Friday, November 30, 2007


When I first moved to Tahoe, in 1987, I drove around in a borrowed gold Ford Pinto, with the words "eat me" written in shaving cream and congealed above the driver's side door (for reasons unrelated to me, and which I won't bother explaining). The point, however, is that I have not been able to sleep these last few nights, and these are the kind of thoughts which pass through my brain at 4:00 am.

The other thing that has been going through my brain are loads of inspired ideas that hopefully I won't be too tired to act on. I keep a pad by my bed, and scribble thoughts in the dark:

"necklaces (this is somehow underlined, which is hard to do accurately in the dark) cut pc of HC and hang off cool stick hang on wall"

and under that it says:

"bougles? purple beady thing"


I'm sure it has it's merits, but I have absolutely no idea what I meant by that. Anyone?

Thursday, November 29, 2007


Anybody remember Colorforms? This part of the process reminds me of playing with Colorforms as a kid. Only I played with them recently, and this is actually more fun! It's down to the wire for our first Underground Artist Holiday Sale/Open Studio affair this weekend, so I'll make this brief. But I also wanted to mention that I'm going to borrow a page from Carrie Cahill Mulligan's blog and host a Virtual Open Studio on the date of my actual Open Studio. (Carrie makes beautiful hats!) Stay tuned for more information.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

UA Shows

It's been a long week, and between the holiday and not feeling too "yippy-skippy" (I'll spare you the details!) I haven't written all week. But I'm back on my feet, and looming large on the horizon is...

our Underground Artists Holiday Open Studios (or "Triple Holiday Sale", depending on whom you talk to...). We're hosting a series of holiday events, for three Sundays in December: December 2, December 9, and December 16, from 1 to 6 pm. All three of us: Barbara Wesson (pottery; pictured at left sporting an art helmet), Kristen Schwartz (fantastical illustrations) and, of course, Yours Truly will be at each date. Our intention is to feed you lots of sugary items, or at least some wine or appetizers, and entice you to purchase various wonderful handmade gifts for your friends and family. Or, if you're like me, for yourself. If you live in the Tahoe area, or plan to be in the area then, please email me for more information.

I recently sent out a mailing and included a link to this blog... If anyone reading this is new to the blog, it's EASY TO COMMENT. Really. Just click on the comment link and register with Google if you haven't already. (Google is going to take over the world, so you might as well just go ahead and register with them now. Go ahead, get it over with.)

I tried to create an avatar (isn't that a great word?) for my Etsy shop yesterday. Yes, I should have been creating things for the first Open Studio this weekend. Why wasn't I? Well, I, um... I was also adding a couple of pieces to the Etsy shop at the time, and my little "avatar space" was looking rather bare and depressingly empty. So I thought, "how hard can it be?" And then I found out: impossible. At least for me. But I had alot of fun taking photos of myself, using a mirror to see what the camera screen was showing... This is the one I liked, but couldn't get it to work. That is why, if you go to my Etsy shop, you will see a BIG BLACK SQUARE where the avatar should be. I'll try again someday... but not now. NOW, I have to get back into the studio and make some more pieces for this weekend.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Ode to a Brush

I've made this mistake before...
I was working when I shouldn't have been: tired, not feeling well, and working to finish some earrings in time to bring them into one of my shops on my trip to Reno.
That's when disaster struck. Okay, a small disaster, but when you're tired, it seems bigger, and it seems like you're a big idiot (I mean, like I'M a big idiot). I left my favorite brush sitting out, with paint on it, while I ran into the house, probably interrupted by my seven year old son. (That's his specialty: interrupting me.) And by the time I got back out to the studio, it was too late....hard paint; useless brush. ARGH. I loved this brush! It was the perfect size for so many things. And it had that little angle to it, and felt great in my hand... it was the one I grabbed first.
It's okay; I'm over it. But I bought this brush at Michael's, a couple of years ago. And my New Year's resolution was to never set foot in Michael's again...that "soul-destroying" place, as it's been described by a friend. So I guess I'll have to find a similar one elsewhere...
The new earrings got done anyway. They're going to ClayNichol's today, on my way to Thanksgiving at my father's "lady friend's" house... (another dad euphamism). I'm so grateful that I'm off the hook for cooking Thanksgiving dinner. Love to eat it, but it's just the silliest holiday, isn't it? We all have to eat the same thing on the same day? It's ridiculous. And every year, I swear it's going to be peanut butter & jelly for dinner that day, and every year, I end up doing the whole t'day thing... but thanks to M., who's a fabulous cook, I get to just enjoy the eating part. Thanks, M.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Once A Designer...

You know what I'm going to say:
"always a designer...".

This was made painfully clear to me yesterday when we put up some shelves in our "utility" room... It made more sense to push them all the way over towards the door, leaving room on one end to hang the clean laundry. But there were some existing shelves on the wall above the new shelving units, and I wanted them to LINE UP. They HAD to line up. I would not have slept that night if this did not happen.


Once again, my expensive graphic design education rears its head.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Fighting "Brain Spiral"

The Underground Artists saved the day, once again.

How did I ever get anywhere without this group? The answer is, I didn't. At least, I didn't move forward very quickly. I spent alot of time going around in circles, as I remember... sometimes even spiraling downward into my own tangle of negative thoughts. (how poetic!) But it's true.

This past week I had to put in alot of computer time: domain name changes, email changes, website stuff, mailing list, etc... Plus, I was alone; my husband took the kids on a short vacation, and I opted to stay home to get some work done. I LOVE being alone, but after a few days, I can get to the point where it's NOT good because I'm thinking too much. By the time our UA meeting came up, I had been to that point, and beyond.

Turns out, we'd all been in a similar place, mentally. This happens alot. Then we all talk it over, eat some chocolate, and Voila! Sane artists! Well, not really. Ha ha! But it's a close facsimile, and we end up way, way more comfortable with what's going on than we were before. One might even say we're feeling inspired to keep going, in a more or less straight line, rather than back around again, in those circles I mentioned before.

What a relief.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Etsy Shop & the Paper Moon Domain Name Saga

First of all...
The Etsy shop is UP AND RUNNING!

Please check it out here.

I'm starting out with the new jewelry, earrings and necklaces. I'll be adding to it as I go along, so please check back to see what's new. You can also go to it by typing in "" in your browser.
In order to come up with that Etsy shop user name (also the url), I went through a loooong process... "Papermoon" was taken (no surprise). And I couldn't bring myself to use "papermoonarts" one more time, since I've started to really, really dislike it. So I started thinking (that's where the trouble started) and decided to go with the user name "papermoonstudio". (I didn't see it among the etsy shop user names.) "Yay!" I thought. "Wonderful!" I even decided to get the domain name from because I liked it SO MUCH BETTER. than "papermoonarts". As it turns out, that user name WAS taken (by a buyer). But that's okay. I like my new domain name:

It took many calls to my cousin (who is kind and patient and does my website) and to (whose customer service is awesome, and their tech guys all sound cute on the imagines them all looking like James McAvoy) but the new domain is now in place. Now I'm thinking about changing this blog url to match something, ANYTHING...but I'm not sure how that affects the traffic to the blog.
As for the unrelated photo above: we've had these really cold nights, and on my way out to the studio yesterday morning I noticed the sun shining on these frosted leaves...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Gesso Love

Today I fell in love with black gesso.

It's true.

It goes on so easy, covers so well... and it's going on the back of the new work, so I'm not concerned about fading. I never planned to fall in love. But I started some new forms this week, to be used specifically for the earrings. (Except some of them looked distinctly like candy dishes, so I'm going to let one of them go ahead...) After I'd already gessoed the forms with white, I thought I'd do the inside (what will be the backs) with black. I'll only have to paint the front of the jewelry pieces this way, and nobody sees the backs anyway (unless they're standing very, very close to you and staring at the back of your ears... and that would be creepy).

When I was done, I loved the way the black looked. LOVED it. The forms are so graphic. (once a graphic designer, always a graphic designer...) I think I could go off on some different directions here, but for now I'm going to focus on the earrings and necklaces (okay, and the candy dish) because my Underground Arty friends and I are going to be doing some holiday Open Studio dates very soon. (I'll post dates here shortly.)

I'm also in love with my new bike. It's so pristine! I can't imagine taking it out and getting it dirty, but it IS a mountain bike, so I guess there's nothing for it but to get on it and ride! Maybe tomorrow. My kids are still off with my husband, riding their bikes in the bay area. (There's tons of trails here, but he's on "vacation" (between the seasonal jobs) and I guess he feels like he has to go somewhere...whatever). That leaves me alone to work in blissful, uninterrupted quiet, and do things like eat cookies for breakfast. Not that I would. I'm just saying.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

User Name, Schmoozer Name

This is what it looked like outside my studio this morning...
I said I'd have the Etsy store up and running this weekend, and I'm almost there. What's hanging me up is the stupid user name. (I'm going to go into a rant here...just a head's up!) Technically, my business name is Paper Moon, which is all well and good, except that it's EVERYBODY'S business name, it seems. So when I registered a domain name, it couldn't be just "". It had to be "mypapermoon" or something equally as ridiculous. Which is why I ended up with Now everyone thinks THAT is the name of my business, which makes it sound like I'm an art supply store. I'm beginning to regret my choices, and to compound it, I've called this blog something COMPLETELY different. Which I like. Which is unique. Which I could use as my business name, if I wanted to change it (again; I've already changed it once!).
The reason I am telling you all this is because tonight, HOURS ago, when I typed in "papermoon" as my Etsy user name, it was taken. OF COURSE it was taken. In fact, there are 6 other shops with the words "paper moon" in them. NONE of them make anything out of paper, but this doesn't seem to be a prerequisite for using the name.
Anyhoo, I've sat here for a loooong time, trying to decide what to do about the Etsy user name:
Do I call it "Papermoonarts", and just live with it?
Do I call it "Unglued", yet keep my unoriginal and completely unrelated business name?
Do I go with "Unglued", but consider changing my business name, url, etc. in the future?
And what about...(gasp!) Naomi?
(C'mon; didn't anyone watch ZOOM when you were a kid?)

Giant Insects Save the World

In keeping with the theme of absurdity, but moving ahead to the grander idea of how art can save the world...

Check out this link to the giant insects that were masterfully created by sculptor Patrick E. in a brilliant attempt to keep the peace between some neighbors in the San Francisco bay area. Click on the close-up image of the blue butterfly to get a better look. You can also click back to the original article... and it's great.

I have a Brian Andreas piece in my studio, a "Storypeople" piece. It says,

"In my dream, the angel shrugged & said, If we fail this time, it will be a failure of imagination
& then she placed the world gently in the palm of my hand."

No failure of imagination here...

Saturday, November 10, 2007


I saw a person riding a unicycle down the street today, as in "using it for transportation", and it made my day.

Is this not a ridiculous way to get around? But this person saw some value in it, and took the time to figure out how to sit atop a single moving wheel. I love this person. It gives me hope. More absurdity, I say!

Stormy Weather

This is what it looked like outside my studio yesterday. A storm blew in, and I watched it come; watched the sky darken and start to thunder and rain. Gordie sat out there with me for a little while, and we listened to Harry Potter on CD. It felt relaxing. That is, until I realized I had to hurry up and finish the earrings, get them packed up, and get Gordie to his haircut on time...then, not so relaxing. But it all got done.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Earrings on Etsy

Thank god for my iPod...I can actually sit here and write while my 7 year old watches TV (my concession to be able to work in the mornings!) Blues Traveler... The song, "Run Around" actually got me to RUN UPHILL one time, on one of my walks up the old Meyers Grade.

It's been pointed out to me by a good friend that it would help to list the length of the earrings, along with the photos. I've got some more earrings and necklaces coming... I'm going to open an Etsy shop this weekend, so that might be the easiest way to showcase these, and add measurements. Please check back if you're interested, and I'll let you know when the shop is up and running!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Papier Mache Links

Just for giggles, and since I have to be at Norm's (Subaru repair folks) all morning, here's a couple of papier mache links for you:

bicycles complete with papier mache bicyclists!

Giant papier mache heads! (featuring George Bush)

Oh, the fun never ends...

then there's this, courtesy of Alyson Stanfield's blog...
not papier mache, but FUN!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Old Brushes

To return to a more philosophical bent, I was just in the studio and picked up a favorite brush to add some color to a piece. I noticed when I touched the bristles that there's barely any life left in it; it's used up. Only the ends of the bristles have any flexibility left; probably a result of the rough surfaces I paint on, and my bad brush-cleaning habits (I confess!).

I was reminded of my mother, Trudy Lanitis, which doesn't happen very often. She was an artist too, and "upon her demise" (my 82-year-old father's favorite euphamism for death) I inherited a huge amount of brushes that belonged to her. Most of them were so used up that I threw them out; I saved a few for a shrine that has yet to be made. But I never understood why she kept so many useless brushes.

Today, I found out. Because I used that old favorite brush of mine anyway. It's comfortable, and I know what it's going to do with the paint. It still does the job. Think I'll go clean it.

Recycled and Handmade in Tahoe

I just realized that I've never posted photos of my necklaces...

Or, I did, and I've forgotten.

No matter!

I'm posting some today. In keeping with the jewelry theme.
These are just a few of the designs. All are extremely lightweight, and have two layers of varnish for protection. Although some pieces have similar colors or beads, every piece is one-of-a-kind, and as my friend Becky from TAMC pointed out, "Made in Tahoe". That's right. Jewelry with altitude, as well as attitude.
All of this jewelry is available through me, and the shops listed in the sidebar on the right have some as well.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Give the Gift of Paper...Recycled Paper Earrings!

They won't match your "en vogue" Art Helmet, but I have a new batch of arty earrings, with more to come....

These earrings are made from 50% recycled paper, using papier mache methods, and feature Swarovski crystal beads and gold-filled ear wires. You can contact me at for more information or to purchase. I'm going to be making more and posting photos as I go along, but will also be selling them through local shops. Colors and beads will vary.

I am still considering selling these through an Etsy store, just haven't had time to check into it!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Jewelry Quandary

Yesterday I went to pick up my work from Riverside Studios (from last month's show). I didn't get any new work done for their November show, but I did sell a few things during October, and brought in some new earrings. I also got a call from North Tahoe Arts, and I may have a chance to get some of my jewely juried into their shop as well. The artists up on North Shore are so great; very open and welcoming to other artists.

I'm still at work on the new earrings, and wondering how to make the findings on the necklaces and earrings match. I've been using silver toggle clasps from the Karen Hill tribe on the necklaces; the gold-plated clasps look tacky, and the actual gold is very expensive. But on the earrings, I've used gold-filled wires, because much of my work has some gold trim. Here's the problem: I want them to to look consistant.

One possibility is to use surgical steel for the earring wires; that would be similar to the Karen Hill silver. But there's still the gold paint that I love to use on just about everything. Or I could go with gold all the way around, and charge more for the necklaces. But the whole point of the jewelry was to be able to sell work with a lower price point!

Thoughts to ponder while I work today...