Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Inspiration Part 2

For the last 25 years my family has been spending part of every summer in a cottage on the shores of Sabbathday Lake in Maine.  Over the years things have changed, as the owner has updated and added on to the property.  But the beauty of the lake and the joy of spending days under the protective arms of the guardian tree never change.  Until now.
Two weeks before we left home a mighty storm blew through Maine.  A lightening bolt hit our tree and this 135 year old masterpiece exploded in a rain of wood and needles.  Luckily, it fell into the lake and not onto our cottage.  For this we are thankful.  But, still, it is hard to get used to the exposure, and I miss it everyday.  This tree has inspired me for 25 years.  My creative challenge is to continue drawing inspiration from my surroundings and it’s changes.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Inspiration Part 1

The day I have been thinking about all year is finally here....it’s time to go strawberry picking!  There are so many things that I love about being in a strawberry field.   The warmth of the sun on my back and a cool breeze in my face.  Turning over the leaves and finding a big, juicy red berry.  Hearing that satisfying “snap” as the berry is picked from the bush. Looking up at the clear, blue sky of a Maine summer’s morning.  Once I get started with the picking it is hard to stop, as I pile berries into my overflowing bowl.  I am already thinking about the strawberry shortcake we are going to eat for dessert.
These are the kind a memories that become inspiration.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Crafting For A Cause

 Yesterday I made some new crafty friends. Robin, of CitySisters , organized an afternoon of making Valentines to give to people at a local hospice. Everyone brought supplies, tools and brilliant ideas. It was fun to chat with people and watch the creation of so many different Valentines. With scrapbook paper, stickers, buttons, feathers, ribbons and more we felt the LOVE.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Four women, seated in a room, looking at each other. "What have we gotten ourselves into? " we each were thinking. After weeks of planning and preparation, the hour had arrived, but there was no one knocking on our door. Had we miscalculated the interest of our friends and family?

But then, one person arrived. And then another. And before we knew it the house was full and we were BUSY.

I am talking about the Home Show and Holiday Sale that I participated in with 3 other artist friends. There were two photographers, a mosaicist/stained glass artist and I displayed beaded jewelry, notecards, and watercolor paintings both framed and unframed. We served snacks and drinks and invited all our local friends and acquaintances. Rita graciously offered her lovely home and it made a wonderful show space. For two afternoons last weekend we chatted with old friends, made new friends and met some interesting people. All the while our sales were exceeding our expectations. We ended the weekend on a high and started making plans to do it again next year. Thank you to everyone who came out to support the arts.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Gel Printing

This summer I had the opportunity to take a class in gel printing.  What is that?  I didn't know either. 

The recipe we used included 15 boxes of Knox gelatin which was poured onto a cookie sheet until gelled (see recipe at end of article).  After that it can be used whole or cut into smaller pieces.  Using a brayer, printing ink is rolled onto a smooth surface and then used to ink the gel.  Flat objects are laid on the inked gel in a design and paper is laid on top.  A negative print is made.  Than after taking the objects carefully off the gel, another paper is laid on and rubbed gently.  This is the positive print.

Since our class was held at the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in Maine, we went to the herb gardens and gathered leaves, flowers and any other natural and interesting shapes we could find.  It was a lovely day to be outside.

We brought our bounty back to the classroom and the fun really began.  The eight of us went crazy, laying out various designs, using different colors of ink and printing those pictures.  It was interesting to see how differently everyone was thinking when planning their prints.  And the results were AMAZING!  The detail that was picked up on the paper was incredible.  We spent a happy morning creating print after print.

After lunch, we learned about bookmaking.  Using accordian folded paper as the base, we sewed covers on our books and added our best prints.  Some of us used inked stamps to add words or designs to our books.  Each of us made two books....and they were beautiful.

It was a fun and inspiring day and I fully intend to do more printing on my own.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Hello, Again

Thank you all for being patient.  I hope I haven't lost your interest.  Much has happened in the past 5  months since I last posted and and I will be talking about that in future blogs.  But today I wanted to let you know that after these months of living life at a slower pace, I am coming back busier than ever.  Besides continuing to add new pieces to my shop at www.bluegatorjewelry.etsy.com , I have two craft events scheduled for this fall and my paintings are featured in a solo show.

The solo show is actually a Solo Wall as part of a larger show sponsored by the HyattsvilleCommunityArtAssociation (http://www.pgparks.com/Things_To_Do/Community_Centers/Prince_George_s_Plaza_Community_Center.htm .)  I have titled it "One Summer In Maine" and it features some of the things that excite and inspire me about living in Maine.  If any of you live in the Washington, DC area and want to see the show, just make a comment and I'll send you the information.

In November I will have a booth at the Montgomery Village Holiday Craft Bazaar (http://www.montgomeryvillage.com/Special-Events~137960~11912.htm ).  This bazaar has been around for many years, so I have a good feeling about it.  Right now I am planning my booth and how to best display my jewelry.  I will also be offering notecards, calendars and paintings for sale.

In December I am participating in a "Home Show."  This was the idea of my friend and she has generously offered her house as the sale site.  At least four artists will be showing their work and there will be a variety of things to choose from.  I am most excited about this sale.

Besides unpacking and trying to get my life in order after so long away from home, all my spare time is spent creating new pieces of jewelry so that I will have plenty of stock to offer.  It is hard to know when to stop.  I could run out of things early on; or I could have a box full of jewelry to store in my closet.

Friday, June 24, 2011


It is summer again and we are back in Maine.  Since we have limited access to the internet, my blogging, etc, may be slowed down.  But, all the extra time I am going to have will be filled with the projects I have planned.  I hope to come home in the fall with many new paintings and pieces of jewelry.

Our Maine home is a small cabin directly on a small lake.  The quiet and peace is so different from our home on the edges of Washington, DC that the change is startling at first.  But soon I settle into it and feel like a different person.  The lack of distractions energizes me and I find it easy to focus on painting or sewing or beading and I spend a great deal of time working on various projects.  We have been here less than two weeks and I have finished one large painting and three small ones.  The more I work, the more I want to do.  I had better sign off and get to work!