I've taken to my art studio to undertake a journey: a journey to rediscover myself, my writing, and plunge the depth of my artistic abilities.
Over the past year, I have been diagnosed with celiac disease, a form of wheat and gluten intolerance, and psoriatic arthritis, which is slowly deteriorating the joints in my fingers and limiting my ability. And I'm not even forty years old.
I've always admired the Arts & Crafts era, and pioneers such as Gustav Stickley and William Morris. I've always had a knack for creating things from scratch, and doing it just the way they did back then. When I was making an Izannah Walker head a few years ago (A doll from the 1800's made with a mold press) I actually got a copy of her original patent from the 1800's and went about recreating it. And I pressed cotton fabric, NOT gesso and cotton like most reproductive artists do. I learned oil painting techniques and used vintage paints. I carefully measured the patent so my designs would be just so. I almost boiled my own glue, but stopped when I found out hers was made out of rabbit hide. (I will never hurt an animal.)
At this time I also started experimenting with woodcarving onto furniture, and was going to inlay stained glass into driftwood and make sculptures. And then life got in the way, and I put art and crafts on the backburner. I wrote a column called "The Grumpy Consumer" and vented about consumer and political issues. I got involved in a dangerous and scary investigative story about our state education test and funneling of tax-payer funds into money laundering schemes. The stress ate me away, and my body, and my joints.
I developed the arthritis, and discovered the celiac disease in the same year.
I'll keep the story short-you'll discover all over the next year. Needless to say, I am on a journey: hopefully to get rid of the commercial junk and toxins in my body causing me so much distress, and to push the boundary of any and all art my hands and brain can create.
I am so inspired by Etsy, and have my own shop at www.flutterwinks.etsy.com. I will be listing things I create, as well as posting links to others that I love.
Tonight I spent the evening hand-making buttons. I am calling them "Frosted Sugar Cookies" because they look like scrumptious sugar cookies with fluffy pink frosting and sprinkles. They are "baking" in the oven right now (I'm using clay) and because I can't eat the real thing (flour has gluten in it) I can only enjoy the make-believe version.
If you have read this, I really appreciate your time and undertaking this journey with me.