28 June 2013

an unintentional hiatus...

One day were were blogging away here on this little corner of the internet and then suddenly we got busy. Really busy. (If only this were our job!) As much as Creative Sweet means to us we do not want to sacrifice quality, so rather than forcing half-assed posts we're currently putting this little space on hold. A pause if you will. We would rather work on building more content, bigger and better than before, and we want to plan, plan, plan so we stay on track. In short: we want to whole-ass this one awesome thing.

We will be back soon and we hope you can appreciate our honesty and stand by us while we continue to work through the crazy.

If you're interested in contributing or collaborating on something, shoot us an email. We're always open to suggestions and would love to hear from you!

23 May 2013

Exploring 21c Museum Hotel Cincinnati

If you enjoy art and travel we have a fantastic hotel in mind for your next trip - 21c Museum Hotel. With locations in Louisville, Cincinnati, and Bentonville this relatively new chain (only having opened their first location in 2006) is a unique place to not only stay, but experience. The Louisville 21c is a place we've visited regularly for dinner and drinks at their restaurant - Proof On Main - and to visit the gallery. A recent trip to Cincinnati however, was the first time we have stayed in the hotel itself.

our photo doesn't do this place justice

Aside from the service being excellent the hotel proved to be unlike any other we had stayed in before. Art is not only located in the museum gallery, but throughout the hotel. Artistic touches are everywhere from the art work displays outside the elevator doors to the bathroom tiles - ours had relief body parts protruding from various tiles. The rooms had a contemporary style throughout and many of the little extra touches - the stylish alarm clock, an old school phone headset that attaches to your iPhone, magazines, and bath samples - were all available for purchase in their shop downstairs. You could also pick up your own ceramic yellow penguin.

We toured a portion of the gallery the night we arrived at the hotel and the rest in the morning before checkout. Every nook and cranny of the space holds something new and unexpected, and be sure to visit during the day and night! Some installations may only be viewed properly at night when it's dark (in our case a light display that we missed out on the night before didn't really hold in splendor in the daylight.) Check out a few of our photos below:

Josephine Taylor, Bomb Landscape #4, 2006

Judy Fox, Power Play

Julie Nord, Unknown relative (Wilbur), 2011
The Niece, 2011
A Distant Aunt, 2011

yellow penguin!

bathroom tiles

Carlos and Jason Sanchez,
The Baptism, 2003

Vee Speers, From the Birthday Party series 2007

Ellen Kool hallway

Ellen Kool, The Dike 2000

Ellen Kool

30 April 2013

It's Derby Week in Kentucky!

We love living in the Bluegrass State and Derby is one of those unique events that gets everyone around here excited! The two most exciting minutes in sports? You bet! (Literally and figuratively.) When we think of Derby we start with the horses and move on to the hats, mint juleps, and of course, Derby pie. Our state is rich in history and tradition and we're proud to be from Kentucky!

Now, we've said it once and we'll say it again, we're not a fashion blog. However, we thought it would be fun to share some dresses that would be Derby appropriate in case you're wondering what people wear to the races, or if you're still on the fence about what you want to wear. (Sometimes we all do last minute shopping.)

Without further ado, here are a few dresses we ran across that are perfect for various Derby day activities. Depending on the area of Churchill Downs you may be venturing dress code expectations may vary, but we feel fairly safe that any of these dresses paired with the right shoes, accessories, and hat (and mint julep in hand) are appropriate for any part of the track you may visit:

Are you attending the Kentucky Derby this year? Or have you in years past? We would love to hear about your experience!

If you're in the area and you're interested in the other upcoming Festival events, here's what's happening this week:
Kentucky Proud Wine Fest 4/30-5/1 from 5-9pm at East Belvedere at Waterfront Park
Ramble for the Roses 4/30 from 6-8pm at Iroquois Park
RhythmFest Concert featuring Cameo 4/30 at 9pm at Kroger's Fest-a-Ville on the Waterfront
The Great Steamboat Race 5/1 boarding from 4:30-5:30pm, race at 6pm on the Ohio River
BeerFest presented by American Founders Bank 5/1 from 5-9pm at The Overlook at Kroger's Fest-a-Ville
The Pegasus Parade 5/2 at 5pm
Celebrity Day at the Downs 5/2 starting at 11:30am at Churchill Downs, 6th floor
Tune It Up Thursday concert featuring The Wallflowers 5/2 starting at 9pm at Kroger's Fest-a-Ville
Derby Eve Jam Concert featuring Kix Brooks 5/3 starting at 7:30pm at Kroger's Fest-a-Ville

You can find even more events on the Kentucky Derby Festival website here.

16 April 2013

LOCAL LOVIN': The Flea Off Market, Louisville

We ventured the East Market District over the weekend with intentions to swing in The Flea Off Market and be on our way to the St. Matthews area and the malls. We were pleasantly surprised by the community event and ended up stopping in twice that afternoon! We saw a little of everything, from handmade jewelry and candles to retro furniture and records. And while the sign mentions kittens we sadly saw none, but instead there were plenty of friendly pups in all shapes and sizes from the tiny chihuahua we met (Camden!) to the Great Danes that looked more like horses.

So what exactly is The Flea Off Market? Well, it's a monthly outdoor bazaar/flea market held off East Market in downtown Louisville. It is typically held the second Saturday of each month, and at times will run through Sunday as well. You will find a little of everything for sale - books, records, jewelry, clothing, food, beverages, furniture, home decor, baby products, handmade crafts, plants, pets, and the list goes on. There is also live music and entertainment throughout the day, free of course. All are welcome including children and pets!

For our visit the weather was absolutely gorgeous, a little windy for some vendors whose merchandise blew over (or away, to be retrieved by fellow market go-ers) a few times, but all-in-all a perfect day. One side of the market was lined with local food trucks and some tented vendors, all of which smelled amazing! Our biggest regret was easily eating before we visited, but we do know better for next time. In the middle of the booths one vendor was set up with selling select beer and cocktails. A flea market where you can drink and shop? Sign us up! (This may also be a little dangerous depending on your shopping habits...)

Food trucks, retro t-shirts, and collectibles aplenty.
Beer, cocktails, and a fuzzy retriever to the right.

We picked up a few gifts from Eight Trees Company selling handmade and all natural wooden infant toys, burp cloths, and stuffed animals, as well as vintage infant clothing, milk glass, and other assorted items. (This vendor also had her baby along for the day and got extra points for cuteness!) We also found some really cool decorative pillows, hand-stamped napkins, and scarves at several booths. There was plenty of Kentucky love going around too - from past Derby memorabilia, local artists, and even some of those previously mentioned decorative home items were stamped, printed, and embroidered with state and city images or text.

These pillows and napkins are by Em Dash Designs.

The aforementioned chihuahua Camden, lover of sunshine! She was so sweet and tiny. Her parents were selling paintings and records.

One of our favorites was a booth set-up and styled to reflect a 1960's home with retro furniture, trays, decanters, and linens. We scooped up some floral napkins for a few dollars and truthfully, we wish we had the space for some of the furniture! This seller was extremely friendly and we wish her price tags were stamped with her name or the name of her business so we could give her a shout out. (Hopefully she will be back next month and we can do just that!)

Vintage clothing, home decor, records, and collectibles were plentiful throughout the market. As we browsed music was not only being broadcast at the back of the market, but near the entrance local musicians were playing guitars, harmonicas, and even a tuba at one point. We heard "Did you see this?" and "I want this!" over and over again as people browsed and scooped up their newly found treasures. Both vendors and shoppers were having a great time, us included! (We think this was largely in part to the weather. We're finally seeing spring here in KY!) We can't wait to venture back up next month!

ellen + evlin had TONS of vintage clothing on racks, in addition to their sale items in these bins.
So many decanters, trays, and glassware!
We've decided we need a telephone table.

Just to give a rundown here's some of the info on The Flea Off Market again:

-You can find their Facebook page here.
-It occurs on the second Saturday each month in the heart of Louisville, downtown in NuLu /East Market District.
-Sometimes the event takes place on Sunday too, check Facebook page to confirm the date/s.
-Open from 10am-6pm.
-Some vendors accept cards, but many are cash only and there is an ATM on site.
-If you're interested in a booth contact: thefleaoffmarket@gmail.com

We will be sure to share next month's The Flea Off Market event on our Facebook page prior to the event, so head on over there and give us a like!

10 April 2013

POP REVIEW: The Walking Dead (S3, E16) "Welcome to the Tombs" FINALE

We love the entertainment industry, a bit too much sometimes, and when we find a good show or movie we tend to become slightly enamored. Our series POP REVIEW is here so we can put our thoughts out there about big bads, gooey romantic obsessions, favorite characters, and sometimes things we just don't like. In this series we will discuss the most current episodes of any given show or recent movie we've seen and we encourage all fans to comment, discuss, and share your thoughts with us! There will be spoilers, but we'll save them for after the jump. If you opt to open the full post and accidentally ruin something for yourself, we warned you.

The show opens on a brutal scene - The Governor is giving someone we cannot see a pretty brutal beating as he discussing what Penny would think of him now. At first we think the person may be Andrea, after all we left her a few weeks ago bound and gagged in his torture chamber, but we learn that it is Milton. The Governor tells him that Penny would still be alive if he had been like this so long ago, but he also admits that she would fear him.

The Governor momentarily takes Milton into the torture chamber, where Andrea still waits, and boasts about his plans to kill the survivors at the prison.

02 April 2013

THE GALLERY: Queen Of The Cats, art by Kristina McLean

One of our primary goals here on Creative Sweet is to recognize talented people. In our series THE GALLERY we'll feature some of our favorite artists, local and otherwise, to share with you all. Today we are excited to introduce you to Kristina McLean, the woman behind Queen Of The Cats. When we happened upon Kristina's work we were instantly drawn in by the array of colors and of course, the kitties! Kristina gave us an excellent background on herself and we loved getting to know more about her, her art, and the music project she's involved in with her soon-to-be husband. Seriously, so much talent! We didn't want to leave anything out, so check out her Q & A below:

Kristina McLean

Creative Sweet: Tell us a little about yourself! Your background, how you started painting, how long you've been at it, anything you'd like to mention at all really: 

Kristina: I grew up in the suburbs in Mississauga, ON (Canada) in a place called Meadowvale, which is still my favorite place and I dream of moving back there sometimes. My brothers were my best friends. Some of our favorite things to do were playing street hockey with the neighborhood kids and riding our bikes to our local arcade, Wizard's Castle. My older brother and I would stay up late and ink comics in our sketchbooks.  It was time consuming and a bit messy, since we would end up spilling a lot of the Indian ink on the white carpets. I've always had a connection to art, but the first real memory of wanting to be a painter in terms of a vocation was in Grade 2.  I just thought to myself, yeah this is something I always want to do. In Grade 3 I did a project on cats and drew every breed of wild and domestic cat. The actual project was something like 5 pages of writing and almost 200 pages of drawings.

I still love everything I loved growing up. I was a teenager in the 90's and all things from that decade are still my favorite things (like regular fitting jeans not the skinny jeans that seem to never be going out of fashion and feel like they are painted on, Nirvana, plaid shirts, Beavis and Butthead, etc.).   Also, my love for neon stems from my childhood as well and I incorporate those colors in my paintings as often as I can.

I was lucky to grow up in a family that nurtured my artistic side. My mom and dad would drive me to the art supplies shop and never complain when I spent forever trying to decide what colour of paint to buy. My art teachers in high school were also super awesome and would encourage me to follow my dreams of being an artist. I studied Art History, English Literature and Visual Art at the University of Toronto. I've had many jobs from kitchen help to flight attendant. It wasn't until after I had my children that I started pursuing art as a full-time career. Since I knew I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, it was the perfect job where I could set my own hours and be my own boss. My two children and soon-to-be husband are my world. They always are the first priority and inspiration to all my artwork. The internet is an amazing place (it still really blows my mind) and sites like Etsy allow me sell my artwork and build a really cool fan base.
First drawing
CS: Like a lot of people, we like cats. We know you paint things other than cats, but we have to ask, how did it all begin? Were cats the first thing you painted or do you enjoy painting them more than other animals and people?

Kristina: Cats are my favorite animal. The nickname my brothers gave me when I was a kid was "queen of the cats". My Aunt bought me a book on all the different breeds of cats, which I still use as a reference.  I would spend hours looking at all the different fur patterns and specific details that makes each breed unique. I never really limit myself to just one thing in terms of art. When I started selling paintings on Etsy, it was mostly bird paintings. I go through phases depending on my mood. I really like painting portraits of girls too. Realism to me seems kind of outdated. I can snap a photo of something and it would be a perfect portrayal of that moment in a realistic manner, so it seems obsolete to make a realistic portrait. My favorite quote is by Picasso "It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child." That resonates a chord in the way I feel about art too. 

9 Bird Faces
CS: Do you have any fuzzy felines of your own?

Kristina: I currently have three cats. They are all lady cats and are adopted from rescue organizations. Their names are Bambi, Princess Zara and Hazel. There are lots of great local rescue organizations who do amazing things saving cats. There is always at least one cat on my lap while I paint.

CS: Some of your pieces feature true-to-life color palettes, but many are painted in bright, bold colors (who doesn't love a purple cat or girls with bright pink hair?) is that just your style, or is there more to it? Is it a process where the colors you paint with reflect your mood, or maybe music you're listening to, or is it just a natural process where you decide as you go?

Kristina: The process for my work is mostly spontaneous. I don't keep a sketchbook or do any drafts before I paint. I also don't have any strict preconceived ideas prior to starting a painting. I just let the painting evolve as I go along. I love the contrast of neon with faint pastels. Right now I want to focus more on portrait art. The face tells so much in terms of a story and emotions.  

Himalayan cat
CS: The detail in your paintings is evident, especially the pieces featuring animals, since the brush strokes and techniques you use make up their fur. How long does it take you to complete a painting on average?

Kristina: I've had to adapt my painting techniques and style to fit my lifestyle. I squeeze in painting when I can. So I'm generally painting for a few hours when the kids go to sleep or when they are at school. I work pretty quickly. On average my paintings take 2-4 hours to complete. I like always having something new on the go.

CS: We read that you do custom work for people of their pets. Have you had any odd painting requests?

Kristina: I have done many cool custom portraits of people and pets. All of them have been fun and I feel honored when people ask me to paint their family/pets. Right now I am not really doing custom portraits because of my limited time. Maybe some day in the future I will start doing custom portraits again.

Custom portrait
CS: Do you have an all time favorite piece that you've done?

My favorite painting is always the one I am currently working on at that moment. It's the most relevant to how I am feeling. I don't really think too far into the future or live too far in the past because then I will miss out on what's happening right now. I wake up every day and just enjoy it for what it is.

CS: If you don't mind, share 3 random fun facts about yourself with our readers: 

Kristina: 1. I love water and I hope to one day live near a lake. I love fishing (especially early in the morning. My boat of choice is a rowboat. It's quiet and doesn't pollute.) 2. My favorite tv programs are cartoons and reality tv. To name a few Beavis & Butthead, The Regular Show, Jerry Springer and Cops. 3. I cut my own bangs (and have been doing so since I could use scissors.)

CS: Are you involved in any other creative endeavors?

Kristina: I'm also in a band with my soon-to-be husband. (We both grew up in Meadowvale and knew each other when we were teenagers.) It's called Yeti Snow. I sing and play keys, synths and drum machines and Mark plays bass. I was classically trained on the piano and loved going to the opera with my grandma on Sunday afternoons. I feel like you need to learn the techniques of the classics before you can start breaking the rules and that has been the same process with my art work. I work on paintings Monday, Tuesday and Wednesdays music on Thursdays and Fridays and then both on the weekends. We have some songs and a music video on our YouTube channel here.

We've admittedly been lurking the Queen Of The Cats Etsy shop for the latest paintings and you should feel free to join us! For new updates and to browse more of Kristina's work and amazing talent you can also visit her Facebook page - we LOVE when her painting pop up in our newsfeed. Like she said, she's not doing custom portraits currently, but connect with her online for updates on her work and maybe you'll be able to have your own custom pieces done of your favorite critter in the future. Oh, and don't forget to check out Yeti Snow on YouTube!

And for our latest updates, give us a like!

  *All photos courtesy of Kristina McLean

28 March 2013

LOCAL LOVIN': Wild Earth Gallery & Gift Shop, Elizabethtown

We visited the local square recently to shoot some photos for Creative Sweet. While there, in the middle of the day on a weekend, we noticed that nothing was open. While many places were closed, even more were unoccupied. If you're like us and you've traveled to larger towns and cities that have a thriving city center downtown you know how exciting that can be - independent boutiques, small local businesses and shops, cafes, restaurants, art galleries, things of that nature. The first place that comes to mind when it comes to an ideal downtown for a place this size? Asheville, North Carolina. If you've been there you know how great it is, if not plan a trip NOW!

While discussing nearby photo locations and the emptiness of our current area we turned a corner to see one store with their door open, a chalkboard sign outside noting that their products are all handmade in the USA, and a colorful assorted display welcoming in anyone from the street. The art prints, the paintings, the blown-glass - there were so many things that caught our eye just from the doorway that we had to venture in.

The first smaller room contained all of those goodies and then you enter the second room that is divided into two distinct spaces - the first a continuation of the first room, a gift shop style set-up with more art prints, paintings, jewelry, masks, and much, much more. Then to your right you can step up into the gallery portion of the space. Hardwood floors, exposed brick, and during our visit: the whimsical pop art paintings of Sherry Pearl. The majority of the paintings featured Red and Wolf, an elegant elaboration on the tale of Little Red Riding Hood. Pearl's representation does not portray the two as enemies, but seems to illustrate a uniquely intimate friendship.

We were greeted by store owner LaDonna Eastman, who was not only friendly but extremely informative about plans and projects for the area! (It seems many of those things we had been wishing for are currently in the works for the square!)  She told us about Wild Earth Gallery & Gift Shop, including information about selling things in the shop and how the gallery schedule is set up. She proudly features local  and USA made arts and crafts -including original art, prints, photographs, blown glass, handcrafted jewelry, masks, and soy candles- as well as note cards, local music, vintage jewelry,  specimen stones, minerals, and Native American bead work. Wild Earth also supports female artisans from around the world!

Every piece in her shop that we took interest in she was able to tell us a bit about the artist and in many cases the story behind how the pieces came to be in the shop. We learned about Second Saturdays in the area, which we'll share more about later, as well as gallery events and new plans, which include Friday Night Art Party workshops that will begin in April. (We definitely plan to attend a few of these!)

We love the Buy Local movement and highly recommend Wild Earth Gallery & Gifts if you're looking for something creative to gift someone, or if you're looking for something for yourself. For the most current updates check out the shop on Facebook and for more information visit their website. Maybe we'll see you out at Second Saturday or a Friday Night Art Party!

For the latest updates, don't forget to give us a like!