October 13, 2014

Printing with Apples from Art for All Seasons

It's nearing the end of apple picking season here in New Hampshire and the pies, crisps and sauces begin to appear everywhere.  It's a time I always enjoyed with my children - walking the orchards and picking the best apples we could reach!

 So today I want to share a tradition from our home and straight from my new book Art for All Seasons which will come out next month! We are going to make some apple print napkins or table runners for our harvest dinners with a few simple steps. Enjoy!


2 apples
Fabric ink 
Brayer (affiliate link)
Old Cookie sheet
Cotton fabric or pre-made napkin 
Paper towel
  1.  Cut your apples in half both from the stem side down and across the middle. This will create two different prints: one "heart" and one "star"
  2.  Spread out your fabric over a few layers of newspaper. 
  3. Roll out some water based fabric paint or ink on a cookie sheet with a brayer until smooth. Be sure not to spread it too far as it will dry to quickly.
  4. Roll the smoothed ink onto your apple until covered.
  5. Press the inked apple onto your fabric in a desired pattern.
  6. Let dry and iron the fabric with a clean sheet of paper covering the design, to set the ink.

October 06, 2014

October brings ...

The very last of the French Marigolds. So cheery!

Dinner last night with Grace and Ryan in the backyard! Cool weather glory days!

Our new fall window - just a corner just a peek!

Our booth at Apple Harvest Day! Bella looking cute as always!

September 19, 2014

Journal Pages

channeling Art Retreat Camp (swim cover at Mayhew Island) 
I have been asking my students to keep painting in their journals and to use up left over paint to be motivated to start - (always so Yankee of a notion).  Here is my first page spread in a new composition book that I started just this week. I have the greatest of intentions to keep it rolling! What do your journal pages hold for you? Do you paint each day in them?

September 17, 2014

Art for All Seasons -- my new book!

Available for preorder now everywhere books are sold! Published by Two Little Birds Books

 I could not be more excited to share the good news with you all! My newest book is the first in a series called Kids Art by Two Little Birds Books. It is filled to the brim with ideas inspired by the four seasons and some of my absolute favorite artists on the planet! Stay tuned here this month and next for some peeks - launch dates - and give aways surrounding Art for All Seasons!

September 14, 2014

After You - an Ekphrastic Art Exhibit

Our latest exhibit at artstream included 3 artists (I was one of them) and 3 poets. This is our fourth exhibit here at artstream and one of the most exciting! All the work is collage based and the poems are as varied from Tanka to free verse. Worth a stop in to see and read! All of the artwork is online too! Below are two of my pieces - I was paired up with Jessica Purdy who is an incredible muse!
Grackles in March
Thin Ice

July 23, 2014


Photo shoots for Art for All Seasons
Bumper crop of peonies!
Vermont treasures ...

Gardening squeezed in ...
So it's been awhile ... Rainer and I have been working hard on finishing my fourth book. Photo shoots, edits, styling, kids in action. All good stuff. But no time for blogging. So above and below are scenes from the last months adventures. Now on to summer! (below is a shot from our weekend in Vermont.. stopped by our friends farm Harlow Farm  in Westminster, VT

May 13, 2014

Five good things!

my window boxes on our poetry shed
Time for five good things today - celebrations are always in order, why not on a Tuesday? Here's my top five for today ... what are yours?

1. I have brilliant and amazing friends: 
More than I can count on one hand ..all of whom I am thankful for!

2. We created an Art {retreat} Camp which is a deeply unique and absolutely fantastic. Check it out!

3. My students continue to amaze me and inspire me!

4. I am writing my fourth book and deeply grateful for the opportunity to do so - with such great kids!

5,  My first book: Art Lab for Kids continues to be a best seller and sold in five languages - after two years in the world!
Five things to celebrate today!

May 05, 2014

What she said

selfie in Brooklyn (last week) feeling 35

We always laughed with my mother when she said "Age, it's only a number" She was right though - the older I get the more I feel the same. Does the number correlate to what's inside? Not always... rarely and sometimes. What do you think?

May 02, 2014

May Basket tutorial

Cut a circle of any size out of wallpaper or other heavyweight paper. Use straight or wavy edged scissors. Create scallops if you want to get fancier! You may also start with a half circle and skip the next step.

Cut a wedge out of the circle

Wrap the circle into a cone shape

Staple the cone at the seam

Admire your cone!

Cut a second circle to cone shape for a liner.  I used vellum, but any paper works! Doilies are wonderful additions!

From the remaining paper or another coordinating paper cut a hanfle.

Staple the handle on to the cone.

Voila! You can tie a ribbon on the basket or punch holes around the edge and thread ribbon through.

Fill with flowers, candy, pussy willows and hang on a friend's door knob, ring the bell, and run! 

May 01, 2014

May Day!

Happy happy May Day! My favorite day in Spring! When we were little my mother would take us to the hardware store and get a wallpaper sample book. Then we would buy candy and pick flowers such as violets from our yard and the occasional daffodil and assemble our "May Baskets". We would then take them to friend's houses and hang them on their doorknobs, ring the bell and RUN like mad. It was a great tradition - one that I would like to revive at least here at the blog. Later today I will post a May Basket with directions so you can celebrate May Day with me. They can even be delivered on May 2nd without any negative effects.... Happy Spring!

April 29, 2014

What came before today (or my life before now)

A few people have asked me about my journey to what I do. Well here it is. A little bit more about my life before today.

 Life begins when you want it to. When you decide it to. That’s what I have always believed. When I was at art school,l life turned on for me in the studio, turned off each day at my necessary job. Off and on off and on each day. When I started my little art school twenty years ago I had been making paintings for a gallery and creating a children’s clothing line most every day. It was a frantic rhythm to keep up with the pace of selling work. I also had two little daughters who loved to create. It was an exhausting time where the creative switch was on but way out of balance with my life.  Time marched forward and the rhythm of the family interwove with the rhythm of my blossoming little art school. The clothing line production fell away and the art school and my own art had a stronger footing and less crazy pace.  The creative - life switch was on and humming smoothly.

There had been something in place, that kept my life switch on and kept me reaching deeper for more. There were really difficult times personally, divorce and doubt. There were all the things good and bad and really bad that having a family and career at the same time bring. But there was finally a pace and the practice kept a fire burning in me. And my daughters were thriving and growing into young women with passions of their own. There was balance restored and art was saving the day – every day.

I found love again with someone who shared my passion and complimented it. We began our life together in our first gallery among our families and friends who continue to support our creative endeavors and dreams. Our little art  school has grown by leaps and bounds and now has three teachers and classes and workshops most every day of the year. Switched on and deeply rooted in our creative life, I have been blessed for ten years to be doing what I love with someone I love. We have sold art work together, written three - (and now our fourth) books and photographed them together, juggled design clients and produced a film festival together. It works. It is fun and it is hard work. Every day. What makes it worthwhile? The students, the clients and the satisfaction our creative process brings them. Making something intangible or tangible. A feeling of peace at the end of the day.

One of my favorite things is connecting with adults who want to make that spark glow a little brighter.  For the past two years I have been working behind the scenes to make a special retreat for people wanting to deeply connect to themselves, their art, nature and other creatives. This past August our Art {retreat} Camp – ARC - was finally a reality. It was the most satisfying art experience that I have had with a group of people. There was creative joy each day through simple processes and a peace that came with it for everyone. Music was made, colorful messes were made and much creative conversations from so many different views that it was remarkable. Each person was able to reconnect with nature in it’s quietest form alone and with others. We are continuing to grow ARC in August 2014 to deepen the experience for many more people.

It is through this deepening of commitment - to throw ourselves out into the great creative beyond - that we find fulfillment as artists. I am deepening my commitment to teaching this winter by offering my classroom experiences and books online in Painting, Mixed Media and Printmaking . It will be exciting to reach out around the globe to share my expanded lessons from my Art Lab for Kids books to a version for adults wishing to deepen their artistic skills by play and practice. 

 It’s a good life this creative one – but for me it’s best when it’s challenged and changing and that always comes by digging a little deeper. 

April 28, 2014

To take time away from home

from the Brooklyn Art Museum an installation by Swoon
It always seems elusive - or - difficult to orchestrate but time away from one's work is so important! We like to head to the city to take in the sights and art and to people watch. We were so lucky this past week to have beautiful weather, everything in bloom and to visit the Brooklyn Art  Museum to see not one, but three amazing exhibits. First up Swoon's Submerged Motherlands
 You can read more about this fabulous piece here and see the video with the artist here too!

 Equally exiting for me was the Ai Weiwei exhibit. Moving, exciting, and important on all fronts. Here's a link to get you closer to his incredible body of  work. I also fell in love with the Arts of the Americas rooms this time and this little sculpture stole my heart. The BMA is fast becoming one of my favorites anywhere...
We also were introduced to some new yummy dinner spots by dear friend Tammy - over on Smith Street we had dinner (yum!) and drinks (have the Boba Fett, seriously great cocktail!)  at Hunter's and a stop at Avlee's Greek Kitchen which was so yummy. We love our walks in Manhattan and no visit to NYC  is complete without walking the HghLine.  We walked the entire length and had perfect weather to view all the vistas. My feet still hurt but it was completely worth every blister! Good to be home, but sad to leave the bounty of Brooklyn,

April 22, 2014

The Eric Carle Museum : Workshop for 3D Art Lab for Kids

It is always a thrill to be asked to run an art  workshop - especially at The Eric Carle Museum's beautiful art studio. Many thanks to Meghan Burch for making me feel so at home there! Great kids/families/adults throughout the afternoon created marvelous sculptures with rolled paper. Everyone had fun! Can't wait to return in the fall.

Signing books! Thank you to The Eric Carle Museum for having me! What a creative place!