Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Make Your Wish

There is hope in dreams, imagination,
and in the courage of those who wish to make those dreams a reality.
~ Jonas Salk

I love the magical word WISH... I believe so much in the power of imagination, and know that all good things start there.   This is a special little piece today with $10 of the $25 cost going to the Make A Wish foundation.  My sister-in-law-to-be, Whitney, is participating in the 19th Annual Medical Mutual of of Ohio Walk for Wishes.  The Make-A-Wish Foundation is a non-profit organization in the United States that grants wishes  to children (2.5 years to 18 years old) who have life-threatening medical conditions. You can make a donation here.  If you are interested in purchasing this piece through Paypal, please email me at

When looking for inspirational words to go with this piece, I ran across this sweet quote by Jonas Salk, the man who developed the vaccine for polio.  Serendipity at it's best!  From the early 1900s up until the 1950s, so many children were stricken with polio.  (It touched my own family... my grandmother was left to live the rest of her life in a wheelchair contracting polio in her early 20s as well as my uncle who contracted it as a child.)  This was a very real disease.

Along come Jonas Salk, an unlikely hero.  Born to poor, uneducated Russian immigrant parents, Salk was an astute student who was lucky to study at the City College of New York, a school known for being a the break needed for children of immigrant parents who lacked the pedigree and funds attend better schools.  Interestingly, although the facilities were second rate at best, from this school in the 1930s and 1940s came more Nobel Prize winners than any other public instititution (eight!) except for the University of California at Berkeley.  That's a striking testament to the power adveristy has to fueling the imagination!
If you are interested in learning more about Jonas Salk and his amazing story, check out this article.  It truly is an amazing story.  I am amazed by him as well as all medical researchers who forgo the route of more immediate gratification in helping people to take on the work of distant dreams.

This piece is 6" x 6" and painted on both sides, with the quote above on the back.  I've added some magic 3-dimensional "dust" to make this one extra special!  A perfect little reminder to keep dreaming, and persevering!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


I discovered I always have choices
and sometimes it's only a choice in attitude.
~ Judith Knowlden

When our minds and hearts are in overload, the most detrimental thought habit is to feel powerless.  Sometimes our choices may be hidden from view and require the compassion and care of another soul to help us see them, but choices always exist... if the choice is even to spend time "budded up" or to accept one's current state.  Our own thoughts are our greatest capital.


This piece is 6" x 6" painted on both sides, with the above quote on the back, and is available for purchase for $30.  Please email me at for details.

Monday, June 27, 2011


The best way to pay for a lovely moment is to enjoy it.
~ Richard Bach

The days are long and all I want to do is sit with a glass of cold lemonade and fan myself!  What are you doing to enjoy the beginning of the summer season?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday Sketch: Welcome Home

There's nothing half so pleasant as coming home again.
~ Margaret Elizabeth Sangster

My hubby and I have both been traveling a lot this month -- separately.  Today he comes home after being away almost a week so I did this little sketch for him.  While I drew I thought about how important is the enthusiasm and warmth we show our loved ones when we first see them again -- whether after many days or even a few hours.  It is in those glances that we truly show our love and care.

A special welcome also to my Sunday Sketches friends from The Blue Chair Diary.  May you all feel loved this day!

Saturday, June 25, 2011


"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord,
"plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11

This was a recent commission as a gift for friend of mine all the way back from teenage years who has been the Director of Music Ministries for decades at the church I grew up.  Here she is...

Isn't that a shiny happy face?

Pam is one of the warmest, most positive people you'd ever meet -- so talented and humble!  After working so long directing the music program at my childhood church she is leaving to begin a new life, finding new ways to share her gifts of music, passion, and creativity.  What courage to step away from the foundation she has built and faith to leap out into the unknown!

I felt very deeply about this piece as I created it.. thinking of the warmth of the golden sun (a divine symbol in much of my work) and this magnificent bird taking a  90 degree turn!  I know my friend will bless and be blessed by this decision to turn and I hope it serves as a reminder that God's warmth is shining on her!


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Fourth Birthday Blessing: Wash

Since I'm turning a year older this week, I am creating pieces to use as signposts for goals or thoughts this upcoming year.  On my recent road trip to Kentucky, I got lots of driving time in solitude -- no greater way to empty your brain of a little mental garbage.  A visual kept popping up in my thoughts... that of washing and it being time to let some of the pain and disappointments of the past wash away.  So it was really serendipitous when my sister gave me this as my birthday present when I arrived...

A envelope necklace with...

... a tiny note tucked inside!

a sweet little poem

These little lockets are made by Liz Lamoreux, who held a wonderfully life-changing "Be Present" retreat that my sister recently went on.  (It's been so neat seeing my older sis evolving in her creative journey the last several years as a play therapist and newbie artsy fartsy! Follow her at PlayCrane.)  It took a few days for the words to sink in and their weight to resonate.  Right away I saw a deep connection, knowing how much I am drawn to the color blue in my work and messages of hope.  But this special message seemed just right for me this upcoming year as I seek to find the next stop in my life walk.  Sometimes it is exactly the place where pain is washed away that we find ourselves...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Third Birthday Blessing: Celebrate

The more you praise and celebrate your life,
the more there is in life to celebrate.
~ Oprah Winfrey

This week I'm creating pieces to with various concepts I want to keep in mind during the upcoming year and today is my actual birthday!    Today I celebrate that I've survived and learned and am blessed with so many people who have been with me along the way!  I ate lunch with a friend and stopped in a nice little art store where I found this mini MINI sketch pad ( 2.5" x 3.5") and a tiny set of colored pencils.  They are so sweet I thought they would be a good reminder for me that we don't have to do big things to celebrate facets of our lives, but it does take a little effort.  I think celebration is gratitude in action...   

On that note, I'm off for a nap and then cocktails and cake!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Second Birthday Blessing: Value

Learn to value yourself, which means:
to fight for your happiness.
~ Ayn Rand

As I posted earlier, this week I'm celebrating my birthday by creating works that are to be touchpoints for the upcoming year.  Today I am thinking about the importance of self-worth.  I know that I am not alone in having difficulty in embracing my own worthiness and  it probably the single most pivotal piece of most of my life challenges.  The struggle to find value in self -- the kind of value that allows one to speak their voice without needing to shout -- is continuous...

Monday, June 20, 2011

First Birthday Blessing: Sweep

Sweep first before your own door,
before you sweep before the doorsteps of your neighbors.
 ~ Swedish Proverb

So it's my birthday this week - Wednesday to be exact.  I'll be old enough that I've made enough mistakes to create good material for life lessons and young enough to still not have figured out exactly what the lessons are!  So this week I'll be creating pieces that are touchstones for my upcoming year.  I found this little quote while hunting for inspiration for this past week's Illustration Friday theme of "swept."   I think it's a good reminder not just to take care of your own business before meddling in that of others, but also to take care of oneself before taking care of others.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Keys from Dad

The key is to keep company with people who uplift you,
whose presence calls forth your best.
~ Epictetus

Some time around my senior year of high school, my dad handed over the keys to my first car.  A magic car it was!  An old brown Toyota hatchback  that had seen better days, bought for a whopping $100!  Magic because not only could it be started with any key, but the keys could actually be taken out of the ignition while driving and the car would keep running! 

As I was thinking of what to draw for my Father's Day post, I was thinking about the symbol of keys... how my Dad has been there to hand over important keys in my life... my first car, my first apartment (and all the apartments after), my education, my marriage.  But it's not the unlocking of the key that is not the most important thing my Dad has given me through the years.  Handing keys over has also a been a promise to  "be there afterward" --- when  I make mistakes or get in over my head in the place that was unlocked.  Helping me handle a car accident or a nasty landlord, a frustration in a relationship,  or a workplace conflict... these are the real ways fatherhood has been shown.. not just graduations and weddings and driver's licenses. 

To my dad and to all men who lend a hand in difficult times...

Happy Father's Day!

This drawing is my participation in this week's Sunday Sketches hosted by The Blue Chair Diary.  Stop on by to see other sketches by artists today!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Your Own Thing

You just have to do your own thing, no matter what anyone says. 
It's your life.
~ Ethan Embry

I'm a rule follower at heart.  I veer away from the express checkouts because I'm terrified of being one item over the limit.  I hate to step on other people's toes.  All of those can be good things... except when they turn into worrying way too much about what other people think.  The irony of that is most people aren't thinking so much about us as we worry they do.    So this piece is a little reminder to wear white after labor day, eat ice cream for breakfast, wear socks with sandals, and sing showtunes in the library.  It is your life and you only get one.

And here's another reminder... 
stop knocking other people who are beating their own drum.
They only have one life too.

 Get back to your own work.

This piece is a vintage toolbox I found in an antique store on my recent trip to Kentucky. I just love how some worker crafted this for his (or her!) tools and must have lugged it around for countless projects.  I love to imagine what those must have been.  It is 16" long and 11" high.  The bottom tray is 7 1/2 " deep and the top tray is 3" deep.  It has been coated with a polyurethane finish and is great for toting around art supplies!  This piece is available for purchase through paypal for $45.  Please email me at for details.

Friday, June 17, 2011

A Peace Present

 All we are saying is give peace a chance.
~John Lennon

I painted this denim jacket for my niece's birthday while on my recent trip to Kentucky.  I found it on a discount rack while shopping and thought it would be a perfect blank canvas!

I love painting over contact paper to make negative shapes!

It's like making a magic picture!

 Signed the back with "AC" for "Auntie Cori"...

Made some leopard print roses out of a scarf I found at the dollar store....

Added a little leopard print ribbon to the bottom and a matching headband!  How fun!

What present of peace can you give today?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Make Goodbye Fun

Promise me you'll never forget me cause if you would I'd never leave.
~ Winnie the Pooh

As much as I've missed my hubby and old man kitty waiting at home, I wasn't looking forward to saying goodbye to my sis and family today!  So I decided to make a special surprise for my niece and nephew to wake up to this morning.   I made this little mobile for them to find when they woke up this morning...

One side says "Let your light shine in all you say and do..."

The other side says "See the world through the love in your heart..."

At the bottom hung a little envelope with a note inside to search the house for all of these...

Lots and lots of hearts all through the house!  Hope they had as much fun finding them as I did hiding them!  And I hope you find a way to spread a little love today as well! ♥

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


The invariable mark of wisdom
is to see the miraculous in the common.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Just a little fun with crayons and sandpaper.  I just love the way this turns out!  No one would ever know how simple the materials are and would look wonderful in a little frame behind glass.  This piece is  9" x 11" and sells for $15.  Please email me at for purchase.

Seek out a miracle today!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Knowledged of what is
does not open the door directly to
what should be.
~ Albert Einstein
If opportunity doesn't knock,
build the door.
~ Milton Berle
Follow your bliss...
and the universe will open doors
where there were only walls.
~ Joseph Campbell

I found these little doors at an antique shop here in Kentucky where I'm visiting my sister.  Something about them pulled me in... until I realized how much they fit in with the metaphors of bridges and paths that I am drawn to.

A few pictures of the process...

And some closeups of the finished piece...

This piece measures is 15.5 inches tall and 17.5 inches wide when laid flat.  It is made out of wood and painted with acrylics, coated with satin varnish.  It is available for $55 through Paypal.  Please email me at if you are interested in purchasing.

                                    May a door be open to you today!                              

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