Friday, August 31, 2012

Once in a Blue Moon

Yes, once in a Blue Moon, which is tonight by the way...you have to splurge!  My daughter came home from school this week telling me a  friend shared these amazing brownies with her.  The name is bad, Slutty Brownies.  I know terrible right...I renamed them Blue Moon Brownies...they are sooo bad, I mean good, no I mean bad!  You should only eat them once in a Blue Moon!  You make a batch of homemade Chocolate Chip cookies and spread them out in a 9"x9" pan.  Then you layer 16 Oreos on the top of this layer. I bought the double stuff ones, bad!  Then  you make a batch of Brownies and pour this on top.  Bake in a 350 oven, for 30-40 minutes.  A friend called and I went for a walk.  The family took care of the baking.  Ours were a bit well done.  I like my Brownies ooey, gooey!  There also is a recipe for Slutty Blonde Brownies.   I rode 25 miles on my bike, so I could eat this bad, I mean good treat, no bad!  If you make them, let me know how yours turned out~ Do you think they are good or bad?!   My legs vote bad ;D

Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Poetic Challenge

Mama Zen over in the garden asked us, to pen a poem in 25 words about our power image.  Yikes...

Mama Zen summed it up like this:

A power image is an image that a writer returns to time after time.  It's part art, part personal mythology, and part creative shorthand.  It's a thing, a sound, an angle of light; it's anything that a writer imbues with a greater meaning than it would ordinarily have and adopts as a signature symbol.


I went with my first thought.

 
 

 Stars align above n' below her
a symphony of swirling blue
draws my attention
her salty tears swell
n' tug at the lull of my heart


 What is your power image?  What symbol do you return to  again and again?!   I would love to know yours~

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

My Secret Hobby

When I was in college I worked in retail, as a clerk and window decorator. I loved decorating the windows. Recently Stampington had a contest on their blog.  I knew I had to enter...

We’re inviting you to be a stylist for a day and give us your best shot (pun totally intended) at snapping a styled photo of your favorite August Stampington magazine.   

Daughter and I had recently been back to school shopping. While she was trying on outfits, I was stylizing stores. As I grabbed items to stylize the August magazine Where Women Create  I was reminded of when I started this hobby.    ....A new thrift shop had opened up in our neighborhood. My daughter was a few months old and I hadn't lost all of the baby weight.  I was in need of some in between clothes, till I could fit back into my favorite jeans.
  
Everyone knew each other, by name. It was in a quaint strip mall, at a nice location.  As I was browsing around...I found an outfit I really wanted, but didn't have the $ to buy it and the in between clothes.  I decided to stage it.  As I set it in a visible spot...the owner rounded the corner and caught me.  I could feel the heat and still can rising in my face. I have always blushed easily.  "Oh, what is this" I heard her say.  I told her I wanted this outfit, but couldn't wear it just, yet.  I thought maybe someone else would like it, so I left it put together. 

 She says in her southern drawl, "Oh, honey been there done that. It is fine. You know what, this is really pretty...I'm going to use it.  I'll put it over here."  She went and put it in a more prominent place.  The heat in my face gradually subsided.  I handed her the items I wanted to purchase. " I will let you know about your outfit, she smiled n' winked at me. I use to do the same thing."    When I was brave enough to show my face again in her shop, she announced the outfit had sold, within minutes. She told me, she couldn't hire me, but I was welcome to stylize a few outfits and leave them. Yes, she enabled me to secretly style and I haven't stopped.  I even style Lowes.  I recently told my daughter, who decided she wanted to try out my elf like hobby, "it is about having fun, we are just trying to make things more appealing."  We left pillows on couches, decorated coffee tables, left personal touches.  

Hubby reminded us, "You know you are on camera."  Yes, but I wait to redo that place.  The business thinks it is an isolated incident, lol.   (So, I hope)


When I stylized this issue I wanted it to reflect the woman on the cover, Rachel Ashwell. She is know for her Shabby Chic style.   She has taken comfort and time worn pieces and made them fashionable.   She is all about finding beauty in imperfections~
What a great philosophy, she has!

 I used a faded silk rose, a small pillow from my daughter's bed, a table cloth and vintage linens from a thrift shop,  and Lavender I had purchased from ETSY.  Tomorrow I have to run errands.  I just might have to go downtown, ;D    I wonder if the park could use some stylizing, perhaps fortune cookie sayings in the trees and a poem or two written with colored chalk!  


Monday, August 27, 2012

Dancing in Dust

No, not really!  Ok, maybe, lol.  I dancing in memories of my grandmothers.   Stampington invited us to do an altered art recipe challenge, on their blog.  Yes, I am going through my stash. Sweet memories.... Yes, there is a chance I will share another recipe, but not today.  Soon...perhaps something with pumpkin or apples.


Today I want to talk about my friend EJ.  He is hosting a Cover Reveal party, today!  Congrats EJ, I'm cheering for you!  Buster, my hound is howling, too!  ;D

 EJ's book does look worth howling over!  Here is a peek of the cover today for the Big reveal!
Again EJ congrats...I look forward to learning more and grabbing a copy, soon!   ATB


Blood Fugue, Moonsongs Book 1 by E.J. Wesley Cover Reveal Party
Author E.J. Wesley is throwing a blog party to celebrate the release of his new book cover and wants you to join in the fun. Jump over to his blog to learn about how you can win some awesome prizes, including $50 toward a cover of your own and advance reader copies of Blood Fugue.





Cover work by Sketcher Girl, LLC - http://sketchergirlstudios.com/

What's the Story About? 

Some folks treated the past like an old friend. The memories warmed them with fondness for what was, and hope for what was to come. Not me. When I thought of long ago, my insides curdled, and I was left feeling sour and wasted.”

Jenny Schmidt is a young woman with old heartaches. A small town Texas girl with big city attitude, she just doesn’t fit in. Not that she has ever tried. She wears loneliness like a comfy sweatshirt. By the age of twenty-one, she was the last living member of her immediate family. Or so she thought…

“We found my ‘grandfather’ sitting at his dining room table. An entire scorched pot of coffee dangled from his shaky hand. His skin was the ashen gray shade of thunderclouds, not the rich mocha from the photo I’d seen. There were dark blue circles under each swollen red eye. A halo of white hair skirted his bald head, a crown of tangles and mats. Corpses had more life in them.”

Suddenly, instead of burying her history with the dead, Jenny is forced to confront the past. Armed only with an ancient family journal, her rifle, and an Apache tomahawk, she must save her grandfather’s life and embrace her dangerous heritage. Or be devoured by it.

BLOOD FUGUE by E.J. Wesley, is the first of the MOONSONGS books, a series of paranormal-action novelettes. At fewer than 13k words, BLOOD FUGUE is the perfect snack for adventurous readers who aren’t afraid of stories with bite. Available wherever fine eBooks are sold September 2012. 

Join the Party!

The Open Vein, E.J.'s blog - http://the-open-vein-ejwesley.blogspot.com/

E.J. Wesley on the Twitter - https://twitter.com/EJWesley

Friday, August 24, 2012

Surprising Art Technique

Yes, it is time for another art experiment. No I didn't turn blue this time. I do not have any scars or injuries from this attempt, lol.   I  heard about a product, a cleaner called CitraSolv.  It is made with orange essential oil.  If you spray this product, on the pages of  National Geographic magazine, there is a reaction with the ink. The ink runs and you can blur the lines by tilting the page, painting or using a Q-tip to spread the ink out. I went and bought a plastic spray bottle filled it with the cleaner. It smells wonderful by the way.  In my garage, I laid out paper towel and torn paper bags.   I am sure you could use other things, sponges perhaps.   Go HERE to see a video of this process.


  No one at my house suspects this is an art product.  They think it is a cleaner...sssshhh!

I didn't have any newspaper on hand. I had already recycled my stack. So instead, I used paper towels and paper bags. You will spray the pages and then wait for the ink to pool a bit. It can take about ten minutes, or you can scrunch them up,  or close the magazine and let the magic happen.  I found the ones I did with the Q-tips had a most intriguing effect.   Here are my results!  So fun I can't wait to find some more National Geographic mags. I did buy this one, but the Space one looked gorgeous, too gorgeous to tamper with.  I am going to check out a few thrift shops and see if I have any luck~







 Can you see the bird's wing?


 This one is my favorite!


Over at the Garden,  I did a prompt using my manipulated art for poetry.  If you are curious you can go visit!   If you try this...let me know!  It smells amazing and is so fun~  My daughter and her friend were so impressed they had a turn.  I now need more National Georgraphic mags~ 

Here is my poem:
Which piece of art do you think it goes with?!  I was torn by the feather one and the spirit guide. 




Chasing day light
I hear nature whisper
right before the sanctuary of night falls
as I gather my blanket of blue heaven
 and tuck tangled memories in
I stretch out my wings and
ready for night's flight
Lunar lights the way.



My thoughts drift
sacred vision of day's fragments
threaded with trans-formative thread arrive
pinnacles of scattered thoughts swirl
revealing crown jewels of the day
sun bleached in the horizon's darkness 
pathway transformed as tiny white pearls cluster
their whiteness outlines the Milky Way
spirit guide takes my hand
 we walk though my day's twisted truths
storm enters corners of my mind
spirit tries to sweep them
 some cobwebs remain
an reminder like
an Eagle feather
of battles 
fought 
some lost, 
some won.



Ancestors reach out
and guide us
to hear the stirrings
through the wind, 
the birds, 
and Mother Nature's  
dance
follow heart's True north
realign your course
 by the journey of night stars
and embrace your day~