Friday, October 30, 2009

I am almost back to normal from my trip to Venice, Italy. Midge and I went for about a week and it was just incredible. Every where we looked or traveled was filled with awe inspiring age and beauty. It was so magical it gave you a feeling of Disney but the good news was it was all very real.

We were lucky to find an apartment to rent from, so we had our very own Venice studio. It was in a perfect neighborhood with a canal and bridge just outside our window.

 The studio was in the Dorsoduro section, away from 
the hustle and bustle of tourists and it was just a short block 
from a sunset walk along the Zaterre.
It was dreamy.
Our little studio had a full kitchen so we shopped at the local market and cooked at home while we watched the world go by on our bridge.

The city is all about water. 
There are no cars.
Everything is delivered by boat through the canals. Police, ambulance, UPS, postmen and even some markets moved and did all their business on the canals. 

We spent hours walking from place to place, enjoying being lost and then finding our way. It seemed that every turn held some new, but incredibly old site to take in. We went from museum to museum trying to take it all in so we would remember it all when we were back home. It was a biennial year so there was modern art everywhere. The contemporary art displayed through the old city was quite wonderfully paradoxical. 

It was a fantastic trip of a life time and I can't wait to do another one!

Friday, October 23, 2009

October 7th I took off with my car filled with Artgirlz goodies and headed for Cromwell, CT and a weekend of learning, sharing and fun at Art Is...You. We weren't officially on the teaching list because we thought that we would at this years Quilt Market...but we weren't and off I went to assist our Linda Willis with her classes, make new friends, sell a few Artgirlz goodies and to take a wet felting class with the amazing Nicole Chazaud Telaar. Her blog is filled with more wonderful color and delicious visuals!!
Linda's Classes went very well...folks were excited, doing great work, and most importantly pleased with themselves. We had a lot of laughs, shared stories, met new best friends and urged people to trust their visions!

I was very excited about taking a one day felt flower making class. The morning of the class I had the privilege of talking with Nicole at breakfast. We shared biz stories and experiences and hope to do some skill sharing sometime soon! The class was set up by the hotel pool and under the glass dome, giving the feeling of a tropical location. The first task was to make a long thin snake shape with little flower buds at the end.

Once that was done, we went on to the bigger flower project. The pictures above show set up for the flowers. It was then combos of water, soap, rubbing, rolling, shaping, oohing and aahing.
We each made flower components and were "supposed" to put it together and bead them in the afternoon. I don't know what I was doing...making more doodles or something...the leaves were made the next day as I peeked in on the Wool Felt Bag Class.

I was very grateful to be taking a class and learning something new. Thanks to all that made it possible!! There are more pictures on Nicole's blog!!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

My sister Beth visited Sue and me last in the lower 48 to visit family. Her youngest son Ben will be going into the US Navy next month. We were charged with the task of making him a necklace. So, we pulled out beads, Artgirlz charms, findings and a long piece of ball chain and proceeded to put a piece together for him.

I wish him the best. To be safe, brave, open, kind.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I spent the weekend in my studio challenging myself to make a mini quilt to match a paper project we had done for Ranger. I used the same stamps for both project. I was curious about what I could come up with. The paper project was stamped directly on to painted chip board. But for the cloth project I filled a 9.5" X 11" sheet of paper with Artgirlz inchie stamps and then I copied that onto fabric using my ink jet printer. To truly make your own fabric, you can add paint to the cloth it at this point. I use plain old watered down acrylic paint. It gives a nice water colored effect.

You can stamp directly onto fabric but it is really difficult to get a clear clean image. The fabric I used in my inkjet was a heavier weight and so it absorbed a lot of ink giving the stamps a greyer look. So I would suggest using a finer, lighter weight fabric to get a real dark, clear stamp and it will also go through your printer easier. I backed my stamped fabric with a fusible web. I cut them into tiny squares and ironed them onto larger squares that were also backed with fusible web and then ironed them onto a piece of Patchy fabric. I added a backing, did some simple quilting and attached a binding using my Bernina aurora 440.

To add the finishing touches I ironed a little Artgirl on to the front and added her arms and legs and of course a sparkly petticoat. You can add color to our metal charms with a good gel pen. I used Sakura.
Voila, my mini quilt was done!

Well Baby Beth is visiting Tracy in RI. I wish I was there. But Midge and I are packed and ready to head off to Venice on Thursday. That's not too tough to take.

What are you up to?

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Some things just don't change. Here I am 45 years later still
braiding my baby sister Beth's hair. She has been visiting from Alaska.
Being the baby, Bethie spent a lot of time saying "wait for me!".
Beth is a chatty whirlwind and she teaches me patience
and compassion.
It was very nice to see her.

This year seems to be slipping by. Perhaps it only seems that way
because we are so busy. When our good friend Linda was visiting,
we took a trip to St Petersburg on the west coast of Florida.

St Pete was a beautiful city. Everywhere we went we met
friendly, like-minded people.

I had my heart set on an outsider art festival there sponsored
by Creative Clay. What a fantastic organization. It is a cultural art
center that makes art accessible for everyone no matter their
age, gender,ability or race. Having worked with people with
disabilities years ago I have a special place in my heart for them and
was blown away at what an empowering special space they
had created. There should be one in every town and city across
the country. It was an idea conceived by one person and is
a testimonial to how one person can make such a difference.

The art show was great too! Full of colorful, quirky works of art.
My favorite was Theresa Disney.
Check it out. Not only is her work fabulous she is a wonderful spirit.

We spent the rest of the day searching out and enjoying art.
One of our stops was the Dali Museum. Midge and Linda had
trouble drinking coffee with their mustaches.

We ended our trip with a stop at Fort DeSoto Park.
It is the most beautiful place I have seen in Florida.
A dip in the warm gulf at such a exquisite spot was
a perfect ending to our west coast trip.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Chilly here in little rhody this morning. We have been working on a sign for our driveway. To get to us, one has to drive down a driveway from the main road and then at the fork, take the right hand choice..."B". "C" will take you to our lovely neighbor Bill's front door. We made a sign to direct new friends, oil delivery people, UPS, Publishers Clearing House Prize Delivery People, to the correct door. We can check that project off of the list and get on with the next thing!

I just pulled out the acrylic paints, black markers and poly sealer. Checked a few details on the computer to see just how far away we are from our loved ones. Brickley's is our favorite ice cream destination!! Chocolate Malt is amazing!!! George set us up with cedar posts and we were good to go! Thanks George!!

Getting ready for Art Is. Linda and I will be heading out next week. If you are free next weekend and looking for a relaxing, creative situation, check it out!!!