Sunday, May 30, 2010

Finding time and some new dolls...

"Life has been a little busy lately." Have you noticed how we are all saying this? Everyone I talk to is up to their eyeballs in things to do.

I don't have any solutions, mind you. Just bringing it up as a 'talking point'. How do we find that extra hour or two for ourselves that we all need?

Here are some of my ideas for the summer:

1. Instead of cooking dinner, purchase a 50 pound bag of dry dog food and buy everyone their own dish. Clean-up is a snap, there is protein in there somewhere, and no refrigeration is required. It's the green dinner.

2. Move your teenagers outside for the summer. I think this just might work, so hear me out. If they are outside, then so is their mess. Just mow over their dirty clothes and snack products (being careful to avoid the teens!). Besides, maybe the sun will wake them up before 4pm. Maybe.

3. Tell everyone you are a Bohemian. Hide behind your artist lifestyle! Cultivate an air of mystery around you and your family. It will keep the neighbors at bay, and explain the teens living in your backyard. You won't be invited to the neighborhood BBQ of course, but then you can use that time for yourself!
I plan on becoming a hermit for the summer. A Bohemian hermit that makes her children live in tents in the backyard, and serves them creative and easy meals. That should give me at least an hour or two to myself, don't you think?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Some very cute frogs...

We have been invaded by cute frogs! I am in love with these guys. (the picture on the window is from 2006).

I can't explain how wonderful the frogs in Maryland are. They are out in the woods: on the ground, and high up in the trees. They are on our deck, and swimming in our little above ground pool in spite of our best efforts to keep them out (DH took these pictures). Every night, around sunset, they tune up for their concert. The frogs in the woods call to the frogs in our pool. They have the most amazing songs. My favorite is a little frog that sounds just like he is laughing.

You have to watch this video of a determined frog (Alex and Kelly took this with his phone). While Kelly is holding him, this little guy sings his heart out!

With all the dire news coming from the Gulf, it comforts me to stand on my deck at night and listen to all the life out there. Frogs make me happy. :)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I'm not a tidy artist...

But I do have a lot of fun in my little corner, with my 5 billion art supplies. The only problem with the way I work is that it is very easy to glue embroidery thread and poly-fiberfill to things that shouldn't have it. I am very used to walking around with glitter and paint on my face and glasses. I hardly notice it any more. I think it makes me look artistic, and eccentric. (Well, actually, I didn't need any help with eccentric.) My number one goal for the summer (not that you asked), besides finishing my novel, is to organize my space. Don't put any money on this. I think I've pretty much said this exact thing for five years running.

Anyway, in spite of the clutter, I am in turb0-charge Halloween mode, and I couldn't be happier. Skelly, skelly, ghost, bug girl. Weeeee!

Here are some dolls waiting to be finished (they would like very much to get arms and legs).

This is a shelf next to where I work. I put things up here to simmer. There is a skelly painting back there that has been patiently waiting for me for several months.

I toggle between two tables, and this one currently is covered with plushies, buttons, a cup of legs and arms, and silk flowers that I have taken apart to use on my dolls.

What you can't see is the old leather recliner that I sit in while I write. I would show you, but it is just too embarrassing. Remember Archie Bunker's chair? Or the Dad's chair in Fraser? Those would be an upgrade. I will show you just as soon as I clean up my little work area. As if.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Twenty questions

I just received this lovely award from Cindi and Chris. Thank you! Since I got this award from two directions, it's 20 questions. The idea is that I answer the questions, and using these lists or my own list, tag some new folks. I'm tagging anyone in my blog roll who wants to be tagged. How's that for blog rebellion! I tellya, I am going to keep the Blog Police hopping! Seriously, they are fun questions to think about, you should try them.

So here are my answers:

From Chris' list:

1.What is your favorite dessert?

What? I can only pick one? I refuse. I love good apple pie and vanilla ice cream. I love ice cream in general. I love chocolate chip cookies, and of course, chocolate in all its myriad forms. I love baked goods. Now I am hungry.

2.What is your favorite color?

I don’t have one, but I wear a lot of black. I think it has to be because my mom hated it, and tried so hard to get me to wear bright colors (when I was a teen). I kept wearing black. I know, I know, what a little rebel. ;)

3.If you could go one place in the world for a vacation where would it be?

Rome. Sigh. Drool.

(Photo from VonEurope.)

4.What is your dream house like?

I would love a large cabin with a mountain view. I would love a cottage garden, intimate, with lush flowers/plants and a fish pond. The cabin has to have a fireplace, big windows, big deck, and a front porch. And it has to have a studio – preferably separate from the house with a deadbolt on the door. Haha.

(photo from gatlinburg cabins.)

5.What is your favorite pet?

Oooooh, hard one to answer. I would have to say a dog, followed closely by a cat. Which is why I have both.

6.What would you like to be doing in 5 years from now?

Living in my cabin with my DH, getting lots of visits from my kids, making art and writing books.

7.What is your favorite music?

I refuse to pick one. I love rock, classical, folk – if it’s good, I like to listen to it.

8.What is the one thing you love to do?


9. What is the one thing you hate to do?

Go to the dentist..

10.What do you collect?

Odd things. Not one thing, just any little thing that catches my eye. The last things I ‘collected’ (rescued from a thrift shop) were: a small ceramic hedgehog, a mitre saw, and some children’s books. I guess I am an eclectic collector. I also love rocks and beach glass. And acorns.

From Cindi:

1. What celebrity would you like to have as a real life sister or brother?

I would love to have Anthony Bourdain ( from No Reservations) as my big brother next time around.
2. What was the first career you imagined for yourself when you were a kid?


3. Given a free first class flight round trip anywhere--where would you go?

Rome. (see above photo and drool)

4. Which character on Gilligan's Island are you most like?

Gilligan. Ahoy, Skipper!

5. What would you like to be famous for doing, making or being?

I don’t want to be famous.

6. Who do you think is the most frighteningly influential and asinine person in the public eye?

Anyone on the extreme right – take your pick.

7. Are you a breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert person?

What is with these questions that make me pick ONE thing? I love breakfast, but often rush through it/skip it, so I will pick lunch or dinner.

8. Cheap mass produced beer? Import beer? Or local brewery?

Corona. Cold, lime optional. But I don’t really drink beer. I am a wine person.
9. What do you most want to change about you, Physical? Mental? Spiritual? Emotional?

How much time you got?

10. Boxers or briefs or boxer briefs? (for you or your man--depending on which sex you are)

Definitely boxers.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Wips and now and then...

I felt like making something sweet and summery, and so I painted a little mermaid and a fairy. These are very small canvases, one is 4 inches square and the other is 5 x4 (thank you, Anne!).

I have been wanting to try to add texture using tissue paper, and these are my first efforts. I loved the way it added dimension to the paintings. One thing to remember, once you put the tissue paper down on the glue, it to try not to move it very much (or move it gently), because it gets gummy and gummy is not very lovely or summery. I antiqued the painting with some liquid gel medium and a little acrylic paint. I think I like the way they look now. I have a hard time not fiddling with things, and just saying "DONE!".

I apologize for not taking any work-in-process pictures. The problem is that I have my little studio area upstairs in our bedroom, and the camera is always downstairs somewhere. So basically, my excuse is that I am lazy.

But here is a WIP picture of a different kind!


Tired from hiking in the Sierras.


All ready for Prom Night!
Sigh. Time flies when you're having fun. :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

It's that Spooky ho ho ho time again...

To everyone in Blog World I haven't visited lately, I apologize! Life has been extra crazy. I am hoping to come visit everyone soon and get caught up. In my defense, today I tried to comment on several blogs and Blogger threw up and spat some weird error message that you would have to be a rocket scientist to understand. I wanted to throw a rock through my laptop screen, but then I realized Blogger would just laugh (I imagine him as the Joker in Batman). Not to mention I would have to buy a new laptop.

But on another, less insane topic...

Tonight is Spooky Time Jingles night! These are a few of my new pieces. If you don't know STJ, it's a group of holiday artists who sell their original artwork on-line. Around midnight on the 12th of each month (as we are headed to the 13th), a new batch of holiday art magically appears! The pieces are available for the following month, on a first come, first "I got it, you didn't" basis.

Lastly, I sincerely hope I haven't offended Blogger with my prior rant. If I have, Blogger, please take this cookie from me and do not hold a grudge. Perhaps you could let my comments post, my pictures align, and my text actually appear where I type it. I would be most grateful.

Monday, May 10, 2010

And the winners are....

But wait! Don't you want to hear about my Mother's Day first? Sure you do. My daughter and my DH got up and made me coffee (delivered to my bedroom on a tray). Then my daughter made breakfast. I sat like a slug and sipped more coffee. The day before they took me to see Iron Man 2, and they made me dinner. The boys tried (TRIED) to behave and were mostly sweet! YAY! My eldest and my two step-kids called me! WEE! I was showered with gifts, including flowers and a garden gnome! I was completely spoiled! It was great! I like being spoiled. Now the rest of the year is going to seem, well, ho-hum.

Okay, okay, I know you want to know who won. So without further ado...

Robin - you won Enid!

Georgina - you won Alice!

and I decided to add a 3rd prize:
Her name is Samantha. She is little and she is happy.

Samantha goes to Diva!

Congrats to the winners! I will have another blog giveaway in the middle of June to celebrate school getting out (HALLAOOOOOYAH!), and a few other little milestones. ;)

I hope everyone had a good weekend - and thank you so much for visiting me and being my blog buddies!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Blog giveaway and free shipping in my Etsy shop!

I have this overwhelming desire to sweep my Etsy shop. How weird is that? I guess the next best thing is to offer free shipping on everything in my shop in the hopes that some things will get adopted and leave room for new things.

So until next Thursday (May 13th) I will offer free shipping to the lower 48 states. If there is something you like in my shop and you live somewhere else, just convo me and we'll work out reduced shipping.

(This is the point where I always feel like a used car salesman.)

But WAIT!! There's MORE! For a limited time, I'm also having a giveaway! That's right! It's absolutely free! So come one and come all! Lurkers are very welcome! Whaddya gonna win, I hear you say? Well...

First prize is Enid. She's lived in the woods all her life and believe me, she is self-sufficient. There's no moss growing on this girl! (Get up Enid, you're making me look bad!)

Second prize is Alice. She is a small pocket doll with a hand-painted face. Don't let her size fool ya. She's got moxy.
I might even come up with a third prize and if I do, I'll post it here.

So if you would like to win either Enid or Alice, just leave me a comment. I will pick a winner after 6pm on Monday, May 10th!

Happy Mudda's Day youse!

Monday, May 3, 2010

When you bite off more than you can chew...

Be sure to chew slowly and carefully so you don't choke.

I guess I didn't feel like I had enough going on, and so when Jane at Cloth & Clay Dolls said the next doll challenge was a bird doll, I raised my hand and said, "Oh! Oh! Yes! I'd love to do that!". The due date was April 30th. Alas, I just finished mine.

Here's the thing about me: I hate missing deadlines, even self-imposed ones that no one in the entire Universe will know (or care) that I missed. I am, how should I say this delicately... more than a little anal about it. I also hate being late for appointments, and I drive my family crazy because I have to get to the movies BEFORE the trailers. What? I like the trailers. I get so involved in them that I forget what movie I am there to see.

But as the saying goes, better late than never. I was thinking about my life (cue soft violin music), and you know what? I could spend all day, every day, writing and making things. Wait, I have to add in food. I love food. Oh, I should probably add in spending quality time with the family (but only if the quality time does not involve me nagging about homework).

So here is Lillian. She is the first cloth and clay doll I have ever made. I am very proud of her crackle glaze, even if I did have to hide my hands when I went out to lunch the other day. It was worth it.

I hope you get to spend some time doing what you love, just following your bliss, even if it is only for an hour or two. It's good to be a kid. Plan your next play day.