Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Today is the last day of my nablopomo blog-every-day-for-a-month-marathon!! Yay! This has been fun and very good training for my art-self. Even though there are days when I feel like I have nothing to say, there were always the ATCs. So here you go.

The other thing that is interesting about art is that it gets personal - and sometimes that personal stuff isn't great for the world-wide-web, y'know? So perhaps some of the best of the good art I made this month didn't make it to your eyes. >Sigh<>

Well, it is always good to know that there is more art on the way: we ATC at the Library tonight. Full details at - the ATC page. 6:00: be there! There are usually about 30 of us and we have some poetry to stimulate our imaginations tonight. I might also bring a special treat ... some kind of art play medium ... You'll have to be there to share the prize with us!

See you there! Thanks for your company this month.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Sounds like a cheer or a chorus from an exuberant song. Actually: it is an ATC!
And because here at the end of the month I have very little to say other than how much I am liking The Great Library ATC Swap and how eager I am to get it all ready for you. (I really think that you will like it. There are so many ideas for ATCs that give a fabulous effect and I think that you will have at least as much fun as I have had making all the cards that I made for the photos in the book.) Because of that I will show you an ATC that I made for the book yesterday.

So: let's go get you an ATC How-To Book.

Monday, April 28, 2008


Hullo. These vowel ATCs are turning out to be a series: same background, same set of stickers, some variation of decor.
Well, sorry to be brief today, but I have to go arrange my morning and make some space for the final rewrite of The Great Library ATC Swap! I'll see you tomorrow.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Five more letters

Well, we have four more days in April, and I had mulled the idea of Greek letters over in my mind for days, but I couldn't quite get them chosen and ordered in my mind, so I have decided to go back to our alphabet and highlight the vowels - which makes five, I know. We will just have to celebrate May Day with a vowel.

The background for this card is explained on page 66 in The Great Library ATC Swap. :) I just got the final proof-read back from fabulous Iris. (Where would I be without her???) I will pretty up those last bits and then announce publication!

Well, I wish you a merry Sunday. I am off to sew costumes for the Mother Earth Awakens play. See you tomorrow.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Z is for Zeal

Good Morning. Well we are on the last day of the alphabet. I present to you the letter Z.

And I think that zeal is a good word. I was talking with a social worker yesterday about her work and the topic of getting out of family situations that are not helpful to young students came up. We acknowledged that getting out of violence, poor health, poverty, chemical use/abuse, and other chronic stresses takes an enormous amount of energy. Especially if these have been a part of a family system for generations. I was thinking this morning that zeal would be a good quality to have if one were trying such a move.

And again, I have this thought: Is it a passion or enthusiasm to get out of a situation? Or does ardor and spirit work best if we want to move in to a new place?

Friday, April 25, 2008

Y is for yen - as in longing - will you swap with me?

Wow. My ATC notebook is getting really full. I can't wait for the swap next Wednesday. We will be making ATCs with poetry on them to celebrate National Poetry Month. (Go to the ATC page at for details.) Will you swap with me? Almost all of this alphabet series is available for swapping - scroll down, find one that you like and send me an email at I will trade for any type of ATC, any method of construction.
I can't wait!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

X is for xyloid

Have you ever heard of that word? I never had - except that it comes from the same Greek root that xylophone comes from meaning "wood"! Xyloid means "of, relating to, or like wood". So some one could have a xyloid personality, or xyloid paneling on their station wagon, or, of course, a xyloid ATC. Here you go:

This is another lesson in my soon to be published book: The Great Library ATC Swap due out soon!! The book has over 30 lessons to help you and your Library ATC Swap group keep interested all throughout the year. I will tell you when it is ready! (I am excited! The book has turned out so well. It will be a joy and a help to all of you ATC artists and teachers, plus it has ideas which are easily brought into classrooms, and scout troops, and all places where handwork and conversation make good community. (Like libraries.)

One of my favorite quotes from our swaps is from a scout leader who said that this is the only activity that she has brought to her children that has goetten every child engaged!

Well, I am off to my day, but let me just say first that X is also for my best girl!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Well, it is very late and I must go back to bed, but here is your ATC for the morning.

Good night. morning.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


It occurs to me that the ability to be valiant on the outside requires that some stuff be present on the inside. The root of the word courageous is the French word for heart. We have to have love going on inside in order to be able to boldly go where our fears tell us to make a wide circle.

I have just recently figured this out and I am still curiously inspecting it.

You've heard the old adage that courage isn't the absence of fear, but rather feeling fear and going along anyway. Well the "going along" takes love. I was once told that as well as agony being a great motivator ("no pain, no gain") so is desire. I have done some things in my life that have broken all the rules and gotten me, miraculously I first thought, where I had wanted to be. But it isn't so much a miracle I'm thinking now. I knew where I wanted to be and the desire to be there was, in sum, far, far: tons stronger than all the circling voices in my head telling me to "Watch out!"

I am doing it again: walking towards something that I love wanting every day to heed the desires for those joys rather than the earth shattering fears I have always attended until now.

So I wish this for you and I as we wend our way to the end of the alphabet: that we may have a powerful love inside each of us enabling all of the necessary journeys that we need - or even want - to make.

What gives you joy?

For the good of all, to harm none.

Monday, April 21, 2008


I had to look up untoward - it means unruly. I think that I might get a little unruly.

I really love the creative process. I think that we should study it more, and certainly as a practice we should all just DO it more. Where we have to go to get the information in our brains, in our hearts, in our souls, and then assimilate it all to present a cohesive, meaningful piece:this journey not only brings us results, but the journey itself makes our brains smarter.

Now, if I was a brain scientist I could tell you this in a bunch of impressive language that might convince you how I was correct - but you know I am telling you a true thing. Art makes connections in our brains - blending color, and texture, and media, with thought and with emotion,: say "red yarn, and gold tinsel, and black pen line with a memory of the city when I was five". Those things don't necessarily go together until the pathways in my brain have the memory and bring that feeling out onto the paper. And once the synapses have fired along this new path my brain has grown stronger and more able. If I do it again tomorrow, I will be even stronger, even smarter.

There are some learning practices which only use one part of the brain - but art uses it all. And when I know how to connect right brain color with left brain words for a picture that I am sewing, when my right hand is very used to co-ordinating with my left hand, then I also have the brain pathways made for when I want a solution to a business problem or something else.

Being creative, artistic, musical is pretty unruly work. And that chaos makes us smarter.

Funny how that goes.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

T is for Triangle

Machine stitched fabric bits under tulle, with dimensional paint edging, on tissue paper "parchment", the directions for which you will find in The Great Library ATC Swap, due out on May 1st.


Made me think of those books that talk about the sacred feminine (downward triangle) and the sacred masculine (upward triangle).

I keep wondering what it would be like to live in a country where the sacred is a lifestyle lived by everybody. In Thailand, for example, 96% of the people are Buddhist. Religious service is compulsory for a year when a boy reaches manhood. Buddhism teaches, among other things how to live without practicing violence and with the practice of service. Imagine living like that.

Of course Thailand has a world famous sex trade and that is not a life without violence, so it isn't like anyone has it figured out. But anyway, I keep wondering.

My plan is for Universal Art Practice. That each one of us would be able to make a little art everyday, all throughout our lives.

Well, see ya tomorrow.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


Today, S is for sunnespot! Now a sunspot is a vortex of elements and magnetic activity on the surface of the sun. But a sunnespot is a vortex of art and fine craft activity on the coast of Maine, the web, and soon: on your bookshelf!

The Great Library ATC Swap has had its final draft, and has gone out for its final proofread. Yay! So this is what it is:

Revel with Robinsunne and the Rockport Public Library ATC Swap group as we meet throughout the year to construct the tiny paper confections and the powerful visual statements that are Artist Trading Cards. Packed with pointers, and possibilities, and over 30 projects to help any hometown create their own ATC Swap Group!

Public libraries are both the perfect resource and common ground for any community, where you can gather and experience what the Rockportians have: the joy of making art with old and brand new friends!

I will have the publication news for you on or about May 1st.

Be Fabulous.
Have a terrific day!

Friday, April 18, 2008

R is for Robinsunne

Today I am taking for me. (I don't mean to imply that all that laundry that has been piling up while I have been doing rewrite won't get done today, or that I won't sweep the living room which has needed it for a while, or that a few meals won't get made for some of my favorite people) I just mean to tell you that writing this book, The Great Library ATC Swap has put my heart where I have wanted it to be for decades. I am feeling some joy here. The little shrinky-dink up in the lefthand corner of today's ATC says "LOVE" which is what I feel. I love writing books. I love my kids. I love my friends. I love being an artist. I am pretty much crazy about the folks at the Rockport Public Library, I adore and am fabulously grateful to Iris for her help with this book, and there is more. I am glad and appreciative that there is more. Makes a woman feel the way she ought.

The book is looking good, let me tell you. It goes out for it's final proof-read this afternoon. After that, because I have chosen the astounding thrill of self publishing, it will get it's final polish and be sent out for publication at I am hoping to have the announcement for you by May 1st!

This is my second book. The first was Nannee, about my pretend grandmother. (I didn't have grandmothers growing up: one had died long before I was born and the other lived very far away, so I made one up.) Nannee is an herbalist, and the story is about an afternoon spent in her company. It is a picture book with the pictures and the text cut from paper. The book comes with a free greeting card of one of the images in the book printed in "thermography" or raised printing. I couldn't print the book with papercuts but the feeling of a page of paper lace is wonderous. I wanted you to feel that amazing texture and thermography does it. Nannee was also self-published and is available at

Well, I am off to rewrite-land now. See you tomorrow. Have a very good day.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Q is for Question

Well, now, the first question I want to ask myself is why did I forget to publish Tuesday's post?? I bumped it to "draft" when my computer hiccuped and meant to come back to it - but I forgot!! Now I am not eligible for the Nablopomo prize. Phooey. Well, I will finish out the alphabet. So we are at Q.

I really like how this ATC worked out. The colors, everything. Well, listen: I am off to work on the book. I will see you tomorrow with an "R" ATC.

Oh yay.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

P is for Paper

Paper: background paper! In my new book, The Great Library ATC Swap, due out in just a couple of weeks (want instant notification? Join us at: and you will get notices for the books, the swaps and all the fun in the SunneSpot world)
Anyway, back to today's topic: Paper. In the book I talk about how much I love to make a big piece of background paper to cut up later for Artist Trading Card backgrounds. I like it so much that at the end of the How-To chapter I have included a few of my favorite techniques. Today's card comes from one of the big papers.

To begin with I took a piece of cardstock and painted it all over with gel medium. Then I lay a piece of crinkled colored tissue paper over the top and pressed it flat with just my hand. The next morning I stamped it with some of my handmade rubber stamps and Voila! lots of backers, ready to go! Here is today's ATC:I had some gold! tissue paper in my stash - cool, eh? I found, however that the shiny-ness of the paper didn't let it take the rubber stamping as well. I could try one of those stamping pads that are for metal and glass and that might work. The regular tissue tho prints just fine. I love all the crinkles. And that is a chocolate coin wrapper there. And publishing is on my mind these days...

So tell me: will you try this technique?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

O is for Once upon a time...

Isn't that a beautiful way to begin a story? A woman I know used to begin stories like that. I have begun some with those words too. Once upon a time, when was it? When was it not? There was a little girl who loved to cut paper into the tiny, necessary items for the folk of her doll houses. They had pots and pans made of black construction paper made shiny with a layer of white glue, miniature newspapers to read, and even a bureau in the bedroom to hold their tiny handkercheifs.

Just kinda gets you in the mood to make a story, doesn't it?

So, yesterday I made 8 ATCs for my book (which I am working to get into your hands by about May Day) and this morning I am looking at them and realizing that I LOVE to make the cards in a series. All the same background, or all the same theme, or, in this case, all the same construction technique. All of yesterday's cards are to illustrate the project that we will have at the library in August: Favorite Places. In August I figure that we might have some visitors from away come to join us at the Swap and that taking pictures of various Rockport locales will be on their agenda anyway, so I thought that we'd use those photos to make 3-D ATCs.

Want a peek?

Here you go: This is Andre the seal. He lived with a family here in Rockport back in the 60's. One of his human sisters wrote his story and you can find it at your library if you would like to read a very sweet story about a dad who was interested in all the folks in his harbor. Andre lives on in his granite likeness in the Rockport Harbor Park, and he loves to have visitors drop in for a group shot.
Will you come visit us Rockportians this summer? We will be at the library on June 14th and 25th, July 12th and 30th, and August 9th and 27th. We will show you how to make ATCs of your stories, Once upon a time. When was it? When was it not?

Monday, April 14, 2008

N is for Numbers

So today I am going to talk about numbers a little bit. I am not a good enough mathematician to hope to make a living that way, but I have a delight for numbers, the clarity of addition (so neat and crisp) the intrigue of multiplication (hidden in the sentence are stacks and stacks of numbers). It is all rather ... big. A person could have a lot of respect for the concept of counting everything.

So I have made you an ATC of counting, perhaps counting one's friends, counting kindnesses, counting on support.

I am working like a dog ... um, a literary dog?? ... on the rewrite of The Great Library ATC Swap. I am pleased with how it is going. I can hardly wait to get it out to you. (I know that I am counting Iris for her fabulous proofing skills.)

Keep tuned. Lovely Monday to you.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

M is for memorabilia

Good Morning. Well, yesterday we had a Swap at the library - our first Saturday swap. About 30 people came again! Yay! It was a two hour swap this time and artists came and went within those two hours, which was nice I think, for everyone to be able to adapt the event to their day.

Iris the, was there in her Librarian Hat, but was really my ATC co-facilitator. Saturdays in general are busier than Wednesdays and we were thinking that two are better than one. Also our child-to-adult ratio was reversed with twice as many children as adults, and two leaders were helpful in that respect as well. So next month I will be her co-facilitator. We'll be switching back and forth.

Anyway, lots of fun was had, lots of art was made, quite a few cards got swapped, friendships were enhanced. Everyone left full and happy.

This morning I am thinking about my book again (I have to get back to the corrections and rewrite today) and so I have used one of my cards from yesterday to illustrate todays letter: M, which uses two of the lessons that are included in my book.

M stands for memorabilia.

This is a card that I made yesterday. I made a papercut (the March lesson) from regular scrapbook paper. The lesson in the book is easy and gives georgous results, but this one was tough because scrapbook paper is very thick and difficult to fold, but I like how it came out despite all that. I glued it to some mulberry paper that I had and then down on cardstock for strength. I cut a definition from my cut-able thesaurus, which I like because ATCs often take us back to times in our past and help us with our memories. I added a hand-made envelope (a lesson from the keep going section of my book) and filled it with some notes that I received yesterday that I want to save.

I wish you good times today which will stick sweetly in your memories. - R

Saturday, April 12, 2008

L is for love

What else could L stand for?

Maybe a zillion things, but today, for me, L is for Love.

And the best love I have ever had is the stuff that runs my heart around my children and around my studio. I love being my children's mom and I love being an artist.

In saying goodnight to my children last night (saying goodnight to children is always a process, not an event) I was thinking: I am happy. This is a really good life. I am the priveleged parent of two, fabulous people. They are talented, and loud, and creative, and nag me, and demand, in their astonishing wonderfulness way more of me than I ever, ever imagined I had. I am a way better human being now than I was before they came into my life. They are my angels. They, in their need to be exquisite have elicited in me: love. My love means something here.

And my love means something in my studio. Oh, I have visions of grandeur, and a vast millions - I like those visions. I also have such profound experiences in my studio. I know God here. I have always wanted to share this with other people, and this week I am beginning to see that I do. Now I don't talk about the Divine when I teach people how to cut and paste little ATC art beauties at the library, but it is there. I can see it in the children's eager body language as they share glue and swap cards, and I can see it in the delight the adults have as we share bits of color and thought with each other. This thing that I know to be true: how good I feel when I do this work, seems to be helping other people to feel good too.

Thank You. This is a really good life.

Friday, April 11, 2008

K is for kindhearted

There are people in my world who are kindhearted. I feel seen by these people. I feel that I have been given a gift simply by being in their presence. I want to be more like them.

I was thinking about how some religions teach that human beings are a part of the great, whole, spinning circle that is our world, and that some religions teach that we humans are special, and separate from the rest of that which is the earth. Having been raised in a family and culture that practiced the latter, I began to wonder about what it would have been like to grow up practicing at-one-ment.

I think kindheartedness would be more natural to me. As it is I must learn this anew. And I want to: because it feels so good to get. Thank you my kindhearted friends.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

J is for Junk!

HA! J is for a lot of things, and even for one of my favorite people, but for my daily blog here, today, J is for JUNQUE. That is my spelling for stuff that has artistic merit, not just garbage.

So: this card is made out of odds and ends, which a person might toss, but for that person being so wierded out by how much of what we buy that will never decompose. I don't feel half so badly about throwing away the bananas that didn't get eaten in time, as I do about the plastic stuff.

O.K., so here we have bottle caps and tear-off can seals - half made of plastic, a woven bead angel that I accidentally ran over with the wheel on my chair, (ouch!), and hearts cut from metal-tape-over-craft-foam.

See how pretty all that can be?
Lots more details about how to make cards like this are in my forthcoming book: The Great Library ATC Swap. Want to get the notice for the book as soon as it is published? Join my art group at Yahoo! There are photos, a calendar of my teaching schedule, and notices of shows, sales and book publishings! It would be great to see you there!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

I am for information, aren't you?

Good Morning. The ninth day, the ninth letter. (What am I going to do when the month runs out of letters?)
Well this morning I got out my cut-up-able thesaurus and looked around for inspiration. I found inspiration in information, as I am sure you do too.

I was lucky enough to be in a study group that read about Mr. Franklin. Now there was a guy filled with information. What he had to know to write Poor Richard's Almanac was astounding, but he was also an international diplomat for decades, a businessman, and an inventor. How nice to have the freedom to keep saying "What if?" and "I wonder?" and how amazing to have the courage to go find answers all of one's life. Very cool.

And from another intellect, this adjunction: Read a book.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

H is for HOME, Haleluia!

O.K., so yesterday I was in mom-mode, doing the waiting thing, and I started drawing on this lovely Paper For Pens: kinda shiny, ink just zooms along on the page. I was doodling to figure out what today's ATC would be about.
After going through some of the more absurd ones, (hellion, hen, Heimlich), I moved on to some others:
This morning I did a little cut and paste and there we are:
I am just recently coming into that set of thinkings that are all about loving ourselves where we are, loving the chaos as well as the glory. My home is full, really full, of glory. It is, we are, I am really full of chaos too. Which is what makes the glory all that more miraculous.

A long time ago I was talking to my Harvard Divinity School friend, Rudy, about angels and perfection vs. humanity and the lush world of feelings. It isn't always pretty, but it is here, it is what we have got, and I believe in a God/dess who is curious and interested, as well as loving, and wouldn't have made all of these lush feelings if we weren't supposed to feel them.
I believe in a Universe that makes a world to be experienced and learned from. If we were all supposed to be perfect, why waste time making us human? Just to send us to Hell? That is a very kinky God in my opinion. (This is my blog, I can be opinionated here.)
So, to be full of feelings, (as Bitsa would say, "gifts from God"), and mistakes, and chaos, and to bear witness to the breakthrough into Glory in all her Earthly beauty is, well, good.

So here we all are: in a neighborhood of mistakes, and loving, and chaos, and glory. Pleased to meet you, neighbor.

Monday, April 7, 2008

G is for good

Good things - an incomplete list:the growing ATC community in Rockport
the freedom of a certain moose with some effort by my household
Traci Bautista's how-to video from
my camera to computer link
my camera
my computer
the various blues of ocean water around the world
history books
and, of course, art supplies.
Today's ATC was made from tissue paper glued to a kind of parchment paper, which was then rubber stamped with a 4" x 4" stamp that I carved for a class with Susan Sorrell, (who is teaching at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in May, and who I highly recommend, and would be attending it myself if not for my job), and then the "good" was handwritten. Now that I have been playing with acrylic gel medium, I want to try the tissue to parchment thing with gel meduim.
See ya tomorrow. Good day to you.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

April 6th in the Land of Nablopomo - F is for Festival

Just in case you didn't know, I am posting once a day in the month of April in a contest with I decided to make an ATC a day for my posts. Yesterday I was busy: I made 4.
F is for Festival.
We celebrated Cambodian New Year with some friends. I made a dancer:
Surrounded some praying monks with yellow cut paper designs:
Watched some elephants on parade: And a happy new year was had indeed.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Good morning. Saturday. Busy Day. We are off to celebrate the Cambodian New Year with some friends. I have been looking on the internet for some images - because guess why? We are going to make Cambodian ATC's this afternoon!
Now we have all the EQUIPMENT - including images - to make our New Year ATC's.
See ya later.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Thursday, April 3, 2008

C - Controversy

Good Morning. Today I am thinking of controversy. The landscape is a bit dull, and in this photo even a bit darker than the actual ATC. This is metal tape again on foam craft sheet. I am in agony, and my head is pounding. See ya tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

B is for Buddha

Good Morning.
Today I bring you a Buddha. Good for me to meditate on the possibilities there...

I have been thinking about anger. (Mine.) They say that anger is energy. (To get out and do what needs to be done: lift cars off of children, instigate revolutions, and such.) I think that the Buddha would tell me to notice it. Not have it, not let it have me, not act it necessairily, especially not at the moment, when I am not sure what needs to be done. So, much though throwing chairs and screaming is entertaining in those mind movies of mine, I am getting the little bird of thought that there might be something more potent for all this energy making itself available to me. I open myself to the Universe on this.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Audacious Aunties

Here is my first letter ATC:

The letter A. I am working on a Hawaiian mini quilt design to day to maybe, maybe teach this fall if I am not too late. Maybe I will have it far enough along tomorrow to show to you. See you then - R