Making Books with the Girlies: Sarah

Sarah's Book-Girls Play Day 2
Sarah's Front Cover
My girls have completely different approaches when it comes to make art with me. Olivia completely does her own thing. Sarah follows what I do step by step. Both methods have their merits because I know they are both learning something no matter which route they take. This is Sarah’s book from our booking making session. Look a tad familiar? (see my book in the previous post)

Sarah's Book-Girls Play Day 2
Sarah's Back Cover
With every step I took in creating my covers, Sarah did the same, just not necessarily in the same colors. I layed down a light colored spotted background; Sarah layed down a light colored spotted background. I used a stencil to add some acrylic paint in a fun pattern; Sarah used a stencil to add some acrylic paint in a fun pattern. I took another stencil and some spray ink and added another layer; Sarah took another stencil and some spray ink and added another layer. You get my drift?

Sarah's Book-Girls Play Day 1
Sarah's Spine
While Benny was out of town, we only finished our panels and didn’t do the signatures until later. When Benny got home, I had all our cover panels layed out on my book-making table, and I asked him to tell me who did what. “Well, these are definitely Olivia’s,” he said, pointing to Livvie’s two panels. Then looking more closely at the remaining four, he asked, “Sarah didn’t do any? These are all yours.” Nope, those weren’t all mine. :-) Two of them were Sarah’s. She’s definitely learning quickly. Now that she’s getting more confidence, I think she’ll break out with her own ideas pretty soon. Olivia's book is up next!

Mix it Up Monday: Making Books with the Girlies

Kelly's Book-Girls Day Play 2
Front Cover and Spine
Two weekends ago, Benny went to the Penn State/Alabama game, so the girlies and I had a weekend at home alone together. It's on these weekends that we like to tackle bigger projects, so this particular weekend, we made books.

Kelly's Book-Girls Day Play 4
Front Cover
This is my book. The covers are made from canvas board which I painted with acrylic paints and stenciled and sprayed with various inks. The spine is made from some leftover duck cloth I had laying around, and the signatures are made from Canson mixed media paper. I sewed the signatures in with a butterfly stitch using tan waxed linen thread.

Kelly's Book-Girls Day Play 3
Back Cover
The eyelash yarn is strictly for fun! I started with the tail at the top of the book and then wrapped the yarn through the center of each signature, tieing it back at the top. It adds that little bit of Kelly bling that I have to have in everything I do. :-)  I'll share Sarah's and Olivia's books with you later this week. They each want their own blog post!

Kelly's Book-Girls Day Play 1
Spine with eyelash yarn

The Importance of Not Taking Yourself Too Seriously

goofy Kelly

So, here I am in all my goofy glory. When I got home from work earlier this week, my girls decided they wanted to do a “makeover” on me. Olivia did the hair, and let me just say, it took her some time! Sarah did my makeup. It doesn’t really show up too well here, but trust me, I am all glittered up right fine and dandy. The makeover also included a foot massage with lotion and a manicure. I was not allowed to see myself until they were completely done, but I think the finished product speaks for itself. I look fabulous! They are currently taking new clients if you’d like to schedule an appointment.

I posted this picture on Facebook and received numerous comments. It’s now my new goofy profile pic. It got me to thinking about how many people would feel comfortable posting a picture like this, or any not so flattering or professional but otherwise entertaining photo, on a public site. I didn’t hesitate because, well, I’m goofy, and I’m just fine with that. Always have been and always will be. But I know that I’m connected to people on Facebook with whom I work that would be aghast at posting a picture like this. Why do you think that is?

I work in education, so yes, degrees are important and many of my colleagues list their degrees after their names in the signature lines of their emails. Great, if that’s your thing and you want the world to know it; you earned it, so more power to you. But I don’t, and when I think about it, I’d feel a little funny doing that. I have a Master of Arts in English degree, but that certainly doesn’t define me; it just affords me the opportunity to teach college English. I believe that what defines us is who we are at our core, and oftentimes that’s not what we present to the world. Maybe we should do that more often. Maybe if we did that, people might understand each other a little better and be more accepting of all the quirky differences that make us who we are as individuals in this big old blue world. Maybe we should worry less about what other people think about us and revel in the messiness that makes us uniquely us. Comes back to that daily dose of awesomeness I talked about in my last post. We all have a daily dose of awesomeness in us somewhere; sad sometimes that it takes crazyily dressed 3rd graders to remind us of that (and, yes, I just made up a word; I'm awesome that way). Go find your awesome and share it with the world.

Daily Dose of Awesomeness


My girls are becoming quite the little fashion plates, particularly Sarah. She's been coming up with some outfits lately that have definitely required some camera phone attention. I've been sending these pictures to my Facebook page, and earlier this week, my friend Brittany said the pictures remind her of this post from the Pig Tail Pals. I hadn't seen the post before, but it is most definitely awesome. Be sure to take a peek.

My girls certainly help me with my daily dose of awesome. This morning, Sarah was standing in the bathroom with me watching me apply my makeup, and she said, "Mama, why do you wear makeup? You are just as pretty without it." Great way to start your day, huh!? But I think it's important that we all find own individual dose of everyday awesome, too, something external from our kids. I've definitely always been a pretty easy going girl, and you know I live by the philosophy that happiness is a choice, so why can't awesomeness be a choice, too? Let's all choose to be awesome, every day, in our own special ways. All it takes is a little change in perspective.  So tell me about your awesomeness! 

Gallery Opening Tonight! Wheels!

1955 Red and White Chevrolet Belair

I am blessed to have another solo gallery show starting tonight! It's been in the works for about a month but I just haven't remembered to share it with you here (been a little crazy in my world...). The show is called "Wheels," and I'm including a selection of my Harvey Car Collection and my Classic Chrome collection. The opening is tonight in the Kent Campus Gallery, from 6pm-8pm, and the show runs through September 27. I'm thrilled to have been asked to share my work.  :-)    

Remembering and Teaching

9/11 Rembrance Program
Terry Greene, me, and our campus president Dr. Margarita Cabral-Maly
All this week I’ve been trying to explain to my girls what happened 10 years ago today. We had our campus remembrance program on Wednesday, and I invited our speaker, Terry Greene, to have dinner with us Wednesday night. We invited Terry to speak at the College as a representative of the organization Peaceful Tomorrows, which is comprised of family members of those lost on 9/11. Terry lost her brother Donnie on Flight 93 that went down in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Her story was touching, but more touching was her take on what happened that day, and everything that’s happened since. The members of Peaceful Tomorrows came together because of their shared belief that the response to what happened that day was not more violence, but rather a fight for peace. We thoroughly enjoyed our dinner with Terry at our house, not as the family member of someone who lost a brother on that day, but just as another interesting, loving human being who enjoyed casual conversation over a plate of spaghetti.

Old Glory at our house
Our house proudly displaying Old Glory today
This certainly wasn’t a first, by any means, as Benny has gotten used to me bringing home random musicians, speakers and performers for dinner over the years, but something about our dinner with Terry Wednesday night was different than the rest. We didn’t talk much about what brought her to Jacksonville and our dinner table. Really the only time the subject came up was when we told her about Benny’s plan to travel up to Happy Valley for the Penn State/Alabama game this weekend. Terry had already received news from her state representative that her travel over to Shanksville for the 10th anniversary memorial service might be hampered by flooding in the area; that same flooding might have affected Benny’s travels. I think what made it different goes back to Terry’s outlook on life. Every one of us faces loss at some point in our lives. We lose loved ones to cancer; we lose loved ones to car accidents; we lose loved ones to suicide; we lose loved ones to the natural course of life. Terry lost a loved one that day, as did about 3,000 other families, to essentially what comes down to politics, religion and hate, and her view on that loss touched me deeply. She’s not angry or vengeful, and never has been, and she chooses to remember her happiest days with her brother rather than the day she lost him. So instead of being angry, she’s hopeful; she’s hopeful for a better tomorrow for her children and mine. I hope that my girls can learn from that.

The girls with members of Fire Station 37 crew
The girls with the firemen from Station 37
Today at 8:46am, the time the first plane hit the first tower 10 years ago today, the girls and I were hanging our beautiful American flag off of the front porch. The flag was Benny’s grandfather’s, who was a veteran of WWII, so I thought it fitting to use today. After that, we took a batch of brownies we baked yesterday to one of our local fire stations to say thank you to the firemen and first responders for their service. The firemen and I talked about how difficult it is to explain what happened on this day to children, particularly those who weren’t even born on this day 10 years ago. But they are our future, and they are our hope. So in our way, and in a way they can understand, it’s our responsibility to remember and to help them learn. A batch of brownies for a group of firemen miles and miles away from where tragedy struck that day was my girls first step in gaining that understanding.

Indian Summers and Summer Memories...

Indian Summer earrings

Benny and I are long-time fans of CBS’ Sunday Morning, and watching that show every now and then is a treasured Sunday morning, laying-around-in-your-pj’s activity around here. This morning Charles Osgood reminded us that Labor Weekend figuratively symbolizes the end of summer. And I guess while it may mean the kids are back in school, it’s certainly not the end of summer here in Florida. Ours runs through, oh, sometimes November! But I’m not complaining; I’m a Florida girl through and through.

This weekend, in between being lazy with the family watching Looney Tunes cartoon marathons, I’ve been working on updating my website and my Etsy shop with the pieces I’ve been working on for my fall shows, like these Indian Summer earrings. As I mentioned back in this post, I’ve cut back on my shows quite a bit this year. This fall, I’m only set for two right now! I may pop in a couple Riverside Arts Market days here and there, but I’m only on the road for arts festivals twice this fall, late September in Deland and early November in Daytona. In between, I'm looking forward to some family time and a little bit of Florida State football squeezed in around work travel.

So as we sort of say goodbye to summer on this long holiday weekend, what’s been your favorite summer memory this summer? Mine happened just a couple weeks ago with our annual visit to Aunt Livy.