Saturday, January 29, 2011

Little Objects That Make Me Happy

The Huntsman's Closet

       I'm a GATHERER        
The Paper Hoarder's Closet

My husband and I have always had very different ideas about decorating and collecting,
causing more than a couple of squabbles when we first started sharing living quarters.
I'm a stasher, he's a tosser.
In time, I guess we've come to accept each other's styles.
Or maybe we've just worn each other down.
It has been a compromise.
I try to keep the clutter contained to places where only I dwell
(the studio, kitchen, my vehicle)
and keep clear the areas where only he dwells
(the recliner, workshop, his vehicle).
As long as he doesn't have to move something to get to what he's reaching for,
he's pretty much okay with it.

And I can't help it.
I am a repository for little objects.
 Like these yo yo's that were in a bag of little objects my aunt just gave me.

I love to be surrounded by my little objects.

It makes me HAPPY.

An empty shelf!

I've come a LONG way!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A is for...
A U N T I E !!

For a few days this week, I've been babysitting being Auntie to my three nephews
who live a few hours away.
These are my favorite days of all...
the giggle-til-your-tummy-hurts,
kind of days.

I hope they never stop wanting to call me Auntie.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

"The only thing I know is that if I get to my studio,
that means I'm alive today."
-Robert Farber

  • Friends (check)
  • Wine (check)
  • Coffee (check)
  • Snacks (check)
  • Heater (check)
  • Magazines (check)
  • Google (check)
  • Sketchbook (check)
  • Markers (check)

Friday, January 21, 2011


Well, all the winning mojo you've been sending my way must have worked...

 I'm a finalist in the art contest
I entered a couple weeks ago!

Winners get their artwork published in a 2012 calendar and other publications.
Can you just imagine that?

Winners are announced February 11...keep the positive mojo coming!
When it's this cold out...

minus 18 degrees
...put on a cute hat and shine!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The scariest thing I did today?

Moved and vacuumed under the washer & dryer.
(It's a total dog-and-cat-hair-magnet under there) 
Gross!  Aaachoo...

Monday, January 17, 2011

Last week we packed up and headed north
for my husband's work, on a snowmobile race team.
Cutie Patootie Hubby
Our cabin isn't too far from where the race was held...
Amsoil World Championship Snowmobile Derby 2011 it was full of people and pets last week
and through the weekend.
Pompeii & Lucky
Our team had a great weekend of racing!
Ross Martin #837 & Mike Bauer #717
 Whew, some of us aren't used to all those early mornings.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

 "My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard.
Mother would come out and say,
'You're tearing up the grass.'
'We're not raising grass,' Dad would reply.
'We're raising boys.'"
~Harmon Killebrew

I found this picture amongst old family photos.
Not sure who they are or when it was,
but aren't they cute?

Quote from

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Betty's Boot

Two friends of mine lost their mother in November. 
Everyone called her Betty, and she really loved crafting and quilting. 
She had every kind of craft supply you can imagine...
books, brushes, buttons, fabric, feathers, felt, paints, paper, patterns...
lots and lots of supplies.

This week they gave me a big bin of her things they thought I could use in my art.
Tucked in the bin was this tiny rubber boot that had been repurposed
as an arrangement holder, with a small vase inside.

I hope Betty would be pleased that the boot is being used - and cherised. 
From all I've heard about her these past couple of months,
I think she would be.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A dear friend recently gave me a whole tin full of vintage buttons.
A whole tin full!

I was bowled over by this magnificent present,
and gasped out loud when I saw these sparkly ones:

There was never a single doubt in my mind that these little lovelies
were going to become a bracelet.
The buttons are attached to a sturdy silver chain using jump rings.

I added more silver buttons found in the tin,
including this one that says "Je Maintiendrai", French for
"I Will Maintain". 

Don't you just love that?
Oui!  Oui!  Oui!

From my collection of treasures from Grandma's attic,
I added this tiny old key to the end of the bracelet. 

Now when I wear my super special sparkly bracelet,
I'm reminded of these women, whom I hold very close to my heart.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I love visiting Chicago this time of year!

The lights...

The buildings...

The shopping...

The food...

The train...

The Blackhawks game...

Most Definitely My Kind of Town!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

charisma [kəˈrɪzmə]:
A quality inherent in a thing which inspires great enthusiasm and devotion.

I found this yummy snuggly yarn the other day at the craft store (loving the yarn name!).  The warm colors remind me of my sister.  She's the mother of three little boys and has the busiest life of anyone I know.  She's been caring for a sick kid all week, all the while not feeling well herself.  Wish I could have been there to help out, but we live a few hours apart.  So I'm going to knit her a hug from me, in the form of a cozy comfy scarf.

Maybe there's someone in your life with great charisma...let them know, won't you?
I bet they'd love to hear from you.

Word Defintion:

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Art Contest

Today I screeched into the Post Office minutes before closing time
to mail off my entry into the Cloth Paper Scissors 2012 Calendar Contest.

I thought it would be fun to share my submission with you,
so maybe you could send some winning mojo my way!

The challenge was to create a piece of mixed-media art based on the phrase
“On the Street Where You Live”.
We were to include a description of our interpretation of the theme.
Mine goes like this...

I vividly remember sitting on my Grandpa’s lap as a little girl, cheek nestled against his soft denim overalls, telling him that someday I was going to have a place where all the homeless animals would come to live. In my child mind, the animals all got along, there was plenty of food, never illness, and we lived happily forever after. I have never dreamed of having a fancy house, just a cozy one with its own quirkiness and personality. It is warm and light, and always has a cat looking out the window. This collage piece pays homage to my childhood idealism…this is what you’d find on the street where I live.
My collage contains some of the treasures found in my Grandma’s attic last summer. Her house and farm were the center of her life, so it’s heartwarming to use these materials in a piece of art that represents the significance of home. All the photos are from my personal collection, featuring several generations of my family’s farm life images.

I have attached a snippet of an old school paper hand-written by my aunt, where she wrote of slowing down and enjoying life, being mindful of everyday little things that we sometimes overlook. I love how she references riding “that old forgotten bicycle, singing at the world all around you” in her paper. I spent days in my own childhood that way, stopping to pick wildflowers growing along the road. We come from a musical family and in my mind, there is constantly music playing. Everything reminds me of a song, including the theme of this contest “On the Street Where You Live”, which shares the same title as a song in my all-time favorite musical “My Fair Lady”, starring my all-time favorite actress Audrey Hepburn.

I painted the nest and eggs to represent a sheltering and nurturing home, a place of security and new beginnings. The nest is made of shredded newspaper, in loving respect to all my grandparents who reused and recycled, way before it was the trendy thing to do. The old metal buckle was once worn by one of my ancestors, and it reminds me of how family holds my life securely together. I think of my Grandpa’s overalls that had buckles like these. The green buttons were given to me by a very dear friend from home, and they symbolize friendship that also holds the pieces of my life together.

I have painted white clouds across the sky of my collage. As far back as I can remember, if someone suggested I think of a relaxing image (most likely an attempt to make this night owl get to sleep), I imagined floating on a fluffy cloud, weightless and overlooking my little corner of the world. All these years later, this is still my go-to relaxing scene.

I appreciate that the idea of my place to call home seems rather starry-eyed and impractical. A quirky house in the country filled with lots of quirky animals. But still, a girl can dream.

And so she does.

Materials and Techniques:

My mixed-media collage is composed on a 12” X 12” canvas. To create the textured background, a layer of crumpled tissue paper was applied with gel medium. Photos and vintage papers are adhered with gel medium and all-purpose glue. Other embellishments are adhered with E-6000. Paint is acrylic. Antiquing gel was applied to some areas. Graphite pencil was used to outline some images.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Yesterday I did one of my favorite things, with one of my favorite people.
I met my friend at Starbucks inside our Barnes & Noble bookstore,
where we sank into their comfy chairs, sipped our warm drinks,
and browsed through their art and jewelry books.

We talked about our creative dreams for the upcoming months,
oohed and aahed over the project ideas and colorful pictures on the pages,
and fought very hard not to buy every single book.

Now, the only thing I love reading more than an art book is an art magazine
and my mind was swirling with ideas and my heart thumped wildly
from creative overwhelm and caffeine
as we descended upon the magazines on the way out of the store 
-we're talking major stimulation-
what'dya week, same time, same place???  Anyone???

I'll switch to decaf, promise.

Monday, January 3, 2011

My Beater Heater

...The furnace is broken in the Happy Heart Studio this week...   

My studio is a room just off the (unheated) garage.
It has a skylight and plenty of windows, and is a happy place to work.
But, man, is it FREEZIN' cold in the winter!

I have many projects in desperate need of finishing
(another New Year's resolution),
so yesterday I put on layers of long underwear and fleece,
wrapped my fingerless-gloved hand around a cup of hot tea,
and waited for the temporary portable heater to kick in.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

How to have a wonderful New Year's Eve:

Go to dinner party hosted by fabulous friends Jody and Stu...

Drink from personalized glasses and later take them home...

Keep the cocktails flowing...

Enjoy a traditional Swiss dinner called Raclette.
Have fresh Creme Brulee for dessert...

Rave about the fantastic meal...

Play board games and giggle...

Wear a sparkly party hat.