Entries from: April 2008

Things That Make You Go Hmm…

April 30th, 2008, Comments (14)


I have no clue what my cat, Tabbers is doing here, but he stayed like this for quite a while. Perhaps he thinks no one can see him since he can't see anyone with his head tucked under the shower curtain. Well, if that's the case, then I suppose I should tell him that his big orange butt and gi-normous fuzzy tail gave him away. Every so often he'd peek his head out to see if anything interesting was going on and then he'd go back to his hide-a-way.


I've felt a bit like Tabbers, wanting to pull the covers over my head, the last couple days. Especially with that weird vertigo attack, which totally threw me for a loop. I had my doctor's appointment and unfortunately, it didn't help explain what happened. I had some wax in my ears, which they kindly cleared out and then my doctor did all sorts of tests with reflexes and walking toe to heel and holding my hands out with my eyes shut, I suppose to test for neurological problems or balance issues or drunken driving or something. But besides having clogged ears, I felt fine today, so there wasn't much to test. And, once my ears were cleared of waxy build-up (yum), my doctor said both ears looked totally fine and uninfected. Good news for my ears, but unsatisfying to me as I'd really love to know why I got so ill out of the blue on Monday evening and I'd love to prevent it from happening again. From a couple comments on the last post, it seems that attacks of vertigo can happen to people without explanation. Yuck. I'd like to never experience that again, thank you very much! What if I'd been driving? Or even out somewhere? I was completely and totally disabled by the dizziness and nausea (and vomiting) for a couple hours that night. Also unsatisfying, is the fact that my ear is still totally clogged and ringing. My doctor says allergies are probably the culprit and to keep trying the allergy meds (which haven't helped at all so far). And of course I should call her back right away if the vertigo comes back. Hmmph. Well, I shouldn't complain. At least it's not an ear tumor or something. I had Arnold Schwarzenneger in my head all morning saying, "It's not a too-ma!" Hehe.

Since I didn't get any stickers from the doctor and I was already in the city, after the appointment, I got some lunch and then browsed around in Blick. I needed a couple things anyways, but I took my time enjoying the pretty papers, paints, and displays. Where you walk in from the parking garage, there's a display of children's art supplies and books which are so colorful, I almost always stop to see what they've got. Today it was the tubes of glitter that caught my eye and this great book, (which I stopped to read), Drawing for the Artistically Undiscovered by Quentin Blake. This book is so fabulous; it has loads of great art exercises and such a great attitude. The author takes such a light (and very funny) approach to art and creativity that I believe it could really help unblock anyone who is afraid to try drawing or is just stuck in their own art-making. Yes, this book is for kids, but I think anyone could enjoy it. I know I would!

In the intro there's a section called, "How Do I Criticize My Art Properly?" The author explains that on each page there's an area where you can write your negative comments and then there's an a big arrow pointing to the microscopic square where you are invited to write your negative comments about that page, because that's how important they are. Hehe.

The book was part of a series from Klutz books and it looked like there were some other fun titles by them such as: A Book of Artrageous Projects (which was done in partnership with the Metropolitan Museum of Art), Lettering in Crazy, Cool, Quirky Style, and Paper Fashions: Design Your Own Style.

If you're needing some instant inspiration, be sure check out the lovely Erin of Design for Mankind's latest e-zine of Inspiration, which you can now view online.

Ickiness and Inspiration

April 29th, 2008, Comments (15)

I was feeling good and productive yesterday, prepping an art print to go out, finishing up a proposal, and starting a new painting. The hubster got home late from a meeting and we were chatting about it on the couch, while I did a little work on the painting. All of the sudden my ear (which has been clogged all week, I believe due to allergies) felt especially clogged and was ringing loudly and I got incredibly dizzy. When I turned my head the room was spinning as if I'd had way too much to drink. I waited for the feeling to pass, holding my head still, and then told the hubster that I might want to lay down. He helped me walk towards the bedroom, but I had to sit down in the kitchen because I felt so dizzy, hot, and very nauseous. I wanted to lay down, but I also felt like I was going to be sick, so I ended up in the bathroom. I hate throwing up, but I felt like I was seasick and had no choice, but to lose my dinner. After that I got in bed, still feeling dizzy if I moved my head too much. Fortunately, after another hour or so, the dizziness subsided and I felt better and went to bed. Very weird.

Today I feel much better, though still congested and little icky. The hubster was super worried about me last night. I don't blame him as I've never been sick like that before and I can imagine it must have been weird to see me like that. He has insisted that I make a doctor's appointment and I will today even though I'm not excited about it. Too bad going to the doctor couldn't be more fun, eh? They should give out stickers to adults too.

Enough of this barfy talk, how bout some inspiration?

  • Mindy of under a pink sky has started a beautiful new blogzine called wishstudio. I love the look of it and I know it will be filled to the brim with inspiration. There's also a call for submissions if you're interested in participating!
  • I totally love this new journal made of magazine pages by Elena of Lunar Musings. It reminded me of writing letters to my best friend that were sent in envelopes made of magazine pages.
  • If you have HBO, the John Adams series was absolutely fantastic. They have it On Demand, if you have that service and it's definitely worth watching. Fabulous acting, great story, well-written. The hubster and I enjoyed it. The series was based on the book John Adams by David McCullough, which my dad read and loved.

Planning to take it easy today. I have some errands I need to run, but I'm going to cut myself some slack if they don't get done.

Creative Every Day 2008: April 28th – May 4th

April 28th, 2008, Comments (11)

CED2008 participants! Feel free to leave a comment here with a link to post(s) about your creative activities during the week of 4/28/08 -5/4/08.

Happy creating!

Circling Birds

April 27th, 2008, Comments (12)

This weekend was a whirlwind tour to NYC to see the hubster's family for Greek Easter. It's an important holiday for them (the hubster's dad was born and raised in Greece), so we made the trip out and participated in the fun traditions (tsougrisma : egg cracking game) and ate some traditional Greek food (lamb roasted over a charcoal fire, Easter bread that has dyed red hard-boiled eggs on top, and Easter biscuits.) We had a great time, but it was a quick visit and now we're back home.

I meant to post this before I left, but ran out of time. I'm working on a couple more drawings with white ink on black paper with the little circles. A couple people have mentioned how the bigger circles that make up the leaves look a bit like bicycle wheels, which I thought was kind of cool as I seem to have some circle/cycle/bicycle themes going on in much of my art lately. Funny how symbols will pop up like that without you even realizing it. This one has two birds and I'm calling it "Two Branches."

Speaking of birds, when we got home, we found a bird wing and a bunch of feathers on our living room rug. Our porch door was open a crack so the cats could enjoy the fresh air. Either a bird was brought in from the porch or it flew into our apartment, which would be a huge mistake for any bird and a wildly good time for the four cats who rarely get to hunt something that's actually living. The hubster was totally grossed out, but I grew up with my cats bringing me mouse guts and such, so I wasn't too disturbed. The only thing we're wondering about is where the rest of the bird is. Hopefully it was eaten and isn't tucked away for us to find later. That could get stinky.

With these black and white drawings, it take some time to make up the trunk with all the tiny circles, but it's also a meditative kind of process. It's relaxing, soothing, and gives the mind space to roam. Good ideas often come in this space. All repetitive things can become like that, things like weeding, sewing, knitting, cutting vedgies for a soup, etc... Have you ever had that experience? 

Circles and Cycles

April 24th, 2008, Comments (21)

Last night while unwinding on the couch, I felt like doodling, so I grabbed what was closest...a pencil and an old pink folder. I started to draw teeny circles which became a tree trunk and that made me want to draw it in ink. I went into my studio to see what I could draw this with and ended up grabbing a white gel pen and black paper. It was relaxing to draw all these little circles that made up the bark and the larger ones that made up the leaves. The black and white contrast makes me happy too. Earlier in the day, I did a bit of framing, some laundry, marinated some chicken and put it in the freezer and made dinner. All in all, a productive day.

I've got some major allergies goin on. I'm all clogged up which is making me feel super old. I've been saying "eh?" and/or "what?" whenever someone talks to me. Speak a little louder sonny, boy! But other than that, I'm in good spirits. Lil bro and I are walking the neighbor's dog a couple of times today while they're out and later we'll be going out to have a little painterly fun. The cats have taken a special liking to my little brother. It's so cute watching him cuddle up with them.

It feels so much like summer this week! Last night with the fan on in the bedroom, I couldn't help thinking about childhood summers. I fell asleep thinking about nights with the house fan on, red popsicle mouths, salt-crusted hair, water-logged ears, crickets and bare feet on pavement. Mmm.

Springy Inspiration

April 23rd, 2008, Comments (3)


Spring has sprung! The magnolia trees on our block are in their full glory this week and I just love them. Definitely gives a pep to my step. The birdy above seranaded me on my walk the other day.

Yesterday, in honor of Earth Day, lil bro and I walked to the grocery store instead of driving, brought our own bags, and bought food with less packaging. Last night, the hubster and I went to a Red Sox game with some friends and we sat up in the Monster seats (on top of the "green monster"...or monstah in Boston.) It was a really cool view. I'd never sat up there before. By the end of the night it got really chilly and windy, but it was a fun experience. For Earth Day, they had people walking the aisles like food vendors with big bags collecting bottles and cups to recycle.

It's definitely a little harder to get to the computer with my brother visiting, but that's not such a bad thing. We've been keeping busy and having less time has actually motivated me to get some things done that I'd been putting off.

I've gotta run. In the meantime, enjoy these links that I found fun and inspirational!

  • ArtsCollab is a site where people can share inspiration, links to websites and such. I've just discovered it and haven't explored it fully, but so far it looks very cool!
  • Over at The Boss of You blog, Lauren and Emira have posted a free download of a sample budget spreadsheet. I checked it out and found it to be very helpful.
  • Heather, who I met at Artfest, introduced me to a site that's all about trading illustrated ATC's. You have to be juried in to this particular site, but anyone can join in sites like ATC's for All.
  • I came upon the blog lotushaus recently and I love the look of it and the theme of sustainable design.

Looking for some ways to be creative?

  • Try journaling in a new environment. Take your journal to the park, to the library, the local coffee shop, in your garden, on your front porch, or in bed. A change in perspective often sparks great ideas!
  • Take care of the little things. Sew on those buttons that have fallen off, fix that whole in the wall, re-attach that door knob that fell off...tasks such as these can make you feel great after their done and in the process you may find inspiration popping into your head.
  • Draw with something unusual. Dip a feather, stick, straw, or ribbon in ink or paint and try drawing with it. The unusual lines you create will be unique and fun to play with.
  • Put on music and create art inspired by it.

Happy creating!

Drawing on the Sea

April 21st, 2008, Comments (5)

I've got my little brother here for the week, so it should be interesting to see what I'm able to get done. Today was pretty mellow, so there was a lot of relaxing going on and I spent some time drawing with my bro at the kitchen table. He drew a very cool tree (we must be related! :-) ) and I did another intuitive drawing in my art journal starting with a big scribble that I made with my eyes closed and then I drew what I saw in it.

More mermaids and whales, fish and snails. Swirly, curly doodles seem to lend themselves well to creatures of the sea.

Feel like you're in a slump? Alyson Stanfield shared 10 ways to break out of one in her newsletter today. Check them out here.

Creative Every Day 2008: April 21st – April 27th

April 21st, 2008, Comments (11)

CED2008 participants! Feel free to leave a comment here with a link to post(s) about your creative activities during the week of 4/21/08 -4/27/08.

Happy creating!


April 18th, 2008, Comments (13)

Art journal pages. Another scribbled intuitive drawing and a collage with some writing on it that says, "everything outside is blooming. i want to bloom too." Speaking of blooming...here are those lovely ranunculus flowers I mentioned yesterday.

I worked on a small encaustic painting today. It was so gorgeous out that I brought my encaustic tools out onto the porch and put this together with wax, tissue paper, and textured paper for the two crows on a 6"x6" panel. It was inspired by a photo I took while at Artfest.

I started using an old iron with the encaustics and like it much better than the hot air gun. Tomorrow is supposed to be a beautiful day and I plan to take advantage.

I hope you all have a wonderfully creative weekend!

If you needs some inspiration, check out what these Creative Every Day participants have been up to!

  • Hanna has been making some beautiful stencils, one of them was one of the coolest happy accidents I've seen in awhile!
  • Valerie has made a gorgeous box out of coasters.
  • Cris has a lovely painting in progress of sheep in a field.
  • Mrs. Pivec has a stunning mixed-media piece that sings spring.

And there's so much more to see. Go take a gander at what people are up to!

Good Laughs With Cats

April 18th, 2008, Comments (7)

So Jaime just posted this on her blog and it made me laugh so hard that I just had to share it. Even though I'm not an engineer, I was scaring my cats from laughing so loudly. This is a daily occurrence I'm afraid, especially when watching shows like 30 Rock or the Stephen Colbert Show.

I've got a big orange cat on my arm as I type, but he's purring away and oh so cute, so I'll let it slide.