art masterpiece: magritte

The Return by Rene Magritte, 1940

A couple of Friday's ago we discussed The Return by Rene Magritte in my sons 1st grade class. This was another fun artist to talk about! Here is my presentation.

The Return by Rene Magritte

About the Artist
This artist was born in Belgium (I showed them where that was on the map), his name is Rene Magritte (ma-greet). He began art lessons at age 10. He was interested geometric shapes, technology and dreams. The name of this painting is The Return.

There is a lot of symbolism in the art Magritte created.  That means the artist used obvious things to represent something else.  He does this to provoke thoughts and feelings.

What are the obvious things we see in this artwork? The kids came up with the words on the left and we discussed what each represents.
Dove = Peace
Nest = Safe Habitat
Eggs = Birth, Hope, Future
Shadow = Fear
Clouds = Foggy, Unclear 

Magritte’s work is of the unconscious mind like in dreams. This is called Surreal or super real. It’s like a dream put on canvas. The bird, eggs, nest and clouds are real things shown in an unreal way.

He became famous for his surreal artwork and it hangs in many world famous art museums today.  

What feeling do you get when you look at it?  Many kids again said weird, haha. I think they are at an age where anything out of the ordinary is considered weird.

Thank you for reading along with me today.  I hope you liked learning more about Rene Magritte. This painting was created during WWII. I didn't go into how the symbolism of his work ties in with the war but, I thought that was interesting and wanted to acknowledge that tidbit for you here.


repurposing old sandals

At the end of the summer I went through my sandals and these 2 pairs where headed for the trash.  I knew they were too worn out to be donated but, dumping them in the trash didn't feel right. I stop and think about what I throw away more then ever and these sandals had something that got me thinking ... maybe they can be re-purposed somehow.  I didn't know how at the time but, I have kept them around in my "to make things with" stash.  Using my new nifty sewing scissors (which cut through the leather like butter!) I cut up these sandals once and for all. 

I am pretty excited about the "new" components I made from my old sandals. Not sure what the final creation will be yet but, I see so much potential in something I was about to just throw away.

Have you made a surprising discovery on how to reuse something destined for the trash? Tell me about it, that kind of stuff makes my day.


more canvas earrings in my shop

Over the past week I have added a few new canvas painted earrings to my Etsy shop. I get compliments every time I wear my canvas earrings out and about (I really need to start carrying biz cards!) These fun, funky and super lightweight earrings are hand-cut from an abstract acrylic painting. Earrings are double sided and range in length from 1-3 inches.

♥ Like these? See my Etsy shop for more!


treasure hunt: under the willow tree

Under the Willow Tree Treasury on Etsy
 I have fond memories of the weeping willow tree in my grandparents backyard. I enjoyed a walk down memory lane with these beautiful handmade willow items ... I hope you enjoy it too.


painting in progress, weeping willow

This is where I left off on my weeping willow painting in June of 2009.  I have had this hanging in my kitchen along with my dandelion and fireflies paintings but, it never felt finished.  Now that my shiny new studio space is back in action I revisited this piece.  Here is where I am at now...

I think the lack of flora bugged me so I took inspiration from my 4 yo son.  On a walk around our block recently he said "those flowers look like popcorn!" - I loved it so much I knew popcorn flowers would end up somewhere in my artwork.   Kids say the cutest things!


making space to create

I have been in a place where I have unable to act on my creative ideas. After a couple of weeks of being stuck in state of inaction it dawned on me what a complete mess my creative space had become.  It was surely causing a big mental block in my creativity.  Stuff was piled up everywhere and our garage storage had spilled into my studio space, no wonder I haven't been able to do anything.

After 3 hours of cleaning, organizing and purging this weekend, my studio space is back and I am able to breath again. I made space to create literally and figuratively and it feels so good! 

P.S.  See the little red house painting above my desk?  My 6 year old created that.  He's been on a house painting kick and that one is my favorite!


bird feeder craft

I had a crafty get together a couple of weeks ago to create this sweet bird feeder for Valentine's day. I saw the tutorial for the love of birds on Alpha Mom's website. 14 kids and their mamas came to our house which made for a very energetic afternoon. 

The bird feeders were simple enough to setup and create and after spending some time in the freezer to harden they were ready for hanging. They looked awesome hung on our tree.  However, it just didn't work and I think our sunny climate is to blame.  Once the feeders defrosted the heart slipped off the twin and fell apart.  In a colder climate these would probably stay solid enough to hang.   Oh well, you win some you lose some. We had a good time making them so, it's all good.


vintage inspired sparkle

I have been awfully quite on this blog lately, sorry about that.  I think all the hustle and bustle of the holidays finally caught up with me and I have been in a state of creative rebellion.  Not in a good "thinking out of a box" rebellion but, in a "can't seem to get started on anything" rebellion.

So, with that said I am trying to pull myself out of my "rut" so to speak.  One of my creative goals for this year is to utilize the random stash of supplies I have.  The first thing that spoke to me from my bead stash was this vintage inspired brooch / pendant.  It is one of the most sparkly things in my bead box and what better way to perk myself up then to get sparkly, right?!  I paired it with some simple black seed beads and fire polish beads for pops of sparkle throughout the necklace.

I have been wondering if I should have used larger beads in the necklace to balance it or if the contrast of the large pendant and small beads works nicely, what do you think?


treasure hunt: make a statement

Make a Statement Treasury on Etsy
Re-purposed vintage and vintage inspired brooches and flowers are a gorgeous way to make statement!



cha: make it take it madness

Teaching make-it-take-its in the Soft Flex Company booth
I went to the Craft and Hobby Association Conference and Trade Show in Los Angeles last weekend to work in Soft Flex Company's booth.  While there I could not help but take in all the awesomeness that is CHA. It was my first time there and my coworkers thought my enthusiasm was pretty cute.  It was an exciting place to be afterall, beautiful booths inspiring you with new products, new techniques, over the top artful ideas that really stretch your imagination, live demos and make-it-take-its - wowza! I was totally caught up in madness of it all.  So what did I make?  So many things!

Made wire wrapped key chains at the Soft Flex Company booth introducing our new Soft Flex Craft Wire line.
Decorated a small storage container at the Everything Mary booth.
Learned how to create this charming flower clip at the Blumenthal Lansing booth.
Made a necklace at the Plaid booth where they introduced their new geode pendants.
Learned leather stamping at the GCD Studios booth.
Learned how to solder this filigree ring at the Simply Swank booth. 
Embossed plain metal Vintaj pendants at the Sizzix booth.
Super cool long necklace made at the Tim Holtz booth.
Learned to needle felt this sweet little flower at the Back to Back Fiber Products booth.
Made this sweet, no sew folio at the I Love to Create booth.

Decorated a plain canvas apron with fabric markers at the I Love to Create booth.
Made my first envelope book with some spray paints and glitters at the Hampton Art booth
Here is the side of the book  The envelopes create little pockets to store keepsakes.
Lastly, I tried some new glitter paint and stencils at the Plaid booth. My face says it all, I was high on crafts!