Thursday, December 24, 2015

Rejoice... there is a reason for the season!


Joyous Blessings of Love & Peace as we celebrate this Christmas Season...

May God Bless You and Yours, 
not only for today but always!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Perfect Pickle Party Pizazz!!

I'm really in a pickle this time... whoops, to be clear, it is a "Pickle Swap"! Once again, the fun and talented artists on ATC's For All have come up with a swap that tempted my creativity enough that I couldn't resist joining in the fun! Everyone has been partnered up with another artist to exchange a work of art celebrating the much beloved taste sensation known around the world as a  "Pickle"!!  This is an "anything goes" kinda swap... any medium you choose... any size, big or small... bread & butter or kosher, sweet or spicy, gherkin or dill... the only guideline being, your work must depict a Pickle! 

After finding out who my partner was, I felt inspired to create a pickle with a personal connection to her world! She says in her AFA profile that "I would have Harold Lloyd's babies if I could!" and uses a photo of him as her online avatar. Soooo, how could I not give it a try? 

Below is a classic photo of the silent film star and comedian Harold Lloyd, my inspiration... 

Below: Presenting..."Mr. Harold Lloyd Pickle"... he is a soft sculpted doll created from a pair of girls tights, painted with acrylics & stuffed with polyfill... his hair is made of yarn, glasses made from rubber washers and wire... all body parts are embellished with hot glue "pickle bumps" and entirely hand sewn (that was my biggest challenge, I am definitely not a seamstress!!) His pickle torso measures a bit over 12 inches.

Thanks for popping by... 
Until next time, Happy ARTing!!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Judge a "gift" by it's cover... it's a package deal!

I do realize that today's Show & Tell is not a very original idea for holiday gift giving, but... Hand Painted Wrapping Paper gives any artist the opportunity to showcase their own uniqueness of style in a fun & useful way! 

No matter how you choose to create your wrapping paper designs, the first thing you need is "paper" to create on... many artists like to use brown kraft paper or white butcher's paper, but you are not limited to a "blank page"... for an economical & eco-friendly choice, recycle your morning newspaper into a creative mixed media work of art!! 

Next, let's create... when it comes to supplies for this project, anything goes!! Watercolors, acrylics, markers, colored pencils, stamps with ink... just let your imagination loose with your favorite medium!! There are no rules but one... HAVE FUN!!

I know you get the idea, but just to give your creative juices a jump start, I want to share a couple examples that I had fun making! This time, I started with an actual roll of plain white wrapping paper that I found at the local Dollar Store. It isn't as thick as butcher's paper, but that is really why I chose it, as well as it had a bit of a sheen to it. 

Below... I started out by using acrylic paint... my designs were created by applying the paint in droplets... I then "smeared" the drops using an old credit card in different directions & patterns.

Below... Next, I added some ink stamping... I used stamps that I had "hand carved" out of erasers... the perfect way to put your own unique "stamp" on each piece! (I couldn't resist!)

Below... Voila, here are my wrapping papers in use... one thing that I know for sure, it truly is "the ART thought that counts"!!

 Once again, thanks for stopping by...
Until next time, Blessings to all!


Sunday, December 6, 2015

Create... simple fun for this Christmas Season!

Frosty the Snowman was a very jolly soul... (Whoops, there I go singin' again!)
Today's Show & Tell will continue with more ornaments that guarantee to put a little smile on your face! These are definitely budget friendly projects that are perfect for kids of all ages to create and enjoy... whether you're young in years or young at heart, I hope you'll find some inspiration along the way!!

Below... Clothespins can be a very versatile and inexpensive craft tool, they come in different styles & sizes and with a little imagination they can be the perfect choice for your next art project! I like the look of the old fashioned "round top" style, they are perfect for creating what I like to call "Pin Pals"... with just a few scraps of this & that from your cherished craft stash, they can come to life with Holiday Style!

"Pin Pals" Assortment

Below... This lively duo of Snowmen were created from battery operated tea lights... using the built-in candle light for a substitute to the traditional carrot nose that we all know & love! Once again pull out that craft stash and create away... they are sure to brighten up any Christmas Tree that you have! 
(* FYI... to remain in our budget friendly mode, tea lights can be found at your local Dollar Store in packages of two.) 

  "Tea Light" Snowman
 Stop by again... the Christmas Season has just begun, 
more projects & inspirations to come... Ciao!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Ready, Get set, Go... 'tis the season to be jolly?!

Well, the Holiday Season has managed to sneak up on me once again... every year I'm amazed that I'm actually surprised when December comes around! I suppose if I had my way, November would have at least 45 days in it!! 

Today's Show & Tell is the official kick-off celebration that will undoubtedly become known around the world as "The Holiday Art Blog-Fest"... I'm calling upon all of my fellow "Blog" Artists to join forces and generously share all of those crafty secrets that you have been keeping to yourself... this is the season of sharing, give the gift of your uniqueness & creativity this Holiday Season!!  

Below... My first offering of the season is an assortment of "Star Ornaments" that I created for a recent swap on ATC's For All. The star shapes are made of papier mache, decorated on both sides with acrylic paints and embellished with twisted wire, beads & bells. By using papier mache you are not limited to making just stars, try your hand at other shapes as well and decorate them in your own unique style... the only rule here is to Have Fun!!

Papier Mache "Jingle Stars"

 Hope your creativity has been sparked a bit...
Please, come again throughout the Holiday Season...
Together we can make this season "ART-fully Joyous"... Ciao!! 

Monday, November 30, 2015

Just strummin' along, singin' a song... hopefully!?

Today's post is a little departure from my usual Show & Tell... Visual Arts have always been my first love while Musical Desires have always taunted me as something beyond my reach! It's no secret to those who know me that I do love to sing... I grew up convinced that life should be a "musical", I have seen every old movie musical that was ever created (more times than I'd like to admit!) In my prime, I could not only quote the dialog [word for word] but I could keep up with each song & dance number as well! Through the years the joke in my "circle of family & friends" has been that I could have been a "Star" if it weren't for the microphones... yes, you heard correctly, just the sight of a "mic" seems to render me speechless!! This crippling phobia has robbed the world of a "talent" that was just never meant to be... at least that's my story and I'm sticking to it!! Luckily for me, my little church choir doesn't use microphones and I have never had a problem with projecting my voice loud enough to be heard! If anything, I have been asked many times to allow other voices to be heard (over compensation, I suppose!)   Eventually, I thought that playing a musical instrument would fulfill those yearnings to have music in my life... just one problem with that idea, for whatever the reason (possibly, "no" natural talent or patience) I have never been successful at learning to play even though I have made many attempts!! Let's see... I have bought about a half dozen guitars, both acoustic & electric... I have even tried lessons, but I'm not sure who was more frustrated, me or my teacher?!  So, I moved on to keyboards... you guessed it, time & time again frustration took it's toll and I finally vowed to give up my quest! I have managed to be content with that decision for several years; that is, until recently... almost as if it were taunting me, I found myself creating a Bucket List with "Learn to Play a Musical Instrument" in bold red letters!! What's that all about?! It's never too late, right? or is this a case for "you can't teach an old dog new tricks"? So, for the past several weeks I've been going back & forth between "I must be crazy" and "what the heck, maybe this time it will be different!?" One thing that I am sure of, No more guitars or keyboards... that's it, try something new... a fresh beginning!!  

After lengthy internet research and a trip to the local neighborhood music store, my mind was made up. I came home with what I'm believing to be the perfect  instrument for me to "conquer" once and for all... a Mandolin... yes, I am a "cockeyed optimist"... only time will tell! (Thankfully, if frustration starts to send me over the edge, I always have my ART to bring me back to sanity!!)

My New Mandolin - closeup
 Full view

Thanks for stopping by... Until next time, Ciao!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Pass the cranberries...please!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Blessings to you, one and all... 
not only for today, but always!! 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Call of the Wild... Animal Lanterns!

Today's Show & Tell is a continuance of my trip to The Chinese Lantern Festival... I really enjoyed the Animal Lanterns and felt that they were exceptionally creative... they ranged from whimsical to realistic but their life-sized presence succeeded in bringing them to life right before your eyes!

The following pictures really don't do them justice, some of the scenes were actually animated which added yet another dimension to their designs. 

King of the Jungle with His Subjects
Hyenas (very creepy in person)
Life-sized Giraffe Family
Life-sized Zebras
Life-sized Mother Tiger & Cubs
Ceremonial "Baby" Elephant
Ceremonial "Young Adult" Elephant
Peacocks - approx. 20 ft. fanned out
Butterfly Garden
Pandas Playing
Dinosaur World
Dinosaur World
Tropical Birds
Snail - approx. 5ft long
Ant Colony - approx. 5 ft. each, 8 total in display
Lantern Fish
That's about it... thanks for letting me share my journey with you,
I hope that you found a bit of fun & enjoyment along the way!!
Blessings to you all... Ciao!!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Light up your life... Chinese Style!!

Due to a resent bout with the flu, I haven't been able to keep up with creating new posts for my loyal followers... Sorry for my absence,  the good news is that I'm finally getting back to a somewhat normal routine!!

Today's Show & Tell is all about showcasing a little excursion that I [finally] went on a few days ago... The Washington State Chinese Lantern Festival had been scheduled for Spokane as an outdoor fall event. I had made plans to attend when my travel companion became ill resulting in our original plans being cancelled... our second attempt to go became futile when I came down with the aforementioned pesky flu bug... soooo, third time's the charm? Finally, travel day arrived...  I started the morning by opening the drapes, only to be shocked at seeing snowflakes the size of silver dollars falling to the ground! I was definitely not prepared for a 2 hour drive with winter road conditions, especially since my snow tires had not yet been installed, nor was a prepared to walk around in the cold night air to see snow covered displays!! What to do?... cancel again (it would be the last chance before it ends) or hope for the best & hit the road! Well... luckily the forecast was that the snow would just be a morning fluke that would clear by noon... all roads were clear and good to go!

In my opinion, The Chinese Lantern Festival was definitely worth waiting for. It covered several acres of Riverfront Park which was the original site of the 1974 Worlds Fair. All the displays were bigger than life... handmade metal frameworks covered in silk... beautifully lit, colorful works of art!! 

I have decided to spread pictures out into two separate posts..
(the next post will feature the Animal Lanterns.

Below: photos of Part One of the Chinese Lantern Festival... 
they certainly don't do them justice.


Dragon - 160 ft long - showing this pic with person to compare it's size!
Chinese Wedding at Temple
Life-Size Animated Wedding Characters from center stage above
It's hard to judge just how big these are... approx. 25 ft. wide
Approx. 15 to 20 ft. tall

 Each Kid is about 6ft. while sitting
Approx. 20ft. wide & tall

Approx. 30 ft. tall

Approx. 20 ft.tall
Festival Gate  (people pictured in front help to shows it's size)
Approx. 30 ft.wide & 25 ft. tall
Each flower is aprox. 5-6 ft. tall and lined a walkway about 40 ft. long
Walkway about 50 ft. long with these lanterns on both sides - the flowers twirled
Hope you enjoyed this first installment of my journey to 
The Chinese Lantern Festival... 
Stop by for Part Two when I feature wonderful life-sized
Animal Lantern displays, until then... Ciao!!

Monday, October 19, 2015

No insurance or tracking number needed!!

"Return of the Weirdy Mail"... (no this is not the title of the latest spooky movie for the Halloween season!) Back in February I posted about the "Envie Addicts Unite" group that I'm a part of on ATC's for All. A couple of times during the year instead of sending "arted up" envelopes to our partners we shake things up by sending what is affectionately called Weirdy Mail. The rule of thumb here is that there are no rules (the weirder the better), the main challenge is getting your post office to accept the item for delivery! My local post office is a bit conservative, after talking to our Postmaster I decided to be safe and that I would do what I call Semi-Weirdy. Nevertheless, I do think I managed to come up with a creative project that was still in the spirit of the weirdy challenge!

Below are photos of my "Weirdy"... I started with an empty potato chip container, I wanted something that not only could be arted up on the outside but could also be a vessel for an artful surprise inside!

My Inspiration

When I started I assumed that there were plenty of surface areas to be used as a canvas for my artwork. I first covered the entire can with tissue paper... before starting my artwork I went to the post office to find out where they would have to place the postage, I did not want any of the design to be covered. I'm glad that I checked, I found out that I had less room than needed for a design that I had planned. I still had time to make changes & in the end, much less frustration!

Below are photos of both ends as well as the side with my finished design, unfortunately I have no pic of the opposite side of the can where the address lettering and postage appeared.

"Weirdy" Bottom
"Weirdy" Top
"Halloween in Creepyville"

Below is a photo of the "Surprise Inside"... remember how fun it was when we were kids, anxiously tearing into our favorite cereal boxes to see what we got!! 
I started with a 4 foot length of garland that I found at the Dollar Store, then I attached individual letters & decorations created from watercolor paper. 

(I arranged it in a circle for the photo but it was created to be hung as a swag)

Halloween "Surprise" Garland
Hope you've been inspired to put a little weirdness into 
your life today... Have a Creative & Fun Halloween!!