Monday, May 16, 2016

LEGO LADY: A True Tag Sale Story

This past Saturday, I had a tag sale.  This is what happened.








Thanks for stopping in.  I hope you're all having a lovely May.



Monday, May 2, 2016

A Sunny Day for Hidden Houses


My artists group, the WeHa Artists Emporium, held our art hunt event this past Saturday.  What a beautiful day!  The whole thing was so dang smooth and lovely, it really could not have gone any better.

Nine local artists made 138 tiny houses and they were really, really cute. The temptation for me to hide a few in my living room was great, but I was good.  All houses made it out into the wild.

The Hiders met at 7:30 that morning.


We had 5 teams, each with a box full of a variety of houses and a section map.  Elizabeth Park is a big place and I can be anal when it comes to organization.  But that makes things go smoothly, right?  I think so.  Anyway, we all knew exactly what section of the park we were hiding in.



One of my little Irish Cottages, in the wild.

Photo by Phyllis Meredith
After hiding, I returned home to man my computer and post the secret location promptly at nine a.m.  Smart Hunters were already dressed and waiting in their cars for their destination.  The Hiders that stayed at the park said that the hunters descended like locusts.  Some people were dropping other people off and then finding parking. 


I waited five minutes at home to see if anyone had any questions on Facebook, then I got on my bike and rode back to the park.  It really is so much fun to watch a place fill up with adults and kids all excited to be hunting for treasure.  I looped back through my hiding zone and gave a couple hunters hot/cold tips.  "You're getting warmer....warmer...you're hot!"  But most of the houses were already found.

Photo by Phyllis Meredith

Photo by Phyllis Meredith

There were even several reports of children giving the houses they found to others who couldn't find one. And more reports came in that kids went home and started making their own houses to add to their little house community.

It's extremely gratifying to spend the morning making people happy and spreading art and inspiration. If you want to see more pics, here's the link to the album on Facebook.  https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.523694494483259&type=1

Thanks so much for stopping in!
I hope you had some fun this past weekend too!
Julie


Monday, April 25, 2016

Hiking the Reservoir


Yesterday was a beautiful day.  It was so beautiful I spent the morning doing yard work and the afternoon hiking around the reservoir with the menfolk.  Here are some scenes.





In other news: This will be a week of prep for the upcoming artsy weekend.  Hidden Houses is on Saturday.  I need to make maps of the hiding zone and post rules for the hunt on the Facebook Event Page.  Sunday is the Spring Pop-Up show.  I have prints and art to mat, labels to make, inventory, pricing, blah, blah, blah.

It looks to be good weather on Saturday (fingers crossed.)  And not-so-great weather on Sunday - which is PERFECT for coming to an art show.

In the meantime, I'm trying to get out to the yard every afternoon.  Slow and steady wins the race (of getting my yard into decent shape.)

I hope you are all enjoying Spring!
Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Spring Cleaning



 It is Spring.  Finally.  March was crazy and the stupid snow that fell a couple weeks ago has killed the magnolia buds, so there will be no blossoms this year.  Boo.  Stupid snow.

My daffodils were also squashed.

But it is finally warm and sunny and my neighbor has been getting outside and making her yard look nice, so I too, must go out today and start Spring cleaning.

In the meantime,
My agent now has two solid picture book stories that he is trying to sell. Fingers crossed!

All the houses by eight local artists have been turned in for the Hidden Houses Art Hunt on April 30th.  If you are local, you should come.  The houses are sooooooo cute!  Go here for more info.

House art by West Hartford artists for Hidden Houses

The day after that is the WeHa Artists Emporium Pop-Up Sale.  I have paintings, collages, books, cards, softies, and houses all ready to go.  (I still have to make tags though.) 



I have a couple author visits coming up and then BOOM - it'll be summer.

Hope the sun is shining wherever you are!
Thanks for stopping in.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Softies for the Pop-Up Show


As I mentioned in the last post, there's a Spring Pop-Up Show right around the corner.  I probably should be painting small watercolors, but I like to have a variety of fun stuff.  And, since a lot of people bring their kids, I like to have kid stuff in addition to my other artsy fare.

So ... I like to make softies.  It's just plain fun.
 

What I don't like to do, is make a lot of the same thing.  Oh, I might do two or three of something if the pattern is simple (like the teddy bears.)  But if the construction is at all challenging, then I'm a one and done gal.


There are two things that I like about making softies:
1. I like coming up with the approach of making them.  I like seeing a photo and getting inspired and seeing if I have all the materials and then figuring out how to put it together.
2. I like being able to make one in a morning or afternoon and then have a sense of completion.

Simple fun work.


So even though none of these guys have anything to do with any of my books, I've decided that I'm just going to make whatever I want.  Who cares! 

It's just about having fun!



Sorry I didn't post on Monday.  It had snowed and I was in a sour mood. 
I thought it best to not write a blog post about my bitterness.  :)

But today I have a collection of softies, did some good revisions on a picture book text, and found a $6 dress at The Salvation Army that looks great on me and that I can wear to my next author visit on Friday.  Today rocks!

Thanks for stopping in!
Have a great week!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Spring Pop-Up Show


On May 1st, I'll be participating in the WeHa Artists Emporium Spring Pop-Up Show.  It's just a small 3-hour arts & crafts show with 6 artists showcasing goods in one of the member's house.  The one we did in December went very well, so we're going to try a Spring one.

I'm going to lower my sales expectations because people are more likely to shop before Christmas.  But, we figure, let's give Spring a go!  There are teacher gifts to buy and maybe people want to perk up their walls with something new and bright.  And, because it's in a house in a neighborhood, people just stroll on by.  It's very fun and casual.


So, in addition to working on getting my current book project ready to show editors  (the revision process is truly a marathon, my friends), I've been making smaller pieces of art to sell.

Our art hunt, Hidden Houses, will be the day before.  (April 30th if you're local.)  So I've made a few additional clay houses to sell.  And I'm working on some smaller paintings too.  I started with the cats (top picture.) and I liked how that turned out, so I did a version with houses.  Now I think I'll do one with birds.  I'm trying to come up with things that have a similar shape but vary in coloring.  Dogs?  No.  Maybe fish?

I've ordered some cards, prints, and books and I may make a few stuffed animals because they are cute and I have a TON of fabric in my basement.  :)  It's going to be a busy month!

In other news:
I hope you all had a HAPPY EASTER.  Magoo is 13 and is wise to the ways of the Easter Bunny so there was no basket this year.  I would have happily made him one and put the clues around the house, but he declined.  And that's fine with me.  Saves me a lot of work.  It's tough to make an Easter basket for a 13 yr old who can't eat sugar.

Thank you so much for stopping in!
Have a great day!


Monday, March 21, 2016

Romeo & Juliet

It is embarrassing to admit that I've lived here for 14 years and yesterday was the first time I saw a show at The Hartford Stage.  I took Magoo to see Romeo and Juliet.  At first I wasn't going to - I wasn't sure if he'd like it.  But I asked him if he wanted to see it and he said, "Sure."  So there it is.

It's a nice theater.  Not huge.  There's really not a bad seat in the house.  I have learned that when taking Magoo to a show, I have to get good seats or not bother at all.  Once I took him to see Peter Pan and we were so far back in the second balcony that you couldn't even see the actor's faces.  He doesn't even remember going to it, that's how detached he was.

So, good seats - check.

Hats off to the stage design.  It was impressive.


There was a rectangular pit in the middle of the stage that could be flat, or (as seen above) a table/alter could rise out of it.  Lower it down a bit - it's a bed.  Raise it higher - it's an archway.  The ONLY problem with the pit is that it was filled with gravel.  Oh, the crunching

I wonder if anyone ever said, "You know that pit is wicked awesome, Set Designer, but I can't hear anyone speak when they walk."  Perhaps they did and the designer didn't hear them because someone was walking across the gravel.

The mausoleum wall opened up (below) and a balcony protruded out.  Smooooth.  Although, having been on a high platform in a play - without handrails - and I can tell you, even small heights are a wee bit scary.  Whenever there was a scene up there and the actors were walking around, inside I was saying, "Yeeeeeee."




Magoo said he liked the performance, although we both agreed that we couldn't always understand what everyone was saying.  What I have learned when watching Shakespeare is that if the actor has a good handle on what they are saying, they can convey it clearly to the audience.  It's there in tone and in gesture.  And there were a lot of actors (the nurse, the friar, Romeo, and Capulet) that were very good - very clear. 

But, then there were some who'd deliver a monologue like a recitation of a foreign language.  I'd notice Magoo fiddling with his program during those bits.

All in all, I think we both enjoyed it.  Romeo and Juliet was not a play I was very familiar with. I knew the basics, but not a lot of the detail, so it was fun to see it all played out.

Thanks so much for stopping in.  I don't know about you, but we got a little snow last night.  I'm not pleased with it, but at least it's melting now.

Have a great week!
Julie

PS - I didn't take any of these photos.  They were all pulled from the internet and, I'm sure, are official Hartford Stage photos.