Tuesday, February 23, 2010

a little treasure in the mail

i'm so excited to share this with you:


i just received this in the mail this past weekend from artist and designer wendy robinson.
 wendy was soooooooooooooo amazingly wonderful to send me this little gem! she says that my blog profile inspired the card ( nawlins dawlin') 
 the detail on it is unbelievable!
wendy is a amazing artist.i first saw her work in stampington and company's STAMPERS SAMPLER.  i later came across her work on flickr.  and she was nice enough to let me us some of her marie antoinette pieces for my WHO DAT post. 
i am putting a little package together this morning to send to wendy -although, nothing of mine will compare to this lovely card.
and nothing compares to opening up the mailbox and finding a little piece of art that someone has mad with their own two hands!
it just brightens the day.


Monday, February 22, 2010

breathing deeply

ahhhh... monday. the most dreaded of all days!

yes, that means that i have to work today - it's normally my day off - but with all the time off i had for mardi gras and my impending jury duty imprisonment, i figured i better grab as many hours as i can. of course, that is not helping the ever growing pile of laundry or dishes i didn't get to yesterday...

i am trying very hard these days not just freak the hell out because of jury duty. i keep telling myself - i'll catch up on my reading - but i have been counting down the days like it was a prison sentence. i keep trying to get all my ducks in row - just in case. of course, you know i won't because i am the world's worst procastinator, but it's nice to think i will just the same. deep breaths. whatever happens will happen.

i've been working on a few new things this week:

the red one is a special order for lorin, but the other 3 will be available at GOGO in about a week or so.

and here are a few things i started before mardi gras:

i guess i better get motoring. want to stop by the stationer before i head in to work.
have a good day, everyone!
amber

Thursday, February 18, 2010

pink and longing for spring

an atc card i made just before mardi gras. i used a character constructions stamp and images from itkupilli and cemerony. the card is bristol board which i painted with gouche and then outlined with watercolor oil pastel.
i think i am so clever! ha!ha!

i am feeling a little better this morning - as mr. b pointed out - i sounded less clogged when i gave patches what not for waking me up this morning by walking on me. but, to be quite honest, i wish i could stay home one more day and maybe get some pendants made and some stamps mounted. alas, bills must be paid.

the weather is supposed to start warming up this weekend and i can think of no one happier about that than yours truly. i have been eyeballing my cotton skirts and flip flops with greed. maybe one day soon...
the japanes magnolias have started to bloom:
which usually means spring is not too far off. i am ready to get out and about and take some pictures with my (fairly) new camera. maybe by the weekend? fingers crossed....

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

all on a mardi gras day... well, everyone but me that is

so, today is ash wednesday. if you're catholic, that's the beginning of lent.
if your just one of the thousands who show up to party with the city of new orleans for mardi gras - today is your hangover day.
for me, it's a day off work and a day of rest after being sick most of the weekend and all of mardi gras day.  i have been in bed with my cats. sleeping. and watching hulu.
 yes, you heard me correctly.
i missed mardi gras.
kind of.
i was just feeling too poorly to go to the quarter and marigny to costume, so mr. b and i walked the 10 blocks or so from our house down to st. charles ave. to watch Rex parade by on mardi gras morning.
it was actually my first time ever seeing Rex.
here are some pics i took which i thought i would share:

since this was not the day that we had planned, i was very sad and almost cried that morning as i was trying to get dressed. but, i thought about my darling marie antoinette film by sophia coppola and reminded myself:
"you are not what was desired, but you are no less dear to me"
so, i sucked it up and tried to enjoy myself and make the best of a bad situation.
and i did. i actually enjoyed myself. experiencing something new is always a joy, i think, and this was a first for me, so i tried my best to take it all in and love it for what it was.
and, i have to tell you, mr. b really hung in there. i know he wanted to be in the quarter with the rest of the revelers and i commend him for standing by me and staying uptown with me even though i know he didn't want to. he says he also didn't go because his costume did not materialize - which i think is true. but, the fact that he did stay with me made me love him even more than i already do.
it has really upset me that i have been sick 3 times since the middle of december - i NEVER get sick - but i swear to you that if one more person suggests i see a doctor, i am going to kick them in the teeth.
i am sick because it has been cold here. i am not used to the cold. therefore i am eating to keep warm. that means fried food and pizza. not good.
i also have been going like a house a '(fire since january - i had a cold for the first playoff game - but i went anyway and sat in a stadium of 70,000 people and screamed and yelled for the saints.
i wasn't over that cold when i went out for the second playoff game to a smokey bar and drank until 3 in the morning.
then i went out for krewe du vieux (30 degrees), the saints superbowl win ( till 3am), the saints super krewe ( 30 degrees), and even though i was feeling crappy sunday, i went to laura's thoth party and walked the 40 blocks or so back to napoleon where i stuck it out long enough to see drew brees reign in baccus.
i might've over done it a bit.
i'm not as young, or in as good of shape as i used to be.
so, thanks for all the opinions ( have you been to a doctor? wuss. suck it up. it's not that cold. come out with us. it's not that cold. wuss. etc. etc. etc.)
to be honest, i am exhausted and i don't want to see or talk to anyone for about a week.
i want to sleep, watch tv, and if it warms up, play with the pile of supplies that arrived over the weekend.
i have been working on myself and the way i live my life fairly steadily over the last year. really taking stock of what i have, what i want, and what is important to me. and learning to just accept things for what they are and enjoy every second of every day.
i am even trying to not let the upcoming jury duty i have to endure bother me.
i'll catch up on my reading.
i have been taking care of my mind and heart, but not my body.
it's time to take care of that as well.
some of you may have noticed that i have made some changes here at this blog - which is very important to me. i love being here and writing and i love all of you who stop by to check out my little world.
i wanted to include more of my life here in new orleans as well as my newest pursuits of paper crafting, collage, and hopefully mixed media art.
those changes which i am making here, i am trying to also make in my every day life.
to live more vivaciously. add more whimsy to what i do. enjoy. every. minute.
and even though i have not felt 100% the last few days, i have tried with everything i have in me to enjoy whatever it was i was doing and not think that just because it wasn't what i planned, that it was a waste.
i am also really really really in touch now with how much creating means to me. next to mr. b, it is the singular most important thing in my life. i would be lost without it.
and as i continue to grow and change and try to make the best life possible for myself (and for the mr.), i hope that those closest to me can understand, support,  and respect this.
and i promise to take better care of myself.
when it warms up!
so, sorry for the ramble, but this is what has been on my mind as i lie here and try to mend my body.
well, that and wonedering if there is any pizza left...

Friday, February 12, 2010

too cold for my muse(es)

ok, i'm a dork.
i admit it.
it's too damn cold to be at the parades tonight.
i just can't do it.
couldn't. wouldn't. didn't. won't.
the mr. , the kittehs, and myself are all snuggled up in the bed - with the one good heater we have, while the rest of the city is out watching the muses parade tonight.
i feel a little guilty. a little like a looser. but i'm cold.
too cold to party.




and, it's too cold to work in my studio.
so here is a card i made last week when i actually had the carnival spirit.
before it was sucked out of me by an arctic blast.
bbbbbbbrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

happy lombardigras, y'all!

so, the real kick off to the carnival weekend is supposed to be tonight, with muses rolling around 6pm.
but, i feel like i've been through mardi gras twice already!
for the first time EVAH i could care less about going out for any of the parades this week, and more than likely you won't see my glittery face again until sunday, for laura's toth party.

here are some shots from sunday's superbowl second line with the camel toe lady steppers, dos jefes uptown cigar bar (where we watched the game), and tuesday's saints super krewe parade - which according to the paper, 800,000 people showed up for, including yours truly.
enjoy and happy lombardigras, y'all!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

marie antoinette is a WHO DAT!

allow me to tell you a story.
it's a long story. a bit convoluted. it rambles a bit.
so bear with me.
it's the story of a misunderstood teenager, a female artist, a visionary, an admirer, and a magpie for anything shiny...
it started in junior high when mrs. bradley, our history teacher handed out assignments for a term paper on an historic figure.
i got marie antoinette.
in retrospect, i assume she assigned this particular figure to me because i was a bit of diva myself back in the day :)

now remember this was in the days looooooong before google, etsy, and flickr. if you wanted to look up anything you had to get your mom to take you to the library where you checked out books and went through encyclopedias.
skip ahead a few years to college. i took an art history course where we studied women artists.
vigee lebrun caught my attention. and guess who she was famous for painting... you guessed it - marie antoinette.


a few years later i found myself in this great city that i now call home. as luck would have it, the new orleans museum of art actually HAS a vigee lebrun portrait of marie antoinette. for the first 5 years or so that i lived here, i would make a yearly trek to sit in front of mademoiselle marie and not only marvel at the skill of the artist, but wonder what the woman had really been like.
my interest was still minimal, however. i never really delved into her life.
until i saw sofia coppola's MARIE ANTOINETTE.

now, i realize that the french are probably still a little ticked off about that little piece of cinematic history, but i LOVED IT!


mainly because it was so rich in color and texture. whenever i am in a bad mood or not feeling particularly inspired, i just pop that baby in the dvd player and viola! art comes rushing in!

so, after that, i picked up antonia fraser's copy of marie's biography. regrettably, it is a slow read for me. i usually keep about 5-10 books going at once and i haven't picked this one up in over a year.  it's a good book and easy to read, but i have the attention span of a 3 year old when it comes to history. i feel like i'm still in mrs. bradley's class.  i'll dig the book out soon and pick up where i left off. that's how i read. it suits me.

so, here i am with a life long interest in marie antoinette ( though, admittedly fickle) and i am living in the age of altered and collage art. so, one day last year i decided i wanted a piece of art for our new abode and i wanted it to be something marie antoinette related.

i go to ETSY. i poke around. i don't find anything i like and when i finally do, i feel that it is out of my price range.

i decide to make my own marie antoinette shadow box.

one problem - i don't know diddly about rubber stamping and collage.

but i embark on the quest to learn.

so, as i am buying stampington and co. magazines, stock piling stamps and inks, studying various techniques on youtube, looking at other artists work on flickr and ETSY, and generally having myself a grand ole time, i realize there is A LOT of work out there featuring marie antoinette. and on top of that, that most of it is so achingly beautiful that i could NEVER hope to make anything that would stand up against these artists works.
(artwork by wendy robinson)
so i don't buy one stamp or collage sheet with miss marie on it.

i take the attitude and go in the direction of  " i will be different. everyone else is making marie antoinette stuff. i will work with bombshells, freaks, and vintage movie posters".

one problem - still love anything french. still love marie antoinette.


(artwork by wendy robinson)
now jump ahead with me here, to the saints winning the NFC championship and taking their black and gold butts to the superbowl in miami. the entire city of new orleans has gone insane - in a good way.  mardi gras started early this year. every costume shop in the city is stockpiled with black and gold. we dressed up for the playoffs. you can be damn skippy we're doing for the superbowl.

so,off i go to a little costume/vintage clothing store last tuesday night to look for a coat to wear saturday night to the first parade of the season - krewe du vieux. it's a walking parade that marches through the marigny and french quarter and it also happens to be mine and mr. b's anniversary, as we met 5 years ago at this parade.
it's always colder than... well, it's cold - and i wanted something cute and clever to wear. i wasn't even thinking about black and gold.

but, i walked out of the shop with a floor length gold lame dress and a french style masquerade mask. it took about 24 hours for me to come to the conclusion that i should do a marie antoinette inspired costume. so off i went for a wig. mission accomplished. the mask is a bit nauseating to wear, so i am afraid it will have to stay in pocket most of the time. but with some gold feathers, black flowers, and plenty of glitter, i think i've got my costume.



if i don't eff it up too badly i will wear it again for mardi gras. but, i probably will, so i am looking into a back up plan.

the day after i bought the wig, i decided, the hell with it! i WILL make marie antoinette artwork!
i loaded up on marie antoinette clip art and digital collage sheets.i already had some stamps on the way.
 i've started a few ATC cards, but nothing i am proud of enough to show here.
but, i keep working at it.

honestly, i should have just bought the shadow box. i've probably spent $500 on supplies in the last 6 months, and i still don't have my art piece.

i DO have a costume. does that count?

and with that, i have told you my tale of how my life long flirtation with mademoiselle marie has led me to an obsession with altered, stamped, and collage art and to the mother of all superbowl costumes.

i think a diva like me can do her proud, don't you?!

and as for the game...LET PEYTON EAT KING CAKE!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

paper collage - attempt #2

well, looking back, that wasn't much of a post yesterday regarding all our weekend festivities. to tell you the truth, i was exhausted and little bit snarky. all i wanted was to be left alone. i even turned down a trip to michael's because i just could not stand to be on a schedule yesterday.

instead of working on my superbowl costume - which i will have to do on thursday - i did laundry, dishes, and putzed around with my paper products. the first half of the day was a bust. i wanted SOOOOOO badly to make something - anything - that i was moving too fast and was unfocused and i pretty much effed up everything i touched.

i took a break around 3 to run an errand and got focused. i came back to the studio and did a much better job exploring a technique i had been interested in trying. if the pieces don't look too bad when i look at them again tonight, pictures will follow.

i hit the mother of all digital collage sheet sales on etsy last week and loaded up. it gave me a lot to play with.

after my debacle yesterday - and then rebound - i realized that i as much as i thought i would like collage - i really like stamping better - and i think i am better at it. of course, the trick is to combine both techniques, and for that, i am still learning.

so, for today i will show you some cards i made with the collage sheets i bought. the bottom 3 have been given away. the top one is still up for grabs.

valentine collage

bombshell card

parisian beauty card

monster bombshell card

and, finally, i went by the ogden to drop of more postcards on saturday ( the staff bought everything i took them the first time around) and was able to get a little pic of the display they have out for my work.
 pretty nifty, huh?

i realize that this is all so new to me - the paper crafting business - i really have no idea what i am doing. i never really intended to sell anything, but folks liked it enough to ask, so i thought i would try it.
i also realize i am a better jewelry artist than paper artitist, but it is something i love and i will continue to explore.
but not now. now i have to get to work....

Monday, February 1, 2010

it's monday. i'm exhausted...

this weekend was a tangled mosh of debauchery as we hit both krewe du vieux AND the buddy d parade. krewe du vieux is the only walking parade in the quarter and the buddy d parade was a once in a life time event to honor the late sportscaster and saints fan buddy diliberton who said if the saints ever went to the superbowl, he would parade through the streets of new orleans in a dress. well, thousands of men turned out to honor him yesterday and let me tell you, it was quite a site...
oh, jim, you devil, you!

krewe du vieux passes in a flash - brrrr.... it was cold!

mr b watches the parade roll by


spectators line up at the superdome for the start of the buddy d walk

you look mahvelous, dahling!
who dat nation: 1 NFL : 0