Top of the World

01 25th, 2015
Mail Art 2015[1]It was exciting to be invited to participate in a worldwide call for Mail Art that will be included in an exhibit at the Top Of The World Observatory at the Baltimore, Maryland World Trade Center. The invitation stated “this is your chance to share your views of the world and with the world through mail art, alongside other global participants!”

The guidelines were open to any medium.   The maximum size of the art is 5″x7″ and it should be mailed unwrapped (or as they called it…naked…like a postcard).   The artwork will not be returned to me but I will receive a documentation booklet of the art included.

This is my entry entitled “Outside Comes Inside” by Holly Doyle.

Thanks to Uncustomary Art and artists Mary England & Erika Kim Milenkovic for this opportunity.


Exhibition: Top Of The World Observation Gallery at the World Trade Center in Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Exhibition dates: February 6 through March 29, 2015. Free opening reception on Friday, February 6, 2015.


I really had to literally dust off the sewing machine for this custom order.   12 coasters made with brown fabric.   I couldn’t really use a mocha brown so I was glad when I found this beautiful tan print.   I haven’t made coasters in a long time.   The pattern has long since been stored away safely in an unknown location.    Since I promised to fulfill the order I made a new pattern and started to recall the process I set up so many years ago.


2015 Wishlist

01 1st, 2015

Happy 2015!

As a recycled artists I find much of my time is spent gathering.   Often friends, customers and complete strangers ask me what kind of items I am seeking.   So here is a list for those who are interested or just amused by my art.   I really do recycle as many things as I can.


Items to gather in the new year!

Green buttons – The world really does need more of them and I have a few projects in mind (trees) that require green buttons.

Wine corks – I use these for a whole bunch of things and share with others artists who might need some too!

Paper towel & toilet paper tubes – I use these for kids art and have a whole bunch of ways these become art.

Small jewelry or gift boxes – I recover these to give to customers with their purchases at Jersey Made.

The Sunday Comics – I have been making my own bags from them and having just 1 page a week is not enough!!  LoL

Game pieces from board games.

Broken jewelry…..sparkly or beads or watches or whatever!

If you have something unique that you think I might be able to use….please ask!

Items I save for others…..

Can tabs – Many organizations collect them but ultimately they all go towards the Ronald McDonald House which sells them to cover their monthly costs.   Although I am not a fan of their cheeseburgers (I am a cheeseburger fan normally) their houses do great things for sickly kids and their families.

Plastic Lids – from water bottles to toothpaste caps and all other plastic lids in between.   One of my artists at Jersey Made has an organization that recycles these and I have been gathering them.   She picks up what I have once each month.   Bring yours here and I can include them as well.

Turtle – Custom Order

12 31st, 2014

A customer order sign I made for a friend to give as a gift!  I just love this quote and it turned out to be perfect for her teacher who admires turtles.


A special gift!

12 27th, 2014

 A special plaque made for my Mom to hang on her front door.   She really has 2 seasons – winter and baseball!!!     I hope she enjoys this as much as I did making it for her.




08 30th, 2014

The attic was musty with a slight chill.   Crawling through the spider webs was a completely unpleasant experience but she knew it had to be done.   Stella pulled the last few boxes from where the roof sloped downward, moving them into the center of the attic.   Old remnants of rugs had been placed in some areas over the boards making it was easier on her knees as she inched along.    She carried a box down the rickety fold up steps, one at a time until all of them were in the laundry room.   There was no way carrying more than one would be advisable.   Just in case she carried her cell phone and a flashlight, fearing being trapped in the attic.

It was a good project for her to accomplish this evening.    Stella had the house all to herself.   Her kids had moved out after college and that left just she and her grumpy abusive husband in the house.    Thankfully he was often at the local tavern with his buddies and this left her in peace to get things organized.

Many of the boxes in the attic had been relocated by the moving company when her parents’ house was finally sold.    Stella knew she had to go through them eventually but wanted to do it alone.    The boxes were unlabeled but she had some ideas what the contents might be.

She undid the flap on the first box and began setting aside old newspapers that were used as packing material.   So much had happened in 1972 when this box was sent off to be stored.    That was the year her  grandfather had passed away. Stella’s father was devastated and could hardly even talk about how it happened.    She never knew her grandfather but it seemed there were many stories to tell about his life.   Some stories remained untold.

The satchel inside the box caught Stella’s eye.   It was black and looked like a doctor’s bag.  It was still in good condition.   She set it on the washing machine and unbuckled the straps.     There it was…..the ransom money.   Hundred dollar bills in bundles still wrapped in the bands used by the bank.   $5,000 per bundle!   Stella had no idea how many bundles but knew that she would count them later.

She repackaged the rest of the box and stacked all the boxes in the utility room.   Taking the satchel she went to her bedroom, removed a suitcase from under the bed, slipped it inside and pushed it back under the twin size bed.   Her heart was racing.   She sat on the bed for a few moments and whispered to herself over and over “just breathe….just breathe”.

The hours had gotten away from her and that meant her husband was expected at anytime.   Sometimes he got angry with his friends and came home early to continue his drinking.   Other nights he arrived with the sunrise, staggering up the path and collapsing on the sofa.   Either way Stella would remain in her bedroom that she had taken over when her daughter moved a few states away with her boyfriend.    Although the room was small she was thankful the addition had allowed for a private bathroom which was adjoined.  Mostly she was thankful for the lock on the solid wood door.

Stella continued to sort through the boxes and found newspaper clippings telling the tale of her grandfather’s involvement in the kidnapping of a prominent business owner’s wife.    There were several others allegedly involved.  The wife had been returned unharmed.   There was not sufficient evidence and the business owner made the decision to not proceed with the case in court.   Each man involved served 5 years probation.    That same year Stella’s grandfather suffered a massive heart attack and died instantly.

She often wondered about her grandfather.   Somehow she felt a strong connection to a man she never knew.   Once she had heard her father refer to him as a “fallen hero”.    Either way the discovery made in the attic changed everything.

A few weeks later Stella woke up on a crisp Saturday morning.   She peered out her bedroom door to confirm that her husband still lay snoring on the sofa in the living room.   Stella grabbed her purse,  a suitcase she had packed with some personal items, a cosmetic case full of the ransom money and the remnants of her pride.     She left her cell phone on the nightstand.    When the time was right she would contact her children to let them know she was safe.   She had packed the two scrapbooks she made from the family photos and memories.   Someday she would mail them each the scrapbooks, but not today. The door to her bedroom locked behind her.  The key would remain on the chain around her neck until the taxi dropped her off at the train station.

Most likely no one would notice Stella was missing, just like the  bag of ransom money that no one sought once the crime was yesterday’s news.

The End

ATC cards I drew for a swap with my Facebook group!   I like giraffes.   Perhaps I admire their tallness.   These were festive looking giraffes ready for a summer party!

Pick Your Poison

08 24th, 2014

Dear Friend,

It is so sad to watch your life slip away into an abyss of loneliness and grief.   You have so many of us rooting for you to overcome the addictions that held you back.   We believed you when you lied to us and said you were done with it, thinking the last round of rehab would be the last.   It was hard to swallow the bitter truth that you were only getting better at hiding your actions and deceiving those who cared about you the most.

You will never receive this letter.   It is only meant to help me sort out the reasons why an addiction can change so many of the lives that surround it.   I am still trying to grip the changes it made to my own life.   There is no chance to go back for a peaceful resolve.   My life had to move forward even when yours could only look back.

I see how your actions hardened my heart a little, becoming a little less compassionate.  Could not understand how someone could disregard the effects their own actions cause to others.   Just yesterday I lost my cool on a neighborhood friend who tried to explain to me how he was “accidentally shot up with a heroin needle” while he was sleeping at a relative’s house.    Being in that location was not an accident.   Thinking that he wants to beat heroin he had no reason to be there.  I found myself not believing the accident theory.  Expressing my hurt at seeing him still doing drugs only means that now there is no word from him.   I wish he would try to help himself as much as those of us around are trying to help.  He knows I am angry and will stay away, an easier solution than facing the truth.

Just one look at a friend and I could tell he was using again.    That shallow tired look in his eyes with a hint of sadness.    It is not always easy to tell.   I never want to be an expert at spotting an addiction.   Some people really do not want to seek a cure and the poison consumes them.   I have watched friends die and shed many tears over their loss.   My heart hurts just typing these words.

It doesn’t matter what poison you choose.   The poison certainly doesn’t care.

I look back and consider the things in my own life that I would consider an addiction. Not proud of those things but yet I have to recognize them about myself.   There are some things that I repeatedly allow myself to lose self control.   I continue to make bad choices.    Part of becoming a better person means that I just have to keep on trying.   Not beating myself up for yesterday.   Certainly I am not qualified to judge you or anyone else for the things that you choose to do with your own life.

Again I remind myself that this letter is not going anywhere.   It remains only for me to sort out my thoughts.  Most likely it will not resolve anything other than making me feel a little better about the times in my life that did not happen because my path was altered by someone else’s addiction.   It ultimately is my path and I continue to move forward.   The past often gets in the way of the present but it is also a part of me and the experiences move with me into new friendships.

I have chosen to seek out the positive things in life.   Often I have to remind myself that my addicted friends are not intending to hurt me.   Whatever poison they have choose really has nothing to do with me.   I can be your friend but I can’t fix you.   I can love you even when you hate yourself, but enabling you is not the answer.

We are all in the process of healing from something.   I pray that you find ways to recover and let the healing begin.

With love,




The Daily Post:  Daily Prompts:  8/22/14:  Pick Your Poison



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