Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Week in Review 7-28-2013

 I have had a busy and productive week.

I went to the Depot Gallery on Monday with my art piece for the front gallery 
and drew a number for my wall space.

I spent some time working on cleaning the mess off of a few of my ball jointed dolls.  The task is a lot less tedious if you work on it while watching "Sharktopus".  (I have a weakness for really bad creature features).  It was laughably bad which, of course, is why it was so wonderful.

I framed some of my pieces for my gallery wall space and determined that I need more frames and to choose more pieces to fill the whole space.  

I also purchased an electric screwdriver (a low end drill) to make mounting the frames easier.  I browsed in the hardware section for what I wanted.  Black and Decker had TWO electric screwdrivers.  The first was a basic one in black and red  ($19.95) but without any drill bits. A pack of basic drill bits has to be bought separately ($2.50).

The second Black and Decker screwdriver was "for Women".  It did come with some basic drill bits and it was colored in shades of pink and mauve.  The major difference seemed to be the price - $34.95.  

Doesn't that seem a little patronizing?  Why do companies feel 
they need to make special products just for women?  

Granted, my late husband had purchased a large fancy drill but I find it awkward and cumbersome to use. This is why I was buying the smaller electric screwdriver.  Making an identical product, changing the color and charging an extra $12?  Was that really necessary Black and Decker?  I may be female, but I think I can manage to use a black and red product if it saves me $12.  
(End rant).

I was disappointed to miss my craft meet up this week as I ended up watching a house full of other people's children.  I didn't mind helping out my relatives, but I was sad to miss the last craft meet of the summer.  They even went on a field trip this week.  :(

I also finally touched base with my Spoonflower fabric shop.

I made a few designs last April but haven't tinkered with any of it since then.  I do enjoy playing with my digital art so I put one design together for an upcoming competition and plan on doing so on a more regular basis.  

The theme is "Firefly" inspired. 

I don't believe that it's an award winner but I think it came out rather cute.

I've been feeling a little more inspired with my beading.  
I use to favor mostly symmetrical designs that ended near the cleavage line, but
more recently, I find that I suddenly want to make longer pieces
with a more dramatic, asymmetrical look.

I finished up six sets over the past week.

These are all one of a kind and will be available at the next art market I vend.
(Mechacon in August in New Orleans)

If you are interested, please feel free to email me.

It also occurs to  me that summer is drawing near an end.
It will be time to start back to school work soon.

Not long after, the seasons will change and the weather will begin to cool.

I am looking forward to cooler days!

I will check back in in a few days.  

In the meantime, drink lots of fluids and try to stay out of the worst of the summer heat!

Cheshire Cat - TAW Pink Challenge

Welcome back to Wonderland!

As always, I am very happy;
WE are very happy to see you!

In fact, we've been going to pieces
waiting for your return!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Furies No 1 -Digitalmania Challenge

Our artistic inspiration this week at Digitalmania was Rapahel Vicenzi. He does some amazing digital pieces with a lot of geometric detail and a great deal of focus on striking female faces. His backgrounds are almost always a stark white.
Going through his work, I felt a moment of panic, but what is wonderful about this group is the challenge. We have to try and learn new things. I felt a little out of my element but then just went ahead.
I used a portrait head by Perugino and then added a lot of feather motif items (I decided to do a sort of spin on the Furies).
Thank you for the wonderful challenge and inspiration, Digitalmania!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Beetle Maid - 3Muses Insect Challenge

Admittedly, she doesn't look happy.  

Do you think she is just shy about having her picture taken
or do you think she is displeased to find herself
suddenly half-beetle?

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Week in Review 07-21-2013

I do need to make an effort to increase my numbers of post in a given week.

The past week has been a busy one.  I took the kids out for bowling (we have free bowling tickets!).  We also took advantage of a pizza special they were offering.  (Advice: don't order pizza in a bowling alley.  Worse pizza ever!)

I had another craft meet up.  We've been meeting every Thursday over the summer and I noticed a lack of craft energy this past week.  No one seemed to really want to work on anything.  Craft energies were at an all time low.  Next week is our last summer craft meet so I am a little sad.  It was a nice social activity.

I had my monthly book club meeting.  Up to now, I hadn't really liked any of the books we've read even when the rest of the club was in raptures.  This past week, I was the only one that even liked the book.  Half of the book was down in flash books to a famous unsolved murder spree in the midst of the Great Depression.  (I am a major enthusiast for old murder mysteries.  Never get me started on the Jack the Ripper case or the Lizzie Borden axe murders).  The heroine of the novel was a little annoying and pre-disposed to taking stupid risks but I liked this book and it felt strange to be the only one who did.

Still, it's a genre that I don't usually read and this is my first book club.  I figure it's a process.  We are reading a Nevada Barr mystery this month and I really like her books so I am a little more upbeat about the next meeting.

I took a deep breath and worked my first art market in almost four months.  I spent several days organizing my items for sale as well as my display items.  I struggled for about an hour on Friday afternoon with my daughter trying to figure out how to set up my new tent.  (Hint: it does not set up in seconds but it is a lovely huge tent with plenty of head clearance!)

Bright and early on Saturday morning, we headed out to Houma's House for the monthly Art Gumbo market.

When we arrived, we were warmly greeted and urged to find a place in the shade to set up.   (the new tent stayed in the car).  Considering that it is summer in Louisiana, it wasn't as hot as I feared.  Only four other vendors showed up which apparently isn't typical but I suspect the heat scared them off.  Customers were sparse, but my percentage rate of sales to browsers was quite good.  :)

Our set up looks a little crazy as we kept moving the tables and the racks to stay in the shade as the sun moved across the sky.

I fully intend to head back in September when the heat won't be as intense.

I also have to admit to a certain nervousness as this is the first time I brought along a larger selection of my art prints.  I can't draw.  I can't paint.  I've had no proper art training, but I enjoy my mixed media art experiments and have had a mostly positive reaction to them.  

Still, when I trot them out in public, I feel more than a little self conscious and nervous.  None of of the browsers laughed and pointed so I suppose public ridicule, at least, isn't to follow when I bring along my prints.

I did manage to make one new set of jewelry but most of the week was eaten up in organizational fervor.

The necklace is crafted in antiqued brass with magnestite beading about 22 inches in total length.  It will be available at my next craft show but I don't list the OOAK pieces in my etsy shop so please feel free to contact me if you are interested.

Which gets us finally, to Sunday.  I spent the morning finishing up the orders for tomorrows mail.  I also spent a few hours on new listings.  I am still in the process of updating four of etsy shops so the task seems endless.  I do a little almost every day and wish I could possess the speed of the rabbit as well as the tenacity of the tortoise.

So, here ends my week. I hope your upcoming week will be as productive and pleasant as possible!

Please turn down the air conditioning on your way out.  The weather is sweltering in here!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Mad Hatter - TAW challenge

Our challenge this week from Take A Word was Hat.

I've never done anything Alice in Wonderland inspired
so thought it might be fun to make a variation of
the Mad Hatter.

So, here he is: a little younger
and, maybe, a little less mad!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Tennis Pro and the Choir Master - Rodney Gates challenge for Digitalmania

In 1870, Herbert George Loveday was born in London, England, into a large middle class family that placed a strong emphasis on education and religion.

In 1873, Robert Duffield Wrenn was born into a well to do, upper class family in Illinois.

By 1890, Herbert George Loveday was studying theology at Oxford.  He had a strong talent and interest in music, particularly the piano.

By the mid 1890s, Robert Duffield Wrenn was enrolled at Harvard, establishing a reputation as a formidable tennis player.

Throughout the 1890s and early 1900s, Herbert George Loveday began to write and publish music, most with a strong religious theme.  He also began to tour throughout Europe as a professional pianist.

Throughout the 1890s, Robert Duffield Wrenn won four US Singles Tennis Championships as well as the US Doubles Championship with his brother George.

In the 1900s, Herbert George Loveday found employment as the choirmaster of various churches in England.

In 1903, Robert Duffield Wrenn married a New York socialite.  Within two years, she was dead.  
He continued to travel from New York to Europe playing tennis although without the same success he enjoyed in his youth.

In 1912, Robert Duffield Wrenn became president of the United States Tennis Association.

1913, Herbert George Loveday married Ethel Jardin, the daughter of a Headmaster of a boys school in Scotland.
He and his new wife immigrated to the United States.  

In 1914, Herbert George Loveday became choirmaster of St Mary's Church in Tuxedo Park, New York.  Tuxedo Park has a reputation as a summer home to the very well to do and upper crust of  Manhattan society.

On the evening of May 3, 1914, Herbert George Loveday was oustide St Mary's Episcopal church along with the Church Sexton, his wife and a few other parishioners.

Robert Duffield Wrenn was returning from the train station, after seeing off a group of guests returning to the city.  He was driving the "large touring car" and lost control.  He ran into the group of people outside the church.

Three men and one woman were injured, including Herbert George Loveday.  Mr Loveday was rushed to a local hospital but died within a few hours.

Robert Duffield Wrenn was arrested but was not indicted for the crime.

Ethel Jardin Loveday gave birth a few months later to Herbert George Loveday's only child.  

In January 1915, Robert Duffield Wrenn settled a lawsuit filed against him by Ethel Jardin Loveday for $15,000 (roughly the modern equivalent of $400,000).

On November 22, 1925, Robert Wrenn Duffield died at the age of 52 in New York City.

Ethel Jardin Loveday raised her only child in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York City.  She died in the late 1940s.


I find it interesting how lives with no previous connection can collide with such unfortunate results.

Herbert George Loveday was my great-grandfather.  I don't know what really happened that night.  

Ethel Jardin Loveday told her son that her father died a hero, that Herbert George Loveday died pushing a woman out of the way of a car driven by a man who was heavily intoxicated.

Is there any truth in that or was it just a story told to a small boy who never met his father to give his father's death some purpose and some importance?

The incident made headlines nation wide.

Drunk driving was made a crime in New York in 1910.

Both Robert Duffield Wrenn and his chauffeur were in the car and testifed that the car malfunctioned.

Although Robert Duffield Wrenn was arrested, he was not indicted

Was he drinking too much that night?

There was is no one left who can either confirm or deny the story.

Herbert George Loveday's life ended too soon.  He missed out on so much and so many opportunities.

Robert Duffield Wrenn lived a glittering life, a successful life, but he too died rather young.  

Did he regret what happened?  Did he blame himself for the death of another?

What were the two thinking in that moment, a car careening out of control, a beautiful May evening marred by tragedy?  

Two lives collided with such horrible results.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Mirror Image - 3Muse Challenge

This weeks challenge from Three Muses is Mirror.

I started with a photo from the French Quarter and added a darling little Victorian girl.

Good versus evil?

Or is it just a case of multi universes?

Is she made of gummy bears in one?

But, in none of them, I assure you, is she dancing....

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Happy late Caturday!

Emo Ninja Kitty loves you all!

Something Fishy this way Comes - TAW challenge

Please be very quiet...

We have been following the elusive leaping trout for three days 
through the thickest part of the mushroom jungle.

Finally, we have sidled up close enough to capture 
this image of it as it leaps after it's natural prey.

Astounding.  Mother Nature at her finest.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Where I Live - 3Muses Challenge

I first came to New Orleans on a weekend trip.  What I remember most on the bus trip
 into town were the cemeteries: "The Cities of the Dead"

As a child of the modern suburbs, my second impression
was of the history of the place.

The buildings and the streets of New Orleans were hundreds of years old.
Most of what I grew up with were buildings that were all less than a decade old.

Add in the music, the food, and the people,
I was in love.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Happy Half New Year!

Hello, Blogger Friends, we are officially, more or less, half way through 2013.  Are you still on track with your resolutions?

I am sorry to say that I have wandered far from mine.

My work space is still more organized than messy, but I haven't kept to my schedule of one designated activity per day.  As you may also have noticed, I have not been keeping up a regular blogging schedule.

It's time to re-boot and get back on track to finish 2013 stronger than before.

I've taken a bit of an hiatus from craft shows as I am dedicating some time to re-tooling my etsy shops.

I am making good progress with my Tie Tack and Cuff link store (AlteredEtc) and my primary etsy shop, CalliopesWork, is also getting an overhaul.  I am replacing the wood pieces with all metal jewelry so if you were interested in some wood jewelry, you shouldn't wait as when they are gone, I will no longer be making them.

My ProjectBunny shop is finally being filled with my original mixed media art.  Pendants and magnets are still available in special listings.

I have also started filling VoodooGoblin with actual Voodoo Goblin dolls and art prints so I've accomplished at least a few things from my New Year Resolution list.

My one untouched etsy store is QuotedArt.  Etsy has started allowing for Multi Variations with each listing so I have decided that at the beginning of 2014, I will be completely re-doing QuotedArt and adding a lot of new designs and inventory.

I have also followed through on my resolution to become more socially active.  I am participating in both a journaling group as well as a book club.  I even enjoyed a doll club so I am certainly trying not to be a hermit as is my natural inclination.

So, my general schedule for the week will be BJD Tuesday,  VoodooGoblin Wednesday and New Jewelry Friday.  I need to build up my stock of satin cords so I will set a weekend goal of twenty new satin cords with silver findings and two new cords with gold findings in each color.

I want to blog a minimum of three times a week, including a Week in Review post on Sundays.

Whew.  Enough chatter.  I hope the second half of your 2013 is even better than the first half!