Wednesday, October 31, 2007

New work

Judith Klein, of Pins with a Past, traded me this lovely piece for one of my bags. It is made from the flotsam of city life: a crushed bottle cap, a socket, a bit of crushed metal. I love it.

So, after my little rant yesterday morning, I helped to clean the Lowell studio and that was restorative. We are such a group -- creative, cooperative, mature. A new member interviewed. A beloved member said she would reconsider dropping out. A third announced that she's moving to the work/live lofts being developed in an adjacent mill. The sun shone, inside and out. O, and since the RED SOX won, my lovely husband was home early in the afternoon, a rare pleasure now that his commute is so long. Dinner was a breeze; the biscuits came out well. Making good biscuits has been a goal of my life. I'm glad to say I have put my hockey-puck days behind me. All of which is to say I took a day OFF and feel better for it.

I am off to make more Affordable, Portable Art:

And probably some more little notebook holders:

Plus three inquiries came in about buying purses. A little ego boost to get the engines turning again.

Monday, October 29, 2007


Found an artist new to me on-line today, Janet Bolton. Her work interests me, in its intersection of textile arts and illustration. Also I like her images: not sweet, very dream-like.

Last night's internet wanderings took me back to Lisa Call and her thoughts on planning and success. This year for the first time I bridle at the "requirement" to make stuff to sell. My expectations of my work have changed. Satisfaction that once came from piecing useful stuff now comes from printing yardage and making work that lasts. The textile postcards satisfy: they are about composition, on a tiny scale. They function as exercise; then, with matting and a package, they become commercial. But purses, jeeze, I just feel myself slipping into the abyss that is Walmart, India, China, not to mention the young things on Etsy selling their work for $20 a pop.

I must chart a new direction and, of course, that is scary. Over and over, I reach a goal, only to find I am on another plateau, and it is time to take my bearings and set out again.

Today, though, is Cleaning Day at the big studio. Repair work to the roof has left debris over everything. Yuck! Time to grab the broom and mop and go.

Friday, October 26, 2007


My studio looks like a rat's nest. I actually tripped on my sewing machine's cord the other day and pulled it off the table. Yikes. Luckily no damage. The display rack holds completed work: fourteen purses so far. I revisited the two embellished army bags that remain:
The purses are assemblages of high-end upholstery fabrics, with the occasional scrap of hand-printed fabric.
On a detour, I futzed with some tiny journals, because the fabric I'd made just begged to be featured:
Here's an example of what's inside and on the back. Just a few signatures, more a whimsy than practical, but maybe there's an idea there somewhere.

Friday, October 19, 2007


Spent the morning wrestling with photography. I'm learning, slowly. Thank heaven for Gloria Hansen's generous essay in the SAQA journal about resizing photos. I am a slow mule when it comes to mastering new technologies. Even when I worked on the cutting edge, I was always confused.

To cheer myself up, I photographed two works in progress. The first was an exercise in piecing that grew, came apart, then went back together. I can't make up my mind how well it stands up, but I started quilting it today.
The second came during my first session printing with dyes. It makes me happy. I don't think it needs much more work, but I won't let myself start on it until PRODUCTION (purses purses purses scarves purses) for the holidays is over.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

On the Subway

Sketches from the wait for the subway.

Production work in the studio - purses and journals. I am hungry to work on a larger piece.

Got the news today that Karen Bettencourt will leave our group. She will have her own studio on the 2nd floor of Western Avenue Studios. We will miss her. But still, it is good to fledge. Congratulations, Karen!

Friday, October 12, 2007


All current work delivered to stores, the push for new inventory begins. I started with postcards.Of course these still need to be stitched and edged. I'll do that when I have a dozen. Three more to go.

Each one is its own composition exercise. Rather like playing scales on an instrument, but more satisfying. Or do real musicians enjoy playing scales?

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


Elegant textile art and functional too. I will never be able to think like this. But I love to look at it. Artist is Deepa Panchiamia , found through the blog Grijs, dedicated to such cool.

To the Gallery

Had prints made today of the latest collages. Lots of people admired the originals over the weekend, then they bought prints.

These originals will go to the gallery, where they'll cost a third more but people will buy them.

We hope.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Singing Bird

Singing Bird
Originally uploaded by TheRedDoorStudio
Today has been a day of wandering the internet: pillows, purses, tutorials, crafts, ending here. I love this image from Red Door Studio -- the intersection of literal and figurative, collage and paint.

Sell all your cleverness

RISD show: Beautiful day. Almost too hot in the sun, but we lucked out and had shade. Helpful daughter on duty. Many people stopped to talk purses and fabric. Some bought. My booth :

Best-received were the newest things, some made just the night before. You have to do the bad work to get to the good work, as always. The best were the last to be made, using fabric from the Open Studios print session:

The quote, heard on the Writer's Almanac, is from Damon Runyon:

"Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment." I'm plenty bewildered today, but content.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Action shot

Open studios two days in a row this weekend. We set up a print table outside Lowell Fiber Studios. People who remembered mimeograph machines got a special kick out of this application of thermofax technology.

This blurry shot shows the set up. By the end of each afternoon fabric covered every surface. Looked like my house!

The first day I worked with familiar images, over-printing unsuccessful dye runs:

The next day I switched to new images - mostly birds. The work went much slower: For the first time, I tried to figure out what would happen before the images struck the fabric.

Yesterday, working on production for the next sale, I put some of my graphics on a pre-constructed purse. My girl says it needs some sparkles down the left.

These bags are map cases from Army surplus. I would love to find a source for well-made purse blanks wholesale.