An Ocean Among the Trees

“You’re not a wave, you’re part of the ocean.” Mitch Albom

A couple of weeks ago as we were headed home from a company picnic at Idlewild Park, I noticed a group of ladies wielding ladders and large bags of yarn headed toward Lundsford Park. As a knitter myself, any amount of yarn will draw my attention. Naturally, we had to check it out.

It goes to prove that if you have the inclination to check something out, the discovery is always worth the extra few minutes out of your day.

As I’ve said before Artown never fails to surprise.

 

 

Had we sped by we would have missed a series of oceanscapes in the park created by the Anonymous Crafters for Artown 2019. One of the artists explained this project was a year in the making with each piece taking several months. This series of yarn art, themed “Under the Sea” is their fourth production for Artown.

Where else would you see a mermaid among the trees?

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Summer Artistic Adventures-Artown 2019

I happen to share my birth month with one of my favorite authors, but that’s not the only reason I love July. During the 7th month the Biggest Little City becomes the biggest, little art gallery and performance hall aka Artown.  Every day in July there are a variety of art and music events going on throughout Reno, some are ticketed events, many are free.

Even when I carefully plan my July calendar, something unexpected always happens like discovering a concert at a bookstore, an impromptu Tango in a church or cats sipping wine beneath the Reno arch. While I’m not one to predict the future, I can tell you that this year art will bloom in a local park and judges will read children’s stories. Check out the Artown website and chart your own summer adventure.

Wine-ing Cats by Michele DiFonzo

 

Care Instructions-Motherhood and Writing

Write,

mother,

sleep.

Repeat as needed.  

 

Shondra Rhimes

 The creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal has shared some inspiring comments regarding writing and motherhood, but this is one of my favorites.  Too often mothers and writers embark on a frantic search for the right combination of habit, attitude and magic that will keep their priorities aloft without all of them crashing down on their heads. Unfortunately due to life’s ever-changing nature, what worked like a charm today may be worthless tomorrow.

 

That doesn’t mean to stop striving, but you can ditch trying to be perfect. Sometimes it is best to keep moving forward and embrace the silly sticky moments.  Instead of aiming on an impossible ideal, focus on being consistent which works well for both real kids and literary babies.

The above post previously appeared on my Mariposa’s Musings blog on May 7, 2016, but as a mom and a writer I believe sound advice is worth repeating.

If you happen to be in the Reno-Sparks area and are looking for a special something for the mom in your life (or you), check out the Mother’s Day Weekend Sale at Copper Cat Studio. Artists from all over Reno and Sparks will be there including Katherine Case.

Saturday, May 11th-10:00AM to 3:00PM

Copper Cat Studio-300 Kresge Lane, Sparks, NV -near the intersection of McCarran and Glendale.

 

And…if you’re looking for a good mother-daughter read consider the following:

Ever After: When the fairytale ends is when the real story begins.  In the face of crisis two childhood friends re-ignite their friendship and discover which magic truly lasts.

Mixed Blessings: To save her daughter Allison from an abusive relationship, Nora Montgomery sends her to stay with relatives in California. Allison is unaware that her “cousin” Lynne Cooper is the child her mother gave up for adoption 30 years ago.  Can Nora choose between her new relationship with Lynne or keeping the past safely hidden.

Wedding Tango:  Moira Williams is dismayed when her daughter, Tami, announces her engagement. Why do they have to get married in Buenos Aires?  Though she dreads seeing her ex-husband, Alan, the gorgeous father of the groom has her pulse racing.

Creative Places-Copper Cat Studio

During Reno Open Studios last October I was fortunate to meet Katie Packham, mosaic artist and owner of Copper Cat Studio.

What inspired the start of your business?

I’ve always been creative, enjoying and excelling at many different art forms from a young age. It’s when I got to college that I was hesitant to make a career out of it. I got a degree in interior design because it was creative but also included a lot of problem solving and project management. I’m very right/left brain equal. I did that for many years and was able to nurture a mural business on the side for about 9 years before delving into mosaics. That is what ignited the passion to make me quit my day job 11 years ago.

My biggest breakthrough came when…

My biggest breakthrough to the path I’m on now is when the mosaic supply company where I taught class for years offered to sell me their business. It was mainly an online business but there was local clientele and I quickly found running it out of my home studio wasn’t going to work. My first move to a public location was in a cute boutique location in Midtown. It was immediately apparent that the space wasn’t big enough for how the business was evolving- mostly workshops, and so when my rent significantly increased after a little over a year, we moved into our current location. I guess that was a huge breakthrough too. I was really upset about the rent increase, but it ended up being the catalyst for the exponential growth we’ve experienced in the last year and a half. I couldn’t be happier with where we are right now!

How do you balance your creative pursuits with your day-to-day commitments?

I would say finding that balance in my day-to-day commitments of running a studio, workshop space, retail front and yoga studio is tough. My time for my own creativity has definitely suffered. I have created a space where others come to nurture their souls through the arts. I feel like I’m finally on the right track and am starting to get in the groove after the move a year and a half ago, so that I can find that bit of creative nurturing I need as well. I love the bustle and energy of a busy studio, but find that I really appreciate those days where it is quiet and I can just mosaic all day without interruption.

What’s next?

I’m not sure…I’ve learned to let the universe guide me. I know that sounds cheesy, but I’ve found that if I lay out some intentions and not try to be too specific with details, the right opportunities pop up at exactly the right time. I am enjoying what we are doing currently but it’s always evolving. The diverse workshops we offer are hugely popular but it’s a lot of work. I see myself simplifying in the years to come and concentrating on just mosaics, yoga and Reiki and other healing modalities.

Anything else to share with the readers?

Just that with our crazy lives, it’s important to take care of ourselves. Whether through yoga, meditation, creativity or getting out in nature…whatever nurtures YOUR soul, we have to fill our own vessel before being able to give to others.

Copper Cat Studio

300 Kresge Lane, Sparks, NV 89431

www.CopperCatStudio.com

Blog: coppercatstudio.blogspot.com

Tessera Glass

www.tesseraglass.com

Reno Open Studios-2018

One of the things I enjoyed about taking my kids trick or treating was catching a brief glimpse into my neighbors’ homes. Some doors opened to elegant entryways set with tile or gleaming hardwood. Others displayed a cozy family room with a fire crackling in the fireplace. I always wondered how the story carried on after the door was closed.

Reno Open Studios  also offers visitors the opportunity to peek behind the curtain to see magic at work in studios not usually open to the public. Since 2009, the first weekend in October is a citywide open house for visual artists working in media spanning from glass to gourds. Even if you only have time to visit a couple of studios, it is well worth the effort.

Details:

When: October 5th-7th

Where: Throughout Reno, NV-Check online brochure and map for details.

Need to know more? Check out https://www.facebook.com/renoopenstudios

September 6th-National Read a Book Day

If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”

Stephen King

September 6th is National Read a Book Day. While this notable day doesn’t include any paid vacation, celebrating is as easy as reaching for your favorite read, no need to endure long lines at the grocery to pick-up the ingredients for the celebratory meal.  However if you choose to make it a family affair, opt for take-out so you and the kids have more time for reading.  Remember children’s books expose kids to 50% more words than prime time TV.

By the way, the pictured dragon resides at Sundance Books and Music, a Reno indie bookstore. He’s appeared in at least one previous post, but you never can have too much dragon in your life (or too many books). So what are you waiting for?

Art & The Biggest Little City

Local band, Fine Motor.

When I was a little girl, I loved leafing through catalogs at Christmas time. I’d study the pages intently and carefully record my choices on my list to Santa. Although Santa was very good to me, I’d never get everything on my list, but for a brief time all the possibilities were mine.

I feel the same way when I review the Reno Artown calendar in early July. During Artown, the Biggest Little City hosts a month-long celebration of the arts.  In July casinos and churches even hospitals suddenly become art galleries and music halls. And while I know I’ll never get around to all the events when I first receive the calendar, the possibilities are endless.

And while all of the events are carefully organized according to date, artist, genre and cost, there’s always an element of the unexpected to Artown events. Last night at Sundance Books and Music while listening to the smooth rhythms of Fine Motor under the trees, I noticed an impromptu book signing in the audience. An older gentleman emerged from the bookstore and handed his recent purchase to another gentleman to sign. And while I’ll never know the author or the title of the book, I know the inscription was heartfelt from the way the author filled the entire page with his flowing script.

Check out Artown and make your own discoveries.