Howdy!

Well, hi there! Thanks for checking out my new blog. It's funny, I never thought I would have a blog, mainly because I didn't think anyone would care about my life. And that's still probably the case, but that's okay. With all the craziness that is my life, I really needed a place to channel the whirlwind of thoughts, so I figured a blog may be the perfect outlet. I'm on the computer 8-10 hours a day, anyways...so why not?

Here we go. Welcome to Bluestar Bloggery, the creative journal of me, emily balsley. I'm going to kick this entry off with a quick summary of who I am : mommy, wife and artist.
I am the mother of an amazing 2-year old girl, Stella. She lives up to her name in that she is the brightest little star imaginable. She is my inspiration, for everything I do is because of her.

I am married to a wonderful guy who fits me perfectly. He is my best friend, my rock, and I really don't know what I'd do without him. Even though he teases me incessantly about all the projects on my plate...and how much it stresses me out...and "why can't you say 'no'?"...he is my biggest fan, and a huge motivator. In fact, I probably wouldn't try to juggle so much, if it wasn't for his incredible support.

And, lastly, the instigator for writing this journal: my art. As long as I can remember, I've had a crayon, or a paintbrush or a piece of charcoal in my hands. My claim to fame is winning 34 coloring contests as a child, and as many crazy prizes to boot - including a swimsuit from JC Penneys and a stuffed green bean from the local grocery store. Wowie! Anyways, my point is, art has always been a part of my life. From drawing inspiration from my creative mom, to graduating from UW-Madison with a fine arts degree, I channel inspiration from all directions. Upon graduating, I got a job as a graphic designer at a bike company where I designed bicycles, namely Schwinn, for 6 years. 2 years ago, after we had Stella, I quit my full-time gig to spend more time with the kiddo, but still worked part-time as a freelance designer.

Still designing Schwinn bikes, I also started pursuing other avenues, including going back to my roots: illustration. I had forgotten how good the pen felt. Drawing more, I wanted to explore other means of printing my illustrations, and after playing with a friend's Gocco machine, I was hooked. For a while, I obsessed about finding a Gocco of my own, but for those of you who aren't familiar, they are not easy to come by. So I decided to learn the basis of Gocco - screenprinting. I had never gotten the opportunity in college to try screenprinting (though I LOVED etching), and found a continuing education class at the university, and went for it. AMAZING! It was perfect - exactly what I was looking for. And after 10 weeks of learning the basics of the art of silkscreening, I concluded that I needed a print shop in our basement. (Sorry, Stephen!)

My other creative adventure has been sewing. After Stella was born, I started noticing toys and stuffed animals a lot more. Stella received a super-cool handmade stuffed bear from one of our close friends, and I found that there are a ton of fabulous resources out there for making your own plushies. So I decided to give it a shot, and made a stuffed bunny, named Bobu, for Stella. It was such a fun process! I loved the way the fabrics felt...I loved the imperfections of my blanket stitches (which I learned how to do on YouTube, I might add), and I especially loved how Stella chewed on Bobu's ears for the first few months. I loved it so much, I started making them for friends and family whenever I could. And now I can't stop! I named them Fuzzies (after Stephen's childhood stuffed bear, Fuzzy), and the fleet continues to grow.

Phew! So that about sums up my life until this point. If you're still reading, thanks for sticking with me. I can't imagine future posts are going to be this lengthy, but I figured I had a lot to say to get everyone up to speed. From here on out, my plan is to focus on all my artistic endeavors. I plan to post my illustrations, my inspirations, my Fuzzies, and whenever I finally get my screenprinting shop up an running, I'll post that whole saga.

One final note: Up until about a year ago, I didn't really get the Internet. I only used it for checking my email, the weather, and occasionally watch a YouTube video that someone would send me. I never understood how people could "surf the net" for hours and hours. Then I discovered designsponge.com
and I realized just how much inspiration was out there. Now I have oodles of bookmarked links, and I'm constantly searching for more - I just can't get enough. There are so many amazing artists out there. Hopefully someday I will be an inspiration to at least one person out there.

Thanks!
e