Saturday, April 12, 2014

Who made this?

I love hand made things of all kinds.  I am especially drawn to those who are anonymous.  I collect outsider art.  Outsider Art is a broad term that refers to artists who are self taught and work without the influence of the main stream Art establishment. I have Art by known outsider artists but my favorite is the anonymous art I have collected along the way.  I love the attitude they represent.

Here is some of my favorite anonymous art.

I found this at the antique store on LaGrange IL.  Love that place.

I bought a dozen of the egg people at a garage sale.  Their grandfather use to make egg replicas of family members and these were their aunts and uncle who always brought food to parties.  Grandpa was an egg artist?  Really?  How could they ever give these up?  I cherish them!

This I just bought from the basement of an antique store in Berywn that is closing.  The owner was kind enough to lt me dig through the basement.  I think this is just stunning.  Cant believe it was in the basement unappreciated.  I saved it.

A hand made quilt wall hanging I bought from the Intuit Museum garage sale.  Who knew museums had garage sales?

Here are a few things I want but have not pulled the trigger...yet.

This is too expensive but I cant stop thinking about it. 

As my husband says, I have never met a box I haven't liked.

Happy Hunting this Spring.  Save some unappreciated anonymous art!


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Spring Break

Those 2 words have all sorts of connotation; college beach drinking debacles, family trips to historic American cities, Florida, springtime....this past week was my school spring break. Billy took some time off and we visited 2 of our 3 children and had a driving getaway to Knoxville, TN. When I told people here in Chicago that we were going to Knoxville for spring break I got lots of puzzled looks. BUT what I was not expecting was the response of Knoxvillians who had the same puzzled and amused sentiment that we would pick their city as a vacation spot!

I love exploring small cities. We spent a day biking and enjoying spring weather. Billy got to experience a day of fly fishing in the Smokey Mountains, while I was exploring the local art museums. It was a lovely week.
On our way I made Billy get off the highway to check out Metropolis, IL.  This statue stands outside of the city hall court house. Hilarious-right?!
We spent our first afternoon with Amanda our daughter-in-law. I FORGOT to get a photo so she sent me this one which was taken right before James' deployment. In the right hand corner of the photo you can see a paper chain which Amanda created. There is a link for every day James is gone. It was 2 months smaller when we visited!
 Our first day in Knoxville was beautiful! We spent the day on bikes exploring the river front parks.

 Knoxville Art Museum was a wonderful afternoon of art adventure. Admission was FREE!

I was attracted to this next piece because of the spools of thread.

Then I read the description...
 stepped back,
and was amazed!
The best part of the 3 day get away was wearing flip-flops the WHOLE time we were there!
We completed the trip with a visit to our son George at Miami of Ohio campus. I dropped Billy off for his senior dad's weekend. I am sure I do not want to know what the Dad's of seniors and college boys did last night!
Back to work tomorrow.
Have a wonderful week!

Monday, March 31, 2014

City Adventure

This past weekend Billy and I had a family wedding event both Friday and Saturday night. We decided to make a weekend of it and stayed in the city! Thanks to Eileen's husband - we stayed at the Conrad Hilton in the heart of the city. We were able to walk to all of our events and not have to worry about coordinating taxis, designated drivers, or traffic! It also gave us time to relaxing in the city on Saturday before the wedding.

My husband,being the good sport that he is, accompanied me to one of my favorite art spots in our city, The Cultural Center of Chicago. The Cultural Center is housed in the old library and has amazing architectural features, wonderful art exhibits, and has all sorts of interesting Chicago displays and it is all FREE to the public!

As I approach The Cultural Center its massive stone structure always impresses me! 

This is just one corner of the very ornate staircases which span 5 floors of the building.

I LOVE the intricate mosaics which are in many hallways

One of the exhibits this time was video. I have yet to embrace the ART of video. Maybe I just don't have enough patience to sit through a 30 minute production?!

There are always the simple beauties to be found on an adventure-the swirl in my cup of coffee was lovely!
 The hotel had a number of beautiful touches of art as well.
This is a cool outdoor exhibit which during the summer is part of a fountain.
Here is a link to the audio which my "WAY AWESOME" husband figured out the technology...
Go find an adventure!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Signs of Spring

Yesterday I took my third graders out for recess. The sun was shining and it looked to be a glorious day. We were out about 15 minutes and as we were coming back in, one of my little boys stated, "AHHH my head is so COLD. I thought it was suppose to be SPRING?!" Alas spring has not fully arrived here in Chicago....But there are a few signs.

A tiny bit of green poking through.

A construction site. Where the back hoe was actually able to dig.

The last little bit (hopefully) of  yucky, dirty snow.


 Magnolia buds and a robin in a tree.

DRATS! I had a video/audio of birds chirping-which I took on my walk to school today-BUT my technology skills have once again thwarted my artistic expression!
                                                           Happy and Hopefully warmer weather to you.


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Ceramics...phase 1

Session number one of Ceramics sculpture is complete.  It was a wonderful experience.  I really enjoy playing with clay.  Unfortunately, the air quality at the ceramics studio does not agree with my asthma.  To continue I would have to wear a face mask similar to those avoiding the bird flu in Tokyo. Do I do that?  The next session starts on Thursday, I have 4 days to decide.

I have to admit I am more about the end product than the process.  I really like when things come out just the way I want.  Ceramics has so many factors to consider.  The piece can break in the kiln, the glaze does not work out as you expected or crackle...So many things can happen. This is a prime example of what I don't want to EVER happen again.

It is a planter and the first thing I made.  I am really going to have to buy a funky plant...

This is a test tile to practice eyes and glazes.  I posted a picture of the before and this is the after. Sorry it is upside down.  I have tried to fix it to no avail.

Little gnome houses inspired by Mrs Holladys house 

An Irish cottage inspired by our Ireland visits. .

A wall hanging.  I am doing a series of three for my kitchen.

I have more to pieces being fired this week.  Hope they make it out okay.  It is so fun to go to the studio and see what is on your shelf.  The question is do I sign up for the next session or not????

Have a good week all and thanks for reading.  


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Me Artist?!

A couple of weeks back an acquaintance sent me an application for an artist proposal. A local charity is asking 20 artists to transform chairs to be auctioned off at their benefit. Before the benefit the chairs will go into the window of local business and the public will vote on their favorite chair....HUM. What took me back was that someone who doesn't really know me asked me to apply. Sure my friends and family think I can make art-but other people? As the woman who asked me to apply put it, "your name came up when we were brain storming local artist..." WHAT?!!!!

My take away from that is start trusting my instincts. I want "The Creativity Shop" to happen. (Summer 2015) So I need to promote my art and myself to make that happen! SO I am going for it-I am going to put my wacky art out there and see what happens!

I applied. Amazing to me-my proposal was accepted. NOW I have to actually create the transformed chair-

SO the "50 Year Project" once again is on hold....BUT I think all of these other projects; baby Audrey's quilt, the chair, all of the classes I have been taking are going to play into the 50 year project....

The Chair project is going to be a Fiber Art instillation. So by chance, I am taking a screen printing on fabric class down at Lill Street. Here is the screen with images I have created-I am into birds right now.
The screen with ink ready to be printed.

 My work space at Lill Street.
My wacky birds on the ice-dyed fabric I created last summer.
Put yourself out there.
Be Vulnerable.
Trust your instincts!

Monday, March 17, 2014


I am very fortunate to have family living in Ireland. These trips are some of my favorite memories.  My husbands family is welcoming, kind and a lot of fun.  We wish we could get there more often but are so thankful for our Sunday calls and more recently face time. In honor of Patrick's Day I wanted to share some photos we have taken there.

Whenever we go visit I am always taken aback by its raw splendor.  My youngest son was only three years old when he put it best. Driving through Wicklow he said excitedly  "Mom, mom look quick...quick outside the window...its a beautiful world..."  He was right.

I want to leave you with the image of the traditional Irish sing a long.  Takes place in pubs, homes and in this case  Una singing at her daughters wedding. 

If you want to hear it live click on this link.  Just charming.


Happy St Patrick's Day!