Hey DIYers... make your own Valentines!

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I know it seems like Christmas was just here. But I am here to tell you that Valentine's Day is fast approaching. Frankly, I like Valentine's Day more than Christmas. Expectations are lower, little kids exchange valentines in school, it involves candy.

And I know you DIYers start early making things. I think early is now. So here are 4 fonts for almost nothing. You can make Valentines for years. Plus they can be used for weddings, birthdays, invitations, flyers. I know you are a creative group you probably have more ideas than I do.

But I'll share a couple of mine...

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This is an old card I made. It was initially for thank you notes after our wedding. But have been used as note cards and Valentines over the years. Our wedding announcement was a seven panel accordion fold piece also using these hearts.

You can make smaller notes with 1 or 3 or 4 hearts.

www.outside-the-line.com

This is a personal favorite. The inside says, "I love you more than bacon." And who doesn't like bacon? It could also say, more than sushi. Or hunting season... or Paris... you get the idea.

www.outside-the-line.com

A multi-use blank card. Very simple. Use it to convey your thoughts on a break up, death, heart break, when someone is sad, a loss of any kind. It is actually an all-occasion sympathy card without all the hearts and flowers.

These 4 fonts include over 100 hearts, something for everyone.

If this at all interests you visit my store here. You MUST buy from the link that is for the 4 fonts in order to get this deal.

Happy making!

Art Therapy #16

Yes, it is postcard post time again! This is where Nancy and I exchange postcards that we make and send them through the mail.

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Samsara: In Hinduism, the cycle of death + rebirth to which life in the material world is bound.

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It appears that we started the new year with New Year's cards. Look carefully to see Nancy's wishes in the above shot. Nancy's is a collage and mine was made while cleaning my office. My rule is that I have to make my cards with what I have in my studio area. And to work quickly.

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Another thoughtful one from Nancy, meant to be a sort of New Year's resolution. She puts so much into her cards.

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This is the view from my desk. Well, not today. Today it is all white and shades of grey and snowing. I want to paint again and want to do something abstract and quick looking. So these were some quick scribbles. And then I did 4 more. That is often my process. Although I think this was the first one.

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New paint brushes, new watercolor pencils. Arteza 24 woodless watercolor pencils. I do like these. First I drew with these and then used a watercolor brush to soften some of the lines.

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I also love these. You can get intense color with these. Derwent Inktense Blocks. They are ink sticks. I know I did the red line with one of these. I waited until the paper was damp, not wet. When the paper was dry I went in again with a blue colored pencil and added some black lines for the waves too. These are great fun. Make some art today. You know you want to.

Chazen Museum of Art

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November 17 to February 4 | Leslie and Johanna Garfield Galleries

Fantastic Illustration from the Korshak Collection

This exhibition explores the ever-evolving visual landscape of science fiction and fantasy literature with illustrations from the collection of Stephen Korshak. Featuring original artwork by both American and European artists spanning more than a century, these vivid illustrations bring to life adventures, beings, and worlds conjured in novels such as Don Quixote and Tarzan, and pulp magazines including Amazing Stories, Weird Tales, Fantastic Adventures and Wonder Stories. Accomplishing far more than simply guiding readers in their explorations of new and sometimes bizarre realms, the range and impact of these illustrations is far-reaching.

On a bitter cold Sunday we ventured out to visit the Chazen Museum of Art. John was interested in seeing this exhibit. He enjoyed it but expected to see more of this artist rather than a wide range of illustrators.

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We then just wandered and saw art until I went into complete visual overload. We were in the new part of the museum. And we did not even see all of that.

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The grouping of the naked ceramic people always make me uncomfortable. So much so that I haven't even read any info about the artist or the name of the piece of anything. Next time maybe. Or not.

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Not only did we not see everything in the new wing we never even got into the old one. There is endless exploring to do. But that can wait until another freezing Sunday afternoon. If you live in Madison take several hours and see some art here.

Art Therapy #15

Here we are again. This is where Rae and Nancy make art postcards and mail them to each other. My guess is that we exchanged our cards 30 weeks last year. So 30 times I went to the mail box and there was a slightly oversized kraft envelope from Nancy with something thoughtful or silly or fun.

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My goal is always to do something quick because in all the other art things I do I think too much. I did a series of these Black Haired Girls. They were fun.

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Inspiration came from this shot of 3 vintage mannequins. I am awaiting mine which is the first one. If anyone knows the age of these plz leave a comment. I am guessing they are from the 40s or 50s.

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I have endless art supplies in my tiny office. I ran across a couple boxes of these silver and gold metal stars. In fact I glued them on everything, packages, cards etc.

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Nancy and I seem to both be trying our hand at watercolour again. I particularly like the white space behind the flower. A reminder to me to leave some white space. Also like how she painted her leaves. Nice one!

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Another bit of Spring just as the North has gotten cold and snowy. Thanks Nancy for that.

Back again in a couple weeks with more postcard art. In the mean time plz send some real mail to someone. It really does mean a lot. I have 3 friends in their 90s who I send a postcard to every week. It means a lot to them. And they tell me so.

NEW! Spoonflower Dish Towels

Mike's Dish Towels #2

Mike's Tea Towel #2

I like dishtowels a lot. And I like to design them. Especially when I can use illustrations from one of my fonts. These towels were inspired by my font Wilderness Doodles. I like to design doodle location fonts after I have been somewhere where so I can absorb the location. These were drawn after an amazing trip to Alaska. And are a Christmas gift for our friend who lives there. You can see them here.

Mike's Dish Towel #2

These checks are 2" wide.

Mike's Dish Towel #2

These dish towel are for sale on Spoonflower.com. When buying them use the recommended fabric. 54" wide, 36" deep and use the Linen Cotton Canvas fabric. If not, there is a good chance you will be disappointed. And we don't want that.

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Just so you know. When you buy this item you are buying a yard of fabric. You need to cut the dish towels apart and then hem the edges. Or find someone who will do that for you.

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These squares are also 2". Also when you buy this yard you get all 4 designs.

These make great gifts to all who live "up north".

 

Art Therapy #14

If you have forgotten, this is where Nancy and Rae make postcards and send them to each other.

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blue.

water.

peace.

quiet.

I took this photo some years ago off of our deck. It always makes me wonder, why was it there? Was someone sleeping in it, was it empty? Of course I will never know.

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The speedway ends at the cemetery.

I feel like I am diagonally parked in a in a parallel universe.

Two wrongs don't make a right, but three lefts do.

I really like this card I sent to Nancy. Lots of meaning behind this card. My 27 year old Miata that I bought new, died in early Spring. We tried being a one-car family, but it made me sad. And I could only replace the Miata with a cute car. So I got a light coffee and black Mini Cooper Countryman. And I LOVE her. She makes me happy. This is the right car for this time in my life.

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Nancy also drove her car into the ground recently and is looking for a new one. So she responded with this card. This car would have been her Miata. She fell in love but needs to move on, she is still searching. Maybe she will do a card around her new car when she gets one.

art therapy #14
A New Yorker ad, that Nancy colored.

In New York City I am myself and no one else.

The city welcomes what I like about me.

I love Paris.

I love Prague.

New York loves me.

 

BIG, MMoCA, Madison

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When we were at MMoCA last week we also took in this exhibit. Like the name suggests, it is an exhibit of big art from the MMoCA collection.

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These are just a couple of my favorite pieces.

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Tim's House MMoCA

I have seen this house in a past exhibit and was delighted to see it again. This time I read the write up on the piece and looked at it in a completely different way. Yes you can go and sit in the house, but you are not to touch anything.

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Really loved this piece too.

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I intend to go back and spend more time here. This exhibit will not disappoint.

Note to MMoCA: The one thing missing are some benches along the walls. I really want to sit on on a bench and really, really study these, and think, and watch people react.

Jaume Plensa: Talking Continents - MMoCA, Madison

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Internationally celebrated artist Jaume Plensa is known for his poetic approach to sculpture. He produces works of art that evoke silence and inward reflection, engaging in a creative practice informed by his deep interest in the physical manifestation of spiritual energy. On view in the museum’s State Street Gallery, Jaume Plensa: Talking Continent is an enveloping installation of suspended steel forms that appear to transcend their own physical weight and volume, and instead convey lightness, translucence, and fluidity. - Madison Museum of Contemporary Art.

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These pieces weigh between 25 and 150 lbs. Confusing to look at because you know they have to be heavy but since they are floating in air they look like they must be light.

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I went over to the docent and said, I know the answer to this but could I just touch one? Uh, no.

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An exceptionally cool thing is that you can carefully walk between them.

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Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE letters. These letters are from 8 different languages.

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Note to MMoCA: The one thing missing are some benches along the walls. I really want to sit on on a bench on each of the 4 sides and really, really study these, and think, and watch people react. I'd go alone and stay a satisfyingly long amount of time.

Other than that the show is open until April 15. I'd say, don't miss it.