Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

I try not to do the resolution thing. I don't like the idea of doing it sort of arbitrarily. A month and a half ago I made changes (resolutions) and have stuck to them so far.

I woke up today to the most beautiful blue sky, with just a bit of fog in the valley below me. Sadly, the sun didn't last long, and we spent the rest of the day in fog ourselves.

I intended to work on "something" all day. But I found that I had too many ideas floating around my head all trying to come together and solidify themselves. That is right, I had too many ideas in my head. I did spend a lot of time sketching and doodling. I hate my doodles, they are sooo bad that I rarely use them for anything. I did learn that I can stain felt with regular stamp pad ink and it creates a very interesting "watercolor" effect on the felt. Don't know what I will do with that yet. I found some paper that will certainly become a project just for me. And I did some 52project work.

I am not entirely sure where I should notate my 52 projects stuff. I thought about making a new notebook to hold all my notes and photos and all that. But then that is just one more thing that may or may not get done. Although just now while I was typing that out I though of my solution. I will buy giant tags and make at least each side of a tag the story of the project. (By the way I just the random problem solving that starts to happen when you shift the way you think and see the world). Anyway, one of the projects was to write a letter to anyone, but to try to avoid using names so that it was pretty anonymous to whoever finds the letter. Then you take the letter and stuff it in a library book, and the less likely to be checked out soon, the better. I didn't really like the idea of writing a letter, but I had a bunch of poetry that was lying around waiting for some use. I copied a poem onto an index card and put it in a book that might get checked out, but not by someone looking for poetry.

Part of the reason I choose that project was because I have a stash of all of the stuff that I have found in library books I have checked out. I will be making a collage from them when I have enough.

Happy New Year All, I have a feeling this is the year for positive changes and growth.


Sunday, December 30, 2007

Just a very quick up date

I was supposed to post last night. But I did something fun instead. We had some dear friends over for a little post Christmas party and gift exchange. We had a wonderful time and I am sure the nieghbors heard our laughter. The photo at the top of the post is one of my gifts. I love it . I love that shade of blue. It is one of the colors that sparks me, inspires me.

Starting this next week I will be working, working, working. Although I will say, the kids are out of school until the 8th and I may be sidetracked by them.


Thursday, December 27, 2007

Thursday Dec. 27, 2007

I made two bracelets today. I have been working on my Valentine's line. The photo is from two in the series "Heart On My Sleeve". And yes, I do tend to work in "series" I don't really know why, just seems to work out that way. I name all of the bracelets, and totes, and will name everything else I make. I think that it helps me remember what I have made, and am making. I also think that it helps create connections for the buyers as well.

I just keep plugging on. It has been easier this week because it has been Christmas break and the kids have been with friends.


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas to All

Merry Christmas to you all. We had a wonderful Christmas day. We woke at 6:30 a.m. (I think one of us was up well before that) and opened presents. I don't think any one was disappointed. I know I wasn't and I haven't heard any complaints. We had a great dinner of spaghetti ( the old world all day to make recipe) and mushroom stuffing. We were going to have stuffed pumpkins, but they took to long to bake.

We watched movies and played games. We just finished playing a new game and had a blast.

This is a photo of the little one in some of the new stuff she got for Christmas. I think she will have a blast wearing her new clothes for the next several days.

This is me trying to catch Boo in a photo. Next to imposible, as he hates to have his pic taken.

Here is Sis and Dad playing backgammon. This was her first ever game and she did great.

I hope you all had a day that was equally full of family and I wish you all much love and happiness

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Twas the night before the night before Christmas

And my kids are bouncing off the walls. I am not sure the little one will survive even just one more night. She made a snow flake the other day, and then started wearing it as a mask. It reminded me of a mexican wrestlers mask. So now she is EL POLLO LOCO.

I made bracelets today. All of them were made with a specific person in mind. The girls and the twins. I even made one for me to wear out and about to promote the product. I have a basket full of bracelets that need to go.

I don't know when I will be posting next. I think tomorrow night might overwhelm me. And Tuesday I will probably be exhausted. But I thought that I would just give you a quick up date and then let you all enjoy the holidays.

So enjoy this last Random Santa.

Happy Holidays


Thursday, December 20, 2007

I have no photo

I have no photo today, because I wanted to be sure I posted and I had to resort to using the kids' laptop. Which, by the way is a little bit like using someone else's kitchen to cook in.

I would like to announce that I have officially finished my Christmas shopping. And I am neatly done with the gift wrapping. Not that any of this has anything to do with any of my artistic process, or the business. But, as I have three children, who rely on my to make Christmas special, making Cristmas special is far more important than the business.

The problem is... I am getting very behind in what I think I need to do. And when I get behind I start to feel very unorganized. I think I start thinking "if only I were perfectly organized, well then I could get every thing I want done. " That isn't a very realistic line of thought. But there you have it. I can be very unrational when I am under duress.

I know I am forgetting something that I wanted to say. On my computer there is a stash of started blob entries. I will jot down the really good thoughts and save them in notebook and post them on the days when I don't have anything else to say. And I have a stack of internet sticky notes about threes feet high ( or at least several hundred pixels) on my desktop. But that is all on my computer and not on this one. Here I feel like I am staring at that blank sheet of paper in senior english being told to write my ten minute journal entry, and try to make it relevent and witty.

I don't know if you all know this, but I have a fairly severe addiction to books. I can't go into a used book store and come out with nothing. The library is like a candy store for me. I want to read them all. Well, most of them anyway. I have yet to find a non-fiction book that I didn't at least want to thumb through. When I went shopping with my friend yesterday, we went to the used bookstore near our homes. We were shopping for her and her kids. I was just there to offer support and guidence and focus. I bought five books. I wasn't going to. I need to focus on the business, building up inventory, taking photos, posting product, thinking outside thebox. I do not have time to read, aside from the chapter a day to the girls. But there were just so many nice looking books that looked like they would fit in my bookshelves.

I love the smell of an older used book. And the feel. There is something comfortable about a book that has already been read. And one that have sat around someones house for a while, that book has to be good. I am not into antique books. I don't spend time looking for first editions. I don't even care if the books I buy are in the greatest condition. What I want is a book that wants to be read. One that has character and something to say. I often buy on impulse, which is fine, because I usually buy from a thrift store that sells them for a dollar apiece. And at a dollar apiece, how the heck can I say no? Some of my strongest impressions are of rooms full of books. My dad's office when I was growing up, the book store at Pikes Place Market that my grammie used to take me too. Art and books. Those seem to be the two strongest impressions I have in my head.

And that is an awfull lot of rambling for an entry that doesn't have a picture to go with it.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Let's see what happens

Last night around 9p.m. I had this idea. I pictured a tote with this great handle. I love polka dots (I think I have said that before), and I am thinking of what I will make for spring. Some how the two are linked in my mind. Anyway, the above tote is the result of last nights random thought process. I think I might have been able to make two today, but I struggle with my sewing machine. Anyway I posted it on the local sight to try to sell it and we will see what happens.

I started my 52 Projects (write about your ufo sighting, and if you really want to know I will tell you). I will be working on my next one tomorrow. The book suggests writing anonomous letters and placing them in books in the library, or in a thrift store. I don't think I will be doing letters, but I have a couple of poems that I have been fiddling with that are good choices.

Speaking of writing, I would love to suggest the blog raincoatflashers. Just take a look, there is some really good stuff there (including two of my peices).

BTW: Random Santa!


Sunday, December 16, 2007

This was one busy weekend

Saturday we had a little party with some of the kids best friends. The girls made great felt ornaments and the boys all played on the computers. I turned the girls loose with a stack of felt and baskets of fiddlies to put on the ornaments. They all have such great creativity that I didn't need to do any thing but sew up the ribbon to make them ornaments.

I am always astounded at what a child can come up with if you give them the space, and materials. Most of the children I know that are still in grade school are brilliantly creative. They are still very willing to think outside of the box, or at least the ordinary. They are not at all concerned about what people think of them. I love that they will make the first thing that comes to mind and stick with it.

Today the girls and I made henna tatoos. Okay, I did them and the girls were my guinea pigs. I have never done this before. I have gotten henna tatoos, and so have the girls. I love having my hands done. It is an amazingly artistic and meditative thing. It is also very social. Once you have your hands done, I think most people would be able to see why this is an enduring tradition in many cultures. Anyway, today was the first time I have ever done it. I don't think I did to badly.

I began work on a project for a set of amazing triplets I know. I had a lot of fun looking at all my different paper and deciding which trip's personality was most personified in that paper. Every so often I would come across a piece that just screamed one of them. I am enjoying this process.

I am finding that I am really starting to think in terms of WHAT CAN I DO? How can I make this idea work? I am not really thinking is this art, or is that art? But I am noticing alot more around me. I am also very aware that I am sending out this more positve attitude and know that is a very very good thing.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I am so blogging a squirrel

That is what I told my son right after I took the above photo today. I was going to move that pumpkin next to the fence by the big tree where the racoons live. But Darryl (that is what I named the squirrel) is a brave soul and seems to enjoy eating near the house. He doesn't even mind the cats staring at him from either side of the door. I love that living here is such an adventure, even if we don't leave the house.

I think we may be coming down with colds here. Boo has been home for two days, and I even took a nap on the couch today.

I have been trying and trying to photograph my bracelets, but I have yet to get anything that actually makes me happy. I will keep trying, because I need photos to be able to post anything. I will show you the polkadot bracelet I finished today. I love the looke of red and white polk a dots. Very classic and yet very now. Timeless.

Through this process I have been reading other peoples blogs and finding all sorts of wonderful things on the internet and in the library and in the real world. Decided to approach your world differently changes what you look for. Now I look to see where the art is in what I am looking at.

Anyway, awhile ago I found a website: 52projects. I fell in love. Yesterday, during our Wednesday library trip I found the book that goes with the website. I very nearly did my happy cackle. Which I am sure would have turned heads. So now I am trying to delve into that. I will, of course keep you posted.


Monday, December 10, 2007

Our fairy bath with a leaf in it. I just thought it was pretty.

I haven't posted for a while, for a couple of reasons. We are having some techincal difficulties that have yet to be explained, I am getting overwhelmed with Christmas prep, and the weekends are starting to get out of control.

Great excuses each one, to be certain, but in the end, they are just excuses. I did finish all (and extra even) of my Christmas cards. I will take a photo and post in the next couple of days. I started my tags for all my gifts. I decided that all my under the tree gifts are going to look great. I am hand making all my tags. Lots of ribbon. We will see. I will post a photo when I get everything done.

Like I said, I got bogged down with alot of day to day stuff. I only went down to the studio to check the vase I started. Turns out two things went terribly wrong. FIsrt, my sheet of papier mache was way too thick. This should be an easily solved problem. The second, was an amazingly stupid error on my part. I didn't check to make sure the bottom was even enough to stand on it's own. It wasn't. I may try to "fix it" by sanding it or creating a bottom. A few other surprise IDEAS have gone through my head to solve this. But the truth is I will probably have to make a new sheet of papier mache and start over.

I will try like crazy to keep up with everything from now on. I promise.

Friday, December 7, 2007

I got work done!

The photo above is of a headband I whipped up this morning. The stinker wearing it decided that she wanted something fancy to wear to school today. I have these giant flowers laying around (can't have too many silk flowers, and the cheap ones from the dollar store are great, 'cause you can paint them) and a really cheap headband. Put them together and you have a terrible cute headband, that the darling that wanted to wear it doesn't and it ends up under the table by the front door.

I spent yesterday in the studio. I started working a bowl that I may actually finish tonight. I also started playing with the idea of using papier mache as a "clay". I may have talked aobut this before. I started thinking about sheets of paper mache, which I have used in making jewelry. THe more I thought about it, the more I started thinking that maybe if I worked with the sheets before they set I could create a seamless piece.

This photo is the seamless piece that I am working on. I am loving the shape of it. But it is really heavy. And that is my fault, I should have used half as many layers. Live and learn. What you are seeing is my form, (a vase that is slightly "tweaked") and the free form bit. All of this had to be propped up with boxes and a spare glue bottle. SOmetimes I amuse myself with what I can rig up when I have too. I will say that the terrible color of the photo is due to my inablity to take good photos in bad light. My studio is supposed to be the garage and that is where the piece is drying.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Attack of yet another Wednesday....

One of the things I love about Eugene is that in winter everything is green. Very green. Moss grows everywhere. This is the curb at the school! I love this town!
I tell ya, Wednesdays just sneak up and jump out of the bushes at me. I was already to attack the day and get several pieces started. I have been keeping a journal of sorts that keep tracks of what I want to do next. I have several things in papier mache that I want to get going and I thought today would be a good day to do that.

Boy, was I wrong!!!!!! I started a bracelet, and that is actually drying. I may need to do a second layer of paper, but I really want it dry before I make that decision. I may have made the bracelet a little on the small side. Normally not a big deal. But this one was pretty complicated and I don't want to make another one if it is only a test run. Epsecially as I seem to have the technical part dealt with. And yes, there were some technical bits to this bracelet. A bit of architecture if you will.

THis is the bowl I started. THe form is quite big. But I want a wide shallow bowl that is very very thin. This didn't work and ended up in the garbage. I should have it figured out by tomorrow.

THen I started a bowl. And then I screwed it up. Well, actually I screwed it up after I tried to yank it off its form too early. I will try again tomorrow. I will actually be tackling a very complex piece tomorrow as well. I have this IDEA that I can use partially set papeir mache as you would clay. I am not at all sure how this will work. If it turns out, I did buy the most divine paper to cover the piece with. Pink with gold swirly bits. I am pretty excited.

Monday, December 3, 2007

There isn't much to say

Sissy's first choir performance. I am really proud of her.

I spent the evening listening to my daughters first ever choir performance. They were very good. Considering they had only had eight practices and one of those was actually just a pizza party, they did very well. They knew several songs and sounded very good.

I spent my day finishing up grant work for a charter school. After tomorrow I will refocus my work and get some things for me done.

I think in the mean time, I will pose the question "what definition for art do you use?" And honestly this is a question with no true answer. But I wonder what other people think art means. I believe that art is primarly the act of creating, using raw materials, to create a new different an unique form that has a meaning to the creator and that can convay some meaning to the viewer. It doesn't need to have a specific function, the important thing, for me is the creation. There was a discussion in one of my art history classes ( I have had several, one class away from a minor, yet one more useless thing I have done with my college career) about whether or not the process of an artist can be considered art.
We had this discussion because one the students in the class was using food in his art to discuss his food addictions. I remember thinking, well sure that process is art if I get to be part of that process. Otherwise he is just slapping chedder on a peice of paper and has no context. Context is important, especially when the artist is expressing a point of view that may be unique to that artist.
And I quess that could easily lead to another question. Is art art without a viewer? Please feel free to leave me your comments and we can start a discussion on this very subject.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Rainy Sunday

I love a rainy day. That would explain alot about where I live. It is definatly a rainy day. There are flood warnings across much of the Willamette Valley. I am very grateful that we have moved up the hill a bit.

I spent this wonderfully rainy day watching football, finishing my Christmas cards and doing housework of course.

My meeting yesterday went well. We didn't finish up though, and I will be going out to the school tomorrow morning to muck through fincial stuff to finish up the grant. But I hope that it will only take an hour or so. I want very much to let them do the work and become self-sufficient. I know they can do it and it will free up a lot of options for them if they do.

I am posting a photo of a bangle I have for sale on a local site. I did say that I would post examples of my work. I am sorry that it has taken so long. I have very few photos of my work that I am actually happy with. Most photos don't represent the color the way I want. However, the closer I get to my photography badge the better my photos should get.