Sunday, September 27, 2009


I'm working on a piece right now that has taken over my life. For almost two weeks I've done nothing but work on this. I feel like I'm possessed. It is free form and, right now, a picture wouldn't do it justice. I am pleased, I am excited! What a fantastic experience!

I had a volunteer commitment yesterday, that required me to be in a facility--just be there. I knew that I needed a break for the piece I was working on ( see above), so took some beading. Several members of my support group took a beading class earlier in the month and have been very excited about it. Since I had the book, I started to work through it one technique at a time. I can see some real potential here. I doubt it will result in anything saleable, but the finished pieces will be very different, and perhaps, well worth exhibiting.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


After looking at the commitments I've made for the next few months, I withdrew my "Intent to Enter" for the Inua internet challenge. The deadline had been Sept 30 and I hadn't even started the piece. Once the deadline was gone and the pressure to produce gone, my creativity took over and the piece is now half finished. It might have been finished if I wasn't so fussy about how things look. I think I've done more reverse stitching on this piece than any other. Then I received notice that the deadline had been extended to January. I still haven't re-entered, but the thought is there. I've attempted this image before and hated the way it ended up looking. I couldn't figure out what was wrong until I made a mistake in this and realized that it actually improved the look. So what I had done to that point had to be removed ( free motion quilting by machine--ever tried to remove that crap?!) I love the new look and the sense of movement it gives the piece--that's what was wrong--the lack of movement and very static lines in a piece meant to represent wind. Duh-h-h!!

I'm also busy with two finishing commissions. One involves washing and blocking a huge piece of crewel on linen twill. Never again!! It is washed and has been blocked twice. I haven't inspected it, but hope I don't have to block it again. I know that it often takes more than one attempt to block linen twill, but my hands just can't do that sort of work. And doing it means that I can do no more hand work of any sort for the rest of the day. I'm also making a three dimensional door stop. These pieces have to be very heavy and firm, so require an armature and weights. I have the armature made, the twisted cord for edging made, and I've found the lead shot I use for weight. Now I have to put everything together.

DD has also given me a commission, but no money involved here. She has committed herself to making a backdrop for Santa pictures. She is very fussy about what is made, and how it's going to look. So now we are looking at screen printing( modified process) snowflakes on 6 meters of blue fabric. Oh Yeah! I'll just run that off in my spare time. Well, the fabric I do my trial run on can be used to make bags to hold the lead shot. Nothing is ever wasted.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sale weekend

While my friends were all away at what seems to have been a fantastic beading workshop, I spent three days at an art show and sale that was held in conjuncityon with a large judged art exhibition. The purpose was to attract new members to our artists' cooperative, but market our stuff as well. Well, the sales weren't great, but it was a great chance to increase the visibility of our organization.

This was the first time I took collages that featured polymer clay buttons made by Pat Sernyk. There's no way I could ever produce the buttons she does. So I bought some and got her permission to use them in my work. they sold very, very well. So now, along with the journals, I have two items that sell well. This means more production before another sale.

During the quiet times at the sale, a friend helped me put together the CD I needed to apply to participate in the yearly sale of the Manitoba Crafts Council. I've never been in this one, and it has a fairly high profile, so I very much hope that my application is successful. They are planning to offer a "common till" arrangement--which I need to function legally. The show at Ft. Whyte, that I have participated in for the past four years, is dropping their "common till" as it just isn't profitable, so that may mean no sales for me after the end of November until next July. This won't necessarily be a bad thing, as I'll really need to concentrate on my teaching over the next few months. I'm toying with the idea of making a hand out card that is large enough to include some of the things I offer, such as teaching. I would like to have this ready for the class in Brandon in October. Something to think about.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fall planning

It would appear that fall is here, and with that, all of my volunteer activities are heating up again, after a relaxing summer. This week I have come to realize that I have significantly over committed myself for the next few months. So today I sat down and wrote up a list of those commitments and tried to develop a time line from now until, about, March. WOW! Am I ever going to be busy! Already, household responsibilities have suffered, and that makes me uncomfortable, so I'm looking at my list and plan to regretfully withdraw from some things. A biggy will be actual work time in the studio. I have several classes lined up and those deserve equal time with the "make busy" stuff--if not a bigger share of my energy. I think that some times the "make busy" stuff is a way of procrastinating over the more difficult tasks. Time to sort myself out.

It's easy to say" today is the first day of the rest of my life", but we all have baggage dragging us down. The studio is full of little piles of stuff, each one representing a specific task that will need my attention over the next 6-8 weeks. Those are the visible deadlines I must address--and being visible they are much more compelling than the knowledge that there is a class October 17th that needs to be formally developed. I know what I plan to do--it is worked out in my head, but nothing on paper. The same for the two classes I'm commited to next May. This then is the "hard stuff"

Monday, September 7, 2009

Tiger by the tail

The small collages with the polymer clay buttons are moving out as fast as I can make them. I even had a lady come to the house and buy one. All of these years I had dreamed of making something that people would actually seek me out for, and now it's happened! Both the journals and the collages are selling as fast as I can make them. I know the journals are a fad and the demand will probably die right off within the next few months, but the collages may actually be something with a future. I have an idea for a larger one, and would like to have one or two large ones for the sale this weekend. After this sale I have a "breather" until the next sale in early November, but there will be two more sales that month, so I really can't stop producing.

So be patient, I'll get back here when I can.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

quiet times

But I think it's the lull before the storm. The fall craft sales are quickly approaching. Was out to a small Heritage Day on the weekend, to promote the local artists' marketing co-op, but was allowed to take samples of my work along. They had us in a lovely little room, and we were all settled in and doing demo's, when we were inundated with smoke from the blacksmith, who was also doing demos. Smoke is a disaster for fibre people, and we moved ourselves out of the building as quickly as we could. We found a small grassy area just outside where we could still access power. Now, this year has been wet and cool. The ground is quite soft. So every where that we put a chair or table, it slowly sank into the soil! So the organizers found another area for us. We ended up in the middle of everything, with a lot more foot traffic, so were able to promote an upcoming event without any problems, but it was still soft enough that we couldn't sit down!

The end result is that all of my stock is now smokey, and my feet hurt. So the next few days will be spent trying to air everything out. Thank Goodness this week is supposed to be fairly nice, in terms of weather. We haven't had a whole week of good weather all summer, so my fingers are crossed. If I can't get the smell out, I'll have no stock for those fall sales I mentioned.