Monday, August 31, 2009

Art or Craft

This little girl is made from recycled denim, which I hand colored with fabric crayons and heat set. I made her hat and dress and knitted her sweater.

My brother and I were having a discussion about what distinguishes art from crafts. I came up with various ideas and distinctions, but ultimately decided that the lines were very blurred. I would love to hear what others think, so feel free to let me know your ideas on the subject.

The critters on this page were all designed and hand sewn by me. I do not know if they should be considered art or crafts, but in the teddy bear world, I am called a teddy bear artist. However I do not know if that makes them art or crafts. What do you think is the definition of art versus crafts?

This cute pair are aptly named Edgar Allen (teddy bear) and Poe (raven). The teddy is made from cream recycled denim and the crow from black felt, with pipe cleaner legs. he hold a piece of ribbon in his fimo beak that says "NEVERMORE'.

This little guy was made from recycled denim, and I made his jacket and knitted his hat. His companion is a dragon.

This little girl witch is made of recycled denim, and I knitted her garment and mismatched socks. I made her little companion from black felt and knitted the hat.

This little pumpkin head is made from orange felt. The jacket from polar fleece and I knit the scarf.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

My Photographs

Today, I thought I would share some more of my photographs with you. These photos cover a wide range of subjects, mostly anything that looked interesting and caught my eye. Sometimes it is only part of a subject such as the necklace and sweater above, and the hood ornament. Sometimes it is a sweeping subject such as the street scene with the mural or the trees in the fog. I hope you enjoy looking as much as I enjoy taking them.

I think fog is beautiful, I love how the mist creeps around these trees

I love the way rain softens everything, I was fascinated with the flag stenciled on the back of this truck

You can probably tell I like white, this is my antique bed

Isn't this great, a mural on a building on South Street in Philadelphia, PA, and I just love the way they painted the building

I found these old windows on display at a junk/antique shop

I love this hood ornament from an old red and white Chevrolet

I love the patina and burnished surface of this copper kettle

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Girl's Day Out

This is the rollicking adventure of Jan, Janna and Miakoda on our girl's day out! We decided we wanted to go to Ocean City for bubble tea, and of course we decided we might as well check out the boardwalk. We strolled down the boardwalk, took our pictures in one of those photo booth where you end up looking like you should have a number under your picture. I bought coconut candy, we had gelatos, mine was peanut butter. We visited the Flanders Hotel, then decided to hop over to Margate to visit Lucy the Margate elephant. We froliced in the ocean, then headed to Stewart's for a late snack, then headed home. We had a great time!

We started the day with bubble tea, YUMMMM!!!! Mine is the almond on the right!


My girls being silly at the Mexican restaurant we went to for lunch.

Our dessert, a flan. None of us had ever tasted one before. I think I'm the only one who liked it.

Dragon streetlight I spotted on our way to the boardwalk.

A view of the Atlantic Ocean from the boardwalk in Ocean City. Yes the parachute has a smiley face!

On the boardwalk in Ocean City.

We decided to check out the Flanders Hotel. It is named after a field in Belgium, where poppies grow over the graves of soldiers killed in WWI. The cemetery was made famous by John McCrae in a poem.

"In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row...
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved,
and now we lie in Flanders fields..."

We found this fun try on dress form near a gift shop in the Flanders Hotel. We each had to try it out. I think it is a little "wide" for Miakoda.

Lucy, the Margate elephant! Isn't she marvelous? Lucy was built in 1881, she is made of wood and metal. She is 38 feet long, and 80 feet in circumference, her head is 16 feet long and 48 feet in circumference. Lucy's neck is 6 feet long and 48 feet in circumference. Her legs are 22 feet long and 10 feet in diameter. Her ears are 17 feet long and 10 feet wide. It is estimated that each weighs 2000 pounds. Her tusks are 22 feet long; tail 26 feet and eyes 18 inches in diameter and made of glass. It is estimated that lucy can be seen (without binoculars) up to eight miles. Isn't she beautiful. If you are ever down at the Jersey shore, stop in to see Lucy the Margate elephant!

Looking up at Lucy's tongue and tusks!

A view of the Atlantic Ocean from Lucy's howdah over the top of her head.

My girls frolicking in the ocean!

On the beach in Margate, with Lucy in the background, as if you needed us to point that out.

Sunset over Margate viewed from Lucy's howdah.

Our last stop at Stewart's for a snack of fries and a root beer float. My girls, aren't they cute?

We head home after a fun day in Ocean City and Margate!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Walk Down Memory Lane

I thought it might be fun to take a look at my hairdo's over the years, (not really), but I thought it might be fun to check out some of my baby and school pictures (again, not really). The real reason is, I don't have anything else to write about today. Everyone else was smart enough to take a camera along yesterday when we went bowling. They got some great pictures of us rolling our gutter balls. I, alas (isn't that a fun word), didn't remember my camera, so I am relegated to writing about my school pictures. So, grin and bear it!

My baby picture, just look at those chubby cheeks and double chin! But what I love is, I am wearing a bracelet! Must have started my lifelong love with bracelets. I wear a bracelet almost everywhere I go.

So I did have a dolly at some point. Just look at those oxfords.
I think I am about 2 years old here

Okay, so whoever did the hair needs to be banned from a comb and bobby pins. The necklace is downright cute though. Notice the space between the front teeth. I remember having teeth the size of bugs bunny.
This must be about 1st grade

Bangs, yikes, that's a lot of forehead. But I do dig the pearls! And notice the cowboy hat earrings.
I'm guessing about 2nd grade

Wow, I don't even know what to say about that hair, ummm pin curl heaven!
I'm guessing about 3rd grade

Okay, what's with those bird wing bangs? You gotta love the rick rack on the dress!
I'm guessing about 4th or 5th grade

I can't decide if I am older here or in the picture above this one, but anyway just how too cute are those huge sausage curls

Boy, did I think I was so sophisticated! I was only about 12 or 13 here, but I think I look much older. It looks as though I "styled" it myself. So much for a walk down memory lane.

Monday, August 24, 2009

My Teddy Bears Narrative

Aren't they cute? Yeah they're cute!
Scarlett and O'Hare

I make teddy bears, artist teddy bears, as they are called on e-bay. I have made lots and lots of them, out of many kinds of fabric. Mostly though I make them out of discarded denim jeans. I hunt down members of my family and demand their old jeans. I like the really worn out ones best, they make up into a softer, older looking bear. My old jeans are usually the best candidates for this as I wear them until the holes are in shocking places. Even then, I am reluctant to stop wearing them. I keep trying to figure out if anyone will notice my underwear peeking out.

I have a soft spot for authors and famous people's name, so lots of my teddies end up with a strange combination of their names. This pair are called Scarlett and O'Hare. I'm sure you can see where I "borrowed" the name from.

I sketch the teddy, then draw the pattern, cut it out, sew it up. Then comes the fun part, the clothing. I can't just do a simple dress, nope, I have to keep adding to it, changing this or that, sometimes I make more than one outfit for a teddy. I have a box of outfits that just didn't seem right for a particular bear sitting on my workroom shelf. Did I just call it my workroom, I meant to say my studio, it's supposed to give me more inspiration to call it a studio, at least I think.

It took me two hours to pick out buttons, then another two to decide whether to put button holes or loops. In the end I decided on the loops, they just seemed right. It should never take this long to decide on something so simple!

Then I decided she needed bloomers, so back to the drawing board.

Scarlett needed a little smudging up, so I darkened around her eyes and nose, it gives her more character.

I have a bit of trouble with O'Hare, I gave him club arms at first. I left them on a few days while I thought about it, but every time I saw him long old arms, he looked even sadder, so yesterday I made him a new pair of shorter arms. I think he just might be a little happier, although it's hard to tell by his expression.

And finally I have to decide which background to use. The red is nice, but I think the white shows them off a little bit better.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

My Cats

Okay, meet the kitty with the motor boat size purr. His name is Morgan, but somehow I end up calling him Madison, then comes Monroe and finally I remember it's Morgan. He was supposed to be called Captain Morgan, because two of my middle daughter's rescued cats are named Captain and since this was another rescue, it had to be a Captain. The first was named for Captain Barbosa, the second Captain Jack from the movie, Pirates of the Caribbean. My youngest daughter decided we didn't need another Captain, so she suggested Commodore. And there you have it Commodore Morgan Perry (I won't even go into the Perry part).

So now we have this little kitten with this big name. He was a feral kitten living in my daughter's back yard until the night he was attacked by two adult cats, who slashed open his side. My daughter took him to the vet, who fixed him up with antibiotics, de-fleaed him, cleaned out his ear mites and sent him home to heal. My daughter, the cat rescuer, already has four cats, three of them rescued feral cats, and one domesticus princess named Madeline, so of naturally he came home with me. I already have two spoiled cats, two neurotic dogs, one Amazon parrot and a slightly loony cockatiel, so what's one more.

Morgan is the most affectionate kitten I have ever met. He cuddles up on my arm each night, after washing my face and neck with his little sandpaper tongue, turns his motor on full blast and goes to sleep.

Commodore Morgan Perry!

He has yet to meet Thomas Henry and Jhonen. Thomas Henry being my cat, who is the size of two cats rolled into one. Thomas Henry was once traumatized by soap bubbles, the kind you give kids with the little wand. I bought a bottle at the dollar store and came home thinking the cats would love chasing the bubbles. I pulled the wand out of the bottle, blew out a mass of bubbles, they floated, pearly and glistening through the air, down to the floor. Thomas Henry took one look at those shiny bubbles, his eyes grew to the size of very large marbles, he bolted for the bathroom (where he has a high place to sleep on top of the cabinet). For two weeks, he only came down to eat and use the littler box, then right back up to his safety spot. To this day I think he gets hives when you mention the word bubbles.

My oldest daughter calls Thomas Henry "the golden child" because he and I both think he is king of the house. He does get those haughty looks sometimes when you are trying to push him off the kitchen table, and he does knock the dog's water dish out of it's holder each morning because he wants "fresh" water, not the dog-lapped stuff. You might say he deports himself in a imperial manner, but then that's the way of kings.

Thomas Henry is a very sweet, lovable cat, but Jo-Jo, (as we call Jhonen) is of a different fabric, not that she isn't lovable, she just isn't a real social butterfly to put it mildly. Jo-Jo is my youngest daughter's cat and she and Thomas Henry were raised side by side, but two cats couldn't be more different. Jo-Jo doesn't like for you pet her without her absolute permission. Jo-Jo's talent is finding the most obscure places to sleep, and sometimes it is almost impossible to find her. Jo-Jo tries to drink out of the water cooler spigot, I'm waiting for the day she learns to push down on the handle.

Group Activity!