Saturday, January 26, 2013

Doodle Artist Goes National

Shona Brooks, local artist and co-owner of the Eclectic Goat, was recently awarded a contract with MindWare®, a national game and toy company for kids, for the production of two illustrated books based on her line of Doodle your day away. The illustrations are intended as artwork to be added to by coloring with crayons, colored pencils or markers. The books, titled Fantastical Style Animals and Fantastical Style Flowers, will hold over twenty pages of designs and will be available for purchase on the company’s website in the fall of 2013.

“I’m grateful to have this opportunity,” said Brooks. "The goal is to aspire others to create their own art."

The doodles are ornate hand drawings on various subjects in bold outlines detailed with patterns and texture for the purpose of creating your own impact with color.

“I work in pen only; the creations just happen – it’s freehand and freeform,” said Brooks. Developing a page can take just a few hours but sometimes it takes a couple of days, depending on the design. The whole idea is for it to be a leisure-time activity that’s relaxing and fun to do.

 “We are all artists whether we are five or eighty-five,” explained Brooks, who thinks anyone can pick this up and create something beautiful.

“I also like this media as an art therapy to help others explore their creative side and build self confidence to move into other artistic outlets,” said Brooks.

Brooks' products are sold to the healthcare market at gift shops such as United Hospital in St. Paul, the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview, in Minneapolis and the Ronald McDonald House in Rochester, of which Brooks will be a guest artist in March and participate in a year-long artist’s program for teaching doodling classes to patients.

 “They are very simplistic, but after you add your own color and personalize it, they can become masterpieces that will likely be put on your refrigerator door!” Brooks said with a smile.

“I, myself, didn’t believe I could be an artist,” commented Brooks, “but this venture has been validating for me.”

This follows suit with the businesses Brooks co-owns with Suzanne Klumb at 413 Division Street in Northfield — the Eclectic Goat and Glass Garden Beads — and their belief in promoting local artists’ wares. “We want people to succeed in the art of creating and have fun while they are doing it.”

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Viking Knit Class

Save your spot for the Viking Knit Class on Sunday, Jan. 20. It's from 12:30 - 4 p.m. at 413 Division St. in Northfield. The class will be taught by past president of the Upper Midwest Bead Society, Mary Moreno Lien. This age-old art of "Viking knitting" dates back to the 8th - 10th centuries! You start each v-knit with a "daisy" and knit around a dowel. Once that knit goes through the draw plate -- you're on your way! This flexible, lightweight chain is often made of mixed metal like beautiful sterling silver and copper wire. It can be weaved single, double or triple depending on the look you want. Beads often adorn the interlacing design. No wire wrapping skills are required. Supplies $30. Call (507) 645-0301. We'd love to hear from you (even if you're a Packer fan). The supply list for class: 3/8" round wooden dowel, about a foot long 1- spool of 26 gauge base metal wire for your main bracelet color (try ParaWire) 1- spool of different color 26 gauge base metal wire (this is the starter/practice wire) 1 ft-18 or 20 gauge wire to go through end caps (and the beads if you add them) 2 end caps or cones Beads and Spacers (optional) Clasp, lobster or toggle your choice Tools: Round Nose Pliers Chain Nose Pliers Flush Cutter If you have a crimper, bring it. Old credit card (to be used as a mandrel) T-pin Painters 1" wide masking tape Sharpie Marker Tape Measure Metal Ruler Draw-plate.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Doodle Calendars

If you haven't picked up a 2013 calendar yet, you're in luck! The Eclectic Goat has some fun "Doodle your day away" calendars available online or in their store at 413 Division Street in Northfield. Not only can you plan your days and months ahead in style, you'll find doodling is a relaxing way to unwind from hectic schedules. So slow down and chill out with some coloring ... be creative this year!

Designed by local artist and co-owner of the Eclectic Goat and Glass Garden Beads Shona Brooks. Find more of her fun-for-all-ages doodle creations at the store.