Sunday, October 30, 2011

Remembering my furry family members..

El Dia de Los Muertos is a time to remember and honor loved ones who have passed. Among my loved ones are my furry family members. So when I thought about doing a shrine, St. Francis popped into my head.

Because, frankly, it wouldn't be Heaven without the animals that have given me such unfailing friendship and comfort over the years.So here is St. Francis. He is welcoming some beloved pets into Heaven.And here are pictures of some of the best friends my family has ever had:

We've had dogs who raised our kids, and who I could always count on to keep an eye on them. I always knew where the kids were in the yard. I'd call the dogs, and they would come from the kids' general direction. Over the years they put up with costuming, and being laid upon, and at times, the tears that come with growing up.We've had kitties that have put up with hugs, have happily slept with napping children, and who comforted us through life's bumpy bits. They purred their affection. They played with us. One even learned how to fetch.

Each and every one of our pets had a pure heart and loved us. They are missed.

"If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who deal likewise with their fellow men."

- St. Francis of Assisi

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My Dolls are in ADQ!

I just had to share that my 'Peculiar Poppet' dolls are in the November issue of Art Doll Quarterly! I love this magazine, and I am so happy to be included in this beautiful issue.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Art of Remembering...

I've been busily working on my Day of the Dead pieces, and thinking about friends (including many furry and feathered ones) that I have lost over the years.
This painting is called "The Love We Take."
While I was painting, I thought of these lyrics from the Beatles song, Golden Slumbers:

"And in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love you make."

I have always loved that line. I think this little skelly is taking a
lot of love with him, by the looks of him.I painted this the way I mentioned in my last post. First, I painted the canvas black (about three coats), then drew the design with white paint (a couple of coats), then went back in with the colors. It takes a long time (and many coats!) to get the strength of color I like, but it is a very meditative process, and I love it. I seal the surface with acrylic matte varnish.

I wanted to share a little Day of the Dead card that I made.
I got this cardboard form (on the right) from Michael's (in their dollar bin) several weeks ago, but you could use just about any piece of thick cardboard for this. It's a fun way to use up bits and pieces of paper and trim.

Start by painting the background a very bright color. Then take some colored glitter glue and run it around the edges, smearing it with your finger (and get as much
on you as you can - so you will look festive!). Spray paint a doily black and cut a piece for the 'gate' background. Glue it down to the card. I just smear glue on the back of the doily, because I am lazy, but you could use spray adhesive and be tidier. Then have fun cutting out Day of the Dead images. I used a digital collage sheet I got on etsy. You can make little houses in front of the gate, or you could make it a scene inside the graveyard, and show flowers and candles.
One thing I have been doing is saving all my Christmas cards for craft fodder. If the cards have foil, or bright colors, they go into a drawer with all my odds and ends (origami paper, felt bits, etc.).
I also save foil candy wrappers, and the foil from sealed cans (like the ones that come with canned nuts!). After all, SOMEONE has to eat all that candy and nuts!
After everything is glued on, and before the sequins and felt, spray with varnish. Then add your sequins and felt and you are done!

One last picture: this is the beginning of a small shrine I am making.

So here's to remembering the people and animals that have made our journey on this blue ball worthwhile.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A winner, a WIP and Halloween hodgepodge

Greetings Earthlings!

Gloria! You won my little ornie. If you'll send me your address I will pop it in the mail to you asap.

I wanted to share a few pictures with you on this fine fall day. (Caity took the picture of the little red flowering plant and the heart-hole in the tree. The DH took the one of our road.)Outside it is chilly and cloudy, and the leaves have turned all goldeney-gorgeous. I am sipping a cup of coffee with soy vanilla creamer. Life, she is good!
Here is a picture of our Halloween tree:It is a dead tree, dragged in from the woods, sans wildlife, but full of dead leaves that drop on the carpet. Still, I love it, because here is the thing: the uglier the results, the better! None of that 'the ornaments have to be spaced on the tree perfectly' thing that we will all be doing in a few short weeks. Just slap them up there and sprinkle on some bats. Voila!

I wanted to share two pictures of our dogs.

Sophie the Upstart

Gizmo the Elder
Aren't they cute? Of course they are. Until they aren't. Which usually involves one throwing up on the rug and the other one eating my socks.

Lately, I have been doing a lot of painting, and not very much sewing. That's how it goes with me. Soon I will be doing very little painting and a lot of sewing.

Life balances out.

In case you've been wondering how I paint my skelly paintings, first I paint the canvas black, then I draw the images with white paint, then I go in with all the colors, multiple coats. I have finished a couple of pieces that I will share tomorrow for my Day of the Dead post.
Be good and do something fallish. Which does not include falling.Unless it is into a pile of leaves.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Do not burn the roof of your mouth and other wisdoms plus one last little itsy bitsy Halloween giveaway!

When attempting to enjoy a lovely cup of tea on a chilly fall morning, wake up first. Otherwise, you could accidentally gulp some down and fry your poor, poor little mouth, who never did anything to you, now did she?

And once you have fried the roof of your mouth, do not:
Suck on a hard candy.
Eat pasta with tomato sauce.
Add insult to injury by stabbing yourself with your toothbrush.

On the bright side, I may have stumbled upon a new (but painful) diet. Ah, well. Lesson learned until the next time!

The daughter came home last weekend and we went for a walk in a park about a mile from our house. We could have just walked into our back yard and into the woods, but I wasn't thinking properly. The roof of my mouth, etc.
It was a glorious day. One of those days that makes putting up with all the other weather we get here completely worth it.

Caity pretended to be a tree.
We found tree barnacles. Who knew?

And we took lots of pictures.
A good time was had by both.
And now, I thought I would squeeze in another little Halloween giveaway.
This is an ornament I made. I think it needs a title like "OH NO THAT TEA WAS TOO HOT TO DRINK!". I will let you think of something brilliant.
If you would like a chance to win this little screaming ghostie ornament, just leave me a comment. I'll pick a winner on Friday, October 21st after 6 pm EST. That way I can hopefully get it in the mail to the winner before Halloween!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Winners and a Field Trip!

First of all, let's get to those winners! Lori, the Halloween-kitty-powers-that-be chose your number to win Pierre! And Birgit, you've won Ed! He's so excited to be going to live in Germany! So if you send me your addresses, I will pop them in the mail to you. And I will be having another giveaway soon...hopefully in a couple of days, so stay tuned.

Now, on to the field trip! I took my DH on a date. I decided to take him somewhere he would like to go for once (haha), and I picked the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. We've been there before, kids in tow, but it occurred to me that it had great date potential. It's only about a 30-40 minute drive from where we live, and the George Washington Parkway is gorgeous this time of year. If you've never been to D.C., you've missed out on one of our nation's true treasures. The Smithsonian Museums are all free (yes!), and every one of them is fascinating. My personal favorite is the American History Museum. Just drop me off there and let me wander around inside for a few days.We watched the IMAX 3-D movie about the Hubble. It was mind-blowing. The images captured from the telescope coupled with the vastness and stark beauty of space was breathtaking. Add 3-D, and well, it's the closest I will ever get to being an astronaut.

It filled me with all sorts of affection for our little blue planet. I have to say, it was so much fun going without the kids. We got to wander around with no pressure to teach anyone a solitary thing. No worries about anyone being bored. And for once, I actually got to read the info cards on the displays!

Wishing you a lovely fall weekend, full of pumpkins and star-gazing!