Celebrate the day with Potato stamping

Who would have guessed that the potato would be so versatile.

Taking time to celebrate the day by making art, using; a potato, a little bit of paint, along with pieces of fabric, will stimulate the creative flow. The most special place for an impromptu art making event would be the Kitchen Floor, with easy access to common tools for creating.

You can’t go wrong with a potato, when carving them to use as a stamp for art. The lines or shapes you make have a soft edge when stamping onto fabric. Easy to use with kitchen utensils; knife, spoon, ice cream or melon scoop, even forks for texture and shape making.

Primary paint colours are stunning on white cloth using simple shapes, followed by repetition in pattern making. Seeing the beauty before the art is complete, is exciting!

Bunting is typically used for celebration and cheerful decor, so why not decorate your desk or window. The bunting I made is from old cotton sheets, left over piece from my art batiks. There is only one fold in the fabric bunting and a piece of yarn or string can be used to suspend the little artworks.

This project is meant to be fun, using simple things that make a big impression. It will be a memorable experience for children as they learn what and where a potato comes from while also discovering their personal sense of design and pattern making. Also, threading the bunting may be the first time at attempting sewing.

So much to learn and share.

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Quirky – Uniquely me

The imperfect…. that’s me, I’ve always chosen to be okay with my swaying lines in fabric or pen & ink. In the case of these quirky dolls I didn’t think that they’d come out so varied, but….nothings perfect in this world and that is what makes these dolls okay, in my opinion.

I created the simple template by cutting out a shape from an old file folder, then adjusted it. The subject is made from new clothing that was a ridiculous size 0-6 ladies. I assure you I’ve never been these sizes in my adult life. I also used old designer fabric samples from an architect firm that closed and a friend saved the loads of fabric pieces from the landfill sites, and some denim fabric.

There’s an old saying “…so ugly, only a mother could love”, I hope that’s not the case here. The fabric and thread created the varied forms and the fibers in the fabric pieces added the individual personalities. It goes without saying that these were not mass produced or factory made but if you like wonky or “one of a kind” you’d appreciate my dolls.

I made these little guys to find purpose for the fabric and to see if I could sell them at the art market this winter. I have a dozen of them and have named them the “Charlie Doll” after my sweet ole boy, Charlie. By the way Charlie is “perfect” it’s my creative process that leads my art to an unexpected outcome sometimes.

Should I continue?

 “Life isn’t meant to be lived perfectly…but merely to be lived. Boldly, wildly, beautifully, uncertainly, imperfectly, magically lived.”

– Mandy Hale, ‘The Single Woman: Life, Love, And A Dash Of Sass’.

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Pen & Ink by Gill Young

One can never get enough of a good friend.

Last week I introduced you to Gill Young, a pen & ink artist that is exhibiting and selling her work in Cedar Creek in Muskoka, ON. There is still so much to learn from Gill that I thought this week I would encourage you, the curious reader, to find a story in the artwork below, then reply to me, Susan Fae or Gill with a brief narration.

Pen & Ink by Gill Young

Pen & Ink, it’s not just for writing. Though I’d say Gill has an amazing style that is like a written story of images with textures and patterns using various pens. Find the areas in this artwork where there is the use of a fine point pen, then a wide or brush like pen mark, see which marks are used to create depth and which pen would help with the fine details.

I personally find many stories within the rock formation or landscape; one is the rhythmic lines that go up and down sharply, they remind me of an EKG monitor you find in the hospital, a geologist may see a more historical description. I also see strong oval patterns on the bottom where I think that some animals have found a home. The circular moon or sun at the top right has many stories of it’s own; an eye in the sky, with multiple perspectives that can see the whole world at once. An image that has so many creative interpretations.

Would you like to try pen & ink? If so pick up a set of pens, even an old ball point, then just play with mark making, I find this to be meditative, and time will just fly by. With practice you may fill up a sketch book in no time and find a wonderful story out of your line art making.

Please feel free to reach out and connect with Gill, gillyoung7@gmail.com

If you are interested in purchasing Gill Youngs art visit Cedar Creek Muskuka..

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Creating a flock of birds…..an ongoing journey

For me working with a collection of sculptured birds rather than single bird, has a louder voice, visually speaking.

I can’t help myself, I love birds. Between my dog Charlie and my nature walks I’m inspired to stay on the topic of birds. To add to my passion for birds I am a very resourceful person, I like to use found objects in art and where possible upcycle fabric; old clothing, quilting scraps and sometime specialty fabrics that have a high tactile attraction.

Admitting only to you, that I have a small stash of wood that I like to make into frames for the bird sculptures. The frames themselves have a “please touch me” quality about them making it a perfect fit for a flock of sculpted birds. Literally reversing the purpose of a frame by using the decorative moulding to support the bird and giving the option to display on the wall or table top.

If I were to keep these birds they would hang on the wall, a little below eye level so that I could see the; top, bottom and all round. Nah, then again I would hang on the wall above eye level so that I could sense the “take off” action of the sculptures. Hmmm, maybe stager the three on the wall, and switch them around every once in awhile so that I could fell a little more personal with each one.

Well, now that I’m thinking about display, a shelf might not be so bad, maybe just above a buffet table, birds always like to attend a self serve feast. It’ll be fun for whom ever decides on the birds or a bird, I am selling them; as a group of three or individually. There is always an incentive to buy more than one and that would be; one at $300. or more than one at $250. each.

Feel free to inquire about them susanfaeart@gmail.com

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Creative Minds make the best friends – the gifted Artist

To be an artist is one thing, but to have a friend that is an artist is another….

I’d like to introduce you to my friend, Gill Young.

Gill captures her love for nature in her art, a true blessing for me as I have had the honour of receiving some of her amazing art and I have also have been inspired by her great knowledge of plants, and her involvement in tree planting and gardening.

A welcoming call or letter from Gill always leaves me researching the books or artists she mentions in our conversations. Her passion for Canada’s landscape, history and even her spirituality is highlighted in the personalized art she has sent me recently.

I believe at this point in time pen & ink are Gill’s predominant medium, adding a flare of watercolour, and of course photography has a hand in documenting nature at it’s finest. As an artist I can see how relevant the camera is, helping to capture a feeling or a moment in time that is so breath taking, grateful for the assistance of the camera images.

You know that old saying “it takes one to know one”, sometime said to get the last word in, but in this case I’m really happy to say it when speaking of Gill as an artist. A few days ago she emailed me, sending this image of her work.

Gill Young, Birds in Nature

Gill’s words were of delight in discovering the instinctive knowledge and awareness she had in documenting nature (birds included) when reviewing her works from years ago. I too, was excited to see this piece, recognizing her style and the bird camouflaged in the patterns and textures of nature.

I love this quote that I found on Gill,

Zentangle – Gill Young

Gill Young moved up to the Huntsville area in 2006 where she then joined the Art Crowd, (now the Huntsville Art Society).This turned out to explore her new interest in Pen and Ink design. This medium became Gill’s way to tell a story and to be part of her new home in Muskoka. Discover Zentangle, pen-doodles with lighthearted design ideas to create a picture with pen and ink. This is a peaceful style of expression, that also can be coloured.

Spreading the love of nature in art as well as sharing my appreciation for friendship is why I have written this post. If you would like to get to know Gill through her artwork visit Cedar Creek Muskoka, in Lake of Bays Ontario.

Gill Young is currently exhibiting at Cedar Creek Garden’s

Gill on Linkedin

A friend is one who overlooks your broken fence and admires the flowers in your garden.

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Tactile Horse Art – Art that is meant to be touched

Mare & black colt – Please touch art

The learning experience through touch and discovery is but a prop for a children’s storyteller. This is my intent for the “farm animal series” in my Esty shop

Patterns and shapes are collaged together to form a visual story but there is a story within a story. A person can touch the fabric shapes with texture to discover another story or memory, then express the sensation verbally.

I believe that the Covid19 pandemic stole some of the freedom of touch, especially in children’s board books. When I play with my box of fabric and paper scraps I discover the different sensations of; velvet, silk, chiffon, suede, woven wool, I know that each piece is a unique memory for me.

When I explore the fabric pieces and animal shapes I hope to leave the listener or viewer a personal experience with the animals.

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BREATHE: An Interview with Author Laura Alary (and a GIVEAWAY!)

This book sounds like a wonderful opportunity to share with children- magical illustrations indeed.

Laura Sassi Tales

Today it is my pleasure to introduce you to Laura Alary, author of Breathe: A Child’s Guide to Ascension, Pentecost, and the Growing Time. Published by Paraclete Press and gorgeously illustrated by Cathrin Peterslund, Breathe explores the comings and goings of Jesus and the Spirit through retellings of the biblical stories of Ascension and Pentecost, interwoven with contemporary reflections from the point of view of a child. Not only is Laura’s newest book a must-have resource for fostering meaningful faith conversations with our kids, Laura herself is a gem and her wisdom and love for God shine through her answers. My daughter and I plan to read Breathe together as part of our summer porch mama/daughter devotional time. Maybe you will decide to do something similar with your kids. Now, having planted that seed, here’s the interview with my questions bolded.

First off, thank you so much for creating…

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Birds in Art – the Joy in sharing

My Three Tenors

It’s been awhile since the boys have been out of the studio entertaining the crowds. They still stand strong and wow the new visitors to the studio. Pavarotti, Domingo and Carreras have been silenced long enough, they want out and are will to fly to a destination willing to support and care for them.

I wasn’t expecting this photo, me with the birds, but a friend came over and found the humour and entertainment in my art birds, and documented this.

I continually find cutlery every where on my dog walks, yes! even during the 2020/21 pandemic, and every once in awhile someone will hand me a bag of old spoons and forks to make art with. In telling you all this I better get down to work and surprise you with a new choir of birds or at least a song with a dance from my feathered friends.

Keeping in touch with the flock.

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A fan of Splendor – Creating a peacock tail from fabric

The pinks I love so much can’t be found in the Peacock tail feathers, but the shimmer and colour vibrancy are exciting. The male peacock’s loud announcement and his flashy appearance with tail feathers fanned out can be a spectacular event to see, and it is that image I’d like to eventually achieve with with my fiber made feathers.

Fiber art feathers, far left is a real one

“Put a feather in your cap” –

An admirable feather for showing off your accomplishments would definitely be a peacock feather for me. Yet, that isn’t the reason why I’m making them, they are just so magical.

How I came about the fabric collection was from a mystery box of fabric pieces at the “Ujamaa grandmas” sale. This was a fundraiser so I took the box happily and hoped to be inspired, and guess what! I was. There were the tiniest of pieces of velvet to the so called larger size of silk and twill, they were definitely special, most people wouldn’t save such small pieces of fabric.

It’s one of those boxes that I empty out and play with for awhile then put the fabric back into the box until the next time I need a feel good moment.

The feathers will eventually be a “bouquet of twelve” and once I get that task done, the body and wings with be next. Each feather (all yet to be finished) are made of layers of fabric, shimmery thread and wire.

Its colorful feathers represent the rays of the sun and the beginning of the new day. The peacocks itself shows luxury and wealth.

Garth C. Clifford

Please stay tuned for the finished bouquet.

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House plants – more than just a pretty picture

Prayer Plant

Maranta varieties earned their common name because their leaves curl up each night, almost like they’re praying. 

Marantas (Prayer Plant): Gratitude

The sweet prayer plant portrays a sweet and humble personality, lovingly symbolizing gratitude.

The rough sketch was a pink lino print on top of a dark green background, then more defining colours layered the outline. It’s hard to know what the outcome of a work when using mixed medium, but the joy of creating and thinking about the personality of the plant gives pleasure in itself.

I so often thought that I was starving my plant, because of the bowing leaves. But, the prayer plant is in meditation rather than in need of more water or sunlight. When I realized the charm of this plant I believe it made me pray more. The Prayer plant has so many big leaves and yet it can hold itself up while looking as though it is lacking moisture. This made me think; what if we all just softened our shoulders and quieted our minds more often.

Quiet the mind, something that is a continual work in progress for me. Thankfully I am surrounded by plants that are a constant reminder of this idea.

Reminder; Treat yourself like a house plant; lots of sunshine and hydrate often.

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