Archive for the ‘Julie Marsella’ Tag

Mother of Dragons   Leave a comment

On Saturday October 12, 2013, I went north from my home in Phoenix to the beautiful town of Sedona, Arizona in order to attend the Sedona Art Festival.  I am not that big an art aficionado–yes, I enjoy looking at art, and yes, I sometimes commission the creation of fantasy art for Tunnels and Trolls products, but ordinarily, I would not drive more than 100 miles to spend money to look at expensive art.  I did it this time because my niece, Angela St. Andre, brought her metal sculptures down from Salt Lake City, Utah, to exhibit and try to sell them here.

St. Andre women lost in a forest of metallic creatures.

St. Andre women lost in a forest of metallic creatures.

Much of the Arizona St. Andre family came out to see her.  My brother, Brian, and his wife Donna went up.  My sisters Julie and Neloa, and their husbands Jim and Jerome came by.  My mother, Evelyn, came with Jim and Julie.  My niece Kerina was there with her fiance Gary.  My other niece, Kris and her children were present.  I brought my son James along with me.  It was quite a gathering of the clan.  These people can all be seen on my Facebook page.  Uncle Ken had 3 nieces there at one time, and I’m happy to say they are all beautiful and talented young ladies.

But this blog is about Angela.  She has been perfecting her art as a metal sculptress for a decade now, and she is very good, and very innovative.  She just got married to  Joe Coleman, but he didn’t make the trip with her.  She had to move all this metal herself.  On the one hand, I’m sorry for her.  On the other hand I admire her tremendously, not only because she’s an aritist, but also because she does what it takes to get her art out in front of the people.

I took a couple of pictures of her with her biggest creations.

Angela with sea serpent. This sculpture is 8 feet long, about 3 feet high, very curvy, and available for only $6000.

Angela with sea serpent. This sculpture is 8 feet long, about 3 feet high, very curvy, and available for only $6000.

Angela is very good with fantasy.  All of her creations, robins, bears, flying pigs, horny toads, armadillos, sea serpents, wizards, and dragons have style.

Angela St. Andre is a dragonfriend. This guy is one of the cutest dragon's you'll ever see., and he can be yours for a mere $2500.

Angela St. Andre is a dragonfriend. This guy is one of the cutest dragon’s you’ll ever see., and he can be yours for a mere $2500.

Saturday was a beautiful day in Sedona, and I was glad to be able to spend part of it hanging out with Angela, Mother of Dragons.

And here's a shot of me with one of her smaller creations, the one I bought and took home with me.

And here’s a shot of me with one of her smaller creations, the one I bought and took home with me.

Actually, I didn’t spend the whole day with Angela or my family. I walked around and saw a lot of other really amazing art up there. I especially liked the painted wooden carvings and figurines from Oaxaca, Mexico. I took some pictures of other great art, too, but was having some trouble with the camera. Somehow it thinks all the pix have to have 1 or more megabytes of memory, and it is only a 15 mb camera.  Gotta find out what’s wrong, and get the pix back down to a couple hundred kb before I go shooting things again.

If you know any sculptors or sculptresses, or if you like metal art and have any, why not go ahead and leave a comment? If you saw anything cool at the Sedona Art Festival, you might also leave a comment.

–end

Birthday Bash   1 comment

Some people really know how to throw a great party.  I’m not one of those people, but when I get a chance to go to such an affair, I take it.  My brother-in-law, Jim Marsella, is such a person.  Jim is a very high-powered guy, and he married my sister Julie, and once in a while he does something that I can tag along for.  So, actually, this isn’t my story today, it’s part of Jim’s story, and I’m just one of the extras in this part of the movie.  To follow this party, and see much better pictures of it than I was able to take, find my page on Facebook and scroll down.  I’d post some of those pictures here, but Facebook has done something to make stuff posted there not re-usable elsewhere–just another reason I really don’t like Facebook.  I use it as a necessary evil, but I don’t like it.

Jim and Julie are really the stars of this party, and they got to enjoy one special dance together with all eyes on them.

Jim and Julie are really the stars of this party, and they got to enjoy one special dance together with all eyes on them. (Picture taken by Brian St. Andre, & he wasn’t using his best camera.)

The party took place at the Elk’s Hall in Tempe, Arizona between 5 p.m. and midnight on Saturday, April 20, 2013 to celebrate Jim turning 60.  Ironically, his actual birthday is about a month earlier, but he picked this date for a public celebration in order to give people time to come from all over the country.  It is also the exact birthday of his daughter, Lisa, who came in from Florida to be there.

The external setting was bizarre.  I didn't even know that Tempe had an industrial district, much less any buildings this futuristic and bizarre, but what would one expect of a place located on Industrial Park Road?

The external setting was bizarre. I didn’t even know that Tempe had an industrial district, much less any buildings this futuristic and bizarre, but what would one expect of a place located on Industrial Park Road?

I'd be willing to bet that of the dozens of cameras at this event, no one else took a picture of tghe front door.  I don't remember ever actually going into one of these places before, so I wanted some proof.  It's a flat, southwestern style building with a big parking lot.  You wouldn't guess what's inside unless you've been there before.

I’d be willing to bet that of the dozens of cameras at this event, no one else took a picture of the front door. I don’t remember ever actually going into one of these places before, so I wanted some proof. It’s a flat, southwestern style building with a big parking lot. You wouldn’t guess what’s inside unless you’ve been there before.

My mother, Evelyn St. Andre had a place of honor at the St. Andre table.  At 86, she is the oldest living member of the St. Andre clan that I'm aware of.  The scary thing is, I'm second oldest.

My mother, Evelyn St. Andre had a place of honor at the St. Andre table. At 86, she is the oldest living member of the St. Andre clan that I’m aware of. The scary thing is, I’m second oldest.

The man in the black shirt in the center is our host and also Guest of Honor, Jim Marsella.  The man in the gray shirt in the foreground is Matt Marsella, one of his sons.

The man in the black shirt in the center is our host and also Guest of Honor, Jim Marsella. The man in the gray shirt in the foreground is Matt Marsella, one of his sons.  The woman in Lavendar is Lisa, Jim’s daughter, and birthday girl for the night. I don’t know the woman in polka dots, though I did get to dance with her briefly later in the party.

These are Jim's birthday cakes.  At least one was chocolate.  I'm watching my weight, and didn't get to eat any of them. Well, I was already full when the cakes were cut, and I passed them by.

These are Jim’s birthday cakes. At least one was chocolate. I’m watching my weight, and didn’t get to eat any of them. Well, I was already full when the cakes were cut, and I passed them by.

Here is Jim showing off one of his presents.  Jim works for Volkswagen, and his life sort of revolves around cars.  He has some of the most beautiful, hot, sexy cars in the city of Phoenix.  The Garage sign is a bit of a joke, but has a basis in fact.

Here is Jim showing off one of his presents. Jim works for Volkswagen, and his life sort of revolves around cars. He has some of the most beautiful, hot, sexy cars in the city of Phoenix. The Garage sign is a bit of a joke, but has a basis in fact.

This was a party where dancing was a big attraction.  My brother, Brian--he of the desert hikes--and his wife Donna were among the first on the dancefloor, where they always look very good.  Unlike me, Brian can really dance--he studies it, and practices every week at local dance halls.

This was a party where dancing was a big attraction. My brother, Brian–he of the desert hikes–and his wife Donna were among the first on the dancefloor, where they always look very good. Unlike me, Brian can really dance–he studies it, and practices every week at local dance halls.

My sister Julie is the blonde.  I think she looks like a biker babe in sparkly sleeveless blouse and blue jeans.  She was the hostess with the mostest.  The other woman is one of her Cruise friends, and I don't know her, and didn't meet her.

My sister Julie is the blonde. I think she looks like a biker babe in sparkly sleeveless blouse and blue jeans. She was the hostess with the mostest. The other woman is one of her Cruise friends, and I don’t know her, and didn’t meet her.  Brian is either watching the back wall, or wondering what I’m taking a picture of.

The first entertainer of the night was none other than Elvis, the King of Rock and Roll.  Actually, it was  Bret Kaiser, the best Elvis tribute artist in Arizona, and he put on a very fine show.

The first entertainer of the night was none other than Elvis, the King of Rock and Roll. Actually, it was Bret Kaiser, the best Elvis tribute artist in Arizona, and he put on a very fine show.

I think this is the only picture of me you get in this blog. To prove I was really there, I had Brian take this shot of me with "Elvis" in the background.  It's hard to judge exactly how much to smile for a posed shot.

I think this is the only picture of me you get in this blog. To prove I was really there, I had Brian take this shot of me with “Elvis” in the background. It’s hard to judge exactly how much to smile for a posed shot.

The next few shots are of "Elvis".  He was the big star of the evening--other than Jim.  Among the songs he did were "Fools Rush In" and "Heartbreak Hotel."

The next few shots are of “Elvis”. He was the big star of the evening–other than Jim. Among the songs he did were “Fools Rush In” and “Heartbreak Hotel.”

Donna St. Andre got the Elvis treatment with some flirting and a silk scarf to keep.  So did Julie and my mom, and quite a few of the women in the audience.  I got a handshake, but I could photograph that.  Jim ran around providing "Elvis" with fresh scarves as he wooed one woman after another in the audience.

Donna St. Andre got a silk scarf from "Elvis".  So did my mom, Julie, and about half the women in the room.  Men got a handshake.

Donna St. Andre got a silk scarf from “Elvis”. So did my mom, Julie, and about half the women in the room. Men got a handshake.

"Elvis" is singing to my Mom.

“Elvis” is singing to my Mom.

This is my sister Neloa and her husband Jerome Beeler.  They came down for the party from Payson, more than 100 miles, but nothing compared to people on Jim's side of the family, some of whom came from Detroit, Boston, and Florida.

This is my sister Neloa and her husband Jerome Beeler. They came down for the party from Payson, more than 100 miles, but nothing compared to people on Jim’s side of the family, some of whom came from Detroit, Boston, and Florida.

I'm just taking pictures of the pretty women at the party.  These two are Kerina St. Andre Fitzgeral (my niece) on the left, and Jennifer Embody on the right.

I’m just taking pictures of the pretty women at the party. These two are Kerina St. Andre Fitzgeral (my niece) on the left, and Jennifer Embody on the right.

Party games.  This one is called "Stuff It" and this is winner Jim Marsala with 81 ballons in his shirt.

Party games. This one is called “Stuff It” and this is winner Jim Marsala with 81 ballons in his shirt.

Tom Garrett, lead singer for the band the Classics IV during the band's later stages of its existence.  He is a very good singer.

Tom Garrett, lead singer for the band the Classics IV during the band’s later stages of its existence. He is a very good singer.

At 9 p.m. the final band for the evening came on, a local group called "Come back, Buddy."  They are  a tribute band that peform in the style of the late great Buddy Holly, though they also like to do Elvis material.

At 9 p.m. the final band for the evening came on, a local group called “Come back, Buddy.” They are a tribute band that peform in the style of the late great Buddy Holly, though they also like to do Elvis material.

My last picture shows the lovely Kerina rocking and rolling.  The two children in the center are Zack and Haley.  They belong to my niece, Kris, and I guess they're grand nephew and niece.

The Belles of the Ball: from left to right: Donna St. Andre, Kris Eckert, Lisa Marsella, Haley Eckert (child), and Kerina St. Andre Fitzgerld.

Come back Buddy was still belting out the rock and roll with Jim Marsella on the drums when I decided to go home at 10:30 p.m.  It was a fine party that I enjoyed very much.  Happy birthday to Jim and Lisa and also another guest named Charley Parker whose birthday was also that Saturday.  I ate, I sang, I danced, and I talked to family and friends.  It was a very successful, very fun party, and I’m glad I went.

If you’ve been to a good party lately, why not leave a comment and tell what made it good?

–end