Buy Local Friday, May 21 2010 

On Sunday, May 23, the Louisville Visual Art Association is hosting a By Local First Fair at the Water Tower from 2:00 until 6:00. There will be around 150 booths showing the wares of local artists, retailers, farmers and brewers. I will have a booth in the building itself–my first art fair. (Scary!)

The weather should be good, and I hope you can come.

For more information, click here.

Two heads are better than one. Thursday, Mar 26 2009 

My birthday was this month. My husband agonized over what to get me (I am not an easy person to shop for.) Ultimately, he came up with some great gifts: a printing plate for an old root beer ad. The guys at Hound Dog Press are going to run a copy of it for me, so I can see how well it prints before I try using it on fabric.

He also located two very personable mannequin busts for me to display my scarves and jewelry. I haven’t gotten the girls decked out in my wares yet, but I had to show you guys my new scarf models. These photos are from 2023 Antiques, where he first laid eyes on them and decided he would help me get ahead. (Sorry, couldn’t help it.)

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Oh, the holidays … Monday, Dec 22 2008 

I was finishing up my holiday shopping at the Arts and Crafts store at the Mellwood Center. It’s a wonderful place to find stocking stuffers and other fun items. While I was in there, this guys comes rushing in and asks the clerks, “Where’s your throwaway gifts for kids?”

The clerks looked at him like he was crazy, so he explained, “I just need some little toys to give to my 4-year-old.” So they pointed toward the area of the store that has such items as bobble-head Jesus, pirate band aids and sushi magnets.

For a brief moment, I was struck by the holiday spirit, and decided to connect with my fellow human being.

I walked over to the man and said, “If you were thinking about activity kits or something along those lines, you’d find them in the next aisle.”

The guy nodded and walked over there.

I continued my shopping, finding a really cool paper-making set that would be perfect for a particular child I had in mind. I got in line, behind rude guy.

As he pays for his purchase, he curses, and looks at the girl behind the counter and says, “Shit. What do you have for a 12-year-old girl? I need something for my daughter.” (He then ranted for a while about how difficult it is to buy for a girl, and how all this gift buying was a pain in the rear.)

The clerk was in no mood to be helpful, and just stammered at him, “I have no idea what to tell you.”

He wasn’t leaving the checkout, and I figured he wouldn’t until someone offered a suggestion. So I piped up, “I think this paper-making kit would be a good gift for any 12-year-old.” Mistake.

He took the package from my hand and looked at it. He slammed it down on the counter and said, “OK. I’ll take it.” He then told the cashier to hurry up because he didn’t have time for her to stand there.

She looked at me. I looked at her. Then I looked at the present I had just picked out about to be purchased by some inconsiderate stranger. I shrugged my shoulders and went back to the aisle where I had found it, and picked up another paper-making kit while the jerk went flying out of the store.

God bless us. Everyone.

What’s the Word? Tuesday, Jun 24 2008 

My friend Kate has sent me a new toy — Check out Wordle. Here is my first try.  This application, created by by Jonathan Freiberg, creates what he calls “word clouds” out of text you provide.

What, my husband asks, are they good for?

Quite a bit. Use the images as collage elements. Print them onto fabric. They create something vibrant and fun out of sometimes mundane thoughts. And, since the program will remove common terms and give greater emphasis to words it sees more frequently in the original text, it can give you insight into what you may have really been thinking when you wrote the piece.

You’ve just gotta try it!

Through the Eyes of a Child Thursday, Mar 13 2008 

Last night I spent time with some friends of mine. One of these friends, Alex, is eight years old. I always learn something when I spend time with Alex and her mom, Joyce. Last night, we made marbelized paper using the shaving cream method. It is amazing the beautiful mixes of color and design you can get, just by swirling dye through a suspension media. It was also fun to see how wonderful Alex’s designs were. After we had finished, we looked at the swirls and found butterflies, flowers, and other images in the designs.

I plan to use this method to create some fabric for wall hangings. I think it will provide some great background fabrics. I only hope that I can remain as confident and unfettered by expectations as is Alex, so my designs can have the same energy and life.

Places to find instructions on Shaving Cream Marblelizing

Nothing Like Instant (or nearly) Gratification Monday, Mar 10 2008 

Textile work is time-consuming–at least for me. I agonize along every step, from the design, to the quilt top to any and all embellishments–even the binding. It’s a slow process. But there are moments when I can’t wait for results anymore. If I don’t complete something, I will wither away and die. I need to feel complete–even if what makes me complete isn’t my ultimate goal, my ultimate plan.

necklace.jpgOn days like that, I find myself drawn to other arts and crafts. Ones to which I haven’t made a commitment; ones from which I expect nothing more than a gift to make someone smile.  On days like today, I turn to beading, which can guarantee a result before the end of an hour or two.  I had promised someone a necklace from these wooden beads the color of straw, so I sought through my collections to find the colors that fit her vision, and I pulled the beads together, one-by-one. At the end of an hour, I had a piece that sparkles (believe me–it may not shine in the photo, but it sparkles in the light.)

I admit it. This distraction didn’t help me complete a quilt, but it cleared my head. It made me smile, and the person who requested it will smile tomorrow, too. And that was worth a little detour.