Thursday, January 23, 2014

Hannah Mermaid Dreams Fantasy Into Reality

Photo copyright Kristian Schmidt 2012

Your eyes do not deceive you... a magical mythical mermaid has taken form in our modern realm. With numerous creative undersea adventures, this mermaid travels the globe to be the focal point of stunning imagery in print and in film. The ethereal  'Hannah Mermaid,' is the world's premier professional mermaid and underwater dancer. In thoughtful collaboration with photographers and filmmakers worldwide, Hannah Fraser brings attention to the endangered species of the world's oceans in a most daring and alluring way. I have asked Hannah to allow me to use some of the images from her website to highlight her unique life's work. Hannah has graciously given me permission to share with you some of the most spectacular and exquisite photographs you will ever view. Dive in and enjoy! Lose yourself in the videos lower down on this page and enter an enchanted world few of us get to experience or even understand. You will be entirely mesmerized! Artists paint and illustrate lovely mermaids... although they cannot compare to the reality of this visionary fantasy come true!

Photo copyright Kristian Schmidt 2012

Many of the talented photographers and filmmakers who work with Hannah share her mission to help the creatures of our world's seas. Links to the talented photographers' sites are at the end of this post. Be sure to visit these accomplished professionals and you will be amazed and fascinated at what you will see! You will find an abundance of incredible images in their underwater portfolios. 

Photo copyright Kristian Schmidt 2012

Beyond Hannah's obvious natural beauty there is much she had to learn and endure to give those photos underwater magic. Imagine holding your breath underwater. How did your face look? Kinda like a puffer fish? How long can you do breathe underwater before popping up to get air? Training herself as a young girl in underwater breathing techniques, Hannah Fraser now does free diving, has her scuba certificate, and knows how to buddy breathe when on deep dives wearing her tail. On one photo shoot she had to be tied to a rock on the cold ocean floor only getting air from her buddy in between takes. In addition to needing a constant source of air, you must consider that ocean currents, waves, sharp rocks, and sharks, can be hazards in this unyielding environment too. Yet, what results is this extraordinary miraculous communion with whales and manta rays, captured by the tenacious photographers and filmmakers of the daring Hannah Mermaid. Totally comfortable in her under sea environment, Hannah's art and skill makes what she does look completely effortless. Hannah easily reflects natural emotion and fluid elegance interacting with her large sea companions.

Photo copyright Shawn Heinrichs 2012

Hannah Mermaid's true gift is that she allows us to imagine we could be freely floating beneath the sea among the captivating creatures along with her. Hannah comments, "I'd like to help awaken people to their personal experience of creative play, where the lines of fantasy and reality blend. Being a mermaid is my lifelong expression of joy. I hope everyone finds their own passion...  and lives it!" 

Photo copyright

Always drawn to the sea, this creative goddess drew her first mermaid at 3 years old, and constructed her first mermaid tail at age nine from an orange tablecloth. Child soul vision made manifest!

"Hannah age 9" Credit:

Hannah continues to create the handmade gorgeous sparkling tails she wears herself! 

Photo credit:
Observe the sensational gifted work Hannah does in making her own mermaid tails in the photo collage above! She does not make mermaid tails for anyone else as the money needed for materials, the difficulty in fitting to the body, and it's taking four months of time to construct is prohibitive... unless you have $20,000.00! There are tips on her FAQ page if you'd like to give it a try at your house!

Painting copyright by Hannah Fraser

A modern Renaissance woman Hannah is a fashion model, performance artist, environmental activist, artist, costume designer, photographer, educator, and a professional mermaid. Pretty darn cool!

Photo credit:

Living as a mermaid is a vision Hannah has held in her mind since childhood. She lives her unique dream with passion! Be sure to go to the Hannah Mermaid website and read the FAQ page to learn more interesting details about being an actual professional mermaid. Not your average job; there are many variables to consider before making the plunge.

Photo copyright Shawn Heinrichs 2012

Hannah explains her life mission in this way: "Being in the ocean is where I feel the most free and expressive. You can feel the connection and abundance of life around you as they move with the same currents, work symbiotically to survive, and adapt to suit their environment. Most sea animals are curious and interested in the humans that enter their world with respect. The ocean is the birthplace of life on Earth, and if I can be a visual link to inspire other humans who have become disconnected from this amazing world, I feel I have done something worthwhile."

The whale population has been pushed towards extinction and even with bans on hunting whales, many nations continue to kill these gentle giants. A film short called 'Betrayal' speaks to the sadness, starring Hannah Fraser and humpback whales, it was filmed by Shawn Heinrichs and is on Vimeo. 

The whale shark in photo below is the world's largest fish and was part of the first conservation fashion shoot between Sean Heinrichs, Kristian Schmidt, and Hannah Fraser.

Photo copyright Shawn Heinrichs 2012

The gentle lyrical Manta Rays are often wrongly confused with the sting ray that killed Steve Irwin. Divers and snorkelers know better, and look forward to their exciting encounters with this huge graceful animal. Unfortunately the Mantas are being over fished for their gills, and their limited reproductive biology cannot keep up with the demand. Witness the video below to see the elegance of Hannah Fraser and the manta together in 'Mantas Last Dance.'

Mantas Last Dance from Blue Sphere Media on Vimeo.

Along with bringing attention to whales and manta rays by her spectacular photo shoots and film work, Hannah dedicates a percentage of her earnings as a mermaid towards ocean conservation charities. Some of the key people involved in the conservation process have been photographer Kristian SchmidtShawn Heinrichs, Richard Branson, Blue Sphere Foundation and the un-named capable crews of people that are needed to create such important artistic projects. Many dedicate their time and work towards the end goal of protection for these magnificent giants of the sea. Below the brilliant Emmy Award winning film maker and photographer Shawn Heinrichs talks about making an underwater film, and his concern to protect the endangered creatures of the sea that propels his work forward. Please go to this Blue Sphere Media blog page to view more images and learn more about the environmental projects of Shawn Heinrichs. Now is the time to bring your voice to help these creatures of the sea thrive and survive by clicking through the links listed at the end of this post.

The making of "Mantas Last Dance" from NINETEEN87 on Vimeo.

I hope you have enjoyed this peek at an unusual performance artist that creates not only fantasy art in real life, but uses her beauty and talent to bring sobering attention to the oceans' environmental issues! Please visit Hannah Fraser's website to learn more about her inspiring work and continuing creative projects. May your dream bring you as much joy as this living mermaid brings to others!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Unicorn Love And My Magical Garden Spire Totem

Fell in love with an object at first sight one evening. Living in the material world can do that to you sometimes! Actually it's an object d'art! So I guess that makes it better! You see... Once upon a time an enchanted Unicorn was living in a small tea shop, in the fancy cups section, within a mystical tall glass garden totem. It sparkled and shined, calling me to take it home. In a wink of an eye, I was immediately entranced by this very unique recycled glass creation. Unicorns are quite magical and represent all that is good. So naturally I made my plan to make the fabulous creature part of our happy home. Alas the store was not open and I stared through the window, longing for the beautiful glass Unicorn shimmering under the streetlights to be mine. I asked the King if he thought we would have enough time to stop back in Frederick the next day on route to our already planned destination. He thought it was possible, if we left home early. Please, no one buy my Unicorn treasure before I return to the little shop in downtown Frederick called "Voila!"

Excited, grateful, and relieved was how I felt when I saw the gleaming Unicorn still waiting for me in the window as we approached the next day! We immediately asked the sales person to remove it from the window display. After we made our purchase, I clutched my royal Unicorn scepter as we walked to the car, and lovingly wrapped it with the additional fabric from a jacket in the back seat. I was told that the garden totems they had displayed were made by two retired art teachers, Veronica Nehemias and Gail Padgett. They call their gorgeous glass work 'Garden Spires.' A perfect name for something sold in the Frederick area since the charming town is known for its church spires. These two artists certainly have a sense of whimsical design. They succeeded in making the different found objects relate to one another and create an object of beauty in my spire. Art lovingly envisioned from discarded items! Well done! 

Arriving home after a hike, I unwrapped the Unicorn spire. Then placed it in different large pots in the sunroom, till I found just the right spot for this radiant beauty. Since I have grand kids, the placement must be considered carefully due to the delicate nature of such a glass item. Pieced together with non colored glass items, I particularly love the monochromatic look of this dazzling garden spire. The handsome mix of frosted and clear glass is perfect, and I am quite fond of the small perfume bottle on top. A vintage mix of plates, vases, serving cups, and perhaps a glass shade, this spire picks up the light of the sun differently during various times of the day. An inspired arrangement as the Unicorn sitting inside made it totally magical! Love it! Every time I look upon that little frosty Unicorn I smile. It has become a sparkling focal point in our sunroom. 

I had seen inventive garden ornaments for the first time a few weeks before, when my sister in law had posted photos of the china and glass totems she had seen while walking the Shepardstown W.V. garden tour. Here's a few of her photos of those unpredictable one of a kind garden spires in their natural element. Hmmm some have tags from the seller.

When I viewed these photos she shared I thought it was a fantastic and creative idea. I hoped to acquire one myself someday for the little Hobbit House. So much fun! It's cheerfulness on a stick!

Wow! My power to manifest is amazing! I now have my own gorgeous garden totem with a stunning Unicorn to enjoy! Little did I know it would be made by the same artists who made the ones that you see here, as I just checked out the name on those hang tags. Yes, they are made by 'Garden Spires.'

Cool. I also really love their Garden Spires with the stacked fanciful tea pots, cups, and saucers. They remind me of the Mad Hatter and Alice in Wonderland. Definitely need one of those too! Other totems have a completely silly sense of humor with chickens or squirrels under glass. Who knew?

You can see there are usually vases or bottles on the bottom of these garden spires to hold the rod that goes into the ground. The heavy metal rod comes with the purchase of the Garden Spires.

After all of this I am considering making a garden totem myself, as my daughter likes to hang out at auctions, where she reports anything made of glass goes pretty cheaply. Perhaps when we are cleaning out the basement this winter, I shall discover some other interesting glass or china for my own totem project. I'll be saving those wine bottles! In the interim I searched the internet for some information on this "new to me" D.I.Y. craft project.

I found a wonderful tutorial at a blog called October Farm, for making your own glass garden totems. The writer at October Farm recommended having your plates and cups face downward so they do not pool with water if placed in outside gardens. That way you keep away mosquitos. I have also read on craft forums one should use GE CLEAR Silicone II caulk which is made for doors and windows. Another option is using 'Aleenes Outdoor glue' for your project. Everyone suggests that you be sure to clean the area to be glued with alcohol first. I might opt to wear latex gloves to keep the glue off my skin and to grip to the breakable glass or china. Another blog called 'The Empress Of Dirt 'also has a tutorial and videos for making glass garden totems here. That's a great name!

Seems I opened up a whole new world of art investigating this crafty upcycling project for my sunroom and garden. I have gathered videos on various recycled garden art projects with tips and techniques, in case you are now thinking of making your own funky junk glass garden spikes, as there are number of creative ways to use the discarded plates and vases. Some of the people may not have the best sense of design, but you can still get the basic idea of how putting old glass objects together works for making something new.
The upside down glass bowl mushroom that you see in this video below would look cool in a trio of various sizes among garden plantings, other spike designs, fairies, and maybe a garden gnome, or two.

Garden flowers made from recycled plates might look good in the fairy garden too if they matched whatever color family you chose for your totem and mushroom designs. 

Go wild! You could even make huge reclaimed glass art sculptures as seen in the video below. It really gets the mind to thinking! Time to look at old stuff in a new way!

Upcycling makes great re-use of all kinds of decorative objects. Perhaps old junk can even save the world! Well at least it's a great way to hang onto those semi-precious glass and china items other members in your house might think are useless trash! I will let you know If I get a collection of found objects together to make my enchanted mythical Unicorn a friend! It could happen! Sweet dreams, and believe in your power of visualizing and manifesting. Magic happens, and so does art!

Photo credits: Crystal and Brande.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

We Are All In This Together. Peace Is The Way.

Carl Sagan's calming voice explains the way of our world so beautifully. Consider all of the implications of our choices, within personal relationships, and within global relationships. Most people want peace in the world, with each other, and with other countries. It is a small minority of people that gain wealth and power from unrest, through their monetary investments in corporations and banks. We can choose to no longer support them in their endeavors, their plans for us, war upon others for mineral rights, and enslavement of people to manufacture stuff cheaply. Chemical, oil, and energy companies pollute the world, the oceans, the land, the air, and our food. What can we do? Find an area of interest to you, and make your change upon it. Together we are strong. We are not helpless.

They may have passed a law stating that corporations are people. They are not. They are not Spirit having a human experience. The corporation is simply an illusion in this world. That which never changes is real. That is Spirit. Corporations will end. Our bodies will die. Our Spirit is filled with the sum of our thoughts, deeds, and memories. Let's make our short period of time on the pale blue dot a good one. Have compassion for all including yourself, and spread peace. Start with your own heart, and feel peace. Be good to you, and follow your passion for change. Live it with peace.

Today is Global Oneness Day. They have it every year. You can visit their website here, to listen to inspirational talks by the speakers that are involved. Initial event is free.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Free Peace Signs To Celebrate Global Oneness Day

Peace, love, and joy are important elements to any life. The Painting Queen is having a giveaway of digital peace signs, so you can spread the love! We do this in celebration of visualizing peace all ways. Each of the 7 peace signs are 1800 by 1800 pixels. Download by clicking on the image, if a plus sign appears, then click again, then right click "save as." The peace sign images are presented in PNG format which means the background is transparent. These PNG's are a gift. You may use them for promoting thoughts of peace in the world, within your own artwork, and peace filled creations. I am planning on offering more freebies in the future, so stay tuned my friends. We have other big changes coming to this blog very soon. It's been four years and much has happened to the Queen! The energy is back and there are things to do!

Lately I have been busy on my sister blog "The Queens Table" doing a redesign project. Of course I plan on doing a redesign here to The Painting Queen blog too!!! If you have been over to the food blog, you may already know that is where I share healthy recipes and tips. The information on the Queens Table is what I used to get healthy again, plus lose 76 pounds during the past two years! So if you find that you are suffering from unhealthy lifestyle ways, please visit me there as well. I am happy to help point you in the right direction, and assist you in feeling better about your self.


Global Oneness Day 2013 hosts a series of uplifting talks all day on October 24th with some of the most inspirational people on the planet. Register and tune in if you want to change your inner vibration. Click here to sign up for this free online summit.

"Peace comes within the souls of men when they realize their 
oneness with the universe."  - Black Elk

"Be the change you wish to see!" - Ghandi

Peace. Start with your self. 
Spread that energy and light.
Shine On!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

My Favorite Sparkling Storybook Fae

To celebrate my fairy daughter's birthday, Fairy Queen Grandriel made a secret story book to keep magical fae memories! My little fairy is now the "Keeper" of two sprites herself and has the mighty job of keeping track of plenty of sparkling fairy dust. I thought this would make a good project idea for a fairy grandmother (as if I don't have any others). So now I will have to make other pages! Oh my!

My old 35mm Nikon finally died. Still I was inspired by a photo taken by my tiny 'coolpix' camera at an 'Art In The Park' event where the grand children were playing on a big rock. Since I have not posted much about the grandchildren for awhile, I guess it's time to enthrall you, as we grandmothers do! 

You can see our Princess Aowyn is quite lost in thought deciding if she is going "here" or "there!"

Happiness found while making a flower from recycled water bottles. Serious business!

Yes, we both got our hands deep into the glitter and glue! Every good fairy simply must find glitter stuck to various bits of skin and clothing the rest of the day don't cha' know.

Multi-talented guitarist husband known as "Ben Sherman Guitar" was playing solo acoustic style in the sunshine. The wee and the tall townsfolk came out to frolic on this beautiful early summer day up on bewitching Emerald Hill! I thought we lived in Lothlorian...Are we in OZ?

Everyone took to relaxing in the shade of the trees, except mommies of the tiny toddlers, who were running, climbing, and playing tag! This was a great family and kid friendly situation, which does not always happen for our gig life. A super opportunity to have the grandchildren join us.

So as soon as "Ben Sherman Guitar' was finished his musical set for the afternoon, his favorite fairy insisted he smell the beautiful plastic flower she made! Isn't that the best kind of fan!

There was a total of four gigs this past weekend! Later Ben and myself were off to a gig with the fabulous classic rock band "Hectic Red,"  and the next day with the Steely Dan Tribute Band "Technicolor Motor Home." (Who by the way, are going to be opening for 'Three Dog Night' on June 29th.) Until then, Grandriel and Grandalf savored the astonishing moments with the most adorable fae in all the land! Soak in the love, play in the glitter of life, and smell the magic flowers!

Credits: Digital artwork by Crystal Visions Art

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Thoughts From Alan Watts

One of the great philosophers of life. 
Love listening to him, as he is always relevant. 
Much can be found on You Tube, plus you can
learn and consider more at.... 

.....and then perhaps think of nothing at all.....

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Victorian Bed And Breakfast At 10 Clarke Place Frederick MD

During the Victorian Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts movement there was a love of beauty and nature that was reflected in all of the arts of that time period. The artists were rejecting the coming machine age. Upon entering 10 Clarke Place, a bed and breakfast in Frederick Maryland, I was immediately transported into the Victorian world of the Art Nouveau and Pre-Raphaelite painters. The experience felt as if I were in one of those famous romantic painter's homes. Resplendent in texture and color, comfortable without being stuffy, an abundance of period antiques invited you to immediately sit and relax. Every detail observed gave the impression of living in another time, and I was loving this house! This was the perfect retreat from modern living, be it to get away from an industrialized age, or the pervasive electronic technology of today! I was grateful to be in this magical space. We were welcomed into this glorious home by the vivacious owner and designer Monique. Ben and I knew we had come to the right place for our get-a-way weekend!

Once inside, I was thrilled to find the living room walls were covered in the finest wallpapers from Bradbury and Bradbury. These masterwork wallpapers have been favorites of mine for years. How wonderful to see the many layers and trims built up along the borders and onto the ceiling of this room up close. Gorgeous! The sofa and club chair reminded me of ones I once owned. I felt at home!

Every lamp, whether it hung from the ceiling, stood on a stand, or rested upon on a table, was unique. The lovely hostess and her husband have done an astounding job of decorating and restoring this beautiful period home. They are quite a team, and we get to enjoy the benefits of their creation.

We felt entirely fortunate to find such an amazing place to stay, given our short notice of a few days. Having just moved, living among boxes at the old castle, then being surrounded by the dig out from those boxes at 'Hobbit House,' we needed to get away! Our brains were fried, and this remarkable B and B turned out to be a sublime solution! A big thanks to my fantastic husband and his thoughtful idea! I did not know just how perfect it would be for me! The Queen was in her personal heaven.

Anyone who knows me, would be aware of my love of iridescent peacock feathers, as I have them all over my home in various displays. So imagine my awe and wonder, at seeing a dining room inspired by the famous Whistler/Leyland Peacock Room from the Freer Gallery Of Art in this home! Jaw dropping! Magnifique! The decorative artists who worked on the rooms of this house were indeed talented. Since that was my former profession too, I am happy to say they did it right! I am ready to sip a cup of green tea by this fireplace, please. Then off we went with Monique up the staircase to check out our room for the night. Passing a stained glass window, and another glorious lamp on the newel post, we turned into a long hallway. What is behind door number two?

We enter and once again I am floored at how this bedroom is so me!  A romantic twig bed that is just perfect for this Fairy Queen! Yes, it's another out-of-this world piece of romantic design by Monique.

Note the hand painted lace wall in the lightest whisper of color in the photo below. This is a time consuming faux glazing technique that is well worth the effort when done in such a subtle color scheme. The wonderful charming bedroom was also appointed with a large elaborate mirrored antique armoire wardrobe. Maybe it leads to Narnia! You can see The Queen is pleased!

After gushing about our room, we unpacked and decided to go for a walkabout in Frederick for the afternoon and evening. The weather was inviting and sunny, so we were off to enjoy the day!

Out past the porch swing and avenue of impeccable historic Victorian homes we went. We were quite happy there were no brown boxes in sight! Ahhh! This felt good!

We decided to start with the little shops of Shab Row and Everedy Square.

We meandered slowly through the quaint area, and sadly a few shops had already closed for the day. Still it was a good walk through the neighborhood.

Hungry, we stopped in the casual Frederick Coffee Co. And Cafe for some healthy and delicious veggie sandwiches. I think this was the best powerhouse type of sandwich I have ever eaten. You can see from their menu boards they have an excellent vegetarian selection. Which for a vegan is really important! We definitely will return to enjoy the food at this cafe again! Now, if they could add a fresh green juice, and green smoothie bar that would be awesome!!!

Check out the vintage coffee grinder sitting in the corner of the room.

As evening set in we drove uptown towards Market street. I always love the view of the church spires from atop this parking garage on Church Street. We seem to be floating in the clouds.

Gee I wish we had gotten to this art gallery below earlier, but we were not on a schedule, just wandering...there is always much to do and see in downtown Frederick! Looks like we missed a very cool art show featuring psychedelic posters from the sixties.

As it became darker we headed back to our comfy B and B to relax and enjoy the surroundings. Moving past the whimsical fountain display, I had to peek at the walls in The Peacock room again!

Then we sat for awhile in the living room to take in that amazing wallpaper and room decor!

I love the tapestry drapes that hang from the entrance to each of the sitting rooms downstairs, as they really give the air of authenticity. Just look at that wooden hand carved decorative Victorian birdcage. What a beauty! Those fantastic giant palms are a nice touch too!

It's time to retire to our soothing room where sparkling water waits on the nightstand.

We awoke to the smell of breakfast in the air. Anyone want to take a long peaceful soak in the claw foot tub below? A glass enclosed shower stall, and hand painted sink on a marble topped chest was equally lovely in this light filled room. You can get pampered easily here.

Breakfast was served in the Peacock Room! As the morning light filtered through the windows I thought, "What a wonderful room to start our day!" More eye candy for me!

One of my favorite parts of going to a Bed and Breakfast along with the intimate settings is getting to know new people. So we invited Monique and her husband to join us for breakfast. I was fascinated by these people who would create such a lavish setting, and share it with guests. Just imagine going on antique hunts with Monique! We ran into her a few months later in town, and that was exactly what she was doing! She has the best eye for what works together! 
Below is my tasty mango smoothie!

Pictured is Ben's generous breakfast plate of Monique's home made chocolate waffles with strawberries, fresh whipped cream, and a side of bacon. I spy fresh muffins too! They were sent over from a neighboring B and B, so nice!

Since being diagnosed with breast cancer, I no longer meat. Monique provided me with fresh kiwi slices instead of bacon, and an extra helping of strawberries on my waffles! Yum! During breakfast some very nice friends of the owners stopped over, and we all sat around the dining table chatting and having some tea. I loved learning more about this home and the historic area.

After our divine breakfast it was time for us to go to a Renaissance festival in Annapolis for the day. We really enjoyed our stay, and we will return again... and probably 10 Clarke Place. The captivating setting, friendly hosts, and the fresh made food, provided us with all we could have wanted for our quick get-a-way weekend! Monique and her husband have lovingly restored this stunning home, and the care taken is evident in every exquisite detail, I think you will like it here too!

I have an idea, which is the only way they could improve on this Victorian immersion experience for me, this would be to create a bedroom dedicated to my favorite Art Nouveau graphic artist Alfonse Mucha! (See my old Mucha foyer here) Then perhaps scatter a few Pre-Raphaelite influenced paintings or tapestries throughout the home! Something like this, this or this. (Of course there are so many more...) The Painting Queen thinks such romantic artistry would fit nicely into a home based on such elegant beauty. So wonderful to live in our dreams! That is what this bed and breakfast does for me!

Ben and I can highly recommended this gem of a bed and breakfast at 10 Clarke Place that's nestled on a very quaint Victorian street in Frederick, Maryland. Once you step inside to this quieter place in time, you will be surrounded by the picturesque loveliness of another era. A breath of fresh air in a busy world. Dream on.