Archive for the ‘creativity’ Category

Top Ten Tuesday

It’s Tuesday, and that means our Top Ten….but I’m cheating this week – only seven – I think I’m kinda under the weather – not really sure. I do know that when I don’t eat properly or not drink enough water, I feel like a slug. I’m not sure that’s it or not, but anyways…here’s some cool stuff for this week.

From Artsy Shark comes an interview from the authors of Starting Your Career as an Artist. Both authors worked at Parsons School for Design and have a nice take on the role of your alma mater in helping you start your career.

From Catalog Living comes a smart, sarcastic, funny look at the “people” – Gary and Elaine – who live in the catalogs. Alert – you will spend a LOT of time looking at the “pages” from Gary and Elaine’s life….

Elaine didn’t buy enough flowers for the centerpieces, but Gary knew that this was where his extensive background in napkin arranging would finally pay off.

From Elizabeth Barton’s blog comes a look at an extraordinary woman and her patchwork “paintings.” Remarkable work, and one of the pioneers in fiber as art, I’m sure. Here’s just a snippet: “Edrica Huws is one of the most inspiring makers of fibre collage pieces, or patchwork or quilts (whatever you like to call the work). For people who feel that realism of any kind in this medium is to be avoided at all cost, Huws’ work should be an eye opener.” Be sure to watch the video of this remarkable woman.

From Cool Hunting comes this vacation spot on Maui (where I first started teaching…and I SURE couldn’t afford anything like this!): The Four Seasons Maui

From Marie Segal’s blog comes nail art – and I have to agree with her – it’s come a VERY long way!

On Etsy this week, I’m part of a Treasury! Don’t Be Square by Sally Manke, made up of items from the Textile and Fiber Arts List.

 From JPG Magazine comes images from a new photo shoot. I’m particularly drawn to the “yellow lines’ in the road…..

Hopefully more good stuff next week! Enjoy!

Quilt, Sewing, and Gift Show

This weekend is the Tucson Sewing, Quilt, and Craft show, which has not been publicized much. I only know about it because I had a call from a vendor trying to sell me stuff, and I found out they would be here in town. Plus, the show is at an “expo” center that’s not in a great part of town, and entrance was around the back – and not well marked. That said, I enjoyed two things about the show. One, I could go on a SCHOOL DAY!!! I didn’t have to wait until the weekend. Two, I met some really cool people and saw some unusual gadgets that I really want…..that’s always a good sign….

The Handy Caddy – I don’t normally buy impulse items, but I could immediately see a use for not only organizing my sewing table, but also carrying my sketch materials with me a whole lot easier than dropping everything in the bottom of my purse. The bigger tote will hold my sketchpads and assorted material for trips.

Also of interest were these really cool custom quilt hangers. I could see using these to hang pieces of fiber art for a quilt show, from Summer Sky Creations. The owner is local to us (well, norht of Phoenix, as opposed to East Coast) and can do custom work.

There was another quilt hanging system that uses magnets that I thought was brillian – even better for hanging shows at a gallery, and no tools needed or holes in the wall. From Rom Woodworking (check under Miscellaneous) comes Magent-Ficent: “$35.00 – Magnet-Ficent(TM) Invisible Quilt Hanger A simple and versatile system for hanging your quilts without using push-pins, screws, nails, or levels!  Magnet-Ficent(TM) Invisible Quilt Hangers allow you to easily and securely support your quilt for display, yet it will appear to be floating very close to the wall with no means of support.  This hanging system uses a small mounting plate attached to your wall using removable adhesive strips. ” We saw it displayed and LOVED the idea.

PS – his wooden thread cabinets are gorgeous!

From VJ’s Creative Designs come additional quilt hangers, and they are also even more local to us – just south of Tucson. Gorgeous wood designs for hangers.

This is within the first hour, and we could already of spent lots of money. I did pass on the $300 iron (down to $200 as a show special). Loads of bells and whistles, but I really don’t need steam…..

Then we saw THE cutting system….on our wish list. From Sew EZ Quilting comes this QuiltCut2 Fabric Cutting System. We saw it demonstrated, and when we get a little busier, it will help us save a lot of time preparing fabric.

Love this! Then I saw some GLORIOUS patterns from Pacific Rim Quilt Company that would be gorgeous in marbled fabrics. I love this pattern:

So it was a wonderful 2 hours of browsing, shopping, and talking to vendors. Now I need to go get busy!!

What’s Available This Week

Busy week – lots of marbling going on today as we start to gear up for the holiday season. The last two years we just weren’t organized enough to deal with the holidays, and we let them get completely by us. Not. This. Year. We will have fabric!! And…you can always email us for orders or go to the website and see what’s available.

Speaking of the website, the question we get a lot is why no pictures of the Sampler Packages. Good question, and we have a good answer. Marbling creates unique pieces, and for us to put a picture up of each package, each piece, would be time consuming, very expensive, and probably lead to unhappy customers because you wouldn’t be getting “exactly” what’s in the picture. So we’ve given you a basic description. You can be pleasantly surprised! Or, if you want to know exactly what you’re getting, you can browse the Eaby auctions. We have a liberal return policy if you’re not happy, but we’ve gotten two packages back in the last 10 years…..and we’ve been on line since 1998…….almost the beginning of e-commerce!

Sampler Package 1: assorted colors and patterns. Eight 6 x 9 inch hand-marbled swatches on 100% white pima cotton. Perfect for piecing, appliqué, patchwork, scrapbooking, wearable art. You get a variety of marbled colors and patterns so you get a “taste” of this wonderful art form. $10.00

Sampler Package 2: assorted colors and patterns. Four 18 x 22 inch hand-marbled fat quarters on 100% white pima cotton for a great stash builder. Available in the following color ways: volcano reds/oranges; underwater blues and greens; deep woods browns and greens, and pinks/purples. Perfect for some serious quilting. $25.00

Sampler Package 3: assorted colors and patterns. Eight 10 x 10 inch hand-marbled squares on 100% pima cotton, for those larger block patterns you want to create. Perfect for piecing, appliqué, patchwork, scrapbooking, wearable art. $15.00

Now for Ebay this week:

A REALLY gorgeous piece of silk art cloth, in greens and blues, 17 by 23 inches. All preshrunk and heat-set and ready to go. Some nice movement to the piece!

The Etsy shop is a little bare this week – we’ve been selling lots of fabric, but we do have a few small art quilts that would make good presents – and they are reasonably priced. Here’s “On the Rocks” – a small 8.5 by 12 inch fiber art piece, perfect for a small table or a small wall area that needs just the right bit of color.

More coming next week! We’re surrounded by fabric around here!

Top Ten Tuesday

It’s Tuesday, and here’s the Top Ten.One advantage to being on trips is I get caught up all at once and get lots of things listed for the next Tuesday! Don’t forget the bonus at the bottom from MAD Magazine!

From Dumb Little Man comes another interesting idea for organization: Try the Tag-It Approach for Increased Daily Productivity. I particularly like the parameters for tagging the tasks…like “high on irritation/nagging.”

 30 Places to Buy and Sell Stock Photos, from Kate Harper’s blog of Greeting Card Design. Some great resources for photographers.

From JPG Magazine comes some great photos of  their challenge “Give Me A Sign.”If you’re a serious photographer, you probably already know this site. If you just love eye candy, then follow along with their blogs.

Trees at Work by Quin Hoxie

Linda Matthews has a guest blogger on the topic of our inner critic. Here’s the start of Chris Zydel’s essay:

“I came across a startling statistic recently, which is that more than 90% of all children consider themselves to be creative yet only 10% of adults see themselves as having any creative capacity.

So what happened? How do so many of us lose our connection with the basic truth that we are all born creative and that it’s not meant to just go away once we get our adult badge?”

Alyson Stanfield has an amazing, right-on post about exposure for artists and the pitches that are thrown our way: You Promise Exposure, We Want Results.  This really resonates with me, as we have had issues with folks from quilt guilds asking for donations. We no longer do that because 1) we were never thanked, 2) we never got a copy of the program or any publicity material mentioning us, and 3) our local quilt guild made assumptions about us always donating because they couldn’t afford to pay us. Sorry – I have bills to pay. So – if you’ve been in this position – and even if you haven’t – read this article!

Okay, here’s some of the coolest new fonts! Kate Harper Designs has a cool link to a blog post on typography. How can you not love a chocolate font?!?!? This is from DJ Designer Lab: 40 Beautiful Handmade Fonts.

From Lyric Kinard comes a bead tutorial that goes with her new DVD, Bead It Like You Mean It (on my wish list….). I do want to try these stacks.

From Cool Hunting comes a look at word play, “Word as Image,” much like the words we tried to decipher in class. Some interesting new revisions.

From Fine Art Views comes a blog post by Moshe  Mikanovsky about 10 Ways to Use Your Smart Phone when it comes to marketing and building your business. A couple of good ideas here, and I personally need to get over being phone-challenged by my Droid. Making lists – and checking them – is probably the biggest thing I could do….

Also from Fine Art Views is a piece that really resonates with me this week, as we just got some local gallery representation. “Forget New York City – Think About Your Own Art Community.” We finally made the break-trough locally – and in a good way!

So…what have you found on the web this week? Send along a couple of links in the comments section!

BONUS: From MAD Magazine…….new Super Heroes…….Just Us League of Stupid Heroes….

 

Monday Marketing: The Artist Statment

Action 4 in Alyson Stanfield’s I’d Rather Be in the Studio! talks about the artist statement. So I pulled out my really old one and held it up to the checklist for scrutiny. By golly, except for the first person narrative it still works. I am deciding to keep it third person as it applies to the both of us, and I think it sounds silly in first person – it’s like hubby is an afterthought. Kind of amazing that after four or five years it still says what we are about and what direction our work is moving.

So here it is – send me your slings and arrows – I want to know what’cha think….

Dean and Linda Moran

Marble-T Design, LLC.

6770 East Carondelet Drive #223

Tucson, Arizona 85710

520-747-3857

The Art of Marbled Fabric

 Dean and Linda Moran took an interest in a new hobby and turned it into a new passion. Linda wanted to marble fabric for quilts. After doing research, Dean created the tools they needed. With their first piece, they knew they had a vision for a new art form using traditional marbling designs. Over nearly twenty years of practice, they created a personal art form using traditional marbling designs, as well as contemporary variations, to enhance their creative spirits.

Fascinated by the whims and mysteries of nature, their art incorporates dimensional form as they continue to explore the marriage of marbling and fabric. All of their commissioned pieces have celebrated the magic of the Earth. One unique piece represents a wave cresting the shore, drawing the viewer into a vortex of energy.

Starting with basic white cotton, Dean and Linda soon developed a “no fabric is safe from marbling” attitude. Using silk, satin, corduroy, denim, velveteen and whatever else may cross their paths, they have broadened their artistic horizons. The fabric may dictate a theme; other times the magic of the marbling will dictate the focus of the finished piece.

Dean and Linda have expanded their work into a number of series. “Gaia” celebrates the abstract of Earth, using a weaving design. “Nature” takes a specific look at the little wonders around us, like a quiet pond or an unexpected rock garden. “Mandalas” pay tribute to the dynamic energy of the universe.

Each marbling session is a new experience, exploring the infinite designs and colors possible, both in the art form and in our world. Current work involves embellishment and thread painting/quilting. The work evolves with their experience and excitement.

http://www.marbledfab.com – website

https://www.marbledmusings.com – blog

http://facebook/com/MarbleTDesign

http://etsy.com/shop/marbledfabrics76

http://twitter.com/ArtsyLindaMoran

 

Wha? Where? Huh?

So the week has been so busy – and so amazing – that I’m almost stunned as to what to do next……I’ve been sewing up a storm on a commission that I would like to finish by Thanksgiving, making lists, and not seeming to check anything off of them. I’m as busy as during the school year, but what’s SO wonderful is that it is all of my own making, and ALL things I want to do.

Jury duty on Tuesday, and I need to be sure I have plenty with me, as I will be the day without a computer (no iPad yet….). I can probably spend time doing lesson plans for my first class a week from now, and then I will just need to spend time doing the presentations at home on the computer. I don’t have any hand sewing yet – saving that for a trip to Sedona in mid-October. I can only do so much listing…. Got a couple of thank-you notes to write, so that’s for Tuesday.

While I’m at jury duty, hubby will do the alum, and then we’ll start marbling for several large projects over the next month. I’m going to post the holiday basket this week and start marketing those. Speaking of the baskets, we did a lot of marbling of silk flowers and leaves last week – some of the look superb!

The two items on the lower right are experiments: one is  clay ornament – curious to see if it marbles (and it does…), and the other is a small piece of wood – could do some interesting things with that…..Both were successful, and the leaves look spectacular.

These will all be part of the gift baskets going up on Etsy and soon to be available here. The next two months will be crazy – which is good, because for the last two years we haven’t taken advantage of the main holiday season. Not so this year!

So get busy and make art!!

P.S. I LOVE my new Mac!!

Wednesday Work(s) in Progress

Wow – what an amazing couple of days, and the workload changed dramatically! Which is good, because I have the time for it! If I were still working full time teaching, I’d be pretty depressed right now because I wouldn’t have the time to do all thesethings. But I am thrilled that life is picking up!!

So – I snapped a few picks of the studio (I forgot all the stuff on the dining room table – the “other” studio) as the new Mac is headed up to the Apple store for an “overnight” as all the material, photos, etc. gets transferred from the oldie to the newbie. Here’s what’s happening in my world today:

The new desk/computer work station, with a fabric piece that needs to go onto Etsy…not happenin’ today….

Fabric on the design wall that’s part of a larger order to be completed (that’s actual marbling of the order) as a reminder of this part of the business.

The Hawaiian table runner commission that I want to have done in time for debut at the big Thanksgiving dinner…plus it’s for my second mom who is amazing, so I really want this to be special.

The cutting table/workspace, which will need to be rearranged so hubby can alum lots of material today so we can marble tomorrow morning.

And finally, my Guilin piece, which I really want to finish – learning lots from my Quilt University class, and get hung on my bedroom wall, so I can start (snort) the next landscape – my Great Wall piece………

Life is AWESOME!! Just when I posted yesterday about how amazing the day had been, I checked email one last time before bed to find we have a demo gig planned potentially for the beginning of November – which makes me think I need to respond to that NOW since we will be without computer till sometime tomorrow………

More Monday Marketing – Articles for Your Marketing Work

This Monday there are some great resources for you in various aspects of building your business. Hopefully you’ll find something interesting and useful. I’m starting with a quote from Dale Ann Potter from  her blog:

Affirm the positive, visualize the positive and expect the positive, and your life will change accordingly…. Remez Sasson

Great words, and I gotta tell ya, I am loving being positive and sending good energy out into the universe. It paid off big time yesterday with a couple of connections to some galleries in Santa Fe….

This first article came via a blog from a blog from another blog – and I discovered Harriet Estel Berman and some really great information – professional guidelines.

A Good Holiday Season for Etsy – are you ready? A timely article from the folks at Handmadeology. I intend to read and reread this article several times and really get into the aspects they talk about for being found.

Also from Handmadeology (love the name) comes a timely article on getting those views to conversions and sales.

From Social Media Examiner (a great resource you should definitely subscribe to) comes an article on 20 Ways to Promote Your Facebook Fan Page. Where should you be putting links? And other great information. Then check the sidebar for more great tips.

Also from Social Media is a GREAT article on companies that have created wonderful fan pages, with lots of helpful ideas for you. It goes perfectly with the above article. I tell ya, ya need to sign up for updates from Social Media!

In keeping with the positive quote at the beginning, here’s an article from Dumb Little Man – You Must Resist the Urge to Quit. I so agree with the sentiment – since I’ve retired and have had the time, I am so involved in making art, as well as marketing.  I think of the times when I was tempted to quit, because I just didn’t have the time – but I stayed with it, and now it’s paying off.

From Step 2: “Action creates momentum around a goal. If you’ve been taking action consistently and suddenly quit you’ll notice that it’s going to be hard to get your momentum back. That’s why one of the best things you can do when you’re tempted to quit is to take action. You’ll start noticing that even the smallest action taken on a consistent basis will have a compounding effect. The smallest action can reignite your fire or give you hope that there is a light at end of the tunnel.”

So what have you found on line about marketing that you want to share with others? Leave a comment with the information and we can all check it out. Now get busy!!

 

Visions Art Museum

   “Visions” is a major quilt art exhibit usually held in Oceanside, CA, every two years. It’s like the Holy Grail for art quilters. The Visions Art Museum has now opened in San Diego, at the old Naval Training Center, and will now host its own show. Just to be able to finally get to the museum this last trip to San Diego was a delight. The docents were wonderful and took their time showing us quilts, as well as asking us about our work. It is SO NICE to be with other artists who GET your work! One of the disadvantages to being an artist in the Southwest is unless you’re a painter or sculptor who “does” the southwest, no one is really interested in your work.

The major exhibit was Urban Landscapes and Soft City, with a special collection by Marilyn Henrion. Pictures were allowed in the outer area and in the gift Gallery. You can view a gallery of work by Marilyn here.

Here’s one of the really intriguing quilts from Urban Landscapes by K. Vellis Turan:

I purposely left this large so you could see details.

The challenge had some really interesting small quilts – 12 by 12 inches, which is a size I have just started to work with. These are all by members of the Visions Museum. Sorry I don’t have names….

Here is an example of Marilyn’s work. Her Photoshop skills are superb.

There were a couple of quilts by members in the gift Gallery – really superb work – and again, sorry for no names.

An interesting take on the “log cabin” traditional pattern, with lots of details.

Love this one. Those are definitely my colors!

We bacame members, and I am looking forward to our November trip to see the new exhibit on “Interpretations.” LOVE LOVE LOVE seeing fiber!!

Monday Marketing: Getting Organized….Still……..

  I did a lot of thinking about organization and related business aspects during our trip to San Diego (hence the picture). I had my big notebook with me for major planning, and I keep a small notebook in my purse for sudden ideas and strokes of genius (yes, there have been some…).

  But man, there is a lot to this organization, especially if you don’t want it taking over your actual art work. I am slowly making progress in a number of areas, but I have to give myself a break and realize it’s not going to all happen at once. The important things – growth in blog visitors, more art being created – and more sales – are all starting to happen. It just takes time…and organization.

So herewith, my latest attempts, based on Action 3 of Alyson Stanfield‘s I’d Rather Be in the Studio! I have read ahead in other actions, and I am making slow progress, but for me, I need to also complete each piece. That’s one of the biggest challenges I have found – not trying to accomplish a zillion things and making small progress but having nothing completely finished. Comes from years of multi-tasking in teaching and directing theater.

Action 3 looks at routines. Here’s an interesting thing I’m finding. In the past when I read a book (and I’ve done many), I usually skip the exercise part – figure I’ll get the most out of the reading and then move on. But I never really make any improvement. So part of my promise to myself in buying new books and art materials is that I WILL USE them. Does make a difference.

Routines: Every Day

* Sew (I have been VERY GOOD about this!)

* review goals (yup)

* comment on other blogs (kinda)

* send at least 2 tweets (nope)

* upate fan page (kinda)

* work on newsletter info (nope…..some kind of block going on here….)

Routines: Every Week

* accomplish 1 action (yup)

* Etsy marketing and new items added to the store (yup)

* review organizational notebook for progress (yup)

* add connections to Linked In (yup)

* get caught up on email (yup)

* take care of at least 3 loose ends for actual art making/sewing – like getting bindings finished (pretty much)

* work on licensing collection (not yet…)

Routines: Each Month

* read magazines at Barnes and Noble (yup)

* send newsletter (ABSOLUTELY DEFINITELY THIS MONTH)

* new work photographed (yup)

* visit two galleries (yup) – and a show in a week!

* check on affiliate income, etc. (yup)

Routines: Each Quarter

* complete at least 2 licensing collections

* set new 100 day/Season goals

*look ahead to holidays for Cafe Press

* add a new affiliates

We’ll see how this quarter goes. I’m happier with this organizational than when I tried to delineate my marketing on a day by day basis. Then I felt guilty if I didn’t get everything done each day! Here’s Alyson’s book – I HIGHLY recommend it!


Top Ten Tuesday

To start us off this week comes a post from Dumb Little Man on productivity – stating that multi-tasking is a myth. I tend to agree, now that I’m older and can’t do what I used to….Number 6? Exercising regularly…….

Tips for pricing your goods – a series of articles from Handmadeology.

Another “shoot-out” from JPG magazine – some really gorgeous eye candy.

Fairy Chimneys by Aileen G

A new blog I discovered – Delete Apathy – with photos of Hurricane Irene.

“Delete Apathy is a venue for creative people to change the political climate of environmental and social policy. We hope to form a pattern for activism in your backyard. Delete Apathy is our signature for various events and includes choreographed dances, musical compositions, and other fine arts, planned for major universities and institutions.”

I drove Highway 12 on the Outer Banks for many years. Just one of the places I’ve been or have friends.

Highway 12, The Outer Banks

For zentangle lovers, some of you may have struggled with Paradox. I did, until I started being slower, more deliberate, and turned my tile more often. Well, from CZT Margaret Bremner comes a wonderful tutorial on Paradox.

From Joan Beiriger’s blog comes a post on licensing for calendars…something that has been on my mind as I organize my various collections.

And along with this is Joan’s article with a list of over 50 US art licensing agencies. Some great info here.

A little bit of fun with this video – could you see the pranks you could play??

From the OMG file and Cool Hunting – they always spotlight really cool gadgets and new products. Can you find the one that prompted me to go OMG?

And from Kate Harper Designs comes a cool video on typography – extremely interesting, as is everything on her blog.

Send me your cool stuff – it’s amazing what’s out there, and let’s share what we find.

 

Wednesday Work in Progress

This photo is from one of my most favorite spots in the world – a small park somewhere on the Li River in Guilin, China. I’ve done some cropping, but this is the focus of the latest class I am taking from Quilt University: Artists Revisited. Technically I should have chosen a painting by one of the masters, but I have always wanted to translate some of my own photos to fabric, so I chose this. My colors aren’t an exact match, as they should be for this exercise, but I am happy with what I have chosen. I worked on the background first and then came to the foreground, where I realized it was extremely busy. Here’s what I’ve got:

It’s obviously rough, and the trees are missing. I am going to start the thread painting, and then I’ll add the trees toward the end of that step. This is taking a much longer time for me, as I want to really think through each of the thread painting stages. The first step will be the horizon lines, and then I’m going to practice on the “crags” to see what I can do to accent and at the same time soften the mountains. I’d love suggestions for ideas to “paint” the sections.

Also, I’ve been making cloth baskets as a start for our Holiday offerings: we’re doing a “basket, which is really a fabric bowl suitable for all year round, as I’m creating them with some fairly neutral fabrics. The thinking is that a bowl might be more useful around the house than a basket.

Once the bowls are done, they will then get filled with all kinds of goodies:

* A fat quarter of hand-marbled fabric on 100% cotton

* Four pieces of hand-marbled Offray ribbon, assorted sizes and widths

* A selection of coupons and discounts from a variety of Etsy sellers, good for use in their individual stores

* A Sampler Package of 6 by 9 inches swatches of hand-marbled fabrics

* A selection of hand-marbled leaves and flowers

* A set of note cards with Digital Marbling (TN) designs

* and…some type of mystery gift.

We totaled up costs, and the retail value of this offering is $75.00. We’ll be selling the Holiday Bowl Packages for $50.00. Now each order will be different, as every piece of marbled fabric is unique in its creation. No two Bowl Packages will be the same.

Here’s the deal – for the next week, you can order these Holiday Bowl Packages for 20% off. Email us with your order, and we’ll do an invoice and arrange shipping. This offer ends on Wednesday, September 7.

Here’s the start of one of the Holiday Bowls…..

Think of all those family members who like fabric and are really hard to shop for – this will be totally unique!

 

Top Ten Tuesday

I’m getting caught up from a few days off, so I’m overwhelmed with all that I’m reading and seeing on line this week. The first article from Dumb Little Man has some great thoughts on productivity, perfect for me now as I try to be productive and at the same time not flit from one thing to another.  “Is Your Passion for Productivity Hurting Your Creativity?”

Also from Dumb Little Man, and in line with the last post, comes finding time for meditation. “Three Ways to Bring Meditation into the Chaos of Daily Life.” Sounds like my life on a regular basis…although not as much now that I’m not teaching. (Have I mentioned at all that I’m retired?!?!)

I enjoyed the one or two times I have dyed fabric. I played everything by ear, bot really sure what I would end up with. I discovered one very important lesson – I have a LONG way to go to get good at this. One person who already is there is Vicky Welsh of Field Trips in Fiber. Read about her process just in creating a monthly color palette, in this case reds. And many of us know just how difficult it is to achieve the right red.

Since I am actively marketing my Etsy store, I discovered a blog related to all things Etsy, called Handmadeology. Lots to explore and read about – I’ve already picked up an idea for promoting my holiday sales.

And…for those of us getting older….remember Wayne Newton as a young sensation? Check out Mad Magazine‘s send-up of a new album…..you have to go and look – won’t spoil the surprise here…..

And also from Mad – Dick Cheney’s resignation letter….you’ll laugh and cry at the same time for poor Dickey…..

I am really taken with the flash mob concept, and this one is pretty cool – Ravel’s Bolero at the Copenhagen Central Station. Imagine a full orchestra just appearing….loved the bassoon, and wondering about transporting the percussion section….

Anyone using Pinterest? I’m having trouble getting it to work – maybe it’s because I don’t understand it totally, or maybe…it’s because the IMac is over 5 years old and not happy these days….Anyway, I’m a sucker for post-it art. I’d like your feedback on using Pinterest.

In memory of September 11, here’s an update from The Best Article Every Day about the World Trade Center.

Finally, to end with a tie-in to the beginning: 20 Ways to Be Better at Life Today, fropm the folks at Nerd Fitness (how can you not love that?)

 

It All Started with the Yucca…..Wednesday Work in Progress

Albuquerque Outdoors - http://outdoors.itsatrip.org/

This new piece has had an interesting origin…..we were in Cornville , AZ visiting friends, and our driver wanted to stop in the high desert and see about getting some yucca stalks for walking sticks. If you look at the picture, the stalks are what’s left after the gorgeous blooms are done. They are evidently extremely strong and hold a lot of weight. So we have two collected stalks in the car, and I’m thinking, hmmmmm – these could make interesting wall hanging “hangers.” Turns out we got as a gift two really strong, perfect-height-for-hiking sticks from another friend we were off to visit, so I decided to keep these two, one as a walking stick for me (I just need it for balance) and one for a potential hanger for a wall piece.

I was looking at it today, as I was kicking around another weaving piece. It would make a good “topper” for a new piece. I had in mind a set of seasons pieces, and then suddenly I got the thought to create the fabric and weave them all together for a year of seasons.

Here are two samples of some of the weavings I have done with marbled fabrics. The first is my very beginning one, Gaia 1: Interdependence. The second is  Gaia 3: Autumn.

All of a sudden the design was in my head, and I sketched it out, something I don’t normally do. Here it is:

Creating the fabric will take some time, and I know with other projects in the pipeline, I won’t get to this until mid-September. Hubby is the main marbler, so he will have his work cut out for him. I will need to also watch the proportions in this piece – ever mindful of Michael Kors and Nina Garcia from Project Runway…..

Stay tuned for progress. In the meantime, here’s a few stories for past weavings in the Gaia series.

Sunday Stories: Autumn

Sunday Stories: Gaia 2

Sunday Stories: Gaia 1

Working on Goals – Revisited

  Retirement is amazing – all the time to create art and work on the art business.I’m very busy, one one of the things I let go was the notion of substitute teaching during retirement. Nope, don’t want to lose a day to the classroom and grief when I can be making art.

Spending the money to redo the studio was an excellent investment. It means we’re serious, plus the studio is so inviting – we WANT to be in there all the time. And once I started adding fresh flowers to the studio – well, the feng shui has been very conducive to creating.

I am certainly getting things done, but what I am finding is that I need to move to getting larger chunks of a goal done within a few days, rather than dragging it out over a couple of weeks, with just doing a piece here and there. I need to get it off my list, and I think this will work.

That said, one of my goals for this 100 days is three of the action plans in Alyson Stanfield‘s I’d Rather Be in the Studio! So as I was looking over Action Plan 1, I realized I have done pieces of this before, but not with these particular questions. I’ve looked at my target audience, my ideal customer, I’ve looked at overall goals, but never really defined success itself.

So that’s my task today. Alyson lists 20 areas to ruminate on concerning how you visualize success.

* Production of art: I want to make at least three major pieces (Gaia weavings) a year; spend time each week in the studio revising, finishing, working on at least a dozen smaller pieces. So far for this second half of the year, I think I am on track – I already have three smaller pieces just about completed, and one new major weaving sketched out.

* Quality of artwork: It’s very important to me, now that I have the time, to take some art classes, primarily studio art as opposed to art history (which I still would like to do). I want my work to be excellent and gallery-ready. I may still pursue a couple of show venues, but that’s not as important to me as it was. I want to continue to learn new techniques to include in new artwork. Both hubby and I are really looking to improve our marbling skills.

* Exhibition venues: As I said, not as important to me to enter juried shows. I want to find a couple of galleries to carry my work, beyond the website. I am entering a local show (not juried) for the possible connections, as well as seeing if I can make what is in my mind actually happen in the piece.

* Teaching venues and opportunities: hmmm, possibly, but not at this moment. I’ve done a number of local gigs over the years, but never really went prepared with stuff to sell. Maybe something to consider after I have all the other business pieces in place.

* Travel: oh, yeah, and not necessarily for business (but we always visit galleries). I want to get at least one big trip in each year. We always visit museums and galleries, so outlets for our work, as well as new ideas, are always part of our travel. We even have promo literature to take with us.

* Home, Studio, Environment: The studio makeover was critical, and it will more than pay for itself in productivity. We’re happy with our apartment and locale, although eventually we will move East again.

* Spirituality: I am practicing the principles of the Laws of Attraction and Abundance and I have been extremely pleased with my whole attitude change. I am reading Native Wisdom for White Minds by Anne Wilson Shaef, as I love the saying of our indigenous people around the world. And nothing beats standing and wondering at some amazing site in nature.

 * Health: major goal here, as I want to be around for a long time. I am taking steps to do what I need to, and hopefully with this 100 days I will see some good success.

* Leadership Roles: kinda done with this. That’s why I retired. I’m leading myself to success.

* Published Work: hmmmm. Something to think about, just not sure how I can turn the marbling into a successful book. Seems like the books that have been written about marbling and projects haven’t lasted long. And I’m not sure I want the pressure and deadlines of a book contract. Been there, done that.

* Visits to the website and blog: Numbers for the blog have been steadily increasing since I got back to blogging. The website has stayed pretty static, but I am not doing significant marketing on that yet. I’ve done some small revisions on the website, I still need to add new work, and I need to think through the purpose of the website. I want to see the blog traffic translate into sales.

* Subscribers to the newsletter: I am so lacking in this. I thought I had it under control last summer, but school hit and my time was no longer my own. I have signed up with Mail Chimp and am busy importing the addresses of subscribers so far. I want a schedule of every three weeks, but I need to spend time seriously looking at the content for the newsletter, plus be VERY prepared for this year’s holiday season.

* Social Media  connections: you can read about this progress on tomorrow’s blog. The only thing I haven’t seemed to master dealing with is Twitter.

* Sales of my book: Nope, but I’m going to change “book” to “patterns.” This is an area for long-term development. Two quilt patterns art in progress, and I need to refine my Polynomial Quilt pattern.

* Sales of my art: Definitely a big goal. I want our art business to help provide for travel in retirement. My immediate two-year goal is $1000 a month from the business.

* Grants received: another hmmm. Something to think about on down the future. I do have experience writing grants, so on down the road I will look at this.

* Articles by me: I did get paid abut 4 years ago for a series of articles on a quilting site. This will go on the long-term list of things to explore, as I do enjoy writing.

* Commissions: just finished my first big one, and I certainly want more. To this end I need to develop and promote my contacts and collectors lists. I need to put on the long-term list to check with the local and state  arts council for both grants and commissions.

* Public or private collections: not quite sure about this – something to think about.

* Licensing: this is a major one, and I have already identified some collections. I need to begin fleshing these out till I have at least 10 developed, and then I’m going looking for an agent.

* Volunteer work: I added this one, as I want to donate time and art to a local organization called Ben’s Bells. Very worthy, and I want to help. Also, I want to continue the work for Art from the Heart (see top right of this page) to help promote peace.

If all of this intrigues you, you can pick up Alyson‘s book. WELL WORTH the investment in yourself and your art.

 

 

 

 

 

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