Sunday, February 22, 2009

House of Many Ways

House of Many Ways House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
I just finished this last night. Great book, I think I might have enjoyed it more than "Howl's Moving Castle". But my memory of that book was spoiled by the stupid "anime" movie done of it a few years ago. blech. I love most of DW Jones' stories and this one has all the good stuff. Good characters, magic, hidden rooms, magic, castles, magic, bad guys.... magic. I love Calcifer the fire demon. I wish he'd had a bigger part here, but that little dog, Waif, makes up for him. Magic dog! Ooooo!

View all my reviews.

My own home feels very much like the house in this story. I constantly walk from one room into another and SWEAR it was my bedroom, or our living room, last time I saw it. But now it has become a playroom or babydoll graveyard. If I turn around three times to the left and hop back into the room, sideways, the room has transformed into a gymnasium, with trampoline and parallel bars. Creepy. And, late at night, when the house is quiet and I am working in my studio... a piercing wail echoes from the baby monitor. I run down the stairs, turn left, left again, sideways, leap up the kitchen steps, vault over the coffee table, stumble through the library, slide through the weird door and round wall, hairpin left, trip up the high, steep stairs, fumble with the baby gate, sneek into the inner sanctum and, pant-pant, baby has fallen back to sleep.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Artella Free Sample

You may have noticed the banner ads over on the edge for Artella. This is a very fun website to explore. Lots of collage-y artsy projects and downloadable "e-books". Here's some incentive to surf:

Download a FREE copy of the Artella eBook, Artella Mae's NEW Altered Ancestors!, a 58-page eBook overflowing with ideas and techniques for using vintage photos in your artwork. Download your copy here!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Juego con mi Jugo

Well, I may have unleashed a monster, but Alex now has his own blog! Called Juego con mi Jugo. Here is his description of the site:
¡Bienvenido! Hi, my name is Alex Bee. This is my blog all about me. I look forward to telling anyone brave (or foolish) enough to enter this webpage about my personal book reviews, conspiracy theories, ideas (the realistic ones), *and secret plans*.
And here is his explanation of the title:

About the Title

Around 1519, Hernán Cortés sailed to the new world and discovered the Aztec Civilization. Yeah, you probably know that, but what you don't know is that when Montezuma, the Aztec ruler, introduced Cortés to his first cup of xocolatl (Aztec hot chocolate), Cortés said, "I know now that my life is not wasted." Of course, he said it in Aztec; and the first people who wanted to know what he had said were the Spanish conquistadors he was traveling with. Directly translated into Spanish, the phrase is, "Juego con mi Jugo." Directly translated into English it means, "I play with my juice."

Should be fun!

A Success!

The Open Studio this weekend went great! I was excited and grateful that so many people showed up. When someone walked in the door, the conversation went like this:
"Hi! Welcome - look at my bathroom!"
I'm very pleased with it - can you tell? You've seen the Zentangled floor in other posts - and here are a few pics of the mural on the walls:

The royal throne room!

Here's what the studio looked like for the event:

I was teaching guests how to carve their own rubber stamps. This is always so much fun because most are so hesitant and unsure. But when they finish, and make a print of the image, suddenly, they are so excited by what they've done!

After the Open Studio, I had an interview with Laura Jean from Kearsarge Magazine. The interview should be in print later this summer in a new publication she's planning. (Cool!) And you can read Laura Jean's blog too for info on the Kearsarge area.

Frita kept the new hat that Laura Jean brought me, AND she snitched a whole bowl of candy too. I don't understand how she can eat all that fluff and never get fat. sigh. I admit that Frita wasn't the only one scarfing the sugar by the end of the day. I was so tired I went home and crashed on the sofa, without even cleaning up the studio. tsk tsk. sigh.
It'll keep.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


OPEN STUDIO on February 14th from 10am-2pm.
I'll teach you to carve a heart rubber stamp too!

The studio is above Wingdoodle at 19 E. Main Street in Warner, NH
You can call 603-456-3515 for more info or directions. See ya!


OPEN STUDIO on February 14th from 10am-2pm.
I'll teach you to carve a heart rubber stamp too!

The studio is above Wingdoodle at 19 E. Main Street in Warner, NH
You can call 603-456-3515 for more info or directions. See ya!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Hi, I'm Gnu here!

The gnude gnus are very shy and a little hesitant to step out onto Main Street.

Coaxing, coaxing... he seems to like being outside. We try backing him in the door.

Shelley takes control, but ends up with a bum deal.

A little wistful, but I think he is adjusting to his gnu (new) home.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


The characters in my rubber stamp line, The Anachronistic Castle, live in the kingdom of Ravens'more. I thought they needed a coat of arms so I designed this shield to hang in my gallery under the stamps. The finished piece has gold ribbon suspending it from a gold rod.

What's Anachronistic have to do with it? I made a sign explaining that too!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Book Thief

The Book Thief The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a very sad story - but really amazing too. It took me a year and three lame attempts to really get into this book. I just didn't get it. After the third attempt, I understood. Also, I've been watching "Dead Like Me" - that might have helped... Anyway, the story is about a young girl in nazi Germany - as told to us by - Death. He was very busy in those years, but he, against the rules, became fascinated by this little book thief. If you are feeling irritated by people and government, and maybe thinking your life isn't fair - read this book, cry hysterically, and realize you've got it REALLY good!

View all my reviews.

Zentangled Floor!

I figured I couldn't hurt the plywooded floor. So I smoothed it as much as I could and zentangled it! I used Sharpie oil-based markers for the lines and then watered-down black acrylic for the shading - all covered by a coat of poly-acrylic semi-gloss finish.

I also finished the railing of the kitchen. (Note the faux dirty linoleum tiles! Too cool, right?) Eventually, I'll add more pattern to the colorful posts, but I like 'em simple for now. At least, I'm not planning to zentangle them! If you are curious about zentangling, look here:

I've also been organizing and tidying. I set up a little sitting area. That's my friend, Frita. She's Mr. Potato Head's daughter (papas fritas). You can see the family resemblance in her eyes and nose. She stole my favorite sneakers! And, in case you're interested, she's reading "The 39 Clues" which my son and I highly recommend! It's like "National Treasure", but you get to play too. Fun, fun!

Gnu Gnews

OK, I admit I'm getting a little tired of all the "Gnu" puns! But tonight the artists and sponsors for the "Gnus of Gnu London" had a party and we got to see our gnu friends. It was pretty exciting to see the gnude gnus lined up on the porch of the Gnu London Inn. (Starts to get to you doesn't it? OK - enough!)

I'm one of about 8 artists in our WCANH group who will attempt to Zentangle a gnu! Our "Tattoo Gnu" will be covered, head to hoof, in B&W doodles, with colored doodles on his stripey back. Should be cool. The gnu will be on display in my gallery at my shop, Wingdoodle, while we work on it. In May they will be on display in New London, then auctioned off. For more information: Gnus of Gnu London


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