Monday, September 29, 2008

awol again

In spite of good intentions I have not blogged all weekend. It was the weekend of the annual McPherson Scottish Festival, however, so maybe that's a good reason. I do help some with the festival, primarily on Sunday when I host the dance exhibition tent. I've become friends with the Irish dance instructor who brings her talented and agile students each year. She and I have been talking about me designing and producing a silver brooch for her dancers based on the school's insignia below, which would be a fun thing to do. I'd be working with the bit in the middle.

Could be a challenge.

David and Dylan went to the festival, which has a lot of fun kids activities including a miniature highland games. All in all a fun weekend.

I dusted off my knitting needles and tried my hand at making narrow scarves that seem to be all the rage with young girls these days. I used a skein of recycled silk fibers in variegated colors and a skein of space dyed eyelash yarn. Because they're only 8-10 stitches wide they knit up very fast. I use fairly large needles to keep the scarves airy and loosely knit. For as long as it has been since I've knitted anything at all (I actually used to make socks at one point in my career) I didn't do too bad, although I had to be reminded how to bind off my work when I was done! I will post photos of the scarves.

Have a great Monday everyone.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

here i am

photo from here

I haven't posted for awhile. Nothing's wrong, just busy and preoccupied. I'll try to do better over the next couple of days, including posting photos of the trip to the Lincoln gallery and some pics of my latest scarf and other dying projects.

Happy autumn, everyone. The photo above is of French pumpkins, my favorite. Some people call them Cinderella pumpkins, after her coach.

Friday, September 19, 2008

off to lincoln

First of all, thanks to those of you who contacted me with birthday wishes. I did have a very nice birthday, finishing up with my mother's scratch chocolate cake and homemade peach ice cream. I got to celebrate with my youngest brother whose birthday is just one day after mine. I was 9 when he was born and practiced my mothering skills on him. He's still a joy to our family. In case you're interested, I received a wonderful pumpkin spice candle and mocha chocolates from my husband and kids, an antique "brown betty" teapot (made in England!) and new kitchen towel from my parents, my oldest son Adam is making me a very cool wooden sign for my studio, saying the name of the place, Blue Moon Studio, and my workmates bought me a cute coffee mug. So I felt well feted. I'm also getting something drastic done to my hair tomorrow--photos to follow. I've said for awhile now that I don't mind so much getting older as long as I can trade my youth for wisdom. Hopefully I'm getting there.

This afternoon I am driving a van load of artists to Lincoln, Kansas to attend a reception and gallery walk in connection with the VAAM Gallery exhibit on display at the gallery there. It is a 2 hour drive one way, so we won't be back until rather late (for me). We're all looking forward to it. If you're interested in seeing the gallery's website it is here. I will take photos to post later.
I hope you all have a fabulous weekend.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

happy birthday to ME!

Yahoo! 29 and holding, for the 19th time!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

another one down

Last night I delivered six pieces to the VAAM Gallery to be transported today to the gallery in Lincoln, KS for the exchange exhibit between our gallery and theirs. Of those six pieces only two hadn't been displayed before, which isn't a big deal but I always like to put newer work in a new exhibit. Several of the pieces have been pictured on this blog in the past.

This is "Dreamgirl". I really need to make more dolls, especially since Ethel & Edna have been showing off their lovely fabric cuties lately.

This piece is one I did using some painting resist techniques a la Maggie Grey, who is such an inspiration I can't even describe. I've used corrugated copper shim at the centers of the colorful fabric pieces.

This piece is called "Postcards" and was made by embellishing, painting, cutting, burning, beading, couching, and stamping (and probably a few more things I can't remember) a piece of fabric, then cutting it into roughly equal sized pieces and stitching them to a large piece of quilted black fabric. I did use quite a bit of copper shim stitched into this piece. It gets a lot of positive comments.

I really feel a sense of accomplishment at having readied these 13 total pieces for the two exhibits. Now I will be focusing on making beaucoup pieces for Artful Taste of Autumn coming up October 11. This has historically been a good moneymaker for me, so I'm concentrating on what sells at this show, namely jewelry and hand dyed silk scarves. Actually I've expanded my hand dyed repertoire (how about that--two French words in the same paragraph!) to include silk hair scrunchies and ladies' cotton undies and bamboo silk socks. We'll see how that goes. They may end up on etsy!

Thank you all for your comments on my fiber hanging at the VAAM Gallery, and for your sympathetic thoughts for my workmate and her family on the loss of their daughter. We're doing what we can here to support and love them through this terrible time.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

fiber art invitational exhibit

The VAAM Gallery is currently featuring an exhibit of member and guest fiber artists. I have several pieces in the show. This one, called "Fragments of the Dream" might look familiar to those of you who follow my blog. I'm happy this looks so good actually hung up. I was a bit concerned there for awhile. It looks particularly well with the woven pieces displayed below it, made by fellow VAAM artist, weaver Ann Haritatos.

This piece, actually two separate pieces, are called "Strange Magic I & II". Don't ask where I come up with the names of my pieces. Sometimes they just occur to me while I'm working them.
This is actually a leftover bit from an earlier piece, hence its name "Remnants". Reflection off the glass is one reason I don't like to frame my art. Also, I think it feels confining.

This is as close to traditional quilting as I'm likely to get. This piece has cast water soluble paper pieces at the centers of the squares. It is called "B", because the top cast paper piece was made over a rubber stamp of the letter B. Lame, I know.

Here's a closeup showing the cast paper bit better.

This is actually a set of ATCs I made some time ago and mounted on a painted canvas for this exhibition. The piece is called "Spring Green".

This one is called "Lunar Quilt" and is made from dyed and stitched handmade paper mounted on a painted canvas.

In spite of this beautiful show I am feeling sad today because of the death of the daughter of a co-worker and former classmate of mine. The girl was just 8 years old and her passing was quite unexpected. I just don't know what to say or do for this family, except to ask for prayers and thoughts.

Monday, September 15, 2008

blogging friends forever

Debbi Baker has graciously given me this award, for which I thank her very much. The rules for passing it along are:

1) Only five people allowed.
2) Four of them have to be dedicated followers of your blog and one has to be new and live in another part of the world.
3) You have to link back to who gave you the award.
I've linked back to Debbi.
The four dedicated followers I've chosen are Jules, Kate, Julie, and Ethel/Edna. Thank you, ladies, for reading and commenting on my blog. The new blogger in another part of the world is Jane, because I've fallen in love with the photos on her blog.
I took lots of photos of the new fiber hanging at VAAM Gallery but don't have them ready to post yet. Maybe tomorrow.
Have a great Monday, everyone!

Friday, September 12, 2008


Did I mention that blog friends are just the best? A while ago I sent Debbi some little bits and bobs including a couple of Egyptian-themed playing cards because I knew she sometimes uses Egyptian elements in her art. Well just look what I received in the mail yesterday as a thank you from Debbi:

What a treasure trove! Debbi knows I really love "hot" colors and there are lots of them here as well as bunches of other goodies. Look at that green netting with the silver dots. I'm glad it's the weekend so I can have time to play!

Debbi also included a piece of her artwork in the parcel. Isn't it wonderful? I'll hang it on my studio bulletin board where I display work by my artist blog friends. Thanks so much, Debbi!

The VAAM Gallery's fiber invitational exhibit, of which I am a part, has been hung and will be in place through October. I will try to get in there and take some photos to post this weekend.

Hope you're all having a great Friday.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

one (slightly used) necklace for sale soon

Just FYI, when I get this piece back from the fair it will be going up for sale on etsy, unless one of you would care to purchase it first. If you'd like to inquire as to the specifics of the necklace (size, composition, price, etc.) please contact me via blog post and I'll send you my work e-mail address. I can tell you that the price will be higher on etsy than it would be in a pre-sale here. Also, the other necklace (blue ribbon winner pictured here) is available as well. This is strictly on a first come, first served basis, and of course there is absolutely no obligation to anyone. I just wanted to give you all an opportunity.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

six inch square club

This was just made for me. Go to Agnes the Red to get in on the club if you consistently find your work area reduced to six inches square. As you can see from the photo above (admitedly taken before my studio re-do, but I will testify that my table ALWAYS looks like an incipient avalanche) I qualify all over the place. Besides, there's a present at stake here, so get with it.

Monday, September 8, 2008

wonderful weekend--warning: lots of photos follow

Thanks to all of you who posted with good wishes and encouragement re: my necklace at the fair. I'm happy to report that I WON FIRST PRIZE!! As you can see from the photo below, I did not win for my carefully planned and executed necklace made specifically for the fair, but for the other piece sent down at the last minute. Judges--go figure! I'm pleased nonetheless.

This is an entry in the pleine aire painting division. I love all the colors and the feeling of the fair midway.

And here's the midway itself, showing some of the rides my kids were eager to try out.

One ride they took was on the sky ride.

The entire family went on "Ye Old Mill", a haunted house type attraction that has been part of the fair for decades. My mother remembers riding this when she was a teenager.

While Dave took the kids around the rides I hung out in the Domestic Arts building, seeing gorgeousness like the following:

The quilts were just stunning, ranging from simple, old fashioned patterns like this nine-patch... stunning modern patterns.

This piece was just unbelievably gorgeous, embellished with lace, beads, silk embroidery, and a variety of fancy hand stitching. It won a purple ribbon (Best of Show) and deserved it. Wow.

Love these colors and this pattern. Very cool.

An interesting category in the Domestic Arts division was "duct tape". This purse is made entirely from duct tape.

And so is this prom dress!! Yes, the young lady who made it actually wore it to the prom, and made a matching hat for her date.

There was quite a bit of felting going on, mainly of things knitted out of wool yarn, then hot water felted in a washing machine. This is one of the really nice bags on display.

Warning: gratuitous chicken photos follow. Lesley, I thought of you throughout the poultry building.
You cannot go to a state fair in the middle of the USA without encountering some of the following feathered citizens.

Isn't he an interesting fellow?

Dylan said this one looked like a rock star.

This was a handsome big guy, and seemed to be curious about what I was doing.

Another beautiful specimin of chickenhood.

Isn't this a lovely fellow? His label said he was some kind of traditional English barnyard fowl. I thought he was beautiful. And very cooperative, too, I must say.

The chickens were in the same building as the rabbits, of which this little guy was by far the cutest.

Dylan and Dave explored the livestock building. This is Dylan atop the mountain of hay it takes to feed all the critters. He was very impressed.

This is what happens when you give an 8 year old the camera--you get a photo of a cow's butt.

By day's end we were exhausted (and my knee hurt, but I did well over all), and some of us had very sticky faces from cotton candy (see below) but we had a great time at the fair.

Hope you all had a lovely weekend, too.

Friday, September 5, 2008

going to the fair

This Sunday my family and I are heading to the Kansas State Fair, just a few miles away in Hutchinson. Above is a photograph of the fair's midway, although the fair is supposed to be about more than carnival rides. We will give the kids some money to spend on rides but we will concentrate more on the exhibits in various buildings, of which my necklaces are a small part. The weather is forecast to be really quite nice for the weekend, with some possible showers but with temperatures under 80 F. Beautiful for early September here.

The judging for the professional arts category took place yesterday but I don't know yet if I took any prizes. I will, of course, let you know. I plan to take my camera. I hope my knee holds up--there's a lot of walking involved and I have a knee which undoubtedly needs some professional orthopedic attention, probably surgery. Some days it does better than others but by the end of the fair experience I'll probably be in a lot of pain. Erg.

I hope everyone has a great weekend.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

necklace(s) at the fair and an award

Monday we took my "mermaid's treasure" necklace to the state fair. Since there are barely any entries in the professional arts-jewelry category it may actually win a prize. Also since there are barely any entries in this category the person in charge asked if I would submit another piece. I sent it to the fair yesterday with my co-worker who was taking a bronze sculpture. The pendant is pictured above but you'll have to use your imagination for the rest of the piece, which consists of three strands of pewter freshwater pearls, garnet beads of various sizes, crystals, and silver. It is a pretty piece but not as impressive as "mermaid's treasure".

I have been given a lovely award by Bethel.

I appreciate being recognized and I'm glad people enjoy reading my blog. It's hard for me to limit myself to just a few blogs to pass this award on to, so if you'd like to claim this award for yourself please feel free.