Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Perfect Life...

When this was first given to me...11 or 12 years ago...I was titled:
The Perfect Work Life Would Offer...but as I looked at it today...I
realized that it would apply just as well to LIFE...


Enough challenge to be interesting
Enough ease to be enjoyable
Enough comraderie to be interesting
Enough solitude to be productive
Enough hours to get the job done
Enough leisure to feel refreshed
Enough service to feel needed
Enough silliness to have fun
Enough money to pay the bills...and then some!

With appreciation and gratitude to my friend Lane, (an artist in her own right!) wherever she may be

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Visual vs. the Written

I just watched the movie, Memoirs of a Geisha.

When I read the book, Memoirs of a Geisha, a few months ago, I threatened to watch the movie with the sound off. It was a good call on my part, and I should have done it that way.

If you want to know the story, of this fascinating culture of the Geisha, don't count on the movie. As the book is a work of fiction, I don't know how accurately it portrays this life, but my feeling was that the author had done extensive research. I would never have known what was going on in the movie, had I not already read the book. I felt some of the characters were good, but several were very miscast.

But, I really only wanted to see the Kimonos, and the makeup and the hair and the hair ornaments...and I did get to see some of that in the movie. There were some very lovely scenes, beautifully filmed.

So...the movie served it's purpose for me, although not brilliantly. Once again, I will have to the book.

Monday, July 24, 2006

New Glasses....The Better To See You With My Dear

I turned 40 in December of 1993. By February of 2004 I was sporting bi-focals. I have been wearing bi-focals since then, and even tried bi-focal contacts for a time. (Quite frankly I think the contact lens designers missed the boat on this, but that will have to wait for another blog entry!)

I have been overdue for an eye exam for a while, and noticed that I was taking the bifocals off to read, to work on the computer and to do art work. It was while working on art that I accidently knocked them off the work table, and anxious to retrieve them, I stepped back and broke them neatly in half. (Picture white adhesive tape wrapped around the nosepiece of my black Kate Spade glasses.) Luckily i didn't have any white adhesive tape and found that a bit of super glue did the trick quite nicely.

In fact it did it so nicely that although I had a visit to the eye doc on my long term list of things to do, I basically forgot about them being broken until a couple of weeks ago when they went flying off the work table again, and this time, super glue failed me.

I decided since I was taking my glasses off for art, reading and computer work...what the heck...I would try single vision again and save a boatload of money. So, after a bit of looking, I selected a pair, only to be told that I could get two pairs and it would be $6 less than one pair. Hey...I am no fool...I got two pairs!

Driving home from the eyeglass place...I realized I could see all sorts of things that I hadn't been seeing recently...things like leaves on trees...buds on various types of agave plants, the edges of porches and roofs and windows were sharp. Hues and shades of the desert that had previously gone by in a blur suddenly popped. For a couple of days everything seemed clear and new and visually exciting. And then, like the mountains I live in, and the valleys that I drive through, the colors started to seem ordinary again. The leaves and the buds were the norm.

So now, every day, I try to put on a pair of metaphorical new glasses and see everything new again. See the colors and the edges and organic shapes around me. And appreciate my ability to see them.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

I just read...

A really fun, light read. A great beach book. Thanks to Jody for the recommendation!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

I just read...

The Art of Detection by Laurie King.
Laurie King is one of my very favorite authors. And with this latest offering, she did not dissapoint.

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Tabasco Boys

Recently I stayed in a hotel where the breakfast buffet was above average. There were few dining options in the area, so this turned out to be a lucky thing. I ate several breakfasts there during my stay in St.Louis, and I want to thank them (without outing myself) for the inspiration for one of my new doll styles.

They had a lovely silver platter of mini Tabasco bottles right next to the scrambled eggs. The eggs were quite delicious, and I never actually used the Tabasco on my eggs. But those little bottles were irresistable.

Here is a picture of the first of the Tabasco Boys. This one is named Henry, The Hot Sauce Guy.

The second of the Tabasco Boys is named Milton, Another Hot Sauce Guy.

I am embarassed to say how many of the Tabasco Boys can be created with the mini Tabasco bottles I still have, but they are a wonderful inspiration, and I who knows when I might be back in St.Louis.

Project Runway Is Back!!!

Okay, I am a self-confessed TV junkie. I love some reality shows (Big Brother, Survivor, Starting Over). And I am positively addicted to PROJECT RUNWAY.

I have been hooked since halfway through the first season. (I eventually caught up and saw all of Season One) I learned about it from a Graphic Design teacher who kept talking about it with another student. (We happened to be in the middle of a fashion project that I now realize was inspired by Project Runway.) I had a blast doing the fashion project and I went ga-ga for Project Runway (PR).

In the past I have been content to watch the show religiously, discuss it with a few friends, and yes, I even have evangelized a bit...

But I this season I am going to get even more wrapped up in it...I have already joined a yahoo group to discuss the show, and I see that there are several blogs dedicated to the show, including Daniel Vosovic's Blog and Tim's Take .

At any rate, I am sooooo glad Season Three has started. I love the challenges. I love the fashion. I love the personalities. If I had my life to live over again, I might well have chosen fasion design. This way I get to live a little of that, vicariously.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Wild Bird

I was on the telephone yesterday, and had a couple gel pens at hand. I never know what will appear when I doodle on the phone. The subject of flying things: birds and butterflies came up in the conversation. A couple of rather boring butterflies appeared on the page and then I was in the midst of creating this bird.

When I was done on the phone and took a look at the bird, I thought I should really do something with this. So I scanned it. Opened up Adobe Illustrator and created this version of the bird.

I then took the bird into Adobe Photoshop and created images that I could use on merchandise in my Cafe Press store. Wild bird is now available on a plethora of clothing and other merchandise, including baby and kid sizes.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

I just read...

Interesting to read a "MEMOIR" in light of all the recent controversy about memoir that surrounded Oprah's recent problems with A Million Little Pieces. Originally touted as a wonderful book by Oprah, read by hundreds of thousands, suggested to be a help and a hope for addicts everywhere. Suddenly, Oprah reversed her opinion. She called James Frey on her show again to be taken to task for his "lies" and essentially publically humiliated him.

In a discussion of all of this, my friend Peggy recommended Liars' Club which is what I read most recently. She loved it. While reading it I couldn't help wondering how a girl between the ages of 4 - 9 years could have such amazing recall of the events of her life. So was she another memoirist who embellished? Isn't that the nature of memoir? Isn't the memoirist telling the story through her/his own eyes, which will never be a perfectly accurate view of what actually happened. Certainly if the Mother, Father and Sister of Mary Karr (author of Liars' Club) wrote memoirs of the same time period they would be very different stories.

It was a pretty good read of a hugely disfunctional family.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Talent: Insult or Compliment?

Sometimes I say someone is a talented artist. I use the word to mean that the person has accomplished something excellent. They may be a talented singer or artist or writer.

But, when I look talent up in the dictionary, I find that it means:

1)A marked innate ability, as for artistic accomplishment.

2)Natural endowment or ability of a superior quality. A person or group of people having such ability.

It sounds to me that if I say someone is talented, I may be unintentionally dissing all the work they have put into whatever it is they do well. I certainly don't mean this and do not discount all the work someone puts into learning their craft well. In most cases if a person is a good writer or a good painter or a good singer...they have put a lot of work and effort into their art. They practice. They do it every day. They may take classes or work independently to improve.

I am not sure if there is such a thing as innate ability. There may be. But I think when I use the word talent, I am inadvertently ignoring all the work that artist has put into their art, music, writing. I am leaving out the accomplishement of the artist.

I think I need to find another word that acknowledges the accomplishment aspect and minimizes the innate or natural aspect.

Friday, July 07, 2006

I just read...

I just read At Risk by Patricia Cornwell. I am a huge fan of her Scarpetta character, but this was no Scarpetta! I was pretty dissapointed in this book. But for the hardcore Cornwell fans, you probably still have to read it (I did).

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

What the Heck is Etsy?

A few months ago, I was asking the very same question. What the heck is Etsy?

Well, you have no doubt heard of eBay. Etsy is kind of like that. Only it isn't.

Etsy is a selling venue (like eBay), but there the similarities pretty much begin and end.

Etsy is an online marketplace for buying and selling all things handmade. Etsy lets you shop by color, place, time and material.

Etsy was launched on June 18, 2005.

Etsy is a store which sells arts and crafts and art supplies. There is no bidding. The seller sets a price and that is the price.

I have been selling some things on eBay. In fact I have used eBay for years. So far I haven't found it to be terribly useful in selling art. So I have decided to 1) give Etsy a try and 2) spread the word about Etsy.

My Etsy shops are Dolladay, in in which I feature a new doll every day and Ladyartichokeheart in which I feature other art, including art doll pins.

For those considering opening an Etsy shop, I highly recommend it. It is easy to use and you have buyers who are interested in buying art!!

For those who are considering shopping at Etsy, I highly recommend it. It has an outrageous selection of arts and crafts and it is plenty of fun to just window shop!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

I just read...

I just read Bloodroot. This is part of a series of mysteries set in the Texas Hill country, featuring Herb Shop owner, China Bayles. If you are interested in purchasing this book (or any other book) you can click on the book cover image.

"I just read..." will be a new regular feature of the Hanje Richards Design Blog.