Happy Cats!

Hello again. How are you?  How was the weekend?

I was lucky enough to do a bit of time-traveling this weekend. I'd hoped to post about it today, but I'm in a rush so it will have to be tomorrow.

So..... today's post is sponsored by Little Dude.

The 6 yr old decided he needed to make some catnip toys for the neighborhood felines. He also documented the results & asked me to post them here:

Silly me, I forgot I can't sew so it took a while. Fortunately he handled the patterns himself.

And Lego Anakin Skywalker lent a hand.

Then a grand time was had by all!

Winner of 100 custom printed brochures!!!

Hey there! How have you been?

 Random.org picked a winner of the Uprinting.com brochure giveaway today:

Congratulations to Beth Jaffe TheQueenOfCups!
(Beth, I'll contact you today with info for claiming your fab prize)

Many thanks to Uprinting for sponsoring another great giveaway! And thanks to those who popped by & left a comment. 

I've got to take take off but will be back later to post some photos from this weekend. Had a grand time at the local movie palace, taking in a reconstructed silent-era classic...... 

Catch you later - wishing everyone a creative day! 


Enter To win 100 custom printed brochures from Uprinting.com

Welcome! How have you been? 

I'm trying to get my bloggy-schedule back on track after a fun but hectic summer. And what better way to get back into the groove than the return of Thursday's Giveaways!

Those generous folks at Uprinting.com have once again donated a fantastic prize for one lucky winner!  

This random drawing will be for 100 custom printed glossy full-color brochures.  Just image all the cool stuff you could do with these: You could showcase your artwork, promote your business, jazz up a presentation, or maybe even design some unique invitations! So many possibilities.....

Prize details:
100 8.5x11 Brochures w/ Folding
100lb Paper Gloss
Folding options: None, Half-fold, Trifold/Letterfold, Z-fold, Accordion, Roll Fold
4 Color Both Sides Printing

To Enter leave a comment on this blog before 1 a.m. (EST) on 8/31. Each commenter will get 1 entry into the random drawing. Prize ships free to winner. However you must be a US resident & at least 18 years old to enter. Please be sure to leave your email if it is not already on your profile so that I can contact you if you win.

Normally you've got a while to enter  these giveaways but we're under a deadline for this 1, so do not wait - get that comment in soon! Don't forget to pop back here on 8/31 to see who the lucky winner is.

Now this is the part where I disclose that those great guys at Uprinting.com are giving me the same prize for hosting this giveaway. Aren't they the best?? I'll have to think about what to design. A mini-portfolio is very tempting, but these brochures might come in handy for promoting our new  games at Essen this year. Hmm... I'll have think about it.....

One thing I do know is that these brochures will look great. I have not used this company for brochure printing before, but have been very happy with the other products they've created for me. The greeting & post cards had really nice heft and color. And I always get compliments on my business cards. So, yep, they are definitely my favorite source for online printing.

What do you think you will do with 100 brochures if you win? I look forward to hearing some great ideas, so start commenting!!!


By the way, if you are reading this post on CreatingTheHive.com or anyplace else, please leave your  entry comment at  http://ArtSnark.blogspot.com (before 1 a.m. EST on 8/31). It is easier for me to make sure I don't miss anyone that way.


Wordless Wednesday - Blue Angel

Blue Angel - Polaroid Transfer tweaked in Photoshop Elements


Random Thoughts Tuesday - scholars & adventurers

 I am enjoying the 1st blissfully quiet morning in months.

Vintage Photo Children c.1936 from HappySteiler.etsy.com

Little Dude started 1st grade today & computer trouble has everyone out of the office for a little while.

I should squeeze in some drawing time or clean the studio. Instead I'm doing laundry & getting my Random on. I haven't RTTed in a while.


If you decide to play along, just set your brain to spin cycle & see what falls out.. Then pop over to TheUnMom for a purple button. Be sure to add your link & send those musings out into the world.

Still loving this tune. Yes, it is 7+ minutes...but it is perfect for this dark & rainy day.

Leather Journal Necklace from WayFaringArt.etsy.com

I'm looking for something to read. I've been revisiting childhood faves this  summer, mostly classics like Dorian Gray & Mysterious Island.  

I recently started The Difference Engine but I'm already a bit bored with it. I'm thinking something more Robinson Crusoe or City Of Z - ish perhaps.... Any suggestions? What's on your nightstand right now?

Brass Steampunk Adventurer's Corset from Harlots & Angels

Which somehow reminds me - just how fantastic is this corset from HarlotsAndAngels.etsy.com?? Love the clasps! 

It is funny, but thinking random often leads me to the Etsy search engine. Tossing "explorer",  "adventure" & similar terms just entertained me for far too long this morning...

The laundry room is buzzing & I just fed my postcard addiction over at TheOldBarnDoor.etsy.com. So,  it is time to get back to the real world before my shirts wrinkle & my wallet completely empties! Before you go, check out this fun Victorian trading card brought to you by The Old Barn Door & "OXO real meat extract".... ahh...good times...

Victorian Trading Card Pair from TheOldBarnDoor.etsy.com

Oh & what is Random Tuesday with out a zombie? Today's Zombie Ant is brought to you by the New York Times & Ophiocordyceps unilaterali.


IF - Atmosphere

work in progress

Did you I.F. today? The new IllustrationFriday.com prompt, Atmosphere,  dropped into my mailbox with this  Claude Monet quote: “For me, a landscape does not exist in its own right, since its appearance changes at every moment; but the surrounding atmosphere brings it to life - the light and the air which vary continually. For me, it is only the surrounding atmosphere which gives subjects their true value.”
This piece still has a way to go. But I decided to post anyway, since this weekend promises to be busy.  Just for kicks - here is how things have come together so far:

I always love a foggy day on a rocky beach. The neutral pallet and  limited vision make anything seem possible, giving the moment a fairy-tale quality. I took this photo years ago in Cape Breton. Although it doesn't really capture the ambiance, it always reminds me of that mysterious vibe.

I pumped the color & added a cellophane filter in Photoshop Elements. Here's a closeup of the added texture.
Medieval Romance 2 from Lisajen-stock

Then I looked around the stock photos at Deviantart.com for a maiden to wander my beach. This lovely lady is from lisajen-stock.deviantart.com

First I made an ink drawing. I was playing with the idea of placing her on the beach & then erasing the white paper. Maybe making a ghosty-foggy kind of thing.

But then I stumbled over some Derwent Inktense pencils & a fun fairytale paper from DCWV's The Once Upon A Time Stack, so I had another go at the lady.

I scanned the sketch & then used P.E. to erase the surrounding paper. 


I started playing with the  dry brush eraser on the bottom of her dress, hoping to make her blend into the surroundings better.


While I'm not yet happy with this piece, I hope to pull it together eventually.  She still needs some more blending, cropping & maybe a color tweak or some transparency. We'll see....

By the way, IllustrationFriday is open to anyone who wants to play & they accept a variety of mediums. You've got until next Friday to get inspired by the prompt & then post your creation to your blog, flicker or other account. Pop over to the IF site  & add your link so that folks can check out your creation. Also, be sure to check out the other submissions. The variety is always impressive - you will find work of all levels in all sorts of materials.

A final note: No studio tour here tomorrow - Sorry about that. I'm running behind on stuff (as usual). Little Dude starts school next week, so hopefully I can get the blogging schedule back on track soon. Thanks for your patience!


Goodies from July ATC swap

Bird Love ATC from LemanchiDesigns.etsy.com

I'm finally posting all the lovely little pieces I received in last month's Art Trading Card Swap. I'll also include links to the artists' Etsy shops. If you would like to see more of their creations, just click on the caption below each image.

Encaustic "Wild Rose" on handmade paper from LizAnnasOnTheLake.etsy.com

By the way, if you are wondering "What is an ATC?" click here for more info. Basically it is a playing card sized (2.5" x 3.5") piece of 2-d art. Art Trading Cards can be created using a variety of materials.

No.1 Beauty from Whyte.etsy.com

The artists who participated in this swap are also members of the Melange Team On Etsy, a mixed media Etsy Street Team. So for this swap, the only requirement was that the pieces be mixed media.

from MidwestieLady.etsy.com

If you haven't tried your hand at ATCs yet, I highly recommend it. But beware - both creating and collecting them can be very addicting!

from ElenaMary.etsy.com

Once you've made a few cards go find some other folks to trade with. You can find many people trading online - search around google or your favorite artsy forums. You may even find a swap-group in your own back yard. I just stumbled upon a local trading group this weekend while dropping off some drawings for a juried show.

Ornament from ElenaMary.etsy.com

Or if you are an organizer, start up your own swap. This little something extra was included in my package from the sweet Elena Mary Siff who started this fun trade. Thanks so much, Elena Mary! And thank you to everyone else - this was a blast!!


We have a winner......

Hey there. How have you been?

Just got back from the Maine holiday a couple of hours ago. Plum tuckered out but remembered pick a winner of Risa Tritabaugh's original painting, Among The Flowers.

Among The Flowers by Risa Tritabaugh

So, with help from random.org, the lucky winner is.....

Congrats, Sarah! I will contact you today with instructions for claiming your prize.

Many thanks to Risa for donating this wonderful prize! If you missed Risa's features earlier this month, be sure to check them out - click here for a studio tour & here for a visit with the artist.

Also thank you to all who took the time to leave a comment & enter this great giveaway. The next Thursday Giveaway will be announced on 8/26, with a random drawing held on 9/9. 

However, if you pop back before then I have a little something up my sleeve. It just might take me a couple of days to get it posted. 

'Tis my 18th Anniversary tomorrow (where did the time go?) so I may be a bit scarce this weekend. I'll catch up with you soon though.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!


IF - Caged

"...the lower side of me, so long indulged, so recently chained down, began to growl for license."

Illustration Friday's prompt was too fun to miss today so with a bit of luck I figured out how to add an image on this borrowed PC. (Many of you know I am seriously clueless, so this is more impressive than you might think).

This summer I've been returning to stories from my childhood & just reread Stevenson's entertaining "shilling shocker." So the caged beast was the 1st thing that came to mind. This led me to this ACEO, titled The Impostor in my Artsnark Etsy shop.

Pop on over to IllustrationFriday.com for a variety of takes on this fine prompt. Be sure to add your own if you have the time.

By the way, there is no studio tour on the blog this weekend. Things will return to normal around the 12th  when I pick the winner of the random drawing for Risa Tritabaugh's painting Among The Flowers. Click here to view the painting & find out more about this contest. You can also enjoy a visit with the artist.

Catch you later.Hope you have a fantastic weekend! 


On the road again

Hey there. How's it going?

I never did get those ATCs posted Tuesday. Managed to scan them in but forgot to upload.

So, the little dude & I are enjoying a cool Maine summer day. I haven't figured out how to upload pics of lighthouses & lobsters to this borrowed PC yet (says the neo-Luddite apple user). Or take & post some screenshot eye-candy So... I may be a bit scarce for the next week or so.

We'll definitely be back to our regularly scheduled program the 12th or 13th. Sooner if I get a clue.

Til then, if you haven't entered the random drawing for Risa Tritabaugh's original painting Among The Flowers, leave a comment before 1 a.m. on 8/12 to enter. To check out this whimsical piece & visit with the artis ,click here.

I hope you all have a great weekend. And I'll be sure to eat an extra piece of blueberry pie for you. Just one question: do you want that a la mode?


Musical Monday - Dear Reader.... I'm babbling

Hey there. How have you been? Seems like I haven't Musical Monday'ed in ages! By the way you can catch more Dear Reader over at dearreadermusic.com (& all over youtube)

So what have you all been up to while I dropped of the face of the earth? I've been kinda unplugged lately & have missed keeping up with everyone's art & adventures. So if anyone is still out there.... whatcha up to?

Me? Kiddo's still keeping me on my toes. I'll admit to breathing a sigh of relief once school starts in about a month--ssshhh don't tell. 

Then the catching up begins (again). Remember the studio/pigsty? Apparently the mess has been breeding while I've been away....

Yeah, I know, ewwww..... But it'll have to wait a while longer.

Little Dude & I are off to Maine later this week. It'll be a nice break. If I can figure out how to send photos from the camera to a borrowed PC, I'll post pics along the way. I can already taste the blueberries...and to swim in a lake without alligators again...woohoo!  My son thought I was pulling his leg when I told him you could to that - yep, he's a Florida Native.
from WikiMedia Commons

 Let's see...what else is up.... (warned you I'd be babbling)....

5 fun ATCs came in from the mixed media swap. Rather than brave the scary studio, I sent off a few from my ArtSnark Etsy shop that had been collection dust like The Siren here:

It was a great mix of trades that came in the mail. I'll scan & post them here tomorrow.
from parisperfect.com

Only other thing I've been up to is looking for a Paris rental for this fall. We'll go for a week or so. I'm very excited! (And I have to admit it is a lot of fun seeing the incredible variety of places to choose from.)
from Wikipedia Commons

Have you visited this grand City Of Lights? I'm taking all suggestions, tips and random musings. Just pop me a line I'd love to hear about your favorite finds & sweet secrets....

Oh, Speaking of fun finds - did you catch last Thursday's visit with artist Risa Tritabaugh? If not click here. While you are there, check out her colorful painting Among The Flowers. Lucky for us, she's generously donated it for the 8/13 random drawing. Leave a comment on this blog before 1 a.m. (EST) 8/13 to enter this giveaway. (By the way drawing is only open to USA addresses- sorry Intl. folks).