Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Holidays

An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.' Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests. (Luke 2:9-14)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Walking in This World - The Artist's Way

I’m offering an exciting, new class beginning on January 5th and only two people have signed up. I wonder, is it me? Is it the economy? Is it the 10-week commitment? Perhaps a little of all three. The class is similar to the Artist’s Way that I have been offering for several years and those classes have often been filled. For my upcoming session I only have two people registered and the deadline to sign up is December 30th. I’ve been pretty proactive with advertising for this class, posting information on-line and fliers all over town at coffee shops, bookstores, and our local health food store.

My original Artist’s Way sessions were modeled after the class I took from my Artist’s Way mentor, Gretchin Lair, of Scarlet Star Studios in Portland. I drove to Portland from Salem (an hour each way) once a week for 12 weeks, I was so motivated and excited to take such a life-changing series of classes. It was what opened the door to my whole new life of making art and living creatively.

My (hopefully) upcoming series is based on Julia Cameron’s second book in her Artist’s Way trilogy, Walking in This World – The Practical Art of Creativity. I’ll be using the same formula I have used in the past: Sitting in a circle, stretching and breathing to gently warm-up and transition from the day into the evening, verbal check-ins with feedback and support, and finally, a creative project. In The Artist’s Way we have done such activities as mask-making, embellishing a soft cloth doll, playing with clay, Touch Drawing, and collage (12 weeks of varied creative activities). Those taking the upcoming series will be introduced to a brand new set of creative projects.

Also, for my upcoming series, I’ve shortened the commitment to ten weeks – 12 weeks was just a little too long. But then there is the commitment itself – during the week participants must read a chapter from the book, do half of the homework tasks, write Morning Pages daily (or at least try to write daily), go on an Artist’s Date (a weekly, solo outing to fill the creative well), and in this new series, take at least a weekly 20 minute walk. And then once a week attend a 2-1/2 hour class. It’s a lot to commit to!

About the walking component. Julia feels that walking holds our solutions. Julia also says about her regular walks: It is on these walks that my best ideas come to me. It is while walking that difficult clarity emerges. It is while walking that I experience a sense of well-being and connection, and it in walking that I live most prayerfully.

In preparation for a possible class, I’ve been reviewing the book. This is what will be covered in each chapter and will be the focus of our ten weeks together.

Discovering a Sense of:

Personal Territory

For me, I sure would like to get intimate with each of these topics and figure out how I can better incorporate them into my daily life. I’m hoping six other women would like to do the same.

If you want more information about this class, feel free to e-mail me at We will be meeting on Tuesday evenings at Alley Art Studio from 6:30-9:00 p.m. The cost is $240 and $50 by December 30th will hold your spot. The only thing you need to purchase is the book and a journal, I provide everything else.

And if you aren’t able to take the class, I highly recommend getting all three of the books in Julia’s Artist’s Way series – they are truly life changing.

Interim Monkey Shot: Orange Dream Monkeys

I have been dreaming of gathering a group of women together to meet once a month for some serious fun and artful playtime. What I have been coveting is spending more time in my visual journal, so I invited a group of women to become part of a group of women to do just that. We got together on Tuesday night to get the administrative stuff out of the way, things like who will set up and break down, do we want treats (of course!), who will be the time keeper, what will our theme be, and most importantly, a name for our merry band of renegade artists. All of the women in the group have taken some or all of my Visual Journaling classes, and/or have participated in a round robin altered book exchange that I've been in. And all of us have just a bit of a warped sensibility.

The group knows I'll be blogging about our shenanigans, and three of the ladies have their own blogs, so I'm sure they'll be blogging their little hearts out, too. When I whipped out my camera on Tuesday night, they all groaned, but consented to having their photo taken.

Who we are. Dawn K, Candace, Destree, Dawn S. and Shelby. Not present was Bobbie, who felt it necessary to fly off to Las Vegas for a little decadent fun. Sheez. Oh, and me, I'm in the group, but will usually be the one behind the camera. The above photo is of us deciding on a theme. We decided that for our theme each month we would keep three jars stocked with one-word ideas, the categories being: Color, Concept, Noun. Each month we'll pick a piece of paper from each of the jars and that will be our theme, allowing us to focus on the color, the concept, the noun, or all three. The name of our group was born out of our three-jar plan; we are the Orange Dream Monkeys, which also happens to be the theme for our first meeting in January.

So, strap on your seat belts and follow along as we begin creating the third Wednesday of every month. And if you want to know what happens between our meetings, become a fan of the Orange Dream Monkeys on Facebook!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Freeda Gets a Name and a Friend!

Earlier this month I posted about a doll that I had started when Destree and I had a play date. I finished the doll later, but never got around to naming her. Destree also finished her doll and came over last night so our two dollies could be reunited.

Both dolls were still unnamed until last night when I had a group of ladies over to the studio (more on that soon), and Destree and I asked the ladies to suggest names for our girls. All six of us wrote a suggestion on a scrap of paper for each of the dollies.

My list of suggestions included the following:

After careful consideration, I introduce to you . . . .

Fancy Smancy Nancy Sinatra

And Little Miss Bad Self Freeda!

Take it easy! You may be in for a BIG surprise.

Last Sunday, we met up with Sam of Lil' Gypsy and her sweetie, Stewart, at one of our favorite Salem breakfast dives, er, I mean restaurants, Off Center Cafe. If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you'll know that Sam collects goodies and treasures that she can't use or sell at her fabulous vintage shop, puts them in a bag, and gives me a call or sends me a message, usually something like: I have a bag of crappola for you . . . this time, she said she had the moterlode of crappola. Was she ever right. Here we are at the restaurant waiting for our food while I peek inside my goodie bag.

Later in the week, at my studio, I unpacked and snapped a few photos. Ahhhhh . . . the best Christmas gift ever.

Well, maybe not the best Christmas gift ever, but a mighty fine one, I must admit. Now if I can only figure out what to do with one glove, one baby shoe, and one false eyelash, I'll be on my way!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Stars and Strikes!

My creative life started when I began arting up bowling pins. You can read the whole story and see more about the Alley Art part of my life at my website by clicking here. In the beginning, I decorated a lot of bowling pins. I've done custom orders, sold them at the Salem Saturday Market, did a couple of Arts and Crafts Fairs at Christmastime, and they were even juried into the Silverton Fine Arts Festival. They were on display at Willamette University, at a little restaurant in downtown Salem, and a local boutique sold them for a while. They have even been featured in a couple of our hometown newspapers. As you might guess, there isn't a huge demand for arted up bowling pins and my interests began to shift elsewhere. However, my basement has a huge inventory of completed bowling pins with dozens of different themes.

Well, my dear husband is a bowler (and I must admit, I have my own purple bowling ball and my own spiffy black and white bowling shoes), so when we snuck away a couple of weeks ago to bowl at lunchtime, I asked the guy who owns the pro shop at the bowling alley if he would consider having some of my bowling pins in his shop. Sure, he said. So today, Howard and I once again snuck away for a little noon-time bowling and along with our bowling gear, we took in 21 bowling pins. I'm selling them at the reduced price of $20 each (and Rick, the owner of Stars and Strikes Pro Shop, will get a percentage of each sale). They looked so cute in his shop and several people poked their heads in to check them out! (Oh, and I bowled a 124 and a 145 today!!)

P.S. If you're trying to find a gift for that hard to buy for person, I have lots of bowling pins in stock. The cost is $20 plus shipping and handling. Let me know what theme you want and I'll see what I have!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Goodall the Way Around

It appears the Goodall family is a talented bunch. Back in August while I was in Omaha helping my son, Scott, get settled into his new home, I stumbled upon a law office that was filled with metal sculptures and assemblages that Mark designed and built. To see some of his whimsical creations, just click here for a link to my original post. Since our initial meeting in August, we've kept in touch. When Mark found out we were coming to Omaha to visit Scott, he asked if our dance card had room for us getting together with him for a meal. Of course we did! We decided to meet at his office on Monday. Welllllll, it just so happens that Mark's sister, Teresa Goodall, is a talented and successful jewelry designer and Mark was hosting a trunk show of her jewelry in the basement (where his workshop is located) of his law office. Mark invited us to shop before we went to lunch.

It isn't often that I become verklempt, but when I walked down those wide stairs and entered the basement showroom, I was unable to speak for just a little while (Howard can attest to this).

Teresa's jewelry is beautiful, colorful, whimsical, and just a tad funky. Can you guess why I liked it so much? Mark invited me to select a piece of jewelry as a gift from him . . . and then was gracious enough to listen to me yelp, mew, sigh, and chortle as I went from necklace to necklace (the prices were really good, especially since Teresa sells primarily to little boutiques and stores in Chicago and New York).

We finally went to lunch and I made my final selections when we returned (I did buy a few gifts, too). This is one of my favorites (it is now MINE):

Here is Mark and Howard tallying up my booty (Howard kinda looks like a gangsta figuring out the books).

As we left Mark's office, I snapped a few more photos of Mark's front window. I just couldn't resist.

And since it is the holidays, Mark had a couple of nods to the season:

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Recovering a Sense of Faith: The Artist's Way FINAL WEEK

A little over twelve weeks ago, a new Artist's Way Creative Cluster was formed. Based on the model I learned from my Artist's Way mentor, Gretchin Lair of Scarlet Star Studios, I have carried the tradition forward in Salem. I'm not sure how many groups I have facilitated, but over the past several years I have met and nurtured some amazing women. Final groups are always bittersweet, and last Tuesday night's group was no exception. In addition to our usual rituals, we shared a meal of Stone Soup with a loaf of Great Harvest bread.

Because we were making up a group, we met earlier than usual. After we shared our meal, the ladies got to spend some time making masks.

Our final event for the evening was sharing personal projects, what Gretchin has coined an Omega Project.

Thank you ladies, for sharing a bit of yourselves with each other for the past three months.

In case anyone who lives in the area of Salem is interested, I am offering a new class beginning in January, The Artist's Way: Walking in This World. This will be a ten-week class based on the second book in Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way trilogy. The format will be the same as my current Artist's Way series, but the weekly creative projects will be brand new! Let me know if you are interested . . .