Tuesday, May 30, 2006

A weekend of art and leisure

As promised, here is the assemblage I created during my 'studio time' on Friday. It's called 'they fly silently.' During one of my walks with Max, I saw a wire birdcage hanging from a tree and the idea to make a miniature version in which to hang a transparency struck me. It's perfectly imperfect and not a project for the faint of fingers. Thanks to Stampassion for carrying Artchix fabulous transparency sheets, as well as the wire, beads and Lumiere paints. That's where most of my supplies originate!
On Sunday, for a change of scenery, I took Max over to the town park instead of our normal walk around the local school campus. It's amazing how hard it sometimes is just to break oneself out of the normal routine, but what a great feeling when you finally just do it!
My favorite piece of trail runs along a high, rocky ridge looking down over the Mohawk River, and it's so serene at five o'clock in the morning, with mist coming off the river, and ducks wading in the gentle current. I kept thinking, I have to tell Scott about this... we should have a picnic here - what a treasure right here in town...and then I remembered as I saw the multiple bbq grills and picnic tables that I didn't just find this great spot -- it's the "town park" -- oh crap, that means other people will be here too...ick. Did I mention that I've become somewhat of a recluse in recent years? I just crave silence and solitude a lot more, so I guess that means I'll have to keep getting up at dawn -- good news for Max!
And just a final note... if the photos accompanying this blog are all over the place, it's because I haven't figured out how to flow text around them. It's maddening as a graphic artist not to be able to do this simple function, but blogging is a different universe!!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Follow up to Studio Friday

My dear friend Debbie had to tend to one of her horses, who had an operation to remove a cyst, so our studio date has been postponed until this coming Friday, but I took the opportunity to work in my studio anyway. I haven't downloaded the photos yet, but I'll show & tell on Tuesday when I'm back in my office with all my digital toys hooked up.
Here's a glimpse of my container garden, another of my hobbies, which consists of ten pots of various sizes, and an assortment of herbs, beans, mesculin mix, tomatoes and lavender. Most of them are just starting to sprout...

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Studio Friday - aged - antique

These shoes, and the note that accompanies them, sit on a shelf in my studio, as a connection to my paternal grandmother, "Dambi," a painter who was my strongest artistic influence as a child. They belonged to her only brother, who died as a baby. The note that accompanies them was left by my great Aunt Viola, Dambi's sister, so that we'd know their precious history. I don't recall the origins of the rosary beads that are draped over them.

Thanks, Tine Sparkles, for this fun blog-event!

and happy birthday sisser!

A date to make art!

My friend Debbie will be coming over tomorrow for a long-awaited artist date. We get together every month or two when we can, to brainstorm and make art. We start early in the morning and work all day, with a break for lunch. Sometimes we have specific projects in mind, and sometimes we make it up as we go. During our last studio day, I made this art doll, titled "She hung the moon." She's fashioned from a stick that I found while walking Max one day. The graceful curve was so appealing to me I just knew immediately what she would be. She's the prototype for a class that I'll be teaching at Art Connection in Scotia, in July, called Stick Figure Femme.
...and I have completed my third creative coaching session with Sheri Gaynor. The three sessions were an early birthday gift from Debbie, whom I can't thank enough, because Sheri's energy and passion are contagious!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Is that... the sun?

It's amazing how a little ray of sunshine can completely lighten my mood. The rain has been wonderful for starting the seeds in my container garden but I'm glad that it has stopped.

This is a picture of a cement birdbath that sits in my garden. It was made with a mold from a rhubarb leaf, and I love it - the earthy color, the heft of it, the way it captures with amazing detail the veins of the enormous leaf. I have yet to see anything bathing in it other than the occasional gnat, but I am hopeful. My sister Jennifer bought it for me (recluctantly) as a Christmas gift last year, while we were doing the craft fair in Hollison, Massachusetts.I made - and sold - 150 of these hand-decorated ceramic tile memo boards - can you say - carpal tunnel? These make great gifts, so if you're interested in purchasing memo boards, send me a comment.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Pictures and pop ups...

Today, I am posting some picture sets at the right under my art & life category, to share some of my artwork and the book I made for Avery's birthday. I just learned that I can only have three sets using Flickr unless I pay for more, so I'll be rotating these sets to avoid having to pay for anything. Click on the titles under Art & Life to view the photo sets.

Also, I have learned that in order to post a comment to my blog - which I welcome - you may have to set your computer to "allow pop-ups" since the comment box is a pop up box. Thanks for reading!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Silk beads and sofas...

Here are the reclining sofa and recliner that Scott and I waited four months to get from the Lazy boys. It must have been the extremely rare fabric - tan micrifiber upholstery- that held them up. I noticed after taking these pictures that we have no art on the walls and it looks like we've just moved in. Time to do more shopping, I guess!

And in completely unrelated news, here are some handmade silk beads that I bought at the grand opening of Art Connection on Saturday. Mel confirmed that they were a hot seller. This picture doesn't do them justice.

...and happy birthday sisser!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

New spring lineup...

Lots of new things this weekend...New furniture - from Lazyboy - we have been waiting since February for a set that would take six to eight weeks, and then, even though we live one mile from the showroom, they gave us a four-hour window today in which the set would be delivered, between one and five p.m. What exceptional customer service. Maybe that's where "Lazyboy" comes from? But it's here and I love it. I never thought I'd have an entire living room full of recliners, but I do. Egads! What have I become? Even the sofa reclines - on both ends. Scott and I also bought Max a new bed to match the furniture, but now he has his own recliner, so I suspect the bed will go unused. But more importantly, it matches the room.
The other big "news" (actually bigger than new furniture)is that my friend Melanie has opened her own arts & crafts store with a pay-you-go studio in back, and the grand opening was also on Saturday. It's called Art Connection, and it's in Socha Plaza in Scotia, New York - She has a wonderful assortment of beads, mixed media art supplies, and fabric swatches to name a few. I will be teaching an art doll class there later this summer and will post more soon.
Also new is my sister Cheryl's new blue wheelbarrow that she bought over the weekend. In spite of the fact that she will be using it for rocks and soil and plants in her yard,-- as well as the occasional Avery ride -- she made the salesboy roll out every wheelbarrow until she found one without any scratches on it. This attention to perfection and detail was made more ironic by the fact that her entire criteria for choosing the wheelbarrow was the color. But it has a coat of "New England" blue paint on it, and Avery will look so cute having her picture taken in it, among the perennials.

Friday, May 19, 2006


As I walked Max this morning after yet another rainy night, this is the word that came to mind as I looked at woods around us, growing fuller, denser, greener by the day. And the raindrops dripping from the leaves and making the tree limbs hang low made me feel this word...of course, lush has another meaning that has been appropriate to me too (wink) but this morning it was the fertile, thriving woods I was appreciating, in that peaceful early, early morning hour.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

"Studio Time"

Yippee. Tomorrow I begin taking Fridays off until Labor Day. And I'm trying to set aside a good portion of most Fridays - at least 4 hours straight - for what I'm calling "Studio Time..." a date with myself to make art without interruption.
How do the rest of you who are artists manage your time in the studio? How do you balance it with family, other jobs, errands, housework, etc.?

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Things I love and hate about spring...

Things I love...
dandelions, when they bloom in buttercup yellow...rain, and the way it turns everything so green...gardening, planting seeds and watching them grow...long days, and lots of sunshine...

Things I hate...
dandelions, when they blow away and leave those angry lion-teeth leaves and stalky stems...rain, and the way it soaks all three pairs of my sneakers so that I have nothing to keep my feet dry when I walk Max...gardening, planting seeds and watching them not grow (lavender, where are you?)...long days, sometimes much too long, and I get tired...

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Home is where the heart is

By now, my niece is home sweet home. When I spoke with my sister yesterday, she reported that the 3-d echo looked good, and they were just waiting to be discharged. By then, Avery was back to her terrific and terrible two-year-old self - one moment all sweetness followed swiftly by a temper tantrum -- She'll make a wonderful wife someday.

As promised, here are two of the three samples from the Metal Effects class that I am teaching at Stampassion this summer. The first class is Saturday, June 24.

Monday, May 15, 2006

We all have gifts...some of us just haven't opened them yet.

I heard this yesterday and thought it was very funny. And speaking of gifts, Avery should be coming home today, after her 3-d echo.

Over the weekend, I worked on samples for a class that I'll be teaching in June, called Metal Effects, at Stampassion. We'll be making cards and a mini journal book using aluminum tape and alcohol inks. I should have pictures of the samples to post by tomorrow - very cool technique.

In the meantime, I can never post enough pictures of my niece...

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Making deals with God

Let me begin with the fact that Avery is doing very well, and may be home by Monday, after a 3-d echo to make sure all is well in her incredible heart...

Last night, my sister called to say that Avery wasn't doing well. Her eyes were dark and sunken, she was lethargic, and she was bluish, a sign that her oxygen levels were low. They were doing an echocardiagram to see if there might be a leaky heart valve. I got off the phone and just froze for a moment, looking at some pictures of Avery posted on my fridge. The lump in my throat was like a fist, choking me of all my air. I clutched the prayer box I wear around my neck and began to make deals with God. Take me, take my dog, even! - that's pretty generous as I really love my dog. Then I began to clean house, as it's a mindless activity that I can do while I worry. One load of laundry and a kitchen floor later, Avery was doing very well, recovering from dehydration due to meds to take fluid off her lungs. And Max and I are still here, so we're hoping that God isn't just waiting a day or two before making good on that deal.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Two of my favorite people

Okay, so one of my favorite people is my dog, Max. Here, Max & Avery are looking out the window at my dad's house. No one knows what they were looking at, as neither Avery nor Max can talk well enough yet to tell us, so it's forever their secret. Next week, I hope to post more of my artwork, along with a book that I made for Avery's second birthday, which features both Avery and Max. In the meantime, we're waiting for news that Avery is well enough to come home from the hospital, hopefully in time for Mother's Day.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Amazing Avery

Avery's surgery went "amazingly well" according to her surgeon. Now we're praying for her speedy recovery so she can resume life as the energetic, happy two-year-old we all know and love.

Amazing would also be a good word to describe Avery's mom, my sister Cheryl, for her incredible strength, intelligence and level-headedness during all of her daughter's surgeries. Words are inadequate to describe how proud I am that she is my sister.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

My heart is with Avery today

As I write this, Avery is in surgery. I will probably not have more news until later this evening so I won't be posting and update until morning. She is undergoing a different procedure than what we originally expected because she's actually done so much better than most babies with her condition.

This is Avery, looking very happy next to her 'big girl bed,'wearing her 'Sox chick' t-shirt. (sorry Yankee fans, but she's Boston born and bred.

Now for some completely irrelevant news in comparison: I've managed to post some images of my journal artwork at the right under the art & life category, but I haven't figured out yet how to display some of them without clicking on the button, like I've seen on other blogs.

More irrelevant yet: I used the new drive-through prescription pick up at CVS this morning - what a great service. Just like the bank, but they give you drugs instead of money!

Monday, May 08, 2006

A real work of art

Today my niece Avery is foremost on my mind. At age 2, she is an actress, an artist and the most wonderful little girl I've ever known. Tomorrow, she will undergo her third open heart surgery to further correct a congential defect called hypoplastic left heart syndrome. In whatever way is comfortable for you, please pray for Avery and for the amazing doctors, nurses and professionals at Children's Hospital, Boston, for the miracles they perform every day.

I am very new to this blogging thing, but I was able to create backlinks today, so I'm feeling very computer-geek saavy.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Hey look, I'm blogging!

"Create a blog" has been on my to do list for about a year, and I'm finally doing it. Many thanks to my friend Debbie Wachel for her support and encouragement, and to Sheri Gaynor, creativity coach, for helping me to take the leap!

I am also attempting to post an image with my first entry. It's an altered photo of me, that I want to place in my profile, but this is apparently the first step.