Over The River & Through The Woods

Red's winter walk

For the CreativeSouls self portrait challenge #7 "winter/Christmas". Click image to enlarge
Over the river, and through the wood,
No matter for winds that blow,
Or if we get the sleigh upset
Into a bank of snow
-from song by Lydia Maria Child

If you are a creative-type and not yet a member of CreativeSouls.ning.com I recommend you check it out. There are all types of imaginative folks over there. Plus oodles of fun activities, promotion opportunities, and artistic challenges to get your juices flowing. CS describes itself as "A diverse gathering of creative souls, a place to help promote each other. Discover new & interesting people. ~ALL creative people welcome~"  

On other fronts, all is fine here. A family member's health scare & visit to the emergency room led to surgery, complications, and a hospital stay. But he's out of the woods now and at home recovering. This year we have lots to be thankful for!

close up of "Stay" ACEO

Etsy Wise - I'm having a 20% off sale on everything at ArtSnark.etsy.com. Just enter coupon code  BLACKFRIDAY when you check out. Sale is in effect until Monday night. Many items, including all $4 ACEOs and some canvases, also ship for free worldwide.

I've also created a new section of the shop $5 Specials.  I'm trying to make some more elbow room around here so it seemed a good way to move older pieces. I will be adding new items to this section every few days. The 20% Sale Code can also be applied to $5 special pieces.

The November Random Drawing is still on! To enter simply comment on this blog before 1 a.m. (EST) on Dec. 1st. (Since the blog has been on hold, entries are light, making your odds even better.)  

 To sweeten things a bit, 2 random winners will be selected! Each will receive a print of their favorite piece of my art from my Etsy Shop, Blog, or DeviantArt Gallery. For details click here.


On Hiatus

Have lots of fun artsy stuff to share soon. Recently went to 2 fun art fairs + took lots of pictures. Plus some new interviews & giveaways in the pipeline.

However we're coping with a sudden illness in the family, so it will a little while before I return - hopefully before the month is out. Best wishes to everyone


My 1st solder & glass ornament

Meet Darla. Darla is a wonder-woman!

She teaches creative classes at my local Michaels store, everything from cake decorating to scrapbooking to jewelry making. Today she kindly showed me how to make glass & solder ornaments. I've had most of the supplies for ages and have watched a few YouTube videos.... But It has been 25 years since I've picked up a soldering iron and I needed an extra push to get started.

Ready to rock & roll

This starter-kit from Bead Landing is great if you are new to soldering.

photo borrowed from Michaels website

Other than flux, this kit has all the basic supplies to make ornaments or pendants. The kit states that you don't need to use flux. I tried working both with & without today; it seemed like the solder went down smoother with. Darla said she purchased the flux paste for around $2 at Home Depot.

The glass pieces come with the kit. The craft knife and K&C Company papers did not. Eventually I'd love to try this with some original art. Today these brightly colored papers were perfect for experimenting!

The oval has only the copper tape. The square piece has solder on top of the tape. Not too ugly for my 1st try .... yet....

Oops now it gets ugly. I made a bit of a mess while attaching the handle.

Okay. More than a bit. I gobbed too much solder on my iron. It oozed under the wire and started dripping before hardening. On the plus side, I was able to scrape most of it off with the hot iron.

Then added a jump ring . I could add more solder or smooth what is there by reheating but decided to call it good enough for a 1st try. A bit of a polish and we have -


& Back

I am looking forward to making some more of these! Each year I like to come up with new ornaments for the Christmas tree. I think some festive mini collages would be a great way to practice my soldering. Maybe then I will be ready to make some jewelry using this fun technique.

Thanks for coming along for the ride! If you are looking to try your hand at a new activity, check out your local craft store. I bet they have something interesting going on. Then pop back here & share what you have made. I'd love to see your creations!


Please note: Any comments left before 1 a.m. (EST) on 12/1/11 will enter you into my latest random drawing. Two lucky winners will take home a print of their choosing based on my art (found on this blog, my DeviantArt Gallery or the ArtSnark etsy shop).


Mixed Media (Musical) Monday

Mixed Media Monday Etsy collection curated by HallowedHill 

I'm starting my Monday with lots of espresso and this eclectic Etsy Treasury which features a handful of members from the always entertaining Mixed Media Team. Click Here to visit this fun collection & from there you can tap through to the individual pieces.

Listening to TMBG this morning. Video by Chessage. For more about expressionist painter James Ensor check out this online museum.


Looking for more music? Head on over to The New Xmas Dolly & have a listen. While you are there - why not post your earworm to her blog hop today? 

Before you go, leave a comment here to enter my latest random drawing. On 12/1 two lucky winners will receive their fave print from my Etsy Shop, DeviantART Gallery or this blog. Good luck!


Illustration Friday - Stripes


The new IF challenge prompt, Stripes, brought to mind an old charcoal portrait. I tweaked it a bit in P.Elements just for kicks.  If you feel inspired by this theme create & post your interpretation. Be sure to add a link over at IllustrationFriday.com. Or you can just visit them and enjoy the variety of striations other folks are sharing.

Did you know that leaving a comment here enters you into a new random drawing? On 12/1 two lucky readers win prints of their favorite pieces from my Etsy shop or blog. Giveaway is open worldwide. Click here for details.

Thanks for popping by. Best wishes for a creative day!


This Artist of the Month is holding a new giveaway

At the Old Hyde Park Arts Center Tampa, FL

Until the 11/30 I have a few pieces hanging over at the Old Hyde Park Art Center in Tampa. It is a cute building from the late 1800s that has been home to the Tampa Realistic Artists (now theTampa Regional Artists) since the 1960s. They offer workshops, exhibits, monthly competitions and lots of other activities for local artists.

Not the best photo above - sorry about that. It was taken with an older phone. I'll pop by with a camera next week once the Art In A Garden show is up.

If you are in the Tampa area & have some garden-themed art, why not stop in this weekend and drop off a few pieces? There is a small entry fee & it's a juried show.You could win!  Find out more on the TRA Facebook page or by calling (813) 251-3780. Alternatively you can download their latest newsletter here: tamparealisticartists.com, under the "About TRA" section (please note, though that other parts of the website are a bit outdated).

Red's Escape

On other fronts - I am testing new printers and have decided to hold another giveaway .... And there will be 2 winners - woo hoo!

You have until 1 a.m. (EST) on 12/1 to enter this random drawing. Simply leave a comment on my blog before then and your name goes into the hat.

Each lucky winner will receive a print their favorite item. To make things more interesting, they can have a print of any pieces found:

1) in my shop ArtSnark.etsy.com (in the sold section is okay too), 
2) in my DeviantArt gallery or 
3) on this blog. There are several that I've posted here which haven't made it to the etsy shop yet

Night Music

As always, thanks for playing! Your interest (& comments) are what keep the giveaways flowing. Good Luck!

We Have Two New Winners!!

Butterflies, Owl and Antique Victrola print from BlackBaroque.etsy.com

Did you catch the visit with Alexandra Wolf of BlackBaroque.etsy.com 2 weeks ago? (If not, check out the links at the bottom of this post). During our lovely chat this wonderful artist offered up two of her clever colorful prints for today's random drawing - woo hoo! Lucky us!

With help from random.org, the winners are.....

Joan Charles (JoanCharles.com)  
TLC Inspirations (TheHealthRevival.com)

A hearty congrats to you both! You get to each pick your favorite print from the amazing selection in  Alex's Etsy Shop, Black Baroque. I will contact you today with instructions for claiming your prizes.

Many thanks to Alexandra for sponsoring this great giveaway! Want to know more about this creative lady? Check out some of these links:

Also thank you to everyone who took the time to leave a comment recently. The featured artists (& I) appreciate the feedback. And if you are a fan of these Thursday Giveaways be sure to pop back later for a new prize.


I guess it's gonna rain today

I'm testing a new printing co. & hope to have some fresh digital art in my artsnark etsy shop very soon,  including this one which needs a new name. Any suggestions?


By the way, you have until 1 am (EST) on Nov3 to leave a comment & enter Black Baroque's fantastic random drawing. Tomorrow I'll pick 2 winners from those who have kindly commented on this blog since Oct. 20th. The lucky duo will each take home their fave print from BlackBaroque.etsy.com. Click Here for  a visit with the artist behind this fun shop, Alexandra Wolf.