Monday, December 15, 2014

Eastside SDA and VALA

Have you stopped by VALA at Redmond Town Center?  So cool!  

VALA has various kinds of artwork in various stages available for viewing.  Often an artist (or 2 or 3) will be present to answer questions and demonstrate their craft.

VALA's goal is: Connecting artists to artists, artists to the community, and the community to art.   They are offering some pretty great opportunities to artists!!
Today was my first visit and I learned a LOT!  I enjoyed it so much, that I am seriously considering volunteering there!! 

I visited VALA today, because the Eastside SDA (Surface Design Association) met there (another fine group!!).   The SDA mission is: To promote awareness and appreciation of textile-inspired art and design through member-supported benefits including publications, exhibitions and conferences. 

What is surface design?

Surface design encompasses the coloring, patterning and structuring of any fiber and fabric. This involves creative exploration of processes such as dyeing, painting, printing, stitching, embellishing, quilting, weaving, knotting, felting and paper making.

 Their meetings offer great insight to emerging artists as well as established artists.  I'm looking forward to membership (and to their wonderful magazines!!).

I am learning SOOO much - I LOVE IT!! (and wow do I have a lot to learn!).

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

What do closet organizers, wire egg carriers, a baker's rack, closet doors, and bread boxes have in common?

The beginning of the remodel
What do closet organizers, wire egg carriers, a baker's rack, closet doors, and bread boxes have in common?  Well nothing really - but to me they are all the PERFECT (and inexpensive!) items to help me with remodeling my daughter's old toy room, into a lovely, new Arts & Crafts room! And all has been done with recycled, up-cycled, & re-purposed items!!

The room is SMALL (like 9 & 1/2 feet by 8 & 1/4 feet) with a small amount of extra space next to built-out closet, so creating usable space and lots of storage was essential!

I had little money to work with and for the most part, used things I had or things I found for cheap at thrift and salvage stores. 

In the pictures above, you can see:
  • A wooden hutch (to the left) I found at a garage sale 2 years ago for $20 (and had been part of the toy room).  
  • A metal, rolling cart I found at goodwill for $10.   
  • A mahogany chair from my dining room set (since I only have a dining "area" and I don't have room for all the chairs, I am using 2 in the new room).
  • A baker's rack that I've had for over 20 years (and was bought on clearance then). This is not only being used for storage, but is also acting as a table support.
  • a stack of craft-room organizers (which I love, and received as a birthday gift several years ago)
  • 2 hollow, wooden, closet doors (one I had bought at a garage sale last year, for $3... and one I bought at a salvage store for $7)  
  • on top of the closet doors you can see part of a closet organizer which I turned on it's side along with it's friend and made an L-shape that mimics the L-shape of the 2 closet doors.
  • Short bookcases act as table supports
  • And I found a table-leg (which I had to cut down slightly to act as an additional support for one of the closet-door/tabletops).
The new view into the room
Love the white, desk-organizer - it's vintage too!

Most of the baskets are Goodwill finds, although I did spend $1.50 each on the little card cabinets which I got at Daiso (a fabulous Japanese dollar store!!!)
I decided (with the help of my daughter) upon a color scheme of cremes & whites, with mocha walls and dark mocha tabletops.  And my daughter's favorite (current) color is aqua so we added pops of aquas and teals to bring the space to life.  Did you notice the rolling cart is now teal?  As are the egg crates, various wire and wicker baskets, and a bunch of little tea tins (which will hold office supplies).

Wire egg crates for garbage and paper recycling
we even found a way to mount the mirror.

The white box is a vintage bread box with a shelf inside
We have a mirror that we have no other place for (and REALLY wanted to be able to continue to use) - so we even found a place for that.  Plus the sliding, closet door makes a great location for a memo board!

I have glass votive holders and vases which will hold water for watercolor painting.  I am using my mother's old floral frogs (plus a few I purchased at flea markets) for holding paintbrushes and possibly some writing utensils, and the metal, aqua box on top of the bread box will be holding some new art-markers (when I get the chance to buy some). 

The new fabric for the chairs.

It's not quite done (I still need to paint the chairs & hutch cream, and recover the chairs with new fabric (yes, I did splurge a tiny bit there... but still used a coupon and got it for $3/yard) - but overall ... we LOVE it!!!

Just to be honest about what I did buy for this remodel:
  • The 4 little card cabinets
  • 2 wire baskets to act as shelves and hold my stickles glues (which I is one of my favorite embellishments EVER!!)
  • Fabric for the chairs (dining area and craft room)
  • Wooden crate (painted cream and added casters)
  • LED under-the-cabinet lights from IKEA (how did I ever manage before them?)
  • Paint - teals & aqua's (spray paints for the metal objects, and a couple of sample-sizes for other objects)
The rest was either all bought at thrift stores, or I shopped for in other rooms of my house.  Not bad at all!!!  This little room is holding all of my arts and crafts supplies (except sewing), my daughter's art supplies, my scrapbook supplies, and still has enough room for my daughter to store her school supplies and backpack.  She likes it so much that she is now using it to do her homework in (without being told to)!

I've already started working on my scrap-booking (which I've managed to put off for the last 4 years).  I'm so happy to have a beautiful (and warm) place to work in!  

Unfortunately for my poor hubby, it's motivating me to see what other rooms I can "fix". hehehehehe. 
Wish me luck - and let me know what ya think!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Success at the 2014 Sammamish Arts Fair

My booth at the 2014 Sammamish Arts Fair

I had SUCH a good time at the 2014 Sammamish Arts Fair last weekend!!

I sold several paintings, a bunch of cards, and a ton of bookmarks - which is thrilling... but I had even more fun letting people play with silk painting.  The kids (of course) loved it, and so did the adults!!  It was so much fun! 

I've had quite a few people ask me if I offer classes and I've been seriously considering it for a while.  Sadly, my home is not large enough for classes.   However, I would be happy to bring the supplies to a different location. If you're interested, please email me at 

Thanks to all who stopped by!!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

2014 Sammamish Arts Fair Is Happening Soon!

It's less than a week out - the 2014 Sammamish Arts Fair!

I'm so excited about this opportunity!!  I'm working on a new project of flower quads (a big
flower broken into 4 quadrants which can hang together to make a big flower or separately as a single panel showing 1/4 of the flower).  I've finished 2 pieces and am working feverishly to finish the other 2 (or more).  I'm also hoping to get some holiday cards made, bookmarks, and a few other new paintings to show. 

In the mean time, all of us artists have been busy creating our video selfies (omg I never thought I'd be doing that!) which are now posted on the Sammamish Arts Fair website and Youtube.  And we're all collaborating on an interactive percussion tube-set which will be hanging outside for everyone to play with during the fair.  It sounds like it's going to be a lot of fun!!
I hope you stop by and see me!  I'll be inside the main hallway by the entrance to city hall and will be demoing silk painting - I'll even have samples for people to try their own hand at silk painting!

The Sammamish Arts Fair is going on next weekend, October 10th and 11th.  From 10am - 5pm both days.  It is located at Sammamish City Hall, Sammamish City Hall, 801 228th Ave. SE, Sammamish, WA 98075.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

SOLD! Iris in Blue and lessons in shipping to Australia

SOLD! Iris in Blue
I am so thrilled - I've sold another silk painting!  This time it was through my new Etsy store - and to a lovely woman in Australia. She chose to purchase my Iris in Blue painting (which is one of my personal favorites).  

This painting was done using Serti techniques combined with the MS (Magic Sizing) technique and is one of the first I had done combining the two techniques.  I really had fun playing with the colors and it's almost like having to let a favorite pet go --- part of me doesn't want to say goodbye!  But mostly I'm just so thrilled to have someone want my artwork!!!!

I must say that shipping to Australia is quite an interesting process and I've learned quite a bit!  For those that are interested, shipping fees are cheapest through the United States Postal Service, and the most expensive through Fedex (although UPS is a close 2nd!).  Fedex was going to charge over $300 dollars JUST FOR SHIPPING!!  holey moley!  And UPS was charging in the high $200's!  Wowza!
I had gotten a quote from USPS online (love that site!) and they were only going to charge $30 plus another $14 for registered mail.  SO after talking to Fedex and UPS in person, I decided perhaps I should talk to USPS in person too (just in case I made a mistake on their website - which I have done before!).  So after taking my artwork, some packing, and the box in to the USPS office - it turns out that their online price was correct!  For less than $50 I could send my package to Australia through USPS.  Interestingly, the USPS website states that the package will be transferred to Fedex to complete the shipping in Australia (yet shipping direct through Fedex is the MOST expensive option)...things that make you go hmmmm.

So my advice to those that are considering shipping anywhere international is to GO to the various offices in person, with your package (fully packed) in hand.  The rates vary vastly.  And one more piece of advice - make sure they handle ALL customs paperwork and fees!  Some countries have some nasty surprises fee-wise.  And that is not a nice thing to saddle the customer with!  USPS handed me the correct forms and told me what I needed to do.  Thanks USPS!!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Etsy Store Launch for Rebecca Wachtman Art

I am excited to announce that I am launching an Etsy store to sell my artwork! 

The store name will be:  RebeccaWachtmanArt

In it, I will (of course) be listing my artwork - which are all original pieces of my artwork. 

Digital prints will remain available on

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sammamish Nights

My side of the booth

I had a blast last night - thanks to all my friends and customers who stopped by my booth last night!!

Last night was Sammamish Nights - which is a wine and food tasting event in Sammamish, Washington.  There were a variety of food and drink vendors there - plus artists from the Sammamish Art Fair were invited to attend and exhibit (including yours truly!).

Some of the other artist booths
Not only was there wine and food (which us lucky artists got to enjoy without cost!), but there was a fabulous band to listen to and after dark (and a lot of alcohol), many people got out on the floor and had a blast dancing.

This event was a chance for the artists to show some of the work that will be seen at the Sammamish Art Fair in October (October 11th and 12th from 10am to 5pm).  It's going to be a lot of fun with a wide variety of gorgeous artwork!  Hope to see you there!!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Port Orchard Historic Home & Garden Tour with an Art Twist

I'm so excited about this coming Saturday! I've been invited to participate as an artist "en plein air".  I will be displaying some of my artwork, cards, and bookmarks, as well as actively working on silk paintings.  I'll even have some silk scraps for people to try their own hand at silk painting if they want.  

My understanding is that the historic homes and gardens will each have an exhibiting artist painting "en plein air" plus there will be art quilts on display at each location as well.  I'm excited to be participating but a bit jealous because I won't have time to actually do the tour myself!

Tickets are available through the Sidney Museum and Art Gallery and are $25/person.  They can be purchased ahead of time - or the day of the event ...which is this coming Saturday the 26th from 10am - 4pm.   The tickets also include a tour of the historic downtown district on Sunday the 27th from Noon - 4pm ...and that also includes the Mustangs on the Bay car-show which will be held along the waterfront. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

July 11th Issaquah Artwalk is today! Plus Silk Bookmark Tutorial.

Hi All!!

I wanted to remind everyone that today is the Issaquah Artwalk from 6-9pm.  There will be live bands, a variety of foods and craft items to purchase - along with the art of course!

Here is a small pile of the painted silk scraps I have

I'm busy getting my paintings ready to show and I'm also experimenting with other ways to use my silk.  I end up with a lot of painted scraps which are quite pretty but very small.  Some I've turned into greeting cards (and I keep using them for gifts so I don't have any to sell), but I have a bunch of even smaller scraps and it's taken me a while, but I finally realized that I can make bookmarks out of them.

The scraps cut into bookmark-width strips

My scraps can be left over from edges of paintings, or torn up paintings that I didn't like, or even my test-strips where I paint samples of the dye to make sure my colors are correct before I put them on my actual paintings.
 So my steps are as follows:
  1. Use MS-Publisher to create bookmarks (I printed my artist logo and name plus contact info on one side and left the other side blank for gluing the silk to)
  2. I ended up with 5 bookmarks per sheet of card stock which I then cut into bookmarks
  3. I cut/tore the silk scraps into bookmark widths
  4. I mounted the silk onto the back-side of the bookmarks.  
  5. I punched a hole at the top
  6. I happened to have silk ribbons left over from a different project which I then added to the top through the hole.  
  7. I added a dab of glue to the base of the ribbons to make sure they didn't slip out (silk tends to come untied!)

I rather like how the bookmarks turned out.  I have a LOT more scraps.. but this was a good start.   I am also toying with using the scraps to decoupage the cover of an art journal... but I haven't done that yet.

Ok back to work!
See you at the Artwalk!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

July 2014 Issaquah Art Walk and Other News

My daughter getting ready to put the shot

It's quite a week for me.  Just got back from the PNW Regional Junior Olympics held in Spokane where I got to watch my daughter throw in 3 different events.  So proud of my girl!  Sorry but I can't resist putting a picture of her in here!   LOVE YOU DAUGHTER!!!

 Now that we're back, it's time for me to gear up for the various art functions I'm going to be a part of this summer and fall.

A view from the ferry 1

This week, I will be in the Issaquah Artwalk (on July 11th, from 6-9pm) - so I'm busily finishing up a few more silk paintings to show.    I touched up the landscapes I did a while ago... now the mountains look more like I wanted them to.

 Plus I mounted The Crocuses.  And I'm working on yet another 2 (or 3 or 4) silk paintings which I may or may not get done in time.  :) As if that's not enough fun, tomorrow is the first meeting for this year's Sammamish Art Fair and Sammamish Nights - so excited about that!!  If you're interested in more information, please see the website: then Thursday, I am meeting with Pam (the curator for the Sydney Art Gallery in Port Orchard).  She's going to show me the garden where I'll be demonstrating my art and artwork during their Port Orchard Historic Home & Garden Tour on July 26th from 10-4pm and July 27th 12-4pm (tickets are $25/person if you're interested).  I'm so honored and excited to be a part of this tour!!  For more information or for tickets, please see the website:

So much going on - can't wait to see how it all ends up!!
Hope to see you at some of the events!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

2014 Sammamish Art Fair and 2014 Sammamish Nights

And, I'm so pleased to be able to announce that I have been selected to participate in the 2014 Sammamish Art Fair (10am-5pm on Saturday the 11th of October and 10am-5pm on Sunday the 12th of October) 


AND I am also going to be in the 2014 Sammamish Nights celebration (6-9:30pm on Saturday, August 9th)! 

I'm honored and excited... and I hope to see you there as well! Both events  sound like they're going to be a lot of fun - and with some really great artists!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The first 2014 Issaquah Artwalk - follow-up

My setup under my canopy - can you see the sloping grass?

I had such a good time at last Friday's Issaquah Artwalk!!  It was GORGEOUS weather - sunny but not hot.  So nice!!!!  

I had a great location - right out front - and even had room for my canopy (I just forgot to look at the ground before I chose a spot!... so it was more than a little sloped -oopsy)

My wicker folding screen.  Perhaps a bit too busy for a backdrop?

I had the chance to try out a new idea I had for displaying my art.  I found a fun, vintage wicker folding screen a few months ago.  It was a bit dirty and missing some paint.  I simply cleaned it off and spray-painted the heck out of it (4 cans and still could do more!).  But it was fun to use as a background for my artwork.  I'm not sure I'll use it next time, but it was definitely unique!

My art easel and wooden crate

 I also brought an easel and a wooden crate (which I used to carry my artwork as well as propping up my artwork).  I think I will probably paint the easel white.  I'm not sure about the crate.

We had a FABULOUS turnout for the Artwalk!  Thank you to all the people that stopped in to see my artwork and chat!  It was a lot of fun and I look forward to next month's Artwalk on July 11th!  Hope to see you there!!


Saturday, May 24, 2014

2014 Northwest Folklife Festival Seattle

If you haven't had the chance (and you're in the area), you should head over to the 2014 Northwest Folklife Festival at the Seattle Center!  Today we did a Fiber Arts flash mob and it was a blast!

Some of the various Fiber Artists

We sat up near the beer garden entrance on Fisher Green at 3pm and practiced our various Fiber Art forms until 3:45.

A partial view of Fisher Green

The music was great, the food was tasty, the artists had fun, and we had quite a few people take pictures and ask questions.

Folk Life  continues on through Memorial Day Weekend... stop in if you get the chance (I'd take a bus though - parking was a pain, AND expensive!). 

My setup -yes, I'm working on another set of dandelion puffs to make into cards later

Decisions about what to paint.

Do you have challenges deciding what to paint?  I sure do! I have SOOOO many things I want to paint, it's hard for me to pick just one or two (because I certainly can't paint more than that at one time!).  

This month I've been experimenting with technique while trying to get ready to show at the first Issaquah Artwalk on June 6th, 2014.  I'm hoping to get another 2-4 paintings done in the next 2 weeks, but I'm dithering about what to paint I'll be lucky to get a couple done!

My latest paintings include my Dandelion series and an Iris.  For the dandelions, I wanted to try doing some silhouettes so I could mainly play with background colors.. but ended up painting in the silhouettes rather than leaving them as a black or white image with color all around.  I like how they turned out - but the results are not what I was originally going for.  It will be interesting to see how they really look once they are steamed.   I've done 2 different paintings and a bunch of strips which I'm going to (probably) cut into sections and mount on cards. All of these are (of course) painted upon recycled silk!

My first dandelion painting is Evening Weeds & Wishes done with the idea of the setting sun in mind.  I was mainly playing with dribbling colors and then tipping the painting and moving it around to produce blended colors for the background.  I liked the result and thought the greens looked somewhat like other plants in the background.
Evening Weeds & Wishes. Jacquard Dyes, Resistad, 9"x12"
My 2nd dandelion painting Morning's Gentle Wishes, was done with a similar paint-dribbling technique for the background - but enhanced to make the greens appear more like plants and flowers.  In this painting, the sky is a more typical soft blue of a typical misty morning in the pacific northwest.
Morning's Gentle Wishes
These are just simple dandelion puffs that I drew on with resists so I could play with blending colors.  I will probably cut them up and use the pieces for making greeting cards.  I do like the way they looked and may decide to mount one or two as paintings. 

Dandelion Puffs for cards

My other idea I wanted to try -  was to accurately paint an iris.  Ironically, once I started on the painting, I lost the reference photo.  So I cobbled together other photos to use as references.  Once I was done, I found my reference photo (of course)...and it was NOT what I remembered.  The flower in the picture was red and my color-scheme is yellow and purple.  So I am pretty sure that my painted flower does not exist on earth as I've colored it... but I'm still pleased with how it turned out.   Again, this is not yet steamed, so I am unsure exactly how the colors will appear once it has been steamed.  In this painting, I was experimenting with how dye-set can be used to set colors while still painting.  So I'm unsure how much detail will be retained or lost once steamed. I'll post pictures when it's done and mounted.   This iris will be mounted on a 12"x12" canvas.

Yellow & Purple Iris, Jacquard Dyes, Dyeset, Resistad, 12"x12"
I'll post follow-up pictures to compare the before and after steaming. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Honorable Mention Ribbon in the 2014 Helen Norris Open Art Show

My Silk Painting - Goldfinch in Breeding Plumage ($135)
I'm pleased to announce that my silk painting of  Goldfinch in Breeding Plumage received an honorable mention ribbon in the 2014 Helen Norris Open Art Show at the Sidney Museum and Art Gallery!  I had a fabulous time at the reception and met a bunch of wonderful artists!!  The artwork from the contest will be on display at the Sidney Museum and Art Gallery through the month of May.  If you get the chance, stop by and vote for your favorite entrant (trust me there are some incredibly talented artists showing their work!!).

Thank you so much for all of your support, and I'm looking forward to seeing you at my next big event, the 2014 Issaquah Artwalk! (I'll post more about that, when I receive the final details!).

Just a few of the entrants from the Helen Norris Open Art Show (this shows some of the Mixed Media group)

Friday, May 2, 2014

My Art Is Now On Fine Art America

I am happy to announce that I now have an account on Fine Art America and will have a limited number of prints available for purchase through them.  They have an amazing variety of prints (not just mine) available for purchase. 

They offer a wide variety of sizes and can create your desired print(s) on paper, canvas, metal, acrylic, cards, and even cell phone cases!  How fun is that?

Ok back to work - my next project is an Iris.  Check back later to see the results!