Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2009, The Year of the Pen

Or pencil, or marker. Some drawing instrument. I used to love to draw, in high school I would stay home to work on drawings, I was constantly drawing something. This continued for a bit after high school as I took the "hiatus" path, taking two years between high school and college (this was in part because my dad's job moved to Mexico and so he started working at universities; imagine, a 9-5 Monday-Friday year round job instead of the continual afternoon shift he worked as a metal pattern maker in the Detroit metro area; it's a miracle we didn't kill each other), and even a little bit here and there since. But overall I have followed other creative paths, knitting, quilting, beading, even the occasional vision collage.

Through all that time I keep saying (usually every fall) "I want to draw". I love the feel of an Ebony pencil as it slides across the paper, filling in the forms I am looking at or the forms in my head. But somehow life gets in the way and the pencil goes back to the drawer, only a little smaller than it was when I took it out.

However, my intuition, my intention, for the year 2009 is to make this the year where I draw again. To that end I found an old journal that I made probably 10-12 years ago, filled with Strathmore 400 paper, I am sure (I had ordered a package wholesale from one of our suppliers and made a bunch of signatures with it). I spent part of New Year's Eve making a new slipcover for it out of some zebra print fabric I'd bought to make plush animals with. And on January 1st, I intend to start to draw. Whatever takes my fancy. As often as possible.

Some good books for inspiration on keeping a visual journal are:
An Illustrated Life
Everyday Matters
The Creative License
all 3 by Danny Gregory, all very good, filled with drawings and observations about daily life. you can read old posts at his blog as well. Fun stuff!

Drawing from Life: The Journal as Art Jennifer New
A Life in Hand Hannah Hinchman
A Trail Through Leaves Hannah Hinchman
The Decorated Page Gwen Diehn
The Decorated Journal Gwen Diehn
Creating Sketchbooks for Embroiderers and Textile Artists Kay Greenlees

The point of this is not necessarily to work out ideas for in the flesh works, but I know that will be part of it. All of the cleaning in the studio and all of the experiences I have had over the past year are begging to be processed into something new. Components are whispering stories to me, and documenting the process via drawing instrument on paper is the best way I know to help bring these stories to the outside world, where they can share their secrets with others.

Beaded Voyages

After a bit of angsting I was able to "hang" my show at the Athens Public Library yesterday. The person who had been scheduled cancelled with two weeks' notice, and Lanna Galloway, the person who coordinates the exhibits, contacted me about showing in the display cases. I said yes, hoping I had enough work to fill the spots, and knowing I had two weeks to finish anything in progress.

Little did I know Izzy would bring home a cold that basically left me unable to do anything but knit (sounds silly, but knitting for me takes less concentration and fine motor skill than beadwork). I started feeling anxious about the show, not sure that the cases would be ok, but trusting in the process.

Late last week I realized I could merchandise the shelves as if they were display windows. I was inspired by the HGTV annual show on the Christmas display windows for merchants such as Macy's and The Bay, and I knew as I talked it out that it would work. I came up with six separate "windows" and picked the work accordingly. I still wasn't sure it would be enough, but I felt really excited about providing something fun for the library patrons to view.

Imagine my glee when I walked in and realized there were exactly six shelves (even though I have often admired others' work in the cases, I never really paid much attention to exactly how much space is in them). And that the fabric my MIL had sent me earlier this month was the perfect base for the windows. With the help of my children, Aisha and Izzy, we set to work setting up the display.

Blogger is not cooperating, so I will caption from the top: the first picture is "A Walk in the Woods" and is in the bottom of the display case on the left of the doorway. It contains Pink Houses, a bead embroidered piece that I stitched to a canvas that I painted in complementary pink and beige polka dots. The dolls are peyote stitched on a base of a vinyl cake doll which has been painted with Pinata inks , and the trees are styrofoam forms cleverly disguised as trees. Izzy's snowman peeks out from the right hand side of the scene.

The second image is "Summer Day" and contains my bead journal piece from last July, titled "Waiting for Harvest", two beadwork popsicles that I made just for fun (well, as part of a larger beaded picnic scene that is still in the theoretical stage ), bead embroidered fairies, and more of Izzy's wonderful sculptures.

The last image for this post is the full view of the right side case. It contains, from the top "Back to School" which has a beaded baby dress I made after coming across a wonderful yellow and black striped button while cleaning the studio (sometimes chaos does facilitate creativity), the beaded pencil purse which was in last year's Beadwork competition, some beaded pencil earrings (also at my Etsy shop), a larger beaded pencil, a peyote stitch pyramid vessel, and my beaded milagro pins. "Under the Sea" with a bead embroidered and peyote "Water's Edge", multiple beadwork corals, a beaded coral necklace, Izzy's volcano and a scuptural peyote fish necklace. The bottom shelf on the right hand side is "Wearable Fantasies" and has a selection of beaded necklaces and a little purse that I have made over the years.

I will upload an image of "Space Odyssey" in my next post. It is the top shelf in the left hand case and contains the moon I posted earlier this month and other fun pieces.

It is funny, but I am grateful for the cold Izzy brought home because the show worked out perfectly without any extra finished pieces, and I really had a lot of fun with the knitting (which is a whole new post, probably after the new year).

Friday, December 26, 2008

Drive By

I was surfing earlier this week and found this wonderful site creativeliberty Lots of good inspiration and motivation for us creative types (and everyone else too ;) Check out her links as well!

In Between

I have been gifted with a last minute show at the Athens Public Library so the theory is that I've been sitting on the sofa madly finishing up beadworks in progress. The truth is that I started out madly beading work, but then Izzy came home with a cold and generously shared it with me, so I've been lying on the sofa madly knitting. I hang the show on Tuesday, and hope to have some photos of the process up soon afterward, but for now I should head back to the sofa and see if I can madly bead for a few more days. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Word of the Year

I had a guest blog post over at Christine Kane's blog earlier this week. The premise was to choose a word (or two in my case :) to help focus intent during the course of this year. I chose permission and persistence, both words I have struggled with over my lifetime. Having those two words in the back of my mind helped me keep going when the road looked tough, and at the end of the year I am pleased to say that I saw many many good results as a result of following this process. I won't repost the blog here, but welcome you to go read it at her site, stay a while and be inspired by Christine and her readers .

Saturday, December 6, 2008

May 2009

This book won't be out until May of next year, but it looks really cool and is edited by Marthe LeVan who has done wonderful books in the past. I have a 3D lotus choker and a set of earrings in it. It's already available for pre-order at Check it out! Thanks!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

If the Moon Doesn't Come to You

You go to the moon!

Sometimes the most fun pieces come from simply cleaning in the studio. I came across these white buttons while straightening up the mess ("creative chaos" ) from a previous project, and I wanted to do something that was a bit more button than beady. This started on a 5" square piece of Peltex (heavy duty interfacing available at JoAnn fabrics with the regular Pellon interfacing) that I covered in some sort of batik cotton. These are perfect projects for those small pieces of fabric that may not fit in any other project, and for something special that you know is beneath the surface, and can function as an underpainting does in traditional oil painting. I also found that the Peltex does not shrink as much with heavy beading as the 30 or 40 weight Pellon does, an important consideration if you are making something to fit in a specific space. I found this out the hard way, when doing my shrine for the Anticraft book.

We missed out on the alignment of the moon, Jupiter and Venus the other night because it was snowing and overcast. I will just have to make do with this for now.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

CHA Indie Craft Display

I have been chosen to display at the CHA show in Anaheim CA, January 25-28 2009 with this hat! I am over the moon with this and currently working on my promotional material that will be available at the display. My goal is to end up with a book deal or a design opportunity for a yarn company (Noro or Cascade would be really cool!) or a book and design opportunities, I am open to everything at the moment. I'd like to send a big shout out to Kathy Cano Murillo for posting about this opportunity.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Rainy Days and Sunday

We are possibly expecting snow, but for now it is a heavy drizzle and the hillsides are shrouded in a misty fog, playing hob with aerial perspective as I was taught it in Art 101. I want to find my baggy pants and head out to Dow Lake and walk the path, but I don't own any hunter orange. I guess that outing will have to wait until after deer season is over. ;)

Yesterday we vended at the Logan (OH) Community Center, 8am-5pm was the original schedule, but everyone started tearing down at 3pm when the local holiday parade sucked all the shoppers away. I was in a separate room with a very nice gentleman who makes basketry birdhouses, and it was freezing. The thermostat didn't even hit the 68F standard of "fuel conservation" from when I was a kid. But it was well lit and we had a huge table.

I apologize for the blurry quality of the picture, I am not sure why the flash didn't go off and maybe the camera was set to take portfolio photos. You can see my rocket ornaments, some plush and older quilts in this photo. Two people thought the rockets were bats, which is kind of funny. I suppose when I list them on Etsy later this week I will have to call them Rocket Bat Ornaments.
I have already listed some of the pieces on my Etsy and will be listing more later this week.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Rockets and Cookies

It is time to change cookie cutters, at least for a little bit. These are some of the cookies I took over to Donkey last night, trees with frosting and non-pareil decors. Someone brought Grandpa cookies like this when we were visiting him one year at Christmas, every time I see these I think of him. :) I am not sure if I will do cookies all month or not, they bake a little different than the hearts, pumpkins, birds and butterflies. All the small tips seem to bake faster and are a little more brown than the inside of the tree. Even at that, they only had 4 left this morning when Aisha was in checking on baking inventory for me.

I also have been making rockets for the upcoming craft show November 29 at the Logan Hocking Community Center. I am working from beady stash here, size 6/0, and don't have a lot of traditional "holiday" colors. But I am really happy with how they are turning out even with the more unusual colors. And if you are like me, some ornaments stay up year round, so "seasonal" color isn't as much of an issue. I could see these strung across a doorway with jumbo planets hanging in between them. We'll see what happens.

What holiday preparations are you making?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Would You Hang This On Your Tree?

I wasn't so much Christmas deprived as Christmas denied as a kid. For a while we attended this really strict sect (some would call it a cult) which did not celebrate Christmas or Easter, and I was not allowed to sing in the Christmas pageant in 3rd grade or make tissue paper reindeer (and don't even ask about the time I convinced my kindergarten teacher that it was ok to draw the face on the construction paper pumpkin; I ended up having a very special talk with one of the ministers after that).

My grandmother and the rest of Mom's side still celebrated Christmas, and we did not isolate ourselves from them, so I did end up having some exposure (ahhh cookies and lights and the little elf ornament with felt hat that I was allowed to take home one time). So maybe not everyone would want a rocket ship or mermaid or fish on their tree. But hey, I'm not the average bear.

I am doing a craft show in Logan OH on the Friday after Thanksgiving, as their "featured artist", and while I am taking some quilts and plush and fancy beadwork, I needed to find something with a lower pricepoint that was also fun to make. While walking uptown this morning, I saw what I thought were rocket ships hanging in the display window of the local funky card/gift shop. Upon closer examination, I saw they were only long ovals that were two tone (silver and red).

"Hey," I thought. "I could make my rocket ship earrings with larger beads and they could be ornaments for the show. Cool!" So today after lunch that is what I did. This is my prototype. It took about two hours and I will probably be selling it for $20. Limited edition :) Over the weekend we are going to Columbus and I am going to see if I can procure some more seasonal colors as well as the little wire hanger things. Nothing earthshattering, but hey at least I am having fun.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Mason Dixon Knitting Strikes Again!

I have been working on the "Liberty" afghan from the new Mason Dixon Knitting book (Mason Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines) in my copious spare time. Since I didn't have the $ to buy the yarn for the whole piece, I started using stash yarn, changing it up as either I got bored, or ran out of one of the colors. Above is a detail of the steek and one side of the long binding (I chose to knit the binding on before cutting the steek as I am a steek virgin).

Here is the whole piece folded over on the sofa so that I could fit it all into one photograph. I like how my tension changed as I worked the piece. I started on the left with primarily Lamb's Pride and Cascade 220, working my way through stash of that, Mountain Colors, and finally new Ella Rae, Cascade 220 Superwash and even a bit of the Berocco Ultra Alpaca the original pattern called for. It's a bit longer than the 69" the pattern in the book called for, but I used what I had on hand (40" size 7 circs, amazingly my tension is so loose now I have to go down a needle size or more when working a pattern). I figure it doesn't matter that much since it is a blanket. It has also been nice to work on these colder fall evenings. I currently have two rows left to go on the other long binding, then it is time to cut the steek.

I love both of the Mason Dixon knitting books, they opened my skill set up so much. I am really happy that I am comfortable to knit with colors in two hands now and have several hats planned now for the Canton show.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Every Bunny Loves Somebunny Sometime

Rabbits have been an influence for quite some time. When I was a child, my mother painstakingly embroidered this lovely growth chart for me, using a stamped kit from Lee Wards.

(Evil Bunny, detail)

While I admired the work and the colors and that it had my very own name on it, the eyes on this rabbit always gave me the heeby jeebies. They just seemed wrong to me and I was very happy when I finally outgrew the growth chart and it went into my mom's drawer of memories.

I forgot about it for a long time, and then late last year I began doing some sketches with a Bic pen in a Canson sketchbook:

Carnival bunny with cathedral window headdress.

Always being a fan of picture in picture stuff, I gave the rabbit a "rabbit on rabbit " look.

The next piece in the progression, a jester stick design.

And combining a rabbit and a bat in a pastoral setting ( I always loved the illuminated manuscripts' images I'd find in our Time-Life collection of history) with a bit more whimsy.

Detail of the memento mori collar and the crown, this rabbit has a secret.

And finally back to fabric, where I drew the rabbit onto a piece of canvas, painted it with Setacolour paints, and then embellished with machine embroidery, beads and sequins. Still in process.

Closeup, Evil Rabbit grows up.

It's funny how I forget about that rabbit wallhanging until I am cleaning in the studio and come across it, but obviously it has never been too far from my thoughts.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Tyger Tyger

While working between larger more serious works, and while avoiding the larger work from anxiety, fear of not getting it right, etc, I sometimes manage to make something else. This piece is based on a tiger face I designed intending to create a handbag, but which morphed into a quilt square instead. The background is pieced of the various batiks I had sitting in the stash, while each tiger face takes advantage of the lovely array of Dutch wax batiks I have collected over the years from Becky at St Theresa's Textile Trove

On the back, which I have no photo of, I used some yardage of Detroit Tiger licensed fabric that I had bought at WalMart. I remember going to see the Tigers play once with my mom, Grandaddy and Uncle Sam. I don't remember if they won, but I do remember the ice cream I was able to get (we were constantly on diets when I was little). I'm sure the nearsighted thing also played into the not remembering the game. I do remember the game I went to in 1984 with my friends Beth and Wes, the crowds chanting "Louuuuuuuu" which sounded so much like "boooo". That year was great, though I made a faux pas when talking to Marty one day, not realizing that the Tigers and Orioles were battling it out that year "How about them Tigers"? Fortunately despite that and the fact that I woke him one morning with lovingly prepared peanut butter cookies, he still stuck around and we are together to this day.

Well, I digress. The stripes that divide the rows of tigers reminds me of the stitching on a baseball, and they were inspired by a stripe along the selvedge of one of the batiks (I also need to add that at the south side of Detroit off of I-75, there used to be a oil tank that was round and had the Tigers logo painted on it, for some reason I also thought of that while working on this piece). I quilted the piece with blazing neon orange Madeira thread, adding even more fun to it. It may not be a "serious" piece, but I sure had fun and it makes me smile when I look at it.
I think we all need something like that in our lives, something that is just for us. What do you have in your life that you do "just for you"?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Water Towers, A Lifelong Passion

Write what you know, a lot of advice goes when it comes to writing. Paint what you know. Whatever your medium of creativity, the advice is to depict what you know. Even when you may think the subject matter is too trivial or "silly", if that is where your passion lies, then your heart will come through in the work.

I have loved water towers since I was a little girl riding in the back seat of my mom's '63 Chevy convertible. I would lie in the back seat and look up at the one that was on 12 Mile Road by the GM Tech Center, imagining it to be a giant spaceship or other such otherworldly vehicle. I still can remember the red and white checked tower that stood in Bowling Green Ohio, even though I could tell you nothing else about Bowling Green from that trip (I think there was also a giant cow statue involved somewhere).

I was nearsighted and it wasn't discovered until I was 10 years old, and I think the water towers made such an impression on me because they were something on the landscape that I could readily identify. That and the 3 part taillight of the Ford Mustang (living in the Detroit area, knowing your automobiles was a very important part of life, even for a 3 year old little girl). So it makes sense that I am having such fun depicting them in my current work.

Red & White #4, 2006 25" x 34" Cottons, silks, patchwork, beads and sequins.

This piece is based on a huge oval water tower that sits on the grounds of Andrews Air Force Base. It is right next to the road, and driving under it is indeed like driving under a monster spaceship. I chose to focus on part of the tower for this piece, giving it an abstract appearance.

Gaffney, SC 2007 38" x 29" Cottons, silks, patchwork and applique.

This is from a photo I took of the real peach shaped water tower in Gaffney South Carolina. I just love how realistic this tower is in its depiction of a giant peach. I have worked with this image in paint and colored pencil as well as fabric.

Route 33, Summer Morning, 2007 47"h x 44" w Cottons, silks, netting, patchwork and applique.

These towers sit on my commute into the city of Athens. I have seen them in all lighting and weather conditions and they continue to fascinate me. When I first moved here, the local high schoolers would climb the tower to write graffiti, but that practice was stopped many years ago. Now the towers remain their many variations of white through all the seasons.

Marilyn, 2008 62"h x 76"w Cottons, applique, patchwork, sequins and beads.

I took one of the two tower images and blew it up, recreating it in vivid rainbow hues. This piece was a monster to work on and I loved (almost) every minute of it (there were times when wrestling it under the machine head on my Pfaff got to be a bit much, but I perservered). I loved working on the sequins, being surrounded by color and light. I think quilting is one of the only mediums where you can literally be surrounded by color as you work on a piece.

Night Moves, 2008 32"h x 31" w Patchwork, applique, cottons and twill hand dyed by the artist.

The towers at night, or as I imagine a night could look like. This is the most recent piece, and several others are in the works. I am still having a lot of fun. :)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Blogging on Martha Stewart s Show

For some reason apostrophe s aren t working today. We don t get Martha s show on either of the affiliates I can watch any more, but Crafty Chica posted a link to her blog today, with a great article on blogging Good stuff, and definitely a lesson to take to heart. More regular postings here to come!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Beading Classes at Byzantium

NEW! FUNKY MILAGROS PIN - peyote stitch and bead embroidery              
 Create a lotteria-inspired wearable flaming heart votive in this fast paced class.  You’ll learn
basic bead embroidery and peyote stitch skills to accent this stylish and meaningful pin, as seen in 
 BELLE ARMOIRE magazine. Although beginners are welcome, it does help to have some
 seed bead experience and patience  for working with the very small size 15/0 seed beads. 
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 27TH, 12:15-4:15 P.M.                                                                           
 $75 includes all materials 

I will also be teaching a funky seaform and ribbon peyote techniques in two other classes in November and December.  Look at the Byzantium website to email for more details.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Governor Strickland Views My Work

Melissa Vogley Woods and Pam O'Loughlin show Governor Ted Strickland around the Ohio State Fair Fine Arts show.  Here they are standing in front of the wall of my quilts.  Governor Strickland is looking at Marilyn (62" h x 76" wide).

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Award Winning Piece

Route 33, Summer Morning
Patchwork, cotton, applique, machine quilting.

2nd Best in Show, Professional Division

I knew all three pieces got in (the water tower series). I knew I'd won an award. I did *not* know it was this big! I am still in shock. And happy. And grateful. And happy, did I say happy? Yeah, I'm happy.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Reward for Work Well Done

In between completing the projects for Lark (shipped today, instructions and photos waiting to be uploaded and emailed) and vending at Boogie on the Bricks next week, I feel like a kid on the last day of school. These wonderful Herman Munster green beads arrived on Tuesday with a shipment of Silamide and other wonderful beads that are now wonderful earrings and bracelets and... But I waited, carrying them with me in my purse, taking them out in the car and caressing them in the full sunlight, until the bulk of my other commitments were complete. And so today I bring you this:

I don't know her name yet, only that she has gnarly toes and wears a lavender dress. The head is about 2 1/2" high so far, and I am just having so much fun. Yay for last day of class! I also am taking mental notes so that I can teach this at some point (one thing I also need to do in the next week is work on my class proposals for Byzantium and St. Theresa Textile Trove).

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

An Introduction and About the Inner Farmgirl

This is by way of saying howdy-do to everyone on the Plurkette Hencircle . I was born in Detroit proper, and lived in the suburbs until I was 14. But my grandpa always had a garden, a huge garden, and some of my first memories are sitting on an adirondack chair under their willow tree shucking corn with my Mom-Mom, going out to u-picks and helping pick green beans to can, and driving out to the farm near Pontiac for fresh from the cow milk to bring home (my parents were the hippiest non hippies I think I've ever known).

Then when I was 14 we moved "out to the country" a little house nestled near the village of Holly, with enough land to have a 100' x 100' garden out back. And chickens. And turkeys. Oh, I loved my chickens and turkeys, would talk to them every day. Sometimes out my mom and dad's bedroom window. ("Those guys are really smart. How did they figure out we were in this room?" Unfortunately I never got that younger sibling to blame things on.....) Weeding the garden and helping to can, not so much, but the products were o so good.

The one thing I excelled at was baking and cooking. Give me a recipe and I could make it (still can, and now I don't always need a recipe even). So that is what I contributed to our little family.

Many years and several moves later, I am deep in the southeast corner of Ohio, near the home of Ohio University. Lots of hippies, a really cool farmer's market, and many opportunities to re-envision that lifestyle. I contribute to the family income by baking for a local coffee shop (Donkey Coffee and Espresso) , designing projects for Lark Books (my latest for "The Artful Storybook" should be hitting shelves soon, I received my contributor's copy), writing the occasional article, and of course selling my art quilts, beadwork and knitwear. And I am very excited for the opportunity to expand my community through the Hencircle.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Has it really been six months since I posted? I guess I've been so busy in house that time just slipped past. Also, between Aisha and Ben needing the computer, my time online has been limited, to say the least.

So what is new? Three more books with Lark, due out early next year (and maybe late this year, I am not positive), two current shows (Parkersburg Art Center Red White and Regional '08, opening is next Sunday, and French Art Colony, Gallipolis OH July 1-31), an upcoming museum show (hats! next May-July at the Canton Museum of Art) and a contract with Asher Gallery in Houston. And hopefully the Ohio State Fair Fine Arts Competiton late July-early August (notifications are due to be sent out on the 25th).

I will also be teaching this fall at Byzantium in Columbus, and St Theresa Textile Trove in Cincinnati (beadwork and my turtle purse and possibly my tiger quilt, though I think Angelina Jolie needs to see that one, given her current role in Kung Fu Panda :)

I will post more with photos later, just thought I'd check in and say hi. And that it won't be six months til my next post, I promise!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Journal Revolution

I won a copy of Journal Revolution from Maria Hammon and it arrived over the weekend. Here is my first experiment with one of the techniques described in the book (using white out pen to draw and add details to an image):

Full view, the big green area is Jo Sonja iridescent gouache stippled over sequin waste ribbon.

Detail, leaf painted in gouache and watercolor, fish stamp hand carved by me, drawing with the white out pen.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Sequinized Swimming

I am working on Marilyn, with a goal of entering the piece into the Ohio Designer Craftsmen Best of 2008 show.

Here is a picture of quilting in progress.

And a view from the back, seen a lot while tying off knots. Good advice from Susan Shie, use fun fabric on the back, too, since you'll be seeing it a lot while you're tying knots, etc. I got the floral print from Honey Fork Fabrics, it was one of their bargain bolts. And the purple is from my MIL, Sandy.

And now, dessert. Sequinizing with the lovely new sequins from C Cartwright (they are the iris finish, I just love me some iridescent goodness).

And a wider view of the piece, I love my little ceramic dish and collect different kinds that are great for this kind of work. Once I get the top third sequinized, I will make the sleeve and sew it on, as I always leave that for last and never really like doing it. I figure getting to put on the rest of the sequins will be a good bribe (that, and having the piece done when it's done! Wow! :)

Monday, January 7, 2008

Volume Four

I have been doing plain drawings with a black BIC crystal stick pen in one of my sketchbooks and I decided to take it out of the book and onto the wall.

Full bunny so far, Setacolour paints and machine embroidery on cotton twill PFD.

Detail of mushrooms and holes.

Detail of bunny eyes and cloud.

Once the machine embroidery is complete, I plan to put him on a quilt sandwich and bead him. Then, who knows? I'll keep you updated!

Volume Three

While waiting for the weather to cool, and wanting to make something that was faster than a jumbo quilt, I started playing with the beads again. There is a version of blue iris out there that is almost black, so in the vein of the Cabinet of Curiosities piece I started back in November, I made these.

Coral and shell forms, sculptural peyote stitch and designed to be strung. Done in the blue black iris and a matte white/black stripe iridescent.

I also made a full necklace, still awaiting a good gold clasp. Done in winter whites and champagnes.

Full view, minus clasp.

And detail of coral, this was so much fun!

Volume Two

Several years ago I did an online healing doll class with Barb Kobe. While I never did complete the class (life got in the way and when you make art for your living, making art for yourself sometimes takes the back seat). I did get my shadow doll done, and she has sat in my studio this whole time. I thought I would hate her, but I found myself having compassion for this constantly needy side of myself, with her constant screaming for more, her pig nose, her blobby body. Everything I felt was bad about myself.

Yesterday, while working in the studio, a car went by, and I heard a rattle begin. When I looked, it was the doll, sitting on top of my printers drawers. I moved her to next to my sewing machine, and the rattle stopped. But as I looked at her, I realized she was no longer complete. At the time I made her, she expressed all my rage and anger at my bad qualities, but now I found I am ready to love all of myself, even those parts that may not be pleasant. It is time to love my shadow.

New Year, New Stuff, Volume One

I hadn't realized that it's been nearly six weeks since my last update. I have been madly working in the studio and having family home for the holidays (twice!) and having a boy with pinkeye (still, but it is almost gone now, thanks to the wonders of sulfa drugs) and fighting my own battle with the cold and temporarily losing my voice. But I feel positive about the new year and without further ado, I bring you this:

Marilyn, approximately five feet high by seven feet wide. The more I quilt, the smaller it gets, which I suppose is a good thing. I had started this piece in early October, before the AQN retreat, and had begun quilting it in late October, when it was still quite warm in the studio. Having literally sweated through too many sessions, I left it on the wall and waited for my second wind. I never really thought about why my Granny would quilt in the winter, but now I get it. Even machine quilting is hot business when temperatures are still in the 80s.

The full view, still in process ( blue tower still needs quilting; I have sequins for the background and of course it still needs binding).

Detail of yellow tower. Love that freemotion zigzag!

Marilyn is one of my pieces based on the water towers that are between The Plains and the Columbus Road exit on Route 33 leading into Athens. I have driven past these towers for almost 24 years now, seen them in all kinds of weather and light. For me, they are the haystacks of my life here (ala Monet). When I first moved here, people would still grafitti them, but that hasn't happened in so long that I prefer to show them in their unadorned glory. I played with images of the towers during my stint in graduate school, and had grand plans of a multi painting installation of the towers in all sorts of colorways, but was afraid at the time to attempt such a grand plan. Thanks to time and experience, I dive in.