Sunday, December 28, 2008
For the past few years smARTS has done an event we call "smARTS Gifts". This was in response to a few teachers who wanted to stress that it can be a good idea to make a gift for any occasion really.
For the second year now I've done this project with fourth graders. I figure they're nearly responsible to work on glass, and to give to a special ADULT in their life (because of the candle)
Each kid was given a glass jar. This year I had a whole bunch of the same design donated. Last year I just went to the thrift stores and bought different glass jars, cocktail glasses, whatever seemed to fit a small candle. I first had the kids choose 2 or 3 colors of tissue paper. Then I had them tear small pieces of the tissue to prepare. They were then to paint glue (a little watered down white glue works fine) with paintbrush right onto the glass. They could then pick up the tissue with the wet paintbrush (I hoped anyway that they could do this, trying to keep their fingers free of glue to avoid frustration). I told them to go ahead and paint the glue onto the top of the tissue also. This adds a sort of varnish, and protects the paper.
If they had extra over the top, as seen here, I had them trim that off. I also made sure that no paper was glued on the inside, or bottom. Then they were to get a little tea light (if I were prepared, maybe the flameless battery-operated "candles" would be better... I don't know, that's a personal choice).
While the candle holder dried they were to decorate a tag and brown paper bag with ribbon to wrap the candle holder. I also made little "warning" stickers for the bottom. This mentioned the warnings to "never leave candle unattended". Safety you know! I also emphasize to the kids the importance of not forgetting that these are glass, and they will break!
It took most of the kids the hour to complete, which was perfect.
I hope the gifts were enjoyed!
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
I'm reaching the end of my Holiday preparations. What a strange season this has been. For some reason the Christmas spirit never really joined me this year. I did my best, and forced it anyway.
I made my cute card, but did I send them? No! I did give to some friends though. Yesterday, I couldn't find 2 gifts... still can't... burnt half a batch of cookies... stayed up till 3 am... a good thing is the fudge is only minimally gritty.
Oh well you can't be a jolly ol' elf every year. Well I know many who can, but I guess not me. As much as I have in my head how the perfect Christmas should be, it rarely happens. A big reason for me... PROCRASTINATION!
I've had a rough autumn this year, on a personal level. That could've had a big effect on my Christmas spirit. I did make a lot of holiday sales, both online and in the real world. That helped a lot, but also made me extra busy, and that also effected my preparations.
Well, even with an odd Christmas, I'm still grateful for the many things that I do have. My family, friends in the physical and virtual realm, and beautiful place to live, and a quaint little home.
I wish you all a most Joyous Holiday filled with laughter and love. See ya on the flip side!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
I was able to walk out of my yard today, but not without great difficulty. The poor trees are all bent over, and the manzanita bushes are blocking my gate leading out of the yard. Plus the snow goes up way higher than my boots, and that makes walking very awkward! I did go to my street though, and got this wonderful shot of my neighbor houses across the road.
Is that my van in there? What a lot of shoveling to get that out. I did a lot of it today. I've got another day to get it out. I'm hoping to drive it out on Saturday.
I can never get enough of the gorgeous blue skies behind the glistening white snow.
I'm just amazed at the amount of snow up on the tops of the trees. My photos don't seem to do it justice.
Yes, it is a Winter Wonderland for sure!!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
We've been getting our fair share of snow this week. So much that they actually called a snow day today. That's a rare occurrence since the District Office is a couple thousand feet lower than we are, and they have no idea of road conditions up here.
Here's my little mountain cottage (that's a quaint way to say dinky house), with lots of snow accumulating around it.
It's been a while since I've seen this much snow at once... and it's still coming down! Ziggy doesn't like it a whole lot, but does venture out if we go with him.
And even little Cleo went out into it. She complained a lot, but I think she's less of a wimp than the big-ol-dog!
Tomorrow I hope to leave my yard, and hopefully get some really amazing photos. Problem is, you usually have to get up really early for the best shots... just not my thing!
Friday, December 12, 2008
I've been wanting to do something with this quote for a quite a while. What better excuse than TOC? First I snazzed up this little painting. I think I'll make some magnets with it.
Then I made this poster for Jim Ladd. It's a little joke for the people who get so upset if they don't get mentioned for a request by Jim on Friday Night's TOC. I got one played tonight... Bob Dylan's "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues."... I do believe I've had enough.
Later a couple more requests in... Desolation Row-Dylan... and Wesley's request God-John Lennon.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
I've finally finished my annual Christmas card! I couldn't get in the mood, and had no idea what to do, until tonight. Then it finally came to me. I wanted some kind of doll, and who's the cutest doll? Blythe of course! And she has a little boyfriend giving her glad tidings of joy! Not sure how happy she is to have a mouse for a lover, but at least she's got one.
This was carved into a "speedy-cut" stamp, then printed with acrylic paint. This is the fourth year I've made my cards this way. I was tired of the xeroxed black and white cards, and I wanted color. And it just took too long to watercolor all my cards, which is what I did a few times. So this is a way to get some color, and maybe glitter, without too much effort. I do enjoy carving these stamps though, and once I get the design figured out, it really isn't too hard to do.
So if you know me in the "real world" don't be too disappointed that you won't be surprised when you get your card!
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
December 8, 2008.. Jim Morrison's 65th Birthday.
Over the weekend I watched The Doors in Europe on KCET. It reminded me of how I was completely infatuated with Jim Morrison when I was a very young, near-adult. I was a little obsessed, as young people become, and I enjoyed making art of the overly-attractive, highly sexy man.
I was so good at duplicating things, but not sure if they had much style. It was good practice, but I like more imaginative things better. Although a lot of people think "good art" is something that looks like a photo. I think differently.
In honor of Jim's Birthday, Jim Ladd and KLOS had a webcast with Ray Manzarek and Robbie Kreiger (of Doors fame) tonight. I watched it and saw some of my tribal friends enjoying themselves.
Because of that event, the TOC on Friday was "door". I didn't do any new art, but posted a few of my ancient portraits. And I got a request in.. Grateful Dead's "I know you Rider." This has one of my favorite lines..."The sun will shine in my back door someday... March winds will blow all my troubles away."...well I try to think optimistic like this anyway.
Saturday, December 06, 2008
Here's a long awaited return of Jerry Claus. It's Jerry Garcia, of course. These guys were an annual tradition of mine back the 90s. Since I've got some of my things available at Hungry Heart Records, I thought these would be fun there. If you're ever in Hemet, check them out.
I've been having a hard time getting into the holiday spirit this year. So these little ornaments are helping me a bit. Are you motivated for the Holidays yet?
Sunday, November 30, 2008
I'm having a sale in my ETSY SHOP. One more day left. It runs until Monday, Dec 1, midnight Pacific Standard Time. Buy one get one (equal or lesser value) for 50% off (regular shipping costs apply). Just mention in the note to seller "Holiday Sale", then wait for me to send a revised invoice before paying.
This is a special sale for my friends of the blog, and friends of the myspace.
I have a lot of arm warmers all ready for the gift-giving, snuggle-up-weather, season!
They come in 2 styles... the Funky Chunky, with many colors to choose from. and...
The Sleek-Chic for a more simple style.
Doesn't my lil sis look cute?
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Thanksgiving Break is reaching it's end. We're deep in the middle of the Holiday Season again! The Holidays with many people just struggling to get by with the basics. I'm hoping for more sales than last year, but it could be difficult. I'll have to go minimal also.
Earlier this week I did go down to Orange County for busy, fun-filled experiences. First, went to a Tribal Party in the South Bay area. Met some new people, got to know some others a bit better. Fun time, but very different for me to go to that part of the world.
The next day was a party at my sister's for my 3 year old twin nephews. They're growing up fast, but just as energetic as ever!
Next was a long lunch with my dad and his friends at the best vegetarian restaurant. Au Lac in Fountain Valley can convert the biggest meat eaters to go veggie! It's vegan Vietnamese and Chinese cuisine. And has a large supply of raw selections too, if that's your preference. This has been Wesley's favorite food since he was one!
Then there was our long, but enjoyable, day at Disneyland. Always special at Christmas time. The Small World has reopened. It seems they didn't completely get rid of the Rain Forest Room, but condensed it into the Island-type of room. Not sure what happened to the original room, I didn't notice it. See my post about Saving The Rain Forest if you're interested.
The castle is completely gorgeous this time of year!
Finally our last day we went to visit a very old, dear friend and his adorable daughter. (So sorry we missed you KP!) We went on a little walk into the Coyote Hills. This is a little slice of nature in the middle of suburban Orange County. Unfortunately they want to pave another piece of paradise for more unneeded housing. Well I think it's unneeded when there are so many foreclosures everywhere. While I feel for the construction industry (I know many people struggling now with little work), I also feel the need to conserve the little bit of nature we do have in So Cal. So I say Save Coyote Hills!
Now I've got only part of weekend left until the ol' grind to begin again. The ol' grind with the busyness of Christmas thrown in. Oh Boy!
Thursday, November 27, 2008
I'm giving Thanks! Thanks for my family and friends; cozy-cramped cottage with the lovely surroundings; a nice (sometimes too) comfortable community; the rain that extinguished our fire danger (even if temporary); my colorfully simple meal; fairly good health with no asthma attacks in almost a year; my brilliant, friendly and adorable son; the opportunity to be able to improve my art and business. Oh, let's not forget a soon to be new President!! Just a few of many things to be grateful for!
Here's my traditionally slightly unusual Thanksgiving Feast. Clockwise from top left... Vegan "roast"; roasted roots of yams, carrots, potatoes and onion; Indian maize with ceyenne and cumin; mashed potatoes (pretty traditional, yet new for me); spinach (just for some green...weird?); slightly over-browned rolls; and my favorite cranberries and apples cooked on the woodstove all day (luckily cold and rainy!) Plus yummy tahini dip with veggies and chips for appetizers, and 2 types of pie of dessert. All this, but probably most stuffed from the beers I had. Yes, I've must have beer on Thanksgiving, just like the pilgrims, of course!
I hope you had an enjoyable Thanksgiving Feast! What are you thankful for? Please do tell!
UPDATE.... I just heard on the news that "97% of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving." Can this really be true? Are vegetarians really less than 3% of the population? What about the people who don't like turkey? Eat ham instead? Or just don't have any Thanksgiving dinner? This is bound to make the vegetarian percentage even smaller. How can this be? No wonder I always feel like such an unusual person, I'm very rare indeed!!
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
"You must be the change you wish to see in the world."--Mahatma Gandhi
What a wonderful quote! And how honored I am to have my little drawing accompany this nice sentiment!
So my bulldog creation turned out pretty good, embroidered on the varsity jacket. What fun!
And I'm still trying my best to be that change I want in the world.
Monday, November 10, 2008
I did this art lesson with a large group of 4th graders a couple of weeks ago. It takes a brave person to do a lesson with tempera paint, especially with a large group of 35!! Because of this, the kids don't get to use the tempera as much as they should. So I thought I'd use my patience skills, and let them do a little experimenting with this paint.
First I explained a little about Pop Art. I talked about how in pop art things that are "popular" in our culture are used. I asked them what might that be. One boy said an iPod. Good, I also said how maybe Hannah Montana might be used. There was a bit of an uproar at this, mainly from the boys! I then showed some examples of Andy Warhol's work. The kids were amazed when I showed the Campbell's soup art, and couldn't believe it when I told them that Warhol made lots of money off of this! I also showed his Marilyn Monroe work. The kids didn't know who she was, one thought it was Madonna. But with these examples, I think they got a good understanding of Pop Art.
I decided to do a simple design, with something that might be "popular" with them. Although many didn't seem to want to do an ice cream cone, I wanted the design to be simple so they could work with mixing colors a little. First we folded our paper into 4 sections. Then drew our simple ice cream cones.
The first cone we painted with complementary colors. (I showed them a color wheel and explained a little about this) This was good since the California art standards for 4th grade include using complementary colors. Then the second cone was done with a solid color, then by adding white (a tint of the color). I could've done more lessons with color and mixing, but my time was running out, so I had them paint the remaining 2 ice cream cones however they wanted. And as usual a lot of kids just wanted a chance to mix the colors up. Most waited until their painting was nearly done before they went at it with the mixing. To some this was the funnest part about the lesson. Surprisingly, only 1 made this mess too soon, before he used the fresh colors. There's always at least one in the group who doesn't follow directions very well.
So if you're a brave soul, go and let those kids make a mess with the tempera... They really need it!
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Did you have a fun Halloween? We did! Here's Wesley in his costume, a witch doctor, aka "Tiki Dude" by many of the observers of the night. Wesley dreamed it up, I manifested it into the thing it is. Pretty easy to do with a corner of a box, painted up, then with raffia added to the top. Plus I made a "bone" necklace out of paper clay. And better still, Wesley won the costume contest for his age group at the town carnival. FUN!
And here we are, Tiki Dude, and me in my very-quickly whipped together, groovy looking witch. I like having the opportunity to damage my hair with a crimping iron.
I guess it's now time to fully submerge ourselves into the holiday season. Well, at least if you don't want to run out of time, and ruin your experience because of being rushed and unprepared, right?!
Monday, October 27, 2008
I've been walking with some moms after we drop off the kids. It's so much easier to get movin if you've got someone to chat with. It's great therapy.
Plus you get some lovely shots... and right now the trees are looking exceptional!
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Here's a fun and different thing I've been working the last few days. It's a design for a male cheerleader's varsity jacket. It's a little difficult to make a bulldog look feminine, yet still look like a bulldog, so it was decided to put a red bow on her. You've got to be pretty strong to hold up those girls, and I think this big bulldog is getting that point across fairly well!
A black line drawing will be taken to a company that does the machine embroidery for varsity jackets. I'm excited to see how the final looks!
Saturday, October 25, 2008
This week's Theme of Consciousness theme was "Pony Songs". Now if you've never listened to Jim Ladd you might not know what a "long legged pony" is. It's a lady, of course! So this theme was songs that are about a certain girl, like Maybelline, Gloria, Maggie, you get the picture.
My day was a marathon day at the school. 8:30-8:30, with an hour break in the middle. Just one of those exhausting days where I feel a little hung over at the end of it. Dreaming up and doing a little art work was nearly impossible, and this theme didn't make it very easy. So I thought I'd just practice my digital skills a little, and did this much-to-be desired creation. I used wordle and a little PhotoShop. I wasn't happy with my color scheme in the end, but after a few tries, just had to go with it. Those who listen to TOC will understand the big name of "Sue".
I see I've only been posting TOC "art" lately. I've got some other things going on too, and am sorry to say am a little behind. It's just that time of year where life gets too crazy to blog as much as I'd like :(
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Tonight's Theme of Consciousness was Drinking. I whipped out this little painting. Who else likes to shake it with a drink, while listening to Jim Ladd and TOC?
I made a lot of requests this week, and did get credit for one... Ball and Chain by Social Distortion. There are a lot of great drinking songs out there!
Friday, October 10, 2008
My day yesterday was just out of control, so I'm a day late posting a birthday wish for one of my heroes, John Lennon. I really need to do some new art, but for now I'll post this old drawing I did on his birthday in 1986. I also had to put something on my blog since I'm going out of town for a few days and simply hate neglecting the ol blog!!
So here ya go, and I'm hoping for a more creative week next week. I have been crocheting, but the art has been slipping... I've got some ideas though, and usually that's the biggest battle. See you after the weekend.
Sunday, October 05, 2008
I'm sure you avid gardeners out there have grown Cosmos before. They were my introduction to gardening back in my youth. They are the easiest flowers to grow from seed. In fact for those of you in a moister environment, they may be too easy to grow, and could possibly take over if allowed to. I don't have that problem here, so I enjoy them very much. Not only are they not picky, but they brighten up your late-season garden beautifully!
Most grow about 3 feet high, or so. This year I have one growing over 6 feet high! This one took it's time to bloom, and instead put it's energy into growing super tall. But now is blooming so lovely, and the height is amazing.
Another advantage of the Cosmos is that the bees love them! And with our much needed honey bees in dire straits, it's so helpful to them to have these vibrant, whimsical, easy-to-grow beauties in your garden.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Have you seen The Martha Blog yet? I just read about it today, so I went to check out the industrious Martha Stewart's blog. She features some behind the scenes of her busy life. It seems like an easy way to learn of all of Martha's Good Things!
Leave a comment on her post entitled "How to create your own blog and enter my blog contest!" and possibly get featured on her blog. How fabulous would that be?!
I just had to post a bit more classic Paul Newman. As I was seeing the clips of Paul Newman on the news yesterday, it made me realize that a big part of his appeal was his charming personality. (That as well as his acting, looks, smile, humanitarianism) And I think this must be my first memory of him. It is hot, and makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!
Saturday, September 27, 2008
How sad to wake up this morning to the news of Paul Newman's passing.
What a beautiful man, and person.
I didn't even know he had lung cancer. What's worse is he had quit smoking 30 years ago. It just goes to show you just how nasty that stuff is.
Since a small girl I've loved Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. I don't know of another movie with more sex appeal. And Paul was still quite attractive in his 80s.
More important than Paul's wonderful blue eyes, and dashing looks is the good he's done for many people. I've always bought Newman's Own products when I've had the option, knowing the profits would be put to some good in the world. If only more people could (or would) be so helpful to the people of the world.
Yes I'm very sad to hear this news.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
The theme for NibbleFest this month is "Smiling Black Cats." What could be better?!
So here's my entry. So glad I got one done, and it's fitting right in with my quirky Halloween cat tradition I've got going.
It needs some bids... It's such a fun theme, you must check out the other NFAC listings by going here. You won't be disappointed!
This is an ACEO (2.5x3.5 inches), done in acrylic.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Jim Ladd's Theme of Consciousness this week was "guitar". Here's my Guitar Man. A little different than most, but I enjoy trying different types of art media and styles.
I actually doodled this last summer, while watching a local band play down in town. (For you locals you just might recognize MR). I enjoy TOC so much, and get inspired just to do any kind of art to go with it. So I threw this together. I digitally colored it and posted on Jim's site.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Yes, that's right, I'm approaching my 100th sale on Etsy! Yay, but it has taken a little longer than I'd have liked! Still I'm happy none-the-less. So I'm having a giveaway... Just be the buyer of my 100th sale and you can pick out up to $11 of stuff from my shop. So if you buy one little thing (any price), and you're the 100th sale, you get something free! I'm at 98 sales right now. So if you are #99 and #100, you get the free item, or items. Just be sure to mention in the note to seller what you'd like for free. Get a few magnets, or a print, or whatever, as long as it is $11 or under. And you'll only pay for the shipping of the original item you buy. And if you forget to mention what you want in the note, I'll be contacting you and asking what you want free!
I'm just happy to finally reach 100, and I want to get there ASAP, and give a little something in return.
Go to my Etsy shop here!
Saturday, September 13, 2008
The theme on Theme of Consciousness this week was "free" or freedom, of course.
I painted a Free Form Freak. I also got some requests in, "Revolution" by Beatles, and "Blowin in the Wind" by Bob Dylan. Listen and you'll hear free mentioned.
Interesting that this week's theme was about freedom. I feel the new principal at our school is taking more freedom from the kids. And today I had an unsuccessful discussion with him. I'll be ranting about that probably someday soon. I'm pretty fumed about him, and I don't see my dissatisfaction ending any time soon.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Well, no it's not here already, but it is cooling off rapidly up on the mountain! I hear it's already in the 60s, in the day, up in Montana. So yes, it's time to start preparing for the hardships of Winter. And for me that means to start crocheting lots of arm warmers.
I've got a few new pairs in my Etsy shop now. And you can look for more coming soon.
I'm going to enjoy the few remaining warm days I've got. I've got some flower seed to collect in my garden...flowers and apples!
Saturday, September 06, 2008
Last night's Theme of Consciousness was "spirit". Here's my very humble doodle. I realize I just don't have time to get a drawing done when I start at 9. I finished this at 12:30.
I did get a request played. It was "Come all ye rolling minstrels" by Fairport Convention. Where else can you hear Fairport Convention on LA commercial radio? That's why Jim Ladd is so great! I'm still waiting to hear some Willie Nelson, Old Crow Medicine Show and some Hank III. Then I'll know it truly is free-form radio! He plays Johnny Cash, so why not Willie?! And I always make a request for OCMC, maybe one of these days he'll think "wow, I should give these guys a try!"
Listen to Jim on the web, Mon-Fri, from 8pm-1am PST. here's the link to get to the stream.
and in case you haven't heard the magical Fairport Convention, hear ya go...
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Sunday we got out and joined in on a local art sale, a few miles down the road. It was a lot of fun, and since it was free, it turned out successful. Wesley had a good day, and people truly enjoy his art. That's fun for me to watch.
This is the 2nd year that this art show has been going on. I hadn't been there before, so it was a learning experience. Such as there were good spots, and then others not so good. We were in the "back 40", and there was a little less traffic. But our neighbors were a lot of fun, and very nice. Next time we'll try to get one of the better spots, and I'll be sure to have more inventory when that happens. I had a busy week before the show, and it was a bit of a last minute decision to join, so I was lucky to have this much inventory. I'll also make sure to have a larger table... my booth looks a little cluttered!
Anyway, it was fun, and it helped boost my profits for August. Can't beat that!
Thursday, August 28, 2008
I'm so jealous! My mom bought this adorable, original painting at an estate sale for $25.00! It was painted by Gisela Voh in 1965. I didn't measure it, but it's about a 11x14 size. It had a letter attached in broken English, and it seems it was sold to the original owner at a discount price... the reason having to do with the "heart."
Because of the seemingly professional sale that happened, I thought I could find some info on this artist. After a few pages of searching, all I found was some info written in German. It wasn't a lot of info, but after translating I found a Gisela Voh, born in Schmiedeberg (1906-1985), and yes, she was a painter.
I just love this illustration so much, I would so much like to see more from this artist. But for now, don't you think my mom should give me this for my birthday coming in October? I sure do!
Monday, August 25, 2008
Yosemite is one of the most inspiring places to be, and I just love doing lots of art in my little travel journal while there. Here's a little sampling of this year's sketchings.
This year we attended one of the free art classes that are offered in the valley. This time it was a watercolor class (last time we did a class we did drawing). The instructor had us paint over by the Ahwahnee Hotel. Here's my little rendition. It's always interesting to get critiques, and the instructor gave one for my painting.
Some things I agreed with, some not ;) But since I don't paint a whole lot of landscapes I think it was pretty helpful.
This was painted from our camp looking at the little cliff below North Dome.
Yes, I do have a tendency to use "pure" colors. Maybe it's the palette I bring on vacation.
Or more likely, it's just my style. I can't seem to paint a landscape to exactly match it's subject. The instructor wanted us to use "fun" colors. And I did just that, maybe just a bit too much.
Here's Half Dome from the bridge near the campgrounds. It's a long tradition of ours to paint Half Dome at sunset. I'm not sure if I improve each time, or not.
Here's Yosemite Falls from the meadow just across from the falls. Well I actually had to imagine the falls, since they were pretty dry. This one looks a little incomplete because it started raining. We had to quickly pack up and ride our bikes to shelter. It was very beautiful!
Another quick pen drawing of Yosemite Falls.
Here's another view of Yosemite Falls as seen lounging on the river by the Swinging Bridge.
And my last painting. Yet another view of the famous Falls from the river right by our camp in North Pines. I've also done many paintings of this view, because we've camped many times in North Pines.
So what do you think? Is my landscape style just a little too colorful? Should I cut back on my vibrant colors? Do you have a favorite? I'd love to hear!