Musical Monday-Snowy Morning Blues + Monday's Muse

How are you this week? 
I hope everyone is off to a great start!

'Tis another beautiful day in paradise around here. You snowy-folks have my sympathies so this Musical Monday is dedicated to you. Here is James P. Johnson's Snowy Morning Blues (1944)

Looking for more random music today? Pop on over to these MM hubs, listen to some cool tunes & add something from your jukebox today: RunDMT, AmandaXmas Dolly and Hairbows & Guitar Picks.

How about a visit with Monday's Muse? I haven't posted one of these in a while....

Have you heard about Diana Evans' 100 Illustrations Project? She's looking for illustrators who are hoping to broaden their market by submitting work to a new book.  If your work is accepted (& you pay a fee) your get a page in the book. Diana is working with the Ingram Book Company & the book will be submitted to misc art directors, etc. For  more information here is the link to the Q&A page.

As I mentioned there is a fee.... so I feel the need to bring something up. Any time you talk about a putting out cash, some folks may get offended while others won't care. Marketing opportunity? Vanity press? Opinions will vary....

 BUT (here is where things get interesting) "a few spots" in the book are being given away for free. Yep, Free! So, you have until Feb 14th to email your awesome  illustration (or a link to your work). If it is accepted you may be one of the winners of a free page in this upcoming book.  For more info & an email address, visit http://100illustrations.blogspot.com. Also here is a link to the free page announcement on the blog.

By the way, I just found out it is Diana's Birthday today! So, pop by her blog if you get a chance & spread the love. She is also participating in the One World One Heart event/giveaway & you can find out more while you are there.

One Last Note: On 2/3 I'll draw one lucky winner to receive either Sammie Flame's original ACEO, Love or a $5 credit from RawkMama.Etsy.com + free shipping. (And you can find some very cool art or supplies at Sammie's place for five bucks!)
To enter the random drawing, leave a comment on this blog before 1 a.m. (EST) on Feb. 3, 2011. Drawing is open worldwide with free shipping to winner. Winner gets to choose which prize they prefer. 

Thanks for stopping by. Wishing you a fantastic week! 


Art, recipes & other ramblings today

Hey all! What'cha been up to lately?

It has been a non-bloggity, non-artsy month so far around here. Day job & other real life stuff taking precedence. My non-creating crankies haven't kicked in yet, but I'll need to get dabbling soon. In the meantime I am loving this piece by one of my favorite collage artists, Nancy Lefko:

Surrender by Nancy Lefko

Which reminds me- the new IllustrationFriday.com prompt is "Surrender". What fun, eh? You've still got a few days to add your piece or see what others have been inspired to create.

A couple of other fun prompts for January have been Mixed Media Monday/monthly's Size Matters (okay okay, you caught me snickering) & MelangeOnEtsy's Begining. By the way, you don't have to belong to Melange to play along. If you have a mixed media piece that fits just add a link to it in the challenge comments.

So, this month I've kept an eye on things while the husband & staff went to Hong Kong. Yep, I was a bit jealous but had a "when the cat's away" mentality. Unfortunately the business has grown too much & the mouse didn't get to play much.

But - I did manage to fix some busted nesting tables. Haven't used my tools in so long (& studio is still a mess) so made do with packing tape instead of clamps. Works surprisingly well.

Much to my families pleasure I've been cooking more lately. I used love to experiment in the kitchen but had less time in 2010. Too busy blogging - haha! The Pioneer Woman's Crash Hot Potatoes were a big hit as were adaptations of Martha Stewart's Roasted Egglant, zucchini & chickpeas  & Food.com's Broiled Steelhead trout with rosemary. I also had a tasty tini-variant at Mitchell's Fish Market (after a shhh-Mommy-needs-a-cocktail kind of day) last week and look forward to duplicating it once I track down some Soho Lychee Liquor.

So..... that is my story & I'm sticking to it. Just a basic month of domestic bliss.  However, I did manage to finally pick up supplies for the online De Meng class that started 2 weeks ago. And while out supplies shopping I ran into artist  BK Lyons.

Oriental Poppies (a painting on 15 canvases) by BK Lyons

We both belonged to a local art group 8 + yrs ago (wow - time has been flying!). Bk used to be into  creating murals & cool mosaic looking drawings/paintings back then. Now she is making what she calls more "Florida-style art" - lots of birds, sea creatures, flowers, & bright cheery colors. She has a new website up BKLyons.com & will be stocking her etsy shop soon. I'm trying to talk her into popping by for an interview or studio tour one of these days.

Have to run. That's all I've got for today.... 

Love ACEO by Sammie Flame

But - Oh Hey! If you haven't entered Sammie Flame's ACEO giveaway..... why the heck not!? On Thursday I pick one random winner from those who've left a comment on my blog over the past 2 weeks. To enter just leave a comment now - easy peasy! The lucky winner gets to choose between this  original art card or $5 credit at the artist's online shop RawkMama.Etsy.com.

Ok, I'm really leaving this time. Hope you are all off to a frabjous week!


We have a winner!

The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron

Thanks to everyone who entered this random drawing for a gently used copy of this paperbound book. With help from Random.org a winner has been selected. And that lucky winner is.......

 June from Dezinaworld
Congratulations, June! I'll contact you for your shipping info this afternoon

Again, thanks to all who took the time to leave a comment & enter this giveaway! By the way, I am hosting another random drawing next Thursday (2/3) for the artist Sammie Flame of RawkMama.etsy.com.  To enter that giveaway simply leave a comment on my blog before 1 am (EST ) on Feb. 3rd. One lucky winner gets to choose either the original ACEO Love 

Love art card by Sammie Flame

or $5 to spend at Sammie's Etsy shop. To find out more,  click here. You'll get details plus an interview with the artist.


Almost Wordless Wednesday: X-ray Gummi Bear

© 2011 Fame Master Ent. Ltd.

Just had to share this great postcard from the Hong Kong Toy Fair. X-Ray Gummi Bear™ is a new toy from Fame Master a.k.a. 4DMaster.com. I don't see it on their site yet, but they some very cool models & puzzles over there.

By the way, last chance to enter tomorrow's random drawing for a copy of Julia Cameron's book, The Artist's Way. Just leave a comment before a 1.m. (EST) 1/27 to enter. For details, click here.
Next week on 2/3, another random winner will get either a Sammie Flame original Art Card or $5 to spend at RawkMama.etsy.com. Again, a comment gets your name in the hat. Just be sure to leave it before 1 a.m. (EST) on 2/2. For prize details & an interview with the artist click here


Visit with artist Sammie Flame & Enter to win a prize from her Etsy shop

Violet by Sammie Flame of RawkMama.etsy.com
Hey there. How have you been? Last week we popped by mixed media artist Sammie Flame's new studio (If you missed the tour click here). Sammie has just stopped in for a cup of tea and a lovely chat - and we are both so glad you could join us! 

I know Sammie from the entertaining & eclectic Etsy Melange Team. I enjoy her unique style & wonderful rich colors. In her online shop RawkMama.Etsy.com you can find a mix of Sammie's original artwork and fun paper supplies, like these cool tickets:

Set of 12 poison tickets from RawkMama.etsy.com

C'mon - take off your coat & stay a while. I'll put up a fresh pot of water while you guys chat for a bit.... By the way, click on any of the captions for more info on each photo.

SF: I am an artist who loves rawk music and comes from a family of rock [gems and minerals] lovers! hence the name...

When did you first become interested in art? 

SF: I think I've always been fascinated with art. My Dad is an amazing artist, and my Mom is super creative sewing, crocheting, etc. As a child, I was always surrounded with creativity.

What are your favorite materials & why? 

SF: I have always been in love with papers! I think paper is so beautiful & versatile! It always appeals to me... Paint is my second favorite, because I can get so messy!

Where do you find inspiration? 

SF: I find my inspiration from my emotions, music, nature, magazines, people - everything that surrounds me!

Do you listen to anything while creating? If so, who are you listening to lately?

SF: I love music!!! And most people might find this shocking, but i love to play alternative/rock/metal while creating! My current playlist is Karnivool, Joe Satriani, Skillet, 3 Days Grace, Alice in Chains, Nirvana, Pearl Jam. I do love softer stuff, too, but as of late, I've been creating to these guys! Yeah, I'm a rocker chick at heart!

How long have you been selling your art? 

SF: I have been selling my art since 2006, and on Etsy as a seller since 2008.
What is your favorite piece in your shop right now? 

SF: I have 2 faves right now:

Melting Mirror by Sammie Flame
So Blue by Sammie Flame

What are your 3 favorite Etsy shops? 

SF: This is a hard question! So many favorite shops! 

paper scrap pack classic - margo collection from thienthanh.etsy.com
Thienthanh.etsy.com for amazing papers.

Shadow Dancing set of 12 clear stamps from Nahanibluette.etsy.com
 nahanibluette.etsy.com  for a huge selection of stamps.

What A Feelin original painting from JMJArtStudio.etsy.com
JMJartStudio.etsy.com for incredible paintings!

What are your 3 favorite websites? 

SF: Etsy.com, Flickr, and Moo

What do you like to do when you are not creating? 

SF: Read [novels], write, take walks, tinker on the guitar/ play piano, spend time laughing with my 3 girls! 

Sammie Flame

You have recently become interested in art-journaling and art therapy. Is there anything you would like to share on this topic? (For those just meeting Sammie, she was recently widowed and is the mother of 3 young children).

SF: Art has been a way for me to express my emotions and grief, in a way that words cannot. Sometimes, without my husband, I feel lost, and it scares me. Art grounds me and helps me to feel "found" and that I live with a purpose. I wrote about this for Crescendoh.com. CLICK HERE for my thoughts on the healing power of art.

Sammie, thanks so much for stopping by and sharing with us today! And thank you for sponsoring the latest Thursday Giveaway.

Yep, Sammie wants to give away free stuff! On 2/3 one lucky winner will get either the original ACEO, Love 

Love Original Art Card from RawkMama.etsy.com

or a $5 credit at RawkMama.Etsy.com + free shipping. (And you can find some very cool art or supplies at Sammie's place for five bucks!) 

To Enter this random drawing, leave a comment on this blog before 1 a.m. (EST) on Feb. 3, 2011. This drawing is open worldwide with free shipping to winner. Winner gets to choose which prize they prefer. 

So what'cha waiting for? Share your thoughts, leave a comment & you might be the lucky winner. If you have a few minutes today go see what looks tempting over at Sammie's Etsy shop. By the way, thanks for dropping by - It is your interest in the artists that keeps the interviews & giveaways coming!


On a side note, have you entered my 1/27 random drawing yet? One winner receives a copy of Julia Cameron's book The Artist's Way, A spiritual path to higher creativity. Any comment left on my blog before 1/27 also enters you in this giveaway. For drawing & book details  click this link.


Random Tuesday Thought - When life gives you lemons....

Make cocktails & watch some Monty Python

If you need more out of your Tuesday, pop on over the The Un Mom & see what chaos is churning in the universe this week.



Studio Tour #32 - Visit with Sammie Flame of RawkMama.Etsy.com

Keeping Faith by Sammie D. Flame

Got your traveling coat on? Today we are off to Arizona for a visit with RawkMama.


Also known as artist (& fellow Etsy's Melange Team member) Sammie Flame. She recently moved to a new house and has kindly agreed to show us around her expanded creative space. (By the way, please forgive any weird spacing - blogspot is acting up again today). Ready? Here we go...

SF: Here is a picture of my old "living room" studio. My old space was a 4X10 ft. space located behind my couch in the living room! 

Sammie's old art space

SF: I moved into my new studio four months ago. This new space is a 9.5 X 14 ft. room, actually built as a studio! it has a lot of natural light & is part of my new house. It has taken a lot of time and thinking, adjusting to this new space... trying to figure out something that works for me is hard, but it is coming along finally!


SF: Entering the studio through inside door.  This connects the studio to the family room. Now, going counterclockwise through room:

SF: This corner showcases artwork by Stacey Merrill (ArtSnark.Etsy.com) & Trine Stasica (ManicAttackArt.Etsy.com).

SF: Shelves that house (from the top down) - paintings, envelopes galore, and drawers & drawers of patterned papers & vintage maps.

SF: The outside door leads to the back yard (super handy)! The artwork on the wall is by Kim Geiser (PersimmonsGal.Etsy.com) I made the garland/banners over each of the windows - I needed some color & "me" in there! The file cabinet is a yard sale find which I painted.

My messy art table

 and my drafting desk.

 Me, by the art table.

SF: Special things on my art table: my dad's vintage Kodak camera, a clay head that I sculpted when I was 19, and various jars/pencil holders from friends.

Art journal pages in progress.

SF: Some outlet covers in progress. The outlet covers were made for the studio, but I do list them in the shop at random times.

Hey, Sammie, thanks for the tour! Enjoy your new found elbow room  - I can't wait to see what colorful creations you come up with next!

And thank you to all who came along for the ride today. Want to find out more about this artist? Pop back soon (probably next Thursday) for a chat with Sammie.  (ADDED 1/20: Sammie's interview is now posted at this link)

In the meantime, be sure to visit her online Shop RawkMama.etsy.com where she sells her artwork as well as paper supplies.

Need to get your creative juices flowing? Enter the random drawing for a copy of Julia Cameron's book The Artist's Way, A spiritual path to higher creativity. Just leave a comment on my blog before 1/27 to enter. For giveaway & book details visit this link


Enter to win a copy of The Artist's Way - ends 1/27

Hey there. How are you today?

I've been a bit scarce lately. Life, work & family are keeping me on my toes. Not much art time, but there are some fun new interviews & studio tours coming together here soon. By the way if you'd like to share your thoughts, art, or creative space on this blog send me a note (my email is in my profile).

I'm trying (again) to clean out the studio - I have a hunch I will be posting more than a few destash giveaways this year. The 1st random drawing of 2011 is for my paperback copy of Julia Cameron's the Artist's Way, A spiritual Path to Higher Creativity. I have had for years but it is in excellent condition.

You can find out more about this book on Julia Cameron's site theartistsway.com. There are also several reviews of it on Amazon.

To Enter: Simply leave a comment on this blog before 1 a.m. (EST) on Jan 27. (Yep, it is that easy.) Make sure to leave a way to contact you if your email is not in your profile. On 1/27 using random.org, I'll pick a winner. This random drawing is open worldwide & prize ships free to winner.

That's it for today as I'm running behind already. Pop back Saturday for the 1st Studio Tour of the year. We are off to Arizona to see the creative space of the artist behind RawkMama.etsy.com.


Damn fine cup of coffee

Always 7 subways behind, I've only just discovered the fabulous "love letter to alternative culture" that is  Coilhouse. Anyone who features Japanese Twin Peaks inspired coffee ads is alright in my book.

This is a 4 part commercial series - worth a few minutes & a few chuckles. Found yesterday over at  http://coilhouse.net/. Great site! Grab a cuppa and go check it out.


Self Portrait

Passing Storm self portrait - altered photo

"Apathy can be overcome by enthusiasm, and enthusiasm can only be aroused by two things: first, an ideal, with takes the imagination by storm, and second, a definite intelligible plan for carrying that ideal into practice." - Arnold J Toynbee

"We have to get used to the idea that our next idea is far more powerful than the idea we had last." - Everette Bogue, Far Beyond The Stars