Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to one and all!  I am shaking off 2014 and lunging headlong into 2015!   I am running non stop these days it seems.  I have been so very busy lately!  I opened a booth at Harry and Annie's in Washington Court House, Ohio, where antiques-uniques-rust and whim rule the day!  Having such fun, I am set to open a second booth on Saturday!  But it has required major time shift.  I am still unable to be on the computer more than 5 minutes at a time due to my ear problems.  That inner ear stuff can take so many weird personalities!  

I have been hounding poor Mike to death to drive me to 50 errands a day it seems! A trip to the ER and a seperate trip to the Dr threw my tightly packed, carefully alloted schedule out the window. Grandma Waller is home with my Mom and Dad- just up the drive.  She is making great strides toward being independant again- but 90 year old bones-hips in particular take their time mending.  She sold her home, and bought a beautiful new condo.  Imagine our surprise when after the sale we found it turned out to be friends of my friend Shelly who were selling:). Small, but beautiful world.  Made us all feel good about the situation!  I met the ladies today, and they were so very lovely, and it seems an instant connection to new friends!  

Grandma McKnight is losing ground.  Her poor body is withering away with the ravages of advanced alzehiemers.  A brutal and insidious disease.  Today Dad went in only to find she had developed pneumonia overnight.  Odd that many many others on that wing have developed it in the last couple days too.  More than a coincidence me thinks.  We've been having issues- and we check in on her every day, but who knows what happens in the wee hours of the night.  

Due to my inner ear, and still dealing with the eye situation somewhat- I've been restricted to resting for a few days.  I find that sitting on the couch painting is just as much rest for me as sleeping!  

And FINALLY today- I was able to pick up a copy of Jan-Feb Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine to check my latest article!  I am so tickled about it!  I still get a thrill seeing it on the news-stands!

More on that front tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A little something just for me! Polymer Fairy Houses

So, I've been running non-stop this year, and haven't had time to make many of the ideas rattling around in my head- so I took a day, and made something just for me!  (Well, something I've been wanting to make, and something that I could share with Sculpey too.)  As many of you know, I am on the Sculpey Design team.  They are a wonderful company to work with, and I enjoy all the challenges they give us!  They have been really a great source of inspiration for me, and I hope to share the fun with all of you!

I am fascinated with tiny.  Small is BIG right now.  Gnome homes, fairy homes, fairy furniture, fairy doors.  But I have loved fairies since I was a little girl.  I always liked small.  Barbie furniture, elf furniture, sleeping bags, elf toys and elf gardens.  I loved to re-purpose things even then to make tiny things.  Spools and clothespins were always handy, lids and sewn little cushions and tables and chairs.  Oh and tiny containers!!! Sigh....

So as a way of rewarding myself for not overeating this holiday season, I headed for clay.  I spent a glorious fairly uninterrupted day making these little fairy cottages.  Just for me.  They serve no purpose, other than to make me happy.  And they do!

If you would like to make your own fairy cottage, I spell it out step by step, with tons of photos over on the Sculpey Blog.  Jump over if you wanna see!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

What I've been up to lately!

It's been a whirlwind of travel and business upheaval! I no sooner get home from travelling and teaching, and I open a hearbreaking email that CREATE has chosen to no longer put on it's retreats.  Which really suck, as I love love loved them!  Great professionally run retreats.  Maggie Reinholtz, Sally Slack and Jeannine Stein, and before her Jenn Mason hold the bar high for anyone wanting to put on a well run event!  They all worked so very hard, and it just burns my biscuits that some suit somewhere didn't appreciate how life-changing these events can be, and can just axe a fabulous program!

That being said- if you want venues to continue in your neck of the woods yall- you have to attend in large numbers!  Bring every friend, sister and cousin you can round up!  Next year, I'm already slated for Dublin, OH, Minneapolis, MN, Stamford CT, and Petaluma CA.  You can bet those venues will fill immediately with their limited seating!

So, as teaching is a huge part of my income- I spun my wheels for all of 5 seconds, and jumped at an opportunity I have had on the back burner.  I have always wanted my own space in an antique/art boutique.  My favorite place is "Harry & Annies" in Washington Courthouse OH.  (Bonus, it's side by side with my Mom's favorite place "Memories Gate".)  Because I have been on the road so much, it's been an impossible dream.  So- I made a call, signed a contract, and began gathering art and antiques I've had around the house for a long time.  I also made a few purchase at a local auction or two, and when I was on the road to TN to see family.

Mike hasn't been able to get down to see his family for about 2 years, so after a couple days home (not near enough to unpack) we loaded up the car for a week in TN.  A great time was had by all, Mike, his Mom and I went to several thrift stores, flea markets and garage sales, and I found wonderful bargins for my shop space!  At night I would work on paintings and developing future classes for next year.  We ended the trip with an early Thanksgiving dinner!

We headed back up to the cold northern tundra, and on the way, stopped in to visit with the stellar gang at DecoArt!  I have been playing with their new Media line for several months now, and could not be happier with what I have discovered.  The new mediums and the new fluid acrylics are really something!  I will be posting more on that soon!  (with some videos!)  After an awesome tour of the factory, and realizing the line was so much more vast than I realized, I couldn't have been floating anymore!  My brain hurt all the way home with ideas!

The next day, we ran down to Harry & Annie's and set up the booth, taking a full blazer and a full pick up truck.  It felt good to get the shutters out of the garage!  Racing home, we realized we had to stop at the grocery- usually not a problem, but oh-la-la it was Wednesday night...5:30 pm Wednesday night before Thanksgiving.  You can figure how that went!  One poor woman was asking Mike how long she would have to thaw her 21 pound turkey before she could cook it the next day...I think she almost cried.  Mike being the kind heart he is, took her over and showed her the fresh turkey breasts, and told her 2 would feed her guests....Home to make pumpkin roll and fresh cranberry sauce...

Thanksgiving came and we had a wonderful day!  Grandma Waller was able to make the car trip in fine fashion from the nursing facility where she is recovering from a broken femur.  Uncles and Aunts stopped by, and hearty games of SLAP were played!  Food was eaten, thanks was given and the day ended way to quickly.  Poor Mike had to go in to work early in the day, and ended up working a 12 hour shift but at least he got dinner first.

The day after Thanksgiving was spent at home, organizing, and unpacking and making art.  No shopping was done!  It was delightful!

The next day was back to my booth, as things had wonderfully sold, and I needed to add inventory!  After that about 15 errands were completed, and several to-do's marked off my list!

Now I am happily catching up on life.  Organizing and hoping for a slower pace, where I can enjoy family and friends! 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Inspiration on the road!

So I was going to post a little project I had designed while I was away on a visit to the family. However, on a stop to rest our legs at the Berea KY Arts and Craft center, I ran across the most fascinating artists polymer cane work!  Artists James C. Rich and Diana Smith Thomas's work bewitched me.  I don't know them and have never met them but I looked and looked and looked at their beautiful work, and made an agonizingly difficult decision of which pieces to purchase.  I finally settled  on this beautiful delicate pink pair.   If you want to see more you can visit their web site at or you can visit their facebook page at

I love love love finding new polymer clay artists, and their beautiful work, and I am THRILLED that it was SO available and SO visible at a wonderful travellers rest spot!  Maybe we as artists need to find more unexpected places to show our work:)

Friday, November 14, 2014

What a long strange trip it's been!

Wow!  What can I say?  My bestie Jen Crossley and I have crossed over 7 thousand miles together since September 15th!  (Not counting her flight over from Oz!!)  We did over 2,800 of them in the car!

Here is the catch up scoop!

We started off with 4 days at The Country Living fair in Columbus, Ohio.  Setting up a 10 x 10 booth, manning it for 3 full days, then tearing it down!  Sad to say, the crowds were really really down this year.  But we had a great time with our pals Shari Replogle, and Paula Marquis.  We loved seeing our friends Lisa Ohmer, Jenni Bowlin, Jeannie & Dallas Carter! 

We had only hours to tear the booth down, and then pack for the rest of our events.  We tore through the house like mad women, and packed up suitcases.

We had NO sleep at all, and then before we knew it, we were on the plane to Dallas Texas for the CREATE retreat! Aunt Annies Pretzels and copious amounts of coffee were the rocket fuel that propelled us that day!

 Dallas Create was a fantastic hit!  The students were awesome, and worked hard to make beautiful art- here is just a portion of my Gelli-Print Joy class, hard at it!

I  was informed this week- quite sadly, that the CREATE retreats are no more.  The suits at F&W have had their beans counted, and, as per normal, we artists have fallen short of some magical mystical math equation.  It was such a wonderful ride!  I am proud to say I taught for each and every Create Retreat except for the very first, very small one in Chicago.  It was a pleasure and an honor to work with the Interweave staff, particularly Maggie Reinholtz, Sally Slack, Jenn Mason, and Jeannine Stein. 

t was a royal treat and downright blessing to spend so much time up close and personal with so many wonderful artist-students.

I do have to say the Dallas hotel was really "out there."  It was the Night Hotel, very artsy, and very dark!  Even in the brightest part of the day, it was dark and illuminated by neon and blue/green/red chandeliers!  

 The best part is getting to pal around with your buds!  Natalie Kalbach and I shared our deep fear and loathing of bugs, and fondness for our mutual friends Joe Rotella and Joe Morgan!
Weird! it was all a bit much trying to eat your eggs in the morning to the 2 inch diamonte studded hot pink and gold chairs lit with blue neon- but it WAS heaps of fun!

Jen and I will NEVER forget that all the beds were lit from underneath!

Our roomie Jen Cushman looked quite fetching lit from the floor!

After teaching, we spent an amazing day with our dear friend Magdalena Muldoon!   How much fun it was to tool around the beautiful city with someone who lives there and loves it!

Before we knew it, we were heading home- pretty pie-eyed and exhausted, but cheerful and looking forward to our next event!

Dingy me, I was lucky enough to write an article for Cloth Paper Scissors (which will come out in January) and in our haste packing for Dallas- it went to Dallas with us!  So as soon as we landed, we had to turn around and go to the post office to ship the article and all it's step outs and finished pieces!  Here's a sneak peek!

Well, that's it for tonight, I'm turning into a pumpkin!
Stay tuned- same bat time, same bat channel, for more of the exploits of Jen and Kari!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Come and Play- Comment to Win!

Hello my darlings!  I have been on the road NON-STOP for 5 weeks now, and am struggling to keep up with the e-world.  Seems half the time, my smart phone and smarter tablet refuse to play nicely with the hotel wi-fi's. But I really really wanted you to know about this uber cool prize package!  And of course I want you to know about the awesome Art Journaling Retreat happening in November!
All this yummy arty goodness could be yours just for playing along!  You must comment on THIS page to win-  reply to this question "What would YOU like to see/make/or do at your dream art retreat?"   This drawing will end on Sunday night Oct 19, 2014 at midnight EST- and winners will be announced Monday Oct 20, 2014.

I have to tell you- if you would like to have lots of one on one time with instructors- come to The CREATE Art Journal Retreat in Austin in November!
If you would like to find new ways to use your current products- come to The CREATE Art Journal Retreat in Austin in November!
If you would like to have minimal supplies to bring, but tons of supplies to try out and play with supplied for you-  come to The CREATE Art Journal Retreat in Austin in November!

The very talented Jodi Ohl, Jen Crossley and Jeannine Stein will be there to play with me, and help to make this a once in a lifetime retreat experience- make sure you check it out.  It is one for the books, one not to be missed!

Make sure to click the blog hop button up above and to stop by each blog and comment to try for all the different prize packs!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Special Art Retreat coming to Austin Texas!!

  Hello Everyone!  I'm posting from the road, so please forgive the weirdness-

But this news is soooo exciting!  A brand new, exclusive retreat!  If you have ever been a bit nervous about attending a big retreat- this charming 'boutique' retreat is for you!  Smaller in attendance size only- with all the bells and whistles of a bigger retreat!  National and International Instructors, Wonderful classes, plenty of one-on-one instruction, and loads of goodies- this is sure to be a can't miss event!  People are sure to be talking about this retreat for years to come- make sure that you are on the inside circle!  This is one of those ground floor events that change the face of things to come...

I am proud to be participating in this NEW retreat upcoming VERY soon,  November 2-5 in Austin, Texas brought to you by the editors of Cloth Paper Scissors and the event team at F&W Media, who host retreats such as Create in NJ, Chicago, Dallas, and Seattle.    The uber talented Jodi Ohl, my best bud Australian artist Jen Crossley, and the editor of Cloth Paper Scissors, Jeannine Stein will join me to give you 2 1/2 days of classes, treats, inspiration and more during this  inspiring event.  

***Did I mention that all the wonderful food and lodging at the beautiful resort are included?***


to learn new, exciting techniques from some of the best artist-instructors in the country, in a beautiful, relaxed environment. The Retreat at Balcones Springs near Austin, Texas, is the backdrop for two and a half days of classes focused on painting, collage, image transfers, bookbinding, and other techniques that will take your art journaling to a new level.

Instructors Kari McKnight Holbrook and Jodi Ohl will introduce you to new ways of working with a variety of journaling styles and materials that will add dimension, color and depth to your art journals. With Jen Crossley you'll learn how to make a beautiful metal journal necklace, perfect for making notes or sketches anywhere. On the last day you'll take the pages you've been working on and bind them into a gorgeous book, with easy instructions from Cloth Paper Scissors Editorial Director, author and book artist Jeannine Stein.  In addition, you'll be treated to fun activities, presentations, and other surprises, while being inspired by the peaceful surroundings. We hope you'll join us for this amazing opportunity. Sign up now, registration is limited!

I'll be focusing on teaching you all about different types of paints, and how to mix colors with confidence!  Next we'll move on to how to create beautiful art, even with previous art disasters!  Rescue techniques for even the ugliest duckling!  Please consider joining us, as this is sure to be a once in a lifetime event!