Monday, March 26, 2012

Stormy Weather

After every storm the sun will smile; 
for every problem there is a solution, 
and the soul's indefeasible duty is to be of good cheer.
~ William R. Alger

You don't have to think of stormy weather as a somber theme,
but as an opportunity to express a deep and richer side of nature
as well as human nature. The picture below may have a rather
dark aura, but look at the magic in the sky!

I had two themes going around in my mind for the challenge this week.
Both are related. . . if I didn't call it Stormy Weather, it was going to be
Raining Cats and Dogs

In the end, I thought Stormy Weather would give everyone
more ideas to choose from, but if you like
cats and dogs (like I do), let's see them!!
This little fellow was irresistible to me.
Don't you just want to pick him up and pinch his cheeks!
(Poor little guy, I'm not sure he has cheeks!)

Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, 
snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, 
only different kinds of good weather.
~ John Ruskin

 Don't forget, you can express stormy weather in any medium.
I love this lampwork bead.

 Isn't a rainy day romantic?
In spite of the brilliant colors in the painting below, 
you can feel the drenching rain.

This painting is a bit more threatening, with its angry sky
and barbed wire. Still, I love the brilliant wheat field.
It's titled "On the Fence". Mother Nature is deciding whether 
to let the sun shine or bring on the storm!

When was the last time you went out to sing and dance in the rain?

Please visit the wonderful Etsy shops that all the above
art came from by clicking on each picture.
I hope you are inspired to create something stormy this week!

As usual, the guidelines for the challenge are
in the right sidebar. We are using Mr. Linky to make it
even  easier to leave a link to your entry.

Don't forget, your entry has a chance to be selected as the
Showcase Winner for the week, to be displayed on our
Red Carpet Gallery. Visit the Gallery now to see
the previous winners for this year!

Happy creating!

~ Maggie

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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Dolls! Challenge Results and Red Carpet Winner

What an absolute delightful line-up this week!  That is the advantage of hosting the challenge on Inspiration Avenue :  one gets an eye-full of your favourite art and a heart-full of inspiration!  Take a look and please take the time to visit each one's blog and to share the love.





Lisa Richards

Her Grace by Hettienne


Peggy Gatto






Bluebeard and Elizabeth




Andrea of Falling Ladies



Kristin Dudish





Michelle VAlkerton




Loretta Mangum

Kristin McCulloch

I wish I could choose a winner and many runner-ups - each entry had something to it that made it so special!

This week the winner that will be walking down the Red Carpet


to whom our beautiful badge is awarded

Inspiration Avenue


Darla and her Spice Can Girls

Thank you for playing along and be sure to come back tomorrow for another fun challenge

Happy creating

Monday, March 19, 2012


Once upon a time there was a little girl, called Vasalisa.On her deathbed Vasalisa's mother handed her a handmade doll dressed in an outfit identical to her own. She told Vasalisa : 'my darling child, always, always, keep this doll with you.  Keep her safe in the pocket of your dress or your coat.  Keep her as your secret and do not tell others about her.  Whenever you feel lost or you do not know which way to turn, she will help you.  Whenever you are in need of help, she will help you.  You can ask her any question and she will answer.  Keep her close to your dear self, my child. ' Soon after this her mother dies and the adventurous story of Vasalisa starts.  It is one that we have come to know well in various shapes and forms:  her father marries a  stepmother and Vasalisa also gets two stepsisters.  It is not long before the stepmother and stepsisters decide that they need to get rid of Vasalisa and they set various traps for her.  Ideally they would like her to get lost in the forest and be taken by the Baba Yaga, the old hag that lives in the forest.

(Vasalisa and her doll is a story told in the Russion and Baltic cultures and it is known as Vasalisa, the Wise.)

It soon becomes clear that the small handmade doll that Vasalisa carries everywhere with her, is her intuition or her intuitive self.  Each trap that the stepsisters set for Vasalisa she is rescued from by her doll.  She warns her, she whispers into her ear of shortcuts throught the forest that no-one else knows about;  she tells her what to eat, when to eat and she whispers the secret words to Vasalisa. The doll symbolises the small quiet voice that lives in everywoman's heart which is so often drowned in the noise of busy lives.

Dolls have been made through the ages, in all cultures and they have become laden with mystical and magical meanings or just wonderful playthings!

And that is our challenge this week :  dolls.

I love dolls.  I love making dolls and I love telling each doll's story to the world.

Here I re-created the scene of the skeleton-like Miss Havisham from 
Charles Dickens' Great Expectations

A Spanish doll depicting the Rom festival of
St Sara la Kali in Saintes Maries de la Mer in France
where this doll comes from

A small vintage costume doll becomes Little Miss Muffet, sitting on her tuffet,
eating curds and whey

AVictorian dressmaker in her shop - she herself made from paper and pieces of cloth

A tiny kewpie doll dreams of becoming a ballerina


A little woman, sitting with her embroidery, luggage ready, dreaming
of visiting Paris in the springtime

So, this week I invite you to participate in the Dolls Challenge with me.  Often some of you comment that the challenges are so wide you do not know what to do.  I like a wide challenge, so I am not going to limit you or your ideas in any way - I challenge you to create any form of art and to mix media to your heart's content and then to share its story with us - as long as it has to do with a doll or dolls and the voice of your heart!

Join in with us by adding your name and entry to Mr Linky below.  I hope you will have as much fun as me with this challenge!

happy creating!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Winner of the February Red Carpet is....

Monday, March 12, 2012

Results Vintage Photography

Wow what a great week of art we have had
If you have not had a chance feast your eyes on these great
vintage photography themed works of art!
And when you get the the bottom
you will see who won this weeks 
Red Carpet feature for this week!

Michelle V. Alkerton



The winner of our coveted "I Was A Showcase Winner!" blog badge & the person who has the privilege of walking down our Red Carpet is...

Do you agree is this just the sweetest pic ever?

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