Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I hope that everyone had a very Merry Christmas! We all did - my husband and I spent some time with our kids (all together - in the same room!). We have 3 kids between the two of us - Emily turned 16 today. Trey is 19 and going to Clemson University. Will just turned 21 and is home from Winthrop University. You can imagine how difficult it is to get them together at the same time...we managed to do this not once, but twice during the holiday season.
I hope that everyone has a great New year! I've got a big year planned - lots of new things are going to be happening this year. I hope that you are planning to take your dreams, your hopes and your goals to the next level -
It's time to Take Action.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Mary Did You Know

Holiday Wishes

I hope that each and every one of you have a very
merry and safe Holiday!
I know that we all have different beliefs,
celebrate in a lot different ways
but my wish is the same for everyone...
Peace on Earth and
Goodwill to all.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

What light through yonder window breaks...

What an odd light coming through my studio window today...

Sketching, stitching and painting the afternoon away.
Celebrating a Big Birthday this evening - my son is 21 today!
Wow - I can't believe how quickly the time passed...
I won't write a bunch of mushy mommy stuff in case he reads this...
but can't all you moms out there just imagine what I am thinking of today?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I'm trying out a new service that my buddy Susan Sorrell told me about- www.ping.fm -to link all my "social networks" together.
Not that I have that many - I just would like to make one blog post and have it go to every site that I interact with.
Let's see how it does...

Thread Sketching

I've spent a few days working on the new class I mentioned
(which I'm lovin' by the way)
and right in the middle of that,
I was hit with another blast of
"Hey - what if I...?".
So, I finished the New Class project yesterday
(did I mention how totally cool this class is going to be?!)
and rushed to begin the new
"Hey - What if I...?" project.
Here's the beginning of that...
I took one of the tree images from my sketched journal pages and drew it on a piece of canvas.
You could trace, free hand draw, transfer (etc) to get the image on the fabric.
Then I outlined it with free motion embroidery work on my trusty sewing machine.
I love the look !
Today I'm going to play with coloring the image - inks, paints, water soluble pastels...
I'll use whatever is handy and within the reach of my impatient little hand.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Holiday Coffee3s

This is where I went yesterday.

I spent several hours in the company of two wonderful, funny and artsy ladies -
Anne Taylor and Susan Sorrell.
I met some really cool folks too (waving to Bonnie) ("Hi Bonnie!").
I didn't get to go to any of the Coffee3s this year and
was determined to go to this one...
I love going into the Little House Art Studio. The walls
are all such bright colors and Susan has her art work displayed all over the house.
If you've ever seen her work, it's quite bright and colorful as well.

Annie has her own studio room where her gorgeous art photography is out.
She had some of the coolest tiles with not only photos transferred on them
but some of her own watercolors paintings as well.
What a very artistic use of the two mediums.
I loved them!
Susan is going to be offering a new class next year called
"Get Your Sh*t" Together" (GYST) .
Which I definitely need to do...
and I've heard a lot of other artists say the same thing.
Follow the link on the class name to see the info.
I think there are five sessions and each session is two classes -
All Day Classes!
Great price too!
I've signed up-
and I am just putting this out there right now.
I expect a lot of great things to be happening to me this coming year.
Not just personally, but related to my desire to teach, to sell my work,
to write -
to share my creativity with others...
I want to help other people find their own creative voice - it's there people...
You just gotta give it a little encouragement .
Universe - I'm ready.
I'm stepping up to that proverbial line -
and walking right past it...

Friday, December 18, 2009

More on Scraps, Fragments and Artifacts

You know, when you try to think about
What You Like...
What You Do Well...
And How You Do it
you must consider all these things separately.
And then together.
I've been trying to narrow down my focus a little.
I like to do SO many things,
I'm always trying new things..
I am constantly changing what I do...
I decided it was time to really give this a careful consideration.
And add all those things that I love to a new class.

The last year of my life has been a very difficult time.
My mother passed away in February and a lot of "situations" came to light after that traumatic event.
Most of the things that you have to do when a family members dies fell to me.
A house full of mementos, keepsakes and little snippets that my mom loved to keep and look at.
I found things from her mother that she had lovingly wrapped in soft fabrics...

I could just see my mom - stroking her worn hands across the soft fabric of my grandmothers quilt...
I could see my grandmothers hands as she lovingly pulled the thread through that same quilt- making her stitch in time...

Scraps of fabric, of stories
Fragments of a memory, of another time
And Artifacts - from your family, your loved ones...
All woven together to tell a story of where you came from or of another that inspires you.
Join me as we gather all our random mementos and weave them into a mixed media fiber piece.

It's going to be a place that you can finally showcase your little treasures instead of hiding them away in a drawer or box somewhere.

Here's a little peek at mine in progress...

The center of the piece is the one thing that I think of when my grandmother and mom cross my mind (no pun intended).
Their belief in The Living God. In the power of the cross and those three nails.
Their lives were not easy. They lived in difficult times, were raised poor.
I've backed this section with bird's nest paper. It's full of odd materials that have been meshed together - like a bird finding this and that to make her home.
This signifies how "rough" their lives were.
I added a little piece of a soft and worn towel from my mom's house. A simple kitchen towel that she had taken care of so it would last and last.
I connected three rusty nails and a quartz cross and laid it on top of the previous pieces.
The center of their world - that cross and nails.
Cushioned on their well worn belief in times of turmoil.

I found a pack of labels from my grandmother - some of those

"Handmade and Designed by" labels...I used one to back another section.

If you look closely, you can see a tiny bit of her name -

printed in red.

A bit of a screen from my mom's house...it all has meaning to me.

Just like yours will.

I'll help you look for the story - put the words to it.

We'll also learn a lot of different mixed media techniques like joining non-traditional pieces to fiber work,

sewing on (and with) paper, making paper fabric.

Some fabric painting, a little dyeing...

You know - a little of this and a little of that.

Details on the class will be on the blog site in the coming days.

I hope to teach it locally but am sure to be teaching it in a place a little farther away this fall.

Won't you join me?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Scraps, Fragments and Artifacts

Inspiration has hit...

Fabric is flying.
Threads are humming.
Beads are rolling.
Mistyfuse is fusing.

My studio is, once again, a very happy place to be.

I've got a new class in the works!
You ladies are going to love this one...

Be gathering all your bits and pieces, your favorite little scraps of fabric, all those little things that you just couldn't stand to part with -
you know what I mean, don't cha?
While you're looking - pull together some of your favorite keepsakes from a loved one.
Those artifacts you hide away - maybe pulling them out once or twice a year to look at.
This project is all about making a memory...
saving some space...
and having an heirloom when you're finished.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Holiday Get Togethers

Last Friday, I ventured to Fletcher, NC to a fellow Fiber Junkies house for a holiday get together.
Several ladies gathered to share some food, some finished work
and some holiday food and spirits.
I took a bunch of (not too good) photos but like any proud mama - I mean friend - I'm going to make you suffer through them anyway.
Kinda like summer vacation photos, ya know?

First things first -
Martine House.
Have you ever seen any of Martine's fiber work?
Not photos of it - but in person?
There are times in your life that you walk up on a person's art work -
you are just in awe. No words to describe it.
You can hardly ask sensible questions about it because it it so enthralling and captivating.
Martine House makes fiber art with her hands - no machine work here.
Old fashioned hand work. Her felting is indescribable...
Her latest piece in the "Offerings" series is called "Iceless?".
The outside is hand felted - it looks like the sides have grown up and over the structure...
like it has been growing there a very long time - little crooks with rocks peeking from them - twists and turns with hand stitching.
As I said, my photos are NOT good ones (sorry Martine!)
but even professional ones can't catch the enthralling beauty of her work.

Opening the first layer of the Offering.
Note the trees, the limbs inside.
These are all hand embroidered by her - with one strand of DMC floss...
ONE strand.
Her embroidery is Meticulous.

The center of the box is opened to reveal a silk pouch with the Offering inside.

Look at the beading on the strands holding the inside section together.

I think that some of the same beads were used on the Offerings inside the pouch.

This photo shows the first section opened with the second one still having its closure on.

Hand molded copper with patina applied.

This is a close up of the closures that she fashioned.

The Offering has been removed from it's resting place.

See how the different levels speak to each other - different yet the same.

This is the beautiful, enchanting necklace that she made.

Martine has more photos on her blog - go have a peek.

She also talks about the process of making the Offering.

Such a fascinating artist.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Rattle Them Bones

A few years ago, my husband and I took our kids to Washington, DC.
We went to all the tourists haunts, pulling the kids behind us.
But there was one place that everyone loved.
The Museum of Natural History.
The kids ran from top to bottom, pulling us along
talking excitedly about this exhibit or that one...
I loved it all - the beauty of the hauntingly sorrowful changes that our world had suffered through...
The recreations of all the magnificent animals that roamed before man ever began leaving his footprints...
But my favorite place was the rooms that housed hundreds of skeletons.
I was just fascinated with all of those animal skeletons.
I honestly never realized that until I walked into that room...
It was breath taking.
How could the natural color of the bones
be so alive in a creature that had drawn its last breath?
It was facinating that they could make these skeletons seem so alive- so real- when they were strung together by a man's hand.
I was eventually pulled from the rooms because I kept going back and forth,
looking - reading...
making up stories about them...
some kind of odd attachment began brewing in that room all those years ago.

Since then, I've been known to collect bones...
wherever I happen upon them...
and whatever kind I find.
I have began adding them to my mixed media work in the last year or so.

A few months ago, while reading my friend Judy Perez's blog,
I saw mention of where she had gone to a SOFA expo.
She had a couple of photos of work done by Geoffrey Gorman.

He picks up found objects, screws, bolts, weathered wood...bits of this and that
and fashions them into the most beautiful sculptures I have ever seen.
He assembles some into animals, some into men...
allowing Mother Nature to have her input on them as well.
If you get a chance, look at his work.
You might be as taken with it as I am.
Be sure to visit his blog too.
He offers some insight into the process-
you know -
The why of The what.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Sneak Peeks and a Beast

There you have it...
Two Sneak Peeks
and here's The Beast.


Friday, December 4, 2009

Bead Work

Why is it that you always find 872 other things to do when you have a deadline?
I do it - all the time.
I was (really , I was) working on the Deadline Project when I got side tracked
by The Camera.
Here's what I wound up doing with the beads instead of actually sewing them on the Deadline Project...

Hey! There's Jane's Wholey Paper in the above photo!
I love that stuff.

I was auditioning the colored glass beads to see which one looked the best...

the gold won out over the blue ones.

And the green ones.

It's a snow man stack of beads!

Hope that you all have a great day.

Remember to do something creative today- allow your creative spirit to play.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Many years ago, I worked an a RN in the
Greenville Hospital System Neonatal ICU (preemies, sick newborns).
I went there straight out of nursing school and really loved my job.
I was looking through some papers today, looking for my son's birth certificate (he got a job at the Winthrop University Art Gallery!) and happened upon this...

This is the actual set of footprints from one of the babies
that I cared for back in 1987. He was 24 days old
and weighed a whopping 1 pound and 2 ounces!
I placed the penny above the footprints so you could see how tiny they really are.
His little feet were not quite 1 1/2" long.
We had patients that were smaller than that actually...
and now days, they are even smaller than when I worked there.
Technology is a wonderful (and scary) thing, isn't it?
It made me miss those tiny little babies...

Point & Shoot

I've been involved in a couple of online classes here lately.
One of them is over at LK Ludwig's blog site.
It's called "Point & Shoot Journaling" workshop.
I have a ton of digital photos just sitting in my computer.
Collecting virtual dust.
I betcha that you do too.
LK has this awesome monthly workshop that involves using those photos and journaling with them.
And it's VERY reasonably priced.
Maybe Santa Baby could bring you one of the classes (she has three so far). While you're over at LK's blog, take a peek at her books.
You might add those to your Christmas list as well.

I hope that you're all having a peaceful and creative day.
I'm at home, watching the rain out of my window.
Tonight we start moving the furniture back in to my studio!
I can't wait to have my space back again.
And to be able to find things - without looking for two hours...
All freshly painted. A soot free space...