Brightfire Woman ™

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Wheels, Swivels and Chalkboards

The best way for me to deal with stress, chaos and life’s pressured nature these days, is to find something to think creatively about within whatever is the stressor or causing the chaos or pressure.

If you are like me, the moment you say, “I am not going to let this ruin my day by thinking about it!”, it becomes all you can think about.

Often I find when I am trying so hard to get something done or make it happen and I just can’t pull it, it was because it was not time or the wrong thing to do at the time. Later it came effortlessly, with ease and grace. So even knowing all that, the subconscious mind is a nit picker obsessive. So I started asking myself what bone could I give it to chew on, instead of my health?

Stress, chaos, and pressure, is arriving to a situation or event that you were not prepared for and were unable to foresee coming at you. Unexpected delays, losses, changes, hardship and suffering feel like being in limbo. When you can’t take action, it is like hitting a remote on that internal mental gnawing at the problem.

So since I can’t stop thinking about the situation or the event, I step back and look beyond it.  I look for something to focus those energies on that will hopeful let me arrive  better prepared and less stressed when things do start to pick up speed.  The best bone I have found to exchange for obsessing over what you can’t control  is something that helps with stress, clears chaos and makes you feel less pressured –ORDER!…  And a well developed creative project to sink your teeth into as a reward for getting to the other side of things all in one piece works well for me.

From time to time I have memory issues and when it is active clutter is not my friend. Nor was it my mother’s friend and  I will be moving into what was her home for 24 years. She always said, “Not enough Storage and small rooms was an issue.”

I have seen two good tips on dealing with clutter. One from an organizer, to have a junk drawer specifically for the odds and ends in every room. And from my mother, let your usage in a room define what goes in it. I don’t know how many other people go nuts packing stuff back to the room everyone else puts them, when the reality is that is not where you always end up using it. Mom kept her manicure tote in the kitchen cabinet, she liked to do her nails at the kitchen table. She liked to wash her hair at the kitchen sink, so she kept that stuff under the sink.

Where I think I maybe heading is organizers that are portable, free standing on wheels or swivels.

So, yes, I am still on organizers! And last night I found an awesome one! Have a look, it is awesome!


Swivel Storage Tower with mirror and chalkboard  “With so many functional built-ins, this handsome swivel cabinet tidies up clutter in the kitchen, home office, TV room, laundry room, craft room … anywhere you need organized storage. Price $249.00

Space-efficient, spinning organizer tucks into a corner.
– Space-saving bookshelf, storage bin, coat rack, photo display, message center and more all in one spinning cabinet
– 10 storage cubbies/shelves, 3 hooks, mirror, chalkboard, corkboard, dry-erase board and 6 photo slots
– With so many functional built-ins, it tidies up clutter in the kitchen, home office, TV room, laundry room, craft room…anywhere you could use organized storage
– Space efficient — tucks nicely in a corner
– Makes it easy to create a mini office in a bedroom or studio apartment

773199331629I love it!  But again, even though this is the highest priced storage product I have found, the reviews are again on things breaking and complaints of materials not being up to the job.  Fabulous design, but according to customers, cheaply made. I found cedar boards, which have a lovely color and wood grain very reasonable and they come in a fairly durable thickness, in 6″ and 12′ widths at 12′ and 16′ lengths.

Man Pantry

Man Pantry

It would be great wood for the Man Pantry in the 6 ” width to use it between refrigerator and wall. The 12″ would be a good size to make the tower, mind you, it would be smaller than theirs, but a nice size for incorporating most the features. The main attraction is that it swivels and I found a super durable swivel that holds up to 500 lbs. at Lowes, (I am liking Lowes) for a mere $6.97!  One side would attach to the tower and then you would build a base and attach the other side of the swivel to that.

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I really like the chalkboard and I found a great video on making a chalkboard, that ups it to also being magnetic. and that really opens your mind up to…well, why, not a whole wall?  I also found some great magnetic hooks that could be used with it. For only $2.78 per hook, with great reviews as very strong!  These ideas could lend themselves very well as the backboard for the counter top.  At any rate, I could have the chalkboard incorporated into any design at any size relatively cheaply. It could be a huge sketch pad in my studio area or great to use magnets to post bills, invitations or appointment cards. Perhaps, baskets or bins even, if light weight.

It should be interesting what will come out of this.  If you can think it, you can build it. Building like cooking, is always better when you use the highest quality in ingredients you can find.  And, as I have noted in past posts, real wood seems to be the best way to go on most designs to alleviate breakage that seems a common complaint with ready made  products that will come to you unassembled in a box.  Why not considered picking quality materials to assemble?

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Chiaroscuro and Fuseli

Well, late night surfing the public domain images for inspiration and found this.  There is just something about it, that made me look at it for a long time. The contrast appeals to me and the way that the drapes of gown and throws take on an abstract form. I like that the gargoyle pulls you into direct eye contact.

So I, of course, had to read up on the artist. I think it is important for an artist take time to just drink from the cup. Especially during times when you are unable to work for whatever reason. It keeps you making discoveries and improving your eye.

John Henry Fuseli The Nightmare

John Henry Fuseli The Nightmare

“Henry Fuseli (German: Johann Heinrich Füssli) (7 February 1741 – 17 April 1825) was a Swiss painter, draughtsman and writer on art who spent much of his life in Britain. Many of his works, such as The Nightmare deal with supernatural subject-matter. He painted works for John Boydell’s Shakespeare Gallery, and created his own “Milton Gallery”. He held the posts of Professor of Painting and Keeper at the Royal Academy. His style had a considerable influence on many younger British artists, including William Blake.”

And I found his technique… I think I want to try it. It is called chiaroscuro and it might help me get more of the 3-d feel I am after. With my photography background of high contrast work, I think I would really enjoy the process.

 “Chiaroscuro (English pronunciation: /kiˌɑːrəˈskjʊər/; Italian: [ˌkjaroˈskuːro]; Italian for light-dark) in art is the use of strong contrasts between light and dark, usually bold contrasts affecting a whole composition. It is also a technical term used by artists and art historians for the use of contrasts of light to achieve a sense of volume in modelling three-dimensional objects and figures.[1] Similar effects in cinema and photography also are called chiaroscuro.  The more technical use of the term chiaroscuro is the effect of light modelling in painting, drawing, or printmaking, where three-dimensional volume is suggested by the value gradation of colour and the analytical division of light and shadow shapes—often called “shading“…
“The Nightmare simultaneously offers both the image of a dream—by indicating the effect of the nightmare on the woman—and a dream image—in symbolically portraying the sleeping vision.[2] It depicts a sleeping woman draped over the end of a bed with her head hanging down, exposing her long neck. She is surmounted by an incubus that peers out at the viewer. The sleeper seems lifeless, and, lying on her back, she takes a position believed to encourage nightmares.[3] Her brilliant coloration is set against the darker reds, yellows, and ochres of the background; Fuseli used a chiaroscuro effect to create strong contrasts between light and shade. The interior is contemporary and fashionable, and contains a small table on which rests a mirror, phial, and book. The room is hung with red velvet curtains which drape behind the bed. Emerging from a parting in the curtain is the head of a horse with bold, featureless eyes.

He painted three versions and this is his most famous work.

If anyone out there is using chiaroscuro in their work, please leave  a comment and/or post a photo of your work.  Let me know if you have an artist in mind I should check out or a good book for me.