We have a fixer upper on our hands!
Found this amazing dollhouse / kitchenette (literally found, as in on the side of the road on trash day) Drove by it and couldn't stop thinking of the possibilities, so I turned around and went all the way back and popped it in my car!
Happy I saw the dollhouse side first, if I had only seen the kitchenette side, I wouldn't have given it a second thought. But now that it's mine, I am thinking of all kinds of ways to alter it. So many ideas...
Mainly though, I am REALLY looking forward to transforming the dollhouse into something more suitable for my style. I'm thinking there will be a nice library, coffee bar, well stocked workshop, patio garden....all the essentials.
For now though, we are 1 day accident free. (I made the sign, that's all the time I had to devote to it, haha) but, no injuries. worth noting.
My new logo does not feature robots, or dolls, upcycling, or tools or anything else I am known for....
instead I chose a heartbeat.
Symbolically, I am fueled by making and couldn't stop if I tried.
And my pieces just seem to build themselves, I lose track of the "how" somewhere between the initial idea and the finished piece. They have a life of their own.
But more literally - I am amazed my heart is still beating - to me, that is the magic.
This time 4 years ago, I was in the scary middle of another ICU stay after my heartbeat came to a screeching halt.
I have made it an obsession to rebuild my heart - deliberately and without any distraction. I started trail running - slowly, in all weather, lift weights, eat insanely clean - zero sugar for months on end, no diet anything, vitamins.....gallons of water, and SLEEP. No medications.
I've lost some weight, which is great, but I'm more excited for the improvements in my heart rate. I have a pulse and my blood pressure registers. That's amazing, magical.
So, for all that (and more, that'll be left unsaid) the heartbeat is my symbol of choice.
About this time every year - for the past, ahem, 20+ years, September meant new glue sticks, sharp new scissors, boxes of sharp new crayons, vibrant markers and loads and loads of paper - notebooks, new packs of cardstock, white paper, manila paper, all the paper.....
I have always taught art and even though I am not doing that this year, that did not sway me from the school supply aisles! I am hooked for life. Kids art supplies just pull me in.
It is odd not having new projects to plan - but I am not complaining, because now I can really focus on what I love to make, and right now that is robots. So I planned a "collage theme" for myself and just started recreating what I make in the studio with wood and nails with paper and glue.
Having a lot of fun too! Prints are slowly being uploaded onto my Etsy shop and soon to be here on my website for sale as well. They are sharing a lot of their magical knowledge. Hope you like them!
Thanks to Facebook for keeping such a good record of my life. lol. Now I KNOW exactly what day the robots arrived. One year ago today. Happy Birthday Robots!!!
Some details i do remember thought, it was a Friday night while I was watching the Adams Family in a Best Western across the street from a college - and next to a McDonald's.....and I think either parent's night or just a normal football game night - I don't know, but both the hotel and the McDonald's were packed, busy and loud! No problem, I was in my own world, happily making dolls.
Here's what I said back then and what the first creations looked like.
"Threw a bunch of random hardware and wood scraps in my backpack this morning ...stopped for the best glue ever and ta da. Little robots in the works.
Didn't bring paint or some other "essentials" but making the best of Friday night at Best Western."
Of course Shake it Out was the first Florence and the Machine song that captured my attention, it is not my all time favorite - but, like all her songs - the lyrics grab me and take me deep within. Few artists can do that consistently. I couldn't help but think of these lyrics when making my hearts. - I have several sizes that I'll post soon...
Anatomical hearts keep showing up in my work - I've done them as paintings, collages, textile art and now these clay pieces. It's personal. I have a bit of a heart problem - it actually crawled to an almost stop a few years ago, while I was driving on the freeway around this time of year ... (and then, not driving at all)
The road back was not fun - but I am actually trail running daily now and make it a point to "talk" to my heart while doing it - little pep talks and encouragement and lots of Florence and the Machine songs to keep it pumping correctly.
Do you have a favorite book or movie genre? Of course you do. I do too - I just didn't know what to call it until last year when I came across a youtube documentary on Magical Realism.
"That's it!" everything in me yelled.
I've always been drawn to books that have a touch of magic - but that magic is mixed into the absolute normalcy of life. I like fairy tales and some fantasy but this is different. The magic is just there. A part of day to day life, if you are observant enough. Think Matilda or Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, Chocolat, or even Groundhog Day. (among some of my favorites) The book Night Circus and the book and movie, Mrs Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children are others that I just thought I liked, but didn't really have a connection.
I love the idea that there really is so much more possible, so many magical things happening all around us that we just chalk up to coincidence. I am very patient. And I am watching.
Side note, funny story - I used to review books as a part of my job. One day I was sent Mrs. Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children - for some reason the book blurb I received did not clue me in to the fact that this was a type of fantasy novel.... I was a little surprised and confused to say the least. (read it, or watch the movie to see how quickly this idea was squashed)
The ROBOTS 1 year Birthday Celebration begins today!
In case you didn't know the robots story of origin, I will share it here.
Last year I was on an extended traveling assignment and spent my days in rental cars and night after night in hotel rooms. Grateful for the steady work, but I missed my studio - desperately.
So the next break I had, I threw a box of random stuff in my suitcase and decided to make SOMETHING. ANYTHING.
This was also in October during the 31 Nights of Halloween tv specials, so after work I'd watch a movie and make weird things. And that's how the ROBOTS were born. These new friends showed up just when I needed them to.
It all makes sense. I love blocks of wood - really, truly, love blocks. And I've always made dolls - large public art, small anthromorphic* animals and objects.....and now robots!
These fellows make me happy. They seem to make themselves, like magic. Each with their own personality. I am just there to supply the right parts.
And now, a year later, over a hundred robots have been adopted out! I couldn't be more happy.
There really is something magical in not giving up!
*anthropomorphic, it derives from the Greek word anthrōposi, which means "human being." One thing human beings like to do is anthropomorphize animals and inanimate objects. If that sounds fancy, just think about a kindergarten student putting a smiley face on his drawing of a sun.
My time at Villa Barr was interrupted - as with the happenings in the rest of the world - by shelter in place orders. I half expected to be able to stay, after all, I was entirely alone on the property and had absolutely no reason to leave. I had packed food and water, had ample projects to work on and quiet walking trails in the backyard.
BUT the city thought otherwise. They were sending me back to Ohio. It was a risk to have me there with much of the city shut down. I was told, if something happened, the response time would be too long.
I had two thoughts run through my head when they told me that;
1. What could possibly happen?
2. I don't want to leave. I was as safe as a person could be in that house all alone.
AND THEN as it often happens, a situation came up that made me rethink my rebellion.
That night, with a cup of hot tea, a book and my phone in my hand, I slipped and fell down the spiral staircase. Watching someone fall down a spiral staircase must be a hilarious sight. Thankfully no one was there to witness it. Which was their point. Not only was no one there, no one would know, and city workers were not easy to come by.
Halfway down my weird twisting fall, the thought that I could definitely break something crossed my mind. But then my leg caught between two bars and stopped my fall. I was - and am - bruised and scraped up, but that's all. Nothing broken and my noggin did not hit, because my leg took the brunt of it and.
So....the next morning I packed up, cleaned and said goodbye to my 75% down sculpture, and other almost done projects. until we meet again, Phoenix lady. (more on her in another post)
Shannon Marie makes.... a lot. This is where I can explain what I am doing and why, show new work and ideas. ...and ....