Art Conspiracy

Every now and then my husband surprises me by finding a really interesting event and buying tickets. He knows I love art and artists so this weekend’s surprise was one of the best. We went to Art Con, a fundraising event put on each year by Art Conspiracy, an organization that conspires to bring artists and musicians together, raise funds, and activate awareness for regional creative programs and causes. Art Con is “street level philanthropy with equal parts community art event and fundraiser.”

Participating artists were given an 18″ by 18″ board on which to create a piece of art to be auctioned off during the event, which included alternating auctions and live music at a warehouse in The Cedars neighborhood of Dallas. More than 150 artists and four musicians (The Cush, Cliffs of Insanity, DJ Christy Ray and The Misfit DJ Set) got great exposure during the event and funds were raised to support MAP – Make Art With Purpose. The art was diverse and creative, as you can see below.

This is a photo of 18 by 18 inch art creations by Dallas artists participating in ArtCon11.

Some of the pieces auctioned off at ArtCon11

My husband and I enjoyed a delicious Cuban sandwich and yucca fries from The Guava Tree food truck and then we took our drinks inside the warehouse to peruse the paintings, finding several that we wanted to bid on. The people-watching was pretty fabulous; it was quite the eclectic, artsy younger crowd combined with middle-aged people in workout gear, older folks in motorized chairs and families with children running around playing tag. During the auctions, whenever the bidding passed another $100 milestone, the crowd went crazy. Bidding started at $20 and paintings sold for anywhere from $20 to over $800 before we left. While we didn’t end up coming home with any paintings, we did enjoy the evening and learned of some artists that we will keep an eye on, including those that create designs for Cykochik custom handbags. If you’re looking for a unique gift for a creative person in your life, check them out.

This is a photo of a crowd of people looking at paintings.

The ArtCon11 crowd deciding which paintings to bid on.


Spam Poetry

While scrolling through the comments on my blog this morning, I noticed that my folder of spam had 32 messages. I was about to hit “Empty Spam” when I decided to go through it and make sure all of it was really spam. Man, am I glad that I did! No, I didn’t find a legitimate comment, but what I did find made me laugh. Spam can be downright hilarious! Who comes up with this stuff?

I know, I know. Spam is bad. It causes financial headaches and takes up space and is otherwise a pain in the butt. However, I can do very little about the existence of spam other than to try to protect my own computer from its clutches. So if my spam can entertain me for a few minutes, I feel like I should allow myself to be entertained.IMG_1231

The world’s spammers must spend hours trying to learn English and defy spam filters with their ridiculous-sounding sentences. I imagine a scruffy teenager in remote Russia cranking out bizarre sentences on his computer and leaving them in the comment section of every blog he can find between snacks of meat pies and cheese blintzes that his mother fixes him and marathon sessions of Call of Duty. All I can say is, I feel sorry for you, spammers. You should really get a life and a real job. And make your own snacks. But in the meantime, I get a kick out of your poor English and grammatical errors.

Thank you WordPress for protecting my blog from these spammers but also compiling all of these messages in a nice, neat folder that I can delete with one click.

Sometimes poetry sounds like a bunch of gibberish to me, almost as if it was written by spammers. In honor of all the poetry I don’t understand, and the funny spam I receive, I decided to start the day with a few short Spam Poems incorporating funny lines from some of my best spam messages. Hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them!

Perpendicular Parties

Our god is the beautiful and omnipotent golfer

and human beings are His appliances.

Many phenomena suggest

that humanity is under

and it has been

for sometime

From perpendicular parties.

The only manner of how to detect them

is through some sort or other of early
 detector’s test.

Then find great solutions,

on sale

off and on

the world-wide-web.

With widespread public acceptance.

Dying well, Problem-less and not Penniless, in a T-Shirt

When men and women depart the qualified earth*

They use t-shirts.

If you exercise in them,

be destined not to cause problems,

and still have everything you can.

Congratulations, you have

A great sport!

*Income depends on the time the sufferer died. Never expect to earn a huge amount of dollars.


The operation starts with a good solid pattern.

And a raise in temperature.

A necessary part: the remote island – useful for the purpose of relaxation.

Remember, carrots can keep stools 
softer and larger.

Goodbye and Good Riddance Shoulder Frank

Is it just me or does everyone experience the ugly little troll who hurls insults into your ears as you try to do something difficult?

I call my troll Shoulder Frank. He’s short and squatty with unkempt hair and green hands and feet. His teeth are red and misaligned. His eyes are too big for his face. And every time he comes he wears the same hideous black and red striped shirt. Oh, and he smells like sulphur, so there’s no mistaking the fact that he has arrived. He shows up while I’m writing without ever letting me know in advance that he’s coming. And then he plops down on my shoulder, kicks his little legs and bullies me.

Take yesterday, for instance. There I was at my computer, slogging away on my novel revisions, when Bam! Shoulder Frank appeared out of nowhere. The first thing he did was read the paragraph I had just written.

“This stinks!” Shoulder Frank said. I tried to ignore him and continue typing.

He leaned closer. “Are you kidding me? No one will ever want to read this.”

“Go away, Shoulder Frank,” I said. I tried to shrug him off, but he’s got a strong grip.

“Give it up! This is the most boring thing I’ve ever read!” he said. Evil laughter spewed from his gaping, odorous mouth.

I jumped up from my chair and stomped out of the room. There wasn’t enough space for both of us in my office. I paced the kitchen waiting for him to leave. I drank glass after glass of water, as if I could flood Shoulder Frank away.

Every time I peeked into my study to see if he’d gone, Shoulder Frank jumped up and down in front of my keyboard shouting, “Hahahahahahah!”

So I went on a walk. Then I did the laundry. Then I checked Facebook. Then I thought about making cookies. Then I decided not to make cookies because what I really wanted to do was write. Then I got mad. I was letting Shoulder Frank have all the power. Not only did he want me to stop writing, he wanted me to stuff my face with cookies when I had expressly set a goal to refrain from eating cookies this week. Shoulder Frank probably knew that. Because apparently Shoulder Frank has free access to my thoughts.

If there is anyone who does not deserve attention, it is Shoulder Frank.

There are only two places that would allow a vile creature like Shoulder Frank to exist: The twin cities of Fear and Self-Doubt. I don’t want to live in either of those places. I live in Dallas. I choose my visitors. Shoulder Frank is not invited.

Just so there’s never any confusion on his part, I made a sign and put it on the door to my office. If he ever tries to show up again – and he will because he’s more persistent than anyone I know – I am just going to point to the sign and say, “Rules are rules, Shoulder Frank. You’re not welcome here. Now go home and let me get back to work.”


Celebrating The Artist Date

Julia Cameron’s The Artist Way partly inspired this blog. If you haven’t ever gone through the course, you should. It’s a great way to increase your creativity and learn to appreciate the world around you. One of the things she espouses is the Artist Date. That’s where you take yourself on a “date” to somewhere that inspires your creativity. I’ve been to a “green” gas station that recycled kitchen grease and sold organic snacks, a farmer’s market, the movies, the Dollar Store, a local park, a garden store and even my own backyard to sketch my sunbathing black lab. I try to document my excursions with a photo or two but sometimes I just take it all in and want to keep the moment for myself, like a small, happy secret.

Here is a photo I snapped on a recent Artist Date.

These really popped out at a local garden store.

These really popped out at a local garden store.

The arrangement I saw inspired me to create my own pretty centerpiece that afternoon.

Sunflowers were on sale. Looking at these made me happy for at least a week!

Sunflowers were on sale. Looking at these made me happy for at least a week!

See how Artist Dates work? Thank you Julia Cameron for boosting my creativity. I am grateful for Artist Dates.