Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Collage by Lani.

Do you ever worry about what is around the next corner? Feel overwhelmed by pressures and events? I got this great email from Adela that gives me a whole new feeling of spaciousness. Try these thoughts on for size!

i think what's been bothering me here was [note past tense] the "lessons" frame.
i really dislike the concept of "lessons", because it sounds [to me]
so punitive/vindictive... as in "that should teach you/i hope you learned
your lesson this time".
so a few years ago i re-framed the process to "explore/discover", which i find
exciting... as in "okay, here's the situation. what could someone/you discover here that might be interesting and rewarding and useful down the pike?"

So, for example, if you have an accident that puts you into rehab (and you can replace rehab with what ever event you like), instead of thinking "I wish I was somewhere else" or "what lessons should I learn hear about paying attention" you could take Adela's explorer approach. Look around this rehab place you have landed and look for what you can discover about it, about yourself, and about re-growth, re-learning, and making things whole. Can you feel the spaciousness and possibilities just waiting for you to explore and discover? Neat, eh?

Thank you Adela!!!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Do you moo?

Do you know these little cards that you can get through your "flickr" account? They are really wonderful. A sweet little recyclable box, paper from sustainable forests with your own fine art work on them. How much better can it get?

Oh yes, and then there's "Where in the world is Moo?" which is a kind of 100 person round robin. Someone sends you a moo box with however many moo cards and you send it on to the next person after you add your card. When the box is full (100 people, 100 cards) then a new box goes out. Pretty cool!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Coping Kits

It all started with a question from Lore, over on 14 Secrets,
"If you were going to be away from everyone you knew and all that is your norm to do some hard work, what would you pack in your coping kit?"
At first I was thinking something big, like a journaling bag, but then I started thinking about little tins you could fill with lovely images and something to draw with and maybe a little book... But small.

Shortly after that I was looking at some altered bandaid tins (see above) on Gillian Allen's Art E Zine and just fell in love with Gillian's rustic looking tins. I asked her how she made them and she said she used Nitromores paint stripper to remove the white paint or enamel and was able to get down to the metal finish. Then she brushed it with Modern Masters Metal Effects, Black patina and after that some vinegar and bleach mix--and it sort of went rusty a bit.

So I went looking for Modern Masters anything at all which we do not have, apparently, here in Canada so I settled for throwing my tins in the fire (our old word burning stove, yes I know it's May already but it's still cold here) and they got a wonderful sooty finish. I then remembered the my tubes of Interference from Golden Paints which I learned about from Ruby Fowler (thank you Ruby) so I got to work. These are all in progress so you get the idea of how they are done.

Here's an Altoids tin all sooted and burned with a layer of Interference.

This one was a Sarbuck's Cocoa Tin with some metal, pretty little shiny bits and charms after a layer of Interference.

This one was a Chinese Jasmine Tea tin with a collage element added.

Another tea tin, you can see the history of the tin poking through the Interference. Metal added. I'm considering darkening the metal and adding a touch of interference there as well.

Here's an old film canister which didn't soot up quite enough so I tried some alcohol ink and then a touch of Interference. Then collage, metal ring, bits of mica and pretty shiney things. Again with this one I'm thinking of giving the ring a touch of ink and Interference.

So these will become my Art for Coping Kits for traveling, when the need arises for some quiet reflection time and a little endorphin boost (if I can stop playing with them, that is). Updates to follow.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


"Anyhow: from my standpoint the only thing--if you're some sort of artist--is to work a little harder than you can at being who you are: while if you're an unartist (i.e. aren't) nothing but big&quick recognition matters." (sic)
E. E. Cummings, September 7, 1959, from a letter to his daughter
(this quote arrived in my inbox from Soul Flares

OK, my good buddy Deb tagged me with the "7 random things about me" Meme (which is a "unit of cultural information" which I had to look up)! So I get to tell you 7 random things and then pick 7 more bloggers.

1. I am under the illusion that I can't live without my Taiwanese barbecue sauce.

2. I have a great fondness for Buddhist thought.

3. I love medieval European culture; music, architecture, book binding, illuminations, and sculpture.

4. One of my childhood heroes was Hans Conried from Fractured Flickers.

5. Pollyanna was my ego-ideal. (Now there's a surprise!!!)

6. I have a great fondness for treasure hunting at Guy's Frenchys and Value Village

7. One of my many favorite places on earth is Chinatown, NYC!

I tag Nici, Holly, Cynthetic, JJ, Ellen, Kim, and jaihn!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

It was quite a beautiful process...

"It was quite a beautiful process, learning to walk on the rope." -Janine Antoni

I was exploring PBS' Art 21 today. It's an amazing site with artists, slide shows, videos, very interesting ideas, links, and even lesson plans for teachers with topics like: abstraction & realism, home & displacement, individuals & collectives, labor & craftsmanship, the natural world, public & private space, ritual & commemoration, technology & systems, and war & conflict.

I was particularly interested in Janine Antoni's work on the "Moor" which was a beautiful rope crafted from fibers and materials donated to her by friends and family. A lot of people gave her materials from friends who had passed away. Giving them to her to put into the rope is like giving them another life. The rope became a connection between people and people and their memories and stories.

While working on this piece Janine got an idea about tightrope walking, so she called up a tightrope walker named Kevin O’Keefe and asked him if he could teach her. He said, "Oh yeah, walking on the wire is just like walking meditation."

So Janine practiced tightrope walking for about an hour a day and after a week she began to feel like she was getting her balance. But as she paid closer attention she started to notice that it wasn’t that she was getting more balanced, but that she was getting more comfortable with being out of balance. "...rather than getting nervous and overcompensating by leaning too much to one side I could compensate just enough. And I thought, I wish I could do that in my life when things are getting out of balance. I sort of learned that I could just breathe in and sort of set myself back up onto the rope. The other thing that was really fascinating is I started to learn the bottom of my feet in a way that I had never learned before. ...It was quite a beautiful process, learning to walk on the rope."

Thanks to Art for Housewives for the link to Janine Antoni.

"Moor" by Janine Antoni.

Happy Mother's Day!!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Transformation and the art of happiness.

Photoshop collage by me and Stockxpert.

Jaihn sent me some images and a link for a video on butterfly transformations from caterpillar to pupae to butterfly. Anything transformational to this degree is just astonishing and hopeful!

Then I looked at these Warrioresses (jaihn called them that and it fits) of transformation and that's how I got lost in Stockxpert and tried my hand at transformation and the art of happiness, my collage for the day.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Thinking Blogger

I've been tagged as a thinking blogger by Eveline Maedel. Thank you Eveline, what a good idea. You can go to her blog and find five blogs she tagged, go to the person who tagged her and find more thought provoking blogs there, and I'll tag five thought provoking blogs here, so you can have a whole lot of thought provoked! A person could be lost in thought for hours.

So here are my five:
1. Riverbend's blog about life in Iraq. A totally Non-North American view of the world. One of my favorite things to do is read world views that are different from the world view of the place I happen to be living. It's a great way to consider the possibility that what we think of as reality might be dependent upon where we live.
2. Juan Cole is a professor of Modern Middle East and South Asian History in the History Department at the University of Michigan. If you are attached to conservative or neo-conservative thinking you might want to avoid this blog.
3. Keri Smith has lots of art and thoughts. Good stuff.
4. Layers of Meaning is Serena Fenton's blog, full of art, design, and ideas... layers of meaning.
5. Art for Housewives is Cynthia Korzekwa's very thoughtful blog, also full of art. She says "make art, not trash." Lot's of great art and craft and life ideas here.

I could go on... but it's dinner time and all you are supposed to do is tag five so have fun thinking!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

ArtFest Treasures

My best ArtFest treasure! I learned how to felt hair onto this abandoned muslin rabbit which I altered in the Art Asylum. People gave Bunny charms for her necklace and then some more charms came through 14 Secrets so I added them to the necklace. She has her own little ArtFest bag and all. Here's a close up.
Another treasure was Nina (rhymes with Lima - she will correct you about that) Bagley's Pocket Book of Parlor Questions. I turned mine into Lani's Book of Memory.

"Believe." Remember wishes can come true. This woman has the words "ocean", "village", and "cottage" running through the picture to remind me that before I lived in Prospect I had to have the wish to live by the ocean, in a little cottage in an old fishing village.

This one is to remember to create art and magic every day.

This one is to remember to have a beginners mind about the world, treat each day as an opportunity to discover new things.

Remember to be loyal to yourself and others.

Remember you are loved more than you know. I surely did enjoy making this little book and then altering it. Thank you Nina.

And then there was Nina Bagley's "Knot Now, Nina" necklace and bracelet. The Wild Women of Prospect liked this one to so there may be some silver wire knotting going on in Prospect.