how do you do? {Michele Maule}

how do you do michele maule
This week I have the pleasure of interviewing the very talented Michele Maule. I'm sure many of you know Michele's work already. I don't think I'll ever look at a typewriter in quite the same way after seeing how she captures them in her lovely paintings. Michele is a fellow Michigander (at least for another week or so), yet, for the small distance that separates us, I'm embarassed that we've never actually met in person. Sadly, Michigan must bid adieu to Michele, as she is moving back to her native Portland, OR in short order. Personally, I'm sort of moving vicariously through her...but enough about me. Let's find out more about Michele!

How did you start your business? Do you make your living as an artist?
Well, I moved to Michigan from Oregon because my partner was accepted into a great graduate program for painting at Cranbrook academy of art. I came with him feeling pretty confident that I would be able to find a job doing something. I job hunted for several months and wasn't able to find anything! While I was looking for a job I also started to post some new things in my Etsy shop, hoping I could make a little money while I was looking for work. It took a little time, and lots of learning, but eventually I came to conclusion that if I kept up with my Etsy shop, I wouldn't have to keep looking for work. It was really exciting, and scary, but so far so good!

I know you're moving (SOON!). What’s your studio like now? What will it look like in Portland?
Right now my studio is my apartment. We had a living room when we first moved in, but now it's a full on office/studio. I had an easel that I painted at, but there just wasn't room for it. So, I do a lot of painting, and drawing, at my desk. There is a small corner of our bedroom that I keep my small etching press, and I use my kitchen for most of my encaustic work. I am really excited about my studio situation when I move back home. A friend of mine from Portland State started an artist collective in a warehouse very close to downtown. There was an opening for a studio space, and since I was first on the waiting list, I got it! I am really looking forward to having a studio again. Especially a space that I will be sharing with some really fantastic artists.

At what time of the day (or night) are you most creative?
I work best through out the day. I've never been much of a night person. I think my brain kind of starts to shut down after about 8pm.

Any new art/craft would you'd love to learn?
I started to learn screen printing this last summer. I get the basics of it, and have been successful on several prints, but I really wish there was more time in the day for it. I'd love to learn more!

I imagine that you're inspired by what's around you. Any hints on what new subjects we might see after the big move to Portland?
I am really excited about this area of my work, and I wish I could tell you! I have no idea what's in store with my work when I move back. I'm looking forward to it, though!

When you were younger, who did you dream of being?
When I was four I wanted to be Wonder Woman. as I got older I thought of being a teacher, or a veterinarian.

You're heading out the door. Name five things in your handbag.
My phone, chapstick, Bach's Rescue Remedy, a combination lock, and my wallet.

We all could use a little pampering now and then. Name a guilty pleasure.
Reality television!

You have such a cheerful disposition. I imagine you really hamming it up on stage. What’s your favorite karaoke tune?
Anything Joan Jett!

If a film were made about your life, what actor would you choose to play you? Who would be your love interest?
Oh I love this question!! Um....a young John Cusack would definitely be my love interest, and a young Diane Keaton to play me.

Michele, you are so sweet to indulge me with this interview at what I know is a very busy time for you! Good luck with the move--I'm excited to see what will come of it!

Wanna make Michele's move a bit easier? Head on over to her marvelous etsy shop and take advantage of her MOVING SALE!

have a lovely day, Amy
...follow the breadcrumbs ...


let's make {pinwheels}

The temperatures are rising, the days are getting longer, and school's almost out. Sounds like the perfect time for a party, right? Well, why not beckon your guests over with a jolly pinwheel-lined path? Customize with your favorite colors, and have your guests take one home as they part for easy cleanup/party favors!

pinwheel pathway by you.

Sweet, aren't they? Alrighty then. Let's make pinwheels.

IMG_7068 by you.
What you'll need:
One sheet of 8" x 8" cardstock (for each pinwheel) in your favorite design/color (two-sided works best)
One wooden dowel (1/8" diameter by 12" long) per pinwheel
One brad (3/16" brad) per pinwheel
Paper scorer and ruler (or another straight edge)
Standard single-hole punch
Glue stick, glue dots, or tape

IMG_7072 by you.
First, you'll need to cut your cardstock to 8" x 8" squares if you haven't already done so. Using a paper scorer and a straight edge, score each paper square along both diagonals. If you don't have a scorer, don't fret, you can just make a light mark with a pencil.

IMG_7075 by you.
You'll end up with a nice, barely noticeable line that you can now use as a guide.

IMG_7081 by you.
Using your scissors, cut along the scored lines until you almost get to the center where they intersect. Stop cutting when you get about 1 cm (or 1/2 inch) from the center.

IMG_7082 by you.
Now, this next part requires a little finesse, but you can do it! Using your hole punch, punch a hole in the very center of the square. I find it easiest to slide the hole punch in one of the slits, gently pulling the two halves apart until you reach the center.

IMG_7085 by you.
It should look like this!

IMG_7087 by you.
Now, if you look at your square, you'll notice that it comprises four triangles. Punch one hole in the lower right side of each triangle only, getting as close to the corner as you can but still leaving a few millimeters of paper on each edge.

IMG_7092 by you.
Here's what we're going for.

IMG_7095 by you.
Get out your gluestick/glue dots/tape dispenser and apply adhesive all around the four corner holes you just punched.

IMG_7097 by you.
Grab one of the corners and bend it up toward the center hole so that the two holes line up. Press down until it sticks.

IMG_7099 by you.
Working in an anti-clockwise direction, lift the remaining corners and press them down on the center.

IMG_7101 by you.
After the four corners are folded in, you'll have something like this.

IMG_7102 by you.
Now, take one brad and press it thorough the front of the pinwheel.

IMG_7105 by you.
Flip over the pinwheel and splay the tabs on the brad wide apart.

IMG_7110 by you.
Place a dowel on top of the brad tabs, leaving about one centimeter of wood above the brad.

IMG_7114 by you.
Wrap the tabs of the brad tightly around the dowel (you may need to use pliers), one over the top of the other.
IMG_7119 by you.
Flip your pinwheel over and enjoy! As I showed in the first photo, I love how these look lining a sidewalk, but they also look great "planted" in a flower pot (use sand), or even in a vase as a festive centerpiece.

have a lovely day, Amy
...follow the breadcrumbs ...


alphabet soup {a}

What begins with {a}? Well, for starters,

Animal Alphabet Print
the alphabet




Little Paper Airplane earrings

apple of my eye




Micro Tile Succulent

have a lovely day, Amy
...follow the breadcrumbs ...


window shopping: jess james jake

window shopping: jessjamesjake
Could this vintage shop be any more adorable? I mean, I know vintage is pretty hot, but these items (and photos) are smokin. These four caught my eye first, but there's plenty more where they came from! Check out jess james jake for more goodies.

Clockwise from top left: Bumblebee plaid dress, Midcentury tassle umbrella, Midcentury modern tea party, Hot Pink Samsonite suitcase.

have a lovely day, Amy
...follow the breadcrumbs ...


and the winner is...

Drumroll, please!

Mystic Flight
I'm happy to announce the winner of The Sunshine Studio giveaway. Congratulations to Janil, the winner of this gorgeous necklace. Thanks to all who entered. What a great variety of book recommendations! Lory has a lot of reading to do!
have a lovely day, Amy
...follow the breadcrumbs ...


the way I see it

So, I've become a little obsessed with photoshop lately. Though it's been lots of fun fiddling around with my work, tweaking the exposure and the colors, etc., I realize that I need to spend more time figuring out how to use my camera to the fullest and not just rely on editing after the fact. More attention to composition, exposure, focus, lighting. It's a lot to keep track of. And I've got a lot to learn. This week, I give you my totally unedited (not even cropped) shots! Golly, I feel a little naked with this bunch. Go easy on me.

open bokeh
open bokeh



in knots
in knots

in line
in line



have a lovely day, Amy
...follow the breadcrumbs ...



Winter is tough for me. Don't get me wrong. I love the beauty of the first real snow and the holiday cheer of wintertime. And don't even get me started on the food. Stick-to-your-ribs, ready-for-hibernation type recipes. I'm a sucker for a good casserole, or a big bowl of soup with a hunk of bread to go along with. And hey, I even like winter sports, especially skiing and skating, even though I'm not much good at either. The trouble is, I seem to really glom onto the whole idea of hibernation. Eating more, moving less. Enjoying my little cave.

I think you can probably see where I'm headed here. It's finally spring (actually, it almost feels like summer) and I feel like I haven't really moved in months. The birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming, and I feel like a (not-so-little) bear waking up from a too-long nap. Still, I'm thankful for spring, for more sun, for warmer temperatures, and for the inspiration to get out of the house and get back in shape.

It's time to move more, and eat less. These things don't come naturally to me. But, like I said, inspiration is all around me. Last weekend, we attended the Gina Relays in Hillsdale. It was motivational, if not kinda sickening, to watch how quickly those men and women can run around the track, jump over hurdles, etc. This is part of the women's steeplechase race. I'm sure I could never do this. Without spraining my ankle, at least. They actually let the crowd down on the track all around the water. I just wanted to give the athletes a little more space.

Anyway, I just want to report that I did get my blood pumping with a little jog this morning. No hurdles, but I did get a bit of an upper body workout too, just trying to hold on to our weimie's leash (she was very interested in saying hello to any other living thing this morning). And doncha know, I feel great! I love the feeling of clam and relaxation that I get after a run. Why don't I do this more often?

Now, if I could just fight of the urge for a donut....

have a lovely day, Amy
...follow the breadcrumbs ...


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