Category Archives: Inspiration

Happy Birthday to my Mr Magpie…

Feb 2014 Ocean City MD

celebrating the wonderful man in my life especially today…

my inspiration my Love

Index Card Fun…

there has been a buzz in blogland lately over ICADs which stands for Index Card A Day

the recipe card size of 3 x 5 inches does speak to me as I find it is a great way to use some of what is handy on my art table working quickly not thinking too much…

here are a handful of links from friends with some of their recent and inspiring ICADs:

Linda of Linda Jo’s Obsessions

Christie’s Flickr

Dawn of Girl Unwinding

Elizabeth of Altered Book Lover

some years ago we called the 3×5 format “Skinny’s …

I got hooked playing with ICADs again a couple of summers ago and almost filled an old metal recipe box with new cards I created…

Recipe Box of Index Cards

some were sent out as RAKs as I find they make nice little “note cards” or tuckins…

some of my collaged Index Cards

I have not gotten back into making one a day but I did get to play the other day and make a couple…Organic Index Card

the card above used one of my ready to go backgrounds with a bit of security envelope torn at the bottom, a piece from a journal page that I created and copied and printed out … the “Organic” sticker is from some yummy British Lemonade…

Mermaids Tailthe mermaid tail was stamped on some scratch paper that had been on my desktop for quite some time…

Mermaids Tail (1)

I used several ink sprays and misted each layer with water to make the background run and blend and bead up…the words “from the deep” are glued onto broken pieces of a wooden coffee stirrer…

my cards are straight rectangles…it might be time for me to start using a tripod for my photos 🙂

♥ many thanks to so many of you for inspiring me again and again in special ways that you may not even be aware of ♥

…childhood wisdom

Love this building wall from a photo we took in Asheville, North Carolina combined with a favorite quote…

Pixlr makes adding a frame and words super simple and it’s free…

The Exquisite Art of Isabelle de Borchgrave

earlier this week I shared a peek at the spectacular and beautiful Hillwood Museum dripping in opulence and history and more…

even with the over the top grandeur there was a warmth and personal feel to the house evidenced here at the back door…

today I thought you might like to see some of Isabelle de Borchgrave’s artistry which was the main draw for our recent visit to Hillwood

impossible to pick a favorite out of the more than 25 dresses shown…

here is one of the first dresses that took my breath away…

this is the first exhibition of Isabelle de Borchgrave’s work in Washington, DC…

remember it is only paper

the Hillwood Prêt-à-Papier link has really fantastic photos and information almost as nice as seeing the exhibit in person…

we were delighted that Hillwood allowed photography everywhere as long as no flashes were used…

as you might imagine…

we took lots and lots of photographs…

“It gives me pleasure to share what I love. I’d like people who come to see my work to dream about the beauty, the color, the art. I want them to be inspired like I was as a child. You need to be humble in front of art. Everything has already been done, but everyone can [contribute] something new.” ~Isabelle de Borchgrave

hope you enjoyed this sampling and that you get to see some of Isabelle de Borchgrave’s creations in person sometime…

tis the season…

trees are always in season…

I {heart} trees…

heard it from a dear friend that Christmas items were already rolling into the craft stores

you might remember the fun I had previously bleaching and coloring bottle brush trees all thanks to the same special friend…

I snuck out back into the heat and humidity and got busy…

thinking cool thoughts and sending good wishes to any of you that may be in distress

“Take care of each other.” ~Robert Louis Stevenson

Find eternity in each moment…

finally I got busy in one of my journals after taking a bit of a break from playing with Lavender (more about that in a another post)…

spending time with a creative friend really gave me the kick in the pants I needed to play again…

could it be that creativity is contagious!

I have been wanting to use the color copy above of a 5 x 5″ piece I created long before I started my blog…

happy that I took the time to scan it before I gave it away…

I found squares of the Daisy D’s scrapbook paper I used and added that to the left hand side using gel medium with tissue paper first as a foundation over both of the encyclopedia pages…

the cut off spoon handle with “HOPE” hammered on it by Mr Magpie happened to surface the other day…

isn’t it great when that happens…

I cut pieces of lace curtain gluing them on bit by bit to help soften the straight paper edges…

I like the pattern it created…

the final touches were a flattened Magic Hat beer cap (each cap has a short saying inside…this one said “When Plans Fail, Blaze New Trails”)…

I also got to use a few of the frilly pink “roses” I bought a yard of all strung together on netting…

this was my sixteenth spread so far in this journal (32 total pages) with plenty of room left to play…

some of the other pages can be found here…

the beating of my heart…

inspired by Dawn’s September art journal challenge…I decided to get busy…

I have been in a journaling mood lately…

jumping from one book to another and another in a bit of a creative frenzy…

my How It Works encyclopedia (1970’s) pages have been glued and paint scraped with just a few spreads completed so far…

each page measures approximately 10.5 x 8.25 inches (26.67 x 20.95 cm)

the last thing I did in this journal was a farewell spread for  Wednesday Stamper here … still missing you Mittwochstempler!!!

Dawn’s challenge this month is to “add an inclusion (something stuck to the middle of a spread that you can see both sides of when turned over) or a tag” … as it happens I have had these pages in limbo for a long time…

imagine a scary face/eye and lips in that outline of the pages sticking out…

see where the nose would have been…

covering it with circle graph paper really helped things open up for me…

I used some Graphics Fairy and Tullulah images to create transfers with Citra Solv and tissue paper …

Love how those turn out each and every time …

quick and easy and dreamy…

I was very honored recently to be linked in Citra Solv’s Artist Gallery here

on the left side of my spread I used the original that I made the veiled lady tissue transfer out of …

I am saving the actual tissue paper transfer of her for another project …she’s way off to the left in the photo above…

both pieces have a very nice look and feel to them …

the heart chart that I have running across both pages is from back in 2004 when I some heart testing done …

I guess it is my EKG (not 100% about that) …

glad I thought to ask for a copy…

here is a closer look at my inclusion

a photo of our son Alex not quite two years old hauling a big plastic watering can around the garden popped up at just the right time and that is when my pages really became extra meaningful to me …

this was not where I thought these pages might go …

what a little nature boy he was …

my Mutti knit the hooded sweater he was wearing …

the dangling tea cups are free images from Dover … they added nicely to the open tea tag I glued onto the page…

I used the tea string to tie them on …

it will be fun to see what Dawn has in mind for her October art journal challenge…

LaWendula’s Paper Swaps…Art Really Does Help Heal

*a LONGish post with lots all wrapped into one*

LaWendula recently hosted another fun paper swap

she has been connecting the mixed media blog community for quite awhile now with her imaginative and fun swap ideas…

this one was quick and easy…

just fill a standard size envelope with bits of paper and mail to your partner…

 my swap partner Frances…

who does not have a blog for me to send you to…

sent me some really lovely bits from the UK … so much goodness in one envie … thank you again dear Frances!!!

LaWendula (LW) and I swapped some vintage papers and did I ever get inspired when her big envelope arrived…

she included one of her really special handmade books (4.5 inches square) ready to alter … I could not wait to get busy…

as some of you know my sweet German Mother/Mutti died suddenly in February of this year…

she lived just an hour away so we got lots of one on one time together…

I sure do miss her and have not been able to find words to express my broken heart overflowing with feelings…

using lots of bits from LaWendula’s latest gifts (more than I can really show you in photos) and a few bits I had on hand…

here is what came of some of it…

with a couple of pages still left to decorate…

I will show you LaWendula’s BEFORE book pages and my AFTER altered pages below…

her  pages looked so nice I hardly wanted to cover them up…

I was not immediately aware that it would even be a book about my Mutti…

a bit of German curtain netting (I have some of my Mother’s tattered lace curtains) under the word Liebe = Love …

a piece of torn map …

a glowing candle surrounded by Edelweiss … a flower that has myriad meanings in our family …

LaWendula’s tag was lovely on both sides…felted wool on this side…I glued on the cardboard seashell from her goodies…

I like the way LW stamped page numbers on her gessoed magazine pages…as it happened the number 3 fit perfectly in the torn yellow paper I glued to the right edge…

my Mom’s name was Josephine…her family called her “Fini”

I amazed myself at the meaning in these pages…

it wasn’t until the second day when Mr Magpie was looking at my little book again that we realized why out of 12 little calendar pages that LW sent in a strip … I must have picked apples for this page…

my Mutti made THE best apple strudel always with me in mind…the ends were my favorite with a little more dough folded there…

such beautiful pages LaWendula made … you can see why it was hard to cover them…

I dove in anyway…a woman possessed on and off all day Friday…

these pages really did come together intuitively…

I noticed that sometimes I like creating with a little noise in the background…most often television…funny as I used to not be much of a TV person…

LW’s sturdy dressmaker form called to me but I did not spend any time thinking about why and added some stamped text to it …

my mother was an excellent seamstress and creator of stuffed animals and dolls and more…

the only thing I added to pages 4 and 5 from my stash were pieces of Tim Holtz tissue tape...

in looking for a tissue tape link to embed for you above…I came upon Tim’s blog post with some amazing ideas for this tape…

Love that …

maybe you will need some afterall

Estivalia … let me know 😉

playing with LaWendula’s pages was very healing…plenty of tears fell with some smiles from sweet memories too…

I actually surprised myself in that I was able to “go there” as the grief from my Mutti’s loss is pretty fresh…there are days I cannot believe she is really gone…

the little flowered flap on the left is a copy of my Mother’s fabric autograph book from the early 1940’s onward…

LaWendula included some super German library cards...I thought it very fitting that they focused on *Play* one of my favorite things (Spiel Spiele Spielen)…

so glad I took photos of each of LaWendula’s beautiful pages “before” I got busy…see the perfect brown “frame” on the left…

isn’t that German postage stamp on the top left precious…it says “With Good Wishes”

my Mutti passed along her wanderlust to me and my little sister …

our boys called her “Omi” a German fond term for Grandma

years before my Mother passed away we had a conversation where she told me she had lived a good life … little did I know just how comforting those words would be … I will continue to feel very close to my sweet Mutti …you can check out some of LaWendula’s precious handmade books here

for not having words … I certainly managed to tell quite a lot…

there is so much more to tell about my dear sweet Mutti …

she was definitely one of a kind…

I added a little paint to the back page but could not duplicate LW’s beautiful colors on the other side of her sewn tag…

I wrote “Love is the answer” and glued on the black and white strip of shiny fabric from my art table…

if you actually read all of this post…well you are amazing … the word count (WordPress provides that in Draft mode) was pretty high …

vielen vielen danke liebe LaWendula … you touched my heart again and again … you always ROCK!

 

9.11.11 A Day of Remembrance

hopefully this month’s quote from my “Angel Spirits” The Art of Sulamith Wülfing 2011 Calendar will bring a little comfort on a day where the right words are not easy to find…

a day even harder than every other for anyone that lost a loved one ten years ago…

“When you feel the need to unburden your spirit, know that I am always with you, dear friend.  I am the recipient of all your secrets, and I hold them fast in the chambers of my faithful heart.  Confide in me, and receive in return comfort and tender love.” ~Soul Confidant, September 2011

I have shared the quotes from this beautiful and inspiring calender here each month and thought I would show you Sulamith Wülfing‘s artwork for this month as well…

she was an amazing artist…

artwork of Sulamith Wülfing “Soul Confidant”

Sending Peace…Love…Light to each of you today and always OXO

my new blog…Magpie’s Nest Too

for now will be a giveaway blog and a place where I share Freebies…

with a little fine tuning and thanks to Jill Ruth & Co. my Magpie’s Nest Too blog is now open …

I put the second blog together back in September 2008 thinking I would share my photography there and forgot that I made it private to begin with…

over the coming weeks I will be giving away some of my old books there...

all you have to do is comment on the specific blog post for anything you might be interested in receiving…

overseas visitors are most welcome…

feel free to sign up for as many different books as you would like the chance to win…

they all need a good home…

winners will be chosen by random generator…

tell your friends if you think they might ‘need’ a new book or more…

no rules

so far I have THREE giveaways listed …

with more to come…

 come on down and leave a comment for a chance to win…

“The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk.  The rain makes running pools in the gutter.  The rain plays a little sleep song on our roof at night And I love the rain.” ~Langston Hughes

as it turns out some areas are getting too much rain here…too bad there is such imbalance in weather patterns lately…Texas sure could use some of the rain we’ve had the last three days

guerilla knitting…

my first in person encounter with guerilla knitting

also called yarn bombing or graffiti knitting…

was on a trip last October to Santa Rosa, California …

I was totally charmed by the lamp posts and bike racks covered in knit goodness…

last month there was an article in the Washington Post about a knit in at Jimmy Valentine’s Lonely Hearts Club in NE Washington DC…

they called it a “yarn bombing with heart”…

101 hearts…

it was fun to see in person…

something I enjoy again and again in the blogosphere…

especially in the special mixed media corner that I get to visit and enjoy so often…

is CONNECTION

if you haven’t already…

you will want to see what Hermine in The Netherlands did to the downspout of her home…what a great conversation starter and wouldn’t that be fabulous to see in person too…

she also makes THE most incredible felted wool purses…amazing hearts and more…

even though I am not a knitter…I still drool over yarn and needles and appreciate the magic and creativity of it all…

making things is powerful medicine the world over…

footnote: and another great connection with Jill Zaheer of Jazworks you’ll want to check out too…notice the date this was done…Love it!

“Why Artists Need to Get High”

Lesley Riley, The Artist Success Expert, is the creative founder of Artist Success, Solutions for the Struggling Artist. To receive her bi-weekly articles on creating your own success as an artist, visit  www.ArtistSuccess.com.

I found that Lesley’s Artist Success Feature Article  below explains a lot 🙂

I am not a drug-dealer, but I want you to get high. For real! I highly (pun intended) recommend that you turn on to the natural high that comes from making art. In 1972, brain researchers from Johns Hopkins University made a puzzling discovery. They found that the human brain’s neurons had specific receptor sites for opiate drugs: opium, heroin, codeine and morphine. I’m sure they were trying to understand the appeal and addiction of illegal and illicit drugs, but, thankfully, this finding led them to explore further. Why would nature give our brains a receptor for plant opiates?

They soon figured out that the active ingredient in all these opiates – morphine – had a chemical structure very similar to endorphins, a class of chemicals present in the brain. Endorphins are the natural opiates of the body and we have the opportunity to “get high” any time we want. It’s legal and, even better, it’s good for us. Athletes and runners have been aware of this for a while. You’ve heard of the runner’s high. Well, there is also an artist’s high.

I know you have experienced it. Recall how good you feel while taking a class or how the time just flies when you’re painting, choosing fabric for your next quilt or putting the patina on your mixed media altered book page. Perhaps that feeling comes when you’re working in your garden, redecorating a room or, better yet, teaching your granddaughter to sew.

Creating (and creating the flow of endorphins) is not always about making art. You can create a moment, a memory or an experience. The endorphins will flow when you are fully present in whatever you choose to do and when you choose to be aware of the joy you are creating.

Do you ever feel a letdown when you complete the project you were working on? That’s because you are coming down from your high. Are you tense and crabby when you can’t (or won’t) take the time to get in the studio? Lack of endorphins. How about that tightness in your neck, the empty feeling in your heart, the dull headache that just lingers? Lack of endorphins.

Endorphins are also naturally triggered in response to pain or stress but in today’s world, we often need a higher dose than our bodies produce. Many people choose or are advised to use other means of relieving pain and stress. Increasing the production of natural endorphins can help reduce or eliminate the needed level of prescription drugs. We are just now beginning to understand the effects of creativity and happiness on our overall health.

What You Can Do Now

To help me prove my point, I’m going to ask you to get high. It’s easy and, better yet, healthy and FUN. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Set aside a dedicated, uninterrupted time for the experiment. I recommend at least an hour. Set an alarm if you need to finish at a specific time.
  2. Choose a creative activity that you enjoy.
  3. Prepare in advance by locating and assembling everything you will need for this activity.
  4. Put on comfortable clothes & music if you like.
  5. Create. Create with abandon. Create towards a simple goal or for no reason at all. Just create.
  6. Be intentionally present in what you are doing. Don’t watch the clock or worry about time. Your alarm will signal if you have set it.
  7. Bask in the endorphin flow.

Rx – Use daily or as often as needed. There is no danger of overdose.

Lesley Riley, The Artist Success Expert, is the creative founder of Artist Success, Solutions for the Struggling Artist. To receive her bi-weekly articles on creating your own success as an artist, visit  www.ArtistSuccess.com.

rust tea…

our cooler less humid air is gone for now and it is getting

hazy

HOT

and humid again…

typical Virginia weather for July…

the birds seem to linger longer in the birdbaths

trying to stay cool…

all of our sunshine has been just right for a recent rust project of mine…

it has been awhile since I played with rusting paper or fabric

with thanks to

Halle and Elizabeth and Dagmar

for lots of recent rusty inspiration…

here are some of the rusty things I used…

along with an old bottle of Apple Cider Vinegar to wet my fabrics…

it already looked a little like the color of rust with sediment in it…

these crocheted flowers were very white…

I wanted to add some color to them for an upcoming Queen Bee Honeycomb swap…

once you get started…

well you know how that goes…

( I wrung out the vinegar soaked fabric and wrapped and layered the pieces with the rusty bits…popped all of that into a plastic bag left to bask in the sun for the day…a final baking soda and water rinse and your fabric is ready to go)

one thing leads to another …

and another…

and…

be sure to pop over and visit Kimmie

you never know where the group of international Tea Tuesday posters may lead you … Enjoy * Enjoy