Crazy Family Puppets

I thought I would share a fun Christmas gift I made for my brothers family. At Thanksgiving I took photos of each of them, making sure I just got their heads in the photo. Then I made body parts and painted and collaged them and put them all together with colorful brads. They were a hit and I had a great deal of fun making them. I couldn't share them before the holidays because I didn't want them to see!


Snow Buddies

Go over to The Purl Bee and check out these darling little snowbuddies to knit for the holidays. Now, knitting is not my number one crafting event, but they are so cute I am tempted to get out my needles and start knittin' and purlin'.


Stitching Links

I was doing a little web surfing today, something I haven't had a lot of time for and found a couple sites I want to share with you. The first is Sublime Stitching blog which you might be familiar with. Jenny Hart has designed some very quirky embroidery patterns which can be transferred onto fabric. The suggested embroidery is very simple but it is the imagery that captures your attention. Pin up girls, intestines and other vital organs, roller derby babes are a few of the choices. My friend Susan has become a full out roller derby queen and I bought her the pattern a year or so ago.

Another site I came across was Radical Cross StitchSeriously Seditious Stitching. The author, an Australian, is interested in using stitching, a traditional women's activity, to make political statements. No matter what your political slant, I think you will find it interesting to see how the medium of stitching can be used for a purposes that goes beyond decorative and/or functional. To check it out, go here.


November Treat

In case you aren't a reader of Sew Mama Sew blog, I thought you might like to know about their third annual, month long, holiday inspiration posts. Every day in November they post links to great stuff to make your friends and loved ones for the holidays. Every day, new ideas! It is great. Each day has a theme, so far the themes have been wear, adorn and today is sleep. To check it out, go here!


Easy Halloween Project

I have discovered that my mom doesn't have any Halloween decorations, so I wanted to find something that we could make together that would be simple, cheap and quick. I was going for maybe not instant gratification here, but really quick gratification! On the Martha Stewart web site I found these cute pumpkin, cat and owl ornaments made out of colored paper and needing nothing more than glue, scissors and a pencil. Away we went and in no time had some decorations for the windows.


New Book

I recently celebrated my birthday and as a little gifty, I purchased the book Digital Textile Design by Melanie Bowles and Ceri Isaac. The book gives really clear ways to use Photoshop and Illustrator to create textile designs. After discovering Spoonflower I really wanted to be able to create some repeat patterns and voila! this book shows up while I am perusing the shelves of my local bookstore. I'll post some designs when I get it all figured out!


A Bouquet of....

...carrots anyone???!!!!??? I was doing a lot of cooking yesterday and lopped off some carrots from their stems and was left with this silly looking bouquet. Couldn't resist photgraphing it.


Daily Tiny Art

Here are the tiny drawings I did in the past week. I decided that having three dimensions on each piece just was too much to fit on a two inch square. So, I decided to eliminate the rubber stamp image, except you will find it on the first image...the hand is a rubber stamp. You will still find a border and a leaf image on each piece.

Day Four
Day Five
The cake was for my mom's birthday.

Day Six

Day Seven

Day Eight

Day Nine


Butter Sculpture

First it was crop art and now butter sculpture! You can find so many wild things at the state fair. It is tradition to sculpt the likenesses of the winners of the Princess Kay of the Milky Way contest in giant blocks of butter. Here are two of the sculptures.


Crop Art

This past Monday I went to the Minnesota State Fair and had a great time...ate bad food, walked for miles, saw animals and lots of great handmade items. One of the funniest categories to enter is Crop Art. All of the images are created out of seeds. You have no idea how many kinds of seeds there are...sizes, colors, textures...amazing. The subject matter ranges from fanciful and kitschy to political to portraiture. There is a woman named Lilian Colton who is famous for her crop art. Check out this link to see more about her artwork. Here is a small selection of what I saw.

Wearable Crop Art

Young Girl

Nut Goodie (Minnesota's favorite candy bar)
The AIG Bull

Wall of Portraits by Lillian Colton

Tiny Art, Day Two and Three

This is day two of my daily two inch art creation.

It only takes me about 15 to 20 minutes to do this, but I find I look forward to it and think about what I might do during the rest of the day. Not obsessing, mind you, but just an occasional thought.

Day Three
I have discovered that I have a very critical voice in my head pointing out my "mistakes" Didn't realize how pervasive it is, even on something as simple as this. Hmmmmm, maybe I need to get out my copy of The Artist's Way and get to work on it.


Daily Art, Day One

Many of you know that I am living in cramped quarters and most of my art supplies are in storage and inaccessable right now. Not making art for awhile puts me in a tizzy...I feel ungrounded and out of sorts. I was talking to my friend Randy the other night and she reminded me that making art doesn't need to be a big production and it can easily be done every day. I just need to re-define what art and art making is.

Soooo, I began yesterday to make a very small piece of art every day. I set some parameters for the pieces I would make. Each one would be on a piece of two inch square paper, have a border and incorporate a leaf motif and a stamped letter. (My brother just gave me an amazing set of vintage upper and lower case alphabet stamps that had been our grandfather's. I've been itching to use them).

Creating a piece everyday not only fulfills my need to make something but also serves as a daily record.


Fashion Forward

I'm not a fan of reality shows at all...except Project Runway, whose new season begins tonight. It takes me back to art school days...well art school on speed. I don't think I ever had to complete major projects under such time constraints. What I love about the show is the variety of challenges to be completed. They stretch the mind and sometimes the talents and abilities of the designers. My favorites have been the outfit from grocery store items and the re-design of the postal workers uniforms.

I root for the 'I taught myself to sew' crowd for awhile but then they inevitably hit a wall where self education and resourcefulness can't make up for training. Then I root for a combination of most talented and likable. I'm not a fan of the folks with claws and fangs.

As an artist I think Project Runway fires up that spark in me to look at things differently and see all sorts of ways to accomplish a task. Of course the ever present mantra...make it work cheers me on! I should probably have that sign posted in the studio.


Paper Cow Theater

Upon arriving back in my hometown after over thirty years I have discovered that people I knew long ago have been doing some interesting things. Kris Winter, a former classmate, is the founder and energy behind Paper Cow Theater. Camps, storytelling, and participatory theater are offerings you can find in this beautifully renovated barn (Kris's brother helped renovate the barn and I know his work is great because he built a home for my parents). Check out her site and if your feeling theatrical sign up for a class, which are not just for children!


Textile Blog

If you are a fan of all things textile, like I am, Textile Source Blog is a spot you really need to check out. It is primarily a blog for the design industry but is filled with amazing images of fabrics used in lighting, art, furniture and clothing with links to more information about each post. I was blown away by the images (I tend to get more engrossed in imagery than words). The top image are belts that are handstitched by women Ayacucho, Brazil, available from Sundance. The lower image is sculpture by Jens J. Meyer called Kubus.

Think upside down

I went to Madison, WI last weekend and had a great time with my friend Susan. We were walking down State Street and I heard a guitar player, when I saw the guy....he was standing upside down. What a way to get a new perspective on art...love...life. Just play your guitar upside down and see what happens.


Stockholm Art Fair

Last weekend I went to the Stockholm Art Fair in Stockholm, Wisconsin. It is a sweet little town (population 97) on the banks of Lake Pepin, which is really a wide spot in the Mississippi River. The town has a scandinavian feel, a nod to its early settlers, who were Swedish immigrants. The art fair has been a yearly attraction since the 1970's. There were a lot of great artists and musicians. We especially enjoyed the music. It made us feel like we were back in Nelson County Virginia.


Free Images

I posted this on my other blog Threads of Wonder but it really is great to get free stuff, so thought the readers of this blog would appreciate it too. Dover Publishing makes available all sorts of images that have less copyright restrictions. I think this is because of the age of the images. You can sign up for their weekly e-mail of downloadable images which are great for making collages. I have been doing this for a few years and have a nice little collection of them. Go here to sign up for the free stuff!


A Favorite Blog, Kirin Notebook

One of my favorite blogs is Kirin Notebook. Lara Cameron is a Melbourne Australia based textile designer. I really like her designs because they are clean and simple. She often asks readers their opinions about designs she is working on and shares the latest fabrics and products she has. Usually the posts are about her fabrics but often you will get info on new restaurants or celebrations.


be(a) Again

Here are some better photos of be(a) coming and all of her belongings. Thanks to everyone who worked on her!
be(a) with Lawrence perched on her shoulder...
be(a) and her trunk of treasures...
The inside of her treasure trunk...
A detail of her skirt...


be(a)coming is home

I posted about sending Dave home so you know about the round robin. Right after Dave left, the doll that I began a year ago returned to me. Her name is be(a)coming and her little bird friend is Lawrence. They began looking like this.

This is not quite how she returned but very similar to this. What a transformation!


Dave's on His Way Home

Over the last year I have taken part in an art doll round robin through Wildart Dolls, a yahoo group. I have just finished the last doll and it will be on its way home this afternoon. The doll I completed is Dave the horse, who has traveled the world (really...Japan, England) and much of the U.S looking for babes. He arrived at my house without a tail, so I added one...I'm sure that will help with the babe-thing. I also gave him a little bouquet of beaded flowers to take home to his mom, Gail in North Carolina. Happy trails, Dave.


Water (Doll) For a Hot Day

I have not been in the studio much since our move. We are actually staying with my parents until employment happens. We are grateful for a place to stay while on this search but it does mean limited access to my studio stash and not much space to spread out and work. I've been trying to find interesting sites and images to share and there are soooo many on the various blogs I've been scouting. Today though, it is hot and I thought you might like to drink in the image of a piece I made a few years ago called Water. Her skirt is made from hand-dyed cotton covered cord that a wire was inserted into so the cords would hold their shape. Her net was constructed by stitching on Solvy with cool colored threads and she sports some freshwater pearls and a fish. She stands on a piece of blue glass so it appears as if she is emerging from the water. I hope you stay cool today.