Terrific In Tie Dye

June 7, 2010

There’s something very special about a week long blast of all kinds of color! And that’s what happens at the Annual Dyeing Days. Its a lotta work, acting like an old time washerwoman hauling buckets of water and rinsing, rinsing, rinsing…..but that comes after all the tie-ing and dyeing that comes first! With over 40 bottles of colorful Procion MX series fiber reactive dyes, we go WAY past red, yellow and blue!

There are swirls, stripes, bullseyes, and lots of other ways to fold. Here’s a spiral. We just love that chartreuse green, and it goes well with the oxblood red, raspberry, golden yellow and all the other colors too, for that matter.  Take a look at all the shirts that got dyed this year and also a slide show of  dyed fabrics from previous years here.

Valentines at Chez Madames

February 6, 2010

BonBon Bertie Valentine

I’ve talked before about my dear friend, known these days as Madame Bette, and her sisters (BonBon) Bertie and BonnieBelle. They run a Boarding House for Ladies, all of whom are, and have been, performers and entertainers in more than a few ways in their times. They add to their community in many ways, by fixing up the old house where they now live, and contributing to education and charitable concerns. They also hold great parties! Lots of great parties. As you might imagine, Valentine’s Day is such a hit with these softhearted, romance  minded mammas that they celebrate it all month long. They celebrate every holiday they want to without regard to whether it started out as theirs or not. Boy, do they do up the birthdays!

Shown here is a Valentine made using a photo of BonBon Bertie and other images in Adobe Photoshop, plus a lovely quote that is a favorite of ours, from a song by Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins. (listen to their CD “Rabbit Fur Coat” for a real treat!)

You can visit Chez Madame’s and read more about them and their stories, and see lots of pictures of Madame’s House and the Shady Lady  dolls. They do tend to wear lingerie, and they sometimes show a lot of cleavage and the occasional bare-bubbies, so don’t go looking if you’re going to be shocked, unless of course you want to be. Bob Grieser photographed them in 1992 and such is the beauty of plaesthetics that they don’t look any older now. And no surgery or weird pharmaceuticals required–just like yer old Aunt Acid, who will remain lovely with only good hygiene and a little paint required. Plus a great wardrobe!

soup can

August 1, 2009

soup can

Originally uploaded by sarajane helm

Some things simply don’t come canned and condensed, and Aunt Acid’s one of them–so’s her 3 Mother’s chicken soup, made using a blend of recipes from Chinese, Jewish and Hippy Earth Mothers. But it DOES make for a nice graphic and this one was for my 3d assignment in Adobe PhotoshopII.

The real thing is well worth making–freeze some and have it handy when somebody has a cold–this one burns out all the germs and even cuts through the dreaded rubber-cement mucus.

With peppers, onions, garlic, mustard, horseradish, ginger, lemon and more in this delicious soup, you’ll find you can breath again. Its practically an Auntie-biotic!

How about a hand for Aunt Acid?

July 26, 2009

And a foot too…thats what talented polymer clay artist Chris Rutter sent as a lovely gifty to ME! She’s sent along a gorgeous set of single extremities, trimmed in gold cord and black maribou feathers, all set onto a gold and black covered 6″x6″ ceramic tile.

While the toes sport a lovely fire red nailpolish, (made using acrylic paint and varathane as people-type polish doestnt do well on polymer clay in the long run) the nails on the hand are left unpainted, the better to show of this translucent pc manicure. Now if I ever need a hand, I’ve got an extra. Thanks bunches, Chris!!

Someone’s In The Kitchen With Aunty….

July 2, 2009

What’s cooking with Aunt Acid!

Originally uploaded by sarajane helm

I’m serving up a look at another assignment in my Photoshop II class. This one was to design a book cover using the various masks and modes that we’ve been studying. I also used three photos (good thing I’m also taking a digital photography class) and a food image that I created in Illustrator last semester–I LOVE Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop! (and I love using my homework more than once….thats Creative Leftovers which can be lovely reheated or served cold!

So here’s a look at what’s been cooking here at my house. Someday I’ll put the insides of this book together—I’m saving up some great recipes. But only the cover was this week’s project!


Aunt Acid’s Baby Book

June 15, 2009

aunt acid baby book

Originally uploaded by sarajane helm

What’s “real” when it comes to art and Adobe Photoshop, or the life of a puppet? That’s not a question that comes down to black and white, or even sepia tone!

If there was a book about Aunt Acid’s turn as a child star in Vaudeville, this would be it. It’s also my homework….

Here’s the “final product” in the Mask Layer and Vanishing Point Filter assignment for my Adobe Photoshop II homework. I love this class!


Aunt Nouveau

May 2, 2009

Aunt March

Originally uploaded by sarajane helm

Here’s Aunt Acid in a Nouveau Arts sort of way!
This was a fun assignment for part of my Adobe Illustrator class final project. It started with a photo for reference, but then I drew/created this image using the tools in Illustrator.  I love doing jewelry parts with the 3d tools and graphic styles and more…the pen tool was tough at first but now I know that its a wonderful thing!! What a great program!!

This one is a calendar pic for March 2010, part of a fictitious (but possible!) calendar featuring Aunt Acid in the homage to the styles of many artists.

Here you have a kinda-Mucha….sorta!

March 2010

Aunty Warhol

April 18, 2009

If Aunt Acid were to write a tell-all book about her life as a modern muse and spokesmodel, this might be it. Of course, she’d NEVER do that—there are some things a body just keeps to themselves, if they are honorable.  And then there’s the stories you tell at private parties but never in print.  Although the most fascinating details might never hit print, there’s always something of interest going in THIS spokesmodel’s career, and its not just hitting the runways, or hitting the help like SOME supermodels. We pick up after ourselves around here, ladies and gents,  in the belief that no one is so special they can’t put their own undies in the hamper.

A calender of artistic spoofs is in the works for some future year, and here you see a print of Aunty in the style of Andy.

Aunt Acid’s Flower Power

April 8, 2009

helm-project2amuchaApril is always full of surprises, such as weather that can go from 15 inches of new snowfall to 80 degrees and balmy in just a day or two. Blossoms in the snow have been sighted recently.

It’s also yer auld Aunt Acid’s birth month!

Just a year ago, the wrappings came off and the beauteous mug that is mine-own shone forth!

In special celebration, here’s a  poster rendered in homage to the style of Alphonse Mucha and his lovely floral femmes.  Al  set the stage for beautiful curves in the art of advertising in his era.

This image also shows how flowers come together. No need to send the kiddies from the room–it’s just art, no birds and bees involved.

A Curious Letter

November 4, 2008

Dear Aunt Acid, 
Who are you going to vote for (in the presidential election)?

        Well toots, I’m glad you asked. Not because I’m going to satisfy your curiosity on this particular issue, but because it gives me the opportunity to remark once again about what a fabulous country we have right here in the US of A.  As Craig Kilbourne of the Late Show on television once said “America is the best idea for a country ever!” and one of the things that makes us that way is that every four years all the citizens of a certain age have the right to vote, and to do so privately, without fear of repercussions like being beaten or killed for it. Once upon a time not so many years ago, only white men who owned property were allowed a vote. Then it became possible for white men to vote even if they werent wealthy enough to be a landowner. Still later it became possible for men who were not white to vote–and for women to do it too! Even if they were unmarried, unwealthy, and unwhite, women in the last 100 years have been able to participate as citizens who get to make decisions as well as do the work. Yes, kiddies, now all the adults who are legal citizens can vote and we no longer have to stand in lines all day long to do so!! We can vote by mail. We can vote early! (But only in Cook County is there a history of being able to  vote often and even while dead, and the authorities are doing a great job of  stamping that sort of thing out).  One Citizen, One Vote, One Nation. And every vote does count….even if the results are disputed. By voting, we participate in the shaping of our country’s zeitgeist, the prevailing system of beliefs that are lived and are looked at, talked about, and studied. We become more aware of what’s being done, and how it is being done, and by whom. We get to take a look at our needs as a country, we have input to decisions about allocations of spending for healthcare, housing, food, education, and the infrastructure such as roads, bridges and sewers. It gives us the opportunity to become more aware of the world that exists beyond our own homes, out into our neighborhoods and towns, cities, states and our place as a nation in the world. By voting, you have a say in the decisions being made AND you have the right to talk about and criticize any parts you don’t like with the full authority of one who participates! Abraham Lincoln said “He has the right to criticize, who has the heart to help”. (But I’m still not voting for him …this time).

In addition to being bombarded with information about issues and candidates, election years are a time when millions of dollars are spent by all the major political parties. They buy air time on TV and ad space in magazines and newspapers. The printers of all those glossy cardstock full color mailers are happy for the business. Think of all the money spent on tshirts and signs! What a lovely boost for the economy at a time when we certainly need to keep the money circulating around. 

Of course, what also circulates around are the most incredible stories and rumors, hoping to make the candidates look worse than they manage to do all by themselves. Every year I like to listen to the hyperbole, and the wild tales.  This year’s favorite comes from my hairdresser, who has it on very good authority from a friend of her son who is a gamer and has friends on the internet. One of these friends has secret government connections, and has actually seen the report that verifies that Barack Obama was actually born in Bedrock, and early in life fathered a child  who was placed on a doorstep and adopted. (BamBam has no idea; do you think perhaps he should be told…..??) Of course, this tale is nonsense, pure rubble, I mean rubbish. It is no more true than any of the nasty rumors and stories that have circulated in the last few months including the one about McCain and his brother McAble. That man doesnt look like he’d want to hurt anyone, does he? Hmm. Don’t pay ANY attention to this sort of thing! 

But DO vote. 

Aunt Acid



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