The creative and spiritual journey of a (textile) recycler. . .

I have thought about starting a blog for a long time now. I just couldn’t seem to get started. I thought. . what would I say, what would I do and really . . . . . who would care.

Last year I had the great fortune to witness a ‘happening’. As a spouse at a reunion (I know, groan) I was both an observer and participant. This reunion was attended by some of the most creative and talented people on the face of the planet. Really, no exaggeration! But many were holding onto life long insecurities. They didn’t think they were talented enough and embarrassed to perform in front of each other for fear of . . who knows . . . finger pointing, whispers, laughter, ridicule of some sort for sure. Once it was revealed that many shared the same feelings, the healing began. And I was the lucky one. I got to witness it all and benefit as well.

So, the message is that we all think we are not good enough compared to someone else, but we are. Don’t let your fears and insecurities stop you. We can’t measure our own success by someone else’s talents.

This revelation and the kindness / support of strangers has propelled my creative journey to a place I had given up ever getting to. Tho I thought my creative juices were dried up forever, they have merely been reawakened. Many thanks to all involved in my process, including in-part . . Victoria B, Mrs. W., Charles Mc., Claudia H, Mary B, Cindy G, Sandy B, Traci B., Kat C, and my IAA family. So, thank you. I dedicate this blog to all of you!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Inspiration from art fairs

Today was day two for 2 art fairs in town. Art fairs are a great place to find inspiration, whether it be color, texture, or subject matter  . . . and it's great for people watching, too. For me it's always a time to run into and catch up with folks I haven't seen in the last year. 

First I started at the DIY fair which is basically a Motor City 'pride' show. It focuses on all kinds of cool items recycled and upcycled from lots of different materials, such as silkscreens, beads, torn, graffitied, hand dyed and more. I love this new show because much of the work is crazy creative, well done and affordable. Ideas are fresh, use of materials creative, colors are bold. What more could an arsty craftsy person ask for??!!

Then I went across the street to the the fine art-fine craft show. There was glass, lots of wonderful 2D art: paintings & photography, some awesome mixed media stuff, some dolls, and of course our fave - jewlery!

The ladies from Detroit Dollface had some of the coolest from both fairs. Their handmade jewelry and clothing were way cool, kooky, boldly colored and highly graphic. Two thumbs up ladies!

I liked to bold use of chick images. Who can't resist Elvira or Vampira after all!

And check out the diva necklaces!

Next time you are noodling around on Etsy, look up Detroit Dollface.

Then I saw my buddy Kenyatta. He has been a fixture at the high level shows for more than 25 years. He has spent a lifetime traveling the world, shooting photos, and creating some of the finest art work you will ever see. I particularly love his Afrocentric themes. 

If you ever have a chance to see his work, I highly recommend it. You will surely want a piece to adorn your walls and/or give as gifts. Plus, he is just a cool guy to talk to. . .

Here is a link to find out where Kenyatta will be next:

Kristen Barr is a fantastic illustrator (no relation to Glenn Barr by-the-way). Her work has a whimsical look with depth and layers of color, something that everyone who works with fabric can understand. The backgrounds all look like manufactured and hand dyes!

I especially liked the eyes in her pieces. Everyone is wide or sleepy eyed. I shared with Kristen that I have been doodling those eyes for many many years. I guess that was why I was drawn to them.

She shows her work occasionally at the Rust Belt in Ferndale, Mi. Look up her website to see the vast selection @

Flossa's handwoven accessories were pretty fab too. I especially loved the shredded hanging things off all the scarves. The pops of color and earthy colored flowers applied strategically to scarf ends and hat sides added a nice touch.

Check out this Zentangle inspired art. It is way cool!

Maria Oliva Tyra adds shapes and images into her Zentagle type art then puts the cherry on top with a wash of color. The work has a lot of depth, is very clean and sometimes meditative.

See more of Maria's work @

I just have one word to discribe Nicole Ray: sweetheart. I love her work because it is fresh, clean and whimsical. It makes me feel good when I see it and brings a smile to my face. What more can you ask for . .

Her work can be seen on Etsy and her website:

Sadly, the crowds seemed down this year. Much more so than in years past. Maybe it's the economy. Maybe it's that fact that promoters are now taking anyone with booth fee, whether they have good art, bad art or manufactured items. This is so bad for the future of events. The event looses its credibility as the junk starts creeping in. It has happened to some of the finest over the years, so I hope the current promoters get it together before it is too late. . . .

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