Friday, September 25, 2009

Never Enough Time

Done. I just finished a piece for the upcoming Family Show at the Launch Pad Gallery in Portland. The shows opens on October 2nd, when there will be a great big old party - music, food, interactive art, and lots of interesting people. For my piece, Never Enough Time, I used an old printer's drawer, lots of paper I have made over the past couple of years, and some of my very favorite bits and bobs. I've decided to put the piece up for sale and if it sells, lovely, and if not, it will be my privilege to hang it at the studio.

A few close-ups:

Bra Ball: I'm Seeing Stars!

I've written before about Mary Lou Zeek, the proprietor of the always fabulous Mary Lou Zeek Gallery. Mary Lou not only runs a great gallery, she is also an initiator of community art events, i.e., the Door Show and the 100 Artists Show (coming in February, and something I will be participating in for the first time). But I digress. Her current cause is the Bra Ball where she is gathering artful bras to be made into a ball. How could I resist the call to art up a bra!?!

Here is more about the idea for the Bra Ball (as written in Salem Monthly):

The bra ball concept originated with artist Emily Duffy and hundreds of women in El Cerrito, California. Mary Lou Zeek, wanting to drive awareness for breast cancer, encourages the women of Salem to send in or drop off their bras -- "paint it, stitch it, write on it, or dedicate it to a breast cancer survivor and we will build a Salem sculpture in the gallery."

I had some early ideas for arting up a bra, but then sorta ran out of time (I know, what's new). I couldn't find the bra I had purchased over a month ago, so I ended up rummaging in my own underwear drawer and chose a bra that I didn't wear very much and sacrificed it for the cause.

I first added some fiber paste, then some light molding paste, and finally some glass gel beads. Then paint, then the audition of bits and bobs. Here's the process:

The words on the bra were taken from Songs of Sappho and read:

VII. To Aphrodite
Love-Goddess of the wreath of gold,
Would that this lot were mine.

(J.M. Edmonds)

Me modeling my finished piece of bra art!

And by the way, there's still time to art up a bra and drop it off at Mary Lou's gallery! My friend Destree expressed an interest and wished out loud for a large bra. Well, I was out and about and just happened to stumble upon (into?) a 42DD bra. It was a gift to Destree, who was not only overjoyed, but was considering making a purse out of it! Here she is modeling the soon to be arted up bra:

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Recovering a Sense of Power: The Artist's Way Week Three

I went to the studio early to prepare for the evening session of The Artist's Way. As I was hanging some old, unfinished pieces of art on the studio Art Line, I read a quote from one of the pieces.

My Muse is eager to instruct me in a new gamut, or gambetto,
Up, up my soul, from your lovely cantilation,
put on a timely vigour.

What a great way for me to set my focus and intention on the evening ahead. For the evening's creative project, we did Touch Drawing, a process developed by Deborah Koff-Chapin, founder of The Center for Touch Drawing. It is a simple process, but safe and non-threatening. I had the good fortune to attend a one-day workshop with Deborah at The Grotto in Portland last February, so I was able to share my experience of learning from the master. Here's a peek at our art-making:

Ooooolala! Lucious pieces of airy, artful tissue paper.

Around the Block #3

If you've been following along with the block swap I'm in, Around the Block, hosted through the Yahoo group In This House and Garden, then you'll know what I'm talking about. If not, and are interested, click HERE for a link to my most recent post about the swap. If you are still interested, you can follow the link back again for the initial post. Anyhoo, I received three blocks from Carolyn Abramofsky (of Illinois), who received three blocks from Susi Trenery (of New Jersey). Susi, the originating artist of the current round of swapping, did this to her blocks:

Then, a second side of Susi's blocks were arted up by Carolyn:

And here is what I did to my three sides on Susi's blocks:

I'll be sending my blocks along to Sarah Fishburn by the end of the week!

Nisi Granum Frumenti

When I was in Tacoma last weekend, I got to see not only my daughter Melissa, but also her good friend Dana (same name as me, no y). Dana is also an artist and an amazing and tenacious junker and collector. I wrote a blog post about her vintage contemporary home earlier this summer (for a glimpse into her home, click here). Dana and I have been getting to know each other and she has figured out the kind of stuff I like, so when she stopped by on Sunday, she came bearing gifts: two yellow plastic airplanes, a box of flash cards, two bundles of pretty unique Bingo cards, and, amazingly enough, a bag of wooden Catholic rubber stamps, in Italian, I believe (correct me if I'm wrong - I've been to Italy, but don't speak, write, or read it!). I think the stamps are pretty amazing, and, I feel, blog worthy. So 1) if you know Italian and can translate, or 2) you're a Catholic and recognize any of these terms, please drop me a line with what it is I'm going around stampin' up a storm! (Oh, and please note the stamp of two nails, a crown of thorns, and the long narrow arrow.)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Wedding and a Feast

Most of my blog posts relate to art-making, junking and collecting, and on occasion my travels. But now, I want to share a wedding we attended over the weekend in Wenatchee (located in Central Washington) as it was perfect in every way, a true fairy tale, filled with intention and meaning, personalized and gracious, but lacking in any pretension.

Alyson and Steven were married on Sunday afternoon at the Ohme Gardens. Alyson is the daughter of long-time friends Don and Linda, so long, that Howard met Don in 7th grade and he and his family have remained a part of our lives for more years than I care to figure out!

But first, a few photos of Howard and myself with two of our grandkids, Luke (5) and Ella (3). We had Luke and Ella for the weekend, so we brought them along with us.

The wedding. Aly had seven attendants, all wearing brown dresses. She must have told them, “Get a brown dress to wear in my wedding.” Each dress was brown, but unique and personal to the wearer. The groomsmen all wore khaki pants, brown shirts, a tie of their choosing, and were barefoot!

Aly’s bouquet was made up as she walked among those in attendance: she picked up dahlia’s from various people and a friend quickly wrapped satin ribbon around the stems, pinned it into place, and presto! A simple, colorful, and elegant bridal bouquet. The newly married couple!

Music during the ceremony and throughout the evening was acoustic guitar and singing by talented friends, including the bride’s sister, Heidi, and brother, Steven. Before dancing began later in the evening, a friend had written a beautiful song just for the new couple. Here's Heidi and Steven singing a song during the ceremony.

After the simple ceremony, performed by a husband and wife who have known the family for years, we all walked deeper into the Gardens along rocky paths and past hidden ponds, to a large grassy clearing with a breathtaking view of Wenatchee and the surrounding countryside, where white linen topped tables dotted the grove with a view of the Wenatchee Valley that was stunning.

We were delighted to learn we had been seated with our friends, the parents of the bride. Also at our table were Connie and Eric. Connie had been the Maid of Honor at Don and Linda’s wedding 27 years, two days ago, and Howard had been Don’s Best Man. Their bridal party together again.

Okay, now for the feast part of the evening. The feast was a luscious spread of local, organic produce –and all vegetarian. Being vegetarian, I am usually digging thorough dishes trying to figure out if there is any hidden meat. Not here – everything was fresh fresh fresh and all vegetarian. Several people were overheard saying, “This is the best wedding food I’ve ever had!” I saw several people going back for seconds (and maybe even thirds given the grunts and groans of pleasure I heard as people were eating). Here's Howard and Linda enjoying the evening, Howard and myself, Aly and Steven greeting guests, and finally, signing their wedding license at our table!

Luke and Ella had a great time and made two friends, Isabel and Charlie. Luke kept asking: "Where's my friend in the blue dress?"

After a round of toasts, Don invited everyone to make the five-minute drive to their home for the evening’s festivities to continue. We hadn’t been to Don and Linda’s house for years (too many, I’m afraid to admit), but we knew that Don had been working and playing in his yard over the years. It was a little urban estate filled with ponds, waterfalls, and mounds of rocks. Don said that whenever he was tired of mowing, he just converted another section of lawn to a water feature. It was gorgeous – white lights had been strung throughout the back yard, two fire pits had fires blazing, a dance floor assembled, and off to the side a table with seven large buckets of ice cream. Yes, ice cream, with flavors like Balsamic Strawberry, Honey Lavender, Salted Caramel, and four others I can’t even remember. Instead of cake, we were served ice cream cones. (We let Luke and Ella have two cones . . . shhhhh, don't tell their Mom.)

In talking with Linda, Aly’s Mom, earlier in the evening, she said that every part of the wedding had been planned by Aly with care and intention. It showed. So what’s in store for the newlyweds? Here's what they'll be doing beginning in January in their own words:

As many of you know, we will be moving to Guatemala in January for six months to a year. We’ll be living in Nebaj, a small town in the highlands, and working with villages in the surrounding area in a partnership with an organization called Agros International. Aly will be fulfilling a grant she received from the Jackson School of International Studies at UW to do research on the connections between rural community development and land rights. Steven will spend some time learning Spanish, using his photography, and hopefully helping with some ecotourism or conservation projects.

What an awesome couple!