29 August 2008

Art Deco Postcard

I'm madly finishing up some postcards for the swap group, Postmarkd Art, I've belonged to for the last three-four years. One theme this round is Art Deco. I did enjoy this, but it took longer than I had anticipated to complete them. This morning I decided they needed one more thing and I carved a stamp with a small art deco motif/ornament on it to add to the upper left corner. Today I'll drop them in the mailbox and send them out into the world. Phew, cross that off the list. Two more themes to get through and I'm on to the next round.

27 August 2008

Project Runway - Week Six

Ah, drag queens! That may have been my favorite episode of Project Runway ever...

Here's my model, Zsa Zsa LaHore, in all her glory. A slinky jacquard skirt with a revealing slit up one thigh (the better to show off shapely legs!) and iridescent lamé lining pair with a shapely strapless top, both finished with sparkly trim. A tiara of lamé to match the skirt lining and a pair of sequined-encrusted glittery pumps complete the look. It's harder than it looks to design something truly "over the top" and on a paper doll even...

Oh, if you'd like to know your drag queen name, go here.

25 August 2008

Fiber Book in Denver

Do you remember the fiber house I built back in May? Well, I took it apart and turned it into a fiber book and entered into the Interweavings show at the Abecedarian Gallery in Denver, Colorado.

I had intended to assemble the book accordion-style so that it could still be assembled as a four-square house, but discovered that the sides and the front and back needed to have been exactly the same width for that to have worked. Another lesson learned. I am really pleased with it as a book however.

The artists reception is tonight, to coincide with the beginning of the Democratic National Convention. Hopefully the conventioneers will be out wandering the arts district during the week and get a chance to see all of the great exhibits in Denver.

August 1 - September 13, 2008

Abecedarian Gallery
910 Santa Fe Drive • Unit #101 • Denver, CO • 80204 • 303.534.1038

23 August 2008

The reviews are coming in...

It's really nice when you get a good review for something you've worked hard on. Kimberly Wulfert, PhD, of antiquequiltdating.com has written a terrific, unbiased review of our DVD.

I especially like the last paragraph where she says watching the DVD is like hanging out in your girlfriend's studio where everyone's having a good time. I'm delighted that the fun we had came across on tape.

22 August 2008

Home to Roost

So it seems I've started a bird collection. Unintentionally. Maybe my subconscious is trying to tell me something. I did a small series of folkloric bird art quilts about 12-15 years ago and it might be time to revisit the subject.

Back in December I acquired three collages from the talented and prolific Randel Plowman. He makes a collage every day and offers them for sale on his blog. Birds are a frequent subject. I love his colors, compositions and use of found object papers and couldn't resist three of his birds. The collages are 4" square.

In early June I came across a bead and wire bird online and was enchanted not only by the bird but the story behind the bird. StreetWires is a South African company that is addressing unemployment and poverty by providing training, support and raw materials to over 100 men and women in community development projects in Cape Town and Johannesburg. I found a StreetWire bird in a local store in July and took him home. Beautiful art that's doing good, it doesn't get any better than that. This funky little bird is about 12" long and 8" high and is made of just glass beads and wire.

The newest bird is all Sandy Donabed's fault, LOL. She posted an intriguing picture to her blog of a trio of steampunk birds and I fell in love. The artist, Jim Mullan, doesn't have a website (!!) and it took a bit of tracking down, but I found two galleries that had his birds in stock and will sell over the internet. The Tanzania Jay arrived yesterday and he's gorgeous!

The smaller of Mullan's birds were hand-carved in the 1950s (he also makes larger crows - one of which will be arriving at my house in September!) and he's turned them into eclectic one-of-a-kind pieces of art, incorporating vintage pieces and cast-offs such as croquet balls, binoculars and old toys.

As a delightful surprise, I discovered that my little Jay has a bee on one side of his head - perfect! The bird stands about 5" tall.

I had never heard the term "steampunk" before and after some research discovered that I've been into this for a looooong time and never knew it had a name or was a whole subgenre of literature, art, fashion and performance. For example, I watched the television series The Wild, Wild West in reruns religiously when I was a kid and it's classic steampunk fiction. Who knew?

20 August 2008

Project Runway - Week Five

Week five's challenge was to create a day into night look for a high-powered executive. Here's the day look - a raw silk pencil skirt with a sleeveless crinkled silk top and a tweedy jacket with a slight peplum detail.

For the night look the jacket's removed, a belt is added, a quick change of jewelry and shoes and off she goes...

Tonight's episode promises to be epic! Drag queens.

I. Can. Not. Wait.

17 August 2008

Art Walk wrap-up

The Art Walk last night was an interesting, high-energy event. This is the first year of the Walk and no one was sure what to expect. Over 700 people turned out to stroll the main streets of town, listen to various musicians playing outdoors, check out the stores featuring over three dozen artists and shop. I think it was a success for all involved and I hope they do it again next year. Some pictures from She She, a boutique where my working was hanging.

I met a lot of people, handed out a lot of cards and explained Art Quilts to a lot of folks who'd never heard the term before. Fun!

I also learned a few things for next year. A name tag would have been good and an easel out on the sidewalk holding a mounted piece would have drawn even more people inside.

15 August 2008

Art Walk


Ridgefield Art Walk
Saturday, August 16 5:30 to 8:30 pm

Take a walk through downtown Ridgefield, Connecticut where nearly 40 artists are displaying work in stores offering big discounts on merchandise. Art, music, refreshments, shopping and a chance to win a free raffle of original art or a night at a local eco-friendly B&B "green ROCKS" await you!

The event kicks off in Ballard Park at 5:30 at the gazebo where maps will be distributed showing ART WALK venues.

My work will be displayed at SheShe on Bailey Avenue and I'll be there to talk about the art from 5:30 to 8:30 pm tomorrow.

I hope to see you there!

Teaching in Ohio

I'm back from a teaching gig in Ohio for the North Coast Needlers Quilt Guild in Cleveland. What a nice group of people! Midwesterners really deserve their reputation for friendliness. And luck was on my side - their August meeting is an ice cream social. Life is good.

On Wednesday I taught a class in making Fiber Postcards and Artist Trading Cards. Jean and her daughter Liz were my hosts at the guild and they took great care of me - and had fun in both classes!

Everyone made a few ATCs in the morning and then we switched to postcards after lunch.

What a creative bunch, don't you think?

One of the women in class is really into bee imagery and knew that I was too. She wore this fantastic pin to class and of course, I had to take a picture of it. Now I need to track down the artist if I can - really, the combination of insect and typewriter key is perfect. If anyone knows who made this, drop me a note please.

Yesterday I taught a Nature Printing workshop. We started off with sunprinting and we had a beautiful day despite a few sprinkles in the morning and predictions of thunderstorms.

After lunch we printed vegetables, fruit and lots of leaves. The lady's mantle leaves were gorgeous and the Japanese maples and ferns made such delicate prints. And lastly, we printed fish! My favorite!! We were really into the whole Zen aspect of printing when we got to the fish. Ohm.

It was a great couple of days with enthusiastic, creative women. Now I'll be home for a while working on new projects. Yay, studio time!

11 August 2008

Project Runway - Week Four

Okay, I missed last week and I would have been eliminated, but reality intruded and I had no choice (well, I could have given up sleeping, or stayed home from work...) I had a paying deadline and had to be a grown-up for a minute, but luckily I'm still here, still playing.

This week's challenge was to design an outfit for the Olympics opening ceremony.

My design is a capri-length pant with tailored cuffs and red buttons at the wide waistband. There is a simple white shell underneath the cropped jacket, which also has cuffed sleeves. The shoes are red patent leather eyelet peep toe flats by Rafe New York from the Bluefly accessory wall. I think this ensemble is very stylish and would suit a variety of body types, including the buff physiques of our female athletes. I'm really enjoying this season of Project Runway, but would love to see more inventive designs come down the runway. It seems like the designers are playing it safe, for the most part.

10 August 2008

A Wicked Good Day

Sam and I headed into the City today and caught a matinee of Wicked on Broadway.

A really nice guy I know, Steven Skybell, plays Dr Dillamond in the show and we had awesome seats. Steven gave us a backstage tour after the show. The stage is so much smaller when you're standing on it than when you're in the audience looking at it. We stood in front of the giant Wizard of Oz head backstage to take a few pictures.

Sadly, all of the costumes are stored downstairs and we didn't get a chance to see them up close, but they were amazing from the audience (did I mention we had really good seats?) The colors and textures of the fabric were gorgeous and the designs were so quirky and whimsical. We loved the shoes especially!

This dragon was in the lobby and was a small replica of the much larger one above the stage inside. The sets were incredibly inventive and the mechanical aspect of all of the moving parts was remarkable.

A feast for the eyes and ears - I definitely feel inspired to make a small piece of art from the experience. It was a Wicked good day! Thank you Steven and Michael, you're the best!

Tomorrow afternoon I head out to Cleveland for a few days of teaching and a lecture, so I've got a ton of packing to do, but now I've got a soundtrack to sing along to.