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Glass vase with Etruscan Art.  Each photo shows a side of the vase with one of the Etruscan images.  Vase size is 8 inches tall, 4 inches across the top and 6 inches across the bottom.

Who were the Etruscans?   They lived in Italy and eventually were subsumed into Italian culture.   I love all things ancient.  Greeks, Romans, Phoenicians, me when I’m trying to get out of bed in the morning.  I was recently bantering back and forth with some friends of whom I am the oldest.  I told them this was my theme song and one of them asked if it was available on an MP3 download or only on Victrola.   Oh those kids.   Anyone else remember this song?

GET UP AND GO
 Chorus (and after each verse):
How do I know my youth is all spent?
My get up and go has got up and went
But in spite of it all I’m able to grin
And think of the places my get up has been.

Old age is golden so I’ve heard said
But sometimes I wonder as I crawl into bed
With my ears in a drawer, my teeth in a cup
My eyes on the table until I wake up…

There’s more to the song, but if you’re into it, Google Pete Seeger and Get Up and Go and you’ll find lots of YouTube clips of him singing this.

The vase above was completed using a decoupage technique of these Etruscan images along with bronzing powders, acrylic paint (that’s the background color you see) another full coat of a reddish metallic bronzing powder and then a sealant.   Again, everything is done from the inside of the vase.   The outside is just the clear glass and you are looking in.   Like Alice and the looking glass.

Are the Olympics over yet?

I made a ton of coasters and plates for the Arts Council Holiday Craft Fair.  Now Christmas is over and just before we get to 2012, I have another birthday.   Once again, I am not 60!

December 28.  As my friend Chris once told me in his North Carolina butter melting accent “Doesn’t it just suck to have to share the spotlight with the baby Jesus?”

Yes, Chris.  Yes it does.

Famous people with a December 28th birthday:

Denzel Washington, Dame Maggie Smith, Oprah’s friend Gayle King (no relation) and Woodrow Wilson, to name a few.  But I don’t know any of them. So happy birthday to all my friends and family who share this day with me:

My nephew Kevin

The Husband’s partner Sean

Mark, the owner of the bar around the corner

Bob,  my friend who lives two blocks away and whom I never see

My sister’s neighbor Gayle Aprile

My friend Aram’s sister

Taryn’s dog Domino

If I knew what I was doing I could tell you the sizes of the plates.  The coasters below, which came out huge in the pictures, are just regular sized coasters.  Oh well,  Maybe now that I’m another year older I’ll figure this blogging thing out.

Happy and healthy 2012 to all.

Names are funny.  Some of them are common, some strange, some just odd.  I am always fascinated by people’s names and what my impression of the person is based on their name, even if I never met them.

If your name is Susan, Patricia, Carol, or Barbara you are probably from my generation.  If your name is Apple, Rain, Brittney or Taylor I’m going to guess you are much younger than I.  And what about families who all have the same name.  Shout “John” at a family party in my house and about 10 guys will turn around.  This leads to defining cousins and uncles as  “big John” and “little John” and always becomes amusing when Little John grows bigger than Big John.

Recently, a co-worker’s baby shower  had us all guessing the not yet born baby girl’s name. After the usual guesses I suggested &i, pronounced Andi.   I figure that’s the next step in names. Like the artist formerly known as Prince.   And the New York Times reporter whose middle name is 8.   And my newest favorite real name:  Anthony Bologna, a/k/a Tony Baloney!

Years ago Charlie found a website which consisted of  folks sending in silly names like Bertha Venation or Ana Conda.   Charlie went to work coming up with names, but of course he had to take it one step further and came up with what he called “telephone book names”.  Names that sounded OK, until they were put in a phone book, last name first.  Dwayne Downda becomes Downda Dwayne. Lou Water, Nick L. Pumper and Ted Farr are also fun.   Needless to say we were amused by this for days.   The Husband just rolled his eyes at us.

Here’s the link if you want to get a laugh.   You will have to scroll all the way down to the bottom for the “telephone names”.

http://www.dareland.com/stupidnames.htm

I started on these coasters, but only had 3 images of the cats.  Who uses only 3 coasters?   So I decided to do 3 more coasters using the cat butts.  Now there are 6 coasters.  Much more civilized.

Just back from a fantastic trip to Croatia (or Hrvatska as the Croatians call it).  It was the Husband’s big birthday trip. Our first stop was Istria, a peninsula that juts out into the Adriatic.  That is where my father’s family comes from.   We got to see the town my grandmother came from which was fun.  The town is called Šušnjevica and I spoke about it and painted it here and here.   There will be many more paintings to come, but in the meantime here is a similar plate as the plates I made to give to my cousin’s cousins (got that?) who live in Pula and have, among other things, a vineyard.

Some observations from the trip:

Croatians are a tall people.

Germans are also a tall people and apparently like to take all their clothes off in the sun.

Europeans in general cannot stand in line if their life depended on it.  There may be a semblance of a line say, to get on a catamaran to take one to Hvar, but as soon as that catamaran docks, it’s a free-for-all.  This made the Husband nuts!  (Members of the UK are excluded from this observation. They excel at queuing!)

It amazes me that so many people from other countries can speak multiple languages.  I am always jealous of this.  One time in particular, there was a Croatian who spoke to my cousin’s cousin, who then turned and translated to my cousin in Italian who then turned and translated it into English for us.  Sigh.  I wish I was multi-lingual.  I also wish I was taller, younger, richer and weighed less.

The first native word the Husband learns is the word for beer.  (In Croatian it’s Pivo.)

“Trst” is the Croatian word for the Italian town of Trieste.  Krk is a Croatian island in the Adriatic.  Many of the Croatian words have impossibly long consonant combinations that make it difficult for non-speakers to even try to pronounce.  There are also many accented letters.  The Husband asked a native why they have little or few vowels in many of their words.  She thought about this for a moment, shrugged and said nonchalantly replied “we don’t need them”.    So there you go.

An amazing amount of Europeans still smoke.  I am astounded by that.

The myth of the skinny European has been debunked.  Many are as fat as Americans.

The Adriatic Sea is crystal clear and many beautiful shades of blue.

Croatians love their Crocs (which they call crocsies).

More on Croatia (Istria and the Dalmation Coast) with (hopefully) some paintings in later posts.

Last weekend while the kids colored Easter eggs my sister and I decided we would decoupage a few of them.  She had read about the technique that the amazingly annoying Martha Stewart had in her magazine.   Buy cocktail (or I guess any kind of paper) napkins with a design you like.   Best to use napkins that have the design on a white background so when you cut out the image you don’t have to worry about cutting very close, since the white of the background will blend with the color of the egg.  The napkins are usually two-ply so you will need to separate the layers. Once you’ve cut out the image, put some thinned white glue on the egg and then paste the design down and gently smooth out the bumps.  Voila! Fancy schmancy decoupaged eggs that will have the crowd oohing and aahing.

Speaking of oohing and aahing, I saw this interesting fellow one day while waiting by the fountain in City Hall Park while waiting to meet Carrington for lunch.   He was a vision in pink.   Pink hat, pink shades, pink shirt, pink pants, pink shoes and that oh so fabulous fuzzy pink coat.  I have to admit, I liked his outfit.  And his chutzpah.  He wore it with style!

For those of you who know her, my sister’s show at the Mahopac Library was a huge success.  You can see some of her stuff here:   http://artcoasttocoast.wordpress.com/2010/03/22/ex-libris-is-here/

Where is my painting this week?  It’s torn up into a million little pieces and got thrown in the garbage.  Some are just too crappy to show.

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