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Hey, here’s something fun to do. Go here to Blick’s art contest for mixed media. Look at the entries. Then vote, hopefully for my bestest buddies piece:

phoenix - arlene navarro

OK, so I’m very biased but Arlene made this beautiful floating Phoenix which I like the best.

A few FAQs about Arlene and her work. She lives in Los Angeles, her pieces all have an ethereal cirque look, some are more fantastical, some more art deco, she is a friend of Blythe (so am I — finally), she is sweet and kind and very funny. Go here to see more of her work.

Got to dash, ugly thunderstorm rolling in. TTFN

Wow. This is something I hadn’t heard in ages, but once upon a time was pretty much the soundtrack for my life. . . Puff the Magic Dragon by Peter, Paul and Mary.

puff magic dragon record

I went to the Muddy Color blog as I do most days and there it was a whole big lovely post by Donato about this great old song. Read the post, click play and if you’re like me you’ll put your head down and sing along. Hooray! I remembered most all the words.

Many, many thanks to Donato for loving Puff and for telling people that you have to keep your dream dragons alive. And yes, I still have the battered 45 from when I was just little.

Much love and some more pictures of Puff.

puff the magic dragon

puff magic dragon

Puff-the-magic-dragon

This week I’m visiting with Little Red Riding Hood courtesy of Agence Eureka. If you are not familiar with that totally awesome blog you should click the link and check it out. It is emphera heaven!

chaperon2.0

chaperon1.0

This particular entry is a Toy Theatre. How cool is that?

chaperon3.0

And here is a diagram showing how to put it together. You’ll need some cardboard to make the box that serves as a surround, cereal or cracker boxes will work. Use a wire or a bamboo skewer as a handle for the figures. Or pipe cleaners or whatever else you have handy. Remember the important thing is to Have Some Fun!

I’ve been thinking about fairy tales a lot lately. No real reason, just something about the hot weather I guess.

Maybe it’s the heat that makes me long for cool breezes off the lake, in the shade of big, big trees. Which leads me to Hansel and Gretel. I mean, who hasn’t wanted a secret little get-away cottage in the deep dark forest? Especially one made of food.

Hansel and Gretel House

So this one is also a paper model. With an oven. Which you could use to make s’mores or a roast turkey or some cookies to make a matching wishing well. Bonus, it has a weirdo looking paper doll Gretel with some spare clothes.

Hansel and Gretel outside the Witch's House

This house has a gingerbread rooster roof ornament, pretzels trim and almond cookie quoins on the corner of the house. Plus a twisty tree and that not quite a fence of pretzels and almond cookies.

Hansel Gretel - Voodoo gingerbread house

Similar to the last one this house has voodoo face cookies, people cookies, a bunny cookie and check out the snake in the lower right left. As in your other right.

hansel-and-gretel - anton pieck

I love the curvy organic-ness of this house by Anton Pieck, I really like his illustration style — you should do a google image search of him.

Hansel and Gretel puppet book

This puppet book with a house of real cookies and candy is kinda jokey but I still like it.

vegetable house

And lastly, this is not a Hansel and Gretel house but maybe you could think of it as a green healthy alternative.

 

I got an email from Stephanie Blythe telling me that fellow NIADA artist Lisa Lichtenfels needs all our help. In the same six weeks her husband passed away and she was diagnosed with breast cancer. As all artists know when you work freelance when you can’t work you don’t get paid.

Please help Lisa pay her cancer co-pays and stay current with her living expenses. You can go to this link to learn more about the medical gofundme for Lisa that a dear friend of mine (Connie Smith) has organized.

Lisa Lichtenfels is one of the kindest, funniest, most honest people I have ever met. I met her in 1993 in Chicago where she showed her work and gave an inspiring slideshow talk about where she lived and worked. It opened with her saying that she had been reading and seeing all about people who lived and worked in fabulous inspiring places including a recent magazine article about a person who lived in a castle. She opened the slideshow by saying “This is a picture of the fixed-up side of my house.” We roared with laughter — Lisa didn’t live in a fancy place or even a totally fixed up place; she lived in a house where, she proceeded to tell us, it took six months to evict a “sitting tenant” (a squatter). “This isn’t the house we wanted; this is the house we could afford.” Her dry wit, her personality, her art — there just isn’t anything at all that I don’t love about Lisa.

Later during the visiting artists critique my doll was criticized for having incorrect thumbs. I was told “look at your thumbs and sculpt what you see”, I held up my hand and said “I did.” The poor artist looked at my hand and flustered said “Look at someone else’s thumbs. Take photos.” Now I need to explain that my family has anatomically incorrect thumbs — they are strange looking. They work great but they’re a bit odd, sort of double jointed and the last joint sticks out away from the hand. Then during the general viewing of the visiting artists pieces I was talking to Lisa and explained about the freaky thumb thing and she looked at the dolls hand and my hand and said “I like that it has your thumbs.”

I know for certain that I am not the only person who feels so strongly about Lisa, as a person and an artist. I am hoping that you will be willing to help her, both financially and by spreading the word about her need.

Now for the photo portion of this post:

lisa and phobe

This is Lisa with Phobe; one of her life sized Ticket taker pieces. These were made for posh people who had a private theater in their houses and wanted a sculptural piece to sit outside as if ready to take the ticket stubs.

princess arsinoe in the ostrich race

the last samaritan

These three photos came from Lisa’s website. I hope she forgives me for copying them so I could share them. You can also find more info on this Facebook page. Also try doing a google image search.

Please help.

This is an image heavy post for which I give no apology; this book has so many great pictures that it was hard not to include even more.

coneytale1

A Coney Tale combines two of my favorite things: Bunnies and 17th century Flanders.

coneytale2

Peaceful walks in the country.

coneytale3

Playing in the park. Have you noticed that coneys love to play ball?

coneytale4

Practicing archery with your Dad and making a momentous discovery concerning that gianormous tree. Holbun the Younger seems a bit anxious about archery.

coneytale5

Sharing the discovery with the community councillors. No coney needs to be asked twice to eat something. Coneys are widely renown for their eating proclivities. I just love that flemish council room decor. Can you spot the Old Master painting in this scene?

coneytale6

Mining for carrot, complete with engineering diagram. Not only is this book silly, it teaches a thing or two about real life Flanders. OK so it teaches them in a very silly way but I think that makes for a better story.

coneytale7

Everyone gathers for the pulling up of the giant carrot.

coneytale8

Away it goes . . . skyward. My favorite part of this picture is the coney on the left clutching his face (reminds me of The Scream by Edvard Munch).

coneytale9

Wow, that’s one big carrot! The coneys stand in awe, for a few minutes anyway. Then they mow down on the biggest feast they’ve ever seen.

I just love this line: No coneys were hurt, as they are generally a rather bouncy group.

coneytale10

The story ends with a grand ceremony in the remodeled park where the Holbun family is honored for their delicious discovery.

This book is out-of-print but plenty of copies are still available on the internet for reasonable prices. So if you’ve enjoyed this post you can certainly lay your hands on a copy for you and any little coney loving children you might want to share it with.

The author also wrote another coney book called Showdown at Lonesome Pellet, which I’m certainly going to be checking out.

Today you should go and read about the artist Jean-Baptiste Monge on the Muddy Colors blog.

Monge

Read it today because the Kickstarter for the lovely new book ends in nine (9) days. Having already surpassed the initial goal for printing the new edition; this one looked so good that I finally signed up and pledged to the project. Whether you do so is up to you, but unless you read Muddy Colors a lot, you might miss out on the opportunity to get another great faerie book.

Am I back to blogging every week? Probably not given that my current project is getting my workroom to a state where I can actually work in it. For a long time it looked like one of those “bunging out the Augean Stables” sort of tasks but now I can see a significant portion of the floor and the sewing table so it’s beginning to look do-able. Right now I’m going to try to meet an every other week post schedule and hope that you will forgive me if I miss here and there.

 

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