Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Message from Jack...

This is Jack's way of wishing you a Happy Halloween.

Most people who know me well know that I just don't get into Halloween. It kind of creeps me out. I hate opening my door to people whose face I can't see. Sure, the princesses and little witches are cute... I don't mind the cute part. I don't like the gory, bloody, scary part. The world is scary enough. But that said... I know a lot of adults who really get into Halloween. Maybe it's the opportunity, for ONE day, to be someone else. Turn into our alter ego. Someone we would never dare to be in real life. It gives us permission to "try" on other persona's, walk on the wild side for one night. I've never had the opportunity to go to a real adult Halloween party. The only time I've dressed up in costume was as a teacher. Really, how exciting is it to be a Ty Whale Beanie Baby? Or a 1960's hippie (too real?) Maybe I'm just too repressed. I was thinking... IF I would dress up in a Halloween costume, I would be a beautiful witch or Fairy Princess. They're kinda the same thing, right? Or maybe a Wench. I played a wench once at a church benefit dinner (don't ask). That was one costume where my assets were flaunted! Ha! I'm rambling... Just wanted to wish everyone a happy and safe Halloween. And buy the good chocolate candy... just in case there are leftovers...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Making Some Memories (and Nightgowns)

Well, last Monday we all played hooky and spent the day in downtown Chicago. Hubby had a seminar to go to and my daughter and I tagged along. While he slaved away in class, C and I went up to the observatory in the Hancock Center (that's educational, right?) We learned about how the building was constructed and saw the beautiful views from the 94th floor. We got up there in 8 seconds in the world's fastest elevator! This is a view of the Sear's Tower:

We also rode the glass elevator in Water Tower Place Mall. That was only 9 stories but you could see all around as it zoomed up. C described it as "delightfully scary."

We also walked the Magnificent Mile to the Chicago River (which runs backwards, we learned.) We visited a Church with gorgeous stained glass and beautiful architecture. Had lunch at The Cheesecake Factory (my new favorite restaurant, YUM) The highlight of the day was when C could finally buy her American Girl doll. I didn't pay one cent towards it, she saved up her allowance for a long time. The final $20 came from a huge lot of her Magic Treehouse books I sold for her on ebay. I have never seen her so excited. She picked Kirsten, a little pioneer girl from the mid 1800's. Now of course come the accessories. Holy Cow. This is clearly where AG makes the bulk of their money! When I saw Kirsten's nightgown for $24.00 I'm thinking... uh, I could make that! Ahem. Challenge on. Here's the final product:

Let me tell you, it's MUCH easier to buy the darn thing for $24.00. It's worth every penny! If I add up my time at a decent working rate I'd have to sell the nightgown for about $90.00. I had all the materials so that was no cost. I broke a sewing machine in THREE pieces (and thought I broke my $$$ sewing machine! Panic!) I ended up hand sewing some very thick areas and the velcro on the cuffs. I actually broke a hand sewing needle too. Yikes. But it did turn out great if I may say so myself. And there was one VERY happy little girl tonight when I presented it to her. Just that was worth the hours I put in. Of course now I'm printing off the pattern and instructions for Kirsten's School Dress...

Saturday, October 17, 2009

GlueBot Challenge

Over the summer my friend Leigh introduced me to GlueBots. I had never heard of them and when I saw her pictures, I was completely enchanted. Her GlueBots were intricate, whimsical and adorable. Then she was kind enough to send me an original and kind of challenged me to try it. Well, of course I couldn't resist. So one day my daughter and I grabbed some catalogs and scissors and set to work. My 8 year old's is the one with the blue background, mine is the white background. I think they both turned out great! Here are the results:

What I learned: This is a lot harder than it looks! It took us a long time to find the right elements for our little creatures. But it took us even longer to cut them out! Patience, you need LOTS of patience and really good manual dexterity. It gave me a whole new appreciation for Leigh's GlueBots, because hers were even more intricate than mine. I understand some people find it relaxing and meditative to focus on something so closely. Huh. I don't think that's me. I am an extremely patient person, you have to be to work with kids I work with. But, I think when I'm working with art I need to bury my patient self and get something done. (I get impatient waiting for paint to dry!) I didn't find it too relaxing either. So... I'm glad I tried it and I may make a few more in the future but I can't see making a whole bunch of them. I'll leave that to the professionals.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Wisdom... out of the mouths of babes

My daugher and I were talking about our day and snuggling together the other night. The next thing I know she's saying something that brought tears to my eyes, it was so sweet and profound. I knew I had to write this one down, to remember when she's a teenager and is driving me crazy. So I made a page in my art journal to savor it when I need a mental hug. Here it is.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Festival Time!

The big kickoff for Fall Festival time in our family is the first weekend of October. Oregon, IL hosts it's annual Autumnfest and Parade. It's become a yearly ritual, no matter the weather or apparently, our health. This year it rained a cold misty rain all Saturday, and Sunday, Mom walked around with Pneumonia (granted, we didn't know it at the time!), nephew was sick, sister was coming down with the flu. But nothing stops us from hitting that HUGE used booksale where we stocked up on piles of books for the winter. Picture it... books, rain, umbrellas... all outdoors. The Fest has hundreds of arts and crafts vendors and of course I migrate toward all the pretty, glittery, shiny stuff. I LOVE fused glass pendants and handcrafted jewelry. I refrained from buying any more glass but I did buy a silver ring at the South American booth. It's really cool, it's a silver band with stars etched in, but the coolest part is that the inner ring of stars spins. (Say that fast five times!) That's all I bought this year, except for cinnamon roasted almonds, yum!

The parade is one of the longest parades around, almost 1.5 hours. It's also one of the best parades with all kinds of cool floats, groups, and marching bands. And of course flying tootsie rolls. We came home with a bag full of candy. I remembered to take some pictures this time. I LOVE my little camera, the pictures came out a lot better than I thought they would.

This was at the very end of the parade. I love the sacked out kid! It's how alot of us felt after the long day, but unfortunately, we had a 2 hour drive home!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Weekend Art

Well, this is actually Friday Art since I was gone all weekend to Autumnfest in Oregon, IL. More on that later...

My TheLatestTrendsinMixedMediaArts yahoo group posted a Halloween Lottery Challenge this month. The challenge is to create a Twinchie with a Halloween theme. There were so many fabulous Twinchies posted I couldn't resist making a few of my own. For those of you who may not know, a Twinchie is a small art canvas size of 2" x 2". It can be created on any sturdy background substrate and can be old fashioned collage or digital collage. It sounds easy, but that's a pretty small canvas size! I used a paint chip as a background, some glimmer mist from My Tattered Angels, scrapbook paper, my tiny letter stamps and the cute children images are from Collagevisions. Of course I couldn't make just one... I decided these children are brother and sister and belong together. At the end of the month a name will be drawn and the winner gets ALL 31 twinchies. Right now there's more than 31 so a second name and winner will probably be added.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Naming the Baby

Why the name Random Veracity? Umm... good question. Because the name I was going to use, the name of my etsy shop, was already taken, LOL. I love the idea of random thoughts. No real thematic commitment there. I love the letter V. It's open toward the sky and heaven, it's symmetrical, and it's balanced. And cool words start with the letter V - vivacious, velocity, vile, vacant, value, vast, variegated, vaccuum (which I really should be doing right now!). There are LOTS of interesting descriptive V words. I love the meaning of the word Veracity: a truth, truthfulness in speaking or statement, honesty. And I'll be truthful now, I had never heard or used the word before I checked out Marty Casey's Siver Elements Collection of jewelry. He has a silver ring in the collection called the Veracity Ring. I fell in love with the word but no, I don't own THAT particular ring (although I do own a few other pieces!)

See, I'm not so strange after all!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Spreading my wings

I think I am the only person using the internet without a blog, which in itself doesn't bother me. I'm not into peer pressure or competition or anything like that. I just like to torture myself and create more work for myself. Ha. The last thing I need is more time commitments. I'm bad enough at managing my time. But I've seen so many pretty and interesting and inspirational blogs I heard myself whine... "I waaant ooonnne toooo!" Well, we'll see how it goes. I imagine it will be pretty random because I'm a pretty random type of gal. I do so many different types of artsy things and have so many interests I can't imagine trying to focus on just one theme. And since I'm a blog virgin it may take me awhile to figure this whole thing out. I guess my main goal is to present myself to the universe and see what gets thrown back in my face. And I promise I will strive for truth and honesty, even if it hurts.