Thursday, May 28, 2009

Have You Hugged Your Pet Today?

Here's a picture of Sancho exploring outside the day I was trying out fabric dye/painting. I have several projects in progress and none of them ready to show you. So you get to see my sweet artdog. :)

First though, I want to "Toot my own Horn" as my friend Edz would say. I am so excited that one of my art quilts is published in the next issue of Quilting Arts magazine!! Yay! (Insert Happy Dance here, and y'all join me!)... Page 72 if you are interested... you are, right??!! Having said that, let me get back to the topic at hand. Maybe we'll revist this topic when the actual shock wears off. *grins*

I've got ATC's in progress, a postcard swap winding up (yes Mama Hen Jo, I'm almost finished!), an art doll swap taking shape with my artpal Heather, my inner critic is nagging me and my muse is finding her zen place. Art-zen master Hula-girl Sonja is always keeping me on my toes. Next month I'm going to work on finishing up what I have undone (Girl Undone sounds like an artdoll to me)... and I'm going to squeeze as much art time as I can in between work and a week out of town and my big brother is coming to spend some time with us (he's a hoot!).

I've been trying to wend my way around facebook now and then (sorry Heather I'm a slooooow learner huh?) and mostly hanging out at the new Quilting Arts Community sight: Have you checked it out yet? There's so much information and new friends and inspiration to be found there. You will be so inspired by the galleries of artwork, and I hope to see yours there soon.

Have you hugged your pet today? If not, take a minute right now and do that. Do it twice. Then get into the art studio even for ten minutes. As I told a friend a little bit ago, a little art does a soul good.

Friday, May 22, 2009

A Lot of Inspiration from Marsha

I needed a little inspiration today. I'm working on a project and I'm stuck, baffled, not sure where to go with it. Everything I try doesn't seem to do the trick. Is it time to let go, toss it out and start again, or am I just needing to get over the hump?

Rolling my eyes, fidgeting in my chair, chewing on my pencil and trying to force myself to rescue what I'm working on, I look desperately all around the room. Searching... stalling. Then my eyes see it. I began to remember, the wheels begin to turn and, well.. here is it's story:

The picture to the left shows a beautiful hand felted piece made by one of my wonderful friends, Marsha, who lives in Oregon. Marsha and I met in our writing group and we instantly bonded. We lived in the same small town on the Central Oregon Coast and we've had so many crazy adventures, I wouldn't know where to start with the stories. Marsha is one of those forever lifetime friends - it doesn't matter whether you live next door or 2000 miles away six states over -- when you hear each other's voice you pick up where you left off. She's always just a phone call or airplane ticket away. So whatever Marsha bestows upon me, is really, really sacred. This particular piece of felted fabric was what she called a "left over" but she thought I'd like to play with it and make something. (She actually used the words "left over" in describing this beautiful textile I was in awe of). Of course I'm enamored by it's beauty but also that it's handmade by my dear friend. I had it hanging as is on my wall for a while and then pretty soon as my little art "studio" became more and more cluttered (I mean FILLED!) it found its way into a drawer, essentially lost and forgotten.

It was the class at Quilt University that required us to find a piece of fabric or fiber that we dearly loved. To USE in a project. You know the feeling; you can't possibly force yourself to cut into that lovely fabric you just love so instead of using it and displaying it in a work of art, it's hidden, folded, forgotten until you stumble across it sometime. You can see what I came up with in the next photo on the right. I used her piece as the mountain and as the colorful stream bed below it. I absolutely love my wallhanging that features Marsha's felting. But it WAS one of the hardest things I had to do: make that first cut. What if I ruined it? What if it's hideous and I've wasted Marsha the artist's precious time and material? What if my friend is disappointed that I ruined her gift? What if? What if? What if it turns out to be a work of inspiration? A work of love? What if it makes me smile and inspires me everytime I look at it?

What if I head back into the studio and re-think my project at hand and ask, "What if?"

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

More Fabric Dye Day Photos

I really didn't picture myself spending the time or energy dyeing my own fabric. I was surprised at how easy and fun it was and I do think I'll spend more time doing this after all. I was always envious of artists who would take the time to dye their own fabric. Who knows where this will lead? Not bad for a first timer, eh?

Fabric Dye Day

Yesterday I was able to spend a big chunk of the day experimenting with dyeing fabric. Annie and Wallie from our Studio 105 design group were dyeing fabric on Monday during our group meet. The fabrics they made were so delicious! I gave it a try and I had some great results too. I tried using rock salt on a few but I didn't do something quite right as I didn't have much result with that. I need to check back with Annie and Wallie and see what I omitted! Still, it was great fun.

Monday, May 18, 2009

One More Show and Tell

This is one of my journal pages from my monthly art journal 2008. She's printed on vellum and one of my favorites. The colors, the layering, everything turned out exactly as it was in my head.

Here's a couple more pictures of dolls I've made. The first one shows dolls made with patterns by Patti Medaris Culea. I love her dolls and patterns. The three dolls are a series. Together I call them "The Slumber Party". The slumber party doll on the right is named Orgazma. The doll on the far right is an angel named Angelica. It just occurred to me she appears to be praying for Orgazma. Ha! Orgazma was given away as a gift. I let a friend pick which doll she wanted knowing she would pick Angelica. To my surprise, she grabbed up Orgazma. Go figure!

The other photo is a doll called Me, Myself, and I from an elinor peace bailey pattern (with the same name)for a class of hers we attended in Houston. My friend Marsha flew out from Oregon and we went together. She'd attended a couple of elinor's classes before and knew we would have a blast. elinor drew the face on my doll for me (it's supposed to be my face). Her body is psychedelic and reminds me of my first experience with the menopausal years. I left her naked because I loved all the colors; it seemed a shame to hide them beneath clothing.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


I was wondering what I was going to write about today and I thought nothing better than to share My Spirit Dolls with you. I started making them a couple years ago and as you can see, there's still a few bodies waiting to have heads and become true Spirit Dolls for someone. In honor of my beloved Art Dog Sanchie, she has a cute doggie on her front - from the Laurel Burch Kindred Spirits line. I love anything Laurel Burch! My Spirit Doll has travelled with me to various places and especially if I'm flying: Oregon, California, Arizona are a few of the places she's been. Usually I have her peeking up out of my carry on bag full of magazines and goodies, or tucked gently in the outside pocket looking out at all the hustle-bustle. She has Spirit Sisters in Hawaii, New York, Oregon and Texas. Then there's their baby sister, Little Spirit Doll who is a necklace. I must take her picture and post soon. You can tell from Spirit Doll that she has a simple-drawn face and that she was part of my early exploration into faces. I love her so. She is simple and yet so magical; beautiful and comforting and soulful. I think she works in sync with my guardian angel, I am so lucky!

Saturday, May 16, 2009


This piece is a self-portrait I did in a Quilt University class enitled "Self Expressions" taught by Myrna Giesbrecht. It was a wonderful class that taught me much.

The challenge was to find the colors, shapes and textures that represented YOU in the final project. I love this piece as it moved me to step outside my safe zone and work in a new concept that stretched my imagination and my being. I find such peace, tranquility and familiariarity in this art quilt and the space it occupies in my house.

I AM the Moon of Many Harvests in so many ways both literally and figuratively.