Tag Archives: gifts

Puppet Alchemy

Despite it’s simplicity, the puppet is one of the most sophisticated transformational tools we can bring to our children’s lives.

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“Puppetry isn’t simply child’s play. While American audiences may be more familiar with hyperactive Sesame Street characters and a “Disneyfied” version of Pinocchio, the puppet in societies across the world has played the role of provocateur, historian, clairvoyant,and keeper of the faith, says Kenneth Gross in a new book, Puppet: An Essay on Uncanny Life (University of Chicago Press, 2011). From re-enacting sacred texts in Balinese shadow puppetry to mocking authority in England’s raucous Punch and Judy shows, puppets are masters of metamorphosis and often, mirrors of ourselves.”

“That part of us that finds life in objects is an aspect of the child’s imagination and instinct that is later hidden or sometimes let go of in adulthood. It’s something children are indeed more adept at, finding life and voice in objects. Puppets awaken that part of us. They bring a part of us back to play.”

http://www.rochester.edu/pr/Review/V74N5/pdf/0304_inrev_puppets.pdf

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Puppets have been used to help children open up about subjects that are difficult to face directly, by creating a simple scenario based on the child’s experience but set in a different context. Puppet therapy can be used to help children work though issues as simple as hurt feelings over a broken toy to losses as great as those experienced around natural disasters. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4416267.stm

“Puppets are one step away from being human and so there’s distance but at the same time we can identify with them.” –Dr Jones, a child psychiatrist with the International Medical Corps (IMC)

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While children will play without our involvement, there are many ways that we can engage. Thank you to www.gogivers.org for the list of the many ways that puppets can be used to work and play with children.

Puppets can…

· Model behaviors that teachers and parents want to promote

· Bring more reticent children out of their shells, and help everyone become more expressive

· Become ‘ambassadors’ as well as friends, introducing children to new topics

· Become a confidant for younger children – they may respond directly to the puppet when they are unwilling to converse with others directly.

· Encourage children who are learning English as a second language to ‘have a go’ if they feel hesitant because they are unsure of certain pronunciations or of exactly how to express themselves

· Support children with special needs, including those with attention deficits and visual and hearing impairments

· Role play strategies for resolving conflict

· Boost self esteem and to bring a sense of unity to the classroom or group of children.

· Provide an excellent way for children to work through their fears and vocalize their feelings

· Help children to settle into a new school

· Act as powerful communication tools. Talking about their ideas helps children clarify their thinking and develops their reasoning skills

· Access a world of imagination and fun for children

This Holiday season, consider a toy that is guaranteed to carry the spirit of the season and to bring joy and wonder to young and old. Come into Seven Sisters Gallery in Morro Bay and let us help you find the perfect puppet to add to or start your collection.

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Rhonda Gauthier: Gifts of Art

Seven Sisters Gallery is currently showing the work of Rhonda Gauthier. A Fine Artist of Oil on Canvas, she describes herself as an American, Romantic, Impressionist Artist. Her oil paintings are primarily of the landscapes of California, Sante Fe, Texas and the South. When I asked her about how she chooses her subject, she explained.

“…actually “THEY” choose me.  Sounds corny but the idea is that something affects a part of that inside being and it wants to make a painting.  Be it a bit of color, a special lighting,  the grandeur of the vista, the agelessness of a Bison.  Within every bit of life and nature there is a certain something that touches each of us.  Poets write, musicians compose music, and artists paint.  We all express and interpret that which we experience.

I remember the day in Fort Worth, Texas. I was standing before a painting by Monet and “hearing” the words ,”This is what you are meant to do with your life.”  About a year later I took my first art lesson with Lynn Murphy and I’ve worked toward the goal of being the best painter I can be. That was almost 20 years ago. I remember all of my teachers and the special gifts of art they each shared with me.  In Giverny France I painted in Monet’s Garden. Walked where the Impressionist painters walked. Thank you to the late Gayle Bennett for your “gifts”. For me, there is no substitute for the euphoric aroma of oil paints. I open a tube of my oil paints and the images flow through my head /heart/hand. It’s magical and mystical …gifts from the Creator.

I am especially attracted to water.  Almost all of my paintings have water of some sort…everything from lakes, oceans, fountains, creeks.  As one painting is titled; water is The Essence Of Life.   The Essence Of LifeThat particular painting, The Essence Of Life was  painted while on an artist getaway to New Mexico.  I absolutely LOVE the red cliffs.  It is truly beautiful how a plain landscape is brought to life with the red colored cliffs.  And come dusk, the shadows created by the setting sun upon the crevices are just pure magic.  I wanted to share the beauty of the sparse land, the red cliffs and the skies which make us pull off the road and stand in awe.  I had my ideas and painted the painting but something was lacking.  Then it came to me like a bolt, water.  Must have water.  So the little creek and pool of water connected the entire paintings and brought everything together.

Another painting from the same area which is very dear to my heart is titled Always Here For You. Always Here For You This scene is an actual scene across from the Echo Amphitheater north of Abiquiu, New Mexico.  This was one time where I did not change anything.  It was painted as it exists in nature.  The two rock formations really do look like a couple standing there side by side.  The moment I saw the scene I knew what the painting would be and what the title would be…the rest was to simply to put the two together.

Rhonda Gauthier will be showing her work at Seven Sisters Gallery, in Morro Bay, California from May 1-May 26, 2013. You can also find her work online at SevenSistersGalleryCA.com

Please leave us comments. We’d love to hear about your experiences with Art. How has it informed your own life?

The Art of KJ Swan

In honor of April as Autism Awareness Month, Seven Sisters Gallery, is proud to be showing the marvelous art of KJ Swan. Growing up in a large family, the youngest of six, KJ struggled with the challenges of an undiagnosed Autism Spectrum Disorder.

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“Mine was not a happy childhood. Not too unusual for a child with undiagnosed Autism Spectrum Disorder. Being the youngest of six for many years, my siblings happily doled out a full range of sibling rivalry antics. “

kjswan_grizzlyA brilliant and talented artist she used her gifts to begin to work through her difficulties. KJ soon began representing her family members as colorful costumed creatures.

“… as an adult, there came a time to address issues and out popped these characters. Like a secret code, each costumed mutt has both obvious and hidden symbols of their character and their clothing. Pretty soon I was having fun with my family in a way that I never had before.

“And so it began…just a few funny critters which quickly blossomed into a full-blown romance with colorful costumed characters representing various members of my rather large family.  It was easy for me to see their personalities being expressed through the animals I chose…

Originally a therapeutic exercise to explore childhood issues, these expressions of acrylic on canvas, wood and paper have grown and taken on a life of their own.

My paintings have taught me that life, for me, is truly a matter of insanity with style.

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Stackable Rings

Throughout history the principal use of gemstones has been for healing and spiritual rituals. While gems were rare and beautiful, the reason they were so valued was due to the power they imparted to their wearers through contact with the body. Many people today still choose stones based in that ancient intuition.

Our new collection, of Marija stackable rings of sterling silver and semiprecious stones, affords you the versatility to create the right combination for your particular daily intentions. To name a few, our selection includes: Citrine, to create optimism and increase self-confidence and the achievement of personal goals; Peridot, to heal hurt feelings and mend damaged relationships; Pearls, to promote sincerity, truth and loyalty and to help calm and focus attention.

stackedrings5 borderAffordable and versatile, stackable rings are a great jewelry essential, fitting together to create a variety of options. Mix and match stones of varied colors, textures and intensities to create the perfect combination for your mood and dress.

The stackable ring allows you to wear a simple wide band pearl one day, turn up the energy another day by adding a gemstone or two, or simply combine them on a beautiful, long chain to wear as a necklace.

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Perhaps you would like to unite a medley of your children’s birthstones, or create the perfect anniversary ring duet of his and her birthstones.

And with June just around the corner, you might want to consider the stackable ring as a timeless alternative to the more typical class ring. Gift your graduating daughter a combination of her birthstone and your own, as a way to symbolize your loving presence in her life as she sets off on her journey. Our line of Marija stackable rings will last generation after generation so that she may one day pass on this meaningful symbol of the lasting love of family, to her own children.

Visit us, or give us a call, at (805)772-9955 or come into our store at Seven Sisters Gallery, 601 Embarcadero # 8, Morro Bay, CA so that we can help you choose the perfect start of this wonderfully collectable accessory. 

Isha Elafi Nomadic Knotwork

“Each person has their own color scheme and stones which harmonize with their spirit…when a person picks the perfect necklace for their feeling, and coloring, the necklace changes from an inanimate piece of jewelry…It actually comes alive, and the wearer becomes radiant! ” –Isha Elafi

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Artisan, Isha Elafi, elevates the ancient art of micro-macramé to a new level. The influence of the various tribal cultures that she has visited throughout Asia and South America is easy to see. Each piece, impeccably stitched, expresses the passion and skill of a person who has spent her life trusting her intuition, perfecting her gifts and following her bliss.

A spiritual nomad, with a deep love of travel and diverse cultures, Isha began creating micro-macramé in 1978 as a means to honor her passion.

Citrine and Blue Topaz

Creating necklaces, bracelets and earrings to sell in markets from Peru to India, Isha was able to combine travel and work, and all the while encounter cultures that inspired her designs, and materials to incorporate into her art. Isha named her distinctive jewelry Nomadic Knotwork. Combining intricate patterns of hand dyed durable nylon threads, beautiful semiprecious stones and silver, and an intuitive awareness of color, pattern and texture inspired by nature and native cultures, her gifts coalesce to form incredible pieces of wearable art.

You can see more of Isha’s work at SevenSistersGalleryCa.com
or in our store in Morro Bay, California.

Seven Sisters Gallery, Holiday Haven

It’s the most wonderful time of the year
With the kids jingle belling
And everyone telling you “Be of good cheer”
It’s the most wonderful time of the year
It’s the hap-happiest season of all…

But it can also be very stressful. Expectations are high and so is the pressure to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list. At Seven Sisters Gallery we hope to put the wonderful back into this time of year, by offering an uplifting and reasonable way to fill the stockings.

From Christmas ornaments, to stocking stuffers, to that extraordinary piece of artisan jewelry, we are here to help you find the right gift for everyone on your list within a budget that doesn’t create stress. And to make it that much easier, we’re offering 10% off of all non-sale, non-consignment purchases from this Saturday, December 1 through the following Saturday, December 8. Plus many items marked down from 20%-60%. Come on in to Seven Sisters Gallery, to enjoy our festive windows and Christmas music, while you browse our unique collection of art, jewelry and gifts. We look forward to seeing you.

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Angel of Joy Ornament

From a Tiny Seed…

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Seven Sisters Gallery is proud to carry the work of one of the Central Coasts finest creators of wearable art. Award winning Artisan, Susan Terese, creates off loom seed-bead weaving’s of necklaces and earrings. Susan has a passion for beading, which shows through her work and her generosity toward everyone associated with the art, including fellow beaders, lampwork artists, and all who love and wear her pieces.

Not only is bead weaving her passion, but she is also passionate about the beads themselves. All beads. From the tiny seed beads that form the framework of her pieces, to the incredible focal beads which define each creation.

I asked Susan to say a bit about that love and a bit about her process. In her own words…

“There’s glass, crystal, stone, bone, shell, horn, and many more different kinds of beads. Pretty much if it has a hole it can be used as a bead. While almost all beads are wonderful I do have a favorite. It’s none other than the lowly seed bead. These tiny guys are amazing and so fun to weave with. Seed beads are glass, and range in size, and have many different finishes: transparent, opaque, matte, luster, AB, and silver, copper, color and bronze lined.Can you imagine how they are produced? It boggles my mind. Mostly they come from Czechoslovakia (where they have been making them for 500 years or so) or since World War II, Japan. They are perfect for off loom weaving, which is what I do.

I am also very fond of American artisan lampwork beads. These are incredible one-of-kind glass beads made on a mandrel with a torch. That which starts as a thin glass rod is melted and formed into a beautiful bead. The imagination and skill of these artists is awesome. I enjoy supporting their efforts and buying their beads to use as focal pieces in my necklaces.

So this is my process. I start with a focal bead and let it speak to me. I start going through my stash to see what accent beads and seed beads I have that will compliment the focal. I think about the style of the focal…elegant, whimsical, earthy, geometric, vintage, retro, etc. Then I decide which weaving techniques to use. Then I usually go to the bead shop and spend money! And that’s the start.

Thblue1en it takes time to pick up those tiny seed beads with a needle and weave. Yup, it takes a long time. But that time is peaceful and meditative. It’s very fun to see the finished result. Most often it isn’t what I expected as the work evolves and takes on a life of its own. In a nutshell, seed beads make my world go round!”

Susan will be our guest artist February 13, 2015 during the Morro Bay Art Walk, at Seven Sisters Gallery on the Embarcadero. Come see her collection, talk with her about her work, and learn the many ways to wear her beaded Lariats. We’ll also have refreshments. Seven Sisters Gallery, 601 Embarcadero #8, in Morro Bay.

We look forward to seeing you. And we’d love to hear from you at our new Facebook page. Leave us a message, or just check in now and then to find out what’s new in about our store.