Almost done . . .

resting reindeer at Swanson's in Seattle

resting reindeer at Swanson’s in Seattle

I have a love/hate relationship with December. I love the lights and all the other trappings of the season: the gathering of family members, the baking, the eating, the drinking . . . I love/hate the last minute production of work for holiday shows, the late nights, the darkness that sets in at 4:30, the chowing down of forgotten meals. Bits and pieces of cashmere sweaters litter the studio floor as I finish up 20 more pairs of finger-less gloves.

However relief is in sight! Saturday, December 13 (12.13.14 – I love it) marks the end of my selling season. After a day of rest (Sunday) I’ll start creating our holiday cards and finishing up gifts for family and friends. Lucile (my trusty Bernina) will go to the shop for a software update and tuneup. Our sweet daughter will be coming home, family will arrive from hither and yon and all will be right in my world. January will come soon enough and I’ll begin again.

finger-less felted cashmere gloves

finger-less felted cashmere gloves

 

Save the Date!

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Saturday, December 13! (12.13.14) 10am to 5pm • 4915 NE 26th  – Head on over to Portland’s Alberta neighborhood to join me and six fabulous artist pals at our one-day POP-UP Shop!

I’ll have felted potholders, cozy cashmere fingerless gloves, travel sewing kits, collage journals, pretty pincushions & more. Robin May will have her charming needle-felted animals, delicious cooking rubs and potted paper whites.

My studio mate, Naomi Abrams Reinstein’s calendars, clever paper collages and art necklaces will delight you. You’ll want to adorn yourself with Cheryl Cook’s unique jewelry made from precious and semi-precious gemstones. Abby Roth is creating delightful hand-stitched nature-themed mobiles.

We’ll have two Seattle artisans as well. Jeanette Deary’s handmade cold press soaps are made with natural healing soothing ingredients and smell so good! Tami Johnson’s pottery made by hand is sure to make you smile.

Bring your friends. You’ll be able to “shop local” by supporting artists AND sign up for some way-cool door prizes. What could be better?

PS – check out the new tab Recent Work at the top of the page. I’ve been busy.

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Playing with scissors

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I LOVE collage and have been cutting and tearing up magazines and paper since I was a little girl. Searching out interesting images, precisely cutting with sharp-pointed scissors, carefully arranging just so, sewing to attach the larger elements and then finally gluing everything together is just the best!

I recently scored 15 LIFE magazines, dated 1945-48, and needless-to-say they are amazing. The photos and advertisements are a treasure trove for sure. Additionally my studio pal Naomi gifted me with several National Geographics from the 1920’s. I’m presently residing in image heaven.

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I’ve been creating journal covers. The collages are sewn onto felt and designed to fit a Moleskine® cahier (paper-back booklet). When full, the cover can be removed and a new journal inserted.

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The double photos show the front (left) and back (right) of each medium-sized cover. There are several types of journal pages: blank, ruled or gridded. All will be for sale at the upcoming Soulumination Holiday show in Seattle.

Just finished “Being Alive”

So loving the cooler fall weather! The garden, while still calling to me, doesn’t need constant watering and I now have the luxury to spend six-to-seven hours working in the studio. Seems like I’ve been stitching (on and off) this piece forever (or at least a good part of the summer).

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The animal fabric is by Julie Paschkis, who’s work always makes me smile. The feather fabric was the inspiration for my newest tattoo (I think it’s part of Kaffe Fassett’s recent range). Marcia Derse created the dot fabric – I met her recently at Quilt/Knit/Stitch – love her work! Searching the web for great quotations is an on-going obsession and I’m particularly fond of these words by Frederic Buechner. Such bright words called for sparkly beads, don’t cha’ think? Ironing and shadow box framing will come next and then this work will be for sale in the SHOP.

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Henry was impressed with all my stitching until he saw a bird . . .

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Lots of little stitches . . .

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. . . and glass beads!

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Needless-to-say, this is the ONLY time you’ll see the back!

Whew – Potholder Shop is live!

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I’m presently residing in “Potholder Heaven” or “Potholder Hell,” depending upon my mood. Needless-to-say, photographing these babies and creating a new page took awhile. In the future I may be creating an Etsy site or trying FB’s sales page, but for right now this will suffice.

Click on “Shop” at the top of the page to view what’s for sale. Email me to purchase, comment or whatever. I am able to take cash, check or credit cards (via Square). If you live in PDX or thereabouts you can shop at my studio in SE. Otherwise I’ll mail your order. 

I’ve been creating these potholders for several years and have many satisfied customers. I use them in my own kitchen and to quote that infamous infomercial “They really, really WORK!” If you enjoy using hand crafted items (and want to help me pay my studio rent) these re-purposed felted wool sweater potholders are just what you need. Make handling those hot pots fun!

Now back to the studio . . .  Oh, the featured potholder above is SOLD!

12 x 14 x 10 feet

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Having a studio space is a must for me. Throughout ‘adulthood’ I’ve had 12, some more commodious than others. A partial list includes: (1) spare bedroom in our first apartment in Eugene, as a newly married lady with a law school husband; (2) large open concept studio at the Eugene Warehouse Studios, started with 8 artist friends; (3) room in a little duplex owned by Euphoria chocolate company (heavenly); (4) 2nd floor shared studio (with my artist pal, Barbara) above Newberry’s 5 & Dime; (5) custom-built “Tuff Shed,” complete with wi-fi, cable tv and skylights; (6) 4th floor studio with amazing views of Olympic Mountains; (7) shared studio in an artist-owned building housing 19 artists. Each space was what I needed during that period of my life.

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My present studio is 4 miles from home (my farthest commute to date) and the smallest (12 feet x 14 feet with 10 foot ceiling). South facing in SE Portland, my sunny 3rd floor studio fits my present needs. We downsized with our Seattle-to-Portland move, getting rid of stuff that no longer supported our “empty nest” life style. So too, it is with my studio. Working in a smaller studio forces me to focus on what I really want to create. It’s challenging to move away from my pack-rattedness (I’m a hoarder of scraps of paper, bits of ephemera or snips of ribbon), but so freeing to throw (or give away) materials that no longer hold my interest.

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Of course I lust after a larger studio (doesn’t every artist?). Somewhere I wouldn’t have to put everything away and could work on multiple projects at the same time. In the end tho’ it’s about having my own work space, regardless of size, where I can come and create. To paraphrase Virginia Woolf. . . a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to make art . . .” As I’ve recently “retired” from my graphic design/invitation business, I just need to figure out the money part!

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Time well spent

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Family & friends – what could be better? Being with them at the beach in Manzanita! The “Robin & Bob Memorial Birthday Weekend,” a long-standing family tradition, was celebrated with gusto: delicious food (fabulous dinner at Blackbird), tasty beverages (French 75), good conversation, vigorous bike rides and sandy walks.

Our friend Betty contributed paper napkins for Sunday evening’s cocktail party. I snagged one and ripped it up, then embedded it in beeswax to create this encaustic collage, commemorating time well spent. Wish you’d been there too!