Sunday, November 27, 2016

Phoebe's Mystery Party and Chloe's back!

This past week just flew by! Chloe was home from college for the first time since August.


No, she did not travel home in a suitcase, (she did bring one full of laundry though).


These are just some fabulous photos we took before the showing of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (which was a great night out).


But, of course, we are huge Harry Potter fans in this house, so we're a bit biased.


And finally the last one with Phoebe and Chloe.


The day after Chloe came home was Phoebe's birthday party. She wrote an elaborate mystery for her guests to solve as they wandered around the midtown area of Phoenix. This is Naomi on our way out the door. 


This is her big crowd of guests gathering at the Twirl (....mmmmm frozen yogurt)


                        And here they are later that night after the big reveal at Joyride Tacos!

 The kids had a blast and one of her friends gave her a Quinceanera card. Unfortunately for Lucas he can't read Spanish and was quite embarrassed when Phoebe translated his sappy card for him.
                        

This week I was still doing some teaching (just one class) and keeping up with numerous mask orders. This one is a Jhin Mask from League of Legends and a custom commission.


Thanksgiving morning we headed up to Rimrock in the mountains to visit with Mike's aunt and uncle. The photos from Thanksgiving were pretty lame (I must get a new camera before Morocco!!). However, here's a very windy selfie of Mike and I on our way into the mountains.

I hope everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving!






Sunday, November 13, 2016

Tree Creature and the new world

This week has been a roller coaster of emotions for us here. We bought our tickets to Casablanca for my artist residency in May! It's so exciting to know that we will spend our summer immersed in a culture so different from our own and during Ramadan as well!

Then Donald Trump had his shocking victory and this country has split in half. It's like we live in a new world. Today we went to church and they gave us these....


This is my safety pin. I will wear it from now on. Some say it's a meaningless gesture, but it's something anyway. 


Friday night I created my sign for my sculpture.


On Saturday morning we installed him in his planter on Grand Ave. for the Grand Ave. Festival.


I had wanted to make 2 sculptures for the event, but mask making took over my life for September to October. I will plan better next time.


All in all he looked pretty good out there.








Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Halloween and more


This is Naomi's pumpkin. She named him "George" and we never lit him up. She carved him without any help from us, but if she'd asked me I'd have told her that 4 nights before Halloween was way too soon to put a jack-o-lantern outside in the heat. It was flat, rotted and swarming with flies by Sunday morning. This was on a better day for him though.

Halloween night was driving for us as both our kids made plans across town. Phoebe's friend was actually out of the city a bit and Mike and I decided to stay in the area. We ate at the one of the three restaurants around there and then wandered around an abandoned strip mall till it was the agreed pick up time. I didn't get any photos of Naomi but Phoebe was dressed as Edgar Allen Poe and her friend was the raven and wearing my mask.


Phoebe posing in a dark and empty playground.

A slightly more bizarre picture of her.


Her friend Edona as the raven. They clearly were having a good time that night.


In other news Mike's art opened at a Moebius tribute show down in Tempe.


Just the 2 of us made it that night but we had a nice time and tested out a vegan restaurant with interesting results.

I'm making progress towards buying our plane tickets to Morocco. I'm only a few hundred dollars short to buy all five. That means that I search ticket prices, find what I need and hop up and down groaning about it a lot. Anyway I now have 4 out of 5 passports in hand and I checked on the status of Mike's (the last one that hasn't come yet), and it's been posted priority mail and should be here soon. Also this week I need to organize and submit my portfolio for another grant application. Hopefully this is the one that will work (5th one's the charm right?)





Monday, October 24, 2016

It's raining in Portland and other things that won't surprise you

It's been a while since I posted. Mostly because I've been making masks nearly continuously since I've returned from Portland. My first Halloween running my mask store has been incredibly challenging and I've learned that I have a lot to learn.

Our trip to Portland was.... wet. It rained the whole time during the H.P. Lovecraft film festival and Cthulucon. We spent a lot of time at our table selling books and masks.


While it was nice to get away from my studio, that didn't mean I wasn't working.  I was on deadline to illustrate a book called "Teens of Character, Book 2", so I had plenty of painting to do.

This is one of the illustrations from the book. I sat at the booth, painting for the first 2 days.


Mike participated in the Pickman's Apprentice Art Competition again. There were a lot of artists competing, it was quite an event.


This is Mike's finished painting.


This is Liv Rainey-Smith's print.


...And Nick Gucker with his contest winning art!

I did enjoy our trip however. It was fantastic to see old friends and spend so many days not driving.

Anyway we flew home after 3 days and I started making masks immediately when I walked in the door., as many orders came in while I was gone. This one is a special commisson I just completed  of a zombie mask...


Right now it's on it's way to New Jersey...


Have a Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Segways and masks

Last weekend for Mike's birthday we went on a Segway tour of Tempe Town Lake.

Phoebe and I all geared up.
The tour started at dusk and we had to spend some time practicing.

Naomi practicing

The segways are very easy to use since they're based on how you shift your weight, but some things about it are very counter intuitive. Anyway as we set off for our lake tour it was pretty exciting as the segways are actually a lot of fun to ride!

Pit stop
The tour was really quite fascinating. We passed under a railway bridge that crossed over the lake and our tour guide, Josh, said that it was the oldest bridge that crossed the lake and when it was rebuilt they proved it's stability to the residents by walking an elephant across it. Not because an elephant is heavier than a train, but because an elephant won't walk on a surface that isn't structurally sound.

Anyway halfway through the tour we made a pit stop at a local Starbucks. I was glad because shifting back and forth makes your feet ache.

All of us by the lake

Anyway this is a photo the tour guide took of us by the lake. It was moments later that we had our calamity. We sped along by the lake when the tour guide slowed us down . Each person in the group stopped more and more suddenly when Mike in the back went off the path and lost control. As our guide went over to help Mike back on track, we waited to the side. Naomi can to wait near me and her segway tapped my wheel. I didn't react right and and suddenly I was on the ground with the segway rolling over my foot. I wound up pretty beat up, but we finished the tour.  Still I'd consider doing a segway tour again, it was a lot a great experience up to that point.

With Halloween approaching my mask orders have exploded so I'm in a panicky place these days (especially since I have other deadlines).

Dr Finkelstein and a brown armadillo

These are 2 custom masks that I shipped out a few days ago. Right now I have eight masks on my table in progress and three packed up by the door. Every day I ship more and new orders come in and of course my kids got me sick so I'm pretty doped up on cold medicine. On the plus side Mike and I are getting out of town next weekend for the HP Lovecraft film fest in Portland, OR. It won't be great for my mask orders but it will be fabulous to fly away for a few days!











Saturday, September 24, 2016

Tree Creatures and international exhibits.

The last couple of weeks I've been swamped with work (my mask shop is having a Halloween sale that's really picked up speed).  Also I'm trying to complete my "Tree Creatures Installation" for the Flower Fantasy Show at the Grand Ave. Festival.


I've made progress with the one on the left...


This is his face before painting.


After painting the base color.



Top of the tree with flowers added.


Here you can see I attached a 2 foot stake to install it into the planter.


Anyway, I've been so busy with mask orders, a book illustration job, and work I needed to send off to other shows that he's now sitting here on my desk. Hopefully this weekend I will finish him up and start on the next one.

“The House in The Woods” 
This is my little painting for the  “Brüder Grimm” exhibit at the Wesersagen Museum in Bad Oeynhausen, Germany. Opening in November till January. I shipped it off this week.
"It's a Beautiful Day"

I also sent off this painting to Turkey for the Bicycle and Tourism Show at Baliskasir University going up in November.

An Arizona Iris
And finally this is my entry into the show "Irises" for the Hotel Iris in Alexandrov, Russia, for an exhibit in 2017.  


Here, you are gazing upon the delicious cinnamon cake that the girls and I made Mike for his birthday a few days ago. Tomorrow we're going on a segway tour of Tempe town lake to celebrate (mostly because I've always wanted to try one of those things.) Have an excellent week!








Saturday, September 10, 2016

Tongue tied

This year we have long commute to get the kids to their new school through the beginning of rush hour traffic, so I'm spending the time brushing up on my French. It's coming back pretty quickly  C'est vraiment super!



The reason I'm brushing up on French is so I can hopefully communicate when I arrive in Morocco next May. Of course my Spanish will be useful as well, but the best language to know is Moroccan Arabic.... So I'm studying that too. It makes my head spin keeping track of all though, and honestly, when it comes to the written Arabic I'm pretty lost already.

Anyway, I've been working hard on applying to artist grants, as honestly, my GoFundme is pretty stagnant. Though some wonderful people have actually pledged some money and I'm insanely grateful to them! Anyway I'm coming up on a deadline for the fourth grant I've found that I qualify for (fingers crossed).



In other news, Chloe has been accepted into the Kappa Delta sorority. Which is good, I think. Actually, I know nothing about this kind of thing as I just went to an art school in NYC, but she's excited, so that's all I need to know!
"People are willing to take these extraordinary chances to become writers, musicians, or painters, and because of them, we have a culture. If this ever stops, our culture will die, because most of our culture, in fact, has been created by people that got paid nothing for it--people like Edgar Allan Poe, Vincent Van Gogh or Mozart."-Kurt Vonnegut

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