Sunday, July 10, 2011

ART: chalkboards, chalkboards and more chalkboards

Anyone that has stopped by to say hello at a show recently has seen my newest YellowDog item.  Chalkboards!  I purchase blank ready to hang boards and turn them into chalkboards with original artwork.  I stumbled upon this colorful chalkboard paint a while back and knew I had to do something.  It took a few tries to find the right board that would take the paint well and look nice.  It also took a while to find the right paint to then use for my YellowDog images.  It has to be slightly water proof yet take to the chalkboard paint.  The results:

Currently, I can make them in three sizes:  8"x10", 11"x14" and 16"x20".  I am slightly limited by the color choices of the special paint I must use but if you have any requests, please let me know!  The boards above all sold yesterday at the Go Dog Go event at Healthy Living (except the kitty one) but I am always looking for new suggestions and ideas.  And I admit it, the red chalkboards are my favorite.  You gotta see them in person.  The color is just too gorgeous!!

Monday, June 06, 2011

ART: commissioned card and painting

I only have a minute  but I feel guilty not posting on here in so long.  Shame on me because I am not lacking in news!

First up is a card requested by my dear Mother for my niece Sydney.  Sydney's dog Abbey loved her tennis balls.  FANATICALLY SO.  This is oil pencil on recycled kraft card stock.

Interested in a custom greeting card?  We can customize one of my original designs or create something brand spanking new.  They come in several different sizes.  Email me!

And here you can sneak a peek at a commissioned piece that was a long time in the making.  Canvases were torn and for the first time I ever I got about 2/3 of the way through a piece and completely changed my my mind on what I thought would look best.  I am very happy with how it turned out!  The client chose the background from a earlier piece and at first I thought it would be too much and distract from the gorgeous coloring of her pets but I was wrong and she was very very right!  Here is a quick pic I took as it sat inside my truck to be delivered later that same day!

Check back tomorrow for a peek at even more new pieces and news on upcoming events.  Like the Humane Society of Chittenden County's Walk for the Animals on the Waterfront this coming weekend.  This event will kick off an auction that includes five brand new YellowDog Art pieces made just for the event.  Oops, make that four.  One kind of found a new forever home a little early.  It was too perfect a match to wait!  Hi Kim and Chad  : )    50% of the proceeds from each painting auctioned off will go directly back to the HSCC! 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

NEWS: new homepage, new blog + new events

First...THANK YOU GEORGIA!  Georgia spent ALL day with me yesterday!  We started with yummy breakfast at Penny Cluse with a trip to the store for caffeine and then hours and hours of crazy successful work on all things YellowDog Art related.  We scanned images, we improved the homepage, we fixed links, we researched moo cards, and upgraded this here blog!  We also assembled a yellow couch (cute as hell, G!), rearranged furniture, made plans to shop and then had a late dinner at Tiny Thai.  I will spare you all the details of our trip to Tiny Thai.  EXCELLENT food as always but some of our co diners were beyond inappropriate.  Please, MISS DAISY!  NOT WHILE I AM EATING!  So, again, thank you Georgia.  For a wonderful and successful day.  Oh, and Georiga.  As another form of thanking you...I will NOT post the best pic you ever sent me.  Yes, the one that involved a finger puppet, your middle finger and a bad day at work.

Now lets get back to the new stuff!  What do you think?  If you are reading this, you obviously see the new blog.  It is not complete but it is getting there.  Like it?  Easy to read?  Easy to navigate?  Comments are wide open (for now anyway) so tell me what you think.  Sorry, the less than stellar digital pictures will still be making an appearance due to user issues  :) 

Now the new YellowDog Art homepage!

Ok, not totally new because I love the home page Georgia previously created for me.  We just improved it to meet my needs now that I am further into this process.  I love it!  Check it out, try out the links.  Let me know what you think.  The green color is carried throughout to tie things together (and because I cant get enough of it) and the font is fun but easy to read (and Georgia said it makes her think of my actual handwriting!).

The idea is that my blog and facebook will be the go to places for YellowDog Art news, artwork and (hopefully) all around fun.  Eventually my etsy store will sell my cards, postcards, stickers, etc.  Flickr will be the place to see all the photos that do not make it to my blog but might interest you.  If you attend any of my events, you might catch a glimpse of you or your pup!  And ofcourse the homepage (and all links really) are an easy way to find contact information for anyone interested in talking about a fun project, an art donation for a non profit or a possible commission.

And just a quick heads up!  The Humane Society of Chittenden County is holding their Annual Meeting on Thursday, April 28th.  They will be displaying artwork of different mediums from four local artists.  Yours truly has already dropped off her pieces.  They will be mounted on the walls at the HSCC, photographed, and auctioned.  The auction kicks off this Thursday.  I will post the link to the auction and the length of the auction as soon as I can.  50% of the sales will go to the HSCC!  My pieces were all made specifically for this event.  They are BRAND NEW images to canvas.  I took some of my favorite images that I normally do on my greeting cards and put a version of them on canvas.  There is a definite theme so pop over on Thursday evening to check them out, grab a drink and see the wonderful work the amazing people at HSCC do!

There are lots of things going on and I cant wait to share them with you as they progress.  Send me an email and let me know how you think things look.  Or just say hi  :)
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend.  Enjoy this weather while you can!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011


I have been prepping  a bunch of larger canvases so that means I have been doing a TON of gessoing and sanding and gessoing and sanding and gessoing and....well, you get the idea.  Not the sort of thing that makes for exciting blog pictures.  So in an effort to me a teeny tiny bit more exciting, I thought I would show you a small haul from Borders from a week or so ago.

My large unlined YellowDog journals are done on official Moleskine Cahiers.  I often get them at Borders because I can use a coupon on them.  They arent cheap so I kinda have to pick a few up now and then when a coupon is available.  That allows me to keep them affordable for you!

So what you see here are the Moleskines, as well as a magazine I love and a package of what I think is supposed to be paint brushes for kids.  I had a coupon for the package of Moleskines.  The brushes were on sale and I will use them in a way similar to a stencil brush; buying them like this is much cheaper than buying actual stencil brushes!  The magazine is a splurge.  It is pricey.  VERY pricey.  But it only comes out maybe two times a year and I do not buy it every time it comes out.    So in this quick little fun trip I got a magazine full of techniques and inspiration, some colorful inexpensive brushes to use as tools and some Moleskines which are a staple supply that I try to always keep on hand.

Pictures of actual artwork coming soon!  NEW artwork.  I promise!

Thursday, March 24, 2011


I have always been scared of watercolors.  I have no idea why.  I know, they dont bite.  I think it is because I know nothing about how they are supposed to be used and every time I try to even just play with them, I make a muddy mess.  Every time.  I guess I am feeling braver lately because I have been gravatating towards the yummy watercolor supplies.

Remember the sprial bound watercolor pad I showed previously?  I loved that pad of watercolor paper more than I thought I would!  The paper was relatively smooth for cold pressed watercolor paper so my pens work great on it.  And as watercolor paper should be, the paper was nice and thick.  Add in the sprial binding and I officially love it!  The only bummer is that there are not that many papers in each pad.  Only 12 sheets per pad.  So when I realized how great they were, I went back for more.  They are not cheap and I found they come in a several different sizes so I just grabbed one more 7" x 10" and a 9" x 12".  I have a feeling I will go through them pretty quickly but I can always go back for more. 
A wonderful friend of mine gave me a travel watercolor set years ago.  Maybe 8 years ago?  And it was so cute and so nice, I did not dare use it.  I am terrible!  I have finally given myself permission to use it.  And I think that paid off in  more ways than one.  I got an email out of the blue from my friend, Lois, only two weeks after making that decision.  We havent chatted in years!  Anyway...exciting on all kinds of levels  :) 
If you look closely at the pictures, you will see my newly found watercolor pads are the same exact brand as the travel watercolor set I was given years ago!  They are practically a set!  Cute, isnt it?!  It is about 4" x 5" when closed and has a strong white case.

It has a ton of pallette space and it came with a compact brush.  I think I am going to use a water brush but it is very nice to have the back up brush.  The water brush will be shown in a later post.  I dont want to over excite you all. But the travel set is a bit too nice for me to just play with. Dont get me wrong, I will eventually play with it. I promise! No more horading it! It will be perfect to take to work with me so I can do a little arting during my 'lunch'.
But that is where this set comes in.  Remember this medium set I mentioned some time back?  It is made by Paperchase and I got it at Borders with a coupon.  It was only a little over $2.00.  It too came with a brush but I still want to use that water brush.
But then I stumbled upon this set at Michaels last weekend.  It was the only one left.  It is just an Artists' Loft brand set so Im not sure how great the quality will be but look at the colors!!  I signed up for a new online workshop today and the artist uses a set that looks very sikilar to this one.  And ofcourse I had a coupon so it was about $6.00.  And it is huge!  It does not matter what kind of paint I am using, I do not enjoy mixing my own colors so the more colors the better for me.
Come on!  Look at these colors!  I have done a little playing already but I will save that for another post.  I thought I would introduce you to the supplies first and THEN bore you with my attempts at watercolor painting.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


This work-in-progress post shows the steps in making a YellowDog Art card.  Well, in this specific case, a BrownDog card.  My Mom requested this for my niece; BrownDog started at her house before finding her way to my parents house and my niece loves teddy bears.  Easy peasy.

STEP 1:  The recycled kraft cards I use come in two different sizes and they come unfolded but they do have a wonderful score line.
STEP 2:  Using the score line provided on each card and a bone folder, I fold each card separately. 

STEP 3:  Next, I use a good pencil to sketch the image on the card.  I sketch it very very lightly so it is easy to cover with ink or erase when the time comes.  

STEP 4:  Now I ink the card.  I use a no bleed Sharpie to follow the pencils.  Because I buy recycled cards in a heavier cardstock weight, the ink does not bleed through and it give me a nice strong line.  When I am done inking the card, I wait a a few minutes and then carefully erase any left over pencil lines.  I find the cheap $.35 pink pencil topper erasers from the art store work best. 

STEP 5:  I use Prisma Color pencils for color.  They are very waxy and have a super smooth look.  The colors are amazing.  Some of the darker colors dont work great on these cards because they get a white waxy film after a while so I just avoid using the colors I find problematic.  The picture below was actually taken after the pencil step was done and I had just started step 6.  I thought it would work best this way so you could see how different the next step is even though it may sound unnecessary.

STEP 6:  Reinking the entire image.  Again, I use the no bleed Sharpie.  It works the best over the waxy pencil.  It really makes the image pop off the card.  The white pencil outline helps to but the second round of outlining with the Sharpie really brings back all the definition.  The waxy finish of the pencil can ruin markers but so far I find if I just scribble on a plain piece of paper every once in a while, I am good to go! 

This is just a closer look at the final product.  Sorry about the poor quality of the image.  My lighting was not ideal.  I really like how this came out!  My first bear.  After the card is done, I find its matching recycled kraft envelope and a clear cello bag for protection.  The celo bag also helps keep the waxy film appear on the rare occasion I have to use one of those darker colors.

I know, I know.  Printed cards would be sooo much easier.  But how would I get this exact look in printed cards?  Plus, I make my art to make art.  Selling my art and items with my artwork on them just helps me get my art out there to anyone interested.  It helps me recoup a small amount of the cost of supplies.  I keep my prices as low as possible and I do have a day job so I can do this for now.  Currently my recycled cards with envelope and original artwork are all only $5 each!  Want a YellowDog card?  Want a bunch of YellowDog cards?  Contact me and we will work something out  :)

Saturday, March 19, 2011


It has been a rough couple of weeks.  Nothing horrible - just yucky (for lack of a better word).  Everyone has those days where everything and everyone seems to be difficult.  I just happen to have a string of 14 or so of them.  I declare them over.  Seriously...over...thats enough already.  In the very middle of these yucky days, these arrived:
They were sent as an apology.  I am not really one that thinks apologies should be purchased but hell, these were GORGEOUS.  Oh, and the apology wasnt even needed from this person.  So I decided to just take them as a thoughtful and sweet gesture which was exactly what I needed.  Thank you, my friend!  Oh, and thank you G for taking the pic for me!

I hope everyone has a great weekend and I wish everyone a better week next week.  I have a friend taking her first trip to New Orleans, a friend taking her first trip to Florida, a friend expecting a baby, the snow is rapidly melting, I got my tax return so I can pay some bills (and maybe a little goodie or two) can it not be better?!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

sketchbooks: FLEXI-SKETCH

Another new category in my blog is going to be sketchbooks. I admit it right now that I am addicted to GOOD sketchbooks. I am always on the search for that perfect sketchbook...not too big or too small...the perfect weight of paper....bright white pages....aesthetically pleasing...I could go on and on. I carry one every where I go. I have one at work, one (or two) in my bag, one on the writing desk in my livingroom, one open in my studio, etc. I think everyone should. Even if you dont consider yourself an artist, think how handy it would be. To doodle in while on the phone, or to make lists in while waiting to pick up the kids after practice, or to sketch in while eating lunch at your desk. Ok, ok, I will also admit I am a bit of an art geek and I know this may be of no interest to many so feel free to skip over this section if it bores you. I wont be hurt ;)

But for those that might be interested...I introduce the Flex-Sketch by Carnet de Croquis:

I wanted to try one of these for over a year. But they werent available locally and I am too cheap to pay the shipping when the postage cost is more than the item itself especially when I havent first gotten to handle the book or feel the paper. But then one day I was in Middlebury with my Mom on a little shopping trip. I ran in the cute bookstore on my way to put more money in the meter and there it was. They come in several sizes but there it was, the exact one I wanted. The 6" x 12" Flexi-Sketch with the light blue cover. Not a bad price but it was plastic wrapped and I couldnt feel or see the paper so I hesitated. When I went back to the store later, my Mom just picked it up and bought it and called it an early xmas gift. She is good. Very very good. Anyway, I got home later that day and opened it. I found the covers to be thin but very durable and the thickness of the book itself gave a stable base for use without a table or desk. The paper was a gorgeous smooth bright white and a very respectable 75 lb weight. As advertised, they open pretty flat and the binding holds up very well (so far). These compact sketchbooks have a ton of paper. Yup, I loved it! So when I was scouring through Borders one day this past winter, I was shocked and very very happy to see the orange 6" x 6" and the gold 8" x 8" Flexi-Sketch. The other two sizes I wanted. Why were they there!?!? I still have no idea but it gets better. THEY WERE IN THE CLEARANCE SECTION! Yup, red labeled. The orange one was $3.99 and the gold one was $5.99! WTF?! I scooped up what they had and lugged my strained basket of goodies down the stairs. At the register I hefted that haul onto the counter and whipped out my borders card and coupon. I couldnt understand why bells and whistles werent going off and why balloons werent falling from the ceiling. I thought that happened every time someone won the lottery ;) Currently I am loving the orange 6" x 6". It fits in the smallest purse and really stands up to being thrown around and jostled. The paper takes both pencil and pen wonderfully.I went back to Borders again a few weeks later to find more. My name is Pamela Harris and I am a sketchbookaholic. A sketchbookaholic that found Flexi-Sketch at less than half price!! I can not wait to fill every one of these! Well, everyone but maybe one or two that I might give away. Who doesnt love an online giveaway?! :) After I get my blog and facebook synced I will be doing some online giveaways. Keep an eye out. These lil' guys are worth it :) Above you see the first Flexi that I stumbled upon in Middlebury. I found the green 6" x 9" Flexi at a new art store in the area. On my second trip to Inspirations in Essex I saw it proudly sitting there on a special display table. They had other sizes but I have a thing for the long landscape sketchbooks and I couldnt rationalize purchasing any more. They were priced a bit more than any where else but I didnt have to pay shipping and I kind of expect the higher prices at smaller stores. So I got to support a local business AND affirm my multiple purchases at Borders by realizing I paid less for THREE of the orange Flexis than I did for this green one. I know, it is sickness. What is not pictured is the 9" x 12" Flexi I found at Borders the second visit. I got just one because I had enough free Borders Bucks to cover it. It was $9.99; a great deal but come on, I had to show a glimmer of restraint. Plus, it is a bit bigger than I usually like to use; I prefer my larger sketchbooks to have spiral binding for easier use.

Ok, I have put enough people to sleep. Time to go put some pen to paper to justify these purchases.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


One of my new blog categories is going to be labeled as 'haul'. This is basically where I show you what I bought recently and where I bought it; focusing on art supplies, pet related items and just really great deals you might be interested in. Having said that...

I admit it, I love Borders. I love the smaller local bookstores too and try to hit them as often as possible. However, Borders is the perfect place for some items not available anywhere else. Like Paperchase goodies. Dont get me started on Paperchase. LOVE THEM. Anyway, last week I headed to Borders with just my borders card and coupon. Look what I got for only $6.20!Each of the books above were less than a$1! I had to do some scouring but I found some great gems. A paper play family kit for my niece from MoMA as well as a doodle book I had wanted to get her. The other two books are for me :) And because I had a coupon and a borders membership card, I got the Paperchase watercolor set I had been eyeing. The brush that comes with it is crap but for just over $2, I could not pass up the gorgeous colors.

I also had a rare coupon to Boutilliers Art Center (thanks, Mom!) and since I was already on Church Street, I picked up a portable watercolor pad. So the fun little pairing you see below only cost me a little over $8 and will provide me with hours of lunch time distraction at the day job as well as (possibly) 12 pieces of artwork!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

late nights and full tables

This is usually a slower time of year for me. Not so this year! I am very thankful and extremely happy. I am crazy busy and my tables are full of completed pieces. WOOHOO!! I am so excited. The last couple weeks have been full of very late nights. Regular, but unexpected, life things pop up and take time but I have spent hours lately finally putting brush to canvas and oil pencil to paper. I have been taking lots of (poor quality-sorry) pictures and I look forward to sharing but for now, hopefully a pic of sweet BrownDog (aka Gracie) will do. Most of the new items on my tables will be sent off to their new homes this weekened and early next week. By Sunday I will be able to post some pictures without ruining any surprises.

Also, I am doing some early Spring cleaning in my little home studios. I have lots of art and craft items as well as paper products and books. I have been posting them on Craigslist but if anyone is in need or if anyone is interested please just drop me an email. I can share the details of what I have before I place it on CL. My next post is all art books, sketchbooks and paper.

Now as promised, Miss Gracie! Sleeping on her (very own) love seat. Gracie is my parents dog and the sweetest most gentle giant you will ever meet. Dont let the teeth fool! You can not tell from these pics but she has the most gorgeous green eyes.
Nighty night for now.

Monday, February 07, 2011


I have a lot to post but I wanted to start by sharing a little love. I have lots of new YellowDog cards and stickers and even a handful of new little moleskines. In celebration of the upcoming holiday I both love and hate..heehee.....I am offering a sale on all of my YellowDog paper goods. And hell, lets put the last painting I have in my possession (that is not spoken for) on sale as well!!
So for this week the following sales (!!) apply:
STICKERS = 4/$14!! Below you see my newest stickers but the sale applies for all of them.

CARDS = 3/$14! Same as the stickers...below you will see some of my newest cards but the sale applies to all cards (not just the Valentiney ones).

This is the only painting I have that is not spoken for. It was originally $125. It is acrylic on a 12" x 48" gallery wrapped canvas. It is ready to hang! It doesnt really work for any of the projects I have coming up so I thought I would put it up here on sale in case I can spread some more holiday love. If it doesnt sell, I love the size and colors so much I have a place on my own wall that it might be calling home soon....

I also have new moleskines, notebooks, note boxes, chalkboards and containers. More pictures to come soon but for now here is a peak at the slightly seasonal moleskines (I might have trouble parting with these!):

So lets hope this takes the sting out of all that shoveling (who am I kidding?!?!?). Drop me an email if you would like to check out any of the new items or sale items. I try to give as much as I can to the Chittenden County Humane Society but this weeks proceeds are actually going to sweet Missy! Missy is my own little four legged house wrecker. She will be visiting Dr. Millie Armstrong very soon. But shhh....lets not tell her just yet...Im afraid I will wake up with a mouse head in my bed ;)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I am going to be changing a couple things on my blog in the near future. Nothing huge. I am happy with my blog over all. And lets be real, my blog changing skills are limited. The changes will mostly be the way I post. Some days I want to post ten times while other times I dont post for weeks. I thought that categorizing my posts would help. For example I would have a post strictly about a work in progress (WIP) or a post solely about a favorite or new art supply or the occasional post about a show or sale. This will make quick posts easy and multiple posts less overwhelming and jumbled. It will also help me (and others that dare) search for certain things among previous posts. So, if you could care less about anything other than where a show will be at, you wont have to sift through all my babble! Like this paragraph! Anyway, in the next day or so that will take place.

Now I cant bore you with a paragraph like that last one without leaving you with some cuteness:
My Mom gave me this sweet little felted bird for Christmas. She picked it up on our little trip to Middlebury this past October at a store called Sweet Cecily which is jam packed with adorable gifts and utilitarian goodies. If you need a special birthday gift or if you want to find a gift for everyone on your holiday shopping list, I suggest checking them out. Or hell, even if you just want something unique and adorable for yourself! The picture does not do the bird justice so trust me when I say it is cute as all hell! Thanks Mom!

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Where did Friday and Saturday go?!

Laundry is spinning around in my washer and my dishes are getting a nice hot steamy bath so Im grabbing a minute to type up this post. Later I hope to put on the painting clothes and relax but for now I am cleaning up after a hellish week at work and trying to prepare for another hellish work week ahead. Im sure you know about THOSE weeks. But on to the fun things....

Look what arrived on my doorstep one very snowy evening:
I had been waiting for this package from Paypaya for a couple weeks. My friend Georgia gifted me the most amazing Sabrina Ward Harrison art journal from Paypaya for Christmas. I had wanted one of those journals for almost a year but it didnt give detail on the type of paper and I just couldnt bring myself to indulge in one for myself. Georgia and I both love Sabrina's books and she ordered one up for me. Not only was the cover gorgeous but the paper is crazy thick and the journal is super thick but opens nicely. I knew right away that I would stress about using that gorgeous journal unless I got another one. I know, it is a sickness but at least I know myself. Confident that I love them, I dared to order one and I lucked out with free shipping! Ofcourse even the label is beautiful but then I opened the hefty box to see this:I am a sucker for gorgeous packaging! My picture taking skills do not do the tissue or glossy label justice. I strongly suggest hopping over to Papaya right now and ordering yourself up some of these:

Stunning artwork in beautiful art journal form. I will warn you that regular shipping seems very very slow (even if you pay for it) from here but it is very much worth the wait.

I found some chipboard ornaments while holiday shopping. I did not get a chance to tackle them until after the holiday season but who says they have to be 'holiday' ornaments? I made them winter themed instead. One is going to my mother or she will kill me but the other is up for sale. I am only posting it here on my blog and maybe facebook. Otherwise this little guy gets put away until late in the art show season next year!

I did not think to take a picture sooner but above you see they are about 2/3 of the way done. Smaller work can be very time consuming but lately the small projects have been the easiest to varnish and complete due to the Vermont weather. What do you other Vermont artists do in the cold snowy months when it is time to varnish a piece?

The final stage before varnishing:

A close up after two coats of varnish:

And on the other side you have YellowDog's cousin BrownDog!

I did a ton of cleaning in my small upstairs studio. I am not done but life is so much easier with space to move around and clean work surfaces to work on. So I am flying back and forth between my computer and my painting table lately and it disturbs my studio helped immensely. She would prefer I stay in one spot and in arms length of her. Below you will see the look I am getting a lot lately. Notice she has her own basket. She loves boxes and baskets so by designating this basket as hers (and filling it with her favorite crinkly paper), I keep her out of projects in progress with wet paint and glue. For the most part anyway!

Stay warm!