Saturday, November 24, 2012

Before and after

Before... by Alika-Rikki
Before..., a photo by Alika-Rikki on Flickr.
I was making necklaces for my etsy store several days in a row and had totally cluttered table as a result. You know that - something from this box, something from that string - and soon you push things in the morning to free a tiny spot to work on.

Finally you can't do it anymore and need to declutter...

It took me three hour, half an audio book and voila! It's ground zero, I have a table back! And all the tiny pieces went back to their containers.

Love this empty clean look, even if it doesn't stay long like this:)

After! by Alika-Rikki
After!, a photo by Alika-Rikki on Flickr.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Jewelry store in SF Chinatown

I love this jewelry store! Its windows are always full of  large statement necklaces with beads  as big as  eggs and pendants which could serve as pieces of armor. I never saw somebody buying them though.  One day I will go on stakeout there and will wait for the person who will buy one of these!

My beader friend promised me that we will wear that kind of large, bold,  tribal jewelry when we will be ninety years old.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Halloween cats

I painted some sinister smiling black cats for Halloween. Two of them are ceramic ornaments and the third one is a painted rock.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

I went to a flea market with my daughter. We are not early risers so by the time we got there many of the sellers were already packing.

We had to run to and fro around the field to see the last booths. My daughter took a fancy to a kitschy and ridiculously expensive radio in the shape of an owl heavily painted in gold. I found some vintage music sheets for future art works and two funny little things at an old Chinese man's table: a teapot with bugs and a fat, bumpy and grumpy toad.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


It's a giveaway!
My little painted stone fish magnet will be given to someone who leaves a comment here. I know that there is not a lot of people reading my blog so your chances are really huge:)

I will wait 24 hours and then somebody will be the winner ( or not)

It's painted on a beach pebble with acrylic paints and coated with a glossy clear varnish. The back side is left unfinished so you can see color and texture of an original stone. A strong rare earth magnet is glued to the back side. It's ready to adorn any surface that can hold magnets. Will be mailed in a small gift box with a soft insert.
The stone is about 1-3/4" ( 4.5 cm) long.

( you can see my other painted stones? prints and jewelry at my etsy shop -

Thursday, August 23, 2012

California Quail

I noticed these birds a couple of times in the thick intertwined rose branches above the neighbors' fence but didn't get a chance to look closer. It seemed to me that the birds were sitting there, each holding a small leaf in its beak. What a strange fashion!

But last autumn the neighbors cut all their rose bushes and the fence became empty. Recently I was washing dishes in front of the window facing the side yard when all of a sudden a string of funny fat birds busily marched on the edge of the fence before my eyes. It was my mysterious birds with the leaves in their beaks!

I grabbed my camera and rushed to the backyard. The birds had already done their parade and were now placing themselves on branches of the tall tree nearby. I started moving very slowly, freezing now and then when one of them looked at me suspiciously. Now I was close enough to take pictures and see more details. The funny "leaves" turned out to be little black feathers hanging from their heads. How they didn't become cross-eyed with the constant dangling in front of their faces, I don't know.

One plump fellow:)

They turned their backs to me but kept to be very suspicious. I was moving in small increments when they didn't look and was standing still and shooting when they were looking back.

#3 I think males have bigger and nicer feathers above the beak. The females' feathers look like they have a bad haircut.

Doesn't it look like fish scales?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Keys and ribbons

Keys and ribbons by Alika-Rikki
Keys and ribbons, a photo by Alika-Rikki on Flickr.

My illustration for the book about a mouse. Adorable Glikeriya the Mouse always loses her keys. Now she found a fix. She ordered a lot of new keys, attached ribbons from chocolate boxes to them and put them on her apple tree near the porch. Now she has a key every time she needs one:)
Original illustration is made in acrylic and pencil on Bristol paper.

I'm selling a print of this illustration ( and several others too!) at my Etsy shop Artalika.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Day of must - Day of wish.

I'm conducting an experiment. There are things that need to be done but I'm not eager to do them. And there are things that I love to do and will be happy to do - but I feel guilty doing them. Usually they mutually annihilate each other - I am not doing must-do things because it's not fun and I am not doing pleasant things because I "don't deserve" it. So I divide and conquer. Every other day I do all necessary things - all day long without complain, and between them I spent days doing free-guilt pleasant things. Results are awesome. I have finished a lot of things from my procrastination list. And I have done a lot of fun things that make me happy and relaxed. It works for me perfectly because I'm not a multitasking person. One task for a day - to be busy and productive or to be relaxed and have fun -is ideal for me.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Red-eyed guinea pig

My daughter called me yesterday. She saw a guinea pig in the pet shop and she was sad. The white boy was already 5 months old and nobody wanted him. Everybody is buying small ones and this one is stuck. It was twice discounted and now was only 10 bucks instead of 35. She wanted us to have it. But our pig is quite grown up so I don't know how he would like another male companion. I think it will be stress for both of them:( She sent me a photo of this guy...

Owls. Painted rocks (stones)

Once I painted almost all of known owls on the small rocks. Before that an owl for me was an abstract big-eyed bird which is able to turn its head to its back. But a good big book of birds breeds changed it.

You know that in Russian it's not all owls? The smaller ones are called "sova" and the big one with feathered "ears" on its head is "filin".

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Flowers on the windowsill

I so much love how Ivonne from decorates her windowsills with little figurines and vessels with flowers! I have been saving pictures of all her adorable window scenes to admire them. And finally I bought myself four small white vases at IKEA ( they discontinued these vases, I’m afraid). Now I always have fresh flowers on my windowsill near the dinner table.
Here are some of them:

Flowers on the windowsill by Alika-Rikki
Flowers on the windowsill, a photo by Alika-Rikki on Flickr.
Flowers by Alika-Rikki
Flowers, a photo by Alika-Rikki on Flickr.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Hamster and two bunnies. Painted stones.

I started painting this hamster rock long ago. For two or three years it was just orange under-painting and two black eyes - I was busy with illustration for my first children's book. Recently I had an order for a hamster rock portrait and found that old baby. Hamsters have the most funny pink noses! And tiny cute hands.

Two other rocks are adorable lop bunnies. Love to paint them though it takes unusually long for such small rocks.

Ancient girl-bloggers

Ancient girl-bloggers by Alika-Rikki
Ancient girl-bloggers, a photo by Alika-Rikki on Flickr.

My sister was visiting me. I haven't seen her for seven years - we both were happy. I thought that she would abandon the internet and blogging and completely submerge into new surroundings. But, boy, was I wrong! She spent every spare second in posting pictures and reports of her staying. I didn't mind reading it - it's our family sport to tell each other in details what we both saw and experienced earlier during the day. But i couldn't help laughing at the Asian Art Museum when I saw the ancient Chinese vase - this is definitely two sisters bloggers portrait!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Painted rocks (stones) fish magnets

I'm almost out of small stones with flat back for the fish magnets. And i love, love, love to paint them.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Bad film - beautiful picture

01 by Alika-Rikki
01, a photo by Alika-Rikki on Flickr.

There are some movies which I love visually and don't like as a story or an idea.
Antichrist by Trier was the perfect example. Don't like story, don't like characters, don't like actors, don't like depression clouded mind of its creator, don't like sadistic exercises, don't like crazy people.

But love some pictures.

02 by Alika-Rikki

03 by Alika-Rikki

03 by Alika-Rikki

03 by Alika-Rikki

03 by Alika-Rikki

More on Flickr

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Once a month cooking

Meatballs for freezing by Alika-Rikki
Meatballs for freezing, a photo by Alika-Rikki on Flickr.

One of my friends mentioned a book about organizing that she was reading. I love organizing! I'm not so good in maintaining order but I'm absolutely brilliant in organizing and inventing systems in general. So I checked up the book The Complete Idiot's Guide to Organizing Your Life in the library. It was pretty basic and is a nice companion in step by step initial organizing your home and office. There were just few new ideas for me but one of them was quite fascinating!

It turned out that there is a 'cooking once a month' movement. You buy a lot of ingredients, take out all your precious cooking devices and chop,mix, cut, whip, boil, and fry for a day or two in enormous quantities. Then you divide everything into portions and freeze. Now you ready to eat the whole month without mess of cooking. The idea seemed so clever to me!

This is my second time in this experiment. The first one proved itself a huge success. It's so relaxing to know that you have plenty of ready food at any time and a lot to choose from too!

I skipped some stuffed vegetables this time. Peppers became mushy, I didn't like the texture. But made double or triple of what I like - like turkey meatloaf with mushrooms.

Feeling good like a squirrel - but without her unfortunately short memory:)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Painted rock Airedale Terrier

I painted custom portrait of an Airedale Terrier dog recently. Then changed and repaint it several times so it looks more like this breed should be. It was something about ears - they should be more alert and triangular.

This is the first photo session, before changing. I think the old book suits the dog beautifully.