Saturday, October 14, 2017

Is it Halloween yet?

Sugar Plum Fairy Mask

Right now I'm making masks. All.The. Time. This is a mask of the Sugar Plum Fairy I made
for a custom order. She's from The Nutcracker Suite.

Working constantly makes me think about last summer, wandering through the medina in Tétouan, Morocco. Wishing I was back there. This is a painting Naomi made from the rooftop of the riad.

Frankenstein on stilts

I did take a night off last weekend to go to first Friday.

It was a festival atmosphere since it's one of the first cool evenings we've had for First Friday since April.

We also stopped in to see the opening of my friend, Kyllan Maney's new mural. Which is a stunning addition down on Roosevelt Ave.

Anyway, back to work....

Thursday, September 28, 2017

So many masks and the Science Center

Whit deer custom masks

So, it's September and I'm working on masks of course. All the time. In fact just typing this I'm anxious about all the work I have to do.

Halloween really can't come fast enough.

My big news is that I've been invited to The Sarasota International Chalk Art Festival in November. They're going to fly Naomi (my assistant) and I out to Florida and put us up for a few days! I've never been to Florida and this festival is huge, bringing in artists from all over the world, so I'm super excited!

I did take a day off for Mike's birthday.

We went over to the Science Center, mostly because we had free passes.

But we saw an incredible 3D Imax movie about the South Pacific. It felt so real, it made me wish we could go!! Of course, I want to go everywhere. I do think that scuba diving would be worth the effort to learn though.

Mike by the brain

Afterwards we took a look around at the exhibits.

The 2 of us by the stomach that made digestive noises.

Mike and Phoebe making smoke rings.

This is a fail, just a smoke poof.

And success, they made a ring.

Afterwards we went to over to our friend Kraig's house for an amazing dinner and a movie. It was good to get away from working constantly. So now Mike is 46 and together we continue our march towards 50...

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Nutcracker suite and a pumpkin race

I just finished. I sent 8 mouse masks and a mouse king off to Melbourne, Australia for their Nutcracker ballet. Of course that doesn't mean I'm finished, finished. It's September and "back to school"  stuff is over so some Halloween orders have started, as well as odd orders like this one....

"Can you make a small paper mache head of my dog? I want to place it on a pumpkin for a pumpkin race. So the pumpkin will be the body of the dog. Also, this doesn't have to be perfect because the pumpkin will probably crash....just look like a white maltese. I can send a pic. But she is a typical white maltese. I would maybe need two in case it crashes and breaks."

...So I made her this head:

I also looked up pumpkin racing...


Anyway I'm also working on masks for 3 different weddings right now.  This is not a market I thought I'd ever have but apparently people use masks at weddings.

©Amber Hayes

© Amber Hayes

This is my fox mask and my jackalope mask from a wedding photo shoot. I think they look pretty amazing actually. Anyway back to work.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Sketchbooks in Brooklyn and another adventure on the horizon

I found out about this amazing sketchbook library today. I love idea of being part of something so unique, so of course I signed up and my sketchbook I'll be drawing in is already on it's way!

Last week I was invited to be Artist in Residence at Copper Canyon Elementary for the spring this March. The opportunity is mostly working with the children in the 2nd grade classes. It should be fun!

Kilkenny, Ireland

Our most exciting news this week is that Mike, and I have been offered an artist residency at Shankill Castle in Kilkenny, Ireland for next summer!! We're both quite excited. Looks like it's back to applying for some artist mobility grants....

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Yes, we did go to President Trump's rally in Phoenix

Well, we were actually outside of it, marching for unity, and speaking out against his recent comments encouraging the white nationalists.

Phoebe really wanted us to march with the church, so we followed the directions, leaving cell phones at home and scrawling a contact phone # on our body with a sharpie, in case something bad happened.

Streets were blocked off for a mile around the convention center, so we parked near an affiliated church and joined the candle lit march from the downtown area to the rally.

As we marched down Central Ave. chanting "Love not hate makes America great", cars drove by honking and cheering us along. The crowd was full of children,  and families, as well as older elderly people who were doing really well walking in the 105º degree heat (yes, it's still really hot here at night).

Phoebe and I with our signs.

Our group waiting for permission from the police to cross. We were guided by police all the way downtown.

   When we finally reached the convention center the crowd was huge, but I was so hot and Naomi was starving as she skipped dinner, so we popped into a Mexican restaurant for a quick bite and to cool down, before going back over. While Naomi ate we watched the big TV's in the restaurant in shock as the police outside started gassing the crowd. From outside we could hear loud popping and banging. When we got back out the tear gas hit our eyes and went into our lungs. Dazed we passed a man with tearing, puffy eyes talking on a cell phone. He looked at us smiling and said "Just embrace it!"

Walking back

We walked back to the light rail with choppers circling and announcing that anyone in the street will be arrested. Gas and smoke bombs were still going off and the popping noises were terrifying.

Phoebe and Naomi near a mural by the train.

Phoebe posing by the mural.

Naomi posing while I buy train tickets. 

     While we waited for the train, I saw an old friend obviously coming back from the march. She was utterly traumatized. She was in the front next to the barrier holding her sign, and the crowd was chanting "Peaceful protest" facing a line of police with automatic weapons and a lot of well armed Trump supporters. Then someone from  the  group of thousands of protesters threw an empty water bottle towards the police. A moment later she was surrounded with gas and smoke, she and the people around her couldn't breathe. Some people were having what seemed like asthma attacks. There were noise makers the police set off that sounded like gun fire all around her and she ran to the closest open business, which happened to be a Hooters. The restaurant however, barred the door and wouldn't let anyone in, even though people were having serious asthma attacks. Many Trump supporters were inside smiling and filming them in their distress. She was so upset, it sounded terrible, and I couldn't help but worry about all the children I saw in our march down.

So then we came home, and washed off the tear gas, and felt glad that Naomi skipped dinner that night and detoured us at the last minute.

Monday, August 21, 2017

The Great American Solar Eclipse and another departure

Today was the first solar eclipse in America.... since the last one.

But of course we went to check it out. This time it wasn't quite as convenient as last since 2 of our kids are in school and the atmosphere in Phoenix was a bit more suspicious than we experienced in Balboa Park in San Diego (THAT was like a festival!).

We went over to Indian School Park with Naomi and Oscar. 

Light crescents from the leaves
A few other people were using devices like boxes and when we offered up our glasses they flat out refused to use them, because of all the warnings about faulty glasses online.

Naomi at the park

 Ours are from the Lowell Observatory gift shop, though. Phoebe went to school with hers. I hope she gets a chance to use them, and we sent Chloe off to Missouri with some.

At the airport

Chloe left last Friday morning and her school started today. Unfortunately I was not exactly on the ball last week and misread what time her flight left. I had looked at the arrival time in Kansas City and when I checked again at 8am that morning I saw the plane had left at 7am!

After an epic amount of time on the phone, Mike got her a new flight.

We also had a little gathering for Naomi's birthday (which isn't till this Thursday), it all went well except that the ice skating rink wasn't allowing public skating that night. So it was a bit of a drag (again I misread a schedule). We're planning another get together this week though, 

Hope everyone had a good view of the eclipse today.... I think next time we'll just travel to a place where there's total coverage!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Boating School and Back to School

    Last week was Chloe's nineteenth birthday, so we rented a pontoon boat for her and a couple of friends to go out on Lake Pleasant. She was out on the water for all of two minutes when the boat police stopped her. Her friend had a foot in the water and now she has a ticket. So it looks like she'll have to go to Boating School!!  Still, they did have a lot fun.

Nineteen candles

Anyway, we had cake and pizza and nineteen candles.

In other news Phoebe just started her sophomore year this week...

"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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