Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

i thought i 'd share some photos of halloween's gone by! starting with the picture at the bottom (closest to the posting) here are the descriptions: Enjoy!
pictures 1-4: from a Halloween party i held one year. the third one in the bathroom had people really freaked out!
picture 5: Tucker as a nerd, Eugene.
picture 6: Me and my friend, Michele. another friend, Kathy was also dressed up as 50's housewife, but i can't find a pic with all 3 of us. we called ourselves Helen, Harriet and Hazel.
picture 7: me dressed up as bride ghoul. we went out to a bar that night.
picture 8: dillon dressed as a lion - age 3. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this picture!
picture 9: jeff (my husband) and dracula and dillon as Link, from Legend of Zelda (i made his costume!)
picture 10: me, jeff and dillon going to a Halloween party. i was Mrs. Roper!
picture 11: tucker as a spanish bandito
picture 12: tucker as Elvis
picture 13: pepper and kirby as frankenstein's
picture 14: lilly as a catepillar
picture 15: a bat we rescued - not on halloween - but thought it was appropriate to show today! he apparently crashed into a tree. we put him into a box until he regained his senses and then let him go when he was awake!

Monday, October 29, 2007

seen around NYC

So after leaving Tinsel Trading Company, my art friend, Andrew and i started walking. He had organized a route for us to take to hit some of his favorite stores. I was loving his organization as it is quite easy to waste time in New York because it is so big! our first stop was to a huge paper, stationary, art supply, toys, you name it store - called " Paper Presentation" (23 West 18th Street). What a great store! i had already spent a few dollars back at Tinsel Trading Co., so i was pretty good here. just picked up a couple of bags of confetti stars in an irridescent pink shade. i like to glue them onto collages.
Our next stop was a quick look into the darling "Cupcake Cafe" (18 West 18th Street). i could have been talked into a cupcake, but there was a line and the place was crowed. we were also on a time crunch to get to certain stores before closing! The cafe had an adorable seating area with vintage tables. on the other side of the cafe was a bookstore, which was also quite busy.
More walking! but i don't remember in which order we hit the next 2 stores, but they were Kates Paperie and A.I. Friedman. I bought a few sheets of paper at Kate's and a small butterly calendar that i plan to use the images in work. A.I. Friedman's was also cool - more supplies, paper, etc. i bought some golden paints that were on clearance from 14.99 to 4.95, so i was happy about that.
More walking! this time we headed to the ABC carpet and home store, (888 Broadway) which i 've heard so much about. all i can say is Oh My God! this store is gorgeous and a must to stop by if ever in NY. so much feast for the eyes! absolutely gorgeous things - but warning, extremely expensive! but what a treat. i probably could have stayed in there for hours. i didn't even bother to see if i could take pictures, because it just seems like the place that you don't even ask!
Next we crossed the street and went into a darling store that i was in once before and loved. i believe it is called Edy's Fisher, or something like that. they have great dishes, glassware, kitchenware, etc. they have an adorable line of plates with themes like Brooklyn or Central Park, etc. i'd like to go back and start collecting one of those lines.
From there we made our way through Chelsea and Greenich Village to finally end up at The Ink Pad (22 eighth ave at the corner of 12th street). what a darling little store and such a nice owner. she had so many cool stamp lines - but i was good i only picked up 2 new rubber stamps; a crown and a bird.
The last shop we hit was across the street. it was called House of cards and curiousities. it was a tiny little store filled to the rim with cool and interesting stuff. he had a great visual window display of the day of the dead, which i love.
From there it was a short distance for dinner! yay, because i was tired! we had been walking around NY for 2 hours! Dinner was at MaMa Buddha's (578 Hudson Street/corner of w. 11street). Dinner was delicious (i had garlic chicken). i really liked the restaurant and would go back again. my fortune cookie was so apropo (sp?) - it said "take a very long walk to burn off all that energy today"!
after dinner i was so glad when Andrew suggested we take a cab back to my parking garage. my legs were just a little sore! we got back to the car and then i drove Andrew to Penn Station. i just wanted to give a shout out to Andrew for taking the time to take me to his favorite stores in New York. i've never gotten to see NY like that and i had a wonderful time! i think he should start more walking tours!

it's off to Tinsel Trading Company again!

I made another trip into New York City this past weekend to attend a class at Tinsel Trading Company ( 47 West 38th Street - with the Glitter Fairy. It took me an hour and a half. It was drizzling and warm. i was surprised as i was expecting it to be cold! I arrived at Tinsel Trading at 11:30 which gave me a 1/2 hour to look around the store (perfect!) and grabbed a seat. Terri Ventura (of Dimestoredaze) and Marcia (the owner of TTC) were already there setting up for class. The Glitter Fairy, aka Laurie Davis ( was just arriving herself, having been driven into the city from Connecticut by her sweet, helpful, friend, Jane. Laurie was a little frazzled as the traffic was bad and it didn't leave her much time to set up (i know that stressed feeling!). Now i must tell you that Laurie has been on Martha Stewart 4 times and she had just done a segment with Martha on making today's project! how cool is that?
I enjoyed my little perusing of the store and made a special purchase by Jennifer Murphy (which i will blog about later).
We all got in our seats and Laurie gave us these wonderful handouts all about glitter, the class, supply resources, etc. I have to say, I really appreciate when a teacher gives out handouts. I really don't like it when i take a class and you have to constantly say, where do you get this or where do you find that? part of the reason you want to take a class is that you are attracted to what the teacher is offering, the style, the items used, etc. and it doesn't do me much good to have to hunt down these things for myself. SO- i appreciate that she took the time to do it and share her resources with us. this saves me time - and i will ALWAYS love anyone who saves my time!
today's class was on making a glittered pedestal using paperplates and a candlestick. i don't have a picture of my pedestal yet, as i don't like mine! mine warped a little (as it sat in my car after class and with the dampness and glue in the plates, it was bound to happen). so i will just make another one! we were using german glitter glass in the colors of orange, black and a tangerine orange. very pretty colors. i am just now thinking i should have taken a picture of the 3 boxes of glitter glass because it really is quite pretty glitter.
on top of the pedestal we were adding a box, a crow and a nest. the box was glitter as well and set aside to dry. then we set about embellishing our crows and nests. the best part! everyone loves to embellish and "pimp" things up as i like to say. Marcia and Terri had set out some yummy embellishments from the store that we could use on our projects. we also got to use some fabulous fiber that Laurie shared with us. Angelina fibers is what is was called - nice of Laurie to share!
Laurie was showing us how to put a message in the crow's beak using a craft knife. as she was saying "now be careful", my knife slipped and sliced my finger. of course! i sliced it good as it took 4 bandaids until the bleeding stopped! anyway, after that i asked Laurie to please slice my birds beak!
we worked up until 3:00 when class was over and then we took a little field trip to Marcia's other store, called, "The store across the street". this store contains papers, Tim Holtz products, ribbons and Martha Stewart's line of craft supplies, including her new line of glitter. i bought 6 colors and that wasn't even the tip of the iceberg from her color selections! i am going to have to make a chart of all the colors and check off which ones i've gotten! i used some of Martha's glitters last night on some projects and it is really nice. it is a finer glitter and gives a tight finish to your object versus german glitter glass which is chunkier. each look is beautiful, but different from each other.
In Dec. i will get to see Laurie again when she teaches her next class (dec. 15th). in this class we will be making an ornament tree using electrical grounding wire. the tree will be placed in an urn and then we will cement it in. (i don't believe she used the word "cement" for the product we will use, but again, can't remember what she said!) but you get the idea.
after class was over my art friend, Andrew met me at TTC and we went on a 2-hour walking tour/shopping trip around NYC! (next post with pictures!)

Friday, October 26, 2007

this is something that i worked on today.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


don't you hate..... my $80 soldering iron died! it wasn't even that old!

giving thanks

starting nov. 1st (which is right around the corner!), i'm going to be posting every day something to be thankful for. i was thinking it would be fun for others to join in on their blogs as well. it doesn't have to be long or anything - maybe something quick, like "today i am thankful for xxxxx. you can leave it at that, or offer why you are thankful. or if you don't have your own blog, come leave a comment on my blog whenever you want about what you are thankful for that day. i think it would be a great way to build up to Thanksgiving!

for the holidays, i also thought it would be fun to post childhood memories and traditions. sort of like a virtual advent calendar.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

she's back!

okay, you can all relax, the bad little bunny has been caught and returned to the safety of her new home in the basement! i hope this is the end of this chapter.

Monday, October 22, 2007

runaway bunny!

we have a bunny named Lilo. all summer Lilo has been escaping. she digs her way out. no matter how much i re-enforce her cage area, put rocks in front of fence and behind fence, she always mangages to find a way out. i've spent several hours chasing her and trying to corral her back into her pen, etc. I even had horrible poison ivy went i went to Ohio from chasing her through the wooded areas. when it starts getting cold, we bring her inside and she stays downstairs in the basment with dillon. so recently we brought her inside (not that it is really very cold!),but i had been outside and i watched a hawk literally stalk her for about 10 minutes. he finally flew away after realizing that Lilo probably would be too heavy to carry off! but anyway, i found that quite disturbing and even though she LOVES running around free and eating whatever wild yummy plants she can find, the thought of a hawk or the fox taking her was bothering me. so in she came. but then i started feeling really bad that she was stuck downstairs. so today while at Petsmart i had this brillant idea to buy her a leash. i figured i could take her outside and walk her around for a little bit. this way she gets her exercise, some sunshine, some vegetation, etc. so all was going well until she hopped under a bench. she got her self manuevered in there and i finally realized that i would have to drop the leash and then pick it up as she hopped out to the other side. so i let it go and then moved over to where she was (literally took me 1 second). then i saw this blur and POOF, like magic she was gone! i told my husband it was like being at a magic show, where one minute you see them, the next you don't! i asked him, do we have an old abandoned well under this bench that i don't know about - because i swear she's fallen down the bunny hole! we spent the next hour combing the area to try and find her to no avail. i couldn't understand where she went and how did i not see her hopping off? it was really strange. i told jeff that she was like Steve McQueen and she was in "The Great Escape". she's been plotting this ever since i took her downstairs. it was really bothering me all day as then i was picturing her getting her leash tangled up and choking. i'd find her bunny bones sometime in the spring!

so finally after awhile i decided to go into the way back of our property where she's been known to go and sure enough there she was! the leash/vest is gone, no clue where that went. i tried to chase her back into the yard but didn't happen. she's definitely happy out there. so i brought her food and water back out to the pen area still up and will try to catch her coming in for a snack!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

shorter, sassy new "do"

even though i loved my long hair, it was really getting to be very high maintenance - so i got a cut! it is shoulder length (still a little short for me, but i can start growing it back out again).i'd like to to be just a little longer. the bangs are pretty short, but i actually like them like that. this way they aren't touching my eyes, which really annoy me. i feel like if my hair is in my eyes, not only can i not see, but i also feel like i can't hear! (i know, i'm weird!) the style is very flippy with lots of layers and movement. i was a little freaked out this morning when i first blew it dry -finger fluffed (only took seconds!) because i looked like BonJovi! then i used a round brush and it settled down a bit! my husband keeps saying it reminds him of joan jett's hairstyle. guess i'll have to dye it jet black and i'll be set!
p.s. Carol picked up her crown today and she loved it!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

light box

Today i am working on lightboxes. this was a class i took with Tim Holtz this summer and i'm just now getting some done! i have 5 i want to get done for the black friday show. i'm calling this one "Play". it is painted inside and out and has been texturized, stenciled, stamped, collaged and drawn on! the inside is basically assemblage of things that work together. this one was leaning towards little girls, so that is the direction i went when trying to find things for inside. blogger is being difficult, so the rest of the pictures of this box can be found on my flickr site. (find flickr box below on right side scrolling towards the bottom!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Carol's crown

i've had a few emails asking me to post what Carol's crown/tiara ended up looking like. so here it is: i put her name in front and then she requested the names of her 7 grandchildren as other soldered charms. she also brought me a few sentimental items. one of which was a necklace that has the birthstones (i think) of her children and then baby shoes with their birthdates. so i incorporated those into the tiara. she has a fitting on sunday for size and then i can soldered the ends.

andrew and me

well, andrew and i had a great time yesterday making a little book. well, i made a book and he helped me. when he first got here, we hugged since this was our first meeting face to face, then i showed him around the house and yard. I was living large as he ewwed and awwed over everything. he said "this looks like California", which made me quite proud. being a California girl, i have gone to great efforts to make my home and garden looking nothing like New Jersey (no offense please!). i have a unique decorating style and i wanted it reflected in my home. for him to say it looks like my birth state really made my day! Especilly for him to say it reminded him of Carmel - one of my most favoritest places! my stepfather had a beach cottage there in the early 70's and we had the greatest time there.

next we took a look at all of his many books that he has made in many different styles. who knew there were so many different ways to create a book. he is quite talented. i got to see a lot of the books he made in Pam Sussman's classes. very beautiful. Then we decided how i wanted my book to look (i wanted to create a little something to house my Artfest stuff in). i decided to go with a very basic book that has the spiral binder edging to it - so that i can add more stuff to it if i want. (although i need to buy a bigger spiral plastic piece because i made my book thick and i might even want it thicker!

andrew got out all his cool supplies, cutters and blades and hole puncher thingy. he had some great stuff! i wrote down all the names of the stuff he used that i liked. we also discussed meeting in NY next sat. after my class with THE GLITTER FAIRY at Tinsel Trading Co. we might go shopping at art stores and then eat. we will see!

we had a nice lunch break with Jeff getting us salads and then i served some "potatoe cheese soup" that i had made the night before. very yummy! we ate out at the table by the travel trailer/camper. it was so warm and nice. the birds were chirping at the acorns were falling! i had to dodge a few that came quite close to my head!

so after lunch we got back to cutting, making little folders and inserts for my book. i messed up a few of my folders, put them in upside down, etc. - but oh well! i'll figure out how to use them in their new direction!

we finished off our day by making some book covers using really pretty paper that he brought. it was really cool to see the process of how some of this stuff gets done.

i want to thank andrew for coming down for a day of art. i hope he had as much fun as i did!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

i'm working on a mannequin

my husband picked up this mannequin for me this summer at a barn sale for $10. i really haven't quite known what to do with it since the body is fabric. after taking Stephanie Lee's class at Artnsoul, i decided i would use the same stuff from class. i call it paper mache - but it's the strips that you cut and then dip in water and then layed down and then it dries - Rigid Wrap is what it is called. that is far as i got (top picture) before i ran out of rigid wrap. i just picked up some more at Michael's yesterday, so i'll get to finishing it up. after it is completely wrapped and dried, i will paint the edges and then start collaging the rest of it. i did one before and it turned out awesome- only this one i didn't have to paper mache - it was already a type of material ready for collaging on. i'll post pictures as it progesses!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

today i tidied my room and studio a bit - since returning from artnsoul - everything is absolutely everywhere. i keep cleaning up my studio and then next thing i know, it is a mess again. that can only mean one thing - my studio needs to be BIGGER!!!! (maybe my husband will read this!) it is a cute little studio, but it is very narrow and i think i am out growing it. i dream about it being bigger and how i would go shopping for cool Anthropolgie furntiture to totally do it up (big dream there!). i would add some lighting above me and make it very bright. i've got 7 different lights in there and it never seems bright enough! but there is no light coming from above me - just from the sides. there would be tons of storage that is labeled - cuz i am sick of looking for things. or i put something somewhere thinking i will remember where it is - NOT! right now i can't find my drill bits which i put somewhere after packing up my soldering stand (where they were before). i hate when i do that! i would also add some french doors that would open up to a tiny little balconey where i would have some plants and hang a feeder to get the birds to stop by (i told you i was dreaming, so it is okay to go overboard here!)

and then while we are at it, we might as well redo the bathroom up stairs (the one i use). it is tiny and kind of icky. i've decorated it cute and all, but it is old and needs serious updating. there are 2 closests on either side of the bathroom (behind walls) - so those walls could be blown out and then i would have a nice big bathroom. maybe some day!

i worked on 5 little buckets that i decorated for christmas. (for the holiday show). i used vintage christmas books for the images and they turned out really cute. then i had to go to work - so that is all i got done.

tomorrow Andrew will be here and we will be making out books. we are having soup and salad for lunch and i made the soup tonight - potato cheese soup - yummy!

tucker had ancupuncture tonight (she comes here to the house). we feel that it is really helping him. we've noticed him sleeping better at night, allergies aren't as insane, he's calmer in his wheelchair and his back on the left side seems more relaxed. all good signs. he's not crazy about it when he's getting it done, but then he gets really sleepy. one of these days i'll take some pictures (she comes when i am at work) and put them on my blog.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

well, i got a little work done today. felt a little better in the morning, but then i started that dang sneezing again and got all clogged in the head again. i guess my head cold is running parallel with allergies now! good times- love blowing my nose like 100 times an hour! tonight i am wearing one of those nose strips to help open up my sinuses.

i made a beautiful practice piece using misty mawn's techniques. i'm not going to blog it though as i just used the same picture she did (even though i drew it myself and painted it all myself), but i just don't want any misunderstandings). but it really turned out beautiful if i do say so myself! (i will email you what it looks like if you really want to see it).

i mailed kim her jewerly box - so that will be fun for her to receive. oh and i also finished the tiara for Carol. she's coming over this weekend for a final fitting! Now i've got to knuckle down and get stuff ready for black friday.

on thursday, my online friend, Andrew/&rew of is coming down from North Jersey to visit with me. we are going to be making our Artfest booklet into a book to take to Artfest. Andrew took some awesome classes this summer on bookmaking (and dang i can't remember who the teacher was - sorry!) it turns out that he was in the same class as another friend of mine, Shar, who i met at Artiscape. Andrew and i are also in a photojournal yahoo group - so it is cool that we are finally meeting. after we are done with our books, he is going further south to Wildwood to stay the evening there. he does awesome photography and wants to take some photos of some of the vintage hotels down there with their neo doo wop style. i think some modern buildings are going up though with the same type of look. i'm going to have to add that to my list of things to do as well. i've been down there once and did notice all the old type of hotels with their interestings neon signs - but this was way before i went digital! i told him to go see this huge elephant name Lucy, who is also in the area. Lucy, is a building actually - built as a tourist attraction in some little town by Atlantic City. again, slipping my mind - Barnegat, maybe. i' ve seen her once and took a few photos. have to drag them out.

Monday, October 15, 2007

sample from misty mawn's class

here is the class sample that Misty Mawn gave me when class was over. i was talking to her about my work telling her what i didn't like about the work i did on my face (it's the same problem i have any time i do a face - it looks flat and unrealistic - which is basically adding highlights and lowlights - which i have to practice!) - so i picked up her sample and said, this is more the direction i want - simple yet realistic. then she said i could have it! i thought that was so nice. as i said in my previous post, i really enjoy looking at it. it will be a great reference too as i practice working on faces and keeping my work "simple". sometimes i overthink extras, like arms, hair, etc. and then i don't like it. by looking at her piece i can notice how simplified she has accomplished these things. anyway, this is the little niche i created under a vintage lamp next to my bed. the yellow tea cup is stuffed with a nest. Kim and i each bought a yellow cup and saucer when we were shopping at Anthropologie in Ohio together! there are 2 darling blue birds on the front of the tea cup, which to me represent me and kim's friendship!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

an altered jewelry box for my friend, Kim

when i was in Ohio visiting my friend, Kim (, i stayed in their guest room. on the dresser, she had a collection of vintage jewelry boxes (something that i also collect!) on the top of all the boxes, was a really small one. i had never see a small one like this in that style - so of course i just loved it! so when i was leaving i asked if i could take it and alter it for her. god bless her, she is so trusting! she was excited and said yes. so in between unpacking all my A & S stuff, fighting this head cold - i decided to sit down for a minute and work on her box. here are the pictures of it finished. wish i had thought to take a picture of it before - but forgot. anyway, it was just a cream, plain box, no color or designs.
i decided to merge to techniques i learned at A & S from both Misty Mawn and Sally Jean Alexander's class. collage is my favorite thing to do, so it comes very easy to me. learning different background techniques has also been fun. Misty uses a lot of texture in her pictures - and anything goes with texture (sand paper, bubble wrap, shelf liner pads, rug liners, etc. all you do is after putting your paint down, while it is wet, just lay some sort of texture on top and press down (like a stamp). the texture will leave an impression. it's cool and adds a lot of visual interest. and of course, i had to add my favorite image - bird - to the top. my calling card so to say! i will be mailing this off to her tomorrow! hope you like it kim!
i also just grabbed a few minutes in tucker's hot tub, to ease my achy body! i only have the energy to lay in bed, but my back is so sore from doing just that! i slept half the day after taking a 1/2 tab of benadryl to ease the pressure in my head ( can you imagine if i took the whole pill?). i am still itching to get in my studio and do some work. i really want to get some work done on Carol's tiara - and then i have to get ready for the black friday show. as i told Francoise in an email this morning - i don't have time to be sick!
my friend, Sandra of the Warehouseartchix ( i s sending me a box of 8x10 canvas's. she's been ordering them and since i need some, figure i just order some from her! less work for me to do on my end. can't wait to get them so i can start working on some misty mawn type pictures (don't hold your breathe - i need a lot of practice on my people!) but practice makes perfect! i love looking at the class sample she did that she gave to me as class was over. i've got it in a little niche near my bed and for some reason it really makes me happy. maybe because it was so nice of her to just give it to me. i think i am always floored when someone does something nice for me out of the blue, that i wasn't expecting - especially since i am such a giving person. so when someone gives to me - it's always a shock! anyway, i also won some blog candy from Sandra, so she's going to throw that in the box too - yay!

dang it, now i have a head cold!

lots of people were getting colds while i was at Artnsoul. i think because it got so cold and it was raining alot - when the weather changes like that, it is enevitable. anyway, i'm just kind of laying around (and not getting any work done!). i was ambitious though, i got up and showered and then went in and turned on all the lights in my studio. then i got that woozy feeling, so here i am back in bed again. my left eye feels like it is going to explode (pressure) and my ears are all clogged up. next up, i'm sure will be one of my famous headaches - yay!!! but i did manage to finish my light box thingy that i started in Stephanie Lee's class. we started with wire and paper mache. after designing with the wire how we wanted our box to look, we started wrapping it in paper mache. after letting that dry, we painted the paper mache in whatever color we wanted. i chose, green, of course - my favorite color! i then stippled some brick/orangey color about in various areas on top of the green, making it look like rust. the next step was to start gluing the fabric inside the wire panels. i opted to hand sew my pieces of fabric in because i thought it would look cooler with all the stitching. that is what took so long! before we came to class, we were told to iron on some images to our silk pieces, which we did. then you can sew those pieces into your wire panels. when the light is on, the pieces look pretty cool. so i just finished sewing. the wire cage sits on top of a wood piece that Stephanie's husband had cut for the project. a light feeds up through the bottom, plug it in and viola! i think i will alter the wood base a bit though (later when i'm feeling better!) see photos above!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

tired, tired, tired!

yikes, i am still trying to recover from Artnsoul! that redeye really did me in! that and i've been taking a couple of overnight shifts with Tucker since my poor husband is just as tired from watching him the whole time i was gone! it is 6:30 here and i could easily go to bed! wish i could.
i spent the day putting all my charms from the Charmsters swap on my necklace. wow, what a task! i now have to say that i really despise jump rings! they never close the way the are suppose to, they don't stay closed, the charms then fall off, etc. so i spent the day today putting little dabs of super glue on 50+ charms! nothing like breathing superglue all day! anyway, here's what the necklace looks like. i've hung it up over my bed on a board that was already there.

slide show!