Thursday, April 23, 2009

Management From the Top Down

I am not a hair chick.  Never really have been, probably never really will be.  My one foray into hair chick-ness was back when I worked at Wendy’s in Bryan/College Station, Texas.  My running buddy Mike talked me into having my hair done by his friend who worked at the cosmetology school.  I ended up with a beautiful, body-permed, burgundy mullet, which he would do each day before we went out (I also bought my first curling iron at his urging, and yes, occasionally I did my own hair). 

Fast forward too many years later, and I became frustrated with trying to find a good hair style (I have a natural wave and no matter what the haircut I seemed to end up with Farrah hair) so let my hair go, and as they say, I also had “let myself go”. 

My good friend Diane bought a piece of artwork from me, and as she handed me the payment she said “I want you to use this on yourself”.

Well, Alyson Hannigan (Willow from “Buffy”) had just gotten a cute bob with a slight wave.  I thought it might work on my hair.  I lucked into finding Amy at Regis, and was happy for many many years.  The hair was also part of a “top down” makeover at the time, which ended with me over 100 pounds lighter and much healthier.  I thought I was an “after with a vengeance”.

Life intervened, in the form of hormone upheaval (mine) job upheaval (my husband) and just general upheaval.  In the middle of not knowing when the next regular paycheck would arrive, my hard-earned new regime slipped a little.  Instead of tomatoes and brown rice, I found myself nibbling on the cookies I was baking for the local coffee shop; and instead of walking five times a week, I found myself sitting on the sofa or at the computer.  Haircuts also went by the wayside, as I chose to use what windfalls came my way on other, longer lasting items.

Today, I got a real haircut and style.  Tomorrow I am buying a packet of funky stickers at Target (part of the weight loss/getting in shape regime involved the very simple yet satisfying act of putting a cool sticker on my calendar each day I worked out).  My friend Lucky bought me a basic yoga DVD last year for my birthday and I have already been laying down some stickers. 

Here I am with my new haircut:


(I also bought some of that makeup Ellen has been advertising for, as I swear by my Oil of Olay Regenerist Serum; did I also mention I am not a makeup )

Who knows? Maybe I will look into some hot rollers next!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

How to Get Ahead in Life

Well, one can work hard, put in long hours, make sacrifices and difficult choices.  That’s one way to get ahead in life.


OR, you can get ahead from eBay.  A dozen of them, in fact, for only $48, including shipping and insurance.  Here they are, waiting for their debut as part of my upcoming hat exhibit at The Canton Museum of Art.

Back to work!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Gocco, My Gocco or The Rewards of Patience

Several years ago I received a Print Gocco for my birthday.  It is a device that flashes small silkscreens to make cards and other fun stuff with.  I made several screens of various designs for projects as varied as mermaid ornaments to individual doll panels to surface design on fabric for quilts.  Then the company who makes the Gocco decided to quit exporting it to the US and I hoarded my remaining bulbs and screens (I have since found suppliers, but I still have to have a Very Special Project to pull out the screens and bulbs).

While quilting the quilt that never ended (it finally did, yesterday, yay!) I had lots of time to think about what I was going to do next.  This piece is about 50” x 80” and there will be a lot of blue sky in the background of the wonderful red and white checked tower.  What to do with that space, beyond the basic quilting, I didn’t know.   However, I figured since the quilting was taking forever I could, like Scarlett O’Hara, think about it tomorrow.

The answer came while changing bobbins at one point (I went through a LOT of bobbins).  Make a Gocco screen from my reference photograph and screen print the quilt with lots of little white water towers (I knew that they had to be white, to help with the “realistic sky” feel of the background).

Yesterday, after I had done my happy dance upon completing the quilting, I dug out my Print Gocco.  I scanned the photo into my other computer and printed it out.  Then I drew on the printed image using an Ebony pencil (they have enough carbon for the Gocco to work), flashed my screen, and…

Could not find the stamping accessory attachment that I received with the Gocco.  No clue if it was where the Gocco was, and the bathroom/storage room is kind of full right now due to almost every book’s projects having come home from the publisher.  So I had to do it old school, using an old credit card as a squeegee.


The tower, in full and you can see the legs of other printings in the corner.  It is not as detailed as the original photo, but I am still happy with how it’s turning out.  I probably wouldn’t have thought of doing this had the piece not taken so long to quilt, so there is something to be said for working on big pieces that take forever to make.

Next up, heat setting and binding.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Late last month I received my contributor's copy of the new book Stitched Jewels: Jewelry That's Sewn, Stuffed, Gathered & Frayed, by Marthe LeVan. I designed a lotus choker and a set of earrings, based on the flower piece I made for an earlier book, and was eager to see what the other artists had come up with.

The book covers everything from the very basics on how to do hand-stitching and machine stitching, to the properties of different fabrics and what to expect when using them. Since the focus is on jewelry, there is also a section on findings and jewelry construction, all presented in a simple, easy to read format. Gallery images of fabric jewelry are scattered throughout the book for inspiration. The projects range from simple to sophisticated and I am very proud to have been included in this book with the other talented designers. It's a great book to have on your shelf, and if you have even a small fabric stash and the desire to make something fun with it, this is a good book to start with.