Monday, December 31, 2007

Resolutions. Resolschmoozins.

Can anyone think of a good word to rhyme with resolution? I really can't. I don't think I'm going to make any of those resolutions, anyway.

This time of year, I am always in a funk. Christmas is over. Those cold, gray days of central Pennsylvania loom ahead. I can't get too excited about making resolutions.

Could I eat better? Exercise more? Try volunteer work (perhaps this one)? Promote my art? Sell my art? Become a nicer person? Become perpetually optimistic? O.K. I'll try this last one. I say that this post is half full.

Ask me later. As my daughter has done in this photo, I shall put a bag over my head. I'll take it off in a couple of weeks. I shall make make resolutions in mid-January.

I'll be back soon. The new and improved me.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Spirals It Shall Be

The client and I have decided on spirals. Now I am busy spiralling. Well, I was busy spiralling and then took a few days off to visit family and celebrate Christmas. I will get back to this eventually. Maybe it will be my New Year's resolution to resume work on this. It is quite intense to rotate these three pieces around the machine over and over. Much of the quilting involves spirals, so there are far more spirals to be sewn than just the appliques. I take a few machine stitches, lift the presser foot, rotate the quilt a bit, lower presser foot, take a few more stitches, turn. As I get into the center of the circle, I do fewer stitches, and turn, stitch and turn, stitch and turn. Next spiral, next, next, next . . .
Thank you to those who have sent lovely cards with glitter. They are much appreciated and have added to the beauty of my Christmas. Also, thanks to those who have sent pictures of their families and pets. Jan. 1 is the day I "redo" the fridge, and I will put up those photos.
After I have recovered from the holiday stupor, I will come up with some stimulating posts.
Happy New Year!!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Someone's Gonna Get Hurt

I’m going to tick someone off. I’m going to insults herds of people. But I must get this off of my chest. I just can’t take it anymore.

First of all, my dear family and friends, I care for you very much. The last thing I want to do is upset you. And, by the way, I do like your children. Very much. My fridge is proof of that. It is covered with photos of you and your beautiful children.

It is Christmas. I know it has been over commercialized. It has lost its meaning and has become a season of greed, excess, expense, etc. For these reasons, I feel I should not make any requests. I should be thrilled to receive anything from anybody. But I do have one, very small request. . . .

If you like me, please send me a Christmas card. I know you think you did. Some of you did. Many of you didn’t. I’m not angry at you. I’m not even upset with you. I’m glad you sent something to me. But what I wanted you to send me is a Christmas card.

A Christmas card. It is sometimes covered with glitter. Often there is a painting of the baby Jesus. Other times, there is a snow-covered evergreen surrounded by woodland creatures holding gifts and birds draping the tree with popcorn garland. There may be a star off in the East, a goose wearing a Christmas hat, a candy cane, a stocking hung by the fireplace, a joyful Santa Claus. Whatever. I just want it to be a card. And I prefer it to be pretty. I really like glitter. I WANT A CARD. I want it to fold. Horizontally or vertically. Perhaps it can fold twice.

And then, on the inside, you can slip in a photo of your little rosy-cheeked Christmas cherub. Then, I will take this photo and simply affix it to my fridge. I will then take the beautiful card, which is really like a little gift to me, and I will display it. If you decide to put a family newsletter in also, I would read it. I like you enough to read about you. I REALLY am interested. But it would be nice for you to butter me up just a bit and send it with a CARD.

I actually save most of these things. I file the photos in my OPC (other people’s children) filebox. No, it is NOT the round file. After Christmas each year, when I put away my Christmas decorations, I put the new photos on the fridge and take the old photos in the filebox. My family and I enjoy looking at the older photos and see how your children have grown.

So please, send that photo. Just send it in a card. Don’t make it the card. I really don’t want to have to wrestle that photo out so I can put it on the fridge. And I don’t want to look at the photo in summer with your lovely offspring surrounded by candy canes and jingle bells.
Maybe it is the economic turndown (whatever the correct political term of the day is) that makes you resistant to purchasing cards. But what about those Christmas card designers. They have families to feed also. Toss a little money their way.

That’s all I want for Christmas. A CARD. And your forgiveness, please, for having offended you.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Too Much Time Off

I know it sounds like such a horrible thing to have too much time off. There is so much left to be done on this commission which is due at the end of January. Normally, that would be way too much time, but with Christmas and all of its "requirements" and then school being out, there is less time than I think.
Last Thursday we got an inch of sleet. Enough to close schools. I had a whole day ahead of me, I thought as I lay in bed that morning. I could get so much done. I had no errands, no other work. Just a whole day to spend on the commission. Then I discovered schools were closed. My daughter and I made cookies and Christmas cards. A great day!!! But now I'm so far behind. I threw my annual Christmas party over the weekend, so with the cooking and cleaning for and cleaning up, I had no time to work.
When I do have free days, I find I am waiting for feedback from the client and I can't proceed on the quilt. When I get the feedback and need to get things done, well, I can't. My daughter did agree to work with me in the studio for a bit (half-hour) while I got some designs ready to photograph for the client. But today, today, today, I have all day. What am I doing? Blogging. Bad girl. I will let the dishes go. But then there's laundry. Grrrrrr.
Hi Ho Hi Ho. Off to work I go.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

One Cannot Live on One' s Art Alone

Do I hang art by other people in my home?

Absolutely! Would I only eat food cooked by myself? Heaven forbid. So why would I not fill my home with artwork by others? I NEED to. Art is food for the soul, and I must have a varied diet. The photo on the left shows two of my wallhangings. On the bottom shelf is one of my framed fabric and paper collages. The top shelf is a Hyacinth Manning print. I wish I could have afforded the original. The three green vases are by Andi Runt, who no longer makes ceramics. How very sad for me -- I have at least 15 of her pieces. The bottom shelf holds a ceramic pear by an artist who's name I have forgotten. There is a wooden bowl by Richard Cruise, a framed collage painting by Sylvia Moss, and an assemblage by Robert Villagmagna.

The second photo shows two ceramic wallhangings by Rhonda Cearlock, along with one of my pieces.

The third photo shows two paintings on the mantel, one of Central Park by John Dorish, the other by Sylvia Moss. The bitty thing is one of my fabric collages. The two masks are from my in-laws from an earlier trip to Africa. Over the mantel is another of my fabric collages. To the right is a framed print of a collage by a Chinese artist whose name I cannot remember.

To me, it all goes together. The best part is that I didn't have to travel the world (not that I don't want to), deal with art consultants, or pay an arm and a leg for any of these pieces. Even though I live in a fairly small town, we have a great art festival here each summer. Approximately 350 artists from all over the country come and spend 4 days in tents. And all I have to do is walk a few blocks from my house and be in the middle of it all. It sure does help that my birthday is the same time as the festival -- I get art for my birthday.
I'm curious as to what other artists display in their homes. Where do they get this art? From galleries, art festivals? Do they barter or trade? I have purchased only one painting from an actual gallery. Aside from a few flea market finds, all of my art has come from art festivals. Perhaps this is what I should consider when selling art. Maybe I should sell where I purchase. I do need to sell more art. I cannot live on my art alone.

Monday, December 10, 2007

let's celebrate national apathy week . . .

Yes, please celebrate National Apathy Week with me. You really don't need to do a thing. Please. Do nothing. That's what it's all about.

Maybe it's the post-vacation blues. Could be the week following my trip was spent sewing together the quilt. Once a quilt has been designed and the pieces cut and laid out, everything gets bogged down as I sew the pieces together, and then make the quilt "sandwich" by sewing along the seams. I know that this is all necessary. And it is progress. I just can't SEE the progress. During this process, the quilt always looks the same. I crave new visual stimulation. The whole thing actually becomes WORK. Work is just not fun during apathy week.

Perhaps it is because this commission is unloved at this point. The applique shapes are a no go. Now I must scrap these scraps and begin again. Yet, at this point, I do not know where to go. The shapes came pretty much from instinct after I looked into an artist suggested by the client. I have no clue where to go next. I feel like my arms are missing. How can I possibly work with missing arms? (I know, I know. How could I possibly type with missing arms?) Maybe the missing arm feeling is just part of National Apathy Week.

I'd take another vacation if I just had the time and money. But now its baking and decorating and wrapping time. I want to be part of all of that and have fun.

How can I complain. I am so lucky to be able to do what I do. If I suddenly went blank (which I think I am) and could not create, and if clients demanded their money back, and if I received emails and postcards from everyone who has purchased from me saying that I stink, I would still be able to fall back on my husband's job and be able to deal with it all. (I would be a tad bent out of joint, though). I should be happy happy happy.

I will ride out apathy week. It started last Wednesday. I assume it will last through Tuesday night. It might linger until Wednesday morning. It will end. Right. Right?

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

City Sidewalks, Busy Sidewalks

A long, cold weekend in New York City. Invigorating, inspirational, crowded. The sounds of the season are megaphones in your ear instructing you to "keep moving". Horns. Construction. Taxis. Buses. Subways. I love it!!!!!

I must say, I didn't think about being in my studio all weekend.

I ate and shopped and now I am bloated and poor. Oh well.

The photo is of Grand Central Station. What a beautiful place. It made me want to take a train. Somewhere. Anywhere.

Amidst all the visual and audible hammering of the city, there is the Central Park Zoo. In the snow. Practically alone. This has to be my favorite place. A beautiful Red Panda has come to have a look at us.

The crowd is normally 5 rows deep around the sea lion pool. On this day, we have it all to ourselves.
But now it is back to work. I have kind of forgotten what the commission looks like. Hope I still like it. I will go have a look after I shovel through some laundry.