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Did you know that I have a Facebook page? Maybe you assumed so; but maybe you also assumed that I post the same content to my Facebook page as I do my blog. Well that simply isn’t true! I post lots of updates to my Facebook page and Twitter feed that never make it to my blog. They’re mostly small updates like statuses, progress pictures, and new Etsy listings, but you also get to see more of my personal photos, what inspires me, and a lot more of my sense of humor.

If this sort of thing interests you–if you want to see what’s happening between the blog posts–then please ‘like’ me on Facebook at, Facebook.com/Shaunart.net, and follow me on Twitter @ShaunaLeva

Right now on Facebook, I’m posting progress pictures of a painting I’m working on. See my process from beginning to end unfolding on the Facebook wall.

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Granite State Comic Con

This weekend (Saturday and Sunday), Kelley and I will be exhibiting and selling our wares at Granite State Comicon! You can find us in the Artist’s Alley, booth number 907. I’ve included a map below with our table circled.  Granite Con will be held at the Radisson Center of New Hampshire, 700 Elm Street, Manchester on September 28th & 29th.

Granitecon 2013 Floorplan copy

The spaces for Granite Con are not as big as the one we had for Connecticon, so we won’t be able to bring our vertical displays, but we still plan to pack our table with leather masks, armor and bracelets, handmade jewelry, costume accessories, hair pieces and more! Kelley will be doing face paint and balloon animals, and I’ll have my caricature supplies on hand! We’re happy to do your makeup for the convention with Kelley’s hypoallergenic face paints, or get your costume started for Halloween with the perfect mask. Want something specific made for Halloween? We take commissions! If you order a mask at the convention, we will have it to you in time to celebrate every costumer’s favorite holiday on Oct 31st.

granitecon icon

For more information on placing a commission, you can visit my website at: http://shaunart.net, or send me an email direct.

For more information on the convention, check out their website: http://granitecon.com

I’ve finished a new painting! in an effort to hold onto the summer sun for as long as possible, I decided to paint, just for fun, a picture of this beach beauty. It’s not often that I paint a picture for no reason other than my own entertainment, but I couldn’t resist the opportunity to paint a pretty lady in bright colors.

This is a mixed-media piece of watercolors and colored pencil. It was not easy to mix that perfectly tanned skin tone without making her look sunburned or too toasty brown. Tanned skin is a very complicated mix of reds, oranges, yellows, purples, and blues–kind of like normal skin I suppose but with a lot more saturation! I tackled the skin by laying yellow washes first. Then I marked my shadows with some light blue and purple washes, and then really built up the color with thick layers of reds and orange. In some places I’m really laying the red on much thicker than you would expect, and even then I still needed the colored pencil to give it that extra blast of color. The skin was easily the most difficult part.

The easiest part of the painting? The Hair. I love to paint masses of linear things and there are few organic structures more linear than hair. Hair is easy not to overwork, and easy to stylize while still meshing with other very detailed and realistic elements of the painting.

One of my personal goals with this painting was not to overwork the surface. It’s easy to belabor a work, scouring every inch to make sure every single little detail is flushed out. Sure, that creates a really crisp image, but it takes an absurd amount of time and is not always necessary.  This painting was an exorcise in simplifying my process without sacrificing detail.

Renaissance Fair Season is upon us! I love spending a day out in the woods with the  fairies and jesters, celebrating the late summertime magic. The first Fair on my list is King Richard’s in Carver Mass, and to make sure I make the most of my Fair day, I am adding a few new pieces to my costume wardrobe. The most ornate of which is this handy little bag. This small glitzy purse was inspired by the Habib Bags offered by long-time fair vendor “Moresca.” Their work is beautiful, but hardly within budget when I can make some of the pieces, or something similar myself.

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All of the fabric for this purse, the red tassels, black and gold trim, and the broach were all things that I already owned in my craft bins. The only things I had to buy new were the multi-colored loop trim and the very ornate gold curtain trim with tassels that you see running through the middle. However because I only needed a small cut of each, and could pattern the whole thing myself, this bag cost me under $10 to make! Not counting my time of course. It even has a lining.

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I also recently made a new belt and mini-bodice which I wore to Connecticon. Made from green brocades and satins, with black and gold trim. Hand beaded and laced with black suede through brass grommets, this matching set is extremely versatile–especially the belt–because it is fully adjustable. I can wear it over leggings or a petticoat and two bustled skirts and it sits just fine.

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To spice these two pieces up for the fair I added some black and gold chains to the belt and the bodice. I’m banking on warm weather for fair day so that I can wear these chains on an open midriff. I’ll wear a shawl if I have to but the chains do not look as nice over a chemise. Anyone have any other ideas on how to winterize this bodice? I have arm socks or I could always go full cloak, but I don’t really want to cover the whole costume up. Side note–I got these chains on ebay for wicked cheap and they’re REALLY nice. I think they’re aluminum. Very pliable and easy to work with, however they are a nice thick gauge and feel quite strong when tugged on! I’m more concerned about my stitches failing than I am the chains, which is more than I expected for such cheap ebay notions.

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My favorite method of preparation for the fair involves spending more time outside. This is such a lovely time of year, and feeling a nice breeze on my skin every once and while keeps me motivated. The only other pieces of my costume that I want to update now, is to add a simple black fringe apron to sit under my fancy bag. I think it will frame it nicely and add an even more heavily layered look to my already voluminous skirts.  I’ll be sure to post more pictures when the whole outfit is done! Thanks for reading. 🙂

What an interesting week I’ve had! Before I get into it, I’ll apologize for not updating this blog more often. I’ve gotten so busy between work and trying to squeeze the last drops of summer out of this miserable rainy weather that I haven’t had much time to work on or publicize personal projects or new areas of study.

Anyway, my week–and especially this day–was very interesting because by some strange chain of events I was invited to come on WAAF’s Hill-Man Morning Show to talk about being a “Nerd Girl” and to play a little game with them. How did this happen? Who am I to appear as a guest on a very popular regional morning radio show? Well sit back and I’ll tell you a little story. I listen to WAAF (107.3/97.7FM) on my way to work and at my desk just about everyday. The station plays the sort of music that I like, gives away prizes and concert tickets that I am interested in, and I find their talk-show casts to be quite an entertaining bunch of people. This week on Hill-Man was “Nerd Week” in honor of the recently past Boston Comic Con. To commemorate the event, and have a little fun, the show came up with a game called “Are You Smarter Than A Nerd,” wherein they did pre-recorded interviews with con-goers, asking them trivia questions about a particular area of nerd-culture, and challenged callers to beat the nerds’ answers. As a result of this game, many heated discussions broke out about whether these nerds were sane, whether the DJs were making fun of these nerds, and whether other hobbies like fantasy sports leagues were any “better or worse” than your typical nerd hobbies.

I tuned into some of this debate on my way to work on Wednesday morning, and when I heard about 20 men in a row call in to comment on the subject, I thought it may be fun and useful to give a woman’s perspective. Honestly, it didn’t really matter to the DJs what I had to say on the issue, they simply seemed stunned that I was a girl…. They asked me questions like, “how much do you weigh?” and “do you wear glasses?” trying to determine if I fit the picture of a nerd girl that they held in their minds. I tried to explain that I was, I think, a decent, normal looking girl with a fair amount of confidence and friends, and yes, that I really am a nerd. Hurrying onto the next caller, the DJs said they may call me back to talk more….. Ok?

So Thursday as I was sitting at my desk listening to the same radio show, I heard my name again as they were rapping things up. They were debating whether or not they were going to call me back the next morning to have ME on the show to play a round of “Are You Smarter Than A Nerd.” Long story short because this story is getting really long–A friend and I–because I wasn’t going in there without backup–were invited to come to the WAAF studio to play “Are You Smarter Than A Nerd Chick” live on the air, and at the same time break down some negative stereotypes about nerds and nerd girls. Hopefully we did that but who am I to say?

We didn’t get into any really heavy discussion of nerd stereotyping or gender inequality, however the existence of stereotypes was implied over and over again in the questions we were given to answer. We had to keep things as light as we could, because let’s face it, they weren’t going to let us talk for an hour about whatever we wanted. Small-talk, a game, and a few jokes was all that was on the menu, but I hope that we were an overall positive and realistic representation of nerd girls in general, even if our very existence was highly sensationalized and rarified on the air.

Being in the studio and speaking on-air was a ton of fun and we received an overwhelmingly positive response from texters, callers, and tweeters. As with anything on the internet, there were a few people who felt the need to make a negative comment or two about the way we looked or about how the game was too easy, but for the most part I think the audience enjoyed the segment. I know some listeners may have felt like we were being patronized or publicly mocked, but I personally did not feel nearly as threatened as I thought I may have felt. Everyone at the studio was very friendly and respectful, and if anything they said came across as offensive, they either didn’t mean it, or said it in jest. That is part of their job after all.

If you would like to listen to Kelley and I representing nerd girls on live radio, you can listen to these two podcasts! But be warned that some of the content could be considered PG-13.

Part one

Part Two

Thank you, Hill-Man Morning Show for having us! We had a wonderful time and would love to chat with you all again!

Connecticon 2013

This weekend I will once again be exhibiting with Faire Trimmings in the Artist’s Colony of Connecticon 2013. Held at the Connecticon Convention Center in Hartford, CT, Connecticon is already in its 10th year!

The artist’s colony is located on the first floor, in the same giant exhibition hall as the dealer’s room. There will be large crowds of people flocking to it, so really you can’t miss it. I will be in booth AC-37, which to my understanding is right next to the information booth near a major isle. That should make us pretty easy to find.

We will be selling one-of-a-kind costume accessories made from leather, fabric, feathers, and more. There will be jewelry, masks, and prints to sift through. If you’re a fan of steampunk, cosplay, crafting, or period clothing you should come check us out!

Artist’s colony will be open Friday 12-8pm, Saturday 11-7pm, and Sunday 10-4pm.

Kelley and I will spend the weekend at our booth in costume. So come by to take a picture or to say hello!

Hope to see you there. 😀

Spring Leather

Remember all of those fairs I have been vending at? Well, I have accumulated a bit of new work that I haven’t had a chance to photograph and share with everyone due to the chaos of fair preparation. I still have lots on my plate, but now that two back-to-back events are done with, I have a moment to share with you some of my recent leather creations.


The leaf barrettes above have already sold out, but I do plan on making more. They are a fun new addition to my leather collections, perfect for summer and fall. By the time Connecticon rolls around, I should have several more back in stock.

A series of green masks with an iridescent shine. Another summery accessory.

This set is for the fairy princesses out there. Specifically sized to fit a young girl’s face, these brightly colored, ultra feminine masks also have an iridescent finish.

Here’s a bold statement. Metallic green, scalloped edges, and big gold studs draw attention to the eyes.

Last bunch for today, a series of blue iridescent masks in a variety of shapes and sizes. Everyone likes blue, so why not make a size to for everyone?