Purple Ceramic Birdies

Purple Ceramic Birdies
by Laura Pallatin of LaBelle Mariposa

Sunday, August 16, 2015

What is Reiki?

Chakra or Rainbow Pendant
What is Reiki?

Simply put, Reiki is a method of transmitting Healing Energy. Many cultures and religions practice some form of healing with energy. For instance, Christians practice “laying on of hands.” I believe we all carry the ability to transmit healing energy to one another. What many of us lack is a method. Reiki teaches us how to open ourselves to being healing conduits and offers an easy to follow format for achieving this.

My Reiki Master Teacher is Marion Hakata you can learn more about Marion here:  www.LivingRieki.com Marion has regularly scheduled classes in all levels of Reiki in the Sacramento, California area. To be a Reiki practitioner, you only need to have a one day “Reiki Level One” Class. However, there is much to learn in the alternative healing area and Marion’s classes do a very nice job of introducing many modalities throughout the program. Marion’s classes teach the method handed down to Marion through her Reiki Master Teachers which originated from Mikao Usui .

The pendant I’ve created is inspired by Reiki. The five loops remind us of the five principles:

1 - Just for today, I will not be angry.
2 - Just for today, I will not worry.
3 - Just for today, I will be grateful.
4 - Just for today, I will do my work honestly.
5- Just for today, I will be kind to every living thing.

The center of the pendant has a swirl representing the movement of energy. I filled the center of the swirl with gold to remind us that Reiki is a gift for ourselves and is most valuable when shared with others. 

If you would like to purchase a pendant here's a link: Reiki Art Pendant. 

Saturday, June 20, 2015

"Mended Hearts" an insight into my creative process

I've been asked about my creative process more than once. More specifically, how do I get new ideas. I think that a recent series I've been working on is a pretty good example of where my ideas start, how they evolve, and what can come of just one little thought. 

So, I was in the waiting room of the Kaiser Medical Center Cardiac Unit in Roseville, California waiting for my sweetie to meet with his Cardiologist. We got there plenty early because it's kind of a drive for us and we didn't want to take any chances on being late. We were there before the staff started seeing patients so the waiting room was full of patients and their companions. Arriving extra early gave me plenty of time to sit and do nothing. Nothing, that is except let my mind wander. I noticed that Kaiser had put a lot of money into art throughout their building. The Cardiac department, however, had taken it upon themselves to add heart bunting all around their reception desk. It feels like Valentine's Day all year long in the waiting room. All of their handmade signs are also heart shaped. 

The longer I sat, the more I started to notice that the people waiting for their appointments were a very varied group. Old, young, male, female... Large people and tiny people... Every nationality seemed to be represented. That made me think of all the different problems people have that bring them to a cardiology wing. That thought led me to thinking about broken hearts and how very painful that is... And mental illness can feel like heart trouble with panic attacks and crippling anxiety... 

That's when the paper hearts hanging all around came together with the pain of illness, heartache, and mental anguish. This thought carried me through to the process of getting well and, finally, overcoming all these challenges. Starting with pain, fear, anxiety, doing the sometimes difficult work of healing, and finally walking out of the other side somehow more whole than when the ordeal started... I started creating the "Mended Hearts" in my imagination before we were even called back to see the doctor. 

Each of the "Mended Hearts" explores pain, healing, and/or recovery. I'm pretty happy with this first 12 but I still have ideas for more rattling around in my head. As it happens, the next series is already starting to take form in my imagination and I will need to bringing that into the world pretty soon...

I've submitted three pieces to a juried show and should hear if they got in by the middle of July, 2015. I'll update the blog to let you know how that went. 

I hope you enjoy the series and would love to hear how they make you feel.

Laura P. 
No. 1 "So Much Pain"

No. 2 "My Blue Blue Heart"

No. 3 "Love Heals"

No. 4 "Healing Waters"

No. 5 "Pure of Heart"

No. 6 "Radiant Health"

No. 7 "Radiant Love"

No. 8 "Never Again"

No. 9 "Heart of Stone" 

No. 10 "Black and Blue" 

No. 11 "Fresh Start"

No. 12 "Black Heart" 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Why I chose Etsy

Image result for etsy

I must confess... I resisted Etsy. I really wanted to do it on my own. I wanted to set up the look, style, feel, and environment in which I sold my art. So, I created my own website, stocked it with art and waited for the curious crowds to come knocking down my virtual door. Well, that didn't happen. So, I started looking at other options. At first, I thought I'd add just a few items to a site like Artfire because some of my cooler artsy fiends like and realized that it just didn't have the name recognition. I opened the account but didn't get much further than that. 

A turning point came for me hen I ordered a bag from a facebook friend, she requested I go through her Etsy site. She sells bags in her shop BrookVanGoryDesigns. She explained that Etsy helped her keep track of things and stay organized. This really hit home for me. I'm not that into organization. I'd much rather make art! 

When I seriously revisited Etsy, I found that they had lots of support and suggestions for people who genuinely want to make a go of it on their site. There is also a great deal of support from other artists. 

If you're doing research into what kind of success is possible on Etsy, check out this independent site that tracks Etsy sales: Craftcount. According to Alexa.com, Etsy is one of the top 1,000 websites in the world. Now, I understand not wanting to go with the crowd, and desiring to do things your own way. But, sometime we have to prioritize our time and choose what tasks are going to bring the greatest rewards.

What it comes down to is answering the question, "What is my goal?" Do you want to create a selling environment, or do you want to let someone else create the environment and you customize your own shop to sell your art?

I've had work on Etsy for a little over a month. I've had a couple of sales and I'm really happy with my shop. One thing I found very encouraging is other sellers who've included my products in Treasuries thereby exposing my work to a whole new audience. I'm following all the recommendations I've read on Etsy, Sharing my posting on social media like facebook and Pinterest, Blogging, adding a few items at a time, taking the very best photos I can... I'm giving this my best shot. You can follow along here to see how things go. I just wanted to take a minute to share my investigation and findings.


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Functional Art is fun, too!

Caribbean beach house with a bird on it
I've been thinking about how I can translate my decorative ceramic art into functional pieces. While I absolutely enjoy art for art's sake, a friend recently asked me, "What would you use that for?" regarding my ceramic birdies. I thought that was interesting because no one every asked my what a painting was to be used for... But, it got me thinking. There are plenty of folks who will enjoy beautiful works of art (no matter how tiny) even more if they can "do" something with it. 

I've started this new direction with ornaments and ceiling fan pulls. Creating little houses has been on my mind for some time. I do so love miniatures. These are what I decided to start with. I'll continue to post the other ornaments and ceiling fan pulls as they come out of the kiln.

Little Ceramic Church with a mouse

Little thatch like houses with a bird

Cute little pastel cottage with a bird and yellow check ribbon

Tiny ceramic village on a hill

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Ceramic Mice fresh from the kiln

Yesterday I said that I was excited about turtles coming out of the kiln. Well, they didn't turn out exactly as I'd hoped, so they are back in again today. These little mice, however, I think are adorable. So, ready to overload on cuteness? Here ya go!

The mama in the top picture has one more trip through the kiln because I think she'd be super cute with mother of pearl glaze on her nose and in her ears. 

Come back often to see what's out of the kiln!


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Sharing love and art on Etsy!

A group of ceramic birds right out of the kiln
I've tried so many ways to promote and sell my art. I even have had an Etsy account before, but when I started to get serious about sharing my happy art with as many people as I could, Etsy was the main name that stood out to me. So, I'm really excited to be adding new items to my shop every day, and to be creating new and exiting items, too! 

Clay birdies drying and waiting for the kiln. 
I've also been down many roads when it comes to art. Painting on canvas, my art car, paper clay, quilts... as you can see... LOTS! While I enjoy using paper clay, I am so intrigued with the permanence of ceramic clay. For instance, some of the oldest records we have of civilizations is their pottery. I feel that I'm making cute little critters and things that will out last me by a long time. And, when anyone looks at and holds my little love offerings, they feel and enjoy the creative energy I put in each and every piece. Here's some pictures of art in progress: 

While I started with these darling little birdies, I've been having so much fun creating all sorts of critters. Right now, I have some mice in the kiln that I can't wait to see when I wake up tomorrow morning. For now, I'll share some of the little critters that I've already placed in the shop. Do check back soon for photos of those mice. I hope they are as cute in real life as they are in my imagination!
mini critters made by Laura Pallatin of LaBelle Mariposa

Teeny tiny turtles by Laura Pallatin of LaBelle Mariposa

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Creative exploration

Three ceramic butterfly necklaces by Laura Pallatin 

I've been accused of having ART ADD. That is, I don't just pick one art medium and stick with it. I really believe that my various interests inform one another and make me a better artist. I'm sharing this because I know I'm not alone in this desire to experience and explore lots of ways of creating art. 

To that end, I am pleased to share my latest art adventure! Ceramics!!! Ok, new for me. I've been painting canvases and want to experience my art in a more 3 dimensional way. So, I started with sculpting and painting butterflies and today I've created some cute little critters. This is so super fun! I hope you enjoy it. And, when you feel an itch to try something new... go for it! 

Laura P.

Handmade ceramic butterfly necklace

freshly sculpted itty bitty kitty

Fresh sculptures that will be jewelry! So cute!!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Following my apron obsession...

Pocket detail of handmade apron
I've been obsessed with this cross-back apron style for a while. I first saw something like it by Magnolia Pearl, LOVe her stuff!! I am also really inspired by Nadir Positano and Atelier de Ours
red and green full coverage apron
I've also been thinking that we all play dress-up every day of our lives. I wonder, if someone found a picture of me in a hundred years, what would they think I was dressed up as? I've decided that I'm okay with being seen as an eccentric gal who wears fanciful clothes. It's so much more fun! I drive an art car, right? Might as well have fun with 
my clothes, too!
back of red and green cross back apron

There are many wonderful artists who have a distinct fashion style that also inspire me so very much. For instance, Tasha Tudor was an artist and illustrator who loved what she considered a simpler way of life. She dressed in 1800's type attire and collected real 1800's dresses. She lived on a farm and maintained a very simple life while she created art until her death in 2008. 

seersucker crossback apron
Another stylish artist I look to is Julie Arkell.  Ms. Arkell lives in England and creates the most adorable folk art creations! She also rocks a super cute style! 

Drawing on all these wonderful inspirations, I've started creating clothes for myself. Here are my first three aprons. One is very fall like with dark red fabric and green trim. This one is more sophisticated (in my opinion).

big splashy vintage linen pockets
My second apron creation is made from light-weight red and white seersucker. I've been collecting bits of embroidery at my local thrift shop for quite a while and this gave me a great opportunity to put some fingertip towels to use as pockets.  In order to give the pockets a little tuck for the opening, I used china buttons I had in my collection and simply used red thread for contrast. I wanted it to be light and airy so I went with a very simple white cotton for the ruffle. 

hard working and cute apron

vintage linen large pockets on apron
Finally, my most recent addition (I finished it today) which is a dark blue striped apron. This one is made of a heavier cotton and feels quite nice on. I used fingertip towels again for the pockets and tiny china buttons for the tucks on the front. I chose a fun print fabric that has both red and blue to coordinate with the trim.

I had so much fun making these aprons. I believe that when you approach any project with the intention of creating something artsy, it is always much more fun! 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

The pleasures of driving an art car

Gladys the Art Car by Laura Pallatin of LaBelle Mariposa
I admit it, I've been dreaming of having a big canvas to create happy art on for quite some time. I don't have a big old barn, in fact I live in a neighborhood with strict rules about what your home must look like, so painting on the house or barn was out. Then, I struck upon the idea of an art car. A mobile canvas that I can continually update as inspiration strikes. And, best yet, everywhere I go, I share my love of happy art. Fear stood in my way for quite a while. Our culture really doesn't support doing anything "weird" to a car. It is considered, first and foremost, an investment.

The good news is that almost EVERYONE smiles when they see Gladys. A very few (like 3 people) have looked miffed. I figure that they don't get it, and smile for them. If you're thinking about sharing your art in this way, I highly encourage it.  Take your time. Find the right car and wait to paint until your creative vision is strong in your mind. Then, have fun! It really is a wonderful way to share love with everyone who sees your car. 

Laura Pallatin
LaBelle Mariposa