Come join me "upstairs" from the Studio, a place to relax and talk with friends. Here you'll find clips of my stuff, woolgathering about the animals in the family, news about shows and events and links to other sites that I find too good not to mention. Pull up a cushion and have some cake( there should always be cake) and tea, and lets discuss the amazing world of Art in it's many forms!

CottonWoolBaby Studio

CottonWoolBaby Studio

Poetic thought

Windy Nights
by Robert Louis Stevenson

Whenever the moon and stars are set,
Whenever the wind is high,
All night long in the dark and wet,
A man goes riding by.
Late in the night when the fires are out,
Why does he gallop and gallop about?

Whenever the trees are crying aloud,
And ships are tossed at sea,
By, on the highway, low and loud,
By at the gallop goes he.
By at the gallop he goes, and then
By he comes back at the gallop again.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What Lifts You Up

This was a Crow Morning.
Misty, hazy, oppressive; as unpromising as one of the dead trees that they like to perch in.

I've been feeling a little hazy and unpromising myself lately with this sticky heat that pushes me down like a fist.
Projects go undone, chores are pushed aside.
But what keeps us going is our hope for something better.

As I walked up the little hill that opens onto a beautiful mountain range, the fog was lifting.

The crows pushed off heavily, and one by one the other birds started to sing.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Marionettes, Banners and Soft Sculpture

It's an interesting combination of projects that I'm working on this week. Our temperatures may go up to the mid 90's as the week progresses, with storms possible everyday and the humidity rising as they come closer.
A good week to concentrate on a small, limited number of projects that keep me in one place, in front of a fan, rather than running around with scattered ideas of bigger ambitions as I usually am on weekdays. Yardwork must be done before 8AM if there's any pleasure to be had in it, as there should be.
A helpful neighbor with nothing but the best intentions has cut away all (and I do mean all) of the branches that shaded the Northeast corner of the yard, so no refuge there until my new Cypress shrub, hastily bought over the weekend, can grow up and help out!

So back to small manageable goals.
These are the hands for a Marionette that I will be creating for ADO's Quarterly Challenge, and though I hoped to have some kind of a concept sketch, nothing solid is coming to me, which means that she? he? will progress as the parts come together.
I have never attempted a Marionette, but that's the point of these Challenges, I guess, to try something new and see what comes of it.

The Soft Sculpture part of the week's efforts is this infant, begun months ago but put aside as I wasn't happy with it's progress.

If all goes well, I hope to take this baby to the Art Dolls Convention next May.
What has given me a kick in the pants when dealing with projects I'm dragging my feet on for one reason or another is to keep posting my progress online, so I hope to do that with this one.

My final project is a new banner for the website, which is still in limbo until I find a provider I'm happy with.
Off to get started, and I wish all of you a happy, creative COOL Monday wherever you are!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Sad Day For a Local Landmark

This just goes to show that Nothing lasts forever.
Not much shuts down Main Ave in the West side of Scranton, but when this massive tree came down without warning about a week ago, it took hours to clear away the debris.
Tree and House were always as one to most of us in the area, and the devastation is unbelievable.
Over it's long life, the tree had grown through the fence and seemed as permanent as anything could be, but perhaps our historically wet Spring was responsible for rotting it out from the roots...

The only casualties, fortunately, were another large tree at the curb, which broke the larger one's fall, and of course our sense of security in large seemingly invincible old friends!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Panorama Fun

I've been playing around with light and focus in the morning, and I love panorama shots.
It's amazing to me what difference a good monitor can make. With my old  square dinosaur that I bought in 2002, everything showed up grey, and it was difficult to know how to compensate for the wrong amount of light while taking photos.
Sometimes it's good when things get hit by lightning!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

More uplifting snaps from my 6AM walks, (which I skipped this morning for no good reason) that remind me of how important it is to always carry the camera with me, as if it's strapped to my hip as I walk out the door.
I have attached my house keys to a small pack that just fits the bulkiness of the big lens.
I have always felt that that is the difference between me and a gifted photographer, (in addition to scads of technical ability) my reluctance to always be willing to carry the thing everywhere I go.
Also the feeling that everyone's staring at me when I take photos in public, but I'm getting over that.
I'm trying to embrace the concept of "digital camera with rechargeable battery  and 4GB memory stick= unlimited shots" and rejoice in the fact that everything is now in my hands, no developers, or sending away to have photos enlarged and cropped.
Yes children, we used to have to do that!
 No more disposable flashbulbs, film sprockets, or expensive wasted shots should have  all of us would-be photographers dancing in the streets with our cameras firmly in hand.
That's what I'm trying to do, so please excuse the endless sunrises, sunsets, and macro florals, because at this point they all look to me like the first ones ever!

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Weekend I need a Vacation from...

Today I feel like a patient who's just been released from the ICU, or at least recovering from a long illness.
Grateful to be alive, though still feeling fragile, and looking at the world with a new viewpoint.

To start my tale, the three week old computer had a massive crash on Friday which threw me into a total panic; though I have virus protection, just the dire warnings all over the screen were enough to scare me into all sorts of backups and fixes that probably did more harm than good. By Saturday evening I was back up and running for a few hours when suddenly PC went into what I can only call a relapse. Shut itself off incorrectly and caused all kinds of "fatal errors" that wouldn't allow it to open ANYTHING  with an exe extension. No fixes, backups, downloads, nothing.
Another round of anxious hours followed as I pleaded with it to pull through, reminding it that it was too young (and had cost way too much) to die such a death.
Sunday morning came, I left it struggling to upload a repair update and went off to church and a Cultural program (more on that coming up) and when I came home at 7:30 PM it was still where I had left it, no further upload progress made.
I resorted to an online "fix" using the Other User side of the system, and it seemed to help, though it keeps popping up regularly to remind me that I need to pay 39.95 to  do the job properly.
So PC is still with us, but I am holding my breath! I would love to throw money at everything that guarantees it's life and health, but I am already paying double what I used to pay just in basic maintenance, DSL and virus protection, and can't help thinking wistfully of the nine year old computer that ailed nothing in all of it's long life except for a lack of memory capacity that finally did it in.
Anyway, the good part of the weekend, in between computer nursing, was a Cultural program that I attended yesterday.
We have a large (70+ families) Bhutanese/Nepali community in Scranton, and until yesterday I didn't really know much about them, or really where Bhutan is, or anything about their culture.
They are an amazing group of people, so warm and vibrant and ready to be active in their new city.
They have been in refugee camps in Nepal for 18 yrs due to ethnic cleansing and tyranny in their own land, and were only placed here by Catholic Social Services two years ago.
The program was long because they had to thank everyone for coming, many many times, and after three hours of program and gratitude they served native dishes and didn't rush to get finished so that the program could continue.
But it was worth it. We saw traditional dances from the children, instrumental music, devotional songs and then more dancing, speeches of gratitude, and a video presentation of their struggles along with amazing shots of their former country, which seems to be built into the side of the mountains!
Each invited guest was given a handmade Special Guest badge and tended to as carefully as if we were guests in their home.

I regretted deeply not bringing my camera, (sick PC had driven most rational thought from my head) and will definitely bring it to the next get together.
More on this wonderful group of new friends as I get more involved in their community projects.
Have a good day everybody!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Are you inspired yet today?

Inspiration is all around us at this time of the year, at least that's how it is for me.
Getting back into my summer routine of 6AM walks before watering the garden in anticipation of a hot day activates me like vitamins.

We may hit 90 later this week and next, so knowing how I tend to slow down and move like a slug if it gets humid, I need to be grateful that this is still months away, (we hope!)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Happy New Month!

Yay, back to Work!
It's Monday and time to get back in the swing of projects that have been put off for too long.
I just looked up the other day and realized that next year's Doll Artist  and Teddy Bear Convention for which I'd like to have five new pieces is only ten months away.
Each piece takes an average of two months (if they go according to plan with no unexpected bumps like not being able to have the right size armature wire at my fingertips) so it's time to get moving like my little mascots here. Have a happy and creative day everyone!