Friday, December 30, 2011

My New Year's Goal- Part One: Keep a Notebook of Ideas

Ideas come together like a collage, a bit here then there
I'll be walking around the kitchen, cleaning up or putting to rights and thoughts will float through my head. You know, how it happens, you're doing some mundane task and the thoughts just lead from one to another, until you realize that you're miles away from where you started and not even you can trace how you got from thought A to thought G. But thought G is a whole lot more interesting then thoughts A-F and suddenly you're caught. You've thought of something. Something BIG! It's exciting and makes you a little nervous, but how supremely cool is that? If you can pull it off. And suddenly life rears it's ugly head and you have to go answer the phone, or the door, or stop the dryer from buzzing and waking the baby. All the normal every day things that you suddenly resent because in the course of doing them, you lost your train of thought and have only a vague memory that you did, indeed, think of something amazingly cool.

That is why you need a sketchbook, notepad, or notebook by your side at all times. Cause, trust me sisters, it's not nearly as easy to remember those flashes of genius as it once was. They call it mommy brain, and I am SURE that it's being studied in some university some where and someday soon we'll learn all about how it is an actually malady and chocolate with coffee really is an actual treatment for it. BUT til then, we have to suffer in silence, hiding from the rest of the world how hard it is for us to remember ideas from one moment to the next. It's not that we can't think, we're thinking all the time, it's that we can't remember one thought after we've had a few more come after it.

Thoughts wing their way to our Conscious at very inopportune times
So as you contemplate the New Year approaching, how about a notebook to go with it? Why not start a journal on your iphone, and write down the vague thoughts that come throughout the day? Or how about if you sit down a few moments each day at lunch and write down a paragraph or two? Me, I usually start and end the day dreaming up ideas in bed. It's quiet, my brain is still in that dream state where thoughts float unconsciously and I can make connections without thinking quite so hard. That's when the majority of my ideas begin, where they take form, and where they come to a point of full conception. I don't know about you, but I think things out for weeks before I ever take action. A project that may seem spur of the moment, even to me, is usually the result of barely conscious thought spread over weeks. A morning day dream there, a brief crystallization there, then much later a quick insight as I drive or cook. They all add up to an idea that has enough form to act upon.
So this year, how about making a resolution to capture as many of those fleeting thoughts as possible? I bet we'd both be amazed by what we ended up with. :)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Embracing a Different Kind of Christmas and a Different Kind of Sewing as Well

Merry Christmas! Christmas has been celebrated and with a bit of time on my hands I thought I'd share something with you. You see, I was just looking at the present I got for my mother in law. It was Pokey Bolton's new book, The Best of Quilting Arts and  just now I realized how many of the techniques introduced in the book really appeal to me. I'd like to try gelatin printing. I'd like to use photo's to create a quilt pattern, I'd like to print and stamp and dye fabric as well. While we're here my MIL has been teaching me about machine sewing. I don't know if I mentioned it, but I got a Janome sewing machine last September. It's the first sewing machine I ever bought. It was a spontaneous purchase at a conference I attended. I hadn't intended on getting one, it just happened. They were selling the teaching models and had a killer deal on them. I swear tears came to my eyes as I first saw the ease of sewing just a straight seam with a good machine. I'd played with my grandmother's machine for a while but honestly, couldn't get it to sew a straight seam for the life of me. And you had to pull and tug at the fabric to get it to go through at all. I figured it was me, and that I just couldn't use a machine right and I decided to stick with my hand stitching.

That was 4 years ago and for four years I've very contentedly been hand stitching my little heart out. I've actually been glad for that broken down machine because I love the time I've spent learning embroidery and creating hand stitched art as a result. So much so that I'd actually decided against owning another machine. It's a different kind of sewing and I was afraid I'd lose what was unique about my work, what marked it as hand done art.

But in the last year, I've secretly been wishing for a machine to help as I do more and more construction instead of just embellishing. I love the clothes I've altered, but I have to say that it made me so frustrated to spend time just sewing seams that would get covered up. If I'm going to spend my time hand stitching I at least wanted it to show.

Time, I guess is really what it comes down to. Because the less time spent on construction allows me more time with my family. It also allows me to reach farther and do more creatively then I could before. With the world of surface design opening up before me, and with the joy of learning what my new machine can do, comes the desire to sew at a higher level. To understand all about different seams, and thread types, and machine stitching. To try free motion stitching, and get really really good at using my machine as another tool in my art.

 Today was spent so differently then past Christmases. We're with my husbands family, instead of mine. Which means instead of 20+ people and kids there's just the five of us. Instead of church, we watched The Star of Bethlehem movie (highly recommend it), read the Christmas story and fondued. It's different but not bad, in fact, other then missing my family, it's been a good day. I think that's how I need to see the machine vs. the hand work I've done. It's different but not bad. Plus, I'm having so much fun learning from my Mother in Law, and enjoy so much sharing my Mom's excitement of getting  a new machine herself. It seems sewing is something that's drawing us all together right now and that I have to believe is really the biggest blessing of my new machine.
Merry Christmas Everyone!!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

My Favorite Things...

As everyone is making out their Christmas wish lists and checking it twice, I thought I'd share my favorite tools and materials. Just to give you some ideas. :)

 My Favorite new Studio Accessory
Has to be the ribbon hanger I made from an old frame. It was pretty easy and I love how it looks hanging in my studio. It also holds my patterned tapes as well as ribbon spools. Sweet!

My Favorite Tools
As I started to pull tools for this pic I had to laugh because I kept thinking of just one more thing I just couldn't live without.
You'll see here...
A inkssentials craft sheet (have to have)
 Fiskars craft drill
 Lindstrom pliers
Heavy duty wire cutters
Grippy paint brush
Ratchet pruner for cutting branches
Japanese shears for floral design
Tonic scissors for cutting thin metal sheet
and my new favorite scissors....

My Favorite Materials
16-gauge Steel Wire,fabric, and Wire Mesh!

My Favorite Adhesives
-Modge Podge Matte
-UHU glue stick (the only kind I'll buy for my projects)
-Golden Heavy Gel Medium

Some More of my Favorites...

-My Favorite Stamps are from Oxford Impressions
-Favorite Pens are the Faber Castell Pitt Markers
-and My Favorite ink pads are Distress by Tim Holtz and Staz-on's

 I hope this gives you some ideas... and I'd love to know what your favorite-can't-live-without-tools or materials are as well. So please leave a comment!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

School Themed Christmas Decorations

What to do to decorate a teacher's lounge? That was the problem last week. I had a bunch of great ideas but when the time came to execute I was down with a lay you flat kind of cold. SO I had to think fast the next morning and working off of  the idea of a teacher's lounge I started to play with some school themed decorations. Here's what I did...

First, I pulled out an old dictionary and cut some snowflakes. I'm ashamed to admit I had to google how to cut a snowflake. I honestly couldn't remember.

Then, I found an old copy of Greencraft that had this amazing paper wreath in it. I did some improvising ( the article showed them stapling the rolled pages to a backer sheet- I had no staples) and found that tape works just as well. When you get to the center though I wanted to cover up the point that the cone ends meet so I used one of my paper snowflakes.I also got bored making the paper rolls and so I decided to make mine more star shaped. :)

Next, I had all kinds of paper scraps so I cut some circles, crumpled them up a bit, and then with a needle and string made a garland for the window. Cute!

Then, near the office downstairs I used some flash cards to make a garland for the window. All I had to do was cut the flashcards in half and then staple them as you would make any paper chain. They had this nifty automatic stapler that was waaayy too fun.  To accent this I hung a carpenter's ruler I'd shaped into a star.
And there you go! School themed Christmas Decorations that are as easy as A-B-C with no primer required!  
Have you done something different with your Christmas decorating this year? Is there some unique material that you've used in an unusual way? We'd all LOVE to hear, so please leave a comment!!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Last week I found two magazines I love waiting for me in my mailbox. We were just about to head out of town for the Thanksgiving holiday so I packed them up and brought them along. Later that day I was sitting next to the fire with my sweetie husband and it was one of those really idyllic times when you just feel like life is good. The magazines are Art Quilting Studio and Sew Somerset and I am thrilled to have my work in them. This is the first time I've been published in Art Quilting. It was one of the first art magazines I ever purchased and a total dream come true to have my work in it. Actually I purchased them both for the first time when we were about to make a big road trip out to Montana to see my brother and his wife. I splurged and it felt so good to have those two mags to read. I remember Ruth Rae was in both of those issues and I went absolutely gaga over her work. Flipping through the two issues that just came my husband saw an article she wrote in the Sew Somerset and said, "look you and Ruth Rae are in the same issue!" How cute that he even knew who she was. Totally gives away what a fan girl I am. But you have to admit I have great taste :)

This makes the fifth and sixth magazines I've been published in this year. I am so so grateful to both Stampington and Cloth Paper Scissors/Interweave for being so very supportive of my work. We make big goals and little goals each year and my goal for 2011 was to get published as much as I could. I made a decision at the beginning of the year that I would submit something for each magazine deadline I could. I chose magazines that I thought would fit my work, or that I have a past experience with and did the best I could to remember and meet their deadlines. Easier said then done I found. :)

I wish I could remember who said it, but someone said that getting published was more about quantity then anything else. The more article proposals you send out the more likely you are to be published. Yes, the chance of getting rejected is higher as well, but the successes more than make up for the rejections when the ratio is 3:1 or greater. I still have a lot of art out there that I haven't heard about, and had a few things rejected this year, but I feel really really good about how many successes I've had. So now that I've seen how important having one really major goal for a year is, I'm wondering what should I make my 2012 goal. How about you? What's your goal for the next year?

I'm a big believer that if  you even whisper it to yourself, saying it out loud makes you more committed to achieving it. So say it to yourself, or share it here, it doesn't matter. Just do it!

Monday, November 28, 2011

One Basic Wreath- So Many Different Ways to Be Creative!

Enter Christmas!!!!
It must be the Christmas Season- I'm immersed in snowflakes, ornaments, and wreaths. And ideas about sugar plums have danced through my head at the strangest moments lately. It's all because it's the holiday season- at last! Today I want to show you some wreaths I worked on last week. Every year I make a guest appearance at my old MOPs group to do a class on wreath decorating. Each mom gets a live wreath (we purchase from Costco) and I bring in decorations to add. It's easiest to give them a choice of two different types, so we did glitzy and natural. Here's the break down...

Ooh... La La Glitzy!
Anatomy of a Glitzy Wreath
Big Ol' Silver or Red glittery bow
LOTS and LOTS of Silver or Glittery Ornaments*
Sprays like glittery berries or add-on's like snowflakes to fill out

*For ornaments I favor the shatterproof one's available from the major home improvement stores. I bought a 100+ selection of Martha Stewart ornaments that came in a big plastic barrel. They do sell them in smaller assortments, I was buying for 25+ women so the mega size was perfect.

Simple and Natural
Anatomy of a Natural Wreath
Big Ol' bow or ribbon in natural tomes like burlap, or canvas
Pieces of birch branches, pine cones, maybe a nest
Sprays of red, natural or natural looking berries

For both you need:
Floral wire, wire cutter (to make bow)
Hot glue in either a pan or gun
Surface to work and glue on
Scissor for ribbon
A wreath
Some Basic Info and Tips
Because I'm buying in bulk I like to hit the craft stores for basic fillers like the berries and for assorted ribbon. I could go wholesale but most retail stores are selling Christmas supplies at 50% off right now. It actually works out to be cheaper.The hot glue I do buy at a Floral wholesaler. I have a glue pan that I love from Oasis and I buy bags of floral glue each year. Floral hot glue looks like little yellow pillows vs. the stick form that you buy for your glue gun. The benefit of the floral type is that it's fabulously quick and easy to dip ornaments, sticks, pine cones, or whatever in the glue pan. It's dip and stick- that's it. Floral glue is also formulated to not break when it gets cold, so it's nice to use around here where temps can dip pretty low. If you don't want to use glue at all you can usually wire in any decorative elements.

Here's the absolute best tip I have-
ALWAYS FLUFF YOUR WREATH!!!! What I mean is that since wreaths are shipped lying flat they are usually very, very, flat when you get them. Always take your fingers and rake them through the wreath in the opposite direction of how they're attached. Lift and shake the greens as you pull them back a bit and you'll see a huge difference immediately- I promise! 

A spray- two ways
 One more related tips is to always work your wire berry sprays by bending the wire into a more natural curve. Here's a pic of two sprays, the one on the left is how it comes in the store. The one on the right has been bent into a more natural spray form. There's a definite difference.
BE CREATIVE with your Embellishments!!!!
Getting Crafty.... :)
The fun part is of course the additional elements you add. I added a carpenter's ruler in a star shape to mine this year. In the past, I've included great big birch branches, red dogwood, yarn balls, knitted mittens, birds,wire stars, vintage elements, dried pomegranates, oversized pine cones, and the like.Think outside of the traditional wreath and you'll love what you end up with. Here are some ideas to get you started....Enjoy! :)
Vintage Lace and Paper Wreath

Snowflake Wreath

Birdhouse Wreath

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Kid Friendly Holiday Decor- A Table Runner to Give Thanks

My son's class had their Thanksgiving party last Friday. I usually make sure I have a corner on doing the craft project. I love coming up with something that the kids enjoy, that is meaningful, and won't get surreptitiously tossed in the recycling the next day. I usually try to wrap into it some sort of material or technique that I'm interested in right then as well. So the project I designed this year was a table runner. Each kid got a rectangular piece of canvas (roughly the size of a place mat and a half) with a bright border, that they wrote on with fabric marker and then stamped on. Quick, easy, and it allowed for some individual expression. I plan on having ours out each November for the next few years and getting Jasper to write something new that he's thankful for. I think it'll be fun to see his thoughts and his writing change over the years. So... if you're looking for a way to emphasize the "thanksgiving" part of the holiday with your kids- read on!

Thanksgiving Table Runner

Tools and Materials
Strip of heavy canvas fabric (26 1/2" long and 11 1/2 " wide) 
Assorted yellow and brown patterned fabrics
Fusible interfacing, sewable
Sewing machine
Hand carved or purchased leaf stamps
Distress Ink pads in assorted fall colors
Mini Mister or spray bottle with fine nozzle
Fabric Marker, brown

At Home Prep:
Most of my school projects for this age (6-7) require quite a bit of prep on my part as the kids are only able to do so much.
1.Start by cutting out 16 pieces of canvas fabric.
2.Next, I got out the iron and ironed under about an inch on each of the long sides. The ends I left raw.
3. Next, I pulled out my patterned fabrics and ironed fusible interfacing to the backs of those I liked best and then hand cut those pieces into strips that were anywhere from an inch to 3/4" wide. I tried to cut them a little haphazardly so that they were uneven.
4.Then, using the iron, I ironed these strips to the sides of my runner (see pic). Cutting the strips to various lengths as I went for a fake patchwork look.
5. The final step was using my handy dandy NEW sewing machine (really this was all just an excuse to play with it a bit) and ran a straight stitch down each of the long sides about 1/2" from edge (you can switch up steps 4 and 5 and seam the edges before adding the patchwork strips so the stitching isn't as obvious). I like obvious. 
6. If you want to, hand carve a few different leaf shapes. I did an oak, maple and an elm.

At the School Party:
This is where I had the fun of watching the kids get creative. Each was a little different but they had a sample that I had made to go by so they kind of new what size to make their big letters.
1. With a fabric marker have the kid write their name on the back of the runner. Then we all did "Thank You God" along the center of the runner in about 3 1/2" letters. Next, I had each child write something they were thankful for with their name if they were going to bring it home and let their siblings add their thought as well.
Sprayed and Unsprayed- It's a personal choice :)
2. The second part of the decorating was the stamping. Each stamp is carved by me out of ez cut carving blocks. Check out my stamp carving tutorials for the how-to make these directions. We used Distress inks in straw, vintage photo, rusty hinge, and peeled paint. When you first stamp on the fabric the image is pretty faint. BUT- Add a little mist of water and you get this cool water color effect that's much darker. It's cool to talk this up as almost being magic ink to the kids. They LOVE it! I love that a couple of them started mixing the inks on the stamp to get multi colored prints like little artists. Let the ink dry and it should be permanent. Test it by dabbing it a bit with a wet cloth before laundering. Although I'd only launder these if absolutely necessary.

Notes: You can use other inks, as long as they're permanent once dry. You can use Sharpies instead of fabric markers. Please do let the kids doodle all over it if they want- it's artistic expression! I worked with 3 kids at a time. It worked best with the three stamps, and I would recommend you have 3 fabric markers available as well as more then one mister. Cover the work surface as the inks if placed face down on the table, don't want to come off. Tell them to ink the stamps with the image facing up so they can tell where they applied the ink. You can also use purchased stamps. You can even used purchased place mats for the project. Just keep it easy and you'll keep it fun for them!
One more super cool thing: As part of the party the kids took turns at a sandwich station where they made 200 sandwiches for the organization 363 days to distribute to the homeless in our area. Honestly, if you ask them it was their favorite part! Just throwing it out there as an idea...:)

Friday, November 11, 2011

All the Ways to be You- Using Your Art out in the World

Me at the International Quilt Festival
It's been a busy few weeks- I've been to the Create-a-Thon, to Houston and back for Make it University, done a slew of volunteer work and worked like crazy here at home. I did take pics of it all so that I could show you once I had the chance to connect with you again. The main lesson of the last few weeks is that people need and love beauty. If you are an artist, it will come out in all areas of your life- from your work to your home life. Let it. Be the beauty in someone's day. Create it around you and not only will you have the enjoyment that comes from creating but others will appreciate the difference you made. Truly.

Donation Box
Here are a few of the ways I was able to put my creative personality to work:
At my son's school I was given the task of creating donation boxes for the warm clothing drive we did. I took a pic of the boxes because I was so pleased what a little paper and paint could do.  
Our class's auction basket
I've been arranging baskets for the school auction- again, not anything that required a ton of talent but I was again able to put some of my creative skills to work and people really appreciate it.  
The sample for my MIU class
At the Quilt Festival in Houston I was able to teach at Make it University which is sponsored by Quilting Arts and Cloth Paper Scissors magazines. To prep for that I made over 65 card kits that turned out pretty darn adorable. They were simple to make, but the students who received them LOVED the project and were so pleased with their results.  
The Create-a-Thon
The Art2Heart group I've mentioned here had their Create-a-Thon and I was able to teach 20 some volunteers how to make my wire and fabric ornaments. Those ornaments will be for sale at their boutique in Hamel, Mn and all proceeds from their sales will go to help support the different mission organizations that they contribute to.
Yesterday I made a turkey bulletin board for my son's classroom (no pic available for that). ;)

Auction additon
It's been a ride for sure but so so worth all the time and work to make these things happen. People are so grateful just to have someone step up and say "I can do that" when there's a creative problem that they have. Through these activities I've rediscovered that to be an artist means so much more in the day to day world then I ever realized when I was in school.  I thought it meant selling my work, making art every day, creating art to pay the bills. But I've discovered it means something more. I did a post a bit ago about how I believe artist is a personality not a job title, so I'm not going to go into that more today but I did want to show you what it's come to mean in my life. I found it means stepping up, it means saying "I can do that", it means being creative with everything from markers to paints. It means creating art for sale, for gifting, for examples, for inspiration, and for my home or wardrobe. It means being confident in my ability to create. It means connecting with my Creator whenever I do create.
 New Ornament Ideas

What does it mean to you? How does your artistic personality come out in your life? Does it leak here or there or do you embrace it with all the time and commitment and opportunity you can? Do you limit your creative nature to canvas or do you express it wherever you can? Are you known for your table scapes for the school banquet each fall, or do you decorate the church each Christmas season? Do you make cute little notes to put in your kids lunch box? How do you make your gifts available to others? Do you?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Self Sabotage

Believe that you were given wings for a purpose
They call it self sabotage. It's the identifying phrase for all the little things we do in life to hurt ourselves, or ruin what feel we have that is going well in our lives.

For instance:
-Things going too well in that relationship? Let's throw in a curve that will take it off that track and put you back on the track that's rocky and hard and much much more comfortable.
-That new school really working out for you? How about you let yourself sleep through your classes a few times until you decide the teachers must be disappointed in you, or you missed too much and so you quit.
-Have you almost reached your goal weight by eating right and working out regularly for months? Why not decide to make candy for your kid's teacher gifts this Christmas? And oh, incidentally, take a break from working out at the same time. Just a little break that turns into two years.
-Perhaps you did a painting, pounded out a few essays, or wrote some music that you thought was really good and honestly you can't figure out how something that good could have been your work. You decide you could never do anything that good again and so you don't even try.
-Maybe you write someone who has complimented your work an e-mail and actually put yourself down in it so that they end up questioning their own judgement, after all you just did.
- Maybe you write a blog post from the heart and get a whole bunch of wonderful new followers and then "oops" you're too busy to blog for the next two weeks. (And think maybe they'll have forgotten you. Maybe they'll decide you're not worth it.) Maybe what you're really trying to tell them is that you don't think you're worth it.

Self sabotage is your reaction to the belief that people have what you perceive to be too much of a good opinion of you. Self sabotage means that you do everything you can possibly do to prove to them you're not worth it. And that in that one little phrase is where all of these stupid decisions come from. YOU believe that you're not as sweet or talented or wise as you might have fooled them into believing. You may listen to others opinion of you and think, "that's not me- if they really truly knew me they wouldn't think so well of me." All because you don't think you're worth it. Or worth anything really.
All messed up still, but with the form of something beautiful

But then you start to question yourself, you realize what you've been doing unconsciously and you say it out loud, "I'm not worth it, really I'm not". And you're alone and you realize that you're saying it to God. You're not worth whatever good He's lavished on you. Whatever blessings He's bestowed. Really, if he knew you. Really knew you. Then a little voice answers from inside of you. You are Worth that much to me. You've been covered by My Son and when I look at you I see the person I created. The person unharmed, unblemished... beautiful, and filled with potential that only I can imagine because I instilled it in you.

 That my sisters, is the truth. For both me and you. WE ARE WORTH IT TO HIM. Broken as we are, He will pick us up and use us in ways we never imagined. It's so hard to live that life, so hard to accept a gift that you feel is so undeserved. It's something I struggle with all the time. And I think it might help to share that struggle a little more with you. Because I believe that it's not just me who has a pattern of self-sabotage, if you truly look at your life, you'll see why you might have lost that job, why you're not a great success at keeping friends, why you let your dream slip away right as you had reached out to grasp it.

But then, recognizing it, you have to stop. You have to put into place safeguards. Before you send off that questionable e-mail, let a friend or spouse read it first. Before you decide to quit school, see if there isn't some way you can start fresh where you're at. If that relationship that was good, headed south, then pack a bag and follow it. Don't act on the imagined, make sure that what you perceive to be true really truly is. If you have a certain habit of procrastinating then make yourself a schedule with little mini deadlines to keep. You know you. You know what you do. You can stop doing whatever it is that you do- Because of Him. And you can begin afresh today. Or maybe tomorrow. Tonight you're going to polish off that cake, take a bubble bath, and then snuggle into bed with a good book, committed to beginning again tomorrow.

And then you do.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Twenty Reasons to Come Out of Your Artistic Closet

I am so grateful to everyone who commented on yesterday's post. I was so excited to read your reaction and felt so glad that the post encouraged you. It got me thinking though about what's happened to me since I took the step of claiming to be an artist. Yeah, it's easier to fill in the job title blank on a form but what else? 

Here's a list some of the unforeseen advantages I've found...

1. If you show up at 8 a.m. to drop off your child no one questions the gesso smear you  have on your forehead. Unfortunately, no one will even mention it and you'll not discover it until you look in the mirror later in the day. That's IF you look in the mirror later in the day.

2.You get to dress "expressively" and can wear mismatched clothes and pig tails and no one will suspect that it's just because you forgot to do laundry and hadn't taken a shower yet that day.

3. If you dress that way two days in a row, it's still ok.

4. Art supplies are now "tax deductible expenses" as are art conferences, and CONFERENCE WEAR!

5. Your husband will pause before throwing away some old canning jar lids and take them to you to see if you want them. When you say "yes" he'll say "i thought so, they're metal".

6. Your friends and family will give you  things like old carpenter's rulers, corks, old trays, and tins full of shell buttons because they know you're obsessed with these and will think they're the best gifts ever.

7. Now that you're openly an artist you feel the responsibility to openly support other artists (my justification for buying LOTS of cool jewelry).

8. You get to let your artistic personality in all it's quirkiness, forgetfulness, flakiness, and passion show through. People will understand that it's all because you're an artist.

9. If you're tired and staring blankly at the wall as someone's talking to you they assume you're envisioning a new work of art.

10. You can justify a subscription to that super cool art magazine as "market research".

11. You can wrap a present in kraft paper and yarn and people will know it's from you (handy when you forgot a tag).

12. Your husband is now eligible to join the "i married an artist" support group. You are now eligible for the "I'm an artist who married an engineer" support group. That's if you can get in. 

13. People at the post office, or grocery store, or anywhere you frequent will talk art to you as a matter of course because they know you'll understand them.

14. When asked to explain a design decision you can just say it "felt right" as way of an explanation and people will let it go at that.

15. You get business cards that say "artist" under your name

16. You get to make cool pairings like chicken wire and pearls.

17. If called upon to do a last minute school project on a Sunday night you don't sweat it because one trip to your studio and you'll have everything you need.

18. You can doodle on everything, put flowers in your macaroni dish, and do all kinds of little random things for the sake of beauty and it's understood and even appreciated.

19. When asked to volunteer you're usually given something artistic to do.

20. You and others like you will gravitate to each other and then you can do fun things like have coffee and talk for half an hour about the relative properties of different adhesives.

I could go on but I would LOVE to see what unforeseen advantages you may have found, once people know you're an artist. So please leave a comment and thank you!!!