Monday, April 30, 2007

Happy May Day!

Does anyone recognize this image? I downloaded the below image for a May Day altered art challenge and then went to where I thought I read about the challenge and could not find it. I had an idea about submitting it... however perhaps having it to decorate my blog is just fine.
Hope everyone has a lovely, flower filled May Day!

More Fairy Gift ideas

Fairy Gifts Altered Book by Lani

Lore just told me this wonderful story that has to do with the importance of leaving gifts for the fairies!
As a child she would accompany her grandfather to a local private girls school where she could wander happily while he was at work. She was very drawn to the art class where she would hand around, peeping in the windows to see what folks were working on. The teacher began to leave little gifts outside the classroom where Lore could find them. One of her favorite gifts was a set of colored pencils. She would hide them away in her magic art box (an old green lunch pail) when she wasn't using them.
Can't you just see it? It probably had a lot to do with Lore finding the joys of art early in life. So this is why I think it's very important to leave little gifts for the fairies. You just never know who will receive your gifts and you never know how important they might be to them.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Links and inspiration

Formosa collage by Lani

Do maps of your childhood home make your heart skip a beat? My friend Adela sent me a link for Bunraku puppets and an East & Southeast Asia internet directory. There I found ancient images and maps of my island home and also lots of other delights. Also if you like Asian art, poetry, and folktales here are some more great links:

Do you know the old Japanese card game with 100 poets and poems? You can buy a deck here! Wouldn't these be great for altering?

And from jaihn I got this link for "cracklemountain"! Lots of great art and folktales, all Asian!

From jaihn I also got a link (not Asian) for the amazing Laurie Zuckerman's blog with all kinds of alternative arts. Scroll down for the memory jugs but look at everything else on the way down.

And here's an idea from the In Good Spirit blog: Write a love letter to your favorite book or author or literary character. If you illustrated the letter with a lot of imagery and color, making it a work of mail art, who would you send it to, and how would it look?

Thursday, April 26, 2007

An all new Artist's Happiness Challenge

The next session of this three month e-course begins May 1st, and it presents 2 weekly art "challenges", a support group to discuss results and share images. Our yahoo group library is already full of free articles from all kinds of sources from positive psychologists, social workers, counselors, spiritual guides and meditation teachers just waiting for you to download. This class will also be moderated by Lore, one of the 14 Secrets for a Happy Artist's Life moderators, very experienced in the joys of creativity.

But for those of you willing to read the fine print and look for secrets of happiness and joy in unusual places, off the beaten path, like a treasure hunter, feel free to email me for details on how to get a 50% discount on the cost of this e-course.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Turn Off Your TV Week

Do you sometimes feel like you are stuck inside the box? Be free. Come outside and play! Make time for art! Have more fun! (Photoshop and The collage by Lani)

Monday, April 23, 2007

And now it's time to work on ART, workshops, and writing!

See you in the "fairy gift" workshop in Ann Arbor, Michigan, home of the Urban Fairies!

You are the fairy's treasure! (collages created with digital images from The

More photos from the trip or what I learned in Vermont and Maine!

From the Vermont art therapists I learned (once again) how important fun is for maintaining resilience! Thank you all so much for that!

And here's a puppet that isn't just a survivor but a THRIVER, thank you very much!

A close up of my puppet. This was completed in a 10-3 workshop. We used sculpey and a little acrylic to accent wrinkles. Apply and wipe off. The paint stays in the cracks.

And here we are, two fabulous puppets and their makers (Lore and Lani). For more puppet photos please see this web page.

And then we went to Maine to stay with Rob and Randy and get a good dose of Bergamasco's since we had gone for so many days with out any big, joyful, Rastah-hugs!
Here's Bruzzi's brother playing catch! Sweet dog!

And here's the family, Randy and Rob in a sea of dreadlocks! Don't you love it!

And then home again with our own dogs. Here they are with some neighbors who have an Irish Wolf Hound. (And I thought our dogs were kind of big!)

Thursday, April 19, 2007

New York and what I learned there.

What I learned in NYC is that balance is very important.

After ArtFest I was just able to do my laundry and Edward and I said good bye to the Bergamasco Boys and the cats. The dogs went to their dog sleep away camp and the cats stayed home and were looked after by a mighty cat sitting team of Shannon and Rebecca!

Then we hit the road and got as far as York Harbor, Maine. There was a great deal of snow starting to fall and we pulled into the York Harbor Inn.
It's mostly extremely expensive during the summer but in April when it's snowing they have really nice rates, ocean view, Jacuzzi, beds big enough to get lost in, and a breakfast to keep you until dinner.

On Friday and Saturday I did a workshop for NYU. We all had a wonderful time. I met many very colorful personalities from Che Guevara to a pair of yellow twins who discussed their differences quite a lot to... Oh you will have to meet them.

Here's the lion who had a tooth ache taking a puff on Che's cigar. Don't quite know what he thought of it...

Here's a former corporate guy who still maintains his tie even though he's shed the rest of it.

And this beauty was a toe-sock in a former life. Can you believe it? For the yellow twins and more puppets, please see this web page.

Edward and I stayed with Edith Kramer for a couple of nights and from her we learned that it's really great to keep doing your life's passion (for her it's painting) even if you are 90. So inspiring! Let's go paint, make puppets, eat good food, sleep in beds big enough to get lost in, and play!!!!

(These 3 are among Edith's current paintings.)

More of my adventures to follow.

ArtFest; What I learned!

I learned life can be very sweet. I forgot to bring my camera to ArtFest so here are a few images and the friends that loaned me the images.

The first person I met in Seattle was Ellen. We shared a room in a swank motel in Seattle and got to do a little exploration before heading off to Port Townsend. Check out her blog for more ArtFest art work and impressions. We found this enourmous troll under a bridge and great dragons in China Town. Can't beat that!

One of the first people that you meet at ArtFest is Teesha Moore. What a wonderful, sweet, generous couple she and Tracy are.

And here's me with Ellen and my roommates Maija and Andra. This is Kim's picture and she's got plenty more on her beautiful blog like this one of her and Ellen!

One thing that seems to happen right away is you can find yourself hanging out with the most hilarious people all the time. We laughed and made art; ate, laughed, and made more art. You just can't beat that for Retreat & Restoration. Here are some photos from Cyndy who also had a ton of images of art and people.

Here's Ellen and a painting from one of her workshops. Pretty cool, eh?

Ruby, my "Dark Arts" sister and her partner.

And here's the crew in the art asylum. You'd go to this big recreation hall to make stuff in your free time. I got my first felting lesson here. Love these guys!!! See you next year!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Home Again after ArtFest & Road Trip

Image from Wayne Wirs which I found in my in-box.

Glad to be home but the sorrows of the world are heavy and hard to bear. I think we need blessings now. We need to give and receive as many blessings as possible. And we should say them out loud.

My grandfather died when I was seven years old. I had never lived in a world without him in it before and it was hard for me. He had looked at me as no one else had and called me by a special name, "Neshume-le," which means "little beloved soul." There was no one left to call me this anymore. At first I was afraid that without him to see me, and tell God who I was, I might disappear. But slowly over time I came to understand that in some mysterious way, I had learned to see myself through his eyes. And that once blessed, we are blessed forever.

Many years later when, in her extreme old age, my mother surprisingly began to light candles and talk to God herself, I told her about these blessings and what they had meant to me. She had smiled at me sadly. "I have blessed you every day of your life, Rachel," she told me. "I just never had the wisdom to do it out loud."

- Rachel Naomi Remen