Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Binding a book is much like reading a good book, at least in my opinion. It's a process to be savored; handling the covers and each page, one section added to the next like chapters, from beginning to end. This blank journal has a buttonhole binding, a method learned recently in a workshop with Albie Smith at Art and Soul in Portland. Albie is a wonderful book artist and teacher, and also makes beautiful paste papers. I made my cover papers here with dye inks, stencils, and mica powders in polymer medium. The inside pages are drawing paper.

'Til Next Year

The PAC holiday show and sale was a great success in terms of attendance and sales, as well as the level of camaraderie and teamwork amongst the participating artists.

I was pleased to have real hanging art this year! If only things could have gotten started a little earlier...but a busy fall schedule and the procrastination thing got in the way. Next year will be different...:)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

There's nothing like a deadline to move the creative process along. This piece will go into a 12 by 12 inch shadow box frame ( unlike the photo, it's actually square), and hang in the PAC holiday show...whose dates are coming up at an alarming fast rate! My intent is to have 5 finished art quiltlets by December 4th. I've managed to make quite a bit of jewelry, so far, and will try to share more photos soon. Meanwhile, it's back to work!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Shared Joy

A couple of fabric journal pages using a piece made in Ruth Rae's workshop at ArtFiberFest.

Shared joy is a double joy, shared sorrow is half a sorrow.

--Swedish proverb

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Brand New Day

Congratulations to our new President Elect, Barack Obama. I'm so proud for our country today. Proud to be an American.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Touching Down

ArtFiberFest is over and I'm getting back into the "real world". What a wonderful time we had in Port Townsend! The drives up and back were a pleasure, with the beautiful colors of fall revealed around every bend. I convinced hubby to go with and we stayed in town. Can't say that I missed the dorms at Fort Worden...OK, I'm a wimp! The weather was spectacular and Scott was able to enjoy a round of golf and long strolls in town while I was busy in workshops for 3 days. The first day's class was with Alisa Burke...what a wonderful artist and teacher she is, not to mention sweet and helpful! We had a ball painting, printing, and stenciling graffiti-style canvases which were sewn into clutch bags later in the day. I can't wait to do more of this art!

The second class was "Nature Inspired Fabrics" with Marylin Huskamp and Tracy Huskamp. You won't find teachers who are more enthusiastic or encouraging than these two women! They guided us along as we painted realistic birds on fabric.
My final workshop was "Ethereal Fragment Squares" with Ruth Rae. Ruth taught us how to dye fabrics, then layer and stitch them into mixed media collages. I learned a lot of new techniques, including how to make and use "resin paper". Loved this class experience!
The time passed all too quickly. It was so much fun hanging with my fellow fiber addicts, and being inspired by the awesome instructors. Teesha is looking for a smaller venue for next year's ArtFiberFest, which might take place in summer. I'll be there.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Heart 'n Art & Soul

I had a wonderful time again this year at the Art & Soul retreat in Portland. Being a local"commuter" has it's advantages. Like, not having to schlep a truckload of art supplies on an airplane, or being able to sleep in my own bed at night. On the other hand, I missed out on a lot of the full-on social busy-ness of being around a group of wildly talented and fun women. I did manage to meet up with some wonderful friends during the week, old and new, and that was the best!

This is the collaged and painted box I made in the Lisa Kaus class, "Be Still My Beating Heart". Very fun, and I finished it in class!

The first thing you learn when doing copper enameling is that it's addictive. This is a pendant I made in Richard Salley's workshop. I took 2 classes from Richard and he makes metalsmithing look easy--bending, twisting, and wrapping iron wire around found objects and turning them into lovely pieces jewelry. I found it to be a real challenge.
These are a couple of 3 by 5's done in Misty Mawn's "A Little Art of Remodeling Book" class. I hope to put these together with some yet-to-be-completed pages to create a little board-style book. I had a wonderful time here learning Misty's method of combining collage and paint.

This has been an eventful month, to say the least! Next week, I'll be heading to Port Townsend to experience ArtFiberFest. Can't wait!

Monday, September 29, 2008


My best friend from childhood, and Matron of Honor at my own wedding, Millie, with Jennifer. Millie caught the bouquet!

Scott's BFF, and Best Man at our wedding, Glen, with his wife, Pat.

Jenn and David

Bride and Groom. Seriously practicing getting married.

I didn't get many pictures of them together on the Big Day. Too much going on. Too many emotions. It was a beautiful day, a beautiful ceremony, and an amazing party. The photographer was very busy, though, so I hope to have some nice wedding pictures sometime soon.

The happy couple are now honeymooning on a Mexican cruise, while the Mother of the Groom is feeling a little nostalgic; and much relief.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Moving Forward

The "work in progress" is now a finished piece...yippee! This 12 by 14 inch art quilt is the beginning of a series for the Portland Art Collective holiday show in December. Just hoping that subsequent projects will move along at a little faster pace.

Life is super busy as we move towards David and Jenn's wedding on September 27th. They are organized and well-prepared. I just need to help out with the rehearsal dinner details, which will be here. Still can't believe it's all gonna happen!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

an almost vacation

Anthony's restaurant at Point Defiance, Tacoma, Washington

Everything started out pretty well. The weather was spectacular, as you can see from the view of Mt. Ranier from the Tacoma Convention Center where I spent a few hours at the marketplace of the Puget Sound Bead Festival while Scott hung out at the hotel. Dinner afterwards at Anthony's was one of those rare dining experiences where everything is perfect. From our table we watched the ferry to Vashon Island load and unload and saw Mt. Ranier turn a beautiful pink as the sun set. I was looking forward to this jewelry class with Tracy Stanley the next day. The Universe had other plans for me, however. I woke the next day not feeling well at all. :( Scott was able to pick up my kit and instructions from Tracy at the class site. Our plans to visit San Juan Island the following day were also shelved and we headed home. As we got close to the turn off on I-5 for Long Beach, I suggested we drive out to the beach house so that our vacation wouldn't be a total bust. I was starting to feel better and we were able to relax for a couple of days. It wasn't what was planned but not all bad.

The coming week will be busy, getting everything together for the bridal shower on Saturday. And then there will be time for working on some projects; including the bracelet I was to make last week.

Friday, July 11, 2008


There were so few images to download from my camera last time. But this one was perfect for the moment. Those red, red strawberries in their aqua paper pulp basket. That combination of colors has been speaking to me lately. It first caught my eye at The Happy Zombie's blog, and then ended up in a mix of beads I'm using to make favors for the bridal shower I'll give my future daughter-in-law, Jenn, in a couple of weeks. The theme is "Honeymoon Cruise" (to Mexico) and I think the spicy red and cool aqua are a perfect compliment.

I'm leaving tomorrow for a little R&R in the Puget Sound area. Soooo looking forward it. Our Northwest weather is at its very best right now. Should have much to share when I return.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

My Creative Muse

I know her head is crazy big and she looks incredibly stiff, but that's OK when you're an Exquisite Corpse. She will be one of 21 or so pages in a book done with the Portland Art Collective, a wonderful group of talented friends. The pages will be cut horizontally at the head and hat, body, and legs so the viewer will be able to interchange body parts by flipping through the book. Each of the players will be receiving a copy at our annual PAC picnic next month. We are thrilled that one of our members Maggie will be opening her gorgeous historic home and gardens to us for the picnic this year. yippee!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

New Skillz

Sometimes I wonder if I keep making jewelry because it gives me permission to buy more beads or if the pleasure of it actually runs much deeper. There really is great satisfaction for me in crafting a bracelet or necklace, especially in manipulating wire and metal and jewels into something that can be worn; creating a piece that reflects my love of a color or style. I much admire Stephanie Lee's artistic style and was lucky enough to find a spot in one of her classes recently at Innerstandings.
Stephanie is a natural teacher and so generous and kind. It was inspiring to learn how to torch solder and make a bezel; completely new to me.

On a different note, my little canine Simon started a course of chemo medication today to treat his Cushing's Disease. So we're staying close to home and keeping a watchful eye for side effects and hoping for the best possible outcome.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Suddenly Summer

If you're in the Pacific NW, you know what I'm talkin' about! We've gone from wet, cool spring to full-on summer. There wasn't relief to be found at the coast where temps reached the 90's. We took a ride from our place on the Long Beach peninsula down the Oregon coast on Friday and had lunch at Mo's in Cannon Beach. Loads of people were on the beach cooling their feet in the surf. You won't find them in the picture above, though; this one was taken of Scott near Mo's couple of years ago when the beach was quite deserted.

We headed for the Port of Ilwaco on Saturday morning to take in the Saturday Market and the visiting tall ships. Things were starting to cool down a bit and it turned out to be a beautiful weekend!

Monday, May 5, 2008

A little tiptoe...

Took these pics last weekend at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival in Woodburn, Oregon. I'm enjoying all the color out there that screams "Spring". And my lilacs are finally starting to bloom. We've had a run of chilly weather in the last month but the sun is finally out in full force this weekend. Devine!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Finding Flourishes

There's a beautiful spot out in the Columbia Gorge near Washougal, Washington where lovely gifts and antiques are put up for sale about four times a year. It used to be the location of "Willow Nest", but those folks found a new home in Texas. Now it is "Flourishes". You can feast your eyes here.
Flourishes was having their first event of the year on Saturday so I made the 20-minute scenic drive and found a few treasures to bring home.

Do I need more fabric??

One of the best things about living in the Portland area is Fabric Depot. I try not to go there too often but sometimes the urge is great. Like yesterday. Here I am already out in the car and not quite ready to go home after Flourishes. So over the bridge I go, crossing from Washington to Oregon, the land of tax-free retail therapy. Just a short hop. Wouldn't you know it, Fabric Depot has a sale on ALL cotton prints for $5.99 a yard, even the nicest stuff. Everything else was 30% off and I found the perfect book to go with my new stash. Can't wait to get started!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Alma Stoller's online class "She's So Unusual" at joggles.com looked like a good way to be inspired to use the paintings of faces I did last year in DJ Pettitt's workshop. I'm happy with the way the quilt turned out and plan to develop this idea further . These photos are laid out in reverse order but, oh well!

Beach Blanket Weekend

A small window of warm weather and sunshine opened up over the weekend so we went out to our beach place to take advantage of ideal conditions. We were pretty lazy, overall, although Scott washed the outside windows. And I worked on a blanket that's been in the works for some time. The block patterns are from this book I picked up a few years ago when the crochet bug bit me again, but I tired of making the blocks and decided to fill in the sides with some fast-working strips. There is hope that this will be done soon!

Friday, April 4, 2008


Let us turn our thoughts today
To Martin Luther King
And recognize that there are ties between us
All men and women
Living on the Earth
Ties of sister and brotherhood
That we are bound together
In our desire to see the world become
A place in which our children can grow free and strong
We are bound together
By the task that stands before us
And the road that lies ahead...

--James Taylor

Martin Luther King, Jr.
January 15, 1929-April 4, 1968

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Wish I Were Here

News has it we're heading for the 60's. Not the decade, the temperatures! That always makes the Northwest Heart beat a little faster. Looks like we need to head out to the beach real soon.

I had a little indoor fun last week at the Bead Expo at the Oregon Convention Center. Lots of great vendors at this show. According to receipts (ahem), my faves included Wynwoods Gallery. Lois had a nice variety of things for me to bring home; from fibers to vintage beads to abalone pendants. You will find Wynwoods Gallery in Port Townsend, Washington, making it an excellent place to visit when heading up to Artfest. I dropped a few dollars at the Beaducation booth. Loads of tools and other goodies for wire and PMC jewelry enthusiasts. I found this and this, along with a few other essentials. Beaducation is the place to go for online jewelry making classes as well as supplies. They had many gorgeous samples at the booth. Drool, drool.

I ran into one of my PAC buddies, Carrie, so we took a break from shopping and visited for a while. Carrie was taking a couple of classes at the bead expo.

I wanted to share some photos of pirate booty from the show but my camera is hiding somewhere. Hopefully it's just hiding and not lost. Not a good thought.

Anyway, I'm off to catch some rays.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

On My Street

This Sue Hoffman must have been someone important in Westport, Washington. It's very strange to come across a street with your name on it, in this case a maiden name.


February was one of those months where nothing held still for a moment. Illness came and left our household. Home improvement projects begun and finished. A new floor laid down and paint for the laundry room. Now the contents of the den have been moved into the living room and wallpaper is being removed in preparation for some new color. I guess we hoped that we wouldn't be here when that wallpaper started looking like, well, the 90's. That room needed a major purge, anyway. It's amazing how much dust accumulates on two bookshelves.

Not much time for making things these days. Except for crochet that gets done in the time between all those other things that fill the day. Like, looking at wedding dresses with your future DIL and daughter. David and Jenn have set their wedding for September 27.

I have ideas for fabric painting and making new jewelry; and will begin an online class next week. That should give me a much needed jump start.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Comfort Crochet

The Portland weather finally broke it's streak of dreary days and we were brightened by cloudless skies today. A sunny day with bitterly cold wind, that is. A good day to be inside and sitting by a window and catching up with ones blog, and thinking about what to fix for dinner. I noticed that the Foodnetwork channel has moved past the light and healthy recipes they always feature at the beginning of January and are now doing "comfort foods". In my book, all food that's made with good, fresh ingredients and tastes wonderful is comforting. And can be healthy. Or not. I made hearty and healthy Mexican Chicken Soup last night, a favorite around here, which simply must be accompanied by a piece of this naughty cornbread. Yum.

There is also something very comforting about crocheting, I think. Craving some new Amigurumi projects. I headed over to the Kinokuniya bookstore last week and found a new book with charts that are easy to follow. Good healthy fun.

First Amigurumi project out of the new book. I finally ordered some stuffed animal eyes with locking washers which are easier than sewing on buttons, and definitely cute.

Crocheted and felted balls like the ones I sold at the PAC holiday show. Just for fun.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Happy New Year

The last couple of months have been insanely busy, as it seems to be for most people during the holidays. I don't want to get any further into 2008 without sharing a few images from the PAC "Open Doors" show and sale, held on December 7th and 8th at the Multnomah Arts
Center in Portland. My photography is as spotty as my blogging and I didn't manage to take any pictures of my own table, but as you can see, there was a fabulous display of art from our participants. The show was a great success and wonderful experience.