Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Work In Progress

Stamped tumblers drying after being thrown and trimmed.
It's tough to create "enough" stuff when you have a full-time job and an hour and a half commute each way, but somehow, a little gets created!

A quicky knitting bowl
I've been having fun with creating new stamps from polymer clay and playing around with the textures. My creativity and ideas have been increasing as my stress levels have been decreasing, and I'm excited to get into exploring new forms and techniques.
Ultimately, I'd like to try the opening technique the first Master Potter in this video does. It looks like you can achieve larger works with less wear and tear on the body. (After I read this article by Smithsonian Magazine, I've become even more aware of how hard being a potter is on my aging bones!)
I've lately been enamored of throwing larger, wide bowls, which would be suitable for either serving food or display. The stamped pattern inside the bowl above creates texture on the outside, too!
You can pick up some of my textured things in the ShellHawk's Creations Etsy shop. I'll be adding more this month!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Pin-Up Monsters

See more at her store and pick up a print or ten at Sveta Shubina Gallery on Etsy!

Monday, November 19, 2018

Yip Yip!

Click on the pic to see what happens when the Yip-Yips ride an elevator at Dragon Con in 2016.

Just cracks me up!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Ten Years? Wow.

I started this blog ten years ago on November 3rd, 2008.

I can't believe it.

And I can't believe all the changes the decade has wrought. Births and deaths. I started out happily married, and now I'm recovering from an ugly divorce. I became part of a team of crazy Hallowe'en podcasters when I joined Hauntcast. I built a giant scarecrow and a pottery studio.

Most of all, I met you.

And that has been such a big blessing!

When things were silly, happy or sad, you chimed in with more giggle-worthy anecdotes, love, and support. I've had the honor of meeting with many of you in person, and you're still in my life on a pretty regular basis, even though some of you don't even live in this country.

And your talent! My God! I never knew how much talent was out there in the Hallowe'en community until I started this blog! Pumpkinrot, Spooky Blue, The Davis Graveyard, My Ghoul Friday, The Art of Darkness, and just too many others to name.

They were all my morning coffee klatch. I looked forward to their new creations and their processes. I looked forward to seeing their new puppies and their link dumps and their new creations. I was constantly amazed by their ingenuity.

And they - you -inspired me to do better, to be better, to reach down inside of myself and really learn my craft.

I wouldn't be the same person without you. And I humbly thank you all.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Messing Around With Something New

 I came to a realization through therapy recently:

I hadn't had real live, actual fun, creating art for a long time.

I know that sounds odd to people who have been following this blog for a number of years, but it's true.

Looking back about nine years, I realize I started selling my ceramic art too soon. It wasn't really ready for public distribution, but I had a reason: I was told I needed to bring in money.

It wasn't an unreasonable request.

Practically speaking, making art costs money. Making ceramics costs an inordinate amount of money, and that's no exaggeration. The clay, the raw materials, glazes, brushes, the potter's wheel, the plaster table, the banding wheels, the cost of firing, the kilns, for God's sake! All of it costs money. Much more than most people realize.

I didn't realize it, but it slowly started to suck the joy of creating art down the drain.

Losing my studio put a stop to everything, and the next year was taken up by both the aftermath of the divorce, processing the Jerry Springer/Real Housewives nature of it, and unexpected serious health challenges. My surgery made it impossible for me to lift anything over 15 pounds for several months. For someone as active as I am, it was sheer torture.

Looking back, that forced break from art helped to clear space in my head for something new.

Recently, I was fortunate enough to connect with a local ceramics studio and start making ceramics again. This time, though, I'm primarily making for myself. I'm trying new techniques, pushing old boundaries and above all, giving myself both time and the permission to make crappy art. I'm in a place where I can learn from a teacher or several teachers again, and that spurs my growth and makes me eager to get to the studio on class nights.

Which brings me to going back to drawing, something at which I have become extremely rusty!

One of the goals I have is to re-engage in making fine art in addition to my Halloween wares. I've had a sketchbook around for a while and hadn't gotten around to using it, so I decide to bust it out and just start sketching ideas for both fine art and some new Hallowe'en things. Some of it is absolute garbage, as is to be expected, but some shows promise. Like all muscles which are achy from disuse, I anticipate my drawings will get better with practice.

In order to stretch a little more, I got a set of watercolor markers. I've never worked with watercolors, let alone brush pens, but it's been a fun, loose way to get back into drawing. Again, I'm giving myself permission to make bad art, and that's freed up my head tremendously!
Merging what I'm learning from playing with drawing and watercolors with my interest in working with acrylics is going to create some new, and above all, fun, things.
I've made it a goal to use one page in my sketchbook every day, and for the most part, I've been able to do it. It's odd to be working in watercolor when I've never done it, but the results haven't been terrible.
It's not earth-shattering or groundbreaking, but it's a step in the right direction. It's part of rediscovering and reclaiming who I was before I allowed things to go sideways and let someone else determine my worth. That's a mistake I will never make again.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Scary Stories!

Click on the pic for a scary story told by Lucas the Spider!

Monday, November 5, 2018

Spooky Rhymes and Riddles

Pinterest is such a wonderful resource for all things spooky, I must say! I get notices of "Pins we think you might like" and from time to time, I get that, "Hey! I remember that!" sensation.  I can't believe I had forgotten all about this little treasure from Scholastic Books.

And that's exactly what happened with this book: Spooky Rhymes and Riddles, by Lillian Moore.
 The rhymes are delightful, but the illustrations (done by Ib Ohlsson) are such old-school Hallowe'en goodness! I was entranced by them as a kid. 
And after I saw it on Pinterest, I had to order a copy of my own. It's not in pristine condition, but I don't really care, honestly!
With illustrations of this quality? No. I don't care that it's not absolutely perfect. This is sheer Hallowe'en spookiness with that all-important touch of sweetness and innocence from childhood!