Did you know that one donation, one pint of blood, can save up to three lives? That’s amazing.
Be amazing – contact your local blood collection center and donate. ‘Tis the season for giving.
I especially love the project I’ve chosen for this summer because I’m working with some very special kids who have to spend time in the hospital. Summer bummer. They’re going to need a distraction.
You may recall that I am a huge Bob Ross fan, but the idea of trying to turn a giant blank canvas into a masterpiece, or even a novice piece, is more than a little daunting. So we’re not doing that.
Instead, we’ll be making Artist Trading Cards (ATCs). I discovered ATCs several years ago, and fell in love with the idea of miniature works of art that could be created from whatever my mind could convince my hands to do with whatever materials I happened to have. The fact that I only have to cover a small 2½ inch by 3½ inch space with my greatness is a bonus.
Being a visual type, and armed with the knowledge that my creative audience would range in ages from toddler to teen to adult, I decided a few samples were in order.
The samples I created vary in design from the extremely simple to the – – who am I kidding, they’re all simple compared to the works I have seen on other sites – but I don’t mind, I’m a simple kind of girl. My samples are designed to show the little ones that anything their precious hands and minds want to create is “art” for this particular project.
My basic supply list includes an assortment of glues, paints, markers, crayons, pencil colors, rubber stamps, paper, foil, wire, craft foam, scraps of fabric, beads, buttons, and bling. The cards are cut to size from empty boxes. Cereal boxes are my favorite, and I like to leave the images printed on the boxes as the backs of the cards.
I have put together a little slide show featuring the ATC samples I have so far. I’m sure there will be more soon… they’re quite addictive.
If this was a food blog, which it isn’t, I would definitely use this little clock as the background, or the header, for the site. If I should ever write a cookbook, which isn’t likely, I would try to figure out how to use it on the cover. I love this clock, and yet, I have never actually used it for its intended purpose. I made it several years ago during a time when I was experimenting with clay and wood. And some other mixed-media stuff. If I must say so myself, it turned out rather nicely.
It was around the time that I seemed to be going through a phase where I made a lot of clocks. And not just any clocks, I made “unusual” clocks. There was one that was made using an old CD with bead trim, a wooden dowel, and pieces of leather. It looked like a giant flower. A giant ticking flower.
There was also my painted masterpiece that became a framed canvas collage clock covered with window screen – I’ll bet you can’t say that three times really fast without messing up. And I really liked the old copper teapot that found new life as a clock. I would love to post the pictures, but they have proved to be …elusive.
Of all the clocks I have ever made, this Kitchen Clock is my favorite. I especially love the poem, “A New Cook’s Prayer”, printed on the background, and you can read it below.
I briefly considered writing the design instructions, just in case somebody wanted to replicate this little darling. Unfortunately, instruction writing has always been my least favorite part of the design process. So I didn’t. I’m thrilled, however, that I happened to find this picture in my files, and I wanted to share it here. On my “not a food blog” blog.
A New Cook’s Prayer
I bought a spoon, I bought a book
But precious Lord, I still can’t cook
So bless Oh Lord, all who dare
Eat these meals that I prepare
And I pray that by and by
I’ll get better with each try
— by Lavette
Have you ever driven past a place like this and wondered about the stories the walls would tell – if walls could talk?
I have been fascinated by this particular house since the very first day I saw it. I can’t really explain it. I have driven past it hundreds of times and rarely have I failed to wonder what the walls would say, if only they could.
I wonder if the house is as old as it looks beneath that faux brick exterior. I wonder about the family, or perhaps families, who lived here. I wonder if they were happy, before the effects of decline, or maybe even progress, overwhelmed them. I wonder what kind of life they lived on a street named Slaughter Road.
True to the nature of someone like me, my imagination has created all kinds of scenarios for the occupants of this little house. I wonder how closely they compare to the reality.
I imagine the little house, before its current state of disrepair, with frilly white curtains in the windows, and those green metal rocking chairs on the porch that didn’t really rock, they just sort of bounced up and down when you shifted your weight. The family had a couple of old hound dogs who would spend part of their day lounging on the porch, and then when it was really hot, they would retreat to the cool damp space just under the corner of the step.
And they had chickens. These days we call them free-range chickens, but back then they were just chickens. Big chickens and little chickens, red ones and white ones and brown ones. And a cocky black rooster with velvety red and orange tail feathers, and a comb that sort of drooped over one eye. But, then the road came, and we know what happens when a chicken tries to cross a busy road…
After a while the last of the residents decided to move on and try to make a better life elsewhere. Or, maybe the last member of the family stayed until the very end. A widow who raised six children all alone after her husband died in the war. The children grew up and moved away, hoping to get as far away as possible from the struggles of growing up poor in a small town. She wasn’t sad in the end. Not really. She was happy to know that she had done the best she could to nurture them and send them out into the world as prepared as they could be to “make it”. A couple of them had tried to get her to leave the little shack and move in with their growing families. She had declined. She was a woman with fierce pride and independence, and a determination to live out her days in the home her husband, the love of her life, had built with his own two hands. The home they moved into on their wedding day. No, she wouldn’t leave. She couldn’t leave.
In the end, the children decided to keep the little homestead in the family as a tribute to the struggles and sacrifices their parents endured. The time between visits back home to check on the property grew longer and longer, and eventually, turned into now and then.
The walls of the house started to whisper, but only the critters could hear, and the vegetation. Eventually, the vegetation took pity on the old house and slowly engulfed it in a snug embrace. An embrace that keeps the walls standing, so they can continue to whisper the stories that I wish I could hear. The real stories, not this figment of my imagination.