Red White & Blue *Artful* savings!!!

Wow this is great!  Timing is everything right?

If you have been wanting to attend the new fabulous Art Is You West Coast retreat in Petaluma, here is something to sweeten the pot!  Tomorrow, July 4, is the day to register because the registration fee will be waived completely!!!

Stay tuned for the super secret coupon code . . .

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Yes “JULY4” is the coupon code to use tomorrow, July 4!!!   Thank goodness there are not “silliness fines” assessed for such things or I’d be in big trouble   : )

Here are the classes we’re teaching at the fabulous ART IS YOU retreat.   We’d love to have YOU join in the fun!!!

Ghost Box ~  This eerie creation blends art & science into one of the creepiest and fun projects you’ll likely ever see.  You’ll learn many awesome construction techniques in this class that can be used for sturdy and customizable assemblage, jewelry and so much more that you’ll have the confidence to whip nearly anything together without power tools.  Yay!!!  Learn more here!

Mechanical Bird ~ By far our most popular class and it’s filling up quickly so hurry!  Here is a rare chance to learn the simple mechanism to make flying mechanical art masterpieces!  And great news — you don’t need to be mechanically inclined to do this.  This design is our own and is very special because the wings are connected inside the bird (other similar pieces have a rod that connects to the wing on the outside of the bird– not the most natural looking to be sure!).

Very few artists that know the secrets of making automata (mechanical toys for grown ups) are willing to share.  You will learn everything needed to create your own flying machines.  This class even includes an online workshop showing every step with free support after the class is over.  Learn more here!

Secrets to Reveal ~  Learn to make a custom keepsake locket using novel and fun techniques from my “Inspired Remnants, Curious Dreams” book to work with the amazing art material, epoxy clay!  Keep what you love dear to your heart in this lovely reliquary.   More here!

There are so many more unique and fun waiting for you on the Art Is You site here!
I wish you the most happy of times this weekend.  There is nothing better in life that celebrating our independence to be free to share and create and just plain experience the best of summer.
Be safe and enjoy!!!


a love story

the bird spirit is so sweet and whenever I see these little creatures it melts my heart.    so of course when other artists make birds it really catches my eye.

i think surely they must love birds as i do– and as you will see by their works here, each artist has paid tribute to that charming gentle essence in a wonderful and unique way.


Melissa Valeriote loves birds and even is giving a very adorable one away as you can see above.  I had such a wonderful time looking at the many birds she’s made and other wonderful creations and I’m sure you will too.



Jeanette Janson’s mixed media birds–  Wow!



Kim Rae Nugent makes “morphed” birds with human eyes that you can see on her web site.  So cool.

Kim created an unique art retreat deeply infused with bird spirit.  i’m honored to be teaching at Raevn’s Nest this fall doing what else but “Ravenwing – A Mechanical Bird” a noble and wise bird with a crown of crystal arrowheads.



i’ve recently been making more jewelry with birds too.   this is a piece I just recently finished is called A Resting Place.



i was absolutely tickled pink when I saw Nina Bagley‘s new work the other day and realized that she also used tatted lace with a bird in her wonderful mixed media piece  “Hope, the Thing with Feathers“.   birds are a recurring theme in her work and surely every one she’s made has greatly inspired me.  how beautiful is this one with the leather and lace!

Hope the thing with feathers



I adore Gaby Bee‘s Home Sweet Home ATC



Bird In Hand” by Jeanne Rhea is so beautifully subtle with just a hint of color in the nest.



and this is the bird started it all– i knew when i saw this particular love story i wanted to write about it on our Remnants blog.    Tracy Webster, another Oregon beach dweller, made this amazing bird cage.


the final love story to tell here is told by Tracy herself in a lovely slide presentation.  for your viewing pleasure i now present to you “Fly Free . . . the journey of a mixed media box by Tracy Webster

if you have favorite art of the bird persuasion and you’d like to comment, please add links so others may share the beauty and keep the bird love story going.

bird lovers of a feather flock together!

3 Bird House on You Tube

OK! I finally got the 3 Bird House video edited and uploaded. The new video editor is just grand!!! Now I just need to get a video camera and the next ones we make should be a lot better.

Wow, an historical moment just happened as I’m writing this– our first African American president has been elected. All politics aside, that just feels good to me like a type of healing for so many wrongs that have happen and continue to happen. I hope more “firsts” like this will be coming soon and that things improve for our country.

Another Bird Takes Flight

I recently met Kim Nugent and was very inspired by her Raven art. The birds she creates have human eyes for a really cool effect. You can visit her gallery and you’ll see what I mean.

Anyway, lately ravens have been coming up in so many random conversations and I really was drawn to make a flying raven to join our flock of mechanical birds. It was a little tricky to finish her since I made the first one waaaay too big and it got much too heavy to get off the ground (so to speak). Anyway, it wouldn’t fly due to technical difficulties. We’ve made a lot of mechanical birds but hadn’t ever tried to make such a large bird before so it was a learning experience (isn’t everything!!!).

So the second one was a bit smaller but still much bigger so we learned some things along the way and I really like her. She has a crown of quartz crystal hand carved arrowheads that we recently found at Bandon’s Cranberry Festival.

I started using resin clay in place of grout in mosaics several years ago. I used this on the base for the raven (which holds the mechanism to make her fly) and it’s the largest area we’ve done so far. I think it complements the piece pretty well. The finishing details were influenced after learning of a Black and White show at a local art association, Umpqua Valley.

It just seemed to be a good fit to do it all in black in white to have the look kind of like an old time photo. And it’s always great to have one piece that works for several different thingies. We submitted this bird along with another piece to that show so perhaps one or both of them will be juried in.

We’ll be posting the other piece “3 Bird House” very soon. It is another mechanical art piece which we really love to do. It is so much fun!

Raven side view

Raven side view


If you want to see this raven fly you can see it on You Tube along with some of our other birds.


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