Birthing another kind of Baby – Making Paper Art


I’m crouching down on my knees, looking back and forth from the ‘canvas’ on the floor in front of me to a scattered pile of colored paper clippings and magazine cut-outs off to the side. Each of these little shreds of paper seem precious. In fact, I carried an envelope filled with them back with me from my recent trip to Belgium. If I find one left behind on the carpet after cleaning up, I pick it up gently and put it back in the pile. Who knows where it’s intended to go in the future?

Today, I’ve just finished ‘mid-wifing’ a birth. This thing has a life of it’s own. I’m just assisting, putting puzzle pieces together, like it’s already been prepared and my job is to figure out where they all go. It’s FUN.



Lately I’ve been copying things I like from the masters. Each time I learn something. Isn’t that how artists start? We certainly don’t create in a vacuum. I take something I like and add something new. Steal like an artist! My new baby (on the right) is inspired by one of my favorite artists, Henri Matisse. His later work was done from bed, where his primary tools were scissors and brilliant colored paper. This one (above, left) was done in 1951, the year I was born. I copied some of his cutouts almost exactly. Can you see which ones?  Do you think Matisse would like the way I used his shapes? I’m sorry I can’t ask him, but I think he would.



This is my very first paper project from 2013. The one on the left was tacked to the wall in our bathroom in Belgium, where it looked really nice. However, when I saw it again on my recent visit, I couldn’t bear to leave it behind, so I rolled it up and brought it back (no small task cuz it’s pretty big.) I added a border to fit the frame. Better?  Worse? I’m not sure. They’re different!

Paper Art project 4

Paper Art- Project 2, Belgium 2013

This one (above) is still hanging in the living room in Liege. It was too fragile to move. My second paper cut-out project, it came at a period when I was immersed in all things Pucci.

Paper Art 2 - Rice Bowl

Rice Bowl – Project 3, 2013

The idea for Rice Bowl must have originated somewhere in Korea while I was there. The wallpaper sample had an oriental look, and the rest just happened. Looking at it I can recall sitting in a cozy Korean ‘Chuk’ restaurant, playing with my chopsticks, listening to Asian music and savoring the taste of red pepper paste.

WONDER WOMAN: A piece of black construction paper and a pair of scissors in my hand, I was wondering what to do for a design project that week. I had no conscious ideas until I saw her. She seemed to create herself.

She didn’t hesitate to jump up and ask for a photo shoot. I had to scramble around to satisfy her.  She was all energy and dragged me around the house in a flurry of excitement.



Design 1

I don’t get into second-guessing while I’m working. I don’t ask myself,  ‘What am I creating?’ or ‘Who am I to think I am creating something here?’ although that last one comes up in the back of my mind sometimes. I just get down close and watch.  The focus is deep, relaxing, and energized~ like wonder woman, I’m all over the place, and so is the stuff on the floor. It’s a visual, organic experience. That part is what I really like~ there’s very little rational or mental work going on. From the GUT is where the baby comes. I’m discovering her as she develops. I have no idea what she’s going to look like, or when she’s going to say, “I’m done!” I’m the innocent bystander clapping my hands when it’s all over shouting, “Wow! Oh, wow!”

These are my babies, and I love them, but it’s not like I can say I created them. Yes, I put in some raw ingredients. In the case of a child, I put in my egg, my husband put in his sperm, and then we sat back and watched as it took shape. When the baby finally appeared, we said, ‘Wow! This is incredible! Who are YOU? Where did YOU come from? You’re not like anything we’ve ever seen. You’re something special. You’re unique.’

‘We love you!’


“My Mission Statement!” – 2013

It was great to make a wall hanging that reminds me what’s important, what makes me happy. I took a picture of this one before leaving Belgium, so I can make another one now that I’m in back in the States.

I’m going to run out today and look for another frame. With a frame in front of me, at least I know what size the next baby’s going to be. Everything else will be a surprise.



Self-portrait, 2013












Hot Pockets ~ Microwavable Rice Bags


I love the rice pocket heat pack my daughter Emilie made and let me use while I was visiting her. I used it every night behind my neck and then under my lower spine. After a few days, my muscles weren’t painful anymore, and that’s BIG!

I decided to make my own, because I knew I couldn’t live without one, and then I made one for a friend in Belgium who has been sick and could probably use the comfort, just like I did. Now I’m making them for all my friends, and sending them without the rice, because it’s too heavy to mail.

1. Cut two pieces of fabric to the shape you want.
2. Sew wrong sides together on 3 sides.
3. Sew rows an inch or so wide.
4. Fill rows with rice (not too full, so it is more flexible)
5. Sew open end closed.
6. Heat in microwave for 1 minute.
7. Wrap in a thin cloth if too hot for your skin,
and enjoy!

NEW START with ART~ CHU in Liege♥

The hospital CHU in Liege at first glance might not impress. After all, it’s not a beautiful place, looking from most angles more like a war-time garrison, abandonned after the troops went home~ a lot of concrete and not much else. 

But the camera has a keen eye~ especially adept at routing out the less visibly apparent but most beautiful parts of things. 

Bathers, by Picasso

Bathers, by Picasso

The paintings on the walls of the reception area, for example. There are two large frames behind each of the many receptionist’s desks, largely ignored but there. That was a surprise, and if you happen to be waiting in line like most everyone else, you would have plenty of time to notice them, even to walk around and take some pictures so you could look them up when you got home. A lot of Gauguin and Matisse…a few of Picasso and Van Gogh…all absolutely joyous with their riotous colors. How could those secretaries not notice?

Interieur, by Matisse

Interieur, by Matisse

The Plain at Auvers, Vincent Van Gogh, c1890

The Plain at Auvers, Vincent Van Gogh, c1890

The Siesta, Paul Gauguin

The Siesta, Paul Gauguin

Then there are the color coded signs to help patients navigate the maze of corridors~ creative and picture-worthy, at least to this camera’s eye. Inside the huge entrance way, the vaulted glass roof and natural lighting filtering down from high above changes the atmosphere entirely and makes for an airy, light-hearted and fresh feeling as you enter….there is hope for healing after all! 

CHU~ the inner courtyard

CHU~ the inner courtyard

Then there are the people….the most amazing art-works of all.
At the reimbursement office...

At the reimbursement office…

At the Registration desk...

At the Registration desk…

In the lobby waiting for her mom....

In the lobby waiting for her mom….

ART~ It’s a part of our life. We can find it Anywhere. Even inside a hospital where many are struggling to remember that life goes on at all. ART~ it’s a reminder that there is more than just the physical body that needs attention. 

Our spirits and our aesthetic senses need attention as well. Beauty in the environment impacts the way we handle illness, or any other challenge of life, reminding us of something deep within that keeps on glowing long after the secretaries have gone home for the night.

Art This Way!

Art This Way!

My Fashion Inspiration, PUCCI!


Last year I bought a shirt (see it above where I’m modeling it in front of a Pucci design) that set me off into a new fashion direction: the world of prints. At about the same time, I discovered Emilio Pucci, the Prince of Prints in the fashion world. His story is inspiring, and his influence now, 60 years later, is as strong as ever.

I feel so good wearing clothes with beautiful patterns. Pucci was an artist whose designs accentuated the female body’s natural curves. Wear one and it will make you feel ultra feminine. Of course, I don’t have a real Pucci yet~ they are too expensive for this thrift-store shopper~ but the day is coming when I will, and I’m looking forward to it!

Puchi printss



carpet 2

Check out his story at
and see Pinterest for an eyeful of Pucci!

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Design is about the PROCESS.

If asked to write about the process, I would have to say it started with a feeling of non-interest, and a sort of “I have no ideas” kind of thinking. So I went back to the written assignment and re-read it. Still no inspiration. So I clicked on some of the links given to jump-start our creative juices. Getting warmer… this is interesting…I kept scrolling down…

Then suddenly, I saw it. The paper cut-out that would grab my heart and speak to me!

I wanna do THAT!
Soaring Love, by Dream Papercut

Soaring Love, by Dream Papercut

Soaring Love, by Dream Papercut

Those little black paper people are just amazing. My scissors took over, and in less than a minute my little Balloon Dancer was born and showing me where she wanted to dance.

She came up right away, and I recognized her instantly. Where have you been all these years, I asked ever so lovingly. She danced away laughing 🙂

I couldn’t stop photographing her, and she was determined not to let me.

We started on the kitchen utensils…


Then we moved on to the window where she got the idea she could fly…Oops! Better hold on to those balloons, dearie.


Next she took me on a desert mountain…


When I thought for sure she was ready to take a break, we ran back into the kitchen for one last shot before she let the last balloon go and laid down for a rest. What a day we had, and it all happened in less than an hour! 


About the PROCESS.

And I repeat once again~”Design is ABOUT the PROCESS, and it can only come from yourself.”

“Observation is one of the main skills of a designer. To observe is already to design.”

Design 1o1 is an online design course offered by iversity ~

The challenge is a daily 1-hour project (Monday-Friday). To be honest, I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed, and still haven’t gotten into the ‘groove’ of it, homework-wise. Thank God at least we have the weekends to catch up. I’m way behind, but I’m very inspired, so that’s one good thing.

If you are interested in having a lot of fun, and designing your brains out, there is still time to jump in!