Tuesday, May 14, 2013

until then…

I am here to say goodbye and hello—all in the same breath. This blog is moving house and I hope you will come along for the ride.

The new blog now resides with my website. Besides the new home, much will stay the same. I will still write about my work, inspirations, and life. I will share photos, information, and ideas.

This blog has brought me so much joy throughout the years. Many friendships have been forged thanks to its existence. My intent is to continue to make it a source of inspiration and beauty, and I encourage you to visit its new site often to join the conversation. Until then…

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

blue lines

I have been playing with my indigo vat again. The result is an array of papers, dip dyed to create blue lines and shadows. I used a few for a new collection of notebooks called "blue line". Some of the books are larger than previous ones—5.5 x 8.5. I love the feel of these books and the blue hues appear so different depending on the paper source. You can find a selection of these new pieces in the store, where you also will discover a new sale section with items offered at 20-40% off the original price.

In a few more days I will find myself right here, in this little cottage on the edge of Lake Michigan, with two of my greatest friends, Christine and Kelly. We will spend a long weekend stitching, cooking, dyeing, chatting, and stitching some more. Can't wait...

This Friday is the opening of the show "fiber + fabric: art • craft • design" at the Craddok-Terry Gallery in Riverviews artspace in Lynchburg, Virginia. Three of my pieces were selected for this exhibit (Similitude being one of them) which is a group show of works by Virginia and West Virginia members of The Surface Design Association.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

book covers

I had forgotten how much I love making these moleskine notebook covers. They are perfect for smaller pieces of fabrics, that may not find their way into larger art quilts or collages. This time I used eco prints as well as indigo dyed swatches, sometime adding stitch, sometimes leaving the print as is. The store is stocked with these books - with more to come.

I am also lining up some exciting events for this summer and fall. I am honored to be part of the group show rooted  at Lark & Key Gallery in Charlotte, North Carolina in October and this summer my work will be on display in the gallery boutique at Kunstl√•ven in Seljord, Norway. A few other exhibits are in the works, so it looks like busy and happy times ahead.

Friday, March 29, 2013

new cardigan

I finished one of my knitting projects. It is a cardigan designed by carrie bostick hoge from quince. The yarn is an undyed organic wool that I bought in Sweden a few summers ago. I have truly enjoyed delving into the wonderful world of knitting again - this is only the second piece I have finished in recent times (you may remember this) and I had forgotten how meditative it is to knit and how easy it is to do it on the go.

I love this yarn—very earthy and real—and I the design feels both rustic and elegant at the same time. And the extra long sleeves are wonderful. Technically I am not so happy with the band along the front edge. Picking up the stitches was difficult and there are some stray mistakes here and there. But I think this cardigan will be both loved and worn despite some flaws.

So far I am doing quite well with my goals from the original what to wear post. I have bought some undies and I splurged on another hand sewn tshirt from Alabama Chanin, but otherwise I am sticking to wearing, using, and improving on what I already have. I also joined the yarn CSA at Juniper Moon Farm, located just a few miles from where I live. I will get a share of their wool harvest sometime this fall - most exciting. Right now it is lambing season at the farm, the photos below are of the most recent arrivals. I invite you to skip over to their blog where they are posting new lamb photos daily. What a great way to celebrate new beginnings. Best wishes for a happy easter weekend.

©Juniper Moon Farm. All rights reserved.

©Juniper Moon Farm. All rights reserved.

©Juniper Moon Farm. All rights reserved.

Friday, March 15, 2013

a creative life

For almost six months now, I have worked part time as a graphic designer with my friend Laura at Roseberries. The decision to return to design work was in part financial, but also based on a need for order and structure in my life. The experience has been wonderful. It feels good to actually get dressed in the morning, to have colleagues, to bounce ideas, and to get projects done (although still slowly...).

The flip side is that the time I have left for my art has diminished. It is hard to accomplish something or, maybe more accurate, to complete something with only a few days a week available. I am also struggling to dedicate those days entirely to work (there are still things like dishes, laundry, vet visits, and car pooling looming).

But overall it works. Rather than living an artist's life, I am now leading a creative life. My design job is creative in its own way, but it has also made me realize that creativity goes into everything I do – even in tasks like house keeping, gardening, and cooking. And it has enabled me to explore and rediscover things like knitting and sewing. I am no longer obsessing over my art, whether it is likable (or sellable) enough, or whether I produce enough. Instead I am just enjoying the process. It has been quite liberating.

And I am accomplishing things! I just finished Margaret's magnolia, a piece commissioned by a friend as a wedding gift for friends of hers. The magnolia eco prints where made with leaves from a tree growing by the bride's childhood home. I completed a functional quilt (although small...). It is made from indigo dye samples, and backed with soft flannel. And yesterday I finally started on my first tree series quilt. So life here is good, in so many creative ways.

Monday, March 4, 2013

shadow play

Making images using sunshine as a catalyst is just fascinating. True to form I am stumbling along learning as I go, after ordering some inks from Lumi. None of my first attempts were stellar, but I am slowly grasping the idea. I am already thinking about how this could be tweaked and improved to fit in with my esthetics and color preferences. I am not one to go the straight and narrow route.

One of my concerns about the inkodye is the chemical make up of the dye. Lumi is straight forward on its website, claiming that these inks are not free of toxins but still rather benign in the big scope of things. Anyhow, playing with these dyes will most likely be just play, and not something I would do seriously for extensive production.

While working on the correct ink coverage and exposure times I also discovered some true light and shadow play in my back yard. Almost as intriguing, I think.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

ACC Baltimore

Fantastic furniture by David Stine. ©David Stine. All rights reserved.

I took a little road trip this past weekend to visit the ACC flagship show in Baltimore. Over 600 artists were showing off their work in the enormous convention center in the heart of the city. I can only too well imagine the time commitment, effort, and stress that goes into preparing for an event of this caliber. Everything needs to be just right from the amount of inventory, quality of work, and not least booth display.

Hand knit wonders by Elena Rosenberg. ©Elena Rosenberg. All rights reserved.

For the most part the level of craftsmanship was amazing, but from a consumer point of view (not as a disgruntled fellow artist) I have to admit that there were a few exceptions. In some instances I would question the amount of "handmade by the artist" that was actually taking place, and in others I just did not think the level of design and artistry where up to par. Having said that I want to highlight some of my favorite artists at the event. Naturally there were many, many more but the work featured here symbolizes the best of the best in my mind.

Indigo dyed paper by Lynn Pollard. ©Lynn Pollard. All rights reserved.

Sculptures and jewelry by Stacey Lee Webber (made from screws, nails, and repurposed coins). ©Stacey Lee Webber. All rights reserved.

Beautiful stoneware by Yume Studio. ©Yume Studio. All rights reserved.

Exquisite quilts by Erin Wilson. This one came home with me... so lucky. ©Erin Wilson. All rights reserved.

I want to apologize for the long time gaps between posts lately. I am still adjusting to my new work schedule, and am always overestimating how much I can get done on my days off. I hope to see you back here before soon.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

100 acts of sewing

Dress no. 4, 2013 and no. 75, 2012 by Sonya Philip ©Sonya Philip. 
All rights reserved.

Sonya Philip and her project "100 Acts of Sewing" is one of the main inspirations behind my recent decision to question my own clothes consumption and start making clothes again.

Dress no. 97, 2012 and no. 58, 2012 by Sonya Philip ©Sonya Philip. All rights reserved.
What began as a personal challenge for Sonya to make 100 dresses in a year, soon developed into a deeper exploration comparing making versus manufacturing. The purpose became not only to present the product of a year's labor, but to also expose the process, and in turn educate the audience. 

Dress no. 14, 2012 and no. 98, 2012 by Sonya Philip ©Sonya Philip. All rights reserved.
The project is now in its second year and while the dress making is continuing, Sonya is also exploring different sources of materials, from reused sweaters to reclaimed fabrics otherwise destined for the landfill. In addition she is teaching hands-on affordable workshops in the San Francisco area, hoping to instill a love and awareness for home made and altered clothing to more people, who in turn can engage others and share their knowledge. A true movement in the making!

Dress no. 8, 2013 and no. 5, 2013 by Sonya Philip ©Sonya Philip. All rights reserved.
One of the most important things about this project is how it demonstrates that sewing and making clothes does't need to be complicated or time consuming. Although Sonya works with several dress patterns, most of them are really simple and manageable. Many of the dresses consist of just a few seams and a hem.

Work by Sonya Philip ©Sonya Philip. All rights reserved.
"100 acts of sewing" is only one of several creative projects Sonya Philip has launched in recent years. She is a self-taught artist who practices what she calls "conceptual craft." One of my favorites is the series called "ordinary objects" where she by applying knitting to the surfaces, brings the most mundane of mass-produced objects to life. More examples of her beautiful art can be found at www.sonyaphilip.com.

Work by Sonya Philip ©Sonya Philip. All rights reserved.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin