Pottery Bowl

Pottery Bowl
Archies' Base & Pam's Green glazes

Pottery Bowl

Pottery Bowl
with tree appliques

Johnny's Trees

Johnny's Trees

Johnny's Trees

Johnny's Trees
Woodburning on plank

All That Jazz

All That Jazz
Fused glass

All Polished UP

All Polished UP
Canvas/nail polish

Sunday, May 31, 2009

New York City Art Visit

I'm soon off to NYC with our daughters - we are seeing some of the sights, the Lion King and hopefully, some famous art, too. We are tying in a visit to New Bedford, MA to apartment hunt for one of our daughters. Hubbie is staying home to work so we have money to spend on our trip!

We had a great week with our granddaughter, Taylor. We played Wii bowling and she got 171. Pretty good for a 3 year old! She beat me by 20+ pins! We traveled to Minneapolis over the weekend to celebrate our nephew, Brandt's wedding. It was beautiful and we were thankful we could share time with them.

Gotta pack - hoping to get back to art making when I get home! God bless you and yours!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Memorial Day, Abortion, Photographic Equipment, Ceramic & Wood Table: Visual Art for the Living Room

We purchased a SLR camera, gray background paper and a set of lights and filters...a huge investment but hopefully, it will enable us to step up the quality of images we use on my website, etsy and my blog. Also, hubbie wants to be able to do some astrophotography!

The kiln is running with the last of the kids' pottery being glaze fired...always sort of sad to have a school year end and know when they come back in the fall they'll be a little more grown up. And too soon they'll be gone.

I'm dreaming about my next big ceramic project. I'm using a beautiful cross section wood plank, with ceramic puzzle-type pieces around it and diamond willow legs, bluish glazes, I think. Haven't quite decided on that. I may go with more natural earth colors. I can't wait to get started on it!

Housecleaning and grocery shopping today - company coming for the Memorial Day weekend. It is always fun to have family here. Random thoughts while cleaning: remembering the veterans and those currently serving in the armed forces, with thanksgiving for their bravery, sacrifices and patriotism. Also, remembering little babies killed by abortion because no one is protecting their right to life. How can we protect unborn eagles, nesting bird environments, whales and other living creatures and kill our own babies???

Friday, May 15, 2009

How to Create a Sculpture Project Using Wire and a Sock: Visual Art That is Abstract and Easy to Make

My art kids were really curious about how we would turn pantyhose into sculpture (most of them didn't even know what pantyhose are - I asked them to check with their moms and bring in any old pantyhose with runs!).

We used a 3 foot length of strong yet bendable wire (it has to be able to hold its shape), one leg of pantyhose, white glue, Gorilla Glue, one inch foam brushes, a small block of pine wood (about 5 x 5 x 1), dried split peas, white rice, chow mein noodles and black eyed peas, big wood beads (you could use big bright colors ones, instead, and glue them on after spray painting) and spray paint (I favor gold and silver because they are so 'showy' for the kids). You'll also need a drill for drilling two holes in each wood base.

Before the kids arrived (actually the night before) I used gorilla glue to secure a wire (each end of it) into each wood base. Be sure to moisten the drilled hole in the wood with a drop or two of water before you apply the glue to the wire end and push it into the wood base. I pushed it all the way through the wood and bent it back underneath to secure it well.

Each student put the sock on their wire, pulling it over the top of the wire, down the length of the wire, and stretching it to pull it over the edge of the wood base all the way around. Then they pulled on the wire to bend and curve it - until they were pleased with the shape of the sculpture.

Next step: paint the whole thing with white glue. Let it dry and paint it again. Let it dry and paint it again! Lastly paint areas of it and place or throw (the most fun!) peas, beans, chow mein noodles and rice at the gluey areas. Some of it will stick. If you have too much glue some of the dried 'textures' will slide with the glue as it runs down, creating a nice line! Glue big wood beads for feet on the bottom corners - or all the way around - of the wood base. Let the sculpture dry again.

Take it outside and spray paint - voila! An wonderful abstract sculpture that was easy, messy and fun and inexpensive to make!

Monday, May 11, 2009

How to Add Interest to a Visual Art Blog? Art Surveys, Art News and Art Prints

I've been reading articles on how to gain readership on visual art blogs. Some of the advice seems worthwhile and I thought I'd give it a try. After going to the "Add a Gadget" section for customizing a blog I was overwhelmed with the thousands of gadgets available. I don't want gadgets that are not visual art related or related to kids' art. So I searched for art gadgets - and guess what? There were only 25, not 25,000! So I picked a few (rotating famous art prints, the survey - which I added a few days ago, and a feed for art news), added them and we'll see how it goes. I'd love a comment or two from you, to let me know what you think of my additions. There are at least 17 other art gadgets to choose from so I'll change it up now and then.

I'm thinking I'll have an early summer contest - the prize will be a set of 6 pottery 'word' wine charms. Watch for the start of the contest coming soon. If you leave me a comment or become one of my 'followers' I will put your name in the drawing.

Now, about the new LONG list of labels on my blog...I didn't really understand until today what the labeling process was all about. Now that I do, I'll categorize my posts into several more common ones, so that someone who is looking for a particular subject won't have to scroll through so many labels. My understanding is there isn't a way to get rid of them once they've been used. I'm going to do some more checking on that! I guess they don't hurt anything just by existing!

I'm getting started on some new pottery this week and I'm 'itchin' to start a new weaving, too! I only have two times left with my weekly art students - the year has gone by too quickly! We have a nice day for the kids to work outside - hooray, because we are making a mess!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Yay! New listings on my website shop!

Oh, what a relief! New listings are up on my website. I still have a couple of stoneware bowl sets to list, but I'm thankful for the new items that are up! Take a peek and let me know what you think.

Mother's Day we are celebrating with our daughter and her family. Her youngest has been sick with throwing up and diarrhea all week so we are praying she'll feel better soon. Maybe she needs Grandma to rock and sing the ABC song to her (even though my singing voice is atrocious, she hasn't ever looked at me and asked me to stop!).

I've been having some fun on Facebook - mostly shocking the younger people who wonder if FB is being taken over by the 50' something crowd! One of my daughters has blocked me from seeing her 'wall'...hmm, is there something I should know that I don't? Or maybe mothers don't need to know everything! I remember that was my attitude when I was 20' something.

Have a wonderful weekend.

PS I've been posting new items on my etsy shop, too!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Sunshine is energizing!

The sun is shining! And it is energizing me! Today I listed a lot of new items to my etsy shop and have more to get done tonight. Then I'll be adding new items to my own website shop, too. And I placed new items at the Canad Inn, Third Street Gallery, Forks Frame Up and Dakota Harvest Bakers. It feels so good to have those tasks taken care of for a short while, anyway.

I've been researching artfulhome.com as a possible place to list my tables, lamps and lamples. It is a juried online shop and print catalog so I've been working on my application. The need for professional photos are creating a quandry for me. Should I invest in a better camera, lights and some backdrops and 'set up' a photography studio for myself? Or should I bite the bullet several times a year and pay a professional to take the photos for me? Anyone have advice for me?

I'm excited to get to work, now that it is spring, on some new tables. I want to use the diamond willow branches that my brother-in-law kindly hauled 350 miles east for me. And I want to do some new ceramic table tops to go with them...lots of ideas.

I'm really missing our little granddaughters. We had so much fun - I just finished putting together a photo album that will help them remember their visit with Grandma!

I sold 5 tatami mats this morning that have been taking up space in my closet for over 5 years. The buyers were thrilled to have them and I was thrilled they will store them instead of me!

I only have 3 times left with my weekly students before we take summer break. We are finishing up with sculpture and I'm really looking forward to that. I love three dimensional work with kids - it is something they usually don't experience!

My Favorites

  • books by Harlan Coben
  • Chagall's I and the Village
  • Our three daughters
  • Touring in Japan, Australia and New Zealand
  • Floating in the Dead Sea
  • My wonderful husband for 33+ years
  • "I love you, too, Grandma" by Taylor
  • Viewing the sunrise from Mount Sinai
  • Van Gogh's Irises
  • Monet's Water Lillies
  • Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett


About Me

My photo
North Dakota, United States
Born and raised in Williston, North Dakota. Degrees in Occupational Therapy (never chose to work in the field) and Visual Arts. Married for 33 years to a super wonderful guy, three daughters - all three are talented, educated, contributing, beautiful members of our great big world. I am so proud of them...they are my best accomplishment to date! I love to make art and teach about it, too. An etsy friend recently shared this quote with me from St. Francis of Assisi: "He who works with his hands is a laborer, he who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman, he who works with his hands, his head and his heart is an artist." I think it is a wonderful statement!