Sunday, July 29, 2007

Rhode Island July 17-26, 2007

I vacationed in Rhode Island with 13 friends from across the United States. Great food, great art, great memories.

More Wire Wrapping

And I tried one more just for the practice!

Wire Wrapping Coins

As a gift, Nancy presented us each with a wire wrapped coin from our home state. She had extra coins, so I made this for my daughter.

Wire Wrapping in Rhode Island

Nancy taught us wire wrapping. This is the first piece I did


We made polymer clay dragons in Rhode Island. What fun!!!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The Road to the Presidency 2007-2008

This week, starting with Hillary Clinton on Monday, there will be 11 candidates for the office of the President of the United States in Iowa. This includes a combination of Democrats and Republicans. The advantage of living in Iowa is getting up close and personal with all of the candidates-meeting them and speaking with them as part of spending quality time with them for up to 2 years before the General election. This event was held at the Iowa State Fairgrounds-it was hot and humid, but it was well attended and well received. This is the first official campaign trail event that Bill and Hillary attended together.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Welcome to My Studio

My studio is above the main living portion of my home in a steep angled dormer in an old early 1900 Craftsman style home. We originally added walls and floors to make a room first for my son, and then my daughter. I finally moved my daughter to a smaller room on the main floor and moved my studio upstairs. As you duck and enter the studio, you see the world's ugliest couch which I intend to slipcover someday with a couple of baskets nearby. The baskets hold books that I have made or things that folks have made for me-I love browsing through them. Next to the couch is my t.v.-it is set up more for watching from my art table than the couch, although my daughter alters that view if she is lounging while I am making art!

Behind the t.v. is a rack that I made out of boards and dowels to hold my full sheets of wonderful papers. I found I was collecting papers but not using them when I had them stored. Now that I see them, I grab them and use them. They often inspire a book or project. Like a total dork, I originally put the paper rack in front of the one window in the main part of the studio. Then I had to cover the window so it did not fade the papers. I finally took the rack apart and moved it-it sits out in the room, but I use the are behind the rack for long term storage of boxed items.

Moving around the room you will see shelves of my treasured magazines and books, and the cigar boxes that friends and my father found for me. I just wanted a few and I ended up with more than I can use in a lifetime. I plan on sorting through the vintage books that I collected for altered books and giving those away or selling them, as I don't do a whole lot of altered books anymore. I have more than enough images and ephemera so I don't need to keep the books for that; and frankly, I can use the space! The screen hides a real closet where I store my off season clothing. I have really worked hard to eliminate the clothing I do not wear so no more no more excess there. My clothing now hangs nicely and without being crammed in and getting wrinkled. I keep lots of lavender in the closets to eliminate moths, and the fragrance drifts throughout my art space.

My Studio Part Two

My stdio is an L shape. In this part of the L are my Iris Carts. I use the mini carts stacked two high-perfect fit under the slanted part of the walls. The first four rows you see are all wood mounted stamps-the rows after that are unmounted. My stamps are primarily sorted by manufacturer. The remaining stamps that don't fit that sort are sorted by theme: western, nature, Asian, holiday, alphabets, sentiments, and so forth.

On the opposite side, the iris carts hold secret treasures: my carving materials and carved and uncarved blocks; wonderful ephemera; vintage photos; cabinet cards; collage papers; trims and slides; frames and labels and just about anything else you can think of!

Around the corner you will find paper stackers which hold my card stock and the text weight paper I use in books. Also my pads of watercolor, tracing paper, vellum, old report cards, miscellaneous papers and paper products. Next to the stackers are some bigger and deeper Iris carts. Two of the drawers are filled with wonderful 12 by 12 scrapbook papers; a third drawer holds large paper scraps and the top drawer is filled to the brim with dye ink pads. On top of that stack of drawers are all of my reinkers for my dye ink pads and my label markers.

And finally, my primary desk. This is where I make art, carve, cut fabric, and do just about everything. The main part of the desk is generally clean-I like lots of space. I have a tendency to trash the floor around me, so I use empty plastic shoe boxes to catch scraps and supplies that need to be put away.

My Studio Part Three

The book case next to my table holds charms, findings, and several sorters of metal, plastic, and paper alphabets sorted by letter. The charms are sorted by manufacturer. On top are my paint brushes, scissors, and rulers.

The big chest of drawers contains all of my beads and bead making supplies and tools. In the far left hand corner, that chest top holds all of my in process projects. Too many to count!! Stored in boxes and baggies so I can grab a box or bag and take it downstairs to the living room, to my art table, or to the couch.

The final picture is an extra table. I use it for cutting paper, for drying prints, or for guests. I try not to stack too much on it so it is always ready, but since it is the first empty space inside the room-that is a lost cause.