SOCIAL MEDIA

Monday, November 29, 2021

Artist Love - Shiori Matsumoto

 I found Shiori Matsumoto when I was looking for "Zig Zag Girl" images. You know the image. The lady who is the magicians assistant (of course the assistant and never the magician [eye roll]) gets in a box and then the box is separated into a zig zag pattern. The illusion insists that the female assistant has been turned into three separate pieces. In any case, I was looking for this image because it holds a special symbolism for me. 


And what I found in my search was this morsel of goodness. First of all, the color theory is fantastic. But the imagery is tops. The dwarf baby child monster has such a cute tiny butt. Look at that little tushy! The round room, the tiny Fez, the realism of the girl. I love the whole thing.

Look at the creeper here behind the curtain. The imagery is great in an of itself. The bear engaging with the audience. The girl in the mirror. The bird with the lollipop. It's all so crazy!
And this one...so pretty! The title is "Door of Boundary." You can learn more about Shiori and see more of her work here.


Shiori's pop-surreal expressions are reminiscent of Mark Ryden who I recently learned was the cover artist for the late great King of Pop Michael Jackson's "Dangerous" album. Mr. Ryden has a great instagram post about the 5 days that were required to come up with the concept. You can see it here. Juxtapoz Magazine covers more on this piece here.

In a future post I will cover more of Mark Ryden's art. When I was in art school (a long time ago) he was whispered about. 

I can't wait to cover more art. Stay tuned! 

XO, Gwenny







Friday, November 5, 2021

It's Fall Y'all

Up here on the hill we are into fall, full swing. As we head closer to winter it is getting colder by the second. But the fall color up here never disappoints even as the days get shorter. I have been so inspired by this season that I think my photos have gotten better, my cooking seems to have better aromas, my creativity has been sparked and my physical fitness has been charged. I am, by body, a summer girl. But, by soul, an Autumn girl, no question. I am an October baby, born on the last day of Libra. It is said, that as a "cusper," I have a touch of Scorpio in me which makes me a full fledged Fall Baby!

These mood boards are the best visual way I can show you how I feel. Most of them below are from my Pinterest board called Mood Boards











Friday, April 20, 2018

Art!

I have been away because in addition to tons of work travel and Walt Disney World, I have also been embroiled in making mass amounts of art. Blogging is sort of like your "network." Some people in your network have more priority than others. Family and work are obviously at the top of that hierarchy. Unfortunately, blogging had to take a little backseat. I am not one of those bloggers you see on Pinterest, "Make $10,000 a month blogging."

I am part of a group show at Art of Toys in July and I am feverishly getting my little monsters together. I never want to let a garbage monster out of my paws though so I have had to work and rework some of these guys. I think you may know them if you follow my Poppies page on IG. I haven't always thought of myself as an actual artist and I have certainly not called myself an artist but now that I am the age I am and have accrued the body of work that I have, I have crossed over and now actually quite confidently call myself an artist.

I have been sculpting monsters. Here are a few examples:




 I was planning to post lots of other things since I last posted in December. Maybe I still can. I'd love to post our Christmas Dinner. Is it silly to post a winter meal in the Spring?
Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween 2017 - Poppy Barach and Julie Audet, Photographers

I found two great photographers who have flawlessly captured this mysterious time of year.

Poppy Barach's images are haunting and rich. You can follow her on Instagram, here.

And, Julie Audet. Her images are filled with wisdom and magic. And she can be found on Instagram, here.

Poppy Barach

Julie Audet

Poppy Barach

Julie Audet



Monday, May 4, 2015

A Henna Party


Hi.
I've been out.
No excuses. Just doing other stuff and looking for some inspiration.
I think I found it.

My friend Kendra is having a birthday at the end of this month and to celebrate I invited several ladies over to my house for a luncheon. To supplement the luncheon I also asked a traditional Henna Artist named Tara to join us for the festivities and create some temporary body art for us. It was beyond my wildest imagination and went off so amazingly that I'm going to do it again for my birthday! here is the invitation which I emailed to the ladies. (Some of you may scoff at an emailed invitation - but the cost effectiveness cannot be beat).

Original artwork by Amylee Paris.
All the elements of this little bash were extraordinary. I had big vases of white tea roses that I spirited away from SMUD and supplemented with my own colored roses from the garden. The arrangements were beautiful. The menu of ladies tea sandwiches (recipes included below) and lavender lemonade. I made a hummingbird cake and a fantastic veggie platter with a feta, garlic dip and a fruit platter with a peanut butter yogurt dip.

The favors were mismatched china plates all with a different floral patterns on them but the "piece de resistance" were the lemon, sugar cookies by my friend Leah at "I Hella Heart Sugar" complete with beautiful Mehndi designs on them.

Lemon Sugar Cookies by Leah at I Hella Heart Sugar.
The spread.

Charlene.
Kendra.
Ki'inani.
Me.
I've thrown a party before, natch. But this had just a little more magic. Kendra is all girl and, like me really enjoys these girly things. I wish her nothing but great blessings for a wonderful birthday.

Here is an excellent menu if you fancy throwing a "Ladies Who Lunch" event for a special friend of yours.

Tea Sandwiches:

1. Roasted Chicken and Cream Cheese with Fig Compote on Raisin Brown Bread.

  • Mix 4 oz. cream cheese with fig jam
  • Spread cheese mixture on thinly sliced "Boston Brown Bread" (recipe)
  • Neatly lay chicken so that the sliced chicken is not over the edge of the sandwich.
  • Cut in half resembling a half moon.
  • Fan out on a serving plate. (see above in my "spread" photo - they are the sandwiches on the top tier of the three level serving platter).
2. Radish, Mint and Lemon on Westphalian Rye.
  • In a food processor, add 1 bunch radishes, and pulse until small but not mushy. Take the container off the blade and base and drain excess water.
  • Add 4 oz. cream cheese (the other half that you used for the chicken sando's).
  • Add 1 bunch mint (leaves and stems are fine).
  • Add juice and rind of half a lemon.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Spread entire mixture on the rye and cut in half to create small triangles. Cut in half again for even smaller triangles.
3. Cucumber Pesto on Fitness Bread.
  • Thinly slice cucumber.
  • Make your pesto.
    • In a food processor, add one bunch basil leaves, 1 whole kale leaf, 2 tbs pine nuts and a 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, 1 Tbs olive oil and the juice of the other half of the lemon you used for the radish sandwiches. Add salt and pepper and pulse until it resembles a paste.
  • Spread pesto on bread.
  • Top with cucumber slices and close sandwich with another piece of bread that you've spread with the pesto as well.
  • Slice into strips and slice again into small squares.
  • This bread can be tricky to work with so be ginger when cutting.
Hummingbird Cake:

This cake recipe was given to me by my friend Patty. I altered it so that it has a very moist consistency. It makes 1 8x8 inch pan cake.

Ingredients:
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup packed, brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 large ripe banana, smashed with a fork
  • 1/2 cup soybean oil (or similarly light salad oil)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 large, entire can of crushed pineapple, with syrup
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup pecans, chopped
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Grease and flour an 8x8 square, metal baking pan
  • Combine eggs, sugar, salt, banana, vanilla extract and oil in a medium sized mixing bowl.
  • Mix in pineapple (plus syrup)
  • Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon and pecans and mix until just combined. 
    • Do not over mix or your cake will be a brick you could kill someone with at 20 paces.
  • Pour batter into prepared baking pan.
  • Bake at 350 for between 40-45 minutes.
  • To check for doneness, insert a toothpick into center of cake. If it comes out with nothing sticking to it, your cake is done.
  • Let cool in pan for about 15 minutes.
  • Turn onto cooling rack to cool completely.
  • Frost with cream cheese frosting.
    • 1 package cream cheese frosting (Don't skimp - use Philly)
    • 1 stick butter 
    • 1 cup confectioners sugar
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (or 1 Tbs Frangelico for a little kick).
    • Mix with a hand mixer.
    • When cake is cool, frost with this delight.
Feta Garlic Dip with Lemon:
  • 1 8 oz pkg. cream cheese 
  • 1 8 oz block feta cheese (I like the French variety).
  • 1 clove garlic (more if it's just you - but you don't want the ladies blaming you for their offensive breath)
  • Rind and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbs olive oil and pinch chili flakes (for garnish)
  • Mix all ingredients (except garnish) together in a food processor
  • Serve with Pita Chips and crudites - I used the requisite veg, but I cut the jicama into tiny stars and flowers and hearts with tiny cookie cutters.
Peanut Butter Yogurt Fruit Dip:
  • 1 6 oz. tub vanilla yogurt (I use Chobani).
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 Tbs. honey
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Mix all ingredients together, pour into serving bowl.
  • Serve with cut up kiwis, apples, blueberries, strawberries, bananas and grapes or whatever fruit you fancy.



Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Looking for Inspiration

I feel like my blog focus has waned as of late. Unfortunately, I can only drive my attention to so many places at once. Right now, I am learning how to take care of myself. I am learning that being fit is important. I am learning that yoga is my church. I am learning that I do not have to say, "Yes," all the time. I am learning that my husband, no matter what, knows the right way to do things. I am learning to forgive myself for mistakes and to forgive others for not always understanding. I am learning how to release - whether it be anger, guilt or unhappiness. And I am learning to find inspiration in tiny things - like when a scratch becomes a scab. And, I am learning to accept myself and all my weirdness.

In considering "inspiration" today, I found this card, at this place. It really speaks to my love for the macabre.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A Person is Fascinating

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I've decided to add a new category.

Do I call it "People?" or "A World of People?" or "Person?" or "Homo Sapiens?" or maybe I should go with something more sensitive like, "The Human Connection?" or "A Person is Fascinating," as I have titled this post? In any regard, while I sometimes moan about The Human Race at large, I think that a person is intriguing and phenomenal and I have some interesting folks that I'd like to introduce you to! Make some suggestions about the title of this category (for now it's in the right hand sidebar and I'm simply calling it "People").

Everyone has a story.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Squirrels

I am guilty of having a very busy Christmas season and I am so sorry for not posting regularly. Now that we are on the downswing, I 'll be plenty more consistent with my posts.

On that note, I found, in my email inbox this morning, a question from a friend posed like so, "Do you know?" Below is the question:


I first read it with a chuckle. Who would think to query this? And then I read it again with curiosity. And said, "Yeah! Why and how?" In my search for answers, I found that squirrels were not only a subject of note in British 18th Century paintings but also in American 18th Century paintings and French 16th Century paintings and in fact throughout several centuries and countries.

It seems the squirrel was a popular pet. And in fact, their keepers loved them so much that this pet consistently evoked poetry:

From The Virginia Gazette, December 15, 1768
A Young Lady's Complaint on the Death of her Squirrel.

A thing so pretty as my PHIL,
A thing so sprightly and so queer,
The pet I lov'd so very dear,
To rob me of the pretty elf,

For him I've lost each night's repose,
Nothing enjoying but my woes.
Oh could my squirrel but survive,

But he is gone ! ne'er to return!
And useless 'tie to sigh and mourn.
I'll therefore seek another pet ,

Amongst the fops or empty beaus,
Because he'd surely make me fret,
And prove a very worthless pet.


And the paintings:

1760 John Singleton Copley (American artist, 1738-1815). Boy (Henry Pelham) with a Squirrel.

1765 John Singleton Copley (American artist, 1738-1815). Frances Deering Wentworth (Mrs. Theodore Atkinson, Jr.)


1790 Denison Limner Probably Joseph Steward (American artist, 1753-1822). Miss Denison of Stonington, Connecticut possibly Matilda.

1526 Hans Holbein the Younger (1498–1543) Lady with a Squirrel on a chain.
1580's Portrait of a Lady, possibly the Poet Maddalena Salvetti (1557-1610), in a Green Dress and a pet Black Squirrel with a bell collar.


1600's Frederic Kerseboom (1632-1690) Lady with a Red Squirrel on a Chain and a Spaniel

1700's Joseph Highmore (English artist, 1692-1780) A Portrait of a Boy with a Pet Squirrel.

1730 Unknown French artist, Portrait of an Unknown French Lady Holding Flowers and a Red Squirrel with a bell collar.
I attained these renderings of these portraits from 18C American Women. For more explanations and interesting meanderings, please go visit Barbara. She has several other blogs as well, all worth a visit, including her biggest collection, "It's About Time."

Did I, however, get the answers to the how and why? No. I did not. If anyone knows, please enlighten me!



Friday, November 7, 2014

The Best of Mood Boards and Collage

Loretta at Creatively Driven: My inspiration for this post.
Regina says I should know some HTML (#17) to have a successful blog and be a serious blogger. I tend to agree with her; she is an uber expert. I think that because I have a lifestyle blog. In addition to knowing just a tiny bit of code, it would behoove me to also know Photoshop in order to create mood boards like the ones here. As in poetry, a mood board (or color board as some would call them) captures feelings, textures, ambiance and indeed feelings that cannot be expressed by words alone. Don't get me wrong; you know I fancy myself a poet and I love the written word, but I love a picture too; it is said, "A picture is worth a thousand words." Now if only I could muster the time and commitment to take a Photoshop class.

Here is a collection of some pretty boards I've recently found while scouring around this playground.

Brianna Rose: Her style is impeccable.


Colleen at Inspired to Share: Her spirit is captivating as you can see in her imagery here.


All of these items are sold on Etsy. This warm board was curated by Sofia Budman.. She is someone I follow on Pinterest and she hails from Tel Aviv, Isreal.


Sara at Salted Ink is amazing. Her style is fresh; her branding sensational.


This was arranged by Kayla Kits at HGTV's Blog: the concept of bubbles is refreshing. I love her addition of the illustrated Kitty.


And finally...
Something Calm at Swooned for the last selection. It was created by Lauren Kathryn. I like the diamond elements.


Friday, October 31, 2014

The Human Marvels

Every year the husband and I throw a big Halloween Event. This year, in an effort to move away from my usual vampire theme, I decided to do "Freak Show" as a nod to Geek Love, A book I read this year and absolutely loved. You saw the invitations. In doing research for this party I became fascinated with the side show and with the glossary attached. The advent and history of the physically unusual accepting money for people to gawk upon their malformations has become somewhat of a little past time for me and a great addition to my abundant admiration of the macabre.

Happy Halloween! 
Enjoy "The Human Marvels" and this outstanding website called Montrous.

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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Ghoulish, Dreadful, Macabre and Gruesome


It seems we try so hard to come off with really creepy, intense Halloween costumes and while sometimes we, as modern folk,s pull out all the stops and succeed, it turns out nothing is scarier than the Halloween costumes from early in the last century. This imagery is from all around the web and was compiled last year by Faux Magazine.