Child’s desk by Jay Lester
I decided to share with you today, a young up and coming artist/craftsman by the name of Jay Lester. Jay is the owner/craftsman at Dead Apple Farm Furniture and also my second cousin. His grandfather and my grandfather were brothers. We didn’t meet until a few years ago, I think it was actually 2002, but I can’t remember for sure. I also don’t remember all the details of our meeting, except for the fact that I got a phone call explaining that my young cousin was hitch hiking/riding the bus/exploring the USA all the way from Maine and was going to be coming through Albuquerque, NM.
Of course we invited him to come stay with us and we had a lovely time getting to know this relative that I had never met before. He ended up staying in Albuquerque for about a month. A week with us and several weeks at one of the local Route 66 motels. He spent Thanksgiving with us, played football with my boys and generally hung out. About a year later, we traveled across the country with our family and visited his family in Portland, Maine. What a wonderful group of people! It was a great visit and we were just a bit surprised that none of their family likes lobster, and they live in the lobster capital of the USA! However, they did make us a delicious lobster pie that we all still remember.
Fast forward several years, my young cousin is now married with a couple of kids of his own. He is working on starting up his own business, Dead Apple Farm Furniture. He builds beautiful pieces using reclaimed wood and using crayon sketches as his inspiration. He currently has a kickstarter project going to raise funds to expand his wood shop. Please, if you have a minute, check out his project, watch the video, and pledge to help out his project. There are 17 days left on his kickstarter project and he is a third of the way to his funding goal. The rewards he is offering for funding go from a crayon sketch all the way up to one of his whimsical toy/blanket chests.
I love supporting young artists/craftmen, this is the good stuff of life!
Posted in 2012, family, handpainted furniture, inspiration
Tagged artist craftsman, craftsman, crayon sketch, Dead Apple Farm Furniture, family, furniture, handmade, Jay Lester, kickstarter project, reclaimed wood, recycled wood, woodworking
I just realized that I mentioned my recycled, hand painted furniture in the last post, but forgot to post the photos. OOPS! See them in my Etsy shop. (I was unable to load them here, something up with blogger)
It’s been a week since my last post. I was out of town last week from Wednesday to Saturday. I went down to Las Cruces (my home town) to help a long time and very dear friend pack up her mom’s house. Her mom, also a cherished friend, is moving to New Hampshire to complete her PhD. She has lived in this house since before we were born (as far as I know), almost 40 years let’s just say. It was like going back in time and reliving all my memories of growing up. I spent a LOT of time in that house. It was so much fun to hang out with my friend and her mom. We haven’t spent time alone, just the girls without kids and husbands, in at least 20 years!
Since I came home I have been busy, busy, busy in the studio. I’m currently working on some new needlepoint designs. I hope to have all my designs posted together with a link to the company that is selling them VERY soon! As soon as I know where they are being sold retail, I will also post that information. I had contemplated selling them retail in my Etsy shop but decided that I didn’t want to compete with the shops. So I will provide a list of shops as well as a link to the website where they can be purchased wholesale. So far I have 9 designs completed with a couple more in the works. However, there are a couple that I won’t be able to share until later in the year because they will be released exclusively at a show in April. I will share more information about that as it comes available.
I am also currently working on finding companies to license my designs for use on tiles and fabric. If you have any recommendations please let me know.
ACEO(2 1/2 x 3 1/2″)
8″ square oils on canvas board
I’ve been painting a lot of smaller pieces on recycled matboard scraps. Each piece is gessoed by me before I start. The mat scraps are plentiful in my framing studio. When I am out of ideas for larger paintings I like to paint small ACEOs or 6 – 8″ squares. It helps to get my creative juices flowing and I usually come up with my next large painting concept while I’m at it. That is exactly what happened today! I painted Purple Night aceo and then came the Green Moon on 8″ canvas board. Now I’m working on a similar idea on a 20″ square stretched canvas. It was a very productive day in the studio. I’ve also jotted down some ideas for my next needlepoint designs.
Above and below are photos of all the aceo paintings, daily journal paintings and handpainted furniture I’ve finished in the past week. All are available in my Etsy shop.
Please Don’t Break My Heart 7″ square Oils on recycled matboard
Waves of Love 6″ square Oils on recycled matboard
True Love ACEO
Heart in Love ACEO
Music Playing 8″ square Oils on recycled canvas board
The weekend of January 11-13 my needlepoint designs made their debut at the TNNA(The National NeedleArts Association) Trade Show in Long Beach, California. They were a hit! My sales were great according to the company representing my designs! I debuted with 9 designs and had a few that sold really well. So, now I’m busy working on more new designs. If you are interested in seeing/buying any of my fine art needlepoint canvases, you will need to contact Lynda with Dreamhouse Ventures. I don’t think she has my designs up on her website just yet, but I plan to post a page of my currently available designs with a link to her website until then. I will try to get all the images posted by this evening. It is so exciting to think about my designs going out into the world! My goal is to have at least 50 designs by the end of this year. I have 9 so far, so I guess I’d better get busy.
I also have a new section planned for my etsy shop. Recycled, handpainted tables. These are mainly the small, round, decorator tables. I have saved several from the landfill by taking them off people’s hands on Freecycle. Freecycle is a great site, if you have never heard of it before, please follow the link and sign up! It is a national site, with smaller member groups around the country. Basically, people post listings of things they are trying to get rid of or things they want and other people respond to take things off your hands or to give you things you want, and it’s all FREE! It’s a great way to keep things out of the landfill and you would be surprised what people will take! It is so true that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. I plan to put up the tables on my etsy site sometime this week. The cool thing about these tables is that they can be used as a table or hung on the wall like a piece of art. Plus, they’re recycled!
I’ve been having a hard time deciding what to blog about. I have visited so many cool artist blogs and they all seem so much more interesting than mine! So, anyone out there, give me your ideas for what you want me to blog about. Is there any burning questions on your mind? What do you want to know? Do you like the blogs with nothing but images? Should I talk more about the art? Help me out people, I need ideas! 🙂
I am all over the place this week. Portrait on Wednesday, painting furniture on Thursday and back to canvas on Friday!
This is a photo of a new project I’m working on. It’s a handmade, handpainted table. My husband cut the top and attached the legs for me. I started with gesso and then painted with my H2O oils. I still have to varnish it, waiting to make sure it’s completely dry. I’ve always wanted to make some functional art and when we found some used table legs for a dollar at Goodwill I decided there was no better time. This will be going into my Etsy shop once it’s finished.
I received an email from a gallery owner in Gallup that saw my work at the NM State fair. He is reopening his gallery in March(after renovations) and wants me to show my work for the Grand opening. He’s even going to put us up in a hotel for the night! I will post more information once I know all the particulars. My hubby will be playing his guitar for opening night. So, if you just happen to be in Gallup, NM on March 10th, I hope to see you there!