It is my deep, dark pleasure to announce the annual Online Hallowe'en Artists' Studio Tour! This is my "treat" to you all, a special way to celebrate my favorite season, share some exceptional art by artists I personally admire and raise money for animal charities. With this blog, I hope to keep you up-to-date with proceedings and progress as we approach the yearly "launch" on October 1st!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Why join us?

This is what we're all about: working together to save bats! This includes individuals who can't survive in the wild, like the adorable Lil' Drac at Bat World Sanctuary...

...and species, like the Little Brown Bat, that are being wiped out by White Nose Syndrome. This image appeared in Bat Conservation International's "Bats" magazine.

Friday, March 16, 2012

New boo!

I am so lucky this week! Two new artists have signed onto the tour, and I'm hoping for a third!

Please welcome Angela Wyman, a jewelry artist with a talent for transforming chain-mail links into elegant wearable art, and Kelly Dauterman, a soft-sculpture artist who's mohair creations are wholly imaginative and carry that Hallowe'en spark!

I also am keeping my boney fingers crossed that Nancy Bevin will join us! Her needle-felted critters are awesome, look at this tarantula! How much fun would it be to wear that to work?!

Monday, March 12, 2012

logistics stuff

Okay, all you web-mistresses and misters may be interested in these numbers...
The Hallowe'en tour, as it ran in 2011, took up 117MB of webspace, 69MB of this was dedicated to the artists and their art. The Hallowe'en extras (including the backgrounds on the artists' pages) took up 48MB.

So that means each of the 24 artists had between 2.5 and 3MB of space. What does that mean? If I want more artists, I'll have to drop some of the extras, which is fine. When I asked for ideas to improve the tour, the most frequent comment was that there were too many things to look at, too much stuff to see. This year the plan is to focus on the art and the bats!

Have an opinion? Let me hear it!

Hi Everyone!

I am so happy to be able to join the tour this year.  I found out about it via a post on Bat World Sanctuary's FaceBook page.  My love of bats is more recent too which started this year when I found the video of Lil Drac posted on YouTube.  Naturally I fell in love with the little guy and wanted to learn more about him so I visited BWS website and from there found their FB page.  I have been designing jewelry for many years and last year came up with the idea to start designing for charities, so I created my etsy store where so far there are 3 charities that I design for, (Bat World Sanctuary, Deep In The Heart: Recovery Ranch for Wounded Warriors and Sea Shepherd Conservation Society).
I've already started designing pieces specifically for the tour and I will also be carving some fake pumpkins for the auction as well.  I'm so excited about this and can't wait to see all the other artists which join!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Thank You Invitation Post ....A Short Memoir Regarding my Bat Fancy

My fondness for bats came at a very early age.  Living on a farm, with a big barn, and having a forest infested with mosquitoes, you can imagine that we also had quite a bat population.  As a small child, I can remember stealthily sneaking into the barn during the day, keeping the lights off, having the door open just enough that I could carefully clamber my way up the rickety, steep wooden ladder which led to the top level of the barn, where bats made their permanent home, year after year.  I  would peer up at them, mesmerised, as they hung upside-down, sleeping when I thought they should be awake.  I saw that they had fur, but wondered how they could fly with fur?

The summer when I was around 9 years-old, involved a lot of mid-day secret visits to my personal bat sanctuary. I would sweep up the poop, not knowing that there was a special name for it, and people prized the guano of cave-dwelling bats for fertilizer, and that it could, in the deepest, darkest caves and caverns, host an entire ecosystem all on its own.  Of course, Dad found out, noticing while he was doing work in the barn, that it was far too clean, and told me that those bats had diseases like rabies, but were still neat animals, and that I should watch them with Mom at twilight, if she would let me.  Mom, being the hippie that she was, and still is, really invited me into their world, and thus started a life-long Bat Fancy.

We watched the bats, far after my bedtime, next to a roaring fire.  It was still light enough that I could see that they didn't seem to fly like any other bird I have ever seen.  They practically zig-zagged through the sky like fireworks blasting from every direction.  And the little squeaky sound!  It was so faint, but Mom said if you listened really closely, you could hear a very tiny, high-pitched, almost clicking sound.

 "Bat Music," Mom said. I saw her face glistening in the flicker of the fire as she looked up, with the same childhood wonder that I did.

"I love you," I said.

Well, that winter I missed the bats.  I missed marshmallow roasts and playing in the fields' gigantic muddle ponds when it was irrigation time.  I missed running around without any socks or shoes.  And the school science fair's deadline was drawing near, and all I could do was reminisce about the summer.

My mother, who was always the expert at making suggestions, decided I should do a project about bats.  All species of bats, all over the world, in fact. She told me they were really interesting animals, that they didn't have rabies, like my dad thought, and since I was so interested in them, I really should find out the facts.  Let's just say that I learned them all.  I won't repeat bat facts to you, although I can teach a mean primary school 'Bat' theme. Trust me, if there is an art project, storybook or film about bats, I probably know about it (although I can never know enough).

During the following cold winters, when we used to get so much snow our cars were buried, continued to encouraged science projects on more such misunderstood, perhaps strange beasties, as the cockroach and rat (and yes, I did have a pet rat once that I trained to throw hoops).  I think she is part goth, part mammalian biologist wanna-be, and then part hippie. She also introduced me to after-school classic Vincent Price horror movies, so I guess you can be the judge of that one.

Thank you for inviting me to participate in this art event, and this blog.  Thank you for allowing me to indulge in a self-absorbed trip back in time.  Thank you, also,  for allowing me the opportunity, once again, to enjoy and support my Bat Fancy, and to give my mother some much-deserved, albeit late, credit in forming whom I have become.  A bit.

I should have done this years ago...

Okay, maybe Facebook isn't ALL bad... 3 artists, unknown to me, have already asked for information about our tour because they saw us on Facebook! One, Angela Wyman, has already signed on! Wow, are we going to be treated to a rich and diverse array of artists this year! AND there's an ever-growing list of "invited" and "going" people on the Facebook Event page, and it's only been 2 weeks since I created it!! AND it's only March!!! It makes me dizzy!