Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Last weekend I led a SoulCollage workshop in Berkeley, for the Northern California Art Therapy Association (NorCATA). There were 32 participants, my largest group yet, and the cards they made were insightful, powerful, beautiful. Here's Sarah Kremer, director of Legislative Affairs for NorCATA, showing her SoulCollage card. The next picture shows another particpant searching for just the right images. And my friend Caran, ( we were friends in junior high and high school, lost touch, then found each other on Classmates.com about 5 or 6 years ago!) working on her card, sitting with her friend Scarlett. Thank you to all who attended!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Mosaics and Margaritas

Mosaics and Margaritas Party!

A different way to spend a Saturday night...

Heather, a friend and wonderful life coach, invited me
to lead a mosaics party for her and some of her friends, to celebrate
her (belated) birthday. So I drove up to the OC to share my passion for mosaics with this great group of women. Heather's mother Beverly created a cool "studio" in her dining area, and provided delicious margaritas and yummy food. The 9 participants enjoyed a Saturday night to remember. Although at first I heard a lot of "I don't know what to do" and "I'm not at all artistic", see what you think of these great mosaic mirrors! Happy Birthday Heather!

Here's Jen, holding up her finished mirror....good going!

Some mirrors in various stages of completion....

The grouting was pretty messy, and although I like to say that "your fingers are your best tools", and it's true, I think maybe I'll need to change that phrase...lots of raucous laughter when I told that to the group.

I love mosaics, I love leading workshops, and I love birthday parties....Heather's Mosaics and Margaritas night had it all! Thanks!!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

ARTS Mosaic Project

ARTS Miramar Mosaic Project

All summer, every Thursday, a group of kids from the
Miramar military base came to ARTS, to create a mosaic table and benches for their community center. They started from scratch....sketching designs, breaking tiles, attaching the pieces and grouting. On August 30th, Rob Tobin, (artist in residence at ARTS) and I went up to Miramar to dedicate the project to the kids, and they were in awe of their accomplishment! Here are the kids enjoying the paparazzi...after the ceremony, which was short and sweet (it must have been 100 degrees), they enjoyed a snack of juice and cookies at their new table!

The benches spell out "Friendship"..it's a little hard to read but if you stand back far enough, you can see it pretty clearly! And the table shows several smiling kids, standing in a circle holding hands.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Ashes to Ashes Urn Workshop Part 2

Can you believe how beautiful these urns look? We painted them with acrylic paints and embellished them with charms, milagros, treasures and more. Our group worked all afternoon Sunday to finish their pieces, and everyone seemed pleased with the results. Once the painting process was complete, we talked about what we created and how we felt about it. The sense of sharing something sacred and of achieving a special bond with the members of the group was awesome. Thank you Pamela, Jane, Don, Nancy, Andy, and Helen, for making this one of the most moving and emotionally satisfying workshops I've ever been involved with. I hope you don't need your urns for many many years!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

"Ashes to Ashes Urn Workshop", Sunday July 8th. Seven brave people joined me in this unusual and moving session, creating urns out of clay. Some made cylinders, some made houses, everyone gave so much thought and care in building their creations. Not an easy topic. This workshop gave people an opportunity to create a beautiful urn for their ashes, or for a loved one, human or 4-legged, and to include directives, so that their last wishes would be clear and available to their family or friends. The urns will be fired once, then painted and embellished in the second session.

Jane LaFazio, working on her house-shaped piece, complete with stamped words and images. She was instrumental in encouraging me to offer this workshop!

Pamela Underwood's creation seems to be a living, breathing gingerbread cottage filled with words which describe her many roles in life, as well as a beautiful message inside.

Monday, July 09, 2007

The wishing well for peace is nearly finished....the peace sign is covered in a mosaic of mirror pieces and needs grouting, but it's pretty much done, and kids are writing their wishes on pieces of paper and tossing them in. It's a great sight to see....come to ARTS and have a look, maybe make a wish! (http://www.artsurvive.org).

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

My Star Award! ARTS (A Reason to Survive) nominated me as their volunteer of the year, which was such an honor and a thrill. We joined 800 folks in a wonderful ceremony at the Marriott downtown, where the awards were given to 70 volunteers from organizations involved in the performing and cultural arts. Here I am holding my beautiful award, surrounded by my ARTS colleagues and friends : Brad, Lisa, Patty, Matt (ARTS founder), me, Judy, Jenna.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

A Wishing Well for Peace~!

Today was the first day of my association with Kids for Peace, an amazing group of children working together to create a culture of peace locally and globally. (http://www.kidsforpeaceUSA.org) A while ago, one of the groups' founders and directors, Jill McManigal, asked me if I would help create a mosaic wishing well with her group, and today was the day. I thought it would be a great partnership project for ARTS, where I volunteer and teach, (http://www.artsurvive.org) and so Rob Tobin, ARTS' artist in residence, created the wooden structure from a kit, (although he made the peace sign where a bucket would usually be)....and he and I worked with the kids and teens and adults, translating the kids' drawings into mosaic masterpieces on the well. We worked in the back yard of a very cool shop in Leucadia, "It's a Luv Thing"...check it out at http://www.itsaluvthing.com.

Here is a picture of the process of creating a mosaic....the kids took turns smashing perfectly nice bathroom tiles, by putting the tiles inside a paper bag, and hammering them until they became a bunch of smaller, workable pieces. The we made several piles of the pieces, divided by colors. Rob had drawn the kids' designs onto the well, and once we mixed up the mastic, we were in business! Danielle Gram, an amazing teen and co-director of Kids for Peace, helped in so many ways, with her patience and perseverance. Everyone who participated seemed to enjoy the fun of piecing it all together, and it was great to see everyone working side by side.

Several hours later, here's our wishing well....we accomplished a lot today, and have a couple more dates
planned for putting tiles on the roof, half marbles on the peace sign, and painting the upright posts.

It was a beautiful, sunny day, and what better way than to spend it putting energy into art for peace~

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Sanibel. Florida. Wonderful. Bill and I had a great time, just relaxing and exploring the area by bicycle and pontoon boat. Sanibel is one of my favorite places in the USA, in that it reminds me of the Caribbean but you don't need a passport, don't need to change money, and we never even saw a Starbucks! Here's one of the beaches we went to by boat. As you can see, it wasn't crowded!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Mosaic Guitars...

My first mosaic guitar was the one that my daughter Molly brought to me, saying it was cracked and asking if it could be fixed. I asked a couple of repair people about it, and they said it really wasn't worth fixing it, based on the value of the guitar (how sad)...so I covered it in little ceramic mosaic tiles that I stamped and glazed, along with some pieces of mirror. It does actually still play, although it's still out of tune and very heavy...leading people to say witty things like "not heavy metal" or "heavy acoustic"....hahahaha.

This second mosaic guitar is a tiny one, and I used little mosaic glass pieces and tiny millefiore dots to cover the front of it. I strung it up with copper wire for a different sort of look. It hangs on the wall and is quite the art piece. Now I'm working on a few more mosaic guitars, some of which will grace the walls of the music studio at the new ARTS building in Liberty Station (www.artsurvive.org)

Monday, February 05, 2007

Alex. Sink. Why do cats love to curl up in the sink? My friend Jane recently sent me a link to a Flikr group called "Cats in Sinks" which I had to join, and added this photo of my cat chilling out in the sink. Alex recently had to have surgery, to remove bladder stones, which were causing him to pee on the carpet and other places besides the litter box...I thought it was my older kitty, Pumpkin, who is Sweet 16...but it was Alex. So he is recovering from surgery, seems to be pretty much back in action, and I'm sure will be visiting his favorite sink very soon!

Monday, January 15, 2007

This is my SoulCollage card representing the First Chakra, or Root Chakra. In the SoulCollage process, we use a guided meditation to call forth an animal spirit for each of the seven Chakras....and often, an animal appears that we may or may not expect! The elephant showed up and seemed perfect for the Root Chakra, which is related to survival, security and basic human potentiality. And isn't there a saying, that an elephant never forgets? Watch this space for more SoulCollage cards...and consider joining my next "Introduction to SoulCollage" workshop on Sunday, January 28th. Contact me for details...kat4clay@gmail.com!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

My Serene Self - this SoulCollage card represents the part of me that feels calm and at peace, and takes things at a slower pace. It is a challenge for me sometimes, so by making this card, I feel I have created more opportunity to relax, slow down, and enjoy the journey!