Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Hillary Rodham Clinton autograph!

inside MY BAG!
This is what they wrote about my purse for the auction:
Leadership Leopard
The only woman running for President shows her leadership style in this purse.
Born in the 50’s, this bag has been updated with all vintage recycled materials including rhinestone-studded buttons and millinery trim. The artist, Laura Comito, says she waits for the bag to “speak to her” before beginning and “when you have gold lame you have to have leopard print.” She selected this bag for Hillary because “it speaks to me of power. It’s not frou-frou fluffy. It’s feminine, it’s powerful. So’s Hillary.” Autographed on the inside, it’s the perfect accessory for the Inaugural Ball.
Donor: Hillary Clinton Value: Priceless

Hillary Clinton and Me or my bag actually!

When Hillary was in Iowa last month Christie Vilsack sent one of her(Hillary's) aids in Des Moines to an art gallery in Valley Junction that I sell my work in- The Lagniappe – she wanted the aid to purchase a purse that was made by an Iowa artist. The Lagniappe called me and asked if I had any cool purses made- I told them I had this vintage handbag with a gold lame handle that I covered in leopard print and embellished with vintage millinery trim and rhinestone buttons- they said that’s the perfect purse for Hillary. I had no idea why I was sending them a purse just figured a customer was looking for something in my style so I mailed it and forgot about it. What a duh moment on my part- I should have put two and two together and figured out that it was THE Hillary. The United Way of Johnson County Iowa called me two weeks later for more information on the purse- asking if Hillary actually came and picked out the purse herself. That’s when the light bulb went off in my head- Hillary Clinton was the person they were talking about. Hillary autographed my purse on the inside and then donated it to the United Way of Johnson County’s “Power of the Purse” auction. My purse raised $625 for their fundraiser.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


My best friend in the world says I need to make these mittens available on my website. I know I should but my IT guy (aka the boyfriend) is too busy remodeling a bathroom. This is the best I can do for now. You want the mittens email me at

tell me if you want small, medium or large. Give me one color you want- like brown, light blue, black, red...etc. The mittens are $16.00 including tax and the postage is $2.00. I will send you a Paypal invoice so you can have your mittens on your hands as soon as possible! Until the IT guy is available that's the best I can do!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

close ups of those mittens

raggedy hands...

that is what I am calling the mittens that a friend and I started making. We hate to just throw something away and with the felting craze one thing led to another. She knits- I don't. So those sweaters that you accidentally threw into the dryer and they came out stiff as a baord are now getting a new life as mittens!
raggedy hands
hand stiched

Friday, October 19, 2007

Untitled...because I haven't thought of one yet

This is work in progress. Part painted canvas, some shrink plastic and then a paper piece. I love that shrinky-dink stuff. You remember it as a kid? I use it alot in my collage pieces because I can color it reduce it then it becomes really thick and durable and I can drill holes in it and wire it to the background. Just love this stuff. How many people get to PLAY all day and call it work? I'm open to suggestions on what to title it. The white rectangle in the lower left corner says:
"we give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way ~ritual chant"
I like that thought.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

a portrait of an artist...

A few weeks ago as I was surfing for projects for my art students I came across this self portrait contest. The Judith P Smith self portrait contest was started by her family after Judith took her own life in 1978. The contest funds a scholarship in her name at Drake University in Des Moines, IA to help defray the expense of art supplies for one art student. Who was she and why did she take her own life? I wonder...did she suffer from depression as many of my creative friends do? If she could come back and paint her self portrait what would it look like?

This contest resonated with me alot. The black and white charcoal drawing is a self portrait from my college days- before I knew I was depressed. The rest was painted, colored, drawn, collaged...etc... over this past year. The sunflowers at the bottom are a tribute to Vincent VanGogh- he had the loving support of his family and still took his own life. This piece is hanging in my studio and the reactions to it are wonderful to observe because each person brings a little bit of them self to the picture. What would your self portrait look like right now?

Friday, September 14, 2007

the classroom


The new Artworks Studio!
You really should stop and see the new studio. It's absolutely wonderful. I have a gallery space, private studio, office and a classroom just for teaching. It has great natural light and such positive energy. So all that hate moving stuff was worth the moving because this place rocks!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Did I ever mention that I am 100% Italian? Yep that's me! My grandparents were born in Italy so I guess that makes me 2nd generation American. Lately my youngest daughter and I have been craving pasta with tomato sauce. Home made sauce of course. It's just been too darn hot to make it. We are shooting for Sunday - thinking the weather will finally break. Then we shall feast on stuffed peppers, meatballs and pasta! Maybe I'll let you know what time dinner is!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Oh yeah....about those red shoes....

I SOLD THEM! I knew I could. They went to a good home all the way in California!


That's right. After three years in the same spot I am moving my studio to a new location. I am excited about the move. The space has wonderful lighting and is closer to the heart of downtown and just "feels right". I HATE moving! There I said it. I know hate is a strong word but I really do intensely dislike moving! Why move you ask? I need space to teach private art classes in. I started teaching privately in 1982. I stopped in 2000 because I needed a break, and my mom was requiring more care. I am ready to go back to it. I forgot how much energy working with kids generates. I have my curriculum written and planned out, my supplies on order and just waiting now to get to the end of the month so I can move. I will post some of the kids projects through the year here and at Now if we could just fast forward to August 31st......

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

the Red Shoes

I have always had this thing about RED SHOES- no idea why just do. SO I found these red shoes made of leather from Brazil. They rock! They are too big for me but I am determined to find a home for them. I mean honestly- they are RED!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

being creative is messy

We have a new partner here at the Artworks Studio/Warm kitchen. She's pretty wild just like me and Jenny. She was making fun of my desk the other day. Could not figure how I can get anything done with all this stuff piled all over. I asked her how her counter looked when she was whipping up a batch of white chocolate raspberry scones...she said "point taken"

Friday, April 13, 2007

Try this at home...

I’m one of those people who collect things. You never know when you might be able to actually DO something with them. I found myself with quite a collection of seashells, drift wood colored glass marbles and sea glass all collecting dust in the house. After one trip to the lumber yard for a bag of fine white sand I set about creating my own personal beach outside the front door of the studio. I have this space where it’s supposed to be landscaped with white rock – and it was- along time ago. The white rock has slowly disappeared over the years- I have no idea where it went- but I was left with this shabby looking space. The perfect place for my beach! I poured white sand over what was left of the rocks. Gathered up all my sea shells, driftwood and glass marbles and placed them on top of the sand. For a splash of color I moved two of my potted geraniums to my “beach” and worked them down into the sand to make it look as if they had been there forever. Everyone who comes into the studio comments on my beach, children especially like it and frequently ask if they can have a shell or a rock. Just like a real beach there is an ebb and flow with the waves and shells get replaced by new ones that I find as I wander through thrift stores and flea markets. For a quick escape I can look at my beach and pretend for a few moments that I am someplace else. No worries.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

inside "Outside the Lines"

Reading at Borders Books

So here I am reading my book outloud to a group of 30 attentive patrons at Borders Books in Ames. I was nervous and a bit scared. Not sure what the evening would bring. Had a moment where I almost couldn't do it then finished. Now I have another reading at the public library in Audubon. I am feeling much more confidant about this one. I know what works and what doesn't and what to do and expect. Whew...thoses firsts are always the hardest!

Monday, January 22, 2007

So what's new?

What's new in the studio? Some serious rhinestones. I got this piece from an estate sale recently. It is FABULOUS! It was made by the Schreiner Co. of New York. I did a bit of research on it. It is called an opera bib. Schreiner worked for Christian Dior until 1939 then he started his own company until 1973. His pieces were made one at a time instead of mass produced. He was well known for his inverted stones- meaning he put the facets on the outside. It's an interesting mix of colored glass stones and pearls and turquoise. I am thinking this piece was made in the late 50's. It weighs one pound. When I tried it on I felt like a queen!