Archive for January, 2009

Life Gives You Lemons

Posted in nature with tags , , on January 31, 2009 by darcyarts

lemoninstudioAt the health food store, Thursday, my goal was to purchase some dry cat food.

After grabbing the large purple bag adorned with stars and moons, very new-age, I walked up the produce aisle to pick up some wheat grass, also for the cat.

There I saw a shopping cart full of the most beautiful lemons I have ever seen.


Lemons may be sour but aren’t their blossoms the sweetest? The oil of their skin smells so fresh.

That basket of rich yellow lemons evoked memories of rows and rows of citrus trees in the bright southern sun. The blossoms, nestled among the deep green leaves are the perfume of my childhood.

Toy Sushi, Cute, Kiss, Kiss

Posted in Art, dreams, etsy, film, plush critters, television with tags , , , on January 30, 2009 by darcyarts

There are some wonderfully weird plush toys out there.

In Japan they make stuffed sushi.

Heidi Kenney makes really cute things that also includes stuffed toy food items. Check out her artish blog, My Paper Crane.

There are dollies out there that, well,  appear to be emotionally disturbed. Look at Damned Dollies.

Bumblebird at Etsy has made some very cute dolls.

Experiencing some kind of warped Tim Burton loyalty, I pondered whether I would see the animated film Caroline.

Cinematically it looked slightly less than Burtonish. It was made by the “director” of Nightmare Before Christmas, Henry Selick, but does not have Tim Burton as creator.

Instead it is Neil Gaiman. I had only a sort of negative association stuck in the back of my mind when I heard the name. A vague violent comics repulsion (Sandman?), but I don’t really know anything about his work. Hey, N. Gaiman is really cute, though.

Hmmm. Am I really that shallow?

No, but I will explore his ouvre more carefully.

He’s British. Nice green eyes.

I’m pretty sure I’ll see it now. I caught the 15-minute promo on HBO and drooled jealously over the lucky people engaged in the fine art work  rendering every element used for creating the stop-motion film. WOW. See that 15-minute promo if you can.

As 30-Rock’s Liz Lemon says about food-related temptations:

“I want to go to that place.”

Yesterday I relisted two old squid pals in my Etsy shop.

redstarsquidduoclI had taken these two red star squid to the Shasta Arts Council Holiday sale and secretly hoped no one would buy them. I’d formed an attachment to them, especially the big, wide one.

I was stoked to see them sitting there on  post-sale pick-up day. Ah, reunited and it feels so good. I will make a fresh pair for the next buyer.

I still have two redhead portraits from my “Pink” series and a lavender whale plush critter in the gift shop at Old City Hall. You can visit them there.


This was an experiment in a mod face. She seems like she would really ask you a lot of questions if she was at all interested in you.

The color I used for her lips remind me of an orchid.

On both of the redhead paintings I used small fakey crystal rhinestones in the eyes.

This photo looks like the “before” rhinestones. The next is “after”.

redhead2superclaAccusing Eyes!!!!!

I didn’t do it!!!!

For some reason this redhead looks old fashion to me.  I decided she would be a paramour of Homer Simpson father. Even though there is no time in cartoons I think she’s from the late 30s.


Rainbows of Delight

Posted in Art, etsy, plush critters with tags , , , on January 29, 2009 by darcyarts

Today is the last day of my vacation and these days have been a wonderful milestone along my creative path.

I can see the light at the end of the dragon-filled tunnel and will ship them by this next Friday.

dragontableclThis is my listing for the special order.

They are very cute.

fourdragonheadsaHere is a little gaggle of dragons waiting to be completed.

I hand stitch the heads to the bodies, sew on the legs and arm. Each is given great care and attention.

I will shut up for good about the dragons after telling you that I have created a dragon listing in my Etsy shop. Now on to other things.

Yoko D’Holbachie is an amazing Japanese artist featured in Hi Fructose magazine last year.

dholbachiecoverHer work is very colorful and I love that.

My pictures aren’t nearly as bright as the work.

The page looks fuzzy and glares under the lights.

But , still, dig it if you will.

A quote from the mag:

“d’Holbachie says she has always had a maternal feeling toward her images, that she thought of her creations as her children.”

dholbachiepile“Her attitude seems to be changing.

‘Now I take each of then for my twin brother in a sense becausewe have been ever together since we were born. Some one has told me __ all of your pictures are your self-portaits. It might be true in the sense that he is my twin brother.’ ”

These images seem to be related to stuffed creatures.

In Japan, according to David Sedaris in his latest book When You are Engulfed in Flames, the department stores all have handmade stuffed toys. I heard him say this on the radio. I would like to know more about this.


Dreamy Dragon Days

Posted in Art, plush critters, projects with tags , , on January 28, 2009 by darcyarts

Since I am in the last two days of a lovely 11 day break from work I am using my time to do all my favorite things.

machineOf course you know I’m still working on the dragons. They are getting the biggest chunk of each day.

I’ve made progress and I hope to have them nearly finished by Friday afternoon.

dragonsinbagfirstdragonflatheadsThere are dragon parts filling my kitchen. They will be so cute to see all lined up together.

spikesscaleshandslegsHalf the spaces in the house are work areas.

The kitchen table is being used partially for sewing and plushy construction.

table I’m living in my own little happy factory.

I love making cute things that make other people smile.

It’s a curative for having to write about death, destruction and ill-willed happenings.

I find the scraps of my work just as interesting as the bigger parts.

cutoutsjesspigThese green dots are cutouts from the dragon paws. I had to make a hole into which to stick the legs.

That pretty girl is daughter Jess at sweet 16. Next to her is a cute little pig and you can see Crusty the Clown’s left arm.

Beside the color and the sensual pleasure of the light bouncing off the surfaces of all the things I see everyday, it’s the the little things that keep me going.

Homemade cranberry fudge and hot coffee with a little whip cream on top. Yes, it’s rich. Possibly forbidden but what the heck.fudge


Plushies O’ Plenty

Posted in Art, dreams, esoterica, etsy, plush critters with tags , , , , on January 26, 2009 by darcyarts

On a day not far distant from this one, after my work troubles fell into my dreams on too regular a basis, I asked the beings of light to guide me to the right course of action.

I dreamed of a beautiful little white house — bright, clean, sturdy — and over that sweet house a rainbow arc of fat healthy fish floated in a steady stream.

Fish have always been a personal dream symbol of faith, spirituality and creativity.

I felt that the the fish represented a flow that was continuous, never ending, dependable. In the past, in times when I have been stressed in dealing with things in the outside world, I have often dreamed of a passing a fish bowl. I will suddenly realize that I have neglected to give the fish fresh water. I stop what I am doing and pour in a big glass full of water.

It never takes much to restore the fishes environment to a healthy balance.

The rainbow stream of  big fat fish over the beautiful white house, a twin symbol of my “self” and probably our fresh government, was greatly encouraging. It seemed a clear sign that I could pursue my creative life and trust that the work I needed would be there.

Then, ever the self-doubtful Thomas, I asked for another sign. In one week I got two commissions one of which more than doubled  its original number.

I have been away from work for seven of my eleven day vacation. I wanted to take this time to pay attention to how I felt doing only my creative work in the mind set that I would never return to the day job.

It feels pretty damn good.

I fear losing the paycheck, however, I am on a sort of probation at work after going to HR about  having been emotionally and spiritually sickened by a constantly aggressive, sour and belittling attitude  from my boss.

I’ve always tried to do my best, keep my cool and all, but Iwill not accept rude, self-righteous behavior from anyone. We all run the risk of getting really far down a nasty path when we don’t take time for self-examination, if we don’t occassionally stop and see how our behavior is affecting others.

Plants, animals and small children thrive with encouragment, positive language, smiles and kindness.

Sentient beings fail to thrive when constantly in the presence of fear, anger, contempt and resentment.

We do need to regularly check ourselves before we wreck ourselves.

Having spent a lifetime with a foot planted in two different worlds, maybe in more ways than one, I have come to the simultaneous realization that:

a).  It may always be that way.

b).  My double lives may be attributable to lack of belief that I can bring my dreams into reality without crashing financially.

Joseph Campbell, a very wise man, said “Follow your bliss.” 

In a ddition to the dragon project I’ve  sold two plushy squids in the last  two days:

Girl Squidopus

And Squidopus the Curious

Big Love and Milk

Posted in family, film with tags , , , , on January 25, 2009 by darcyarts

Frank and I went out to Prime 11 Cinema Friday to see Milk.

Of the the five movies that have been nominated for academy awards Milk is the one I really wanted to see.

I love Leonardo Di Caprio so I was all ready for Revolutionary Road, too, but the Academy has failed to acknowledge Leo and that bums me out.

I guess I’ll still see the film. I am a cinema lover and I deeply appreciate Prime 11’s great feat in simultaneously bringing four academy award nominees to screens in Shasta County.

I love good movies and I love Gus Van Sant and Milk covers familiar territory. Frank and I left San Francisco and took our Santa Barbara break just days before the assasinations.

Things looked pretty good. The boys were styled very realistically, no fright wigs. Sean Pean did a great job as Harvey Milk even though it is impossible to recreate the shining soul power of special people.

Nobody will ever be able to capture the true essence of Jimi Hendrix or Jeff Buckley or Dizzie Gillespie. 

I loved the tangle of relationships in the film. It brought back so many memories. And they mentioned the Stud.

Writer, Dustin Lance Black, should receive an award for having the best name since Diablo Cody. I admire Black’s work.

He made this season of Big Love very compelling. I love all the actors on that show and find it really entertaining.

The series deals with themes of love, faithfulness, the purpose and meaning of marriage, suburban living, selflessness, etc. and we see these things through the lens of alternate belief systems.

It’s all the more interesting to know that it is the brain child of two creatively endowed gay men, Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer, and Dustin Lance Black came along for the ride.

Best Bargains in Redding

Posted in Art, film on January 23, 2009 by darcyarts

I have to blog about  a few of best bargains I’ve found in my trips out into the commercial world,  so far this month.

On breaks from cutting and sewing dragon parts, say, to buy more thread or button eyes or food supplies, I’ve happened on to some really wonderful things. 

One of the most delicious things I’ve ever  eaten is a cream cheese torte from Rising Sun Farms in Oregon.

I found them at Grocery Outlet on Churn Creek Road in Redding.

The first was an apricot, cranberry torte.


Yes, it’s sweet and fresh and covered with  cranberries. Dip an animal cracker in it! Superb. Put it on a bagel. Man, I had to keep myself from taking a spoon and just eating the stuff straight from it’s sweet little container.

At Grocery Outlet they had one with marrionberries, a spicy chile torte, one topped with crumbled chocolate crackers. They now live in my freezer. I will be sad when they are just a tasty memory.

At the beginning of the month I made a visit to my landlady’s cool thrift shop Margot’s Trading Post at 2963 E. Center Street in Anderson.

It has a country theme and is stuffed with her hand crafted levi jackets, lots of nice leather jackets and beautiful boots. If you are looking for turquoise and coral jewelry it’s the place to go.

I went down a few doors and checked out Meteor Records for the first time.

It’s a very small but really cool record shop. I came away with a double Howlin’ Wolf album for $12.

howlinaChess Records, baby.

I LOVE Chester!! He sounds great coming out of our big old speakers. Owwww!

Yesterday I was out at the $1 store near KMart. I needed cheap detergent because the price of name-brand detergent is getting ridiculous! I’ve decided to make mine from a variety of cheap liquid soaps and see what happens.

What did I find at the $1 store other than my cheap scrubbing powder, liquid soup, spongy webbed mat (to keep my sewing machine pedal from slipping on the kitchen floor) and dense Mexicano croissants?

The Power Puff Girls!!!!!

ppgfrontThe Complete First Season!


This kicks total ass! Cue dramatic PPG music!

Craig McCracken is an Aries like me! I checked out some info on the PPG creator and it makes perfect sense.

ppg4dvdeyesHow neat is this case? The DVDs are Blossom’s eyes.

Lists and Miraculous Changes

Posted in Art, dreams, family, projects, tech, television on January 21, 2009 by darcyarts


It is a time in my creative life when I am keeping lists. I have a lot to get to and I must keep my flow going.


It was inauguration day and I watched with delight. We had the TVs on MSNBC all day.

Every part of watching people joyfully gather to celebrate the official arrival of their new first family was life-affirming. Obama! Obama! Obama!

I spent hours cutting out dragon parts while looking in on the proceedings, the refreshingly earnest pagentry.

 Today as President Obama signed into law his fist bill, a salary freeze starting at the top, I was moved to tears to think that all the things that we know deep down in our hearts need to be addressed probably will be.

It took a whole day to get dragon parts ready for sewing.














I spent the later part of the day putting files onto data disks. I purchased Windows XP for the “new” refurbished Tiger Direct computer that was F’ed Up from the start. I’d like to be able to buy music downloads so I must update.


Still, this here Compaq is the work horse we’re on, and so I bravely and cautiously ran the JV16 Power Tools registry cleaner on it.

It seems to have made a world of difference.

You may recall my having complained in weeks past about its slowness. It was loaded with old programs and files that bogged it down. I managed to choose those I knew were defunct and so far so good.

In the past few days we had numerous circuit breaker overloads. Unfortunately the wall plug the computer is using is on the kitchen circuit.

When the simultaneous microslave, television, fairy lights, electric stove usage trips the switch, there goes the computer, too.

I don’t think it was too good for this old computer to repeatedly have the electrical rug pulled out from beneath it.

By the time I downloaded the power tools it was limping in the weeds.

Jan. 21

Posted in Uncategorized on January 20, 2009 by darcyarts

Here we have a new start.

Let’s hope we see an end to negative speculation.

Let’s hope we see a new spirit of earnestness, application, acceptance, charity and LOVE.

Let rudeness, self-absorbtion, sarcasm and condescension fade.

Let’s believe we can change the world and not lose faith if it takes longer than we expected.

Custom Dragon Done

Posted in plush critters, projects with tags , , on January 14, 2009 by darcyarts

albiafullfrontDoesn’t he just make you want to give him a hug?

Working steadily over the past two weeks I have managed to finish the Albi the Racist Dragon. If I just didn’t have to go to my real job four days a week I could devote myself to making plushy critters all the time.

I dream.

If you recall, Albi is a character in a cartoon on The Flight of the Conchords TV show.



As you can see from watching the video clip, Albi, is redeemed from his initial racist status, so it’s cool.

I finished sewing him yesterday and today I added his spots and chest ridge patches.