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Indie Emporium this Weekend!~!

    Ooooh, what a whirl-wind week it has been! Especially yesterday! But I got my booth set up and my friend Tony fancied up my hair and we had a great night last night. I was so happy to see so many familiar faces and also meet some new friends!

    Indie Emporium continues today at Living Arts of Tulsa in downtown Tulsa and runs from noon til 10 pm. I'll be there allll day, so come by and say hi if you're nearby! Also, bring a canned food item for the Oklahoma Food Bank and get discounted admission.

   My friend Tony will also have some of his beautiful clothing designs in the fashion show, my friend Samantha will be showing off some awesome steam punk jewelry designs and the lovely and talented Erin will have some of her beautiful hair accessories in the show as well. I cant wait to see it all! And can't wait to see you too :)

Thanks! Now time to get ready  for day 2!~

A very Tasha Birthday

      Hello there! Happy Tuesday! And being Tuesday, its also time for my little weekly series-- Tasha Tuesday, dedicated to one of my favorite artists, Tasha Tudor.

     This past week I got a very nice package in the mail--- I had been contacted by a woman selling some of her Tasha Tudor collection and decide to indulge myself in two books-- Pumpkin Moonshine and Becky's Birthday:

        I have always wanted a copy of Pumpkin Moonshine since that was Tasha's first book, published in 1938. And while I am still on the hunt for a copy of Becky's Christmas, I was happy to get a very special copy of Becky's Birthday for my own birthday! Both are packed with sweet little illustrations, and since they were published decades apart, you can really see how Tasha's illustrating gained depth and skill. Each book is lovely in it's own way, but the paintings in Becky's Birthday are really gorgeous and skillful.

   Another reason I was so thrilled to get a copy of Becky's Birthday is that it is a signed copy! In the front Tasha has signed and dated '1992'. What a precious, precious memento! She signed this book when I was just eleven years old. And to think, twenty years later (twenty?!) it's come to be mine. Magic!

   I hope you have enjoyed having a little peek at these treasures! I am so happy to add them to my collection. And my apologies for missing last Tuesday--- my internet connection was on the fritz and there was just no way to get it done! Thanks for understanding!~



   Hello there, everyone!~ Here it is Monday, again! Thanks to those who sent their birthday greetings and wishes! It was a nice weekend filled with lots of good food and fun. My parents got me a German chocolate cake-- my dad and I are a little obsessed with it ;) I had a nice day, visited an uncommon amount of farm animals (of course!) designed a new project (as I tend to do with only a week left til a craft show!) and enjoyed some quiet time.
   The sunset was so pretty yesterday too, and I was so stuffed with food...I am now ready to take on an entire year of being 31!

       At the end of the day, Mr. Franklin and I cuddled up with a new ghost story that my brother got me for my birthday (that's what comes of a lifetime of terrifying a younger sibling with ghostly tales, I guess!) and called it a night. Tomorrow-- the 25th--- will be Franklin's first birthday! He's getting to be a big ol' boy! He's finally starting to 'unfurl', getting his leg whispies and flagged tail like a real Cavalier!

Thanks again, friends! And have a wonderful week,


      I finished this painting up yesterday, and she was a bit of a surprise. I've been working on several custom pieces, but with Indie Emporium now a week away, I felt like I needed to have a few brand new things to offer, and this idea came to me-- just a simple, elegant, old fashioned portrait.

   When i started I envisioned her as blond, but then she insisted she was a redhead. And when I got the red hair painted I realized--- Is this Joan Holloway? Well, perhaps her mother, since this has more of a 1920s/1930s vibe.

   The idea for her dress is loosely inspired by dresses I've seen my great-grandma photographed in during this same era. Just simple and beautifully draped and I wanted to add some floral detail to really make it pop out of the dark background. I also think it sets off her beautiful skin tones. I'm pleased with how this little idea has blossomed! And I named her Camille. Which I think is a perfect name for redheads.

   Well, my birthday is coming up in a couple of days, so I'm looking forward to the weekend and my greatly improved odds for having cake! German chocolate, of course. The chocoholics in my family are a bit obsessed with it.

   And tomorrow will also mark the 'official' first day of autumn and for once the weather is cooperating! It will be in the 70s on my birthday Sunday. I am looking forward to it!

   Wishing you a wonderful friday and beautiful first weekend of autumn. Thanks for coming to visit me here today!~

Low Tech Pursuits

   Well, I encountered some technical difficulties yesterday, mainly an internet connection that wouldn't stay connected for more than a few seconds, and thus Tasha Tuesday came and went without a post. Sorry about that! Believe me, none were more frustrated than I ;) everything--- from details of commissions in my email to our tv or movie watching requires an internet connection. 

  The result? Well, I did get some knitting done! No internet required (unless your pattern is on Ravelry, lol)

  I'm glad that you all enjoyed my 4 minutes of tv fame ;) I am so happy to have that project done, it sort of consumed my thoughts for the days leading up to it! Now I am very happy to sit by myself with some dogs and paint without a live audience. I am not a performer! But I think it went fairly well, and I was honored to get to represent Indie Emporium in that sort of public way.

   Speaking of Indie, it's only a little over a week away!!! I can't wait. It's going to be lots of fun! I also got my calendars from the printer and can't wait to show them off!

  Another thing I need to announce is that I think I'll close my etsy shop from Sept 28-30 while I take all my items to Indie. So...if you've had your eye on something, now might be the time to act! Whatever is left over will remain in the shop.

  Thanks for your patience and sorry for a missed Tasha Tuesday!~

Create Silhouette Ornaments for the Holidays

Create Silhouette Ornaments for the Holidays

Here I am! A little giggly, a little nervous, a little "oh please don't let the camera see my hands shaking" but even though we ran out of time, I think it went well. Thanks to Great Day Green Country for having me on!

I think I might also do a more detailed, slow paced tutorial of this on the blog for future reference. But enjoy!~


A Scottish Morning

    This weekend we jaunted off to the Oklahoma Scottish Festival, on a morning that was so perfectly Scottish, it was practically plaid. It had been rainy for a couple of days before and so things were damp and green, and the sky was cloudy and there was a bit of a chill. Combine that with the sound of bagpipes ringing through the air and kilts everywhere you turned, well, I could have sworn we'd left Oklahoma and headed to Scotland!

   Audrey enjoyed a pony ride and watching the highland dancers who performed in one of the tents. I could tell she really liked watching the girls-- and boys-- dancing. I think dance is her passion in life, and it's fun watching her get excited about it.

    I had stopped to pawn over some tea cups and mugs (I did get one! It has a beautiful thistle pattern on it!) when this group of musicians formed right in the walk way and gave a performance. I loved getting a closer look at all their accessories--- who knew knives in the sock was so stylish! And was impressed to see a girl rockin' the bag pipes!

   We saw a lot of cute dogs at the festival too-- lots of Shelties, even a Corgi, but the star of the games was obviously the Irish Wolfhound. I haven't seen a lot of these dogs in person before--- they are huge-- but look at the photo above and try to count how many you can find!

   One woman was nice enough to let Audrey and I come up and pet her dog and tell us a little about him. The dog stood face-to-face with Audrey while on all fours. I've read they can stand 7 feet tall on their hind legs, and I believe it! They are beautiful and were so calm and gentle. The one we visited with gave Audrey a sniff or two and then laid down at her feet.

  Of course it's not the Scottish Festival--- or Scottish Games as they are also called-- without, well the games. There was a lot of tough stuff going on in the center of things, this was a contest of throwing a large rock! We also saw them bringing in the large logs of wood that the men toss. Just watching all this made my back hurt ;)

   It was a fun morning to get out as a family though, and the weather was perfect. It made me a little jealous that we don't seem to have a drop of Scottish blood in us (We kept the fact that "Sleightholm" is northern English under wraps, lol) because there was a ton of great information on Scottish family names, clans, tartans and plaids. If you're of Scottish descent, I highly recommend you attend a Scottish Games! 

   Have a good weekend,

Let's craft!

So....I am going to be on TV soon. Like...on Monday! I've been asked to appear on the "DIY Divas" segment on the Tulsa area FOX23 morning show Great Day Green Country, isn't that wild? I'm going to show the hosts (and the viewers!) how to make these little hand painted silhouette ornaments, using a simplified process that anyone can do. I'll be using a photo and tracing paper to make the project pretty easy to create and lots of fun!

   So, if you're local....I will be on Monday morning! And please send out a little prayer that I don't turn into a complete giggling puddle of nervousness! Never, ever imagined I'd appear on live tv! I'm excited though, and I've heard that they are all really nice at the show.

   See you Monday for a little DIY!~

A visit with Washington

   Last week my friend Beth and her little Z met up at Gilcrease Museum to see their George Washington exhibit. I'd heard great things about it, and since I am a fan of colonial art, architecture and history, I thought I should get myself over there to see it!
   The exhibit was devoted to exploring the life of the 'the real George Washington', and looking beyond the myth of the larger-than-life historical figure. 

   One of the fascinating aspects of the exhibit were several life size recreations of Washington at various ages and stages in his life, painstakingly recreated using features taken from a plaster mold that had been taken of his face during his life, as well as measurements of his clothing and the fit of his dentures.
   An interesting idea about Washington is that we Americans have this notion of him as sort of a humorless, straight laced old man, since that is the 'image' that is projected to us on most art and even our currency. The figures did a lot to show you that side of him as a younger man, a strong and intelligent solider, long before his presidency. I love learning little odds and ends and forgotten bits of history, so I really appreciated that aspect of it.

   The show displayed more than a 100 personal artifacts of Washington's, and also some of his wife Martha Washington's items. My favorite was a recreation (show above) of her wedding dress. When she married Washington she was a widow with 3 young children. I love the idea of the young and fashionable Martha, and not the sort of dour and dumpy older woman we often see in art. Beth asked me to size up to the mannequin in the dress and from what I could tell, Martha and I were general pretty close in height (just under 5' 4") and size. And I try my best to never be dour or dumpy ;)

     Not only did the show recreate Washington, they also recreated Blue Skin, his horse he used when General! It looked pretty darn real. Little Z and I had to get close for a better look. I tried my best to restrain myself from petting the pretty pony ;)

   And you know you were thinking about it. George's teeth. Yep. His teeth has their own section in the exhibit. Poor George...he really had some tooth problems! This is the only complete pair of his dentures still in existence, made up of human and cow teeth. Yep, you heard me right. Cow.
   Another really important section in the show was an exhibit about Washington and his ownership of slaves. Yes, the 'Founding Father' of our nation, and champion of liberty and justice, owned slaves. I think it is a really important thing to discuss, and important to know that these larger than life historical figures were not perfect in judgement or action. Upon his death, Washington did free his personally owned slaves (those that Martha brought to the marriage via her first marriage were not freed.) It is said that Washington had assumed slavery would just fade out of society on its own with no action needed from him. I wonder how our history would have turned out had Washington chose to deal with the issue at the start of the nation, instead of leaving the institution to continue to oppress others for nearly another 100 years.

    Aside from exhibits on Washington personally, there were other pieces that really showed the style and elegance of the era. There was a beautiful table setting done up for a festive holiday dinner, and this huge painting was in one corner, and it really struck me. They look sort of like the people I paint, don't you think?

   After the exhibit, Beth and I and little Z rambled through the gardens of the Gilcrease home and enjoyed a bit of the bright late morning. The gardens were lush and gorgeous, which surprised me after this brutal, brutal summer. The view there was gorgeous, up on a hill overlooking wooded land with the city of Tulsa in the distance. We enjoyed the fountain and the walk and then headed off for other adventures.

   I hope you enjoyed a peek at the George Washington exhibit! It runs through Sept. 23 at Gilcrease Museum and is a really interesting show, for history lovers and art lovers alike!


In Remembrance

        In her long and well-lived life, American artist Tasha Tudor saw many defining moments in history, even from the confines of her remote New England home. She was a toddler during WWI, a young wife and mother during WWII, she saw a man walk on the moon (well, maybe just read about it, she probably didn't have a tv!) and many other huge events in her 90 plus years.

      As today marks the 11th anniversary of one of the defining moments of my generation's history, I thought it was best to give my remembrance in a quiet and hopeful way. The world can be an overwhelming place and sometimes it feels like things will never be sorted out.

   In those times that challenge us or make us despair, there is a lovely poem that was one of Tasha's favorites that she often quoted, that gives a simple hope. I would like to  leave a part of it here with you here today. Here is an excerpt, and I hope you take it to heart, I know I will try to as well:

No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it today. Take Heaven.
No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in the present moment. Take Peace.
The gloom of the world is but a shadow; behind it, yet within our reach is joy. Take Joy!
Fra. Giovanni

May Peace and Joy be yours on this Tasha Tuesday,

An Edwardian Family Portrait

    This past week I finished up another very large portrait (30x40") for a local family! This was fun to do since I know the family--- I remember when the daughter was just a baby! There are some fun details to it-- including their Jack Russell Terrier and the mother is wearing Rose's traveling suit from the movie "Titanic."

   I love the drama of this large size--- it really makes an impact! And this portrait is done in a more impressionist style than I normally do, which gives it lots of movement and energy. What do you think?

   Well, it's early Sunday morning now, and I.m happy to report it was a nice chilly morning here in Oklahoma. A front blew through here-- somewhat violently, sadly-- on Friday, just as I was getting Audrey from school. It went from 105 degrees to in the 70s in what felt like just minutes-- I've heard it was within the hour. All I know is, I was sweltering in the car, and as we drove home the wind picked up and blew everything around and it was cool when we got out of the car. Oklahoma weather is nothing if not dramatic.

   I've got a few more custom pieces that are really fun set to do and also need to get cracking for Indie Emporium-- it's this month! It's going to be an excellent show. If you're in Oklahoma or nearby (I'm looking at you, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas!) you should come check it out! I am so proud of this state for it's wonderful indie spirit. Everything at this show is handmade and created with love. It's the perfect way to support local art and commerce in the area. Plus I'll be there :) you can come say hi!~

  Well, off to start the day! How are you spending your weekend?

Around Here

   Around here we're preparing for the changing of the season. And although the heat has been terrible again this week, there are some little signs that relief and a deepening into autumn is on it's way. The big Russian Giant finally went to seed, an epic buffet for some feathered friends when they find it. This is the bloom that I cut down and tied to the gourd birdhouse stand.

    I'm also getting prepared for Indie Emporium at the end of the month, and have been gathering (hoarding?) cheese cloth to soften the look of my booth. Yesterday I made a big vat of instant coffee and dyed all the cloth and then hung it out to dry on a makeshift laundry line. I think it's going to look really nice!

   And always one to start projects at odd hours once I get the notion in my head, I started setting up my booth in the garage to get an idea of how I will do it this year and how much cloth I'll need. The answer: more cloth!!! hehe....

   I've been slowly bringing out some of my autumn decor as well, and can't wait to display all my favorite Nicol Sayre pieces. Her art dolls are just beautiful. I love her witches and her santa's too. The witch on the right is the first doll of hers I ever saw and ever bought. I got it in a little shop in Eureka Springs on an anniversary trip. It was half price since it may have been Halloween that very day...(our anniversary is the 29th) and I just fell.in.love. and am still in love :) with both the husband and the dolls ;)

   And lastly, what is going on around here is a complete animal fest, as per usual. Have I told you about Franklin and Cocoa? Well, they are totally best friends. They love each other more than I've ever seen a dog and cat bond. Probably because they're both still 'little kids.' But they are hilarious to watch. They'll tackle each other and roll and wrestle in the yard. It's usually the pup who yelps first ;) that kitty is tough stuff! We all know the back yard is his yard now, we just visit it.

   Well, I gotta run for now! A friend and I are visiting a museum this morning and I'm really looking forward to it!~ I will tell you about it soon....


Edgar Allen Crow

       Hello and good morning!~ I'm so glad to see the calender turned to September, aren't you? Surely the changing leaves and cooling temperatures aren't far away. At least that is what I'll tell myself when it reaches 106 degrees today!~
      For this Tasha Tuesday-- celebrating American artist Tasha Tudor--- I wanted to share with you a little treasure my friend Holly found for me! Not only does Holly sometimes work at estate sales, she also works at a library so she is a talented book finder! A while back she pointed me to a treasure trove of Tasha books at a local estate sale. There I stocked up on all the books I could afford, lol. 
   Not too long ago I saw my friend and she pulled this little red book out of her purse and handed it to me. It is a 1953 copy of Edgar Allen Crow by Tasha Tudor!

     The illustrations in the book are very sweet and the story most autobiographical because the Tudor clan did have a pet crow called Edgar Allen Crow. What I love about these little books are the childhoods depicted with lots of animals scurrying around, because that's how my childhood was (although I never had anything as exotic as a crow. I did have a pet monarch butterfly though! Til she hitched a ride to Mexico ;) )

    You can tell from looking at the drawings in this book that these are Tasha's children-- Bethany, Seth, Thomas and Efner. The book is dedicated "To Bethany and the Lovely Fowl." I'm sure many children were able to enjoy this quirky little books, since it began it's life as a library book in New Jersey. Somehow, over the course of nearly 60 years, this book made it's way to Oklahoma and is now part of my collection-- no matter that many of it's pages are stamped 'discard.' Some things are worth saving!

   Do you have a favorite book by Tasha Tudor? Or was there a special book that you checked out of the library over and over as a kid? Libraries and library books are such wonderful things. Even though we live in such a digital age, there is nothing like a real book to hold and look at. Especially a children's book. And I am happy to have this little book with me now!~

Happy Tasha Tuesday,

Gourds in the Garden

   Well, the heat of summer didn't get the memo that it's September and we're all ready for fall, at least around here. It's going to be over 100 degrees for the next few days and we had quite a hot weekend. That didn't stop me from pushing forward with my epic plans for a gourd birdhouse stand though!

   On Saturday Audrey and I went to my parent's home where they have much more of a wooded landscape and chose our branches. Big thanks to my dad who got out the saw and cleaned up some pieces for me! We got the branches home and then tried to figure out just how we were going to make this. And it went a bit like this....
   First, I drilled a hole through the base branch in two places where I wanted my cross limbs to go. If I were savvy, I would have then used screws on the branches secure them, but we didn't have screws long enough, so we pushed on! I secured the cross branches to the base branch with twine. I ran the twine through the holes to keep them attached and then my husband wrapped the twine around the branches many times to make them stay more firmly. Granted, they aren't perfectly stable (probably would have been if we'd have screws) but I'm going to consider the slight wobble as a bit of cat-proofing ;) 

   Making the gourd birdhouses was pretty easy though! Since they're going to be outside, I just left them rough and dirty on the outside. I drilled a little hole into the round part of each gourd (more toward the stem so if a birdie does use it as a nest, it will have a nice deep base in which to build).
    Using a pocket knife, I notched a hole about the size of a quarter, which is a good size for wrens, which I read nest at a lower level and might be drawn to my birdhouse stand.

     Then, after the assembling the stand, I dug and dug and dug some more in my vegetable patch and then placed the base branch in the hole and buried it. After it was secure in the ground I ran twine through holes in the base of the gourds (some already had holes from where I had hung them on the porch last autumn, others got their hole simply by drilling it through the top) and tied them to the cross branches! And there, behold, was my gourd bird house stand!

    To entice some feathered friends into checking out the new real estate, I chopped off the head of my big dried sunflower and fastened it to the main pole.  I think next I will use an extra tree support I have to support the base branch against coming winds, rain and snow. I can't wait to plant some sunflower and hollyhock seeds around this to make it a pretty bird-haven come next spring and summer. I love how it turned out! Sure it's a bit wonky and crooked. It's called folk art! And to me, 'not perfect' is beautiful!

  Oh!~ And in other weekend news, thanks to those of you who helped me celebrate my Autumn Gathering shop update! I am so happy that some of my originals and prints have found lovely new homes! There are still lots of pieces available though!~ Be sure to come take a look!~
Have a wonderful Monday,

An Autumn Gathering

    Well, the day has come! It is now officially September, and also time for the big shop update-- An Autumn Gathering! As of today, I have restocked my etsy shop with new original paintings, new prints and new note card sets. I hope you'll take a moment to browse and see what new creations are available! here is a little taste of what is being debuted today:

  Happy September to you all! I hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend! I also hope you enjoy all this new art I've been working on, maybe something needs a new home with you? Check out the etsy shop HERE: http://www.etsy.com/shop/audreyeclectic