Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Photo Friday: Best of 2009 - My Top 3

Monday, December 28, 2009

Cactus Monday: Bonneville or Bust!

So there will be no more frequent vacationing "Down thee Oshin" for us as most Marylanders would say.  I have a feeling that our new vacation spot will be drag racing on the salt flats. Yay adventure!  So it's a further drive than the ocean currently, but there will be lots of sun and ummm, salt!

A silly, totally irrational idea.

Just the other day I had a little bit of a freak out. . . about moving to Arizona and knowing absolutely no one.  When out of nowhere the next day, a relative on the Carlile side of my family just sort of manifested and said hello on Facebook.  And she lives in Scottsdale, just minutes from where we will be moving!  All things related to Arizona have been freaky serendipitous, I tell ya.  Everything in the universe is telling me to go.  Now I have known family there!

So, thinking of my Grandfather James Carlile, sparked an idea.  I don't remember much of him, but one of the most prominent memories is that he used to have a little 4 seater plane and flew it recklessly cross country.  I don't remember him ever being loaded with money, yet he still owned a plane.  So why can't I, right?  See where this is going?  And my Aunt, (his daughter) knows a lady who is a flight instructor who could help me get my pilot's license, ackkkk!  Why I could visit home more often than I thought!  Silly, I know.  It's fun to dream.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree. . .

Hey wait, you're not a Christmas tree!  Reality is sinking in, and the adventure in it all is becoming all too real.  My Husband accepted the new job offer in Phoenix and has until January 31st to back out.  I told my best friend yesterday of the news, and I made her cry.  This is so hard!!!

I hope you all find time this Holiday season to savor the moments with your loved ones, and have yourself a Merry little Christmas.  I know I will be doing just that.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Deborah Mori's Holiday village craft party extravaganza!

Deborah Mori over at Life Without Novacaine posted a fun holiday blog challenge that involved transforming a chunk of wood into a cute little house to be part of a Christmas village.  Immediately I salivated at the thought of dusting off my chisels and going to town carving away like a happy little woodchuck.  So, two weeks go by in a flash (cause you know it's the busiest time of the year) and my block o' wood is still sitting on my desk staring at me in it's original state.  Determined to wrap up all impending projects, last night I went to town digging out all possible papers, objects and crafts in my stockpile to decorate it with.  And Ta-DA!  Just like that, it's all finished.  And I forgot to take a before picture.  And it looks like a tornado hit my studio.  But it was so much fun!  Click here to see Deborah's posted originals.
Materials used:  Gesso, pressed papers and decorative papers, rusty metal, synthetic hydrangea petal, buffalo snow, Modge Podge and glitter.  What do you think?
Deborah lives in warm San Diego where I'm sure it never snows so I thought I'd give her some snowy love from Baltimore.  We just got about two feet here over the weekend!  And that's not the only thing we got. . .
We got some news that is going to drastically change our life.  After being all shooken up after the scare of my Husband's job here in Baltimore ending after 12 years, he was presented with a new one in Phoenix AZ just today.  And a much better one.  A promotion and a raise, and a decent relocation package.  All things are looking a-go for a move to Arizona.  We fly out in January to seal the deal and go look at houses.  WOW.  Life can change, just like that.  And I just feel it in my bones that this is going to be a good change, and a much needed change.  But I will miss my friends and family so very much here in Baltimore.
People re-locate all the time, yet it feels so strange to me.  I've lived here all my life.  But I've always, always wanted to move and discover new places.  Have any of you ever had to re-locate far enough where car trips were just too far to go back home and visit?  If so, how did it all work out for you?  Any advice sure would help, and be much appreciated! 

Friday, December 18, 2009

IF: Undone

The first thing that comes to mind when I think of the theme word "undone", is how so many people just spaz out of their gourds around this time of year. This could be due to a number of things. One, the change of season as it gets colder and drearier outside. Two, lack of sunshine. And three, the madness of the holidays and all of their demands. Perhaps they are missing someone with whom they shared special holiday memories with, so that would make four. Five, being affected by job layoffs. And the list goes on. Occasionally, "said" person might come undone and throw a temper tantrum and act like a two year old. Hey, it happens to the best of us! We are only human after all. So here's my remedy for this, if you care to know. . . take a time out.

Our minds can really get out of control, and the best way to handle this is to stop yourself before the problem escalates, take a step back and take a good look at yourself at how ridiculous you are acting. . . go sit in a comfortable chair in the corner and think about what you have done. Then breathe.

This isn't a yoga exercise, so don't get caught up in sitting in the Vajra posture as illustrated above, unless it is comfortable and easy for you to do. And don't get caught up in props such as candles or anything of the like. This is a simple breathing meditation.  Find a quiet space. Sit up straight comfortable in a chair, hands cupped on your lap, right hand overlapping your left and thumbs pressed together. Get comfortable and RELAX head to toe and then forget about if you are doing this right. Focus on your breathing. For about 20 rounds or so, imagine breathing in white purifying light, and exhaling all of your negative thoughts in the form of black smoke. Then just keep your mind still, thinking about nothing for about 15 or 20 minutes.

It's not easy, but the more you subdue your thoughts, particularly delusional thoughts, the more relaxed, recharged and refreshed and clear headed you will feel after.  This practice has certainly gotten me through some tough times.  As the Holiday Season draws near, I hope you all are able to relax and enjoy the festivities and wonderment of it all.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

IMT & Cactus Monday: Handmade Gift

I put googly eyes on my cactus's because. . . I think they are dangerous.  You never know where you stand with them unless you can look em' in the eyes, right?

Yes, this little felt cacti is inspired by the Christopher Walken SNL skit "Googly Eyes Gardner".  He is going to make a nice desk ornament for someone special.  He doesn't bite though, he's a little softie.

And here's a little tip for you that I share with experience.  Never talk with your hands while at someone's house who has a cactus in reach.  Ouch!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A beautiful gift from beautiful Diana Evans!

A day in Paris. . . the most romantic city in the world.

Diana painted this custom watercolor of my husband and I in her favorite place, Paris. . . after being chosen as a winner of her custom watercolor monthly give-aways.  I can't express how incredibly touched I was when this package came in the mail, and I got all teary-eyed.  What a treasured and special piece of art this is, and the likeness is incredible!  We will cherish it always, and display it framed and matted in a prominent place in our home.  Thank you so much Diana!

Please be sure to visit my talented friend Diana Evans at her blog, and prepare to be inspired!

Friday, November 27, 2009

IF: Entangled

An entangled hot mess of x-mas lights!  Tis' the season to get into the spirit and start decorating for the holidays.

Photo Friday: From my past

A contact sheet from photography class in 1995.

"What you need to know about the past is that no matter what has happened, it has all worked together to bring you to this very moment.  And this is the moment you can choose to make everything new.  Right now."

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Photo Friday: Three

A random shot of people walking by, watching the sunset.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Photo of Times Square in New York, for my friend Diana

Ok, so when we meet up Diana, we should do the touristy thing and ride one of these things down the street!  As long as it's not too cold.  :)  Mmmmm, maybe some hot choclate at Serendipity too!

Photo Friday: Softness

This was tough challenge to resist soft fuzzy pet pictures.  So here is a pair of soft frilly orchids instead.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Photo Friday: Well Groomed

Above is a very unusual creature at the annual Maryland Renaissance festival that my cousin Allison and I found.  He was so bizarre and so into his character, that I just couldn't pass up the opportunity and ask to get a picture, and make Allison stand next to him, hee hee!   

Thursday, October 29, 2009

IF: Fast

Never come to my house and leave your food unattended, not even for a second. . . I'm just warning ya ahead of time.  Boris the cat is lurking around and he'll snatch your hamburger up and gobble it before you can blink!

And the more this seems to happen the funnier it gets, because you think we would learn our lesson after the gazillionth time.  My poor brother-in-law.  He is always bringing fast food over the house, and Boris has stolen it so many times.  And it's not just fast food he is after, he'll eat anything that's not cat food.  He'll even eat the wrapper it came in.  I have never in my life had a cat with an appetite quite like my Boris kitty.  I did find him outside and rescued him as a big kitten, and something makes me think that he was adopted by a pack of scavenging wild raccoons!  Despite his voracious appetite, he is quite the loving affectionate little snuggle bug.  So I guess we'll keep him.  :)        

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Inspire me Thursday: Mademoiselle Caroline Rivière

This week's IMT prompt is inspired by the French Neoclassical artist Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres' portrait of Mademoiselle Caroline, currently residing in the Louvre.  The task is to create a piece of art using the Mademoiselle Caroline Rivière image provided on the IMT site.

Curious of the history of this piece, I Wiki'ed. And the critics, naturally, were all over it.

In 2003, the art critic Jonathan Jones remarked of the painting:
The sexuality Ingres usually reserved for harem fantasies slips over into the real and respectable world in this charged portrait. His obviously intense visual relationship with his subject and his contentment to look, with a clinical waxy fetishism, at Mademoiselle Rivière's full lips, bared neck, long gloves and spectacularly serpentine boa, lend this picture drama."

A couple of things crossed my mind.
1. I would have never saw that.
2. How dare he view that poor young innocent girl as a piece of meat! 
3. What artist doesn't have an intense visual relationship with their subject?!!!   
4. Elongated neck.  Hmmm.  I'm really loving the work of Lori Earley.  Maybe I'll transform her in a similar style, exaggerating the artist's work with his critic's delusional comment.
5. (After beginning the photoshopping) Naaaa, changed my mind.  I'll just adjust the colors, add some depth in shadows and highlights, and correct some of the bits that bother me.  Hence the background I changed into a fancy boudoir and her slightly played-up makeup.

So that is my take!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Photo Friday: Autumn

Autumn makes me think of Halloween, and the carved pumpkin display my friend puts on every year that I never miss. 

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Blooming Blog Award

Deborah Mori over at Life Without Novacaine surprised me the other day with this amazing little reward. . . thank you, I am so honored!  Deborah herself has inspired me endlessly, since the very beginnings of my blog.  Her life is like an open book, and she invites her readers to experience it with her through her fresh perspective and inspiring quotes.  Her illustrations are so whimsy and beautiful.  I love visiting and reading all of her posts and joining along in her journey.  Thank YOU Deborah, for inspiring me!

The rules upon accepting this award:
1.) Only one rule. Pass this award along to someone who motivated you, inspired you or enriched your artistic life with their creative gift. If you feel so inclined, you can create a short list of the things you love, your favorite muse, or your favorite childhood memories. The most important thing though is to award someone who has made your life better.

There are so many inspiring blogs out there, and if I wanted to, I could go on and on about all of the blogs I have come across that are so awe-inspiring.  Keeping this award sacred, I only chose 2.  

Two very important people who have supported me throughout it all, cheering on my accomplishments and checking on me when I haven't been posting.  Their artwork is amazing, and just as beautiful as the person that they are.  They have supported and encouraged my Etsy shop. They have sent me their creations in the mail, that I will forever cherish.  They are very dear true-blue blogger friends.  And blogging would not be the same without them! 

1.  Deborah Mori   
Yes, she awarded me this blooming blog award, and I am ritefully awarding it right back!
Perhaps the sweetest blogger around, and most productive!  Diana always continues to inspire me with her beautiful creations and artistic energy.  She is a faithful blogger friend who is always present, encouraging me along every step of the way.

Thank you both for making my life better.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Inspire me Thursday: Wings

This is my angel, Carol.

Carol and I were gifted something very special by a mutual friend of ours, who all of the sudden was struck with the most beautiful genius idea.

But first, before I tell you about the gift, let me give you a little background.  Carol is no stranger to great loss, and neither am I.  We didn't fall to pieces completely, or at least we didn't stay there and wallow in our sadness.  Instead, we picked ourselves up, and changed our minds about the way we would deal.  And we both have a deeper appreciation for life because of it.  We tend not to take things so seriously, to be extra silly about life in general.  To never let anyone steal our sunshine metaphorically speaking.  But from time to time, we forget.  It's easy.

So this mutual friend of ours, "Bridgette", wanted to commission me to do a painting.  A gift for Carol who lost her Dad, knowing that I could sympathize.  It was to be of a painting of a butterfly (special to her and her Dad) with "Dado" worked into the design.  She contacted me right before I was about to leave for a trip overseas.  And coincidentally, Bridgette lives in New York City, and I happened to have a connecting flight at JFK with a very long layover.  We thought, PERFECT!  We could catch up on everything and talk about this painting and have a few drinks!  Well. . . my flight was delayed hour by hour until finally they canceled it due to bad weather.  So there Bridgette sat. . . ALL day long at JFK all by herself getting toasted, probably falling off the bar stool and apparently dancing on some trashcans or something, that silly girl.  When the idea struck her.

When I came back from my trip, a care package came in the mail with two cards, and a beautiful butterfly magnet.  Two separate packages were sent, one for Carol and one for myself with identical things inside.  I should add that Carol and I did not know each other, never met.  The first card read:

Miracles are everywhere. . . 
. . .simply awaiting that moment when we slow down, take a deep breath, and open, really open, our eyes.

Dear Cindy and Carol,

I am sending you both the same card all the way through.  The magnet is symbolic of Dado and Mom, (our parents).  I had commissioned Cindy to do a butterfly portrait incorporating "Dado" into the wing design.  But when I contacted Cindy to arrange the details, she was beginning a journey that involved crossed roads and missed encounters.  It was in some ways a quirky sort of miracle that manifested angels.  You see:  each of you to me shares a resonance with each other in your yearning.  You both have a wisdom that comes of grief and knowing you both live a legacy of the poignancy of loss, that honors the parent you accompanied on the journey away.  There are no words enough to explain this.  Only know I have assigned you as angels to each other and remain unknown and yet majestic, elusive yet inspiring as like butterflies of the spirit you are.


The second card was a musical card that played Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's "Somewhere over the Rainbow", and the butterfly magnet nested neatly inside.  It just worked, and that song will always be extra special to both Carol and I.  And we cried and cried with surprise and joy at the thought of this magnificent gift we were given.  Can you imagine getting a package in the mail like that?  That girl Bridgette is a genius I'm telling you!

So right away, Carol and I became friends on Facebook and chat with each other just about every day.  There have been lots of emails, talking about our parents and life in general.  We feel completely comfortable just opening up and bearing our soul.  We just clicked.  Instant friendship, like we've known each other forever.  We were completely humbled at the thought of this beautiful gift, and treat it so.  We are each other's angels.  To protect, guide, inspire, offer support and keep our minds light and happy.  To be a shoulder to cry on when we're not.  Thank you Carol, for being just that.  And thank you Bridgette, for the incredible gift!

Monday, October 19, 2009

IF: Frozen

Above is an illustration that I have done for work that convienently fits this week's Illustration Friday theme!  Honestly, I did this illustration last year, but tweaked it a bit.  It is going to be on 101.9 Lite FM's website for the holidays and on a sky banner in Arundel Mills mall in Maryland.  I imagine easy listening light music would go great with figure skating.  What do you think?

Photo Friday: is in the details

Happiness is in the details.

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Robert Genn Letter: A list of mistakes

I'm sitting here at my computer illustrating a horse for an equestrian project and this Genn letter popped up in my inbox caught my attention.  I've been subscribing to Robert Genn's letters for years but lately have been neglecting to read most of them.  This is probably due to the fact that I haven't been painting, but oh is it calling me back.  At the moment, I'm doing a study of a J.W. Waterhouse to get warmed up for the next round.  I have never done a study outside of class, and I have to say it has been very rewarding.  It's fun to experience how one of your favorite artist mixes and applies color and to follow their brush strokes.  I think it will require one more sitting and then I will post!

But why this truly caught my attention was thinking of all the variables that go through my head while painting.  Or maybe it was because he said "I'm on your question like a fat kid is on a Smartie", hee hee!  But really, painting is unlike any other medium I work with.  Sometimes I see the image in the brush strokes and it just works.  The painting takes on a life of it's own.  Sometimes it's a well thought out plan.  I tend to want to work very tight, following a strict recipe and standards.  Sometimes the painting wants to be loose and I have to break all of my programed rules and simplify, maybe to see what I can learn from it and where it can go.  Creation by the manner of reduction as Robert said.  There really are no rules, nor should there be, unless you are just learning to paint.  

And so this leads me to the question, if you are still reading! Are you a recipe taker, or a recipe fighter?

Robert Genn's letter: 

Dear Cindy,

This morning, Michael Epp of Bowen Island, B.C., wrote: "'Just take away everything that doesn't look like a horse.' That's what the sculptors say. Which implies that as long as you avoid all the obvious mistakes, you'll end up with something good. By definition, perfection is merely an absence of error. Is there a list of mistakes for artists to avoid making?"

Thanks, Michael. Your note caught my attention because it had some wonderful assumptions. The horse concept is a vital one because it stresses creation by reduction, in other words the removal of material. This removal does not imply mistakes, but rather the vacuum created to disclose the horse in question. The other three prime suspects in your note are the words "good," "perfection," and "error." In the art game, all are subjective and mighty arbitrary. Nevertheless, I'm on your question like a fat kid on a Smartie.

Don't assume there is only one way. Don't assume that mistakes are a bad thing. Don't think for one minute that everyone agrees with what "good" is. Don't fall into the trap of thinking perfection is attainable or even desirable. Don't assume the existence of error. Art is not based on a catechism.

Art is something else. It is, for better or for worse, the bending of personal will. And while some artists may attempt standards such as academic standards, commercial standards or intellectual standards, there will always be significant creators who don't give a hoot about standards at all.

The main thing you need to think about is process. Your process. Individual decisions cannot be taken from some list. They are the result of your previous moves, including your errors. They are also the result of your noted winnings. This is how you-as-a-person becomes you-as-an-artist.

Funnily, in youth, we are often rigid. We tend to think there is some secret, some Holy Grail that will have great art appear on our easels. We may even dream that fame and fortune will arise from this correctness. As we grow older, we realize just how limiting were our earlier conceptions. Art is something else. Art is fluid, transmutable, open ended, never complete, and never perfect. Art is an event.

Best regards,


PS: "Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep." (Scott Adams)

Esoterica: There are two kinds of students--recipe takers and recipe fighters. The former listen to the instructor, try to get it "right," and often succeed in doing so. The latter strike out on their own, pay the price of rugged individualism, and fail often. In art, it's all about failure. In art, the journey outshines the destination. In art, mistakes are golden.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Photo Friday: Dawn

 The White House

The president awoke today receiving news that he had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.  Unlike his predecessors as CNN stated, he was selected for his "vision" and inspiring "hope" in much degenerate times.  This is the "dawn" of his call to action.     

CNN:  Obama accepts Nobel as 'call to action' President Obama said today he was "surprised and deeply humbled" to win the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. "I do not view it as a recognition of my own accomplishments. But rather as an affirmation of American leadership.  I will accept this award as a call to action."

It's hard to believe I was just at the White House yesterday, on my very first tour ever.  My brother-in-law is a secret service agent at the White House, and has been coaxing us for years to come on a tour.  I worked in DC for 2 years, just a mile and a half away, and never went. 

Last month, my husband's favorite hockey team visited the White House, to be honored by the president for winning the Stanley Cup.  We got to shake some hands, get pictures and autographs, but never got to go inside.  The whole experience of meeting the team, even the great Mario Lemieux, seemed so unimportant as the history that surrounded me.  I could post pictures, but the experience was not moving at all.  The team did not seem happy to see their devoted fans dressed in jerseys with sharpies in hand waiting for them.  Anticipating to meet the president, they in their best suits looking like the millionaires they are, remained polite and did as requested of them.  Especially Mr. Lemieux, he took his time with everybody.

What was moving, was seeing the old sculptures along the way to the White House, of a time passed.  An old America with powdered wigged leaders on horseback thrusting swords.  Smells of the fragrant roses in the Kennedy garden, brought thoughts of his legacy of a not too distant past.  And the paintings, the incredible artwork documenting the history of the nation.  That I didn't get to see until yesterday.  I had to go back.  The White House was alive with the spirit of all that has come to pass through the magic of the artists that created them, capturing the souls of their subject.  No photograph can replicate that. 

Now is the time of great change coming to fruitation.  A leader in office who represents the kind of change that old America so desperately needed, full of positive hopes and aspirations.  I think the very idea of him and what he represents during times like these, a world faced with economic crisis, nuclear weapons and terror threats is the kind of charge we need to set things right.  So many people are already upset about his winning the Nobel prize so soon.  I can understand why, but I can also understand why it was given.  People are so quick to jump on the criticism bandwagon, and others are so plyable to listen and believe every word without searching their souls to believe it to be true.  I respect anyone who takes on the weight of the world and tries to change it for the better.  Not many people are so ready and willing to do that.  I wish for him to achive all the of the greatness, respect and admiration of his Nobel Peace Prize predessers.  How neat it is to be alive during this time in history to experience this.

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world."  -Gandhi

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Photo Friday: Fast Food

Miso Soup

I have pictures of your typical artery clogging fast food, and I've made a burger and fries and a chic-fil-a sandwich out of polymer clay.  Enough of that!  It's so rediculously bad for you.  Here is a picture of a very healthy soup that is quick to make called Miso soup, popular in Japanese cuisine.  This soup is a staple of the Macrobiotic diet, and I've been making it often for lunch.

The biggest challenge was finding some of the key ingredients.  All ingredients have been found at a local natural organic market, right in the same section.  Here's how to make it: 

  • A few pieces of Wakame (packaged and dried seaweed, follow re-hydrating instructions)
  • 2 tbs. Miso Paste
  • splash of Mirin to taste (rice wine)
  • Optional Dashi Grandules for added stock flavor (I omit, since it has fish in it)
  • 4 cups filtered water 
  • silken tofu cubes, diced small
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • handful of diced carrots
  • handful of diced celery
  • handful of snow peas
  • diced spring onions for garnish
1.  Soak wakame in fresh water until soft.  Set aside.

2.  Bring water to a boil in saucepan.  Add onion, carrots and celery, simmer for 7-10 minutes.  Add snow peas for the last minute of cooking.  I like to keep veggies slightly crisp in this soup. 

3.  Remove a few tablespoons of broth from the pot and mix well with miso paste.  Turn off the heat under the pot, and mix the miso in with soup.

4.  Cover the pot and let the soup sit for a few minutes to activate the enzymes in the miso.  Make sure the stove is turned off at this point because too much heat will destroy the enzymes.

5.  Remove the wakame from the soaking water.  Chop up into small pieces and add to the soup.

6. Sprinkle with diced spring onions when ready to serve. 

Another M logo - The Nightstand

The nightstand is a little section on the Mix site with one featured book.  I used my own nightstand for inspiration.  The only thing different is the lamp base.  I though it should be simple and less ornate than my current lamp, to emphasize more attention on the book.

So what's on your nightstand?  I'm currently reading the Golden Compass series a friend recommended.  So far so good!  Nothing like a good fiction.

New & improved Miss Information illo

"Our local girl without a clue needs your help!
Whether it’s finding that little black dress,
cooking a delicious meal for her boyfriend,
taking her trendy out-of-town friend to the hottest club,
or finding the perfect spa retreat,
Miss Information needs your suggestions and fast!"

Here is one of the projects I've done for Mix Magazine, a virtual magazine for one of the local radio stations I work for.  It will be featured in the next issue.  I needed to re-vamp her character to fit her personality, as she is constantly worried about all sorts of superficial things.  Relax Miss Info!  If you just go with the flow, you'll be a much happier chica.  And if the boyfriend doesn't like the dinner, he can cook next time, right? 
(click on the image for details.)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Today's little gift

If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.

A random sketch of a flower my wandering stylus drew last night.  A random quote I found by accident today that coinsides with some past thoughts.  And the gerber daisy on my desk that inspired the sketch was given by just the right friend with just the right intention.  Just the perfect little miracle I needed today.      

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Monday, September 28, 2009

Still life with a Bella

Have you ever set up some still life and got all revved up to paint. . . step out of the studio for like 10 seconds. . . come back and someone tampered with it?  Bella the cat thought I needed a little something on the right to balance things out.  She has a good eye for composition, don't ya think?      

Friday, September 25, 2009

Photo Friday: The Face

How cute is this face?  Clearly this is one happy horse, just look at that smile!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

IF: Infinite

Infinite wardrobe options!  (And infinite Christines!)  Oh how wonderful it would be if I could just sit here and illustrate my entire wardrobe.  Sigh.  I could keep going and going if I had the time.  So the above illustration is a borrowed character from last week. . . my friend Christine.  I figure if I'm on a roll placing her as the main character in almost all of my art, I might as well make her "Miss Information", the character I was asked to illustrate for work.  She's going to be featured in a woman's magazine for a popular adult contemporary radio station here in Baltimore.  Now which outfit will they choose. . . we shall see!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

IF: Welcome - Welcome to Baltimore Hon!

Sorry, I couldn't resist!  Inspired by the John Waters' film "Hairspray" that took place in Baltimore.  The character above is modeled after my friend Christine, who got to be an extra in the movie when she was a kid, along with her sisters.  How cool is that? 

Photo Friday: Plants

This is an easy prompt!  So many to choose from.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Photo Friday: Fear

Fear the pink finger puppet monster!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Photo Friday: Urban Landscape

A view of Manhattan from Central Park.

Monday, August 31, 2009

IF: Magnified - Take Two

 I decided to redo my little magnified amoebas, here is take two!

IF: Magnified

All of the different microorganisms with all of their different personalities coexisting in the primordial soup of life.  Anyways. . . that was the first thing I thought of for this prompt, as goofy as it is.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Photo Friday: Seaside

Beautiful seaside walk around the island Garrafon in Mexico

Inspire me Thursday: Pear

A simple little still life pear.  Acrylic on canvas.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Monday Artday: Moon

A mixed media piece inspired by the classic Paper Moon song. Oil on canvas, paper, cardboard and sharpie. Composed in Photoshop with a few effects.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Photo Friday: School

I want to go back! Picture taken at a pottery class I attended at Baltimore Clayworks. This turned into a favorite coffee mug.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Something to ponder

Billy Collins, reads his poem "Some Days" with animation by Julian Grey of Headgear.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

IF: Wrapped

Some wrapped sushi rolls. Never been much of a fan, but I think it's always presented nicely!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Photo Friday: Cameraphone Shot

Pretty view of Baltimore's Inner Harbor at twilight and the USS Constellation Ship.

Sharing some pics from my trip to the lake district in England.

I've been missing on here for a bit, so I thought I'd share some pictures with you from my little get away trip to England. Just a few random finds along the way. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Public Service Announcement

Cancer. Every day there are more and more findings of it's causes. And yet, more and more of our loved ones or ourselves are suffering from it. I got this URL in my inbox today, "Carcinogen Found in KFC's New Grilled Chicken". Well, yeah! Traces of it are found in over-grilled charred meats. Did you know that? One more reason I am happy to be a vegetarian again.

I recently lost both of my parents to lung cancer. The funny thing is, they have been divorced and far apart from each other for about 20 years. Both were smokers, and smoked different kinds of cigarettes. My grandmother, and my great grandfather is and was a smoker, and both have lived very long lives. I'm sure there were less toxins like plastics and cigarette additives around when they were younger, as well.

Years ago before I was born, my parents lived in Sparrows Point, MD along with my Aunt and Uncle and their significant others in the same neighborhood. I don't know about the significant others, but all had lung cancer, and only my Uncle survived it. I believe that he is the only one who doesn't smoke. All of them would now be in their 50's.

The Sparrows Point area is the number one disease cluster in the State of Maryland (asthma, leukemia, cancer, birth defects, miscarriages, developmental disorders) and the 26th worst disease cluster in the United States (reference: Center for Disease Control and Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene). This has originally been linked to when Bethlehem Steel began mass production in that area years and years ago. I would not be surprised if this was the number 1 cause of the development of their cancer some 30 years later. I can't help but to obsess about it, and all of the other little things that may have further induced it. Environment, CIGARETTES, genetics, diet, medications, poor health and well being, sun exposure, cooking methods: Teflon pans, microwaving plastics, char-grilled meats and the list goes on. I don't know about you, but I'm ready to start a macrobiotic diet!

Am I paranoid? Absolutely! Cancer runs rampid in my family and is on the rise, and I am determined not to get it. I've seen cancer at it's uglyest, and I don't ever want to experience it. I am not pushing anyone to change their lifstyle, I just want to share my findings and help you become more aware or remind you of it's causes so that you can make the decision for yourself. I still cook all of my husbands favorites for him, because I have for 13 years now and it makes him happy. This is his choice. I always try to prepare foods as healthy as possible, and leave the unhealthy indulgences in moderation. Such as most of those polymer clay treats I've been making. ;-)

Another thing that I have discovered is that Cancer Treatment Centers of America is very misleading. They advertise that there is hope even when your oncologist gives up on you. I tried to get my Mom in there, and she had a cap on her health insurance, as do most people. Cancer patients can easily exceed insurance allowances, as treatment is rediciously expensive. The only way they would accept her is if we put $100,000.00 payment down. Who has that kind of money to toss around? I could go on and on about how angry I am with all the little nuances of health care and insurance, but it's not going to bring my parents back.

Just be mindful people, of all the things out there that cause cancer. Prevention is best. Just because the FDA approves food and medications, doesn't mean it can't harm you. And cancer treatment can do some serious damage to your body as well. We only have one body, and once damage is done, it greatly depletes the quality of our lives.

I feel a little better now that I got that off my chest, and I hope you found this information to be helpful. You will probably never hear me rant like this on my blog again!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Dad is GREAT! Gives us the CHOCOLATE CAKE!

I did it! I finally finished making one slice of chocolate cake with a strawberry on top as per requested. And I had the chocolate cake song in my head just about the whole production time. And how fitting. . . just in time for Father's day! Happy Father's Day to all of you Dads out there.

So who remembers the chocolate cake song? Just about everyone my age knows it when I make reference to it. It's from an old Bill Cosby stand-up probably from the 70's, and I honestly haven't seen it since I was little. . . until now when I found the YouTube. Wanna see? If you skip to 7 minutes into the video, that's where the song is. Enjoy!

Oh! And here's a trio of cinnabuns. I'm going to post some new stuff in my Etsy shop soon, promise. And two more chocolate cakes are near completion, same design as the first.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Who wants some printzels?

Today is my Step-Dad's birthday, so I thought I'd whip up a batch of his favorites - "Printzels". Years and years ago, he asked me to pass him a bag of "printzels", and since then they have always been lovingly called that. He is such an awesome Step-Dad, and I'm so glad to have him in my life.

Printzels are made of polymer clay with magnet affixed on back and exactly the same size of the mini's but of the extra dark special variety. (Ooops I mixed the clay too dark.) Extra dark specials are my favorites anyway, yum!

How adorable are these guys?

They have just sort of "morphed" into their own little studio organism world together and their characters talk to each other!

I have always had a soft spot in my heart for spacey creative types who spend too much time with their head in the clouds. So endearing. I think if my husband was an artist and shared my studio space, I'd have to be drunk all of the time too! :D

Love their artwork.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

IF: Craving

I'm craving some quality time with my best friend. Vacationing at Dewey Beach, and having a Venus Flytrap martini at our favorite hang-out spot. C'mon girlie. . . what are we waiting for?!!!

Per request, here is the recipe:

1 oz Lime Juice
1oz Melon Liqueur
2 oz Tequila
1 oz Triple Sec

Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a MARTINI glass. Yes, it's more of a Margarita, but this is how it is presented, garnished with a slice of star fruit. I'm always one for breaking rules. And besides, everything is yummier in a martini glass!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

More polymer yummies!

1 Pound of Bacon on a plate

Crispy Chicken Sammich with Bacon

I made these for my husband (just of the polymer variety since it's so un-healthy!) as a gift for his birthday. Two of his favorite things. . . a whole pound of bacon and chicken sammich with bacon. And bacon wrapped bacon. . . but I had to draw the line somewhere!

Good stuff, much needed change, new opportunities and a few surprises. Life is good, but I miss creating!

Yikes! It has been just about 2 months since my last post!!! Lots of things have been going on. . . good things, crazy things, more clients. . . so all is good! More work and less play gives Cindy less to blog about. I am just going to give you a little taste of what I've been up to.

Here are the good things:
I have been painting like crazy! WALLS, not canvases. We are getting our house ready to sell, so we can move out further west and have acres of land, peace and quiet and privacy. With both me and the hubby working mostly from home, it will be perfect. We didn't think it would be possible to house hunt at this time but we figured out how to make it work and for the better. Getting a house ready to sell is some serious work! I am in the process of packing up half of my stuff, and getting rid of old crap that is junking up the house. We are renovating the bathrooms, some kitchen stuff and painting all of my colorful walls neutral. Most of my free time has been dedicated to this!!! Well, this among other very cool things. :) No, I'm not pregnant.

One of the houses I fell in love with.
Loooong wooded driveway with 2 acres of land. We shall see!

The crazy things:
If I were a superstitious person, this would totally boggle my mind. A few weeks ago, I had about 300 of these guys hatch in my studio. How you ask? My dear friend Dawn gave me a gift of dried hydrangea clippings from her garden, and one single praying Mantis egg case hidden nicely inside.

Meet Killer, my studio Mantis.

He was the last one that I found in my studio. Apparently there was a teeny tiny spider living in the corner up by the ceiling, and he found it. I let him live in my Lemon Verbena plant on my desk for a day, because I thought he was cute. I found information on the web on how to keep them as pets, but I couldn't stand the idea of feeding him live insects, so out he went! It would have been neat to watch him grow. You should have seen the mess I made in my studio to find them all, round them up and send them on their way outside. I hope all of my babies survived the heavy downfalls of rain we've been having!

More clients!
Here is my latest client, Marcy Max, creator of "Mitt-Minders". This is going to be a fun project, and I'm really looking forward to it. I always love supporting up and coming entrepreneurs, and I wish Marcey the best of luck and success! Click on this link to watch a WBAL news clip of her pitching her product.

And if you are interested in buying some Mitt-Minders, visit her Etsy Shop!