We had a great time making beaded snowflakes at yesterday’s class held at The Old Church Gallery in Cedar River, Michigan.  Carlyn Lynch opened up the gallery for us to have our classes and we soaked up the heat while beading lots of wonderful snowflakes. 

The interesting thing about these classes for me is how much I learn from the students.  Sometimes I think I have seen every possible color combination of beads possible, and then you see what other people put together and get inspired all over again!  What fun.

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The Woman I Want To Be…

August 22, 2009

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Ever since I first saw this piece of fabric art collage by Laurie Ceesay at The Old Church Gallery, I have been drawn to it.  Laurie’s artwork is fantastic and I love her vibrant use of color.  She has recently started her own blog called Artsy Chick Quilts….check it out!

Laurie is an artist from Menominee, Michigan (where I live)  but she has submitted pieces nationally and gained recognition for her work.  One of her pieces was published in Quilting Arts Magazine in the April/May 2009 issue as a winner of their Rock On! Reader Challenge.  Her quilt featured Tina Turner and it really impressed the judges…and me!

Laurie began doing her art quilts several years ago after growing bored doing traditional quilting.  She likes to feature women in her work, specializing in faces.  This fits right in with Laurie’s other passion – she is a hairdresser and loves hairstyles, makeup and fashion!

The woman Laurie depicts in this piece is no doormat – she’s vibrant and she’s fantastic.  She is who I want to be!

“Fresh Picked Flowers” is coming home with me.  I just know we’ll be very happy together!

The Old Church Gallery…

August 20, 2009

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Once in awhile I get to have the pleasure of working at the Old Church Gallery in Cedar River, Michigan.  I love this gallery!  Last weekend was one of those rare occasions and I had an awesome, inspiring day there. The ladies who own it – Carlyn Lynch and Cindy Schmidt – are two of the sweetest ladies ever. 

These two women converted an old, unused church into an art gallery in a somewhat remote location and have turned it into a must-stop place on Hwy. M-35 between Escanaba and Menominee, Michigan.  It is primarily filled with art from local and regional artists.  There are so many talented artists represented here!

When I first met the ladies of the Old Church Gallery, I was newly divorced and lacking self-confidence.  My friend Karen encouraged (nagged) me into approaching them with my jewelry designs. I was so nervous!  But the ladies were fabulous and we have had a wonderful working relationship ever since.  Karen and I have done an artist-in-residence day,and this fall we are teaching classes.  It has been such a great relationship for me, and I know Karen feels the same.

During my hours there, my brain flooded with ideas!  I kept jotting things down in my notebook, barely able to keep up!  Creativity spurs creativity in me, and this place is SO inspiring!

If you’re ever in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, make it a point to stop in to see the ladies and their wonderful gallery.  You won’t be sorry!

Karen's lighthouse mosaic
Karen’s Lighthouse Mosaic

My friend Karen and I are a riot together.  I posted about an Artists in Residence day that we both participated in, and I realized she would make a great post herself.  Karen’s business is named Re-Creations Mosaics.  She used to be a successful decorative painter and very much in demand, but the stresses on her body were getting to be too much, so she sold that business. Now she channels her artistic urges into her mosaics, and they are something.  At first she was timid about showing them to people (she still gives away more than she gets to galleries!), but I talked her into doing a show at the Peninsula Art School in Door County, Wisconsin (specifically in Fish Creek) and they both sold, which blew her away!  I wasn’t surprised because I know how great her work is.  She has started to show them more, and I keep encouraging her to do more, because they are wonderful.

She and I have been friends since the fifth grade.  We were both crazy artist types, and we were the bane of Mr. Jones’ art classes.  I know he loved us, but we couldn’t have been easy to have in class.  We have always been able to inspire each other, and we sure have fun while we do it.  We try to get together regularly to do art projects, sometimes it’s jewelry for me and glasswork for her, but most of the time we try to paint, or collage, or some other medium.  She and I also are the leaders of our church Youth Art Ministry (YAM).  We get a group of the junior and senior high kids together and go crazy.  We call these YAM jams. 

Karen does her mosaics in much smaller pieces than I’ve ever seen – they are literally paintings done with glass pieces.  The detail and color is fantastic!  She typically does them on old salvaged windows (some from my old house), but sometimes she finds cool old frames and uses those, too.  Her creativity is contagious.I am working on her to get a website and Etsy account, etc.  For now I will just brag about her on mine.  The pictures don’t do her work justice, but I hope you can get the idea.

Sunflower Mosaic by Karen

Sunflower Mosaic by Karen

This week I:

  •  found out my X lost his job…
  •  doesn’t have another one…
  •  moved back in with his parents (he’s 42)…
  •  doesn’t get unemployment, which means I don’t get child support
  •  started a new part-time job
  •  nursed my daughter through the flu.  She missed 5 days of school.
  •  took her to the doctor today because she broke out in hives all over her body
  •  made homemade chicken soup to hopefully help my daughter
  •  made it through the half-way point in my courses this semester…
  •  etc.
  •  etc.
  •  etc.

And now I’m tired.  I came home ready to put my feet up.  My daughter’s hives have subsided for now, so it was a frozen pizza supper and a second viewing of “Hairspray” at our house tonight.  Who can stay tired or stressed during that show?  We all felt better after an hour-and-a-half of singing along and toe-tapping.

Tomorrow I need to get going photographing some jewelry, and making new designs for Spring to bring to The Old Church Gallery in Cedar River, MI next weekend.  They are re-opening on May 1st, and I’m really excited for their second year in existence.  Last year, it was so fun to head up along the bay to visit the gallery and see all the stuff…mine included…

So tomorrow in-between the laundry loads and the shopping and the nursing and the cooking will come some creative time for jewelry creation and photographing.  My photos up to now have been more for inventory’s sake than for beauty. Hopefully I’ll have something better to show soon.  Now’s the time to learn to use that fancy digital camera I got my daughter for Christmas. 

Because tonight I felt my creative urges return somewhere during “Hairspray.”  I can’t wait to play among the beads tomorrow. 

 

         

 

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