Jan 29, 2009

April Showers Bring May Flowers

But January showers bring me flowers right now!

Hello everybody!

Hey, we're all sick of this cycle of doom and gloom weather we've had but what the -- ???

Daffodils in January, even in the Sunny South, is a bit much. Stepping out to check the mail today, I found these babies,as if by real magic, popping up out of nowhere. Seriously, they were not there yesterday.

What was there yesterday and several days before that was drenching rain and COLD -- as in the 30s. And the deer – including two bucks, so you know that means trouble in the near future - have started coming by regularly to frisk and play around the recently opened Corn Bar in our yard. So something is going on somewhere but still -- it seems a little early to me.

A looksee at what I am working on. An eye for ... mmm. What do you have an eye for? An eye? Beauty?

This babe is going in a new work journal. I don't make colour wheels when I am trying out new pens, pencils and paints as I have seen others do.
I just dive into the pool and get it over with, immediately starting with a couple of small figures or faces.

The phrase "an eye for" was on a mag just beside my workbook and I thought it would go well with where I'm headed in this next book. Five Senses Plus Two.

Say, maybe I will disintegrate it like Jeanne is doing to a lucky book here.

Don’t forget the deadline for the HEARTZAPALOOZA Art Drawing and Giveaway is February 1st at midnight. The actual name drawing is February 2nd, at midnight. If you have already entered, just ignore this reminder. But say, if you just want to leave a cheerful little note, I am all about that.

Get more of what you love.

Jan 26, 2009

Where Will The Baby Take Us This Year?

As promised, a retrospective of the Athens Indie Holiday Craftstravaganzaa...

I am not saving the best for last, believe me. As a matter of fact, let's jump right in to the middle of one of the most galvanizing artistic experiences I have had in my adopted hometown.

Above is the artist as a young woman. Cindy Jerrell Phillips did not mind at all my taking photos of her art. But she is so shy, she was hesitant about allowing me to photograph her. She is a lovely creative spirit, who has a farmhouse being renovated into an arthouse/gallery. I hope to get to know her better this coming year.
In the photo below, I was so sorry to see that shadows overpowered this wonderful rabbit woman. (That is NOT a ski cap she is wearing, those two spikes are her ears!) I have a couple of my own rabbit women, too, and this very piece is what drew me to Cindy's booth like a magnet.
If I had had the money, well -- okay, if I had not been going to London the very next day, I would have bought several of her smaller pieces, including one of her shadow boxes. These are not flat pieces, but marionette or jointed figures in three dimensional theatres. Incredible colours and workmanship.

I think either the piece above or the one below is one that Cindy said her husband helped her build. Look at that little dog! The richness of her pieces spilled out into her booth like the paints she had used to create them.

Reluctantly leaving this section, on to another area of the Craftstravaganzaa.

Do these ornaments look familiar? Haha! I bought a red T and a yellow C to hang on the tree this year... remember? They ended up on the mantle, each with its own tiny tree. You may recall or -- you may go back and find them in the December 08 portions of this here blog.

Stone Soup Studios -- this is where I will be taking classes in pottery, et al, this year. The previous shot and next three shots are her works and those of students. Now you see why I am excited about staying here in Athens this spring, after all. (Yes, I have accepted it. I was in denial and then angry about Artfest -- or was that anger then denial? Angry denial? Mmmm...)

On to a quick visit with Lylou of Lylou's Boutique, seen below. This gal sells her fine fine so fine items in the back of a bar during the holidays. Don't ask, it's Athens. I had some great shots of her things (jewelry and scarves, socks and tights) and what the heck happened to them, I have no idea.
Leaving Craftstravaganzaa, I managed to get off a shot at one of nearby Comer's chief pottery artisans. I have lost her card, but believe her name was/is Nancy. Dang...!

Hello Everyone!
This past holiday season, my brother gave me a present that came very close to making me levitate from sheer delight. I don't think I had ever told him how much I love sea glass and here is the perfectly perfect set he gave me when we all gathered at his house for the holidays. AND I did not expect it at all. How I love this colour.

Gold like honey... gold like the setting sun... like a favourite but long-gone housedress my mother wore. When this colour is around, I think of August's slow indolent heat, and the look of the air after late summer storms.

I think of the colour of my sweet old kitkat, too. What's your colour? Sea glass or otherwise?

Talk about not expecting something! Christy Wooke (pronounced Woke), seen to the right here, sales extraordinaire at the local Barnes & Noble, is also an artist/craftswoman. What a wonderful surprise to see her at the Craftstravaganzaa yakked about and shown above!
I need to ask, "Say, are you doing the next one?" Wouldn't it be great to know that someone I recognize as another artist is there, nearby? We can talk art AND books. Heaven on earth.

Is that being a big baby? I don't think so!
Speaking of The Baby, she's back and ready to go on some new adventures with Art Shenanigans. Here's that pink dress we talked about last year, as opposed to the blue, and fresh out of her Garden of Not So Earthly Delights! Where will The Baby take us this year? Stick around and let's find out together. (Hopefully, the adventures won't be as fuzzy as the photo.)

Don't forget the Heartzilla Art Giveaway.
Sunday, Feb 1st at midnight is the deadline for you to leave comments on this here blog, and the drawing is Monday, Groundhog Day, Feb 2nd at midnight.

Your Correspondent in the Classic City,

Jan 24, 2009

February Art Drawing and Giveaway

Heartzilla Giveaway!

As I mentioned once before, I have committed to have a drawing for an art giveaway each month of 2009. So -- please leave comments on this here blog by midnight, February 1st, 2009 or send comments to canwiggins@gmail.com. Drawings will be held on February 2nd, 2009 at midnight (yeah, the witchin’ hour, babe!). And someone will get a sweetheart of a deal tied up with a bow.

No, not one like the Prez has on here -- although that would be more than fun, wouldn't it? But there will be a couple of new paper art dollies inspired by courtly love (Valentine's), hope (that's what that man in the white bow tie says anyway), and fun fashionistas.

And speaking of art -- first. Look at this fantastic pair of Victorian tatted gloves a friend gave me last week at a little party, along with a very kind card. I was not expecting it at all, and it came as a shock as well as a delight. They could fit me, just -- but I am instead having them framed and placed in an appropriate spot in My Home. However, these little gloves gave me a great idea for the March Giveaway.

Watch out, I am already making the lists... say, the way time flies around here, I need to get all the Fall Art Shenanigans thought up by Springtime at the latest.

And then, secondly, as if by magic, Denise sent me this little book of her first ATCs because -- well, just because. The outside is tied and once you open it up -- beauty between the eyes!

Yes, another unexpected yet cheering item. I have been fortunate to have 'met' so many clever and talented creatives through this blog thing we do, this art we make and so many generous spirits and supportive blog pals. It never fails to amaze and inspire Yours Truly.

Below is a look at the first panels of the sweet inner workings of this little book she made when first getting started and then so kindly shared with and gave me.

Next week: a "blast from the past" for everyone! Another Art Shenanigans tour, including 'meeting' a couple of new artists from Athens. And hopefully very soon, Kitten will have a break in school and then, she and I can have another Art Day. I miss them -- and her -- immensely.
Get More of What You Love,

Jan 22, 2009

TAG -- you're it!

Hello Everyone!

I do love the food at Ru-San's as well as what the staff does with the food. It delights the eye as well as the palate. If you're ever in Athens, check them out. The best sushi, sashimi, teriyaki... seriously, all things Japanese. And the drinks... well, you just have not had a martini until you have one of theirs.

No tour today, Kids, just a bit of fun, but you do not have to play if you don't want to. No pressure here and I know folks are busy as the (proverbial) bee. Besides, Sarah started this so you can blame her. snicker... uh oh, now I'm in dutch, for sure.

For giggles, I was tagged last week by said friend Sarah Wallis, of Circles of Rain, here. The rules are:

1. Link to the person who tagged you (as I did just now with Sarah).
2. Mention the rules.
3. Tell 6 things about yourself.
4. Tag 6 other bloggers by linking to them.
5. Go to each person's blog and leave them a comment to let them know they've been tagged.
Wow. It's like a warped round robin of REAL tag, isn't it?

Okay, here are the six things about myself -- pretty soon you will know if you're tagged or not. Nothing catastrophic will happen if you break the chain, of course. Would I do that to you? C'mon...!

But honestly, you never know. Out here in Blogovia, you might make someone's day if you play. Here we go...

1. Until a few years ago, I weighed 85 pounds. (I was not anorexic nor was I bulemic. I was just really thin. Honest.)
2. I'm a published author.
3. I didn't drive until I was 40. (Mmm. I walked and ran everywhere... and I weighed 85, maybe there's a connection.)
4. I read approximately two and sometimes three books a week. I make art almost every day.
5. I hatched this cockamamie plan on not spending any money this year -- with the exceptions of my house note, utilities for same, groceries, and necessities such as doctors, vets, and subsequent medicines, etc.
6. I'm keeping a journal about this socioeconomic experiment and illustrating it, too. (I am calling it The 2009 Pinch A Nickel Till The Indian Rides The Buffalo Deal. Sounds Faustian, eh?)

So here are My TAGs -- you're it.
Denise of Bless This Mess.
RJ (Velvet Ginger) of Somewhere Over The Rainbow.
Chris of e-Cuneiform Scratchings (a totally fun blog!).
Charlie of Art Happens.
Linda of Wig Wandering ( I know. But trust me, she's there!).
Sarah of Black-Eyed Suzie .

And do check out Misty Mawn's site for these suggestions and visuals, tips and noodges going on now in January '09.
Get some sleep. Drink some water. Stretch. Smile -- and get more of what you love.

Jan 20, 2009


Or should that be Obama Mia!? Thank you, Craig Ferguson, you wild Scot, for the bon mot.

Hello everyone! It's hard to work at such a historic time in our lives, in our nation and in our world. I admit it, I have watched everything more or less so far, still managing to keep earning my daily bread and get work done at a reasonable or responsible rate.

Am I blue? Why yes, but in a different way, and throw in some red and white, for good measure, please!

More later, my computer is acting goofy again. Must be "BAM bop a loo bop O ba ma Boom!"

(Thank you, APReuters, for one of many images.)

Jan 19, 2009

Am I Blue?

Are you blue?
Hello everyone! I do love that song no matter who sings it.
And weatherwise, yes, we feel it here in the (allegedly) Sunny South, too. 12F at 6AM Tuesday. This crackin' cold jolt should finish sweeping out the old and bustle in the new as our new Prez takes charge like a no-nonsense parent cleaning up after an irresponsible babysitter...

Fortunately this fantastically warm, soft and deeply gorgeous scarf by Femminismo which I won (fair and square!) keeps me going on bone- numbing walks with or without the Girls here and there. Thanks for working such splendiferous wonders with those yarns, Jeanne. Truly you could set up shop and thrive anywhere, no matter the economy.

Not a self-portrait as much as the feeling here with this Blue Portrait entitled appropriately enough "Blue". Misty Mawn has certainly inspired me with her January suggestions, hints, tips and nudges on her blog. One day, she gave us blue. And then, there was self and self-portraiture on her blog. And I simply closed my eyes and dove in, and this is what happened next for me.

This is rendered on 140 rough, cold press with coloured pencils and crayon. My drugs of choice...

When I was younger... okay, okay, when I was actually young... Joni Mitchell's songs were like personal anthems to me on many occasions. Blue, her 1971 iconic album, kept me going through college, fraught with so many dangers (midterms, boys, finding one's own voice while realizing 'whoa, that can get me in trouble' and doing it anyway!).

Blue is also a favourite colour, as it contains so many varieties of itself. And its very essence fits into our vernacular. As I'm a wordsmith, that's important to me. When we are sad, we have the blues; we sing the blues. "My Blue Heaven" is a song (and a movie) which comes from a term that means a relationship or a situation that can feel like the greatest thing in the world but still makes you miserable. There's a multitude of pop culture and iconoclastic views regarding this word, this colour, this feeling.
This blue.

I made a tough decision today. It's not a happy decision but it's the right decision and most times, right trumps happily ever after in my house of cards. Needless to say -- you guessed it, it's made me blue. It left me a little down, a little bit cold.

I won't make ArtFest '09 after all. But everything will be all right, I'm sure. There's next year, hopefully; and there's a couple other fun things closer in I will manage to attend.

Funny how one door shuts and another opens. So I will sit tight during this cold season and about the time everything heats up, brightens up, the flowers blooming and birds on the wing, something close will show.

There's Craftstravaganzaa, you know. Don't forget I almost entered it last year. This very well could be the year I pop off and do something crazy like enter my work in a very public place.

And, as usual, here's that old orange cat (blue's complement on the colour wheel, by the way), still waiting for you-know-who to settle down beside him on a cold winter's night in Dixie.

Faithful to the end. Don't cry for me, Orangeatina.

Take care.

Jan 11, 2009

And The Award Goes To --

Hello Everyone! Squeezing this post in before the Golden Globes tonight.

I hope everyone is doing well out there in Blogovia. Today, I'm sharing a few images from a few of the cards I sent out during the holidays. Not all are here, as there just isn't enough room.

All these were New Year's greetings, btw. I like to put something "extry" as my grandmother would say, such as trying to put in desert flora and fauna for RJ (Velvet Ginger of Somewhere Over The Rainbow) who lives in Arizona, and a tip of the hat for the others as well.

One Day At A Time's Femminismo has it bad for roses, so of course, there were roses on her card. And stars on her skirt as well as RJ's... both ladies strike me as reaching for the stars, being surrounded by whimsy and fun.

And Christmas, for some, means summertime, as Bless This Mess's Denise Mayson will be happy to tell you.

Speaking of weather, it's been aggravating here as it's been a lot like a "strawberry spring" recently, which happens when the temps are so mild and inviting, things start blooming. And then WHAP! Old Man Winter shows up again as of today, and nips everything and everybody in the bud with his 32F self ... with the exception of course, of the mosquitoes and bugs, which are the size of Buicks in My neighborhood by the time summer shows up.

Can you find the hawk's nest here? And it's as crisply cold and forlorn here at 235 as it looks in this photo, trust me!

Before I sign off, Black Eyed Suzie here has a fun website I recommend and she also wants to know how to 'make' that little raincoat in the previous post. I'm sending those to you, cross my heart. If you like dolls and sculpting, and a twisted, wicked sense of humor, in general, give her blog a shout out. You won't be sorry.

I found Black Eyed Suzie through Circles of Rain's Sarah Wallis who just sent me a fun Starbucks cup ornament ('a late Christmas or very early Christmas gift', as she says. Oh, why not both? lol.) and THIS totally magical girl... thank you, Sarah!

This redhaired miss fits just so into my hand. She is quite small and the detail is very lovely... the little fern across her frock is silvery glittery fun! And her arms and legs move, as well. Do you see her tiny, artsy brads?

Take care and Do More of What You Love.

Jan 6, 2009

"Dream Along With Me..."

Hello Everyone!
Are you on your way to a star?

I do love this Fifties song by Perry Como. Hearing it today, I thought how dreamlike it can be here in Blogovia among other artists and craftspersons with all the beauty, hopes and dreams we freely share with one another. I recently "discovered" a great new blog you might enjoy here.

"bloggedy blog blog" comes to us, courtesy of a fun Canadian creative who goes by "Saucy". I caught up with her most recent adventures and thought you would enjoy a visit there with her. I sure did.

Meanwhile, back at the Ranch... leave it to T and Kitten to get me caught up -- however inadvertently -- in another artistic adventure. Origami! T's new 365 origami a day calendar is to blame, as well.

When I saw the raincoat, I was done for. I'll have to make another to put on one of my paper dolls. It's just too good and too easy not to do it! (Ahem... sorry for the glare. I found out these origami papers have quite the reflective sheen to them.)

Maybe I will combine these origami works with my usual to the theme for ArtFest '09. Yep, and not a moment too soon to start working on them, as ArtFest is held April 1 - 5. Yikes! Just four months, a scant 16 weeks, from now and I will be jetting to a part of this country that I've never been before. Can't wait.

On an even happier note, Yours Truly won the art giveaway at One Day At A Time. Thanks for the contest and the opportunity, Femminismo. T accused me of rigging that contest! "You never won anything before!" Well, that's true. Since I started living part time in Blogsville and showing off my artworks, I have won two giveaways. Besides the gorgeous scarf from Femminismo, I won an artbook through a giveaway at Suzi Blu a few weeks ago. Incredible!

Do More of What You Love!

Jan 5, 2009

And The Winner Is --

But first....

Hello everyone! Up to 60 or so today with springlike rains all day. What the...?
Back to work after a nice long stretch. And while it is also one of the slowest times, I find Art Shenanigans is becoming more and more demanding of my time. Believe me, I would rather deal with Art than all the editing, reading, writing, editing, reading, proofing, -- etc.

Before witnesses -- T, Don and Kitten -- I reached into the stack of contestants' names and the winner of the Brown Paper Bag Art Journal is: Denise Mayson. A bit fitting as Denise completely loves (working with) paper; oh yes, she does! The Journal goes out this week to Denise -- and hopefully, the Post Awful will have it to her before the weather changes again! Congratulations, Denise.

Above is a glimpse of one of the Brown Paper Bag's guides. Heavenly Harriet. May she treat you well, Denise.
One of my goals this year is hosting giveaways on the first day of each month throughout this new, wonderfully pristine 2009. So if you didn't get hold of the brass ring this time around, come back Feb. 1st (at least!) and go for it again.

Before I pitch my tents under the night sky to get some sleep, let me remind you all to take care and

Do More of What You Love.


Jan 2, 2009

Get Away From that Cornbread

Uh-uh. Oh, no you don't. Get away from my cornbread...

LOL. It looks like it's smiling, doesn't it? A big goofy cartoony smile at that. Cornbread is part of the "traditional" Deep South New Year's Day fixin's, along with black-eyed peas, collard greens and a hambone (or not) for seasoning. Thanks to T for such a good hearty meal on a very chilly day. The leftovers are even better! I think this type meal is to get us accustomed to our usual vittles as opposed to the fancy schmancy holiday buffets, et cetera.

Don't forget, the Art Journal Giveaway is so easy to ask for and about. It's interactive (sort of) as well. Just leave a comment on this here blog by Midnight, Saturday, January 3, and you will be entered into the drawing. Also, leave your addy at canwiggins@gmail.com.

This latest artivity will go out within the week of the drawing.

What is it, really? Well, it is indeed really a brown paper bag art journal. From brown paper bags I have cut, dampened, dried and ironed and then set those pages out into a journal for some fun. I've whipped it up, gussied it up, stained it up, coloured it up and sewn it up... and I think you will enjoy working with it. It's a little of "my" Art Journal, sure; but it's going to be mostly somebody else's Art Journal.

Here is another photo from My most recent line drawings. This may not be in the Art Journal Giveaway ... but, then again, you never know! She already has a full body and a gorgeous background I will show in the next post. She is "resting" right now. And soon I will be, too.

Have fun this weekend, everyone. Catch you later!

Do More of What You Love,

Jan 1, 2009

Happy New Art

-- did I type that right? I'm sure you know what I mean! More new everything in the new year, including Art Shenanigans!

Hello everyone! Femminismo has a fantastic giveaway here but hurry! The deadline is Jan 5 -- that's right. Twelfth Night, like the play... That's when the tree at 235 goes away. I sure have enjoyed it too.
An art giveaway every month is one of My themes for 2009. This starts today. Just leave a comment (and send your addy to canwiggins@gmail.com if I don't have it or you just want to say 'hi') and you are automatically eligible! No matter where you are from... the drawing will be Midnight, Saturday, January 3rd. So go for it!
The first giveaway is a simple art journal I've made in the style of the Brown Paper Bag School of Art. LOL.

No tour today, Kids. Just a visual which is self-explanatory.
Take care and Do More Of What You Love.