Tag Archives: photos

Prayer Flags, Or Are They?



Last saturday was our monthly Diva Day, and after getting together for so many years it becomes difficult to have a project to share.  But share we did!  We had a small group, but we still manage to have fun.  We narrowed it down to two choices, and our Maxine decided on flags.

Our inspiration comes from everywhere, and I researched for hours trying to bring ideas to the table for everyone to be inspired.  Jane laFazzio is an inspiration when it comes to fabric and hand work.  Check out her website if you get a chance, you will be amazed at her work.

The fabulous DragonFly Flag was created by artist Karin deBaay.  As we all oood and aweeeed over it, she told us she was trying to come up with some ideas to bring to everyone when it just fell into place, and she had to go with it.   Karin showed up to the party with a finished piece!

Maxine Custer and myself sifted through bags of fabric, ribbon, and various other trinkets to decorate with while deciding which  bits and pieces  spoke to us.


While Maxine worked on her flags, we all decided these flags weren’t really Prayer Flags, but rather, Inspirational Flags.  In fact flags can be whatever we want them to be, and today they aren’t prayers, but rather Kindness Flags!


My first flag just spilled out in a big surprise…..The birds, the sequins, it was all very unexpected.   It was so much fun to put together, I decided to create another flag, and while waiting for glue to dry Karin worked on some of her journal pages…..

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Doesn’t Karin do beautiful work?  She is a fiber artist, and all of us get more inspiration from her than she will ever know.

Maxine was also working on a lovely piece that speaks more eloquently each day.

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While I completed my second flag, I  realized  I needed more flags for them to fly free on my patio.  An artist can’t just have two flags!


Since we gathered not just to share and inspire each other, but to celebrate Karin’s Birthday as well,  we had a Yummy summer salad, and Fruit Tarts from the French Bakery.

Karin had a fun day…IMG_0127 2

Maxine was inspired to keep creating…..IMG_0125

And I’m here to tell the story…..IMG_0128

This is the story of a Diva Day of small proportions, and lots of fun!  Thank you for checking in with Stone Soup,  I love it when you respond, and appreciate all your comments.


How to Start an Abstract


I recently posted a blog on abstract painting, and I probably will continue to do this until I’m satisfied with my own abstracts.  If you look at me in my studio, I’m always trying to figure out how to balance the kind of look that I really love to see, with the look of realism.  There are a few things I really feel have influenced me, and one is the Impressionist movement, such as Van Gough, Monae, to name a few.  I also love very abstract like Picasso, or even Motherwell.   The question is, can you blend them in such a way that they are fun, and still pleasant to look at.   Do they need to be pleasant?  Or is it better to leave the viewer with a little uncomfortable feeling?  All these things run through my mind while I’m working on what was supposed to be “Really Abstract.”

As I watch these teaching videos, it is obvious that it’s all very subjective.  Some artists just love  painting non-objective abstract that is busy.  To them it tells a story just like this video. Jillian is very much an intuitive abstract painter.  Her work is busy, colorful, and she loves it!  My son Chris is the same way.  His art is all  intuitive and in explaining his art, it always has a story to tell.  To me it becomes a sometimes a little difficult to digest and understand.  Some of it I fall in love with, and some of it, well…….lets just say it’s not my favorite!

We all have our own way of expressing ourselves, and both Jillian, and Chris express in a similar way.  Is it wrong?  Shouldn’t we all be able to express our creativity the way we wish?  Can anyone explain it’s validity besides the artist?   It definitely takes a different kind of viewer to appreciate this kind of abstract art, but that doesn’t make it bad, it only makes it different as it should be.  It pushes us past our comfort level, and in doing so, we just may become better at our own art.  After all, if we were all alike, life would be more than boring, and who would we have conversations about.  Isn’t art here to make us think, and stretch ourselves.  We can’t grow as painters, or viewers if there isn’t something to learn from……

In The Beginning…

Huntington Woods

Huntington Woods

Mount Carmel Hospital, Detroit Michigan…May 23, 1943..

Wow a bouncing baby girl! Of course, I really wasn’t bouncing at the time, that came later, but a baby girl, I definitely was! Mother told me that we were in the hospital for two weeks.

Can you believe that, two weeks! Today, if you get to stay over night, you’re lucky. Being a nurse myself, I’ve seen new mothers kicked out of the hospital when they were too young to even have a child, didn’t know how to care for it, and needed some extra time with the nurses to help them get comfortable with the care and feeding of an infant.

But not us, we got an entire two weeks. Little did Mother know that would be the last time she ever had a spa day!  Especially since as the years went by, I was lucky enough to have three more siblings to share Mother, and Dad’s time with!

My parents built a home in Royal Oaks, in Huntington Woods, the suburbs of Detroit. I recall my Mother telling me it was just off of Woodward Rd, or maybe it was Two Mile Road. Either way I’m sure it doesn’t look, feel, or smell the same today. That was more than a half century ago, as I recall (and I’m told), things have changed in the little neighborhood in the suburbs of Detroit, and probably not for the better either!

We had a sweet little home, I remember it well. Ok, I remember the outside really well because I still have a picture. Lately I’ve been going through all the old pictures with nothing on the back to tell me who, what, or where they were taken. I wish my Mother would have written all those facts down, it would have been so much easier,   on me! I have all these pictures of ancient relatives who don’t have any names on the back of their photos, and wouldn’t it have been nice to know who they were?

For a while I actually belonged to a Genealogy Club, trying to learn how to research, and find my (dead relatives) heritage. That’s a lot more difficult than one might think. My heritage is English, Irish, and Scotch, two-thirds of them came to Canada on a boat.  It could have even been a rowboat, or a blow up boat for all I know. The records are difficult to find, even with help! Eventually, it took up so much time researching dead relatives, that I had to decide if I wanted to sit in front of a computer getting a bubble-butt, or did I want to paint. I decided to paint instead, and leave the research to a time when I couldn’t paint, or see to paint. The irony is, if I can’t see to paint, I can’t see to research!   And, I think I still have a bubble-butt….. from blogging! I’ll tell you though, it certainly is fun when you can find a lost, and forgotten relative that you knew was there, but had never been able to locate before!

That happened when I found my great-uncles in Nova-Scocia. I knew they had been there on the family farm, I knew they were siblings of my grandmother. I had visited the farm with my parents when I was a baby, and I had also visited with my Dad in the summer when we were in Michigan with family. Upon finding my uncles, you would have thought Readers Digest had knocked on my front door with a check (hopefully for me) for $10,000,000. Can you imagine?

Ok, Ok enough of the genealogy stuff!  And dreaming!

Later I’ll tell you a little more. Stick with me, the best is yet to come…..