Travelcraft Journal

Navigation Menu

Local Art Loves

Posted by on Feb 20, 2017 in Craft, Travel | 8 comments

A couple weeks ago, I invited everyone to share art from where you live. Since then, we’ve seen #localartloves from the east coast to the west coast!

Photo by McKinley Art Solutions

San Francisco, CA

Matt McKinley of McKinley Art Solutions shared work from Justin Hoover’s ‘Martial Spirit’ exhibition, currently at the Chinese Culture Center in San Francisco.

Photo by Traci Cavanaugh York‏ @TraciYorkWriter
Traci Cavanaugh York‏ @TraciYorkWriter

New Hampshire

Traci York shared some of her nature photography from the chilly Northeast.

Local first arizona

Cottonwood, AZ

The northern office of Local First Arizona shared shirts hand printed by Christy Fisher, who makes clothing from reclaimed fabric, as well as jewelry from recycled glass and vintage silver.


Phoenix-area, AZ

Courtney Doom (a.k.a. IggyStarpup) in Phoenix shared some of her pop-culture inspired embroidery hoop art. Photo by Phillip Liebold
Phillip stopped to take a photo of this Tempe mural.

@olibalcells mural

I shared the work of several artists on Instagram including a mural by Oliverio Balcells and collaborative paintings by teenagers at Durango Detention Center.



Microblog Mondays: Write in your own space

Read More

Hang in There! 9 Unique Wind Chime and Mobile Ideas

Posted by on Jan 19, 2017 in Craft | 4 comments

Mobiles and wind chimes can brighten up your garden, patio, or a bare corner of your living room. And you probably have the stuff to make one right now!

Here are some unexpected objects you can use to make your own.

Colorful mobile

1. Wooden Discs

Emily Neuburger’s Simple Color Mobile could work inside or outside. I like the simplicity of the rainbow-colored circles, but you could also add a wooden initial or other shape.

(Side note: You know the wood-stuff-for-painting aisle in the craft store? I always have to browse through it, and, even though I don’t usually do wood craft projects, I always kind of want to buy everything in there.)

Jungalow Boho mobile

2. Souvenirs

Justina Blakeney made this Boho Mobile from an old lamp shade frame and small decorative items her in-laws brought back from India. If you have a lot of little knick knacks from trips taking up shelf space, this would be another way to display them. Like an oversized charm bracelet.

Paint Swatch Mobile By Natalme

3. Paint Swatches

Love this minimal Paint Swatch Mobile from Natalme! You can mix up the colors like she did or use a gradient of shades for an ombre or rainbow effect, which would look especially rad spinning around.

Embroidery hoop mobile by natalme

4. Embroidery Hoops

Another Natalme inspiration: turn embroidery hoops into a place to hold photos (or holiday cards or kids’ artwork)!

Ceramic bell

5. Clay and Copper Pipes

Decorative ceramic bells made from Sculpey by A Beautiful Mess. Apparently, these are purely decorative, since they don’t actually ring. I’m wondering whether you could change that with some metal inside the clay. Or what if you hung more than one copper pipe from each bell, making every bell into kind of a mini-wind-chime?

Sea Glass DIY Wind Chimes
6. Sea Glass

Crafts Unleashed has a turorial for displaying your beach-combing finds as sea glass wind chimes!

Key Mobile

7. House Keys

You can also make a wind chime from old keys, like this one from Inner Child Fun.

FYI I found this on a list by The Garden Glove (with about a dozen more DIY ideas).
Bottle Cap mobile

8. Bottle Caps

Trina Lyn (of Trina Is Artsy Fartsy) shared this tutorial of how to make a bottle cap wind chime, as frequently seen – but not always explained – on Pinterest.

Junk Windchime by Trina Lyn

9. Random Junk

Trina also combined a variety of found objects, including a smashed vintage beer can, into The Junk Windchime. It brings together a lot of the materials in the other projects above, like bottle caps, glass, beads, and a key.

What materials would you use for a mobile creation? Chime in!


For Your Inspiration

A few more shareworthy (and shoppable) mobiles and wind chimes:

Photos via their respective sites.

Read More

Hidden in the Hills Art Show Returns

Posted by on Nov 24, 2016 in Craft, Travel | 0 comments

This weekend is the annual Hidden in the Hills art show and sale. Here are some of the artists we’ve met and work we’ve seen in past years.

1. There’s something captivating about the vibrant acrylic work of Ravay Snow – it just draws you in.

2. Ken Ryan continues to craft weathered wood into rustic furniture and sculpture.


3. Bela Fidel works in encaustics (a wax technique) and mixed media. Some is abstract, and some incorporates sacred texts and imagery.


HITH - art by Bela Fidel

4. Robin Ray’s studio is always a hub of activity with demonstrations and work in progress, so you can learn about how her beautiful pieces come together.



5. Peter Skidd, who we found through Instagram, creates steel sculptures with rich, layered colors in his home studio. (Phillip enjoyed chilling on the patio there.)

6. Craig Frankowski likes to experiment with the traditional canvas format.



7. Natalie Keller does western oil paintings and even dressed to match!

HITH - Natale

Check out the current Hidden in the Hills site to see which artists are participating this year!

Read More

When Reason Sleeps

Posted by on Nov 13, 2016 in Travel | 12 comments

I am writing this the morning after the U.S. presidential election. Confused, sad, grasping for words, and tired already of news outlets’ attempts at explanations and of social media finger pointing.

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos. --Goya

I keep thinking of Francisco Goya’s work, El sueño de la razón produce monstruos, “The sleep of reason produces monsters”.

I think I first saw the etching in Madrid the same day I stood dwarfed in front of Pablo Picasso’s Guernica, which depicts townspeople suffering the horrors of war unleashed by Nationalists. That also seems like a fitting work to contemplate just now.

Guernica by Picasso

Today I feel as if reason has been sleeping, and we don’t know what monsters we have unleashed.

Images 1 (public domain) + 2 (fair use) via Wikimedia.

Microblog Mondays: Write in your own space

Read More

Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena

Posted by on Sep 15, 2016 in Travel | 0 comments

Norton Simon - sculpture garden

Before Norton Simon the art museum, there was Norton Simon the entrepreneur and art collector.

Norton Simon museum

He started with works from European Old Masters, Impressionists, and Post-Impressionists and then began collecting works from Asia after a trip to India. He eventually added his collections to what was then the Pasadena Museum of Modern Art, which he was director of until his passing in 1993.

Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, California


Now known as Norton Simon, the museum in Pasadena houses collections of 14th century to contemporary European art, Asian art spanning two millennia, and a sculpture garden.


Even the walkway to the entrance is surrounded with works of Auguste Rodin – the anguished faces of The Burghers of Calais, The Walking Man mid-stride, Saint John the Baptist with sinewy arm outstretched, The Thinker pondering Colorado Boulevard.

Norton Simon museum

European Art

Inside, the 19th century European art gallery just off the foyer immediately drew me in, and I found myself face-to-face with some of Degas’s bronze ballerinas, frozen in their moments of stretching, posing, preparing to dance.

Norton Simon art - degas

The collection actually includes over 100 of his paintings, drawings, and sculptures, as well as work by Cézanne, Gauguin, Monet, Manet, Van Gogh, and Goya.

Norton Simon Museum art

Norton Simon paintings

The 17th and 18th century galleries hold still lifes, Rembrandt portraits, scenes from history and mythology.

Norton Simon painting

Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, California

Sculpture Garden and Cafe

I took a break in the outdoor Garden Cafe. On the menu are sandwiches, salads, tea, and bottled cold brew (inexplicably imported from Austin, Texas).

Norton Simon Cafe

It’s a lovely place to take in the view of the Sculpture Garden and to people watch. That particular sunny day, museum-goers were spilling out into the Garden in regular bursts, bounding, striding, or strolling the path around the pond. A group of giggling teens hunted for Pokémon. A man pulled his elderly mother’s wheelchair up to a table by the water, and she shakily stood up to stretch while he got them lunch.

Norton Simon Sculpture

Norton Simon Museum

Duchamp Downstairs

The lower level is primarily devoted to the museum’s Asian collection with a gallery for rotating exhibits, such as Duchamp to Pop. So I stepped from amongst statues of gods into the bright, irreverent world of pop art. It was a bit jarring. But, then, pop art was meant to be jarring, wasn’t it?

Norton Simon museum

Norton Simon museum

Duchamp to Pop showed how the work of Marcel Duchamp influenced pop artists, such as Andy Warhol, whose Campbell’s soup cans and Brillo boxes are part of the museum’s permanent collection (but not always on display).

Norton Simon museum

Norton Simon Asian Art

Asian Art

Much of the museum’s Asian art collection comes from the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. There are also Japanese woodblock prints that belonged to Frank Lloyd Wright.

Norton Simon museum

Starting at the foot of the stairs, you walk by stone, bronze, and terra cotta pillars, altarpieces, and statues depicting heroes and gods from Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain traditions, especially the Buddha. It was fascinating to see the how portrayals change in different eras and geographic locations. (More in the museum’s video on their Asian Art collection.)

Norton Simon art - Buddhas

Looking at these ancient figures with heads, torsos, arms, and legs posed in a moment of sitting in quiet reflection, embracing, or dancing, I was struck by their humanness, by how much we had in common.

Norton Simon Museum art

Those ancient subjects really weren’t so different from the ballerinas that inspired Degas or the woman stretching by the pond or the teens playing Pokemon Go or me or you. We’re pretty much all the same.

Norton Simon art

We still sit and reflect, we embrace, and we dance.

Norton Simon Museum art

Norton Simon Art

The Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau provided us with complimentary press passes to Norton Simon Museum.

Read More