Friday, May 30, 2008

Design Challenge

Group of 4 notecards

One of the notecards, color is better in this photo

I recently took a design workshop, and the results from some of the exercises were intriguing. We were only doing sketches for the exercises, but yesterday I decided to work with cloth and paper and give myself a design challenge. The top photo is 4 notecards, and I've used scrim as the base/background for each card. Then I chose 4 different elements in cloth and paper and cut/tore each one into 4 approximately equal pieces. The challenge was to use each of the 4 different elements in each design, yet create 4 different designs. These are the designs I created. Which is your favorite and why?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Another Rainy Day...

It has been raining almost every day here, and I have to admit that I am actually enjoying all the rainy days. The gardens are full of new green leaves and bursts of color as the blossoms open, and all of the new plantings are well established now --- thanks to the rain.

Rainy days also give me permission to spend long days in the studio, without being torn between garden time and studio time. I have started a new series of work, using cloth painted with primary colors. The first two pieces are machine stitched and ready for some hand stitched accents. Hand stitching is not something I normally do, but these pieces are calling for it, and I am looking forward to it. The photo above is a detail shot from the first piece.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Zeke's Pillow

My sister sent Zeke his very own pillow --- even has his name custom embroidered on it. In her mind he would curl up with it, lay his head on it, and go to sleep. This is what her (older) dogs do with their pillows. Zeke, however, had his own idea about what to do with his pillow. So it quickly became his newest stuffed toy --- good for shaking and chewing and pouncing on. Luckily I got this calm photo before all the action started!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Fledgling Robins

Yesterday our backyard was filled with the chirps of fledgling robins, trying out their wings for the first time. I wasn't sure how Zeke would react to sharing his yard with them, but after a few minutes, he decided they were boring and went back to playing puppy games in the yard. The robins, on the other hand, quickly decided that the fences and tree branches were much safer than being on the ground at Zeke's level.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Last Friday was spent in a bookbinding workshop, and the photo above shows the various sample books that I made in the workshop.

Clockwise, starting from the upper left: the silver one is an example of a hard cover book; next is a sample of a double pamphlet stitch book; the map cover is a single pamphlet stitch book; the lower right is a stab binding; and the lower left is a long stitch wrap book. The only one we didn't learn was the coptic binding, but I plan to try that one on my own. My favorites are the pamphlet stitch for books with only a single signature and the stab binding for books with more pages. It was a great workshop!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Handmade Papers

Bamboo Leaves

Maple Seedpods

Yucca Leaves

Corn Husks, Garlic, Onions, Flowers

I have spent the last few days traveling through Missouri and Kansas, working with other artists and attending a couple of workshops. The first stop was Thursday in Columbia, MO. I spent the day with Leandra Spangler, and Rosemary Claus-Gray, making sheets of handmade paper in Leandra's studio. I had taken a papermaking class from Leandra last September, and I was ready for another day of pulp and deckles. It was a fast-paced day of production work, and I ended up with a decent stack of papers that will hopefully last through a few months of collage making.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Rain = Mushrooms

We have had several storms in the last few days, and, while it has been great for all of my new plants in the gardens, it has also been great for mushrooms. There are lots of morel mushrooms advertised for sale, and the little mushrooms above sprang up amongst my miniature hollyhocks.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mmmmm, Good!

Yesterday my son stopped by bearing gifts, including this box of Godiva truffles. Yes, I am weak when it comes to this particular candy. Inside were wonderful, hand selected truffle varieties, including double chocolate raspberry truffles and extra dark chocolate truffles. So delicious! (And of course, there are no calories in these chocolates, so I can enjoy them guilt-free!)

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Last night we had storms, so this morning I walked through the gardens to see how everything looked and took this photo of my newest columbine blossoms. I have been diligently adding more color to the garden along the back of our property, and columbines are my plant of choice this year. I have added eight columbines, so the bursts of color here and there are gorgeous.

Friday, May 09, 2008

A Good Day in the Studio

Recently I have been very busy with projects for other people, and I was ready for a day in the studio. I made six of these little leaf ATCs as my warm-up exercise, then got busy with paintbrushes and glue brushes. I painted a shirt that has been in my "paint pile" for a while, and I painted quite a bit of unstretched canvas for use in textile collages. I also worked on a new series of pieces about my time in Monterey/Asilomar. All in all, a very good day for rejuvenating my soul!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

tulip photograph from one of my gardens

Collage Mania opened today and was a resounding success for the first day! All 4 of my collages sold, and in total today's donations topped $8000! There are still many gorgeous collages available, and tomorrow the minimum donation amount drops from $80 per collage to $40 per collage. Great art and a worthwhile cause --- a winning combination!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Collage Mania II
May 5-6, 2008

More than 100 artists from all over the world have donated 235 collages for this Fiberart For A Cause fundraiser, with 100% of the money raised going to the American Cancer Society. All of the collages have been mounted to fit an 8"x10" frame.

Collage Mania II opens for donations on Monday, May 5 at 9am CST. On Monday all of the collages will be available for a minimum $80 donation to the American Cancer Society. On Tuesday, May 6 all of the remaining collages will be available for a minimum $40 donation. All of the collages plus all of the details are

Stone House Window
Denise Aumick

Gothic Pages 21
Jette Clover

Karen Stiehl Osborn

My Life
Cynthia St. Charles

Friday, May 02, 2008

And The Winners Are...

Thanks to everyone that emailed a haiku to me! The overwhelming majority of them were about spring, so I must not be the only one with a touch of spring fever. Below are my favorite two. Nancy and Tomme, please email me your mailing addresses, and I will send out fiber packages to you both.

Nancy Dobson:
Leaves sprouting open
New life begins to take form
Spring is in the air

Tomme Fent:
The snow is melting.
Spring flowers are pushing upward.
Promise fills the air.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Spring is in the Garden

PJM Rhododendron - Day 1

PJM Rhododendron - Day 2

PJM Rhododendron - Day 3

I love this time of year in the gardens --- spring fever at its worst (or best, depending on your point of view). Today I headed to the nursery and picked up a bleeding heart plant, a swan mix columbine, and two clumps of purple fountain grass. All of them are planted and ready for tonight and tomorrow's rain showers.

P.S. Last chance to submit an original haiku before tomorrow's giveaway!