Thursday, August 19, 2010

My Neighbor's Pink Flowers

Here are some pictures of my yard and my neighbor's lovely pink flowers. If anyone knows what they are called....please let me know. I may use some of these pics in my art journal. I'll try to upload pics of my newest art journal entries as well as the carousel I'm working on (which I'll explain later) very soon. The young man in the mix here is my son Danny who, as you can see, is camera shy! Just wanted to pop in and let you all know that I am working on updating you with something much more interesting than this very soon. Now, go create something!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

30 Journals 30 Days

•How long have you been Art Journaling?

I am currently working on my very first art journal.

•How has Art Journaling impacted, changed, or enhanced your life?

It's very theraputic both emotionally as well as creatively. It really allows a person to create freely without being overly controlling or worried about the outcome.

•What are a few of your favorite Art Journaling materials?

So far my favorite is using Sculpey embellishments and papier mache'.

•Who are some of your favorite Art Journalers?

I recently discovered Juliana Coles and there are many from Youtube that have greatly inspired me like SuziBlu and Willowing.

•What kind words of encouragement would you say to an Art Journal newbie?

You have stumbled into an art genre' that truly wants you to be simply yourself...enjoy it!

•Where can we contact you...give us some link LOVE!!

•Short Bio.

I am 39 years old, married and have 2 sons, one 14 and the other 18. 

My mom, Corliss Ann Eden, is a mostly self taught artist who owned and operated a matting & framing art gallery. Early on, she taught me many of the skills I still rely upon today. Watching her paint as a child and being surrounded by her wonderful works both inspired me and drew me into the art world forever.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What I've Been Up To...

I wanted share some pics of my very first art journal experiment. It is in the very early stages. The covers were made of styrofoam and papier mache and they all fit together. This is a 4 part volume will be if I can come up with enough stuff to put IN them! Anyways, I may add a video later. I also included pics of my messy dungeon along with some emphemera (sp?) or stuff that I may use...;)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Where Are All the Good Blogs?

It's been awhile since I've posted and althoughI have no pictures of my current art journal project to share with you, I was compelled to ask this...where are all the good blogs?! You know the ones that actually say things that are profound or funny or interesting?! You can't really do specific searches on this site...or so it seems to me. All you can do is scroll through blogs by hitting the next button over and over again and your reward for this tedium is thousands of blogs that are mere scrapbooks of people's kids, family gatherings and the occasional Bible thumper sermon! Now, don't get me wrong, I certainly don't think MY blog is any better but I usually only post unless I have something to share or something possibly interesting to say and usually neither are about me....entirely. For instance, if I share an art project, maybe it will inspire someone. If I share my opinion about a political/religious issue, maybe someone will consider THEIR opinion or they'll respond to mine. Even if I just least I'm saying something!

I suppose family orientated bloggers feel that their kids and their rainbows-n-unicorns type of life is inspiring least, to them. And as much as I think that's wonderful and fantabulous, I want to vomit at how lame it is! Yes, I have a son and yes I have many pictures of him. I've even created a video of my son using the
oh-so-typical sappy music of which I've invited family to view! So, I DO get it! I even post pictures of my family on Facebook but I would never take the time to blog about the day to day activities of my kids as if it were interesting. I mean if little Johnny had to be rushed to the ER or had some profound issue at school that I think other parents should know about then okay THAT'S interesting but most of these blogs are like looking at family photo albums.

I think pics of kids and family gatherings should be for personal venues where your family can view them while public blogs should be more about topics that can affect other people in some way. If you have a great topic for a post that somehow includes your family then by all means use that but have a topic other than documenting your family!!!!

I want to know; your thoughts about life, what you're mad or happy about, what you do creatively that may inspire me. I want to know you not just your role in your family.

So there's my rant. I'll post again when I have pictures of my art journal OR when I have actually say. It may be a while!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

America Without Unions...the Result of Republican Thinking

I have visited many debates regarding the current economic downfall and have been shocked by the amount of people who blame UAW workers for it. They mistakenly believe that the economic spiral happened because union workers demanded to keep their high wages causing big companies (like the Big 3 Auto companies)to collapse. They blame poor, impulsive and/or flagrant financial decisions on the middle class (who were primarily union workers) for buying homes, cars etc. that they truly couldn't afford ignoring the fact that banks and big business readily and greedily took advantage. While it's true that many unhealthy financial decisions were made on the part of middle class individuals and that their involvement with their own crumbling unions was lacking at best, the true cause of these issues STILL remains largely unnoticed or unmentioned by those who continue to call themselves Republicans.

What we all have to decide is what's worse for our country....Big Business ruling our lives or Government. Sadly, it will always be one entity or the other until we rehaul the whole economic system. After seeing and experiencing the elitism, total abandonement of safety procedures and downright cruelity placed on the American worker by White Collared Managers Supervisors and CEOs, I can say with 100% surety that when Big Business is left to it's own devices, greed and power will ALWAYS FAR outweigh any benefit from having a free market. We are WAY better off with a government that will oversee things like outsourcing, hiring illegal aliens and the obvious corporate greed. I'm alarmed that it's still necessary to point out that a Republican administration is NOT that government.

The Republican reaction to Health Care Reform is a perfect example of their ignorance or unwilligness to place blame where it belongs...on big business i.e health insurance companies who, much like the banks, have owned us for generations! They would rather attack the symptoms of the problem like protecting doctors from lawsuits and focusing on fraudulant welfare claims than doing something about an actual cure...which can only come by regulating health care and insurance companies so, at least, we can begin to bring an end to inflated healthcare costs and corporate greed!

Republicans don't see the fact that without the unions the middle class wouldn't exist and most big companies wouldn't be....well...big.

Is it too much to ask for a wage that allows one to be financially secure based on the cost of living in THIS country while CEOs cry about a 1 million dollar shortage in their bonuses?!?....NOT their wages their BONUSES!?!??? Why do Republicans refuse to consider that big business, under a Republican administration, has all the power it needs to hire illegal aliens, outsource jobs and destroy the middle class completely and, more importantly, why don't they see that THAT HAS happened already? I guess it's all about perspective. From their point of view, everyone in this country has the same opportunity to go to college and be successful and anyone who doesn't do that is just lazy or making excuses.

And if you're not a judgmental elitist Republican....then you're probably a religious fanatic Republican. A Republican friend of mine told me that she will always vote Republican for the sole purpose of keeping a government in place that is against abortion. And I wouldn't even say that she's a religious fanatic nor even practicing her religion so imagine the leanings of those who ARE fanatics! My response to that is to ask how abortion could even make the list of issues that our country urgently needs to get solved? And I ask the same to those against gay marriage and gays in the military. The whole country is teetering on economic collapse and there are people...Republicans....placing their religious views over real problems!?!?! Could this be why there's SUPPOSED TO BE a seperation between church and state??? Is it possible that religious views are also the reason that Republicans continue to unfairly harp on Obabma's nationality and publicly disrespect his Presidency in ways FAR MORE severe than the Bush bashing they themselves objected to especially for a President during wartime?

Sure, we can look back and a Democrat may say Reagan did some good things and a Republican may point out that it was Clinton who started NAFTA but that's the past. We can see the successes and failures of our past administrations whether Democratic or Republican...especially the very last one....can't we?

It seems to me that Republicans have a very judgmental view of their own fellow countrymen whether for religious differences or due to an elitist hatred towards the poor. It's very easy to fall into this mindset when you're working your ass off and paying tons of taxes into governmental assistance for, who seems to you, as just the lazy and/or criminal. The criminal being, for example, maybe the one who is fraudulantly collecting welfare. The lazy being, very possibly, the guy working next to you everyday on the shop floor who gets away with hardly working at all! Or maybe you see all the young girls on the tawdry morning shows who are 12 years old and pregnant or the couples who have 10 kids and are on welfare. All of that surely is enough to make one think more along Republican lines especially if they have strong religious views too because then it's not only the poor and the criminal who are bothersome but ALL the heathens who don't believe as they do. The unifying factor of this type of thinking is that it's based on prejudism...aka false judgment, hate and worse....fear! None of those factors can ever produce logical decision making. In the words of JFK, "The only thing to fear is fear itself!"

Sure, there ARE lazy and criminal people whose actions SHOULD BE addressed but do THEY really cause the problem and does their actions or inactions outweigh that of the mammoth power and greed of banks, big business and even the government?

It's time to stop pointing at each other and start looking at the entities that are dividing us. I don't want people to go to work everyday only to be exposed to unsafe working conditions, intimidation to keep work related injuries secret, getting overworked and underpaid and outsourcing. As I write this, there are people being overlooked for jobs based solely on the fact that they are an ex Union member. There IS, in fact, a stigma against ex union workers and it is a serious act of discrimination that I think needs to be exposed. People are being told, myself included, not to even mention unions or their job could be threatened!

So, you decide. Do you approve of the illegal retaliation by Republicans that we've seen on the news against Democrates since losing their Health Reform battle? Do you think that behavior along with voting for religious views and nothing else is fanatical? And do you think people, including your own children, will have a safe and fair work environment as a means to earn a decent living? Can that truly happen with Big Business left unchecked? Or will you continue to assume that YOUR children and the children of your fellow Republicans have no worries because THEY'LL be college educated and, therefore, the slave drivers as opposed to the slaves. Keep thinking and acting on the every-man-for-himself-assumptions and this country will never be able to stand up again. United we stand, divided we fall!

Friday, March 5, 2010

My Dragon is Finished!!!

Well, he is finally finished after about 3 lengthy leg surgeries! He had to have to splints put in so that his legs could support his weight. He also had some hair implants put in cuz the baldness was getting to him! So, I'll let u watch the video and then afterward I'll tell you what I learned!

What I've learned....

I won't decide mid project to make movable legs become stand alone legs and IF I ever do, I will use splints (wire) to re-enforce instead of layers of skin (paper towels)! And any project I deem to be stand alone will have a MUCH BETTER skeletal structure. The weight of the wings and arms plays into the ability to stand quite a bit more than I anticipated.

If I use Sculpey again (and I'm sure I will) I will bake the pieces WITH the wire already inserted to make it easier to attach to the body.

I will get a better glue gun...cuz it's important!

I will make the body smaller so that the brake line is easier to control (if I do another brake line project)...OR I'll just get a longer brake line! My first idea was for him to be more Woodbaby size and sit on one's shoulder as Woodbabies do, thus allowing the brake line to be inconspicuous and easier to control. As you can see, Dimi is way bigger than a Woodbaby. Sigh, live and learn!

I won't make a custom paint for the main color cuz then you have to KEEP making it as you run out...and you WILL run out!

I will make the folds in the wings more arched at the bottom.

I will cut the head in half and add gums -n- teeth like Dan Reeder does...;)

I will make the tail LESS straight....Dimi actually has a hose in his tail and the idea...initially...was to use the hose as the actual tail cuz it's flexible but the point became mute when I layered it...;)

I will paint and clearcote spray PRIOR to doing an antique wash because, otherwise, the paper towel skin just absorbs the color as opposed to the color going into the cracks. And when you wipe or dab off the excess, I think it will come off better leaving more contrast.

The flat-on-one-side but natural-on-the-other, magnified glass beads that you find at any craft store make GREAT eyes! One need only paint a pupil! The pupil will actually follow you like the eyes in some freaky paintings do!!!

If you spread some Gel Medium or glue on the surface of the body and stick some loosely formed styrofoam to it and let it dry...when you pull it off the next day it leaves a texture that looks like warts or toad skin. I will definitely use that this ,which I learned by accident, in future projects...especially when lizard typed skin is needed!!!

When doing the paper towel skin, it's best to use paper towel pieces that have no straight edges. If you rip all your edges the skin lays down better and doesn't leave any hard lines. Two ply paper towel works best.

Gel Medium works better than Elmer's Glue and is harder to get off of your hands! For me, Dawn dishsoap was the best thing to use to get it off.

Keep fur trim FAR from cats!

I have, naturally, started collecting anything I can find that can be used in a papier mache projects like; newspaper, used Creamora cans and paper towel/toilet paper rolls. I am stunned at how many of these I can QUICKLY collect! So, what I learned with that is that my family ALONE is causing a huge land fill somwhere!!!! Recycle, recycle, recycle!!!

The most important thing I learned is that this medium is PERFECT for me and allows for so much versatility. There's an engineering process, a very artistic textural process and, of course, everyone's fave the painting and embellishment of it all! I really enjoyed this and hope everyone will give it a whirl! I can't wait to do another!!!

Thought I'd add some still shots too...;)

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Almost Done Dragon Pics

I was going to just wait until he was completely done to post but I am having an engineering problem with one of the wings so he will have to dry for another 24 hours. So, since I said I would post these today, I figured I would keep my promise. I made a pedastel for him also which is actually done and possibly a wand with a globe but we shall see. Hopefully, tommorrow evening I can post the final shots...;)

Sunday, February 28, 2010

My Papier Mache Experiment!!!

A couple years ago I decided that I wanted to create my own Woodbaby. What is a Woodbaby? may wonder! A Woodbaby is the brand name of handcrafted puppets that sit on one's shoulder and are, kind of, animatronic. They are usually sold at Renaissance Festivals since they are usually fantasy figures, often times, part dragon and part something else. The person who came up with the idea of using bicycle brake line to make the head movable has patented the idea and has a great business and a great following. See his website for examples

I had removed the brake line from my own bike because I was impatient to understand how this would work. Drastic I know but I figured I can either buy a new brake line for a puppet or buy a new one for my bike!! I believe that Woodbabies are made with Sculpey which I love. So, initially Sculpey was my choice of medium for this project. Later on, however, I stumbled upon some Youtube videos about papier mache. I quickly became a big fan of papier mache artist Dan Reeder. See his wonderful work here...
or click on his blog from the list of people I follow! After looking at many papier mache galleries and tutorials especially Dan's, I was inspired that papier mache was something I HAD to try! So I did just that for this project and I LOVED it!!!

Anyway, I wanted to share the beginning shots of, what was supposed to be, my version of a Woodbaby. As it stands right now, the body has been made to stand alone and not lie on one's shoulder as Woodbaies do. And the limbs, altho they WERE movable at one point as you will see by the pictures, are now stiff. These changes came from the advisement of others and the fact that the size of my puppet sort of excluded him from sitting on one's shoulder! His head DOES move, however, which WAS my ultimate goal!!! You will see from the slideshow the progression of the skin and the shape of head and body. The brown speckles in the initial stages were from me not mixing my papier mache well enuff. You may also note that one of the horns becomes crooked as he progresses. This is because one of them had fallen off and had to be reattached. When I reattached the horn...evidently, I didn't get it straight and although I could have fixed it I thought it added character so I left it crooked. The horns, spikes and claws were made from Scupley.

I will post the beginning photos and the latest one's I currently have in my computer right now and the "almost finished" one's later tonight or tommorrrow! Currently, he is painted and his wings, which were attached last night, are hopefully dried and ready to paint. I also created a pedastel for him to stand on! Enjoy and let me know what you think!!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Some You've Seen and some CG

Just thought I'd post this for something for you to view while I come up with my next blog post. Also, those of you (and you know who u r) who have not yet COMMENTED on the last 2 or 3 posts...please see the right margin for a list of old posts and use this time to do so!!!...Thanx!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

We are what we THINK we are!

Every one of us is energy...a vibration. Your thoughts....your beliefs create reality.

Sound and/or CREATE order out of chaos!!! Watch this but be ready to turn volume down especially if you have pets!

Friday, February 5, 2010

A Peace Movement You Should Know About....Zeitgeist!

There's a humanist movement going on right now that I want to promote. It started with a little video called Zeitgeist which mostly dealt with debunking religion showing its astrological context as well as showing the repetitive reuse of gods. I implore you to watch all 12 parts.

Then they added to it and got more into the economy and all of its puppet masters. Watch all 5 parts of this. Trust me it's VERY current....


Now they're promoting their Zday which is about a thing they call the Venus Project. You can go to their website at to learn more about it and please watch this little promo. If you agree with the sentiments, and I hope you do, then please consider joining.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Boxes I've created

I thought I'd share some old creations. Both of these ended up being gifts for my Grandmother. This is an oval cardboard hat box that I decoupaged with various clipart, photos of my Grandmother's children and loved ones as well as scenes from Virginia where she grew up. I also used paint, paint markers, stamps and old Scrabble tiles (a game she cherishes) and then glazed over it all with antique decoupage glue.

This is a wooden box that I decoupaged, painted and embellished.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I am, currently, developing my next big post so I thought I'd fill the void by sharing this Youtube video. It shows that I am not alone in my consideration of alien existence. Isn't it time to think about this? By the way, the video I included in my last post has more than one part so make sure you watched all of those!!! And DO watch part 2 of this video as well!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Connecting Aliens with Religion

Great reverence has been given to astrology in almost all ancient religion and cultures. It's clearly evident in ancient texts as well as in the varying locations where massive structures were built that science is still mystified about today with regards to their creation. The Great Pyramids were once thought of as being tombs for Egyptian kings but that theory is questioned by many people. Some believe it was a great library while others speculate that it was the earliest power plant. Currently, I lean toward the latter theory for reasons that I may discuss later.

People are starting to realize how much astrology is in their religious text and questioning its presence there. Even though, astrology is considered a sin in many cases, it answers many other theological questions. For instance, the mysterious Genesis 6 passage regarding the copulation between fallen angels and human women...

Genesis 6:1 Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, 2 that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose.3 And the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” 4 There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.

Religious apologists have tried many different tactics to explain this passage but none that make sense. The Sons of God were, in my opinion, fallen angels. So God's punishment for this was to wipe out all of earth by flood except Noah and his family. Why? Well, according to the story, Noah was "perfect in his generations". One sees later that Noah is far from perfect even by biblical standards. He gets drunk and walks arond naked! So a popular conclusion is that Noah is considered perfect because he and his family were the only ones not contaminated with fallen angel DNA...they were pure. This may be a shocking theory to some but one needs only to consider the strange amount of importance placed on geneology throughout the Bible as well as the purity of sacrificial animals to see its validity.

So what does this have to do with aliens? Well, aside form the obvious connection due to the fact that UFOs come from space and stars exist in space, there's also an alignment between ancient religion, legend and artwork. It is, in my opinion, evident, that what should've been impossible for the earliest of our generations was made possible due to the knowledge of the stars that many still refuse as a valid science. It is said, not only by theorists, but also in the Book of Enoch itself that magical knowledge, including knowledge of war and weapons, was given to woman specifically during this union between them and the fallen angels. This explains why God was so infuriated that He decided that a do-ever was necessary (funny thing to need a do-over when one is a god)! This also explains why knowledge was prohibited. When the Bible said "Let us make man in our image" was it God speaking or maybe the fallen angels? I think most would agree that knowledge is power but I think we are learning that, like the Bible says, knowledge can kill us too. Thus, the forbidden tree containing both good and evil knowledge.

Is this theory merely a replacement for religious superstition or is it a truth that has been hidden from us for thousands of years? I don't believe the Bible literally nor any other religious text for that matter but I do feel that it holds some truths given it be reckognized as a mystery which it refers to itself as. There are many other connections that are replete in all ancient religions like the concept of humans being asleep or having some sort of amnesia as if under a spell. Jesus points this out to Peter who had been instructed to, "Watch". There is also the common thread of a god or gods being with man on earth but then having to leave earth after making a promise to one day return. Jesus says it plainly here....

John 14:2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And where I go you know, and the way you know.”

Jesus also says he's not of this world...

John 17:14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.

We are all inflicted with our own sentience. Knowledge is almost a plague or disease inflicting us with thousands of unanswered questions...who are we?...where did we come from?...why are we the only intelligent beings that we know of? These questions afflict not only the religious but also the atheist. So to put it plainly, my connection of dots goes as follows....

We were not created in God's image but in the image of the fallen angels aka aliens. This is not a hard theory to accept when one considers how we have described aliens as looking...little grey humanoids. Sure, they have those big, black bulbous eyes but we don't look that disimilar, do we? And while I realize this is our fictional imagery of aliens, I do believe that art imitates life and maybe even vice versa. It should also be pointed out that many abduction claims also describe aliens in a similar fashion. You may say because they are hallucinating and therfore choose the common alien image but, then again, maybe not!...but I digress!!! So, these aliens were fallen because they, themselves, achieved a level of intelligence that they were not meant to achieve either by edict of some supernatural entity or energy or by the natural cause and effect of knowledge=death. They needed us probably as slaves to build their structures or maybe for some kind of genetic testing so they integrated their DNA with the most advanced of earthly life forms...humans. It could be possible that they did this to help us somehow but it's not looking that way. OR it could be that the installation of their DNA which included their knowledge was what CAUSED the human race to become sentient. It's possible that they inflicted consciousness onto a life from that was NOT supposed to have consciousness. If one could inflict consciousness onto an ant, for example, what would happen? The reality of this theory would explain why; earlier civilizations were way further advanced than we are today, why geneology is so important, knowledge is so taboo and God calls Himslef "Us" in the Bible, why UFO sightings are so frequent (as well illusive) and abductees claim to have genetic type operations inflicted on them, all of the similarities between religions AND how all of the, to date unexplained, structures were built. It may also explain Area 51, HAARP, paranormal activity, nightmares, sleep walking, Venus Flytraps and Jumping Cacti but that'll be another blog!

There are many Youtube videos that are much more eloquent at connecting these dots than myself that I implore you to watch and consider.

Monday, February 1, 2010

My Painting Experiment

This was a painting that my mom had did years ago. I always loved it and was overjoyed when she let me have it when they moved to Las Vegas. Admittedly, it was never hung up due to its size and the lack of wall space in my old house. Along with that, it had a very dark subject matter. It was during a very dark time for my mom and so the subject matter was very dark and sinister. Afterall it included the statue "Rape of the Sabine Woman", a bathroom scene and a book entitled "Sinner's Guide" placed on the back of the toilet!!! I loved it as I do all of mom's work but it was kind of depressing and I really wanted to hang it in my new house but felt that the only place it would work was in one of my bathrooms not only because of the content but also because the colors matched perfectly. Unfortunately, it wouldn't fit in my bathroom. So I decided, with her permission, if I could revamp the painting and this is what I've come up with thus far.

Oh, btw,I know I said I was gonna talk about aliens but that'll have to wait.

I haven't decided yet what I want to blog about. I could talk about the freezing temperatures here in Michigan or the strange noises we were hearing in our house last night OR how I noticed that Detroit looked like one of those Life After People shows when we drove through it yesterday to drop my son off at his dad's. There's also, of course, the subject of ramblings over the last State of the Union address and/or my own personal financial state of the union...;) All of these topics, however, fail to illustrate the real interesting pursuits I have been making with regards to connections between UFOs and the pyramids. So maybe, I will gather my thoughts and do a post on that later today or tommorrow.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

In the Meantime

I promise I'll write more tommorrow. Like the new blog look? I made the header picture myself. Well, the fairy scene behind the wrought iron window was made by someone else of course but I extracted the old view with Adobe thereby making myself a template or overlay for future uses. Maybe I can actually come up with something interesting to blog about....we'll see!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Video Gamer Mom's Unite!

As a mom and the only woman in my household, I am surrounded by testosterone and video game mania on a regular basis! I admit that I do get sucked into playing sometimes whether due to my husband or one of my sons pestering me to just try it but sometimes it's just due to my own curiousity! I must admit I have been known to get into some video games while others just stress me out or bore me.

It occured to me after reading an article called, Failure to Communicate by Corey Mae in my husband's Game Informer Magazine this morning regarding a lack of communication between gamers and those who create them that maybe, I too, have a voice or, at least, an important opinion about these crazy video games that I have been inundated with for years. Afterall, I do help consume them even if I am not always in agreement on buying them due to the cost, content or the amount at which they are purchased!

So there I was in the bathroom (aka library) asking myself, at first, why I was even looking at this magazine considering that I'm not a game fanatic but what catches my eye everytime is the art and the stories of how the game creators become produces of the games. I am a very creative person myself dabbling in anything from painting on canvas, repurposing old suitcases or jewelery boxes, Sculpey, papier mache, beading and even some computer graphic applications. Therefore, I admire the beauty and talent behind the graphics of many video games but I also, surprisingly, have an opinion about game play and ideas about games as well.

This isn't a subject I would normally speak about as I am more into religious and/or political debates and/or world mysteries like Mayans, pyramids, UFOs and the paranormal but I have always wanted to start a blog and this particular topic was on my mind.

As I was considering my role in the video game arena as the unsung Gamer Mom, I was remembering times that I would walk into a room where my boys were playing and would make comments about whatever was happening in the game. Like if my son just blew someone's head off, I'd jokingly say, "Son, that's not very polite" or if my son got killed by another player and was moaning about it I might tease him and say, "Well, the idea is NOT to get killed!!!" Some might find my relaxed manner with regards to people's heads getting blown off or other untoward happenings in video games as inappropriate but I'm confident that my boys know it's only a game. And, obviously, I do make it a point to know what their playing. Sometimes that's precisely why I make the comments I make about it not being polite. True, I'm joking but also reminding them of my stance on killing. And don't get me wrong there are some games that I've had to ban like Grand Theft Auto due to the sexual nature and criminal context but I am sure I am far more liberal than most parents. I have always been a big proponent of being the hero in games. I, myself, always choose the GOOD guy when the choice is given to be either good or evil. And although, I think it's perfectly fine for game creators to allow an evil choice. I have a tendency of bugging my sons anytime they choose to be an evil character over a good one by blaming their choice of an evil character for any and all calamity that their evil character faces! It's an opportunity to, nonetheless humorously, teach a lesson. You can say, 'now see son had you choose the good guy all this bad stuff wouldn't be happening to your character!' Of course, we all know that 9 times out of 10 whether a player chooses a good or evil character that the same trials will befall that character either way. There are, however, some video games that try to create different scenarios for different choices which, as a parent and a quasi gamer, I prefer because they are more realistic in that manner.

Upon deeper thought, I have decided that my likes for certain video games do, in fact, have a definite criteria. And that even though I may not be the target market for game developers, I MAY be the untapped market. It's similar to the phenomena of a rare country song becoming popular even to those who don't normally listen to country simply because it has that certain hook to it. And then, usually, the popularity launches that otherwise unknown country singer's career into super stardom! It's still a country song but one that captures even the normally UNcountry!

So here is my criteria but keep in mind I have no clue about the technical processes and am normally Uncountry....

#1) Great graphics of both charcters AND backgrounds.

#2) A good deep story line that everyone can relate to especially with RPG games. Including depth of characters that are premade or that a player can create. Consider a movie with great computer graphics but a weak story line. Usually, it fails or, at the very least, will not produce enough money to cover the cost of it's graphics....same thing with video games.

#3) EASY controls but with many options so that one can be a novice OR a pro AT THE VERY START of game play yet still enjoy the game. This is a big complaint I hear from many women. They give up on games right away because they don't feel that they can control them.

#4) Realsitic outcomes in the story line that are directly affected by the players choices..thus making the ability to choose not just a futile, bothersome epilogue. DragonQuest, for example, is a great RPG game but the conversations are the same for all the characters and there's not a vast and/or noticable difference in outcomes for different responses/decisions of the player! ALSO, why is it that you have to be a rogue to open all the chests? If anyhing, there should be a note about this so people don't waste their time creating characters that aren't rogues then finding out later that they will NOT be unable to open most chests throughout the game! That's another complaint I hear from fellow Game Moms....they feel that their time is wasted with these games! Truly, playing video games is a waste but it is, afterall, entertainment. One is not entertained, however, if one is frustrated. Who wants a character that can't open chests????

One game that got many things right, in my opinion, was Oddworld but I was dissapointed when they made fans buy an Xbox to play the next version and then changed the whole style to a shoot em up! What I liked about Oddworld was the artistry and creativity combined with a GREAT storyline about a hero rescuing his fellow Mudockins. It was fantasy but with a realistic heart warming story that was very easily relatable to anyone's life. When that game came out I was a UAW worker feeling the crunch of outsourcing, elitism and all the signs of a dying union and the game paralleled that by allowing me to become a hero by saving fellow workers from corporate greed and corruption! Also, this game was very easy to play as it was mostly hand to eye coordination but as you played it you became very adept at certain moves. It also had a whole library of sounds and quotes that your hero could make that were entertaining even before you mastered them! Another example of a game that had that hook is World of Warcraft. I WISH they could make it for Xbox live so I could play it on my big screen! It is absolutely beautiful and extremely realistic! It can be both relaxing AND scary or stressful but one can almost decide that for themselves. You can either look for trouble or go adventuring alone into uncharted territory just exploring the beautiful scenery thus making it VERY realistic!

In conclusion, I do have many other insights and ideas about video games that I will bore you with at a later date, but I do hope all of you Gamer Moms (you know who you are) will add your insights and ideas to this! I am sure you have an opinion or two yourselves about these video games that we endure on a daily basis! Just as a woman's opinion made a difference in the making and marketing of cars, it may also make a difference here too!

Thanks for reading!