Tuesday, December 31, 2013

That "In Your Face Lesson"

In your face!

It's been a roller coaster of a year in 2013. I'm asking everyone, "What was the one lesson you learned in 2013 that's motivating change in your life now and in 2014?" It's not that we don't learn many lessons in one year...I'm just asking for that one in your face lesson that has moved you to action. 

For me, two local people I knew lost their lives, unexpectedly.  And a sudden serious illness for my sweety cat, left him in so much pain he couldn't eat or drink for days and lost his sparky personality, turning into a listless shell of himself. All left me shocked and in pain and strongly reminded....do what it is you love NOW! No future plans to visit "Someday Isle/I'll." Incorporate what's important to you (even if it's the tiniest step of your passion) into your daily life. Now. Don't let the world endlessly dictate what's important to you. Let your heart tell you. See where it leads you.

For me, it's design. So this is what is priority in my days. Design can branch into many help the world venues too.
How about you? If you read this post...no matter who you are, share what your in your face lesson was for 2013 and what you're going to do about it now and in 2014.
I wish you a passionate and peaceful year of following your heart in 2014!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Couture and More in a Can!!!

I'm always intrigued when a designer invents something that takes on a life of its own. Have you ever done that with items you've designed? You invent it with your intention and then it takes on more possibilities way beyond your intended idea, giving it even more value!

Fabrican has been around since 2010 and was inspired by one innovative designer observing the qualities of Silly String. But it can be used for anything from fashion, to upholstery, to on-the-spot tea towels, to medical bandaging, automotive uses, cleaning, and who knows what else! (I'm thinking...graffiti that can be removed from a wall and worn...so it's respected instead of seen as destroying property?)

The aerosol and polymer environmental issues may still need some tweaking, (Is it BPA-free? What is inhaled?), but the whole concept and limitless uses for such an invention are exciting and certainly make me want to go into the studio and finish up some inventions. I hope this inspires you to finish up those UFOs as well.

Check out the possibilities on their site:http://www.fabricanltd.com

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Weekend In NYC-- A Brief Culture Fix

 My local bank teller was glowing. Why? She was telling her coworkers about her recent visit to NYC. Something about visiting NYC...you come home with that glow of being culturally well-fed with inspiration and excitement!
Last month, I went to my baby girl's special engagement party in NYC. It was the best party I've been to in life! I went with a favorite friend and we had a blast at the party and also exploring mostly the fashion district and the foodie district.
This is a shot of Times Square at night....crowded as ever and as bright as day with all the lights. There were a multitude of tall Statue of Liberties, Minnie Mousetypes, and Hello Kitties there to pay to have your pic taken with. I also heard that the Naked Cowboy now is franchising his role out to another Naked Cowboy in Times Square too.  I guess his biz is doing well during this economy. Am I in the wrong business?!
 We visited opening day of the Gay Fashion exhibit at FIT gallery and also saw the Against the Grain Exhibit at the MADD museum. Unfortunately, taking pix is not allowed at either, so this Fashion District icon will have to symbolize the lovely memories we had at the exhibits.
 Then, of course, was Mood Fabrics. I had many a worker at Mood searching for Swatch (their Mascot celebrity guard pup--see the July blog entry for a visual) when I got to Mood and he was nowhere to be found. I think he had the weekend off and was out resting from his in-shop naps and fabric guard duty.
 We didn't really do more than walk through the MOMA lobby on a Saturday....just to get a shot of Saturday visitors.

There was just too much creativity in the streets to see to spend the entire day in exhibits.

 This shop is a MUST for creatives!!!! Beads World at 1384 Broadway. It is Embellishment Heaven! Here, my awesome travel pal, is giving you a Vanna White welcome.
Wherever I travel I try to visit the area's bead shops, but so far out of all the bead shops I've encountered...this one is the most exciting. So well stocked! They have a web site too, but there are things in the store that just aren't listed online.
 Can you see how someone can spend hours in Beads World???
Like I said, just window shopping in the Fashion District is like going to a gallery. There are shops that specialize in just trim. Even one that specializes in just zippers, but cool ones.
This is another shop I highly recommend visiting when in NYC! If you are a foodie looking for exotic ingredients...this is THE place to find them. Kalustyan's at 123 Lexington between 28th and 29th. I found a very hard-to-find Chinese cooking wine there and was ecstatic! Of course, my food purchases added about 40 pounds to my luggage weight, but it was worth it.

This was my fave window display. Botticelli on the soles of mens' shoes! That brand mark placement is a little risque! This creative shoe embellishment makes me wonder if there are lady shoes with Statue of Davids on the soles to balance out the symbolism.
I heard both Jane LaFazio and Lindsey Lohan were in NYC the same weekend I was. Despite all the exploring we did....we didn't run into either of them.
There is no better city to explore to get that flying culture lift than NYC!
Thank you for the lovely party, baby girl! Thank you for joining me on the journey, awesome travel pal! And for those reading this entry...I hope the pix and shop recommendations inspire your next NYC exploration journey!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Curiosity is our Best Teacher

I don't know about you and your cat, if you have one.....but I've never owned a cat that didn't run in terror from that scary huge loud mechanical monster that sucks up the little life crumbs and cat hairs that collect. That's what makes this video so entertaining! If you're checking this video out on You Tube....be careful of becoming addicted to the other videos on cats around computer printers, mirrors and other cat curiosities.

I have one cat who is trained to use the toilet and another who flushes the toilet. The problem is they both do their magic in different bathrooms. I wish I could get them to work together. I think life is begging for a video there.

This next video is called "Funny Cat Compilation," but to me, it's more shocking than funny because kitties prove that curiosity is a vital step to wisdom. If you don't have this kind of time to be doing kitty video viewing...don't miss the 4:59 to 5:53 kitty.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

A Summer Artventure

 This year I decided to make my own mini art retreat. It took about 2 months to get it organized enough to facilitate it. I couldn't have had two better students! They worked hard learning something new every day.
 This was a found object stencil art journal page study...and the found objects were cool and spontaneous!
 Talk about spontaneous stencils...how about a millet stencil? Yum!
 See how the millet stencil turned out? It's the second piece to the left, second row. What inventive students!!!
 Of course, we couldn't ignore the Chicago culture. Recognize this stain glass window style? Who's the architect who used those and worked with nature and was into horizontal planes?
 It was Frank Lloyd Wright and this was a tour of his Robie House. A fascinating tour!
 I want this sculpture for my yard! Michigan Ave. has many similar to this. I had to drive, so I couldn't take pix of the rest.
 And what was going on at the Art Institute?
 The Impressionism Fashion/Painting show! Very entertaining! This was when photos and sewing machines first came out. So to be seen...and having a chic, image of class, whether in portrait with your riches nearby... or with your family surrounding you, was as huge then as it is on TV today.
 The final visit was to the Chicago Botanic Garden. You just can't help but be in a meditative, calm state around all that beauty.

Now this is all a lovely memory that flew by way too fast. 
Nothing can fill the creative soul with inspiration more...whether it's art study, cultural exhibits, or the art of Mother Nature!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Celebrity Sighting

This celeb doesn't mind paparazzi snapping a pic during his zipper-guarding nap.

When my baby girl told me she was going to Mood Fabrics after work to pick up fabric to accessorize a bride's maid dress, my first response was,

"Awww....Give Swatch a pet from me!!!"

In case you don't know Swatch, he's often the last worker at Mood Fabrics that the Project Runway contestants say goodbye to after they've purchased their fabric for their current project on the show.

Thank you, baby girl, for snapping this pic. What a lovely surprise that was to actually see Swatch on the job!

I was also surprised to see Project Runway has started their 12th season this week! And what an interesting line up of designers they have for this season, as well as new procedures to keep things challenging. I'm looking forward to an inspiring season of the show and also to visit Swatch and Mood one day.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

You Can Catch More Eyes with Vinegar than Honey

In 1948, Swiss engineer, Georges de Mistral was hiking in the woods with his dog and they got covered in burrs. Instead of seeing them as annoying... he observed them in a new perspective. De Mistral teamed up with a textile company and patented what is known today as Velcro in 1955.

Recently, wine sludge has turned to an innovative fabric with that same kind of innovative perspective.
My thoughts on this new wine fabric.... it's very form fitting... so what if you have a real body? Is this going to force us to work out more? Or is there a way to fit it on a mold that isn't so form-fitting, yet flatters the wearer?

What annoying occurance can you turn into an innovation??? Annoyances are only annoying if we can't see the creative side to them!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Revisiting a Dormant Career

Grandkitty shows better than I could tell anyone what has happened to my singing career. It’s been dormant for about 8 years.  For one, how many full-time live singing careers are available today to replace the one I had? But also…you turn a certain age and many past passions return that beg for as much dedication as your career had. Also, at this age, I would love to create “behind the scenes,” as in produce.

  Recently, I was invited to judge a local talent competition. I love to support artists of all kinds from performing ones to artists who require stillness to express their talents.
What a trip to see the talent hiding in this area! I even had to unrust the pipes and sing one song to prove I earned the judge’s chair. It sure was different singing after 8 years. All the art I’ve worked on and emotional evolution in the past 8 years gave me a way different perspective on how I went about singing this time.  Surprisingly, I hadn’t an ounce of nervousness and I was able to try new things I haven’t had the guts to try 8 years ago. To be in front of many people performing felt as natural as a kitty taking a nap….though, I hope it was more interesting than that.

I guess my point in this entry is to say…that even when we don’t get to work on our art….our lives evolve and that evolution seeps its way into our art…so it still evolves. So, just because it’s been a while since you’ve worked on a certain venue of art….don’t write it off as over. That’s how connected our emotional growth is with our art growth.