I woke up energized this Saturday. It might have been from sleeping in as long as I did, but let's not talk about that. It could be from shoving baby bird out of the nest (see post below), but let's not talk about that either- and there was no shoving. I think it was actually due to all the art in my head that wanted out today. Visions of spending the day in my studio creating are still dancing in my head as I write this. Darned blogging, Facebooking, Flickring, emailing and all of those electronic habits are cutting into my art time!
And now I go and upload all these pictures to explain! But there's so much exciting, artsy goodness going on all around me; I want to capture and share it. I ended my post headline with a question mark, because I wonder if anyone else can tie cats, swaps, nutrition and more together. I'm going to try.
First off: nutrition. I read a great article yesterday in the June 2009 issue of Elle magazine. I buy it regularly because I can't miss the Ask E. Jean column. I think I've been reading that ever since Elle launched. E. Jean was a cheerleader back at Indiana University, even before my time at Ball State. That means cheers were probably carved on stone tablets then. She also started, with her sister, the popular Web site Great Boyfriends. But I digress.
The article by Joseph Hooper posits that some internal cleansing or detox therapy is now gaining mainstream medical approval. But what caught my eye was peer-reviewed, documented research that supports the idea that reduced caloric intake (duh!) and a low-fat, veggie-heavy diet can not only lead to weight loss (duh again!) but also elimination of allergies, vague and non-specific complaints such as fatigue, irritable bowel, headaches, rashes, joint pain, and hormonal mood swings.
I've complained about all these, and I'd lost about 30 pounds following just such a diet. Somehow, college graduate that I am, I failed to notice what I was eating when the headaches, fatigue and mood swings returned. I've been subsisting on some kind of weird all-Italian, all-bread and all-dessert diet and wondering why I feel lousy. So, fruit bowl for breakfast to be followed by heap-o-veggies salad for dinner. Back on the hamster-food diet and should get self to a hamster treadmill, too! The issue also has some other great articles: couples therapy, interview with Ryan Reynolds, permanent? manicures and a rif on Barbie's 50th. But I digress again.
As an amateur artist trying fervently to gain the necessary skills and hone any possible talent to be something more than just amateur, I remain thrilled like a six-year-old with a new toy whenever I find my artwork published. So my thrill was the usual when I received a postcard from Stampington telling me my work would be in the June/July issue of Stampers' Sampler. I even posted the cover immediately to my blog sidebar (right) with the list of publications in which my work has appeared. Today, my artist's advance copy arrived, but after two run-throughs I can't find my work anywhere. In fact, I'm 99.9% sure I don't have anything in there. Disappointment.
But just as I was about to hurt myself with a piece of French bread or worse, I discovered an unexpected published surprise. I've been pouring over L. K. Ludwig's third book, Collaborative Art Journals and Shared Visions in Mixed Media, lamenting that one of my collaboratives with Shabby Cottage Studio or The Faerie Zine did not get chosen. Of course, the book is absolutely beautiful, as are her other two, Nature Journals and True Vision: Authentic Art Journaling, and it is clear this newest one focuses on collaborative projects.
I also noticed Helga Strauss' ArtChix Studio inchies swap featured, another group I'm in whose swap I had failed to join. But, as I was looking at LK's book for the gazillionth time, something I do right before bed usually, the ArtChix Yahoo! group itty bitty swap that I was in jumped out at me. And there, on page 99, is a tiny view of one of the 3" x 3" itty bitties I made for the swap, circled by me, easily-found now and forever for posterity.
A couple of the squares I made are shown above. I used ArtChix Precious Pets faux postage as required as well as some cancelled Zazzle stamps, both with my own artwork to make little spoofs of high-end designer purse ads. Two of my pet stamps can be seen in the lowest left two stamps on the link to the page. I've also been lucky enough to have artwork chosen for the ArtChix pink faux postage.
For the itty bitties, I also tied in the "ish" of my Lilly*s of London*ish, supposing that such brands as Dooney and Bark, Mew Mew, Juicy Cature, Abercrombie and Fetch, Baby Chat and Poochi might be manufactured in Leesburg instead of their internationally-manufactured counterparts like Dooney & Bourke, Miu Miu (a brand by Miuccia Prada), Juicy Couture, Abercrombie & Fitch, Baby Phat and Pucci.
So while I am flying high from finding a peek of my work in another book, I will remove the June/July Stampers' Sampler badge from my sidebar until I can find myself. That should take quite some time. However, it looks like my cats, Larry and Lester, have found each other. Their picture above is just gratuitous blog posting of cute critters. Not only are they holding hands but it appears Larry, the brown-noser (with reason) has loaned Lester (he of the white nose) a paw on which to rest his weary head. CuteOverload, look out!
Meanwhile, on with the swaps. The juicy goodness in the bottom three photos on this post are the treasures I received from Michelle Geller of Hold Dear in a recent, no-reason, spur-of-the-moment ephemera swap we did. I can hardly wait to sink my art chops into all those watch parts! The Ashland charm and the leaf-like charm (third photo from bottom) were two she made for other swaps and art events, and I am thrilled to get them.
Her charms will go nicely on a new bracelet I'll have to start now that I've received my charms back from the Cloth Paper Scissors magazine charm swap. Fastest returns ever! Charms were due June 1, and I got these back a couple days ago. Thanks to Rebekah Shattuck,Elizabeth Riggle, Judy Sinyard, Mary Van Soest and Margaret DeLeon. Watch for charms from the swap to be featured in the September/October issue of the magazine.
The gothic arch-shaped artist trading card is one of several cool ones I received from Martine in Belgium. This is the second swap we've done, and I am always amazed how fast mail travels between the US and Belgium- just a couple days. Martine makes exquisite ATCs and inchies and is always up for a trade.
The Marge Simpson-esque batch of art are hand-painted watercolor fat book pages by the extremely talented Malin of Sweden. I saw these on Flickr, and tracked her down, knowing I had to get in whatever swap this was for, which I did. However, it was touch and go, as I had to be selected to join the juried and maxed-out-in-membership Marie Antoinette Mail Art Group. Take some time to explore Malin's blog or her Flickr photostream. She does incredible artwork. She and I are doing our own 1:1 swap of five 4" x 4" girlie book pages, which I should be working on right this instant, since we plan to mail Monday. Malin also turned me on to Suzi Blu, as did Shonna Bucaroff of Twisted Figures.
Suzi is another post for another time as is the cool piece I bought from Shonna on Etsy, the other cards from Martine, my Marie pages for the mail art group book, my Marie little girl ATCs for a swap, my pages for Malin, Art & Soul Las Vegas 2010, and whatever else I think I need to blog about. Right now it's off to do art. Translation: avoiding evil carbs!