Happy Halloween

Just got back into town & tossing together some Halloween color while Little Dude assembles his costume. Solarized a 25 yr old watercolor sketch in P. Elements. Quick & dirty but it may have some future potential as a layer.

Have fun. Be safe. 
(and try not to get eaten by anything)


Last Night I Dreamt I Went To Manderley Again....

I love hotels. Love the TCM station & ginormous flat screen TVs.
Sidney Falco (Tony Curtis) & JJ Hunsecker (Burt Lancaster) in Sweet Smell Of Success
Sidney Falco stopped by late last night and tonight I'm off to Manderley again.
Manderley from wednesdaywandered.etsy.com
If you love a classic tale & have not had the pleasure of settling in with a cup of earl grey and a copy of Daphne DuMaurier's novel Rebecca or the Selznick/Hitchcock film, I highly recommend doing so. Both are best on some cold & blustery night before a cozy fire.
nicked this photo from a great Manderley post on HookedOnHouses.net
I don't recall when I first watched Sir Laurence Olivier as Maxim DeWinter; I must have been 7 or 8, but it has been one of my favorite eerie tales since. You know, the kind of flick you catch while channel surfing (when you should already be in bed). You tell yourself "just a few minutes " & next thing you know 120 have passed and you're in some time-travelling half asleep trance like state.
Ghosts Of Manderely from StillettoHeights.etsy.com
My bleary-eyed  husband would peek into the living room to see if I was planning to sleep anytime soon, glanced at the tv & mumble "mmm...you're watching that again..." before going back to bed.

Several years ago the Tampa Theater, my favorite time machine/movie palace held a screening. I dragged him to the theater with promises of an extra large popcorn & beer. We settled into the balcony. I enjoyed a few tunes from the Mighty Wurlitzer while he grumbled something about chic flicks. The lights went out, the velvet curtains parted & Joan Fontaine spoke the famous first line....
I know I've ranted here before about how watching a classic film in its original setting is truly an experience. Even my skeptical spouse was sucked into the time machine long enough to say "Now I get it" as the lights came up.


Wordless Wednesday - Phantasm

Charcoal drawing tweaked in P.Elements


If You Go Down To The Woods Today....

Haze by HyennaMarket.etsy.com
Halloween Bash is the Musical Monday theme over at BlogginWithAmanda this week.  

Vintage Ephemera Shabby Chic Necklace - Percy & Harry from tasherajean.etsy.com
This children's song has always given me the willies..

Blue Night from janeheller.etsy.com
If you go down to the woods today 
Horace Behr pattern  MrFox.etsy.com
You're sure of a big surprise. 
Lone Tree Wall Art from coffincrafts.etsy.com
 If you go down to the woods today 
Purple Zombie Halloween Teddy Bear Doll from CreepyDolls.etsy.com
You'd better go in disguise.

bare bear mask holga print from Frankenkitty.etsy.com
Click the captions for more on these fun finds. Have a spooky tune to share? Post to your blog & then visit BlogginWithAmanda to add your link. If you are feeling extra-linky, pop over to  RunDMT  & TheNewXmasDolly  as well. They're also sharing the tunes today.


Random Tuesday Thoughts - whine & cheese


Hey there. How have you been? Wow - I just dropped off the map. Spent last week getting the husband & company ready to rock at Spieltage 2010.

Then the French strikes (or at least the coverage) escalated & I've been scrambling for the last 2 days, rearranging travel plans. Discovered France24 for news updates. Our Paris trip has been postponed until things settle down a bit. Thought about going to Rome but the airlines wouldn't let us swap cities so we'll be visiting the City Of Lights sometime next spring....

ooh...what would Doris say?

Not much else going on around here.....let's see... the Finish-And-List-A-Piece-A-Day  for a week was a bit of a flop (5 finished, 1 listed). There was way too much going on last week. Will have to try again soon. Anybody want to join me?

Got a minute? I was messing around & put up a flashy fall banner in my ArtSnark Etsy & ArtSnark Artfire shops. I'm concerned that on Etsy it is too distracting & on Artfire too blurry (nothing to distract from in there yet).  

What do you think? Do I need to use the same banner in both? I'm thinking about going back to the blue banner in the Etsy shop & just clearing up the Artfire Blur. Any & all feedback is greatly appreciated.

Cheez, this post is waay too memememe.... How about a bit of youyouyou???? Click the button at the top of this post, teleport to TheUnMom & add a link to your chaotic rambles today.

Speaking of cheese, here is a well aged one for you


We Have A Winner......

Image courtesy of Myke Amend
Thanks to Random.org & my young assistant, Sir Mouse Clicker (also known as Little Dude around these parts), we've got a winner today! The lucky recipient of artist Myke Amend's Spooky Steampunk Bag of Awesome is .......

Woo Hoo! Congrats! I'll contact you today with info for collecting your prize

Many thanks to the talented Myke Amend for donating this fun prize! 

Great turn out, Guys! Many thanks to all who left a comment  in the last few weeks. The artists who sponsor these giveaways really appreciate the feedback. And I always love hearing from you.

Want to find out more about Myke & his fab art? Click here for the original giveaway post, which shows some of Myke's images. It also includes some info on the collaborative project, Cirque Acirca. There 's also lots of cool stuff at these great links:

http://bethalynnebajema.com/ (the other 1/2 of the Etta Diem Duo)


Sorry - no new artist feature/giveaway today. Things are still a bit topsy turvy around here. The day job's trade show prep is taking a bit more time than I'd predicted. Anyone going to Essen, Germany for the Internationale Spieltage next week? If so, be sure to pop over to the R&R Games booth and say hi to Frank & Anthony from me. (I'll be here manning the fort). I'm redoing the schedule and all those fun features, giveaways, and studio tours will resume in November.

However, I am still finishing a piece a day. Hope to photo & list soon. So, till next time - keep smiling!


Hard hat & hot feet

If the road to hell is really paved with good intentions, then I'd better get my steamroller! I managed to finish a 3rd small piece but haven't photo'd or listed the last few yet....sigh..... that real-life stuff keeps getting in the way (insert wink & a grin here).
On with the show!

As of this typing there are still a few hours left to enter the random drawing for artist Myke Amend's "Spooky Steampunk Bag of Awesome." You have until 1 a..m. (EST) on 10/14 to enter. Just leave a comment on this blog & your name is in the hat. This random drawing is open worldwide with free shipping to 1 lucky winner. Click here for details & links to  Myke's fantastic art. 

Hope you have a wonderful evening


PIF - The Weird Sisters ATC

"The weird sisters, hand in hand,
Posters of the sea and land,
Thus do go about, about."

- William Shakespeare, Macbeth
Well, my finish-&-list-a-piece-a-day idea has died on Day 2 - sigh - I did finish 2 pieces (maybe). Not really happy with either but figured it best to walk away and photograph tomorrow. 

Decided to play a new game tonight. Picked a random quote & then set a timer for 20 minutes. Ended up with this sketchy ACEO of The Weird Sisters.
I'm long overdue for a Pay It Forward giveaway, so I'm putting this art card up for grabs. Not my best, but it was fun to doodle. If you'd like it, leave a comment with your email & it is yours. First come first serve. I just ask that in the spirit of PIF you share the love. Do something free for someone else - any good deed will do. Cheers!


The Mysterious Case Of Dr. Varulv

Will the Good Doctor join the search?

Or is he missing too? 

The Harridan says he's been gone three days

And she's found something in his garden.....

Created for Mixed Media Monday's "Shrines" challenge - click here to see other takes on the prompt or to add your own. MMM is now a monthly challenge, so you have until November to enter.

Also inspired by the Mix It Up With Melange prompt "Spooky". Click here to view other entries or submit your spin.

Oh...and I just found out it fits into Alter It Monthly's "To Spook Or Not To Spook" theme. You can visit that fun site by clicking here.

By the way, this piece is now available at  ArtSnark.etsy.com.

And for Musical Monday, something from the Good Doctor's collection...

What are you listening to today? Click the button below & share a link to your Monday tune.


Just a reminder - only a few more days until the 10/14 random drawing for Myke Amend's "Spooky Steampunk Bag Of Awesome". Leave a comment to enter or  Click here for details.


Pushing Beyond My Comfort Zone

This may sound foolish but I get intimidated by silliest things. So I decided to tackle some of my little monsters this fall.

#1)  Fear of Fabric! Absurd, yes? I love all the colors, patterns & textures.....but when it comes to creating, fabric is my kryptonite! Or at least it has been since I nearly flunked home-ec. in middle school. My mother & sisters are geniuses with a sewing machine. Give me some pencils or molten metal and I'm good to go, but if there is cloth involved I have a very difficult time getting anything to come out right.  So what did I do? I joined the Creative Troupe over at C&T publishing. (You can too - just click the  C&T button for info. ) 

C&T Creative Troupe

C&T publishes books & sells supplies, most having to do with fabric & quilting. I figured I needed a kick in the pants, so I recently answered one of their email call-outs. They sent a box of supplies & asked me to come up with a tutorial using the supplies and fabric. At some point they'll post my project to their flickr & maybe their blog. I'll share the links when that happens.

i paint on fabric

#2) Public speaking. Never been a fan. I do it for work, - just slip on my salesperson hat and I'm ready to go. I've also been a teacher's aide, so I'm confident with kids. But I have never been a social butterfly or comfortable talking about myself & art. 

I've attended demos of art supplies & thought "I'd like to do that but...I've decided to kick the "but" and signed up to be a Surface Design Ambassador. I'm totally psyched to start learning some new techniques and pass them along to others. It will be fun to see where this leads.

#3) Writing. When I was a kid I wrote all the time, just for the love of it. My favorite toy was a working red plastic typewriter. A bajillion years later (2 yrs ago) I reluctantly started this blog on a lark. It has been a lot of fun, as well as a great eye-opener.  Now that the self-consciousness is (mostly) gone,  I've decided to push past this comfort zone. 

My first stop is the site Handmade Spark. I've  had a mini-site there for a while to direct more traffic to my ArtSnark Etsy shop. I've enjoyed reading their blog &  have just been accepted as one of their writers. So, I'll be submitting a few pieces each month. They have even unmasked my not-so-secret identity & (gasp) have an actual photo instead of my Little Red Riding Hood avatar I like to hide behind. Which leads us to....

#4) Being myself. Still thinking about this one. Little Red & ArtSnark fit so comfortably.... but I've had requests for something more personal. Maybe this post satisfies some of the curiosity? I am squirming a bit so moving on to...

#5) Submitting art. A few years ago I wandered into the online art group ZNE, a fantastic selection of supportive creative types. Many of those talented folks have gone on to writing for art & craft magazines, teaching workshops, publishing books and other exciting endeavors. They have inspired me to push beyond my front door (even though I'm a big chicken). I've only submitted to a few small art shows & some magazines this year.  I've had work in 2 or 3 local shows, and a couple of pieces in the "reader submissions" sections of magazines. Also more than a few rejections. But, hey, its a start....

#6) Getting the eggs out of 1 basket. In 2009 Etsy was a very comfortable basket. In 2010 my online sales have tanked. Earlier this summer I temporarily closed my online supplies shop & SteamDreams  vintage/assemblage supplies shop. (They will reopen later this year.) But the ArtSnark art shop plods along, steadily losing traffic.

ArtSnark.etsy.com remains open, but I'm also giving Artfire a try. Here's the new Artfire link but nothing is up yet. Hope to get a few items in the shop soon.

I'm also giving illustration a whirl. Not actively pursuing as there are not enough hours in a day. But  will have work in a new illustration book that is getting shopped around.

Phew. I think the list goes on but this post is getting too long. Lets stop here. Somehow day job, family & other domestic bliss fits into this new schedule too. Also, blogging (including resuming Interviews, Giveaways & Studio Tours) and hopefully some creative time as well.

So what is new with you? Are you playing outside your comfort zone? If so, please share! I would love to hear about it.


Almost Wordless Wednesday - Reflection crop & color

simply cropped & saturated

original photo by Little Dude


RTT- Random freebies & fun stuff


Hey there! Can you believe it is already Random Tuesday? Where has the time gone?  Here are this week's odds & ends. Enjoy!

Artist/Illustrator Diana Evans has been posting some great Halloween projects lately! 

Halloween Treat Box by Diana Evans
Check out this cute Halloween Treat Box - click here to for free download from her blog.  While you are there, check out these fun spooky labels. Click here for spooky label download.

labels by Diana Evans
I bet Diana will be sharing more goodies this month. You can keep an eye out for them on her blog DianaEvans.blogspot.com  as well as  over at The Hive.

Pendant by EarthExpressions
On 10/29 ArtbyMSR is hosting a random drawing for this cute pendant from EarthExpressions. Click here for details

And don't forget to comment on my blog before 10/14 to enter random drawing for Myke Amend's "Spooky Steampunk Bag Of Awesome." Need details? Fine 'em here.

Thanks for popping by today. Seeking more controlled chaos? Click the purple button up top to visit The UnMom for many links of mischief. Have some random ramblings of your own? Be sure to add a linky to your miscellaneous musings while you are there.


Musical Monday - Bride & Prejudice

Bloggin with Amanda is looking for Movie music for today's meme. There are far too many fun pieces to choose from. I'm going with this one from Bride & Prejudice:

What are you listening to today? Pop on over to Amanda's & add a linky.

In case you haven't heard, Mixed Media Monday is changing to a Monthly format. The new prompt  is "shrines." Now this challenge is going monthly, I may actually finish a project or 2 - yay! To sound like a broken record, I'm still chasing my own tail it seems. One of these Saturdays this blog 's schedule will kick back in with Studio Tours - just haven't had the time despite my best intentions.

I've been trying some new stuff out this month.... more about that later though. I have to go supervise the little dude's "build something that floats" project & then we are supposed to magnetize some spoons. Fun times! Catch you tomorrow