Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Next 100

Sorry to keep you waiting over the last week, loyal readers! (Pesky day job getting in the way of creative time.)  I've been working hard on getting my surprise giveaways finished and sent out to those of you who left a comment on my 100th blog post.  I didn't want to post those photos just yet, so I thought I'd show you these neat little cards I made up in a quick minute today.  They are just leftover bits of collage that I had from previous projects, and leftover white watercolor paper from making my sister's wedding invitations, and voila!  10 handmade note cards in a jiffy.  Perfect for a little tiny hello or thank you or love note.

Here they are spread out like playing cards so you can see that they are actually very small.

For the title of this post, I thought that you may be interested in what lies in store for the Art By HLM blog.  I definitely plan to continue showing you what is going on in the studio on a weekly basis.  I would like to expand a little, and provide some tutorials (in video?) of how to make some great stuff.  I am really trying to increase my readership, and would love to hear ideas you may have for attaining that goal.  I hope to make the blog reading experience somewhat interactive, so you easily remember to come back often.  

Honestly, I'd love your ideas!  Post a comment below, or email me using the contact info to the right.

Now that school is back in full swing, I hope you'll start seeing me at least once a week now.  And, in case you missed the awesome article that was published about yours truly at Brittany's Best, please pay a visit and read all about it!  I'm famous!

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Big One-O-O & One Last Giveaway!

That's right, friends!  Today marks not only the day that Art By HLM celebrates its 100th post, but also its 3rd year anniversary, and on the same day!  Wohoo!  Yeehaw!  Yippee!  (Imagine fireworks, if you don't mind.)

Three short years ago, I started this blog with some hesitation.  I had no idea what kind of a commitment it would be, or how much I might like it.  The fact that I've been posting regularly for three years is a testament to how valuable this tool and experience are to me.  Not only does the blog help me to be accountable and create more stuff more often (no excuses!), but I just love sharing my work each and every time with you.  If you're at all interested in a moment of nostalgia, you can read my first month's posts, from August '08, here

A friend asked me this week how I was going to celebrate.  I wondered, should I do something different? In the end, I don't think I will, with exception of a few ANNOUNCEMENTS (see below)!  But before that, let me show you one of my recent projects: a pillow.  This is not just any pillow, I tell you.  This little thing taught me two big lessons regarding piping (that yellow line around the edge) and buttons--specifically made just for this project!

My friend Haley & I made this excellent set of flags to hang in her little one's room.  She conceptualized and designed the whole thing--I just helped with the sewing.  You may recognize the fabric from the quilt project we did together here.  So as a gift, I wanted to make an accessory to the flags, and in doing so I tried out the new techniques on this pillow.  This side of the pillow reflects a similar design to the flags (in between the letters).

The piping is something I've never done before, and thank goodness my aunt (whose birthday is coincidentally today--HB Annie!) was visiting just during that week, who had done piping before.  She had some great tips, and reminded me that pins can be your best friend.  I really love how it turned out, and will do piping again for sure.

I made the buttons using two wooden buttons I already had, then put a fluff of batting over them before wrapping them in the yellow fabric and sewing them closed.

The pillow matches the flags (and the baby's room) brilliantly!  Hooray for a fun and unique baby gift!

Alright, onto the ANNOUNCEMENTS!
  1. Announcing the winner of the 99th post giveaway!  Tara, you are the one! Please email me indicating the one you like best in the photo, and the bike band is yours.  
  2. Announcing the OPENING OF MY ETSY SHOP!!!  I have actually had it for awhile, but in honor of this occasion, my 100th post, I have packed it with fun things for you to peruse.  Please come by soon and often for more that you can choose from.
  3. Announcing a feature article about me and my work on another blog!  Please pay a visit to Brittany's Best to read it and see what another great Fort Collins artist is doing in art and online.
  4. Finally, announcing my last giveaway for awhile!  There is only one way to win this one, and everyone who participates wins something!!  Please visit my Etsy Shop, then come back here and post a comment with what your favorite thing in the shop is.  If you do this, I will send you a hand-made surprise goodie, made specifically for this particular giveaway.  I won't show you what it is--I hope you're ok with being surprised.  But I'm sure that you will like it.  :)
Before signing off, I want to say thank you to everyone out there who follows my blog and appreciates my work.  It means so much to me that you are out there and that you care.  Here's to another fruitful and productive and meaningful next three years!

Thanks for everything,
Heather Matthews, aka HLM

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

99th post: Professional Development & GIVEAWAY!

This week, I met Kelly Kilmer, a mixed-media journal artist who I've known about for years.  She led a class at the Artist's Nook called "Pen Work" and I attended and had a lot of fun.  Here are the three collages I made in just under 2 hours.

If you click on them for a closer view, you'll see the details better.  Starting with the first collage, Kelly challenged us to "be different" with our writing.  Use different kinds of styles, including script, capitals, tiny, big, thin, thick.  She had about one million pens that we could try out.  She provided instructions all throughout, which I liked, about writing, techniques, just new ways of using pens.  I didn't have to think about design, which for me takes a lot of time.  She had designed a layout, and we interpreted her design in our own ways.

The third one was certainly the most different for all of us.  Kelly said, "For this one, you'll need a face.  One that takes up most of the page!"  I've had an Anthropologie catalog in my stash for years that had the two ladies on the cover, so it was fun to use it in this new way.  Kelly instructed us to journal on the faces (!) in small writing, and doodle.  The best part:  that it didn't have to be perfect, or that it was ok to write "I don't know what to write" if we couldn't think of what to write.  At one point, Kelly mentioned that she hates how art journaling has developed a reputation in the magazine world that it has to be perfect, and it's not any good if it isn't.  That isn't what journaling or being expressive is about at all.  It is just about creating.  Making mistakes, or doing things to experiment, help us learn.  Kelly's instructions and encouragement really made me feel free.  It helped me open up and not worry about the details so much.  It was a lot of fun.

The winner of last week's giveaway: Steve-o!  Steve-o won by liking me on Facebook.  :)

This week's giveaway is a famous HLM bike band!  You can buy 'em for sale on my etsy or in a couple of Fort Collins shops, or you can win one right here.  They are great for protecting that pant leg when you're riding around town to your next destination.  Here are some examples of what I've got in stock:

To enter this week's giveaway drawing, you can do one or more of these things:

1.) I re-opened my "Up-cycled Envelopes" poll to the right because I need more input!  Fill it out and leave a comment below saying you participated (you can just type "I voted!"--otherwise I don't know who fills out the poll).
2.) Like Parsley Art Studio on Facebook!  (Anyone new since August 3 will be entered.)
3.) Tell your friends!  For anyone who either leaves a comment (and tells me you sent them) and/or becomes a follower, you get another entry.
4.) Leave a comment saying where you might next take a bike ride to.

Anyone can enter--I'll send a bike band anywhere in the world.  This drawing will close at midnight (mountain time) on Tuesday, August 9, and I'll announce the winner in my next post. 

Next week will be my 100th post, and you will NOT want to miss out on that one!  Come back again to see what I mean!