Saturday, 24 December 2011

Happy Holidays!

Well the 2011 holidays are upon us!
Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and/or a very good weekend! It was 60˚F the other day this week, so it's not feeling too wintry here lately. No white Christmas this year!
I haven't posted much art at all this year, but here is a little something from my sketchbook, coloured.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Chrysanthemum Festival


Though the title of this post is "Chrysanthemum Festival, I didn't post many chrysanthemums. Nearly half of December passed by without any posting! Festivals usually means 'lots of people everywhere', so I for once just looked at most things without the camera in front of my face the whole time.
I had done some art but nothing that is going to be posted online, though. (Other people's characters, sloppy watercolour drawings while watching tv...)
Also, the last few weekends I was making handmade holiday cards but I forgot to take any photographs of them before I sent them off! Busy December-times.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

"Sic semper tyrannis!"

This past summer I visited the historic home, Tudor Hall. John Wilkes Booth, the infamous Lincoln assassin, lived in the house for some time.
Tudor Hall is a historic home located at Bel Air, Harford County, Maryland, United States. It is a 1 1⁄2-story Gothic Revival cottage built of painted brick. The house was built as a country retreat by Junius Brutus Booth (1796–1852)... However, Booth never lived in Tudor Hall, because he died before it was completed. Neither did his son Edwin Booth, who left to pursue his acting career. But his other son, John Wilkes Booth, grew up in that house with his mother, brother, and two sisters.
I find it interesting that his favourite role was Brutus, "the slayer of the tyrant".  He shouted "Sic semper tyrannis" ("Thus always to tyrants") as he jumped to the stage after he had shot the president.

There was a Civil War fashion show event on this day.

from Wikipedia Commons
Probably stating the obvious... I have an undying love for history, and whenever I get the chance I go to any historical place. I stand in fields in the hot summers, and in the un-airconditioned homes and museums just to get more. For some reason, standing in a big modern museum does not satisfy me nearly as much as going on house tours or meeting people who show their personal collections of 'artifacts'.
If you know of any amazing places to visit or must-see living history/historical homes/etc anywhere, let me know!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Waiting for a Train

Alas! I have been busy with my jobs and so many things. Unfortunately I am experiencing a blog and life-in-general backlog! In late October I traveled over yonder Mason-Dixon line to Pennsylvania, to ride on a train on a crisp autumn day. Pennsylvania certainly has no shortage of trains. I spent four years there while in school, and I even now sometimes miss hearing those trains.

At the Platform...

Rules of the Train!

On the topic of trains, two of my favourite movies actually have beautiful scenes (and the most beautiful music) involving trains. The scenes are defiantly worth your time, if you have not already seen the movies!
The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford

The Fall

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Day of The Dead

Today was the Day of the Dead. A Mexican holiday focusing on the remembrance of friends and family no longer living. The skull beads shown to the right are supposed to be sugar skulls, which are a common symbol of the holiday. During my last semester at university, I was able to go to a nice display of Mexican art and taste pan de muerto held at the campus library. I hope that they might hold something like that every year.

This day also happens to be All Souls Day.

This update is a bit late in the day (for it is night and almost the next day) but I wanted to show off these amazing beads that I made into some earrings! I had a hard time with the silver wire, I had not used it before and my hands are still irritated. Very clumsy hands. Thank goodness I am not allergic to sterling silver! I do not know what I would do if I was (since I am allergic to gold, copper, etc.)!

Also...I cannot go without mentioning my favourite holiday...Halloween. I don't think I will ever stop carving pumpkins, eating roasted pumpkin seeds or buying vintagey Halloween things!
Here's some belated Halloween photos...

Did anyone else dress up? (I want to see photographs!) I was a flapper, with skeleton legs. I hope everyone had a Happy Halloween, and a pleasant Day of the Dead if you celebrated!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Stay Warm!

Autumn has certainly settled in. The weather has cooled down significantly, the leaves have changed and are now gathering in the grass (and everywhere), ready to be raked up. Usually I spend more time outdoors in the cold months, but looking back at this summer ...I may prove myself wrong.

I am ready for walks, hiking and even snowshoeing!

And I am ready for fall/winter clothing!
I took a loooong break from shopping for clothing, because I was only working at a place where jeans/t-shirt was the norm. But now I have a little more freedom with an office job, and can dress like I want to!

Here are some new things I picked up recently.
(While I don't wear real fur, I do love faux fur. As you may or may not have noticed.)

 1. Anthropologie     2. Etienne Aigner    3. Target     4. (something very similar from) H&M     5. Target     6. H&M
A little behind my ideal blog-posting-schedule, but with trying to overcome some skin allergies I have been very busy! Since July my hands have been 'messed up' so the drawing and painting is at a small hiatus again as it painful.

By the way, the painted rain barrel sold for $175.50! I hope its new owner enjoys it.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Like Painting Fish On A Barrel

"Kelly, who holds a BFA in illustration and graphic
design, found her design vision in the Chesapeake
Bay, and the creatures who live in the ecosphere
below the estuary’s surface."
Late this past summer, I made this rain barrel for P&H, and it's being auctioned off on ebay to raise money for American Rivers. Go bid on it if you need a designer rain barrel! Using acrylics is something I do not usually do, so it was an interesting project. There are other barrels available by other artists, too, which can be seen on the P&H ebay listing.

Watch a 360˚ turnaround! Too bad the puffer fish is last.


I took photographs of the barrel before it left, but I never got around to cleaning them up, so these will have to do!

Monday, 3 October 2011

A Cloudy Day in New Castle

fox on a door!
A very brief visit to New Castle, Delaware. Established in 1651. I sadly was not able to go into any historic homes or do tours. There was a colonial tavern/restaurant which I was able eat at, and a bead shop in which I purchased unnecessary things. This is the trouble with going to small towns on Sundays.

The sidewalks and some roads are cobblestone, there are historical buildings galore and some more 'recent' things such as painted advertisements on the sides of some buildings.

Ah, America is so young. I miss seeing old, old cities.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Mockingbirds for Randi (Art for Japan)

Back in spring, after the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan, I blogged about doing art in exchange for people's donations to the Red Cross or any other reliable fund. I got more responses than I thought I would! A lot has happened since then, and now it's time to start posting artwork.

Thank You, Randi!

I have not posted much artwork at all on this blog. Perhaps I'm a little art-shy and took too long of a break from doing completed work. Seems like these days I do more graphic design than illustration!
I'm no Audubon, but I hope Randi likes this artwork. Shown is a photograph, because I have learned my lesson about scanning watercolours. Apparently I have issues with making watercolours onscreen look the same way they do on the paper. Anyone have tips for Photoshop edits to make the colours in watercolour scans less terrible?

Saturday, 24 September 2011

A Thousand Suns

Sunflower season around here is late August and probably the first half of September. Last year (or the year before?) there was amazing sunflower fields that I would drive past all the time to go to work. It became a local attraction, I even saw that it was on the news!
This year...those same fields are corn. I know the farmers have to rotate the crops so I wasn't too disappointed, they will probably be back another year.
Then a fellow photographer/flickr informed me where this year's sunflowers ended up. So when day after work I through my camera in my car and sped off into the gloomy evening in search of the fields.

Unfortunately it was pretty late in the day, with an overcast sky and thunder rumbling, but it was worth it to at least look at the fields! It has been raining and raining so much this year that I am lucky it wasn't actually raining when I had the time to take photographs.

From Flower Lore and Legend By Katharine McMillan Beals, published in 1917: 
Although the sunflower has been regarded as common, the poets have considered it worthy of their best efforts. Calderon, the Spanish poet, to whom the gardens of Madrid were probably a familiar sigh, thus addresses it:
Sight enchanted sunflower, thou
Who gazest ever true and tender
On the sun's revolving splendor.

Erasmus Darwin, grandfather of the great Darwin, and himself a naturalist and a poet, in his Loves of the Plants, writes thus: 
With zealous steps, he climbs the upland lawn
And bows in homage to the rising dawn. 
Imbibes with eagle eye, the golden ray,
And watches as it moves, the orb of day.

You can read Flower Lore and Legend for free here on Google Books. It is pretty interesting, if you are like me and enjoy reading lore and legends that you just don't hear about frequently or at all these days. (My Kindle is full of great free finds I've collected!)


Here's a shot of previous year's sunflower:

Friday, 16 September 2011


Calaveras de azĂșcar. Sugar Skull beads I purchased to make earrings

I have been taking photographs and doing things faster than I can process them!
Sometimes I think I have too many interests and hobbies.

Coming Soon...
The weather has really cooled down this week, I was pleasantly surprised. I have a feeling a lot of things will be done. Anyone else have fun projects planned for the weekend?

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

Thursday, 1 September 2011


Happy September!
August was repetitious until the last week or so. Mostly I recall working a lot, going out to eat a lot and then two natural disasters in one week. Hurricane Irene sauntered through the area last weekend with heavy rains and strong winds. Luckily my area was spared from major destruction. I did not even lose power for long–but much of the surrounding area was impacted with power outages, school closings and lack of functioning traffic lights (crazy times commuting).

A Real Update/Post coming soon!

Friday, 19 August 2011

A Curiosity Jar for Shells

Earlier this month I wrote about my visit to Lewes Beach. This past week I finally put some of the shells into the glass jar I bought specifically for the purpose! Soon I will make a paper label for it and tie it onto the jar with some string. The jar is actually a spice jar I bought from Crate & Barrel. I plan to buy another to put the rest of the small shells I have in there (and it will be so much easier to dust the shelf).

Jar of Shells collected at Lewes, DE
I have always had an interest in Cabinets of Curiosities, and my tendencies to collect objects from around the world, and the natural world, would probably lend to some interesting collections.

Here are some collections from history...


Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Meet Ittan-momen!

Ittan Momen light version  (131/365)
© Kelly Weihs

Ittan-momen, which is a long piece of ghostly cloth which flies through the night air looking for victims to smother! I have started a new project, Yokai Craft Project, in which I am planning to create several yokai (they primarily will be made out of felt). It just so happens that ittan-momen is the easiest yokai to create (though I did decide to make his arms separate and stitched in a way that I can pose him in photos), a good starting point. People who know me know that another project focusing on these creatures is no big surprise.  Thank you Japan, for having great folklore!

This summer I purchased Mythical Beasts of Japan: From Evil Creatures to Sacred Beings, which is really fun to look through. (I have not spotted any ittan-momen yet.) I took a few photos to show some of what is in the book, as I could not see anywhere online that had correct images/product info! (The amazon images for this book aren't even right...)
The description:
A collection of glorious imaginary beings from Japanese mythology. The newest volume in the Traditional Patterns series, this book is a visual introduction to a variety of Japanese mythical beasts. Japanese imaginary creatures, such as Byakko (White Tiger), Suzaku (Vermilion Bird), Genbu (Black Tortoise), and Ryu (Japanese Dragon), were handed down from ancient Chinese mythology. Prayers were often offered to these beings since they are believed to cause mischief among ordinary mortals. Most of the featured works, mainly from the 12th century to the 19th century, feature motifs of sacred animals painted by artists such as Kawanabe Kyosai, Ito Jakuchu, Utagawa Kuniyoshi, and more. Moreover, all kinds of the evil creatures, such as devils and goblins, and the deities from Japanese folklore are depicted in all their splendid glory in paintings, carved wood, decorative art pieces such as mirrors, incense burners, and much more.

Friday, 5 August 2011

The First State

It has been awhile since I have had time (or anything of interest) to post! I have been suffering from terrible skin allergies for weeks now and that has really put a damper on sketching/sewing/photographing.
Anyway, last weekend I visited the historic shipbuilding town Milton, Delaware and nearby Lewes, "The First Town in the First State". It was great to see my good friend and at the same time explore new towns.

Many historic homes and things to see in both places!
And where there is old places there are wonderful and strange antiques...
old medical objects, this looks like it was manufactured in Indiana.  
My friend and I happened upon a fascinating working blacksmith forage and museum. We spoke to the blacksmith, he was an interesting person. (Actually, the entire time I was in Delaware, I do not think I met an uninteresting person!)

We visited the Zwaanendael Museum, which had some artifacts from the old settlements, coloured glassware and a lot of nautical things. Upstairs they had a lot of things that were found washed up on Lewes beach–shipwreck stuff. I wished to find some shipwrecked items (and seaglass) when we walked the beach but there was mainly pebbles. If you want to get some pebbles, Lewes Beach is the place to go.

But they had this ridiculous creature on display. The Fiji Merman!  I have seen such curiosities before but none displayed in this manner.  On a (rare) postcard which featured the Zwaanendael Musuem on the front, I drew a little image from memory on the back. I wonder if some lucky postman will enjoy viewing this work of art!

Fiji Mermen are a type of folk/sailor's art from the mid-19th century. They are made of all sorts of things, and sort of mashed into one 'creature'.

Shell Souvenir c. 1915, Cape Henlopen Light House
 Lewes, DE – good for finding pebbles and other useless sea-items,
bad for finding postcards and scrimshaw items!