Thursday, March 29, 2007

Inspiring People Around the Globe

Marty likes to check my stats daily, I usually don't pay much attention (too much stress) but today he found this site, in which a group in France who made dolls inspired by my article in Quilting Arts posted the results of the challenge. I think they did a great job, don't you?

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Quilt Sunday

Cleaning the house for company, everyone has to go back to the studio:

And today's work in the studio. Two months til I hang the Donkey show and then I also have a group show at the Athens Public Library with my local art group so new things need to be completed:
Detail of single sun and various greens pieced together.

So far today I managed to get the green upper-ground pieced and applied to the sun quilt base. It measures approximately 40" H by 45" wide at the moment. I am thinking reverse applique flowers to fill the ground. Lots of oldies but goodies, including several greens in the Lunn Fabrics Pointillist Palette.

It's a very warm sunny day out, what am I doing in here?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Journal Page Fun

I got to go to Donkey and spend an hour realigning with an iced latte, slice of gingerbread cake (so good, wonder who made it? ;) and my paper and pencils.

Colored pencil on Fabriano paper, Souffle pen outlines and details.

Closeup of gator.
Close up of flower.

And from a few weeks ago, a study for red shoes. Scrapbook paper cutout shoe, magazine images of shoes and flowers, base of Golden Paints Pyrrole Red and highlighted with Souffle pens and oil pastels.

Etsy Update

I just put a bunch of animals and the turtle handbag up at my Etsy shop. Thanks for looking!

Monday, March 19, 2007

My Hometown

Athens is a small town, as small towns go, but it is also a college small town, which means not only that when the students leave on break, half the area population goes with them, but that we do have the occasional funk, such as the alley that this restaurant is down:

Decorated with belly dancing women and painted patterns, even on the air conditioners.

And isn't the entry just too cool for words?
There are a few more details at my flickr, but this gives you the gist of it. More later.

Fiona, Freddy, and Olivia

In between cleaning and organizing the studio (a major week long undertaking so far), I managed to finish a few things that had already been in process. Fiona and Freddy had bodies, eyes and mouths, they only needed fins and a tail to feel complete. They are made of the usual mix of commercial print and commercial hand dyed cottons, Freddy's head is made of silk dupioni. Their features are crocheted, and their fins and tail are made of stretchy swimsuit material.

Fiona, looking happy to be here.

Freddy, swimming with purpose.

And Olivia got her wings and beak yesterday. The wings are appliqued and quilted before being attached to her body. The beak is felt that I sewed with a fancy stitch on my sewing machine (double thickness of felt) and then blanket stitched.

All three will be on my Etsy shop later this week, along with some butterflies (they still need legs).

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Show Opens Today!

Opening today the Medex Show, at the Push Skate Shop and the Stupid Creatures Toy Company of Asheville, North Carolina. Over 70 plush pieces by more than 50 artists (including moi). Show dates March 17- April 18, 2007.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Owl in Process

Well, I can't call him Woodsy, even though that song keeps going through my head (the old PSA, "help Woodsy spread the word, never be a dirty bird, in the city and in the woods, trees keep America looking good") Whatever did happen to ol' Woodsy anyway? Is he hanging out with Smokey and McGruff and Timer? (I know Smokey's still working, McGruff too, occasionally. I say it's time to bring Woodsy out of retirement).

Anyway. I am making an owl, and this is what she looks like so far:

Full body shot, hand-dyed twill (by me), shibori dyed cotton by Lunn Fabrics, commercial cotton prairie points, crocheted features and scrapbook ribbon trim.

Detail of the prairie points. Took more than I thought, but was worth the effort.

Detail of the eye, bullion crochet in Koigu Painter's Palette, commercial button.

Next up, wings for her and the butterflies.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Slow Food

I am reading Chapter by Chapter by Heather Sellers (author of the equally terrific Page after Page) and she has a chapter about letting the work take the time it needs to be the work it needs to be. She compares it to the slow food movement. It is hard, sometimes, especially right now with all that is pending and all that wants to be done, and of course money that wants to be made so the family can be fed, to remember that and to still allow the work to take the time it needs to take. I am not disappointed by making the butterflies with simpler features, for example, but am not willing to compromise their beauty by giving them wings that are less than spectacular. It is good to have these reminders, though, like someone holding our hand as we walk into (what we may perceive) the scary dark woods, but which will turn out to be the most marvelous adventure. We just have to be willing to let it happen at its own pace.

Butterflies with Faces

Shiny happy faces, machine embroidery on peltex, and felt lips. Fabric glue. Part of the "trying to simplify construction to make them more affordable" experiment. Wings are still going to be fancy though. Simple wings just didn't look right.

I Love Burt Bacharach

It must be the colors of what I'm working on, and the weather, but I have "I'm Never Gonna Fall in Love Again" running through my head. Mom got these Reader's Digest music books, one was lime green with purple flowers, and I think the other was orange. I learned a lot of lyrics reading through those books. Imagine if they made them for some of the music out there now. Of course, being the little kid I was at the time, there probably were entendres that just went over my head.

Anyway, I am making a batch of smaller butterflies to upload to my Etsy shop later this week. Here they are in process:

Stash fabrics, commercial hand-dyes, each body is about 14" long.

Side view of one, lots of fun color and visual texture.

Later, after I spend some more time in the studio, I will post features (eyes and mouths, maybe wings)

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Making Softies

I have been madly making animals this week.

Belle, cotton and synthetic fabrics, crochet features and legs, silk flower and button decor. Belle brings a bit of sunshine to a cold winter day (we are still talking windchills here and got an inch of snow yesterday morning). She is the follow up to Flo.

Flo, the alligator who dreamt of being a flying nurse. Flo is also made of cotton and synthetic fabrics, with crochet features and nurse cap. She is embellished with rhinestones on her scales. Flo is off to the Medex show in Asheville, NC.

And a little older, Ally is from an animal making rush in December. Being that she is not used to Ohio's colder climate, she asked for a scarf and I kindly obliged. Cottons, African batiks and crochet make Ally a real charmer.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Inspired by Moderngypsy

Eliza over at moderngypsy has been posting about her cleaning and organizing efforts in her studio. As I have tons of upcoming projects and two concurrent shows this summer, I decided to follow her lead and make a little room so that the new creativity can burst forth.

This is the top of a set of printer's drawers I got from Ann over at 100 Proof Press, before:

See the overloaded pencil cup that is spilling all over the top and covering everything else. The packed plastic locking bins, and the jumble of things in the plastic drawers. There is nothing in the cigar boxes on top, they are awaiting new incarnations as shrines, shadow boxes, even storage .

And after:
I added an extra plastic bin to hold the chenille peeps and model trees I'd gotten for assemblage. I cleared out the pen vase by having Izzy go through the pens and throw out what didn't work. I also organized the drawers by theme, so that the most used stuff is toward the top. What you don't see is that I also started cleaning in the drawers, but as I actually want to make stuff too, I'll save that for another day.