Wednesday, January 28, 2009


I am home sick this week and have been unable to muster energy enough to get into my art room to make art. That's pretty sad if you ask me. However, this does give me a chance to comment on a couple of things I've recently come across on the internet that I want to share with you.

First, you may have noticed the lovely turquoise badge I've added to my blog on the right. It comes from Donna Downey's website, and she has launched a Campaign for Creativity. There is nothing more to being a part of the campaign than believing in her simple message: "Live a life inspired and dream with possibility!", being creative yourself, and encouraging creativity. It is such a simple idea, yet so many (myself included), despite how nice her message sounds, fail or have failed in the past to live it. We allow ourselves to be distracted by our busy lives and responsibilities, "don't have time" to make art or be creative in our own ways, and worst of all, we let our inner-voices critcize us much too often. In fact, my dad recently stated to me that the reason he has not spent more time with his art and probably will not again in his life is due to his own self-criticism of his work. I feel that this is a great shame, for he is quite an artistically talented man, but who of us artists hasn't been there??? It has been thoughts like that which have kept me from believing in myself up until now. I would very much like to encourage anyone who reads this to reflect on how this campain could affect you. How can you be more inspired to create? How can you encourage creativity? What have you not allowed yourself to dream of? And, thank you to everyone who has already participated in this campaign without even knowing it, by encouraging me and my creativity!

Another thing I came across today is something you MUST see. I am so touched. A woman named Amy Krause Rosenthal made a short video about 17 things she has made. It is quite simple, but whimsical and endearing. Click here to see it on YouTube. It's worth the 2-3 minutes it takes to watch. Even more worth it, however, is the follow up video about making an 18th thing with others. Talk about community-building and love for fellow man and faith in humanity! And, it is very creative. Click here to see the wonderfully named "Beckoning of Lovely" (about 7 minutes long). It has inspired Amy and her colleagues to make yet another film of lovely things by any random person in the world. Sadly, I missed the submission deadline (January 20). But is it wonderful to read more about the project at its website:, and I can't wait to see the final film!!

Please, even if you don't consider yourself "creative," know that you are but in your own way, and do something with it today. Find your inspiration and let yourself dream.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Phantom fans, can you just hear the singing??

Paul's annual work party had a theme of Masquerade Ball, and so I took that as a challenge and made our masks! WHAT FUN! I had a project like this about three years ago when I put on a Friday-night activity program that had a Phantom theme. We had a mask-making station and I of course had to make prototypes to give people ideas. But because these two were specifically for us, I felt they were much more personalized. Paul wanted a nose and for his to be dark red. I had some fabric lying around that I knew would be wonderful to use for mine. The base of each is cereal box-like cardboard.

For mine, I used the wonderful fusing I mentioned in my last post to fuse the fabric seamlessly to the cardboard. Then there was enough fusing on the edges of the fabric that I could just fold over the edges and iron down. If you'd like to see a photo of the back before I covered it up with black paper, just let me know. I knew it had to have feathers. And the sequins are part of the fabric.

For Paul's, I used red paint as a base, then with a dry brush and lots of pressure, painted four more layers on the eyes (but just three layers on the nose) in this order: black, copper, red, black. In person you can see the luster of the copper come through better than you can in this photo. I painted the underside black and attached it with black elastic.

The funniest thing was when Paul pulled his mask off his eyes and rested it on his forehead: the silhouette made him look like a nail. If you'd like to see photos of us with our masks, email me or leave a comment below and I'll send them your way.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Positively Postcards

Happy New Year to you! Already I have started pushing my artistic self this year. For Christmas my step-mom sent me a lovely book, Positively Postcards by Bonnie Sabel & Louis-Philippe O'Donnell. Essentially, another take on the mini quilt! I love the idea because it is such a small canvas, yet you can do so much! And to integrate my style, I've collaged not just with fabric, but also with paper, stickers, ribbons, and animal charms! The perfect marriage of paper and fabric. Each is 5"x7".

1. Giraffe

2. Frog

3. Elephant

It wasn't until near the end of making the second one that I realized I was developing a number of themes. Each postcard started with the same base fabric, but on the second I didn't consciously place the red squares, the flowers, and the postal details, and at some point it just dawned on me that both charms I planned to use were animals. So the third card was much more purposeful: again the red square, the post decal, the flower ribbon, and an extra button I had lying around--the elephant!

Each one has a different backing, as I experimented to find what I would like best. The first has a thick layer of fusible web (like what you might make a fabric box out of), and is covered on the other side with white muslin. For the second, I used double sided tape to attach a piece of white card stock to the fabric. The third one determined my favorite: I have discovered fusing! (Where have I been all these years?) Essentially a paper-thin layer of glue that you first iron on to one thing and then to the other. It is a dream come true. So I used fused postcard number three to another piece of cardstock. Very secure and no air bubbles.

Thanks go to Nancy(!) for inspiring this project, and I completed it on Jan. 2, so dedicate my art-making that day to Grace on her birthday.