Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Blogher conference 2007

The Blogher conference was great. I learned so much. I wish there was more of a craft/art contingent there. We were pretty outnumbered by the mommy bloggers. I had no idea there was such a huge community. I kept thinking where are all those knitters, quilters and crafters that fill the blogosphere that I know? If there were more of that community this conference would rock big time. After all, I know there are a lot of bloggers in this community that are making their living as a result of their blog following. We need to hear those voices at the next Blogher conference.

This was the highlight of the weekend for me. The Art of Craft panel with Amy Sedaris, Natalie Zee Drieu from one of my favorite blogs Craftzine, Kristin from Craft Leftovers can you believe she is only 24! and then the incredible Kathy Cano-Murillo aka The Crafty Chica.Amy kept us laughing with stories about her side business of baking cup cakes for her local coffee shop. She brought several crafts to sell like styrofoam cakes covered with painted grout and bean bags to rest on your eyes made from pantyhose filled with pinto beans and glued on felt eyes. She let us know HBO is making a show with her based on her book I Like You, Hospitality Under the Influence.

Now you can also listen to "The Art of Crafts" panel discussion on a podcast that Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood of CraftSanity made. Thanks Jennifer!

The keynote speaker at the closing ceremony was Elizabeth Edwards. What an amazing woman.
After the conference there was a cocktail party at The Chicago Children's Museum. There were tables set up with t-shirts for people to cut up and decorate with ribbons and appliques hosted by Project Runways Chloe Dao.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Ty's Big Night- The Origami Opening

Ty's opening at Columbia College was friday night. There was a great turn out, Ty thought the whole experience was pretty cool.

Ty sold this large green frog at the opening.
The standing dragon guy "the bahamut" was Ty's ultimate challenge in origami. For a year or two he talked about wanting to make this model, it has 274 steps. We ordered the Japanese book Works of Satoshi Kamiya a month ago so he could make it.
There are three cranes on the penny folded from 4 mm sheets of paper. The 3mm was accidentally left out of the case.
The centipede on the wall is 4 1/2 feet long, it was started from a 30" x 10' length of paper.
Ty folded 350 gold foil cranes for this installation. The cranes hang from the ventilation duct so the air currents make them dance while the lights project their shadows on the large open wall. It was really beautiful.

Ty was asked by this gal if she could interview him for her blog.
They had a huge bowl of chocolate fortune cookies that had the most relevant fortunes. Mine said "you are deeply attached to your family." I thought Ty's was perfect, especially on a night like this.
Besides Ty's work there were many other wonderful displays of origami. This is Robert Langs work.

This folded silk is by Chris Palmer.
This is a Menger Sponge made from index cards by Joshua Koppel. A member of the Chicago Origami Society.
These are geometric forms made from paper plates by Bradford Hansen Smith.
Christine Edison is also a member of the Chicago Origami Society and does the most beautiful tessellations.

There were quite a few other wonderful pieces in the show. Hopefully if you are in the Chicago area in the next month you can stop in and see them.
I am one proud mom!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Painted Bag

I have had this black book bag for several years. Today it looked like it needed painting. I painted it with metallic textile paints, the only thing you can paint on black that will show up with out a lot of extra work. It is difficult to photograph, the metallic paint reflects the light from the flash so it is hard to capture the color.

I am off to the Blogher conference in the morning and then to the opening of Ty's origami exhibit in the evening.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Nina’s Latest Work

Nina has delved into the world of painting. These are her first acrylic paintings on 5" x 5" canvases.
She has taken some black and white vintage photos, manipulated them in photoshop and applied them to her canvas as a base to begin her painting. This is a great way to learn to paint. Several illustration instructors when I was in art school used this method for their paintings. Although back then, we were not using home computers and printers, we were relying on xerox machines to manipulate our photos. The benefit is that you see exactly where to put shadows and highlights while you paint. This helps you to understand how to make an image look dimensional, while you transform the photo into a unique new image with paint.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Tiny origami

Ty has been making these cards for the exhibit. It is a standard size business card, with a gelatin capsule glued to it containing an origami crane that was folded from a one centimeter sheet of paper. There is a sample of the one centimeter paper at the top.

Believe it or not this crane is more than double the size of the crane he has in the exhibit. He folded that one from a 3 mm sheet of paper.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

IQA Auction Quilt done

This is my finished donation. It is 15" square. I still have to sew on the sleeve and make a label. I also have to decide what to call it.

Saturday, July 21, 2007


Vicky aka stichr asked...
Once again I was curious what paints you use, so went clicking on your side bar...ta da...the info I was curious about....now a question...What paint brushes do you use? And do you use other things, like pencil erasers, for dots and other details?

I only use brushes when I paint, I find that I do not have enough control when using other things. I don't use top of the line or bottom of the line brushes, but I always buy them from an art supply. Cheap brushes loose hair, and there is nothing worse than picking hairs out of wet paint. They also can loose their points and shape pretty fast, so you loose the ability to make smooth lines. Generally I look for brushes suitable for acrylics, watercolor brushes are too soft. Oil brushes tend to be stiffer, sometimes that is a good thing but in general it is not what I am looking for. I have a lot of brushes, some I have had for 20 plus years.

The shapes and sizes I tend to use most are (from left to right) a flat size 3 and 2, a round size 1, and for details a 00000 and this other one says 10/0. I use those last ones for details like outlining eyes and drawing hairs on the animals in Arbol de Vida, you can see that specifically on the picture of the boar.

Friday, July 20, 2007

IQF Silent Auction

This is going to be this years contribution to the silent auction in Houston. I started painting this at the Quilting Arts virtual studios during the IQA Chicago show.I pulled it out yesterday and started the quilting by outlining all the images. After quilting all of the black area I will trim it and finish the edges. I am thinking about using this aqua rick rack with another 1/4" ribbon to finish it off.

My son is starting to get calls for appointments with reporters for the origami exhibit. Yesterday we had a Chicago NPR reporter in our loft interviewing him for 40 minutes. I was so impressed, this guy had that NPR reporter sound and asked him great questions. Next week he has an interview with a reporter from a Chicago neighborhood newspaper. He is pretty surprised that he is getting this kind of attention. I don't think he realizes the extent of what a big deal it is to be in a major college gallery show at 13.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Blogher Conference

Last week on one of the blogs I frequent I saw a post about the Blogher conference that is going to be here in Chicago. It looks like a great line up of sessions for women who blog. They have all sorts of topics like: getting custom: what web designers know (don't we all want to know how to mess with that mysterious html coding and try to make our blogs look the way we want?), the art of storytelling, taking your blog to the next level and the art of crafts (all about the craftblogging community) with speakers like Crafty Chica and Amy Sedaris. How fun is that? I think I have to go.

Monday, July 16, 2007

My Sons First Exhibit

My 13 year old son Ty is going to be in his first exhibit at Columbia College Book & Paper arts gallery in Chicago this month. He is passionate about origami, he has been doing it since he was 4 years old. At that time I taught him to fold a crane and a water bomb, the rest he has learned on his own. It is amazing what kids can learn when you provide them with the tools and opportunity.

Here is the press release:

Columbia College Chicago’s Center for Book & Paper Arts
July 28 – August 25, 2007

Chicago, IL – Can you imagine a traditional origami crane folded by a 13-year old to the size of a flea in perfect form? Or a mathematician turned origami folder who is regularly hired by the medical industry to fold something so small that it can fit into a shunt and expand in a human vein? It’s All In the Fold is an exhibition that takes a world look at the way paper transforms itself when folded. More than an amusement, origami today also teaches mathematics and geometry. It's more than just cranes and snowflakes. Try tessellations or tetrahedrons, dodecahedrons and other polygons. Origamic furniture, folded paper lamps, airplanes and a few naughty folds are all on the horizon.
Chicago and international paper folding artists and teachers will amaze you with the dexterity of their folds. It’s All in the Fold has attracted some of the world’s most celebrated folders.

Among the Participating Artists and Folders:
Ingo Maurer
Peter Webber
Yuko Nishimura
Robert Lang
Venessa Gould – of Green Fuse Films
Ty Perez
Bradford Hansen Smith
Jennifer Diaz
Museum of Sex
Frederick Bryant
Ann Hansen
Christine Edison
James Dieter
Joshua Koppel
Michael LaFosse
Chris Palmer

WHEN: Exhibition runs July 27 – August 25, 2007
OPENING: Friday, July 27th, 5:30-7:30
WHERE: Columbia College Chicago’s Center for Book & Paper Arts
1104 S. Wabash Avenue, 2nd floor

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The first Cute skirt

This is the first Cute Skirt I made.
The one I said was poofy in the back. I thought about reworking the skirt by ripping out all those stitched and zig zagged seams, But the thought of all that ripping and reworking waistbands was more work than I wanted to do. So I ripped open the casing in the back, leaving it sewn to the skirt. Pulled the elastic out of the way and just restitched the 4 back seams starting about a foot below the waist tapering in until the seams were about 1/4" smaller at the waistband. Then I just continued sewing through the waistband fabric to decrease its length as well. You can not even see it in the gathers. I pinned the waistband back in place then while stretching out the elastic, sewed the casing closed.

Now I have 2 cute Cute Skirts.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The batting thief

Often when I am making a quilt and there is batting exposed I feel a tug from the other side of the table and see a fast moving object go by trailing white fuzz. Other times I might be working on a quilt related project and have pieces of wool batting laying around in places that I think are safe from small roving beasts. Next thing I know my pile has shrunk.

Abby has a crate that she keeps all her toys in and anything she finds of interest. It is usually filled with napkins and batting that she shreds into fluffy clouds. I wonder if chihuahuas have squirrel in their lineage.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

My sister memed me: 7 things that rock

making art of any kind
new art supplies to play with
sisters and good friends who also get excited about making art

the blogosphere (more art, craft, knitting, & friends)

having a really great book to read or listen to while making art
scrumptious yarn and a new knitting project
warm oatmeal scones with dried cherries and chocolate and a cuppa earl grey with cream

Monday, July 09, 2007

The cutest Cute Skirt

I adore this skirt. It is from the Cute Skirts pattern and made with Heather Bailey's gorgeous fabric.

I made a Cute skirt before this one. I haven't posted a picture of it because I was not happy with the fit. I made the size according to my waist and hip measurements on the package. It came out kind of poofy in the back. I went to the flicker skirt group that Kristin at Sew Mama Sew mentioned to me the other day on my other skirt post and lo and behold someone else had made this skirt and had the same problem. She recommended going down a size. I did that with this skirt and voila, a fabulously cute skirt with no poof.

Open house in CPS

My Open House book is in Cloth Paper Scissors this month in the mixed media accordion book challenge "It's Home Grown" article.

This is a great issue. I loved seeing Juju Vail's board book that she had just showed a glimpse of on her blog. Reading Anna Maria Horner's artist profile was fun. Kelli Perkins gorgeous paper beads that she was making at the Chicago Quilt festival are featured. An interview with Susan Taylor Glasgow who makes the wonderful sewn glass pieces. And lots of great mixed media work, I could go on and on. It really is a terrific issue.

Friday, July 06, 2007

The first skirt

This is the Emily skirt, and the great fabric came from Sew Mama Sew.This is a fairly easy pattern. The pleats worked out great with this particular print. I was able to get the stripe to fall right into the pleat. The one change I will make the next time I make this skirt is to face the whole yoke. As it is now the facing only comes down halfway in the yoke underneath. This would be fine if I had the lithe body of my youth, but now I have a few bumps and soft spots around the middle that are not as well hidden by that short facing.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Another Chicago Antique Market

Many years ago in Junior College I made posters for the campus events on a letterpress using type just like this. If only I appreciated using it then as much as I would now.

My latest apron finds.
I adore this little black and red one, so Spanish looking. It looks adorable on my daughter Nina with her Latina coloring.

I could not resist this one, having spent 20 years of my life in California.


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