Sunday, July 31, 2011

Goodbye July

Another month gone. I can't believe how fast this year is going by. The heat and humidity isn't helping either but the year is zooming by. I've accomplished a lot of things so far and I'm about to rev things up a notch. It's been a good month for starting my year long celebration up to my next birthday. Each month I will do something really special to celebrate my time on this planet. This month has been wonderful.

I finally walked through Heavy Rebel weekend, I visited Old Salem, saw a movie (X-Men the Beginning), went to a floral arranging demonstration/wine tasting, got chocolate from Haute Chocolates, had lunch at a new restaurant called Hutch and Harris, and went to my first National Park, Pisgah National Forest. Not bad for month one.

An old mill along the way to our destination for the day.

This is looking down the stream where we, my friends Maya and Amanda, decided to have lunch.

This is looking up stream.

This is where we parked our chairs, right in the stream. The water was chilly at first but then felt oh, so wonderful. We had veggies from gardens, smoked pastrami, corn chips, watermelon, and chocolate. While sitting in the stream, small light blue butterflies landed on my hands. It was great. Very relaxing. I also took a walk up and down the stream with Amanda and I didn't fall in. It was a great way to end and celebrate the month.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Flower Arranging

Here's another cool thing I did this month to celebrate a whole year 'til my next birthday. The gallery where I worked hosted a "How 2 Night" where guild artists and local businesses demonstrate their craft or show their wares. We've had clay artist Cindy Billingsley who is also a fantastic muralist but she demonstrated an elephant in clay. Michael Brown who is a wood furniture maker. He talked about how he makes his furniture, all by hand. I missed that one, it was on my birthday. He was paired with Foothills Brewery and they did a beer tasting. For the floral part, we had a demonstration by Lisa Schaner and her partner in petal crime from Imagine Flowers.

They wanted to show how you could use any shape container to display flowers from your yard. What they were saying makes sense but when they were in action, I just said to myself, "Yeah, of course. I can do that."  Not right away, I would need more lessons. They used some of the artwork in the gallery. We also had wine tasting from 6th & Vine restaurant.

 Here we have ideas for bud vases. These lovely glass pieces were done by Jak Brewer.

 Many people love Ikebana. I've always seen the holders but rarely have I seen anything in one.

Another Ikebana piece. The artist is Bill Hassal.

The lovely little orange balls are called Chinese Lanterns. Aren't they cute? Of course I've got tons of ideas for these babies.

Also in this arrangement were Pitcher Plants. I had no idea they could be dried.

They also showed what you could do with a fancy bowl. Like this one by John Geci. I love floating flowers.

This was the first one they did. One in a standard clay container. This one by the artists Mikkelson and Pope. They started with the greenery at the bottom and built their way up. They used decorative basil which smells awesome. You can eat it too. The flowers with color are Brown Sunflowers. They are so pretty. 

The little yellow bits are called Kangaroo Feet. I can't remember the names of other flowers in this grouping but the ladies assured us that we could use whatever was in our garden. If you have one. I'd love to see Lisa's garden. Sit there and paint while on the lookout for faeries.

This container is by Jim and Shirl Parmentier. It's a triangular vessel and the ladies at Imagine Flowers want to show what you could do with something that didn't have a normal shape.

I'd like to welcome G Goldman to the party. You can find her at

Stagecoach Mary Rendering

I call it a rendering because in costume design, that's what we did before making a costume. We sketched it and painted it. I've done hundreds and quite a few have ended up on stage. I'll post some of those later along with some old classwork.

I finally got her done and I may or may not do another one or just do the rest of the ladies in the series. She will be needle felted, at least her body and maybe some of her clothing. I've got to research more of the gun she carried and may or may not needle felt that. That would be a blast though.

I put her on watercolor paper, used watercolor paints (Windsor Newton), Berol Prismacolor pencils, Nicholson's Peerless Watercolors for detail, and Pigma pen .5 I really had fun once I got started. Getting started was like pulling teeth from a hippopotamus. I will have to do another soon so I won't get rusty again.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

New Minions

Here are more minions to help me with my Halloween creepies and ghoulies that will be born soon. They are voodoo doll pins/ornaments. Another batch is waiting to be completed too. They are hanging out in one of those plastic rectangular containers. They don't like being under my work table, screaming that they need sunlight. Since when?

Stagecoach Mary

I'm doing a series of black dolls from history. They will all be females who have made their mark and are rarely heard from. They will be presented in an exhibition at the Delta Fine Arts gallery in February 2012. I started with a sketch of Stagecoach Mary based on a picture in the book, Black Women of the Old West by William Loren Katz.

I haven't done a costume rendering in ages. It was like starting all over again. I did them a lot when I was in university for costume design. I needed a rendering to go by for when I make the doll. It will also be used in the display of the finished piece. All the dolls in the series will be needle felted.

 Here's my art table set up for painting. I sketched Mary on tracing paper, then transferred her to watercolor paper. You can see my palette in the upper left of the photo.

Mary Fields, aka Stagecoach Mary, rode a stagecoach delivering mail in the northern Rockies. She was six feet tall and carried a .38 Smith and Wesson while delivering freight of various kinds, including mail.

Here I started layering color. It didn't take long to remember some of the techniques I had acquired over the years of painting. I guess it was like riding a bicycle. I really need to get back to painting on a regular basis. So much to stuff into one lifetime.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Lot of Work in Progress

All righty then. I had a wonderful birthday month, having celebrated all month, saw some cool people and other amazing things. Now it's back to work. Creative work that is. That's the only kind right? And I'm sure you're ready to see some more work from me. So here we go!

Wandi Mermaids are in the works. I now have their eyes painted and will make their bikini tops. Then I will bead the heck on them. I can't wait to get their hair on. I'll take a pic of the beads when I open them. They are so yummy.

More voodoo doll pin minions. I do feel like a mad scientist at times.

These gals have bodies made of tea dyed fabric. That's about as good as I can get with the dyeing. It can be messy, dyeing, and I'm not that coordinated to do it on a large scale. I do appreciate and admire those who do it well.

These ladies are new. Same pattern as the first voodoo doll pins but are dressed in black and white because they will be my Goth voodoo doll pins. All of them will have red hearts and more paint. I have to give them hair and the Goth ones will have beads.

The remaining pics are the backgrounds of future postcards. The 2 above will be sea like. And the other 2 will be abstract in design.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Back to Work

Creative work that is. Now I'm working like crazy to catch. That's what happens when you go away for fun. So here are two little ladies that I finally finished.

These are my Wandi Heart Dolls. I never thought I would do dolls with heart shapes and I think they were supposed to be for Valentine's Day but didn't make it. I think I'll stick with Halloween. But they turned out quite nicely and hearts are forever.

Heavy Rebel Weekend

Heavy Rebel Weekend 2011. I love old cars, especially the good looking ones. There seems to be a trend these days to show rusted and beat up old cars, which is fine, if that's what you like. I want my car looking spiffy. I can see myself in the red one. Oh yeah! The cars drive in and park along 2 streets, people dress up in 50's attire but this year I didn't see that many. There were a lot of tatoos and it could have been a tatoo weekend. This is the first time I finally remembered my camera.

 A friend said she could see this one running liquor in the backwoods of North Carolina.

A mini wood Airstream. It's set up as a wet bar in the back.

One of the rusted ones.

Yes, that is a hearse. Sweet isn't it? A fun thing to start off my year long birthday celebration.

Friday, July 8, 2011

It's Me!

This is me in my hot little number of a dress. I made the necklace and earrings. I can't even remember the last time I dressed up, let alone worn a dress. I felt like such a lady and I will be working more on this side of me. I had so much fun that night and danced, a lot. I'm going to have to dress up more often.

Rehearsal Dinner and Wedding

Here is the beautiful engagement ring. It's called a 'Bouquet' setting. On each side of the stone are ribbons, making it look like a bouquet of flowers.

Hepzi, Naomi (at that time bride-to-be), their mom Cheryl. Cheryl and I have known each other for years. We both write and make dolls. I hadn't seen them in over two years. It's great to have friends because they can become your new family.

The girls. My sister Cheryl, and my nieces Naomi and Hepzi.

My handsome nephews Ayal, Tel, and Yannai.

Had to take a pic of this, this, thing. Oh my. I gained weight just looking at it.

The groom Jeff and his party. He cried, it was so awesome.

Mr and Mrs Jeffrey Quinn.

Me and my sister at the reception.

Believe it or not, I wore heels. Practiced for a whole week walking in them.

Pic of the place where the wedding was held.

Still February

Working hard to get back in the groove of blogging. It's a way to get my feelings, ideas, and dreams out of my head and into the world. ...