Tuesday, July 27, 2010


I'm hoping that most of you will recognize this photo from A Christmas Story. It is, indeed, my favorite movie. And this photo, indeed, reflects the position I am in right now. Stuck.

Unless something incredible happens in the next few days, I will probably be quiet for the next week or so.

Hopefully the fire department or the police will not need to come.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Seeing Red

Must. Stay. Away. From. Etsy.

I purchased these buttons for the Mother series from a couple of different Etsy shops. Not sure if I'm going to continue the Mother series. What will become of these buttons?

And rick rack. My mother is a huge fan of rick rack. What's a valance without rick rack? What's a shower curtain without rick rack? What's a bathrobe without rick rack? As a child, I was probably rick racked without knowing it. Could be what my problem is today.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Faithful Friends

Mother: Faithful Friends, 11 x 11" © 2010 Kim Hambric

My mother had two Scottish Terriers back in the day -- Andy (the great) and Lucky (the not so nice).

I'm not quite sure which one this is.

This piece was almost the last of the series. Another piece had been partially laid out for several days. Everything that could go wrong with it did go wrong. Cutting errors. Painting errors. Dropsies. You name it. At one point, I had scraped it all off the surface of the table, but then, knowing that I had ordered several packages of buttons and what-nots from Etsy for this series, I decided to go at least one more.

We'll see.

This one is for sale on Etsy.

Monday, July 19, 2010


Things that have come to my attention today:

I am really tired of laminating my child with this everyday. At least every other day, we discover that I missed a spot. I do miss winter and sweaters every now and then.

A painting-a-day blogger left a comment yesterday. I thoroughly enjoyed looking at Lisa Daria's artwork.

I received this email this morning:

Hi Kim,

We would love to share with you an article that we just posted on our own blog! “Top 10 TV Shows about Cleaning and Organizing your Home” (http://www.changeofaddress.org/blog/2010/top-10-tv-shows-about-cleaning-and-organizing-your-home/) would be an interesting story for your readers to check out and discuss on your blog, so we hope you will consider sharing it!

Thanks so much for your time, and have a wonderful day!
Sheryl Owen
Bite me Ms. Owen. Stop leaving your droppings in my email. I had the pleasure of seeing the subject of the email and briefly thought I had sold something or was being invited to participate in a show. We will not be discussing this on my blog.

I have not completed a piece in several days. It is time for me to go into the studio to rectify that situation.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Marry a Doctor

Mother: Marry a Doctor, 9 x 9" © 2010 Kim Hambric

This is piece number 2 in the Mother series. At first, the series was to be named Save Nothing, followed by series numbers, but I just realized that each of these should be given their own name.

Now, my mother never told me to marry a doctor, but I'm thinking that she hoped I would. And, actually, I've married someone who has a doctorate degree in engineering. So there.

This piece contains part of an envelope addressed by an old beau. The diary entry is an enlarged photocopy. I carved the dress stamp as my mother was quite the seamstress a while back. I do think I came across a diary entry stating that she was staying home one evening to work on her red dress. That brown paper bag with the stamped houses was a result of playing with those bags I got from the arts festival. The red and white "buttons" on the bottom are from some Japanese wrapping paper my husband brought home from a conference.

I'm pretty sure my mother read the blog entry where I talked about her and other private family matters. I detected a certain iciness in her voice when I mentioned by blog after that. But I'm not going to use any diary entry that is too personal, nor will I attempt to do anything to insult my mother. But this is what I want to create now.

So, I'm off to the sweltering attic to resume working. I have two new pieces in the works. Looks like I might be putting off working "on board" for now. I'm having too much fun with this. And, I'll need to do some Etsy shopping for buttons. That's always fun.

This piece is available on Etsy.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Bored. Board?

Had a wonderful weekend touring our local arts festival. Over 300 high-end artists! Bands! Food! (o.k. so the food's not so hot). I made seven trips to the festival and boy, are my feet tired. I'm broken down, but it feels good.

I will share a few photos later. The camera is busy being recharged and so am I.

I'm wondering where to start next. Right now, I am without a series. Clueless. Lost. Bored? Could be.

I purchased a handful of pottery at the festival. Each piece came wrapped in a couple of brown paper bags. Unable to just toss these bags in the trash, I took them up to the studio and glazed and stamped on one bag. I took another and stuck some fabric and paper to it. Could I be heading in a somewhat new direction? I don't know.

I saw so much interesting artwork that was described as being "on board". What kind of board? If one is to use fabric, paper, glue, etc., what kind of board would one use? Up until now, I have attached fabric hangers to my larger pieces and used wooden strips to hang them on the wall. My smaller pieces have been attached to matboard hangers with velcro with a hole poked into the matboard to slip over a nail. Since I am thinking about using more paper, I would possibly have to create "on board" or attach to board since the pieces would be more fragile than working solely with fabric.

The question is, what kind of board?

Are there any artists out there creating on board? If so, I could sure use some advice.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Once in a Blue Moon

So, I finally broke down and did it. I cut into my Mother's old diary. Just one little teeny section. I was looking for an entry in the right color (dark blue) and found it. Then when I went to glaze it with matte medium, it turned into an inky mess. So I found another entry. This time I copied it, enlarging it by 15%. No inky mess this time. However, when I use the copier -- the ink is usually more prone to smearing. Go figure.

Once in a Blue Moon, 12 x 12" NFS at this time.

I'm probably going to hang onto this piece. Being the first of a series (maybe), it is too personal. And since I've photographed it, I can see ALL SORTS of irritating flaws. The antique fabric was a little too pliable so it's ended up stretched in ways it should not be stretched. The little houses seem to be in the midst of an earthquake. So do the stamped letters.

I will venture up into the hot studio this afternoon and play around with the fabrics again and see if another piece will shake out of the whole mess. This is not my usual color combo, so I'm not quite comfortable with it. I sure am enjoying playing around with it though. And, I've ordered lots of vintage bits and pieces which I now feel I must use.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

If Good Fences . . .

make good neighbors, then what do bad fences do?

I'll probably tick off a few readers with this post, but that's what happens sometimes.

My house is a stone's throw from the Penn State campus. That may be a slight exaggeration. Perhaps a baseball's pitch from a professional player. Regardless, I'm close. This campus has everything. Aside from classrooms, dorms, and a student center, there are theaters, a creamery, cows, an arboretum, and a spiritual center. A large, quite new, spiritual center that is only two pitches from my house. This center is for all denominations. Apparently the Catholics don't want to worship there. Several reasons were cited. One reason being that people from other religions touched their religious items when a change of denomination required a shuffling about of spiritual what-nots. The local Catholic CAMPUS (my emphasis) Ministry decided that just wasn't going to do for them. So if CAMPUS is not going to serve them, where are they to go?

Across the street to my block!! Why, no one would mind if a nice little church moved into their neighborhood, would they? All sorts of churches are in all sorts of neighborhoods all over the country. Why would the people of my neighborhood object to this? Petitions were signed. Lawyers were engaged (and well paid). After backing, forthing and appealing, it looked to the folks of my neighborhood that the proposed destruction of homes was not going to happen after all. Then the judge decreed (while looking up, no doubt) that we should bow to a "higher power" and let others do to our neighborhood what they would.

Besides, it was argued, these houses (3 or possibly 5, depending on how many folks want to drive and park here) were not architecturally significant. They were all rented out to students. They couldn't possibly be worth saving.

This one looks pretty nice to me.

The local Catholic group does not have enough money to build yet. They have raised approximately 60% of the necessary funds. Quite possibly, these houses will be torn down and we'll have an empty lot to show for it for the next several years.

So, the fences are all up around these buildings. Had I known when they were going to be put up, I could have at least taken a shovel out and dug up a few daylilies and roses from their gardens. But since the property now belongs to the Catholic church, they do not have to answer to the neighborhood. All they have to do is raise money, put up huge chain-link fences, destroy fine homes against the will of the neighborhood, and generally say F-you to those who live in this neighborhood every day.

Very soon, trucks of destruction and (only possibly) trucks of building will rumble three feet from my house. Perhaps the message will spread that my neighborhood is a great place to build facilities that should be on campus (hell, campus is in the name of the facility). More houses will be purchased and torn down by other groups for buildings and their parking lots.

I guess the little guy always loses. He just can't pay enough for the most powerful lawyers. But even that doesn't seem to matter if the big guy upstairs has a direct line to the judge. I really didn't know that the "higher power" had a dislike for old neighborhoods.

I will be back to regularly scheduled artwork talk soon. Thanks for letting me rant.

Monday, July 5, 2010

A little something

This is the piece that was accepted into the 1st annual juried show at the local library.

Thanksgiving House III, 15 x 10"

Below is one of seven mini pieces I will have in a mini-show during the Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts at Happy Valley Optical in downtown State College, PA, July 6 - 11.

And now I have started on the first piece in the series I mentioned in my last post.

I'm not sure where this floral fabric originated or how old it is. I found both the red and blue in a junk store. It doesn't feel like commercial quilting cotton. It seems to have a Japanese look and feel to me. The houses were left over from a recent project, and I carved the dress stamp after altering a tracing I did from a vintage dress pattern envelope. That black and white trim has been hanging around my house for about a decade. I laid this out last Friday and then closed down the studio for the holiday weekend. This Thursday the arts festival begins and I will practically live there (sweating profusely in the 93 degree heat) until Sunday evening. Guests are coming so I will have to do some of that pesky house cleaning. Not too much will get done in the studio for the next week.

I am also attempting to enter a high-end show in a prestigious gallery in New Orleans. I will be entering four of the New Orleans pieces. Might as well just throw something out there, huh?

But at least something is happening, no matter how little.