Crazy4art4u is officially moved as of today. You will now find me at my new blog with a whole new look. Please join me in the next step in my continuing adventure of art and life in the country!

30 June 2010

Musings of a Country Day

I can hardly believe it is already the last day of June. Even though this is just the beginning of summer somehow I have always used this as a benchmark from which the summer seems to fly by. Perhaps having to do with living on a different schedule now, no longer working because of fibromyalgia, I will see the change of seasons differently with them not flying by quite as quickly - before I have even had a chance to notice them. There has to be some upside of this miserable disease that leaves one too exhausted to do even the most basic of tasks - that rewards one with lots of pain if one dares to challenge that set protocol of, "no you cannot do that," much of the time... OK, enough whining, sorry but my diagnosis just became official two weeks ago after years and years of doctors and testing. On the bright side, at least I have an official name to call it when I have a tantrum, LOL.
Now where was I, oh yes, summer in New England - we wait and wait and wait for warmth and green and flowers to return only to have it feel like a magical little "poof" and it is fall again. "Note to self, must talk to the summer and flower fairies regarding length of stay".
For this summer I am writing, blogging and pressing lots of those precious wildflowers that pop up in my meadow. I figure this way when I am looking out at five or more feet of snow I can take them out and make beautiful art with them, dreaming the dreams of wildflowers. If anyone knows of a good but inexpensive laminating machine that would be good for working with attaching dried wildflowers to cards please let me know...or any tips on attaching dried flowers to one's artwork greatly appreciated.

Now for my story of the day, well actually yesterday. Some of you are familiar with my love, my brown tiger cat Raphael who is the details man in my studio and serves as my head art critic. The story begins with a quiet enough morning, trying to gently wake to the fresh new day with a fresh cup of coffee while reading some of my favorite blogs when all of a sudden I hear DH yelling, not a usual yell, rather the kind with the sense of urgency in it, and it has my beloved cat's name in it! I fly into the kitchen to see DH putting on sneakers talking almost incoherently about Raphael, porch, screen. I didn't wait for a clearer translation  running to the porch only to be met with a gaping opening where only moments ago a sliding screen door lived. I see the screen lying in the deep grass as a silent testament to what has just happened. I knew this would happen one day in my gut as these screen doors are very flimsy - with a mild push they pop out of their tracks - hence the horrifying opening. I jump out the opening landing, of course on what else - rocks - New Hampshire has no soil just rocks! DH is just coming around from the front of the house as I yell, "where is he, where is he, do you see him" - throwing the fallen screen out of my without a thought of its surprising heft. Our porch sits on pilings raising it off the ground by about 3ft but as I start to crawl under I hear this howl. I recognize my cats voice like a mother recognizes her child's own little smell I begin fighting the 4ft tall wildflowers and other self sown plants only to see Raphael just around the corner of the porch not even a foot away from me, howling  - "Mom, what happened and why am I all of a sudden outside?" My husband's voice is deep and combined with the panic in it he is scaring Raphael, (completely unintentionally), so I yell for him to shut up (I know, I know, I was just panicked and I apologized profusely later)! I am now playing a hide and seek with Raphael because he is so freaked he isn't sure what to do. I talk to him gently trying desperately to control the panic rippling through every fiber of my body and he finally starts to calm do I know this - because the little bum decides to sniff this very interesting weed that has just come to his attention! My chance has come, I reach out and grab him behind his neck, mommy cat style and scoop him up simultaneously with my other arm - SUCCESS! OK, I can start breathing again as I cuddle him and begin to tell him why this was bad on so many levels. "Raphael, this is the forest and lots of critters that are not particularly inclined to be friendly to kitties live out here at night, not to mention ticks and all sorts of other dangers to kitties". All is well again and the adrenaline is subsiding as I hand Raphael to my DH and turn to the more mundane task of re-installing the screen... And Raphael, mommy,daddy and bunny all lived happily ever after in their converted barn in the woods...
Have a beautiful day!

28 June 2010

Tarnished and Tattered ~ Outside the Box Art Challenge

Today is the Day to Share our Challenge!

Hi Everyone, Today is finally the day! We all reveal our mini creations using our little soap crates! I had ideas, and more ideas and then more ideas but alas the one I really wanted to do (a little box for those little packages of tissues) was not meant to be, the tissues are too long *Sigh* So I decided to make my little box for holding a positive word a day. I had seen this in other formats, beautiful glass jars, etc. but the opening on our little soap boxes seemed perfect for this. The idea is that each day you pull out a new slip of paper with a word or affirmation and that follows you all through that day! I am still working on the list of words and positive affirmations that will eventually fill my little box, so for now - just the box.
First I decoupaged antique sheet music that I distressed and aged with Ranger Distress Ink in "vintage photo" then I glued pearls into brass earring findings and glued them to the edge of the opening. Of course I couldn't leave out my bling so I added some Swarovski bicone crystals here and there for extra sparkle. I glued a velvet ribbon around the crate sealing the edge and painted 3 round wooden beads in black and glued them to the bottom for feet.

I hope you like what I've done... and...
Thanks for stopping by,

24 June 2010

Echo Challenge Word ~ "Meander"

Main Entry: 1me·an·der
Pronunciation: \mē-ˈan-dər\
Function: noun
Etymology: Latin maeander, from Greek maiandros, from Maiandros (now Menderes), river in Asia Minor
Date: 1576
1 : a winding path or course; especially : labyrinth
2 : a turn or winding of a stream
— me·an·drous \-drəs\ adjective

To meander through an old New England Mill Town in the early morning of a gently overcast and cool summer day one is greeted with the silence and solitude of the vast magnitude of times past which somehow have managed to traverse time silently joining you in this early morning walk. The wonderful faded reds of the old brick buildings now fulfilling duties other than for those which they were originally built; beautiful white wooden picket fences with all manner of heirloom herbs and flowers all vying for their own spaces many gregarious enough to grace both inside the garden and spilling over their white wooden containment's into the edges of the now paved roads. Oh how time has changed our world: except in the quiet hours of an early morning walk in an old New England town.

21 June 2010

A Really Neat Giveaway

Hi Everyone, hope you all had a nice time blog hopping and looking at all the creatively done studios out there. Boy there are some beautiful ones I have seen so far, not done looking but coming up with loads of new storage and decorating ideas. Anyway, today I was over visiting my new friend Paula's blog "Journal Artista" and she is having a giveaway (sp?). I think it might be ending tomorrow so you need to hurry over there. Watch the video above and at the end she shows you what the lucky winner will receive! WOW!
Short and Sweet today -
Enjoy your Monday...
Ciao for now,

17 June 2010

Where Blogger's Create II Party Is Finally Here!

Home Sweet Home
Hello Everyone, OK I just realized I jumped the gun - I was so excited about this party I confused the days and posted last night (Thurs) Duh!! LOL. Thanks to Karen over at My Desert Cottage for hosting this second year party of Where Blogger's Create! With over 400+ participants this year there is plenty of studio ideas to see and drool over! Well, recovering from my error in dates, today is the correct day to post... so welcome to my well loved and well used  9'x10' studio here in this adorable 100+ year old barn which not only houses my studio but is also my home here in the beautiful woods of Harrisville New Hampshire. I am lucky with my studio because first, I have one. It even comes complete with bunny rabbit for those on the fly critiques one needs as they work, and of course kitty who gives the close up critiques that are oh so crucial to the fine details of one's work.
You will notice as you tour my studio, given its small size and my voracious appetite for different media that all fluff and frills have yet to be added. I don't even have curtains or valances so as to maximize the natural light. In case you are wondering about my bookcases they are those wooden crates you find at Michael's or Walmart (project on to do list is to paint and decoupage them).

My Little Reference Library
This is where my rocking chair will go as soon as I replace the cushion!
Honest, it does fit there, even a footstool...
My computer desk, and yes that is a bunny on top of the white dresser!

Sooooo much stuff, sooooo little space
Sewing Area, oh and did I mention that the white dresser bunny's
cage sits on top of is FULL OF FABRIC! (Can you say, "the one
with the most fabric wins!")

Scary closet, there is actuall another small dresser
behind my black camera bag and it guessed
it, it's also FULL OF FABRIC! We are getting closer
the fabric keepers hall of fame! LOL
Mixed-media area - can you tell I am one of those who needs
my supplies in my sight or else I forget I have them and end up
with two or three of something *Sigh*
Those hat boxes are great for storage just don't pick them up
without holding the bottom. Can you guess what is stored in
them? YUP...MORE FABRIC! teehee
And we have gone almost full circle, another
bit of my reference library. Please don't trip over the
baskets and if you will follow Raphael my head artistic inspector
and critic who is now gently guiding you safely
out of my little studio...refreshments are being served on the screened in porch
which you may have seen pictures of in other posts on my blog.

Oops, it looks like your guide was more interested
in the refreshments than tending to your
safety - oh Raphael...the guests!

Well, that I know was a whirlwind tour but if you have any questions please feel free to email me and please visit again. Raphael, Joheved and I thank you all for stopping by and Happy Blog Hopping! It would be nice if you would leave a comment so we know you stopped by in case we weren't here when you visited. New friends are so nice, don't you think?!
Ciao for now,

Joheved (Yo-hev-ed) "on the fly art critic" a.k.a. "bunny face"
She is a sweetie and was ever so glad to meet you all...

15 June 2010

The Spirit of the Gulf

My first attempt at watercolor - this is my contribution to the "Spirit of the Gulf Challenge," a young brown pelican looking out at the crisp clear blue-green waters of the ocean and dreaming pelican dreams of soaring over the white caps looking for a few snacks from a school of silvery fish just spotted right beneath the shadow of her wings.
A couple of days ago I was blog hopping and discovered a site that is calling for all artists to create a piece of art depicting something of the Gulf of Mexico BEFORE the disaster hit. I put the link on my sidebar but I think it deserves a post of its own so here it is. The call is to put into that piece of art all of the heart and soul of what the Gulf means to the planet's overall well being and all the positive thoughts and energy you possibly can send to this disaster, which by the way is not contained just to the Gulf. It is moving and will continue moving. Our great country is founded on many principals and one of them is being united in times of crisis - well folks this is one of those times.  We need one unified voice to direct all of the groups and volunteers and it is NOT BP - BP doesn't own the Gulf and this is too big for just one company to handle! (Mr. President we need you now... It should be all of the oil companies, all of the environmental groups and all of those recently graduated environmental students without jobs and more - and where is the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers? This is of a magnitude approaching Katrina so what is the problem guys?)  OK, I have said my piece and hopefully not lost any of my friends along the way... back to the issue at hand. We are artists - we are about the beauty around us and creating our art from our hearts and souls - lets pull together and take this challenge to each create a piece of art for the Gulf. I am placing the link so you can read all of the details on how to complete and post your work for this project. Please forgive my anger, because we need less anger and lots, lots more love and compassion to get it all done!

13 June 2010

Artist Blog Hop

Thanks to Kelly Watts for the link.

11 June 2010

Thinking, Thinking Always Thinking - Too Much!

I anticipated a quiet creative morning finishing up a book I started making yesterday only to find myself saying, "so what!" I had wanted to finish it today but motivation seemed to be missing in action, again. So, rather than get into a complete funk I decided to "blog wander" and some wonderful blogs I did find! The crucial one however came from one of my friend's blogs, I should warn you this is going to be one of those weaving in and out posts so you might want to go grab a cup of your fav beverage and come back and then read... Anyway, my friend's most recent post was on an artist journal page she had just finished, which by the way is awesome. Moreover, it got me to thinking, in circles mostly because that seems to be how my brain works, about why artists make artist journals - you see I am big on purpose, I know, I know but that is a therapy session for another time. So anyway, looking at her journal page, on the letter "C" in case you are wondering, all of a sudden a light went on - "there are literally millions of subjects to journal about...and that is that journal's purpose, an artistic representation of the chosen subject"! OH MY GOSH, how utterly simple, yet complex! OK, OK, you ask what in the heck does this have to do with Beth's working on her handmade book? Well it does, honest, just not as direct as one would like (even me), I warned you about the weaving in and out as well as my circular thinking! A quote, also found on my friends blog led me to the site where I found the following:
"I regard it as a waste of time to think only of selling: one forgets one's art and exaggerates one's value."
Camille Pissarro
This you see, had been my problem, thinking too much about the saleability, (and purpose with respect to the artist journal), and loosing sight of the "ART" of creating the piece. Sometimes (probably more often than not), I realized, focusing on "purpose" gets in the way of art, which is a spiritual, personal, creative statement - that is its purpose. So, with my new found epiphany I am going to actually begin my first artist journal as well as go back and make a heap of changes to that book in progress.
A peaceful, worry free weekend of creating art my friends...
Ciao for now,

07 June 2010

Photography Prompts - Echo Project Week 15

This week I was cruising around various artist's blogs, following links and just getting lost in all the wonderfullness of the myriad of interpretations of art out there. I happily stumbled upon a link to two wonderful photographers who have put a group together where every other week one is given a prompt for a photograph. I thought to myself, "hmmmmmm this might just be the inspiration I have been looking for to get me back out in the field and photographing nature, one of my many passions". Now I know this sounds like I am just over loading my plate but photography is a life long passion of mine. I have been at it since I was quite young...just not lately, and it actually ties in quite nicely with my handmade book arts, so I thought why not?! The project is called Echo (there is a button on my sidebar if you are interested in joining the project), and week #15 has the prompt of "Rouge". This is my interpretation, photographically of that deep, vibrant and heat filled color that signals summer in my mind's eye. As you can see I am a little rusty with my photography but I promise the pictures will get better!

04 June 2010

Faces in Technicolor

Just a quick blurb today to let you know my absolute favorite teacher - Sharon Tomlinson of All Norah'S Art has done it again. Sharon has just opened registration for her new painting class, "Faces in Technicolor", which should be absolutely fabulous. Class begins June 18th, is limited to 85 spaces initially and only costs $55.00. So, don't wait too long contemplating, just get on over there and sign up for an awesome class, lots of fun, new friends and great conversations.

03 June 2010

Slither, Slither Snake!

Well, just after writing such a soothing post yesterday discussing the wonder of mother nature in all her glory I had a temporary moment of insanity, having been lulled by the kinder and gentler of her nature. Walking to the kitchen from my studio (a.k.a. spare closet sized bedroom) not long after putting up yesterday's post I stopped dead in my tracks..."no, surely not, it can't be...but yes I fear it is true, it is most certainly a snake in my hallway just in front of me!" Yelling loudly for DH to come on his white steed to rescue me, I yell almost incomprehensibly, "snake, snake, it's a snake!" Much to my dismay DH wakes from a peaceful nap in the rocking chair on our back porch and groggily says, "I will do a lot of things for you but I DON"T DO SNAKES (petrified of them it turns out)!" OK, so the task has been thrust upon my shoulders. I summon up all of the courage I can calling on the help of all female goddesses in the UNIVERSE and yell to DH to give me an oven mitt. He throws one to me, lest he get an inch closer to said snake who has now slithered behind DH's desk and is trying desperately to blend in with the snake-like jumble of cords. I proceed with my very distasteful task of playing tag for the better part of 10 minutes back and forth between the hallway to our bedroom ( I did have presence of mind to close the door), and the living room by DH's desk. One problem I quickly realize is snakes apparently have very very good eye site, and another being that said hallway has a lot of my art supplies stored in bins and the like - lots of snake hide-a-ways, much to my dismay again. As I begin peeling boxes out of the hallway frantically chasing this not so small intruder as it slithers behind box after box trying to get away, anywhere but here with this crazed human with the oven mitt on her hand! I corner it once but it is amazingly fast and as I jut out frantically to grab it all I manage is its tail, not the best part to grab, and I definitely don't want to squish it so escape #1. Next I fall over a box and end up almost eye to eye with my slithery intruder, "this is not good" as snake slithers to the other end of the hallway hiding behind yet another box. I run around my DH's desk to  the other end where the snake is lunging madly only to watch it turn with lightning speed and slither back down the hallway the other direction. "Aha, now I've got you," as it is now fully exposed and stretched out almost it's entire not so insignificant length. I run once again around to the other end of the hallway lunging again with my oven mitted hand and, "success, I got you - pew what on earth is that smell, great a dead mouse is in the hallway," mentally noting to self I will have to come back and look for that next. Yelling to DH to open the front door I run through the house arm extended as far as possible in front of me snake wriggling frantically trying to get away, I run out into the front yard not even noticing the gravel from our walkway cutting into my bare feet as I run to the edge of the meadow and unceremoniously drop said snake on the ground. I turn and run back into the house so fast I don't even see which way the snake decided to slither. Once back inside, out of breath and admittedly a little shaken I smell that odor again and realize it is coming from my oven mitt, yuck snakes must emit a distress smell or this particular snake just stinks. I also suddenly realize that the mitt my DH tossed me was my brand new mitt from a dear friend who brought it back from Maine for me 2 years ago. I have coveted that mitt, protected it AND NEVER USED IT BEFORE! Now I have carried a stinky snake with it  *Sigh* Oh well, nothing else to do - it must go in the wash. Life in the country with all the beauty and harshness of mother nature...
Everyone have a wonderful, snake-free day!
Ciao for now,

02 June 2010

Summer and the Dance of the Fireflies

Summer is less than two weeks away and the trees and flowers are boisterously in bloom here in Northern New England. It was a mild winter, especially for New Hampshire and everything wonderful about summer seems to have arrived extra early this year. Perhaps nature is trying to make up for the horrible horrible ice storm that destroyed so many trees and plants two winters ago. The wood thrush with their beautiful trilled song arrived at the end of April, very early indeed and the dragonflies and fireflies are all out dancing in the meadow. Dragonflies by day and fireflies by night, what a treat! I have made a little study of the fireflies, nothing scientific or documented other than in my head - they all appear to have their own little signature light dance. As they skip through the night blinking once or twice sequentially, there are others who exuberantly blink three, four or even five times in their eons old mating ritual saying, "look at me, surely you want to mate with me the most grand of them all"!  Nature is such a marvelous wonder...My DH has always said that June is his favorite time of the year, which I used to disagree - thinking fall was surely the most wonderful - but this year has made me rethink those feelings. I still love fall with the gorgeous scenery decorated with mother nature's paintbrush the myriad colors flaunted in the changing leaves and the crisp fall evenings requiring one of those lovely hand knit shawls that we all love to wrap ourselves and curl up in. Apple cobbler with those handpicked apples from the orchard down the road...but I digress. Summer is coming, YIPPEE!!! I will be spending my summer working in my studio (seems silly to call it work for it does not resemble any of my past experiences with WORK) - this is play, self-discovery, artistic growth and self-expression...and most importantly - FUN!
In Celebration to the Summer Goddess - let's all create art and have fun...
Ciao for now,