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    99 flowers...counting with coins

    So here's a sneak peek of my 99th bithday canvas I am creating for my good friend Marcy's grandmother's 99th birthday. (Actually, it is her husband's grandma esther in Chicago.) Cute, right? And of course I am totally honored. I love seeing it come together. But why the coins, you are probably wondering? Last night, in a panic, I realized there was no way I could get a good count of the number of flowers because they're placed in such a random pattern on the canvas. So, I waited until this morning, when the canvas was dry, and covered each flower with a coin as it was counted, so that I could keep track. The big reveal of the finished canvas later!


    Paper crush

    So I love paper. I mean, in a not so natural way. It started with first grade, I think. I am pretty sure I laid eyes on the myriad of spiral notebooks, loose leaf papers and {oh my} colorful construction paper in the cart when my mom took me school supply shopping I was hook line and sinker. The smell of paper. The feel. The possibilites. As an artist and a writer, the potential of a blank piece of paper is almost intoxicating.

    Even still, the idea of scrapbooking paper has never been a favorite of mine. I feel a bit wasteful, almost like I am cheating. It is a luxury and since I don't scrapbook myself I never feel at home at a scrapbooking store. What is a crop anyway, right? I mean, cropping to me is tool in photoshop, not a Saturday night activity.

    Even still, as my paper arts have evolved these types of papers (in limited amounts) have become really handy and helpful. So, I pick up sheets sparingly and remind myself it is no different than fabric. It is a tool, and oh my some of these papers are gorgeous, right?

    Whenever there is an opportunity my first choice is to upcycle a used greeting card or shopping bag, pages of an old book or even the dictionary. But, some days, like today, I just had to indulge myself in some crispy new sheets and my, my, I think I have a paper crush! You?


    Summer is over...

    Since the end of summer is here I got to thinking about our lovely lazy (and hot days) together, and in scrolling through photos came across our last day of school outing. Since tomorrow is my little one's first day of school, let's reminisce. We ran straight down to the Plaza to play in the sculpture garden at the Nelson.

    I brought my Prismacolor markers and we stopped to draw the shuttle cock:

    We even rolled down the grassy hill in front of the silver tree.

    It was a great day, and in looking back it reminds me how important "creative breaks" are for me. It doesn't have to be a museum (though the Nelson has never failed to inspire), a fabric store, paper store, library, book store, or even music festival, concert or funky restaurant will do the trick. So on my school year to-do list: looking for continued inspiration. And good luck to my school girls...the smartest, funniest most inspired kids I know!


    88 flowers for grandma

    My grandma's 88th birthday was this year. I created this canvas to showcase an 88-flower bouquet just for her. And because Natalie Merchant's song Kind & Generous is one of my all-time faves, I used the words as a way to make it extra special. I love doing personalized canvas gifts. I made up a special one for my parent's 40th wedding anniversary recently as well. And for Christmas gifts last year I created flower bouquets for my co-workers using flowers punched from the pages of our magazines. Those were extra special because of all the time we (lovingly) spend on each page.

    {Pssst....the flowers are punched from a Vera Bradley shopping bag! I know, I am so green...I do love to "up"cycle!}


    For my anniversary...

    A free printable! I have it posted over at my KC Parent blog. I do think it looks quite nice hanging in our newly painted master bedroom. I hope you enjoy!