Wednesday, September 30, 2015

It Could Have Been a Birthday Card

Today is my mother-n-law's birthday; yesterday it was my first daughter's birthday; three days before that it was my sister-in-law's birthday; day before that, my second daughter and another sis-in-law; two weeks before that, my sister; and in between those it would have been my Grandmother's birthday. And, oh my goodness, I have a lot of Facebook girlfriends with birthdays this month. Lots of dear, wonderful women have birthdays in September. 

I love this image for so many reasons. First and foremost, I have two daughters who (thank the Good Lord) happen to adore one another. They are the reason I bought this stamp. But the reasons go beyond that. Not only did I grow up at the beach, but I lived there a really long time, too, and spent many hours on the sand and in the waves with my sister and with girlfriends. My two September birthday sisters-in-law, and my mother-in-law are talented artists, and my attempts at hand coloring or using watercolor paints always bring them to mind with hopes that their talent will rub off on me just because I married into the family.  

I really can get lost in this card, just imagining the salt air and the sound of the waves. Mostly, though, I think of the women who are in my family or who are my friends, even if their birthday isn't in September. I hope you will, too!

Stamp Credit:  Image by Stampin' Up

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Yuzen Dyeing Card

"Yuzen dyeing is one of the traditional extreme art forms in Japan from the 17th century. Yuzen dyeing is named after Miyazaki Yuzensai who was famous for his beautiful fan creations in Kyoto. By the end of the 19th century, a vast range of colorful chemical dyes came into use, and a method of stencil dyeing was developed." This blurb is from the brochure for Kyo-yuzen Workshop Marumasu Nishimuraya in Kyoto. The set up of the studio is very similar to the paint your own pottery places in the U.S. 

During our trip to Japan this summer we spent one very hot afternoon in Kyoto in this delightfully cool (both literally and figuratively) studio trying our hand at this Japanese art form. The afternoon was a testimony to the power of art to bridge cultural and language barriers as the master craftsman, Yoshio Nishimura, and his assistants oversaw our projects. 

Okay, yes, there were cheat sheets in English, but the art on the walls and the demonstration by the artist who worked with us motivated each of us to create a unique and personal souvenir. Actually it might have been the Japanese onomatopoeia our assistant used for a circular brush motion that started our creative juices flowing. 

 Homage to our time in Kyoto. I embossed the fan with a brass stencil and colored it with ink using a small dauber in a circular motion (burraburraburraburra).

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

A Card of Strength

Asking for help as an adult ought to come naturally, because we must depend on people for so long when we are young. But somewhere in the growing up process we decide that being independent trumps receiving any sort of assistance. The paradox in that thinking is how eager we are to come to the aide of someone else. We find joy in lightening a load, preparing a meal, or driving a friend. We are happy when we help other people; so why is it so hard to ask for help in return? I don't have a good answer to that question, but we should ponder it and consider sharing the love and the load.  

Don't think of it as asking for help, but rather you are giving someone the opportunity to spread their joy. And you might give her a idea for a blog post, too. 

Stamp Credits: 
Background stamps by Impression Obsession; Silhouette Women by Hero Arts; Sentiment by Stampabilities