Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Artfest 2011

A touch of spring greeted my sister, Susan, and I as we arrived in Seattle at my son, Jeremy's, house a few weeks ago. I just loved these trees so heavily laden with fragrant pink blossoms.  They were a welcomed sight amidst the dreary, cloudy skies that seemed to be ever present during our visit to the Pacific Northwest.  A few years ago, my sister and I agreed to not exchange material gifts anymore on birthdays or Christmas....yet instead plan a special playdate and give eachother the most precious gift of all...that of eachother's time and sweet presence.  We don't get to see each other often so spending quality time together doing things we both love is very special indeed.  So, began our journey to our first Artfest in Port Townsend, Washington. 

My son lives in Seattle so we visited with him for a few days touring some of the hot spots of Seattle and eating scrumptious meals.  Enjoyed going to the Fremont Street Fair on Sunday and shopping at University Village shopping center. 

Then on Tuesday, we picked up our rental car and hopped the ferry over to Bainbridge Island in preparation for our drive to Port Townsend.

Great views on the crossing.

Later that day, we arrived at our little cottage on Discovery Bay.....very charming with great views.
Port Townsend and immediate surrounding area was everything I had imagined...beautiful countryside, quaint downtown area with great little boutiques and fabulous restaurants.  Queen Anne, Victorian-styled homes stand majestically in the uptown area, Fort Worden was very picturesque overlooking the expanse of water and nearby islands.
The first day of Artfest, I had so much fun in Clarissa Callesen's, "Doll Transformed" class.  This was an amazing class.  I learned so much from Clarissa.  Here is how my doll began....a porcelain headed, cloth body, thrift store doll.

With a touch of gesso, acrylic paint and fire (yes we used torches) my thrift store purchase became my "Bird Brained" creation.

My doll wears a real bird's nest on her head with hand-glued twigs covering her skull.  Her attire was created with antique lace, fabric, feathers, shredded paper, of course, a touch of bling and wears a chatelaine around her waist.  I used a rusty, wire, antique birdcage for her skirt.

Painting the face was my biggest challenge.

This cutey was created by my table mate, Kelly.  I just LOVE her.  Great job Kelly!!!!

My next class was with Shelly Massey - "License to Create".  We made a box out of old license plates...isn't that an ingenious idea.

Shelley showed us how to create figures out of foil and plaster strip....new to me for sure.  I was inspired by one of Anahata's Papaya creations and did something really different than the rest of class.  But that is what art is all about...making it an extension of your own voice.  I painted and glazed a porcelain doll head (I think I am obsessed with doll parts....as my sister would say) and that became my box topper.

I used Shelley's plaster strip technique and made strands of hot pink and glittered hair.  After attaching fabric flowers and foliage to her head, she almost took on a Carmen Miranda appearance.

Of course she needed to have splashes of bling a ling.  Antique glass drawer pulls were used for feet.  A fun class!

The third day, I took my first polymer clay class from well-known Laurie Mika. Definitely a fun medium with lots of potential.
My sister and I had such a great time and Artfest was everything people have been telling me over the years.  Teesha and Tracy Moore certainly do it up right. 


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Erin's Story

"Please meet Erin, a truly amazing young woman who has dedicated her life to helping others in need. " .....so reads  the beginning of Erin's Story.  Erin is the sweet 32-year-old daughter of a life-long friend of mine.  

Let me take a moment to introduce you to Erin's beautiful family:

Julian - age 8 months

Lyla - 3 years old

Love of Erin's life - husband Greg

Erin and her family live in Portland, Oregon.  Last year, my life-long friend, Peg, and her husband were compelled to sell their home here on the central coast of California and move to Portland to be near Erin and her family and their other daughter who also lives in the Portland area.  Two new grand-children have arrived since Peg made the sojourn to Portland and she felt assured of the importance of her re-location to be closer to her children. 

Two months ago, that certainty was confirmed even more strongly when Erin was diagnosed with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma - liver cancer.  The tumor in Erin's liver is inoperable and requires agressive treatment of both radiation and chemo.  Unfortuantely, Erin and her family do  not have medical insurance to cover her astronomical  medical bills. A single dose of a needed injection of Neulasta, which takes 10 seconds to inject, costs $5,780.....that is absolutely mind-bogling to me!!   I am blessed with excellent health insurance and haven't realized the extreme hardship a devastating illness like cancer can have on a family.

A church friend of Erin's has developed a web page for Erin.  Read Erin's story here.  Erin's site includes her story, photos, blog, message board and most importantly a way to help her.  Anonymous donations can be made here to assist Erin and her family with the growing hospital and treatment bills. 

Financial donations are not the only support Erin needs right now.  Prayers and supportive comments are heart felt and give Erin the courage and strength to just get through her day. 

I have decided that my way of helping right now is by sharing Erin's story with you, hoping to move your heart to reach out to a stranger in some way.  Compassion for another is magic.  Perhaps you are a cancer survivor yourself and can share with her your success, your struggles, your insights.  Whatever you feel moved to do will be most appreciated.

I am also listing new items in my Etsy store today.  The proceeds of sales will be donated to Erin.  I am going to leave these items in my shop for only two weeks. 

I realize that it has been several weeks since I have posted....forgive me....I neglected to let you know that I was out of town for almost 2 weeks on vacation in the Pacific Northwest visiting my son, going to Artfest and spending time with my beloved sister.  I'll post all about it next week.  I really felt compelled to share Erin's story first.