Friday, September 30, 2011

End of September

Here are some pictures of how things are looking around here on the last day of September:

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Three more!

Here are three more pieces from the show that I missed in my other posts! Below is "Yella Fella" by Lynn Schwager...
and "Geometric Gray" by Kathi Jahnke...
and "It's Not Easy Being Green" by Sonia Reiber.
It's hard to believe September is almost over and the show has already come down! We are already planning and looking forward to our next show in May of 2012!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

All Buttoned Up!

I finished another charm bracelet, above, with a darker green, tree theme, and then cleaned up my worktable. On Friday evening, I decided to focus only on polymer clay and got out a few stamps and some Pearl-X powder. I came up with the charms, below, which I'll use for future projects.
Then something made me think about using buttons in jewelry and the variety of ways they might be used (I'm not sure what inspired me this time - there are no button charms in that book!). I got out my tub of buttons and started playing around. Here are some of the things I came up with:
Fun! I'm looking forward to incorporating them into some jewelry soon. While I was at it, I made a few other cool charms that didn't use buttons. Here they are below.
And then I got the idea for these bracelets. I had gotten some large jump rings last year, thinking I could use them to hold my sketchbook together, but it turned out they were too small. I wasn't using them much, but they work great linking together these buttons! There are all kinds of possibilities with these too - options for color, size, combinations of the two, even dangling charms off the links! I wasn't the first person to come up with this - you can find them on ETSY, but I sure like the way they turned out! Only thing is, as you can imagine with the beads, fabric, buttons, wire, tools, and other elements I needed for these charms, my work table is all messy again!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mixed-Media Mania!

My recent fascination (bordering on obscession) with mixed-media charms has not let up! Last week, I happened to stop into A. C. Moore to check out their bead collection, when I came across this book. I looked through it quickly, but I'd already been through the check-out, and it contains many of the techniques and materials I already know about and use for charms, like polymer clay and shrink film. But I wanted a closer look at the book, I wanted to take more time with it. I couldn't get it through the library, so I went back to A.C. Moore Sunday evening with my 40% off coupon and now it's MINE!!!! Of course, I was pretty content with the charms and bracelets I've been coming up with on my own. Here's one, below, similar to the one I posted here, except with silver-tone metal instead of copper. I like the number and variety of charms and the way they're all related in theme and color, but I found myself leaning towards the more unique ones, the ones you can't just buy at any craft store and hook onto a chain.
And that's exactly what the book covers. As you can see here, it has an opening chapter on some basics ("Charm School") and then a full chapter on each different media, including paper, fabric, glass, plastic, and found objects. I couldn't wait to try them all!
One of the first ones I decided to attempt last night was making these wool "sputnik" charms. I've done a little hand needle felting with wool, but this describes wet felting with hot water and a bar of soap, so I thought I'd give it a try. It didn't sound too complicated.
I dug out some wool roving I had in my chosen color (what else but aqua?) and saw I had two different types of roving. One looked nice and smooth, all combed out and straight, but the other one was still kind of curly, a little tangled and in smaller pieces. I was hoping to get a swirled effect, so I wanted to incorporate the variety of aqua shades in both types of wool. Unfortunately, I should've combed them together more thoroughly, because they didn't incorporate together very well!

These are the three little misshapen balls I ended up with! Pretty funny, huh?

Another drawback to getting involved with a book like this and wanting to try everything all at once is the resulting mess! Look at my worktable!
Even the chair I usually sit in is draped with t-shirts I wanted to embellish over the summer, and new fabrics I picked up to make more coasters. Ugh!
I think the idea is to make many of one type of charm - spend a few days or a week just using the polymer clay, then move to paper, then to fabric, then to wood, then put the bracelets together. I think my next move is going to be cleaning everything up and selecting one medium to focus on for a time. I'll let you know how that goes...

Monday, September 19, 2011

More Show Pieces

Here are the rest of the pieces from the show. Above is Martha Buhl's piece titled "Golden Opportunity." Below are all the horizontal pieces. First, Lynda Long's "Yellow Spirit Lion."

Above, Claire Oehler's "Green Rain," and "Tree Study IV: Blue Dusk" by Barbara Sferra, below.

Two blue pieces, "Blue Skies Up Above" by Cecelia Leiseroff (top) and Barbara Schiller's beautifully moody nighttime piece below.

Here we have "Vermillion Verge" by Andrea Schedletsky (top) and "Vanilla Fudge Mosaic Swirl" by Maxine Oliver. Click on it to see all the little squares of fabric she fused on to make this very detailed mosaic.

Here are the final two pieces in the show. In "Misty Gray Morning," (top), Joyce Sullivan used pussy willows for the little baby ducklings. How's that for a clever found object? Another clever one below, "Just Zip Through the Red Tape" by Joann Lubchenko.

You must agree, we're a talented bunch (if I do say so myself)! If you live in the area and haven't done so yet, stop by to see them all for yourselves. It's worth the trip!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

FANE Artists' Reception

It was another great gathering of artists and friends at the annual Fiber Arts North East show and reception at the Mahopac Public Library yesterday afternoon! Above is a shot of the gallery hallway with some of the artwork, artists, and spirit flag display in the window. Following are some of the pieces from the show, the first two by Natalya Aikens (left) and Judy Gignesi.

These three (above, left to right) are by Ann Louise Lyman, MaryAnn Healy, and Carolyn Spiegel, and below we have works by Nike Cutsumpas, Carole Hoffman, and Norma Schlager.

The works above are by Vivien Zepf, Jane Davila, and Jamie Horikawa, and the ones below are by Fran Osinoff, Gail Ellspermann, and Barbara Drillick.
I think the whole show was fabulous, with each piece standing out against the cork walls on its white canvas, and the dramatic and intense colors chosen by each artist. I haven't displayed all the pieces here - the ones hung horizontally were photographed individually so I'll save those for the next post. Below are some of my very favorites:
"Black Magic" by Nancy Mirman, "The View From and Old Church Window onto 4o Shades of Green" by MaryAnn Healy, and "A Magical Moment in Magenta" by Ann Louise Lyman.

I also loved "Teal Trio" by Judy Gignesi.

In addition to each artists' piece, Joyce Sullivan displayed the 4"x4" pieces we swapped in 2009. They looked great displayed this way, and filled the perfect spot next to the elevator.

There was also an empty display case upstairs which we utilized to display our mixed-media houses. Don't they make an adorable village?

Here I am standing next to my piece, "Aquatic Exercise I: Waterfall".
Here's a view of the Community Room where we had a chance to sit and talk and enjoy some refreshments together. It was another great success for the FANE!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

SAQA Auction Has Begun!

The Studio Art Quilters Association, of which I am now a member, has an auction every year to benefit their not-for-profit group. This year's auction started on September 12th and works in reverse of a regular auction. The artworks go on sale for a high price the first day ($750) and go down in price on successive days, ending at a final price of $75. The pieces are sold in groups. I donated the above work which will go on sale on September 26th. If you'd like to own an original piece of fiber art, take a look at what's for sale by clicking here. (Mine is shown in group 3b. I wonder if it will sell...).

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering 9-11-01

The Mahopac Public Library is one of 31 places in New York State selected to house a piece of the World Trade Center remains from 9-11. Just a simple piece of the sheeting from the outside of one of the towers, it's surprising how impressive it is. Just looking at it, dented and torn, numbered like an archeological find, it brings to mind that day and all we witnessed on television.

My two older girls had just started preschool at our church. That first week, classes were only one hour to ease them into being away from mommy and in a class setting. I dropped them off that day, took a picture of them squinting in the sunshine in front of the entrance (I had forgotten the day before, which was the real first-day-of-school), and headed upstairs to the main church to attend mass with my youngest, instead of driving home for that one hour. On the way out around 9:35, my youngest daughter pointed at the candles we typically light for a special prayer. I couldn't think of anyone I knew who needed any special prayers that morning. It was a perfectly beautiful day, without a cloud in the sky, and all I knew and loved were healthy and doing well. But I lit a candle anyway, thinking someone somewhere must need a prayer that morning.

We still had about 20 minutes to pass before it was time to pick up the girls after preschool, so I put Alana in the stroller and walked around the neighborhood near the church for a few minutes. On the way back, someone drove by with their car radio blasting on a news station. I knew then that something important must've happened in the news. I met a few other mothers waiting by the church doors and one of them asked me if I'd heard what happened. She told me that a plane had flown into one of the twin towers. I had assumed it might be a small private plane and was a pilot error. She told me both her husband and her sister worked downtown in the towers or one of the shorter buildings that were part of the World Trade Center. She said they had evacuated and that her husband was walking the 80 or 90 blocks up to where his mother lived, uptown. We laughed about what a long walk he'd have. We just didn't know the seriousness of the situation.

When I finally picked up the girls and heard the news reports for myself, I was in complete shock. I drove home, but couldn't leave the car because I didn't want to miss a second of the events that were unfolding. Finally, I managed to wrench myself away from the radio and ran in to see everything unfolding on TV. When I saw those towers go down, I knew there was no way anyone could ever survive a collapse like that. I thought of the other mother I had spoken to at church and her sister and started to cry, thinking what she must be going through wondering if her sister were still alive.

It turns out my cousin, a NYC firefighter who worked in the Greenwich Village area downtown, was in the towers helping with the rescue that morning. He was in the lobby of the 2nd tower, helping evacuate, when something told him to get out. He did and soon after, the tower fell. I like to think whatever urged him to get out then had something to do with my candle prayer in the church that morning. He survived the collapse, as did my friend's sister. But many did not, and it's a day many of us will never forget.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

In My Own Backyard

After a busy week of work both in the library and at home, my youngest daughter and I decided to take a mini vacation right in our own backyard. We haven't used the kayaks all summer, so we trotted down to the lakeshore with our paddles, towels, PFDs, and a broom (to sweep out all the spiders and webs!), climbed in, and glided off onto the peaceful water.
Our lake is too small to allow any motorized vehicles, so it is always quiet enough for catching wildlife unawares. We saw turtles,
and water birds, including this great blue heron. We are able to get pretty close in our quiet kayaks. We paddled and drifted for less than an hour, but it was such a relaxing escape from our normally busy world.

After we climbed back up the hill and cleaned up, I opened this lovely package of goodies that arrived in the mail today from I can't wait to dive into them and start crafting some more charms and bracelets!