If you click on the above photo you will notice many, many footprints. They are animal footprints. They can be traced from our neighbor's yard, over to our windows, back through our yard where they are joined by many more footprints coming from across the golf course. We often are amazed when we get up on a snowy morning to see fresh prints crisscrossing the yard. Sometimes the prints go across our patio and even our deck. What goes on out there while we are sleeping? We think it is a very quiet but well-attended party. One to which we are not invited. I love Ohio.
Circle your calendars for May 2nd, 3rd and 4th. Small Studio is hosting one of our favorite artist/instructors. That would be the bubbly and talented Tory Brokenshire. She will be teaching three one-day workshops and you will not want to miss any of them.
Day one (May2nd) will be her popular "Story Tellers". Begin with a vintage tin and make it into a unique little character.
Tory taught this class last year at Small Studio and everyone loved it. I was able to take the class. I had never worked with clay before, but I was pretty happy with my little fella.
On day two (Sat May 3rd), Tory offers "Sail Away". Students will be working with wire and paper. Look at the wonderful samples below.
Then on day three (Sun May 4th) Tory instructs us how to make Santos dolls for which she is very well known. Students will construct and dress their own Santos doll.
Registration is open now and all the particulars are on my website. You can take just one class, but I think you should join us for the whole weekend. You won't be sorry.
Small Studio is located in Westlake OH just 13 miles west of Cleveland.
Years ago, I published a 'zine called "Observation". One of my favorite pages was an observation page full of random tidbits. Each 'zine had eyeballs scattered throughout and on the cover. Why do I like eyeballs so much?
Here are some random observations this afternoon:
Observation No. 1: John knows how to enjoy a cold and dreary day.
Observation No. 2:
The barn we pass almost everyday is leaning more than usual and has lost more wood. It won't be long before it is down and returns to earth. I have heard people say that barns are left to decompose because it is bad luck to knock them down. I cannot find any source that proves or disproves this rumor.
Observation No. 3:
Why is it that the more time I have the less I get done?
Is it odd that I have less of my own artwork around than the artwork of others?
Observation No. 5:
Since Facebook I have been blogging less than I used to. Since blogging I have been writing in my journal less. Hmmm…
Observation No 6" It seems I have nothing more to say.
Yesterday morning the Valentine's display came down and our clock display went up. It's about time...
New Clocks that look old
Really Old Clocks
Vintage Pocket Watches
Vintage Pocket Watch Faces
New Wooden Clock Cases
Paper Clock Faces Packs
Brass Date Arcs
Craft Clock Parts
We are big fans of real, vintage and new clocks and clock parts. We love making art using clocks and clock parts. We even like the craft world clock gears and pocket watch cases. How about you? Do you use clocks in your home and in your art?
Don't you think it is about time you came into Small Studio to check out our eclectic array of goods? Isn't it about time that you signed up for our awesome classes?
Valentine's Day is always such a nice day. Everyone is so kind and affectionate. In our home we don't do anything really big. We don't have to since every day is Valentine's day for us. We are just so glad to be together. We will have a special dinner out and maybe cards and flowers or maybe not, but it will be just nice and easy. We like it that way. No pressure.
The store, Small Studio, has had a Valentine's table for a couple of weeks.I like doing special displays. It is one of the really fun parts of having a store.
There have been a few frantic people in this morning looking for that something pecial for someone special. Several were successful, one was not. Oh the pressure.
Speaking of the store, we received a new shipment of Recycled Silk Sari Ribbon. They are so juicy and luscious all hanging together.
Tomorrow is our monthly FREE PlayDay. Give us a call to let us know you are coming: 440-808-8599.
We had a visitor on our back porch this morning. Does a unny sighting mean Spring is coming? Please say yes!
Nick and I go back a long way. You know Nick. He is the wonderful author and artist of the Griffin and Sabine series among other fabulous books. The Griffin and Sabine series was a story told through a correspondence of art letters and postcards tucked into the books' pages.
When I organized Art Continuum back in the 90s, Nick Bantock was at the top of my list of people to have at my event. He had written the first book a few years earlier and among those in our little world, he was the inspiration for collage swaps, Bantock-like postcard groups and a ton of art. Boldly I wrote to him and invited him to talk, teach and/or sign books. I waited and waited to hear back and then one day I received a piece of Bantock art mail. I was so thrilled to even hold it in my hands, but he turned me down very graciously.. I was disappointed but we reduced his rejection envelope and letter (written in his distinctive hand) and used it in our attendee packet. The next year, I invited and he rejected and his letter became part of the Art Continuum packet again, but this time he added faux postage for us to give away! Year three I wrote, he wrote back and accepted my invitation and did so for the next few years. He did book signings, readings, slide shows and finally a full blown art class. For our part we sold more of his books at Art Continuum than any other book signing of his at that time.
After quite a few years, Nick Bantock has a new book on creativity.
It is called "The Trickster's Hat" and is full of guidance and inspiration. We have it in stock at Small Studio right now. It is good to have more Nick.
The week started out really cold and icy evidenced by the car thermostat 9AM Tuesday morning...
…and also by the shore of Lake Erie. You are looking at the frozen lake beyond the trees which sit right on the edge of the lake..
Yesterday we had a group of quilters renting the classroom for the day complete with sewing machines. They were doing some beautiful work. I loved having them around and their creative energy.
Then, glory of glories, my web girl finally got the Small Studio Workshop Series up and running on our website. She made a few mistakes which have caused me some minor headaches and some disappointment for students (be sure to check the revised listings)
but it has all been corrected.
The above photo is from Tory Brokenshire's workshop "Sail Away". Tory is our first instructor of the series. Registration is open now.
My good friend Michele Monet was in today and she redid the classroom including a brick wall and hardwood floor..
Beautiful, isn't it? But wait. How did she accomplish that in one day? Well, actually it only took her 3 minutes.
Michele rented the room for a photo shoot. She is a professional photographer, among other things. The brick wall and hardwood floor are just cloth backdrops.
It has been a fun week for me full of unexpected delights.
It is almost February and you know what that means. Valentine's Day. How do you celebrate the day?
Do you send flowers or do you hope to receive flowers? Flowers are such a lovely burst of freshness in the heart of winter.
Do you send Valentine's cards? The one above is reputed to be the oldest known Valentine's Day card. Remember what a big deal it was in elementary school to sit at the kitchen table and write all those cards to your classmates and then wait expectantly the next day in class with your decorated brown paper bag to collect them from your friends.
Maybe you are low key about the holiday or maybe even grumpy thinking it is a greeting card company holiday. I think Valentine's Day is nice but I prefer a daily dose of affection and declarations of love. I am lucky to live with a man who is a romantic and often surprises me with tokens of affection.
I would love to hear what you think about Valentine's Day.
Well it appears that John and I still possess a California attitude towards snow. I cancelled the class today worrying that the roads would be too treacherous for some of my students who were driving in from an hour away. I was unable to get a hold of them so John dug us out and we drove in to the store on those treacherous roads. Six people did not read my cancellation and so we had the class. The others who did not make it will have a make-up class. We had so much fun and the ladies created some great little ATCs. It is difficult to photograph them since they are made with transparencies, acetate and acrylic and so there is glare. In person they were all wonderful. Here is a sampling.
Here are two close-ups:
Thank you students for coming out in this weather and for a fun morning.
Now for the news you have all been waiting for. The 2014 Small Studio Workshops Series are up on the website. We have a few kinks to work out (prices are missing from Lynne Perrella's classes), but you can now plan and/or register. Go HERE to see the offerings.
Authentic or fake? Real or faux? It is all personal preference. Sometimes when one is making multiples or "throw-a-way art, fake is just what you need. But when making art that you have really put your heart into, you need something that has a history and authenticity to it. Stop by Small Studio in Westlake OH and browse our cubbies and tables for the real stuff.
These brass stencils are huge, over 12" (note ruler in photo) and would be great on a wall, as book covers or the beginning of a great art project.
John carefully cuts and files the edges of these vintage license plates. Much better than paper replicas, these letters and numbers can be used in many ways.
We have authentic, antique, not plastic, not made in China, Frozen Charlotte dolls. Ours are sized from tiny to small.
We have a great selection of old ledger pages, over 100 years old. They are authentic and beautiful. We also have a few old antique ledger books in good condition for your collection.
Valentine's Day is just a few weeks away. We have a nice selection of hearts, cards and other Valentine-sy stuff.
In my experience real artists usually prefer to use real stuff like:
Real Vintage folding yardsticks
Real Antique optical lenses.
Real Vintage Flinch cards
Real Cabinet cards and real album pages
Real really aged and vintage keys
Real vintage vials.
Sometimes there is a time and place for imitation and knock offs, but the real stuff is, well, real. Small Studio carries all the real stuff above plus a great deal more of the real stuff and some select reproductions. We also have classes and workshops to show you how to use them.
This is just a fancy way to say it is still very cold although it has warmed up considerably. I think we are over +10F today. Heaters are cycling constantly to keep the temperature regulated. Our bill at home and especially at the store (which has single pane windows) is going to be monstrous. We are keeping the thermostat lower than normal and wearing an extra layer, but still..
My brother-in-law and his wife have been stranded in New York City since flights were cancelled a few days ago. At first I think it was an adventure for them. They are both musicians and college professors so they enjoyed a round of jazz clubs and museums. Unfortunately below zero temps have kept them in their hotel room. Maybe today they will fly home to sunny California. I have flown a lot, more than a lot, in my adult years. In my earlier years our lives were dictated by airplanes and airlines. My ex sold commercial planes. There were years that I was in London and/or Paris more than 15-20 times. Only twice did I ever experience a cancelled flight. Once was when the private jet I was on between Burbank and Mexico City caught on fire on take-off and we were forced to land immediately. I took my first helicopter ride to LAX and then a commercial plane to Mexico City. That plane on landing, slid off the tarmac into the mud. That was quite the adventure, but didn't compare with the other cancelled flight I experienced. I was in Beirut when my flight home was cancelled due to war between the Turks and the Cypriots. I ended up on a very adventurous flight home that took me completely around the globe, but that is too long a story to tell here.
Well, actually we didn't see any rainbows, but our luck has changed. It is really warming up here in Northern Ohio. Today at 1PM the temperature is (drum roll please)
When I lived in CA no one every talked about the weather, but here it is a major topic.
we were driving down the street and what to our wondering eyes should appear but a fabulous snow unicorn complete with snow ears.
Saturday, Jan 11th is our first FREE PlayDay of the year. Call the store tomorrow or anytime up until Saturday and reserve a spot. We have fun at our Playdays. bring a project and your supplies. Get those unfinished projects done finally or work in your art journal. Phone # is 440-808-8599
This is my refrigerator last Thanksgiving when we had a houseful of family visiting. It does not look like this today or any other day usually. Far from it even though we routinely do our grocery shopping on Sunday or Monday when I am off work. The parking lot of our local grocery store was filled to the brim. No, I am not grocery shopping today. The weather service is predicting a massive cold front, but little snow. Maybe I am missing the big picture here, but I do not understand the food/grocery panic. After all we can always make a sandwich….oh, oh. We are out of bread….
When I was growing up in So California, we always got up early to watch the Rose Parade on TV. Later in the day or later in the week my dad would take us to the park near the parade route to see the floats. They would be parked there for viewing. The scent of the flowers from the floats traveled for several blocks. It was intoxicating to a young girl.
When I was in high school, my older brother's girlfriend was one of the beautiful girls who rode on our Burbank (hometown) float. Somehow I thought that reflected on me.
Then when I was in college, a group of us camped out all night to view the parade in person. It was a wonderful experience.
Fast forward to the year after John and I got married. A few days after New Years, we had dinner with friends in Pasadena. As we were driving away, John turned into the main street and we found ourselves driving very, very slowly between two floats that were being moved from the park to the towns they represented. Well, I am a quick thinker. I did what any girl who dreamed of being on a float would do. I opened the sunroof of the car, stood up and royally waved as we drove down the street. It was a moment, i tell you.