Gumball Grenade Illustrations

AlternateBliss ETSY SHOP - These are my items available for purchase

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Stick It!

So I'm starting a series of illustrations featuring this little bear who is just none to bright! He was quite fun to create. You can read more about my illustrations and see more of them on my illustration blog:

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Muddy Illustration

Currently I am in love with my watercolor, pencil, and micron pen. I painted this last night and for those of you who know me I definitely expect to see this scene in real life in the near future. Would that be a case of life imitating art? Anyway this is one of my original illustrations titled "Muddy". It was painted using watercolors and ink. It features a cat (maybe JuJu Bean) that has been into mischief and his playmate (E???) who is going to attempt to give the cat a little bath.

Available in my Etsy Shop: Gumball Grenade

Friday, January 18, 2008

Some New Illustrations for GumballGrenade

So I've been painting some watercolor and ink illustrations. The process for me goes like this:
Sketch out the idea in pencil (refine and darken lines)
Sketch on to watercolor paper
Pen outlines (using .05 micron pen with archival ink)
Paint with watercolors
Pen again
Sign and date!

Above are two that I painted today! Avail in my GumballGrenade shop. Oh and I should mention that I have a show comming up here the second weekend in January in South Jordan, put on by Oh Sweet Sadie! Lovely!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Gumball Grenade

I am so excited the best gift I received this year was a hand me down! It was an Epson Printer!!! Given to me by my Dad because he was sick of paying for inks and wanted a color laser printer. What a gift! I had been debating for quite some time on whether or not to buy one myself and then poof this one appeared! So why am I so excited you ask... (drum roll). So that I can open my new etsy shop for my illustrations!!!!!! Check out the pics below they are the first that I've listed in my new shop called Gumball Grenade. These are 8 1/2 x 11 inch prints on professional grade Archival Fine Art paper and are printed using archival grade inks. I am so excited to roll this shop out. More illustrations are coming soon!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Le Coeur Dramtique

The Dramatic Heart

Upcomming Events!
So I have two more events coming up this holiday season. One is in Tooelle (sp?) it's a craft fair with about 60+ booths. Dec. 7th. The other is at the Union Station here in Ogden. It runs Dec. 7th and the two weekends after that. I spoke with the organizer today and I'm going to try and get the second weekend of the 15th of Dec! I am so excited! I can't believe how quickly things are moving. If this season goes well then I'm going to try to get into the Wine Festival in Park City as well as the Balloon Festival in Eden.

Also, I just have to say how much I love that a mistake can turn out to a wonderful piece of jewelry! I wanted this piece to be called Indra's Net (regarding the interconnectedness of the universe) but it didn't come out how I envisioned. But then I saw abstract anatomical heart. I paired it with a beautiful carnelian gemstone and it suddenly became "Le Coeur Dramatique" or "The Dramatic Heart." It reminds me of all things Concrete Blond, French, and New Orleans. Oooh la la say no more!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

An idea for Indra

I love myth's of all cultures and faiths. Recently I've been drawn to the myth of Indra's Net. It's really a quite beautiful myth about the interconnectedness of the universe.

Francis Harold Cook, in the book Hua-Yen Buddhism: The Jewel Net of Indra describes the metaphor of Indra's net from the perspective of the Huayan school:

“Far away in the heavenly abode of the great god Indra, there is a wonderful net which has been hung by some cunning artificer in such a manner that it stretches out infintely in all directions. In accordance with the extravagant tastes of deities, the artificer has hung a single glittering jewel in each "eye" of the net, and since the net itself is infinite in dimension, the jewels are infinite in number. There hang the jewels, glittering like stars in the first magnitude, a wonderful sight to behold. If we now arbitrarily select one of these jewels for inspection and look closely at it, we will discover that in its polished surface there are reflected all the other jewels in the net, infinite in number. Not only that, but each of the jewels reflected in this one jewel is also reflecting all the other jewels, so that there is an infinite reflecting process occurring."

You'll have to visit back tomorrow to see the piece of jewelry this little myth inspired.

Wonderful Wonderwoman!

So growing up I loved WonderWoman. I watched WonderWoman on TV, pretended to be WonderWoman and even had a WonderWoman birthday cake! I was obsessed. So I just have to share with you an item I was tickled to see. Well first let me explain that there is this trend in fashion of wearing wrist cuffs. I personally don't wear them, but I love the trend. So I stumbled upon a lovely little etsy shop filled with handmade items and you can imagine my delight when I found this!
Here's a link to KreativeMindz etsy shop and blog:

Monday, November 5, 2007

Happy Childhood Anonymous Meeting! Visit your local chapter.

Standing in a room, people sitting in chairs that have been be set up in a semi circle fashion, "Hi my name is Tanya, and I had a wonderful childhood," she says nervously scuffing her foot across the floor.
She blushes, looks up hesitantly, "I admit it was filled with magical thinking, imaginary play, and I enjoy reflecting on my childhood. Thank you." She sits down and the next speaker begins.

There I said it...and its such a relief to get that off my chest. Whew.

I recently stumbled across an artist that captures so much of what childhood was like for me. His paintings have a beautiful, magical, and reflective sense about them. Here let me show you what I'm talking about.

Joseph Blake's Bio
"My friends always tell me that I walk, looking down at my feet, as if I've lost something or I'm waiting for my legs to grow..."
... my parents gambled two decades ago and adopted a boy from Korea without ever seeing a picture. My mom had plenty of pretty names that she wanted to give her new son, but my father saved the boy by giving me his.
I started pushing paint around in high school, and later graduated from Rhode Island School of Design in 2005. At first, painting was my way to stand out from my peers and avoid gym. But in college, where everybody was new, I made pictures to connect.
When I returned home, my childhood friends' stories were more colorful, my parent's familiar rituals were funnier, and my room never felt smaller. I saw potential characters and stories in every waking moment. This was also the first time that I really felt like I was observing and using a sketchbook. I wanted to entertain others with the little things I experienced.
And in those moments I found another purpose for making pictures... storytelling. I'm currently making my way as an illustrator in Philadelphia, while learning storyboarding and traditional animation. I don't get the chance to meet everyone who views my work now, but I love that people get to know me first through my pictures."

*Please note that all image copyrights belong to Joseph Blake. Thanks Joseph.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

About how I miss the Iris and Purple Tiger Tears!

I love really dark purple iris flowers. I had some growing at my last house and I haven't planted any here at my new home yet. So as many know flowers carry a great deal of symbolism with them. When I researched the iris flower I discovered that the name Iris means rainbow, after a goddess who cloaked herself in dewdrops to reflect the stars and then communicated between heaven and earth via rainbows. I also read that the iris is also a symbol heroism. Rainbows and heroism...who could ask for more! Here's a little necklace I carved up the other night featuring three iris blooms and a dragonfly.
As far as amethyst goes...what a beautiful story:

According to Greek mythology, Bacchus was insulted by a human and swore revenge (via a tiger mauling) on the next human he saw. Diana saw this poor human woman named Amethyst heading towards Bacchus so Diana took pity on her and turned her into a quartz statue to protect her from the tiger. Bacchus was so regretful of his actions that he cried tears of wine on to the beautiful Amethyst, hence the gems beautiful color!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Lotus Blossom

Did you know the lotus was a symbol of femininity? The lotus is also a symbol of enlightenment and mental purity.

  1. First rolled out some polymer to a uniform thickness.

  2. Used my sculpting knife to carve the design. This is the fun part because sometimes you can literally see your design in the clay itself.

  3. Baked my design

  4. Tested the design on another piece of scrap polymer

  5. Cast the design in fine silver!

  6. Once the patina was on I was astonished! Adding the patina is by far my favorite part because it brings out every little detail!

  7. Then I added my ever so cherished and long awaited for carnelian beads! POP! There it was. The necklace I had envisioned!

Here's a pic:

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Alice in Wonderland Fine Silver Necklace -ooak!

I love Alice in Wonderland Memorabilia. I have collected snow globes, ornaments, and cookie jars to mention a few. However, I just had a desire to try my hand at making the White Rabbit. So here he is! He is a one of a kind piece. I don't think I could make another one exactly like this if I tried. I was definitely "in the zone" when sculpting him. I wanted him to be quite detailed even down to the numbers on the clock and whiskers on his cheeks.
So I was thinking about how art tends to slow things down for me. It's quite different than running through life at the frantic pace of the White Rabbit. Maybe thats what draws people to art. The White Rabbit is a reminder to me. He reminds me to slow down and enjoy things. Enjoy what inspires you. Enjoy the process of creation. Enjoy learning and experiencing new things. Enjoy the moment of now. Enjoy!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Ooops I fogot to add...

Oh goodness! I added beads to some of my silver work and it just makes it pop! I mean POP! I love jade, peridot, and pearl. Greens and whites how beautiful! Did you know that jade is a symbol of serenity and purity. Pearl is symbolic of purity, spiritual transformation, honesty, wisdom and charity. Peridot is symbolic of clarity of well being, the understanding of life, and clarifying of the heart. Amazing...I had no idea that gemstones carried so much meaning! Well there you have it. I should add that I also donated these two pieces to the St. Benedict's 2nd Annual Funds of Love Event:

Thursday, October 18, 2007

St. Benedict's Foundation Pin for the 2nd Annual Funds of Love Event

The Nativity Pin is complete!

Completely hand sculpted in polymer and then cast in fine silver. This piece was extremely complex to complete but well worth the final result. It is a donated piece created specifically for this event! It will available at the fundraiser. Featured from left to right in the picture: Joseph (kneeling with his hand lovingly on the head of Jesus), Jesus (swaddled securely), and Mary (who is kneeling and praying).
I am just thrilled that I was given the opportunity to donate an item for this years Holiday Boutique for the St. Benedict's Foundation fundraiser. If you would like to find out more about the wonderful work that the foundation supports please visit:

Here's a link regarding the Funds Of Love Event including time and location:

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

"Rilo" the Fox - Fine Silver Pendant

I have to apologize I have been trying to get some video demonstrations up on my blog but my upload rate is so slow! Which just means I'll have to put the project on the backburner for a little while. Sorry :(

Lately I have just loved a song by Rilo Kiley called "Portions for Foxes" and I have caught myself loving foxes in artwork and photography lately. So I decided to try my hand at sculpting one! Below is a picture of my little red fox sculpted out of polymer clay.

After sculpting my little fox out of polymer I cast him in fine silver! Then I refined him a bit more brought out more detail and made some adjustments. Next I fired him and then gave him a little patina. He'll be available soon in my etsy shop if I can bare to part with him!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Fawn Love

This is probably one of the most difficult pieces I've had to create. I really had a fear of commitment when putting the final necklace together. I don't usually add beads to my pendant. I usually like the piece to stand on its own, but lately I'm finding that adding additional elements can enhance the piece. I am currently loving the deer motif that is showing up in modern design, it has definitely added to my inspiration.

Technique: I sculpted/carved the fawn using a sculptors knife (?) At least I think that is what the tool is called. On one side it has a pointed spade type blade and on the other it has a curved blade. I'll have to start making some video clips.

Friday, September 21, 2007

An Ode to the Lion

So I love when pieces of jewelry carry meaning with them. I know for myself I like to incorporate designs into my home and fashion that are symbolic of me or ideas important to me. Victorian imagery and motifs are rich in symbolism so I find a great deal of inspiration in them. I created a fine silver piece inspired by a Victorian motif of a child holding a lion. The lion has long been a symbol of protection, a savior, a Christ-like figure, courage, valor, and protection. So combine the imagery of a lion with a image of an innocent child and you have a piece that for me is symbolic of the protection of innocence. I had to modify the design a bit due the original image being so old and worn down. So I enhanced the image with a bit of carving so it is not an exact replica of the Victorian design. Take a look at how this little Leo turned out:

Monday, September 17, 2007

Attn Crafty Sellers!

So today I was browsing the etsy blog and came across a wonderful tip about Google Base. So I went to see what it was all about. Come to find out that it looks to be a promising way to promote your etsy listings, or any listings for that matter. So I added a couple of my listings to test it out. I found it incredibly easy to use. The only downside (or maybe not) is that you do need to have a google account. Hope this helps you get your shop noticed.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

A new resist for etching silver!

Well first let me say that I have fallen in love with a new magazine. All of you crafty jewelry artists should take note: Belle Armoire Jewelry! I was so pleased with the latest issue's PMC bird article. An what an adorable piece it was.

Let me share just a tid bit of a very cool technique I learned about regarding etching onto silver. Apply a dark colored fingernail polish as a resist! You can also use wax as your resist. This was another one of those little inventive tricks that we crafty people so often come up with. I did test it on sterling and it worked beautifully. Have fun with it!

Anyway, lately I am just in love with birds on my pendants. This was inspired by an 1800's Japanese Wallpaper of a swallow perched on a willow branch. I etched it by hand, however I did experiment with acid etching the initial image, but I wanted more texture so I decided to carve the image out. Anyway it is avail in my etsy shop:

Thursday, September 13, 2007

DIY Crafty Rebels!

I love the new generation of crafters! It's a generation that is fearless in exploration, experimentation, and innovation. This is a community that is not afraid to break the rules resulting in crafts that take familiarity and twist it into amazing new creations. Let me put in a small disclaimer here, when I say "generation" I am not referring to age! I have seen many crafters out there who build upon their wealth of crafting knowledge to make new and exciting crafts that hold their own withing the DIY crafting community. So here is a documentary on this rebel crafty generation that you should take some time to explore: