Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Etsy Pick-O-The-Week - nivenglassoriginals

I have an Etsy Pick-O-The-Week again! This time I've found an artist specializing in fused glass. I really love glass of all sorts, and at this time don't see myself getting a kiln any time soon. So I always admire creations of this sort.

The jewelry made by nivenglassoriginals are very creatively cute. I always enjoy a "diva brooch", and these are so chic, yet still so much fun!

I'm also drawn to the little chickadee brooch, because they are a special bird to me. You can find other delightful brooches and pendants at this shop, very adorable indeed!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Down From the Mountain

How wonderful to hear the rain gently falling on the roof through the night. Hearing that sound this winter means one special thing.... it's not snowing!

So we went off the hill to see The Spiderwick Chronicles which I thoroughly enjoyed. Wesley read 4 of the books in 2nd and 3rd grade. If your kids can handle a little scariness, and like magical creatures, then they should also love it.

Even So Cal can be a beautiful green in the winter...The hills were alive with the sound of GREENESS.

This poor little hummingbird was out even with the scattered showers. We don't have any of these little guys, or any greeness up on the mountain, and it was good to see all of it after much snow and cabin fever.

I have a bit of an obsession... I also got some delightful yarn for more crocheted items! Always fun!!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Art Lesson - Scientific Clouds/Imaginative Clouds

I did this lesson with Wesley's fifth grade class of 26 last week.

They were studying the weather, and magically on the Wednesday before the art lesson I got the idea while studying with Wesley for his test.

For the first part we used blue construction paper, and black and white tempra paint. (I also explained about "achromatic" and "monochromatic", just to throw a little art vocabulary in.) We talked about the different types of clouds - cirrus, cumulus, cumulonimbus, and stratus. I had some photo examples to look at. We painted the cirrus with a stiff larger dry brush, trying to make them as wispy as possible, just in white. Then we added a little bit of black to the cumulus. With the thunderhead, cumulonimbus, I tried to have them make a more contrasting cloud. The stratus was a little difficult to figure out, but it was basically more of a mix of grey.

This class hasn't had a lot of tempra painting lately, so I wanted to do some of that. And I notice they really still need to experiment with this paint. I did get them to mix more on the paper, instead of just mixing their pallette into a big mess. That was a good lesson for them. Although it seems that a lot don't know when to stop with the mixing, even on paper. A lot came up with more grey, no matter how many times I said to get clean paint and stop mixing once and a while. This is why I think they just need some more practice with this technique.

Wesley's turned out pretty good, and since he has a lot of experience in painting, he seems to know when to stop.

After the scientific part I wanted them to do an imaginary cloud. We even talked a little about what they see in the clouds as we were painting the first clouds, to get them thinking creatively about it. For the imaginary clouds I let them add one color to their black and white, making a monochromatic version. I first thought that I would give them a little guidance with this, but as I was handing out the colored paint, many were starting. And after the guided painting of the scientific clouds, I just felt they should be free to experiment on their own. Well I probably should've guided them a bit more during this. I did show them a version that I had whipped up, a poodle cloud. Because what's more cloud like than a poodle?

They really had some good ideas about the clouds, but I think they just had a hard time making these ideas transform from their mind onto paper. Or some would have a really cool looking cloud, then before you knew it, they had mixed the thing all up, completely changing the image. And usually not for the better. But I guess they were experimenting, and that is just as good for them. They did get more experience and that's really what they need.

I'm just so used to a lot of my projects coming out with a wonderful product. This was more process orientated. And kids love that. At least a few had a good product, as well as process. We adults just usually like the product to be good. And I think we should have fun with the process, forgetting the product, just sometimes!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A nice Convo - and Ban on Ebay

How wonderful it was to get a little convo from fellow Etsy seller, zJayne, yesterday. Jayne is selling this adorable little wristlet made of recycled t-shirts sleeves, and embellished with a t-shirt cutout. In one of her photos she shows the wristlet holding a couple of ACEOs. So Jayne had convoed me to ask permission to show my ACEO. Jayne bought "Mew-Donna" from me last year on eBay. Also shown is a fantastic piece of art from the amazing inkdot on Etsy. How cute to see the little bag being used to carry ACEOs, and mine being one of them!

As for eBay... Both of these artists I recognize from eBay. Did you know there is a ban happening right now on eBay? They've raised their prices again, and more importantly they are making it impossible to leave a negative feedback for a buyer. Well that seems very unfair, and while most people I've dealt with on eBay have been super lovely, I know there is the occasional rip off. I'd hate not to be able to leave a negative, if this was deserved. So I'm not buying or selling until the ban is over, which is Feb 27. My favorite contest, Nibble Fest has even postponed their event until after the ban. So if you like to participate in that, look for the entries from February 27 thru March 5. Luckily we have Etsy to find some fun things to buy!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentines Day!

Finally I'm getting to my neglected little blog!

These are the annual handmade Valentines that Wesley made with my help. This is a Dr. Seuss inspired drawing that Wesley drew. We printed the design and wrapped 27 dark chocolate candy bars for his classmates and teacher. I think they are simply lovely little treats!

I'm trying to pull myself out of the dumps that I've been in lately. Personal problems and sicknesses, on top of the winter blues have just been wreaking havoc on my life. I've been unmotivated and depressed and my art, and life in general, has suffered. It doesn't help that we got some unexpected snow (about 5 inches) last night and today. Yes, we were in drought, and we need the moisture, but I've had to hike to my car about a block away all year. I'm tired of my car not being on my own property. But I feel I may be pulling out of this ... any day now.

I've got to go finish my PTA newsletter now, and get all prepared for an art lesson for tomorrow. I'm also so over the PTA, but the art lesson will be fun and the kids do make me feel better. Even though this is a brand new art lesson, and that's always some what of a learning experience, and could be hit or miss! Hopefully it goes well and I'll have some fun kid art to share soon!

Wow so sorry for the blues, but at least I've got a new entry, right? Hope your heart is filled with cheer!!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Illustration Friday - Legends and Tales

I'm getting my Illustration Friday entry for Legends and Tales done at the last possible moment of the week. Better late than never.

There are so many legends and tales that came to my mind for the theme. It was hard to choose just one to illustrate. I decided on one of the stories carried down through the ages of what happened to Merlin the wizard. Here we have the version where Merlin is trapped within a tree by magic.

I toyed with the other fate of Merlin for my illustration. In the other version Merlin impresses the fairy, Niniane with his magic by building a castle in the air. She learns of his magic and dances a spell to enchant Merlin. While he sleeps the fairies trap him in his castle in the sky where he lives, separate from the mortal world.

This is an acrylic painting done on an LP record. No need to frame, just hang on an nail through the center hole. They look wonderful alone or hung in a group.