Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Evening Visitor

Last night this visitor to our neighborhood created quite a stir. I had seen the male earlier in the afternoon, and this female showed up near twilight. Adults and kids gathered to watch her devour a mouse while she sat atop the streetlight. Once she finished, she moved down the pole a bit and seemed to sit as if she was posing for all of the photos being taken. I have seen plenty of these hawks in the country, but this is the first time I have seen any in our neighborhood.

And here's Zeke, trying to figure out what to do with a frisbee. He's pretty sure it's a fun toy, but he can't quite figure out how to get his teeth around it. Eventually he did figure it out and has had a ball playing with it all morning.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Scrim Colors

I spent the other morning painting with another artist. She painted on silk, and I painted on cheesecloth, scrim and roving. These still need to be heatset, and maybe a couple of them need more colors, but overall I was pleased with the morning's efforts.

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Postcards Are Here!

Art, Nature, Creativity, Life is an online book by Virginia A. Spiegel. It is filled with her musings on her life as an artist --- plus her original photographs, poetry and reading recommendations. It is available for a $25 donation to the American Cancer Society through Fiberart For A Cause.

A special thanks to Karey Bresenhan, Fiberart For A Cause’s Honorary Chairperson, and
International Quilt Festival for their generosity in underwriting the cost of the promotional postcards! The photo above is the front of the postcard, and on the back are book reviews from Karey Bresenhan, Martha Sielman, Pamela Allen and Lesley Riley.

Virginia's goal is to raise $30,000 for the American Cancer Society from the sales of her book (100% of the sales are donated to the American Cancer Society). For more information, click here. To make a donation, click here.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Nature's Spinner

This is the time of year when I see more and more spiders and spider webs on my walks. This afternoon I found this spider waiting to lure prey into its web, and once again I was intrigued by the intricacy with which these webs are woven. Imagine the patience of this spinner!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Tag, You're It!

Old Market #5
Mixed Media Collage

I've been tagged again to reveal 7 random facts about myself. Here goes:

1. I am afraid of heights --- have been for as long as I can remember.
2. I have college degrees in both accounting and animal science.
3. I love solving puzzles, especially logic puzzles.
4. I love to knit but hate to crochet.
5. I love photography and Nikon cameras.
6. I rarely watch TV. Who has time?!?!?
7. I still have a book of poems that I wrote in high school and college.

I'm also supposed to tag 7 other bloggers to reveal 7 facts about themselves, but I can't bring myself to do that. If you want to play along, consider yourself tagged.

Friday, October 19, 2007

A New Recycler

I am starting the arduous task of painting our woodwork this morning, and as you can see, Zeke is doing his part to recycle the empty tape roll. He is totally enamored with flipping it in the air and watching it roll across the carpet before pouncing on it. Then he comes prancing over to show me his new catch. The best part is that this has kept him entertained for almost an hour!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Autumn Color
This morning on my walk with Zeke I noticed all the wonderful colors of leaves on the ground. Before, I had noticed the yard filling with leaves to be raked, and the trees starting to look bare, but I hadn't bothered to look closely at the individual leaves and appreciate their glorious colors. After our walk, I signed into my blog and read today's nature quote:

Nature Quote of the Day
How beautiful the leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days.
--- John Burroughs

How apropos! Some days it truly is the little things that make my day.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


Ever have one of those days when the stars are perfectly aligned, and everything you touch is magic? Today is such a day for me. I am working on a new piece, and I have used both of the new sets of paint/ink in the photo above for the first time. Each color and medium reacted just as I hoped, and the finished result was exactly as I envisioned.

Then once I had the piece stitched together, I tempted fate once more. I decided to screenprint on top of the work with a design that would either give it just the look I wanted or totally trash the piece. Once again, it worked beautifully. I almost think I should go buy a boatload of lottery tickets --- but instead I am going to call the piece finished and thank the powers that be for being on my side today!

P.S. The top set is Dr. Ph. Martin's India inks --- set of 12 colors. The bottom set is Golden's Select Professional Fluid Acrylics --- set of 8 colors. Both are great additions to my studio!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Dwindling Dyepots

As a natural dyer, I spend a great deal of time in the spring and summer gathering plants and other dyestuffs while they are in season; extracting the dye liquor into canning jars; and dyeing yarns for my winter knitting projects. The photo above is the last few skeins of this dye season. I still have one more skein in a goldenrod dyepot, and that is the final skein that I will dye until next spring. I seem to cycle between dyeing yarn and painting cloth, and the itch to be in the studio painting has already hit me, so it is time.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

New Artwork!

6"h x 4"w
Hand dyed cloth altered with paints, inks and foiling.
Hand embroidery.
Roll fabric rods embellished with beads, wire, pigments and thread.
Artist: Denise Aumick

This is my newest acquisition, and I love all of the textures in this piece. Denise and I traded small works of art, and I am thrilled to own this piece. Next job --- get it matted and framed and on the wall. Thanks, Denise!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

No Embellisher Needed

These are the threads from the washer and dryer after my last batch of cloth dyeing. They were too gorgeous not to photograph, and I'm sure they will find their way into a piece of art in the future.

Today I am dyeing yarns --- maybe my last dyepots of the season. So far I have a gorgeous variegated green, and several other skeins that have been dyed for the first time. Shortly, I will add three of those skeins to the black walnut dyepot to tone down the colors and make them more "earthy".

Monday, October 08, 2007

Weekend Photos

This is an installation photo of the Altered Views exhibition, currently on display at Unity Gallery in Lawrence, KS. Friday night was the opening reception, and I snapped this photo shortly before the reception opened. The display at the far end is the altered blocks collaborative project.

Saturday was also spent in Lawrence, KS --- dyeing cloth, yarn, socks and shirts at Nan Renbarger's studio. Above is the stack of cotton cloth that I dyed, and below is one of the skeins of yarn that I dyed.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Fiberart For A Cause

Recently I had the great pleasure to proofread an advance copy of Virginia Spiegel's eBook "Art, Nature, Creativity, Life". It was a delicious blend of conversations from a friend --- mixed with her photography and poetry and musings about her artwork. I thoroughly enjoyed reading chapters of it each morning with my coffee.

Now you can also read this wonderful eBook and donate to a worthwhile cause (American Cancer Society) at the same time.
All of the details are on Virginia's website:

From Virginia's press release:

"My eBook "Art, Nature, Creativity, Life" will be released on Monday, October 8 with all proceeds going directly to the American Cancer Society through Fiberart For A Cause.

"Art, Nature, Creativity, Life" is an expanded version of the best of my e-newsletters. There are 19 chapters stuffed with essays, art, photos, annotated book recommendations, and poetry.

Make a cup of tea, settle into your favorite chair and wander through the issues at your leisure. You can spend ten minutes and be refreshed or spend several hours enjoying art, nature, poetry, photography and my take on the life of an artist. Enjoy and be inspired.

My goal is to raise $30,000 to join the more than $130,000 that Fiberart For A Cause has already raised for the American Cancer Society."

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Opening Reception Tomorrow

"20 Squared"
created with squares of hand dyed cloth,
screened with images of my No. 20 Singer sewing machine

Tomorrow evening is the opening reception for the Altered Views exhibition in Lawrence, KS. Among the pieces on exhibit will be the altered squares created and altered by some of the members of Kansas Art Quilters. I will be at the reception, and I hope to see some of you there!

Altered Views
Unity Gallery
900 Madeline
Lawrence, KS
September 22 - October 27, 2007
Opening reception: October 5, 5-7pm

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Today's Collage

This morning's collage is done on mat board, using tissue paper and glazing medium. It is a little less than 3" square. The fun colors are perfect for a mid-week morning.

I have finished working on a secret project, and the pieces are ready to be shipped today. It was a fun project, and I will announce details once I have the okay. In the meantime, I am working on new fiber pieces, so stay tuned for updates.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Morning Collage

This is another example of one of my morning warm-up collages. The collage is only 2.75" h x 4.25"w. I have pages made of various papers, punched and bound with a metal ring. Each morning, I remove a page, collage on it, then replace it in my little book. They're not meant to be great works of art, just a warm-up exercise to start my day in the studio.

This morning's background is a red piece of painted cotton, with a thermofax screenprint of an old window in a brick building layered on top. The torn strip in the middle is from a photograph. I love the overall feeling of disintegration in this piece.