Thursday, November 29, 2007

Always crocheting lately

I guess people want to keep their arms warm because my gloves are my most popular item lately. I think they also make a good gift, and of course people are buying lots of those right now! And they are so trendy! So as a result, part of my time is going to crocheting lots of arm warmers!

I'm going out of town for the weekend. It's my cutie, twin nephews' second birthday. I'll have to bring my yarn and keep busy down there. I just have no time to spare right now. I know everyone feels the same.

You can see a selection of these in my arm warmer section on Etsy. And if you're not a member of Etsy yet, by all means sign up! It's easy and you can find the most superb, unique gifts there! I've got a good start on my shopping already done, mosty from Etsy. It beats going to the mall any day!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Etsy Pick-O-The-Week - artyfakt

I'm always impressed with the amount of unique items I keep finding on Etsy! This week I found these very uniquely cool boxes. Made from what? Record boxes and the records themselves. This shop, artyfakt, looks to be a pretty newish shop on Etsy. And that's always fun to find too!

I love these boxes! She seems to really do an exceptional job of constructing them, too. And there are many wonderful types to choose from. You're bound to find one suitable for any music lover in your life. I just wish I had more money to buy some! Well maybe soon once my sales pick up!!

Friday, November 23, 2007

A Turkey-Less Thanksgiving

I hope you all had a spectacular Thanksgiving! Mine was enjoyable, in it's own, humbly-unique way. I'm a bit of an unconventionalist and Thanksgiving is right up there at the top of the list.

First I thought I'd share with you my favorite part of the meal... the cranberries. When I was growing up it seemed cranberries were always the weird glop from the can. I didn't care for them much. Then I grew up and started making my own, the old fashioned way. I also started cooking them on my wood stove years ago when I only had a hot plate and toaster oven. (Difficult times in the kitchen!) I loved the smell and the old way so much, I continue it to this day.

I add orange juice, apples, maple syrup, and sugar. And let it simmer for quite a while, OOh, it smells so good! And pretty too!

I've learned through the years to make the cranberries early so that they can cool before dinner. They don't taste as tart, and I just think they're better cold.

Here's the rest of my some what odd meal. It's vegetarian, and actually this part is vegan. (We also eat some tahini dip earlier in the day and that has yogurt in it). The roast is pretty good even though you turkey eaters will probably think it's so unusual! It's made with tofu, lentils, quinoa, rice, nuts, oatmeal, celery, onions, garlic and spices. It's kind of like a stuffing with protein. It's probably the most work of all the meal.

Instead of mashed potatoes we have a mixed roasted roots ensemble. Then you get your yams and potatoes all in one. Some simple corn in honor of the Indians at the first Thanksgiving. Why I serve spinach, I don't know, just needed some green. And also in honor of the pilgrims... Beer! That's probably the most filling of all!

Top that off with your more traditional pumpkin and cherry pie (with whipped cream) and coffee. YUM YUM!

And what am I thankful for? Family, Friends, Health and Home and yes all of you lovelies able to read and post a comment here on my blog. Enjoy your Holidays!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Meet Cleo!

I realized I haven't introduced you yet to our new addition to the family! We've had her about a month now. She's very cute, even if her eyes are a little "dull". Well that's what we've decided! She's a very bold little cat and loves to play fetch. She's the second cat I've had in my life that plays the game. And she is VERY good at it! She needs to give our dog Ziggy a lesson on it. But oh, the trials of a little cat in the house... climbing on your things and knocking everything over, chewing your stuff, interrupting your crocheting because yarn is just so much fun, waking you up when you're in desperate need of sleep, and let's not forget ALLERGIES!

Now I don't know what I'm allergic to, but they have coincidently gone hay wire right around the time she arrived at her house. But I always have had cats, this is my 3rd one right now. Only sometimes do my allergies go off, even when a cat is constantly in my house. So why now?? My other cats come and go, in and out, throughout the day. This cat so far is in all the time.

I just don't know, but I am going a little crazy with the allergies going on for so long lately!!!! Maybe it's the dry, dry, weather we've been having, and drought. I really need for that to change NOW!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

TOC - Peace - Pendant

Last night the Theme of Consciousness on Jim Ladd's radio program was PEACE. I requested, and heard, "Throwing Stones" by Grateful Dead. I cheated this week on supplying any art onto his site. I had so many "peace" images already available, so I used them instead. I painted this Peace Girl about a year ago.

Just last week I made a print of this image into a resin pendant. I'm so happy that I got a new mold for making my pendants. It's nice to have a variety of shapes.

I also just recently made the packaging for them. They're all ready for gift giving, and are available in my shop now.

This is a vintage drawing of mine from 1990. It was perfect last night while "Imagine" was being broadcast. I like the Strawberry Fields Forever clothing. It's one of MANY Beatles images that I've done over the years.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A Rainbow of Chard

This chard was just too beautiful to go and be eaten and not have it's picture taken! I could not make anything more lovely than this piece of art from nature. So I got out my handy camera, took it's pix, then pulverized it into juice. It's yummy mixed with apple, carrot, celery, beets, and parsley is always a must for my juice. Healthy goodness!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Getting ready for Christmas

I'm trying to get more Christmas items in my Etsy shop. Although I'm a little late, as usual! Really organized people have been onto Christmas items far longer.

These cards were printed from my stamp that I designed and carved. They were printed with acrylic paint and dusted with fine fairy dust.

This design is a sassy little elf. She's all ready for her party, martini in hand. I love how retro she is. I'm big into all things "Retro Christmas!"

The colors are not your traditional Christmas colors. That's how I usually make my Christmas cards.

Those of you that receive a physical Christmas card from me may recognize this as my 2006 design. I've been creating a new Christmas card design for 17 years now. This elf was the second time that I made them from a hand carved stamp. Usually they have been copies. I better get busy and think up this year's. I wonder if I'll ever run out of ideas?

Here they are in my Etsy shop.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Etsy Pick-O-The-Week - KeriRounding

These felted brooches are purty-purty! They are created by KeriRounding over on Etsy. These little anenomes would surely look alive perched on your clothes!

They are made with "a mixture of wet and needle felting techniques." They are not your average looking brooch, and the colors are quite stunning! Go to for more!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Theme of Consciousness-TOC-World

My drawing for TOC this week was a little hokey! But it's pretty fun, and light also, so I like it.

Jim Ladd and Theme Of Consciousness started streaming this past Friday. In honor of Jim finally going world wide, the theme was "world," of course. Anyone who enjoys free-form rock and roll should listen to Jim. They only allow him to stream on Fridays, 8pm-1am (Pacific Time). He's on 95.5 KLOS.

I just love any theme/challenge to try and think up and create a piece of art to match. Some might be clever, others are just fun.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Vintage Record Cover Box

I started making these upcycled record cover boxes a few years ago to uniquely wrap any gift that would fit into them. Last year I started offering them for sale. And I'm happy to have even more to choose from this year.

This cover is particularly special, in my opinion. Brad first told me it was "Father Knows Best." I wasn't sure. But after reading the back cover I discovered it was the "Donna Reed Show" family. I didn't recognize Donna Reed. I know Donna Reed best as Mary from one of my most favorite movies, "It's A Wonderful Life." This photo is her in 1964. But I thought that made this cover even more fabulous!

I collect these records all year, well I always collect records of all sorts and have for over 20 years now. I use only records that are beyond their use for music, either because of damage, or just plain boring, and insignificant. But the images on old records are simply too much fun to let go to waste sitting in a stack. So I love to give them a new life.

Once I started selling these boxes I started coating them with layers of acrylic medium and a final glossy varnish. The covers can get pretty brittle with age, and these coatings make the box more sturdy. I also add a piece of matching decorative paper for the bottom of the box.

They look so lovely just tied with ribbon sitting under your tree. They are a great way to hold your cards, stationery, or other little trinket items. They fit in perfectly with any vintage inspired Christmas decor. They are just so cute!

I've got some for sale in the Christmas section of my Etsy shop, now.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Art Lesson - Foreshortening - Self Portraits

This is a good lesson to do with fifth graders. I did this lesson with my son's class a couple of weeks ago.

First I attempted to describe to them what foreshortening was. I was mainly trying to just introduce the word to them. I had an example of a drawing using foreshortening. I showed them my example first, and asked them who might see this view. I was pleased when they said an ant. Then we did the drawing together. First shoes, hands, head and body. We talked about the patterns on their shoes. They could try to simplifiy their shoes, or make up their own pattern. I talked about the details of the hands a little. We discussed breifly the basic porportions of a face... the eyes half way down the head, etc. I had them personalize their clothing and hair and maybe to add a hat. We drew in pencil first, then outlined in black markers. Finally they colored in with crayons. If they had time, I encouraged them to color the back ground, trying to make it a contrasting color. A background color really makes the design pop. Drawing the body was a little hard for some kids, so I was needed to help with that a little. It was a perfect lesson for fifth grade, not sure if I'd go much younger. It took the whole hour, with only a couple not finishing the project. That was perfect.
I like how Wesley (above) and DS (below) drew Mr. Toast and friends on their shirt. Even my son advertises for Etsy sellers!

I get my art lesson ideas from a lot of different sources. Sometimes they magically pop in my head. A lot of times just looking at adult art gives me an idea for a kid version. Other times I search books, and the web. This lesson came from theartkids. They have a lot of really good art lessons for kids.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Etsy Pick-O-The-Week - elsita

I'm amazed with this paper sculpture created by elsita! It is quite stunning, as is everything in this shop on Etsy!

Along with the paper sculptures, you'll find very charming toys both of the 3D variety, as well as 2D paper dolls. If you ever watch the sold items on Etsy's Time Machine 2, you've probably seen some of elsita's work fly by. Her work is of such fine quality, it's just no wonder. You'll also find her original and prints of her very adorable illustrations. She also makes jewlelry, clothing, bags, needlework and books. A very sweet shop, indeed. And an added bonus, that I always enjoy, elsita has a very enjoyable blog as well. If you haven't yet discovered elsita, then by all means you should go check out her shop NOW!

Theme of Consciousness-TOC-Ride

Tonights TOC theme was "ride". I made a lot of requests with a lot of them being "cowboyish." Near the end of the show, Jim played one of my requests, and I even got the credit for it. It was "Me and My Uncle" by the Grateful Dead. He was playing a very cowboyish set, so I hammed it up. During the Dead song, I commented "Yee-Haw" on Jim's Myspace page. So when Jim came back to announce who had made the requests he said "Me and My Uncle was requested by Saffron on MySpace... Yee Haw!" That was pretty funny! I knew being corny would get some kind of notice! Not sure if my humble, drawing addition to the comments was noticed or not. But I do like the little cowgirl ridin her pony!

The good news is Jim Ladd's show will start streaming next Friday. I'll be sure to post the link when it's available. He'll only be streaming on Friday's because of some weird laws that keep him from completely being himself while streaming. I take it, since Friday is all requests, he's found a loop hole to jump through, and bypass this restraint. So that will be cool. Although it could be late for you out on the East Coast since he's on from 8 pm - 1 am, Pacific time!