Patterns at Rest

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This morning I found a stash of old pen and ink drawings. Not 1880’s this time, but 1980’s. From artist Marla Todd.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Take this with your (on a shirt, a phone cover, a pillow, a scarf and more…. go to http://www.redbubble.com/people/marlatoddkings/works/14705619-marla-patterns

Alone with my art (and other musings about being yourself)

An old illustration I started for a Poe story. I've always liked it. That's all.

An old illustration I started for a Poe story. I’ve always liked it. That’s all.

In fine black ink lines and thin washes of color, I’m illustrating the classic Vampire tale Dracula.

I tried to start The Christmas Carol but I had some sort of mental block.

But Dracula is fun and weird and full of Vampires who aren’t like me. I don’t have to drag a coffin full of dirt around me. I’m a mom so my big mom purse is big enough. My kids make jokes that it is full of river rocks. I can’t imagine a coffin surrounded by dirt much less a coffin.

It would be fun to have a crazy guy at my beck and call to do my bidding (read the book you’ll know who I’m talking about.) Oh right, I have a husband. HA HA HA.

When Dracula came out we all read it. I loved the format in letters and diary entries. We laughed and then we went back to our world of darkness and love and the fine art of sharing blood and bring the friendly predators we are.

My first copy of Dracula was given to me by Lola, my great great great grandmother. She called it quaint but said I’d better read it because it would have a huge impact on culture and our lives. Fiction often does that. There are so many examples: Sherlock Holmes, The Lord of the Rings, Frankenstein, Animal Farm, Travels with Charley, Anna Karenina. The list is extensive. But we’re Vampires so Dracula was a big thing for us.

This blog is about Vampires – Modern Vampires. So you’re in the right place. I muse too. Want musings? You’re in the right place.

Lola is old and conniving and can charm the soul out of man unlike any other Vampire I’ve here met. She was born the same year as Jeffery Chaucer but can pass for 25. Except in her eyes that are as cold and deep as the Arctic Sea. I like using flowery descriptions when I talk about Lola. It fits her. She breaks all rules of good taste and correctness so when I write about her I’ll break all the rules too.

She tells me I need to draw more. Something that used to come so easy is hard for me now. Some clarification – I draw everyday. I just don’t draw my own art for my own pleasure.

By the way, I hate playing Pictionary. No. I’m done with parlor games that don’t contain trivia or aren’t played on the Wii.

At the very core of my dark heart and cold soul I am an artist. It is always how I’ve identified myself to myself. That isn’t dependent on how much I draw or paint.

How we see ourselves doesn’t depend on how we’re seen by the general public or anyone else. To your core you know who you are and what you are.

I live around teens. Some of them already know who they are. Some are still growing into their identities. They’re good kids – smart kids. They’ll find their identities. Sure they’ll change and mature as the years pass (as the centuries pass for some) but they’ll always know who they are.

You can live up to the expectations of others and do well. But you need to also live up to your own expectations. Living up to your own expectations is always much more difficult than living up to the expectations of others. It can be painfully difficult, but the rewards are infinitely greater.

So do your own art, whatever that is.

Have a good weekend everyone. Maybe in another post I’ll show some of my “good stuff.”

Lola and I are off to the museum to see a new show of someone she knew in the 1870’s.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Vampire Maman (look I drew something, now leave me alone)

Vampire Maman (look I drew something, now leave me alone)

Chalk It Up – A Rare Daytime Outing

Chalk It Up: Labor Day Weekend, 2013, Freemont Park, Sacramento, CA

Chalk It Up: Labor Day Weekend, 2013, Fremont Park, Sacramento, CA

On Saturday two of my brothers Val and Andrew, the Elders Tellias and Elora, my daughter Clara and I went downtown to the Chalk it Up event in Fremont part.

Calk it Up is a great organization that supports artists, especially young artists in the Sacramento area. Anyone can buy a square of sidewalk and create beautiful works of art – just for fun. For more information go to: Chalk it Up http://www.chalkitup.org/

The event is unique in the fact that people gather for FUN and in the blazing end of August heat make the most unique and fleeting works of art – chalk on the sidewalk around the park.

It was also unique in the fact that we rarely go out as a group, much less during the day. Oh and if you don’t already know, we’re Vampires, Modern Vampires (hence the name of this blog,)

I heard bits of their conversation.

“You’ve got her like a bad cold.”

“Do you boys remember when Fremont thought about running for president?”

“I doubt if anyone thinks you’re odd.”

One of the joys and delights of going out with Vampire men is that regular human woman can’t resist them. They’re already good looking but add that primal hunter aura and their natural attraction and all bets are off. That can be a problem too, but in broad daylight they were somewhat cautious (the Vampires).

My brothers, Andrew with his long hair and romantic poet look, and Val the tall, cute and handsome man-about-town played the part dressed casually, but covered up in button down shirts, jeans and hats. Tellias, who is ancient (over 2,000 years) but doesn’t look a day over 21 is another matter. Even if he wasn’t a Vampire his beautiful face, like a Botticelli angel would be noticed, add the almost white blonde hair and he is a vision. But there isn’t anything overtly feminine about my ancient darling. He is quite the guy, even in his old age. He was in orange plaid pants, a yellow vest, white shirt with yellow flip flops, and his pocket watch.

Tellias doesn’t get out much so he almost danced along side of my brothers despite his discomfort in the sun. He looked so darling in his old fashioned round tinted glasses which he wore to keep the sun out of his sensitive eyes.

We watched the parade of my brothers and Tellias strolling along as women who caught their gaze would take that gaze home with them for weeks, thinking about their desires with those masculine strangers. If they only knew.

Clara, Elora and I had our colorful parasols, which covered us from the sun. As we strolled along being amused by the men,  and more amused by the wonderful and truly amazing artwork.

Along with the chalk art you’ll find food, art and crafts booths and great live music. The event is free and runs through Monday.

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Ideas with old Vampires, scraps of paper and strange young men.

Sometimes when I’m out and about I’ll make notes or sketches for blog posts. I was out seeing Lola the other day. She is an ancient thousand-year old Vampire who is the quintessential classic Vampire – you know the one who rocks the tight little black dress and the curls tumbling down her back and the F-me shoes. The one no guy can resist. Only yesterday she was wearing a little red sweater with white trim and a bow.

She’d had a man over for dinner. A young handsome one at that, but when I arrived he was still on the couch wearing nothing but a blanket. Thank goodness I didn’t bring the kids with me.

But in his defense, when a beautiful woman drains two pints of blood out of you then adds several hours of rigorous physical activity (you’re an adult figure it out) –  that wears a guy out. She was letting him sleep it off. His name is Sean and he works for the Federal Government and that is all I’m going to say for his privacy.  I guess he sees Grandmama Lola a few times a month. At least she has good taste. I guess he does too (you’d agree if you ever meet Lola.)

I was worried about Lola for a while due to serious injuries made by Vampire Hunters about a year ago, but she seems to be doing fine, at least physically. There a still a few scars and when she gets tired she might limp a little, but she’ll be over it all soon. Apparently Sean had no complaints. And of course he has no idea she is a lot older than he is or a Vampire.

And yes she does have a pet Armadillo – I kid you not.

Sketch idea for post with Lola and her Beef Cake or whatever.

Sketch idea for post with Lola and her Beef Cake or whatever.

I’m no tattoo artist but…this is pretty HOT

I’m no tattoo artist but this is pretty HOT and pretty SILLY.

Last week I had fun playing around with my kids and husband discussing tattoos and decided to do a little quick sketching. A lot of you saw my design (but some of you missed it so click HERE). I’m not tattoo artist but it was a fun game.

So anyway I wondered “What would my little sketch look like on someone.” I asked my husband to pose and did a little work on the computer. I told him looks like one of those guys off the cover of a romance novel now.

What do you think?

Life is too short for bad ink (so don’t hire me)…More on tattoos and Vampires..

After almost 300 posts in 8 months I think I have the right to get a little silly here. Back to parenting, poetry and the meaning of life (as only a Modern Vampire Mom can write it.)

Vampire Maman – Ink Master (Trying My Hand at Tattoo Design)

Oh no, we got hooked on Ink Masters – the show (SPIKE) where 12 Master Tattoo Artists compete for $100,000 to become INK MASTER.

That isn’t such a bad thing because it inspired me to draw up my own ink designs.

I used to draw – a lot. I still do some illustrations professionally, but not a lot of personal work. This pushed me to sit down with paper, a sort of dull pencil, an eraser and a Sharpie pen and have a half hour of creative fun last night. Hey, if  you’re a mom, any alone time creative fun is a good thing. It is a very very very good thing.

So here is my first go at a Vampire Maman Tattoo design. I’m still working on the hand. The script is rough. The little girl has an ugly face. And NO don’t mistake this with any characters from Twilight (gag). I drew those faces and erased each about 10 times. But over all I like it.

I’ll be doing more. It was really fun. Maybe even show some in color if I have time. But right now I’m happy amusing myself and my husband and kids with paper and pen. Not skin and needle (not yet).

And remember my regular human friends…Life is too short to get bad ink.

Vampire Maman Tattoo Design Round 1