Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Need some motivation?

Check it out! Very encouraging!

Let's get busy and fail! LOL!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Recycled Doll Swap

Joyce Kliman's Angel

When I received this beautiful doll in the Recycled Doll swap, I couldn't help but wonder what the story was behind her. So here's what Joyce said...
...this has been a year of acute loss for me, and I have ended up with a lot of stuff that belonged to people who are no longer here. The doll body itself was made by a patient who died (since this is my line of work I end up with a lot of artwork that I am not always sure what to do with, and there is no family to give it to). This year I have decided that I have to clean out my studio and can't hang on to everyone's artwork. I have hundreds of pieces...so it is with mixed feelings that I am recycling some of it. The fabric of the dress is from Malaysia and there is a story of loss behind that as well. This year angels seem to be a theme and a comfort for me.
What a lovely idea! I'm so glad that I received this angel and I'm so glad I asked about it! I'm thinking that something like this would be a wonderful way to create something positive out of our loss and sadness. I'll bet of we created angels from our sorrows, there would be a lot more light in the world!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Susan Tuttle's "Visual Poetry" class.

I posted this on my blog but it bears repeating here.
Collage by Lani
Just to let you all know that Susan Tuttle is almost ready to offer "Workshop 1: Digital Photomanipulation" again. The four week class will be held from November 1st through November 29th. Registration will begin Sunday, October 25th, 7 PM EST. Spots are limited, so be sure to register promptly at that time. It is an amazing course, "Visual Poetry" is a great name for it, but it's so much more than visual poetry. It's filled with visual delights, wonderful gifts and magical learnings! I've had such a wonderful time learning a whole new "language" and I think you would enjoy it too! Do take a look at our class photos in the flickr group here and sign up soon.

Collage by Lani

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

OK, so life can be very difficult sometimes...

Collage by Lani

OK, so life can be very difficult sometimes, and the road uncertain, but we can remember to bring art supplies and friends! My friend Diane sent me a quote from the wonderful New York Times article April 21, 2009 on the importance of friendship. Although most of the article was about how friendship actually helps us live longer, more healthy lives, it was the very end of the article that caught my eye.

Last year, researchers studied 34 students at the University of Virginia, taking them to the base of a steep hill and fitting them with a weighted backpack. They were then asked to estimate the steepness of the hill. Some participants stood next to friends during the exercise, while others were alone.

The students who stood with friends gave lower estimates of the steepness of the hill. And the longer the friends had known each other, the less steep the hill appeared.

“People with stronger friendship networks feel like there is someone they can turn to,” said Karen A. Roberto, director of the center for gerontology at Virginia Tech. “Friendship is an undervalued resource. The consistent message of these studies is that friends make your life better.”

This idea about friendship making the "steepness of the hill" easier to bear is a wonderful idea. And the best part about this is that being a good friend has nothing to do with our social status, our education, or our abilities. We can all be good friends to each other, and make those uncertain and difficult roads a little easier. So over at 14 Secrets we're playing with these questions as a precursor to creating an art swap:
1. What would you share with friends to make their climb easier?
2. What would you want your friends to bring that would make YOUR climb easier?

And here's what we came up with so far:

Susanna: I would have to bring an open mind and a good sized sketchbook with lots of mark making tools...because sadly I don't know anyone well enough to be certain that they would like/need any one thing...but I think some turtles might be a good start...

Brenda: ...pink jello shooters with whipped cream on top--oh yeah!!
glitter--glitter always makes the climb easier.
and coffee............coffee helps me cope--and of course Starbuck's Pumpkin Spice Latte makes my heart sing.....

Kim: i love me some chocolate covered ginger but i would also bring some kind of yarn, i do love lucious fibers and it you have some kind of fiber or string, you are able to create and use it for many things on the climb with my 14 secrets sisters......
omg!! coffee is so right...starbucks instant italian roast is a real winner
in a pinch..

Deb: What a wonderful idea.
Both chocolate and tea are a definite yes, to give and to receive IMHO. ;)
Some poetry (and/or pen and paper to write poetry).
Music.
Shimmery, iridescent paints. And some unusual brushes and other applicators to play with.

Susanna: Let me see, now that you folks have given me a push in the right direction.
Herb teas ... especially from someone's garden. Home made bread and soup with a flower and herb garnish like what I was served yesterday. Perfect for this weather.
Not a fan of glitter, but I love luscious blendable art crayons and pencils and graphite of all the multitudinous varieties available. Paper that just sucks up whatever you lay on it. and wools, fleeces, fibery, threads, and yarns. Oh yes! knitting is just perfect.
Books, can't get enough about art journalling, art and spirituality, healing properties of art...videos too!
I will bring the soup and bread and we can all dump our favorite art supplies in the centre of the table and play nice and share.
Now I'll start working on specifics.
off to read and knit and draw by the fire!

Lore: OH YES! Tea! Real black tea! Irish or English Breakfast! OR Chai!
I would bring an art journal, and a bag filled with supplies for creating in it. Magic would come along and some pure laughter.
Woops there goes the tea kettle!

Gena: Did you say Starbucks Pumpkiin Spice Latte - it makes me fly....
Oh man, Lani,
What fun, the thought of meeting with 14 secreters at the foot or top of a hill is already inspiring enough... I would of course bring tea :) and ginger :) and ginger cakes :). I also love the soup and bread that Susanna intends to bring :) And well I would bring a sewing machine and fabrics and fibers galore and love a doll-making, fabric anything making session. I would also like to bring a sketch book and a pencil to sketch down the essential. I am also all for a poetry reading/writing ane of course this would all be tracked in my art journal! ANd buttons!
Sounds like we are all sisters in more than one way, hah?
Hugs to you all 14 secreters. Let's climb to the top then roll down together. Oh in fact, now that I think of it, the most important thing for me - if we only got one, and for the sake of simplicity is a good LAUGH!
Here, go here: http://www.laughteryoga.org/
Everything else is icing on the cake ;)

Brenda: (re:pumpkin latte)
Yep--and I figured out how to make them at home-and they are 99% ! not quite 100--as I have to do the work myself--and no--no espresso machine here--I have tried the at home versions and they just don't cut the mustard!
--we have pumpkin spice creamer in the "dairy" case here--International Delight..Pumpkin Pie Spice--and to get the froth--a bit of fat free milk in your mug--whip it up with one of those nifty BOUJOUR mini whippers--available at TJMAXX for around $5....pop it in the microwave for about 21 seconds--then add your creamer--coffee--stir gently and top with a hint of nutmeg------------
ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
yummy!!!!!

Susanna: Oh yes, Lore,
Tea, English Breakfast, Chai, herbal...and that real leather ... what a heavenly smell.
I used to love to find a suede skirt or some leather pants in the thrift stores. I remember a royal purple skirt that I scooped for our youngest daughter and then made her a lovely heather mix sweater to go with it. Ooooh I was so jealous not to be 12! so I could wear it of course.
Let's all bring our inspiration journals...the ones with lots of poetry and quotes that make our hearts soar...
We are gonna have so much fun ... I can't wait.

Carol@Swallowcliffs: Basic needs like water and snacks, essential needs like art supplies, soul needs like an open mind, companionship, joy, friendship....

Lore: I would bring things to make healing dolls for us all. ANd wire and things for making a special charm to mark our journey together. Oh and sacred popcorn, my old recipe that my kids named when they were young!
Ya know, we may need a few mules to haul the stuff up!

Susanna: Yeah, mules, donkeys, maybe a large dog or two to help with the load and keep us warm during the night!

Gena: Holy Popcorn!
I love it. I love the donkeys and the pumpkin spice. I love the inspiration journals! Yay!!! And the spiirit that is present. Woohoo, Isn't this fun?

Deb: This is getting wild! I love it!
I'm envisioning gypsy tents with beautiful, ornate fabrics... guitars... campfires....
I'll bring some wholegrain flour and some cinnamon so we can make some gypsy fry bread... warm with butter... oh yum... nothing like freshly made bread shared with friends, right?

Carolyn: I would bring supplies to make everyone a special amulet bag.
maybe some hot chocolate, how about some fun music to keep our minds busy while we're climbing.

Lani: Oh wow!
The journey is getting very richly textured and layered!
I love it! No wonder they say that climbing hills with friends is easier!

Lore: Gypsy bread OH YEAH! Delish!
Remember YOU ARE THE GIFT!
All we need is each other and a few art supplies!
Thanks everyone this is grand!

Susanna: Yum fry bread and with cinnamon no less...I am drooling think of hot chocolate and fry bread around a campfire with all those colorful gypsy tents' banners fluttering in the breeze.

Maria: And I think I would bring colorful scarfs for all of us to dance with . . . with music played by guitars and natural instruments such as the pan flute to echo in the night air. Of course, all around the campfire!

Gena: That campfire and the colorful scarves are delightful sounding. I think I will bring us little bells to put on as we dance by the fire under the moon after a wonderful day of art making and sharing our hearts and drinking pumpkin spice latt├ęs and eating fruit and soup and home made bread. Gypsy bread? Are we talking about heaven here? :)

Brenda:
Gypsy bread--sounds yummy--I don't think I have experienced this culinary delight..any recipes you might like to share?

Deb: I was actually just thinking of a basic fry bread recipe when I posted, but check this out:
http://celticgypsycampfire.blogspot.com/
There's every fry bread recipe you can imagine and them some, with campfire cooking instructions. I'm ready to cook some up and enjoy with a cup of your pumpkin spice latte for breakfast! Yum!

Lani: And I found a link on the celticgysycampfire blog for a dutch oven blog! Fabulous for our gypsy adventure:
http://marksblackpot.blogspot.com/
Re: fried bread, we have something up here called beaver tails.
http://www.theworldwidegourmet.com/recipes/beaver-tail/
And in our village we eat "fry doughs" with molasses! Yum.


Now you get the idea, our difficult journey has miraculously turned into a wonderful celebration of the traveling band of gypsy artists! What a wonderful group of friends!
Collage by Lani