Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy All Hallow's Eve!

Here are some of the "creatures" that greeted the maurading hoards of trick or treaters we had this afternoon and tonite. Our front porch welcomed the costumed creatures, and some "Monster Mash", "Who Ya Gonna Call - Ghostbusters", and "Purple People Eater" songs also played as they came to get their treats. We probably had about 100 in 3 hours, not as many as in previous years, but it was pretty much non-stop for at least 2 of those hours.

Since John is upnorth with a hunting friend, and Kasey went off to a party with friends, I was the only one here to hand out the candy..but I enjoyed the kids, there were some pretty cool costumes too!

I stuck a couple of my torso assemblages in the front windows for decorations, and had a few comments from parents about how different and cool they were, so that's pretty awesome! Several of the kids said that the eyes in the Archangel Torso followed them and they wondered how I did that? *L* Must have been an optical illusion, but it's pretty cool that they were kind of freaked out by it..bwhahaha!

Tomorrow is All Saints Day, I need to finish my own costume for that tonite, since we ask people to come to Church dressed as a saint of our own choosing, and Fr. Bill has us share a bit about that saint during the sermon time. We don't have as many kids who have been to Sunday School to pick out costumes for their saint, but it's just as well, it will be a busy day tomorrow with baptisms happening too.

Time to relax...ahhhhhh.... quiet house, I get control of the remote, and a few pieces of Halloween candy to tide me over..*S*

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Factotum (assemblage, found object art)

fac·to·tum (fāk-tō'təm)
n. An employee or assistant who serves in a wide range of capacities.

[Medieval Latin factōtum : Latin fac, imperative of facere, to do; see dhē- in Indo-European roots + Latin tōtum, everything, from neuter of tōtus, all; see teutā- in Indo-European roots.]

I guess you could say that's me, a factotum. My work and my life involves many different things, and has many aspects to it....from small trivial, menial things & events, all the way to some large, important decisions & responsibilities & sometimes it just seems like it gets to be too much to handle.

At times I feel like I am multi-tasking in too many areas of life, juggling too much, and dropping the ball a lot of times. This assemblage piece is sort of a reflection of that inner turmoil that often doesn't show on the outside.

"Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." (Psalm 139: 7, 9-10, 23-24)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Bummer of a Day.....

What started out as an exciting, hoped for day, turned into a bummer... I was up late and then up early working on finishing the newsletter and bookkeeping so I could take off at Noon and go Warhol-ing at the Milwaukee Art Museum.. but alas, it was not to be. Little did I know that frustration would be just around the corner.

Somehow, it is thought, still not sure what the heck went wrong, but my newsletter program decided to get corrupted ... #!%*#!!

I spent over 8 hours trying to see what the heck was wrong, checking to see if I had a computer virus, defragged the computer (all of which took over 3 1/2 hours), called the tech guy, got some things going, but then they disappeared, and finally in desparation, I called again, and this nice man (Dave at LPI) called back... a calm in the midst of the storm... and he had me email him the file, he'll try in the AM to fix it so I maybe don't have to redo it all (took me over 20 hours of work originally).

I am going to be making some apple crisp tonite, thinking on my way with John for his MRI and CAT scan tomorrow in Milwaukee, I'll drop it off for Dave and thank him for being so nice, and supportive. Hopefully he'll be able to fix it, but either way, he was such a nice man, and helped calm me down some.. *L*

So, Kasey and Lisa went on to the Warhol exhibit, it was good Kasey said, but she came home feeling queasy and sick, and is now upstairs taking it easy... I decided I needed PIZZA we are waiting on it to arrive...then, I am planning on de-stressing.

For those who have also had similar experiences, I found a great stress buster for you to use... just follow the instructions..*G*

Tomorrow's another day...thank GOD!

Monday, October 26, 2009

End of Month Crunch & Warhol-ing

The last week of each month is always a killer... end of month bookkeeping to finish, newsletter to finish, transmit online, then pick up & mail out, among the usual work stuff and housework stuff (usually no time for creating art during the last week of each month). I'm trying to get a lot of the work done today, so tomorrow I can go "Warhol-ing"! I will be heading to the Milwaukee Art Museum tomorrow afternoon with daughter Kasey and SIL, Lisa, maybe meeting one of my sisters there too? We're going to see the Andy Warhol exhibit. Can't wait!! Now if I can just stay focused on getting the newsletter done tonite!


For your reading pleasure... more info on the Milwaukee Art Museum Warhol Exhibit which is there until January 3, 2010:

Andy Warhol: The Last Decade is the first U.S. museum survey exhibition to explore the work that this seminal American artist produced during the final years of his life. Warhol entered a period of renewed vigor and enthusiasm in the 1980s that resulted in what was arguably the most productive period of his career.

Premiering at the Milwaukee Art Museum, the exhibition includes approximately 55 works lent by private collections and institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art, Baltimore Museum of Art, and Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh. Along with an introduction to Warhol, it is divided into thematic sections based on significant Warhol series: abstract works; collaborations (featuring Jean-Michel Basquiat); black-and-white ads; works surrounding death and religion; self-portraits; camouflage patterns; and a concluding section of the artist's Last Supper series.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Featured at Episcopal Cafe Art Blog - Mapping the Miraculous

This is so exciting!
I received an email from Mel Ahlborn, the President of the Board of ECVA (Episcopal Church and Visual Arts) who is also a wonderful artist herself! Mel has featured my assemblage art at The Episcopal Cafe Art Blog today.

"Mapping the Miraculous" features my assemblage "Jesus, Light of the World", and some very nice comments about my art. (Read below, or go to the highlighted link to see other great features there too!)

THANK YOU MEL!! I am honored and sincerely appreciate being featured at The Episcopal Cafe Art Blog and your comments about my art!

Figurative artists illustrate, abstract artists deconstruct, filmmakers shoot and photographers photograph. As art appreciators, we more or less depend on the artists in these categories to stick to their script. We like enough predictability to deliver a sense of the familiar; it's a safety net woven from fulfilled expectation that protects our sensibilities from red-lining too far off center.

I wonder, though, how true the above statements are when examined in the context of faith and the visual arts. Is our spiritual hunger satisfied when we watch a documentary film, or when we view an artist's rendering of Jerusalem circa 5 BC? When the subject of their work is scripture, or the parables of Jesus or personal memoirs of the miraculous, there are just so many directions an artist can go.

Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art. ~ Leonardo da Vinci

DaVinci's statement acknowledges the role of the spirit in the creative activity of the artist. The quote headlines the blog of artist Roberta Karstetter, whose work is on view this week at The Art Blog. Ms Karstetter creates with found objects. Her discipline is known as assemblage art. I am drawn to the 'visible memories' that I see when I spend time viewing Karstetter's work. When I look at a piece of her work, fragments of my own past detach from their neurological anchors, and begin to once again free-associate in my mind. Karstetter provides me with the gift of reflection, and release, of my very human past.

As a body of work, Karstetter reexamines the Christian story from a highly subjective point-of-view. I say hers is a point-of-view worth meeting first-hand. What Karstetter chooses to emphasize with her assemblage art is, I imagine, as much choice as chance. That's the artist's way, that's the creative life, that's spirit at work with the hand. That's art.

On View: Jesus, Light of the World Assemblage by Roberta Karstetter. More information is available at Karstetter's blog. Posted by Mel Ahlborn on October 25, 2009 4:25 PM

Saturday, October 24, 2009


Today I did work for a few hours, but the call of the beauty outside was too much.. I asked Kasey if I could use her camera (a fancy schmancy, expensive one) and I set out to photograph the colors of Fall. And the sun even came out later to make it even better!! Oh how I love the season of FALL, and wish it could last longer, but unfortunately, in our area, the colors are dwindling, and the leaves will soon be off the trees...but for your viewing pleasure, here are some places I enjoyed today.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

More Calendar Publicity... Delavan Mayor Hams it up as Mr. April in Cancer Society Fundraiser

Dousman Transport has created a "Cancer Never Takes a Holiday Calendar" to raise money for the American Cancer Society.

DELAVAN -- Mayor Mel Nieuwenhuis, along with 14 other men who call themselves the Dudes of Dousman, are featured in a 2010 calendar called "Cancer Never Takes a Holiday."

See more of the article here from the Walworth County Today (from Oct. 15th)....
Delavan mayor hams it up as Mr. April in Cancer Society fundraising calendar -- Walworth County Today

And the Chicago Tribune online also featured a short blip and the video from Fox 6 News Channel in Milwaukee on Oct. 14th.

Whoo hooo... more publicity for the 2010 Calendar Fund Raiser to benefit The American Cancer Society!!

And just today The Delavan Enterprise ran a really nice article (with a lot of photos) in the weekly edition of the local paper!

Maybe they'll be having another 1000 calendars printed to sell? That would be GREAT!
I also have some of the calendars to sell, contact me if you'd like one, or contact Dousman Transport, Delavan.

The View From Here.... BEAUUUUTIFUL!

The view from the front windows....

Even though it's a dreary, overcast day with sprinkles, the colors of the leaves in front of our house shine through! I thought I better hurry and snap photos because the rain was making the leaves drop like crazy, and they'll probably be off the trees in a day or so. I wish these colors could last a LOT longer, they are gorgeous!

I'm just glad we have a leaf blower! *L*

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

New & Improved Apocalypse Assemblage...

I have this "thing" about looking at my assemblages and then adding to them months later, after I thought I was done with the piece.

The APOCALYPSE assemblage is one of those... sooo, here, for your viewing pleasure is the new and improved Apocalypse.

Monday, October 19, 2009

A GREAT Treasure Find and More....

This is a pretty cool piece, I think it's meant to be a form for making hats? I don't know what it's called however (a block??). I LOVE it just as it is, but may use it in some kind of assemblage or installation? The hand is a cast-iron reproduction that I found in a shop on our road trip to Tennessee.

These are a few other things I've found lately to use in some kind of art project down the road. Not a bad haul from Good Will! (and better yet, I had coupons to make it all cheaper too!)


It was a wonderful Autumn day today too... sunny and 60's, and the colors on the trees in front of our house were making the living room glow!! Sooo beautiful, these pictures don't do them justice, but they ARE gorgeous!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

More News Coverage for American Cancer Society Fund Raiser Calendar

This is pretty cool!! A lot of publicity is being generated for the 2010 Calendar "Cancer Never Takes a Holiday", which is a fund raiser for the American Cancer Society, Relay for Life. Dousman Transport Company in Delavan had the idea for it, and Kasey (Kasey K Photo) and I helped with it too. Dousman Transport has raised a lot of money over the past 8 - 9 years for American Cancer Society, and this year's fundraiser of the calendar is their biggest effort yet. They have the potential of raising $10,000 to help fight cancer. The Milwaukee TV stations have been helping promote it too. Here's the WISN Channel 12 segment that aired this morning. (I couldn't find it on their site, but this is what I took with my camera off the TV). Kasey and I have a few calendars to sell as us. (NOTE: Don't forget to stop my playlist music before watching the videos!)

Thanks for your support!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Channel 6 News, Milwaukee (Fox) Promotes the Dudes of Dousman Calendar!

Earlier this summer I was involved, along with my daughter Kasey (Kasey K Photo), with the Dousman Transport Company, Delavan to help make a calendar to sell to raise money for the American Cancer Society, Relay for Life. The Dudes of Dousman 2010 Calendar is a fun fund raiser for a worthy cause.

Tonite on Channel 6 Fox News, Milwaukee, there was a promotional news piece on it. Check out the video below, and help the fight against cancer by buying a calendar too! (Note: Turn off or stop my playlist music to hear the video first) Thanks for your support!


Monday, October 12, 2009

All Good Things Come to an End ... Day 6 of our Awesome Adventure ... Heading Home..

We were up early this morning.. we had 10+ hours of driving to do in order to get back to Wisconsin at a decent hour tonight.

We didn't really stop much along the way ... before we left Memphis we saw this statue by Tom Lee Park on the Mississippi River. Click on the inscription photo to get a larger view and read about Tom Lee.

And off we drove... leaving Memphis, but agreeing we WILL BE BACK!!
I'm going to Memphis where the beat is tough
Memphis, I can't get enough
It makes you tremble and it makes you weak
It's in your blood, that Memphis Beat

~ Jerry Lee Lewis ~

Entering Arkansas on the way to Wisconsin... lots of cotton fields there!

Hmmm... McJesus??? We didn't have time to find out...

Crossing the great Mississippi...

Into Illinois...the longest and most boring part of the trip back... we saw the oil fields of IL, lots of oil rigs pumping out that black gold.

This person had the right idea... fly where ever you are going, and park it at a motel at night... *L*

We made it home by 8:30 p.m. on Monday. What a great trip!! Thanking God for the many blessings in safe travels, fun times, great weather (for the most part)- no snow like they had back here!..and for the blessing of my daughter Kasey, to share this time with!

And tomorrow, it's back to the real world... ugghhh..

Sunday, October 11, 2009

More Day 5 (Night 5) - Beale Street, Memphis

What a fun time we had!! So glad we decided to do Beale Street instead of touring Graceland earlier. Good music, great sights, fun times & delicious dinner!

We arrived just as they were closing off the street, that way people could do street performances and bring their drinks outside on the sidewalks and street as they went from place to place. Here's a short video of one of the performers flipping out! *G* (Don't forget to turn off/stop my playlist music to watch the videos and hear the sounds)

We walked up and down a couple of blocks just looking at the various places. Coyote Ugly was pretty empty at about 7 p.m., we just peeked in the door and Kasey snapped the bar of bras..*L* Hard Rock Cafe had some cool railings outside.

We stopped in at an outdoor place that had a good group playing.

Check out the video (turn off/stop my playlist songs first!).....

Up the street at BB King's we enjoyed another great group!!

Check out the video....

At the Rum Boogie Club we decided to have dinner... yum!! We had red beans and rice, gator gumbo soup, fried catfish fillets, pulled pork, bb ribs, coleslaw and fries...waaaay too much to eat, but DELICIOUS!!

The lamps over each table area were "autographed" by various patrons.

The street, the cafes, bars, people, sights, sounds... were all GREAT!!

At the 152 Club.... This was an awesome band too!! Loved their music, the video isn't the best, but gives you some idea of them.


An awesome night!! Great memories...we DEFINITELY want to go back SOON!!