Now Booking 2015!!!

Now Booking 2015 OFFICIAL

 

If you are looking for an amazing 3D pumpkin to display this year for Halloween, or if you want some awesome, unique entertainment for your guests at your Fall/Halloween event, 2015, look no further!

I have officially started booking for Fall 2015! If you have any questions about booking, feel free to contact me via the email provided, or you can fill out this form. Either way, I’ll get it and I’ll respond A.S.A.P! :-)   My spots are filling up fast this year, so don’t wait!

 

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Throwback Thursday!!! – An Ode to the Artistic Past

I remember back when I discovered the wonderful world of chalk pastels.  Yep, I was about 15 years old and I was in Mr. Gravely’s high school art class. One day he just let the class sit and experiment with it on these huge sheets of pastel paper. I immediately took a liking to them and asked if I could borrow a box to take home with me, along with some pastel paper. That was the cool thing about Mr. Gravely – if he knew you were serious about art, he wouldn’t hesitate to let you take a hundred art supplies home (that he often purchased using his OWN money) just to keep a student’s inspiration flowing.

I also remember bringing the pastels home and sitting there playing around with them after school for a couple of days – just drawing lines and shapes – figuring out how they work when certain things are done to them. Then one day I started rummaging through a box of old postcards, greeting cards, and random pictures from magazines that I would keep just for artistic inspiration (I actually still have that box, and I’ve been adding to it ever since.).  I remember looking at this old blank greeting card with a picture on the front of a baby sitting by the ocean, playing in the sand on the beach – it may have been a painting, but I don’t really remember. For whatever reason, I was drawn to it at the time and decided to sit down at our kitchen table at a homemade easel my dad had built for me using spare parts from the garage and draw this thing out. I pretty much just used the card as a reference photo, and copied the whole thing freehand – but onto a 18×24 blue sheet of pastel paper using pencil (only for the outline) and chalk pastel. Here is what I ended up with:

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Yep, so again, I was 15 years old when I drew this. I still remember my dad showing some of family this piece when it was still a work in progress – I remember hearing my Aunt say, “Oh my gosh! I always new she was going to be an artist!” haha. My dad still has this hanging up inside his house – that, and LOTS more of my early art (and some of my new stuff too). It’s cool to see this piece every time I go back to visit – And not even because I think it’s particularly good or anything. I think it was the first piece that I really stepped back and took a look at it and said….

“Hmmm…maybe I really can be an artist…..” :-)

 

 

I hope you enjoyed my little blast from the past for this week! If you would like to participate in Throwback Thursday, just send me an email via the “Contact Me” tab above and click on the “General Questions or Comments” and make sure to include the title “Throwback Thursday” in your request. Then I’ll get back to you asap with an email that you can send your picture into. NOTE: You DO NOT need to be “an artist”of any kind to participate. ;-)   To participate, all you’ll need is a photo of your art project/painting/sculpture/drawing (etc) and a small blurb describing your photo including your age/grade when you created your work of art. If you would like, you can also include any current artwork (if any) or a current website. And if you want to be even more daring – you can even include your current age! ::gasp::!  It’s all in good fun!

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Art and Confidence

I will now pose a serious question to you…A question that has been plaguing artists for centuries….A question where the answer can make or break any chance of an artistic career:

 

Do you ever doubt yourself as an artist? 

 

Think about that for a second……Do you ever feel like your art isn’t good enough, or that someone else’s art is better, so you tell yourself, “Why bother?”  Or do you start psyching yourself out with thoughts of failure or ridicule?  Or even worse, do other people doubt you as an artist, and you let it get to you so much that you start to believe it?

 

Well, good news! – I have a simple solution for you that will solve your problems once and for all!:

Stop it! Yep. Just stop it. Plain and simple. No magic formula here; Just magic words. Repeat them to yourself every time you find self-doubt creeping in again. “Stop it.” And then shake it off, move on, and finish what you originally started.

 

So you’re probably thinking, “C’mon! How could it possibly be that simple!?” Well, it is that simple, but you’ll find that we, ourselves, are the one’s that tend to complicate things with our thoughts of fears and what-ifs. Well, consider the quote below:

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Yes, let that marinate for a while…………………this is the root of all self-doubt.

And while you are doing that, I will also add that we often get an earful of what others think they know about the unknown, or rather, our personal unknown…and in summary, they believe that because of their fears (legitimate or not), we should give up our crazy artistic pursuits and take a more “conventional” approach to a career, or life in general….

 

But, that brings me to the next quote, which is one of my all-time favorites:

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Boom! (Now go and actually be the one who does it!)

 

Now I would like to share a personal experience with you that illustrates the very concept of that last quote. Although it is quite humorous on the surface, it really set the tone for me for the rest of my artistic career. It also totally changed my outlook on how I handle doubt in my artistic career.

 

I remember back in late 2006 – I was still finding my niche in the art world. I was newly married, had no kids, and had an abundance free time aside from my job as a traveling art instructor.

 

Back where I used to live, the county fair used to come around in October. I vividly remember back in late September of 2006, an ad came on one of my favorite radio stations – they announced they were sponsoring the contest for Grand Hat Days at the Big Fresno Fair on its opening day. The most GRAND hat would win $1000 and free Me N’ Ed’s Pizza for a year. (Now, if you grew up where I did, you would know that any prize consisting of Me N’ Ed’s Pizza was a prize worth it in itself…the $1000 wasn’t a bad incentive either….) ;-)

 

As soon as I heard that announcement on the radio, I just knew, not hoped, but KNEW that I could win this thing – there wasn’t a doubt in my mind. I never even gave it room to creep in. Even though I had never made a hat before, let alone a huge whimsical one, there still wasn’t a doubt in my mind. Now, for those that don’t know me, I am no Miss Cleo, nor did I have any special inside information as to what the judges would be looking for. I just knew what I was capable of making – that was all. My imagination was the limit for me.

 

So I grabbed my sketch pad and came up with this little beauty, or rather….this drawing is more like a “beast.” Remember, this was almost 10 years ago. The drawing is definitely a bit rough, and actually reminds me of drawings I did in high school – but whatever – I was excited about it, and that is the key!

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And then within minutes that idea evolved into this:

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I’m not sure why I kept these sketches – but I’m glad I did.

 

Ok, so yeah – this idea of this hat was no doubt a freakin’ mutated abomination to hats, and a definite stretch of the imagination. But C’mon! – I mean, after all, it wasn’t called Mediocre Cute Hat Day – It was called GRAND Hat Day for a reason! I was going GRAND!

 

That same day I ran to the nearest craft supply store and bought everything I would need to construct this monstrosity of a hat. I have to admit, because I had never made a hat in my life, to jump into the world of hat making to this degree may have easily been misconstrued as pure craziness on my half, and rightly so. But, that brings me to my next philosophy – there is always a method to my madness.

 

So imagine if you will, my poor husband coming home that evening to me sitting in the middle of our living room in our tiny apartment, armed with a glue gun in one hand, and balancing the foam frame of this humungous hat in the other, surrounded by scraps of fabric, tape, felt, glue, glitter, feather boas, and who knows what else, all sprawled out all over our living room floor.…

 

As soon as he opened the door, his mouth dropped and his eyebrow went up and he said, “WHAT are you doing?….” I quickly explained how I heard the ad on the radio and decided to make this hat to win $1000 and free Me’ N’ Ed’s Pizza for a year. And as soon as I said it, I immediately knew how insane I sounded, and I was ready for the piercing objection that was obviously headed my way. He just stood there with his eyebrow up and said, “Well, I think you’re crazy for doing it…I think you’re just wasting your time, but whatever…” (PHEW! I got off easier than I’d though!) I just confidently told him, “you wait and see…..” (Again, there wasn’t a doubt in my mind).

 

(See, now keep in mind that I have gotten that reaction from him many-a-times since then when I start these crazy new artistic ventures….::cough cough:: pumpkin carving ::cough cough::…..But really, I can’t blame him. My husband was probably wondering what the heck he got himself into by marrying me, and he probably still wonders that on many occasions. He’s definitely been  more patient and understanding than I deserve sometimes. ;-)   But as I said, there is a method to my madness…something he has slowly come to accept over the years. )

 

Back to the story – A couple of days went by and my grand hat was almost ready to go. My husband was now well into the “laughing-in-disbelief-that-I-was-actually-going-through-with-this” phase. Now, let me put the size of my hat into perspective for you, I couldn’t stand straight up while wearing the hat inside my apartment because the top of it was smashing into our ceiling….and it probably weighed a good 10-15 pounds at the least. (And there still wasn’t a doubt in my mind…..it was just pure excitement at this point for me.)

 

So the day came, and my husband had to work, so I had my dad accompany me to the Grand Hat Days contest at the Big Fresno Fair that morning, with my huge hat in hand, or rather, in arms. I even had to have my dad help me lift up the hat so I could put it on. Unfortunately he had to get to work too, but he wished me luck and I walked over to the contest alone with my huge hat and anxiously waited with the other contestants, and still, not a doubt in my mind!….:

 

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Can you spot my hat?…..it’s almost as tall as I was…..

 

And then it came time to announce the winner……..drum roll please ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

 

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Yep, yours truly!  Winner of $1000 and free Me N’ Ed’s Pizza for a year! I got a big poster board check and everything! (Although, there was no abundance of actual pizza or boxes present like I’d imagined…bummer….But at least they gave me vouchers with pictures of pizza – close enough). And the best part – can you guess who the first person was that I called to rub it in his face! Haha! (I say that semi tongue-in-cheek….but I was pretty darn proud of myself! )

 

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Again, the reason I’m telling you this story is not to brag, nor to profess my love for Me N’ Ed’s Pizza. I wanted to share this story because that experience has been my go-to model for how I pursue all of my artistic ventures. Like the title to my post suggests, there is a theme here throughout all of this – Never a doubt! And if doubts start to creep in via you or someone else, simply “Stop it!” “I’m busy pursuing a passion, so don’t interrupt me. Thanks” ;-)

 

Similar to creating that hat for the contest, a lot of people thought I was crazy for pursuing professional pumpkin carving, or starting a blog, or starting a YouTube channel, or pursuing other recent ambitious art goals (more on that later). Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had plenty of support too. But regardless of any kind of support or opposition you have, as with anything in life, you have to be confident in yourself and know, without a doubt in your mind, that you can achieve whatever goal it is you are after. You can achieve that vision in your head and bring it to life.

Regardless of what anyone says, or doesn’t say, and regardless of any obstacles you may face (because there will be many) – just keep moving forward, keep dreaming and imagining, keep stepping outside of your comfort zone and pushing your limits, do your best, and remember the exciting feeling you had when you first started a project – that is your passion, it is your fire. Follow it – without a doubt in your mind, and enjoy every second of it. Replace your fear with curiosity, and replace any doubt with excitement and passion, and go for it!

 

Lastly, I would like to leave you with this – it is a quote I have always been drawn to since I was a teenager in high school. I was never sure of why until now:

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But I would like to change that ending just a bit to get my point across here (no offense, Shakespeare. You’re awesome!):

Doubt though the stars are fire;

Doubt that the sun doth move;

Doubt truth to be a liar;

But never doubt my passion,

For it will move mountains….

 

And this I leave you with until next time….  :-)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What I’ve Been Working On……

Well, I was carving pumpkins straight from October through to mid November last year. And by the time all 30+ 3D pumpkins had been carved, I was SERIOUSLY burned out, but in the best way though – feeling accomplished is always a good thing, especially when you know all the hard work you just did will pay off the following year. ;-)

Here is just a mini sneak peak of one of the many pumpkins I was working on last year after November…..

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So why the extra pumpkins? Well, as much as I love carving pumpkins on my own time, there is definitely a motive here – 2 motives to be exact. The first is pretty basic – practice! I needed some time to really be able to sit down and practice creating faces packed with expression.  The second, and biggest reason -  I’ve collaborated with an AMAZING artist for a project that is going to be so awesome, you will NOT want to miss it! I’ll fully reveal the project, and pumpkins, once Fall 2015 rolls around….and maybe drop a few hints in between now and then! (And that’s all I’m going to say about that…for now.) ;-)

The suspense is going to eat away at me until then, so I’ll have to distract myself with some minor (and major) art projects until then.

Lately I’ve been working on some VERY miniature art projects. I’m not sure why, but I’ve always loved miniature art – maybe it’s the challenge of trying to get so much detail in to such a small space.

I’m also going to start work on another feather painting pretty soon here, and possibly (gasp) a canvas painting…..(For those of you who have been following me, it’s no secret that a canvas is not my surface of choice when it comes to painting….but we’ll see…)

Anyhow, as far as art goes, that’s about it at the moment. I’ll be doing a lot of art in the coming days and weeks, and I’ll be sure to record as much of it as I can.

There’s going to be lots of fun stuff going on this year – and somehow each year’s art manages to be bigger and better than the last! (figuratively speaking, or course….not sure if doing miniature ark qualifies as “bigger” ;-) ) Nevertheless, I’m feeling especially ambitious this year…….

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The Pumpkin Artist Carving on the News!!! PLUS More Pumpkin Carving Photos!

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Last week was an incredibly busy week for me – carving, carving, and MORE carving! I was carving some pumpkins for a couple of news stations as well as various businesses. It has been one extremely busy pumpkin carving season (and even after Halloween, it STILL isn’t over for me. Yikes…what did I get myself into??? ;-) ) Here are a couple of clips from some news stations that featured me and my carvings. I will add more clips as they become available.

For those that don’t know, I was invited by Good Morning Idaho to do some live pumpkin carving on their show. To do the segment I was at the studio by 4:30AM Halloween morning, and was ready to go by 5:00AM when their show started. They gave me a little less than 3 hours to carve a pumpkin for them live on their show. I was actually done early, with a lot of time to spare, but I just dragged out adding details and cleaning it up for a while until the end of the show. Besides, when it comes to being an artist, your work is really never finished…with pumpkin carving specifically, there is always another wrinkle to be added, or another line to cut a bit deeper, etc.

But anyway, I’ll quit chit chatting, and you can see the segment for yourself below. The clip below is just snippets from the beginning and end of the show. In between time they would stop to interview me about every 30 minutes or so, and they would cut to clips of me carving before they went to breaks, but they cut that from the online version. Even though it was early, I really had a lot of fun!

(UPDATE/ May 2015:

I have temporarily removed this playable video from my website – it kept autoplaying whenever I would open up my website, and I couldn’t figure out how to turn off the dang autoplay option, and it was really annoying….so yeah. :-) Anyhow, here is the link to the video: http://launch.newsinc.com/share.html?trackingGroup=69016&siteSection=ndn&videoId=28080167. Check it out if you want – It’s pretty cool.  If I ever figure out how to stop the video from autoplaying, then I’ll include it in again. )

This clip below was filmed in the middle of October by a whole different news station. It was just a fun little clip they aired during their evening news.

And here are some photos from each event:

This is the Good Morning Idaho crew. They are very nice, and incredibly funny (especially when the cameras go off. ;-)

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These are the pumpkins I carved for Good Morning Idaho. The little guy on the left was carved live on their show, and the creepy-looking guy on the right I carved the night before. I love the faces on these guys. The guy on the right took 3 pumpkins to construct: 1 for the face, one for the hat, and one for the collar. Although, I really wish I could have worked on that hat some more, but since the pumpkin was getting so thin I had to end up abandoning the idea half way through. It was literally hanging on by shreds in some areas, and it was slowly starting to give away. So I couldn’t create that “fabric-y look” on his hat like I had originally wanted. It still looked cool from a distance though.

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And here’s a shot from my interview with KTVB Channel 7 (the second video clip):

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Lastly, (this has nothing to do with news interviews) I wanted to share another pumpkin I carved this year  – it was a revisit of a pumpkin I carved last year. However the pumpkin I used last year was unripe, and terribly thin. It was almost pointless to carve the pumpkin last year, but I wanted to get the practice in.  Having said that, the end result was OK, but it still begged a do-over. The pumpkin this year was a lot better to work with, and this is the end result: A weird looking face.  ;-)

Crazy face pumpkin by Brandy Davis(R)

 

 

Again, like I said earlier, it is now officially 3 days post Halloween, and I am still not through carving yet.  (I stocked up on pumpkins right before Halloween for a cool project I have in the works). I currently have 14 uncarved pumpkins hanging out at my house. ::sigh:: Sometimes I wonder if I am I am either ambitious for doing this, or just crazy….I am beginning to think I am a little bit of both. But having said that, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I hope you all had a Happy Halloween! I know I did! :-)

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NEW! “Batman” 3D Pumpkin Carving Time Lapse Video!!!

As promised, I finished making the time lapse video today, and now it’s time to share with all of you. Watch it and let me know what you think! As always, feel free to share with friends and family! Thanks, and Happy Halloween! (Stay tuned for more pumpkin carving this week!) :-)

 

And if you haven’t already, remember to subscribe to my YouTube channel or my blog so you’ll be the first to know any cool news from TheFeatherArtist.com!

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“Holy 3D Pumpkins, Batman!” NEW 3D Pumpkin Carving!

Alright! Enough with all the cutesy-schmootzy pumpkins! Time to get down to business (Like I said, I wasn’t done making pumpkins yet this year! And I still have more to go!).

I had been wanting to do a Batman pumpkin since last year, but there had always since been a reason (excuse) to never actually do it: Never had enough time, or never had the perfect pumpkin for it, or never really had the confidence to take on such a task.  This year, however, the stars have aligned, and this is the result.

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“Batman” 3D Pumpkin by Brandy Davis

The carving is based off of an amazing Batman sculpture by Andy Bergholtz. My pumpkin version of Batman doesn’t look exactly like his, but I really didn’t expect it to – Variations in pumpkin depth and height can definitely put some limitations, or at least alterations, on a design if you have something in mind. The area around the mouth and jawline were getting pretty thin, so I didn’t get to push it as far back as I had wanted, so it’s not as refined as I wanted – but it still looks pretty cool.  Also, I am still learning/practicing how to make the “muzzle” area of the face – which is the most difficult area for me, but I am getting it, slowly but surely.

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Close-up detail of skin texture.

And as always, I left the original pumpkin stem on. Some people have asked me why I didn’t remove it, and my answer is simple – “Because then it wouldn’t look like a pumpkin!”….or at least it would take a lot longer to figure out. ;-)    I always want to keep the “pumpkin-feel” alive as much as possible.

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Also, I got a chance to film most of this pumpkin carving process, but since it is taking forever for the files to upload to my computer, I’ll have to post the time lapse video later today – So check back for that! I’ll be pretty cool! :-)

Anyhow, for now, please enjoy the photos above, and feel free to share them! Happy Halloween!

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Zoo Boise SPOOKTACULAR!

Well, I am finally finished with the pumpkin carving at Zoo Boise, and without further ado, here are some pictures of my pumpkin carvings from the event. I ended up with a grand total of 14 pumpkins (16 if you include the 2 additional pumpkins I used to make the peacock).

I tried to keep everything very kid-friendly since I knew there were going to be lots of kids at this event. So I decided to forgo the scary faces and replace them with very fun, or funny-looking, faces. As you can see, even the witch and Frankenstein even have some “cuteness” to them.

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Chillin N Grillin by Brandy Davis

One of my goals with this set-up was to get pumpkins interacting with various props, and to really give them their own unique personalities. Like the little guy above who insisted on getting one last BBQ in before winter comes.

Or like this guy below who really enjoys making (and eating) pastries on his spare time:

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I also wanted to add an element of humor to some of the set-ups. If you didn’t walk away from my display smiling, then I didn’t do my job. But having said that, I think I accomplished my goal. ;-)

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(The face of the “grumpy” pumpkin above was based off of one of Ray Villafane’s amazing pumpkins – I just added a slight twist on the idea by giving him a reason to be grumpy…”)

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IMG_1450(r)I didn’t get as much time as I would have liked to work on some of these pieces. I REALLY would have loved to have refined and added tons of detail in this piece, but because I had so many other pumpkins to do, some quality had to be sacrificed for time. Having said that, they are still pretty cool to look at…..from a distance. ;-)

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This guy is just a little depressed that October is almost over, and winter is coming…..

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All-in-all this was a very successful event. I loved getting to hear the reactions of people behind me as they saw some of my pieces for the first time.

And some may think that after all of these pumpkins that I am done carving for the season…..well, they are wrong…There is still MORE to come, so look out!

Happy Halloween everyone!

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Still At It!

Don’t worry, I didn’t forget about you!  I have just been insanely busy carving pumpkins! I had a huge pumpkin carving event and it’s just been tons of awesome pumpkin carving chaos! Yep, 7 pumpkins this past weekend, and another 7 this coming weekend. I will be posting TONS of pictures and some other goodies soon! So hang in there for just another couple of days – I promise it will be worth the wait! For now, here is a small teaser of what I have been up to:

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My first attempt at a “squishy face” pumpkin.

"Chillin' N' Grillin' 3D Pumpkin Carving by Brandy Davis

“Chillin’ N’ Grillin’ 3D Pumpkin Carving by Brandy Davis

 

Gettin' a little thirsty...... (3D Pumpkin Carving by Brandy Davis)

Just barely finished and gettin’ a little thirsty…… (3D Pumpkin Carving by Brandy Davis)

 

Happy Halloween!!!

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The Feather Artist ETSY Store is Back in Business!!! PLUS Get $5 Off Your First Purchase at My Shop!!

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For those of you who have been following me on a regular basis, you have probably noticed that my Etsy Shop has been closed for quite some time now. I have decided to re-open it with limited inventory, although I will be adding to it frequently in the coming weeks. For those that don’t know, Etsy is an online shop, similar to Ebay, but without the bidding. It allows artists and crafters (like me) to be able to have their own online store (for a very small fee) and sell their hand-made or vintage items. (All of mine are hand-made though).

Truth be told, I hate to see my babies go, but that’s the way life goes for an artist.

At this time I am not taking custom orders due to a crazy busy Fall pumpkin carving season season, but as soon as November hits, that may change – As always, feel free to send me an inquiry if you have any questions.

If you haven’t already seen my Etsy Shop, please feel free to check it out here and browse around. I have hand-painted feather earrings as well as my full, hand-painted Native American portraits on feathers.  I’m also coming out with a new product (Coming soon, November 2014!), so keep an eye out for that! And remember, Christmas is just around the corner…..  ;-)

As an added bonus, if you have never purchased from Etsy before, you can click here to score $5 off your first purchase on Etsy, including all items in my shop! 

Here are a few of the items I currently have listed in my Etsy Shop:

"Courage" hand-painted feather by Brandy Davis

“Courage” hand-painted feather by Brandy Davis

"Honor" hand-painted feather by Brandy Davis

“Honor” hand-painted feather by Brandy Davis

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Etsy

Thanks for checking it out!

(And stay tuned for some awesome pictures coming this weekend of my pumpkin carving gig at Zoo Boise! I have some awesome things planned! If I get some time, I’ll show you all some of the props I have been working on to create some cool pumpkin scenes!)

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