Friday, November 21, 2014

A Love Affair w/ Jim Dale at the Night Circus...

I LOVE to read. There is no better feeling than that of a good book in your hand. Also, nothing makes you feel richer. I mean no matter if your pockets are empty there are always books available. The library is a marvolous place filled with endless adventures. The greatest gift a parent can ever give a child is a library card. Oh the worlds to can travel to, the adventures you can take!

Sadly my days of curling up with an actual book have beenpostponed till my wee ones are older. My reading time has been filled with other fun activities like giving out hand stamps after successful trips to the potty with my 2 1/2yr old and couch surfing with my 7mth old. 

So what does a mom do when she can't actually sit with a book? Well she reflects back to her college days when she used to listen to her english homework while painting her art homework! Yep, Audiobooks are SO amazing. And what makes it even better is when the narrator is a genius. I downloaded The Night Circus from my library using the Overdrive app and when I pushed play I was greated with the voice of Jim Dale! He was the narrator for one of my all time favorite (now canceled) TV Shows called Pushing Daisies. If you never watched it, run and find it now! I mean they work at a place called The Pie Hole! What more do you need to know? Anyways I digress. At first I was a bit worried as Jim Dale has a unique voice, a tilt towards the cheesy one might say but after listening to just a few moments I swooned with the genius of the decision to have him read. What a delight it was to listen to this unique and wonderful adventure called The Night Circus with Jim Dale as my guide. 
Can't recommend it enough. I HATE when people give spoilers so here's how I described the book to my mother when she inquired...

Two guys with real magical powers make a bet.
Two young people are raised and trained as competitors.
The Night Circus is the skeleton upon which a delicious cast of characters is hung. 


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Halloween Cozies are in the SHOP!

Halloween Cozies are here again!
I only have 4 left and then they are gone forever!

Visit the SHOP today to get them before they are gone!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Spark of Inspiration and a Tiny Watercolor...

Last week on Facebook I came upon a link to the AMAZING artist Lorraine Loots. You can read about her 2013 Paintings for Ants and her current project Postcards for Ants HERE

I personally can't stop looking at her work. Good thing there is a new one every day!

After soaking my eyeballs in her fabulous work the gears in my artist brain started a turnin'. I love all things tiny and detailed. I have a long history of creating photo realistic art be it drawing or painting. Inspired by Ms. Loots I have finished a tiny watercolor!
Though not nearly as tiny as hers, its a start. Working tiny in watercolor is a lot harder than one imagines. Acrylic I think would be easier. 

This was what my table art table looked like when I started. Tunes playing on my iPad thanks to Soul Shenanigans. I am lucky enough to have North Light in my studio so I arranged my art table in a way that the light comes in from my left as I am right handed so that there are no shadows cast onto my work from my drawing/painting hand! 

A limited palette of 6 Daniel Smith watercolors plus white gouache, some cheap tiny brushes I happened to have on hand, a dragon and crane for resting my brushes, a tea cup and sake cup for water and a pencil. 
The hardest part was choosing only 6 colors for my palette! I'm a color addict as you may imagine. 

The deliciously smooth paper I used for this painting. 

What it looked like after blocking in the colors.

I think she was pretty much finished at this point!

A close up detail photo for you. 

After she was all finished and to my liking I went in search of a frame. I found this one in a box in my closet. I purchased this beauty many years ago off the clearance table at World Market. It's been in a box and moved at least 2 times that I can think of. I think they go together just perfectly, don't you?

I am so pleased with how it turned out that it's currently sitting on my table giving me continued inspiration. I have been inspired and envision an even larger project sort of in the line of what Ms. Loots has created but with my own take on the idea. 
So look for more tiny paintings to come! As a mom of 2 kids, this is a project that fits my current life perfectly! I haven't been this inspired, this excited about an art endevour in some time!!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Oirish Tirsday...

I don't have a TBT Art Edition this week because I have a current little WIP or Work In Progress! Yay for being creative, right?

When I said a "little" WIP I meant it ;-) This little baby is only about 2 1/4" across and actually I think it's still a little too big. Crazy right? But it either just feels right or it doesn't, ya know?

It will get finished and framed and most likely hang in my hubby's office as this is his precious barn in our back yard. He practically rebuilt it by hand since it was in such disrepair.

He's an amazing man but we already knew that ;-)

I don't know about other artists but the creating goes so much smoother with some tunes. 

Every Thursday from 3-5pm EST I listen to a live radio show from Kiltimagh, County Mayo Ireland called "Soul Shenanigans"

The DJ is a very close personal friend of mine.

In honor of the big independence vote today, the show itself is all Scottish so please tune in!

Can't listen live?

Keep those toes tappin' and do something creative everyday, even if it sucks!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Throw Back Thursday, Art Edition...

Back in 2004 we set off on an adventure. We were young, debt free, had no children and decided to move from Frederick Maryland to Carson City Nevada! Yep, that's quite a story but that's for another time. 

This week's TBT Art Edition takes us to November 2005.

One morning on the way to work Mr. AB called from his cell phone to tell me to walk down the street to see the fabulous morning fog laying in the valley. I grabbed my shoes, my camera and off I went. 

The scene was amazing! There's nothing more magical or erie than a foggy morning. 

Photo of the Sunridge Golf Club in morning fog.

This is the photo as it looked after I played around with it. To me, this was the moment when it demanded to be a painting. 

This is the finished 5x7 watercolor painting. I LOVE how it turned out.
What do you think?

I wish I still had this painting but as usual I gave this one away as well.

These TBT posts really have me going down memory lane as I look though photos of old art. There are so many things I've done and given away as gift that I have totally forgotten about. I probably could fill a museum with all the art I've given away.

I sometimes feel like I'm not an artist anymore because there's hardly any of my work in my own home. I really need to start keeping my own stuff. 

But it just feels SO good to give it away and make others happy!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Throw Back Thursday, Art Edition...

TBT again already? My does time fly when you're havin' fun!

So this week's look back takes us to circa 2008. 
Living in Virginia at the time, the hubster and I enjoyed exploring the many parks in our area. While we were walking one of our favorite trails  I was taking photos as usual and I got an idea. An idea to illustrate a little set of post cards and send them to the children of some friends! Yeah, sort of a post card version of serialized books. 
This would give the kids not only the joy of getting mail but also something to look forward to!
Who doesn't love looking forward to more fun mail?

This was the first one and it set the scene. Since I lived in Virginia and the children I was writing to lived in Ohio, I made it seem like I was writing about a far off magical place. Well to a child who had never been, it may very well be just that.

#2 was trying to instill a sense of wonder. Trying to illustrate that if you observe carefully, you can find wonderous things everywhere!
My mother taught me this :)

#3 speaks to the communities of tiny animals you may find!

#4 tried to illustrate the point that being still in nature is important. Some things can only be observed and enjoyed if you are patient. 

All together a cute little group I think.

I'm SO happy I thought to keep a set for myself.  Most art I create and send in the mail is lost to me foever as I rarely ever even photograph most things. Truly creating and setting art free into the world for those I love to enjoy.

The backs of the Post Cards. 

 I hope to work on some new Mail/Serial Story Project soon. 

I'd love to hear any thoughts you have on what kind of story adventure you'd like to get in the mail!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

August is Pink?...

I like my months to be assigned a color. Usually August is orange but this year it's pink and I think I like it that way. Anyone else like their year broken up by different colors?

Anyhoo...It's the first monday of the month and while I am amazed that it's AUGUST already, I love it when I flip the page to a brand new month. 12 times a year I get to start fresh. How exciting is that? For me that fresh feeling everyone gets when the calendar year changes is nice but short lived don't you think? The moment you step on the scale and it's not going as you hoped or the first birthday card you forget to send can derail your new sense of freshess. But for me, I prefer to make it a wee bit more manageable. So 12 times a year I get a fresh start. New ideas start rolling in and things seem easier to manage. 

How do you break up your year?

And yes, I hand draw my calendars. I have for years now and yes,
 it takes time but it makes me so happy!