Archive for the ‘Joy Through Art’ Category
It seems to happen the same way every year…as June enters its third week or so, I escape to the beach to hide out for my birthday…well, not exactly hide out, but I do love spending some June days in solitude by the sea. It is a great time for reflection and rejuvenation.
When I return to my work world, I hope that my birthday has passed by quietly without a fuss. But, low and behold, my team at Kathy Davis Studios is always cooking up a special and unique twist on my annual birthday card! For as many years as I can remember, one of our team members gets nominated for the task of creating a birthday card like no other. After all, that’s what we do…design greeting cards. But there are NO RULES for this kind of card – so creativity is always in full bloom!
Over the years, I’ve received many beautiful cards…and for about the past 10 years these cards have taken to 3D! I’ve received a pinata, a colorful “butterfly box”, a board game, a fabric banner and a life size 3D birthday cake…all with the added dimension of individual messages from each of our team members!
This year our talented Jackie got the “honor”! Jackie is one of those rare people who seems to be able to do EVERYTHING beautifully! She certainly didn’t disappoint with this large 3D shadow diorama
featuring our studio building and a garden of greetings! Each circle flower has an individual message written on the back by a team member – and some of our designers even added embellishment! The wooden stems are pics that stick into a styrofoam base. An engineering feat!
I love my team!
Jackie – you never cease to amaze (…and guys… you can stop this tradition any time now…really you can.)
My heartfelt thanks to everyone for making my birthday so very special!!!
All My Best,
This month, we decided to treat everyone in our Studio to a trip to the amazing Philadelphia Flower Show. This year’s theme was “ARTiculture – Where Art Meets Horticulture,” with floral displays inspired by the great artists of the world. For me, however, it was a day in paradise, because it was a day to enjoy two of my passions – art and flowers.
And I was thinking how timely it was to visit the flower show after a winter filled with a steady barrage of snowstorms! What a lift it was to enter that vast convention center filled with millions of flowers. What a celebration for the senses — from the subtle fragrance to the brilliant colors, from the intriguing textures to the imaginative use of flowers used to create dimensional “brush strokes” on all kinds of canvases.
It was great to feel so revitalized! Which led me to think about the joyful effect of flowers – in a vase, in a garden, in a work of art, or on a greeting card. Whenever I need something to cheer me up or want to brighten a friend’s day, flowers are my go-to treat. And if I can’t send real flowers, sometimes I’ll just send a beautiful floral card.
How about you – wouldn’t your day be a little brighter with some beautiful flowers?
Here are some of the latest highlights from Kathy’s series of one armed iPhone photos.
A note from Kathy:Thank you for following along with me on my journey towards healing! So many of you have shared such nice comments and encouragement with me as I recover from shoulder surgery. As I now slowly ease back into my work schedule, my posts of #onearmedart will begin to taper off. While my 12 week recuperation still has quite a ways to go, my time is beginning to become crowded with work demands…. and physical therapy. It has been quite a long and difficult winter for many reasons, but I’ve really enjoyed the creative outlet of taking one armed photos and sharing them with you. My healing process has taught me many lessons along the way.
I hope to continue to explore this creative path in some way…. it is true when they say that an artist never really stops working.
Thinking spring, lighter days and healing!
All My Best,
Some of you may be aware that I had surgery in early January to help repair a broken clavicle. Now with a titanium plate and screws holding my shoulder together, the worst is behind me as I move through a 12 week rehabilitation. With use of only one arm and need for lots of rest, my world has changed rather drastically.
To help entertain myself, I started using my iPhone to record images that were capturing my attention. With more time on my hands, I have become increasingly mindful and observant of my surroundings. My home, deck and views from my window of the winter landscape provide my subject matter. Suddenly, everything has become visually fascinating to me. Color, patterns, shadows, compositions, in both natural and man-made forms, are like little paintings that speak to me.
What started as a simple amusement has grown into a tool for my healing. My one armed art photo journal is a creative outlet, a form of expression and a way for me to stay engaged with the outside world.
Below are some samples of my posts.
‘Scuse me while I brag a bit…but I have an amazing team of talented and caring people at KDS! My birthday was a week or so ago…(I keep trying to run from them but found that I can’t hide), and my team surprised me with a little celebration. Every year (for as many as I can remember now), some member of our design team takes on the creation of an original birthday card for me. Now, I do understand the dilemma. After all, we design greeting cards day after day. So these birthday cards can not be your average card.
This annual affair all started years ago when one of our designers hand-painted an original card for me that everyone signed. In successive years the designs became more complex…and even dimensional! I have had cards in the shapes of birthday cakes, banners, and even trivia card games!
This year, Anna, one of our production designers (who has been known to surprise and delight with her talents), assumed the task. She pulled out all the stops with the creation of a real piñata! This was not just any piñata! It was in the shape of our butterfly brand logo…and she fashioned the wire and paper construction by hand! It was beauteous!!! And then, I was supposed to smash it!???!!! Oh, no!
While we weren’t quite equipped with the right South of the Border style setting, we made do in our conference room with the help of two metal t-squares (that will never again be quite the same!)…and the daring assistance of my husband (and our COO), Peter.
I lashed into the beautiful butterfly repeatedly until I hit pay dirt – and the candy treats and individual messages from each one in our team came spilling out! In Anna’s words, it was “a literal explosion of butterflies”!
JOY was scattered once again at KDS. Now, am I a lucky girl or what???
Last Thursday evening was a special night at Kathy Davis Studios. We had the opportunity to host an art exhibit opening featuring the work of students from Hatboro-Horsham High School. Attending the opening reception were the student artists and their families…..as well as invited guests from the school district, the community, and KDS company members. It was an enjoyable and inspiring event. The artwork was excellent, the students were terrific, and their parents were highly supportive of their children’s artistic accomplishments.
This reception and the month long gallery show exhibit is just one example of Kathy Davis Studios’ commitment to scattering joy through the arts. You needed to see the joy and pride in the eyes of our students and their families to fully grasp the joy that comes through art and self-expression.
The exhibit is hosted at Kathy Davis’ new retail gallery space……just below and adjacent to Kathy’s studios at 303 Horsham Road. The exhibit will be on display until April 23. If you enjoy quality artwork and value the contributions of kids from our community, this exhibit is a “don’t miss” opportunity.
Plans are in place in the coming months for more exhibits at Kathy Davis Gallery. We are excited to bring these opportunities to artists and our community.
It is not exaggeration when we say….”there is more to come”.
I arrived at the renowned Philadelphia Flower Show on Sunday, just in time for a quick tour before they closed down for another year! It is always a joy to see the colors and breathe in the fragrance of flowers in bloom after a long spell of winter dormancy.
Because I had limited time, I had to move through the show quickly, but these miniature shadow box displays of tiny sculptural compositions (approx 4″ in size) incorporating natural elements really captured my fancy!
I will stay by your side forever and always.
Since Nemo gave the Northeast a fresh white layer of snow this weekend, I thought it was a good time to share my snowman story with you…
Back in December, a week or so before the holidays, KDS had a visit from a potential business associate. William Agush is the principle at a company called Shuttersong, and he came to explain a way that we might do some work together.
At the conclusion of our meeting, William announced that he brought along a special gift for me from a fellow artist. The story became richer when he explained that the artist was his mother, Amelia Robin Agush, who passed away in 2010 in her Massuchusetts hometown. Agush was a paper sculptor and designer who had a thriving career.
From the Boston Globe/ boston.com:Amelia Robin (Gloss) Agush spent decades working with paper as a medium for creating three-dimensional sculptures before she turned to watercolor painting.When she was in her 20s and living in Hollywood, she used paper to create table centerpieces for parties and promotional artwork displayed in movie theaters.Later, after she returned to Massachusetts, she devised simple paper kits that Family Circle magazine sold to hundreds of thousands of customers who turned them into holiday decorations: 6-foot-tall Santa Claus figures, turkeys, or Valentine’s Day mailboxes.“She made crafts and arts approachable to lots of people,” said her son William.
Amelia Robin Agush, shown in her Los Angeles studio circa 1950, devised paper kits that Family Circle magazine sold.
Agush left behind an amazing legacy of a woman’s successful career in the arts… AND a basement filled with her marvelous paper sculptures! William was kind enough to share one of her creations with me. He presented me with a curious looking folded paper with printed designs and perforations…but with no instructions! We had little idea how this fragile gift of folded paper would materialize…so I asked two of my trusty assistants, Maureen and Katie, to help solve the mystery and document their process. Watch the magic unfold…
Almost every inch of that giant piece of folded paper was utilized in the design…quite an impressive engineering feat!
Our cheerful snowman sculpture is still on display in our Studio…and the gift from William … and the story he shared of his mother’s career and creativity inspire me every time I catch a glimpse of our smiling snowman!
January means holiday clean-up…taking down the tree, packing up the decorations and taking one last look at the cards you enjoyed receiving throughout the season. While these are not my favorite chores, there is something nice about a fresh, clean beginning to the new year.
One post-Christmas tradition that we enjoy at KDS… is rounding up and voting for our favorite holiday cards. After all, designing cards is one of our specialties, so we enjoy seeing what is being done in our industry. We hope you find these picks as inspiring as we do!
Overall Favorite Card:A Tie!
Best Illustrated Card:
(Monika Hinterwaldner from KDS)
Best Use of Special Process:
Best Mass Produced Card:A Tie!
(Gift Wrap Co.)
Best Handmade Card:
(Handmade – Printed at Lead Graffiti)
Best Photo Card:
(Pear Tree Greetings)
Best Decorated Envelope:
(Ashley McDevitt from KDS)
Best “non-Christmas Specific” Design:A Tie!
Keep sending those Christmas cards! We happen to think it’s a wonderful way to stay in touch and Scatter Joy!
Speaking of Scattering Joy… we found some organizations that take used greeting card contributions. Not only is this a great way to recycle, it helps to make a difference! You can send your card donations to the organizations, below.
St. Jude’s:They seem to be currently accepting cards of all occasions year round, with an increased need for both Birthday and Thank You cards.
Treasures 4 Teachers:Provides free and low cost supplies to teachers from community reusable resources. Accepts donations of new or used greeting cards.
RAFT (Resource Area For Teaching):RAFT’s main focus is to inspire, engage and educate children through the power of hands-on teaching. They support hands-on education efforts in California and Colorado.
We also found this article to have good suggestions about national AND local organizations.
The holiday season is a time to be inspired by pretty papers, satiny ribbons and everything sparkling! Whether you are a seasoned crafter or just a beginner, adding a hand-crafted touch to your holidays is easier than you think…and so satisfying! All you need are a few beautiful greeting cards, some scrapbooking papers and an assortment of shimmering embellishments. This year at the studio, we decided to give our own tree that boutique feel using Kathy Davis art and patterns. Here are a few of our ideas.
The first super-easy project begins with finding a pretty image from a greeting card…maybe it’s art or just words…and cutting it out. Next, glue it to a piece of glitter board. Cut around the image, allowing the board to create a frame, then punch a hole and add a pretty ribbon. You can further embellish the ornament by adding sequins, gems or even more glitter!
Here are two additional favorites from BHG.com. The three-dimensional star is cut from scrapbooking paper using an exacto knife. It’s scored and folded to become a simple but elegant accent. The pattern can be found here.
This stunning rosette paper ornament can easily be crafted from cards or paper and accented with a touch of sparkle. The instructions can be found here.
We hope these ideas will inspire you to carve out a little time to add your own creative touch to your holiday decorating!
Received a happy surprise in the mail yesterday! Just what I needed after a tough week… (Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc by toppling a huge tree on top of our home! After a power outage and a nasty cold to boot, I am now in recovery mode and very grateful that things weren’t any worse)
Anyway, I opened my package to find the sweet gift of a hand-decorated journal from my friend (and our American Greetings brand leader), Mary Beth Sibert.
Mary Beth stitched up a fabric panel from my Journeys fabric line by Westminster-Free Spirit to wrap around the cover of a Moleskine journal. She chose a green leaf pattern, attaching it on the inside of the cover – and then glueing down the first blank page of the journal as an end paper to neatly hide the fabric band.
Green ribbon and a matching charm completed the front cover in style…and a delicate butterfly lie in wait as I opened to the first page.
Guessing that little butterfly will guide my way as I record thoughts and inspirations…as Mary Beth knows I like to do. (thanks, MB!)
Thought this nifty gift idea might inspire you, too!
Hope all of you are safe and sound in the wake of the storm.All My Best,