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Currently Browsing: She’s Crafty

Day Of the Dead Art

Just say yes to more pictorial fun for the Halloween Holiday. For this final day, I thought I’d do a little, or large, tribute to the Day of the Dead. What the heck is it you ask? Here’s an official sounding blurb I copied to explain it.

Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de Muertos) is a Mexican holiday observed throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. It is particularly celebrated in Mexico where the day is a bank holiday. The celebration takes place on October 31, November 1 and November 2, in connection with the triduum of Allhallowtide: All Hallows’ Eve, Hallowmas, and All Souls’ Day. Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars called ofrendas, honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts. They also leave possessions of the deceased. And there you go. Let’s look at pictures now, OK?

American Gothic Day of the Dead on Shalavee.com

day of the dead food on Shalavee.com

day of the dead make up on Shalavee.com

day of the dead  dearly departed on Shalavee.com

Mark and Me with the Day of the Dead makeup for halloween while I was pregnant with Fiona on Shalavee.com

Surprise! Bet you didn’t expect to see us. Trick or treat.

Eamon's Day of the dead costume for Halloween 2012 on Shalavee.com

And Eamon too!

black and white day of the dead on Shalavee.com

day of the dead recycling costume on Shalavee.com

dolls for day of the dead on Shalavee.com

Martha Stewart style Day of the Dead party on Shalavee.com

Dolan Geiman, Señorita made with vintage collage on Shalavee.com

dias de los meurtos altar on Shalavee.com

day of the dead pumpkin dias de los meurtos altar on Shalavee.com

day of the dead makeup  on Shalavee.com

pink day of the dead on Shalavee.com

sugar skull wallpaper on Shalavee.com

The wallpaper? Because someone can and did. Hope you enjoyed the picture parade and I leave you and this month of 31 days straight of posts with a crafty video from a  friend Caroline Gravino and her blog Salsa Pie. Light up magnetic sugar skulls!

 

 

I Met Mighty Ugly Author Kim Werker

My last event of this crazy past weekend was on Monday night October 20th in Washington, DC. An author talk and book signing on Craft Activism at the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum in the heart of DC next to Chinatown. I was dreading the long trip via car and subway. But I kept reminding myself it would be so worth it and I would be happy I went and here’s why.

Smithsonian map on shalavee.co

I went to meet a woman named Kim Werker who I know from my online world. An incredibly smart creative driven kooky woman who written a book called Make it Mighty Ugly. I can not tell you how much I admire her and am inspired by her work.

Kim Werker's Mighty Ugly Book on Shalavee.com

I got off the Metro at the Chinatown stop. I had mused the idea of grabbing some food there but I was thwarted by some really sweet 20-year-olds working the corner on behalf of an Ebola do-good program. And decided to head for the museum and eat at the café there. chinatown on shalavee.com

cute kids on behalf of ebola at the Chinatown Metro station on Shalavee.com

Chinatown shopping on Shalavee.com

Chinatown shopping on Shalavee.com

Smithsonian American Art Museum on Shalavee.com

In the courtyard at the museum on shalavee.com

Once I’d hit the loo, I then treated myself to a sandwich, bbq chips, and a tea totalling $16.78.

The most expensice chicken salad sandwich at the American Art Museum in DC on Shalavee.com

And after I took the picture of the most expensive cafeteria food ever, I heard a woman talking really loudly behind me. It was Mighty Ugly author Kim Werker. And when I approached her and said I had heard a loud woman…who I knew must be her, she almost apologized for her loudness before she realized it was me, one of her Maryland IG stalkers. And she invited me to sit down and join her and her fellow authors and talkers Betsy and Leanne. I went ahead and made her sign my book and pose for the picture. She’s on the left and I’m on the right.

Hello stalker. But I did give her a gift too. So a little better.

Kim Werker and I at the Smithsonian on Shalavee.com

Kim conceived and created a workshop that challenges people to create. Especially people who say they “could never do that” about making stuff. And her angle is to make it intentionally bad. Mighty Ugly. Because in our journey for perfection, we’ve devalued the importance of our negative experiences. They make us better at being us and yet we avoid them. And we just don’t make anything.

Kim Werker at the Craft Activism talk at the Smithsonian on Shalavee.com

Talking about ugly allows us to be ourselves”, said Kim. Her book and it’s support is exactly what I need now. Calling out the fears and the demons and doing whatever I want anyway. I had bought the book and hadn’t allowed myself to really delve into it until two days earlier. And boy how much it blows my mind to see what an amazing amount of work went into it. Her publishers were perfect for her. They helped her to step up. And made this book a work of art.

Kim was accompanied on this book tour by two other authors whose work as “capital ‘C’ crafters” lead them to interview quantities of people and compile books on craft and related causes and themes. Betsy Greer is a superstar in DC. She has made a career of focusing on craftivism, the altruistic use of crafting to better the world. Her book is called Craftivism : The Art of Craft and Activism.

Leanne Praim at the Creativity and Avtivism talk at the Smithsonian on Shalavee.com

And Leanne Prain, a Canadian and author of the book Strange Material: Storytelling Through Textiles. Stories that you may not expect to be told and crafters who challenge the dogma on crafts as demure women’s work. Yarn Bombing? So very interesting these three women and their books. This was their last night together at the end of their book tour.

And they each shared their crafting superhero poses.

Betsy's eye of the needle on shalavee.com

Betsy’s was the Eye of the Needle

Kims was the Crochet Hook on Shalavee.com

Kim’s was the Crochet Hook.

Leanne's was the Cross stitch on Shalavee.com

And Leanne’s was the Cross stitch.

They are all extremely smart driven knowledgeable women who have definitely taken knitting, crocheting, and sewing to the next level and I’d say, out of the box and into a totally new arena.

And they are also approachable and lovely.

Book signing at Craftivism talk at the Smithsonian on Shalavee.com

I came away feeling like crafting is really whatever you make of it.

The trick is to make it. And if you are passionate enough, to talk and make workshops and write books about it.

leah tucker's shot of the museum courtyard

Picture of the museum’s courtyard courtesy of Leah Tucker via Instagram

I met Kim and it was a bookend for me as a blogger who considers herself crafty.

And I certainly will be sharing my discoveries as I read her book. And I feel certain it will only make my life a little less ugly.

 

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Paper Chandeliers

I was asked by the Reverend Sue Browning at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Easton, Maryland to spruce up the sanctuary with the idea of celebrating the new Fall season. After a quick perusal of Pinterest, I gathered some images together and made a design plan. Ish. I decided to create circle “chandeliers” which would hang underneath three of the existing candle chandeliers in the space. These were a few of the images I began to obsess over recreating to festoon my hanging circles.

map circle garland from Shalavee.com

Map circle garlands

tissue tassel garland on Shalavee.com

Tissue tassles

flower vertical garlands from Shalavee.com

Vertical Flowers Garlands

And this is what I ended up with.

My paper chandeliers on Shalavee.com

I used pieces of a grapevine wreath for the circle base and only spent a few dollars required to buy paint to spray them white.

The rest of the supplies like tissue paper, crêpe paper, maps from old road atlases, and the brown/kraft paper flowers, plus assorted scraps of paper (recognize Amazon wrapping paper?) were all in my possession. I just knew I’d need them someday.

My paper chandeliers on Shalavee.com

Yes, I have lots of old ribbons too. So I began to produce quantities of the garlands and the poms to use. If I never made another tissue paper pom, it would still never make up for the quantity of pom making I can’t erase from my memory for this project.

My paper chandeliers on Shalavee.com

My paper chandeliers on Shalavee.com

After mostly pre-assembling the paper chandeliers and wrapping them up in sheets to go, the installation consisted of a giant ladder called a ‘Little Giant’, and an assist from my gal Alyssa Bennett, and about three and a half hours on a Friday night.

My paper chandeliers on Shalavee.com

My paper chandeliers on Shalavee.com

They make me so very happy.

My paper chandeliers on Shalavee.com

And they made Rev Sue and a bunch of other folks happy too. Aesthetics win. Yay !!!

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Downtown Denton’s Window Decorations

Once upon a time, in 2010, Downtown Denton, Maryland needed a sprucing up for their upcoming Spring Gala Event to be held there in May out on the street. My friend Danielle was asked by the Arts Council lady Marina, to do something with the mostly empty windows in the store fronts on our Main Street called Market Street. And somehow we ended up with this crazy beautiful design scheme which we had to follow through with.

The original ReInvent Window on Shalavee.com

It all started with an idea we had for the window of the exercise studio Energy in Progress up the street. I’d decorated this window a few other times but I wanted this one to be special. The theme was Re-imagine Yourself and thus, the theme of “Re” words was adapted and then a design plan began for all the window decorations downtown. Please excuse my blurry photo above.  Was just getting ‘er done.

 

 

rethink window from Shalavee.com

ReThink

 

ReVive window from Shalavee.com

ReVive

ReImagine on Shalavee.com

ReImagine

We used white paper, white adhesive shelf paper, about $50 worth of tissue paper in four colors, and some clear plastic plus assorted cardboard boxes to carry out the design. With the intention to make a cohesive visual theme of trees, birds, flowers, and poms, and the “Re” words, Danielle and I began to design each window.

Reimagine window from Shalavee.com

ReImagine windows

ReImagine on Shalavee.com

 

 

Danielle was the lead designer and we had to stealthily assign our work time as we both have children and not a lot of free time. Plus those poms are labor intensive. Not to mention the swirly trees. After coming up with sketches for the windows, we’d assign the words cut outs, poms, and tree making as homework and then there was multiple nights of install. You could not pay me enough to do this again but it did look super cool when it was done. Equally hard was getting pictures without a glare on the glass (A truck with a black side parked next to it would have worked).

Re Imagine window from Shalavee.com

Recreate window from Shalavee.com

ReCreate window

From the Recreate window on shalavee.com

Sadly, the Recreate window was to befall a horrible fate as the guy who rented it for Karate classes for two seconds ripped everything out of the window and tossed it in the back of the building. He got an ear-full from the town manager but it was tragic.

 

Renew window on Shalavee.com

ReNew

Re New window from Shalavee.com

Rejoice window from Shalavee.com

ReJoice window

The Rejoice window left me speechless when I saw it. Danielle had taken the clear plastic roll (gift basket wrap) and created a stained glass effect with the tissue paper. It was incredible at night-time. Felt like a garden in there.

Rejoice window from Shalavee.com

 

Re Joice window from Shalavee.com

We’ve been moving West on the South side of Market Street from Third Street to Second. These last blackened windows belong to a still vacant building right before the Market Street Pub. It was a three-part design that has such lovely movement and tells a story.

Re Store windows from Shalavee.com

Restore three windows from Shalavee.com

Tree with moon from Denton's Downtown Window Design on Shalavee.com

ReMember window from Shalavee.com

 

Restore window from Shalavee.com

ReStore window  on Shalavee.com

ReDiscover window on Shalavee.com

 

My memories of this project are the struggles and the moments of interaction with the Danielle and the people in town and these old buildings. Here we had to work around the pub patrons sitting at these tables. And for one window, we used a Food Lion coupon card to jimmy a door lock that someone forgot to give us a key for. One building had had a fire and the water damage was apparent. And both Danielle and I were experiencing physical pain problems that have since been addressed.

ReStore window on Shalavee.com

 

 

Re Design window on Shalavee.com

This was the only window done on the opposite side, North side, of the street. At the time it was unoccupied and there was no electricity. We were in there trying to beat the fading light with Danielle’s little daughter roaming around picking up various hardware piece off the floor.

This project was really stunning to see in person. And we were well appreciated by the Arts Council and Town’s people. It did seem to fill the hole of our sad depressed downtown for a little while. And proved that something in the windows is better than nothing because soon there were another crop of little businesses filling up the store fronts, taking advantage of the first 6 months rent free. They come and they go, much like my little shop Bally Eden did. And now I feel happy that these beautiful windows have been releases like butterflies into the internet. Our work is gone but not forgotten.

 

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Balloons Festooned With Circle Patterns

As I was decorating for Fiona’s party, I remembered we had left over helium from her home-coming gifts a year ago.

I also had some cream balloons in my stash.

Having just bought a copper sharpie, I immediately thought how fun it would be to decorate the balloons with a pattern.

Eamon's circle's picture from Shalavee.comI’ve been obsessed with Eamon’s circle pattern ever since he brought it home from school.

I have wanted to put it on a pillow at least.

Doing the circle art on the balloons for Fiona's party on Shalavee.com

So I just asked him to copy his own artwork onto the balloons. I blew them up and them clipped them with large and medium-sized bullclips and he did his art thing.

Circle art on balloons for Shalavee.com

Circle pattern balloons from Shalavee.com

They made me happy. Although the pattern was harder to see once they were floating in the air.

paper feathers and circle arted balloons for Shalavee.com

This is how the paper feathers and the balloon looked together. I was thrilled with how it all turned out.

The party table with the balloons from Shalavee.com

There is something so cool about customizing your balloons. But I’m still not done with that circle pattern.

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