Charged by cards

I’m enjoying my rapid pace card making this week as I get closer to the DAC Open Studios. This happens each year. I think I have all of this time to get ready and then suddenly, here it is! So I create in every spare moment each night, grabbing snippets of time between helping my son with homework, making dinner, doing dishes (well, finally my son is old enough to be bribed into doing the dishes for an allowance. YAY!) and talking myself in and out of going to the Y to work out.

This is the time when I can sit in my studio and get so lost (for a few minutes at a time) in cutting paper, splashing paint and designing. I really feel my heart rate increase when I create cards that I like. The process almost (almost) makes me forget that Craftland in Providence recently rejected my cards for their holiday season. Bah Humbug!

Oh well, here are two new ones they would have said no to. 🙂

DAC Open Studios

I’m working on more cards now, preparing for the Dorchester Arts Collaborative Open Studios. The event takes place on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 23 and 24, from noon to 5 p.m., at various locations throughout Dorchester, Mass. I will be at First Parish Church, 10 Parish Street (Meetinghouse Hill). If you are in the area, please stop by. In addition to the cards, I will be showing my beaded jewelry and artwork.

This top card fits the theme of “water” for the month of October for Creative Every Day. The ones below are part of my holiday series.

Brain power

I ran the CVS 5k in Providence, R.I., today. Let me say that again to make sure even I believe it: I RAN THE CVS 5K TODAY!

Not bad.

Anyone who knows me knows that my favorite form of exercise is picking up the remote to watch TV. So this is a remarkable achievement for me.

For the past several years, every two years or so I have pulled myself off the couch to train for this 5k. And once I do it, I return to the coach. The last time I did this was six years ago, I think. I decided to try it again by  starting to train nine weeks ago. I signed up for the race before I started to train to make sure that I would stay on track and go through with it. It has been physically challenging, but the biggest hurdle has been developing brain power. I needed to believe that I could do this.

I learned from this experience, yet again, that the brain is powerful. I decided on a goal, prepared, and mentally decided that I would run this entire race without stopping.

Did a woman talking on a cell phone pass me by? Yes. Did babies in strollers zip pass me? Yes. Did I run 15-minute miles? Yes, indeedy. But I ran. I did it! And I didn’t die, and I didn’t come in last (there were 7,000 people participating).

I timed the last song on my new IPod to be the theme from Rocky, “Eye of the Tiger.” I pictured his run through Philadelphia and up those steps, as I climbed my last hill to the finish line. I  hi-fived my husband and son as they waited for me at the end. Knowing that they would be there to see me finish line kept me going.

There were times during the training when I feared that I wouldn’t be able to run this race. And during training I never even got beyond the 2-mile mark. So I knew I would have to rely on brain power to push me to the 3.1-mile finish line. I decided that I would feel the fear, acknowledge it, say, “OK, you are afraid, so what?” and then keep going.

This is a good lesson for me as an artist.

Being an artist is scary sometimes. You fear failing. So what? Just do it, work through it, move on, and reap the rewards.

Busy, busy

And were off and running….I seem to be very busy suddenly with the start of the school year for my 11-year-old son. The return of the routine is nice, but I’ll miss the carefree summer pace—no homework, plenty of daylight hours for artmaking after work and more time to procrastinate about getting outside to exercise.

Oh well.

Back to high production mode to get ready for the Dorchester Open Studios, on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 23 and Oct. 24, where I will be selling my handmade cards, beaded jewelry and paintings. More about that later. Here are a few items I worked on this evening. These are collage greeting cards. Enjoy.

Honored by design

I am honored and excited today by the plate design that REACH chose to feature for the invitations for its November 4 fundraiser. It just arrived in the mail.

My plate design was chosen as the centerpiece of the invitation. I can’t believe it! Each  year the organization asks artists and celebrities to design ceramic plates that are auctioned off with many other wonderful prizes at REACH’s annual event. Every other year when they ask me, I am so humbled  to work on such an important creation to help the organization raise money.

As an artist, it is my dream to do something important, to make my work matter somehow. This definitely fills the bill.

REACH works to end domestic violence by providing intervention and advocacy services in the Greater Boston area. The REACH for the Stars event is one of the organization’s biggest fundraisers of the year. Before the event, people can go online to bid on the plates, which will be on display at the Natick Collection during October, Domestic Violence Awareness Month. A silent plate auction also takes place the night of the  Nov. 4 gala, which starts at 6 p.m. at the Westin Hotel in Waltham, Mass.

I call this design “Take Care.”


What a wonderful long weekend! A Friday night girls night full of laughter at a friend’s house. Saturday night out to dinner with my husband and son. And a Sunday and Monday resolution to this painting that I was having trouble finishing. I wrote about the painting in a previous blog post here.

The painting originally started out well, but I didn’t know where I wanted to take it. I asked you all for input and got several responses. Thanks to all of you who offered advice about things to try.

This resulting painting comes at the advice of Stephanie of Deliberately Creative, who commented:

“I wonder what a stark black and white line art tree on the right side with something that the girl is reaching for but can’t attain would look like?”

I took her suggestion, and things took off from there. I love the whimsical result! There is a richness in the layers here that I think is intriguing–if I do say so myself.

This is a 22 x 28 mixed media collage work on canvas. For now, I call it “Reach.”

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