Monday, April 14, 2014

Fire reflections & Big Book project back on track!

Happy Spring Everyone!

 We finally have had some warm days. The birds are returning, heard the first peepers last night and the real sign that spring has come has arrived: I finally let the fire go out in the woodstove. 


                                    For me, this is a true harbinger of spring. 

   If you don't heat with wood, it may surprise you to learn that it really is one, continuous fire all winter long. There are small fires lit to keep off the chill in autumn, but when things get seriously cold, usually sometime around early November, the woodstove stays going from then onwards. 
    Sure, the ashes need to be cleaned out once a week or so but even then I make sure to do it when there are nice bits of coals still going. Those get pushed to the side while the old ash is removed then the big coals are pulled forward and fed more wood to start up again. So it really is one, long fire burning from November till spring. It is always a poignant moment of gratitude when I let that fire finally go out.
    I have a little ceremony that I do too where I thank all the elements that helped to keep the house safe and warm thru all the cold months. I thank the sun that grew the trees and allowed itself to get trapped there in the wood to be released later when we needed it. I thanked all the people who continue to make stoves and work with metal, the container for fire...so crucial to holding this rather magical process. I thank my own body for being strong enough to move, stack, and bring inside over 10 TONS of wood during the course of this winter. And I thank the Fire devas for keeping us warm yet safe as the flames burned while I slept, was away or otherwise trusting that all would be OK. I feel it is important to thank the element of Fire for all that it does for us and the little ceremony I like to do at the beginning and the end of this fire that lasts for FIVE and a half months (almost half the year!) is a way of expressing my gratitude that a renewable source for heat is in the central hearth of my home, quite literally. 

 * * * * * * * * * * * * *         * * * * * * * * * * * * *       * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

     On to other adventures!  The Big Book project is FINALLY back on track!  After several huge hurdles ( 2 computer crashes and loads of opportunities that were good for me but delayed the book) I've now got the entire book laid out. Here's a view of the process:
I've made a few small changes since this image was shot, but basically this is the flow of the book. I needed to see all the pages at once like a storyboard for a film because this whole book does tell a story. Like the DVD, it shows work that is executed thru the passage of a single year. The seasonal shifts and elements are so crucial to my work that this seemed the best way to lay out the entire project. We used to be tied to the seasonal rhythms in a more intimate way so my hope is that by presenting the work within this framework it will reach a deep chord of resonance with the viewers. We shall see how it goes!
   As I mentioned in my notice to my Kickstarter supporters, who helped launch this project a while ago, there is one major benefit to be had for this project to have taken as long as it has... and that is that more good work has been made in the meantime and some of those sculptures will now be able to be included in the pages, which should make for an even better book!  Images like this one:
or this one:
or this one will now be included but they would not have been had the book been completed any earlier than this.
So now the process of creating the individual pages begins. Each image will be edited for content, cropped and placed on the page. I've wrestled with whether to write captions or not and I think there needs to be some basic information there so people can have their curiosity met regarding the particulars of each sculpture... but this is a book mainly about the images so the captions will need to be bare-bones and spare.... a real challenge for me, as you might imagine! (go ahead and snicker, it's OK!)

    There are some other good things to report and share this week one of which is a cool video that I shot of an "ice volcano" I witnessed this week-end. Also I have more news from Amber Lotus and a peek into my next puzzle project which will bring me back to the watercolour studio! Also we'll have a follow-up on Cara-in-Colorado's auction win of the little Faerie house and I hope to give you a peek at another very different Faerie house that is currently on the bench. PHEW! It is bizzy-busy around here!

As for the link to the PBS show, I just got off the phone with Derek Muirden and he assures me that when it goes up on the main website, he'll give me the URL and I can point you there so everyone who wants to can see it. It is still being broadcasted now...after they are done airing it, the video will be archived and we'll get that URL. He did a phenomenal job and it is a huge honour to be the subject of one of his shows... I can't wait to share it with you!

Stay tuned and have fun this week!

 
 

  
   

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

One more time....

Sheesh, this is getting embarrassing...

This is the last time I'm going to try and fix this... there is something fishy going on between Youtube and Blogger... the last link I loaded got cut off for some reason. My apologies...I'm no coder so I can't tell you why this is happening. Hopefully it will work this time....fingers crossed!
 

To see the preview click HERE
  I've tested this link in my Firefox browser and it seems to work. If the link isn't working for you, try copying and pasting the blue URL below.

For those of you trying to use the link from your emailed message and who use IE as your browser, the link does not seem to want to click thru from the email for some readers so here is the URL to copy and paste into the browser of your choice:

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQKCz0Hg5DY&feature=share&list=UUdBLUNcdvIkbClZSCvBIx6A&index=3



As mentioned before, I'm unable to isolate just my segment for you so after my 30 second spot plays it will go on to another preview.


If this one doesn't work I'll contact the goof folks at MtLake and find a good URL.  Thanks for your patience!

Correct link to PBS preview

Apologies to my subscribers...

Here is the link to view the Preview:

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQKCz0Hg5DY&feature=share&list=UUdBLUNcdvIkbClZSCvBIx6A&index=3

After the 30 second segment plays it rolls to the next preview. Sorry, I'm unable to isolate just my segment for you.

Soon I'll get the whole show for you. Stay tuned!!!

NEW PBS show on Mountain Lake PBS to air tomorrow 04-10-14 at 8:00 PM

Greetings Everyone!

I JUST got off the phone with Derek Muirden the producer of the Mountain Lake Roadside adventures program and he informed me that the new 30 minute episode all about my work will be airing tomorrow April 10th at 8:00 pm.  I've not seen the episode so I'm more than a little nervous but Derek has said he's really pleased with how it came out so I hope you will be too.

There is a preview for the show which you can see HERE
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQKCz0Hg5DY&list=UUdBLUNcdvIkbClZSCvBIx6A

after the 30 second spot for my piece gets over with they loop to the next segment....sorry, can't seem to isolate my preview but at least we get a tiny peek at what Derek has created!

When the whole video gets posted online I'll be sure to give you the URL so everyone can watch.

Stay tuned and get out the popcorn!!

And the winner is....

.. A really lovely person in Colorado!  She has promised to send us photos of her new Faerie House once it is established in its new home so congratulations to our new winner and I'd like to thank everyone helped spread the word about this fund-raiser. The animal shelter is very grateful and so am I!!

On a new note, I'll be sharing details with you soon from the new 2015 Faerie Houses calendar which is being published by Amber Lotus. (I just LOVE thes people!!) Just to give you a quick peek at the quality of their work, here is the cover image! Enjoy!


Monday, April 7, 2014

Less than 8 hours to go!!

Someone is going to be wearing a big smile in less than 8 hours!  

The final countdown for the Faerie House auction has begun!!

  Click HERE to go to the auction. Ends tonight!! 

URL:  http://www.ebay.com/itm/Exclusive-hand-made-Fairy-House-OOAK-by-Sally-J-Smith-Greenspirit-Arts-/191122216683?

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Final Day+ for the Faerie House auction!

Greetings Everyone!

  Just a little over a day and a half to go on the Golden Water-lily Faerie house auction fund-raiser! If you have not seen it yet, I am auctioning off one of my Faerie houses to help raise money for my local animal shelter which is in great need after the record-breaking winter we've just come through. So this is your chance to do something nice for yourself AND something nice for some very deserving animals who were abandoned this winter because their humans could no longer afford to keep them. Please be generous if you can. Click HERE to bid on the auction. As it is now, someone is going to get an incredible deal... hopefully it is YOU!


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Spring pruning

HI Everyone!

   Just a quick note. For anyone who has subscribed to my newsletter, (the purple and lime green mailing) you will have gotten an issue recently announcing my "spring pruning" plans. Just to be absolutely clear - and in the season of mud that can be a challenge sometimes! ;-)  - the plan is this:

- for anyone who wishes to continue to receive the Greenspirit Arts newsletter, all they need do is open the email. That is it! By simply opening the newsletter email, you will be kept on the newsletter list.

- for those who are certain that they do NOT want to get the newsletter anymore but who were perhaps curious enough to open the email anyway, I've asked them if they could please unsubscribe by using the link at the bottom of that email. That should help with some of the "pruning".

  However, there will be folks who did not open the email, or who chose to not use the unsubscribe link. For those names I'm going to assume (always dangerous, I know!) that they are either no longer at that address or no longer wish to get my newsletter. And so, to make things less cluttered for all, I'll do the final pruning and will simply pare down my newsletter list to just the folks who have expressed interest in getting the Greenspirit Arts newsletter by opening the latest issue and who did not self-unsubscribe. 



PLEASE note: if you are reading THIS message in your email program, then you signed up thru my blog to receive my BLOG posts via your email. This is a different program than the newsletter and you will not be affected by any of this. In fact, you are the only one who can stop the blog posts arriving in your inbox... unless I shut down the blog completely which I am not about to do!

I hope that helps clarify my spring pruning plans -at least the ones I'm doing in my digital world... the fruit trees are another matter entirely! 

If you have any questions or concerns PLEASE do contact me (my email address is greenspiritarts(at)westelcom.com ) and I'll make sure you are on the list you want to be on!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Faerie Houses PUZZLE now out!

Greetings Everyone!

   I am very pleased to announce that a new jigsaw puzzle is now available which features many of my most popular Faerie house images put together into a large collage for a fun and challenging that should delight and challenge puzzlers of all ages!


If you'd like to order this item from Amazon, you can click HERE. It is also available in Ebay and in many other online outlets. Search around for a good price because prices do seem to vary widely. If you'd like an autographed copy, please email me to reserve your copy. PLEASE note: stocks are very limited so contact me quickly if you want a signed copy.

More news to come, stay tuned!!

Monday, March 31, 2014

A VERY special Faerie House auction coming up!

Greetings Everyone!

  Starting today (April 1st, and no this is NOT an April Fool's joke) a very special Faerie House will be going up for auction in Ebay. Here just for my fans, here is a special pre-auction invitation to view the house and see the many details of this special little jewel of a house.

To go directly to the eBay auction, click HERE.



About the auction:
     a substantial portion of the proceeds from this auction will be donated to the North Country SPCA. As you may be aware, this winter was particularly brutal in our area and many people had to give up their animals because they could not afford to feed their pets and heat their own homes, so many heart-breaking stories seemed to be a constant this winter. As a result, the shelter is over-flowing with dogs and cats who have been abandoned, surrendered or dumped. 3 cats were dumped in my neighbors yard when it was 25 below zero at night back in early February. We were able to rescue them and two have been able to make it into the shelter for adoption. (the third is still being fostered). The need for support is very great now. I wanted to do something to help raise awareness and some additional funds for the shelter so this little house auction is a way to help out.

    Back to the house: if you want to see more images and read more about the Faerie house you can click HERE or go to the top of my blog and look for the special page titled "Faerie House Auction".  This is a rare opportunity to collect a wonderful little creation for yourself or to give as a gift plus you'll be contributing to a very worthy cause! 


To go to the Ebay auction page click HERE

Thursday, March 20, 2014

A gift for you!

Happy Spring Equinox Everyone!

  It has been a long hard winter here and it is not over quite yet. We got another snowstorm last night and the woods are deep in stillness. But the tilt of the Earth cannot be denied and we see noticeably more sunshine each week so eventually the white will melt to brown then the green will come... can't wait!

   To honor the season of Balance and Harmony, I've created a mini-print just for you.
This is a low res version of the image.


 If you want to make your own print, just click HERE to download a high-res version of the same image which is suitable for printing. If the link isn't working, look on my blog's header for a special page titled Free Mini-print Happy Spring. Just download and print!

   More news and catching up to come shortly... there is a lot to share!

Happy Spring, Everyone!



 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Procrastinator's rewards

We all do it.... without meaning to time and opportunities can slip past us like silvery trout in a dark river - glinting and magical when we first encounter them, but difficult to catch once we miss the moment.

For anyone who was unable to take advantage of the good sale discounts offered by Lulu on my calendars in early December, there is good news. For anyone who wanted to get a few more calendars for birthday-giving or was needing a replacement because Aunt Susie saw yours and just HAD to have it (and you being the generous soul that you are gifted your only remaining copy to her), there is good news! Lulu has just informed me that they are offering a very nice discount once more. Please note, this discount applies to the calendars only.

From now till January 26th you can get 30% off on any of my Lulu calendars. Just use this code in the coupon box:  14CAL30  and that should bring a smile in this season of cold temps and blustery winds.  Here is a link to my Lulu storefront where you can fin all the calendars on one webpage.  http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/greenspiritarts

Happy fishing Everyone!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Turbulence - a non sculpture related post

Greetings Everyone,
  
    There seems to be a direct reflection between the stormy, unstable weather outside and the wildly fluctuating state of my computer(s) in my studio/office. As the year drew to an end, my good & faithful workhorse of a computer began to give out too...at long last. I had a few sporadic days of use to collect back-ups of various files that I wanted to save but eventually the unit was struggling so badly that I had to disconnect it and let it "rest".
    Outside we had fits of regular cold then wildly warm and raining, then plunging deep freezes once more. I spent days just keeping up with the ice on the driveway, which had turned into an Olympic class Luge or Bobsled run. (My driveway is a long, winding and steep variety so upkeep is essential for emergency vehicles should they need to get up here.) So things were chaotic outside and in... and with the crash of my computer, so went my email. (living in the woods means I have not yet moved my email to the web or the cloud so I've been unable to reply if you've tried to contact me ... deep apologies if this has happened to you.

    But I had the gift of a second computer waiting in the wings and after making the plunge and starting to set it up, things seemed to be improving. And so did the weather...finally we had a few days of stable temps and it was not bitter cold outside either. I got caught up on supplies, wood and more sand for the ice. But today it began to rain...and while this may seem normal winter weather to some, it is very unusual for what we think of as "winter". And, as if on cue, the internal "weather" went bad too.... the second computer started crashing so after a third day of trying to get it online, I've had to give up and throw in the towel. Tomorrow I call in the guy on the white horse... hopefully he can make it up the hill and get the new unit to come to life. Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!!!

Time to Dream BIG and follow your heart... may all your dreams come true!

 

Monday, December 16, 2013

NEW Greetings cards are now available!!

Hi Everyone!

  It is nearly the Solstice and the Holiday season is now in full swing for so many folks.  I have some brand new cards to welcome the New year!

  You can go to my website to see the new additions to the Faerie Houses cards, the Eartherial cards and a new line of boxed cards called "Expressions". 

There are 12 NEW Faerie house cards in two collections. The "Woodland Magic" collection feature some of the popular green and mossy-type creations from this summer as well as some favorites from previous summers. The "Flights of Fancy" collection features my most extravagant faerie houses, many of them custom-crafted designs set out in glorious natural settings.  

There is also a new collection of Spirals images now available as well which is called "Seasonal Spirals". I've had numerous requests from folks who purchased my Spirals Calendar to also make some of the images available as greeting cards, so that is what I have done!

And finally a very new product line called "Expressions". These cards have a fresh new look by combining my images with delicate, layered graphic "frames" for each image. The image and frame relate to a theme which is also placed on the front of the card in a single word or phrase such as "Harmony" or "Peace". On the back of the card you will find an expressive quote or poem which reflects both the image and the theme word on the front.  All of the cards "fit" together in terms of graphics and colour ranges so that the entire group is a harmonious whole - which is important because the cards are sold as boxed sets, two of each image for a total of 12 cards per box.
   Because we live in busy times, these cards offer a bit more focused expression for those who want to send a card to loved ones and friends where the card itself already carries a particular message. And because some of us have less time than we'd like, I am offering the cards in a new smaller, note-card version for those times when you want to send a quick card of support and connection. 
   The boxes are very simple, made of recycled paper stock in a warm sepia brown with a window cut-out to show the top card of the group. (Product image will be up soon on the website).  For now, these cards are only available in the boxed sets but if a customer wants to get just a 6 card set, contact me and I can get that to you.

    The new cards will start shipping next week.
Welcome to the enchanted world of Environmental art and Faerie Houses sculptures created by Sally J Smith. Here you will find photos of the artist's unique art-forms and hear some of the stories from behind the scenes as she shares with you her creative process.