Creativity Talks: Jodi Paloni, Collaging Art and Life

I was connected with Jodi Paloni when I was searching for editorial expertise on a memoir I was writing. “You’ll love working with Jodi,” said our connection. “She is into the natural world, and relationships, and loss like you are.”

The more I worked with and learned about Jodi, the more I did, indeed, love working with her. She is a poet, a writer of a lauded book of fiction, a coach and a yoga practitioner. And, I discovered, a terrific collage artist.

I wanted to know how she came to making collages. Was the experience of writing similar to the experience of making a collage? Did she see a difference in the kinds of stories she writes and the kinds of stories her collages tell? And so much more…

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Creativity Talks: Annie Thomas, At Home on the Range

D763EA48-0A0D-4FCF-AA9B-62ED8F7E4B69_1_201_aI met Annie Hosefros—now Annie Thomas—in the‘90s when we both worked at a small software firm in Northern California. Annie was in Marketing and wore cowboy boots. She was a buoyant, fun and funny colleague, adept at making lovely handmade books for friends, and hand-drawn cards for her friends.

She went to Montana to experience life and work on a friend of a friend’s ranch in the Boulder River valley for a summer, liked it, quit her software job in California, and moved the Montana in the summer of 1999 

Long story, short: Annie now lives outside McLeod, Montana with her husband, Tom. She has lived in Montana for over 20 years now–a feat for anyone moving to rural Montana from big cities with all their diversions and cultural activities.

I wanted to talk to her about the art of making a home–especially in the wilds where the nearest store in 30 minutes away, and about her many creative pursuits and how she keeps them going… Continue reading “Creativity Talks: Annie Thomas, At Home on the Range”

Creativity Talks: Cathaleen Curtiss, Storytelling in Felt

Cathaleen.NYC.I first met Cathaleen Curtiss at a programming class during my first few days working at America Online in 1997. We were being taught how to post content using AOL’s bespoke publishing system, Rainman. She was the company’s new Director of Photography, and would grow, and eventually run, a staff of 60 photo editors, setting the visual tone of the service. Continue reading “Creativity Talks: Cathaleen Curtiss, Storytelling in Felt”

Creativity Talks: Bowled Over, with Marty Carroll

B94E6E4F-3349-4DAA-B2D4-3AEE2D358B84Sometimes creativity “just happens.” A random spark igniting a flurry of experimentation and invention. Marty Carroll, full-time nurse and sometimes seamstress, talks about the inspiration and process of creating fabric bowls.

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Creativity Talks: Shelli Can–and Does–Make Things By Hand

shellican-58-resized.When I first met Shelli Martinez she was
knitting a pair of sweat pants.
Knitting them.
I was incredulous. “Is there actually
a pattern for knit sweatpants?”
Well, no, it turned out, unless I was talking about the pattern she made on graph paper after taking apart a pair of her favorite jeans to see how they were constructed.
I remember thinking,
“I have so much to learn
from this fearlessly creative woman.”

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Creativity Talks: The Art and Energy of Self-taught Painter, Matt Sesow

dogfish.sesowIn 2009, I heard about Matt Sesow, a D.C. artist who was described to me as “a modern-day Picasso.” I was skeptical (I tend to be skeptical about most things just-met dates tell me). But when I looked at Sesow’s website, I felt as though my fingers had just been stuck into an electric outlet: the paintings’ energy pulsated, jumped and vibrated. His colors burned.
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Creativity Talks: ReahJanise’s Inspired Knitting and Patterns

ReahJanise Kauffman is a prolific, inventive, skilled knitter who also develops and sells her knitting patterns online. She’s the kind of knitter I’d like to be if I ever got serious and grew up. Knitting, and knitting WELL are great skills to have. But making your own patterns is taking knitting to a whole other level as far as I’m concerned (remember, I don’t do numbers, and you do need math skills to make patterns). Continue reading “Creativity Talks: ReahJanise’s Inspired Knitting and Patterns”

The Return of the Norwegian Mittens

 “All life, living or ‘dead,’ is interwoven like silk
threads in a fine brocade.” — Philip Kapleau

img_8611.jpgI was in Utah for my birthday this year, visiting my sister. She pulled–from where, I do not know–a pair of Norwegian mittens and a reindeer hat my mother had knit before she went blind, long before she died in 2017.
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Coming Together In Imperfection

Funny, the things that bring people–and sometimes, things–together over time and distance. A friend, Matthew, had broken his favorite tea mug and was upset over the loss of the vessel that fit his hand so well. “The moment I picked up that little mug in the local Goodwill, it felt perfect in my hand. The bumpy smoothness of the ribbing, the heaviness of the glass… holding it just made me happy,” he said.
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Keeping the Yarn Moving

Sometimes my daily life is doing, not writing about doing. This past month was pretty much doing: I’ve been knitting like a whirlwind. Socks for a friend; a hat for a COSTCO clerk who liked my hat so much that I had to make her one of her own; 4 tightly-knit birds nests for a North Carolina waterfowl rescue group who had put an SOS for them. Continue reading “Keeping the Yarn Moving”