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 ”

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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.

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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.

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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!

Bells & Whistles

The more crystals and bells in my house, the better. I can hear the crystals ring like bells and see the bells’ jingle flitter like light refracting off the crystals. It brings so much joy and happiness to my home.

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photo by Nicole Chilton

In what felt like an intuitive decision, I hung a strand of bells on my front door, in lieu of a working doorbell (plus, who answers the doorbell anymore anyways?). Little did I know that hanging bells on your front door is a centuries-old concept in Feng Shui, warding off negative energy and inviting harmony in the house.

Want to add some extra oomph and harmony to your own front door? Here are some fun bells to try:

bells

Caravan Bells with Glass Beads via Etsy

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windchimebells

Colorful windchime bells

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metal bell

De Kulture Bell Metal Cow Bell Wind Chime 6.5X3.5 LWH (Inches) For Hanging Bells Garden Decoration Balcony Decor Ideal For New Year Anniversary Birthday Gift For Girl Woman (Brown)

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catbell

Maybe you are a cat person?

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Do you have anything on your front door? What is it and why did you decide to put it there? We’d love to hear!

Currently Reading: Literary Witches

My to-read pile is about to tower over the roof of my house, and reading books such as “Literary Witches: A Celebration of Magical Women Writers isn’t going to help that out any. This beautiful collection of vignettes and illustrations highlights different women writers from history, and then suggests FURTHER READING!

Literary Witches
Literary Witches: A Celebration of Magical Women Writers

I picked up a digital copy for my e-reader, but will definitely be seeking out a physical book to keep handy at all times. The illustrations are mesmerizing and the poetic vignettes inspired by these women are worth embroidering on my pillows.

What are you currently reading?