Lily and the Rock

My new neighbor Bob has this great dog named Lily. He moved into the house at the end of the dead end road we live on, which has almost no yard. So I told him Lily could play in mine anytime.

The other day I looked out the window and saw Bob watching Lily play with something. I couldn’t tell what it was, but it looked like she was having a blast. I went outside to check it out and join in the fun.

It turns out that Lily is in love with a rock. Not any rock, just this one particular rock. She could care less about any other rock.

When Bob moved in he brought her rock with him and put it under the coffee table. Lily has spent months laying near the table with her head on her paws staring longingly at the rock. This is the first time in 6 months he brought it outside so she coud play with it.

 

I honestly have no idea how I made half of the second film film in slow motion. But I think it’s pretty cool.

 

 

Any time is coffee time! (gifts and recipes)

Coffee lovers enjoy their joe in all weather- cold brews and blended drinks this time of year. But there is more than just the same old iced coffee and frappucinos. Cold coffee lends itself to desserty shakes, cocktails, and all kinds of fresh combos. I’ve found some fun recipes to share with you at the end of  this post.
My lineup of gifts for coffee lovers are a hit here in the Pacific Northwest, where coffee is a way of life.

Check them out:

coffee time travel alarm clock

Wake up and smell the coffee with our portable battery-powered coffee time alarm clock. This clock was made from one of my original paintings. The little red cup is the second hand which seems to magically float around the clockface as it ticks.

coffee glass gem magnets

Coffee appears in seven forms in these super strong glass gem refrigerator magnets, made from miniature reproductions of my paintings. Use these to post recipes and memos on your fridge, like: “get more coffee”. They come in a reuseable metal gift tin.

coffee time wall clock

 

This colorful “Any time is coffee time” wall clock is made from prints of a bright mixed media piece I did-colored pencil, collage, and acrylic. It is dry-mounted on black foamboard and laminated, creating a tile that looks exactly like ceramic but is lightweight and break-resistant.

Coffee-lovers, try out these hot weather coffee recipes:

1. Nutella Coffee Frappe Take your hazelnut coffee to the next level with this yummy blended drink made with real Nutella.

2. Iced Brazilian Mocha-Cola The fictional drink on the Nickelodeon tv show Drake and Josh is actually all the rage in Brazil. It sounds weird but the combo of cola, coffee, and chocolate milk appeals to many.The taste is like a cross between a rootbeer float and coffee ice cream.

3. Vietnamese Iced Coffee with Sweetened Condensed Milk Simple and sweet– this is a traditional recipe that makes the list.

4. Cold brew coffee with Lime Simple and refreshing, sweetened cold brew with lime. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it!

5. Shoeless Joe This unique cold brew mocktail again brings in the cola- along with black cherry syrup and soda. Try adding vodka or rum to the mix.

Carved watermelons make fresh art!

In my 30+ year career as a working artist, I have enjoyed working in a variety of different media. One of my favorite things is to try out making things with a new, interesting medium. I have done painted eggs, painted furniture, beading on various objects, and more. Now I mostly produce my painted or collaged designs on functional household gift items- clocks, alarm clocks, night lights, magnets. I am always inspired by discovering artists who work in creative media, and the internet is full of examples, such as this master watermelon sculptor I recently discovered, Takashi Itoh. It turns out that watermelon carving is a traditional Japanese art called Mukimono. 

From his FAQs:

Q: Can you eat carved watermelon?
A: Yes. They are natural and delicious.

carved watermelon

His intricate carvings are as refreshing as his medium.

wedding watermelon cake

It was fun to see some of my same themes and inspirations pop up.
Why hello, Mr. Van Gogh…

van gogh watermelonvan goghs ear

Dolphins and penguins, on watermelons and clocks:
dolphin and penguin watermelondolphin alarm clock


penguin wall clock

Love:
hearts watermelon

 

 

hearts alarm clock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We both do lots of flowers:
flowers watermelon carvedflower bouquet wall clock

A quick google image search revealed tons of other watermelon talent. Here, a dia de los muertos carved watermelon! (Next to my Day of the Dead wall clock.)

dia de los muertos watermelondia de los muertos clock

Mermaids!

mermaid watermelonmermaid wall clock

Turtles:
turtle watermelonturtle wall clock
W
hat are your favorite watermelon designs? What other new media for have you discovered that makes for awesome art?

 

Unique gifts for Dad $5-$35

It’s not too late to order for father’s day – we ship every order within 24 hours and are rushing our fathers day gifts out by priority mail this week. We’ve got gifts for dads (and other dudes!) at prices you can afford.

Under $35 – Wall Clocks

Our unique wall clocks look exactly like a tile. Even when you open the box, you’ll be sure they are ceramic, but they are so light you can hang them on a pushpin, and they will not crack or break like ceramic. Each clock is made from a print of one of my original paintings.
dadclock photo stripWe have hundreds of designs, traditional to whimsical – all unique. From sports, nature, spirituality, inspirational and more, it shouldn’t be hard to find the right clock for the dad in your life.

baseball wall clock

Our wall clocks have a lifetime warranty on the movement.

crab wall clock

Under $30 – Alarm clocks

Our alarm clocks’ lightweight, durable, 2-inch square design means you can take them most anywhere, so they are great for home or for travel.


The round clock face features original colorful art by artist Pam Corwin (that’s me!) The second hand is a small image that appears to magically float around the clock face (see the olive above and Mr. Van Gogh’s ear, etc.)

van goghs ear

We have over 70 different alarm clocks, just check out the gallery to see all of our fun themes. Pictured here: Happy hour and Van Gogh alarm clocks.

Under $15 – Glass gem magnets

soccer glass magnets

My handmade glass gem magnets are durable and super strong. Perfect for a proud papa to display pictures and art from kids or grandkids.

happy hour magnets
Magnets are tiny reproductions of my artwork under glass, and are handmade in our Olympia, Washington studio.

basketball magnets

These tiny powerful magnets come in more than 65 fun themes (Pictured here: soccer, basketball, happy hour, tattoo).

tattoo glass gem magnets
Sold in sets of 7 in a metal gift tin, and an affordable gift at only $12.50 a set!

Under $5 – Cool magnetic bookmarks 

turtle bookmarkMy bookmarks are prints of my watercolors reproduced on quality card stock. The magnets allow them to clip onto your page without slippage. You can slip one into your Father’s Day card as a little bonus gift,

Ladybug, Ladybug, Fly Away Home

Last weekend I was walking through the garden center outside of the grocery store looking for flowers, and saw a basket full of clear plastic tubs. Curious, I walked over to see what they were and was surprised to find that they were filled with ladybugs. Now, I know ladybugs are supposed to be lucky. They are also said to bring prosperity. But none of that has anything to do what with why I did what I did.

I could blame it on the fact that I was pretty depressed. My cat had just died and the flowers I was shopping for were to plant on her grave. But for whatever reason, seeing 1500 beautiful little ladybugs trapped in each of those plastic tubs made me really sad.
decorative ladybug refrigerator magnets in tinThese ladybug magnets  I sell in metal gift tins remind me of my little friends in captivity….
I stood there for a while and looked at them, then went inside the store and did the rest of my shopping. But I could not stop thinking about those little ladybugs. When I finished getting my groceries, I found myself back outside, standing at that basket. At $10 a tub I couldn’t ‘save’ them all, but I felt compelled to set at least some of them free.
ladybug travel alarm clock
I know, I know. They were all  meant to be purchased and assuming they were, would be set free eventually. But what if there weren’t? What if they died in those tubs? And how miserable must they be all heaped in there on top of each other? Those were my sad silly thoughts at the time. Inwardly was laughing at myself. I couldn’t really believe I was doing it… so when the woman at the register asked what I was going to do with the ladybugs I simply mumbled “Um…Well….they’re good for aphids.” Not that I have any aphids. Heck, I don’t even have a garden.
ladybug nightlight
When I got home I took the tub outside put it on the deck railing next to Ramona’s new grave, and opened it. I kind of hoped a huge cloud of ladybugs would rise in the air like a tiny flock of red birds and fly off into the blue sky. But that’s not what happened at all. They just gradually begin to crawl over the edge of the container and onto the deck and explore. And eventually I got impatient and poured about half of them out into the grass.

So yeah, it was pretty anticlimactic, but it still felt good. I keep hoping I’ll see some of them around but they seem to be long gone. But hey, ladybugs – if you do bring prosperity – don’t forget me, okay?

Spring Sale- 30% off everything-2 days left!

winwhatyoulovesale

Spring Special
30% OFF Everything!
two more days only!
 
Get 30% OFF 
on any purchase over $12
We’ve added some great new designs including our brand new
Day of the Dead Clock.
dia de los muertos clock
   Use Discount code SPRING30
Offer Expires Sunday 4/6/14 11:59pm

Actress Patty Duke visits the Craftspeople at Pike Place Market

Having grown up watching her TV show, when I booked Patty Duke to ring the bell at the market I was thrilled. Like many of us, I have seen The Miracle Worker, for which she won an Oscar, many times. And of course, I’ve seen her in many other films and TV shows over the years. But as fun as I imagined the day might be, I never dreamed it could be as special as it really was.

Patty Duke (whose real name is Anna) is still absolutely beautiful, and she and her husband Mike are two of the most genuine, loving, fun people you’ll ever meet. The couple met when Anna was filming A Time to Triumph, the true story of a woman helicopter pilot. Mike, who was a drill sergeant at the time, was hired as a consultant to teach her how to salute, march, etc. and in the process they fell in love. They have been married for 28 years, and they both exude a combination of warmth, humor and kindness that is rare to find.

Patty at roll call, wearing the fabulous hat given to her by Goldie of Lidwear

Patty at roll call, wearing the fabulous hat given to her by Goldie of Lidwear

What not everyone knows about Anna is that while we were all at home happily watching her on TV and in movies, she was enduring a difficult & traumatic childhood. And on top of all the trauma she experienced in her personal life, in 1982 she was also diagnosed as bi-polar. She has since become a passionate advocate, author, speaker and educator on mental health issues. (My brother is a psychiatrist and when he heard I’d be meeting Anna, he called to make sure I know what an amazing woman she is. He told me that he feels deeply indebted to her on behalf of his patients, and what a difference her work and voice has made for so many.)
As I took Mike and Anna on a tour of the market, I watched with admiration as Anna looked into the eyes of every person who approached her, and greeted them as if they were already a friend – whether a fan of her TV Show, movies, or books, or someone who has dealt with mental illness in their own life and knew of her advocacy work. She gave out hugs that clearly came from her heart, and her sparkly personality and openness left each person she met glowing.

Actress Patty Duke Pike Market SeattlePatty Duke by Pam CorwinPatty Duke with Paper Scissors Rock and Pike  Place Market artists

At one point, I told Anna & Mike about a dear friend at the market who is bi-polar had hoped to meet her but couldn’t make it that day. Her husband died recently and our community is worried about her.  Anna listened with clear concern and both she and Mike simply said “Call her.” So I dialed the phone and Anna took it and walked off to give her support and sage words of advice in private. Our friend was blown away by the kindness and generosity of this amazing woman.

After Anna rang the bell, a small group of us went out to breakfast. What a lovely time it was! We were joined by Lori Ness, of Northwest Prime Radio (who is the person who put me in touch with Anna), Mary Kay Sherwood of Sherwood Silkscreen, and Kat Allen of Symbols in Art.

Mike made me laugh all morning.

Mike made me laugh all morning.

After breakfast so many people wanted to give Anna and Mike gifts and thank them for coming that it took us two hours to get through the market.

Patty Duke and artists have breakfast

Mel Dofredo of Villanueva Arts is still talking about the wonderful, heartfelt conversation he had with Anna.

Mel Dofredo of Villanueva Arts is still talking about the wonderful, heartfelt conversation he had with Anna.

screen print art at Pike Market with Patty Duke

Sarah Porter of Saragrapics

Seattle textile artist and Patty Duke

Sheila Mead of Gypsy Wings Textiles  shared her work with Anna.

I never expected to meet two such down to earth people and make new friends that day. But these two are in my heart (and I hope my life) forever.

If you want to know more about Anna’s journey, I recommend you read her best seller, Call Me Anna. If if you or anyone you love lives with bipolar disorder, I  also highly recommend her second book, Brilliant Madness: Living with Manic Depressive Illness.

Anna and Mike will be at the Hollywood autograph show the 12th and 13th of April, in LA. http://www.hollywoodshow.com/main.php

Anna will be speaking in Kadima, Michigan on Thursday, May 8th

Anna will be attending a screening of The Miracle Worker in Omaha, Nebraska on May 23

Duluth Superior Film Festival, May 28th to the 31st

And she will be speaking in Connecticut on June 6th at the Crowne Plaza Hotel near Middletown, CT

Follow Anna on Facebook 

New York Times Bestselling Author Garth Stein at Pike Place Market

On March 1st I was lucky enough to host Garth Stein the author of The Art of Racing in the Rain when he rang the bell to start our day at Pike Place Market, in Seattle.

If you haven’t read The Art of Racing in the Rain, you’re missing out. It’s a fabulous book, and was a New York Times bestseller for 156 weeks.  The story is told from a dog’s point of view. You‘ll fall in love with Enzo, who believes in the Mongolian legend that a dog who is prepared will be reincarnated in his next life as a human.

garth stein at pike place

Before he rang the bell, Garth told us all a story about his sister who once sold her art at the market.  On days when business was slow, she’d make origami cranes out of dollar bills and put them on her table on sale for $1.00 each. One day two women paused to look at them, shook their heads, declared them an overpriced rip-off and walked away. That got a huge laugh from the crowd.

 Garth Stein and artists gift shopping

Garth is a fascinating person. He was a race car driver himself and co-produced an Academy Award winning short film, The Lunch Date. And he is as wonderful a human being as you’d expect after reading his book. Kristin Schwartz of Silver Cherry jewelry greeted him with me, and after we showed him the underbelly of the market and told him a couple of legendary market stories Kristen showed him around the Market and took him to our famed mini-donut stand for a treat.

She then escorted him to meet the many market fans who had brought books for him to sign and wanted to gift him with their art.

garth stein art of racing the rain

Garth has a new book coming out. A Sudden Light, will be published on
September 30, 2014. And great news for kids: Garth’s children’s picture book, Enzo Races in the Rain, will be published in November of this year.

Garth is also one of the founders of Seattle7Writers, a collective of Pacific Northwest authors creating connections between writers, readers, librarians and booksellers to foster and support a passion for the written word. They are hosting a Book Club Brunch at Mount Baker Community Center on June 21, 2014.  Keynote speaker is Daniel James Brown (The Boys in the Boat).  See www.Seattle7Writers.org/events for information.

Insert Movie (on dropbox) here

Follow Garth on Facebook and Twitter 

To be sure you get all of Garth’s news sign up for his newsletter.

Violinist Andrew Joslyn, celebrity bellringer at Pike Place Market

Link

You may not know the amazing violinist Andrew Joslyn by name yet but you have surely seen him. It might have been playing with Mary Lambert on the Jay Leno Show, at Radio City Music Hall or on tour with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, or at the Grammys when they performed the amazing mass wedding that brought the crowd to their feet. It could have been touring with Judy Collins, Mark Lanegan (Queens of the Stone Age), Duff McKagan (Guns N Roses), or Tim Lopez (Plain White T’s).  Or if you were very, very lucky – when he rang the bell to open our day at Pike Place Market.

Andrew ‘s visit to the market was so much fun. He is a lovely, warm and wonderful person. He grew up on Bainbridge Island and had a fascinating upbringing. His parents are both Buddhist monks and he was encouraged to think creatively from a very young age. His sound is exciting and refreshing, playing his own arrangements of contemporary music ranging from rock, folk, world to hip-hop, and electronic on violin.

He played for the crowd at our request and we spent several hours walking the market as he visited artists, learning about their work and being welcomed and thanked with gifts from many of the crafts people.

andrew joslyn at pike place market AndrewandBeth

Before he left I invited Andrew to take his pick from anything at my table. He thought about the Buddha for his parents, but ended up choosing the Music clock for himself. (He even hummed the Bach Sonata I used on the border for me. I’d never heard it!)

Buddha laughing wall clock whimsical music notes wall clock

He made everyone laugh, spent time chatting with everyone he met, was humble and appreciative and clearly understood the life of an artist and the passion our community has for what we do. The entire market fell in love with him.  (Fun fact:  his brother is Chris Kattan, from Saturday Night Live)


Andrew is spending all of March touring with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Japan and China
But you can see him when he returns to Seattle in April. He’s playing at the Triple Door on April 8th with Susy Sun with the Passenger String Quartet and April 11th  with Victoria Contreras and the Andrew Joslyn Orchestra.

You can follow Andrew on Twitter @JoslynMusic and I hope you’ll visit his website to learn more about him, the Passenger String Quartet and hear more of his music.

www.andrewjoslynmusic.com
www.passengerstringquartet.com

And just because I love it so much, I have to end with this video of “Irish Celebration” where you can see and hear Andrew playing.

The Voice’s Stephanie Johnson at Pike Place Market

Stephanie Johnson and Dan at Pike Market
Stephanie Johnson from The Voice was our guest bell ringer at Pike Place Market last weekend, February 1st. Stephanie is an amazing singer, and if you didn’t see her on the show, you missed a real treat. Stephanie met me early in the morning for our “Behind the Scenes” tour. I showed her around, and told her all about the lives of the craftspeople at the market. Above you can see her with Dan Gregory, who gave her some of his art as a gift.

Stephanie was so appreciative of our story, and truly understood what living the life of an artist is really like. She too, follows her passion every day. Josh Swanson of Kobo Art Garden presented her with a glass heart. She loved it!

Stephanie Johnson and Josh at Pike Place Market
Stephanie told me that when she was a little girl she sang all of the time, she woke up singing, came home from school singing, she sang constantly – and she sang well, even then. Her older brother was so impressed by this that he convinced their parents to get Stephanie singing lessons – and a star was born. Sadly, her brother passed away when he was 21, a tragic loss for Stephanie and her family. But he left her with a huge gift, the support and opportunity to to follow her passion, which changed her life forever. So he lives on in her, every time she sings.

Stephanie opened up roll call with a song.

After roll call, I brought her around to meet a long list of craftspeople who asked to meet her and give her gifts of their work. Stephanie made friends all over the market, as she engaged with everyone she met as if they were old friends. She is just an incredibly beautiful, warm, lovely, person. It took us from 9am until noon to get to everyone who wanted to thank her for coming, which many did with gifts of their art.

I wanted to give Stephanie one of my clocks, so I let her pick out her favorite. She chose the bouquet wall clock.
bouquet wall clock

I also heard some great stories about her travels all over the world and her days singing on the cruise ships. She has led an amazing life. When she left, Stephanie gifted me with her newest CD, Hollatchagurl which I listened to on the way home. It’s fabulous! I highly recommend you download it on iTunes. What a voice!

You can follow Stephanie on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/musicsaj

or on Twitter https://twitter.com/MsStephanieSaid

Her Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/callmecodify