Thursday, February 21, 2008

Hot Chocolate... I Will Miss You.


Hot chocolate... *sigh* how I will miss you.

This is probably my all time favorite drink. If it could be called one. Perhaps it's really just a liquid desert. Either way, I have finally taken control of my eating and exercise and hot chocolate is not in the plan. I'm sorry to see you go little fella. Some day, we will meet again and I shall treasure every sinful drop! Funny thing about New Year's resolutions, do we make them only to break them? I think I've started some kind of a healthy routine perhaps three times since the first of January and have fallen flat on my face. Well I'm fed up! I've been minding my p's and q's, or peas and carrots... and am down eight pounds! I know it's probably mostly water weight, but hey, take the points were you can! I've still quite a ways to go before at my glorious pre-baby body. I will get there! So help me.


Last year it seemed that so many of my friends and family were having babies that I started making felt cubes to give as shower and birthday gifts. I call them cuddle cubes. Here's a shot of both the front and the back. The sides have letters in coordinating colors.

Cuddle Cubes

Cuddle Cubes

They were actually pretty fun to make. I have a few more in the works, behind the jesters and balloons and caricatures! I'll get to them some day.


Last night I finished reading My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult. Oh My God! I cried and would have kept it up if my son hadn't been fussing nearby. Thank goodness too, he pulled me back down to earth. What an amazing book. I would love to see this as a movie someday. I think it would fare very well on the big screen. Now I will have to pick up another book by Mrs. Picoult. Thanks Jill for the suggestion!

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Perpetual Jester and Other Oddities


I have been working on this sun jester for... well... far too long! Every time I sit down to it I want to do more, paint more, sculpt more. I finally called the painting finished recently and glazed it. There! That part's done. But now more than just a jester, I am feeling that he needs hands. So... I am now sculpting hands and am creating the body in my mind. I have picked out the material for the clothing already. Very sparkly and very shiny. It is my goal to finish this charming fella, sometime, very soon I hope! In the previous post in the picture of my desk, behind the lamp, you can just barely see other unfinished friends of his. Including that dragon head that is still in the sculpting phase. I can't wait to see that one! I love working as I do. I love feeling that as I work, the piece is revealing itself to me. Instead of me commanding it to be something set in stone in my mind's eye. I let each creation work it's own magic as I go and often end up with something very different than I intended!

Here is another curiosity of sorts. I had this adorable little pig jester head and as I was about to add her little ruffle collar I stopped and felt that there was more to her... so much more. Hahahaha! Little did the little pig know she was destined for royalty! As a princess! She even has cute little white satin pantillons and pink satin shoes with little bows on top and a big pink bow on the back of her dress. (If ever I have a little girl some day she will be soo spoiled!)


Just as I was going to post her on my etsy shop I discovered that since these pictures were taken she has developed a large spot on her pink satin skirt! Argh! I'm not sure where it came from, how it got there, what it is, or even how to remove it! So perhaps she is meant to sit high in my studio and watch over me as I work the days away.

Funny, I remember after I finished her and showed her off to my brother in law, his response... "But you had a boy." Considering that this was right after Vincent was born, one might wonder as to my intentions. Nothing fowl about here. *honest*

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Trigger Happy Camera Finger and a Little Paper Mache

I am exhausted! I have been trying all week to ready my jewelry for my etsy shop. I spent at least two hours today taking and editing pictures of only about two dozens items. Being such a perfectionist can be annoying at times, but I wouldn't give it up. And don't get me wrong, I'm only a perfectionist when it comes to my artwork.
My studio space is a mess!

I don't think another soul could find anything in artspace but I've got the map in my head and can't find anything if I ever I clean! *contended sigh* I love existing this way. (Of course, my Tony was pleased to finally move his things out of the studio space when we acquired a second room.) Truly, there should be a support group for partners of artists and craftfolk out there! I know of several men who would be more than happy to sit in a circle and yap about us! I've wandered again...

So I have more than enough photos of my jewelry. I took shots of them on pretty green moss then dangling down the side of a pillar of basalt then on a grey felted square and finally suspended in air. I will let you know when the pictures go live. I hope that will happen sometime this weekend. Cross your fingers!


I have also dug out my paper mache again. I have a hippocampus and a dinosaur that are lingering at an inbetween stage but will be beauties one day! Bored with the normal project (hippocampus... very normal... *grin* ) I contemplated combining a few more talents into this pile of sloppy newspapers and came up with something that is taking me longer than I had planned! The idea was to twist some basic balloon figures and cover them in this gloppy, flour, paper mess!



So, I made a dachsund and a flower and have been working on them for a couple of days already! Perhaps these items will simply decorate out Saturday Market booth this spring... Ah-ha! The perpetual balloon animal! Ooh, I just may have something there! I will post those photos this weekend as well. I'm so sorry for the delay in pictures, again, we have dial-up out here in the country and a super old computer that won't accept my digital camera hookups. So... one way or another, pictures eventually make their way here.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Delicious Books

Truthfully, just one delicious book. Last weekend while heading back to home from Vancouver I stopped and picked up Faeries of Dreamdark Finished it yesterday. I love it! I cried twice. First when Magpie woke up missing Maniac and then at the end... Beautiful book Laini! I can't wait to get my hands on Silksinger. I will keep my eyes open down the road for it's arrival. This book certainly inspired me with new ideas and I sat myself down in my studio (handing over the little dude to his father of course) and worked away. I am in the middle of about a half dozen jester sticks so it felt good to make a little more headway on them. I also dusted off my jewelry and photographed my pieces to add to my Etsy site Although they aren't yet up. Because we have dial-up and are using a family members very old computer, we have to go into town to get out pictures on-line. I know, I know, we're practically living as cave people out here! I hear rumor that satellite internet is going to be looked into shortly, here's hoping for an upgrade into the world!

My mother has asked that I sculpt a Quetzalcatl into a jester stick for her. The Questzalcatl is perhaps the most well known Aztec God. He is a feathered serpent so this should be interesting! I'm excited to get this piece rolling. I'm hoping to include wings, so we'll see how it finishes. There was a second request for a custom jester from my Etsy site yesterday as well. I'm excited for the growth that my work will see this year.

The Saturday Market opens April 5th. Tony and I are so excited to be there again this year. We have so many plans for our presentation and booth. Hopefully we'll be re-painting the structure as well as making a new sign and introducing caricatures. I'm a little anxious about that one, but excited!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

The road I'm a travelin'

It has been soo long since I've written. Of course, I'm saying that as though I've kept an on going blog for years. As you may have noticed, I've only made two entries. Yup, just two. My travels on the internet have been sparse this past year as my little family has moved to the edge of town on a 50 some-odd acre plot and only get dial-up. Yes, it still exists. And yes, it's all I know now. To play a bit of catch-up... Last month I was finally able to get my etsy shop up and running. For the time being only my jesters are dwelling there, but I hope to add much more to it this year. Go to and search under usernames for: candicewestberg. There I will be! Today was a wonderful day for me in retail art land- I sold my very first jester! When I opened up my email and saw the payment notice from Paypal I ran through the house and shouted to all the world of my fortune. Okay, so it wasn't quite a fortune, but it was a joy none-the-less. The money was exciting, of course, but more than that, I was thrilled to have a stranger purchase something that I created. Something that I made touched them in such a way that they felt compelled to buy it and voila, a new piece of whimsy for their wall. *sigh* It is a slow process, this getting my own business off the ground thing, but it is possible and it does happen. I am certain that it will happen for me, I refuse to settle and I refuse to give up!

It was an interesting thing quitting my nine-to-five. I've worked in retail for more than ten years and wasn't quite sure if I could exist without it, but I knew I couldn't exist within it. The stale glare of retail lights have an amazing power to suck creative life out of your very soul. I pushed myself quite a bit last year and was able to attend the Eugene Saturday Market on a few weekends. From there I received several party requests that rolled into other parties. I'm so excited for this year as Tony and I will do all we can to be there EVERY saturday this year. At the market I am a balloon twister. Now this is not your run-of-the-mill twister who hands you an animal that is a dog, or a cat... or perhaps a giraffe? No, I learned from a very talented twister in Vancouver, Washington and am putting my best foot, er, balloon, forward. Patricia Bunnell taught me most of what I know. I only wish that I could have learned more and spent more time with her. I sort of fell off the radar there for awhile. Life happens.

I have discovered that there may be balloon competition this year so I am dusting off my old drawing arm and have been practicing caricatures again. I drew caricatures on a nearly daily basis for two and a half years with a very amazing company in Las Vegas . I'm a bit rusty, but I'm hoping that it will be just like riding a bike!

In lieu of my five month old son I have taken to creating a number of baby-safe toys. I wish that I was able to post pictures of them here. I will figure that out one day, but until then, I'll let you know when you can find them on etsy. One of my creations if of a baby-safe dragon. In my wanderings all of the stuffed dragons I found contained faux fur, hard plastic eyes, sequins, glitter and any number of ornamental items that were potential choking hazards. I set out to create something safe for my son to put in his mouth and I created My First Fantasy Friends. They are led by My First Dragon. I intend to include a unicorn, pegasus perhaps a gryphon, hippocampus . I am still playing with several patterns and have yet to work out numerous kinks, but the few prototypes I have have been a hit with friends who have small children. And not to mention, my son loves them!

I'm off to Powell's tomorrow. I'm in town perhaps once a month and have a gift card I must spend! I intend to finally pick up Laini Taylor's Faeries of Dreamdark Blackbringer. I have been a fan of her artwork for several years now and that she is recently published, I am not a true fan unless I indulge in that too!