decision to set my writing aside and focus on my journals and my Etsy shop. And I’m so glad I did because I now love what I do! I love being an artist.

3. What are your fears?  How have you faced them?  Or your plans of how you plan to tackle your fears.

I guess my two biggest fears right now are:
1.        That people won’t like my work. I actually encountered this head-on recently when a customer sent me a scathing email ripping apart 2 custom journals I had created for her. It hurt of course, but also made me realize that was just one person’s opinion and I couldn’t let it stop me from doing what I do. And, once I took the time to think about her comments rationally, I realized she actually had some valid points. She could have been nicer about it, but we’re not all nice people.
2.        That I won’t make enough money “in time” and will have to pursue some other form of full-time employment. I’m learning to just give my money worries over to my Higher Power [this is an everyday practice], and just let it go. And believe that it will happen.

4. What makes you different…unique from others
I think I have a unique style of combining and layering papers and embellishments.  [includes my blog]
Twitter- @bagladyladyluluTwitter@bagladylulu

Family Recipes kept safe, look great  & ready to use!!!

5. Any secrets to reveal about the tools you use or your techniques?  Tips or tricks?   What makes your art  special? Are your supplies unusual?   

I use plain brown paper bags, slightly larger than standard lunch bag size, as the foundation for my journals. I love the crinkly sound they make!
I have 3 stones – rose quartz, amethyst and labradorite – in a heart-shaped bowl with the word “Create” printed on it. They sit on my workbench and I rub them for good luck and inspiration before I start a project.

6. What are your goals and inspirations?  Where will you hope to be in 2 years?  5 years?  10 years?

In 2 years, I’d like my business to be my sole source of income – no outside part-time work needed.
In 5 years, my shop will be my full time business. I’ll have a licensing contract or two. I’ll have a large studio in my home, with an assistant, and I’ll teach creative workshops once a week out of my home studio.
In 10 years…. Let’s get to 5 years first!

Biscuit the Bunny

7. Where is your creative space or studio?   (example: At home in an extra bedroom, kitchen table, a rented space for your craft.)

My creative workshop is in the 2nd bedroom of our 2-bedroom apartment. I do share the room with our bunny, Biscuit, but he doesn’t take up much space. I have 2 work benches, one for creating and one mainly for shipping. And I’m surrounded by my creative supplies – papers, embellishments, etc. My inspiration board hangs above my work bench so I always have something to look at and draw from.

Kristen's creative space

8.How much time do you devote to your work?  (Is it at same time everyday? Are you disciplined to go into your studio at 9:00am every morning?  Or do you wait until you are in a creative mood?)

I currently work part-time 3 days/week at a custom invitation/stationery store. Then 3 days I devote to my business: I’m up and ready to go by 7am, and spend the morning taking care of social media, promotions, checking emails, writing blog posts, doing “business” stuff. I’m in my workshop from 10am-4pm. Then the hubs comes home, and all chance for concentration and quiet fly out the window. I make sure to take one day a week and use it as my “weekend” day – spend time with friends, go on an artist’s date, or just relax. But since I am running my own business, I make sure I’m constantly in touch through emails, internet, etc. Since I am my own boss 4 days out of the week, if something comes up that throws off my business schedule, I don’t let it get me too crazy. I just make sure to make up my work hours elsewhere.

What better way to save your photos & fun memories?

9. What are your “whispers” or callings begging you to do?  (Paint, write a book, sell your items on-line)  What made you decide to take this e-course with Kelly Rae Roberts? What do you want to achieve?

A friend of mine told me about the KRR course and when I read the description I got chills. I knew I had to take it. And I am so glad I did. Aside from the immense amount of incredibly helpful information she provided, I got to meet and connect with a wonderful group of women – my Fly Sisters!

Creative way to save those keepsakes!!!

 10. Do you keep a daily journal or sketchbook, or write in a diary? 

I’ve been writing in a journal pretty much every day since I was 5. Sometimes it’s just stream of consciousness to get the “gunk” out before I start my day. But my journal has always been a safe place where I can speak my mind openly and honestly about absolutely anything.

11. How do you market yourself? How do you plan to get “the word” out there??  (web-site, blog, etsy, galleries, boutiques, on-line selling, do you advertise?)  Is it working?   Are you selling?

I try to keep my web site current, blog and post on FB; tweet; interact with other artists and pay it forward. I have to say that Etsy search ads have increased my sales a lot, and are a great investment.

12. What type of music (if any) do you listen to when you create?

I like quiet when I create, no music. It helps me hear the whispers better.

13. Who is your favorite artist, photographer, author? …  In other words, who do you admire, and look up to?

I don’t have a favorite, but I will say that Sandy Grason’s book “Journalution” is what gave me the inspiration to start creating journals in the first place. I was going through a rough patch, and the exercises in her book helped me reconnect with myself. And it just clicked – I wanted to create journals for other people!

14. Are you encouraged to follow your creative path by your family or friends?

Absolutely. I will say that my husband has been my biggest supporter in this. Back in 2010, when I was in the throes of the grueling film entertainment business [working 20 hour days, weekends, dealing with stress-related health issues], he’s the one who suggested I quit my job and pursue what I love. It meant giving up our wonderful house, paring down our belongings, and moving into a tiny apartment. But almost 3 years later, he’s still cheering me on.

Perfect  way to hold all those favorite recipes ..and so creative!!

15. Do you work on one project at a time ..or have several going on at a time?

I usually have one project spread out on my workbench at a time. But, the
minute I get a custom order, I start thinking about what supplies I’m going to use for it and will pull some and set them aside. Sometimes when I’m working on one, an inspiration for another will hit me and I’ll get caught up in pulling supplies for it and laying things out, and I’ll have to remind myself to focus on the other one!

**There's a special one waiting for you.. or Kristen will make one for you!  A Journal for a special trip, graduation, new baby, Mother's Day gift?..  maybe for recipes or maybe a creative one as your daily journal!!  ORDER yours today!!  Thank you!!!   Etsy Shop  (click this link )

Thank you, Kristen.. 
Kristen Fairgrieve

for sharing your artistic path with all of us!!!   Your journals look so yummy and inviting …who wouldn’t want to fill that wonderfully decorated book full of their own photos, notes and fond memories of their life?!? It is such a special way to contain photographs of each of life's  celebrated moments.  To leaf through each creative page would be such a joy!
I am so happy you agreed to do this interview, so I can get to know you better and you can share with the world what you love to create. It is so interesting that mixed media, journaling and collaging all take a seat into your creations!  Best of Luck to you with your endeavor...


** If you are an artist or writer and would like to be featured on my Making Waves Blog, please contact me at

  **I owned an art school in Charlotte, NC for 16 years before moving to Jacksonville, FL., so it  thrills me when a classroom full of students, given one assignment, produces such a variety of ideas. …We are all unique, we are all special.  We all have a different path, a different way of approaching our art. That is exactly why I want to do these interviews, to celebrate what makes us, US!      Thank you for participating : ) 
          Joan Carver       (e)       904-230-6155


Friday, April 12, 2013

Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson - Paper Paintings!!!

                         Soaring to Success

           Interviews of Artists, Writers and Photographers

                  Their work, creative spaces and techniques

                          ELIZABETH  ST. HILAIRE  NELSON 

This admirable girl is already Soaring..she has reached success...but this driven artist pushes though everything with her determination and perseverance. Once she reaches a goal, I can see that she reaches higher for a new goal, once she reaches that ... another new, higher goal.  She's not finished, she is ready for anything life tosses her way. She is open to the twists and turns and new highways ahead.  If you know of Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson, then you know what I'm talking about...if you don't know her then you will be glad that I'm introducing you to her now!  This extraordinary artist is one you will be thrilled to follow! 

1. Introduce yourself.  Name, City, State, Country  .. and describe what you do, what’s your passion?    
Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson, Collage .. from Longwood, Florida, USA
Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson
Here is what Elizabeth does...see what her passion is  ---
Click on this link to see her!!!
TV Interview on PBS!!!!!  She has a fascinating story!

Recent piece! (Too cute!!!)

2. When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
I have wanted to be an artist since I was in elementary school. When I heard the art teacher making her rounds with the Art Cart in the hallway, I would be riddled with anticipation of her coming to our room. As she handed out the little green handled scissors, construction paper, glitter, glue, and told us to start to cut and paste ornaments on a collaged christmas tree, I was filled with joy. This has always been my experience with art, from the very beginning. 
                  See how this PEACOCK was made!!!  
            Watch this video:  Progression of a Peacock

3. What are your fears?  How have you faced them?   
I am afraid of Sharks. I really am. This is ironic because I am a triathlete, which means I have to compete in a swim. I used to limit myself to races which only included fresh water swims. Last April I made myself sign up for St. Anthony's and I started training and mentally preparing for an open ocean swim. I trained with a plastic shark tub toy, took him to every swim, in my pocket on every ride, and tucked into my shoulder strap on every run. I reminded myself that it was a silly fear that I just needed to face and get past. I did it! I completed the one-mile open ocean swim in the Tampa Bay, I am still afraid but I just make myself get in that water and try to remind myself of all the fears I have faced in my career, and conquered. If you put your mind to it, you can do it. (see photo)
Nelson's fear...  sharks!

4. What makes you different…unique from others?  
what makes my artwork different from others is the process. My collage work of hand-painted papers is very unique. I use the papers in a painterly manner, so that when the viewer steps back, the work looks like a painting. 
Only upon close inspection do people typically realize that the art is made of tiny bits of torn paper adhered on top of an acrylic painting, on wood panel. 

Hand- Painted Papers

More Painted Papers
painted papers by Nelson

5. Any secrets to reveal about the tools you use or your techniques?  Tips or tricks?   What makes your art  different? 
What makes my work special is that I hand-paint all my own collage papers with a variety of techniques, using fluid acrylic paints. I often paint old book pages, personal notes, maps, paper doilies, and even my kids homework. 
(Joan's comment:)  Oh, so your kids don't have to use the excuse, "the dog ate the homework"...instead it's..."my mom used my homework in her artwork" excuse!!!  ...LOL  sooo funny...just kidding!   

My inspirational quote: "When was the last time you did something for the first time?" I am always trying to do more.


Boy Scout group
6. What are your goals and inspirations?  Where will you hope to be in 2 years?  5 years?  10 years?
I want to experience all that I can on this journey. Every year I try to do something different, try something new. I started training and competing in the sport of triathlon when I was 40. I joined the community symphony as an adult after years of hiatus from my childhood violin lessons. This year I plan to become a Hospice volunteer. In two years I might try to complete a Half Iron Man, maybe. In 5 years I'd like to be a total full time artist, not having to rely on my graphic design skills to make a living. In 10 years I'd like to consider teaching art at the college level, and perhaps earn a Master's degree in Art History myself. But I always leave my heart, my mind, and my options open, because you just never know where this journey is going to take you. 

Elizabeth Nelson at work

7. Where is your creative space or studio?  

Her Studio
My art studio is a free standing building in my back yard. 20-paces from my kitchen door, I am allowed to multi task to the extreme. Cook dinner, run laundry, varnish, drive kids to dance/swim, work at my computer, paint an under--painting.

8.How much time do you devote to your work?  
Because I am a full time mom, a part time graphic artist, and a part time painter, my studio time can be hap hazard. I try to paint all day on Thursday and Friday. Sometimes if my M,T,W are not too crazy, I get out there in the afternoon on those days as well. Sometimes I paint at night to catch up. Weekends are fair game for anything, that's the beauty of the space being so close to home, yet separated enough that I can leave it a mess and close the door. 

9. What are your “whispers” or callings begging you to do?  
I want to earn a Masters in Art History, I want to write a memoir,  
I want to expand my style through experimentation, I want to be physically active for as long as I can. I want to live in Sedona, AZ, I want to learn how to make pottery.... I want to do it all!

10. Do you keep a daily journal or sketchbook, or write in a diary?  
I do not. I keep a pile of scrap papers with notes on them that I often cannot find when I need them.                     

Nelson with all her hand-painted papers

11. How do you market yourself? How do you plan to get “the word” out there??
My marketing includes FaceBook, Blog, Instagram, Twitter, self promotional printed materials (postcards, brochures) 
I am in galleries nationally which promote my work. I do not advertise, I have been written up in several magazines, I am selling. 

One of the design choices for her bags
                                                                  Nelson's handbags

12. What type of music (if any) do you listen to when you create?
Musical choice runs the gamut for me. I like Top 40, Jazz, Memphis Blues. My all-time favorite band is Big Head Todd and the Monsters. They make me smile, and being happy makes for some good painting. 
Over the Moon

13. Who is your favorite artist, photographer, author? …  In other words, who do you admire, and look up to?
My husband is my favorite photographer: Facebook: DouglasNelsonPhotography

My favorite artist has been Gustav Klimt since college. I love reading the hook and twist mystery novels of Harlan Coben. Current artists I admire are Kimberly Kelly Santini for her color and juicy brush work and Lisa Daria Kennedy for her detail within her simplicity. Margaret Dyer for her amazing color in pastel, and Larry Moore for his incredible plein air landscapes.

Artist friends, her daughter and Elizabeth
14. Are you encouraged to follow your creative path by your family or friends?
My husband and children are incredibly supportive in my creative path. I could not do it without them. My fellow artist friends are amazing for support and sound-boarding. I am very lucky.

15. How do come up with titles for your work?
I love alliteration 

16. Do you work on one project at a time ..or have several going on at a time?
I typically have several things going on at one time to meet the demand of various deadlines. And once in a     while i throw something on the easel just for me. 
                    WOW! Another video to enjoy:
             Progression of a Peacock II    check it out!

Off the Deep End

Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson

 TV INTERVIEW currently on PBS

Learn her tips, techniques and admire her talent!!!!

call me 321-277-4553

Elizabeth:  You are one amazingly talented woman!
You are an inspiration to me, -- everyone you teach, meet, and speak to...  and everyone that reads about you!!! Thank you for allowing me to interview you.  I have followed you and your artistic eye on your blog and web-site.. and adore your wonderfully creative artwork! 
My own Elizabeth Nelson piece -Paper Paintings Collage Original!!

OH....Did I mention, that  I am the proud owner of one of her beautiful, original, Koi pieces???!!!  Oh Yes, I am!  : )

   I admire your perseverance through your life's journey.  I have to tell you that you are remarkable in the way that you approach your time management for family, work, artwork, exercise and all ...makes me realize I must get a "move-on" and get myself in gear.  I could accomplish so much more if I would use my time wisely...what an incredible person you are!
Because you are such a marvelous artist with an unbelievable amount of energy to accomplish all that you do, I knew that you would be the perfect artist to feature on my blog as inspiration to all the other artists and creative souls that are reading this post!!!!  THANK YOU!    xxoo  JOAN

If you are an artist and would like to be featured on this blog, please contact me for consideration.