A Guide to Arts Shows in California

As spring heats up and summer is just around the corner, the long days inspire us to take part in the myriad art shows that fill each weekend in California. Shows focusing on arts and crafts, fine arts, ceramics, gardening and agriculture dot the coast and inland areas. Some even focus on a certain vegetable such as the Gilroy Garlic Festival, which will be held the last weekend in July. Follow the list below to find a show in your area or look for a show that might be on your vacation to-do list this summer. Road trip anyone?

  • · Pacific Fine Arts Festivals run from March through October and covers mostly Northern California into the Tahoe / Truckee region. In June they host the Squaw Valley Arts and Crafts Festival held in Olympic Valley.
  • · One of the premier shows of the year is held every April in Walnut Creek and celebrates the artistic talents of fine artists from all over the state.
  • · If you are looking for a desert inspired show, check out the Arts Show and Brunch in Death Valley during the first weekend in March.
  • · One of the finest and most well attended shows is the annual Sausalito Art Festival held every year over the Labor Day weekend. This festival offers fine art, live music cold beer and children's activities. The best way to get there is by catching a ferry in San Francisco and riding over the waves landing in Sausalito and taking a short walk to the festival grounds.
  • · Many cities offer Open Studios provising an opportunity to visit your favorite artists in their studios. Many artists will be working on art during your visit and artwork will usually be available for sale at that time. Benicia Open Studios is held during the month of May and is in several spots throughout the city including the Armory on the water.
  • · In early March take a trip to Palm Springs to experience the Palm Springs Art Festival. With an expected attendance of 3500 and 175 exhibitors there will be plenty to see and do in this desert spot. Music and food are also available so plan to spend the day.
  • · The small college town of Chico will host the Eclectic Artisan Festival during the last weekend in March. Activities include 40 artisan booths, live music and food booths.
  • · The city of Sacramento plays host to Sacramento Earth Day 2012. Activities include 150 exhibitor booths, two stages for live music, live demos, face painting, lectures, crafts and a native plant sale.
  • · The Walnut Creek Art and Wine Festival is held the first weekend in June at the Heather Farms festival grounds. Guests enjoy live music, wine tasting from local wineries, exhibitor booths and a variety of delicious foods to choose from. It's typically hot this weekend so bring sunscreen and comfortable shoes.
  • · East Bay Open Studio – celebrating the incredible and compelling array of talent in Oakland/Berkeley region opens their studios the first and second weekend of June. Check the website for a list of studios and be sure to get a directory of the artist's spaces.

Adept in Feminine Arts

Smoky eyed kunoichi

Rocked a black mini and heels

Held up with a poisoned hairpin

She wore a flirty bun

Rocked a black mini and heels

The shadow infiltrator

She wore a flirty bun

Was a temptress

The shadow infiltrator

Smelled of honeysuckle

Was a temptress

Adept in feminine arts

Smelling of honeysuckle

She could kill several ways

Adept in feminine arts

She entered theater

She could kill many ways

Subtlety was her flair

She entered theater

With information

Subtlety was her flair

She met Ivy Mike at his crib

With information

He had to be dealt with

She met Ivy Mike at his crib

He dug her style

He had to be dealt with

They had dinner and drinks

He dug her style

Sablehair got close

They had dinner and drinks

She got him to his room

Sablehair got close

Seducing him to the precipice

She got him to his room

Did things to

Seduce him to the precipice

Held up with a poisoned hairpin

She impaled his heart

Smokey eyed kunoichi

How to Get Your Music on Professional CD with a Small Budget – CafePress.Com

This is a step-by-step process on getting your music on a professional CD such as you would buy in a store. This includes a full color booklet also. Many musicians spend thousands of dollars and sometimes that is a good thing but if you are on a budget or have lack of funds sometimes maybe one CD at a time or small bulks of CD's would be a better solution. This article will help you achieve the steps needed to do just that.

Things Needed:

  1. Finished music saved in .wav or .mp3 file format & on CD or on your computer.
    Make sure you save them as high quality CD format so your CD sounds great when made!
  2. Artwork for Booklet & CD
    You will need to add these to custom templates described in the lower instructions.
  3. Sale Price of CD you are about to produce, You have the option of selling your CD free on this site that I describe in the article.
  4. You are the owner of all Copyrighted Material of the Music & Artwork. Or you have the correct permission to use any materials that you are using for your CD.


  1. Sign up for accounts at CafePress.com click Here
    If you already have an account proceed to the next steps.
  2. Download the Templates for the CD Here
  3. Use a graphic program to install the artwork you have within the lines of the Templates.
  4. Upload your music from your computer to CafePress.
  5. Upload your final graphics made from the templates to CafePress.
  6. Create new produce Audio CD and follow the step by step process
  7. Once done you will be able to purchase your CD or sell it from there website!

I highly recommend you take full advantage of this website they offer much more than just professional CD's, You can create many products free of charge then buy them in bulk or sell them to fan's such as t-shirts, mugs, or hat's and much more.

Many Music Artist's use them strictly for all merchandise for their music. You get commission if you sell anything over there base price! Therefore, it is a win, win situation! How can you lose if they are doing all the manufacturing and selling it to you for a base price or even discounted if you buy in bulk.

I hope this article has been helpful to you take care & God Bless & Keep the music alive my friend.

Much Luck in the music industry. If this will helpful, please leave me a comment letting me know thanks again.


About the Movie "Taken"

I love a good action packed movie! The movie “Taken” has such a good storyline and is filled with action, stunts, and a car chase or two. It opened January 30, 2009 and presented by 20th Century Fox, this movie keeps you interested from beginning to end.

The film by Pierre Morel is cast perfectly. The cast of “Taken” are Liam Neeson who plays the character Bryan. Neeson plays the role of a former spy who has retired to be closer to his daughter. Neeson is a perfect choice for this part. He plays this role with seriousness and keeps you watching the film all the way through. You may remember him from the movie “Batman Begins.” He has been in many other movies as well.

Also starring in this film is the actress Famke Jansen. You may remember her from the movie X Men. She played the role of Jean Grey. Famke doesn’t have much of a role in “Taken” but plays the part of Lenore. Lenore is the mother of her daughter Kim. The part of Kim is played by Maggie Grace. You may remember Maggie from the first two seasons of the television series ” Lost.” She played the role of Shannon Rutherford.

In the movie “Taken” Kim, a sixteen year old, lives with her mother and stepfather. They both agree to let her take a trip over to Paris with her friend. Yet, her biological father Bryan does not think this is a good idea, but decides to let her go anyway. After she arrives at her destination, she and her friend are taken by two men. While the abduction is taking place, her father Bryan, hears all of this on the phone. Bryan flies out immediately to find her, after promising her that he will get her back. He uses his special skills to track her down and get revenge on the abductors.

I don’t want to give too much away in this movie. There are a lot of exciting twists and turns. This movie was so good! I haven’t seen a good action/drama in a long time. Other crew members include Luc Besson who is the producer/co-writer. Robert Mark Kamen is also a co-writer. Michel Abramowicz who is the director of photography. Hughes Tissandien who is the production designer and Nathaniel Mechaly who is in charge of music. If you are interested in seeing a clip of this movie you can go to www.takenmovie.com.



Lo Art�stico Del Arte Contemporáneo

¿El arte contemporáneo es arte? Hace un par de meses atrás, estaba yo en mi casa de Pamplona, que es un piso de estudiantes, cuando alguien tiró al ruedo de la conversación la "necesidad de volver al arte clásico" para poder contemplar realmente lo que es arte. No sé a que se refirió cuando utilizó el término "clásico", pero sospecho que puede estar dirigiéndose a las formas artísticas del renacimiento, barroco, rococó y demás obras de arte que sean de un tiempo determinado, que podría limitarlo como el corredor del tiempo que va desde el siglo XVI, con el Renacimiento, hasta el siglo XIX, con el Romanticismo. Lo interesante de la premisa de la vuelta necesaria, en cierta forma, a lo clásico es una realidad patente en muchas mentes del hoy contemporáneo. Son mentes actuales que se visten de más romanticismo que el propio romanticismo, y sobre todo que tienen una clara deficiencia de criterios, o lo que es lo mismo de educación, para juzgar al arte contemporáneo casi siempre de una forma tan severa y tiránica , pues, no dejan puertas abiertas para que surja la defensa del arte contemporáneo. Pero son muchas las personas que así piensan, mientras que los artistas "se empeñan" en seguir creando aquello que no se entiende, o que no tiene sentido, o lo que realmente es no valioso, en fin, aquello que llaman arte contemporáneo.

El arte contemporáneo se origina en y durante el siglo XX y continúa en el siglo XXI, se considera que es un arte ya no para crear más arte, sino para dar interpretaciones nuevas a todo lo antes concebido. Esta actividad artística se mueve mirándose a ella misma, no conoce nada más que su propio interior, interior al que no le puede hallar un sentido completa y, es por tal, su búsqueda ansiosa por hallarse, es decir, por hallar un significado. Si viéramos desde lejos este flujo artístico no daríamos cuenta de manera rápida y sorprendente que es un flujo circular, es una reflexión sobre sí. A veces me explico el arte contemporáneo como cuando uno se ve su propio rostro en un espejo y no sabe cómo redefinir ese "yo" presente ante mí mismo. Kant con mucha certeza hablaba del espíritu contemporáneo como un espíritu ya no abierto a los distantes y grandiosos horizontes, sino que sólo está volcándose sobre sí mismo, como buscando en ese constante retorno a su verdadera identidad. El gran filósofo Kant pudo adelantarse a su tiempo y avisar sobre los primeros atisbos de la era contemporánea y, por lo tanto, del arte contemporáneo cuando definió en su obra sobre el juicio estético a la estética misma, con su actual y entendido significado. Según sugiere Kant, la estética es como una actividad juguetona entre nuestras facultades, que son el entendimiento y la imaginación, en tal juego nuestras facultades se entrelazan y separan, como en un ir y venir, que tiene como resultado la sensación del buen gusto.

No se puede entender el arte contemporáneo sin entender el juicio estético de Kant; porque aquel se alimenta de este otro, y la dificultad que tienen las personas para ver el arte contemporáneo radica esencialmente en su mal o insuficiente conocimiento sobre qué es lo que Kant entendía como la estética. Las formas a priori del juicio estético sería la finalidad sin fin, o el libre jugar entre facultades. La estética contemporánea está en relación con un juego de formas, formas que provienen de un espíritu humano, es un contenido exclusivamente íntimo del artista que se deja ver por los demás espíritus exteriores a él porque sencillamente queda plasmado este juego en un artefacto, que es producido por un proceso de arte. El arte contemporáneo más que plasmar la belleza de un mundo exterior a nosotros, es la exteriorización de un mundo espiritual muy particular, el espíritu del artista, pero que es, a su vez, es una radiografía de la salud espiritual de una sociedad en específico. En otras palabras, el arte contemporáneo le dice a su contemplador lo que está pasando en el espíritu del artista, que es lo que está pasando en el mismo espíritu del que lo contempla, aunque sea en menor o mayor grado, y le dice también al que lo contempla cómo es la sociedad en que se vive. Para mí esta característica última es de las más importantes para la identificación del arte contemporáneo.

Casi siempre le disgusta a uno y a cualquier persona el reconocer sus contenidos espirituales, nos molesta reconocer nuestras cosas feas y errores y fracasos. Es como si siempre quisiéramos taparlos y que nadie los vea, ni nosotros mismos. Esta actitud tan común en la sociedad contemporánea es quizá la respuesta a la pregunta del por qué muchas personas se sienten no atraídas por obras de arte contemporáneo, es como si la obra reflejase delante de todas sus miserias espirituales, o su interior íntimo. Lo más que les puede indignar es que todo el que pasa ve aquello que es reflejo suyo y del prójimo, que ven la vaciedad de nuestras formas de vida, que ven la nada de nuestros esfuerzos, que ven a nosotros mismos. El arte contemporáneo representa la angustia y la inseguridad existencial del hombre contemporáneo frente a su hacer cotidiano, es decir, frente al significado de su propia vida. Así que le respondo a mi amigo de Pamplona, aunque sea un poco tarde pero no inútilmente, que sí, el arte contemporáneo es arte.

Best of the Worst: Movies

People love to tell you about great movies they've seen, but how often do you hear about the ones to avoid? Well here, in no particular order, are some of the worst movies I have ever had the displeasure of watching.

For saving you from their treachery, you may thank me later.

  1. Material Girls

Material Girls stars sisters Hilary and Haley Duff as two little rich girls who suddenly lose all their money and have to fight their way into clubs and restaurants and other frivolous places that once found them deemed to pass through their doors. With the help of some unknown male actors, they illegally snoop enough to find a loophole in the legal issue bringing down their father's company and their wallets and lives are saved. Yay!

Who cares? Honestly, I got really bored just typing the synopsis. Hilary and Haley Duff are horrible at acting in this film and still have me wondering if they were trying to be serious or just making fun of shallow stupidity. Unless you really enjoy being bored and watching bad actors play out an even worse script, then this movie isn't for you. But I guess if you like all of those things then more power to you!

  1. Norbit

This is the only movie I have ever walked out of.


I tried to go back and watch it on tv but I still couldn't force myself to finish. Eddie Murphy plays about 4 or 5 different characters, all of which are horribly boring or annoying. It's about a boy who is adopted by a chinese man and falls in love with a fat women…I think. What could have been a possibly funny story line was ruined by the script, cinematography (or lack thereof) and Eddie Murphy.

But mostly Eddie Murphy.

  1. Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector

This is the only move I have ever fallen asleep during in the movie theater.


In the first 15 minutes, the once funny comedian makes poorly delivered jokes and the attempt to be humorous overpowers every other aspect of the film. Beyond that, I don't know much, but my boyfriend said it wasn't very good. I don't feel like I missed anything and it's listed as one of the top 100 worst movies of all time. I'm thinking perhaps he and Murphy should stick to children's animated movie voiceovers, eh?

  1. Vampire Conspiracy

Do you enjoy 3 hour long movies? Do you like 3 hour long movies that take place in one single white room? Do you take pleasure in watching 3 hour long movies that take place in one single white room where the characters cuss more than they make sense?

This is all you need to know.

  1. Wind Chill

This "scary movie" was so boring that they didn't even bother giving the two main characters names. The entire film takes place on a snowy road where a girl is broken down in her car. A boy comes along to help her out ad at one point a preacher also tries to help, but they all fail. Weird things start happening and she is cold and scared and will probably die and take us with her. It's a big snore fest that I laughed at when it ended.

The credits read "Girl. Boy. Eel Puppeteer." I kid you not.

MTV Movie Awards

I went to the MTV Movie Awards today in Hollywood and it was nothing short of amazing. I got assigned to be in the pit,which is as close to the stage as you can get. Award winner Jared Leto from the band 30 Seconds To Mars gave me a high five. Zedd took the stage and did an amazing song. It was nearly 3 hour event hosted by the amazing Conan that I will never forget. It was followed by after parties in Hollywood that were equally awesome as well. It was beautiful in every sense of the word, and something I would suggest anyone attend given the opportunity.

I was surrounded by the top filmmakers and actors in the entire world. Some of them I did not even recognize until they were pointed out to me, and even then I did not always know who they were either. I was next to some producer who’s name I could not remember even if my life depended on it. I could see the usual recognized names in the audience, and of course, Conan O’Brien was hosting. He was a great, humorous host. You got the feeling he could and would say anything at any given moment, and most of the time he did just that.

I was in the pit. If you’ve never been to a event with a pit, it’s a place basically surrounding the stage and you’re crammed next to a bunch of people you’ve never met and would probably never care to meet, and several you may cross the street in order to avoid meeting in the first place. Of course, I’m kidding, but not really.

The lighting of the stage and smoke and special effects were second to none. And even though by the end of the evening everyone in the pit was soaked in sweat and each others DNA I don’t think it will be an evening any of us will forget any time soon.

Fundraising for the Arts 101

You have a very worthy artistic project. You are passionate about it. You believe in it. And, you can vividly imagine sharing it with others, perhaps even the whole world! Unfortunately, your vision requires cash flow and without it, your project along with your zeal, are easily shelved and forgotten. It's time to dust off those old projects and create the means to make them happen!

A prerequisite for asking for money from others is learning to be comfortable doing so. If you are simply not comfortable selling yourself, your craft, or your vision, you must find someone who not only shares your vision as passionately as you do, but who also knows how to get others interested enough to open their checkbooks and put your name on the line marked "payee!"

It's also easier to get people to fund art projects if you are non-profit. Non-profit status, while obtainable, comes with much documentation, the legal creation of an organization, pulling together a board, writing by-laws and so on. Since most artists just want to create, it may seem like an insurmountable task. It's far easier to link yourself with a non-profit organization already established in your area. Most organizations would be pleased to hear about your project and upon approval, simply lend their name to you in a show of support. It gives your project credibility and gives their organization more visibility as well as another feather to tuck into their hat.

Once you decide who is going to do the fundraising for your project, it's important to establish how you will present the project to whom you will be soliciting. What is the name of the project? Why is it artistically and culturally important? Who is your target audience? How much money do you need?

These are the types of questions potential investors, especially those from the business sector, will want to know. (Question: is it possible to have an investor that's not from the "business sector?") Be prepared. Prepare a budget, a time line of activities, and the direct benefits to not only the community, but to the investors as well.

While there are a few investors who will back your artistic endeavor simply because they appreciate art, most will want recognition for their contribution. It's important to have a clear layout of just how investors will be given credit. At what levels of contribution will credit be given in the publicity campaign? Who will be given recognition in the programs or from the podium at the opening? Will investors receive free admission to see the final product?

Once you have solid information about your fund raising campaign put together, the very best way to begin is to go to the people you know first. Make the time to meet with them in person Why? Simply put, personal friends have a hard time saying no while you are standing right there in front of them. Is it awful to rely on someone's inability to say no to fund your project? Absolutely not. (If you feel guilty about it, then please, please find someone else to do your fundraising for you.)

Starting with personal friends will get you going on a positive note, and will give you the confident attitude you'll need, when you approach strangers with direct requests. As you begin getting commitments for funding, keep a current list of those who are contributing with you. Make sure it is either typed or handwritten in large enough type, that even if someone were looking at it upside down, they'd be able to see who is contributing, and at what level they have invested.

Make sure at every sit down with everyone you are requesting money from, the list of contributors available for the potential investor to peruse. Personal ego is a huge factor in the game of fund raising. Most people, especially business minded people, will want to see their company and/or personal name on that list. Some will even scan it to see at what level their competitors have invested and either match, or seek to surpass it.

In case someone doesn't see the list, you may have to casually refer to it. For instance, if the investor says they'll contribute at $100, you could glance at the list and say, "Oh, great! That's the same amount so-and-so gave." The investor will either be really pleased they are in the same league as so-and-so, or it may very well encourage them to up the ante.

Keep in mind, businesses operating at a national level, or resources offering grants may require a longer lead time to acquire funds. Be prepared to fill out applications, write essays, plan ahead, and submit final reports with meticulous attention to detail. I'm not writing this to discourage you from heading in this direction to obtain funding; I'm writing it because I want you to be prepared. There is a reason many grant funding resources offer grant writing classes. If you have never written a grant before, I strongly encourage you to take one of these classes, or find someone who has experience dealing with the particular resource you would like to receive funds from.

Of course, there are more passive ways to raise money for your project. The tried and true methods of offering goods or a service for cash can make a difference. Car washes and bake sales are most common and frankly, in this writer's opinion, a lot of work for the money gained.

If you want to offer goods or services to raise money for an artistic project, be creative about it. How about an art auction, a wine tasting, or better yet, an art auction with a wine tasting. An offer for art classes also goes over great, especially in the summer, when kids are out of school and parents are looking for activities to get them out of the house. Host a show at a local club, call on your friends, (musicians, poets, dancers, singers, comedians) to perform, and bring in fellow media artists to either show or create art on the spot. With all proceeds from the cover charge going directly to your non-profit project, who would miss it?

Remember no matter what you plan, do your best to get anything you may need for fundraising donated for the cause. Not only can your get people to donate their time to the cause, it can't hurt to ask local businesses to donate any goods you may need to make these events happen. During the planning stages, before you spend any money out of pocket for anything, and I mean anything, be sure it can't be donated first.

Nothing is too small of a request. Do you need paper for flyers? Go to the local office supply store and ask. Plastic wine glasses for the tasting? Talk to a local party supply store. It never hurts to ask for anything you may need as a donation. At the very worst, you'll be told no. Maybe you'll get the items for free, maybe at a discount. Remember, you are requesting people to fund your project. Spending their money responsibly and saving money on non-project related items will show in the final production and it will be appreciated by those who invested. They will be proud to see you succeed and will be eager to attach their names to your next project.

Finally, and most importantly, when requesting money from individuals or businesses, be they personal acquaintances or not, you must be extremely grateful for any monetary amount, service or goods contributed. Sending a handwritten thank you within two days of your meeting will send a positive message, making it that much easier next time you approach them. Be sure to specifically include what they contributed and how it made a difference to your project.

Boehner Dances on the (Debt) Ceiling

You may have heard that Speaker of the House John Boehner has announced that without an agreement to big cuts in Federal spending the Republicans will not permit the raising of the ceiling on U.S. debt. This would mean that the government would be unable to pay its bills and would default on its loans, with economic panic and catastrophe likely to follow. It's an interesting bargaining strategy, roughly like trying to win an argument with your spouse by saying that if you don't get your way you will drive the car off a cliff with both of you inside it. A bit risky, you think?

Ah, the debt ceiling. In simpler times, it was a source of entertainment for people in Washington…and practically no one else cared. Those were the days.

When the U.S. government runs a deficit, that borrowing is added to the national debt. Unlike most countries, the U.S. puts a legal ceiling on the total debt. But since there has been a Federal budget deficit in all but four (1998-2001) of the last forty years (see Table 1.1),the debt has increased almost every year, and eventually the ceiling has had to be raised.

This gave the party out of power a chance to embarrass the party in the White House, by making speeches about fiscal responsibility and refusing to vote for the increase. All good clean family fun, but everyone knew it was a charade: the increased borrowing was for spending that had already been approved by Congress, and no one was willing to risk financial apocalypse by refusing to pay the bills.

That's the way it stood until the freshman Republicans in the House arrived in January. Now Boehner is saying that while it would irresponsible not to raise the debt limit, it would be even more irresponsible not to do something about the deficit. We're hearing again about future generations, and how they will thank us for cutting spending on education and infrastructure and, if you're now under 55, your future Medicare benefits (or is that last one on hold?).

Boehner surely knows that the debt problem wasn't created by the Democrats alone. Even if he somehow missed the $3.2 trillion increase in the debt ceiling under the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, he was in Congress when the administration of George W. Bush got increases in the ceiling on seven separate occasions, totaling $5.4 trillion (see Table 7.3 here). The current national debt is $14.3 trillion, meaning that the last three Republican administrations have accounted for 60 percent of it.

Some of the newbies in Congress, however, remain blissfully innocent (or, to be less polite, stunningly ignorant) of this history. Rep. Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina has already had his fifteen minutes of fame by telling The New York Times that increasing the debt ceiling was Democrats' problem: "It's their debt. Make them do it. That's my attitude."

So hold onto your hats. It's going to be an interesting ride. Let's hope it's not over a cliff.

Office of Management and Budget, "Historical Tables," The White House
Jackie Calmes, "Fight Over Debt Ceiling Looms for Congress and Obama," NYTimes .com

Miley Cyrus Movie Set Photos; Are Photos Too Hot for Her Age?

It doesn't take much for Miley Cyrus to strike a provocative pose: A little tilt of the head; a sly, furtive glance with those big brown eyes and her flowing hair cascading over a bare shoulder are all it takes to set Internet tongues wagging.

Director Adam Shankman, who is helming Miley's latest film, 'The Last Song," thought he was having a little innocent fun – or so he claims — when he posted photos today (June 23) just like that of the 16-year-old on his Twitter page.

Apparently he was unaware that a half dozen photos of the church-going, self-professed virgin, had already leaked on the Internet in various provocative poses, causing a major scandal. Then, there were those semi-nude poses for Vanity Fair magazine.

Now countless blogs are wagging their collective finger at Shakman and asking whether the photos are age appropriate for the teen sensation. In one shot, she is wearing a tank top and pressing her back against his chest. Her look is smokingly seductive. He has a knowing look on his face.

In the other photo, she is squatting in a chair, her legs wide apart, although concealed by the chair back. Her hair rolls down her back and across her face. She has a hand on her head, and her back is arched. Her eyes are heavy lidded and loaded with mascara. Read more, see the photos here and vote.

Nicholas Andre Dance Theater