Thursday, April 30, 2009

8 out of 10 rabbits prefer:

Turns out he likes my car more!

Possible tenant?

The large gray rabbit was back in the garden this morning. I wondered if he had heard about the cottage for rent. But no, he was more interested in next doors' BMW.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

And there in the wood

A piggy-wig stood! I am currently doing a 14 x 14 inch acrylic painting of 'The owl and the pussycat" which is rather detailed, and so taking a longish time. The main image is in a circle (inside the square) and I am using the corners to depict particular parts for the verse. It should be finished within a few days, but in the meantime I thought I'd post the sketches I did for the corner portions. They are supposed to have a sort of 2D ink drawing feel to them, and will be painted only in shades of blue.

This is kind of a portfolio piece for me. I'm trying to amass painted and drawing work, as still so much of my previous work is in stained glass. One illustration book suggested illustrating classic stories or fairy-tales, to show how you would interpret them, and I thought that seemed a good idea. I particularly like the imagery associated with 'The owl and the pussycat', so thought that might be an excellent place to start. Also, I would possibly hope to have prints and/or giclees on canvas made if it is successful, and open an Etsy shop when i have enough stock! So watch this space.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Tough times need creative solutions!

My parents are visiting from the UK at the moment, so we went to spend a lovely weekend in Santa Barbara. The weather was warm and the little cottage we stayed in was very cute, and a good time was had by all. On Saturday we visited a wonderful plant nursery in Los Olivos, which specializes in succulents (my favourite plants) and I found a little stone cottage.

Times have been tough, and everyone is feeling the squeeze of the recession. I've even noticed in our local (wealthy) town of los Gatos that people have started renting out spare rooms and back yard cottages, so I have decided to do the same. I will place the stone cottage in my back yard and see if anyone wants to rent it out. I already have many (many!) birdhouses available for lease in the front yard, so am hoping that word will get around.

I will have to post some pictures of the birdhouses, and I will, of course, let you know what happens with the cottage. It looks 'thatched' and very old english. I would be happy to move there myself, only it would be a little small, i think.

Talking of small: whilst we were in Santa Babs (my affectionate name for it) we visited a miniture pony ranch, as there were many new born foals. Some of them were just 21" high! very sweet. I'll post a picture, also - the cottage is currently on my deck in this picture, but will be moved to a new and private yard location soon. Let me know if you know anyone that might want to rent it!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

'S' is for spring

A couple years back I made a small series of glass panels - sort of patchwork quiltyand very simple, that said 'A' is for Autumn. All autumnal colors and themes, and I sold them around pumpkin time. I don't even recall taking photos of them? (note to self : check photo files, just incase!)

Anyway, since then, some of the purchasers have been asking for similar panels for the other seasons, and have been asking for quite some time! So I have finally gotten around to making 'S' is for spring, and have managed to take a photo before sending them off to their new homes.

This week, the weather here has been surprisingly and incredibly hot - 104 degrees! (F) so looks like I'll have to get straight onto 'S' is for summer, at this rate!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Dusting off a few things

I think the last of the rain has finally gone for the season, so this weekend it was time to dust of a few things from under the house, and spend a bit of time in the yard. In just a few hours it looked much better and was ready for the summer. The hammock had been away since november, and it was lovely to see it again. I rarely actually have time to sit in it, but it really is the most wonderful place to relax, even if you just have 2 minutes. Cookie was very helpful with all the chores, and followed me around as I did them. She especially likes the hammock and helped me to make sure it was strung right by sitting on it as I was trying to chain it up!

Here she is when it was finally done right.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Loves me, loves me not

So much for posting this picture yesterday- I had no internet or phone all day! It's surprising how one comes to rely on these technologies so much, but rather than be frustrated, I decided to have an active day without distraction at my drawing board, and ended up having the most wonderful day! There was just one moment when I wondered how many toes an owl has (for a new project I've started) and the internet would have been helpful, but I managed - and had a very productive day. So, here is the picture I finished, which is the second in a series I have decided to do, and is called 'Loves me, loves me not'. The series doesn't really have a name yet, but for now I shall call it 'Bunny and Boo'. I'll post the first painting of the series again too, for comparison.

Endnote: When I showed my husband the thumbnail sketches for the 'Bunny and Boo' series, he laughed heartily. I was confused and asked what was so funny. He said "But this is you and Cookie" (one of my little dogs) and then said "you should put a note on these saying 'based on actual events' or 'based on a tue story'" I like that a lot. So,

'Loves me, loves me not' (based on actual events) Well - I do like cake.

'A stitch in time' (based on a true story) I also like tea (especially with cake)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A perfect afternoon

I took this picture last thursday afternoon, as it was one of those perfect moments that needed to be remembered and recorded. It had been a busy week, blowing glass rabbits every day for Easter, but by thursday afternoon, the furnace wasn't working as well as it should have been. So I found myself back at my home studio at around 4pm, and decided to do some painting on a little picture I started (what feels like) weeks ago, but have not had the time to work on.

So - the 'perfect' part of it comes in, as my work is on the drawing board, I have a cup of cardamon tea and a 'Whole foods' chocolate cookie. Vaugh Williams 'Lark ascending' on the Ipod, good light through the window, not too hot, not too cold, and, perhaps most importantly- the time to focus on the right here and now. So it was a little nirvana moment that had to be acknowledged. (contented sigh!)

Oh - and the picture is now finished, so I will post that tomorrow!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Hello sunshine!

This morning I installed 'the sun' at the Cristallo ranch in Los Gatos! It is a free hanging panel that now hangs inside the tack room in the horse barn, and brings some colored light to an already sunny room. It is technically very simple - a little painting, and staining, fused dichroic eyes, and leaded. But I think its simplicity is striking enough for its location.

So now I have a sun and a moon window - both circular, in different locations in Los Gatos, about 3 miles away from each other as the crow flies. Not connected in any way, other than the fact that I made them, and that I know they are there! Here are a couple pictures of the sun, and I will post 'the moon' again, so I can see them next to each other!
Anyone for stars?!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Circus birds

My blog hasn't seemed very 'creative' over the past week or so, so I thought it was about time I posted some art! It is with good reason though - as I had my week of 're-modelling' in the kitchen (still don't have a cooker!) and now it is Easter week, I have been working (somewhat production style) blowing glass at Holy City. The glass rabbits have been a real success, and because of that, I think I must have made at least seventy of them now! In spite of that, there are only around four or five not sold. Today will probably be my 'last rabbit day' for making them.

Today's picture shows a stained glass panel I made. It depicts sparrows, illuminated by colored light, flying high above the sandy floor of a circus 'big top'. The sparrows were lured into the billowing canvas, but have become trapped inside it's belly. Colored spot lights make them appear strangely colored, and the decorative stars on the roof of the tent trick them by promising an open night sky, yet when they fly towards it, they are still trapped. You can see the crowds of people (a sea of faces) seated around the circus ring, and their tiny size, compared to the sparrows, shows the cavernous size of the belly of this canvas beast!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Long horned cattle

At the weekend, my adventures took me to Chico, and a well needed couple nights away.
During my travels I saw these Long horned cattle, so I thought I'd take a picture for my blog. Their horns were incredibly long (or wide) and from where I took the photo, I would say they were at least six foot from tip to tip!

Monday, April 6, 2009

A spidery tale

Well - the tarantula leads me to another spidery tale. Last year, a good friend bought a pinata to my husbands birthday party. He filled it with all sorts of sweet treats and some rubber spiders. One of those rubber spiders made it's way into my bathtub at some point during the evening, and I decided I liked him there so much, he has stayed ever since. Strangely, during this time I have not had any real spiders in the tub - so are they all scared away by the rubber beastie I wonder?

Friday, April 3, 2009


Well, it's been a bad blogging week for me! But I do have a good excuse: I was remodelling my kitchen. So - new work surfaces, sink, microwave and oven later, I'm kind of back and will endeavour to be back into full blogging swing next week. (Hopefully all the cuts, bruises and sore knees will be gone by then too!)

So in the meantime, I thought I'd post this picture of a tarantula on the outside wall of my house. He appeared one evening, much to my surprise, so I had to take a picture! Although I really must insist that if he come along on the adventure, he stays on the outside of the magic bag, and not come inside!! Happy weekend!