Monday, December 17, 2007

"Will it be Louise??"

Ok, so hopefully my sister, "Lucky Louise" will have escaped the December "Nor'Easter" and will catch her flight tomorrow to NYC for a two-day cruise where the Norwegian Cruise Lines will be announcing their chosen "Godmother" of their newest Cruise Liner...being chosen one of five finalists in a pool of over 400 contestants already makes her a winner in the eyes of her friends, colleagues, brothers and sisters, but we are all routing for her nonetheless!!
(A quick synopsis of the contest...NCL (Norwegian Cruise Lines) sponsored a contest to choose the next "Godmother" of a new cruiseliner "Gem"...contestants had to create a video of "why they should be chosen as Godmother..." NCL created a fictional "character" called the Gem "It" girl to help contestants create a picture of themselves as the Gem "it" girl godmother of the ship....for example, the Gem "it" girl's favorite color is "Leopard," the celebrity she would most like to meet is John Legend, etc... So each contestant created and submitted a video (90 seconds long) to NCL making the case as to why they should be chosen the NCL Gem "It" girl....for about a month, regular people could go online to the website of NCL and "vote" for their favorite video, which counts for about 15% of total winning votes...the NCL folks carry the most weight for final winner, but they sure made it fun for the regular folks...Also, it's a pretty big deal to be "Godmother" of a cruise liner...most "godmothers" happen to be major celebrities, so this was a very unique contest. Anyway, Louise's video was fun, clever, relevant, creative, and of course she is such a "hottie" that of course she was chosen as a finalist! And it sure doesn't hurt that this will be her 17th cruise with NCL. The five finalists won a 2-day cruise on NCL where they will announce the grand-prize winning "Godmother" of the NCL "Gem."
But here is the REAL kicker... IF she wins...
She wins a ten-day cruise and can take along 5 guests (please note, Louise has FIVE SISTERS) who will stay in the 5000 square-foot VIP Suite... (also note...Louise also has FIVE BROTHERS who just fleetingly wish they were a "sister," but because we sisters would just love to take our brothers along, we have all agreed to pool our $$ and buy tickets for the whole fam damily and have one freakin' family reunion for ten days in the 5000 square foot VIP Suite somewhere in the middle of the Carribean...or, um, Mediterranean....and I am positively 100% sure that none of our brothers would mind having to sleep on the couch for a few days...
Now, Louise being the progressive and generous soul that she is, decided to bring a gift, win OR lose, to present to the Captain and hosts of the Ship; and this is where I come in...
Louise commisioned an art piece, and decided on a Gem "It" Mermaid, representative of the sea, and complete with all of the Gem "It" girl's favorite things...right down to the Leopard print...She also has a Tower (not pictured) with hooks for guests to place their charms on, for good luck, of course, while they sail the deep blue seas...
And so, tomorrow (Tues. December 18, 2007) Louise will call us from the deck of the ship to let us know if she and we have won...keep your fins, er, fingers crossed!!

NCL "Godmother..."




Wednesday, November 7, 2007

A Vermont Daily Briefing...


Those who know and love me best are aware that I occasionally have "political opinions" and when perchance the topic is brought up or inadvertantly stumbled upon, do their best to promptly change the subject.

Sometimes, as luck would have it, someone comes along who, like myself, and hopefully with a good bottle of wine, wouldn't mind "whittling away the hours" in fervant debate about the foibles and follies of American politics.

I guess I got lucky. Check out my Nov. 7 Featured Reader Spot, titled:
"This is VDB: In Which Vermont Daily Briefing Readers are Revealed to be Themselves"
on the number one political blog in Vermont, "Vermont Daily Briefing."


You can find all the news, fun, and laughs here:

Sunday, November 4, 2007

It's a good thing my studio has windows...

There is just something wonderful about going bra-less and staying in my sweats and tee for the entire weekend; doing nothing but drinking coffee in the morning, wine in the evening, all the while fervishly creating little goodies for my upcoming craft shows- like a little elf trying to beat Santa's deadline...(was that a run-on sentence??)
I have managed to make 4 more art journals, and two mixed-media art dolls- and thanks to 104.7 "The Point" for its Saturday night 11-1 AM show, (I think its called "The Cosmic Lounge??" ) for its inspiring world music...and as you can see from my little creation below, the music definitely had its effect on me! (visit my shop www.itselemental.etsy.com to see how it was made). And as of today, the last remnants of the autumn leaves are falling from the trees in my backyard- including a gargantuan Oak, and a maple that appeared to be aflame during its peak. I thought the leaves on the ground would make a nice backdrop for my art doll pics.

Craft Madness!!




Sunday, October 21, 2007

Autumn in Vermont...







We are all familiar with the song, "Moonlight in Vermont," but someody oughtta write a new tune and call it "Autumn in Vermont..."



Today is October 21 and the weather sunny and 70! I cannot remember a more beautiful Harvest Season, including a fabulous crop of apples and pumpkins. As I speak (write) at 6:12 PM, the sunset sky is a crisp blue with an array of wispy clouds in brilliant orange-red. No wonder artists, poets, writers and lovers flock to Vermont! And here are a few pics to prove it, which I have photographed today and a few days ago. (These images are also available as greeting cards- check them out on my webstore http://www.itselemental.etsy.com/)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Traveling Trunk Show


The Burlington Craft Mafia's Traveling Trunk Show at Red Square this past Friday was a great venue. Set in a bar, al beit Burlington's most popular bar, had me thinking patrons would be doing a lot of looking but not buying...I'm happy to say, "how wrong I was!" The setting was very warm and cozy, a nice match for BCM artisans selling hand-made/designed jewelry, clothing, fibers, glasswares, greeting cards, journals,and mixed-media artworks. Live music by "Colin Clary and a Magog" was a huge ++. A lot of fun, and made sales to boot! My only advice for anyone considering a similar venue- bring some portable lighting! For more pics, visit Kacey at www.subsixstudios.com. A big thank you to all who stopped by!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

It really, truly is October!!




So as I mentioned in my previous post, I took a group of Seniors on a boat cruise luncheon last Thurday, and it was nearly 80 degrees and 100% sunny. Unbelievable weather. Snapped a few pictures because I cannot be near the water without snapping a few pics of the Waterfront. Below is a shot of the Burlington Boathouse- notice all the sailboats anchored out front?? the only reason they are not out in the broad lake is because there was not a breeze to be felt. I'm guessing the sailboat owners were all in their shorts and Tee-shirts, shopping on the Church Street Marketplace. And notice the tree over to the left? That tree with all the green-leaves? hmmm...I'm thinking they should be red, or gold, anything but green at this time of year...




And the little seagull who came in for a landing to check things out...looking completely relaxed and unconcerned... no, that little seagull is NOT thinking that, soon he will have to dip his little webbed-toes into the frigid waters of lake Champlain...mmm, mmm...that little seagull is thinking about scarfing his next french-fry off some little kid at battery Park, just up the street... ahhh, yes, the hazy, lazy, crazy days of October....(Oops...that's the "summer" song! instead, I'll go with "Shine on, shine on harvest moon....")

Is it really October??


It's Vermont and the leaves on the trees are still green- and it's almost mid-October- and the temperature has been in the mid-seventies- not that I'm complaining...


Two weeks ago I went apple picking and it was in the 7o's, last Thursday (Oct. 4) I took a group of Seniors on a luncheon cruise aboard the Spirit of Ethan Allen, and it was almost 80 degrees. Luckily, my neighbors have their pumpkins out, the stores are decorated with scarecrows, ghosts and goblins, everyone is having "Harvest Fests", and last week was the Harvest Moon...If not for these things, I would probably think it's still July! The pagan in me absolutely loves the Harvest Season, my favorite time of year, October my favorite month...and how beautiful it has been so far, even if the foliage season is behind schedule!!


I accomplished quite a bit this weekend, in terms of "crafting and creating" for the upcoming holiday shows...This Friday, October 12 from 5 to 8, the Burlington Craft Mafia is having a "Traveling Trunk Show" at RED SQUARE in Burlington, with musical guests "Colin Clary and a Magog." Not a bad way to start out a Friday evening..."go shopping, party, and shop some more!!"

I played around in photoshop today, and made a little halloween greeting card from one of my Witch Art Dolls...titled, "What a Witch." I just love the little red apple... 'tis the season, afterall...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Wickedly Chic!

I just got an email from Liz over at "Wickedlychic.com" informing me that one of my little "Fairy Tale Snippets" mini-journals was being featured in the "Daily Ditties." Wickedlychic is a website featuring Indie businesses with about 500-600 visitors a day. It's a terrific site with a great many indie artists, crafters and designers....check it out!

http://www.wickedlychic.com/?c=Daily+Ditties

Monday, September 3, 2007

A Rest Stop


I was outside this afternoon taking photos of some of my art work when this little creature flew in and landed on a branch stalk right next to me...talk about synchronicity! I have been trying to capture a decent photo of a dragonfly for the last few years, and this one happens by just as I have my camera ready- I just wish I had a better zoom camera. I can see why dragonflies are associated with faeries...this one has almost human-like characteristics! Click and zoom in for a closer look!!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

"Tis the Season!"











September already! With Autumn officially around the corner, craft season is here- (and the Art Hop coming up this weekend)! I've been working on gift tags and mini art-journals; taking a break from my art dolls for a while! A few of my gift-tag designs: An elegant finishing touch for your gifts of wine, canned goods/specialty food items, etc. The wine bottle gift tags have "Enjoy!" printed above the vase, as well as a choice of "Enjoy" printed in Spanish, "Goce!" Italian, "Goda!" or French, "Appreciez!" The tags can also be re-used by the individual who receives your gift, as recycling is a very good thing! Designed, printed, and hand-cut by me, of course!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Burlington Gardens


I just love how so many Burlingtonians create absolutely gorgeous flower gardens (and sometimes vegetables!) right in the heart of "urban" Burlington. Burlington also hosts a "garden tour" of individuals' gardens, and holds a contest for the best garden. A few years ago, a friend won, and I stopped by to see his creation- his old house was on a very busy street, and built into a hillside requiring that I climb about 40 steps to get to his front porch. Cutting through the house to the back door, I looked out and it was almost like being in the "land of Oz..." (no munchkins to be seen, but the feeling of Dorothy's awe was definitely there)! His secluded backyard continued to gradually slope upward, and he had created these wonderous nooks and crannies filled with the most magnificent and exotic blooms, trellises with climbing vines, secret paths, and he had also built a small goldfish pond...needless to say, it was a little Garden of Eden...right in the heart of urban Burlington! The time and effort that goes into creating these mini paradises is incredible! Another favorite of mine is a house on North Avenue- every year the owner creates a new look, but the front and side of his house are just exploding with bright and vibrant color! Each year I vow to ask for permission to take a photo to make a greeting card, but so far I continue to drive by and admire his creation. Last summer, on my way to Advance Music, I took a wrong turn and ended up on South Champlain St. On the corner of King and So. Champlain (the heart of Burl), the occupant of a red brick apartment building had planted a garden of flowers and tomatoes right on the corner near the mailbox. It was almost comical that the "STOP" sign seemed to be telling all to "STOP! and smell the flowers..." Well, my imagination was captured, and I was inspired to try painting this scene...so, here is (a segment) of my oil on canvas, titled, of course, "Stop! and Smell the Flowers..."

Friday, August 17, 2007

Red Square


Oh...and mark your calendars for Friday, October 12 from 5:00-8:00-ish...

Burlington Craft Mafia are having a Trunk Show at Red Square in Burlington! Stop by for all things hand-made, treats and live music (TBA). Not to mention Red Square is just a cool place to start out your Friday night! Thanks to my right-hand man Louis for the Diane connection. So pending tornados or other natural disasters, see y'all at the Square!

Nearing Autumn!


An absolutely gorgeous summer day today, and everything is still green! But I am beginning to see hints of red in the maple tree in my back yard...only a month of summer left! The oak tree in my back yard is gargantuan- its branches reach out over my house, and when viewed from across the street, this mighty Oak makes my abode look like a dollhouse! It has got to be one of the bigger trees in Burlington...This morning I found one lone, brownish oak leaf lying on the side of my back steps. Left over from last winter, maybe?? It just seemed so out of place, as all of the leaves on the oak tree are still green...hmmm...maybe it was just getting a jump-start on Fall? Well, I was inspired to make a print of this lone oak leaf, and I took a few liberties in changing its brownish, natural color to a more acceptable "autumn" color...(altho' I think oak leaves turn more yellowish, not red). It is now forever captured on a beautiful note card. I love designs that are simple and natural...this one is a real beauty.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Something New


It was so nice to spend a quiet weekend at home...putting my watercolor pencils to the test! Here is my tulip "Bouquet;" quite Van Gogh-ish and primitve, but very colorful. I have already turned it into a 5x7 greeting card, and it is actually kind of pretty!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Work in Progress


I seem to be on a "celestial kick" lately- I've started a sun-spirit, but have not worked on if for a few days. I have actually been working on another art project (and having a LOT of fun with it!) so the break in routine from making the art dolls has been refreshing. I am not ready to go "public" with my current little project; as it is not yet finished- (and will hopefully be on-going) but also because it strays a bit from my traditional, "non-controversial" stuff. Not that this new project is "controversial," perhaps not the best word to use- but it does involve writing, cartoon clips, as well as my own work, contemporary ephemera, "expressive" language, and something similar to "Far-Side" humor. The core of this project is that it deals with the things in life that matter most, but can get one in oh... sooo much heat...."politics, sex and religion!!" (I'm being facetious, here!!) It has been GREAT to express "that other side" of myself, and I've even had a few good laughs! Stay tuned...

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Studio STK "Art to Go"

http://www.studiostk.com/blog/uploaded_images/august_flyer-725899.jpg

I'll be at Studio STK's "Art to Go" show on Friday, August 3rd from 5:00-8:00. Stop in and shop for locally-made, handcrafted items...and check out the fabulous art installations as well!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Sister Moon


In honor of tonight's FULL MOON... and the natural cycles of tides and menstruations, the revelation of the first spirit-ray; the white-fire which is the absence of color and yet the unity of all colors, representative of intuition, femininity and love...and to all of us who go just a wee bit crazy when she is revealed in full!

Created by my hands with clay, acrylics, wire, cheesecloth, glaze and ribbon.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Midnight Hour...


I am fortunate in the fact that I enjoy my day job, but I confess, I relish my weekends. My "body-clock" relegates me to the status of "night-owl," and for reasons unknown to me, my creativity comes to life in the late night hours, the witching hour and beyond... Perhaps I have become conditioned to this time-frame because of my years singing in night clubs, into the wee hours of the morning. Being on hiatus from the music world, I have spent my nights in my art space, creating whimsical little "nature-spirit beings," digital photography and greeting cards, and most recently painting. I do not have training in the arts, but I am evolving and enjoying the creative play. I sculpt with polymer clay- completely handmade, no molds or patterns. Growing up with 10 brothers and sisters, we used to wonder how our mother could create a feast out of left-overs...as we used to say, "she could always make something out of nothing." I think that fascination has stuck with me all these years...I love to gather disparate objects, put them together in a way that makes sense, and end up with a one-of-a-kind piece of art. Semi-pictured is "Bat Girl," a midnight elemental completely sculpted by hand and born of my imagination. All of my elementals reflect the natural world, and the feminine energy of creation and protection; it is my way of protesting the "Mars" god-of-war energy permeating the earth today.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Reasons I love Vermont...




There is so much to love about living here in Vermont...incredible sunsets on the Burlington Waterfront being one of them. The summer of '04 was probably the most incredible in my memory, as far as insanely beautiful, colors-changing-by-the-minute sunsets, down at Breakwaters. Ok, the margueritas and the Phil Abair Band added to the romantic aura of it all, but I am not exaggerating about Burlington sunsets, and as a matter of fact, would offer a challenge to anyone to come up with a more beautiful spot. But there was definitely something about the summer of '04. I haven't seen anything like it since. I photographed the pics above one summer night- down at breakwaters, of course, while Marc held my marguerita , and all the while grooving to "Brown-eyed Girl..." At the time, my young son was driving a hummer up and down the IED-infested roads of the Sunni Triangle with other VTANG comrades, courtesy of (ahem), Kaiser Bush's "War on Terror." And so, in addition to not sleeping for an entire year, all I could think of that whole summer was that we were getting these really incredible sunsets, with amazing arrays of orange, gold and red, courtesy of the atmospheric depleted uranium wafting in from the Middle East...

Did their approval rating go up?

So it seems the general consensus of those in TV land is that the YouTube Democratic Presidential debate forum was a huge success..."a very interesting debate!" as one media pundit gushed. I agree; it was very risky, creative and edgy thinking on behalf of CNN to actually allow John and Susie Q. Public to ask of the Presidential hopefuls, "So, just what WILL you do if you are elected President?? (I did take note of Anderson Cooper's occasional blood-draining-from-face, near-panic attacks, especially when the Pentagon Papers' Senator was given the floor....albeit briefly)...but the Coop kept his cool and held it together....GO ANDERSON!

And so I ask...or rather, wonder..."Did Congress' approval rating go up, as the result of several of its members being such good sports in allowing common people to grill them on live TV??"
NAHHHHH........! But I'd bet my dog's kibbles and bits that YOUTUBE membership is up 1000%!! (hmmm....I wonder if they have stock offerings.....)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Framed and ready to hang...

whoa....this blog title is almost a double entendre...(well, I did spend my first seven years of life at 220 Main- for those of you who know this address!!) I mean the mini-urban-art-via- cell- phone pieces I plan on submitting to Art Hop! Made a quick trip to creative habitat for some 5x7 black frames (no, I am not trying to get away with "art on the cheap," I just want the images and the concept to speak for themselves...without going broke...so...) I've posted a few of the pics below, but you'll just have to find my exhibition if you want to see the rest! The more I think about the use of cell phones, the more ideas come to me...hmmm...and speaking of You Tube...I watched the Democratic Presidential blah blah blah debate tonight (hey, Congress has a 16% approval rating; lower than Kaiser Bush's for friggin sake!! Therefore, cynical humor is allowed, justifiable, and even tolerable) with questions posed by YouTubers...Ah, technology...the people's new power?? Muwahhhhh.........!!!!!!...Git yer cell phones out, folks...!!...am off to the Vermont Daily Briefing...

Saturday, July 21, 2007

How it begins...


It's not just "smoke and mirrors..." it also takes a cell phone!

My sister lives in Sarajevo and recently came home for a visit. As soon as she landed in Vermont her cell phone went out of service. She was more than annoyed, and noted that she was able to use her cell phone on a remote little island off the coast of Africa, flying over the Atlantic, but once in Vermont....nothing. She couldn't access any of her over-seas phone numbers, or call our mother from Church Street, 5 blocks away from home. Her irritation and frustration over this loss of instant communication was almost palpable. Now, everyone I know has a cell phone. But I don't. I still communicate the old-fashioned way; via land-line. It's not that I dislike cell phones; in fact, I think they are much more practical and far more interesting than my cordless. I just haven't taken the time to cancel my Verizon- and finances dictate that I have one or the other, but not both. My sister's predicament got me thinking.

Incredible, how in just a few short years the cell phone has changed life as we knew it, and on a global scale. The cell phone is drenched in yin-yang: we all want our kids to have one; for protection and to maintain a constant line of parental communication. Car-driving cell-phone-talkers cause accidents. Funny ringtones keep us amused. Ringing cellphones in the middle of a movie theater annoy us. Cell phone recordings of University Massacres and grisly executions of dictators make the evening news. Cell phone towers and signals might be interfering with birds' migratory patterns and lowering sperm counts in men. Cell phones allow us to be productive and mobile. Cell phones can ruin political and hollywood careers (with the help of YouTube). They can save our lives. They can kill others. In Africa, the mining of tin oxide for the West's quest for more "environmentally friendly" materials to replace lead in mobile phones, has actually resulted in more violence and exploitation of the miners. The list could go on and on. I was intrigued to learn that this past year, my daughter has been using her cell phone not only to communicate with friends and family, but to create mini works of art. I do not know if she has ever thought about all these implications of the cell phone on society. But she has discovered a way to make art. Via her cell phone. The following images are what I call "mini urban-art via cell phone." By Emily

Emily in black and white


Da Vinci and Vermeer could not have painted a more beautiful face...even more amazing is that the subject is also the artist..."mini urban-art via cell phone," self-imposed art at its most beautiful.

Solar Energy


Wow. Magical and surrreal. Emily in solar energy.

What a Heel...


Who needs a Nikon, Olympus or Canon when you have a CELL PHONE?!! Granted, the images are tiny, but it is not size which dictates great art, but rather the VISION of the artist... And it sure helps to have a great pair of heels! Now THIS is true contemporary "mini urban-art via cellphone!!"

Raina & Emily

Self-Portrait via Cell Phone


Probably most everyone who owns a cell phone has done this- taken a pic of themselves. Amazing.
Mini urban-art via cell phone at its most spontaneous.

Infection Control


Emily in her scrubs recently at FAHC... Motto: "If they don't cure you, they'll kill you." No kidding! Another fine example of mini urban-art via cellphone...Hey, ART is LIFE!! (nice work, Emily!!)

Yes, it's summer but...

In Meltdown... and STILL happy!
Had to post this little snowman happily morphing into a puddle of water. (Muwahhhh!!!!) The end result of the Valentine's Day Blizzard of '07 here in Vermont (my birthday, no less, and I missed out on a fine steak dinner cooked by my son because the visibility driving down north avenue extended only to the frost build-up on the INSIDE of the windshield!! No wonder the snowman is still smirking...melt...MELT, I say)! Another example of mini urban-art via cell phone.

Art Hop


I'll be participating in SEABA's Art Hop '07 again this year (as soon as I register)! Art Hop is Vermont's biggest arts festival featuring the work of over 400 artists/crafters; showcased in businesses and studios in Burlington's south end. Over 40,000 art-hoppers will be cruising the venues in a two-day period! I'm thinking of showcasing mini urban-artworks via cell phone; taken by my very beautiful and creative daughter Emily. She is away on military active duty, studying for a career in the medical field. They are tiny photographic prints (2.5 x 3 and 3.5 x 4.5 inches) of urban Burlington scenes taken via cell phone. Just to show that one aspect of technology which has had such an incredible impact on a global scale- both good and bad- can also be unexpectedly artistic! check out http://www.seaba.com/
Pictured: "Porch Tub Still Life" Mini urban-art via cell phone

Greetings...

...and welcome to my little blog in this northern corner of the blogosphere. I'm new to blogging but will figure this all out eventually... Alas, another techno forum to showcase my little artworks, write journal entries to myself and anyone else who cares to read them, and occasionally verbiate my political leanings and opinions. Yes, this is an "art" blog per se, but my other labels also include "singer in a rock n' roll band on hiatus," writer/poet, currently inactive activist, night owl, and altho' I hate to admit it, "political junkie." ( I LOVE that those two words go together so nicely). I know I will find it very difficult to ONLY blog about art and crafts, after all, we humans are 3-dimensional, right?? And I really don't want to deal with 3 or 4 different blog topics 'cause I would have a really hard time remembering all my blogspot passwords. So, here goes... Art here, crafts there, and a little bit of musings sprinkled in between...