Who Does She Think She Is?

Have you heard of the documentary Who Does She Think She Is? If you are an artist who is also a mother, you MUST see this film. It follows five creative women who refuse to choose between mothering or working. We learn about the triumphs and the hardships of these women, meet their families and see them in their studios and homes. I've seen this film twice with groups of people (and I own a copy). Each time I watch it I am left feeling so incredibly inspired. These are women like me (my "tribe!") - creative, expressive women who are struggling to figure out how to stay true to their artistic selves and care for their children at the same time. It's a constant struggle and one that is not without guilt.

It's playing tonight (for free!) at Arcadia University in the Stiteler Auditorium from 7:30 - 10:30. Go see it! You won't be sorry.


Crafty spring project

Malayna had the wonderful idea to celebrate the start of the spring season with some decorations. After lots of brainstorming together, we came up with a really cute idea for the porch. I'm almost finished putting it together, so I thought I'd show you some preview pics. Can you guess what it is?


Photo Friday

My daughter's school has a big, fantastic garden. The kids learn about planting, growing and taking care of plants. They plant seeds, mulch the beds, and clean up in the spring, and some classes are responsible for taking care of the birdfeeders for the school year. The children are able to come to the garden during recess to help out, do garden-related crafts or just to enjoy the space. Kindergarteners have their own little area where they plant sunflowers and corn. They harvest the previous year's corn in the fall and make little packets of seeds to take home. There's a tepee in the garden where gourds are grown, and then used to make birdhouses.

The garden is a really great space and an awesome way to learn about nature while getting their hands dirty. The garden is run by (very dedicated) volunteer parents.

I went there yesterday for a spring prep meeting and took some photos. I can't wait to get my hands dirty here!


Women's History Month with kindergarteners

I visited Malayna's school yesterday to do a project with her class for Women's History Month. We talked a little about celebrating the accomplishments of women in March and when I asked if anyone knew what "accomplishment" meant, one little girl said, "something that you accomplish." Ha!

I told them about Frida Kahlo, and then read this book:

I purposely didn't read a line in the book that said she almost died, but forgot that Malayna can read… She raised her hand and said, "mommy, you left out the line about how she almost died!" Oops.

After the book, I showed them a few prints of Frida's self-portraits (courtesy of my friend Diana). We talked about how she used lots of colors and sometimes liked to include animals in her paintings. I told them that they were going to do a self-portrait with their favorite animal (thanks for the idea, Carole!), and to think about what shape their face is, what color hair they have, what color eyes, etc. We felt our noses to see what shape they are (and while they were working on their portraits the teacher noticed one little boy feeling his nose). I hung a few prints on the wall for reference while they were drawing.

Their excitement was so awesome to see. Every child in the class was anxious to draw.

{Click on the photo to see it larger.}


Wordless Wednesday

Rollerskating at the Palace Rollerskating Rink in Philadelphia.


To paint!

Remember when I asked if I should paint the buffet in my dining room? The results were interesting. I also posted the question on my personal Facebook page, and all the artists who answered said "paint", while everyone else said "absolutely do not paint it!! Leave it alone!" Or something along those lines. Interesting, huh? I've decided that I'm going to paint it, probably some kind of wash, or antiquing method, but definitely not a solid paint color. Now I just have to wait until this rain stops! I did sand a bit off of the side of the buffet, and it seems as though it'll be easy to do. I'll be sure to post pictures when I'm finished!


Photo Friday

Let's say you're getting ready for an important meeting. You're printing some things in your office (just one room away from the living room) and you realize that your 7-month-old puppy is awfully quiet. In fact, she's usually so close to you that you've thought of renaming her "velcro" but now she's actually off on her own somewhere. Hmmm. What could she be doing?

Here's a tip: quiet puppy = bad stuff.

Don't leave tissue boxes on the table, and don't trust the quiet.


In better news, I'm happy to announce that milkshake clocks, wall squares and magnets can be purchased at This Little Gallery in Jenkintown as of mid-April. I've loved this shop since we moved here 11 years ago. Go visit - the place is filled with handmade goods! I had a really nice meeting with the owner, Trish, yesterday (after the tissue incident, above). I'm excited to see my work in her fabulous gallery!

Speaking of clocks, I added a few new ones to the website yesterday. Go take a look!


{almost} Wordless Wednesday

Yeeeee-haw! My girl loves her hats.


To paint or not to paint

We have a large antique/vintage buffet in my dining room that we bought years ago for a steal. It's always had scratches and imperfections on it, but that doesn't really bother me. It has lots of storage, with two huge drawers, two small ones and two side "cabinets". I've been thinking lately that I want to get rid of it and buy a smaller one, but maybe I can satisfy that need for change with a paint job. However, painting vintage items always scares me. What if I hate it and then it's ruined?! But it's not like I'm going to try and sell it - I wouldn't get a great price anyway because of all the scratches.

Here are some (bad) photos of the piece. I feel like it's too dark and painting it a lighter color would brighten up the room. We only have one window in the dining room and it can get a little dark.

What do you think? Should I paint it (what color?) or leave it as is?


Blanche pendant

Blanche Ames was an artist and outspoken feminist. She created botanical drawings for her husband's research on orchids, and thanks to them the Orchidicae is now the best researched and classified of all the large plant families.

Ames published an article in The Birth Control Review that stated, "The long arm of the Catholic Church is reaching into our legislative halls and is directing our legislators to act according to its will...We have all been troubled by the fear that this Catholic threat to our free institutions would materialize if Catholics were given positions of power in our government, but never before in so short a time have events developed in such irrefutable sequence as in this case of opposition to the Doctors' Birth Control Bill." Because of the ban on distributing birth control information, Ames encouraged women to teach their daughters how to protect themselves, and provided instructions on how to make their own spermicidal jellies and diaphragms.

Blanche Ames died in 1969 at the age of 92.


Betty pendant

Did you know that March is Women's History Month? It started back in 1987; before that there was just a day to celebrate the contribution women made to history, then a week. You can read a little history (or HERstory if you want to get technical) on the National Women's History Project website.

I was in an all-girls high school in 1987 when Women's History Month started. I don't remember hearing anything about it. Then again, I went to a private Catholic school - they're not exactly known for celebrating women. After high school I went to an art college just for women, and what a difference! Every day was about women. I learned about female artists, saw working female artists and lived among incredibly talented female artists every single day. What a wonderful way to spend four years.

Last year I started writing about the bird pendants I make. I named each one after a woman who made a significant contribution to feminism in the US. In honor of Women's History Month, I'm starting that up again! (You can read the previous posts about Abigail Adams, Alice Paul, Amelia Bloomer and Bella Abzug.)
Betty Friedan is best known for being the author of The Feminine Mystique (credited with starting the second wave of feminism) and co-founder of the National Organization for Women. Some of her other contributions include: organized the national Women's Strike for Equality, founded The National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws, founded (along with many other women) The National Women's Political Caucus.

"She is credited for starting the contemporary feminist movement and writing one of the most powerful works in America (from Wikipedia)."

 {The Betty pendant can be found here for $15.}

What are you doing to celebrate Women's History Month? Does your child's school do anything special?