Sunday Funday - part 1

Sunny springtime rolled in last weekend, bringing with it outdoor fun and sweet strawberries! I decided to play hooky, ditched the family and visited some local markets, museums and my favorite annual fair, The Gasparilla Festival of the Arts.

The day started with a trip to the Hyde Park Fresh Market, where I spotted Gypsy Junque's show stopping boho bus. Gotta love the colors! By the way, click on any of the links for more info on some of my favorite finds.

The Hyde Park market happens the first Sunday of each month. It features some tasty (& very photogenic) produce, as well as a number of local vendors. You'll find everything from truffles and fruit trees to fedoras and hoola hoops. Plus several food trucks and even a kid's play zone with bouncy house and bungee trampolines (ooh - risky combination).

photo courtesy of Mon Beau Reve and Co.

In the middle of the market is a large fountain, several benches and live entertainment. Center stage featured a fab fashion show of comfy creations from local clothier Mon Beau Reve and Company.  

photo courtesy of Mon Beau Reve and Co.

With all of the beautiful weather, yummy treats, and local shops to explore I was tempted to hang in Hyde Park all day. On any other day I would have, but the art was calling me. I filled my bag with fragrant finds from Swanson Soapworks,  espresso beans from Java-Planet and a refreshing apricot iced tea from Tebella. Then it was time to head downtown.

mmm...more strawberries, please

A quick stop at the always aesthetic Oxford Exchange.

Then a walk across the bridge found me at the Tampa Downtown Market. Normally held every 3rd Sunday of the month, they tossed in an extra shopping day for March. 

Lucky me! I stumbled into fellow Etsy seller I am so not cool (vintage and repurposed) and Savannah Beach Mosaics sharing a tent and selling their colorful creations. 

View of the Downtown Market from the FMOPA. Beyond is the art fair!

At this point it was time to cool off before tackling the art fair. The Florida Museum of Photographic Arts has three strong exhibits right now, including Elger Essler's large format landscape heliograveures. FMoPA is a small museum, but always worth a visit. Quiet and cool, it was the perfect place to recharge my batteries before diving into the big event. 

I've mentioned before that this art festival is one of my favorites. There is always a wonderful mix of artwork, in many different styles and mediums (& price ranges). Plus you get to meet the artists, which is very, very cool. Once again, this show did not disappoint! My original plan was to probably go home empty handed. But... I ended up picking up the most pieces yet.... and now I have to find a place to hang it all. Fortunately they are smalls, so that shouldn't be too bad. 

Pop back in a few days to hear about the art fair. I will share some my faves, plus the pieces that followed me home. Until then, best wishes for a creative day!


Burning the midnight oil on Musical Monday

Hey there. How goes 2015? 

I'm chimimg in for some overdue Musical Monday time. This week Xmas Dolly's blog hop has an "Animal" theme. Lately my shuffle has been full of Sanders Bohlke, so here he is singing Wolves:

On the aside, I can't say enough good things about Bohlke's album, GhostBoy. Click here to catch a sample over at Communicating Vessels. I crazy love the opening tune, Pharoah.

Hunting for (or sharing) some wild animal-themed tunes this week? If so, pop over to Dolly's zoo and join the safari.


Otherwise: I'm still pecking away at G.R.R.Martin's Songs of Fire and Ice (Game of Thrones) series. I don't have HBO so geeking out to the books. Almost done with book #5 and have to admit to enjoying them much more than expected.

Watching-wise: pleasantly surprised by the Gotham episodes I'd DVRd: a fun cast, decent writing (& perhaps most important- great lighting, staging and eye candy). I've also (finally) boarded the Supernatural train via Netflix since so many folks I follow on Pinterest are always sharing, 

What are you filling your spare time with? Any music, books, or TV/movies topping your list? I'm always looking for new things to fill the late night hours. 


TMI for 2015

Hey there! How does 2015 find you?
 Off to a great start, I hope. 

Me? Well, the last couple of years life stuff overruled art-stuff. Health-stuff overruled life-stuff.... and so it goes. Nothing "drama" but nothing worth sharing either. Just trying to get the most out of every day. Not wanting to be a downer has led to a lack of blogging on my part. (Lame excuse, I know.) But, as this is my fess-up-and-move-on post, I'm just leaving it out there.

There have been some unexpected bonuses to my 2014 "down time", including hours to read and listen to music. Also, time to visit other blogs, something I'd missed out on for a while. Glancing around the web a common theme for 2015 (besides dieting / paleo / whole 30) seems to be a new focus on on sharing real-life and not just happy-happy-joy-joy posts. It is an interesting idea and I look forward to seeing what some of my favorite folks share this year.

It is said that you should never apologize when serving food or when blogging. The idea being that your audience doesn't know what you meant to serve in the first place (before you burned or burned out). Well, I'm gonna anyway. If you've stuck it out with me though the blogging decline, (gawd, I luv ya!) many thanks! 

Hopefully things will get more interesting around here. While I am not as articulate, productive, or positive as I was 5+ years ago, I am still here. I just process things in little blips, shorter sentences and (of course) random musical clips. There will still be giveaways, new WIPs, DIY faves, some original tutorials and occasional interviews.

It will be interesting to see how 2015 plays out. 
Thanks for joining me for the ride!


We have a winner!

Happy New Year!

We have a winner of the creative inspiration giveaway! One lucky winner has been selected with help from random.org. 

Congratulations to (Ri)Charmed Life

You have won the first Artsnark blog drawing of 2015! I will contact you with details for claiming your prize.

Many thanks to all who entered. Your interest keeps the random drawings coming. 

Best Wishes To All For A Wonder-Filled New Year!


Feeling Lucky? Last chance to enter Jan 1st Inspiration-themed random drawing!

Kick off the New Year with some creative inspiration!

If it is still 2014 (EST), there is still time to enter this January 1st random drawing for artsy goodies! One Lucky winner takes home 3 imagination-inducing prizes, including a copy of Leslie Riley's new book Inspirational Quotes Illustrated! Over 100 artists illustrated more than 130 quotes for this colorful compendium. (I am thrilled to be one of them). Click here for more info on this fun book and a peek at my contributions. 

The winner also will receive a $10 Gift Card to Michaels Craft stores. Click here for store locations or the online shop.

And to top off the package... cute wire words to encourage your imagination in 2015!

Why not start the year with a brilliant boost of inspiration?! If you comment on this post before the ball drops on 2014 there is still time to enter! Actually, you have until 1 a.m. EST on 1/1/15. I had to leave you time for those midnight kisses. 

All who have commented on the blog since Nov.28th will be entered into this random drawing. However, I've been partying instead of promoting since then, so comments are light (making some pretty good odds). The winner will be announced tomorrow. 

Best wishes to all for a wonderful end to 2014. Have fun! Be Safe! See you next year!


Enter to win Inspirational Quotes Illustrated book + $10 craft store gift card- Ends Jan.1

Ooh - I have some exciting news! A couple of weeks ago I found these beauties in my mailbox! Inspirational Quotes Illustrated  features "more than 100 artists and 130 quotes" is edited by Lesley Riley and published by Northern Light Books. 

I feel fortunate to have two pieces in this wonder-filled book. It is great fun to share pages with some of my favorite contemporary artists, including Seth Apter and Pam Carriker (featured here back in 2009).  

This colorful compendium is available in paperback (as well as for Kindle) through Amazon. Feeling lucky? Enter to win a free copy! Leave a comment on my blog before 1 a.m. (EST) on January 1st to be entered in a New Year's Day random drawing. The winner will also receive a $10 gift card to Michaels Craft Stores. Click here to find a Michaels near you. You can also use the card in their online shop.

As mentioned in my last blogpost, folks who entered the gift card drawing on 12/11 will be automatically entered in this new random drawing. Everybody else.... get scribbling! Any ole comment will do - just be sure to include your email address if it is not already in your profile. 

On the aside, the family has decided to unplug this week. As a result, this giveaway will not be getting much promotion. (Chances are this will make your odds even better.). I will pop back around the 27th or 28th to add a little something extra to sweeten the prize, so be sure to check back and check out the additional goodies.

Until then - Merry Christmas to those who celebrate! And Happy Holidays to all! Best wishes for a creative week!!


Thursday Giveaway: Winner of Michaels Crafts giftcard

Woo Hoo! We have a winner! 

With help from random.org, today's winner of the $10 Michaels Craft Store gift card is....

Cathy Kennedy from CuriousAsACathy.com

Congratulations, Cathy! I will contact you with instructions for claiming your prize.

Many thanks to all of the crafty folks who entered this random drawing. While you didn't win today....

Guess what?! You are still in luck! 

I am about to announce a new giveaway for one more $10 Michael's Gift Card.... And you will all be automatically entered in this new random drawing happening on January 1st! I will also be adding a few more prizes to the January 1st drawing, so be sure to pop back over the next couple of weeks to check those out as well.