"Hey, if I had somewhere to go, I certainly wouldn't be in Cleve-Land." -Howard the Duck

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

We now return to our regular programming...

I know I got off the art thing for a bit there...although there is something very creative to me about cooking & just imagining the sights & sounds of Mardi Gras.  But now for an art topic...thanks for your patience.

There are many common objects that are just begging to be little works of art.  Today we're talking dominoes.  I have LOTS of dominoes, yet I have no idea how to play the game.  Mine are simply little canvases to embellish. 

It all started with a domino swap back in 2004.  The domino above was the first altered domino I had ever created.  I soaked the dominoes in bleach for a couple days to eat away the slick finish on them.  Stamped the kitty image that I love so much with India Ink Black by Stewart Superior...my go-to black ink for stamping.  The chop part of the stamp was done in some red ink...can't remember which one any longer. I used a colored pencil to color in the background so the cats would stand out, used a Krylon gold marker to ink the edges & sprayed a matte fixative over the whole thing.  This was back when we still lived in CA & I could spray that stuff outside & leave the dominoes to dry.  Can't do that here in O-hell-O except in the summer months.  But I digress...and dream of BEFORE we moved here...sweet dreams.

I've since used dominoes as the base for so many things.  Charms, magnets, Christmas ornaments...and some dominoes even have holes already drilled into them, which is quite convenient.  They are available in many sizes...some are plastic, some are wood.  They all just need to be altered!!! 

One of my favorite sorces for pre-drilled dominoes & domino sized rubber stamps is Red Lead Paper Works in Webster Groves, MO...that's in the St. Louis area.  I can't get there to shop, but Chris & Sharon sell many of their wares on line.  Be sure to explore the site, check their blog & maybe even join in the fun in their Yahoo group.  Don't forget to sign up for their newsletter, too.
Here is a link to their domino sized images

And here are some of the magnets I made using them...

They also sell pre-drilled dominoes that are great for Christmas ornaments like these...

They were colored using the Ranger Alcohol Inks & the charms & collage images are also from Red Lead...go have fun exploring their website!

Another great source for dominoes & other game pieces to use for artwork...along with lots of other lovely little bits & bobs you'll find you can't live without is SkyBlue Pink...say hi to Queen Xina if you order!  She also has a wonderful newsletter & sometimes offers new items & special buys exclusively to her newsletter subscribers.

We'll chat about using other game pieces in art soon...but if you haven't tried altering dominoes, you should!  I'll leave you with one last domino image...it's a domino with a stamped domino image & a smaller domino glued to the front.  Stamped first & then painted with Lumiere Metallic paints.  Fun, huh???

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Happy Mardi Gras,Y'all !!!


Somehow it doesn't seem like Mardi Gras when the SNOW won't stop falling!!!  But that's the situation here in Parma, OH.  We'll warm up later with some etouffee...probably with shrimp if they look nice at the store.  Otherwise, I'll bake some Tilapia in the same sauce.  Either one will be yummy.

For today's image, you get a shot of my favorite Mardi Gras beads...I love the little King Cake babies done up in the colors of Mardi Gras!  Purple for justice.  Green for faith.  Gold for power. 


Laissez les Bon Temps Roulez !!!
(Let the Good Times Roll!!!)

Monday, February 15, 2010

And what exactly are Paczki???

Well, with tomorrow being Mardi Gras...or Fat Tuesday...the stores here in Parma, OH have been selling Paczki for a few weeks now.  Paczki is a Polish word, and therefore, not pronounced anything like it looks.  Who knows why, but that happens.  "Paczki" is actually pronounced "PUNCH-key" or "POONCH-key".  What???  Oh well...look at "Na Zdrowie"...which is pronounced "na-STROV-ya".  Where do they get THAT???  It's a toast which means "To your health", which certainly does not apply to Paczki!  Please understand, I have nothing against my Polish neighbors & friends...but I have NO idea how they learned to read that language!!!

You get an image of some of my Mardi Gras beads today as I don't have an image of Paczki.  We bought them once & thought they were way too greasy & sweet...but basically they're a filled jelly doughnut.  I'd rather get the raspberry filled ones from Krispy Kreme myself!  You can read about Paczki here.

Here in Parma, OH...with it's heavily Eastern European ethnic population, the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday is Paczki Day.  Personally, we'll celebrate Mardi Gras here...much more fun & better food!  I have to admit, I grew up in Parma...lived in the Cleveland/Lakewood area until I escaped to CA at the age of 28.  Until we moved back here to help Mom in 2004, I had never even heard of Paczki.  Maybe it's because I went to college in Kent at the age of 17 & then moved to Lakewood soon after I graduated.  However, our 2 years spent living in Dallas made us very familiar with Mardi Gras.  King Cake...beads...Cajun & Creole foods...YUM!

So however you celebrate Fat Tuesday...get ready...it's coming tomorrow!!!   Na Zdrowie!!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day AND Happy Year of the Tiger

This sweet little baby tiger wishes you all the best on this
Year of the Tiger Valentine's Day!
Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Valentine Humor 1950s Style

While looking through some Vintage Valentines, I came across this card from my Dad to my Mom from while they were dating.
That's a big rhinestone glued to the front of the card.  Now here's the kicker...and proof of my Dad's sense of humor.

You can just barely make out his "Ernie" signature at the bottom of the Valentine.  I do believe that this was the Valentine Dad gave to Mom the month before he proposed...on St. Patrick's Day.  I had never seen this card before and I wish I had been able to show it to her before she died.  I wonder what SHE thought about it?  How could she resist such a "romantic" guy???

Happy Almost Valentine's Day...hug those you love & tell them you love them.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Haiti By Hand

While looking through blogs this morning, I discovered this wonderful blog dedicated to helping the people of Haiti, especially the women who want to be able to support themselves & their children through art. 

Rebecca Sower, a fabulous artist, has started Haiti By Hand.  If you are an artist, you can help by donating items to sell in the Haiti By Hand Etsy shop.  Anyone can shop and be assured that the money you spend there will go directly to help these women and you will receive a hand crafted treasure.  You can read the stories on the blog.  You can donate supplies...I know I have lots of things to share.  Right now, there is a Yarn Drive.  An earlier post asked for embroidery floss. 

I would ask that you take a moment and read through the Haiti By Hand blog...and help if you are able.  I know times are tough for most of us.  I don't personally have money to donate, but I sure can donate stuff!   I will be working on an item or two to donate to the Etsy shop, too. 

While I was writing this post, I received email from Rebecca with the mailing address for the yarn & embroidery supplies.  To get the address, you can email Rebecca directly...there is a link on the blog...or email me or leave a comment here on this post & I will get back to you with the address. 

Thanks...and remember...as it says on one of my all-time favorite rubber stamp images...Art Saves Lives!