It’s Smokin’ Hot Art

It’s TNT time…”This-N-That”  Thursday.

It’s a time which this blog has a focus on creative ways and creative art.

Collection of three German Smokers.

Recently, I learned of  the creativity of  hand-crafted, wooden objects.  I was introduced to these items for the first time at a friend’s home, who started a collection.  Thank you “Uncle Soggy” for showing me these wonderful forms of art.

I took a few photos and decided to include them in today’s blog post.  Also, you may find the history information interesting, which I found on the website:

I am happy to be aware of these creations and I can certainly appreciate the workmanship, functionality and personality of this art.

A section of the wood character pulls apart and incense is placed on the flat base.
Incense placed in area of wooden base.
Notice the burning incense causes the figure to "smoke".

For thousands of years, incense has been the gift of kings, as precious as gold and gems. In the mid-1800s wooden smoking men (räuchermann), carved in the age-old tradition from quality hardwoods, became decorative holders for this valuable commodity. September, 2003 Monthly Newsletter

The History Behind German Smokers

For over five thousand years now, incense, just like gold, spices and gems have always been some of the most precious gifts that were given to kings and emperors. It has also been closely connected with religion. In fact, the bible mentions the Three Wise Men offering gold, frankincense and myrrh. The festivity of the Three Wise Men is still celebrated in Germany every year on January 6th.

Steinbach SmokerAll of this together with superstition made people believe that the evil spirits of the Raunaechte (longest nights of the year) could be driven away by noise and light. Once these evil spirits had left the house, they would burn incense to bless the home. They would take incense to every room in the house on Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve or the feast of Epiphany in hopes of driving off evil spirits.

After the 30 year-religious war (1618 – 1648), that was fought in Germany, the medieval piety and folk art combined to bring about new ways of burning incense. Smokers, also known as “Rauchermann” were born. Smokers are traditional handcrafted wooden items that started in the Miriquidi Forest which is now known as the Erzgebirge Mountains.

Many years ago the Erzgebirge Mountains were mined for gold, tin ore and other minerals.Steinbach Smoker The people who would work in the mines during the day would often be found crafting wooden toy figurines at night. Eventually, when finding gold in the mountains started to become scarce and the mines started closing, many of the miners became full-time wooden toy makers.

Smokers became something the miners made and usually resembled figurines of the people who lived and worked there, such as mailmen, fishermen, shepherds and even the village people themselves.

The Steinbach family, that has been making German folk art for five generations, has perfected the art and craft of creating Smokers. Each and every one of these Smokers created represent a certain German character in detail. Each one has a personality of its own. Steinbach Smokers are known all over the world for their quality workmanship, expertise and attention to detail.

The next time you see a Steinbach Smoker, take a closer look at it…You may see many details you never realized before. There is a tremendous amount of work involved in creating these beautiful Smokers and the workmanship can sometimes be expensive. But remember, only the best will keep and increase its value and that is why your most serious collectors will usually go with Steinbach.

 I look forward to visiting my friend again to see if he has added another figure to his collection.  The Greman Smokers are really cool.


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On Your Mark…ers…Get Set…


On your MARKERS- get set…go!  I love markers and it was a big treat to have them in my possession when I was younger. Back in the day, they did not often last long.  The ink would dry quickly, the caps would not stay secure on top and the colors were limited.

Today’s child (and adult) has a great opportunity to experiment with an array of marker types, permanent, neon, fabric, metallic, pastel, wide, pin point, washable, calligraphy markers, acid free, pre-stamp design markers, expo dry erase markers, clip on markers, even scented markers and the list goes on.

I say, make a small investment and see what the latest item choices are.  You don’t have to buy from an “art store”, you can go to the local discount and bulk stores and pick up a package of markers that can set your imagination into high gear.

Do you need a little push to decide what to do or try with markers as the choice medium?  Maybe the list of suggestions will spark you.

  1. Decorate a fabric kitchen apron with fabric markers
  2. Personalize a pillow case with quotes or decorations
  3. Make a plain t-shirt have more personality by adding simple accent shapes
  4. Extend a photograph’s theme by designing a coordinating photo frame or matt around a photograph
  5. Commemorate/dedicate a sport ball, bat, hat or helmet with signatures and messages for a player or coach
  6. Use an everyday home decor item for transformation with markers such as a lampshade,  napkins, candlesticks, or an umbrella
  7. Make your own coordinating stationery and decorate the envelope or box to match the paper designs
  8. Decorate the inside soles of a pair of flip-flop sandles
  9. In triathlon races, persons are numbered on their arms and legs with permanent markers.  Make it more funky like a tattoo
  10. Design on paper bags for special lunch sacks to use throughout the year

 Have a great time thinking of other simple ways that you can enjoy the use of markers in your projects.  Be sure to check back on each Tuesday for more low-cost creative ideas for you to learn about and perhaps try.  On Thursday and Friday you can continue to read about other creative endeavors.  It is my pleasure to have this blog as a forum to share information, insight and ideas.

You are invited to also browse other creative efforts of Club Creative Studio

Online Storefront page:

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My Stamp of Approval

It’s This-N-That Thursday (TNT)

THIS-N-THAT Thursday is a post that reflects on anything that happens to be creative.

This post features a great product that is available through the United States Postal Service.


It is a method that allows you to turn your favorite photos into U.S. postage.  The specially designed stamps are a great novelty that can be used for holidays, special events and announcements.  Anytime you want to add a special impression with your mail, you can add one of your custom-made postage stamps with the face value of a normal forty-four cent stamp.

System requirements:

Windows® Microsoft® Internet Explorer 5.5 or higher;Internet connection;Flash®7 or higher; CD-ROM drive

Macintosh®: Mac OS X v10.3.9 or mac OS X v10.4.3 (Tiger™) or higher; Internet connection; Flash®7 or higher; iPhoto® highly recommended; CD-ROM drive

The kit is obtained at the post office, and the box contains all of the directional information and software. The process is easy. The first step is to upload your photo in the start-up. Step two involves your creativity to customize the image area and the border color.  Next, you are provided a code with your CD  and  simply imput that data.  In step four, you decide on the shipping rate you prefer and then place your order.  The sheet of 20 PhotoStamps are received by mail. 

The PhotoStamps are  real USPS postage stamps! PC Postage is a registered company behind PhotoStamps and is an approved provider of the United States Postal Service since 1999.  When PhotoStamps first launched in 2004, it was the first ever customized postage product in the United States.  Over 45 million PhotoStamps have been sold.

The size of the stamp has a fairly adequate display area being 1.9 inches in width and 1.4 inches in height, still reasonable for most postal applications.  The image you make are printed on a sheet of 20 first class postage stamps. They ship out in 3-5 business days and there is a rush delivery option from’s PhotoStamps® brought to you from the U.S. Postal Service.

I have one kit awaiting my creativity burst.  I am not sure what to show off…my family, my pets, a special event, or promotion of my business or my art.  I think it is a great idea to create your own personal and decorative stamps with meaning.  Don’t you?

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Shoe Strings on a Show String Budget

It’s time for another suggestion on how to be creative on a shoe-string budget.

It’s Two-Cent Tuesday!

Don’t let this idea run away from you.

It doesn’t take many supplies to design and bling up your own shoes. 

Sure these new running shoes have flair in their constructive design. 

The colors are bright and the combination of materials are cool.

Even the tread on the bottom have a sence of design.

But, you don’t have to settle for the product that is offered on the store shelves.

You can brighten up your own shoes and give them a splash of your reflective personality by simply changing up the laces. Most

Shoes with personality.

running shoes and casual sneakers lead themselves to this type of switch-out. Because children have changing tastes and outfits, changing their shoe laces out to match seems almost logical to include a new look.  You can buy laces already dyed and decorated or…you can be creative and design your own look.

You can brighten up a pair of sneakers with this inexpensive idea.  Try using permanent markers, or fabric paints on plain white laces.  Place your shoe lace on top of a grocery paper bag work surface and tape the ends secure to it so that your lace is daunt and flat.  Decorate your lace with simple designs such as dots, X’s, stripes, or curved lines.  Maybe try to experiment with pre-dyed lace, ribbon, glitter or hot glue elements.

It’s just a fun way to mix up your footwear art, show a more whimsical side and perhaps coordinate with an ever-changing mood or wardrobe.  Don’t worry about ever obtaining too many laces while doing these projects.  There is also inspiration that you can get from artist Sheila Pepe. Enjoy her creativity and enjoy the challenge of using shoe laces.

From artist : Sheila Pepe.  You will find this posted on Detroit Chic website: detroit (All photos below taken by Colleen Davis and Detroit Chic, courtesy of Sheila Pepe)

Colleen Thumbnail Sheila Pepe’s work has drawn critical acclaim across the nation for its vibrant living feel.  However, to truly understand her work fully you must look at her history.   She began working in large spaces with crocheting in 1994, which she learned from her mother. To incorporate her father’s side of the family, Sheila decided to begin using shoelaces in her art since her grandfather owned a shoe company in Manhattan, thus making her work more autobiographical.  In 1995, Sheila Pepe received her MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts.

Sheila approaches her installations as drawings and brings a 3 dimensional life to each by creating structures made with objects that could be found in a kitchen drawer. These created shapes that bring life to negative spaces could be described as tents or hammocks and are focused on breathing character to the shadows made. Her pieces do not only focus on the physical creation itself, but also the transformation of the space around it. 

      While living on the Wayne State University Campus, I had the opportunity to visit the Elaine L. Jacobs exhibit Drawing in Space: An Installation by Sheila Pepe. I was expecting a few paintings, or even a small 3 dimensional structure of two. Instead, I was completely enthralled by the mesmerizing labyrinth I encountered. 

      Stretching from pole to pole is a spun web of color. But you won’t find an insect traversing It’s beauty. The hanging shoestrings are like an oozing dripping venom in a toxic bright maze; A majestic torrent of color winding its way through the otherwise blank and arid room. A Rainbow of sorts; Blue to red, yellow and orange to purple.  The viewer’s eye is drawn to the knotted creation and the empty blue “dream catcher” like circle in the centre, mirrored by a colorful oval shape to its left with surrounding knots and rhetorical elements at the end of each string. At first I was slow to notice that the knots, and creation in its entirety, is fashioned out of shoestrings. Hundreds of knotted shoestrings tied together to form a net; A hammock, a colorful webbed haven. The 3D effect is enhanced by the maze of shadows cascaded around the floor and walls.

                   A vivid web
       Pictured: Drawing In Space 1 – A brilliant dangling web of shoestrings and colorful material, Drawing In Space resembles a rope bridge or spider web of a surrealist’s dream.

      A feeling of safety is felt when I stand staring at it. Looking from above, the observer can clearly see there must have been much effort and time taken to create such a sight. When sitting underneath and staring up, a feeling of vulnerability takes over with a calming torrent of color weaving its web above with a dizzying effect. I welcome the thought that it could fall on top of me at any moment, layering me with color, letting me become a piece of it.
                     Thorny toxic purple vines
       Pictured: Drawing In Space 2 – Purple ropes swarm like toxic venom or perfumed jungle flowers.

      Pepe has transformed a blank canvas into a lit room filled with dancing color and shades. As an artist trying to make it in the hectic and competitive environment of Detroit, I can truly appreciate the stimulation of senses felt while interacting with this piece. The magnificence of this woven light and shadow, is indeed a drawing in space.

                  A web of color
       Pictured: Drawing In Space 3 – A brilliant azure circular web pattern conjures up images of dew and, perhaps, flying saucers.

Let me know if you have ever noticed fun shoe laces, tried to decorate laces, have worn fun laces or are ready to crochet shoe laces like Sheila! Be Creative Everyday!

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She Sells Sea Shells By Sea Shore…

It’s Feature Friday!

The special feature today will be a new addition to the online store category,in a limited series. 

It’s a great way to capture summer through wearable, one-of-a-kind, handmade art.

3-D hand-made pendants

Club Creative Studio Art

Inspired by my beach walks along the Atlantic Ocean, I have incorporated the various treasures found along the shore line from those walks. 

First finds are small sea shells (say that 3x fast), which are relatively easy to locate but, require a steady against the incoming waves.

I am happy to share this artisan creation referred to as a 3-D Bottle Cap Pendant.

Various hand-picked shells along with the lucky discoveries of tiny shark teeth are  highlighted natural findings that are included into many of the bottle cap pendants. 

These one-of-a-kind and limited pendants are simple and unique.  And are perfect as an area souvenir or reminder of your love of any ocean.

In addition to shark teeth and shells a variety of other materials are used.  Scrap or odd beads, metal fragments, or even office supplies are added to a resin-filled bottle cap lid that dangles from a simple ball bead chain or non-distracting simple strand.

3-D Bottle Cap Pendant- Club Creative Studio

You can order your very own ocean keepsake neckwear items from the online store.  Please look under the 3-D category drop down section.  You will find they are priced very reasonably because I want to especially make this product affordable to young beach-goers and others who would like to enjoy a slice of Club Creative Art on a small-scale.  It’s a one-of-a-kind, artful  item that is lightweight and fun!

Club Creative Studio 3-D handmade pendants


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In The Mood?

It’s This-N-That (TNT) Thursday

Did you know…Your choice of jewelry can suggest your over-all mood and style.  What mood do you wish to be in and convey to others? 

I saw on television commercial recently that mentioned five specific words highlighting American Style in furniture.  When I heard the words on the advertisement, I immediately thought that the same words can also describe style and mood reflected in jewelry.  Club Creative Studio’s artisan creations can help you translate your sense of style into mood-making accessories.  Your personal expressions can be revealed simply by your choice of  jewelry accents.

What are the five featured key words mentioned to describe American Style?

Romance, Vintage, Elegance, Modern, Explorer

Please enjoy the photos provided below to illustrate examples of Club Creative Studio Art that seemingly fit into these various categories.  To view additional hand-made, one-of-a-kind items be sure to check the ever-changing inventory often.

ROMANCE- Club Creative Studio Art


VINTAGE- Club Creative Studio- Art


ELEGANCE-Club Creative Studio Art


MODERN- Club Creative Studio Art
EXPLOROR- Club Creative Studio Art
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A Toast to Celebrate


Today is another inventive post with a low-cost idea in mind to foster and promote creativity.

Today is a suggestion for creating an affordable and potentially attractive edible item. 

Let’s put your artistic skills to work in the kitchen , or support the visions of a younger child at a counter top.  To do this project you need  to first be aware of any food allergies from bread, milk, or food coloring.  Then if there are none, get those supplies ready.

 This snack idea can especially be made for the upcoming traditional holiday: Father’s Day.  It’s a creative and fun activity that ends in a snack.  The process is easy… paint a masterpiece on a piece of bread and then eat.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Bread
  • Food Coloring
  • Milk
  • Clean Small Paint Brushes (new and currently unused is best)
  • Toaster
Decide how many colors you want to use and gather that many small cups. If you use small paper cups a child can easily grasp that size.
Put about 1/4 cup of milk in each cup. You can use any type of milk that your household drinks.
 Using the food coloring, add a different color to each cup. Add the food coloring until you get a bright color.
Have a simple idea in mind to paint onto the bread surface.  If you use white bread, the colors may show up more brightly than on wheat.
Use the paint brush and paint a picture on a piece of bread. Make sure that bread doesn’t get too wet.
milk painted bread
When your picture is done, toast the bread. Now you have a master piece to eat!  You may want to top the toast with a bit of butter but, remember that if you use jam or honey or another type of spread, you may not be able to see your painted creation!  Enjoy the creation! 
Maybe even personalize it with a special name or message, have fun making art to eat!
Let me know by written comment below if you think this is a fun idea, if you have done this in the past or if you plan to do it in the future.



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Pop that Top with Style, Bottoms Up!

Feature Friday is HERE!

This post highlights another creative hand-made item from the collection of Club Creative Studio.  For the post today, I am providing a photograph that gives only a sneak peek portion of this created item highlighted. I will then direct you to where you can read further in the PINK NOTEBOOK section of the Club Creative Studio Website Home Page.  This section is a special feature area where you can simply click on to learn what is new and read about details of our innovative art.

Within the special feature section you will gain access to photographs that highlight the entire new line item.  Enjoy browsing around too.

Club Creative Studio- Sneak Peek Item


Click on the Pink Notebook on the Home Page.

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Message On A Bottle

Brooklyn Cologne

It is TNT Thursday! 

Club Creative Studio’s Thursday post deals with a little of this and a little of that, all relating to creativity.  The weekly blog posts are a place to learn about the creative process, products or  projects.  This week, it’s a product’s package, what we initially see when we shop for cologne.

While looking through a store advertisement section recently, I noticed that the items were geared to informing  the reader of men’s products because of the fact that Father’s Day was also coming up in June.  A special section highlighting various brands of cologne (a popular gift choice) also showed me an eye-catching element…the beauty of the fragrance bottles.

It is a marketing tool to know how to gain an initial interest in a product by also placing it into a beautiful container. It is an added bonus to admire the product displayed in an appealing manner in your own home setting.

Bond No. 9, The Brooklyn bottle’s design, marks a first for the iconic Bond No. 9 brand:  They have decorated directly onto the transparent glass surface with an edgy, urban, handwritten script designed to be appealing to many hip, modern purchasers.

With the words BROOKLYN and BOND NO. 9 spelled out in a vivid array of colors, this is an example of contemporary street art with a message.  In fact, the dynamic lettering transcends the Bond No. 9 centerpiece token logo it’s meant to be enclosed in.  The curved and angled shape of the bottle itself, is also an eye-catching element. Even the tagline is inventive: “BROOKLYN WE GOT OUR OWN SMELL!”  Source: Post from BKDAILYNEWZ

A great bottle or container design can sure gain and hold your attention.  Is that more important than the fragrant liquid inside?  Probably not but, if you are able to appreciate it for art on the countertop it has double duty! 

Ed Hardy Eau de Toilette Spray

Hearts & Daggers bottle I think this one is so cool!

Ed Hardy Hearts & Daggers Cologne has a complex design just like the wide variety of ingredients.  It includes Anjou pear, basil, martini accord, white pepper, papaya, rosemary, Katsura wood, suede, patchouli and sandalwood.  Perhaps the colorful label design is reflective of the unique combination of its contents.

The next time you look at a shelf of bottles displayed notice what catches your  interest.  Maybe it is the name, label design or price, besides the desired scent.  Do you find yourself judging a bottle before you pick it up?  Do you consider the shape of the display bottle in high regard reflective of the over-all item?

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