Monday, October 26, 2009

David Letterman, Craft Demos and Me

Gentle readers, I must share with you a dream I had two nights ago but first, I ask you not to judge me too harshly until you have read this entire post.

Do you promise to withhold judgment? Ahhh, thank you; I knew I could count on your civility and generosity.

I dreamt I was at a taping of David Letterman's show when suddenly one of the producers decided it would be great to include a craft demo in the next segment. She turned to me (somehow I was no longer in the audience but instead standing right next to her) and asked if I knew any craft projects and I (somewhat overzealously and with more than a little conceit) replied, "Of course, I know hundreds."

"Great, you'll be on in 5 minutes."

Undaunted, I rapidly sorted through the amazing mound of art supplies that inexplicably appeared around me, and spied a little handmade booklet that I thought would be the perfect project. No matter that I hadn't made said little booklet, or that I didn't know its dimensions or if I had the correct supplies on hand. Being an intrepid artgirl I figured I could improvise something snappy.

I quickly arranged little bowls of supplies in a pleasing configuration while I tried to mentally deconstruct the booklet's construction. All of a sudden I was told, "Make sure you look right into the camera" and ladies and gentlemen, it was showtime!

Trouble was...I had nothin'. Zip. Nada. Zilch. A big goose egg.

I looked at the nifty little booklet and gamely tried to guess at its dimensions and suggest what materials to use (it was no coincidence that the materials I used for the Junque Journal workshop at the Art Party came to mind). I realized I should have spent more of my precious preparation time figuring out HOW TO MAKE THE PROJECT rather than merchandizing the supplies. After about a minute of mumbling and stumbling I realized that they were no longer taping me and had in fact, moved on to something else.

It was basically the artgirl's equivalence of dreaming you're naked in public or unprepared for that big test.


In my defense, I have identified several factors that no doubt contributed to this disturbing tale...

First, my dear friends Maureen and Terri were recently defending David Letterman in light of his recent scandal. In fact, they named their Tuesday evening Trivial Pursuit team after his production company (Worldwide Pants) as a means of defiant protest. Thus, David Letterman was on my mind.

Second, those same two dear friends were just discussing how they hope to go to a taping of Oprah's show some day. Thus, being at a talk show taping was on my mind.

Third, one of those same two dear friends (hint...NOT Terri) texted me a few mornings ago that she had had a disturbing dream about me greeting her at the door of my squalid apartment, pregnant and about to give birth, whereupon we proceeded to toss my ratty and smelly old furniture out of the windows. I will spare my Gentle Readers the remaining details, lest you be offended and possibly even require medical intervention. Nevertheless, disturbing dreams were on my mind.

Fourth, I recently was scheduled to hold a Stitched Paper Demo to which I arrived late (and highly) apologetic. A bad combination of being ill-prepared (heading north without printed directions) and encountering heavy traffic led to my tardiness. The hosts and guests were more than gracious and the evening went well, but the sting of ill preparation lingers yet.

There you have it, Gentle Readers, a look into the workings of my mind, it both its waking and sleeping states. Do with it what you will, but again, I throw myself upon your compassion and mercy.

The moral of all this? Make like a Boy Scout and be prepared!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Over the top...and around the bend

Wowza, 2 of my favorite artgirls, Lisa & Beth, bestowed an honor upon me by giving me the "Over the Top" blog award.

My responsibilities (insert solemn voice and furrowed brows) include passing this honor on to 6 of my favorite blogs and providing my answers to the questions below. The answers are supposed to be single words, but anyone who knows me also knows that just isn't going to happen.

Where is your cell phone? Usually in my left pants pocket

Your hair? Feria Red Number 56!

Your mother? in St. Louis

Your father? Not a significant person in my life

Your favorite food? Sweets!

Your favorite drink? Gin & tonic

Your dream last night? I don't remember one from last night, but a crazy friend texted me this morning to tell me she dreamt that she and I were living in a squalid apartment and I threw the only piece of furniture (a chair) out of the window before she helped me give birth. How can I possibly top that????

Your dream/goal? A cottage on a quiet beach made for long walks

What room are you in? Work office

Your hobby? Creating art and possibilities

Your fear? Not making a difference

Where do you want to be in 6 years? That cottage on a quiet beach sounds pretty good

Where were you last night? Walking, home, talking & texting

Something that you aren't? Patient

Muffin? Chocolate with cream cheese filling

Wish list item? More time

Where did you grow up? St. Louis, MO

Last thing you did? Talked to a friend on the phone

What are you wearing? Slacks, v-neck sweater, funky jewelry

Your TV? A semi big thing with On Demand

Your pets? Cats Max, Isabelle and Indy

Friends? About the best part of my life

Your life? Always evolving

Your mood? Content, excited

Missing someone? Not really

Vehicle? Honda Fit

Something you aren't wearing? Anything pinchy

Your favorite store? The Mother of all Goodwills

Favorite color? Soft teal

When was the last time you laughed? I live to laugh

Last time you cried? Welled up during a phone call a few days ago

Your best friend? Can't possibly pick just one

One place you go to over and over? The beach

One person who emails you regularly? Can't pick just one

Favorite place to eat? Anywhere someone else is doing the cooking

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A different sort of 'paint by number'

Here is an embroidery piece from a kit I bought several years ago (ahem) that I finally finished. It was the perfect project for those times when I wanted my hands to be busy but I wasn't feeling all that creative, or I just didn't want to make a big mess in my art room (or more likely I already HAD a big mess and didn't want to clean it up so I could work on something else).

I haven't decided what I'm going to do with it. Well, ironing it would be the first step, I suppose. I suspect I'll piece together some cool fabric for a background and think of a fun way to display it...maybe hanging from a small branch.

And this is from a table runner I found at the Goodwill Outlet store in Seattle. There are literally huge piles of fabric-y things (clothes, linens, pillows) to sort through, but at pennies per serving (they charge by the pound of merchandise), it's worth it. I always take everything home and immediately toss it into the washing machine. Then I have fun cutting it up (if it's clothing) and adding it to my (ever growing) stash of fabric fun-ness.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Mark your calendars for October 15!

On October 15 I've got a fun event scheduled with the gals from the Arthouse Mosaic Studio and Blue Apple Gallery near Seattle. Sherri Robbins and Patty McCauley have side-by-side businesses in Richmond Beach and they're determined to make the north end a "groovier" place for artists. Sherri's flower pot above is proof that she is all about getting her groove on...

They are in the process of lining up classes and other social events to develop a community of artists and provide creative inspiration for beginners and more experienced artists and crafters alike.

I'm thrilled to be doing a cool demo on Thursday, October 15 from 6:30 to 8:30pm. And the best part? You get to play along and take your treasure home with you.

I've got about a gabillion ideas for demos...leave me a Comment with your favorite and the one with the most votes wins:

1. Hand-stamped muslin ribbon

2.Stitched paper bookmarks - BIG WINNER FOR DEMO!!!!!!!

3. Funky face drawing and watercolor painting

It's's's GROOVY!

The address is:

621 NW Richmond Beach Rd (above 20 minutes north of Seattle)

From I-5, take the 175th street exit and go left, right on Aurora, left onto 185th Street (which becomes Richmond Beach Road) for 1 mile, then make a left into the mini mall behind the 76 gas station.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Birds and dots...dots and birds

Whenever I go on away with one group of friends for an art retreat we always make cards for a card swap. For this batch I used paint chips (the long ones with 5 coordinating colors) and torn-out pages from old books. And of course, my favorite Signo white gel pen. Little white dots just make everything better. As do little birds. And birds and dots together? Well, that's the shizznit!

And if you look really, really can even learn a few random and outdated facts about New Zealand and Pakistan!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Our tax dollars STRANGELY at work

A delightfully creative young woman used to work in our office and she left this behind on her bulletin board. It's the painted wooden side from a box of mandarins (which, by the way, I just learned are NOT the same as tangerines).

Of course I began to wonder about the lyrics to that strange old song...and it turns out it's a lot stranger than I thought.

First of all, I found the lyrics on a government website run by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Why on earth would the NIH (which funds all sorts of scientific research projects) care about the lyrics to "Darling Clementine"? And why would they put it in their children's section? Are there perceived health benefits to children in singing maudlin old ditties? Does it ward off tuberculosis or scarlet fever or the croup?

The answer, Gentle Readers, is that a rogue verse was added to encourage people to learn "artificial respiration" (as it was once quaintly referred to) to prevent their loved ones from following in the teeny, delicate footsteps of darling Clementine. And of course had Clementine or her boyfriend taken swimming lessons from the YMCA as THIS song admonishes, this sad tale never would have transpired.

And if you click on the little gray horizontal bar, you can hear an old, tinny, accordian-ey version of the song.

I had no idea the story was so...dark... like so many old nursery rhymes. And what sort of low-down, no-good, rat-b******* would forget his beloved Clementine as soon as he kissed her sister??? He doesn't sound so "dreadful sorry" to me!

Judge for yourselves...and if you want to brush up on your CPR techniques, this nifty website can help.

In a cavern, in a canyon,

Excavating for a mine
Dwelt a miner forty niner,
And his darling Clementine.

Oh my darling, oh my darling,
Oh my darling, Clementine!
Thou art lost and gone forever
Dreadful sorry, Clementine

Light she was and like a fairy,
And her shoes were number nine,
Herring boxes, without topses,
Sandals were for Clementine.

Oh my darling, oh my darling,
Oh my darling, Clementine!
Thou art lost and gone forever
Dreadful sorry, Clementine

Drove she ducklings to the water
Ev'ry morning just at nine,
Hit her foot against a splinter,
Fell into the foaming brine.

Oh my darling, oh my darling,
Oh my darling, Clementine!
Thou art lost and gone forever
Dreadful sorry, Clementine

Ruby lips above the water,
Blowing bubbles, soft and fine,
But, alas, I was no swimmer,
So I lost my Clementine.

Oh my darling, oh my darling,
Oh my darling, Clementine!
Thou art lost and gone forever
Dreadful sorry, Clementine

How I missed her! How I missed her,
How I missed my Clementine,
But I kissed her little sister,
I forgot my Clementine.

Oh my darling, oh my darling,
Oh my darling, Clementine!
Thou art lost and gone forever
Dreadful sorry, Clementine

Rogue Cautionary Verse:

Now you kids may learn the moral
Of this little tale of mine
Artificial respiration
Would have saved my Clementine

Friday, October 2, 2009

If you're happy and you know yourself!

I borrowed a zany idea I saw on Carla Sonheim's blog...googling your first name preceded by an adverb. I had no idea I had toothless admirers, coupons for shoes, am exempt from writing stories, have no aptitude for diagnosing dehydration, and (sadly) disappeared into a mushroom cloud.

Next time you're avoiding actual work, try it!

Happily, Cindy received her Certificates of Occupancy and opened Dogma's doors in 2006!

Happily, Cindy is distinctly chilly towards him chasing after you.

Happily, Cindy and I will have our very own pair with the coupons we used to save.

Happily, Cindy at the local branch said they were full of it.

Happily Cindy will continue as an ordinary member of the club.

Happily, Cindy is continuing as an NCPA member.

Happily Cindy will still be near enough to come to coffee occasionally and attend other events in the Department.

Someone smiles happily. Cindy disappears in a mushroom cloud.

As the ladies clapped their hands happily, Cindy said, “Uni and I are new so we don't have to do stories."

Happily, Cindy has fully recovered, they have a thriving business and their jewelry is available in 300 stores, including Saks and Barney's.

Zolov looked up happily Cindy! Cindy! Cindy! he cried out with a gleeful toothless smile.

Happily Cindy went up the stairs, and locked herself in the bathroom to celebrate the events of today.

Happily, Cindy mistook his distress for advanced dehydration and poured him a liberal cup.

Happily, Cindy said, "I will meet you at the bar."

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Heigho! Purple flowers and robin wings

And here are some more from my alphabet-block series. For the blue and purple one, I mixed all sorts of pages from French poetry and shorthand books with snippets from an old dictionary and nature images.

For this piece, I used dictionary pages and Asian text I had spritzed with walnut ink through a wing-shaped stencil.