Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Out with the old?

Where oh where did 2008 go?  I suppose it's a sign of age when the years start flying faster and faster at what seems like breakneck speed.  What a glorious year it has been though - and yes, I am well aware of all the bad stuff every day in the news.  But I have decided I am not going to allow it to influence me.  Seriously.  Call me Pollyanna if you want, but I love my family, my animals, my art and my life - I am filled with gratitude for the abundance that surrounds me. Rather than worry and fall into that lonely place of fear, I prefer to live my life from a place of love.  I want to do what I can to spread some joy in my very tiny part of the world.  

These last few days I've been reflecting back on 2008 and working on goal setting.  The Universe helped me out by guiding me to Sheri Gaynor's blog today.  Sheri has been my coach for several years, however we haven't talked lately.  Her blog post blew my mind - she never fails to amaze me with her insight.  In fact, tomorrow I am going to do exactly what she suggests!  I can't think of a more poignant way to end the year.  Click here to see Sheri's brilliant idea. 

Monday, December 29, 2008

The holiday continues

Here are some pictures from holiday events of late.  The first one of our perfect(now what would you expect me to say) grandsons working on their gingerbread house.  If you look close you can see icing on Ian's face.  And Aidan has quite the big brother judgment look, doesn't he?  So cute.  These 2 couldn't possibly be any different.  It is delightful to be part of their lives and watch their personalities develop.  Today we will celebrate Christmas with them, yippee!!  

It was our year in Cincinnati, at my parent's house with my siblings and families.  We drove over there last Tuesday which was predicted to be an "ok" weather day, or at least we thought we were well ahead of the predicted bad weather.  W-R-O-N-G.  It basically sleeted the entire drive and what normally takes 6 hours took 12 including several where we just sat on a closed highway as the State of Indiana waited for the temperature to rise above freezing so the salt would work.  I kid you not.  It was utter craziness.  Luckily I had my laptop, knitting, and books which kept me sane.  I don't know how John did it though.  He was a rock (as usual) never losing his cool, and delivered us to my Mom + Dad's house safe and sound.

Christmas morning was fun with three little kiddos - my nieces and nephew (I have 2 other nephews who are older - they are too "mature" to stand longingly in front of the tree, lol).  

Fun times, but I will confess I am soooo anxious to get back in the studio and carve out massive amounts of time time for my pending projects - I feel such a strong emotional and even physical urge to paint, I am guessing this is how an addiction would feel, I don't know.  The goal for today is to be IN the day, not thinking ahead to the next thing.  Luckily the boys are good at keeping me on track.  

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Claybord book

If you've spent any time at all hanging around my blog, you know how I love claybord.  It's slightly embarrassing to say, but I guess I am obsessed with it.  The slick surface, oh my; it's unpredictable, you never quite know what's going to happen, at least I don't because I work so wet and the paint just takes off on its own journey.   
My friend Karyl took one of my classes and, rather than making  a series of paintings (like everyone else was doing), she promptly made book covers.  
I mean, sure, it was obvious, or seems really obvious now, except of course I hadn't thought of it, which is weird because I do make book covers out of lots of stuff.    
Anyhoo, I've had this hankering to make claybord book covers ever since I saw what Karyl had done.  And that is exactly what I've been doing lately.  Making books and proposing classes.  This is one of my favorite ones, probably because I love the color.  But I am also happy with the way the spine turned out, see I cut the spine from another piece of claybord and then used my dremel drill press to drill the holes.  I used Tyvek on the inside to hold it all together firmly and sort of rigged up this "pleat" of sorts so that it opens well.   
The books feel sooooo substantial with the claybord covers.  It's my new journal of choice.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Valley Ridge opens 12/15

Just a reminder that registration for workshops at Valley Ridge opens on 12/15.  I am teaching a 2 day Claybord extravaganza that covers color and composition, in addition to all the ins and outs of working on claybord.  So, if you've *ever* wanted to check out claybord while also learning about abstract painting, this is a terrific chance.  I am absolutely thrilled to be teaching at Valley Ridge as I have heard nothing but positive feedback about the beauty and serenity of the location in addition to the incredible hospitality of our hosts.  In a nutshell, I can't wait!!!!
Check it out here:

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Friday, December 05, 2008

How can it be Friday already?!?!  This week was supposed to be my nothingonthecalendarcatchup week yet it is nearly gone and I am not.caught.up. 
I've been busy at work creating class samples and working on numerous household tasks that are simply too brainless to mention.  Remember that unfortunate carpet incident I spoke about?  Well, nothing that an old oriental rug couldn't fix, lol.  These pictures show the gallery part of my studio (or it will be once I actually hang art).  I had recessed lights installed and John painted the room last weekend.  It's a space for framing, computer stuff, sewing and other "clean" tasks. Note my "high end" furnishings, lol.  The kitchen cabinet was found on a morning walk, neighbor's garbage of course.  The door was a discard from our remodeling - it is simply sitting on top of the storage pieces.   And John built legs under that other counter which was another garbage day find.  

If you're in the St. Louis/St. Charles area, boogie on over to Rock Paper Scissors today or tomorrow for the Bizaare Bazaar from 10:30-5:30 to see all the handcrafted goodies from local artisans (including me).  Here's a link to more details.

I will leave you with a Georgia O'Keefe view of my bloomin' Amaryllis.  It has 2 blooms at the moment and another on the way.  I'm not very good with plants, so this is wildly exciting for me.  

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Silence Must Be Heard - Enigma - The Scilence of Jupiter!!!!

I finally figured out how to embed the video....so here it is.  You'll still need to read the previous post to get the lyrics and "story." 

A Day of Sharing Song

Enigma's song, Silence Must Be Heard has been one of my favorite songs for quite a long time.  I frequently paint while listening to Enigma and the painting above (30"x40") is my homage to Silence Must Be Heard.  Oddly enough, the painting sold to a couple years ago to a musician.  I say oddly because it struck me as ironic that a song about silence would sell to a musician.  But perhaps he thought it odd that an artist would use sheet music in a mixed media painting.   Anyhoo, I am proud to say that Chris Anderson of Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes bought the piece for his New York home.    Chris was not even familiar with the group Enigma, but he was very intrigued by the piece and it's meaning.  

Click here if you would like to hear the song plus see a cool video. 
And here are the lyrics for you to ponder:

Silence Must Be Heard

Look into the others eyes, many frustrations
Read between the lines, no words just vibrations
Don't ignore hidden desires
Pay attention, you're playing with fire
Silence must be heard, noise should be observed
The time has come to learn, that silence...
Silence must be heard
Or diamonds will burn, friendly cards will turn
Cause silence has the right to be heard
People talk too much for what they have to say
Words without a meaning, just fading away
Silence must be heard, noise should be observed
The time has come to learn, that silence...
Silence must be heard
Or diamonds will burn, friendly cards will turn
Cause silence has the right to be heard

Click on over to The Poetic Eye to see what other people have posted on their blogs.  And thanks again, LK, for a brilliant idea.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Tagged for 7

I've been tagged by Kay.  I'm supposed to list 7 unusual things about myself.  Well.  It's actually hard to pick 7 that I haven't previously mentioned cause I have talked about a lot of my oddities before.  Anyway, here goes:  

1.  Whenever I walk outside into the bright sun, I sneeze three times.  Yep, always 3.  My husband will wait for the 3rd sneeze before he blesses me.
2.  I treat animals as though they are people.  And I'm not talking about anthropomorphizing.  I mean I *really* treat them like they are people; I talk to them, ask them their opinion, etc. I swear they respond.  
3.  I have a lot of little rituals that I follow.  Wearing my "lucky" earrings when I set up a show.  Keeping "heads up" pennies.   Wearing certain clothes for certain things.  
4.   I am pretty tuned in from a psychic standpoint.  I know who is calling before I look at the caller ID.  I can predict where I will find a parking spot.  That kind of thing.  It doesn't work all the time but I am always grateful when it does.
5.  I go through phases with food, eating the same thing all the time.  I've talked about this before, but I'm into a new food right now.....powdered peanut butter.  It totally rocks because it is good plus it is very low calorie.  The company that makes it smooshes up all the peanuts and gets the oil out of them so nothing is left but peanut powder.  You activate it with water and voila!  
6. I like for all my books to be organized so they are even with the edge of the shelf like we used to do when I worked at the library.  
7.  I secretly wish I could dance.  Not like dancing with the stars, but just a kind of graceful movement that looks like I feel comfortable in my own body.  

Ok, that was seven.  

The floggings will continue

What a lovely 3 day holiday.  When I used to be in the "corporate" world, I would enjoy 3 days off as pure vacation and use the time to relax and decompress.  Of course now things are quite different since I work for myself.........and I basically used this time to jam in some extra hours.  

That's not to say I didn't have any fun, because I certainly did!  We spent Wednesday night with family and friends and then spent Thursday with more friends.  On Saturday, I went to an Open Studio event held by a ceramic artist I know, Yael Shomroni.  I met her several years ago at Venus Envy,where she bought a piece of my work.  She's a total doll, just the sweetest person who radiates the most beautiful energy.  Her studio is a dream and I bought John a mug in her signature cobalt blue glaze.  It is gorgeous.  

Then a friend and I went to Craft Alliance and the Rock + Roll Craft Show.  Both events had incredible art & craft items and I got some Christmas shopping done.   I love this time of year with all the fun events by creative folks.

The rest of the weekend was spent putting my studio back together after a season of back to back shows.  Things were quite a mess.  Not to mention, I had some new lighting installed in the "gallery" room and it was completely wrecked.  John painted it for me and it looked quite amazing after I worked all day Friday organizing.  Of course today I did something completely stupid and I really messed it up.  UGH.  I am beating myself up over my idiotic actions and trying to figure out how to fix the carpet disaster I created......why I cannot leave good enough alone I will never know.  Argghhh, slaps self in head....once I get this figured out and everything is fixed, I may show photos.  For now, I am simply too mad at myself.  

I added some new items to my etsy shop.  Link is on the side.  I'm sending a free gift with every purchase between now and Christmas.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Finally, some artwork!  I scanned these and they are a little "bright" on my monitor, but I could not get them toned down.  Hopefully you will not be blinded looking - trust me, they are really nice in person.
The pieces are a mock-up that I made for a proposal last week.  I was invited to appear before the Board of Directors of a local public library to offer my ideas for art.  I made this little quartet on claybord - they are each 6x6 - so they could see the colors I had in mind.  Plus I wanted them to see how cool the claybord is, the texture, etc.  
To say I was  wreck is an understatement.  I used to do this "presentation" stuff all the time in my previous (corporate) life, but doing it with my art just made me crazy.  I spent a lot of time getting organized and even prepared a Power Point presentation.  
Then(lucky for me), the Universe intervened and we ended up in a room with no projector, ha!  So I pretty much scrapped my whole talking plan.  It was definitely for the best though cause I got really excited (like I do) and I think everyone could see my true enthusiasm for the project.
These circles really rock my world right now.  The connections and compartments have so many meanings for me.  I feel this is an expansion of my Community series in some ways, like the Community pieces are moving toward a new Connection series.  Geez, what is it with me and all these C's????  
C.  See.  Si. 
And yippee, I got the gig!  They want 8-16x16 paintings.  
Woo hoo, I ordered my claybords and can't wait for them to arrive so I can get started. 
Life is indeed good.  To do what I love, surrounded and supported by those I love......well, it just doesn't get any better than this.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!  

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Day of Sharing Song

Yep, LK has done it again, thought up a terrific idea.  And, as much as I loved the poetry one, I have to say songs might just be even better.  It will probably be more expensive though because I will find a bunch of great (new) music and have to download like a mad woman.  
So start thinking about your fave song.  I will hopefully have an image along with mine.  I am sooooo often inspired by the music I listen to, I think this will be great fun.  
Here's a link for more details:

Monday, November 24, 2008

Good one, John

My husband is a funny guy.  He is pretty quiet and some people miss his sense of humor which is why I have to rat him out.  
Here is his latest idea:

You know those credit card solicitations?  We get them from a ton of companies including one that advertises on TV with Neanderthals (Huh!?!?!? who thought of that idiotic campaign?). Anyhoo, we get an average of 5 a week for one or the other of us  We have apparently not used up enough of the credit available to us, so they feel compelled to offer more and more and more.  It is annoying, not to mention a colossal waste of paper and postage cost. 

John has decided to fight back.  He first opens the solicitation and removes the blank checks and app and shreds them.  Then he takes the postage paid envelope and seals it up (empty) and places it in our mailbox with the flag up.  That way we can easily glance out the window and know when the mail has arrived cause the flag will be down. 

Pretty good gag, huh?  Not to mention useful.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

ee cummings

Buffalo Bill's
             who used to
             ride a watersmooth-silver
and break onetwothreefourfive pigeonsjustlikethat
he was a handsome man
                                            and what i want to know is
how do you like your blueeyed boy
Mister Death

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Paint on paper

You all know how I love to paint.  Well, making paste painted paper is just the best.  Painting with abandon, no worries about composition, just painting.  And painting. And painting.  It doesn't get any better than that.  I do it every year at the holidays as I make gifts to sell at holiday boutiques and on etsy.  

Here are some of my recent papers, ones that I love.  They have already been deployed as covers for sticky notes.  I will post the "products" on etsy shortly, but thought you might enjoy seeing the papers.  I used ceramic tile as a printing plate on these, FUN!!!!!  And webbing spray on top, cause I love the organic nature of that stuff.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Crossing lines

Well, I already did it last week (crossed the line, that is) when I talked about politics.  So now I'm doing it again.  Religion.  It's a topic we see a lot and I will confess to not attending a regular church or being part of any organized religious effort.  I do have my beliefs though.  And they can pretty much be summed up in 3 words.  Compassion. Golden Rule.  So imagine my surprise when I heard about this short video.  These are my people!  Just click over there and you will find the video.  It's fantastic; The Charter for Compassion.  

In other news, I am sick with infections in both ears, fever, sinus, etc.  Ugh, it's horrible and propelled me to the doctor yesterday.  I am now on an antibiotic which seems to be helping since I am actually out of bed, yippee.

And I made my first sale on etsy.  What a thrill.  I will try to upload more things as my strength returns.   

Monday, November 10, 2008

It's a new day

I'm working on stuff for the Unique Boutique.  This is always a lot of fun for me.  I enjoy making crafty functional items (for a change) as I tend to do this only during the holidays.  The last few days I've mainly painted paste papers; the massive assembly part will start later this week.  

Here's a preview of the sticky note/legal pad/pen gift set.  The neutral palette was fun.  


I've also set up an etsy shop.  Finally!  Check it out as I continue to add more items each day.  You can click the link above or there is a box in the sidebar.  And I started to twitter (never thought I would say that, huh?).  Link also at the side.  

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Nature restores

I've spent so many days during the last week just thinking and hiking and meditating.  This crazy prolonged election has had me befuddled to say the least.  In some respects I've felt paralyzed, like I didn't know which way I wanted to move till our country made a decision.  Yeah I know that sounds slightly crazy.  

But at the ripe age of 48, I don't think I've ever felt so invested in an election.  I guess I've never heard a politician who moved me until Barack Obama came along.  I am just so very very thankful he is our President.  

I celebrated yesterday with yet another hike.  Breathing the crisp air of autumn, soothing my soul with nature, clearing the cobwebs from my head.  I know I need to do some work as I am so far behind.  

I'm just about re-energized and I'm feeling hopeful again.    

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A hopeful sign

Walking home from the polls yesterday, John and I saw a woolly bear caterpillar.  Around these parts (ha, I always wanted to say that), the woolly bear is a predictor of winter.  If only I could remember what it means - something about the width of the brown stripe means an easy or a tough winter?  Like groundhogs, I can never remember which way it goes.
Anyhoo, this particular woolly bear was all black!!! 
I wonder what on earth that means!?!?! 
I think it was a very very special woolly bear and a sign of good things to come.  
I feel soooo happy today and proud of our country.  We have a long way to go but this is quite a amazing start.  

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Get out and vote

You all probably know who I support.  
I love this video, it brings tears to my eyes.  
No matter who you are supporting, go vote.  It's your right and your duty.  
I hope and pray that we can put all the divisiveness behind us and get to work for the future. 

Monday, November 03, 2008

Falling for fall

This is my favorite time of year.  Crisp crunchy leaves, blue skies and a gentle breeze.

I taught all day Saturday and then Sunday John and I hit the trail.  I've been walking a lot lately, walking and thinking - thinking and walking.  

Life is so beautiful. 

Monday, October 27, 2008

Flow me to the moon

Many artists talk about the idea of Flow.  It is often described as the experience where you are totally lost in what you are doing, to the point that you forget to eat, pee, etc.  And during this process, creating art is blissful, euphoric.  We have all been there; you lose track of time, the paint moves as if by magic, you look up and suddenly there is a work in front of you and you are unsure how it even happened.  For me, Flow is a drug that I want more and more.  I wish there was a switch I could flip so I were in Flow instantly.

Years ago, as I contemplated this idea of Flow, I became interested in the work of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi(brilliant psychologist!).  I bought his book Flow The Psychology of Optimal Experience hoping it would explain a shortcut or some step by step process I could employ anytime I wanted to be in Flow.  Ah, yes, I really am that naive.  But the book was pretty highbrow, scientific to be sure, and I just couldn't get into it.

Today on TED, I watched a fantastic video by the man himself.  He is smart and funny and his talk dumbed it down enough for me to really get it.  Having heard him talk about Flow, I now think I am more likely in a state of Arousal.  I think my learning curve remains pretty steep.  Sure, I feel expert at certain things, but I am always (and I do mean always) still learning things about each and every part of my art making process.  It was possibly presumptuous of me to think I had achieved true Flow at this point in my artistic path.  Critics may say that it is just a label, it doesn't matter, etc.  Perhaps I have more science in me than I care to admit, but this stuff is interesting to me.  

And I also have to say, a state or Arousal is pretty sweet.  But now it reallyreallyreally makes me want to Flow.  Watch the video yourself and this will all make sense.  

Saturday, October 25, 2008

and then she slept

and slept and slept.  
Geez Louise, I can not get enough.  Sleep, that is.  It's as if I pushed myself through my entire outdoor art season nearly running on empty.  And now I am getting my refill.  Of course it doesn't help that it is such great sleeping weather here in the Midwest.  Just so lovely and brisk. 

I did manage to make a little bit of art during my class the other day.  I started some pieces as demos and then kept working them along with my brilliant students.  Hopefully I will be able to post them soon.  I've spent most of this week (when I wasn't sleeping, tee, hee) catching up on paperwork, apps for next year, follow up with potential wholesale stores,  etc.  The good news is that I can see the surface of my desk again, hooray.

We gallery hopped last night in Chesterfield and I caught up with some friends (Heather!) who are in local shows - it was a lot of fun to see what people are up to and I loved the chance to relax and chat.  Tonight, it's over to phd for an opening.  In addition to the featured artist, my work is on display since I am one of the "stable."  So to speak.  

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I'm a big girl now

All my friends in the "art fair circuit" call me the princess because John schleps all my stuff, drives the truck, puts up the tent, tears it down, etc, etc.  In fact, until recently, I didn't even know how to put up my own tent.  

That changed this past weekend when I went to a show entirely BY MYSELF.  Yep, it's true, I drove to Kentuck (in Alabama); set up my tent; staged my art; worked the entire show; calculated & paid the taxes; and then tore it all down and drove home.  

Twelve hundred miles.
One left over tent piece.  
And who knows how many sore muscles.  

I feel a great sense of accomplishment and am very proud of myself.   Sadly, sales were low for many artists, including me.  It was a very fun show though and I made solid contacts that will hopefully lead to more work down the road.  

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

True Confessions

I am in love with Warren Sapp.  John knows about it of course and he just rolls his eyes because he witnesses this happen every time I watch a dancing show.  It's a vice of mine, dancing shows.  Omg, I am addicted to them.  I think I must have been a dancer in a previous life.  These days I am just a private dancer, not *that* kind; I am a wannabee - I dance ALONE while in my studio.  There are certain songs that simply demand a dance break and I find my painting gets better if I just give in to it.  I was really embarrassed a couple weeks ago when John "caught" me dancing.  Geez, I'm so inhibited, how sad is that!?!?!

Anyhoo, back to Warren Sapp.  He reminds me of a Christmas ornament that I own.  It's this fabulous pear shaped bear, all dressed up for the holiday.  That is Warren to me, one big lovable dancing bear.  And so funny (for me) because I was certainly never a Raider's (or Buccaneer's)fan, ha!  

Monday, October 13, 2008

Color my world

Our San Francisco/Napa trip was marvelous, just the little bit of escape that we needed.  I mean, don't get me wrong, our life is pretty darn sweet, but we do work our butts off (not that you can tell, because mine is definitely still back there).  But you know what I mean.

We visited lots of old fave spots from when we lived in SF.  Museums, restaurants, shops.  We ate, we walked, we ate, we walked, we ate and then we walked some more.  It felt wonderful to use my legs (again) for transportation - I simply LOVE that!!!  And we saw plenty of new spots, The Ferry Building for one, which has been completed since we moved away.  I liked it a lot, so much that I was there 3 times during 2 days.  Fantastic food from a variety of well known and lesser known vendors, restaurants, shops and a Farmer's market on the weekend.  The fruits and veggies so perfect they look like something from a photo shoot.  

It was Fleet Week, so we saw the air show from our hotel window - can you say Blue Angels!?!? So wildly synchronistic as we used to love Fleet Week and didn't realize it would take place during our visit.  

I caught up with the dearest of dear friends, my soul sisters - the girls who nurtured me through the beginning years of my artistic journey - they know where the bodies are buried (so to speak) and I love them for their unfailing support.  

So Blue and Green and fresh and crisp with PEACE for all.  That's how I would color my world.  

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Yep, you betcha (to quote my friend Joan)

Saturday, Oct 11th, 2008 -- You are dreaming in Technicolor today, even when you wake up and open your eyes. But as long as you don't try to be overly concrete now, you could be on a creative high. Do your best to capture this magical energy through whatever form of art and craft suits you best. And if you must be accurate in your reporting of details, tell others that it may take you a few days before you have all your facts in order.

This is so true it is freakish. San Francisco, once again, delivers more inspiration that I could ever dream. Actually, our entire trip has been that way. The wine country seemed more glorious than ever, and I found myself filled with new ideas at ever turn. And no, I wasn't drunk, lol. I've been journaling, but it is still slightly vague in my head, more of a feeling than anything, like I'm on the cusp of something big.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Today is my 15th Anniversary. It is a record for me, the girl who seemingly could never maintain a relationship (long story for another day). All I can say is I am incredibly blissed to have such a wonderful husband. John is my rock and my foundation. He is a man who believes in me with all his heart and his encouragement has allowed me to blossom in more directions that I could ever imagine. His intellect and wit never cease to amaze me. I respect so many things about him, but especially his patience and kindness. I think that he and I seem (to many) like an odd couple, but we are lucky in that we bring out the best in one another. He really does complete me.

Happy Anniversary sweetie.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Hometown bliss

The Hyde Park Art Fair was wonderful!  Gosh, such perfect weather, we Midwesterners are certainly getting spoiled, aren't we?  
Anyhoo, I had a mixed booth of abstracts and Common Denominator work.  I was lucky to get a corner location  
which was lovely for display and I hung things a little differently than normal.  I won a prize?!?!?  Can you believe!?!?  Mom & Dad were there when it was announced and it was so cute to see my Mom spontaneously telling anyone who walked by, "my daughter won an award."  Just hilarious.  It was an Honorable Mention, came with some moulah (yippee)  and also means that I get invited back next year without having to jury.  

These adorable costumed girls are Stacey and Jen (I covet Jen's tattoo hose btw) from Indigenous, my gallery in Cincinnati.   They were walking around the show promoting their upcoming Halloween Hullabaloo which is an event they hold each year.  If you are in Cincinnati, you should check it out, sounds waaayyyy fun!!  You can also find my work there; last time I visited, I was delighted to see a "MB wall" of sorts, tee, hee.
And since I was in Cincy, of course I got together with my cousin, Amber.  We had lunch with our moms, pretending we were ladies who lunch routinely.  It was a kick.  Moms and cousins both had a really good time.  Amber's a doll, isn't she?  

And finally, here is a picture from my last Studio Workshop which was held with women from The Joy Foundation.  The purpose of the workshop was to train their volunteer staff in a couple simple projects that could be done with hospitalized children in Cancer wards.  I am honored to be working with them.  

Which reminds me (short promo here), I have a few openings for upcoming Studio workshops.

There's a Claybord class on October 23rd with a couple spots and the Collage Class on November 8th has a few.  Email me for more details and I will send you a brochure if you are interested. 

I am heading out in the morning to San Francisco, woo hoo!!!  John and I are celebrating our 15th anniversary; we are going to Napa and to the City (of course), visiting old haunts and dear friends.   More on that later.......

Adios amigos. 

Friday, October 03, 2008

Cincinnati Bound

Hyde Park Square.
I'll be at the corner of Edwards & Erie.
Be there or be square.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Sound Bites

The plaque shown in the previous post is one of my "Sound Bites." They are brief smart ass phrases that I find amusing.  Some of them come from pop culture or the media; others I make up myself.  I wanted to present my own version of the live laugh dream create messages that we see everywhere (not that I don't like those, they have just been overdone). 
I've been making the Sound Bites for over a year now and they are suddenly quite popular as it seems folks relate to cynicism, tee, hee, hee.  I could go on and on about the idea of sound bites in general, as they perpetrate every part of our lives and sometimes I fear decisions are made based based on them.  But alas (smacks self in head), I won't bore you with another rant. 

After all, these are just for fun!  It's my intent to put them on Etsy.  I want to open a shop once my shows are over - this will definitely happen in time for holiday gift giving.   

So consider this your preview.  And if you gotta have one earlier, let me know.  They are $20 each which includes shipping.  Email me fmi.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

God help us all

I vowed to myself no political rants on my blog, so I'm going to tell this story without revealing my "choice".  I think that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I would not impose my opinion on others.  

That being said, I have - or had, I should say - a political sign in my side yard.  I'm sure you see where this is going.  

We left our house at about 4:00 to babysit our grandkids.  Afterward we spent a really lovely evening with our family.  We were gone about 4 hours or so.  And yep, you guessed it.....we returned to find that our political sign was gone. 

Nice.  Really a class act, whoever you are.  I realize I am taking this way too seriously, but it makes me question my neighbors.  Honestly, I can't believe it was one of my neighbors, I prefer to think it was some random act by an unknown person.  I have to believe that to maintain any sanity whatsoever.  But I do wonder about who would have done this and why they are seemingly unable to tolerate freedom of expression!??!  Does someone really believe that removal of a political sign will somehow influence the election and/or change my vote!?!?!  

So, here is my message.....pretty mature, huh?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I mailed gifts to a couple friends this week.  Taking a cue from one of my clever buddies, I decided to wrap presents in discarded paper towels and other odd scraps of painted stuff; truth be told, I have an enormous bin of these things.  Scavenging around is actually quite fun.  

And here is how the packages turned out.  I hope the recipients like them. 

Monday, September 22, 2008

Ties that Bind

Here's a charm that I made for the Ties that Bind Project, a fund raiser for Ovarian cancer.  First time I've attempted this.......I took a section of a collage and enlarged and adapted it in Photoshop, then added the text.  I sized the circle in PS and glued it behind my optical lens, added the wire and ribbon and voila!  I was happy with the result and you just might see more of these from me.  Check out the other contributions and find out more about this project here.  

Friday, September 19, 2008

You asked....

Several people have asked about our kitchen project, how it turned out, specifically all that refinishing I did earlier this year (remember when I was afraid all I would have to put in my booth was cabinet doors?).  Anyhoo, here are some pics.......I had to wait until I cleaned today to take some pictures.  

And yes, I refinished and distressed every single one of these cabinets, even the new ones that we bought to match the pre-existing ones.  Our contractor thought I was stark raving nuts.

See the stained glass lamp above our table?  That belonged to my grandparents and is quite special to me - it was sort of the inspiration piece for the room.  The bar stools are a total kick, aren't they? The color is the same red from my Coke machine which is in our living room and you can actually see it from some angles (not shown in these pics).  The recessed lights are all new and completely transformed the space, oh how I love them.  That boxy area on the other side of the table is the powder room (which is entered from the hall on the left.  The hall on the right has a utility pantry.  We doubled the width of the hall on the left and the hall on the right wasn't even there before (that used to be a large walk-in pantry & wet bar on the family room side).  I wanted "gallery" walls since we have sort of a moving display of art around here.  

Anyway, that is the tour of my new kitchen.  I love it so much, it was quite a project, something that John and I conceptualized and luckily our brilliant contractor figured out how to make it a reality for us.  
(I think the pictures enlarge if you click on them)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I will not feel sorry for Damien Hirst

Just because his auction started the same day the market tanked.  No I won't.  Despite all the world's financial worries with banks failing and AIG about to declare bankruptcy, Sotheby's London made 111 million pounds (over 197 million US dollars) on the Hirst auction.   Who knows what Hirst will get but you can bet it's a bunch.  It is incredible to think that Hirst completely bypassed his galleries.  For someone who is thrilled to obtain gallery representation (that would be me!), it's hard to understand.  

But the sale of all this art just confirms that the rich are still really really rich (duh, like we had any doubt).  If they weren't, I might have had a chance to bid on that pickled shark for my grand kids....

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Couldn't have said it better myself

Sunday's NY Times featured an article on digital scrapbooking.  It wasn't that long an article, but there was a section that grabbed me.  It was about Ali Edwards - who is friends w/my friend Dona, I am name dropping here, tee,hee.  I met her, Ali that is, at Artfest last year and she is a total doll, so very nice.  

Anyhoo, here it is....

"Edwards's fans praise her layouts precisely because of their personal touches - her handwriting across photographs and pages, in particular.  Yet when she teaches workshops, she encounters scrappers so wrapped up in buying embellishments that their work becomes "product heavy" and so concerned with achieving the "right" look (like the popular layouts they have seen online) that it "completely stalls them."  She encourages workshop attendees to think of the process as its own reward and to focus on telling a personal story."  

Yep, that pretty much applies to all art, doesn't it?  
Very good advice indeed.  

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Rain, rain, rain

I just got back from Cincinnati.  My dad had cataract surgery last week and I drove over to make sure he was OK (it was wildly successful and he doesn't even need glasses now!).  Plus I wanted to pick up an antique table that my parents gave to me.  I drove the truck  and it is embarrassing how much stuff I managed to jam into it (can you say Ikea!?!?).  I think I am doing my part to stimulate the economy.

Luckily, I got back home before the rain started here.  I know I shouldn't complain, when folks in TX have such a horrible situation.  Based on the tiny bit of "Ike" that we have seen, I cannot imagine what Galveston and Houston residents have been through.  This is one nasty storm.  You can see from the first picture that a humming bird rode out the storm on our feeder.  There were actually 3 of the little birds all perched on the feeders; about the only time they've been social with one another.   I think the overhang of our roof offered them a little protection, but you can see this one is all puffed up trying to stay warm.
And later today this spider appeared with it's massive web.  Not to mention all the earthworms trying to flee the water.  Ugh, they crawled under our garage door.  And somehow one managed to get in to our foyer.  Yuckyuckyuck, you should have heard me scream.

I am so glad to be home, even with all these crazy critters; I even have a a few days to make some art, yippee!! Hopefully I'll be able to share some more pictures soon. 

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The guts of my biz

I've meant to show this picture forever and keep forgetting about it.  This is how I re-organized my office with the new computer.  I love my mac.  Can't believe I didn't do it earlier.  It is just so great.  
But I also love my office.  It is probably the only room in the house (other than my studio) where I did exactly what I wanted without discussion.  I seriously feel it has helped my business for me to have this special space to work on the mind numbing paper stuff, you know what I mean?

That wave pattern on the wall?  Yeah, well that was free form.  I grabbed a paint roller and just went at it.  Sooooo much fun, I would definitely recommend this sort of painting release!  And my desk?  It's an old distressed table I bought at a local store.  Of course it wouldn't come apart (for some crazy reason) and we couldn't wrestle it through the doorway, so John had to saw part of it's feet off.  But I use those feet to decorate another area which I will show you later....
And yeah, that is an apron draped over my reading chair - so fabulous I just like having it out.  The pencil holder on the desk is a ceramic piece I made when I was a kid.  

The art continues to build across the wall as I collect more pieces from artists I admire.  There are also a few of mine up there and you can probably see the Misty piece that I look at every single day.  It has my favorite word on it.  Cherish.  That word sums it up for me.  

Sunday, September 07, 2008

What a show

 Wow, it was so much fun doing a show at home!  So many welcoming faces - friends, collectors, and artist buddies.  
You know those pieces from the last post?  
All gone.  Plus many others as well, including all those greeting cards and more that I made up during the show.  Geez, I never dreamed they would be so popular.  I definitely need to find a manufacturer.
I am also jazzed at the positive feedback regarding my abstracts.  I sold 5 of them which was quite a thrill.  I can't wait to start painting for my show next year, I just want to immerse myself and hole up in the studio.  Unfortunately, I have at least 2 more months of shows and classes until that is possible. 
And oh, the ideas I have!  Just loads of them, but really, play is the best direction (for me at least) because then I will make loads of new discoveries.  And most likely end up moving in a completely different direction than where I thought I was going.  But that just makes it fun.
Beth & Frank brought the grand kids to the show and it was wonderful to have them hanging out behind my booth, both working on drawings.  Aidan is writing and illustrating his own book about fish and dinosaurs.  I am perhaps a little biased, but I think it's pretty fantastic for any child, but especially a 6 year old.  The commitment he has made to this project is unbelievable.  Hopefully I will be able to share some pics one day.
Anyhoo, it was a perfect weekend.  I need to sleep for about a week except I have a studio class on Tuesday and then I leave for Cincinnati on Wednesday, so I will have to make do with a 24 hour rest.  
Thanks so much to all of you who support my path.  It means more than you could even imagine.  I am incredibly blissed.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Of birds and babes

Schlafly Art Outside
Starting today!!!!

I have lots of birds
and babes...
plus some cowboys
and clowns 
thrown in for 
good measure.
Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Gypsy life

Greeting cards - printed, mounted & packaged 4 dozen
Sound Bites - painted 2 dozen, still need to do phrases & wire them
Reproductions - printed, matted & packaged 2 dozen
6x6's - 6 complete, 4 to go
12x12's - 4 done, 4 to go
my list is getting shorter

I'm working pretty much round the clock at the moment.  Lots of little things because my stock is low.  It is times like this when I wish I had an assistant.  Ah, perhaps one day.  

Schlafly Art Outside is this weekend - 50 artists - check out the site, it is just getting better and better!  I am excited since it's my only outdoor fair in the St. Louis area for 2008.  And you know what, it's OK that I didn't get in to the "big" show this year.  The Schlafly people are really my people anyway.  I mean I loved doing the Clayton show (duh), like who wouldn't want to be in a top five show like that.  But Schlafly is where it all started for me.  Four years ago, in fact.  Geez, it's crazy to think how far I have come since then, specifically the fact I have relaxed enough to truly enjoy this lifestyle - using shows to catch up with artist friends for dinner and to grab a li'l vacation in the towns we visit.  It's a good life indeed.  But it's also good to be home too!  

We will set up Friday starting at noon.  The show itself starts at 5 and runs till 10 on Friday.  It's from 10-10 on Saturday and then 12-4 on Sunday.  I am blissed with  a corner booth, yippee (my lucky number no less, booth #7  as sweet Joe Mohr traded with me because I begged and whined), so I will have some of the big abstracts with me.   

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Summer days

Summer always gives me wanderlust.  These days, I don't really have the luxury of much free time, but I used Rhonda's puppies as an excuse to get away for a day.  I finished up the new batch of commissions (yippee!!), threw some stuff in the car, grabbed the big cooler and hit the road.  

Rhonda just lives an hour and a half away, but it seems further because she's in the country and has 16 acres on a lake.  We romped with the puppies, played with her older dog, even lured the cat out of hiding.  I saw all the work in her studio, things in process, prototypes of new ideas, etc.  I would love to show you a picture of her place, but I stupidly failed to charge my camera and the battery died.Luckily, I did get a few good shots before it pooped out.  

She fixed me a lovely grilled salmon dinner with fresh corn on the cob from the Mennonite farmer's market.  I got tons of veggies to bring home (hence the cooler)  and I stopped at the "mile high" place to get some carryout pie which is such a treat for me and John.  Yumyumyum!!!!

Aren't the puppies adorable?  They have tons of energy as you might imagine.  Sooooo very cute.
I drove home via every antique store I could find and that was fun.  Got lots of new material for the upcoming Schlafly show.  I need to pull some all nighters as I don't have much time left.  
We continue to have amazing weather here and more predicted for the weekend.  It feels good to be home (no show this weekend).  We are invited to 2 parties, plus a dinner date.   I will be in the studio during the days.  Don't feel sorry for me, there isn't anything I'd rather be doing.  I feel invigorated after my 18 hour vacation, tee, hee.  

Monday, August 25, 2008


I feel a little boring lately with my blog entries, makes me wonder if anyone is reading or if anyone cares, I mean if I am boring myself (!!!), goodness only knows what anyone else might think?  

My big news is that a very dear friend took me to the Bruce Springsteen concert Saturday night; and yes, I was a "virgin" Bruce fan.  Always liked his music, but didn't think too much about it.  Until this concert.  It was life changing.  I kid you not.  

The lyrics, the passion, the joy, the love.  He is a poet for our time.  The concert was a revival.  Absolutely amazing.  I need awhile to process it, but I am so grateful to have had the experience.  It has moved me in many ways.  I'm thinking and thinking......about many things in my life....and our society, about family and home and friends. 
I wonder if I could be a groupie.  Or perhaps I already am?