Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Movies for Art & Home Renovation

Last night I was loading up my Netflix instant view cart with movies I haven't seen in a long time. Seeing as I have several more Valentines I want to make, I want things to watch. I don't always watch movies while creating, sometimes I listen to Norah Jones or classical music. Something that lets the brain flow. But with the valentines I keep overthinking things and that will lead to basically getting nothing done. Hence, the movies. I chose lots of great movies. What do you do while arting?

Time Bandits (someone recommended this. I have not seen it yet.)
The Money Pit (one of my favs!)

I also thought I'd watch a few series:
30 Rock (never seen)
Dr. Who (the older ones)
Monk (I'm going to rewatch this series)

In other news, I've had curtain material, already cut in the precise panels for the little one's room, for 5 YEARS. Probably more actually if I were honest. I decided yesterday that I will be making said curtains by next week. The little one and I brainstormed how we want to do her room. She has bright pumpkin orange walls but the rest is a just a cluster of mess, mixmatched things, too many toys. She does have a nice IKEA orange duvet so that will help. 


I've always been envious of this room by Atelier and the little one loves it so we're going to use it as a stepping off point.

atelier view / vista do atelier

She already has an orange room so we think we'll keep that but do these type flowers on the walls in a lime green. We'll pull in colors of the lime, aqua, orange and magenta. I'm thinking of piecing together a curtain for her closet, which doesn't have anything at this moment, as well as painting her dresser. I'll document as we go along, for fun.

What home projects are you working on this year?

Monday, February 07, 2011

Who Needs the Superbowl When You Have Art?

So. Who won the Superbowl last night? I don't even care (sorry to all those who do.) Me, Myself and I spent some quality time in the studio making a mess. Yes, it's already a mess. I just pushed those piles down the table (and to be honest, piled some of it on the floor.) All so I could work on a few Valentine ideas. 

I've discovered an awful truth about myself (hubby disputes this). I'm good at getting a project going in the beginning. I can get a vague idea for something, and layer and layer backgrounds like you wouldn't believe. And then? Nope. Nothing. I just stare at the fabulous backgrounds not knowing what to put on top. Maybe I'm just a background artist? I don't know. 

I stare and stare. Dragging items out, making piles, messes, always feeling like what I'm making is something a 5 year old would make. Sometimes it works out, a lot of times it doesn't. I get discouraged that I can't think of some fantabulous idea and follow it through to the end. I only get small inspirations about maybe color, or using a certain supply. Never finished products. Don't know how to change this...

Have you thought about making an inspiration board/wall? I've seen pictures of other people's boards. I never have fully gotten the jist/purpose of it. They put the things up there for the colors? The shapes? Things they want to aspire to? Supplies they want to use? It's hard to just pick a few things that would inspire me and would fill a board and that I wouldn't get bored of after a bit.

But last night I was visiting my neglected Flickr account and realized I have an inspiration board. It's called my 'Favorites'. If you don't have a favorites on Flickr, you should get one. Basically if you see a pic on Flickr that you like, you click the little star that favorites stuff. Then you can go look at all the things you've saved. I sat here and did a slideshow of my Favorites and it was fascinating the things I like. 

It's like a snapshot inside my brain. Messy, disorganized, layerings of papers, paints, lace, fabrics, ribbons, vintage pics, riots of color (and some scrumptious food pics thrown in to torture me were included.) It was me! It was amazing. I'm thinking of printing some just to stick on a board or wall for inspiration.

What is inspiring you lately?

(more pics of valentines coming up soon, I hope...)

P.S. Forgot to mention. I could not find my good fabric cutting scissors last night (only the glue covered ones.) But instead of giving up on arting, I pulled out the wood burning tool. Notice the hearts on most of the valentines? Yup. Mother of invention...

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Christmas Time Was Here...

So... I found this half finished post in my blogger. I guess I was planning on sharing it or did and it didn't go through? I have no idea. So, read on, and pretend it's somewhere between  December 27 & 31, 2010 all over again? 

"The end of 2010 is upon us. I'm sure most people are getting ready for New Years parties or unplanned evenings at home (like us). Our last couple weeks have been eventful. Let me share what is on my brain tonight.

Note: We ended up watching the old TRON on New Year's Eve. Yes. We're huge partiers aren't we!

The teen was in a car accident last Sunday. Don't panic. She is just fine. Not so much our car. We're still waiting on details but considering the age of the car, 2003, it will most likely be totaled. The teen was taken to the hospital and all kinds of tests were run but God was watching out for her and she only suffered a few bruises and a sore neck and shoulder. God is good. Considering she slammed into a barrier, careened across all lanes (hitting no one!) and flew off the highway onto the side road and landed upright and didn't flip, we care not one wit about the car. Very thankful for her life.

Note: Yes, car was totaled. But thankfully the payout was bigger than we expected so we're looking for a  reliable car. Meanwhile, we only have one so I have officially become a hermit.

Then, to add insult to injury, we all caught the yucky flu, at the same time. All four of us. I'm not talking the sniffle flu/cold thingie. I'm talking, you all better hurry up and get out of my path to the bathroom or I'm gonna throw up on you flu. Yeah, not fun. I was so thankful for all my pre-Thanksgiving Christmas shopping so I did not have to go out and do any of that leading up to Christmas. Just had to share one of my favorite gifts this year! A NookColor!

I'm looking forward to downloading books and finding other Nook users so we can lend books to each other. Not sure how to do it yet, but if you have a Nook, holler at me so we can be best lending buds! lol

Note: I've finally learned how to lend and borrow books. Still looking for Nooky friends. *smile*

What was your favorite gift this year?"

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Shoving a Pot Up My Nose Apparently...

So I'm trying to figure out in what situation I would want a pot shoved up my nose. Apparently everyone is doing it. Because when I talk to people about sinuses, allergies and colds they recommend this Neti Pot thing.

Mom has one and swears by it. Seeing as I've never used one, I haven't seen the urgency to flow hot/warmish water through my nasel cavities and have it pouring out the other side. Weren't we always taught not to put things up our nose like beans, and pennies and small cracker jack toys? But now pots are okay I guess. What is this world coming to?

In related news, I 'liked' Neti Pot's facebook page. They were giving away free pots. They were so hot for me to try it, it came within a few days. On Monday.

Now I'm just waiting for some awful ailment to attack me so I can gleefully pull out my prized Neti Pot and poor molten lava (aka warm water and sinus crystal thingies) through my nose. And try not to swallow it. Or backwash it. Or sneeze.

Do you have one? Do you use it? Am I whining for no reason?

Fun times being had here at the Contessa home...

P.S. I forgot! There's a blizzard out. Yesterday and today bore the brunt of Mother Nature and about a foot or so of snow was dumped on us. I personally love the snow, hubby thinks otherwise. We agree to disagree. Here's a cheesy video I shot of the blizzard. My first video uploaded to my YouTube account.  I told you fun times were happenin' around here!

Tuesday, February 01, 2011


Inspiration is a funny thing. One minute (or month) I can be going along my merry way and not caring whether I do art again in my life or not. Then something will inspire me. A look at a magazine, a riot of colors on a sign, the texture of a some fabric. Then you're brain is hopping all over wanting to create. Ideas flying at you left and right.

Then, if you're me, you walk into the studio and walk right back out. Mine is trashed. I don't want to clean before I work on these ideas flying at my head. So what's a girl to do? Make up a 'To-Go' kit. hehe  As in 'go to the bedroom to create'. 

I was reading a Facebook post yesterday by Gina Lee Kim and how she had won a drawing on a site. I went off to look. It was a sketching challenge site. How fun! Hadn't heard of it before.

It happened to be just after midnight and they had posted their new month's challenge. Opposites. For some reason an idea came to me. Probably had something to do with it being the dead of winter and a blizzard was impending (it's hitting us now as I type.)

It's still a work in progress. Many more layers to add. Just thought to share. I wondered if others have like little emergency kits they use, maybe to do art outside their studios, or to take in the car, on vacation, etc...?   What do you put in yours?

Mine holds: 
metallic colored pencils
sketching pencils
Staedtler pens
Gel pens
India Ink (in hot pink and turquoise)
Caran d'Ache crayons
book pages & scrapbooking paper scraps
Bottle of glue & foam brush
Charcoal chalk
various magazines (Cloth, Paper Scissors, Artful Journaling, Somerset Studio, ARTNews)

What is inspiring YOU on this cold (at least here) winter day?!