Follow by Email

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Creations...

Once a year our AW (artist's way) group does an art exchange.  We pick a name out of a hat and make a piece for that person.  The evening is always so enjoyable but the anxiety about what to create can be quite daunting. We are such an accepting and encouraging group so I don't know why this causes me (and others) angst.  Maybe it is because we have grown to care about each other so much and want to create something unique and special.  I am always so amazed about the variety of the work.

Take a look...

We started out the evening at Judy's lovely home.  She treated us to yummy cheese, delicious wine and a lovely dinner.  I really don't know how she makes everything seem so effortless.  This cauliflower soup was just amazing. Beautiful isn't it?

Lucy received this beautiful journal from Michelle. She used several multi-media techniques including maps, papers, cards and collage put together in such a unique way. This will chronicle her adventures as grandma LuLu.  We all teared up.

Michelle received this cool linoleum printing piece from Lucy.  Lucy always pushes herself to try something new.  It turned out fabulous! We will have to wait for the creativity shop to open so we can learn how to do it.  Love the colors!

Our Laura has a gift for 3D structures.  She makes these charming art collage miniatures.  An armature of foam core and layered with texture and a rice paper roof.  Dang cool girl.  Carol loved it.

And then Carol received her bonus gift of hand dyed napkins from Laura also.  She made them with dyes and ice and let them dry over her bushes during the summer. Amazing.  What a lucky lady Carol is.

Carol then reciprocated with this.  It is a unique 2D sculpture made from a vintage book.  It is folded, stitched and crumpled into this cool, unique piece.  One of a kind.  I am so smitten. Way to go Carol. A perfect marriage of her love for all things written and her creative spirit.  

(Nice work on the selfie Laura.  It must have been hard to hold that piece and take that picture.  Thanks for contributing to the blog)

I was the lucky recipient of this paper mache bird on a vintage mattress spring. Janis really knows me and she did not even read my recent post with the bird images.  I really appreciated how she tied so many things I love into one piece. Look at that charming necklace.  It is sitting on my desk as we speak.  Thank you Janis! I just love it.

Janis received these delightful paintings from Judy.  They were inspired by the Cornwall village that Doc Martin is filmed in.  She painted on vintage board with acrylics.  I think it captures the spirit of Port Wenn perfectly.  They will be perfect in Janis home.  Lovely.

If any of you read my last entry you saw my percolating stage of this piece. A vintage chair and painting re-imagined into something more modern.  It is 95% finished.  Just have to figure out how to reattach the base.  Taking apart vintage chairs and putting them back together with modern parts does prove to be more challenging than I anticipated.  It fits well in Judy's house, I think she liked it.

What a wonderful evening celebrating another year of friendship and creativity.  I am forever grateful having these women in my life.  Love you all.


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Unexpected observation

One more step closer to the "The Creativity Shop" happened today. My friend Christina and I have been dabbling in organizing and teaching creativity workshops for the past year and a half. We have led workshops around my dining room table; color workshops, watercolor exploration and creating handcrafted books.  Last year at about this same time, we organized and led a weekend get-away creativity workshop. Today we executed our most ambitious art undertaking an Art FUNdraiser. We partnered with a local church and provided an afternoon of art for women with proceeds going to a local charity.
Participants could choose from 2 different art sessions which were taught by myself and Christina and another friend Kathy- a REAL artist from Chicago. We had 21 women from our town involved in the art projects- Here is what I noticed:
  • for 3 1/2 hours I saw a room full of people engaged with art and other people
  • many, many smiling faces
  • I did NOT see any form of technology (except my phone/camera taking pictures)being used-no text messages checked, no cell phone calls taken, NO TECHNOLOGY period!
  • I noticed relaxed, calm and engaged humans - not particularly worried about the outcome -BUT very engaged in the process!
  • the generosity of our participants allowed us to raise $417 for a local charity
These observations confirm for me that my desire to create a space/shop for ANYONE to create in is what I am called to do...SUMMER 2015 "The Creativity Shop" will open!
                                               Church hall before we set-up for the day.

 Messy stations filled with creative inspiration

                                                                At the end of the day!
I hope you are able to find some unexpected validation in your life...


Monday, February 17, 2014


I try to find inspiration in the everyday.  I try to look up and to the left and right to make sure I don't miss anything.  It might be just a color or a texture that makes my heart skip a beat but I try to capture these images on my phone to reference in a project later.  Here are a few inspiration pictures and the sneak peak of their process.

Saw this at a contemporary art gallery in Milwaukee

 This is a crows painted on luggage at Anthropologie

This is a necklace holder at anthropologie but look at those feet

This is where it has taken me so far.

Another inspiration from Anthropologie

Then salvation army

From a local antique shop

Found at a resale shop

Sorry, no progress so far.  I call this my "percolating phase".  I usually wake up several times during the night to figure out the next steps. I get so much thinking done at night, do you?

Stay Tuned...


Thursday, February 13, 2014

All things Hearts and Flowers

For Valentine's Day no words just pictures:

Happy, Happy, Valentine's Day!
Lucy and Eileen

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Valentine's Cards-one of my favorite projects-

This coming Friday is Valentine's Day. I think it is truly my favorite holiday of the year. Not because I am terribly romantic-my husband is WAY more romantic than me- but that there are no expectations of food, gift giving or social obligations one must conform to.

I have been making individual valentine's cards for my family for years. This year I wanted to come up with a unique card to give to my students. Since I have 42 students this year, I could not do super detailed cards like I do for my family, but I wanted something unique. Here is what I came up with:

 I started out with water color paper and different colors of ink spray.

 I placed stencils on top of the papers and just started spraying. I repeated on both sides of the paper-I REALLY like color and I am not that fond of white!

 After the fronts and backs of each paper were sprayed once, I placed plastic webbing (from the wine bottles I got from Binny's) and OVER SPRAYED all the papers again.

The final step was to cut out hearts and write a note on each card.

The project was not difficult, but it did take time. I do like the multi-color unique paper I created for the valentines. I am not sure that my 3rd graders will appreciate these. BUT I had such fun making all of them.
I often go to school with ink or paint under my nails and crazy color skin. My students will not be surprised that they are getting hand-made instead of store bought!
                                                         Happy HEARTS Day!