Monday, September 26, 2011

A Beautiful Day in the Vineyard

We spent a beautiful day this weekend sitting outside with friends listening to a live Cajun band on the grounds of Landry Vineyards. It was so good to be outside and enjoy the cooler temperatures (finally).

I found some fun photo apps that I experimented with. My friend took this photo but when she saw the sun coming through behind us, she didn't think the pic would turn out. I was going thru the photos later and actually loved the effect. I used Instagram for the vintage look and frame.

For the photo collage, I used the PicFrame app. This is a fun one (thanks, Hilary!)

For the rest of the photos, I used a free online version of I love the effects you can create with it.

We loved the band!

I love taking pics with other "melanie's". :)

Girls, girls...

...and more girls.

...really love this effect. I think it was called grunge.

Do you have a favorite photo app? I'd love to hear about it. If you have a blog with pics showing what you've done, link 'em up here in the comments. I'd love to learn more creative things to do with photos. Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful week!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

First weekend of fall

It's the first weekend of fall! What are you going to do today? We will be going to a local vineyard (betcha didn't know Louisiana had vineyards!) to listen to live Cajun music with friends. After such a long hot summer, it's finally beautiful weather so we are going to enjoy it as much as possible.

We are rotating the art in Ouachita River Art Gallery this weekend so I've been busy creating some French Quarter paintings. I'm planning on going back to New Orleans soon, just because I miss it. Meanwhile, I'll enjoy Northeast Louisiana with family, friends and maybe have some jambalaya.

Here's a little sneak peek I put together of some of my new art. (Now I'm craving a crawfish quesadilla from Marigny Brasserie and beignets from Cafe DuMonde).

Enjoy your first weekend this fall. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

All About the Taylor Swift Speak Now Concert!

I saw the most amazing concert last night. I took my daughter along with a friend to Taylor Swift’s “Speak Now” concert. Charlie Worsham and Need to Breathe opened the show and they were awesome. But nothing compares to the show Taylor puts on. She oozes with creativity and I just breathed in as much as I could.

She (or her creative geniuses) put so much “Taylorship” into the set, the stage design, the bells (literally - bells) and whistles (figuratively) that make me - for lack of better words - go WOW! Pyrotechnics, acrobats, ballerinas, talented musicians of all forms, dancers and hair-whipping energy! I loved it all.

The red semi-circle curtain rose as the music started to play. I can’t even remember what song was the first. But there were 12 thousand cheering fans in this sold-out event.

I loved the elaborate stairs with the “s” scrollwork on the staircase, church pews and bridal party at the opening of “Speak Now” with the bride “yelling at a bridesmaid, somewhere back inside a room, wearing a gown shaped like a pastry” (Don’t you just LOVE the colorful lyrics? )

My favorite for this summer is “Mean”. (don’t we all know someone who is just plain old mean?) I especially love how she didn’t sugar coat the point she was making in when she chants…
“…All you are is mean, And a liar, and pathetic, and alone in life
And mean, and mean, and mean, and mean…
” (take that, whoever you are that she wrote this song about).

And there was “Back to December”. Before the song started, snow-like white confetti started flowing down. She came from a trap door below with the white piano. As she did when she first sang this song live on TV, she interjected the lyrics “too late to apologize” towards the end.

The finale - OH MY STARS. She came back in a gold sparkly gown seated on a romantic sofa and sang “Fifteen”. Then the beginning of “Love Story” started and the balcony-like basket that was suspended near the ceiling (that my daughter saw when we were first seated), came down to the stage. And yes, she got inside and was lifted... up, up, up and around one side of the arena, towards the back, and back around the other side. She sang and waved as girls ran towards the railing to get a closer look. As she was lowered back down to the stage, confetti was showering her and the stage. Even tho there were a couple of songs I was hoping she would sing, I looked at my friend and said “That’s it. You can’t follow this with anything else”.

Thanks for enduring my off-the-beaten path blog post today! Have a great week and I hope you are creatively inspired by something new and exciting today.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Cookin' Up Something Different

I love cooking and when it's football season, I cook alot of gumbo - especially when the Saints are playing. For those of you that are from outside the south, we sometimes spell gumbo "gumbeaux", spontaneously post "who dat?" on our facebook wall when the Saints score, and alway say "y'all" for "you all". What can I say?

I recently was asked to create a sign for a friend's kitchen. She told me what she wanted it to say, the color scheme, but gave me complete liberty on the design. I've since gotten oodles of requests for this. When I catch my breath, I will put a couple in my etsy store.

Thanks for stopping by today. Have a great day and Bon Appetit, Y'all!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Reach for the Stars

Have you ever been around someone that inspires you? Have you ever been around someone with what you would label as a "physical limitation" only to learn that the limitation in question is, ironically, their asset? My daughter and I spent a beautiful morning with one of the most fascinating people I've met. John Bramblitt lost his sight in 2001, and he is one of the most amazing artists ever... visual artist, that is. In order to understand this more, watch this video.

The Art of Living Gallery

John taught a workshop this past weekend. He challenged everyone to tap into their non-visual senses. To tap into the relationship of color and sounds, as well as tastes and textures. The students created while blindfolded. They listened to music and interpreted what they felt through color.

John sincerely went to each of the students and asked them to describe what they painted. He was genuinely interested in what color they used and why they used it. I will never create the same way again.

John's spectacular art will hang at the Old Post Office Museum in Winnsboro through the end of October. It's worth the drive to experience his work.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The art of Happy

...or happy art.

I heard that word again this weekend: happy. I went into the coop art gallery where I'm a member and was greeted by a lady that recently bought one of my paintings. We had not met in person until that moment, and she described my art as "happy". I'm going to start journaling every time I hear that word.

"Spring Flowers" from Happy Dayz Art Series. Available for purchase. Contact me!

Two weeks ago I received a message from a collector that lives in the Northeast US:

Hi Melanie!! I just glanced up at my painting a minute ago and I just can't tell you how HAPPY it makes me, every time I look at it. It's so beautiful, and something about the colors is so invigorating..I think it is my favorite thing in the whole house. Thank you!!
Lynn Anne

Today I wish I were the owner of a artsy flowered covered vintage VW van so I could drive it around and watch people smile. Enjoy your Labor Day and thanks for dropping by today. :)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

In search of the Mardi Gras Dachshund

September, please bring cool weather quickly. (smile). The turning of the calendar days closer to fall, has me looking forward to cooler weather, even though it's still in the high 90's here. The changing season will still come. And that makes me happy.

To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring. ~George Santayana

I want to do something fun. Years ago on my old (gone) art website, I had a page for people to sign in on when they found me by seeing my Mardi Gras Dachshund at Mimi's Cafe Restaurants. I want to do that again, but with photos.

She looks similar to this photo but has evolved over the years. If you happen to run across this jazzy dog, I would LOVE to hear from you - and even better yet - have a photo of it, or you AND the jazz dog (that part is up to you). Tell me which location you found the jazz dog at so I can put the location with the photo. I'd love to put them up on future blog posts. You can leave a message here. If you sign in with an e-mail address, the e-mail address will only be visible by me - or you can go to my Facebook Page and upload the photo there.

This photo was sent to me this summer by Jansen in Lakeland, Florida of her daughter with the jazz dog.

Linda from California sent me this photo about 9 years ago. I forgot what location she was in, but I think it was near San Francisco.

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great day and don't forget to turn the page on that calendar.