Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Surround Yourself with Talented People and Grow

I have always tried to surround myself with people who are smarter, more talented and hold a different point of view. It has helped me grow and push myself to be better. I have also tried to move outside of my comfort zone--I call it putting stretch marks on my comfort zone--especially when I am feeling complacent.

I have been very fortunate to have come to know and trade art with Linda Edkins Wyatt for a number of years. This is our last small group exchange. It's called :High Fashion dia de los muertos." I can only hope that she is as happy with my part of the trade. I can only encourage you to find people to trade art. I know that it has helped me grow as an artist and has enriched not only my life but the walls in my home.

How have you put stretch marks on your comfort zone lately?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Sono innamorata!: I Am in Love with a Paste

I am truly trying to use what I have and not buy more stuff. I feel stuff overload lately and yet I could not resist trying Coccoinco potato starch paste after reading about it on friend Marie Z. Johansen's blog. She learned about the paste from another mutual friend Kimberly Baxter Packwood. First, I am a sucker for this kind of thing. It comes in a quaint tin. It is nontoxic (only four ingredients) so it would be great to use with children. It has been made in Italy since 1927. It smells like almonds. Yep, I am now a glue sniffer. The brush is just too cute for words AND it works on just about any kind of paper. I did find that it did not work well on a paper used for a wine bottle. Otherwise, it has become my go to glue You can buy it at Kaufman Mercantile.  No affiliation. Just a happy customer and I love all the connections!

This is the information that is available on their website that was fun to read:

"... When Coccoina, the solid white glue in the aluminum tin, was first introduced, Italian commercials promoted the trademark with this campaign: "It is not a drug, but a solid glue that amazes and arouses enthusiasm in all who use it.”
One of the principle features of the glue was that, aside from its adhesive quality and light almond scent, you could safely eat it. A thin spread of the glue works well on paper, photos, clothes, labels, and any art project you can get your hands on, and perhaps the most welcome feature is the tiny brush that comes tucked away inside. Any surface where you need a smooth spread of paste can be achieved with this miniature aluminum paintbrush and its tiny bristles of pig hair.  It leaves no clumps that need to be smoothed with a finger. Though the glue is considered a solid, it has a consistency that's neither wet nor dry, and the container provides mess-free use and storage that lasts up to a year. It's safe for children too. Not that they should eat the stuff, but if they do, NBD. All the ingredients are non-toxic, solvent-free, and not dangerous. Use this glue on any paper-related task, from keeping photos together in an album to scrapbooking to pasting receipts for accounting records. If the glue hardens a bit in its tin, it's easy to soften up again. You can scoop it out and gently heat in a saucepan with a small amount of water. When it's slightly liquid, pour it back into the tin, and when it sets, it will be good as new, without any effect on the adhesive qualityFor longer usage, replace the cap tightly after each application. Maximum period of storage should not exceed 12 months."

Friday, October 24, 2014

With Deepest Gratitude

Good things keep arriving in the mail. Today came a check for $500 from the Northern Lake County Quilters Guild  to help with my Georgian Quilt Group. I gave my lecture "Connecting Cultures:An American Quiltmaker's Pilgrimage" at their May meeting. They were a delight and engaging group and now they have a piece of my heart. Thank you!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Turning Tides: Thanks Liz

On January 30th, I did a "Give Away with a Twist" that was inspired by my friend Kathy Schmidt. I did sign up with a couple of people that were inspired by my posting. Well I got a package in the mail from Liz Lystra who received one of my give aways. Wow! Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful art with me. It bought more than a smile. The message on the card especially spoke to me. The more artwork that I share, the better I feel about creating. I do not have enough room to store it all or even to sell it all so that is the next issue to decide. What to do with it all? Thoughts?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Vertigo and Life- I Am Back!

On August 4th I got out of bed, took two steps and fell down.   I spent the next three days in bed with bad vertigo so I spent time reading. The vertigo still comes and goes. Two weeks after the vertigo, I was back in bed with a crashing sinus headache. No reading this time just restless sleep for three days. Thought all was well until I started having a runny nose and intense sinus pain. Finally decided a trip to the doctor was needed. Couldn't get in to see my regular doctor so I saw someone I hadn't seen in 14 years. Because I had not been in to see a doctor except for an annual physical, I was prescribed amoxicillin. Got worse. Back to the doctor for a stronger antibiotic. I am not a good sick person. Thankfully the antibiotics worked but I lost a lot of time. Still playing catch up!

There is some good news. On September 22, my granddaughter Zora was born. I have been trying to help out by playing with her big brother Tyler. I look forward to getting to know her.

I can tell you that I have spent a lot of time thinking about things like why I can get so much done for others but put myself last. Trying to change. It's not easy. Thanks to everyone for their kind emails of concern. I promise to get back into the habit of keeping my blog up-to-date. More tomorrow.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Inspired by the Gift of a Feather


The juvenile Cooper Hawk continues to visit. He now likes taking baths in my small pond. He sits on a brick that holds the pump down and I can watch him undetected from my kitchen window. I have watched him become bolder and more vigorous as he becomes more comfortable.  I discovered a feather floating in the wind on Friday shortly after he flew off. Since I committed to Kimberly Baxter Packwood's 60 day Crow/Bird challenge, I was feeling a little stressed on Saturday because I had not posted a piece to the Facebook page. So I went back to doing what I do when I feel the need to create but don't have much time--I created two cards. I will share them with a friend or family member.  Simple, low stress and yet satisfying which is how expressing one's self is just what is needed sometimes.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Mixed Media

There is something about mixed media that makes my heart go pitter patter. I started a new series of sculptures with the intent of using my vast supply of things that I have collected over the years. She was well received at ClaySpace today. The piece deals with trying to find calm in the craziness life so often brings. The second piece which I am working to complete has to do with what we keep inside. The work makes me excited.

Since I committed to the 60 Days of  Crow/Bird challenge, I wanted to try mixed media too. The piece I did for it is approximately 6" h x 9" w. It includes interfacing, three different kinds of paper- tissue, watercolor and commercial paper, hand dyed fabric and hand dyed pearl cotton. It's not easy to see but the paper with the squares punched out has the words "everything is possible." I also wrote on it which is had to read but being able to read what I wrote wasn't important. I have been exploring handwriting for a while. Mostly to overcome all the negative remarks about my handwriting while in elementary school. I shared another crow fact- "A group of crows is called a "murder," a designation thought to date to the 15th century." The term is more literary or romantic than scientific. Crow experts usually refer to a flock, pair or family group of crows. Anyway, I painted the interfacing and the tissue paper. I want to do more because it was so much fun!

I am enjoying stretching myself in new directions. Today I was complimented on my fearlessness which made me happy. It is not that I don't have fear, because I do, it is that I no longer fear failure. I just want to keep learning.  What is on your list to learn? What makes you come alive?