Monday, December 29, 2008

'Tats all around

What can I say? I like tattoos and my daughters like tattoos, too. While I was in Tacoma right before Christmas, my daughter Melissa and myself decided we would get a tattoo together. We had both been thinking about it for a while and it seemed the right thing to do. So off we went to All Star Tattoo, where we spent a snowy afternoon with our tattoo artist, Jason. (Jason kept his eye on the falling snow, wanting to make it home before too much of the white fluffy stuff piled up.)

I already had two tattoos, each marking a milestone birthday. The first, a flower on my lower right ankle, I got with my sister in tow (or was she pushing me?) when I turned 45. Five years later, to commemorate my 50th, I got an armband (as my then college-age son remarked, “You’re a bad ass, Mom.”). Howard went along with me for that one and chatted it up with the artist, Mark, as he was a tenant in one of Howard’s rentals.

This time, Melissa accompanied me. I went first because I told her if I didn’t I was sure to chicken out.

I had considered having a flaming heart emblazoned on my wrist, but instead decided I wanted stars. I love stars – and Melissa found the perfect little five-pointed design: not perfectly drawn and splashed with outside-the-lines color. Jason set to work on me, Melissa recording some of my horrifying faces (I’ll share just a couple with you – edited because it is my blog and I get to do that and besides, if you saw some of the other photos, you might be tempted to call the authorities).

Here are my fresh ‘toos.

Next up, Melissa. This was also Melissa’s third tattoo. Her first was a Celtic design on her wrist, and her second, a beautiful tree branch on her foot. This time around, she decided that with all of her yoga (click HERE to see her website, Stay Bent Yoga, and some of her amazing poses), she wanted a lotus blossom and an OM symbol. Man, did Jason take Melissa’s plain little drawing and transform it into something beautiful. Here is Melissa, calm as a cucumber getting inked:

After we got our tattoos, we called Amy, my other daughter to tell her of our deeds. She could hardly breathe she was, as she called it, “so jealous.” In fact, she said she was feeling “aggressively jealous.” The reason is, she has wanted to get a tattoo on her forearm for about a year. She already had a Chinese symbol on her ankle and four vibrant stars on her lower back, but she has been waiting to get something on her forearm. Our boldness set her boldness in motion and with the blessing of her husband, she got her tattoo in Portland and was able to have Melissa accompany her.

Amy's experience:

Howard now calls us his three tatted ladies.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Just Add Color

On December 6th, I took a class at SCRAP. The title of the class was Fantasy Box Workshop. Since there were only three of us registered, I recruited Howard to join us (and he said YES!). We picked up our friend, Peshe, grabbed a latte from Blue Gardenia on N. Mississippi (yum, yum), then settled in for an afternoon of play under the tutelage of Laura Fitzgibbon. Laura is a first year student at Marylhurst in their Art Therapy program and is an artist herself. The goal of the class? To make a shrine of some sort using a cigar box that Laura provided and by trolling the aisles at SCRAP. Are you kidding? Shopping at SCRAP is one of my very favorite things to do and then to be handed a hot glue gun all in the same day!?!

Here we are hard at play:

Here is cute Sarah, the store manager of SCRAP, with Laura:

And here is what the sky looked like when we emerged from SCRAP a few hours later (thanks, Peshe, for telling me to look UP!):

I didn’t get my fantasy box finished that afternoon, but I played around with it the past two weeks adding a few more bits (all things that I found at SCRAP). Here is my completed piece (is a piece ever really completed?).

Rather than to continue to fuss with it, I found it a home high above one of my work spaces where I can be reminded to: Just add color.

Introducing: Miss Bee Bop Bo Bop

Laura, a good friend, commissioned me to make an Alley Art bowling pin for a friend of hers as a Christmas gift. She said it would be nice if I could include all of her friend’s hobbies and interests: golf, bowling, clowning, recovery, and monkeys. WHAT? I put off starting the piece as I was stumped how I was going to integrate such a variety unrelated possibilities. Time was running out . . . and then, finally, inspiration struck. Here is what I came up with: Miss Bee Bop Bo Bop herself!

A few details:

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Classes Galore! In Salem

The Artist’s Way
January 6, 2009 – March 24, 2009
Tuesdays, 6:30-9:00 p.m.
Alley Art Studio in Salem
A 12-week program of creative recovery and art projects based upon the book by Julia Cameron. Please note that this class fills quickly and is limited to six participants. If you are interested in joining this group, please send your $50 deposit as early as possible.

Fanciful Dream Houses
Saturday, January 24, 2009
1:00-4:30 p.m.
$40 (includes all supplies)
Stampin’ Cat Studio in Salem
To register, contact Stampin' Cat Studio

Visual Journaling – A Life Collage
Part I: Create a Hand Bound Visual Journal
Saturday, January 31, 2009
1:00 – 6:00 p.m. (break mid-way)
$50 (includes all supplies)
Stampin’ Cat Studio in Salem
To register, contact Stampin' Cat Studio

Visual Journaling – A Life Collage
Part II: Let the Fun Begin – A Month of Thursdays
Thursdays for the month of February, 2009
6:00- 9:00 p.m.
$75 for the month of classes (includes all supplies except for journal)
Stampin’ Cat Studio in Salem
To register, contact Stampin' Cat Studio

Itty Bitty Pretties
Saturday, February 7, 2009
10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
$23.00 (includes all supplies except for personal photographs)
Stampin’ Cat Studio in Salem
To register, contact Stampin' Cat Studio

Classes Galore! in Portland

Fanciful Dream Houses
DIY Lounge at collage in Portland
Saturday, January 10, 2009
11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
$60 (all supplies provided!)
Register by using DIY Lounge link above

Itty Bitty Pretties
DIY Lounge at collage in Portland
Saturday, February 21, 2009
11:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
$30 (all you bring are personal photographs -everything else provided)
Register by using the DIY Lounge link above

Matchbox Shrines
SCRAP in Portland
January Date TBA


Lookie lookie at what I received in the mail yesterday:

My beautiful earrings were designed and crafted by Juanita Bitonti, artist and owner of Lookie-Lookie. Juanita’s tagline is Fire + Hammer + Metal = Original Jewelry. I encourage you to follow the link to Juanita’s website and browse her beautiful gallery of hand-forged precious metal jewelry. Here is how Juanita describes my earrings:

They are hand-formed with .999 fine silver using transfer of vintage french postage stamps. They also have dichroic glass, 24K gold electro plate, brass components and sterling earwire and Bali silver. No wonder I love them so much!

Juanita and I met through the Artists’ Way and worked out a trade of services. I sure lucked out in receiving a pair of Juanita’s handcrafted earrings. Here are a couple more photos, which feature Juanita’s advertising cards (and showcasing my earrings in a different format). The detail on my earrings is stunning.

I can’t wait to wear my new beauties. And if you’re looking for a last minute Christmas gift, I can guarantee you anyone would be delighted to receive a piece of Juanita’s jewelry!

Words, Lovely Words

One of the things on my never-ending “To Do” list was to install some wall words. I had them at our historic home, the Court Street Retreat, and when we moved over a year ago, it is something I’ve wanted to add to our new “old” home. The word project finally got set in motion when my friend, Jill, a representative of the company Uppercase Living, offered to come over and help me git her done. I decided on the quotes I wanted for each of the rooms and then a couple of weeks ago, over vanilla lattes, Jill helped me measure and select fonts and sizes. The quotes arrived within a week of ordering and were ready for installation. My dear husband tackled them room by room during the past week and ta da! the words are now in their new home. Walk with me . . . .

Our bedroom words say: Today's beautiful moments are tomorrow's beautiful memories.

The kitchen words are in Italian and mean The Sweet Life.

Finally, our living room has a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt and is the same quote that we had at our other house in the living room/library. The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. I truly believe that.