Wednesday, September 26, 2012

In The Garden

Homemade Veggie Broth
It's been a blustery transition to fall complete with homemade soup, crafts, and household projects.  Let's not forget to mention the mad mice, too.  These little stinkers are so smart, but not too smart.  We've caught a couple squeakers and have heavy artillery on the way courtesy of Amazon.  It is no doubt that these rodents have been mini-catalysts for change in our house.  It's not a tragedy that we gave some attention to the neglected corners of our house.  There is also little doubt that a small piece of my sanity has been dislodged by our invasion.  As someone who cherishes her time at home and considers her studio to be as sanctified if not more so than a chapel, I have become unhinged in a new way.  That said, one of my coping mechanisms is to transform the house in a bold act of reclamation of my space.

The latest make-over is in the TV room.  We began by re-arranging the space, added new shelves, and I just finished a mural inspired by the Ikea lamp shade adjacent to the wall.  To quote Abe, "I feel like I'm in a garden!"  It's wild and crazy, but life is too short to not draw on your walls.  It's absolutely liberating!  Take that mice!  I have an idea of weaving a rug in double cloth in a tube formation and then inserting a rug pad making the rug into a cushy play-mat.  It's on the list, but I don't want to lay anything new onto the ground until the mice are gone for certain.  Next up is my entry-way/font hall to which I can't wait to bring personality and sanctity.

OH, forgot to mention my stash baskets.  I have the first pictured below.  I kind of like the design.  I'm not sure.  I have to decide if I am going to make more to sell.  I may also attempt tote bags/purse with a similar design. The list goes on and on . . .

PS Some surprises on the way!
Abe's homemade airplane--nailed together and painted without help

Woven Slouchy Stash Basket

TV Room Mural

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Rag Tag Rugs: "Reggie's" and "What's Next"?

 Finally, I have returned to the loom to create some ragtag rugs.  I had a custom order for Reggie who wanted autumnal colors for a rug which she is going to use as an altar cloth.  The second rug, which I added to my Etsy shop, answers the question "what's next?".  I approached this rug differently and allowed myself to weave one color at time without regard to the whole piece.  I think this rug feels random and spontaneous--a good thing?  So, for some reason (can't imagine how) my brain failed me when I was winding the warp.  I had only wound enough for two rugs, and a shorty second one at that.  I accepted my error as a sign that I need to leave ragtags behind for a minute (or longer) to address some other projects on my loom.  I could make rugs forever, but being that I can only work on one project at a time on my loom, I have to take a break in order to explore some new ideas.  It's counter-intuitive, in a way, because my rugs are my most popular product, but I hope to make some new discoveries on my loom. 

"What's Next?" ragtag rug

Reggie's Autumn Altar Cloth

Friday, September 14, 2012

Portrait Of A Young Iris

 I really enjoyed painting a birthday portrait for my niece, Iris.  In a world of Instagrams and photo-texting, pictures of our family and friends surround us but are ephemeral.  Our computers store thousands of photos, but we have few that we can hold in our hand.  Portraiture is slow and old-fashioned.  It was relegated to the few patrons with enough wealth to pay for an artists' talents or a parlor trick of a well-trained bride.  There is something I really enjoy about the challenge of pushing paint around until the person is revealed.  A favorite painting instructor said it's not the eyes that define a person, it's the line their lips make when shut.  As you can see, I still need lots of practice, but I am officially offering my service to those wanting to capture their children, pets, and loved ones in a more enduring and interesting fashion.  I should have a listing on Etsy shortly with more information if you are interested or just contact me!

( The irony is I used a digital photo emailed and then printed on my ink jet printer as a reference.)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Hedgehoggies and Theosofest

So, I did it again.  I swear that I am not going to make a stuffed creature again, but the Theosofest (at Wheaton's Theosophical Society) was coming around the corner and my intention of making a dozen rag rugs was ruined by a number of causes including the mouse (mice?).  So, I made some cuddly huggable hedgehoggies out of scraps, wool felt, and embroidery thread.  I packaged them them up complete with tag and care instructions. 

I also tried to resolve the problem of hanging artwork at a fair by making a cardboard tree that I wrapped around a tent post.  It was sort of successful--not bad in a pinch.  Anyway, I'm feeling weary of doing shows.  In fact, I have promised myself repeatedly that I am going to avoid them.  It is time to develop a more serious approach to selling.  Words can not describe my disfavor of selling myself.  I just want to create, but the reality is otherwise.  What I need is a creative solution.  I think I'll sleep on it.

Lisa did Henna tats at the show.  This one is an owl.

Lisa's tie-dye crayons

My mom's rattles

Lisa's ceramics, magnets, and terrariums