Monday, November 29, 2010

Burger Hill

Thanksgiving was lovely.  I spent four days in my studio, peppered with visits from friends.  Lots of good warm feelings, great food,  lively company.  It was a weekend where I could say "I really felt the love".

At this point in my life, friends and tradition are hugely important. After seeing death knock on a few doors, I have learned first hand how precious life is, and that things which I have grumbled about in the past, or thought were a disaster, were not worthy of the importance I had given them.   I've grown to become upset about less, and am more thankful than ever for all that I have. And the love.  I really FEEL the love as it pulses with an ebb and flow.

After one of the gatherings with friends, Larry and I stopped at Burger Hill,  off 9G south of Rhinebeck. The sunset colors were promising to be beautiful, the evening air crisp but not cold.   It was a short, but an uphill hike to the edge of the hill, and I walked it at a good pace, hoping to get some exercise after a dense meal.  At the top I experienced a Julie Andrews moment.

The hills WERE alive, with frolicking dogs, people moving about in the tiny houses below, the ever constantly changing light.  I felt HUGE, and at the same time, very tiny  - huge in my connection to the sky and the earth, but then so very small...a little dot standing amidst rolling hills and distant mountains.

It was exhilarating, it recharged my body and my soul.

Who would have known that one of the sweetest views was 25 minutes from my house all these years? I suspect you will find me there again, perhaps with a picnic and a paintbrush. When it's warmer.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Lessons Learned

After a luke warm turnout for my Black Friday sale, I decided that I am not going to quit my day job anytime soon.  I  covered my expenses, and I worked in between customers, which meant that I worked nearly all day.  But out of it came good.  I saw what inventory I had, what people were responding to, and it gave me focus on what I have to spend the week doing.  I also got to hang with a few special friends, which is always a wonderful thing.

Today I  worked on my piece for The Birds and the Bees show at Donskoj Gallery.  I have the idea, but the "how" is what I have to work out yet.  It is a combination of collage, encaustic, transfer methods etc., and some of these techniques I have not used yet.   I have to see if Staples will color copy onto my Lazertran as I don't have the ink jet kind, and I will also make a xerox copy of my bees for an alternative transfer method onto wax.  Again, I have to do some degree of experimentation before I dare to start the project.  So I will be producing art under great pressure and a time constraint, with the gamble that I will get it done, and it will convey what the image in my mind has formed.  The transfer from the brain to the finished piece is a journey. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.  I work well under pressure....and I will post what I do, whether I show it or not.

Here is a page of honey bees that I made in Photoshop for my project.  It was made using an image from an 1800's dictionary, so feel free to use it for some project.  It is at 150 dpi, and I hope that the image is printable.  If not, shoot me an email and I send you an email attachment.

Hope the stores open early, because I am rarin' to go!

Patti O BEEZ

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Black Friday Preview

First of all, I want to take a moment to thank you all for being my readers and friends.  Some of you have been following me for a long time.  That means you find my stories interesting, or my enjoy my art,  which comes deep from my heart and life experience.  For all of you I am so appreciative...and I want you to know that I LOVE getting your comments and support. May it come back to you tenfold.

If there is one thing that I have learned in my life, is that Love is the Answer....for us all.
That statement is a blog unto itself.  But for another time.

I have got to get down to business here, which is, by the way, the reason I have not been writing much. I cannot teach, make art, AND write --- and do all of them well.  Two out of three...maybe, but not all three.  So as not to make myself crazy or stressed, I have focused on my art, and even focused my art on a few themes and medium for now.

Open Studio for Black Friday tomorrow, 10-5. Most of you who will read this and come already know my address. Anyone else can shoot me an email which can be found on my profile page I believe. Emailing me through my website will probably not get picked up for weeks as it goes into spam folders -- which is mainly what I get from my website.

I never know what I feature from year to year.  This years items include my greeting cards (including holiday cards), small fine art landscapes in encaustic and oil, as well as some of my mixed media work.  I will also have some wonderful antique ephemera that I have collected over the years, as well as FABULOUS botanical prints from an 1898 Plant Saleman's Catalog. They are only 6.00 and are AMAZING in a mat and frame. (if I get off this thing perhaps I can mat/frame a few!)

Hope that you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend, and maybe I'll get to toast with few of you this weekend!

Patti O

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Got Moom?

Periodically I have written some notes on beauty products, and about taking care of ourselves as women. I had not intended tonight's blog to be about hair removal,  but after tonight's experience, I knew it was time.

Guys, you have no idea what women go through to remove unwanted hair.  And, there are lots of unwanted places where this hair grows.  As we get older, and go through perimenopause, then menopause, the amount of hair in various unwanted places seems to spread, as the hair on our heads  thins. 

In adolescence we worried about the hair under our armpits, followed by the hair on our legs. Then somewhere along the line we start to worry about the hair THERE.  After years of getting that under control, we start to get the hair on our upper lip, or on our chin, adding to facial maintenance that goes beyond the eyebrow shape up.

I am sure most of us have  tried every kind of hair removal system, searching for ONE that is easy, fast, and painless.   I have tried depilatories - which stunk, and never really got rid of ALL the hair.I have been waxed in the salon - only being brave enough to do my facial hair.  Most of the time I use tweezers or the traditional razor and soap shave...and an occasional salon facial tune up.

Today I tried a new product...called MOOM.  A friend had recommended it to me, and she said it was all natural and easy to do at home.  I went to the health food store and found this mysterious new product. Maybe THIS would make my face as smooth as a baby's ass.

The label was inviting.
CHEMICAL FREE - WAX FREE - RESIN FREE (who knew there was resin in some of this stuff?)
What I liked even better was that it said GET SALON RESULTS IN MINUTES, WITHOUT THE PAIN OF WAXING, and the fact that you could rinse off the fabric strips and re-use them.

I opened the jar, and encountered a substance that was like super-thick honey.  That must be the sugar cane part of the concoction I thought, which is cooked to a thick goey mess.  I try and spread some with the little stick they give with the kit, which doesn't spread the caramel mess on my face, so I end up using my finger.  I get a good coating of this substance on my upper lip and chin, and then place a cotton strip on top of it.  I stop and wonder, how does this work without pain and then lift off the strip.

The conclusion that I came to is that any method that states it removes hair and roots, and then supplies you with goo and a cotton strip to remove it with, is bound to bring tears to your eyes, and a red welt where the hair has been merciless ripped out.  Upon careful examination as to the damage that I did to my face, I noticed that it had not removed all of the hair, and I had to go through the whole procedure again.

Tomorrow will be the true test.  In the day light, will my face be smooth and hairless? Will it return to its normal color?  Will I test it out in other regions to see how good it REALLY works? Do I dare?

So girls and guys, if your gal seems to be a little unkept in the hair department at times, it is because we are tired of doing the maintenance.  An maybe I will just have to give Queen Estar, the wife of Father Woodstock a run for her facial hair.  If you want to check her out, click HERE

Patti O Hare.....

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thanksgiving Cards

I have abandoned my dissertation on chormolithographic prints/cards for a word about greeting cards. And, Thanksgiving.

In the early 1900's, when millions of postcards and greeting cards were being printed every day, every single holiday warrented sending a card.   Actually, people sent cards every day for any occasion back in the early 20th century.

With the advent of this virtual technology, fewer and fewer cards are sent, especially for birthdays.  We get virtual cards, wishes from our friends on Facebook, a text, or a phone call.  I only received one card in the mail this year, vs. the usual half a dozen.

I'm not complaining folks. I got more birthday wishes on Facebook that I have ever received in 10 years combined.  It made me smile.  But not sending cards is bad business for us greeting card designers, and it gets harder and harder to find our market.  

However, I won't give up.  I love antique paper.  I think I have an addiction to it. I collect, I hoard, and I create with the ones I can let go of.  So out of my collection of cards, I have made a small line of Thanksgiving cards using the very cards our grandparents or great grandparents sent at the turn of the 20th century, I have re purposed them into a new card. Stop by my PAGIBBONS etsy site to purchase if interested. They are lovely cards, some embossed, some airbrushed, most from 1906-1912 or so, and I guarantee they will put a smile on your loved one's face, and will probably show up as a decoration for many years to come. 

Support local women run business!!!! Help out the economy where it counts, in the little people's pockets,  and send a card that they won't throw away!


Sunday, November 07, 2010

Post Card Junkie

Today was my seasonal November shop-a-thon at the local postcard show in our city. It is the show that I treasure and bargain hunt for images to use for my holiday post cards, as well as potential holiday gifts for friends and family.  I also hunt for ephemera which I think is collectible to sell on eBay and Etsy, so that I can help offset the cost of the cards I buy. I like the small gambles that I take..trying to guess if an item is worth more than I have paid for it, and if there is a market for it. At times I have struck big, but mostly make a bit of money to cover my time and ephemera addiction;  rarely do I lose money.

Today's finds were a Victorian Trade Card album, and lots of cool Victorian cards and booklets. In the quarter and dollar box I found some damaged, but still cool postcards of what is now the Walkway Over the Hudson, and the railroad bridge over Abeel street, down on the Rondout creek. (above pics) I also made a connection with a collector who will give me some scans of his rare postcards of the Ashokan Reservoir building/flooding of small towns, which I am going to try and use in transfers onto canvas for my "Submerged" series.

Us postcard buyers are a strange sort.  We fret if you are looking at boxes we want to look at. We guard our finds with the resolve of a mama bear.  We try and get there earlier than anyone else to get to the good stuff first.  We don't really want to tell you when the show is in town until AFTER we have been through and bought all the good stuff. And after we are done, we go home to drool over the pile of paper that we have just spent this weeks and next weeks food money on.

All for the love of the image, the print, and the love of the hunt.