When In Doubt, Ad More Glitter – Advice from the Beauties of Blue Lotus


Part 1 – Street Beauty

I love Utah. But one thing about our state makes me sad. No matter where you go, you are guaranteed to be surrounded by people who think a pony tail and U of U sweatshirt are glamorous enough for any occasion. Yes, I have seen Birkenstocks at Ballet West, Abravanel Hall and even the opera. I think a little beauty, fashion and glamour, while not necessary for lounging at home, can certainly put a little more spice in life. That’s why I asked the fairest of them all – the girls of the Blue Lotus Belly Dance Company – to share their beauty tips with us.

First, some tips for every day street style:


Meg says, “I try and care for myself from the inside out. Eat well and get your blood pumping however you like best! For a happy healthy woman, glowing skin, and a cascade of shining hair are some of my favorite things when watching a beautiful dancer.”

Angela says “1) Respect your skin. Never sleep in your make up! My favorite skin cleaner is Cetaphil.  2) Invest in a high quality moisturizer. After all, we are talking about your face and you are worth it! 3) Pick a focus area, lips OR eyes. Don’t do both unless you are going for a stage makeup look. 4) Don’t wear heavy layers of make up on a hot day …. your face will melt and rub off on people you hug. Gross.”

Kelsey says “1)Make sure your brows are shaped nicely, and filled in with a brow pencil one shade darker than your hair color, 2) Also, use a light vanilla shimmering eyeshadow to highlight the brow bone. Works wonders! 3) Choose a blush that compliments your natural undertone. Smile while applying.”

Natalie says, “I like to keep my skin fresh by exfoliating once a week and then adding in an at home peel once or twice a month. For the at home peel I start with my regular exfoliatant and then layer a low-strength glycolic or vitamin A product on my face, neck and chest. I do this before bed and sleep with the product on overnight. In the morning I wash it off and put on a nice hydrating mask for 3-5 minutes; just while I’m getting ready to go.”


My favorite every day beauty tip comes from Angela. I can’t emphasize this enough – “Wear sun block on your face and neck! Sunburns (and tanning) make you look old prematurely and dehydrate your skin. Keeping your skin healthy is the number one key to beauty!”

Might I add it can also prevent melanoma, a deadly form of cancer. If you are concerned about being to pale, look to the likes of Nicole Kidman and Scarlet Johansen, these women are so white they glow and are considered the most beautiful actresses in the world.

Angela - Photo by Davey Wilson Photography

R.I.P. Jeffrey Catherine Jones

Even as a kid I was never able to fully relate to or appreciate most fantasy artwork, which is kind of strange because I was obsessed with fantasy literature as far back as early elementary school. Just a personal preference really, and I liked looking at the monsters and all, but seeing some barbarian sitting on a throne of skulls just didn’t quite do it for me visually. There were a couple of fantasy artist whose work was stood out from everything else and I had to take notice. The first being Jeffrey Catherine Jones, whose work I probably knew because of their association with the second fantasy artist my eyes sought out and devoured, Barry Windsor Smith. These two, along with illustrators Bernie Wrightson and Michael William Kaluta, shared a workspace in New York through the late 70s. They all even published a book together, called The Studio, which collected their work from that time.

I followed The Studio artist’s careers in the 80s. I eventually drifted away from fantasy and comics, but by the mid to late 90s I started reading them regularly once again. I’d head on down to Sam Weller’s book store, maybe pick up an old copy of something by Fritz Leiber or Robert E. Howard. It wasn’t long before I realized that many of my favorite covers on these old books were illustrated by Jeffrey Catherine Jones. Covers for reprints of books and stories that I love, including Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, Solomon Kane, Conan, Tarzan, and many others. Jones also had a regular strip in Heavy Metal, and won the World Fantasy Award for Best Artist in 1986.

In 1997 Jones quit illustration in order to pursue gallery work and a more Expressionist style. Born Jeffrey Jones, but always feeling more like a woman in her body, she also began hormone replacement therapy at that time. I also remember reading around 2002-03 or so on conceptart.org that she’d suffered a nervous breakdown, was having severe financial problems, and had been homeless for a few years. By 2004, she had a studio and was working once again. This last week I learned that she died after suffering from emphysema and bronchitis as well as hardening of the arteries around the heart. This news makes me very sad and nostalgic.

Rest in peace. You seemed like a brave soul and added a lot of beauty to my world.

youtube.com – Jeffrey Catherine Jones, 1944-2011



The Big Brown House

The Big Brown House
The Big Brown House

In the  Avenues, my favorite neighborhood in SLC, exists a house a house so loved by its family that it almost glows. It is filled with crafts, chickens, cats, children, music and delicious home-cooked food. The kitchen is original and perfect.  I love to visit it so much that we thought we’d take you there for this month’s architectural feature. The home belongs to our friends Carrie and Bruce, their kids Christian, Bea and Clara, their cat, Clementine and too many chickens to list by name. It is also the inspiration behind Carrie’s craft label, which you can enjoy by visiting www.etsy.com/shop/bigbrownhouse. Here’s my interview with Carrie about this awesome house.

What year was the Big Brown House built? 
1911. It’s one hundred years old and yes, there will be a party!

How long have you lived there?
Since 2002. Right after the Olympics.

Sewing Machine
Sewing Machine

What can you tell us about the history of the house?
The house was built as an up and down duplex – two almost identical single family houses stacked on top of each other. I affectionately refer to its exterior style as Lowbrow Neoclassical. I love how it captures the archetypal “house” shape – something a child would draw – a triangle on top of a square. It stands out in this neighborhood of Victorian homes and bungalows.

Between 1911 and 1938 it changed hands 3 or 4 times, and in 1938 it was purchased by the Creer Family. Leland Creer was a professor of history and political science at the University of Utah, and Verona Creer had been a milliner for many years (she moved in at age 36 with three children. So did I. That little bit of information makes me smile). The family moved into the main floor with their three children and rented out the upstairs apartment. Dr. Creer died in the late 60s, and Mrs. Creer lived here until her death at age 99 in January, 2002. At that time, I was living in an apartment building around the corner and although I never met Mrs. Creer, I always knew this was “Verona’s house.”  We bought the house from her children, and were able to talk to them about growing up in this neighborhood during the 1940s.

Is it haunted?
Soon after we purchased the house, but before we moved in, a worker claimed that he turned around in the empty room he was painting (Mr. and Mrs. Creer’s bedroom) and saw an elderly man wearing a suit standing in the doorway. I like to think Mr. Creer was just checking in. But it’s also possible there were drugs involved.

I don’t have strong feelings about whether or not houses can be haunted by individuals, but I feel like there’s very much a connection, a mutually beneficial relationship, between us and the house. I felt at home from the very first visit. The space seemed both comforting and challenging. In a good way. Like a friend.

Insulating Tribune
Insulating Tribune

Did you ever find any interesting things in the attic or closets when you moved in? (editor’s note, I found photography equipment and a pair of black and white polka dotted size five women’s shoes in my attic when I bought my house, so I always ask this.)
Yes! The house was full of things. After Mrs. Creer died, the family removed out what they wanted, and we all agreed that they could leave everything else. We’d keep some things and sell the rest.  I have a 1940s globe, a Singer sewing machine from the 1930s, several hats, linen handkerchiefs, and a small oil painting. We also have a photo of Mrs. Creer that we keep on the refrigerator. She’s dressed in a Scottish tartan outfit. I smile every time I see it.

Orignal Wallpaper
Orignal Wallpaper

Beyond that…let’s see…I found a 1901 penny stuck under a baseboard.  We remodeled one of the bathrooms and found 1935 newspapers stuffed in the walls for insulation. Some of my favorite “finds” though, are glimpses of original wallpaper, or someone’s handwriting on the back of a piece of moulding that hasn’t seen the light since 1911.

How did it get its name (ha, kidding)
You’re funny Anna! There’s really no better way to describe it. Which house? That big brown house.

Qin’s Army

A huge underground installation of 8,000 life-sized soldiers was commissioned in 210 B.C. China by the then 13-year-old emperor, Qín Shǐhuáng Ling. The installation took all of Qin’s lifetime to complete and wasn’t discovered for several thousand years. The installation is housed in three pits and consists of over 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses. Acrobat, generals and entertainers are also included in the mix.

Some thoughts that spring to mind as I read about Qin’s Army:

Government waste is foremost on my mind. Can you think of a more awesome example?

And ego – what would Freud say about a 13-year-old who thinks he deserves an army of one –of-a-kind chess pieces to fight for him in the next life? I can’t imagine Qin as anything but a total asshole.

I also like to imagine the Chinese farmers in 1974, just going about their day digging a hole for a well. And then “Holy Shit!” It must have been like discovering Atlantis. Or seeing your World of Warcraft squad come to life.

And wow. Just wow. I’m so glad he did it. I’d never have the balls, but then I’m not a king.

Qin’s army – better known as “the Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses” is Art Duh, at its most ginormous. It must have been quite a secret for the people who built it to keep.

Bob Dylan’s Birthday

We don’t write about music here at ArtDuh.com, or haven’t yet anyway. That is not because we aren’t interested in music, but because we think music is very well covered by much more qualified people. Since Bob Dylan is turning 70 on May 24th, it seems like it might be a good time to feature at least one musician in one post.

Dylan’s words cut deep, and the imagery and ideas they inspire are impossible to forget. I’m amazed by what Bob Dylan created, and how fearless his work is. Most of  Bob Dylan’s studio albums up through the mid-70s are exceptional, and I also enjoy some of what he’s released in the last few years. One of my very favorite albums ever by any artist would be Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks, and I can listen to that any old time, along with Freewheelin Bob Dylan, Blonde on Blonde, Highway 61 Revisited, Bringing it All Back Home… damn, they are all good. I’ve seen Bob Dylan in concert too many times to count, and it was usually a good time. I was too young (or not even on the planet yet) to have enjoyed the concerts from his early years, but I do listen to the recordings, and would recommend 1966 Royal Albert Concert Hall and 1975 Rolling Thunder Review. You might also be interested in watching Don’t Look Back and No Direction Home. Good stuff.

Happy Birthday and God Bless Bobby!


Aiden Lopez, Second-grader’s Signature Style Noticed by Weber State University

I don’t know if I’m the world’s biggest fan of kid’s art – or if I resent it because art is considered a great past time for kids, until you grow up and everyone starts asking “When are you going to get a real job?” and “How much did you make on THAT?”

But, I’m sure you will agree this is about the cutest thing ever.

Aiden Lopez, who was a baby when he was the curly-haired little boy around the corner from me in the Avenues, has been noticed by Weber State University’s art department for a family portrait. The monochrome orange portrait includes “A nod to the traditional Norman Rockwell/1950s television father of yore,” according to proud dad, Jesus, in the form of a pipe his dad is smoking.

Jesus hopes that Aiden’s teachers didn’t assume it was a crystal meth pipe. They do live in Ogden now, after all.

I’m a proud auntie and I can’t believe this little guy has gotten so big so fast. Dad also explains that the big eyes on each figure is “A signature detail in
all of his portraits. His subjects, especially his representations of himself are taking in as much information as possible. That is certainly true of a person of such a young age, but it also comments how modern society is inundated with information from a variety of sources. In the past, families relied on the local paper or the radio for information, now families are flooded with 24 hour news channels and the Internet.”

You can see Aiden’s work at Weber State University’s Student Union Art Gallery through June 1. He also earned an honorable mention in a 2nd grade wide art contest. Go Aiden!

Crafty Utah Co Kid Hold Garage sale for Orphans in Ghana

Alaina Belk
Alaina Belk

Payson’s crafty kid Alaina Belk is holding a to help orphans in Ghana. Here’s the story in Alaina’s own words.

Help Me Feed the Orphans of Ghana

My name is Alaina Belk.  I am 10 years old.  My family is adopting a little girl from Africa.  I am worried about the other children in the orphanage.  They need medicine, food and clothes.  I had the idea of gathering for Ghana.  I started going through my toys and clothes to see what I could sell to make money to help the children in my little sister’s orphanage.  Maybe you have toys, clothing and other things that you don’t need that we might be able to sell.  Please help me help the poor children in Ghana who don’t have a family to take care of them.  We are so blessed and have so much.  If we all give a little bit we can make a big difference.    

Fundraiser Yard Sale
May 28, 2011
8 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Aspen Academy
996 W. 800 S.
Payson, UT

I am accepting items in good useable condition.  For information about a drop off location for your donated items call Alaina at (801) 465-4919

Remember to mark the 28th on your Calendar and come to the yard sale.

Veteran crafter, and Alaina’s aunt, Amy Hunter says “There is a great need in Ghana for clean water. If we can raise $2,000 dollars we can purchase equipment to drill a well. We are accepting items in good condition to sell, baked goods, and donated craft items. We also need volunteers on the day of the yard sale. Contact me if you have any questions or items to donate. THANK YOU!”

For  Salt Lake and Davis County folks who want to participate, donations may be dropped off in Bountiful to Amy, reach her at amy@radseams.com.  Please mark your donations with prices.