Sunday, December 19, 2010

for my little monkey man...

sweetie-pie, honey-bunny, little man, precious...
he has so many names, but his official name is Evan!

Couldn't tell you how long this Li'l Art piece took me. Between fussing over the shades of yellow, orange, green, and teal blue, and deciding on what characters to represent each letter (only a few differ from the first ABC piece I made for my niece last March), struggling through the return of fatigue through my third trimester, and lastly giving birth to my precious little one...well, let's just say *sigh* it's finally done!

"Sing With Me"

Followed closely with...


Another labour of love completed!

Together with much "help" from my husband (he'll really be doing all the work, I'll just be picking out the photos and music) I'll be making a new Youtube video (finally!) featuring this latest ABC Li'l Art piece, so stay tuned!

Friday, November 26, 2010

ok, so it hasn't been THAT long...

...since my last blog post!

I see that my LAST post was made just a week before my little Evan came, on October 28th!
Sadly, all my photos of him are on my husbands' computer, and being sleep deprived as I am...well, lets just say that I will make an effort to post again when I get more photos!

but what have I been up to lately (besides diaper changes & feedings)?

well, somehow, I managed to piece together a few hours here & there to finish this custom order placed through our Subtle Details Etsy store:

this li'l decor angel was a special request from a customer who saw it's original (LA019) in my youtube video (at 21s into the video):

Always happy to "reproduce" a piece (similar, but not the same, as every creation by nature of the production process will be unique) that's already been sold!

my next post? hopefully will be of my ABC frame for my little Evan...still sitting half finished (my last completed letter was "o" prior to his early birth).


Monday, October 18, 2010

what have we been up to???

...well, been a little busy, now 35 weeks pregnant & SO EXCITED!

Also been trying to organize, including the Subtle Details work studio.

Long overdue, and finally planned, purchased, and set up, this is the new Subtle Details work studio...

It doesn't look like much, but it has a clay & jewellery work station, a proper computer station, a cutting station, and yes, loads of shelving space for all the essentials & organization...all that is needed within reach & there is finally nothing to trip over!

Need to take some better photos of our new display studio, when we do, we'll be posting those too.

Looking forward to many hours of productive creativity in our newly organized space!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

First Show of 2010!

Hello Everyone!

And may I say (is it too early?) "Happy Spring"!

So pleased to announce that my first show of 2010 will be held on Saturday April 10th, from 10:00am - 3:00pm in a lovely penthouse party room at Sheppard Avenue & Yonge Street in Toronto...188 Doris Avenue to be specific.
It's going to be an exclusive little affair, with invites going out to all my customers, and those of a new friend, PuntaRocks (!

Looking forward to holding this event with Michelle of PuntaRocks, and introducing our new line of jewellery pieces for this spring!
Please RSVP your attendance to

My image is looking a little fuzzy I see, so if you're having trouble reading it, you may visit my facebook fan page...!/photo.php?pid=4204820&id=170787796120
....or, as I've noticed, you can double-click on the image in this post to view it larger.

Friday, March 12, 2010

definitely Out of the Box Ideas!

Love, Love, LOVE these invitations (and others) from Out of the Box Ideas!

Love the use of colour (of course, no one appreciates colour more than I do...well, maybe there are others, but I do like colour!).

Love the mix of textures.

Love the bold graphics.

Designed by Jeromina Juan, creative genius and owner behind Out of the Box Ideas (and good friend of mine), her invitations are so clean and meticulously thought out. Which brings me to another love...

Love the details! I'm all about details. Just looking at this invitation I'm noticing the fold-out "beach-bag" or "gift bag" tapered at the bottom (the whole tropical theme makes me think "beach"), the pockets within that hold the various card components, the actual "handles" that hold the "bag" together just like a real one, the coordinating colour paper back inside the grass paper "bag", the tag on the bag....oh the details!

Jeromina is promising she'll be creating her own Blog and Facebook Fan Page for Out of the Box Ideas soon...

Looking forward to it Jer, we need to see more of those great designs!

Until then, have a peek at her website:

Thursday, March 11, 2010

just realized...

that my last few posts (pictures) have been GREEN!

I love green! And the best thing is, despite changing shades a little, it always seems to be "in", in one way or another!

That's all...just a random thought that occurred to me just now.

Take care everyone,

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Now I know my ABC's

The first of a new idea...well, not so new, it's not like I invented ABC art!...but new for me & my Li'l Art framed sculpture.

This piece was finished on Sunday morning, just in time for my sister's baby shower (in true Karen fashion, I completed my work on time, though JUST in time!).

I'm very happy with the results! The idea came to me back in November I think, when I was thinking about making a special from-the-heart shower present for my sister, but it took a little longer to decide on the size & arrangement of the squares. You wouldn't believe how frustrating it was, for someone like me who likes things to be "just so", to be working with an alphabet that has 26 letters! Somehow, miraculously, it came to me at the last minute that, yes, the "y" & "z" could be combined on one square, making it a perfect 5 x 5 arrangement. Really, you have no idea how much I agonized over this! And the solution was SO SIMPLE!

My second challenge was working out the colours for the background. I had originally thought to mix the colours (having prepared an whole wack of oranges, corals, pinks, and greens)...but when put them together, began to fuss...finally resolving on the 3 shades of green...ironically enough, just like some of my more visually simplistic jewellery pieces. I guess sometimes lessons do need to be learned more than once!

The third & final challenge was picking out fun animals, food, instruments, plants, WHATEVER seemed appropriate for a child's room ABC art. I must add here that I got some help from various images found on-line (in all forms of media), and even from other artists work, as I found myself wondering what an owl looked like!

After all this was settled, the piece came along quite nicely...but the design did take some prep work.

Now I find myself brainstorming and even scanning through dictionaries to find other THINGS that may be represented in clay & become representatives for the letters of the alphabet...the follow-up to this design will be letter squares personalized to children's I need all the THINGS I or YOU can think of...I welcome your strokes of genius!

Visit & join my Facebook Fan Page (link on the right side of your screen) for more photos...I will be adding a new folder to include the image above & individual images of each letter.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

a true labour of love

Besides having a lingering cold (going on +2 weeks now!), and other family health issues, this has been what's keeping me busy.

"itty-bitty kitty"...
the latest in my Li'l Art framed sculpture collection.

It took some time to complete this one. Each blade of grass was rolled out and applied individually, and is varied from dark to light as it gets closer to the horizon.

But the hardest part of completing this piece was due to it's inspiration,

Our poor little Houdini!

We only had him for 6 months, having to put him down at 8 mo. due to Feline Infectious Peritonitis.

Such a short time to have pet, at yet how much he affected our lives, and oh how much we miss him!

I haven't decided yet if I'm going to sell this one, my "itty-bitty kitty" may just find a place on my wall!


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Love this bag!

I bought this bag on Boxing Day 2007 while browsing through the mall in Owen Sound (joined with my husband, sister, & brother-in-law, as we were all in Meaford for Christmas).
I'm not one to spend much on myself, though I had collected quite a few bags, and had become accustomed to switching them daily as per my outfit.
This one was displayed neatly in the window, and caught my eye (green being my absolute favorite colour). So I stopped into the store to discover is was on a HUGE sale, and I loved it, and so I bought it!


Everywhere I go, I get stopped by strangers (women of course) and get compliments on my bag!...and I've been told by a friend of mine that it has become a sort of signature of mine! Gotta love this clean, structured design, and of course the beautiful & brilliant colour!

Beijo Bags by Susan Handley

Friday, January 8, 2010

Weaver's Cabin

I love this scarf! Traded for at the close of the Heintzman House Auxiliary Craft Show & Sale 2009, I was so grateful that the artist, Wilma, was willing to trade with me (she took home one of my Li'l Bouquet pins).

According to the tag, the fibers include wool & mohair, but I just love the colour! So much so that I had my mom crochet me a couple of hats to go with it (the corner of one of my favorites just visible in the first photo...hmmm, a thought about another blog post!).

I've enjoyed wearing this handwoven scarf & crochet hat combo with my new seasonal dress coat. He! I love being put together, clothing wise, accessory wise, and I love having lots of accessories, being able to switch up my look in an instant...thank you Wilma for allowing this addition to my wardrobe!

Scarves are only the beginning of what is offered by Weaver's Cabin, they also make beautiful blankets, and all sorts of home accessories in between!

The scarf seen in these photos was handwoven by...

Weaver's Cabin
Severn Bridge, Ontario

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Pavlo Pottery

In a trade that I made almost a full year ago (at the By Hand Show in Toronto last year), I acquired this beautiful piece of pottery (square plate seen in the photos), as well as a huge round serving platter, wine cooler, and brie baker that I gifted to my sister and her husband this past Christmas.

I kept the square piece for myself, and use it every day, as you see in the photos!

What attracted me to these pieces (they were all finished the same way) was the combination of the rich undertones of the base colour (brown) with the silvery, almost pewter-like glaze over top. Add the pattern detail (it reminds me of a tattoo or henna), and the overall effect is exquisite and unusual!

The pottery in these photographs was handcrafted by...

Pavlo Pottery Studio & Shoppe
Rockton, Ontario

Monday, January 4, 2010


A prologue to the mini-series on varied artisan works (which I hope to expand on as time passes and I acquire exciting new pieces)...
a short word on trading.

As an artist, my eye (like many of yours I'm sure) is tuned in to great design and workmanship. This means that I not only appreciate the beauty of the object, but also the time and skill that has gone in to the making of the piece, not to mention the inherent dollar value of the materials involved...

Which brings me to the next, or perhaps previous, important word...starving! Yes, as an artisan, young in experience and business, I am a "starving artist".

This puts me at a great disadvantage, you see, because while my eye is scoping out all those beautiful objects (easily found at the juried craft shows), appreciating their value to the truest sense of the word, I am admittedly short on least when it comes to justifying the spending of money on artwork (of any form).

And so, in comes the trade! It can't always be done, but when other artists are willing and open to the idea, it's a great way to get your hands on new and exciting craft pieces!

Over the next few posts, I will be featuring some of the pieces (& their makers) that I have traded stay tuned!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Most sincere "Thank You"s go out to all of our customers, family & friends, and fellow crafters & artisans who have helped make 2009 a big success for Subtle Details!

A note for what's to come in 2010: a short mini-series of blog posts featuring varied artisan works...most pieces having been successfully traded for at past shows!

Happy New Year to you all!