Dec 29, 2008

And Away We Go!

Happy New Year's Eve and I hope you have a safe and abundant 2009.

Hello Everyone!

Time to start getting really serious about goals and objectives for '09 -- the earliest and the main one for the upcoming year being ArtFest.

And now I'll leave you with a few photos, a piece of coiled copper jewelry I tried some time back. I do like making things like this... the rosettes and spirals, the colours. That's another goal for '09 that I have committed to if only a bit here and there at a time. Easy does it.

A page in progress from my ongoing Art Journal...

I drew the woman (a redhead, natch!), and cut her out, used the usual suspects of crayola crayons and Caran d'Arches coloured pencils, then layered in her skirt and put her on a multipapered background. T likes the boots, of course.

A fabulous bookmark from Femminismo over at One Day At A Time down at the right there. How did Jeanne know my favourite colours? She got me through some ups and downs this past year and probably didn't even realize it... gotta love that arched eyebrow! It says, "Happy Reading". You too, Pal.

RJ sent me a fun "matchbook" from Somewhere Over The Rainbow. She remembered I collect matchbooks (nonsmoker that I am) from travels... so here is a matchbook in the form and style of a calculator! This sure put a smile on my face.

Also, have any of you seen Wreck This Journal? Kitten gave me a copy recently. In Wreck This..., you are instructed to cut, burn, scribble, scratch, stain, etc., the pages of the book, plus write backwards, glue things like stamps in -- nice little exercises that help you get your head around another take on the Shiva Principle. From destruction, comes renovation. (Extreme Makeover should be his show.)

Wreck This Journal is by Keri Smith. I think you would enjoy the humour and hijinks she puts forth. Visit for more info.

Announcing the newest member of the family! This sweet little fella seen here at my brother's holiday dinner is Earl (as in "My Name Is"). Earl is a Weimeraner -- and I asked my nephew John, Earl's human, if he knew there are other breeds. We had a good laugh over that one. They've had at least two others that I can recall. Earl is definitely well behaved and comes beautifully dressed. What's not to love?

Take care! Back tomorrow!

Dec 27, 2008

Cardmaking 2009

Off to SC on Saturday for the family's holiday dinner. Everyone is so scattered now but we are all able this year to be together. For this, I am exceedingly grateful.

Hello everyone!

While T is making curried chicken salad for me to take tomorrow, I will give you a quick looksee at a mag I received. Santa is real... hoohoo.

As you know, I have always done my little line drawings and while my art has indeed expanded, I've always illustrated letters and cards. T thought it was high time I get really serious and so, voila! From the lofty shelves of Barnes & Noble, this lovely lovely mag from the UK I've had my eye on.

What's so nice is it has a calendar/diary for each week, a list of addresses and personal info in the back for recipients, tons of templates (including irises... lol!), and is just a nice venture out of the 2-D world.

Between this and Anne's amazing videos and clear instructions here, I hope to get really cracking in 2009. I am calling it, what else? eyecandy.

Take care!
Back in a couple of days to wish all a happy new year.

Dec 25, 2008

Sleep in Heavenly Peace

-- whatever that means to our animal friends. Bess misses T very much today. It's become quite obvious that I play second fiddle in the string section here! She keeps circling the tree like T is hiding back in the branches or something... and she keeps circling the kitchen (of course, I did heat up the roast chicken which she will go to the mat for, if I make the mistake of eye contact).

It's been very quiet in the Hollow this day and especially this evening as the First Day of Christmas winds down. I'm here alone today with the Girls and the Boys (catnapping upstairs with occasional breaks for bids at World Domination). Plenty to keep Me busy and occupied as you'll see before I sign off!

What a great supper on Christmas Eve. Homemade veggie soup and cornbread so delicious that not even a flash camera could capture its image, that's how fast it went down.
All this was courtesy of T, who made enough for me to have a big bowl this afternoon while watching "Hellboy II: The Golden Army."
Now that's a holiday movie, believe me.

A couple of peeks at a card and a paper doll ornament, respectively, that I've started and then back to my knitting...
okay, okay, I'm really reading a fun book Kitten brought over last week. Knowing of my years past and present as a proofreader/editor/writer and linguist, she was right to think I would enjoy "Woe is I". I highly recommend it to anyone in or even out of those fields. I am enjoying it even more than "Eats, Shoots and Leaves".

Have a happy evening straight on till morning! (It's 65 degrees here today. Wha...???) Hard rain all last night, then the sun comes out today, practically balmy!
Get More of 2008. It's over soon! And then the real fun of a brand new year starts up again.

Your Pal, Candace

Dec 23, 2008

No Place Like Home (Redux)

-- for the holidays, as Perry Como sings it so well this time of year. And really, there isn't whether it be here in Athens, or in Rome with T's family or with my folks in SC ... some of whom are seen just below.

Hello everyone!

Is this Gleesome Threesome a sight for tired eyes or what? My sister's grandchildren, they are -- from left to right -- Isaac, the Redheaded Charmer; Isabella, the Baby and the Queen Bee; and Ian, the Oldest and Sweetest.

Like the Hokey Pokey, that's what it's all about -- right here in these fresh, new faces.

They definitely have made the Nice List this year as they seem to, every year. Must be in the genes.

Here's a quick peek at a paper flower Kitten helped walk Me through. Whew! I love working on and with paper but sometimes I feel more than inept with a capital I yi yi yi yi!

BTW, some of us could use a little sunshine and a few flowers right about now from what The Weather Channel reports. So, this one's for you in the Snow and Ice Corridor for now.

All my cards and goodies are out of here now and wow, was it ever an uphill event this year. Dunno why... Just one odd little thing after another. You'd think the elves and goblins were out and about making mischief for me! I ended up making simple visual treats as the fates seemed to have it in for me this time around.

My computer came to a (near) complete standstill today, thanks to spyware and malware. Geez. I really owe Don one for coming over and fixing everything up for me at the drop of a hat (or phonecall). This baby isn't just for fun in Blogovia; it's also my work station. So I was truly grateful for his expertise as well as his patience.

Just two days and it's Christmas...! Holy Mackerel, didn't we just do this? Solstice Sunday was grand, complete with a trip to Atlanta for a big, big par-tay! (57 degrees at the beginning of the event, and then two hours later, 21!!! What the...?) The Big Day is just around the proverbial corner, followed by Boxing Day and Kwanzaa the day after. And, are you popping open a grand slam bottle of bubbly this year for Auld Lang Syne? While it may seem like we don't have anything to truly celebrate, we do. We really do have much much much to be thankful for and about, believe you me.

Get More of What You Love,

Dec 20, 2008


Seasons Greetings, Everyone!

T put up the tree Friday evening with a bit of help from Very Truly Yours and we were so thrilled we accomplished even that much, we just left it alone with the lights, sat down to some coffee and an HGTV Christmas Town Special.

I kept waiting for those Wild Bill cats and dogs to do their worst, but amazingly this didn't happen.

We all are barreling down to the Big Kahuna Itself (Solstice Sunday and Christmas Thursday with a healthy dose of Kwanzaa/Boxing Day afterwards). Sometime between all this and the Brand New 2009 Model, some will indeed be receiving little offerings of love and beauty -- well, as I see it, anyway. No photos of those here, kids. I, like you, enjoy surprises (and you know who you are!).

Of course, very little surprises Me these oddball days. I didn't realize that "red sky at night, sailor's delight" meant we were going to go into doldrums here weatherwise! Bone-biting cold at the house last week and now early summer temps in Athens. They tell us it will be in the 20s tomorrow and then, in a matter of hours, will heat up to the high 50s. Say WHAT??? And now temps tonight and onward back to the bonebiting...

So it's not just Me having a touch of Discombobulation, it would seem. Jeanne has snow here as do so many others... I figure if LAS VEGAS is having snow (yeah, what's up with that?), anything is possible including more than a lump of coal in my stocking.

Will check back later, for now I'm off to look for the ever elusive Mr. Kringle.

Get More of What You Love,
Your Correspondent in Athens --

Dec 15, 2008

If Winter Comes

Hello Everyone!
Things are back to a more even keel at 235 now that the heat is back on in my house. While I was working on my paper iris here on Saturday evening -- nice, eh? but I cut it a little close for comfort, sigh -- Kitten and I realized, "hey, it's a little chilly."

Sure enough, the heat was on the fritz. T called Sunday asap, but the ubiquitous "they" couldn't get to us until today, Monday, at 2:30. What the -- ??? Not so much fun getting up and working, etc., in a house that felt like a meat locker. I work from home in a finished basement, meaning, concrete walls and cement flooring, and man, it was grey, drizzly and COLD...!
But nothing like what so many others are going through, so really very little complaining here. My peeps in the Northerly portions of this old world are on my mind, due to terrible weather Stateside as well as abroad. Well, it is winter in these parts, so what are we going to do? Suck it up...

grrrr!!! So, this paper iris in December will have to do until a real one shows up in spring of '09.

Even The Unsinkable Molly Brown asked for a little extra ... no fat on this gal whatsoever, so you know she was uncomfortable. Here we see her during Vespers. Honestly, doesn't she look like she's praying? smirk... that's one of my sweatshirts on her.

So, I'll check back in on Friday. Work is creeping along this time of year, especially now with the recession and folks, near and far, just needing a real breather in general, due to so many things.
UGA is emptying out for the holidays and T and I are getting ready for the slide down into Solstice, Christmas, Kwanzaa and ... anything else out there to celebrate! This is the first year in some while that we've had a tree and we are fighting fit for the task ahead...

So be of good cheer -- "if winter comes, can spring be far behind?" Candace

Dec 12, 2008

Hands Across The Water and a Pop Quiz

First of all, Hello Everyone!

Velvet Ginger had a great post on her blog today here and I have taken up the gauntlet she has thrown down! More on that later.

For those of you who have asked me offline about this Hands Across The Water deal -- well, it's simple, really. I came up with this idea and a little bit of a drawing around the time I was meeting Sarah Wallis -- and have started this "Hands Across The Water" art project. She's definitely on the other side of the Pond while I am landlocked in Athens, Georgia. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

Yet, we are "sisters" in art and in spirit with quite a bit in common, overall. Thanks to Suzi Blu and our mutual Art Shenanigans, blogs and all, it is my good fortune to have made her actual acquaintance as you know, and now, through Sarah, Black-Eyed Suzie and -- as an added treat today! -- another great little site here called Bun Mountain Cottage. Go check out today's post. Incredible, gorgeous, faerie tale photographs in Stockholm -- only they're real.

And come to think of it, I have more than one Hands Across the Water pal. Halloooo... you know who you are!
So, on to the Pop Quiz (thanks, RJ!). Put on your thinking caps and your blue suede shoes for this one.

Cut and paste and throw down the Christmas Gauntlet on your own site with your own answers if you can – or, if you dare! (I know this isn't everyone's cuppa tea, but you might be surprised how some of these questions take you aback.)
1. 'Tis the Season to be? Jolly!
2. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Both.
3. Real tree or Artificial? Two nice artificials on the mantel with a handmade ceramic star with an initial on each.
4. When do you put up the tree? When I have one, it’s after December 1st.
5. When do you take the tree down? I don’t know this year. It’s the first time I’ve had a tree in some time, trust me.
6. Do you like eggnog? Yes I do, straight and “doctored”.
7. Favorite gift received as a child? My lifesized bride doll from my gran -- and then from my sister. I'll explain later. (Oh and my first Barbie was one of the OLD Barbies -- the slutty-looking one with the yellow ponytail, garish blue eye shadow and black sequined strapless gown? I loved her…!)
8. Hardest person to buy for? Mmm... almost everyone I know.
9. Easiest person to buy for? T.
10. Do you have a nativity scene? No.
11. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail.
12. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Never had a bad one.
13. Favorite Christmas Movie? A Christmas Carol (Patrick Stewart). The Bishop’s Wife. The Santa Clause. A Charlie Brown Christmas. You’ve Got Mail. (!) The Polar Express.
14. When do you start shopping for Christmas? What do you mean, start?
15. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Not really.
16. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Party food.
17. Lights on the tree? Yes if it’s a real tree.
18. Favorite Christmas song? "Christmas Time Is Here."
19. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Both; it depends.
20. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Yes, I can!
21. Angel on the tree top or a star? Handmade ceramic star, one on each tree.
22. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas Day (my house) and whenever I go to my brother’s (Dec 27, this year).
23. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Work!
24. Favorite ornament theme or color? Nature! Reds and golds; or blue, silvers and whites.
25. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Too many to name. Okay, ham sandwiches (truly only once a year), dressing, coconut cake with a coffee chaser.
26. What do you want for Christmas this year? Time at Home.
27. Who is most likely to respond to this? Wow, I have no idea, really!
Have a great weekend, everyone. The Polar Express really is on its way... soon.

Dec 10, 2008

Another Visit With Art Shenanigans

Hello Everyone!

Just a reminder to send me your street addies at my email at if you would like to receive a small goodie from Yours Truly by Saturday, 13 December in time for the holidays. (I put Saturday, 11 December earlier. Duh... what calendar am I using, I wonder?)

Also, here we have another visit with Art Shenanigans... brought to me (and indirectly you) by Kitten. Isn't this little treat to the right here kind of her? She's such a good friend and art pal. I do think most folks open their hearts at this time of year for whatever reason -- altho Kitten's seems open all the time. Even if and when pocketbooks are closed due to tough times, no kids, no holiday traditions, the heart and spirit take flight. And money cannot quite do that little trick... !

Check out some new Cool Blogs, Cool People on my site to the right. Through Circles of Rain here where you will find Sarah Wallis, I found Black-eyed Suzie here -- another eyepopping jawdropper of a creative. Her dolls will make you smile -- or scream.

And here is a very kind award -- a Friendship Blog Award -- from Anne of Gaal Creative in the Cool Blogs, Cool People section. I will be passing this along someday soon to some others. It is an honour and joy to be recognized as a blog friend from this fun creative woman. Thank you, Anne. You also are a friend as well as an inspiration to many of us in Blogovia.

Take care, and don't forget to get more of what you love.

Dec 8, 2008

101 Dalmations -- Not!

Hello Everyone!
I didn't realize this but I checked, spurred on by a couple of other Blogovia pals and creatives, and this is indeed my 101st post. Nowhere near the rest of some of you, but in honour of the occasion --

send me your address if you wish to receive a little something in the mail (Linda gets one anyway! I can't believe how that last one got botched... sorry!) handmade by Yours Very Truly for the holidays. A small something, true -- but it's in the "better to give than receive" spirit, it will be yours to enjoy, and in plenty of time to boot!

On another note, London doesn't have more than a handful -- if even that many -- of Mexican restaurants. So when Jenn came up from Southampton for our "Peach State Reunion", that was what she was looking for. We totally lucked out when Our Miss Jeanne found Wahaca, Mexican Outdoor Market Eating, on 60 Chandos Street in downtown London. Inexpensive and very flavourful, to boot! The Mexican Hot Chocolate alone would have been worth the trip, believe me.

I had the hualachoochees. Okay, I admit my grasp of Spanish spelling isn't that great (can you say "phonetic" in Espanol?), but my taste buds are just fine! The mojitos were excellent in this restaurant and it was so great to spend much of the weekend with Jenn, too. We ended up having an old-fashioned slumber party and having a nice Sunday brunch at The Bridge, where I had found the advert for the WOW art event.

But here's the real kicker. I collect matchbooks when I travel and so picked one up in Wahaca. Say, I thought, these sure are odd-looking matches. Only, they aren't matches. On closer inspection, I saw that they were seedlings for your/my very own Serrano chilies with instructions, etc., inside. Enough for a nice beginning to one's chilie garden here in Athens! Yum... !
Okay, get those addies in to me at before Saturday, December 13th. You don't want to miss this party.
Adios, Muchachos (I looked it up).

Dec 6, 2008

Hands Across The Water

Hello Everyone!

As promised, a look at the lovely handmade art Sarah Wallis brought to me when we met and had a nice chat and supper together at St. Martin's In The Fields. Starting with a closeup in its packaging, then the way I saw it and the last is with for a show of size of the piece.

Is it not lovely!? I was some kind of happy and very humbled by it, to boot.

Its theme, as you can tell upon closer observation, is the River Thames. I think this is extraordinary -- or it may be that artistic minds think alike -- as I had started doing a little project called "Hands Across The Water". I showed Sarah a prototype sketch and I admit, it was about Art Shenanigans bringing two friends on opposite sides of the Atlantic together.

Someone asked me in an email about the background seen here and in so many of the art pieces I photograph. Studio?
Erhm, No. Say, is it a rug or spread of some sort? Yes.

What is it? What type fabric, this person asked. It looks like a type shearling. Not far off the mark, I have to admit.

Check it out in this next and last photo for this post.

No matter who, what, where, when, or why, this is the one who is always happiest to see me there and back again.

Yes, I admit it! That exclusive shearling fabric I use as the backdrop for my photos of my art thises and thats is nothing more than
Kittyboy's Very Own Catbird Seat.

Take care and have a good weekend!

Dec 5, 2008

LondonPalooza -- and more

Hello Everyone! As I told Velvet Ginger from Somewhere Over The Rainbow here, "there's no place like home", to coin a well-loved phrase. But did I have a blast? You betcha. But again, while I do love London, well... I defer to Dorothy's mantra once again.

I felt like "the meek and the small", too, following a tumble down a flight of stairs at London Bridge Station on the way to Gatwick, which caused me to miss my Monday noon flight and then come on in Tuesday. By the time I made it to the airport, the gate had just closed. They weren't about to re-open it for a solitary American, trust me, no matter how close she shaved it.

No lasting damages, but I wouldn't recommend this type adventure to just anybody!

While enjoying a fine meal of bangers and mash, what did I spy with my little eye but this gloriously coloured postcard, pimping an art exhibit called "WOW: Wild Old Women". The fact that it was also free drew me in like a moth to the proverbial flame and am I ever glad it did. Hopping on to a doubledecker with Miss Jeanne (not femminismo, Rubye Jean, but the same spelling) I went down to the area called Southwark (pronounced Suth' erk).

The birds were among my favourites, all of them child or adult sized, formed of gizmos and gears and bits of this and that. More on and about them another time.

There was a group of three smaller ones together and there was a large doll house -- or so one thought.

This life sized mosaic woman had no arms. It made me think of an image and faerie tale I read and/or visit on occasion -- the Handless Maiden. Do you know that story? It, like so many others, is a sad tale -- we won't go there today.

I loved this rather large piece below of icons, goddesses, and gadabouts. The composition was amazing, and the colours really popped!
Next on EyeCandy: London creative Sarah Wallis, seen here, a Suzi blu friend and now a face to face friend. Isn't it great what Art Shenanigans can accomplish along with the help of that trusty pal, Internet? Sarah brought a lovely handmade art gift I will share with you next time in Blogovia. Sorry for the darkness of the photo. Sarah and I met for a chat and a meal (thank you, Sarah!) at St. Martin's In The Field. The cafe was a huge affair, very atmospherically lit, with hints of Christmas holidays coming.

Say, speaking of Blogovia, everyone sure was quiet last week in said place. Surely this is because everyone was 1., quietly busy and/or 2., having a great Thanksgiving holiday. Hopefully not everybody's blog acted up like mine -- ! I've tried a couple of times now to get this puppy posted.

And speaking of posts and other achievements, femminismo did indeed hit a water mark of 250 posts recently here AND finished the dreaded NanoWriMo. Good on you, Jeanne!
20 Days Till Christmas... can you believe it?!