Saturday, March 28, 2009

Starting, again and again

It is a cliche, but it is true: every day is a new day. Every season opens our eyes anew.

Crocuses (four)

I find myself experimenting more than usual. What if I unwrap one of those little canvases I bought (on sale!), and actually, really use it? Can I simply work on it and see what develops? Can I be unafraid to make something ugly or uninteresting? Can I give myself that permission, that freedom?

Yellow circle canvas, stage one

What I know about this piece: I want to make circles, I want there to be yellow and orange, and I want to use materials that interest me. This photo is stage one, background in progress. I traced round objects with pencil and marker, glued on some fabric and paper circles, then added some paint. Not much to look at right now. I want to learn to accept my unease as I work. (My inner critic is screaming that this piece is already a failure, but I've put in my earplugs, and I'm sticking out my tongue in a defiant raspberry.)

Blue/pink hat scrumble

Crochet has become my bus stop sport. I don't make a lot of bus trips, but when I take a ride, I have yarn and hook in hand. Today, the thingy developed into another little hat for a plushie or a doll. Maybe. Anyway, I'm adding pink fringe, learning more about crochet and acceptance as I go.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Peace Book

Here's another little artist book that I'll be shipping out as a gift. You may recognize many pieces of this book, from here and here and here, for example.

(I wish I could show larger photos, but they won't fit in the space alloted. Some day I'll start tweaking, but for now, you can click on any of them for a bigger view.)

Peace book, front cover

Peace book, inside front cover

"Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity. . . .
Be a lamp unto those who walk in darkness, and a home to the stranger. . . .
Be a breath of life to the body of humankind,
A dew to the soil of the human heart, and a fruit upon the tree of humility."
-- from Baha'i peace prayer

Peace book, page 1

Grow Peace in your garden

Peace book, page 2

Peace book, page 3

"Nothing can bring you peace but yourself." -- Emerson

Peace book, page 4

Peace book, page 5

"I only wish that the wind will soon puff away all the clouds which are hanging over the tops of the mountains."
-- Shinto peace prayer

Peace book, page 6

"A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be."
-- Abraham Harold Maslow

Peace book, page7

Peace book, page 8

"Know that we attaineth God when we loveth,
And only that victory endures,
In consequence of which no one is defeated."
from the Sikh prayer for peace

(photo from the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 2009 Calendar)

Peace book, inside back cover

Peace book, back cover

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Winners, all!

Hey folks! Since I only have 6 or 7 of you in the fabric giveaway drawing, I'm just gonna send a package to all of you! I'll be contacting you via email to get your mailing addresses.

Happy Tuesday, and Happy St. Patrick's Day!


I've finished my scarf!

Orange and green scarf (self-portrait)

It's huge -- does any first-timer make a small scarf?!? It weighs a ton, because of all that deliciously thick handspun yarn. Admittedly, some would call it gaudy, but it totally delights the kid in me, and that's what matters.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Scarf, in progress

Inspiration can strike any time. At a craft show last weekend, I bought some orange handspun yarn from Juaquetta of Garden Party Fibers. It's thick-and-thin, with great texture and color, and it immediately reminded me of this gorgeous green yarn I had in my stash, with the same great texture. I thought it would be great to put them together in a scarf for myself. Maybe it was the influence of seeing Ireland's flag hanging on my neighbor's house?

I decided it would be a scarf with a lot of handspun yarn in it. Very simple pattern -- just double crochet -- but the yarns are so neat, that's all you need. I've been crocheting diligently, and I'm about halfway done.

Orange and green scarf in progress

Orange and green scarf close-up

The brown-and-green yarn is handspun by Tracie Lampe (Lampe's Lumps), who taught me how to spin at Artfiberfest last fall. The super chunky red-and-orange yarn is my first handspun yarn. Remember this?

My first yarn

It is huge -- I had to use my Q size hook to crochet it! I'm glad I'm gonna get to wear it in something that I made.

(A reminder: I'm giving away fabric! Post a comment on my March 9 blog entry by next Monday if you want to be in the drawing.)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Fabric giveaway!

I often claim that my packrat tendencies are genetic. My dad and his parents have/had deep packrat roots, and I have followed in their cluttered footsteps. My saving grace has been the influence of my mom, who would purge the extraneous from our house every once in a while, usually sending bags of clothes and what-not to Goodwill or the Salvation Army. My other teacher has been our tendency to move every 4 to 6 years: when you are faced with packing up everything, lots of things become less important in your life.

So, since we're not planning to move for quite a while, and I am coming to see my piles of art and craft supplies as abundance gone wild, I've decided to send some of my treasures to new homes. I have every confidence that you will put them to good use!

I will fill 5 packages with goodies: mostly fabric, and other goodies such as old doilies and embroidery, sequins, buttons, papers, yarns, trims, or beads. I haven't put the packages together yet, but I promise there will be a diverse selection in all of them. I will ship them anywhere (so international folks, you are welcome to join in).

Leave a comment on this post between now and next Monday (March 16), and I will draw five names to receive the packages. Be sure that there's some way for me to contact you (leave your email address if I can't find it by clicking on your Blogger profile, for example).

Good luck!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Photo shoot at Starbucks

To celebrate Friday, Ross and I walked to Starbucks after school, and we enjoyed a sweet treat while sitting in the cozy armchairs. Ross started to rub his hair on the leather (or Naugahyde?), so I pulled out the camera to document the static electricity. Now, mind you, the camera doesn't have a flash, but I was pleasantly surprised that the window light was enough to illuminate my boy.

He quickly got annoyed with the photography, calling me "Mrs. Shutterbug." But I'm glad I kept snapping. You can see the light of his personality shining through.

At Starbucks

At Starbucks (scrunched nose)

At Starbucks (smile)

At Starbucks (what a face!)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Camera and kitty

First, the bad news: it would be more expensive to fix the flash on my old camera than to buy a new one. So, any shot that requires a flash is out for now.

The good news: I'm upgrading to a digital SLR camera. I've been interested in getting a better camera, mostly to take close-ups of flowers and other wild things. This has become an opportunity to get more serious about my photography. After we get our tax refund, I'll be stepping up!


I'd like to introduce you to my latest plushie, Sparkle Whiskers.

Sparkle Whiskers

This little kitty, approx. 4-1/2 inches by 7 inches, is made from a worn-out gray shirt and a curtain panel from our Albuquerque house (the eye-popping red and black). I think Sparkle Whiskers will be making a journey to Australia as soon as I make a few friends to go along with her.