Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Visions of Sugarplums...

Well now that I've made it through Thanksgiving (with a simply faboo turkey I might add!), it's time to get a little jolly, put a little ho ho ho in my step and get into the Christmas groove.! I've been having fun the past couple of days picking out stuff for my 4 year old. Having little ones really makes the holiday special. And four is such a magical age. I'm looking forward to doing holiday cookies and paper chains with him. Oh and snowflakes too!
Of course I still have more shopping to do. (Can't forget the special "Christmas Eve Gifts" for the kids or the stocking stuffers (we try to find really funny ones for dad!)And then there's the tree. That's a really special time for us all. Putting up our Christmas tree. The kids love going through the ornaments that are packed with spectacular memories. We have the very humble pre-school ornaments to the very expensive imported unique. And somehow, (even though my hub says every year, they won't all fit or you don't have to put them ALL on) we give every one a special place on the tree. And after that, we have special nights that are dubbed "magic tree time". Where we turn all the lights down low, put the tree lights on, along with our holiday music and we all sit together and just kind of soak up the magic of Christmas, while reading, drawing or conversing.
OH! And I almost forgot, I have to come up with another creative idea for our holiday cards. Which usually are sent after the holiday and with warm wishes for a blessed New Year. Have a few ideas kicking around in my little head....we'll see which one makes it to fruitition. We like doing something a little out of the ordinary. (No surprise there to those that know us! lol)
So, with mind full of visions of sugarplums and Christmas dreams, my art kind of takes a back seat along with everything else. Which means, my posts will probably be somewhat sporadic and my time on the puter visiting blogs and groups limited. But do check back, as I will share some of our merriment and I will certainly pop in from time to time to see what you all are up to! And on that note, I hope you all have a little ho ho ho in your step and feeling the merriment of the season! Creative blessings to all!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

In Honor of the Bird

"BirdWoman" by Darcy Altaville of BlueJude Studio c.2006

Monday, November 20, 2006

To Market....To Market.....

Okay, the bookmarks were great fun and apparently just what I needed. A little relaxing and methodical creativity. So, feeling somewhat refreshed, it was back to painting and collaging last night. Happy to say, that I finally just about finished up two pieces that have been laying around. Not sure if I'm happy with the results...but at least it's progress!
OH, and a friend was telling me about a local craft fair, held at a local church, that apparently is very popular and quite good. I don't usually notice these things, as I have always tended to think of craft fairs as places where they create crocheted tissue caddies and things like that. (And by all means, I don't want to sound like a snob, as I like crochet, and I do use a great deal of tissues!) But I usually don't put much credo into these things as a venue for marketing my own stuff. I think it might be time to change my perspective a bit. I realized I could have set up a little table with my cafe press samples and at least TRIED to gain some customers. Or I could have at least walked around and passed out some wonderful, promotional flyer leading them to my shops. Ahhhh, marketing. I love thinking up marketing ideas, but I guess I'm lazy when it comes to doing the heavy duty legwork. Unfortunately, I think that's it takes to get noticed. At least for some of us. So will have to work on that.
BUT speaking of marketing, I did get a pretty good press release off to the local papers regarding my shop. The guy I sent it to is someone I met at my son's preschool a couple of months ago. And I was actually smart enough (how about that! lol) at the time to mention my art and how I would like to promote it and my shops toward the holidays. So keep your fingers crossed and say your prayers that my little blurb makes it in!
And now I'm off to play Hot Wheels, have some lunch, and hopefully do some more painting.
Big Northeast hugs to all....brrrrr....old man winter is nipping at our heels! Cheers! And don't forget to get your turkey!!

Friday, November 17, 2006

BookMarking Time...

"Keeper Of Words" Darcy Altaville c.2006
TAH DAH! This is what I've been working on most of the week. My "Funky Chunky Bookmarks"! This is just one of the designs. It's funny because I just wanted to do a few bookmarks for my shop, but not sure what I wanted to do. Then I was talking to my daughter one night and I was saying how much I love books, and I love bookmarks but I rarely use 'em cause I laways lose 'em. Well, this is the bookmark that's hard to lose and a delight to use. They will be available at my etsy shop here:
Anyhoo, I became obsessed with making them and still have more designs to go.
And considering that I still have this nasty headcold, they were a bit easier to manage than working on one of my mixed media pieces. Which I think I'm avoiding at the moment, hence the obsession with bookmarks!
AND I can't believe Thanksgiving is a week away!! Why is it that the older you get, the faster time seems to slip away from you? It seems like just yesterday I was making a big Thanksgiving Tree from posterboard for my two children. Over the course of two weeks, they had to paste leaves (that I cut from construction paper) onto the tree with sayings of what they were thankful for. I'll never forget my daughter writing she was "thankful for makeup". She was five!! Too funny.
Wish I could have captured them in a little snowglobe, that I could climb into every now and again. Oh well, guess we just have to settle for the memories of our mind. I hope everyone has a great creative weekend! AND if you have a book lover on your Christmas list, don't forget my "Funky Chunky Bookmarks"!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Monday Blahs....

Well, like Tammy, I woke with the Monday Blahs. I guess it really started yesterday, when I felt a cold? coming on. I don't know why they call it a cold, as it sounds so ...well...tolerable and comfortable, when it is anything but. Ya know, wheezing, stuffy nose, sore throat. Surely there must be a better name. It's worse than a cold, but not really a flu. Whaddaya call somethin' like that? (besides stinkeroo!!)
AND, I think the cuprit was my daughter. I recently found out that she has been using my toothbrush the past week or so. AND guess who's home sick today from school? Yup, that's right, my sweet, darling daughter. The child who makes High Honor Roll but can't seem to remember what color HER toothbrush is!
Sooo, I'm hoping to get some energy at one point today and finish the bookmarks I started over the weekend., for my VAST group. I know- you're probably much energy does one need to create a bookmark? Okay, so it's not a high energy project, but my mind feels so clouded that I think it's shortwired my creative sparkplug- if you know what I mean.
But doing these bookmarks, has been fun and somewhat manageable around my four year old which is alway a plus. I will show you some pics when they are all done. (I know, you're hanging on the edge of your seat!)
Okay, I'm off for some Claritin and whatever else I can find. Hope you all are off to a healthy week! OH, and does anyone make a toothbrush that says "Hands Off!"?

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Lesson One: Think

"Lesson One: Think" by Darcy Altaville c. 2006
This is a mixed media collage piece that suited the "Red" theme for ArtWords. To see other lessons I'm still the post below.

Lesson's Being Learned.....

"Cherish" Altered Postcard By Darcy Altaville c.2006
1. Don't let fear of ruining a piece immobilize you. I find this happening from time to time, and by the time I get over the fear, my initial inspration for the piece is gone.
2. Know thy limits and know when you are limitless! For years, I find myself doing art that always seems to want to grow off the page. I know the obvious solution to this is to work on bigger canvases (something hubby keeps bugging me about) but then I can't fit them in my scanner! (sigh!)
3. Don't bite off more than you can chew...or paint in this instance. I decided last night at the last minute that I would participate in a 4 x 4 collaboration. (Now mind you, this is the gal who just said that her work grows off the page!) Sooo....I cut out my little 4 x 4 square, sat there...with my sinus headache raging and 4 x 4, 4 x 4, 4 x 4, going through my head like a mantra...or like chinese torture! What the heck could I fit into that little square. Then OH!!! A revelation! I'll do FOUR 4 x 4' for each season. (And did I mention this is last minute and the project is due, like yesterday!). Needless to say, the sinus headache won out, tho I continued to work till 10:00 I only got halfway through two seasons, and even then, thought I might want to keep them.
Sooo....mission for today is to try and do just ONE 4 x 4!
4. DO NOT fall in love or get too attached to your artwork! Or you'll just end up with a bunch of pieces laying around and wondering why your art doesn't sell!
5. Do not walk into the living room and declare to your husband, "I think I'm slightly crazy!" As he will only give you a sideways glance, and try to keep from bursting into hysterics, and say something like..."You just realized this?"
6. Cherish who you are with all your idiosycricies and accept that you are just another crazy artist.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


These are my "works in progress". As you can see, they kind of run the gamut a bit. The artist is currently somewhat scatterbrained and all over the place. Some of these were started a couple of months ago, and though they have companion pieces that have been finished....well.....these are waiting for the artist to figure out where she is going with all this! Though there are a couple that may not seem worthwhile to persue to completion, those sometimes are the ones that speak to me most. Funny though, how some are quite restrained and I think you can tell the ones where no restraint was used at all! A few years back, I was very disgruntled with my art and felt that all I could produce was "ugly" pieces. I so wanted to do all that "pretty" stuff that you see so much of. I guess the kind of stuff that might have more universal appeal. Well, I can do that stuff now. And it has it's place. But I also like my raw "ugly" pieces as I have found beauty in them too.
I am learning a lot along this scatterbrained journey. But we'll save that for another post. Just thought I'd share some of these WIP's with you and see if you too have pieces lurking about, waiting to be completed. Or if you too, are in a stage of exploration. What do your WIP's say about you?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I'm BACK.....

It's been a hectic week but certainly a productive one! I have been working with the most wonderful women on a new endeavor, which is our VAST newsletter.
VAST is the Visual Artists Street Team for etsy whose goal is to promote the Visual Artists trying to sell their wares on etsy. SO...."VAST eye" (Keeping An Eye On The Visual Artists Of Etsy)was born and I think we have done a magnificent job in pulling together a newsletter that is stylish, yet informative and sales- oriented. ALL IN 7 DAYS!! We are just tweaking now and hopefully it will be ready for print by Thursday. It will be available as a printout for VAST etsy members to distribute in the shops and restaurants in their area, in hopes of boosting our holiday sales! Hence, the zero time budget we gave ourselves.
So I have not been art-ing very much though I have to say...I have been reflecting on my art and where it's going. (I know, that's no news here! lol)
I know I am DEFINATELY in some kind of transition period. And as you all know I have been experimenting with different artist's techniques. (Just wait till you see some of the pics that I hope to get uploaded today or tomorrow- talk about running the gamut!)
BUT I realized, I am still trying to fit into "a box". And I am restraining myself, to some degree by doing this. And I can tell you one thing I know about myself...RESTRAINT and BlueJude are RARELY synonymous! I kind of like to work from raw emotion, getting down and dirty with my paint and colors and letting it rip and flow. Something I haven't done in a while. But I am finding out that there are nights when I want to do something very thoughtful and nice, and well...a little more restrained. So I can only say, that I hope through all this exploring and experimentation, I will come out with a happy medium that is truly of BlueJude style, and not some pre-ordained categorized, nicely boxed in, mixed media art.
OH and one more thing! I just received my copy of Vickie Enkoff's Zine "Creative Choices" whre she gave me a wonderful full-page color spread! The zine is quite impressive and informative and definately worthwhile. Even, my daughter insists we subscribe! So please...check out all the wonderful things this insightful woman has to offer by going to...
Hope everyone is off to great creative week!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Me...? Weird...?

Okay, having been tagged by Nancy B. to write nine weird things about I go!
1. I have driving neurosis. Don't drive on major highways, heavy snow or rain, or night.
2. I like my dishwasher loaded a particular way...all the time!
3. I hate cooking.
4. I kept my first son out of the supermarket for the first year of his life, for fear that something would fall on his little baby head!
5. I don't like weddings.
6. I MUST watch the Weather Channel every morning with my coffee. The hub will ask me an hour later what the weather is going to be and sometimes I don't have a clue! lol
7. I don't like summer.
8. I don't like sweets.
9. I am prone to anxiety attacks.
10. I could probably list more weird things!
And there you have it! Hope everyone has a weirdly good day!