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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Happy Holidays

I don't have much to say, other than to wish my readers a good time and a happy new year.

I wrote this haiku series to suggest the changing seasons.

I Imagine a Fox

Black rock amid snow,
Glistening, the onyx eye
Of an Arctic fox.

White Narcissus blooms,
A star against a stone sky.
(Fox runs in the night.)

Ebony stone hides
As bamboo grows around it,
Shadow of hunted.

Crimson leaves become
Lush red fur on napping stone
Moonbeams cradle it.

Snow slurries again:
Bamboo lashes frame the eye.
The fox gazes on.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas is coming

I will ship priority within the US so there's still time.

The postman gets off on most holidays;
But it still works him hard in many ways.

;) Okay, I'm reduced to letting doggerel chase the mail man, but it's a busy time of year.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Spacing Out

This piece, Launching, depicts a cat as a silhouette of space and stars, playing against a background of sunspots, chasing after a ringed planet.
Partly it was inspired by watching my cat jump after toys, thinking how rocket-like their high-leaps can be. Partly it was inspired by the "solar-powered cat" joke, referring to their love of napping in the sun. Partly it was my love of the night sky, astronomy, and my cat's sleek black fur. She hides against black backgrounds from an instinctive love of camouflage. Having loved books about space-faring cats as a child, it just all sort of came together thusly. I have some future Cosmic Cat paintings planned, but tis is the only one completed yet. I have recently relisted this on my Etsy site to get it the attention it deserves.

The Cosmic Cat's the only one,
Who might be playing on the sun.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Flame On!

I love phoenixes. They are a symbol of hope, especially for someone like me who has to deal with health issues. I imagine job loss, heartbreak, etc can also be helped some by the thought of the creature that rises from its own ashes.
I painted this and a few other glasses to serve as candle holders. They are painted with the same durable, dishwasher safe paints I use on my wineglasses-- speaking of which I have added 3 Christmas themed pairs of wineglasses to my shop.

I wrote this poem several years ago.

Each Life, a Phoenix
by Helen Krummenacker

Though rage may leap insatiable as fire,
And dark despair like smoke engulf the skies,
The blaze of pain will not become a pyre,
For even anguish meets its own demise.

The human heart endures beyond breaking
And human minds can dream beyond defeat,
For there is joy in toil and retaking
The field from which we were thrown in retreat.

For life is like a phoenix, ever new,
Reborn amidst the ashes of despair.
Each loss is an au revoir, not an adieu—
Even ones which seem beyond repair.

For phoenixes we are all; we have no end.
Not even death will last; life must return.
So with the faith that ev’ry wound shall mend
What matters is our courage while we burn.

The fires have not scorched me very near
And yet I know the flames approach, sublime
And I will lose my treasures, not with fear,
But with the hope to rise higher next time.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Not as quiet as I've seemed to be

I've started doing Wednesday contributions to the FAE (Fantasy Artists of Etsy) Group blog-- not about my art, but rather the history and legends that contribute to fantasy art. See the blog for my article on unicorns, then scroll a bit further down to where I talk about the real beginnings.

Mind you, I wonder if they aren't too dry and scholarly, more science than fantasy-- I'm hoping for feedback to let me know how things are from a reader's point of view!

I'm an odd duck by most measures, I suppose; I believe in a lot of things that aren't well proven, but I don't expect others to. I love fantasy, but I love science, too, and spend hours pouring over essays by the late Stephen Jay Gould, watching Nova programs and other science documentary work, or thumbing through science popularizations ( and debunking of badly written articles that misconstrue studies). I use herbal cures and aromatherapy, but base usage on the ones that have good evidence for them. Cranberry juice if you think you have a bladder infection coming on, for instance, is well proven.

So I will close with a poem from my science-loving side.


I hold a stone that was a bone
Encased within strong flesh and skin
Belonging to a hominid.
Now, I could be her great-grandkid.
How great the change. How very strange,
Anticipating our mutating
When we leave this planet behind.
Who knows what wonders we will find
Selecting genes? Survival means
Adaptations. Situations
Will decide who carries on.
Humanity is at its dawn.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

I *felt* strongly about this artist.

juliepersons of Etsy works in wool felt, thus the bad pun I began with-- but that fact is, I found her work strongly moving. Although she sculpts many things in wool, including jewelry, accessories and bowls, the really outstanding items in her shop are the dolls and tapestries. Particularly interesting is her recurring themes of pregnancy and nursing. I've long believed that as a society, we need to get over the negative reaction to nursing. It's the best thing for the health of children, but women receive a lot of pressure, both economic and social, to stop as soon as possible. So, if art can change the world, I hope images like these can change people's reactions to nature's baby food. Also, you can see she does mermaids, which I find just plain cool as a fantasy artist.
In fact she started felting after her daughter was weaned. The loss of that means of emotional bonding was saddening and the artwork was a cathartic experience. Her works take from two hours to four-- a simple doll takes about 3 hours, with more time for the nursing dolls (after all, those are two dolls together!) "I feel like I "know" each one so well by the time I am done," she says of the long process.
Of her themes, "My focus on maternity comes from being a mother, I think. I love the female form and the pregnant torso is a beautiful, wondrous thing."
Having had such a strong sense of meaningfulness and appreciation when I went to her store, I asked her what first reaction she wants to create. "I hope that newcomers to the store will feel joy when they enter. I hope that I can share the feeling that I LOVE what I do and put a part of myself into every piece. I am happy when I am felting and I am grateful for the chance to share that with others."
I think her happiness shines through, and I think you will see it, too. Her store is at

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


FAE-- the Fantasy Artists of Etsy-- is having a competion with the theme Snowflake Fantasy. Here's my entry-- an exotic faerie with feathered wings and a sea dragon's tail, the SnowBringer flies to the forest making snow and trailing it in her wake.
Some of the snow and highlights in her wings and hair were made with pearly acrylic ink, but the main of the painting is done in watercolor, with some colored pencil details through in.

FAE is also having a Christmas exhibition. Check it out at our team's website: there are works in glass, art dolls, chain maille, jewelry, and more. Oh, and it's being updated on a weekly basis so that the sold items go away and new items listed by members are added.

The muse says I must have a good poem to go with this... let me check my writing archives. Ah, the forest...

The trees whisper
Words of wisdom
Older than works
Of ancient man.

Children, poets,
Dreamers listen,
Pressing their ears
To dusty bark.

Softly they breathe,
Becoming part
Of the rhythm,
Gentle music.

The music of
Endless eons,
Earth keeping time
Under brass storms.

The refrain lilts
In reedy voice:
"Root deep; grow straight.
Reach for the sky.

"Fill yourself with
Joy, harbor life.
Test the wind
Before bending.

"Be a forest
Within yourself,
And yourself in
The joined forest.

"In the song of
Cycles, oldest
Of music, find
Your harmony.

"Wait for the rain,
It always comes.
Fear not the fire,
For it renews.

"And remember,
The sun, hidden,
Still sustains the
Cycle of life."

Most humans try
To move in straight
Paths, without pause

They struggle as
Their desires break
Against the flow
Of world-time

Like splashes made
Against the oceans,
Rivers fighting
Against the tide.

The biosphere
Is a thing of
Quiet circles,
Shifting sine waves.

Humans are, first,
Part of nature.
Her patterns are
Ours, in our blood.

Listen to trees,
They know the way;
They grow with love
For Earth and Sky.

To bend, to rest
At the proper
Moment; Nature
Gives the cues.

In harmony
We may find peace:
The way of men,
Women and trees.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


If painted crafts are a natural outgrowth of art, ornaments are a natural outlet for the jewelry-maker. Carefully wrapping wire and glass to show off the natural beauty of the materials requires some wrist strength but is a joy to do.
I've set some ornaments aside as a gift for my father, but I'm putting many up for sale on Etsy.

Dreams of summer days
Cut through drifting winter fog;
The sun is in my heart.

The funny thing about art

Once you've learned how to compose a design, work with color, and so on, many other crafts fall into place. Painting on glass or fabric means, usually, a minimalist approach, and the artist has to work with different textures and viscosity than usual, but most artists love learning new technical things anyhow.
It's probably a natural progression to go from art painting to craft painting-- if only because there is only so much wall space. Sometimes practical, usable art items make more sense.

Enduring, slightly scratchy,
Yet attractive wit?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Etsy Mini test

If this works, you should see a clickable sampler of recent items from my shop.

A poem under
Such a marvelous display
Would be an excess.

eta: It didn't work.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Treasure Trove!

Well, we do need to get ready to move, so we've been going through boxes to see what is worth keeping, and what did my dear husband find but the plates I painted a few years ago?

This dragon, green with golden eyes, fire and, belly, is just fantastic! And there are more things, celestial images, floral designs... so many things for me to add to my Etsy site, which currently stands at 130 listings! I hope I get some more sales; I like having lots of options for shoppers, but it gets a bit embarrassing when the sales are less than 10% of the inventory.

I've got a couple more art pieces to put up, too; I need to measure them still , but the photos are all ready. And I keep making more hair sticks, because they seem to be in short supply on Etsy-- those are getting hits much faster than more common jewelry items.

A new poem:

Things forgotten,
Of joy or beauty,
We pack away
For the unpacking.

The smell of old paper;
The box opens
Revealing yesterday's dreams.

Memories are tangible.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Sarah Pittman; worthy of admiration

Here are just two of the clever creations of Sarah Pittman, a fellow member of Fantasy Artists of Etsy (FAE, appropriately. ) She recently became one of the official leaders of the group after organizing several projects, including our calendar. She also came up with the idea of a group book, which I will be helping with. I know few artists who put so much enthusiasm into helping other artists succeed as well.
She got her start thanks to her father, also an artist, playing drawing games with her. About four years ago, she began to work on her art more constantly, feeling the need to draw on a daily basis. The regular effort has allowed her to develop greater skill.
Fantasy films she watched while growing up, such as Legend, Labyrinth, and Neverending Story, helped influence her towards fantasy. When asked about the frequent fairy themes in her art, she explained, "I think my love for fairies grew from there - as they're personally a favourite of mine to collect as well as draw myself. I remember the first fairy I drew was a fairy called 'Primrose' and I haven't been able to stop drawing them since. As well as fairies being a favourite subject of mine, I think fairies offer a great deal to an artist, as you get a mix of figure drawing and trying to capture their character, and thefreedom to use your imagination, as fairies can be anywhere doing anything, and can be wearing anything - theyre just a joy to draw!"
Mainly, her works are done in colored pencil. I've worked with pencil, too, and was interested in what she has to say about the medium. "It takes a long time to complete a piece in coloured pencils, but I'd say the time it takes is definately worth it. The best things about coloured pencils are that they're always ready to use, and they're easy to transport, so you can use them anywhere, and when you've found 'your brand' of pencils, they're a pleasure to use - I'd definitely recommend that if anyone is considering using coloured pencils they invest in getting some artist quality pencils, they're definately worth it. With coloured pencils you get a lot more control over where the colour goes, and I have to say I enjoy all the layering that goes into it, and the way you can blend colours together easily, plus there are so many different techniques and methods to using them (which I won't go into here), it's a medium that's great to experiment with."
Although I haven't gotten into the experimental methods so much, I know the rest of it is very true! I used to do art on the go quite a bit, and colored pencil has a level of convenient nothing else matches, as it doesn't require a lot of wash up. And for me, the key to getting a result I could be happy with came from investing in quality-- for me the Prismacolor pencil brand offers buttery softness and rich color.
As you can see in the examples I show here, she gets saturated, deep color with great success. The main difference in doing animal pictures as opposed to the fantasy genre, is the animals take even more time. Placing the pencil strokes in carefully allows her to capture the texture of fur.
To see more of her works, see her etsy store at


It's been just over a week since I posted anything. Busy-ness got in the way. I did finish the custom orders I had waiting and invite anyone out there to check out my etsy store; I'm listing items even faster for the holidays.

I also need to do some interviews so I can feature more people. Next up is Sarah Pittman, who does fantasy art in colored pencil, a medium that is excellent for capturing textures.

Since the painting here is set at dusk, today's poem will be on the same theme. I wrote this one years ago, but it... ages well.

The day is beautiful when it is old--
When the rust-tinted sky is losing sight,
And a few bright stars challenge the memory of the sun.
Twilight: a word, a poem, a hymn!
And dusk:
Sweet names for a sweet time,
Time for memory, reflection and
The aging of the day like
The aging of a brilliant soul in a tired host.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Every Halloween, I like to follow the tradition of pumpkin carving. It can only last a few days before being broken down further for food, or trashed. But it is art for art's sake, and a grand folk tradition.

Allan suggested the mouth should be shaped like a bat. I did the work myself, as he was having asthma issues. I also baked the pumpkin seeds with cajun salt, a treat I'll be enjoying for about a week.

and today's poem is appropriate for Halloween.

You came to me like shadows’ fall,
So silent in your midnight glide;
And in my dreams I hear your call,
Your voice from which I cannot hide,
Now whispering with loving words
Far fairer than a band of gold,
Or singing like the sweet night-birds
Of beauties never growing old.

But promises are often lies
And wise hearts are not lost to song;
There’s greater lure in your eyes
And resting in your arms, so strong.

You came to me, and touched my skin;
As soft as fog, your fingers brushed.
To keep our secret from my k

Monday, October 29, 2007


I've been tired a lot again lately, and while I have worked on paintings, mostly what I like to do when I'm tired is sit and bead. There's something about beads... each one a pretty, shiny thing, ready to be strung or woven. In a sense, beads are like words and findings, punctuation. In a box, they are an interesting jumble, but strung together they have structure, added beauty, and even meaning.

It brings back memories, too. When I was very young, my great-uncle Bill was losing his battle with cancer. His vision was very bad, because he had actually served in WWI, and, seeing mustard gas coming, he held off fixing his own mask on until he had made sure all his unit was aware of the danger and getting theirs on. But in spite of his illness and disability, he made delicate daisy chain bead necklaces while we were there, and I remember watching him work with them. Many people dealing with disabilities like beadwork, because it requires patience and time, but only limited mobility. When there are few things one can do, the skills one can use are appreciated more. He couldn't see the beads, really, but worked by touch, thanks to his wife having sorted them by color.

Speaking of meaning, here is a poem I wrote back in my college days.

I quest for a quest,
A reason d’etre,
Looking to sky and ground,
Heaven and earth,
Finding myself, always,
Somewhere in the middle.

I am not content
With earning a living.
I want to earn
My life. Who needs me?

There must be a purpose
Why I’ve been spared
The ultimate disaster.
(So many meaningless deaths occur,
Why am I granted life
Unless some meaning remains to be revealed?)
So I search the world,
Consider my soul,
Seeking the lock
I alone am key to.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

I should have added the hairstick pix!

I got so wrapped up in my words that by the end of the post I went looking for a art piece that would fit the poem I put together. I'm afraid my health today has been bad enough to effect the clarity-- but not the creativity of my thought. One nice thing, not all brain functions get disrupted by the same factors, and if my vertigo makes me sleepy and ruins my short term memory, it also clears my mind of anchors to reality, setting my creativity free. I wish I could have painted today, but instead I worked on beading, making necklaces; Moon River, Serpentine River, and Pele Sleeping, all based on natural stones such as amazonite, serpentine, moonstone, obsidian and lava rock. I'll try to get photographs of those for tomorrow.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


I found a big batch of chopsticks on sale and decided to make them into hair sticks. These first ones are rather simple; I'll be working on ones topped with beads, ribbon roses, and other fancy things soon.

For members of Fantasy Artists of Etsy, I have joined our Ning group; look for Helen Krummenacker. And if anyone wants to see more of my work, I have a Flickr account as krummenacker with both my work and my husband's.

He was doing art seriously and entering it in shows before I started. In fact, it was assisting him through modeling, suggesting ideas, and giving him help on composition and color questions, that made me realize I had a good enough eye to create things that would be worth showing-- originally, I drew simply to express myself or record and image that I had in mind through my fiction writing.

To put it another way:

The story has meaning, in shadow or lightness,
Each word shapes an image of darkness or brightness.
The author is painting a picture to find,
But cannot direct, fully, the reader's mind.
I sketched out a hero who's fallen from grace,
But others cannot see his sorrowful face.
I pick up a pastel, a paintbrush, or pen
So that I can sketch him all over again.
And now in agreement, the readers can see
Just what my story was conceived to be.

A Tasty Temptation

My next featured artisan is Noma Fowler-Sandlin.

Food can be art and in my opinion, the kind of creativity and preserverance Noma puts into her preserves qualifies. Spiced fig, orange blossom jelly, drunken peach (with cognac), red onion, triple ginger, and chai tea jelly are NOT things you find on the supermarket shelf.

These aren't just unusual; they are practical for food pairings. As Noma says, "I serve cheese with jam. We even make grilled cheese sandwiches with it. My husband likes Red Onion or Hell Belly and cheddar. I like the Spiced Fig and goat cheese. A local chef makes a foie gras, peanut butter and jelly sandwich using my Pomegranate Jelly. The Triple Ginger is great with anything you’d eat Plum Sauce on. It rocks an eggroll."

I can also imagine stirring the rose jelly into tea for a delicate flavor-- many teas are scented with flower petals, this would give you the flavor when you wanted it. Triple ginger would be wonderful medicinally, too-- ginger soothes stomach upset.

Noma got her start in her early teens. Her parents had a farm, and trees don't put out the same amount every year. With a surplus of peaches, they needed to find an outlet and she created a peach jam that won an award at the county fair. When asked what she likes to make best out of her recipes, she explained, "I am a moody creature, so I like making different ones at different times. The Eros Jelly is really difficult because I have to handle very thin sheets of edible gold leaf. It's ephemeral stuff -- floats around the kitchen and gets all over everything, me, included. It's challenging. But sometimes, I don't feel like being challenged. At those times, I prefer the simple ones." The alcohol that goes into drunken peach creates a sort of controlled explosion-- so it sounds like it ranks up with Eros Jelly for trickiness.

She is working on the idea of a cookbook or pamphlet based on her creations and their uses. This one sounds very good to me:

Red Onion Jam Pizza -- Throw out the marinara and add Red Onion Jam instead. Then top it with roasted eggplant (or sauteed onions or any other veg), then cover it with goat cheese crumbles, bacon (or roasted walnuts or pecans if you're vegetarian) and capers.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

a tricky bit of work

I need to create hands on a pair of glasses, somewhat as I did with the faces on these.
However, hands are most intricate and delicate. They cannot be done with bold strokes, only fine lines. And I have discovered the paint is so thick, I cannot even use a pen nib to make fine lines with it.
I must experiment with tiny brushes and possibly a very thinly cut stencil to see what I can manage.

Also, lately I have been suffering a cold. Nothing serious, but here is a sonnet I wrote during a previous run in with a virus. I hope it amuses you.

Last while I slept, the cold germs crept and grew
Within the confines of my tender nose.
At least, I hope 'tis cold and not the flu.
My sinuses have swelled like Cyrano's.
A rush of phlegm, like spring rain on the sands,
Becomes a flash flood mixed with saline spray.
And I hold tissues ready in my hands.
Perhaps I'll feel better in a day
For I am taking goldenseal and zinc,
And megadoses of vitamin C.
I'm breathing steam above the kitchen sink,
But steam can't waft away this misery.

Perhaps Huston, Bogart were right after all;
Drown those damn viruses in alcohol.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Fiber art from the Land Down Under...

I've always found writing about myself a bit awkward. So at least once a week, I will be featuring someone else and their work. This week's artist is cerublu; I met her in the Etsy chat rooms, and the first things I learned about her is that she is Australian, and she is an expert horsewoman. Her specific locale is Barrington Tops; it is near several World Heritage locations, with both rainforest and sclerophyll forest nearby.

Her expertise in crafting is crochet. I've never been all that big on knits and crochet work myself, as I get too warm easily, but her work is an exception. Her hats are not merely for warmth, I think, but a sculpture made to be worn. She does capes as well; see them here -- the names, like Wren Fairy and Flame Fetish, give you the idea these are art capes. Each of her works is unique, and made entirely free form. She works without patterns, relying on her understanding of how her materials and techniques work to invent them as she goes.

The love of fibers runs in her family; her mother spins yarns that cerublu dyes and incorporates into some projects. This site shows work by both mother and daughter Like many fiber workers, cereblu also collects yarns that have a strong appeal. With the structural and textural qualities of her work, you can tell the right fibers for the right piece are important. As she says, "Natural fibres such as wool are fantastic for shaping themselves to fit their owner with wear and I tend to use such fibres in places where they'll be needed for their properties. I tend to take a long view of wearing things- how will it wear, will it stay in shape, will it mould itself to it's owner with time and such concerns. Different yarns have different properties and I exploit those properties as much as possible."
And that's what I love about her work. There is so much richness of texture and detail in each piece.

Her etsy store, talks of her inspiration from nature. As the examples I was seeing referenced cotton candy (fairy floss) and Impressionist art, I thought I'd ask for more detail. Her store really only scratches the surface of what she's created. Also, given that I'm NOT Australian, I'd failed to catch some of the nature references that were there, so I will finish this feature with her own words again.
The vast majority of my work is directly inspired by where I live and my perceptions of my environment. There's often some added "twist" to a concept, such as in the "Wattle Homage for Carmen" hat, but I'd think that if one knew this area, one could tell what the seasons are doing to the forest around me, which animals and plants are most in evidence at any given time that a piece was made. It's quite simple- I see stuff and make things which are my reaction or tribute to what I experience.

The place where I live, Barrington Tops in Australia, is a very beautiful and unique area with World Heritage listed areas nearby. My home high on a ridge looks out over the most incredible view- at times I watch eagles flying below me- I can't help but be inspired by what I see every moment. The forest around my house is of two main classifications, rainforest and sclerophyll, so there's a great amount of diversity in the flora and fauna. To be able to live here, solar power was most sensible option and it's nice to be able to live a somewhat environmentally-conscious lifestyle while making things inspired by the area's beauty.

Specifically, there are lots of my pieces which are inspired by trees and plants- "Amazing Angophora", "Bush Orchid", Bluegum Breeze", "(Native) Raspberry", "Native Hibsicus" are just a few. Fungus fascinates me. There are so many really interesting fungi here and I have to pay tribute to them. You can always tell when we've had lots of rain, a week or so later, up pops something like the "Star Fungus" scart or "bracket Fungus" pieces. Various birds and animals are resident here and are more in evidence at some times of the year. Pieces like "Kool Kookaburra", "Festive Frog", "Velvet Gecko" and "Go Anna Goanna" all take inspiration from the little guys who are often sitting on the side of my house, climbing up the windows, popping out from behind curtains in the house or stealing the dogfood!

The seasons themselves and how they change my surroundings is another ongoing theme in my work. The "Flame Fetish" cape and "One HOT Hat" both describe the terrible beauty, drama and threat of bushfire, even though the two pieces are completely different.

I get a lot of fun from little things and have a slightly odd sense of humour. Pieces such as the "Wren Fairy's Wingwrap" and "Red Belly Black Dragon" cape, which were made for Jonelle of SWTC from her beautiful soysilk, maize and bamboo yarns describe my personal, firmly-tongue-in-cheek Australian mythology. I love the juxtaposition of the mundane or everyday and the outre. For me, what is everyday- quolls, goannas, large snakes and birdeating spiders etc- are bizarre or even perhaps disturbing to others, so that means that I come up with what some might see as some unusual ideas at times, I suspect. But it's always, always FUN. "

Thursday, October 18, 2007

just a quick update

Tomorrow I will be doing a "rough draft" of painted glassware, so I can run it by the customer before baking it into permanency. Once I know she likes the results, I'll do a few other goblets so I can bake them as a batch and save energy. Holly and Ivy will be one theme I think, for a Christmas/Yule look. And probably some more fairies, as it is a popular theme, and hopefully the House Fairies I have will approve of them.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Sun and Moon

Allan photographed these for me. I think he got them in indirect light as the metallic sun and pearl moon don't shine in these photos. The moon still needs a bit of work, but I wanted to show these to the customer.

This time, it isn't about me.


At first, I'd hoped to post about a new painting I've completed, but the weather has been rainy and I can't do photos. But as you can tell from my jewelry, I really like glass, and my first featured artist is Kathryn Joy Schreiber, my fellow in Fantasy Artists of Etsy, and a creator of magnificent things. Stained glass is at the heart of most of it, but she embellishes with wire, beads, and more to create unique works, including sculpture, wands, pendants, nightlights, and more.
As Kathryn says, "I am totally in love with art and it actually is in me. I can not force things to be designed it just happens." The example shown here just happened for the autumn design challenge, and placed high in the voting. Please go to her shop and see more of her incredible work!

The muse suggests a new poem:

Friendships come
Like a forest clearing
Revealing a sunset unfolding.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

One thing about making jewelry

Even on days when asthma and vertigo are being unkind to me, I can always manage to get a few things done. I wish the same was true of painting, but handling little tasks like washing brushes are hard for me on days like this, and brushes must be washed to keep them in condition.

As far as jewelry goes, I think I'm a bit unusual in combining wood and stone, but I love items with real wood and stones combined. Nothing but nature against my skin, as it were. This bracelet combines 3 shades of wood with smaller coral spheres. I love the look because it could go perfectly with summer outfits-- sort of driftwood and coral suggestion of exotic vacations-- or the warm, earthy tones of fall.

This is in my etsy shop right now for $7.50. I'll give a dollar off to any one who contacts me about it (there's a button on the store to do so) and mentions my blog. I think the Muse of Merchants is telling me to bribe people to read!

here's a silly haiku I wrote back when I was calling into a corporation about some matter...
A pleasant voice speaks:
It thanks me for holding...
Like I had a choice.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Featured in Europe!

See the link on the side for Art in the Picture? That's a young blog featuring all sort of different artists who are not yet well known in the art community. I don't suppose I can yet claim to be internationally famous, any more than a big feature in the Elk Grove Citizen would call for a description of me as "the media's darling"... but it's a step in the right direction. Besides, I do have a customer in Scotland.

To keep with the international flavor, we have a touch of tulipmania in a Van Gogh inspired style. This was drawn in Prismacolor pencil, my favorite non-paint medium.

And for the Irish, I shall end with a limerick:

An artist, all splattered in paint,
Had spent all night portraying a saint.
No stains on her dress,
She simply confessed,
"What I paint about, is what I ain't."

Monday, October 8, 2007

Getting close to Halloween

Have you planned a costume yet?
I love dressing up, for Halloween, for conventions, RenFaire... any excuse really. And so I love to make costume pieces, too; like this Victorian widow's hat. I took a simple black straw hat and added recycled black fabric for a veil and train, topped by black roses, which I edged with black glitter and black baby's breath. I'm offering it with free shipping up until Halloween, so even if you want it for another event, now would be a good time to look. It is a featured item in my shop,

Today's poem, inspired by the hat:

The year expires;
Grief forgotten, the mourner
Becomes the coquette.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Sunshine recurring

I am a night person, and yet often, the sun creeps into my paintings. Perhaps simply because it is a counterpoint to the moon, which stars even more often in my work. But I suppose, as it's partly my health that has made me a night person, the moon stands for my current, quiet but creative life-- while the sun would be the more active life I led before I started having so much physical trouble.

I guess I romanticize the day from missing it; here's a poem I wrote when I was more familiar with daylight.

The day devours time;
The hours, sun-scorched, die
Or are pushed into
Oblivion by
Clocks’ hand and digits.

The night gives time back—
No demands, schedules.
Crickets mark seconds
In broken rhythm.
You breathe minutes, hours.

The moon speaks of months;
The stars sing the music
Of eons’ passage.
You look up and fall
Into forever.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Did you know it's good luck to have a toad in your garden?

Not quite a toad, but these bumpy green beads made me think of cute little toads. Suitable for gardening or spell casting, or just having a look all your own. I just listed this a few hours ago on

And a brand new poem:

Dawn's soft light
Creeps beneath
A fallen branch.
Be-reek! Be-reek!
The toad calls out
Happily shaded
From day's coming heat.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Muses Whisper at odd times

One of my friends from the Etsy chatroom was looking for a name for this blend of rich colors. Follow the link: perhaps it was Pomona rather than the Muses inspiring this one.


The muse of nonfiction isn't speaking to me tonight. Or perhaps I just can't hear her with my ear a bit swollen from allergies. Ergo my offerings for you tonight are simple.
I didn't draw this picture---->
I posed for it, white gloves, earrings, lipstick and chocolate. My husband likes the way I look at chocolate, and he's been an artist longer than I have. I've posed for him for quite a few things, but rarely does he stick as close to reality as he did here.
It's a bit funny, looking at his work and seeing me. And things could get worse. I think I might do part time work as an artist's model. I've even heard of model shows, where a gallery shows several artists' works all based on one model. On one hand, a form of immortality-- on the other, trying to look people in the eye if there are nudes in the exhibit? Maybe not the path for me to take.

And now, a poem, to take your mind off *that* mental image.

Clouds rush through the sky
In a swirling, free-form dance.
Strobe lights and drum rolls
Play around the amphitheater.
The sky, celebrating carnivale,
Throws confetti to the ground

Friday, September 28, 2007

Time keeps on slippin'

Oops. I meant to write in this blog daily, but it's been nearly a week since my last entry. There has been a lot to distract me in both my personal and creative life; I'm happy to say one thing I've been working on is a small series of commissioned paintings. The sun and moon paintings are larger versions of minatures my customer liked; and she also wanted a third painting to capture the change between night and day-- a twilight, dominated by this unusual bird

Now, about the painting showcased in this post. Hmm. Allan's photography does not show off well the pinkness of the flowers, but I thought I would try sumi-e ink painting with a local sort of subject, and this monochrome plant was so lovely I had it framed. Sumi-e, for those unfamiliar, is an ink painting style from Asia which is done by varying the mix of solid ink and water, and the wetness of the bush to create textures. The arm should be relaxed when painting, and the mind easy. The idea is to have one's personal energy, or qi, flowing naturally while painting, imbuing the art with a sense of life and nature, while serving as a sort of meditation. It is a very pleasant way to paint, as you can imagine, making the artist feel relaxed and refresh.
I took up sumi-e after seeing an artist doing it at a mall art show. He had samples of his work out, and sets of watercolor trays, and you could request whatever you liked based on his samples and he painted it for you right there. I asked for a rooster, as that is my sign in the Chinese Zodiac. It was almost magic to see him create the feathers with simple, eloquent brush strokes. I don't know where I put away that first sample that made me decide to learn the art myself, but I've made many pieces of my own, since then.

I'm listing this piece, Ink Pot, in my Etsy store tonight.

Meanwhile, a new bit of verse occurs to me:

Ink tells stories,
Joyful or sad.
Whispers secrets,
From mind to mind.

On paper, crisp,
The dreams we'd had;
In print or paint
For all to find.

When times move on
We may be glad
To find again
Dreams left behind.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

One of my favorite creations has just been listed on my Etsy store

A thing which is two things. This is both a necklace and a pendulum, suitable for dousing. I'd seen glass pendulums in my favorite mystic shop, so when I saw the blue and gold pointy end bead, I immediately thought, why not make a necklace that will be usable; a pendulum that functions as jewelry, too.

If you've never done dowsing, in this meaning, it's a way of contacting spirits, such as your guardian or fairies, to ask questions. Hold the pendulum in one hand over the outstretched palm of your other hand. You should start to feel a sort of tickling sensation as energy begins to flow along the pendulum to your hand. Once the pendulum is pretty much at rest, ask the spirit some yes or no questions that you know the answers to, to make sure it's working, and you know how to recognize yes and no -- the pendulum should circle different ways for either answer.

When you aren't dousing, just wear the necklace lariat style, dropping the pendulum and larger bead through the loop to make a Y front necklace.

To purchase, visit

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Store Inventory Increased

I've been spending most of the day adding new listings to my store.
Shown here is a new necklace, under $10 for goth clubs or Halloween wear.
I've got a special sale going, free shipping on all orders placed before the end of Saturday. The regular shipping price will be visible, but contact me before paying, and I will edit it to make sure you aren't billed.

Today's poem:

Silent tears
Shake the body,
Shatter the soul.
Cry out loud
For comfort.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Done Today:

I put the finishing touches on some of those cards I was working on, so I have two sets of four ready to scan and put up for sale. I also strung two necklaces. I've begun adding links to my fellow EarthPath and FAE etsy artists, although for some reason they are appearing at the bottom rather than side of the page. I'll have to see if I can do something about it, because I don't want to give anyone short shrift.

The picture on display now is Butterflame, and I will be adding it to my etsy store within the next few days. All I need to do is get the measurements for it.

Poem of the day, written *right now*:

A voice at the edge of a canyon
Along the stony faces of the walls
Winding around
Narrow tree trunks, gnarled branches
Dying away in the emptiness.

... Unheard?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Just a Poem

I'm rather tired right now, so the Muse bids me share:

Animals know the truth;
In darkness there is healing.
Seek the yang--
Cool, soothing hands felt in the dark,
Cats hide when they hurt
And wait patiently
For the tide to change.

The muse hath struck

I was working on ideas for more painted glasses, when it occurred to me that a snake design I wanted to do would be even better as a sculpture, made of fimo or sculpy, around the stems.

I've also been working on cards lately. Handpainted ones; and today, tiled ones with geometric foam shapes glued on, which end up looking like a mosaic. I'm going to want to sell them in sets, so not too much money has to be lost to fees and the shipping charges stay low. Does anyone know the ideal way to do this on Etsy? I'm thinking of posting sets, but with a note allowing people to ask for changes so they can mix sets and I will edit the new set at the same price. Good idea?

today's haiku:

Blue infinity sky,
Stretching the horizons of
The world and the soul.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Tall Oaks Grow From Tiny Acorns

I'm soon going to be listing glassware in my Etsy store. This is one of a pair painted with an acorn and oak leaves-- perfect for the season, or for toasting hamadyrads. Because it is always wise to sign paintings, the glassware has my initials, HK, which I sign in a combined mark I call my rune, on the base of the glasses.

I used dishwasher safe glasses, beautifully clear, but thicker and sturdier than many wineglasses, because I think it's a pain having too many hand-wash-only things. The paint is a special baked-on glass paint that also won't be harmed by dishwasher cleaning.

Today's haiku:

Each leaf in the fall
Has its moment of glory,
A fireworks display.

Now the Muse is offering me a cup of tea and advising me to sit and paint a while, instead of sitting near the windows as my asthma tires me out.

So you don't get bored with one post.

I'm still learning what I'm doing here. I had such an easy time adding the first picture and am having so much trouble doing it a second time. So, I will use another method and expand my skills. DragonLady Arianna, linked from photobucket.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

This is a watercolor that was meant to be the beginning of illustrations for a book, which was going to be about dragonladies, a race of draconic humanoids. In a sense it was going to be a metaphor for strong women worldwide, who could use a sort of primal natural energy to pursue their goals. DragonLady Arianna lives by northern seas and is an environmental activist.

And on the same theme, I offer another of my haiku:

Dragon brings the rain,
Drops like tiny pearls falling,
Seeding the rice.

A New Beginning

Here I am entering the world of blogging after years of hanging out on political blogs-- to start an arts and crafts blog. Well, why not? I was making art before I took a serious interest in politics. And if the personal is political, than the running of a business as an artist and artisan is most definitely political. After all, I wouldn't be spending so much time on creative work if I hadn't had my health destroyed in a "safe" work environment, as a clerk in an office.
I consider it a lesson in following one's heart and gut. If you are doing something where you aren't just unhappy sometimes, but truly stifled, sick, and miserable, Get Out of there and follow your bliss.
These days I have a store on etsy, a site for handmade goods. It's -- I've only been there for a month, and already I've made three sales and have had a chance to do a lot of talking with other crafters and artists.

The muse whispers that I have said enough for my first post, and that I should leave you with a seasonal haiku I wrote:

Fall scatters gold coin;
The world is enriched again,
Prosperous, content.