Monday, June 14, 2010

Soccer and Art/Art and Soccer

It's not very often that my two main worlds, Art and Soccer, collide.  But today, thanks to a tip from one of my Altered Sisters, Lynn, I can say that they do.

If you read my blog you know that I try hard to keep it focused on my art.  Of course, personal stuff does creep in every once in a while:  married, 3 kids, Michiganian, etc.  Here's a bit more.  My kids are all athletes, with soccer being their main love.  We travel all over the state, Midwest, and as far as Florida, to watch our kids play.  My husband is a licensed coach/ref and is in charge of a very talented group of 11-year-olds.  I am the team manager for my 13-year-old's team and coordinate lots of stuff associated with the team.  We used to coach/manage our son's team too but he's at a level way, way beyond where we can help.  It's all a bit crazy.

Unless you've been living in a hole, you know that the World Cup just started in South Africa.  My son has already gone through every frozen pizza in the house sitting in the red chair in front of the TV watching game after game after game.  (Other than the US/England game, I haven't been watching and try to tune out the constant noise makers.)

OK, finally, here's the art/soccer connection...

by Diem Chau

These carved crayons were made by Diem Chau.  On her blog, The Pleasure of Tiny Things, she posts lots of pictures so you can see these in better detail and find out more about her and her work.  She was commissioned by Wieden + Kennedy to carve 66 crayons for this year's Nike World Cup press kits.  There are pictures of these elaborate press kits too.  Quite something!

Soccer enthusiasts, can you guess the players?

Robinho in Silver
Cristiano Ronaldo in White
Fabio Cannavaro in Antique Brass
Wanye Rooney in Timberwolf
Didier Drogba in Copper
Franck Ribery in Gold

I have no idea what tools she uses to get such incredible detail in these tiny carvings.  I also have no idea how she has the patience and stamina to huddle over the crayon to get it accomplished.  I do know, though, that I'll leave these tiny wonders to her and do my part instead which is basically this:  Go USA!


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Artist Spotlight - Ingrid Dijkers

It's time for another Artist Spotlight so prepare to be inspired and amazed!

Ingrid Dijkers is a Michigan artist.  Our paths haven't crossed for very long but I'm certainly glad that they have now.  I love her colors.  I love the intricacies of her work.  I've always thought that bookbinders are special people because they must have the capacity to be creative as well as very precise hand skills in order for their work to work.  Using both sides of the brain all the time.  That is quite a talent!

She will be doing some teaching very soon (check her blog) so you could meet and learn from her in person.

Hands by Ingrid Dijkers

Where are you from? And, where do you live now?
I was born in Breda in the Netherlands. At a young age my parents and I immigrated to Canada.  Later I moved to Georgia, England, Brazil and finally settled in Michigan, which has been my home ever since. Currently, I live in Plymouth, Michigan, a beautiful small historical town.

What is your art education?
I have a degree in the Fine Arts, but consider my real education to have come from my parents and my upbringing. With both parents having Masters Degrees in the Fine Arts, I was brought up with a love for the Arts and travel. It has always been a lifestyle I appreciated and have been thankful for.

Have you always been an artist or are you “new” to it?
As I mentioned, it’s something I have always been exposed to. I have been very fortunate to have had a very supportive family and a husband that bends over backwards to help me all he can. While often what I do seems a bit strange and weird to him, all I have to do is remind him that my Father warned him when he ask for my hand in marriage … he just smiles and agrees. I know I am very fortunate and am very grateful for all this.

What is your specialty? And, have you always worked in this medium?
For the past 20 years I have been mostly a contemporary doll maker and worked as a shop owner and Artisan for the Michigan Renaissance Festival. Throughout my life I have explored weaving, pottery, painting, collage, jewelry, and wearable art. However, at the moment my specialty is visual art journals. I have become truly passionate about making and sharing them, to the point that I have put my lovely Renaissance Festival shop up for sale. This was a very difficult decision, one I agonized over for about 2 years. I can’t make dolls, be a shop owner AND make and teach journaling.

Meters by Ingrid Dijkers

What does your work space look like? What would your ideal workspace look like?
Hmmm, that’s something I’d rather embarrassed about. While I have beautifully designed workspace and stations for different types of work, and lots of storage for materials and supplies, I claim to have too little space. I tend to drag everything around the house (inside and out and in my car) with me and I tend to leave a trail of mess. I actually am a very organized person, however I always seem to have too many ideas and too little time … putting everything back in it’s proper place ranks rather low on my list of priorities. I still like to blame it all on a lack of space, but in my heart I know that if I had a 10,000 square foot warehouse to store everything thing in I would have the same problem…. just on a larger scale.

It seems you've been teaching quite a bit lately. What is it that you like about teaching and how does it influence your work?
I absolutely love sharing what I have learned through trial and error with others. It provides a degree of satisfaction that I have rarely felt before. As I add more workshops that I can teach to my list, I hope to begin teaching more. Admittedly, I am very surprised at the amount of prep work involved with setting up proposals and gathering all the necessary supplies. I hadn’t quite figured on all that in the beginning, but it goes along with it and I am beginning to simplify a lot of it all with experience. I have found that teaching has added a whole new dimension to my work. I now keep in mind how I would be able to adapt what I am working on to a class room situation. It is often quite a challenge, but one I truly enjoy.

Alice In Wonderland Tunnel Book by Ingrid Dijkers
Do you have any special art tips for others?
I get a lot of emails asking how to get started with making journals, saying they can’t afford all the expensive supplies. I also see a lot of people (especially beginners) getting caught up on rushing out and spending lots and lots of money for very expensive supplies and gadgets. I really don’t find this necessary. In fact, I have found that a lot of people end up being intimidated by expensive materials, are afraid of messing up and actually find it crippling. Now, only after years of working on Altered Books and Journals, have I justified and purchased many of the better art supplies. I really don’t think it has made my work any better. I still think my best work has always come from the scraps I find in the trash can and a pack of markers I bought in the kiddy section at my local discount store. Don’t get me wrong, I love some of my better supplies and enjoy using them, I just don’t think it’s necessary to get started.

Alice In Wonderland Tunnel Book by Ingrid Dijkers

Into the Crypt by Ingrid Dijkers

What inspires you?
Just about and everything. I could never make a complete list.

When you're not making art, what are you doing?
Answering emails, trying to get get caught up on paper work, working out details for a future project, updating my website and blog. Sometimes I’ll do a bit of laundry.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I have found that one passion always slowly morphs into another. I never know what direction my work will lead and I rather enjoy that. I am never bored, I just keep finding more options to explore. I just go along for the ride and enjoy the process. For now my passion is visual art journaling and sharing that, but this too will evolve over time as all my work has through out my life.
Soon an article about my Journal “Over the Edge” will be featured in Art Journaling Magazine (scheduled for the Summer 2010 issue) and an article about my Artist Trading Cards will appear in ATC Quarterly (scheduled for June 2010).

How can you be contacted about your work?
My work and teaching schedule can be seen on my website and blog.

And, I can be emailed at or

Many thanks to Ingrid for letting us into her world for a bit.  She might be teaching in your area.  Check out her blog for her soon-to-be whereabouts, including the big kahuna of journaling, Journal Fest in Port Townsend, Washington.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Paper Mosaic Mirror Frame - Julie and Marc's

Continuing on with stuff related to my friend's wedding, here is the wedding gift. This mirror may look familiar as it was done with the same colors as the mirror I just hung at the Haworth home. However, this mirror is a slightly different size and is actually a frame with a mirror in it so it hangs on a wire/nail rather than getting screwed into the wall.

Two weekends ago, while in the Detroit area for a soccer tournament, I showed this particular mirror to a gallery. It was a horribly wet and cold weekend and I walked in (with an appointment) wearing a winter coat, rain boots, wet straggly hair and basically looking a mess. I had just enough time to stop in between games and tried to make the most of it. Anyway, the gallery is in Brighton, is called The Artisan's Bench, and they want some of these babies! I'm now in the market for well built frames/mirrors with a 3" to 4" flat profile. I would have thought it would be easy but no. Any ideas/sources?


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