MARNIE IS MY MUSE

“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” Plato

And that’s exactly how I met my dear friend Marnie Ehlers!

Marnie & Berta @ CottageTen years ago, we both found ourselves at a weekend creativity workshop where we didn’t know each other or any one else. Our instructor asked us to pick a partner for a collaborative project and all the other women quickly paired up. I was new to Tucson and trying so hard to fit in and make new friends but suddenly I felt shy and awkward. Beautiful Marnie looked over at me, smiled,  and said, “Let’s do it!” We had so much fun in that workshop together! It was uncanny. We shared the same kind of oddball humor and neither one of us followed directions very well. The project involved writing down our individual dreams and having the other person be our “accountability partner” to encourage and help motivate us. It was such a wonderful surprise that we both had very similar quirky dreams and shared the same playful style of interacting. It was such a lucky moment in my life meeting Marnie and she continues to inspire and amuse me every day! When I dared dream up The Creative Cottage three and a half years ago she became my biggest ally and most enthusiastic supporter. We’ve spent hours and hours (and hours!) sharing stories and dreaming our big dreams together. Last summer we shared our famous summer girlz road trip to Ocean Beach in California and had such a blast (see last summer’s blog post and pictures)!Marnie beach Marnie is amazing and such fun! I feel so lucky to have her as my friend and “accountability partner.”

 “A true artist is not one who is inspired, but one who inspires others.”

Marnie has her own business too (Good Muse Designs) and it’s great to be able to share ideas, issues, and inspiration about our businesses together. Marnie is such a talented jewelry artist Marnie_Ehlers.risingsun.compressedand a really wonderful teacher–patient, encouraging and inspiring! I think my wonderful clients at The Cottage would LOVE taking a class with Marnie…here is a list of her summer classes! Marnie will show you a super fun and unbelievably easy way to make your own custom metal jewelry using metal clay*! No experience is needed and her classes are suitable for all levels.

Single session Introduction to Metal Clay Classes $55 includes: fine silver metal clay(6.3g), tool use and firing!marnie_ehlers.intro class sampleM.Ehlers_silverearrings

Saturday, June 28; 11:00 AM- 1:45 PM at Tucson Stained Glass, 4444 East Grant Rd, Tucson

Tuesday, July 1; 10:00 AM- 12:45 PM at Blue Raven Art School, 3054 N. First Ave, Tucson

Tuesday, July 8; 10:00 AM- 12:45 PM at Blue Raven Art School, 3054 N. First Ave, Tucson

Tuesday, July 15; 10:00 AM- 12:45 PM at Blue Raven Art School, 3054 N. First Ave, Tucson

Pre-registration is required, class size limited. Call Marnie 520-390-6627.

*What is metal clay? Think of it as “moldable metal!” Metal clay is a clay-like medium used to make jewelry, beads, and small sculpture. It consists of microscopic particles of metals (such as silver, gold, bronze, copper or steel) mixed with an organic binder and water. Metal clay can be shaped like soft clay. After drying, it can be fired in a variety of ways including in a kiln, with a hand held, high temperature gas torch. The binder burns away, leaving the pure, sintered metal. If you have wanted to try metal clay or want to create more advanced work in metal clay this is the class for you.

And, if you’re going to be in San Diego in September, join Marnie at the prestigious Metal Clay By The Bay conference where she will be teaching and sharing her work…check out her latest fantastic creation!

Marnie.Ehlers_seahorse pendant-1Compmarnie-ehlers.seahorse 2comp

Marnie Ehlers

Web site:www.goodmusedesigns.com

Blog:www.marnieismymuse.com

Please “Like” Marnie on facebookwww.facebook.com/goodmusedesigns

Marnie is my muse and my BFF! Call her to sign up for her classes or see her fantastic jewelry! You deserve some new bling!

Marnie & Kaitie

“The more you create, the more you become the truly unique human being you are called to be.” Christina Acosta

 Love to you dear friends and happy summer!

© Copyright Kaitlin Meadows, 2014. All rights reserved.

WEAVING A WONDERFUL WEB

We all have our own life to pursue, our own kind of dream to be weaving, and we all have the power to make wishes come true, as long as we keep believing.

Louisa May Alcott

weave 9Last Saturday at The Creative Cottage a gaggle of inspired artists came to play. It’s a great joy in my life to have fashioned such a magical place for women to gather with the express assignment of FUN! And fun we had as we wove scraps of decorative papers, bits of yarn, and this & that to make creative tapestries while we shared our stories,  laughed, nibbled chocolate, and generally wove our lives together in friendship.

weave 7Karen, Gogi, Polly, Celeste, Arlyn, and Cissie created their own beautiful weavings–winding into them their own creative vision, love of color, important symbols, and whimsy! weave 6It was delightful to spread out our creative chaos on the big work table and weave the strands of our lives together as we worked! It seems we are always joining strands of our hearts together sitting together over our handiwork as women all over the world have done for centuries…

weave 2Ladders of kinship, tapestries of interconnectedness,  strands of friendship woven together…

weave 8And that is the magic of shared creativity…it uplifts the spirit, entwines joy into the daily music of our lives, and builds a tribe!

weave 1Thank you for being my own amazing tribe of creative souls who weave your beautiful hearts into your families, friends, work, home, the world, and The Creative Cottage!

weave 3Come join us–come join the tribe–Check out my classes for July and sign up for a few quick as can be cuz we’ve been selling out…

and I so welcome you to come join the FUN!

We sleep, but the loom of life never stops, and the pattern which was weaving when the sun went down is weaving when it comes up in the morning.

Henry Ward Beecher

© Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows, 2014. All Rights Reserved.

STILL WE RISE!

 

“After all, the goal is not to make art, but to be in that wonderful state which makes art inevitable.” Robert Henri

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The heat is on! Nothing so exciting in June than coming out to find the Ceres cacti in radiant bloom!june garden 3These long June days Honey and I  get up before dawn to water and take care of our little oasis, WildHeart Ranch. The good news is that the air is cool (relatively!)…all the birds are out singing, butterflies are dancing, butterfly flagand we have a couple hours of utter peace in our realm! It’s such fun to be in my garden at the pre-dawn hours…june garden 2june garden

And, when we can enjoy a rare day at home together, we read huge stacks of library books, listen to music, cook, dance around the kitchen, and take an afternoon siesta with our dog Gus.

On these three-digit days it’s hard to get motivated (we’re on strike!) to leave our quiet sanctuary,june garden 4to go out into the searing white light and simmering heat…but last Saturday I did just that because my favorite gallery in Tucson* was sponsoring a mixed media workshop called “No Woman, No Cry”raices class

*Raices Taller 222 Art Gallery & Workshop, 218 E. 6th Street, Tucson, AZ 85705 (520) 881-533

Teaching so many classes at The Creative Cottage, running around doing seemingly endless errands, being involved in a dozen organizations–I rarely give myself the gift of taking some time to just enjoy the fellowship of our beautiful Tucson community of artists. But Raices ROCKS and Carolyn King, a wonderfully playful local teaching artist,raices class 1

created the workshop and shared fun, engaging techniques to jumpstart our creativity. Our job was to make meaningful art with empowered women as a theme. As you know, the news about the  abuses & atrocities directed toward women and girls around the world only grows more disturbing every single day so it was good for the creative women of Tucson to gather at this very special cooperative gallery (on the last weekend of an exhibit dedicated solely to women) to make art and share stories about the strength and resilience of women…raices 3raices 5Carolyn is an inspired teacher and the group was such fun! We made some very touching art and the discussions we shared about the pieces really moved me! I made this one as an homage to mothers and children around the world..

raices pixand this one, very close to my own heart because I mentor at-risk young women, 7 to 12 years of age, who have been the victims of abuse, neglect, divorce, substance abuse, and/or emotional abandonment…raices pix 2It says,

” In the wild heart of the lost child

is the soul of the wise woman

shining.”

Together, we raise our voices, offer our solace, join forces with women around the world to do the work of education, empowerment, encouragement, and protection!

…In the words of our beloved mentor Maya Angelou

“just like moon and like suns,

with the certainty of tides,

just like hopes

springing high,

still I rise!”

 

© Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows, 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Sisterhood is Powerful!

unlock dreams“A sister is a gift to the heart, a friend to the spirit, a golden thread to the meaning of life.” Isadora James

It’s a miracle! One of the greatest moments in my recent life! Something I have hoped for, dreamed of, spent years praying to all the angels and goddesses aboutI reunited with my little sister!!!  I flew to Central California, rented a car, and drove up to the beautiful  pine and oak mountains south of Yosemite…I traveled down a long, dusty road, and over a very rickety bridge (I imagined trolls lived under it!) and into the yard of the beautiful Seldom Seen Ranch where my sister and her husband greeted me with such love and hospitality! Kim & Bro 2

We had the most amazing time together–it was as though we had seen each other just last week (instead of thirty years ago!) We talked for hours and hours (and HOURS!), laughed like crazy people, managed to do a few chores, and  go to the San JoaquinRiver to swim and picnic with her family of amazing children, their wonderful spouses, and all the fabulous grandkids. It was utterly amazing!!!! I had such fun…

Here is her cozy cottage…Kim's cottageShe has amazing gardensKim's pumpKim's lavenderKim's garden squashKim's hollyhocksAnd, like me, Kim loves fairies and has them scattered around everywhere to remind her that magic abounds and miracles can happen! (A miracle DID happen–we found each other after 30 years apart!)Kim's fairy shelf

Kim's Fairy pondMy sister had a HUGE DREAM–she wanted to have her own fiber business…Down Home Handspun Fibers. It took everything she had to make it come true–to find the land where she could garden and raise her goats, to buy  a professional fiber mill, to commit the necessary energy every single day to feed and water the critters, garden like crazy, and start her own business (I KNOW how hard that can be!)  My sister raises chickens, rabbits, horses, and very special angora goats that she shears. After she gathers the shearings, she has to get all the stickers out, Kim's wool wash it (sometimes several times!) in this old washer without the beater (so the wool won’t “felt”)…Kim's wool washer

And then begins the REALLY hard work of taking the fiber to her home mill–these machines are huge, costly, professional “tools” and my sister has had to sacrifice much in her life to have them.Kim' fiber mill 2Kim's fiber millHere the fibers are torn apart and blown into a huge “poof” (that’s NOT the professional word!)…it takes hours and hours and is hot, messy, isolating work–Kim calls it the “slave” work!

And THEN my sister begins the arduous process of dying the fibers with all her organically grown flowers and herbs…Kim's flower dyesin her dye shedKim's Dye shedand FINALLY she hand spins it! It’s absolutely beautiful…but OMG what a process of pure love! Go check out her website to see more about it and to buy some fibers from her! http://downhomehandspunfibers.com

She and her mate work so hard everyday to keep their dream afloat and it’s soooo inspiring! Making a dream come true is work of pure love and utter devotion…and my sister Kim embodies that!

“Is solace anywhere more comforting than in the arms of your sister?” Alice Walker Kim 2I had an incredible time–and guess what? My “little sister” patiently, lovingly taught me to kayak! I spent a whole afternoon on the San Joaquin River paddling around on the beautiful, placid water with the pine and oak studded mountains reflected in it. I saw Kingfishers, herons, and Canada geese (with babies!) and we had such a wonderful time, two sisters on our kayak adventure together! I’m soooo hooked–I want my own kayak now but my Sweetheart thinks that might be a tiny bit “impractical” in arid Tucson!

Kim's dye flowers“Sisters are different flowers from the same garden.” Jane Davidson

Thanks to all of you my wonderful friends who encouraged and supported me about taking this big adventure…thanks to my Beloved for making it possible…but, most of all, THANK YOU KIM for being my wonderful sister and sharing your life with me. I LOVE YOU with all my heart!

Sisters are forever friends!

P.S. Please use my sister as your inspiration too–if you have a BIG DREAM throw your heart and your soul and your SWEAT EQUITY into it and make it come true!!!Kim's ranch metal© Copyright Kaitlin Meadows. All Rights Reserved.