Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Long Island Crafter Opportunity!

If you are a handmade artist or crafter and live on or close to Long Island, New york, please read on!

OR if you know someone who fits this description, please forward this post!

As a member of my son's school Craft Fair committee, I am searching for craft vendors for the Prince of Peace Annual Craft, Gift & Plant Fair!

Feel free to contact me directly with any questions or

Sunday, March 27, 2011

I've received the One Lovely Blog Award!

I have been given a wonderful honor this weekend! I was chosen as the recipient of the One Lovely Blog Award by Robin at Rasz Art! How nice is that?? Stop by her Rasz Art blog and read the lovely things she wrote about my blog. I am humbled...

Well, now I get to award some favorite bloggers that I admire as well!

I have chosen the following lovely ladies:

• Meet Darlene at Flax and Spindle! She is a new online friend of mine that just happens to live right here in my own neck of the woods! Imagine that! Darlene is not only a wonderful person, she has a natural sense of design and an entrepreneur spirit. Shhh, its might be a secret still, but Darlene has some wonderful things coming up soon that I will share here with you whenever she gives me the go ahead. Stay tuned! Thanks Darlene for adding more beauty to the world via your vintage Etsy Shop!

• Another lady I admire is the Citizen Rosebud, the author of a wonderful fashion blog! Here is a lady with so much style and creativity that you can't help but want to check in to see what she is wearing each day and what causes she is putting her heart into! She has a beautiful Etsy shop that carries the same style of vintage items that make her so unique! Thanks Bella for being you!

• And finally, I'd like to acknowledge a wonderful artist, Diane at Diane Knotts Musings! Not only does she create some wonderful artwork, but she always has an inspiring word and generously shares her techniques and knowledge! She's one beautiful blogger! Thanks for all your lovely comments, Diane! Make sure you visit both her blog and her Etsy shop!

Please pay it forward ladies! 

Post this award on your blog together with the name of the person who honored you with the award and their blog link: "Big Smiles" going out to Robin at Rasz Art!
Then, pass the award on to three or more blogs that you admire and that inspire you. Let them know you have chosen them for this award so they can pay it forward too!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

What do you listen to while creating?

Tonight has been a very nice evening here at home.

Andrew, our son Ignazio, and myself are spending the evening together, as we usually do, but tonight the usual boob-tube was shut off and as I sit in my easy-chair with my drawing board on my lap and color my pretty pictures, Andrew and Ignazio are playing a computer game while the ipod plays Nickelback.

We chat, sing and laugh as we enjoy one another's company.

Usually when the tv is on a show you become so engrossed in what is going on in the program that talk is limited.

I am enjoying this change of pace and family time. I think my art is coming out even better than usual because I am so inspired by the love I have for my two favorite men.

And now Adele's "Rolling In The Deep" is on and I am even more inspired. Love her!

Do you play music while you create? What song or artist inspires you?

Please share with us!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Don't let my last name fool you, LOL!
I am an Irish lass born and bred (I only married an italian!)

Happy Saint Patrick's Day

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Art Journaling

This is the opening page of one of my art journals. That's a sketch of my hand.

click to open full size

Sunday, March 13, 2011

What do you look for in a handbag?

As I continue to build my Etsy business of hand painted accessories, I am always on the lookout for new handbags to up-cycle. I often wonder if I am on the right track when making my selections and then I thought, what do women want in a handbag? What matters most to them and what makes the difference between making a purchase or not?

So I decided to ask my friends here in blogland...

"Ladies, what do you look for in a handbag?"

what size?

I just listed my latest up-cycled Coach handbag in my Etsy shop. This is one of the larger bags I've done rather than the usual wristlet or demi-purse. It has five different portraits of my signature ladies on all sides.

Now, I have quite a few new bags to paint and I'm not sure yet what I will be painting on them just yet, but I think I am going to try something a little different.

So, what do you look for when purchasing a handbag?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Question: How do you name your artwork?

Cherry Blossom Rain by Diane Costanza
I spent today relaxing by painting and sketching. I worked on both of these pieces simultaneously in watercolor and colored pencil. 

Golden Girl by Diane Costanza
Question: When you create a piece of art, how do you come up with the title or name of your work?

Sometimes it just falls easily off the tongue, like "Cherry Blossom Rain", other times nothing  comes to me at all and I just go with what I stands out the most, like "Golden Girl" here.

Do you name your artwork?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Who needs a new spring wardrobe? Me!

I look down at my shabbily clad feet, old pants and sigh... it has been waaaay too long since I went and bought some decent clothes!

I'm looking quite drab and as I am quickly learning via my thrifty friends here on the internet, it doesn't necessarily take a wad of cash to look stylish, just some effort and imagination.

I love to create "wearable art", but that is as far as it has gone. I need to apply that artistic sensibility to the rest of my wardrobe.

Although far from a fashionista (most of my creativity goes into my artwork), I do like to have nice things and receive compliments just as much as the next girl, so I am making the effort to pump up the style this spring!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Desperate Romantics

This week I rented a fun movie from the library, the BBC's 6-part miniseries "Desperate Romantics" and watched all 6 hours in three days... Loved it!

The story is loosely based on the three 19th century artists that founded The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood: Dante Gabriel Rosetti, William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais. The story takes you through their constant search for the perfect model and how those women become such an important part of their lives and work.

In true movie-making style, the story takes considerable liberties with the actual history regarding these men and their muses, both in timeline and in facts. But that is just fine because the producers make that plain at the very beginning of the film:

‘The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood were inspired by the real world, yet took imaginative licence. This story, based on their lives and loves, follows in that inventive spirit.’

The story is fun, humorous and also tragic. I admit, I cried near the end, but then you are again left with a bemused smile at the last scene.

The four main characters are enjoyable to watch and I was completely entertained from beginning to end. I mean, really, what woman doesn't love watching great looking actors portraying witty, charming artists?

click to open larger image
It also doesn't hurt that they portray the creators of work I have long admired. I enjoyed learning about the stories behind some of their more famous paintings, such as Millais' "Ophelia".

Now I won't say anymore and spoil it for you just in case you haven't seen it...

Oh! And a warning to my friends with more modest sensibilities, this aired in Britain, so there is a lot of nudity and explicit sexuality that we are not used to here in the U.S.

Sunday Art Journaling

Click to open full size

Friday, March 4, 2011

Finding Serenity

I say the Serenity Prayer often throughout the day. Do you know it?

My mom taught it to me many years ago. I understand that it is even the prayer that they say at every OA and AA meeting.

It is my own go-to prayer when things are not going right in my day. It can be a simple squabble with my husband or a bad day at work, but the prayer has always been there for me to make me feel better, more accepting of the given situation.

So imagine my surprise when after thirty years of quoting it, I went online and found that what I knew was only the first few lines of a much more in depth prayer:

I apologize to the original calligraphers of these beautiful works, but I did 
an image search and they came up on other people's blogs so I was not able
to source them back to the original artists.

Now I have even more words of wisdom to turn to (and learn) when I feel I am in need of a calming influence.

And there is an author, Reinhold Niebuhr. I never knew who wrote these words that give me such peace when it is needed most and now I do. I will have to research him.

If you don't already, tap into these words when times are tough. You will be surprised that when you give up your will to control what others do, and just try to just concentrate on what you alone have the power to change, how much more peace you will find within yourself.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Are You Fearless?

How do you sustain the courage to continue to produce what you love while still attempting to make a living with your art?

How do you hush the doubts that sit on your shoulder and whisper incessantly into your ear all the things that make you second-guess your every artistic decision? 

That tries to stifle your creative voice.

Those other voices that insist…

this won’t sell”
“who would possibly want this
this has been done before”
“there’s nothing original about this

How do each of you push those voices away and just get on with it?

Are you fearless?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Queen of the Kitties!

Can you see here there, seated so high up, like the Queen that she knows she is? She blends in so well.

That is Muncher (don't blame me, my son named her) our 5 year-old kitty seated amongst the pillows of our master bed. That pillow sham is quite comfy.

Oh, to live the life of a fat, well-fed, spoiled kitty!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Decorating The Power Lines

No, I do not live in a city, but you would never know it by the scene I look at every morning when I go out to my car to go to work.

The kids in my neighborhood steal each other's sneakers and throw them up over the power lines, a city pastime if I remember correctly from when I was growing up. Well, here in the burbs it has caught on.

The problem is, the power lines are so high up here that no one in the neighborhood has a ladder high enough, even if they wanted to tangle with a power line in the first place.

It looks like a phone call to the power company is called for.

Kids will be kids, no matter where they are!