Wednesday, January 28, 2009

June is Strawberry Moon

The color is a little brighter than real life on this, but I had night lighting so it looks redder than it is. Anyway, it's a bit more pinkish and there's sort of a red painting at the top of a strawberry vine with berries on it. I made this today, finally finished it, for a project my local art group did, a 2009 calendar with a theme of the full moons. I picked June because that's when Lily was born, and then one night I was inspired to write a poem about her eating strawberries. So I used that and did a packing tape transfer of the poem and the month title, and then hand-lettered or drew or painted the rest on to thick watercolor paper. I'm really pleased with how it turned out. Now I'll just make color copies of this for the rest of the group and I'm done! It's nice to finish a project I've been pondering on forever. (If you click on the picture it will show the larger size and you'll be able to read the poem.)

Where's Waldo?

Hi, remember how I'm doing that Flickr project of taking a picture every day of the same object? My object is Fisher Price Mommy and I'm on day 20-something, but it's actually really fun. I just wish it was warmer outside so I could go put her in a tree or something. Anyway, in this photo she's playing hide 'n' seek, or "Where's Waldo?" if you know those books. I bet you can spot her. So I was looking at what other people are doing for their object, and I found this one person doing one of those wooden artist's models. It's taking out the trash and doing crossword puzzles and all sorts of silly things. Take a look.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Must.. Control ... Fabric... Addiction

But I HAVE to have this fabric!! I mean, it's the Flintstones, for goodness sake. I'm a cartoon freak and I have a Pebbles keychain and I love cartoons and I could make all sorts of little things out of 1 yard of this. Wah! I really am trying to control my spending right now, because I have a big art workshop I'm going to in October that costs a lot, so I'm trying to save for that. But when I see something like this, I find it hard to control myself. It's at this store, Keepsake Quilting, and they also have Yogi Bear and Jetsons fabric. This is pure torture. WAH wah wah!!!

New Artfire Item!

More kitty coasters! I finished these today and they are now for sale in my Artfire Studio. Wheeee! How can they not sell? They're so cute. And when I searched on "fabric coasters" to see what other people were offering, mine were unique. No one else was really quilting theirs. And no else had this yummy fabric! I love making these little things. I think next I'll make some Valentine-y ones.

Friday, January 23, 2009

And...My One Political Obamicon

'Nuff said.

Hope For Humor - Goofing Off on Inauguragtion Day

Okay, so you know that beautiful Obama hope poster a few posts ago? I found this hilarious site where you can make your own posters in the same style as that one with your own choice of pictures. Above are a few I came up with. The top one is my bro-in-law chopping wood, and the slogan is a favorite saying of his. The other two depend on a knowledge of science fiction classics and TV Christmas specials to understand. I have this specialty knowledge. Here's my gallery of pieces so far. It's addictive making them. Then, if you want to, you can order a t-shirt or mug or something with your silliness permanently memorialized on it. I only wish they had a search function so you could look up if people had used certain words yet and what their ideas were. Some of them just rhyme with the word "hope," but others are iconic to the portrait of the person they depict, like the one in the top ten with the TV character Dr. Greg House and the words "not lupus." Because if you watch the show, it's never lupus. Haha, I guess you had to be there, but it was funny.

Kitty Kitty Kitty Table Runner

I can finally show a picture of this, cuz my sister got it and I don't have to hide it from her anymore (she reads this blog). She didn't know it was a table runner but she loves it. It was my largest, most ambitious sewing project this Christmas. I just guesstimated an average table length and made it about that long. She says she'll get lots of use out of it, no matter what it is. She has several cats and communicates with them very well, so I knew she would love the fabric. I wish the artist did one like this of dogs... I also made her those blue kitty coasters in the previous post. The candy coasters were for my parents and my DAD said they were very clever and useful. That's huge. Because my Dad is not Mr. Art/Craft Appreciation, although he's always supportive of my work. I mean, he's an engineer. Mr. Practical. So for him to make a point of complimenting me on my cleverness of making them is really a big deal. And you know, it's always nice when your Daddy is proud of you, no matter how old you are. :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Stuff I Sewed For Xmas

Little fabric coasters! I saw some at a craft fair and thought, "I can do that!" and I have quite a stash of fabric, so it was fun to pick some out. The top pic is of the backs of a set that has all the same front but I'm not showing what it is because the giftee doesn't have it yet. The other two sets are already tied up and should be in the recipients hands by now. I hope. Anyhow, these were really fun to make, so I've cut up more sets to make some to sell on my Arf fire studio.

Another Kreativ Blogger

3. Art is the Only Way To Run Away Without Leaving Home: The color, the brilliant color! Her work is like magical doodle psychedelic fantasy. But not fairy fantasy, more like dream color. I just hope she starts posting more often, but I can't pass her up, I love her work so much. Go, Kat!

And the Award goes to...

Well, I went a blog-huntin' today to find some blogs I didn't know about that are fun and that you should visit if you haven't. And to give this award to. And what do think, but the first one I found that I really liked has a discussion of blog awards? And she has this cool banner she's creating that she's letting people use for free, although I'm going to link it to her blog when I put it on my sidebar. It's kind of cranky and I like cranky because I often am. Cranky. Arf. I still can't type that rifht. Right. So, go visit:

1. Artspark Theatre: she has really cool woodcut illustrations and is a smarty-pants in her discussions and I like smarty-pants people. Even more when they're women.


2. Barb's Craft Therapy: I like therapy, I've been in therapy for many years. And as Barb says, craft therapy is not really less expensive, but it's more fun. I am awarding her for being so fearless on such a momentous occasion as yesterday, inauguration day, as to do an art journal layout. And it's beautiful!

Front Page News: My Art at Artfire!

Here's a screen capture of the front page of Artfire earlier when one of my listings came up, the green bird on the bottom. Cool! I was on the front page! I just had to share that. It was exciting.

A New Storefront Studio

ArtFire - Buy Handmade - Sell Handmade

I have a shop on Etsy but it seems I don't get much traffic there, and it's not much of an interactive experience. Then I saw this ad banner on Swap-bot for an indie marketplace I hadn't heard of before, called Art Fire. So I looked into it, found this fun blog with a review of Artfire vs. Etsy. I decided to plunge in. I hope it's worth it. Here's another review from a current Artfire seller--excuse me--artisan. I like that. And the staff seems to be very responsive to what artists want in an online marketplace. Here's some pros and cons pointed out by blogger Crafty Equine. Then there's this discussion of a bunch of online marketplaces that I don't have time to read. Go read it for me. Maybe I can have a personal assistant do it. My bank called me today and tried to sell me personal customer service for$5.99 a month, and I wanted to slap him. It was one of those "Okay, so we'll sign you up and then if you don't want it you just send your firstborn and your masters thesis in triplicate and we'll simply cancel the subscription!" sells. I just said no.

What was I talking about? Oh, Arffire. Now, see, that's going to be a problem. I keep typing Arf instead of Art. But other than that, it seems good. I don't have a lot of time to market myself, and I'm not looking to find a huge income source, but I do like making things and selling some. So I've got a store now on Arf. Fire. Artfire. There's only one item (my zine) in it at present, but hopefully I'll get more in there soon. I don't know if I should just take the stuff off Etsy now or let the listings expire first...

Oh, oh, and if you, that's right, YOU reading this, decide to join Arf, could you be nice and say I referred you? If you do I might get a free subscription and that would be great. For me. For you, it would be, um, good karma? So if you register, do it thought the link below. Thanks. I love you. No, really, I do. Just not that way.
Register on

Okay, I finished up some ACEO's that I'd been working on, so I now have enough items to fill a little store window. See it over there on my sidebar? Isn't it cute? And really what you visit is my "studio" which I think is really cool. It encourages me to make more art, so I can fill up my STUDIO. Yeah!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day: I Have Been To The Mountain Top

Shepard Fairey's now iconic poster, created before Obama even announced his candidacy for president.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I Am Already A Winner!

My most excellent friend Chrissy gave me this award because she thinks I'm talented or something and likes my blog. She is brilliant in her own right, so it's an honor to receive an honor from her. Enough with the butt kissing, I know. So, I can't figure out where this award originated from, but you're supposed to keep passing it on and the rules change but currently you're supposed to say 7 things you love...

1. I love my family. Oh, I know, how boring, but it's true. I call my parents about once a week and my mom and I always have each other rolling on the floor laughing. About nothing. Just silly stuff. My father sings in a men's choir and I love to hear him sing.

2. I love my sewing machine and that I can make things on it! It's so fun! I never thought I would be a sewer, and my own mother was shocked to learn of this development (as observant children, we ran and hid when we saw her get out the sewing machine), but I let my inner fabric fiend out and I love it.

3. I love my husband, he is my best friend. We have been through many highs and lows together: An all-day hike through Arches National Park is a particularly fond memory, losing our first baby to miscarraige is a rough one. We try to be nice to each other even when things are crazy, and always work on communicating. Little things make a difference, like saying thank you for doing the laundry or the dishes.

4.I love being a mommy to my little cherub Toddler who is the happiest giggliest baby I've ever seen. I melt when she hugs me or just turns around and backs into my lap and sits down. If I ask her for a kiss, she presents her cheek for me to kiss.

5. I love my art supplies, especially my lazy suzan with all the colored pencils, pens, scissors, punches, q-tips, and paintbrushes on it. Just looking at it makes me feel inspired.

6. I love my art group that I meet with once a month here in MN. We do group projects together, and are great supportive friends of each other, no matter what is going on. When I was in the hospital with preeclampsia before I had Baby, they made me a little bag of art stuff to cheer up my hospital room.

7. Uh oh, I've reached 7. Wow, and here I thought this would be hard. I love this blogging/art community online. It saves me sanity to be able to commune with other artists when I'm stuck at home and not having a good day. I love being able to participate in big online art projects, like the Pink Artist project, that raised over $3k for breast cancer research.

And now I get to nominate some other bloggers. But first, as Winnie the Pooh would say, I must have a think. Which may involve sleeping. Meanwhile, as you wait with bated breath, you can read the previous post about the nutjob Mondrian.

Art Learnin'

So I just watched this show on Ovation TV about Piet Mondrian, who several artists and art critics called, and I quote "a nutjob." Hmm. Not what I was expecting. But fascinating. He was a bad student in art school and hated painting the human form, an aversion contributed to by his strict Calvinist upbringing. Then he got into some hokey religion called Theosophy and thought he could order the world through his painting. He moved further and further away from nature in his work, because he distrusted it. Nature was messy.

His big turning point was making these horizontal and vertical lines, horizontal representing the male in some abstract (phallic) way and vertical representing the female (let's not even go there). He evidently wrote extensively about his work, trying to explain it, and no one understood what the hell he was talking about. He moved from making these loose black lines in the bottom painting to making the tightly constructed closed boxes in the top painting, trying to bring more and more order to the world.

I always wondered if he measured out his squares or used math in any concrete way to choose how many squares were red and how many were white, because that's what I liked about it, how it all seemed to balance so well, to be in the right proportions. It turns out that was all intuitive. He'd make rough sketches and then refine them and play with the color blocks until he thought it was "right." So that's what made him a "true" artist, so said one of the critics in the show. But he also a nutter! How do you like that?!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I Did That?

Is this cool? I think so. I started with a simple photo of the star lantern light on the ceiling in my studio. Then I tweaked and tweaked and tweaked it and this is the result. it looks like some rich upholstery fabric. Can someone make me a chair?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Studio Ambience

I wanted to post this in response, or to echo the sentiment of, Very Mary's recent post about her studio. My "studio" is a small room with way too much stuff in it and it's almost never tidy. I see that Somerset Studios Where Women Create magazine and think "oh, phew, one magazine I don't 'need' to buy." Because my studio will never be like one of those places. First of all, most of those people have bigger studios than my living room garage house. Thirdly, I have a toddler. So other things come first before cleaning--well, before cleaning anything, really. Plus I want her to have a love for art and its compenents. So sometimes I just open up my tub of ribbon and let her scatter it all over the floor. And by floor I mean 2nd floor of the house. She loves it! She'll drape it over her shoulders or mine, and unroll the spools and be fascinated by how long they are. I will never have one of those roller bars on the wall with all my ribbon hanging off it like so much colorful toilet paper. I usually like small pieces anyway, so I don't have a lot of rolls, just a yard here, a snippet there.

So, I just want to say that having the tidiest studio is not my goal anymore. And it works pretty well most of the time. I just have to clear a big enough space to work on my current project. That's all I need. I let the colorful clutter around me inspire me. So ha!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Out of Suffering, Art

Oh, shut up. I know, but I had to use it. Yesterday I had a crap day with headache, cramps, nausea, dizziness, and all I could do was sleep. So for my 1 object 365 days photo project, I took the top photo and turned it into the psychedelic masterpiece on the bottom. You can still make out Fisher Price Mommy. But she's in a funhouse. And her face hurts. But it's art. HA! And gosh darnit, I like it. Maybe I could sell it as a print or a card. Maybe I could do a whole migraine series of Fisher Price Mommy. Or would Fisher Price sue me?

Thursday, January 08, 2009

No, You Can't Make Me.

I am not takin' down my damn Christmas tree! Why is everyone in such a rush to to do so? We see all our neighbors' trees out in the alley like abandond Velveteen Rabbits. It's very dismaying. First of all, it's the 12 days of Christmas, not one. And then, well, we only got ours a week before Christmas Day. I want to enjoy it until it's at least past its prime. We have so many cool ornaments that I like to look at, and we got new ones this year. Like this one that W. got us, an original Star Trek communicator. It is the coolest ever ornament. Not only does it make that sound when you open the cover, there are buttons inside that when you push them play literally dozens of different audio snippets from the original Star Trek. It's too fun. Now, don't ask me what that has to do with the baby Jesus. But it does have a lot to do with joy and family. So there. The tree is a Frasier Fir, beautiful and fragrant, and it's still sucking up water. So we're not going to take it down. Maybe before Valentine's Day. We'll see.

A Project I've Been Wanting To Do Forever!

I can't believe this, I found good instructions online on someone's blog on how to make easy Roman blinds!! We have these crappy-looking fat slat wooden blinds on our windows in our oooold house (I love the house, it just has some challenges), and now matter what you clean them with they still look dingy and the strings are breaking so many don't work anymore and I have all this great fabric and for like 3 years now I've been saying I'm going to make Roman blinds. Well, dangit, thanks to Jen Duncan, I'm putting it on my New Year's Resolution list, for this summer. I have to wait 'til summer cuz I want to start with the ugly yellow vinyl blinds in the front porch that have I guess replaced the wooden blinds already but already about 30 years ago, or so it looks like it. They're UGLY. And they snap up when you pull them down. Or they don't. Either way, it's annoying and I want them to go away. So I'll start with those. And it's freezing in the front porch this time of year because it's not insulated. So I'll have to wait. But I'm totally doing it. This woman's instructions rock and I've put a permanent link to them on my DIY sidebar group.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Um, isn't this cool?

I don't think I've ever said that about a toilet paper dispenser. But really, this is the only cool toilet paper dispenser I've ever seen. It's a robot, which gives it instant cool points. And it's functional: you look into his eyes to see if you're runnin' low and need to put out another roll before company arrives. It's just, well, cute. Maybe it's a weird, sick commentary on the human (I was going to say our culture, but it's sold by General Robots, a German company) obsession with robots and how we want slaves, and in this object we wipe our butts with Mr. Robot's brains. Or maybe I'm overthinking that. It comes in yellow and blue as well.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Not Exactly Hopper's Nighthawks, but...

I'm doing this photo challenge on Flickr to post one photo a day on there in a pool of photos called Project 365. This is not one of the photos I posted, I took it yesterday and chose something else, but I liked this one so messed with it some more today. It's taken without flash from the second story of our house through an iced-over window. It shows a house on the corner of the intersection across the street. The light is probably coming from a streetlamp. There's a few inches of snow on the ground. I cropped the photo and gave it a watercolor effect and messed a little with the brightness and contrast and I think it looks cold and spooky. Too quiet.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Fabulous Find of Graphic Artist blog

Check this out: orange you lucky! It's just gorgeous work, I love it. This may just push me over the edge to do what other bloggers do and keep a blogroll on my sidebar, if for no other reason than I can find it easily! I already have 10 million bookmarks, when will I ever remember to look for it there?

Happy Birthday Cocoa!

We've had Cocoa for 6 years now and we got her on January 4, 2003, so we call that day her birthday. She got lots of extra treats today and lovin' as usual. She's 9 years old now and getting a little gray in the face and tummy areas. She's had a tough time adjusting to being dethroned by the baby, but the baby worships her, so maybe she'll appreciate that more later. Baby's favorite word is DOG, she'll just say it over and over and over. And she was instrumental in making sure Cocoa got extra treats today, so Cocoa should be grateful, but not so much yet are we seeing that.
Cocoa gets into all kinds of destructive shenanigans whenever we leave her home alone, but we still love her and forgive her and snuggle her and let her hog space on our bed every night. She tries to get in on all the action, as you can see in the top two pics. It's hard to photograph her and get her eyes, as you can see in the bottom pic. It's just hard to photgraph black dogs in general. Outdoors it works better, but it's frickin' cold out there this time of year.
Her favorite toys are still balls of most any kind, and of course balls or Kongs that require effort to get treats out of them.
Well, I'm sure she's warmed up my side of the bed by now, so I better be headin' off to bed.
Today is also the Feast of Christmas in the Catholic calendar, which was nice at church. It bugs me that some people already have their trees down and packed away. What happened to the 12 days of Christmas? Let's enjoy it a bit before we go rushing into the next thing, eh?