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Showing posts from 2005

Happy New Year!

Like all good goal-setting fanatics, I love love love New Year's Day! Actually, I also love May 1st and September 1st, because I usually set goals three times per year. That may be taking it too far for some folks, but I feel better when I divide the year up into bite-sized pieces. Of course, January 1st is still the granddaddy of them all! As far as art goals go, I've divided them up into art development, website improvement, and marketing. I'm going to post some of my goals for my jewelry work on my other blog , and just give you a sample of my mixed media goals here: Website improvement ~ I just went through a whole website re-org in November and December, so mostly I'll be looking for ways to tweak the design as a whole. Art development ~ I'm going to take an online course! I'm very excited about it since I've never done this before. It's been years and years and years since I've taken a class on anything. Mostly I teach


FiberArts Magazine As we approach the new year, I've been giving some thought to inspirational magazines that I think are worth subscribing to or continuing to subscribe to. FiberArts has made the cut. Even though it doesn't contain how-to articles, it provides plenty of inspiration to those who love weaving, quilting, wearable art, needlework, and rug making. Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , assemblage

Boston at its best

Boston Harbor 4 Boston is not known for being a really beautiful city, but when viewed from the water that all changes! Technorati Tags: digital art , photography

Full moon

Full Moon Last week was the December full moon, appropriately called the "Cold Moon." I can attest to that! I nearly froze my fingers off as I dashed outside at around 6:15am to get this shot before it was too late. Technorati Tags: digital art , photography

"The seven words you can't say on TV"

With apologies to George Carlin, here are the seven words that I wasn't allowed to say on TV: "Jesus Christ is Lord of my life" It's over! I was literally shaking the entire time I watched the HGTV program with my segments on it today. I look fat, I look scared, I'm look boring, I don't do backflips or a little dance. Thank you so much to everyone who emailed encouragement to me both before and after~ I appreciate it more than you can know. Now, you wanna know "the rest of the story"? (Since I'm already stealing lines from celebrities, I might as well take that one too!) The claim is that That's Clever , formerly known as Crafters Coast to Coast , wants to show the world what makes you tick as an artist, what inspires you. That's not completely true. The crew that came to my house was completely professional, and I have nothing but high praise for the way they conducted themselves and the sessions they filmed with me. But

I'll be on HGTV today

Bead-Embroidered Heritage Neckpiece And thanks to the fact that I live in the presently ice-covered northeast, I won't even have to worry about being home to push my record button! My VCR set up has only been broken for...what?...several years? Here's the link to the show and a link to an article about what I'll be doing from my other blog. I need to get tivo! Technorati Tags: mixed media

Makoto Fujimura

I am so proud of my fellow-alumni Makoto Fujimura! He has been given top honors by World Magazine for his artwork and for...well, for just who he is and the way he lives his life. Even though he only graduated a year or so behind me from Bucknell University, I am sorry to say that I never met him. But I still can't help feeling very happy for him and very proud of what he's accomplished :-) Technorati Tags: mixed media


Not optical lenses this time! I'm talking instead about a series of portal-type pages that are being launched as...well, not exactly an experiment...but as small gateways into topics. What sort of topics? Oh, you can't even imagine what all the different lenses are about! This the brainchild of Seth Godin. Would you like to see the ones that I've created that are pertinent to mixed media art? Please be kind and remember that these are all works in progress :-) Book Arts Handmade books, altered books, artists journals, and books-as-art Mixed Media When you want to try all forms of art, all at the same time... Collage An endlessly fascinating art form And here are the lenses that I'm working on that are more related to jewelry. Nonetheless, you might find something of interest here too! Bead Art What to bead, what to bead? Got questions? Here's answers! Beaded Jewelry Marvelous handmade artisan pieces Beads Name you

Rejecting "slut culture"

I am the very proud mother of two young adults ~ a boy who's 19 and a girl who's 18 ~ who have both chosen throughout their short lifetimes to reject the Beavis/Butthead culture for boys and the Brittany culture for girls. Oops, I did it again (!)...I forgot that we actually did buy Brit's first album when we foolishly thought that she was a cute little girl-nextdoor type. But other than that, my kids have steered clear of slut culture. In fact, my daughter became very dissappointed in the evolution of Brittany, and chose on her own to get rid of the album. (Not to mention that her personal taste in music was maturing as well!) So I was quite happy to see an excellent article by Mona Charen in the Jewish World Review this morning entitled A Modest Backlash Against Slut Culture . I highly recommend it to you. It grieves me deeply to hear other parents say that they cannot influence their kids away from the cultural garbage, and that they cannot control what their kids do. Of

Rejoicing Nature

Rejoicing Nature Again rejoicing Nature sees Her robe assume its vernal hues Her leafy locks wave in the breeze, All freshly steep'd in morning dews. ~ Robert Burns (1759-1796) I found the finishing touches for the next piece in my "Seasons" series. So far, I've done Autumn , Winter , and now Spring ! I needed something to simulate the feel of dew drops, and the perfect thing was already in my closet in the form of vintage acrylic jewels. It took over a week for me to stumble upon them as I puzzled and searched. Sometimes it's worth just setting a piece aside and waiting for the right items to reveal themselves. Other times it's more fun to run off and buy something new... :-) Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , assemblage

Christmas cards

Since Nate hasn't been around much, we thought this picture of him with Dani was probably the best one to use this year! Orphanage updates: twenty out of the twenty-seven kids have American families pledged to adopt them. Please pray for the Guatemalan legal services to move with all due speed. Once some of the kids have been moved out, the children's home is going to relocate to the mountains of Antigua Guatemala where they've been building a new home (the one they came close to losing in last month's hurricane). With fewer children to care for and educate, they will be turning their attention to their next mission: taking in HIV positive babies. Please pray for all of them about this change too. Nate is not sure what his niche will be as they shift their focus as a home. Emotionally, this will be a tough direction to go too.

Finally, an easy way to order

I don't know why it took me so long to get around to doing this, because it was really so very very easy! I have finally added an orders page , complete with shopping cart system so that it is now easy to order prints of my photos and collages. At least, of the most requested ones. I'm happy about the way it's turning out, mostly because it will make things easier on everyone! Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , assemblage , digital art , photography

Frost at Midnight

Frost at Midnight #2 in my new series, celebrating the beauty of each season. Do you know how hard it is to find poetry or quotes that have something nice to say about winter?!? The Frost performs its secret ministry, Unhelped by any wind. The owlet's cry Came loud--and hark, again ! loud as before. The inmates of my cottage, all at rest, Have left me to that solitude, which suits Abstruser musings : save that at my side My cradled infant slumbers peacefully. ~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , assemblage

Delcious autumn!

Delicious autumn! Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. ~George Eliot Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , assemblage


Dockside The view from our harbor cruise ship this August. These are actually my favorite little vignettes to shoot ~ the evidence of time and wear. I've been working on recreating the look of old colored linen postcards with these shots. Technorati Tags: digital art , photography


Buoys This is from last winter's trip to Truro with my book discussion group. Part of my "real job" involves leading three such groups. Hey, I know it's rough, but someone has to do it! Lucky us that one of our members has this great vacation house that she invites us to each year. You can read more about the Truro place here if you think you might want to arrange your own get-away! Technorati Tags: digital art , photography
I was just discussing with an artist friend yesterday about why it's so hard to call myself an "artist". I have no trouble calling her that ~ she paints big canvases. But I'm likely to tell people that I have a part-time job at the library and that I spend my other half time "doing" art. Why can't I get the words out of my mouth? Lo and behold, here comes an article from the Creativity Portal on exactly this subject. Remember yesterday's post about setting your mind to see certain things and they will almost magically appear? Cool, huh?

Digital Photo Art

I got the book Digital Photo Art by Theresa Airey recently and have really been enjoying her insights on combining both traditional and digital techniques to totally transform photo images. Here's a excerpt from the book. I think it's an excellent observation to keep in mind as I wander outside today to take pictures... "Have you ever noticed that when you're preparing to make a purchase, whether it's a new car, new carpet, or a new home, you become very attuned to advertisements, billboards, radio ads, etc., that speak to your field of purchase? You fill your mind with certain visuals as you pre-plan your purchase, and your sub-conscious mills over your inner desire unbeknownst to your conscious self. There were no more red Hondas on the road this week than there were the week prior but, suddenly in the market for a red Honda, you see them everywhere! You have that car shape and color in your mind, so you are more attuned to their presence than you would be ot

Margaret, are you grieving?

Margaret, are you grieving? I've always liked Gerard Manley Hopkins's poem, and I realized a couple of days ago that I was calling this little girl Margaret. The rest is history. The fabric collage was quilted and embellished with lots and lots of beads, and then finally she was nestled into a heavily collaged and painted paper "frame". Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , assemblage

Butterfly girl, part 2

Now this is more like it! She's about half done as far as embellishment goes, and I am very very happy. This is all fabric and quilt batting, but she'll be placed inside a larger collaged paper frame when the beading is done. Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , assemblage

Butterfly girl

Here's the next little image that I'm going to build a collage around! I learned a very valuable lesson through the advice and feedback of my online beading art group. As I worked on the last fabric collage, I was terribly unsettled the whole time. I liked the image, and it was fun and happy, but it just wasn't me. On the one hand, it was a good exercise to use colors that are not my favorites, in combinations that are not my favorites. But maybe...just maybe...I should have stuck to a slightly smaller size. A dear online friend whose opinion I value greatly suggested to me that there was a real split between my jewelry style and my art quilt/collage style. No problem with that, but it led me to some introspection and a certain amount of new understanding about what colors/images/styles/etc I like to work with. And how much embellishment. I felt the entire time I worked on the last piece as if I were imitating someone else rather than doing my own work! Don't g


Sunflowers This piece was made in order to answer the question, "Can a minimalist find happiness in over-embellishment?" The answer is a very definitive yes and no! On the one hand, I like this piece. It was fun to do. It's a beaded fabric collage, and it made me very happy to work on it. BUT, even though I kept telling myself to pile on the beads, add more color, more more more...I just couldn't do it. I can see where lots more beads and stuff could be added, but it is just not my style. I tried, I really really did. But this is as close as I might ever get to one of those stuffed-to-the-gills art quilts that I admire. As it is, I would have been happy enough to stop when it looked like this . Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , assemblage

The house is still standing

After not hearing from Nate for well over a week, we finally got the word that the new orphanage that they're building in Guatemala is still standing. The closest mudslide was only 1/4 mile away. They are still planning on moving there as soon as possible. There will probably still be displaced kids in the region when they move in, so hopefully they'll be able to help out by providing a home for at least some of them. Here's a family group of five ~ they are all being adopted by one family! Blessingson people who would open their hearts and home like that!! See this previous post to find links to reputable places to donate!

Update on Guatemala

For those who have inquired, Nate's orphanage still does not know whether the new house they were building is standing or not. It seems very minor to lose the house when so many have lost their lives, so Nate's attitude is, "Thank God we didn't already make the move!" Thank you for your prayers and inquiries. For those who are looking for reputable organizations to donate to, may I suggest the following: Doctors without Borders (Medicins sans Frontieres) Americares


A new fiber piece I just started. I'm planning on this one being highly beaded and embellished ~ a bit of a change from my series of minimalist vintage photo quilt-collages. Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , assemblage

Boarded up

Another selenium experiment Technorati Tags: digital art , photography

It wasn't finished

Can you keep a secret? I posted what I thought was a finished piece a little while ago, but I was wrong. It kept calling out for just a bit more color to tie it all together, and just a few more beads. Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , assemblage

People who pray

Please pray for all the people affected by the earthquake in Pakistan and the mudslides in Central America. Particularly heavy on my heart is the entire village of Panabaj in Guatemala where everyone was lost in a slide. This is in the same region as the orphanage where my son is living. Thank you.

The door

I've been experimenting with color balance in my digital prints. I was aiming for an antique selenium/gold look with this one, but ended up posterizing it a bit. Even though the look is now too stylized to be authentic selenium, I still like it. The full-sized print is quite nice! Technorati Tags: digital art , photography
Can you keep a secret? A small art quilt, featuring a fabric transfer of a vintage cabinet card. The quilt combines the sun-printed fabric I did several weeks ago with old sheet music, commercial fabric, and beads. Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , assemblage

Update on Nate

Back row, white shirt, right in the center! Nate came home for a brief visit over the weekend. He mostly came to collect the rest of his stuff, including all his warmer clothing, to visit and to rest for a few days. Even though Guatemala is the "land of eternal springtime," it varies from late spring to early spring! He's leaving to return to the children's home tomorrow morning. He won't be able to be home for Christmas this year, but is hoping to make a slightly longer visit in late January or February. We'll miss him, but we believe that he is doing exactly what he is supposed to be doing right now.

Locks of Love

This is what my daughter did this weekend on her visit home. Well, she didn't do it ~ my hairdresser did it for her. It's a very thick hank of hair, so it took a while to dry out completely. This morning I stuck it in a ziploc and sent it off to Locks of Love . That's the place that provides hairpieces to kids who have long-term medical hair loss and whose families are financially strapped.

The unfathomable sea

The Unfathomable Sea The unfathomable sea, and time, and tears The deeds of heroes and the crimes of kings Depart us ~Robert Louis Stevenson I worked on this piece while on vacation a couple weeks back. It's handpainted watercolor paper, fabric, beads, fibers, shells, stamps, etc etc. Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , assemblage


Autumn Gold Youth is like spring, an over praised season more remarkable for biting winds than genial breezes. Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits. ~Samuel Butler Technorati Tags: digital art , photography

A not-very-good picture

Just a quick digital picture that I snapped this morning. You can barely see any detail, and I promise a better snap when it's finished. I'm still not sure what words are going to be added. I'm considering this children's song: Have you ever gone fishing on a hot summer's day And seen all the little fishies swimming up and down the bay? Does anyone have a better suggestion for me? I'd like to use a children's rhyme or song if possible. Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , assemblage

I love New York

Not the Big Apple, particularly, although it does have it's own sort of charm... I love western New York ~ farm fields, Finger Lakes, fishing, antiquing, barns, barns, barns, and more barns! Farm Technorati Tags: digital art , photography

What I did on my (late) summer vacation

Fished, boated, hiked, and took pictures of my husband (isn't he cute?). In general, attempted to recharge my batteries.

A short break

With all the activity surrounding our two kids this summer, Mike and I never took a vacation. We've decided to take a short hack-around-the-house break, in which I've promised (maybe) to try to stay away from the computer. Hopefully when we finish, I'll have something decent to show for my time :-) See you in a few!


Alphabetica: An A To Z Technique Guide For Collage And Book Artists A new book by Lynn Perrella, with a release date of January 2006. It can be advance ordered from Amazon . Lynn's last book, Artists' Journals and Sketchbooks , is a favorite of mine. Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , assemblage , altered books , art journals

Hidden Bridge

Hidden Bridge We found this spot along one of the beautiful trails through Letchworth State Park in western New York. Mike and I are heading there soon for vacation. With all the disruption this summer with kids graduating, leaving the country, going to college, not returning to the country, etc, our vacay is quite late. And boy, do we both need it! Technorati Tags: digital art , photography

Making backgrounds

I did some more sunprinting experiments this weekend, this time using cheesecloth. I was pretty happy with most of the fabrics, but the piece I liked the most was actually a failed experiment. I used a piece of watercolor paper and really soaked it, but it still didn't sunprint. Paper just dries too fast I guess. Anyway, I hated the colors that resulted, so I kept adding colors and trying over and over again to get it to print. Finally, there was enough paint build-up that the cheesecloth started to sort of embed in the layers. Well, that looked pretty I went with it. Several layers later, this is what I had: Not sure what it's going to be a background for yet, but I'm betting that there will be beads involved! Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , assemblage

A new direction

Two months ago, I shared with you about how Nate , my oldest had decided to head off for a Guatemalan orphanage to volunteer for the summer. Well, summer is over, and Nate has thrown us all for a loop! We got a call from him, two days before we were supposed to pick him up at the airport. He had planned to come home and go back to college (small community college he commutes to), but he has decided he's staying there instead!! No money, no long-term plans ~ just a 19 year old who wants to help save the world. This weekend was a very emotional one for me...and for Mike, but I think we're getting over it. I'm ok with it now, but it was quite a surprise. Being an empty-nester this year was *not* the plan!

More of Boston Harbor

Sailboat at Sunset 8 x 10 Logan Airport 6 x 12 Technorati Tags: digital art , photography

Boston Harbor can be beautiful

Boston Harbor at Sunset Technorati Tags: digital art , photography

In the secret

Secret Pond In the secret, in the quiet place In the stillness, You are there In the secret, in the quiet hour I wait only for You Because I want to know You more. ~Andy Park Technorati Tags: digital art , photography

Got your pencil?

My friend Derek sent me a link to the Pencil Revolution blog today. It's cute and silly, and occasionally even serious, but mostly it reminded me about a tip I learned from Twyla Tharp's book The Creative Habit . Namely, that you should always have your pencil with you...whatever your pencil happens to be. For me, it's actually my camera :-) What's your pencil? What should you never leave your home without?
Mt Watatic Trail I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free. ~ Psalm 119:32 Mt Watatic, Massachusetts Mike and I hiked this trail a few weeks ago ~ I've gotten behind in posting mountain pictures this summer since it's been such a busy one. Technorati Tags: digital art , photography

Dorothy Day

You only love God... A class picture from the 1920s, perhaps, and a quote that I love came together in this assemblage piece: "You only love God as much as you love the person that you love the least." ~ Dorothy Day, co-founder of the Catholic Worker Movement Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , assemblage

Poetry is just the evidence

Poetry is just the evidence It took me awhile to get back to this piece. Several things interfered: taking Dani to college, the antique sequins took awhile to show up, and I was working on another piece . So for quite a time, it sat around looking like this . These colors are not ones that I usually work with, as I mentioned before. I'm happy with the piece, but the minimalist embellishment and the colors make it stick out when I walk by! Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , assemblage

Off to college

Freshman year for my youngest. Here's my art-buddy's new college dorm room. Both of us will miss her tremendously! Seems like just yesterday, this is what she looked like.

Scrap heap

Hub cap, CDs, and glass I spent some very pleasant time yesterday visiting with my friends Joyce and Frank. They own the autobody/collision shop where I occasionally have to take my cars. They also own a very fine scrap heap that they graciously allow me to pick through from time to time. Since my personal stash of rusted metal scraps was growing dangerously low, I decided to combine the pleasure of visiting themwith refilling my own heap! They are lovely people, the salt of the earth, and I swear that Joyce never forgets a single detail from any story she ever hears. Thus, even when your car is crushed beyond repair, Joyce always is able to make your time with her pleasant! She remembers details about your kids, your work, your adventures, and just plain makes you feel that you matter to her. Frank is a true gentleman, and the two of them have a pretty enviable life together :-) Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , assemblage

Have you seen the Typogenerator?

Typogenerator This is a tremendously fun toy to play with. It makes poster-style pictures out of any text phrase you want to try. Here are a few of the ones I saved today: Isn't that fun? You'll be glad to know that the sequins I've been waiting for finally came yesterday, so now I can stop playing and get back to work. Also, this afternoon I went and visited my friends Frank and Joyce who run the local auto-body/collision center. They are always so gracious about letting me pick through their rusted metal, and I'm always so gracious about letting them fix my cars! Anyway, since my scrap pile was starting to dwindle, I thought I'd stop by for a visit and replenish it while I was there. The fact that Mike is out of town for a few days doesn't have anything at all to do with why I'm bringing home rusted stuff right now... Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , assemblage , digital art

T.S. Eliot

One of my favorite poets, Eliot wrote a wonderful line in his poem Little Gidding that I just love: We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time. This could well be one of the themes of my life. I am constantly coming back to what I've done before, revisiting it, seeing it with new eyes, and finding it much more worthy of my attention that at first I thought. This goes for places, people, art forms, and everything else I can think of. Gotta love Eliot.

From a summer wedding

Flower Girl Ninety-five degrees and one hundred percent humidity. Nothing could stop her from being cute. Technorati Tags: digital art , photography
At age 3, my daughter declared, "Mommy, art is my life!" On Saturday, August 6, my husband and I dropped her off at art school. There's a big gaping hole in my heart right now. But I'll get over it.

Poetry is

I'm waiting for some white antique sequins to arrive so that I can finish off this piece. It's been rattling around in my brain ever since I came across this marveous quote by Leonard Cohen: "Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash." These are not colors that I work with often. The choices came because of a challenge that we received in a beading art group I belong to online. Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , assemblage

"Who Needs Art?" by Michael Corbin

Good article . Here's the beginning: It's really a thrill to love what many consider a frill. Art. Do I actually need it to live? No, but I'm glad I don't have to live without it. It seems to be a primal calling. Not just for me, but also for societies that go way back. Sketchings found on ancient, unearthed walls. Carvings on old trees and rocks. The trump card argument for art is that the human urge to create and express pre-date reason and criticism. Artists were at work before anyone had a clue ... or cared.

Non-traditional training?

I've been following a post on one of my favorite blogs with a great deal of interest. The provocative " Does College Matter " was posted on July 14, and for a week afterward the comments kept pouring in. I found all of the discussions particularly interesting since my daughter is headed off for college this fall ~ to an art department ~ and my son will be finishing his associates degree and trying to decide whether to go further, or to go really further . Like back to Guatemala and forget about the rest of college. I suggest a subscription to Kathy Sierra's Creating Passionate Users , no matter what side of the debate you fall on!

Peace like a river

Peace like a river I've found that if I wiggle the cable around just exactly the right way, I can get my camera and computer to talk to each other! Since it appears that the connection on the camera itself is the problem, I guess I'm going to be doing a lot of hoping and praying for awhile. Get that little part fixed? I don't think so! We're talking about a whole new camera here... Mike loves me, but that would be testing things a bit! Anyway, "Peace like a river" is mixed fabric and paper, with a fabric transfer of an old cabinet card. It's embellished with vintage snaps, some buttons, and embroidery, as well as all the beaded stuff that I showed up close before. Technorati Tags: mixed media , collage , assemblage