29 March 2009

Where I Stand Sunday

This is my mother’s house, the place where my mind comes to rest the moment I step through the door. It’s a steady solid feeling, one without expectation. It is the one place where the seams will simply not split, no matter how hard they are strained.

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.

28 March 2009

still time to submit

One of the things that I really wanted to do this weekend was finish up my submissions for Collage Mania. They've been kicking around my studio for a few weeks now and I finally found the time to lock myself away for a couple hours and finish them up.

This is Fiberart for a Cause's last big fundraiser. Collage Mania is a three day event in which collages can be "purchased" for a donation to the American Cancer Society. The artwork is donated by each artist and 100% of the proceeds go to the ACS. I'm really happy that I am able to contribue to help raise money during the cause's final year.

There are still a few days to create a collage for the event, jpeg submissions are due April 1. All of the guidelines on how to participate can be found here.

I hope you will participate and help raise funds for the American Cancer Society!

23 March 2009

huh...now there's something you don't see everyday

I work in engineering. I work with intelligent men. I work with intelligent men who often are very mischievous and given more then thirty seconds to contemplate a ludicrous idea, will find a way to act on it.

But this? This one baffles me...not only that they thought of this but that they managed to pull it off. Funny creatures, those men are.

22 March 2009

Help support doggies with art quilts!

I am pleased to announce that the details for the 2009 exhibit are up on the website.

Every year I organize this exhibit and every year it gets better and better. Last year it raised money for Virginia Spiegel's FFAC project and this year we are turning our attention toward our four-legged friends!

This year's exhibit will benefit Bernie Berlin's A Place to Bark, a non-profit organization that works to find permanent homes for abused and orphaned dogs. In keeping with Bernie's mission, the theme this year is "Home."

Here is a video showing the wonderful work that Bernie does:

All the guidelines for participating in the exhibit can be found here.

We also have many wonderful prizes available again this year for all those who participate in the exhibit. Details on all these can be found here.

I hope you will join me in making this another fantastic year!!!

Where I Stand Sunday

It is the Motor City. My mind moves back around the time I first saw the magic of the automotive assembly line when my mother worked for Cadillac at the now erased Clark Street Plant, never understanding then that the rest of the world wasn’t as submersed in the automotive culture as we are. As I move now through the industry’s reinvention, knowing that the face of everything I have ever known will be different, I feel the city shift. To those of us who have been here our whole lives, the heartbeat of the assembly lines echo strongly, determined and resolute to remain no matter what the odds.

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.

21 March 2009

i need reinforcements

So all week I've been plotting and planning and scheming about all the different ways I would glide into my train wreck of a studio and move a couple things and it would be sparkly clean and functional and inspiring.

As the week drug on, it went from simply reorganizing a few things to rearranging furniture and maybe destashing things on etsy and getting some projects wrapped up.

I was going to be happy and gleeful and fulfilled and the art would pour forth from me like a breath of fresh spring air.

I can feel you all laughing at me right now. (Its not unwarranted.)

Things did not go entirely well. I did manage to move some furniture around but there was so much cursing and growling involved that Dooley actually fled from the room and back downstairs. (I'm not making that up by the way.)

Its in a partially put-back-together-I-must-leave-this-room-before-I-set-it-all-on-fire state right now.

I imagine I will wander back up there to give it more dirty looks before the day is done and put some more things back in place. A couple boxes are being shuffled into the basement so that will make things feel less cluttered.

I'm going to win the battle with the studio. Oh yes I will, oh yes...I will.

19 March 2009

fighting the battle against cancer through the power of fiber art

I've enjoyed being a supporter of Virginia Spiegel's Fiberart for a Cause ever since she started it. Even more so after cancer touched my family a few years ago.

This is the last year that Virginia will be fundraising for the American Cancer Society through Fiberart for a Cause (FFAC). The project has donated over $165,000 to the American Cancer Society during the course of the past few years. I am extremely grateful for her immense efforts and selfless sacrifice of all her time and generosity.

One of the biggest fundraisers for FFAC is about to kick off. The 2009Invitational Reverse Auction is nearing. I was incredibly honored to be a part of the 2007 Reverse Auction with my piece, At the Heart of It.

This is how it works: there are three days in which the artwork can be bought. Each day the price of the artwork drops but don't wait until the last day - you could miss your favorite piece! Each artwork is donated by the artist and 100% of the purchase price is donated to the American Cancer Society.

I am excited to pass on the announcement that this year's artwork is available for preview.

All of the artwork and all the minimum donations listed for each day for each artwork are now up on the Reverse Auction's website.

The invited, and generous, artists are:

Natalya Aikens
Gerrie Congdon
Marjorie DeQuincy
Rayna Gillman
Carol Larson
Linda Teddlie Minton
Susie Monday
Judy Coates Perez
Leandra Spangler
Roxane Stoner

On the Reverse Auction artists' pages, read about the artists' materials,techniques and inspiration and see full and detail views of the artwork. This is an incredible line up of talent!

Please join me in making this fifth and final Reverse Auction the best one yet!!!

18 March 2009

Call for entries: Blurred Boundaries – Mixed Media Fiber Art

I’m very excited to announce a new exhibit, Blurred Boundaries – Mixed Media Fiber Art.

Juried by Virginia Spiegel, the exhibit focuses on new and inventive artwork created by mixing Fiber Art with other mediums.

The show will run in conjunction with the Fabrications Retreat in Kalamazoo, Michigan from August 31-September 24.

From the exhibit description: The definition of Fiber Art has evolved greatly over the past few years, opening a new range of possibilities to artists working in various disciplines. Fiber artists are incorporating more mediums into the work, creating unique art that reaches across previously defined boundaries. Blurred Boundaries seeks these artworks for a week long exhibition honoring the ingenuity of Mixed Media Fiber Art.

Artwork must have a minimum of 25% fiber content to qualify for the exhibit. 2D and 3D work will be accepted.

In an effort to streamline entries and conserve paper, every aspect of the submission process has been taken digital. The entry form is available as an online form on the website, images will be submitted online through a file transfer service, and entry fees will be paid through paypal.

Please visit the website for full details and guidelines.

Please email Lynn at BlurredBoundaries@earthlink.net if you have any questions.

I hope you will join us in creating an innovative and exciting exhibit!

17 March 2009

what the heck is THAT?!

So today started out like every other average tuesday work day. Get up, swear at the alarm clock, drive to work (while grumbling at drivers that think they can drive half asleep while talking on the cell phone and not hit other things), drink a gallon of coffee and go about my most wonderful stimulating schedule of meetings, meetings, and...oh yeah...meetings.

I exited the building in the late afternoon to find a strange thing going on outside....

There was this gigantic blinding thing waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyy up in the sky...

Making me hot...

And burning out my eyeballs when I looked right at it....

That my friends, was the sun. In all its 74 degree glory. I drove with the windows down. I looked like a windblown persian cat by the time I got home and I cared not one bit about it. I even stopped to pick up carryout looking like that, complete with the crazy gleam in my eye over the joy that it was warm outside and I no longer needed the 3,456 layers of clothing in order to avoid freezing to death in the matter of a millisecond.

Tomorrow the low will be 32 degrees with rain all day. *sigh*

Clearly living in Michigan is some sort of bizarre test of fortitude.

15 March 2009

Where I Stand Sunday

It is the untold portions, smearing blankness across each new minute that causes the uneasiness. Behind me is rooted the shadow of things that can’t be altered, solid and stacked into a firm foundation. But before me there is no map, no telling, no plan. It is the face of uncertainty, bold and brash in its recklessness.

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.

14 March 2009

photographing, archiving and twittering

It’s been a day. I’ll leave it at that.

But there were some fun parts. After I drug myself home from work, I set about pushing around the mess in my studio.

It’s graduated from being cluttered and unruly to resembling a toxic waste dump. I need to clean in there in a big way. And now that our weather is making friends with the 50-degree temperature range, its time to open the windows and change out the air.

My main goal for venturing in there today was to photograph some new work. One I’m going to hide from you because I’m submitting it for a show and I have this weird thing that its bad luck to show it off before you know if its made the cut or not.

But I can show you this:

This is “Vintage”. I made it for Art in Stitches and didn’t have time to take a good photo of it before the show. So I did today. This is one of those pieces I have labeled Stitched Textile Collages. There is just too much of assemblage vibe on it to call it an art quilt.

In order to take pictures today I actually had to strip everything off my design wall. Normally I bungee cord my tripod to my ironing board and shoot down on my work since my habit is to produce small pieces but I ventured (way) outside my comfort zone and made something much larger.

Which meant I had to make a choice on how to photograph it. I could 1) attempt to raise my ironing board high enough so that I could do my normal shooting down thing (in which case I would most likely need a step ladder to reach the camera since I am so stumpy) or 2) I could suck it up and clear off my design wall and hang it there.

Needless to say, we chose self-preservation and went with option 2.

But something strange happened. As soon as all that older work was taken off the design wall, I felt better.

Way better.

In a big way.

I kept thinking it was the cluttered mess in there that was making me avoid it like the plague, but now I’m wondering if it was that wall of unfinished work that was bugging the snot out of me. I need to archive away (aka stuff said object into my UFO box to never see the light of day again in my lifetime) the things I know I will never finish.

Sort of like a spring cleaning of the mind.

Oh, and I don’t know if you are all mind-numbingly sick of me gushing over Dooley but I have to show you this. He usually flees from my camera like I am trying to give him a root canal but he wandered into my studio today while I was taking pictures and I was able to snap this:

I think this is my favorite picture of him so far. (Be sure to click on it and make it big so you can revel in all his cute splendor. Go on. Do it, you know you want to.)

So my plan is to hopefully do a kamikaze cleaning attack on the room that has been my studio in name only for the past month or so. And starting with a blank design wall should be interesting, perhaps it will be a kick start I didn’t even know I needed.

Apparently I also do not have enough of an online presence and have now joined the rank and file of twitter users. If you look on my sidebar you’ll see the status widget for me.

If you look super close you will also notice that there was a two month time gap between my update today and the last one. Why, you ask? Good question.

Because for whatever reason (I was half asleep every time I logged in, the stars were never properly aligned, there was a conspiracy put into motion to defeat me, Dooley did a voodoo dance to prevent one more thing from taking attention away from him), I could not figure out how to use it.

It is painfully easy to use.


But I have unraveled the mysteries of twitter and am finding that there is a huge networking thing going happening there that borders on being viral. So if you are inclined, I can now be found there as well.

Tomorrow will be filled with art stuff. There are a couple of shows I want to enter (also another motivation for the photo taking today) and have some exhibit paperwork to finish up for a show I’m curating.

Should be a pleasant day as these are all things I can do while laying like a slug on the couch (back is hurting again). Laptops are the best things since sliced bread.

12 March 2009


When it rains it pours.

Literally and figuratively.

Not only is Michigan being drowned at the moment (the rivers I drive by on my way to work are dangerously close to being level with the road. This makes me nervous in an entirely irrational way. I blame every single Japanese horror movie that was ever made that involved water and ghosts coming back for revenge for this.) but everything else in my life seems to be crashing together all at the same time.

Allow me to report on all the things that are making me twitch:

Work is insanely busy. My laptop from work won’t cooperate. It hates me. It wants to make my life difficult and its working.

My studio looks like fabric, paint and thread fairies had a puking festival in there. I wish they would clean up after themselves.

There have been coyote sightings in our neighborhood. Which makes me nervous for little man. I call him little man because he is…well… little. Which would be appealing, I imagine, to a coyote. The neighbor across the street had a stand off with said beastie in an effort to protect his kitty from a dreadful fate. I’m considering taking a baseball bat with me when I walk Dooley love in the evenings.

My new car is still in the repair shop from the unfortunate accident a few weeks ago (in which a jerkwad ran a red light and smashed in the rear axle). I chose not to talk about it because it annoyed me in a hugely pissy way and this is a PG-rated blog. There wasn’t much that I could say about it at the time it happened that didn’t involve foul cuss words. But now I’m getting annoyed by the fact that its been in the shop longer then I had it to drive. Bah.

Daylight Savings Time is the spawn of the devil. I don’t care how many reasons you throw at me for why it’s a good idea and blah blah blah blah blah…I want my hour of sleep back. {insert tantrum foot stomping here}

It seems everyone has their little habits that help them decompress in the evenings. In fact, they were talking about this on some news program the other day. Some people meditate, others go jogging, some journal.

What do I do?

I surf etsy.

There is such a wild variety of things on there its unbelievable. I pick through things and some make me giggle, some make me flinch and some really impress. The ones that make me smile get plunked in my Favorite Items category so I can admire them at will. (Yes, I am this easy to amuse. Don’t tell me how pathetic I am, it will ruin my fun.) So I decided I would share some of the things that I find amusing with you:

a handsome fellow

a very happy fellow

more people should do this

ever said you could use an extra hand?

a very pretty thing that I find intensely attractive

I hope to be this good one day

incredibly inventive

one of my favorite enablers

the most expressive declaration of bacon love I’ve ever seen

twisted but hilarious


I was also surprised to find that there is also a large amount of adult content on there. (And no, I did not intentionally search for such things, they just came up in perfectly innocent searches thank you very much.) But like I said, this is a PG-rated blog. You can do your smut searches on your own.

It’s a lovely mindless activity, etsy surfing is. Which is good because by the end of the day the thinking part of me is all thought out.

Here’s hoping I get to use my brain soon for more fun activities like art and writing. Good thing those are patient about waiting for me to return to them.

08 March 2009

its better then nothing

I'm still in full on baby-my-back mode which greatly limits the things I can do. But spring cleaning fever has hit and I've been busy pushing the things around that are within reach (meaning I don't have to bend down or lift anything) to tidy them up. But I still don't feel like I'm making much progress.

So I spring cleaned Dooley instead.

Little man has strange fur for a terrier. Its incredibly soft, not wiry in the least. And curly and he has bad hair days like the rest of us. The current wet weather has him all frizzy and looking like he needs some conditioner.

The nature of his fur means he has to be groomed on a regular basis or he gets all tangly and snarly and resembles a miniature version of a wild lion. So when the weather started turning and I was becoming consumed by my all encompassing cleaning fit that I couldn't indulge to satisfaction, I turned my attention to the fur ball that was roaming around my house.

He was pretty shaggy. We had been reluctant to get him a good haircut because of the sub zero psychotic winter we've been having. But now that its bouncing all around into the 50's and 60's, we decided it was time to discover his cute little shape again.

We think he came out rather nice. By proof of the picture above, he is also quite pleased with the results. That and he got to take a long walk. Life is always well in westie-land.

Where I Stand Sunday

Wet dank puddle pocked mud. Salt bleached strained wood planks. Hollow thuds as steps strike layered ground. Sweet sting of half decayed leaves as they unthaw against the new air. Clear white pieces of square salt unable to exist anywhere outside of itself, unabsorbed, foreign. The new air holding itself close to the surface of the ground, hoping to go unnoticed. It is the mix of beginning and ending, all compressed into a single middle that struggles loudly for attention.

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.

01 March 2009

Where I Stand Sunday

The extrovert in me is most happy when I put the paintbrush in my hand. She says everything that I can’t, that I am not even aware needs to be said. She and I have been struggling lately, trying to figure out who should have the most freedom. I have been censoring her, forcing her to be quiet, to be careful of the things that she lets out. But her complaining is growing louder, more insistent. I’m seeing the signs of her more and more and for the first time in a long time, a sense of balance is returning.

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.