Enter to win Myke Amend's Coloring Book For Grown Up Kids

Cover of Myke Amend's new coloring book

We are in for some fun today! Time for a new Thursday Giveaway!

Are you familiar with one of my favorite fantasy artists, Myke Amend? I am happy to own this wonderful Steampunk Alice drawing:

Mach Turtle by Myke Amend

I also crazy-love his cast of characters (C'mon, Steampunk Boba -what's not to love?!)
Slave 1881 by Myke Amend

and assorted airships
The Albatross by Myke Amend

His pieces show up here from time to time .... as I find something new to desire. You may have also caught this feature/giveaway post last fall. So what is this talented fellow up to these days?

Myke Amend's Coloring Book pg 4

Somewhere between the magazine covers, steampunk conventions, and the ambitious Infernal Device project, Myke pulled together a fun coloring book featuring 30 of his black & white pieces.

Myke Amend's coloring book pg 9

Do you love Lovecraft? Crave Cthulhu? Go CooCoo for Cocoa Puffs ? Okay, not that last one... but if you like tentacles, spooky chicks and things that go bump in the night then this gem of a book is for you. And....

On 7/14 I am giving a copy away to one lucky winner!

Myke Amend's coloring book pg 13

Want to get in on this action? Leave a comment on my blog before 1 a.m. (EST) on July 14 to enter the random drawing for the Coloring Book for Grownups. (If your contact info isn't in your profile, be sure to leave an email addy too. ) Prize ships free worldwide.

To see more images from this fun book, pop over to the artist's website. You will find a link to the web rez version of this coloring book at the bottom of its sales page - click here to check it out.  Ooh - just remember to leave a comment here before you go, so your name gets tossed into the hat. Ya never know, you could be the lucky winner!

Want to see more fun stuff? Peek into a bit of Myke's world:


By the way, you can also click on any of the purple image captions for more info.


Random Tuesday Mail Call - ACEOs etc

Shakespeare Writes ACEO from LD Photography.etsy.com

Ooh - lucky me! New ACEOs!!

Paris In The Springtime from GoddessArt on ebay

Frilly chokers (there's a lovely blue one too)

Black lace choker with beads & ribbon from ScarletRabbit.etsy.com


Assorted charms from GatheringSplendor.etsy.com

And prints!

I'm trying out a new printing company. I'll be adding these to the ArtSnark etsy shop this week. But since I can't leave well enough alone, I am embellishing with inks, markers & watercolors first. 

By the way, click on any of the image captions to visit the folks who sent the other goodies. Some were gifts, some were purchases. It's all good. 

Did you get any fun deliveries recently? Listening to some cool tunes? Make something amazing for dinner? It is Random Tuesday, so rant away. Post your ramblings & then be sure to link up over at Stacey Uncorked and see what other folks are raving about today


Marchande de Fleurs

Marchande de Fleurs - digital collage

She to this earth belonged, where beauty fast
To direst fate is borne:
A rose, she lasted, as the roses last,
Only for one brief morn. 

While this selection is from a poem to a friend whose daughter has died, it kept rattling around in my nut while I played with some travel photos today. (Click image to enlarge.)

I remembered the poem but not the poet. In my search I stumbled upon this lovely bit of music by Rafi Baladi.  

He was inspired upon rereading Consolation and imagining Malherbe's visit to his friend. Here is Mr. Baldi's eloquent explanation from his Muziboo page:

 "I read it again ten years ago (2000) and imagined him riding his horse to visit his friend on a dark rainy evening to deliver his Consolation to him. I imagined Du Périer open his countryside home and let him in. Each sipped a glass of wine on a chipped wooden table and Malherbre read his poem. Du Périer responded with gratitude commenting on Malherbre’s similar and earlier two tragedies with his own children. (Which is true) The peace of music is represented by two major sets of strings, one delivered by Malherbre and the other intervened, gently, by Du Périer." 

Click here to find out more about this composer and to listen to some of his music.


Illustration Friday - Midsummer Night

Midsummer Night - digital collage
The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve;
Lovers, to bed; 'tis almost fairy time. 

Midsummer Night - Another fantastic prompt from IllustrationFriday today. While I felt like drawing, I couldn't find the time. So instead here is a digital doodle - click the image to enlarge

All the stock used in this collage is from DeviantArt.com. You may know that Deviant is one my favorite sites for inspiration. If you aren't a member yet I highly recommend it (basic membership is free). And if you are ... look me up & say hi. I'm here: http://artsnarks-artifacts.deviantart.com/

Many thanks to these talented folks for use of their vision & visage:
  • Texture is wchild's Snowing Texture. (Want to see some amazing photographs? Run, don't walk to wchild.deviantart.com.  Jari Mäntylä is freakin' brilliant. Lucky for us, he also shares stock images - just click on his "resources" link after you've browsed the gallery pages.)
Have you been inspired by Midsummer Night? Post your piece and then hop over to IllustrationFriday.com to make a link. Be sure to check out the wide variety of work while you are there. Fun times.

Winner of 250 custom printed flyers is.....

Laurie Blau Marshall from LoudLife blog

Congratulations, Laurie! You have won 250 nightclub flyers (printed with your design) from Uprinting.com . I will contact you today with instructions for claiming your prize.

nightclub flyers from Uprinting.com

Many thanks to Uprinting.com for sponsoring another great giveaway.

And thank you to everyone who entered! The next giveaway will be announced on June 30th so be sure to stop by and check out the new prize.

A couple of off-topic announcements today

1) Do you shop on Etsy.com? Have you heard about the new Region Filter? It is the latest change. Most people I have talked with have not heard of it yet. Basically, unless you go in & change your Region Filter you are only browsing items from sellers in your default country. If you want to browse items from around the globe, you have to set your filter to "everywhere". This is easy to do - click here for my step by step instructions.

2) Midsummer Night is the new prompt for  IllustrationFriday.com. If you feel inspired, post your creation & then add a link over at IF. Hopefully I can steal some doodle-time today as this sounds like a fun one. 


Etsy's new Region Filter-how to set yours

Mondo - the whole world in his head from Reclaim2Fame.etsy.com

The last couple of years it seems like every time you turn around Etsy is making changes. Some are kinda cool (treasury tweaks, coupon codes) while others are just silly (circles? really?). I know it is hard to please everyone, but I keep hearing from sellers whose shop views (& sales) continue to nosedive. And they are not happy.

Is seems like many sellers (1) see their shop traffic flatten, (2) wonder aloud in the etsy forums or on Facebook; then (3) Etsy admin announces the-next-big-thing-which-by-the-way-has-already-been-implemented-and-don't-you-just-love-it. Some sellers are happy with the changes..... but many are not & just want their traffic back.

Me? I just keep my head in the sand and blow the cobwebs off my inventory now and again. How is that working for me? It isn't. But that is a post for another day.

Today I want to make sure that if you have an Etsy account, you have heard about the new Region Filter.  If you have NOT set your new region filter to "Everywhere", when you are browsing the items you are seeing will be only from the country that Etsy considers your default location. If you would like to see more than just what is for sale in your country, you need to change your filter setting.

What does this mean? In the words of my favorite Swedish photographer Maria-Thérèse Andersson (Afiori.etsy.com): "Mine was automatically set to Sweden, then El Salvador! How the hell is a casual browser supposed to know these things when even we can't find them..."

In fact, it was Maria-Thérèse who pointed this update out to me last night. With my head in the sand policy, I'd missed the regional filter announcement.  How did she find out? She was looking for her newly listed items on Etsy's main page when she saw that everything listed for sale was from Sweden . In her words: "WTF?" So she popped over to the forums to find out what was up.

Here is her blog post about what happened: Ripped Off By Etsy

Plus a post from one of her readers, julocha from Moments of Perfect Clarity: Etsy: No longer where cool kids are

And a link to the official Region Filter Etsy Forum discussion: Set a region filter to view content and items near and far

Are you wondering - How do I change my Etsy Region Filter? Fortunately it is easy to set your filter, now that you know you have one:
  • Sign into Etsy
  • Roll over the words "Your Account" on the upper right corner of the page
  • From the list that appears, pick "Settings" 

  • Click on the Preferences tab
    • Scroll to the bottom of the page and select your region that you want to view. Etsy had set mine to United States, but I shop globally so I changed it to Everywhere.
      • Then click the Update Preferences button and you are ready to rock & roll. Easy peasy once you know it is there.

        While you're setting your preferences, why not make sure they are all to your liking? I had no idea that there was a maturity filter automatically on. Nudity and art go together in my world, so I changed the setting to "show me everything" before punching the Update button.

        So what do you think of this latest change to the Etsy shopping experience? I would love to hear from you. Are you a seller, worried about your items not appearing on a potential customer's radar? Or a buyer who is happy to select only your country and maybe save some money on shipping? Or do you just not care? Please, chime in. All comments are welcome.

        Thursday Giveaway winner delayed because....

        I am a goofball.

        I have been promoting the new Uprinting.com prize drawing as happening on 6/24 for the last week. Doh! Sooo..... one extra day for anyone to leave a comment & be entered into tomorrow's random drawing. The prize is 250 custom printed color flyers. Click here for details.


        Almost Wordless Wednesday: Butterfly ACEO

        Butterfly Art Card for Etsy customer
         I had a grand time playing with this (slightly 3D) ACEO for a recent Etsy customer. I seem to be low on these little pieces of one of a kind art in my Artsnark shop & will have to make a few more this week. They are so much fun to make and collect! Measuring only 3.5" x 2.5 inches, they can be created in any medium. They are also an affordable way to collect art. If you aren't yet hooked on Art Trading Cards, you must give them a try. 

        By the way, this is your last chance to enter the new giveaway that I am hosting for Uprinting.com. On 6/24 one lucky winner gets 250 custom printed color flyers. Simply leave a comment on my blog before 1 am (EST) to be entered in this random drawing. Click here for details. 


        Musical Monday - random shuffle

        Hellooo Monday


        I'm on the run today, so I've let the random shuffle pick a few tunes to share. Lucky for us only good stuff rose to the top. It was risky, we could've ended up with The Wiggles Captain Feathersword or something. (It really is time to clean up the itunes now that Little Dude is past the NickJr. phase)

        I was really happy to see this great Boxer Rebellion tune pop up - Back when their album Union came out I was listening to it constantly: 

        Next we've got TMBG's Fibber Island .... mmm... houses made of pie... While looking for a video I found this Harry Potter version made by awesomerthankanuph. Warning: you may find yourself humming this little ditty later - it has major earworm potential

        While I like this last tune, Money & Run (featuring Nick Cave) from Unkle, I don't care for the video. For anyone with kids in the room, it is not family friendly

        So what are you playing today? Want to share? Post & add a link over at XmasDolly's blog . While you're there, have a listen to what other folks have posted. Great way to start the week!

        By the way, I'm hosting a last minute random drawing for Uprinting.com on Thursday. If you would like a chance to win 250 custom printed color flyers, just leave a comment on my blog before 1 am (EST) on 6/24 to enter. For prize & contest details, click here. (Really low # of entries so far, so good odds)


        Happy Father's Day!

        Little Dude & his Dad (with reflection of Louvre)


        Illustration Friday - Launch

        Ship of Fools

         Laura stretched her gleaming neck
          Like a rush-imbedded swan,
        Like a lily from the beck,
        Like a moonlit poplar branch,
         Like a vessel at the launch
        When its last restraint is gone.

        The new Illustration Friday prompt, Launch, was rattling around in my head when it dislodged this poem from my school days. Remember Goblin Market? Back when the dinosaurs roamed the earth English teachers used to assign this poem to get the symbolism/feminism discussion rolling. If you're intrigued by lovely ladies, goblin men & forbidden fruits it is a fun one. You can catch it here.

        Ship of Fools was  was originally created for a collaborative self portrait book. It measures 4" sq. and is a mix of watercolor pencil and metallic inks/paints on paper. It it now in my ArtSnark Etsy shop

        Rossetti reminds me- I don't think I have mentioned yet the wonderful Pre-Raphaelite exhibit we enjoyed at the Musee d'Orsay last month. The dryly titled A Ballad of Love and Death: Pre-Raphaelite  Photography in Great Brittian, 1848 - 1875 showcased classic photos and paintings from some of my favorites, Julia Margaret Cameron, Lewis Carroll, John Ruskin, Dante Gabriel Rossetti (Christina's brother) and others. Several models/poses/scenes were similar (or almost identical) in these early photographs and the paintings. Some of the photos were handcolored, increasing the resemblance to the famous paintings. While I knew these folks were reading the same material (and in some cases hanging out), it never occurred to me just how much the photographers and painters were influencing each other. 

        Loaded with lovely images, the exhibition book, The Pre-Raphaelite Lens was too heavy to lug overseas.  I've since found it (cheaper) on Amazon.com and am saving my pennies. Another interesting source for Pre-Raphaelite info is mixed media artist Maureen Tillman's blog . On her right sidebar you'll find links to some of her great posts about these artists and their models/muses. 

        Sorry if I've bored you with the ramble. I'm on some heavy cold meds, so the synapses might be misfiring more than usual today. If you are feeling inspired to "Launch" - make an illo, post it online and share the link over at IllustrationFriday.com. Or just pop over there to see what everyone else is up to. 

        Before I go, I'm hosting a new custom printing giveaway for Uprinting.com. Next Thursday 1 random winner gets 250 color printed nightclub-style flyers. To enter leave a comment before 1 am (EST) on 6/23. This particular giveaway is only open to USA residents though - sorry about that International folks. Click here for flyer details.


        Enter to win 250 custom printed color flyers

         Those groovy guys at Uprinting.com are at it again!

        Today they are offering up another great custom printing prize for one lucky winner. Officially called Nightclub flyers, these would be perfect for all kinds of promotion - business or personal. (I could have really used some at last Friday's Global Etsy Craft Party ).

        Here are the details:

        Prize:      250 Nightclub Flyers for One (1) Winner
        Size:        choice of 4.25" x 5.5" or 4" x 6"
        Paper:     14pt Cardstock Gloss
        Printing:  Front Only
        Time:       3 Business Days print turnaround time
        Restrictions: Limited to US residents 18 years old and above only.

        To Enter: Simply comment on this blog before 1 a.m. (EST) on 6/23 to enter. Be sure to leave an email address if your contact info is not in your profile. 

        On June 24 I will use random.org to pick a winner from all who leave a comment & also meet the sponsors restrictions listed above.  That doesn't give you a lot of time...so hop to and leave your thoughts.

        Disclaimer: This giveaway is sponsored by UPrinting, no monetary compensation was given and I will receive night club flyers for hosting. I've been thinking about what to put on my flyers. I could printing some artwork to slip into Etsy packages.... but I'll probably use these for the day job instead. Maybe print some game-promo for a tradeshow or something.

        What will  you do with your 250 flyers if you win? Announce your reunion or summer bash? Advertise your garage sale or garage band?

        Before I forget, here is an easy to use Nightclub Flyer template get you started. It is free to download. Should you have any questions this printer also has amazing customer service people. (I speak from experience here- as some of you know, I am more than a little digitally challenged)

        And if you would like to enter additional random drawings from Uprinting you should look them up on facebook, twitter, or GiveawayBlogs.com

        Pieces of Paris winner!

        Hey there. How have you been? 

        I've been a bit scarce around here lately. Life happens, you know what I mean? But I've made it back in time to announce the winner of today's random drawing.

        I tossed the entries into random.org & out popped the lucky......

        Congrats, QueenBe! I will contact you with instructions for claiming your Pieces of Paris.

        Thanks to all who entered. I hope to post a new giveaway prize later today, so please stop back if you get a chance. Sorry to be flaky - 'tis just that kind of day week life.


        Tampa Etsy Craft Party photos

        Jenny Conn adds her touch to the collaborative canvas

        Last Friday the family had a blast at the 2nd annual Global Etsy Craft Party. Did you make it to your local shindig? 

        Jenny ran the embroidery/cross stitch demos

        The Tampa event was great fun, a much more intimate gathering this year. In 2010 the focus seemed to be more on vending, but this year was all about fun demos, new friends, and good food. 

        this lovely lady is from whitwamorganics.com  

        This family friendly event was open to everyone .. well almost everyone...

        J. Conn's sampler - sorry about my flash

        This is where I apologize for the cruddy photos. My camera & its battery were both on their last gasps, so the pics leave a little something to be desired.

        Everyone added their special touch to a big canvas. 

        This collaboration was a gift for the generous folks who donated the party space at the last minute.

        Miranda Hammond was sporting a new Tardis tattoo

        The make-it/ take-it demos were awesome and varied.

        Amanda Barber

        From making button necklaces 

        Rachel Zablocki

        to cake decorating

        (the cake table was very very popular)

        Kristen Bird from birdhousedesigns.etsy.com taught leather keychain making

        Little Dude also had a grand time pounding away over at the leather working station.

        While I enjoyed the coffee roasting demos

        yummy coffee from Kaye Brown of Jitterz Cafe

        There was a children's station for budding young artists


        Greg Hilferding's table was busy all night

        dreamcatcher tutorials

        & other creative activities.

        Cthulu cross stitch from J.Conn

        Basically there was something for everyone

        Although some were left wanting more....

        Want to see more photos? Click here to find additional pics from the Tampa bash on Facebook. Visit ThatGirlAllie's blog. Or click here for worldwide images from the Global Etsy Craft Party on flickr.

        Also here is a list of some of the creative business people I met on Friday. (If I missed anyone, please let me know & I'll add you asap)

        Allison Barkley - ThatGirlAllie.com
        Lindsay Blankenship - WorkingSquidDesignCo.etsy.com
        Kristen Bird - BirdhouseDesigns.etsy.com
        Kaye Browne - Jitterz Cafe
        Michelle Palenik - PurpleCloudStudio.com
        David Whitman (& family) - WhitwamOrganics.com
        Aris - LiteratiCreative.com
        Carmen Taylor - PomFlair.com
        Kara Mundy - Kara Mundy Body Art
        Juhli Green - GreenImage.com
        Assorted folks from Brasky.org


        Off topic - You still have time to enter my Pieces of Paris random drawing. Just leave a comment on this blog before 1 a.m. (EST) on 6/16 to have your name tossed into the hat. One lucky winner takes home a great bag of French-themed goodies. Click here for details

        Musical Monday - Happy Birthday Xmas Dolly


        Wow - Is it Monday again already?! 

        I happened to peek over at TheNewXmasDolly's blog to see what today's suggested theme is and I see that she just had a birthday. So my dear this one is for you:

        I hope everyone is off to a fantastic week. If you are looking to share or listen to some tunes be sure to visit Dolly or DeniseIsRunDMT. They always have something spinning on the turntable.

        Since it is about 2 am I'm off to dreamland. But will be back later today with photos from Friday's local branch of the Global Etsy Party. 'Twas a grand time. Lots of good food, new friends , and craft demos. DH & Little Dude thought they would take off after an hour but ended up staying for 3. And the Dude brough thome lots of great crafty swag. But... more later. The only tune I'm singing right now is a lullaby.


        What'cha doing Friday night?

        Come out and play! June 10th is the second annual Global Etsy Craft Party and you are invited!! Last year's 5,000 people turned out for 500 craft parties, Everyone had so much fun that those fun folks at Etsy.com decided to do it again.

        Friday night.... your town... world wide... get your Craft on
        Okay, yeah, that sounded silly but you know what I mean

        In Tampa, Florida we'll be hanging out at 108 S 12th Street in Channelside from 7-11pm.  By the way, I love these directions from Allison Barkley "If you've ever seen that crazy metal dragon sculpture that lives in Channelside, that's right beside the building we will be gathering in. It is a light purple building that has "Lofts of 12th" on the front side. There will also be a huge sign letting you know you're at the Tampa Etsy Craft Party."

        So, will I see you there? This event is FREE and open to the public. We'll be enjoying tasty treats, great conversations, and demos about everything from making dream catchers to roasting your own coffee beans. There will also be a Make it & Take it Table full of art supplies for kiddos (young and old) to play with. Sounds like a fun night to me! Pop by if you have the time, I'll save a space for you. For more info, including a list of demos visit Tampa Etsy Craft Party on Facebook or http://www.meetup.com/etsy/Tampa-FL/

        If you are not in Tampa on 6/10 (heaven forbid) hurry over to meetup.com/etsy , enter your location and find the party nearest you. It'll be a grand time


        Musical Monday - Happy Birthday, Harvey

        Actually, I think the average voice is like 70 percent tone and 30 percent noise. My voice is 95 percent noise. -Harvey Fierstein


        I was looking around for some Musical Monday inspiration and noticed that it is Harvey Fierstein's birthday today. Here's one of my favorite H.F. tunes:

        What are you listening today? Want to show off your fabulous taste? Post to your blog and then head on over to XmasDolly and RunDMT to share your rockin' tunes. While you are there, click some linkies & have a listen to what other Monday music lovers have posted.

        Before you go, can I interest you in some crafty Paris swag? In 10 days I'll draw one lucky winner from everyone who leaves a comment on my blog before 1 a.m. (EST) on 6/16. Free shipping world wide to winner. For prize details, click here.

        And if you are in Tampa, FL area this Friday.... the Tampa Etsy Craft Party is on! Stop by & enjoy some wholesome handmade goodness on 6/10 from 7pm - 11:30 pm. This year's bash will be over by the aquarium (‎108 S 12th Street in the Channelside district). There will be lots of fun creative folks, yummy treats, a kid's table, and several crafting demos. This event is open to the public, no need to be from Tampa or Etsy.com. So come out & get your craft on!

        Find event details & a list of demos on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=219420521415349 or meetup.com  http://www.meetup.com/etsy/Tampa-FL/100657/

        I am baking some sweet treats & will be manning the children's table. If you do visit, be sure to stop by and say hello! Also, this gathering is still evolving ... so if you have any skills, treats, or tables that you want to share please do.