Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Jewelry charm to be sold for college scholarship endowment

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Dairy veterinarian, artist and owner of Cow Art and More, Dr. Kathy Swift is donating a portion of profits from her brand-new sterling silver jewelry charm for the National Holstein Women’s Association Scholarship Organization (NHWSO) at 2011 National Holstein Association Convention in June.

Swift is personally interested in assisting NHWSO since she grew up in Virginia where she spent most of her time in her family’s registered Holstein farm. She is devoted to the Holstein industry, as a teenager she earned Distinguished Junior Member and was recipient of the National Holstein Women’s Association scholarship in 1990.

Ida Ruby, president of NHWSO, contacted Swift for assistance in fundraising. Swift has been an active participant in the past by donating jewelry and gift certificates in silent auctions. Swift agreed to donate a portion of her profits on the much-anticipated new charm that will debut at this year’s convention. “When Ida (Ruby) called to ask if I would help with their next fundraiser, I didn't hesitate to answer, ‘of course!’ Winning the NHWSO scholarship was something that made a big difference in my life and I am happy to help others with their education." Swift added, “I believe strongly in helping the next generation along with their many endeavors. I know, without a doubt, that I wouldn't be where I am today without the same help at that time in my life."

Swift’s avid fan base will have to wait until the convention to know more details about the upcoming debut of the charm. Swift wanted to tell everyone, “I am very excited about the newest charm. It is something customers have requested, and I hope everyone will love it as much as I do."

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day - it's not just an excuse for a 3 day weekend

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On this Memorial Day, I would like to take a moment and encourage everyone to remember the reason and importance of this day: to pay honor to the men and woman who have died in military service to this country. Additional Memorial Day history can be found at the US Memorial Day website.

The site also reminds us that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans "To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to 'Taps."

Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday's art website - BENT OBJECTS

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What do you get when someone is creative, has some extra time on their hands, and is a little "warped upstairs"? You get the Bent Objects blog. I won't spoil it for you, but let's say it's good time buster some afternoon when you're looking for something to do. (or even if you have plenty to do, it's pretty funny)

Here's a hint: Author Terry Border has this listed as his profile picture.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Decorating with paintings advice

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In hanging paintings and pictures, consider that less is sometimes more. In other words, leave blank wall space between small groups of paintings.

Perhaps a small grouping of one large painting with two small ones, one above the other, next to it would work. Although tempting, don't succumb to the urge to fill the entire space with paintings. Small groupings such as the one suggested above; then adequate blank wall space; then perhaps another grouping, this time starting with the two small pieces (one above the other) next to the large piece.

Most importantly, hang pictures in a way that pleases you! The picture-hanging police, more than likely, will not enter your home to ticket you if you don't hang pictures "right."

Today's art tips are shared by painter Valerie D'Ortona.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Watercolor artist wins award

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Donna Greenstein accepted the first place ribbon in the watercolor category in front of an enthusiastic audience at the Aurora Town Hall on the evening of Friday May 6th. Her painting "Cotswold Sheep II - The Royal" won out over more than 60 watercolor entries at the 49th Annual Juried Aurora Art Show and Sale in Aurora, Ontario on May 7th and 8th, 2011. It sold before the show opened.

Donna lives on an organic cow-calf farm in King Township, Ontario, Canada. She was ecstatic to have created the winning painting.

Photo credit: Donna poses with her award winning painting, "Cotswold Sheep - The Royal"

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tips for buying art

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1. Buy what you like.

2. Buy what you can afford.

3. Enjoy the art.

Today's art tip shared by watercolor painter Donna Greenstein.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Monday's agriculture website - Gourmet Sleuth

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Ever wanted to try your hand at cheese making? The website the Gourmet Sleuth has several cheesemaking recipes. In addition to recipes for hard cheeses, such as cheddar, and soft cheeses, such as blue, it also lists recipes for yogurt and sour cream.

The goal of the Gourmet Sleuth is to help inform and educate people interested in food, cooking and eating. The company's staff writes culinary articles on various foods and cooking topics and publishes recipes that take a "how to" approach.

The site also has a store of "novelty" and hard to find kitchen items and products in addition to maintaining a huge database of food and beverage related sites. The Gourmet Sleuth staff also provides research on food and cooking product related questions for readers.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday's art article - Caring for ceramics

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While paintings tend to get the majority of focus in our art care section, there are other art media that require proper care, including ceramics. Though relatively hardy, these pieces may crack, chip, or break if handled or used improperly. A ceramic sculpture, if displayed in an enclosed cabinet or case, should be protected from dirt and dust. If you need to clean your ceramic piece, first assess whether it is glazed (smooth, shiny) or unglazed (rough, matte). Unglazed pieces can be brushed with a soft makeup brush or paintbrush or sprayed with bursts of canned air. Glazed pieces are best washed in lukewarm water and a gentle soap. Before putting your piece in the sink, line it with a towel, rubber mat or other soft surface to protect it against chipping or falling over.

In the case where you have pottery that is meant to be used (mugs, dishes, etc.), they are still not immune to damage. Extreme fluctuations in temperature or humidity can be harmful to pieces. Likewise, even oven-safe stoneware dishes should not be placed directly into a hot oven. Instead, allow the dish to heat up along with the oven. Handwash pieces with soap in a sink when possible versus putting them in the dishwasher.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Where to avoid hanging art

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  1. Buy what you like and you'll be able to find a place for it.
  2. Avoid hanging art over a fireplace. It should be protected from heat and smoke. It is also best to keep it out of direct sunlight.
Today's tip is from oil painter, Shannon Grissom.

Picture credit: Shannon with her oil paintings at a recent exhibition.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

What kind of art should I buy?

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Buy what you love and don't ask others for their opinions...YOU will be living with it, not your friends. And whenever possible, buy originals. Save up for them; they are worth it!

Today's tip is shared by oil painter Deborah Grayson Lincoln

Monday, May 16, 2011

Monday's agriculture website - Grilling Companion

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Since May is national barbecue month, why not a good website on cooking a few things on the grill? Today's site to share with readers is for Grilling Companion, maintained by three guys in Florida, all with a passion for food cooked over an open flame. So what else is there on this website besides recipes? These guys give their grilling tips and review the latest gadgets. And for all the agnerds out there, they have an iPhone, iPad, and Android app.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Save money on framing

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I always try to pinch pennies by framing prints in standard size frames instead of having a custom size made. I also suggest this to my customers.

Tip contributed by pencil drawing artist Amanda Raithel

Friday, May 13, 2011


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With summer travel plans being discussed, why not add an art museum to your list? Artcyclopedia has a directory of all the art museums in the United States. You can select a state to look at all the museums by cities within that state. The museums are also listed with their website links.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Have concerns about buying an original pastel?

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For those who might be hesitant to buy an original pastel painting

- Lots of pastels are still around done by the old masters – see Edgar Degas
- the pastel won’t fall off, (most artist use a sanded paper that holds the pastel very well).
- The colors won’t fade but don’t hang your painting in direct sunlight.
- A spacer should be used when framing a pastel (your framer should know but mention just in case)
o Spacer will be between painting and glass
- If a small painting, it won’t get lost if you put a mat around it – double mat looks the best
- Choose a frame that is medium in width – too small or too large doesn’t show off your painting

These art tips shared today by Carolyn Molder

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Framing a deckled edged pastel

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This art tip links to a blog post by painter and pastel artist Robin Maria Pedrero where she discusses framing her "Grazing Beneath a Garnet Sky".

Robin Maria Pedrero: Framing a deckled edged pastel

Monday, May 9, 2011

Monday's agriculture website - Farmer Bloggers

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Have you ever wondered what happens on the farm?  Do you want to know how the milk gets from the cow to you?  What does a rancher ride the prairie for?  If you've ever wondered about this or other farm and food questions, head over to the Farmers Blog, a collection of farmer blogs in  "one stop shop" setting.

The group of blogs consists of several farms and ranches from the California Valleys and Mountains to the Midwest plains, organic, conventional, large, small, grain, livestock and more.   Click here to see a complete list of the farmers and their backgrounds.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Selecting frames and mats

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For me, as an artist, the cost of framing a piece of work can be daunting and overwhelming for a top-notch job. It was important for me to remind myself (as a poor graduate student at the time), that I was preserving these works of art for a lifetime. A one time cost for long term enjoyment and preservation. You aren’t going to frame things lots of times, so it is important to do things right the first time and not skimp. Frame selection and mat selection are also important, and some of that is personal preference (I don’t claim to be an expert here!).

Tip contributed by drawing artist Laurie Winkelman.

Friday, May 6, 2011

How to Hang Pictures on a Wall

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Today's art article is actually a video I found on the Lowe's You Tube channel. It shows you how to hang artwork on various kinds of wall surfaces. It also shows the different hardware options and tools needed to complete a project.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Make the frame as unique as the art

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My tip would be choosing a frame for your art. I use the Kentucky Barn Wood frames that are hand made by Owen Tomlin in Jacksonville, KY. The nice part about this is that it's another hand-made product along with the art, it's two-fold artistry! Owen even tears down the barns himself for the wood and he is 73 years old.

The barn wood can be stained to match your decor, brown, dark brown, black, barn red, or weathered natural gray. The nice thing about these frames is that they come with bumps and scratches and even nail holes, so if you nick or damage them, they are no worse for wear!

Today's tip provided by mixed media artist, Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Cow art artist featured in American Art Collector Magazine

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Congratulations to mixed media collage artist Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson on her recent inclusion in May issue of American Art Collector magazine. Articles in the magazine emphasize mainstream art by today's favorite living artists.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Interview me!

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Looking for a guest blogger for your own blog? Drop a line to info@cowartandmore.com and specify the details about how gallery owner, veterinarian and jewelry artist Kathy McComb Swift can help you with a blog post.

How to make the art fit the room

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A mistake I made early on with decorating with art was hanging the art to fit the center of the wall space, rather than the furniture or other items close to wall. For example:

  • Art should hang at eye level! Don't place it above a bookcase just because you have the blank wall space.
  • Hang it in relation to what's close to it. Place a large painting within a couple of inches of the sofa, not centered between the top of the sofa and the ceiling.
  • White space can be a good thing. Every available open space doesn't have to have something on it.
Today's tips provided by jewelry artist Kathy McComb Swift

Monday, May 2, 2011

Monday's agriculture website - Beef, It's what's for dinner

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Did you know that May is beef month? In celebration, I'm linking today to Beef, It's What's for Dinner. What can you expect to find if you go there?

  • An interactive meat case display, explaining the different cuts of meat
  • Recipes! Recipes! Recipes!
  • Beef terms defined
  • Nutritional information

The website is maintained by the Cattlemen's Beef Board, which is comprised of cattle producers and importers who direct the national Beef Checkoff Program, with oversight from USDA. National Cattlemen's Beef Association is a contractor of checkoff dollars used for beef promotion and research efforts on behalf of the Beef Board.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Help with your art and home decorating needs

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We get A LOT of decorating questions from fans and customers. It can be a bit intimidating or overwhelming to frame, display, and care for your original art purchase. In lieu of a featured artist this month, Cow Art and More will instead be sharing art decorating tips on our blog. Our cow art artists will be sharing some of their best advice on how to get the most from your piece of cow art.

Normally, the month's featured artist has free shipping on their work. This month, we will rotate the pieces available for free shipping. Check our specials section frequently to see if your favorite artist has free shipping!
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