Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Pictures of Moustache Men

We are literally just hours away from the end of November, or rather Movember, the term given to the month of the year where folks grow the most attractive of facial hair forms (usually, or at least in my opinion it is) in an effort to raise awareness for prostate cancer and other men's health issues.

So a few weeks ago, I thought of combining some of my favorite famous moustaches together in one moustache-marvelous illustration. I will never turn down an opportunity to research and draw Clark Gable, after all.

And now, so much quickly flown by tiume later, as a true believer of better late than never, here's my Movember inspired moustachioed piece.

It was the working on Alicia-fying so many famous folks's faces that kept me from finishing it in a more timely fashion. I was determined to finish and post it tonight though, as opposed to let it sit unfinished until next November or to post it in December or such. So there you have it.

Besides, having had many loved ones in my own life affected by issues such as prostate cancer, I believe every and any month of the year is a good month to donate and support charities such as the Prostate Cancer Foundation, Livestrong, and the American Cancer Society, moustache or not. Right?

Right! Pin It

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Pups in Cups Overfloweth

The bigger and better than ever (really - they have expanded and added tons of awesome new artists this year to celebrate their 10th anniversary this year!) Blue Genie Art Bazaar is just around the corner for reals now, and I'm getting all my goods and gear ready to premiere on opening day this Wednesday (that's December 1st, by the way).

That means I've been finishing up some more Pups in Cups, and figured I'd post a few of the new ones up here for all to see. Then it's time to matte and frame them and put them up for sale, and it's bye-bye, my pups!

If you're in Austin, you can check out all the show info and events here. And if you're not in Austin, you can peruse the websites and stores of the participating artists for something spectacular.

And maybe you'll run into a super cute pup in a cup along the way. If they haven't all been adopted yet, that is... Pin It

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Here's wishing everyone a warm and happy Thanksgiving with family, friends and loved ones filled with good times, togetherness, and of course, thanks for all of the above.

And pie. Don't forget the pie! Pin It

Friday, November 19, 2010

Pups in Cups

It's that time of year again!

Meaning, it's time for the wild and wonderful Blue Genie Art Bazaar. Meaning, it's time that I make a whole new batch of art and gift goodies to peddle throughout the month of December.

New this year is my series of Pups in Cups -- super cute original gouache paintings of your preferred pooches perched in petite porcelain cups.

I realize I tend to lean towards cat heavy art (What? ME?!? A cat lover? Ppffshhh! ), which isn't very fair to all the dog lovers out there (myself included), so I'm bringing out the doggies. Here's a sneak preview of some of them.

I personally love the howling beagle (but then I have a soft spot for beagles and beagle mixes having had one as a child, and having an aunt who is a beagle rescue and foster mama).

But I think this precious pit is my favorite. Again, I have a soft spot for them, what with having so many pit rescuers and adorable pits and pit mixes in my life (special shout out to Piglet!).

So! Cute! Mug O' Pup! Gahhh!!! Working on these have made me want to get a dog more and more. Sigh!

Speaking of foster and rescue pups, I don't do this often, but since this is an organization that means a lot to me...I'd like to take some time to encourage folks to donate to Emancipet -- an organization here in Austin that provides free and low cost spaying, neutering, and pet care.

They are in the midst of their Power of 10 donation drive (donation page here), where sponsors are there to match every dollar donated. They do really great work and help a lot of great animals, so know that every donation does a world of good.

Oh, puppies and kittens, I'm totally smitten! Thus I pledge to help, That they will not yelp, And pray they find homes, So they no longer roam. *

* You like that? I made it up. Just now! Fancy that. Good thing I don't try to sell poetry for a living, eh? Pin It

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pretty Purple Posies

Last week I had the pleasure of presenting these pretty purple gum paste posies to a very special lady on her 70th birthday. Soooo pretty!

And while I've worked with gum paste before, (on the brain slug cupcakes, and again with the figures for my sister-in-law's baby shower cake), I've never really made gum paste flowers before.

My mother has made plenty of them, especially back in her cake and catering days (and most recently, as seen on my wedding cake), but I have been a bit scared off by them myself.

But this cake was an opportunity t do something more traditional, which I admit was refreshing, what with all the Wampas and cakefaces and Hank Williamses on my cakes.

So I found myself sitting down with the Wilton Gum Paste Flower kit (a birthday present gets used, yay!!!), making up whichever flowers I figured I could make without having to use wires and stamens (because that would require a trip to the store), in shades of purple and pink -- the birthday girl's fave colors, of course!

It really is pretty easy, just follow the instruction and make sure you have some vegetable oil or veggie shortening around to tame the sticky gum paste...

...And have some time on your hands. It's not too difficult (although I admit the carnations are infuriating! Die, carnations, die!) but it is time consuming!

And there you go!

Oh, and at some point in the process, a fingerprint unknowingly got on the camera lens and gave everything an appropriately fuzzy filter in one corner of all the photos.

The cake got lots of compliments (it was brown sugar nut cake with cream cheese icing), on not only the flowers, but the taste, and of course the flowers. I also preached my 'Buttercream And Gumpaste Trimuph Over Fondant Forever For the Win' spiel (yes, I'm one of those people who is sick to death of fondant)...

..and despite what I see as a hopelessly sloppy and horrificly not-entirely-centered-birthday-message (lemme tell you, I know why there are so many inscription based cake wrecks -- soooo not an easy thing to do!).

I reckon beauty is in the eye of the cake eater then. Or is it in the mouth..?

I admit, I'm coming off this most recent cake success feeling a bit encouraged to go ahead and enter this year's That Takes the Cake competition -- I mean, cakes with a comic book theme?!?! That's Alicia heaven!!!

But then again, I don't know...competitions have a way of taking the fun out of things, don't they?

Gah! Curse my competitive spirit! Pin It

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Hooray, Space! (Happy Carl Sagan Day)

Today is Carl Sagan Day! It's a day to celebrate the life and work of beloved astronomer Carl Sagan, as well as a day to celebrate astronomy, space exploration, science, and reason (and I like to think creative thinking as well).

So what's with the Vulcan-American federation lady and a pledge to reason and logic?

Ok. I admit, it's not meant to be a piece for Carl Sagan Day (my Carl Sagan inspired piece remains unfinished as yet, but that's what happens when one is a perfectionist working on a very personally inspiring piece).

This Vulcan lady here came out of nowhere one day, into my brain, and out my fingertips, into my brush and onto the wood a few weeks back (or soemthing along those lines). And it's been sitting around unshared and unphotographed (and awaiting display in this year's Blue Genie Art Bazaar) ever since.

However, I figured it would be a nice addition to the space decor for today anyway - logic, reason, space, exploration, and yes, a dash of America (or NASA, if you will). A pledge to logic and reason, and a desire to explore the final frontier. Sounds somewhat Sagan-esque to me...

I will be celebrating space by catching the Hubble 3D Imax film. If you can't make it out to a screening yourself, snuggle up at home and watch yourself some Cosmos (available right here on Hulu). It's brilliant! I distinctly remember watching the 4th dimension bit in my 8th grade science class (thanks, Mr. Donley!).

Or you can listen to some Carl Sagan auto-tuning, with more from the Symphony of Science over here.

Or at the very least, you should listen to Carl reading 'The Pale Blue Dot.' Right now. I'm of the opinion that it should be required listening... And make sure your tissues are at hand.

Thank you, Carl. Pin It

Monday, November 1, 2010

Máscaras del Día de los Muertos

Today, of course, is el Día de los Muertos, and to celebrate the occasion, I painted up these papier maché masks.

I purchased them blank and pre-formed from the craft store in the midst of all their Halloween to-do. I had designs on them becoming bright and floral ofrenda decor from the moment I laid eyes on them. A little craft paint and some time later, and there they were. I think of the orange one as being male, and the pink one as female, and I especially likes that somehow, the same papier maché mold warped into two completely different skull types.

Hope you like them as much as I do.

I guess Halloween and Day of the Dead make for a two post kinda day, huh? Pin It

Halloween and Skull Cupcakes

Last night was my first Halloween where I got to treat the trick-or-treaters! Hooray! And they were sooooo cute. And very polite, too.

I was so psyched to get to hand out candy, I got caught up in a last minute tizzy of Halloween spirit that's never struck me before. Decorations, snacks, baking, multiple jack-o-lanterns, and zombie costumes, all done within 48 hours. Whew!

I really should do a better job of adopting the craft blogger M.O. of working on any given holiday's decor and related projects a month or so ahead of time. It's better for blogging and tutorials, yes, but it also might leave me with a little more time to enjoy it all.

But for now, I'm one of those 'I do my best work at the very last minute' frenzied types....and not to mention a 'Holiday Purest' (if you think you're gonna open that Christmas present before Christmas morning, you better think again! And no DECorations until it's DECember, either...)

These cupcakes were a literal last minute addition, having finished them up just before our treats-giving guests arrived. Close call! I know it's frowned upon to hand out home baked goods to little kiddies, (I don't want to end up like poor Mrs. Weir and her ant covered cookies in the Freaks and Geeks Halloween episode) so these were grown-ups only creepy cupcakes to snack on between trick-or-treat visits.

They're devil's food cake and cream cheese icing -- I just drew skulls on the cupcakes with a simple medium circle tip in the bag, and tried to layer the eye sockets and teeth to give them a little bit of dimension. I think they turned out pretty cute, myself, and like how they look with the various sprinkled cupcakes as well.

I even carved a skull pumpkin to match.

Well, that's it for my Halloweeny post. I hope everyone had a happy Halloween!

Between my last minute creepy creations, the Monster Show, attending the coolest Halloween party ever (my friends are the masters of the macabre -- their place was decorated with genius and I just wish my photos had been good enough to share!), and my first trick-or-treaters ever, I know my Halloween weekend was certainly a treat. Pin It