Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Animal Wednesday - from far away

I actually have posted this before I left - it's 7:30 on a friday morning and I am leaving for the airport in 1 hour. But this was too cute NOT to post - so enjoy, enjoy, and hug your animals.

Labrador video

I love to watch the interaction between the pup and the big dog - notice that the big dog doesn't give into the pup - great dog training.

On a recommendation from Grace, I am going to draw Miss Em getting ready for her trip - especially the packing part. Honestly, I packed once in a big bag. Hated the bag - too big, too steamer trunk looking. Too heavy. How would I manage it on my own. So unpacked into a small bag - with the honest input from Grace that I take too much big toiletries (she was right, having traveled with me many times). But the bag was very bulgy and I worried that it would burst open when tossed pell mell onto the airplane loading thing. Then a kind friend at work brought me a duffle bag on wheels which solved all my packing problems and I feel so happy and comfortable with this situation that all my packing anxiety is gone. Whew. What a worry about such a silly thing. But I'll get a great Miss Em out of it!!!

Be well everyone - have a great week and a great holiday.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010


We are staying in villa in the hills above lucca. no internet (internet cafe right now) no phone service, no TV. Al fresco dining at all times. Gorgeous pool. Outdoor shower in a grotto with rosemary bushes overhead. Family around.
Wonderful vacation and I bought already two bags of soft leather.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Animal Wednesday - "Fetch"

Lolo turned me onto this film maker - wow

Have a happy Animal Wednesday - see you all in a few weeks - I'll be back from vaca after July 5th

Sunday, June 20, 2010

This was going to be a Zen type post

We had a gorgeous warm New England day yesterday, so DH and I went to the beach. As we got there, we could see that the tide was out and there was a bit of a sandbar - hence the gorgeous green water - it looked like the Mediterranean.

I had my tiny camera with me, and decided to take a few shots, crop them and just show one or two critically cropped photos, with a few words underneath to show the beauty of the day, the colors on the beach and the wonder of it all.

That was my plan. We had a lovely relaxing day at Race Point Beach in Provincetown - too cool to go swimming but lovely anyways. I was peaceful and calm.

Then I got home and found the new Cloth, Paper, Sissors and started reading and got excited about a new there goes the zen and I'm gonna show you my traveling art roll and a book I made following a video that Suki posted.

The book is made from hot pressed arches watercolor paper, you can see the instructions here (Suki's post again - but it links you to YouTube - for the whole series of instructions)

This book will be fun to use as a short art journal on my Italy trip next week. The instructions call for the pages to be painted, and I might paint one or two, but I like the clean white pages waiting for black ink.

The traveling sketch roll is fun. I took a length of cloth - probably 7 inches by 30 - as I wanted it longer than they suggested in the magazine. I colored the front of the fabric with neocolor crayons - which are crayons that are water soluable - and act like watercolors....sort of. I did designs all over the front of the fabric, and then put polymer medium all over the design. This kind of worked on the crayons a bit, but not so much that you can't see the design. I let it dry overnight.

This morning I cut different types of paper to fit inside the roll - maybe 6 inches high and varying lengths...and then stitched them in overlapping layers. I also attached a length of cord that I had to one end to act as a closure. At the other end, I improvised (clever person that I am). The instructions call for a length of metal to use as a way to roll the piece, but I made two little pockets - one holds a pencil and the other a watercolor brush with the reservoir to hold water.

Here you can see a bit more of the way the papers overlap.

It'll be interesting to use this roll. The papers that I used are probably too heavy for this application, they will hold the roll too much, but I will just flatten them out when I draw or paint. I might glue a map to the front page, and make it a journal - but I'll see about that. I am not a good journeler.

And finally - when I got my "Girlfriends" book last week, I also received one that is still in progress - KatieJane's book - so I worked on that yesterday and will send it off to Suki for her page. Everyone in Kates book did something about Believing - so I did also. Here is one side....

and the other....

Watercolor paper, acrylic paint, watersoluable crayons, gel medium.

Well, nothing zen about this post is there. So far it's been a busy weekend and the upcoming week will probably be busier. And I have to finish (start!) packing for Italy...get directions to the house, print out my itinerary and everything else that goes along with being away for 10 days. I have a long packing list - nothing light about my packing! You'd think I was going to be there for a month - but what the's not like the old days when everything had to fit into my backpack.

Have a happy Fathers day - we are off to NH to see the family before we all scatter for vacations.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Girlfriends book makes it's way home

I got it..... "Girlfriends" art swap book - it came home!!!

And since the theme was "Home".... and the art work is gorgeous....

it's a joy to have this swap completed!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Opera - Do you love it??? or can you leave it???

This is for Robin - so she can see that my mom really did try to educate me in the opera life style. The photo is of my mom in the opera Faust and this is what she wrote back to me when I sent her this picture:

The role is that of Marguerite in "Faust" by Charles Gounod. There were many other operas with the same theme of Faust, selling his soul to the devil (Mephistopheles) in order to be young again, and when he is (young) he falls in love with Marguerite and of course ruins her. It's based on the famous book of Goethe's " Dr. Faustus" which was a legendary story. It's beautiful music and of course drama as well as romantic . The tenor (Faust) took the story very seriously anf REALLY kissed me on stage quite romantically. Not in rehearsals. Don't know why this opera isn't given more. Maybe because the story ends with her death and transfiguration. Satan tries but doesn't get her soul.

She sounds rather happy about that kiss doesn't she? Mom must have been in her late teens, early 20's in this picture and was singing with the City Opera in New York City. I think she looks very beautiful in this picture.

Mom sang with the opera until I was about 6 or 7 - I think she finally gave it up when she realized that she had to bring us up, and not leave it all to maids and aunts and cousins. Probably peer pressure from said aunts and cousins didn't help - all those women stayed home with the kids. We lived in an apartment building, in a two bedroom flat with the piano in the foyer. It was a nice apartment but small and of course you could hear everything that went on from room to room. Mom would practice after we went to bed, hence my nighttime lullaby's were lovely death aria's and the like. Beautiful music but somewhat disconcerting to an imaginative child.

Before she quit singing with the opera, mom would take me to her rehearsals and occasionally I would get dragged to a performance. I say dragged, because I never knew what was going on, I was a tiny kid and was totally oblivious, all I wanted to do was stay home and play with cousins and not go and get culture. Picture a little 4 year old blondie, dressed in mary janes, white socks, little dress and coat with matching hat - holding onto her dad's hand and going to the opera. And then watching your mom DIE ON STAGE!!!. God, I hated that part, and didn't really understand that the knife wasn't real, and that she while she appeared to be jumping off the parapet...she was jumping onto a mattress in the back (that's what dad told me). The music was over my head, the whole performance was over my head really. I was usually tired and would fall asleep in the chair, the best part was dad carrying me out (ooh, I got choked up writing that - makes me miss dad.)

So...what is the point of this post - I guess there really isn't a point. Robin is an avid Opera Fan and has been writing about her experiences at the opera and I enjoy seeing her joy and love of that art. I simply can't go to the opera, it literally puts me to sleep (remember the lullaby's) or scares the life out of me. While I enjoy the music, it's often too close to home to truly enjoy independent of my history with opera. Certain aria's bring me to immediate tears...and I can imagine that once mom is gone, I simply won't be able to listen at all.

So...what's your thought on opera??? (and would you take a 4 year old to see a performance?)

Friday, June 11, 2010

New Miss Em - Working Girl

Previously, I did a post where I showed Miss Em at her happy job, but getting fired - it was about 7 - 8 pictures. I can't find the whole post but here is a part of it - maybe if you are reading this you remember the overall post.

Anyway, I took that theme and redid it in my comic book class, with more of the traditional format, and flow and I'd love your opinions. I'm not sure if it's enlargeable...but give it a try

As I said...would love your opinions!!! ( I got a "Fabulous" from DH - which meant alot to me)

Lo will see this tomorrow in person, as she is stopping over for a quick visit as she will be in the area. So exciting!!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Animal Wednesday....and some more comics

We were bike riding this weekend and stopped near a lake - this guy was singing his heart out just above our heads. He went on for a long time with a beautiful clear song - just a joy to hear.

Comic book class was last night - the instructor and I talked about how to get Miss Em published. He does something at DC comics - aside from drawing for them - so really knows what he's doing. We literally talked about a book of 8.5 X 11 or another size. My head is spinning and I have alot of work to do, but am looking forward to it.

Meanwhile, he gave us large pieces of paper and wanted us to put a complete comic page. The exercise was to loosen up our drawing - no precise penwork allowed, just black ink and pencil really. 45 mins to complete the whole thing.

I decided to work on an idea that I'd been having of Miss Em making a Golem to help her against all the evil and sadness that is around. In the first three panels, she sees oily water, plunging world economy, and hot temperatures. In the next two panels, she is reading about book about making a Golem (I think I spelled it wrong in the panel- oops)...then working over a caldron, and in the final scene - a superhero (albeit a rather chubby one) is formed and she is urging him to go outside to save the world. Of course, she would have to be careful that he doesn't run amuck - these creatures are not known for their intelligence.

It was a fun exercise, and a theme that I might develop more on later. A little odd for our Miss Em, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

Anyway - Happy Animal Wednesday to you all,

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Where am I...???...

I am so swamped at work that while I have been lurking and doing some commenting - my posting is falling behind. I'm working hard at the office (to work myself out of a job?) but also working on my comic class - which is taking more time than I thought it would.

But I love it - I am having so much fun in that comic class, I want it to go on and on. I'll post some updates as soon as I can get it scanned in - would love your input on the new "comic page" look...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Animal Wednesday ...on wednesday

We took one afternoon and went biking in Myakka State Park while we were in Florida - and stupidly all I had for a camera was my Blackberry. So when we saw these Roseate Spoonbills I could only take a fuzzy far away shot of these pink lovelies standing in a line.

Here is a stock photo of one - really lovely looking birds.

Happy Animal Wednesday to you all!! Link away.