Make it stop. Sign up. Get the kit. Now.

KONY 2012 from INVISIBLE CHILDREN on Vimeo.

Our bracelets are coming in the mail.

2011, the year of FABULOUS

It has been a while since I have posted, life tends to scoop me up and carry me along with it most times. I jump off the carousel and run back to the beginning to start all over, picking up new things along the way that I may have passed by.

The year started out with the death of my external hard drive. I was using for it as a supplement for my main drive and, well, it led a good life having tolerated me for three years of hard, daily use. It is, on a bad note however, holding 168GB of my life hostage…writing, art, all my music, my client work, everything. So, I am learning to adapt.

This year is about renewal for me, a renewal of self and the things that drive me. About breaking old habits, forming new ones, and being thankful for the time in between. Instead of waiting for a better situation to come along, I am making one.

Working for my Self.

One of the decisions that I have made is that I am no longer accepting new clients*. I have had far too many of my own projects go undone, sitting in journals, waiting for me to pick them up and bring them to life. I can work on someone else’s projects, or I can invest that time into my self and my family and work toward getting paid. Family and self won out.

*I have some current clients that are fabulous, and will continue my work with them, but I am at a comfortable, manageable work load right now so I will not be taking on anything new.

Art for Cures

Art for Cures is resurrecting this month from the ashes after a three year pile up. Yup, three years. (Thankfully I am not alone, as I have run into others who have been breathing through straws under their own avalanches for longer than I have.) The guilt piles up as much as the work does, but I am finally out from under after sneaking time in between work, college, homeschooling, and daily life. I have a plethora of updates coming in the next week and will be posting a few things to both our Etsy and my eBay account.

Art for Cures is also, God willing, going to become a non-profit this year. We are going through the planning preparations now and I will have more updates on the AFC site in the coming weeks.

More thank yous than I can count to the friends and members I have been blessed with who have stuck by me, I could not be doing any of it without you guys. MWAH Your support and love have been the one thing that has kept me moving forward.

Pen in Hand

My writing, other than running Word Whimsy, has been on the back-burner so long my characters have all started pelting me with rocks and small, sharp, projectile implements. Odonatia, Coffee Cartel, Making Art from Non_Cents, and Clementine’s Garden are all on the goal list for this year though I am planning on doing the “book happy dance” with my friend Pam Carriker with at least one caffeinated book soon. Congratulations Pam! HUGS You can pick up her new book on Etsy or on Amazon.

Full sailing ahead.

One of the biggest dilemmas for me recently has been which school to pursue once I have graduated in March. I am graduating with my BFA in Visual Communications, Digital Design (basically the degree for what I have been doing for 24 years) and have already started the enrollment process with Full Sail in Winter Park, Florida.

I grew up around and loved the Winter Park area. It is commercially overrun now, like most places, a lot of the quaint independent shops that were unique to the area having had to make way for larger corporate shops they, sadly, couldn’t compete with. I still have a huge poster-sized menu from the old East India Ice Cream Company (any of you remember that place?) that we used to frequent. The park is still there, and my tree with its sitting branch best for train watching that my grandmother and I used to frequent, as well as a few old busking spots. The Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival is what really drove me to become an artist full-time and, while I don’t attend the show anymore, or at least not near as frequently, it still holds fond memories. We have a similar show, FAFO, that we enjoy and attend every year here locally.

I will be starting my MFA in Creative Writing the first week of May then plan to move on to their Game Art program. The reason the decision was so difficult is because of accreditation, or lack thereof. I have my own goals and projects, though, and I look forward to having both degrees under my belt.

I also used to work for a rubber stamp store in Winter Park and there is nothing better than getting paid to play and create, well maybe…

Art grows on trees.

After a great deal of thinking, I have decided to postpone Gumtree’s launch until June of this year. We need the extra time to build stock as well as get all of our paperwork in order. I feel it was a necessary decision though as, with my external drive in possible permanent limbo, there is more that can be done so that our launch is as smooth and seamless as it can be. I know that when we do launch it will be an incredible experience and one I have been looking forward to for years.

Gallery exhibit July 2011, Winter Park Florida

All paths seem to lead to Winter Park lately! The Brooklyn Art Library’s Sketchbook Project will be exhibiting at Full Sail’s gallery in July and I am proud to have one of my original journals in it. I am mailing it out on Friday and will be posting a video walk-through of it on my YouTube channel this weekend.

We don’t need no stickin’ genre.

Dragonfly Press Publishing, formerly a venue for zines and other small press publications, launched itself as a small, private publishing company last year with its first title, Freemasonry through the Jaundiced Eye of a West Virginia Hillbilly.

Ophir E. Vellenoweth, also the band leader for Buddy O & the Dancemasters has been a delight to work with and I am currently typesetting another book for him, a work of fiction entitled Tales of the Colstops. I am looking forward to presenting it to you soon. He is currently working on a sequel to Colstops and another book within the Freemasonry genre. Freemasonry through the Jaundiced Eye of a West Virginia Hillbilly is now available in digital download format or hardcover.

Dragonfly Press Publishing will be releasing at least one zine this year, possibly Kraft Paper Muse which has been reorganizing with support in the background.

All I want for Christmas…

UPDATE 1124.09: Noah passed away at 8:02am this morning in his home. God hold you close baby. Noah and his family received over one million cards this month alone from around the world. Thank you again to everyone who sent one. Please pass the word to STOP sending cards because they need their privacy now. They have posted a request which you can find in the newest update here.

UPDATE 1118.09: STOP SENDING CARDS! From what was relayed to me, they received 80,000 pieces of mail on November 11th alone. Wow.

Wow!! Thanks! Please STOP!!!!
Posted Nov 13, 2009 1:03pm

Wow! The outpouring of love and concern for Noah is just amazing! Scott and I never in a million years thought that so many people would want to send Christmas cards to Noah. However, please note: We did already celebrate Christmas LAST Sunday — November 8th.

PLEASE STOP SENDING CARDS AND GIFTS!!!!

Noah is very ill. He is not getting out of bed and it’s time for Scott, our families, and I to concentrate on our son. His time is very short and he needs us.

Scott and I would like to say thank you so much for the support and continued show of love. However, we are asking that everyone please stop sending cards and gifts.

Also, everyone please post the stop order on Facebook and any other websites or organizations that you belong to. We need the peace right now.

Thank you for your understanding in this request.

– – –

This was sent to me today by an Art for Cures member. Please read and take a moment to send a card, it means the world to this little boy.

Noah Biorkman (age 5) is in the last stages of neuroblastoma cancer, after a two and a half year battle.  He and his family are celebrating Christmas next week and all he wants are Christmas cards.

Please, please take a moment to send him a card and drop it in the mail right now. Do not put this off till tomorrow, he may not have one.

Email me for the mailing address.

Please take a moment to send a card full of love to Noah and his family and keep the spirit of Christmas in your heart all year long.

Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers are with Noah and his family…

Art Book Fundraiser for Sophia Tavolacci

UPDATE 1117.09: After some consideration, I am extending the deadline to November 30th for submissions. I got an email from Sophia’s mother earlier today and she said that she had gotten a positive response for the project.

Sophia isn’t giving up. Neither am I.

We did not get the number of submissions I had hoped for, too few for a large book. Many thanks to those creatives who have sent in work so far. Please help me spread the word. We need more creatives!

– – –

My girlfriend Julee forwarded information to me about this precious little girl because I run Art for Cures. As a mother, my own little girl is 8, I cannot imagine what Sophia’s mother is going through. Please help in any way that you can…sophia

YOU KEEP THE RIGHTS TO YOUR WORK. ALL SUBMISSIONS ARE CREDITED. 90% OF THE PROCEEDS GO TO SOPHIA’S FAMILY. 10% GOES TO THE APLASTIC ANEMIA & MDS FOUNDATION. THIS IS FOR AN ART BOOK FUNDRAISER ON BLURB. NO MONEY REQUIRED, JUST DONATE ONE HIGH RESOLUTION IMAGE, ART OR PHOTOGRAPHY (specs below). THANK YOU!

Sophia Tavolacci is 2 ½ yrs old and was diagnosed with severe Aplastic Anemia.

http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/sophiatavolacci/photos

This is a rare life threatening disease. Her mother is leading fundraising efforts toward the only option to save her life. Her mother would have to have a special procedure to have an HLA identical sibling so that Sophia can get a bone marrow transplant from her sibling. This procedure will save her life. Insurance covers a little but not everything, so they need a LOT of help. See comment below for links to more information on Aplastic Anemia and the procedure.

Please support this family and come out to her fundraiser this Sunday the 8th if you are local to them in Woodside, NY; details on their site. You can read her story and find more information here:

http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/sophiatavolacci/mystory

Every little bit helps! If you cannot donate financially, please keep them in your thoughts and prayers. If you can donate the proceeds of an original piece of artwork or something in your Etsy shop, etc that you could sell on her behalf it would help. They really need this! I know times are tough, they are for all of us, but imagine if this were someone you loved. How important would it be to you to help?

THE ART BOOK

One image is all it takes.
DEADLINE THIS FRIDAY NOVEMBER 30th

I am using the 10″x8″ standard landscape template on Blurb, here are the specs if you need them…

@ 300dpi = optimal image size is 2888px x 2475px

I will make your images work but minimum 300dpi is requested for them to look good and work well.

I have the Blurb software which is plug-in-and-go easy so we can do this fast and help them raise money. Please please please email me directly at renmeleon@gmail.com and include one high resolution image (no need to crop, I will) with your name as you would like it to appear and one link or your email for credit. By submitting your artwork you are giving me permission as Art for Cures to use the image in all promotional aspects for fundraising for this family and to help sell the book.

If the image is not appropriate for the book I will contact you to find a replacement. I am reserving the right to decline submissions if they are inappropriate.

All proceeds will go directly to Sophia’s family via Art for Cures and you will get credit for your work, mentions in the book and on the site(s), etc. You retain all rights to your work. Please help.

Any positive images that represent love, hope, compassion, caring, mother and female child, angels…keep it light, happy, hopeful. If you would like to send loving thoughts to them directly please check out Sophia’s mother’s journal on the site above.

ADDENDUM: I am looking for someone that would be willing to purchase a copy of the final book for Sophia’s mother. I am not getting anything out of this monetarily, and probably won’t even be able to buy my own copy, so I need someone willing to step up and help with a copy for Sophia’s mother. If you would like to help, please email me. I will include you in the thank yous on my site(s).

Thank you!

UPDATE 1105.09: Spoke to a representative of the Aplastic Anemia & MDS Foundation today. As a “personal fundraiser” they are not allowed to help publicize things BUT I suggested we could make a donation and their rep said donating 10% to AAMDS would get the project on their site. WOOT The other 90% goes to Sophia’s family; I spoke to Sophia’s mom and they are excited at the possibilities…

Now we just have to fill the book up so COME DONATE IMAGES!

And the official name of the project is now “Hope: The Sophia Project”.

Catch up, breathe deeply

After what seems like forever, I am finally getting caught up. Most of last year was spent with one or all of us bed or house ridden, one passing it on to the other as is the way of things in homes with children. There have been a lot of people disappointed in me, a lot of people who knew me and understood, and still more who have been supportive beyond the call of friendship. I think all of us have dealt with snowballs at least once in our lives and but this one created an avalanche. I’ve not given up though and things are getting better each day. I am moving forward.

LITTLE BITS OF WISDOM
A few of the many things I have picked up along the way, that I try to instill in my daughter, have been active in my life lately…

  • You should always be “straight up” with people. Be honest. Whether they will understand or not, your conscience is clear and you’ve done the right thing.
  • Pick your battles. Do what you can to the best of your ability and honor others as well as yourself. Help as much as you can but know when to say no.
  • If it is worthwhile dream, don’t give up.
  • When everything is a priority remember that family comes first. When it is hard to label what is the top priority in a pile of pressing deadlines, always pick the one that will give you the most trouble.
  • Breathe. There is always time to take a moment, close your eyes, and just breathe.

COMPLETELY ENTHRALLED

I own an HP laptop and frequently receives updates from HP including their Personal Again campaign that features some incredibly well-done and creatively inspiring videos. Recently I found Paulo Coehlo’s The Experimental Witch competition that led me, breadcrumbs in hand, to his Alchemist site on HP.

The guitar music that plays on the site has me completely in thrall. I am hooked on it, sometimes leaving the browser window up in the background to listen to it while I write or work. I don’t know that he will actually see it, but I sent him an email on his MySpace requesting the name of the piece or the guitarist and thanking him for his contributions to the creative community. Admittedly I do not own personal copies of his books yet but hope to soon. His stories are wonderfully rich and I look forward to reading more.

PUBLISHED RECENTLY

I have been so busy on this end that I’ve not had the chance to tell you all about some wonderful things that happened recently!

100 Days of Monsters. My family and I found Daily Monster, Stefan Bucher’s absolutely addictive video blog, and have been glued to it ever since. We crank the volume up so we can enjoy the sounds of his pens as they glide quickly across the paper. It is fascinating to watch what each seed of ink will become, even he doesn’t know till he does it which makes for a wonderful mystery. Stefan asked people to post little stories about his monsters, what we thought they were doing, who they were, and the madness began. Everyone got involved and the stories rolled in. Incredibly funny stories, emotional stories, off the wall weirdness, and all of them great fun to read. Well, he made a book with a DVD. All of his videos for the first 100 monsters and then some are included. And two of my stories made it into the book. So pick up a copy and read about “Reggie” and “Herman”, monsters 91 and 95. They will be very happy that you did. And if you do, please post a reply here and tell me what you think. I hope you like them both.

Thank you Stefan for your inspiration and your kindness!

Never Forgotten. I am a member of the ZNE network and was able to contribute to a book project for one of its members who recently lost her mother. I encourage everyone to take a look at the book and purchase one for yourself or for a loved one who may need some support or encouragement. I do not received any kind of compensation and am even purchasing my own copy so this is not a sales pitch. My piece is Essence & Longing and is included under the “Healing: The Beauty of the Soul” section in the book. If you do buy a copy, remember to post here and tell me what you think.

BACK IN SCHOOL

Started back to college week before last, totally online, and love it. Wish I could have done it sooner. They have the same accreditation as the local university but without worrying about scheduling, gas prices, or the wear and tear on my vehicle. Val has been in since August, he’s on the Dean’s list, (WOOT You go baby!) and I should be there soon as well. I am working on my BFA in Visual Communications with a specialization in Digital Design which, mostly, is the degree for what I have already been doing for the last 22 years. I have been wanting to finish school though, needed the piece of paper, and wanted to get all of the new software so here I am. I really enjoy the interface, the structure, the whole layout of AIU. And, yes, it takes a lot of discipline. But I will have my degree in 13 months, not four years, and there is something incredibly motivating about that. When I graduate in July of next year, if not sooner, I will be working on my Masters in Education there or finding a school where I can complete my Architectural Design degree. Yup, there is the secret to my handwriting, I was an Architectural Design major previously.

TED TALKS

“Who is this Ted person anyway…” you say? Don’t worry, I said that too. During my Visual Literacy class I was linked to a TED Talk by John Maeda. An incredibly brilliant, very funny man. Maeda spoke of simplicity, applying it to design and everyday life which is something I think we all need to look at. If you get a chance to watch the video, do, it is well worth the time. I have also found the TED Talks to be a fantastic resource. I think one of my favorites so far though has to be J.J.Abrams talking about the “mystery box” and writing.

A NEW SITE FOR ART FOR CURES

Art for Cures has been in need of a site for a while and, though I had started building one, my life and health conspired to keep me from it. After seeing a few site on the Ning network, seeing the resources available and the network’s framework, I decided to build us a home there. Art for Cures is now part of the Ning network and we already have several members there. Looking forward to posting the auctions in the next week and moving forward!

SCRIBBLES, DOODLES, AND SQUIBBLES

We like to hang out in the local bookstores on occasion (read we live there) and I am always on the lookout for new things fir Ysa and I to play with. Not seeing anything I could afford to get this week, or that we didn’t already have, I picked up another Kumon book for Ysa’s homeschool. Ysa and I rummaged around the children’s section a bit and a book accosted me on the way out. Well, it didn’t actually accost me per se, but I am very visual and certain things tend to jump out at me on shelves. In fact when I worked for the bookstores (both BAM and the Noble Barn), I was the one people always came to when they couldn’t remember the name of something. Nine time out of ten I would know it by what the spine or cover looked like and sometimes the “look” of the author’s name.

This time, as soon as I saw it, I knew it was coming home with us.

Scribbles by Taro Gomi is part of a three book series (might be a series, should be) and all three seriously ROCK. The books are almost two inches thick and full of half drawn doodles that you have to finish. It is total creative license, total interpretation, total fun.

…and yes, for those who recognized the name, Taro Gomi also wrote Everyone Poops. hehe

BEING ANACHRONISTIC AGAIN

I’ve rejoined the SCA after a long hiatus and have brought my family with me this time. Val is going Art/Sci, Logan is going heavy weapons, and even my girl is considering it as well since they start youth combat at age seven. She already makes a great shield wall, ran over the last guy. Val has been working on his own medieval chant notation, Logan is making chaine maille again and I have been pouring through patterns and buying fabric in preparation for garb making. It has been way too long since I have been camping so I am really looking forward to it.

Oh, I was also given the honor of being the Shire’s new Web Minister (or Mistress in this case).

My new tagline?

Ana Maria Seaton
ska Ginuivive Alysabaeth Rosewood (Dragonfly or Alysa)
Shire of Amurgorod, Kingdom of Trimaris
“The Dragonfly caught in the Spidered Web.”

Web site for the Shire coming very soon. VIVAT TRIMARIS!

SCRIPTFRENZY

ScriptFrenzy is this month, brought to you by the makers of NaNoWriMo. I toyed with the idea of working on a script I have had in my head for a while now but my time will not allow it. Also, anytime I even consider working on another writing project, my two novels – Moonlight & Shadow and Odonatia – beat me over the head and throw tantrums on the floor begging for attention. My children’s book, Clementine’s Garden, can get away with it though. They don’t beat her up because she is too cute.

WAIT, YOU SAID…ODONATIA!?

Yes I did, you heard me right. Odonatia is fast becoming a novel. For those of you who are not familiar with it, Odonatia is a fiction project I have been working on for about 10 years now. Started as a simple postal issuing authority for artistamps (faux postage), it quickly snowballed (read avalanched) into an epic piece of fiction with real passports, a winery and other goodies coming. Turning very steampunkish. Plans include a daily blog form the island, downloads and other goodies. Looking at a couple of other creative associates that might get involved as well in the future.

ON THE HUSH HUSH

Two major projects going on, one involving my rubber stamp line that is forthcoming, are building up speed and about to take off. Sadly though, and yes I know I am a tease, both are on the “hush hush” right now till I get the okay. I know, stop pouting, I’ll post here as soon as I get the green light. Needless to say both are of incredible proportion and I cannot wait to tell you all.

…well, that is all I can think of for now. (aren’t you glad? hehe) I will be posting scans, photos and a few updates today and over the next couple of days. This week has been a busy one so I have been trying to stay focused and push forward. Hoping this finds you all well and in good creative spirits!

Brightest blessings!

Catch up, breathe deeply

After what seems like forever, I am finally getting caught up. Most of last year was spent with one or all of us bed or house ridden, one passing it on to the other as is the way of things in homes with children. There have been a lot of people disappointed in me, a lot of people who knew me and understood, and still more who have been supportive beyond the call of friendship. I think all of us have dealt with snowballs at least once in our lives and but this one created an avalanche. I’ve not given up though and things are getting better each day. I am moving forward.

LITTLE BITS OF WISDOM
A few of the many things I have picked up along the way, that I try to instill in my daughter, have been active in my life lately…

  • You should always be “straight up” with people. Be honest. Whether they will understand or not, your conscience is clear and you’ve done the right thing.
  • Pick your battles. Do what you can to the best of your ability and honor others as well as yourself. Help as much as you can but know when to say no.
  • If it is worthwhile dream, don’t give up.
  • When everything is a priority remember that family comes first. When it is hard to label what is the top priority in a pile of pressing deadlines, always pick the one that will give you the most trouble.
  • Breathe. There is always time to take a moment, close your eyes, and just breathe.

COMPLETELY ENTHRALLED

I own an HP laptop and frequently receives updates from HP including their Personal Again campaign that features some incredibly well-done and creatively inspiring videos. Recently I found Paulo Coehlo’s The Experimental Witch competition that led me, breadcrumbs in hand, to his Alchemist site on HP.

The guitar music that plays on the site has me completely in thrall. I am hooked on it, sometimes leaving the browser window up in the background to listen to it while I write or work. I don’t know that he will actually see it, but I sent him an email on his MySpace requesting the name of the piece or the guitarist and thanking him for his contributions to the creative community. Admittedly I do not own personal copies of his books yet but hope to soon. His stories are wonderfully rich and I look forward to reading more.

PUBLISHED RECENTLY

I have been so busy on this end that I’ve not had the chance to tell you all about some wonderful things that happened recently!

100 Days of Monsters. My family and I found Daily Monster, Stefan Bucher’s absolutely addictive video blog, and have been glued to it ever since. We crank the volume up so we can enjoy the sounds of his pens as they glide quickly across the paper. It is fascinating to watch what each seed of ink will become, even he doesn’t know till he does it which makes for a wonderful mystery. Stefan asked people to post little stories about his monsters, what we thought they were doing, who they were, and the madness began. Everyone got involved and the stories rolled in. Incredibly funny stories, emotional stories, off the wall weirdness, and all of them great fun to read. Well, he made a book with a DVD. All of his videos for the first 100 monsters and then some are included. And two of my stories made it into the book. So pick up a copy and read about “Reggie” and “Herman”, monsters 91 and 95. They will be very happy that you did. And if you do, please post a reply here and tell me what you think. I hope you like them both.

Thank you Stefan for your inspiration and your kindness!

Never Forgotten. I am a member of the ZNE network and was able to contribute to a book project for one of its members who recently lost her mother. I encourage everyone to take a look at the book and purchase one for yourself or for a loved one who may need some support or encouragement. I do not received any kind of compensation and am even purchasing my own copy so this is not a sales pitch. My piece is Essence & Longing and is included under the “Healing: The Beauty of the Soul” section in the book. If you do buy a copy, remember to post here and tell me what you think.

BACK IN SCHOOL

Started back to college week before last, totally online, and love it. Wish I could have done it sooner. They have the same accreditation as the local university but without worrying about scheduling, gas prices, or the wear and tear on my vehicle. Val has been in since August, he’s on the Dean’s list, (WOOT You go baby!) and I should be there soon as well. I am working on my BFA in Visual Communications with a specialization in Digital Design which, mostly, is the degree for what I have already been doing for the last 22 years. I have been wanting to finish school though, needed the piece of paper, and wanted to get all of the new software so here I am. I really enjoy the interface, the structure, the whole layout of AIU. And, yes, it takes a lot of discipline. But I will have my degree in 13 months, not four years, and there is something incredibly motivating about that. When I graduate in July of next year, if not sooner, I will be working on my Masters in Education there or finding a school where I can complete my Architectural Design degree. Yup, there is the secret to my handwriting, I was an Architectural Design major previously.

TED TALKS

“Who is this Ted person anyway…” you say? Don’t worry, I said that too. During my Visual Literacy class I was linked to a TED Talk by John Maeda. An incredibly brilliant, very funny man. Maeda spoke of simplicity, applying it to design and everyday life which is something I think we all need to look at. If you get a chance to watch the video, do, it is well worth the time. I have also found the TED Talks to be a fantastic resource. I think one of my favorites so far though has to be J.J.Abrams talking about the “mystery box” and writing.

A NEW SITE FOR ART FOR CURES

Art for Cures has been in need of a site for a while and, though I had started building one, my life and health conspired to keep me from it. After seeing a few site on the Ning network, seeing the resources available and the network’s framework, I decided to build us a home there. Art for Cures is now part of the Ning network and we already have several members there. Looking forward to posting the auctions in the next week and moving forward!

SCRIBBLES, DOODLES, AND SQUIBBLES

We like to hang out in the local bookstores on occasion (read we live there) and I am always on the lookout for new things fir Ysa and I to play with. Not seeing anything I could afford to get this week, or that we didn’t already have, I picked up another Kumon book for Ysa’s homeschool. Ysa and I rummaged around the children’s section a bit and a book accosted me on the way out. Well, it didn’t actually accost me per se, but I am very visual and certain things tend to jump out at me on shelves. In fact when I worked for the bookstores (both BAM and the Noble Barn), I was the one people always came to when they couldn’t remember the name of something. Nine time out of ten I would know it by what the spine or cover looked like and sometimes the “look” of the author’s name.

This time, as soon as I saw it, I knew it was coming home with us.

Scribbles by Taro Gomi is part of a three book series (might be a series, should be) and all three seriously ROCK. The books are almost two inches thick and full of half drawn doodles that you have to finish. It is total creative license, total interpretation, total fun.

…and yes, for those who recognized the name, Taro Gomi also wrote Everyone Poops. hehe

BEING ANACHRONISTIC AGAIN

I’ve rejoined the SCA after a long hiatus and have brought my family with me this time. Val is going Art/Sci, Logan is going heavy weapons, and even my girl is considering it as well since they start youth combat at age seven. She already makes a great shield wall, ran over the last guy. Val has been working on his own medieval chant notation, Logan is making chaine maille again and I have been pouring through patterns and buying fabric in preparation for garb making. It has been way too long since I have been camping so I am really looking forward to it.

Oh, I was also given the honor of being the Shire’s new Web Minister (or Mistress in this case).

My new tagline?

Ana Maria Seaton
ska Ginuivive Alysabaeth Rosewood (Dragonfly or Alysa)
Shire of Amurgorod, Kingdom of Trimaris
“The Dragonfly caught in the Spidered Web.”

Web site for the Shire coming very soon. VIVAT TRIMARIS!

SCRIPTFRENZY

ScriptFrenzy is this month, brought to you by the makers of NaNoWriMo. I toyed with the idea of working on a script I have had in my head for a while now but my time will not allow it. Also, anytime I even consider working on another writing project, my two novels – Moonlight & Shadow and Odonatia – beat me over the head and throw tantrums on the floor begging for attention. My children’s book, Clementine’s Garden, can get away with it though. They don’t beat her up because she is too cute.

WAIT, YOU SAID…ODONATIA!?

Yes I did, you heard me right. Odonatia is fast becoming a novel. For those of you who are not familiar with it, Odonatia is a fiction project I have been working on for about 10 years now. Started as a simple postal issuing authority for artistamps (faux postage), it quickly snowballed (read avalanched) into an epic piece of fiction with real passports, a winery and other goodies coming. Turning very steampunkish. Plans include a daily blog form the island, downloads and other goodies. Looking at a couple of other creative associates that might get involved as well in the future.

ON THE HUSH HUSH

Two major projects going on, one involving my rubber stamp line that is forthcoming, are building up speed and about to take off. Sadly though, and yes I know I am a tease, both are on the “hush hush” right now till I get the okay. I know, stop pouting, I’ll post here as soon as I get the green light. Needless to say both are of incredible proportion and I cannot wait to tell you all.

…well, that is all I can think of for now. (aren’t you glad? hehe) I will be posting scans, photos and a few updates today and over the next couple of days. This week has been a busy one so I have been trying to stay focused and push forward. Hoping this finds you all well and in good creative spirits!

Brightest blessings!

CHARITY SWAP ALERT | “Woman as Goddess” PINK Inchies for Susan G. Komen

The second benefit swap for Art for Cures has been posted :::happy dance::: and I would love to see us max out this swap! We had a great turnout for our first swap, “Musical Italy” with the Inchies rolling in now and there are some gorgeous miniature masterpieces coming in from all over the world! Our framed auction pieces are going to be INCREDIBLE and it will all benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. This time our theme is SHADES OF PINK benefiting Susan G. Komen for the Cure for breast cancer and celebrating the FEMININE ARCHETYPE! Take a moment to read the guidelines and find out more…

You can find all of the swap details here.

The swaps and the “collage88” process are turning out to be great fun and my house is happily overrun with little squares of color. hehe I will be posting photos over the weekend and I encourage you all to stop by and read up on what we are doing. Looking forward to hearing from you all!

CHARITY SWAP ALERT | “Woman as Goddess” PINK Inchies for Susan G. Komen

The second benefit swap for Art for Cures has been posted :::happy dance::: and I would love to see us max out this swap! We had a great turnout for our first swap, “Musical Italy” with the Inchies rolling in now and there are some gorgeous miniature masterpieces coming in from all over the world! Our framed auction pieces are going to be INCREDIBLE and it will all benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. This time our theme is SHADES OF PINK benefiting Susan G. Komen for the Cure for breast cancer and celebrating the FEMININE ARCHETYPE! Take a moment to read the guidelines and find out more…

You can find all of the swap details here.

The swaps and the “collage88” process are turning out to be great fun and my house is happily overrun with little squares of color. hehe I will be posting photos over the weekend and I encourage you all to stop by and read up on what we are doing. Looking forward to hearing from you all!

ART FOR CURES | “Musical Italy” Inchies Swap!

“MUSICAL ITALY” ORANGE, LIME GREEN & PALE BLUE INCHIES
benefiting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

What you will be participating in is the first of, what I hope to be many, “benefit swaps”. As a participant, you will be swapping Inchies as you would in any normal swap, but with two differences: you will be using my one sheet “collage88” tutorial, and we will be making extras for framed wall pieces that will be auctioned off on eBay through Missionfish as a benefit for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The theme for this swap incorporates the colors for Leukemia, Lymphoma and Lymphedema, along with “Italy” and “Music” in honor of the man whose recent passing inspired the Art for Cures project.

WHAT ARE INCHIES?

Inchies are one inch-squared collage, miniature collages one inch by one inch square in size. Tiny little bits of expression you can make and trade, Inchies have become an addiction. As anyone who has ever done an Inchie before knows, though, they can also be rather intimidating to create, especially if you are in a swap with a large number of participants. But fear no more hearty collagers!

The problem of collaging more than ten of those itty bitty, eye straining little pieces of art is solved. If you can collage one standard 8.5″ x 11″ inch sheet of paper, guess what? You just made 88 inchies! So, with that in mind, this is your challenge???????

THE TUTORIAL

Your page must measure 8.5″ x 11″ exactly for this to work…

http://www.flickr.com/photos/renmeleon/sets/72157594528291635/

You can make your Inchies out of anything involving paper but my personal preference for this is 140lb weight watercolor paper. You can pick up a cheap pad of Canson or Strathmore for around 7 bucks at any Michael’s or Hobby Lobby. Note: The watercolor paper they sell at WalMart is paper thin (no pun intended) and I wouldn’t advise it due to buckling. Thin matboard will also work and you are welcome to use textiles (fabrics and fibers) BUT since this is a paper arts swap there should be some kind of paper involved in your work AND remember: You have to cut up your sheet into 88 Inchies when you are done! Don’t make it too thick or you will have issues.

Keep your collage pattern “tight” so that all of your wonderful details and variations will be on your individual Inchies. Since your final pieces will only be one inch squared, you want to make sure there are no large gaps in between your collage elements. If you want to add more detail after your collage sheet is cut, look at this as making a background for further embellishing.

Being that our theme is “Italy and Music”, you can use sheet music, rubber stamps, Italian postal cancellations, Italian text, etc. Thin matboard, stiffened fabric, or cardstock is what you want to shoot for on thickness so they stand up to collaging. If you have done Inchies before then ignore me, you know what to do. Experiment! Play! Try different mediums! Make them out of paper, textiles, paint, rubber stamped images, text, ephemera, scrapbook papers, etc. H A V E F U N !

DEADLINES

The deadline for signing up is Wednesday, September 19th at midnight EST.

This is not a closed call which means you can invite anyone and everyone you would like, the more the merrier and the more good we can do! Please, pass this around to anyone you think might be interested. With the fact that we are doing this as a sheet then cutting it up into 88 pieces, I can max out this swap at 39 participants so everyone has two (2) Inchies from each player OR 26 players with three (3) each and still have enough for 10 or more limited edition auction pieces!

In order to sign up for this swap you will need to email me at renmeleon@gmail.com with the words “Art For Cures LLS Inchies” in the subject line so I can keep track of everyone. In your email, PLEASE include the following information:

Name
Art “Nickname”
Full Mailing Address
Email Address

I keep a swap database just in case I can’t read your return address on the envelope. I will never sell or give out your information to anyone. The only time you will hear from me is for swap updates or new swap announcements. If you are a member of my Non_Cents paper arts group or the Art for Cures group, you also have the option of signing up on the list and/or posting your address in the group database.

Everyone will have three (3) full weeks to make and mail their Inchies.

The POSTMARK deadline for your Inchies is Wednesday, October 10th, which will give you plenty of time. You are always welcome to get them done and mail them early too!

PROJECT DONATIONS ACCEPTED

If you are feeling industrious and would like to make more than one collage sheet of Inchies – must be cut before you mail them – feel free to drop me a note and send in as many as you would like. I will continue to mount the Inchies and have them framed for auction pieces. If you would like to donate money toward the framing, I will happily accept it though keep in mind that whatever is unused will be pooled for the next charity’s framing; i.e. If I run out of Inchies for LLS then host the Breast Cancer swap, any remaining monies from the LLS swap will go toward helping the next swap. I will post totals on a regular basis.

If you would like to donate money to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, you will need to do that directly through them as I will not be taking donations unless you are a participant and send in extra with your swap and designate that it is for them and not for the framing costs. I will post totals and add your donation in with the final amount before making the donation through Missionfish.

https://www.leukemia-lymphoma.org/all_donate?item_id=8072

Unless you have someone else you would like to donate on behalf of, I would love it if you donated “in honor of” Art for Cures under the Designate Your Donation section. Also, the section below that allows you to “Notify Someone Else of Your Donation” and I would like to ask that you fill in the following information so that I can track donations made as a result of this project:

Ana Maria Seaton
Art for Cures
PO Box 830635
Ocala, Florida 34483
USA

This is only to notify me so that I can count your donation amount in the project totals; I will provide a complete breakdown for everyone of all the donations and auction totals as they come in. Again, keep in mind this is a project and I do not have non-profit status despite the fact that I will not be benefiting from this project; this is a 100% donation project for the selected charities. I will be looking into making Art for Cures a non-profit in the future though I think; still researching everything. For now this is a way for me to host swaps that do some good for the community.

COMMUNICATION, Mandatory

I’m blunt as a trainwreck so I’ll just say it: If you run into issues PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE just email me. I don’t mind delays if you are having health issues – you know, like decapitation, death j/k – but I need communication so I know what is going on. I do not like making participants wait because of one person and have been forced to get ‘harder edged’ about this. No communication, hospitalization not withstanding, will get you banned from any other swap I host; no excuse for “no shows”. Life happens, just email me. :)

COST (postage and framing)

All participants will need to include $10.00US in cash or postal money order (must be a postal one) in with their Inchies or PayPal it to me at renmeleon@gmail.com – this will cover the POSTAGE for returns BUT it will also be going toward the FRAMING for the auction pieces as well. I have a friend here locally who owns a frame shop that I will be going through for the final pieces. I do not want to take money out of the totals under any circumstances for the framing so I really need your help with this.

If you are outside the US, drop me a note if you cannot include US funds and we will see what we can work out.

MAILING ADDRESS

You will need to mail everything to me, preferably in a small bubble envelope, at:

Ana Maria Seaton
Art for Cures – LLS
PO Box 830635
Ocala, Florida 34483-0635
USA

THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT SO PLEASE READ THIS PART!!!!! No skimming. :::smirk:::

ALLOW DRYING/CURING TIME FOR YOUR PAINTS AND ADHESIVES. Let them dry! If your Inchies arrive allstucktogether and I am unable to pull them apart without damaging them I will mail them back to you. Freezer paper is your friend and the shiny side doesn’t stick, usually. Repeat this mantra: f r e e z e r p a p e r I s m y f r I e n d o h m. Lay your pieces out with paper in between them if you aren’t sure. When in doubt, play it safe. There is nothing more heartbreaking than getting a ‘glob’ of what could be beautiful art in the mail and having to mail it back.

THE BACKS OF YOUR INCHIES & CONTRIBUTOR SHEETS

PLEASE make sure to put your name and email address or site on the back of your Inchies. The information on the backs of your Inchies will not be visible in the framed pieces but I will be making contributor’s sheets for all of the auction pieces. If you would like your name, email address and one link listed please let me know prior to the postmark deadline.

QUANTITY & SWAP OUT

You will be making 88 inchies from one sheet of collage. Depending on the number of participants we have, is how the returns will be divided up. I will let everyone know once the signup is closed what the returns will look like. We need either 26 or 39 participants total including myself to make this work right.

The cool thing is that doing it this way allows you to start making your sheets now if you want to get a head start. Once I have everyone’s Inchies I will swap them out and mail them back. You WILL be getting some of your own back, so don’t worry about making extra for yourself.

COPYRIGHT

All inchies remain the copyright of the individual artists. Once you have your returns, if you want to use someone’s inchies in an art piece of your own, you should contact the individual artist themselves for permission. I recently saw someone posting other artists’ work as part of their own with no credit given to the original artists. This is something I believe to be not only in bad taste but blatant theft of someone else’s work. This is just my opinion but I think an email to the artist as common courtesy should prevail.

QUESTIONS & SUGGESTIONS

I try to be thorough (read long-winded) but if anyone has questions, please feel free to email me at renmeleon@gmail.com and I will do my best to answer you. If you are on a list where I have posted this, please use your own judgment as to list etiquette in replying to outside swaps. Non_Cents, Art for Cures and Flickr members can reply to the list or posting.

Thank you to everyone for participating, I could not do this without all of you. I am looking forward to seeing everyone’s art and raising some money for a great charity!!!

Namaste,
Ria :)
aka Renmeleon
Art for Cures, founder
Non_Cents, founder