Thursday, July 30, 2009

Some Updates

Warning: No art stuff today. But it is time to update you on some loose ends on the personal front...

Vacation: We're back and had a great time at the cottage on Long Lake near Traverse City, MI. With the exception of 1982 when I spent the summer studying/travelling in Europe and again in 1983 when I was a camp counselor in the beautiful Berkshires of Massachusetts, I have vacationed on this lovely lake for 40 of my 47 years.

Here's the view of two of the five islands in the lake. I wish I could say that the lakeshore is equally uninhabited and pristine but, sadly, most of the old cottages that blended in with the trees so beautifully have been torn down for McMansions.

Here's the evening view from our little piece of heaven. (And actually, it's not even "ours". We rent it.)

My sister is now lucky enough to actually live there! Here's the view from her lovely place.

Just so you don't think that it's all about the views. Here's the reality of it all: loud, goofy kids having a great time.

50th Anniversary: While we were "up north" we extended the 50th wedding anniversary celebration for my parents. (I wrote about them back in June on their real anniversary.) We surprised them with a casual dinner at my sister's cottage complete with wedding veil, bow tie, grandchildren coming down the stairs with a daisy for each and Michigan sparkling grape juice in our glasses for a toast. Hey, do we know how to party or what? We're kind of a no-nonsense kind of family but this low-key silliness was perfect and they enjoyed it immensely!

Mom and Dad

Make a Wish/Wish a Mile:

My brother's daughter, Taylor, died at age 14 in 2007. In the end it was many things that finally knocked her out but the base cause was a heart defect. Since her death Rob has organized Team Taylor, a bike team that rides in the late July Wish a Mile cycling event for Make a Wish. This year the team of 86 riders raised over $147,000! The total donations for the entire event raised $1.6 million for the kids and families of Make A Wish. It is the largest fundraiser in the United States for Make A Wish and this was done in a state that is barely keeping it's head above the waters of the Great Lakes! People are amazingly generous. Several of my regular readers contributed to this effort and I am very thankful.

The 300 mile bike ride took the riders across Michigan from Traverse City to Chelsea (near Ann Arbor). They pedaled through rain, fog, sun and wind. All of the 85 riders on Team Taylor had a great time as they learned a little bit about themselves and about the challenges that Wish kids live with every day. If you're really interested you can visit Team Taylor for pictures and more.

Taylor would have been 16 on Friday.

Thoughts: I'm so grateful for all the people in my life!


Funky Fish looking for Fun Friends

You DON'T need a license. You don't need a pole. You don't need a worm. You don't need a boat. You don't need to clean your catch. You DO need a wall, a vision and a desire to have some decorating fun in your very own ocean. I'm happy to announce that my colorful, one-of-a-kind, handmade paper fish are now available at Beach Grass Cottage.

Sophie, 10" x 16", has a raised eyebrow and a dimensional tail.

She looks great by herself or in a "school".

On the Beach Grass Cottage website you can check out her buddies Angel, Taily, Amber, Sunny, Pinky, Lilly, Devin, and Killer to see if one might want to live at your house. They are each very lightweight and ready to hang.

This opportunity came about recently when I met a great gal with big plans for her creative inspirations. She makes beautiful beach glass frames, mirrors and other items perfect for a cottage or cottage-like home. We got talking. We met at a coffee joint. We did some brainstorming. And we realized we our work might fit together. So, I'm excited to present her very cool website to my friends and readers.

My thanks go out to Shari and Beach Grass Cottage for this opportunity. Spread the word about her cool website. Oh, and if you know anyone that needs a fish friend, you know where to look.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Mosaics on my Mind

I've got mosaics on my mind today. I'm teaching a Paper Mosaics class at the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center on Tuesday so I'm working on pulling everything together for that. (I love the teaching but the lugging of supplies back and forth, not so much.) The class should be a good time as I already know some of the students and several took The Art of Paste Painting class with me this past Tuesday.

Also, you may remember from a previous post that my mosaic work is done in honor of my niece Taylor. The Wish-A-Mile 300 mile bike ride, with all funds raised going toward Make-A-Wish, starts tomorrow in Traverse City, MI. All the riders that have worked so hard to raise money and practice, practice, practice for this great cause are almost on their way. I wish them all a safe ride and offer my thanks for the effort they put forth in Taylor's name.

Here are some mosaic frames that I created recently. They are available at UniQ, Three Rivers, Michigan.

I'm sending out a hearty welcome to new subscribers and thank each and every one of you that reads my entries. I know my posts have been less frequent lately but that doesn't mean that I'm not thinking of you!


Friday, July 10, 2009

Sure is Quiet Around Here

Well, here's the deal: if it's quiet in blogland that means it certainly isn't quiet at home! Lot's going on but not much of it art-related.

However, I am teaching a couple of great workshops very soon. As I mentally prepare for the classes I am getting inspired and excited about the experience. Packing up for that experience is something entirely different! I hope you'll join me in downtown Kalamazoo for one or both of the classes in the wonderful Kalamazoo Book Art Center.

The Art of Paste Painting
Tuesday, July 21 from 6 to 9 pm
Kalamazoo Book Arts Center, 326 W. Kalamazoo Ave., Suite 103A
Suitable for all ages and ability levels

Paste painting is a surface design technique made by brushing colored paste onto a sheet of paper and using various tools to move the paste and create graphic images. Students are encouraged to bring combs, chunky rubber stamps, brayers or any other mark-making objects. I will have paper, tools, paint and paste for your use. Come play!

Paper Mosaics
Session 1: Tuesday, July 28 from 1 to 4
Session 2: Tuesday, July 28 from 6 to 9
Kalamazoo Book Arts Center, 326 W. Kalamazoo Ave., Suite 103A
Suitable for older teens/adults and all ability levels

This class uses beautiful papers made in the Art of Paste Painting class, or card-weight papers that you might already have, to make incredible mosaics. The finished look is similar to ceramic mosaics but without the heavy equipment and messy grout.

You can get the registration form for these classes at the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center. Print out the form, fill it out and mail it, along with a check, to the Center. Or, you can call them at 373-4938. While you're at the website, check out all the other amazing classes too! Your experience will be positive and you certainly can't beat the price. Our town is so lucky to have resources like this. Please don't go the extreme of moving away to realize that this is true!


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