Cola's Cottage

Please visit me at . We specialize in romantic art of roses and children, and handmade vintage style decor. We also offer vintage finds and apparel.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fall is Here

BRRRR!!!  Fall is definitely here!  It got below freezing last night and the leaves should be turning soon.  In Minnesota we go from 80 degrees last week to mid 40's this week.  This weekend was beautiful and we were able to get the yard ready for winter.  Now I just need to tackle the house! 

Since the kids have been back in school I have been so productive.  I wake up every morning ready to tackle the world.  Before my eyes even open my mind is thinking of what I will be doing that day.  What a blessing to be excited to go to work.  The only complaint that I could have is feeling like there is not enough time in the day to do all that I want to do.

I wanted to show you a painting that I created for my new friend Amy.  Her blog Bunny Rose Cottage is a delight and I invite you to visit her : )  It was so neat to meet someone who has the same passions as me.  She also told me of a wonderful blog by Heather called Pretty Petals.  She is hosting a journal making workshop.  I love her journals and the beautiful ephemera that she creates with.  Both Amy and Heather have a way of talking to you straight from the heart and inviting you into their world.

I was very pleased with my roses after not having done them for quite a long time.  I have been so busy with my sales this summer at the flea market that it left no room for painting.  Soon I will be sharing my newest painting that I am making for pendants and small prints.  It is a picture of my mom holding me when I was four months old.  I treasure that picture and I hope that I can do it justice!  My mom has no idea (unless she is reading this now lol!) and I hope to surprise her with it : ) 

Blessings ~ Nichole

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Finished portraits

Hi there ~ I have been quite busy since my last post. I have been working in the studio catching up on my custom work that has been put off over the busy summer. I know so many talented women who have shops like me and they are so gifted at what they do. It always amazes me how they can create, advertise, list their products and keep up with all that a business entails! I keep myself busy and work hard but I struggle with the business part of it. When it comes to creating though, there is no problem. I could loose hours painting, drawing, cutting, glueing, glittering and bejeweling hehe! I love it and it is a true passion! Of course Iam a perfectionist to a fault and always look at something that should be changed but that is what makes a good artist, striving to do better. I have found that there is always something to learn, and mistakes do happen. Sometimes they are happy mistakes and other times you have to just scrap it and start over.

This painting below was painted for a customer of mine. She has become a very good friend, something I love about this business. It is a portrait of her sister, which will be given as a gift. The original was black and white which was a challenge for me. I had to add color where there was none. So the perfectionist that I am had to overcome painting what I saw, and what should be painted.

This painting was definetely a learning experience! I struggled with color because I had none to judge it by. In the end it turned out well and my customer was pleased. I cannot wait to hear what her sister says when she gives it to her.

Below is a portrait I completed yesterday. It is a colored pencil portrait. It was done for a wonderful talented business lady and mother of two wonderful boys. A while back I was commissioned to do her oldest son, and between busy schedules and finding the right pictures it was delayed. After the birth of her second son we decided to do a portrait of both boys. She was brave enough to let me choose a picture from a group of shots. I choose this one out of the many because it captures a moment in time. The sentiment is so precious of big brother gazing down at his new baby brother and giving him a kiss.

I wish that I was able to take a better photo, but lighting and glare from the color pencil makes it hard. The original is not as dark and the skin tones are much brighter.

So now that I have these done and one more custom painting to do today, I can begin on some of my own projects. I cannot wait to continue to make note cards, journal and tags. I love the freedom of altered art. As you can see above, portraiture is exact, and sometimes taxing. But when I am able to take my paintings and incorporate it into other forms of mixed media then it feels like playing. There is a freedom in it and I get lost in the process. I finally feel like I am becoming the artist I want to be, and what is great is that I know it will keep changing and getting better. I thank God for His blessings, and giving me this crazy creative mind. I love that I can see things differently and see potential out of something that I can create. I love taking something from the past and giving it new life.

My biggest new venture will be making pendant jewelry with my art. I have never soldered before and I will be getting a new soldering iron tomorrow. I am so excited, and I hope that I can do it well. It is the perfect artform for me because it is wearable art in a perfect little frame! I hope soon I will be able to show you some! I have a lot of new paintings to work on and some that I have to finish. Thanks for letting me share with you : )

Blessings ~ Nichole

Friday, September 11, 2009

Hi there ~ as I sit here, I am trying to draw some inspiration to write and I am struggling with how to begin. It may have something to do with an active, restless mind the last few nights. I am so excited about some new projects that I dream about creating it all night long! This desire is so strong I feel like it is bubbling up inside of me ready to explode if I cannot do it. What a blessing from God to have this passion, I am so grateful. It is not always easy, and it is long hard work sometimes, but it is very gratifying. I find it hard to tear myself away and I get lost in the process.

When I began my business, I was painting roses on vintage pieces. I love roses and making an old treasured everyday item beautiful with paint. I still love to do that but my passion for vintage has broadened. I have found a new love in altered art. It started by finding a Somerset magazine. I love all of there publications. Creating with mixed media, papers, ephemera, jewelry bits and baubles, vintage textiles, words and art....I am in love!! The fact that I can infuse my own art into these pieces is what fulfills my desire. I can express myself in so many ways, with different media.

Below are some tags that I created using my art and vintage jewelry, buttons, lace, and glass glitter etc. The possibilities are endless and no two pieces are the same.

I love this piece of altered art that I created with a print of my daughter that I painted. I could create like this all day long. I love old keys with the rust and tarnish, and to add pretty vintage lace, the juxtaposition is beautiful.

This piece is a vintage jewelry box that I embellished. I love the saying and the picture I drew of my sister as a baby with angel wings is befitting. I then painted roses to tie the image together.

I have so many plans to paint more signs like the one below. I love to paint roses. Words are beautiful too and they are inspiration and a reflection of oneself. It evokes feelings and brings joy. I am excited to get back to making more soon. With the kids in school again and my summer sales behind me I hope to have more time to devote to painting signs again.

Another new love I have found is embellishing vintage jars! These are so much fun to do!!

Lastly I wanted to share two pictures I took. The one below is a rose that I wanted to take for reference. I was trying to take a picture of the petals with the light shining through and I was happy to see how it turned out.

This is the view from my back yard. I love this time of year when the air getts cooler and the river bed behind our place has a beautiful mist every morning. The picture does not do justice for the beauty of it. One day we will build our dream house (we live in our garage) and this will be our view from our back porch.

Thanks for visiting, and I look forward to hearing from you! It brings me much joy to share and hear your comments.
Many blessings! ~ Nichole

Friday, September 4, 2009

A look back...

Hi there ~ it is hard to believe that summer is coming to an end! I love the change of seasons and the crispness in the air. The suns rays are less harsh and it casts lovely light and shadows. I always get nostolgic and reminiscent this time of year. The garden season is coming to an end and it is time to put the gardens to rest for the winter. I always have this intense desire to clean house and get ready for a long winter. It must be that nesting instinct LOL!

Well it was a full summer and I had a lot of wonderful shows, beginning with my June sale in my studio. Below are some pictures of it.

These colors are so much fun. I love greens and blues with white furniture. I change the studio for every sale and for the last two I haven't been able to repaint these walls. I love the green. I think I may keep it for a while : )

I love this picture! I love the old bike and the shadows that are cast. My daisies were in full bloom.
My latest sales have been at a wonderful flea market in Detroit Lakes. It is called Shady Hollow and we were lucky enough to rent a building for the month of August. It has been exciting and fun. My friend Tracy and I have been selling our treasures together for years and having a building at this wonderful venue has been a gift.
Below are some pictures of our shop. It changes every weekend as we sell and move things around to create a new atmosphere every time.

Our building is a wonderfully old wood structure with a neat front porch. The window boxes are fun to set up displays on. Our items for sale are shabby chic, repurposed and painted furniture, vintage clothing and antiques. I have been creating new and fun altered art. I have found a new passion for old jars, paper, ribbon, buttons, and jewelry. I have had so much fun it should be a sin! I can get lost for hours with these unique finds and creating with them. Even the tinies thing such as a gift tag or little embellished jar can be a beautiful peice of art.

Our shabby, romantic decor looks great against the dark wood walls.

I wish I could share all of the pictures with you, and better yet I wish you could come and visit in person! We have one last weekend which is Labor day and I am excited for it. It will be a three day event and the weather looks great for it.

Soon this weekend will come and go and the kids will be back in school. I am looking forward to my new ventures in creating and cannot wait to share them and add them to my online shop!! Just this week I have a new desire to create pendants with my art and I am fired up about it. I have to learn something new which is a little scary, but it is also part of the fun. I love the challenge when I have the resources to accomplish it. I just get impatient and want to do it now!! It must be the impulsive artist in me : )
I look forward to sharing more and I hope you have a wonderful Labor day weekend!
Blessings ~ Nichole