Category Archives: Recycle

Prayer Flags Again


This flag has been created by Maxine Custer. Maxine has worked on this for about three weeks, and I am amazed at how it started, and where it h as ended.



On the other hand, my third flag is finished, and I’m planning on at least two more to hang on my patio.

I’m so proud of how my friend is creating, and to the extent she is creating, it makes me so grateful for her friendship. Maxine has always been generous in sharing her creativity with everyone, and I’ve learned so many things from her.


Thank you for visiting Stone Soup, see you later.

Spirit Dolls

Spirit Doll - Bringing Magic & Creativity

Spirit Doll – Bringing Magic & Creativity

I’ve always had a love for “Spirit Dolls.”  For some reason they seem to hold mystery, and magic for me.  They are interesting, sometimes cute, sometimes not so cute.  They come in all shapes,  sizes, and colors.  I look at them and immediately they tell me a story!

A friend of mine whose niece visits her at Christmas, was again here this year, and since she is also an artist, I try to create a small piece of art for her to open.  This year I decided to make her a spirit doll.  So I gathered sticks, and pieces of cloth to put together, and was immediately intrigued  by the process.  Never having made one of these dolls before, it seemed interesting to me how they found their own way to the finish line.

Being an intuitive artist, this was a perfect project, and this is exactly the way this doll wanted to look!

How many of you have created spirit dolls?  What was your process, and did you like the end result?

Are We Loosing Our Books?

Wisdom in Old Books

Wisdom in Old Books

While reading my email the other morning, it occurred to me that as we forge into the electronic age, we are also leaving the age of good old paper books, and we seem to be doing that  at warp speed. Call me ancient, but I still love the feel and smell of a book in my hand.

My iPad has seen it’s share of downloaded books, and while they may be easier to read with the ability to change font size, and brightness, they still aren’t quite the same as holding a real book with delicate pages, and an embossed cover.  As an artist I’m tactile, I love the feel of things like fabric, handmade papers, and yes books!  When one can’t feel the pages, or the slight imprint of  embossed text,  there becomes  a loss of romanticism, and mystery.  Touching the pages, or thumbing through the chapters seems to be the missing link to a world on imagination, and creativity.

While nosing through a thrift store, there seems to be   a huge selection of outdated, previously loved books, maybe even some books one might find can’t be lived without, or  even finding a rare and valuable edition.   This is a treasure trove for a mixed media artist, but a sad day for the books, who sit bitterly on an old plank made to hold other books like themselves.

One of my artist friends  looks for large, thick, old books so she can alter them, taking the insides out, embellishing them,  and making boxes out of them.  Her creations are to die for, and those large, thick discarded books are just what she looks for.  I guess she might say that this would be her lucky day to find such books on a dusty old shelf just waiting to be found, and brought back to life.

How do the books feel about all this?

On the other hand I pick one up, and immediately my thoughts go to the life it has had, and the stories they could tell if only they had a voice.  Sometimes there are little notes, or messages written inside that tell a story.  But, mostly we only need to use our imagination, and off we go on a merry-go-round of thoughts, and ideas!  If only those gloriously old books could reveal their stories about where they lived,  who they lived with, and what kind of shelf they resided on throughout their glory days.  Did they have more than one home, or were they given away each and every time someone was finished with them?  Had they been tossed around, or gently handled and cared for?images-7

How did they end up on a shabby shelf in a musty old thrift shop where the chances of ever finding a  forever home again are all but lost.  Had their owner died, leaving them homeless, or were they discarded like an old shoe?  I can almost feel their pain!  I can feel how rejected most of them must feel at the loss of clean crisp pages, or a undented or undamaged cover.  My heart goes out to them, and I want to bring them all home only to reassure each of them that they are loved, and as long as I’m alive they will never again be mistreated, or thrown around.  They would now have a place on a shelf that isn’t dusty, or crowded.  Their own place to be proud of…

Sadly I have always longed for a home with a large library,  floor to ceiling  –  with a big rolling ladder enabling me to  get way up at the top to retrieve one of my most cherished books to read.  I say sadly because, I have never been fortunate enough to have such a fabulous library, and now we have downsized our home to a small bookshelf in our office that barely holds the books we use each day.  My dream is sincere, and if I was able those books would have their forever homes.images-8

I know we have libraries, but as with puppies and kittens, there simply isn’t enough space for everyone to live side by side peacefully.   Would the answer lie with each of us building a large private library of our own to help out?    This I can not say, but I am saddened by the direction we are going, and the lack of those beautiful books of  days past!

Thank you for stopping by to read my post, see you next time…

Time To Create Again!


Anyone who knows me, knows I haven’t been very productive in quite a while.  I’ve tried, but somehow I just haven’t been able to find inspiration…until now!

A couple of months ago, I signed up to be part of the Sketchbook Project!

For the last few summers I have watched each year as this project unfolds, and in the back of my mind, thinking one year I would join in.  This was that year!  Of course, I needed another project, but what better time to start an art project than when you’re  busy, right?  My thinking was that it is only 32 pages, and certainly a little project like that would be a snap for me!  The other thing is, we are all busy all the time anyway, so why wait?

After getting back into our home since having bamboo floors laid in the entire house (studio included), I think I’m ready to start thinking about putting pen to paper, and leaving my mark on whatever community it will be going to.  That’s not to say that everything is perfect in our home.  After all, some of the paintings still remain stacked in the corner waiting to find their rightful place on the wall.  The livingroom looks new, and fresh.   I’ve changed things around, replaced some things, and gotten rid of others.  It feels like a new home to me, and now I’m ready to get back to sketching, and painting!

It’s interesting how something like this can give us an entire new outlook on just about everything, and I find myself energized, and inspired!

Who knows how long it will take me to complete this sketchbook.  The project needs to be mailed back by January 15, 2014, so I really do have plenty of time.  Anything goes this time, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do, anything, whatever feels right!  Poetry, sketches, collage, ink, pen, you name it.

In the next few weeks, or maybe I should say, next couple of months, I’ll be posting the pages I work on, and you can tell me what you think.  Make suggestions,  I’m always open for comments, in fact I love getting comments, it keeps me motivated!

Sketchbook Project

Sketchbook Project

This little Sketchbook will be going to the Central Part of the Mid-West!

This little Sketchbook will be going to the Central Part of the Mid-West!

So for now,…..  Start a project, and share it with me!   I’ll be back!

Reduce, Reuse, And Recycle