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It's all about whimsy, art and Halloween!

Monday, January 27, 2014

UncustoMary's February Monthly Marvels

February's Monthly Marvels is here!  The theme is Productivity, and, boy howdy, it arrived just in time!  I have been in such a fog!

The kit includes a photo of the Halloween yarn bomb we did last year, an Envelop Explosion with all kinds of fun things,
a blank notebook with Infinite Potential, a note pad for your Bright Ideas, pencils and Sticky Flags, a note card and Skeleton Key and a calender with Unusual Holidays!  Sweet!

AND...a clear pack with art from Cara of Chewy Tulip!  It includes an Anthropomorphic Mail Art Project!  It's a pre-addressed, prepaid postcard with an animal head, which she invites you to embellish and send back to her!  How awesome is that!

Monday, December 16, 2013

A Secret Admirer

I had a secret admirer in high school.  He was smart and funny and full of joy.

The first thing that came was a wanted poster taped to my door.  It was a drawing of me as a western outlaw. Then there were hilarious letters describing my wild west antics.  When he finally revealed himself, he would write nonsensical poems in a made up language - O Manhiem De Lo De Cookie, was one.  They were brilliant!

When he finally asked me out, it was to be a day at the park with kids from school.  Cool, athletic kids.  I was neither cool, nor athletic.  It was a lovely day and we were to play all kinds of sports. 

Yeaaaah, that was a disaster.

I was completely self centered, vapid, vacuous and soooo not into sports.  I wanted the date to be about me.  So I sat, looking as exquisitely dejected as I could possibly look.  The other kids just kept playing, occasionally giving me a desrved stink-eye.

It must have seen to him that I was bored with him, or maybe he felt like I thought I was above all the fun they were having.

After that, he called me a couple of times, just to talk.  I was oblivious to the fact that he still liked me.  Ah, well.  Sorry, Howard Gensler!  You were such a sweetheart!

Had I been less self absorbed, I might have picked up on that, but then, I would not have moved to the east coast with my parents and would never have met my wonderful husband, who saw right through my ridiculously shallow self and saw something good in me, as Howard had, that I simply could not see.   

And that, my dear Mary, is my secret admirer story!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

For My Glitter Guru, Mary the Marvelous

Mary England's link up this month is all about SELF LOVE.  I've been in such a funk lately, that I didn't think I could do it, so she suggested that I write some things that I like about myself.  Here it goes:

I learned at an early age to laugh at myself.  I was the youngest and the only girl.  Do the horrifying math, it was do or die!

I'm funny, even if it's only me cracking myself up.

I make a mean pirate.  Observe my pirate hat carefully.  See?  I can be funny.

I practice non judgment.  If anyone criticize you, it has nothing to do with you.  It's a judgement they are making about themselves.  It's worth the practice it to accept that.  It sure feels personal!  Sometimes it's just easier to react with hurt or anger.  Read The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz.  It helped me so much!

I practice non attachment.  I love being surrounded by brilliant colorful art.  If we had to sell everything and move to a one room apartment, I would paint a wall, find or make colorful art to fit the space.

I like my smile.  This is humongous for me.  I have always hated my smile.  I have thin lips that turn down at the corners when my face is relaxed.  Yes, I've been asked many times why I am frowning. When I smile it looks like a straight line with no lips.  How did I over come this smile loathing?  I worked for three years with Cool2Craft making craft video tutorials.  Tiffany Windsor saw something in me that she thought was worth mentoring.  Passion for creativity.  I always reviewed my footage before I sent it to her and I found, as I became more relaxed. that I was giving birth to my whimsical mojo.  My smiles were genuine and spontaneous.  Thank you, Tiffany.

And thank you, Mary England , you amazing source of glittery happiness!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Dia de los Muertos: Celebrating Ancestry

I love Dia de los Muertos!  It's a Mexican holiday that celebrates our loved ones that have passed on, leaving what ultimately is a skeleton.  Skeletons aren't feared or considered to be anything other than their loved ones' remains.

Here's an explanation by Judy King that touches my heart:
 “The Mexican flatters death and woos death, he sings to her, dances with her, he laughs at her. Finally he challenges her and in the challenging, death loses her power to intimidate him. Once he knows death intimately, death is no longer wrapped in a cloak of mystery or causes him to fear the darkness

Once the fear of death has been defeated, the clutch she has on the hearts and minds of the living is lessened once and for all. Death’s morbid side is buried under music and remembrances, while skeletons laugh and dance and sing as Mexico celebrates life in its embrace of death.”

The photo above is a ceramic box I made years ago.  It has a skeleton couple on top (a very common scene in Dia de los Muertos art)
In this closeup of the shrine, you can see that I added tiny photos of my parents in their youth.  All the decorations on the cake are ceramic.  The tryptic frame/stand is painted foam core board. I added lots of glitter, skulls, angels and the Virgin of Guadalupe at the top.

For the typical 3 day celebration, the families of the town would clean up the graves sites of their loved ones and decorate them with marigolds and candles on the evening of October 31st, and then the celebration begins. 

The Mexican s believe it would be an insult to their ancestors to be sad during the celebration.  I read somewhere that the road the spirits follow back to home would be made slippery with tears.  Instead, they laugh and sharing memories, feast together, making sure to bring the favorite foods of their ancestors (the delicious smells help them find their way home).

Here are some history links for more info:

I highly recommend visiting the Crafty Chica.  Kathy's whole family does wonderful Dia de los Muertos art!

Also, this post is part of Mary England's Celebration Blog Party

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Uncustomary Monthly Marvels

Monthly Marvels are the brainchild of Mary England of Uncustomary, creative genius and my daughter from another mother.  For just $10 a month, I get a package of fun things to do all month!

This month's fun started with National Talk Like A Pirate Day.  I know!  Right?  That's perfect for me!  Krispy Kreme Doughnuts celebrated with free doughnuts - one, if you talked like a pirate and a whole dozen if you dressed like one!  Who doesn't like free doughnuts!  You can't tell from the photo, but the place filled with pirates!  The free dozen had to be Originals, (not my favorite, but Hubby freezes 2 per bag and pulls them out for an occasional treat) so we bought a dozen of assorted, too.  I must have me sprinkles.  Arrg.
Yesterday was World Gratitude Day and National Eat an Apple Day.  I practice gratitude every day, because, if you don't, you're wasting your Happy Right Now time!  I made up an apple drawing from the coloring page Mary included.  I don't take enough time to draw for fun.  I really should!
Today is my Hubby's birthday!  Happy Birthday, my love!  It's also the 1st day of autumn!  Yea!  Mary included a paper leaf to write on, so I wrote a poem.
Orange and gold - pumpkin seeds
Chilly breezes and falling leaves

Spiced apple cider and candy corn
All the many costumes worn

Cold dark nights - mountain drives
Fabulous Frights and glowing eyes

The goblins come - the ghosts arize
Axes and chainsaws are sure to surprise

Parties and games filled with fun
Sleepy Hollow awaits, the time has come

Michael Meyers and Freddy scheme
To hack you up and terrorize your dreams

Don't forget to lock the doors
The last scream you hear will, of course, be yours

Thanks for being my muse, Mary!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Jackie Eucare: From Ashes to Art

Here's Jackie's Story:

I am a 26 year old mother of a little boy soon to turn 2. I was born in Baltimore and raised in Severna Park. I graduated high school in 2005. I did college for a while, even took an art class! In April 2008, my home caught fire, displacing me over night. The overwhelming feelings and inability to completely grasp everything happening were too much to allow me to focus on school. I shortly dropped my classes after. I decided to move my feelings and focus elsewhere, so I went to my local arts & crafts store. I have been painting for roughly 5 years now!  

  I have used Acrylic paints only. They were my first pick, so I have stuck with them since. With many of my paintings, once I have decided not to add anymore color, I rotate the canvas until something jumps out at me. I paint carelessly, no “final result” in my mind when I start. I also am working on multiple canvas’ at once, because of the drying process. I am highly detail oriented, but I am also very impatient. I have been experimenting with spray paints lately and really enjoy what I have been creating!

  Art in itself inspires me. There is no “wrong” when you’re talking about artwork. It is appealing to someone, for some reason. My true inspiration is a satisfied customer! I take pride in knowing some of my close family and friends have a few of MY artwork displayed in their homes. Creating happiness for an individual is one of the greatest gifts in our world! I only wish to do my part!

Jackie, You're doing you part, and more!   Thank you for sharing your passion!
Here is Jackie's email if you'd like to respond directly to her:

Saturday, August 17, 2013

An UncustoMary Craft haul

My uber creative daughter from another mother, Mary England, is street art loving, yarn bomb making, art mailing genius!  She is out there everyday leaving anonymous and uplifting cards, tiny gifts and such for anyone to find!  She posts lists of weekly happiness with links to all kinds of fabulous things.  How all that marvelousness could fit into her head, I have no idea!

Mary saved up to take a year off from work to follow her dreams.  I can't wait to see where she goes and what she does!

To augment her dream following, you can sign up to receive Monthly Marvel packages or advertise on her well read blog, for hardly anything!  I advertise by blog and have signed up for 6 months of marvelous packages!

When you check out her blog, be sure to click on the 100 Ways to Be Creative post.  Click on as many as you can to see the what a fun art chick she is!

I'll be using all the craft haul of ephemera in my work, listening to her CD of favorite music and eating the ring pop!