etsy friday finds 02.01.13

As I mentioned on Tuesday, I’m in the process of establishing a routine rhythm for my blogging schedule. To help me do this, I’m introducing two new blog series, the first of which premiered earlier this week—Tuesday Transfers.

The second blog series premieres today—Etsy Friday Finds.

While I may be a new seller on Etsy, I’ve been browsing the e-commerce website for years. It still amazes me when I meet people who have never heard of the site. I say etsy, they say bless you and hand me a tissue.

So, for those who just grabbed me a box of kleenex, Etsy is a website that allows individuals to sell vintage or handmade items (art, photography, clothing, jewelry, etc.) thru their own personal shops.

Etsy features different items on its homepage thru Treasury Lists, ever-changing, member-curated shopping galleries comprised of lists of items. Members can create a themed collection or feature their favorite items (up to 16) from all over the site.

To show my support of Etsy and all the wonderful creative people who run the individual shops, I’ve decided to create my own treasury lists and feature them here on the blog every Friday. This first week doesn’t exactly have a specific theme, there’s just a lot of stuff I love. FYI, clicking on either the descriptions or the images will take you directly to the item’s listing on Etsy.

#1 – Hello I Love You Photography Print from Shop WCK Photography.
#2 – Book Shop in Venice iPhone 4 case from Shop Happee Monkee
#3 – Custom Love You More Owl Pillow from Shop Vintage Affair Studio

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#4 – Red Leather Clutch Bag from Shop Emili Studio
#5 – Arrested Development Valentine’s Day Card from Shop Main Street Chalk
#6 – Write Drunk Edit Sober Writers Mug from Shop Lenny Mud

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#7 – MEMPHIS Photography Coaster Set from my sister’s Shop Kristen Archer
#8 – Vintage Book Collection from Shop The Vintage Cup
#9 – Creative & Art Typography Letterpress Postcard from Shop Brett Adam Wilson

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#10 – Alphabet Wallet Clutch from Shop The Pokey Rose
#11 – Graphic Designer LOGOS Journal from Shop 618 Love
#12 – Maya Angelou Quote Calligraphy Journal from Shop Sparrow Nest Script

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#13 – Taupe Swarovski Crystal Necklace from Shop Glitz Glitter
#14 – Why do we fall Batman Typography Print from Shop Smile Baby Studio
#15 – Thin Sterling Silver Stackable Rings from Shop Lyndy Harris

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#16 – Read & Write Pair of fabric Bookends from Shop Joshua by Oak
CLICK HERE to go straight to the full Treasury List

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That’s all I have for my first Treasury list. Hope you enjoyed the items. If you have your own favorite Etsy Shop or listing, leave a note in the comments and I’ll check it out.

I’m currently working on a few Project 365 posts, which will hopefully be up by Monday, depending on the outcome of the Super Bowl. If your team loses this Sunday, I’m sorry. Unless your team is the 49ers. Then I’m totally not sorry. Have a great Super Bowl weekend. Go Ravens!

– lindsey archer

PS – Be sure to check back Tuesday for the 2nd installment in the Tuesday Transfers Blog Series.

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top 10 reads of 2012

Last January, I challenged myself—via Goodreads—to read 52 books during the upcoming calendar year. I ended four books shy of my goal, reading a total of 48 books in 2012. I’ll take it.

At an average of 349 pages per book, I read a total of 16,775 pages in 365 days. Need a further breakdown? I read an average of 47 pages per day.

When I mentioned I read a lot, I wasn’t exaggerating. Nor did I embellish my inclination to re-read my books. Of the 48 books I read last year, 12 of them were not my first go-around. Similar to how others re-watch their favorite movies—or engage in movie marathons to catch up on first installments before their sequels premiere in theatres (Harry Potter, Twilight, etc.)—I do the same with books. Insurgent is about to be published? Time to re-read Divergent. A new addition to my favorite-of-all-time-Dean-Koontz Odd Thomas series? Time to re-read the first four Odd books.

And so on and so forth.

Due to the speed with which I fly thru books, I often have friends come to me with questions of what book they should read next. Which brings me to one 0f my favorite posts I wrote last year: 2011 in books.

I’m doing it again this year. Looking for some new books to read? Need a few recommendations? Here is my Top Ten List of my favorite books I read in 2012. Just keep in mind the following books are merely ones I read in 2012, not necessarily published in 2012. There were a lot of great books last year, which makes it hard to narrow it down to ten. So, I’m beginning my list with two honorable mentions.

HM #2 – I’d Know You Anywhere, by Laura Lippman
This book reminded me too much of my #9 read this year to be able to include it in my top ten. Though, I did really enjoy this book and it made me want to look up Lippman’s other novels.

HM #3 – Robopocalypse, by Daniel H. Wilson
I picked up this book when I heard Steven Spielberg had optioned it for the big screen. I’m an avid supporter of read the book before the movie. Based on the synopsis and cover, I thought I’d be reading a variation of Terminator or I, Robot. I was pleasantly surprised when this wasn’t the case.

#10 Book of 2012 – The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
I know I’m late to the bandwagon on this book, as it seems everyone and their mother has already read it. It’s your classic coming-of-age story, which many compare to The Catcher in the Rye. I also picked this one up due to it’s movie counterpart recently being released. While the main character, Charlie, experiences all the familiar high school rituals, Chbosky keeps the narrative from turning into a cliche. Thoughtful, though sometimes dark, Chbosky has written a character with whom it’s easy to find common ground. Quick, easy read.

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#9 Book of 2012 – Dark Places, by Gillian Flynn
I remember seeing this book cover a few years ago, when it was first published. It drew me to the shelf and I’ve wanted to read it ever since. Flynn had me hooked from the first page.

I have a meanness in me, real as an organ. Slit me at my belly and it might slide out, meaty and dark, drop on the floor so you could stomp on it. It’s the Day blood.

Flynn’s beautiful writing paints a picture on every page, switching between chilling flashbacks and present day narratives to weave the mystery of Libby Day, a sole survivor of a family massacre perpetrated by her brother, Ben. While Libby’s story is disturbing and at times painful to read, you find yourself eager to turn the page. It stays with you even after you close the book and has turned me into an official Gillian Flynn fangirl.

#8 Book of 2012 – Machine Man, by Max Barry
The first book I ever read by Max Barry was Jennifer Government, solely because the cover design reminded me of an old television show I used to watch, called Dark Angel. I’ve been hooked on Max Barry ever since. Barry began Machine Man as an online serial, posting one page a day. Though Machine Man skews slightly darker than Barry’s usual corporate satire (Jennifer Government, Syrup, The Company), it’s equally as funny and eccentric. I’ve never closed one of Barry’s novels without laughing.

#7 Book of 2012 – The Leftovers, by Tom Perrotta
This was another book I picked up solely based on the cover design (see a pattern?). The Leftovers picks up three years after a Rapture-like event. Instead of focusing on the possible reasons behind such a widespread disappearance, the story deals more with how people cope in the aftermath of such an unexpected tragedy as it follows the reactions of the Garvey family—Kevin, Laurie, Tom and Jill. Without getting preachy, Perrotta has a drafted a great character driven narrative that feels real and truthful, leaving it up to the reader to make their own mind up about the origin of the rapture-like disappearance.

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#6 Book of 2012 – The Age of Miracles, by Karen Thompson Walker
I bought this book from a Barnes & Noble e-mail, for their Discover Great New Writers recommendation series. Walker’s debut novel received a lot of buzz prior to its publication, in addition to its movie rights being optioned early on by River Road Entertainment. Though some refer to it as a general coming-of-age story, its premise is rather unique. 11-year-old Julia and her family wake to breaking news on the television—the Earth’s rotation has suddenly begun to slow, causing the days and nights to grow longer, affecting gravity, which leads to other environmental concerns. Similar to Perrotta’s The Leftovers, Walker focuses on Julia’s story rather than delving into the physics of this sudden catastrophe, beautifully capturing what it feels like to be a teenager. First loves, friendship struggles, the uncertainty of growing up, this novel covers it all. Worth all the buzz? I’m going to say yes.

#5 Book of 2012 – Lucy, by Laurence Gonzales
Home to another high-concept premise, I’ve had this book on the to-read shelf since hearing about it from LaineyGossip in the summer of 2010. As Lainey says, Lucy is:

addictive, uncomfortable, heartbreaking, even if it’s not entirely plausible, there’s a message here that feels too true.

Couldn’t say it better myself, so I won’t.

#4 Book of 2012 – Room, by Emma Donoghue
Room is another recommendation from LaineyGossip. It’s told from the limited point of view of 5-year-old Jack, who’s spent his entire life in—you guessed it—a room. Having been held captive there with his mother by the man who kidnapped her seven years ago, Room is Jack’s world. It’s all he’s ever known. While the story itself is disturbing and often uncomfortable, it unfolds slowly until you’re left with the most brilliantly written child narrator I’ve ever read. This book haunts you, lingering long after you’ve read it. It’s imaginative, painful. And yet, lovely.

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#3 Book of 2012 – The Fault in Our Stars, John Green
Let’s not sugarcoat it. This book will make you cry. The narrator is 16-year-old Hazel with stage IV thyroid cancer who begins attending a support group for teens with cancer at the unwelcome encouragement of her mother. It’s witty and clever and I highly recommend reading it in the privacy of your own home, unless you don’t mind sobbing in public. But, seriously, John Green really is brilliant.

#2 Book of 2012 – Where Things Come Back, by John Corey Whaley
An award-winning debut for John Corey Whaley, I happened upon this novel after seeing someone tweet about it. Hands down, best Twitter recommendation ever. Another character driven story, I fell in love with 17-year-old narrator, Cullen Witter and his fictional small town of Lily, Arkansas. The dialogue is so natural and real, you almost forget you’re reading fiction. Plus, Whaley ties all the loose ends together for one of the best endings I’ve read in a while. It’s a magnificent debut and I can’t wait to read what Whaley writes next.

#1 Book of 2012 – Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn
I’ve heard so many people recommend this book. I’ve recommended this book more times than I can count. I’ve seen Gone Girl listed on nearly every Top Ten list this year. I loved it so much I searched out Gillian Flynn’s previous two books just to get more of her brilliant storytelling (see #9). It really is that good. Flynn is a MASTER of suspense in this tale of a marriage gone terribly awry. She weaves expertly back and forth from present day to flashbacks, keeping you guessing until the end. One revelation literally had my mouth hanging open. To keep from spoiling anything, all I’m going to say is, read this book.

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I’ve set a new goal for 2013 to read another 52 books, so wish me luck I can at least pass the 48-mark this year. I’ve just joined my friend’s book club, which takes care of 12 books. I need 40 more. Have a favorite book of your own from last year that’s not on this list? I’m always looking for recommendations, so please share.

Regardless, I’ll be back here next January with another Top 10 list. Until then, happy reading.

– lindsey archer

project 365 | days 215 thru 234

Now that Christmas & New Year’s are over, I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted. Don’t get me wrong, I had a great holiday. Wonderful, actually. It’s just…after all the holiday parties, birthdays (I have too many friends/relative with Birthdays that fall within a week of Christmas), shopping, gift making, gift wrapping, Etsy Shop tending, cooking, drinking, etc., I feel like I need a week’s vacation just to recuperate my energy. Or just 24 hours to sleep. THAT’s what I should have asked for this year. Sleep.

Regardless, my holiday was fantastic. I spent time with family. I ate some great food. I attended some great parties. I got all I wished for and hope you did, as well. Now it’s time to catch up on to some Project 365. To catch up on all my Project 365 posts—starting at day 1—you can go here, scroll down to the bottom and select older posts (more than once). Today we’re starting with Day 215. As always, click on images to enlarge.

Day 215, I just realized it has been almost a year since I’ve had my hair cut, which is why I seem to have more split ends than healthy ends. Excuse me for a second while I go make a hair appointment. Day 216, in case you didn’t know, Target is a black hole. On this day, I believe I went in to buy one single package of cat food. On my direct route to reach the pet product section, I had to stop off first and browse the greeting cards for almost an hour, which happened to be across the aisle from the hair care products, which led me to picking up some new shampoo, which got me to thinking about new accessories for my bathroom, which is why I left with a month’s supply of toilet paper and an entire set of new towels. Black hole…or the smartest retail store layout EVER?

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Day 217, one of my closest college friends—a sorority sister I hadn’t seen in almost 4 years—came in town for the weekend to visit. After picking her up from the airport, we began at my favorite neighborhood Irish Pub, Celtic Crossing, for a round or two of drinks. Day 218, there just so happened to be a Beer Festival (Cooper Young Regional Beerfest) less than two blocks from my house, so of course I happily dragged her there before later walking back home to watch our alma mater (Mississippi State) beat Tennessee, 41-31.

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Day 219, we rounded out my friend’s weekend in Memphis with brunch down the street at The Beauty Shop. I had so much fun, Kish, & I miss you already. Maybe next time, I’ll actually take you out of my neighborhood. Day 220, this is what happens two hours after gifting Maddie with a new toy. She’s only 45-ish lbs, and yet she destroys chew toys faster than my parents’ 80 lb. behemoth, Bogey. Kristen and I were picking up stray pink strands from every random corner of our house for weeks.

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Day 221, looking for the best toasted ravioli in Memphis? Visit Dino’s Grill in midtown, located on N. McLean. Plus, they have all-you-can-eat-spaghetti every Thursday night. Day 222, I put our mantle chalkboard to good use when Kristen’s friends Trish & Brian came to stay with us. I then became super lazy and left that welcome message up there for about two months.

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Day 223, everyone always says my sister and I look extremely alike. We get asked all the time whether or not we’re twins. While I agree there is some family resemblance between the two of us, the only attributes that are identical are our voices. When you talk to us on the phone, it’s basically like talking to the same person. Day 224, ever since I moved to Midtown (about five years ago), my favorite local Mexican restaurant has been Molly’s la Casita. Forewarning, their margaritas will put you on the floor.

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Day 225, my sister attended Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU), while I attended Mississippi State University (MSST). Even though she could care less about football, I love the bragging rights that came with this absolute athletic domination. SEC all the way. Day 226, Maddie has recently decided our home isn’t good enough for her and begun the daunting task of digging her way to China. I’ll let you know if she at least makes it to the neighbor’s yard.

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Day 227, I forced Kristen to watch the Presidential debates with me. I’ve already touched on my stance with discussing politics, so I’ll leave it at that. Day 228, have you seen Argo? It’s the best edge-of-your-seat thriller I’ve seen in years. Kristen and I were literally on the edge of our seats throughout the movie. I was anxious and scared the entire time. I’ll be surprised if—come Thursday morning—it doesn’t receive at least a few Oscar nods. It’s a must see.

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Day 229, I recently finished reading the Beautiful Creatures series (also known as the Caster Chronicles), ahead of the first book’s film adaptation coming out February 2013. While this series didn’t excite me quite as much as The Hunger Games, it is better than Twilight. I think it would have been better suited as a trilogy, instead of stretching the story into four novels. A little long, but still a decent read. Day 230, I’m a horrible pool player. At least, I usually am. On this specific night at Young Avenue Deli, my partner and I won six or seven games in a row. I have no idea how this freak accident occurred, but I sure hope it happens again.

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Day 231, Kristen & I spent a lazy Friday night stretched out on my couch in front of the TV with our friend, Audrey, eating Swanky’s Taco Shop take-out and drinking beer. Night well spent. Day 232, Kristen and I attended the Dixon Gallery’s Art on Fire fundraiser event with my friend Jennifer. Food, beer, wine, bonfires, live music, fire performers, art, charity auction…I have a feeling this will become an annual event for me.

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Day 233, my family gets together every year before Halloween to carve pumpkins. Correction: my family gets together every year to watch my brother and I carve pumpkins while they eat and drink. With him being an architect and me being an artist, we typically go all out to see who can carve the better design. This year, however, I was lazy and only did the Apple logo, while he carved out the Autobot symbol from Transformers because his son is beyond obsessed with everything Transformers. My nephew freaked out and loved it. Day 234, my office got a new touch screen phone system. While I like to consider myself somewhat tech-savvy, it took me over a week to figure out how to use this thing. Which is why when I finally figured out how to access the voicemail, I had close to twenty urgent messages. #Fail.

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That’s it for today. Coming soon: another wood art post, plus a list of my favorite books read in 2012. Happy New Year!

– lindsey archer

salvaging quotes

I’ve written briefly about how my sister and I use only salvaged wood to make our art pieces. It all started because we were being cheap and the quality unfinished wood at Lowe’s and Home Depot is a lot more expensive than one might think. Add that to the fact everyone and their mother were pinning projects made from reclaimed palettes all over Pinterest, we thought…we’re artistic. Why aren’t we doing this?

Plus—bonus—now we get to say we use recycled wood because we’re trying to save the environment, yadda, yadda, Go Green! It’s a win-win, really.

At first, leading up to Cooper Young Festival, we would simply drive around our neighborhood, tires screeching against the pavement for every random pile of scrap wood or discarded palette that caught our eye. Similar to how we happened upon our vintage doors, most of it had to do with luck. As is the custom with luck…it eventually runs out. That’s when we realized we needed to develop a smarter approach to our wood collecting venture.

Solution? We started stalking contractors.

Okay, stalking is a strong word. We’ll go with lightly following.

We have a friend whose boyfriend does some construction/contracting on the side that we have taken to calling weekly to see if one of his side jobs happens to be throwing out any wood anytime soon. The first time we called, he was building a deck for someone out of beautiful cedar wood and didn’t need any scrap pieces that ended up being cut down to under 6 ft. Uh…can you say, jackpot?

The art I’m about to show is salvaged from his latest project (a front porch, maybe?). I still can’t believe people throw this quality of wood out on the street to be picked up with the weekly garbage.

If you’d like an insight into how exactly I make this art, keep reading. Otherwise, just skip the next four paragraphs and enjoy the pictures (as always, click on images to enlarge).

After having my dad cut the wood down to manageable art pieces, I start off by sanding the unfinished wood as smooth as I can get it. I then stain the back and sides/edges in a red oak finish, while painting the front either white or a color, depending on the graphic I plan on transferring to it. I print the graphics and/or images in reverse from a laser printer (FedEx Office uses laser printers and is relatively cheap if you’re like us and don’t own one—inkjet printers won’t work because the ink is water soluble) on standard copy paper (thinner, the better). Once all the paint and stain has dried, I apply a generous coat of gel medium to the front and flatten the image (facedown) onto the wood.

After letting the image sit overnight, I take a wet rag to the wood to gently rub off the paper fibers. The gel medium works to absorb the ink from the image, which is what you’re left with on the wood after all the paper fibers are rubbed off.

Once all the paper is rubbed off, I distress the wood by hand with sanding blocks to give it that vintage, shabby chic look. Finally, I top off each piece with a final protective coating of polyurethane and I’m done!

The whole process is tedious and can sometimes be rather time-consuming. On numerous occasions, my sister and I have come extremely close to hiring someone to pre-sand our salvaged wood, because depending on how large of a collection we gather from our friend, it can take hours upon hours to get all the pieces smooth. Also, sometimes the paper acts like a clingy boyfriend and refuses to let go easily. I’ve scraped my fingers raw multiple times in my attempts to get the paper fibers completely off the wood. Though, overall, I still believe the finished products make the process worth it. Every time.

First up today, my Memphis City Typography on wood. The dark stain really brings out the detail in the wood, as you can see in the image of the back.

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Here’s a full front view and a close-up. This piece has already sold, but I plan on making some more over the next week or two.

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Next up are two larger but thinner pieces on which I applied Dr. Seuss and Oscar Wilde quotes.

Why fit in when you were born to stand out? -Dr. Suess

Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken. -Oscar Wilde

These two pieces are available in my Etsy Shop here (orange) and here (green).

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And because I’m obsessed with books, I had to add in one using my favorite quote about reading, by Frank Zappa.

So many books, so little time. -Frank Zappa

I think the Harry Potter books as props add a nice touch to these images (who hasn’t read and fallen in love with Harry Potter?). This piece is available in my Etsy Shop here (books not included).

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I love the back of this piece. Some may see it as damaged, but I think it adds character and makes the piece more interesting.

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I saved my favorite for last. A typewriter vector graphic paired with everyone’s favorite Hemingway quote about writing.

Write drunk; edit sober. -Ernest Hemingway

Such great advice, Hemingway. This piece is available in my Etsy Shop here.

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That’s it for today. Check back soon for some of my paintings transferred to wood. Then, next week I’m planning on catching up on my Project365 posts. Stay tuned.

– lindsey archer

painting premiere

I get to start this post off with some good news, which is always nice. The paintings I’m about to show you, as well as the pieces I recently wrote about here and here, will soon (if not already) be hanging in an art gallery. Nicole from Allie Cat Arts approached both my sister and I on Etsy about showing some of our stuff at her gallery in our lovely neighborhood of Cooper Young. Located at 961 S. Cooper, the gallery is only two blocks from our house.

I’ve never had my work in a gallery before, so I’ll be honest. I am freaking out a little. It always feels good to have someone you’re not related to appreciate your art, though it still seems slightly unreal. Now, for those who message me on Etsy asking if I have a shop in Memphis, I’m one step closer to saying yes. Next time you’re in the Cooper Young area, please stop by Allie Cat Arts to see some of our work, along with the work of other great local Memphis artists.

Now that that is out of the way, let’s talk about some paintings. These are the last of my first round of experimenting with gel medium I don’t know what I’m doing series. We’ll call it EWGMIDKWID for short. This is one of the first abstract skylines I painted using the mixture of gel medium and acrylic paint. While I like the coloring and the actual size of this canvas the best, the paint could have been thicker. I wasn’t quite sure what the gel medium would look like once it dried, so I was somewhat shy with slopping the thick, white, glue-like substance onto my canvas. What did I learn? Gel medium dries clear. I shouldn’t be shy.

For those who are wondering, these skyline/cityscape paintings are not reproductions of any actual skylines or cityscapes. I went more of an abstract route and painted random building shapes and sizes. We’ll call it Skyline à la Archer, as in it came straight out of my head instead of from a real picture. Or, you can use your imagination and pretend it’s your city and I painted this just for you. Regardless, I plan on attempting a few paintings that resemble real city skylines. Some day. Maybe soon.

This next blue skyline/cityscape is my favorite. Well, other than the big ass blue canvas, which happens to be remarkably similar to this one. Because I got over my shyness with using the gel medium, this painting is extra heavy on the texture. When I first envisioned what I wanted to accomplish by mixing gel medium with my acrylic paints, this is it. It only took me eight or ten tries to get it right. Not bad. Plus, I love how the yellows and blues ended up blending together here.

This last acrylic painting translated very well into a print, which I hope to add to my Etsy shop very soon. And unlike the skylines/cityscapes, this is an actual reproduction from a real city. While still slightly abstract, I modeled this painting off of the Hernando de Soto Bridge, which connects Memphis, TN to West Memphis, AR—via Interstate 40. I feel this bridge is an iconic part of my city’s skyline. I love creating art pieces around it, so I definitely have more Memphis bridges in my future.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, these three paintings are now available at Allie Cat Arts. Fellow Memphians, if you’re in the mood to support some local starving artists, please stop by and take a look at all the great pieces Nicole has hanging in the gallery.

Up next is another Project 365 post. Stay tuned.

– lindsey archer

project 365 | days 175 thru 194

It’s been awhile since my last Project 365 post, so I thought I’d knock one out today to try and catch up a little. Instead of the usual 16 images, I’m posting 20 photos today. Bear with me. To catch up on all my Project 365 posts—starting at day 1—you can go here, scroll down to the bottom and select older posts (twice). Today we’re starting with Day 175. As always, click on images to enlarge.

Day 175, my sister and I decided to hold a preview party to show off some of our art before the Cooper Young Festival. How did we get people to come? We bought out Cosco’s wine supply. It’s crazy how excited people get over the prospect of free booze. Day 176, here was the set up in our library for our preview party. The wine flowed, as did some of our art. Win, win.

 

Day 177, my youngest nephew turned one. Whether he liked it or not, his older brother was more than happy to help him eat some of his birthday cake. Such a caring big brother, reminds me so much of mine. Day 178, Kristen and I have become obsessed with salvaging wood. We’ll be driving down the road and the second one of us spots a pile discarded on the curb, we yell out at the other to pull over. Immediately. It’s like a game of who can spot it first. Riding around with us is like being stuck with two people suffering from Tourettes. Except, with a limited vocabulary, because all we scream out is “Wood!” or “Palettes!” or in some cases, “DOORS!” It’s become sort of a problem. It does make great art, though.

 

Day 179, it’s a rare moment when our two animals can sit within inches of each other without fighting…like cats and dogs. I had to capture it before any eyes were scratched out. Day 180, first NFL football game of the fall had Eli Manning leading the defending Super Bowl champions to its first loss of the season. Very sad day for the Giants. I yelled at the TV. Multiple times.

 

Day 181, it’s not often my to read pile stands at only two books tall (both of which have been read by now). So, of course I had to go spend more money at Barnes & Noble right away. Talk about a problem. If there’s a twelve step program for people who spend their entire paycheck at Barnes & Noble, I need to join. The first step is admitting your problem, right? One down, eleven to go. Day 182, this is what Mulligan does when I ask him to pose for the camera. He can go from being an adorable cat to being a stubborn little shit faster than my crappy iPhone 3GS can snap a picture.

 

Day 183, opening football weekend for my beloved Mississippi State Bulldogs. We beat Auburn 28-10. War Eagle, what? And no, I don’t want to talk about the last two games where the Bulldogs apparently forgot how to play football. It’s too depressing and I prefer to block them out. Day 184, Kristen and I performed a practice run of setting up our Cooper Young Festival Booth on our back deck. Perfection takes practice.

 

Days 185 and 186, samples of some of my wood art for Cooper Young Fest. I was creating new pieces down to the final days before the Festival. I work well under pressure. It also makes me work very quickly. My fingers were raw for about a week from rubbing off all the excess paper from the ink transfers on the wood. Art is all about sacrifice.

 

Day 187, this is what I often see when I wake up in the mornings. In case you didn’t know, pets don’t care whether or not you’re a morning person. They also don’t care what time of day they wake you up. Crack of dawn? Sure. Three o’clock in the morning? Why not? Mulligan loves climbing on top of my chest at 6:00 am, his face inches from mine. He then emits the loudest purr known to his kind, so as to let me know he’s bored and in need of entertainment. Apparently, I live to serve him. Day 188, this was my response to Kristen when she texted me asking if I was ready for our Cooper Young Festival Booth in just two days. Obviously, I’m a natural rapper.

 

Day 189, remember Day 174’s photo of the day? The big ass blank canvas? This is a close-up of the finished product. Naturally, I completed it the night before the Festival. I’m a more talented procrastinator than I am painter. Day 190, our official Cooper Young Festival Booth, put together at the crack ass of dawn. Despite the fact it was an extremely long day, Kristen and I had so much fun with the booth, the festival…all of it. We can’t wait to have another booth next year. Thank you, again, to everyone who stopped by. And an even bigger thank you to all those who made a purchase. We hope to make the booth even bigger and better next year. Can’t wait.

 

Day 191, Maddie joined us in having a lazy Sunday after CY Fest. I haven’t been that tired in I don’t know how long. Still…definitely—definitely—worth it. Day 192, Monday Night Football with my boyfriend, Peyton Manning, and his new team, the Denver Broncos. 27-21, they lost to the still undefeated Atlanta Falcons. I may have cried. A little. It’s okay. My good friend, Justin, happened to be in town from Denver to watch it with me and brought me some bourbon to ease the pain after we finished off my six-pack. It helped. A little.

 

Day 193, Kristen and I packed up some wine to head over to our friends’ house to watch my other boyfriend, Matt Bomer, in his fantastic show, White Collar. If you have yet to discover the awesomeness that is White Collar…I feel sorry for you. You are depriving yourself of perfection. Day 194, I was one of the first to take advantage of the new Twitter profiles. I know. I’m so tech-savvy.

 

And that’s 20 and done. I still have 50 photos to get thru before I’m even close to being caught up, so check back soon for another few Project 365 posts. Until then, pray with me that my Bulldogs remember how to play football tonight against LSU. Go Dawgs.

– lindsey archer

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