Wednesday, July 30, 2008

some things are just not meant to be

After all that build up for a second Etsy shop, I've decided to close it for now. I've removed all of my inventory, and I'm going to keep it in case I get the urge to make something different that fits that description. The paintings that I made are all going to eBay to find new homes.

Although I got a lot of hearts and views from PureDecor, there wasn't a single bite. And I understand why. LiveFunky as a name has a history and reputation on the site. PureDecor was just a baby in a sea of tons of talented newborns. I've seen the success of some artists that find a sort of system of production for contemporary decorative art and I wanted to try my hand at it. I am happy I did and I gave the idea a real go, because otherwise, I'd continue thinking "I could do that". It may be true, but it doesn't mean I can do it really well, and it doesn't mean that it will be a really popular product. I'm good at what I do and that's creating intuitive, one of a kind, abstract art. Why screw with what you know works?

Part of me is blushing thinking of all of my steps back and forth on this journey documented in this blog. The tangents of big plans and then a few weeks later the "oops, actually THIS is what's going to happen" update. But hey, it's the truth. Each change of plan offers lessons to learn along the way and unforseen opportunities. In the case of PureDecor, the Etsy shop of originals didn't work out, but my PureDecor Zazzle shop was a success. You just never know!

You can see all of my eBay auctions here

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Funfest in Boston

Ladies night out, originally uploaded by livefunky.

Here's a picture of me and the ladies on "our" boat (we wish!). We stayed on this masterpiece of a vessel thanks to our friend's boyfriend who is on the crew. So much fun just soaking in the sun, dunking our feet in the water off the dock, talking, laughing and making up dances like we were 16 again. Not to mention the incredible food and *ahem* beverages that were enjoyed. I am so thankful that our bond has continued and grown through the years. This is our third yearly gathering and I'm already dreaming of plans for next year. Much love to Jill, Jess, Nicole and Chrissy - you are the greatest.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

She has wings and she can fly

Here is my lady with extra layers of paper mache.

And here she is with a hair cut and a little bit of gutting the junk in her trunk - which was all filler for an otherwise firm form. Scissors are a dangerous tool for me when it comes to this sculpture - it relates to many really bad home made haircuts like chisels chipping away at my plaster sculptures - once it's gone, it's gone. I tried to be conservative. Once I get back from my little vacation, I'm going to paint her and REALLY give her life.

As for this vacation, I am beyond excited, I'm just about jumping out of my skin. My girlfriends from the way back machine and I are getting together in Boston. I'll be back on Monday when I'll ship whatever I need to out, keep working on my sculpture prototype and bask in the glow of having been with the best of friends. If I ever complain about life, slap me, because right now, I know I got it good.

First Armature: A Woman Emerging

We'll see where this soul sister goes and grows, with new layers of paper and paste, and paint and everything else. I'm thinking in 3D - this should be interesting...

stayed tuned.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Art of Cooking 1 - Garlic Lemon Tilapia

Hello my creative friends! Today was a good day, lots of beautiful sunshine and a sweet breeze in the air. I went to the market with fish in mind for our dinner, and found these beautiful tilapia fillets that were calling my name. I have my favorite Cajun dry rub that I usually use with fish, but once I got home, I thought I'd go looking around the web for some good tilapia recipes.

First I found this recipe for Sautéed Tilapia with White Wine & Lemon Sauce. It sounded delightful, but I didn't have any shallots. I looked around for an onion, but I was all out. I did have some garlic though, and I wondered how that would fare with the other ingredients instead of shallots. So I did what I always do when I'd like a second opinion - I turn to the Etsy forums!

I started this thread in Etc. asking the community what they thought. I got some great suggestions and advice, and though I think the recipe would work ok for us (being garlic lovers), it would have done the recipe a disservice as the shallots mellow flavor compliments the other ingredients and the garlic would end up really dominating the dish. I went back to the grindstone looking for a new recipe with these search words: garlic, lemon, tilapia. That's when I found this recipe for Lemon Garlic Tilapia. One of the reviewers on had some great suggestions for slightly altering the recipe for the best results. I took a little bit of the original, a little bit of the suggestions, and made a few alterations of my own.

Considering how loaded with garlic this ended up being, I've changed the name to Garlic Lemon Tilapia! A very helpful Etsian from the Etsy thread, inediblejewelry, suggested that I take a picture of the finished dish. I decided to photograph the whole process and it was so much fun! I think I'm going to make this a regular thing. Maybe once a week or every other week I can do a new "Art of Cooking" post to share new recipes. I'd really like to challenge myself when it comes to cooking. I've got my old standards that are wearing a little thin these days, and there's just too many great dishes out there to not try new things. It's fun to share my findings with others, but I also really like that I can refer back to these posts to remember my favorite (and least favorite) new dishes and how I made them.

Now, onto making Garlic Lemon Tilapia!

I began with four fillets of tilapia. You'll also need 1 lemon, butter, non stick cooking spray (probably not essential), garlic, salt, pepper, and parsley if you've got it (fresh is best!).

First I washed the fillets and patted them dry with a paper towel, then put them in a baking dish sprayed with non stick cooking oil. Salt and ground pepper those bad boys.

Meanwhile, I melted about 5 tablespoons of butter (which is a lot more than the recipe called for based on the reviewer's recommendation) on very low heat in this small pot. I minced 3 large cloves of garlic (like I said, we aren't afraid of garlic!) and tossed them into the melted butter. I just wanted the garlic to cook long enough to get soft. There's nothing worse than burnt garlic, so I stirred this pretty constantly for a few minutes until it looked like this - the little bubbles surrounding each chunk of garlic releasing that amazing aroma.

This picture is terrible, but the next step was to squeeze the full lemon into a measuring cup, take out the seeds, then pour over the fish. Then I poured the butter/garlic mixture over the fish and it was ready to go into the oven, pre heated to 400 degrees. (I should add, I was down to the bottom of a jar of dried parsley I sprinkled on top, that on second thought, I shouldn't have even bothered with - unless it's fresh parsley, I wouldn't bother). In about ten minutes it was done!

And here is the finished dish, complete with a glass of chilled white wine, summer squash, and steamed spinach with balsamic vinegar. Even though it was loaded with garlic, it wasn't overwhelming and the lemon flavor was perfectly balanced with the buttery garlic goodness.

I will definitely be making this again. Next time I think I'll reduce the butter to just 4 tablespoons and I'll have fresh parsley on hand. Other than that, I don't think I'd change a thing!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Reuniting with eBay

Here's Looking At You - original ink and crayon ACEO by Jessica Torrant, 2006
Now available at - search "Torrant" to find all of my current auctions.

Ok, I know. I broke up with eBay two years ago, what am I doing going back now? Well, as I was fishing around on the Etsy forums (lurking like I often do) I came across a thread (one of the thousands) about not underselling your work. The very reason I love Etsy is the reason why this whole summer sale thing might not be such a good fit there. In general, the Etsy community of buyers and sellers expect quality and prices reflect that. There's a wariness of lower prices - "Is the seller desperate? That's not a good sign." "Is the work sub par? It must be at that price." My whole plan is to unveil a new body of work with higher prices. I wouldn't want that transition to be a real shock going from unusually low prices to unusually high prices. So, I decided to take some of my older work that I don't have on Etsy and list it on eBay. eBay buyers are excited to get bargains - that's part of the fun of it! I'm going to see how these listings go and if they are worth my while. If so, I'm going to keep slowly chipping away at my older work, listing it on eBay. I'll keep you all in touch if I do.

In the meantime, the wheels are spinning thinking about my new collection. I can't wait to get started! Soon.... first I need to max out this summer sale, then I need to set my studio up JUST SO for a prime working space. Good times!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

A blast from the past

Pour Your Heart Out To Me - currently available at

This is an older abstract I made in 1999/2000 that I've just listed in my Etsy shop in my summer clearance sale. Looking at this painting, all of the emotions and energy of that era come flooding back to me. Soul searching, confused, curious, passionate, questioning everything under the sun, trying to define myself, my love, the love of others. I guess I'm still doing all of those things to a certain extent but it certainly isn't my "full time job" anymore! Comparing now and then, I feel like I'm more comfortable in the present moment. Just being. Less bouncing off of my own internal walls constantly. Ahhhhh - what a relief!

Speaking of the present moment, I'm still plotting and planning away for my autumn unveiling of more streamlined shops and product lines. It's fun getting all of your ideas out there, then shuffling through them and making sense of them from a "big picture" perspective. It's an artform in itself. What are you currently working on?

(happy 4th of July if I don't post again for a few days!)