Friday, August 31, 2007

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Like something has changed

Here in New England we treasure summer and try to drag out every drop of the daylight, and warmth, the no socks, no shoes, grass on our feet. There is a tendency to hold onto every little drop and just keep thinking that maybe THIS year we will just stay in summertime. But even with global warming we start to see those rogue tree's changing color, a spray of dead leaves on the lawn, and the autumn flowers blooming. Sometimes I wish it would just change, boom, like the time change. OK, put away the summer clothes - dig out the sweaters. Time to change direction. But no, it teases. We'll have a warm day and then a cool night. Then a slightly cool day and a cool night and then Bang - another set of 90 degree days. Shorts and loose skirts give way to loose pants and then heavy jeans. I love autumn - around here it is apple country and the smell of apples and Concord grapes is everywhere. The local church has their apple pie stand set up and the annual fair. Yard sales galore - like it's the last chance to get rid of junk. I wish summer lasted another month and autumn went thru REALLY to November. Then a few months of cold and back to a real spring and then summer again. Auntie Mim's weather wish.

Everyone says that it is time to hunker down, but I never unhunkered.

Late Night Doodles

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Landscape - early tuesday am

I like it. Want to walk that purple road.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Corporate World

You have to watch out for the guys who will stab you in the back. They may try to look cool but look closely at their little hands.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

A Pill Rug

I thought of Prozacville when I saw a picture of this rug. Here is a section of it. Custom made rug, all covered with pills and magic mushrooms.

I Don't have a name for this yet

Inspired by pictures of my mom's voice teacher, a white Russian lady who was actually mildly famous. A picture of her is shown in the cameo.

I know it is strange to show a headless opera singer, but use your imagination.

Project number 10,000 on my list

I have this plain-as-potato bag and am going to alter it, and make it more of a tapered shape, with some outside color. This will take awhile. I have a bit of a passion for bags, purses, suitcases, someday hoping to find a small purse (bag, suitcase) that acts like Mary Poppins carpetbag. I can carry it everywhere, and carry everything in it. This will satisfy my forced need for travel and my desire to take my home with me wherever I go. Post 9/11 stress disorder I think.

Anyway, wish me luck on the bag altering.

Trying a different format

Let me know if you like it. I wish I knew what I was doing. I tried to get a little photo of myself but I looked all squashed so maybe I don't have the sizing right, any hints? And how do people put on that thing that says "email me" and you click it and then you get to directly email that person without having to leave a comments.
All, and any advice is appreciated.

Drawing of a Billy Club - posted for something on EDM

I posted this for IFN, but like the drawing.

Illustration Friday - version 2 - Visitors

I worked on two for this. I started with the door one, (this post) which is somewhat similar in concept to Sarah's - but not as detailed. (what can I say, I was at the beach and was using Polar Seltzer for water, it was either that or salt water). Then I went into the fanciful mode and looking at the beautiful beach imagined color coordinated flying saucers. So, two posts this week.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Illustration Friday - August 25th


"The people on the beach were surprised that the spaceships had a complementary color scheme"

Also shown is a bald alien, but since blogger is only showing me text, I can't move things around.

Has anyone had this problem with Blogger? I import the picture and only see text but when I preview or look at the actual blog I see the picture. Grr....

New sewing technique

Well, new to me. There is a tool for doing this so it must be a tried and true process. I saw this on a purse at the fabric store and just stared at it until I figured out what they had done.
So I wanted to try it. I took three scraps of fabric and sewed them together with diagonal lines running from one end to the other. Then I cut, in between the lines of stiches and cut thru two of the fabrics and ruffled them up a bit. Scanning makes it look funny and flat but it is really nice in real life.

I guess that you could make a large piece of this and then use it as you would fabric accent.

Blogger is showing me htlm text instead of pictures so who knows what I am posting right now.

Oh shit

I did a mistake post on IFN again. Damn and double pink purses but I wish I wouldn't click the wrong button. Maybe sleep would help?

Friday, August 24, 2007

Can you identify this ship

In Boston Harbor today. Wonderful, beautiful ship. Being turned around.

which one do you like better

Entwined bugs number 1 or 2. Vote even if you don't like the bug drawing.

This is number 1

And this is number 2

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Art Fest

Has anyone gone to this ArtFest thing is Washington state? It takes place in April and seems to be a real mecca for some. I am thinking about going, but any recomendations would be appreciated.
Thanks all,

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Oh and this one too

Everything I do is an experiment....

Dallas to Boston to Dallas

8 hours on a crowded plane, about 1 inch between me and the guy in front of me. Next to me, sneeze, cough. Lord help me I went into the zone and started a little worm family based on this guy. I started with a Worm Wedding

Then went onto some worm babies following mama. I really like it better when I don't outline them. Have GOT to remember that.
Then I drew an outcast worm (because of her skin color) , used marker for her and am not so sure.

Finally the bad girl of the family, the Exotic Dancer worm

Monday, August 20, 2007

You know it's getting close to fall when you see

these running thru your backyard

Pig Enhanced

I think this one is better. A little pen and to see what oil pastels will do for the background.

Tranparent Pig

Working on this technique, not so great for the pig as it was for the sheep. I think I know why, what do you think?
Now that I look at them again, I think Piggy needs more contrast, I'll have to darken the drawing as I can't do anything about the background now. Piggy was done with watercolor pencils and those can be hard to get dark. Sheep was done with a new, lovely tubes of color. Yum.
Oy, placement of piggy is not great either. I think I'll try him all over again.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Samson again

Over at Posie, they sadly noted the loss of their dog. It brings back so many memories. But in reading thru some of the comments, I saw that one person said something about your dog still being with you - it's just that you can't see him. I so understand that, having had a special dog.

I think this was my first collage

An experiment about 1 year ago.

New character

Drew this guy last week and the rest of his family is still being developed.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Illustration Friday - Captain

Not much more to say about this guy.

Friday, August 17, 2007

A Famous London Ediface - looking like an ice cream cake

Sort of slumpy. Done on the plane last night. Each slump is an air pocket. The guy next to me wanted to sleep so I had to close the little curtain thing on the window. So no light either. Is that enought excuses for a slumpy building drawing?

EDM - 132 - Spray Bottle

I was so happy with my condensed art pack and while on the plane to the UK, I drew the mini spray bottle. It was empty when I got on the plane but a nice attendant brought me a glass of water and I filled it from there. It's a handy little thing.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Christmas thoughts in August

A Treatise on Christmas Presents
On an airplane ( as usual) – August 13th.

Kerstin is a very perceptive person and her comments often get me thinking. Recently we were discussing Christmas presents as I have posted that I am ordering presents.

Okay, time for some history! I grew up in a Jewish family and we did not celebrate Christmas (obviously). But, growing up in a Christian society has a tremendous effect on little kids, and there were all of those store windows with toys and glitter and fantastic moving tableaus. I interpreted Christmas as a mystical magical holiday, where you were showered with presents and all of your greedy childish dreams came true (I never thought about the religious part of it) In our family we got Chanukah presents – which were also wonderful, but more modest. Grandma and Grandpa gave each of the grandchildren 8 silver dollars – quite a sum in those days. I remember a wonderful illustrated fairy tale book from one aunt and a toy typewriter from that same aunt and uncle. But secretly I lusted after the mystery of Christmas.

Then I married Tony whose family is Catholic and Christmas became a BIG deal. Presents for the kids, special Santa presents, total overload! I liked it for the first few years, but then began to not like it so much. So much money spent! So much trying to please everyone, it seemed ridiculous. I don't think I ever got the right present for my sister in law, so much so that it became a joke as to how quickly she would return the present.

When my nephews were born and other nieces and nephews came along, it began all over again. Sean and Brian got so much pleasure from their Christmas presents, as well as the whole season, that it was a joy to see. But at the same time, their very smart mother used the experience to help them give away some of their old toys and not to be completely overwhelmed with new toys and presents. (unfortunately I have never been with Jody and Andrew on Christmas day – I truly regret that)

My favorite Christmas memory with Sean and Brian was when they lived in Ireland in 2001/2002. I went to see them in early December and we sat in the living room one night with a peat fire glowing and the 4 of us sang Christmas carols. I know only a few, but Grace knows them all – even the second and third verses. The room was lit only by the fire, the kids were about 8 and still willing to be cuddled and we sang away for hours. It is a very treasured memory. We have also always celebrated Chanukah together, the boys know how to light the candles, and say the prayers along with me. They especially love potato latkes and those really are a labor of love to make, what a mess! We do the small presents for 8 days, Chanukah gelt and all that. These kids have also come to family Bar Mitzvah’s with me, and have celebrated a few Passovers with my family, one year they said the 4 questions (or tried to) in Irish. In other words, they are learning to be open about other religions and beliefs.

Sean and Brian turned 14 last summer and this past Christmas they approached me with a deal. If I would buy them an X box for Christmas they would chip in half the cost (it’s a very expensive present). I agreed of course, and bought the present, and realized that taking their money was silly – but I didn’t want them to get off scott-free. So I made a bargain with them. They could choose a charity to give the money too. I suggested Toys for Tots and thought that they would just send in the money. But no, the lessons learned throughout the years had taken root in these kids. They researched charities and decided that they would rather give the money to a charity that buys mosquito nets in Africa – they solemnly told me that saving lives was more important than toys. If this is what Christmas and Christmas presents have taught these kids, I consider it money well spent!

If Tony wasn’t in my life (and he is thank goodness) I would happily and easily abandon any type of Christmas celebration. But to make it easier on myself (mentally) I am trying to make presents, draw pictures, make quilts, buy original artwork etc. Last year I made a “Mom shrine” and a Dad collage for my folks. I may even sponsor a dog in a shelter or a guide dog for someone this year. . It’s much more work, but so much more meaningful. Another tradition that is starting is giving a present of time together - a special day, or a family trip. That is working out very well! If I have to celebrate Christmas I want it to mean something to ME and to the kids in my life.

I know this is a long post and many people won’t read it, but it’s really for me anyway. I studied anthropology in school in part because of these early life lessons. To understand the difference between people and their cultures. To be scientific and analytical yet open to the mystical and holy. None of this is really about Christmas, it’s about assimilation, and understanding how to keep your own beliefs while letting others keep theirs. I could go on and on but won’t!

Other Christmas stories in my life:

1) As a child, I had a French friend in my building who was Catholic and one year she invited me to her apartment to trim the tree. I was young and said no – because I thought that trimming meant that you had to cut the tree into that triangle shape and the thought scared me. (City kid, what did I know about fir trees?)

2) My dad is Italian and grew up Catholic so once, and only once, when I was about 6, we had a tiny ceramic Christmas tree and when I woke in the morning there were presents on a chair in the living room. Unforgettable! Amazing that Santa had come to OUR house! I got a Patty Play Pal doll and a real musical recorder. But I think I remember it more because it only happened once – my grandmother probably had a fit when she heard about it.

3) One year I was designated as Santa by my sister-in-law which meant that I had to bring the special present that my then 6 year old niece wanted. I remember that it was MagnaDoodle, some drawing game. I remember it so well, because when we got to New York, on Christmas Eve, a Saturday night, I couldn’t find the present in my pile of stuff. I was panicked, what would Claire do when Santa let her down? The only thing that I could think to do would be to go to Brooklyn the next day, to the Hasidic section and find a store that had this toy. They would be the only stores open on a Christmas Sunday! I did finally find the present in my car, and also vowed never to volunteer for “Santa” again. I still think it would have been fun to shop in Borough Park, and try to get by with broken Yiddish trying to buy a Christmas present.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Illustration Friday - August 12th

This week's theme is Emergency. Boy, lots of things come to mind most of them requiring lots of drawing time. I am leaving on a business trip today and decided that I would do this quick piece because to my mind it was an Emergency that I finish something!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

One of the troubles with traveling

I travel alot for work. Often I am with others so it isn't so bad, but more often I travel alone, often for two weeks at a time, - and when work ends the entire evening is free. I do mostly cook my dinners, instead of eating out and can relax and watch TV but have started taking my art supplies along with me. But I was stuffing items into my luggage with no rhyme or reason.
Today I went out and got his cool patterned makeup bag ( altho why someone would want that much make up is so beyond me.)

Here are the art supplies the I want to put in. Each of the pencil containers hold watercolor pencils, markers, pens, pencils, short handled brushes etc. I wanted paper, pastels, wipes, glue sticks, paper palate and a craft sheet.

This is the first layer with sketch books - the paper pallate and craft sheet are on the very bottom.

A few more layers and you can see how much is fitting into this bag!

The final product - ready to be slung over my shoulder and go to the beach or a picnic or a plane ride. It's fairly heavy but I havent' weighted it yet.

I put a travel pouch together for oversized watercolor books also. Coudn't get the same patter, but I love this one.
Has anyone else done something like this? How do you solve your traveling dilemma?

Manikin - August 11th

I am cleaning out in the basement, as mentioned a few days ago, and found this manikin that I had painted, stamped, inked, covered with paper and gave a hippie head covering to. I want him to be in a cigar box stage, but haven't gotten there yet.

Quilts and Turkeys

Here is Mr. Tom again, seen after a long day of bike riding. I didn't chase him, just tried to get these photos. He is wary of humans - but not so much that he isn't looking for a handout.

Purple quilt! Finished! Actually it looks quite nice, I put a totally different color backing on it, with circles to contrast to the rectangles on the front. Someone's christmas present unless it goes to sell or to the church fair.

Ordering Christmas presents already

I just ordered some Sitting Pretty Poppets from Claudine and am so excited. I can't say who they will be for, but I know they will love them.
I took a class with Claudine last year and she was such an enthusiastic and fun teacher and am looking forward to taking more classes with her next year. I bought three of her prints while at the workshop and loved them but have donated them to Bernie Berlin for her art auction for the doggies. It was hard to let them go but Claudines work will sell easily and Bernie needs the money for the pups.
My nephew Brian broke his arm day before yesterday so we will take him some treats this weekend to make him feel better, poor baby.
I haven't done my Illustration Friday drawing, I usually do it on Friday night but was cutting out another quilt for the aforesaid nephew for HIS christmas present. I need about 85 squares and only got 50 done. (Groan). I haven't started on his brothers quilt yet. I had planned to do twin bed sized quilts, but luckily Sean called me up and told me that he had gotten a new queen sized bed. He is just getting too big for a twin plus is a restless sleeper. So now double bed sized for them both (Double Groan)
I am off on a business trip to the UK next week so will not be posting most likely. Hopefully will get some nice pictures of the Kent area, perhaps a pub or two!

Friday, August 10, 2007

I love my Mom and Dad

It is getting close to my birthday and I am going on a business trip and my folks are off to California for a month. So, M&D always send me my birthday present early and I got their card and present today. The present was wonderful and gratefully received but the card was one that I will always keep. Mom wrote how proud they were of me, of great love, and more sentimental things that I can't even write or I will cry. It was a wonderful card.
I will barely be able to talk to them on the phone without going all mushy.

I love you both!