Sunday, October 25, 2009

Hello! This is the project Azalea and I were working on last week, a wedding dress for her doll, Sookie. She's begged for one for probably a year, asking nearly every time she looked at the doll. I let her choose the fabrics from my horde and was pleased she picked pieces leftover from my wedding dress (we will have been married five years on the 30th!). I used bits I had lying around, vintage glass pearls from Japan, rhinestone buttons clipped from an old purse and lace I picked up at an auction ten years ago. I think it came out pretty good, even though my sewing skills are limited and I didn't use a pattern. My mom would smile at my attempt and wonder why I didn't listen (she used to be a seamstress). She tends to be a perfectionist.

Here's a closer look, to see the little sapphire necklace Andrew made. I also repainted the doll to look like Azalea. At first, she was mortified to see I had stripped the dolls face of all paint, then gradually, she began to show signs of approval. Oddly, she is very much like my mom - difficult to please. I took my time, but honestly, I am terrible at likenesses! Greg draws them easily, without much effort, but it seems like my eyes are skewed and it takes a lot of looking before I come close. Its something I've been working on. Onto the next project! I'm on a role now, sleepy or not and am determined to be as productive as possible!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Hello! Here's a pic of Azalea, Suni and I, lined up at what looked like the entrance to another land. The weather here in Asheville is so perfect right now, too lovely not to go out and enjoy it. Things are looking up (thanks to all who sent blessings my way) and I'm beginning the next stage of this tumultuous experience. I guess its surrender. I've stopped fighting the impulse to wallow and just let myself do it. I sat there, acknowledged the pain and swollen limbs and accepted that this is temporary. That so much is ephemeral and too fleeting, that these moments will serve to heighten the happiness, by its contrast. This is a known thing, a proven thing, but the truth in this is sometimes easily overlooked. It has taken a few wise folks, to gently remind me that this will pass and all will be well. So, I let go of my guilt (guilt at my lack productivity, guilt for not making more for the baby, guilt for letting Greg do so much....) and let myself be. Which led to an unexpected project... I made something for Azalea, something she's long asked for, but I never had the time to make. I let her help me, giving her small tasks and let that time, quietly crafting together in the afternoon sun, be just for us.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

sink or swim

I am firm believer in this notion, but once in awhile its hard to keep my head above water. I've felt myself floundering, felt myself slipping beween apathy and panic in a space of a breath. Its a strange feeling, this disconnectedness to my life. I've submerged myself in all the comforts that usually center me. I keep my hands busy every waking moment, listen to audio books and eat my favorite treats...but I can't help feeling oddly tethered. Just not to myself. My midwife asked if I was depressed and I didn't have a clear answer. I sleep most of the time now and try to be productive when I'm awake, but its difficult to get motivated for even the simplest chores. I looked around my studio today and couldn't believe how much I used to finish in a few hours what now takes days. I thought back to just a few months ago and how hard I was working and it seemed like that was a different person. Is that person on hiatus, just slumbering, waiting to emerge for when they are really needed? Or is this tired, husk of a girl really who I am now? Really, it doesn't matter, because I know this fog will burn off and I'll wake up and resume course.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Autumn Days

Here's my girl, looking good in her new hoodie and stripey pants. She reminded me of a munchkin or a tiny elf from Bordertown.

Some of Azalea's friends working there way through a corn maze at the Stepp Orchard, their first field trip! Greg and I both chaperoned, along with nearly all the other kids parents (I guess no one else wanted to miss out either!).

After an exciting tractor pulled ride through thousands of trees and at least twenty varieies of apples, we stopped to pick my personal favorite, golden delicious.

Greg and Azalea pose for a shot at the Scarecrow Festival held at Lake Julian. The weather has been fantastic, mild and just cool enough to bust out our boots. Usually I prefer tall varieties with lots of ornamentation (buckles, fringe, buttons, laces...) but now that I'm swollen to bursting, Ugg boots are all I want to wear. Comfort is the main objective, no heels or structure to bind me! Too bad they aren't fancier, with beading or metallic leather. I'll have to doctor mine up a bit.
Its getting closer to both release dates (book and baby). The boy should be emerging at the end of the month and we are finally starting to get ready (I know, what a bunch of slackers!). We went to Babies R Us and picked up some blankets and some nursing gowns to pack for the hospital. I was a little disappointed with the selection of baby goods, probably because I've been surfing etsy and finding a ton of cute things. I will forever wonder why diaper bags look so dang ridiculous. You'd think some designer would jump at the obvious hole in the market, but I guess I'm looking in all the wrong places. Anyway, the search for baby and mama gear continues, somewhat slowly, I must admit. Azalea has been helping me design little toys and things, (I haven't gotten to the actual making yet) and I'm happy she's so nurturing and helpful. We spend alot of time together in the studio, drawing and making patterns and plans. I'm just too tired lately to get down to the fun part! Ok, that new show Eastwick is coming on and I can never resist programs concerning the supernatural!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Enchanted Adornments

Hello! Here's a sneak peek at my advance copy of Enchanted Adornments! It's taken me about a week to fully absorb the concept that this is my book and its going out into the world in about a month. I suppose its strange since I worked on it for so long and it seems so personal, with my name on the cover and picture in the back. Generally, the idea of creating work to be sent out into the world is exciting for me, but its always under the comforting and somewhat anonymous name Green Girl Studios, which could be Greg, me or Andrew. I always feel a touch silly when I'm in the spotlight, I prefer the quiet of the background. Anyway, here are my thoughts on this project.
The new cover is great, its simple with colors I love and my favorite pieces beautifully photographed. Its also a nice matte finish, with front and back flaps that give it a nice sturdy feel.

Here's one of the technique pages, organized neatly and not visually crowded or with photos that are too small to see what's going on in them. I was very adamant about the photography being useful, I hate when project photos are tiny or have that annoying fade out so you can't see how something is put together. This book is loaded with close-ups for optimal scrutiny (gulp). The techniques chapter is also sizeable, almost fifty pages worth of info on polymer, pmc, resin and other materials.

The fun part: projects! I designed twenty projects utilizing the techniques covered in the first section. These chapters combine an ongoing story to illustrate how inspiration can come from anywhere and its transformation into art. Illustrating the journal pages was the most fun part for me, or maybe it was coming up with the stories....

This is one of my favorite pieces, although it was a tough one to get right! Its toward the back, since the projects get progressively more difficult. I also loved painting the magpie!

This piece is the crown jewel of the collection! It took me ages and loads of pmc to get this to look exactly the way I wanted it too. Sometimes, being particular can be a nuisance, especially since I like to make detailed renderings before I even open the clay. This is not to say that I'm against spontaneous work or that I'm not capable of experimentation....I just like to think it out in my sketchbook for awhile, before I commit to anything. This piece proves that what works on paper doesn't always work in three dimensions, a good reminder to me to just jump in and do! I learned a lot about myself as an artist, writer and collaborator while working on this book. It was definitely a team effort and sometimes frustrating, but I think the outcome surpasses all my expectations. I have to say, I'm pleased as pie with this book! Which is saying a lot, coming from my biggest critic (me - not my mom). Anyway, I showed the book to my friends and was happy with the positive feedback, especially delighted to hear they thought it was a good deal for the money ( a very high compliment to me). Now all I have to worry about is promoting it! I will probably be in labor when it hits the shelves Nov.1! Hopefully earlier, I am getting huge!
I am so grateful that Lorelei and Andrew have helped so much in getting the word out! Any helpful ideas to make it a success would be greatly appreaciated!