Sunday, July 22, 2007

Potter Mania

Just popping in briefly to say that I am currently taking a wee holiday from the internet to avoid any Harry Potter spoilers while reading the book (as I believe half the rest of the world is currently doing--it's almost eery). I'll be back shortly, probably later this week, but I'll still be around the shop to continue shipment of orders and such.

As promised, I did in fact take a few crappy pictures of myself in HP garb for the release ceremonies. It was such a blast, though I got so involved in my painting project I was working on at the ceramic studio that night that I didn't do a ton of mingling outside between booths and well-dressed shops. It was killer neat though to see so many folks dressed up while painting goblets of fire at the same time as the HP soundtrack was blaring away.

Alas, no head-to-toe shots, due to my shaky hand and eagerness to leave the house, but here you can kinda see the hood of my cloak (which was so wonderful to wear that night because of the rain):
This is my knee-length skirt I wore (again, crappy as hell shot of it). It was so perfect--very Slytherin-like with its greeney hues:
And here is a somewhat better shot of the upper portion of me wearing my cloak:
My eyes are crazy dilated here--it's insane. And you can barely make out a white log (aka my cat Winter) over yonder on the chair. I also wore a ceramic pin I made last week for the event that's so clever (I'll show that one later). It's Snape-themed. With a picture of Snape. I love Alan Rickman. Sigh.

Alright! Off to snuggle up on the couch with book in hand. See you all in a few days. Happy reading!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Ready For The Circus

Just a quickie post to let you all know that I loaded the shop with a few mini shadow paintings! Pictured above is a listing for a custom monogram painting. Pick a letter of your choice for me to adorn a painting filled with circus stripes and a ghostly umbrella. The one in the shot is mine and it's currently hanging on my wall and looks so lovely with the spattering of other various paintings.
Below we have one of five mini shadow paintings currently done (two listed with three more in the queue). They're so itty bitty and precious feeling but I think they really add a bit of whimsy and eclecticism to an otherwise boring wall. Paired with other minis, random photos, framed prints, larger works and they just finish off a wall display. Because nails are icky, I like hanging them on those large brass thumbtacks (plus, that way I don't need to dig around for the hammer).
Oh and the Harry Potter flick was indeed quite good. Not Prisoner of Azkaban good, but certainly close. Very dark, good shots, decent acting (for a change), and of course insane special effects. Yes, there were creative decisions made in what wasn't filmed, but generally they did a good job on picking the right scenes to leave in and leave out. Could've been a wee longer, and I would have killed for more Snape scenes, but I'm getting nit-picky here.
That's all for now. I'm off to work all day. Tomorrow night is the big Harry Potter festival in my neck of the woods, so after work I plan on staying at the ceramic studio for a few hours to paint and explore the festivities. It's also a good excuse to drag my large black wool hooded cloak out of the closet (it's amazing and if I had bought it vs. making it, would have easily cost a good $150--it's very authentic and heavy). If I remember, I'll take some pics before leaving.

Ta ta!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Of Dentists And Teapot Cats

Back from the dentist. Ugh. I just want to crawl back into bed so I don't have to deal with the throbbing coming from my recently-filled teeth. It was an interesting visit. It appears that much has changed in the wide world of dentistry since my visit nearly 2 years ago. My dentist office was always cutting-edge with their weird gizmos and ultrasound cavity detectors (oh how I loathe those damn machines). But now? Now, while you're sitting back in the chair having two people pry your jaw open for hours on end and sending horrid vibrations reverberating through your skull, you can watch MOVIES.


Has this been happening at other offices? I gotta admit, it made the whole experience far more....tolerant. With my headphones snug and The Living Seas IMAX special running, I almost didn't pay any attention to the work being done in the far reaches of my mouth (emphasis on "almost"). It was so weird. We must have come a long, long way in the world of dentistry if you can actually watch films while getting teeth pulled and fillings done. Good god, let this be a proof that they make an assload of money in that industry.

On to better things. I finished up the little paintings with their cute ribbons and can't wait to take pictures and load 'em into the shop (which should be happening tomorrow--I would do it today if I didn't feel like my lower jaw had just been pried from my head). I'll also be listing a neato miniature custom monogram painting--red and white stripes, adorable ghostly white umbrella, and the letter of your choice to adorn it (multiples of these will be available, depending on demand). I made one for myself and one for a friend at work who always buys me coffee and I LOVE how they look. And for $35, it's an awesome piece of custom-made original art.

Thought I'd share some images in my living room. I painted this teapot cat last week at work and it just came out of the kiln:
I'm buckets of pleased. We had these two goofy cat ceramic pieces lying around that no one wanted, so I bought one and chopped the head off, then threw the base of an upside down teapot on top. A black and white striped tail, peppermint striped "nose" (teapot spout), and three painted eyes later and I had a glorious new beast to grace my abode. Here's a side shot so you can see the teapot head: He resides on the top of my old piano, along with various other painted ceramic bowls, photography, and an antique Royal typewriter. You can see another painting I did earlier in the year hanging on the wall as well (hard to make out here, and I promise to take close-ups, but it is indeed the upper torso of a crow on a circus-like arrangement of colored stripes):
Tonight I'll be heading to the theater to see the new Harry Potter movie and I'm terribly excited! I so hated the last Harry Potter movie and everyone keeps telling me this one is more reminiscent of Prisoner of Azkaban (by far my favorite)--though not quite at that level. If this is true, it should be a goodin'.

I'm off to take a cat nap and some aspirin. Painless sleep sounds so good right now.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Seattle Outing

Ah, my first Saturday off since....well, I'm not sure really. I never get Saturdays off from work. I spent the whole day over in Seattle and it was wonderful. Walked around, got coffee at various locales, buzzed quickly through Pike Place (the market is always insane, so I can usually only stand 5 minutes or so before I hunt and push for the nearest exit), and went to the department stores looking at pretty dresses and trying to stay cool from the heat. Left a bag of cheese in the Macy's lingerie department dressing room and swiftly went back to recover it (it's cheese, dangit). That was funny. "Excuse me, I just came back to grab my bag of cheese..."

These little darlings are all lined up and ready for some varnishing:
I painted them earlier this week and only now finished up the aged layers and signed the backs. I'm dubbing them "Shadow Paintings" and will be doing bunches for ye ole shop and the December craft fair. They're super teensy (1.75 x 2.5") and once I throw on their ribbon hangers, can be hung wherever your little heart fancies (even your Christmas tree! They're the PERFECT size for tree ornaments *hint hint*). I like to group 3 or so on a wall with other prints and paintings of larger sizes. Gives a space a nice eclectic look. Anywho, the best part is that they're easily affordable lil' original paintings (about $20 each) that anyone can snatch up. I'll let ya know when they're listed for grabs.

Did everyone have a nice Friday the 13th? Mine was such a weird one. Lots of odd customers and a guy at work who chopped part of his finger off on the saw. So not kidding. Yeow. That was a bit of a shock. Luckily it happened in the space right next door to the studio so I didn't actually SEE it happen. But I heard the shouts afterward. And saw the blood. Lots of it. Poor guy. Hopefully he's doing better...

Next week I have an appointment at the dentist to get some fillings done! Aren't you jealous? :)

Okay. Enough rambling. Here's to a nice weekend for you all!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Bring Out The Goods

Oh my goodness! Look what just popped up in the shop...
I said it yesterday, but I'll say it again. This is no doubt, my favorite small painting I've done. The glazes turned out so amazingly well on this--there's so much depth that you just want to stare at it all day long. Practically impossible to replicate on a dumb computer screen. I did in fact price it higher than the last one of this size, but only because I love this one *so much* that I won't be the least heartbroken if it doesn't sell. 'Course, the bills will be angry, but screw them.

And last night, just before bed, I listed these little dandies as well:
Nautilus note cards! Woot! I spied the cool colored blank cards at Michaels the other day and immediately thought to myself, "Hmmmm....I know I'D love to receive a nautilus card in the mail...". And so, with the cutest pink envelopes to go with the chocolaty cards, packs of 4 of these lil' puppies are up and ready in the shop, for greedy hands and a pile of stamps. And really, since I printed these myself on my dandy new printer, they're super archival as well (and on delicious glossy stock--yum!).
I did end up buying Miss Potter last night and was quite taken with it. What a glorious flick! It's so innocent and sweetly done. And the bits of animation were the perfect touch--just a smidgen of it. If you've been debating on renting it, do go out and pick it up.

Well, I'm off to try and keep cool in this ghastly heat. Iced tea and bowl of Rainier cherries, here I come!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Lost Key

I'm back!

Indeed, it was a long, long work week. No time for painting or fun things artsy at all. But I have today and tomorrow off so I can catch up on that itch to paint and sculpt and all that fun jazz.

The lonely peppermint tree painting sold on Saturday (thank you Martha)! I'm buckets of happy, and just a wee sad. It's always hard to let go, but just the thought that my painting will soon be hanging on some one's wall over in Illinois is enough to push it out of the nest. Here it is, all lovingly packaged and ready to be stuffed in a padded mailer (I wish I had thought of taking a picture BEFORE wrapping it in bubble wrap, which kinda takes away from the elegantness and all...):
And, I'm thrilled that I started and finished this dandy of a painting today as well:
It's done in the same fashion as the Peppermint tree (collaged background paper on glass with painted layers on top and oodles of varnished layers and aging). The neato newspaper background is a snippet from my 1930s newspaper pile, which my aunt gave me a long, long time ago. The papers were saved from a basement of a firehouse in San Fransisco and all the front pages have glorious Amelia Earhart articles ("Amelia Earhart: FOUND!!"). They are just so, so cool, though all are in fairly bad condition, hence my cutting up of them. Anyway, I think this may be my favorite small painting to date (4x6"). I watched Pan's Labyrinth last night and I think you can see that it influenced the painting a tad. It too shall have one of those spiffy frames and ribbon hangers and yes, it WILL be for sale in
the shop (for just a smidgen more than the last because I love it so). I'll probably add it tomorrow or Thursday, so keep a keen eye peeled.
Just to prove that I haven't been neglecting the clay either (because I know it looks like that...), here's a quickie snapshot taken from my table of a smallish pile of charms I'm readying. I have my eyes firmly set on a big craft festival the first week of December in Seattle and I'm currently in stockpile/display/festival mode right now. I still have to apply, as it is juried so there's no guarantee my stuff will be accepted in, but I'm super excited about the possibility of selling my stuff in person for the first time! I applied for my WA state business license yesterday so I can do the show, something I'm embarrassed to say I haven't done--and I established my business well over a year and a half ago.

Well, I'm off to run to the post office and Target so I can snatch up the Miss Potter dvd (Netflix, dang you for not having enough copies on hand and making me wait for so long). Hope you are doing well! Stay in the shade, kiddos...

Thursday, July 05, 2007

4th of July Laziness

Well, I hope everyone had an awesome holiday. Mine was...delicious. Every year I always feel so pressured to go see a grand fireworks display someplace, or buy fireworks and light them myself, or visit family and friends for a barbecue, etc. Well, not this year. Since all of my friends and family were either working or on various trips, I spent the 4th alone. And it was grand.

Above you can see my well-planned list of need to do's from the day. I did indeed sleep in--til 12pm! I don't think I've ever done that and damn, did it feel good. I stayed in pjs all day long, and even after I took a relaxing bath to cozy up, I got back into the pjs instead of real clothes. So, the "be lazy" check box on my list got crossed off big time. For dinner, I didn't make rice, just like my list ordered (after a previous night of eating just rice for dinner). However, I'm not real sure I can check that box fully, as I may not have made rice for dinner, but instead I made cupcakes.

German chocolate cupcakes.
Two dozen, to be precise. Between the cupcake batter (always the best part) and the handfuls of cupcakes I gorged on afterwords, dinner didn't really happen. Ah well.
German chocolate is such an unphotogenic cake with its goopy topping. I assure you however, they taste so so good (many thanks to Betty Crocker). Yummy chocolate with caramel pecan gooeyness. Yuuuuuuuummmmmmm....
And so, I'm off to slave away for another long work week. More art is in the works, as always, but I have nothing super-cool artsy wise to show for it today. Maybe another time, perhaps. Tootles!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Paintings and Kiln Burns

More new goods are in the shop! Man, I'm on a roll! The aforementioned Squiddy print is up along with the last of the painted pins most recently made.

I also may list this little darling original painting (shown above--please excuse the horrid blurry pics) in the shop sometime this week as I'm so proud of it--a new painting experiment that I can't wait to do again. I got these cute 4x6" frames on sale (they are SO me and my style--it's insane. I want to hoard all of them!) but alas, didn't have any hardboard in the 4x6" size, and really didn't want to paint on illustration board (not that there's anything wrong with that--I have many paintings on illo board, but yet I hate putting paintings behind glass and illo board just looks weird and unfinished without glass in front of it, in my opinion). Conundrum! So, I affixed some papers to the included glass that came with the frame using layers of gel medium and varnish and voila! Instant paintable surface! I'm diggin' how the leaf print paper (originally the inside of a business reply envelope) peeks through the layers of greenish paint. And the frame and peppermint stripe hanger just adds to the whimsy.
In other news, I got a nasty burn at work over the weekend. I tend to wear skirts to work (I own more skirts than pants--I just love them) and after 1 1/2 years of working at the ceramic studio, I finally got my very first kiln burn. I feel like I should get a membership card or something. In all actuality, it could be much worse. I was lame and wore a skirt while unloading a kiln and barely brushed by one that just reached its 1800 degree peak temp. Whoops. It was an instant scald, and I now have a nasty-looking, peeling blistery burn on my right leg to prove it. But no hospital trip! I didn't need to make a trip to the hospital, which is great. A second or two longer on that hot bastard and I'd need a hospital. Glory be!

Alrighty! Hope everyone has an awesome 4th! I'll be sitting home painting, more than likely. 'Cause I'm lame like that.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Lists & Such

1) Prints of ye nautilus painting (which I've hear by dubbed "Nautilus Ice Cream") are at last available in the shop. Woot! The squid companion print shall also be available shortly, perhaps Monday or Tuesday.
2) Went to the dentist a couple days ago (no dental insurance = can't afford dentist = haven't been to dentist in 2 years = cavities). My mumsy paid for my visit as one of those "my-poor-poor-daughter-can't-afford-this-sort-of-thing" kind of gifts, or else I wouldn't have gone. Like I have $200 flying around for that sort of thing. So, I'm very, very grateful. I knew of one bad cavity that desperately needs to be filled, but I also have another smallish one and *gasp* 3 broken fillings??? Uh, I was under the impression that fillings generally last 10 or more years. All the ones in my mouth are less than 6 years old. Hmmmm... Shoddy filling workmanship, perhaps? I wonder if I can somehow get the dentist office to pay for the re-filling of said broken fillings out of their own pocket vs. my uninsured one. Prob'ly not.

3) I may be doing my very first arts & crafts show at the end of the year. Still up in the air, as the target audience at this fair isn't really my kinda crowd, but who knows? My stuff will stand out, which is good, and last I checked the fees were reasonable, and I really just gotta start somewhere, right? It's local, and I'm not really expecting a lot to come out of it, but I feel like I just need to get out and do one, even if it sucks. Just for the sake of showing my work in person, publicly.

4) Watched Alice, by Jan Svankmayer. A very surreal, fantastical, weird, creepy (aka wonderful) little flick that I've been dying to see and just now got to via Netflix (oh Netflix, how I adore thee). I loved it and it definitely lived up to my high expectations. Certainly not a movie for everyone, but if you enjoy slightly disturbed, surreal, arty films, with a healthy dose of glorious stop-motion animation to boot, you must see it. I'm adding another Svankmayer film, Faust, to my Netflix list.

Okay kiddos! That's all for now. Hope your days are filled with jellybeans, old books, squid, and a healthy dose of sunshine!