Taking A Little Break

This week has been pretty hectic, leaving little time for painting or sketching or jewelry making (though jewelry has taken a back seat lately.) I had every intention to draw something today but I’m swamped. I’m going to have to think up another method of organizing. I definitely need a to-do list…a simple one. Complexity is the usual and I’m trying to simplify things. Anyway, I have one or two more photos I edited from our trip to New Orleans that I can share with you today. I hope you’ll enjoy them!

I snapped this shot of a tiny rose in Jackson Square, New Orleans, LA. I used Pixlr Express to edit it a bit but I really didn't have to do to much to it at all!

I snapped this shot of a tiny rose in Jackson Square, New Orleans, LA. I used Pixlr Express to edit it a bit but I really didn’t have to do to much to it at all!

I snapped this shot of glass shards while we were walking the perimeter of St. Louis Cemetary 1. I used Pixlr Express to edit the shot. I did a lot more with this one than the rose photo.

I snapped this shot of glass shards while we were walking the perimeter of St. Louis Cemetary 1. I used Pixlr Express to edit the shot. I did a lot more with this one than the rose photo. 

Every once in a while, I feel somehow as if I’m cheating by posting photos when I’m not a photographer in any real sense of the word, when my loves are music and painting/drawing/jewelry creation/reduce-reuse-recycle crafts, etc. But I guess it’s indicative of how diverse my interests are. It’s also probably the reason I never could pin down a career love, something I wanted to do so badly that I’d devote my all to it. I still don’t have anything like that in the way of a career. But the way I set up my business, if I create a fine art photo, I can sell it.  (I chuckle when I use this term because I’ve /seen/ fine art photography…yeah…I use the term loosely in reference to myself.) If I make a bracelet, I can sell it. If I paint a picture, I can sell it. I create things and I sell them. It’s what I am. It’s what I do. If you click on these photos, you’ll be taken to their respective pages in my deviantART gallery (where you’ll also see at least one witty photo description.) If you want to buy a print and I haven’t enabled that as an option, just drop me a line and I’ll look into it. I may not be able to offer prints of all of them. Right now, I’m just choosing to offer only the ones I believe to be good enough to print. So…I’m getting wordy, which means I’m so extremely tired it’s no longer funny. I’ll stop here. I hope you enjoy the photos!

 

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No Fabulous Friday Post But…

…There’s good news! We took care of the last few things we needed to do so that we could move forward with some positive work. Yea! I’m working on my Etsy store so I’m not able to do a Fabulous Friday post. I will be sure to post and update when my Etsy store opens and I hope you will stop by and check out my wares. I may also list items the girls have made. I haven’t discussed it with them yet to see if they are interested. I’m also considering selling a few photos through Redbubble. If you haven’t checked out their website, it is /the/ place to find truly unique shirts, totes, stickers, posters…all things art and photo! It’s a great site and you’ll be supporting freelance artists everywhere if you decide to make a purchase. If I can manage to get the Etsy store up and running and maintain my sanity, I’ll start a page at Redbubble soon. If the Etsy store setup is a bit chaotic, then the Redbubble page will happen later. Either way, I’ll be sure to share links to both pages as soon as they are available.

On the music front, I was able to perform one of the songs I wrote at a local Open Mic Night at Cafe Mosaic Coffee House. Nojo, our son, kindly played bass to improve on the total sound. So I’ve been able to progress a little with my music, too. A new song is brewing in my soul and I’m sure it will eventually come together. I hope it does so soon! There were so many talented people at the cafe. It was truly awesome to see my hometown opening up to the creative community.

Well, I guess I /can/ do a Fabulous Friday post after all! I just remembered that one of the ladies at the event is opening two new art galleries in our town. Here are the links to the two pages on facebook. Eunice Community Art House and Niche Artist Gallery and Studio will be opening up soon and will fling the doors open even more to the creative people in our town and community. Both pages are brand new so they need a few ‘likes’ to get them on their feet. I’m so excited to see this happening in our little town! For so long, there were very few avenues for creative development. Please check out the pages and watch for the grand openings. I’m sure they’ll be lots of fun to attend. Also, if you are interested in art or the artistic community, please give the pages your support by clicking ‘like’ on each of them. Thanks in advance for supporting artists in our town!

You give but little when you give of your possessions.  It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.”  ~Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

We should give as we would receive, cheerfully, quickly, and without hesitation; for there is no grace in a benefit that sticks to the fingers.”  ~Seneca

You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving.”  ~Author Unknown

Whatever you think about this artist, his music is poignant in so many ways. If you don’t like profanity or rap, just skip the song. I don’t support censorship of someone’s artwork. True artists put their all into their work and I believe that’s what Eminem does. This song is one of John and Starshine’s favorites and I enjoy listening to it, as well. I hope you enjoy it!

 

 

 

 

Fabulous Friday 58

I must confess, I’ve been in a slump lately. My creative well has been running dry. I have ideas…but I can’t seem to put them together in a pleasing format. It’s a bit discouraging but I’m going to keep pressing on. And just to keep you in the know, there will be some drastic changes to the blog reflecting the drastic changes we are making as a family and in the direction we are taking with our businesses. Yes. Businesses. As in more than one. More on that in future posts…on to the fabulosity! (For those who had to think about that word, /thank you/! I did make that word up but don’t you think it /should/ exist?)

This Fabulous Friday post will be a bit different than previous posts. I’m going proactive with this post and sharing things I’ve researched that I think my family might enjoy. As I’ve mentioned on several occasions, we function on a very strict and tight budget. Even our fun stuff has to be done through thrifty or frugal means and with careful planning. It’s not a bad thing, though. We often get to do and see cool things no one else even realizes exists! Here are three cool places/things to do that I’d like for our family to check out in the upcoming months. Maybe these will inspire you to make a trip to our state or even look around in your own state for fun, frugal activities available to the public.

When looking for free things to do, always check big cities. They have more business, usually have more tourists, and are usually looking for ways to encourage more people to come check out what they have to offer. I did an internet search for ‘free things to do in LA’, which is always terrible…because we do not live anywhere close to Los Angeles! I then searched for free things to do in Louisiana, which pulled up several options. I found some in a city that’s pretty close to home for us.

Jennings, La. offers several free things to do and see and I’m leaning towards viewing the alligators at ‘Chateau de Cocodries’. This isn’t the only attraction, though! I thought we might bring a picnic lunch and chill out at the Louisiana Oil and Gas Park. And there are several other things of interest in the city that would make a day trip worth while. You can check them out for yourself at this webpage!

Then I remembered that New Orleans is close enough to us for a day trip. We’d actually been tossing this idea around for a while but since we didn’t know exactly what we wanted to do once we got there, we hadn’t really made any plans. As it happens, there are enough free and frugal activities available in New Orleans to keep us day-tripping for a while! These are two I thought might interest our readers.

I love music. If I could only pick one art to focus on, it would definitely be music. Something going on next weekend that our readers might enjoy is the Satchmo Summerfest. If you are close enough and you have the means to get there, I bet this will be a fantastic event to attend. And best of all, it’s free to get in!

And since this page is dedicated to the arts, I’m going to suggest visiting Studio Inferno, where you can witness glass blowing in action. There are at least 3 places in New Orleans in which you can see glass blowers working on their art. They all have their nifty aspects. This one appealed to me the most because it seemed a bit more earthy and less classical. Perhaps it was the page presentation? I’m not sure, but this is the one I hope we will visit first. The other two options are Rosetree Glass Studio (looks like a super classy joint and I hope they don’t shoot me for phrasing it that way!) and Glassworks. Glassworks would be my second choice, since they offer the option of being able to do glass blowing and creating to the folks who come in. Nothing is said about the cost for this on the information page but I’m sure they’d be more than happy to inform you when you call them at the number provided there.

Grasp your opportunities, no matter how poor your health; nothing is worse for your health than boredom.”  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic’s Notebook, 1966

Nobody is bored when he is trying to make something that is beautiful, or to discover something that is true.”  ~William Inge

The cure for boredom is curiosity.  There is no cure for curiosity.”  ~Dorothy Parker

I hope you’ll enjoy this happy little jazz ditty from Good ‘Ol Satchmo, himself. If you don’t know him yet (where have you been?!), then please allow me to introduce you! 🙂

More Masked Projects!

I’ve started work on the largest of the mixed media art pieces I’ll be doing. The canvas is 18 x 18. I wanted to showcase three masks in Mardi Gras colors and work in a Mardi Gras background. I’m up to step three, which is decorating the masks. I want each one to be unique in more ways than the fabric and mask designs. Here are two pictures showing the work so far. The lighting in our kitchen is terrible but the photos came out clear enough to grasp the idea behind the project.

The first step was to paint the canvas black. They didn't have a black canvas in the size I wanted to use. The colors of paint I'm using are black, purple, pale antique gold, metallic green-gold, and white.

The first step was to paint the canvas black. They didn’t have a black canvas in the size I wanted to use. The colors of paint I’m using are black, purple, pale antique gold, metallic green-gold, and white.

I used the colorful paints to create a simple background of different confetti. Then I placed the masks on top to determine a pleasing placement. I also attempted to roughly plan out what I wanted to embellish the masks with. The only one that stayed the way it is in the picture is the green horned mask. I used brass beads to embellish it.

I used the colorful paints to create a simple background of different confetti. Then I placed the masks on top to determine a pleasing placement. I also attempted to roughly plan out what I wanted to embellish the masks with. The only one that stayed the way it is in the picture is the green horned mask. I used brass beads to embellish it.

All in all, the project is coming along nicely, though it will take time. I’m having to work on it around my work and family time schedule. I’ll keep updating you on the progress. I got the masks embroidered at Sew What Embroidery and Screenprinting based in Branch, LA. You can check them out by clicking here to get to their facebook page. The green one is embroidered in black and the fabric is a gold/green dragon brocade. The white one has pale gold embroidered scrolls on the fabric and it’s embroidered in pale gold. I’ll be using black and silver beads to embellish it. The purple one is a stretch lace fabric with hologram sequins on it. It’s embroidered in green. I’ll be using chain and metal scales to embellish it. I’m also going to use different kinds of fabrics and pictures to add to the background. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read!

To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else.” ~Emily Dickinson

Days of Rest 56

~ Red Amaryllis Lily ~ photo by J.D. Kittles Photography ~ used with permission ~

~ Red Amaryllis Lily ~ photo by J.D. Kittles Photography ~ used with permission ~

Experiences and Observations

Hello again! I know my posts have been very sporadic over the last couple of months. There are many reasons but the fact is that there were some things that needed our attention more than our blog. The kids were involved in a play. They practiced 4 days of each week until the last week of June and then had two dress rehearsals. The play ran last week and finished up with a matinee this past Sunday. We’ve been working on doing what we can to separate John’s photography business from the rest of Kittles Family Artworks and while doing so have come to some other conclusions. We’re busy trying to organize all the things that need to get done in order to make these transitions go smoothly. We’re tired and worn out but we’re putting one foot in front of the other on this life journey and we’re walking the road together.

Because we are creative people, the need to experience new places and take advantage of new opportunities is quite important. We decided to take a much needed trip to refresh and renew our spirits. We opted to visit family in Georgia. There are many things to do and see in our home states so being able to stay with family is a great help on a tight budget. One of the things we’re determined to do more of are outings and trips to different places. We feel these are necessary to keep the mind sharp and fresh and to keep the creativity flowing.

Feeling tired and run down? Feeling like you’re in a rut and going nowhere? Then I highly recommend you get into your vehicle and just go driving. Don’t drive? Do you bike? A bike ride can be just as rewarding! Prefer walking to either of those? A good hike is refreshing and slow enough that you won’t miss the small things that are truly inspiring. We’re really enjoying our down time. It’s really great to be able to just step away from the daily routine and take a few deep breaths.

Just because we are away from home and away from the supply containers doesn’t mean we haven’t been creating new things or expanding our knowledge. Starshine and Magiba have been working on their drawing skills. I’ve been snapping and editing cell phone photos taken at some of the stops along our route. (If you’d like to see those, please keep an eye on my personal blog by clicking here. It is my intent to post a gallery of some of the best edits of our travel photos there in the near future.) John has been taking more storm, still life, and flower photos. (You can check out the photos he’s been posting on our trip at his blog by clicking here.) I can’t believe we’ve already been gone for 4 days! We have been creating things on our journey but I know I’ll be ready to start creating new artworks when our trip is completed!

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” ~Confucius

A Quick Update

While the kids have been involved in the theater this month, there hasn’t been a whole lot of time to create many works of art. I have been quite inspired, though, during this time. I’m getting back into my music, creating with some simple chord progressions I can build on. Nojo and I will be working on refining those in the coming months for John to use them along with some of his time lapse photography. We’re really looking forward to that!

I’ve also been inspired by my own hometown. John and I have been taking photography walks while the kids are at the theater. It’s quite calming and meditative, most days. While doing these photography walks, I’ve been thinking about my next mixed media art project and came up with two ideas. As soon as I can replenish my supplies, I’ll be working on more panels of mixed media art. Here are a couple of my favorite photos from our photography walks of the last three days.

A Small Lily ~ I used the Picsart Camera android app to take the photo and the Pixlr-o-Matic android app to edit it.

A Small Lily ~ I used the Picsart Camera android app to take the photo and the Pixlr-o-Matic android app to edit it.

Window Reflections ~ I used the Picsart camera android app to take the photo and the Pixlr-o-Matic android app to edit it.

Window Reflections ~ I used the Picsart camera android app to take the photo and the Pixlr-o-Matic android app to edit it.

3 Basic Elements ~ I took the photo using the Picsart camera android app and edited it using the Pixlr-O-Matic android app.

3 Basic Elements ~ I took the photo using the Picsart camera android app and edited it using the Pixlr-O-Matic android app.

As you can see, there were many different things that caught my eye. We only walked down one main street and around a couple of the nearby blocks. What new things will you find in your town? Isn’t it amazing how the things we see every day as we pass by in a blur become more interesting and clear when we slow down a bit? People often question how we have time to do the things we do. It’s not really about having the time, as much as it is about making the time. Figure out what you really want to do, what’s really important to you, what you really value most, and you’ll find a way to make it happen.

Speaking of deciding what you really want, we will not be merging the two blogs. After much discussion and thought, we’ve decided it’s best to keep the photography separate.

I was not the only one taking photos on the photo walks we took. If you’d like to see one of the photos John took today, then click here to check it out at his blog.

There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” ~Anaïs Nin