The Art and Craft of Serena Blossom Appel


Important- New Website and Brand

Hi all,

I’ve gone through a lot of changes the past few years- lots of life events, new home in a new part of Oregon, and potentially different long term creative goals.

In order to honor that, I am “shedding my skin” and will no longer be keeping this particular site. The Laughingnewborn can be put gently to sleep in the cradle. On to new things!

The new rebrand will be under “SoulWise Art” and will combine my different avenues of creativity- working individually on visual mixed media art, wearables, collectively in community or by giving presentations/shows/workshops, doing custom art and healing pieces for others, and incorporating creative writing and photography- into one place.

Visit my new website at:

Or contact me at:


Return of the Love Show! @ Ford Gallery

After something like a 6 year hiatus, the original Love Show is back in Portland! Community gallery entrepeneur, Ben Pink, has taken on hanging original works from 200 artists for this year’s event at the Ford Gallery on SE Division & 11th.

I didn’t get the memo in time to submit work for this show, although I know several talented artists who will have work you should still check out 😉

Instead, I will be running a costume photo booth at the event- come play dress up and get your picture taken in front of a Love themed backdrop!


Opening night is on Saturday, Feb. 3, from 6-11pm. There is parking at the back of the Ford building, but the lot is a little small. Street parking is available nearby. Other event amenities include a bar, potluck, and an on site non-denominational Reverend who will be marrying and divorcing (according to which you need most) people at the event.

I look forward to all of the fun photos that will be happening this coming Saturday! If you can’t make it to opening night, the show will be up through March 12.

10th Anniversary Big 500 Show 2017

The Big 500 Show is back in Portland, Oregon, and it’s their anniversary! I’m excited to see the show back at the Pioneer Place Mall, former home of Peoples’ Art Of Portland Gallery. Clearly the artists rock so hard that they got invited back for another appearance!


For my pieces this year, I am exploring more in-depth the fusion of a variety of mixed media materials, techniques, and processes:

It’s been a bit heinous getting ready for the show, after getting my own place, moving my household across the state in September, setting up my art studio in a whole new building, work transitions, health transitions, and so on. So I hadn’t had as much time or brain power as I’d like to be able to focus on what I wanted to do.

Yet, I’d wanted to give more time and opportunity to the part of me that loves to feel things, to play with materials and enjoy the colors and textures, to go with an intuitive vision. So I started with a mere flash of an idea- working with metal foil and making lantern-style light “boxes.” Add to that some cool finds in my materials stash that I hadn’t seen in years, and some beachcombed treasures, and I was off and running.

I’m excited about the possibilities with the light boxes, as it provides a sustainable way to light up a space that can last for a long time, has replaceable components, and uses minimal power. Also blurring the lines between art and functionality; pieces that are paintings or sculptures by day, can take on an added dimension by night.

I will be at the opening (get there by 2pm for a PARADE!) so I hope you can make it out! If not opening night, the show will be up through Christmas for all of your holiday shopping needs.




July 15: NW’s Largest Garage Sale


I will be vending at this year’s NW’s Largest Garage sale at the Clark County Event Center in Ridgefield, Washington, about 20m North of Portland.

Directions to the Event Center are on their website here.

NW’s G sales happen periodically throughout the year, but this event will be on ONE day only, July 15th, from 8am-4pm. EARLY BIRD hour will be from 7-8am for you morning people… Which I’m not! If you happen to make it out that early, I might even be motivated to offer a discount… Make me an offer 🙂

I will have a variety of vintage & collectible clothing on offer at this sale, including belly dance/festival costumery, gothic, 80’s punk, ska/rockabilly, and a few designer items (Dansko clogs are very comfy!)

In addition, I will have original art and craft pieces, as well as your more traditional “garage sale” items, vintage cassette/VHS tapes, fiction and academic/text books, possibly some art and craft supplies, vintage jewelry, etc.

I hope to be able to utilize Square for the first time at this booth! So swipe cards, cash and checks should work fine. I can also do pay by email.

Hope to see you out this coming Saturday!




“Artists’ Union Connections” Meet & Greet- And art donations!


I’m assisting with launching an effort here in the Portland, Oregon area called “Artists’ Union Local 503”. It’s an attempt to establish a trade union style support and advocacy organization for those who would like to make a full-time (or at least, living wage) career from their creative work (any arts media included).

We are meeting on every 2nd Monday evening of the month, from 6-8pm, for a creative community event called “Artists’ Union Connections”, at a Central East side location. This will allow us to help build our support and following, provide a point of contact for creative community & allies to interface with Union reps, and also help build a space for creative community that is supportive and encouraging. Plus… Potluck! Who doesn’t love a good potluck.

For this month’s gathering on April 10th, we will also be collecting donations of art pieces and/or art and craft supplies to place in our Spring Art Swap coming up on May 1st. This will be a fundraiser and awareness raising campaign event for us, but will also provide access to cheap and/or free art and craft supplies for low-income artists, as well as a chance to own work from talented people in our local arts community. Is there someone whose work you’ve always admired, but couldn’t afford to buy a piece for yourself? Tell ’em about the swap! Maybe you’ll be pleasantly surprised 🙂

If you can’t make it to this Monday’s event, but you’d still like to participate in the upcoming Swap effort, please get a hold of us through one of the links below.

You can learn more about Artists’ Union Local 503, and about our upcoming events, at these links:

Facebook Page

Facebook Networking Group (open to the public)

Artists Union Website

Meetup Group


Big 500 Show 2016 @ the Ford Building

I’m one of the artist-volunteers helping to hang artwork for the Big 500 show, this year at the Ford building on SE Division (near Genies cafe’ and across the street from the Independent Publishing Resource Center). It’s only been about three hours, and we already have over half the building covered in art! 

If you aren’t familiar with the show, it’s cash and carry, all pieces $40 each, and all pieces were created especially for the show. They’re show in “random order”, so even though some of the work is by collectible local artists, you won’t be able to know whose piece is whose until you look on the back of the work. Thus, each piece stands on its own merits.

Having gotten such positive feedback since last year, I’m continuing in what I may turn into an annual holiday tradition, and hanging “light panels” featuring LED lights that can be switched on and off from the back of the work. 

This year, I experimented with using copper wire, tissue paper and acrylic gel to create the translucent “lanterns”. The effects are resilient and show off the light to good effect. A magical happening during the art making process, was that the copper wire oxidized during the drying process- so the framework shows a little bit of verdigris patina through the tissue. I kind of like it myself 🙂

I hope you can come and check out the show, opening tomorrow, Dec. 10th, 2 to about 10pm. I’ll be there! And if you show up later in the evening, you might be in for an extra treat out back in the parking lot…. 

Art Party @ The Crimson Lotus

I’m stoked about the new album I came home with a few weeks ago, from Production Unit Xero (aka Ramon Mills)x with cover art by Tara Cochrane. The collage art and the smoky, minimalistic ambient music on the album are all original and unique, part of a limited-edition set, each with a different song mix and design. 

I got it at an Art Party, where a number of Tara Cochrane’s visionary/mythological/Goddess-inspired canvases were on display.

It was held at The Crimson Lotus, which has replaced Baowry Bagel, the former inhabitant of a turn-of-the-century stone house in St. Johns, right across from the Safeway on one side, & the McMenamin’s on another.  

They have tasty food at The Crimson Lotus (the Rat Burger is a favorite item); a variety of drinks including absinthe, and monthly offerings, such as the Art Party. This featured a live performance from Production Unit Xero and several other local talents. The intimate space was also home to a Tarot reader, as well as a cozy backyard burn barrel with loveseat. 

On another night, there was a dance party in the basement, featuring a DJ from Seattle spinning Deep Acid House & psytrance. 

It’s ventures such as these, and new offerings such as the revamped Pigeon Studio near by, that cause me to have faith that the positive creative vibe in St. Johns is still alive and well. I was struck by the local enthusiasm for sophisticated music, good food, and friendly, mutual community support a while back- and pleased to see it grow and develop.

Now as the season turns to rainy October, and I am more drawn to spending time indoors at my desk, by the fireplace, I can keep the magic of that evening going by playing the album from that evening, offered generously at a “pay what you will” donation, and extend that vibe into the future, as I dream up my own contributions to come.