Sunday, February 24, 2013

New card creations in the works

Recently, All The Goods was invited to take part in an upcoming festival locally. I'd like to say that I'm pretty excited. This festival is known as the Green Frog Festival. I'd heard of this but had never done it before. I'm going to be sharing a booth with two other talented artists.

Over the holidays. I ordered some more stencils to use to make some new greeting cards. All The Goods is not only just about interviewing fascinating people. I actually want to promote my artwork through the site as well.

The upcoming Green Frog Festival has created the perfect opportunity to utilize one of the stencils I bought over the holidays from Ebay. I had purchased dog & cat stencils, along with fish and shell stencils. I had also bought snowflake stencils to make Christmas cards. But the stencils that are really proving to pay for themselves over and over again are my cute little frog, turtle and lizard stencils.

The person that I'm going to share space with at the upcoming festival also participated in last year's. She advised that I create a lot of cards using the frog theme. I was only too happy to acquiesce. So I will now share what I spent the majority of the afternoon yesterday working on. I might be filling these in with color but for now, you can get a rough idea of what they look like.

Here is an example of one of the cards I made. 

Here's an example of the second set of cards. 

The design in each of them is a Zentangle pattern known as 'Printemp' and is pronounced 'Prin-tomp'. Yesterday I participated in a Zentangle workshop at my art society. Obviously I got a lot out of it as evidenced by working on these cards and others. I'm always looking for new ways to create cards and I think I really found a winner using this pattern, especially while using my stencil sets. (I rely on stencils because my freehand drawing skills are not what they used to be.) 

I am also going to share some of the other cards and stencils I created. Needless to say, at the end of the day, my arm was killing me! People think it's just so easy to sit on your butt and create art but the truth is, it can lead to stiff wrists and fingers as well as an aching back. I tend to get really into what I'm doing, hence the non-stop sitting marathon during an afternoon. 

Above are the Zen lizards I created. The stencil provided the basic shape and then I went in and used the Printemp Zentangle pattern. 

As you can see, I also have moon and stars stencils. I love these and they always make such great cards. 

These turtles came out pretty well, I must say. 

This flower stencil is probably one of the first ones I ever bought. I found them a few years ago at The Dollar Tree (of all places!) and I love using them to create cards. I think that I might use psychedelic colors on these and really make them pop. 

All of these cards are going to be made available for purchase at the upcoming Green Frog Festival. Of course, my frog stencils are really going to get quite a workout! 

So yesterday could be considered another 'Artist Date'. I am trying to have one at least every couple of weeks. I think it's really important to unlock my creativity in any way I can. 

Oh, one more thing! I wanted to show you my dog and cat cards I made last weekend. 


Got a nice variety of breeds on this one and I know people that have all the breeds and then some. These have gotten a pretty positive response from people. 

All my cat loving friends went nuts when I posted this on Facebook. My art society friends number as some of the biggest animal lovers I've ever met and they too, went nuts when they saw these. You really can't go wrong with dog and cat related art. It's a sure hit. I might even use these stencils using the Primtemp Zentangle used in the other cards. 

David Tolar "The Path Of Least Resistance": The Movie Trailer!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Podcasts, B-Movies and Asian influence...oh my!

If you're like most people I know, there are a few things in life that you can't seem to live without. For some, it's football, for others it's beer or music or movies. Your mileage may vary but for me, it's podcasts. Podcasts are an essential part of my workday. They help me pass what might be a really stressful or boring day and make things a million times better for me. Like books, podcasts allow me a glimpse into other people's lives and interests. For those who may not know what a podcast is or what it does, basically it's like radio only it's within the parameters of the internet. In some cases, you might like to think of it as 'internet radio'. Some commercial radio stations have podcasts of shows that are currently running which you can listen to at your own timetable. Other podcasts might not have a connection to an actual radio station or might be part of a totally different format. If you're curious about podcasts, iTunes is a great place to find them. That is where I find all of mine. 

I listen to a lot of shows in this format. I like it because the hosts of these shows are allowed to do what they like best and not have a bunch of restrictions on them. They don't have to worry about getting in trouble for dropping the 'f-bomb' or using language. They can talk about whatever they like for the most part and have a good time doing it. 

In my travels over the internet and podcast highway, I've been privileged enough to find out about some really talented people along the way. One such individual is a guy who simply goes by the name of mOw (rhymes with cow). mOw is interesting, funny and fascinating. I've heard his work on a few different podcasts by now and I never tire of what he has to say. The thing that I like about him is that he is so natural. He is never contrived or fake. If you listen to enough radio in general or podcasts, you can always tell when someone is phony. mOw is refreshingly original. mOw has experience in the realm of public access TV as well as podcasting. MOw's TV show was called 'Dubbed 4:20 and his podcasts include 'Bunch of Dorks'; 'Slow Robot A Go-Go' and 'The Music Dojo'.

Here I chat with the always fascinating entity known as mOw about TV, podcasting and so much more...

ATG-What is Dubbed 4:20? Would you consider this to be a forerunner to Bunch of Dorks (BOD) and Slow Robot? Is Dubbed 4:20 around anymore? If yes, where can we see this?

M-Dubbed 4:20 was a public access show that me and a very good friend Jorge made from 2000 til the public access station closed under dubious circumstances in October 2007. We took old B-movies that had fallen into public domain and we re-scripted them completely in very silly fun ways. We were considered one of the more risque shows on the TV channel. It was so fun coming from a non-television background and just going for it. Looking back, neither me nor Jorge (the co-writer) ever took 'no' for an answer, any hurdle we approached just pushed us harder. I think that BOD would have never existed without the Dubbed project because that is when I worked with Promee and Man With No Name. The Slow Robot A Go-Go podcast was really independent from the others but with all the equipment that I have been building all these years, it made our start-up virtually nothing. I I took all my technical 'lumps' with the earlier projects so now we can pretty much sit in the studio and turn the equipment on knowing it will work. That was not always the case, audio is a harsh maiden for sure. We are working on uploading the Dubbed 4:20 shows to an upcoming video channel we hope to launch. Stay tuned for that. 

ATG-Bunch of Dorks, how did this originate? Who were the main characters? Is BOD still going? What do you mainly discuss on this show? 

M-I am not sure exactly when the BOD podcast took form. I had always wanted to do a podcast as I could see the writing on the wall at the TV station. Promee and Man With No Name were coming in very regularly for the voice work of the Dubbed 4:20 show so it just kinda clicked. The main characters of BOD are mOw, Promee and Man With No Name. This show was absolutely free form with no boundaries. We had a lot of fun but that show kinda ran its course. The commercial appeal of a show with no direction and just basically 3 guys talking in a room never drew the following we hoped for. I don't really do the podcasts and public access shows for fame and fortune but I do like to be noticed a little. 

The show is not officially done as we hope to have a few "BOD Specials" a couple times a year. We are still online and will have the website up and running for many years to come. We have added Slow Robot A Go-Go and Two Dimension Podcast onto the BOD website so essentially the fees for the website will be covered by current podcasts, allowing the back catalog of BOD to remain online and relevant. I hope we always have a few shows, I really enjoy hanging out with the Bunch of Dorks crew and just having fun.

ATG-Slow Robot A Go-Go, how did you come up with the idea to do this show? Who are the other hosts? What do you mainly discuss on this show?

M-I was talking to a friend at work who shares love for B grade movies. This was just before I left for Korea in 2011. (mOw went to Korea for a year to teach English to Korean students.) We kept talking about it over the months and then we just came to the conclusion that the world NEEDED another B-movie review podcast. So I started doing solo shows a few months before I returned to America to test what worked and what didn't. When I got back, me and Dr. Morbius went full into it. Currently, we talk about what we watch each week, then we do a Top Ten list that ranges from favorite actress to favorite snack food. Then finally we review the movie we picked for the week. It is a lot of fun and is very easy to do because we both have a very different but very deep love for crazy B-movies of the past.

ATG-Slow Robot Video Channel coming soon, will this be on You Tube? Will you put any of your Dubbed 4:20 stuff on this channel?

M-Most definitely, we have a very good fun idea where we will be taking our new video content for the Slow Robot Video channel but we should have the Dubbed 4:20 programs up on there too. They are part of our history so we hope they can make people laugh and smile. The Dubbed 4:20 project has a lot in common with the Slow Robot project because they both rely heavily on B-movies. Being such a fan of movies of the past, I really hope to always keep them in the modern world. It seems that movies and movie-making has become this untamable monster that keeps everything too generic and safe. Long ago, a movie could be nothing more than a few wacky friends and dedication. Now it is a hot mess that takes billions of dollars and corporate approval at every step. I love that about the early decades of movies. I wish it would come back around that way one day. seem to really appreciate all things Japanese, be it movies, music or just the culture at large. You've really blended your appreciation for the Japanese culture into your shows. Where did this love originate?

M-I can thank my parents for some of my Eastern love. They were very open people and really tried to raise me with an open mind. I always loved the 'chop suey, kung fu' movies when I was a kid. I think my love really grew in college when I took Worlds Religion classes. Being a small-minded kid from a small little town, it was like an entire world poured into my life. I study the language and got a Black Belt in Okinawan Karate. I have hosted exchange students from Japan and Vietnam so I always try to learn and grow. Of course, Godzilla and the 1950's-era Sci-Fi movies from Japan truly define what I love about movies. When I watch some old Japanese Sci-Fi movie, I am completely enthralled and so happy. When I was in Korea last year, I spent my vacations in Japan. I will say I never felt more 'at home' in my life. If I could I would move there and live happily ever after. 

ATG-I've just recently become aware of another show you're doing called 'Music Dojo'. Will it just be you hosting this or will you have a partner-in-crime?

M-Music Dojo is a Slice Radio Exclusive. Basically, our Slow Robot podcast has been picked up by an internet radio station in Australia. We are very appreciative of them and support them in any way we can. i have always had it in the back of my brain to become a DJ on some public access radio station but have heard it is extremely hard to get into and very political. I sent an email to Danny P. who runs and asked if he could free up a slot for me to try my hand at DJing and he said yes. So I just hammer out a weekly show where I talk a little and play some of my favorite music. I have very eclectic music taste so it is always a varied wacky show, and as you may know I am never shy when the mic is in front of me. I am not opposed to having a co-host but this is pretty much a 'turn on the equipment and go' style show. Where it goes in the future we shall see.

ATG-Did you ever imagine that you'd be part of a 'radio/podcast empire'? Personally, I think it's pretty darn cool.

M-Ha ha...thank you very much for the kind compliment, never in a million years did I ever think I would foster such a desire to be out there podcasting and doing the video stuff. It has been so challenging and so much fun, sometimes I think it defines me. Above all, I always try so hard to be entertaining and bring something to the table. Without the audience, you are just a crazy guy with a mic. Who know? Maybe the Slice channel will hit and I will be transmitting from Australia this time next year? No matter what, I just want to make people smile and laugh.

ATG-Where could people find out more about you and where can they access your programs? and and of course, look up Slow Robot A Go-Go on Facebook and Twitter as we have that stuff going on too. Thanks so much for giving me the time to talk with you and your audience. It has been a real pleasure! 

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Road To ME interview

Back in late fall of 2012, I had gone through a period known as 'The Dark Night of the Soul'. I was having some issues and was really beginning to wonder about my place in life and where I fit in...if I fit in. I think that a lot of people go through this some time or another in their lives. 

I love inspirational quotes and such and began to actively seek them out as a way to get me past my dark thoughts and feelings. I sought out good news wherever I could find it because it meant a way for me to get away from the feelings I was having at the time. 

It was on a friend's Facebook page that I found a quote that really resonated with me. I clicked on the quote and then was taken to another Facebook in which the person running that page would post great uplifting messages and I felt my battered spirit begin to perk up just a bit. I began to follow that page and even to write some of these quotes down. I also started to create new artwork (in my case, handmade cards) with these sayings written on them in calligraphy. 

Every time I got on my personal Facebook page, I began to find even more inspirational pages and quite soon, the amount of messages of hope, peace and love that I was finding on a daily basis  were beginning to take over my news feed. While on one of the pages, I came across a graphic that had a vintage VW Bug on it along with an inspirational quote. I love cars to begin with, especially the older VW Bugs. I was drawn to this page and began to follow it more readily. 

The above graphic is one that hooked me and hasn't let me go yet. There are tons of inspirational pages on Facebook and elsewhere, but this one spoke to me the most...'The Road To ME'. It has become one of my favorite 'Go To' sites on Facebook. 

Shortly after I found out about 'The Road To ME', I started this page and began to compile a list of people that I wanted to talk to. It came to me in a flash of inspiration to talk to Teresa, the lovely lady who created 'The Road To ME'. She inspires me with her outlook and her loving ways, not only that, she is exactly the type of person who inspires me in my own life. 

So I reached out to Teresa a couple of weeks ago to do an interview with her and she has kindly consented. The following is the interview...

ATG-Have you always enjoyed writing? If yes, then was this something that began when you were a child?

T-Yes. Actually, I have loved English and English Lit at school; always loved the essay writing challenges and even dreamed of a book one day. 

ATG-Prior to having your Facebook page 'The Road To ME', have you ever had anything published?

T-No. I went on to become a nurse and have studied with the profession for 30 years, only recently having to finish due to ill health.

ATG-What prompted you to start 'The Road To ME'?

T-I suffered a severe mental health breakdown around three years ago. My psychiatrist called it 'burnout'. It was a trying time for me and my family. I had tremendous support from my husband and two daughters, now 17 and 23, and close family and friends.

During my recovery period, I started to follow and became very interested in some of the inspirational Facebook pages and was always sharing quotes on my own Facebook page. I found them to be such a help, the positive affirmations I decided to have a go at it myself and so on August 6, 2012, 'The Road To ME' was created. Following my personal journey on a continuing road to health and happiness. 

ATG-Did you ever imagine that nearly 40,000 people would like this page and many more are talking about it? (This number grows daily every time I visit your page.) People seem to get a lot out of what you post there.

T-Oh my goodness no! I had hoped that maybe a couple of hundred folks would like my page but it grew and grew. With each passing "milestone", I would laugh with joy and sheer amazement at how an ex-nurse, now housewife from a small village in Wales could reach now over 40,000 people! I still chuckle to myself and am quite happy to admit that I'm proud of the little road's achievements. It's a very special place for me with very special followers. 

ATG-Did you ever envision that what you write and publish on 'The Road To ME' would have such an impact on people? I believe that you are a beacon of hope, faith, love and inspiration at a time when the news of the world is so bleak. When you respond to the folks who comment on your posts, you respond to them in a kind, gentle, loving way. I think this is awesome and we need more people such as yourself. 

T-Bless you and thank you for your kindness xxx. My followers are very dear to me. The ones I've grown to know and newcomers alike. I feel deeply honored when someone takes time out of their day to write me a message; to comment on a poster I've made; to ask me a question and indeed to share some personal thoughts and concerns. I have tried and I hope that I've managed to build a good rapport with my 'Travelers' as I've always referred to the Road's followers. Replying to posts and messages is very important to me. I've been quite upset these past two weeks at not having been able to as I've had to spend time with my parents. (Teresa's parents' house was affected by a freak tornado in Wales). The love everyone has shown me at this time has been totally overwhelming and I am so grateful. I feel really blessed. 

ATG-Who or what inspires you? 

T-Oh my goodness...I have so many folks that I look up to and admire, there have been so many who inspire me. I love the words and work of Maya Angelou and Marianne Williamson and my likes are quite varied from Anne Lammott to Anais Nin, Paolo Coelho to Terry Pratchett. There are so many gifted and inspiring men and women around. I am so lucky to be able to share their words and work through the medium of posters on the Road. 

ATG-Do you have any quotes that you live by?

T-During the many changes that were taking place in my life after my illness and indeed the changes that continue daily, that is life...there is one quote in particular that stays with me...'If nothing ever changed, there'd be no butterflies' Change always frightened I embrace it and run with it.

ATG-Do you have any advice for someone that might like to start a page like 'The Road To ME'? There could be people out there that might like to do this but aren't sure where to start. 

T-When I first started the little page, so many other 'bigger' pages were always so helpful. I would always say go for it and don't be afraid to ask! People, on the whole, especially the inspirational page owners, are very very helpful and always keen to make sure that the pages are shared and run correctly. It's been a wonderful way of making friends from all over the world!

ATG-Do you write on any other forms of social media, such as Twitter, Tumblr or anything else of that nature?

T-At the moment, no. 

You can find Teresa's awesome page on Facebook...'The Road To ME' with all the heartfelt quotes and great VW art. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Artist Date

Recently, we at All The Goods hit something commonly known as a creative block. Every artist, writer or creative person goes through this. We think that when one enters into creative endeavours, we tend to have plateaus where the ideas come fast and furious or they don't come at all.

All The Goods is not only an enterprise where we chat with people doing interesting things but it's also a place to showcase our art as well. The sort of things we tend to create around here ranges from handmade cards to t-shirts. We also create our own jewelry. We've done fairly well at selling all of these things, nothing to make a living at (quite yet) but enough to give us some pocket change here and there.

We're always looking for inspiration for our art, either by being around artists or experiencing art at some level. Lately, we'd seemed to have hit a valley rather than a peak. It's kind of hard to figure out the 'why' part of it and lately, we've just felt stuck with no way to move forward.

We were recently told about a book called 'The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity' by Julia Cameron. Upon delving into this book, we found that we could relate to a lot of it. The book is divided up into various chapters and there are exercises that the author suggests that one do to help unblock the flow of creativity. One of the exercises that seemed to resonate well with us was the idea of an 'Artist's Date'. The Artist's Date is where you take yourself to an art museum, an art show or something relatively creative. It's a way to get yourself away from your house and out in the world to see what else is going on.

Today was finally the day that we at All The Goods got our ducks in a row and took ourselves out to a local art show, where a friend was selling her work. We met up with other friends from our art society and then visited the friend at the art show. I think it meant a lot to have so many from our society show up in support of this lady. The art show ran yesterday and today.

We always get inspired seeing other people's work. There's something that clicks off in our brains and gets the wheels turning. It definitely happened to us. We'd thought, 'well, the art show was great' and it did for us what we thought it might. But there was more to come, in unexpected ways. We got more out of today than we'd ever hoped for.

The other people that we ended up palling around with for the remainder of the day are fellow artists, who specialize in different media than we do. They both draw, paint and in one lady's case, did photography as well. When we sat down to lunch, we spoke about our art society in general as well as our own art. This is where the magic really began to happen.

As we spoke more about our own art, the other two ladies began to give us ideas for things we hadn't previously thought of. The wheels were not only turning, they were ready to hit the track at the Daytona 500. The ideas were off and running full speed ahead.

After lunch, we took a leisurely stroll up the main street. (We are in Florida, by the way and today's weather was warm but breezy.) Most of the galleries were open and there were people everywhere. We went in and out of a lot of the galleries.

We also saw a lot of things to take pictures of as well. All The Goods didn't bring their camera but the Smartphone was a good stand-in. We took a lot of photos. It was an interesting concept to see this little town as an artist as opposed to just a tourist. We saw plenty of ideas for photos and the like.

I think what helped to unblock us was the fact that the three of us were feeding off of each other's energy. Our spirits were high. It was a sunny day and we were like little kids with our first cameras.

In case anyone is curious, we were in Gulfport, FL and the show was the 2Cool Art Show at Gulfport Casino.

Here are some of the great shots we ended up with from today-

Top-a business along Beach Blvd
Bottom-The Cottage also along Beach Blvd

Our favorite two colors-green and purple together on one building. The flowers made it look extra quaint

This was in someone's small side yard. It just looked like a nice place to sit and relax.
We are really attracted to cast iron gate work anywhere. We love the look of them. This was between two businesses on Beach Drive in Gulfport.
We just wanted to go sit on this porch with a glass of iced tea and lemon. I believe this was at one of the multitude of restaurants we passed. (Sorry, didn't get name of it.)
A more straight on shot of the green house. We don't know if we could actually live in a house with these colors but from an artistic standpoint, we thought it was cool.
We had so much fun on this Artist Date that we cannot wait to do it again. I think that the concept of doing this is a good way to unblock anything that holds back creativity.