Monday, January 25, 2010

Flower Clowns...

Hello Lovelies!

As usual, a lot is going on this week at the Mill. First, I thought I would show you some initial sketches of the new stickers I will be using for my packaging. I decided to combine bunnies with clowns to create a bright new design. One boy and one girl. I'll show the finished ones off next week. If you place an order, you may see them in person very soon!

I have added some new work to the shop this week entitled the Flower Clown Series. The first of the series entitled Chester is below. They combine vintage portraits I've collected over the years with floral photography that I've taken... with of course a dark twist as usual. These would make perfect Valentine's Day gifts for that art lover.

And those of you who follow my circus series, I am doing a photo shoot next week and I should have someone new to show you next post!

I mentioned last week my greatest junk find of all time and I told you I'd post it this week. Well, here it is as promised. I found this huge mantle on Craig's List of all things and it was in pretty rough shape when I picked it up. Almost a year later, I finally finished refinishing the entire thing and we have it in our living room. It is over 6 feet long, it has speaker boxes and space for record storage and a mini bar with a light. Solid oak. Grand total: $60. Crazy, huh?!

I have featured the work of Mike Shine on here before. He takes creepy worn carnival-inspired art to a whole new level and I love his color pallet. Well, he has a new show up folks called The Mike Shine Show and if the pictures below are any indication... it's fantastic. I love those wooden milk bottles!

On the carnival theme, I stumbled across an amazing carnival themed wedding on the blog Once Wed (which is a beautiful blog by the way). Some pics are below, but the barn? The cake topper? The yellow and white bunting? Not to mention the invitations. This looks like it was so much fun. The pictures are amazing, click on the link.

Let's wrap up with a funny news story, shall we? Did you read about the German teenagers who (during school?!?!) drank hot sauce that was literally 200 times hotter than Tabasco sauce?This of course, put them all in the hospital. YIKES. Ouch. And, as I'm typing this, I don't know if I'm more amazed that there's an actual scale for hotness (the Scoville Scale), or that Tabasco is in the Google dictionary... huh.

Until next time: unpleasant dreams...

Monday, January 18, 2010

Dark Snow Bunny...

Hello Lovelies!

It is a snowy morning here in Maine. A foot on the ground and it's still not done. Perfect weather to hole up and get creative. (Too bad I have to work instead...)

Those of you have have been following my Cigar, Creeper & Dark Circus and Sideshow Series will be happy to know that I am getting ready to do another shoot in 2 weekends to add to the series! Only a few more left to go and then I am designing an art print poster featuring all of the people of the CCD Circus and Sideshow. Keep an eye out for that.

Not surprisingly (since my work somewhat has an aged aesthetic), I am a collector and lover of all things old and worn. On the weekends, I love nothing more than to go junking and find things that I can clean or refurbish and put in my home to enjoy. (I'll post pictures of my greatest find ever next week.) So, imagine my delight, when I found Lost Found Art, a business dedicated to finding collections of things for people who don't have the time or skill to locate these things themselves. These collections are then installed in the customer's home as art. As you can see from a few of the shots below, anything can be collected and anything can be beautiful if displayed properly. Perhaps Stapelia should start offering this service... Hmm. :)

I have found another wonderful artist from the UK recently. Polly Morgan's work combines taxidermy (all animals were found dead or were donated by pet owners) and humor to create beautiful and somewhat funny pieces of art. Polly is both a photographer and a trained taxidermist and really, does a cooler combination of skills exist? I think not... (And yes, that is a bird head bouquet. Brilliant.)

I also found a blog called A Dark Whimsey that you Lovelies should check out. It's chock full of great artists and artwork that is dark and somewhat humorous. Go take a peek.

And let's wrap up with a weird news story because, well, it's tradition at this point. Apparently, up in Kodiak, Alaska, there was a bomb from WWII that had been displayed outside of a bar for years. The bar decided to donate it to a local museum for their display. The museum director examined the bomb and determined it was in fact not a dud and was a live bomb. A local military bomb squad was called to detonate it and did so safely. A fragment of the bomb is now being displayed in the museum. Wow. I'm glad the museum director knew more than the thousands of people who went to that bar over the years... past a live BOMB. Whew.

Until next time: unpleasant dreams...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Small Dark Treats...

Hello Lovelies!

Winter is truly upon us here at the Mill. The wind is blowing through the windows and the bats are trying to get in left and right... okay, just one. I have been featured in two treasuries this week, both are beautiful. One has a Sherlock Holmes theme (my illustration was picked), and the little crocheted figure with the plaid coat is absolutely adorable!

As promised, I have added the first Little Betty Mini Art Photo set to the shop. Each set will work from a theme, and this first one is called Masks, (even though they're really just faces, not masks). Oh well. More to come, take a peek:

I'm not a big doll fan (unless they're creepy, starring in a horror movie, and killing people), but I stumbled across an amazing doll artist and I had to share. Noel Cruz takes pre-made dolls of the Barbie and Ken body type and repaints their faces and reclothes them to look like celebrities. Sounds weird, I know. But look at his Angelina Jolie and Robert Pattinson faces. Amazing...

I found an amazing photographer too this week. Unlike many photographers out there who go for imagery alone, Matt Barnes' work has an underlying narrative aspect that gets the imagination going when you're looking at it. Below are two of his more artsy pieces, but his portfolio has a ton work that just makes you ask "What is going on here? Why?" I love it all.

I'm not a big Vans shoe fan. They're not really my style, and furthermore, I don't like wearing shoes without socks just in general. Gross. But, Grant Gulliland's custom painted Vans makes me want to get a pair just for display. He doesn't have many on display yet, but I'm going to keep checking back because these little guys, are cute.

Any Norah Jones fans out there? How can you not be? Anyway, her newest album The Fall, not only has a beautiful and playful cover that I love, it also has the track December on it, which has quickly become my favorite. Take a listen...

Let's wrap up with some weird trivia, shall we? I just read about a man who went to the doctor complaining of irritation in one of his eyes. They gave him some meds for conjunctivitis and sent him home. His eye remained irritated. So, they looked at his eye under magnification and found 12 microscopic hairs in his cornea. Where did they come from, you ask? From his pet tarantula. No lie. Apparently, when tarantulas get scared, some of them can send a fine spray of abdominal HAIRS into your EYES. He will have hairs in his eyes permanently. Another reason to not have a spider for a pet, but if you insist, doctors suggest wearing eye protection when handling them... Dang. Yuck.

Until next time: unpleasant dreams...

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Dark Deeds...

Hello Lovelies!

Well, a new year has begun and with it comes all manner of opportunity and excitement! I have been busy in the Mill as usual, on some non-Etsy related projects that I'm excited about. One is about to wrap up and I should be able to reveal it in the next post!

I will be adding new photography to the shop this week, including a new format I'm trying called Little Betty Photo Sets. The term "Betty" meant lock-pick in Victorian slang and these photo sets are not only small prints (2 1/2" x 3 1/2" or 6.35 cm x 7.6 cm) but they will be macro shots only, as if you're looking at the world through a key hole. Here is a preview of a couple you may see soon:

For you vintage and goth clothing fans out there, I have found a wonderful site with wonderful vintage-looking fashions. Blasphemina's Closet is full of wonderful one-of-a-kind Victorian clothing for the woman or man who loves the unusual. As you can see below, the pieces are impeccable. I'm not normally a clothes horse, but I would eagerly snatch up every one of these pieces. Truly lovely.

Some of you in the San Francisco area may be familiar with the site Fecal Face. It's a crying shame they named their site that because I bet a lot of people will be put off by the name without even perusing this resource of artist interviews, show listings and new work. Work that's wonderful. The first piece below is by RIPO, a graffiti artist residing in Berlin who makes poignant statements with his work. Or, the work of Faile, also pictured below, that actually looks easier than it is. The piece of wood is a hand-carved prayer wheel with slogans and pop culture icons on it that's then painted. The large piece behind it, isn't cut and pasted, it's also hand-painted advertising layered to look torn. Amazing. Truly. Check it out.

Funny little story for you, totally random, but you like that, right Lovelies? So, I own two beautiful Siamese cats who are... loco. No joke. As I type, one is getting into the cotton face pads in the bathroom and eating them because I think he has pica. Point is, the other night, my Sweetie and I were in the living room of the mill, which is old, and a mill and (we learned the hard way when we tore up our office floor) has bats. Anyway. As I was saying, the other night, we were sitting in the living room and one cat runs full tilt into the wall. She's freaked right out. We ignore it, because well, this happens daily... until we heard the high-pitched squeaking. That's right. A bat. We both jumped up and screamed. In the end, the bat was not in the actual house and it stopped but still... Scared silly. Yuck. When it flies, someone dies indeed...

Until next time: unpleasant dreams...