Monday, July 28, 2014

Inspired by the Gift of a Feather


The juvenile Cooper Hawk continues to visit. He now likes taking baths in my small pond. He sits on a brick that holds the pump down and I can watch him undetected from my kitchen window. I have watched him become bolder and more vigorous as he becomes more comfortable.  I discovered a feather floating in the wind on Friday shortly after he flew off. Since I committed to Kimberly Baxter Packwood's 60 day Crow/Bird challenge, I was feeling a little stressed on Saturday because I had not posted a piece to the Facebook page. So I went back to doing what I do when I feel the need to create but don't have much time--I created two cards. I will share them with a friend or family member.  Simple, low stress and yet satisfying which is how expressing one's self is just what is needed sometimes.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Mixed Media

There is something about mixed media that makes my heart go pitter patter. I started a new series of sculptures with the intent of using my vast supply of things that I have collected over the years. She was well received at ClaySpace today. The piece deals with trying to find calm in the craziness life so often brings. The second piece which I am working to complete has to do with what we keep inside. The work makes me excited.

Since I committed to the 60 Days of  Crow/Bird challenge, I wanted to try mixed media too. The piece I did for it is approximately 6" h x 9" w. It includes interfacing, three different kinds of paper- tissue, watercolor and commercial paper, hand dyed fabric and hand dyed pearl cotton. It's not easy to see but the paper with the squares punched out has the words "everything is possible." I also wrote on it which is had to read but being able to read what I wrote wasn't important. I have been exploring handwriting for a while. Mostly to overcome all the negative remarks about my handwriting while in elementary school. I shared another crow fact- "A group of crows is called a "murder," a designation thought to date to the 15th century." The term is more literary or romantic than scientific. Crow experts usually refer to a flock, pair or family group of crows. Anyway, I painted the interfacing and the tissue paper. I want to do more because it was so much fun!

I am enjoying stretching myself in new directions. Today I was complimented on my fearlessness which made me happy. It is not that I don't have fear, because I do, it is that I no longer fear failure. I just want to keep learning.  What is on your list to learn? What makes you come alive?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Leonardo, Observations and Bird Challenge

Every part is disposed to unite with the whole, that it may thereby escape from its own incompleteness.
                                       Leonardo da Vinci

I have been rediscovering Leonardo da Vinci thanks to my sculpture class and watching the television series Da Vinci's Demons (made me crazy in the beginning but then I embraced it as fantasy and it became enjoyable). One of da Vinci's principles of life is connessione- a recognition of and appreciation for the interconnectedness of all thing and phenomena. Today was a wonderful day for embracing interconnectedness as I sat on my patio eating lunch. First I was entertained by a young cooper hawk taking a bath in one of my pots of water. He was quite reluctant in the beginning but eventually embraced the experience fully with water flying everywhere. Shortly after he flew off (caused by my laughter) I was greeted by two swallow tail butterflies and a hummingbird (too quick for my camera). "The earth is moved from its position by the weight of a tiny bird resting upon it." was what I was reading when this all took place. So I am thankful that I took the time away from work and my computer to go outside and take a break because if I had not I would have missed so much. What have you experienced when you have slowed down and taken some time to just looked around you?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Revisiting



I will be teaching a class at Quilter's Quest this fall called "Ever Shrinking Art"so I decided to revisit an ATC that I made in paper and recreate it in fabric. I actually like it better in fabric but it also took a lot longer so I am glad I am not making multiple ones for a trade. Hopefully this will inspire. This also makes another piece for the 60 Day of Bird Challenge which is already incredibly inspiring. Now to think about what to create on theme for tomorrow. Enjoy!


Monday, July 21, 2014

A Simple Crow Collage

Crows pair for life, but they fool around a bit.

Over thinking is my worst enemy so I made myself move quickly. It's hard to believe that my relationship with a female crow began four years ago. It was then that I began studying them and collecting fun facts. I used some of these facts in this collage which was created on a watercolored background. Fast, fun and not too serious, I am happy. Think I will try to create some other pieces that use the facts that I have learned. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

60 Days of Crows/Birds?

For anyone who has ever read my blog, you know i have a fascination for birds and crows in particular.  Kimberly Baxter Packwood just suggested a 60-dat crow/bird challenge. Not sure I can do 60 days. We shall see. Here is my latest bird sculpture fresh out of the kiln! I love the texture created by the grog in the clay. It also reflects my interest lately of cracks and altars. Guess I was combining all my interests in one. Of course, this was suppose to be an assignment about crisp, straight edges. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow and know that your teacher just has to understand. Now to figure out something to put into the altar part. Any suggestions? Anyone up to a 60-day bird/crow challenge?




Tuesday, July 15, 2014

"Tradition Show with a Contemporary Interest"

On Sunday, July 20th, at 2:00 p.m., I will be giving a program on my book, "Quilts in the Attic: Uncovering the Hidden Stories of the Quilts We Love," called "Quilts in the Attic: The Journey" at the quilt and textile Show in Batavia, Illinois. This is all part of the "Traditional Show with a Contemporary Interest" presented by the Batavia Depot Museum which runs from Friday, July 18 through Sunday, June 20th. Admission is only $6 with children 10 and under free and seniors (60+) get in for $5.00. What a bargain! I am looking forward to sharing.

You might not be aware but the Quartro Publishing which includes my publisher Voyageur Press, "rebranded." New people were brought in including Jeff Serena who is now Voyageur Press's publisher. Jeff came from Lark Books so when he told me that the first thing he did was stop publication of all quilt and craft books, I was sad. He did great things for Lark books so hopefully he will do the same for Voyageur and bring back quilt books. My book has continued to sell but whether or not there will be a second one (I have a two book deal) is still to be seen. the decision will be made at the end of the year. I hate missed opportunities. There were so many with my book. However, I am always heartened when people find me and want me to share the journey of my book. Hope to see you Sunday.