Saturday, April 22, 2017

Spoons A to Z Challenge

A simple tool. So versatile. You don't need a fork if you have a spoon. 
They also works of art. These were my mothers.
 I use them in the kitchen every day. The patina!

Part of "building an artful life", my theme, involves using things
 that you find beautiful in your everyday tasks. That practice can bring you joy.

These little beauties I found years ago. Had to have them.
 They went on my Christmas list & I was rewarded. Apparently I was good that year. 
Pounded pewter. Plus lots of artistic detail. Use 'em every day. 

I admire the hand made spoons of others. 

The 2 above examples are from Instagram.

Shanna Leino made these. Ebonized walnut, wow.

Would love to take a class to learn to carve wooden spoons.

Of course a class would require special tools. More art supplies. Oh well. 
At a workshop a few years back one person made the comment "We aren't artists, we're collectors of fine art supplies". Funny, but very true.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Rock On A to Z Challenge

Call me a rock hound. I can't resist the urge to pick up a rock that interests to me. 
Mother nature created the above composition on her own. I left it alone.

Man has put rock to use for his own benefit for a very long time. 
The above images are mine from the Aaran Islands, Ireland. Rugged, beautiful landscape.

On a much smaller scale my husband & I created this water feature at our previous home.

 Sometimes the small rocks I had to bring home get embellished.

I have referenced this gals site before. Lil Fish Studios.
 Her detailed treatment of rocks is beautiful & I imagine she finds it meditative.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Queen Anne's Lace A to Z Challenge


I especially like them in their fall form. 



 Since I made this stencil based on a spent Queen Anne's Lace
 I have used it in several different projects. 

 What unusual things in nature do you find inspiring?

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Pegboard A to Z Challenge

I love Pegboard. One of my favorite organizational "tools". 
This  section hangs directly in front of me at my studio table. 
As much as I detest visual clutter I need  stuff I use all the time 
within reach when I'm in creative mode. 

 Pegboard infinitely customizable which is what makes it the best. 
I have three  seperate boards. Old picture frames work well for edges.
  Screwed to the wall with gaskets that create a small space 
between the wall & the board. 

If an item doesn't have a hole for hanging a trusty paper hole punch is the answer. 
 Lots of paper tid bits are stored in envelopes. The clear envelopes were cast offs 
from all the alphabet labels we used on medical charts before 
everything went electronic. Recycle!


 What's your favorite way to organize your stuff?


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Oblique Strategies A to Z Challenge

In 1975 Brian Eno created a deck of cards to spark creative thinking. Oblique Strategies.

 I first ran across them in Improvised Life a blog I absolutely love for it's diversity 
and thought provoking tid bits. 

They are on my list of "art suplies" I would like. In the meantime there is a website where you can randomly pull up a virtual card to get you thinking. 

Did you take a look? Did it make you think? 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Nature A to Z Challenge

Of course N had to be Nature. I am so fortunate to live in an area that is bursting with natural creative inspiration. The fact that the Great Lakes are...great is a big part of it. We have 4 seasons, and there is a reason to look forward to each one. 

Winter gets a bit old, but that's another topic.

The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lake Shore was named one of the most beautiful places in the world a couple years ago. My shot of that area above. All the images in this post are my own.

 Poppies have to be one of my favorite flowers. Short lived but they pack a punch.

Fall is my favorite season, until it's time for Spring. 

 This will be happening very soon, Trillium, then morel mushrooms!

 Michigan's Upper Peninsula is a step back in time & an amazing place to explore. 
Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore is another gem. Hiking, kayaking, 
cross country skiing, it can all happen there.

Critters. Another opportunity. 

This is the only image not from my home, but I was so enthralled by these bugs 
I  had to include them. On the Island of Vieques. Just off Puerto Rico.

Between water, Flora, moss, critters, sky, rock formations, the everyday scenes that present creative inspiration are non stop.

The sky's the limit. I couldn't resit.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Miniature Book Insanity A to Z Challenge

In May of last year I had a blast at PBI.  My expectations were high and I was not disappointed. The setting is so...Michigan water way. On a lagoon just off the shore of Lake Michigan near Saugatuck. Ox-Bow, the facility where PBI is held each year, is owned by the Art Institute of Chicago.

 M is for Miniature Books

I had three wonderful work shops. First up is the Miniature Book Binding class with  
Miniatures are defined as smaller than 3" in any dimension.

 Amazing, crazy, & fun. The first book was the largest, relative designation here. 8 signatures, we were supposed to make front & back covers with book board but I liked my eco-dyed paper so much I went without.

 I had never done a leather bound book before, but learned all the techniques in teeny weeny scale. The Scharffix leather shaver was an introduction to a new tool for me. I spent a few hours one evening getting the hang of it. I didn't even cut myself on the razor which in itself is an accomplishment for me.

        You can get the leather so thin you can see the pores in the leather.

We made our own end bands and created a rounded shoulder. Not to mention the tiny tapes for sewing the signatures. 

Last but not least the tiniest of all. An accordion with text in 3 point type. Jim provided the strips with the text we cut down and folded. His instructions were perfect. 

 My little treasure. Just don't sneeze when you are making it or it's lost.

Show and tell at the end of each class is always a big deal. Loads of photographs taken of everyone's work.

I did an extra accordion book that was an invitation to stay in our home I put in the auction that is held at the end. It is to raise funds for the scholarship students that attend. They add so much to PBI every year. 

This is a repost from last year. Miniature Books seemed a perfect topic. 
See you Monday!