Wednesday, December 19, 2007

MY CREATIVE GENES...

must have travelled well into my son...I came back home from a shipping trip at the post office in Vermont and look what I found on the kitchen counter...He had peeled the potatoes for supper and of course could not just do it the ordinary way...I love him so!!!

Ohhhh! François (hubby) came back from Xmas shopping with all kinds of goodies, like Pannetone and Pandoro, both of them sweet brioche=style bread with preserved fruits that are a MUST on mornings preceding Xmas to get you in the holiday spirit. The Pannetone comes from Italy in a swell-shaped cardboard box and a little ribbon handle on top. You serve this bread sliced, heated and sprinkled with icing sugar. I just love Italian delicacies...Miam!!!

Hey, I have been asked to paint a 6 x 8 mural in a teenage clothing store in Montreal! They would like to have a little devil girl in it, a little similar to this one I painted this past spring. Good pay, lots of work with fun people, good exposure! The project will start in January!

PAINTING FOR MY FRIEND JOHANNE...

My friend Johanne is an incredible person! She works at home, has two kids, owns a beautiful house where she does everything by herself, painting, fixing problems, land work with the tractor, gardening and above all, she practices sports of all kinds, serious cycling, skiing, tennis, mountain hiking, etc and is a mean cook. She is almost a single mom, her husband is never home, he's got this farming business that leaves him absolutely no time, which suits her just fine ;-) But above all, she is ALWAYS in a good mood, always positive, always charming, always happy.

She had commissioned a painting for her home office, just something fun that describes her, and I finished it today. This will be my surprise gift to her for Christmas!

I promise I will be writing longer next week, when I am on vacation at home with my family. I have a few projects I would like to work on, not paintings but maybe a few assemblage-sculptures and a memory jug lamp base that I have been putting off starting for a year now. I am so tired tonite, I fell asleep on my chair holding my paintbrush in the air...Well, I guess even a hardworking artist full of determination can no go to bed many nights in a row at 3:30 am, wake up at 6:30 am to prepare my son's lunch and expect to be fresh like a rose...

Je cogne des clous (French expression which means I am hammering nails, i.e. my head is nodding like a hammer cause I am so tired)...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

NEW YORK TIMES ARTICLE ON ETSY

There was a good article in the New York Times on Etsy.

You can read it at http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/16/magazine/16Crafts-t.html?_r=2&adxnnl=1&oref=slogin&adxnnlx=1197954702-K7w7Z5TN0Nf7dxyobTpcIA

Very interesting....

I LOVE WINTER...

Look what we found in the front door window this morning... The outline of one of last year Valentine Day paper heart decoration. Despite washing the windows, there was still somekind of a film that stayed in the window and with the humidity and arctic cold we are getting these days, it created that pattern...I love winter...

P.S. We got 60 cm of snow yesterday, schools were closed once again and we did not even put our nose outside cause it was so frigid. We could not use the roads anyways...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

I'M DREAMING OF A PINK CHRISTMAS...

Look at the pink Christmas tree I found at Walmart !!! There were about 50 of them on a shelve and I bet you they did not even sell one to someone else than me ! 97 cents, can you believe it ! So, to dress it up, we went to the local $ store and found these incredible primitive wooden ornaments painted with crackled paint. They also had wonderful wooden Christmas push-puppets. And red doilies, 3 for $1. The trick with $ stores is when you get in there, you have to minate the surroundings and target your mind on single interesting items. I am always amazed at what I can find there. The Canadian stores are especially great. So we put a paper Santa hat on senor Skully, our wooden mexican skeleton, added Poquito Cabeza, the white rock shaped like a skull we found in a field nearby, et voilà! We now have our little Funky Pink Christmas corner à la mexicaine!

I should not even mention it, you will think I am either very redundant or getting old, but it has been snowing again, and I am talking lots of snow. Mixed with sleet Friday night and windy gusts today that caused power failure in our neighborhood. So, on Saturday, I slepped over with Ulysse at my parents place, the roads were real bad and today, no power, we stayed in pyjamas all day and goofed around. This is why I did not write a word on my blog for the past 2 days...

It is going to be another VERY buzy week, I put my feet in the plates (a French expression), accepted to doing another painting this week, this one due on Thursday... I will have to say no at some point or I will be spending Christmas day in my studio with my paint tubes and brushes. Hummm, I will never say no to an commissioned painting, I love too much working on them....

Friday, December 14, 2007

REJECT ART...

That is pretty much what my son Ulysses calls this kind of art. He is lucky to have a mom who keeps everything and is a maniac about nature samples and old rusty things. And he is also lucky to have a godmother, Vicki, who is a performer, dancer, singer, painter and above all, assemblage artist. We both have worked on reject art with Ulysse and he is pretty good at it.

The little monkey is his own creation, made of knick-knack of all rusty sorts.

We worked on the mask together, started with bark and added moss, sea glass, twigs, seashells to make our Nature Warrior Mask.

The bird was a gift from Vicki to Ulysse for his birthday, made of bones of all kind and some other components, all brought back from Gran Manan Island in New Brunswick.

Making this kind of art is our favorite and it is very addictive...

Switching to a totally different subject, I just wanted to tell all of you readers and fellow bloggers that I am enjoying this little task of daily writing very much. And I looooove hearing from you. I am amazed at how rapidly the circle is enlarging, I am now hearing from people I did not know about 2 weeks ago and selling to a totally new clientele. Thanks a bunch for stopping by, this is so much fun !!!

Oh oui, I worked all day and was able to finish most of the remaining paintings due for delivery.

And of course, it is snowing once again...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

CHRISTMAS VACATIONS ARE...

coming soon !!!

I worked till 5 a.m. this morning, trying to finish a last minute painting I had an order for a few days ago. Then, woke up at 6:30 a.m. to prepare lunch for Ulysse and get ready for another big day of work. Hummm, not too many hours of sleep....

I rushed all day preparing 14 different parcels of paintings, left in a hurry just at the moment a snow storm was starting (again...), managed to drive to the US border, took them all across to Vermont, went to the post office in Richford, closed and sealed everything, put labels on, etc. and at the moment I was getting ready to pay my bill, I noticed I had an extra label but NO parcel to go with it !!! Panick attack !!! 20 minutes left before closing time, I ran to my car and found the forgotten parcel on the roof above the door, where I had put it when I had taken them all out of the vehicle. Ran back in a hurry, swearing, puffing, sweating, bitching and whining and made it on time!

15 minutes left to drive back to Quebec (goodbye, bonjour) across the border once again and pick up my son, as promised, at school. We stopped by at the grocery store and when I came time to pay, no wallet !!! Yikes !!! Got back in the car with Ulysse, drove once again trough the border (à bientôt, good afternoon), thank God I have been going through that same border office for more than 18 years now and I do not look like a terrorist ... Went back to the post office, the postmaster was waiting for me with a big smile and my wallet. All was fine. Well, now, you know the story... Went back to Quebec (see you again soon, bonsoir), in that same crazy storm and got home safe. And you know what? Santa had already visited my place while I was away and left a big gift bag of goodies, all decorated, and full of yummy-should-I-eat-this-one-before-this-one cookies, nuts, chocolate and candies. But no note, word or card...And we still do not know who did this....And in one of the glass pane of the front door window, an imprint probably left for last year's Valentine decorations, there was this heart

What a nice day we had, come to think about it :-) I am back in my studio for another long night, it is nice and cozy and warm and now I am sure fairies exist...

LOVE FAIRY

Bou! It is snowing again... Snowed yesterday, snowed Sunday, snowed Saturday. Yes, I know, a white Christmas is always preferable. But winter has arrived so early this year, we didn't even get an orange Halloween! I am telling you, by the time spring arrives, we, Southern Quebec indigens, will be so ready, we will be drooling, ripping off our clothes with our nails and barking at the sun!

Still too busy to converse for a long time, I have to finish this little painting tonite so I can ship it tomorrow with the others waiting to go. I promise I will be more in a chatting mood once Santa has visited and I know my paintings were all delivered in time.

I just added this little Love Fairy painting on eBay tonite, will aim for another one tomorrow.

Everyone is acting crazy today in our household, lots of energy and excitement in the air, which usually means a storm is a comin.... Oh nooooooo!

I would love to know who The Odd Bird Studio is! I tried linking to your blog but to no avail. Write again!

Don't forget to think about my Year of the Rat Art Event project. I would love to have more participants !!!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

VACATIONS OR NOT...

Hummm... I have been working so hard in my studio, just like all of you dear fellow creators, doing very well too, many new clients have ordered commissioned paintings and I am rushing to finish the last pieces of the year. Now, I am wondering, should I keep on listing on Etsy and eBay during the holidays or should I wait till people have come back to work in January? I'd love to hear from you about this, your experience, your opinion...I do not think I will stop working in my studio despite the fact that school vacations are always a good time to take a break too...

ICE SKATING ON THE POND WITH MY DOG PAINTING ON EBAY

Ouf! I just finished this little 8"x8" painting and have listed it on eBay. 3 DAYS ONLY! I love this one, it really looks and gives off the same feeling as when we go down by our pond to skate at night. I love ice skating, the dogs love it too!

sold ! Thank you Beth!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

KNITTING TALENT

My son Ulysse learned something new in school this year, something very unusual for a boy to learn: his teacher thought the class, boys and girls, how to knit. He is in grade 6 and of course, when the boys heard that everyone of them screamed like the end of the world was coming. But guess what, they LOOOOOOVE it! They especially love the fact that you start with a strand of wool and by twisting it with needles, it becomes something like a piece of woven fabric. So, all the kids in the classe knit squares, all different colors and the teacher assembles them to make a friendship blanket, which will be auctioned, at the end of the year, at the local Art Fest. So, this morning, in his advent calendar, Ulysse found a skein of wool died different shades of beige, green and brown. He loves it, calls it camo wool, and in a couple of hours, he knitted himself a vambrace, a knight-style forearm protector. He was so proud of himself!

Today was the annual brunch at school and boy, there were so many people, best year so far! About 10 years ago, the school decided that instead of having the kids go door to door selling these darn chocolate bars, soap bottle or what not, they would organize, with the help of volunteer parents, an annual brunch, somekind of breakfast buffet. It is now a tradition in the region, people mark it on their calendar and comes the day, everyone is there. It is a very nice happening since it creates a warm relationship between kids, parents, neighbors, teachers and families in general. And this year was the best, lots of laugh, food, friendship and good in your heart feelings. Even Santa was good with tons of gifts for each kid and thank God, he really looked like Santa, not like one of those fakes ones!!!

Time to go back to work now, got a couple of real nice commissioned paintings a few hours ago, from returning buyers, and this is always the best!

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

YEAH! MY CHRISTMAS SHOPPING IS DONE !!!

Yep, I am so proud of myself! I did it! Christmas shopping is ALL done! Just wanted say a few words to you all, before going to bed at a reasonable hour, which is incredible. Today was a great day, spent time at my parents place with Ulysse, they live 10 minutes away from our house. I went shopping while he was at a friends place sledding and skating, took care of the Christmas tree with my husband, had homne-made pizza for supper, watched Spiderman 3 and cried at the end of it... Great day! Did not work at all in my studio, did not even turn on my computer until now. Hope you had a great day too!

Friday, December 7, 2007

SNOW MERMAID PAINTING ON EBAY AND ETSY

I finally finished this little mermaid painting and have listed it on eBay and Etsy. I am finishing a couple more on the Happy Holiday Season theme than That's It, I will paint other subjects. Christmas is coming soon and I do not want to have to rush 'till the very last minute wrapping, shipping and worrying.

I am now going to attempt to finalize my Christmas shopping, yes, you heard me right, finalize it! I like to be prepared in advance so it leaves me more time for last minute baking and cooking and enjoying the moment.

I read all your blogs, dear artsy friends, but have no time at the moment to post comments. I will have a moment for that this weekend. A bientôt!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

THE WINTER FAIRY HAS ARRIVED...

on Etsy and on eBay!

Just barely finished her, the varnish is still sticky! I had great fun working on this little 6'x8' canvas painting. And, a first, this one is bilingual, French and English!

Gotta go finish another one, than maybe another one too...

I will try to talk longer later...

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

ANOTHER PROJECT TO BE ADDED TO THE LONG LIST...

I think this Year of the Rat event will be great fun and just another reason to produce my best painting so far :-) So please pass the info on your blog and unto your artist friends, talk about it and let's rock!

I have been working and working in my studio but it just seems like everything takes me sooooooo muuuuuuuuuch tiiiiiiiiime......I sketched 5 canvases and to do something different, I started on them all together. NOT good! I seem to be going nowhere, adding a little bit on this painting, correcting a little something else on that one, and looking at them all at the same time and not getting to the point. Hummmm, not sure my English is so good tonite... Tant pis (meaning too bad)... So, I have put them all aside except one and I will not be looking at the others unless this first one is finished.

Look at the picture I found in an old Country Living magazine. This antique house is made of real playing cards glued together and illuminated by one tiny bulb. Ohhhhhhh!!!! I like it! Gotta make one during Xmas vacations, when the family in on the slow-motion mode. Loooove it! I went with Ulysse to the $ store and we bought 6 packs of playing cards with traditional blue or red backs. Imagine what you could do with tons of playing cards and a hot-glue gun???? It would make an incroyable light box. OK, I will add it to the list of 934 other projects to be done....

Ok, I am off to bake almond croissants for tomorrow morning. I love baking and I bake either muffins, cinnamon buns, croissants, scones or pancakes 3 or 4 mornings a week. I would have been a wonderful bed-and-breakfast hostess. Except I am not too crazy about being with strangers in closed confinements... And I would hate to clean the bathroom once they are gone...

A demain les copains!

2008 - YEAR OF THE RAT ART EVENT

2008 will be the YEAR OF THE RAT, in the Chinese zodiac or horoscope. The year of the Rat will be a year of spending less and storing more. Just like the animal, when fall comes, it is time to put bits and pieces of grains and stuff away, just in case...

So, let's start the YEAR OF THE RAT ART EVENT !!!

Who wants to join in? Come on! All you have to do is produce one art piece on that theme in any medium you choose (collage, painting, knitting, assemblage, photo montage, anything). It could be Mickey Mouse, Rat Fink or Three Blind Mice. As long as we are talking rat, mouse, mice, country or city style. And on the first day of the New Chinese Year, February 7 2008, each participant will post a picture of their art, probably on a blog especially created for that event. There will be plenty of time after the holidays to work on it and I think it would be fun to go a little wild on the subject.

So, talk about it with your artist friends, pass the idea around and let's do it!

Monday, December 3, 2007

NO SCHOOL !!!

I can not believe it ! Here we are beginning of December, and already 2 snowstorms have hit us, today's was pretty serious... Most of the schools were closed, not only in the countryside but even in Montreal where they got over 2 feet of snow. With some nasty wind too, I will tell you. But at least, snow always warms up the degrees so it was not a frigid day.

Nothing better they to learn, when you are a kid, that you can stay home! So, we spent the day in pyjamas! I got to finish 2 of the 5 paintings I am currently working on and I was able to wrap everything that needs to be shipped. A good day of work, indeed!

A friend, who stopped by, said that this winter is supposed to be the worst in 15 years! We all laughed 'cause every year, there is a new theory about how the months coming ahead will make us suffer. But you know what, I like winter! I like staying inside and doing all the stuff that needs to be done that I do not do in summer because I can not stay inside!!! I love skiing, skating, walking in the snow but what I like the most about this season is that it is a relaxed one, with short days and long nights....And it is white and clean and silent outside and I think it is the best time for me to really communicate with nature...and to realize how lucky I am to have this peace and space all around me...

Sunday, December 2, 2007

WINTER FOLLIES

We are all feeling much better today, youppi!

We started taking the Christmas decorations out of their boxes but there are so many it usually takes a full day to do it all. So, we will do the rest tomorrow. Wednesday is tree picking and chopping day. We walk around in the forest and choose a tree that does not have much chance, being squeazed tight between two larger ones, and we give it a special spot and treatment 5 weeks long in our house. It stays all decked until Epiphany, January 6 then we take it outside and let it have another kind of life by covering it with balls of suet and seeds for the birds. Comes April or May, it goes into its final stage, well kinda of, we put it through the chipper, which grates it to fine pieces that spread the pieces on the compost pile. Than, of course, the compost pile is used in the garden and else where and eventually another fir, spruce or pine tree will reseed itself in it. I always teased my husband that when I die, I want him to put my ashes in the compost pile so I can just come back to life in the garden on, and on, and on ....

I went down the pond and we completely cleaned the snow of it. Took a while but we had a riot. Ulysse built the ultimate recycled snow vehicle, used the board from an old skate board and put it under a green box, which is used in Montreal to put recyclable material, such as paper, glass, carboard, etc. in, so that the trashmen can pick it up properly. That box is made of recycled material too. We named it the sno-tro (trop, pronounced tro in French literaly means too much). I pushed him across the pond, it flew on the surface of this ice and the 3 dogs were going wild!

After, we came inside, had a hot chocolate. I make it the Mexican way, using dark grated chocolate, milk with a bit of cream and a dash of cinnamon. Miam!!! We then made unedible cookies I used to make with my grandmother. We called them potpourri cookies. You simply mix a bag of each of cinnamon, nutmeg and ground cloves, then add just enough store-bough applesauce to make a pliable dough, a bit similar to homemade playdough. You then flatten the dough between two pieces of wax paper and cut the dough with your favorite cookies cutters. You pierce each of them on top with a plastic straw than place them on a cookie sheet or other flat surface, covered first by another piece of wax paper. You can oven dry these for 5-6 hours at 150 degrees F or simply let them dry out in your house for a few days. Once dried you can attach a piece of ribbon to each of them or made a garland with all of them. You can also decorate them to your likings. We like them plain style, so traditional and primitive. What happens is because of the apple sauce, they retain a certain humidity and keep on smelling spicy for a long time. We love making those!

Have a great week!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

TOO COLD, TOO BUSY, TOO SICK...

... but POSITIVE I will have a better day tomorrow!

It's amazingly chilly here for this time of the year, having a -17 degrees celcius right now. We will clean the pond tomorrow and see if the ice is good enough to skate. LOVE skating! I am such a kid but I like going by myself with my hockey skates and I make believe I am a star skater, going loops and figures and stuff. The fun part is we put our skates at our house, step outside and slide down the hill to the pond.

Now, we are all sick with the stomach flue that my son brought back from school, all going to bed earlier and planning on a great day tomorrow.

I have not been able to work much on my paintings today but started crocheting a pink scarf out of scratch wool I had put aside with the years. So I lounged in my daybed while Ulysse was playing Runescape on the net and my hubby was watching hockey on the tv. Just like a real good old Saturday should be...

A bientôt! LuLu