Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Roses in Winter

Roses in Winter by megan_n_smith_99
Roses in Winter, a photo by megan_n_smith_99 on Flickr.

This is my latest:
Roses in Winter
8 x 8 inches
watercolor and ink on paper
available on Etsy.

The watercolors are Daniel Smith, the paper is Arches and the ink is a Pitt Pen.

I've been feeling a bit bleak, so maybe I am painting bright colors to try to cheer myself up. Garrison Keillor says February is the longest month. I'm working on another painting and a large pen and in drawing so I will have more to show you soon, though lately I've not felt like I had a lot to say. I hope a picture really is worth 1000 words.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

in progress

in progress by megan_n_smith_99
in progress, a photo by megan_n_smith_99 on Flickr.

i took this right by the window which goes to show you what it's like living in seattle. aka not terribly light. anyway, this is too big for the scanner. the paper size is 16 x 12" and this is zoomed in on a portion of the drawing. i just did this while listening to an audio book yesterday.

Yeti Dolls

Yeti Dolls by megan_n_smith_99
Yeti Dolls, a photo by megan_n_smith_99 on Flickr.

I managed to get the elusive Yetis to pose again. Need to try outside. When we both agree it is warm enough. They think 36* is warm enough and I do not!

Available on Etsy.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

In the Kraken's Garden

Title:In the Kraken's Garden
Dimensions: 8 x 8"
Media: watercolor and ink on watercolor paper
Year: 2012

The colors are even more vivid in person!
Available on Etsy.
I painted this while listening Harlan Ellison reading Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Birdhouse in your Soul

Title: Birdhouse in Your Soul
Dimensions: 8 x 8" (will fit standard frame)
Media: watercolor and ink on watercolor paper
Year: 2012
Available on Etsy.
The colors are even more vivid in person!

Inspired by They Might be Giants lyrics:

I'm your only friend
I'm not your only friend
But I'm a little glowing friend
But really I'm not actually your friend
But I am

Blue canary in the outlet by the light switch
Who watches over you
Make a little birdhouse in your soul.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tea Party

Tea Party by megan_n_smith_99
Tea Party, a photo by megan_n_smith_99 on Flickr.

This is a new painting I finished a couple of days ago and it is available on Etsy. I think it would be quite fetching hanging in a kitchen.

I've also been listing some more of my beaded houses on Etsy, if you are interested. And some yarn on Ravelry. My Ravelry user name is megannoel.

I have not been feeling very well the last few days, There is a bit of sun today, it looks like, so that might help. Also I think I am having pho, which is good because I have not really felt like going through the bother of preparing food or eating. I have heard you need to do that sometimes...

Now I should go make a cup of tea!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Beaded Houses

100707bead1 by megan_n_smith_99
100707bead1, a photo by megan_n_smith_99 on Flickr.

In 2007--2008, I joined a group of artists facilitated by Robin Atkins, in the The Beaded Journal Project. We each created 12 beaded journal "pages" --though I always knew mine would be hung on the wall and not bound in a book. These are my beaded journal houses. In an abstract way each documents my thoughts, my feelings, and pieces of my history. Each house is 5.5" high.

I've started listing some of my houses on Etsy. I am just keeping a few of my favorites. I will be listing a few beaded dolls soon as well. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Dreaming Spires / Oxford

Dreaming Spires by megan_n_smith_99
Dreaming Spires, a photo by megan_n_smith_99 on Flickr.

This is my newest painting on Etsy. Lately I've been working smaller - It's been a while since I did anything over 8 x 10" but I've been wanting to get back to that.

Title: Dreaming Spires
Dimensions: 10 x 13 inches
Media: watercolor, ink, and colored pencil on paper
Year: 2012

The colors are even more vibrant in person.
I've been reading several books about or set in Oxford, which I've always had a romantic notion of. Oxford. Oxford is known as the "city of dreaming spires", - so called by poet Matthew Arnold. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world

And that sweet city with her dreaming spires,
She needs not June
for beauty's heightening

Oxford's famous alums include:
John Fowles, Robert Graves, Evelyn Waugh, Lewis Carroll, Aldous Huxley, Oscar Wilde, C.S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Graham Greene, Phillip Pullman, Percy Bysshe Shelley, John Donne A. E. Housman, W. H. Auden, T. S. Eliot, Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair, Stephen Hawking, Richard Dawkins, Albert Einstein, Edwin Hubble, Erwin Schrödinger, Hugh Grant, Kate Beckinsale, Dudley Moore, Michael Palin, and Terry Jones.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Art Zines, Sleepless, Typos, and My Twin Sister.

I am working on a new painting that I hope I finish later today. I'm pretty happy with it. I wish I did not need to sleep so much so I could paint more, though actually I do like naps so I suppose I would miss them. I have been listening to Nancy Kress' Sleepless series, about a future with gene mods where some people don't need to sleep, and it's quite fascinating It is the kind of science fiction that actually makes you think, which is always good. As an offset to the escapist fantasies I also like to read, I guess.

I've listed some art zines on Etsy! I suppose some of you know that I used to publish several zines. They were: Mysterium (9 issues), La Luna (I forget- maybe 4 issues?) and there were some one-offs, lncluding a selkie zine and a crow zine. Several of these are now on Etsy.

This is the front / back cover of Mysterium issue 9, which may have been my favorite issue, though it has at least 1 typo. How do those slip past? It made me feel better that my twin sister recently blogged that she sometimes makes typos as well. I actually was a bit surprised! I did not think she was perfect but I thought her copy was.

If you want to visit my twin sister's blog it is Telling Secrets. It's quite a different sort of blog than mine. My sister works in the missions field doing research / education / writing / editing. (Actually I wonder if she would consider that an apt description of her job, but it's how I see it.) She gets to meet lots of people around the country and sometimes around the world. She's been to some fascinating places that are certainly off the beaten path. I guess when she chose to go to Haiti as part of a medical mission when she was only 17 the die was cast. She lives quite a different life at times than most of us in America can imagine. She was telling me the other day about when a toddler she was living with in central asia ate all her cough drops and you could not get them where she was. The things we take for granted!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Red Bird, Andrea Stern, and Rabindranath Tagore

I was thinking that I should start sharing work by other artists I admire on days when I do not have any new art of my own to show. (I actually might have some later today but we shall see, busy busy.) So today I am happy to share Andrea Stern's Red Bird In the Morning. I love the red and blues together and it reminds me of a quote from Rabindranath Tagore:

“Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark.”

Visit Andrea's blog to see a larger image of Red Bird and to enjoy more of her work! She also has an Etsy shop.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

those bad bad beads

those bad bad beads by megan_n_smith_99
those bad bad beads, a photo by megan_n_smith_99 on Flickr.

Those Bad Bad Beads by Virginia Blakelock is a hard to find classic. It covers: how to construct a beading loom, weaving techniques, finishing and fringes, making necklaces, bracelets and belts, peyote stitch, african beading techniques, broad collars, bead netting, beading on clothing, and beaded bags.

I have a copy available now on eBay. I also have some other hard to find beading books, and some hard to find doll patterns, such as patterns by Ellise Peeples. Plus some awesome zines!

I am struggling to make this post interesting, though the truth is I have a cold and am about to crawl under the covers with a book. I actually did paint a little today and shall soon have some new art to show you.

violin I

violin I by megan_n_smith_99
violin I, a photo by megan_n_smith_99 on Flickr.

I don't have any new art to show you today, though i am working on some things. i have a new idea and i am struggling a bit to figure out how to bring it to life.

here is something from the archives - a violin i painted. it's acrylic paint and inks. It's still playable though I don't have strings or pegs on it. And actually it's 3/4 size which would require a little adjusting for me. I am not sure if my fingers are quite small enough to play it with dexterity! It's more intended as a work of art and it's hanging on my wall right now. I have another full sized one I should paint -- it needs to be sanded down. I've also considered painting my student violin, though it's in a friend's attic at the moment.

I had a very nice Valentine's day. a girlfriend was sweet enough to include my in their family celebration, along with her sister. They made me feel special indeed. I stayed the night and babysat yesterday. The children were very well behaved and did not attempt to run me ragged. (I don't know how people with toddlers manage every day? Ingrid and Finn are 4 and 2 years old - quite a handful at times.)

I am hoping to get some art time in today!
I've still been listing some more interesting things on eBay including some hard o find patterns, beading books, other art books, and limited edition prints by Audrey Kawasaki. And in related news my job hunt continues!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

happy valentine's day

011608ac1 by megan_n_smith_99
011608ac1, a photo by megan_n_smith_99 on Flickr.

happy valentine's day. life is short, buy yourself some chocolate.

Saturday, February 11, 2012


Yeti by megan_n_smith_99
Yeti, a photo by megan_n_smith_99 on Flickr.

Well, today I had the pleasure of going to my little friend Finn's 2nd birthday party. He got some pretty nice gifts. I think his favorites were his toy tools and a slide. I made these 2 stuffed yeti for the occasion. The one with the pink flower is a girl - for his sister. They are about 6" tall. I made the pattern up myself, it was fun.

In The Beginning

In The Beginning by megan_n_smith_99
In The Beginning, a photo by megan_n_smith_99 on Flickr.

This is my latest watercolor. In the Beginning. It's the earth's first dream of spring. It's 5 x 7 inches, watercolor and colored pencil, and available on Etsy.

Yesterday I got little things done and should have felt accomplished but not sure i do. I finished this painting, made 2 toys for gifts, listed a bunch of books on eBay, and wrote the outline for a book i am working on. You should check out my eBay auctions here. Some are ending in a few hours too. Lots of japanese craft books, out of print embroidery books, quilting books, and 2 lots of The Studio Zine and other zines by Teesha Moore.

Today I am off to a birthday party for my favorite two year old but I hope for some art time this evening.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Red Tea Dragon

Red Tea Dragon by megan_n_smith_99
Red Tea Dragon, a photo by megan_n_smith_99 on Flickr.

I have been trying to get in touch with Cynthiacc, the winner of the February give-way. Cynthia, could you email me your address? Every page of my website has an email link: www.megannoel.com.

Yesterday was a good day. My mother and I went out to brunch and then I helped her with her crocheting. At least I hope I helped. She was working on some freeform knit / crochet. If you don't know what that is you should check out Prudence Mapstone. I got to meet Prudence once when she was a guest at Seattle Yarn, and she was just as charming as one might hope.

Yesterday evening I painted while listening to A.S. Byatt's The Game. When I was a teenager I drew dozens of dragons in colored pencil. They were inspired by Chinese dragons, rather than European dragons. Chinese dragons as associated with luck and water and are very colorful- while European dragons are drabber and seem to be associated with greed and power. Perhaps I am biased or read too much Tolken at a young age.

Two of my dragons are on Etsy. Enjoy! Also I have some eBay auctions for craft / art books (including some out of print rarities and some Japanese craft books) which you can see here.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Tardis! and Half Broke Horses

Tardis by megan_n_smith_99
Tardis, a photo by megan_n_smith_99 on Flickr.

Well, I did not watch the Super Bowl. I am not sure who played. But what I did do yesterday was finish this painting. It might lead to a series, particularly if there is interest. I sort of envisioned it as the Tardis traveling through .. well, whatever fold or wrinkle in time, worlds, and reality that the Tardis travels through. However I am not sure if I really conveyed that or not. It was at least my intention. It is 8 x 10 inches and is available on Etsy.

I've been reading bios lately. Sometimes I like to sort of lose myself in someone else's life. I guess it is as close as you can come to imagining how another person feels in their skin. The most recent was Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls. I quite enjoyed it. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes bios, or is interested in the history and geography of texas or Arizona, or to anyone interested in what it was like back in the homesteading days. She calls it a "True-Life Novel." It's based on the life of her grandmother, Lily Casey Smith, and she's written it from her grandmother's perspective which is why she decided to call it a novel, as she had to sort of imagine some of what her grandmother thought and felt -- maybe not too much though, Lily was a woman who spoke her mind. Lily was a gun-toting, horse-breaking, poker-playing, airplane flying school marm. A character you'll never forget.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

February Winner

The winner of the February give-away is Cynthiacc. For the rest of you, you will have another chance next month. I do one give-away a month, around the beginning of the month.

Happy Creating,
Megan Noel

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Chrysanthemum Tea

Chrysanthemum Tea by megan_n_smith_99
Chrysanthemum Tea, a photo by megan_n_smith_99 on Flickr.

This is another painting in my Tea Steam Dreams series. It is 5 x 7 inches and is listed on Etsy if you are interested.

I also just listed a bunch more cool craft books on eBay. There are some good books if you are interested in needlework, dragons, embellished dolls, etc. Also I've listed some more Japanese craft books.

Yesterday was so beautiful, sunny and lovely. Every once in a while we get a few days like this in February, which is probably the only think that keeps most of us in Seattle going. I think I am going to go to the park with a book and my knitting soon. I wish I felt better because I kind of want to make some sort of social plans but I've felt fairly poorly for I think 3 weeks now? Fortunately it's auto-immune so I can't give it to anyone else but it keeps me laid up. Oh well, at least I've got a nice park 5 blocks away and later this afternoon my balcony will get some sun. I like to toss my sheep skin out there and read. It's kind of tiny so I have not got any chairs out there but a sheep skin is good padding. The smell of wool and lanolin make me feel kind of nostalgic because I grew up on a sheep farm on Vashon Island, it's so beautiful out there.

February Giveaway

I am picking the winner tomorrow (randomly). Some of you commented anonymously and you can't win if I don't know who you are! Could you at least leave your 1st name in the comment? Or email it to me? My website has an email link on every page:

Friday, February 3, 2012

Green Tea and MI-5

Green Tea by megan_n_smith_99
Green Tea, a photo by megan_n_smith_99 on Flickr.

I've listed two more paintings from the Tea Steam Dreams series on Etsy!

I've also started listing some art and craft books, including a lot of OOP books and japanese craft books on eBay.

I started watching MI-5 yesterday. It's a British spy series. It took me a couple episodes to get into it but I really like it. Matthew Macfadyen is really good and the first season has had some delightful cameos - Hugh Laurie and Anthony Head.

My twin sister is a writer and she writes these really interesting blog posts but I find I usually can't think of much to say, I am much more visual - My blog posts are sort of built around my art, and I guess my life and identity are sort of built around it too, so I hope you'll excuse my focus on pictures - they are worth a thousand words, right?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

February Give-away -- Sweet Orange Tea

Sweet Orange Tea by megan_n_smith_99
Sweet Orange Tea, a photo by megan_n_smith_99 on Flickr.

Would you like to win an original piece of my art? Once a month, usually around the beginning of the month, I offer a chance to win! Sweet Orange Tea, 4 x 6 inches, is this month's offering! Leave a comment here for a chance to win. I will draw the Winner on Sunday February 5th.

Also, visit my Etsy shop to see more paintings in the Tea Steam Dreams series.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Sweet Strawberry Cupcake

Sweet Strawberry by megan_n_smith_99
Sweet Strawberry, a photo by megan_n_smith_99 on Flickr.

I actually have 2 new series I am working on, Tea Steam Dreams and a series of cupcakes! I may be adding other desserts to the cupcake series, we shall see what inspires me. I could certainly use some bright spots of color to get me through February. There are actually some sunbreaks at the moment but February in the NW usually seems to last approximately forever! Which is ironic, really.

Did you know that in the UK cupcakes are sometimes called fairy cakes?

Sweet Strawberry Cupcake
5 x 5 inches
watercolor and ink on paper
available on Etsy.