Monday, February 23, 2009

Road Trip!

On Sunday, after my daughter's baby shower, my best friend Cathy and I set off from California to Boise to make it to the birth of her daughter. My daughter also lives in Boise as well as two of my grandsons.

Have you ever taken a road trip with a best friend?

We've travelled a lot together, mostly flying. This was our first really big road trip after being friends for 34 years! We were punchy, laughed a lot, and arrived after 13 hours of driving with just a few stops.

One stop in Oregon was a little like Deliverance. Scary!

Leaving Visalia

Through Sacramento

Through Winnemucca Nevada (Had never heard of it!)

To St Lukes in Boise

We got there in time to see the baby born. I was able to help Lindsay, who I consider my niece, with pushing. See, I used to be a Doula for many many years. It's as natural as breathing for me when I get around a laboring woman!

Pics of the baby in my next post. Her name is Teagan Rose.

I plan to scope out some boutiques while I'm here and show what Boise has to offer.

Tell me about a road trip you took with a friend, okay?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Boys Boys Boys!

I have 3 grown daughters, 3 grandsons, and 2 more grandsons on the way!

My Oldest is Robin and Grandson Chase...

Robin's second son, my grandson Olin (who is now 5 months)...

Here is Madison, to be born in late May...

to his Mommy Erin (my youngest)...

Here is Sarah, my middle daughter, with grandson, Jake:

And no picture of her baby to share yet. But he's a boy.

They call me Bubbies. And there are so many of them, so much boy energy! Bubbies gets tired.
But I love them all!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Cigar Box Shrine Auction

Many of you know that Rebecca (Recuerdamicorazon) organized a Cigar Box Shrine auction with many talented artists, some famous like our own Marilyn Radzat, Michael DeMeng, Misty Mawn, and others. The auction will benefit The Street Children of Oaxaca project.

I don't know how many of you have actually followed the link to find out more about this charity so I will give you a little summary.

Harold and Jodi Bauman of Mississippi founded Oaxaca Street Children Grassroots in 1996. They were on vacation in Oaxaca and although they loved the area, they were disturbed to find that so many children were out selling little trinkets in the parks and on the streets during school and nightime hours. Since the founding of the organization which helps by sponsoring children so that they can go to school, they have helped many many children and their families. they have added a medical and food assistance program.

Oaxaca's poorest families cannot afford education, basic health care, or a nutritious meal for their children. Government services are minimal and difficult to access. Education is not "free" in Mexico as it is in the US, so the poorest often must choose between feeding their children or sending them to school.

The Cigar box Shrine Auction begins on March 1st but you won't actually be able to go in to bid on the auction until it begins.

Here is the link to the cigar box shrine Gallery:

See the Shrines

Please give your generous support to this worthy cause.

On another note, in Rebecca I found a Kindred Spirit! She is such a tenderhearted woman, I cannot even tell you. thank you, Rebecca, for doing this wonderful thing!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

My Works in Progress

Here are a few things that I'm working on lately:

Button bracelets using all antique and vintage buttons and some beads (thanks to Deryn, Kelly, and everyone at A Charming Exchange to get me started and unafraid!):

Polymer focal pendants: (I can't seem to get a decent picture of the others today. But I have a light tent coming!)

I'm looking forward to taking better pictures later this week. I have several pendants going and I'm trying to get a little stock to fill at least one page on my Etsy Store!

Here's to a great week!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

6th Pic in the 6th Folder

Yep, I've been tagged!

This was taken in January with my camera in its trusty underwater case! This was a beautiful day on the Big Island near Kona and I got in the middle of some schools of fish: it was a heavenly feeling.

Here are a couple more:

Doesn't this one remind you of a Jaws scene....just before the music starts? It was actually very rocky here so people are taking care of their feet but it looks like it could have been a shark swimming around! Poor random people, have no idea they're in my little bloggie here.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Showing my Work

I spend most of my time promoting other people's art and I love doing that. But I thought I would give you a glimpse of the work that I have done.

My style tends to be earthy; I love to work in natural mediums.

Here are some of my gourd dolls using a gourd as a base and paperclay sculpted face and limbs:

Fertility, Gourds, handfelted hair and dress, paperclay face and arms

All That I Am, Gourds, Paperclay, handfelted rug

Tribal Madonna, 2 gourds (they come apart) paperclay, acrylic paint, polymer "elk's teeth"

Here are some gourd bowls, one painted, one woodburned and colored pencil:

Cooper's Hawk, gourd, woodburned, colored pencil,
pine needle rim, cooper's hawk embellishment

moon and venus
Moon and Venus, Gourd, acrylic paint, Elk Leather Rim, feathers

Here is a bit of my pottery, which was what led me to working in gourds in the first place. In the summer, when I wasn't firing at school, I decided to see what could be done with the gourd.

Break Blue Trio
Break Blue Trio, Cone 10 firing, handbuilt

Raven and Splash, cone 10 firing, Wheel Thrown

Woodburning on a canoe that my husband built:

And finally, a drawing and a drawing that I did a couple of years ago. Even when I'm drawing or painting, there is nature involved:

aspens drawing

Hope you enjoyed the show! And now you know a little more about me.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My Comments on Flor's Art

Flor Larios asked me in a comment on my last blog to tell me which words I would use to describe her art. I had already been to Flor's site and I like her work to start with.

First I'll show you some of her work and then I will share the comments that we exchanged.

Flor has two different styles: her almost whimsical paintings and her collage work.

flor 5

flor 1

flor 3

flor 4

My Comment on Flor's Blog:

Words to describe your paintings: feminine, whimsical, and light-feeling. I see large eyes that see everything and smaller mouths that don't say too much. Quiet observation. I see a celebration of being a woman.

Now that being said, I want to talk about your Frida Collages. The shrine that you recently did with Frida in Traction
[The Broken Column] is a powerful piece. The crosses, too. Frida sees and doesn't speak. She cries silently in her paintings and I think that you have expressed it beautifully. Especially in the one where she has the skull on the forehead. Did you put that in there? If so, it was brilliant. She sees her mortality. There is a boldness in those designs and you have tied the details together beautifully. I would love to see you make more of that type of collage as well as your paintings..."

"I want to tell you a quick story about seeing the Frida exhibit in San Francisco last summer. I had seen the Frida in traction [The Broken Column] painting in books before but when I stood in front of the actual work, it felt like all the pain and sadness came flooding into me and I understood what she was trying to say. I nearly couldn't stop crying. And the collage you did like that brought it back and expressed it very well. Very nice work, Flor!"

And Flor's comment back to me:

"I just have to say wow! You described my personality looking at my paintings...I am impressed! ..."

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Words to Describe Art: A Challenge!

The question was raised in Dayle Doroshow's post at That Creative Place's blog: how can we describe designs or pieces of art that have a certain quality? She was looking for a word that meant something like "Sophisticated" but when she looked the word up, she realized it didn't fit at all. She chose to use the words, "natural elegance". It's a good term.

This is what natural elegance looks like to me:

Elegant! Degas, Little Dancer

It really got me thinking and I realized that this is the same kind of thing that I ran across while studying art and art history. So seldom can one word describe or categorize any given piece of work in art or craft. And I think about the comments that we leave for others when we show our work...beautiful....gorgeous...cute...etc.

This is indeed a Gorgeous bracelet by Etsy seller Coralia

This pin really IS Darling. by Pat Winter

But how do you describe this?
It more complicated than to just give it a one-word comment.


Etsy seller TilebyFire

The reason that art and craft is so hard to sum up is because there are so many different aspects to a work. You can talk about the color (bright, muted, subdued, bold, luminous), the shape (angular, linear, organic, proportional), the composition (well-composed, asymmetrical, balanced, unified) and we haven't even brushed on meaning, genre, or other elements of art. All of these things apply to craft as well as fine art.


It would be fortunate for us if we had many descriptive words just for the word "beautiful" in art like the Inuit people have for snow (urban legend, BTW). But it's not that simple. I challenge you to look closer at the works that you see and comment on to find something more specific to say about what you're looking at. It can be a teaching tool in our own art-making.

Here are some more of my words:

and my ultimate word....sublime.

This hasn't answered any of Dayle's question because I'm not so sure there is a word that describes natural elegance. Much of it lies in one's own interpretation of the word. Maybe the most important thing is to know what the words mean to us and what we're looking for in our art.

I haven't touched on the negative words to describe a work. But we should be aware of these, also because we can learn from these as well. We probably won't be leaving any of those on our favorite blogs, though.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Etsy Artists

owohbadgeround1 OWOH notice: I'm going to be giving away two turtle pendants instead of one! A lot of people signed I'm going to throw another one into the pot. Picture to come by the weekend.

Now on to the blog...

Etsy is really something, isn't it? I think that it has been a big part of this craft Renaissance that we're seeing. The drive to buy handmade (and to sell) is taking off!

Here are some artists that you may not have seen.

Cathy is a Polymer Artist and Etsy Seller (name dumauvobleu) who lives in France and makes gorgeous polymer beads:

etsy 4



Alison (Etsy Seller Earthtonesonline) is another polymer bead artist. She gets really interesting color patterning and her bird beads are to die for!




And Etsy Seller Naftali whose work has been featured in several magazines, including Bead and Button:




Hope you enjoyed the tour!