Believe in Fairies

If you see the magic in a fairy tale, you can face the future.

There was once a little girl who believed that the dandelion flower was a Fairy. Her mother would help her collect one and then create a small house in a box where it could spend the day. In the evening they would set the fairy free.


Top of the Tops


Scarlets bones


Nothin but wood


Crone Designs



Keep your imagination alive and free . . . believe in Fairies.



Furbulous Muses



Kate Funk and AC courtesy of Milwaukee Magazine

I had planned to write about Artists who use their pets in their creations (not in a Mad Scientist way). As I was researching and collecting images I became more drawn to the simple treat of seeing the Creatives with their Muses. Kate Funk has such a sweet relationship with her handsome little furry model AC that I thought there must be more! Here are just a few I found.

The Best Cat Book Ever from Kate Funk on Vimeo.


Paul Klee with his wife Lily and cat Bimbo


Artist Louis Wain and his cat Peter


Ai Weiwei and one of his favorite cats


Salvador Dali and one of his Ocelots

Want to see more Artists with their pets?


Check out this board on Pinterest!



Kate Funk – Spotlight on a Creative

If you know me you know I like cats and I like Creatives. Therefore, it is no surprise that this week I am Spotlighting the artistic Kate Funk. She is a graduate of the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design and has brought all her talents together with AC, the ultimate coworker to create a whimsical line of cards and calendars. Her pictures always put a smile on my face!


Kate Funk

1. Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Kate Funk.  I’ve always had a really hard time answering the question of what I do since there are so many things.  I guess photographer is the best answer – although shooting photographs has become a very small fraction of my work week compared to the amount of time I spent making the costumes/scenes to shoot and the final products with the photographs on them.
AC as Bob Ross
2. How has your Art changed over time?
When I first went to art school for photography I did the standard black and white thing that we all do.  It really wasn’t my thing, though.  It wasn’t until I started working with color photography that I really found myself.  I did a lot of experimental work with toy cameras and polaroids, but the subject just always seemed to be how I saw color.  When I first started photographing AC I didn’t see it as art like my other photography because I was just doing something fun and using a digital camera for the first time.  It eventually dawned on me that I could put more work into the photos and turn them into something that was both fun and art.
3.What inspires you?
Color.  Humor.
4. What’s your strongest memory of childhood?
There are so many.  But I guess if it’s something in relation to what I do now the ones that come to mind are:
When I was little my family would go on vacations every summer.  I would always bring my camera along and take a million photos of every mundane thing we saw along the road.  I had this camera bag around my shoulder one year and my brother and I were walking along a trail and he stopped and looked at me and said, “You should be a photographer.  You look like you could be that.”  After that I got it stuck in my head that that would be awesome, but I assumed it wasn’t a realistic career.  It wasn’t until many years later in high school that I finally got to take my first photography class and realized it was something I really did love.  It was senior year and I had already got accepted into UW-Madison for zoology, but I immediately changed my major to photography as I realized there was nothing else I really wanted to do.
I also spent a lot of time with my grandfathers growing up since they were my babysitters.  I come from a family with lots of creative skills who like to make things rather than buy them and I remember spending a lot of time in one of my grandfather’s workshop while he would make things including wooden toys for us.  On one particular day when he was watching me we were hanging out in the workshop and he had this box of kittens in there for some reason.  I sat and played with all day while he worked.  Nothing spectacular happened, but I remember it very clearly.  It was the best day ever.
AC is the PURRfect helper when Kate makes his costumes
5. What was the first thing you ever made?
I know I must have done countless art project growing up, but the first thing I really remember making where I got to pick what I wanted to do instead of doing an assignment was a large mosaic table.  I found an image I liked of a little boy holding a bowl with a lizard in it and translated it into different colors. I rolled out all the clay, cut all the pieces for it, and glazed them all in the different colors.  My dad took an old table and made a frame around the edges to set all the tiles into and I put a dark blue grout around all of them.  It turned out beautiful and I really love it, but keep it in my parents basement for fear that anyone will use and ruin it.  Which now that I think about it is pretty sad – since no one gets to see it down there.
6. What jobs have you done other than being an artist?
I’ve had countless part-time jobs since I was 15.  Mostly retail or food related such as a waitress or barista.  My favorite job was working at a camera/film store where I was in charge of the video department.  What that really meant was I got to take people’s old VHS and super 8 home movies and transfer them to DVD.  So I basically spent all day just sitting and watching peoples’ home movies.  It was amazing.  My other favorite job which actually ended up changing the course of my life was working at a local paper/gift store called Broadway Paper. I was just looking for a part-time job at the time for some extra cash and fell in love with the store – especially the greeting card section.  It was so different from all the greeting cards I had seen in the past – which were just the basic types you see at a Hallmark or Target.  It eventually became the inspiration for me to start my own greeting card line.
7. What is your dream project?
I think I’m actually doing it right now.  I can’t think of anything I’d rather be doing with my life.
AC Rotten – Phone Case
8. What is the one thing in your studio you could not live without?
Liquitex spray paint.  It’s the most amazing thing and changed the way I do my backgrounds for my dioramas.  I’ve never been a huge painter with a brush and started out using mainly paper for everything which presented a lot of problems – it was hard to find larger pieces in the color I wanted and that didn’t have a sheen that would reflect my lighting in the photographs.  And most normal spray paint out there is pretty limited on colors and generally has a sheen, too (and as I’m very sensitive to chemicals I would always get sick while using it).  I finally found Liquitex spray paint which is acrylic based so it’s almost odorless and has a matte finish.  And their selection of colors is amazing.
9. Do you collect anything?
I have a huge collection of antique, polaroid, and toy cameras.  I finally had to cut myself off as I ran out of space to display them.  I have a lot of family ones in the collection, too, that mean a lot to me.  My favorite is a vintage Ricolet that my grandfather brought back with him from the Korean War.  I’ve always had sentimental attachments to family heirlooms and it means a lot to me that it ended up in my hands.
10. What is your favorite word and why?
Awesome.  I use it way too much.  It’s even ended up in the title of my book and calendar.
11. What is your favorite recipe?
I have a huge sweet tooth, but one thing I’ve always hated is chocolate.  This was a recipe my mother used to make special for me when I was little since I loved cookies, but didn’t want chocolate in them like everyone else in our house.  It’s super simple, but delicious.
Coconut Oatmeal Macaroons
1 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. margarine
2 eggs
2 c. quick cooking oatmeal
2 c. flour
1 c. coconut
1 c. corn flakes
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
Mix ingredients together.  Drop by teaspoon onto a well greased cookie sheet.  Bake 325 degrees for 10 minutes.
12. Do you “Give Back” to any organizations?
Up until about a year ago this job was more of just a side hobby that I never thought would turn into anything so I wasn’t really in a position to be able to do anything to really give back other than donations for local shelters to help with fundraising.  Now that it’s become profitable we’re looking into doing work with a local no-kill cat shelter here in Milwaukee, but nothing is finalized at this point.
Kate and AC
To see more Kate and AC check out these links!

Jon and Mary – Spotlight on a Creative

The oldest piece of steel is approximately 4000 years old and there have been found treasures from Sparta, China, East Africa and more. What most see as a cold heavy ore, Jon and Mary, the husband and wife creative team behind WATTO have turned into an art. This talented duo has a studio in Tucson, Arizona and they kindly took time to answer some questions for me to share with you.


1. Who are you and what do you do?

“Jon WATTO Watson & Mary Spencer- We are a husband and wife team and have several things going on. We started with “The Metal Gardener.” which is functional and custom metal sculptures. We then began WATTO Distinctive Metal Wear with metal accessories Outlaw Kritters developed due to the success of our animal icons. Mary also has an assembled jewelry line called WATTO’s Wife.”

2. How has your Art changed over time?

“The Metal Gardener began in 2007 with metal sculptures based on nature and organic shapes. In 2009 we started WATTO Distinctive Metal Wear with belt buckles based on the tattoo and music culture. We were doing a lot of art shows then and to make our items more accessible price wise we added key chains and money clips. We thought we were designing for guys, but woman liked the rugged look too and soon Mary was adding bling and making jewelry for WATTO as well. WATTO’s Wife developed as an outlet for Mary to have a little creativity on her own.”

Slide 1

3. What inspires you?

“Nature, motorcycles (Jon), animals (our two dogs Nipper and Tucker), raw materials like metal and wood, tattoo imagery and fashion.”

4. What’s your strongest memory of childhood?

“Jon- Playing hide-and-seek in the cornfield.”

“Mary- spending hours reading, painting or drawing and making things. I enjoyed spent a lot of time alone.”

WATTO's wife  collage


Wattos Wife Jewelry

5.What was the first thing you ever made?

“Jon- Made his bicycle into a chopper by extending the forks and added a big sissy bar and whip flag. Even then he loved motorcycles.”


“Mary- Can’t remember that far back as I was making things and drawing like most children from the time I was a toddler. I took private drawing and painting classes in high school and I made miniatures such as mini framed paintings and baked goods with tiny little grocery sacks which I sold at a local miniature store.”

6. What jobs have you done other than being an artist?

“Jon worked on helicopter weapon systems in the army for 4 years then worked as a Graphic designer for many years. Finally he apprenticed at a metal shop while working as an exhibit tech at the Children’s Museum before creating our own company.”

“Mary worked as a product planner for several social expression, puzzle and craft companies as well as a prop artist and floral designer.

7. What is your dream project?

“Jon-Working on custom Japanese sport bikes.”

“Mary-Not really any one project, but I would love to have indefinite time and funds to work more on developing my painting skills and other creations.”


8. What is the one thing in your studio you could not live without?

“Jon- Angle grinder I use it for cutting grinding and sanding.”

“Mary- My computer as it has all of my files for the business.”

9. Do you collect anything?

“Jon- No”

“Mary- Mexican pottery- I love the decorative paint and the handmade nature.”

10. What is your favorite word and why?

“Jon- ‘Yes.’ Love it when people say yes to me.”

“Mary- chocolate! – Need I explain?!”

11. What is your favorite recipe?

“Jon-Pancakes we eat Pamela gluten-free with agave syrup.”

“Mary- chocolate chip cookies made with Garbanzo beans, nut butter, honey and “Enjoy” brand chocolate chips. I am gluten free so these are my indulgence.”


Craving 4 More Chickpea Cookies

12. Do you “Give Back” to any organizations?

“We have several organizations that we give to annually including Seeing Eye Dogs and The Elephant Sanctuary. We have also donated many of our items to charity events over the years. We are particularly interested in animal welfare causes. Through our new website we will be donating to a different animal welfare organization every quarter.”


Tucker, Nipper, Mary and Jon

Jon and Mary have so much going on and I think it is all terrific! Please check out the links below to see more of their work!


Facebook WATTO:

Facebook Outlaw Krtitters:

Pinterest WATTO:

Pinterest Outlaw Kritters:





Watto Apparel



Click It and Create It



bench front seat


The seatbelt – one of those things you automatically use. At least, I HOPE you just “click it” without a thought!

One of the great things about looking at the world from a creative’s perspective is you see the other wonderful uses for the everyday.


Cordura Nylon – Photo courtesy of .retool.

I first found .retool. on Etsy. I was instantly drawn to their fabulous line of “Durable. Stylish. Functional. Handmade. Vegan.” bags, wallets, laptop cases and more.




They are handmade in San Francisco by the amazing design team of Jacob and Jamye in what they happily refer to as  the “.retool. galactic headquarters.”

While learning more about them I discovered some more Creative’s “clicking'” into the seatbelt’s potential. Please check out their work too.


reclaimed seatbelt cushions from ting london


Couch Guitar Strap’s Camera Strap


Loved Again by Jane – seatbelt rose cuff


Stay Creative!