"If you hear a voice within you say, 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced." --Vincent van Gogh

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


The Bradford Pears have bloomed! These photos were actually taken about a week ago, I just have not had time to get back to my blog. These trees are so amazing. I never tire of their show.

Each tiny bloom is pure white with bright purple stamens. There's just one thing that could make these trees better ...

... fragrance! They are not highly fragrant, which is a good thing because they smell a bit like wet dog. I guess you can't have it all!

Speaking of wet dogs - here's a new cute-puppy-picture. Rosi found this piece of sturdy pine bark, and it is HERS, let me tell you! I think those teeth may have finally met their match!

The rescue group we got Rosi from has a new mama and 4 pups, plus another mama who's due any day. If you're in the vicinity of central North Carolina, and looking for a pet, let me know! Once the pics are up, I'll post a link so you can see how adorable these little guys are.
I hope to have some artwork to share soon. I've been without my machine for close to a month now. I bought a new machine two weeks ago, and was told it would be in within a week. Today I found out that it is backordered, so now who knows when I will have it! It's pretty frustrating since I am supposed to have a good bit of artwork to the gallery by the middle of April. So I am keeping my fingers crossed that the machines arrive soon and I can get on with it. In the meantime, I am getting a lot of bottlecap pieces done - but you've see those before!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

7 Random Things

I've been tagged by Vicky. Actually she tagged me a while ago, and I've been pondering what other random things about me that I could share with you ... so here goes ...

1) I really need a haircut.

2) My mother (Happy Birthday, Mom!) insists she never dressed me in plaid pants and argyle socks (see previous post about what I remember). She is probably right. I probably dressed myself.

3) When I was a kid, I loved mud. There is no good mud in the south, just icky clay.

4) I am easily distracted
5) The last book I finished (February's read - but finished about a week ago) is The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. It's an incredible book. You should read it.

6) March's read is Tangerine by Edward Bloor. It is a pre-teen book that my 12 year old son recommended to me (you should read this, mom!), so I am reading it and so far enjoying it.
7) I have the song "Lucille" by Kenny Rogers stuck in my head. I have absolutely no idea how it got there. The lyrics go (in my best southern twang): You picked a fine time to leave me, Lucille! Four hungry children and a crop in the field ... When I was a kid, I thought he said "four hundred children". I couldn't fathom it! Now I realize it probably just felt that way.
Be sure to check out Vicky's Blog - she's got some amazing experiments of ice dyeing - something I will no doubt be trying at some point!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Pomegranate Star Quilt

Below is a page from "Beautiful Home" magazine. Isn't that quilt phenomenal! Just kidding (about the magazine part), this is the home of my blogless (as far as I know - Janice, you should really start a blog!) friend Janice. If it graced the pages of a magazine, ladies all around the country would be racing to copy her style.

The quilt, which you have to admit is truly phenomenal, is the first (as far as I know) fully completed quilt from the Round Robin group I participated in last year. Below is a photo of the quilt. I'd say we dun good!

Janice created the center star on the white background, and provided some fabrics to carry through the piece. The quilt then passed through 7 of us as we added borders of 1) triangles, 2) curves, 3) squares, 4) 2" border, 5) applique 6) embellish a previous row and 7) anything goes. On this particular quilt, I was the last to work on it and I had the "anything goes" round. The part I did is the outer edge beyond the yellow and green scalloped border. My part consists of the purple corner wedges, the 4 side triangles, the yellow piping and the red background. In a bit of serendipity, the four side triangle seem to work with the previous rows to form a sort of cross that seems to weave in and out of the piece.

Below is a closeup of Janice's wonderful machine quilting. She is quite talented. I love how the quilted wreath encompasses the yellow points on her perfect feathered star.

I just had to share (with Janice's permission) this gorgeous quilt. It was as much a joy to work on as it is to see it completed. Wonderful, Wonderful, Wonderful, Janice! Kudos!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

It's Almost Here!

Spring, that is. Remember the swolen buds of the Bradford Pear tree that I showed you in February? They are starting to open, right on schedule (and maybe even a week early). This photo was taken yesterday in my back yard. Here in North Carolina, in the spring and fall, the sky is an impossible shade of blue. It is just gorgeous. Carolina Blue. There are a few trees which bloom just before the Bradford pears, but for me, these non-fruiting pear trees will always mark the end of winter. Bring it on!

While I await my new machine, I managed to complete an ATC on the machine I am borrowing. It is on its way to Susan Lenz for her Cyber Fyber exhibit. Susan made the ATC on the left, recycling a Mexican blouse (what a great idea!). In turn, I made the one on the right to send to her. The background is my paper towel technique, I bounded the metal for the grapes, leaf and stem, and added the beads by hand. For those who don't know - ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) are 2.5x3.5" - the size of a playing card - and made to be traded.

When I have my new machine up and running, I'll be making a postcard for Susan as well, and I'll share with you the beautiful one she has sent to me. Happy Spring!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

What Else?

Just a quick post to share what else I've worked on lately ...
Paper towel pendants for a trade on Surface Design. I made one for each person's initial. I made these 1x3, which is the size of a microscope slide. I thought that would be something a little different. I really enjoy the results of this technique. I will share with you some of the beautiful pendants I have received, in the days to come.
The next few shots are some of the work I took to the gallery. Above is a detail of a skeleton leaf on dyed paper towel. Below is a piece made with dryer sheets and melted tyvek. This is the third piece like this one to go to the shop. The other two sold pretty quickly.
The next piece, below, is a leaf tryptic with hand painted dryer sheet background. I should have stitched the piece after I attached the leave so that the lines don't show through. Oh well! I still like how it came out. I used 4 colors on the dryer sheets and I think it makes a nice background.
And finally - how could I not share another cute puppy picture! Rosi is almost 4 months old and still a charmer. She loves sticks and big pine cones (there's one by her front feet). Doesn't she look happy? She's all legs right now, and about 30 lbs. She loves people, and we are working on teaching her manners. She sure is a good girl!