September 27, 2014

Odds and Ends Favorites


Schiffer Publishing - it goes without saying, they are publishing my Arizona's Back Roads travel book.  http://www.schifferbooks.com/   Facebook

Repurposed Recycled Reused Reclaimed Restored - their art starts with junk that is turned into usable items or furniture.  Facebook

Yard Sale Finds - the title says it all.  http://topyardsalefinds.com/

Lush Cosmetics - every time Sharon and I shop at Chandler mall, we always make our way to the Lush store.  I love all their cosmetics from hair, face, and body products.
http://www.lushusa.com/   Facebook

Mathews Deadrise Charters - when Sharon and I wanted to take a tour out to the New Point Comfort Lighthouse in Virginia, we hired Mathews Deadrise Charters and Captain Trey.  He was an awesome tour guide.  I highly recommend you book his tour if you want a wonderful experience on the waterways of Virginia.  http://www.chesapeakebayboattours.com/   Facebook

Joshua Gates - my favorite host on a TV show.  He took us on adventures with Syfy's Destination Truth and entertained us with his wit and humor.  I was sad when DT ended, but very excited to hear about his next show, Travel Channel's "Expedition Unknown".
http://joshuagates.com/   Facebook

Paranormal Geeks Radio - This radio station was born out of Sharon and I's book, Paranormal Geeks.  Jim Heater is your host and every Tuesday he will entertain you with a variety of interesting guests.  Check it out:  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/paranormalgeeksradio
 http://www.paranormalgeeksradio.blogspot.com/   Facebook

Southwest Abandoned Places - my Facebook page where I showcase all my abandoned photography.  Check it out and click the "like" button.  Facebook

September 24, 2014

Halloween Blogs and Shops


Well, it is that time of year, so it would be bad of me to leave out Halloween blogs and shops.  There are so many crafty little creatures created by interesting artist.  Their blogs, websites and shops sell just about anything you want for this spooky holiday.  Their creations are usually one-of-a-kind and unique.  Check out some of the creepy little artists I follow:

Pumpkinrot.com - this blog will get you in a Halloween mood with its incredible images and art.
http://pumpkinrot.blogspot.com/

Something wicKED this way comes - another great Halloween blog with lots of information.
http://wickedwaysproductions.blogspot.com/

Justine's Halloween - the blog has it all.  She posts a wide variety of subjects, pictures and fun Halloween stuff.  http://justineshalloween.blogspot.com/

Octoberfarm - she not only delights you with her decorations, but also her wonderful and easy to make recipes.  http://octoberfarm.blogspot.com/

Halloween Folk Art by Melissa - unique and whimsical holiday crafts to decorate your home.
http://theholidayqueen.blogspot.com/ & Facebook

MAGIKAL SEASONS - more different and atypical decorations for your home during the holiday.
http://magikalseasons.blogspot.com/ & https://www.etsy.com/shop/seasonsart1031

HALLOWEEN FANATIC ORIGINALS - just like the title says, everything in the shop is unique.
https://www.etsy.com/shop/HalloweenFanatic

The Catt's Ugly Babies - the items you find in this shop are creepy and Gothic.
https://www.etsy.com/shop/thecattsuglybabies

Spirit Halloween - You can get just about anything Halloween at this store from costumes, candy and decorations.  Facebook & http://www.spirithalloween.com/

Lastly, a place where Sharon and I go every year and run around the dark corn maze like a couple of kids, Schnepf Farms.  http://www.schnepffarms.com/  This place gets us in the Halloween mood as well as any of the many haunted attractions around town.


September 18, 2014

Creating Art With Pencils and Paint

Art by Dennis Rano

Besides photography, I love sketching with pencils or pens, and painting.  There are so many people out in the world that can take those medias and create the most extraordinary, magical, life-like art.  I follow blogs, websites, and Facebook pages of these talented people.  Here are some I love:

Valerie Bruzzi - I have to say that I am a bit prejudice because she is my cousin.  I love her paintings and proud to put her number one on my list.  http://www.valbruzzi.com/

Lori Plyler - She is armed with paints, pencils and a sewing machine.  I love her bags. http://blog.studiowaterstone.com/ & Facebook

Dennis Rano - He does the most amazing caricatures.  I am proud and honored that he did one of me.
http://www.ufologistoons.com/

Tracy Dove - Her drawings are very colorful and fun.  Facebook & http://www.tracydove.com/

Ink Bomb Tattoos - There are lots of tattoos shops with talented artist, this is the one I went to. Facebook & http://inkbombaz.com/

Art by April - I feel like a proud Mama when I see the amazing drawings by April.  She is a friend of my daughter's and I have know her since she was a little girl. Facebook & http://aprilrain0607.deviantart.com/

**This is just a small list of the many talented artists that have embraced us with their fantastic art.


September 15, 2014

Wearing Art: Awesome Jewelry


Not only can you display your art, but you can wear it as well.  I am a jewelry freak and love not only looking at it, but buying it as well.  My taste go from yellow gold bling, to silver with turquoise, blank onyx, and opals.  I have it all depending on my mood.  I have found several sites where I can lurk and shop.  Here is just some of them:

Emerging Creatively Jewelry (Kimberlie Kohler) Facebook

Dishfunctional Designs - broken china jewelry, repurposed crafts and art

Boo Dazzle Boutique (Facebook) - skull cameos on charms, rings, earrings and hair clips

Trash City Beads (Facebook) - jewelry made from strands of beads, http://www.trashcity.com/

https://www.etsy.com/shop/JanEleven - lots of bling and vintage rings

https://www.etsy.com/shop/martymagic - unique handmade jewelry

https://www.etsy.com/shop/HapaGirls - silver and copper handmade wearable art

https://www.etsy.com/shop/mabergadesigns - glass bead jewelry

https://www.etsy.com/shop/JessicaKlaaren - unique artisan jewelry

https://www.etsy.com/shop/evelynpelati - vintage inspired artisan jewelry

**There are many, many more Etsy shops and other sites where one-of-a-kind jewelry can be found.

September 12, 2014

They're Creepy and Spooky Artists

Tom Deadstuff's early work.

They're creepy and they're spooky, also very talented.  This group of artists will amaze you with their one-of-a-kind works of art.  The materials they use are as numerous as their wide variety of creepy, bizarre and spooky characters they bring to life.  Check them out:

Tom Deadstuff - I had the pleasure of meeting him a few years ago at Phoenix FearCon.  He blew me away with his sculptures which were made out of raw and found materials.  His work has gotten even better and more amazing since I first met him.
Facebook - Tom Deadstuff Artist
http://www.tomdeadstuff.com/
https://www.etsy.com/shop/tomdeadstuff

Adeles SpOOky Art - Wonderful little spooky creations.
http://adelesspookyart.blogspot.com/
https://www.etsy.com/shop/adelesspookyart

Jeremy Hawkins - From his retro zombie, horror and other designs, there seems to be no end to his talents.
http://www.beingretro.com/
http://www.jmhdigital.com/

Cullan Hudson - Check out his Kreepy Girl Designs and other art work.
Kreepy Girl Designs - Facebook
http://www.kreepygirldesigns.blogspot.com/

More outstanding creepy and horror artists and the sites you can find their work:
Philip Hynes Sculpts - Facebook
Back From the Grave - Facebook
https://www.etsy.com/shop/gothicrow
https://www.etsy.com/shop/UndeadEd
https://www.etsy.com/shop/LivingDeadGirlNicole

September 9, 2014

Amazing Photography


I am not a professional photographer, but I do enjoy taking pictures especially of abandoned places.  I display many of my pictures on my Southwest Abandoned Places Facebook page to share with others.  (Be sure to check it out and click the "like" button).  I follow many photography Facebook pages and blogs. These individuals blow me away with their amazing photos.  Here are some of my favorites:

By the Canon Viewfinder - http://bythecanonviewfinder.blogspot.com/
Lost America - http://lostamerica.com/
Scottsdale Daily Photo - http://scottsdaledp.blogspot.com/
Phoenix Daily Photo - http://phxdp.blogspot.com/
Arctic View - http://akelaine.blogspot.com/

Facebook pages (click their "like" buttons, they are worth it):


September 6, 2014

Cryptic and Bigfoot Artists


I am totally amazed on the exceptionable drawings, paintings and sculptures of cryptic and other creatures. There are many out there.  Here are some that I follow:

JASON SHANAMAN:
I follow a couple of his Facebook pages.  He not only does real-looking animal sculptures, but Bigfoot ones as well.  Check out this talented man's work:
Bigfoot Sculptures - Facebook
Bigfoot Sculptures - Etsy



"A place to buy various sculptures, figurines of Sasquatch (Bigfoot), yetis and more."

Jason Shanaman Animal Sculpture - Facebook
https://www.etsy.com/shop/jasonshanamanart


On this Facebook page and Etsy shop, you can find sculptures of reptiles and the great apes (Orangutans, gorillas, bearded dragons, Uomastyx, geckos, and many more...)


THOMAS FINLEY:  (Facebook)

What can I say about this incredibly amazing artist.  I love all of his cryptic art, especially his many pictures of Bigfoot.  He has designed the art for book covers, T-shirts, and postcards.  His creations takes you on a wonderful experience of the unknown through his perplexing and colorful art.


ETSY SHOPS:
Here are a couple of pages with creature and cryptic art found in various Etsy shops.
Etsy Creature Art
Etsy Cryptic Art

September 3, 2014

Decorating With Junk and Antiques


I love decorating with junk and antiques.  I can spend hours wandering around antique stores, hobby stores and flea markets.  I can take an object, see it for what it is, and what it can be.  Items with an interesting history are the best finds.  If there is a show on TV or a website with great ideas on refurbishing items (junk and antiques), I will be watching the show or lurking on their sites.  Here are some of the ones I check out the most:


JUNK GYPSIES:  Amie and Jolie Sikes
These sisters are from Round Top, Texas and refer to it as "Gypsyville".  They do a whole lot of decorating with junk and other finds while rummaging around their favorite sites.  Along with their family, these ladies will tell you that they "believe in ripped jeans, hard work, and glitter".  I am proud to say that I am a Junk Gypsy too!

As they say on their website, "We believe every man’s trash is truly our treasure, junking is a way of life, and garage sales are our Rodeo Drive. We’d rather be at a flea-market collecting chippy-peely castoffs than anywhere else. It’s not just what we do, it’s who we are.

We are the JUNK GYPSY COMPANY, Purveyors of the World’s finest JuNK, bringing you goods that are everything we are - a little bit hippie, a little bit rock n’ roll, a little bit southern-fried, and a whole lot of GYpSy-fide!  To all of you....WELCoME HOME!"

FLEA MARKET FLIP:  Lara Spencer
Lara Spencer seems to do it all.  She can be found on ABC's Good Morning America, but on HGTV and GAC turning trash into treasure and cool decorations.  Her show, Flea Market Flip, pins two teams armed with $500 and a "flip list" to wander through a flea market looking for items to fulfill their lists.  Then with a good imagination and in only one day, they must re-invent those items and flip them the next day for money.  The team who makes the most money wins a cash prize.  I love watching the creativity of each teams efforts to make amazing home decorating items and/or useful furniture.  Another show of hers that I enjoy watching is "I Break for Yard Sales".
Flea Market Flip - HGTV
Flea Market Flip - GAC
hgtv/upcycling
http://www.laraspencer.net/site/laras-book.html


AMERICAN PICKERS:  Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz
I just love watching these two men traveling across America and looking for junk to recycle.  They make their living by finding old antiques and restoring them for sale.  These American Pickers love to dig through people's junk and hearing the interesting stories that come along with each item.  Sometimes it can get a little hairy when the owners don't want the boys on their land, but they press on to find other "hidden gems in junkyards, basements, garages and barns".  Check them out and join them in their quest to find the best junk in America.
http://www.history.com/shows/american-pickers
http://www.antiquearchaeology.com/

FACEBOOK FAVS:  These are a couple of Facebook pages I follow that have great junk/antique decorating ideas:
Repurposed Things
Country Craft House

**A couple of the local antique malls I frequent in and around the Phoenix, AZ area:
BRASS ARMADILLO ANTIQUE MALL:  http://www.brassarmadillo.com/
MERCHANT SQUARE ANTIQUES AND MARKETPLACE: http://www.merchantsquareantiques.com/

HOBBY LOBBY:  If you haven't been to this hobby store, you should check it out.  They have tons of decorating ideas and materials to make whatever craft project you can think of:
http://www.hobbylobby.com/home.cfm

September 1, 2014

September is Favorites Month


Since my loves are art, crafts, and photography, I will mention in several posts my favorite artists, photographers, blogs and websites that I frequently visit.  There are many very talented artists that always amaze me with their extraordinary talent.  They express their arts and crafts through drawings, paintings, sculptures, and photography.  They may not know it yet, but they have entertained me through their creativity and taught me to be much better at my craft.

I will give you links to their websites, blogs and Facebook pages.  Since I have an Etsy shop and a couple of Cafepress shops, those will be included as well.  Also, I am getting into refurbishing and re-purposing old items and antiques.  Decorating with antiques, distressed items, and reusing stuff in other ways than they were originally used for, is how I like to decorate.  I will also be doing a post on sites and TV shows where many great ideas for this type of decorating are the main focus.

I want to bring attention to my design blog and to all the talented people who deserve a shout out.