Friday, December 31, 2010

Taking a Break

Clara Clinebell Hogan
November 27, 1927 - December 22, 2010

Yes, I've been gone from the blog for a while.  I'll be back soon.  My mother died recently, and I haven't been able to get down any words lately.

I'm wishing all of my readers the best of everything in 2011!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Card Re-Run

Since I've been feeling a bit stressed lately, I'm going to re-use last year's Christmas Card post.  Perhaps I'll do a bit of updating.  But not much.  I'm off to my daughter's ballet recital tonight.  There's been lots of practice.  Tomorrow is a choir concert.  So, you see, I've had the holiday parental concerns to deal with.

Here goes:

I received the first card of the season the other day.  It was festive and handmade by a child.  I loved it.
It's pretty much what a Christmas card should be. Perhaps I should call them Holiday cards, since Christmas might not be the winter holiday you celebrate.
Regardless of what you call them, I do have certain likes and dislikes regarding them.

I like them pretty. Cute is o.k. Religious is fine. Snow scenes, glitter, candles, pop-ups, confetti, musical, trees, bunnies, reindeer, Mary, Jesus, Star of the East, gilded, triple-fold, elves, Santa Claus, Saint Francis, birds, are all just dandy.

If I know you well enough, I also appreciate the annual newsletter. I really do want to know (if I like you) where you went on vacation, who got braces or a promotion or straight A's or knocked up. If granny came to live with you, please tell me. If junior has developed a wheat allergy tell me. If that worthless b@stard has left you for another woman tell me and we'll get together and drink some wine. But please do me a favor. Tuck this newsletter into a lovely Holiday card.

If I like you, I will probably like your children. Granted, they may be pesky at times. I really do want to know about them. I actually want pictures of them. School photos are great. Group photos taken at Walmart are good too. But . . . BUT . . . just insert these photos into a lovely card.

I know how convenient it is to make the photo the card itself. But when I display my Holiday cards, I don't want just photos of kids looking at me. I want to see the pretty cards. I want to take the little photos you insert and put them with the other photos you have sent me through the years. After the holidays, I will file them away with the others from previous years and be astonished at how they have grown. Or, perhaps, your kids will have the honor of being displayed on my fridge for the year. If you send me one of those big ole photo cards, its just going to be tossed. How much room do you think I have to store those big photos? Very little. So those big ole photo cards of your offspring will just get tossed away with half-licked candy canes after Christmas is over. That makes me feel bad. But just not bad enough to create extra storage space.

I also know that no one is going to take my advice. You all went to the photo shop back in early October with your red and green scarves and mittens and posed for your Holiday cards. Too late now.

Hubby and I met up for lunch the other day and we did our Christmas card shopping. I chose bears in the winter woods full of bright red Cardinals.  Hubby chose some pop up owls in Christmas hats.  Whether the recipients like them or not, we chose cards that say something about us. And it will say something about you -- that we think you're great and we want to make your Holiday even better. And tucked inside will be a little photo of our wonderful, gorgeous, achieving, talented, loving, gifted, precious, awe-inspiring child.

I'm sure I've offended a few people out there. I've probably been furiously scratched from your Holiday card list. Even more likely, you will still send out that big ole photo card anyway, whether or not you read this blog.

I know your children are wonderful, gorgeous, achieving, talented, loving, gifted, precious, and awe-inspiring. Just tuck their photo (or perhaps a photo of the entire family, including pets) inside a show-stopping Holiday card that I will proudly display.

Happy December everybody.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

For the Love of Bowls

This morning, I paid a visit to the the blog of Robyn Gordon, blogging goddess. So many bowls. So little time. Have a look.

I love a bowl.

I feel that there is nothing that a bowl can't contain.

Bowls are for gathering (receiving).

Bowls are for serving (giving).

My favorite bowl memories are my grandmothers serving potatoes and beans at family dinners.

I took a quick bowl tour around my house this morning, and this is what I saw.

Pinecones.  My favorite decorations (aside from bowls, of course).  Flea market bowl.

Daughter's art class project in handmade bowl.  I went back for more from the artist, alas, she only makes dramatic bowls now.  I like 'em simple.

Ready to hang ornaments in metal mixing bowl.

Teeny tree in artist's wooden bowl.  Love the handcarved leaf decorations.  Note pinecones.

Oh, my darlin' . . . oh, my darlin' . . . Clementines in antique pressed-glass bowl.  We will tell my daughter that it was my grandmother's when we pass it on.  Unfortunately, we have already broken all of my grandmother's glass bowls.  Who am I kidding?  This glass bowl probably won't make it that long.

Game tiles in bowl, ready to be used.

My daughter's collection of rubber animals.

One of my kitchen shelves.  Not my grandmother's glass bowls, black Target bowls, white bowls from my all-time favorite ceramic artist.

I LOVE a bowl.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Oh, I did have a fantasy of posting a photo here of recent artwork.

Then, I wanted to let you know how things were going in my little neck of the woods.

But I came to realize that none of that was going to happen.

I have no attention span. Well, maybe 30 second spurts. And every so often I can focus on at 30-minute television show. As long as it is Bored to Death. Otherwise, can't focus.

I've forced my husband to speak to me in sentences of five words or less. I've tried the same with my daughter, but her sentences are always a minimum of 120 words. She tries to be concise. Can't do it.

I want to work on something (anything) in the studio today. It's been a week since I've seen it.

I need to purchase some Christmas presents that my daughter picked out yesterday before someone else picks them out. My daughter is picky. I'm not missing out on this opportunity to buy her something she actually likes.

And we're out of milk.

That's it. Brain is switching to something else now. zzzzzzzttt

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Lapse Continues


Not a good blogging time here. Can't write 'em. Finding it hard to read 'em.

I'll do my best to read and comment, but I've got nothing good to say, so I'm not going to be saying much.

My Mother has been in the hospital for over a week now. There were be some rehabilitation somewhere soon -- the hospital or a nursing home for a bit.

This has made me feel crappier than I thought it would several days ago.

I've never had a Thanksgiving without both of my parents at the table. I'm thankful that I've had so many with them, though. Just hoping that things will go back as close to normal as they can soon.

I hope all of my friends out there have a great Thanksgiving (or had -- you Canadians).

Saturday, November 20, 2010


I've been a bad blogger lately.

My blogs have been few and far between.

And when I write them, they're generally all about me, me, me.

I do come up with interesting posts in the shower or while I'm trying to get to sleep at night. After I am toweled off or when I wake up, all of those thoughts are gone. Generally they are replaced with health issues (mine and other family members-including animals), mental to do lists, holiday panic, and just those blank periods (memory lapses?) that my doctor assures me are normal in premenopausal women.

When will I have new work to show? When will I begin to list all of my artistic accomplishments (sales, new galleries, etc.)? Beats me.

Until then, and since that week of giving thanks is upon us, all I want to say is a thank you to those who have left such supportive comments lately. It means so much to me to find new, lengthy, and thoughtful comments on my posts. I appreciate the time you've taken to encourage me.

I'm attempting to enter Seth Apter's new call for entry. It requires the creation of very personal artwork. Heaven knows what I'll dig up from inside of me (if, indeed, there is anything there at all). If it's all been about me, me, me, so far, why am I having so much trouble with this? I found a little white sheep that I cut out of a book a while back, it seems to want to be in this piece.

Now, I'm off to try to think up a real post. One with pictures and everything. Perhaps I should take another shower and lie in bed and see if anything comes to mind.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Is this the Future, or the Past?

These new pieces, all small (8x8" or far less), are done on paper or on thin illustration board.

Since they are all experiments, I used whatever I had lying around for the base, giving no thought to how they might be mounted in the future. All I wanted to do was get ideas down as soon as possible and think as little as I could.

While I'm happy with these, I still don't feel like I'm ready to create items for sale. I don't feel I have found my place yet. I so want to break away from grids and right angles, but somehow I feel chained to them. I feel comfortable with them.

My fear of going in the wrong direction was increased about 10,000% after reading the latest issue of Somerset Studio magazine, and saw paintings by Jesse Reno:

Rain - by Jesse Reno

rain drops - magic in the water - left overs from a giant - a bears arms - hibernation - nothing is certain - shortfall - long run - windows all around - play the game by the rules even if it bends your judgment as they will do the same - they will teach you to be a bear and a shark - remember to be - when heart guides spirit - if it was finished there would be know question - it is finished

48" x 48" on wood
acrylic, oil pastel, pencil, collage $4000.00

Have a look at his website.

I was absolutely floored by his work. Such energy!!! Such freedom!!! What the heck am I doing then, if I am so inspired by this? How can I keep on going with the grid?

I'm wondering if I can translate some of my favorite fiber pieces to paper. Free it up from the grid. Add some spontaneous marks and painting instead of relying on just stamping.

Wise Women, 42 x 11" ©2009 Kim Hambric

Why does overlapping and spontaneity freak me out so much? Is it a fear of failure? A fear of making a mistake (or many)? Am I afraid that someone will yell at me for wasting supplies or making a mess? Am I just too damn repressed?

Am I so concerned about where I end up that I don't know where to start?

Where do I start?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Time Flies in Times Square

and in the rest of New York, too. A three day weekend never gets you as far as you want.

This is the only photo I took in Manhattan. We explored a new area of Central Park this year, which included the magical Belvedere Castle.

While I complained that I did not get enough shopping time (I did get to duck into Anthropologie, though), our main reasons for going are to eat, see art, and take the child to a Broadway show.

For the eat part, on Day 1 we went to Mas in Greenwich Village. We tried it out on last year's visit, and I think, no matter how long we will have to eat cheap hotdogs as a result, we will do what we can to eat there on future visits. In my book, it is easily the best restaurant in the city. Not that we can compare it to all other restaurants, but I feel that we have a decent enough sample group to select from.

Day 2 consisted of the Museum of Natural History, a trip across Central Park, and then a visit to the Whitney Museum, which had an exhibit of Edward Hopper. My fave piece:

The Barber Shop, Edward Hopper

Then, off to dinner at Beacon on 56th Street. Quite good. Not nearly as good as the night before. But when you're in a hurry to see a show, there's only so good you're gonna get. Daughter's choice this year: Mary Poppins. She was enthralled. Dada and I took turns cat napping.

Day 3: Big Brooklyn Day. Why? Because of this show:

We are both obsessed with this show. And I love that intro with all of that gorgeous text.

One of the gazillion beautiful Brooklyn Streets.

That stunning bridge!!! That godawful Verizon building in the background!!!

Crunchy Brooklyn Beach

And the world's most beautiful chocolate shop, Jacques Torres on Water Street in DUMBO. I wish I had taken a photo inside. All dressed up for fall. STUNNING! And the candy is awesome, too. I'm addicted to the Coffee Break Chocolate bars. Wish I had bought more. Hmmmm. Wait, I'll be right back. Mmmmmmm. Man, that's good.

And now, off to run errands in the real world. But, I need to remember, this is the world of reasonable mortgages.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Thursday (contains inappropriate language)


No. It sucks.

Let me try blue next time.

I just ruined the damn thing.

What the hell was I thinking?

(sound of head being smacked by self)

Wait. I've got it.

It worked.

Let me try it with a little bit of brown this time.

I just ruined the damn thing. Again.

I'll be back. I just have to check email.

And have a chocolate.

What about Facebook?

Oh. That's cool. What a great idea.

Let me put the clothes in the dryer.

What the hell was that idea?

(sound of head being smacked by self)

I wish I had a smaller house stamp. I'll carve one.

That's great! It really worked!!

Now let me try it out on this paper with the small text.


(sound of going to vintage books, ripping out page, applying matte medium, sound of heat gun, more medium, heat gun, more medium, heat gun)

Let me see if I can stamp this again without it smearing. But what if I ruin the paper? Again.

Let me see if those clothes are dry. Nope.

Where's that little red square? The little red square would work here. Where the hell did I put it? It was right here a minute ago. Those clothes have to be dry.

And while I'm down here, I'll see if there are any emails.

Where's that little red square?!? WHERE'S THAT LITTL . . . oh, there it is. It will look perfect near the bottom of this piece. Nope, too small. Where's that red sheet of paper? Oh, no. That's all I have. I'll have to run out and get some more.

Screw this piece. I'll just put it over here and look at it later.

Now, I'll just prepare one of those paper bags.

(sounds of iron being plugged in, paper being ironed, matte medium being applied, heat gun, medium, heat gun, medium, heat gun)

No. I really don't want to work with the paper bag now. Let me go through my books and find a cool page to tear out.

Great. Love it. Now I just need to prep it.

(matte medium, heat gun, matte medium, heat gun, matte medium, heat gun)

Now let me stamp some of those little houses on it.

Shit. They're too small.

I better get those clothes out of the dryer.

Now that my cat is no longer here to assist me, I'll either have to talk to myself or put it down in my blog. I'm sure that you, dear reader, would prefer that I talk to myself.

p.s. Thanks for all of your comments on my last post -- they are most appreciated.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Chumley de Cat, ?-2010

Thireteen years ago, on Labor Day weekend, I heard a cat crying repeatedly from my apartment window. I would go out onto the balcony and look down to see where the crying was coming from. Nothing. More crying. More looking down. Nothing. This went on all day long.

The hubby and I were celebrating our last weekend in our apartment before moving to our “new” home. On our way out to dinner, we took the back way out of our apartment building. Had we gone out the front, we never would have come across Chumley. We never made it to dinner, and we didn’t exactly “come across” Chumley. We walked under him.

As we passed under the tree that stood next to our balcony, I heard the crying again. We looked up and there he was, stuck in the tree. We tried to cajole him down. Nothing. Others came along and tried the same. One couple informed us that the cat had been up in the tree for at least two days. They had called the fire department and were “referred” to someone else. The hubby went in to call the fire department and informed them how long the cat had been up in the tree. They couldn’t leave the firehouse in case a real call for help came in. We tried some more cajoling. A crowd gathered.

Soon a group of young men, and one father, came along saying they were part of the Civil Air Patrol. They lived behind the apartments and had noticed a crowd gathering. They were glad to be of service. The father called out to his son, “Go to Grandma’s and get the ladder!” Soon the ladder arrived and climbers were up in the tree. The police had also arrived. The cat went up further (or is that farther). The men climbed higher. The cat went out on a branch. The crowd grew. A policewoman arrived.

“What we need now is a saw,” the hubby said. The Civil Air Patrol dad yelled down, “Go to Grandma’s and get the saw.” Soon a saw was raised by a rope far up into the tree. I’m assuming the firemen were still at the station washing their trucks and waiting for a real call. The saw glinted in the moonlight (how romantic). The branch began to sag. The policewoman removed her jacket. The branch and cat crashed slowly to the ground. Once the cat was on the ground, the policewoman tossed her jacket over him and then tossed him in the back of the police car.

Several people had risked great danger to help this cat who now stared like a criminal from the backseat. Calls were made, a place was found for the cat until a search could me made for his owner. Assumptions were made that the cat had been abandoned when the summer students went home. Snips were made. Shots were administered and a week later Chumley came to our “new” house with us.

Thirteen good years. A few sad weeks. Three upholstered chairs wrecked.

Now, I’ll have to tell all of my secrets and my artistic ideas to the dog, and he really doesn’t act as if he cares. The cat, however, always seemed interested.

So today I thank mama kitty, the Civil Air Patrol, policemen and policewomen, the vet who removed a malignant tumor from his back when he was three or four, my daughter who let him sleep on her bed until the end even though he could only look at her with one eye and drooled on her favorite blanket, and the hubby who let me take in another stray whom he knew was going to shred his favorite chair.

I love you Chumley, Puss E. Cat, fur face, fur buttski, fur friend, fat boy (old days), skinny boy, good boy, bad boy, you little son of a ___, sweet boy.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

More Paper

Looks like blue is part of the theme. Those birds are from Martha Stewart's line of punchies. Is that cheating? Sure it is. I don't seem to care.

Love those vinyl letters!

Love those rub-on letters!

I believe this one has an official name: "Where U At".

All of these pieces, except the first, are collages done from existing scraps and completed in a couple hours time.

Fun! I'm going to do more!

Tomorrow. Not creative today. Chumley the cat is very sick and I'm spending time petting him and crying. I think tomorrow will be a better day. Lonely, but better.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Now What?!?

Thanks for all of those comments on the last post! Very uplifting.

I've completed five more "pieces" in the past couple of days.

I want to do another, but I have to answer some questions first.

The first one is:

Now What?

What do I do with these things? I've put them in plastic sleeves for the moment, but that won't do forever.

Suppose I decided to sell them. Do I attempt to frame them? Do I just glue them to boards and call it a day? If so, what kind of boards? Should I just go ahead and begin the collages on these boards instead of attempting to affix them later?

Are there other paper collage artists reading this? What do you do?

I really have no interest in matting and framing behind glass. That kind of takes away from the texture of the piece. And I really don't want to get into the matting and framing thing again. I did that loads of years ago, before the fiber frenzy. What a pain that was! And the expense! Nope. Done with that.

I don't want to do anything too traditional. I don't want to do anything too contemporary. And I don't want to do anything too expensive and pass that onto the customer.

I would REALLY appreciate some input on this.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Glue and Paper and Paint and Stuff

I've spent the last couple of months playing around with paper.

And paint and glue and stuff (magazine clippings, rub-on letters, vinyl stick-on letters).

Most of the paper is from vintage textbooks. The blue sea above is sponge painted tracing paper. I've been using whatever is found lying (or is that laying) about.

I'm at my happiest smearing paint and glue onto paper with my fingers. Beats the heck out of sewing over my fingers.

The two pieces below were made from scraps. Not that the pieces above contained no scraps, but for these two, no new scraps could be painted or created. These two were the most fun.

None of these has a name yet. Not sure they ever will.

For now, I'm just playing and exploring. Much to the chagrin of my goal-oriented hubby. Perhaps there is a goal here. I just don't see it or know it yet. Time will tell.

Now, I am out of glue and must go buy some.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Mean Mama Bird

I've been asked to donate a piece to a charity auction.

At first, I was tempted to give up a piece that I wasn't interested in holding on to. But if I'm not interested, is anyone else likely to be interested in buying it?

So mama bird has to go and select one of her baby birds to kick out of the nest. Not an easy thing.

After I make my selection and fill out the forms (Good Heavens I hate to fill out those forms), I'll head up into the studio and take a few photos of what I've been doing lately. Paper, glue, paint, rub-on letters, etc. I'm trying to break out of my box, but when you see the photos, you'll notice that I'm still lurking inside the box or right next to it.

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Tennessee Burning

In olden times, a neighbor’s home caught fire and any able human ran for their buckets and formed a brigade from water source to the burning home. Either the fire was put out by the community or it got out of hand and the building was lost. The point is, those that could be of any help showed up and helped. Sure there was probably an asshole or two, leaning up against a fence and chuckling. Their standing in the community was probably lessened immediately. Perhaps they even sported a black eye the next day.

Afterward, the owner of the damaged or ruined property most likely wholeheartedly thanked the community. Hands were shaked and pies were baked. The community, worn out from the bucket brigade, probably went back the next day to help the family clean up and offered food, clothing or shelter.

Not anymore, baby! Now, the unconcerned can just stand around and watch the flames leap higher and higher. You gotta pay up front for your fire service. Yeah, yeah, I’m sure you’ve purchased your homeowner’s insurance. But that’s not gonna keep your house from bursting into flame. You’ve got to pay your firefighter's fee. Now, really, there’s nothing wrong with paying for your fire and police services upfront. It’s a method called taxation. And I believe that it works. But this mafia-like shakedown thing doesn’t appear to be working too well, does it?

I’m surprised that the fire department didn’t shoot Mr. Cranick the finger as they watched his house burn.

Is this what America is coming to? Is kicking people to the curb the new national sport? I’ve read a few articles about this incident, and am shocked to read about people supporting what the fire department has done. And with the mayor’s approval! Did any of the loitering firemen hear the dying howls of the animals that were trapped in the home or were they long dead before the fire department came to protect the neighbor’s fields?

When the idea of “pay to spray” was thought up a while back, was there a brainstorming session where folks could have brought up and discussed a few possible negatives? Did any one think that, should the fire department stand around and let someone’s home burn, that there might be some negative thoughts aimed at firefighters in general. I’m sure, that somewhere in this country, there would have been firefighters that would have just gone on and sprayed some water on Mr. Cranick’s burning house. They would have done what most of us would consider the brave and honorable thing. And now, we’re not going to look so highly at any firefighter thanks to those bad apples who stood by and did nothing.

There are a large and growing number of people in this country who would rather die than pay taxes. And now, they seem to be projecting this onto others. They hold rallies in the hopes of having our country dispense with collecting taxes. These taxes build and maintain roads, pay for Medicare, defend our country, and provide for fire and police services. This group would rather have everyone pay for themselves so they do not have to involve themselves with assisting others in any way.

This group I am referring to is also a group that is deeply conservative and religious. They ask God and Jesus’ counsel when times get tough. I keep thinking about that WWJD (what would Jesus do) line of thought. I don’t think any of the firefighters in this situation were thinking of this. If they were, they must have thought Jesus would go and get a bag of marshmallows and a long stick.

Several years ago, there was a house fire in my town. A man was driving by a burning house. He called for the fire department and left his car. He noticed animals in the home and broke into the home to attempt a rescue. He was able to save two out of three animals. Perhaps he could have saved the third at risk of his own life. I am glad he did not attempt to save the third. This man should live a long life knowing that he did what he could. He helped a neighbor. I don’t think he even knew the owners of the home. It doesn’t matter. He is still a neighbor. I’d like to think that if my own home were to burn, a neighbor would be there to help in some way.

I would also like to think that if a burglar showed up in my home that the police would come to help. If I were drowning that a lifeguard would swim out to help me. If I were to be raped, that a group of policemen wouldn’t just stand around and watch (unless they had up-front payment).

After this incident, I will never look at my fellow Americans the same way. I will always wonder if somebody would help me out of the goodness of their heart (or, perhaps, the requirements of their job). Should I walk down the street with wads of cash and hand it out to folks just in case I might need their help one day? Should I take a wheelbarrow of money into the hospital in case I might need urgent care? Should I hand out envelopes of cash to everyone that knows CPR in case one of them happens to be standing next to me if I choke? Should I write a check to every Boy Scout so that in my not-too-far-off old age that they might safely steer me across a busy intersection?

I can’t believe I even have to write the next sentence.

If there is a fire, I believe that firefighters should put it out.


Without debate.

Without up-front payment.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Good Gravy, Mommy Dearest and European Terror Warning

Good gravy, chicken and instant mashed potatoes

This is a photo of Friday night's dinner. There's some gravy for ya! This meal is a bit more uptown than the photo would have you believe. The recipe (for the chicken, not the taters) comes from the Red Cat cookbook. The Red Cat is a yummy restaurant in the Chelsea area of New York City. After our meal there, we returned home and purchased the cookbook. This recipe is entitled, "simple skillet roast of chicken with red onion, sugar plum (prune) and rosemary sauce." You can get the tater recipe from the back of the hungry jack box (for six servings even though we are three).

Hubby made a lot so that his wife and child could have leftovers while he is out of town for several days. He knows that limits of my cooking skills. I do believe an earlier post showed the browned result of my attempt to boil frozen peas. I can boil pasta and grate cheese. I have a 75/25 shot of getting frozen food safely into boiling water and the same chance of getting it onto a plate. Before a trip, however, he will stock me up on leftovers. All I have to do is thaw and heat.

With hubby gone, daughter and I ate some of those chicken leftovers. She, however, requested no gravy. The chicken didn't fare extremely well with reheating. I didn't know that chicken leftovers smelled like wet dog. There was more chicken remaining in the freezer, and I told my daughter that the following night, I would chop up the leftover leftover chicken and put it in a pasta sauce. I suddenly saw myself slathered in bright red lipstick, whacking my child with a wire coat hanger and forcing her to eat her meat no matter how long it takes her to finish it. I tossed all leftovers out. I will NOT become Mommy Dearest.

So hubby is off in Lyon, France. A business trip. Really. So now I read on the Huffington Post that there is a terror threat in Europe. A very vague threat, apparently. Am I somewhat comforted by the vagueness or does it add more tension? Is there something somebody knows or are the powers that be just covering their butts?

So in his absence, I am off to the grocery store. I'd rather have a colonoscopy. Perhaps, upon my arrival, there will be a message over the PA system. "Ladies and gentleman, there is salmonella in one of the products in this store. Well, there COULD be salmonella in one of the products in the store. Seems more likely than usual. No. We don't know which product. Might be in more than one. Might not be in any. Just be careful. Be on guard. Pay attention to your surroundings. Have a good day. Thank you for shopping here."

Have a good day yourself. Especially if its chilly and rainy in your neck of the woods.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

I'm Putting it on Paper

I think I may have given the impression that I'm into paper lately. I am.

I'm loving the texture of vintage papers. Unless I am working with a huge piece of paper, which is very rare, I prepare the paper for additional elements by applying matte medium with my fingers.

Not all of the paper I work with is vintage. I'll use whatever I have on hand. Above is a sheet of printer paper. The squares are from a vintage textbook, though.

This photo shows one of my favorite papers -- used, brown paper bags. I get great ones from the liquor store (ha ha). They are thinner and crinklier than grocery bags.

I'm trying to work with these bits and pieces without an end product in mind, but that is so hard for me. Three pieces have been "completed". I have no idea whether they will end up on Etsy or if they will just hang around for further inspiration (or as guidelines for what NOT to do).

It is a dark and stormy day. The paper in the studio is calling. So are the paints, brushes, stamps and glue.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Put it on Paper

Here's a small gathering of art links. These fave new artists of mine draw, paint, glue and stitch on paper.

Have a look if you have the time!

Missouri Bend Studio



Coffee break is over and I'm headed back into the studio to play with paper.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Things I've Done Instead of Creating

So far today, I have:

eaten all chocolate in the house

read blogs

watched YouTube videos

cleaned rancid gunk out of the disposal

escorted bugs out of my house

fed child a ham sandwich for breakfast

dressed myself inappropriately for the weather

stepped over things in my way (laundry basket, large dust bunnies, boxes and bags)

wished for things

hoped for things

sat on my butt

craved more chocolate

looked for my motivation button

wondered if I should have a chocolate milkshake for lunch

sighed that I have wasted time

dreaded running errands

been irritated about my empty wallet

Now, I'm off to the studio to be incredibly creative. Until it is time to run errands, of course.

**UPDATE** Now I can add that I've thrown away this weeks failed experiments. That's progress, right?

Monday, September 20, 2010

My Favorite Season

No more dragging the dog (and myself) through the cloying heat, looking straight ahead to the end of the walk, desperate for a glass of water.

The Sages I, 9 x 9" © 2008 Kim Hambric

Now I can look up at the leaves taking on color against the (more frequently) blue sky. Looking down, I see the last of the pink and purple summer petals scattered among the newly fallen leaves. Yeah, so they are mostly coming from the sick maples this early in the season. I'll have to enjoy them while I can, before the trucks and men with saws come and take them away forever.

Spice Route III, 16 x 16" © 2008 Kim Hambric

It's time to visit the farmers' market and buy apples in brown paper bags. Hopefully those bags will find their way into some new artwork soon. I've developed quite a think for brown paper bags.

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

I'm hoping that the fresh air and harvest colors will whip up my creative energy.

Thanks to all of you who commented on my last post. Hope I didn't come off as arrogant, implying that all artwork had to have vast depths of meaning to avoid being a worthless piece of poo. I'm trying to discover the reason(s) behind my latest slump. I know I am lucky to be able to even entertain a slump for any length of time. This one is a long one, though.

What do you do when trying to crawl out of a slump?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

What's the Meaning of All This?

I just watched a YouTube video of an abstract artist at work. Lots of interesting techniques -- paint spread over huge boards with huge metal spreaders (can't think of a better word). Thin paint splooshed on over artwork. Artwork tilted so paint runs and spreads. Random dabs of paint. More paint spreading.

Voila! Art! While I did enjoy the video and enjoy looking at the artwork, I think that my enjoyment would be short-lived if I had to live with the artwork.

I could not see the meaning behind the piece. Yes, I'm sure the artist enjoyed making it, and from what I can tell, his artwork sells. A photo of a restaurant displaying his work was included.

Hubby and I went to close on our home refinancing the other day. Lawyer's office. Lots of "corporate" art. Hubby suggests I think about this approach to art. Other than an "arrangement" of splotches of color, I could see no meaning behind the work. I guess that in a corporate environment, it is best to avoid meaning in artwork, lest someone be offended.

Something is missing. Meaning, context, story, love, hate, some kind of emotion. Is it just me, or do others want something from their art? I must say that I don't care for art that displays blood, gore, violence, etc. But, there's gotta be something. I've got to connect. Apparently, there is no need to connect with corporate art. Its just there to look pretty as you pass by the lobby,sit in the conference room to sign a few papers, or wait for an empty table.

I don't want to just throw some art materials at a surface, hope something sticks, sell it, and do it again and again. Or do I?

I sure would like to make some money.

What are you looking for in art? What draws you to a piece? What makes you want to own it or visit it over and over again in a museum? If you are an artist, what makes you want to create something?

Help me here. I'm looking for meaning.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Messin' with the Tooth Fairy

My daughter lost her 2nd top front tooth Sunday while at a friend’s house. We lovingly put it into a baggie and transferred it to a tooth-fairy-appropriate envelope when we got home.

In the past, when a tooth was lost, my daughter would place it in a hand-colored envelope and put it on her bedside table for the tooth fairy. A small pile of money in its place would greet her upon waking. Easy peasy for the “tooth fairy”.

Questions have been asked lately about the reality of the tooth fairy. We try to avoid lying at all costs in our house, but Santa and the tooth fairy still exist here. Barely.

This time the young one wanted to make it a bit difficult for the tooth fairy. She asked what would happen if she shoved the envelope down inside her pillowcase with her nightgown shoved in next to it to block the opening. We told her the tooth fairy might just not be strong enough to get to it.

Indeed not. The tooth fairy left a note, written in a lovely fairy hand, wondering where the tooth was. My daughter was disappointed.

Last night, she promised to put the tooth under her pillow. When I tucked her in, she had placed the envelope close to the left side of her pillow, and the note, with questions, (Where did you get the pen and paper? How does a fairy write? Does the tooth fairy like to be tricked?) close to the right side of her pillow.

At 10:00, tooth fairy A (me) goes in for the envelope and letter. They have now been shoved further under the pillow, right under her head. My small hand now feels like a meaty fist as it lifts and bobs her head with great ferocity. I grope and twist and wrench. Finally I have all the goods. Amazingly, the child does not stir.

I give the note to tooth fairy B (hubby) and he supplies the answers to the questions (downstairs, like this, no). He places the note and money on her bedside table.

This morning, I wake the child and pretend to check under her pillow (knowing full well that the loot and note are next to her bed). The money is under the pillow and the note is gone. Later, child looks under her covers at the bottom of her bed and pulls out the note. The sneaky beast is waiting for me to say that can't be right because Daddy has put it on her table.

I hope some stinkin’ kid at school tells her the truth about the tooth fairy. She’s got some interesting plans about where to hide the next tooth and I just can't deal with it.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


My favorites kind of people are the ones that think before they do.

I'm going to do some thinking. If that goes well, I'm going to do some doing.

I may or may not let you know how that goes.

Anyway, off to think.

Friday, September 3, 2010


I have chosen journey.

These past several weeks, I have cleaned, watched YouTube videos (intellectual ones, of course), done laundry, piddled and paced.

I have avoided the studio like the plague.

Several times I have forced myself into the studio. I've piddled and paced and run back downstairs to watch more intellectual YouTube videos.

Slowly, bit by bit, and piece by piece, experiments have been tried. The failure rate was high in proportion to the amount of time spent in the studio.

This week, I've been just a tad less reluctant to get into the studio. More experiments have been tried. Less have failed. There has been a success or two (actually three).

As I left the studio just a minute ago, I was thinking that I wouldn't have the opportunity to return until Tuesday. That thought saddened me. Then I realized that I had enjoyed my time in the studio today.

I have decided on the journey rather than the destination. For now.

Thanks to all of you who have sent me positive comments. I especially appreciate those who have sent me encouraging emails.

Soon I will share some photos. Not that they will show any completed pieces. They may show bits bound for the garbage, but that's better than nothing, huh?

Have a great holiday weekend!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Journey? Destination?

I was recently asked by a blogging friend how I was and what I was. I answered I don't know to both of those questions.

I've been going through one of those art crisis things. I didn't want to bring it up here. In a world where there are wars and genocide, I just didn't want to have some bitty breakdown and expect people to give a darn.

By the way, thanks to my readers for all of your kind words on my last post.

Am I still a fiber artist? I don't know.

Am I still an artist? I don't know.

I want so much to reach a destination. I'm thinking that destination is to be a "professional" artist. The problem is, I don't know what journey is necessary to reach that destination. Do I have to pick a certain path? Can't I just spin around in circles for a while? Can I still call myself an artist if I'm spinning in circles?

I still love all of the work I have done -- the pieces that have gone out into the world and the ones that are on my wall or in my drawers (dresser drawers, that is). Can I start fresh? Is that a sign of complete failure? Which would be the bigger failure -- to keep doing what I've been doing even though I may not be inspired, or to turn my back on completion and selling to start at the beginning and explore something new?

Anyway. Big thoughts in my head. Nothing being done about it.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Where have I been?

Sick. Twice. Now. All in one week.

Fighting a migraine.

Complaining. A lot.

Battling lice and all the fun that goes with that.

Feeding the vacuum more of my blood. Don't ask. I don't know how. I just know it always happens.

Cleaning again today for in-laws' visit.

Playing lots of cards with a kid in between summer camps and starting school.

Buying school supplies.

Taking a cat that cannot walk straight to the vet.

Taking child to oral surgeon to have oral things removed. Treating the affected area. Returning child to doctor.

Purchasing an all-new wardrobe for a very picky child.

Now its time to take my daughter and my snotty head out for a girls' lunch before resuming cleaning duties.

Have a good weekend.

Friday, August 20, 2010

A Few New Pieces

Here are the pieces that were published in Sew Somerset Magazine. They have returned home to live.

The Moon Came Out, 7.0 x 5.5" ©2010 Kim Hambric

Travel Guide, 7.0 x 5.5" ©2010 Kim Hambric

Here to Live, 7.0 x 5.5" ©2010 Kim Hambric

These pieces are all for sale on Etsy.

I'm glad to have them safely home. I'm a little surprised at the return packaging. I had them padded, wrapped in plastic to prevent them from getting wet (which would ruin them), and boxed for their outbound trip. They were quite unceremoniously tossed into a padded envelope for their return trip and that was that. I guess no one is going to take care of my babies quite like I would.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Venus and Mars

Venus and Mars, 10.5 x 10.5" © 2010, K. Hambric

The diary entry reads, "Stayed home tonight & ironed." There's Venus, beautifully dressed in her house. There's Mars, on the other side of the moon.

It seems as if this will be the last piece in the Mother series. Not sure where to go from here. I am loaded up with lots of supplies for other such quilts. I am not loaded up with inspiration to continue. It figures.

I'm not sure whether to continue on the same path. I'd love to take some time to explore instead of producing. I'm going to pretend that I have never created anything before -- that I've never heard of being an artist. I'm going to pretend that I have never seen "art" before. But I have the need to create.

-- Where would you suggest I begin.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Aliens in the Desert?

Roswell I, 15 x 25" © 2007 K. Hambric

No, I really don't believe an alien spacecraft was found in the desert near Roswell, New Mexico, back in 1947. I do like circles and what I consider to be desert colors, though. These pieces were made way back in 2007. I think dinosaurs roamed the earth back then.

Roswell II, 22 x 28", © 2007 K. Hambric

These pieces are now for sale on Etsy.

Friday, August 6, 2010

To Bargain or Not to Bargain

The hubby and I were recently in Toronto. We had a lovely visit with relatives and then spent 2 ½ days exploring the city. One of my favorite stops was the newish distillery district. I dream of such places. Shops. Galleries. Restaurants. How can you beat that? With an art and craft festival!

The family perused tent after tent of mostly upscale goods. Jewelry. Painting. Wood. Pottery. What joy to be on vacation at an arts festival in a cool district in a great city. Then I was brought down by two ladies who thought it would be great fun to bargain on someone’s artwork.

We were all admiring the painted wood objects of a friendly female artist. Her booth was filled with handpainted bowls, framed monoprints, and other fun and functional wood-related objects. There were two women who had handpainted coasters in their hands. I believe they cost about $20 for four. Seemed very reasonable to me. Without talking to the woman about her crafts, or making any other small talk, one walked up to the artist and stated that she would give her $15 for the coasters. The artist politely declined. The woman then said another amount, going just a bit higher. The artist again declined, saying that they were already reasonably priced. The bargainer went up another level. The artist shared a bit of information on her complicated technique and stated she could not drop her price, but would waive the sales tax. Not good enough for the women, who then went up just a bit higher. I left the booth hearing the artist state that “NO”, she would not bargain for her work.

I’ve only done one festival show. I fear doing another. I would not be nearly as patient as the artist in this situation was.

So, if there are any art “consumers” out there reading this, here are some pointers for your next visit to an arts festival. Actually, one pointer.


I have had people do this to me when purchasing through the internet. It has worked successfully and unsuccessfully. I’ll tell you why.

One customer purchased five items at once. I offered her a small discount (5%). She drove several hours out of her way to pick up the pieces and meet me. She was given a small discount on her next purchase. In talking to this woman, I knew that she had a connection to my work. I also knew that she was not a rich woman and her hard-earned dollars were spent on my work. Several months later, I added an older piece on Ebay and was selling it at a discount. This piece had been sitting in my drawer for several years. She wrote and told me how much she and her daughter loved it. She wanted to buy it for her daughter who was going off to college but could not afford it. I was asking $125.00 and she asked to buy it for $75.00. Since I had a history with this woman who had bought more expensive pieces, I was not insulted. We agreed on a slightly higher price and the deal was done.

I have been asked buy people who have never purchased anything before to give then deep discounts. I tell them nicely that I won’t. If I’m contacted by someone who has purchased from me before, I will offer a small discount.

Generally, if you are buying several pieces at a time from an artist, they will offer a discount. If they don’t, I feel that the buyer can (politely) request a small discount. This has a better chance of working if the buyer requests a small discount or elimination of sales tax rather than stating the amount they are willing to pay, especially if that amount is nowhere near what the artist is asking.

My husband and I purchased a painting at the last Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts. The artist had two pieces that I loved. We purchased one and left. The next day we came back to look at the other (wasn’t gonna happen, though). We were offered what would have amounted to a 15% discount on both pieces. We would have asked for a small discount if we had bought two, but the artist offered a substantial discount without being asked.

There is a jewelry artist I usually purchase something from each year. Often, I’ll purchase more than one piece at a time. Since I am a repeat customer, I am automatically offered a discount. I don’t go in expecting one, but each time it is a very nice surprise. I love her work and feel it is reasonably priced. I would buy it without a discount. I can’t imagine going into her booth and demanding a discount.

I wonder how those haggling ladies would like it if each time they went into work, their boss attempted to bargain with them:

“Good morning. I’ll give you 12 dollars an hour today instead of 16.”

“How about $12.50 an hour then?”

“I’ll give you 14 dollars an hour and no medical benefits today.”

“O.K. then, 15 dollars, but no breaks for coffee or lunch.”

And don’t even get me started on those folks who go into a booth, get information on how to make something and then tell the artist they’ll go home and make the same thing, but it will only cost them two dollars to make it.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Shearing the Dreams of Fadi Frank

I'm putting a stop to Prince Fadi Frank's dream. I just don't care.

Greetings to you in the name of our Lord and His richest blessings upon you.

I am Prince Fadi Frank, 69 years old of Middle East but was giving birth to
in the Netherlands. Who is presently suffering from cancer of the Lungs with
deteriorating condition.

Bulk of all I ever worked for and my life time belongings are presently in
France and Funds with is part of my business deals with Iran Ministry of Oil
Fixed with Finance House/Bank. Presently, the management just wrote to update
me about the statues of the fixed funds since I have not reach nor write the
Bank because of my illness.

Presently, I can only operate with the help of a private nurse which I employed
and who has been taking care of me. Talking is very hard for me for some time.
But i made some arrangement with my Lawyer who has being working for me of recent
and I gave him instructions to make available letter of authorization which will
be send to the Bank. Because my wish is to see 50% of this funds shared among
Charity Organizations and Humanitarian Outreaches once am able to get a GOOD

I reach agreement is to look for a good and God fearing Individuals/Groups/Organization
that will stand in trust and be able to take custody of this funds once I am sure of
the Individual or Organization. I will like to hear from you if you can be able to work
with me and make my dream come true.

I will be waiting respond

Thank you and stay bless.

Prince Fadi Frank.

And, no, I do not feel bad that he is waiting for respond.

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” ( 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.