Sunday, July 31, 2011

Tipsy ghosts

A couple weeks ago I posted a picture of the baby deer skull and mini brown bottles that I found while thrifting. Well, I found a use for the bottles.

I was thinking of those hanky ghosts that people sometimes hang on trees outside at Halloween time. Well, sometimes they're made with handkerchiefs, but more often it's a square of white fabric wrapped around a ping pong ball.  Not much to speak of. I thought I'd make them more elaborate, with sculpted hands and silly expressions. Then I'd hang them so they seemed to be swigging from the brown bottle, and call them tipsy ghosts. I thought it might make them more personal if they came with their own limerick, and that's where the plan hit a snag. I'm a lousy poet.

After 3 days all I have is this one:

Willie the drunk was a bastard
Often seen publicly plastered
When he fumbled a match
He went up like dry thatch
And half of the town followed after

Which is meaner than it is funny, and doesn't fit any of the ghostly personalities. I'll give this plan some more thought. In the meantime, pictures:

The photos are giving me trouble too, because the dark brown bottles are barely showing up. I'll have to give it another try tonight. Will have these on Etsy within a couple days.

In the meantime my to-do list is drag out my renfair clothes and see if they still fit, SEO for Etsy, and start a pirate Santa.
Yes, pirate Santa. Where did you think all that loot came from?

Friday, July 29, 2011

This whole feather fascinator trend has gotten out of hand. Maybe I should make up some photos of large fish chomping on them as a cautionary tale.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Lesser Evils

Ok, so the previous post was written a few years ago. The idea never went anywhere. But recently I looked at it from a different angle and with the idea of Halloween ornaments. See what you think of this:

When the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces, and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies
-James Barrie

Well, even the Elder God was a baby once (although he was no Anne Geddes if you know what I mean!) And the results of his first evil, sanity-rending laugh were unbelievable....
Since their true names have demonstrated soul-shattering effects, I address these baby monstrosities collectively as Lesser Evils. (I considered Gargles, Gibbers and Little Evils but Lesser Evils won out)

I started experimenting with what they should look like. Trying to get the complicated mix of baby cuteness, malevolence, and insanity all in there. I don't know that I've succeeded, but give me time.

I'm also working on a hangtag and adoption papers for them, including care and feeding instructions (you should know what you're getting into!)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

And that was the beginning of....

(An old scrap of writing)

"When the first baby laughed for the first time, the laugh broke into a thousand pieces and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies. " -James M. Barrie

Everyone knows that.

But before the first laugh there was a lot of ...other noises. Gurgling, burbling, spitting up, drooly wa-was, and baby farts, and those became...Gurgles. Faeries don't like to talk about them. Ugly, mishapen, common as clay, you can barely walk in Faerie without tripping on one. They are flightless and witless. If you know a faery by this description, it's possible they are actually a Gurgle. Certain unscrupulous sellers pass them off as true faeries- you know who I mean.
Although Gurgles lack the beauty and grace of a true faery, some think they have a certain grotesque charm.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Seasons Greetings -new & improved!

For many years I hated Christmas. Hated the season, hated the music, hated working 70 hour weeks for the month of December (to put myself through college) and still had no money to buy decent presents for people. People think you're a better friend when you give them good gifts. I remember one Christmas Day my present to myself was a pound of bacon, a tomato, and a head of lettuce. I did absolutely nothing that day and ate all the BLTs I wanted and it was fabulous.

But I digress. Working with these Homeless Santas has given me a new respect for the season. It's like I feed all my unhappiness into them and walk away smiling. I think my main problem with Christmas now (aside from the bad Christmas carol remixes they play over and over) is the lack of creativity in the gift-giving. People are giving the same bath salts and badly scented candles and puff-painted ornaments to each other, year after year. These are things you give to each other because the season requires it. No one really wants to give them. No one really wants to get them. They could at least be creative gifts, but most things that CAN be done with Christmas HAVE been done, and to death. Since I see little chance of correcting this problem, I suggest giving Halloween presents instead.

Severed heads? Fair game. Vampire fangs, face paint, lingerie, fake blood? Homemade sweets? Fun, fun stuff, unlike the horror that is store-bought fruitcake. With all this Twilight and True Blood crap, not to mention the classics like Dracula, and a TON of horror films.....there's a lot of inspiration out there. I mean, the field is wide open and the possibilities are endless.

So get some friends, some booze, and some bad movies and start brainstorming. Over the next few weeks I will chime in with some creative suggestions of my own.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Crappy Little Cart

I wrote an awful children's story that I'd like to share with you all. It wrote itself in my head as I drove to work one day, and was on paper within the hour. I think it demonstrates the Minimum Wage attitude pretty well. I'm thinking of illustrating this, although I don't know WHO would ever publish it.

The Crappy Little Cart
by Alissa Blaney

Once upon a time there was a crappy little cart. He worked at a grocery, going up and down the aisles, and out to the parking lot, all day long. He was a contrary little cart with one wobbly little wheel. The more he squeaked, and pulled to the left, and jammed his wheels, the more customers shoved him and swore at him. The more customers shoved and swore at him, the more he did these things.
The team lead came to talk to him. "Crappy Little Cart, why do you squeak, and pull to the left, and jam your wheels when people push you? That is not Good Customer Service. Do you need an Attitude Adjustment?"
"People shove me, and swear at me, and sometimes they kick me and threaten me. The children climb all over me and run me into things. I am not happy," said the Crappy Little Cart, "and that is why I squeak, and pull to the left, and jam my wheels."
"You are not supposed to be happy at work. It does not matter if the customers shove you or swear at you or even kick you. They are customers, and have money, and you must do what makes them happy. That is Good Business."
"Don't you wonder what we are doing here, if we are unhappy all the time?"
"They don't pay me enough to think about that," said the Lead. "Now go back to work."
And the Crappy Little Cart did.
But when the time for his performance appraisal came, the Manager called the Crappy Little Cart into the Office. "I hear you are a contrary little cart. People say your wheels squeak, you brake at random, and pull to the left when you are pushed.  That is not good behavior. Why are you like that?"
"But," said the Cart. "People are mean to me. They shove me and swear at me, and sometimes they kick me and threaten me. The children climb all over me and run me into things. I am not happy, and that is why I squeak, and pull to the left, and jam my wheels."
The manager replied, "You must be nice to customers, even when they are mean to you."
"Why," asked the Cart. "Because it is Good Customer Service?"
"Well, yes," said the Manager. "But more importantly, if you do not you will be downsized."
"What is downsized?"
"In a word, canned."
"What is canned?"
"You will be sent to a junk yard where they will crush you, burn you, and melt you into something less contrary."
"Oh, I do not want to be canned!" said the Cart.
"Another thing. You haven't been running across the parking lot and slamming into parked cars on windy days, have you?"
"Well, no," said the Cart, "But I've seen other carts do it. It looks fun. I'll have to try it sometime."
"Please don't. Carts that go astray like that, if they are not canned or smashed by cars, end up in ditches or nearby ponds, covered in slime and shat on by ducks. If they are extremely unlucky a bag lady will recover them, and they will accompany her in her sad life until they are spent and discarded by the roadside."
"It is to your advantage not to run away or be canned, but to stay where you are, doing what you do, and be happy about it, even when customers are mean to you."
"I can see it's better for me to stay where I am and continue to carry groceries, but I am not sure how to be happy about it."
"Why don't you go to the Cart Doctor," suggested the Manager. "He has something for that."
So the Crappy Little Cart went to the Cart Doctor, who wrote him a prescription and even fixed his wobbly wheel.
"Thank you, Cart Doctor," he said. "You're the only person who has ever fixed something because I asked them to. That's all I ever wanted."
So the Crappy Little Cart took his Happy Pills and went back to work, carrying groceries up and down the aisles, and out to the parking lot, all day long. And as long as the medication worked, he lived Happily Ever After.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Why I don't do prints

About 15 years ago, print technology improved to the point where mass produced prints were marketed as art. They were expensive to start with. Do you remember the Thomas Kinkade kiosks in the mall? These prints still had the veneer of art; they came with certificates of authenticity and very slick salesmen. Couple thousand, those. People saw the money involved and it really opened the door to mass production.

These days, everyone has access to a printer, photocopier, or cheap printing company. If your paintings aren't selling, everyone tells you to make copies, er, 'prints' and try to sell those cheaper, 'so that everyone can buy them.' This shotgun approach may work for some artists, but I don't favor it.

It's partly about the money. Say I get some prints made. My problems are multiplied. Instead of 1 painting, I suddenly have 10 copies, or 50. I've put good money into them, so they MUST sell, or else sit and molder away under my bed. What are my chances of making back the cost of the first painting plus printing?

Then, it's about the time. Instead of painting, which I enjoy, I'm spending half of my time marketing. I could pay someone to do it for me; see MONEY, above. But how motivated will they be?

Then, it's about the artistry. In time, I will only paint things that have a chance of selling. Not the things that inspire, or explorations that might not pan out. At this point, am I an artist or a producer of pedigreed posters?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

This is why I love thrift stores

You never know what you're going to get.

Looks like the night after a really wild party, in miniature.
The deer skull is actually really small, like baby deer size. The bottles are 2" tall. I was just getting started on Halloween. I wonder what I can do with these.....

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Dino Nativity- Done!

I wish now that I'd taken more photos in-progress. But really, the finished dinos are adorable. More images and the full story at this link:

Friday, July 8, 2011

Werewolf dream

Two nights ago I had a dream that's still haunting me. It was like a few chapters from the middle of a fantasy novel where I can't go back and read the beginning or find out how it ends! Something to do with a werewolf, two cubs that he had to protect, and a runaway elf. The werewolf cubs were Remus and Romulus. The elf didn't have a name, but she did get stabbed. And told him not to take her to a hospital just take the cubs and leave. End of chapter.
A random image of her suckling the cubs has imprinted on my brain. They weren't related, so I'm throwing up my hands in frustration at how and why. But it has a mysterious allure. I may have to paint that someday.

Monday, July 4, 2011

It's the 4th of July, which in America means parades, cookouts, and fireworks. I did watch the parade this morning, and from quite a nice spot on a covered porch. This is a military town and the parade was literally 2 hours long. The food at the barbeque was delicious! I ate quite a lot. When the guys started bringing out the board games, I excused myself and came home.
So, I painted dino Mary & Jesus (with the pterdactyl still to go). A storm blew in and out quickly, cooling things down a bit. I started on the house organizing. The mess around here has gotten out of hand, and I admit: It's my fault. But it's also more than I feel able to deal with all at once, so I started with the simple things. First I purged old paperwork from the filing cabinet. Then I picked up the living room and bedroom. Working from the outer edges toward ground zero, my desk/crafting area. It's a 5'x12' space that's half the dining area. Before it got so messy, it was my workout space as well. Isn't that sad? If only I could sell this table! That would double my work space, easy.

I need to get back to cleaning before I lose motivation.

I meant this blog to be about interesting things, like dinosaur nativities and clockwork birds. Maybe next time, once I get this boring cleaning stuff over with.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

It's Saturday.
I got up this morning, ate a quick breakfast of pork roast and horseradish mustard, and biked to work. We got a lot done today, although the long weekend means there will be a huge mess to deal with on Tuesday. I biked home at 6, stopping partway to chat with a friend, and chilled for a while.
Now I'm waiting for dinner to heat, and looking at my to-do list for tonight:

paint & seal Willendorfs
put dress & feet on pterodactyl
design more ornaments
I don't swear all of these will get done in the next 2 hours, but I thought I'd start with the last one and then the first, and see how things go from there.

I like pictures, how about you? Here's an unusual painting I just listed on Etsy. Painted on a discarded cosmetics case.
Ok, on to eating....