Friday, December 30, 2011

Creating Beauty in the Home

I have a number of artsy friends and I see so much of their personalities expressed in their daily home decor. It seems that love of beauty, of creating beautiful things, extends to creating beautiful spaces. I look at my home and I wonder... where is the beauty in the home?

At Christmas I definitely see my personality, my hopes, my dreams, my loves come through. What are these things that are expressed so clearly? Well, all who really know me know that I LOVE LOVE LOVE glitter. Can you have enough glitter? I'm not really sure. I love many many vintage things... at Christmas time I find myself gravitating mostly to things that have come from "mid-century modern"... i.e. the 40s through the 60s. And, I dearly miss Gram, my mom's mom. So, in many places you'll see evidences of her about... even down to the "Touch of Schlaf" in my Art and Soul display each year.

While I rarely make BIG changes on a regular basis, we sometimes mix things up in how we display them, or even some years we simply leave things in storage. This year I was all for simplifying. I was feeling cluttered in my spirit, and needed to keep the surroundings less cluttered so I could "clean house" on myself. We really only decorated the living room this year. And we pared it down. Although, our "three foot tree for the crates" became a 6+ foot tree that dwarfed our fake tree of previous years. But, that's fine. Here's the beauty we created in our home this Christmas season...

 Here's the infamous... Michelin Man tree... it's over six feet tall and ROUND. WeeOne and I went to a tree farm, for my FIRST EVER real tree... we thought we were looking for a three foot Canaan Fir... we found this beauty... a White Pine. WE LOVED it. 
 Gram's shepherds. I think these may have sat on her sideboard... I can't recall. 

 Grandpa Gene worked for the Illinois Central Railroad. When the railroad closed down the employees were given remembrances... the pitcher and creamer here are from the dining car. The silk flowers are from my wedding bouquet, the tray was a $1 find at a garage sale... shiny brites of course.. And the tag/ornament was one of a number that I made and sold at Art and Soul.

 My "bling tree"... filled with vintage shiny brites, hand made ornaments from past sales, and generally a pastel pallet. Don't you love it?

 Tucked under the tree... literally... a glass brick to give it some height, that's covered with one of Gram's hankies, and then you see some vintage candles from her house. 

 More of Gram's collection. I have two of these sweet angels. I know that truly angels are awesome and fearful to look at, don't mistake me on that truth, these are here for the Gram touch... 

 April's creations come out every Christmas... the cards underneath the bird are "The Twelve Days of Christmas." You need to see these to believe them. Her husband, Rett, helped on this I'm told. The vintage nativity card is also from her, as is the bird I believe. 
 Another vintage nativity post card from April. (I love vintage post cards!)
 April had created a number of these flowers at her house, so I created a few for myself... they sit in vintage and antique bottles on our front half-wall. 

 See this stack of primitive wood boxes? (David's dad's toy chest and his great grandfather's storage box for his scales.) This is where the "tiny simple tree" was supposed to sit. Instead you see a pile of antique books, a candle made by WeeOne and the golden basket where we display our Christmas cards. The hankie on top is from Gram of course!
 This banner reads "Christmas Joy" and is one I made to sell at the first Art and Soul. One lady was very interested, but wouldn't meet me on the price. David said he was glad that he wanted us to keep it.. so it hangs above the front picture window every year. It's a set of vintage red and green bingo cards, holiday paper and various embellishments. 
 More of April... a wreath made from old pattern papers... and of course it's covered in glitter. I love it. Was thinking of buying it, but received it as a gift. So wonderful!
 A mini Nativity ornament from David's Grammie Bolt. It's sitting on a vintage tin, also from April. (She might as well just come and decorate my house!)
This banner hangs between the living and dining room. The birds... swallows, my favorites... are stitched on paper, and hung on red and white butchers twine. Each swallow is embellished with a word such as love, joy, etc. The last swallow holds a small envelope in which my gift was enclosed that year. 

I hope you enjoyed this view of the beauty we created at Christmas. I think it's one time of year where I feel I can decorate to my heart's content and not step on anyone's toes. (I think the house should reflect the taste and needs of all who live in it, so usually you won't see a lot of glitter or pinks... ). So, what do you do to create beauty in your home at Christmas? 


Monday, December 26, 2011

Creating for Creating's Sake

Around Art and Soul time, and Christmas time (which are pretty much neck and neck) I feel so pressured to create that by the end of December I'm ready to down the craft supplies, find some chocolate, a good book and a great load of wood to use in the fireplace. Seriously, I'm tired of creating and crafting by that point.

Why do I do it? That is, why do I create in such a rushed and forced manner? I'm not really sure. Perhaps I get so busy throughout the year with teaching, grading, keeping home, teaching childbirth classes, acting as doula at any number of births that I just get pulled too thin. Perhaps it's the emotions of the holidays and knowing it all won't be "just so" and so I get tired of trying. But, more realistically, it's just that every year I question myself. I wonder, "Am I truly created to create?" "Do I truly give people joy through this?" "Is it worth one more year of toil and prep to sit all day at a show and possibly sell almost nothing at all?" And, if the answer is 'yes' to any of these questions I then follow that question up with another, "Why?"

And that leads me to the title. Sometimes it is simply fun to create for the sake of creating. It's fun to see something old take on new life. To see parts become a whole. Conversely to see a whole become parts, and then a new whole, or several new wholes... And the list goes on.

Last year I thought about doing a crafting day with the college ladies from my church. And life happened. And schedules. And doubts. And it never happened. This year I've been trying to host  a small crafting day with two of the young ladies... no longer in college!... for several months. And, just when I felt myself asking all those questions and thinking I should just cancel I decided instead to forge ahead.

You know what? We had a great time. None of us finished a single project, but we all started. We talked about what we liked to create. We talked and talked and listened and listened and became better known to each other. Truly, it gave me joy again in creating at a time when I doubted.

Now, a few weeks later I find myself the proud owner of two new craft books. Gifts from my brother-in-law and sister-in-law. One is a general crafting book and the other an "upcycled" jewelry book. And, deep inside where my feelings lie hidden I realize that someone else has seen into my heart, has learned more about me and has given me more than just books, but, in the oddest sense given me "permission" to craft, an incentive to craft, a push to craft, to create, to fall in love with this wonderful hobby/gift all over again.

I've straightened my table, redone my shelves, studied my inspiration board and begun planning for the new year. I don't have to make the same old thing all the time. The last creations I made were actually homemade spa gifts... bath bombs, bath soaks and bath sugar scrubs. Oh my, sooooo much fun. Still creating.. not only the product, but the packaging and all. Perhaps a new venue for Art and Soul next year. Or, perhaps, simply new gifts for family and friends.

But, I've learned that it's okay to create simply for the sake of creating. It gives me joy, peace, a sense of something accomplished (that won't be readily undone like laundry or dishes!) and it gives me happiness. Not a bad trade off!


Exodus 35:30-35

New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)

Bezalel and Oholiab
 30 Then Moses said to the Israelites, “See, the LORD has chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 31 and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts— 32to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, 33 to cut and set stones, to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of artistic craftsmanship. 34 And he has given both him and Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, the ability to teach others. 35He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as craftsmen, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers—all of them master craftsmen and designers.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Future Christmas Swap?

Hey my Craft Creating Friends,

What do you all think about starting a Christmas swap? Now, I'm not saying for this year. Obviously. I just don't have the time. Nor do you  I bet. However, I thought we might start thinking and commenting about it now. I'd love to get a swap started for next year. Keep it small at the start... 10 people or so.

Ideas? One gift for each? Link people up as pairs? Grab bag style? Get to know each other first? Themed?

See, I have lots of ideas in my head, but just simply not the gumption to MAKE THE DECISION. We could even do this for Valentine's Day, or Easter, or simply a seasonal gift. See? No ability to decide right now.

I just know that I love to create. That I love to give pleasure to others with my creations and that I think this could be fun. I could meet new people. You could meet new people. Our creating might be jump-started to even higher levels.

So, if you have any thoughts on this please comment HERE on THIS BLOG.

And... Merry Christmas. Can you believe it?

Joy to the World!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

One More Day to Save 20%

Dear Readers,
There's one more day left to save 20% at either my Etsy store or anything you see for sale here. Now, don't be fooled. IF you see one domino necklace that means there are 18 more for sale. Actually, 14 more. Sold are: Fly, Sweet Aroma, Hope and Bloom. But the rest are still there waiting for someone to love them. And with the sale they are only $8.00 I have multiple BOC necklaces, some on ball chains and some on rose gold plated chains with dangles. ($13 and $20 during the sale).

If you shop Etsy the coupon code is "ArtandSoulmonth"... if you shop here just contact me before midnight Nov. 30.

Remember, either items seen here or in my Etsy shop. And, I'll do special orders as well, but the discount will only be 10% .

SO, check out the bottles old and new, Bit of Charm (BOC) necklaces, domino necklaces and the new natural stone necklaces. Oh... and earrings as well. Many have been made to accompany a necklace already made.

                                                 A sampling of domino necklaces... styles and colors. Happy to make special orders. 20% off pre-made and 10% off special orders. 
On Etsy coupon code is "artandsoulmonth"

 Natural stone necklaces in "jasper" and "turquoise"
each one strung on waxed linen, matching beads and dangles in rose gold plated or platinum plated. 
$20 during the sale.

BOC bottles...

The back shows the necklace hanging.

The necklace is easily removed to wear,

and then...

when you're done simply twine the necklace around the neck of the bottle.

Turn the bottle around and you'll see the lovely decorations on the front.

$24 during the sale for both bottle and necklace. (Check earlier posts for other items.)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Art & Soul... my booth in picture form

And yes, this is for my mom and aunt who ask every year. Enjoy ladies. While my sales were few my display made me smile. See if you can find the touch of "Schalf" in the display. I have some every year...

 This year I added a small side table for Christmas items. I am so grateful to my church for allowing me to borrow these lovely table skirts!

 This is more of a frontal shot of the booth. I was able to be stationed just inside the entry doors. 

 To the left of me was "The Bath Hour." This was Sheila's first show ever. Hope she did well as April and I spent the last two years coaxing her to come. Sheila runs "Yellow Moon" a wonderful antique store in Franklin, IN. 

 Here's an array of necklaces... the natural stone necklaces are a first this year. I have a number still available in "jasper" and "turquoise." They are $25 a piece, and not yet listed on Etsy.

Here's the "Touch of Schlaf" this year... Grandpa's silver tea service from the Illinois Central Dining Car. Last year I used the table cloth from the dining car and the year before I used some vintage Christmas pieces. 

Hope you enjoyed the pictures!
Love, Kim

My Etsy shop has reopened!

It was an interesting sale in which I learned much about pride and plans vs reality and the economy. Ah well... there were some lovely new booths at Art and Soul this year and I hope that they did very well and continue to do so.

For myself I've some merchandise that I've listed on Etsy. So, take a peek at the sidebar and you'll four of my items shown there. Simply click on the link. If you see an item on my blog, but not on etsy, simply email me and I'll happily work with you.

Praying you all find much to be thankful for this week!
Blessings, Kim

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Art and Soul

Art and Soul
Whimsy and The Word
chaos and glitter

These all describe this time of my life. I am displaying in my art much of what is in my soul. My new line of altered bottles is called "Praise and Worship" and is based upon scripture and praise songs. These bottles feature a bit of soldering... but only a bit... beeswax, words, charms, keys, bits and pieces and they all come together to share a message that God is worthy of praise and honor. Much of this work was inspired as I listened to the Good Shepherd Band's album, "Glorious Things."  (The first link will take you to their newest release, and the second to the named album.)

"Wake Awake"

 "Glorious Things"

"Hold Fast"

"Unveil My Heart"

More domino necklaces have shown up this year. However, contrary to past efforts these are more vibrant in color and simpler in thought. Rather than an entire definition these are single word thoughts which are enhanced with graphics and stickers. All is encased in a sealant to keep these fresh for years to come. Each necklace is adorned with a selection of beads, and the "clasp" is a simple loop and vintage button. All is strung on waxed linen.

BOC, or Bit of Charm, necklaces are back. You'll note the addition of more color here as well. While working with the children's group at church we made a series of necklaces for young ladies, ages 6-12, and you'll see some of that style here.  A bit more playful, a bit more colorful, strung on copper ball chain. But, the ever popular ehanced BOC for adults is back, all strung on rose gold plated chains. Each vintage reproduction is enhanced with a thought or trait and then glitter is added, and all is encased in between two glass slides and inserted in a copper-tone frame. The necklace itself features "dangles" made from a varitey of bead types.

(I'll try to upgrade photos later... please bear with me as I'm rushing to prepare for the show on Saturday.)


Miss Gladys
(the dangles aren't showing, but trust me, they are there!)

And, I've added a new twist... BOC Bottles... matching BOC necklaces and bottles... wear the necklace or hang it on the bottle for display. Pretty awesome!

Love, Waiting and Patience
each bottle and necklaces set is $35

Four variations of "JOY" on canvas, just in time for the Christmas season. Each canvas is primed with gesso and uses a coarse texture gel to enhance the "snowy" impression the piece is supposed to impart. The entire canvas is then painted with acrylics, letters added, and glitter sprinkled generously over all. The letters are made of painted and glittered wood, and the "O" is a simple wreath made of berry garland. These are simple and festive and hang from a glittery lovely ribbon.

 Each one sells for $15.

A few earlier pieces remain available as well, for more details please ask, but these are all assemblage pieces using vintage and antique pieces, beads, glitter, etc. There are altered book covers, assemblages, and more.

"Put Your Tears in My Bottle"

(There are two smaller pieces, framed in cream, not pictured here.)

"For of Such is the Kingdom of God"

"Come With Me"

And, previous bottles... each with it's own story or feeling.

Knowing Faith

Amber Waves

Amber Swirls

Primary Swirls
 Primary Twirls

The Harvest
 The Dreamer
 Twilight Music

Fairy Princess

Earrings: I have many, here are a sampling:

Fairy Glass

Rosy Swirls

Here's a nice set... bracelet and earrings, both from vintage and antique buttons.
Glossy Black
Bracelet: $35
Earrings: $25
HOWEVER, if you buy the set I discount it to $50 for the set.

Earth Tones
set: $10

Golden Swirls

Pierced Heart

Please come visit tomorrow and see what else I've added here... or simply come to Art and Soul Artisan and Crafter's Fair, this Saturday, November 19 at Chapmans, on the corner of E. 3rd and HWY46/446. I'll be there from 10-3 at "Whimsy and The Word." 

Thanks everyone!