A Passionate Lifetime

2013-02-24_17-02-00_157

Imagine living without the internet, television, or electricity. It’s hard, right? My dad, Ed McCartan, grew up in such a place; A farm located miles away from the closest town, Lake Five, Wisconsin. He went to school in the classic one-room school house and graduated, the only one in his class. Although he is quick with a smile and a joke, it’s possible his shy manner came from this isolation. Somewhere along the line, he discovered art. He bought a motorcycle and commuted to Milwaukee to attend the Layton School of Art. Continue reading

My Project Unveiled For All To See. Yikes!

I’ve sent out all of my greeting cards, so it’s time to unveil my project. I’m so nervous. I hope you like it.

Every year an idea comes to mind which becomes a sketch and then transforms into some kind of 3-D popup creation. I know what you’re thinking. Most people don’t even take the time to buy and send ready-made greeting cards. I keep telling myself, “This year I will simplify.” HA! I don’t know the meaning of the word, “simplify.” Two things about me never change: I was born sunny-side up and I love challenges. “Bring it on” should be my middle name, but it’s not. It’s Mary which is pretty dull in comparison. Don’t tell mom. Her first name is Mary.

The front is very similar to last year’s. Take your complaints to Yelp.

So here it is. Drum roll please…………….

Front of card

Ta da!

Here are the innards skinnards. Now you can imagine how weird they would have looked with duplicated drawings. That was a close one! Continue reading

Twinkle, Illustration, and Elves

oh christmas tree

I’m ready for the next project on my long list. It’s my absolute favorite. Can you guess?

Nope. I’m not wrapping presents. I always leave that chore until the last minute. I’m not hanging the stockings. NOTE TO SELF: I need to buy sticky tack. I’m not writing my letter to Santa. I’m playing with my new Apple computer right now! I don’t need another thing. I’m not stringing popcorn or making ornaments or running out to the mall to finish my Christmas shopping. I’m done. I’m not running to the grocery store. Not my favorite thing at all although I will take my new fangled warmer jammer list next time.

christmascard2

2006 Christmas card. Continue reading

Leave a Comment and Win!

constructing Christmas

I’ve been busy drawing, cutting, pasting and folding this year’s Christmas card. I think I’ve listened to almost every corny holiday movie between the Lifetime and Hallmark channel.

Every year has its challenges. In the past, I sent out my cards after more than sixty hours of work and they boomeranged back for more postage! Last year I had to add extra postage for weight. This year I thought I had it handled, but the post office was closed, so I couldn’t check the weight. I was about to throw them in the mailbox, then I decided to take them home just in case.

homemade Christmas cards

Some of my older cards. The newer ones are popups. Continue reading

What Twins, Who Inhabit My Brain, and NaNoWriMo Taught Me

boy and girl fighting 2

When I decided to write a novel for National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo, I had no idea if I could. You see, a five-year-old child inhabits my brain and can throw quite the tantrum. If I don’t want to do something, she sends waves through the entire length of my spine which becomes rigid. Then she starts chanting, “I don’t want to. I don’t want to! I DON’T WANT TO!” This screaming fit is usually accompanied by the stomping of feet and the transformation of ordinary household objects into projectile missiles. Continue reading

Why I Joined the Madness

I’m an obsessed idea freak, by that I mean, once I get an idea in my head I have to accomplish my goal. It drives me nuts until I do. After talking about it, visualizing, and then calculating the best route, I keep my eye on the prize gleaming at the finish line. I’m sure it has something to do with the challenge and enjoying the creative aspect of the work, but I believe it has a lot more to do with achieving sparkly goals.

door with stained glass

In the past, I visualized a stained glass window, and then took a class and constructed five. I visualized angels or birds flitting and floating on my ceilings. Then one snowy Sunday afternoon, I pulled a ladder from the garage and painted them. It gave me enormous satisfaction to create something out of nothing.

ceiling with angels

Since this has always worked with art projects, I wondered if it would work with writing. Continue reading

Discovering Blurred Lines and Booty Calls

Everyone has sung the wrong lyrics to songs, but I shouted the lyrics to a particular hit all summer at clubs in New Orleans, two weddings and fund-raiser not knowing why I got such strange looks. First of all, I thought Blurred Lines was called For a Good Time. I haven’t loved a song for dancing this much since INXS’s What You Need and you know I love to dance.

I knew controversy surrounded the video since Robin Thicke’s wife divorced him after it was released. I had heard there were topless dancers, but I lost my boobs last year and I love and appreciate real ones since mine are now 100% fake. I thought, Big deal.

A DJ played the song during an outdoor festival last weekend and I sang along as usual. Then I turned to my husband, Danny and said, “I have got to learn the lyrics to this song.” I tried to keep from dancing, but it was tough. After the song played in my head Sunday, I sat down on Monday and checked out the unedited video.

Here’s the unrated version I found offensive. WARNING: Naked boob alert for those of you at work. You may want to watch the tamer version at the bottom of the article.

Oh. My. God. Okay. So I used to draw naked people all the time in college and I appreciate women and men’s bodies, but coupled (bad word choice?) with the offensive lyrics, it left me with a bad taste in my mouth. (Sorry. I couldn’t help myself). It was all about gratuitous sex and booty calling. Hey babe. You want to get lucky? It’s bartime.

“I know you want it.” So I knew that part of the song and I get that they’re naked and strutting across the stage like they want it, but what about the singers? They’re in the background staring, ogling, and fully clothed like they’re in a strip joint. My mind begged the question, what’s the message of the song? Hot girls get laid?

Did you notice how the models looked directly into the camera? It reminded me of this painting equally popular and controversial. Manet’s Luncheon on the Grass raised eyebrows and the ire of the community when it was unveiled in 1863. We’ve come a long way baby, or have we?

t_Manet - Luncheon on The Grass 1863 Continue reading