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Recipe Cards

There are two 'works in progress' projects in my studio that have taken on "legendary" status over the years. Truth be told, they are not that epic, they are personal journey type projects that I seldom share outside of the sanctuary of my home studio. The Book of the Dead (a leather bound, handstitched tome of projects gone terribly wrong) is a catalogue of my studio discoveries, formulations, methods, and 'recipes' not to be followed again. The other notable, is an unnamed cookbook filled with doodled pages of old recipes I've managed to hoard from family members and friends over the years.

Recipe cards are one of those things I think everyone keeps, hands down to generation to generation, gifts to others, and treasures in one way shape or form. It's hard to think of the holiday season without having a recipe book of somesort on hand. I wrote a blog post about recipes here and showed the process of how one can easily decorate their own recipe cards below.



What if there were no planners designating where a bench needed to be placed in a cityscape, what if you were the 'bench placer' in charge of creating a vantage point for strangers... where would plant these islands of rest for weary travelers? Would you plant a few in your life as well, places where people can sit and get to know you a bit better by being privy to the landscapes in your mind's eye?  


Lasting Marks

I made this card as way to illustrate how people, through a deliberate act of kindness, can leave a lasting and permanent mark in the mind's of others. In life, we seldom get to choose the "people" surfaces we get to work with, our life experiences make us unique and the canvases we wear are not all the same. To be lasting, we need to be willing to be permanant on all surfaces.

This card used paper from the scrap bin, discarded cork board from some dorm room decor, a rubber stamp, Tsukineko ink, and Bic mark-it Markers

You can read the blog post that corresponds to this card here





I love looking at bits and pieces of Detroit history. While visiting the Made in Detroit store at the Somerset Collection, there propped up against a wall was the scoreboard from the old Tiger's Stadium. There is something inherently cool about looking upon the lights that shined down on so much of history, the crowds, the players, the moments that were trapped in a fly ball wanting to escape a mitt and be remembered by fans. The score flashed more than a number, it illuminated the hopes of a player to bounce past obscurity and the dreams of a young kid in the benches still wearing his little league jersey.

So much of what we do and who we are is designated by a score of somekind; a credit score, a klout score, a test score, and even scores to settle yet, none of them tell the whole story, reveal the game of life that was played, it's players, and the happenings on the field. We see a number flashing and make an assumption by proxy forgetting the fact that some of the most incredible events in history had a loss as the catalyst that instigated an undeniable victory. When we create history, the score doesn't matter, the lights that shine in that moment do.


Glass Worlds

My grandmother had a way of leaving fantastic worlds encased in random glass containers here and there for strangers to discover when they came to visit. I loved getting lost in the sands and glittered snow landscapes of her imagination. Wandering through town, I happened upon a winter display and could not help but smile. With the holidays, wrapped in the hustle and bustle of busy lights and ribbons of traffic, one can still find a peaceful sanctuary encased canning jars and salt shakers


Temperature Changes

November rolls in, bringing with it the palatable temperature change that condenses warm thoughts into a mist that sits heavy on the landscape outside my studio window.


Guarded thoughts

In a world of easily accessible oversharing, an unguarded thought is almost a gimme, a certainty, an unavoidable consequence of the instantaneous I suppose. We tend to be unfiltered and uncensored to the point where we automatically give quarter to a misspoken word by excusing the blunt affrontation to our sensibilities by simply chalking it up to a careless slip and moving on to the next soundbite. The constant stream flushes away unintended words and thoughts, solidifying the fact that they are all temporary... the internet may remember everything but, people don't. I started thinking about the accountability of a journal. Words and thoughts set to ink are deliberate, intentional... they are not spell checked, autocorrected by technology, not double spaced or even in some cases legible. The words trapped between the covers of a private journal are as sacred as an arching spine wanting to receive the attention of a pen nib. We tend to guard our thoughts more when they are affixed with a signature of sorts, a handwritting that bares witness and exposes truths a typed page conceals. 


Blank White Page

In honor of NaNoWriMo ... a blank white page ready to be inspire-filled and crazy amazing


Enemy Us

While watching my sons make their Halloween costumes this year, the eldest kidlet said, "It's always hardest battling yourself 'cuz you already know the weak points to exploit and if you win, you actually lose." "What if we are all Spy vs. Spy, you know, versions of ourselves hiding behind diguises trying to blow ourselves up in new and scary ways?"

Sometimes I think my kids are far older that 9 and 11, their conversations are oftentimes so profound that all I can do is take dictation and pray that someday I too will learn this wisdom. They did get me thinking about self-destructive behaviors, about how as a creative, I talk myself out of creating things, self edit, and otherwise decide that safe is easier. 

Creating anything requires a certain degree of bravery. To make a mark is a deliberate act of courage that harnesses the honest resolve necessary to light the fuse and expose ourself to the enemy, knowing full well that it'll leave us in a vulnerable position. Battles aren't won by timidity, they are won by bold action and taking risks. When the enemy is us... the peanut gallery of naysaying voices in our heads, perhaps the bravest thing one can do is stare at the blank canvas or page and break the surface tension by employing an uncharacteristic broad stroke of determination.



Halloween Party Transfers

Everyday script background paper can instantly be transformed into a Halloween themed backdrop using a few simple techniques and basic supplies. I'm not big on buying a bazillion different things in order to create something special. Creativity is about using the things you already have and putting them to use in such a way as to accomplish a desired end result. This is a project I made for Bic Mark-it Markers. You can get the directions and supply list here.

I wanted to point out the image transfer technique here for the folks who think they can't draw *wink*

Take any copyright free image you'd like to transpose to an already decorated piece of paper and print it onto a blank sheet of copy paper. Using a soft lead pencil (I used a regular Bic Mechanical pencil from the kid's school supply stash) and scribble over the entire backside of your image. Lay your image, pencil side down, over your decorative paper in the place you'd like it to go, and then simply trace over it with a ballpoint pen. The image will transfer to the underlying sheet and then you can color it in as you'd like. I used progressively darker markers to shade in the skull image to achieve the desired effect. Have fun and happy creating!


Big Thinking

 For those of you familiar with Michigan and the outlet mall in Birch Run, you've probably seen Tony's Restaurant right there next to the gas station before hopping back onto I-75. For those of you who have never heard of Tony's, it is one of those places every person must visit at least once in their lifetime just to say that they've been there. The walls are decorated with celebrities that have at one time or another visited and their menu is more akin to a family newsletter you'd get around the holidays filling you in on all the latest events and happenings than a list to order from. The offerings listed in the menu seem, on the surface, to be normal enough, the prices are very reasonable, and the staff are friendly and always ready with a smile. 
 In order to illustrate "big" thinking to our children, my husband and I decided we should stop by and let them order whatever they wanted. The kids were immediately giddy to see their Mythbuster Heroes on the menu and were wondering why it was that Tory and Grant hadn't come by for a visit while they were smacking the Michigan Mitten a high five. Laughing to myself, I found the most interesting thing about the scenario in how oblivious they were to the platters that streamed past them while they were so engrossed in the options typed on paper in front of their noses, how they completely missed the "big" whilst pondering the small print. 
 The waitress came by and took our orders. My daughter had chosen the Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato sandwich. Promptly after the kids ordered, I asked them about big ideas and big thinking, what they would do if an idea got too big? The family discussion was entertaining to say the least... nothing is too big for a kid methinks. I mentioned that each of them had had an idea of what they wanted for dinner and an expectation based on past experiences of what they were going to receive. They all agreed that they had had the thought, figured it was what they wanted, and were hungry ("starving" said in an exasperated tone by the middle child) enough to eat it all and still have room for dessert.
 Dinner was served. The kid's jaws dropped and not one of them moved. Their "idea" was just so big that they honestly had no clue as to how to begin... they sat motionless and unable to move. I thought about how many times I have had this grand thought and how after thinking about it earnest, became paralyzed, unable to proceed.
 She (7): "What's the point of a big idea if you can't get your mouth around it? Maybe big ideas have to be eaten in little bites and maybe there are supposed to be left-overs." Me: "Maybe."


Halloween "Punkin"

Carving Pumpkins is serious business in this studio... as are Math, Science, and all forms of Geekdom. It has become a Halloween tradition to pull out the Dremel, Speedball Linoleum Cutters, and a Permanent Bic Mark-it Marker to come up with something the neighbors will get a kick out of. 



Reading Signs

A well done sign is universal, it transcends language barriers and even generations. I laughed when my daughter said, "That sign is EXACTLY how I feel Mom." I wondered if she would have read that sign any differently had she not been in desperate need of a restroom. It's interesting to think about how a sign can mean different things depending on what frame of mind we ourselves are in, what needs we ourselves have at the time. To my son standing near by, this sign said, "Lego Women on Thin Ice"... 



A Closer Look

 Our lives are full of random happenings, proverbial statues knocked from the pedestals we've placed them upon by the nature of things. We never know why things happen as they do until we take a closer look and rest our minds on that very moment where the architecture of a reason becomes as clear as a fleeting wing.