30 September 2008

creature board, knitting ADD and vampires

Today is one of those days outside: overcast, grey, sleepy. Dooley is snoring like I slipped him a sleeping pill (I assure you I did not, its his little doggies instincts kicking in with the arrival of the autumn weather). In all honesty, I don't mind this weather. Cathy says its my inner vampire coming out, she could be right.

I was tempted to stay on the sofa and bury my nose in some books but seeing as how my back is feeling halfway decent today, I decided that I really needed to do something about this:

Mom doesn't understand how it keeps getting messed up. I told her Dooley did it. (I don't think she bought it.)

Its a combination of me starting about three thousand new projects, dropping them to concentrate on finishing up some things for deadlines and the Breaking Traditions exhibit. The room can only hold so much and when my back is bothering me, I often revert back to the dump-and-ignore method of cleaning. (Made much easier by the fact that the room has a door I can shut.)

As I was cleaning I came face to face with the pile of sock creatures that I've created over the past few months. I was kind of perplexed what to do with them and knew that if they were in reach of the stumpy westie, he would proceed to drag them out of my studio one by one every time he came up to visit me. So I got crafty and did this:

All but two of those guys are mine. The ones on the far right (the tall orange one with the drawn on face and the squat one with the light blue protruding eyeballs) are works by John Murphy, the author of Stupid Sock Creatures. He was teaching at expo this year and also had a small display of his work. I was signed up to take his workshop on sunday but had to bail out of it since my stupid iditotic uncooperative kill-joy party-pooper of a back wouldn't let up in the aching department. Jackie took my place so I was happy that it didn't go to waste. The angry orange one is one of his samples that he made during class, scored by Jackie during the course of the day (go Jackie!). John autographed his butt. It makes me giggle snort.

I purchased the one with the bulging blue eyes from his display. Here were all his minions that he put out for the expo:

He is a really down to earth guy, I got to talk to him a little bit. If you get a chance to meet him or take one of his classes, I highly recommend it. He's a great inspiration for all things weird.

While beating back the chaos in my studio, I also came across the stuff I bought at expo. (I didn't pick up much this year. There were a LOT of machines. Sewing, embroidery, long arm...I'm waiting for the one that will clean the house, do laundry and cook dinner while I make art. That one would be a best seller.) I was happy to find a very nice wool booth and picked up this:

Those, my friends, are future minions to be added to the creature board. The little bit next to them are eyeball buttons I scored at another booth. Couldn't beat that, the eyeballs on my guys need some work.

I also attempted to tame my yarn. (I never win, its more persistent then I am and I am weak.) I wound up two more skeins of sock yarn. I'm drooling intently over the one in the back. So much so that I am going to abandon (without guilt) the current pair of socks I am knitting. Much to my surprise, the current socks on the needles are from black yarn with little spots of color -- and they are boring the snot out of me. I want C O L O R. And I'm not sorry, no ma'am. No guilt here. (I'm trying to believe that, work with me, okay?)

See that there yarn with the circular needles sticking out of it and the index cards next to it? That's my lace scarf. (Couldn't you tell???) I'm taking a cue from Yarnhog and really getting serious about breaking down the pattern. This is my first attempt at lace and its not gone well. In all honesty, after I frogged it three times, I banished it to the corner and have been turning my nose up at it. Cleaning the studio unearthed it once again and now I'm ready to battle with it again. I'll win - oh yes, I'll win....

I began taking pictures of all the UFOs I had laying about but honestly? I don't think blogger would support that many pictures in one post. Just take my word for it, its not a pretty site.

I think part of the problem is this:

I have been reading until my eyeballs hurt since I've been off for my back. HBO came out with a new series called True Blood based on some books about vampires. To my surprise, I've totally fallen in love with it. So I popped onto amazon.com and started looking around for more stories. I decided to try Stephanie Meyer's series since there are over 2,400 reviews for it. Figured it stood a good chance of being a good story. (I'm quick, aren't I?)

I was surprised when I got the first one that they are a teen series but I don't care about that anymore. Each book averages about 500 pages and I am about a quarter through the third one. They are basically crack and I've not been doing much else but burying my face in them everyday. Won't last forever, I'm running out of book. **sob**

That's pretty much all I've got. Oh! I'm happy to announce that my friend Mary now has a blog. Go check it out, she's just getting started with it but its sure to be a riot!

28 September 2008

Where I Stand Sunday

The energy present in the artwork hanging before me moves through the air, wrapping itself around anyone who dares to move closer for a better look. Each quilt bears the mark of its maker, telling its own story, proclaiming its own message in a loud tone. They all patiently wait to move on to their next venue, knowing that this is only the beginning of their journey and there is still much work to be done.

**To see the entire exhibit, go here.

**To see my Where I Stand essay in its entirety, please visit my website.

Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. The ground we tread on has its own stories to tell.

25 September 2008

what a rush

I will admit that quite often when I'm working on pulling together an exhibit, I sometimes loose sight of it. By that I mean that I become so familiar with the work and see it on a daily basis that I become accustomed to it. Its not to say that I am not impressed with it, but I learn to look at it with the same pair of eyes and it becomes part of my surroundings.

So because of that, its always a thrill when the exhibit goes up and I see it in a brand new setting, and I see people who are laying eyes on it for the first time and its like I get to see it all over again new too.

Today Jackie, Mary and I hung the Breaking Traditions exhibit for the American Sewing Expo this weekend. (Truth be told, Jackie and Mary hung it while I directed since my back is still acting up and I'm not able to do much. They rock. Go check out Jackie's blog, she's got a cool entry about both exhibits as well.)

When I stepped back to see the exhibit, my breath caught. Here's why:

Click on the image to view a larger version of the picture.

That is a 20 foot wide by 8 feet high wall of artwork about positive things/people organizations. Its over $1,000 worth of funds for the American Cancer Society. Its a lot of hard work by a lot of talented artists and its absolutely breathtaking.

I've always been proud of the exhibits I curate but this one I am especially proud of. I'm really excited that it is going to travel. I think it will have a great impact on everyone who sees it.

Another exhibit that also went up for the expo today is From the Back of the Sock Drawer, a sock creature exhibit. Joan and Deb tackled this one and its an incredibly fun exhibit! Take a look and see what you think:

Talk about a gigantic pile of creativity. Its absolutely amazing, you could stand there in front of that exhibit for hours and you'd probably never run out of new things to catch your eye.

Its totally awesome and I count myself lucky to be among so many creative people.

I also got incredibly excited and giddy because with the installation shot of Breaking Traditions at the ASE, I could finish my website.

So I launched that today as well. Go check it out if you have a sec, there is some new work on there that hasn't had much exposure and my Where I Stand photo essay in its entirety.

Its been a good day.

23 September 2008


I don't have much in the way of a cohesive post so I just thought I'd give you a list of random stuff I'm doing instead. (I know you are intensely excited, hold back your enthusiasm.)

1) I am very nearly done obsessively redesigning my website for the third time. I don't know what my deal is. Every time I finish it I think I really like it, then I live with it for a year and decide its poo. So I've done it over again, this time with a cleaner look (the current color scheme started to wear on me quick, looks dingy - from the latin dingeta) so I went in the complete opposite direction. I'll probably complain in a few months that there isn't enough color. (I'd say bet me but I know I'll loose, I'm not that silly.) It goes live either this weekend or beginning of next, its got the online catalog for the '08 Breaking Traditions exhibit so the whole thing had to wait. It also has a gallery of all my Where I Stand shots, I'm excited for it. (Doesn't take much these days.)

2) I spent part of yesterday and today working on another quilt for Breaking Traditions. One of the quilts just didn't make it over to me (victim of Hurricane Ike) and of course I had already assembled all the panels so there was a big gaping hole. I can be OCD with the best of them but pulling apart thirteen panels to make sure they were all in alphabetical order is not on the agenda, especially when the exhibit hangs in two days. So pretend that my last name starts with an E instead of a K just this one time, okay?

Here's the quilt I made:

You'll have to wait for the online catalog to be published for an explanation.

3) My studio looks like there was a keg party held in there. So I have all the mess to clean up without having the benefits of the beer. Anyone want to come help me dig it out?

4) I found a ball of yarn on Dooley's blankets this morning. (He has two squishy blankets that are on the floor, kind of like a little nest. In a moment of poor judgement, we decided it would be nice if they were white. So is Dooley. He tends to blend in. Thank goodness his nose is black, it saves him from being squished.) I can't say that I blame him, it was one of those extra squishy ones. I actually got a dirty look from him when I took it back, still not sure how it ended up there...

5) I ordered more Moo mini cards tonight. I went through nearly all of my stash when I was at Open Studios at IQF in April. This time I ordered several with my photographs on them, including my Where I Stand shots. Oh, and I got stickers too, thought they looked neat. If anyone wants to trade cards, let me know and we can swap.

6) I'm contemplating learning how to dye sock yarn. Yarn is like crack...

7) Its a good thing I have so much wool in the house. Mom is having hot flashes from hell and keeps opening all the windows and turning on all the fans. I am dressed like I live on an iceberg and wondering if it would be weird if I took all my wool yarn out of my stash and buried myself in it.

Ummmm...I guess that's it. I'm kind of boring right now. I've been fiddling with getting things all packed up for the exhibit. Since my back is bad right now (I found out I have arthritis in my lower back also so I have a sneaking suspicion that's why I don't fare well when the seasons change) its taken me working on it off an on all day to get it done. But done it is and I have a couple lovely friends ready to hang them for me so all is well.

I'm also looking forward to seeing the sock creature exhibit the fiber art group I belong to is putting together for expo. Should be hysterically cute and funny!

I'll have lots of photos to share so that should be more interesting then just a random ramble. The blog will be fed well shortly...

21 September 2008

are you on ravelry?

Okay, I have to shamelessly publicly admit that I am on Ravelry and have severely neglected my spot there. I'm working on fixing that. I've been gathering projects to take pictures because regardless of what my notebook says, I have finished more then half a pair of socks.

So I realized that I don't have many contacts/friends on there and its making me feel a little whiny. So if you are on there and would like to be my friend (oh, that sounds appealing. Almost like a stranger asking a little girl if she wants some candy...ugh...), leave me a comment with your ID and we can bond. I really want to build up my spot there, I figure its kind of rude that I've been ignoring it for so long.

My ID is redheadknitter75.

See you there.

a mountain of sheep hair

I've been going slightly insane lately due to the fact that I rarely leave the house. And on the occasions when I do, its for a doctor's appointment. While necessary, I'm sure you'll agree that they just aren't all that fun.

So when I heard about the fleece fair that was coming up today by a local spinning group that was pretty close to the house, I begged a ride off my friend Carol, grabbed my cane and got two hours out of the house that restored my sanity and also got me some sheep hair.

I've been to their fleece fair in the past but this is the first time that I went as a spinner. Granted, I'm a fledgling spinner but I was excited to go be among all that roving and wheels and spindles. I wish I had taken my camera because there is no way to describe what this fair looks like. They take over a middle school gymnasium and set up tables and there are literally mountains of roving all over the place. In every color imaginable. In every fiber imaginable. Its quite the site to behold.

When we were walking up to the door there was a sign stating that they now accept visa and mastercard. Luckily I intentionally left mine at home. I'm really interested in getting a spinning wheel but have not researched them enough and am not physically able to take lessons to learn how to use it so I want to wait until my back is done torturing me.

I got some pretty nifty roving, here's Dooley dog checking it out:

He always gets all a twitter when I bring home handspun yarn or roving. I'm not sure if he gets excited because he knows its from another animal or if he thinks they are imposters and wants to take revenge on them. Its hard to tell. See that multi-colored one he's nudging in the picture? He rolled it halway across the living room before I realized what he did and had to screech at him to knock it off. No telling if pulling and yanking would have been next.

The colors on each of these are really pretty. They all contain a mixture of wool and mohair so they are soft and squishy. Here, admire the colors with me:

This one didn't have a name for the color on it but I'm calling it autumn. (Its richer in person, my camera is being crabby.)

This one is called Fiesta. Very pretty. I was eyeballing this one for a while and then when I saw a sample that had been spun up I caved. Its very pretty and apparently has the added bonus of rolling well should your dog be interested in a gigantic wool ball as a toy.

The last one is Oaks and Acorns. (Also richer in person.) This one is going to have a very slight variegation in it and I'm liking that, I'll be able to do a stitch pattern with this that won't get destroyed by all the colors.

I still have two rovings I bought from them last fair for felting that are straight up wool that I considered spinning but they are pretty coarse so I don't think I want to use those for spinning. They are going to have to be felting material.

I consider the fact that I came home with only these a triumph. I stood and stared at several spinners as they were working on their wheels. (I tried really hard to not look like a creepy stalker but I'm not sure I accomplished it. I was kind of entranced.) They were friendly, one was a licensed dealer for the smaller one she was working on and was trying to convince me to come to a meeting to try them out. I'm going to once I'm feeling better.

So now my back hurts like the devil and I'm going to go lay on the sofa to appease it and read a book. I'm hoping to feel well enough later on today so I can sit up for a little while and start spinning one of these.

Which one should I start first?

Where I Stand Sunday

The expression is always the same, looking up from below, eager to see what my next move will be. He moves around my feet constantly, replacing my shadow at every opportunity. He has claimed a portion of my life that I am glad to turn over to him. As I move through my day I can count on him, trailing behind me, inspecting my activities, seeking a moment when he can shuffle beneath my hand for some contact. He is the definition of unconditional love.

Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. The ground we tread on has its own stories to tell.

19 September 2008

it doesn't always work

I got an email a few days ago from a reader asking me if I could explain to her how I go about designing my art quilts. I asked her if she would mind if I talked about it in a blog post, she said go for it, so I am.

To be honest, my first instinct was to say, "I don't really have a process." But the more I thought about it, the more I realized I kind of do. Its a bit whacked but it seems to be a recurring method of the way I work so it would seem that I do, indeed, have a process.

I'm not one of those artists that sit and ponder a piece for months and sketch it out and measure and angst about everything being perfect. I have respect for these people but I just can't work that way. I start with either a piece of fabric that I like or an embellishment and go at it.

Not every element is thought through prior to beginning. If there is one aspect of the piece that I know what I want to do, I tackle that and then when its done, I move on to the other spots and work to pull it all together.

Its pretty much like intentionally backing yourself into a corner to see if you can get out of it.

See? Told you it was a little whacked.

Does it always work? Nope. Sometimes all I end up doing is giving myself a headache. Take these, for example:

The fact that these are residing on the floor is not a good sign. Its kind of where my art quilts go to die. (It also allows me to step on them in revenge when they frustrate me.) If they are stationed on the floor, that means I'm having major issues with them and have decided that I just need to stare at them for a while. I move on to other projects that like me more and just wait to see if something strikes my fancy.

I've been staring at these for at least a month now and finally decided to give up last night. Not entirely on working with these images but with the format that I have them in. Its making me cross eyed and I have considered pretty much every option (including gasoline and matches) but nothing makes me have that *aha* moment.

So they will get tossed in the box I have reserved for works that have gotten on my last nerve and will most likely be recycled into a different form in the future. I have a new idea for these images and will pursue that and already I can feel the *aha* working its way into my brain.

I pretty much tackle every work this way. That's how Red Bird started too, a much more successful result.

I had the three bird linocut prints that I had made some time ago and started fiddling with inking them and it went from there. The blue is one of my hand dyed fabrics and it reminded me of a moody sky. I stitched down the images, did the strong stitching around the edges and then left it alone for about a week. The rest of it filled in almost on its own. (This one rested on my ironing board, not the floor. It felt easy so I knew it would work, no floor for it.)

I wish I could say, "I do this and then I do this and if you do this then you can do it too." Its just not that simple. Everyone works so differently that its impossible for me to really explain every step. What I can tell you is that I really feel its important not to over think things. Of course there is thought put into each piece but if you chip away at each element one at a time, then you'll be surprised how it will come together and your brain won't hurt. At least that's how I do it.

I don't know if that helped...it may have just been a very long ramble...

And just for the record, I have tried these methods with knitting and crocheting and let's just say, all that I ended up with is a very healthy respect for knit/crochet designers. There's that math thing in those arts that simply has no sense of humor at all.

In case my explanation disappoints, here's another adorable picture of Dooley to distract you:

He sends hugs and cuddles to you all. *smooch*

17 September 2008

it's a sickness

I’ve always considered myself to have a healthy stash when it comes to my fabric and yarn. Its not too fat, not too skinny, its just right. I work hard to keep a balance with it and I’ve really become much picker about what I decide to bring home with me when I’m shopping. (Mostly its based on how much room I think it will suck up to just have it hanging about if its not for a specific project that is coming up quickly.)

In comparison to some people I know (or blogs I have read), I don’t feel like my fiber addiction is out of control. I don’t have 40 rubbermaid containers full of fabric (but I would love to shop through a stash like that) nor do I have enough yarn to open my own shop (although secretly I wish I did). I’m by no means judging, just saying that if you put those collections next to mine, mine would be the mini-me of stashes.

Then two things came in the mail today that have me all twitchy and thinking about shredding my credit card.

The first was a catalog from Keepsake Quilting. I’m not really sure what my deal is lately but I’ve become interested in some of the more graphic traditional quilts. Nothing exuberant and usually the patterns that are so simple Dooley could sew them are the ones I’m attracted to.

But I’m beginning to wonder if there is some kind of magical crack spell on that catalog because it doesn’t matter how complicated something looks, I start to think I should give it a shot. After all, a Baltimore album quilt is a snap, right? (That was laced with heavy sarcasm, I have nothing but awe for the artists that make these types of quilts, they look more complicated then brain surgery.)

I usually treat these catalogs as nothing more then a nice distraction to browse through. Now its like throwing gasoline on a fire and I’m starting to want to make some of the things in there. From what I understand, this is how the uncontrollable collecting of ten yard cuts of one particular print begins. Ack.

The other thing that came in the mail today that is just, well, cruel, is the latest issue of Craft magazine. I used to just pick this up when I came across it but decided to go ahead and subscribe to it since I’ve enjoyed the last couple issues so much.

That may have been a mistake.

This issue is all about weaving. Which is something I’ve been peeking at for a long time now. In fact, its something I’ve been experimenting with with fabric lately. (No successful attempts so that’s why you haven’t seen any of it. Pitiful looking work is doomed to reside in my studio only for the rest of its lifetime until I get tired of moving it around and introduce it to the trash can or tear it apart and re-purpose its guts for another project.)

So now I’ve got this cute magazine sitting here staring at me saying, “Go ahead, weave something. You know you wanna. Not sure? Here, look how neat it is and how simple too….”

Devil magazine. (Where are those matches?)

I will be strong. I have to draw the line somewhere when it comes to the areas I work in, right? Currently I create art quilts, knit, crochet, embroider, tat, make plushies and now spin. And with all those, I could work until the day I'm a hundred-years-old and not exhaust everything they have to offer.

So why would I even consider adding in something else?

I’m beginning to think it’s a sickness. A wretched addictive consuming sickness that makes you crave hits of fiber (in any form) and really flares up when you discover another facet of the medium that you hadn’t been exposed to.

I’m not really sure what to do. I mean, I’m a strong minded woman, I should be able to resist fluffs of fabric, no matter if it’s a big wad of sheep hair or twisted up into yarn.

Its not going well so far.

If someone is aware of a 12-step program for this, I would appreciate some literature on it. It would be nice to be among those who understand (especially if anyone in the program is a weaver, I'd love to sit next to him/her at the meetings)...

16 September 2008

wish i had been there

The curator of Rare Threads on the Fringe, Sylvia Walworth, was very kind and sent out this photo of the exhibit.

I wasn't able to attend the opening since my back is still exerting its rule over my every action but I'm really happy to be able to see one of my pieces in this shot.

If you look at the back wall just below the windows is Interruption. The space looks very nice and it looks like the show is awesome!

14 September 2008

Where I Stand Sunday

It’s like moving through a daydream, the world trapped beneath a darker shade of pale. The sky is burdened with water and weight from Hurricane Ike, unable to move from beneath his intent. Day has not looked like day for forty-eight hours now, the sunlight unable to claw its way through the grey. We wait for the rains, knowing that Mother Nature is not entirely done with the storm.

Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. The ground we tread on has its own stories to tell.

12 September 2008

go visit my artwork

I might be stuck at home but my artwork is really getting around lately. I was in my studio today attempting to find the surface of my worktable (translation: I've not been motivated to clean, its resembling a landfill in there) and I realized I have a lot of blank spaces on my walls.

Then I remembered that I just sent out several pieces to four exhibits and most are opening shortly. (I blame the meds for my back for not realizing this immediately.)

So I thought I would let you know where the buggers will be so you can go check them out as well as the other beautiful artwork in the exhibits.

Italy's Arches

Michigan Quilt Artist Invitational
Opening reception on September 12 from 6pm-9pm
Greater Flint Arts Council Gallery
Flint, Michigan
exhibit to travel around Michigan through 2010



Rare Threads on the Fringe
Jordan River Arts Council
East Jordan, Michigan
September 14 - October 12

**Three other pieces were also juried into this exhibit.
They are Interruption, Fragile I and Fragile II.


Reading Tea Leaves

Art of the Quilt
American Sewing Expo
Rock Financial Showplace
Novi, Michigan
September 26-September 28


Red Bird

Breaking Boundaries: Art of the Quilt
Gallery 50
Traverse City, Michigan
October 1 - December 31

**Two other works will also be sent in addition to this piece.

So that's why my studio has gaps right now. These are all new works and I've got more cookin'.

Oh, and by the way?

The largest one is 24".

Just sayin'.

10 September 2008

give me a break, okay?

I've been reading a discussion on an email list that I belong to that I find...well...tedious.

The discussion revolves around what size a piece of fiber art should be in order to be labeled as an art quilt. Some say that if its small (meaning under 20"), then its an experiment and has no place in the art quilt world and, therefore, in an exhibit.

So now we've gone from trying to defend the idea that even though these works are quilts, they are more art and not traditional bed quilts to trying to dictate what size something has to be to be worthy of being labeled as art.

It would seem to me that some people spend an inordinate amount of time trying to classify things and make sure that there are a set of rules that suit them. I'm particularly frustrated by this conversation because I don't work in a large format - so apparently, to some people, I should not have a place in exhibits.


Maybe someone should let all those jurors who accepted me into numerous shows know that.

I consider myself extremely lucky to have a studio space. But even with that, the idea of working on large pieces (in the 50" range and up) is just totally unrealistic. As is the idea that I could compete with artists who have purchased $15k longarm sewing machines.

I do what I do because my space dictates it. I do what I do because I still enjoy stitching by hand, even though I often catch a lot of flack from people over this. I do what I do because I like smaller works that feel more intimate and draw people in. And I don't think I should have to defend that to anyone, especially to someone working in the same media as me.

I guess the recurring conversation of trying to define what is art is so tiring. I don't understand why anyone needs a definition.

So why don't we try this? Why don't we all just go make things and be happy and fill the world with artwork and not worry about what other people are doing?

Might be a novel concept.

08 September 2008

mischief in the studio

So like I said in a previous post, I finished up three more sock creatures a couple days ago. I've also got seven creatures here from Michele visiting so they've kind of taken over the studio. I was up there today to wrangle them together and I found them basically partying in there.

Michele warned me that they were mischief makers but I guess I wasn't prepared for all the shenanigans they got up to!

First off, I managed to pull them all together for a group shot:

The two blue rugrats with the striped ears are mine. As is the one in the way back with the red eyeballs. The rest are visiting from Colorado and are certainly far more comical then my guys. In fact, they were a bit of a bad influence. Here's what they got up to:

Hanging out amongst the mixed media supplies.

He said he was attracted to the shape of my spritzing bottle. I wonder why?

They were also interested in the dyeing and embroidery supplies. I wonder if I could put them to work while they are here?

I got a critique on my new artwork.

They were also quite interested in the photography aspect of it all. It was hard to keep them out of the frame of the photo but I managed.

These two were digging the plants.

Just hanging about.

Groovin' to the iPod. Can't say as I blame them, Annie Lennox was playing after all.

I'm pretty sure this guy was making eyes at the punk plushie that is hanging on the wall. I hope I didn't break any hearts when I pulled them away from each other.

These guys are definitely a lot of fun! I'm planning on making them some more cousins when I'm feeling up to it. I started physical therapy today and am not feeling too spunky at the moment. I'm already plotting the new ones so keep an eye out for them!

07 September 2008

Where I Stand Sunday

The summer’s heat tantrums have left scars behind. The cool, wet air is too late to reverse the effects. Autumn is waiting its turn to make a full appearance, offering up previews of gentler weather and the emergence of a color palette only it can get away with. Soon the earth will be able to rest under its blanket of respite.

Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. The ground we tread on has its own stories to tell.

05 September 2008

dollars and cents

So I actually have decided to use this post to pick all your brains out there about a topic that, personally, makes me twitch: pricing artwork.

I've often been asked why I don't sell my work on a regular basis. The number one reason is that I don't produce enough to be able to do that. I'm not able to really build up a good stash of work to put up for sale so I tend to not really advertise that I do, from time to time, let a piece go.

But one of the most horrid things for me to try to figure out is how to price the devils.

I've heard a lot of opinions on how to about attaching a price tag to artwork but I have issues with a lot of them.

The one that I totally do not agree with is that you should have a set formula no matter how long it took or how expensive the materials were. I guess this train of thought doesn't make sense to me because, as a consumer, I expect to pay more for something made from silk then from commercial cotton. I also expect to pay more for something that took 100 hours to complete versus 2 hours. Just seems logical to me.

But then I look at my own work, that is hand stitched 95% of the time and consist of hand dyed fabric and (now) surface design and I can't apply the same logic as above...I kind of sit there and stare at it and don't know quite what to do about it.

I have some work going out to a gallery exhibit and one of the requirements for being in the show is that the work must be for sale. I'm good with that part but that means I actually have to make a decision about how much to charge for it.

So my questions to you, dear readers, is how do you go about pricing your artwork? Do you have a set of guidelines or do you just wing it?

04 September 2008

dooley is more interesting

So after the last blog post, I got to thinking. (You are all traitors, by the way, for suggesting he attack the yarn and fabric stashes. Tsk, tsk.) I'm completely and in every way possible boring right now. I'm puttering around with stuff but you know, being stuck in the house makes for nothing fun to feed the blog with.

Then two things happened. First, I was torturing Dooley with the camera again (oh shoosh, he's cute, I'm bored, he'll get over it) and got this picture:

I think this picture conveys the mischievous nature of this seemingly cute and innocent dog. See how coy he looks? Yeah, its a cover. Underneath all that fluff he is creatively scheming to take revenge on me. You can see it in his eyes.

The second thing that happened was a package that came from Michele over at Eyembellishments. She sent her sock creatures along to me for a visit for a bit and they arrived in this box.

Now, be sure to click on this picture so that you can read what it says. I intentionally made it larger then usual so you could see what she wrote. Just in case you don't feel like clicking, here is what it says: "if you could get a picture of one of the kids in dooley's mouth, that would be great! -myc"

I admit, I was a bit perplexed (mostly because I usually have to screech at the white furball to leave my creatures alone when I'm creating them). In fact, I went back to my inbox and found an email from her with the exact same request. Michele often sets her kiddies on adventures and shows them off on her blog so it would seem that she decided their next big adventure should be inside my dog's mouth. And since I aim to please, I sat down on the floor with the box, grabbed my camera and opened it up.

I tell you, it totally thrilled the Dooley dog. So much so that I did not get one unblurred photo of the whole thing. I took the box, sat down on the floor and opened the lid. Here is a trail of photos showing what happened next:

He was pleased...up until I took them back. Don't worry, I had three creatures in progress and consoled him by giving him one of mine. The problem is that Dooley believes everything that is soft and stuffed and toy-like exists solely to be his toy. Which can sometimes be a slight problem when you get into making plush toys/creatures.

He thanks his auntie Michele for the fun, he's grateful for the distraction. He still thinks I'm annoying...he's right. Mom complains that I treat him like I did my brother when we were little. What can I say? He's family, he's gotta suck it up and put up with it like everyone else.

Michele's creatures are lounging in my studio now, out of reach of the stumpy little dog. They are totally awesome! Once I'm done with the three creatures I'm working on (they still need eyeballs), I'll take a group shot so you can see how much her's rock.

There is a good chance that the next post won't be about Dooley dog. You never know, stranger things have happened.

01 September 2008

a plea

dear blog people,

ever since my sister hurt her back, she has been home. laying on my sofa. waking me up when i want to nap. and now she is just getting obnoxious.

a perfect example is the picture up above. i was sleeping, she came downstairs and started squealing something about looking cute and then shoved that stupid camera in my face. it wasn't a nice way to wake up in the morning, let me tell you.

the other day she actually measured my legs. she giggled when she did it and now she thinks its funny as all heck to tell everyone who will listen that they are only eight inches long. i didn't think that was nice either.

not to mention the fact that she won't walk me anymore. all she does is put the leash on me and walk around the circle drive a couple times. big whoop. talk about boring. i want our half mile walk, i've got mailboxes to sniff that i haven't been able to get to for weeks.

i thought it was so great at first when she was home. i figured we would cuddle and keep each other company but she is mostly just using me for her own amusement. (the other day she made a pyramid out of my toys. is that rude, or what?)

anyway, i just had to tell people about my troubles. i don't care how many cookies she gives me to make me feel better or how much she pets me and tells me what a good boy i am.

i want my sofa back.

thanks for listening,

dooley dog