Monday, June 28, 2010

Art of Display - Produce

When photographing my table runners, one of my favorite things to add to the arrangement is produce...

a lovely bowl full of fresh fruit, or a couple of ripe tomatoes as shown above, is often times the perfect prop to compliment the work.

Below are some lovely examples of this simple and effective idea that I found while searching our talented team...

Berry Bowl on Leaf by Blue Sky Pottery

Poppy Tea Towel-Organic Linen by madder root

Plate, Porcelain, Pottery, Green, Hosta, Leaf by White Earth Studio

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Team Challenge - Bees

From butterflies to bees!! This time I thought it would be appropriate to help promote our team mascot and the launch of our new website! Let's generate some "buzz" and all make something inspired by our industrious friends the bees! It can be honey, a hive, garden, bees or whatever your imagination comes up with.

Make an item and tag it with the word "acchallenge". Get it posted by July 1st and I will post the results.

Lulubug is already in the spirit with this cute bee necklace!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Creative Inspiration: Butterflies

"We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit in the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty." ~ Maya Angelou

Yesterday, I discovered a butterfly trapped in my garage struggling to make its way through a closed window. Many winged bugs find their way into this space, but seldom do I feel the need to stage a rescue. However, butterflies are one of the few insects that receives urgent, immediate assistance.

Raising my hand up towards the butterfly, the beautiful creature perched on my finger and relaxed her fluttering wings. Once outside, she caught the breeze and sailed away into the sky.

What makes the butterfly worth saving? Perhaps it is that very essence that inspires artists, poets, and dancers to incorporate butterfly imagery in their work. The painting above from Artisans Collective member Cathy Nichols illustrates the insect's delicate but compelling presence.

Cathy states "Butterflies inspire me because they evoke feelings of freedom, metamorphosis, and transformation from something lowly and plain into creatures of colorful beauty.

Christine Tenenholtz's pottery also incorporates the butterfly magnificently. Christine says that butterflies challenge her to create a simple and elegant design. Christine states " After using the white birds and flowers so much on my pieces, I wanted to add another natural element and butterflies just seemed like a natural fit."

The butterfly: champion of change, epitome of the ugly duckling, thing of wonder and boundless beauty! I leave you with this quote from Nathaniel Hawthorne:

"Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you."

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Postcards From Home #14 - Julie Garland

Today we introduce Julie Garland of Julie Garland Jewelry! I love the small town America feel! Thanks for sharing with us!

Picture #1

This is a photo of main street and the lone traffic light in Youngstown in Western New York where I live. It’s an historic little village right on the Niagara River where it flows into Lake Ontario. This is the first time I’ve lived in a small town and I have to admit it does have its charm! The local diner is fantastic and I frequent it so much they wonder if I ever cook.

Picture #2

This lovely little spot is where my son and I sit and watch the boats. Old Fort Niagara is very close and is on the National Historic Register. Over 100,000 people visit each year and it offers a collection of original military architecture and fortifications from the 18th and 19th Century. It also has a beautiful park and waterfront and I like to stand at the shore and wave to my Canadian friends across the lake in Toronto. (Well not really because that would make me look crazy.)

Picture #3

This view is overlooking the Marina. Youngstown is a pretty sleepy place in the winter but in the summer it comes alive. We don’t own a boat but do our best to befriend people that do (just kidding!).

Picture #4

And finally here is a picture of yours truly in my work area that I usually don’t get to until my son’s bedtime!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Art of Display - Lighting

"In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary."
- Aaron Rose

1930's Industrial Factory Clerks Registry Desk Task Lamp

"Turning on the light is easy if you know where the switch is."
- Colin Wilson

1930's O.C. White Style Gooseneck Lamps

"There is no more worthy, more glorious or more potent work, than to work with light."
- Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov

1940 Articulate Hood College Physical Plant Repairman's Work Bench Task Lamp

"Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography."
- George Eastman

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Kiva - Giving Feels so Good!

Kiva is a fabulous organization! Their mission is to connect people, through lending, for the sake of alleviating poverty. This is accomplished by individuals like you and me making loans in $25 increments to individuals around the world. You choose who you lend to - a basket weaver in Cambodia, a seamstress in Peru, a goat herder in Uganda. When the loan is repaid you can loan it to someone else. What a powerful and sustainable way to empower people to escape poverty!

Because we believe so strongly in Kiva we started an Artisans Collective lending team on Kiva. We loaned $200 in our first day! The pictures above are a few of the loan recipients. (Click on their photos to see how they plan to use their loans)

Join us if you can. Collectively we can make a difference!

Artisans Collective

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Mmm Mmm Good

This black bean, mango and avocado salad is one of my very favorite summer salads! It's bright and fresh, healthy and delicious. Everyone I've fixed this dish for has just loved it, even my grandmother. Her response was, "This is the strangest combination I've ever eaten but it's so good. Can I take home some of the leftovers?" This salad is quick and easy to make and great on a hot day on its own or as a side dish. I think the most difficult thing about this salad is finding a mango and an avocado that are ripe at the same time.

Black Bean, Avoado and Mango Salad
2 cans of black beans drained and rinsed
1 Haas avocado chopped
1 mango chopped
2 limes juiced
1 orange juiced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion or green onion
1 minced jalapeno
1 clove of garlic minced or squeezed through a press
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbs. honey
1/2 tsp. cumin
Mix black beans, onions, cilantro and jalapeno in a bowl and set aside. In a smaller bowl whisk together the oil, lime and orange juices, cumin, garlic, and honey. Pour this over the bean mixture and toss. Gently fold in the mango and avocado. Chill for and hour or two and serve.
Happy eating!

(mary's granddaughter)

Postcards From Home #13 - Kristin Love

This week we get to have a glimpse into the world of Kristin Love of Love Artworks and Love Art Studios. Kristin Lives in Seattle, one of my favorite cities.

1. This is a photo of where I live, kind of. I actually live in West Seattle, which is South, (and West...on a peninsula...) of the downtown Seattle you see in the photo. The reason I chose this one is because it shows Mt. Rainier, the 4th tallest mountain in the continental US, and also the Space Needle, where I used to work for 5 years before I left the restaurant life to do my art full time.
2. My Studio! This little "cottage" was lovingly built for me by my carpenter husband, Kane, who could not (and I mean it was getting bad.....) STAND all my pottery, paints, canvases, fabrics, drawings, etc, etc, ALL over the house anymore. So after 6+ years of painting in a corner of our "guest room/storage area" (we have a really small house) he built this studio space for me in our backyard,. It also became a bit of a storage area for awhile, but I've been cleaning it, and it's now a "working Studio" for the most part. The door is going to be painted deep burnt Red this summer and we will add window boxes and Kane is going to build a little deck where the wheelbarrow is! :)
3. This is my "niche" where I spend a LOT of time painting, drawing and creating, and sometimes daydreaming out the window...watching all the little birdies! The rug is the only piece of art hanging in my Studio so far and was made for me by the Navajo Elder that I sponsor. If you would like to know any more about that, please contact me.
4. This is my "corner" at the communal Pottery Studio I work at where I create my clay pieces. These are what my pottery cups, vases, bowls, etc, look like after they have been fired once and then painted with my glaze designs before they go into the kiln for the second time. As you can see, they are NOT very colorful, the colors look very subdued and chalky, (not anything like the finished pieces you see in my shop), and that's one of the tricky parts about painting on pottery. It has taken me a long time to be able to "know", or guestamate, what the piece will look like when it is done, and even then, sometimes, I can be very, very wrong!
5. These are my helpers, Cosmo, the 16 year old grumpy "Grandma" kitty, and Indigo, the 3 year old spastic rescued German Shepherd. Here they are helping me navigate the wondrous Etsy Treasury's on my laptop in our living room! :)
6. Well....Me! This photo was taken while hiking in the Olympic Mountains last summer. The Olympic Peninsula is just a short ferry ride across the Puget Sound from Seattle and Kane and Indigo and I try and get over there as much as possible. It's one of the most beautiful places I've been and it's right in my "backyard"! Come See!! :)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Postcards From Home #12 - Lucy Snowe Photography

Today's postcards and captions are from the wonderful photographer Lucy Snowe. What a rich impression they give. The calm and creative energy of her world really come through these images!

This is Main Street in the tiny remote rural town in Oregon where I live, population approx. 900! Not much to do here..except CREATE!

I don't really have a studio....but hopefully some day!!! I would say this is pretty much my studio...the great outdoors....My husband thinks I have taken over the entire house..cameras, tripods, computers, shipping supplies, frames in every room!!! The deer don't seem to mind...if I intrude on their space.

This is one of my photo assistants: Basho, named after one of my favorite poets!

This is a little nook I fixed up to watch the deer and geese out the window..we have LONG I do spend a lot of time indoors. I like to read in the morning and get inspired, watch birds and work on my shoots for the day!

This is me...self portrait

well..there you have in a nutshell..