Sunday, January 29, 2012

New work

I was invited to participate in an exhibit here locally at ASU downtown. It was a very last minute invitation as in, I had 5 days! The theme of the exhibit is "Sustainability". The exhibit will run through May. I already had one piece that I felt fit into the exhibit although it was so small, I didn't know if it would be accepted. There was no size limit so it's in. You may remember when this piece was published in Quilting Arts Magazine as part of their "Recycled" challenge. Every, single item in this piece is recycled/repurposed with the exception of the thread. The batting is a piece of foam packing sheet.
My next piece ended up quite different than I originally envisioned and smaller. But, I didn't have the time to put in the work on a larger piece. This piece is made from recycled plastic trash bags. The theme of this piece is water focusing on the life it gives and how we take for granted the gift we have of clean drinking water, water piped into our houses, the freedom to use our water. But also the focus on the damage we, as a society, do to our water systems and wildlife as well as remembering those who are dying daily from lack of clean drinking water. The title of this piece is "In the balance".
It was hard to photograph due to the 'shine' factor which I felt needed to remain in this piece. In fact, I added clear tar gel in drips for water. If you look closely at this zoomed in shot, you can see it dripping down the stone.
The third piece kinda' came to me outta' the blue, so to speak. I asked myself "What sustains me?" This is what came out of that. It is my faith, my relationship with Jesus, that daily sustains me. This piece is titled, "Soul Sustained".
The piece was created with a substrate of an old book cover layered with a vintage Bible page and an overlay of used tea bags. Then, another book cover of a vintage hymnal. The main focal piece is the inside cover of a vintage prayer book and a piece of vintage rosary representing my prayers and communion with God. The entire piece was done with beeswax. Vintage crocheted pieces and loose weave fabric have also been added on. I love beeswax. I love the idea of "encasing" the work. And boy, does it ever smell yummy when you are working with it! The whole house smelled just heavenly the whole day!
This month, I sent in a submission for a magazine call and got in an exhibit! Now to keep the momentum going!

Monday, January 9, 2012


I am in the mood. I've been purging and reorganizing all sorts of things in my house. As a very visual person, how my house looks is how I feel. If things in my life are chaotic, which they usually are, if my environment looks that way too, it's like my brain short circuits on overload and I am not such a nice person. ;) I can only take so much. I started working on my studio a few weeks ago and, as Julie Balzar stated it in her most recent blog post, a working studio rapidly can become a storage room. Well, that's where mine has been most of this past year. I don't want to just clean off surfaces, I want it cleaned out, top to bottom, handling every single item I own kind of clean. I haven't been able to work in my studio in... well, I can't remember when. Even as I write, my sewing machine has been moved to my dining room table. I have a 225 sq. ft. studio space and I am working off my dining room table. How sad is that!?!

Well, Julie Balzar is starting her weekly studio organization project so I'm following along even though I do not have the freedom to spend my whole week working on it. Mine will take longer, but I will carry on. Here's pretty much where my studio is at in the process currently. I am making piles of like items with the plan of then knowing how much permanent space I will need for those items. And I'm purging, purging, purging... thinking of putting together flat rate mixed media boxes for sale... I'll keep thinking on that.

I have been doing this clean out throughout my house, actually. My boys were gifted an Xbox and a t.v. to use for play for Christmas so I had to rearrange our main living space to create a play space for these items. In the process, I also moved a different computer desk in for my boys and I swiped the antique writing desk for myself and put it in my room... which lead to a major clean out and reorganizing in my room! One thing leads to another! I'm so excited to now have a small work space for writing in my journal, doing Bible study lessons, and, I put a pan of watercolors in my desk drawer too. Pretty things that have special meaning to me line the top ledge of the desk. It's one of those old desks that the top closes down and when you need it, part of it folds back to reveal the writing space and little nooks/drawers. I LOVE it. I'm so excited! The bad part is lighting in my room. The wall the desk is on has no working outlet. In fact, the closest working outlet is clear on the other side of the room! I only have a lamp in my room and am now thinking of how to remake the shade on it to allow for more light in my room. I HATE dark. Oh! And I scored an awesome chair at our church rummage sale that is PERFECT for my desk!!!

Well, winter break is over for my boys as they go back to school today and I get back into my own routine. Almost time to get them up so I gotta' stop here. If you want to follow along or even participate in Julie's Organization week, you'll be sure to get some great tips! I suggest becoming a follower on her blog as she is a whirlwind of amazing creativity all the time! Such an inspiration!

Friday, January 6, 2012

New local class!

In November, The Creative Quest closed it's doors. I was so sad to see it go but thrilled that one of the owners (and my boss) decided to reopen a smaller store right next door in the cutest little house! (But I will miss Judy in the worst way! She's retired from store ownership now but will still be teaching classes... wooohoooo!) Well anyway, tomorrow, Jan. 7, is the grand opening of The Occasional Artist! I just put a new, 2 hour class on the book for Feb. 4, just in time for Valentine's day! So check out the new store, the upcoming classes, and head on over to see me!

The class I am teaching is a small, burlap pocket with a magnetic closure the perfect size for a gift card! The little heart on the front is felted wool embellished with other fabrics and special word. We'll also be making 5 tags, back and front, to tie together and tuck into the pocket for your own "love notes" to someone special. It will be a fun class and only $20. with all supplies provided. Class is limited to only 10 people so call or run by the store and sign up fast!

I have more classes that will be coming up on the calendar and something new in the works. Hope to see you soon!