Musings from the Moonroom

Thoughts on Art, Inspiration, Creativity and Spirit


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Welcoming a New Brood of Kitties…

Ah spring, when the flowers bloom and baby animals are introduced to the world. Here in my studio this spring I am “birthing” new artwork. So it seems rather fitting that today I introduce you to my newest brood of kitties.

Cat Ornimals In Progress

My large cat ornimals are sculpted with Super Sculpey clay over a glass base. There are several steps involved in the process from prepping the glass to the final curing of the paint. Here are a few in-progress shots.

Cured Cat Ornimal

Cat Ornimals after acrylic wash

Hanging out on the display

Cat Ornimals get some character

A New Brood of Kitties

Though I enjoy sculpting my animals, the real fun happens when I paint on their “fur” and add their eyes. Because each piece is hand sculpted, slight variations occur. That is the nature of sculpting for me. These fur balls were all sculpted in the same week, yet each one has a slight difference in its face that gives each cat its own personality. That personality becomes evident as the painting occurs. Between the sculpting and the painting, I hope to capture some of the humor in the animals.

Cat Ornimals 2012 Group Shot (Amy Crawley)

Grey Tabby Cat Ornimal (Amy Crawley, 2012)

Brown Tabby Cat Ornimal (Amy Crawley, 2012)

Siamese Cat Ornimal (Amy Crawley, 2012)

Tiger Striped Cat Ornimal (Amy Crawley, 2012)

Tuxedo Cat Ornimal (Amy Crawley, 2012)

This first group of five Cat Ornimals will be available for purchase in my ArtFire Studio in a few days. I’ll let you know when they have been added to my online studio.

Next I’ll share with you what happens when life gives you the wrong sized glass base and the creative muse is activated.

As always, thanks for your continued support on this journey. And thanks for stopping by….


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Welcome Spring!

Introducing my latest Bobble Totem, Spring!

Spring! 2012 Amy A. Crawley

Spring’s head is from the collection of heads that reside on my work table. He’s been patiently waiting several years for a body. His coat is a faux malachite cane. I took thin slices off the cane, applied them to a backing sheet, and added the other canes and seed beads for accent.

His birdy friend looks a bit like a robin doesn’t it? The bird was made with white clay and colored with alcohol inks. Spring! is another piece that that was created intuitively. I let the color of Spring’s! jade green face guide me in creating his body/coat. He hung out on my work table for a few days while we talked about how to finish him. The recent spate of warm days and singing birds must have spoke to both of us. Thankfully his friend is well-trained and promises not to leave a gift on Spring’s head or shoulder.

Spring is 9.5″ tall (base to bird).

Speaking of Birds

I was thrilled to learn that my pair of Blue Birds were featured on the blog Blue Morning Expressions. Thanks to Julie for the feature. The Blue Birds are available for purchase (separately or together) from my ArtFire Studio.


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Ostara

Ostara Revisited-The Vernal Equinox

Enjoy this re-post on the history of the Vernal Equinox. Originally posted in 2008, the first day of spring 2012 looks quite different than what I saw outside my window in 2008. This year the vernal equinox brings temperatures in the 70’s and spring blooms bursting all around.

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Ostara is a neopagan holiday that is celebrated around the time of the Vernal (spring) Equinox when day and night are nearly of equal length.

Ostara comes from the name of an ancient German Goddess, Ostara, after whom the Easter festival may have been named (as speculated by Jacob Grimm in Deutsche Mythologie.)  In addition, Grimm’s source, Bede, put forth a thesis that the Anglo-Saxon name for the month of April, Esotur-monath, was named after a Goddess, Eostre.

The Equinox is considered a time of rebirth and rejuvination.  It is, therefore, not surprising that Easter also occurs around the time of the Equinox.  Several “traditions” associated with Easter find their origins in pagan rituals, such as eggs which are a symbol of fertility; coloring eggs and hunting for eggs (decorated eggs were offered as gifts and to bring blessings of prosperity and abundance) and the Easter bunny and Easter chicks.

Chicks and rabbits are very fertile animals.   The rabbit was an animal sacred to the Goddess Eastre (Oestre).  Eastre is the Goddess of spring and presides over the realm of conception and birth (animal and human), pollination, flowering, and ripening fruits of the plant kingdom. By honoring the rabbit in spring, by eating candy in the shape of rabbits or chicks, it was believed that we’d take on their characteristics and enhance our own fertility, growth and vitality.

The bluebirds, a sure sign of spring, made an appearance in our back yard a few weeks ago.

bluebirds0208-01blog.jpg      bluebirds0208-02blog.jpg

Unfortunately the first day of spring in Massachusetts is rather dreary.  I found the following images on Flickr to remind me of the warmer weather and flowers soon to come.

spring1.jpg

spring2.jpg

kniteastereggs.jpg

Happy Spring!


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The Daily Head: Veggie Edition

We had lovely weather over the weekend and it got me thinking about our vegetable garden. What delicious goodies do I want to plant this year?

Early spring planting is one of my favorite times for veggies. The ground is warming, the air crisp in the morning, and Mother Nature is waking and welcoming all her children to return.

With that as my source of inspiration, I decided to sculpt two veggie inspired heads:

Sweet Peas! There is nothing like growing sweet peas, picking them off the vine, and eating them right in the garden. (I think the third pea is a little alarmed by the prospect of being eaten right off the vine.)

Another favorite spring veggie:

Red leaf lettuce! Last year we planted red leaf lettuce, Bibb lettuce, and Swiss chard. Ms. Leaf also provided additional inspiration for a new focal disk. I haven’t quite worked out the design for the new disk though I’m getting closer to it. All will be revealed….eventually.

We have another vegetable in our garden that may be the source of another head later this week. This particular veggie is a perennial. We look forward to seeing it burst forth each year. Sweet, tender, and excellent raw or cooked. Any guesses?

My schedule is busy the next couple of days, so I may not have a new head to post until the end of the week. Until then, eat your veggies!

If you like these posts, please click the “Like” button and share them on Facebook and/or Twitter. I appreciate it.


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Holi: The Festival of Colors

Today is Holi, a major Hindu holiday celebrated on the day after the full moon.  Holi is also known as the Spring Festival which marks the arrival of spring; the season of hope and joy.

Holi also commemorates various events in Hindu mythology, in particular the evil king Hiranyakashipu who forbid his son Prahlad from worshipping Vishnu, but he continued to offer prayers to the god. 

Hiranyakashipu became angry with his son and challenged Prahlad to sit on a pyre with his wicked aunt Holika who was believed to be immune to fire.

Prahlad accepted the challenge and prayed to Vishnu to keep him safe. When the fire started, everyone watched in amazement as Holika was burnt to death, while Prahlad survived without a scar to show for it. The burning of Holika is celebrated as Holi.  According to some accounts, Holika begged Prahlad for forgiveness before her death and he decreed that she would be remembered every year at Holi.

On the first day of Holi, a public bonfire is held commemorating the burning of Holika.  The fire is lit sometime between 10pm and midnight, at the rising of the moon.

A central part of Holi is the throwing and applying of colored water and powders on family and friends (which gives the holiday its common name, “Festival of Colors.”)  This ritual comes from the story of Krishna who asked his mother why he was so dark and Radha so fair.  Krishna’s mother told him to apply colors on Radha’s face to see how her complexion would change.

Holi is spread over two days and is associated with the loosening up of social restrictions associated with caste, sex, age, and status, bridges social gaps and brings people together.  It is also characterized by the loosening of social norms governing polite behavior which results in a lot of merrymaking.

A commonly heard phrase at this time is bura na mano Holi hai which means Don’t feel offended, its Holi.


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Ostara

Ostara is a neopagan holiday that is celebrated around the time of the Vernal (spring) Equinox when day and night are nearly of equal length.

Ostara comes from the name of an ancient German Goddess, Ostara, after whom the Easter festival may have been named (as speculated by Jacob Grimm in Deutsche Mythologie.)  In addition, Grimm’s source, Bede, put forth a thesis that the Anglo-Saxon name for the month of April, Esotur-monath, was named after a Goddess, Eostre.

The Equinox is considered a time of rebirth and rejuvination.  It is, therefore, not surprising that Easter also occurs around the time of the Equinox.  Several “traditions” associated with Easter find their origins in pagan rituals, such as eggs which are a symbol of fertility; coloring eggs and hunting for eggs (decorated eggs were offered as gifts and to bring blessings of prosperity and abundance) and the Easter bunny and Easter chicks.

Chicks and rabbits are very fertile animals.   The rabbit was an animal sacred to the Goddess Eastre (Oestre).  Eastre is the Goddess of spring and presides over the realm of conception and birth (animal and human), pollination, flowering, and ripening fruits of the plant kingdom. By honoring the rabbit in spring, by eating candy in the shape of rabbits or chicks, it was believed that we’d take on their characteristics and enhance our own fertility, growth and vitality.

The bluebirds, a sure sign of spring, made an appearance in our back yard a few weeks ago.

bluebirds0208-01blog.jpg      bluebirds0208-02blog.jpg

Unfortunately the first day of spring in Massachusetts is rather dreary.  I found the following images on Flickr to remind me of the warmer weather and flowers soon to come.

spring1.jpg

spring2.jpg

kniteastereggs.jpg

Happy Spring!