Sunday, December 28, 2008

Art Lesson - Tissue Collage Candle Holder - smARTS Gifts

For the past few years smARTS has done an event we call "smARTS Gifts". This was in response to a few teachers who wanted to stress that it can be a good idea to make a gift for any occasion really.

For the second year now I've done this project with fourth graders. I figure they're nearly responsible to work on glass, and to give to a special ADULT in their life (because of the candle)

Each kid was given a glass jar. This year I had a whole bunch of the same design donated. Last year I just went to the thrift stores and bought different glass jars, cocktail glasses, whatever seemed to fit a small candle. I first had the kids choose 2 or 3 colors of tissue paper. Then I had them tear small pieces of the tissue to prepare. They were then to paint glue (a little watered down white glue works fine) with paintbrush right onto the glass. They could then pick up the tissue with the wet paintbrush (I hoped anyway that they could do this, trying to keep their fingers free of glue to avoid frustration). I told them to go ahead and paint the glue onto the top of the tissue also. This adds a sort of varnish, and protects the paper.

If they had extra over the top, as seen here, I had them trim that off. I also made sure that no paper was glued on the inside, or bottom. Then they were to get a little tea light (if I were prepared, maybe the flameless battery-operated "candles" would be better... I don't know, that's a personal choice).

While the candle holder dried they were to decorate a tag and brown paper bag with ribbon to wrap the candle holder. I also made little "warning" stickers for the bottom. This mentioned the warnings to "never leave candle unattended". Safety you know! I also emphasize to the kids the importance of not forgetting that these are glass, and they will break!

It took most of the kids the hour to complete, which was perfect.

I hope the gifts were enjoyed!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Holidays to you!

I'm reaching the end of my Holiday preparations. What a strange season this has been. For some reason the Christmas spirit never really joined me this year. I did my best, and forced it anyway.

I made my cute card, but did I send them? No! I did give to some friends though. Yesterday, I couldn't find 2 gifts... still can't... burnt half a batch of cookies... stayed up till 3 am... a good thing is the fudge is only minimally gritty.

Oh well you can't be a jolly ol' elf every year. Well I know many who can, but I guess not me. As much as I have in my head how the perfect Christmas should be, it rarely happens. A big reason for me... PROCRASTINATION!

I've had a rough autumn this year, on a personal level. That could've had a big effect on my Christmas spirit. I did make a lot of holiday sales, both online and in the real world. That helped a lot, but also made me extra busy, and that also effected my preparations.

Well, even with an odd Christmas, I'm still grateful for the many things that I do have. My family, friends in the physical and virtual realm, and beautiful place to live, and a quaint little home.

I wish you all a most Joyous Holiday filled with laughter and love. See ya on the flip side!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sunshine after the Storm

I was able to walk out of my yard today, but not without great difficulty. The poor trees are all bent over, and the manzanita bushes are blocking my gate leading out of the yard. Plus the snow goes up way higher than my boots, and that makes walking very awkward! I did go to my street though, and got this wonderful shot of my neighbor houses across the road.

Is that my van in there? What a lot of shoveling to get that out. I did a lot of it today. I've got another day to get it out. I'm hoping to drive it out on Saturday.

I can never get enough of the gorgeous blue skies behind the glistening white snow.

I'm just amazed at the amount of snow up on the tops of the trees. My photos don't seem to do it justice.

Yes, it is a Winter Wonderland for sure!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Snow Day

We've been getting our fair share of snow this week. So much that they actually called a snow day today. That's a rare occurrence since the District Office is a couple thousand feet lower than we are, and they have no idea of road conditions up here.

Here's my little mountain cottage (that's a quaint way to say dinky house), with lots of snow accumulating around it.

It's been a while since I've seen this much snow at once... and it's still coming down! Ziggy doesn't like it a whole lot, but does venture out if we go with him.

And even little Cleo went out into it. She complained a lot, but I think she's less of a wimp than the big-ol-dog!

Tomorrow I hope to leave my yard, and hopefully get some really amazing photos. Problem is, you usually have to get up really early for the best shots... just not my thing!

Friday, December 12, 2008

TOC - Believe

I've been wanting to do something with this quote for a quite a while. What better excuse than TOC? First I snazzed up this little painting. I think I'll make some magnets with it.

Then I made this poster for Jim Ladd. It's a little joke for the people who get so upset if they don't get mentioned for a request by Jim on Friday Night's TOC. I got one played tonight... Bob Dylan's "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues."... I do believe I've had enough.

Later a couple more requests in... Desolation Row-Dylan... and Wesley's request God-John Lennon.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Glad Tidings

I've finally finished my annual Christmas card! I couldn't get in the mood, and had no idea what to do, until tonight. Then it finally came to me. I wanted some kind of doll, and who's the cutest doll? Blythe of course! And she has a little boyfriend giving her glad tidings of joy! Not sure how happy she is to have a mouse for a lover, but at least she's got one.

This was carved into a "speedy-cut" stamp, then printed with acrylic paint. This is the fourth year I've made my cards this way. I was tired of the xeroxed black and white cards, and I wanted color. And it just took too long to watercolor all my cards, which is what I did a few times. So this is a way to get some color, and maybe glitter, without too much effort. I do enjoy carving these stamps though, and once I get the design figured out, it really isn't too hard to do.

So if you know me in the "real world" don't be too disappointed that you won't be surprised when you get your card!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Jim Morrison's 65th Birthday

December 8, 2008.. Jim Morrison's 65th Birthday.

Over the weekend I watched The Doors in Europe on KCET. It reminded me of how I was completely infatuated with Jim Morrison when I was a very young, near-adult. I was a little obsessed, as young people become, and I enjoyed making art of the overly-attractive, highly sexy man.

I was so good at duplicating things, but not sure if they had much style. It was good practice, but I like more imaginative things better. Although a lot of people think "good art" is something that looks like a photo. I think differently.

In honor of Jim's Birthday, Jim Ladd and KLOS had a webcast with Ray Manzarek and Robbie Kreiger (of Doors fame) tonight. I watched it and saw some of my tribal friends enjoying themselves.

Because of that event, the TOC on Friday was "door". I didn't do any new art, but posted a few of my ancient portraits. And I got a request in.. Grateful Dead's "I know you Rider." This has one of my favorite lines..."The sun will shine in my back door someday... March winds will blow all my troubles away."...well I try to think optimistic like this anyway.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

A Merry-Jerry Christmas

Here's a long awaited return of Jerry Claus. It's Jerry Garcia, of course. These guys were an annual tradition of mine back the 90s. Since I've got some of my things available at Hungry Heart Records, I thought these would be fun there. If you're ever in Hemet, check them out.

I've been having a hard time getting into the holiday spirit this year. So these little ornaments are helping me a bit. Are you motivated for the Holidays yet?