52 Fridays #13 – Illinois

american artistsI have a great fondness for the Midwestern state of Illinois.  It’s the place of my birth, and many of my growing up years. I especially love Chicago.  I was born just north of the city, and lived some years in a “far north suburb”.  I have wonderful memories of driving into the city with my “just licensed” high school friends – everything was a great adventure.  For whatever reason, just looking at this Illini art has taken me back to that sense of very present wonder.

I am drawn particularly to the first two works in this “52”.  Which do you like best?

"Dirty South Blues" by Dolan Geiman, Chicago

"Commuters #1" by Darren Thompson, Chicago

"Black Jar, Green Flower, Stripes" by Nancy Gardner Burton Isenstein, Oak Park

Melissa Banks jewelry

Botanical Neckpiece by Melissa Banks - Rapt in Maille, Chicago

handmade furniture

Spyder Table by James Pearce, Peoria


"Orange Cuckoo" by Lisa Kessler, Champaign

felt jewelry

Felt Flower Necklace by Michele Friedman, Chicago

todd pletcher pottery

Wood Fired Tea Bowl by Todd Pletcher, Chicago

Chicago art painters

"Survivor Spirit: with white hair" by Joyce Owens, Chicago

Chicago artists

5' Stained Glass Transom by Stanford Glass Shop, Chicago

Next Friday we pop next door and visit Indiana, for more fine Midwestern art! See you then.

Paper Pulp Seed Faces

A month or so ago I came across these crazy seed faces on one of my favorite websites, This is Colossal.  I was intrigued.  Puzzled.  Alarmed.  These are paper pulp seed bombs in the shape of human heads. Plop the little heads onto a pot full of damp soil, wait a few days and tasty little sprouts will grow.  Right out of the tiny eye sockets.  Out of the nostrils.  They’ll pop out of the ears.   I ordered 25 for the bargain price of $7.50.

seed artrecycled paper pulp seed bombssustainable artrecycled artKelsey Pike Sustainable PapercraftKelsey Pike Sustainable Papercraft EtsyNow, I’m not in the position to report on how well these grow.  When I saw these, I knew immediately that I had to give them to a particular friend.  She appreciates a little bit of quirkiness, and is the greenest gal I know.  What better gift than degradable human head seed bombs?

Check out Kelsey Pike’s Etsy shop to see all of her interesting papercraft.


P.S.  Now that Picnik is getting rained out, I am begrudgingly checking out other photo editing programs.  I used BeFunky today.  It’s fun, but not really suited for real editing.  I may have to face Photoshop one day soon.

A Recommended Giveaway

As some of you know, I write on a blog team for Saffron Marigold, a maker of fair trade, hand printed Indian Textiles.  Today, we are partnering with The Nesting Place for a giveaway of some really lovely items.  You can win either a tablecloth or two cushion covers.  These are truly beautiful, artisan made quality pieces.  I hope one of you wins! That would be so fun!

Click on the image below, and it will take you to our blog where you can enter the contest. (It’s a super easy one!)

tablecloth and pillowcase giveaway

Pick a Pepper

I have four sons, and one daughter.  She may be a minority, but she makes up for it with a mighty personality, full of vision, creativity, leadership, and goofiness.  I am so lucky.

This weekend, she found a leftover pepper on the counter.  She noticed it looked like a flower.  I shared an Edward Weston book from my stash with her, and she spent the morning doing this:

Like mother, like daughter:  there are at least 20 more pepper pix from her shoot.  We like to be prolific.  (By the way, she got the tulip image from a big stack of ripped magazine pages she’s saving.  – She’s not yet on Pinterest!).

When I watch her I see someone who gets an idea and just does it, in a somewhat fearless way.  I see someone who isn’t constrained yet by ideas of what things “should” be like.  I see someone who knows what she likes, responds, and engages it.

I am so grateful that my house is filled with pepper installations, tin-foil cities, stuffed animal schools and a million half-finished projects.  (A quarter of those are mine…)

Is anyone else inspired by their kids’ creativity?  Tell me about it!  I want to be inspired too. 🙂

52 Fridays: #12 – Idaho

I had some difficulty with Idaho this week.  It wasn’t easy to find artists to showcase – artists who fit the grid through which I look for 52 Fridays work.  I look for art that I like. (always).  I look for art that is representative of its locale. (sometimes).  I have to look for art that has been photographed nicely, and of course, that is somewhere on the world wide web.

Idaho isn’t the first state that’s presented me with a bit of a challenge, but this is the first time I’ve shared it.  I’m realizing the very limited nature of my endeavor.  It’s wrapped up in this:  if an artist is painting somewhere, and no one sees it, has she made art?   Sara Tabbert took this thought a bit further when she mused about those artists around the world who work twelve hour days to provide for their families, who can’t afford traditional supplies, who live nowhere near a gallery, and who may only have their masterpiece in the mind’s eye.

I believe that of course, art is made despite the presence of an audience.  I guess the same craggy terrain that keeps Idaho population in the lowest 5th percent of our nation must also hide some of the artists who are seeing, dreaming and making there.  I only wish I were able to explore more deeply.

Don’t get me wrong… I’m pleased with the ten artists I’m able to introduce you to today.  What do you respond to?  Which are your favorites this week?

rainbow trout coasters

Rainbow Trout Coasters by Jan Briggs - Harrison

Idaho artists

"Unavailable" by Sarah J. Moore - Coeur d'Alene

Idaho artists

Untitled by Davs - Lewiston

Idaho painters

"Lavender Field" by Gwen Toomalatai - Weiser

Idaho artists

Sand and Water 2, art quilt by Kathleen Probst - Meridian

Idaho photography

Abandonded Farmhouse near Prairie, Idaho by David Ryan - Boise

Idaho potters

Mug by Erin Lunstrom Pietch - Boise

Idaho Artists

Mandolin by Ashley Silvernell Quick - Boise

Idaho art

Ginny Potato Sack Purse by Potato Boutique - Idaho Falls

abstract painting Idaho artists

"There, Mary" by Connie K. Sales - Nampa

Well, there’s my own private Idaho, now shared with all of you!  Next week, we visit the land of Lincoln and my birthplace – Illinois!

Columbus Architectural Salvage – Part 2


Last week I introduced a little bit of salvage heaven on earth, and this week I’ll continue the adventure.  The goodies are good, good, good!  Hope you enjoy…

vintage architecturevintage globalarchitectural salvage1960's lampOf course, once again, there’s more where this came from.  Despite having baby D in my arms, I managed to take a bazillion photos of this wonderful place.  Really, if you’re ever passing through Columbus, Ohio, I highly recommend this as a stopping point!

Have a great Wednesday.  See you soon!

Martin Luther King Jr. Street Art

Dream, Speak, Walk, Live, Sacrifice, Hope.

Street art is by the people and for the people, and seems a most connected way to honor Dr. King’s legacy and remind us of his message.  Enjoy as we celebrate Dr. King’s birthday today! (Also, don’t miss the video at the end for a very hopeful rendering of some of his I Have a Dream speech).

Martin Luther King Jr. street art

Winterswijk, Netherlands

Martin Luther King street art

Los Angeles

Martin Luther King Junior street art

Cambridge, MA

Martin Luther King Jr art


MLK street art

Los Angeles

martin luther king street art

Chico, California

Martin Luther King street art

Lagos, Portugal

Martin Luther King art

Washington D.C.

martin luther king street art

Kansas City, MO

Martin Luther King grafitti

Sydney, Australia


52 Fridays: #11 – Hawaii

Art tour of America

Aloha oukou!  It’s a good Friday indeed when we’re talking about Hawaii…  Imagine the white sands, crystal blue waters, bright flowers and warm sun.  Mmmmmmmm-mmm!

This week, I’ve made an exception to the rule by featuring Toshiko Takaezu. She passed away in March of 2011, and although I only feature current artists (and less well known artists), I had to include her.  Her work typifies what I love about clay.  Also, she spent much of her adult life off the Islands, but as she was born, educated and spent her last years in Hawaii, she certainly counts as a Hawaiian artist!

With no further ado…

Wana Sea Urchin Pendant Necklace recycled reclaimed sterling silver

Wana Sea Urchin Pendant Necklace by Kelley Girls

bright floral Hawaiian scarf

Orange Wildflower Meadow Scarf by Takuyo - Kapaa

Royal Hawaiian by Kat Reeder - Oahu

Mark chai hawaiian artist

Barrel Chair by Mark Chai - Kailua

hawaiian artists

Closed Forms by Toshiko Takaezu

David Reisland fine furniture

Bamboo Buffet by David Reisland - Captain Cook

Hawaiian surf photography

Dream of Surfing by Robert Pascua - Haleiwa

hawaiian surf art

Diving into Life by Windy Springs - Haiku-Pauwela

Ellen Crocker Hawaiian artist

Fabric Collage by Ellen Crocker - Captain Cook

Hawaiian watercolor painting

Kauai Blue Cottage by Marionette - Koloa

This week, rather than leaving you with “fun facts” about Hawaii, I’m going to point you to a post from Raincoast Cottage, where Sandra has just written There’s Nothing Like Hawaii.   I promise, we’ll all wish we were heading there for the weekend (or year)…

Take care, friends -Malama pono.  See you next week in Idaho.

Columbus Architectural Salvage

During a recent visit to Columbus, I noticed a small paper sign in a not so great part of town… It read, “Columbus Architectural Salvage“.  I was very curious for a number of reasons, so later that day when I had some time to kill, I followed the signs to an unassuming building on an industrial street.

Vintage antique homes

Columbus Architectural Salvage

Inside was a treasure trove.  During the next couple weeks, I’ll introduce you to some of the wonders I found.  I only hope that you are half as excited as I was.  I was really excited.

*One disclaimer:  All of my photos were shot without a flash, and with a 9 month old little one in my other arm.  I feel that my children should be exposed to beautiful things early and often. 🙂  And my husband was busy.

antiques and vintage

front room

Columbus Architectural Salvage

front room, detail

vintage home supplies


this old house


architectural salvage

dressmakers' dummy

vintage buddha sculpture


this old house

mom and li'l d

Believe me, there is much, much more where this came from.  I can’t wait to share it with you!