Saturday, October 31, 2009


We have a winner for the $15 gift certificate to my shop for the October Charades Contest.  But before I make the announcement ...   no one guessed the answer and I'm a little surprised. I said that it would be tougher, and I dropped hints all over the place.  For instance:

Hint: "Not every movie is a great movie."   This one was a sequel and although I didn't see it, it was soundly panned by the critics.
Hint: "Is it spelled sci-fi or sy-fy?" That makes it a science fiction movie.
Hint: "It's interesting to me that two very different objects (like maybe an animal and something else) can accomplish the very same result in the end."  This was a HUGE clue!  Obviously, I was referring to the first clue, the cow - what's the cow DOING? He's eating grass and making it shorter!
Hint: I also posted clues in my comments: "Each artwork represents one word in the title. So there's four words in this title. (Actually, one of them is a word and a number.)" Again, pretty obvious I was referring to the second clue.
Hint: "The answers aren't quite as OBVIOUS as before."  So ... think outside the box.
Hint: "The untitled last piece of art shown here is titled 'Cyberspace.'"   This was a total giveaway. 

OKAY, are you ready??


MAN 2:

BEYOND (The word was in the title)

CYBERSPACE (I gave you this answer)

The original 1992 movie, Lawnmower Man, was apparently pretty successful, especially in terms of its visual effects. Tagline: God made him simple. Science made him a god.  It was adapted from the Stephen King book of the same name and they all should have reconsidered the whole idea when Stephen King had his credit removed following a lawsuit!
Then comes the sequel, Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace: God made him simple. Science made him a god. Now, he wants revenge. One of the comments posted on  "Rare is a movie this bad!!!!!"
I thought I was being clever and tough with this one, and apparently I succeeded too well. For future games, I have three hints:
1. Think outside the box
2. Google search
3. Get friendly with
I'll post the new game for November and hopefully I'll hit somewhere in between - not too easy, not too tough.  And I may change up some things. Still thinking.  Stay tuned.
In the meantime, here's our winner:

Congratulations, Carapace!!! I'll be in touch with our winner to get her choice from my shop. 
So what do you think? Are you pouting or are you laughing?

(I'm doing both - pouting because no one guessed, so no free gift; laughing because I fooled you! ROFL)

Happy Halloween

Wishing you all the candy your heart desires today .... with no guilt.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

In the Studio with Mystic Silks

I have been selling on Etsy for just over one year. And in that time one thing that has impressed me is how generous with their time most of the artists are, always willing to share tips, offer advice, prop you up when you’re down, and share a laugh just when you need one. I am grateful to all of them in general, and to some artists in particular who have been helpful to me in various ways.

From time to time I intend to give those special people a big shout-out of thanks and today I thought I would start with Klaire of Mysticsilks. Klaire is very active in both the Etsy forums and the team forums, and I can always count on her to respond to me when I post a comment or a question. Besides thanking her for all that, I want to show you what an incredible artist she is, with a unique medium – silk painting.

Here's a beautiful example. It's hard for me to believe that this is painted on silk. Silk is such a soft surface, it would seem difficult to maintain the distinct, but delicate colors in this work.  This reminds me so much of an impressionist painting.
I wanted to learn more about her and her art, so Klaire and I sat down with a virtual cup of coffee – hers with hazelnut cream, mine with crème brulee flavor – so I could learn more about her and her art.

FK: First the basics: I know your etsy shop is Where else can we find you online?

My other sites are:

I belong to a few Etsy teams: Design Style Guide, VAST Team, BBEST TEAM, WWAO, WWWG.

FK: Talk to me about your art career … 

I spent about a year in The Cooper Institute of Art while working at a full time job. But the question "How long have you been an artist?" really should be answered with "since birth!" We are all born artists--as children we love to paint, draw, create. Then somewhere along the path of life some adult tells us to put away our paints and get serious about life, get a “real education.” So some of us forget that once upon a time we were natural artists.

FK: I can totally relate. That’s what happened to me … Where did the silk painting come from?

Learning to paint on silk came about from someone telling me to take a class in silk art to learn to relax. So, I took several classes at a local college and became extremely uptight and intense about my silk art. I am in a constant state of learning.

FK: LOL – it was supposed to make you relax! So just sit back and relax now while I brag on you for a minute …

This one is called Fickle Winds, and that's exactly the effect it has - can't you just feel the winds blowing?  
Such movement in this painting - and the colors are simply gorgeous!

This piece is called Einstein's E=MC2.  One thing I like about Klaire is her sense of humor.  She explains: "I love Albert, he's my man." Klaire must be a charter member of Einstein's fan club - who knew??  Albert would be proud of this abstract painting.

You might be interested in reading Klaire's brief explanation of her silk painting process here.

FK: When you do such incredible art as all that, I wonder how you have time to be so active in the forums, with your teams, and curating treasuries. How do you manage your time to get everything done?

Well, I am a retired registered nurse. Once you've learned nursing, and raised a family of 4 children, you learn to juggle plates quite well -- in fact not to be able to be so busy would make me very uneasy!!

FK: Well I guess that taught you how to juggle, for sure! What inspires you? Where do you look – or go – for inspiration?

I would say nature is my inspiration, the color and texture of fall leaves, the colors in a sunset, or sunrise. I've been inspired by many of the photographs from National Geographic Magazine. In fact my silk painting "Forest Flower and Friend" is from a National Geographic photo.

FK: I like it! Besides your gorgeous paintings, I love that you offer silk scarves and pillows as well. Here’s some that I particularly like.  I could see redecorating my entire living room around this pillow:

FK: And the scarves are just too elegant – I love them! Here’s two of my favorites:

For Rain Tree, the inspiration was a rain forest.

 This absolutely gorgeous blue scarf is appropriately named You are so beautiful.

FK: Klaire, where’s your "quiet place" – somewhere you go to rest, refresh, meditate?

A quiet place? Hmmm. It's inside my head. When I am into my art, I am in a quiet place in my mind where all the creating energy exists … where the muses dwell. Not sure I can get that place into a photo for you!  : )

FK: As an artist what is most gratifying to you? And what do you dislike the most?
I am most gratified when people say they love my work …then I am pleased. The hardest part is wondering if anyone WILL like my art. And that’s what I dislike the most … the self-doubt.

FK: Probably every artist is right there with you on those two points. What do you do when you’re not being an artist?

I think I am always being an artist. My eyes and mind are constantly searching for something to put on canvas or into a silk painting. I enjoy reading, listening to my favorite radio talk show host (Howie on WNIR in Akron , OH) , then watching the boob tube in the evening.

FK: Tell me something that most people don’t know about you.

I love to write poetry and short stories. Here's one of my poems:

A confrontation of shadow selves,
ethereal you, invisible I,
who try to capture and taste the tears of God,
or to run fingers across Her smiling lips.
we sink beneath or hide behind the brutal waves of ego:
Egos, wearing layers of frightening masks
called greed, hate, superiority, and power.
It dresses in different colors and cuts
of cloth; demanding its own way.

We lift hands holding guns,
or fly planes that bomb already ruined lands
into more dust---each grain of sand runs red
with blood--- It's the illusion of Monopoly
whoever gets the big blues,
Park Place and Boardwalk--- wins.

And, then and then,

Sometimes we are close, like soap bubbles
our blues, reds, and golds merge and swirl,
then blown by the winds of love
we roll and float high into the skies:
Up, up into the golden rays of light and warmth


FK: Wow! Very nice - beautiful imagery!  Well, I certainly enjoyed my virtual visit, Klaire. Thanks for sharing your time with us.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I'm Telling You I'm Busy!

Have you noticed that even the busiest people are never too busy to take time to tell you how busy they are? ~ Bob Talbert

Guilty. I'm going to take time to tell you how busy I am  ....

I opened up my shop on Etsy last September. One of my challenges has been anticipating and working far enough ahead to be ready for the major events or holidays.  I was caught a little short last Christmas, although I was able to post some pieces.  The best sellers were the few sets of little vintage blocks I offered.  So ... my mother didn't raise a dumb kid. I have been busy for the past two months creating bigger and better Christmas blocks and other holiday items.  The new blocks are 2.5 inches square compared to 1.25 square last year:

Here's what my studio looks like the past two months:

Here's a sampling of what is posted so far in my shop.

Some of the blocks show photos of my own angel ornaments:

Or photos of my own collection of vintage decor:

Photos of the Shiny Brite ornaments I saved from my family's collection, ornaments that graced our Christmas trees every year ever since I can remember. The ornaments show the wear of all those years, and had I known then that these would be highly collectible today, I might have tried to take better care of them!

I also have lots of blocks with images of vintage children and Santas.

I haven't listed any yet, but I'm also working on these card/photo holders.  I have only one set done so far:

I'm particularly fond of these types of nostalgic Christmas vintage images, so I enjoy creating the blocks. I sure hope enough buyers enjoy them too; otherwise, I'll be running out of storage room in my condo!

What do you think? Am I putting you in the mood to start singing Christmas carols?

Friday, October 23, 2009

One More Week

There's just one more week to take advantage of two special opportunities:

I wrote about special offers during Breast Cancer Awareness Month in honor of my mother and sister.  I'm donating 20% of the sale price of three pink items to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.  The pink wreath has been sold (thanks, momtoboys3) so I have substituted this pink iris ACEO. The flower's meaning is quite appropriate, don't you think?

The second opportunity is the October Charades contest.  You have three chances to enter, and your odds are pretty good because not too many people have commented so far.  You get a $15 gift certificate to my shop, which can buy quite a lot. It's not necessary that you be correct about the movie title.  I did make this one a lot tougher, but I'm stll surprised that not many have responded to the challenge to figure it out, even with the hints I have given so far.  I may just throw another hint in, so check in and see if you are "smarter than the average bear."

New Treasury

Isn't this perfect for the season??  My Language of the Flowers ACEO (Gerbera Daisies) is included.

This treasury was curated by one of my very bestest online BFFs  (*she says, talking like a tweener!*) - Klaire of Mystic Silks. Anyway, if you are not already familiar with Mystic Silks, take a minute to visit.  Klaire does the most exquisite artwork on SILK.  There's paintings, scarves, pillows - such an interesting technique. Once, many years ago, I tried to paint on a scarf and, trust me, it didn't look anything like hers.  Thanks, Klaire.

Got to cut that second fingernail--...
Created by: MysticSilks Exp: 2 days

Thursday, October 22, 2009

New Treasury

Another Treasury this morning.  The colors in this one are absolutely delicious!  My Liquid  Magenta Digital Collage Print (see it below)  is included. My Liquid series of prints are some of my own personal favorites, so I'm pleased that one was included in this Treasury.

And speaking of favorites, visit the curator's shop, sagewest, to see some incredible talent.  The drawings and paintings there are to die for! My technical drawing skills leave a lot to be desired, so when I see an artist like this I'm insanely jealous ... 

Created by: sagewest Exp: 2 days

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Very Special New Treasury

 I posted this about my mother and sister, both of whom had breast cancer.  I have three pink pieces listed in my Etsy shop and during the month of October I will be donating 20% of all sales to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.  I received notice today that I am in a very special treasury consisting of other artists who are donating to the fight against cancer.  My Rose Pink Holiday wreath is included.   

The treasury was curated by Amy Singley of adornbyamysingley.  Amy is a breast cancer survivor and a member of Team Etsy Project Embrace, and she very generously donates 20% of ALL sales in her shop to the American Cancer Society.  Amy began beading while she was undergoing chemotherapy and her beautiful jewelry is the result. Stop in to her shop and perhaps make a purchase and donation at the same time.  (I love the treasury title, by the way!)

Created by: adornbyamysingley Exp: 3 days

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday in the Park

"Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all."
- Stanley Horowitz

In Michigan, as in some other parts of the country, we didn't have much of a Summer and until now not much of an Autumn. (Is it too much to ask that we won't have much of a Winter??) We have set records for cold and rain so far this October.

Today, however, promised to be sunny and a bit warmer. So I ignored everything I had to do at home,  picked up my sister who has been cooped up because of some medical issues, and we drove to a local park - she to get some fresh air, I to look for some photo ops. We were joined by many with the same idea - photographers busy with their cameras, couples young and old walking hand in hand, boys on bikes, girls playing soccer, everyone letting go and breathing deeply on "this most amazing day."  All I could think is, THIS is what's wonderful about Michigan.  Enjoy these images of an almost perfect autumn day in southeast Michigan.

"Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn."

Elizabeth Lawrence

And here's why we were all there ....

“Autumn, the year's last, loveliest smile.”
William Cullen Bryant

What a wonderful day!

Two New Treasuries!

I woke up to a wonderful treat this morning - I'm in two new treasuries.  And, people, these two treasuries are INCREDIBLE!  First is  the latest Art Gallery from Elizabeth Graf.  Elizabeth must be the queen of treasuries - she has an incredible eye for putting these together.  This one is so delightfully full of color and movement it just jumps off the page.  You must visit it - and the artists - up close to really appreciate it. 

Created by: ElizabethGraf Exp: 2 days

My Autumn Joy ACEO is happy to be in this company.

The second one is my idea of a great Halloween art - no cutesy pumpkins here!!  This is more in the realm of Edgar Allan Poe and Legend of Sleepy Hollow. 

the Highwayman ...
... came riding....
Created by: queenartist1 Exp: 3 days

My Wicked Woman ACEO is included, a piece that's a little different for me, and I really like it myself!

This treasury also introduced me to another artist: queenartist1, the curator. That shop is full of crafting supplies, some vintage, and I'm afraid this is a little dangerous for me. I love this stuff and it will be all I can do to avoid buying a bunch! I wish I were SELLING more so I could BUY more! Visit queenartist and you'll see how tempting it is.

 Thanks to both of you for including me!

Friday, October 16, 2009

New Treasury

A new treasury by my online artist friend Stephanie.

A few of my favorites.
Created by: stefny68 Exp: 2 days

It features my Morning Butterfly Fairy print. Thanks, Stef!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Hint ... Hint!!

I thought I made the earlier Charades contests too easy for you to guess, so I worked hard to make the October contest a little tougher. Did I make it too tough?? Just a few people have commented so far (thanks!!) but ... I really want to see more attempts at guessing the movie AND entering the contest by commenting. Time's a-wasting, folks!   OK, so I'm going to give you TWO hints:

Hint #1: Is it spelled sci-fi or sy-fy?

Hint #2: It's interesting to me that two very different objects (like maybe an animal and something else) can accomplish the very same result in the end.

So here you go - try again!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

That's my Mom.  She died of breast cancer in 1979 at the age of 67.

My parents raised nine children, four boys and five girls.  Seeing our mother suffer with breast cancer sent a message to her five daughters - we all have been diligent about annual mammograms and screening. That diligence paid off for one of my younger sisters. She was diagnosed with very early stage breast cancer and was successfully treated with lumpectomy and radiation.

I have several high-risk factors in addition to the above two and have had four non-cancerous fibroid tumors removed.  A few years ago I heard about The Sister Study, so I signed up. The Sister Study is the only long-term study of women ages 35-74 who have not had breast cancer themselves but whose biological sister was diagnosed with the disease. It is a national study to learn how environment and genes affect the chances of getting breast cancer. A total of 50,000 women have joined the study. The study is run by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS).  NIEHS is one of the National Institutes of Health, part of the Department of Health and Human Services. I completed an extensive series of test and interviews initially, and now they will occasionally check up on me and in turn I will report any relevant medical issues I might have to them.

So as you can see, breast cancer has hit close to home for me.  I just completed two new digital photography prints in honor of this month and in memory of my mother. These two prints are now posted in my etsy shop and I will donate 20% of all of the purchase prices to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.  I also added my pink pinecone holiday wreath for the 20% donation.

These prints would be the perfect gift for a special mom, sister, friend - and most especially for anyone you know who might be fighting the breast cancer battle themselves.

Support the cause on behalf of all women. 
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