Cirque Americana x99

Each year, our marvelous Springfield Art Museum throws a party with a purpose, called “99x.” The purpose is that the museum raises money to restore permanent pieces for the next 99 years. So clever!

Both of us have been fortunate enough to put our creative crazy visions to work for the last two years. They don’t even check in on us! They trust us! Now that’s crazy.

Last year, the theme was “Gilded Glamour,” where we were inspired by John Frederick Kensett’s “Shore Landscape.” Stephanie was invited to create an interactive tableau, using the Newport Beach estate ”

Screen Shot 2018-10-02 at 7.10.54 PM

My project was to paint an interpretation of one of the Newport estates, using ‘illuminated’ qualities. It was then turned into a 10-foot wall hanging that was displayed in the lobby of the museum.

Screen Shot 2018-10-02 at 7.12.44 PM.png

It was such a magical, glowing night!

This year, though…was even better. The theme was “Cirque Americana,” where we celebrated Ben Messick and his clown paintings. Stephanie’s company Queen City Blooms was asked to help do a floral carousel-inspired centerpiece in the museum’s lobby, while I created an interactive tableau of a fortune teller.

Screen Shot 2018-10-02 at 7.18.51 PM.png

Screen Shot 2018-10-02 at 7.20.30 PM.png

We had *so* much fun. Already we’re talking about collaborating on a tableau together next year. With so many talented and amazing artists in the area, though, the competition is fierce!

Looking to add a bit of fortune, gold, and circus-inspired bling to your life? Keep reading!

Book Club Bingo!

The Mixed Print Bookclub is relatively new, as in, I think it’s only met two or three times. But my other bookclub, Well Fed Head, has been meeting for about 15 years.

FIFTEEN YEARS!

The club originated from a local indie bookstore, Well Fed Head. Every month we meet, discuss, drink, laugh, and catch up. Recently, the concept of Book Club Bingo evolved, where we’d check off boxes from things our group says.

“A good yarn.”

“George Saunders.”

“The movie adaptation will be released…”

So of course I had to make our own set!

bingo
photo by Lyndsey Strahan

We had so much fun, it made me want to make more cards, that are more generic for a variety of clubs.

bookclubbingo1

Want to play? Click the link to download your own version. The first three people to comment with what their club is reading will get a FREE download.

Happy reading!

Backpack, Backpack

Remember when wearing backpacks with both straps on your shoulders was uncool?

21 Jump Street

{photo via Slate article, which makes me SO HAPPY that there’s been an investigative study}

Personally, I was almost always a two-strapper, because it was just more comfortable. I had A LOT of books in those backpacks, because…well, I was a classic nerd. And classic nerds used both straps to keep their backs upright (well…as upright as possible while still maintaining their low self-esteem poor posture).

Thankfully, the garment itself, a backpack, will never go out of style. It’s practical, it can be “cool,” and it’s easy on the back. A win-win-win!

Not even Semi-Homemade

If you’ve been following along, you know we love to entertain. Part of the fun is menu crafting, deciding what to make from scratch, what to collaborate on with the grocery store, and what to just unpackage and put on a pretty plate.

Last week Stephanie hosted a Bunco party for some friends, and because of her schedule, she didn’t have time to prepare much. But it looked like she did…

IMG_7057

Click to read more about easy entertaining!

Makin’ Whoopie (Pies)

There was a period of time where we made a lot of whoopie…pies. (har har)

They’re just SO tasty, and fun to make. And with such a variety of flavors, the options are endless! (Trust me…we’ve tried to make them all.)

The best still, though, are the classic version. A chocolate cake-ish sandwich, with marshmallow creme. Think a Moonpie, or a Double Doozie. Or, a Whoopie Pie!

whoopies

Click more for the recipe!

Time for Tea

There are so many talented and inspiring ladies that we want to meet in our city, so Stephanie has started hosting tea parties at her house, as an excuse to invite them over and get to know them better.

Screen Shot 2018-05-27 at 10.07.23 AM
photo by Chuck Travers @ 417Home

They are a fun way to mix & mingle in a unique setting. Stephanie has a large dining table and an even larger collection of mismatched tea cups, which just invites conversation and connection.

Each party is usually on a weekday morning, and caters toward women of every walk of life. It’s not just for ladies who brunch! Mamas, Entrepreneurs, Teachers, Artists, Do-ers, Bloggers, Retirees, 9-to-5ers, you name it.

Of course there’s tea in cute cups, French press coffee, scones, and Prosecco. She doesn’t expect any of her guests to bring something, but every once in a while a quiche or a bottle of Irish Whiskey shows up. They are never turned down.

IMG_6650

The last tea was a small affair, twin style. Stephanie invited me (her twin sister), and a set of creative twins who we ABSOLUTELY LOVE and wanted to spend more time with. It was a quiet lovely morning, and I got to hold a brand new baby. Win win!

IMG_6652

Want to set up your own tea party? Keep reading for more ideas!

Birth of Venus

The first time I remember seeing the depiction of Venus de Milo was in the movie “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen“. It left such an impression that when I saw the painting “The Birth of Venus” by Botticelli, I was like, hey! It’s like that scene from the movie!

munchausen

(Everything always comes back to the movies for us…)

botticelli-the-birth-of-venus-c-1482

Since that time as a 7-year-old, it remains a painting I still obsess over. Her imperfect and irregular body! Floating on a seashell! Mystery, jealousy, divine! I loved it as a little kid, I love it as a big kid.

Which might explain this recent art purchase by the talented Sarah Jones:

IMG_6558.JPG

Made me wonder what other Venus-inspired treasures I could add to my collection…