Strange, you might say.

February 26, 2009

Today I thought I’d do a round up of some of my more odd favorite products listed on Etsy.

First up we’ve got the Special Edition Mixtape Pouch – Breakup Songs for $38 by Brave Moonman. I love all their 80s-inspired pouches and the nintendo gear. I’m just waiting for an atari joystick to show up one of these days.

Next up we’ve got the artistic LEGO CLOUD sculpture Nuvola for $40 by artis3letters. This is, in my opinion, a little known gem from an artist better known for their state paintings.

Then check out the Little Pumpkin Faux Fur Guinea Pig Plushie Momma Size for $26 by Zygopsyche. All of their little furry creatures are adorable.

Don’t forget about the Lunch Time – Felt Dino Nuggets for $18 by smollerup. Also not to be missed are her spring time double-stuffed oreos and m&m cookies!

This next product makes me laugh everytime I see it. I know, you’re thinking, “What, a knife necklace makes you laugh??” Well, yes. You see, it reminds me of in the movie Moonstruck where Nicholas Cage goes, “Chrissy, over on the wall, bring me the big knife!!” I guess you had to be there…Regardless of whether or not you also think that’s funny, I’m sure you’ll just love the Sweet Little Butcher Knife Pendant with Chain for $36 by squirrelbunny.

Today in the Etsy Finds I was introduced to these fine specimens. This is the Foks – long in black for $70 by celapiu. Warm, cozy, & foxy!

Finally, not to missed, is the Black Ice Hedgehog and his prey, Wee for $16 by lullabylily. Her little slugs n’ things are quite possibly the most ridiculously adorable thing I’ve ever seen!!

The End.

Happy Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2009


I’ve started the third painting in the series I talked about a few days ago. I thought I’d give you a little behind the scenes tour of my “studio.” Hah. If you can even call it that. I paint in the unfinished basement in a corner by a window well (that has been somewhat drippy with the rain these past few days.) I know it probably sounds dreary, but this way I can turn the music up loud (lately it’s been Melissa Etheridge and Macy Gray) and really get into the painting with no distractions.


This is the Barack Obama painting I’m working on. It’s a commemoration of the historic day he took the oath of office and became the first black President of the United States. While I work, I put a lot of thought into the message I’m trying to send with the chosen topic of my painting. For this one I’ve been thinking about the history of black leaders in America, the struggle for justice and civil rights, and the emotional battle people have internally and collectively when met with injustice and unfairness.


All of the paintings in this series have a lot of steps, many layers. I often wait anxiously for them to dry.  They all share the same basic elements. Some have parts underneath all that paint that I will never share with the world, but with this painting I wanted to give you a glimpse into its guts – its heart and soul.


Those shades of red, white, and blue you see will later be mixed to form the signature dots of this series. As you can see, the bottom layers of this particular painting are done in black, white, and silver acrylic paint. Every piece of my paintings has meaning.

This is the painting before it gets covered up with a special mix of brown acrylic paint. The torn pieces of paper I am using for this painting are the same banana peel paper that is used to create the journals in our shop. It has a really great texture and rugged look to it, so it goes very well with the color of brown you will see below that makes up much of what will be the finished painting’s background base color. I work with a lot of different brushes and leave different strokes of texture in the painting. I think this symbolizes the struggles that people have had to go through to get to this moment in time, and to me it shows just how messy and real life is.

These are some of the details that will be covered up forever in the final painting.

As with my other paintings, it’s enough for me to know that they are there.

This is a very tricky, and fun, process. You don’t want to cover up too much or too little. You want to leave room for the dots, but you also want the inside to shine through. It’s fun to work with thick layers of paint though. It’s even fun to wash the paint off your brushes and feel the soft colorful acrylic as it slips through your fingers.

So this is what the Barack Obama painting looks like in preparation for the dots to be added. There is only one thing I want to mention about applying the dots because I am in the process of doing that for this painting right now and there will be more pictures to come later. I spend a lot of time handpainting every single little dot on my paintings, and they are all significant because they are all moments that led up to the subject of each painting. Since the base layer of paint is so thick, I carefully paint each dot, making them as round as I possibly can while going over the dryed layers of texture. My aim is for the layers underneath to still be seen through the dots, for the viewer to see what has been put into the struggle to get to this moment in history. I always leave the edges of my paintings raw and semi-painted, with portions of blank canvas showing through. It is these imperfections that make the experience of painting these pieces so raw and real.

A Series of Paintings

February 10, 2009

I am in the process of creating a series of very special paintings. These mixed media paintings have political meaning and implied social commentary. This blog entry will give you an inside look on their meaning and process.


Josie & 1,138

The first piece of this series was painted as a gift for Josie and currently hangs on her bedroom wall. It was done in the Human Rights Campaign‘s colors of blue and yellow. The painting has 1,138 small dots on it which symbolize the number of federal rights, protections and benefits guaranteed by marriage in the United States and denied to millions of loving same-sex couples.

Harvey Milk November 27, 1978

Harvey Milk November 27, 1978

The piece I recently finished was inspired by the life of Harvey Milk, and it is for sale in our etsy shop.

Milk was an American politician and the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California, as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. On November 27, 1978, Milk and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated by Dan White. Harvey Milk famously said, “If a bullet should enter my brain, let the bullet destroy every closet door.”

This painting is definitely a conversation starter. You’ll have people wondering from the moment they see it about the meaning behind the very specific number of dots. It has three groups of dots: 11, 27, and 1,978, symbolizing the day Harvey Milk was assassinated.


10% of the proceeds from this sale will be donated to the Human Rights Campaign. HRC is the largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.

“Like art, revolutions come from combining what exists into what has never existed before.” -Gloria Steinem

Harvey Milk November 27, 1978

Harvey Milk November 27, 1978 – Original Mixed Media Painting – 24×36

Original Mixed Media Painting

Medium: Acrylic paint, paper, & black sharpie on canvas

Title: Harvey Milk November 27, 1978

Size: 24″ x 36″

Date: February 2009

Artwork copyright © 2009 Rachel Shattuck

Signed and dated on the back

Gallery style canvas, stapled on the back

Intended to hang unframed with raw edges


Each painting is thick and textured with acrylic paint, hand torn craft paper, and black permanent sharpie marker.

So far there is one more painting planned in this series. Its focus will be the historic moment that Barack Obama became the first black President of the United States of America.


Moving in

February 10, 2009

We’re just moving in to our blog. While the dust is still settling, check out some of the items in our shop right now.

Handbound Batik Journal – Sundown Design – $32

Large Batik Prayer Flags – $10

Patchwork Batik Hammock Bag – Sunshine Canopy Design – $27

Handbound Batik Journal – Everglade Design – $32