Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Free Swag! For You!

Well, in theory, anyway. It could be for you!

I'm in another feature/giveaway, this time over at the lovely Recupe's womenpreneur-galore site:


You all know how this works, right? Go and comment? It looks like Recupe might actually get people who don't already know my shop commenting--which is sort of the point-- but I'd love it if one of my blog-faithful won. So go! Comment! Comment for your very lives, mortals! Or at least, comment for a piece of free art.

And because I hate promo-only posts, and am otherwise very boring today, a picture of a regimental beetle:

I have stacks of old National Geographic magazines around, because the photos are wonderful creativity prompts, and the articles are reassuring proof that Science Marches On, even in a five to ten year span. The cover to one is this very colorful shiny beetle with some impressive mandibles. And I wanted to draw the beetle, but then I realized that in that undershot, it had kind of a mustache, and well...now it's turning into a Modern Major Beetle Bug. So, this undersketch.

Monday, April 27, 2009


Wow, it's been a while! Well, in internet time. Ah, the interent, where a week is long enough to make people think I have died.
But I have not died! I have been busy! With what, you may well ask?

Yes, I finally managed to get my Eastering in this year! I am not able to celebrate my All Chocolate's Eve days as I have in years past, but Easter still offers the chance to get my hands covered in food coloring and other instruments of destruction. A friend of ours with a bigger kitchen than my own wee shoebox provides the stage, and my husband and I go madart on a bunch of hardboiled canvases.

My husband's waaaaay better at manipulating the eggses, to the point where I'm sometimes sorry to eat his work (he made the lovely phoenix egg there at the end). But alack, all art is impermanent, eggs epsecially so, and the fruits of our labor must vanish in a fit of kedgeree and Scottish Eggs this week.

So that's where I've been. But I've also been working! Lots of stuff is getting prepped for the Etsy store, and some personal projects are underway, which I will tell my bloggy faithful about when I am further along. Until then, check out my latest team contest:


In which you can vote for me! Or not. But no, really, vote for me!

See you tomorrow, weather permitting (aiiee! Thunder booms!)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Truth- Revealed!

So, what are those bizzaros from yesterday?

They're hamsas. At least, they're attempting to be. A hamsa is a sort of luck charm, like a God's Eye or a shamrock, shaped like a funky double-thumbed hand. Check them out:

Anyway. When I was first starting to work with polymer clay, lo these many years ago, I wanted to get in touch with other clay-people, and this was the most interesting swap I could find that I could also do-- no canework or reputation required, very important for me at the time! We were encouraged to be creative, so I decided to just go with the silhouette of a hamsa and improvise the interior. I made some with turtles, people,and, still surviving here, fish...and cats. AMOzark is the first person EVER to guess those were cats on the first go, for which that one is totally hers, should she want it (and Mermaiden is free to claim the fishies, because I love the idea of a living seaweed Easter basket).

I don't know whether anyone else in the swap liked the hamsas of mine they got; I never heard back from any of them, which had been a theme of my swap of experience, which is why I never do swaps anymore. But I do know I wasn't happy with them. And I know I enjoyed making them, quite a bit. Because as soon as they were done, I set out on another big claying project.

My point, if I have to have one, is this: people try to compliment my art by saying I have talent, and I say no, and right here is some proof. A talented person would have had some modicum of grace in their craft from the get-go. What I have in my work is fun, even if nobody else cares, even if nobody else ever sees it; and because of that, a whooooole lotta practice. And sometimes I get better; I AM happy with the clays in my shop, right now, even while I'm looking for new directions to take it in. Talent is really not part of the equation. And that's...ok. It's fun.

Also, I have very smart blog readers. Thanks for playing along, ya'll! Now I must duck the thunder again...

Friday, April 17, 2009

Emergency Weather Post


Rain today! Serious rain, the sort that's earned my part of Texas the sobriquet Flash Flood Alley, with thunder that's shaking my little house and a sky blacker than a basement.

This is a Good Thing, because we need rain very much--the whole state's been having one of our major droughts-- but it does mean I don't dare do any serious compywork right now, because being killed by lightning is a harsh mistress. So instead, I'm going to give you all something to laugh at today: my early experiments in polymer clay!

Wait, What's this? Some very pretty swirlwork, I daresay, but what the--

Oh, it's this:

I wonder if it's related to this:

Can anyone guess what these were supposed to be? Any part of them?
I'll tell everyone what the heck I was thinking tomorrow. For now--


Thursday, April 16, 2009

I Win!

Geez, look at me here, three posts in one week. I must be sick or something.

Oh, wait, I am sick! That's no fun. So I was especially glad to win these pretties:

from this lovely blogger:

Who you should of course go visit immediately.

Now, I don't offer art giveaways very often, because I am very very very picky abotu my art. This isn't a snooty Art Person thing. I don't buy into the High Art vs. Low Art debate. But for me, finding art I love is like making friends-- or falling in love. The world is full of good art, and good people. And I get along with most of them. I would not object to spending the weekend with any of my coworkers, or tear down a framed painting by almost any artist.
But finding something- or someone- that I really love is different. With art, I'm drawn to open spaces, simple lines,clear colors, a sense of narrative-- and all of that's quantifiable. But there's something else, more important-- a way of looking at the world that sees it as inherently welcoming, even beautiful. This has nothing to do with subject matter-- I love me some Dutch realism-- and is the part where it really falls down into personal taste.
But these pics? Totally have it. I am going to squeal over the Thank You card every time I see it.

What sort of art makes your heart happy?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Lessons of Easter, Courtesy Turner Classic Movies

Day 2 of my personal blogging challenge (to attempt to bring this blog back to life), and I couldn't think of a List Post. I sort of don't know anything that could possibly interest anyone else in list format. I am a liberal arts major, the long winded justification is my forte.

But then came Easter, and like a very affordable angel, Turned Classic Movies delivered the true meaning of Easter in a marathon of rather strange films. And now I have my list, in the form of knowledge I must share with the world, in the form of:

Five Facts of Middle Eastern History I Bet Money You Were Never Taught in School

1. Women in Ancient Egypt, Pre-Rome Judea, and Ceasar's Rome wore Playtex girdle bras. Also, curling iron technology is older than I expected.

2.The weavers of Israel knew how to make gold lame. Truly, gods they were.

3. No woman is truly evil, provided she is under fifty and sort of hot; she's just waiting for a Real Man to show her the error of her ways. If he can summon lightning from the sky, this will help. If he cannot, he is not a Real Man and deserves calumny and betrayal anyhow.

4.Despite a heretofor unsuspected by me level of sophistication in fabric science, men of the ancient world held a passionate disdain for shirts. Perhaps there is a biblical injunction against the clothing of the male torso, at least if the torso has rock-hard abs?

And the big shocker, the one that really rocked my perception of the ancient world:

5. Jezebel, Herod's daughter, was...blond. We're talkin' cornsilk. At last, we know why Herod was such a jerk: the malignant melanomas had gone to his brain!

Classic movie history: Teach the controversy!**

**No offense meant to be stirred up here, but c'mon, "Teach the controversy!" is a fantastic thing to say, and I want it to become a pop culture catchphrase.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter is Saved!

Strep throat is no one's idea of a fun holiday.* And the fact that I really like holidays--all holidays, no irony or burn out or anything- has made this Easter even less fun. I was resigned to moping my weekend away, trying to soothe my hurt feelings with nothing but the classic cheese of Turner Classic Movies' Easter Marathon (Ben Hur and Easter Parade? Really?)
And then:
The Egg Hunt.
THE Egg Hunt, for me-- from Clayoh, of the Etsyfriends team. A simple thing, find an egg in a listing, get that listing for shipping only...but look at the sort of things in Clayoh's shop!

Everything in Clayoh is weird, wonderful, elegant and eccentric at once. It's a fantastic shop, in the old sense of the word-fantasy-causing things are in there. In a movie, it would be played by a shop that wasn't there the day before, and would vanish mysteriously overnight.

Now, I sure hope Clayoh stays around a bit longer than that--but this awesome egg hunt really WILL vanish overnight. So go catch a fantasy now!

*This being the internet, it is possible there is someone here who just loooooves strep throat. Let's just say, you can have my share, and leave it at that.

SALE! Easter Etsyversary Sale!

I've joined the 30-day blog challenge, to make of myself a better blogger and of my blog a more successful venture. I want something worth advertising!

So I suppose it's a good sign that this time, at least, I'm remembering to blog about my sale while I'm still having it?

I'm giving 20 percent off EVERYTHING in my shop until midnight US Central time! Come on, come all, and indulge yourself on whatever you like. And in case you feel a little weird celebrating Easter with Mammon, know that the real purpose behind this sale is to celebrate the Etsy Anniversary of my dear Bittersweeets Daily Challenge team, who keep me on mission and involved even when I really, really want to slack off. Check out all our sales here:


I may have mentioned that we have a family of raccoons that has lived under the trailer for generations. They are not afraid of us, not the way deer or squirrels are, but not comfortable with us either. Raccoons are pretty solitary even with each other, you see.
But they do come up to the step, and my husband sometimes gives them a cracker or bit of fruit. Which they take and bolt. See above about being solitary. But one last night was bolder than most, and when my husband moved a cracker from the step...to the porch...to the bit of living room inside the doorway...it followed him. Each time it got a cracker; each time it scarpered away to the bottom of the steps to eat.
Until, finally, he didn't set the cracker down at all. He just held it out.
And the raccoon reached out, grabbed it with its own paws....and ran all the way to the gate, like a little kid who's just touched the doorknob on the haunted house.