Thursday, December 30, 2010

Let it snow...

All this talk of snow dyeing is making me even more eager to get out there.

Look what I have to look forward to:
This is taken from sitting with my back to my sewing machine, looking over my ironing surface.

This is taken standing looking a bit to the left.

We have had an abundance of snow this year, a fair bit more than normal.  But a sunglasses case has been added to the handbag order and I think I will tackle that first.

The snow will have to wait, I understand it will be around for a while~~this is Manitoba after all!

Git 'er done!

That is my 'word' for this year.  Around here it is all run together and said like one word anyway.

DH and I managed to be invited to three complete-with-all-the-trimmings Christmas Dinners over the weekend!  I am still suffering from Turkey Torpor!  Mind you, my idea of The Compleat Christmas includes a turkey with cranberry sauce sandwich for breakfast on Boxing Day, so it was all good.  Just got home from my DH's sister's home and a buffalo roast dinner.  Nice change.

As to my 'word'  I have so much commission work to do, so I really must overcome the turkey and get busy.  I have been pulling purple ties to audition for the handbag, and have discovered men don't like purple very much.  Only about 12 out of my monumental collection!  And their wives don't like purple either!  I have a huge selection of upholstery samples and none of it can really be called a true purple, at least not a big enough piece to be of much good.  I have had some help doing some more purple tie hunting.

Some of these ties are a bit of a stretch to call purple, but I should only need six or seven so I should be able to find something that works.  And that pink and black number will certainly find its way into something else for sure!

I am sketching bag designs, and have yet come up with the perfect pattern.  I am thinking along the lines of a very modern type of crazy quilt with lots of bead treatments; and fancy yarn....I have lots of that in purple.

I will keep you posted (pun intended).

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My Year Is Booked!

My dear patron has filled my year with projects, the whole year!  She loves my work and wants me to do a purse for her, one for her mom, a large wall hanging, an 18" doll, a Christmas tree Angel, and six fairy ornaments, and possibly a sculpture.  These are to be VERY elaborate and extensively embellished (read encrusted).  I am looking forward to doing these varied projects.  She has only one condition....there must be some purple in everything. 

Also, she has a Guatemalan quilt she wants me to repair.  That Guatemalan fabric won't take vigorous machine washing! Some of the blocks need replacing.  This is not such a very exiting project.

I am having to polish up my bag making skills, it has been a while since I have made a pattern of an existing bag that cannot be taken apart.  Just how do you get that zipper in there and then turn it right side out??  Beats me...I will have to fiddle some more.  I used to be able to do this, and even taught classes in it.....I have my notes somewhere.  It is the zipper that is befuddling me, never done that before.

It is also Christmas....DH and I are into baking cookies to take with us when we show up for Christmas dinner at the two places we have been invited.  So far I have done two different kinds, one is the most delicious oatmeal cookie.  I have been searching since childhood for the perfect oatmeal cookie, I think I have found it.  I got the recipe a couple of days ago from a friend.  DH so far has baked none....and it was his idea in the first place!!

Both families have lots of children,  Christmas Eve 3 boys and 2 girls from 15 down to 5 and Christmas Day four boys from 22 to 17.  We will be awash with torn paper and laughter, and even some interesting conversation.  University boys are fun to talk to, so full of confidence, with none of their shiny sharp edges knocked off by life yet.

If you haven't got grandchildren for Christmas, borrow some!   hehehehe

Merry Artful Christmas to you all.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Way ahead of my time!

Oh my, I just got a call from my Gallery owner that my Handbags and Credit Card Cases are selling apace!  She wants more.  This is timely as I make the Handbags with ties.  These are all items I made three years ago and was never able to sell.   Now they are hot!  I am just simply several years ahead of my time.

I have been hustling to make more and have just done some card cases and an Eyeglass Case and a Passport Case.  Since foreign visitors are advised to wear their Passport on their person in most countries.

 It is a bit disconcerting to find one's self reflected in a piece of one's work!

I am using upholstery fabric on these as the small samples are exactly suited for the small cases.  Some are quite tricky sewing (I am beginning to dislike velvet, but it is oh so pretty), but I am quite enjoying embellishing them.  I loved doing corsages in the Flower Shop as they were just itty bitty arrangements and I treated them like little works of art.  (Have you ever seen a corsage with a matching ring attached?  Or a corsage that starts at your wrist and goes all the way up to the top of your shoulder?  That one wasn't so itty bitty!)
We used to love seeing the young men come in to pick up the flowers for their girls.  They clean up so nice! lol

The Credit Card Case idea was in Quilting Arts quite a few years ago.  I can't remember what issue, but then I rejigged the pattern to suit the materials I have, upholstery and ties can often present problems with the mechanics of whatever you are making, some need more taming than others.

When I get some Tie Di Bags made I will have more photos.

I gotta get back to work, I am going to deliver to the Gallery tomorrow.

Have a great day.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Happier Hips

My dh suffers so much when I am in pain (he would never have made it through childbirth!) asked me to ask the chiropractor what he could do to help me.  I don't think the doctor is in the habit of giving away his secrets though.  Last night my dh called me over to look at a video with him and as I bent forward in my chair the ice pack in my tight pants pushed the bad hip into place!  Praise the Lord! 
So apparently all my dh has to do is watch videos with me!!
I am much better today, but still sitting with an ice pack to reduce inflammation.  I am going to get into my studio and plow through some more of the stuff,  I have only about 18 more bins to sort through.  I am finding strange things....a blouse I made 25 years ago...still fits!  At my size I am not sure that is a good thing!  lol
Better days ahead!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Total Block

An old injury to my hips (done at age 17) has been acting up.....huge pain intermittantly (between chiropractic visits)....and it has brought me to a complete halt in my studio. 

I am in the middle of sorting and cleaning, and since my one major work table seeems to be the place to put anything you don't know what to do with around here, it is getting ahead of me!
There is actually a project I am working on under all that stuff.

I am thinking of getting a guy in here with a bulldozer!  Does anyone else have this prolem?

Two more Tylenol 3's and to bed, things will feel better in the morning.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Sorting, sorting, sorting......

Now that I am done with the sales this year I am trying to sort out the new space in the studio.  In the past three days I have gone through ten bins of assorted fabric and two of doll making supplies.  I have a box of rug hooking supplies (a surprise find) to go to B.C. to a friend and two more of scraps for a charity quilt making group.  There is a bin of cotton fabric, a lot of it Laura Ashley, to go to the next Guild sale day and a box of gabage.  So far, only one empty bin left over, sigh....I am going to have to be a lot more ruthless.

I am headed into the storage closet this evening to sort some more....if you don't hear from me soon send a search party!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Righteously Tired

Just got home from my last sale of the year.  I am pooped!  Showing the horses was much least they loaded themselves into the trailer and all I had was one tack _o=  (only the c and the v on that row are gremlins were at work while I was away!  Tack container sounds silly it is a Tack _o=.)
Now I am schlepping around display racks, _lack cloth for draping them and _ins and _ags and a suitcase of my quilts and sculptures!   This kind of thing was a lot easier when I was in my 20's as I recall...and I could party all night too.....I'm e=hausted just thinking a_out it!

I did well, and sold some larger pieces.  The venue attracted some more well-heeled customers.  Unfortunately the money will not go for stash _uilding, it will end up on the rims of our van....._ald tires and the icy snowy streets were a tricky knuckles are still white!  lol

It is inspiring to see what other types of artists are doing.  There really was some lovely work there, other fi_re artists, glass artists, potters and jewellery with polymer clay, gemstones, and feathers (these were e=quisite).  It can really get the creative juices flowing.  I am looking forward to this winter in my studio.

I will say goodnight and get to _ed.  Tomorrow is a free day to play/work in my Happy Place.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

One More Time

I am off to the last sale of the year for me.  It is at the brand new Manitoba Hydro building in downtown Winnipeg.  I am quite looking forward to seeing the place.  My dh's sister works there and she will help me unload and set up.  My first helper has contacted the Dreaded Largy and is unavailable.  AND it is snowing up a blizzard out there and I have a 50 mile drive at eight in the morning.....still rush hour!  We are expecting a total of 4 to 6 inches by morning.....sheesh!

Wish me luck......please!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

All Tied Up

Or should that be all the ties are up??  I have finally finished sorting and hanging up my tie collection....sort of....some of the hangars are a tad varied still.  I need more hangars.....I need more racks!  The bottom row is actually a double row with the darker ties in the back, sort of.  I pulled most of the striped ties and all the plain ones, but will save them for bindings.  Some where in that closet among the 23 bins that I have to go through yet is another big bin of striped ties.....I am tie-erd of ties.   Here is the picture I promised:
< 2nd bin of striped ties

This is my stash of upholstery samples, yarns and buttons:
I had all the buttons sorted to size and colour (washed too!) and was at the Self Help store the next day and a huge jar of mixed buttons jumped right into my now reigns right in the middle of the first button shelf.  All this orderliness keeps me from being called a hoarder. If you look real close, I mean really close you can see my studio helper, Buddy.

This is my "Happy Place"  between my sewing machine and the three patio doors (north east light) is a 2' by 4' ironing table that doubles as a chair and a mini step ladder should I wish to unfold the thing.  All I have to do is just turn around to press something and look out at the tomatoes on our deck. Much nicer than gazing at the studio and realizing that I really do work in a midden!

I made a thread rack with four layers of foam core stuck together with thin double sided tape.  I finished the edges with masking tape, poked holes with an awl and used sandwich picks to hang the spools on.  The spacing could have been a bit further apart, but I'm and artist, not an engineer....what can I say?

 I my studio has come a long way from what I started with:

This picture is amusing now but at the time it was pretty scary, it was like one of those puzzles where you have to move the letters around and there is only one empty space!

I am getting some where here.  I have fallen heir to more space as DH is taking over the spare bedroom for his egg studio...he is an egg carver.  120 square feet plus 60 square feet in a closet. Big grin :).  Hence my present cleaning and sorting spree.  What I am actually doing is my usual procrastinating before starting a new piece.  I need a kick in the butt!

Please take a moment to think of the sacrifices some of our loved ones have made in the various wars our countries have been involved in.  Because of them we are free to work in our studios.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Great Show and Sale

It was a busy, inspiring, uplifting and exhausting four days.  I had a wonderful time.  Manitoba Art Expo at the Assiniboia Downs Race Track is considered to be the premier show of Fine Art in Manitoba featuring Manitoba artists.  Mind you that can be people from anywhere these days....Yisa Akinbolaji in the background here is originally from Nigeria!  His abstracts were just super, and is a really nice guy.

I did very well this year, one for sure large commission and possibly one even larger, and sold five works. As a fibre artist I am very honored to be included in this group. (Only 3% fibre art is allowed.)

We had 52 artists this year, more than we have ever had, a lot of new people.  Julie Harris won the People's Choice again with a stunning winter marsh scene.  Hubert Thereaux's centrepiece oil painting was stunning again this year, a foggy, misty view of the treetops from above, with a very subtle eagle flying among them.  Anthony Steffes was wonderful as always, with a lot of bigger mixed media pieces this year.

I sat across from Melany Robbins.  She had some superb watercolors of pelicans, by the end of the four days I was having a real relationship with them.  I was sad when they sold. lol  I get lucky every year and get to be across from some truly great art.  Two years ago it was Heather Bishop and a huge portrait of a cat licking a lady's chin...they were both blissed out!  Heather was back again this year with great portraits of Native Canadians.

Paverpol sculptures and bead work were featured on my table.  Lots of interest in taking classes, I am already taking bookings for November and December.

One more sale this year, at the new Manitoba Hydro building in downtown Winnipeg.  It is put on by the Manitoba Crafts Museum and Library.  Just two days this time, not quite so tiring.  I am greatly disappointed in my 62 year old does not perform the way it did when it was 22 and I showed horses and rode in rodeos every weekend from May to November.....maybe that is why!!!  Every horse I ever fell off of is speaking to me now!

I'm going to my studio to use up some inspiration.....after I finish up the paperwork that has piled up here in the office....sigh.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Gallery Representation

Wonderful news...I am represented by a fabulous gallery!

Pulse Gallery in the Johnson Terminal at The Forks in Winnipeg....exclusive, elegant (my stuff sure stands out!) and in the best location in Winnipeg....lots of tourists. They represent only Manitoba artists.

I took in 21 pieces on spec this morning and they kept them all but one.  She especially liked my newer stuff so that is an indication that I should continue on in that direction.

Manitoba Art Expo is next week and I will be very busy setting up there.  It is the premier art show in Manitoba and I am honored to be in it, this will be my fourth year.  There are some fabulous artists in this province.  I am going to try to do one more wall hanging this weekend.  Wish me luck.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Good Grief...mischief in the Studio

Boy, I come home from a show and sale tired, leave everything in a heap in my Studio to put away the next day and look what happens!

The piggies got into my stash and had a grand time.  They have morphed themselves into something that is much more my style.....I am not a 'less is more' kind of person!

Now this is really, officially an Acid Trip Piggy!  Not that I would know myself personally.....ahem.

And let me introduce you to Silver Bird. 

The prettiest little flier ever, but a bit Punk with the chains and all.

These are much more to my taste now.  I will have to shovel up...oops I mean tidy up the Studio again, sigh.

I will post a picture of my midden some time, but not until you get to know me better! lol

Thursday, October 21, 2010

More Paverpol

Good afternoon everyone, another chilly but sunny day here.

What a good time I have been my Happy Place of course

Another Tiepot  #2 Oceanus

It seems Blogger will not let me post another picture?!?!  Content too racy??

I will continue...
Aha!!  You just have to tweak a few more buttons.

And the pigs are flying around here....totally non functional just like the Tiepots.

and a functional one...but it is a retirement savings bank as there is no way to get the money out!
Great idea what!?!?

I have to stop this now as I need to let the pieces cure before the sale.......
I think I am ready to get back to playing with soft fabric now.

We are having a great studio upheaval here as I am getting more space! Hooray!  My dh is getting the spare bedroom (anybody want to buy an antique brass double bed?  Great for displaying quilts) for his studio (he decorates eggs Faberge style) and I am getting his space. The upheaval has turned my Buddy into a barnacle..he gets upset easily!
Why is it that when your cat gets under the covers with you and curls up in your arms he will decide that that is the perfect time to have a vigorous and very thorough wash.  It is very difficult trying to go to sleep with a yellow fuzz ball lurching around!

I am unpacking my ties and sorting them.  DH has finally put up my racks, a cupboard and a whole bunch of shelves and I am looking forward to getting things unpacked and sorted out.  I want to have my stash where I can see it.   I am of the "if I can't see it I don't have it" mindset.  lol
When I get it all done I will post a picture....I have about 1000 ties!

Rats, this thing keeps resetting to will think I am writing poetry!  Also I have to publish after every picture ore it won't accept a second one.  Sheesh.  If you can help me with this just email me please.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

In the beginning......

Well I am finally taking the big step and publishing a blog.

I have been working on a huge commissioned piece, and it seemed to have put my entire life on hold...for a whole year!  But the piece is done, and the huge pressure is gone.   AND she absolutely loved the piece.  Bonus!!

Wishful Thinking (3' x 5') is a very three dimensional piece about a Devon Rex house cat that is never allowed outside.......their whole front yard is planted with Daylillies.  Lots of upholstery fabric and the ubiquitous yo-yo!  Making a curly coated cat was quite an exercise.

After the quilt left for its new home I was wandering around here bumping into myself...I felt like a lost child.  All I could manage was to sort and tidy up a bit in my studio.  This is a good thing as it is a very rare event!

My Muse has returned to me along with her dear friend Sense Of Silly!  I am experimenting with Paverpol and having a wonderful time.  This stuff promises to be a great stash buster.

Sort of an abstract sculpture for a challenge to use a hand dyed damask napkin...funky!

Tie Pot 1, mostly men's ties.  It is only ornamental, you cannot open it.  These are fun to do.  As you can see there will be more.

Mask 1 Melody.  Again the first of a series. That is Felix Mendelssohn's Saint Paul for the musically curious. 
There are two types of snow dyed fabric, cotton and mystery fibre!  Nice colours with a coordinated look.  I can't wait for winter and more snow.

Good bye for now, I am going back to my Happy Place (read Studio).

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