Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Cliche` ...

   Ok ... so I goofed and posted my cliche` entry a week early, that gives me an excuse to post a new one today ... ha!

     Although I wanted to use one of Mort's suggestions, I could not find a horse to lead to water or a chicken that would consent to loosing his head and as for kicking the bucket ... the only buckets around here this week were "buckets of rain" so I opted for ...

   Something fishy's going on here!

     I've been staying at my sister's house this week while she is camping in the key's in the rain. The beauties in the photo above are just a few of the many African Cichlids that I am tending while she is away. I won't go into how this is a hobby gone wild, I won't tell you how many fish she has now, or mention how many tanks it takes to keep them, I will not use the word obsession, I'll just say that last year she turned 40 ... enough said, right? 

   This is the most up to date list of links to the other journals participating in the Round Robin ... check em ` out ...

Kat... "From Every Angle"  


Aunt Nub (AKA) Liz..."Aunt Nubs EmptyHead"  

Celeste..."My Day and Thoughts"  

Steven..."sometimes photoblog"  


Becky..."Where Life Takes You"  

Gypsy..."Gypsy's Journey"  



Kimberleigh..."Life as I live it"  

Karen..."Musings from Mavarin"  

Betty..."My day My Interests"  

Duane..."sotto voce"  

Nancy..."Nancy Luvs Pix"  

Sharky..."Substance; or lack of"  

Robbie..."Robbie's Ruminations"  

Michael..."Confessions of a Madman"  

Patrick..."A Stop At Willoughby"


Tuesday, June 21, 2005

I'm away ...

   Every year about this time, I stay with my sisters dog Angie while they go camping. I'm doing that again this year ... I've been there since Saturday and will be staying a total of 8 days.

    Not sure why she does not have computer set up at home <grrrrr> so I'm going through slight withdraws but ... she only lives a few blocks from me, so I'll be stopping by to feed my fish and check my mail, maybe even post an entry or two (not sure).     

     Theresa bought about 20 lbs of fresh muscles to take to the campgrounds with her and at the last minute decided not to take them so ... we had them for Father's day, YUM!!!

     This time of year is so busy ... Just wanted all of you to know why it's so quiet here at "Rain." The links below are photos I took of my sisters house last year when I stayed with Angie, feel free to look around if you like and I'll be back in about a week.   Click Here,     Here,     and Here! 

     BTW ... it's still raining everyday here, has been for weeks and weeks now :(                


Friday, June 17, 2005

Help wanted ...

     Looking for your ideas on what to do with 3 gently used beets and greens. The beets were used only once, as photo prop and are in near perfect condition, with the exception of a huge slice made in one of them to expose the blood of the vegetable. Beets are vegetables, right?

     Maybe you could leave me your favorite family recipe for borcht, or ... ahhh ... ummm ... what else would one do with beets? They are so  ... so ... so ... RED!!! Ewwww ...


Wednesday, June 15, 2005


       You can't get blood from a turnip ...

     The photo ... but sometimes you can from a beet!

     This weeks photo challenge was sort of difficult, it really made you think ... thanks Kat!

     I used cliche ` finder <- click to check out some of the more popular clichés, I saw a few that I thought might work with for a photo. Not sure why I chose the turnip one, but I do know that I chose a beet for the photo because it's much bloodier than a turnip. 

     Others I considered ...

Laughter is the best medicine.

That's the way the cookie crumbles.

Talk until you're blue in the face.

Poker face.

The calm before the storm.

Bakers dozen.

What ever floats your boat.

She's a living doll.

Cut it out.

     I just got home, that's why I'm a little late posting my entry, but I actually have two hours to spare. I had two birthday and one Father's day gift to shop for after work, then met Karen at Boca High School ... we both signed up for a realistic painting class with  "Italian Renaissance Master Artist, Arnold Moskowitz" ... how's that for a title? The class starts next Wednesday ... I'll let you know how it goes. After sign up, we went to Guppy's (Big Daddy's) for dinner and then shopping at Target, fun night out!


    Edit:  Oooops! I'm a week early ... not sure how that happened, I must not have been paying enough attention. I thought the RoundRobin challenge was every Wednesday! Guess I'll have to come up with a different cliche `photo for next week!            

                      Good night all ...






Saturday, June 11, 2005

The Creativity Game ...

Photo's are of Stephanie painting a giraffe face ... forgot to photograph the dragons.

On day 2 of the convention I decided to move away from the airbrushing and take some beginning face painting classes but first, I wanted to play Oliver Zegars Creativity Game.

Let me just say that I was so not prepared for this game. Keep in mind that although I do consider myself to be a somewhat creative person ... I have not had any paint or drawing instruction and certainly no real experience applying paint (make-up) to skin.

Luckily, I'm not easily intimidated or excessively shy, because this game was defiantly not the right place to start, especially as it happened to be filled with so many experienced painters.

Here's how we played the game ... first 2 people drew a color card, we drew medium green and burgundy. Those were the background colors along with white. Then someone drew another color card for the line color, it was yellow ... black and white lines were also allowed for highlights and shadow. The next card drawn was a shape card, it was an oval. Last card was the character card, we chose a dragon.

The following step of the game was to paint our faces respecting the guide lines chosen with the cards. Ahem ... did he say paint medium green, burgundy and white background ovals with yellow, black and white outlined ovals to make your face look like a dragon????

There was no demonstration ... just instruction to get to work creating our dragons. I felt a little better when I realized that surprise had swept the entire room and I was not the only one perplexed by the thoughts of all those colored ovals.

I was verysurprised at how distracted I became by the oval thing ... yep, I was stuck on oval, but like everyone else I began applying my paint.

The more experienced in the group knew to use the white to highlight the places where a light source would naturally hit. Me, I was still stressing over all of those ovals, but kept painting.

Once most of our faces were covered in oval shapes using the assigned colors, the yellow lines started to be applied. We were making oval eyes, oval scales, oval nostrils and teeth ... we even did our best to make oval fire for our dragons to breathe. Oh my ... ovals, ovals, ovals!!!

I was doing just fine until I decided to look around at the other dragons, by the time the black and white details were being applied many of the faces would have qualified to be used in a Broadway stage production. I kept applying my ovals and soon it was time for us to put down our brushes and move on to the next part of the game.

Here's where it became important not to feel embarrassed or intimidated, for the beginners (me) as well as for the experienced (nearly everybody else). We moved to the head of the class and placed our chairs in a huge circle. Ummmm ... now it was time to discuss each individual dragon out loud.

We talked about the things that we liked, the things we wish we would have done differently and the things we would defiantly do again next time. Every single person in that room walked away knowing so much more about face painting than they did when the walked in.

Oliver and Stephanie were among my favorites. There were several raffles throughout the weekend for a hour one on one session with the instructor of your choice. I decided during that class that If I won, I would have chosen one of them because they both had such warm eyes, because Oliver spoke the language of art with such passion and because I figured that where one of them goes, the other is not far behind. I'll bet they would have both been there.

Imagine for a minute, being told in a Belgium accent that even on your worst day as a face painter you will paint so much better than the five year old. You paint his face to look like a dragon and the five year old becomes the dragon. GRRRRRAAAAAARRRRR!!!!! (Ithink he said GRRRRRAAAAAARRRRR!!!!!)

I was not eager to have a photo of my dragon face taken at the time, now I sort of wish I would have. I would like to have been able to compare it to the amazing green and burgundy with yellow dragon I will learn to paint by the next time we meet. Thank you Oliver and Stephanie for the inspiration.

Round Robin


     I am so excited about the out come of last weeks Round Robin Photo Challenge, Stephen from sometimes photoblog chose crystal as the subject. If you did not see the photo he entered, GO HERE and you will understand completely why he chose that subject. Great photo Stephen, great photos by all that participated. If you have not taken a look at the other crystal photos yet here are the links again.

Aunt Nub - Aunt Nub's Empty Head - posted
Carly - Ellipsis - posted
Alan - F-Stop - posted
Duane - sotto voce - posted
Karen - Musings from Mâvarin - posted
Kat - From Every Angle - posted
Robbie - Robbie's Ruminations - posted
sharky - Substance; or lack of - posted
Monica - Mamarrazzi - posted
Dawn - Dawn's Drivel - posted
Coy - dancing in the Rain - posted
Becky Yanagi - Where Life Takes You - posted
Betty - My Day, My Interests - posted
Patrick - A Stop At Willoughby - posted
Celeste - My Day and Thoughts - posted
Tess - FirstDigitalPhotos  - posted
Derek - Picture of the Day - posted

     Kat from Every Angle has chosen this weeks challenge. I knew that with this artsy group, the challenges would probably be ... well, challenging and I was right. Kat's challenge is Cliche`. This is going to require a little thought, feel free to leave cliche` ideas in the comment my threads if you like, I would welcome the help. If you have not accepted this challenge yourself yet ... then what are you waiting for? Break out those cameras and play along.

     BTW ... my Cliche` graphic above was fun to make. The background is actually a photo of the models on the runway and people photographing them on opening night of our face and body painting convention.

     My camera and the person behind it are not so good at taking low light room shots (yet) so the photograph did not come out so great, however it did make for a fun and colorful graphic background once I filtered it a little with photo shop. I encourage you to try this at home of you have the software!

                            Happy weekend all


The convention continued...

I hope you don't mind!

     The lineup of instructors was amazing, they were indeed among the mast talented painters in this industry. I know we were all wishing that the convention would have lasted long enough for us to attend every single class.


A few interesting faces and heads ... obviously bald heads make a great canvas.

     On the first day I took only airbrushing classes, with Pashur, Mark Greenawalt and Donna Nowak. During those three classes I got a crash course on everything you need to know about the equipment, paints, marketing, maintenance and techniques for starting an airbrushing business. 

     With all of the amazing information I received in those few hours ... bottom line was that at the end of the day when we went to our late night jams to practice, those of us that were using the equipment for the first time had to come to terms with the fact that we would be practicing dots, lines and swirls for a long time, before we were going to move on to anything cool.


I decided that to make the most out of my convention experience, I should practice the basics at home and move forward in a different direction the following day.

      Day two, I thought I would start out with some beginning classes, but first I really wanted to attend Oliver Zeger's creativity game class. This would turn out to be an experience to remember and deserves an entry all of it's own.

    I did get in a few beginning classes, this was a good idea because I picked up a lot of good tips and techniques that most people had long forgotten. The rest of the classes I took were geared towards the experienced painter and each was an amazing journey on it's own, instructed by the most creative artists. Mama Clown and her simple and quick techniques, (she is the one that organizes this convention). Natalie Simard's class was another of my favorites, she created some of the most enchanting characters of the convention, you will see them in the Mid Summer Night's Dream Ball entry,  yep ... saving the best for last!


   I can't leave out Jinny Make-Up Artiste (photos above), one of the industries most talented and everybody's favorite, or ... the Wolfe Brothers, (photos below) the first face is Nick Wolfe, or is it Brian?  Oh ... it's the twin that wears the watch. Both of them are really cute, really nice and extreamly tallented. They do a lot of monster and other creatures for Disney or Universal. Next year I'll be taking as much instruction as possible from all 3 of these amazing artists.


      BTW ... someone stop me once I've exceeded my allotted quota of using the words amazing, awesome, creative, talented or artist ... I just can't help myself! 


Wednesday, June 8, 2005

Round Robin ...

     Some of you already know about a Round Robin Photo Challenge that a few of us here in J-Land are taking part in. This week's challenge is crystal, the photo below is an up close look at part of the pattern in an antique crystal bowl that belonged to my Grandmother.

     It's been dark and cloudy here all day,  every day, for a while now so not much natural light available to bring out the fire in the crystal, but the photo came out okay anyway.

     If any of you are interested in playing along, here is the RSVP link that is found in Steven's, (sometimes photoblog). Below is a list of the others that are playing this week. They are a pretty creative group, can't wait to see what they come up with.



Round Robin Participants...

Steven...Sometimes Photoblog

Aunt Nub...Aunt Nubs Empty Head


Duane...Sotto Voce  

Karen...Musings from Mavarin 

Kat...From Every Angle  

Robbie...Robbie's Ruminations

Sharky...Substance; or lack of


Dawn...Dawn's Drivel

Coy...Dancing In The Rain

Becky Yanagi...Where Life Takes You  

Betty...My Day My Interests  

Tuesday, June 7, 2005

FABIC 2005 Continued ...

     The daily schedule at the convention was pretty intense, starting at 8:30 am for our morning meetings that were chalk full of fun and surprises. In addition to the daily announcements, the lively music with moving and stretching exercises, and the motivational messages like "Be the art, do the work and love the results" ... there were also guest speakers every day.

     In the photographs below, Lori Harley leads us through an entire series of games designed to help us get to know each other, open up the channels of creativity and to lower any anxiety levels that some may have about their experience levels compared to others around them.


     Every persons learning experience was equally as important as anyone else's, beginning painters as well as master artist were elbow to elbow in many cases and it was very important not to be intimidated by that.


   If you are in these photos or if you were sitting in the audience with me watching this hypnosis exercise, you've gotta be laughing out loud right now seeing these images and remembering how silly the whole thing was.


     From start to finish, this convention was an amazing experience and if I can figure out how to put the whole thing together in the midst of my heavy work schedule, I can definitely see the "possibilities" of entertaining with paints in my future. In other words I have been inspired!!! 

     Still more great photos to come.



   All is as good as new with my photo site. It is hard enough to carve out a little time to post an entry this time of year, when some technical problem prevents you from being able to do that it's soooooo annoying! I do want to mention that I've used Homestead Photo Site for about a year now and I am very happy with it. This is only the second time in a year that I have had any kind of problem at all.

     I know that some of you are exploring alternate sites because of the frequent problems you have with AOL's FTP space and I would highly recommend this one. Another site that a lot of people are using is Photobucket and I've only heard good things about them too, as a matter of fact I am considering using them as a back up for those rare occasion when Photo Site is acting up.


    It's hurricane season again "ALL READY"! It has been raining a lot here ... a whole lot ... like all day every day, a lot. I guess it has been a little inconvenient but they say that the more it rains, the less severe the hurricane season should be. After last years fiasco I say "let it rain baby ... let it rain."

     We are used to having afternoon thunderstorms roll out of the everglades at around 3:00, this time of year. This is what keeps things so green and beautiful here. If not for all of the rain I suppose Florida would just be another sandy desert.  


     Oh ... the plants are happy ... yep, especially the rain lilies (top photo) and the dove orchids (no photo today), both bloom like crazy when it rains a lot. These are today's photos of some of the happy and colorful plants in the back yard, the herbs (below) are especially happy today.




Monday, June 6, 2005


     I am having problems with the Photo Site that I upload my photos to before posting them ... no photos no entry, it's that simple.

     24 hours later I am not getting a responce from customer service except to say they have recieved my message and that sending multiple requests for help (I've sent 3) will only delay the problem getting solved.

     Grrrrr ...

                                    *** Coy ***

Saturday, June 4, 2005

2005 Face and Body Art Convention

  My 5 days in Orlando last weekend was quite an artsy experience. I took a lot of photos so I could come back and share the experience with all of you, the way you share so many of your experiences with me.

     My intentions were to take photos of everything, not to let anything pass me by. But ... the convention, the classes the entire program was so huge and fast paced that I got completely wrapped up in participating in all that was going on around me, sometimes I even forgot to use my camera. I did manage a few good shots though.



     The program was structured to encourage and inspire the talent and success of many face and body painters from around the globe that are already involved in the industry and are willing to invest a little time and money to improve their art form. 

     My favorite quote from the convention was ... "May you go home with a renewed commitment to elevate your talents to new levels, that together we may beautifully color the world one face at a time."


     I have so much to tell you, I don't want to leave anything out but this is my first day off since I've been back. I still have some unpacking and other things I have to get done but I did want to show you a few sample faces, much more to come.


Wednesday, June 1, 2005

OK, the best part first ...

    All 5 days of my adventure in Orlando were amazing, but the very best part was the very last night so that's what I'm going to tell you first. I made arrangements to stay an extra night in Orlando to see ... "The one, the only, the Diva that needs no introduction ... drum roll please ... the Michael" (setting my watch now, to see how long it takes Mortimer to notice that I've stolen his intro line) in one his Sleuth's Mystery Dinner Shows and I'm so glad that I did.

     This was my very first live J-Land encounter, it was also my fist mystery dinner. I was really looking forward seeing the show and to meeting Michael, but I did have a little trouble finding the place. I was not there 45 minutes early as agreed, for some reason that made me a little nervous and I almost never get nervous.

     I walked in just as the show was getting started and was seated at a table with 7 people that I didn't know. A nice family of five and 2 young men from North(?) Carolina. It didn't take long for me to find out that the boy's (Brian and another Michael) were also friends of Michael's. They were absolutely adorable, we became friends instantly and I am so glad that they were there.

        The cast was hysterical, especially Elga the maid played by Michael. This is a photo I took of them ... don't they look great? Each of them were suspects in the bloody murder of Lord Mansfield who was bumped off early in the show, and we were instructed to keep an eye out for anything suspicious that may end up being a clue to who did it!


     Each table had to choose a spokes person that would ask the cast one question in attempt to get more information for solving the mystery, we choose the mother of the family that was seated at our table. In the beginning she suspected that Brian and Michael (from N.C.) might be part of the show because they knew Michael, they in turn made her think that it might be me that was in on it, since I was the last person to arrive and I was also a friend of Michael's.

   We laughed hysterically throughout the evening, especially at the blue "for your eyes only" note that was delivered to the table for Brian. Michael's friends were so much fun, their laughter was contagious, every comedy act needs people like this in their audience.

     By the time it came down to finally asking our question, our spokes person had changed. We ended up asking a question that we knew would not solve the mystery but we just had to find out why Elga came out on stage with a turkey baster stuffed between her bosom. You'll have to ask Michael for the answer to that one, but obviously a bloody death by way of turkey baster seemed highly unlikely!

     I won't tell you who did it, encase you ever get the chance to see the show. I'll just say that the perfectly timed innuendo was hysterical yet the show was still acceptable for the mostly family type crowd that was there!


     We did get a chance to chat a little after the show and someone in the cast did get a photo of the two of us. Thanks Michael, for making J-Land come alive for me a little this weekend.