IF- Cocoon

" Nothing is, Everything is becoming"
- Heraclitus of Ephesus

Illustration Friday's new prompt is cocoon. I feel like the girl in this mixed media ACEO is in the process of becoming something new and wonderful. Made with colored pencils, watercolor, gel pen, feathers, beads & a swarovski crystal.

Visit IllustrationFriday.com to see how others interpret cocoon. If you'd like to play along, add your own take while you are there.


Just a reminder- last chance to enter tomorrow's random drawing for Winona Cookie's paper robot, Boron. Leave a comment before 1 a.m. (EST) on 5/1 to enter. Click here for photos of Boron, as well as info on a 2nd giveaway I'm holding.

And if you're in the neighborhood Saturday, be sure to pop back. I'll be interviewing Bruce Rosenbaum of Modvic & creator of The Steampunk Home.


Have Yourself A Steamy Little Weekend

Lots of fun Steampunk stuff going on this weekend

If you find yourself anywhere near Waltham, Mass. on Saturday, hightail it over to the Charles River Museum of Industry for The New England Steampunk Festival. Lots of fun sales, artists, musicians, authors and demos. For more info & a list of exhibitors/participants click to visit their facebook page or through the museum link above.

Remember the wonderful Mark Elliot Schwabe a.k.a SteamSmith? He led us through his studio last November - click here if you missed it the 1st time. He's revealing some new pieces at the festival, including the "sphere drive" airship brooch at the top of this post. Mark will be vending as well as running demos. By the way, you can also see more photos of his new Warrior Princess on his facebook page.

Bruce Rosenbaum of Modvic will also be at the Festival. He's the genius behind this Victorian Organ Command Center that's been working its way around the internet. Want to see more great pictures of this computer station? Visit The Steampunk Workshop.

Have you seem the virtual tour of Bruce's truly amazing steamed-up house? Click Here for the Virtual Tour. I'll wait for you.....

Amazing, huh? Want to see for real? You can if you are in Sharon, Mass. this Sunday. You can find out more & get tickets through the Sharon Historical Society

Can't get to Massachusetts this weekend? Be sure to stop back here on Saturday.

1st I'll draw the random lucky winner of Winona Cookie's Original Paper Robot Boron. Click here for contest details - entries accepted until 1 a.m. EST on 5/1:

Boron by Winona Szczerba a.k.a. Winona Cookie

Then stop in for a visit with with Bruce Rosenbaum. He'll be talking about his unique restorations, favorite finds & the upcoming 1st Annual Steampunk Form & Function Design Competition. (You can also find the competition info at www.steampuffin.com)

Before I go, here are a few more Steampunk events this weekend. Clickety-click for details:

The Steampunk Hidden Laboratory Encounter's Gentleman's Relish - Brighton , UK

Burner Ball 1.0 - Cincinnati, OH

The Clockwork Ball Pittsboro, NC

The Absinthe Drinkers at Public Assembly NYC


Hamilton Steampunk Society Picnic & Castle Tour
- Hamilton, Ontario

An Evening of Steampunkery in Southern California
- LA, CA

Don't forget the Steampunk House Tour - Sharon, MA - if you go, come back here tell me all about it!

Anything I've missed? Please leave a note in the comments.


Musical Monday - Musical Therapy

The new Musical Monday prompt is Musical Therapy.

Great theme & so very many pieces fit the bill. I'm going with 1 of my all time faves, Lyle Lovett's If I Had A Boat.

Got Music? Pop on over to GoodMourningGlory & share what's gotten you through the day. Who knows? You may even find some new therapeutic tunes.

Bit of a heads up, I've lots o' family visiting for the next 10 days or so & my posts may be spottier than they could be. Or not. Remains to be seen.

By the way, I'm hosting 2 giveaways right now. 1 from me & 1 sponsored by the whimsical Winona Cookie. Click here for info & pics of prizes.

Wishing everyone a fantastic week. Catch you later.


IF- Ahead

What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us. ~Henry David Thoreau

Don't Look Back

Today's Illustration Friday email came with this great Thoreau quote. The new prompt is Ahead.

This drawing is charcoal & conte' on grey paper. It is embellished with watch gears. The wooden frame is decorated with gold colored leaves. The portrait is mounted under a hidden mat & is not touching the glass. This piece is available in my ArtSnark shop - just click on photo for details.

Want to see more images for this prompt? Click here to visit IllustrationFriday.com. If you're feeling inspired, join the party & add your own piece. If you do, please let me know - I'd love to see what you've created.

By the way, I'm hosting 2 random drawings right now. 1 is for a matted print of my drawing Blue Dryad. The other is for a paper robot puppet by Winona Cookie. To enter, simply leave a comment. Click here for giveaway details & photos of prizes.


Enter to win Blue Dryad print + mat

Blue Dryad print

Hey there. How are you today?

I'm running around like crazy this week so there is no Featured Artist today - Sorry about that.

However there is still a Thursday Giveaway. One random winner will take home a matted print of my Blue Dryad drawing. It is printed on glossy cardstock & will be signed on the lower right. The image above is a scan of the exact print the winner will receive. The picture measures 3.25" x 4.5" and is mounted into a 5"x 7" white mat.

How To Enter: Leave a comment on this blog before 1 a.m. (EST) on 5/6. That day I'll select the winner using random.org. If your email is not in your profile, please leave a way to contact you in your comment. This contest is open worldwide with free shipping.


There's also still time to enter Winona Cookie's paper puppet giveaway

If you reside in Canada or the USA and leave your comment before 1 a.m. on 5/1, you will also be entered in Winona Cookie's random drawing for Boron the Robot, a paper puppet.

Click Here to read more about Boron & his creator, steampunk artist Ramona Szczerba of WinonaCookie .

Well that's it for today. Look forward to reading your comments. It is your interest in these giveaways that keeps 'em coming! Hope you have a fantastic day

We Have 2 Winners of Winona Cookies' Steampunk magnets

It is time for Random.org to select the 2 lucky winners of WinonaCookies' steampunk art magnet giveaway. Click here for giveaway details & artist feature.

(insert drum roll here)

Hilary Winfield & Katia

A hearty congrats to you both! I will contact you today about collecting your prizes.

Many thanks to Ramona Szczerba for sponsoring this fantastic giveaway. And to those who took the time to comment.

Ramona is generously sponsoring another random drawing.
1 winner will be selected on 5/1. This time the prize is her original paper puppet, Boron the robot. Want to know more? Click here for details.

Also, be sure to pop back later today for a brand new giveaway - this one is from me.


(Almost) Wordless Wednesday - Transfer on Tile BEFORE & AFTER

Polaroid Emulsion Transfer on Marble Tile - BEFORE coloring

Italian Bicycle - Polaroid Emulsion Transfer Tile

coloring with
markers, micron pens, watercolor, colored pencils & white paint pen.

Ready to hang. Available now. Click either photo for details.


Random Thoughts Tuesday - Bit o art & other treats

A bit of a drive by today. I keep tripping over great stuff on the web & then forget to post it. Thank goodness for Random Tuesday Thoughts:

When you've finished playing around here, click through to The UnMom & all of her chaotic linky goodness. Feeling random? Be sure to add your own link while you're there.

1st up, I just love Art Is Hard by Anji Johnston. (I get that deer in the headlights look every time I look at a blank canvas.) You can see more of Anji's art over at her blog, Distractions.

I am completely smitten by the delicate jewelry over at lilyja on Etsy. The rings are custom made to your size. And this necklace is simply breathtaking:

As always, click on any pic for more info.

Remember Steve Loya? He stopped by in January for an artist feature & studio tour. Due to popular demand he has started selling 11" x 14" prints of his drawings & paintings in his etsy shop, GoFlyingTurtle. Priced at $25 each, these are a steal! You can read more about the prints on his blog, also called GoFlyingTurtle.

I recently heard from another Featured Artist, Ronald Ceuppens of Fleurographie on Etsy. (He walked us through his 2 studios last October for Studio Tour #10. ) This Belgian artist will have his wonderful work at Art Chicago 2010 from April 30 - May 3. He's being represented by the Amstel Gallery from the Netherlands. I sure wish Florida was closer to Chicago!

Sobriquette by Ramona Szczerba (a.k.a. Winona Cookie)

Have you entered Winona Cookie's random drawings yet?

On 4/22 two winners will get their choice of steampunk art pendant. Click here for details & contest rules & photos.

On 5/1, another lucky winner (randomly selected from those who comment on this blog between now & then) will take home the original paper puppet Boron The Robot. You can read more about Boron & the Winona Cookie Studio here. Both contests are open to USA & Canada addresses only.

And on a final note today - This is just so trippy I had to share. Found over at QuoteTheRaivyn when I visited on Musical Monday:


Musical Monday Travel Bug

GoodMourningGlory's Musical Monday prompt is "Dedicate a song to a friend or loved one." Click the button to visit GMG & hear what others are dedicating or to add your own. This one is for Frankie, Little O. & everyone else who dreams of traveling the world (and beyond.)

If you have any little adventurers in your house, my 6 yr old recommends these books - click images for details:

Right now he's really into Mary Pope Osborne's Magic Tree House Series. The kids Jack & Annie go on a series of quests through space & time in their magic tree house. Last night we started reading Goodnight For Ghosts which is set in 1915 New Orleans. The kids just met up with a 14 yr old Louis Armstrong when it was time for lights out.

On a side topic I'm still sporting the travel-bug this week & still playing with the Judikins Italian Script stamp. Used it on this hand colored photo printed on canvas, along with some watercolors, colored pencil, markers & paint pens. It is now matted & hanging in my dusty online shop, ArtSnark.etsy.com. Click the pic for more info


One final note today - have you entered any of steampunk artist Ramona Szczerba's random drawings yet?

On 4/22, two random winners will receive their choice of art-print magnet from WinonaCookie.etsy.com. To enter this giveaway, click through to the April 8 artist feature about Ramona. There you will find photos of the prize as well as the contest rules. For this particular drawing, you will need to visit Ramona's etsy shop and pick your 2 favorite pieces. You will then list these in the comment section of the 4/8 blog post.

On 5/1 one very lucky winner will be selected to take home the charming paper puppet, Boron The Robot. To enter this giveaway, simply leave a comment on this blog before 1 a.m. (EST) on 5/1. The winner will be picked by random.org.

Both of these giveaways are open to USA / Canada addresses only. Prizes ship free to winners.


Studio Tour #23 - Into the Realm of Winona Cookie

Preparing for liftoff!

Goggles?....check.... Parachutes?....check

Party invitations?....No? Well, good thing we have the parachutes!

Obediah Theremin, MD by Ramona Szczerba

All Aboard!

Welcome back to another Studio Tour Saturday! This week we're off to the creative kingdom of steampunk artist Ramona Szczerba from WinonaCookie.etsy.com.

Ramona stopped by ArtSnark's on 4/8 for some tea & conversation. She also left prizes for two lucky winners (to be announced on 4/22). Unfortunately my time machine is on the fritz... But if you click here you can read about this whimsical artist plus enter next Thursday's random drawing for a fun steampunk art magnet.

Now promise me you'll be polite ...and do remember to pull the red cord. There is a good chance that if you survive the fall are well behaved, Ramona will have a treat for us. She said something about sponsoring yet another giveaway today. You guys are sooo lucky!

What?... Ok!

The Captain tells me that we are over the target. Ready to Jump? Just remember to pull the red...um... blue... um... red cord... And watch out for the moat. I hear the Giant Squid likes a snack around this time of day...

Marcella and her Conch Carriage by Ramona Szczerba

Ramona Szczerba: Hello and Welcome to my studio tour! If you are one of those people who loves clean, spare, uncluttered rooms, if you prefer vast expanses of empty space with nary a paperclip to mar the uninterrupted vista - you may want to skip this one, or at least fortify yourself with a stiff cocktail. I have a lot of stuff. Everybody all set then? Okay! Have some tea, grab a cookie, and let’s have a look around…

RS: What I have a lot of is books – clip art, vintage books, children’s books that I’ve had since I was a kid, how-to’s and general photo reference – so two whole walls in my studio are bookshelves. They’re also handy for storing paper – if I live to be 130, I’ll still never use all the gorgeous, fascinating and totally seductive paper I have. It’s a bit of an obsession. Also, since I work on many things simultaneously, I find “project boxes” are a good solution to avoid being pinned under an avalanche of art supplies. I get these white cardboard boxes of various sizes at IKEA and put them together – handy for stashing a current project without losing bits when I need to shift gears.

RS: A close up of one of the shelves. This is where I perch completed pieces so that they may glare down at me in a guilt-inducing manner while they await their stories. None of these pieces have stories yet and so haven’t been listed – they’re making their debut just for you! It’s also a handy place to keep rubber stamps, scrabble tiles, postcard books, jars of pebbles and vials of watch gears.

RS: Next to the bookshelves is my computer desk, which is fairly large and too tedious to take a picture of. However, I thought I’d give you a glimpse of what I put up with should I have the misfortune of needing to print something. That’s Waffle, my ill-tempered kitty, and “my” studio is really her domain. If I don’t leave her a spot, she makes one – behind the monitor is a favorite.

RS: This area in the studio houses paint, matte medium, inks, shells, sea sponges, corals and many other supplies. There’s a six drawer bureau at the bottom with more stuff in it – canvases, boxes, wooden bits, glues, stamps – you name it, it’s in there. The top of it is rarely clear as pictured – it’s usually stacked with various works in progress that I shuffle around to get to the paper cutter. Ah, for more room…

RS: A detail shot of the area showing a framed photo of my paternal grandmother (in the bikini! Don’t you just love her?!) – I have many vintage photos of that side of my family and they show up in my work from time to time. As you can see, I’m rather fond of Alice. One of my friends and customers sent me the Lewis Carroll card – he’s watching over the proceedings. There’s a sink to the left, which comes in handy.

RS: Here’s my desk, which really needs to be about three times larger than it is, but it fits so perfectly in its little window nook! I salvaged this piece from an “antique” store – I was looking for an art desk and this was the only white item in a store of dark wood furniture – it was like there was a spotlight on it. I love all the little cubby areas and the shelf up top where I can keep essential items like my vintage Emerald the Witch doll (anybody else remember her? You shake her and her green eyes light up – my kind of girl.) The top of the desk lifts up in 3 sections so I keep stuff in there too. Boron, who I created especially for this tour, is on the desk.

Boron by Ramona Szczerba

RS: Boron measures 8” long and 3” wide from elbow to elbow. He is crafted from paper. His arms and legs move and he has a charming silk tassel you can hang him up by. His head’s made out of pressure cooker, though, so make sure he relaxes on a regular basis.

Boron by Ramona Szczerba

RS: Please leave a comment or say hi and on May 1st Stacey’s Mysterious Winner Generator will pick someone for me to send him to. He will be so thrilled – he hates the cat.

RS: Last but not least, I thought you might like to meet Casey Tallulah, my most common work interruption. Since I have been fiddling around with glue for at LEAST a half hour, SURELY it’s time for a treat or a walk, no? Please, just pet her. She will not leave you alone until you do.

Many Thanks, Ramona! It has been a grand time. And thanks for generously sponsoring another great giveaway!

Also thank you to everyone who stopped by & took the plunge today! To clarify, here are the 2 giveaways from Winona Cookie:

On 4/22, two random winners will receive their choice of art-print magnet from WinonaCookie.etsy.com. To enter this giveaway, click through to the April 8 artist feature about Ramona. There you will find photos of the prize as well as the contest rules. For this particular drawing, you will need to visit Ramona's etsy shop and pick your 2 favorite pieces. You will then list these in the comment section of the 4/8 blog post.

On 5/1 one very lucky winner will be selected to take home the charming paper puppet, Boron The Robot. To enter this giveaway, simply leave a comment on this blog before 1 a.m. (EST) on 5/1. The winner will be picked by random.org.

Both of these giveaways are open to USA / Canada addresses only. Prizes ship free to winners.

Thanks again for traveling with ArtSnark Airlines today. The next Studio Tour will be in 2 weeks. Till then, happy sailing!


(Not quite) Wordless Wednesday - Rome withdrawals

Courtyard Rome

Feeling restless this week. The travel bug has been nipping at me again lately. Here's the courtyard of our rental apartment in Rome a couple of summers ago. If you're giving in to the travel bug, I highly recommend checking out home rental sites like www.vrbo.com. You may find a relaxing & economical alternative to staying in a hotel.

Have you entered the latest Thursday giveaway? On 4/22 two random winners will get their choice of art magnet from steampunk artist Ramona Szczebra of WinonaCookie.etsy.com. For contest details & photos of prize, click here.


Musical Monday - Catchy Tunes

GoodMourningGlory's Musical Mondays are themed this month. Today's prompt is "stuck in my head". While I could be really annoying & post this:

Here's is what's really in my head today...

And this is what my 6 yr old's been singing over & over ( & over) for the last 4 days. The kid's already got better taste than his Mama.

Well, I've got to get back to work. If you need a new earworm, click the top button & see what others are listening to today. Be sure to share your own tunes when you have the time.

Have a fantastic week!


The Messenger - Polaroid Transfer on marble Tile

The Messenger

A few years ago I was really into making Polaroid transfers. I recently came across a box of emulsion transfers on marble tiles & and decided to rework them.

The tiles measure 4" sq and have hanging hardware attached to the back. Each is one of a kind. At $10 each, they are priced to move (I need to make some space around here). They are available in my ArtSnark etsy shop. Just click the photos for more info.

The Messenger tile started out the mate to this angel


First I went over the image a bit with watercolor & colored pencils. Then I coated an Italian Script stamp from Judikins with 2 colors of cat's eye chalk ink. After stamping the front, I wrapped the text around the sides & sprayed the whole thing with several coats of UV resistant finish.

I haven't had any time to work on major projects lately so I'm glad to have something to dabble with. I get cranky when I go to long with out my "art therapy."


By the way:

Linked is the IllustrationFriday.com prompt this week.

Miniature Art is Theme Thursday's challenge

Icecream is for Mix it Up With Melange (which changes every other Wednesday so you have almost 2 weeks to do this one).


If you missed yesterday's post, click here to read about the amazing Steampunk artist Ramona Szczerba (aka Winona Cookie). You can also enter her random drawing for a steampunk art magnet (winner's choice).


And now I'm off. Time to take the Little Dude to dinner and his first art opening. He's so excited. I have to chuckle, he was telling his kindergarten class about it & insisted on bringing invite cards to his teachers this morning.

If you're in the area, be sure to pop by. And if not, I hope you have a fantastic evening anyway!


A visit from Winona Cookie! And she brought prizes!!

Ooh - You guys are sooo lucky!

Today we're visiting with one of my favorite Steampunk artists Ramona Szczerba, better known around etsy as Winona Cookie!

And like that isn't exciting enough... she brought goodies!!!

On 4/22 two lucky winners will get their choice of Art Magnets from WinonaCookie.etsy.com.

More about this fantastic random drawing at the end of this post. But first let's sit & chat for a spell...

I stumbled into Ramona's Etsy shop a couple of years ago & fell in love with both the whimsical artwork and the amazing tales that accompany each piece. By they way, click on any image to enjoy the stories behind the phantasmagoria.

I was even more intrigued after reading her Spirit of Steampunk article in the May/June 09 issue of Somerset Studio. (Still available from the publisher by the way).

When not writing and making art, Ramona is a practicing psychologist. (I can almost hear the collective "Aha"). She also is much more eloquent than I, so I'll just go turn on the kettle & you can chat a bit.

RS: Hi, I'm Ramona. Nice to meet you! Oh and this is my imaginary friend, Winona Cookie. When I was little, my uncle asked me who I was talking to, and I chirped "Winona Cookie!" I forgot all about it until he reminded me when I was an adult.

RS: Often, after browsing through my shop, people send me emails and ask, “However do you think of all those stories?” Well, I suppose it’s time for me to come clean: I don’t think of them at all. I have to credit my muse, Calliope Cookie. (Click on her image to get the full story.)

RS: For years I tried to break into children's book publishing (with little luck) & worked primarily in watercolor & ink. I then became interested in collage and started making tiny 2.5" x 3.5" pieces. After I opened an etsy store, people came by and informed me I was that what I was doing was called "steampunk". When I began looking at other steampunk stuff, I realized it was pretty much everything I had ever though was cool or interesting or compelling and now there was one word for it! Vintage outfits, Victorian Sensibilities, dirigibles, fantastic machines, robots - giant squid! What's not to love!

RS: Generally I construct my pieces on stretched canvas. I work small - my largest piece has been 9" x 12". I paint and "antique" them with acrylic. I layout the collage elements on the computer and then print on archival paper. Then spray with a protective finish and cut out the images.

RS: Sometimes I age the elements with walnut ink before assembly. Everything is glued down with a neutral ph adhesive and then all manner of embellishments are added. I particularly like Dresden trim and charms. Then the back is finished & signed. The piece then rests by my computer while I wait for the story to come. Sometimes that takes a l-o-n-g time. I also make shadowboxes and other assemblage, but that is much more complicated.

Want more? Come with me on Saturday April 17 for the virtual tour of Ramona's Studio. In the meantime be sure to check out her online shops:

WinonaCookie.etsy.com For Originals, ACEO sets & prints

redbubble.com/people/winonacookie/art For prints & greeting cards

zazzle.com/WinonaCookie For t-shirts, mousepads, mugs & other merchandise

Want to win a free WinonaCookie mini-print Art Magnet?

On 4/22 two random winners will get one of their favorite Winona Cookie pieces made into an art magnet. If you win you can have the classiest fridge in town! Now back to Ramona for the details:

RS: I'm so excited to be participating in Stacey's giveaway! I am offering 2 prizes, so you have double the chance to win. They are both acrylic refrigerator magnets, about 2 1/4" x 3 1/4", featuring my artwork. Sample pictures follow:

The first picture shows a sample image.

The relative size & how your magnet will be packaged.

The back of the magnet.

Note: this is by no means the strongest magnet in the world - it will hold up some takeout menus or your own fabulous artwork, but that is about it. It comes nicely wrapped in Winona Cookie Creations packaging, suitable for gifting or adorning your very own fridge or office cubicle filing cabinet!

To Enter This Giveaway: Visit my etsy shop, http://WinonaCookie.etsy.com and come back here to comment on your 2 favorite pieces - that's it! Two randomly drawn winners will be mailed a magnet forthwith. Contest is open to entrants in the continental US and Canada only - So sorry!

Be sure to check back next week when I will be giving you a studio tour of the cluttered and seldom-seen Winona Cookie Creations studio AND there will be yet another giveaway!

See, what did I tell you? You guys are sooo lucky - wish I could enter!! Be sure to leave a comment stating your 2 fave Winona Cookie pieces before 1 a.m. (EST) on 4/22 for your chance to win. Thanks to all who stop by & take the time to comment. I have been told my many featured artists that they really appreciate your feedback.

Many thanks to Ramona (& Ms. Cookie) for dropping in today. It has been fun learning more about you & your creative processes. Also thank you for sponsoring such a fun giveaway! Looking forward to the Studio Tour on the 17th.

Till then have fun and happy creating!