Friday, December 31, 2010

In With The New Year and New Habits!!

This week has gone by in a haze of coughing sneezing and sleep! We have all succumbed with the younger recovering much faster than the elders!! SIGH!! We are all coming around however and looking forward to the New Year to come. I have spent parts of several days down in the studio finding bare floor, filling the outdoor garbage can and organizing. I am making great progress and I will be sharing some images with you soon! I also ahve gessoed some jouranl pages as I am determined to get more disciplined at using my journals to focus my efforts and to become more productive and less scattered. We shall see. I ahve so many ideas racing around in my head at any given time, that I am often paralyzed by not knowing which project o wrok on when. My jpurnal should help serve as a receptical for the chaotic idea traffic snarl in my head.

So tonight I am planning on sitting down in front of the fire with my black pen in hand and emptying my brain of the creative ideas taht i ahve been trying to track. I simply added some watercolor squares of paint to the pages to provide boxes to contain the river as it flows out and onto the page.
As I was recovering this week, I picked up another quick knitting project. I amde this Moebius cowl from a ball of blue mohair that was left over from a past project. This was a very interesting project that is created using a long circular needle and tworows of caston stitches that run like a rainroad track till they finally end in a single twist.
The definition of a moebius shape (strip) according to Webster's is:
Mö·bius strip (mā′bē əs, mō′-)
a one-edged geometric surface with only one continuous side, formed by giving a 180° twist to a narrow, rectangular strip of paper and then connecting the two ends together
also Möbius band
Origin: after A. F. Möbius (1790-1868), Ger mathematician
This was great fun and knit up in about 3 hours, including figuring out the cast on. there is a great You tube video by Knitter Cat Bordhi, that covers the cast on in depth. Got to love You tube!!!

You can see the single twist at the top of the above picture. Once the knitting was done the scarf was done- no seams no blocking - ready to wear!!! I am wearing it now in fact and it is so nice and warm, with no scarf ends to worry about dragging thru one's soup!!!
I was warned by several knitting friends, this project can become addictive!! I am going to make several more in various sizes (they can also be pulled down over the shoulders to become a wonderful warm shawl.
Today we decided to travel up towards DC, to IKEA, to check out the selection of sofas. We have had our current sofa for 18 years. It has had two new slipcovers and has been hauled across this country several times and has survived for 9 moves. It is tired , poor thing . We lucked out at IKEA and found what ewe wanted almost immediately and at a wonderful price. The worst part was waiting int he warehouse area and then the unpack of the boxes to stuff the whole thing in the back of our Ford FreeStyle. Year sof packing and moving have made both Tom and I very skilled packers and despite sceptical onlookers, we got it all in!!!

Here is Tom amidst the unpacked parts on our family room floor.
The dogs were quite stressed as we dismantled the old sofa and lugged in out the door. They were not happy!!! More unexpected human behavior, throwing off their doggie groove!!! I was about to put the couch throw blanket into the wash but decided that it might be better to wait. As you can see Buddy agreed!!

Pepper, on the other hand, climbed up on the recliner and sat there sighing heavily, registering her discomfort with the whole event. It seems that some things will take some getting used to, or not!!!
So we are going into the New Year on the mend, chasing this wretched virus out the door! I want to thank all of you for all of your wonderful comments and support . It is the companionship,comments ( I love, love, love getting comments) and friendships that I have made thru blogging that keep me at it. I never imagained how much of an impact this blog would have on my art life and my personal life in general. I hope taht the new Year holds wonderufl things for all of us and that we can all grow in our mindfullness of others who have needs greater than our own!

Monday, December 27, 2010


as the buffet was laid and the plates were passed, the ham carved and the garlic mashed potatoes and home made cranberries added to the spread, the tickle in the throat worsened and the sneezing commenced!!!
My brother had commented on Face Book , that I was insane to try to paint rooms the week before entertatining the family on the Eve of the big day. I must admit that I do often consider myself a bit whacked, but unless one has a hard deadline do things really get done???? The powder room turned out beautifully by the way, and the wallpaper had been torn and waiting for removal for at least a year- the time was upon us!!! I guess that I was burning the proverbial candle at both ends... enter a nasty cold virus!
We had a lovely dinner and exchanged gifts. Once our comapny had left, we finished wrapping and filling stockings and then I collapsed. Thankfully, the kids are not anxious to rise at the crack of dawn on Christmas and are quite content to sleep in. We had a leisurely stocking opening with hot coffee and a wonderful pancake breakfast thanks to Tom and his fabulous pancakes and then a nice civilized package opening. By noon I was back in bed for a three hour nap.

So I don't have wonderful family photos to share this year. I took a few for personal memory purposes but theya re not Blog worthy. We had a very nice quiet Christmas and I am on y way to beating back this virus and getting a hold of my studio mess that has threatened to overtake the house!!

On Sunday we did get a bit of snow but nothing like what had been predicted for Virginia. All of my friends and family in the Ct, MA and NH area have gotten the full attention of this latest snow storm. Better to have it go north as they are very well versed in dealing with large amounts of the white stuff. We got about an inch and it was pretty.

Today we had wicked winds and full sun and some blowing snow and I went at my mess with new found energy. Progress is actually apparent!!!!!

This evening the sun set in a glorious show of purple and pink and provided new inspiration for art quilts and journal pages to come!!!
I hope that everyone had a lovely holiday and I look forward to a year full of blogging friendship, sharing and artful inspiration! Have a very safe and Happy New Year!!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Don't Judge a Book By it's Cover!!!

Several years ago after my Father-in-law passed away, my Mother-in-law asked us to help her clear out Jim's office. Jim was a brilliant man. An Electrical Engineer who was very involved in all sorts of projects including the design of the GPS system that we all have in our cars. He was one of two or three that came up with all of that. So his office was full of scientific texts from high school to present day. Math books, Engineering , Physics, Calculus, Scientific Trancendentalism you name it, he had it. There were several hundred of them and my mother-in-law didn't want them but was loath to throw them away. I took away 5-6 boxes full and shared many with my art group- they were full of cool graphs and diagrams and technical drawings, none of which most of us could not have a hope of understanding but which looked really cool. I asked her if she thought that the family might like to have a journal made from one of his old texts- he had signed his name in each one and many had stamps of where he was working at the time. She thought that my plan was brilliant so I set off to creat journals for all for Christmas. That was 4 years ago!! This year I ahve finally gotten around to it, just barely. The glue is still drying and I have one left to stitch the signatures into!!!
I took out the pages, reinforced the spines with a variety of fabrics and then stitched three signatures of pages onto another piece of fabric that I glued into the covers. I saved all of the pages that Jim had signed and then added the signature to the recovered inside cover of each book. My neice Jennifer attended Carnegie Mellon University and graduated two years ago with a degree in Art, so her journal got the signed cover page that included the location of his office from when he taught at Carnegie Tech. Both of Jim's sons are Engineers several times over so choosing a text for their journals was easy peasy!! My brother in law is an Accountant, so he got a special math text and his wife, and Jim's daughter, got a combo Math Engineering text as she is in the field as well. My nephew is getting a degree in Graphic Arts with computers and so I made his journal from a book titled Principles and Practice of Radio Servicing. ( If he asks me what a Radio is I am going to smack him!!!!!)
I am planning on making journals for my kids and husband, but they will have to wait till after Christmas as 9 journals is all that I could handle right now! ( That glue is still tacky!!!)
I did not do anything fancy on the pages- just plain white mixed media paper so all can add what ever they wish. It was very tempting to add pockets and interesting papers and perhaps I will if I create more journals from the pile of books that I ahve left. For now I think hope everyone will be pleased with the simple stream lined approach!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Hustle and Bustle!!!

Yet again I find myself short on time and long on lists of things to do!!! It has been almost two weeks since my last post and I can't remember when I have neglected my blog and my wonderful Blogging friends for so long!!!! SiGH!!!I just have a short glimmer of time to offer you some of the sights of the season here in our little corner of Virginia. I have bread turning in the bread machine, journals to finish and gifts to wrap!!
I found this lovely ruffled Poinsettia in the market last week and had to ahve it as a centerpiece for our holiday table. I love all things ruffley!!

This year I found an imitation Feather tree to use as my Art Tree but I had not rmembered that I had so many wonderful ornaments from past Art Swaps. The little tree is there somewhere!!!

(BTW- I am looking for 9 serious art swappers who would be interested in a 12 Days of Christmas Ornament Swap for 2011- I am organizing it in January so it does not sneek yup on me again next November!! I already have 3 participants, so give me aholler or leave a comment and I will get back to you in January!!Becca decorated the tree this year and did a marvelous job and had a wonderful time doing it all. It is such fun to ahve a daughter who treasures each specail ornament as much as I do!!! the men around here are not into such things- auniversal guy thing , I believe!!MG_7183.JPG">I found this adorable little Yeti ornament at Ten Thousand Villlages this year. He is hand crafted in Nepal and made of wool and wool felt. Every tree needs a Yeti watching over it, don't you think??? The gal at the store said that the shop could not keep these in stock and there were no supplies left int he warehouse to restock!! I am not the only person who has a Yeti on their tree it seems!!!

The mantle ahs been decorated and the wreath that I made several years ago, has been hung..
(I love the little rechargable LED votive lites- they flicker just like real cnadles and last for up to 4 days without a charge- very neat when you don't want o ahve to fret about lit candles burning down the house!!)
Here is a better picture clarity wise- although I really dislike how the flash flattens everything out- but I thought that you might like to really see what was on the mantle!!
This will probably be the year of the Owl for Becca's christmas as she is so in love with these wonderful creatures. we will forget that they are hunters and terrorizers of songbirds and little woodland creatures for teh duration of the season!!! Here is a wonderfully fluffy little fellow atht I found for one of her special ornaments for the year. As Becca's Birthday falls on December 17, (she turned 14 this year!!!!!! EGAD!!!!!) I always include a special ornament or two amoung her other gifts. It is a little tradition that she really looks forward to.
I will resume normal blogging habits immediately following the holiday so I hope taht you will all check back in a few days!!
For now I want to wish everyone all of the Joys of the Season no matter what you may be celebrating!! Remember to count your many blessings, remember those who are so much less fortunate, find Peace and strength in the love of those around you and squeeze in a bit of creative time along the way!!!!
Now I have bread to roll out and shape for it's third rising!!! Ho Ho Ho!!!!!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Splashing About in the Resin Pond!!

Several yewars ago I took a wonderful class with the Fabulous Susan Lenart -Kazmer. I ahve long been a fan of her amazing work and since taking the cold Connections Class I ahve seen her at various events and always have a wonderful and inspiring chat with her. She has an infectious personality and spreads inspiration and creativity wherever she goes. Susan ahs worked very ahrd to develope her new resin product known as ICE. I am probably one of the last people int he mixed media art world to try this product and I don't quite know why I waited so long!!!! I have heard raves about ti for a very long time and seen fabulous works created with it, but somehow I have felt timid about giving it a go. Well now I have jumped into the Resin pond and the perverbial water is just fine!!

In the heart pendant and earrings above I used bits of my fabric paper and combined wire, a tiny key and some old sheet music to create the resin filled and coated pieces.
The earrings are as light as feathers and are so suited to the season.

In this bronze bezel , I placed a small oval of sheet music as a background and added a tiny piece fo green beach glass, a tiny shard of purple clam shell and a tiny perfect lucky stone, alll gathered on the beach this summer. Finally I have a wonderful use for these itty bitty treasures!!! I also added a bit of Nauset Beach sand and a few blue glass seed beads.
(the pictures of these resin pieces do not do them justice, but don't be shy or wary like I was. Create your own pieces with the ICE Resin.!!!)

Here are some fabric paper/ mini canvas collage ornaments that just needed a bit of sparkle, so I brushed ona thick coat of the Ice Resin. The resin makes the fabric/paper glow and the depth added is just wonderful!! There will be much more experimenting to come!!

I want to thank everyone who has sent me comments and congratulations about my election to the Board fo Trustees of FCCA. Our First Friday Opening to the Holiday show that I spoke of in my last post, came off very well!! I had a great group to help and everyone was very complementary of the show and the art. I also got many compliments about the piece that I had in the National Show. It was a wonderful evening of meeting many wonderful people who appreciate art and artists! So thank you all very very much for your encouragment and support!! It really means so very much to me!!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

A VERY Quick Update

I am very quickly checking in to give you all an update on my week!! It has been a mad whirlwind , to say the least.!! Just recently I was asked to join the Board of Trustees of the Fredericksburg Center for the Creative Arts,( from now on to be called the FCCA) here in Old Towne Fredericksburg. I was very flattered and after a bit of cajoling I agreed to have my name put on the slate of new trustees. At the annual meeting in November, I was voted onto the Board. At the following Board Meeting I was asked to take on the job of Corrdinator of the Members Art Gallery. The Members Gallery is on the bottom floor of our historic building. The House is known as the Silver Smith's House. It sits on Sophia Street in Old Town Fredericksburg and was built in 1785.
The busiest month for the Members Gallery is December! Of course it is!!!! What had I gotten myself into??????????????? I was assured that I would have lots of help and agreed to take on the job. This past week ahs been dedicated to getting this show up and running and the opening is Tonight. Upstairs in the Frederick Gallery , in the same building , is the Opening of the SMall Wonders National Show. I am so excited to ahve apiece in this show and it is the first time that one of my pieces has been accepted to a National show.!!

So last Sunday starting at 2pm, any Member of FCCA could drop off up to 4 pieces of art to be entered in the Members Holdiay Show. There was no entry fee and the art poured in. As soon as we had the inventory sheet and the show labels we set about to hanging. Now I ahve hung plenty of pictures in my many abodes but never have I dealt with such a volume in such a small space and in sucha short time. Fortunately There was A SYSTEM in place and I ahd wonderful people appear to help me get all 140 plus pieces hung and placed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The two pictures above give youa n idea of how densely we packed the pieces. it is very reminiscent of a Salon of the 1800's in one of the great European cities of art!! Ceiling to floor and every space in between!!!

What made it all even more exciting was we had no idea what forms the art would take, nor really what kind of size variteies we would have to deal with. THis served to make it all the more fun, and nerve wracking!!!
I don't know what I would have done without the help of so many wonderfully genreous aqnd creative people!!! My wonderful art pal Leslie Brier was with me the entire time and when folks stopped by to meet me and to talk to me about "important" concerns, Leslie just kept right on working!!!I also ahd the expereince and vast knowledge of artist and Membership Chairperson Shirley Whelan to lead me thru the day , as well as the hanging help of Norma Woodward, Leah Fromer Lee Cochran and many others. We got it done and I was back home again by 7:30 that very night!!!!
The Energy of Love
This is a fabulous mixed media piece with detachable necklace by Leslie Brier. I don't expect that it will last the evening without being purchased!!!!
These are three of my submissions. My work is very different from the vast majority of FCCA Members. My friend and phnenomenal Textle Collage artist Lorie McCown are doing our very best to introduce more fiber arts ot the area. ( Both Lorie and Leslie have wonderful pieces upstairs in the Small Wonders Show along with me.)

I also have a selection of my felted and beaded ornaments for sale.
Once all of the art was installed I spent a good deal of time decorating with tiny white lights and freshly cut holly in big white jugs. We have two huge bushes on our property that are loaded with beautiful berries so I got some pruning done while gathering the decorations!

Here you can see Santas Elves roller skate assemblage, First Night Baby and a beautiful Resin Necklace and Earring set all created by my pal Leslie!!! This artistss talents are truely astounding!!!

Here is my peice Cardinal Care as it sits upstairs in the Small Wonders Show. I am beyond thrilled with the placement and setting for showing off my textile collage piece. it is flanked by some glorious oils of chickadees and Barn Swallows by a very talented Local artist ( I will have to insert her name here later!!)
This is Leslie Briers fabulous Assemblage titled Goddess of the Kitchen. She takes center podium in the first room of the Frederick gallery and I fully expect that she will be sold tonight as well!! She is created with all sorts of wonderful vintage kitchen gadgets and has a wonderfully whimsical personality!!
This week was also the time for dropping off holiday wares at Liberty Town. Tonight will be the opening of the December Show there as well.
Here you can see a display of several of my owls and some of the miniature canvas collage ornaments that I created. (I have already ahd to restock my owls twice - perhaps I am not charging enough!!??)

And here is a rather difficult to view picture of a display of more of my holiday items for Liberty Town. I amde several Journals that I collaged with vintage text and then covered with painted paper towels. Hopefully folks will give functional art gifts this year as I had lots of fun creating these pieces!!!
So I ahve been very busy away form the computer and have missed visiting blogs and keeping up with everyones fabulous work!! I must rush off and change and get down to the burg to set the table for our First Friday Opening. FCCA Members gallery and The Frederick Gallery is defintely going to be the PLACE TO BE tonight!!!!
I will be back after a Fiber Arts Guild Brunch tomorrow and a bit of a sleep!!!!!
Have a wonderfully festive and happy holiday weekend everyone!!!


Related Posts with Thumbnails