26 November 2012

video inspiration

I've been finding myself trolling around looking for new ways to keep my creative curiosity ramped up. Looking outside of the fiber medium seems to be doing the trick, its helping me see things in a new way.

The medium is not the key, the way it touches our hearts and minds is. So I thought I'd share some of the things I've been finding interesting and inspiring with you here on the blog.

This video is very meditative and I've gone back to it many times to play it. I think you'll dig it - enjoy!

25 November 2012

please allow me to introduce you to...

I'm still catching up on introducing you to the groups I write about for my Quilting Arts column but I want to make sure I cover them all. The newest issue of QA is about to hit the stands but these groups are from the October/November issue and they are pretty nifty.

And really, the nicest things about magazines is that they never expire, its indefinite inspiration. :)

The October/November issue covered several different groups and each one helps you learn how to start your own group. If its something you've been thinking about but weren't quite sure how to go about it, two groups have plenty of advice to get you on your way. The other two groups in the article offer insight as to how they've managed to keep the members showing up and connected.

Sisters in Cloth from Connecticut was formed when Diane Wright was a newbie in town and wanted to connect with like minded artists.

The Creative Crones of studioQ in Texas came together when they broke away from a larger guild. They talk about creating a specific topic group, something more focused.

The Batty Binders in Ohio have been meeting for 17 years and they site one big reason: unconditional support. Learn about their "batt signal" and how they came together to help a member in need.

And lastly, but most definitely not least, the group Five in Maine uses the internet to keep their group going strong. They've created a unique blog called And Then We Set it On Fire (don't you just love that name??)  to document their surface design adventures.

As always, its always a pleasure to get to know these artists. Each group seems like a lot of fun (if I could spend my whole life touring the country interviewing artists I would be in heaven) and I think you will love them to! :)

16 November 2012

what's in a name?

I've been thinking about names a lot lately. (And the photo above is kind of out of place with this post but I hate posting without pictures and its kind of a nifty saying, isn't it?)

When I got home from IQF Houston, I felt an overwhelming sense of clarity. Mostly that a lot of things I've been thinking about changing for the past year need. to. happen.

One of the things that has been kicking around in my head is the name of my business - Fibra Artysta. I thought we'd talk about it because I think as artists we don't talk about business things often enough. If the idea bores you, I'll post art stuff in a day or two. :)

Its constantly misspelled (can't say I'm surprised), frequently mispronounced and really, is it descriptive at all? I've had this nagging worry that people are associating it with the Fashonista trend. And recently I noticed that someone else is using a name that is nearly identical and when I saw that, I knew it was the Universe knocking me over the head and saying "Do it already!!"

So I am.

And for the record? "Fibra Artysta" means Fiber Artist in Polish. When I was first starting out I was an addicted mixed media girl. I still kind of am but my focus has finally settled on printing fabric and hand stitching so the name just doesn't excite me anymore.

After many really bad ideas for a new company name were scrawled in my notebook, I finally settled on one: Smudged Textiles Studio.

Its a little goofy, a little serious, quite friendly and it reflects my focus. I'm a little bit in love with it. :)

I read a lot about from the experts about what to name your business. The overwhelming verdict was to use your name - meaning I should use Lynn Krawczyk. And I thought about it, I really did. But there is a faint idea creeping around the edge of my mind about creating a collective of surface design artists at some point. I don't know what that will mean, how it will be executed or when it will happen but if the idea is there, I'll listen. That meant choosing a more general name that could include several people so that's why I picked Smudged Textiles Studio.

So now the hard work begins. I've resisted the idea of re-branding my business for a long time because wow, its going to be a big pain in my behind. To take the sting out of it, I've decided to hire Holly Knott to design a big girl website for me. I think I hold my own well enough fumbling through websites but I'd like one that is well designed and has things that require code and graphic design and well. That's more then I can do. Add to it the fact that it takes an extraordinary amount of time (do you have any idea how much fabric I can print in the time it takes to build a website??) and it was kind of a no brainer.

The process will take a while. I'm hoping to be completed by late spring next year. It will mean asking you to follow me to wherever I move (not sure yet if the blog will be relocated, decisions decisions) and that makes me a little nervous because I love you all. But I think you'll like the new digs when they're done.

So a new name. Such a small thing to open up the doorway to new beginnings. :)

12 November 2012

red & white quilt auction stamping out hunger

See this beautiful quilt?

Its going to feed hungry families in Southeast Michigan.

How? Its up for auction on ebay and all of the money raised in the auction is going to the Gleaner's chapter of Southeast Michigan.

With the holiday season coming up, a lot of us are turning our attention to gift giving and celebrating with family and sitting around the living room watching tons of bad T.V. (which is personally on my list). But you know, its not so easy for a lot of people out there. And Gleaners is working darn hard to make things better.

The quilt was made by the extremely talented members of the fiber art group I belong to, Running with Scissors. Deb hatched the idea, the red and white fabric flew, the sewing machines whirred and viola!

Here's all the details on it:

Running with Scissors,  our fiber arts group from metro Detroit worked together on this beautiful red and white quilt.  We volunteered our time and materials so proceeds could go directly to Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan.  

Our members pieced quilt blocks in rows of alternating red and white, which we then assembled in a rail fence pattern.  We added a few diagonally oriented blocks for a little zip and interest.  We achieved a nice variety of prints thanks to everyone digging into their fabric stash for red and white quilting cottons.  The quilt top was sent out to a local artisan and professionally quilted.  One of our pro members bound the quilt with a durable dark red cotton binding.  The backing is the same dark red cotton (see photo).  This quilt has been laundered to show off its lovely quilted texture.  We hope the owner of this quilt will use and enjoy it to its fullest, just a little TLC is required--gentle washing in cold water. With the first few washings include a few color catcher sheets, just to be sure the red fabrics will bleed.  We will include these sheets with your purchase. 

Quilt size:  Full/Queen    78" x 93"
Made with quality quilting fabrics
Batting is 80/20 cotton/poly blend
Free Shipping

Here's a close up, its really nice:

I love the scrappy look, don't you? Its very cozy. And with winter knocking on the door, it wold be a great addition to the couch in front of your fireplace. Or even gift giving - that would be great!

There is a list as long as me of all the good reasons to go visit the auction and bid on this quilt. The auction runs until November 22 so there's plenty of time to consider and get to know it.

I hope you'll fall in love with it and help RWS help Michigan families have a good holiday season! :)

10 November 2012

the battle begins

Here is my foe:

That is the studio's response to a year of chasing deadlines and an extraordinary number of projects. It has slight battle fatigue.

Here is my weapon:

And there are reinforcements waiting in the wings.

Let's see who wins the battle....

07 November 2012

it was a whirlwind

You know how when you plan something for a real long time and then it finally arrives and it flies by like its hair is on fire and its heading toward the nearest water source?

Yeah, that was International Quilt Festival in Houston.

Quick. Over in a blink of an eye. And alllllllll kinds of fantastic.

I'm finally coming up for air today. Managed to find the top of my print table in my studio and my writing desk (I'm tempted to just walk in every day and admire it, its a lovely thing). I came back from Festival with some clarity. Some things about my art business have been picking at me and I'm ready to change them. And I want to try some new things. Much pondering to be done but in the meantime, I thought maybe I'd show you some pics I snapped along the trip.

(If you follow me on Instagram (you can find me under "girllovespaint", you can see all the photos I took, some of the quilts in exhibits.)

I was oddly fascinated with the light tunnel at Detroit Metro Airport.

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We stayed at the Hilton and felt stealthy since we got the James Bond room (the little voodoo guy is Hank, gifted to me by Leann. I took him along on the trip for some quirky photo ops).

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 We ate outstanding Mexican food.

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I stayed committed to NaNoWriMo and started writing my short story collection out by hand since I left my laptop at home.

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Kate and I traveled together to Festival and we found coffee refuge in the hotel restaurant (she is even more obsessed with coffee then me if you can believe it). Apparently Starbucks has taken over the world and it was difficult to find anything that was not it. But we persevered and drank many pots of non-Starbucks goodness.

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I did some serious shopping on the vendor floor. This is my favorite new studio friend.

It might be a little bit before I can set it up, need to give the studio some serious layout consideration but I think we will be enjoying many fine hours together.

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I visited my favorite fabric vendor, Akonye Kena (don't see the fabric on their website but trust me, its gorgeous and drool worthy and I'm making really good friends with it).

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The Hilton's food wasn't cheap (we won't discuss the cost) but they distracted you with cute presentations.

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 I did my Open Studios demo sponsored by Craftsy (more photos to come later, Kate snapped away for me).

My demo neighbor was Pokey Bolton, here she is showing her thermofax screen love.

I managed to paint a fly's wings (look really closely). The little bugger sat there and squeegeed them off with his legs. He managed to fly away after a couple of minutes.

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There was a cupcake food truck right in the food court area. We thought it was a stroke of genius.

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I discovered these fabric organizers. They've given me incredible hope that I can finally create order in my studio. A box of them is whisking its way to me as we speak. I'm sure I'll blog about them again.

There was more but those are the highlights. And they are pretty good ones. :)

My primary focus right now is to tidy the studio so that I can work in there without feeling like I want to set it on fire. Back to the office tomorrow for a couple of days and then this weekend is for cleaning. I'm looking forward to it and to having enough mental space to get back to blogging! :)