Friday, December 7, 2018

I've been busy!

Nothing new there, but I have had lots to do this past month, and I feel like I'm breaking new ground for me again! 
Of course, there's been the push to make items for the gallery... holiday shoppers have been making the rounds ever since Black Friday, and items are being scooped up, leaving gaps in my inventory to fill.

In addition to creating more inventory, I have been starting to learn wet felting techniques.  I have found some tutorials on line, but also signed up for an on-line course from UK fiber artist Jackie Cardy, who makes fabulous wet felted work, and has created a 12 lesson course that is very informative and easy to follow.  In addition to wet felting techniques, she demonstrates how she uses machine embroidery and hand embroidery to create her beautiful work...  here's an example of her lovely work:

Isn't this amazing?
I'm in the process of working on a small wet felted piece that has been machine embroidered, and is now in the process of being hand embroidered.  I'm sure at some point, I will be adding some beads, but for now I'm working to highlight areas with hand stitching, something that has been on my list of things to get back into:

While I have been following her course, I have also been trying my hand at wet felted vessels, something I really want to learn.  I won't show the first 2 attempts... totally learning pieces, but the third one came out pretty nice:

It's pretty small, only about 3 1/2" high by 5" wide, but it is a good start, I think.  Again, I found a great tutorial by a gal at Living Felt:  It's actually a 2-part video, well worth the view for anyone wanting to learn how to make these.

And that's been what has been keeping me busy this past month!  

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Holiday gift items

I've been busy of late, beefing up my Holiday gift items for the gallery.  Here are some recent items that will be in the gallery soon:

Pine Cone Ornaments

Devore Cutout silk/rayon scarves

Coiled fabric hot pads

Mug Rugs, back by popular demand

Fringed silk/rayon cut velvet scarves

If you are in the Flagstaff area, I hope you will stop by the Arts Connection Gallery at Flagstaff Mall and make us your "go to" place for holiday shopping!  If you are out of the area and interested in my work, please contact me via e-mail (see my profile).  

Sunday, October 21, 2018

October Show and Tell

This has been a busy month for me!  I am working to build up my inventory for Holiday shopping.
Silk Scarves

Trivets in 3 sizes
I also taught my first Lids, Handles and Embellishments bowl class on the 13th.

I had 5 lovely gals in class, and they took off running with these new techniques!

And I have continued to add items to my Artfire Store, for those who are not in the Flagstaff Area.

Weather-wise, we had our first snowfall of the season:

I stayed home and thoroughly enjoyed watching it come down... love the changing seasons!

Last week, my friend Cinde and I took a day trip through Oak Creek Canyon and Sedona and ended up in Jerome, a quaint art colony located in an old mining town.  I didn't get shots of the town, but did get a shot of the San Francisco Peaks in the distance:

So with just a couple of weeks until the Holiday Expo show November 3, I'm busy working on what I will bring to sell.  The show will be at the Flagstaff Mall from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, and there will be a number of Artists' Coalition of Flagstaff Artists there to show and sell their work.  If you are in the area, I hope you will stop by!

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Welcome to Autumn!

I love all the seasons, but have a special place in my heart for Autumn.  Some of my favorite early memories are of me helping my mom decorate for Halloween, and loving the autumn leaves as they turned glorious yellows, oranges and reds before falling from the trees.  Over the years, autumn leaves have been a recurring theme in my work, and this year is no different.  recently, I custom dyed an Autumn Leaves batik shirt for a dear friend:
And as I have done in past years, I decorated a couple of my coiled fabric bowls with fabric autumn leaves:

I actually made up a number of leaves before making the bowl and lid above, so I have lots left over for other projects!
Several years ago, I did a couple of Autumn Leaves batik art quilts, and still have one hanging in my office:
I made a few coiled bowls that I plastered and painted, with Autumn leaves themes:
And a few years back, I made some framed Autumn Leaves pieces:

Now I'm looking at ideas on pinterest for other ways to use autumn leaves in my work... obsessed?  Maybe!  But they have been a strong influence on my work for many years now, and will probably continue to crop up in my art.  Can't beat Nature for inspiration!

Sunday, September 9, 2018

My class on bowl making

Yesterday, I taught my class on how to make a coiled fabric bowl, to 9 students!  That's a record number for one of my classes, but it worked out well.  All were anxious to learn how to make the bowls, and by the end of the day, each student had made a bowl to take home with them, and they were enthusiastic about making more!  Here are some photos I took during class:

Students working diligently on their bowls

Barbara working on the last few rows

Carla and Jeanna making great progress

Sue and Marla, with their colorful creations

Karen's bright, cheerful bowl, almost done

Karen with her finished bowl

Sharon, focused on her project

Sherry, with her colorful bowl

I was so pleased that all of the students seemed to have a fun, productive day, and hope they will continue creating more bowls.  My next class - Lids, Handles & Embellishments - is scheduled for next month, open only to students who have taken my basic bowl class, and there are at least 2 from this class who plan to sign up.  I will post pictures of that class afterword.  Happy bowl-making, ladies!

Monday, September 3, 2018

Summer's end

This year's Flagstaff Open Studios Tour was a smashing success!  We had record breaking crowds, good sales, and a fun weekend with 8 artists at our location:

Here are some shots of my booth layout:

By the end of the show, I was pretty worn out, what with breaking down, then bringing my wares back into the gallery the next day to set up.  But all that effort was worth it, and I'm looking forward to brisk sales in the coming months leading up to the holidays.

Meanwhile, I decided it was time to re-open my online shop on Artfire - see the tab above.  I have pulled my Easy Breezy rayon dresses from the gallery, and have them listed in the Artfire shop, and will add more items over time. 
 This way I have two outlets to offer my work, one local and one available to shoppers all over the U.S.  That should keep me busy!  Be sure to check out the shop, and tell your friends!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Getting ready for Flagstaff Open Studios Tour

It's that time of year, and as usual I'm busy getting my inventory ready, going through my "to do" list to have my displays, supplies, etc. all in order for the big weekend!  I "auditioned" some of my mixed media on a grid rack to see what will fit and how they look together:

I think this will work.  And of course I will have a rack of clothing - here is a recently dyed Rayon waterfall jacket, an example of the items I will have available:

And I will have many new fabric and thread bowls on display as well:

For those of you who plan to attend, remember that at location 19 where I will be, there are 8 artists who will be showing there, so the short drive to our location will be well worth it!
For those who will be attending, we will be at 9815 E. Townsend Winona Rd. Saturday, August 25 and Sunday, August 26, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.  Look for the rainbow banner that says "Open Studio".  See you there!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Confessions of a Creative junkie

I've been addicted to creating for most of my life, and it is a progressive condition... notice, I don't call it a "disease" because this kind of addiction is - in my opinion - a very healthy alternative to other addictions:  alcohol, drugs, food, sex, gambling, etc.  But it is an addiction, nevertheless. 
When I find myself inspired to try something, my pulse quickens, I become agitated if unable to dive right in... I browse google and pinterest incessantly to find images, tutorials, inspiration...and I can jump from one obsession to another in an instant, depending on the stimulus that has captured my attention! 
My current obsessions:  found object bundles, wrapped sticks, card weaving, fiber bowls, to name a few.  I have been fortunate to find information on how to make a few of these, but there are others that seem to have no documentation on how to proceed, and I stay awake nights, trying to think of how to progress!  Currently, my brain won't let go of found object bundles, aka wrapped bundles, fetishes (although that term can take me to totally different images than what I'm looking for!), totems... you get the picture, right?  On pinterest, if I find one I like and click on the image, it gathers similar items for me to browse, and I'm immediately going down a rabbit-hole of page after page of alluring images, but darn few references to tutorials! 
Not letting that stand in my way, I have started on one using a piece of deadwood I picked up - in the yard, or was it on a hike?  Anyway, here's what I have so far:

I attached a turquoise bead, a feather, some hand-dyed scrim and a few twigs using craft glue and some embroidery floss.  My original intent was to make something that could be used as an embellishment on one of my coiled fabric bowls, but this one may end up on a canvas.  Meanwhile, I have a large debris field in the back yard from a recent flood, so I will probably be culling through it for more wood or bark to add to my ever-growing collection!
And speaking of bowls, I'm also obsessing over some incredible hand-wrapped bowls by Jackie Abrams and someone else whose name seems to have slipped my memory.  Here's one of Jackie's to give you an idea of what I would love to try (when I'm not fully immersed in 10 other projects):
Jackie lives on the east coast and teaches classes there, but they are way beyond my budget and I have no love of travelling, so I guess I'll just have to play around with this on my own.
So there you have my story... hooked on creating, and no plans to swear off!  Back I go...

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Card weaving & more

I have wanted to make woven wall hangings since I first saw some back in the 70's... some dreams never die, they just take awhile to come true!  I recently came across a book, "Weaving Off-Loom" written in 1973, which is a great resource for weaving techniques using non-traditional methods, and I have begun the process of learning.  I completed one hanging, and I'm working on or thinking about several more.  Here is the first:
I love these because they incorporate various materials, not all fiber.  I have deadwood, beads, dyed scrim, wool roving and a variety of yarns in this piece.  There was no formal plan for how this would turn out, only inspiration from some of the photos in the book.  I made a "loom" from a piece of foam board, strung the warp using crochet floss, and just started playing... great fun, and the results convinced me I will be doing more of these!
On another topic, I have made several "Thread bowls" using scraps of sewing thread, embroidery floss, and other fiber or yarn scraps.  I was recently invited to enter one of my bowls in an upcoming exhibit at High Country Conference Center here in Flagstaff, and I had just finished a large bowl, so it will be in the exhibit:
This one measures 10 3/4" by 3 1/4"... the largest one I have made so far.  I have plans to make something a little different soon... more of a sculpture item than a bowl shape.  Love using up these thread scraps!

Coming up soon is the 21st Annual Flagstaff Open Studios Tour, August 25-26, with the Prelude Exhibit opening at Arts Connection Gallery at Flagstaff Mall on Saturday, August 4.  So I am busy preparing for both events, and look forward to another fun August!

Enjoy the rest of summer, and stay tuned... will post more soon.

Friday, June 8, 2018

What on Earth have I been doing?

It's been over a month since my last post, and I can't say I've done anything significantly different than I have been doing since... forever!  Making things for the gallery, filling a couple of custom orders, and browsing the internet, mostly facebook.  I administer a couple of groups on facebook - Cotton Rope Bowls Mats and Bags is a closed group of fiber artists who make bowls like I've been making for several years now (here's my latest)

This talented group comes from all corners of the globe, and they make incredible creations!  Very inspiring, filling me with loads of ideas.
My other group is called Mixed Media Art, and the variety of different creations that come under that heading is amazing!  I did a few pieces over the past year, and like what I was able to accomplish:

I hope to do more of these, but I confess, I have recently been drawn to a recurring area of interest.  Last weekend, my friend Cinde and I attended the Flagstaff Wool and Fiber Festival, and I met and talked to some members of the Fiber Artists of Northern Arizona.  As a result, I decided to become a member, hoping to connect with other fiber artists and grow my skill set.  Here is one thing I am hoping to try:
These are wet vessels created by wet felting, and I have never tried this technique.  Bet that changes soon!
One more thing that has captured my attention in a big way is the beautiful knotted tapestry creations of Laura Bowman, Artist.  Here is an example of her incredible work:
Her pieces are created using some basic macrame' knots, but she has taken the art form to a whole new level.  You can see more of her creations here.  Since I started researching her work, I have ordered a back issue of Fiber Arts Now with an article about her, and ordered a book written many years ago called "Weaving Off Loom", which is something I have wanted to do for a long, long time!
So if you follow me, and have wondered what I've been doing... I would say I'm preparing to take yet another huge leap out of my normal "comfort zone" into areas I have longed to explore for decades!  Excited?  Oh, yeah!  And I will try to do a better job keeping you up to date, I promise!  Stay tuned...