Wednesday, January 10, 2018

First Time in Gallery Show

This past Friday I attended Scott Church's 11th Annual Legacy Show. My first time, really. First time going to a photography show away from home. Plus, the first time having my work included in the gallery along with 100+ photographers. 

Me before my three bird prints. The branch one on the left is my daughter's, Kirstin Renee.

My husband and my daughter talked me into it. The second of which also hung her photography in the show. 
Kirstin in front of her print titled, "Endicott".

At first, I thought my photos were out of place. Most framed prints were of models, many nudes, in various poses and surroundings. Scattered here and there were landscape and concept photos. Unless I missed something, mine were the only wildlife images. I felt better when the crowd started coming in and there was some real interest in my photography. Especially, my eagle photo. A spur of the moment addition since I took the photo only a few days before. Hey, I had a great model for that one. He wasn't at all shy about a camera.   

I'll admit I could have done better. In my social skills, that is. Kirstin jumped right in whenever she saw someone taking an interest in our work. She had no problems striking up a conversation. I felt like I was out of my element. I'm used to being a behind the scenes artist. The photography scene is new to me. I have lots to learn.  It seemed like most photographers and models knew each other and, for the most part, stuck together. Even so, most who stopped to talk were nice.  A few other first timers talked with us. So did a few who've been a part of the past shows. 

There was one person though (and it seems there's always at least one), who was pretty vocal.

"Amateur, amateur, amateur..." he said as he went down the line pointing at every photo. "You see, they put all the professionals downstairs and the amateurs up here." Is what he said to his companion. As I understood it, they put the first ones there downstairs and had to eventually move upstairs too. Obviously, close friends, and such, were going to be put on the 1st floor. Either way, he seemed awfully rude as he did this in front of the photographers. It was unnecessary and in poor taste.

All in all, it was an interesting night and it was great to be included. If asked, I'd probably do it again. Being more prepared the next time.


Thursday, December 24, 2015

Wishing All Who Celebrate

Monday, September 21, 2015

Magical Birthday Gift for a Harry Potter Fan

A handmade birthday gift for our daughter. Hufflepuff journal and box.

My daughter is a fan girl of... Well, a lot of things. Harry Potter is one of her long time favorites. It started when her grandmother brought home the first book (before any talk of a movie). Then took off from there. 

My husband and I wanted to do something handmade for her birthday this year. Some of the hardest things to find for the Harry Potter universe are items with Hufflepuff, or Ravenclaw on them. (Although, I hear that's starting to change.) And, since she found out she'd be put into Hufflepuff according to "Pottermore", and she loves to write, we thought we'd make something along those lines.

This is what we came up with, inspired by Harry Potter.

It started with the journal. This was my part of the gift.

Hand sewn pages with crest symbol.

Hand sewn pages and dyed leather. Hand carved and painted crest on the front. Two loops on the sides hold a pen and keeps the journal closed when not in use. It came out better than I imagined.

A lot of detail work here. Hand carved, painted and sealed. The detail part took the longest.

Once my husband saw the journal, he wanted to make something nice to put it in.

My husband's part of the gift. Beautiful box for the journal. 

The box is made from wood we salvaged from our favorite piano. We loved that piano, but weren't able to save it after it had been ruined by a flood. My husband thought our daughter might like knowing where the wood came from.

Brass hinges add a nice touch.

He burned in the lettering. Then stained it with ebony stain and sealed it. Adding brass hinges as a final touch. I think it came out great!

So did our daughter. She loved it. Loved it even more to know the wood was from the piano. She never knew we saved any of it. We're glad she approves.

Not sure what my next project should be, but my husband seems to be in the process of making Thor's Hammer for a Halloween prop. Oh boy!


Saturday, August 29, 2015

I'm an artist. What does that mean? Well, anything, really. I love to create. Paintings, plaster, leather, metal, fabric... You name it, I've probably tried it. If I haven't, I most likely will want to at some point. I love learning and experimenting with different mediums and techniques. When I get bored with one, I move on to another. Yet, eventually, I'll return to a previous technique, or material to start all over again.

Of course, this means I have a studio full of crafty supplies. Which in turn means I have too much supplies and too little space. It's hard to toss out even the tiniest of scraps. Hey, it happens with crafty, artsy people. I suppose you could call us hoarders, but at least we find a use for everything. Eventually.

Don't laugh, or scoff. It's true. I swear!

With some left over scraps, I made this:

Genuine Leather Handmade Purse

 I made my sister one first for her birthday. She loved it. So did family, friends, and her co-workers. The orders started coming in. It's large enough for a small wallet, keys, and a good sized cell phone (my Galaxy S4 fits well in it with ample space).

Nice, huh?

Okay. So, I mentioned I use even the tiniest scrap. Here's what I came up with for small leather pieces.

Genuine Leather and Hematite Earrings

Genuine Leather and Glass Bead Earrings      

Genuine Leather and Natural Shell earrings
The possibilities are endless! Good thing I don't seem to have an end to left over scraps. Well, it's sort of good. These things didn't put a dent into my crowded craft room. *sigh* But, I sure had fun creating them.

Like the earrings? They're for sale at my Etsy Shop at:
Or, click on the photos and they should lead you directly to the sales page. 

You can look for purse listings to show up soon too. Along with other crafty things.  

- Trace

Thursday, December 11, 2014


Save 15% off $10, or more from my Etsy shop at: Use code: HOLIDAY2014 at checkout. Offer ends 12/25/2014.

Wishing everyone a happy holiday season!


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Halloween Fabric

Halloween Candy Corny by TRGatesArt
These are some of Halloween my designs available on fabric through Spoonflower.

Excuse the wrinkles in some. Also, the colors from the camera seem muted online for some reason. Each of these designs can be printed on the many different kind of fabrics offered through Spoonflower.

In the photos:

"Halloween Candy Corny" and "Halloween Pumpkin Faces" were printed on Premium Quilting Weight Kona 100% cotton.

"Halloween Spooky Tree" was printed on Eco Canvas, 100% polyester canvas with 45% recycled content. 

"Halloween Spooky Moon" was printed on Performance Piqué. This is 100% polyester fabric with moisture-wicking, soil release finish. There is a 50% cross-grain stretch with this fabric. It's silky and somewhat shiny.

Halloween Pumpkin Faces

Halloween Spooky Moon
Halloween Spooky Tree
In order to be sure you'll get these in time for Halloween, you'll need to order at least 2 weeks ahead of time through my Spoonflower shop at: