Wednesday, March 31, 2010

WIP Halloween ornament and an award...

This award, from Sarah at Cottage Garden Studios, holds a special place in my heart because of how it began. Renee always encouraged Sarah to spread her artistic wings, and to 'let fly'. Renee was good that way. She encouraged all of us ducks. :) Sarah started this award to honor Renee, and Renee's part in helping Sarah to acknowledge her inner 'swan'. :) Thank you, Sarah, for this!

In spite of Sarah's confidence, I'm not sure I am a swan yet. Most days I feel very duck-like. I think the key to becoming a creative 'swan' is to hold on to the joy. It's easier said than done, since we all have a critic (at least one!) sitting on our shoulder. She's the one who chimes in with things like "Are you KIDDING me?", and "Maybe you should consider another career." She 'tsk, tsk's' her way through our writing and our art. She is a right pain the butt...except for the fact that we need her. That annoying little critic is also the one who prods us to go with a different color palette, or to step out of our comfort zone with our writing. I think it's a classic love/hate relationship.

For me, the trick to becoming a mental swan will be to keep the joy while listening to the critic. To silence her during the process, so that I can enjoy it, and only let her speak when I am finished for the day. Maybe I can pour her a little virtual glass of wine, and we can sit together and critique my work. And if she gets too nasty, I'll put her in a Mason jar. Properly ventilated, of course.

Monday, March 29, 2010

A long overdue thank you and an award...

I received this lovely award from Becca and Dede weeks ago. I have taken far too long to say thank you, and to pass it on. Don't you love looking at it? I feel all sorts of summery and happy. Thank you both for thinking of me, and for your friendship.

The rules for the award are:

Post the award on your blog
Pass it on to Sunny and inspiring bloggers
Link them
Let them know do I pick? Everyone I follow gives me inspiration and friendship, and I thank each of you. I think I will pick blogs that I haven't picked before (that I can remember picking, and since I have the memory of an amoeba, who knows). I am most likely not picking the right amount, but I hope Becca and Dede forgive me (again!). If you have already received this award, well, you just got it again! Can you have too much sunshine? I think not. They are (in no particular order):

Silke at Metamorphosis
PJ at Seens From The Backs of My Eyelids
Peggy at Peggy's Mixed Up Art
Sassy at The Sassy Packrat
LuLu at Coastal Sisters
Sus at Stories of a Cellar Dweller
Diana of Diana Evans Illustration and Design
Juliette of Juliette Crane Art
Lisa at Pearl Avenue Studios

Thank you, Becca and Dede!
I received another lovely award from my friend Sarah, and I will post about that soon. Hopefully it won't take me weeks and weeks to do it. :)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

We're going to give Ireland a run for her green...

After a winter that I will never, ever forget (for many reasons), I am so very happy to see Spring. Like many of you, I have been watching my trees bud, and my daffodils bloom. I think this Spring that Maryland is going to be green like never before. It's usually very green, with gorgeous rolling hills dotted with farms and horses, old barns and quaint little towns. But this year, I have a feeling that the green is going to knock our socks off. I also have a feeling I will be mowing the lawn shortly after Easter.

I couldn't be happier. I am so happy I made little Margot from paper clay. She is only two inches tall, but I think she has lots of personality.

Patrick had a wonderful birthday (thank you for the lovely wishes). I got some meds for my sinus infection (thank you modern medicine). The sun is shining. Maryland is greening. Life is good.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Happy Birthday, Patrick!

Look at this kid. How cute is he? When he was little, every single morning, he would climb into my lap and sit with me. Before he did anything else.Pat didn't learn how to walk. He went straight from crawling to running. He's the kind of kid you had to keep an eye on. You could blink and he would be in the next county.
He has always been good-natured and big-hearted. He has always had friends.
When Patrick didn't get his way, he didn't throw a tantrum, or cry. He just laid down on the floor and refused to move. Gandhi would be proud. Patrick didn't care where we were, if things weren't going his way, boom! He was on the floor, just like he'd been shot. It made for some interesting shopping experiences.
Patrick has always loved animals. The feeling is mutual.

Today Patrick is 17. He is still good-natured, and good-hearted. He still runs (or skateboards) everywhere he is going. Thankfully, he is over his 'passive resistance' reaction to not getting his way. He's much too big to pick up.

Happy birthday, Patrick! Thank you for all the smiles.

Monday, March 22, 2010

New WIPs and Spring has sprung!

First of all, I want to apologize for not visiting everyone. I have had a doosie of a cold. For days I have been sniffing and blowing my nose and complaining that I have a cold and that my head hurts, and whining, sighing, coughing and in general being a terrible patient. Alas, this is my nature. I try hard not to whine when I am sick, but honestly, don't the people that love me want to know every time I use a Kleenex? And I'm sure it increases my maternal bond with my children when I say things like, "I make soup for you when you're sick (insert pathetic look here)." As the days wore on, I did notice that my immediate family seemed to be largely, well, absent. No matter. I am on the mend! You'll be happy to know my Kleenex count is diminishing!

To amuse myself while I was snuffling about, I made some new skellies. My rule was this: I could not buy one single new art supply. Luckily, I have enough art supplies to last until 2012, and after that, heck, it won't matter! Kidding.

In another day or two I will be in fighting form, and be by to say hello, and astound you with my clarity and wit. Until then.

Monday, March 15, 2010

WIPS and a MHA giveaway!

I have been wanting to make a different kind of doll; a doll that looks more like the ones I draw on paper. Not having any idea how to go about this, I joined Cloth and Clay dolls, which is a great place to find out. They have a free tutorial on making a sitting doll, which made it all seem so easy! (I am a visual learner).

I was feeling a little low when I made Helena. I think you can tell by looking at her face.I wanted her hair to look like Helena Bonham Carter's, kind of wispy and wild. I used some of my treasure chest to make a necklace for her. But still, something was missing.

Then I figured it out. It was her skelly doll! Helena needed a doll to hold. I think she looks much more contented now.

The next doll I made was inspired by an amazing doll artist named Rachel Whetzel. You can see her dolls on the Cloth and Clay (ning) site. I love her circus-inspired dolls, and I wanted to try my own version of a tattooed gypsy.

So here is Minka.

I still think Minka needs a crystal ball, but I'm pretty happy with how exotic she looks. The lace that I stitched around her head and down the side of her body was from a thrift store grab bag. I honestly didn't think I would ever use it, but it fits her, I think.

Now I have to figure out how to make dolls with cloth bodies and sculpey arms and legs. Gulp.

And because it is SPRING (almost), and we all need a little fun, go over to the Magical Holiday Artists blog and enter our giveaway. MHA is a group of artists on Etsy that make holiday art.

You could win bunnies and chicks and ducks and all sorts of Spring goodness!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The case of the disappearing bird food...

The DH has a new toy. It's a cool wireless infrared webcam that detects motion. He set it up on our deck.
We've had a visitor.
This explains a lot about the bird seed bill.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Touched by an angel

Renee, my sweet friend, you are free from pain now. You've gone home again. I know so many that you love were there to greet you.

I love you.

Touched by An Angel
by Maya Angelou

We, unaccustomed to courage
exiles from delight
live coiled in shells of loneliness
until love leaves it high holy temple
and comes into our sight
to liberate us into this life.

Love arrives
and in its train come ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold,
love strikes away the chains of fear
from our souls.

We are weaned from our timidity
In the flush of love's light
we dare be brave
And suddenly we see
that love costs all we are
and will ever be.
Yet it is only love
which sets us free.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Ladybug tea followed by Stinkbug salad...and STJ!

Many, many moons ago (settle in, I am going to tell you a story), back when I was young and carefree, I spent my summers lounging by the pool. We lived in the Antelope Valley of the Mojave Desert, and those of you who have not been there in the summer are missing something. That something would be scorchingly hot summer days, but warm, idyllic evenings. In the summer, my mom would button up the house (with her patent-pending block-out curtains) by eleven in the morning. It felt like you were living in a nice, cool cave.

But teenagers don't want to live in nice, cool caves. Luckily for me, our house had a swimming pool. This made me very popular in the summer. We spent hours and hours at the pool. We worked on our tans (boy, do I regret that decision). After all, we had to be tan by Fair time. Heavens! You couldn't go to the AV Fair with pale, white legs. So we baked like clams, read books, and drank iced tea.

One day, while sipping iced tea, I felt a little tiny ice cube particle in my mouth and bit down. An extremely bitter taste filled my mouth. I spit it out and discovered I had tried to eat a ladybug. Yes, indeed, that red coloring is a warning to all little birdies that if you eat me, you will get a nasty surprise. Ever since that day, I have checked my iced tea before sipping.

Well, now I have to add salads to my list of foods to visually inspect before eating. Here in Maryland, we get two waves of bugs that try to settle into our houses before winter. One is ladybugs (but I'm wise to them, and their wily suicidal ways), the other is stinkbugs. The recent warm weather has awakened these little beetles and we have a few zooming around the house.

One zoomed into my salad. I was watching TV, blissfully unaware, until I chomped down on it. A bad bit of tomato? No, I thought, as the bitter taste built. It was a stinkbug. Now that I am a connoisseur of sorts, I can tell you that the ladybug pales in comparison to the stinkbug in the bad taste department.

What should I try next? Spider soup? Worm waffles? All suggestions gratefully accepted.

On another ghoulish (but sweeter) note this Friday is Spooky Time Jingles night!
Here are some of my new pieces:




Saturday, March 6, 2010

and the winners are...

After a completely fair and random selection by Lucas (who refused to be photographed, so you KNOW he's becoming a teen), here are the results. I swear it was on the up and up (Lucas wouldn't let me cheat, even if I wanted to). I've added the 4th prize, which is a print of Carlotta (on the left here). If you are sad, fear not, I am planning on having a Spring giveaway! I love having giveaways!

So here are our winners:

Emily - goes to kj!

Ruthie - goes to Lori!

Myrna - goes to Chickory!

The print of Carlotta - goes to Cindy Scott!

Email me with your addresses, and I will get them in the mail to you next week.
Happy weekend, all! Thank you all for visiting me, and becoming friends. I wish I could make each and every one of you a plushie. But that would put blistas on my fingas. :)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

It's my blog giveaway...finally!

Just a reminder! I'm closing the giveaway at 3pm EST, Saturday, March 6th. I'll pick my winners and post them tomorrow night - thanks guys!

Happy Wednesday to you! I am finally having my blog giveaway to celebrate a year of blogging! I honestly had no idea what was in store when I started my blog, but I have met so many amazing people, and made great friends (at this point in my speech, please reach around and pat yourselves on the back). End of speech, because you want to enter my giveaway! Just leave me a message here, and I will enter you. I will pick a winner this Saturday night (randomly, either through the number generator, or Lucas, who is a random 12 year old).

I was going to make something new for this giveaway, but alas, I have no time this month, and I have postponed this twice. So this morning I have reached into my box of plushies and pulled out:

Emily - first prize!

Ruthie - second prize!

And because Spring is coming (if we just believe!) here is Myrna!
I will add a print, too, but I wanted to post this so we could get the ball rolling. Oh, and I just might add a little bling to these guys, and if I do, I will post the new pics.

So come on, leave me a message. Lurkers most welcome! And don't forget to visit Mariann and enter her giveaway, too.