We already celebrated Halloween on Friday, the 26th of October, in Funkstown, Maryland.
Lydia was attending a sophisticated party for 10-year-olds, while I accompanied my two toddlers in their homemade My Little Pony costumes; Mia was Pinky Pie and Jacob was Rainbow Dash.
It certainly wasn’t a Martha Stewart project, rather they kept changing their minds until the very last minute.
Joe grudgingly went along with the rainbow-colored yarn tail and felt “Cutie Mark” that I fastened to his son’s rear….
Although he grumbled, “Aren’t there any boy Ponies?”
“Why, yes, in fact ~ There is a male unicorn called Joe! His Cutie-Mark is an iced doughnut. Wanna come Trick-Or-Treating with us, Honey?”
I’m actually On Time for a Halloween post this year! Although Hurricane Sandy did her best to knock our cable and Internet offline for a couple of days, and I was worried this post might not go live until next week ~ we were obviously lucky! We even managed to keep our electricity throughout the storm.
Last November, I wrote a slightly belated Halloween post about decorating vampire fanged cupcakes with blood-shot eyes. I had just transferred to the bakery as a part-time cake decorator to bring in extra income for the holidays.
This year, I took the bakery manager position while Joe was out of work… so my plate was full this October.
I still had to worry about producing enough cupcakes to fill the main display (I have three cake decorators to help me!)… but also needed to keep this wall of featured goodies full….
And this other display….
I personally decorated these Jack-O-Lantern doughnuts. 106 boxes so far…. and they’re selling like crazy!
Artwise, I’ve finished up two commissions, and am ready to jump into a third. I can’t share the finished portraits yet, because they are meant to be gifts.
The wait is excruciating!
The charity auction at Howards’ Arts and Frames raised over $3,000 for Guiding Eyes for the Blind. My two Baroque-style portraits netted $20 (to the same bidder ~ so thank you, mystery cat-lover!) and I won my bid for a beautiful mixed media collage by Kate Williams, incorporating one of Shel Silverstein’s famous poems:
Listen to the Mustn’ts, Child
Listen to the Don’ts
Listen to the Shouldn’ts, the Impossibles, the Won’ts
Listen to the Never Haves
Then Listen Close to Me ~
Anything can Happen, Child.
Anything can Be.
~ Shel Silverstein
This inspiring piece deserves a special space on my studio wall, because it truly sums up how I’ve felt this year ~ with all the set-backs and difficulties we’ve experienced (some which I’ve shared online, and some I’ve kept to myself) ~ I believe that having the right attitude makes a world of difference.
I could listen to that inner voice (and a few outer voices) that tell me to “give it up” and accept my future as a retail employee, or return to college to earn a sensible degree.
Or I can continue to push myself further into this uncertain world, head to Megacon in the spring, cough up entrance fees for bigger shows, and see what happens.
I do enjoy my job, though. It’s been awhile since I’ve shared any discarded grocery lists (I still find them, and read them!) … but I did uncover a list of my own, stuffed in a pocket, while I was doing laundry. I thought I might share with you, because my short-hand is rather funny.
This is a work list of items we needed in the bakery a few days ago:
- 8″ Rain
- RV – 2
- Boston – 2
- Lemon from Steps
- Sliced Marble
- Rasp Thumb
- Oat Tub
- Dutch Snicker
- Dutch Peanut
- Gooey Pump
- Devil’s Holes
- 4ct Blue
- Asst Mini Family
- Mini Snicker
- Haw Bread
- Hall Cookies
My bakery associates are so awesome, they can actually interpret my list!
Well, except for the 8″ Rain … I had to explain it was an 8-inch Rainbow Layer Cake for the cake showcase.
Heaven knows, we don’t need 8 more inches of rain!!
I wish I could take my ladies with me to help with the fall Farmer’s Market this Saturday in Westminster. They’d have a blast!
Unless the venue washed away in the flood. It’s better to be safe and dry at home, than risk life and limbs to sell art in a hurricane.
Although I will take advantage of the next severe storm, and channel those 70-mph gusts of wind to promote my work…. I will tie my prints, in weather-proof cellophane bags, onto strings of helium balloons, and let Mother Nature distribute them across the East Coast. One might land on the penthouse balcony of a famous art director or celebrity cat-lover.
Hey, anything can happen, Child! Anything can be!
May I introduce you to His Grace, the Duke of Welfurrd, and his wife, the Duchess of Welfurrd.
(Well-furred, get it??)
They are my entries this year for the 7th annual Art For the Animals, to raise money for Guiding Eyes for the Blind.
Last year, my AfriCat painting went for $40.00 at auction, with all the proceeds donated to the charity.
All entries must be 5″x7″. Howards’ Arts and Frames (the host of the fundraiser) professionally frames each piece, and all artwork will be on display from Saturday, October 6th through Thursday, October 25th.
Visitors to the store may bid on paintings (each piece has a sheet of paper attached for written bids) and vote on their favorites. The winning bidders will be determined on the 25th, where the artists receiving the most popular votes will also be awarded at their closing ceremony.
Last year, I entered the competition literally at the 11th hour… and spent 6 hours total on the project. (You can watch me painting Africat in this 2-part video)
Howards was kind enough to extend the deadline for a few late entries like mine.
I promised myself that I’d be on the ball this time… I even planned to do a few canvases. But again, I was distracted by other shiny things… and passed the billboard signage without a second glance.
Until last weekend.
Slapping my hand to my forehead, and turning the car around, I went back and picked up two canvases.
My week was already super-busy (a bakery dept. inventory scheduled, long hours, etc…) or I might’ve felt ambitious enough to grab several.
As it was, I worked on these two Baroque-style cat portraits off and on throughout the week, completing 80% of them before the 29th; i.e. their deadline.
I put the final stroke on the Duke’s fur at 4:00PM on Saturday, and let them dry for an hour.
The second coat of varnish was still drying, and tacky to the touch, when I rolled into Howards’ parking-lot at 5:55PM.
And yep, you guessed it. They close at 6:00PM.
The door was still open, the clerk was counting register receipts, and I casually strolled up and laid my two nearly-dry felines on the counter.
The framer, Andrew, looked them over carefully and pronounced them “Very cool”.
He also shared a secret ~ Quite a few paintings were arriving tacky with drying varnish.
I wasn’t the only procrastinator, eh?
In fact, out of the 194 entries they received ~ 20 more than last year ~ 58 of them were handed in that very afternoon! LOL!
At this point, I’m unsure if phone-in bids will be accepted this year… I’ve heard both yes and no. I will post the auction details as I learn more.
If you do not live locally, and are unable to bid on the paintings themselves, I will also be making prints available on Etsy soon. I’ve already printed up some greeting cards and bookmarks (and they’re really cute!)… and I’m waiting on a nice, sunny day when I have time to photograph them.
Perhaps I’ll sneak away from work on my lunch break tomorrow.
So now that the excitement of a last-minute deadline is past, it’s back to the studio to finish the two commissioned portraits whose owners are waiting very patiently.