a solution of sorts

April 14, 2008

Spent some time with the little apprentices this weekend.  We celebrated Spring with these tiny birdhouses…and enjoyed some great outdoor weather for painting…I was warned before we began this little adventure, that a large black snake, similar to the one mentioned here, had been spotted in their yard.  Ever the prepared hostess, Gricell had her hands on this, thus easing my nerves, and making me wonder why this solution was not suggested to me sooner.

Spent the morning making felt puppets with three of my favorite apprentices, Lia, Emma, and Maia.  Their lovely Grandma Libby, gave us some inspiration in the form of The Quiltmaker’s Gift.


Lia’s Quiltmaker with her quilt.


Two expertly crafted Kings by Lia and Maia.


Emma’s imagination conjured up jump-roping puppets.

The crafty bug lingered well past this morning session…and by early evening I actually had the urge to cook…(those of you who know me best, know that cooking is not one of my strong points…and it has been on VERY rare occasions that I have actually wanted to attempt a recipe…)

So inspired was I by the asparagus recipe found here, that I went to great lengths to prepare it…and by jolly it actually turned out like the picture…see below…


Life is good…

how lucky am I?

January 20, 2008

I was reunited today with three of my little “apprentices”.  Today’s project of choice: bean collage…(one of my favorites as a kid and a great lesson in both color and texture)…

While the girls seemed to thoroughly enjoy today’s project, the highlight of my visit was finally getting to meet Libby DuBois Pettit, a nationally recognized and award-winning quilter from Montana,  affectionately referred to by the girls as “Grandma Libby”.  I have admired her work since I started lessons with the girls several months ago. The following two expertly pieced quilts hang in their living room:


(photos do these no justice…the surface texture is amazing in person)


Aside from her beautiful compositions, each quilt tells a story or evokes an underlying theme.  The quilt featured above (with the heart) represents our nation’s soldiers, a common theme for Libby.  Other popular threads in her work include stories of justice, women’s rights, historical events, and landscapes.

It was truly an honor to speak with her about her art…(Libby if you’re reading this…thanks a million for the inspiration, I soooooo needed it)…and I’m more than thrilled to hear she’s hanging around town long enough to possibly teach me a trick or two when it comes to fabric.

Oh and not to brag or anything…but check out the Libby Tote I received for Christmas….


I LOVE LOVE LOVE her fabric of choice…and will cherish it forever…

(Special note to the Medley’s…I apologize for not having sent a “thank you” note for this gem…I think I inhaled too many paint fumes and lost sight of my Southern manners for bit…)

October 27, 2007

I’ve been running very low on time here lately…so here’s the run down on the past 24 hours:

  • Shopped for art supplies
  • ate half a slice of pizza
  • Girl runs stop sign…wrecks Nick’s car…(he’s fine, car is not…)
  • Thankfully still had time to visit the Hair Princess
  • Left a Brunette (with some blond streaks) and much much shorter
  • Roughed out a HUGE mahi mahi for my latest mural endeavor
  • Ate pizza for dinner
  • Met with my 3 new apprentices for 1st art class (I soooo Adore the whole family)
  • Tiramasu for breakfast

Goal for the day:  Clean wrecked studio…talk Nick into Pumpkin Carving Contest

a reunion of sorts

October 20, 2007

Last night I reunited with some old colleagues, friends, and parents of former students, for a Stampin’ Up party.  It reminded me that I need to get more crafty time in…especially with dear friends.  I’ve been stressed looking at my full schedule for the fall, every weekend is booked with some sort of event, and there just aren’t enough hours in the day…but give me 2 hours of craft time with the girls, and suddenly I feel more energized…

Reuniting with some fabulous parents of former students, brought back some wonderful memories for me, and while it was a necessary decision to end my teaching career at Cabrini…the thought of my old students still tugs at my heart.  I don’t miss the “constrained” 30 minute art classes…(I felt more Drill Sergeant than Teacher)…but I miss each and every child, their strengths and weaknesses, and most of all their smiling faces.  Last night afforded me the opportunity to catch up with their parents, and get the updates on how much they have grown.  I also had the opportunity to meet my new students (albeit briefly) for private lessons.

See below one of the most inventive uses for a Recycled Art Project.  Aaron and his Great White Shark.  Constructed of pop-cycle sticks, duck tape, and a garbage can, I’ll never forget the fun we had on this project!



and then came monday…

October 16, 2007

Monday…oh Monday…what a day Monday was…Here I was beaming from ear to ear, more than content with life after my little siesta…(see entry below) and then came Monday.

It started on my daily walk/jog with Ms. Vayda. After quite a sprint, we were accosted by a stray pit bull. Thankfully, Vayda’s “little dog syndrome” did not kick in, as this massive pup could have inflicted some serious pain on both of us. I probably would not have feared this stray had I been alone…but rather than risk my 24 pound pup instigating a fight, I scooped her up and carried her all the way home.

Monday continued, as I went to meet The Apprentice at the Jepson Center. Sadly, I had to cancel the lesson, as my car refused to start. After disassembling and reassembling, and going back and forth and back and forth to various auto shops…appears the problem stands in my alternator. I’m sure I’ll hear the final damage at some point today…(Tuesday.)

Oh and a scratching…scratching at my attic door! Some sort of critter has invaded this place…(I’m leaving this one to Nick)…

art in the park

August 2, 2007

Another Art in the Park Lesson with the Apprentice.  She’s been very interested in stylized works, so we did a quick lesson in the process of abstraction.  Introduced Mondrian, curvilinear and rectilinear to her vocabulary, and worked on a few watercolor techniques.  A lot to take in for your average 12 year old, but each time I watch her work, I am reminded that she is anything but average.  The sense of form in her gesture drawings is amazing…a real joy to watch her emerge as an artist.


Tuesday marked my first private art lesson with an extremely talented, and determined young woman…I think I’ll refer to her as my “apprentice.”  Upon her arrival, her mother presented me with a lovely bottle of wine, and as I discovered later, this beautiful hand written note.


…so this all got me thinking about the “modern” world we live in now, and how so many of us have forgotten the joy of opening up a hand-written note, let alone, sending one via good old snail mail to a friend.  I’ve always kept a shoe box filled with old hand-written notes, a stockpile of endless inspiration, and memories of years gone by.  I remember vividly as a kid, checking the mailbox everyday to see if I had some unexpected special note or package.  I don’t know when that sense of excitement left me…(probably when e-cards were created)…but this little note with it’s organic penmanship and kind words, has inspired me to ink out my own, “just because” note, to someone that least expects it.

…updates on lessons with the Apprentice still to come.