UnBoxMe is one of my Zazzle stores with products I have created with my art. I have been having a very hard time trying to find time for my creativity, hence my absence from my beloved blog. Creating content is time consuming while wearing all the hats that I do during a typical week. I am sure that I am not alone.
As a way to increase my incoming revenue, I have been taking a serious look at my options. I work primarily on the weekends 23+ hours, usually broken into two shifts with me coming home and sleeping in between. While I love my client/patient, caregiving is exhausting work. I am emotionally involved. She has been in hospice for awhile now. So, I don’t feel like I can walk away. But also I am not sure I want to continue in this line of work as I am also caregiving for my parents and in-law.
I have decided to use some of the small chunks of time that I have to improve my Zazzle stores. I only have a few items completed with my Giving Your Heart Wings mixed media painting. I have plans to increase the variety of items. Please leave a message for me in the comments if there is a particular product you would like to see with this print. I am particularly happy with the way the painting transferred to the leggings (See affiliate link below.)
Week eight of Thain in Vain and Drafty Devil bringing us the 13-Week Streak Summer Flash Fiction challenge. 500 words, one story using the prompt, enjoy! Oops, this is the second short story using this prompt.
Prompt: Prompt – Week 8
Will you tell this story from the perspective of the bombshell, the couple or a short-order cook flipping burgers? A couple is seated in a booth at a diner when a red-headed bombshell walks in and sits down at their table.
Lola felt the eyes follow her. Yes, she was overdressed for a simple diner in the middle of the day. The black velvet tea length fifties vintage cocktail dress was . . . well, definitely, out of place.
She swung her auburn locks off her bare shoulders, emphasizing her ample cleavage.
What was he doing here? She’d sworn if she ever saw Richmond again, she was going to kill him.
She teetered on three inch heels. She hated heels but she liked being five foot four. Although, she needed more practice in them.
Just a few more steps, she slid into the booth with the Carmisino’s
“Lola, thank you for joining us,” Mr. Carmisino said, looking over his shoulder at Richmond, “We can’t offer you a room or help.”
Lola felt tears prick at the back of her eyes. She wanted to be surprised, but Richmond threatened her with this, all their friends and family refusing to help her. She couldn’t blame them. Her previous lifestyle combined with his lies made helping sound risky.
Mrs. Carmisino patted her hand pressing something into Lola’s palm. “We are so sorry, dear.” She shook her head barely enough for Lola to register.
“Thank you Mr. & Mrs. Carmisino.” Lola stood to leave keeping her hand clamped shut. Turning, her right heel slid out from underneath her.
Richmond was at her side as she straightened back up, his hand under her elbow. She yanked her arm away.
“Lola, let me help you.”
Turning to face him, “You don’t want to help but you want to control and own me. Well, you can’t. I won’t let you.” Resuming her teetering steps, she held her head high. Once the door closed behind her, under the bright blue sky, Lola let the tears stream down her face. What was she going to do now?
Which way to turn? She was officially homeless. Where could she go? Back to the nursing home and Shirley, she needed to return the dress and shoes. Shirley was wrong dressing for success didn’t ensure success.
Slowly opening her fingers, she read the note. Her fingers clenched. Lola unclenched her fingers releasing the paper into her other palm. A different kind of tear streamed now, tears of hope.
Week eight (hint – 1st story) of Thain in Vain and Drafty Devil bringing us the 13-Week Streak Summer Flash Fiction challenge. 500 words, one story using the prompt, enjoy!
Vicki Howay walked into the Flag Diner off the interstate. She knew she was over dressed, but Ila was pushing her. She spotted only one couple that met the description. It was easy as there was only one couple in the diner. How had Ila known?
Vicky could feel the eyes of the other patrons on her. While continuing her progress towards the couple, she focused on the hundred or so folk art style American flags of all sizes, shapes, and colors that decorated the walls of the diner.
“Mr. Justin Webber?” she said, stopping at the end of yellow formica table.
“Do I know you?”
“No, but your dead wife sent me,” Vicky winced. She hated this aspect of this gift/curse. Half the people didn’t believe in her ability. A quarter thought she was a liar. The last quarter, well, would fall for anything. What category would Justin Webber fall?
“My dead wife?” he asked a frown tugged at the corners of his lips. “As you can see,” he pointed to the lady sitting across from him, “My wife is very much alive.”
Vicky was quiet for a moment with a look of concentration on her face. “Ila?”
“No,” Justin’s eyes narrowed, “What are you up to?”
Vicky eyed the blond sitting across from him. She didn’t look like a killer. When Ila poured her heart out, Vicky had no doubts, but looking at the couple changed her feelings. She didn’t want to help a vengeful spirit. She also didn’t want to let a murderer go free.
“Clara, scoot over,” Vicky demanded sliding in even though Clara didn’t budge, “How did you and Justin meet?”
“You’re the physic, shouldn’t you know?” Clara replied icily.
This is why she got out of the business, Vicky fumed.
“Well . . . ,” Vicky took a deep breath, “According to Ila, you and her were high school pals who’d lost touch, found each other on social media. You gave her poisoned coffee over the last several months of her life, then started making moves on Justin here.”
Clara’s face was blotchy and Justin’s jaw fell open.
“I was trying to avoid accusing you out right but I have other things to do. I am feeling rather annoyed at the moment. Not sure why I got involved.” Vicky stood up to leave. Mumbling, hopefully quietly enough for no one but Ila to hear, “I told you I suck at this. Now, leave me alone.”
As Vicky reached for the door, she felt a hand on her arm.
“Not so fast, you . . . you . . .”
“”Lady” is the word you are searching for,” Vicky said smiling sweetly.
Clara’s hand flew back. Vicky didn’t have time to prepare as Clara’s fist connected with her left cheek. Vicky’s head snapped back, falling on her bottom.
“That’s for casting doubt.” Tears streamed down Clara’s face.
Justin pulled Clara into his arms whispering, “I know you’re innocent. Ila got it wrong.”
Week seven of Thain in Vain and Drafty Devil bringing us the 13-Week Streak Summer Flash Fiction challenge. 500 words, one story using the prompt, enjoy!
Prompt: A boy puts a quarter in a gumball machine and a human tooth comes out.
The Gumball Caper
Timmy stood there staring at his hand. Tears streamed down his face. He snuck away from Mommy while she was in aisle six so that he could sneak back without her knowing. He’d gotten two cavities, whatever those were, last week at the dentist and now mommy wouldn’t let him have candy or gum.
Raiding the change in the sofa, he’d found a quarter. Daddy always let them have any change found. Usually they didn’t care because Mommy gave them quarters.
He’d better get back before Mommy realized he was gone. Turning he saw mommy rushing towards him. Oh, no!
Tears rushed down his face now.
“Timmy, what’s wrong? What happened?” Mommy yelled across the store.
Timmy couldn’t speak. His face felt hot, everyone was staring at him.
“Did someone hurt you?” Mommy asked dragging Dylan by the hand, pushing Ida Marie in a cart.
A crowd gathered. He was scared. When mommy reached him, Timmy opened his hand.
The yellowish/white tooth received a round of “uh, gross” from the crowd.
Mom’s eyes narrowed, “Timothy, where did you get that?”
He pointed to the gumball machine two steps away.
She reached down into Little Ida Marie’s diaper bag, pulling out two wet wipes. She took the tooth out of his hand with one.
Thrusting the other into his hands, Mom ordered, “Here wipe very, very good.”
She watched him carefully. It scared him. When he finished, the wipe was reddish brown.
“When we get home, you and I will have a long talk.” She turned to the crowd. “He’s okay. I will go talk to the manager regarding this matter.” Her comments didn’t stop the crowd from following them to the store’s office.
Mommy pushed him with her body towards the door. Why were they going there? He hadn’t done anything wrong, like last year when he was seven and had taken . . . no, Mommy said, stolen a candy bar. She made him pay the manager. The manager scared him. He fought her for months to get out of grocery shopping.
The manager eyed him but asked, “Mrs. McCole, what can I help you with today?”
“This is what you can help me with!” Mom shoved the tooth at the manager, her voice high pitched.
The manager finally seemed to notice the crowd.
Cough, “I see,” coughed again, “I see you found the fake tooth we use to . . .” he coughed again, “to scare the kids into eating less sugar.”
Mom’s eyes narrowed. “So, it’s not real?”
“Of course not,” The manager said.
One of the regular cashiers walked up to the manager, “Oh, great. Someone found my missing tooth.” She reached out and took it from mom’s hand popping it into her mouth.
In place of Maremi Challenge, this week we have a watercolor Lantern that I painted on the beaches of Port Austin, Michigan waiting their 2017 4th of July Fireworks to start. Then I used white and black gel pens to accentuate. Several others also waiting for the fireworks to begin were lighting and releasing Chinese Lanterns. It was my inspiration for this painting.
Week 21’s Mixed Media Altered Playing Card Challenge presented by Maremi’s Creative Cafe on Facebook was U – Unity. Oops, somehow I screwed it up. I created U for Unique.
Not sure how it happened but . . . I decided I loved my Unique card, and I don’t want to create another.
I almost threw the card away during the creative process. Then I decided to try something radical. It worked. I love it!
Those are real orchid petals glued onto the card. Again another first, I have wanted to try using items from nature on my projects. I also tried matte medium for the first time.
Fun and horrible project. I started with watercolor paper using matte medium glued a layer of different kinds of papers, using pink, salmon, and light teal acrylic paints with a piece of drywall mesh to create texture and color. The third layer ruined it, Stazon ink and a defective stamp not centered. I tried many things to fix it. No luck.
Channeling Bob Ross, I wanted to give it one more try. So before throwing the card out, I decided to paint it black. The matte medium created a unique surface. I decided to remove some of the black with a wet one, loved the distressed black layer. I had a dried out orchid bloom from my mom laying around my craft table. Viola!
Week ’s Mixed Media Altered Playing Card Challenge presented by Maremi’s Creative Cafe on Facebook was T – Teal. Inspired by my recent purchase of Beautiful Faces by Jane Davenport, I tried to recreate her lady with teal hair. My version:
In a previous post, I felt it was important to show you our failures. However, this time I decided to show that some failures are an opportunity to try a new skill, in this case, digital editing.
Below is the the other “eye” design. While I was editing I also decided to play with saturation and hues. Fun, Fun!
And these last two appeal to my inner scifi storyteller, I may have to write their stories.
Artistically Speaking: She was fun and pretty easy. I love her even more after matching her eyes. Each one seems to have a different personality.
Acrylic paint – black, parchment, light mocha, 2 teals, blue metallic, berry metallic, white
Week 19’s Mixed Media Altered Playing Card Challenge presented by Maremi’s Creative Cafe on Facebook was S- Spring.
Spring is my second favorite time of the year. Fall is my favorite. I have always grown Daffodils until we moved into this house five years ago. It’s a long story. Secretly, I can’t wait to move, but I digress.
On watercolor paper cut into playing card size, I started by using watercolor paints to color the general shape and location of the daffodils. Using gel pen and Jane Davenport’s Paint Over Pen white pen, I outlined and completed this card.
Week 18’s Mixed Media Altered Playing Card Challenge presented by Maremi’s Creative Cafe on Facebook was R – Rocks and Roses.
The double weeks are harder for me to come up with a cohesive theme. So, I searched Bing Images and found a brick/block home with climbing roses. I have always loved the look rock houses. Thus the inspiration for this painting.
On watercolor paper, I used Elegant Writer to sketch in the house and windows and Inktense pencils for the roses, grass, sky and tree. I love the house and roses. The rest? Meh!