Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Georgia on my Mind

Poppy by Georgia O'Keefe

Today was another colorful day with Sofia! My dear friend Lisa - one of the most creative and visual people I know - invited us to her house for a Georgia O'Keefe Art Day. I immediately accepted the invitation not only because I knew it would be fun for Sofia but also because Georgia O'Keefe has been one of my favorite artists since was a teenager when I had several of her prints on my bedroom walls. I have always loved her colorful, feminine floral paintings and was eager to learn more about this famous American female artist.

Georgia O'Keefe, with one of her landscapes in the New Mexico desert, lived to be 98 years old.

Our Art Day began with Teacher Lisa reading the girls two books about Georgia O'Keefe's life. They learned a lot, and so did I! My biggest take-away was that Georgia did things her way, not the way everyone else did, which certainly served her well. 

Then we went on an outing to the local flower shop to let the girls pick out a bloom to paint in the Georgia O'Keefe style.

Sofia chose orange lillies....

And Ava chose pink and white Stargazer lillies.

Then we headed back to Lisa's house for lunch and to start our project which Lisa found on this great website.

We watched a YouTube video to learn more about Georgia O'Keefe's life and art.

Then we started sketching and painting. Here are some of the highlights from our Georgia O'Keefe Art Day!

The day ended with a pretend wedding ceremony that Sofia "officiated" for Ava and her kitty, followed by a musical performance by the girls which was priceless and thoroughly entertaining!

There's never a dull moment with these creative girls, who have been friends since they were three months old! We're already planning our next Art Day learning about Degas and his ballerinas.

Thanks, Lisa, for the creative and colorful day!

Friday, June 22, 2012

A Reputation for Innovation

Today, Sofia and I went on a "cultural outing" to the Nordic Heritage Museum in Ballard to see the Eero Saarinen exhibit: A Reputation for Innovation. I had not heard Saarinen's name before but I certainly recognized his iconic chair designs (which have now been knocked off by IKEA and other modern designers). I am always eager to see the special exhibits that the Nordic Heritage Museum hosts especially when they relate to design. The Scandinavians have such a flair for design and it's fun to see how innovative and imaginative they can be.

Born in Finland, Saarinen was one of the 20th century's most prolific architects and designed some of the most iconic buildings of his time. I found it interesting that I recognized his chairs as classic Scandinavian design but did not know he was most well-known for designing several significant buildings and landmarks in the US including the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri; headquarters for John Deere, IBM and CBS, the main terminal at Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C., which was Saarinen's favorite project.

In case you don't make it to the exhibit, I wanted to share some pictures with you.

How true is this quote? I love it!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Where Inspiration Leads

glassybaby founder and 2011 Entrepreneur of the Year Lee Rhodes

I had breakfast with 100 inspiring women this morning, including one extra special, inspiring woman, Lee Rhodes, founder of glassybaby! Lee shared the story of how she became an accidental entrepreneur at the Women’s Business Exchange (WBE) monthly breakfast today. I know her story and I love glassybaby so I invited several friends, and even a reporter from the Seattle Times, to come and hear it firsthand and to meet the colorful creator of this wonderful product that brings so much light and hope to people around the world.

the comforting glow of my glassybaby collection.

Lee emphasized that the idea for glassybaby was practically an accident that came about while she was fighting cancer. She dropped a tea light into a glass votive her husband had blown and the simple combination of color and light was so inspiring to her and those around her that the idea took off. She said the color and flickering light had a profound, instant and undeniable effect on everyone who saw it.

To this day, that emotional response that people have to glassybaby is what has driven the company’s success. And now I more fully understand why I love glassybaby so much. I have a visceral, emotional response to not only the color and flickering light but also the story of how the company gives back to nonprofit organizations ($925,000 to date), employs local artists and seeks to bring more light, kindness and happiness to the world.    

From left to right: Elizabeth Roberts, Lee Rhodes, me and Lara Anderson - we are a colorful bunch!

WBE's tagline is "where inspiration leads," which was especially fitting today, although I am always inspired after attending one of their events. This morning I was thrilled to host a table of amazing, inspiring, creative, beautiful, entrepreneurial women representing several facets of my life. From my best friend from childhood, Lara Anderson, whose new innovative home d├ęcor product line was inspired by glassybaby's business model, to Elizabeth Roberts, founder and creative director at Wraphabillement, to my dear friend Eliza Kelly from my high tech days and also a childhood friend of my husband (talk about small world!), to my next door neighbor, Laura Gardner, an architect, and a couple of new friends, Graciela Rutkowski, an interior designer, and Lauren Burman of Material Good.  And, last but not least it was a big treat to introduce Seattle Times columnist Nicole Brodeur to WBE.
Each of these women is doing different things but all share a passion for supporting and elevating women, bringing more beauty to our lives and doing business in a more responsible way. I invite you to visit their websites to learn more about each of their stories. I promise you will be inspired!

Fresh green, yellow, blue and white glassybaby lit up the tables at the breakfast.

Sometimes I get teased about my obession with color and my crush on glassybaby. But that’s ok because I truly believe they both have the power to connect people in a unique and positive way. As Lee pointed out this morning, everyone is touched by cancer in some way. And I believe we are all touched by color too, even if we don't realize it. If these tiny vessels can bring hope and joy to people touched by cancer and support organizations working towards a cure, then I am proud to continue spreading the word about the power of glassybaby to bring comfort, peace and hope to our world.

"Evelyn" glassybaby sold at Nordstrom.
And to wrap my morning up into a pretty bow, after the breakfast I stopped by the Estee Lauder counter at Nordstrom only to found out that they are selling the "Evelyn" glassybaby in honor or Evelyn Lauder, with 10% of each sale going to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation that Mrs. Lauder started. I have been a lifetime customer of Estee Lauder (yes, that's my secret, hah!) and I was thrilled to see the lovely pink glassybaby at Nordstrom today.
Thank you Lee, WBE and all of the inspiring women who joined me bright and early this morning! You made my day!



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