Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Perspective Shake Up!!!

I went on a walk this morning and I couldn't help but be filled with the joy of the earth around me! After yesterday's quake, I don't know... it puts a new light on everything for a few days. I can't help but think what could have happened if it had been worse than it was. I can't help but appreciate what I have and how beautiful my life is.

The mountains were shrouded in a veil of white and gray mist. I actually saw a squirrel! Everyone I said good morning to -- said good morning back. There were so many birds in the field this morning eating breakfast. I saw the white tail of rabbit hiding under a bush. Men working doing stone work in the neighborhood were taking a break and they had a little propane fire going. They were cooking a full pan of meat on the curb near our house. I said a cheerful good morning and breathed in the thick smoke of cooking meat and I think all ten said good morning back! A lizard crossed my path, paused and looked at me, and I swear he winked!

Three years ago today, my husband proposed to me. Again, another reason to be filled with the energy of joy. His love has given me more gifts than I ever thought I could know. My eyes well up just thinking of his pure and unconditional love.

I appreciate it all. For a moment yesterday, as the earth moved violently, I thought it might be all gone. And I'm blessed because it is not.

The last song I listen to on my iPod Shuffle as I head home is always U2's Beautiful Day...

The heart is a bloom, shoots up through the stony ground
There's no room, no space to rent in this town
You're out of luck and the reason that you had to care,
The traffic is stuck and you're not moving anywhere.
You thought you'd found a friend to take you out of this place
Someone you could lend a hand in return for grace

It's a beautiful day, the sky falls
And you feel like it's a beautiful day
Don't let it get away

You're on the road but you've got no destination
You're in the mud, in the maze of her imagination
You love this town even if that doesn't ring true
You've been all over and it's been all over you

It's a beautiful day
Don't let it get away
It's a beautiful day
Don't let it get away

Touch me, take me to that other place
Teach me, I know I'm not a hopeless case

See the world in green and blue
See China right in front of you
See the canyons broken by cloud
See the tuna fleets clearing the sea out
See the Bedouin fires at night
See the oil fields at first light
And see the bird with a leaf in her mouth
After the flood all the colors came out

It was a beautiful day
Beautiful day
Don't let it get away

Touch me, take me to that other place
Reach me, I know I'm not a hopeless case

What you don't have you don't need it now
What you don't know you can feel it somehow
What you don't have you don't need it now
You don't need it now, you don't need it now

Beautiful day

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Everybody loves cake!

So I thought readers might want to know something new about me. For a short time last fall, I thought I was going to become the Space of Cakes. I say space, because I am not an ace. As in just about every creative endeavor I undertake, I do my best to figure it out from the tv and internet. These cakes comes from the space in my head as I am certainly no Duff!

It started with this present cake. I did it for a friend's daughter's 18th birthday. The inside was dark mocha cake with vanilla buttercream and then a layer of fondant to make it pretty!

I then made cupcakes for a wedding shower for another friend. She had created her wedding invitation, so I then copied her design for cupcakes!

The last fondant project I undertook was brownie points. It was an attempt to win a Halloween contest at work.

Alas, it did not work. But I did think of the scariest thing I could create in fondant and show people: a pig eating bacon. Does it get any scarier than that?

Why did I stop making cakes? Because a little white cat came to live with us who could jump on counters. Here she is on her first day... sigh!

Monday, July 28, 2008

More Recycle Mayhem and My Husband's Photography

While I am happy to report that the mannequin finally got the picture to the proper place and up, I am sad to report that I did not make it to 100 items by my deadline. I missed it by eight.

If I count the pairs of earrings I made as two instead of one, I am there. But I didn't clarify that rule when I started.

I'm going for it again this week. I like how having a numbers goal keeps making things in my mind at all times.

So here's what's been going on since Wednesday! Recycle Mayhem!

Recycled Chain and Memory Wire Fringe Necklace. Sometimes the best way to get rid of a knot in a chain is to use your wire cutters!

Toliet Paper Roll Wreath! Finally finished and beautiful!

And I had another item here and the photo has vanished. Sigh! I hate it when my blog eats my photos. It was probably because it was my oatmeal box art. It's listed on Etsy if you are really interested.

Speaking of oatmeal, here is a series of photos taken by my husband last night with my interpretations. (I say "speaking of oatmeal" because our carpet would take an oatmeal spill well.)

His feet. I find many photographs of this particular subject. Someday I shall gather them all in one place and create a coffee table book.

Here is a statement where he combines the title of a book and the snowflake-like design on the bookshelves.

Here is a cute photo of Snoopy.

And then a capture of Petey's demon side. Just in time for Halloween! Thanks, Honey!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Challenge: Creating 100 Items in a Week

I decided to create 100 items this week. It is a mix of things that will be for sale and also my surprise gifts that I send to Etsy customers when they order.

I am now going to illustrate the insanity in my being as I am struggling with this self-imposed challenge.

Monday. I felt like the craft devil was chasing me. You can tell this is the craft devil because there is a wreath in the non-pitchfork hand. One item complete.

Tuesday morning, I felt like I was hanging by a string and fear was imminent. One item complete, sixteen others started.

Tuesday afternoon. Why did I think I could do this? My brain was feeling kind of moldy. One item complete, twenty-seven started.

And then Tuesday evening, I felt a certain push of imagination. A place I had walked a gazillion, trillion, billion times. One item complete, forty-eight started.

Wednesday morning. Obviously in the night I had been sleep-crafting or the cats were nice enough to get into my studio and finish some things for me or my other personality that does not write this blog worked on some things. Forty-eight items complete, fifteen started.

Wednesday now. I feel serene. Like this challenge will be accomplished. I wasn't sure at first. I'm really good at giving myself too much to do all the time. This time, though, I'm going to get to one hundred items and if I stop writing this blog, I might get there ahead of my deadline! Ah!

Serenity now.

And as for my husband. This will be Skippy on Friday, happy, as he is looking forward to his weekend. It is hard work being one of the characters in a Dr. Seuss book.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Box of Light Inside My Brain

So even though the box of light (tv) is off, there is one inside my brain that is always on.

During this morning's walk, I saw landscaping gentlemen from two different companies. One had green shirts on and one had red shirts on. They were working across the street from one another. In my brain's box of light, I saw a Scrubs-type musical number in my head...

"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas..." They drop their rakes and clippers and run towards each other and begin to dance as they sing. "...everywhere you go..." And then it starts to snow!
"There's a tree in the Grand Hotel, one in the park as well, The sturdy kind that doesn't mind the snow..."

So as I'm working this afternoon, (I'm scraping paint with an old credit card , Target coupons in background made into a flower, toliet paper roll wreath nearby, and cereal box art painted green all as my friends) the box of light in my brain comes up with a new show...

In my mind I can see the newest Bravo Reality/Competition show in the vein of Project Runway or Top Chef or Top Design or Shear Genius:

Crafty Folks!

Listen as Martha Stewart presents the challenge:

"Take these salt and pepper shakers,

this dog,

and this rock...

and make something you can sell on Etsy for an astounding amount of money. The person who sells their item for the most money will win immunity. Now make it work!"

Here is the winning item in the episode in my head...

It sold for $28. I have immunity! I have immunity!

Oh wait... this isn't a real show... this is all in my head. Dammit!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Confessions of an Unorganized Happy Artist

So I have to admit something.

I was in the local bookstore meandering through the aisles thinking to myself, "What am I really looking for?"

I know I need to organize so that my art-making processes are more efficient. So I headed to self-help. Well, self-help is all about how to make your self comfortable with yourself -- not how to organize your workspace.

One aisle over was the art section. Hmmm... I picked up a book on how to doodle. Because for some reason, I thought maybe I could use some instruction on that.

One more aisle over were the pre-pregnancy, present-pregnancy, and post-pregnancy books. And just past that was the kids area. I wondered if there was a reason these were all clumped together. All are about change and metamorphosis and growth. Change and growth...

And then it dawned on me. I was looking for the biggest brightest shiniest newest edition of "How Exactly to be an Artist in 2008 with the subtitle Every Single Little Detail That You Want to Figure This Out So You Can Run Your Art Life." I wanted plans to follow and order and neatness and someone to tell me what to do even though I would not take their advice and figure out something that is better for myself.

I am admitting I have no idea what I am doing. I don't have a plan. Plans make me comfortable. Plans make me happy. But instead I am living chaos. And I follow this pattern: I get up, I make things, I post them on-line, I blog, I make more stuff, I market my shop, I talk endlessly to the cats, I eat, I sleep, and then I get up and do it all over again the next day.

But it's the best job ever! I just need to take the best job ever and make it make me money. Just enough to live and breath and give a little back. I am HAPPY every day. And I would rather have just enough and be happy than to have it all and not be happy.

I'm stepping off my button box now. Please feel free to post books, things that work for you, ideas for me... anything that could positively influence my art life.

Hey! And look what crawled out of my button box! Beautious! I guess something wonderful came out of my confession...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Damn Mannequins, You Can't Trust Them!

I'm just trying to take the photos to list my two new paintings on Etsy, and the little mannequin just can't stop walking away with the newest painting. I guess he wants it for his little digs.

He soon found that it was a little heavy for him.

He's no Kim Cattrall, but he's alive I tell you. I've seen him petting the kitties.

If only the mannequin would feed and water the kitties and clean their litterbox too! I would be happy to give him the little painting!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Everything's Coming Up Roses

I want you to look at the picture below and tell me if you like the product.

Now look at this picture. Can you tell me what the rose is made of?

Now look at these earrings. Do you like them?

What are they made of?

The petals of the flowers are made from recycled items. Do you know what?

Answer below...

If you said an old t-shirt for the rose pin, you are right! If you said gum wrappers for the second, I'm impressed. Very impressed. Leave me a post telling me how smart you are!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Razor Sharp Recycling

If you never used the Gillette Venus razors... the replacement razor heads come in these awesome little boxes. I've been upcycling these into little boxes to surprise unsuspecting Etsy customers!

I decopage an image on to the top of the container and volia! It's a perfect container for a small piece of jewelry. Look at this one that is going out in the mail today!

I guess if I started shaving the cats, I would be able to use more razors and then have more boxes.

Oh, I guess Petey's not too thrilled about this idea...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

In a New York State of Mind

I'm in a New York State of mind today.

Since I'm not feeling too well, I turned on the Today show and started thinking about travelling. And then I started to think about New York.

Skippy and I went in February of 2007 to see the rehearsal of Saturday Night Live. We went for several days and walked mile after mile. Skippy and I both like to explore in a meandering whatever catches our attention way.

It was freaking cold when we were there... but I had to pull out a few photos from that trip and post them here.

This is a church we took refuge in from the cold for a few minutes. There was no one inside. Tremendous.

This park had amazing sculptures. I just remember I wasn't sure if I really wanted to take my mittens off to pop off a couple shots.

Below are a few photos from the old port in NYC. And the Spam painting was in the neighborhood and I just thought it was funny.

Skippy gets on camera at Rockerfeller Plaza because he's just that good.

Quintessential view from my friend Andrew's apartment in Queens.

Alright. I'm back to the reality of Southern California and it's warm temperatures and sunny days... sigh.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Long Live the Queen of the Art Scene

Just when I think I have enough projects to work on, I start something else. I think that I am royalty in several areas:

1. The Duchess of Doing-Too-Muchess
2. The Princess of Mess
3. The Queen of the Art Scene

I know that being Queen of the Art Scene is completely contained in my own mind, but the Duchess and Princess title are very much true. My husband the King of Tolerating can atest to all these statements.

Here he is trying to turn the cat into a pumpkin.

It didn't quite work...

Anyway, I digress. Here is the drawing that I did instead of working on my list of now 62 projects. I love it!

Back to work with me. If only my wand could help me finish my list a wee bit faster!

Long Live the Art Scene Queen! (Even if only in her own mind...)