We have a winner!

Addendum June 6: 
The original winner did not leave an email address, which this sponsor requires to distribute the prize. She also has not responded to several messages left on assorted social media sites. So, I have selected a replacement random winner for this Shabby Apple Giveaway. And that winner is Crystal Hamilton!! Congratulations Crystal! Crystal, I will be in touch with instructions for claiming your $50 gift certificate to ShabbyApple.com.

Shabby Apple Pina Colada Dress

Somebody is going shopping at Shabby Apple! 

One lucky winner has been randomly selected to receive a $50 gift certificate to this fun, fashionable shop. AND THE WINNER IS.......

Rachel Travis!

Congratulations, Rachel! I'll be in touch today for your contact info.

Many thanks to everyone who entered this random drawing. I appreciate you stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment or two. 

And special thanks to Shabby Apple for donating today's great prize (& for having such cute vintage-style outfits)!


The quick-and-dirty: It has been crazy-busy around here with too much work, play and general chaos.... and too little blogging going on. May was packed with changes at work: new staff & new new products. Plus new friends and a revolving door on my house for all the old ones who have dropped in. To top it off, with only about a week of school left, we all have summer-fever! 

I have lots to share from past, present and future - all good stuff. Next week I need to get a better handle on my time management. About the only creative thing I've consistently kept up with has been my 365 Days in a Garden project over on http://instagram.com/artsnark . You can also catch it on Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/artsnark/  or  Pinterest  http://pinterest.com/artsnark/365-days-in-a-garden/ if you prefer. Today (Day 47) is a picture of Shell Ginger:

Gotta run - already behind tonight. Thanks again for stopping by. Best wishes for a wonderful weekend!


Always Remember

Oh she looks
but there's nothing to see.
Still she looks
saying come back for me...


The Death of a Soldier - Wallace Stevens

Life contracts and death is expected,
As in season of autumn.
The soldier falls.

He does not become a three-days personage.
Imposing his separation,
Calling for pomp.

Death is absolute and without memorial,
As in a season of autumn,
When the wind stops,

When the wind stops and, over the heavens,
The clouds go, nevertheless,
In their direction. 


New Toy - olloclip for iphone

©Stacey Merrill

Playing with my Mothers Day gift in the garden today. I had been thinking about getting an olloclip since falling in love with images folks are sharing on instagram. Luckily my generous family knows how my mind works.

This is Day 31 of A Year In The Garden and the first photo I have taken with the macro lense. I definitely need to track down my tripod - haven't used it in forever. Things get pretty shaky at such close range. Luckily this little fellow sat still long enough for me to ge a good look at him.

I love the ease of use with these lenses. The only problem is I can't them over my current phone case &  I'm a bit too clumsy to go around without one. I've pre-ordered the company's 3-in-one case and will share a review once it arrives.

If you have any interest in following my 365 Days In A Garden project, find photos here:



Before you go - have you entered the giveaway I'm hosting for Shabby Apple? On 5/30 one winner takes home a $50 gift certificate for some fun vintage fashions. Commenting on the blog before then gets you 1 entry. You can get 2 more if you want - click here for instructions


A splash of INK on Music Monday

Been listening to lots of Kishi Bashi lately - 151a got me over the hump on the wooden hands I "tattooed" for last weekend's Detroit art-event, INK. You can listen to the whole album over at his website.  

Kishi Bashi 151a

Singer, songwriter Kaoru Ishibashi is pretty freaking impressive in action. Using his voice and violin he builds and loops layers of sound to form the final music. Watch/listen to him do this for the folks at NPR's Tiny Desk Concerts.

Looking for to a variety of tunes or share your own? When you are finished here jump over to Xmas Dolly's and join in the Music Monday blog hop.

On a different note: The tattoo-themed art extravaganza INK took off like a rocket, flames and all last weekend!

© Chris Gustafson

The fire wielder is Heather Manasco. And, yes, the hanging model, Lotus Purgatory, has hooks through her skin. 

© John Wiley

Curated by Diane Irby and Adam Layne (above photo), this event at Detroit's Tangent Gallery was definitely the place to be - with loads of live action, a variety of vendors and hundreds of pieces of tattoo inspired artwork from around the globe

Photographer Kelly Datillo and model Sarah Robinson (aka Danica Vagabond) pose for a snapshot in front of their collaboration.

© John Wiley

How much fun is this Jeff Shea & Brent James Harris winged sculpture?

© John Wiley

John Wiley took a cool shot of my (now sold) wooden hands reaching out of the wall. I still have to clean up and share the few pics I took before they shipped. Here's one:

Once Upon A Time and  Ever After

I'd been thinking what kind of body art might have appealed to the famously naughty Pinocchio while still made of wood. Here he carries around a vibrant narrative of his many adventures. Perhaps he hopes they will remind him to be a "good boy". Pop back later this week for some closeups and a few more shots of the show.

Oh, and these are the two styles of temporary tattoos I had printed for the show. I'm a fan of temp tats & decided to give a bunch of these away just for kicks. The peel-away backs were printed with this blog address so maybe a new visitor might stumble in. If not, no worries - I had a great time coming up with them, especially the one above.

Want to see more photos of the INK arty party? Folks are sharing them on facebook. Try these links:


Final note today - Ladies, do you like the vintage look but prefer a modern fit? Check out the new Thursday Giveaway, sponsored by Shabby Apple. On 5/30 one lucky winner will take home a $50 gift certificate for some cute retro fashions. TO ENTER: simply leave a comment on this blog before 1 a.m. on May 30th. For two more ways to enter plus some cute pics, click here

Disclosure Policy

This policy is valid from 13 May 2013

 This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. For questions about this blog, please contact  artsnark (at) verizon (dot) net.

 This blog does not accept any form of cash advertising, sponsorship, or paid topic insertions. However, we will and do accept and keep free products, services, travel, event tickets, and other forms of compensation from companies and organizations.

 This blog abides by word of mouth marketing standards. We believe in honesty of relationship, opinion and identity. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post will be clearly identified as paid or sponsored content.

 The owner of this blog is compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. Even though the owner of this blog receives compensation for our posts or advertisements, we always give our honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the bloggers' own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.

 This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.


Happy Mothers Day

Hope you've had a lovely day - digging in the garden is a perfect end to mine. Best wishes for a wonderful week!


$50 Shabby Apple Fashion Giveaway - Ends 5/30

I'm trying to pull off a mini-retro thing with this week's Thursday Giveaway posting on Friday. Is it working? I'd love to think so, but actually this week has simply been crazy-busy and I have no other excuses.

Whistlestop dress

The generous folks over at Shabby Apple want to give a $50 gift card to one very lucky Artsnark reader. I'm a huge fan of their vintage clothing styles. By the way, I am receiving no compensation for hosting this giveaway & simply love their retro clothes so much that given the opportunity I just have to share.

Key Lime Pie Apron

If you've spent some time around my world, you know I have a passion for items from earlier times ... I can fix your Victrola, but your ipod is like magic to me. (Goofy I know... but that is just the way it is.)

Burnin' Love Sunglasses

It was love at first sight when I visited ShabbyApple.com - their sweet, yet sexy styles remind me of the sassy ladies from antique postcards.

carte postale - sassy french woman from the graphics fairy

But us girls today... we get to rock it in full color! 

whirlwind skirt

We can leave  the old timey sepia behind and find something vibrant to adore in this catalog of time-traveling fashions.

west coaster dress

The Rules:

This part is easy - simply leave a comment on this blog before 1 a.m. (EST) on May 30th to get your name in the hat. 

If you would like a second entry: return with a link to your fave Shabby Apple outfit or accessory.

Want to increase your odds with a 3rd chance? Share this giveaway on your blog, facebook, twitter or other alternative  social media. Then pop back here & let me know.

The winner of a $50 gift card to Shabby Apple will be selected & posted here on 5/30. Please be sure to leave me your email so that they can send you your prize.

Catalina Swimsuit

If you win, I'd love to see what you pick out - this is in no way required for entry... I'm just nosy.

Best of Luck & feel free to contact me with any questions.

Added 5/25 - Please Note: Due to an overwhelming amount of spam comments recently, I have shut off the ability to comment Anonymously. 


So Much Awesomeness, so little time...

INK - click here fore event info on facebook

May 10th INK, the tattoo themed extravaganza, begins. If you're anywhere near Detroit this weekend, pop on over to The Tangent Gallery to take in oodles of artsy tattooing goodness. With everything from art to vendors to live performance, this two night exhibition is not to be missed!

Despite one kooky-busy schedule I managed to get my 3D  (& somewhat interactive) contribution there in time. I'll clean up my quirky picks and share them here next week. Here is a quick peek of the drying process.

Rock On , Pinocchio

Once Upon A Time & Ever After are artist mannequin hands altered via wood burning and assorted paints & inks. I was going with the idea of "What if Pinocchio got tattooed before turning into 'a real boy'." I had a lot of fun with this project and even printed temporary tattoos instead of business cards to hand out at the show.

Life has been getting in the way of my bloggity plans this week. Got a new employee at work. Helped a friend find an apartment. Still plugging away at the 365 Days in a Garden project. Lots of family events. Day to day stuff... it is all good but time consuming.

Tomorrow I'm posting a late Thursday Giveaway. (Too tired/lazy tonight). Be sure to pop back and enter the fashionably late random drawing for some fabulously retro fashions.


War Horse Is A Winner

Disclaimer:The Straz Center for the performing arts invited me to the enjoy the opening night of the Tony award winning play War Horse.  I was paid with 2 tickets in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Now that is what I call Theater with a capital T!

First must I admit to approaching War Horse with some skepticism. I am not a "horsey" sort of person and the only things I knew about this play was that it was also a book and a movie. Then I heard about  the life-size puppets.... Now that caught my attention. The tinkerer in me was intrigued, so I decided to check it out.

Before the show a friend told me how much she admires an actor's ability to fearlessly become someone else for a time - and with a judgmental audience looking on. While I can appreciate this, I've always been more of a backstage person. It is the writing, props, lighting and assorted illusions that will make or break a show for me. 

War Horse has it all - Excellent acting, entertaining characters, an emotional story, big music and some fantastic sets! The sets were both minimalist and complex at the same time. A giant screen resembling a strip of torn paper hovered over the production. Wonderful "pencil" drawings and animated sketches played across this "paper" throughout the play. Peaceful landscapes alternate with action-packed scribbles - sometimes lulling the audience into imagining the English country side, other times hurling you into the chaos and terror of WWI combat.

The creative use of three dimensional space was also interesting. A hovering door or window would evoke a farmhouse.  At times actors and props were interchangeable - for example, background characters holding long poles might stand perfectly still, acting as fences in one scene ... then spinning like dervishes, heightening the the tensions of particular scene or character.

While I was enthralled by the clever staging, the sparse set was the perfect backdrop for some truly elaborate puppets.  The war horse Joey appears as both a young foal and a full grown beast. It takes two sets of three puppeteers to bring each incarnation to life. And they really do seem to come alive; the elaborate manipulations have the horses twitching ears and tails, breathing and galloping around the stage in an incredibly realistic performance. No detail is forgotten. Additional creatures include other horses, birds, and even a monstrous tank.

The choreography needed to keep all of these elements in play is impressive. At times the production felt like an elaborate dance. Occasionally the players moved in slow motion to increase the dramatic impact of a scene. When one of Joey's riders (yes, the actors actually ride the horse puppets) is blasted off his mount in an enemy attack, another player slowly lifts him into the air and pulls him off stage. With flashing lights, smoke, lots of noise (plus the dramatic scribblings playing out on the hovering screen) the effect is powerful and mesmerizing.

The attention to movement and detail and the emotional storyline make this show a grand spectacle. Drawn in by the acting as well as the puppetry, the audience was laughing, gasping or sniffling throughout the performance. (FYI: If you tend to get teary, bring tissues). I particularly enjoyed the  battlefield scenes, as well as the singer and accordion player who acted as sort of a Greek chorus, moving the story smoothly along between scenes.

I feel like my ramblings have failed to do justice to this fine show. More than simply a play War Horse is truly a unique experience - and not to be missed. If you are in the Tampa area, you can catch War Horse at the Straz through May 5th. Click here for details.

If you are out of town visit WarHorseOnStage.com for a schedule of  upcoming performances. While you are there, have a look around. The site is full of fun facts, videos, music, photographs and other production details to keep you entertained.