Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Lehigh Avenue Arts Festival

Just signed up for my first Arts Festival and already my mind is spinning! I will be setting up a table on September 25-26 at the Lehigh Avenue Arts Festival. My to-do list is ever expanding. Here are some things I am brainstorming for my table:
  • Make a fantastic sign for the table.
  • Create tags/stickers with my logo on them as well as price tags.
  • Create a binder filled with images of previous orders of custom baby name paintings.
  • Order business cards through Etsy. This is a MUST. I would love to support other Etsy-ians and have found tons of sellers who offer graphic design services. It will definitely save me some time.
  • My sister-in-law suggested hosting a raffle. People put business cards in a box and I draw one name. They get a free piece of art from me. Love this idea!
  • Figure out a creative way to display my work at the table. I'm thinking a trip to HomeGoods to search for inspiration is in order. I don't quite have an idea in mind, but they have some cool tabletop accessories there. Hopefully I will resist other temptations, because I LOVE HomeGoods!
  • This festival will be good motivation to finish my Alphabet Art Designs. Still have to finish painting the letters of the alphabet, scan and clean the images, and then have them printed. I already found a fine art printing shop in Old City with reasonable prices called Silicon Gallery Fine Art Prints. Hopefully things will go smoothly! I think this will be the most time consuming task.
  • Try to create as much artwork as possible! I will definitely be creating more mix-n-matchable textile blocks and some sweet little embellished canvases like my Elephant.
I'm going to start researching other ideas too, so check back in as I update the progress on preparing for my first craft fair....

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Featured Seller: BedBuggs Boutique

My Favorite Bedbugg's Item:
Hooter the Owl Pillow
Etsy is full of the most amazing design work and I am humbled and inspired every day as I find new shops. Meet featured seller Krista, of Bedbuggs Boutique. She is a twenty-something, married to her best friend, and mom of two. Krista has always been creating in various forms.

Do yourself a favor and check out her Bedbuggs Etsy Shop right away! Her shop if full of cute, unique and affordable handmade gifts including the cutest pillows and hair accessories. I love that her inspiration comes from her obvious commitment and love for her family.

Learn some more about Krista's inspirations and motivations.
"My inspiration comes from my "bedbuggs" (nickname for my kids who always end up in bed with my hubby and I). I love creating things to make them smile. I also am inspired by other Etsy Shops. I'm always blown away with how many creative people there are in the world."
"I learned about Etsy from a friend, and I toyed with the idea of an Etsy shop when my hubby was diagnosed with a rare eye disease causing him to slowly lose his vision. But it wasn't until my hubby was laid off and we just couldn't find work that I decided to give Etsy a try."
Krista's current favorite item:
White Rose on Robin's Egg Blue Pillow

So what is next in line for Bedbugg's Boutique, described by Krista as cute, unique and chic?
"I have millions of ideas running through my head for my shop. I'm working on a squirrel pillow (very cute design), car pillows and more flower/ rose pillows. Really I have far more ideas than I have time."

What advice does Krista have for anyone with an Etsy shop? 
"My advice for anyone with an Etsy Shop is to shoot for the stars...as the sky really is your limit, and just be positive and confident in your product! If you really love it, someone else is bound to love it too!"

Bedbugg's also sells children's hair
accessories and tutus.
Follow Krista's Blog: http://www.bedbuggs.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Mural Beginnings

The brushes, paint, drop cloths, drafting tape and rulers are out. I'm just beginning the mural at Scarlet Fiorella in Center City Philadelphia. We decided on a rowhouse theme, and I am painting bright patterns on each house so that the mural is very fun and kid friendly. I have had a few challenges so far, namely:
  • Parking. Ugh! Parking in the city is a beast. Not to mention I have to move my car every 2 hours so I dont get ticketed. All you artists out there know that when you are in a groove, it can be really hard to put the brush down.
  • The nooks and crannies. I am painting in the back corner of the store, and while the space is fairly open, I have had to maneveur myself to get into some corner spots. It can be kind of awkward to paint while twisted around in certain angles. I am also trying to be extra careful as there is merchandise all around me. 
  • Whoops! I already dipped my hair in the bucket of paint by accident today. I'm sure there will be more bloopers to come as I am not exactly a vision of grace. 
  • The clock is ticking. I am in a race with time. In just one week I will be back at school :(
Otherwise, things have been going pretty smoothly. I've really been having an absolute blast working on this project and am so excited to have such an awesome opportunity.

Paisley Rowhouse in progress. The wall extends higher than pictured here.
Above the door are windows with planter boxes that are yet to be painted.

Close-up of Paisley. In Progress. I am a huge Paisley fan.
Next steps: The merchandise to the right of the curtain will be moved.
There is actually much more wall space that I didn't photograph on that side.
 I will be using this wall to paint more rowhomes.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

One Year

August 22nd is our first wedding anniversary, and it truly was the best day of my life! I am not into cheesiness though, so here are a few non-cheesy ruminations about my experience as a bride.
  • Thoughts about transitioning into marriage. Having lived with Scott 1.5 years before our wedding, things didn't feel very different after the big day except having a new last name and being a "wife". I am a big supporter of living together before marriage. We both knew exactly what we were in store for :)
  • The dress. It was the most expensive and beautiful dress I will ever wear in my lifetime, and I will never be able to wear it again. BUMMER!
  • The best decision ever! A lot of people tried to convince us not to let our dog Gigi walk down the aisle as our flower girl. We had to do it. She's family! She was amazing and the prettiest flower girl in the world.
  • Funniest wedding moment. When our chairs were lifted into the air during the horah, whoever was lifting us kind of half-assed it and could barely get us off the ground. When our dads decided to go up in the chairs after us, everyone came from the ends of the earth to help lift them and they were flying high. They stole our spotlight!
  • The weather. It was a mess all weekend. Torrential downpours. When it wasn't raining, it was humid and sticky. We went outside to take pictures when the skies were dry, but it was so hot that one of my bridesmaid's makeup was literally dripping all over her dress. I thought bad weather was going to ruin my wedding, but in the end, it really didn't matter.
  • It's all about the company you share. When will we ever have all of our friends and family members celebrating together in one place ever again? I think that's pretty amazing. 

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Mural Musings

This weekend I have begun sketching ideas for the mural I will be painting at a boutique called Scarlet Fiorella in Center City, Philadelphia. I am beyond excited to tackle this project. Not only is Scarlet Fiorella an adorable shop with lots of vintage-y inspired, shabby chic and cute kids' items, but the store owner Michele seems great to work with. She isn't set on a a particular theme for the mural, but we narrowed it down to 3 choices which will have a kid friendly look.
  1. Rowhouses. So fitting for a city boutique. I love the charm of rowhouses and Michele likes my "H is for House" painting as a starting point.
  2. A huge tree. Trees are so beautiful and organic, and I think the simplicity of a tree mural could look awesome.
  3. A pretty pattern. I majored in "Surface Pattern Design", and patterns are my thing. I just love em. There are so many different options for the mural if we go this route.
Inspiration for a tree mural design. Isn't this gorgeous?
H is for House- From my Alphabet Art Line

Friday, August 13, 2010

Sweet Summertime

Ahhhh summer. It never gets old. I'm 29 and summer still feels just as blissful as it did when I was 9. I am an elementary school art teacher and I am head over heels in love with summer vacation. I do realize how lucky I am. With this gift of time, I have delved into the world of Etsy (Click to see my shop, Gypsy Lane Designs) and now the Blogosphere.

So, WELCOME! I'm glad you are here. I am Rachel Levitt, the artist behind Gypsy Lane Designs. As an artist, having this time to dedicate to my work is just amazing. I share my home on Gypsy Lane with my husband and our awesome rescue dog Gigi, as well as my ever-growing supply of art materials (They have a life of their own). I have spent countless hours painting, creating, revamping, re-editing, rethinking. As an artist, you are constantly critiquing yourself.

I started this blog as a visual way to record the process of my work, explore others' work, share new ideas, and include tidbits from my life as an artist, wife, doggie mom, teacher, and passionate traveler. I have a lot to share and am excited to venture into the blogging journey!

As you get to know me, you will see that I don't like to stay in one place too long. Hence, my love affair with summer. Summer has afforded me the time to visit the Caribbean, Chicago, Rhode Island, Maryland, Cleveland, and New York City. While in NYC, creativity heaven, I was inspired by a company in the Limelight Marketplace called Brocade Home. They have a line of canvases draped in vintage fabric that inspired my "Textile Block Paintings" line. Check out their beautiful, fresh and feminine designs. I love their use of the damask pattern- a classic! Plus, they aren't outrageously expensive. (By NYC standards, anyway)

It's easy to sum up my summer.
Art Creation + Travel. It's all I could ever ask for.

Drive from Cleveland to Philly

Maegan's Bay, St. Thomas.
Millenium Park, Chicago