Saturday, September 26, 2009

CHAIRity Auction

I was recently asked to create a children's rocking chair for a rather unique auction to benefit Adoption: Advocacy and Alternatives. Their mission statement: To serve the needs of children, birth parents and adoptive parents with professional care, kindness and compassion. I was very honored to be asked to participate and this is my chair:

Pink is my favorite color so I knew from the beginning it would be pink. The rest took a while to come together. I had some great ideas but couldn't quite execute them so in the end I gave a nod to my French heritage:

The auction will be November 14th in Fort Collins at the Center for Fine Arts Photography and I understand the chairs will do a little traveling about town beforehand. If you would like to know more about the wonderful organization go to their website:

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Scary "60"

I turned 60 last Friday. It seemed like such a scary number. Especially since I've had a couple of health scares the last couple of weeks so I felt as if I really was getting old. My day actually started the week before when my son Jason and his beautiful wife Alecia gave me these lovely flowers...

The big day was an absolutely gorgeous, perfect Colorado late summer day. And the flowers kept coming. These were sent by my wonderful "Circle." These are women I cannot live my life without. They are a group of caring, giving, loving, creative, artistic souls who make me a better person.
Then my youngest son, Scottie, arrived with these beauties and a sweater I had been coveting!

I spent most of the day with three beautiful art friends in my art studio. My friend Caterina blogged about the day and you can see the pictures here. I was gifted with wonderful artistic treasures to feed my artistic soul.
Cavallini and lace:

Botanical images:

A Botanical Book of Days:
And a gorgeous handmade journal full of watercolor pages:

That evening my very beautiful daughter Stacey and her boyfriend James took us out to dinner at Vesta Dipping Grill in Lodo. The food was absolutely incredible and has to be one of my very favorite places in Denver. Scottie surprised us with a bottle of champagne to toast the number "60. " My "other" daughter, Christianna was there and so was Monica, who is also "family." (See my earlier post about "family and friends"). I had so many emails, text messages, facebook posts and phone calls full of happy birthday wishes that it was truly overwhelming. I spent the day feeling loved and cherished for just being me.

60 isn't so scary after all.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Ugly Duckling . . .

A couple of months ago my husband stopped by a nearby garage sale late in the day and saw this unit. He knew I loved lots of drawers and even though it was painted an awful color with paint that had "texture" (aka sand) in it, he bought it thinking he would just sand down the texture and repaint. He paid $30 for it and when he got it home we took the drawers out and to our surprise it was solid walnut. My husband is a woodworker so he knows his wood. We decided to just strip the paint off and try and bring the walnut back to life. The upper unit drawers were turning out pretty cool.

But the biggest surprise came when Jerry discovered that the fronts of the drawers of the bottom unit, when the paint was stripped off, was just made of pine. He started looking very closely and realized he could just take off this extra piece and hopefully the wood underneath was still intact.

We were stunned with what was underneath. My $30 ugly duckling was about to become a beautiful swan.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


A few weeks ago I submitted a photography piece for consideration in a national juried art show in Estes Park and I promised my friends and family that I would post the entry when I heard whether I was accepted or not. So here it is:

I received the "thanks, but no thanks" email this morning and after indulging in a few moments of disappointment I realized just how far I've come. Entering this show was a HUGE step for me. I've always felt that putting myself out there was just setting myself up for rejection. And even though my piece was rejected, I was able to put it into perspective that it was, indeed, my piece that was rejected, not me. It doesn't take away from the fact that I love this picture. It was taken on our anniversary weekend last September in a small, teeny, tiny mountain town with this small, teeny, tiny junkyard. I'm still going to frame the picture and hang it in my house. This my friends, is growth.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Family or Friend...


Family - a group of people related by ancestry or marriage.

Friend - One attached to another by affection or esteem.

The other day my husband was lamenting the fact that he had so many cousins he was having trouble remembering all their names and I was lamenting the fact that I had so few. And none my age. I have a LOT of in-laws, some I love dearly and some I . . . well, you know. I have a husband, four children and two younger sisters I love with all my heart, some extended family members and a smattering of "first cousins once removed," etc.

And then there is my 'other' family. My friends. Those caring, supportive, tell it like it is, here's a shoulder to cry on people who are so willing to share so much so often. I have been incredibly blessed by these friendships and I cannot imagine my life without them. I'm a very lucky woman.

Family and Friends. They may have different definitions, but to me they are one and the same.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


Yesterday was possibly the most perfect Colorado summer day. The temperature was, for me, near perfection. It wasn't too hot and there was a delightful breeze. Even though the weather people tend to use the word 'breezy' rather loosely here in Colorado (most of the time it's downright windy!), it truly was what most people would define as breezy.

As I was sitting in my backyard I started contemplating my clothesline and decided to sketch it in my journal. You see, I view my clothesline as a work of art. It's made of wood and slightly weathered. I know there are a lot of people out there who think of clotheslines as just a lot of work or, at the very least, an eyesore. And they are entitled to their opinions just as I'm entitled to mine.

I started wondering what it is that my clothesline stirs in me. I grew up in a charming Craftsman bungalow in Northern California in the 1950s and 60s. You could hang all the laundry standing in one place! It had a pulley system from the back porch to the other side of the yard. Hanging out the laundry was one of my responsibilities and one I loved. There was such a sense of peace and calmness that enveloped me as I went through the repetition of clipping on each clothespin just right. Then there was the sense of satisfaction as I looked at all the clothes lined up moving gently in the breeze. Taking them down was even better. I took the time to fold each one as I put it in the basket. I still do. So you see, I could never live in a place where clotheslines are forbidden, because for me my clothesline is another of life's little pleasures.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Farmer's Market

I love farmer's markets. The sights, the smells (think roasting chilis) and the feeling that somehow I'm doing my part. I take my trusty vintage shopping cart and reusable canvas bags and immerse myself in all the wonderful goodness. My first stop is always the organic beef producers who also sell free range chickens. I've shopped with them for years and they've never had their product recalled!

Our farmer's market is held in an old historic train depot.

It has some great artistic architectural elements to it.

And its own lovely landscaping

I love the flower vendors, but unfortunately they remind me that I have no talent whatsoever when it comes to gardening. I'm not quite sure how that happened. I try, truly I try. Most of my art friends have wonderful gardens and I'm envious. The only thing I have luck growing are what my mother affectionately referred to as "pretty little yellow flowers." Dandelions. It still makes me laugh.

And this makes me wish I knew how to make pickles.

Summer saturday mornings. One of life's little pleasures.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Altered Books

I love altered book round robins! This is the latest spread for one of my round robins. I wonder if I will ever get over the apprehension that comes with working in someone else's book?? I haven't had much time for art lately after my husband's surgery, but I did make this one of my priorities.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A few things I've created

Sorry I've taken so long to post. My hubby had surgery at 0 dark 30 on wednesday morning and I'm finally getting into a rhythm of the 6 times a day therapy sessions. Everything takes an hour and a half every two and a half hours. I got behind the first day because I just hated to wake him so we didn't finish until 11:30 that night. I'm finally getting into the swing of it so I thought I would post a few more pictures.

For awhile I was making a lot of dolls. Here are three that I kept. The Tin Man, Scarecrow and Beast. Then I got into sculpting.

This santa looks suspiciously like my husband. His body isn't finished yet and my hubby is very anxious to see him completed.

And this is Belle. Doesn't she look like she's lived a great life?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Inside the Studio, continued

So apparently I still have a lot to learn about posting. I couldn't get it to accept any other photos. I must have run out of room. So while I investigate that, have a look at some more of my photos.

A set of upper kitchen cabinets that were turned into fabric storage. Jerry built a custom top for them.

Lower kitchen cabinets turned into great big drawers. Genius!

Some of my fabric.
Jerry built the button boxes to store my massive button collection.

One of my passions has been ribbon work.

An odd unit from a flea market, painted white makes a great display unit on the mantle.

The big comfy chair!

My inspiration wall!

Let me know what you think. I'll post more pictures tomorrow.

Inside the Studio

As promised today we're taking a little tour of my studio. I would like to get some feedback as to whether or not I should send pictures into Cloth, Paper, Scissors Studio magazine. I would love to send it into Where Women Create, but they use really established, well-known artists. And that is definitely not me! The first picture is the first thing you see when you enter the studio. This is an old dental cabinet that some guy was using to hold automotive parts. It was sort of white with lots of grease. My husband painted it pink for me and I now use it to hold rubber stamps.

Hanging above the dental cabinet is a cute frame that Jerry turned into a shadow box.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Studio

I ran into my friend DeAnna today and she gently encouraged me to post more often on my blog. So DeAnna, this is for you. Since this blog is supposed to be all about artful endeavors, I've decided to start with my artful space. The first pictures are of the studio door that my husband just built. It's a dutch door using reclaimed wood and a vintage window. (Notice the cat door at the bottom.) The reason for the new door (I had a screen door there before) is that my husband will be having shoulder surgery on Wednesday and is looking at weeks of recovery so he will be watching a LOT of tv and since the tv is at the top of the stairs in the living room, I needed a way to block out the sound since I work primarily with music playing. Here's another view with the top open:

I LOVE my door and the finish feels like silk. My husband is amazing! He will build anything I can dream up and he has so much creativity of his own. Tomorrow we'll venture inside "The Studio."

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The art of k.c. willis

I fell in love with k.c. willis' art several years ago. She has such a wonderful, expressive, getting-to-the-heart-of-it way of designing that I just love. I joined one of her online tutorials and discovered she also has a wonderful teaching style. She is now offering 'in person' retreats. What a great opportunity to learn one-on-one from her. You can find the link to her retreat on the left side of my blog. Do check it out.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Mama's Hip Henna

I belong to this wonderful circle of very artistic and creative friends. We meet once a month for friendship, encouragement, discovery, enlightenment, laughter, sometimes tears, hugs, food...whatever we can think of! My life has profoundly changed over the last few years as a result of these friendships. We are, with one exception, over the age of 40. I am rapidly approaching being over 60 and I am the oldest member of the group, but hardly the wisest.

This month we decided we needed henna tattoos. Don't know why, we just did. This is my beautiful tattoo drawn by my friend Sue and it is so me! I think I will be sad when it's gone.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Gift...

Saturday is my youngest sister's 50th birthday.  This textile collage is based on our grandmother's jazz band days in the late 20s and early 30s.   Grandma played the Souzaphone and three of the other ladies are her sisters.  Even in their 90s we fondly referred to them as "The Girls."  I used hand-dyed canvas to represent their strength and silk to represent their gentle spirits. 

My sister, Linn, received the gift of a wonderful singing voice.   Her musicality, no doubt having been handed down from "The Girls."  She has the gentlest spirit of anyone I know and a heart as big as all outdoors.  When Linn loves you, she really loves you!  And this is my gift to her for loving me.  Happy Birthday, Sweetie!

Friday, May 15, 2009

First Days

My first blog.  I have a lot to learn and I have no idea what to expect.  Baby steps.  My husband and I created a business 19 years ago called 'Traditions.'  It's all about our creative endeavors.  His is woodworking and mine have changed faces many times over the years.  Right now it's mixed media art, altered books, textile arts and just about anything that catches my fancy, with the emphasis being anything vintage.  This is my way of connecting with all the wonderful and creative people out in blog land.  It's a place where I will post whatever is in my heart at the moment.  Please bear with me as I make this journey into the unknown, it may be quite a ride.