Friday, October 29, 2010

Great News, Horrible Jokes

Fantastic, awesome, terrific news! Wanna guess? Okay, go ahead. Guess.

*arms crossed, tapping foot*

I'm waiting.

Okay, lemme just tell you. GOSSIP FROM THE GIRLS' ROOM, A Blogtastic! Novel just got picked up by a fourth country! That's right! It's going to Portugal. And it will be published by the same Portuguese publisher as Suzanne Collins. How awesome is that?


The Repo Man thinks it's Awesomely Excellent!

If I hadn't been so sick lately (yes, that's why i've been M.I.A.) I would be doing my usual happy dance.

Last Saturday I did my art show in Pt. Richmond. It was a lot of fun until we stuck in a down pour and had to pack up early. Later that night is when I started feeling sick and I'm waiting to feel better still.  I did make several sales at the art event though, one of them included my art doll, Lilith. My first and favorite. It was so hard to part with her!

And now *drum roll* for the worst joke in the history of jokes. Ever.

This guy goes to a Halloween party with a girl on his back.
"What on earth are you?" asks the host.
"I'm a snail," says the guy.
"But... you have a girl on your back," replies the host.
"Yeah, he says, "that's Michelle!"

I bet you'll have to sit there and think about it for a minute before you even understand it. THAT'S how bad it is!



The zombies didn't get it either. Neither did I at first. This
is our "Huh, what?!" face.

Happy Halloween!


Friday, October 22, 2010

Halloween Costume Ideas on a Budget Part 2

If you missed last weeks, Halloween Costume Ideas on a Budget Part 1, be sure to check that out for more ideas!
Or go as THE all American family.
1.) Get a bunch of Barbie dolls and a black sweat suit. Attach the dolls randomly all over the sweat suit. You're a babe magnet.

2.) Get a medium sized box. Cut a hole at the bottom for your head, and a large, square opening in the front. Put pipe cleaners as antennas and glue soda bottle caps on as knobs. Put it over your head and wear all black. You're a TV announcer.

3) Wear a black sweat suit and randomly attach single socks all over your clothes. You're the sock thief from the dryer.

Anyone got a large
pair of tweezers for this
Operation?
4) Get some yellow yarn and brown pom-poms. Glue them all over an old sweat suit. Put an old colander over your head as a hat. Go as spaghetti and meat balls.

5) Wear a clown costume top and paint your face. Get a large box and paint it a bright color. Make a hole for your waist and put it on as if the bottom of a skirt. Go as a jack-in-the-box.

6) Glue a bunch of newspapers to old clothes. Go as paper mache in progress.

7) Get a bunch of small, single-serving sized cereal boxes. Glue them all over some old clothes and bring a big, rubber knife. Go as a cereal killer.

8) Paint your car or bicycle tires with black paint. Lay old clothes front-down on the street and drive over them. Let them dry, put them on and go as road kill.

iPods are pet portable now.
9) Tie a sneaker to the top of your head, wear all pink and paint your face pink. Go as a piece of gum.

10) Get two large pieces of foam and strap them to your shoulders so one hangs in front, the other in back. Stuff some lettuce leaves coming out of them (or green felt), and on the underside of one glue a big, round, red or brown piece of felt that sticks out of the sides. Go as a sandwich.

11) Get a round piece of cardboard and cut a hole in the center of it. Get a large foil tray and cut a hole in it, as well as a table cloth with a hole in it. Put the cardboard over your head, then the table cloth so it hangs over your body, then the tray. Place lettuce leaves coming out from around the neck hole. You're a head on a platter.

12) Wear a raggedy old pair of shorts and t-shirt, and go unshaven if your a man. Mess your hair up. Get a garden tiki torch from the party supply store. Go as a recent loser from Survivor. You've been voted off the island. Remember to extinguish your torch.

13) Dress as a dog and put a cardboard cone around your neck to keep you from scratching for fleas.


Yes! That's it! Totally ham it up!
14) Glue cotton all over a light blue outfit and carry a water gun to squirt people. You're a rain cloud.

15) Cut out a cardboard shape like a surf board and cover it with fake spider webs. You're a web surfer.

16) Dress in a business suit and carry around a big jar filled half way up with thumb tacks. Go as the "tacks collector."

17) Get a rubber pig's nose and wrap yourself in a blanket. Go as a pig in a blanket.

18) Get a bag of moss from the craft store's floral isle. Glue it all over some old clothes and hat and go as a chia pet. Cha Cha Cha Chia.

19) Dress like a cat; carry a black bag stuffed with fake jewels overflowing. You're a cat burglar.

Can you tell me how to get...ah, who am I
kidding? I don't want to get anywhere
near these guys!
20)Attach gum wrappers, small pieces of pink clay to represent gum, soda cups and popcorn bags and a few kernels of popcorn to a black sweat suit, and go as a theater floor.

'Fess up! Okay, one time for halloween I dressed up in all Christmas stuff-Christmas shirt, Christmas Jewelry, Christmas socks, Christmas headband, Christmas EVERYTHING! Can you guess what I was? I was a blonde! get it? I got the holidays mixed up? er, yeah. Okay.

Your turn! What was your best/worst Homemade Halloween costume?



Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mail Snatchers & Killer Dogs

I did these quick sketches a few weeks ago. Yeah, I still need to finish them (ink them, etc).

The Mail Snatcher. He takes your mail right after
it's delivered. He knows things about you. Yeah,
he's that person.

Killer. Not him, the dog. Don't let appearances
fool you. See the missing arm? Yep, all dog.

I'll put these in my Etsy Shop once i've finished them. 10% of each item sold will be donated to Joy 2 The World.  I'm still taking on one or two more commissioned pieces for the holidays if anyone else is interested.

For these pics I got my inspiration from the mailman (first pic) and from my friends dog (for the second). I like adding twists to them. Where do you usually find your inspiration? Does it just come to you or do you go looking for it?



Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Contest-Check it out!

So....I got an exciting email from someone. It starts with a Pub and ends with an licist.

Yes-I have a publicist now! And Random House is so awesome, I can't even fully express. I'm super excited and have learned about the publicity campaign.

In other news...

My good friend Amie Borst is having a contest on her blog to win one of my art prints. So, go check her blog out right away!

Saturday i'll be in Pt. Richmond for an Art Fall Festival. I was there last year and it was so much fun! So if anyone is in the area, stop by and say hi!

Lastly, I got my new business cards in the mail, with the matching address labels and notepad. They are the cutest. Ever.



Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Buy Art, Support Women in Ghana

If you don't know already, Candace is holding a Part 2 donation drive and contest for the Joy 2 The World foundation. Please check out her post HERE. In support of this wonderful cause, I will donate 10% of every art sale from my Etsy Shop from now until Thanksgiving Eve. Candace is such an awesome, caring person. Her passion for helping is contagious. Please help her spread the word!



Monday, October 18, 2010

Creepy but Cute

Creepy but cute.
Luther. Yes, a puppeteer.

That's what I call my new Etsy shop. And Jen Daiker at Unedited, who so totally roocks, has written a post about it. You must read her blog! Well, after reading this post.

So I'm offering something fun. The holidays are right around the corner. I did this last year and received a great response. So, I've decided to do it again this year.

So what exactly is "it?"

Art work. Illustrations of YOU. Or your friend. Your kid  Maybe your pet. Whatever you love and represents you. To clear things up, I don't do caricatures. I have my own style of drawing and when I try to go outside of that, it turns into a mess. BUT, I can do drawings that represent or resemble you.

Examples: My friends' daughter LOVED books. and their big cat. She had loooong hair and big blue eyes. She sent me a few pictures and told me about her personality. I made an illustration, in my own style, of a girl with big blue eyes, sitting on a huge stack of books. The girls hair was long and I exaggerated this as it swirled around the piles of books and her fat cat made a comfortable a bed in it.

Her son loved panda bears and teddy bears and had a jungle theme in his room. So I made a character, a boy with the same color hair and eyes to represent him, and he was holding a stuffed panda in his arms. The background was a jungle with peeking pandas through the leaves.

I had so much fun making these. I sent these to her and she framed them, giving them to her kids as christmas gifts. She even emailed me pictures of her kdis unwrapping them. It was amazing.

I love the feeling of making things for people that they really love. I already have two orders that I'm working on now. One is a character from my friends book. She wants her character and a girl (her daughter) to be drawn together.  Another friend has asked me to draw one of her and her husband reading on the couch and their two cats. With a touch of Harry Potter magic, of course.

So, i'm offering this on my blog to you. I can't take on many orders since I still have book deadlines, but I can take on a few more. I charge a reasonble price, basically covering the time and supplies I put into it. So for one ready to be framed picture (8x11.5 size), I charge $40. Includes shipping. Each one will be signed, dated and placed in a protective plastic sleeve and shipped in a stiff mailer. I love adding little extra surprises to each order too.

So if you are interested, email me or leave a comment and I'll contact you.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Halloween Costume Ideas on a Budget

Halloween is quickly approaching, so if you’re still trying to figure out what to dress up as, then here are so ideas to help you out. These costume ideas are especially great if you’re on a limited budget. And have a sense of humor.

1. Dress normal. When someone asks what you are, you can say:

A. Werewolf. (No fur or fangs because there’s not a full moon)
B. A Bill Collector. Hint: Bring earplugs; you’ll most definitely encounter angry people.
C. A psychopath. They look just like everyone else.

2. Wear brown clothing and hat. Stick silk leaves (can get a package cheap at craft stores) all over, including hat. Perch a stuffed bird on your head. BAM! You’re a tree!

3. Sticking with the brown clothing, attach a bunch of green or purple balloons all over. You’ll have Grape fun with this costume!

4. Wrap yourself in orange felt. Cut armholes and paint face orange. Voila! Carrot Stick! This is great for Vegetarians. If you’re a little on the short side, don’t worry. Just go as a baby carrot.

5. Love the orange color theme but not a veggie lover? Then try this. Roll yourself in orange yarn. Glue pumpkin seeds all over. What are you? Pumpkin Guts of course!

6. Okay, so you really want to use the glue but hate the color orange, then this is for you. Glue trash on you. Bet you’ll be the only trash heap on your block. Tip: Use clean trash, or course—unless you’re going for appearance and smell here.

Don't forget the pets!
7. You’ve decided you’re going to be Trash Heap, so what about your best friend? No worries! “Borrow” a shopping cart from a store and sit in it. Have your friend dress in old worn out clothing. Instant Bag Lady! Again, smell factor optional.

8. This one requires a bit more work. Get a gorilla costume (or prepare now and don’t shave till after Halloween). Wear a headband with those springs on top, but glue mini-toy planes on the springs. Carry around Barbie in an evening gown. You’re King Kong!

9. Using safety pins attach cheap watches and costume jewelry on the inside of your coat. Insist that people want to buy your goods. After all, you’re a con man.

10. Wear a large box, preferably white or tan, by making armholes and a hole at the top for you head. Paint the box if needed. Glue on items such as phone numbers, magnets, shopping lists, post-it notes, etc. Yes, you are a refrigerator.

11. This one isn’t so bad if you don’t mind being asked a million times what you are. Wearing the following: Darth Vader mask, flannel shirt, jeans, cowboy hat and boots. Carry a red light saber. What are you? (See, the question’s already starting) Darth Brooks!

12. Design a clever advertisement on a poster board. Hang it around your neck. Yes, you’re billboard. Mobile, but a billboard nonetheless.

13. This idea is for men with ego’s the size of Mt. Rushmore. Wear a large box (no, you’re not a refrigerator). Decorate the box like a present, i.e. Gift-wrap it, large bow. Make a large gift tag out of cardboard and attach. On it, write: To: Women From: God. Yes, this is one time you can honestly say you ARE God’s gift to women. But remember, this expires at midnight.

14. Plaster yourself with nametags, using a different name on each. You are officially having an identity crisis.

15. Dress all in black. Wear dark sunglasses or get those fake glasses with a rubber nose and moustache. Attach a fabric strip across you and wear as a sash. Use fabric paint to write, “Bless you” across the fabric. You’ve got it—you’re a blessing in disguise!


And your friend can go as the tissues!

Still looking for more ideas? I'll post Part 2 of this list next Friday for more inspiration!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

89 Days and Counting...

89 days, 6 hours and 6 minutes until my book, GOSSIP FROM THE GIRLS' ROOM, is released. Not that i'm counting or anything.

I had an author event invite from my local bookstore, wanting to set the day/time for after my book release. This got me thinking...do I start setting up events now? Am I supposed to have all this ready to go so when the book does come out everything is in place? It's one of those things that you think about, but you don't really think about. Not until you realize your book isn't just a year and half away from being published, but a matter of months.

So I asked my agent and she said yes, set these up now. I've also been in contact with my editor and she gave me the news that my publicist was just announced. My head is started to spin with the reality of everything. My book will be in stores. I'll be doing author events and signings. And...my book will be in stores!

I'm learning so much as I go through this process. Like, did you know that the buyers from Borders and B&N can reject your book just because they don't like the cover or the book concept? It can be hard getting into these big stores, esepecially if you're a new author. And with a new series. I won't know until it gets closer if my book makes it in, but I do know they've already met and discussed my book and so far the feedback has been positive *fingers crossed*

Monday, October 11, 2010

Zombie Bride

Here is my fourth and final hanging art doll I've made. She's not as sweet as the others, but who can blame her. Afterall, she IS a zombie.

Esther was forced into a hellish afterlife on the night of her wedding. Her groom escaped the horrible attack that was left as her fate.

Most evenings, Esther wanders aimlessly through the streets in search of her groom whom she was so suddenly taken from. What she doesn't know is he tries desperately to disguise himself with the hopes that he will remain hidden from the monster that she now is, forever.

Esther is blind to anything but finding her love, to dooming him to a life such as traggic as hers. She thinks of only herself and has been overcome by her selfishness and hunger.


Not a happy zombie.


Yes, That's her brain you see! There are stitches under
her hair too.

Other Art Dolls w/Stories:
Lillith, The Corpse Bride
Abigail, The Black Widow
Ava, Forest Maiden


Friday, October 8, 2010

New Art, New Shop

How lucky you are to meet Ava! As a child she was carefree, gregarious, and hopeful. But at she became older, she became an outcast. It was difficult finding a place to belong, never quite fitting in. Ava found it hard to embrace her uniqueness and often went to the forest for solace. At age nineteen, she was caught in a dangerous lightening storm while wandering through the forest. A nearby tree was struck, trapping Ava. The thunder drowned out her cries and her desperate pleas for help were carried off in the wind.

Ava awoke as a new spirit during the Autumn season. she was surrounded by crisp piles of colorful leaves. These were imprinted on her altered mind, burned into her still smoldering dress. For once she felt beautiful and the emptiness and lonliness she felt for so long was replaced by a new hope and appreciation for nature. Forever she was a forest maiden. Forever she would belong.

Made with paper clay, acrylics, fabric

Ava is now listed in my Etsy shop-yes, I actually have one now!-along with my other hanging art dolls, prints, and originals. I'm still in the process of adding more to the shop every day, especially original artwork. so feel free to stop by and take a look around. I have an art announcement next week of something fun i'll be offering, only here on my blog!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Artistically Speaking

I departed with two more pieces of art, and I'm absolutely thrilled. Many of you know Crissy as the best website designer. Ever. She designed my site, Sofia's site, Amie's site (to name a few). And with Sofia's site, an art exchange was part of the deal.

My heart melted when Crissy told me the art pieces would be for her baby girl. She sent me an pic of her baby, Reagan, with the pieces. It seems that Reagan is a budding artist herself. She didn't want to let go of the pens for this picture. How cute is she?!



Left: "Head in the Clouds" Right "Hug"
Both done on beveled wood, using charcoal
and prisma color

Coming soon, more art news to share!


Monday, October 4, 2010

A-MAZING!

Okay, yes, i'm amazing. But lets go off topic for a bit. Today's post isn't simply about me. Not entirely anyways. Hubs and I celebrated our anniversary on Saturday (the actual date is today) but Saturday we got the greatest gift of all.

A BABYSITTER!

So, how to spend the evening kid free? Hmmm, so many options. Romantic dinner? Quiet night outdoors listening to bands play? Candelight and color-changing waterfalls?

Nah. Nope. And Not a chance.

Lets go for something memorable and not so "everyday." I decided to plan the evening and surprise hubs.

HIM:  Where are we going?

ME:  I told you, surprise.

HIM:  Hint.

ME:   No.

HIM:  Yes.

ME:  Fine. Wear comfy clothes. And bring a flashlight.

HIM:  Hell no! You aren't bringing me on one of your ghost hunts!

ME:  Why does everything requiring a flashlight mean a ghost hunt to you? *sigh*

So, we drove 30miles out of the city, at night, to this:



Largest Corn Maze in CA


 And it was Haunt Night which meant we got an extra ticket to the Field of Screams. But, I prepared for this. And how does one prepare? Shopping of course! I found TONS of cool glowstick items. Masks, Fairy Wand (me), Axe (him), Jumbo Necklaces, braclets, etc. I put all of this in a gift bag that said "YGTBK (You've Got To Be Kidding)" and gave it to him once we arrived. He was such a good sport about it and we were totally decked out!

Not so glowy in the light, but trust me-the glow was there!




We got lost in the maze at first, but then I realized the secret to finding your way out of any maze. Stay to the right. Once we did this, we were laughing at everyone else going in circle because that wasn't us anymore!
So we totally made it to the end (it was like miles long!) and it was pitch black in the middle of nowhere, so good thing I really did bring a flashlight. The Haunted part was fun but so, so scary. It's like you know it will be, but you have no idea when it will happen or what exactly. So imagine people popping out of the huge cornstalks in the dark. At you. Yeah--like killer clowns and wolfmen and some too horrible to even think about.

And for anyone that has seen The Hills Have Eyes? OMIGosh. The mutant was there. And he followed us, dragging his shovel, then picking up his pace. I was practically running, pulling hubs along. And Jason was there. With a real chainsaw. And you could smell the gas from it and it freaked me out and I screamed at the top of my lungs and my heart almost beat right out of my chest and...I...was...outta...breathe.

We took pics by the main Haunt site and Jason crept up on us and did a sneak attack-chainsaw and all! Even hubby screamed at that. So, I totally made Mr. Hockey Mask get in the pic. Take THAT, Jason!


And we have pictures to remember the day, even though it left a last impression with us. Now, wasn't that better than a candlelight dinner?



Hubby: Jason ain't got nothing on me! I have my glow axe!


Friday, October 1, 2010

How to Give Yourself An Eyeball Papercut

How To Give Yourself An Eyeball Papercut (Do while at work for the maximum affect)

First, hold the piece of paper at just the correct angle so the the corner of the paper is aimed at your face.

Next, swing it between two fingers with exact percision

Third, and Fling! right towards your eyeball at a speed so quickly you don't have time to react or even blink.

Lastly, drop the paper, clasp both hands over one eye and smear all your eye makeup into one huge exaggerated mess. Now, when someone comes by to see what the commotion is about, drop your hands away from your face and let the mess do the talking.

The watering form your eye mixed with the mascara, eyeliner, and possibly eyeshadow will have meshed together nicely at this point making it look as if you were given a black eye. You may be given extra sympathy at this point. Take what you can get. You want to delay the actual "what happened," questions from your co-workers as long as possible.

Try to make a mad dash to the bathroom when possible and scour away all the remains of your makeup. Wash out your eye. Repeat to yourself, "I am tougher than the paper." Get a wet paper towel and hold against your eye. Even better, get an ice pack. This will rack up more sympathy points when you explain that you were actually tackled by paper.

And that's how a pro does it. That was my day yesterday. It  was so random. Only me. People hesitated to even ask, "How does THAT happen?" I haven't gone to the dr. but I probably shouldn't have. I'm still a bit squinty and I should be wearing an eye patch. Arrgh.

Speaking of...Sofia announced the winner of her contest today!