the calendar says we are in SPRING, but in actuality, it’s been freezing like the dickens the past few days.  idk what’s up with our crazy midwest weather, but i hope we can warm up to somewhere decent, like the low ’70s, please.  thank you.

yesterday was the season opener here.  but OMG, mother nature was not very nice… it was a rather wicked cold, windy & rainy day (well, 1st half anyway)!  like the true die-hard that i am, i ventured out to the flea… lemme tell you tho, it was brutal.  not very many vendors were set up and the crowds were low, which is pretty unusual as this flea has over 500 vendors typically and a foot traffic of thousands of peeps.  you’d think we were in the  middle of february or something the way i (& many others) were dressed.  ugh, i could hardly stand it, but i trudged on, as did others.  i felt bad for the vendors, especially the ones who did not have tents or tarps to cover their stuff.  this was a bit of a disastous opening day… but as i was getting ready to leave, the sun made an appearance.  however, by then, i was thoroughly chilled and all too ready to go home. 

(i spotted these & thought of those two dudes, mike & frank, from american pickers… as they would say, “MANtiques”… i liked the shamrock sign, but @ 75bucks, took a pass instead.)

anyhoo, between shivering from the cold and rain and trying to look at all these items, many of which were getting wet from the sporadic sprinkles of rain, i managed to find some “smalls”, as they say in the flea-tiquing biz.  i was not looking for anything large, though i did spot a vintagey plant stand, such as this one here>>>

i’m debating whether or not to use this for plants or as some sort of organizational unit for my art & craft stuff.  hmmm, for now, it’s residing on the back deck.

on the way home from the antique flea, i stopped by a thrift store & found some other “smalls”, like this sweet dressy bessy doll by playskool (c. 2001).  for a buck fifty, i just couldn’t pass it up.  now, i’ll have to go find a dapper dan from the same era so she won’t be without her companion.  do you remember playing with these delightful playthings when you were little?  i do.  yep, so many hours of enjoyment.  years later, i also remember buying a set for a niece & nephew when they were very small.  even now, i think these dolls are the sweetest things ever… talk about the timeless quality of these sweet dolls.  for me, they represent fond memories, comfort & practical learning all rolled into one.  i just LOVE that about them & things like them.  don’t you?


ok, i’m skipping ahead of myself…  let’s back up to the freezing flea-market adventure, shall we.  here’s what i was able to score, despite my fingers going numb in a few places, hehehe.

well, one good thing about the rain, all these purty & inventive plant displays are well-nourished!

i did have an eye out for vintage tea cups & saucers, but didn’t spot any until i saw this combo… however, it turned out to be a garden stake.  oh well, better than leaving without at least one tea cup set, even if it is for the garden.

aren’t these vintage doll hangers just the cutest?

of course, i couldn’t resist these vintage buttons…

these vintage toy people had no faces, but maybe one day i will repaint them & give them their faces 🙂

the minty green of these toy trees caught my eye & for a buck, why not?

these were next to the trees above, so for another buck, what the heck… i’m sure i can find some use for them…

the same dealer where i found the above “smalls”, also had a big bag of these… a deal for $5… way cheaper than buying a couple of new scrabble games 3x that price. 

in one of the buildings, i came across a new vendor who sold BLING BLING and other fun vintage (costume) jewelry…  she had a $4 table and i couldn’t believe these were in this pile!  check it out>>>

i asked the dealer why $4 & she replied that they are damaged in some way.

well, could’ve fooled me!

they need a gentle cleaning and only the bracelet was missing a rhinestone…can you see it?  no, i didn’t either.  you can’t even tell, right?

when i was ready to pay, the dealer said, let’s just make it $15.  i was like, wow, thank you!! & i thought $4 a piece was a good deal.

what started out to bea cold, dreary & gloomy day actually ended up being a not so bad afternoon.  still cold and windy…

but at least the sun came out.  & a little SUNSHINE is always good for the soul.


rocking n rolling

rocking with ingrid michaelson at the vic theatre, chicago on 10/20/10.  my sis jo & i  had a blast.  the show was awesome, both her warm-up band, guggenheim grotto and her show!  she was hilarous, sweet, cute & totally rocking!  working on putting some vids on youtube one day soon…

‘n rolling with art friends, the sweet ‘n talented catherine moore (who taught a lil class, “season of the witch”, which is featured in the fall issue of somerset  mag) as well as the gracious ‘n creative teresa gifford (the hostest with the mostest and proprietress of the assemblage studio)…  just a couple of things i’ve done recently to help elevate my mood and inspire all manner of creativity! 🙂

enjoy! xoxo mary ann

art fair at annabelle’s

artful mischief, tee hee


just got back from spending a weekend full of  traveling (i.e., driving!), painting & overall,  mischief-making with my dear soul sista, lia (aka “artjunk grrl).  we have been getting together like this for the past 3 years now.  this year i thought it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to just drive to her house (instead of the usual flying)…but i didn’t figure on driving thru the allegheny mountains in PA!  omg, that was sheer treachery, esp. in the flippin’ rain!

anyway, i thankfully made it safely to her place & even tho i was exhuasted as all get out, we managed to draw & paint our little hearts out.  lia’s hub was such a dear…he took care of their girls & got dinner & drinks for us, so that we could focus on our art projects.  i showed lia how i learned how to draw a face as well as how to make her own flesh-colored paints, tips & tricks that i learned when i took sweet misty’s class as the wonderful valley ridge art studio.  we even called misty too during our little retreat. she was as sweet & gracious as ever.

lnmwkend1  i also got to meet lia’s newest addition, rella…their omigosh, too-cute-for-words bischon-poodle mix.  she is a such a baby doll, at only 12 weeks old.  i miss her sweet, playfulness already! 🙂

oh & yeah, it was hard leaving LIA!!!!!!  why can’t we freakin’ live near each other?   it was a blast, short, tho sweet as it was.  i can’t wait for next year when we get to do it all again! 

after i left lia, i told my hub that i would stop by arlington national cemetary to go visit the late senator + his famous bros’ gravesites.  i would have gone with lia, but it was raining & i really didn’t want to make lia take me there with  it being all rainy & cold.  on the way to arlington, i passed by my old stomping grounds off key bridge.  i decided to take a quick detour to the old hood & take some video snippets for the dh to see.  it is so weird being there again, after all this time.  it smelled the same & a flood memories rushed back as i walked around the g.u. campus.  time may have gone by & the people may have too, but the ol’ hood still looks the same!  man, talk about walking down memory lane.  it was as if i were a student there again.  it really felt like it was those few minutes i was there.  i hope the vid came out ok…i will try & see if i can post to my you tube soon.

alright, i have so many things i need to get done today.  i had to switch days with my schedule at school.  thank goodness i did because i wouldn’t be able to function, hehehe.

until next time, have a wonderful week!  xoxo mary ann

just call me rosie


now that i am sold on all things WELDING, i see that my artistic aspirations are heading into a new direction.

if you had asked me a year ago if i was going to enjoy welding as much as i do, i wouldn’t have believed it.  a year ago i was so engrossed in making those itty bitty books & now, i have visions of creating sculptures out of metal. 

i still enjoy making those itty bitty books, but welding really has opened up new art possibilities.  i feel so EMPOWERED.  & it does wonders to boost my morale & self-confidence. 

i am discovering a whole new world of art-making & also a new tribe of kindred souls.  i am loving every minute of it. 

fascinating how one’s art evolves, isn’t it?

i just received new welding gear made especially for women.  i got a flame retardant jacket and gloves & i am very impressed.  those ratty, grungy & oversized jackets i had been wearing in class were really uncomfortable, plus not to mention GROSS.  now i have gear that fits me to a T (& CLEAN too, hehehe)…i will feel safer & for sure, more comfortable as i weld my little heart out.  i can’t wait to wear them! 🙂

in class the other night, i welded a little house (pix to follow…don’t have my usb cable handy).  i was practicing making different weld joints.  but man, does it ever get wicked HOT working so close to metal as i have.  now i can see why peeps wear skull caps under their welding masks…you literally are sweating bullets.  i am looking into getting my own auto-darkening masks & skull cap.  can you believe how into WELDING i am?   it’s friggin’ awesome, hehehe!

i am sad that we are at the halfway mark with the classes…i am hungry for more welding time!  i am seriously thinking about taking more classes.  it tickled me that there are a number of workshops/programs out there around the country…i wish i could take them all!  but i am really serious about taking the next step…to become a bona fide welder.  i’ve got the bug & i’ve got it BAAAAAAAAAAAAAD.

the other night i had this crazy dream that i was a welder/speech therapist.  in this dream, the people in it kept telling me what an amazing welder i was & that i should consider switching careers!  how’s that for a  SIGN ?! hahaha!  well idk about quitting speech therapy altogether, but i am going to pursue welding & see where that ride takes me.  you only live once & all that… 

anything is possible if you set your mind to it, right?  


busy day ahead.  yoga class & speech workshop this morning & then later  going to chi-town for a couple of days for some family business (my side, that is)…

i finally wrapped up the last art swap (the sweet n sinister halloween tag books are ALL mailed out) & i am DONE with hosting anymore large group swaps until further notice.  

btw, there’s a giveaway in the flickr group for 4 extra tag books…BUT it is limited to the peeps who actually participated in the sweet n sinister swap.  sorry but that is only fair.

that’s all for now.  until next time, have a good weekend. xo mary ann

she’s a maniac for sure

remember this?  a blast from the past…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsJukf6_B4s f01

i am totally into my welding class…it’s been empowering, you know?  i’ve taken welding like a duck to water. 

my sis jo wanted me to snap pix in my welding garb…kinda hard to do when i am in the middle of welding & so is everybody else in the class, but i snuck in some pix while i was in one of the welding booths.


i donned a 10-shade helmet & got ready to stick weld a couple of scrap metal that i cut up into squares…DSC07271_edited-1

the welding booths are kinda tiny, i think 4 ft wide by 6 ft or so…it felt like being in a closet, but the vent was on…DSC07277_edited-1

looks kinda messy…just that i didn’t pound out the slag bits (the extra black bits on top of my weld beads)DSC07279_edited-1


yep, that’s yours truly under that 10-shade mask….DSC07273_edited-1

DSC07283_edited-1 the shop/classroom…the booth with the yellow curtains is the one where i just finished working at…


couldn’t wait to get home to show the hub what i had done…DSC07326_edited-1

coach jeff said that for my 1st time ever welding, i did an “outstanding” job.  the piece above is actually two pieces of metal scraps that i stick welded together all the way around…  it was easy, really, once i understood how to go about holding the weld gun.BALLERINA_WELDER_-_OHCIN201_-_01-26-08_B5_6095UO3looking forward to making more SPARKs in the coming weeks!

oh, gotta scoot…i’ve got school this morning but i wanted to show n tell before i left for the day.

have a super day & keep the SPARKs coming!  xoxo mary ann

getting back…


i’m staying overnite here at valley ridge art studio….for that art class i mentioned in previous post.  i almost wasn’t going to go because i was worried about leaving my dh alone for the weekend.  but i am glad that i went (& that my dh wanted me to) because i so enjoyed seeing misty (the instructor) and kathy (the proprietress of valley ridge) again & i had a wicked fun day playing with paints & crayons.  🙂  my studio time has been pretty much non-exsistent in the last couple of weeks & going to misty’s class this weekend was really a good catalyst to get back into the studio. 

taking a live class vs. an online one (such as the one i recently took with suzi blu) is always so much better for me because i can see things happen in real time with a real, live teacher who is right there & who can answer questions on the spot or give friendly suggestions and tips.  idk about you, but i really appreciate the live class experience more than the online ones, especially  because of the real time factor & also  being around other like-minded peeps who are just as eager to learn from such a fab teacher such as misty.  to get to see the artist creating art before your very eyes in real time is priceless.  to me, anyway.

don’t get me wrong, i learned a lot from taking suzi blu’s online class…but, her feedback would either be wicked delayed or none at all.  & that’s just the nature of an on-going, online type of class set-up, you know? her online classes have a ton of peeps signed up & there is just no way for her to be able to get to every single person for every little thing, you know?    anyhoo, it was interesting to me to compare how suzi & misty explained how to draw faces.  both gals are tremendously talented, but they sure do have a definte different style & approach.  kinda cool to see how each gal draws faces…gives me different techniques to try and use.  i love to learn new techniques and incorporate the variety in my own works.

today, we worked on some painting & collage techniques.  & oh yeah, drawing & painting faces.  tomorrow, she’s going to show us even more techniques(!) on drawing faces & then we will get to work on creating on a large canvas (poster size)…this should be very interesting…

after misty’s class tonite, some of us piled into a couple of cars & drove down to this hidden gem of a place, global view gallery.  it is owned  by a lady, marian, who has been traveling to india and southeast asia for 40 years, learning about their cultures, their traditions and handmade textiles and other cultural artifacts.  it was fascinating to visit this gallery and shop. 


going there reminded me of  some of the things my parents had around the house when we were growing up…they had a bunch of stuff from the philippines hanging all over the house.  never paid too much attention to them as a kid, but when i went into the global view gallery, it reminded me of the filipino stuff my parents had.  i will have to take my mom there one of these days.  the gallery owner, marian, said that she would like to meet my mom & ask her about handwoven textiles from the philippines.  very interesting place.  everything there is handcrafted and handmade.  no sweatshop made items there. 

welp, it’s getting late & i don’t want to oversleep & be late for day 2 of misty’s wonderful class.  i plan to take more pix tomorrow.  until then, good nite!