Far Too Long

It’s been far too long since I sat down to write to you, dear readers. I’ve been dealing with a lot of changes going on in my life. I’m fairly certain I’m pre-menapausal and we’re adjusting to a new budget. The latter has always been hard for me but add to it the former? Yikes!

I’m in a creative slump. I’ve really done more with photography lately, simply because it’s handy. I almost always have my phone with me. I’ve started uploading my work to Redbubble and Society6 again. Looking back through my favorite pieces has really inspired me to restart and see what I can create.

Wish me luck, offer up a prayer or two or MANY. I need it! And I could use some hints, tips, and words of encouragement as well. Goodness only knows what it will take to jumpstart my creative mind. I know I want to get back into jewelry making. And I have a good-sized canvas waiting for me to fill it. My awesome Son and DiL bought an easel for me some time ago and I need to put it through its paces. 🙂

Here are two photos I took at our son’s wedding (and you can check them out on Instagram, too, if you like.) He was married in April. I edited these in my phone (Samsung S5) with the editor that came with it.

The photo of our sons was edited with the photo editor that came with my phone. I simply cropped the photo of our daughters and left it alone after that.

I hope to blog next week. I’ll be attending BayouCon in Sulfur, LA this weekend with my husband, John, of J.D. Kittles Photography. He’ll be doing a panel on his passion, storm photography, along with Andy Thibodeaux who is best known in our area as the Cajun Weatherman. Andy heads up our group, Cajun Weather Spotters, and will be talking about storm spotting.

If you’re in the area, you might like to check it out. Their panel will be at 3 pm on Saturday, June 25. (Yes, that’s this Saturday.) Just click here to find out more about the event.

Current Goings-On

I know it’s been some time since my last post. I’ve been so very busy lately! I’ve hardly had time to do normal everyday things, much less any of the arts I enjoy. I have been teaching our daughters for summer school and we are really enjoying our study of the history and geography of Japan.  We’re also continuing our science studies in physics and having fun with many science projects. In our study of Japan, we’ve studied some of the arts practiced in that country:

Zen Painting on fan shapes - The one on the left was done by Magiba, and the one on the right, by Starshine.

Zen Painting on fan shapes – The one on the left was done by Magiba, and the one on the right, by Starshine.

These are our attempts at Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging. It really isn't that easy!

These are our attempts at Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging. It really isn’t that easy!

Moku Hanga is the art of woodblock printing. We created ours using an idea shared by Consie Sindet. She blogs at www.atopserenityhill.com so I hope you'll stop in at her blog. She's a wonderful artist!

Moku Hanga is the art of woodblock printing. We created ours using an idea shared by Consie Sindet. She blogs at http://www.atopserenityhill.com so I hope you’ll stop in at her blog. She’s a wonderful artist!

We also studied a bit about hiragana.

These are the worksheets we used to work on our hiragana skills.

These are the worksheets we used to work on our hiragana skills.

The above photos were taken by me and edited in either Pixlr or Instagram. They are not for sale and you do not have my permission to use them in any way.

I have been working on little art projects here and there when I can but time is scarce. The storm season is upon us and we’ve been out storm spotting quite a bit. This in itself could produce some interesting paintings, if I didn’t mind the havoc it would reap in my spirit. I’ve got two current projects to share with you. One is a work-in-progress and the other is a collaboration with Magiba. I hope you enjoy them!

This is a simple line drawing base that I plan to paint and add a poem or lyric to. If you'd like to download a copy, you can do so by clicking the link to go to my deviantArt page. It's free but if you use it for any projects of your own, please link back to my deviantArt page, and give me credit in the caption. Thanks!

This is a simple line drawing base that I plan to paint and add a poem or lyric to. If you’d like to download a copy, you can do so by clicking the link to go to my deviantArt page. It’s free but if you use it for any projects of your own, please link back to my deviantArt page, and give me credit in the caption. Thanks!

This is the collaboration artwork Magiba and I created. If you'd like to purchase a print or photo gift of this, please click on the picture to visit my deviantArt page. Any earnings we receive with be split down the middle.

This is the collaboration artwork Magiba and I created. If you’d like to purchase a print or photo gift of this, please click on the picture to visit my deviantArt page. Any earnings we receive with be split down the middle.

Thanks for reading! Have a beautiful, wonderful, and whimsical day!

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The Busyness Slows Down

…And life resumes a more sedate pace. Finally! All I’m planning for now is a birthday party. No simple task, that, when I’m creating costumes for my daughters to cosplay as their OC’s. (That’s Original Characters, for those like me who tried to puzzle that out.) An Original Character is one created specifically for yourself, if I’m understanding this correctly. Our oldest daughter recently became interested in fanfic stories and writing just before we shut down our internet service. So I’m working on a Tengu costume (a Japanese crow demon) and an Elven Warrior Fairy. The costumes are coming along nicely. I’ll share photos when they are complete.

Over the past two months, life has been something of a whirlwind. I’ve been trying to keep up with blogs and post to my own blog through my phone. Sometimes I’m successful, other times…meh. So this post is sort of a ‘catching up’ post. I hope you enjoy the photos.

"Peace" - Our oldest daughter in August of 2014 - I hung on to this photo, not sure what to do with it. The lighting was bad. The photo was mediocre. I just had fun creating a comic book style poster effect.

“Peace” – Our oldest daughter in August of 2014 – I hung on to this photo, not sure what to do with it. The lighting was bad. The photo was mediocre. I just had fun creating a comic book style poster effect.

"Protect" - I did the same with this photo but did more with colors to reflect our younger daughter's tastes. I titled the photos to reflect the meanings of their names.

“Protect” – I did the same with this photo but did more with colors to reflect our younger daughter’s tastes. I titled the photos to reflect the meanings of their names.

I hope you enjoy these photos. I’ll try to upload more next time. The photos of the special occasion costumes I was creating aren’t edited yet so I can’t share them at this time. Thanks for sticking with me and continuing to read my posts and check out my work. I really do appreciate it!

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Inspirational Journey

As a creative family, we do love to travel and experience new things. We aren’t able to do much of that but we can do a bit. I snapped these photos while we were on the Texas coast at Galveston. I hope you enjoy them!

"Reluctant Goodbye" - photo by Melody Kittles, edited in Gimp - NOT FOR SALE OR DOWNLOAD - To read more about this photo, please click on it to visit my deviantART page.

“Reluctant Goodbye” – photo by Melody Kittles, edited in Gimp – NOT FOR SALE OR DOWNLOAD – To read more about this photo, please click on it to visit my deviantART page.

"Not Far To Dreamland" - photo by Melody Kittles, edited in Gimp - NOT FOR SALE OR DOWNLOAD -  For more info on this photo, please click it to visit my deviantART page.

“Not Far To Dreamland” – photo by Melody Kittles, edited in Gimp – NOT FOR SALE OR DOWNLOAD – For more info on this photo, please click it to visit my deviantART page.

"Paper Carnival" - photo by Melody Kittles, edited in Gimp - Please click on the photo to download a digital copy or purchase a print or gift item on my deviantART page.

“Paper Carnival” – photo by Melody Kittles, edited in Gimp – Please click on the photo to download a digital copy or purchase a print or gift item on my deviantART page.

"Winter Crashing In" - photo by Melody Kittles, edited in Gimp - NOT FOR SALE OR DOWNLOAD - For more info on this photo, please click on it to visit my deviantART page.

“Winter Crashing In” – photo by Melody Kittles, edited in Gimp – NOT FOR SALE OR DOWNLOAD – For more info on this photo, please click on it to visit my deviantART page.

A New Year, A New Practice, And A New Artwork

Happy New Year!

I’m sure you’re wondering what I’m talking about. We are dropping our home internet access. I still have internet through my phone, but it will be limited. I’ll post as I’m able and as the app allows. Sometimes the WordPress app glitches. Even so, I know my posts will not be regular (not that they have been lately, but…) I do want my readers to know I will continue to post as I’m able. At the very least, I can say that when I do post, it will most likely be on Saturdays, unless we are traveling. I want to spend more time with my family and not be so heavily reliant on the internet.

My newest art piece is a straw painting done in ink and acrylics. For more information, or to purchase a print or art gift, please click the photo to go to my deviantART page.

"Spring Half-Dreamed" - artwork by Melody Kittles - Please click the photo for more information, or to purchase a print or art gift.

“Spring Half-Dreamed” – artwork by Melody Kittles – There’s a nymph hidden in there, helping the tree bloom. Can you find her? I was totally surprised to find her there! Please click the photo for more information, or to purchase a print or art gift.

It is my hope and prayer that each of my readers will have a happy and prosperous 2015. See you later!

Handmade Christmas Cheer

I usually pick up a few boxes of Christmas cards at the end of the season when they go on sale so I’ll have plenty on hand for next Christmas. I’d forgotten I wasn’t able to do that last year, so when cards started coming in, I kinda freaked out. We had no extra money for cards this year. John suggested simply making cards for those we receive cards from. So that’s what we did. These are out creations. For information on who did what, please click the photos to go to my deviantART pages for each.

Christmas Card 1

Christmas Card 1

Christmas Cards 2 and 3

Christmas Cards 2 and 3

Christmas cards 4 & 5

Christmas cards 4 & 5

Christmas cards 6 & 7

Christmas cards 6 & 7

I’m sorry about the quality of the last photo. I didn’t have any time to clean it up after snapping the shot. I wanted to wish all my readers and online friends and family a Merry Christmas, a Happy Holiday Season, and a prosperous and joyful New Year!

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Inspiring Me

I’ve been busy working on more drawings and mixed media things. As I try new things and get new ideas, I have to figure out how to put my ideas on paper. It takes times so I won’t be posting as often. In the mean time, I snapped a few photos. I hope you enjoy them!

"Beautiful Sunset" - photo by Melody Kittles - You can click the photo to see more info on my deviantART gallery page.

“Beautiful Sunset” – photo by Melody Kittles – You can click the photo to see more info on my deviantART page.

"Green Tea" - photo by Melody Kittles - To see more info on this photo, click it to go to my deviantART page.

“Green Tea” – photo by Melody Kittles – To see more info on this photo, click it to go to my deviantART page.

 

"My Favorite Photographer" - photo by Melody Kittles - This photo is not available for sale or download. For more information, please click the photo to go to my deviantART page.

“My Favorite Photographer” – photo by Melody Kittles – This photo is not available for sale or download. For more information, please click the photo to go to my deviantART page. For those of you who don’t know, this is my husband John. He blogs at J.D. Kittles Photography. I don’t know who snaps more photos of whom! He’s taking a short break right now from the blog but he’ll be back at it soon. Look forward to it! I know I am!

Home Again, Home Again!

I’m so glad to be home. We visiting with family during our Thanksgiving break and really enjoyed being with them. It’s good to be back in our own place, though. Unfortunately, we’ve been fighting a cold since before the break. First one daughter, then the other got it. Before we came home, John and I started feeling the beginnings of it. I feel pretty blechy today but I’m doing my best to get over it quickly. Taking my vitamins. Eating soup. Staying away from sugary things for the most part. I’ll probably make fresh honey lemon tea tonight.

Anyway, here are the last two works I submitted for daily art challenges in the fb group I belong to. I hope you enjoy them. Note: They are not available for purchase. Only the digital art piece is available for download and that, only for personal use. Please keep that in mind! Thanks!

This is the first one:

Misfortune themed art challenge submission (untitled as of yet) - digital art, using Sketchbook by Autodesk - This is my first doodle on the laptop. I have the app on my phone, too and have done a doodle there as well. Just trying to figure out the tools and the program to see how it all works. This artwork shows a lightning storm, a crashing wave, and a whirlpool (or a hurricane if you prefer). I really can't work the pen/pencil tools very well yet. I think I need a stylus to be able to use it to the best effect. Oh, well. To see more about this work, please click the photo to go to my deviantART page.

Misfortune themed art challenge submission (untitled as of yet) – digital art, using Sketchbook by Autodesk – This is my first doodle on the laptop. I have the app on my phone, too and have done a doodle there as well. Just trying to figure out the tools and the program to see how it all works. This artwork shows a lightning storm, a crashing wave, and a whirlpool (or a hurricane if you prefer). I really can’t work the pen/pencil tools very well yet. I think I need a stylus to be able to use it to the best effect. Oh, well. To see more about this work, please click the photo to go to my deviantART page.

"Munchkins and Giant" - photo taken by Melody Kittles and edited with Instagram's presets - NO DOWNLOADS! This photo is copyrighted under a Creative Commons License All Rights Reserved (as are all my photos and artworks.) Please respect that. If you'd like to see more about this photo, click it to go to my deviantART page.

“Munchkins and Giant” – photo taken by Melody Kittles and edited with Instagram’s presets – NO DOWNLOADS! This photo is copyrighted under a Creative Commons License All Rights Reserved (as are all my photos and artworks.) Please respect that. If you’d like to see more about this photo, click it to go to my deviantART page.

 

One Lovely Blog Nomination!

I was very surprised to find out Unchained Emporium had been nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award by Aquileana of La Audacia de Aquiles! I thank you very much!

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►Here are the Award Rules:

1) The nominee shall display the respective logo on her/his blog and link to the blogger that has nominated her/him.

2) The nominee shall nominate ten to fifteen (10 to 15) bloggers she/he admires, by linking to their blogs and informing them about the nomination.


Here are my nominations for the One Lovely Blog Award, in no particular order. Some will have more commentary than others, especially if I’ve been following them for a while. Without further ado:

1. J.D. Kittles Photography – Yes, John is my husband, but I don’t think I’m being biased when I say he’s taken some beautiful, epic, awesome, wowie photos over the past 8 years. I’ve seen his progress over those years and he gets better and better every day. Please do check out his work! You’ll find photos of nature in all its glory (from macro to panoramic), vehicles, people, architecture and so much more.

2. West517 “The World We Know” – This wonderful Lady is another brilliant photographer. Her eye for subject, lighting, texture, and effects, really comes through in her work. My favorites are the vintage style photos. Please do stop by her blog and check out her wonderful work.

3. Book ‘n Volume – Morgan writes poetry the like of which is very hard to find. The words, when read aloud, roll gently off the tongue, flowing like a refreshing stream. I’ve been brought to tears on many occasions by the eloquence which she employs in conveying feeling and emotion to the reader. She pairs her poetry well with beautiful artwork and is always conscientious, making sure to credit the creator of the art. Please do stop by her blog and wrap yourself up in her wonderful poetry!

4. Harsh Reality – Now I might get blasted for saying it but Opinionated Man of Harsh Reality blog deserves an award. If you check out his blog, you might wonder why I nominated him. Here’s my reason. Life is not always pretty. Life is sometimes raw and biting, balancing out the smooth and joyous times. Balance is a beautiful thing. Knowing where you stand is also a beautiful thing. Not being afraid to share your downs as well as you ups takes lots of courage. As such, I think OM definitely qualifies because a life without balance has no chance at being lovely at all!

5. The Obvious And The Hidden: Fine Art Photography – Iosatel is a wonderful photographer, sharing many lovely black and white photos. I was immediately taken with the way light and shadow are used to give the most striking effect. Please do note that ‘striking’ doesn’t mean the same as ‘harsh’ or ‘glaring’ or ‘hard-edged’! While viewing any of the photos Iosatel has posted, I’m taken to a dreamland of possibilities. Please do stop by and check it out for yourself!

6. Paris Poems – Paris Poems is, as expected, a poetry blog. This wonderful Lady delivers poetry from the heart, about life, love, pain, and all things in between. No matter what, you are assured of reading a piece of art that will resonate somehow within you. Please check out her work and see for yourself.

7. The Art of Quotation – This is a fabulous blog that consistently shares quotes that inspire me and make me think.

8. Totally Inspired Mind – Paulette of Totally Inspired Mind blog is a faithful reblogger, sharing many wonderful posts from many inspiring souls. Please do stop by and check out what she’s found today!

9. Source Of Inspiration – Pat Cegan, the author of this blog, write poetry that comes from her faith experiences. She’s written some beautiful pieces that have touched my heart. Please stop by and read a few for yourself!

10. Emerald Wake – Ah! What can I say about EM’s beautiful photos? Here are a few adjectives to describe his work: other-worldly, dreamlike, magical, colorful, soft but clear, mysterious, wondrous, simply amazing. Don’t take my word for it, though! Check it out for yourself!

11. Audio SeXXX – Don’t let the name put you off! I almost did and wow! What a regret that would’ve been. James Revels III is a composer and artist. I’m not really sure how to describe his work. Perhaps the word compelling would be best applied here. I really enjoy his instrumental work. I think what I like most about his blog is that he seeks interaction with his followers via polls and social media connections and he shares his journey in making music and art. I believe in supporting people who are going after their dreams with all they have and I believe James is doing just that.

12. Colorful Threads of Life – Evon Foo, who writes this blog, is a wonderful Lady who shares her love of nature through photography, linking it many times with applicable scripture verses. She also shares craft ideas and little things about life in her corner of Malaysia. Do stop by her blog and see what she has to share!

I believe these blog merit the One Lovely Blog Award for the reasons I shared beside each one. No matter what comes of this nomination, I do hope each one will realize their worth to me as a follower and reader. I don’t always have time to read every post but I do my best to catch those I can. Good luck!

PS…I know OM has received a lot of flack for his blatant and blunt opinions on many hot topics. I don’t always agree with everything posted on the internet but I’m not going to attack someone with a different opinion, just because they had the courage to share theirs. I will not approve any hateful statements towards him or any of the other blogs I’ve nominated. Misery may love company but I don’t love misery, so kind or encouraging statements are the only ones I’ll approve here.

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Scattered And Gathered

"Scattered And Gathered" - Mixed Media artwork by Melody Kittles - For more information, please click the photo to go to my deviantART page. You can also download a digital copy for personal use or purchase a print!

“Scattered And Gathered” – Mixed Media artwork by Melody Kittles – For more information, please click the photo to go to my deviantART page. You can also download a digital copy for personal use or purchase a print! (This photo is altered from the original artwork in dimension and also, just slightly in color. There are a couple of elements you can’t see or can only vaguely see.  I’ll hopefully have a better photo tomorrow.)