Observations on life & art and the inspirations I see around me

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Color bits

Like most people I have a personal color palette. Turquoise, orange, and green have been dominant for some time. I throw in reds and purples fairly regularly and this time of year with all the flowers in the garden center I can go really crazy. A while back Suzanne came up to play and we did wet felting combined with needle felting. I call it fusion felting. This piece is telling me it wants to grow bigger. I'm interviewing other fabrics to "play well" with it. Like the garden, it will be interesting to see how it grows.
When I sat down to do this post I was going to write about the biggest color project I've done in a long time but I left the camera down stairs and I'm too tired to retrieve it.
The painters finished up this afternoon and I was outside working most of the day. There's lots of cleaning, planting and reorganizing projects to get done before summer chases me back inside.
I did a bit of dyeing for wardrobe fabrics last week and am pleased with how well they all go with my new spring shoes. The shoes are a real treat as they are very comfortable and a bargain too. Sierra Trading Post. One of the artists in San Antonio had them on and said she had 5 pair. My budget can't do that all at once but I definitely go back. They also arrived in 2 days.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day & Noisy Nature

This is one of my favorite flowers. It is small but loud in it's demands for attention. We need to be that way some time. It's interesting to me that Earth Day has become so mainstream, even Sunchips has gotten on board with grants to green your community. I remember when this idea was considered "lefty lunatic fringe". I know there are still some who feel that way but like civil rights, women's rights, gay rights and justice I want to believe that good sense, good will and reason will prevail. I feel good that I've been part of raising a more aware generation. As Children's Ministry Coordinator, I put earth friendly programs in place at our church in the early '80's. I got more resistance and criticism than positive response. Now I feel hopeful that we getting wiser and kinder in how we treat our earth and each other.

My current dilemma is how to be friendly to this little guy and his mate, (don't really know which is which, mom/dad). They are both REALLY noisy and mad. They are building a nest in a little bird house on the front porch. The painters started prep work yesterday and will be there for a couple of days. Do I move the house to under a nearby tree or do we just listen to them fuss until ceiling, windows, and door are painted? Lots of people have been using bird images in art lately and I'm thinking these guys might get into mine.

Ashley blogged about Fiesta Art Show. I'm glad her Dad and I were able to help. I love my new ring and earrings which she gifted to me. She traded with Heather Carlson and got this great lamp which will live at our house for a while as Karl really liked it. Thanks A!
My experience of the show was being overwhelmed by the quality of the work shown and how well the school treats the artists. The Southwest School of Arts & Crafts is definitely a topnotch place. It's worth a visit any time. I wish I was close enough to take classes as they have great offerings.

I came home inspired by Jane Bishops work so I did a bit of dyeing yesterday toward making spring-summer clothing. These will be earth friendly as some of the fabrics are recycled.

I hope everyone takes a few minutes today to appreciate the beauty of the world and think of how to make it better. It's the only one we have in this lifetime.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The dirty work comes first

I spent the morning in the yard pulling weeds; cleaning out the chicken coop and spreading the stuff around the flower beds. That's not my favorite part of gardening but I do love the reward. I also moved newly emerging perrennials around to bare spots and have more to share with friends and family.
I can see definite similarities between gardening and making art. You've got to get thru the grunge parts to see the beauty at the end.
If anyone is in the San Antonio area this weekend don't miss Fiesta Art Show at the Southwest Craft Center. I'll be there with Ashley showing her jewelry in booth 48. I'm hoping for good weather and lots of customers. I'm expecting the bonus of new inspirations as we should have some exploring time on Friday.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

After a storm during the night and early morning we had a beautiful Easter afternoon. It seems very right that Easter, the celebration of rebirth and new beginning comes at this lovliest time of year.

After everyone left today I walked around the house to enjoy the blooms and a bit of quiet. This yellow rose reminds me of Mother and the flowers we had when she and Dad celebrated their 50th anniversary. There's a red one that Dad rooted from a cutting that was one of the first things we planted when we moved here. I need to start making my own cuttings so I can take some of these with me when we downsize.

This evening I did some reading and worked on editing in PS Elements. I posted New Orleans pictures in Flickr even though not all are edited as I'd like. I have lots to learn. Susie Monday's blog post about new beginnings is especially good. She regularly writes things to cause me to think. That's good. I can't remember if I've mentioned my latest book read, "Three Cups of Tea". I highly recommend it. Yesterday Elliott's friend Adam was here and we got to hear a little about his 7 months traveling in India, the Middle East, and Asia. He met many wonderful people and saw incredible sights. I wish we could all have experiences of being open to new and different people and places. How can we ever grow if we're closed and frightened?

HOPE is such a wonderful promise to celebrate. After being in New Orleans last week and this week's news of loss, death, and destruction I feel even more strongly that while we HOPE for good we all have to WORK to make it happen. There's an Easter Promise and Challenge.
We had a great time and good food yesterday as we gathered to celebrate with friends and family. Karl's birthday goes on and on. He says they get to last longer the older you get. Having the kids all together was especially fun. I'm excited to think ahead to Natalie Rose joining family festivities in Aug. We found out Thurs. that baby Akers Perez is a girl. Oh what fun sewing projects I see in my future!
Here's Karl practicing his grandparenting skills with a couple of his favorite little people. I'm betting he'll be really good at it.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Birthday Trip

Karl & I ran away to New Orleans last weekend to celebrate his significant birthday. Here he is on Monday, the big day, enjoying the required treat at Cafe de Monde. They must use a ton of powdered sugar a day. NOLA is definitely NOT diet city. Food was a big part of the weekend and we were so busy enjoying it I didn't get pics of other offerings - all very yummy. My favorite was the 1/2 soft shell crab we added to our first dinner of shrimp and oysters. I wanted more of that tasty treat but didn't get them this trip. We definitely recommend the Gumbo Shop for tasty Cajun fair.
Does anyone know what this bloom is? It's on a sizable tree, very lovely, and leaves an interesting seed pod that was too delicate to transport home. I got lots of pictures for art inspiration - plants, buildings, ironwork, musicians, Pirate parade, and street design (manhole covers, etc). I intended to organize these on my newly installed version of Photoshop Elements but have had computer issues as well as general distractions for most of the week.
The French Quarter and Garden District were lovely. We did see lingering evidence of Katrina in boarded up homes and piles of rubble, especially on the north and east sides of town. The people were extraordinarily appreciative that tourists are coming back and the southern hospitality was exceptional.
Jackson Square is the Heart of the city and the Cathedral is beautiful. Karl stepped in a hole and twisted his foot on Sunday afternoon so we moved slowly for the rest of the trip. Thankfully there were lots of benches and music & art to enjoy all around. Monday morning he dropped me at the entrance of Saint Louis Cementery, the oldest in the city.
This example of iron work was from a 200 year old broken gate around one of the raised tombs. I got to listen to a guide tell a bit of the story of Marie LeBeaux, Voodoo Priestess; very interesting. She and her daughter (same name & similar appearance) had a real knack for marketing. Today we're expecting Elliott & Celeste from Austin. Tomorrow we'll have a gathering of family and friends to celebrate birthdays and Easter. I wish everyone the blessings of the season.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Inspirations, Challenges & Not Knowing When to Stop

All of a sudden it's April and even the regular grocery store has great color . I've been inspired and challenged this week, not the least of which is getting pictures where I want them on this blog.
Tues. was fun, food, and INSPIRATION galore. "Wonders" gathered with the stated intention of making charms (ala Cloth, Paper, Scissors). Flo arrived with abundant stash treasures to share. We dove in and some of us moved into Subversive Jewelry style on overload. This is a revisit for me to low those many years ago when I did "lost earring" necklaces and others adorned with plastic toys such as Kermit the Frog. My jr. high students thought I was a bit odd even then.
Much of my inspiration from this group of hyper creatives comes from the sharing. I was putting out lunch so I didn't get pics of the latest of the Lu-Connie collaborative (in progress); Lu's quilt top from Sara's class; or Flo's wonderful jewelry creations but did snap a hint of Deborah' s incredible creative output. We're all encouraging her toward publishing and showing her latest series. She's the "baby" of our group (by years) but her maturity is astounding. Her daily art meditations for Lent is inspiring on so many levels and her Window for 12x12 is wonderful. I do believe the responses to this challenge, chosen by Gerrie, are my favorite to date. Don't miss it or Gerrie's blog about her class and fabulous shiboris. There's another challenge for me. I want that level of complexity in my cloth. With the weather warming, I hope to be dyeing and discharing soon.

I'd gotten behind on my obligation to a round robin from complex cloth list so I got out the printing materials on Wed. It was a slow start(fear? - not sure). I went to bed with Rayna Gillman's book (more inspiration) and got up yestereday going full tilt. Rayna says you'll know when to stop; I'm not so sure. It was only necessity to clean up for weekend obligations that brought me to a halt. I did about 10 different pieces of cloth and I'm itching to do more. I used Ruthie Powers' stamps on some and lots of "found" treasures. Don't you LOVE sequine waste! I used 2 Gocco screens and have soooooo much to relearn there. I didn't have time for a copy store trip so I didn't get to the on-loan thermofax. I plan to do that soon along with deconstruction and dye printing.

Now as I think of it, "Not stopping" can be a good thing. I like the idea of being creative until the "very end" which I hope is far, far away.