Friday, March 25, 2011

Bead Knitted Bag

When I cleaned out my studio, I found an old project with all the supplies to make it. I always wanted to knit one of these beaded amulet bags. It's okay for a first attempt. I know now what I'd do differently- start with two beads per column vs. one; and tighten up my gauge. My knitting was very loose here. The bag measures about 1½ inches square.

Years ago, Marianne made this little bag for me. When I visited her a couple of weeks ago, she got me started and helped me with instructions to finish the project.

I'd never knitted with Size 0000 double pointed knitting needles. I didn't know that they made such tiny ones. The thread is DMC size 8 Cotton Perlé with size 11 beads strung onto the thread.

Cindy Hulsey makes the patterns and you can check her website at Cactus Co. Beadwork.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

New Journal and Books to Read

My Guemes Island art buddies inspire me in so many different ways. Last weekend, I made a new coil-bound journal using printer's paper (an absorbent paper that is used to clean the printer's press). I've always admired the journals that Celeste and Tina keep- dark, decorated paper with white ink writing. The cover is stenciled with acrylic paint.

It's starting to feel like Spring here in the NW and my first page reflects this.

Someone brought a bouquet of daffodils and I couldn't resist drawing them with some Neocolor I water-resistant wax pastels that Gwen gave to me. The bright colors show up well on the dark paper.

In a pile of collage paper, I found some Matisse gift-wrap paper and that sent me on a search for Matisse quotations on art.

The best part about art retreats is the sharing of ideas and resources. I learned of two books that are must reads. Both are chock full of inspiration, lots of substance and direction for artists. Cat Bennett wrote The Confident Creative and Wendy Richmond authored Art Without Compromise.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Check Out New Portland Art Collective Giveaway

Tammy Vail donated one of her tassel dolls for the Portland Art Collective giveaway for March. She hand-dyed the fibers. I have one of her dolls and really enjoy it. Leave a comment on this post to win. Good luck!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Getting Back into the Creative Groove

The past week, I've been on the road traveling up North to visit friends on Vashon and Guemes Islands. These friends inspire me to create, laugh and learn. Catherine Russel gave us each a challenge to make an eight-page mini-book using a set of prompts that she gave to us. Here are my pages. I loved this exercise and plan to do more artwork with it.

Here's a scan of the eight-pages all together that I created using the prompts.
Working with prompts is a great way to get back into the groove of creating art. For prompt ideas and ways to use them, check out the September/October issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors for Robin Olsen's article entitled, "Spontaneous Combustion: using prompts to spark design".

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Studio Organization Accomplished

I've been working on cleaning up my studio for three weeks. It feels good to get this accomplished. I wish I had more space so I could relegate items not used much to another part of the house. But I have to do with the space that I have. Above are the storage bins for my fabrics. I love looking at the colors and have them all color coordinated.

I found these tool caddies and used them for items that I can carry to the desk or out in the garage when I want to use them- metalworking tools, pens and pencils and markers.

All my felting and fiber supplies are in one place and the shelf is easier to move in and out to reach things stored on each end.

One of the best parts is the reclaimed floor space . It makes the room look so much bigger. With bags and boxes piled up around the perimeter, it was hard to find a pathway through all the stuff and to find things. My new motto is "put everything away".

A new feature is the shelf DH built for the back of the desk. It's 5½ inches wide, 6 inches tall and 60 inches long. Now I have a place to tuck treasures. Items I use daily are contained in an organizer. I hope I'm motivated to keep it this way. The worktable is clear, ready for a new project.

A Celebration of Life for Mari Le Glatin Keis

Yesterday, I drove to Corvallis to celebrate the life of a special person, Mari Le Glatin Keis. Mari died January 9th at the age of 60. It was wonderful to share her artwork, sketchbooks, memories and stories with family and friends. She inspired me and many others to sketch and draw with eyes and heart while traveling and at home. She had six simple ideas for sketching and living- pack light and simple, relax, play, stay small, collage and sketch with words. Her book, The Art of Travel with a Sketchbook, is one of my favorites.
In the summer of 2008, I was fortunate to travel with her to Brittany, France for ten days. She shared her love of France- the people, culture, language and beautiful landscape. As a memento, I bought one of her published Brittany sketchbooks.
This map is a page from my journal of the places we visited. Her spirit and passion for life will always be with me. Merci Mari!