Sunday, December 30, 2007
Anyway, I have been anxious to share with you my new studio. I have created a series of slide shows (the photos wouldn't fit into a single show) to give you a peek into my new digs. I know I love seeing where other artists create-I'm nosey that way!
Anyway, come on in and have the virtual tour-you are all invited to my virtual studio warming!
So there you have it-my new studio. I hope you enjoyed your tour. It's so nice to have a dedicated space now and to have everything organized and easy to find. I am looking forward to lots of happy times creating in my sacred space!
Happy New Year everyone!
Monday, December 24, 2007
An altered cabinet card from Deryn Mentock. Usually this hangs in my studio, but I thought it would look really nice on the tree.
My 12 days sock from Liz Smith, which I adore. She sent it to me last year as a hostess gift. This also lives year round in my studio.
Patricia Anderssent me this last year. We swapped ornies just for fun. (Sorry it's a tad blurry!)
Melissa McCobb Hubble sent me this ornie last year, also a treasure. Not sure why these came out blurry-they looked fine on the camera, but you get the gist. This is just a fraction of the handmade ornaments friends have given me. I am thinking next year I should get a studio tree so I can hang them all.
So tonight we will have a quiet evening at home enjoying one another's company. Dinner will be a variety of nibblies (finger foods and appys) and then later we will put on our jammies and go driving around the neighbourhood looking at Xmas lights. There are some big display houses around here. When we get back, we'll warm up with hot chocolate and whip cream. Eventually, we'll go to bed so Santa can come.
Tomorrow, we'll be up early opening gifts (we're all morning people in this house) and then I will put the turkey in the oven. My best friends are coming over for dinner and more gifts. After dinner, we'll break out the board games. We play girls against the guys. We always have so much fun that we laugh till our faces hurt.
Wishing you all a safe and happy holiday!
Friday, December 21, 2007
Reading: I haven't been reading much lately because my eyes have been funky. I just dropped over $400 on glasses which I should have by the new year, so hopefully I will get a couple of books for Xmas and be able to try my new specs out!
Watching: I hope to see the new National Treasure movie over the holidays. I haven't been to the movies in ages! In the meantime, I am watching that band show that's like American Idol and rooting for the insanely talented Clark Brothers.
Listening: I am hopelessly addicted to Garrison Keillor's "News from Lake Woebegon" podcasts. They're so entertaining and they are FREE to download weekly at iTunes. You might remember him from "A Prairie Home Companion". I listen to the podcasts on my iPod every night before I fall asleep.
Drinking: Chai, chai and more chai, although the other day at Starbucks, I took a sip of my chai latte, only to find out it was not chai, but coffee. YUCK!
Anticipating: Christmas day with my best friends. We're having dinner here at our place and then breaking out the board games. Girls vs. Guys and if it's Pictionary, we're gonna kick butt!
Dreaming: About Artfest. Is it April yet?!?
Doing: This weekend is going to be a cooking weekend. I'm making cabbage rolls, homemade sausage, maybe some antipasto and nuts & bolts. I love to cook!
Creating: I have been working on sewing up that button bag, but then got sidetracked with Xmas shopping. I plan to get back to it today. I am also working on some new art for my exhibit which goes up January 2nd.
So, that's things in my world at the moment. It's crazy busy here, as I imagine it is at your house. We are on day 9 of the 12 Days of Xmas Exchange. It's been such a good time and I will be sorry to see it end. The ladies have all outdone themselves this year.
Okay, I had better get moving-I have a monster grocery list to formulate!
Monday, December 17, 2007
Yesterday, I went out to Maple Ridge to visit with old friends who meet at Quiltopia. It was really great seeing them-it's been about 2 or so years since I saw them last. (Life gets busy and next thing you know, 2 years has passed.) I was sitting quietly sewing trim onto a half apron I made when some of them came in and so it took a couple of them several minutes to notice me. It was pretty funny! The best part was all the hugs and catching up.
I bought this pattern for the button bag. I'd seen it all done up the last time I was in, but they were out of patterns so when I saw they had them, I snatched one up. Suddenly I am struck with the urge to sew bags for myself. Lori, who is a beautiful quilter (she makes beautiful quilts and is beautiful herself) had the most delightful little zippered bag with handles which gave me a serious case of bag envy. I MUST make myself some!
The pattern called for a packet of charm squares, so I picked this set. The colours are off in this pic though-that's not terra cotta you are seeing-it's actually a deep persimmon. The blues are that grey blue with a hint of aqua in them and the greens are sage or basil shades. Not my usual, but I thought I would give it a go. (My favourite colour pallet is actually folk-art Americana. I am not a floral, frou-frou kind of girl, but I'll try anything once.) I am hoping to lean this more towards the vintage look, than the frilly, if I can.
So today, after I tidy up the studio, I will be hauling out my sewing machine and putting the pedal to the metal and whipping these babies up! I also want to look online for the pattern for the bag Lori had-I need to have it!
Okay, off to tidy so I can get crackin'!
Saturday, December 15, 2007
When I'm not wandering dazed and confused in the land of retail, I have been busy overseeing the 12 Days of Xmas exchange. It's been three days so far of opening fabulous handmade gifts from my artist friends, taking photos (with the help of Caren McNee who is in group 1. THANKS Caren!) and posting them to our blog. And seriously for me, it's really not about the gifts themselves, but the love with which they are made and the kindness and generosity of all the girls. What makes this exchange so special is the fact that this is a group made up of friends. As things are being unwrapped each day, the artist whose day it is gets to bask in the glow of our grateful hearts and each gift is something we will all treasure.
I had planned to take December off, but that hasn't happened. The Universe had other plans for me and I have been working towards several deadlines. Not complaining though-I would never complain about making art! I am also preparing for a 2 month exhibit of my work that will be up on January 2nd and upcoming workshops for the new year. My new studio is stellar-it's so nice to come in, sit down and get right to work any time I want to. This month, I have been enjoying James Taylor's Xmas album while I work. Deb recommended it to me last year and I love it. Another favourite is Bruce Cockburn's. The both have less common carols on them that I really like.
If you haven't already checked out the Artpub blog, you're missing out. There's so much good stuff happening over there. I have updated my blog in the last couple of days, so go check it out!
Okay, it's time for me to return to the mall to chip away on my Xmas list. I am going to leave a trail of buttons so I can find my way back to the studio. The only bright spot is that inevitably, there will be Starbucks and where there is Starbucks, there is CHAI!
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
In 2004, I had the opportunity to hear the Dalai Lama give a talk, here in Vancouver. What I found most meaningful in his message is that we are all here to help one another to move forward. I am sure you are wondering to yourself "How on earth does this apply to art?"
Well, here's the thing: I think part of what has happened as the mixed media/altered art world explodes is that it has become a highly competitive world. That's not to say all areas of it are. I can tell you from my own unique perspective, the people I have been blessed to align myself with are kind, generous, supportive people. I do know though, that there are times when we all hear of someone else's success and think "Boy, I wish that were me." There's that little green eyed monster of envy that pops up. That's perfectly normal. We all want good things to happen to us, we all want to feel successful. The problem comes when that monster gets between us and the other person and robs us both of the shared joy in the moment.
You see, there's this very strange idea out there that there is a finite amount of success to be had and that if someone else is having a share of it, that means there is less of it for us. That's simply not true! That's not how the world works! I call this operating from a principle of lack and again, it's that idea that robs people of happiness-both the person who has something to celebrate and the person who feels envious of their success. The most effective way to get that green-eyed monster in check is to stop for a moment and think "Am I being the kind of friend I'd want to have?" Yes, we are all going to have that flash of envy, but can we move beyond that gracefully? People might not always remember what we say, but they will remember how we made them feel.
Anyway, getting back to the concept of LUMINARIES. (I just love that word, it's so beautiful.) Every year about this time, In addition to working on my goals for the new year, I also try to focus on a phrase or idea that is meaningful to me and aim my attention (and intention!) in that direction. When I heard the concept of Luminaries, I knew that was precisely what 2008 was going to be about. As if to affirm this, within 24 hours, I had not one, but two messages from the Universe.
The first came in the form of an email last night from a friend I have known almost from the beginning of my art days. She wrote me, out of the blue to tell me something that was on her heart. She started out by reminding me that when we first began sharing our art with one another, she would send me emails telling me how crappy her work was. I would then email back to reassure her that I didn't see her work in the same light she did. You see, she is so ridiculously talented, but at the time she didn't believe this about herself. What she wanted to share with me last night is that she had just completed a project that finally gave her a deep sense of satisfaction and pride. She wanted me to know I had given her faith in herself to keep at it and she wanted to thank me for that.
That right there is what I am talking about-how to spread light and help others move forward. Sometimes the way to be the light is simply to reflect back to someone the good that is in them, until they can see it for themselves. I know for certain, that if I had wasted any time at all on the green eyed monster, I would have completely missed this moment of celebration with her. I can't tell you how genuinely happy her message made me feel. I think when one of us wins, we all win. Call it naivete, call it idealistic, but this is how we change our world.
The second affirmation arrived in the form of a holiday postcard from Pilar Pollock, herself a Luminary. The amazing artwork pictured above was the message that arrived in my mailbox this morning. Just look at that woman radiating! When I turned it over, I saw that Pilar had titled it "Light" and tears sprung to my eyes. Then I noticed the number "3". I was born in the 3rd month of the year. It doesn't get any clearer than that.
In this, the season of light, I challenge you to think about how you are in the world and to remember we are all fragile human beings, striving. Let's look for more opportunities to celebrate, support and encourage one another and spread the light. And may all the goodness you bring to the world come back to you tenfold.
The other thing that makes me happy is that photography is something I do with my son, as a mother-son thing. We both have similar digital cameras and when my son bought his, I had a moment of sheer bliss discovering that the artistic eye* had indeed been passed down. He's a natural. When you have children, you hope that some small part of you will be visable in them and therefore carried forward in the world. I can't tell you how happy this discover made me.
Anyway, taking photos is something I do for pleasure. I am not serious about it in the same way I am about the other art I do. I just enjoy driving somewhere with my son and looking for beautiful things to shoot. We talk, we laugh and there's a whole lot of "Hey, look at this!" What I like about photography is that it's very much in the moment. When I look at the photos I've shot, each one is a memory we've shared. I love that. Soon he's going to be all grown up and graduated (he's in the middle of grade 11) so these times together are very precious. It's exciting to me that a small fragment of this time will be published in Life Images.
Switching tracks completely, yesterday I got an early Xmas gift. My in-laws give each of us money for Xmas each year (one size fits all) and this year I've used it to buy myself a brand new cell phone. My new baby is a black cherry red LG Chocolate spin phone. It is wonderful! It has a camera in it, plays music, organizes you, and I love that it slides open, rather than flips. It navigates just like an iPod does with a touch sensitive spin wheel. The great part was that the phone company sent me a coupon for $50 off a new phone when I moved and so in the end, it only cost $40. I paid for it with part of my Xmas money, so really, it was FREE! It also came with a great package of features and perks so I am very pleased.
Lest you imagine me to be a cell phone junkie, truely, I am not. My phone is strictly for touching base with my guys and for emergencies-I don't call just to chit chat ever. However, that said, I will confess that I downloaded a ring tone for it yesterday. It's the theme to Indiana Jones and I did it mostly for comedic purposes. You see, I have been in love with Harrison Ford since I was 5 years old. It's a long standing joke between my husband and I. So last night I told him I had downloaded a ringtone for the phone and played it for him. It made him laugh, which was the whole point. *grins* I imagine he's going to laugh every time he hears it ring.
TOMORROW is day 1 of the 12 Days of Xmas Exchange so you'll want to be sure and visit our exchange blog (click the button on the sidebar) and follow along as the magic unfolds. We will be unwrapping gifts for the next 12 days! I can't wait!!
*To view some of my son's photography, visit his photblog, Foto Phreak.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Just a super quick post to let you know that new goodies are now available at the Tattered Edge Mercantile. Hurry-once they're gone, they're gone!
I haven't taken pictures of our tree yet to share because my husband bought TREEZILLA. It's 8 ft. tall and about 5 feet wide. It ate the string of lights we wrapped around it, so I need to go out today and buy at least one more big string. This meant we couldn't decorate it last night like we'd planned. This is the biggest tree I have ever had and every time I look at it, I laugh-it's just so big! (But it's beautiful and smells divine.)
Back soon with photos!
Saturday, December 08, 2007
It's been a busy time in my studio the last week or so, now that I am settling in and finallyhave unfettered access to my art supplies and tools. I can't tell you how good it feels to be creating something-anything again!
I found these little metal moulds at the thrift store and brought them home to hold bits and pieces of "stuff" on my desk while I work. As you can see, I've been working with buttons, ribbons and thread, creating pieces for what I hope will be a published article soon. That's all I can share about it right now.
I just realized that in 3 weeks, I will be setting up an exhibit of my art at the Poirier Library for all of January and February. When it was booked back in the summer, it seemed a long way off. Time has flown by and the day will be upon me soon! I had better get busy-I hope to have some new work to share.
In the meantime, I suppose I should start thinking about shopping for Xmas gifts and get them wrapped and out the door. Every year I think I will try and start sooner and every year, I keep putting it off until the last possible second. It's funny because I love to give gifts. I just hate having to go to the mall to get them. Next year, I think I will try and do it all via mail order. It just wasn't possible this year with all the moving chaos-I didn't have the luxury of time to think about it and plan ahead for it.
Speaking of mail, Friday my post box was full to bursting with parcels for the 12 days of Xmas exchange. My son stopped on his way home from school to pick up our mail and he came home with a backpack laden with presents for me! Of course, I am being really good and waiting till the 13th to begin opening them, but that doesn't stop me from shaking and squeezing each and every one. *grins*
Tomorrow we're going to go pick out a tree. I'll be back with pictures once it's up!
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Sunday, December 02, 2007
Last night our street got pretty busy all of the sudden and we couldn't figure out why. Turns out the big hill we are just off of was closed down and folks had to bail. Our street has a slight incline and we had front row seat to watch folks getting stuck and skidding sideways. Several people narrowly missed clipping parked cars. I saw one guy get out and push the car he was riding in. It started to drift sideways towards a parked car and to my amazement, he jumped between the two cars to push them apart! Guess he wasn't thinking about the fact that he was deliberately putting himself in the path of an out of control 2000 lb. mass of metal that had the potential to crush his legs! People are nuts!
At one point in the afternoon, we had a knock at the door. I looked out my studio window to see who it was and saw a young man in a tie. I thought he was from some church, trolling for converts, but it turned out he was from our local cable company, trying to convince people to switch their phone service. (Trolling for converts of a different kind.) I could not believe the cable company would send a young kid like this out in a snowstorm for something so stupid! I felt bad for the poor kid just trying to make a living. That's just mean!
My husband went bright and early down to the local tire store to get two new winter tires put on my car so we were all set. Of course we're not going out unless we have to. I am perfectly fine with driving in sneaux-I grew up in the home of winter on the prairies so I know sneaux. It's just everybody else I worry about. That said, today is a perfect day for me to organize all the bits in my new studio so I can get on with making art. I am also going to do a bit of purging of excess art supplies. I have a box labelled "Art Asylum" that I am tossing things into to take to Artfest 2008. I love that we can donate stuff and people can help themselves. I usually come home with some cool things to play with, gleaned from the art asylum. Like they say "One man's trash is another man's treasure!"
Oh and one more thing-the person I was looking for in my last post read my blog yesterday and responded within the hour so it's all good! I am so glad to have tracked her down.
Have a good Sunday everyone!