Friday, December 29, 2006

How to get good heads

So I became obsessed this week about sculpting and painting doll heads. Pretty Doll Heads (hey what a great girl band name don't ya think?) anyway...decent looking doll heads are the most challenging part of a cloth doll and the most important. I know, because I've made a few freakish damned dolls with fat crooked lips that take away from their whole "cool art doll" image. So I resolved to whip up a bunch of heads and go to town until two or three dollfaces were at least "attractive" by art doll standards. BTW you cannot rip out sculpting if you perform a bad nose job. The head just has to live with it. Make a pindoll out of it and move on.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Carmen Collage

Collage art book pages in progress for my sister. I used techniques from Traci Bautista's Retro-rags class from Art and Soul I used stamped and painted paper towels, papers and cloth with childhood photo transfers.

BAQ (Big OLE Quilt) Is Done and On The Bed!

Santa Temple

Bow down, Bow down before the power of Santa

Or Be Crushed

Be Crushed


...............jolly boots of doom.

Sung by Chloe pre Christmas silliness

Thursday, December 21, 2006

I Got a lot a Catchin up 2 Do!

This is Trudi, my Secret Sister Doll. She was - a secret - and I couldn't post her but now I can. Trudi's gone. I've given her to an adoptive Material Girl mommy. I will miss you my Trudi and your one-of-a-kind nuno-felted dress, oh your crooked oversized eyes adding to your crazed doll look. I wish I had an itsy margarita glass to send you off with a toast. sniff sniff

You must see all of the Secret Sister dolls in the "Gallery" Secret Sister 06
Material Girls Cloth Doll Club

Go straight to the photos by copying this direct link:

Ah but a beautiful new doll-child has come to live with me! Her name is Kathy and her real mom is...Kathy from Material Girls! Kathy made her lace ethereal wings from scratch...and her multimillion dollar embroidery machine. Kathy is just beautiful and I love her so much! She also has nice breasts! I've yet to make a doll with decent breasts.

Oh the shoes! I love little handcrafted doll shoes! She has feet just like mine :)

My doll Trudi went to the maker of the above artist...Trudi! I love the colors and the preciseness and ...check out that leaf!!! WOW. I was pretty intimidated about making a beginner doll like Trudi to Trudi. She's so talented and exact in her designs. I may be te most amaeuturist doll artist in the club but I get to learn from the VERY best. THE most talented doll the damned world I tell you! SS Challenged me to FINISH Art (something I'm a tad challenged by) while doing my best work at a deadline and STILL keep my new day job!

Here is my 7-year-old freemotioning her whole cloth flannel using the patented stitch regulator. "Mommy, this is FUN!" Look for her at Houston Quilt Fest Best in Show 2020.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Berninas and Quilt Festival Dreams

I made it to Houston Quilt Festival for my Hollis Chatelain "Painting with Procion Dyes" class and my day was absolutely sweet. After working my money-maker to death since returning from training/vacation, I've not touched my machine since Sept 25. Had to sell my Carolyn Fallert class to a wonderful Material Girl member because of the new job. I'm going back in the mornig to buy a freakin Bernina 440qe with a stitch regulator! Have you ever driven one of those? It was a religious experience. Anyone want to buy an awesome Brother NX400 w/large table and 30 feet included?

Monday, October 16, 2006

Last of NYC Fav Pics then back to Texas... promise

Can you tell me how to to get to Sesame Street?

Little Jenny Balls from Hoboken NJ: This is a bonafide a NYC Rep with Balls! Love you Jenny Ball Bags! Come see me in Texas girl!

My Little Manhattan

From the top of a Chelsea Pub on my last night

Friday, October 13, 2006

I'm back!

Well, I'm home from NYC -damn-...and i forgot how to sew! I'm sure I'll figure it out now that I have some fresh fabs from The City Quilter

I wish I had bought some of the very cool fabrics I saw that they didn't offer on their website. It seems I only bought the touristy city scene stuff. It's ok, I WILL BE BACK!

On Wednesday I freaked when I saw the horrible news about Yankee's pitcher flying into an East Manhattan apartment building. It brought back those wretched memories of 9/11 and I can't imagine the feeling of Manhattan dwellers watching the scene Wednesday. I couldn't even bring myself to photograph the site at Ground Zero directly but took these photos from the water taxi.

There's just this giant hole of emptiness and goneness of World Trade Center. I met so many people who lost their loved ones in NYC and told me their stories. One young gentleman and his family told me of their grandparents who had been eating breakfast at Windows on the World and were gone in seconds. Families go there to grieve and remember, everyday.

So it angered me to see the "Truthers" protesting in front of sacred ground about the CIA conspiring to destroy the World Trade Center. I told the boy he was dillusional and to stick his flier up his....but this is the USA and we have the freedom of expression. Could they just show a drop of respect for these families and go somewhere else with their moronic crap? It was all I could do not the slap the little bastard.

Speaking of expression...tonight Jim and I caught a great Texas performance by Carolyn Wonderland at Dan Electro's Guitar Bar. I haven't seen her perform in at least 8 years. It was the Texas dose of bluesy, beautiful music and beer I needed!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Come Back to Texas

Ok, I've done what I came here to do. I miss my hubby and baby. I've forgotten how to drive or cook. I want to slow down and sit in my backyard. I want to see Mary who's husband Bruce in ICU right by our homes. I miss my big hot Houston city and my humungous but affordable 1800 sq foot home. I especially miss my family....don't make me cry. :)

Tonight was nice though. I took the subway all by myself all the way from midtown to downtown and found Century 21 (bargain shopping NY-style) I made a pitstop at The City Quilter and bought several cityfied fabrics that I'll post soon. I also bought a very simple cityscape pattern to mark my NY memories. After trying to follow the girl from City Quilter's FIT directions, I gave up and decided to head the Century 21 via subway and the E train. I got off at the Chambers stop and what do you know!!! I didn't end up in Brooklyn! So, I'm walking fast in God know's where Hell's Revenge NY when a nice Polish exchange student asks, "Mam, can you tell me how to get to Century 21?" I laughed, only because he was asking me and that meant my calm dramatical interpretration of a hurried New Yorker worked. I told him, "Darlin, God must have brought you to me so we can find it together!" We were one block from Ground Zero and Century 21 and had no idea. I bought a pair of flats and a top and booked it back to the E train home. .... welll not home by any means. I then had nice late dinner at a corner french restaurant where I ordered their special martini and chicken crepes with "green wisps" aka Salad in an outdoor cafe while I watched the never ending foot and auto traffic of Manhattan at night.

Monday, October 02, 2006

My Favorite Places in New York City

My absolute favorite place in NYC is definitely Central Park! This is by far the most beautiful park I've ever seen. It's so well kept and built for everyone in the city. I could devote an entire blog to Central Park. I will miss Central Park the most.
Chloe in the City! She really enjoyed the trip though her daddy ran us ragged in the 2 1/2 day time span. We saw Miss Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Natural Science, FAO Schwartz, ToysRUs, Greenwich Village, Times Square, The Manhattan Children's Museum (not for big kids) a cool restaurant called Mars 2112 where you dine on Mars, and taaa daaa... Chloe's favorite "Central Park" !

The MET! Tears come to my eyes when I think of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This was like Disney Land f0r me. Except if you could only stay at Disney Land for 4 hours and have to leave. I need at least a full day in here....but the place closes at 5:30 during the week. Think original Chagall, Degas, Picasso, Renoir, Monet, and the list goes on and on. I took about 45 pics of original art here. We saw maybe 1/4 of the museum.
The Views! This was taken from the top of the Empire State Building!

BTW: this city has the best sushi in the world. Ruby Foo's in Times Square was great and cheap! Koi was a little more and out of this world!!!! I tended to eat a LOT of friggn sushi ya'll! So here I am at Ruby Foos eatin the Sushie.....

Oh! and here I am again with...could it be sushi!!!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

hmmmm.... see if you can find anything wrong with the above statement under the photo. win a free trip to Manhattan if you figure it out and comment me. I also have 1/2 price tickets tonight at the Comedy Club times square. ....tonight only

Bright Lights Big City

I finally made it to Times Square tonight. Snapped a few pics, ate some bad pizza and went to the Gap. Blogger and hotel slow-speed internet not letting me post pics.

I did check out the MTV store and watched a few "movies in the making" on the street. My hotel is about 3 blocks from Times Square and 4 from our office, but the blocks here are looooong! I've only seen the Meat Packing District, Times Square and a bit of Greenwich Village and had a $15 coctail with my training buds on top of hotel. More pics of my adventures to come but Blogger or this hotel high speed aint all that.

Here are a few of my observations so far:

1) New Yorkers Really do speed walk...everywhere. Perfect for me since I already walk like I'm late.

2) In every shoe store I see, I love all of the shoes. There are no ugly shoes here.

3) They wear black because every thing is dirty. I went to work today with black smudgies on my grey slacks.

4) People here are not at all mean or rude. They're just late and we visitors take too damned long.

5) The women here are beautiful, young and dressed perfectly. Even the no-so-attractive women are stylish. Classy bitches are everywhere. I've not seen one blinged out redneck. Well, I'm in a disguise to blend in.

6) Cabbies will kill you. They don't care, get the hell out of their way!

More later with pics from last nights happy hour and tomorrow nights happy hours!!

Peace ya'll

Friday, September 22, 2006

Big Buttons in the Big Apple Baby!

da da dada dum...
sssstart spreadin' the neeews
...I'm leavin Mondaaaay.
I've -
got -
- be a part of it.....NEW YORK NEW YORK!!

My darling new company is sending me to Manhattan for a couple of weeks. I can finally check off one of those "places 2 go before I die." Before I knew which city I'd be sent, I thought I'd need to find a mini sewing machine for hotel evenings but...FuuughGet About IT! I'll be too busy shopping in the Garment District. They have entire stores that only sell...imported ribbons, or just trims. There's even one specializing in feathers. There's only one quilt store called The City Quilter but at least the place is open until 7! And a block away is The Fashion Institute of Technology which is open until 8:30pm. That's all exciting in itself, but also worthy: Greenwich Village, SoHo, Little Italy, Timesquare, Central Park..blah blah blah. I just hope I don't act like a crazy country girl in the big ole city! Yeehaw Ya'll!!! My family will join me for the weekend and I think they're even more excited than I am! Look for pictures and a posts as I'm sure to be!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Chloe's Art Quilt & Jim to be Immortalized in Fabric

Chloe wondered why I hadn't yet published this work of her's so here it is. She chose all of the fabrics and yarn for this project and she did the freemotion stitching while sitting in my lap.

And my current QuiltU class, Realistic Fabric Portraits, is not so easy. I'm debating on the right photo and made Jim brush his hair and change shirts for these pic today. Ain't he handsome! It was a struggle but who wouldn't want to be immortalized in a family heirloom forever? Our instructor, Marilyn Belford encouraged us to use a "mature" photo rather than a child because of the thread painting. Mature faces are more forgiving for beginners. it me or does he look a tad like the deliciously evil Dr. Christian Troy from Nip Tuck baby!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Why blog?

Ahhh...wish I had made this....but alas- taken from an artist's exhibit from a Quilt Guild show a couple of years ago. Dang beautiful!

And today I found
  • an Artist's perspective on blog rationale
  • that I can totally relate to.

    By anonymously stalking their blogs for quite some time, I've been filled with knowledge, inspiration and awe... but have quite often suffered intimidation by these incredibly talented women.
  • Sharonb's "In A Minute Ago" Blog
  • is one of them. So while surfing stichery blogs across the world, I was sewn through her's again and to her excellent perspective. She discusses the community of blog creator's, the reasons we blog, and how blogging motivates us to finish all of those UFOs. Maybe this will help some of my peeps understand why I do this! Read it ya'll!

    Thursday, September 07, 2006

    Abstract Emotional Attempt

    Still in the midst of my Art for Quilter's class and I'm way behind. I forced myself to do the abstract challenge tonight. I just hope they don't vote me off. (watching too many Project Runway DVDs lately)

    We were to use geometric shapes to create an abstract in fabric that represents a feeling or tells an emotional story. How you do that with abstracts? I still don't know. I kept finding myself wanting to paint a full-blown picture of Lucifer in the corner. Ok, now you can guess my "feeling" was not happy! Actually, looking at it on my black blog, it does kinda convey the sorrowful tone I was aiming for! Good times.

    My original "emotion" was too ugly to even post so here is the lightened up version: This is about grief and the loss of a loved one. Kind of a snapshot of early grief and pain of loss shooting in. For the longest time you feel as if a spear is stuck in your middle...very deep and it may never come out. Then, the grieving squeezes tears out and the long healing process begins. The blue circle represented the lost love in the beginning but transformed into myself. I wanted to depict the lost one disappearing into oblivion but my skills lack and I wanted to finish and move on. Before I started I kept saying to myself, "Do something pretty and soothing and fun....come on you don't have to go THERE." Then It just wouldn't go away and hey it works, it's done and out.

    This is my original sketch. The results are similar but I just couldn't pull my "vision" off since 1) I'll never have enough fabrics 2) I really wanted to get her done and move on from this unhappy place.

    My extremely talented instructor
    Marilyn Belford
    This is a strong piece. It is well thought out and the eye moves around the work perfectly. It expresses everything you said, and more. Those red arrows moving in, changing direction and getting smaller, add great depth and suggest the three-dimensional roundness of the circle, as well as the transition to tears. The whole piece evokes a feeling of healing. Nice going! I notice in the lower left some squiggles in red. Is that a compositional ploy (which, by the way, works)? Or a symbol, or letters... or?

    But I just had to respond,
    could it be....Satan?
    I was thrilled she got the "healing" aspect of the piece!

    Sunday, September 03, 2006

    Project Studio Make Over

    Taaa Daaa! Internet magic makes it look like just yesterday this place was a mess. Now I can easily pull my cutting table to the middle of the room and rock-n-roll that rotary all day baby!

    I bought two sets of clear drawers and arranged my cottons by color and tone. I even reserved a drawer for "Chloe's Scraps" so my daughter can be allowed access to ONE drawer only. (But really, I'd stay out of mom's sewing room you know because of all those sharp pins sticking up from the carpet.)

    No more Fortunes and Business Weekly's to chop up! I can also sleep soundly knowing my Quilting Arts and Cloth Paper Scissors issues are present, together and arranged chronologically.

    I have room for more stuff and at this moment in time, I pretty much know where everything is! Time to make something.

    Thursday, August 31, 2006

    Clearing the Clutter

    Maybe I'm revealing too much here. I don't care anymore. Something about turning 40 - yeah I said it. I am it.

    Picture this: I'm between jobs for the next couple of weeks and have just begun to relish in the delight of time. Get Thee Behind Me Clutter! Here's my sewing/studio room now. Consider it a "before" photo.

    Hmmm...let's see, where did I put that...uumm..what was I looking for again?
    I cannot bring myself to enter any of these sacred tools into the garage sale next weekend. I think I'll just sell the bed to make more room!

    Never know when I might might need to cut pictures and words out of Fortune magazines.

    For Mom: My "doll-in-progress" you asked about. She's not "hoed up" enough yet but I will try to keep her tasteful.

    Monday, August 28, 2006

    Happy Birthday Mom! We made it through Monday!

    I had lunch with my mom today and it is her birthday! I thought this day deserved over-running that ugly anxiety fabric below with an empty tequila bottle on a Mexican beach! Since my mom encompasses about 98% of my readership I don't want her subjected to my stressed out brain below. (: I love you Mom!!! : )

    Sunday, August 27, 2006

    Anxiety Art

    I painted this chunk of fabric with straight black dyes the other night. It's a good picture of Sunday night anxiety. Since it bothers me to look at, I'll post a prettier piece once Monday has come and gone so as not to bum anyone out all week. I painted left-over ebony dye onto dry fabric thinking I'd get black on white but the red traveled out of the black. Maybe this is what my brain looks like when stressing out. Not pretty.

    Actually, this weekend turned out several twisted pieces of ugly things and I can't post them because I abandoned them at a friend's house. I'm sure she appreciates that!

    Sunday, August 20, 2006

    Art for Quilters

    It's been another over-creating weekend. I nuno-felted onto cheese cloth, the little corset for my latest doll - it is perfect. I dyed clouds, a stormy day and two sunsets in multiple colors last night. And this morning, the above Lesson 1 from Art for Quilters online class! Somebody stop me!

    The good news is that I used my plethora of hand-dyed pieces for the background (stormy skies) the leaves and the pear.

    Thursday, August 17, 2006

    Nuno Felting with Gika Rector

    We had a GREAT time tonight at Part II of Felt Play at Jung Center. Gika showed us how to go "Nuno" on cotton which means to felt on a fabric base. I've found another medium to obsess about! The results are just incredible.

    All of the pieces pictured are wet and are they ever beautiful! We rolled the wet felt on cotton about 100 times in those big blue bubble things. Then, we wadded them up and gently dropped the wet cloth...check it...hmm...not quite, needs more kneading. Drop it lightly a few times, say 456 times (I'm so exaggerating) and by the end of it, once the felt starts to be real good friends with the cotton, we chunk it hard on the table. When it's done, it looks like a piece of imported altered fabric you could not afford to buy from a screamingly famous artist. This stuff is so cool that I almost want to keep it a secret!

    You can make scarves, garments, art fabric or whatever you want with this stuff. Mine happens to match my shirt so I look like Miss Nuno Pageant winner. Gika Rector is a fiber artist worth stalking so look for her October workshop at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft
    and make felt slippers like no other slippers on earth...not even in Marshall's.

    Wednesday, August 16, 2006

    Felt Play with Gika Rector

    I spent last night at Houston's Jung Center playing with fuzzy raw felt and silk roving in Gika Rector's class. She taught us how to mold felt into shapes and pouches using only our hands, water, and ivory soap. Thursday is Neno Felting and I can hardly wait! My Houston friend from Art & Soul Dallas, Linda Hughes, took the class also. We both agreed, "we love this!!!" Pictured is the pouch, felt balls, spiral cord and bracelets with sliding felt beads. Tonight I made a cool sunglasses case (top photo)! This craft is not supply-heavy or technical. You just need a BUNCH of colors of wool and silk rovings and even yarns for embellishment. Gika is just a wonderful teacher and a very cool artsy chick: Check out her work and Jung Houston: