Saturday, June 26, 2010

Why So Many Sad Clowns?
The challenge theme this week at Inspiration Avenue is 

There are so many images that remind us of the circus...
I don't know why, but the circus makes me think of clowns.

And then I wonder why so many clowns are sad.

Are they just worn out from cheering everybody up all day?
Do they hate their jobs?
It must be exhausting to be a clown.

A sad clown is better than a scary clown ~ we won't even go there!

So I set out to make a mixed media clown.
With no real thought of whether she would be happy or sad,
darned if she didn't turn out sad!
At least she has her trusty companion, the clownish cat.
Who is none too happy today either. 
But if you put a ruffle around its neck and hold it like a baby,
it will only stay cheerful for so long. After that, pffftt! 

Head over to Inspiration Avenue Sunday afternoon to see
all of the circus entries. There are sure to be some fanciful ones! 
Don't Count on BP or Anyone Else 
to Do the Right Thing 
One thousand or even more miles away, it's much more comfortable to carry on with our lives and tell ourselves that "they" are doing everything it's possible to do (even though it seems to not be much) to contain and clean up the horrendous 2+-month-old oil spill in the Gulf. Hey, "they" are working hard and perhaps will come up with a better idea soon. Right? NO. 

I saw this link on Artfully Ooglebloops blog and I think more people need to be aware, so I am posting it here also. I was very moved to listen to the words of a Gulf Coast resident who has been living this nightmare from the get-go.  When I viewed the video, it had been seen by less than 118,000 people, and I would love to have more people see it. I'm sure there are countless YouTube videos out there on this disaster, but Kindra Arnesan is a good spokeswoman, so take a look!

I'm still not sure what can be done on a personal level (besides going
down there and helping clean up the beaches and rescuing wildlife...)
talk about a teacup out of the ocean...
but being more aware is a first step perhaps...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Where This Blogger Creates 
I missed getting my post up for the "Where Bloggers Create" party, but I am going to put it up now anyway. If anyone is still blog-hopping around at least it will be here.  Is it better to be late than never? I don't know. But for what it's worth, here is my "creativity room"!
 I'm lucky to have a space that I can dedicate entirely to doing artwork. It's a tiny room no bigger than some people's closets. Truthfully, no one else can figure out what to do with it so I got it by default! It is usually an utter mess and sometimes even hard to walk in here.  I cleaned up a bit for the pictures ;)
This is my helper. I think I'm going to have to fire him soon.
He spends a lot of time doing what he wants. 

My computer

My table where I draw, paint and make a mess

Books and all kinds of artsy craftsy stuff.

Ooh, it's so neat in here I don't recognize it!
I think I'll have to clutter it up a bit so I feel at home!

I'm off to work on this week's challenge at Inspiration Avenue.
The theme is "Circus".
But first, some visits to see where other bloggers create... 

I hope you enjoyed the little tour!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Lucky Me!!
Look what my sweet friend Luthien sent me!
A set of six absolutely stunning coasters of vintage ballet dancers!
Where is the sixth one in this picture? I don't know, but I know I have six. 
I thought I had them all in the photo...

These are so beautiful, I don't think my photo does them justice.
Luthien, who is a dancer and choreographer,
was looking for some vintage ballet pictures and I found these for her.
(Most of them are of the great ballerina Anna Pavlova.)
Luthien worked her magic on them,
adding embellishments and turning them into coasters! Exquisite!
I think this is my favorite, even though she's not dancing...hmmmm

Happily, Luthien now has a set of these coasters for sale in her
Etsy shop.
They come packaged in a beautiful green handmade box.
Please visit and check out all of her
handmade treasures while you are there!

Thank you, my friend, for sending me these beauties!
I'm so lucky to have them!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Temporary Like Achilles
Since it's Father's Day (You can imagine a slight connection, right ~ 
this is definitely not a frilly treasury),

and since I am a Bob Dylan fan since practically forever,

I had to show you this rockin' treasury created by EasterInHarlem.
(Check out Easter's shop ~ she has very cool vintage items!)

 Temporary Like Achilles is on the 
Blonde on Blonde album. Here is a link to the lyrics .
 Apparently, Bob Dylan never performed the song live.

Thanks to EasterInHarlem for including my circus clowns! 

And finally, Happy Day all you dads, you know who you are!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Inspiration Avenue Weekly Challenge
I've been wanting to take Suzi Blu's Goddess and the Poet 
online class for so long, and I finally signed up! 
I'm jumping ahead with this painting ~ I'm not actually this far, 
but with Robin's theme for the week, "Wish", 
I thought Suzi's dreamy, sleepy-eyed girls would be perfect. 

I signed up late and so I feel like I am both 
jumping ahead and also lagging behind! Ugh.  
I was tired of drawing disembodied eyes and noses and balls lol, 
and all just in graphite! I needed some color! 
Seriously, the class is so much fun, I am learning tons of neat tricks. 
I can't wait to get back to it... 
I'd recommend it to anyone who loves mixed media.

Oh, I almost forgot the shameless self-promotion:
the heart embellishments are from my collage sheet "Parisian Hearts". 

There are sure to be so many wonderful "Wish" entries 
over at Inspiration Avenue. Go check them out
Sunday afternoon when they will all be on display!

Thanks for looking!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Weekly Challenge at Inspiration Avenue

I was digging through my stuff trying to get organized, and I came across this watercolor painting I did years ago. Also panicking because I haven't started anything yet for the Summer challenge at Inspiration Avenue. I really didn't want to skip this week because a) I love the theme of summer and b) the theme was *my* idea!
What kind of host would I be, to not enter the challenge :)

I thought this would work perfectly because the breeze
rustling through the trees and the sound of flowing water
is so relaxing and summery.
I hope the image on the paper can evoke those sounds.
I painted it from a photo I took in Virginia.
Now I can't even remember exactly where, but I am thinking it was
somewhere between Williamsburg and Richmond. 

Here is another watercolor I found at the same time:
Not sure if I like it as well, but I kind of like the summery feel.
I think I will use the trees as my challenge entry since it shows what I like  so much about summer.

Visit Inspiration Avenue to see all of the Summer Fun entries.
Better yet, join in yourself ~
you have until Sunday at 12 noon (edt) to enter.
The entries will be posted at Inspiration Avenue Sunday afternoon.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

In the Kitchen

Look out, I've been fiddling around 
in the kitchen again
It's what happens when I have an incurable sweet tooth and nothing  tasty in the house.  I was watching  So You Think You Can Dance, so of course couldn't get up and go to the store. As if I would anyway...

I remembered seeing in a magazine (I'll think of which one) lots of ways to use egg roll wrappers. What do you know, I had some in the fridge. I had visions of making egg rolls when I bought them, but alas, it never came to pass. (Big surprise)

This was easy peasy, so I'll show you how I did it. First, take one big square egg roll sheet and cut it across and down in four equal pieces, making four little squares. Fit the squares into the cups of a muffin tin. Since I was experimenting, I doubled some and left some single, and found it really doesn't matter one way or the other. I sprayed them with some Pam, but again, I don't think you have to now that I see them finished. I think they would come out fine without it.   Put them in the oven at 350° just until crispy.

Meanwhile, microwave about a cup of chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet) for a minute. If not completely melted, put them in for 10-15 more seconds at a time until they're all melty. Spread the chocolate in the bottom of the cups, and this is what you have.
Not too gorgeous yet, but a lot of the chocolate will get covered up.  Or maybe you're better at putting in the chocolate! (The chocolate was taking too long to harden, so I put them in the fridge for a few minutes.)

Now is when you can get creative because you could fill these with almost anything!  I keep picturing ice cream (have to eat fast) but you could use pudding, mousse, hmmm, anything sweet. I happened to have strawberries on hand. I cut them up smallish, mixed in a little apricot-peach preserves (if I had had strawberry preserves I probably would have used that ~ but you'd be surprised how yummy the apricot-peach was).

Now they look like this:

Finish them off with a squirt of whipped cream and   

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Art Festival
Sunday was one of those transition days 
where we were getting rid of some warm, humid, rainy days 
and giving over to some perfect, clear, sunny skies.
Hoping we wouldn't get caught in the rain, 
we went to the Three Rivers Arts Festival in Pittsburgh. 
It's a yearly event, but I haven't attended in a long time. 
The weather cooperated very nicely. No rain. Humidity gone.
The aroma of frying sausage-onions-and-peppers
plus french fries and funnel cakes had my mouth watering!
I saw some nice artwork, but frankly, I think Etsy has spoiled me!
It was difficult to get near the booths because of the crowds,
and although it was nice to actually see the real thing 
in front of your eyes instead of on a computer monitor, 
some of the art offered on Etsy is superior to what I saw, 
both in sheer volume and in talent and imagination.  
Ooh, don't shoot me, all of you art-and-craft-show-goers!

It was a lovely time spent in Point State Park, 
which if you don't know, is the "Golden Triangle" area of Pittsburgh 
where the Monongahela River and the Allegheny River meet 
to form a triangle, at the tip of which is the start of the Ohio River. 
A little geography lesson, HA, no extra charge!

Since I'm on the subject,  if you have some summer fun to share, 
head over to Inspiration Avenue
where the theme for this week's challenge is, you guessed it,

"Summer Fun and Relaxation"!


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Challenge at Inspiration Avenue

How Does Your Garden Grow?
This week's challenge at Inspiration Avenue was right up my alley. 
The garden alley, that is! Gardening is one of my passions, 
so the problem was not what to choose, 
but how to choose from so many ideas.

I happened to be working on a new collage sheet for my Etsy shop
so I thought for a change I would use a collage sheet
for the challenge. Saved me some time, although
this sheet ended up being way more involved than I originally thought.
But isn't that always the way it goes?

This sheet is available in my Etsy shop.
All of the flower photos are from my garden,
either this year or last. They've been altered in Photoshop.

There are quite a few entries for the challenge
already posted at Inspiration Avenue!
Take a look!

If you have time to enter (by noon on Sunday June 6),
you will be entered in the Monthly Giveaway
at Inspiration Avenue! Check the blog for details.