Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Ultimate Shopping Guide!

Tis the season for shopping.   I live in an area that has a plethora of talented artists from a wide range of disciplines.  With that in mind as well as Cyber Monday just around the corner, I would like to highlight some of my favorite Artists.   It seems that Christmas has just gotten so commercial and competitive!  Fighting the crowds for the hot gift item of the season is not only stressful but could downright be hazardous to your heath!   So I ask you why?????  Why give a gift that will be out of fashion or out of date in the next few months?   Why give a gift that can be found at any local chain store?  Why not give a gift made from an artist that is unique and something that will be cherished for a lifetime? 

Please also keep in mind as Shop Small  - Small Business Saturday approaches that many of these artists do not have store fronts…but that does not mean you cannot shop via the internet to support the cause!  I have also highlighted the local stores in Bemidji that showcase these artists and many others.
Betsey Harries of Sweetgrass Trading Company is an artist I met at Ely’s Harvest Moon Festival.  I just adore her Earth-felt people.  Each one has a personality all of it’s own and has remarkable detail.  They each have their own story and come with a certificate of authenticity.  She also creates beautiful fine art beading in dragonflies (I adore! And jewelry).

Alice Blessing captures the aura of a person via acrylic finger painting!  Her work is amazing.  I wonder if her teachers had any inclination of the talent she possessed in grade school when she finger painted an art project?

Green Janie helps save our planet by upcycling reclaimed glass.  She is an inspiration and her work in glass not only captures the beauty around us by the sun’s light as well!  I own one of her rolling pins, and I must say there is no other way to roll your dough!  I love her blog….keep up to date with fun ways to save our planet!

Photo taken by Trish Photography

A Tranquil Nook  - Frank and Jane are the most adorable couple I have met.  Frank makes stone jewelry and the most yummy gluten free treats!  Jane creates the most marvelous things from fabric and fiber.  I love Jane’s hats her detail and workmanship are incredible.  Jane transforms fabric and fiber into so many things I simply cannot list them all. 

Alice Strand sews the most adorable tiny creations with such artisanship and detail.  To say she “sews” seems like the ultimate understatement.  You will absolutely have to have one!  Below is a commission piece she did…just amazing!

Mary Therese Moran Peterson of Fern Lake Studio is a beautiful soul who designs and paints fanciful flora and fauna, figures and abstract shapes on silks and cottons. I purchased one of her beautiful silk scarves my sister. 

There are so many more artists in this area… if I were to list them all I would have a novel!  If you are taking a shopping trip to our lovely town I have listed a few places that you must visit.  You can  purchase art from our local artists.

Shop 426 Located in our Bemidji Community Arts Center -
Want to keep up to date with local art and culture?  Visit Lakeland Public T.V.’s Common Ground and view our artists in action!

Happy Shopping!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Story Behind the tile Summer Dreams

This post I would like to tell you about the title that haunts me the most!   Summer Dreams is one of my favorite designs.   You see it was a beautiful summer day….the weather was a perfect temperature…somewhere in the high 70’s lower 80’s.  The sun was shining beautifully and there was only a light breeze.  My spirits were soaring, I was so thankful for where I lived, in awe of the beauty of the day.   The tiger lilies in my yard were profusely blooming and were a brilliant burnt orange.   The contrast of the kelly green lily leaves and the brilliant burnt orange flowers fascinated me.  I picked a bouquet of tiger lilies and wild flowers that were also blooming in my yard.  I arranged them on this incredible piece of driftwood from my lake. 
Summer Dreams

 Now before I tell you more of this story I must tell you that I am a complete dork when it comes to song lyrics.  You see….I ALWAYS sing the lyrics wrong.  For instance the seventies song by Cher called Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves I here Gypsies, Chimpanzees!   Another example is the Macy Gray song,  I Try.  There is a line where she says, "My world crumbles when you are not near".  I here I blow bubbles when you are not near!   Well on this particular day I had another seventies song in my head.  I thought the lyrics were…”Summer Dreams makes me feel fine”.  I was singing (off key I am sure) this song out load as I was capturing images of my beautiful bouquet of flowers.  I was singing this song again (still of key) while I was creating the kaleidoscope.   Of course, this is why I titled this design Summer Dreams!   All of my designs are submitted to the government for a copyright.   It was not until after I received my copyright certificate that I realized that the title of the song is actually Summer Breeze by Seals and Crofts!  Well I have already copyrighted this design, so I am forever haunted with what a dork I am on song lyrics!   Below I have added the songs I am referring to just for fun!

Summer Breeze video and song by Seals and Crofts (a.k.a. Summer Dreams)

Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves (a.k.a Gypsies, Chimpanzees!) by Cher

Last but not least Macy Gray's I Try where I hear I blow bubbles when you are not near!

Until next time dear friends...Take care,

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Story Behind The Title

I have many stories that go behind my kaleidoscopes that I thought I would start to share the story behind the kaleidoscope design.
Lavender Lust
This kaleidoscope design began as an Ode To Winter Challenge from the Dirt Road Artists, an Etsy team I am a member of.   The challenge was to create a piece that was inspired by winter.   I live in Northern Minnesota so I love winter….but when it comes to photography in winter I am not inspired.  Simply because I love to photograph things with various colors and textures.   I have seen beautiful photographs of winter, but it is just not my forte.    I wanted to participate in this challenge and thought what could I do?   It was the middle of January.   The temperatures were a chilling 20 below zero.  I bought a bouquet of flowers and filled a spray bottle up with luke warm water.  I placed the flowers on the snow a sprayed them with the water, instantly incasing them in a frosty ice.   I was surprised by the result.   The warm water and sunlight seems to intensify the color of the flowers.   The incredible lavender and purples inspired my title of this kaleidoscope Lavender Lust.   The focal point of this kaleidoscope is a Peruvian Lily.  The Peruvian Lily symbolizes friendship and devotion.

Lavender Lust in a 4x4 ceramic tile

The same day I also followed this process with a single red rose with small pine branches behind it.  After spraying the rose with the warm water, I then sprayed with colder water.  Instead of a frosted affect, it was clear ice.  The skies were clear and the sun was bright.  The sunlight captured the ice inside the rose resulting in a small star in the center.   I titled this piece Frostbitten because…well….I WAS!   Red Roses symbolize sincere Love, Respect, Courage and Passion

Frostbitten in a framed ceramic tile

Both of these designs are available in ceramic tiles, paperweights, sun catchers/ornaments, pendants, magnets, note cards and wall décor.   There are two places to purchase my items.  My Etsy Store or going to   The Kaleidoscope Photo Art site is embedded in my blog below.  You can navigate directly from this site.   Please feel free to custom order any design into any product I have available.    My Etsy store also has the before and after of each kaleidoscope design.
Wishing you all tranquility in your life,