Inspired by Art – Something from My Subconscious

Every time I see someones art, the gift of nature’s beauty or a man made monument, I’m inspired! With some, the inspiration is so powerful I have to weave some beads and create a little piece of art myself! It’s a thrilling ride, a color festival and I don’t want to go home.

Again it’s time to share some powerful inspiration, a man made gift of centuries long ago and lands far away that moved me to create another visual experience that will delight the eyes and lift the spirits! Color guaranteed!

When I started to bead this pendant I was uncertain the directions I would take, but started the process anyway with my choice of beads and this metal filigree! These beads and even the filigree have no Asian significance separately but together they took on a definite Asian appearance and art form!

I love this trust process when something in your subconscious is guiding you, something that you found profound at some point in your life and then tapped into it to make some art!

May Recipes – Sweet & Sour Lentils with Fine Noodles

Love love love this tasty dish, it makes a great main dish and you can eat it cold the next day, no need to reheat! Enjoy!


Sweet & Sour Lentils with Fine Noodles

1 cup of lentils, rinsed
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup rice vinegar
3/4 tsp freshly grated ginger
6 oz Ramen or other raw fine egg noodles
2 Tbls dark sesame oil and add a few drops of chili sauce or Tabasco to the oil
two garlic cloves, minced
one large carrot, thinly sliced
half medium green or yellow pepper, finely chopped
two bunches green onion chopped

Combine the lentils and water, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook for 20 minutes or until the lentils are tender but still firm, drain.

In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, honey, vinegar and ginger. Mix well and set the sweet & sour sauce aside.

Cook the egg noodles al dente (watch them carefully because they cook very quickly), drain, and set aside.

Heat the sesame oil over medium heat in a large skillet and add chili sauce to the oil if you like spicy. When it is hot, add the garlic carrot and saute over moderately low heat until the carrot is tender crisp. Add the green pepper and onion, and saute just until the onion wilts a bit.

Add the cooked lentils and the sweet and sour sauce; simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Add the noodles and simmer just until they are heated through. Serves 4 to 6.

Art In The Hollow – May 22, 2010

On May 22nd from 10am to 4pm I will be one of many local artist demonstrating and selling art at Art In The Hollow! Art In The Hollow is a art festival sponsored by Friends of Swede Hollow and Twin Cities Academy High School. Artists of all different mediums will be displaying and selling their work throughout the park and a variety of performing artists will be present as well.


The park as we see it today is beautiful, enchanting and comes with interesting history. I first heard of Swede Hollow on a PBS feature where they talk about the stories of the immigrants that lived in Swede Hollow! I am so drawn to these stories & photos of the people that came from far away to start a new life in America and so I jumped at the opportunity to work at Art in the Hollow where all these stories happened.

The first settler to the picturesque valley was Edward Phalen in 1841. He sold his claim in 1844 to William Dugus who built Saint Paul’s first sawmill on the creek. Other businesses followed and in 1865 the first train rolled through the valley heading to Duluth.

The early industry attracted Swedish immigrants who settled just south of the industrial area and named the valley Svenska Dalen or Swede Hollow. As the Swedish moved “up onto the street”, other immigrant people moved into the homes: the Polish, Italian and then the Spanish Americans.

Gentille Yarusso lived in the Hollow in the 1920’s and wrote “We children often wondered why our people chose this enchanted place to settle in. Why not somewhere else? As we got older we knew; they chose this place because they were with their own countrymen, with familiar faces, family noises, gestures, facial expressions. They selected this enchanted landscape because it resembled the place they had left behind. They loved the hills, the trees, the stream, the security of friends and relatives.”

In December 1956, the city Health Department discovered that Swede Hollow had no sewer or city water service and declared the Hollow a health hazard. The last 14 families were moved out and the remaining homes destroyed. Ideas for the property at that time included filling it in for industrial use, bridging it for use as part of the highway 212 project, or making it a city park.

Plans to make Swede Hollow a park can be traced back to 1900, when William Hamm served on the Park Board and wanted the beautiful little valley to be a city park in memory of his father, the founder of the Hamm Brewery Company.

Insired by Nature Visuals – Lilacs

Every time I see someones art or the gift of nature’s beauty I’m inspired! With some, the inspiration is so powerful I have to weave some beads and create a little piece of art myself! It’s a thrilling ride, a color festival and I don’t want to go home.

Again it’s time to share some powerful gift from nature, some newly blooming flowers or trees that moved me to create another visual experience that will delight the eyes and lift the spirits! Color guaranteed!


My walks are filled with the beginnings of lovely Lilacs! The tiny clusters of purple buds, that will soon be clusters of delicate lavender flowers, flowers with that wonderful aroma, that aroma that reminds us that Spring is here once again.

Lilac is a spiritual color, blending blue, red and white. It is softened by experience and enhanced by knowledge. In intensity, it is close to the pink of friendship. Lilac is a symbol of peace and tranquility.

Purple and its lighter lavender shades have a special, almost sacred place in nature and the shade of purple suggests refinement along with grace, elegance, and something special.

My Art of Beading

This Saturday, April 17th, I and five other HandmadeMN Etsy Street Team members will be demonstrating our craft at the spring event sponsored by the American Craft Council at the River Center in St Paul, Minnesota. My demo will represent my beading skill, technique and artistic spin on beading free form peyote stitch bracelets… here are a few fun facts!

My favorite beading stitch is Peyote Stitch:
Peyote Stitch is used to make a “fabric” of beads by weaving them together by hand (no loom is used) in an offset row method. When completed, no thread shows between the bead or row, thus creating an erstwhile “fabric” of beads. The stitch pattern is beautiful all on its own.


Peyote stitch is an off-loom bead weaving technique. Peyote stitch may be worked with either an even or an odd number of beads per row. Both even and odd count peyote pieces can be woven as flat strips, in a flat round shape, or as a tube.

Peyote or gourd stitch, is a form of bead weaving that has been found in Egyptian tombs and has since been practiced by nearly every culture that has worked with beads.

Established trade routes in ancient times made it possible for beading and stitchery techniques to pass from one group of people to another and variations of the stitch evolve. On the other hand, Native Americans as well as Africans may have discovered this stitch individually. If you take beads, thread and a needle and play with them enough, you will come up with the same stitches another person discovered on their own. Such is history, it repeats itself.

My Free Form Beading Style:
No rules, no patterns, only passion, vision, emotional energy, endless creativity, endless ideas, and endless options…understand the peyote weave and basic construction and let me create.

My free form peyote stitch bead work has no actual pattern or preconceived idea of how the piece will look when finished. It all starts with some visual inspiration that crosses my path, a mixture of color, a unique bead, a colorful pattern from a piece of material or a painting that speaks to me. Once the inspiration strikes my enthusiasm to gather a colorful pallet of beads becomes a passionate journey to take a needle and thread and one bead at a time to create something so wonderfully complex you can’t stop looking it!

As my quirky shop name “From Out of the Cracks” reflects, I create in dark safe places…”from out of the cracks came colors and patterns that pleased her, designs and shapes that healed her, unafraid she would go further into the depths, explore the gifts that were presented to her and she would emerge with excitement of what she found”!


My favorite focal and embellishing beads are Czech Glass:
Beads have been made in Bohemia since Roman times, but it was an intermittent industry. In the 1550’s a major glass industry was founded in Bohemia (in the current Czech Republic). These glass makers were mostly decentralized cottage crafters making beads for use in larger, centralized, jewelry factories. Today the Czech Republic is making and exporting large numbers beads. Once again the Czechs are in the forefront of the world bead market.

Examples of Czech glass I used in my bracelets:


I love Color:
I am a color freak and a color addict…color is everything and mixing color together is fun and delightful. I love the fact that seed beads and Czech glass come in over 600 colors, shapes and sizes. With this type of selection I am grateful and my imagination can run with the wild pack!

Fagioli…oooh another good soup recipe!

I am a soup lover all year round. Soup is one of my comfort foods, once I make it I can eat it over the next few days and freeze some for later. The broth from this soup is so rich and tasty that its hard to stop at one bowl.

Fagioli

1 # Sweet Italian sausage or andouille chicken sausage
1 large onion – chopped
1 cup celery – sliced
3 cloves garlic – chopped
3 cans of beans, make it a combination of black beans, cannelli beans, kidney beans or chick peas!
2 cans diced tomatoes
3 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
1 tsp crushed red pepper
pasta

Saute onion, celery and garlic
Add sausage, beans, tomatoes, broth and red pepper
Cook 1 hour

Add 3 handfuls of pasta
Cook another 20 minutes

Enjoy!

Inspired by Nature Visuals – New Mexico Sunset

Every time I see someones art or the gift of nature’s beauty I’m inspired! With some, the inspiration is so powerful I have to weave some beads and create a little piece of art myself! It’s a thrilling ride, a color festival and I don’t want to go home.

Again it’s time to share some powerful gift from nature, a scene that moved me to create another visual experience that will delight the eyes and lift the spirits! Color guaranteed!

My friend Jane took this photo from her home in New Mexico, I was so in awe that I…well you know the routine, out with the beads, needle and thread to recreate the awesome scene. What a spectacular gift we are given everyday, we just need to step outside our door, take notice of what is around us and let our senses drink it in. When I recreate through my beading it’s my way to say “thank you” for these spectacular gifts.

Inspired by Nature Visuals – Here Comes the Sun!

Every time I see someones art or the gift of nature’s beauty I’m inspired! With some, the inspiration is so powerful I have to weave some beads and create a little piece of art myself! It’s a thrilling ride, a color festival and I don’t want to go home.

Again it’s time to share some powerful gift from nature, a scene that moved me to create another visual experience that will delight the eyes and lift the spirits! Color guaranteed!

Here comes the sun…warm, vibrant, nourishing and healing! I love the full days of sun that lie ahead for us who live up north! We just officially left winter, a season beautiful in itself with the white, cold and dark tree branches against the blue or gray sky. But now, yes now we have a sun that is closer to us with the start of spring, we have new flowers, new grass, buds on trees, singing birds, kids outside playing and its because of the sun, here is my ode to “Here Comes the Sun” and the lovely George Harrison.

Easy & Inexpensive Handmade Necklace Display

I created a fun necklace display from two thrift store purchases, a 3 inch lazy Susan component and steel-reinforced epoxy putty, that took all of 20 minutes to assemble and cost under $10.
I use the display for art/craft shows to display my necklaces, but it could easily hold your personal jewelry stash!

I started the hunt for the base and found great inexpensive metal candle sticks holders that are 16-18 inches high, I think they were popular in the 1970’s and the ones I found were in great shape! Next, the hunt took me to the top of the display…I needed spindles to hang the jewelry and I wanted that top to twirl. I felt pretty lucky finding the clock, it has the roman numeral spindles where I can display 25 – 30 necklaces with more room on top to lay another necklace or earrings.

The putty holds the top to the lazy Susan and the lazy Susan to the base. The base is heavy and well balanced enough to hold the top and jewelry, something to consider when looking for your display pieces.

There are tons of options that you could use for your top and base let your creativity flow!


Pictures tell the story

My Dad
My Dad and his brother Ed (Dad on the right & Ed on the left) were the youngest of 10 children to German immigrants. Al and Ed lived and worked their entire life on the family farm. Al and Ed were the best of people…hardworking, kind and fun loving! I love the working overhauls when they were young to the stylish suites when they were older. I love they took the photos to document a time in their life, to help tell the story to future generations, to say to our children this is where you get that smile, those eyes, that laugh or temper!

My Mom


When I was small and in search of entertainment, I knew one place where I could find a glimpse of my Mom’s story way before I, my brothers and sisters or even my Dad came into the picture. I would go to my Mom and Dad’s bedroom where the cedar chest of photos and mementos of my Mom’s early life existed! I would spend hours on the floor of their room and surround myself with those photos, some of my Mom as a baby and others with her brothers and sisters, some as children and some as young adults. One of my favorites was my Mom and her sister posed on an overgrown grassy beach with their full body swimsuits lying on their stomach, backs arched, elbows bent, heads posed up and demonstrating that 1920 style. I discovered photos of her from the early 1930 were she was dressed in an exquisite fur coat and a black bob hair style. There were photos of her standing by her horse; Eva dressed for the occasion with traditional riding pants, riding pants that were kept in the cedar chest and also photos from later that day by the campfire. There were poems, books of poetry, letters from admirers, pictures of movie stars like Clark Gable and Susan Hayward, little treasure she had kept of a life long ago. I loved that she let me go into that cedar chest and piece together her earlier life and imagine those times, her stories…she was as lovely then as she would always be.