Thursday, December 21, 2006

Please come visit me at my new blog... Just click here!

Friday, November 03, 2006

A Change Is in the Air...

First off, thank you to everyone who posted "welcome home" comments. That made for a happy return to computer-land! And thank you to everyone who asked if I would post a few pics. of my purchases. Duh! Now why didn't I think of that?!? I'll be happy to do that next week.

Today, however, I'd like to share my brand new blog with you. It can be found here. I'd so love to have you all come over for a visit. If I were able, I'd have coffee and a delicious spread of scones waiting. But alas, I cannot. So instead, I've posted a little contest on the new blog to get the ball rolling. My daily posts from now on will be made there as well.

Email me if you have any trouble whatsoever, okay? Otherwise, I'll see you soon!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

You're Going to Kill Me!

Oh my gosh... You're going to kill me.

I'm back from my trip to SF (obviously), and we had an INCREDIBLE time! I may as well just own up to it right now.... Here goes... There are NO pictures. Not a one. I'm sorry. Every time we set out from the hotel, neither one of us wanted to lug the camera along with coats, sunglasses, lipstick, wallets, kleenex, and our purchases. We walked our socks off and took the bus practically everywhere. So I'm here to beg for forgiveness.

I can, however, give you a good narrative...

Boy, did we do a lot! We visited the Castro District and went to Haight-Ashbury. We discovered this charming little section of town called Cow Hollow. We were South of Market, in China Town quite a lot, and in North Beach. We stayed at the Hyatt just off of Union Square, so we spent a great deal of time there as well.

We saw "Chicago" starring Huey Lewis, which was amazing. The dancing and singing were just top-notch, although Huey himself was a little disappointing. (I expected that he might not shine in the dance/act department, but in my opinion, his singing wasn't quite as incredible as the rest of the company either.) We ate at our favorite Italian restaurant twice: Mona Lisa. We spent Halloween afternoon in Cow Hollow because the shops there were hosting "trick-or-treating" for the kids. That was just too cute. Many people brought their dogs all dressed up as well.

As for art stores, I visited General Bead and Beyond Beads - both just the bomb. We went to FLAX and I indulged in paper galore. We went to Kozo Arts, which was okay. They were really expensive and were basically just about book-making. I went to Britex Fabrics for the first time. Oh my GOODNESS! What a fabric artist's dream! They have four - count 'em FOUR - floors of fabric and trim! I so wish I lived near there! And I went to my favorite yarn store twice. That's called "Art Fibers".

We did the usual shopping at Macy's and all the stores on and near Union Square. That was mostly window-shopping though. I did really well with spending, actually. Maybe I'm getting more selective? One can only hope.

All in all, our trip was a blur of sleeping, eating, and walking about town. We must be seriously sleep-deprived at home because we took no less than 2-3 naps per day. And that's in addition to a full night's sleep. The Hyatt invested in these new beds since the last time we visited. That bed was, beyond a doubt, the most comfortable bed I've ever slept in at a hotel. Maybe we slept so much because we were so tired from walking and so full from eating? I'm not complaining, though!

I realize this post is sortof a jumble. I guess I'm just trying to get it all down as quickly as I can. Steve's still off the remainder of the week, so I'm still in "vacation mode". I will post the surprise and contest I've been hyping tomorrow though, so check back Friday!

Friday, October 27, 2006

San Francisco, Here I Come!

Hiya! (That's my new greeting as of late... I'm not sure where it came from.)

Steve and I are leaving tomorrow for San Francisco, and I can't wait. We're flying this time, which will be a bit of a luxury compared with the usual 5-hour drive. It will also be nice to side-step those $30/night parking rates. Geez!

I've lined up no less than 20 art, bead, and fiber shops for us to visit. Steve is a good sport about it all. But like I keep telling you, if it weren't for me, what would he do with his time?!? We've got tickets to see "Chicago" on Sunday night. Huey Lewis is in the starring role, so that should be fun.

Today I'm just rattling around trying to do all of those last minute things that seem to pop up right before you leave. And of course, I'm doing yet another couple of loads of laundry. I don't understand how two people can have so much? Isn't it weird how in the days right before you leave to go on vacation, it suddenly seems like you've never needed one more?

Yesterday I was able to phone the Arizona state government office of something or other. After 4 calls to computer-land, I was finally able to find a real person and they gave me my new tax license number over the phone! This means I can mail in my completed application for Arizona's "The Great Fair" before I leave. Yea for the state government over there! I can't believe it actually worked out.

I'll be back online Thursday of next week. Be sure to tune back in because Friday I'll be announcing a little contest. Ahhh, the suspense....

Have a terrific week, everyone!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Movin' Right Along

You may laugh, but yesterday I went out and bought the book "The Prestige"! Okay, laugh... I'm laughing at myself. I just really, really liked this movie.

Here's a picture of the Day of the Dead swap piece I received from Suz this week. Believe me, the colors in this picture are lousy. The green is a bright lime green and all of the other colors are brighter and more intense as well. Didn't she do a terrific job decorating?!?! And she made those sugar skulls from scratch. It was all I could do to keep Bentley from licking it to death. (Pun intended... It's going to be one of those posts!)

As I mentioned before, I've given myself permission to take a break from art this week and just work on myself. This has been wonderful for three reasons:
1. I'm looking better, if I do say so myself.
2. It makes me long for art, which is a great feeling when it is possible to get "burnt out" from time to time.
3. I'm plowing through all this other "business" stuff that's been pushed to the side for sooooo long.

An example in support of #3 is that yesterday, I devoted nearly the entire day to updating my website. The changes took me a long time, but they're finished! Most notably, I got all of my fabric collages on my "For Sale" pages. They're here, if you're interested in taking a look. (Be kind because those are sure hard to photograph well!) I also removed everything that has sold. It feels so good to be making such progress on this housecleaning-type stuff!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

"The Prestige"

Okay... this is probably the best movie I've seen in years. It's called "The Prestige". (Sorry for the tiny photo.) But oh my goodness, it's so well-crafted and intelligent! The creators and actors take you on an incredible ride. And they keep you guessing until the very end. It's worth seeing in a theatre if you're at all inclined. Steve and I saw it this weekend and we just loved it. (And you know this is true because I don't normally write about the movies we see on my blog!)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Finally Finished!

The incredibly talented and equally generous Mary Stanley taught me how to rug hook. This is my first attempt. I started it... about a year ago now? Geez. At least I finished it, though. I turned it into a little pillow, and now it belongs to my friend Edina. If you want to see some "real" hooking that will just knock your socks off with it's creativity and originality, do take a gander at Mary's blog.

This is the week before we leave for San Francisco, so I've given myself the week "off," so to speak. I'm keeping up with my computer work, but most of the week I've devoted to just getting ready. Of course, I need to do the usual things like clean, pack, laundry, errands, etc. But I also need to do loooonnngg-overdo self maintenance. Yesterday I did my highlights and today I will do the cut. Tomorrow is fingernails and toenails. Thursday is brow waxing. (I used to be a hair stylist, by the way... So don't worry, I'm a professional! It just takes me 5 times as long when working on myself.)

I did change the header on my website yesterday. I'm trying to get a more uniform feel amongst my site, my blog, etsy, and my business cards. There's always something to be done, isn't there...???

Sunday, October 22, 2006

"The Dance"

Here is a photo of my latest painting. I finished it last week, and it's entitled "The Dance". It measures 12"x16".

This detail shows, what I hope is the romance of a couple dancing under the moonlight.

And here's a close-up of three cathedral windows. I had painted pretty much everything, including the figure in the window, but I just couldn't rest. For four solid days, I kept pacing past this piece. I couldn't shake the feeling that there needed to be a noose. Now, I'm not sure where that sinister desire comes from... Maybe I don't want to know? But at the end of four days, I couldn't ignore that relentless urge any longer, so the noose was added, and "The Dance" then somehow seemed complete.

I will admit that I think the addition of that deadly bit of rope makes for a much more interesting story between these three figures. And as Steve points out, it's not something that the viewer realizes is there until he/she inspects the work more closely. One of the music collage pieces in the upper left has text which reads "Oh dear!" Pure serendipity, but isn't that perfect?!?!

On another note, what wonderful comments I received in response to Friday's post about rejection! You know, I was thinking about this all weekend. It seems to me that it was actually harder for me to publicly write about being rejected than it was for me to get the rejection in the first place! No matter how strong you are, announcing it to the world is a hard one to swallow. It would have been so easy to quietly file my letter in the trash and pretend like it never happened. No one would ever know.

But you all lifted me up and made it okay. Some of you have faced your own rejections and some of you haven't reached that particular bump in the road. But all of you expressed your gratitude and support at my having written that particular post. If I was able to inspire even one person to "keep on truckin'" regardless, then that means the world to me! I promise you that I will always write honestly about both the good and the bad. You've shown me that it's okay to be human. It's odd to feel so humbled and so safe in the context of this giant world we call the internet. How can I possibly thank you all for that?

Friday, October 20, 2006

Gesso Is My Friend

Remember I told you yesterday about those two collages for "Ripped and Torn" that were off to a slow start? Well, by the end of the day, here's what they look like. Yup... that's right... gessoed right over them. If you look closely, you'll see the culprit right behind the canvas. I added a touch of yellow paint and scraped around a bit with a plastic card so that a tad of the original paint/collage work still shows through. Makes me feel like it wasn't all for naught. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it!

In an effort to always write honestly, I have to report that I got rejected from the "Fiberarts" show in Sebastapol yesterday. I had submitted photos of one of my "With Love" fabric collages for their consideration. But in that same vein of honesty, I will tell you that it truly is getting easier and easier. My friend MaryBeth laughed with me the other day on the phone when I told her "I'm emboldened by my rejection." And it's the truth. The more I get rejected, the more I feel like submitting. I've had enough experience to accept that something will get accepted somewhere along the line. For me, I find great comfort in the knowledge that I've found my place in this world. Sure, I have insecurities like all artists do, but I'm never insecure about how much I love what I'm doing. And that, I'm convinced, is the most precious gift of all - rejection or not!

Also in that same batch of mail, I received the most WONDERFUL charm bracelet from the most AMAZING group of women. This bracelet is a result of a swap I participated in, hosted by Ruth Rae. Here's a photo of the finished bracelet, which Ruth designed and assembled herself.

She even created a blog about the entire thing, complete with instructions from every participant. The artwork is amazing! And truly, it's one of the best swaps I've had the honor of being a part of. Thank you, ladies!

I actually have a few charms left over, which I'm going to be giving away in a contest in a couple of weeks. Stay tuned for the details... especially if you didn't have a chance to participate in this swap!

Have a terrific weekend, everyone!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

This is Bentley

I felt like you needed a picture today... so you get Bentley. This is "his" chair. It's where he spends most of the day. If he hears a noise worthy of woofing at, nine times out of ten, he won't even get out of his chair for that. He woofs right from his seat. Sometimes when we come home from being out and about, he won't even leave his beloved perch to say hello. Bentley loves his chair.

I usually write my blog posts pretty early in the morning. Steve gets up for work at 4:30 am. He's out the door by 5:00 am and I do my computer work and/or work out. It's still very dark. I share this with you because if I am to post new photos of my work for you, I need to remember to take them the day before, when I have adequate light. That doesn't always happen. So... today you get Bentley!

I did get my Tax License form for AZ filled out yesterday. It will go in the mail this morning. I'm pretty positive I won't have the number I need for my application to Arizona's "The Great Fair" by the time I need to mail that in, which is next Friday. I plan to call them towards the end of next week, but I may just have to write "in process" on my app. Oh well, that's the best I can do. At least once I get it, I'll have it. Those permits - they're called something different in every state, but they essentially give you the legal right to sell - are good for life. Unless you do something bad, of course. Imagine that... the government not taking the opportunity to charge you again every year. I'm not complaining!

I finished a piece yesterday afternoon called "The Dance". I'll photograph it this weekend and have pictures for you early next week. Today I need to get going on two pieces that are off to a slow start. The Collage Artists of America (an LA-based group I belong to) is having a call for entries for their upcoming fall/winter show. The theme is "Ripped and Torn". I may have mentioned it before? I honestly can't remember. But the judging is coming up in mid-November, so I need to get crackin' on that.