Wednesday, December 24, 2008

My Vintage Christmas...

Just wanted to share my humble little tree and some cool vintage ornaments that were my grandparents. They are acrylic with a mirrored back. Each one is a different color acrylic with a different figure inside made out of paper, pipe cleaners, brick-a-brack, etc.
I love the style of these ornaments.

The icicle ornaments were made by Mary, a gal I worked with while in college. She made these icicles with simple craft beads and pipe cleaners and sold them to make money to put herself through college. I have since lost track of her but still use her ornaments every year for Christmas and wonder what she is up to. They look so beautiful sparkling in the Christmas lights.

The flower lights are vintage as well. I am definitely a scrounger and like to happen upon stuff as opposed to buying everything to be matchy matchy. It also helps if items have sentimental value as I am truly a mush at heart.

I don't have room for a large tree anymore but luckily I have this little tree courtesy of my brother Chuck. When we were in college he asked me if I would take him to the Hallmark store. It was the year they first released the Loony Tunes ornaments and he wanted to get some. Because he spent over a certain dollar amount he was given a little artificial tree which he turned around and gave to me as a thank you for taking him to the store. It is the perfect size for my house & I always think of my brother when I decorate it.

May you have a Blessed and Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Seven Random Facts...

A few weeks ago I was tagged by my friend Jeremy Melton. I have been too busy to post until now so here goes!

Game rules:

1. You must link to the individual who tagged you and post the rules of TAG (which you are currently reading).
2. Post 7 random facts about yourself
3. Tag 7 friends and link to them and
4. Let them know that they have been tagged by leaving a nice little message on their blog.

My facts:

1. I collect tiki and Hawaiiana.
2. One of my best friends was my Grammy who passed away 3 years ago.
3. I am a recovering perfectionist.
4. When I was younger, I used to think that if I could experience every walk of life, even for just 5 minutes each, it would help me to be the best artist ever.
5. I like sparkly things but wear very little jewelry.
6. I love plants and have a small jungle in my house.
7. I have always made things.

Friends I am tagging:

1. Carolyn Gallo
2. Little Robot
3. Don Kilpatrick
4. Chris Houghton
5. Andrea Kowch
6. Chef Ann
7. Charles Parzych III

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Winter Wonderland...

The first real snowfall happened today. It was that magical first snowfall where everything looks like it's covered in fairy dust and the snow keeps falling like the snow in a snow globe. It wasn't too warm and it wasn't too cold so the snow was perfect packing snow.

I am lucky. Even though I live in an urban area there are lots of trees and greenery. When the temperature is just right the snow will stick to the branches just so making everything look beautiful. And even though I dread the cold I love the first snow.

These photos are of my neighbor's bush. It has those tiny red berries and a few of it's leaves left giving it a pop of color against the white snow. I was hoping to get some photos of the trees but I didn't take my camera to the store when I went. It is slowly dying and being persnickety. I will have to get a new one soon.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy...

Lets see... where to begin...

Well... there's the huge framing job that I am doing for a friend. The fun little penguin zipper pulls I did for another friend's kid's hockey team--the penguins. The new additions to my Cafe Press store.(Yes, there is newer stuff than what is in this post.) Getting my work photographed professionally. The new blog I am setting up. And all of the little things that go into pulling all of this off on top of the every day stuff! Whew! As a result I have been a tad neglectful on updating my blog(among other things...). Everything has been in progress and I think that is kind of boring unless you can show the final result. So here are a few photos:

part of the giant frame job

penguin zipper pulls(penguin art courtesy of Dave Chow)

one of my paintings professionally photographed

Oh yeah... I just bought a glass pendant kit from Annie Howes. She makes these beautiful glass and scrabble tile pendants and several months back, started selling the DIY kits with all of the supplies you need plus instructions. I finally ordered some and was able to squeeze out some time the last couple of days to try making a few. They aren't too difficult and are so much fun to make! I made two with my own art: the moth and the mandala(snowflake looking one) and would like to make a few more using my own images. The other three are made with the beautiful papers that come in the kit. They will make fabulous gifts as there are many family birthdays this time of the year!

If you are interested in buying or making pendants check out Annie's website and her Etsy store.

And maybe next time I will be able to unveil my other blog...

Friday, November 7, 2008

tsk, tsk... Shame on me...

Yes I know I have been neglectful of you dear blog but I have been planning something very special! I am creating a sister blog for you so you won't be lonely! Please be patient as I make all the necessary details to make her unveiling just perfect! You won't be disappointed!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Stop the Madness!!!

Wouldn't you like to stop the madness every once in a while? No I don't mean kill yourself... Just stop the madness that you create every day. The stuff that pushes you to asking yourself "What did I get myself into?", "When is this going to end?", "Why can't I just say no?", or even "What is wrong with me?".

I have been working my butt off for years now trying to "make something of myself". I spend hours at a computer, easel or desk with my bad back getting worse and worse. I am overweight and out of shape and have been going to the chiropractor approximately once a week for the past 10 years. For many reasons I decided to do the Breast Cancer walk, one of which I thought it would be that it's the perfect incentive to get myself back into an exercise routine to get back into shape. My thinking was that it would help me while I am helping others.

Well... weeks went by and I found myself "too busy" to work out. The madness was running the show. When the week of the event came, I realized that it was too late and I would have to deal with whatever came my way. That week I also found myself "too busy" to go to the chiropractor until the last minute and by then I was to tight for him to give me a good adjustment. So I walked the 5 miles 40 lbs overweight, out of shape with my back severely misaligned and you know what? ...the experience surprised me.

It was a brisk fall morning with the sun shining beautifully. The weather was perfect and the walking was easy, encouraged by great company and the high spirits and energy of the event. It was only at the 3.5 mile mark that I noticed my feet were starting to hurt and by the end of the walk my knee and hips had started to hurt a little as well. As the rest of the day progressed after the walk though, I gradually felt more and more achy. So when bedtime rolled around I took 2 advil before hitting the sheets and the next day, when I woke up, almost all of my pain was gone. My back was better than it's been in a couple of years!

The whole experience has made me want to say "Eff it all!" Here I am trying to "make something of myself" doing something I love but feeling physically terrible while doing it and ending up feeling mentally terrible as well. Then I go and do something physical that I feel is probably beyond what I should be doing (and maybe it is because of my state of health) and I feel better! Doesn't make any sense!

The only thing that I can think of is that I have been an athlete my whole life. I played softball for years, both slow and fast pitch. When I got tired of that I started playing hockey. That lasted about 7 years until the injuries added up to more back and neck pain than I could stand. So I quit and haven't been the same since, gradually getting more and more out of shape and overweight. I know losing the weight will help my back but like I said before I keep finding myself "too busy". That 5 mile walk showed me that I can push myself harder than I thought and it is stupid for me to let life get in the way. I am going to do my best to stop "the madness". Life is far too short. Thanks for listening.

from left to right: my cousin Cindy, my cousin Ann, me, Ann's friend Renee

Fall Blues...

Yes... fall blues since it is not technically winter yet (even though there is more of that white stuff today).

Lately I have been uninspired and unmotivated. Part of it is the way my life has been going and part of it is the time of year. Every year, I can feel myself slowing down as the cold weather approaches. As the days get shorter I also feel the effects of less sunshine. The blueness seems to permeate everything unless I can keep myself occupied enough to forget it. Good thing is that I know it is only temporary. The slowing down also seems to panic me as I know Christmas is just around the corner. There never seems to be enough time to do what I need to do let alone add in the holiday stuff. I just want to curl up in a blanket and snuggle down until it starts to warm up again. Unfortunately I can't do that although when I really think about it I'm not sure I would really want to. I just want the energy and motivation that spring, warm weather, and sunshine bring.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

New Designs in my Cafe Press Shop!!!

Yeay!!! I finally added a new design to my Cafe Press Shop. I am hoping to get better at creating designs and getting them up more quickly. I have a tendency to start things and not finish them. Usually I lose momentum or get bored with them but lately it's because I've been so busy. I have lots of ideas but it's just a matter of discipline for me to get them realized. So without further ado here are a few of my new items...

Journal- comes in 4 colors with blank, lined, dot grid, or task journal pages

Shirts- come in many sizes, colors and styles for men, women and children

Round Ceramic Ornament- comes in 4 colors

Ceramic Coaster Tile- comes in 4 different colors

Modern Wall Clock- comes in 4 colors

Sunday, September 28, 2008

My 50 Bucks Purchase!

Here is my 50 Bucks purchase...

Scott Northrup

A Father's Love (50 Bucks).
Iron-on transfer, cotton, lipstick

It is actually a needlepoint done in three different colors of thread- black, blue and grey.

Text reads:


You pig--there is lipstick on everything.

You owe me-
9.83 gas for you car
4.29 toilet paper
1.29 milk that you drank
3.89 pantyhose
1.69 Tab
9.01 dry cleaning
20.00 cash loan

Your Father

I saw this piece and couldn't stop giggling the whole week of hanging the exhibition. It still makes me laugh every time I see it. Yes... that IS lipstick on the frame! A schmear of it! I got to meet Scott the week of hanging the exhibition and he is a really nice guy. I am glad I now own one of his pieces!

Here is a little info on Scott:

Scott Northrup
Adjunct Faculty/ College for Creative Studies

MA, The New School
BFA, College for Creative Studies

Scott Northrup is a native Detroiter who has divided his time between the Motor City and New York City since 1991. His varied body of work, including assemblages, photographs, films, and videos, has shown in galleries, museums, and alternative spaces and is in the collections of Wayne State University, The New School for Social Research, The Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and numerous private collectors. Scott received grant funding towards video projects with local youth support groups and has volunteered with Ground Hero Kids in New York City. He currently teaches courses in video art and digital production at CCS. His personal work continues to explore issues of identity, collective memory, and parasocial behavior.

If you want to see more of Scott's work, check out his blog here.

Friday, September 26, 2008

50 BUCKS Exhibit @ Center Galleries

Friday September 12, 2008

The 50 Bucks Exhibit was a one night benefit event at the College for Creative Studies Center Galleries. It celebrated the Center Galleries' 20th year, the 10th year in it's current space, the 10th year of the Woodward Lecture Series, and Michelle Perron's 10th year running the programs. Add all those years up and you get 50 years. Tickets for the event were $50 and each piece of art was sold for $50 as well. Artists and patrons, in return for donating a work of art, received 2 tickets for the event. There were approximately 234 works of art donated and over 300 people in attendance. I again had the honor of helping Matt Hanna, Michelle Perron, and Todd Erickson hang the exhibition. It was a challenge because of the sheer amount of work that was donated but it made for an exciting night! Congratulations Michelle!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

ICON Exhibit @ Work•Detroit

September 13 - October 18

For anyone in the Detroit area there is a great exhibition at Work•Detroit. The theme is icons. The exhibition includes some interesting video work as well as 2-D and 3-D work. My mandala entitled Primordial Sounds & Ancient Truths has been accepted into the Exhibition. I have included a few of the highlights of the exhibition in this post but make sure you take the time to stop by the Work•Detroit space to see the whole exhibit!

Show discription:
In contemporary culture the term icon is used in the general sense of symbol. An image, picture, or representation that stands for an object by signifying or representing it either concretely or by analogy. It may be a sacred item that channels spiritual energy. It may be a signaling device that taps into a shared visual vocabulary, that transcends language, dialect and even culture. It may be born of a response. An icon that is accepted and absorbed by one group may be misunderstood or rejected by another. As a word or graphic symbol an icon is a sign whose form suggests meaning, as on a computer display screen where it is a graphic symbol that usually suggests the type of object represented or the purpose of an available function.

Work•Detroit invited thinkers and makers to utilize chosen mediums to create icons that speak to their own observations and experiences.

Joshua Ray Smith -Entropy & Silence

Cathy Gendron -Ghouls & Dolls

Dave Fisher -PYR

Donald Kilpatrick -Legion

Jack O. Summers -Manly Pursuits

On the ICON postcard at the top of the post:
Kristen Gallerneax

-On Loan from the Revenant Archives: REV.NO: (PSYC.EXPMNT, BOX 10, FILE 3)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Ann Arbor Artisans Market October 5, 2008...

Just wanted to let you all know that I will be in the Etsy Show at the Ann Arbor Sunday Artisan Market on October 5th at the Ann Arbor Kerrytown Farmers Market. I will have most of the items that I carry in my Etsy shop plus a few of my Cafe Press samples. I will also have some new items such as buttons, magnets and zipper pulls that I haven't had a chance to put in the shop. For those of you who are in the area that day, please feel free to stop on by and say hi! I will be donating 10% of my sales to the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk which I am participating in on the 18th of October. If you are unable to make it to the Market and would like to donate to the cause you can either donate here on my blog or you can purchase something from my Etsy shop as I will also be donating 10% of my Etsy sales through the end of October.

Thanks so much for your support!

My personal American Cancer Society donation page

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

Wow... I just did it... I just signed up for the MAKING STRIDES AGAINST BREAST CANCER walk in Detroit. It is my first walk & I am excited to be participating! I am on Team Awareness Angels which is being led by my cousin Ann (also known as chefann on Etsy for you Etsians). The walk is Saturday October 18, 2008 on Belle Isle Park. I am looking for donations/sponsors for my walk and would appreciate any amount you feel you can offer. I set my goal at $500 and have added a donation widget in the right column of my blog to make it easy for those of you who wish to donate. Please help me reach my goal!

I just want to tell you a little bit about why I am participating...
My mother-in-law died from lung cancer. My great grandfather died from colon cancer. One of my grandfathers had skin cancer the other had prostate cancer. Two of my great aunts died from breast cancer. My friends sister is a survivor of breast cancer. There are several others in my circle of family and friends that have had cancer or died from cancer as well... way too many. I don't think it matters what kind of cancer it is. The way it affects our lives is the same. I am not a doctor, scientist or a researcher so I can't help in that way but maybe I can help a little in this way by walking...

Team Awareness Angels
My Personal Page
Event Info

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Exhibition Installation at CCS

Recently, with the help of Todd Erickson, I had the honor of installing art and design work in the Permanent Student Gallery at CCS (College for Creative Studies). The Permanent Student Gallery features the work of students from each department of the college and is used as a showcase for the school. This job has obviously taken away from the time that I have to work on my personal art but I have found it to be very satisfying. Normally I work 2-D but this allows me to work 3-D designing an environment which is something I have been interested in for quite some time now. I used to contemplate doing installation art and at one point had even thought about going back to school to get a degree in Interior Design. I decided I didn't like shopping (among other things) enough to go that route so here I am trying my hand at exhibition installation and enjoying it tremendously.