April 30, 2009

New Things in the Works...

I can't believe it's already Thursday- I've been totally slacking on my blog updates for the last 2 weeks.  That will hopefully change once I get past next Wednesday and my last final for the semester.  

I've been working on a few new things lately.  I'm creating a series of little ACEOs.  Who doesn't love affordable art?  This is my favorite so far, it reminds me of a kite:

I've also been working on my blockhead animal designs.  They're evolving into even more blocky creatures, and a little more fashionable as well.  Look for those to be rolled out sometime in the next two weeks.  

I did create a penguin blockhead as a gift for one of my friends that I used to work with in the Antarctic program.  Please say hello to Pablo the Penguin:


Others things I'm working on- pastels and watercolors.  But don't worry, they incorporate stamps too.  I'm interested in doing some subtle backgrounds for my next round of trees and flowers.  

Next week my really big project is to paint the studio.  I only have one day to do it in, but it's only about 80 sq ft, so it should be doable.  I've been staring at the walls for about 6 months now thinking that they need to be change colors and next week is the week to do it.  On Thursday to be exact.  Anyone feel like painting?

April 27, 2009

Stamps of the Week

I never did get around to posting my 'Stamps of the Week' last week, so I've added those pictures into this week's mix as well.

These first two stamps would make such great pictures for children. I think this first one might be from a movie, though I don't know that for sure.

I'm always drawn to the black & white stamps. These I separate out altogether and when I have enough of them, then I use them for a background (such as in this piece: There are not a lot of black & white stamps, but this Afghan stamp is part of a beautiful little series animals and I'll probably highlight more of them in the future.

Mongolia really has some of the most interesting and colorful stamps, never dull or boring. I think this one would make a great pendant, if I knew how to make pendants, though it is a little on the large side.

Next up, some beautiful out door stamps. When I went to bed last night, the world looked like this first pretty stamp. But when I got up this morning, I found that the world now looks more like these second two. It's snowing in Denver! (Really thick, heavy, wet snow that is killing the plants that I knowingly chose to plant too early...)

There are so many great ship stamps! I separate out all of the ship stamps and have a pretty big collection of them now. I thought I had a really great idea for them, but when executed, the finished piece looks really bad and sits on my wall as a reminder that not every 'great' idea is executable and to try planning things out a little more. So, my little ships are waiting for my next great idea and in the mean time, I just keep finding more of them.

It seems that any country that has any coastline at all, has some kind of stamps with ships on them. These are some of my favorites because I love the ocean and I'm currently landlocked so I like to peruse the ship stamps from time to time.

Last but not least are these lovely little ladies in orange. I'm a big fan of orange, which is a good thing because there are SO many orange stamps! Loads of them, from all around the world. They make great backgrounds for my work (like in these pieces: and I really like the clean lines and the design of this particular stamp. And the boots, I really love their boots!

Next week I'm posting some really great Gilbert & Sullivan stamps that I've been hanging on to. They're fabulous!

Happy snowy spring everyone!


April 26, 2009

Wonders That Arrive in the Mail

If you're like me, then you love getting mail. Recently, I've gotten some really great things in the mail. Some of these things were expected, and some were surprises, but they all have great designs, which is why I'm sharing them with you.

A couple of weeks ago I found an artist on Etsy selling these miniature works of art ( and was really taken with 'Pretzel Man' who now graces my desk and keeps an eye on things in the studio when I'm not here.

I knew I would love him, but when he arrived and I saw that he was on a little piece of wood, I loved him even more. I actually had the artist make me another 3-eyed custom 'Pretzel Man Monster' for a wee friend of mine who's taken with monsters, particularly the 3-eyed kind.

Another package that arrived recently was a wooden neclace that I ordered from an artist in Hong Kong. The necklace itself probably deserves a post, but in the package she included this little playing card with a ribbon attached. I just love the picture and might have been more excited about receiving that than I was about the necklace.

My husband has an Italian friend that lives in Paris and she's always sending him THE most fabulous packages (which is where some of my favorite stamps come from). Last week she sent him this card, which somehow found its way into my design greedy hands and a permanent home on my desk. I particularly love that the design included some old stamps, and I happen to have these stamps in my stamp collection too. While I'm not a great fan of roses, I think this butterfly is absolutely fabulous and I wish someone could paint a thousand of them on my studio wall.

The last item I have to show you was something that I received a few weeks ago and had completely forgotten about until today when I was cleaning up my desk. I ordered a batch of 12,000 stamps and the seller included a tiny little envelope of 'suprise extras', which somehow got buried on my desk and remained unopened until today. These are a few of the little gems that were inside, along with about 100 others. I love that my all-time favorite writer was included!

I know I've been slacking in the blogging department this last week as my semester wraps up, but I will be posting more often from here on out. Tomorrow I'm posting 'Stamps of the Week' which I never did get around to posting last week and I'm working on some artist profiles to post in coming weeks. If you think you, or someone you know, would make a great artist profile, let me know.

April 21, 2009

They're Finally Here! Earth Art!

I somehow survived winter, but what really got me through was knowing that THIS day would eventually come- the plants are finally here! Both the bulbs I planted last fall and the pansies and herbs I pick up from a really great garden shop that we have in the city. I find it impossible to improve on nature, so today I give you earth art, which is really the best kind.

This is the garlic that I planted last fall. I really didn't expect to see anything come up because the bed is in full shade. But here they are! There are in fact too many and some will have to come out. I also planted 'walking onions' but they haven't come up yet.

This is 'hot & spice oregano'. I can't wait to try it. I really bought it because it was covered with silver hair, but it's supposed to be yummy too. Bonus!

THIS little gem will be the darling of the container garden. THIS is 'mojito mint'! We didn't grow any mint last year and just about went broke trying to buy enough to keep up with our mojito drinking. Not this year! This year we're going to grow LOTS of mint. Especially 'mojito mint'. Come over for mojitos!

This is 'mesclun mix' for my hub-dude's salads. I don't really eat salad, but I'll tolerate these colorful little beauties in the garden any time! I'm planting purple carrots with them so it should be an interesting mix.

And finally, my favorites. The 'sherbert' pansies! I know, pansies have to constantly be dead-headed but with these little charmers, they will bloom until October if you keep up with it. I even had some that survived the winter and just produced their first flowers today. I also have some of these that sprouted up in the rock walkway over the winter. I was going to pull them out, but pansies make everything look better! So they get to stay, at least until they get trampled...

I really want to learn to paint with watercolors, just so I can paint pansies. I also picked up some 'blood orange' pansies but they don't have blooms yet. They're sure to be spectacular.
Today I give you earth art, in honor of earth day. What fantastic earth art do you have in your yard?
Tomorrow, more fabulous and interesting stamps from around the world.

April 20, 2009

Mixed Media Around the World: AK Japan

Today I wrote a guest blog entry for an Etsy Mixed Media team that I'm on (Metsy). You can read my blog post here:

I'll be back to regular blogging right here tomorrow.


April 19, 2009

Latest news.....

Today I have to start my blog off with some sad news. Cori and I have decided to split up our shop. We had a meeting yesterday and decided that it was probably the right thing to do from a business perspective. It's sad to me, because she's one of my best friends and it's more fun to be in business with someone else than to go it alone. But the financial side of things is just too tricky with two of us and with selling such completely different things. So, Cori has opened a new shop- Rockmania Designs- but to me she'll always be Studio7. And I'll be sticking with the Studio6or7 shop. I'll be blogging about Cori's new shop and her latest series of jewelry once she gets everything up and rolling so stay tuned...

On the good news front, I've converted my children's illustrations into some small canvas art pieces. You can find them all in my shop here: These are pictures of my latest. I love these little guys. I have all my work hanging in my studio but these guys are front & center over my desk to keep me company. They talk a lot more than the trees & flowers...

Here I present to you the Blockhead Birds.

This is Entz the Blockheaded Bird.

This is Igor the Blockheaded Bird. He really likes his sombrero. I'm looking for some longer stamps to make some B I G sombreros next.

This is Jungle Jack- he's a blockhead too. It just occurred to me while looking at this picture that he looks afraid. Kind of like I was when we went to Taman Negara and I had leaches all over me. I don't love the jungle either Jack.

And this is me photographing my new little guys. I live in a house built in 1888 with some fabulously wavy brick walls. I love taking pictures of the walls.

So the Blockheads have been born finally. There are more on the way. I'm working on elephants, monkeys, penguins and a few other Blockheads. More to come....

Andrea at Studio6or7

April 16, 2009

Pay Your Art Forward

I just saw this idea on someone's blog ( and decided to join in the fun- I think this is just a really great idea to share your creativity with the world.

Follow these instructions if you want to join the fun.

Brave People Make Things so get excited and make things….

The first five (5) people to respond to this post will get something made by me.

This offer does have some restrictions and limitations so please read carefully:

1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make. What you get is what you get- but of course I hope you'll like it...

2. What I create will be just for you, with love.

3. It’ll be done this year (2009)- most likely sometime in the summer.

4. I will not give you any clue what it’s going to be. It will be something made in the real world and not something cyber. It may be weird or beautiful. Or it may be monstrous and annoying. I might bake something for you and mail it to you. Who knows? Not you, that’s for sure!

5. I reserve the right to do something strange:)

6. In return, all you need to do is post this text on your blog and make 5 things for the first 5 to respond to blog.

7. Send your mailing address to me- after I contact you.

IMPORTANT: This offer won't work if I don't see you post your own blog to pay this forward.

This text was borrowed from

Play nice and make things! It’s going to be a great adventure!

April 15, 2009

Fabulous Stamps of the Week!

I have new, and what I think are fabulous, stamps to show you this week. First, I have some colorful conservation minded stamps. I think the soil one is a little duller than the rest, but since I've been studying soil, and why it's the #1 thing we need to survive after water, this semester, I thought it appropriate to include it. I really like the design and colors of the stamp from Turkey:

Most people know that I have a thing for trees, a theme that will no doubt keep cropping up in my blogging just as it does everywhere else in my life. When I travel, I take dozens of pictures of trees- live trees, blooming trees, naked trees, dead trees, pretty much any kind of tree. I use trees in my art work, have pictures of trees around my house and wish that I could live in a tree. Seriously. So when I find stamps with trees, I'm always very happy. I found tree stamps from several countries this week while sifting through my piles of stamps. When I sift through stamps, I sort by color and by theme, such as ships, planes, etc... but first and foremost of course, I pull out my favorites and hoard them away. And this includes all of the stamps with trees. I love all of the different interpretations of trees on these stamps:

I think I mentioned last week that I had a very special stamp to post this week. This is probably THE most intriguing stamp that I've ever gotten. I wish I could say that it had been mailed to me, but sadly, I only received it in a bulk set of stamps that I purchased somewhere, and I'm not even sure where.
This stamp, in case you can't tell from the pictures, is hand-painted on an itty bitty piece of canvas!!! It is truly a 'work of art'. My pictures here really don't do justice to the fine brushstrokes that carefully laid down these beautiful miniature little flowers. This stamp is 4 1/2 cm x 3 1/2 cm. It's really small, considering that it's a painting on canvas. It's simply fantastic. I haven't decided what to do with it yet (definitely taking suggestions if you want to leave a comment!). Frame it? Find a super miniature easel for it? Turn it into a fridge magnet? I just don't know. What I DO know is that this little guy isn't going anywhere! This one definitely goes into the 'Andrea's Hoarding Stamps' pile.

Andrea at Studio6

April 14, 2009

What's your inspiration?

I generally only run out of inspiration for my writing, not for creating new pieces of art. But occasionally I do need some new inspiration, or feel like I need a creative jolt to complete a new idea. These are my fall back methods for finding what I need:

1. Dig through my tens of thousands of stamps finding great pictures and stories. This always gives me a boost, and I spend a lot of time doing this, even when I don't need a creative boost. I can literally spend hours at a time sifting through stamps, admiring the artwork, lines, colors, shapes, fonts, etc...

2. Look at my travel pictures from around the world. A lot of the influences of color and shape are from my many travels. Especially Balinese woodwork and Chinese pagodas. While they haven't shown up in my work directly yet, they will. I also love the architecture found in Egypt, Paris and Slovenia.

3. Read. I love to read and frankly, I don't have nearly the amount of time to read that I wish I had. But reading always gives me new ideas, although sometimes I think perhaps reading just gives me the distraction that my mind needs in order to work something out without me continually trying to focus on it, kind of like how ideas come together when you're sleeping and not trying too hard to focus on something.

4. Peruse vintage books. I love vintage illustrations and designs, as I've posted about already. This is a sure way for me to generate new ideas or finish constructing ideas in the works. Right now I'm fascinated by the vintage Paris book and book on trees that are both posted in my vintage shop, which secretly, I hope don't sell too soon so that I can continue to love them for a little bit longer.

5. Wander around the net or museums perusing and admiring the work of other artists. GREAT inspiration always. (btw- new posting on art that I covet tomorrow!!!)

These are probably the top 5 ways that I get new inspiration, but there are others. Here are links to a couple of other artist blogs on ways to kick start your inspiration to create:

No excuses- go create something now!

Andrea at Studio6

April 12, 2009

New Insights into Illustrations

I've posted before about my fascination with illustrations (one of my many fascinations!) . This week I started making my own children's illustrations and it's given me a new found respect for the work that illustrators produce.

Great illustrations have clean, and often simple, lines that convey a lot with very little. And I think great illustrators make it look somewhat easy, but I'm finding that it's not easy at all.

Here's an example of one of the most well-known illustrations, probably the world over. Simple lines, great use of complimenting shapes and limited use of color. Combine all this together and you have a great illustration:

I have a lot to learn about illustrating as my first few attempts clearly demonstrate (don't worry- I won't post them for now) but it's given me a greater appreciation for those illustrators that so handily send their message using this format.

Some of my favorite illustrations are from Japan. This artist does custom/funny illustrations of life in Japan. I love the faces, the feet and the colors. You can find more on his website here:

I'll leave you with one of my favorite illustrations of Darwin that was in the New York Times recently:

Andrea at Studio6

April 10, 2009

Vintage Paris

I've always been fascinated with Paris, even though it took me about 25 years to get there after my fascination first began. So I was delighted the other day when I stumbled upon this really beautiful vintage 1977 book on Paris. I can't keep looking at all the great pictures. Here are a few of my favorites.

There are dancers, for you have to have dancers in Paris, though it seems they lost their clothes in the 60's:

Some strong food themes. This first photo is a picnic on a boat on the Seine:

There are glamorous women sprinkled throughout, because aren't all women in Paris glamorous? (Except for perhaps the spying madame just above....):

And of course, the requisite lovers:

There are dozens of other pictures in this book, but these are some of my favorites.

I wish I could have been there a few decades ago when all this fun was going on. I made a trip to Paris while backpacking around Europe during the winter of 2005, and while I don't recall seeing all the glamorous people found in this book, the city itself was unforgettable. I was fascinated with the trees and misty grayness of it all. I also found museum-like graveyards that I wanted to spend days wandering around in, there can be no more beautiful city to be buried in.

These are of couple of my pictures of modern day Paris:

Andrea at Studio6

(Not to plug my vintage shop, but there are several more photos from this book in my shop listing for it: