Saturday, June 28, 2008

Margaret Field's New Blog

Maggie Field is an incredible and totally irreverant Brit with a penchant for creative art dolls, ACEOs, and off the path assemblages. She's starting up a new blog strictly for weekly challenges for artists to make ACEOs/ATCs and is calling it 'Maggie's Musings'. You can trade or not, help with the suggestions for the week's challenge. Go to the link just above to sign up for it!

This would be a good way to motivate yourself to do work, be inspired, add to your collection, schmooze with other artists on the planet and spread your person around 'out there' a bit more. Maggie's Rules are fairly straightforward:

  • 1. Each week a theme for an ATC will be chosen either by myself (Maggie) or by suggestions from yourselves.
    • 2. When you make your ATC to that weeks theme, post a picture of it on your blog, and then link us to it, via the comments on MMM (Maggies Monday Musings)
    • 3. HAVE FUN

    I've signed up. Hope you will, too!

    Other news: Finally got Ms. Sheree Rensel's art beret off in the post. Received the replacement buttonhole foot for my Brother sewing machine so I can quit making them by hand. Got flea junk to put on the cats (I'll tell you about the second new one I acquired later!). Started a new mini project on a repurposed 1960s Abercrombie & Fitch dress which I'm positive will offend someone. Still loving me some Josie and Apatx Latorre for the gift of the magnifying glass! Also started a purple cotton beret inspired by Sheree's hat. Have Jeannie Taylor's wedding gown here to photograph and will try to get it done before the cats discover how fun it is to play tent under it. I have a forest green Medieval style robe to make. Still working on Sky's 1930s costume for her wardrobe - or, I should say procrastinating on it. Talked to my Other Chile Darla Nunnery and will make her a few hippy skirts for her new art administrator position. They told her no jeans and flip flops, but. She is an artist after all. I finally got a regular person's night sleep! Went to bed at 9:00 and got up at 7:00! That was 9:00. P.M. At night!
    (ed. note: The photo above is the incomparable Margaret Field. Ain't she a hoot?)

    Friday, June 27, 2008

    Arte y Pico Award

    Vikki North nominated me for this and I'm so flattered to have been chosen by her for it! That is what I realized is truly important about getting this. I mean, who wouldn't want to be singled out by a world class artist with a vitae that reads like a Hollywood novel!! Who doesn't want to let other creators know that we appreciate their work. Having seen it appear on other artists blogs including Beate Knapp, I searched for the origins of it and found somewhat recent, obscure beginnings. I like the little statue, too.

    It apparently hasn't been around very long. It operates like a chain letter and this is the first part of it I want to party poop on. I have a very long list of people I think are creative. To honor one would be to agonize over not having chosen the others -truly Sophie's Choice as Vikki said. So I am going to nominate either with abandon, or not at all. Some I won't give the Arte y Pico to because they've already gotten it, don't believe in the amount of time needed to give it along, or don't care to get it one way or another because they've told me. And I would like to give it back to Vikki to let her know that I honor her, her art and her opinion as well. So. Vikki. Consider yourself nominated for a second Pico by me. Think of it as getting a second Oscar only I say you don't have to nominate another five unless you want to.

    It really puts you in a sticky spot, that five nominees part.

    The other part that is difficult with this is the guilt of choosing other creative people to pass it along to with all the links back and forth and work and time consumed with doing it. It's a little like a costume contest during the hippy days where I spent an enormous amount of time on a costume to be a beaded and feathered roach clip and ended up not able to enter the contest night of after we were told we could because I worked at the same place having the contest. I could have put yellow rubber gloves on my feet and wore a feather curler cover turban and gone as a turkey.

    It also speaks to something many artists have hidden in a box somewhere - our desire for recognition. It's a very human thing, recognition is. We want to be thought of as good. "What a good girl and boy you are!" I think that's why we like contests, the Academy Awards, and Tony's and SAG awards and beauty pageants and races. It reaffirms our need to be suitable and accepted. THE best at something! Appreciated and getting something tangible to say so.

    I really didn't mean to get all heavy on you all! So I'm going to put my Pico y Arte up on my site and I'm going to lighten up. I'm just happy that Vikki North let me have an 'in' to what I'm sure will be a true piece of Internet kitsch some day.

    Monday, June 23, 2008


    June is one of my hardest of the year because I mark several sad anniversaries during it. But June 22nd marked another kind of anniversary for me this year. It's the second anniversary of this blog.

    That's remarkable for me because of the short lives of many of my projects like the time it takes to make a Dream Coat or to finish this latest piece I'm currently absorbed by.

    It's good to have constants in your life. I'd like to share another constant with you when I blog next. It's about patterns, friends, and the incredible magic there is in life. I'm too tired to tackle it tonight.

    Tomorrow, I ship Sheree's beret over the bridge to St. Pete.

    (And what other kind of cake would a girl from Mango, Florida serve on her anniversary but a Flamingo Cake??!!)

    Saturday, June 21, 2008

    New Amazon Store

    Finally took the leap and added an Amazon Store to my blog. All of my recommends are geared towards fiber, mixed media, quilts and fabric manipulation. All but two of the first 35 selections are under twenty bucks in deference to artist's budgets.

    I'll be reviewing these books along with photos of them. If you're a mixed media artist of any stripe or an artist that does ACEOs and ATCs, you just have to have "The Art of Manipulating Fabric" by Colette Wolff (Paperback - Oct 1, 1996). She teaches every possible combination of folding, pleating and manipulating fabric in the Universe and many techniques are transferable to paper for artists that use texture in their work.

    My Copy is absolutely loved over, bent, written in stapled with cloth and shreds of paper. This is my fabric 'bible'.

    I've almost finished the Geode piece. Some ends to tie up and then I'll do the finish work and frame it. Will share jpegs then.

    Friday, June 20, 2008

    And The Geode Part of 'Hat and Geode'

    This is an update on the Good Earth Works piece I'm working on. As you can see from the photos, there's lots more work done on the canvas. I'm still not sure what to do with the blank white corner. It may be something that has to ferment for awhile.

    So. Here are the views I have. As with Sheree Rensel's summer beret jpegs, I haven't the benefit of a photo editing program so they're rough. But I think you can see the real gemstones: Cape amethyst (lighter shades of pink and lavender), diamonds - including a broken diamond tennis bracelet, real pearls, druzy quartz with a tormaline on top, silverwire, the large dark purple amethyst cabochon seated on a chunk of sugalite, and large faceted amethyst beads, faceted white topaz, fire opal, flourite, Swarovski crystals and onegorgeous lead glass cube.

    On the small round mirror, I anchored a princess cut pink tanzanite and a diamond. My friend Carol, a jeweler told me the glue to use. Look for the pointed quartz wand, the iolite, and carnival glass beads with copper wrapping.

    I was telling Martha that the most sparkle amongst all the high dollar glitz comes from the sequins - inexpensive glitz! I love the 'river' of magnesium green sequins that unites everything and pay homage to the fact that amethyst gets its purple color from the interaction with the magnesium atoms present with the silicates.

    One of my fave repeats are the hologram glitter sequin and beadv 'fans'. And my secret in this piece is that most of the ground under and atop the canvas comes from the brocade I dyed for Cindy Miller's Tesse Tura stripper costume. A fitting tribute to one of my angels! I'll think of her every time I see this piece!

    Next issue: Framing and presentation. I need me some Martha Marshall advice for this.

    Beret and a Geode

    I finished Sheree Rensel's glorious little summer beret! Her request was that it be light and airy. I 'wore' it on my knee for about 40 minutes this afternoon in a room without AC. This is the most scientific experiment that I could muster. But. No sweat. And best of all, no weight. As she is just a tiny little sprite of 4'8", she needs nothing to make her more dear to the Goddess Gaia than she already is.

    This has always been my theory on small beings and animals. The more the Earth loves you, the smaller and closer you get to be, ergo, closer to Her. Diminutive people have always had something of the Fey in them to me. I've never known one to be totally world bound. Instead, they always seem to be a little bit in a place none of the rest of us can go.

    I used to sew for a tiny woman named Sherry Lucas. You only just needed to see her to know that you were in the presence of faery folk. When Sherry smiled, Ireland would light up. When she frowned, it would rain. The Goddess blesses little beings of all ilk.

    So. Sheree's beret is done. I adore the pin that I made out of scraps for her. There are glitzes and blings and sighs of yarn. The hat and pin look like they're made of moth butts and butterfly haloes. You can't see how airy it is. The pictures are courtesy of Windows without any editing so the color isn't true either.

    I'm happy. I feel complete with it. I hope she does as well. Or. I'll be making another one more to her taste.

    Wednesday, June 18, 2008


    Geode 1 Mixed Media Fiber, Gems, Silver 20" X 7"

    I'm here. Still arguing with my computer about settings, malware, cat hair, etcetera. If not a total win, I'll persevere so that I can at least use it efficiently.

    I have pictures to share which I will as soon as I find the software for Corel to reload or learn to use Photoshop Elements, whichever occurs first. I've taken pictures of the first Good Earth Works piece I've started. Hard to photograph because of all the sparkle. Here are two unedited views I took about a week ago. The ground is 20" X 7". I'm almost finished covering the entire canvas now but am a bit stuck.

    I have one area that I don't know whether to cover with brocade and stones or leave blank. It's the bottom left on the whole view canvas above. This is where I suppose an art course or two would have helped with design principles. So I'm sitting on it for a bit to work on something totally different.

    Almost finished a summer beret for artist Sheree Rensel and wanted you all to see that before I give it to her. Just working on a chapeau pin for decoration and then I'm done. Very pleased with it. Sherree chose the yarn in the bottom right corner - a multi stranded, very light weight and airy blend in 'amethyst' called Moda Dea Gleam.
    It has a bit of sparkle to it, weighs next to nothing and I used a size "N" aluminum hook for a lacy and open fabric. I think she'll be pleased with it. I'm told Sheree has a reputation for eclectic and artsy dressing. If so, this will be an anchor piece for her wardrobe. I'm calling it "Summer Beret With Wild Hair".

    I'm all for kissing the toes of Josie and Arpatx Latorre for their wonderful gift! The Ott-Lite magnifying glass has been used daily and extensively as I've sewn on beads, set gemstones and unraveled fuzzy yarns! Thank you both once again!!

    I'll make a stab of putting up some photos without the tweaking.

    Wednesday, June 11, 2008


    Told you about the new series of textile works I wanted to do. So. I just had to start one and have been working on it non-stop when I should be doing stuff for Sky and Cindy. She'll understand. She's artsy, too.

    This first piece is called Geode. Chris' discussion about amethyst being his birthstone inspired me to start on this work first. I've sewn, set, manipulated and glued gems and beads and fiber to a large base for the last four nights until I'm stiff as a board. Woke up with a crunked neck, shoulders and hands. I told Martha that mama used to say, "You have to suffer for beauty", as I plucked my lush eyebrows. I never expected to suffer with my art, too.

    I've a pile of amethyst, other precious gems and every style and description of glass bead and crystal in purple and silver tones I could lay hands on. I have an armature to build to give it shape and to drape on. Maybe that by the weekend.

    (The picture above comes from the Gem Color Society.)

    Saturday, June 07, 2008


    Just a quick flybye to let everyone know I'm alive and doing well. Very busy and trying to reconstruct my computer which has been on the blitz for over a week - one of the reasons I haven't updated Deepwater Journal. The repair cost me $2.64 for a can of techie air. Note to all: If your fan is running overtime and your computer screen just goes to black and shuts down, try pulling off the access panel and cleaning out the felt pad of cat fur and dust which is choking it. Saves destroyed records and docs. I lost all of them trying to play Mr. Wizard and 'fix it' myself.

    Finally got over to visit Apatz and his wife Josie. What beauties! Wonderful art and a gorgeous sanctuary of a garden in back of their townhouse! I came away with a great Ott magnifying lens to do my close up work and tried a wonderful Italian wine.

    We talked art, politics, spirituality nonstop.

    My biggest joy is my son Chris. I think we've started to mend our hearts once again by agreeing to leave the past in the past. He made the first move which I felt was his right so he could set limits with me. We've burned up the phone lines talking for hours. Feels like it did long ago when I told people that even if he wasn't my son, that I'd like him as a person. I'm also proud of the progress he's made in his life choices. He's going to college, works as a deputy for his county, and is a solidly good man. I can die happy now.

    I'm starting on a new fiber piece when I should be working on other commissions. But I just have to do this one piece or at least, get it started.

    (The flying jack rabbit photo is by Desert USA. I just love it.)