Friday, November 30, 2007

A felted Totoro I made for my girl.

Studio in the process of organization. This is a view from the entrance, standing in the closet.

Another view, from the back corner. Still needs work.

New earrings for the Orlando show.
Hi there! Busy around here, with the holidays and all. I find that this time of the year I feel like hibernating and not coming out till spring. So I've been putsing around the house, getting nothing done, feeling totally uninspired to do anything. I've slowly organized my studio, so that its easier to find things. My space has a tendancy to pile up wherever I'm working, not with trash, but with things that inspire me, or tools and materials. I like having it close on hand, but when you switch crafts as often as I do, things get a little confusing. I had been making felted cupcakes and cartoon characters when I realized that in a couple of days we would be leaving to go to Orlando for the Maitland Show. This happens fairly frequently, I tend to misjudge time. I always think I have loads and loads, then I have to work like a maniac. Thank goodness I'm fast. When I'm in a slump, when I can't manage to make anything good, when I lose things continously, I find its best to just give in for the moment and stop. I watch loads of movies when this happens. Its kind of like meditating, because I can let go of everything crowding my thoughts. I watched the Firefly series again and loved it even more than the first time. It was fun to escape for awhile. Although I don't recomend watching it while felting, you'll poke yourself silly. Anyway, if your in Orlando this weekend, stop by and see us!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Bezel Class

Hello! Check out the work made in the class! I forgot to take pictures of the backsides (which were carved). We had so much fun! I really enjoyed working with such enthusiastic and talented people - a really amazing group. Everything went over perfectly, down to the after party (which was loads of fun!). I got my fortune read by one of my students husband (who happened to have his deck) and was blown away by what he read in the cards. Things I knew, but ignored, of course. Sometimes hearing something that has been echoing in your in mind- helps , it provides the nudge to stop doubting and do what you know you need to. In my case, this story that Ive carried around for years, which is comforting to go to again and again, but is scary to let go into the world. Its fun to build, my little escape world, but its time to finish it. So thats my next project. Everything else can wait.

Fun in Chicago


Hi there! This is my long -time friend Jeremiah Ketner at his studio. The super cute boys belong to him. I dropped off Greg and Azalea in Cincinatti, while I contiued on to Chicago to prep for the bezel class. We had a great time shopping for materials and catching up. It was fun working in a different enviroment with another artist, so much energy! Jeremiah and I have been collaborating on a kids book for about a year now, it was good to to re-examine our work.

clay head

This is a hollow piece of stoneware. Its still wet in the pic, I'm curious what the finished sculpture will look like. I'm imagining the glaze to look like rock (maybe with a raku technique) to go in my flower beds. Hopefully it will survive the kiln!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

River District

Hello! This is a sample for the class Lisa and I will be teaching this weekend. Lisa will share how to sculpt lovely silver bezels and I will show the numerous ways to fill the box. I could call it 'Fun with Polymer, Paint, and Resin' but that wouldn't really cover all the techniques. Anyway, we have loads of good things to learn! Only a couple spaces left!

We went to the River District Art Walk today and had the best time. Azalea and I met up with Tony, Lisa and Deborah near a warehouse called the 'wedge' which was filled with artists spaces. Now I knew Asheville had a thriving art community, but I was unaware of all the sweet studios they were sporting. I've lived here for four years and never did the art walk, so I was pleasantly surprised by the numerous buildings jam packed with artists of every category. Also surprising/aggravating was to walk into a space we were considering renovating,( but thought it too much work) and see it completely finished. It was $700 a month for about 3000 sf. Sometimes its good to jump on an opportunity when you have a chance (obvious, I know, I'm still kicking myself). On the other hand, it's now I nice place to take art classes, like 'Mommy and Me', which it wouldn't have been if I ran it. What would we have done with it? Casting, fabricating, moldmaking, and we would have good ventilation....ah, to dream. So it was fun to see art being made and shown, so much enthusiasm! I'm on the lookout again for space over there, hopefully we'll get lucky.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

New Doll

Greg bought me a Blythe Doll a couple weeks ago and she arrived yesterday. Azalea has been begging to hold her non-stop since, so I let her pose with Blythe and her new reversible pinafore from Etsy shop Lassie Girl. She has another on the way, printed with owls. I like this design, its easy to put on, it goes with loads of things and since its reversible, its perfect for travel.

I love my new doll! I love dolls in general, but I particularly enjoy bizaare ones. It seems there is a whole community of people devoted to these dolls. I wanted one the moment I clapped eyes on her at flea market about 20 years ago. My mom refused to buy her for me on the grounds that she didn't like " her 'steering' at me" (said with a thick accent). I wanted that doll probably more than I wanted the utterly pathetic creature called 'Little Miss No-Name' another doll from the seventies with ginormous eyes on an equally humongous head. It never bothered me a bit how piddly their bodies were, I had loads of other big-headed dolls. My older brother always enjoyed telling me the medical conditions my dolls had...elephantitus of the head, water on the brain, or some other obscure malady. I didn't care, I loved my little collection.

We have been reorganizing and rearranging my studio and working on samples for an upcoming class in Chicago. I will be teaching silver bezels with sculpted interiors with Lisa Blackwell. I'm really excited to be going back to Chicago, its been awhile since my last visit. I'm also nervous about teaching, I have a tendancy to give information overload, for fear folks won't get their monies worth. I have a lot of secret techniques to share, so if you're in town sign up, there are a couple spots available.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Tree House

Today we worked outside on the tree house that Tony started a couple days ago. We watched for the Sasquatch and Grass Dog (from Lady in the Water) and we tried to spot all the fairy dwellings around the fort. I counted three. We searched for acorn caps that were interestingly shaped so we could use them for doll hats, but we didn't find any. We had lots of fun today, my girl pretending to be a benevolent queen and I, the trusty pony to pull her chariot (wheel barrow).
When I was a kid, I played in the deserts of New Mexico with my sister under a huge, upturned tree; it was like a shallow cave with the roots dangling down for a roof. We used to tie pieces of glass to the roots as sun catchers and line up busted open 'thunder eggs' (we didn't know they were called geodes-we opened them by banging them on the sidewalk) around the tree, like a sparkly fence. I hadn't thought of our fort and all the days we spent fixing it up, for years. I felt small again and full of wonder.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Pixie Girl

Hello! I made my girl a tutu and flower garland so she could get into character as the pixie princess. We went to the store to get pickles (we can't get enough pickles-dill, bread and butter, dilly beans, love, love,love) and I spotted this pretty tulle, and being a fabric addict, I grabbed some in three colors and some fake fur in cheetah and seal. And some really good cotton twill for dolls. I am Captain Craft O'Matic today! A tutu, garland, and a sprite (made from wire and polymer) since yesterday. I meant to organize, but that is, as we all know, a complete drag. So, with complete abandon, we watched movie after movie and stitched and sculpted (my girls a whiz with play-doh) with no thought if it would make money. This sounds terrible, but when your self employed, everything you make is for sale. Or in my case, it needs to be castable. So its a luxury to make fun, one of a kind pieces. I need to do this at least once a month or become 'hard to get along with' as my mama says. No one likes a cranky artist, so here I am with nothing done for the BABE! show next week, but I'm pleased as punch. I'm almost finished with the sprite that will live in my new cabinet, she needs a face, hair and wings. I bought directions online on how to make fairy wings, hopefully I'll do it right. I'm determined to finish everthing except the wings tonight, or I won't sleep. So, I guess I have to announce a winner for the contest, I know, I know, its been like two weeks and everybody thinks I'm trying to keep the necklace Andrew made (I would never do anything like that! Also, its green and I have loads of green necklaces) but the truth is, I hate picking one person, its like eating truffles in front of everybody and not sharing. But theres one necklace! I will do another contest then, so no one is mad at me. Ok, the winner is.......MELISSA! Mellisa, contact me with your address. Thanks to all who participated and check back soon for the next contest.

Friday, November 02, 2007


Look at my woodland creature! She had so much fun running around with her buddies in Greenville. We did something different, Trunk or Treat, which is held in a parking lot with cars trunks popped open and folks giving out candy. The concept is less fun than beggars night (waiting in a long line to collect candy as opposed to running from house to house). I think its for saftey. Maybe next year I'll get a bunch of people together to make a 'creepy village' or 'spooky woods'. I did like the pony quite a bit.

We worked on rearranging and organizing, which is always refreshing. I love how it looks! We had a few friends over to taste some cheeses and good wines, something I never tire of doing. I suppose paradise would include a massive cheese selection (including all the aged, funky goaty ones) and no headache inducing wines. Well, I'm back on schedule tomorrow, ready to make loads of new goods.