Monthly Archives: July 2011

12 posts

TMI Thursday: hormonal imbalance

Most of the people who know me/read here know or picked up on the whole my-hormones-are-not-really-right thing that I’ve been dealing with since March. It’s been kind of painful, and I was trying a variety of herbs and supplements – but I really suck at remembering to take more than one thing every day. So in June I emailed a hormone specialist my mother-in-law recommended because I just couldn’t take it anymore. I was mood-swingy and in pain and sick feeling and it just sort of sucked. So she told me what I already knew – my hormones were *really* imbalanced and suggested that I try a double-strength progesterone cream and some calcium, magnesium, and evening primrose stuff.
I took a normal strength brand of Progesterone cream for 3 weeks and just tripled the dose until the kind she recommended came in, and that was actually starting to work pretty well – I was able to lose some of the weight that I gained over the last couple months (ugh) and my face was clearing up and my mood was getting back to normal. But then I stopped for the prescribed week to see if my system would reboot itself and the last 3 weeks progress just sort of vanished. So my mother-in-law called them for me (I wasn’t anywhere near feeling good enough to talk to people on the phone without freaking out) and sent me the information they gave her – which was thankfully that I can keep taking the cream as long as I need to until my hormones regulate and I can take it as soon as I start feeling sick again.  So I started taking the new cream that day, and I’m still waiting for it to kick back in again, it’s been 2 weeks. My face is just now starting to clear…sort of and my weight is fluctuating again – I’m closer to 126 (which is what I weighed when I started working out) than 130 today (which is what I’ve been bloating to since then :P) so that’s progress.
What’s not cool is that I ended up with a charlie horse or something today going down a step and now I’m walking weird (so mostly keeping to the chair). 😛 I keep forgetting to take my chocolate calcium bites that taste like tootsie rolls and my acidophulous (probiotics). But at least I remember the lotion…..
So, life tip: Progesterone cream is a *really* good thing.

Weekly Painting Promo #3

I was gone on Monday, so I decided to use one of my already-available paintings for my Thing-A-Week promo and discount it and hopefully bring it a little love. It’s already been on sale on etsy for a couple days and if you’re a fan of Kiery’s Whimsy on Facebook you’ve already seen it, but if not, here it is:

My third painting my Harry Potter tribute, The Golden Snitch. It’s gotten less love than the others, but I love it – I worked really hard getting the snitch to look like a snitch flying over a distant field. I thought it turned out well, however, I’m going to need to take new pictures of it because I’m not really happy with how the pictures look – it’s way cooler in real life. But, what’s not to love about the snitch?!

So, until Monday, it’s $10 off of the normal price *and* discounted shipping, check it out!

ETA: Fixed the pictures!

GIFs

I randomly decided that I really wanted to learn how to make animated GIFs. They’re really fun to look at and I have a propensity for re-blogging them on mlkshk and tumblr, but I’ve never known how to make them. So I taught myself. It didn’t take as long as I thought, admittedly, it’s just image GIFs and not video GIFs which I think would probably be a little harder for me to make in fireworks, but still, I picked it up easily and had a lot of fun making that. This is the evolution of tonight’s GIF-making:


I’ve become enamored; so when I’m not making random fairy GIFs this week, I’m going to try to work on writing the second version of the script. Which, actually, is going to be sort of totally reconstructed and kind of epic now that I know what things I want to come across and what the weak spots are. I think that if I can make it through this second version, it’ll be much much better while still keeping most of the points in the rough draft the same and communicating the same feeling…but, better. So I’m excited.

Everyone Is An Artist

(or what I learned from The Everyday Work of Art)
I started thinking about this a while ago after reading The Everyday Work Of Art  and it kinda stuck out. I’ve heard a lot of people say “I’m just not artistic”, and I spent years telling myself the same thing. “I can’t draw”, “I’m not very artistic”, “I don’t have much artistic talent at all”, “I can’t sing” I can’t, I can’t, I don’t, I’m not. Years I told myself this, believed this, and only recently came to realize that all of it was lies. I *am* artistic, and even when I thought I wasn’t artistic, I was still making art.
Most people think that art only encompasses things like painting, theater, singing, music, dancing – these are the things that we leave to those with talent, we revere it and save our experience with it for special occasions. Art is something we visit on stage or at a museum when we’re on vacation or during the holidays.
Art is something that we play at in churches while volunteering in the children’s production or helping with the easter cantata (who invented that word anyway?). But it’s not something that most of us take seriously unless we’re one of the “few” with talent.
Art is for children, who run around putting on imaginary plays and believe their circles spread across a page are accurate depictions of people. Most of us leave art in childhood and admire those who figured out how to make it work for them.
The truth is, though, everyone is an artist regardless of how much talent we think we have – regardless of our ability or inability to draw or carry a tune.
Everyone is an artist because art is not a finished product; art is a verb and not a noun.
The passion and joy and wonder that you experience when you do something you love to do – that is art, even if you wouldn’t label it that way.
Writing, building, plumbing, making pizza, organizing, or mastering a game – art is not the end product, but the process and enjoyment and journey you take to get there. Art is not something that ends when the work is done, because it’s a way of living, of feeling, and viewing the world and life around you.
The yearning that we feel that compels us to create, and the excitement and passion we follow that with, is the work of art. When I finish my film or my next painting, my art will not be done, because art is made in journeying and it never really ends – even if you block it out or ignore it for years on end, it’s still there, and you’ll look back and realize that all this time you’ve been creative without realizing it. I did. 🙂

Ding!

Fun Stuff

I hit level 75 in WoW today, finally! I’ve been super super awful about playing lately, so today I decided to just do that instead of sitting at my computer debating about doing that, story boarding, or making the bed and spending the whole time flicking through facebook, etsy, pinterest, and random blogs until I came to a conclusion. Yeah, that’s usually what happens when I can’t decide what to do next.
Also, our new, bigger, muslin green-screen and clamps and lens cleaner came in today! so I expect that I’ll be spending the evening playing with the green screen and maybe doing some more storyboarding.

Etsy

Yesterday I launched the 2nd painting in my Thing-A-Week promo. So far it’s all watercolors that I’ve painted before and wasn’t sure about listing. I’ve been wanting to list them, but just didn’t know how to introduce them, but then I started the Thing-A-Week, and it just seemed perfect, so this weeks watercolor painting is Blue Shadows.

 New Look

You might have noticed, also, that I changed some things on the front page. I created a logo, favicon, and updated the banner. I also redesigned my etsy banner and profile images – finally. Last night I was finally able to get a copy of Fireworks CS3 running on my macbook pro. I’ve been trying for ages but it never actually worked – until last night. So I spent all evening updating my banners and such and enjoying playing with that again. It looks sooooo much better than before.

Reading

I finished Faerie Wars the other day and started The Last Unicorn. Faerie wars was amazing and I can’t wait to get the other books from the library. I’m a little over half-way through The Last Unicorn, and at first it wasn’t as interesting, but then I ended up spending all of yesterday afternoon glued to the pages. I have a lot of ideas and new images for when I start painting again. I’ve taken a break, unintentionally – moving furniture around has some of my painting-ness a little discombobulated. I need to find another corner for my easel.
 

First Draft: Done

I finished the first draft of my screenplay! I printed it yesterday and started storyboarding with pencil in the margins.
It’s an interesting process – much different than story writing. You can’t use any of the cop-outs that you can writing a narrative. You can’t say “They talked and became good friends” you have to establish that through actual dialogue and when filming – inflection and body language. So you have to write conversations instead of just saying they happened. Which is good, but the writing takes on an entirely different feel and sometimes it’s slow going getting everything across.
So I’m super excited to have the draft done and something to work with!
Also, storyboarding takes a long time, and I’ve definitely improved my drawing skills since illustrating the book in November.

Fairy Stories

It’s been a while since I’ve read a book that was incredibly hard to put down. I started reading Faerie Wars last night and read it after I woke up/ate lunch and have had a really hard time stopping. I’m really late to the discovery of fantasy as I never really had much of a taste or imagination for it growing up, but now I absolutely love it.
I was hoping that reading some fantasy books would help me get some visual ideas and some fairy lore and generally keep me involved and inspired and it has. It’s a great feeling to be reading a story again, immersed in another world. Sometimes I forget how much I miss it. My story-reading has sort of failed the last few years, but I think I might need to pick it back up again, because what’s life without taking a journey through pages?

Crash Course Challenge day 9

I realize that this should have been posted last week, and we should have moved on further by now, but I ended up spending most of last week tired and internalizing rather than reading. I finished The Everyday Work of Art and Drawing On the Right Side of the Brain yesterday, and went to the library to find more books. They didn’t have any of the other books I was looking for, so I decided to immerse myself in fairy tales and explore fantasy more.
I was surprised at how well The Everyday Work of Art and Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain went together. Admittedly, the ideas in the Everyday Work of Art were more helpful to me as I found new ways of looking at the world, and in a way better understanding my process. I’m going to do a longer post on this in the future, but let me just say that neither of these books are written solely for “artists” in fact, they’re actually probably better suited for people who don’t think of themselves as artists. Because both of them explain differences in thinking, and allowing yourself to be creative and explore even if you don’t think you are or could ever be.
I’ve found, that when I applied the ideas in real life – even in mundane ways (like noticing the shape of tree branches, or the way the water flows in the sink, or the different feel you get when you hear something without seeing it, and then seeing it) I’ve enjoyed the day much more. Just by being able to take time out to allow myself to experience and immerse myself in the life around me (even if it’s boring, or just watching a movie).
So, I went to the library with the intention of bringing home some art theory or technique books and didn’t really find anything that called me, so I went to the Young Adult section and picked out three books that encompass worlds I want to explore – The Night Fairy, The Last Unicorn, and Faerie Wars. The first two were recommended to my be friends, and the last I saw at a bookstore and was practically calling me, so when I found it at the library I decided it was probably calling me for a reason….

Spatial Awareness

The other thing I did yesterday was switch the room our bedroom was in and move the studio into it. It took a long time, but I actually like it better, and now the studio is sort of becoming taken over with film equipment, or it will be before the day is over. I slept so much better in the other room. I think having only *one* window facing West as opposed to two facing North and East might have something to do with it. So in trying to keep the studio as empty as possible, I moved the furniture that previously occupied it into other places – the bookshelf looks nice in the hall, and my art supply chest is holding the fat-tv in our bedroom (instead of the night stand, yay!) – so I guess actually, that didn’t really move. I also had the clever idea of putting the dresser in one half of the closet, and hanging the clothes and housing the clean laundry basket on the other side – it looks really cool, and surprisingly Alex likes it too. I cleaned out/re-organized the closet in the living-room also, and now all that’s left is to recycle the boxes I was using as nightstands and do something with our old iMac box.
Maybe it’s weird, but I do a lot of creative thinking when I’m trying to re-arrange stuff. I like the challenge of figuring out the best place to put things and which way it would look better. I put a lot of thought into it, and end up using the spatial-awareness part of my (right) brain which is sort of fun for me. I also don’t re-arrange extensively on a regular basis, so when I do it’s actually enjoyable. Honestly, the last month or two have been the most that I’ve re-arranged since we moved into our apartment over two years ago. I like it better this way.

Etsy News

Yesterday I started a Thing-A-Week deal for my shop. I’m listing or featuring one item a week for a discounted price with free (or very cheap for international) shipping. Alex actually came up with the idea and I thought it was sort of brilliant and would be fun to try. So I decided I’d start off with my watercolors that I’ve been working on and listed the portrait of The Doctor I made last month. The deal only lasts a week (and then there’s a different one) so check it out.
Also, I sold my Sexy Tardis ACEO to someone in *Australia*, which was very cool. I’ve never shipped internationally before. I had two Forever stamps and one ten-cent stamp.
 

Art Boutique

It seems, that with art you have basically two types of buyers – you have the art collectors who can afford pieces that cost upwards of $300 (and the types of buyers that people trying to sell art would love to have buy a piece) and then you have everyone else who might *love* to have an original piece, but can’t fork out hundreds of dollars to buy something to hang on a wall when they could be putting it to better, slightly more practical uses. So most of us, myself included, end up splurging on mass-produced (and legitimately cool) prints and posters and other wall-decorating pieces. Unless we see something that *really* catches our eye and we don’t mind saving up whatever it takes to buy it.
It seems like making art available to the general public has become more of a means for a select few artists working for big companies to have their work (or variations of it) mass produced, and that the art community at-large is still sort of….distant and revered. We can go to museums or galleries which are absolutely wonderful and look at the beautifulness, but affording it, as much as we want it, is probably not overly likely unless you have a budget for that.
With etsy, and artfire, and the internet in general, it’s becoming easier to sell to who-ever you want to and in whatever price-range you want to. Although, still, art is something that’s revered, that’s almost expected to be unaffordable – and rightly so, because artists do need to be able to make a living, which usually means selling pieces for upwards of $100 just to recoup the cost of materials and time.
Though, I think a lot of people would love to have original pieces if only they could afford it – and if they could afford it, I think they would be coming back for more – keeping the artist in business for longer even if the artist was making less per-piece.
So maybe this is consumeristic of me, and maybe it’s because I decided to make my own art because buying it was too expensive (and I *love* making it) – but I would love to be able to make a way that artists and the general-middle-class-non-art-collecting-public could both make a living and enjoy all that art has to offer.
I kind of try to do this with my etsy shop, which is why my biggest pieces top out at $100, and I have ACEO’s starting at $2.50. I want to share art and beauty and fantasticalness with normal people like me, and I want to do it in a way that’s not going to be insane for either of us. It’s a fine line to draw – because people value the price of things, so if something is $300 they’ll value it more than something that’s $50 even though they probably won’t buy the $300 one.
I’d like to change that. I’d like to make it so art is valuable *because* it’s art, not because it’s expensive. I think *everyone* should be able to own an original piece if they want without having to take out a small loan or max out a credit card. I think it should be a business relationship that benefits the artist and the consumer in the long run. Return customers over one-time $500 purchases that happen occasionally.
So the other day I had an idea for an art boutique that would do that. If I could, I would love to have a group of local/unknown artists selling original pieces for under $200. With an online-shop component also – and a storefront in a good location. People could look around, get a piece (or several) for their room, or a gift, or a souvenir – they could ask for custom work or commission a piece if the artist they wanted as open to that.
I guess really it’d be like taking the museum/gallery experience and bringing it to people who would like art but don’t think they could ever afford it.
I don’t know, maybe it’s crazy but it makes sense to me, and I think I’m going to work it into my etsy shop further. Explain it, I suppose. Also, I’m considering doing a Deal-a-week. Which one painting is featured at a discounted price only for that week, and the next week it’s a new one. Kinda like they do with shirts, except every week instead of everyday.

Dreaming

I’ve spent quite a bit of time over the last week dreaming. Imagining what I would do if money weren’t a factor, if I could do and be and have anything and everything I wanted – what would I do that would be amazing and satisfying and that I would love to spend years of my life doing? It sort of came down to a number of things (I like to have variety).
I would have an *amazing* two story house near the coast somewhere – with  a (heated) pool and two living rooms (that way we can work in one, and have to go up and down stairs), and a secret closet entrance to my studio, and somewhere on the property we would have a soundstage and an area that’s painted green (or even a room in the house that’s green). One of the living rooms would be long enough that there’s 10ft of playing space for the kinect, and we could move the couch back/forth as we wanted to. It’d be open, I guess – and there would be some kind of surround sound system, and a coffee table.
I’d have a ton of room to paint, and we’d have plenty of room to film or host film shoots (if people needed to rent out a soundstage or something). There would be additional bedrooms so people could come over and have a room that wasn’t also an office/studio/where-the-litter-box-is – and I would theme them. One would probably have black accents, and the other white accents. Maybe purple/black and turquoise/white. I would have a canopy-like thing somewhere. Or maybe just like a curtain thing over/beside/in front of a bed. There would be more than one bathroom – and the master bath would have some kind of whirlpool or jacuzzi tup and a two-person shower…and TWO SINKS, and enough room to use the counter without knocking things over. Also, I would bring in Central AC because Maine is weird and doesn’t believe in the idea. Maybe we’d have an editing room too…that might be cool.
Alex would do whatever he wanted – coding/film/etc and he would have a desk in his work-livingroom if he wanted.
I would paint, and start an art boutique (more on that in a later post). We’d be doing lots of film on the side, and at night we’d play video games and watch TV and go on walks. I would have a nice smelling plant outside my studio window so at night I could smell it when the windows were open. Maybe a night-blooming jasmine or something.
I’d also take up sewing again, for altering/costuming purposes. I’m not super-amazing, but I do like to dabble in it, I’d probably buy a Singer because my Brother machine sort of bit the dust and I don’t think it’s worth it to fix it when I could just buy a better one for a little more than what I paid for the first. I could make a table cloth too.
I’d learn how to make things with wood and power tools and get over my fear of hurting myself. I’d live without holding back.
I’d have a TARDIS Blue car.
…They say daydreaming is essential to creativity, and the more I think about it, the more I realize that it is. The ability to imagine a world different than the reality that you’re in is vital. Along with that, it’s entirely possible. Maybe it won’t be exactly like I imagine, in fact I doubt that it will, but thinking about it, makes tiny steps and ideas that once seemed far off and distant, doable. Maybe I won’t have a house with a soundstage anytime soon – but I can learn to play with wood, I can buy a sewing machine, we can keep making films and getting involved with the local film groups.