I’ll do anything for cookies

After years of being shot down, Donald lowered his sights a little:


Low expectations


“I’ll do anything for cookies.”

For cookies? Really? Poor guy.

…What would he do for a pie?

I’m not one to call the kettle black, though. I am a fiend when it comes to sweets, especially cookies. They’re little, portable bites of goodness. I made the mistake of baking a roll of Pillsbury’s seasonal peppermint sugar cookies early this week. I used my blackened, well-seasoned baking stone and these rocked. But ya know what? They’re all gone now. Howie doesn’t even like them. He took one bite of one and handed the remainder of the cookie¬†back to me.

Who does that??

I can’t keep stuff like that in the house. If there is healthy stuff available, I’ll eat it. If there are cookies or anything else delectable like them, that’s where I gravitate. Just step away from the sweets, m’am, and no one will get hurt.

The image is an illustration from a 1948 Baby Ruth candy advertisement. Click the image above and you’ll see the whole ad. I found it at plan59.com, which boasts a huge online repository of vintage ads and art, plus offers prints and hi-res image of the same.

By the way, I always assumed the candy bar was named after baseball great, Babe Ruth, but it turns out there’s speculation it was named after others. Baseball wins, though. Snopes has the skinny.

3D anamorphic street art of Julian Beever

Many of us have received email forwards containing photos of three-dimensional (3D) drawings by Julian Beever. The trick is, they’re three-dimensional only when viewed from a specific vantage point. Here are a few photos of his sidewalk art. In each pair of photos, the first shows the piece from the preferred viewing angle while the second shows it from the “wrong” side. You can see it takes some highly tuned spatial orientation on the part of the artist!

Julian Beever's Swimming Pool in the High Street, viewed from the best angle

Julian Beever’s Swimming Pool in the High Street, viewed from the optimal angle.

Julian Beever's Swimming Pool in the High Street wrong side

Julian Beever’s Swimming Pool in the High Street, viewed from the “wrong” side.

Julian Beever's Kate's Last Crawl, viewed from the best angle

Julian Beever’s Kate’s Last Crawl, viewed from the optimal angle

Julian Beever's Kate's Last Crawl, viewed from the "wrong" angle

Julian Beever’s Kate’s Last Crawl, viewed from the “wrong” angle

I see the theory in how these are done, but I’ve never attempted to do an extreme perspective drawing like this. I wouldn’t know where to start! Fortunately, there are some online resources available which show the basics of how these works are done. Don’t you love the Internet? ūüôā

This Instructables page shows fun examples by user Greasetattoo : How to do 3D Anamorphic Artwork and Sidewalk, Street, and Driveway Art (kudos on the great choices in keywords, by the way – they worked!). I especially like the series of photos with the stool. They had a lot of fun with that one.

If viewing his work online isn’t enough for you, there’s a book available. Pavement Chalk Artist: The Three-Dimensional Drawings of Julian Beever. Want to try your hand at some pavement art yourself? Check out Sidewalk Canvas: Chalk Pavement Art at Your Feet. The cover alone caught my eye; that lion is really well done. If you’re going to try your hand at chalk art, Crayola has a nice 52-Count Chalk Carton. A lot of the chalk sets out there just have a few pastel colors.

If you’re interested in learning how to do this kind of art, but are a more visual and hands-on learner, there are video tutorials on YouTube. I put together a playlist of some. If you have suggestions of other YouTube videos on the subject, let me know and I might add them to the playlist so everyone can enjoy them.



Oh, the difference a hyphen can make

I received recipe newsletter from the Just A Pinch yesterday, the subject of which said Man Catching Fried Chicken. The recipe’s here.

Man Catching Fried Chicken Recipe

What the recipe was called: Man Catching Fried Chicken

When I read the subject line, I knew what the recipe’s submitter was trying to say when she titled it. This is a place where one tiny hyphen would have made a difference in the literal interpretation of the phrase. This is what immediately popped into my mind:

Doodle of man catching a bucket of KFC fried chicken.

What I saw in my mind: Man catching fried chicken.

Actually, my mental image was better, but I don’t have the drawing skills to reproduce what’s in my mind’s eye!

When two or more words modify the noun that come after them, there should be a hyphen in between them (see Compound Modifiers).

Man-catching fried chicken implies, “This fried chicken is so good, it’s sure to catch you a man”. However, without that hyphen, the phrase means this: (The) man (is) catching fried chicken. The words in parentheses are assumed.

What does your taste in art say about you?

Your result for What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test…

Balanced, Secure, and Realistic.

22 Impressionist, 8 Islamic, 10 Ukiyo-e, -25 Cubist, -20 Abstract and 2 Renaissance!

 Impressionism is a movement in French painting, sometimes called optical realism because of its almost scientific interest in the actual visual experience and effect of light and movement on appearance of objects.  Impressionist paintings are balanced, use colored shadows, use pure color, broken brushstrokes, thick paint, and scenes from everyday life or nature.

People that like Impressionist paintings may not alway be what is deemed socially acceptable.  They tend to move on their own path without always worrying that it may be offensive to others.  They value friendships but because they also value honesty tend to have a few really good friends.  They do not, however, like people that are rude and do not appreciate the ideas of others. They are secure enough in themselves that they can listen to the ideas of other people without it affecting their own final decisions. The world for them is not black and white but more in shades of grey and muted colors.  They like things to be aestically pleasing, not stark and sharp.  There are many ways to view things, and the impresssionist personality views the world from many different aspects.  They enjoy life and try to keep a realistic viewpoint of things, but are not very open to new experiences.  If they are content in their live they will be more than likely pleased to keep things just the way they are.

Take What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test at HelloQuizzy

There were several groups where I did not like any of the choices. I had to choose something, though. A lot of the time, I like a style or technique, but not the subject matter. Other times, the subject is so intriguing, I can overlook it not being in a style or colors I enjoy.

I like Asian art, especially Japanese. This piece, The Great Wave of Kanagawa, by Hokusai – is one of my favorites. It is not typical of Japanese art of that time period, but it’s always grabbed me.

I love the animation and aggression of the catlike waves!

Music theory websites, books, DVD’s and software

This post’s dedicated to all the musicians of the world.

I am a musician, though I don’t read music. I have good pitch, but play by ear; I started with guitar by learning how to play based on basic guitar chord charts and transferred my skills to piano by seeing what notes made up the guitar chords and playing them on piano.A pianist friend told me I played inverted chords on the piano and it’s because of this hearing the notes in the order of the guitar strings. Interesting.

12-string guitarI don’t play bar chords on the guitar as they were always too demanding of my wrist and I lacked the strength in my fingers to do them well. I know just enough to realize the higher the notes are on the little lines, the higher they are to the ear, and I know that certain notes mean certain time intervals, like a whole note is four beats, a quarter note is one, etc.

Don’t ask me to play from sheet music unless I already know the song and there are guitar chords printed above the music so I can sound it all out and memorize it. I don’t even know how to read guitar tabs, but from the looks of it, it shouldn’t be hard for me to learn if I just take the time to learn it.

The time. That’s just it. If I want to get back into music, I need to discipline myself to take the time to learn it, and I don’t know if I want it that badly. Crazy, isn’t it? People who’ve known me for less than thirteen or so often don’t know that I play or that I used to write a lot of songs. I have not picked up my 12-string guitar or played my keyboard in many, many years. How sad is that?

I did take the step of having my hubby bring my keyboard up out of the basement and set it up on its stand in the office, at least. It’s there, waiting. So is my guitar. Unless the strings stay in good shape for over a decade of disuse, they need to be replaced.

That said, there are millions out there who can not only read guitar chords and tabs, but sheet music. They can pick up an unfamiliar piece and bring it to life the first time they read the music and play through it. What must that be like? I can only imagine!

I have some great links for any musician looking for music. And the drumroll please…

A great site which offers free sheet music for piano, guitar, brass and more. This looks like a great resource with an active forum. It looks like they offer a lot for free and extras for those who subscribe to a paid service.

Ricci Adams’ Musictheory.net
This site offers free lessons, training games, and music utilities online. Further, it offers the complete course in downloadable version!

There are some highly-rated music theory DVD’s, software titles, and books available at Amazon, too:

My grandma wanted to pay for me to get piano lessons when I was a kid. Now I wish I’d taken her up on the offer. As an adult, I don’t know if I have the interest. Also, having played by ear, slowing down to plink out quarter notes would be torture. What do you think?

Do you have favorite music theory or tutorial websites? Please, share them in the comments!

Handmade card using stenciling and reverse stenciling technique

Juan’s 2010 bday card, inside spread

Originally uploaded by gardenwife

This last weekend, I tried something different. I stamped an image, cut it out, and used both the cut out image and the remaining cut-out left in the cardstock as stencils on a card. I like the masking technique and am happy with how this card came out! I’m going to develop some original, hand drawn designs and import them into Make The Cut from my scanner so I can cut them out using my Cricut. I’ll use plastic next time around so my stencils will last. Have I mentioned lately how much I love Make the Cut? *Sigh*

After I cut out the leaf images I used on the front of the card, I was left with their shapes outlined in pieces of cardstock. So, I inked around one of the cut-out leaves several times, using a white Cat’s Eye ink. Then, I used the leftover cardstock with the shapes cut out as stencils, using a cream color. I cut smaller shapes out of another stamped image (this made it easy to see where I wanted to make my cuts) and used that paper as a stencil for the dark areas you see on the cream leaves. The ribbon’s velvet. The vellum paper with the quote was part of a Die Cuts With a View quotes stack.

The quote:

“The greatest use of a life is to spend it on something that outlasts it.”
William James

The note to my friend is blurred out for privacy reasons; when will I learn to take photos before I write in cards?

Those without Cricut machines can check out stencil cutters such as these. You can trace your design onto plastic and cut it out yourself.

If you’d like to learn about similar inking techniques, there’s some great how-to videos on YouTube. Here’s a good one to get you started: