John and I have a quiet house. We don't watch much TV or listen to loud music. We don't do much entertaining other than our small Ohio family and the occasional instructor. We have lots of room and spend most of out time together talking or playing in our art rooms. During Thanksgiving we averaged 12 people at each meal and just hanging around. It made me very, very happy to have 2 of my 3 children around and 5 of my 10 grandkids. I wish everyone had been able to come including John's brood.
My kids are scattered throughout the US so the cousins, uncles and aunts and grandparents are rarely all in one place. This time was special. We had snow for the Florida contingent, great food for everyone thanks to the culinary students, games, laughter and so much catching up on everyone's lives. It did my heart good. I love family.
We were not very good at taking photos. I guess we were too busy living it to record it. I missed the opportunity to take pictures while my son Tim and his family were here…BOTH Times! So no photos of the grand boys together or my sons together.
It has been so wonderful having so much family around: 2 of 3 of my kids 5 of 10 grandchildren plus spouses. The girls have been making miracles in the kitchen. There have been pool tournaments, board games, snow angels, and lots of talk and laughter and eating. New memories have been made.
I am so thankful to be surrounded by as many family members as was possible this year.
Don't forget Shop Small tomorrow!
Having granddaughter Kelsey and her friend Bridgette here is being spoiled to the max. We wake up to wonderful breakfasts and that is only the beginning. Today we went to Westside Market to gather ingredients for the upcoming feast on Thursday.
Don't forget to stop by Small Studio this week and especially next Saturday for Shop Small Saturday.
I am excited about Thanksgiving. We pick up my granddaughter Kelsey and her friend Bridgette from the airport later today. If you have been reading my blog for several years, you may remember that Kelsey attends Johnson and Wales culinary school. She came two years ago for the holidays and impressed us with her cooking prowess. Well, she is cooking again only now she is in her fourth and final year and her friend, I think, is in her 3rd year. Also arriving later this week is her brother, my grandson Kurtis and his wife Michelle. Here is a photo of Kurt and Kelsey from an event last April.
When I was growing up our Thanksgiving celebrations included many aunts, uncles and cousins and always more than one roasted turkey. It was big, it was loud. it was wonderful and it was tradition. Now our kids and grandkids live in five different states. There are no complete family celebrations ever. I am lucky if I have one child and his/her family around. My Ohio daughter-in-law has a semi large family and John and I are always included which makes us very happy.
This year the two grandkids mentioned above and their dad, my oldest son, and his youngest son will be here for the long weekend, but the rest of our family will be scattered everywhere. It is our own fault. We brought up our children with the attitude that the whole world was theirs for the taking. We encouraged them to travel, to take risks, to cherish the adventure and they did. Darn them.
I am thankful for those who will be here in our home, but I will be missing the others. I know they will be missing us too, or at least missing Kelsey's good cooking.
If you follow me on Facebook you may remember me mentioning my cousin Jeff and his wife Lorraine, both wonderful artists. Get ready my CA friends for a treat. Jeff will have an installation at the LA Art Show January 14-18th at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Jeff, professionally known as JT Burke, has designed and created a 16ft tall piece that in his words is "a physical and conceptual mash-up of confession booth, cathedral steeple and big top tent". The outside will be sheathed in original posters that he has created.
If you live in So Pas, you may know Jeff for his Mission Street photo.
We cousins are all so proud of Jeff and his many, many successes. More importantly, he and his wife Lorraine are two of the kindest, most generous and talented people I have ever met. You can follow the construction of his Paradise Circus both on his website and on his Facebook page.
It is very cold out this week and the store front is chilly. I suppose it is a good thing for those who are walking in all bundled up. I have lived in the East off and on for a couple of decades, but winter still surprises me.
Today is quilt day at the store. I have two groups of ladies who rent out the classroom almost every week to spread out their quilts and sew. Our large tables are very inviting. But even when they are not here, I always have a few faces to talk to if it is quiet in the store.
If you follow me on Facebook, you have seen my announcement about retiring at the end of this year. It was always my intention to just do this store (Small Studio) for one three year lease length. I knew it was a bad business plan, but I just wanted to do one more store. Small Studio has had some triumphs and it has had a few too quiet times, but it has been great fun for me.
Over the past year I have had a number of people who have shown interest in buying the store, but for one reason or another they did not follow through. Recently Margaret came along and is passionate about buying the store. She has pursued financing with a bank, but was only offered a portion of the needed funds.
Margaret would be a great proprietor. She is an avid bookmaker. Last year she made a New Year's resolution to make 365 books and she did it! She has taught a few book classes here at the store. She has also taken a few classes here and at the Morgan Conservatory to become an even better bookmaker.
She has shared with me some of her ideas to improve the store and I think they are wonderful ideas and will enhance Small Studio greatly. She plans on increasing the paper selection, add more art supplies and include locally handmade items.
She plans on continuing workshops and classes and the PlayDays. So here is where she needs your help. She has started a Kickstarter project that offers "rewards" for donations. If she can raise the added funds she needs, then Small Studio will continue and will be here for your art needs and creative pursuits. You can donate any amount and you can do it right here.
Sometimes, well most of the time, I get so caught up in running the store that I forget how much fun it is to just make stuff. It doesn't have to be a major work of art, but just something.
The masonite kits that we sell at the store are a perfect example. They allow me to just get my hands into artsy supplies and make something without a great deal of thought or planning. The kits are quick to put together with just a bit of white glue.
We have other things at the store that are quick and easy too. Bezels can be as complicated or as simple as I want. Recently we had Susan Lenart Kazmer for two days and the bezels the students made were awesome and a bit complicated, but I just made a paper clay molded face, painted it and glued it into an oval bezel. I was pleased with the results.
I make lots of blank books. There, I confessed. More often than not, I place them on a shelf and never add content. I don't know why. Sometimes when I make myself play in those books, I can work through them pretty quickly. One Idea leads to another and it begins to go very quickly. In the book below I used twine to frame the face of one of our 100 year old photographs (cabinet card) and layered it onto a page.
Saturday, October 25th from 11-4, is our next FREE PlayDay at Small Studio in Westllake OH. Come join us. Bring a project and make stuff. It is always fun. Call to reserve a seat: 440-808-8599
The fun just keeps coming. Betsy Begue, who learned the art of Cartonnage (French for "box-making") while living in France for five years, taught the Magic Box class yesterday at Small Studio.
Our next class Is "Over The Edge" with Jennifer Whitten in early October. Jennifer has many well-honed creative skills. She will be sharing her beading techniques with us. Using the edges of book pages, students will explore the many possibilities for finishing the edges with beads, threads and tapes. Full info on our website.
November brings our last big workshop weekend with Seth Apter. There are just a few openings in each of his workshops waiting for you to join us. Look in the Workshop section of our web.
We had another great class today focusing on soldering, torching, bending wire and quite a bit of hammering. I am sure that there is a jewelry term for the hammering, but it really sounded like hammering. The results of all this activity was beautiful.
This was a fun weekend. We had students from all corners of Ohio, Michigan, Canada and Indiana. Thank you all for making the big effort to join us at Small Studio. I really appreciate every one of you. And especially a big thank you to Susan for a wonderfully creative weekend!
We had a really fun day today at Small Studio with the lovely and lively artist, Susan Lenart Kazmer. 19 students were treated to a day of Susan's clever techniques and cool products. They all had such joy in making a happy mess while creating resin charms and embellishments.
Along a one mile stretch of I-90 in Avon OH there is a sea of sunflowers.
They weren't there last week, but this week they have bloomed their little hearts out and right on target. The Zurich Co of Independence OH donated 25,000 sunflower seeds to Prayers from Maria, a nonprofit organization founded by the parents of Maria McNamera. Little Maria died in 2007 of a rare brain cancer and so her parents decided to raise money to help other children with the same disease. I say "right on target" because the seeds were planted in June with the hope that they would bloom in September which is National Childhood Cancer Awareness month. The timing was perfect aided by the weather this summer.
If you want to read more about this organization go here.
The Randi Parkhurst workshop is sadly over. We had such a good time. The instructor, the students, the project, were all fun, relaxing and wonderful. I needed a break and this was the perfect choice. Thank you Ann, Sheila and Betsy for encouraging me to take the class. It was the first time in three years that the store wasn't open as usual.
Above are the finished boxes. Everyone was so pleased with their projects. The finished assemblage is about 4 3/4"x 3 1/2" x 2". There are 5 wee books, 2 drawers with paper rolled pulls and a little hidden strand of beads. All of it is constructed from hand painted paper and a bit of mat board.
We even had as an added bonus The Blue Angels flying overhead. The Morgan, where the workshop was held, is on 47th, close to downtown and Burke Airport and the annual Air Show. I love seeing the Blue Angels. It is scary and beautiful at the same time.
I am on day 2 of a three day workshop with the refreshing Randi Parkhurst at the Morgan Conservatory in Cleveland. There are eight very happy students in the workshop. If you are not familiar with Randi's work, you need to remedy that right away.
Yes, that is a quarter next to my wee book in a box. Tomorrow there will be drawers and more boxes and more little books until we each have a cool box set like Randi's. Randi showed us her large version art piece which she calls "Patience". There are many boxes, drawers and a total of 19 books in this piece. Patience, indeed! (I did not have a good angle to take a photo, nor could I ever do it justice.) In person this piece just keeps on surprising us as each book and drawer reveals itself.
Randi's latest piece "Tansic Gothic" can be viewed in an amazing video in her website here. I cannot wait to go back tomorrow.
Yes, she will be here at Small Studio on September 13-14th to teach 2 one-day workshops. You may know Susan from my now defunct Art Continuum. Susan taught every year from 1998 to 2004 to sold out classes. Or you may know Susan from her collection of "Industrial Chic" embellishments available for the past few years at Michaels.
Maybe you know Susan from seeing her jewelry on red carpet programs or fashion magazine layouts. Perhaps you have taken a class from Susan at one of the art retreats around the country and around the world.
No matter how you know Susan, you will want to get to know her better next month by taking one or both of her workshops here in Westlake OH at my Small Studio. Susan will be teaching a resin class and a wire class. Full information is on our website under "Workshops". Hurry and register. It is only a couple of weeks away!
I am feeling a little bookish today. I love making books. I learned how from Pam Sussman. Thank you, Pam.
At a book class held at my store this weekend, students and Aimee, the instructor, were saying that they often leave the inside blank. I have a full shelf, maybe two, of blank books I have made. One of these days maybe I will fill them up.
Did you know that the Metro Parks opened a new restaurant/bar in the Flats? It just opened a few weeks ago. We went there today with son Tim, DIL Karen and grand boys Joey and Tony.
The menu is not large, but the offerings were interesting and each had a little surprise ingredient. I read mixed reviews online, but we each really liked our choices and for the record we passed around several of the dishes and everything was deemed really good. We sat around the Wharf for quite a long time. Long enough that the boys were ready for ice cream and that means Mitchell's Ice Cream. The new Mitchell's is close to the Flats in Ohio City a block from Westside Market.
John and I spent the weekend making little punk birds.
A week or two ago I made this sailboat from a kit we sell from Coffee Beak Design. Simple and satisfying.
Who doesn't have at least one set of Ikea drawers in their art room? This is what they look like when you buy them:
I added scraps of paper to a set of Ikea drawers many years ago. I actually bought these drawers the first time I stepped into my first Ikea store. We were living in The Netherlands and we went into this big blue store in Amsterdam. When we returned to the states a year later, Ikea was pretty well known here also.
I have a number of drawer sets all done different years with different ideas. I have been looking at them too long. Time to change them up to something new and fresh.
Have you done something interesting with these drawers?