January 30, 2012

Behind the sets: Goodwill Donation Commercial

A fun little commercial that I designed. Mixing a few 3D items in with an entire 2D set.

Here are a couple of behind the scenes photos of how the set looked

January 26, 2012



Sorry no time to Blog - I have to set up my new iPHONE!!!
So many things to figure out and play with.

First order of business: Instagram
Just wait and see all the slick, hip pictures I am going to be posting (you can find me under the ID: TheSkartist)

then what?

There is a whole world of Apps.  Where do I begin?

Any recommendations?

January 25, 2012

One Final Post on the R.P.'s Racist Dog

            My dog, let’s call him “Tedward E. Edwards,” has recently taken his intolerance to new heights.  Lately, he has chosen to stand on a storage block in his sister’s (my daughter’s) room, look out the window at the street below, and growl at anyone (dogs and people) he finds unsavory.  Frankly, I must admit, when he does this, I think that it’s funny and a little cute (or cute and a little funny, I haven’t decided yet), as he stands there with his hands (front feet) on the window sill, fogging up a quarter-sized spot on the window with his snout (nose), tracking people (dogs and people) back and forth as they walk on the sidewalk, going about their business, all the while having nary a notion that there’s a well-bred Welsh Terrier up on the third floor hating them.  When he first started doing this, he would occasionally bark at people (dogs and people) he felt an exceptional distaste for, but when I threatened to take his window privileges away if he continued barking, he contented himself with just growling instead.  At this distance, one would have to assume that a growl is sufficient. 

January 23, 2012

Workspaces: Oldest Scene Shop in Warsaw

While I continue to figure out how I'm going to revamp my own studio this year.  I figure I will continue to gather inspiration and explore what other people have done with their spaces.

 For the commercial I was working on in Poland I had all the scenery custom made and I got a sneak peek into what was claimed to be the oldest Scene shop in Warsaw.  It was pretty amazing.  Gorgeous industrial machines with bright yellow knobs and handles.   I think my favorite part was the old cobblestone floor.  I can't help but imagine what this shop was actually used for before they started building scenery for movies (the likes of the Pianist and Schindler's List to name a few)

January 20, 2012

4 on Friday: Argyle Walls

I'm not the first one to do an Argyle Wall treatment.  Today's 4 on Friday I decided to highlight some of the other great ones out there.

This was the original inspiration:
via Design Dazzle
Here is another example of a design that mixes a whole lot of patterns but sticks to a simple color palette.
via Project Nursery Design Gallery 
This one is Oversized and Fun! 
via The Bump
And finally, if you are lacking artistic skills, time or just don't want to commit long term.  You can always just go the way of simple decals
available for $40 at Beepart on Etsy

January 19, 2012

Nursery Design: Argyle and Houndstooth and Bears Oh MY!

Nursery #1 by Skårtshop Design is DONE! And I have pictures to prove it!

For a memory refresh This was the design sketch I did:

 and this is how Emmet's  room turned out:

Lesson learned here is that you don't have to be afraid of mixing patterns as long as you stick to a simple and soothing color palette.  The rug was the biggest struggle.  Even now Mommy isn't 100% convinced.  Luckily at this point she's got too much other stuff going on to fight me on it : )

Enjoy the rest of the pictures, thanks to Emmet for helping model some of the room features!

Design Elements:
Paint Colors Used -- (all Benjamin Moore)   Background walls: Bleeker Beige (HC-80), Argyle Pattern: Fernwood Green (2145-40) & Northern Air (1676), Dark Brown Stitching: Clinton Brown (HC 67)
Furniture (Crib Dresser and Nightstand) -- From the All Seasons Collection by Young America
Glider -- Hand-me-down from a friend
No Sew Window Valance -- DIY instructions here
Arty The Skartshop Bear -- Handmade with LOVE
Argyle Carpet -- Overstock.com
Teddy Bear Lamp -- amazon.com
JUMP! Wall print - Skårtshop.com
Polka Dot Change Pad Cover -- by Carters
Crib Bedding -- Kids Line Monkey Play 4 piece bedding set (just used the skirt and flat sheet, and then I  did a little tweaking to the bumper by replacing the monkey panels with a simple striped fabric)
Diaper Caddy on change table --Munchkin Diaper Duty Organizer
Custom Embroidered Bins -- You Name It Baby

January 18, 2012

My Dog is a Racist

            My dog, let’s call him “Tedward,” is a racist. 

            It has previously been discussed in this column how this same Welsh Terrier, the aforementioned “Tedward,” is a bigot.  But “Tedward” also discriminates on color and breeding. 

            “Tedward” hates Golden Retrievers. 

            “Tedward” hates Springer Spaniels.

            And “Tedward” especially hates Labrador Retrievers of all ilk, whether they be yellow, chocolate, or black. 

            “Tedward’s” distaste for this latter mentioned breed manifested itself somewhat dramatically, and rather embarrassingly, this past weekend when he tried to attack Charlie Rose’s pet Black Lab. 

            But please, allow me to elaborate. 

            The wife, the baby, the dog (“Tedward”), and I were all at the southeast corner of Central Park, at 60th Street, just north of the golden horseman statue, when here came good old Charlie Rose with his dog in tow, headed directly toward “Tedward” for what was obviously intended as a nice friendly sniff.  Being a good dog owner with some semblance of self-awareness, this Recent Paterfamilias felt it was his responsibility to inform good old Charlie and his dog upon their approach that, should they continue their current course, this was not going to go well. 

            Apparently, Charlie had more confidence in “Tedward” than I, and he kept on coming. 

            As suspected, “Tedward” acted as promised. 

            It must be stated:  good old Charlie Rose was a good sport about the whole thing. 

            Charlie joked that, sometimes, his Lab likes to get in close to aggressive dogs, just to see how quickly he can retreat. 

            As I pointed out to good old Charlie Rose, the current expression on his Lab’s face was, “I don’t like the look of that Terrier over there.” 

            Good old Charlie, the good old sport that he is, chuckled at this. 

            I feel badly, sometimes, labeling my dear “Tedward” the Terrier as a bigot and a racist, but, the truth be told, if he didn’t act like an A-hole so much of the time, I’d probably have nicer things to say about him. 

            That being said, I don’t think I’d care for “Tedward” as much as I do if he wasn’t filled with so much feistiness, if he was instead just one of those standard, typically happy dogs, like a Golden Retriever, or a Springer Spaniel, or some stupid Black Lab who just happens to share a 5th Avenue apartment with a good old television personality.  (In all honesty, if I were “Tedward,” I probably would have attacked him, too.)

January 17, 2012

Emmet Loves his Skårt!

JUMP! Wall Art available at Skårtshop.com    
Emmet's Nursery Reveal coming on Thursday!!!

January 16, 2012

Workspaces: Studio Envy!

I'm having major studio envy and I just realized I should have put fixing up and organizing my studio on my goal list for the year.  I rented my own art studio 6 months ago and  I had grand intentions into making it THE COOLEST STUDIO EVER!!!  I got it functional and then I got busy and well....

This "envy" I speak of started in December when Etsy did a feature article on a Monorail Studio, a screen printing duo out of Texas.  They showed pictures of their studio and I was blown away.  Their studio is THE COOLEST STUDIO EVER!!!

Like me, they have two rooms: There is an office area and a printing area.  I'm sure they cleaned a little for the camera but there seems to be a place for everything.  

January 13, 2012

4 on Friday: Goals for 2012

Now that we've done our word necklaces for the year, it's time to set the goals.  I usually do a set of business and a set of personal.  Some fun, some serious but I try to make them all actionable and attainable.

 My Skårt Goals
1.  Figure out Twitter  -- I am now @theskartist --- I'm giving myself the year to figure it out and understand it.  Oh My Handmade Goodness just timed the perfect post about it, which helped me a lot. 
2. More Stores -- Last year I made my goal 10 stores.  That was too ambitious, or maybe I didn't focus enough on that aspect.  As of now my art is in two stores.  This years goal is for 4 stores.  I've decided to grow exponentially.
3. Do a Show -- The Toronto One of a Kind show was a lot of fun to do.  I didn't do a show in 2011 and I kind of missed it.  It's a great way to meet people, here and exchange ideas and also expose yourself to new clients (and maybe store owners to help achieve goal #3)
4. Refine my blogging techniques -- Last year I made it my goal to blog twice a week.  I ended up really enjoying blogging and sometimes I will blog as much as 4 or 5 times a week.  So now that I have the frequency down, I think I need to refine my content.  I have lots to share this year.  I also want to delve deeper into the blogging community.  Connect with more bloggers and maybe try out a few guest posts?  

 Personal Goals
1. Eat a Salad a Day -- I kind of said this as a joke on New Year's Eve, when we were trying to think of goals.  But you know what? It has been 13 days and I have had a Salad each and everyone one of those days.  Now I'm committed to trying.  (and we decided that Potato salad DOES count!)
2. Learn to Moon Walk --  It's a skill everyone should have. 
3. Put more intent into the way I look and dress -- This year I'm going to try and wear make up!!! (and maybe do my hair once in a while)
4. Go on an active holiday -- Whether it's a bike tour, paddle trip or a backyard backpacking hike -- I want to do an active vacation this year.
image source: moneysavingmom.com

January 12, 2012

Words & Dreams - Girls Night 2012

Every year, going on 5 years now the girls gather at the beginning of the year and make our New Year's goals and resolutions (and drink a little champagne to celebrate).  About three years ago it took on the form of picking a word to represent the New Year.  The first year we stamped our words on necklaces.  Last year we went to color me mine and painted our words on mugs.  This year we were back to necklaces, with a twist.   Last night we spelled out our words in beads using Morse Code!

This year I hosted and it was our biggest turn out to date. It seems the word is spreading (no pun intended) and everyone wants to join in the fun! My word for the year is  INTENT  After a year of fun and spontaneity it's time to buckle down and start doing things with more  of a plan and more... intent.

The greatest thing about crafting at the party is that everyone added their own unique twist to the concept.  Here a few of the other word necklaces created.

January 11, 2012

The Recent Paterfamilias On: Little Old Ladies

photo by: Lilith Ecate

            The Recent Paterfamilias is growing tired of nosy little old ladies. 

            But please, allow me to explain. 

            Perhaps it’s a New York thing, though I can hardly believe that to be the case, but little old ladies seem to feel it is their right, no, their responsibility to offer their wizened opinion upon any topic at-large.  And the topic at-large which seems to constantly hang about the neck of this Recent Paterfamilias?  Children, parenting, filial conduct, and et al. 

            Just this week, the R.P. was stopped by a little old lady, while crossing Broadway, in the middle of the crosswalk, with turning traffic oncoming, and then she’s there calling “You!  You with the dog!” and what she wants to tell me is that the baby I have strapped to my back looks uncomfortable. 

            Now, I am sure this was true.  The baby (my baby) I had strapped to my back at the time did not care for the back-born baby carrier in which she was being carried about, so, in an act of protest, to demonstrate her distaste, she had bent herself backward at the waist and as sticking straight out horizontally. 

            I did not need some little old lady to point this out to me, nor did I need her to inform me that my baby’s positioning looked unnatural.  So, this Recent Paterfamilias was polite enough to tell the old coot to mind her own business, and then I walked away. 

            On this most recent New Year’s Eve, while walking home from my in-law’s Upper East Side afternoon baby-friendly New Year’s get together, my beloved darling offspring decided to have an emotional meltdown. 

When my daughter does this (which is more often than any human would like), it sounds as if someone is shoving sharpened chopsticks under her eyelids. 

As we were passing an East 63rd Street townhouse just off of Park Avenue, the matron of said townhouse, while putting the finishing decorating touches on her courtyard (and shouldn’t she have staff for that?), turned her focus on the passing stroller which apparently held what could only be assumed by the casual observer as a screaming demon, and, with her scowl deepening, snarled, “Pick.  Her.  Up.” 

The Recent Paterfamilias thought his wife was going to explode.  The R.P. himself was polite enough to tell the old coot to mind her own business, and then I walked away. 

Nosy little old ladies also abound in my apartment building (there must be some sort of honing device in the basement), so, given that my baby and I have apparently become fixtures in the neighborhood, I have adopted a new policy:  When I am running an errand, or taking the dog out, or doing any other single little thing while the baby is being cared for by the wife of the R.P. or the baby sitter of the R.P., when any of these nosy little old ladies catches sight of me, sans child, and comes running over while letting out an exaggerated gasp and exclaiming with all the tone she can muster, “Where’s your baby?!!” I have proceeded to tell them: “Oh, I just left her upstairs to amuse herself with a book of matches and a steak knife.” 

I can’t be certain if the nosy little old ladies believe me or not, but it does serve to shut them up just long enough for me to get of the area and on with my business (which more often than not includes cleaning up dog poop and keeping said dog, let’s call him “Tedward,” from attacking some poor defenseless old Labrador Retriever with three legs, one eye, and less than a half a lease on life).  

January 10, 2012

Look at the birdie I made ... and smile!

photo by Angela Kohler
Hand cut paper bird for the commercial in Poland

January 09, 2012

Working in Poland

What a way to ring in the New Year.  At the very last minute I got a call to design a commercial for a bank IN WARSAW!!! So on Dec 27th I headed out to Poland for two weeks of work (and a little bit of fun).  

They wanted something a long the line of the Amazon Kindle stop motion commercials.  It's always a bit of a challenge going someplace where you can't speak the language.  But through detailed drawings and complex hand gestures I was able to get across what I needed the Polish set building crew to accomplish. Below are some pics from the set. 

and of course -- a picture of me goofing around on the set:

January 04, 2012

            My dog, let’s call him “Teddy,” is a bigot.  “Teddy” simply refuses to tolerate anyone (canine-wise) whomn he views as “imperfect.”  (In the interest of full disclosure, it should be noted here that my dog is a “retired” show dog—although “retired” at eight-months, when I got him, might also be termed “rejected”.)  But, in any event, should you place “Teddy” next to a dog who’s had a leg amputated, Teddy will go nuts, his bark seemingly and quite obviously saying, “There’s something wrong with you!”  Should you put him next to a dog who requires a rear-mounted set of wheels in order to get around, you’ll find Teddy there beside you screaming, in his doggy way, “There’s something wrong with you!”  Position him before an old guy, just dawdling along, just trying to be left alone to do his business—“There’s something wrong with you!”  A blind dog, a scarred dog, a burned dog, a dog missing an ear—and there Teddy is, saying, “There’s something wrong with you!”

            And then the unthinkable happened.  “Teddy” developed a limp.  He limped along to the vet for an emergency appointment.  He limped to the back of the office where exams were given, x-rays were taken, diagnoses were offered.  And the diagnosis was?  “He sprained his toe.”  The doctor actually laughed a little as she said it. 

            A sprained toe?  To see him hobbling around, one would think he’d broken his leg.  In four places. 

            Oh no.  His worst nightmare has happened.  The previously perfect individual has unwittingly joined the ranks of the imperfect, the undesirable, the untouchable.

            As an incurably curious person, I had to wonder how he’d react. 

            Turns out:  not great. 

            Turns out:  “Teddy” doesn’t know the canine word for empathy. 

            Even with his “injury,” there he is, hobbling along, trying to attack the blind and the legless and the wheelers.  And he has it against Welsh Corgis now, too.  Maybe it’s because they’re short.  Or maybe it’s because they look like they’re made up of leftover dog parts.  But for whatever reason, gimping along the sidewalk, “Teddy” will go after Corgis now, too. 

            I’m beginning to wonder if “Teddy” will ever grow out of this (his aggression and general douchebaggery, not his limp).  I’m also beginning to believe that he won’t.  But limp or no limp, douchebaggery or not, he’s still my dog and I’ll love him all the same.  But, it must be admitted, for the foreseeable future, it would probably be prudent of me to keep an eye out and, after spotting a disabled canine of any sort, drag my dear “Teddy” off of the sidewalk and into the middle of the street, risking going head-to-head with oncoming traffic, for there is very little to envy about being the guy with the crazy dog that’s trying to attack the blind, three-legged Cockapoo.  Nobody wants to be that guy.  Particularly your own loyal Recent Paterfamilias.  

January 02, 2012

2012 ... Now What?!!!

Ushering in the New Year in the Main Market Square, Krakow, Poland