Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Could this be next? Not that I'm done with the last series yet. But these pieces just jumped out and demanded attention. There was not much else I could do. I gave in. I think this fabric selection was a result of listening to Zydeco music.

As far as the New Orleans series is concerned, I still would like to find an organization to donate a percentage of the sales. After my trip, I will do some research. I would like to make another piece in the series and auction it off on Ebay and donate all the proceeds from that to the chosen organization. If so, I might need some help from other bloggers to get the word out.

I'm off for a while. Off to London and Oxford. I'm going to experience blogging withdrawal. Hopefully, I will return refreshed and renewed. Ha. Ha. Ha. I'll be returning with three suitcases (who am I kidding, 5 suitcases) full of dirty laundry. Yep, guess I'll have to check a couple of bags. Does anybody want to make a bet on when I'll see those bags again?

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Yesterday, on Paula's blog Self Taught Artist, there was a post about me. I am thrilled that someone thought me worthy of writing about. For most, if not all, artists, each day is filled with self-doubt. It is nice to get a little ego puff.

So if you find yourself with a few minutes, go have a look at the Self Taught Artist blog. Get the feel of day to day artist living. Learn about other artists. Read a review of an art documentary.

Thanks Paula! You are a very generous blogger.

Friday, March 27, 2009


I have this thing to go to tonight. I have to go out as an artist.

I have donated a piece to The Friends School and the fundraiser is this evening. There will be a silent auction of nature related art and other gifts and services. I do hope there is far more art than their are attendees. There is nothing worse than a work of art, sitting there with no bids, finally being taken away by the ringleader of the fundraiser to give away as a gift. Paid for, of course, but still.

I donated a piece last year to a nature conservancy group. I did not attend the event. Perhaps if I had, I could have generated some interest in the piece. But, yes, the organizer did purchase my piece as a gift. It wasn't fought over. There was no bidding war. Probably a good thing that I did not go.

So tonight, I will be at this event to promote my art.

For me, that means I will nurse a glass of wine, eat some appetizers (no doubt some green will remain between my front teeth), and I will be holding up a wall somewhere. I will weakly answer those usual questions:

"How long did that take to make?"

"What do you do with it?"

Then there will be the usual statements:

"My grandmother was a quilter."

"I need another glass of wine."

Arrrrgh. I hate these things.

Please wish me the best. Send courage.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Heading Across the Pond

My trip to London and Oxford is in a few days. I don't think I have mentioned this yet. I haven't done much research on it yet. I still have a few remnants of the New Orleans series scattered about and haven't wanted to put anything else in my head. I'm hoping to do some new pieces in the series and also hoping to do some pieces inspired by the Zydeco music that has been in my mix lately.

I'm not sure what the trip will do to me artwise. All I need is new input to really knock me off track. It doesn't sound like I am too excited about this trip, does it? I most definitely am, but I'm just trying to get some things laid out so I can easily drag myself back into New Orleans mode when I return.

The hubby and I went to London about 15 years ago. All I remember are parks and pubs. And the flu. Good God, the flu. I have never been so sick. For this visit, we will have a young one with us and probably won't spend as much time in the pubs. We MUST do the zoo, I've been told. And we MUST see the Lion King while we're there, just in case it is a bit different than the American version.

Does anybody have any input? We will be staying close to Trafalgar Square. I have one small art museum in mind. Apparently, when we take our daughter to art museums, someone always sneaks up to her and pours lead shot into her shoes and clouds her head with opiates. Our museum time will definitely be limited.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

New Orleans Art - Website Update

Finally, the website has been updated with my New Orleans Series. This one is New Orleans: Longing for Home.

I now have to update my prices for commissioned work. I have yet to have a commission since I started blogging.

Do you think there could be a connection?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Blah Blah Blog

This is Planting Seeds III. It is being donated for a silent auction at our local Quaker Friends school. I will miss this one -- it is my favorite color combination. Hopefully it's sale will cover the school's expenses for the next five years.

Right now I'm in between projects again. Number 11 in the New Orleans series is ready to be sewn, but I am not ready to sew it. Number 12 is barely underway. It is only underway because I feel 12 is better than 11 for a series. I think I should just get over that and clean up the mess from this series. I'm getting that compressed, cluttered feeling again. A spring cleaning is due.

Unfortunately, the garden is requiring a spring cleaning too. That will take up a great deal of time and energy, but maybe that is what I need right now.

And this blogging thing. I think it is wearing me down. I kind of feel like I am running into a wall over and over again. I have debated having two blogs; one where I say what ever I feel and one where I can try to be a professional artist. I don't know if two blogs would wear me down even more, or perhaps it would free me up to be able to say everything that I want. The artists wouldn't get offended by my rants or off-hand comments and the folks that enjoy the rants and off-hand comments wouldn't be bored with "artistic detail". Maybe it couldn't hurt to have two. If they don't work, I could just shut down the whole mess and get on with life.

Anyway, time to get on with my pacing and blog surfing for the day.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Good Things About Kids

I stumbled upon this scenario yesterday. Opus and Zoe being served their lunch.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Blah, Blah, Blah

This is New Orleans: Languishing Muses II.
24 x 24"

I have to do some blah, blah, blah about my work today. I like doing that less than I like putting hangers on the backs of my pieces. I do not hate it as much as speaking in public, but it comes close. Perhaps I would feel better about the whole idea if I called it writing rather than blah, blah, blah.

If I write about my work, I'm writing about myself. And then I will be judged. It makes me weak in the knees. Suppose I sound stupid. Ignorant. Mean and nasty.

I've made 11 pieces in this series so far. I feel I must do 12. I really wanted to do more when I first started, but now other fabrics and colors are creeping out and I'm not sure what to do next. But I know I must write about what I have already done.

Anybody who has tolerated reading this blog for a while, knows that I am a huge fan of New Orleans. I do not live there. Probably never will. But, I really don't like to say "never" if it limits my options too much.

I have lost count of the number of visits I have made. I believe it is 16. It is very unlikely I will get to visit this year, but I am planning on a visit next spring. The crime rate is definitely a deterrent. From what I have been reading, 1994 was one of the worst years for violent crime. Chances are good that I was there in 1994. However, I did not have a child then. I do feel more concerned about visiting now.

There are many places in the city that I have not visited. Like it or not, I am a tourist when I visit. No, I don't go and get drunk on Bourbon Street. But I do ride the streetcars and look at the big pretty houses. I visit the zoo and City Park. I shop on Magazine Street and stay in the Quarter. There is a lot of the city I have never seen. However, I do feel I have seen more than the average tourist.

So, now I must explain why I have made these 11 quilts. Why are these things relevant? Who would really care? How many Central Pennsylvanians would be interested? We're far too worried about the chicken zoning ordinance than the problems in the greatest city in the US. Well, we do have a New Orleans-style restaurant in town. I ate there once.

Hopefully, these pieces will appear on my website very soon. With some kind of explanation. I want to move people to think about New Orleans. I want something good to come out of what I have created.

Naturally, I would love these pieces to sell like hotcakes. I'm going to feel very positive about that. That will make it happen. Meanwhile, if anyone knows of an organization who is doing a lot of good in New Orleans, I'm looking to donate a percentage of my sales from the New Orleans series.

Now, off to write. Ha. Ha. Some of you will receive a comment from me on your blogs in the next few minutes. And hey, the sun is out. The snow (yes really) has stopped. It looks so nice outside.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Mall Full of Ugly

Yesterday, I had to make a clothing return. I purchased a swimsuit online from Lands' End. Of course, it did not fit. So I was able to return it to the local Sears store. Everybodys' got one of those, huh?

After returning the offending clothing item, I figured that I would do some hands-on shopping since I was already at the mall. Ha. Ha.

Now, it our little town, we have a little mall. But, no matter how small, can one really cover a mall in 45 minutes? The answer is yes. If it is a mall full of ugly.

Up for offer . . .

Black polyester pants. Ah, yes. They are seasonless. But if you've got one pair, what do you need another one for?

Cropped gray sweatpants. I had no idea people purchased such things. I thought that ladies acquired these after rummaging through their teenage son's laundry basket and scissoring off the legs in a fit of desperation.

Shapeless clothing made from thermoplastics and petroleum products. They feel like fiberglass and smell like a chemical plant. This makes up 85% of all women's clothing sold (my statistics). Well perhaps sold is the wrong word. I should have used "produced," as I did not see a single woman purchasing these items.

I returned home with nothing.

And the colors . . . Good God, the colors. Aside from the occasional blue, all other colors are based upon bodily excretions. Need I say more?

I guess it is time for a gym membership. Got to get in shape. Got to have self-confidence when I join up with the "naturists".

Anyone know of any good online sources?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Spring Break - Time to Rust

Not a trip to Cancun! A trip through a portion of America's Rust Belt.

A whirlwind tour of Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. I was determined to take photos of rust on my trip. I took one. Here is a photo of a rusty, garbage filled truck outside Cincinnati. After my turn at driving, I thought I would take photos -- I looked at magazines instead. Figured I would take rust photos on the way home. My daughter took lots of photos on our trip and so the battery ran out before I could take any more rust photos.

There were so many rusty things.

So now Spring Break is over. I have no tan to show for it. I guess I could have rubbed a few rusty things over my body. Gotten myself a healthy, rusty glow.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Art Reruns

At this point, I don't have too much new to say artwise.

It is SPRING BREAK WOOOHOOO and I have not been in my studio much this week. Tomorrow I am going on vacation to Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. Nothing like visiting some rust belt cities on Spring Break. I'd better take my bathing suit and sunscreen.

Can you tell I'm not much of a fan of SPRING BREAK WOOHOO? Well, it does have its advantages. Since the students have left town I can now makes left hand turns if necessary.

Since there is not much new this week, I thought I would show some "old stuff". This is O'Keefe Country. On sale in my Ebay store. Have a visit. Nothing like doing some window shopping during the economic crisis.

For all of you out there who are on SPRING BREAK WOOHOO, have a great time and be safe.

Time to back my bags with some semi-lumpy sweaters.

Monday, March 9, 2009

I've Got Style!

Well, not the type of style associated with those Sex and the City characters.

No, I hobble around in black orthopedic shoes (has to do with my bad ankle, not my sexual orientation), old blue jeans and semi-lumpy sweaters. I do get dolled up on occasion, but my style has nothing to do with attitude, clothing or a $30,00o handbag.

I'm talking about art. Up until this point, I felt my work was not cohesive. I went through the watercolor quilt phase, the (very brief) painterly phase, the Asian phase, etc. The stages overlapped. I didn't know what direction I was going in. I tried to force myself to go into a certain direction, but then, almost immediately felt a wall was in front of me.

With my last few series of quilts, I finally see my style. I am it, and it is me. And I am quite happy with it.

I just finished quilt #10 in my series on New Orleans. I have them completed and named. Finished!!!! Uh, except for the hangers. I never do that until I have to. So. . . finished!!! I have been listening to music from New Orleans and Southern Louisiana while working on this series. I expected I would be sick of this music by now. Far from it. After I had written the name on the back of the last piece, I closed my eyes, listened to the music, and new ideas swam into my head.

From what I can tell so far, the closer I stick to "my style", the more ideas I get.

I feel like I've left the faucet on. Gotta get a bucket.

(p.s. this phase could come to a unforeseeable halt)

Friday, March 6, 2009

Another One

I seem to be on a roll. This one is "New Orleans: Languishing Muses." It is 24"x 24". Soon to appear on my Website and Ebay. My hubby and I are reworking my pricing and tons of updates need to be made, so in a few days, these will start appearing, ready for sale.

I almost finished the last one yesterday. Not the last of the series, but the last of the ones I had already started. But, I have been forced into a vacation. It is Spring Break! Woohoo.

So another forced vacation. I really don't like those. But schools are closed, and what can I do. Set up playdates! Unfortunately I owe the other parents around here so playdates are at my house for the duration of spring break. I guess this will allow me to do all sorts of computer "work" instead of going into the studio.

Or perhaps I could join up with those college students. We could go drink ourselves senseless, or perhaps go even further than that. At least our closest neighbors will be gone for the next week. We have a fine group living next to us this year. I don't know how a teeny tiny ranch house could be the home to 7 or 8 cars. I'm anxious for them to take their drinking and puking somewhere else for a few days.

Monday, March 2, 2009

At Last

Finally, absolutely completed. And so much time wasted trying to come up with a name. And then to have it not be profound. But anyway. . . this is

New Orleans: Regaining Ground I. It is 16 x 16" and is up for auction on Ebay this week.

I hope you can see the stitching in the detail view of houses, doors, and windows. I think I have given an explanation of the components of these pieces in an earlier post, so I'm not sure I'll bore anybody with it now. I would be more interested in hearing your own interpretations.

Over the month of March, there will be changes in my prices on the website, Ebay, and Etsy. Since I do not have a magic wand, I cannot update every price at once, so if there is something you have been considering purchasing, now might be a good time.

Yes, I hate to raise prices during this time of great economic prosperity. I know we all have loads of mad money to throw around. After I recently "completed" one of my larger pieces, I asked myself what I thought it was worth. Then I went to my inventory list to see what the price would be for a piece the same size. I was shocked. Very few people, in this country at least, work for such a low wage. So a change is going to come.