“I’m not a teacher, but an awakener.”- Robert Frost

Recently, collage work has occupied much of my studio time. I’ve been preparing pieces for an upcoming art show and fund-raising event. It’s become apparent that my visit to the Low Countries has taken center stage.  Photographs and memorabilia from my trip abroad have merged with an assortment of vintage papers and miscellany.

When I approached the completion of this collage, I started searching for a particular tone to better balance a section of the piece. After experimenting with a number of items, none of which seemed quite right, I started sorting through some French vocabulary cards. I selected one after consideration of its definition and hue. This choice led, in turn, to the addition of a French/Dutch book page I acquired in Amsterdam.

Shortly after beginning this piece, I started reading Russell Shorto’s Amsterdam: A History of the World’s Most Liberal City. A friend had suggested it after hearing of my fascination with the city. (Actually, she mentioned it before my visit, but trip preparations took precedence.) Interestingly, the evening after the aforementioned text pieces were set into place, I came across Shorto’s description of Willem of Orange’s 16th century call to “awake”- a verbal urging focused on ending Spain's persecution of the Low Countries. Evidently, Willem, like so many other liberators, was an “awakener”.

The multi-faceted relationships between a collage’s layers are seldom clear to me at their inception or even their conclusion. As such, I must be patient and listen, so I may be awake to whatever unfolds before me.


creative cultivation

Summer has arrived, but the extreme temperatures that usually accompany the season were delayed until recently. I am most thankful. My little patio plants have thrived as never before.

Although I tend a small patio garden, my gardening skills have never rivaled those of other family members. However, I believe their beautiful gardens have influenced my creative work, as demonstrated by these little creations that are included in the current edition of Somerset Life.

From the soil, my family crafted their brilliantly colored flowers and sweet, fresh fruit. With paper and paste, I have crafted mine.

Images:  Somerset Life Summer 2015 Copyright © 2015 Stampington & Company, LLC


little joys

Even though life has been a bit challenging of late, thoughts of joy have continued to pervade my imagination, which elicited the crafting of these little paper pockets wrapped in soft white cotton. Tucked within each piece was a packet of bath salts--a mini gift for a few creative souls.

I think there’s nothing more satisfying than sharing a bit of joy with others. It always seems to lighten the darkest mood.


along the path

I’ve been struggling a bit (admittedly, an understatement). Most attribute my current state to fluctuating hormones. While I agree, I do not believe my physical being acts alone, divorced from mind and spirit. So recently, I wasn’t surprised when I came upon this image as I departed for my evening walk, or that I began to reflect upon its presence in my life.

Once again, I sense it’s time to let go of some old dreams and entertain some new possibilities. Or maybe I just need to embrace elements in my current life I’ve found lacking. I’ve never been particularly good at making any of these adjustments, especially when the path before me seemed unclear. Is there a life to be lived I don’t truly understand? I think so—and it’s the life I’m presently living.

A few days ago, I found the twigs on the sidewalk disbursed by someone who didn’t take note of their configuration. Perhaps their mind had no need for interpretation or questions unanswered.

Perhaps their path was clear.


creative freedom

Acts of creativity are woven deeply into the tales of America’s quest for independence- consider Betsy Ross’s stitching and the writing of Francis Scott Key. Though not of a nationalistic flavor, I, too, am creating this weekend, ever grateful for the ability and freedom to do so.

Very often a creative act is a method for conveying a belief, idea, or story to another, either on a grand scale or as an intimate act. Perhaps our imaginative instincts tell us there must be another voice, found through stitches, paint, or verse, when all other expressions are found inadequate.

Is it the belief or the creative act that frees us?

Image:  GreenCraft Autumn 2015 Copyright © 2015 Stampington & Company, LLC



I like leftovers, especially those remaining after a dinner party. There’s usually some delicacy I will get to enjoy one more time, either in its original state or in an altered form. I also like the leftover flowers and snippets of conversations I’m left to ponder. Last night’s gathering for my husband’s birthday has provided me with a bit of each.

I’ve been working with some other leftovers recently, scraps from my spring trip to Amsterdam. Today, I decided to mix some of last evening’s leavings with some of my scrappy creations—a simple salutation to what has been a lovely spring.