KpacoTa CnaceT Mup-Beauty Will Save the World

(Quote from Fyodor M. Dostoyevsky's THE IDIOT, 1869)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

On my way to the Library to run some Art Sessions...

   a footstool I covered- I just love the linen print

   Remember, I live in the country
Getting ready for a few art sessions I'm running at our new local library, inspired by ideas of people like Julia Cameron (The Right to Write, Vein of Gold..), Steven Pressfield (The War of Art), the magazines of Stampington, and others--- A set of  artistic sessions of exploration, transformation, inspiration, and support.

So I'll be busy setting up and organizing for the first class. Wish me luck!  :)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Not Meaning to Post, but...

So I just added the below You Tube song, 'cause I couldn't get it on playlist, and sensed my cat Kiska(pronounced Keeska, stress on the first syllable) jump to the dining room table in back of me where I'm packing up some gifts. I turn , and this is what I see...

...Now how can I yell at him for being on the table when he's so cute in this box???And his paws aren't really on the table... :)...and of course, he just wants to be with me:)

Yes, he's huge- not girthwise-but structurally. I believe that he's a tad over 3 ft. long from head to tail, and he's chewed off a bit of his tail(because of a few breaks from his past life -ie-pre- our home kitty life).

Chorus Russian Girls-"Kontrasti" (Contrasts)-Aleksa,Krutoy,Larina,Dubtsova-click to listen!!!

I just found this- it's wonderful. So Russian sounding, yet so contemporary ,jazzy. Igor Krutoy is a pianist who's been around for a time, and now seems to be jazzy. The 3 girls are contemporary pop stars. The rendition with the girls singing reminds me of the Northern Siberian Choir- the womens' voices, which are stunning. Click and enjoy.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Oncology & Anthropologie & Misc. Pictures Too

So after driving 1 1/2 hrs. to my husband's oncology appt. , I went to Anthropologie to get a little Eye Candy. Their sale eye candy was fine for my kids' bathroom cabinet knobs. The oncology situation for later.

What was even better than 3 beautiful ceramic knobs at a couple bucks each, was the conversation I struck up with 2 women at the sale table.We were oohin' and ahhin' over a few items and immediately started to talk. Terri and Stephanie, if you visit, the plates ended up being half off of the price listed :) What a deal.:)

We had the nicest time! Stephanie was getting her 25 cents worth of eye candy while her very well behaved 3 younger children were within view.Terri's kids are out of the house and shared with us some artsy ideas with the Anthropologie goodies . And I asked if they blogged. Stephanie does, and Terri's being persuaded to get an Etsy space by a friend for her artwork.We shared info, and what a nice time we all had, at a sale table.

I actually found THE perfect work table there for my as yet unfinished studio in my basement. It was exactly what I envisioned, a ten foot long vintage counter height 'farm' style table with great legs, a shelf underneath, and it even had 4-6 drawers! It was so perfect I had to text my oldest daughter and my hubby.Trouble is, it was $12,800.00. Yep- you read that right:) I texted them the price to give them a laugh. Ah, well, it's amazing what one can do with plywood and a bunch of nails:) I actually have one beautiful old oak table that I picked up from a church . It's not counter height, only 5 ft. long, has no shelf or drawers, but it's a great table to start 'til I find what I need/want. And it only cost $25- , my kind of bargain.

The funny thing is, I think I was supposed to meet these fine ladies and have a nice talk. You see, I always come in (the 2-3 times a year that I visit) and go straight to the right where the household section is -cool knobs, neat books, vintage remade display pieces... Instead, I went to the left where the clothing was, saw the great table, admired some of the clothing, and landed upon the sale table, Stephanie, and Terri. When we finished our conversation, I turned to the back to see what was there for the bedding. I observed a beautiful white comforter that was gathered all over with these little flimsy wooden(?) buttons, and thought, "How in the world do you wash this thing". I turned around to say something to the other 2 women, and they were gone. And I thought, if I had come in the other side, I probably would not have met them at that moment, and had that friendly encounter. Makes you wonder.

The little red plastic shoe is vintage. It was my Mom's and I love it. It looks like 2 different backgrounds, but it's just the lighting. I like the red and white look picture better, although neither is a really good picture of it. I have these new little ones that I want to paint to mimic. One of those little things that I may make into some party decoration or something.

The collaged little notebook, (not the best picture), is actually pretty cute with my polka dot girl, as we call her. I had to drill into the cover to get the flowers through, and then, covered the inside cover with paper and more flowers that actually hold down nice and flat. It's all tied with a pretty velveteen ribbon. I make things like this when I don't have much time. It keeps my hands busy, and my mind settled. And they make nice little gifts. My girls come 'shopping' when they need things in a pinch.

My Mom could never go anywhere without bringing something, and she would always say, "Ya nye mogu ityee s golami rukami", which in Russian means, "I can't go with naked arms/hands". ( empty handed).
My Dad would always want to be on time, and my Mom would always do this last minute, holding things up. I have 1 offspring who's very similar. The girls and I almost never go empty-handed. Funny how some things get passed down from one generation to the next.

And the Andy Warhol style pic is of my son -forever the ham.It's on my Mac with its Web Cam. The mess on the table is some artwork leftover from the home show/bake sale that I had last Dec. (bake sale portion to benefit our little church-btw-it was gorgeous and delicious!).

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

13 Years ago today...Happy Birthday Handsome

This is my baby. 13 years ago today he was born -  all 11 lbs. 12 oz. , natural childbirth in less than 4 hrs.. Yeah, I almost died, but didn't because of constant prayer and an amazing husband. We came home from the hospital and there was a message from the football coach on the answering machine.....   :)

This picture was taken a year or so ago. He's kind of slumped in his seat at some performance or game. But he's sooo adorable. Girls flock to him, but he is very humble, and doesn't really notice much. 

When he was in kindergarten, he decided to be in the talent show at school. He did improvised break-dancing(almost-kind of really his own thing) and singing, and blew the house down. He continued to do it for a few years.

He's one of the smartest in his class, and has excelled in almost everything since, well, since right away. He would say when little, after having 2 girls before him, that he completed the family. And that he did.

At a year and a half he drew a fabulous x-mas tree, ornaments and all. And he was so into Peter Pan, (actually all of us were, except my husband who never saw the original movie 'til we had kids), and drew the most detailed crocodile with sharp teeth and all- Yes, I lie not, he was a year and a half old. I also read the whole original Peter Pan book (by Barrie) to him with a British accent at this age. He waited for it every night. 

 He now does artwork , collages backgrounds on the computer in Adobe, and prints them out for t-shirts. He gives them as gifts and even started to sell to friends.

He loves artwork and politics. Can sit down with any adult, and hold his own. I walked into the house the other day to see him on hold with  a new local radio program , where he spoke with our local Congressman on air. He was supposed to speak with him in DC last year on a People to People Program that he was nominated for, and attended. The congressman was not there- he mentioned this , as well as two points of interest, backed up with facts most adults couldn't remember.

A natural sponge, school is a bit too easy for him; compassionate and loving, very nurturing with little ones, and I'm sure that he'll be really mad at me for writing all these things. I'm sorry, I don't mean to blubber, and I'm sorry Serge, but you were born and all... :)he-he   Isn't he a doll?

Found a couple of pictures of his artwork from  early toddlerhood... Oh yeah, and he's outside mowing the lawn to help Dad out, as I write. (Don't worry, he's got his days like any one of us- and boy he's tough like a pitbull when he wants to be:)   

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My Great Grandfather Nicholas

Here's another picture that I probably made at the same time as the one with me and my sister below. This one , also yellowed, is harder to see because the original picture was already very old when I photocopied it in my youth. My great grandfather was also in old age in this picture.

My great grandfather was an artist and sculptor. He lived in Tula, Russia.Tula is the wrought iron factory town outside of Moscow. They made their canons there, and their samovars. For those who may not know, a samovar is for making tea. It is made out of some kind of metal-  brass, silver, etc.  - In the center is a cylinder where you put coals to heat the water. There is a 'spicket' to turn the very hot water off and on. You will now see plug -in samovars  all over Russia. The Russians love their tea. 

Does anyone own a samovar? I'll try to post pictures of the ones I have. One is very old and beautiful. It was my Mom's and resides in my dining room. I have three, so that I can bequeath one to each child. Seeing how our children love vintage items and antiques, I'm sure that they would all enjoy the oldest. But  all three of our samovars have some age and are beautiful in and of themselves.

Lydia and Nina-Childhood Artwork

Ok. So this is a very early picture of my sister, Nina, and me, that I made years ago. I'm the cuter one on the right. (Sorry Nina, my blog:) Te-He). Also the baby of the family. You can see that the shellac has yellowed with time.

I would glue photocopies onto painted cardboard, cork,  or other items, and make stands for them, or hang- mostly on the walls of the stairs going down to our basement, or give as gifts.This one had a stand which has since broken off. I just found it in something the other day.

 Often, I would collage a number of photos. I would then go down to my Dad's office, which also doubled as the workroom in the basement, and shellac over the picture or collage. I might also go outside , or in the garage to apply the stinky stuff. But, for quickies, yes, I used those chemical applicants in my basement, hoping that the smell wouldn't give me away. As long as I put back in its proper place what I had removed, I was able to use almost anything there.

I would also go to my grandfather's house and scavenge wood, trim, or other items to work on yet another project. My grandfather, like so many people of his generation,  was a jack of all trades. He could always figure out a way to do something. He was always working on something, whether it be shoes, a frame, a decorative radiator cover, or whatever else was requested or he needed. 

 Do you  have any old artwork from your youth?

Monday, July 14, 2008

No. 1

So here's my oldest, Alex. Isn't she a beauty? :) I'm not partial or anything:) She's the one on the right, in a picture with her best friend Kerry. They're both such beautiful and wonderful young women.

A true artist by nature, art has always soothed Alex's soul and balanced her. With college, committees that she runs/helps to run  on campus..., work, a boyfriend, and a social life she's quite the busy gal.

 She's always making the most wonderfully personalized collaged photo cards for everyone's b-day or special event. And she's always making gifts or cookies, or something to give to others.

 Last year on my 50th she totally organized a surprise party that blew me away. How she got the others to not open their usually chatty mouths I'll never know. (And I'm a natural detective-ie- I don't look for clues, they just pop right in front of me:)  ) And of course the invite was a beautiful collage piece that she made. A truly astonishing, phenomenally hard working, and giving young woman- always, always  thinking of others.

New Watercolor Art Blog

My No. 2 daughter just recently started her art blog. She hasn't posted much yet, but she's quite creative and has an unusual eye. Her banner(the 2nd pic.) is one of her watercolors with my Mom's  adorning roses(now in our garden) . The Brown Cow she speaks of is my favorite yogurt, with cream on top. Strawberry and Maple are my favorite flavors. Yum! Just click  to view. Anyone tried Brown Cow ?     If so, what do you think?                       

Danita Art: I love her work!

I love her  pictures.If you don't already know her artwork, go visit Danita and her art work.  The colors are vibrant, and her folkart is darling!   Just click to view-

Friday, July 11, 2008

Coming Home to Life's Hecticness

Every day has been taken up with essentials-ehhh!

... Little bits and pieces of art at night... Tonite I finished up with some tiny watercolors that I had sketched years ago. Started to cut them out to use in other art work, turned the page , and saw that I was cutting up my little story/book  that I've had for a few years that I want to illustrate!!!

 Had to piece it all together like a puzzle. Tomorrow I recopy the page, then continue the cutting.

Has anyone ever done something so silly to something that meant so much to you?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Off to the beach...

.. Ocean City and Asseteague Island to see the wild horses.....later-la