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Midland, Texas, United States
I write. I make stuff.

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Monday, October 31, 2005

More Journal Skirts



Finally got some more journal skirts listed on etsy.com--http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5078 is where you can see what I've put there. Trying to clean out the closet of Journal Skirts that have been in books and magazines, etc., so I have room to put more stuff. I can't wear all of them, and I HATE that they're just sitting in there, hidden away. That's not the reason I made them. Of course, when I made them, I was imagining I'd wear them all. But, in truth, I wear my favorites over and over and over and don't ever even think about the others. I've always been that way--get attached to a piece of clothing and want to wear it all the time until it falls apart. My regular journal skirt, the one I've been wearing for years, is more patches than original fabric, at this point.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Another Fiber Skirt
















A couple of years ago, I made a long skirt with all kinds of fibers and ribbons couched on it. I really liked it, but someone bought it; and ever since I've been thinking I'd make another one. Not a long one--that was way too much trouble, couching all those things all the way down to the floor! But a shorter one--a little above knee length. And so today I did. I'm not really pleased with it yet--it needs more, but I don't know what. The other one had writing between each fiber, and I might do that. But at least I got all the tedious sewing finished! My back hates me for it--I also couched a bunch of fibers onto another skirt I'm working on--instructions from Autumn Hathaway (www.autumnhathaway.com) , who drew on the skirt when we were at Art Fiber Fest and then told me how it had to be finished. If you're reading this, Autumn, I've been growling at you all morning as I sewed and cut, sewed and cut! But her hair's looking fabulous!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Meditation Shawl

This is what I did yesterday. Since I'm always either burning up or freezing, I needed a way to be able to wear cool clothes--sleeveless stuff--and then have something to put over me when I get cold. This groovy flannel fabric is on sale (only slightly reduced), and I love it. The lining is similar--same flannel, same colors, different pattern. The ribbon is what's really cool--it's light and shimmery and so is always moving and reflecting light.

It's not like my other shawls--there's no journaling or images on it--just a pink flannel heart. But I didn't want to spend a lot of time making it--so I did it this way. Ha. Ironing and cutting and basting those pieces of ribbon took me all damn day long--that's all I did. Once I got them sewn in place, the rest went pretty quickly. Anyway, I wish you could see it--see how this ribbon (bought at the Woolie Ewe in Dallas-- www.wooliewe.com ) shimmers. It's sooooo cool!

Someone asked me about the size of the journal bags--I'm trying to make them so that I can get a whole bag--front and back and lining--out of two fat quarters (but then there's the handle, which is a whole nother thang). I have a weakness for fat quarters and haven't ever really done anything with them because they're smaller than what I'd need for something to wear. So these bags seemed like the perfect thing.

But you know, I'm already moving on, in my head, to What's Next. I talked to Susan Shie (www.turtlemoon.com ) yesterday and am now thinking of something new--not completely unlike the journal bags, but different. Easier and harder, both. Stay tuned--it'll take me a while to figure out where I'm going with this.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Woohoo!



I finally got something finished! Hooray for me! I was beginning to think I'd never get anything done but would just spend the rest of my life working on stuff and starting other stuff and building up piles and PILES of stuff, all without ever getting anything at all to the state where I'd actually want to SHOW it to anyone. This is "Daddy's Tomato Palace," and I'm pretty pleased with it. It's about how all our friends have been growing tomatoes. My Redneck Friend Bud has this elaborate and totally cool pen he constructed for his mail-order tomoatoes, and his grown kids call it "Daddy's Tomato Palace." He lives about 23 miles north of town, and we drove out a couple of times to get fresh tomatoes. He'd unlock the pen (built to keep out tomato-eatin' varmints) and let us in and then sit in his 80-year-old lawn chair and watch us pick bags and bags and BAGS of fresh, ripe, juicy tomatoes. The leaf on this bag is a leaf print, made with Jacquard Textile paint and a tomato leaf from the garden of my friend Helen. Or, rather, from her husband's garden--I think he's the one who grew the tomotoes. They live in town, and so I don't think he has to keep his in a pen. I love the idea of tomatoes in a pen, as if they might run away during the night if you didn't keep them locked up.

It's got beading and applique and then the stamped names of some really cool-sounding tomatoes, like the Jersey Devil and Mr. Stripey.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Sharpie Shirt























I took a couple of photos of a shirt I made and then decorated with Sharpies. It isn't anything new, but I was showing it to the students in my on-line class and thought other people might like the idea, too--it's really fun: you draw all over the fabric and then touch the marks with rubbing alcohol to make them run and bleed. Do it outdoors--the odor is pretty overwhelming!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Prayers to Mama Goode



It looks like the voodoo doll I couldn't bear to part with has found a new home. A local artist {who's bought several of my voodoo dolls before} saw her and fell in love. I've had her so long--she's one of the first that I ever made--that I can't imagine her not hanging above my desk. It's a funny feeling, to get attached to something I've made--usually I'm ready for it to be gone as soon as it's finished. Like one of the artists I interviewed recently, I feel like I've done my work; and it's time for the piece--whatever it is--to go out and have its own life with someone else. But this doll--there's something about her face that makes her special. Plus the bones--I'll never find any like those again. We found them on a fishing trip, lying bleached beside the lake. Since I've always had a thing about germs, it took a long time before I'd actually pick up bones and stuff, so this was A Big Deal. But when someone wants something you've made, and you KNOW they're Good People, as we say, then you know it's time to let it go. And that leads to new energy: I hadn't even thought about making voodoo dolls in a long time. The three in the French Quarter and the three I have here are all there are. But now, since this one is leaving, I immediately start thinking about making some more. It's kind of lonely in the studio without them all around me. For years there have been at least half a dozen here, turning gently from the ceiling, protecting me. So it looks like it's time to get busy again. Like I don't have enough to work on. . . .but already the ideas are coming. If only I didn't have to sleep and eat and go to the gym.

Journals On-line

Just a quick note this morning--I'm trying to actually finish something so I can show it here, but it's slow going--everything I'm working on is in the embellishment stage, where there's beading and tedious stitching and stuff that takes time. So this morning I was looking at some artists' sites and checked out Danny Gregory's great stuff--http://www.dannygregory.com/weblog/ -- and that led me to this site of people's journals-- http://mymoleskine.typepad.jp/myartist/ --very cool, even though you can't read it--the font doesn't do Japanese. Since I've been loving Gwen Diehn's book and Jennifer New's book (see last week's entry), this is a lot of fun for me--I'm going back now to look at some more.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Book Bag



Here's an idea I've been wanting to play with for awhile. These are the first four pages of my in-progress novel, printed on white muslin. I want to make a bag out of them, with something stamped over the text. I don't know how the stamping will work, as the ink isn't supposed to be opaque--it's dye ink, rather than pigment ink or paint. So we'll see. But at least I got the pages printed out and ready to play with--that's something. I worked on another bag yesterday, too, but it's not at an attractive stage, so I didn't photograph it. I got all the painting and stamping and heat-setting done on the journal skirt I'm doing for the on-line class, and it's looking really good--but I don't want to photograph it until it's finished--it's at the stage where it looks good but unfinished, like it needs just a little more. So I've been working and have a lot done but nothing else ready to photograph and show off. Bummer. Makes it seem like I've been slacking off!

I got a bunch of new assignments from a couple of editors. I don't talk about the people I'm going to interview, but I CAN say, "Wow!" There are some great profiles coming up--people you've heard of who do really cool stuff. I can't wait--I want to call them all up immediately and say, "Tell me everything about your whole life!"

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Cutie Pie Journal Bag




Here's what I finished this morning--with Roz's watercolor painting, sent to me as a jpeg and printed with my Epson Stylus C84 (I now have the C88--same thing, just newer). It prints great on fabric with permanent inks. The bag is appliqued, stamped, and stitched with tons of seed stitches. I'm pretty pleased with it and am ready to work on the next one--and the one after that, and the one after that (I've got three started and am trying to finish one every day--or at least every couple of days).

Going to eBay



Another adventure--I put my Summertime Dress on eBay this morning. It just came back from Virginia, where it was supposed to have been sent to Houston for the Soho launch of the new books for Hancock Fabrics--they're going to carry New Techniques for Wearable Art, and the publishers wanted some artwear from the book for the launch. But Hurricane Rita botched that--the whole launch thang was cancelled. So the clothes came home, and now I want to find a new home for this dress, which has traveled all around the country in the last two years, from VA to MA, to Seattle, to Irvine, CA. It needs a home where it can be WORN, dang it! Enough with the traveling already!

Check out the auction here--http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=5431873556 If it goes well, I'll try some more.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Just Playing Around


Here's what I did today. Well, I also finished a lesson for my on-line workshop and finished and submitted an artist profile and stamped all the text on a journal skirt--but I also did this, just for fun. I'm learning that it's really important to do things that don't have deadlines or someone waiting for them. Things you have no intention of selling or anything. Just for fun. Just to try something new. In this case, I wanted to make a little nametag to see how direct-to-fabric printing would show up on much darker fabric than what I usually print on, and whether the seed stitching through two layers of fabric and some cotton batting would make it sturdy enough not to need a backing of any kind. I'm satisfied on both counts and now am going to make some more. I'm going to make one for a friend who has the world's coolest kid--a two-year-old named Zoe who's smart and cute and funny and self-confident and well-behaved and pretty much in charge of the world. So the nametag for her mom is going to be: Princess Zoe's Driver.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Cutie Pie!






Cutie Pie is the most famous of our cats--he's with me in the photo in the back of my second book, and the shirts made with watercolor paintings of him, done by Roz Stendahl-- www.rozworks.com --are going to be in Belle Armoire this winter.[While you're checking out Roz's great stuff, go here http://www.rozworks.com/Texas0504.html to see her painting of my husband's gun--is that a hoot or what, having a watercolor of your .44 on the web?] So it's no wonder that he's a little different. He loves wine--he gets one drop off of each finger when I have wine in the evenings--and cheese. And we found out yesterday that he also likes grape suckers. I spent WAY too much time this morning playing with this photograph of my husband giving his sucker to Cutie Pie. Lots to learn about Photoshop Elements, but it sure is fun!

Monday, October 03, 2005

Monday Morning


I'm getting pretty jazzed about my on-line workshop that starts day after tomorrow. More and more people are signing up for it, so that'll be really fun. This morning I've been working on the 4th lesson--for a month from now--and I'm getting excited about the skirt I'm working on. It's always hard to get really fired up about these journal skirts in the early stages because there's not a lot going on, and so all you can really see is the work ahead, rather than having an idea of what it's going to look like. Mine, for instance, still looks like this (whever the photo shows up--who knows anymore?). And I'm halfway through the 4th lesson. But it's starting to get exciting, and by next week, I'll be chomping at the bit to wear it.

It's about my favorite city, New Orleans. I made a Vieux Carre Journal skirt years ago, but it sold (also years ago); and when Katrina hit, I started wishing I had that skirt back so I could wear it. So I started another one--it's completely different--only the colors are the same: purple, gold, and green. You can't see much of them yet, but I'll be stamping and painting here shortly, and then it'll get really colorful.

I did this other really cool thing this weekend, and I want to show it to you, too--but it'll have to wait until I get a little further along with this skirt. THEN I can play more with the bags. . . .