A local artist is using some pretty unconventional methods to craft her art and it has caught the attention of some big businesses in the United States.

Karen Scarlett first started creating art as a hobby, but when her husband was amazed by her skill, he suggested that she take it up full-time.

So then, with a tub of plaster and some old shingles, Scarlett put together her projects, eventually winning a spot with the Calgary Stampede Artist Ranch project.

Three years later, her career really took off when an old friend from college put her in touch with the high profile Royal Palm South Beach Hotel in Miami and encouraged her to send some samples.

“They presented them to the hotel management team and the management team was like, ‘yes, they’re perfect’ and that was the kind of feedback I got; ‘they’re perfect and we want 150!’”

Scarlett then spent three months creating 150 original pieces that are now featured in the luxury suites at the hotel.

It wasn’t long before the hotel administrators wanted more, so they commissioned two larger pieces to display in the hotel restaurant’s lobby. Those works were installed just last week.

Officials at the hotel are thrilled with Scarlett’s pieces.

“We love the work and as I said we just opened up one of her bigger pieces which is in the centre of the lobby and I’m sure over time we’ll be talking about what else she can do for us; so she had better keep those creative juices flowing,” said Blake Crawford, the marketing director at the hotel.

Scarlett says living her dreams has been great and offers some advice to others.

“One of my favourite things I tell students is if you want to get good at anything, if you just practice on the days you eat, you’ll get there.”

Scarlett has also been working on a new colouring book that she hopes to have released by early March.

(With files from CTV Calgary's Jaclyn Brown)