Artists Studio Series: Mariel

Mariel Garcia’s Studio

Mariel is a professional in North Little Rock who works mainly with fabric and sewing creations. She is an avid animal lover and volunteers with Raptor Rehab of Central Arkansas. Some of her work is currently for purchase at Gallery 26 in Kavanaugh.

Mariel talks about her studio below.

“I live in a small efficiency and work all around that space but felt like I wanted to have a dedicated area where I could call it my ‘craft home’.  My loft area was becoming just an area for storage since I have to make the best use of my space.  Instead of buying a table, I decided to use my creativity and see how I could keep both the storage and create that desired crafting space.  I stacked up the storage containers and added a nice lace blanket to make a table.”

Craft Loft2 Craft Loft

“I hung my threads on this cute pear shelf above my sewing machine for easy access.”
Craft Loft 4

“I love how the natural light seeps through how I don’t have to worry about cleaning up if I’m in the middle of a big project.  The good thing about my sewing machine is that I can take it downstairs if I wish.  Everything is versatile.”


“Since this used to be my sleeping area before I bought my big mattress, I also feel a calm connection.  It’s amazing how a little reorganizing can bring life to new ideas and create such a wonderful nook.”

Craft Loft 3

Creativity Inspirations:
“Music and nature are big inspirations when beginning any project. Listening to music helps calm the mind so that I can easily tap into creative ideas and embark on new journeys.”

Other inspirations:
“Seeing other artists at work through craft meet-ups, blogs, Pinterest, and ideas from local hobby stores.  I always think ‘If I can do it, I should try it.'”

“Creativity and imagination go hand in hand.  It means innovating when there is a lack of materials thus making use of resources by being cost effective and helping our environment.”


Art Night for Projects

The Art Night for April 2014 met and I am thinking this group needs a name – like Crunch and Create, Munch and Make, or Snack and Scheme. The night serves dinner and then space and time to work on a creative project.

M made chicken and vegetable fried rice and then baked chocolate chip cookies.
M Cooking M Baking

Mariel was the first arrival and continued her puppet making project for the Man and Bear musical puppet show by the Damsels in Distress.
MG First Arrival M.G. space M.G. space buttons

J brought a Darth Vader coat rack that she wanted to touch up paint.
J and project J space darth vader J working

M.M. brought her beautiful beads and worked on a bracelet.
M.M. space beads M.M. project bracelet

K and A came together, sat together, and worked on their projects together! K worked on a felt billfold, and A worked on sewing an image for her trading card group.
K and A working K and A working 3 K and A working 2

I worked on printing cards to send to Lucy Luton in England. I was one of the first three to email her for a contest, and she sent me some of her cards – so I wanted to send her some of my cards.
L.K. Carving 2 L.K. Space Ink area L.K. space prints

More pictures of the night!
L.K. space ink work table
 L.K with Ein M.G. Eating
work space L.K. Carving

Art Night: Accidental Wedding Theme

The March 2014 Art Night group meeting rallied last night, and we were all in favor (with each other of course).

I set up the studio to fit maximum peoples and Ein looked out the window waiting for arrivals.

Once there, everyone was able to enjoy whole made bread and chicken soup (made by M), peanuts, chocolates, and hot wild raspberry hibiscus herbal tea.


Everyone was ready to get to their projects! Once we all started working, we realized that many people were working on things for or about weddings – so there was an accidental wedding theme!

A lot of people helped D with wedding decorations.
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N worked on secret wedding photo edits.

K painted and collaged on canvas.

When Ein let her, V worked on editing photos.

I worked on a painting for my friend’s wedding anniversary.
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Mariel has her own business – Gypy Leaf and makes beautiful stitching.

Mariel worked on a project for The Damsels in Distress upcoming puppet show “The Man and the Bear” (working title).
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Fun fact: Mariel wrote to Mister Rogers and he wrote her back! How cool is that? Very cool.

So, hopefully if you are thinking of starting your own artist group, you can see how easy it is to have an “art night” with your creative friends.