Mother's Day Fluxkit

This year my mom went away on vacation for Mother's Day. My mom and dad took a trip to Italy while I watched their house and the dog. I made a Mother's Day gift that was small, waterproof, playful, and meaningful- a "When in Rome Fluxkit." A fluxkit is an art object that is interactive, contained, and open ended. Fluxkits were made in the 1960's as part of the Fluxus movement. Fluxus artrists appreciate simplicity, chance, and humor, and use multi media, found materials, and text in their artwork. In the past I have made "Merry Fluxkits" for a Merry Christmas, and a "Fluxkit for a broken heart" - when my friend's dog passed away. This Mother's Day Fluxkit was made from a plastic cotton swab box and consisted of 2 sets of cards that could be selected, arranged, and matched in a variety of ways. My dad surprised my mom with the gift on Mother's Day (which also happened to be her birthday!) and they had a fun time using the kit in Rome.


Here is my mom with her new friends at a fountain in Rome!

 

Advent Calendars

There are 19 more days until Christmas. Are you keeping track? I've put up my first decoration- a red tinsel wreath on my bedroom door. I've heard my favorite Christmas song play on the radio- Feliz Navidad. I've added peppermint schnapps to my hot tea. I've been making gifts and planning parties. It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas, and I like it that way.

Yes, I have started early. I made Advent calendars for my aunts, uncles, and cousins that live in Missouri. This is my second year of making these advent calendars as gifts. I'm thinking of making it a tradition. I don't get to see my dad's side of the family for Christmas, so it is nice that we can feel more connected to each other. I also love the idea of receiving a present early- I feel like you can pause to enjoy it more, without the overwhelmingness that comes on Christmas day. I made my advent calendars out of red envelopes, sticker labels. and ribbon. Inside each envelope is a little holiday themed note- a saying, a question, a joke, a fact, etc. I designed each note and I hand-wrote the envelope numbers. 

It looks great hanging on my Aunt Lori's mantle!

Painting in the dark

I didn't exactly know what I was getting myself into when I volunteered to help paint the set for my mom's new play. The show, Nottingham: A Tale of True Hearts, requires a huge realistic castle as a backdrop, including a bridge, raised platform, and 4 towers. Not only did I help paint 9 panels in 4 shades of gray, but I was expected to do this while the backstage crew practiced their lighting cues. It is a surreal experience to be painting while the lights above you are continuously changing, sometimes even turning off completely. At least we know that the set will look good in all types of lighting. I think our castle looks very realistic with its worn-in stones and thoughtful shading. We used some experimental techniques to create the effect, including saran wrap, dry brushes, rags, and sponges. Now, on with the show!