Monday, November 17, 2014

Hartland Holiday Bazaar ~ 2014

On Nov. 14 and 15th, I was honored to participate as a vendor at the 16th annual Hartland Holiday Bazaar at the Hartland Clubhouse. There were handcrafted art galore, over 20 vendors … ranging from both functional and fabric arts, to paintings, to beautiful woodwork … even hand-crafted glass beads! The traffic wasn't that great this year, but hopefully all of us will receive lots of custom orders in the coming season. 

Glassy Lady

Our sincere thanks go out to Pat Millett of the Glassy Lady and Otto Delph of Otto's Creations for all they do ... because without them there would be no Hartland Holiday Bazaar! Their organizational skills and efforts are always impressive. I agree with the other artist … this is by far my favorite event. 

It takes a lot of energy, time and patience to pack and load your art, unload, set-up and prepare for a 2-day event … not counting all the advertising most of us do prior to the event. Most people never realize the work behind the scenes … but this group makes it worthwhile. Below are just a few of the vendors that participated this year. I hope I’m able to make it next year.

Jewelry by Otto's Creations
Phyllis Williams   
DeeDee Scott Lanham

Saturday, September 20, 2014

GG’s Sweet Pea Vine … Lathyrus latifolius

Over the years, I have become especially fond of growing mostly purple perennials in my small yard for spring, summer and fall.

One favorite is the sweet pea vine better known as Lathyrus latifolius, the perennial pea vine, perennial pea, or everlasting sweet pea. This flower is a robust, sprawling perennial in the Pea Family.

The small blossoms of the perennial Sweet Pea vine or Lathyrus latifolus actually look like dozens of tiny orchids (about 1 inch in diameter).

Contrary to the Clematis, the sweet pea vine is no new kid on the block. Says, "It is an heirloom vine, which Thomas Jefferson grew, enjoyed, and called 'everlasting pea' in his day." For more information on growing:

Purchase this here:

Sweet peas grow as groundcover in large areas or will quickly reach a height of 6 to 8 feet on a trellis or arbor. I especially enjoy my vine for photography studies. The sharp contrast of the dark leaves and bright purple blooms make a great palette of colors.

Although the blooming of my sweet peas begins in early summer and continues until early fall, the seedpods are my favorite. They make great decorations on autumn or Halloween displays.

Purchase this here:

Butterflies, bees, hummingbirds and spiders are attracted to the purple blooms that also provide cut flowers for indoor vases.

Purchase "sweet pea seed pods" here:
In some areas the sweet pea might reseed itself as a perennial, but I save the seeds, allowing them to completely dry before I pack them away in a small plastic bag. Around June, I plant a few under my trellis. They usually appear within a few weeks and require little care or special watering – which is my kind of plant.
Purchase this print here:

And if the vine is left to dry over the winter, the ice formations also make an interesting art form as well.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The creation of “RED” ~ the woodpecker art project to bring HOPE.

For a long time, I’ve collected colorful photos of birds. My husband and I have shared a mutual interest in birds and photography since we first met. However over the years, we’ve experienced such busy, complicated lives since our son was born … like so many other interest, ‘birds watching and photography hobbies’ have fallen to the way side.  

I have often longed to paint a collection of exotic birds … since I have so many friends and ‘art customers’ who are avid bird watchers as well as bird art collectors. 

So as “HOPE” would have it, a few weeks ago, an image of a red-head headed woodpecker caught my attention from a Facebook post on a website name: “We Love Birds”.

For some reason, (perhaps God’s plan), I clicked on the little woodpecker icon and looked at that person’s photos. I saw dozens of beautiful images of all sorts of birds. My curiosity got the best of me and like so many other aspects of life… (some call me a bloodhound) … I needed to know more about the photographer behind these beautiful images.

I texted the person and requested permission to view her images and learned the photographer’s name was Annette. Upon a brief conversation, I learned we had several common interests.  Additionally, I also learned that due to horrific car accident, my new photographer friend was suffering horrible pain, was bed ridden and these exquisite bird images were made from her bedroom window!  Just as my art is my therapy to deal with my own personal challenges, Annette’s bird photography was helping her deal with life full of suffering.

Over the past few weeks, I have learned a lot about my new Facebook friend, which inspired me even more to find the time to paint from one of her photos. 

To make a long story short … this little bird painting titled: “RED brings HOPE” became more than a therapeutic painting project.

This painting became the symbol for “HOPE”  … 

Hope that Annette will find the medical attention she needs to relieve her of the chronic pain she is enduring. Hope that she finds a place that helps know that others do care and love her just the way she is. Hope for a future. Hope for healing.

Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul - and sings the tunes without the words - and never stops at all.

Below are pics of my bird painting process from the beginning to the end. I alway say, "my art connects me to others" and little RED certainly did. 

RED in process.

RED is painted on a 12" x 12" by 1.5" deep canvas.

My paint palette for RED.

“RED brings HOPE"


Pixels version of RED.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

"Birds of a Feather Flock Together" - Tropical Bird Art

Well it's time I put other projects on hold to update my websites and my art blog. Marketing needs to be higher on my priority list! Yes, it's been a while since I made time to upload photos of new artwork. Like many other artists, I would rather create than ‘market’ … but if people don’t know about it, they aren’t going to buy it. Right?

This is one my most recent creations. I call him ‘Mr. Chartreuse’.

© 2010-15 GG's Functional Art ~ All rights reserved.
Last year, my hubby and I worked off and on for a year updating our dated 80’s den to a more modern color scheme and décor with various shades of chartreuse and black leather/wood. (That’s another blog posting for another time.) This summer, we’ve transitioned the chartreuse or lime green color out to the deck. 

To brighten the brick wall, I decided to paint an extra large toucan to go alone with my other tropical bird decor. ‘Mr. Chartreuse’, was created with acrylic paint on canvas, but sealed with several coats of Liquitex oil sealant. 

This protects my work from dust or from fading. I gave up working with oils years ago and a oil sealant to acrylics gives it that ‘oil finish’ without all the negative aspects of working in oils; such as the expense, long drying time, mess, odor, etc.

This is an old birdhouse that had been abandoned in the basement for years. Instead of selling it at a yard sale, I decided to paint and decoupage it with bright altered papers with tropical birds. It now fits in nicely with my bright green and burnt orange furniture.

Last year, during one of my summer art exhibits, I painted several tropical birds on 'functional art' coasters. I have sold several, plus their prints for a year now ~ but have decided to keep a few for a serving tray. 

For over 5 years, I have created coaster art for custom gifts and area art venues. Many have purchased these unique 4”x4” hand-painted tiles, to add to their coffee tables or serving trays. 

Coaster and trivet reprints of my tropical birds can be purchased here:,1181361109

© 2010-15 GG's Functional Art ~ All rights reserved.
© 2010-15 GG's Functional Art ~ All rights reserved.
© 2010-15 GG's Functional Art ~ All rights reserved.
© 2010-15 GG's Functional Art ~ All rights reserved.
© 2010-15 GG's Functional Art ~ All rights reserved.
© 2010-15 GG's Functional Art ~ All rights reserved.
© 2010-15 GG's Functional Art ~ All rights reserved.
My 'Birds of a Feather Collection' can be purchased here in various sizes of high quality prints or on super sized canvas at:

This past week, I was excited to learn that one of my 'humming bird' paintings was featured on the home page of CAFÉ Press. 

For that reason, I'm adding my tropical bird collection as well as a few of my hummers from recent years. Enjoy, gg

© 2010-15 GG's Functional Art ~ All rights reserved.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Making a Heirloom Mirror with Vintage Jewelry

Over the years, I have acquired old jewelry and watch pieces from my
Mother and Grandmother. Many of these items were broken or if earrings,
only one remained. 

I had also saved several pieces from my childhood days
that always brought back memories and I had often
thought about adding them to a collage or something
to hang on the wall.

Recently an artist friend told me about a wonderful new product 
called Apoxie Sculptthat would be easier to work with instead of gluing 
tiny pieces to a wooden frame.

I ordered a 1 lb set from aves studio, which shipped in 2 containers. 

There are several videos online demonstrating how to mix the 2 parts, 
drying time, etc. However, is was really 
very simple - especially if you have ever worked with sculpty clay.

For my project, I first found a framed mirror. 
I actually purchased this one at a yard sale for $3.00.
The price for the clay was around $16 plus shipping.

I tape off mirror with painters tape and painted the frame black.
Then I layered my broken jewelry items around the frame,
thinking ahead how to best arrange them.

Once you have mixed up the 2 parts of Apoxie using rubber gloves,
position it on your frame and push the jewelry items into the clay.
I also added small vintage buttons and tiny beads around each brooch, pendant, etc.
The drying time for each section is about 3 hours. 

I worked on this over a period of several days, allowing each section 
to completely dry before adding more.