Thursday, February 26, 2015

Alaskan winter… quiet beauty

Sometimes it seems to me that life is one adventure after another.
Some are grand and full of fun, 
others quieter and more daily.


But any life's story is a string of adventures.


A month ago, I zipped the suitcase, slammed the door behind me in a rush and dashed off late to board the northbound ferry. I had a sense that another interesting chapter in my life's story was beginning.

The Alaskan Marine Highway ferries are nothing fancy, but oh, the scenery!


As we sailed north, the winds became more and more brisk.
Cold rain turned to snow.




And then when we arrived, most of our plans went out the window, the way adventures sometimes go.
Being able to toss out your expectations and enjoy the unexpected is part of what keeps life an adventure instead of a general pain in the neck.


On top of everything else, I thought I'd have plenty of internet access,
but one forgets that not everywhere is a strong signal available.

But I still had a tiny corner to serve as a studio…
and oh what creativity has happened there!


I've decided that a temporary retreat from digital life can a healthy thing,
and we find ourselves tucked into a quiet (though it must be admitted, COLD!) month in Alaska.


I've designed a line of glassware, cut out whales and mermaids, lettered wedding invitations and generally squished more creativity into a tiny space than I'd ever have believed possible.


Time alone.
Time with family.
Time for lots and lots of art.





Late winter is beautiful in Alaska…
and just about anywhere else.
It's all about hanging onto that sense of wild adventure.


And taking time to sip a cocoa in the back yard as the sun sets never hurts either.


Friday, January 30, 2015

Local. Sustainable. And very, very sustaining.

 

So last night we drove over to the Woolley Market for the regular Thursday evening music jam and that phenomenon that is so hard to put your finger on...


 ... it's that thing about small town life that is so, well, so sustaining. Comforting. 

So home town America at its regular old best.


It's driving through downtown and loving how it looks so much you stop in the middle of the cross walk for a photo.
And you don't worry about the traffic hazard when you do it!


In a small town, you can go to the Market and find your local bluegrass band in concert.
And the best people watching, I'm convinced, is in our small towns.




There's a depth in little towns, too, because you meet people you know wherever you go.
You know the children and the old ones, and those in between, too.


There is time for friendships here.
We make time for the satisfaction of knowing one another.

 

There is an emphasis on values here, too. 
Not the kind of thing politicians talk about so loudly, but the kind of quiet pride in our local farmers and in things that nourish body and soul and feed the eyes, while we're at it.







So we listened to bluegrass, hugged our our friends and I tucked a bag of organic steel cut oats under my arm. My love and I walked into the evening, so thankful we live in a small place that is so local, sustainable and sustaining.


Thursday, January 29, 2015

Planning ahead... England and beyond!


England's light is golden, honey-like.
And I'll be going again in late October.



Wanna come? 


We'll leave Southampton after sampling pub food, wandering through Westminster Abbey and perhaps you'll even take a class if I end up doing one on the other side of the pond before we push off!

I did my very first (and very, very amateurish!) video in Bath last year...
the quality is awful but sketching spontaneously on a narrow boat was so exciting I think you can forgive and just laugh at my (hopefully endearing) mistakes. I was so excited.

video

Then hop on Celebrity Eclipse for a wonderful transatlantic cruise!
You can get a friends and family discount if you want to come...
just ask me and I can get more info to pass along to you.


We'll paint our way across the sea, then stop along the way...
spending a couple of days in New York City, Boston, Bermuda, Port Canaveral, and hopping off at the final port: the beaches of Miami!


My new line of Sizzix beach dies will be involved, with crafting galore in store for you, and it's all easy as can be.


Do consider coming!
I'd love to know you better.


Monday, January 19, 2015

Beach goodies + crafting = BLISS!


I probably shouldn't admit it but I'm head over heels in love with my new beach dies from Sizzix!
This is such a versatile collection of crafting goodies that can go from bright tropical colors to elegant sophisticated.


 Here it is at the recent Craft and Hobby Show for the big release of new crafting product.





 I'm so excited about this collection of wonderful crafting dies by Sizzix, the premiere manufacturer of imaginative craft dies, cut outs, and embossing technology at a very affordable cost.


The craft dies ship in April and I'll be available to do workshops and all kinds of fun crafting times, so if you have a craft or scrapbooking store nearby, let's craft with BEACH LIFE together, shall we?

Next time we'll talk about how you can use the dies with fabric and leather.
Woohoo... I can hardly wait to show you a few ideas for books, purses, lighting and more!
If the beach is your happy place (it is mine!) you're going to love it.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Beautiful Soul



 Artists are known for being quirky. And in my case it's a label I wear with pride.


I retreat like a hermit to the studio for long hours bent over a work table, ink and paint coating my fingers, and scraps of paper as fine as pepper floating down from my busy scissors.


I forget to eat. I wake at midnight and sneak out to the studio.

Then in January, there's a big reveal.


New products are introduced to the retail market. 

VOILA!!!


When I walked into the showroom of Midwest CBK at the AmericasMart in Atlanta, and looked for the "Beautiful Soul" collection, I was overjoyed.

The entire showroom is a knockout, but my heartfelt collection there was all I'd hoped for...
words of encouragement and hope paired with soft, bright colors and botanicals.


The Beautiful Soul Collection includes the work of a select few artists, and will be in retail stores soon. It includes night lights, wall art, necklaces, mugs, boxes, ornaments, ceramic boxes and so much more.


If you have a favorite gift store near you, ask them to order the Beautiful Soul Collection from the talented crew at Midwest CBK. I promise you, it's full of joy and bright colors, well made and a great value.


Grinning ear to ear... what a blessing to work with these people on such an uplifting product.