Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Monday, May 26, 2008
Friday, May 23, 2008
Please leave any and all comments...guidence is always desired. Just remember...I am imaginative but lack a lot of basic writing skills...this is really hard for me :)
Hope you enjoy
“Hide!” The telepathic message erupts from deep within Abreese as she runs frantically across the schools courtyard the frosty morning air stinging her lungs. Her tightly cinched chestnut brown hair lets loose with every wild step splashing melting snow all over the hem of her dress.
Meekcuptiran’s men came on hard and fast. Fortunately, they were not great in number, giving the Protector’s in the watchtower just enough time to ring the warning bell. A deafening sound meant to strike fear in those attacking as well as those who must fight for their lives.
Rushing to the main entrance of the dormitory Abreese and a handful of other Telepaths bar the door. Turning around quickly and leaning against the heavy wood door she knows will not keep the warriors out forever Abreese attempts to catch her breath and focus her chest heaves within the bodice of her light blue dress.
“It won’t take them long to break that down. Everyone hide. Find something to defend yourselves with.” Barking orders is not something Abreese is accustomed to even though her early education was militaristic. She struggles to remember her training and is uncomfortable with the sound of her harsh words. Never in her wildest dreams did she imagine she may have to use her training but the day has come, Meekcuptiran’s men are right outside the massive doors of Tonet’s dormitory.
“They have to be after Jinx.” Decla says.
“Destroy that picture.” Abreese points to a composite on the wall of honorary students.
“No, wait.” Decla manages to stop the headmistress before the picture is ripped from the wall. “Are the name tags removable?”
Fear arrests the headmistress voice. Decla pushes the worthless woman aside and effortlessly slides the name plate out from under Jinx’s picture and replaces it with hers. The doorknob begins to shake violently shortly followed by a relentless pounding on the door. A few of the women let out small screams and start to cry.
“That could mean death for you.” Abreese says knowing it is the only move that will ensure Jinx’s safety but reluctant to loose her lifelong friend.
“It’s my duty.” Decla reminds Abreese. “You’d do it if your picture was up here.”
Abreese is not so sure she would. While she has grown to love Jinx she is not confident that given the same opportunity as Decla she would do the right thing. Either way she is going to loose someone today, hopefully the God’s will be merciful and only take one life.
“I’m going to find Jinx.” Decla hollers over her shoulder as she rushes up the grand staircase.
“Give us as much time as you can.” It is difficult for Abreese to make out the last words, Decals is almost to the second floor.
The few students foolish enough to still be around look at Abreese in bewilderment, she knows their actions are not those of normal twenty year olds. To the students and instructors at Tonet Decla and Abreese are orphans sent here to study. The pounding at the door begins again this time with the strength of a large object behind it. Abreese inspects the room to make sure there is nothing else that can place Jinx’s name with her face. Satisfied she lifts her skirt and runs up the staircase, two steps at a time. Jinx, Decla and she share a room at the end of the hall on the fourth floor, her destination seems miles away. Splintering of wood gives way to a deafening crash as the bared door downstairs comes crashing down. They are out of time.
“I can’t find her.” Decla’s panic filled voice says as she comes rushing towards Abreese from the opposite end of the hall.
They burst into the corner room to find it empty sunlight just beginning to creep through the single window. The room is far from barren; the three women have shared the space for almost a decade. Together they gathered books, portraits, and fine trinkets. Memories. A sorrow so gut wrenching Abreese fears she may never recover from cripples her. Within moments, everything will change. The life Decla and she have shared guarding Jinx is over. Will she be able to protect Jinx as well as Decla? It should be her sacrificing her life, not Decla.
“Jinx?” Abreese panics, she left her charge in here this morning still asleep. Jinx is not an early riser.
A creak from behind draws Abreese’s attention, the wardrobe door opens slightly. Delicate white fingers curl around the sides of the thick wood door and Abreese catches her ashen face reflected in the door length mirror. This mornings attack seems to have aged her significantly.
The screams of fellow students are getting closer. Clanking of swords against undefended Telepaths and stomping of feet on the wooden floors almost drown out Jinx’s reply. “Here.”
Abreese rushes over to the wardrobe, pushes Jinx back inside and climbs in. “Shut us in Decla.” Abreese says her big brown eyes fill with sorrow and fear. She attempts to memorize her friends face.
“Good luck.” Decla whispers. She arranges the sky blue gowns and elegant shoes quickly so the wardrobe will not appear out of order if opened. Then she closes the two women inside and latches the door.
“What’s happening?” Jinx asks Abreese telepathically.
“I don’t know.” Abreese lies. The women crouch frozen with fear listening intently to the sounds of the attackers. Downstairs something crashes to the floor and breaks, muffled voices can be heard but not clearly. A piercing scream, unmistakably the headmistresses, is shortly followed by thundering footsteps on the stairs. Abreese tries to determine how many attackers there are but she has been away from any formal training now for ten years and her skills have suffered. Their bedroom door is thrown open and Abreese quickly moves to cover Jinx’s mouth. Abreese can feel her friend’s eyes on her and then Jinx’s gentle smooth hand covers Abreese’s mouth. The two girls sit motionless, tears of fear sliding down their cheeks.
“Jinx Zopal?” A ruff voice demands.
“Yes.” Decla answers her speech wavering.
Abreese longs to burst open the closet doors and rush to her friend’s aid but that would seal the fate of all three women. She hears a sword being drawn from its sheath. The two women grasp at each other as if clinging more fiercely will prevent them from hearing Decla’s last moments.
“Please….” Decla cries.
This is not suppose to happen. Tonet is suppose to be a safe haven for Lord Zopal’s daughter. For thirteen years it has been. Why now? Abreese feels hot tears slide down her cheek as anger boils within her. I will find out who leaked her whereabouts, I will. Abreese says continually in her mind trying to block out what is happening outside the wardrobe.
“No matter what you do to me he’ll never stop.” Decla pulls herself together at the last minute. Abreese can imagine her standing tall and proud with a filthy assassin before her poised to run her threw with a rusty blade.
“Long live Lord Zopal.” Decla declares at the top of her lungs quickly followed by a dreadful grunt as the warriors blade slides into her body. Abreese listens as the only woman in the world who truly knows her falls to the floor. Jinx is shaking in her arms but silent as a mouse. The assassin rummages through the room knocking over bookshelves and destroying their precious keepsakes.
“You sure that’s her.” A woman’s voice Abreese swears she has heard before asks. Is it a student, one of the instructors? No, the voice is heavy with an accent Abreese does not recognize. The voice is from her past or could it be similar to someone she is close to?
“They had a picture downstairs.” The man answers.
“Search the room, make sure theirs no one left.”
Abreese feels Jinx’s body tense and a strange feeling enters her mind. Outside the protective doors of the wardrobe their room is being torn apart. Sheets ripped from beds, drawers open, their contents dumped on the floor. The woman is moving around, her heals clicking menacingly on the hard wood floor. A small crack of light, the only light in the pitch-black hiding place, disappears as the woman steps in front of it. Abreese’s head feels like it is going to explode.
“Don’t move a muscle.” Jinx’s voice whispers in Abreese’s head as the wardrobe doors open. Abreese holds her breath, closes her eyes, and prays silently to Trixie, goddess of the Telepaths.
The woman slides her long arm through the dozens of hanging gowns and hits the wardrobe wall. Sprawling her fingers so her palm is flat against the wood she feels across the length of the closet. Abreese listens as the woman’s hand slides just above her head.
“There’s no one else here.” The mans voice comes from somewhere across the room prompting the woman to retract her arm.
“Burn it.” She says coldly and leaves the room.
The two women remain frozen at the back of the wardrobe listening to the traitor pile books and papers and then light them. He must be a Fire Shifter Abreese thinks. A squad full of mixed powers is always more powerful than one of only Protector’s. She feels Jinx lurch forward in her arms and struggles to make her stay.
“We’re going to burn up if we stay.” Jinx says mentally.
“Wait till he’s gone.” Abreese instructs. It did not take long. Moments after the crackling of the fire can be heard he exits the room. Abreese releases Jinx who quickly throws open the wardrobe doors. Before them lays the limp remains of Decla. Jinx freezes halfway out of the closet. Abreese, no more accustomed to death than Jinx, somehow manages to wrench herself from the hiding place. She attempts to put out the fire, which has now spread to the drapes, but realizes the futility of her actions. “We have to go Jinx.” Abreese hollers as she attempts to lift Decla’s slack body.
“It’s not safe yet, get back in here. Now!” Jinx whispers harshly.
Abreese studies Jinx’s face momentarily before diving back into the wardrobe. Jinx’s normally pail gray eyes are swirling like an angry storm. Abreese has never seen anything like it. Closing the closet doors just as the bedroom is reentered. It is the woman again; her perfume permeates through the cracks of their hiding place. Listening intently as the woman walks over to Decla’s body. Abreese wonders why she has returned.
“She wants something.” Jinx’s voice echoes in Abreese’s head.
“I don’t know.” Abreese answers what she perceives as a question. A strange sound Abreese cannot place can barely be heard over the pounding of her heart. Then the woman departs, this time leaving the door ajar. Abreese waits long after she can no longer hear the woman’s footsteps before emerging from the closet again. The fire is now out of control, two of the beds are engulfed in flames and the walls are singed with black. “Help me.” She pleads, again trying to lift Decla’s body.
“Trixie, how could you let this happen?” Jinx asks her goddess.
“Come on, we don’t have time.” Abreese has to get Jinx to realize the danger they are still in.
“We can’t leave her here to be burned up. She deserves a proper burial.” Jinx regains some composure and bends down to lift the flaccid body. Between the two of them, they lift Decla under the arms and drag her out of the flame-engulfed room.
Monday, May 19, 2008
This fascinating video Women in Art prompted me to make women in art the challenge of this week. Let yourself get inspired by it, or by portraits that touched your heart, or maybe there’s a favourite painter you’d like to show on an ATC.
I selected Titian’s Venus of Urbino as my base for the ATC. I just wish more of it could have fit onto the ATC. The word inspirational is a rub on and the butterfly coveres the images womanly aspects :) I then covered the image with a Mica Tile and attached it to the image using fishing wire and seed beads. Lastly I added some micro beeds areound the edges.
A little history: taken from Gardner’s Art through the Ages 11th edition volumn II by Tred S. Kleiner, Christin J. Mamiya and Richard G. Tansey
In 1538, at the height of his powers, Titian painted the so-called Venus of Urbino for Guidobaldo II, duke of Urbino. The title (given to the painting later) elevates what probably merely represents a courtesan in her bedchamber to the status of classical mythology, Indeed, no evidence suggest the duke intended the commission as anything more than a female nude for his private enjoyment. Whether the subject is divine or mortal, Titian based his version on an earlier (and pioneering) painting of Venus by Giorgione. Here, Titian established the compositional elements and the standard for reclining female nude paintings, regardless of the many variations that ensued. This “Venus” reclines on the gentle slope of her luxurious pillowed couch, the linear play of the draperies contrasting with her body’s sleek continuous volume. At her feet is a pendant (balancing) figure-in this case, a slumbering lap dog. Behind her, a simple drape both places her figure emphatically in the foreground and indicates a vista into the background at the right half of the picture. Two servants bend over a chest apparently searching for garments. (Renaissance households stored clothing in carved wooden chests called cassoni) to clothe „Venus“Beyond them, a smaller vista opens into a landscape. Titian masterfully constructed the view backward into space and the division of the space into progressively smaller units. With his facility, he used all of the resources of pictorial representation to create original and exquisite effect of the sort that inspired generations of painters in Italy and the north.
As in other Venetian painting, color plays a prominent role in Venus of Urbino. The red tones of the matron’s skirt and the muted reds of the tapestries against the neutral whites of the matron’s sleeves and of the kneeling girl’s gown echo the deep Venetian reds set off against the pale neutral whites of the linen and the warm ivory gold of the flesh. Viewers must study the picture carefully to realize the subtlety of color planning. For instance, the two deep reds (in the foreground cushions and in the background skirt) function so importantly in the composition as a gauge of distance and as indicators of an implied diagonal opposed to the real one of the reclining figure. Here, Titian used color not simply for tinting preexisting forms but also to organize his placement of forms.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Saturday, May 17, 2008
This month, you will have a secret buddy. Of course, you will know to whom you are mailing, but you won’t know who is mailing to you! For a fun twist, we are also having secret RAK buddies (random acts of kindness). You will be assigned 2 buddies. One for a Diva box ($25 minimum) and the other for your RAK buddy ($5 maximum). Please read the rules listed below.
Here is what I got and OMG is it Fabulous!
- $20.00 gift certificate to Altered Pages Link...do you know how hard it was for me not to spend this before telling ya'll about it LOL
- 2 Cinderella and Birds Link Fabric Collage Sheets from Alpha Stamps! (scroll down the page) This is so perfect b/c I am making Cinderella pillows for my sister for her birthday...and they sent a free gift a Transparency of a Fabulous Castle! (also on the same page Tall Castles bottom right hand corner of the sheet)
- 18 Marvy Brush Marker...that I really really needed! Yahoo Yahoo...
- 2 stamps from The Lockhard Stamp Company Broccoli and Bok Choy #2041 Link and Vegetable Shoe #2015 Link ...scroll down... I can not wait to play with these...I am going to make Recipe cards and paint the images with a sparkeling paint (surprise surprise)!
- Teaposy Blooming Flowers Tea Link Snow Dance with one Daydream Teapot and Box of Let is Snow Teaposies. This is even more beautiful in person than it is at Amazon! LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!
- teaposy Flowering Medley teaposies. Link I don't know which one to make first???!!!
I’ve already made one piece of art with the supplies I received, I added it to this post so everyone can see that I really do LOVE my Box!
Now for the box I sent. I made a lot of the items b/c the woman I mailed to loves hand made items. It was so much fun to incorporate her tastes into new and different art forms for me. I’ve never made cocktail napkins before…they took me an entire week but I think they look smashing…I hope she likes them!
Here is what she wrote upon receiving her box…
I was also her REOK buddy…I sent her lavender scented organic laundry detergent, she got it first and I had to bite my fingers not to tell her I was her Secret Buddy also!
it turns out that Caro is my secret buddy after all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wow. I got a fabulous artsy crafty fantastiky box just like my dreams!!
- I got a fab plate from my kaboodle list: Link
- A unbelievable handcrafted pillow in yellow with Ms K's nickname Karoo stamped on it with an elephant border and elephant charm. too freakin fab!!
- A CD with divalicious music that Caroline complied.
- A set of fabulous cards from Caro ( 6 of them)-the diva face ones with stamps as well!
the cutest ice cubes shaped like guitars and other jazz instruments. perfect for a summer cocktail.
- a wonderful handmade card.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Challenge: Create a piece using only one color and a sparing amount of black.
From Top to Bottom:
“Green Means Grow” ATC by M.D.
The colors on this one for some reason really didn’t turn out correctly. She used a lovely shade of lemongrass green. The flowers look hand drawn and then cloroxed to decrease the brilliance of the green.
“Purple Oh Happy Day” A2 card by S.M
The decorative paper she used on this is just absolutely fabulous…I can’t stop touching it. The flowers are all raised. For the O in Oh Happy Day she used a purple rhinestone which of course I love. The tag says “Garden flowers hyacinths, pansies, daffodils, larkspur and blue bonnets” and on the inside of that card is a corresponding shade of purple paper with “I’m glad to have a friend like you” stamped and flower shapes punched out…
“Red Fly Far” mini house shape by A.L
Gorgeous shades of brick red…one of my favorite colors. The bird is cut out of velvet that has an imprint of flowers on it, don’t know if it came that way or if she used the stamping technique that does that (hey girl if that’s what you did how hard was it?) The trim across the bottom is a felt sticker, you can get these at Alpha Stamp, they are fabulous and very easy to use.
On the back she used a transparency of a nature scene. A few projects ago she taught us all how to make these, did you make this one also? A feather that looks like it could have come right out of the bird accents the back.
“Blue Gothic Arch” is by me
Go here to see how I made the string paper.
Go here to see instructions on how to make the accent paper I used in the upper and lower corners.
The image is from Altered Pages. The heart is hand drawn using glue and then I sprinkled blue glitter on it. I used the same string to stitch the accent paper on as I did to make the string paper.
“Green Thinking of You” A2 card by E.O.
I just didn’t seem to have much luck scanning in the green contributions. This card has a fabulous decorative paper on it that has multiple hues of green that did not show up. The simplicity is absolutely perfect. She said she did not put her name on it so that we could send it out but I’m not so sure I’m going to do that…I like to be constantly reminded that someone is “Thinking of me”!
You can see more of E.O’s work HERE
“Orange Prom Dress” 4 x 4 by H.S.
Orange is one of H.S.’s least favorite colors but boy did she do a fantastic job! The background paper is made using Tim Holts distressing ink. The dress is embossed on book print, also died using Tim Holts distress ink. The lace in the background was colored using the same ink. She used a two sided tape to attach the lace and covered the openings with orange glitter.
Note: she did this before she got married b/c the initials on the back are H.D J
“Shades of Turquoise” ATC by J.R.
This is an absolutely intriguing ATC. She covered the entire thing with Bees wax and we are all anxiously awaiting for her to give us more details as to how she did that and how she got it soooooooo smooth. The 3 hearts on the right hand side are 3D and I have absolutely no clue what she used if I had to guess I’d say they are a 3D paper with some ink rubbed on and then covered in wax…JR. is that right???
“Brown Tag” by N.P
And last but not least b/c I think this is my favorite is our ode to brown. It looks like she dry brushed on some acrylic paint and then stamped the images highlighting portions with brown marker. The paper on the left side is decorative and cut with decorative scissors. The paper along the bottom looks like she used Tim Hotlz distressing ink and then stamped giraffe pattern over that. She accented the piece with various brown shaded buttons, a copper arrow and lovely ribbons.
You can see more of N.P’s work HERE
I hope you enjoy our work. Our April project was to artistically interpret our favorite song. This one was a real challenge for me…hope you come back to check it out!
Back in January Caspiana described how to make her fabulous Gothic Arches string paper. I just had to try it out and the Monochrome project with Circle of Friends (posted above) was the perfect opportunity.
Here is a link to Sarah’s fabulous paper
I followed her instructions to a T except I used Blue paint. Because the paint colors are so close it is a bit more difficult to see the fabulous salt result on the back of my arch but trust me it is there.
This technique is really really easy but yet it looks like it takes forever which works for me!
Hope you enjoy and try it!