STILL LIFE WITH CROWS ;)



Actually, one is called STILL LIFE WITH FRUIT and it's pastel, one of my fav mediums to work with. I wish it were not a health hazard, I'd use it lots more often.



The other is a "hint" of my crow chunky book. TeeeHeeeeHeeee nope, it's not Four and Twenty Blackbirds. But I am sure tired of cutting out cardboard crows, and have many more to go!!! Does it look like an Alfred Hitchcock thriller?




MORE WONDERFUL MAIL ART!!!































Talk about syn...crow...nicity between GPS!!! I did a 2 for 2 ATC swap w/Kai. These are what she sent me. They are wonderful. BUT....here's the catch. I sent her one that opened in the front....she sent me one that opened in the front! I sent her one with a butterfly...she sent me one with a butterfly! I sent her two that were personalized....she sent me two that were personalized! What can I say??? Anyhow, check out these two wonderful ATC's, both that tell a story all in their little 3.5 X 2.5 self. THE FIRST ONE came wrapped in that little ribbon with the gull attached (that's Jonathan if you haven't guessed) and it opens to a picture that goes with the short story that is on the back. Is that not KEWL???? THE SECOND ONE tells the story of "me" dreaming in my castle, and dreaming of my favorite things (well, dh will want to know about that handsome prince thingy...lol). This castle ATC is covered with glitter and stars and is totally "dreamy". Both of these are dimensional, and done with much thought to personalize them. THANK YOU KAI. YOU are the one who rocks!!!














PIRATE INVASION

Every year in February the City of Tampa is invaded by the legendary pirate, Jose Gaspar. This is his pirate ship, the Jose Gasparilla, which docks here except when it goes out for special shows. Jose Gaspar and his merry crew invade the city, get the "keys" from the Mayor, "capture" people from stores (most stores close this day),hold them for ransom paid to charities, and then the Gasparilla Parade starts. It's a question of beads. How many beads can you collect? Yesterday, there were 400,000 people lining Bayshore Boulevard for the Gasparilla Parade. Not me! When I was younger, I never missed it. It was the highlight of my year. I had so many beads!!! Now, I am content to see it on TV, maybe. It is an event here that rivals the size and popularity of the Rose Parade in Pasadena, CA. After the parade, the real partying begins. Alcohol flows, there are many Gasparilla parties to go to, much fun is had by all, except those who get arrested. How much fun is that? The celebration continues all weekend. In Ybor City, the Cuban section of Tampa Bay, there will be a night parade. By Monday, some calm will return. I relax on the other side of the 7 mile bridge, away from all the hoopla. Hmmmmm, where did my enthusiasm go?

Are You Ready For Some......COLOR???

You've heard of a sweet tooth? Well, this post is for sweet eyes! Just check out all this glamour I got in the mail TODAY!!! The butterfly with all the hot, juicy, runny colors is from Ang as part of her monthly ATC she sends me for the blue book I purchased from the Hidden Haven Auction. Don't you just want to try to eat it? Doesn't it remind you of CANDY? THANK YOU ANG!!!
The other two ATC's are from Janet. We did a swap. Don't you LOVE them? The botanical one has a little leaf bead dangling from it. LOVE THEM!!! They are going into that imaginary, bottomless treasure box. THANK YOU JANET!!!





This beautiful art has been removed until I am able to repost in its entirety. It is too big for my scanning equipment. Please visit Maryellen's blog at http://oldcrowknee.blogspot.com and see her February 5 post for this gorgeous, colorful art in its full splendor! I am happy to be the recipient of several pieces of her wonderful talent.







SPECIAL THINGS

I was wondering...when we have special things, like from another person, or a found object we just can't part with, or something like parade beads, dolls, 4 x 4's and ATC's, perhaps an art journal. Where do we keep these special treasures? Maybe we have some old love letters, or a State Fair souvenier, a found feather, a very old cracked photo of someone special, sea shells and leaf skeletons, a tiny pocket knife or our favorite drawing pens that are all dried up and we just can't part with. And what about other treasures, not just material things.....perhaps a spiritual feeling, or a keeper emotion (remember puppy love)? What do we do with all these things we don't want to really part with or forget?

I was wondering...what if we had a GIANT treasure box......a bottomless treasure box that would hold all things dear to us, and never fill up, never overflow, always had room for everything we want to keep now and in the future. Room for our material treasures and room for our hopes and dreams and wishes, so that we could bring them out and look at them from time to time.

I was wondering about that.

YES! FLY ME TO THE MOON!


.....I want to play among the stars................

I hate it when I'm too busy to blog. But I'm baaaaaaaaackk!!! And....a couple of days ago I got THIS in the mail!! It's a loverly moon doll sent to me....MADE FOR ME!!! ....by our lovely Glitter Sister Gemma! (Check link to her house in the sidebar). This beautiful goddess baby is hanging for dear life to the moon and it's covered with beads and...and...and gosh, I just love it! She is sooooo happy looking. And.....on the brim of her hat is that cute, adorable, wonderful little MACAW!!!!! You can't see it in the full picture because the hat brim is covering it, but I did another scan just so you could see the bird! It's all made from individual little pieces. This took a lot of thought, a lot of time, and a lot of patience. And I am the lucky one to have received this wonderful surprise in the mail! Gemma, I can only say THANK YOU and ....well, THANK YOU! I love it!


THE VIOLIN PLAYER

A little painting I have been thinking about doing. I named it before I painted it. It's Conte and charcoal on regular drawing paper and isn't exactly what I had in mind while I was thinking about it, but this little image is what evolved. I find hands incredibly HARD to draw, especially when you are trying to do them all twisty-like, as when they are wrapped around a violin. Well, it was fun practice work. I always learn something whenever I do a painting of any sort. More later. Feelin' kinda blah. Is it a full moon....again??? BLECK!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BEULAH

This is my beautiful Aunt Bea. Today is her birthday, and she is 99 years young! This photo is dated August 1955. She has always been a strong woman, and she is still lovely today. Happy Birthday, Aunt Bea. You have always been a treasure in my life.

KNOW YOUR LIMITS

NOT SO THAT YOU CAN HONOR THEM

BUT SO THAT YOU CAN SMASH THEM TO PIECES

AND REACH FOR MAGNIFICENCE!

A TREASURE IN THE MAIL




Today I received these three wonderful ATC's in the mail from MARYELLEN. They are called "My Eyes See It" (Medusa), "Escape", and "Sanctuary". I love them and I can't figure out which one I like the best. Do I have to have a best? I can't do it, I can't do it!!! I treasure them all. Thank you so much Maryellen.

If you want to check out more of her delicious eye candy, there is a link to her blog in my sidebar. I highly recommend you go see her ATC's AND her other art.

On another note, I sure do want to thank all of you who gave me such wonderful comments on my little short story. It was fun to write, and even FUNNER .....yeah FUNNER!...to get encouraging comments. Now, if only I could continue on, I could write a novel, and become rich and famous...well at least rich. But, I am afraid my small brain will only let me write 3 or 4 pages, and I have to end it.

I am working on an ATC trade with Kai and I have one done and started the other today, but I promised dh I would help paint the garage and TODAY WAS THE DAY HE DECIDED TO DO IT! Sigh........garage painting is not near as much fun as creative painting. If he didn't have so much....you know, ...the S word....then I could paint a mural on the wall, but he definitely has too much...um...stuff! HeeeHeee He has more "stuff" than I have, and I have a lotta "stuff". Hope your weekend is SUPERWONDERFUL ! GO COLTS!

THE PORTRAIT......continued.....

..........His footsteps echoed in the stairwell and the old wood creaked as he bounded down the rickety stairs, pushing out the door into the bright Paris sunlight, disappearing into the noisy crowd of shoppers and busy traffic.........

Upstairs in the studio, the easel again stood alone in the quiet room, the portrait leaning against its strong wooden support as if glued there to hold it firmly in place. The cloth lay still on the floor where Marcello had dropped it, the gentle breeze from the ceiling fan no longer able to reach it. The streaks of sunlight lengthened and turned darker as the day wore on. No street noise reached the studio. The only sound was the gentle woosh of the ceiling fan, and the occasional creak of the old building, tired and worn from many inhabitants, as it settled more deeply and comfortably into its foundation. The portrait sat still on the easel, the gentle and tender face of Sandor seeming even more saddened than it had been when Marcello had cried out to it in his anguish. The usually bright, happy, hazel eyes seemed dulled and appeared to glisten, as if watering from painted tears. The quiet afternoon turned to dusk, the fairy dust no longer visible in the disappearing sunlight, and soon night fell, bringing with it the dull light of streetlamps and the glowing red and green flash of a neon sign across the street advertising a seedy hotel's cheap room rates. The neon flashed red to green, green to red, and the portrait facing the window was bathed in an eerie green glow that changed quickly to a heated red, and back again. Sandor's eyes glistened in the neon glow, and the corners of his mouth seemed to droop almost to the bottom of his face, sadness emanating from the portrait as if it were a real spiritual being, able to feel both love and pain. Outside, a gentle Spring rain began to fall and the glow of the neon through the wet dusty window pane caused the face of the portrait to take on a melted look similar to wax, and the heat of the world's problems were causing it to painfully melt. At midnight, the neon hotel sign was turned off, and the studio became very dark and still, with only faint shadows caused by the dim street lamps. The lonely night wore on.

Hours later, the sun began to creep again into the room through the streaked window, providing shafts of sunlight for the dancing dust fairies to perform their twirling act once more. The easel stood tall with its front legs spread, still holding its back strong for the leaning portrait. Once again Sandor stared all day toward the window, seeming to watch and wait as the shadows again grew long, the sun faded, the dust fairies slept, the red and green neon flashed, and finally the dark stillness enveloped the portrait once more. For three days the sun came and went, and the outside lights performed their activities within the empty studio while the portrait leaned back in its silent state. Then, on the morning of the fourth day, just as the sun began its daily ritual of providing the runways and spotlights for the dancing dust fairies, the studio door opened allowing the smell of the dank, old stairwell to filter into the room, and Marcello was back.

He stood in the doorway, his shock of uncombed dark hair falling over his handsome carved features, his clothing disheveled and wrinkled and his face unwashed and tear stained. His reddened eyes surveyed the room, slowly coming to rest on the easel. The portrait faced the window with its back to the door. The cloth still lay on the floor where Marcello had dropped it in his anguished sadness. Closing the door behind him, Marcello slowly walked toward the portrait, walking around to face the painting of Sandor, yet keeping his eyes to the floor. "Not yet", he thought, "I'm not quite ready." He stared at the cloth on the floor and, keeping his eyes down, he began to speak aloud as if Sandor, his precious other half, were there and could hear all he said. He told the painting how he had suffered in the last three days, wandering the streets, sleeping in the park, going without nourishment because he was so hurt and saddened by his friend's death. Keeping his eyes on the cloth on the floor, he poured out his heart to the portrait, telling it that he was sorry for saying Sandor had destroyed his life by dying, sorry for saying he would never forgive Sandor. He told the portrait how happy Sandor had made him for all the past years they had been together, and how grateful he was for the wonderful teaching he had received that had opened his eyes to the wonders of exploding color and dimension and pleasure of creating beautiful art. He told the portrait that he finally understood it was Sandor's time to go, and that he, Marcello, would get on with his life and create all the wonderful paintings they had imagined together. And then, still looking downward at the cloth, he thanked the portrait for taking him on the wonderful journey they had shared, promised that Sandor would always be in his heart, and that the portrait he never got a chance to give Sandor -- this portrait -- would always hang in his home wherever he went. With his words, Marcello felt the heaviness of a grieving heart lift from his soul, and he suddenly felt light as a feather, and felt a tremendous urge of creativity well up in him, spilling over into every limb, every space in his mind, and every corner of his heart. His eyes finally left the cloth on the floor, and traveled up the legs of the easel to the portrait. Sandor, in all his painted glory, hazel eyes sparkling, had a wonderful, serene look about him, and the downward curve of the mouth that Marcello thought he remembered, was now curved upward in that impish smile Sandor was known for.

The dust fairies danced in the sunlight, peace descended upon the room and into Marcello's heart, and all was right.

END

THE PORTRAIT, a short story by judie


The studio was quiet and peaceful. Streaks of yellow sunlight shafted through the dust-covered window, causing patterns of soft, dappled light to skip over the smooth planks of the old, wooden floor. In the light shafts, one could see the dust swirling and twisting like tiny fairies dancing to a silent tune. In the middle of the large room stood a tall easel, leaning back slightly, front legs spread like an anxious virgin. Over the easel draped a soft, white cloth which obviously covered a large canvas artwork. The folds of the cloth hung limply, and fluttered slightly from the light breeze created by the ceiling fan, the same breeze creating the dancing dust fairies. Next to the cloth-draped easel stood an old, rectangular wooden table, scarred with years of use. Drips of red and yellow, and rainbow colors, combined themselves into a displeasing, muddy-looking pattern. Cans and tubes of paint, some open, some closed, all well-used, lined up like colorful soldiers waiting for the sensual bristles of the paintbrushes to tickle their color senses and bring forth the life that now lay still within each one.

It was noon. Over in the corner of the room, Marcello lay on his narrow bed, the ragged greyed sheets hanging over the side brushing the wood floor, his head on a dustmite-filled pillow, staring blankly at the easel standing like a sentry in the room. He looked through eyes glazed over from too much wine the night before, his head pounding. He couldn't remember coming home. Somehow he had stumbled his way from the bar where he had gone after the funeral. Suddenly reality crept into his groggy, wine-soaked thoughts, and with a painful jolt that shot through his entire being he remembered the funeral. He felt his heart wither even more now, as the memories rushed in; the funeral for his best friend, his adored Sandor who had now left their beloved Paris forever. Somehow Marcello had staggered through the darkened streets, past the closed shops with their dingy windows, avoiding the ladies of the night who called harshly to him, stepping over those who were homeless or just drunker than he, and found his own apartment house. He didn't remember climbing the dank stairs to his studio/home, or falling into his unmade bed. He only remembered that Sandor was now gone. Forever. Never to gently speak his name again. Sandor, who had been his friend, his mentor, his life teacher. Sandor, who had picked him up whenever he fell, who pushed him to paint the beautiful scenes he hadn't known he could do, who taught him the colors of the rainbow and showed him how to put the soft grasses of a painted valley on a canvas; taught him the music that flowed from the heart of a colorful, painted bird, taught him to listen for the roar of a waterfall coming from the end of his paintbrush as it splashed over the painted rocks into the canyon below. Sandor, his life blood, his soulmate, his other half. Gone forever.

Marcello groaned and rolled over, burying his face in the dusty-smelling pillow. He was cried out. There were no more salty tears left in his body. They had all drained out over the last few days. All he had now was a feeling of a huge, empty, hollow void in his middle. He felt like his soul was dead. He thought he would never paint again; there was nothing left, no spirit to throw onto a canvas, no color to brighten the bare cotton duck, no ideas to put forth into his brush and slather together into the wonderful sight of a beautiful, finished painting. Sitting up on the edge of his tumbled bed, Marcello put his head in his hands. He felt again the pounding headache from the the wine he had consumed trying to escape the hurt and sadness of the last few days. He glanced over at the easel. It stood accusingly in the middle of the room, as if saying "Why are you leaving me cold and lonely? I am used to feeling the gentle vibration of the canvas as your brush lovingly stimulates life into a blank space. Where are you?" Marcello stood, carefully making sure he had his balance, and walked slowly over to the silent easel. Gently, he lifted the protective cloth, letting it slide slowly to the floor. On the canvas, almost finished, was the portrait of Sandor, his gentle face somber in its painted stillness, his sandy-colored hair falling gently to one side looking as though one could touch it and brush it from his face where a few strands had fallen over his eyebrow. The hazel eyes seemed to follow Marcello as he moved slowly in front of his painting of his beloved Sandor. One of Sandor's painted hands was slightly forward toward the observer, as if to say "Come. Come to me. Be a part of my painted life. Come and be still with me for an eternity." Sandor's painted mouth appeared to turn slightly down at the corners. Marcello was puzzled and could not recall painting it like that. Sandor was always smiling impishly, always portraying the happiness that was part of his gentle soul. Marcello stared at the downturned mouth, and wondered how that could have possibly come from his brush. His eyes burned into the portrait he had so lovingly painted and hidden from his friend, planning to present it to him next week as a birthday gift. "Now," thought Marcello, "there will be no birthday. How could you leave me?" he accused the portrait. "How could you just die and hurt me like this? I will never paint again. You have destroyed my life by dying. You had no right to do that and I will never forgive you." Marcello turned abruptly, stumbling over the cloth lying on the bare, wood floor, and with long angry strides went out of the studio, slamming the door behind him. His footsteps echoed in the stairwell and the old wood creaked as he bounded down the rickety stairs, pushing out the door into the bright Paris sunlight, disappearing into the noisy crowd of shoppers and busy traffic.

....to be continued...

JUST A LITTLE COLOR

WILDFLOWER DANCERS Acrylic on w/c paper
MIDNIGHT WILDFLOWER DANCERS Twinkling H2 o on cardstock

HeeHeeee I promise the horizon is not falling off the edge. I just scanned it crooked!

O FLORIDA DRUNK IN SUNLIGHT

Poem: excerpts from O' FLORIDA by Daniel Anderson, from DRUNK IN SUNLIGHT. The Johns Hopkins University Press. Reprinted with permission.

O, FLORIDA

This is the old country,
A land of statuary herons
Where chevron squads of pelicans patrol
the glittering green shallows of the gulf.
Where color schemes are chiefly melon,
Flamingo pinks, and tropical pastels.
Where all day single-engine planes buzz by,
their block red-letter advertisements scroll
across those beefy, milk-white cumuli:
EAT SHRIMP AT RUBY'S-BY-THE-BAY.
RAW BAR AT JACK'S. ALASKA KING CRAB CLAWS.
ENJOY WORLD FAMOUS KEY LIME PIE.
Ponce de Leon, is this that paradise
you sought, whose tonics might restore
the potency and thrust of youth? The truth
is that the old grow older here.
Their bones go frail as balsawood.
Strokes slur their speech. Their eyes become
diminished lakes. We watch them dodder
down grocery aisles. We see them heft
their chronic coughs and aches along the beach.
Their sorrows all metastize, they must.
And yet we seldom say a word
Or spend much time imagining ourselves
in thirty years. Shivering and sweating.
A lukewarm spittle on the chin.
Wide open hours of waiting and regretting.
The air-conditioned room of our hotel
looks out on swimming pool and sea.
We've paid good money for the view.
We seek the boredom that they know so well.

Back home, it's thirty-three degrees,
The March rain changing steadily to sleet.
We're only here another day. And if tonight
we eat at Ruby's-by-the-Bay,
or Jack's, what difference will it make?
The beach boy, having closed up shop
has faced his bath chairs to the west
in regimented rows. Beside
the ponderous and receding tide
three toasted, golden teenage girls relax.
They're sitting cross-legged in the sand
and posing for a picture that a fourth
intends to take. Each tosses back her hair
Then feigns a fashion model's runway stare.
Cotton blouses. An almost chilly breeze.
That blush reflection of the sinking sun.
Just listen to them shriek and laugh.

DISCOVERING BABY BIRDS


I had a great deal of fun this morning creating this small piece of mixed media art.

SOMETHING SPECIAL


Today I got this special piece of fabric art in the mail from COLETTE at http://a-bird-in-the-hand.blogspot.com/I have never had any fabric art before...this is my first one...and I really love it. I see them all the time on websites, but now I can touch one and feel it and know how truly sweet it is. I did not know fabric art is sewn to cardstock, and I have no idea how that image was transferred on to fabric, but it's wonderful! Thank you Colette. I will treasure this. My first fabric art!!

THE SENTRY



Many times when I drive up in the driveway I look up on the roof over my front porch, and I see The Sentry. He guards his territory like a brave soldier! I think he is a little too brave, because there are some BIG birds that fly over - egrets eat lizards - but perhaps he is a risk-taker! He has been living up there for quite awhile. Maybe he has a little harem up there. Isn't he the cutest thing? He looks like a mini-alligator.

PET THOUGHTS



I was just lurking over at Violette's site (check the sidebar for a link) and read where she never had a pet. So I started thinking about all the pets I have had in my long life. In the 8th grade I had a lizard..well a chameleon..and I tied a red thread around its neck and pinned it to my shirt with a tiny gold pin and went to school. The other kids and I had great fun watching it turn from green to brown and back. But geeesh...the teacher had no sense of humor. She called my mother and sent me home. I had to let it go.

Once I had a baby squirrel that fell out of a nest in a storm. I raised it and let it sleep under my pillow. Called it Winky. One day it grew big enough to climb out of its daytime box and went in my closet and chewed holes in a lot of my clothes. My mother made me take Winky out back to the woods and let him go. Geesh, no sense of humor there either! I always wanted a horse, but living in such a humorless home, I did not dare ask! What harm could there have been in having a small pony sleeping in my bed with me, or even a unicorn living in the closet?

I had a couple of cats in my early adult years...one was named Kussy and she used to follow me when I walked to the store and wait outside and then follow me home again. She slept way under the covers at my feet. I don't know how she could breath...(from the blankets, not my feet!). Then I had another cat that was an albino...he had pink eyes and was all white and was deaf. He used to sit in the middle of the road and cars would stop and honk their horns for him to move, and he never heard them. My kids found him under the bushes dead one Easter when they were hunting for easter eggs. Little shock factor there! I don't know why he died. And I recall another cat I had once....I was raising a baby bird that also fell out of a nest in a storm ---it storms a lot in Florida --and just as it began to fledge to the edge of the box it lived in, well...you know...I came home from work and found feathers. That was the last cat I had. I switched to dogs.

I've had several dogs; a yappy, nervous poodle that I didn't keep long, a chow, and several rottweilers. I used to raise and train, and show the rotties, tho I never made it to the Eukanuba show! Such magnificant, loving animals. And I had a great pyrenees/white shepherd mix once. Called him LeRoy Brown, and he WAS the baddest dog in town! And now, I just have Roxie the Doxie, spoiled rotten, and three birds, Mz. Wee, Yellabird and Otherbird. That's Yellabird in the picture. Otherbird looks just like her. And Mz. Wee and Roxie are having a tug-0-war. Birds rule!

I cannot imagine never, ever having had a pet. I am going to have to see that Mz. Violette gets a pet so she can have this life experience. Hmmmmm, maybe a pet rock would be a good thing to start with? Oh come on, you know she has a teddy bear. They're pets! ;)

Well, I HAVE been creating. I've done five ATC's in the past two days which will soon be in the mail. So I haven't been totally slack!

HAPPY NEW YEAR


I saw on the weather news this morning that Florida is the best place to be in the U.S. today weatherwise. We have rain this morning, but it is supposed to get on down the road! It will be 77 and sunny here today. That sounds like a perfect start to a New Year! Thank you all for the wonderful support you have given my blog over the last year. May all your dreams for 2007 come true. All of them! xoxoxo