Friday, December 17, 2010

Guess what I found?

There is a very odd sensation when find something that you had literally forgotten about.  Not like the box of photos you haven't opened in year but you know what is in there.  You can picture it in your mind.  The sensation when open a box you have walked by for 3 years not given it a second thought to pull it down in a whorl wind of cleaning and open it.  What do I find?  UFO's - but wonderful UFO's that really brought me joy when I was working on them.  Most of them are textile related and just unfinished.  I sat there for an hour - instead of cleaning - going through 3 round hat boxes filled with various needle work projects.  The majority of them were the results of a couple of classes I took at Thimble Creek .  The projects were a 9-patch quilt top - all it needs is sandwiching and quilting. A felted wool applique project.  Just needs to be made into something.  And, the other project was a needlepoint tea cozy I started as a Christmas present, what 8 to 9 years ago.  (A little embarrassed there).

The other project was an art-quilt-a-week project I started in 2007.  I was getting into art-quilts at the time and I wanted to make a quilt a week so there would be 4 quilts for each month.  Seasons was the overall theme.  My love of nature and biological illustration prevails through all of them.  I stopped in May...I got a new job, and my life changed especially when I moved and went from a 2 bedroom place to a one bedroom abode.  No more studio space.  Sigh.

Here are some the best samples of what I did.
Winter #2
Early spring

Spring #1
Spring Equinox

Summer #1
Summer #2

There are more but these are the ones I really liked myself.

Actually after the hour of looking at what I had done, I decided, hey, I am not so bad!  I can actually create good work.  Why am I so hard on myself all the time?  In anycase, I am looking forward to the new year once the holiday crafting and creating comes to a close to get back to figuring out my creative genre.

 I want to concentrate on one genre because I often spread myself thin on a number of artistic genres and not do any of them well.  Since I love working with textile ( I am very tactile) I love to draw and paint.  I love mixing and putting together (mixed media) - why not put it all together?  Art quilts or mixed media paintings may be the way to go or start.  So, dear readers - a new release on my creative life.  A new opportunity to give my creative life a specific objective.  No deadlines just plain experimentation, playing around and having fun.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Stalled again... :(

Dear Readers - I am stalled again.  I have read articles that say if you are not producing then perhaps your heart really isn't in this.  Really?  Yet, something inside says I am not done.  There is more to come, wait.  Be patient.  Whispering hope.  Well anyway, that is why I haven't attended to this blog in a while.

Will the holidays spur some crafting and then some art and then.... 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

New Hope

I have not been very committed to my art blog.  It has been a while since I have been able to focus on creative endeavors outside my sewing experiences.  Sewing is easy for me and I tend to procrastinate on my 'art' by sewing instead.  Lack of confidence?  Yes.  I am still rebuilding my confidence in  my art.  Partly because I have stretched myself to try new things and when you are learning new things you don't feel as comfortable doing them.  So, why stretch?  Mostly the human need to grow and exercise one's sense of wonder and knowledge.  Why not stick to what I can do - which is biological illustrations including botanical and zoological portraits?  I really got bored!  I live in a time when art exploration is not just about intellectual, museum quality work? I feel inspired by other ways of approaching the same topics.  I feel like the impressionists and the cubist and all the modern artists getting us to look at the world a different way.  I, too, want to interpret my world in a different way.  So, in my struggle to expand my 'art'.   I have ebbs and flows of creativity.  I am in a flow state right now.

I finally figured out that I could combine my talents - drawing, painting with sewing.  I love the feel of fibers.  I love to draw.  I love to sew!  Why not create art that gives those creative wings some flexibility?  I have been trying to explore mixed media and art quilting.  My favorite artists in this area are: Linda and Laura Kemshall, Beryl Taylor, Heidi Lund, Carolyn Dahl, Jane Davies and  Elsebeth Gynther & Christine Clemmensen to name a few.  They have inspired me to look at all my talents and try to bring them together.  Its a long and hard struggle but I am making it work.

I have started a 'sketch-a-day' trying carve out time for art.  I work full time and it is hard at days-end to muster any energy for something I am not yet comfortable with.  I bought a fun and silly book where each page gives you a prompt and you make it happen.  Here are some of them:
You know the prompt - drops of ink and blew it around.

Crayons are not just for kids!  I loved this one.  See the spooky face at the top?  I did this one around Halloween...

The prompt was to draw the sun in 10 different ways.  I interpreted it with embossing powders, shredded fabric circle, cut-outs, string, sponging, ink and blow, and crayon!

I have started on a mixed media art quilt. I have been making paper fabric (a la Beryl Taylor) and found some photo transfers, ATC's and other bits and pieces from other trial and error projects and putting things together.  It isn't there yet but here is the first draft:

So, I have renewed hope in what I am trying to do.  I really just want to be creative for its own sake.  However, ultimately, as I near retirement (in 3 to 6 years), I am thinking of ways that I can put my creative endeavors to work for me without loosing the joy it brings.  For now, I can just relax, be creative and enjoy it. 

I hope to be more diligent about posting.  Thank you for being so patient and sticking with me.  Best wishes.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Why I haven't been posting....

So sad but true - life is happening.  I work in the educational field and this year we started school August 16th.  Yes, 3 weeks before the Labor Day holiday.  Good thing?  Summer 2011 begins Memorial Weekend, but that doesn't help us right now.  So, I have been snowed under with getting the school year up and running.  With that said, I beg your pardon for the silence and no updates.  I hope by the middle of September to have plenty to post.  Please dear readers, keep checking in - who knows I may get a minute to breath and post something.  Blessings and many best wishes as summer winds down and autumn approaches.  Cheers.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

It is the end of July! How did that happen?

Hello, it has been a long time since I have made any entries to this blog.  Many reasons:  I got focused on my other blog  This venue focuses on my love of history, historical clothing and domestic arts.  Yes, I got distracted.  In addition, work has been a bit of a downer and draining of any creative juices.  I am much more confident with my sewing and cooking.  I am still a fledgling artist - my 'rebirth' has not been consistently growing.  However, with a vacation - 3 weeks long thank God - I have begun to adjust my attitude and refocus on my art.  So, I worked on one painting thus so far:  Agapantha Collage

20" x 15" Image, text collage and botanical portrait

Detail of painting

I had been collecting images of Agapantha flowers and I wanted to develop a portrait that was not the traditional image on a blank ground.  I am trained as a botanical illustrator but I love to do mix media and collage work so I am developing a way to connect the two.  
I have other images in my head similar in process and hope to be able to work on them on a regular basis. 

I have been struggling to find time to be creative beyond my sewing and craft projects - not that I get them in that often either.  I guess it is about finding balance between what I should do and and what I want to do.  'Gotta pay the bills' my left brain whines, but I essentially don't want to sell my soul to a worker bee life.  So, my plan is to do something creative everyday. I have talked about this again and again with friends, family and in my journals but it never comes to fruition.  I am tired of whining about it, so in the effort to celebrate life in general, I will be working towards a 'creative' life - the life I dream about, think about and have been too afraid to attempt.  So, with that in mind, apologies for being away so long, I am back, ready to rock and roll with my art and will be sharing as often as possible.  Thanks for hanging in there with me.  Cheers.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Springing into action

The rain and cold continue but I am really loving  staying in doors playing with many creative endeavors.  One is the art journal I started at the beginning of the year.  I did intend to write in it but it has evolved into a place to play with collage and mixed media techniques.  From several resources I made up a list of techniques (packing tape transfer, rubber stamp, etc), themes (ocean, winter, etc.) and other ideas that would provide a jump start on each page.  I printed them out and then cut them into strips and put them in a jar.  I fish around in the jar and pull out the various ideas - about 3 to 4 - and begin playing.  So, here are some of my results, enjoy!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Collage and soldering

After a very long and hard week at work, I has two wonderful things to look forward to:  1).  The time change - yes, I love this time change because the days are longer and when it is as beautiful and sunny as it was this last weekend, it is a fantastic shift.  All winter I am getting up in the dark and going home in the dark after work.  As a visual-kinetic person I need LIGHT to keep my energy going.  I welcome spring with open arms!  2).  I took a class at Castle In The Air  from Ulla on making ornaments and jewelry of small or miniature collages between glass and soldering them together.  Here are the ones I made:

The top piece is has lace sandwiched between glass that I had to circle cut. The piece to the left of center - are three 1 inch squares linked together.  The two to the right are made from microscope glass with the collages sandwiched between them.  The central  square on point was an exercise in adding the decorative wire at the top.  The 1/2 circle is not done but shows what the piece looks like before you solder.
Soldering isn't hard but it isn't easy either.  Well, not for me.  I am one of those crafters that swiftly works through projects.  With soldering you have to really slow, slow, slow down and methodically apply the solder so that it ends up smooth.  For my first efforts, I did pretty good and I really loved the process.  Ulla is a fabulous teacher and coach so it was easy to quickly get into the projects she set out for us to do.

I think I will do more of this in the near future.  Birthday presents and Christmas presents present chances to work on my technique.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A little creativity - Good medicine for the soul

Out of my sadness for what happened to me last week, I turned to a bit of creativity to heal and sooth my nerves.  So, for Valentines day I created little heart ornaments out of paper and added a few pink, red and white M&M's and sealed it in a bag.    They went over really well at work, everyone appreciated the gift of my love.

I have also been catching up on my art journaling here are some of the finished pages since January 1:

This journal entry isn't done but is reactive to my experience last week.  I will upload the finished week when I can.

In any case, for me art and being creative is very soothing and yet enriching.  It is meditative and yet instructive.  Art in its various forms and outcomes is just plain feeding of my soul and spirit.  When I get cranky I turned to something creative to do with my hands.  Cooking something can often fill the void, too.  Cheers!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

From adversity comes healing through art

My week began beautifully after a great sunny weekend.  Yet, the unexpected curves in the road sometimes bring you right up to a challenge or obstacle before you have time to think.  For me it was having my laptop literally yanked from my lap and hands as I was sitting enjoying the sun and working on an email.  The attack wasn't expected of course and it leaves you feeling pretty low.  I was not hurt and though it made some problems for me at work, the computer is less important than my well being.  With that said, I stayed home from work and began regrouping with some art work.  I woke up and decided that I needed to be creative and get myself back to a centered way of looking at life and move forward, so I started working on valentine gifties for my colleagues and I also worked in my art journal. I cooked food from scratch and played with the cat.   No pics yet, but I hope to have some to post tomorrow if not Saturday.  There is a quote - which I can't remember who said it and the exact wording but it goes like this:
Forgive but don't forget.  If one forgets, one loses the lesson.   The lesson: being more aware of my surroundings.  Also, from adversity there comes a strengthening of the fibers and forgiving prevents me from stewing as I am sure they (my band of terrorists - there were 8 to 10 of them ) think I am doing.  I won't let them still my Joy.  Cheers.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


I am inspired by:

The natural colors of linen and natural fibers

They remind me of a quiet morning on a winter's day and yet the crisp coolness we seek on a hot summer's day.  I have been living in my condo for two years and never did anything to personalize it - decorate it.  I have just been living in it, filling it to the rafters and now overwhelmed by the lack of space, too much stuff and just uninspiring to be in.  So, new year, new plans and new hope.  1st order of business - wreck and order - weed the garden of my groaning shelves, drawers, closets and cabinets.  2nd order of business - review my idea board I started last year for decorating the house.

Greys, neutral cool and warm colors keep showing up as my palette with hints of bright colors. I also like dark colors - rich and creamy.  I have an eclectic nature in that I love vintage and modern together.  I love the mix of shabby chic with Parisian urban styling.  I like mercury-like glass, china, sliver and pewter, dark woods and black painted furniture.  Yep, eclectic.    Now, how to achieve all this...on a shoe string?  DIY - most definitely on painting and crafting soft furnishings.


All of this will take some time and probably the whole year to complete but it will be a work in progress - an artistic endeavor and hopefully I will love it.  I am the worst about making decisions about colors on my walls.  I know what I want but will it look good?  Friends say - "You won't know until you get it up there and heck you paint over it if you don't like it."  Keep your fingers crossed.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Winter Images from Northern California

Coastal Northern California can be very beautiful during the winter - even without snow. The mornings are often veiled in fog or mist. The sun rises in icy pink on a cadet blue sky. The moon shrouded in clouds - very quiet and mystical.

Trying my hand at photography this year, too. :)

Getting the ball rolling!

So, my goal this year is to revive up the 'creative life'. That means not just doing art but also being creative in every aspect of my life - putting the 'J' back into Joy! Sewing is one of my creative talents that I actually enjoy once I get a project going. I started the year off with a quickie project:

I was invited to a 1930's Lounge party on New Year's day. What to wear? So, the week before the event I pulled out some fabric I found at Joanne's - yes, Joanne Fabrics had this period-like print! I then used the Decade of Style pattern for 1930 Kitchenette Pajamas. It went together rather well and was a hit at the party. I felt really comfortable and it was fun to wear. The party, itself, was delightful - everyone was dressed in 20's to early 40's lounge wear - food and 'beverages' abounded! Amazing how energetic folks were after New Year celebrations that went into the wee hours of the morning!

On my sewing list this January I am to make an 18th century traveling outfit for a day by the sea on Feb 6. I belong to a fabulous group called Les Societe des Lumieres and we engage in 18th century events and learning about the social history. Our first event this year is to go to the Pelican Inn (a replica 18th century coaching inn) at Muir Beach for nuncheon and tea.

Prior to that I need to make a 1940's day dress for the Art Deco Society's Membership Appreciation Party on January 24th. As a member of the board of the ADSC, I want to look vintage - well, since I am 54 (in a few days) so I guess I am pretty vintage

Art has been happening as well. I am really excited about the renewed energy I seem to have found where I can balance my work, social and creative life with the mundane domestic routine thrown in there. I therefore hope to post more this year.

As things come up I will post and look forward to your comments and notes. Thanks.