Thursday, July 30, 2009

What Was My Muse Thinking?

This is what I mean about the flighty, easily distracted muse. I have doll heads. Many doll heads, in fact.

Having doll heads isn't a bad thing, in and of itself. A little wacky, perhaps, but not bad by any means. But one can't help but wonder what purpose they serve. They are, after all, just heads.

Shall I place them in a box in the garage to be found at a much later date? Do I leave them in strategic places to freak people out?

Not one of these has a body idea to go with it. Not one. I am beginning to realize that I have serious issues with over-thinking things.

Even when I manage to generate good and well fleshed out ideas, it takes me forever to finish things because I am afraid to overwork things. (I have had the "just get it done" fever backfire on me many, MANY times.)

I thought this guy was done. Ugh! I can't stand it. I am going to have to drill out a nose hole and put in a turnip or radish nose. His face is too flat. I need to carve out the mouth area and really get rid of those blackened teeth. I can't stand the shiny finish either, so it is time to break out the steel wool. Once he is dressed with a hat, I think he will be OK. Or maybe he should just visit the circular file. We'll see how frustrated I get.

This was a last minute "Oh, I have some clay left and some wire. Let's just throw something on and see what happens."

It may end up well. Or not.

Pretty quirky, but it leaves a lot of different opportunities to 'finish' it.

Here is leftover clay guy #2. He looks a bit like a pupa, I think. He has holes in his head for the insertion of horns. With a bit of paint, he may be cool. Or maybe not.

My goal for next year is to finish projects in a more timely manner. Baba Yaga's house is coming along, but I am so afraid that it will become overworked that I am working in slow motion.
What you do think? Any comments or advice would be welcomed!
Until next time, finish, finish, finish!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


While in the desert last weekend, my daughter took my nephew on an adventure walk. They found a tree with fruit still on it, but the weight of the fruit let them know that it was old and not likely to be edible.

They decided to bring one home anyway, just to see what was inside.

I have been around awhile and have seen lots of pithy fruit in my day. I expected to see dried out, dessicated yuckiness, but I didn't expect to see a lemon tree sprouting INSIDE the lemon!

Will wonders never cease?

Of course, we gently plucked out the sprouting seed and planted it in a little pot. It remains to be seen how well it will grow outside of the peel! We shall see.

To my artsy friends, I am photographing some paperclay heads for your perusal. The question remains; do I bother to make them bodies or stick them in a box? They should be posted by tomorrow.

Until next time, happy discovery!


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Nature in the City

Welcome to the natural world. Feel free to come on in.

You might see some red eared sliders and little fishies, if you take the time to stop and look.

If you look up, you may see something new- something that you didn't notice the other times you were here.

If you look down, you may see nature hard at work making new life in unexpected places.

Have you ever seen a tree that needed a haircut? We have!

It is cool down by the water. Make sure you stop and sit awhile.

Was a fairy here during the night?

Or perhaps a whole group of them?
We can be sure that when next we come, many things will be the same. And there will be differences, too, all around us.

Constant change is one of the many joys of nature, don't you think?

Until next time, happy exploration!


Friday, July 24, 2009

Feeling Very Halloweenish

I am finishing elf clothes, tidying Baba Yaga's house and now I have brought out the paperclay. I have a yen to make some pumpkin heads with BIG old teeth.

This may be why I never get anything completely done. My muse has ADD.

Until next time, happy anything and everything!


PS Did I mention that I won the coolest wee crabbie? Denise Baldwin at is sending him my way and I am SO EXCITED! Thanks Denise!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Camping Break


I took a little break from making Baba Yaga's house(*gasp*) to enjoy my sweet boys. We decided to camp out in the backyard last night. It was so fun! We didn't' do much; just read a few stories and then lights out, but it was a nice change of pace.

Plus, since we were sleeping outside, it was nice and cool!

D accidentally 'stole' T's bedding at some point. Then, once I got T back in order, I woke to find that MY bedding had been borrowed! That D! I also got to enjoy his feet in my stomach. He is a heavy sleeper, that one! C opted to stay inside where she had her bed, books, and space.

Here is the fruit salad we left out for the possum, though he didn't show up. I told the boys that I think all of the local night animals were probably a bit put off by the presence of our small blue tent and our non-animal snores.

As for Baba? I made the body of her hut with a great hand dyed wool fabric, some heavy duty sizing, wire and thread. I will mount it on a base and then felt the tops of the chicken legs and attach them to the hut. The roof will be a surprise, so I can't tell you about that until it is done. Hopefully what I see in my mind will translate well to reality, but, as you all know, that remains to be seen. One just never knows!

Until next time, happy camping!


Friday, July 17, 2009

Polymer Chicken Legs for Baba Yaga's House

The first thing I have to say about this is....yeah, I know it is very weird for a grown woman to be making fake chicken legs. I never claimed to be normal.

The second thing is that I realize that these don't look like actual chicken gams. Sure, they have some chickenesque qualities, but they are very stylized. I do have a set that seems more realistic, but I like the creepy factor better on these. We'll see which set ends up working out better on the finished product.

These are fresh from the toaster oven, no additional color added yet. I used ecru and gold.

These show a light blush of ruddy acrylic paint, just dry brushed to add depth.

Very poised, for disembodied feet!

Not the best shot, but here they are with a little grime added for more depth. I liked them better before the dark wash, but I know that clean chicken feet wouldn't make sense with the application. These feet carry Baba Yaga's house through the woods.

Barefoot, wood-traipsing chicken feet would definitely be a bit dirty.

That's it for now! I hope to flesh out the house and get the legs on by the end of the weekend, but that depends upon a lot of factors, most of them family based.
I hope you check back soon!
Until next time, happy chicken dancing!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Chicken Legs a la Baba Yaga

by Viktor Vasnetsov

Little known fact: When a person Googles "chicken legs", one usually finds recipes. I was looking for pix of live chickens in order to make the legs for Baba Yaga's house.

I know, I know, I said the next pix posted would be of Baba's clothes. You have to understand how my brain works. It is a "fits and starts" type process. Most of my work muddles around in the grey matter for quite a long while before I actually act upon the results of the thinking.

Sometimes things get short circuited. Sometimes items go to the back of the line. Sometimes I fall asleep...that is more of a personal problem, though and hardly worth mentioning here.

In the case of Baba's clothes, they will be pretty easy to do, so they marched ALL the way to the back of the line. Her house, however, has had the creative juices doing the Samba. With it so much in the forefront of my mind, I had to go there first.

I made two sets of legs. Still not sure if I am totally enamored with either pair, but we shall see. It is always nice to have a spare when trying something new. If I goof up, I won't be totally at square one again.

I plan to stain and give a little happy chicken blushy glow to the tootsies tomorrow afternoon and then I'll post the preliminary pix.

Thanks for popping in! Until next time, happy mind wanderings and perusals!


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Mostly Baba Yaga Pics Today-Still Recovering!

This is what sinus surgery will do to you!
I'd like to say it was the Vicodin, but I have had this idea for a bit, so I can't blame it on the medication. C'est la vie!
Baba Yaga is starting to take shape. A homely shape, to be sure!

Some hair, perhaps? A little blush?

Ready for her close-up!

Don't let her big eyes fool you. She wants to eat you. Really!

Tomorrow? Clothing!
Until next time, happy spookiness!

Monday, July 6, 2009

My "Honest Scrap" Entry

(I am doing this today rather than tomorrow, as I am having sinus surgery and don't know how long I'll be out of commission. Hopefully, I will be back on task in a week or so! I plan on having some down time to make a few new creations. Wish me luck!)

The Magic Onions gave this to me...a cosmic present, if you will. I am to list ten honest things in this very space.

Easier said than done! Rather than over think, I am choosing to write from the cuff. Please don't hold it against me in the future. (Can you say, "Blackmail?")

1. I have a tendency to root for the underdog. I would be the person choosing the runt puppy because no one else would want it. Really. You should see how ugly our cat is. Part of the reason that she was chosen is because I wasn't sure anyone else would want her. Good thing cats can't read. She thinks she is gorgeous.

2. I am hesitant to try and pursue my dream career because it is impractical, not steady and airy-fairy. Plus, if I told you out loud what it is, I would jinx it. There you have it. I am a superstitious chicken. Does this count as two truths or just one?

3. I love being a stay at home mom. It is the best job I have ever had. I would stay at home until the kids were on their own if I could, but I think they all would like to be able to go to college, so I will eventually have to re-join the work force in some capacity. Retirement? Don't even get me started!

4. I don't miss being a reading specialist as much as I thought I would. Initially, a lot of my identity was tied up in my profession.

5. Piggy backing on #4, I went through a period of mild depression between the "me as a professional" and "me as a mom at home". I haven't shared this with many people, (well, I have NOW, but you know what I mean) mostly because what I have always wanted was to be at home. To get what I have always wanted and then to have any complaint about it at all seemed sacrilegious somehow.

The shift from someone who was respected and valued as an intellectual to someone who was vomited on and cleaned the same messes up over and over took a little getting used to, but I wouldn't trade what I have and who I am for the world. The former feelings were based on vanity and the latter on real, true love for my family and who I am within it. It is one of the biggest blessings in the world. I am grateful for the opportunity every single day. It is humbling.

6. I abhor most cooked vegetables. Except corn. White corn is so good that it shouldn't even count as a vegetable. Ditto potatoes, which I guess are really more of a starch, aren't they? Plus, if you slather butter, sour cream and bacon on something, it sort of erases the whole healthy piece anyway, right?

I can eat most of the rest of them raw, but nothing too cruciferous or green, please. I FORCE myself to eat broccoli because I try to show my kids that sometimes we have to eat things because they are healthy, but SHUDDER!!!!! If I roast it with some good oil and a bit of salt, I can usually force myself to choke it down. Or, of course, if I slather it in cheese sauce, but then I might as well have the loaded potato instead. yum.

7. Which leads into this: I LOVE bread. Bread of almost any kind. Hot, fresh-from-the-oven bread. Chewy, nutty whole grain bread. Rye toast with plum jam. Tortillas, Indian flat bread, biscuits.....need I say more? I would live on these particular refined carbs, coffee with vanilla creamer, really good sharp cheddar cheese and iced tea, if I could. I would be obese, malnourished and die very early, but OH!

8. When my husband and I are old, we will live on canned soup, bread (see #7) and cereal. Oh, and garden fresh tomatoes and peas in the summer. I love to bake and make fancy cakes, but I don't love to cook in general. I also think it is harder to cook for two than it is to cook for four. Call me crazy. I'm used to it.

9. A lot of my meditation is me meditating on the fact that my mind is wandering....again! I hear that this gets better over time, but I am still waiting! My mind is like a butterfly hiccup, flitting from here to there. Oh well. It keeps things interesting and I come up with all kinds of good ideas while I am trying to keep my mind blank.

10. I pray more in the shower, in my car, and in the backyard than I do in church. Church is SO distracting! What are people wearing? What time did they come in? Where are they sitting? Is anyone I know in the back? Blah, blah, blah. There is something infinitely more peaceful about being outside with God's more quiet creations. Now I probably have to go to confession.

These are (some) of my truths! I hope you still like me enough to pop by and check things out once in a while!

Until next time, happy honesty!


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Sans Computer-Brain Still On

Well, I will be sans computer for a few days. Sigh. But when I return, I look forward to posting my "truths" a la The Magic Onions.

This is going to be fun!

No idea what I am talking about? Check out and read back through her posts.

Not only is she a talented needle felter, but she has great ideas for moms to use with their children.

Spreading a little sunshine and happiness everyday through joyous interactions...what a great way to live!

Until next time, happy pondering!