Thursday, November 3, 2011

Fantasy Fest

We had an amazing time in Key West.  Its definetly one of the craziest things I've ever experienced and I loved every minute of it.
Our first night out had us dressed as matching German Beer Girls.  Craig got much more attention than I did with his fun costume that included his own taps.  Can you guess where those are?

Night two had us out as vampires.  I'm pretty happy with the makeup job I did on Craig. 

Both nights one and two were our storebought costumes, although I did make the pendant and the white flouncy "shirt" part of Craigs.

Night three Craig went out as "Swamp Thing" and I was an ocean reef.  I glittered up dollar store fish, used sparkly floral stems bought from Micheals, used some tulle to line it and make it more comfortable and added some twinkly lights inside (you cant really see these so well in the pic's, but they were great for after dark!)
On our fourth night we participated in a parade that anyone could walk in.  It is led by musicians (ours was a bucket drum corp).  It starts by half the people taking one route and half going a different route.  You finish up on Duval St. where the 2 directions meet.  It was a fun time for the goldfish and the jellyfish.  I had lost my arm fins by the time this pic was taken (they got soggy in a rainshower and I took them off, and please excuse the rainy hairstyle!)  Craig's jelly fish costume had glowsticks in all the tendrils and twinkly lights on top.  The coolest thing happened with these costumes.  Wyland, my very favorite artist, stopped us and took our picture!  Not to shabby for hand-made costumes!

Our last night of the festival was the big parade.  I was a mermaid and Craig was Poseidon. 

It was a great vacation and really fun to have handmade costumes that no one else had the exact duplicate of while walking around. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011


I'm officially on vacation for 2 weeks!  No students, no church services, no choir rehearsals.
Instead, we're hopping on a plane Tuesday and heading to Key West to enjoy Fantasy Fest!
I am beyond excited.

I have been making costumes for a month in preperation for this trip.
6 costumes.
3 for me.
3 for C.
I'm not revealing full, but can't resist a sneak peak. 

 Costume no. 1 is an underwater scene filled with glittery seaweed and sparkly fish.
Costume No. 2 is a goldfish!

And costume No. 3 is a mermaid
No, no preview of the mermaid outfit yet!

I used the same pair of shoes and made decorative clips to match each outfit to accomodate the airline baggage costs and restrictions. 

Craig's costumes are "swamp thing" to match my "underwater scene" although he refused to let me glitter his, A light-up jellyfish (did I forget to mention that my underwater scene has twinkle lights in it?!) to match my goldfish costume, and King Poseidon to match my mermaid. 

I had a blast working out each costume, using my imagination and just playing.  My dining room table is now clean again (except for the glitter that I'll still be finding til after Christmas!) and its kinda sad to be done with the costumes.

I am sure this vacation will be an unforgettable one and I'll return recharged and ready to take on the holidays and all the extra things that entails with my jobs. 

Thanks so much for stopping by.  I'll try to be back soon!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sisterhood of the Traveling Sketchbook-June/Lori, July/Kathy and Aug/Nicole

June entry in Lori's sketchbook

July entry in Kathy's sketchbook

2nd spread in July entry

August entry in Nicole's sketchbook

2nd spread in August book
It has been a very busy summer and blogging has not been foremost on my list of things I want to spend time doing.  I've been walking, fundraising, participating in Susan G. Komen 3-Day's for the Cure, doing art both for myself and for others and just enjoying a beautiful summer.  Here are my last 3 entries in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Sketchbook.  I cant find an image of my 2nd spread for June and I don't know that Lori has a blog.  (Sorry if you do and I missed it!)  These entries are always fun for me.  It is funny how I can go from no idea, to a fully formed idea, and then again how it changes as I am working.  It has been a challenge to think of how to display the months in new, personal ways. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sisterhood of the Traveling Sketchbook-May/Jaime

I was able to spend the entire afternoon with Jaime's sketchbook.  This is my spread for the month of May.  To me, May represents beginnings and endings.  It is my birthday which always makes me reflect on the past year, give thanks for the good and hopefully the bad seems less severe when revisited.  It is a time of celebration, of gathering my family around me and of hopes for what will come in the year ahead. 

May is the end to my teaching year.  It is celebrated by a nice recital where all my students can showcase their developing skills.  It is when I can sit and think about the progress each one has made, and begin to plan the directions I'd like to take them in the fall.

May is a time of stepping back my studio teaching obligations so that I may enjoy a more relaxed, free summer.  It allows me more time to spend outdoors during the beautiful Michigan summer.  It gives me time to devote to my art and time to really enjoy being by myself.
Finally, May is planting season (usually, but we've had so much rain everything is delayed this year!).  I love seeing all the freshly plowed fields while I'm out walking.  They look so neat and orderly and I've always wanted to go and play in one.  (I've managed to avoid doing this so my farmer neighbors wont be upset with me).  I also love to plant flowers while I'm surrounded by the fragrance of lilacs in bloom and the flutterings of the first butterflies of the year.  May brings many things to a close in my life, but it also opens many new and exciting doors.

I hope that Jaime likes my entry in her sketchbook.  I  had a relaxing and fun time painting it. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

And the winners are...

Jenn F (from Facebook) will be giving the box a new home
the little fishy will be swimming its way to Kathy.

Happy Monday to you all!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Happy Birthday Giveaway

I love my birthday.
I celebrate it in a big way every year.
Craig and I take a short vacation, this year we went to Grand Rapids, MI and visited breweries.
6 breweries in 3 days.
We have fun.

I also have a family picnic.
This is the official first day of "Sangria Season"
This was celebrated on Sunday
and although we picniced inside due to more rain, it was a great day.

I also like to give something away on my birthday.
I give to charity, and as gifts I ask for donations to my favorite charity, the Breast Cancer 3 Day.
I sometimes donate blood but I'm off schedule for that and can't this year.
This year I'm giving something away on my blog.
This box. 
 And maybe something else, but its still being finished.
**edited 11:37, yes, that something else is finished and pictured at the end of the post**
So, if you'd like to help me celebrate my birthday, leave me a comment here.
Or like Artbrat's Bits & Pieces on facebook and leave me a comment on my wall.
If you do both, I'll enter your name in the hat twice.
I'll draw a winner on Saturday at noon so you'll have til then to be entered.
(and if the something other turns out, I'll edit this page with the 2nd giveaway)

I hope you have a wonderful day!
This little fishy with the big bulging eyes serves no purpose other than making someone smile.  I love his big eyes!  This will be the other giveaway.  I think I'll draw 2 names so I can spread the joy and fun a bit further. 
Good luck!

Monday, April 25, 2011

A Package!!

Dont you just love getting packages in the mail?  It has to be one of my favorite things, especially if I am not expecting something (or simply have forgotten about it!)  Heck, I even adore it when I know its coming, and I'm waiting for the delivery man, bouncing around with excitement chanting "where are you?  where are you?  O, come on and freakin get here!!".  There is something so much fun about tearing a package open and getting at what's inside.  (Can you tell I'm gearing myself up for my birthday where I get SHINY packages all wrapped up for me!!) 
I received a terrific package in the mail a few weeks ago (shame on me for just now getting around to sharing it.  Time has been flying and I've been busy.)  This package came from Cat and was part of her One World, One Heart giveaway.  Cat also blogs with her sister Cricket  here.  Both blogs are beautiful.  Full of wonderful images and thoughtful words.  I hope you'll take a moment and explore both of the links.  I find myself visiting them often.  When I won, Cat asked what I'd like to receive.  I looked through those blogs and etsy shops and just loved everything so I pretty much told her that and asked her to suprise me.  I gotta say, she did a superb job of picking.  I absolutely love this tank.  The sentiment expressed on the back is so much how I want to live my life.  (Somedays I do better at staying true to this than others.  Hey, I'm a work in progress.)  I've never seen the brand Love this Life before, but you can be sure I'll be looking into getting more from them.  Thank you so much Cat.  I couldn't love it more.  Tanks are my summer staple and I cant wait for it to warm up here so I can wear this!  She also included a lovely "live large"card and a fun chalkboard heart ornament that will soon hang in my kitchen so I can leave love notes to my hubby, or just remind myself that I am out of milk. 

Thanks again Cat!  I love it!!!  And thank you for stopping by for a visit.  I hope your week is off to a great start.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Sisterhood of the Traveling Sketchbook

Here's my introductory spread for the "Sisterhood of the Traveling Sketchbook".  This Sisterhood is a group of 13 artists located around the world.  We'll be mailing our books through a chain every month and in a year we'll get our books back filled with all kinds of artistic goodness.  Our theme after the introductory spread is months.  We'll be painting our interpertation of the current month, loosely based.  That means that May, to me is the beginning of "Sangria season", so my spread might just revolve around that instead of a traditional "May Flowers" spread.  Its all open to how we want to interpert the month which I love!  I'm excited to get my journal on its way.  Hopefully it'll mail out tomorrow or Monday.

My first spread we were to use color.  My favorite color is orange.  I love how vibrant and cheerful it is.  The text serves as an introduction, however brief to me so the others involved with this project can get a feel for me.  Its so much fun to "meet" these ladies.  Most of us have just been introduced over the past month or two!  Its always interesting to see how much us artsy types have in common.  Including a serious ZumaBlitz obsession and competition I'm in over my head with against Cam

For my sign in page I had an idea of cutting out butterfly shapes that each person can alter and then attach to the opening page and also the back cover if more space is needed.  I thought we could include all our info either on the butterfly as I did, or surrounding the butterfly on the page.  I hope that's not to quirky for any of the participants.  Once I got the idea in my head there was no turning away from it. 
I can't wait to receive my first book in the mail.  I'm still brainstorming ideas to use for the spread of May.  This is all so exciting!!

Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you're having a beautiful mid-April day!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

self portrait fun and boobies to boot!

I've been working on a journal page for the Sisterhood of the Traveling Sketchbook.  The Sisterhood is a group of 13 artist who will be mailing our journals to each other over the coming year.  Each of us will do a spread inspired by the current month and in a year we'll all get our sketchbooks back filled with everyones wonderful art.  I've never participated in anything of this manner so I'm really excited and a little intimidated.  My opening journal spread will be color based and an introduction to who I am.  Most people form ideas about me from my pink hair, and I'm ok with that.  It all goes along with not conforming and I expect it.  The page will include this self-portrait with entries of "I am ________, but____________."  I'll share it when I'm finished, but so far just have the background started. Why is it I can always see my mistakes clear as day when I look at a photo of my work, but I can stare at the work itself for hours and not see the same thing?!  Dang oddball lips...

I have a question for all of you.  How do you keep the surrounding pages clean when working in a journal/sketchbook with paint?  I put paper underneath both pages I was working background on and still managed to muck up the next page.  If there is a better way around this I'd appreciate you sharing your tricks.  I'm feeling awful to send not pristine pages to someone.

In other events, I've been slowly working my way toward my fundraising goal of $2,300 for the Breast Cancer 3-Day.  This year I'm trying to do a lot of art/craft commissions, along with CD sales to fund things without asking for straight donations.  I'm doing pretty well and just hope things continue to fall into place for that.  My latest "commission" is a boob scarf.  I was sent a picture and asked if I could make one.  I gotta say, I was super excited to try.

I laughed my way through this project.  Especially after realizing I'd been considering how to make the nipples "hard" for a good 4 hours!  There are just to many thoughts that kept popping into my head.  Anyways, it was lots of fun and I thought they turned out pretty well.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Button fun, You need more flair!

I had so much fun designing this button.  I started with paint, but I have digitally altered the image so much, you can hardly tell it was paint on paper.  In Cleveland, the route safety team goes with a pirate theme every year.  We get to dress and talk like pirates for 3 days (4 if you count our crazy crew day!).  We tell horribly bad pirate jokes and have a great time with the walkers.  I recently bought a button maker and I'm very excited.  Buttons are like gold on the 3-Day, everyone wants them!  This was my original idea, and then as I was working on it I thought, hey, you could make them say different things.  Like, I treasure my wife's pirate chest, or I treasure my itty bitty pirate chest, or like the one I've designed for our team this year, Protecting all the pirate chests.
I think they'll be so much fun on the walk.  Heck, I wanna wear mine around now and see who notices and comments about it ;)

I also threw this one together.

What movie is it where Jennifer Aniston gets yelled at for only having the required amount of flair?  If you've ever seem my 3-Day pictures, you know I go way beyond the minimum for flair.  I think we all need as much flair as possible each and every day.  It makes life so much more fun.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Butterfly earrings bring Spring to mind

I haven't made any a lot of jewelry in awhile.  I'll make some stamped metal jewelry when the mood strikes, but I haven't gone in depth with beading or wire work in years.  I used to do it all the time and even taught it at two local bead stores.  I think I got a little burned out and a lot distracted by other art possibilities.  
Now that I have my pixie hair, earrings are much more fun to wear.  I have a pair of nice chandelier style earrings that I bought and love because they are very lightweight and dont hurt to wear.  I was trying to figure out how I could make something really cool and a bit unusual.    I went to the craft store and they had these findings on sale for just 50 cents.  I knew I had to get them.   
I looked around my stash of crafty goods and found these


I poked a hole through the butterfly, used some thin beading wire to make sparkly beaded dangles from the 8 posts of each earring.  That's pretty much all it was.  I did some quick wirewrapping to attach everything.  I added an extra butterfly on the long part of the finding just to make it a little bit prettier and now I have some extra cute one of a kind earrings to wear!  They're light and dont pull on my earlobes so I'm hoping that I enjoy wearing them.
Pretty quick and easy and very inexpensive considering the clearance cost of the finding and using stash I already had for everything else.  So, what do you think?  I've got my mind spinning on what to do for another pair so we'll see what happens.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Fun watering cans

 I have started to collect the cutest watering cans.  Anything that is animal shaped is fair gain.  I have found all of these already this year.  I have another frog one from last year, but he was outside the day I was taking photos.  Aren't they just adorable?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Dare to be outrageous


More from my altered book of me from Tam’s class.  When I started this book, I went through my parents old photo albums looking for pictures to copy and use.  I came across this one of me and my decorated, tin foil covered bike.  I remember decorating the bike and riding it in a parade in the small town we lived in at the time.  I was so proud of how we spiffed up the bike!  I get to decorate up my bike doing crazy things twice a year now as part of the route safety teams for 2 of the 3-Day for the Cure Breast Cancer Walks.  We decorate as pirates in Cleveland and I have a magical pink treasure chest I strap on the back along with a pirate flag, decorated bras and whatever else catches my eye.  In Michigan we are the Pink Panthers and my bike gets decorated with as many Pinkies as I can attach (and of course includes a few bras too!).  I even made a pink panther bike helmet cover and a pink panther bra that I wore this year!  It is fun to see the walkers perk up and laugh as they discover all the things on my bike.  Sometimes that one little smile can change the course of their day and that is worth pedaling around all the extra weight of the decorations.

This spread is all about embracing the unusual and loving it.  One of the quotes I have on there says “Life isn’t about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.”  I believe it is a quote from George Bernard Shaw.  I love this as it reminds me that we can go beyond what seems like our limits and really do anything that we set out to do.  It goes right along with the feelings of the last post on not letting others decide what you can or should be.  I choose to be unusual, remarkable in my own way and no one else will ever be the exact same.  Isn’t that amazing?  We are all one of a kind and bring so many special qualities to this world.  We are all irreplaceable and that is incredible!  So I challenge each of you to do something you’ve always wanted to do, but were held back from for some reason.  Be outrageous and enjoy every moment of it!

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