Saturday, March 29, 2008

ArtFest 2008

I'm off to ArtFest this next week and am looking forward to seeing friends and taking workshops. Thursday is Anahata Katkin's Mixed Media Mandalas.
Friday is Nature Imprinted with Dorit Elisha and Saturday is Theo Ellsworth's Mystery Play Inside.
In the next post, I'll share what we created. It's great to be able to take the ArtFest adventure.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Printemps nm 1. [saison] spring

The French have a wonderful expression- "avoir 20 printemps" or to be 20 years old. I was 20 years old when I first studied the French language. That time represented the springtime of my life- young, a university student, in full bloom with lots of options and possibilties for the future. Learning a new language now offers certain challenges- remembering vocabulary, hearing pronunciation, concentrating to listen and speak- being in the moment. The process helps to exercise both the right and left sides of my brain. Check out Kristin Espinasse's French-Word-a-Day site.

Spring still offers many opportunities- new growth, a burst of creativity, change, cleansing rain, exploration of the earth's beauty in color and form. This bounty makes me grateful for what we have and the paths taken since "avoir 20 printemps". It's a blessing to be able to enjoy this rebirth et parler français.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Les Fleurs et Pâtisseries à Portland

Bonjour! We celebrate the first day of Spring today. Spring rains cleanse the earth and new growth returns color to our world- a renaissance. In preparation for a Camp Runamuckus ArtFest flower swap, I made les fleurs above with layers of felt, fabric, tulle, hair curlers and copper wire. The whimsical bouquet brightens my studio work table.

Maybe it's because of mon leçons françaises that we're frequenting les pâtisseries à Portland. Le Petite Provence, 4834 SE Division offers comfortable dining and a counter full of elegantly displayed and hard-to-decide-which-to-choose pâtisserie. Très bonne!

Fleur de Lis, 3930 NE Hancock took over the old Hollywood neighborhood library. It's Portland casual with indoor and outdoor seating et plus pâtisserie- une boulangerie excellente. C'est la vie - avec amies, conversation et café au lait.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

New Sewing Machine Cover

It's finished! In January, I took a fabric collage class at Fibers in Motion in Multnomah Village with Darlene Veltman. After seeing Darlene's cover, I wanted one. She told me I had to make my own. For the first sewing project in years, I really enjoyed piecing some of the fabrics together that I brought back from Japan and embellishing the collage. It says "Om is where my art is". The great Buddha Diabutsu from Kamakura sits on a lotus flower.

The beaded embellishments add color and texture. It's hard to see but the background green fabric behind the Buddha is embellished with small gold seed beads to make it look quilted.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Journal Pages

This page explores the reasons that I want to keep a visual journal. The Japanese visuals highlight the journal's use as a meditative practice. One can be in the moment and lose themselves in the process of creating.

The word "zygote" became the writing theme for this page. For the page below, I transfered a childhood photo and used the Soul Collage mantra "I am the one who..." as the writing prompt speaking from an eight year old point of view.

Visual journaling stretches my imagination and writing skills. I admire other journalers like Judy Wise and Donna Bauermiller. Check out Donna's Braille journal article in the Mar/Apr 2008 issue of Somerset Studios. I like Fran Meneley's Oaxaca journals that she posted recently on her blog. Dawn Sokol has Art Journal Fridays- weekly prompts to get the creative juices flowing.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Sketch a Box

Members of our sketching group put together a box of odds & ends to sketch. Each week we trade boxes. We could sketch one or two things or all items in the box. Here are my sketches. It's fun to see the different drawings and interpretations of the contents in each box.

This week, it was all about sketching spring flowers.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Sewing & Stitchery Expo Puyallup, WA

I attended the Sewing & Stitchery Expo and learned about a whole new world of fabric, notions, patterns, quilts, sewing machines and embroidery. Susan Gower from Barrington, RI had the Nifty Thrifty Dry Goods booth with embellishment eye-candy in all colors of the rainbow.

Reet's Rags To Stitches from Miranda, CA had great patterns and wonderful items made from hand-dyed felt. I liked the funky dolls.

One of the seminars was on Serendipity Quilts with Marci Baker. She demonstrated how to select contrasting fabrics, fussy cut, stack and wack and make the kaleidoscope quilt blocks. Who knew there would be a whole new vocabulary.

Tammie Bowser showed her photo mosaic quilts that reminded me of Chuck Close paintings. All in all it was two days of fun- meeting women passionate about quilting and sewing, trying out dream sewing and felting machines, getting a full body scan for perfect fitting patterns and discoving new products.