Thursday, February 27, 2014

Artist Spotlight - Selkie Masks

With Mardi Gras just around the corner (Tuesday, March 4, 2014), I felt it was time to introduce you to Selkie Masks. Forget the plain, black half face masks that most everyone wore when I was of trick or treating age. Selkie Masks are wearable pieces of art. They are perfect for Mardi Gras parades and celebrations as well as masquerade balls, Halloween, costume parties and more.

I first met Connie, owner and artist behind Selkie Masks, at a Dallas Handmade Arts Market that I was also showing at in 2012 and loved the creativity and artistry of her masks. I was pleased when she took me up on my invitation to be a part of last year's Happy Holidays Gift Store at the Arlington Museum of Art. I was blown away by the variety and artistry of the masks that she stocked in the store. They were even more elaborate than what I remembered. Not only were they great finds for being the focal point of a fabulous costume, they were art pieces in their own right that would be perfect home decor accents hanging from an ornament stand or framed in a shadow box.

It was difficult to choose a favorite, however the floral design and colors of one of the masks kept drawing me back to it. I had a grouping of items on a bookshelf that the mask's colors would complement beautifully so I finally decided to take it home. It is a beautiful addition to that eclectic group of decor pieces that I had been thinking of. (Yes that is my flying pig and geek earring gazelle model in that grouping.)

You will find photos of other fabulous masks on the Selkie Masks website as well as where to find them in person or how to contact Connie to purchase one if you are not located near one of those locations. Celebrate Mardi Gras in style.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Great Backyard Bird Count Montage

This year during the Great Backyard Bird Count I realized that I have never shared any of my results with my readers and decided I needed to change that. Below you will see a montage of some of the birds that I saw during this year's count. A few of the photos were taken during the count but most of them were taken previously. Click on the montage to enlarge it.

(birds in the montage - center: immature Red-tailed Hawk; clockwise from top left: Dark-eyed Junco, Mourning Dove, White-winged Dove, baby Eastern Bluebird, female Northern Cardinal, male Northern Cardinal, Blue Jay, Carolina Wren, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Field Sparrow and House Finch)

Following is a list of all of the birds that I was able to identify during this year's count: Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestrel, American Crow, Northern Mockingbird, Northern Cardinal, Blue Jay, European Starling, House Sparrow, Field Sparrow, House Finch, Dark-eyed Junco, Mourning Dove, White-winged Dove, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eastern Bluebird, Carolina Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Red-bellied Woodpecker and Cedar Waxwing.

If you participated this year, I hope you had fun. If not I hope this post is inspiration for you to do so next year. If you have been hesitant to count because you are unsure you can identify enough species of birds, I have a great new, free app for you from Cornell Labs, Merlin. It is different than flipping through pages and pages of a field guide and I found it to be very easy to use.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Waterlily Wave Pattern in AVAA 2014 Regional Show

My waterlily image “Blue Reflections” was my first photographic art image that I had printed on metal. It was well received (and purchased, yay!) at the 2013 Happy Holidays Gift Store. I made an abstract image, “Waterlily Wave Pattern”, from “Blue Reflections” and decided to have it printed on a slightly smaller, 11x14, piece of metal. I liked how the surface of the metal gave a clean, contemporary look to the abstract and decided to enter it in the 2014 AVAA Regional Juried Show.

I should mention here that in the first AVAA show that I entered, in 2012, my Gulf Fritillary entry received a merit award but my entry in 2013 was not hung in the show, so I was hoping this year’s entry would make it in. I went to the reception and awards ceremony last night for the 2014 show. I was pleased to see my “Waterlily Wave Pattern” hanging on the wall.

If you are in the area and would like to see some great artwork from artists from around the region in a variety of media, stop by the Bob Duncan Center in Vandergriff Park in Arlington, TX. The artwork is hung in the north/south hall on the west side of the Center and in the large room on the west side of that hall. My entry is in the large room at the north end of the west wall. The show will be up through March 28, 2014 and then the winners will be moved to the Arlington Museum of Art to be displayed during April and May.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Thanks for the Treasuries - January 2014

Four different Etsians and one Etsy team let me know that they had featured one or more of my items in a treasury during January. Sixteen January Etsy treasuries, that treasury makers let me know about, included one of my creations. One of them was even featured twice. You can see a collage below of my items from EDCCollective and EclecticSkeptic that were featured during January. (Click on the collage to see a larger view.)

I really appreciate being featured by the treasury makers. To thank them, I have listed below (in alphabetical order) links to the 4 Etsy sellers that let me know that they featured one of my items, as well as an item from their shop that I like. You will also see information about the TexasFriendsTeam that also featured items of mine.

Enjoy window shopping and please click on the shop links of anything that catches your eye.

Put some fun in your life with pocket mirrors, earrings, bookmarks and Scrabble Tile necklaces.

This shop has lots of great finds to give or keep for yourself for years to come.

Here you will find unique & one of a kind jewelry made in the USA.

In addition to great rag dolls & stuffed animals, this shop is branching out into mosaics.

Past, present and future Texans are welcome and encouraged to join this team. The only real rules of the group are to promote friendly, The TX Way, and be respectful to all who participate.