Monday, January 28, 2008

This Doll...

...needs her hair. I now have two options, perhaps three. I have a vibrant green feather boa that could look like fluffy hair; I have a multi-shaded lime green tibetan lamb plate that could be curly hair; I have a pure white lamb plate, so she could have white hair or white hair with tips, etc.

What do you think? Would you like to see the head with the options and give me some opinions?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Second Piece for Wearable Round Robin

Usually working under pressure gets me going on my projects. I think that's why I prefer working on challenge pieces or round robin projects - I need a deadline, and I know that any self-imposed deadlines are really just fake to fool me into production.

Or, I can create when I get an idea that haunts me, and nothing stops me from just going and going with it. That's pretty much what happened with the green doll, though her head and sleeves are still not attached.

Imagine my surprise when I realized I had play time AND inspiration, and plenty of time before the deadline (almost a month!) and I still was driven to do my part on the next piece of clothing for the wearable round robin.

Sherry sent in an oversized sweatshirt that she hand-dyed, and cut off the ribbing at collar, cuffs and bottom edge. Judi hand stamped some tumbling diamond shapes with Lumiere. And I decided the moment I saw it to cut it open and make it a jacket. I also knew I had this perfect piece of fabric somewhere in my stash that, in my mind's eye, was very color compatible with the shirt colors, and looked "painterly." So, this is how I spent my Saturday. Sherry's shirt before I worked on it:

And after:

The hem edge of both sleeves and the bottom of the shirt are still open, so if someone wants to work on the hand-dyed side, perhaps some stitchery or embroidery work, they can slip their hands inside and keep the two parts separate. As it stands now, the shirt is fully reversible, though I'm not sure it will stay that way - there are still five more people to do their thing with it!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Two Projects

Stayed home from work again today. Most of the time I sipped broth, read a book, and took little cat naps. I did have a little time to go to the treehouse and create, finishing two projects that need to get into the mail.
I'm hosting the Beaded Button Beauties swap on the CPS group, and was able to complete my offering today. She has the requisite button body and tail, a beaded dragonfly body and wings, and a turbaned face from Linsart.

Another view (hanging in front of the blinds):
Also, I made scrappy layered fabric, satin stitched hearts in pink, and cut out a couple of 2" squares for my Pink Artist offering for Monica Magness. I'm not sure yet which one I'll send - I like both of them.
And now...I'm heading back to bed, LOL!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Mail Call!

Today, I came home from the office early. I've been absolutely knocked out by a fierce and sudden head cold. As I puttered about the house, making myself some cold-killing garlic/thyme broth, and preparing to have my own personal pity party, I noticed a HUGE stack of mail on our front porch. Among the many treasures that arrived was my copy of Ricë Freeman-Zachary's new 'zine.

I just had to post a photo here, because Ricë took such pains to decorate the envelope - and it looks as though the stamp cancelling technique used by the post office involved a truck tire!
You might want to go HERE and see if there are more copies to order... I do love a paper 'zine I can hold in my hand (and take to my nest, while having a pity party)!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Bits & Pieces

I remember a book on my mother's shelves entitled "How Lost Was my Weekend," which is much how I feel this Sunday evening. I can't believe how quickly my weekends pass by, and how un-ready I am to return to the office on Monday morning. I just have too much fun staying home!

Tonight I have a special sympathy for our deck rat, pictured above. If I had a tail to wrap in, I'd do it. I know that we in NE Ohio aren't the only ones suffering from a wintery blast, but it doesn't make my pain any less! I'd forgotten how painful my hands and feet become (Reynaud's Syndrome), and have complained endlessly to my poor Oldtimer.

Two weeks ago, when I was working with dye for that round robin silk jacket, I used the bucket of dye to over-dye this inexpensive denim jacket, too. I like the way it looks (though it needs a good ironing). Isn't it intriguing - the thread used for the decorative stitching must not be natural, as it didn't take one bit of color.

Yesterday, before the REALLY bitter cold set in, we made a trip to the antique store we found in Middlefield. We brought home a primitive grain bin, which now sits in the front entry under a framed print of grapes and vines, with a beautiful ornamental candle atop the bin. While there, I purchased these antique buttons:
The buttons above were labeled "Bakelite," but I think it's more likely that they are some sort of Lucite. They just thrill me - very similar to the one decorative button my mother had in her collection, that remains my favorite to this day.

One of my online friends wrote a note to me, asking about my "treehouse" workspace. I'm sure I disappointed her, but I had to confess that I don't really do my sewing and creating in a treehouse, it's just a name that was given to my previous space, and it followed along when we moved here. I've included a photo of the back of our house (below) which shows where the treehouse window is located. As you can see, from the rear perspective, the window appears to be on the third floor, so it is a bit among the treetops. You can also see the loft window, where I peer at the passing dear while seated at my computer.

That view of the rear of the house is taken across the neighbor's yard. I normally love my view out the window from the treehouse, but the weather right now has everything looking BLEAK. Case in point:
It looks so bleak and monochromatic. Maybe if I hang goodies back in the window, like this:
But part of the problem is that the windows are radiating cold, so I've been going around the house, pulling and closing shades, and attempting to reduce drafts. I hate not being able to look out, and I'm not very fond of the house's appearance from the exterior, either - it looks like blank eyes staring back.

I lower the blinds:
But that's not much better. Guess I better close the blinds:And focus on what I can see beyond the edges:


I DID manage to get all the fragrances and butters uploaded to the new Oldtimer & Lily site. It won't be long before I'm processing orders from that address -
And now I'm off to get some rest!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Pink Artist here!

The extraordinary Monica Magness has started this breast cancer project, and I am honored to join in. Won't you play, too?

Monday, January 14, 2008

A Little Bit of Creativity

Though I worked on both practical and fun things this weekend, I haven't had much time in the treehouse. I did manage to complete two projects, though, and I'm well pleased with both.
The first item is my January beaded square for the monthly challenge on the ClothPaperStudio list. I worked in peach, copper, and a touch of purple, calling my January square "Prosperity."

I'm also in an Altered Wearable round robin. You might remember the pure white silk jacket I posted a while back - well, this is what I ended up doing. First I stamped random stars using a Jacquard antique gold resist. Then I used a wine colored dye, striving for both a mottled and a shaded effect. The shoulders are the darkest portion, and it gets gradually lighter as you work toward the hem. Today it is off to the next person on the list.
Here's a little hem detail...
I have lots and lots of things to do on my creative list. I feel so much better when I get some creative time. However, right now my creative time must go toward getting the new soap and fragrance site up at (and work the day job, of course).

Monday, January 07, 2008

It Melted!

All that snow I showed you a few days know the stuff? It's gone. Zilch. Zero snow on the ground and there's still some green grass underneath. The temp outside today, here near the shores of Lake Erie, just across the border from Canada, is 60!!

This Minnesota native cannot believe this. Sometimes it would be MONTHS - from November through March, where the ground was constantly covered in snow, ice, and grimy sludge. The month of January means near zero temps, walking head down into the driving wind, with your tears freezing on your cheeks, or your eyelashes freezing together when you blink.

I'm sorry Al Gore, but...long live global warming. I know, I know, I don't mean it...but I kinda do.

A Place to Create

This weekend was filled with housework, and re-organizing, and deciding which of my creative projects I wanted to do. (I'm using a to-do list in my Google home page to keep track of creative projects.)

I have several DIPs, but I'm also hosting a beaded button doll swap on the CPS list, and I'm participating in the monthly "beaded mini" challenge in that group. And finally, I've been part of a group that organized several months ago - an altered wearable art round robin - and though I shipped my jacket to be altered in October, our first shipping date is just coming up, and I haven't started on the piece I received. I have to be the first to "alter" a jacket, which is really more to embellish a totally blank new piece.

The beaded mini travels well, so I set up this little corner in the family room, with an Ott floor lite, for working on my 1 1/2" square piece.

Here's what I've accomplished so far with it:

And here's JudiA's beautiful silk charmeuse jacket. I finally know what I'm going to do with it (to it?) and just haven't gotten there yet. Talk about a blank slate! It's a little intimidating. (And no, I'm not adding any of those feather boas you see hanging near it - draped over the door is their normal storage spot.)

We made a trip to Target today, and I acquired two more ways to store my art stash. Oldtimer and I spent an hour or two, crawling around the guest room floor, putting them together. Photos soon.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

First REAL snowfall of the season

Are you all sick of weather and landscape photos from me yet? I can hear you all from here..."This crazy woman started a blog to show off her artwork, and all she posts are pictures of her yard."
I bet you haven't seen this angle from our back yard yet. We have the illusion of living in the wooded glade!

Well, the truth of the matter is that I've spent very little time in my treehouse lately, partly because of the holidays...mostly because of the holidays...but also because of housework, and Super Mario, and telephone calls, and the job...oh my, the job has been occupying a lot of my thinking time. AND...the new soap website, too. It's on my mind, even if you aren't seeing any evidence of that yet.
So, without further ado, let me show you our first real snow, which occurred on New Year's day, or rather the evening of. And into the next morning, of course, causing me to drive the lovely Gypsy in the snow and slush, and chemical treatment. Sigh.

Angels trumpet in the dark, as snow drifts down (above)


Ooops! Guess we don't need a hose reel in this weather!

But after the snowfall, after the flurries and dark winter night - morning has broken...

A view of our pond in the early morning after the storm (above).

And a view of the neighbor's pond, in the hopeful new light (above).

Oldtimer rose at 5:15 am to run the snowblower and clear the driveway. He had everything looking so nice, but...

...once again the Willoughby Hills snowplows took out our mailbox. We go through one a year. (See photo above, lower right corner - note the sad little Christmas bow, buried in the goop). I told Oldtimer that I want a neon sign that says "Mailbox!" with an arrow pointing down. We can suspend it from the maple tree, and make sure it's on when the snowplows start running up and down the road.