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Artful Ashes

Artful Ashes Review: If You Can’t be the Artist, Be the Art

In this unsolicited review, Lyrical Gypsy examines some of the ways art inspires people, even in their moments of grief and pain.  Artful Ashes, a glassblowing company out of Seattle, WA, offers customers an artistic way to memorialize their loved ones by creating a one-of-a-kind glass keepsake to cherish forever.

The talented glassblowing artists at Artful Ashes found a unique way to incorporate cremated human and/or pet remains into a gorgeous work of art.  Currently, the company makes glass hearts, orbs, and pendants, many with dichroic glass for various color accents.  They also offer gorgeous pet keepsakes through their cousin company, Rainbow Bridge Hearts.

Lyrical Gypsy chose this company for review because everything about it helps keep our mission statement alive:  Find Yourself…Inspiring Others Look for #FYIO on social media.

 

Summary of How the Artful Ashes Process Works

Customers send the company about a tablespoon of their loved ones cremated remains.  They also choose the shape, color, and the personalized etching on the back of the keepsake, as part of the ordering process.

Then, in about four weeks, the customer receives the keepsake in the mail, along with several other goodies, and any remaining ashes.

Unfortunately, some countries prohibit the transportation of cremated remains via mail.  In that case, Artful Ashes invites customers to visit their location, hand deliver the ashes, and observe the entire artistic process in person.

Prices range from $185 to $195 plus shipping, depending on what shape and style the customer chooses.  The company also offers a discount for multiple orders at $145 per piece.  But make sure to check the current prices on the company website or call before placing an order.

In this video, you can see the loved ones also taking part in the artistic process.  The woman places some of her loved one’s cremated remains on the silver tray, and then the artist rolls the glass in the finely sifted dust.

“At first, I was focused on the process, then I noticed the loved ones were taking part in the process.  Very touching.  Thank you for sharing.” ~ R. Hicks

 

 

If You Can’t be an Artist, Be the Art

Most people choosing to use Artful Ashes’ services are those looking for alternative options besides scattering or burial.  Or, they want to have an active part in their final arrangements.  Many people have already  added Artful Ashes to their legal wills.

Art like this gives the friend or family member a tangible, colorful keepsake they can physically see and hold in times of sorrow.

“Words are not enough to describe my feelings holding my daughter’s heart.  Perfect.” ~ E. Jones

If art meant anything to the loved one during life, Artful Ashes is a beautiful, artistic way to memorialize their passion and help them leave an artistic legacy behind.

 

How Does Artful Ashes Inspire Others Creatively?

Artful Ashes

Credit: Artful Ashes, example of patriotic orb for a Veteran

In just one post, Artful Ashes inspired several people to pursue their creative dreams in art and glassblowing.  One follower wrote:

“Wish I worked there, to have the ability to make such a beautiful memoriam piece for the loved ones!!!  What a gift to have!” ~ L. Glenn

The company inspires people to take an active role in their memorial plan.  Lyrical Gypsy read countless requests from family members and friends to their loved ones asking to become art once they pass away.

My favorite request came from a twin sister.  She decided to hold onto her deceased brother’s ashes until she passes.  Then, they’ll become art together.  It was really beautiful to read some of the memorial wishes.

But perhaps the best part was reading all the creative ways people challenge Artful Ashes’ creations.  Some shapes and designs people asked for were: baseballs for a little boy; butterflies for grandma; race cars for dad; a plant watering stick for mother; Superman figurines; and even dragons.

Others wanted to add special items to the glass such as, dried flowers, locks of hair, and even fingerprints.  One girl even had her senior picture taken with a heart that represented her late brother.  All the creative ideas were wonderful to read about!

 

A Time For Everything

Memorializing a person’s remains is not so much for the decedent as it is for the love one left to grieve. But most followers on Artful Ashes’ Facebook page agree to some extent that art like this makes the process of planning for death and working through grief more manageable.

“…your artists treat every work of art as if it is their own family member.  Thank you for what you do for those of us grieving.” ~ Melodee K.

 

A lot of people noted that they wanted to make an artistic memorial for their loved one but struggled with the idea of separating with the ashes, even temporarily.  Many people felt it was creepy to divide a loved one’s cremated remains.

“…I was taught to respect the deceased and treat the body or ashes with respect.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion.” ~ G. Sturm

Unfortunately, for as many people who worry about separating with their loved one’s ashes there’s just as many people wondering what happens once the newness wears off.  Is it a novelty piece?  Perhaps, in the wrong hands it could be.

As seen with a lot of art, appreciation wears off.  It’s significance is unknown or forgotten.  And sometimes, beautiful artwork gets tossed into the trash, sold at garage sales, or donated to thrift shops.

One elderly woman’s comment nearly broke my heart:

“Beautiful…my family would just put me in a garage sale or it would get stolen…But wonderful for loving families.” ~ D. Miller

 

But while her concerns are valid, isn’t that pretty much what people do after a burial?  It’s out of sight and out of mind, for the most part.  Very few people return to a cemetery, except on special occasions.

“Beautiful.  This is why I want to be cremated so my loved ones could have something as beautiful as this instead of going to a cold cemetery and being underground.” ~ P. Gallagher

Artful Ashes gives the decedent a permanent place in the loved one’s heart from the moment they lay eyes on the beautiful artwork.

And some final thoughts from a perspective customer:

“…better than putting all of the ashes in the ground.  You can still hug your loved one when you need a little love.” ~ J. Beasley

 

Lyrical Gypsy will have to agree.  Let more art flood the world!  Thanks for reading.

Featured photo credit:  Artful Ashes, customer testimonial via Facebook

Video credit: Artful Ashes Facebook page/post

Follow Lyrical Gypsy via Facebook page:  Inquiring Minds Unite

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Best Father's Day Gift is Letting Dad be Himself

The Best Father’s Day Gift is Letting Dad Be Himself

I think girls are naturally more showy than boys, and the same goes for mothers versus fathers.  But that doesn’t mean one parent is more creative or supportive than the other.  It just means that each parent has their own way of showing their creativity.

But this Father’s Day, let’s commend all the fathers out there who get in touch with their creative side for the sake of their children.

 

The Things We Do For Love

Getting creative isn’t easy for every father.  But most will still do what they have to show their love and support for their child.

No, not every child should expect their father to get on stage, learn choreography, or perform in front of hundreds of people.  But every child should recognize all the creative ways their dad does participate in during their lives.

 

 

Tell us how your father inspires you creatively in the comments!

 

 

 

Creative Cookie recipes

Fidget Spinner Cookies: One of the Most Creative and Fun Cookie Recipes

This summer, while the kids are at home from school, get creative!  Look up some of your favorite cookie recipes and spend some time together in the kitchen. Your kids will thank you for the tasty treat and so will your creative soul.

One of the Most Creative Cookie Recipes

I just found the video recipe below for Fidget Spinner Cookies.  Is that cool, or what?  To me, this is one of the most creative and fun cookie recipes I’ve ever seen.  It’s colorful, interactive and tasty too.  But mostly, it’s inspirational, which is why it belongs on this website, and displayed as art.

 

> Read LG’s creative mission:  Find Yourself…Inspiring Others

 

The Art of Cooking is Good for the Soul

Sometimes, I joke about my nieces turning my kitchen into Mr. Wizard’s science lab.  Then I stare at all the dirty dishes piled up on the counters and regret letting them try a new recipe.

But I’ll admit, I love how creative my nieces get when they’re cooking.  I love how they cooperate and communicate with each other, and how they love to learn.  All the smiles make the pile of dirty dishes seem worth it.  And, I know that smiling is good for the soul.

Not everyone can be a writer, musician or performer.  But if you have some skills in the kitchen, you can still be an artist.  Grab your favorite recipe and start creating.

 

Get Creative with Cooking and Stay Healthy

If you’re anything like me, after I cook a meal, I’m barely hungry.  Yes, I usually snack while I’m cooking or baking.  But, I’m not nearly as hungry as when I was sitting on the couch and thinking about food.

It’s a proven fact that some people eat more when they’re tired or bored.  I know it might seem odd to use the word healthy in a post about cookie recipes.  But creativity has its own healing power because it engages the brain in productive and healthy ways.

Cookie recipes aren’t just for kids.  They’re for adults too.  If you can’t decide whether you’re hungry or just bored, start by trying this recipe.

Share your favorite and fun recipes in the comments.

Check out the NEW Inquiring Minds social project here and learn something new today!

Or, visit the NEW IMU website here.

Did you learn something new today?  Be sure to share it in the comments below.

When the Sunday Comics Aren't Funny Anymore

When the Sunday Comics Aren’t Funny Anymore

During my nephew’s soccer game, my twin, nine-year-old nieces looked really bored, so I gave them each a colorful page of the Sunday comics to read. They both love to laugh, so I thought they’d appreciate the jokes as much as I did when I was their age. But that’s not what happened all.

What’s So Funny About the Funny Pages?

I asked one of my nieces, “Well, what do you think about the Sunday comics?” She replied, “They’re O.K.,” then she went back to her sister, still bored.

O.K.? Just O.K.? Impossible. The Sunday comics are great. Or, at least they were when I was a kid. But I’ll admit, I haven’t bought a newspaper or read the Sunday comics in – well, forever.

Then I read a few of the comic strips, and now I realize the problem. They’re not funny. I call the Sunday comics my morning funnies or the funny pages. But maybe they never were funny?

Like any art, I think comic writers and artists create from their hearts. Comic strips are just tiny, squared glimpses into the writer’s real life. But behind all the colorful clichés is the artist’s real thoughts and legitimate worries about life, money, health and love. Some comic strips are playful and fun. Others are dreadfully dramatic and read more like a soap opera. In fact, a vast majority of what I read that morning poked fun at serious adult subjects like politics, gun control, losing a job, aging and death.

Am I too adult to appreciate the Sunday comics? Yikes!


Have the Sunday Comics Changed Over the Years?

I guess I expected the funnies to stay funny, like they were for me as a kid. But there’s one big difference between the Sunday comics of my childhood versus the comics today -Me.

The truth is that the Sunday comics haven’t changed. But like many adults, my life, and my perception of funny has changed a lot. As a child, all I could see were the flashy colors, silly fonts, and funny thought bubbles hovering above the comic strip character’s head. But now, I understand sarcasm. All the fancy shapes and bright colors in comic strips are there to soften the sarcastic blow hidden within all the black and white text.

The Life of North America’s First Comic Strip Character

According to Wikipedia, The Yellow Kid, which is part of the Hogan’s Alley series, was one of the America’s first comic strips. The comic strip joked cleverly about a child who was bald, socially awkward, and living in the slums of New York.

But what’s funny about that? Nothing. Like many writers and artists, the comic strip’s creator, Richard F. Outcault, had to use whatever inspiration he could find around him at the time. Unfortunately, in the late 1800’s, a lot of inspiration came from a society plagued by race wars and poverty-stricken families.

I think the same is true for comic strips nowadays. Comic strip writers write the Sunday comics based on what influences their life the most. Stories about politics, gun control, crime, and health issues saturate the news and media. By themselves, those are all important social issues. But comic strips help ease our minds. What better way than with a sarcastic joke and laugh?

Who Are the Sunday Comics Really Written For?

If you answered kids, you’re half right. I’ve seen an influx of superhero comic strips and movies lately. But not because every kid likes superheroes. Adults need superheroes in their lives too.

A great story about a superhero lets the readers fantasize and not worry so much. The same way an artist’s creative rendition of a strong and healthy superhero motivates readers to live the same way.

If you’re a comic writer, graphic artist, or cartoonist, keep doing what you’re doing. But don’t think you’re only inspiring kids. Adults appreciate fun and fancy art too, including the Sunday comics.

We can’t fix all our problems by adopting art and creativity into our lives. But we can share creativity, sarcasm, and laughter together.

The Sunday comics exist to remind us all not to let life get us down. More importantly, they remind us how to laugh off some of the bad stuff that happens in life.

My Artsy Fartsy Addiction to Collecting Tiny Trinkets

My Artsy Fartsy Addiction to Collecting Tiny Trinkets

I have an addiction to collecting trinkets.  There I said it.  I don’t hoard things or do a lot of crafting.  But I am addicted to collecting all the tiny pieces that go into crafting.  Nuts, bolts and washers.  Mosaic shards of glass.  Abalone and Mother of Pearl pieces.  Steampunk gears.  Skeleton keys.  Thimbles and buttons.  Puzzles and puzzle pieces.  Rough and tumbled gemstones and rocks.  My artsy fartsy addiction is insane.  But I’m not the only person out there with this condition, am I?

How My Addiction to Collecting Trinkets Started

My grandpa didn’t like to throw away anything he thought he might need in the future.  He didn’t like to craft, and he wasn’t a hoarder, but he was a collector.  He collected coins and knives, which I also do.  But he also had an addiction to collecting tiny things.

He used to save his prescription medicine bottles just so he could fill them up with nuts, bolts, washers, or whatever.   Then he stored the bottles on a shelf in his garage for when he needed them.  Nowadays, there are lots of clear storage boxes and  craft boxes available, but his method worked for years.  He stayed organized and always knew where he put something.  Sort of.

I also like to scrapbook.  But once I got a digital camera, I lost motivation to print out my pictures.  That’s a different issue altogether.  But I have tons of pictures to use and lots of scrapbooking supplies.  Now I fight to keep everything together so I can find it.

 

How Do You Store Your Trinkets?

My biggest problem with crafting is keeping all of my supplies together.  It might be months before I find time to get back to working on a project.  Meanwhile, I have to keep all of my “toys” put away.  But sometimes, little pieces end up on the countertops, the floor, and then eventually in the “everything drawer.”   I don’t know what I have most of the time, so I buy new, which is a waste of money.

But now, I store all of my gemstones and trinkets in clear craft boxes.  I also have two trinket boxes for display, and one large shadow box for my knife collection.  Keep your addiction to collecting under control.  Stay organized and get creative!

What kind of crafts or artsy fartsy projects you’re currently working on?

Have you found other great ways to store your crafts?

Oh, and how can I put all of these buttons to good use?  *grin

Thanks for reading!

 

 

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