Friday, December 23, 2011

Last Day!! Last Day!!

I just posted this on the Wingdoodle site, but thought I'd share it with you all as well (and now, off to bed!):

I just walked in the door and my cat gave me a dirty look. Like she was going to waste away to nothing from my neglect. It IS midnight and neither of us has eaten anything but a few cookies and bugs all day. (I had the cookies - actually ginger scones - Thanks Christine!! - and the cat ate the bugs).

The store was open until 8pm tonight and it was busy all day! When I got to work at 1pm, there was a line from the desk all the way to the back office! Thank you everyone who came and shopped today!!! I met so many cool people and even set up a playdate for me and my daughter. Yah!

There is still plenty of good stuff left and I spent the last four hours restocking and tidying the chaos. So there is fresh chaos for tomorrow's customers.

Everything in the store is 50% off (that's off the retail prices). And all of you who subscribed to our newsletter and were getting the "Secret Coupons" - the secret was an extra 20%... so that means everything was 70% off for you. So I'll do the same thing tomorrow, the very last day of the sale. So fill a basket or two with stuff and bring it to the counter. Say "I got the secret coupon, but I didn't print it out." That's the secret password. Very important. We'll automatically, and super-secretly add the discount to your slip. And don't stand in line telling everyone around you WHAT the secret sale is!!!?
By the way, 70% off is a freaking lot of money. So if you can't decide between two things, buy them both.

And please plan on being patient. People are buying MORE stuff, but we still have to scan the barcodes and add it all up. Math is hard. But Alex and Jillian don't have school tomorrow so they'll be in the shop helping. They are High School Kids and have more stamina and brain cells. And my mother won't force the poor innocent customers to help her bag stuff. If you bring ginger scones or chocolate chip cookies, please be sure to bring a lot because we have to share with all the people waiting in line. And my mom likes her coffee with milk. You know, just in case you were wondering... 
;-D
Cheers,
-Sandy

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Holidays!


I am sorry if you feel a little neglected right now... Thursday and Friday are the last two days before my store, Wingdoodle, is closed! We are doing a 50% off sale in the store. My daughter, Lilah, and I dragged stuff out of the storage room  all afternoon... oh, wait, that part was me... but she did help me empty the drawers in the store and put a gazillion finger puppets on the rack. (Ooo - that sounds like a torture device for toys!)

The store was starting to show some empty spots, but then I "discovered" forgotten caches of polymer clay and tape guns and toothbrushes with feet and buttocks (seriously!), MORE rubber stamps and... finger puppets. I can't believe no one noticed a huge Rubber Maid box FILLED with little bars of Sculpey in the back room? Two days? There's still so much to sell off.

My little helper would put one finger puppet (on the rack) and then set one aside for her Pre-school class. I was making little piles of my own. As the afternoon wore on, here's how the conversation went:

Lilah: "Can I have this, Mom?"
Me: "No."

Lilah: "Can we donate this to my class?"
Me: "... OK."

Lilah: "Can I give this giant pipe cleaner to my friend Amelia?"
Me: "Why don't you take the entire canister to school?"
Lilah: "Eeeee!! And this?"
Me: "Sure."
Lilah: "And this?"
Me: "Yep"
Lilah:"And..."
Me: "Lilah, if it fits in the bag, you can have it!"

Yes, there are perks to having a mom who owns a toy store. But we have been trying to spread the cheer outside the family too. A man came in with his son a week ago and picked out a few little things. Then his gaze fell on a Lily doll and his eyes lit up. It would be so perfect for his daughter! When he saw the price tag ($49.99) his face fell. But I watched his hands (they looked like a mechanic's hands) and he just couldn't put the doll's box back on the shelf.
I asked him "What price would you have rather seen on the box?"
He said, "Oh, I hoped it would be, like, $20 bucks."
"OK", I said. "It's $20."

I totally GET why Santa does what he does!

Donating toys and stuff to local families who have had a sucky year feels good too. But I start feeling sad that I can't really change anything, just put a cuddly band-aid on the problem for a day. :-(

Selling off all this stuff - even at a ridiculous discount - is nice too. I own the building and my Belfry studio is upstairs, AND my track record is to start a new biz every few years... so chances are pretty good I'll have a new business in there by this summer. And I'll need some money to get it started, so 2 more days to sell!!

Speaking of selling... if you want to buy anything at my Etsy site, (it's too late to get it before Christmas), you'll want to place your order in the next couple of days. I'm going to put it in Vacation Mode from Friday afternoon until next Wednesday. If you haven't been on there in a while (www.bumblebat.com), I have all the official Zentangle® supplies as well as all my books (get them signed!) Totally Tangled is being reprinted, again, by the publisher so it is hard to find. I have a few copies left and after the New Year, I'll have plenty more. AND! After the New Year, I should have my NEW BOOK!!! It's called Tangled Fashionista. I'll tell you more about it when I post it next week on Etsy.

Cheers - and here's wishing you a relaxing holiday with people who make you laugh. :-)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Post-Open Studio

Yes, it takes me at least four days to post about my events. It's as if they have to marinate a little before I can write about them. That, and I need to get some pics from my friend, Laurie Strysko, the photographer. Luckily, I am either really busy, or really lazy, and I never cleaned up the Open Studio, so I snapped a few pictures to show you what you missed. ;-D

Lots of my sketchbooks and journals to paw through...
And some of my eraser carvings that I use to make my prints...
Can you tell which books were the MOST popular? Yes, YFYB, they're all gone!
Sold one of my Time Fairies too! (Spring) and a few posters...
I really wanted to sell that big-ass one in the expensive frame. It does look impressive though...
Setting everything up made me realize how many postcards and prints I have - I really should put them on Etsy someday. Don't you love my giant PURPLE chalkboard!? I paint chalkboards everywhere. Yes, even in my living room.
I'm glad Laurie took this photo or you might not believe I actually had visitors! Val and Barbara are crafters of the highest level. See the button machine in the foreground? We were all happily pressing our tangles into cute little buttons, when Barbara HAD to show me her exploding 12 Days of Xmas Book/Box. Thanks, Barbara! As if I am not insecure enough already. ;-D
I think we'll do another one this Spring. Or maybe... we'll do the Launch Party for Tangled Fashionista up here in The Belfry since Wingdoodle will be closed...

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Open Studio - Sat. Dec. 10th

I have spent the whole day cleaning up my studio (actually the past three days!) so I would not embarrass myself when you show up for my Open Studio tomorrow. I just got home 15 minutes ago -yes, it is now 1:15 am - and my eyes are crossing. Here's the scoop:

Open Studio at The Belfry
11 am to 3 pm

19 E. Main Street in Warner, NH
(Exit 8 off I-89)

You can see the Amazing Tangled Staircase and even add your own marks if you like! Explore my studio, poke at my Lego town, make your own tangled button, look through ALL my sketchbooks (well, most of them), eat some snacks, get your books signed, pick my brain, ask me "why are you closing Wingdoodle?!" and buy some of my original artwork. YES! You can own your own piece of Sandy Steen Bartholomew art! I even have a really expensive, ginormous, framed, super-fancy Zentangle you can buy. Or you can buy a postcard or pin if you have spent all your Christmas money already. My feelings won't be hurt. Much. Mostly, I DO NOT want to sit all alone in my nice clean studio and twiddle my thumbs! So, come and play or just poke your head in and say "Wow! I've never seen it this clean! Lilah must be with her daddy this weekend?" (hee hee - yes, that is true.) Oh- and I have new body stickers (tattoos). Lots of them. And I'll share!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Pssst!... Wanna buy some... stuff?

I mentioned a few posts back that I am closing my retail store, Wingdoodle. I have been having some rather exciting ideas of what I might do with the space (Zentangle related).... and I will probably share those ideas with you at a later date. But right now, I need your help clearing out the store!! Most of you are not local, so I have been trying to think of a way to show you what I have available. Tonight I put up three posts on Wingdoodle's blog, showing all the shelves and walls at the store! I split them into three posts:
Part One: Gifts, Games, Toys
Part Two: Rubber Stamps 
Part Three: Artsy Stuff and Books
If you subscribe to the Wingdoodle email/newsletter (where you can get extra secret coupons) - then you will get these posts in your email - don't freak out! They are long - but it's all photos.

Here's the explanation I posted:
I can't set up an instant online store, but I did the next-best-lazy-person thing... I took photos of all the shelves and walls around the store! I'll post the pictures in a few blog posts with some descriptions. If you see something you would like, send an email to: info@wingdoodle.com and be sure to put "Blog Sale" in the Title. List the items you would like and we'll get back to you with prices. You can apply any of the coupons you have received and everything else (w/o coupons) is 20% off. I will raise the discount as we get closer to closing, but many items are selling out, so there won't be as much choice. The only items that don't get a discount are Zentangle products and my books. 
(There will be a shipping charge as well).

And I am happy to sell off chunks of inventory to other store owners too! And if you buy lots and lots of stuff, I can be bribed to wheel and deal (although we don't have many wheels). So, bring it on! Pass this on to your friends and help me get rid of this stuff!!

Here is a group shot of the Wingdoodle staff:

Yes, my mother, Kay, her agenda calendar, and her bottomless bag of tricks. That's it. We've already sold off the rest of the staff.

But she is happy to read your emails and hunt down the items you request. Just try to be a bit more specific than "the squishy pink thingy up above the little metal goo-gaws..." or you may end up with that stuffed pink kidney (?!) behind her, in the photo!

If you ARE local, we are participating in a town-wide Holiday Shopping Tour this Saturday (it is a lot of fun with activities and decorated trees at town hall...) I'm sure there will be even MORE specials that day too!

I will be doing an Open Studio in The Belfry that day as well. You can come visit, snoop around, add your own tangles to the tangled staircase, SEE the amazing staircase!, and even hang out and tangle with me and some other tanglers. I'll have snacks too and some of my artwork for sale. I'm happy to sign your books, your Kidz! books, heck, I'll even sign your kids! I'll post some more about it soon, but be sure to white-out whatever you had written in your calendar for that day!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Excuses, Excuses? Part Two

There was a time when people would say, "You are so lucky to work at home and spend lots of time with your kids." Hmmm... is that an oxymoron - Work/Kids? No one says that to me anymore. I stopped speaking to those people many, many years ago. Plus, I actually leave the house every few days now, so I am not always working at home. But even with my son in HS and my daughter in daycare most of the day, I get almost nothing accomplished when they are around. I am in the habit of doing all the phone calls, meetings, fix what is broken at Wingdoodle  stuff during the day. Then I try to do the laundry, dishes, groceries, fill orders at the Belfry stuff after I pick my daughter up. (I've gotten really efficient lately - I can fill TWO orders in three hours now!) I look forward to my daughter going to bed so that I can FINALLY concentrate on my online classes, writing, email, all that stuff that needs my full attention. But alas, that's when my son needs rides to and from rehearsals for band, drama and dance. Then he needs to talk (I AM grateful that he still talks to me!!) So...THEN... I start working for "real". When my brain is mush and just wants to lie on the couch and watch "Merlin" and "Glee." Yes, I go to bed around 2am. No, this schedule is not sustainable. (Remember, I run away to a hotel in Maine to write my books?)
But - on the lighter side of things, I thought I'd share with you some of the things that I do with my daughter when I am not accomplishing anything that pays my mortgage. I tried to photograph some of the things that I do with my son, but I have learned that HS kids are a bit like vampires- they don't "appear" in photos. (He was just in The Snow Queen ballet this weekend and I'll post some shots of that later, if there are any.)


The neighbor's Halloween snowman inspired us to draw...
We decided these are "tangles"
Visited by inspiration with whiskers...
Weird picture! looks like the cat is climbing my shadow-leg and standing on our box of chalk.

Lilah was inspired by the cat! Why not lie down in the warm sun?  Uh-OH! A sneeeeee-EZE - Bleh!

A "pajama day" includes a walk downtown. Don't you wish you looked this great in pj's?

The perfect red leaf. And it MATCHES her outfit! Yes, polka dotted fleece nightgowns go with anything. I'm not sure about Hello Kitty and Minnie Mouse. Aren't they natural enemies? or at least licensing competitors?
Another pajama day... and a tea party! The cups change color with cold water, the sugar bowl has brown sugar, and Lilo (the cat) has her own dish. The towel (king Tut!) is a necessity - we have had MANY wet tea parties.
Gingerbread time! Lilah wore her apron inside out so she wouldn't get the nice side dirty. What? Are those pajamas underneath?! Doesn't this child ever wear clothes?!
Her favorite part? Flouring... everything.
Just so you don't start thinking I am a wonderful, domesticated-mom-type, notice the roll of Pillsbury dough in the background...
We even had some Moomintroll characters!

Perfect! (And yummy.)

And we set up the Christmas Village. Any CZTs out there may notice that our "snow" is the fluff from the jewelry boxes used for ZT class kits. I also discovered that two of the houses are burnt out and only one of the two outlets in the dining room still works. Ah, holiday cheer.
And, when I came up to my studio this evening to write this blog post, I had to step over this... Unicorn Ranch Parade(?) which I am NOT supposed to move. (For a week?!)
 Leave 'em dancing, right? So here is one last little gem... this is my "working" studio. I was asked by my little performer to please get my clutter off the table because she had important things to do on it...

Excuses, excuses? Part One

This is what my living room looked like in July - when they had just started ripping off the entire back wall of my house...
When my Doubtful Guest mural on the other wall was destroyed, I posted a death threat notice on the Wild Things mural! That's our family growth chart (the leafy vine climbing up the trunk). Who says i don't defend my art!?

This is what my living room looked like in late October as I was moving the family back in, finally. Notice the plastic is still on the bookcases in the other room? I wish I had covered the entire house! There was dust and yuck everywhere - muddy footprints in rooms that had nothing to do with the actual work... It took weeks to clean, paint and find new homes for stuff. This is one of the reasons I asked my publisher for a sabbatical! I had no idea then that I would also end up laying off everyone at my store and start the process of selling everything off... it's been a busy fall!


 Then the relatives came! This was actually quite enjoyable although my OCD, introverted, anti-social self is still reeling! Perhaps it was the three teenage boys...? Although, this one in yellow, Pierce, was actually pretty cool... and useful... as far as teenagers go! He is preparing pineapple and pomegranates here, and he had just finished making tomato and mozzarella appetizers! Yum! My brother-in-law also took over my kitchen and made the ham dinner AND the day-after waffles. Although one of the teens damaged my new exercise machine (like I NEED another excuse NOT to use it?) - in general, they renewed my faith in the male species. Or at least, they suggested some reasons to keep a few around.

How many teenage boys that you know, know how to prepare a pineapple AND a pomegranate? (Pierce taught ME how!)
Brother-in-law, Brian, also useful.
Even my son felt shamed into helping... a little.
And then, she was 5. Lilah's Birthday added to the excitement and meltdown.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Cruise... docked

Hey Happy Thanksgiving! I could ask you what you are doing online reading my blog when you should be basking in the love with your family and friends but.... hey, I'm here too, right?

If you will be continuing the tradition of avoiding family members, the day after, by going shopping, I encourage you to practice your avoidance at my store, Wingdoodle. We will probably be closing the store. We will definitely be closing it, as of Christmas, for the rest of the winter. We may re-open in the spring, but if we do, some things will have to be different. Either way, we have to clear out all the stock - which means awesome deals to be had for Holiday Shoppers! Check out the Wingdoodle blog for more info.

For those of you who are more into the Cyber Monday thing... (as I am), buy what you want at my Etsy shop - Bumblebat, and make sure to enter CyMon11 in the Promo Code box when you check out, to get 15% off your purchase. You have to actually enter it in the right spot to receive the discount, emailing me the code, won't work. ;-D

A couple of other things... the Tangle Cruise did not get enough advance sign-ups, although there WAS quite a bit of interest! So that is being put on a back burner for an option in the future. I got an awful lot of emails from people saying what fun that would be, but it is too expensive right now, or too far away, or a bunch of other things. Many claimed that if it were closer and cheaper they would LOVE to do a retreat with me. We'll see about that!

I am working on a retreat in Ogunquit, Maine for early spring and maybe another there for early fall. I'll let you know more details as I know them, but the spring one will be March 2 through 4.

{This bit here has been removed for now. More info later} ;-)

And since we are approaching that time of year where we either make resolutions we can't keep, or decide to upend our lives and start with a clean slate, I like to start obsessing early about my options. closing the store SHOULD be enough to satisfy either option, but I need more upheaval. I'll start on a few new projects with Fox Chapel Publishing after the New Year and I will not be teaching many classes for a while. I am working on an online class though and would love to get more feedback from you all. The main question is: What would you pay me to learn? (That's bad syntax, I think, but I hope you get my meaning?)

OK - off to the really important stuff. Everyone is finally asleep and there is a piece of apple pie calling my name...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Tangled Cruise Deadline

Just a reminder that the early registration discount is good until November 15th! If you are planning to come on the Tangled Cruise on the Danube and would like to save $500 off the price, then be sure to email Diana Hudson at this VERY moment. Click HERE to see the original post with all the pictures, maps and witty descriptions.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Trish Hilbrand - ZIA Flowers and Ribbons

I thought you might enjoy seeing this beautiful piece by Trish Hilbrand. She gave me permission to show it here, along with the description from her blog. She has some other beautiful combinations of Zentangles® and nature... trees, butterflies, the sun...

This was inspired from the book I bought entitled "Totally Tangled" by Sandy Steen Bartholomew. I was trying out some of the tangle patterns in her book and this is what I came up with. I decided to add some colour to give it some pizzaz.
Tangling is so much fun. Why don't you give it a try! 

-Trish 


Nice, right? The first person to post the names of the three tangles used (in the Comments below) will win a little prize! (Trish and Jodi, sorry, you can't play!) ;-D

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Fox Chapel Publishing Raising Money to Help Hurricane Victims

My publisher, Fox Chapel, asked if I could help out by posting this press release. If you all could re-post it and tweet the link, etc. that would be great. Thanks everyone.

(Lancaster, PA) - In September 2011, Tropical Storm Lee caused local streams, creeks and river water to rise in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania to record highs, and caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in flood-related damage to resident homes. Shannon Flowers, a long-time Fox Chapel Publishing employee and Editor of Woodcarving Illustrated and Scroll Saw Woodworking & Crafts magazines, had to flee her home as flood waters rose up through the basement and crawled 3 feet high on the main level. Her family lost everything on those 2 floors, and are now in the long process of renovating and recovering a sense of normalcy in their lives.


Fox Chapel Publishing and Design Originals, a new imprint of Fox Chapel, would like to help this dedicated team member by holding a special Grab-Bag Benefit. One hundred percent of the proceeds raised will go directly to Shannon Flowers and to the local fire department in Mount Joy, PA that helped so many people during the flooding.


Grab bags will be sold for $10 each, plus shipping, and will include at least $40 worth of books. Grab bags can be purchased in several categories: Woodworking, Quilting/Sewing, Home Décor Crafts, Kids & Teens, Paper Crafts & Scrapbooking, Digi-Scrappin, and Beadwork & Jewelry. The Grab Bags will be available until November 14, 2011 or while supplies last.


Grab bags can be purchased online at: http://www.foxchapelpublishing.com/category_s/141.htm?utm_source=2011-1101_email&utm_medium=link&utm_content=flood_benefit&utm_campaign=cat_s-141


About Fox Chapel Publishing and Design Originals:
Fox Chapel Publishing is a leading publisher of woodworking, craft, do-it-yourself and hobbyist books and magazines, located in East Petersburg, Pennsylvania. Fox Chapel acquired Design Originals, a leader in craft books, in 2011, and continues to publish new fiber craft, jewelry-making and paper craft titles under the Design Originals imprint.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Tangled Cruise, Baby!

I have had a few complaints that I haven't posted in a while... I did warn you that I was pretending to take a sabbatical. "How'd that work for you?" you are wondering? Well, I did get a lot done! What? I wasn't supposed to be working? Drat. I'll have to start over... So, besides the books (I'll tell you about them another time), here's what I have been doing for some of the time:

 No kidding!! I'm going to teach on a cruise on the Danube! Want to come too?

This trip is being organized by Diana Hudson, who I met at the CZT #7 training in Providence. I am going to pull out some chunks from all her emails to me, since she describes the trip so yummily:

Hi Sandy,
I spoke with you at the last CZT conference about putting together a ... TANGLE group cruise, ... time is running out on the special $500 discount, which ends November 15, after that it would only be a 5% discount. Also the cabin upgrades at this time are 50% off.  The cruise time is actually April 18-25th with an option of a 3 day pre-cruise stay in Prague.

This is a wonderful opportunity for a group of like minded people getting together for a week of travel, fun and education.  

The Danube River Cruise with AMAWaterways is very special and because it is a river you don't have the rocking of the ship and therefore would be ideal for Tangling on board.  ... a day of touring the countryside, finding all kinds of inspiration with the OLD WORLD architecture.  I know it would be a wonderful adventure for all.

This is the website for AMA Waterways.  I actually have done this cruise and it is wonderful.
 ...
The beds can be configured with one bed or two.   OHH, writing this is bringing back the feeling of getting in to the wonderful plush bedding.  It was delightful.  I actually booked a single for myself when I went and it was really nice, but would have been just as comfortable with sharing if I had someone that I really liked. :)   I was in a Category C Cabin and it was perfect so I would personally recommend that category or A &B.  Those cabins have the sliding patio like door that you can leave open and get that wonderful fresh air.

I know everyone would like to have a class taught by none other than Sandy Bartholomew.  :)
 
CZT & Travel Specialist


So, if that is true that you all would "like to have a class taught by none other than Sandy Bartholomew." Now is your chance!! The Tangling portion of the cruise will be a separate fee, but completely optional. So you can bring a spouse, a lover, even your teenager, and they will not be forced to tangle. They might be "lured", but definitely not "forced". ;-D

What, exactly, we will be doing for the program will be determined once I know how many people are signing up and their tangling level and passions. In other words, I will customize it for you! There is a limited amount of space where a class can be held (I think holds 20 people?) - so be sure to mention, when you sign up, if you want to be part of the Tangle program. Yell, "First dibs" or some such thing. There is still plenty of time to decide how we want to play. First, we need to know who is coming! Remember, Nov. 15th is the deadline for the discounts. (You can still sign up after that, if there is space).

If you have met me in person, or even if you read my blog, you know that I love to chat about Zentangle, art, weird little kids,... well... just about everything except politics and taxes. I'll tell you the behind the scenes stuff for my books, what projects I have in the works, and all the stuff that is too juicy to post here on my blog! (A certain group of people at CZT #7 can attest to that!)

But, wait, there's more! 

I'll also be bringing my mother, Kay, who is the other half of Wingdoodle, my store in NH. Not only can she talk about ANYTHING, including politics and taxes, she can do it in a few different languages. She speaks German and has lived in a few of the towns we will be visiting. She is very useful to sit near at a restaurant so you don't accidentally order broiled pig's feet with brussel sprout toe jam. It happens, believe me. (You can never go wrong with mac and cheese). And she probably already knows your parents, your dog, or your second cousin. And, even if she doesn't, she'll pretend she's does, and you'll all be fast friends within minutes. :-)

Still not convinced?

OK, I'm thinking about bringing my son, Alex. This 14 year old star of Zentangle for Kidz! is actually a real boy! (Eat your heart out Pinocchio!) Not only is he a Zentangle addict, but he also knows everything about geography and is very handy to have around when your ignorance is showing. Whispered discreetly in my ear: "It's not Czechoslovakia any more, mom." But, seriously, he knows a lot, never talks down to me, and always draws me a sketch when there is too much text for me to digest in one sitting. He also knows a lot about music - plays the saxophone and a gazillion other things, composes, dances, acts... oh, and knows how to fly a plane. OK, OK, smaller planes, but I still find it comforting to have him sit near me on the airplane.... just in case. So if you have a cool teenager, bring them along too. 

If you are at all interested, or curious, send Diana an email asking for all the details. She has some pretty pictures of the boat too. (Ohmigosh it is beautiful!) If I have excited you to the point that you are screaming "Yes! YES! Where do I sign!?" then email Diana and be sure to tell her that you want to join the cruise and that you want more info about the Tangle program too when it is available. Don't forget to yell "First dibs!" in your email. :-)
 
And be sure to re-post and pass this on to your friends - let's tangle across the ocean!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Dragon Charmer - Jennifer Carson

 

My tangled portrait of Jen Carson

I'd like to introduce you to one of my heros. Any of you who have written me letters saying things like "You are SO creative. I don't know how you do it all!" - you will be relieved or horrified to know that Jennifer Carson, The Dragon Charmer, does even MORE!! 


Besides chauffering her four sons around to all their activities (that alone would undo me!), she also is working on her degree, writing books, starting a publishing house, sewing and needle-felting amazing fantasy creatures, editing columns in two magazines, writing plays, illustrating, singing, dancing, acting, bringin' home the bacon and fryin' it up in a pan... I'm sure I have forgotten something in that list. As I mentioned, Jen is my hero. Often, when I am faced with a sticky situation, I ask myself "WWJD?" (What would Jen Do?) Unfortunately, the answer is usually more work than I am willing to do. ;-D If you want to read a more accurate description of Jennifer's pathway to fame, be sure to read her Artist Statement.

I'll show you a few of the highlights (in my opinion) of her career(s).  A few years ago, we worked on a Star Wars mural for a Make-a-Wish kid with a nasty brain tumor. We were both so excited to do a Star Wars theme, but had been fantasizing about Ewoks and other cute characters. Stormtroopers, battleships blasting each other... ah well. 
Next time, we'll remember to ask ahead of time. My son, Alex, posed with the murals. You can tell these were done a while ago - my son is still cute and little. And quite the ham.

"Help! My armpit's on fire!   


Jennifer's creatures have changed a lot over the years from really cool felted dragons to every kind of fantasy creature imaginable. And unimaginable. She designs her own creatures and patterns and even dyes her own wool. You can see more of her menagerie at her Etsy store.

One of my favorites, Yuki Frostfoot.
 
 As for writing, Jennifer's book, To Find a Wonder is a magical adventure with a cast of characters just begging to be stuffed. The illustrations are really gorgeous too, but look what Jen did with the minstrel, Goon, and the dragon, Percival...
 Not enough? Ok, so then she turned it into a play that was performed at the New London Barn Playhouse... Gee, I wonder who made the costumes?
 So now we are getting to the juicey part. Jen decided to start her own publishing company, Pugalicious Press, to release more of her own magical tales, and those of others too, into the ordinary world. She needs to raise $6,000 to print her new book, Hapenny Magick so she has set up a Kickstarter project.

Take a look at the video she made. You can see sketches from the book, a lullaby she wrote, and, of course, Jennifer's gorgeous face!


As you can see, below, she has gotten quite a few pledges! If you click on the image, you will go to the Kickstarter page and you can see all the (highly collectible) items that you can get for your generous pledges. If you decide to pledge an amount that gets you a book, remember that this is a "pre-order" as the books are not printed yet. Personally, I want the $1000 bundle with a couple of those Yuki Yetis thrown in! (But not "thrown" hard. Yuki looks like a real softie.)



Oh, of interest to a lot of you who are teachers... Jen offers teacher guides and activities and even a Knight's Journey Event Kit. And for the rest of you who have patiently read this post all the way through...
A REWARD! Tangles for you! From Jen! Seriously!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jennifercarson/hapenny-magick-a-story-with-humor-and-heart


Jennifer actually designed these tangles for a book I wrote last year (the one that kind of slipped into a black hole...).  The image I painted of her, at the beginning of this post, was for that book too. Notice the "Dew Drops" on her shirt? Clever, eh? I also drew the Zentangle ("Zendragon"?) combining all three. But I stole the idea from a little sketch that Jen had done.
Anyway, she said I could share them with you all. Even if you don't pledge any money for her book. Really, no guilt at all. I told you, she's my hero. You can even re-post the tangles on your own page and Facebook and Tweet'em and where-ever else you can think of, but PLEASE include the link to Jennifer's Kickstarter Project page, OK?
Now clap your hands and say, "I believe in fairies!"

The Boots!

Eeek! I almost forgot to post the video I took of Sharon Payne's insanely cool, and sorta deadly, Zentangle high-heeled sneakers (aka Boots). (They were mentioned in this post from the CZT training workshop.)


Monday, October 17, 2011

Mastering Procrastination

Slept til 10:30.
Only ate the cereal with sugar on the biscuits.
Didn't shower.
Didn't do my homework.
Walked along the ocean... Against the flow of tourists.
Entertained uncharitable thoughts towards the packs of women gossiping instead of looking at the ocean.
Flashed a charming smile at the older gentleman in their wake.
Tried on an obscenely huge pile of artsy clothes.
Bought everything that fit (20% off!).
Had German chocolate cake and iced chai... For lunch.
Bought dark chocolate dipped apricots at the candy shoppe. And some toys I might give the kids for Xmas.
Or not.
Wandered thru art galleries and shops.
Thought I heard the ocean say that I needed a haircut.
Let the salon lady chop off my hair and give me bangs. I kept my eyes closed, but it sounded like a razor blade...?
Stood on the cliff with the wind whipping my new bangs into my eyes.
Had a sudden realization that in all the years I had been coming to Ogunquit for renewal, never once had my (ex)husband ever joined me in my bizarre (?) ritual.
Felt grateful.
Lay in the sun and read 5 chapters of The Lace Reader.
Ate the chocolates.
Spread out all my homework ( the book).
Decided I really, really don't want to redo it.
Tossed everything onto the floor.
Realized the ocean not only wanted me to get a haircut, but also thinks I need a sabbatical. How can I possibly write more books unless I take some time to create things worth writing about?
Decided to blog it. .
Tomorrow... Back home and the To Do lists.
But, first, I may stop to visit Rose at the puzzle store... For a few hours. :-)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Procrastination...

I can't count how many times I have stood on this cliff wondering WHAT I should do with my life. Do you know that feeling? I come here to ask the ocean. Last year, the ocean told me it was time to get divorced. This spring, when I asked, I was eating a dark chocolate dipped apricot. The ocean told me to dye my hair that shade (the chocolate, not the apricot!). So, what's next, oh great watery guru?

Right now, I am sitting in an alleyway next to an awesome bakery. The sun is slinking away and my fingers are getting chilly. I will NOT finish that slice of German chocolate cake and I SHOULD head back to the hotel and get to work on that book since I have to go home tomorrow...

On a less existential tangent, you all will be thrilled to know that I just spent a small fortune on some very (in my opinion) artsy clothes! One jacket even has some Zentangle-ish embroidery on the back! I am trying... Peeling myself off the wall and attempting to stand out... A bit. :-)

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails