* Carmen Beecher * Cindy Michaud * Carol Schiff * Denette Schweikert * Donna Vines * Mary Warnick * Kathy Garvey *Fay Picardi * Jean Thomas

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Early Birds, 8x6 Oil on Canvas

Click to Purchase
The beach is so peaceful in the morning, and it is such a good time to catch pelicans fishing for their breakfast. There is a girl who does Tai Chi there in the morning and I'd love to join her, but it seems too intrusive for such a serene discipline. I just can't bring myself to ask her.

posted by Carmen

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Holiday Sale....Just Around the Corner! by Carol Schiff

Now that we have all stuffed ourselves with turkey and pumpkin pie, we are all thinking C*H*R*I*S*T*M*A*S !!  The pieces (that's what we like to call ourselves) are seriously thinking about our Holiday Art Sale that will be here faster than you can say "Ho Ho Ho".  In fact, it is next weekend, December 7th, but more about that later.

If you follow this blog, you know we all did birdhouses to sell this year, so I wanted to show you my effort.

As you can see, I already have a tenant, so sorry all you little homeless birds!  Thanks to Carmen's husband, Hap, who hand made ALL of our birdhouses.  He also laid out the rule that we had to keep our finished houses under wrap and have a grand reveal.....which was the perfect excuse for a grand party at Cindy's house a few weeks ago.  I can tell you, we have some very cool birdhouses!

For all you readers who don't happen to live in Melbourne, FL, we are happy to take orders and ship out, so if you must have this, or any of the other houses, just send us a comment with your email and we will get back to you.

We have some other new items at our sale this year.  We have been very busy and always try to come up with something new and unusual.  I wanted to give you a sneak peek of the table I painted.  It looks a little grey in these images, but it is actually painted in white, lavender and dusky purple.

I found this beautiful antique side table and painted it in dusky purple chalk paint.  Then, I got creative....painting white and lavender to bring out the wonderful carving.  I kept thinking about the beautiful Victorian houses in San Francisco and how their details are highlighted in several colors of paint.  Below is a close up of the table top, all safely sealed under three coats of varnish.

It was so much fun, I had to paint a matching chair!

We have many more exciting and unique items waiting for our sale along with wonderful art from our members at even more wonderful prices!  If you are in Central Florida on December 7th.....come on over.  Just drive to Melbourne, and follow the map on this blog to my house.  We will be easy to find with lots of signs up the last mile or two.  It's such a popular event, that even Google Earth came a few years ago

Hope to see you there!  Come early!!

PS:  Did I mention refreshments??


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Special Gifts at the Po8 Holiday Sale

A project for us all!  I never thought I could do this, but I had to try.  That's what it is when you're part of an art group, and I love all the ladies in Po8.  I got the idea when I was reading Peanuts in the comics and
there was a series on the burning down of Snoopy's house.

Come see this and the other birdhouses at the Annual  Po8   Sale, December 7th from 9 - 6 at Carol Schiff' house.

  Sweet Beets

When we were on our retreat in October visiting former member Phillis, she took us to an upscale market.
I saw this beautiful bunch of beets and had to buy them.  Several of us painted them.  Mine is a small watercolor.  After the paint session, I cooked them up.  The peeled and sliced beets were placed on top
of the gently sauteed greens.  They disappeared quickly!  Nothing like really fresh veggies.

The painting will be for sale, as well as others, all reasonably priced.

Mary Warnick

Monday, November 25, 2013

Hoping for good weather for our show!

The weather reports for Thanksgiving on the East Coast are looking grim. I can only pray they are wrong! It's sad to realize how many people's travel plans will be affected. You can't predict the weather when you are making your plans for any event. But we are sure hoping it will be excellent on December 7th from 9 a.m. to  4 p.m. ... especially since it is an outdoor show!

There are lots of bargains to make it a great time for anyone to collect some art. We bring our no longer needed art books and supplies and mark them way down. We do the same for some of our paintings to make room on our walls for what we plan to paint in 2014! We've hand painted almost a dozen beautifully made decorative bird houses and because the talented builder who made them for us is Carmen's generous husband, we are offering them at very reasonable prices, so come early for the best selection!

The preparation is extensive. Making art seems relatively easy to me compared to getting it ready for a sale. I don't have a surface in my house that isn't covered with projects, labels, mats, markers, paintings getting a check up, light switches covered in clay and waiting for packaging, inventory sheets, polymer clay and prints.

A few of my new steampunk light switches - polymer clay with gears!
A few people have requested "rocker" switch plates. There's not a lot of room on them for decoration but I'm giving it a try. Note that the finish is the same as the regular switches above, just these I used a flash and the above are in natural light. All are brushed with metallic powders and have an iridescent protective finish so they change with the light.
Checking out some 10x10 acrylics I have for the sale.
Getting a few of the watercolors (12x9) matted and protected.
9x12 watercolors getting matted and protected.
This is just a wee bit of what I'm getting ready. Between the 8 of us Pieces, there will be many beautiful objects available to make great Christmas gifts or to decorate your own home. So please keep us in your plans for Saturday, December 7th! And even if the weather does not cooperate, we hope you will drop by. What's our backup plan in case of bad weather? Well, we'll crowd everything into Carol's garage, play the Christmas music, eat, drink, be merry, and hope people come anyway! We always have coffee, sodas, delicious cookies and snacks and are looking forward to seeing everyone, rain or shine!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Concrete collage! An experiment in Poetry by Fay Picardi

Concrete Poetry Collages
An Experiment by Fay Picardi 
One of my favorite classifications of poetry is the concrete poem. Just the name creates a myriad of images in my mind, not the least of which is the concrete city. It's a form that grew popular in the sixties and is awaiting a rebirth. The poem above is one of the poems which most appealed to me because of its innate contradiction and its incongruous subject matter. I decided to exploit the idea by creating a triptych based on different fruits and their predators.
Above are the results of my experiment. On the left in French is a pear (poire) and its predator, the bee (abeille); in the center in Italian are grapes (ova) and their predator, the Italian grape moth (lignoletta della vita); and finally on the right in German is the apple (apfel) infested with its worm (vurm).  In the background of each collage is a repetition of the word for the fruit depicted. Lots of words; lots of fun. Look for this triptych at the Holiday Sale!

                                                                Apfel  by Fay Picardi
                                                                   8x8 paper collage

Thursday, November 21, 2013

When is a birdhouse not a birdhouse?

I know many of you have asked yourself this very, same question and now you don't  have to wait until our annual sale, Dec. 7 to find out. The answer is "When it is a birdbarn".
 Now who says a bird has to live in a house? You might run across a real country bird who remembers seeing those wonderful old barns along those wonderful old back roads as he was flying south. How would anyone way out in farm country have ever known when the circus was in town or about all the wonderful sights, natural and man made along magical, mythical Route 66?
I know you will all enjoy our wonderful, unique birdhouse projects but there is much more than that at our sale. There is something for everyone from something to sit on to something to wear.
See you Saturday Dec. 7, 9-4 at Carol Schiff's house.  See the website for a map.
Donna Vines

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

My Still Life Paintings in the Hills in Georgia

I really do not like painting outside.  I want music, air conditioning, and my comfortable studio instead.  While the PO8s were painting at the home of Phillis Holland in Georgia last week, I finished two small pictures of vegetables that I first painted and then ate. The paintings will be available at the Pieces of 8 annual art sale on December 7 at very reasonable prices.

We will see you on the 7th.

"Peppers from the Garden"

"Beets before We Eat"

Denette Schweikert

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Please: SIT ON MY ART!

I love to paint...but I also have a tendency to chase shiny objects!  These distractions are great fun while I am working out the solutions to more "serious" work.  Now my husband will remember 2012 as the year of glass flowers.  They were everywhere!  But he thinks 2013 is shaping up to be the year of the chair.  And while this abundance of chairs has been great fun for me, HE is ready to see some of them march out the door....sooner than later.

These works of art are ready for new homes...a little corner that needs some brightening or maybe beside a door to hold all the items you need to remember to take with you.  For years I had a special brightly painted chair in the bath to hold towels etc.  If you find your walls full of art, chairs is another way to bring more in.

These will all be available at our annual Holiday Sale and Show on December 7 at Carol Schiff's home.  I hate to admit that I have more underway so please do my husband and me a favor and drop by to see if any will work in your home.  And I didn't forget the kids or grandchildren, here's a look-see on a tot sized table for a playroom.  It's ready for crafts or games and it needs a new home!

We'll be ready for business between 9 am and 4 pm so come visit us by printing the map here:
If I can find new homes for the chairs and the table (hint: I'll be easy to bargain with around 3 pm) then my husband may take me out to dinner!  We will all be happy.....and I can dream up a new shiny object to chase NEXT year.

See you at the sale,
Cindy Michaud

Friday, November 15, 2013

Annual Holiday Sale December 7th!

Gift Shopping at its finest! December 7th, 9 to 4

The Pieces of Eight sale will be bigger than ever this year! As an event within an event, my husband made birdhouses for each of us and we each decorated ours, without anyone seeing the others. On Sunday we had a big reveal, and I am so thrilled with the creativity shown by every member. These birdhouses are amazing!

There will be deep discounts on paintings like my Coconut Palm, above left; painted furniture; handmade jewelry and many more lovely gift items. Here's my birdhouse and my jewelry:

Posted by Carmen Beecher

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


I am happy to announce that my work has been licensed and reproduced by All My Walls Inc., a manufacturer of metal wall decor.  I had no idea how they would use my images as they didn't seem to fit in with the rest of their products.  After many months, they finally sent me images of the finished products.  I am posting just a few samples for you.

The holidays are around the corner and we  have been getting inquires about our ANNUAL PIECES OF EIGHT ART SALE.  For all of you in the area, our sale is scheduled for the first Saturday in December.  We have lots of new art and, as always, something special that we have been working on.  So SAVE THE DATE and watch for updates in the next few weeks.


Monday, November 11, 2013

Bottle Still Life Painting, "Vintage Bottle" by Carol Schiff, 6x8" Palette Knife Painting

I have become slightly obsessed with vintage bottles, well, maybe a little more than slightly.  I love the idea of these bottles, most of them reclaimed from the earth, crusty and sometimes pearlized.  I like to think about how they were used when they were new.....and if they have a crystal cross on top (called a cross bottle) all the better!

Purchase here
100 + shipping

This one, obviously does not have a cross on the top.  It does have any absolutely gorgeous color, kind of a cobalt violet.  I am told the it started out as clear glass, but due to magnesium in the glass, has aged into a beautiful hue.

The other thing I love, is painting with wild abandon with loads of thick, creamy, oil paint and a combination of palette knife and brush.  So yes, this little painting hits my buttons on several levels.

Some days, I just go through the motions, and the resulting painting usually shows it,  but this one was pure joy!


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Getting Ready for the Show

by Kathy Garvey

Every year the Pieces of 8 host their Annual Christmas Sale. This year it is on December 7th. A map will be on here in the coming weeks to help you find our usual location in West Melbourne.

Everyone of us is busy getting ready. There are paintings to complete, items to get matted and/or framed, cards to order, bird houses (our big surprise item this year) to paint, items to price - some with great bargain basement prices, and lots of decisions to be made.  Over the next few weeks til the sale, we'll all be posting what we're working on.

I'm "gearing up" with a series of steam punk style light switch covers for the event. These are standard sizes covered with polymer clay, impressed with gears, highlighted with metallic powders and polished off with an iridescent medium to protect them from wear and tear. They look smashing on the wall!
Save the date: December 7th from 9 to 4. We'll be posting a map! Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Thar She Blows: A Recreation of Moby Dick by Cindy and Carmen

Cindy Michaud and I took on the ultimate challenge this year: the Mystery Build Competition. The whole idea is to make a recreation of a work of art from the objects in a small box. The Mystery Build organizers mailed the 9"x12" box to us, and we had to make our piece from nothing but the items inside, including the box itself if we wanted, plus paint. That's it. So the box contained a small variety of wood blocks and veneers, clay, a piece of rope, a square of canvas, a loose canvas, Elmer's glue and a few other things. We used the box, the packing material, and the instructions.

To see how we did it (there's a video) and (we hope) vote for our entry, click here: Mystery Build. There are a whopping 289 entries, and ours is Number 2 so it's easy to find.

posted by Carmen

Monday, November 4, 2013