Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Under the Influence-Week 7

You might notice I didn't post anything from the art class last week. I was not happy with the project. We did Matisse collages, and I am hoping to rework the project for the next time I teach this class. So, moving on to Week 7.

I was all prepared to do Georgia O'Keeffe. I practiced making tissue paper flowers with the kids and doing pastel drawings (ruining their white uniform tops in the process...why didn't I make them change?). Then I had a more timely idea. With Halloween coming up, the kids are all excited, anticipating their class parties on Friday and trick-or-treating on Saturday. Who better to learn about than Edvard Munch, artist of The Scream? We started by looking at The Scream and discussing why it was spooky. This is what Munch wrote about the painting:
"I was walking down the road with two friends when the sun set; suddenly, the sky turned as red as blood. I stopped and leaned against the fence, feeling unspeakably tired. Tongues of fire and blood stretched over the bluish black fjord. My friends went on walking, while I lagged behind, shivering with fear. Then I heard the enormous, infinite scream of nature."

The kids were to paint something inspired by The Scream. It could be someone or something screaming, or something that would make someone scream. I think they did an excellent job. And next week, we'll move on to Georgia O'Keeffe and pretty flowers!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Off the Wall

I was at my friend Shari's house when I saw these adorable pictures her daughter Audrey drew hanging on her bedroom wall. So I took them....just to get a picture and enter them in my computer, what did you think? Of course I returned them. I think they make a great set! 

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Art, Kids and COFFEE!

Art. Kids. COFFEE! What a great combination. I was so lucky to find Family Grounds, a new coffee shop in Chicago. A friend of mine stopped in and told me, "This place would be perfect for your art."  I had been wanting to display my RaspberryKidz in a coffee shop, but what makes this the perfect fit? Well, not only do they have fabulous walls for displaying art, Family Grounds isn't just a coffee shop. It also has an indoor playground. There's a comfortable area for adults, and in  a separate 1500 square foot room, there's an area for kids to be kids. Adults can also go in this area (with their coffee and food and computers—they have free WiFi), but there are also "activity leaders" available to "assist and guide children in mind-stimulating, educationally-driven activities." So, everyone is happy. 

Above you can see pictures of how RaspberryKidz look in the space. The couch my kids are sitting on is right inside the door (in the adult area, after you pass the stroller parking). The coloring table is also great. It's located in the main cafe, so if you have to wait a bit to get in (when I've been there the play area was at capacity), there's something for the kids to do. Or, if you prefer to stay in the main cafe, it's a good thing for older kids. The picture of Sam giving the "thumbs up" was her review of the m&m cookie she just finished. There's also a Common Room, a private room where you can hold meetings or events (Lollipop Fairy, Lightning Bug Fairy and Sisters are located there). I only have one picture that shows some of the play area. As I said, it was very busy when I was in, and I didn't want to get pictures of the kids playing.

I think John and Brady (the owners) did a great job grouping and hanging the art. I couldn't be happier! 

Monday, October 19, 2009

Talk to Me Tuesday!

I met Eileen from Dorset Hill Beads through my sister, Lauren. She's a lampwork beader and told me she nominated Dorset Hill's "Day of the Dead–Mr. Stripy the Skull" (top picture) for a Day of the Dead contest on Etsy. I logged on and voted for the skull and checked out HER SHOP. It's filled with beautiful beads and jewelry. Please check it out, as there are too many great things for me to post here!

Why the name Dorset Hill Beads?
Good question...My studio is in my home which was built on land that was once a sheep farm, Dorset sheep to be exact...Thus the name, Dorset Hill Beads...

How did you discover your talent in jewelry/beadmaking? 
I've always been into crafts ever since I can remember...I learned to knit when I was very young by my mother...My aunt was a beader and made beautiful beaded flowers, rings etc...So I think beading and crafting is in blood...I started making jewelry about 18 years ago and found lampwork beads to be amazing...I was encouraged to learn the craft of melting glass and decided to dive in...I love melting glass and creating fun, unique beads...

What is your favorite thing to create?
I go through phases...I tend to lean toward focals when I'm at the torch so you see lots of them in my shop...I've been getting back into making jewelry and creating with wire lately...I find both very enjoyable but there is nothing like being behind my torch and zoning into creating beads...

What inspires your designs?
I'm inspired by nature, color, art and the encouragement of other lampwork artists to try new techniques and tools...

Do you have a favorite item in your shop? 
I love my Littles...Each one has it's own unique look to them...They have a special place in my heart but I sure wish they would all find loving homes...

What was your most unusual custom order?
I wouldn't say this was an unusual custom order but I was asked to make 40 black and white beads which I found challenging since I wanted to splash a little color in them...I got them finished and a satisfied customer...

What is your most productive time of day? 
If you're talking about my creating, I'd have to say at night when everyone is in bed or calmed down for the night...

Where do you see your business in 5 years?
Hopefully, still on Etsy with all new beads and the ones listed today SOLD...I also see some of my jewelry items in a few local boutiques...I'm working on that one...

What’s one thing you can’t live without?
I can't live without my COFFEE and my coffee maker...I have the best, DeLonge...

Anything else you want to share?
I also have a blog in which I share my beads, jewelry and other Etsian crafters work...I really enjoy promoting other people’s work...It's nice to be noticed in such a big sea of handmade goods...I hold a monthly giveaway in which I pick a Theme for Thursday each week...My readers are to guess my Theme or just leave a comment, are then entered into the monthly drawing...The winner gets "something special" from my studio...Not necessarily glass because I do enjoy many other crafts as well...I have lots of fun with my Themes...My blog address is ...
I would like to share with your readers my husband's craft as well...He also creates in our home, the most wonderful smelling and burning candles out there...Handmade by him...I opened an Etsy shop dedicated to his candles... Dave's Homemade Serenity Candles ...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Halloween Giveaway Result

Last week Jillian won the Halloween giveaway I was having. She promptly sent in a picture her daughter had drawn.

"I think this is one of my favorites. It's supposed to be herself, but it kind of looks like a ghost or a penguin. She just turned three at the end of July, and she's starting to make blob type drawings with faces and limbs. I love that stage of a kid's development. :) "

Since this was a Halloween giveaway, I went with the ghost interpretation. Since this is such a simple design, I made it fit a 5x7 mat. I reworked it to include 2 ghosts (the little one is the same as the big one, just smaller and reversed). So, now it is a picture of Mommy & Daughter ghosts. The little ghost pops out a bit, as you can see in the picture taken on an angle.

These very simple drawings are the most challenging for me. I don't want to alter the picture too much, because I want to capture "that stage of a kid's development" as Jillian said. That's what makes it so special. So, I try to enhance it without taking anything away from the original picture. I loved working on this one. 

Under the Influence-Week 5

This week we learned about Piet Mondrian. The kids created "Mini Mondrians" out of foam squares and strips. I love how they are all so unique.