Saturday, November 17, 2007

Anticraft is Here!

Well, I can show you what I've done for it, my copy is still in the mail.

While I wait for my contributor's copy, here is a sneak peek at one of my projects for the new Anticraft book (Midnight Star, made with a vintage Czech glass button, peyote stitch and basic bead stringing; buy the book for more details :)

When I can find where I hid the photos, I will post my other piece for the book, a solidly beaded shrine/Tree of Life piece. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Busy Beader

I have been busy making beaded beads as part of larger necklaces in my ongoing play with the necklace as a wearable art gallery. Here are a few images of pieces I've worked on in the past week. Each beaded bead is sculptural peyote, in Czech and/or Japanese seed beads. I'm using bead shop beads as filler to complement the beaded beads.

The centerpiece is something I received way back when we first opened our shop. His color went just right with the greens in the ovals.

These are the shells and coral I have so far for my cabinet of curiosities necklace. Next up, sea urchins.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Trees, Trees, More Trees

I have a piece with a tree in the upcoming AntiCraft book, and in the meantime, here is another start of a tree I am working on right now.

8"h x 6" w, on Peltex, base fabric is old Lunn Pointillist Palette, and the tree is Dutch Wax Batik from Becky at St Theresa Textile Trove. I finally got to use some old Japanese ceramic bugles I got way back when at Byzantium, as well as newer Japanese 15/0 and some stash French and Czech seed beads. I'm really liking how this is going.

Detail of the beadwork, you can see the colors a bit better in this shot. The whole piece will eventually be covered in beadwork, I like to have a fun base to work on, which is why the choice of base colors for this one. Summer is also in process and I have plans for spring and winter.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Busy Beadwork

I finally got around to making some necklaces with a few beads that have been around a bit. The fisherman buddha was a gem show purchase of way back, while the rainbow Guatemalan glass bead is a bit newer. Aisha models my pencil earrings.

Detail of Guatemalan glass bead. Chinese foil lampwork stars, Czech glass in an unusual pale blue, and swarovski crystal complete the look.

Fuller view of necklace. I did the last 4-5" in a Japanese triangle bead in copper lined aqua.

Detail of the Buddha bead, see his fish?

Fuller view of the necklace. Again with the Chinese lampwork. I just won't eat them. :) The spirals are regionally made ceramic beads I received for my birthday. More of the light blue Czech beads and Japanese triangles finish this piece.

A very happy Aisha wearing a pair of pencil earrings I made. More pencils are in process. I will announce when I post them on my Etsy

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

What Came from FedEx Today

Plurtle and Swanson are on page 100! Very nice book, lots of great work from lots of fun artists.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Hillel Piece On Site

This is what the Hillel piece looks like in place. We are all thrilled with how it all turned out and it looked lovely through the window last night after services. All in all a very successful first public commission!

Sock in Progress

I am treating myself to a pair of handmade socks while working on everything else. This is my evening tv project or my in the car project and sometimes my at Donkey project. I started last Sunday. I'm using the toe-up generic pattern from the new Vogue Knitting Ultimate Sock book and Arucania wool/nylon blend. They are very luscious on the feet and leg :) I need to pick up some elastic for the tippy top to make sure they stay up but other than that I am very pleased for just winging it.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Sleeved, labelled and *everything*. I am so glad I made the sleeve yesterday. I usually put it off til last, but as I was angsting over the lettering and having an odd schedule day, I chose to make the sleeve first. Details to follow, let's just say I am relieved it is finished, but will miss it because it really did more than I thought it would do when I first accepted the commission. We hang it tomorrow.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Almost Finished

The Hillel piece is nearly completed. Yesterday I added the stars, the day before that the new backing and edging. This weekend I will begin the buildings and Monday confirm the quote that is to go in the bricks. Even though it's a large (by my previous standards) piece and so a challenge to quilt etc, I am enjoying it more and more as each piece gets added.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Hillel Piece Progress Report

Machine embroidery! All that is left is the grape leaves in this shot.


Full view (slightly bent because the piece is on the sofa)

Figs, pomegranates and olives.

Next: star brick quilting in the bricks and then it is on the buildings and stars (I'm saving the quote for last)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Joy of Color

In the service of keeping the creative fires burning during the course of a long project, little things get played with. For instance, today while I was searching for the symbolism of the octopus (they have been appearing in my personal journals for about two years now, and I have been seeing them out in the real world during the past few months), I came across a link to the work of Judith Cornell. I have her book Drawing the Light from Within, and in it she talks about using prismacolor pencils on dark paper to bring out inner world out to view. This is the mandala I worked on this morning. A full shot is at my flickr, this just had a better angle on the color and detail.

I had intended a lotus in the center when I began, but it morphed into the dragon or octopus-like figure seen here. I had thought perhaps a golden sun at the top, but the bird is what happened. I think it is appropriate, in that deep way of knowing something belongs.

And this is the big project. Some would call the mandala avoidance, I would call it sanity saving. This piece is for the local Hillel and will hang in the lounge above the loveseat. The green will be divided into hills by strips of opalescent batik that will have fruits embroidered on it, and three buildings symbolizing the local communities will be nestled among the hills (those are what is intimidating me right now, though I know once I start they will go quickly). The base is the bricks that the local streets and buildings are covered with, and will contain a quote about being blessed in our homes and our communities. It's only 36" h by 54" w, I don't know why I'm so intimidated (after all "What Lies Beneath" is 69" x 42" and Bean Gildorf's Rambler quilt in Rice's new book is only 544" long!).

It's been raining a lot here. Good weather to stay in and work!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Skully Stella and Friend

While preparing stuff to take to Wholly Craft tomorrow, I came across this unfinished giraffe mini quilt, which was crying out to be finished. So after I found the proper machine threads, I embroidered him right up. I am unsure whether he is a stand alone or a part of a multiple component piece (after the dream I had last night I think I have an idea...)

And then I made Skully Stella, friend to Skully Stan, also machine embroidery. Both pieces are on my own hand-dyed twill (ie twill I dyed myself, not purchased myself). What is the proper terminology for that? Artist dyed cloth?

Details of each image are at my flickr.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Midweek Update

Farmer's market bounty of the day, yum!

Skully Stan, part of a new mini run of plush. Or run of mini plush, I suppose! :)

It has been hot here, like pretty much everywhere else. Hard to believe this time last month we were running around in sweats because it was so chilly in the morning. I haven't beaded anything since last month's bead journal page, but here's a taste of what's happening in my corner of the world.

Today we went to the farmer's market and I was pleased to see it nearly as well stocked as it is on the weekend. I managed to get several types of peppers (fajitas anyone?) and a mess of tomatoes that will be sauce for tvp joe and pizza, as well as some wonderful peaches and blackberries. I passed on the green beans this week because I used all my maple syrup making carob brownies earlier this week and we won't get to Trader Joe's until next week (I have a great recipe for mustard maple syrup green beans).

We didn't get into Craftin Outlaws, not sure where we are on the wait list, but I decided to mess around with some smaller plush anyway. So I present Skully Stanley. And a trip to Knitter's Mercantile over the weekend yielded a luscious Himalaya Yarn wool/silk that is begging to be made into the tiger purse I began planning back in June. Watch this site for further updates as the work progresses!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Hearts Desire Journal Box Class

I am on the schedule to teach a Hearts Desire Journal Box class at Riverside Artists in Marietta Ohio next month. In this class we will create a box journalling our deepest hearts desire. This can be something we are working toward, or something we are memorializing. The box shown commemorates my love for my family and my desire to share those good times with them again. The class will be held Saturday September 22, from 1-4pm. Cost is $45 plus $10 for supplies. (I will provide boxes, paints, ephemera, found objects, adhesives, handouts and more, students may bring their own found objects, copies of family photos, etc to make their boxes more personalized).
Email me for more information.

Monday, July 9, 2007


Sometimes the work just happens without really having to make a huge effort. For July I thought there would be something involving a popsicle or picnic type thing. July 2 was my Gran's birthday, she would have been 80 this year. July 3 is my friend Beth's birthday, and our friend Tracy from Donkey had her baby on Wednesday, July 4, so July is always associated with family gatherings (and banana pudding!) to me.

However, when shopping last Tuesday for beads (something compelled me to go look, and when I follow that voice I usually am not steered wrong) I found this adorable little bunny. He is not a bead, and he nearly got left behind (I remembered him as the woman was writing my purchase down), but he told me he wanted to be sitting near his garden at night, and this is what transpired:

Detail of the bunny waiting on his wall for his harvest.

Detail of the harvest, what a yummy crop.

This piece is also 5" x 5" and I was able to work on it and still spend time with my family. This first week of July was a difficult one, as my oldest daughter left yesterday to start her new life in Cincinnati, and we are all adjusting to our new roles in a three child family once again. The full image is at my flickr.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Beadjournal June

My June entry for Robin Atkins' bead journal project (a group of artists are creating a beaded journal page a month, ala the quilt journal project but with beads). My pages will be 5" x 5" and then mounted on some paging format, unless I decide to do something different. June's piece is inspired by the fields of corn and soybeans growing around my home.

Full view, including roadside flora.

Detail of flowers, includes Swarovski crystal, vintage beads and buttons, and mini ceramic pea pods.

The rows of plants trying to grow in the dry ground.

The fluffy white clouds filling the sky.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

My Half Day Off

Butterfly, machine embroidery on Pellon, background is this wonderful 70's print I found at a yard sale 8 years ago. Part of a larger piece in progress.

Blue beadwork, 6/0 and 11/0 seed beads. Work in process, we'll see what happens next :)

Articles written, projects submitted, shows hung, I had a whole half day of school's out on Thursday before I got back on the road. Lots of stuff coming up, deadlines for Bead International, the basket show, the FAVA show, the Quilts = Art = Quilts, the invitational Kenyon show, you get the idea. Plus the project for Lark. When do I sleep? I'm not sure yet. :) I sure am having fun though, lots of ideas racing through my head.

The worst thing of it at the moment is that the machine embroidery turned out so well and was so fun that I am eager to make more. Which means coming up with another piece, including finding the source material, etc. I did find a cool book on the ocean at the library the other day, lots of wonderful coral to be inspired by, and I need to go back to find another book on flowers. And still staying on track with everything else (though the embroidery can be part of quilts for the shows, but still...)

Oh and the best thing? Despite the sizable size of my stash, there are a few shortages (such as a good supply of yellow 6/0 beads and more blues for skies and threads for embroidery) so I get to go *shopping.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Ok, I Was Wrong

Carl has been sitting in the studio for maybe 7 months, waiting for me to get brave enough to give him eyes and legs. After my success with Tiki's eyes (which will have to wait for another post) I decided it was time for a gator.

Here he is in all his glory.

Here I am, thrilled as all get out that the eyes worked even better than I'd thought (I was planning on pancake eyes lying on his face, but they wanted to stand up, which is what I'd originally intended and which I didn't think I'd be able to pull off).

And look at the delicious little alligator piggies. I had no idea how to do these until after I'd finished his eyes. Of course having made an elinor peace bailey pattern about seven years ago did help (the chicken shaman has two part legs and I used that concept). They are so cute. They are so gargoyle-y and ogre-y and I think I may need a bigger box (of stuffing).

And finally, a view from above, to show off the lovely soft sculptured nose. His face is made from the most yummy dupioni silk I bought from Becky at St Theresa Textile Trove, and many of the fabrics that make up his body also came from there. His legs are my hand-dyed twill.

I am so happy. Now I think the dragon can be finished! :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Down to the Wire

Still madly working on Donkey prep and an article on milagro/lotteria themed pins. This piece is Tiki Toad, and will be the last fiber piece I complete for the Donkey show (hanging Friday evening). Lots of stash fabrics, he is based on a lino-cut I made during my tenure as not quite art student here at OU. I am going to give him a realistic eye, thanks to my VanDyke taxidermy catalog. (machine stitched, not enough time to order a real eye set). You just never know what will come in handy during the making of a piece. :)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Miss Nancy's Midnight Parlor

In process, I finally got up the guts to actually put the back on and start quilting. The white lines are actually very pale sage and are the base for Miss Nancy's web. I am unused to wrestling something so large on my sewing machine, several items in the vacinity went for an unplanned trip. I am still pondering how to create her visitor. Flies used to come in all kinds of colors when I was a kid; I remember bronze ones and green ones and deep blue-violet ones. I want to pay tribute to that memory, and working out the best way to represent the colorful fly. I already have the most wonderful "fly eye" buttons..... :) I'd best hurry, Miss Nancy is going to Donkey in a week.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Picture Pages

While trying to upload images for an upcoming journal book, I became frustrated and uploaded to my flickr instead. I am still going to try the email, it just may end up being 12-14 individual emails instead of two batch emails. This page is from 3-4 years ago, I was planning my big birthday list. :)

Monday, May 7, 2007

Upcoming Books I'm In

I designed two projects for this one, both beadwork and both very cool:

And I am not sure who will be in this one, Chauncey the alligator, Plurtle the turtle, or Swanson the fish.

They both look really cool, I can't wait to see them!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Free Comic Book Day

Because we were uptown to vend yesterday, I was able to get a copy of this at the Free Comic Book Day event at Universe of Superheroes. I just grabbed it for the cover, not realizing it would be so cool inside as well. It's an excerpt from Lynda Barry's upcoming book "What It Is" and has tons of exercises and cool drawings and collagey words in it. I am just very very grateful I was there in time to get a copy, as they were all gone about an hour later when I went by with Aisha (she got Gumby and I was picking up Spiderman and Mickey Mouse for Ben).

The best part of vending was when Izzy had his first sale at around 2:30. He had worked so hard making stuff and pricing it and had plans for the money he'd get when the items sold. He was getting so discouraged because we were in an odd part of town (there are two streets that sort of converge with a pie-shaped piece of land in the center where Domino's and a law office live; it is the next to last cross street off Court and everyone was just walking past without even looking down our block) and had worked so hard. But he ended up selling 3 pieces by the time the show was over at 4pm. One more than me!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Sunday Morning Rewind

Sunday mornings back in the day (aka when Marty had a day job outside the home), Aisha and I would go to Donkey to review our week, prepare for the week ahead, plan and just get outta the house. We haven't been able to do that as much (mainly from enjoying sleeping in, but I digress) but yesterday we were both up and it was a perfect day for the new upstairs.

Here she is, looking thrilled to be photographed. I was sitting in the maroon chair.

Here's the view from the chairs in one direction. I didn't think to take a photo of the windows. It was balmy enough that they were open and the air smelled good (no smokers outside at the tables) and it was relatively quiet (college town on Sunday morning, do the math :) and it was sunny. The ambience was a lot like my studio when it is clean and sunny (it has been clean more than dirty lately because of the major reorganization and purge, sunny started being more regular as of last week). It's good to be home :)