mac attack

lately, i’ve become obsessed with all things macarons…  i am determined to learn how to make them…correctly & successfully 🙂  have been scouring the internet for the 411 on these delectably sweet french confections.  you might say that i’ve gotten “a big mac attack” wicked bad.  a week ago, i ordered a sampler box from… i received my goodies the other day, but was  disheartened to find that pretty much all my macarons were damaged…there were crumbs everywhere!  yes, i have contacted the company & told them all about it, even sent pix like this one: 

to express my disappointment and dissatisfaction.  i have not heard a response from them, suppose i never will.  but companies need to be told when their products arrive damaged & not as described…   and above all, how all  that simply is not acceptable… yadda yadda…

oh well, instead of getting my knickers all bunched up in a twist, i decided to make lemonade, so to speak.   i took what macarons i could salvage from the “wreckage” and set up a little still life that i could sketch and paint.  don’t get me wrong, the damaged macarons were still delicious.  heck, they should be!!!  omg,  after paying a premium for these rather high-priced french cookies, one tends to expect nothing but the best!  so, long story short, this is precisely why i want to learn how to make my own macarons… so i will never have to be crushed by, well, crushed  (& overpiced) macacrons again! 🙂

i guess the moral of my lil tale here: when the cookie crumbles, go ahead & enjoy the crumbs 🙂


snowy MLK day

it’s snowy here on this monday MLK day… & i whipped up this lil sketch this morning and then digitally colored in PSE.  i have been drawing these lil girlie illios lately and so it’s no wonder that another one of them popped up in this sketch 🙂

oh well, off to the store to get some stuff before the big snow really comes down!  enjoy your day and my lil cuppa warm wishes! xo mary ann

my sketchbook

alice tag book

alice tag book

Originally uploaded by mainer at heart06

book collaborative that we recently completed in my sweet tag book group in flickr.

my welded creations were featured on page 34!

ferrous, non-ferrous & a little bit of sweetness

spring has sprung in these parts…hope it has for you (if you are in the northern hemisphere, that is) 🙂

just some pix of what i’ve been up to…  going to chi-town for a couple of days to see some family, both sides.  but i wanted to post on the bloggy before i hit the road.

WELDING continues to rock my world.  i’m gearing up for a little show n tell at a local art fair, ART CRAWL, that my friend jean is co-organizing.  it will be next month & i am revvin’ up to fashion some kewl stuff from these>>>

i’m working on a series of sculptural figures using found objects like the ones shown above.  i’ve made a few so far & i hope to have a decent number in time for art crawl, which is april 23rd.  plus, i will also include my non-welded works as well…for a little variety. 

i’m getting more and more proficient at welding, particularly stick & mig.  & i hope to get better at tig welding.  also, i have been having a blast using the plasma cutter…it is soooooooooo cool.  i made some signs the other nite in class

i’ve also been making some mixed media/altered art too…i just finished working on some atcs for a couple of swaps as well as trying my hand at making handmade & repurposed mini journals…plus of course, working on my itty bitty crazy quilt  book swap that i’m hosting  in the facebook group and also the spring fete tag swap in flickr. 

i am definitely not short on any amount of  create-artivity…only lacking the time!  i wish i could create art/weld (full-time) the rest of my live-long days, hehehe!!

wouldn’t that just be a sweet life?


anyway, here are pix of the atcs and mini-journals (no pix yet of my IBB pages or spring fete tags as they are still wips)>>>

this is an atc for the paper whimsy‘s march atc lottery…the theme is whimsies in the clover & we had to incoporate one paper whimsy image and at least one shamrock.  at the end of this month, we find out who wins all the wonderful stash of atcs that were created for this lottery.  i’d be lying if i said i didn’t care who won, hehehe!  universe, i hope you pick me! 🙂

another fun swap going on over at the paper whimsy ning group, is the word journal one hosted by christy l.  we’re supposed to take recycled/found papers and handbound them into a mini-journal.  she hasn’t paired us up yet, i just decided to make mine ahead of time bec. i have so much artivity going on these days!

the next set of pix are for lisa kettell’s sweet shoppe atc swap that she is hosting over in the faerie zine flickr group.  recently, i bought some of her wonderfully adorable charlotte heads that ms. lisa herself handcrafted from her etsy shop & i was immediately inspired to create this darlin’ lil piece:

never really used zetti stripes before, but there’s always a first for everything, right?  well, the zetti stripes seemed to do the trick for these cards.  i loved how they turned out & i am even more pleased that my sweet shoppe swap partner, amanda h. of maygreen fairies, loves them!  we have been emailing back & forth & just oohing & aahhing, respectively.  i have seen what’s she’s created for me & i am excited to receive them IRL!!! 🙂

 since, i found making those sweet lil word journals such a breeze to make, i thought i make one up for mandy.  those lil handmade & repurposed journals are too fun (& highly addictive!) to make!  there’s an article in the current issue of cloth paper scissors (pg. 60) if you want to read more about repurposed journals. 

 & last but not least, i want to give a shout out to my pal cj…today’s her birthday!!  go show her some love & tell her i sent you!

welp, that’s it for now.  i hope i’ve caught you up to speed.

now it’s time to get myself packed & off to chi-town.

have a great weekend! xo mary ann


an update (of sorts)

i am making an effort to keep this bloggy of mine (tho barely) afloat.  i know it’s been  a month since my last confession i mean, blog post.  & looking back,  it read very doom & gloomy.  well, i didn’t want my last post to be the last word, so i thought i better truck on & post another blurb to let the few peeps who do visit here know that i am very much alive & kicking. 

a while ago, shortly after the new year, i posted a valentine-theme tag swap (be smitten, see post below)  that i wanted to host.  well, we are at the tail end of this swap & i am beginning the sorting/binding process.  it’s been heaps of fun getting first crack at all the wonderful red, pink & white creations that have been filling my little mailbox these past few weeks.  i had missed this sort of artful connection with others & hosting this swap reminded me how much i do enjoy sharing my art with + receiving art from like-minded creative souls. 🙂

so for the past few weeks, i have been crafting away, creating not one but actually several taggies filled with sweetness & love.  next to christmas, valentines is my favorite holiday.  & since we didn’t celebrate in the usual way this past christmas, i really got into the valentine spirit, especially when my swap pals’ wonderful creations started rolling in.  i mean, how could you NOT get swept up in the loveliness of it all? 

i had gotten so out of the habit of blogging on a regular  basis that the thought did occur to me as i was loading pix into the flickr group >>>that i should share what i have been doing these past days.  the upstairs’ dining table is literally overflowing with happy, gorgeous piles of red, pink & white lusciousness.  all my dh sees is a bunch of stuff on the table, lol.  but au contraire, i see visions of sweetness runneth over. 🙂

enough of the verbiage, on with the snaps.  here you go…some valentine eye candy for you all to enjoy:

need more v-day eye candy?  well then, pop on over here & you can get your fill.

i think if you click on the above thumbnails, it will enlarge the pix.  i have so much in the way of vintage valentines, that i kinda got carried away with the tag making!  i couldn’t help it though because once one set of tags were done, it only seemed natural to  make more, hehehe.  a lot of the valentine images came from my personal stash (i have been collecting vintage valentines for, idk, 5 or 6 years…something like that).  & it’s only recently that i decided to share some “love” and now offer a bunch of digital scans of my collection here.   a “be my valentine” digi-collage sheet sale is going on now until, when else?  valentine’s day.  it’s my 1st foray into digi-selling & i am wondering why i hadn’t done it sooner?  lol

speaking of all things digi, i have been teaching myself how to be a better digital artist.  i’ve been finding all sorts of useful 411 for FREE (& the price is def right!) on the internet & omg, i’m learning a ton of cool stuff so far.  it never ceases to amaze me the generosity and kindness of others, especially where the sharing of knowledge and expertise are concerned.  just the other day, i learned how to zip a file.  i know, how mundane, you say…but it was a little victory for me.  i never needed to zip a file EVER until i started selling digital files.  now the next time someone purchases something digital then i can send a zipped file. it’s def quicker & more efficient that way.   it’s stuff like that, that keeps me wanting to learn more.  not that i’m trying to “run” with the big guns…i just want to be able to work more efficiently and use “best practice”, so to speak.   so yeah, digital learning has been occupying the grey cells…

& so has painting and drawing.  while i’ve had to put painting and drawing on hold until the valentine swap is completed (still waiting on two more swappers whose artwork is en route btw), i’ve signed up for some continuing ed classes with the lovable suzi blu and &  another, a  portrait class with the amazing misty mawn.  you’ve heard me rave about  them in earlier posts last year.  they are both incredibly talented and wonderfully patient instructors.  i learn so much whenever i’ve taken a class with either of the two ladies.  they def have a different style, but they are highly talented and the teaching role suits them both.  misty’s class is kinda intense…loads of assignments (& man, i am behind a week & a half already!)…not the kind that you can just rush through.  not for me anyway.  i used to draw regularly when we lived in maine & taking misty’s portrait class kinda reminds me of the art instructor i had in maine.  he was very meticulous & methodically in his instruction and misty is kinda like this (well, maybe not as rigid as my old art instructor).  because of the rather intense level that i feel from misty’s class, i’ve devoted a lot more time & energy…so much so that i basically ran out of gas when i thought about suzi’s class.  ugh.  i haven’t even begun a lesson yet in there.  but luckily, the continuing ed class (as suzi calls it) ends in may.  so i figure i have some time (i hope!).

anyway, here are some drawings that i did for misty’s portrait class.  i only got thru all of  week 1 and partially of week 2 .  there are a total of 4 weeks to misty’s class & luckily, she will let us slowpokes catch up for 3 weeks after the last week of class.  

week 1’s homework:  drawing faces using pencils, erasers and tortillions…

week 2:  painting!    

this is as far as i got in week 2’s homework, i’m afraid… painting with titanium white acrylic paint & a black stabilo pencil.  that’s when all the be smitten swap business started to come to a head. so all my drawing & painting came to a screeching halt.   there are a least 3 or 4 in week 2…haven’t even looked at week 3’s…eeek, i’m afraid of all the work that lay ahead!!   misty’s already started week 4 work and i am sooooooooo behind as you can see!  i hope i can catch up before she closes the private blog that she’s set up for us. 

to add more to the mix, my welding class started up again.  & i have been itching to get back into welding as i have some fun projects i want to do in there!  it sure was a totally different experience when i went to class this time around…ha!  everything coach jeff was saying to the new peeps i already knew.  it was so different, let me tell ya.  i was so excited to get started, but he had to go over shop safety & class overview…man, i sure did come a long way.  i was so ready to crank up the mig welder & start making sparks…but i didn’t.  but next time, i will be welding my little heart out. 🙂

no, i haven’t gotten my pink welding helmet.  the kind that i want is *gulp* $300…it’s a digital auto dark helmet made byvery reputable company called speedglass.  i’ve tried on some auto darks (as they are called) and i like the speedglass brand the best.  it is a basic gunmetal gray…but a friend i know says that i can take my helmet & have some place here in town paint it pink for me.  now that is cool to know!  i’ve no pix yet from welding class…but i hope i can share some as the days go by. 

 with everything that i just blurbed, i feel as though i am back in school, taking all these art classes!   it’s no wonder that i’ve been feeling overwhelmed lately, with what work, family, my etsy and the swaps (i’m also hosting an itty bitty book in facebook too) taking up my energy too.  some days just get downright NUTs n BOLTs.  seriously.

welp, i think we are all caught up since i last posted.  the highlights, that is.  idk when i will post again, but i think i will shoot for 1 or 2x a week…more or less depending on my mood and/or whether my schedule permits.

i know that this is a wicked long post, but i had some stuff to say.  until next time, have a great weekend.  stay warm (or cool, depending on where you are in the world) & i’ll be back.  or rather, i guess, i’m back. 🙂