52 Fridays # 17 – Kentucky

52 Fridays art tour of america


Guide by Carolyn Young Hisel - Lexington

Kentucky artists

Red Barn #3 by William Renzulli - Paducah

House 1-16 (on left) and House 1 (on right) by Marcia Alscher - Covington

kentucky artists

Willow Bark Basket by Jennifer Heller Zurick - Berea

Kentucky Painters

Horizon Watch by Angie Reed Garner - Lexington

Kentucky artists

Give Peace a Chance, Recycled Soda Can Earrings by Jennifer Stephenson McLamb - Lexington

Grouping of Small Paintings by Bill Santen - Lexington

Kentucky artists

Buzzard's Roost - Guy Mendes

Kentucky fiber arts

Miyo, Miyo (on left) and Nuestra Señora de la Merced (on right) by Dobree Adams - north of Frankfort

Kentucky pottery

Reduction Cooled Wood Fired Vase by Patrick Rademaker - Louisville


Kids and Art

Every other Friday night, I have a quiet night at home with Miles and baby D while the older kids are out and about with Dad at their church youth groups.  While they have Bible study, scavenger hunts and Karaoke, we relax in our peaceful home.

This week, Miles and I decided to start a painting club.  We have a very involved secret handshake.  And we both work on painting projects.  We decided that sometimes, we’ll invite other people over to paint with us.

Here is what Miles made:

painting by kidskids artworkkid artI made some stuff too.  Here’s what I noticed.

I had a vision of what I would make.  Miles just made.  My work turned out a bit stilted and contrived.  His flowed.

I worked on my painting until it was over worked.  Miles knew when to put his painting aside and start a new one.

I am not usually so uptight about art, but I think I’m out of practice and was a little anxious. Yes, I was anxious about Friday Night Art Club with Miles.

When I was in school, I had a wonderful drawing teacher – Crossan Hays Curry – who shocked us all in 1st year drawing.  We drew the model, each of working SO hard to demonstrate our lofty 18 year old “skillzz”.  After 30 minutes or so, he asked us to tear off our drawing, wad it up, and throw it in the trash.  We did this every day, every drawing for a month.

Miami University Art

by Crossan Hays Curry

When we were through, we knew that we were students.  We were learners, experimenters, free to make mistakes or make beauty – either way, there would always be another chance tomorrow.

I guess it takes “practice” for grown ups (including 18 year olds) to unlearn our ways and loosen up enough to really be creative.  I treasure the lessons learned that year, and am reminded of them this year in the Miles and Mom Painting Club.

kids art

52 Fridays #16 – Kansas

This late night edition of 52 Fridays is dedicate to my dad, who from his sickbed today asked me “weren’t you supposed to post two 52 Fridays today”?  Yes, Dad.  Here it is!  I wish I could send you some chicken noodle soup along with it. 🙂

Kansas Painters

Sand River I by Lisa Grossman - Lawrence

sterling jewelry

Daisy Necklace by Julie Branstrom - Lawrence

Circles of Color Series 1 (old house paint lids) by Joelle Ford - Lawrence

Kansas Artists

Grocery Art Blocks by Suzanna Scott - Manhattan

Red Hot Cherry by Alan Chow - Prairie Village

Kansas painters

Girl with Black Masquerade Mask by Katherine Labbe - Burrton

Kansas Jewelers

Navy Blue and White Pendant by Nancy Bjorge - Lawrence

Kansas painters

From "The Earth Takes Us In It's Embrace" by Jane Voorhees - Kansas City

Kansas Quilters

Bigger Poppies by Sharon M.W. Bass - Lawrence

Remember, click on the images to see MORE of each artists work!

52 Fridays #15 – Iowa

I once lived next door to Iowa, in Nebraska.  We would travel to Council Bluffs to visit friends.  My memories of this place are the flat, flat, fields, the surprising cliffs rising out of them and the flat, wide, rivers running in them.  I think there’s bound to be a lot of creativity when there’s a lot of sky….

Travelers by Kindra Noel - Des Moines

Iowa Artists

Stone Rabbit Pitcher by Elisabeth Maurland - Decorah

Iowa Artists

Cold by Rachel Arnold- Elkader

Iowa Furniture Makers

Midcentury Cabinet by Dan Neubauer - Ames

Iowa Artists

Sound Booth (pencil drawing!) by Laassa Kabel - Des Moines

Hand bound book by Gena Ollendieck - Cresco

Iowa printmakers

Shiny Things by Lori Biwir - Osage

Street Art by Brent Houzenga - Des Moines

Iowa Jewelry Artists

Empress Necklace by Cindy (CTThings) - Ames


True Blue by Hilde De Bruyne - Des Moines

It’s been a while since I’ve shared fun facts about a state in 52 Fridays.  As I’m from Ohio, and it seems that people often confuse it with Iowa and Idaho, it seems appropriate to differentiate this fine state.

  • Elk Horn is the home of the largest Danish community in the United States (yay!  I’m Danish!)
  • The most crooked street in the world is in Burlington.  (According to Ripley’s Believe it or Not).
  • Quaker Oats – the largest cereal company in the world – is located in Cedar Rapids.
Kansas – coming up soon!  xoxo

The Project Moratorium

At some point in our older home’s history, an extra room was added on to the first floor.  Since we’ve lived here it has alternately been “the studio”, “the office”, “the shove everything in there” room, and again “the office”.

home office ideas

In it’s latest transformation back to the land of the functional, I uncovered something of interest.  A shelf jammed with this and that: wool slippers, cork kilim coasters, DIY nursery decor, an old clock in need of refinishing.  What do all these have in common, you ask?   They all have found a home on the shelf where projects go to die.  Each just shy of completion: almost done but for one supply that I’ve run out of, or one tricky hurdle I don’t want to jump, or one disappointing outcome that I hadn’t expected.

unfinished projects

As I reordered and organized my space, (now the “studio-office hybrid”) I had an epiphany.  I created a small niche on half of one shelf, and piled up a few of these unfinished projects.  These projects would be completed.  They have to be completed before I am allowed to start any new projects. (And oh, how I do want to start some new projects!)

So this means that when I stop by JoAnn’s to pick up silver foil for the clock, I won’t stop by the clearance shelves for some perfect project-y deals.  And when I drop off our clutter at the thrift store, I won’t also buy that amazing, unique mid-century side table at 30% off.

Wait, as I’m writing this, I realize that may have been a mistake.  The table thing…. It was really cool, and only $7!  Should I go back…?

Anyhow, as we’ve discussed before, I am a starter.  Not so much a finisher.  I’m hoping that by bribing myself with more, better, amazing projects to come, that I’ll finish up what I’ve begun.  When the shelf is empty, I’ll add a few more from the pile, and get to work on those too.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

A non-sequitur to end with…  I started and finished this cake yesterday.  And by “finished it” I do not mean that I ate it all in one day!  It was good, but not great, and makes me want to perfect my “from scratch” techniques.

home made yellow cakeI’ll let you know how that goes, too!  I have a 1 year old birthday and a 42 year old birthday to bake for soon…

Hope you all have great days!  See you soon. 🙂

An Early February Mash-Up

Oh, friends, February has been challenging for us here at the Muller household.  It’s not been without fun and spark and joy, but I think someone has been sick on any given day since the month began.  So this is not a mommy blog, but frankly, all that I’ve been doing this month is being a mommy.  I’ve needed to do that, and wanted to as well.

I think we turned a corner this weekend, and I set about to blog again, to catch up on 52 Fridays, Iowa edition (which was a l m o s t complete!!), when I lost the whole thing.  Maybe in my previous sick haze, I forgot to save or something.  Argh!!

Anyhow, I wanted to touch base, although I have no art or making or musing to share.  I thought I’d just share a bit of the fun that’s been interspersed in our days this month.

Also, this Friday, I plan to share not one but two 52 Fridays editions – Iowa and Kansas.  A double dose!!  And can I just say, I’m so glad I memorized “The Fifty Nifty United States” as a child.  I never knew how often it would come in handy!

kids first tooth loss

Miles was SO happy to lose his tooth! (His brother transcribed the note...)



baby of the family

Baby of the family = our mascot!

happy baby

Happy to be well!

52 Fridays #14 – Indiana


I really enjoyed my tour of Indiana this week.  It seems like there is a lot of art going on there, lots of young artists, and lots of support for the arts.  I have a theory that I’m cooking up about arts in the Midwest.  When it’s fully baked, I’ll share it with you.  Until then, enjoy Indiana, friends!  (Don’t forget that you can click on the images and visit the artists’ websites – it’s nice to see their entire body of work).

indiana artists

Abstract by Marianne Glick - Indianapolis

Indiana Artists

Bull in a China Shop by Lesley Baker - Indianapolis

indiana contemporary painters

Circle Center by Ryan Petrow -

Nancy Keating Indiana glass artist

Kitchen Kitch by Nancy Keating - Carmel

Indiana Artists

Decaying Consciousness by Joseph Crone - Indianapolis (pencil on acetate)

indiana artists

Etched Grasslands Necklace by Lisa Hopkins - West Lafayette

indiana pottery

Blue Raku Jar, Steve Vachon and Sue Davis - Fort Wayne

Indiana designers

Deco Panel by Lucia Bennett, Moda Industria - Bloomington

Indiana printmakers

Boy with Headphones by Flatland Kitchen (Erik and Rebekah Nolan) - Indianapolis

indiana artists

Creed by Kyle Ragsdale - Indianapolis

Favorites, anyone?