Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Gift of Story

Collage by Lani

Here's a quote for you from Darlene over at 14 Secrets.

I hope you will go out and let stories happen to you, and that you will work them, water them with your blood and tears and you laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom.
-Clarissa Pinkola Estes

And Adela reminded me of where you can find collections of compelling and inspiring stories. This repository offers its inspiration with the simple hope of spreading more goodness in the world. They have no copyrights, so feel free to read, share and distribute.

There you will find links to Nipun's blog and Guri's blog. Here's a quote from them:

"Convinced that good is everywhere, we are walking in India, headed 'South' to find that good. At one level, we're profiling ordinary and extra-ordinary heroes so others know about them. At another level, we have left our homes and comforts in America to cultivate our own hearts, to develop our vision to see the good in all life. It's a journey, without a destination."

Now isn't that just lovely!? Don't you want to cultivate your own heart? And here are a few related websites for more heart cultivation:
Inspiring videos with be-the-change actions!
Inspiration, action, and tools & references is a collection of in-depth interviews with with artists from all walks of life. Our print magazine, works & conversations, is run on a gift-economy basis. What is a Gift Economy?

A gift economy is an economic system in which goods and services are given freely, rather than traded. In a market economy, one can hoard one's goods without losing wealth; indeed, wealth is increased by hoarding -- although we generally call it 'saving'. In contrast, in a gift economy, wealth is decreased by hoarding, for it is the circulation of the gifts within the community that leads to increase--- increase in connections, increase in relationship strength.

Carrying no advertising, making the entire texts of past interviews available on-line without charge, and not charging any subscription for our print magazine, ours is an experiment to be the "gift economy" change that we wish to see in the world. Starting 2007, our costs are covered entirely by unsolicited donations by like-hearted friends.

"All I have produced before the age of seventy is not worth taking into account. At seventy-three I have learned a little about the real structure of nature, of animals, plants, trees, birds, fishes and insects. In consequence when I am eighty, I shall have made still more progress. At ninety I shall penetrate the mystery of things; at one hundred I shall certainly have reached a marvelous stage; and when I am a hundred and ten, everything I do, be it a dot or a line, will be alive." -- Hokusai
Thoughtful weekly inspiration from a variety of wisdom traditions. has smiles and kindness stories from around the world.
Very interesting daily good news articles.

That should keep you busy for a while.

If you were wondering about the collage, the child's face came from a tintype, scanned at about 400 % with dense pixels (300). I had been looking at Nina Bagley's blog and she had a link to her friend Judy's blog. While there (and I was lost there for a day or two, very rich in story and image!) I found an image of Esther which intrigued me. How was it done? It looked like a face superimposed on concrete... so I thought I might try my hand and something similar. Thank you Judy for the inspiration!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Post Script for Mini Tutorial

Just in case you don't read the comments on blogs Karen left a comment on the last one pointing out that she has hundreds of images available for us to use in our art work. You can find them here. Thank you so much Karen!!! What a treasure trove!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Mini Tutorial & more links and inspiration

Playing with photoshop and the wonderful digital stuff from Robyn England at Scrap Artist.
Oh yes, thank you Robyn and do visit these links for some great ideas for collage and scrapbooking, too.
So here's my little tutorial for creating background papers for your collage work. I took a couple of Robyn's "EZ ATC - Oriental Flare" papers and layered them, and making easy layer slightly translucent by hitting the "luminosity" button in the layers description list. Then I used an overlay sheet and a postcard all in this little package of delightful digital Asian materials.

OK, there you go, and I sure hope I used my digital scraps appropriately! I had a lot of fun. Thank you Robyn.

Now here are some more great links for you. First of all my buddy jaihn has been very busy so go to her website and look at all the great links and uncoverings she has come up with from great downloadable music to the wisdom of the grandmothers. It's all there in her last two posts!

Then Art Heals has their latest newletter out for your perusal.

In it there's an interview with eco artist Lynne Hull. Here's a quote:

"I believe that the creativity of artists can be applied to real world problems and can have an effect on urgent social and environmental issues. I am increasingly aware that the greatest challenge faced by other species is the need for change in human values and attitudes toward conflicting rights, wants, and needs. I hope my work offers models for equitable solutions."
-Lynne Hull

For lots of royalty free, public domain, stock photos go to PD There you will find everything from a full moon to a Gulf Coast dinner. Here's one from New Orleans Metairie cemetery.

Do you know Tom's Truth Nuggets? A lovely blog full of perfect little nugget sized bits of wisdom. He believes that truth and wisdom is all around us and in us. "We each have our own little knotholes on the universe. By combining all our highest, clearest visions of what we see through our respective knotholes, we can create a much more complete and accurate awareness of the nature of life." Have a look.

And do you know the stunning socially aware work of photographer Chris Jordan? See the Katrina's Wake images. Very beautiful and very moving.

And finally there's Craftivity at SuperNaturale, "an independent site dedicated to the Do It Yourself culture in all its glorious forms. From simple afternoon home improvement projects to radical lifestyle choices- we love them all. We celebrate ingenuity, creativity and the handmade." Here you will find books, forums, craft instructions, socially aware frugality, and a lot of delightful links.

Have fun and make some art today!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Coping Kits with wax and gold leaf

OK, how does it go, "Hi, my name is Lani and I am a Coping-Kit-Aholic? I can't stop with these little containers. Now they have more stuff on them, they are closer to being finished. Here are some of them on a shelf waiting for their artful coping contents.

The one on the left or the middle one (I haven't decided) are the 14 Secrets Coping Kit Round Robin and the one on the right is a Creativity - Mind Energy Tin. It will hold a small amount of watercolor paper and pen.

Here's my 14 Secrets altar with Carol Moore's garden flowers and a Paperwhimsy image.

Here's the inside of the altar, little bottles of blessings of all kinds and a larger version of the Paperwhimsy girl.

Jodie Foster, one of our Coping Kit players has promised me a tin or two to play with, oh boy oh boy oh boy!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Spring Gifts (it's still spring here)

When Elizabeth Pass isn't riding her bike or working for the Board of Ed., she's taking pictures like this! Wow! Thank you Elizabeth!

More gifts. Adela sent me a link to this great article in the New York Times about Art, Anonymity, and Rugs. Great article and do look those lovely rugs!

Another website from Adela and Artella is a wild one on what you can do with crochet! Who knew? Coral reefs and all.

On the art-e-zine yahoo group Denise Hunter posted this flickr site for copyright free scanned images for collage. It's amazing, a treasure trove! And Art-E-Zine itself has gifts for you if you make a donation to keep up the bandwidth also very much worth checking out!

If you are interested in Art Journaling there's a great article on Keri Smith's soon to be released book Wreck This Journal. Read all about it here. You can download the article or the whole electronic magazine LAB issue 01.

If you are interested in zines or having a group work on a zine there's a great Guidebook for Zine Project full of perfect prompts and wonderful ideas. It's from Colorado State University and you can down load it here.

And then from Joe Riley of Panhala comes this image and poem. I've got to get out in my kayak... when it stops raining... if it stops raining.
Ten Years Later

When the mind is clear
and the surface of the now still,
now swaying water

slaps against
the rolling kayak,

I find myself near darkness
paddling again to Yellow Island.

Every spring wildflowers
cover the grey rocks.

Every year the sea breeze
ruffles the cold and lovely pearls
hidden in the center of the flowers

as if remembering them
by touch alone.

A calm and lonely, trembling beauty
that frightened me in youth.

Now their loneliness
feels familiar, one small thing
I've learned these years,

how to be alone,
and at the edge of aloneness
how to be found by the world.

Innocence is what we allow
to be gifted back to us
once we've given ourselves away.

There is one world only,
the one to which we gave ourselves
utterly, and to which one day

we are blessed to return.

~ David Whyte ~

(House of Belonging)

Last but never, ever least there's a rich treasure trove over at jaihn's Truly Spacious. So many things see from Tarot to the Indigenous Grandmothers.

But it is REALLY RAINING so I think instead of kayaking I'll either take the pups for a walk/swim or I'll work on some digital collage with all my new collage elements!
collage by Lani

Friday, June 08, 2007

Bread Head Puppets in Hebbville, NS

Here's little Rose the Bread Head Puppet from Hebbville.
(For Bread Head Puppet instructions, please see my website, Puppet Making 101)
There were 155 puppets made and animated. If you want to see more that the very few I have posted here you can go to this Hebbville web page.
Here is the Happiest Bread Head Puppet. He had to be put in his paper bag puppet house and he was still happy. The bag top was rolled shut tight and he was still happy. A really happy little puppet!

The gray haired puppet on the right is a Lady Ghost Bread Head. Have you ever met such a being before? I had not.

Some had special powers...
Some had special challenges...
Some had Amazing Hair Days...

Some made us all laugh...

Some took our breath away...

Some needed to be treated with great tenderness...

But in the end we all had the best time!
155 puppets later and I'm ready to play again!

14 Secrets Altered Book Round Robin

Here's the cover of my contribution to the 14 Secrets Altered Book Round Robin. What fun! I took a children's board book for the basis of this one and a childhood photo of Edith Kramer (grandmother of art therapy, I like to remember my roots) for the focal point of the cover.

This is page one which is the 15th Secret : Attend your inner garden and watch the flowers bloom. (Real flowers from Carol Moore's garden)

Here's the back cover which has the artist's sign in tags.

May this altered book make the rounds in safety and joy.