Friday, January 28, 2011

Sketchbook Challenge


You've seen that I've been recently working diligently on an Art Journal that I started several months ago. Something in the Universe has nudged me to get out of my routine and do some art that I don't normally do. Have you noticed that when something is on your mind a lot you get directed to so many things that have to do with that topic? Well, this morning I was reading Beth Hemmila's Blog and she said "...ideas are always floating out there and people will almost simultaneously jump onto the same wave as it moves around in space and time." This really hit me.

Lately I've seen that several artists (as well as Beth) have joined the Sketchbook Challenge. It started on January first and has a monthly theme. This month's theme is "Highly Prized". Sponsors have jumped on the bandwagon and prizes will be given away to participants. Click on the link above to find more information on how you can participate.

I'm usually not a "joiner", but this one fascinated me because of Beth's comments, so I signed up. A little late, but what the heck? It just seemed so serendipitous and, since I don't believe in coincidences, I just have to follow my nose and see what happens.  I posted my first two images to the Flickr Group that were in this blog post.  Here's a couple more pages that will go up soon:

This is another of my wishes for Spring.


Monday, January 24, 2011

How did this happen?

Photo by Dale Forrest
Today there seems to be a mountain of tiny things weighing on my mind. Laundry, vacuuming, taxes (both sales tax and income tax) inventory, garbage to go to the dump, post office, bank, library, office supplies, get my passport renewed, water houseplants, unload the dishwasher so the sink full of dirty ones can go in there, update my class notes, lay in groceries before the next big snow storm.... UGH! How did this happen? And, I also need to make some jewelry! Just last week I thought everything was smooth sailing. I guess being obsessed with my art journal has taken up more time than I thought it did. Today is a day to get caught up, just waiting for the temperature to rise a little and melt the dusting of snow we got last night before I go out. Then nose to the grindstone with the jewelry. I wish that all I had to do was strut my stuff in a chorus line, like the Tom Turkeys above. Wish me luck.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Art Journal

Click to enlarge

A while ago I started an art journal. It's been hiding away for a long time and I recently dug it out, along with all my art supplies. I've been obsessed with it lately and it's taken over my kitchen table.

The pages consist of layers of acrylic paint, collage with magazine paper, tissue paper, greeting cards, stickers. I also use alchohol ink, paint pens, markers and watercolor crayons. Basically, anything I have on hand. If I don't like something I gesso over it and slap on something else. Some of the pages have 3 or 4 layers. I don't really start out with an idea - it just progresses. Some of the pages I did a long time ago I've been adding more stuff to. I love that it's never really finished.

Click to biggerate

The above page was inspired by the amount of time I've had to spend in the house lately. I'm dreaming of an early Spring.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Chicken is Done

I finished the beaded chicken for Posie's quilt. It was so much fun! There's about 12 hours of work in this and I love the way it turned out.

Here's wshat it looks like on the quilt. Posie will be doing some more quilting on it before it's completely finished. I'll ask her to give me a photo to post when she's done.

Scroll down (or click here) to the previous post to see the entire story and the starting process.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

And now for something completely different

A long time ago I used to do a lot of beading. All kinds of beading - weaving, applique, loomwork, stringing - everything. But after awhile I realized that it's hard to sell bead work because of the amount of time involved drove the price up to where most people can't afford it. I changed over to working with silver and only incorporated some beads in my silver work. In a recent studio purge I almost got rid of my thousands of tubes and hanks of seed beads, but decided to just put them in a closet. I'm glad I did.

I have a close friend, Posie Dauphine, who is a talented art quilter. She and her husband made a trip to Morocco and the beautiful ancient mosaics she saw inspired her to remember that trip with a quilt. She had taken a photo of a mosaic chicken and wanted to reproduce that design on her quilt with beads. She came over to my studio and I showed her how to do applique work and let her choose beads from my collection. This was over a year ago.

After nearly finishing the quilt she finally realized that she was never going to do that beaded chicken. She gave the whole thing back to me to do for her.

I reduced her photo, cut it out and pinned it to the piece of hand woven and embroidered fabric that she also brought back from Morocco. This will serve as the pattern for the beading. Below is a bad photo of the entire quilt, with the pieces pinned on. That gives you and idea of what the finised quilt will look like.

This is a great project to work on during these snowy days. I'd forgotten how much I love to do beading. I'll post pictures when it's finished.

Monday, January 10, 2011

A New Attitude

I'm sure you've heard about the big snow storm that's moved across the south over the past couple of days. I undersand how places that don't have the capacity to take care of snow get freaked out.  I had someone ask me if we all made French Toast when it snowed because everyone rushed out to buy milk, bread and eggs! Poor Atlanta, Charlotte and Raleigh! The majority of this particular storm is going south and east of the NC mountains, so there's only been about 4 more inches on top of the 7 inches we already had. It's the back-end, wrap around that's going to get us. One guy is predicting snow every day for the next 4 days and another foot of accumulation. 

If you read my posts from last winter you'll notice that I haven't been complaining about the snow this winter. 2010 was the first really snowy winter in several years (we got 80 inches of snow) and I was not happy about it. I complained about being trapped in my house, not getting out for days and "Oh no, here comes another storm."

I've been thinking about why it's not bothering me as much this year and I think there are several reasons. The first one is that I guess I've gotten used to it. It was annoying before the holidays because so many things had to be re-scheduled or cancelled, but there's just not much going on this time of year. Another reason is that I realized that instead of being "stuck in the house" it's really more like "I choose not to drive in these conditions". If I absolutely HAD to get out I suppose I could. But I choose not to. What a difference that has made! Also, once you have 6 inches of snow on the ground, any more on top of that really doesn't make a whole lot of difference.

The only odd thing is that I feel a little like I'm in the "Groundhog Day" movie. Every day is pretty much like the last one and sometimes I have to think hard to know what day of the week it is. Today is Friday, right?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Not quite back to normal

I still have a bit of congestion and coughing and other disgusting things going on, but not as much. And my energy level is improving.

This orchid flower opened up yesterday and sure brightened my day! I call this one my Purple Cow Orchid. 

I did get a couple of easy things knocked off my list yesterday and plan to start on a not-so-easy one today. The weather forecast is calling for snow on and off for the next 10 days, so I hope to get things caught up while I'm stuck in the house.

Not much else going on and I know you're tired of hearing about being sick. I read in Ken Thomas' post yesterday:  "’s a little-known fact that when you establish your own website, you get an official telegram from the King of the Internet, which basically says “When all else fails, post pictures of cats.”"

I did not know this - I must have missed the telegram. But, this is very appropriate for today, so here you go:

Shhh... I hear a bug...


Monday, January 3, 2011

This cold is kicking my butt

and I have sooo much to do!

I'm very rarely sick. It's probably because I'm pretty much a hermit and don't get out among people and their germs very often. I can't remember the last time I had a cold. I don't like to take cold medicine because it makes me feel groggy and stupid. But yesterday, after going through a box and a half of tissues, I went on a quest through closets and drawers and found some Tylenol Cold. It expired in 2001. Oh well. 

I KNOW that my cold is worse than any other cold in history. My head hurts more than any one else's and my nose is redder. It's probably a good thing that I live by myself because it takes up my whole life and my entire house. It's like another entity living here with me. All I can think about is feeling better and since it's hard to sleep at night I'm taking two to three naps a day. And, I like to moan and whine. I'm a horrible sick person. I don't know how some folks just go on with their lives when they have a cold - it's unfathomable to me.

I have absolutely no energy and a long list of things that I told people I'd get to "after the holidays". Some of them have been waiting for months and I feel guilty. But... I... just... can't. Not until I feel better.