August 11

What Works For You


It all started with me cleaning up my studio closet…I’ve been working in my studio this week which means I’ve been spending time in the land of depression and self-loathing.  My studio is less a studio and more a dumping ground.  I know a big part of my problem is lack of focus, so I have some questions for you:

1.  Where do you work (write, paint, sew, scrap, etc.) and why does it work for you?

2.  If your space doesn’t work for you, why do you think that is?

3.  What are your best storage ideas or products that make your creative work easier?

4.  Have you read any books that helped you in your creative life?  I learn best through reading, so I’m always interested in a helpful book.

5.  Any other words of wisdom?

So, here I go again…another clear-out/refining of my studio.

Daily Inspiration


To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.

Thomas A. Edison

About the photo (taken on August 11)…This quote made me laugh, since I’m currently digging through all my “junk” and trying to organize it into a working studio space.  Piles of junk…I have those.

Posted by lori . Filed under Lori's Lists | 8 Comments

August 10

Mixed Devotions – Week 3


Currently, I’m taking two Artful Gathering classes.  I’m starting with Mixed Devotions by Cristina Zinnia Galliher.  We’re making 3 bottles.  This week, I worked on the Far East Laughing Buddha Art Bottle.

I added some texture details to the bottle with molding paste.

I’ll paint over these texture designs with gold metallic paint.

I also started the Interpretive Bottle.

I applied the base layers of tissue paper and paper.

Daily Inspiration


You are what you think about all day.

Allen Ginsberg

About the photo (taken on August 10)…In January, I picked a word for myself that would act as a theme for the year.  My word is “Creative.”  I’ve been true to my word.  I try to infuse every day with creating.  The more I create, the more creative I feel and the more creative I become.  It’s pretty much all I think about.  So far, 2012 has been a fun year for me.

Posted by lori . Filed under Creating the Creator (Creativity) | 4 Comments

August 9

Great Questions – Part 7


Back in May, I ran a series of five questions that were meant to get you (and me) thinking about memorabilia and hopefully identifying some of the special treasures.  When I originally posted these questions, I didn’t answer them, but now I am.  Here’s the second question:

What 5 special things would you grab in a fire?

I decided to focus on handmade items.  I have many things that are very precious to me, but these things are truly one-of-a-kind.

1.  Raggedy Ann

My mom made this for me when I was little.  I love all the work, craftsmanship and love my mom put into this little doll.

2.  Quilt

My grandmother made this for me and it was on my bed when I was young.  It features sunbonnet girls.  A funny thing…it took me years to see that these were sunbonnet girls.  I thought they were some unusual creatures with the sunbonnet being the two eyes, the arm and hand being the nose and the skirt being the body.  When I look at this, I still see the little creature first.

3.  Oil Painting

You may remember this painting from my July 12 post.  This hung in the hallway of the home I grew up in.  The painting belonged to my Great Aunt Mame.  It was painted by one of her friends.  Unfortunately, it’s not signed.  I’m hoping that my mom or dad will one day remember the name of the artist.

4.  Birch Watercolor Painting

This was a wedding present to me from my uncle and aunt.  It was painted by a friend of my cousin.

5.  Little Wooden Animals

My mom cut out these little shapes for my daughter who painted them when she was 3-years-old.  I realized very early on that my daughter was an artist with a very good eye for detail.

Daily Inspiration


The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless, and hot. It is curiously silent, too, with blank white dawns and glaring noons, and sunsets smeared with too much color. Often at night there is lightning, but it quivers all alone.

Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting

About the photo (taken August 9) …From home to work and back again, I drive through miles of farmland.  I love the wide open fields.  They feel like home.

Posted by lori . Filed under If I Die Today | 9 Comments

August 8

Try This – Paint It


This month, my “Try This” posts are going to highlight some things you can do with thrift store finds. 

One of my favorite things to do is just paint what I find.

The first step is to clean the piece(s) and apply primer.

Primer comes in different colors.  I use white if I’m using light paint colors and grey if I’m using mid or dark paint colors.

I love Martha Stewart High Gloss paints.  They have a thick consistency and offer good coverage.

I painted this set in sea glass colors.

I painted this set in fun bright colors.

Daily Inspiration 

Don’t find fault.  Find a remedy.

Henry Ford

About the photo (taken August 8) …I admit it; I love to learn, and I have a weakness for “self-help” books.

Posted by lori . Filed under Try This | 10 Comments

August 7

Love This – Amy’s Faves 1.0



Zonda & Amy

Every Tuesday in 2011, I did a blog post entitled “4 Faves” where I told you about 4 of my favorite things.  When I changed my posting line-up for 2012 and dropped 4 Faves, my friend Amy was devastated.  So, in honor of my friend, I’m declaring August “Amy’s Faves” month.  Here are some of my buddy’s favorite things:


The Lily Pad Lid

This clever (and lovely) kitchenware item is from Charles Viancin.  Made of FDA approved silicone, it is safe for the oven, microwave, freezer and dishwasher.  It has venting holes in the “flower” handle.  Amy likes it because it’s a quick and easy universal lid that creates an airtight seal.  She also likes it for covering food outside…no bugs.  It comes in 3 sizes, and if lily pads aren’t your thing, they also offer a sunflower.  This is cool.



Amy credits Shakeology (and a little hardwork and willpower) with helping to shed those last stubborn 10 pounds.  Shakeology shakes include pro-biotics , five servings of vegetables and spirulina, a super antioxidant.  It has a low glycemic index so you don’t crash.  Chocolate vegan is Amy’s favorite.  She mixes it with ice and almond milk.  Amy has had such success with Shakeology, that she is an Independent Team Beachbody Coach.  Check out her website for more information or to contact her if you have any questions.  If you want proof that it works, checkout Amy’s pants in the picture above.  Amy, you need new pants.


Stainless Steel Straws

The first thing Amy said when she showed these to me was, “I wish you still did 4 Faves.”  Amy loves them because they are environmentally-friendly and you can stir your shake (or margarita; Amy’s example, not mine) with them.  Amy ordered them from Open Sky.  $20 for 4 long, 4 short and a cleaning brush.


Lemon Balm Salve

Amy swears this has kept her from getting cold sores for six months.  She heard about it on Dr. Oz.  Other bonuses…it smells delicious, heals chapped lips, and is good for cuts, bug bites and burns.  This balm is from WiseWay Herbals.

Daily Inspiration


Since there is nothing so well worth having as friends, never lose a chance to make them.

Francesco Guicciardini

About the photo (taken August 6) …I’ve had this sunflower floral arrangement for over 10 years.  Every summer, I bring it out, and I never grow tired of it.  It’s just so happy.

Posted by lori . Filed under Love This | 11 Comments

August 6

In My Studio – August 6


Here’s what’s been happening in my studio this past week:

I finished this little needle felted owl for my August 1 “Try This” post.

I worked on some other things this week, but they are all for future posts…so they’re a secret (for now).

I’ll repeat this information about The August Break 2012, every Monday in August. 

During August, I’m participating in The August Break 2012 that is sponsored by Susannah Conway.  Here’s what The August Break 2012 is all about:

How it works: you simply share one photo (or more!) each day on your blog – Monday to Friday, or every day. Or whenever you feel moved to share. Using any camera – DSLR, compact, Polaroid, Holga, iPhone (my choice), Instax, film or digital – with or without words – anything goes! – for the whole of August. No pressure – just looking at August through your camera lens as a way to be more present this summer. And to have a little break from the pressures and expectations of regular blogging.

There are NO RULES, people! Just sunshine (hopefully) + a bit of fun. And lots of lovely photos to look at and new blogs to discover.

I use photos I’ve taken every day for my “Daily Inspiration” segment, but they are not always taken that day or that week.  To challenge myself for The August Break 2012, all my “Daily Inspiration” photos for August will be taken within a day or two of when they appear.  I’ll also include a line or two about the photograph.

Daily Inspiration


Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and new in your work.

Gustave Flaubert

About the photo (taken August 6) …I work with abandon, but then I need to stop and reorder my work space.  It’s time to stop.

Posted by lori . Filed under In My Studio | 10 Comments

August 5

Closets – Studio Closet (Before)


One of my “goals” this year is to clean-out all my closets.  This closet doesn’t need much more than a little tidying up.  What really needs work is behind the camera lens…my studio.  Let’s start with the closet and maybe that will motivate me to take care of my messy studio. 

Left Side

Right Side 

Daily Inspiration

It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.

John Steinbeck 

About the photo (taken on August 5)…Sometimes, I like to get on the floor and take pictures of the pups from different angles.  This is Freedom and her cute front teeth.

On Sundays, I’m going to participate in Black & White Sunday, a blog hop hosted by You Did What With Your Weiner, My Life in Blog Years and Dachshund Nola.  Check out the list below for more photos…



Posted by lori . Filed under Want to Talk About (Whatever) | 5 Comments

August 4

Martin Scorsese


Photo Source

My daughter is taking a class on Martin Scorsese movies.  I told her I would follow along because we like to discuss movies.  Here is a list of Martin Scorsese movies.  The titles in red are the movies I haven’t seen.  Do you have a favorite Martin Scorses movie?

1968 – Who’s That Knocking at My Door

1972 – Boxcar Bertha

1973 – Mean Streets

1974 – Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore

1976 – Taxi Driver

1977 – New York, New York

1980 – Raging Bull

1983 – The King of Comedy

1985 – After Hours

1986 – The Color of Money

1988 – The Last Temptation of Christ

1990 – Goodfellas

1991 – Cape Fear

1993 – The Age of Innocence

1995 – Casino

1997 – Kundun

2002 – Gangs of New York

2004 – The Aviator

2006 – The Departed

2010 – Shutter Island

2011 – Hugo

Daily Inspiration


Let the rain kiss you.  Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops.  Let the rain sing you a lullaby.

Langston Hughes

About the photo (taken on August 4)…We had a storm roll through this evening.  This is the light, after the storm.

Posted by lori . Filed under Lori's Lists | 7 Comments

August 3

Mixed Devotions – Week 2


Currently, I’m taking two Artful Gathering classes.  I’m starting with Mixed Devotions by Cristina Zinnia Galliher.  We’re making 3 bottles, and I’m starting with the Far East Laughing Buddha Art Bottle.

Last week, I added the base layers to my bottle…tissue paper, pieces of book paper and cheesecloth.

This week, I painted my bottle.  I used several colors…avocado green, ivory, burnt umber, golden bronze, warm grey and quinacridone nickel azo gold.

The paint is added as you like.  You can see how I “squiggled” it on.  The base texture adds a lot of the interest.

Here’s one side…

and the other side.

Daily Inspiration


Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.

Henry James

About the photo (taken on August 3)…This is a view of our backyard and my husband’s pride and joy, his Weber grill.  A lot of good food has come off this grill and many happy memories with friends.

Posted by lori . Filed under Creating the Creator (Creativity) | 6 Comments

August 2

Great Questions – Part 6


Back in May, I ran a series of five questions that were meant to get you (and me) thinking about memorabilia and hopefully identifying some of the special treasures.  When I originally posted these questions, I didn’t answer them, but now I am.  Here’s the first question:

If I died today, what 5 things would you want to keep to remember me by and why?

I asked my daughter this question and here’s what she picked:

1.  Matryoshka Doll

I started collecting Matryoshka dolls for my daughter when she was a young girl.  Her (our) collection is small, but we’ve got some real beauties.  This is the one she would choose because it is the most intricately painted.  She’s really glad she gets to keep them all.

2.  Photograph

Not this picture…this was the runner-up.  The picture that she would keep, she already has.  It’s a snapshot of my face, and I’m laughing really hard.  It’s how she see me.  This picture was the runner-up because I made her sit still and smile while those precious little bunnies were biting her.  We joke that she was made to pose for this picture while the bunnies ate her alive.  If nothing else, I provided my daughter with precious childhood memories.

3.  Frog Bookends

I’ve collected frogs all my life.  If she had to pick one thing, she would pick these bookends because she remembers them being around the house all her life.

4.  Knitted Owl Sweater & Skirt Set

This is a special item from both me and my mother.  Believe it or not, this was my mom’s first knitting project.  She wanted to learn to knit, so she had a friend teach her.  She made me this sweater and skirt set.

I wore the ensemble for my kindergarten Christmas party.  This is a picture of me and my kindergarten teacher. 

My hands are all twisted funny because I was nervous (and excited) about getting to stand so close to my beautiful, young kindergarten teacher, whom I was deeply in love with.

5.  My Favorite/First Painting

My daughter picked this painting because it’s my first and favorite, and she loves this period of my life…so do I.

Daily Inspiration


 I travel a lot; I hate to have my life disrupted by routine.

Caskie Stinnett

About the photo (taken on July 30)…This is another photo I took on my way down to visit my daughter at Purdue University.  This is Bethlehem Presbyterian Church just outside of Metea, Indiana, and one of the most beautiful country churches I’ve ever seen.  The photo above is taken from the westside.  If you’d like to see how the church looks from the road, you can look at the Daily Inspiration photo on April 24.  Before my daughter leaves West Lafayette, Indiana, I plan to go to a Sunday service.

Posted by lori . Filed under If I Die Today | 8 Comments