Friday, December 30, 2011

Sliver of Blue Sky

Sliver of Blue Sky, 8 x 8" ©2011 Kim Hambric
Today is not the day for a sliver of blue sky in central Pennsylvania.  Not too many slivers of blue sky to be seen here until spring.

I love being deep into a city and seeing a bit of blue over the skyscrapers -- so invigorating.

This is my last new piece for the year.  There are still a few from this year that need to be photographed, so I'll be able to post "new" work for the next several weeks.  My studio needs a thorough cleaning (and my brain does, also) before I can get to any real new work.

This piece is available in my Etsy shop.

Happy New Year to all of my readers and their families!!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

To Freeport

To Freeport, 6 x 6" ©2011 Kim Hambric

Even though I very recently returned from New York City, I am once again feeling the need to go somewhere else.  I'm feeling the need for something new.  Perhaps, for the sake of my wallet, it is best to travel vicariously through my art.

This piece is for sale in my Etsy shop.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Decision Making Time?

Some of my "shtuff"

This seems to be the time of year when people think of the future.  I don't think that's working so well for me right now.  I seem to be stuck in the past.  Most of my holiday moments are spent thinking about what was going on with my mother during those holiday moments of last year.

December is usually a slow art month for me.  My family loves loads of Christmas decorations, cookies (which I have NOT gotten to), advent calendars, beautifully wrapped packages, etc.  My artwork often gets pushed aside and I can deal with that for a few weeks once a year.  I'm really itching to complete a piece right now, but that will have to wait until the lighting gets replaced in the attic.  Hopefully that will be tomorrow.  My track lighting has been slowly failing, and now with the pesky winter clouds settling in, I need new lights before I can see to work.

By January, I will be chomping at the bit to get back into the studio full time.

Right now, I'm into collages and have been treating my fiber art much as a bad Disney stepmother would treat her stepchildren.  But, too often, I can't help wondering if I'm headed in the right direction.  I have been a fiber artist for 15 years.  What the heck am I doing?  Am I flushing it all down the toilet?!?  Am I showing my fiber art blogging friends complete disrespect?  Am I destroying my following?  How can I not show allegiance to "my brand?"

But the little voices keep talking.  They think that I should start putting together a portfolio of my new collage work and check into which art galleries would be appropriate vehicles for their sale.  Do I have to forsake my fiber art to do this?  Can I do both?  Do I want to do both?  I'm finding it a bit hard to take myself seriously as an artist while just exploring and doing little to sell.

I feel the need to make a New Year's resolution.  But I have previously resolved never to make any resolutions.

I'm just going to burn a few cookies, hang a few more balls and deal with it all later.

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Hush of Dusk

The Hush of Dusk, 12 x 12"  ©2011 Kim Hambric

Night falls on the outskirts of the city.

This piece is created from nine pieces of gesso board, individually collaged and then glued together on a 7/8"-thick cradled wood board.  The sides are painted black.

Gosh, I love making these pieces.  An even larger piece is in the works, but I have my doubts that it will show up before the holidays.

This piece is for sale on Etsy.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Vagabond Shoes -- back home again

Ah, New York, New York.

Yes, I can make it there.  For about three days.  Then the wallet dries up and blows away and the credit cards turn brown and curl at the edges.

Love this photo of one of the windows at Bergdorf Goodman reflecting the Plaza hotel across the street. In my opinion, the Bergdorf windows blow the socks off of any other windows in town.

Another Bergdorf  Window -- all about paper.  I wish I had better photos, but the gorgeous, sunny weather created quite a glare.

However, the little glowing windows of the buildings at the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory at the New York Botanical Garden rivaled the department store windows.  The Christmas Train Show at the conservatory was about the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.

An eight-foot-tall Empire State Building (made out of natural materials)

Brooklyn Bridge made out of sticks and bark!!!

A finger puppet show in beautiful Bryant Park (the Devil and Sweet Brown Bunny).

A recent purchase (ha).

If I can't go back soon, I'll just die.

If I get all stressed out about the upcoming holidays, and the travel, gift buying, card writing, cookie baking, etc., I'll just go, in my mind, to my happy place -- the sea lion pond in the Central Park zoo.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

So Fine

So Fine, 5 x 5" ©2011 Kim Hambic

This piece represents blue skies and a general feeling of well-being.

Right now the skies are gray and threatening to spit snow.  I am experiencing a lovely head cold.  Perhaps if I stare at this piece long enough, I will feel much better.

Yes, to me this piece is bright and happy.  To others, it is probably too dark and grim.  What's your take?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Always a number

Are you one of the 99% or the 1%?

Always a Number, 6 x 6" ©2011 Kim Hambric

Were you first in your class?  How many marshmallows do you like in your hot chocolate?  How much do you weigh?  What time is your flight?

Some numbers we must embrace.  Some numbers we could do without.

Lately, I've been watching my daughter do her math homework.  I'm hoping that she will continue to feel the joy in mastering numbers.  I lost that joy in the 8th grade and never got it back.  It looks like I'm going to get the chance to learn everything again.  Maybe once again I will find the joy in what numbers do, and not just what they look like.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Right as Rain

Right as Rain, 6 x 6", ©2011 Kim Hambric

Today, my newest piece matches the weather.  Rainy and bright at the same time.  The best kind of rain to have in my opinion.

This piece is now in my Etsy shop.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Used to be Farmland

Used to be Farmland, 6 x 6" ©2011 Kim Hambric

Year after year, the farmland is eaten up by bulldozers and replaced with subdivisions and shopping malls.  Often, the old farmhouses languish next to new homes and slowly give way to time and weather.

This piece can be found in my Etsy shop.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Throwing My Free Shipping Hat into the Ring

Anywhere but North, 6 x 6" ©2011 Kim Hambric

In my efforts to clothe myself and my family this fall, I have had to resort to catalog shopping.  If I like something from a company that offers free shipping and something from a company that will take 10 additional dollars to mail the item, I'm going to buy from the company that offers free shipping.

Free shipping makes me happy.  It just feels good.

So now, until the end of the year, I'm offering free shipping in my Etsy shop. Newly included in my shop is the piece above, Anywhere but North, a reflection of how I feel this time of year. I could be persuaded to take a little trip down South, though.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Inspiration by Mail

Having just finished my household duties and my lunch, I wondered what to do next.

My last project was completed on Friday afternoon (except for one more coat of varnish).

Imagine my surprise when I went to look at my wee little front porch Halloween display and found a package.

Books!  Books to cut to pieces!!

A lovely book from 1955.

From this book, I can learn to churn butter, shear sheep and visit Peggy and Peter who live on a farm.  I also get to see ladies in furs making their purchases at the market.

Loads of illustrations and lightly aged pages.

This beauty was published in 1949.

Unfortunately, I couldn't get the book to stay open to photograph its beautifully colored pages.  Almost every page has a color illustration.  I might just need to read this one before I take the scissors to it.  A peach of a book except for my new knowledge that there were only white people back in the 1940's.
But a pristine vintage book about towns and how they function -- I'm all set for inspiration now!

Here's to sharp scissors and a productive week ahead!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

American Way

The newest piece comes together:

Lots of bits and pieces to choose from.  I seem to be in the mood for red, gold and black.

I've decided to put nine 4-inch boards together to create one piece.

Cut, paint, stamp, glue.  Cut, paint, stamp, glue.

The main layout is done.  Now for the extras!
American Way I, 12 x 12 " collage on board, ©2011 Kim Hambric

I have 3 other collages of collages (I'm not sure what to call these.  Any ideas?) ready to photograph and one ready to be glued together.  I'm loving making these!

This piece is now in my Etsy shop.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Be Here

Be Here, 8 x 8", ©2011 Kim Hambric

Imagine a sunny, autumn day in the city.  You have a map and a plan to see a museum, get a coffee and walk down new streets.  The day is yours.  The city is yours.

This piece is now in my Etsy shop.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Discount, 5 x 5", ©2011 Kim Hambric

Yes -- limitations.  We've all got them, right?  And some of us have more than others.

One of my most notable limitations is my inability to draw.  I actually stink at drawing stick figures. I'm in the art business so I can play with colors and textures, since drawing is obviously out.

I've greatly limited myself in how I create and what I create with.  Just a year ago, I was dyeing my own fabric and also using fabric from my stash of 2000+ commercial fabrics to make quilted wallhangings.  While most of my quilts were relatively small, the size of each varied with almost each quilt.  Would this one be square?  And then how large?   A rectangle?  What should the proportions be?  Which of all of these fabrics would I begin with?  Patterns?  Solids?  Hand painted?  Too many choices.  And then, when I decided to add paper to these quilts, even more decisions had to be made.

Once I started playing around with paper, I realized that I was in love with the texture.  So many different papers (oh no! more choices).  But I limited myself to what I had on hand.  What shape?  What size?  I had some illustration board already cut into squares and gessoed and ready to go.  I would limit myself to that.  And paint?  It wasn't in the plan until I saw a painting in a magazine with great swatches of color.   I could do that.  Right?  I tried smearing paint on these little boards with an expired library card.  I could not come close to replicating that painting in the magazine, but I did find a technique that I loved.  I used only the paint colors I had on hand -- the ones I am still using.

So.  Small squares.  Red, blue, ochre, brown, black and white paint (I did purchase an orange).  Papers I could immediately get my hands on (still love those magazine inserts).  I'm still loving working within these limitations.  And yes, I still buy supplies, but the process is very streamlined now.

I feel like I've been set free using these limitations.  Perhaps I have narrowed down my audience while narrowing down my supplies and style.  They did love those pinks, greens and purples I was using 10 years ago.  And may use again.  Much later.

This piece is available in my Etsy shop.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Lost Maps

Lost Maps, 8 x 8" collage on board, ©2011 Kim Hambric

I wouldn't mind some found maps!  Could be time to purchase some old maps and atlases on Etsy.

I think it's finally time to go up into the studio and get to work on something new.  For the past few days, I've been updating my inventory (I've let that slip for about a year) and straightening up my Etsy shop.  I actually had to break through some cobwebs to get up into the studio this morning.

This piece is available in my Etsy shop.

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Art Supply Sinkhole

One of the more exciting events in my life is when a box of art supplies arrives.

Unfortunately, I seem to underestimate what I need (want).  In the past 2 months, I have placed three orders to Dick Blick.  A total somewhere over $500.  Perhaps I should start painting on old boards with leftover house paint.

The fabric sits in stacks upon the shelves, unused.  I'm just realizing that changing direction is far more expensive than I originally thought it would be.   But here I am, in the middle of something new, and I'm just going to keep going in this direction.

Hopefully, I have all the supplies I need until next summer.

Now, I am off to do some more work on my Etsy shop.

Monday, September 26, 2011

My Favorite Art Tool

Seth Apter has a recent post about artists' favorite tools. That got me to thinking about mine.

My intention is not to get all new-agey here, but to really distill what I'm thinking and doing when I'm creating.

I do love working with all sorts of different materials:  fabric, beads, paint, glue, scissors, paper, etc.

I can't choose a favorite medium; therefore, I can't choose a favorite art tool.  Except for my hands.

When I'm painting, I don't use my eyes to see if paint is dry, I use my hands (often to find out the paint wasn't close to being dry.  I spread glue (and often paint) with my fingers.  It's the best way for me to know if I'm using the right amount.

Did I add enough texture to a piece?  My hands will be able to tell me quickly whether more is needed or if I have gone too far.

There are so many materials I get to touch over the course of a day in the studio.  My fingers tell me what they crave.  Will it be a beading day?  Will gluing satisify me?  Am I hungry for fabric and softness, or do I need to spread paint on boards.  The hands know the answer quicker than the eye.

Today, the hands need to do some typing and affixing price tags onto about 30 pieces ready to go into a new shop.   They are happy enough to do so, but I think they are calling for some glue.  And I think they are craving the feel of my vintage wooden letter stamps.


Thanks to everyone who responded to my last post.  It is very encouraging to know that there are still bloggers out there, especially ones that actually come here and leave a comment.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Hello? Hello?

Is anybody blogging anymore?

Is it old-hat?  Over?  Done?  Not cool anymore?

Is everybody tweeting?  If so, bye-bye.  Not going there.

I used to check my blog roll every day and it would take forever to read and comment.  Now, just a few minutes.  I don't read them all and comment on all I read, but still.  It seems a bit quiet out there.

It seems dead here.  Or almost.  Dying, I should say.

Maybe everyone is Flickr-ing or Tumblr-ing or some other ing that I just don't get.

I will continue to blog.  I like it even though I feel like I'm just talking in an empty warehouse in a dying part of town.  Is this the same as riding around in a horse and buggy and refusing to drive an automobile? Am I just too old-school?

Alright.  Done whining.  I'll be back later with some art.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Why Pay Retail?

Why Pay Retail I, 8 x 8" ©2011 Kim Hambric

We all want a bargain don't we?  Even if something is already reasonably priced and we are prepared to pay the price asked, we really want to see a sale sticker on it.  We want a discount!  Why?  Sure we want to spend less, but does a discount make us feel special or lucky?

We want to tell our friends and family about our most recent bargain.  Sure, we hope that they might get the same deal if they head out immediately, but we also want them to know that we found this bargain first.  We are the hunter, the hero, the king or queen of amazing finds.

Sometimes, often too late, we realize the bargain item is not what we really wanted at all.  If we had stood there a moment longer before rushing our sale item to the register, we might have selected the full-priced item -- the one we really want and/or need.

No, I'm not above this.  I've far too many "bargains" hidden away in closets and drawers.  Often, these bargains are forgotten after I return to the store to buy the correct item at full price.  Damn!  I often spend extra money just to save money.

This piece in in my Etsy shop.  I think it is going for a reasonable price.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Thanksgiving House

Thanksgiving House III, 15 x 10" ©2009 Kim Hambric

The cooler (and far too rainy) weather has got me thinking about autumn.  That's really nothing special.  I often think about autumn as it is my favorite season.

I can't say I'm into the coming season as much as I usually am.  This fall means the first Thanksgiving without my mother.  Her birthday is on November 27th.  Its going to be a difficult autumn this year.

This piece is not brand new.  It has been hanging next to the computer for a couple of years now.  I must have neglected to add it to the Etsy shop. It's there now.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Now Available

Now Available, 6 x 6" ©2011 Kim Hambric

Indeed it is available in my Etsy shop.

Friday, September 2, 2011

What to Choose . . . Bees or Skunks?

Every night before bed and every morning when I get up, I do my thing and then it is time for the dog to do his thing.

My journey into the bathroom is usually uneventful.  Light goes on, business is attended to, hands washed, light goes out (or not).  I can be 100% assured that there is not going to be a skunk in the bathroom.

Things are a bit different when I take the dog to do his business.  First, I must turn on the back porch light and see if anything is moving about near the back door.  Then I grab the big yellow flashlight and shine it around as I move slowly to the back of the garage to the area where my dog does his thing.  Usually the short trip is uneventful.  There have been times in the past where a skunk has been on the back porch eating what the birds missed earlier.  This morning it is quiet but I do see some movement off in the distance.  I focus the flashlight on the alley next to my house and, sure enough, a big ol' skunk is running my way.  I jump and run back into the house.

I shine the flashlight out of each downstairs window to try to find where the skunk was headed.  Does he (she) have a home under my front porch?  I have no luck seeing the skunk through the windows.  I turn on the front porch light, which is right next to the door, to illuminate the porch and stairs.  Nothing.  I creep slowly out onto the porch, closing the screen door behind me to keep the dog in.  Shine here, there, nothing.  I turn back to the door and find that a swarm of bees has me blocked out of the house.  More and more of the damn things are pouring out of the light fixture and are landing on the screen and door handle.

What the hell am I going to do now?  I've got to make a choice.  Bees or a skunk.  Get repeatedly stung or risk a spraying.  I can see that the bees are definitely there.  The skunk may not be.  I slink off of the porch and down the side of the house, listening.  It's quiet.  No shuffling skunk feet.  Finally, I am at the back door and I stand still for a short listen.  What's that digging noise?  Do skunks go through garbage?

I've got to get the dog out and we surely cannot go out the front.  I leash him up and let him do his thing next to the back porch.  Hopefully the smell of that will keep Mr. skunk away from the house.  I'm not looking forward to tomorrow morning's routine.  For all know, there could be a bear out there tomorrow.

I really think that children are easier to take care of than dogs.

Any advice on how to find out where skunks live and how to encourage them to move along?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Good Girl

Good Girl, 8 x 8" ©2011 Kim Hambric

Once upon a time, I strived to be a good girl.  This has nothing to do with making out behind the school cafeteria.  I'm talking about always wanted to fit in, looked pleased, not make a fuss .  .  .  to act like the good girl.

What a waste of time.

I'm certainly not encouraging badness.  Far from it.  But the constant effort to be constantly correct is exhausting.  And I'm through with it (maybe, hopefully).

This is a messy, swirly do what I want piece.  And I really love what one can do with those bar codes that are on every durn magazine insert.

This piece is available on Etsy.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Far South

Far South, 8 x 8", ©2011 Kim Hambric

A bit of a departure for me.

New and improved(?) darkness?

20% more black.

I'm not sure where I was going with this piece.  Was I talking about those killer bees from Mexico?  Is this a primer on bees?  Was the whole thing just an excuse to use this cool map?  Looking at it now reminds me to go out into the garden and watch the bees before they are gone for the winter.

This piece is on Etsy.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Vestige, 5 x 5" ©2011 Kim Hambric

This piece has been hanging around the studio for quite awhile, unnamed.  I do procrastinate.

What name could I assign to this piece?  It was done in the memory of my mother and my grandmothers and their homes.  All three women were, of course, dear to my heart.  Sounds a bit corny when I write it down.  I still get to visit my childhood home every couple of months.  The houses of my grandmothers', while still standing, are long ago memories to me.  Powerful memories.  Ask me about my childhood, and within seconds I'll be talking about one grandmother's home or the other.

Upon looking at this piece, months after its completion, I titled it Vestige.  A trace of something that is disappearing or no longer exists.  Every so often I lie in bed, walking from room to room in my mind, trying to recall the placement of furniture, paintings, and doodads.  I attempt to mentally conjure up smells and sounds.  Some memories are lost.  The ones that remain I will struggle to hold on to for the rest of my life.   Even though these memories bring tears to my eyes, they also bring great comfort.

This piece just sold from my Etsy shop.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


This is a word I use frequently.

Maybe, 6 x 6"  ©2011 Kim Hambric
Other frequently used words:  I don't know.

I starting making these collages late last year, after my mother's decline.

Knowing (somewhat vaguely at the time) my mother's condition, I suddenly felt I had no patience for fabric.  I didn't want to locate fabric that suited my needs.  I didn't want to sketch and cut and sew.  I wanted immediate results.  I realized that I no longer had all the time in the world to get done what I wanted to get done.

Not that I've gotten much done over the past several months.

I still do not know where I am going in my art.  I don't know if I will stay with collage.  I do feel that there's so much more to explore with collage, though.  So I'm sticking with it for now.  I'm having fun and I think I'm managing to get out some frustrations and unfinished thoughts.

I've made loads of these collages.  I would say that I've got another 30 or so that are completed.  A couple others are in the works.

I have no intention of framing any of these.  I think they need to stand on their own.  The art runs up to the edge and gives the impression of running over.  To me, to frame them would be to tame them.  Or kill them.  And no, I'm not just being cheap.  This is what I feel like now -- unfinished and on the edge.  I guess my artwork is reflecting that.

I'm not doing what all the other artists seem to be doing:  setting goals, marking achievements, reaching buyers and galleries far and wide.  I'm holed up in my studio, painting, cutting, gluing.  Perhaps it's enough for me right now.

Perhaps not.


I don't know.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Edge of Town

Edge of Town, 8 x 8" ©2011 Kim Hambric

It's a little dark and sketchy at the edge of town.

This piece now on Etsy.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Boxes Full of Inspiration

When my creativity is slumped in the corner like something that's been shot, I just head to my boxes of papers . . .

Pre-painted and stamped papers and vintage book pages.

Stamped tissue papers -- almost transparent when glued.

Words!  Words!  Words!  I'm thinking about soliciting envelopes of words from my readers.
Anyone interested?

. . . and carry selected bits and pieces to my work table . . .

The drafting table where I do most of my work.

One of the foamboard sheets I use to test stamps and protect my table.
No, Hilton Hotels, you are not getting your door key back.

and hopefully, something soon comes of it.

Particularly Beautiful, 6 x 6", ©2011 Kim Hambric

This piece now on Etsy.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


I'm going to be adding some of my older wallhangings on Etsy. Some (like this one) will be on SALE.

Hide, 27 x 24" ©2007 Kim Hambric

She has graced my wall for many years, now, it is time for her to move on.  Have a closer look on Etsy.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Back from Portland, OR

Ahhhh!  The city!

Ahhhhhh!  The beer!

Ahhhh!  The beer flavored gelato!

Yes, the musicians at the farmers' market will play for produce!

City of Bridges

City of Gardens

Taking time to smell the roses

Yes, I have been away from the blog for a while.  But with good reason.  A week long trip to Portland.  I've been trying to think of things that I did not like about the city, but nothing comes to mind.

What I did like (love):

1.   Cars that will stop and wait for you to cross the road, whether there is a crosswalk or not
2.   Beer.  Really good beer.
3.   Pinot Noir
4.   Bridges
5.   Street cars
6.   Trains
7.   Fantastic food
8.   Coffee
9.   Donut shops
10. Beer
11. Public art
12. Museums
13. Shops
14. Pinot Noir
15. Music - live - whether it's good or not
16. Hills and resultant views
17. Non-rude people (except you, gelato dork)
18. Gelato
19. Beer
20. Food carts
21. Pinot Noir
22. Architecture
23. Summer sun
24. Roses
25. Beer
26. Farmers' Markets
27. Local produce (I even ate peas)
28. Beer
29. The zoo
30. Pinot Noir

I'm a bit embarrassed to say that I did not leave the city.  Except for one foray over the Hawthorne bridge, I did not leave the west side of the city.  That means there's so much more for me to see.  And consume.

Favorite line overheard at the farmers' market, made by a man holding a small wheel of cheese, "Did you inoculate the rind?"  Oh, they know their food in Portland.

I miss you, Portland.