Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The art of thrifting...

I've been having a lot of fun working on the "thrifting" chapter of my book. I pretty much exclusively go to estate sales here in Minnesota. If I'm traveling somewhere I sometimes will hit an antique shop or two. I hardly ever go to flea markets. I just don't run across them much in this neck of the woods. After reading this interview with Lisa Congdon on collecting, I was drawn to the book she referenced by Susan Sontag. I picked up a copy at the local library and it opens with this wonderful passage that I wanted to share with you, along with pictures of some of my favorite thrifted items. The book refers to a flea market, but I think its a similar mentality for any type of thrifting.
"It is the entrance to a flea market. No charge. Admittance free. Sloppy crowds. Vulpine, larking. Why enter? What do you expect to see? I'm seeing. I'm checking on what's in the world. What's left. What's discarded. What's no longer cherished. What had to be sacrificed. What someone thought might interest someone else. But it's rubbish. If there, here, it's already been shifted through. But there may be something valuable, there. Not valuable, exactly. But something I would want. Want to rescue. Something that speaks to me. To my longings. Speaks to, speaks of. Ah.."

"Why enter? Is there already enough? If could find out it's not here. Whatever it is, often I am not sure, I could put it back down on the table. Desire leads me. I tell myself what I want to hear. Yes, there's enough.
I go in." from The Volcano Lover by Susan Sontag

Monday, January 28, 2008

The traveling family....

We're livin' it up here. The weather has been near 40 the last few days and that practically feels like summer after days of below zero windchills. It will cool down again and it won't look like spring for a few more months, but we sure are enjoying it while it lasts!My kids are in love with the little wooden family I painted and shared on my last post. They love that it's our family and miniature versions of themselves. My son Lowell even gets into the imaginative play with them. I may have to branch out and make the extended family!Chloe and I took them on a walk today and found all kinds of nooks and cranny's for them to play in! It's kind of like the traveling gnome in Amelie.Looks like they may need some winter jackets...brrrr:)Saturday night I met up with my friend Ginger to scrapbook. I hadn't done "traditional" scrapbook pages for my family books in a year, so I was very behind. I had a lot of fun just slapping pictures down willy nilly.

Scrapbook paper is so gorgeous that you hardly have to do anything!
Do you ever get in one of those moods where you realize how fleeting life really is? I've been very introspective lately, working on my book. Then doing scrapbook pages this weekend with pictures from just one year ago. It seems like the days just fly by and things change so quickly. I know...change is inevitable, enjoy each moment....but sometimes that is very hard to swallow.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Aren't we cute?!

Here's my latest random little project. My happy family:)Saw the movie Juno today. It's been written up positively so much and the writer lived in Minnesota when she was a stripper (interesting gal...)
It's quirky, it's sassy, it's wonderful!~ Go see it!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The writing life...

Thanks again for the interest in my book . The initial process of deciding the organization and layout of the book has gone realitively quickly. You see I am the type of person that when I start a project I don't stop thinking about it until it's complete. So I've been working diligently and enjoying sorting through the posts and pictures from this blog and writing the new content that I want to include. It's difficult for me to work on anything else beside the book right now. I find that it puts me in a certain frame of mind and to stay there, that's all I want to do with my few hours of free time each evening. I have been doing some research on self-publishing and also looking to other books for inspiration. Just the other day I came across this delightful book called How to Find Flower Fairies. Both my kids think it's the neatest thing and it got me thinking about how fun it would be to do a pop-up book for this blog. Something where you could really experience the textures and fine details of each piece. It also really got me in the mood for spring and reminded me of the fun swaps I did last year and my infatuation with mushrooms and other woodsy delights. Anyway, here's a little trip into the forest of fairies....

Oh how I yearn for green again. It has been absolutely frigid here. I think I'll make a terrarium garden with the kids:)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

To all of you....

You are all so sweet!

A heartfelt thank you to all of you for such kind and supportive words on my latest venture....or should I say adventure! The book is proving to be a lot of fun.

Doll from Raggedy Old Annies

One little gem I came across that was just the right thing to hear at this time is Anna Quindlen's book Being Perfect.

"Each writer (or artist) brings to the table, if she will let herself, something that no one else in the history of time ever has. If she is giving readers what she thinks they want instead of what she is, she should stop typing. But if her books reflect her character, the authentic shape of her life and her mind, then she may well be giving readers a new and wonderful gift. Giving it to herself, too."

Sketch found at estate sale

"It is never to late to be what you might have been."

~George Eliot

Thank you all for being so interested and supportive of my self and my work.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Coming soon....

ArtsyMama the BOOK!!! Yes, inspired by my love of books and so many of the wonderful books that I look to for inspiration, I have decided to do my biggest DIY (do-it-yourself) challenge to date of publishing my own book. Self-publishing is the coolest. You have say over everything, because you're doing all the set up and layouts yourself. Then it's printed (and can be sold) as a professional looking book. It was too enticing to pass up. After looking through my over 500+ posts of this blog and 2000 pictures (I had no idea I had so many!) I decided to take the plunge. It's going to contain content from my blog, full instructions on several projects and also never before published writing. It is in process and I'm having a lot of fun with it. Not sure how long it will take, but you'll see it here first when it's complete:)
For some eye candy I pulled out my round robin book I did last winter/spring with Melissa, Cassondra, Lilia, and Julie and it's all on display in my home, so I took some pics. Lovely to look at on this sub zero day. Enjoy!

Hope you're having a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A Place Called Home...

I've been intrigued and introspective about the concept of home since I was in college. My undergraduate degree is in Environmental Studies with a minor in Philosophy. While doing my studies I became facinated with the idea of place....the environment in which we live. Living with a sense of place. Living locally. I did my senior paper on urban agriculture and became involved with community gardens and community supported agriculture. Maybe part of it is that I still live within 15 miles of where I grew up and I chose that. Maybe it's the fact that I know I will never live outside Minnesota, it's in my blood. I need seasons. I need bitter cold days like today where the high is in the single digits to truly feel the pulse of springtime when it arrives. I am obsessed with this wonderful place in which I live.In the latest issue of Somerset Life magazine Pam Garrison wrote a wonderful article about her obsession with home, the concept of home and adornment of the home. She writes that what is probably fueling her infatuation with home is that it is where she finds the people she loves. Her family is at home and that means the world to her. Her sentiments ring true for me as well and I'm assuming for most of you. Ever since becoming a mother, home has a whole new meaning for me. It's where we play, sleep and eat. It's where I spend the vast majority of my time. I spend lots of time picking up the messes created (constantly) throughout the day, but it's also a place that nurtures us all creatively. I am constantly changing the decor on a whim. Whatever I'm in the mood for that hour, day or week. Pam writes about creating a home folio. I've wanted to do this very quite some time. I have piles and piles of magazines with images that speak to me, either with palette, whimsy or absolute beauty. So I finally gathered my stacks of glossies and got busy tearing out pages and cutting out pictures that moved me in some way. Then with sheer joy I began putting picture after picture in my favorite blank journal and the pages started taking shape. Setting a mood, making a statement. It was such a delight to collage my favorite pictures, papers and bits of this and that and step back and admire the play of colors and the feelings they evoke when all brought together. It is my own inspiration journal and it has already brought a smile to my face and creative ideas swirling in my head. Such a simple concept with such profound impact.

All photos are from my new journal. Do you keep an inspiration journal or a home folio? I'd love to hear about what it means to you:)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Something different...

Trying something completely new here. First off, working big...VERY big. I used 4 panels of 14x16" canvas for this one. Then I went to town trying some different background techniques, making silhouettes from paper, 3 dimensional elements and paint!I like how they turned out and they hang above our couch. It's so much fun to just play, try new things and work outside your comfort zone.Chloe continues to be my little muse. Here's her palette.

I did hit one estate sale this morning. Now I have to fit it in with my new found joy, running! I found this cute handmade felt stocking.Hope you're having a great weekend!