"I do believe in an everyday sort of magic...the inexplicable connectedness we sometimes experience with places, people, works of art and the like; the eerie appropriateness of moments of synchronicity; the whispered voice, the hidden presence, when we think we're alone." Charles de Lint

Thursday, March 31, 2016

"That Piece"

I was talking with a a friend earlier this week and she said she hoped I had "that piece" in my show that said "I'm a serious artist"...and price to say that.  Yikes! I'm not even sure I AM a serious artist....but I was hearing what she was saying.  It was similar to the focal point Becky was talking about a while back. I thought I had a focal point...it was fun...but it wasn't really "that piece." And I thought my paper tube mirror was pretty cool...it wasn't "that piece" either.

I mulled it over all day long....woke up in the middle of the night and realized I could still make "that piece"....and I had some of the parts and all of the supplies. So Tuesday morning I got busy....and as of a few minutes ago it's almost done.  (10:00 p.m. Thursday)

It's 12" by 36" and will be mounted on a black canvas. It's been quite a process over the last three days. I took a few pictures along the way and I want to share some of what I learned...but that will be another day because I'm tired. This was a good thing for me to do...and I will probably even call it "That Piece." 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Space

Today was a creative and productive day which started with a walk with Anita. There were all kinds of signs of spring including carpets of blue scilla.

I checked out the space for my show and took a bunch of pictures which will help me with my planning. As you walk in the front door of the medical building there's a whole bank of windows on the right looking into the waiting area.  There are all kinds of jigs and jags to the hall way so plenty of opportunities for small groupings of things. I'm not sure I'll have enough to fill all the spaces...but it is what it is.  It certainly will be different.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

My Own Happy Colors

Yesterday I posted a lovely picture I saw on Tumblr of colorful spools of thread....I was reminded today that I have my own happy colors.  I have been collecting these charming wooden spools for quite some time. I think all thread comes on plastic these days.

 I even have photos of spools of thread.

And...best of all I found an old spool box with a glass cover from the American Thread Company at a flea market a while back. It came with a few spools...and I was able to fill it up with what I had.  I have a spot all picked out in my craft/sewing room to hang it...I just have to figure out how.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Happy Colors!

This photo came across my Tumblr feed today.
The colors just make me happy.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

On a Roll!

When I was in Colorado helping Margie, my mother-in-law....I got on a roll, so to speak, making paper tubes.  Some of them were used to finish up the indigo frame...but most of them were used to make this mirror.

All the tubes were made from recycled art magazine pages....with soft but bright colors. 

I started with a basic square unfinished frame that came with a mirror.  I wanted to do something interesting with the back and sides ...so I decoupaged scraps of the art magazine pages. This is the back....
 ....and this is the front....to be covered in the tubes.

Just getting started. Inspired by my friend Ellen...I have gotten in the habit of wrapping some of the tubes in gold and or silver thread. It adds a little texture and a touch of whimsy.  

Almost there! I actually like all the fly-away ends of the threads....someone else may think it needs a haircut.
VoilĂ ....another finished project!
My intention was to create a sort of horizon line...so I created a skyish top...with the blues and the yellows. Then I just added layers of random color.  In hindsight...the blue is a little wide...and I wish I would have separated the blue and purple...but it's not as glaring in person. I'm still quite happy with it. 

I think it's a perfect companion to the velum mobiles.

And...just for fun....this is a wider view of my dining room table. I tend to make really big messes....and I seldom clean up in between. And...no matter how much I try....I can't seem to work any other way. Supplies are spread out all over our house and it will take me weeks to get things put away. I just clear an area big enough to work...and sometimes end up having to use my lap.  Welcome to my world!  

Saturday, March 26, 2016

"Hoppy Easter!"

I got a precious Easter card in the mail today from Evan, Liam, Sandy and Lucas.  (Sandy is my niece.)  It made my day!

I hope you all have a wonderful "hoppy" Easter!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Helpful Questions!

Even though I've been focused on the construction project in Maine...I've been working on pieces for my show.

I have a great group of supportive friends who are willing to give me constructive criticism and advise when I need it.  When talking about my little art show with my friend Becky....she asked me a couple questions that have been rattling around in my head.  Do you have a focal point?....and are you going to edit?

In terms of editing...I am narrowing my scope a bit. I can't do everything that's in my head....and it has to look good together. So several of my pieces are going to have a spectrum of color similar to the umbrella photo.  Some pieces will be more subtle...some a little more crazy.

My focal point is a little on the crazy side....here's just a little glimpse...it's still very much a work in progress. I will try and have a little restraint....but I think it would be fun in a kids room....so why not go crazy!

It actually started with this piece of driftwood I had wrapped a while back in some rainbow spectrum yarn....just because I could.  Not every quilt starts with the hanger...but this one did. And...I knew I wanted to make it narrow enough to use a garland of felted beads.


It goes nicely with my wool, felt and button piece....which I still need to figure out how to frame. Maybe this quilt will help me figure that out.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Sticker Stories...

....and so much more.

When I got back to Lexington late this afternoon I had an exciting piece of mail waiting for me...the journal that my son Sam and I are sharing.  If you want the back story...check it out here.

When he started this journal....he wrote that he wanted it to be "both silly and serious, meandering and meaningful." So far...it's all that! I just love it!

We traded sticker stories....yes stickers...the peal and stick little bits of delight that we both still love. And...he even sent me some stickers.  

One of the stickers is a little beat up....it's made from a black and white photograph that Sam took of a guy swimming at Revere Beach in Boston.  I think it's going on the cover of this journal.

The other two are from "Fan Si Pan," a small Maine based company started by a friend of Sam's. Blair taught himself to sew and makes amazing outdoor products. The website is actually very creative and includes several photo and video projects...one featuring an essay by Sam called "Numb Hands to Feed the Birds." Check it out....it's a sweet story.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

I Love Shelving!

The cabinets in the South Portland house are hung too high....which I've learned to live with. But since I had a carpenter working in the house I asked for some shelving to make use of some of that space. If you've paid attention throughout this blog....or if you've been to my houses you know I love shelving.

I will likely spent hours styling them...but the drywall hasn't been sanded so things are still tucked away...or covered in dust.  Patience!.....I keep telling myself. I did find a few things to try...and to make my little photo shoot more interesting.

At first I thought we were going to do white floating shelves the same width as the cupboards...but what Kyle and I settled on was more rustic shelves from reclaimed lumber and black iron brackets. It makes a nice transition from the white cabinets to the granite counter top.  I also decided to leave room at the end for the lamp....I like that soft light in the evening.  I actually like the fact that the shelf is not centered.

Kyle also built a bookcase for the wall next to the counter....and it also has a rustic reclaimed wooden top. This will be a good spot for cookbooks, bowls and other pretty things.  He backed it in bead board to tie into the island. He primed it...but I have to paint it which will be on my to do list sometime this spring.

At the other end of the counter Kyle built a corner shelf just wide enough for coffee cups and possibly spices etc on down the road.  Again...I'll just have to play with it.  He had to cut this one down a bit so I'm putting a little sealer on one end...hence the blue tape on the wall.  

I had to pull the Cheerio Boxes back out when we were trying to determine the height so we could stand back and look.  So it's one box and a board width off the top of the counter....just in case you were wondering. 
Also...thank goodness it hasn't been too cold because my only heat source is a space heater.  The new thermostat is still not working.  Patience!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Floor Repair

precious rainbow scraps
It was just me and Kyle the carpenter today.  I did some sewing...and Kyle spent most of the day on floor repair. It was interesting to watch the process....and anyone reading this is stuck watching the process too.

This is how it looked this morning.

He used boards as guides to help make nice straight cuts.

Next he had to keep shaving the new oak board a little at a time until it fit perfectly...which it does. 

This is how it looked at the end of the day.  It still need to be sanded, stained and sealed....I think it's going to be an interesting architectural transition to have it going in the opposite direction. 
He also worked on some open kitchen shelving that I'll share tomorrow.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Words and Pictures

How I found my crocus in Maine today.
The quote was in my Pinterest feed.
Yes...it was one of those March days.

Full Circle Art!

I am back up in South Portland ready for the next round of our little construction project. I'm thinking about the reinvented space...which means I'm thinking about art. I bought this print from Rachel Mason Burger, a local artist, at a show just before Christmas. 

I loved the colors and the view of Portland from the South Portland side of the harbor. It features the Bug Light on our side and the Portland Observatory on the Portland side, and lots of fun stuff in between.

I saved it knowing we would be doing some work at our South Portland home...and I knew that it would find a good home.

I had purchased a smaller print not really sure where it was going to go....and when the wall came down last week...I knew I could use a bigger one.  So I contacted the artist...who actually lives just a few streets over. She invited me to her studio this afternoon....and I traded up for a bigger size.  I'm excited to have it framed and work into the new space.

Rachel is the same artist who painted this view of Portland I have over the mantle.  It's a view of the marsh just down the street overlooking Portland. I wrote about here.
It's also the same view I featured in my silly little collage experiment. I took a picture from the same spot of the painting and modified it in the waterlogue app.  A full circle art moment don't you think?

Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Edge

My idea for the edge of my indigo mirror frame that I mentioned in the last post worked well.  I cut various width strips from the covers of catalogs that I have saved...they are a nice heavy weight. Using matte medium and my brayer I adhered them onto a piece of heavy card stock and added a topcoat. You can read about the start of this project here and here.

Next I cut them into strips the the length and width of the frame edges. I also trimmed them out with my trusty gold sharpie...mostly to get rid of the white edges...and I wanted them to tie into my gold embellishments on the front.

And finally I glued them onto the edge...I think they look like cool little tiles.  A good solution I think.  Now I just have to find a 4 x 6 mirror and this project is FINALLY done.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

It's Time!

I have lots of pieces and parts of various projects going....and it's time to finish things up.

I did finish covering this indigo mirror frame a few days ago.  I had almost enough paper tubes from what I made in Colorado....but not quite.  I had to roll a few more...all of these tubes are from recycled catalogs.

I used a couple gold tubes on each side to give my little nod to the horizon theme.  I think it's a nice little break in the blue and gives a little visual interest.  

I wasn't sure I wanted to put tubes on the edges...but I think it needs something. 
I have an idea that I will try tomorrow.