Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A fond farewell...

I debated whether to write this or not.  I like to keep my blog fun and bright but I have to confess my heart has been so heavy lately thinking of a friend from my early 20s who passed away at the young age of 44 from stomach cancer. She was my age and way too young to leave us.

Her name was Arlene (Law) Fillingim and she truly was one of those bright lights in life ~ you know the kind.  The kind of people that no matter how crappy you feel or look, she would bring a smile to your face because she was so kind.  Just genuine, compassionate, funny and warm. I honestly never remember her being mean or cross or even ticked off, although I am sure she was at some point. I mean after all, she was human.

Human enough to lose her battle to cancer.  Even late pictures of her without hair and her frail frame, she had that amazing smile and confidence and in a message to me she said, "I'm trying to keep my spirits up",  knowing that she was dying. That was just who she was.

Even in this very old and blurry picture you can see her shine.

My heart is heavy for her family.  Her sister Laura, who introduced me to my husband of 20 years, who now has no siblings on this earth.  Her parents who have had to bury their own child...a grief all too familiar to me.  Her husband, who faithfully took care of her and tried to keep her pain free in her last days.  And no doubt, her children ~ a son and a daughter who will have to grow the rest of their lives without a mother.

My heart will be heavy for awhile, but I believe she is at peace and is no longer suffering.  She is in the loving arms of God and watching down us ...smiling. Thank you for being you in the brief moment our life paths crossed, Arlene. Love you~

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Big Announcement

I have BIG NEWS...and I have been so excited to share it but had to keep it a secret until now ....drum roll please......

StencilGirl ProductsI have been selected to be part of the Design Team for StencilGirl Products! Woot woot!  StencilGirl Products is fabulous company started by Mary Beth Shaw, who is a fantastic artist, respected author and well-known in the mixed media world among artists.  Her company creates top-of-the-line stencils with great versatility and durability and they are made right here in USA!  These stencils are great to use for everything from card making, scrapbooking, art play, painting, mixed media.  There are so many possibilities.

This Monday, June 24th @ 9:00 am (CST) the StencilGirl Talk Blog will go LIVE! In celebration there will be a giveaways on the blog through Thursday, June 27th.   It is easy to win. Just go to their blog and leave a comment. Winners will be announced on Friday, June 28th so be sure to check them out at StencilGirl so you get in on winning something fun!

As I work with the StencilGirl team, I will keep you posted on new stencils I get to test drive and make tutorials to post here so you can follow along at home. Also, I will point you to others on the design team who will use the stencils in totally different ways, unique to their styles so you can explore lots of exciting ways to use them.

Happy times for art & play!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

When One Must, One Can.

A friend of mine I went to high school with recently contacted me asking me to make her a piece of art with the phrase:  "When One Must, One Can".

About 12 years ago she found out that her first baby was to be born with Down's Syndrome.  She and her husband were more than a little shocked and overwhelmed by the news.  After a meal, she opened  her fortune cookie to find a piece of paper stating "when one must, one can".  It was a phrase they held on to in order to keep them going.

Despite being dealt a particularly challenging hand, they have survived and thrived and have two lovely daughters who are so blessed to have them as parents.

So, of course I was honored to make this piece for her.  I decided to a mixture of collage and paint in the background incorporating things that were special to their family.  Perhaps, hidden to the average viewer on initial glance, but more apparent as one studies the piece.

Here is the piece as it turned out.

Thank you Lisa and Todd for allowing me to create something so special for you both!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Summer lovin'...

little tribute to Grease there in the title, which by the way, I made my husband watch the other night. My daughter and her boyfriend watched it too. I think the two guys were terribly surprised with my AMAZING Olivia Newton John singing and dancing impressions. Well, what can I say?  That was my movie back in the day!

So I am really loving summer mostly because I have been a painting fool.... just thought I would show you a few recent creations! I have just been experimenting with different styles and things I have been wanting to try.

This first picture is actually a painting of the red geraniums and bucopa planted in a pot on my deck.

The next picture is a canvas that had other stuff on it and has been sitting in my studio forever...I turned it into a colorful tree with a fun message ~ be weird!

This next piece is a girl I created with some wonderful gelli prints I created in Carolyn Dube's online gelli plate workshop.  Love that girl ~ she is a whole lot of fun and a sweetheart!

This piece was just a fun patriotic piece I made in time for the 4th of July. My husband lovingly took a photo of it and texted it to his entire list of friends because he loved it.  I received several orders for this canvas print and they should be in on Tuesday.  I still have 5 left that have not been sold ~ they are 16x20 gallery wrapped prints, ready to hang for $48 plus shipping, if you are interested email me at: kirstenreed@yahoo.com.

I have lots more to share but it is getting late so I am going to post and sleep!

Monday, June 3, 2013

It is SUMMER!!!

woot woot!

So glad to have summer in town for a few months...even if it means my allergies are kicking...and boy are they kickin'!!

But it also means a quieter schedule, kids at home a little more and less stress.

Jumpstarting the summer season were my bed of peonies, blooming loud and proud for everyone to see. For those of you who don't know, my husband planted this garden of peony plants one mother's day a couple years ago (three I think??) for me ~ how romantic and sweet! They are one of my favorite flowers!  So here are some shots just to show you their loveliness....

the ONLY bad thing about these wonderful flowers is they only bloom ONCE a year and after a week they are done.  Sniff sniff.  Needless to say I whip out the camera and go a little crazy!

Speaking of camera, I got to shoot my lovely friend's little girl this weekend.  We had an abbreviated photo session because of unforeseen things, but will do part two next weekend.  Anyway, here are a few of my favorites of little A at five months.  Isn't she a beauty?

Been busy preparing for my Splatter & Stitch Camp for girls this month! My friend Tracy Hansen is teaching the sewing projects (the Stitch part) and I am teaching the painting (hence, the Splatter). After I listed the information about it on my FB page, I realized it kind of sounds like a name of an ER and not an art camp! LOL! I think this is going to be so much fun and I can't wait to teach these girls all kinds of fun projects. My biggest challenge so far has been narrowing down what I can teach them in one week.

Other than the above and my parents visiting for a couple weeks, I have been painting too.  Here are some of my latest and greatest.

my bird family

Choose Joy - 4x4 piece

inspirational piece for a child's room or playroom

And my favorite ~ my dreamer girl with all kinds of dreams swirling about in her head!!!

Hope summer is kicking off well for you!