Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Yalaha

My Yalaha from Lagniappe Mosaics arrived! This gorgeous creation by Andree LeBlanc has added major magic mojo to my front yard :-) My husband insists on calling it a wind chime, but when you're a Yalaha, you are much more than a wind chime!
Andree is an amazing artist and she excels not only with her design, but her quality of work. Every garden should have one of these!

The Yalaha dances in the wind and the mirror parts catch the light - casting firefly bits of reflected light all around the garden!

Meanwhile, I am still working on my mosaic walkway. I made a little more progress this weekend in spite of a sore knee. And my husband helped with a big grouting fest on Saturday morning.

Stay tuned for the finale in late August!!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Since Miss Havisham Came to Stay

Miss Havisham is a very creepy life-size creation made by an artist friend of mine, Greg Harris. Better known for his wonderful impressionist paintings, he was inspired to create Miss Havisham after seeing Great Expectations as a teenager. Well, when Greg found out that I like to collect strange and creepy things, he decided that he would give Miss Havisham to me. She had been standing in a dark and dusty corner of his mom's house for many years - I guess his mom has nerves of steel!

Greg brought Miss Havisham over to my parent's house so I could pick her up there and that's when the fun began :-) Having quite a disturbing presence, my mom and dad looked for a place to put her where she wouldn't give them the willies so they stood her up in their guest room. They found it was just the thing when someone stopped by to visit to send them back to the guest room on the pretense of looking for something they needed, only to be frightened out of their wits by Miss Havisham standing there glancing sidelong at them. I understand my nephew Mark had this particular trick played on him quite effectively :-)

Eventually I got a call from my parents and they said I better come by and pick her up SOON. So Miss Havisham came to stay and my husband took quite a liking to her - calling her Miss Have-a-shoe for some strange reason. We had her standing in the living room at first, but even with my love for all things strange and scary, she was a bit too much for me, so I relocated her to the guest room (now the storage room of old house parts). Well, after a big garage sale and much moving around of old odds and ends from the old house parts room, she ended up in the living room in a chair, positioned somehow to be staring her dreadful stare right at my seat on the couch. I see my husband's hand in this ...

OK - I could take it - I love this stuff right? Well, it was all good, but then the husband decided to go shooting in the desert with the guys and left me home with Miss Havisham alone all night. I made the mistake of renting that scary movie The Orphange. So about halfway through this creepy thriller, I had had all of Miss Havisham's stare that I could take. I took off for my bedroom, locking the bedroom door behind me and escaped into reading Renovating Old Houses - a book recommended by Old House Slave, John of The Devil Queen blog fame. Luckily, reading about remedies for sagging foundations and rotten sill plates took my mind off our houseguest in the living room and I was able to get a good night's sleep.

This morning, I moved Miss Havisham back to the old house parts room where she is currently presiding over the various ghosts of several old houses and a few spiders - and I have reclaimed the living room for the living :-)

Friday, July 18, 2008

El Chupacabra


The story of its origin is shrouded in almost as much mystery as the creature itself. A real-life vampire, or a figment of the overactive imaginations of superstitious people? You be the judge:

This artifact is said to be the genuine mummified foot of "El Chupacabra." The unidentified animal that it came from was killed by a native who was hunting in a remote region of Puerto Rico's Yunque rainforest in 1994. Several years later the native traded his trophy foot to a local farmer, who in turn sold it to a team of naturalists on assignment in the area. This is the only tangible piece of evidence produced to this date and scientists have yet to match the DNA to any existing species in their databank.

Purportedly first spotted in Puerto Rico in the mid 1990’s, The Chupacabra has been leaving fear in its wake for many years now. Named in Spanish for the way it sucks the blood from its victims, “El Chupacabra” translates to "the goat sucker." Although it was named for its apparent preference for goat-blood, the Chupacabra has reportedly mutilated and fed on the blood of a wide variety of domestic animals. Because of its distinct feeding technique, Chuppa attacks are unmistakable from attacks by other wild animals. Victims are found with puncture wounds on their necks with their blood completely siphoned from their bodies. Often the victim's organs, such as the liver, are missing even though the only wound is a small hole in the animal's neck. These methodical attacks are executed with such absolute efficiency that often there is not even of drop of blood spilled on the ground around the victim. There have also been strange reports of laser-like cuts on the victims. Although some people claim they have seen the footprints of the elusive Chuppa, in many of the attacks, there are no tracks around the victim. As of yet, there are no documented assaults on humans, but many feel a human fatality is merely a matter of time...

Theories of its origin are greatly varied. Taxonomists postulate that it may be a new species related to panthers. Cryptozoologists say it’s a prehistoric reptile. Other eccentrics insist it’s an extraterrestrial. A related theory suggests that an alien spacecraft containing Chupacabras ( kept as pets, or science specimens ) crashed, thus accidentally releasing them. Originally thought to only be menacing Puerto Rico and South America, the Chupacabra has since been spotted in many locations around the globe, including the United States. Proponents of the crashed spcaecraft theory also suggest that an unstable portal from another dimension is temporarily allowing them to materialize in random locations throughout the world. Regardless of their origin, one thing is for certain, they are a formative predator, hunting down their prey and killing with virulent cunning. In either case, supernatural or of a cryptozoological nature, El Chupacabra remains a mystery for the time being. Whichever theory you believe, none of the theorists have yet to provide definitive proof that the Chupacabra actually exists, but the sightings and mutilations prove something's out there. Whether a cryptoid or space alien, its actual identity has been left to speculation."– Dr. Rod J. Schvelding ©2008

I recently added this amazing specimen to my weird artifacts collection - the foot of a Chupacabra!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Ahh! Summer Vacation!

Finally a week off! I am thoroughly enjoying my summer vacation : - ) I’ve been busy as a bee working on lots of projects. I’m continuing my mosaic walkway out front and I should be able to finish that in August when I have another week off. I have 83 hours in on it so far (gasp!) But after this week I feel that I have made great progress on it and am thrilled that there is an end in sight!
I have also been working on our outdoor fireplace using broken mirror on the inside to reflect the flames. The effect is so magical, but so hard to photograph! To get the full effect, you will just have to drop by some evening and see for yourself : - )

There is a mosaic swirl at the top of the broken mirror.

And finally, I recently ordered a fabulous mosaic piece from a very talented mosaic artist in Florida, Andree Le Blanc of Lagniappe Mosaic. She makes mirror and stained glass wind chimes that she calls Yalahas – and she is making a custom one for my front garden!

Check out her website to see how beautiful these things are!