Friday, April 25, 2008

Free Musical GIVEAWAY

It's time to bring music into my life. I have just the neatest new cell phone (I think I've mentioned it before?) It has lots of little whistles and bells and I now have a lovely new card that will hold music. I can be beeboppin', singing and twittering all at once! It's gonna be so cool. So, here's my problem. I don't know what to put on my phone. I love french music, 80's, 60's, some classical. But I also have songs I love from other eras, except maybe now. I'm not a lover of current music. DH says I was born in the wrong decade. He just hasn't told me yet which I would have best fit in. lol

So I come to you, dear readers. Tell me your favorite songs (nothing current.) Do you have a favorite from childhood? Do the Beatles make you scream like a fainting teenager girl? Maybe you like the 70's classic Lady Marmalade? Does Wham's 'Wake Me Up Before You Go Go' really float your boat? Share. If you know of any 'top hits of the ....'s' lists that might help me, I would love to see a link. Help me fill up my music playlist.

I have a present for a random contributor. This little project/prototype I worked on today (see at the top of this post.) It's a keychain mini-purse, in the shape of a cassette tape. For you youngin's, tapes were what music was sold on before CDs. It has snap closures inside and an extra pocket behind the orange part. This baby is going to hit my Etsy store over the weekend as a custom item but I thought I would give the first one away for fun! Just post with 2-3 (or more) of your favorite songs that you think I might like. I'll give them a listen and add them to my playlist, and your name will go in the drawing. I'll keep this open for a week or two, depending on how many play along. I only have so much room on my card. lol

While you're thinking of wonderful songs for me, here's lots of musical Etsy items I found to buy. Make sure to check out my shop as well. My latest Fingernest rings are named with Beatles titles/lyrics.

Play Me A Ditty
High School Musical Rings (my nieces would go gaga for these)
Vintage Sheet Music TShirt
Mixed Cassette Tape Illustration
45 RPM Record Coasters
IPod Case Turntablism
Guitar Pick Necklace
Maracas Cupcake Toppers
Mendelssohn Pendant
Boombox Charms (I have to have these!)
Music Festival Skirt
LP Record Ring (oh so sweet!)
Music Monster (can you say with me A-Dor-A-Ble!)
Vintage Music Packet
'I Love Music' Charm Bracelet (drool!)
Music Lover's Soap
Traveling Drum

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Today's Art Lesson... Gottlieb

Adolph Gottlieb (his painting on the left.). Cool name right? I had no idea about him this morning. I do now.

My kids were dragging their butts through a morning of school. Nothing getting done, lots of yawns. (Between you and me, I think they're both getting sick, but don't tell them.) So as not to completely scrap the day I declared it an ART DAY. Gosh I love those words. I wish I had been homeschooled and had big art days.

Instead of letting them loose on their own whims, I decided to pick an artist to study and emulate. The DDs' got on the pooter and found Adolph Gottlieb. He was an American Abstract Expressionist Painter and Sculptor. I wonder what people thought of his art at first. He did a lot of circles, rectangles, scumbling and is most famous for his little boxes with shapes and people shoved into them. I thought it funny to read an article that called him a fraidy-cat. He preached revolution and independence in American art but then he painted little people all locked up in his little squares, like they were going to escape.

It's interesting to me. His paintings reminds me of some Japanese work I've seen. I wonder if he traveled to Japan at all? One of my favorite people whose work I like to see on Flickr is Shohei. He is a japanese artist with swipes of paint and bold white or black lines on top.

So we tried different types of Gottlieb's paintings. Minimal and the boxed off kind. See for yourself.

8 yr old's Paintings

15 yr old's Paintings

My painting attempts

Oldest dd and I agree. Our fav painting is the 8 yr old's middle one. Very abstract. I think we'll study Georges Braque next, who along with Picasso, developed the art movement known as Cubism. I love art!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Computers, Cells, Art & Purchases

Can you imagine a life without computers, cell phones and well... whatever the third thing would be that sounds really good with my sentence? I remember getting our first computer in 1999. What did I do with my life before then? Seriously! I got a cell phone 4 years ago. What did I talk on before then? How did I know what to buy at the store if I couldn't call every 5 minutes to check with home to see if we already had something? Is my life easier now? Harder? Better? I don't know.

I know we use the computer for basically everything and if I was some paranoid conspiracy theory type person I'm sure I would see the use of a computer for everything as the antichrist or impending government regulation. But I'm not and I don't. I mean most everything is easier. I shop online, I order my library books, I sell online, I talk online, I do all our billing online. I process and alter pictures online (like the pic to the left.) I do drive to the library, Walmart and church but that is about it. If I could get over the extra fees that a company charges me to have my groceries delivered I'd probably do that too. Maybe they can pick up my library books on their way? lol I know I've become more of a recluse because of the computer. I make friends on here so who needs to go out for friendship? (Not counting you Rhonda, Trisha, Mindy. mom and SILs. I'd go out to see you all. *smile*)

Why am I rambling on about the internet? I have no idea. Probably because its 1 am and my brain is asleep at the wheel. Anyway, while I've been reclusing (is this a verb), I've been discovering other new verbs and wanted to share. MySpacing, Twittering, Craigslisting. I've been making lots of faux-friends on My Space. It's so nice to go there and see that another 10 people wanna be your 'friend'. Most of them are artisty/etsy type people; that's cool. Jennifer over at NSC turned me on to Twittering. Now I'm a regular twitterer. I twitter all the time. Well except in the bathroom or the shower. But other than that... It can be addictive. You post and read posts of little snippets of peoples lives. Now mind you, some people post crap. Whatever pops into their head, they post. But I usually quit following those people. I like finding people who have similar interests. As I said, very addictive and I can post right from my phone (I love unlimited texting!)

Since we've decided we want to move or at least fix up our house so we like it again, we've been clearing out the garage. I've been listing on Craigslist and have sold a couple things. It would be nice if they would just all be sold. I hate to throw things away, don't have time to Ebay them and feel like its lost money to just donate to the thrift store. We've already taken truckloads to them. Do you use Craigslist where you live? I might try FreeCycle this week as well. You try that?

Gosh, I have the gift of gab tonight but terrible writing skills. My thoughts are not flowing succinctly.

And now, in the world of Contessa-crafting...

I've made a talisman this week (for Creative Therapy Challenge)

I'm in a Paris Swap this month. Here's sneak peeks of some things I've made. Just snippets so my partner can't see. bwaahahahahahahahaha

I've bought these this week from Cookoorikoo (1st 2 are mine, last 2 are dd's choices.) They were super affordable! Won't I be stylin' now?! lol

Naughty Secretary Club has their annual Administrative Professionals sale this week so I finally broke down and bought the ring I've been wanting forever! Yay me. Go look. Everything is 25% off now. (I think she's out of my ring so I can't show you a pic. I'll post one when it gets here.)

I joined this swap last week, due May 19th. I need to get my patootie in gear a-creatin'. What are you doing this week?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Week of Discovery...

Flapper Girl Fingernest Ring
(Flapper Girl Ring)

How has your week been? Lots of things have been going on here.

I've been creating things. Creating things away from my artroom because I'm unwilling to clean it right now. Just not in the mood. Don't you have to be in the mood for difficult things like that?! While watching TV this week, I sewed 7 more Fingernests. I love these little things and I have a new idea I'm going to try over the weekend.

(Wonderful photography by my DD. Plus the sun cooperated with her while she took the pics.)

Purple People Eater Fingernest Ring Eleanor Ring Be Fingernest Ring
Purple People Ringer.......................Eleanor Ring Be

Lady Madonna Fingernest Ring Ladies Garden Club Fingernest Ring
Lady Madonna...............................Goin' To A Garden Party

A-Blinga-Ringa Fingernest Ring Strawberry Fields Forever Fingernest Ring
A-Blinga-Ringa............................Strawberry Fields Forever

This week we've tackled the closets (2) and the garage. Took stuff to the clothing drop and the thrift store. Rest is getting CraigsListed (is that a verb?!) We're debating if we want to move but in the meantime working towards cleaning up and clearing out. Must be the spring cleaning bug has bit us. We heard that a big huge 'company' has bought land nearby and is building a huge 120 acre thing there. People will be moving into the area to work. They'll need housing. We just heard this today. Before, we were just wanting to move but didn't know if we're supposed to, maybe this is part of our answer to do so. We'll see what the next coming weeks and months hold. Only God knows...

Dd was accepted to be a volunteer church camp worker this summer. She'll be gone 3 1/2 weeks, different weeks for that. Meshed in between will be a week of teen camp, a week volunteering at her sister's camp week and then 10 days on a mission trip to Mexico. I fear I will never see her. We want to fit a week of vacation in there somewhere, not sure how yet since DH isn't supposed to take any vacation when August rolls around. Plus for a loving but overprotective mom, letting my 15 yr old loose for the whole summer is a little nerve jarring. How do parents of teenagers let go and hope they've trained them right. I just don't know...

This week I've focused on networking. It's not that I want to build some big conglomerate or anything, I just like to make stuff, some of it I want to sell. So I'm networking, linking and hopefully I'll sell some of my things listed on Etsy. Every little dollar helps. If you're more a MySpace person, you can see all my blog posts there as well. My Space.

I sold one of my fingernests this week, one of my favs too (Lady Madonna). Did I mention I keep naming them with song names or a play on song lyrics?! lol For some reason it just seems right. So needless to say, I've been singing a lot of Beatles and such this week.

I was reading Jennifer's myspace and heard about Twitter. At first, as her sister mentioned, it seems a little stalkerish. But the more I read on it and joined and all, you can set settings so only people you want to see your posts, see your posts. It's kind of cool and a new way to network. If only I could get my cell phone sync'd up with it, I'd be golden. Still working on that. Then I can post from wherever I'm at. (yeah right, like I go anywhere... lol)

Although, tomorrow night I am heading to my friend Rhonda's house. I'm in her Stamp club and we have our monthly meeting. She's started a new blog. It would be wonderful if you could pop over and give her some love aka: comments. You should see the adorable paper topiary she made. I want one! I hope she teaches a class on that soon!

Next Thursday I'm going to a play with friends (Trisha, you still coming?) The Gees Bend Quilts Play. Have you read about or seen the Gees Bend exhibit traveling the country? My parents saw the museum display while in Atlanta last year and just raved about it. The play is about the quilts but delves more into the life and times of the women who made them long ago. If you're in the Kansas City area, you should go see it. It is at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre.

Homeschool is going smoothly but we're ready for summer as I've said a million times. I think Trisha sums up my feelings right now about homeschool here.

I won a treasury spot on Etsy today. It features other people's creations with Vintage Buttons. It's so much eyecandy its overwhelming! Go look. You'll see what I mean. Click on each pic in the treasury, it moves my treasury up in the standings.
Lastly, I was featured on a blog today, which was super nice of her! Look here.

Gosh, I can talk can't I?! I didn't know I had so much to impart! Well, maybe I'll be quiet for awhile now. Who knows... I doubt it. lol

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Cones, Random Fun & Homeschool

Today is shaping up to be a wonderful day. I can hear all the birds chirping, throwing leaves around in the air as they dig for food and I see lots of fat mama birds waddling around looking for nest materials. Spring is here. Finally. Now, you know Murphy's Law. As soon as I said 'Spring is Here', Murphy was brewing up a snowstorm for me...

Yesterday the girls and I made some May Day cones for some special friends. I think they've turned out nicely. I'll post the girls' cones later. They're still drying. Mine is made with old embossed wallpaper. I brushed with Twinkling H2Os, wrote with gel pen, cut sections out and placed paper behind the holes. It's not perfect but it was an experiment. I think I'll make another soon. Needs some bling maybe.

My friend Shawn, mentioned on her blog that she had joined this swap. I couldn't resist. It's all about birds! Free vintage pic downloads too. You might want to check it out. Sign ups end April 18th. The store sponsoring the swap has a wonderful gallery of projects for you to see, and free projects galore.

Random Fun Info:
-- The afore mentioned friend, Shawn is also having a giveaway. Might sign up for that too! I think it ends today.
-- Found this tutorial for making Paper Ruffles. I think I'll add that to my next MayDay Cone! Oh, she also has a tutorial for Layered Flowers. She has some a great example of how she decorates a MayDay type Cone or Tussie Mussie as she calls it.
-- My favorite Jewelry Artist on Etsy, JessicaJane is having a giveaway. Run, don't walk to her blog. She makes the prettiest pendants!
-- I am a sucker for giveaways. While randomly googling recent blog posts about art giveaways I found these: Jewelry/Cubicle Art, Designed Cards, Peter Punkin Eater, GeorgiaLove GC, Stash It Forward, Tote Bag/Book/StuffedAnimal, Sea Glass Earrings.
-- Here are some candy giveaways where you write a poem or something to be entered. Hey, candy is candy. I'm entering!
-- Don't even get me started looking for free patterns. I just found one and I already have the urge to embroider (and to hunt for more free patterns! lol) Gnomes & Mushrooms
-- My partner Paula from the Artsymama Vintage Party Swap is having a giveaway as well.

Random Notes from Homeschool:
As I'm typing, the girls are studying World History and Tornadoes, separately of course. Here are some things they're telling me.

(youngest child)
'Mom, did you know that 69% of all tornadoes are considered minor? What does that mean?'
(I had to laugh here. And I have to strongly disagree. NO tornado in my book is minor, especially if its near me. I hate them. I'm a wuss.)
'Tornadoes are shaped like cones.'
'Like our MayDay Cones we made right?' I said.
'Yeah. The sky gets green too and the clouds move really fast and it hails. Remember when we were at the thrift store on Friday? We were in a tornado!'
'No, not really, but kinda huh?!' I commented.
(I'm never going out in a storm again. It will be in their memory forever. 'Remember the time mom took us to the thrift store and there was a tornado?' Scarred for life I tell ya, and it wasn't a tornado, only bad weather. Sheesh!)

DD's quick sketch of a tornado. She didn't want to take the time to color neatly so its an abstract. Notice those scary green skies!

(oldest child)
Mom, did you know the Persian god? His name was Ahura-Mazda but they called him Mazda for short!'
'No, I didn't know him personally. You mean like the car?' I said.
'Yeah, and the bad god was Ahiram'.
'So they named the car after a good god. Interesting.' I commented.
'Yeah, and the good god and the bad god are against each other but after 12,000 years the good god wins and all the good people are saved and the bad people are punished but then eventually everyone is saved. '
'What the heck are you reading?!' I queried.
'World History. We're studying Persian religion'.
(Oh lovely! I say under my breath. )

Thus is a slice from our homeschool life. I love homeschool. I learn something new everyday. Avoid the green skies and Mazdas are good. lol

P.S. I made another 7 Fingernest Rings last night! I'm so excited about them. They're cute. I'll post later. They're all heading to my Etsy shop soon.

Monday, April 14, 2008

May Day is Coming...

Do you remember the practice of celebrating May Day? It's a centuries old tradition, now mostly practiced in the US by teachers and children in school. At least I haven't seen any May Day poles being erected in my town just yet. If you have one in yours, send me a link!

I've never been sure of the exact significance of May Day, I just remember celebrating it as a child. When I was probably about 4 or 5, I remember place a May Day basket of flowers on my grandmother's doorknob, ringing the bell and running to hid behind the car. To me it was such an exciting event to give someone something so pretty!

In high school we celebrated May Day. My junior year they had an assembly in the gym. 2 other girls and I sang Friends by Michael W. Smith (I remember it had to be approved by the board because it was a christian song and for a secular school.) An appropriate song for the times, as well as it being our last assembly before beloved senior friends graduated. I have a picture somewhere, I'll have to dig it out. Anyway, I remember a group of May Day dancers, they might have been from our school, I don't remember. They came and did a traditional May Pole dance, with the streamers, pole, and music and everything. They had garlands of flowers in their hair. Beautiful ceremony.

My mom sent me this link to a May Day project. The girls and I will be working on some (I'll share pics soon.) We plan to hang them on our elderly neighbors' doors in 2 weeks. Here's how to make a head garland with real flowers, I'm sure you could substitute fake flowers as well. I'm posting this a couple weeks ahead of May Day. I always hate finding projects on THE DAY of a holiday and not having time to work on them.

What will you do to celebrate May Day? Whose life will you brighten?

(pictures borrowed from these sources:
Wesleying U, U of M, Victorian Trading Co. and SkipToMyLou.)

Good & Random Things.

(my silly girls)

Just a quick post. I've not been creating today. I've been reading my Emma book, when I wasn't at church or family's house. It's coming along and i'm not bogged down in the meaningless mire of platitudes and overly described details. We're hitting some action now.

2 good things to report this week:

-- My sister in law is prego. We're overjoyed. It's very early in her pregnancy but she has almost 6 year old twin girls so it was about time. We haven't had a new family member now for 6 years.
-- My mom hit a deer yesterday head on. She was on a lonely stretch of backroad highway at dusk. The big deer walked in front of the car, she hit it and it flew over the car. Hairs were left in the hood and where the windshield meets the roof. It could have so easily come through the windshield or the skyroof. We are thankful she is okay and unscathed. Even drove that wreck of a car home another 45 miles. God is good.

Random thoughts for you:
-- At the Altered Gypsy forums, we're thinking of doing a Gothic Arch swap, based on this challenge that some artists took on. Wanna play along? Come join us!
-- My friend Kersten has been posting inspiring work, up a storm. Such vibrant colors. Go see.
-- My friend Audrey is always inspiring me to try new things. Did you see her Stampington project of last week? If you don't subscribe to the free email, you SHOULD! Go look.
-- I joined another swap. Yes, I know I've been complaining about all the time homeschooling is taking. Yes, I know I need to clean my artroom yet again. Yes, I know I have things to do and we're thinking of moving... But its a PARIS swap! Enough said. My partner is so uber talented. GO look. Especially at her etsy shop. I'm contemplating that Celebrate sign. Gorgeous!
-- We rented the Spiderwick Chronicles WII game this weekend. The air has been filled with screams of 'the goblins are coming, the goblins are going to eat us!' Ahhh, joy. I don't care if the game critiques didn't rate it superb, my family LOVES it. We might have to buy this game. We've already seen the Spiderwick Movie, and also purchased this, this and this book. We read the first 5 books before going to see the movie. I think we're thoroughly invested now. ha
-- Jennifer of the Naughty Secretary Club has the most adorable jewelry. My favorite is this ring. You know how many times I've looked at that thing?! I'm just sure I'm going to debate buying it for too long and it will be sold out. Maybe I'll make a decision this week. I love this and these too. I'm missing her show Craft Lab. Hoping they bring it back soon soon soon. I don't know what DIY could be thinking keeping it off the air for so long. I'm a huge fan, can you tell?!
-- If you haven't already looked, I listed some of the rings in my Etsy store. More are going up this week plus the little girls' bag I made.
-- My artroom is atrocious (as my 8 yr old would say), so look for some giveaways soon. I have too much junk (as my dh would say) so I'm going to start purging...

Hope the start of your week is productive and full of artful promise.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Creative Therapy 'Rain'

I realized while starting to clean my desk that I forgot to post about this week's Creative Therapy challenge. I did my own version of 'Something You Remember From Childhood'. You can see my piece on the challenge blog, but I'll also post it here with my journaling. New challenge is Monday! Are you playing along?

I have many memories from childhood, but the one I most tell my kids about is rain. When I was little, I remember my mom letting us go play outside in the rain. We used to march up and down on the sidewalk with our pots and pans, playing in the rain band. I always loved to be out in the rain with my umbrella because the smell was so fresh and sweet. It was the one time you were allowed to splash in the rain and mud puddles without getting in trouble!

Whenever it was too wet or not safe to be out we would spend the day inside, drinking hot chocolate and playing board games. I always smile with I hear people say they hate rain. For me, it holds some of my favorite memories. (My father used to take so many pictures of us kids. This is one he took of me.)


It's a lovely Saturday morning. The day is overcast, the promised snow is not here and goblins are running amuck through the living room, I mean the WII. How is your day? lol I can't believe last Saturday it was 70's and today we had tiny flurries (no stickage though). Spring is almost here but its taking its own sweet time I guess.

I took some cute pictures of the Fingernests. My lovely dd agreed to model them for me. 3 are headed to Etsy today. Gosh, these were such fun to make with all the lace, crochet, fabric and buttons; most all vintage! They're just dying to 'nest' on someone's fingers! lol

Hope your day brings you peace and joy. I have a date with an artroom mess. Yes, its time to declutter again... The upside to that is, I can get back in it and create!

P.S. I lived through I Am Legend. It was a good movie. My heart beat hard for awhile after. I'm watching Michael Clayton tonight. Read more of my Emma book before I fell asleep.

Edited: E. Beck asked what the ring base is made of; silver plated ring blank and clear button: