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Look carefully at what's on my skirt--the shoplifting gizmo from Macy's. The saleswoman never took it off and it didn't ring when I went out, so I didn't know anything was up until I wore it to a party and everyone said, "Did you shoplift that skirt?" We tried to bang the thing off with a hammer and it wouldn't loosen. I felt myself getting so annoyed--who has time to go back to Macy"s? I took a deep breath and found myself getting a kick out of it. Everyone who walked into the party had a laugh. And when I went into a store and the salewoman saw the shoplifting gizmo, she waited on me first. When I did gat to Macy's to have it taken off, I actually missed it. Enjoy whatever comes you way, whether you can get it off or not!


Back with the boys and girls

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An early update this week, as it is half term and I have to grab any chance I can to use the computer.  The next update will be on Wednesday 8th June.

I have had a second go at drawing our little puss, Kizzie, this time in chalk pastels. It is more satisfactory, than the last one, but I’ve “lost” the markings and she looks more like a tortoishell.  Also the construction of the face isn’t quite spot on, so I am calling this another practice go.
It was good to be back with the boys and girls at art group again this week.  No one asked where I was last week and I wondered if they’d noticed I wasn’t there.  Karen had completed her ape painting, and Kevin had produced an attractive painting of some woodlands, in pale watercolours and leaving plenty of white showing.  She and Sue have both said they want to paint Kizzie.
Elizabeth was working on a small Inktense pencil crayon drawing of some parrots, from a photo taken at a zoo she visited abroad on a cruise earlier this year.
As mentioned last week, I am featuring some of the artists whose websites link with my Artists of Derbyshire website, beginning with Andy Greaves MA, a photographer.  I find his images interesting and thought provoking.  There's a link to his blog from the bottom of this one, and here's one to his website: Andy says:
'I have been an exhibiting and published photographer for over 25 years. My interests encompass all art disciplines within the creative industry. I am particularly interested with the participatory arts sector as a means to transform and empower both individuals and communities.

To The Lighthouse!

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... as Virginia Woolf would say.
Hunstanton Lighthouse
I didn’t go to art group this week, as I was at the seaside (Hunstanton, on the Norfolk coast) for the day.
"Oils" on Irfan View - funnily enough, it doesn't look that different
Whilst there, I photographed this lighthouse and ruined chapel in front of it (St Edmund’s Chapel).  I have been trying different effects on the computer screen to see how it might look if I painted it, and I think it is a good subject for a painting.  Meanwhile young Kizzie has got into some good poses for me, although I have to be quick photographing her.   I have started a blog for her (link on the right) as she is so cute and funny  She’s always up to something.
I have also exchanged links with 8 or 9 mainly local artists with websites, and will be featuring some of them over the coming weeks.  I got their details from the Arts Derbyshire website, which has listings of about 1,500 local artists, writers, dancers, organisations etc, and is worth a look if you want to commission something, want an artist to work with children in a school, or perhaps need a graphic designer.  There is even someone who can organise barn dances.  What more can you ask for?  And of course my website is listed on there too.
Today, I popped over to Bolsover District Council to see their new cafĂ© area, with, apparently, space where our group can display paintings.  I am not sure if we will be allowed to display them to sell, but hopefully will be allowed to use a display to help publicise our group, and as we do need new members this might be a good idea.


Who me?

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Just a first draft

Now we have our new kitten at home, I have begun to try to depict her in oil pastels.  To be honest, the lines have come out too thick, so I will need to either make the painting bigger or perhaps use chalk pastels instead.  Fur needs fine lines.  Most of the art group are interested in doing “Kizzie” as a group project, and I have sent some photos of her to them all.
Looking like butter wouldn't melt

Much as she has been an inspiration on the art front, puss is in danger of becoming a liability to my belly dancing hobby – see link to my other blog (below right).   I don’t think I’ve mentioned my other blog before, but it has been going for 11 weeks now, so there’s probably enough content now to justify a mention.   It is on similar lines to this one, but I haven’t joined a group to do it (there’s nothing locally), it’s just something I do on my own, but still fun all the same.

Here is Karen’s “Best in Show” “Who Me?” which I promised to feature recently.  She was working on this painting last weekend.

I also need to give a mention to as they were going to mention me in their blog.  Note the article on the front page.  Apparently, a lot of American mums run small businesses, like me with my art website (link above).  You often see links to book or craft shops from their blogs.

I have been in touch with the tourism department at our local council and am on the trail of new places to exhibit (as usual).   Meantime, Kevin and Margaret have arranged for us to have a display of our work at Barrow Hill Church, near Staveley this coming Saturday.  Meanwhile, I’ve heard from Retford museum that we can have a group display there in February 2013, and have accepted this date.  However, I am still hoping for something sooner elsewhere.

We are also looking for new members, and everyone is welcome, if any of you readers out there fancy a dabble, and your first session is free.  Just turn up at Clowne Cricket Club at 9.30 on a Saturday armed with your art materials and give it a go.


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Sit back, if you can (I jolted in my seat several times) and watch The Double Hour for the way the director caught deep characterizations within short sequences, and how the non-linear, haunting movie builds and builds to unbearable tension and an ending that will leave you dissecting long after you leave.


A lighter shade of pink

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We have had a new arrival at home this week, but before our new kitten, Kizzy, joined us, and could be photographed and used as a subject, I had to find something to do at last week’s art group.I have therefore lightened up the magenta on my swirly painting, and made the colour more even.To do this, I mixed 50/50 magenta and zinc white. Here is one of the canvases. I think it is a big improvement.

Altogether now - aaah!

Kevin at art group suggested trying to photograph all the kittens snuggled up together, and doing a pastel picture based on the photo, but taking a photo like this proved impossible at the time we visited them.  The kittens were in a foster home, and the foster carer hopes to e-mail me a photo of them all together, as apparently her husband liked to photograph them.

The group have been putting together paintings for a display at a church in the Staveley area (the one in Derbyshire, not Cumbria) in the next few days.  I will let you know the details when I am sure of where it is.

The Role of the Narrator

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Rereading John Irving's coming of age quirky, darkly comic novel, A Prayer for Owen Meany, quirky, I'm reminded that a narrator can't just tell you about another character. He has to tell you about himself, why he's bound to this other character, what he can learn from him, what is the link, the obsession. John Wheelright's best friend, Owen Meany, a dwarf with impaired vocal chords vocal chords, just happens to kill John's mother, but remains John's friend. If we only heard about Owen, the novel would fall flat. Think of Nick in The Great Gatsby. If we didn't know that Nick was from West Egg and trying to climb his way up in the financial and social world that Gatsby appears to be part of, The Great Gatsby not only wouldn't be a classic. It might never have gotten published.


Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit .... er kitten!

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Altogether aaah! One of the kittens we can choose from
After a 2-3 month wait, we have finally come up on the waiting list for a new kitten, so I hope to be doing some artwork based on her soon. For now, I have added a little more to my Snow Bunnies picture. As you can see, there is now another rabbit, although he must have been telling fibs because his nose is a bit long. It makes his head look like a kangaroo's.  I’ll be putting that right once the paint is dry enough. I have also added a bit to the foreground foliage.

After all the excitement of last weekend’s exhibition, it was back down to earth again this week, as our group met up again.  I have been trying to think of ideas to help those whose paintings aren’t selling:

1. In the leaflet, I am going to set aside a page at the front for next year’s designated “featured artist”, a non-seller, who will have a whole page to themselves, and larger or more copies of pictures of their artwork than the others.

2. I am hoping to persuade Maggie to set aside the display boards nearest the refreshment area, for each non-seller to have some of their paintings on display.
That’s all I’ve been able to come up with so far. If any of you readers can think of anything else (especially things that don’t cost anything) answers on a postcard (sorry – by way of comments below) please.
We did have a lower turnout than usual this year, although perhaps better than I’d originally thought, as I have been told that the Sunday was busy. Most members were happy with the attendance, anyway.

Finally, just a quick mention for my bookbinder friend Heather, who is doing a craft fair at Hatfield House this week.  She has had to buy a pop-up tent just for this occasion, so would love it if people could visit the craft fair.  I featured her work last year in "Bookbinder Ahoy" which you can see in my archives (link here).

May at Literary Laundry

This May marks the one year anniversary of our founding. It's been quite a year--two amazing issues and three wonderful showcases. We would like to thank our readers, authors, editors, and supporters. To everyone who has helped to make LL such a success, thank you.
This month, we are pleased to announce the debut of our fourth showcased author, Faisal Mohyuddin. Mohyuddin's poetry is one of intersection and conflict--it explores identity, culture, and memory, probing their sometimes-melodic, sometimes-dissonant, and always-complex exchange. This showcase is not to be missed. Check it out at:
Additionally, we have added a number of reviews to our reviews page: our readers may have noticed, the LL discussion forums went on Spring Break sometime in mid April. They are back and we hope better than ever in the form of our new LL blog. It is our hope that blogging will provide a more user-accessible forum for discussion, in which our readers will feel free to talk all things culture. Be part of the discourse and share your thoughts:
Submissions close for our third issue on June 1. In the meantime, LL continues to explore new ways to better serve the contemporary writing community. The launch of our "chapbook" series has thus far met with great enthusiasm. Keep sending in your works. If we receive enough chapbook applications, we might just consider launching a print "novella" series.

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