Saturday, October 13, 2012


If you need to ramp up your Muse; learn something new; find creative friends; join a creative community, then you need to join There is no registration fee to join this new Ning network and the spirit of community is developing with each new member.
14 years ago this month I started a polymer clay community online. It's still alive and well even tho I am no longer the 'list Mom'. I NEED to find that sense of community once again and so I'm hosting this new and exciting group. Join us as we begin a journey into our creative selves.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Lucky Number 13

Thirteen years ago my son set up a website for me called Every once in awhile he'd ask me when I planned to start teaching online classes. I always had an excuse to give him. After awhile I stopped even thinking about it and he stopped asking. Two weeks ago there was an unexpected convergence of the stars and everything fell in to place for me to finally start teaching. When I mentioned it to my son he said "Good Art Demos is ready for you. I've renewed it every year on my birthday". Thirteen years is a long time to keep believing in someone, especially someone who doesn't believe in herself. But it's finally time. I hope you'll join me as I set foot on this amazing journey of learning.

On October 8th my father would have turned 90. The old saying of "when a person dies, a library burns" is something I hope never to be attributed to me. I want to reach out and touch everyone who wants to learn something new. To grow as a creative soul and connect with others of similar interests. So Daddy, this one's for you. You showed me that sometimes we don't have all the time in the world and the time to do something is NOW!

Wednesday, October 03, 2012 a Place to Learn and PLAY

At my age most of my peers are winding down their life. They're retiring, spending time with grandchildren, just kicking back and enjoying the ride. Me? I'm just cranking up my life. Getting ready to open a site I registered 13 years ago to teach arts & crafts on line. When I registered all those years ago I had the idea but not the technology to make my dream come true. In today's world, the technology is here and I am ready!

And so...Daddy (Walter A. Brown 1922-1998) this one's for you. When you passed, you took a library of learning with you. I don't want to do that. I want to empty out my brain, teach all that the last 63 years have taught me and give everyone I touch moments of joyful play.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Having Fun is Hard to Do

As a formally trained painter I have never worked so hard at painting. Not saying it's not fun but allowing myself the freedom to open up to mistakes and wrong lines is hard work. I was raised by a spinster Aunt who believed in perfection. For all the love she gave me I got an equal measure of how to be perfect so Mommy & Daddy and God would love ME. I loved HER with all the devotion that an infant through pre-teen can muster. I tried very, very hard to be very, very good. That included staying inside the lines and choosing the right colors and taking very, very good care of my art tools...i.e. crayons...after coloring the box was kept closed, all crayons in place.

I remember that each Christmas brought me something artsy. In fact, my very first toy was a set of crayons and a wonderful book to color in. The secret joy of the Crayola smell and the fresh, uncolored page is still a vivid and fond memory of mine. What is NOT so fond to remember is the strictness of the rules of those toys. Don't waste paper, put your crayons back in the box and don't get anything on your hands. Of course that last reminder came with my first set of watercolor paints...oh the joy of that metal box and all of those little squares of color...96 colors and a brand new brush. The joy that memory gives me is balanced by the sadness that those paints remained untouched through all the years I lived at home. I was terrified to mess them up!

As soon as it became apparent that my ability went beyond a child's artistic playfulness the lessons began. What a delight to be able to paint so that each fold in my painting looked like it could be unfolded. The lines just so; the blending perfect...the hands clean and at the end of the long oil brush. Sit up straight, hold your brush just so and create a masterpiece.

In the 50's & 60's it was not about building a child's self-esteem. It was about perfecting the child. So while I loved being creative and painting, sewing and designing I went about each act with the knowledge that making mistakes was not acceptable. Having fun was in the creative act. Coloring outside the lines was a disgrace. Coloring someone green was unheard of and of course, unacceptable. How I managed to continue creating with all of my now, self-imposed rules, is a miracle. But create I did in everything I did I was as perfect as possible.

Fast forward decades and the now 55 yro child/woman is diagnosed with breast cancer and given a 40% chance of survival. Does she do it perfectly...being the good patient and following all the rules? HELL NO!! By the time some one had given me an expiration deadline I was so rip roaring mad that I basically told them all to go to hell and I would just go about my life ignoring any pain or illness. And for the first time I noticed that my art started to get playful.

During those months of chemo the recurring theme throughout my art was of Women with wings missing hands but dressed in colorful collaged dresses. And I discovered that on eBay there was a group of artists painting small like I was in what was then called 'art cards' and later ACEOs. 2.5 x 3.5 watercolor paper cards that I sold sometimes for prices that astounded me. Once again I slipped back into the perfectness of my art because I was now selling to collectors who expected a certain 'look'. For 6 years I painted as only I could with each line just so, color balanced to perfection and boring as hell to my creative child who had come out to play for such a short while.

Then one day I saw a blog post about a woman who painted so freely it looked like art from a talented 7 year old child. Such joy, such total freedom and such an impossible task for me to emulate. I bought the Somerset magazine that featured her on the cover and reveled in her unique and began to look for her art on line. On Etsy I saw her rapidly collecting fans and I could only sigh and wish that I could be so popular with my now staid line of digitally altered photographs. I signed up for her emails and every once in awhile one would come along announcing something that would make me wish I could paint like she did.

The day the email announced a star bunny class I decided it was time to be a rebel and act like a 7 yro child. Something I had missed the first time around. I signed up for that first class and found out that being free had a price. For me it meant cutting off my beautifully manicured nails and filing them down to stubs so I could use my fingers to paint. It meant switching the brush from my trained right hand to my non-dominant left hand so that I could create a free and loose looking drawing...but more than anything it meant facing my biggest fear...the fear of not being perfect.

I've only been fighting this battle for a few days as I completed the star bunny class and moved on to her PYS (Paint Your Story) class but it's still a gut wrenching feeling. I AM AFRAID to let loose and have fun. So every day I have to promise myself that it will be ok to make mistakes and that the echo of my Aunt's voice telling me to be careful has to be silenced once and for all. I NEED to do this for me. I NEED to have FUN with my art. Otherwise it will continue to be what it has always been over the last 40 years...just a JOB. I want it to be a mystical experience...a movement of hand on paper without thought as to where the color should go. That painting green on a person's face is the RIGHT thing to do. That maybe, this time, I will finally be able to let loose and just BE!

This is the first of my Happy Paintings...finger painted and left hand drawn.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Vintage Halloween by Frances Brundage

I'm always amazed when I discover a new vintage postcard image. One of my favorite artists from that era was Frances Brundage. She was a prolific artist and her Halloween images just blow me away. I have a lot of these images done in my 1" pendant/charms...celebrating this FUN holiday and her unique talent. You can see them in my eBay store

Here's a preview of my favorite one!

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Housecleaning 101

It's Fall...It's Time to Clean Up The House.  I just signed up to be part of a group doing exactly that! Wish me luck...I'll need that plus rubber gloves, garbage bags...............

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Texture Tuesday & a Perfect Summer Day

Long hot summer at the Jersey Shore.  I've been trapped in my bedroom by my window air conditioner for months because our central air died years ago.  The jeep I drive also has no air but living down the Jersey Shore makes it easy to escape the heat and soak up a little sea breezes in the evening.  The picture below is from an impromptu drive through Belmar and up over the ocean bridge connecting it and Avon-by-the-Sea .  

As I crossed the bridge I saw the beach and the inlet as the sun started slipping down in the west.  I couldn't resist!  I had DH pull over briefly on the other side of the bridge, grabbed my little point & shoot and started hiking back over the bridge snapping along the way.  The natives and tourists were out in force and these folks wanted to be on candid camera so I obliged!

This piece is for "Texture Tuesday".  An informal show and tell at Kim Klassen's Cafe.  The assignment was to use a photograph of "looking down"... I couldn't find a better photograph than this one of happy folks ending a day on the sea.

This was done using my photograph with Kim's Dream It texture.  The blending mode was Linear Light at 32% and the font Papyrus set at 79% opacity.  Life is everywhere you look whether it's up or down so Celebrate it!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Two Weeks

Two weeks from DD wedding. Last minute things to do so I don't know when I'll be posting again. After 14 months I've lost most of my readers anyway :) Congratulations to my BFF, Pam on the birth of a grandson last evening. It seems like yesterday I was the one getting married and populating the world. How quickly time moves by us all...that faint breeze you feel?'s your life passing you by. Get up and do something with it before it's too late!

Polyvore Contest - Lemon & Lime Dolls

Doll.png for Lemons & Limes Contest

Dolls Hat.png

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The countdown is on!

Just 16 days left until the wedding. The pressure is on with the whole family. Dieting has reached a feverish pace as everyone tries to lost those last 5 lbs. they've been sporting for years. Why do we drive ourselves to perfection for a wedding? Why can't we just show up in flip flops and flowered shirts and get them hitched? Instead we spends thousands of dollars, squeeZe ourselves into girdles and cummerbunds to look good for people we probably won't see again for years. I'm not stressed, not me. I'm releasing all of my tensions by playing on Polyvore. I wanted to let you have a mini experience of the site so I've uploaded a wee taste for y'all to play with. Enjoy styling!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Illustrations for Polyvore

First illustrations for use on Polyvore

In the Beginning Grace

To be so consumed by something that you think sleep is an unnecessary time-out is to feel the passion of your art. Last night, for the first time, I used polyvore for something other than hunting and gathering great imagery. I made my first ever collage, called "In the Beginning". This morning I jumped on the computer to check my eBay sales and noticed that I had an extra tab opened to Polyvore with a collage I started and then abandoned earlier in the evening. I couldn't find its direction last night but this am it became quite clear who it wanted to be and "Grace" emerged with just a bit of coaxing.
"Grace" reminded me of a prayerful woman in a church lady hat
I'm still in the beginning stages of this new passion but isn't that when the love is the greatest...when the thrill of creation is brand new?

In the Beginning

Monday, April 23, 2012

I'm baaaaaaaaaack

My daughter is getting married in less than 3 weeks and I've been kept busy all this past winter preparing for the big event. Last winter I spent PAINTING, PAINTING, PAINTING. My daughter moved in with her fiance last April so I spent that crazy, snowy winter in my living room under the skylight painting all of the 14 paintings that hang in her gorgeous apartment. For those who thought I just disappeared and abandoned the're half right. I was just going to walk away from this blog and start a new one and then I thought...NO...this one has history, and followers, and just needs some time and attention! So I'm back with a new determination and direction for my life and work. As soon as my daughter's nuptials are behind me I want to use this blog to offer images for use on new passion. I was led to start using that site by an amazing article in Somerset Studios Digital Studio magazine...the Spring 2012 issue. The article was written by Sheree Burlington, owner of It's been a long time since anything has sparked my creative fires and the article literally set my heart on fire for a new direction and a new addiction...POLYVORE! If you're a clothes horse, a collage artist, or just a lover of fun apps, you HAVE to check out Eventually I want this blog to host my own drawings, paintings and photographs so that users of Polyvore can incorporate them into their work. In the meantime, anyone looking for the perfect little gift for Mom or Grandma should check out my latest eBay listings at the_wild_gypsy. See y'all soon. Oh, btw, if anyone is wondering about the state of my health, the day before my daughter's wedding, May 10th, will mark the 7th anniversary of my remission from breast cancer. Not bad for an old broad who they had counted out from day one. AND, since I went to a more healthy and vegetable based diet, I'm down 16 out Jersey, the Girl is back in town!