RTT- Just a wee bit-o-random today

Getting a head start on my Random Tuesday Thoughts. I have a hunch that once the day's madness begins, I may not make it back here. Just 1 of those week's already


Spent the weekend building a ginormous outdoor playset - holy $h*+! Rediscovered some muscles I forgot I had. Too tired to work on art in the p.m. so cramming to meet some deadlines. (Just fun stuff tho - no paying gigs)

I joined an art book-group for Twilight over at ZNE. While not thrilled with the series, I do love me some vampires & there are some great images throughout the book. It looks like we'll be reading & then making art for each chapter. Fun stuff. I think there'll be some public pics up Wednesday. Will post a link then. In the meantime here's a sneaky peak of my illo's inking phase:
Inspired by Oblivion Stock over at DeviantArt.

Oh, if you're more into Buffy than Edward, this is priceless. The Un Mom graciously shared it recently

Also up this week is a mechanical toy I've finished in my head but had no time to make. I keep dumbing it down for speed of assembly. If I don't watch out, it will be a painted rock by the time I'm done.

Found out about this Diary project over at Ewian's blog. Check it out - still some openings left but deadline is looming. Just click on the box above.

I absolutely love Ewian's artwork. She has such a vibrant & distinctive style. A very sweet person too - always ready with a kind comment plus she sent me this fabulous field guide:

Hey, had to sneak those zombies in here somewhere - it is Tuesday after all ;D

Ewian also has a great art supplies giveaway going on right so, so hop on over & check it out!

Dang, gotta hit the hay. Tuesday snuck up on me when I wasn't looking. If you're looking for more chaotic goodness, pop on over to the Admiral of Anarchy (ok ok I'll admit I'm stretching on that one), The Un Mom. There is always something wacky going on over there any day of the week!
The Un Mom

Man this post keeps running on. But I almost forgot to mention a reminder that there is no random drawing this Thursday. Check back on the 9th to see who wins one of my art boxes, customized with their choice of image & text. Click HERE for details and a photo of a similar piece. To enter the giveaway just leave a comment on this blog before noon (EST) on July 9th.


Monday's Muse, Music & Melange - BLISS

The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure. - Joseph Campbell

blissed out

There are rare moments when everything falls into place. All the "small stuff" falls away & simply being is enough. 1 of these epiphanies was forever frozen about 15 yrs ago.

This photo popped into mind when I heard that the current Melange Challenge is BLISS. A scan, some tweaks & a print on photo-canvas. I pulled out some paints, pencils, markers. Then lots of "small stuff" got in the way until the weekend chaos ended & Monoral's Kiri brought things into focus.

So what are you listening to today? Pop by Musical Monday & share. To view other versions of bliss or add your own, click HERE for Melange blog. To see & share some inspiration visit Monday's Muse on Maternal Spark.

A final note: The next Thursday Giveaway will be on July 9th. The winner gets one of my art boxes, customized with their choice of image & text. Click HERE for details and a photo of a similar piece. To enter the giveaway just leave a comment on this blog before noon (EST) on July 9th.


IF - Worn

Worn out

Finally got a chance to play with some pencils & paint today. Feels like it has been too long. If you get a chance, pop over to Illustration Friday & see what other great pieces have been submitted this week

Listened to some Peter Gabriel while poking around on DeviantArt & got inspired by this fabulous stock photo by LisaJen-stock.

On other fronts, I was pleasantly surprised to find Wallflower featured in a wonderful blog post over at Design Style Guide .


Also vicariously enjoyed a delicious gelato courtesy of the lovely & talented Maria-Thérèse Andersson.

photo nicked from Afiori

She is visiting Rome this week. You can get a peek at her adventures over at Afiori. I'm excited to see what wonders she creates from her fabulous finds & photographs once she returns home.

Please note: The next Thursday Giveaway will be in 2 weeks (July 9). The winner gets one of my art boxes, customized with their choice of image & text. Click HERE for details and a photo of a similar piece. To enter the giveaway just leave a comment on this blog before noon (EST) on July 9th.


New Giveaway - this one is customized for the winner!!

Hello All. How's everything this week? If you are looking for the winners of today's random drawing click HERE.

If you're looking for info on the latest prize, you've come to the right place! Couple of tweaks for this Thursday Giveaway: This time I am giving away one of my creations (I feel like I should do a mad scientist chuckle or something. Oh, what the heck.....mwuhuhuhuha...). And it will be customized. More on that in a minute.

Also, there will be NO random drawing next Thursday July 2. The winner of this prize will be drawn at noon (EST) on Thursday July 9th.

Remember Edgar Allan Poe Box I posted last month?

No? Well click HERE to see detailed photos.

I'd just started a similar box & thought how cool it would be design it for 1 lucky winner. I've only just started sanding & staining but he's what I've got so far:

And this is the lid without a center image:
This is where you come in!

The winner of this box can either choose a print of one of my pieces (you can pick from the images on this blog as well as in my etsy shop) OR send me a picture you have taken. Just make sure the you have the rights to the image you send me. I do not want to infringe on the rights of either the model or the photographer.

Also send me either a favorite quote or poem & I will incorporate parts of it into the box (See the Poe box blog post for an example). Please make sure that the text is not currently copyrighted by someone else. The text can also be of your own creation, in fact that would be very cool!

I will take the image & text you send me, add a few tweaks of my own and voila - your very own one of a kind wooden box. The closed box measures approximately 5.75" x 4.25" x 3.25"

I must stress that this box is for your personal use only. The final piece is under my copyright and is not for resale or redistribution.

Also, I will post images of the final piece on my blog.

If you are good with these stipulations & want to play along, simply leave a comment on this blog before noon (EST) Thursday July 9th. Again, there will be NO random drawing on July 2nd. All who comment over the next 2 weeks will be entered in this random drawing.

Just a note: Please be sure your contact info is correct. You don't have to leave an email, as long as I can track you down easily through blogger. If I do not hear from you within 10 days of your name being drawn, I'll go back through the list and choose an alternate winner.

I'll announce the winner shortly after noon (EST) on July 9th. I'll contact you & see about getting your choice of image & text. Once I have these it may take up to 3 weeks for me to finish the box. (It could be sooner; I just want to give myself some room). When the box is complete, I will ship it to you at my expense. This giveaway is open internationally.

Hmmm.....I think that about covers it. If you think of something I missed, or have any questions just let me know & I'll do my best to clarify.

We Have 2 winners & 1 studio pic

And we're off....

Last Thursday you got to meet Melanie of Studio27.etsy.com. She's created 6 fabulous ACEOs which will be going to 2 lucky winners today. Winners have been randomly selected by random.org.

The Set of 4 Family Portrait ACEOs goes to K Spoering!


And the set of 2 Goddess ACEOs goes to PamperingBeki !

Congrats to you both!! I'll be in touch later today so I can forward your info to Melanie.

Thank You to everyone who entered!! Check back later today for the next prize. Remember to leave a comment once the prize is posted to be entered in the new giveaway.

And Special Thanks to the talented artist Melanie of Studio27 for generously donating today's unique prizes!!

She has also share a pic of her studio. I apologize for not posting sooner. My 5 yr old & I were fighting a summer bug this week & it has interfered with art, life & even blogging (Eek!)

I know I said before but I love peeking into artists studios & seeing where they make their magic. Here's Melanie's:

Photo courtesy of Studio27

She says "I live in the world's smallest house - a cabin that we turned into a year-round house. My studio is one half of a room and it is about 10 x 13 feet, with sloped ceilings. It is hard to believe that so much art comes out of such a small space!"

You know what "they" say, it isn't the size, it's how you use it ! Sorry couldn't resist - thanks for popping by. Remember to check back later today for the newest prize.


Monday's Muse - Art On The Darkside

Popped over to Art On The Darkside to check out the new challenge .... Oooh, Mirrors! What fun!

Mirrored Angels

This is adapted from a piece I sold a while ago. It actually started out as 2 Polaroid emulsion transfers on the inside of a plexiglas frame. It needed a little something so I backed it with a print of an antique postcard. (Nice to be able to use something from my collection now & then)

The postcard is from Mother to Billy Boy and has no picture. Just the words - If a man can write a better book, preach a better sermon, or make a better mousetrap, than his neighbor, though he build his house in the woods, the world will make a beaten path to his door.

Some trivia for you, while Googling to make sure that this was an Emerson quote, I found out that in 1855 he really wrote - If a man has good corn, or wood, or boards, or pigs, to sell, or can make better chairs or knives, crucibles, or church organs, than anybody else, you will find a broad, hard-beaten road to his house, though it be in the woods.

Funny how all that eventually morphed into: Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.

I then scanned & tweaked in Photoshop Elements. Just playing around.

So what's inspiring you today?

The folks over at Maternal Spark want to know.

And I wanna know too!

Leave a comment on this blog before noon (EST) Thursday & be entered in this week's random giveaway. There will be 2 winners. Each will get a set of ACEOs from Melanie over at Studio27. Click HERE for details & pics of prizes. Plus an interview with the artist.


IF - Drifting


Listening to Nick Drake tonight.
To see other takes on drifting visit Illustration Friday.

Please give me a second grace
Please give me a second face
I’ve fallen far down the first time around
Now I just sit on the ground in your way

Now if it’s time for recompense for what’s done
Come, come sit down on the fence in the sun
And the clouds will roll by
And we’ll never deny
It’s really too hard
For to fly

Please tell me your second name
Please play me your second game
I’ve fallen so far for the people you are
I just need your star for a day

So come, come ride in my street-car by the bay
For now I must know how fine you are in your way
And the sea sure as I
But she won’t need to cry
For it’s really too hard
For to fly


Thursday Giveaway part 2 - 2 Chances To Win

Welcome ! It's that day of the week again!

You know, the 1 where you get to see what new Thursday Giveaway is up for grabs. Hold onto your hats, we’ve got double the fun this week!

Yep, 1 talented artist, 6 original ACEOs and 2 winners!!

Melanie has a fabulous online etsy shop, Studio27. She offers a colorful variety of artwork in several mediums. There are original paintings, cards, swirly linocut prints, and ACEOs. I love all the vibrant colors & movement in her artwork. Plus her prices are amazing!!

A Mother's Love ACEO

Melanie’s wonderful creations seem to flow in a series. Today’s prizes come from 2 different series, so there will be 2 separate winners picked next Thursday (6/25). Woo Hoo x 2!

To Seek His Fortune ACEO

Both prizes are sets of ACEOs. What is an ACEO? I’ll let Melanie explain:

“It is a tiny, collectible work of art in any medium. The only requirement is that it be 2.5 x 3.5 inches, but it can be oriented in either direction. They can be placed into photo magnet sleeves to decorate the fridge or a file cabinet at work, they can also be made into cards or framed......the possibilities are endless!”

Cherish Every Moment ACEO

The 1st prize is a set of 4 ACEOs from her collection that I’ll call the Family Portraits. Melanie has altered prints from some very cool vintage & antique photographs and embellished them with text from old books. The layers of text add a poetic touch to the intriguing images. In her words:

"For these original mixed media collages I used a prints of vintage 1940's photos, and then collaged text from old books onto them, and then affixed them to bristol board paper."

Sisters ACEO

After random winner #1 has been selected, a 2nd winner will be picked. The Next Prize is a pair of ACEOs from Melanie’s Goddess Series. This fabulous series is a truly eloquent collection and a steady seller at Studio27. Melanie can explain it better than I:

"An Everyday Goddess is the story of a woman - an everyday woman with a delicate spirit. She believes in Karma and celebrates the magic of living every day....and sometimes her imagination gets the best of her! These are ACEO (Art Card Editions and Originals) original, being 2.5" x 3.5" in dimension. I used marker, ink, colored pencil and collaged text (patiently found in old books) on bristol board paper."

Darkness Falls ACEO - from Goddess Series

I don’t know about you guys, but I always enjoy hearing more about the creators behind such interesting art. I asked Melanie to share some info about herself:

"I love the magical moments in life......watching raindrops as they ripple in puddles, blowing bubbles, watching the crescent moon rise in the twilight sky. It is always these simple moments that take my breath away.

I studied art at the Montserrat College of Art in Massachusetts and the Maine College of Art in Portland, Maine. My work is very inspired by indigenous and tribal art. I am very fortunate to live in a beautiful little cabin in the woods....so the forest world around me also inspires my work."

Winter ACEO - #45 in Goddess Series

By the way, check back in a few days for a peek into the real Studio27, where this talented artist works her magic!

Many thanks to Melanie for her generous donations and for taking the time to share with ArtSnark’s readers. Plus an extra large helping of gratitude for helping me out of a last minute bind today!!!

You’ve seen the prizes (the ACEOs pictured here). Now jump aboard the giveaway train! Shipping is free & this giveaway is open to international entries as well. To be entered in both random drawings: just leave a comment on this blog before noon (EST) on Thursday 6/25. At that time, the 2 winners will be picked using Random.org. C’mon...play along!! You know you want to :D

Just a note: Please be sure your contact info is correct. You don't have to leave an email, as long as I can track you down easily through blogger. If I do not hear from you within 10 days of your name being drawn, I'll go back through the list and choose an alternate winner.

Thursday Giveaway Part 1 – Lucky winner is...

DG !!!

Congrats, DG!! Let me be the 1st to “happy dance” on your behalf today! I will contact you in a few minutes & forward your info to Karen. I know will enjoy whichever sparklies you choose.

Many thanks to everyone who visited this week. This was the kind of week where your encouraging comments made life’s challenges easier to bear.

Also a very special thank you to those who commented on your favorite Will Oaks Studio pieces. Karen can now use this info to decide what to send to upcoming shows. Once her shows open, I’ll post the locations. Then any of you in the area can stop by the galleries & see her lovely work in person. And maybe go home with a new piece you “just couldn’t live without” (wink wink nudge nudge)

A heartfelt thank you to Karen Stahlecker! It is the generosity of talented sponsors like Karen who make Thursday Giveaways possible. If you haven’t had a chance yet, click on the Will Oaks Studio banners to visit her online shops. You will be impressed by the variety & beauty of her jewelry pieces. Also click HERE to check out her blog. She posts some fabulous nature photos regularly.

If you’d like to play again, pop back later today. I’ll have some great prizes (yes prizes with an “s”) from a brand new sponsor!



... the effect by which one accidentally discovers something fortunate, especially while looking for something else entirely. - Wikipedia

It is present at all times, you just have to be open to possibilities. A key ingredient of art, life & love, serendipity can lead you to the most interesting people & places.

Often at the unlikeliest moments, when it seems all is lost.

I found this wonderful quote on wiki from John Barth's The Last Voyage of Somebody the Sailor, "--- you don't reach Serendib by plotting a course for it. You have to set out in good faith for elsewhere and lose your bearings… serendipitously." Sounds like a fun read.

One of my favorite words, Serendipity is also this week's Mix It Up With Melange challenge prompt. You can add your own piece or see what others have created by following the link & checking the comment section.


Speaking of serendipity, perhaps you came here today looking for art or some capricious thoughts. You've also stumbled onto a chance to enter tomorrow's random drawing. Tomorrow's prize is a $20 gift certificate to Will Oaks Studio online jewelry shops. Just leave a comment before noon (EST) on 6/18 to enter. Click HERE for details as well as an interview with the jewelry designer, Karen Stahlecker. There are also photos of her gorgeous pieces and links to her online shops.

She also sent some cool pics that didn't make it into last Thursday's post. Been meaning to share them for days - sorry about that. It has been an especially challenging week

Here is her studio.

Will Oaks Studio (where real the magic happens)

I don't know know about you, but I always get a kick out of seeing people's work spaces. Feels like taking a little peek into their brains. Wow, if that were true then my brain looks like a hurricane just passed through!

I just love this next photo!

Karen and Dakota out on a photo shoot

If you get a moment, pop on over to the Will Oaks Studio blog. In addition to her lovely jewelry, she is always posting the most amazing nature photos.


Monday's Muse- "Beauty is everywhere..."

Beauty is everywhere a welcome guest

As life has been extra challenging lately,

I keep reminding myself of this.

Don't feel much like "talking" today but felt the need to share.

Hope all of you are well. And creative. And off to a good week.

If not, take a minute to look around

and really see what is before you.

This week I take my own advice and a with few deep breaths

also remember that This too shall pass

Speaking of beauty, this week's Thursday Giveaway prize is a $20 merchandise certificate for WillOakStudio's gorgeous jewelry. To enter this random drawing just leave a comment on this blog before noon (EST) Thursday 6/18. For details about this great prize, the giveaway, and an interview Will Oak Studio's designer click HERE
Also, I guess I need to state this again. Unless otherwise indicated, all images on my blog are my own. Please do not reproduce any of them with out my permission


Thursday Giveaway part 2 - You Are So Lucky!

New Thursday means a new prize, so let’s get rolling!
Remember Karen over at Will Oaks Studio?

You made her so happy with all of your generous comments, that she’s decided to play with us again. Woo Hoo! This week’s Thursday Giveaway prize is a $20 gift certificate for use in either her fabulous Etsy or Artfire shops. (More details at end of this post)

She’s also agreed to share with us a bit more about herself and her beautiful jewelry:

"I've been a working artist all of my adult life, with art degrees and all of that. The first few decades of my career (I got an early start AND I've seen a few birthdays...) were in sculpture--particularly sculpture that incorporated my hand made paper. I did large installations and dimensional wall pieces and worked with museums and galleries for exhibition. About 15 years ago, I became more serious about making "artists books" and these were also exhibited, are in private and public collections, and were much smaller in scale...but after almost 30 years of hand papermaking and using paper, my interests began to change.

I began to experiment with "wire, stones, glass and fiber" about 5 years ago because a friend turned me on to "beading" and, as a long time lover of jewelry (and collector and wearer!), I was very intrigued. You see, the past 6 years, I've been back on the "family farm" in my town of origin after many years of traveling and living all over the U.S. and Europe. It's been a challenging change for me as I began caring for my father whose health was failing, and ended up running our farm and seasonal campground. And taking over one of the bedrooms here which has evolved into my new studio.

I've discovered I just love pearls and tend towards natural materials including silver, copper and stones....but I also have an extreme fondness for Czech pressed glass, so these materials, often pulled together with fibers and leather, are my mainstays. I get a lot of my inspiration from nature and have "practiced" photography since I was a child...and so am very happy with the speed and ease now available with digital photography. Since I'm living in such a lovely place, and since I tend to plant things where ever I live, the gardens here have really been an incredible inspiration for me this Spring.

Although I work as an artist...I love engineering challenges and for me, wearable art pieces often give me plenty of those! I want my pieces to "wear well" and besides choice materials, I pride myself on careful and beautiful craftsmanship. I hope my pieces give the customer a lot of pleasure to look at and to wear and that they will serve well for many years to come. My work is available online at both my Etsy shop WillOaksStudio.etsy.com and at my ArtFire shop WillOaksStudio.artfire.com. Stop by any time! If you're curious about the campground, the gardens, the farm and the "messy business of making art behind the gallery views" do check my blog at willoaksstudio.blogspot.com "

Now how cool is that?

What Karen hasn’t mentioned here is that she has some shows coming up. She could really use some input on which of her pieces YOU like best, and why. If you’re willing to help, take a peek in her Etsy & Artfire shops. Then leave a comment either here or on her blog as to which pieces or styles you like the best. I must stress it is NOT necessary to do this to be entered this week’s random drawing. You are just giving Karen some feedback so she can choose which pieces to use in her upcoming shows.

To enter this Thursday Giveaway: Just leave any comment here at ArtSnark's between now & noon (EST) next Thursday June 18th. 1 random winner will be chosen.

Please be sure your contact info is correct. You don't have to leave an email, as long as I can track you down easily through blogger. If I do not hear from you within 10 days of your name being drawn, I'll go back through the list and choose an alternate winner.

Once again, this week’s fabulous prize is a $20 merchandise certificate, for use in WillOaksStudio’s Etsy or ArtFire shop, to be used as a credit towards any total purchase. This includes shipping charges. So if you want a totally free piece of jewelry, find the piece you like & then subtract the shipping charge from the $20. The remaining total is what you have to spend on a new piece of jewelry. Karen states that “I will refund $20, max, through PayPal after normal check out. BUT there's no cash value (and no cash refunds if the entire amount isn't used) AND it must be "spent" before September 30, 2009 or it expires. "

All images in this post are copyright of Will Oak Studio