When my sister and I designed my living and dining rooms with a Scottish inspiration, I discovered many Halloween images with tartans, thistles, and bagpipes.
After researching a bit more, I found that the Irish and Scots (Celts) are credited for bringing many of the early inspirations of Halloween to America.
So Halloween trimmings became a Highland Halloween!
So on this Hallowe'en, may you garner a huge bag o' candy.
Or better yet...a Bagpiper....
"Pssst. Number 13."
"What's up with that Ribboned Crown woman?"
"Oh, you didn't hear? She's the new Queen." And not the Queen of Crowns. That's a totally bogus title."
"Queen of what, then?"
"Queen of us and this place we call home. The Land of Prototypia. And we are her unwilling subjects. She is the Queen of Prototypia!"
"She creates one of something, barely finishes it, if ever, and then starts something else. Like us. Drawing on doll heads. And you just know, we're never going to get out of here! Prototype mania hell!
"I just keep my eyes closed and hope that someone will rescue me."
"Wait. I have an idea. Let's grab some of her "she has so much stuff she needs intervention" supplies and try to finish the job. Maybe she'll think she actually completed something. And then she'll let us leave."
"Uh, I don't think this is going to work. This Ribboned Crown Queen whatever woman needs serious help. More than just some crepe paper thrown on our heads."
"Remember, we're talking about the same person who just this morning thought it would be great to put one of us inside a napoleon hat. And notice, she didn't even finish it!!!"
"Yeah, you're right. I guess the reality is we are destined to mingle with all of her one-of-a-kind, half-finished projects."
"What's her tag line? Oh yeah, I remember. 'The Ribboned Crown- Where Frivolity Reigns'."
"It's more like, 'The Land of Prototypia - Where Crazy is the New Forty.' The ultimate in prototype protocol."
(I noticed this random word right on the front of the dress form after I had finished- so perfect for me!)
So many ideas! And I will be creating and offering them to you... eventually. I know, I know, I'm super slow at production. I'll try to speed it up (a la Lucy and the candy factory- can someone help me and be Ethel?!)
Who wouldn't want to spend their birthday wrapped in ribbons?
I, of course, chose the colors of San Francisco's wonderful overcast days (now there's a shock) even though the sun was shining beautifully yesterday.
Happy October 1st birthday, Ulla. You are a fantastic woman- I had such a great time with you. I hope today is wonderful!
If you look closely, the photo above holds the eight fantastic bits of treasure I brought home from eight different artists from the Tinsel and Treasure show. I love them all grouped together. I only wish I had more time to continue shopping and get to all of the ladies as they all had amazing creations!
My spoon necklace by Sylvia Anderson.
Game Board by Karen O'Brien.
A little acorn doll from Charlene Geiger.
Journal and tags by Anna Corba
My pumpkin girl by Colleen Moody.
A Victorian puzzle from Melissa Valeriote.
Vintage metal purses from Marsha of Cottage Jewel.
And a pouting pendant necklace from Sue Bartolucci.
Aren't they just all so cool?? So you see....Eight is not Enough. I want more. "Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!". Oh wait, that's The Brady Bunch. I never could keep those two shows straight. Forget it.
Now this show I know about. The Tinsel and Treasures Show - picked up for a third season, coming again next September. Now that's a fall line-up.
A bit of downtime is underfoot after the Tinsel and Treasures Show (actually, that means back in the office on Monday!) It was such a fantastic day!!! Thank you, thank you to everyone who came. I will be back to share the treasures I brought home from the show. Speaking of....I adore my new pointed-toe beauty. We are both putting our feet up!
Tying up some loose ends for The Show. Oy!!
To experience this........
(click on this image to enlarge)
An unforgettable trip as we visited Washington, where my husband spent his summers on his great-grandparents' farm.
If I grew up here, I would never have left. I think I would have become a moss farmer. To those of you living in the Northwest, I am every shade of green with envy.
Yeah, it's all about me.
I have been wanting to make this for so long. I have pictured it forever. I'm a bit like the cobbler's son who has no shoes. I rarely make anything for myself and keep it. I know, it's all about me. But it could be all about you. Thinking about how cool it would be if I made custom heraldic-monogrammed hats for you. Would that be something you would be interested in?
They remind me of the cap badges I collect but with the added twist of the dresden wreaths I've made.
Or instead of names, maybe hats with vintage sentiments.
I told my husband I was glad his last name was O'Brien, and that I didn't marry that other guy, whose name was something like Roliskimaniskisonowitz. That would have been a drag.... and a really wide hat.
Did you notice those tall cone shapes in the background?
These are hopefully next on the list.
French Clown Hats.
Okay you guys, I just heard someone out there mutter under their breath, "Donna, ANY hat with your name on it already is a clown hat."
Yep, my apologies Tara Frey, but I am judging a book by its cover.
And it's just what I thought. The book....YOUR book, Blogging for Bliss, is wonderful!! Really..... very, very cool! From the first page all the way through to the acknowledgments (which I loved, by the way), it's a perfect, easy, addition to have in one's collection of artistic, inspiring art books.
Well done, Miss Tara (creative license on the 'miss')!! And thank you for including my blog in your book, this new chapter in your life. It's because of unexpected, generous opportunities like this, that 'blogging' definitely leads to more 'blissful' moments. (I had a blast posting this one!)
And to see more posts about the bliss of blogging, pop over to Kari's blog (on August 4th) where she will list a whole library of participants!
Hmmm...."clown-crown, clown-crown, clown-crown"...if you can't actually say what you're planning to make 'three times fast', is that against the rules? If so, then I guess I won't be making any 'toy-boats' in the near future.But how about toy clowns on wheels embellished with color and ink? (Or lions and elephants masquerading as pull toys?)
And if you're looking for me, I'll be the one in the corner with my speech coach. " Clown-Crown, Clown-Crown, Clown-Boat, Toy-Crown....ah, forgetta-bout-it!"
Wheaties. The Breakfast and Altered of Art of Champions (and for anyone needing extra dresdens in their diet). Being served at the Tinsel and Treasures Show .
And for those who might be gluten intolerant, I'll be whipping up some other daily requirements. (Are clowns a food group?)
The Tinsel and Treasures Show will be here in a little over two months! And I got that total wave of 'white light' panic last week.
I think I need marching orders to get going. Those ideas on paper need to fall in line and start coming to life soon!!
In the meantime, there is a new blog for the show. It will feature the participating artists, updates, etc. so make sure to check it out.
Do I look like I need marching orders? I'm thinking AWOL for a while!
Last Saturday bloomed into a French Sunday. French, as in Fifi O'Neil, editor of the beautiful magazine, Romantic Country. And Sunday, as in Sunday Hendrickson, photo stylist extraordinaire!!
I decided to go blue to tie in with the flowers in the garden.Crepe paper, ribbon, trims, etchings...you name it- I had it flying everywhere! You know those cartoons where the characters are chiseling something and the music's crazy and in thirty seconds they have something made? Me, the night before.
Because my garden is mostly white, I brought (bought?) in some soft colors to nestle wherever Sunday thought it was needed. Here they sit, unplanted, waiting their turn to be tucked in somewhere. She is scary good at her job.
Even the weather was perfect. You want cloud cover for an outdoor shoot and we lucked out.
Thank you Fifi, for thinking of me and including me in your creative beauty.
And Sunday and Mark...just the best time, really!!
And a special thank you to my sister, Kristine who helped me in the eleventh hour to put on my Sunday best!! And wasn't it about eleven years ago you designed my garden? Who would have thought back then, right? You are the Queen of Garden Design, for sure!!
*Original drawings -Donna O'Brien*
And if that's the case.......
(Still trying to sneak in some drawing/creating moments Circus themed-pull toys anyone? And dreaming of taming that lion- aka: free time!)
Added May 31st. If you have a chance, pop over to Lisa Swifka's POST (A Whimsical Bohemian) about being a true artist. It's one of the best things I've read. Honest, humerous, etc. Some publisher needs to snap her up and hire her to write a column. And she's a great artist, too- double threat!!
I've been dreaming up some ideas for the Tinsel and Treasures Show coming up September 12th. There will be 15 artists this year- details coming really soon! I borrowed from my crescent moon pieces I've collected over the years for inspiration to spark some creativity.
Castle Drawing 1973.
For more inspiration I went back into time. Talk about 'old school'! I started drawing using a method I loved back in high school. (Original post about my drawings here.) This method is called Pointillism - tiny, tiny, dots but using pen and ink instead of paint.These are some of my drawings from back then.
This one had watercolor, too.
One of the reasons I started drawing again is because of time. Or lack thereof. I'm pretty much full time at our office, and then on the weekends, I've really been concentrating on organizing, etc. So many things needed (and still do!) my attention. I'm getting there. Anyway...
Where was I? Oh yeah, no time. Okay. This is my huge desk calendar at work that I use as a note pad, calculator...you name it. But not as a calendar, of course. I started bringing my pen and ink and paper with me in case I had a bit of extra time.
Always a battle between the ballpoint pen and the cool pen.
The struggle between work and art.
So this is what I've been drawing. Can you tell it's all little points!!??
I gotta tell you, you need to concentrate when drawing with this method. I don't sketch it out ahead of time, I just start 'dotting'. You would think it would be stressful but I find the opposite to be true.
I also brought in my workbook from the calligraphy workshop I took at Castle in the Air taught by Bill Kemp in November 2007.(Bill is teaching again August 1st) Original post here. Unknowingly, Ulla had signed up for the same class! Ulla's post about the class here.
Here are a couple of my practice sheets from that day. We had to practice all of the letters so when it came to the letter "U", Ulla was my muse. This style is called Spencerian and it's pretty straight forward. I thought I would try to put my own spin on it using the same pointillism method.
Amazing how it looks so different when adding the dots/points. I'm liking the results.
Little Moon Cherub~
This great piece on the left inspired the moon-man parade stick on the right. I think the scepters I make have a new future!
Loved the idea of the arrow with the moon so that led to this.
Which led to this.
I am sure you will receive many, many, emails saying the same thing, but I have to say it anyway ... it feels a little sad to know that your blog is shut down. You know? It's rather like coming to the last page of a really, really good book (Pride and Prejudice, let's say), wonderful to finish but so sad to leave those people behind and not live in their world any more. I am very much going to miss the glimpse into your world and the whimsy and delight that lives there."
I reread this many times and was very touched. And thought about it a lot. So.... I decided to change the one word, 'indefinitely' on my prior post to two new ones, 'for now'.
Thank you to all of you who sent me such kind notes. I had no idea. It will be a long while for sure, but I may be back.....(thank you, Sue )
(Uh oh- maybe I'll have to change the name of my blog to, The Little Boy Who Cried Wolf. Did he wear a crown? He does now.)
Photo Credits- my garden bench and crown -photographed by Kate Sears for Victoria magazine March/April 2008
I am closing my blog ....indefinitely for now. Glad to have finally made a decision after thinking about it for months. I kept going back and forth with myself but right now, this feels right. Of course, we can still keep in touch with email. I thank you so much for popping in from time to time. It has been a blast. I'll still be creating my art (my passion) and will be at the Tinsel and Treasures Folk Art Show in September. But Freddy Mercury and David Bowie's duet has been playing way too long in my mind. You know - Under Pressure.
So with that infamous finger snap echo..........
Enjoy your week. Real job for me with my new best friends, the cortisone pack and lumbar pillow. I think I can feel a difference with my back. Whoo-hoo! Maybe my new shape to come.
Hmmm.....not what I was hoping for!!
Some of you know I have been dealing with a pretty bad back for the past couple of years. I haven't shared about it much because well, I'm just sick of talking about it! In December it got really bad, and I'm still coping with the residual pain and honestly at times, not too successfully. So, I finally listened to my family and friends and went in for an MRI.
I met with with the doctor (surgeon) who read the scan and he handed me some disappointing news. He feels I'm not a candidate for the easy out-patient surgery. I would need the serious type. You know, the F word. Fusion. Wait.What??
Because as I said before - I am so not doing what this little cherub is depicting until I try all the other possibilties first. And even at that, I don't know.
Hoping perseverance serves me well with finding a way to get me on the mend - just like it did when I won this gorgeous cherubic statue on eBay. Hey- at least I'm still in good humor!!
PS- This is why I said "Fingers Crossed" on my post a few weeks ago about opening my shop (The Art of Frivolity) here on my blog. I still plan to but not sure when - fingers and toes crossed now!!.
Yep, that would be me talking about Lisa Swifka from A Whimsical Bohemian and the One World-One Heart blogs- equally wonderful! Lisa and I clicked on-line and then through the phone lines and then happily we laughed face to face last year at the Tinsel and Treasures Show.
So winging it's way to all of us is her 3rd One World-One Heart giveaway and I'm excited to be a part of it.
I've been off the creative path for a while so I decided my 'giveaway' would be something that I made a few years ago. A Valentine Crown which was shown in the Victoria article last year. (I have another almost identical that I've kept for myself)
Here it is sitting on the round finial on my front bench.
(Photo by Kate Sears for Victoria Magazine)
Just leave a comment below and your name (don't forget the email address) and I will announce the winner on February 12. You don't need to be a participant or have a blog or anything to enter- just leave a comment! And make sure you click on the One World-One Heart link here to enter all of the other participants' giveaways- 500 and counting!!
fri·vol·ity (fri väl′ə tē)
And I finally took some time to try a bit of the writing technique (well, my amateur version) I learned in the calligraphy class I took with Ulla at Castle in the Air over a year ago (original post here). I created a new 'playbill' of sorts for, um...let's say the Valentine's Day Ballet.
Perhaps a Love Letter, or two.
THE SPECIAL EFFECTS: Embellished Antiqued Mirrors.
Of course the real special effect will be if I actually get everything on stage at once.
I hope to be offering these creations (and some others still spinning around in the idea stage) for the first time here on my blog. Check back for the details soon!
Now, it's back to dress rehearsals (target practice).
Spinning as fast as I can.
Trying to stay on my toes.
But just barely!
There are many layered acts in the ballet of life.
And I feel like the curtain is about to come up (or down!) and I'm in between costume changes!! (This doll head/hat was inspired from an eBay auction I was watching a week ago of a Schomeau Hoffmeister doll riding a horse that sold for $970.00- Needless to say I didn't 'win'-ouch! Click here to see it)
I've been working non-stop in the real-job office the last few weeks. I'm hoping to finish a few 'Nutcracker'-inspired creations soon.
Let's hope it ends as planned, with "The Nutcracker Ballet". And not just nuts.
Autumn Girl Sketch drawn on a morning last week as I sat in the parking lot waiting for my daughter as she had her wisdom teeth removed.
Autumn Follies equals enjoying unexpected free time. Should I have spelled it Fall-ies?
Here HE is!! Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. Love the Victorian looking fabrics- I see a bit of plaid with the lace!! He would fit in very nicely in my Scottish rooms.
So here's what I'm thinking and I know it's waaaaaaay early but down the road as the movie gets closer ( I think it's a year off still! ), we need to have a Mad Hatter Haberdashery Event. Maybe A Mad Hatter Bloggerdashery. Yes- that's IT!! Oh man, that would be too fun. Top hats embellished to the nines??. I can picture it already! Well, you already know how I feel about top hats!!
But it wouldn't have to be limited top hats- any hat would be great. And this would not be a tea party. Miss Vanessa wowed us with her Mad Hatter Tea Party in a most fantastic way. This would be just hats!!
So get your "thinking caps" on (you only have a year-ha!) so when the time is right, you can be ready, "hat in hand".
And a thank you to Susan from Miss Maddies, who sent this photo to me. Actually, her daughter sent it to her to send to me. I guess my madness for J as the Mad Hatter has transcended generations. Scary. I wonder if I should worry if I'm only wearing a light blue dress and white pinafore these days? And have changed my kids names to Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.
More on the film here.
I'm thinking the fall foliage is saying under its breath, "Back off, Rosebud. It's our turn!"
Falling into the weekend- enjoy yours!
The same pen with which he wrote countless letters, thousands of words, and then sent to his sweetheart. Here is one of the photographs he took with him of my mom. I wonder how many times he must have looked at it.
My dad, 'in uniform', when he was about three years old.
A picture's worth a thousand words. May I add a thousand thank-you's to all of the Veterans who have served and are still serving today. You have our utmost respect and honor today and everyday.
Whew- Going from devil pitchforks to angel wings just like that!
This Saturday and Sunday, November 1st and 2nd, American Harvest is having their Annual Christmas Open House. I stopped in Tuesday to drop off a few things and they were in the throws of creating a winter wonderland display. (They close for the week to get ready for Saturday).
It's easy to feel like a Queen when shopping there and especially this year as Sharon and Rodger have many new artists' creations which I can't wait to see (and buy!)
I was super happy how this Christmas glass theatre turned out, admitting it was hard to let it go so I think I'll need to make a few more.
There will be something for everyone!!
That will go to the "devil may care" Mo'a (Mo'a Romig-Boyles)!! Yippee!
That will go to the "devil with the blue dress, blue dress, blue dress ...", Shawn (Country French Antiques)!! You do have a blue dress, right?
And the last name is for the Devil's Call cover box and crown.
And that will go to the devil-ish Gina!! Woo-hoo!!
Hooray to the three of you AND to all of you who were brave enough to tempt the devil and toss your name into the fire!!Thank you so much for playing!
You know, idle hands aren't so bad.
They aren't always the devil's workshop.
Sometimes IDOL hands are dreamy...
Idol hands are gorgeous.....
Idol hands are beautiful.....
Okay...idol hands are HOT!!
So, idol hands are the devil's workshop? Fine by me!
Yep, sign me up for that workshop!
Hey Ulla, maybe a new class/workshop at Castle in the Air? That would be a two day class, for sure.
It's Vanessa Valencia's (of A Fanciful Twist) Halloween Party!!! And the invitation clearly states, "Where Anything Goes"!!!
A Hallo-"VEE"-n Party!!! After all, it is because of Miss "V" that we are all celebrating on the same day!! And I must confess, I waited until the last minute to RS"V"P as I wasn't sure if I'd be able to come.
Something that said, Hallo-VEE-n!
Something that would go with her laced boots she fantastically drew on the invitation.
Something Very Vanessa!!!
Make that Queen Vanessa!!!
Thank you Miss Fancy Pants for hosting yet another amazing event!!! No one hosts a party like you. You have us celebrating from 'head to toe'!!! And I can't wait to see everyone at the fete!!!
(And tell your mama she had great style naming her girl. The letter V is the best regal looking letter I could have wished for when making this for you!!!)
Off to visit everyone- I think it may take DAYS!!
Happy Hallo- VEEEEEEEEE-nnnnnnnnnn!!!
P.S.- There is a giveaway going on in the post below so feel free to stop by and leave your name!!
Yes- My art hands have been idle for a month so I thought I'd give credence to that old cliche, 'Idle hands are the devil's workshop'! I've been working everyday at my real job. Ack-There are so many unanswered, unacknowledged emails and comments from you. I've kept them all with the intent of replying but...you know the answer to that. SO, I grabbed a bit of time to make a few things for a GIVEAWAY!!
Devil's Call-I think this is dated in the late 1870's
Just leave a comment and you'll be entered into the giveaway (don't make me get my pitchfork out!)
And as always, "The Devil's in the Details."