Sunday, September 27, 2009

An Award Most "Fowl" . . .

. . . and an absolute thrill to receive! I have been honored by talented quilt artist and fellow blogger Jill Buckley with the Zombie Chicken Award, which I will explain by quoting directly from Jill:

"The blogger who receives this award believes in the Tao of the Zombie Chicken-- excellence, grace, and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. These amazing bloggers regularly produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of Zombie Chickens just to be able to read their inspiring words. As a recipient of this world-renowned award, you now have the task of passing it on to at least 5 other worthy bloggers. Do not risk the wrath of the Zombie Chickens by choosing unwisely or not choosing at all."

I would certainly do battle with a flock of zombie chickens to be able to read Jill's blog (and all you have to do is click here); however, the rules of bestowal state that I must pass the award on to at least 5 other bloggers. So, as difficult as it was to choose, the following blogs (in no particular order) are hereby awarded the Zombie Chicken (drumroll, please):

Quilternity's Place (Terri Cohen)

In My Room (Marilyn Rock)

PMS Designs (Pat Spillane)

Loreen Leedy's Studio

Diane Wright Art Quilts

Joanna Monroe

Fiber Art by Ruth Anne (Ruth Anne Olson)

The Chubby Mummy (Tracey Pereira)

Be sure to check out these great blogs, as well as all the other wonderful sites that are listed under My Favorite Blogs. Isn't it terrific that so many talented artists are sharing their ideas, techniques, and musings with all of us? I feel so fortunate to have connected with these artful spirits who continually inspire and nurture the creativity in me. My thanks to you all.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Pearls of Wisdom

“Each failure holds a gift, if we can hear the beat of the rhythm that calls us.”

Artist Jeanne Carbonetti believes that the rhythm of creative life is much like that of an oyster as it creates a pearl. In her beautifully illustrated book, “Making Pearls: Living the Creative Life,” she describes the process as having seven stages, each one associated with a color:

1) Waiting: As the oyster cements itself to a stationary object to begin its pearl-making, so do we focus on a beautiful question to inspire us.

2) Opening: We take in new ideas and approaches and then keep or discard them, much as the oyster filters out what it does not need.

3) Closing: A grain of sand lodges in the oyster shell and is protected, so the pearl actually begins as an irritation! We also protect our creation-to-be.

4) Holding: We continue to hold on as the creation proceeds and the “pearl” rolls around to take its final shape.

5) Releasing: The creation leaves its shell, possibly changed somewhat from the original intention; we begin the process of letting go.

6) Emptying: We honor the ending of a creation; the process of letting go is complete.

7) Sitting: This is the final stage of creation, regardless of what the outcome has been. There is no activity; this is the greater pause, the time when we access the larger world by non-doing.

The stages are described in imaginative detail by Ms. Carbonetti and are accompanied by photos of her watercolor paintings, which are almost spiritual in nature. I highly recommend this book to artists of all mediums – it is helping me to better understand my emotions as I struggle through the process of making my own pearls.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Little Art Quilter That Could . . .

"I think I can, I think I can . . ."

You might remember that I wrote about a fantastic challenge offered by Lisa Chipetine, the new president of Studio Art Quilt Associates: Members of SAQA were invited to choose an artistic goal and spend one year, under Lisa's mentorship, working to achieve that goal (click here to revisit my original post). My own vision was to obtain a commission for a major piece of work through my web site.

Would you believe that it's already happened?! And I received the first phone call (I swear that I am not making this up) three days after I posted my vision on the SAQA Wiki site!

I will be designing and creating four wall quilts for a nursing home here in the Capital Region of New York. The facility, billed as "revolutionary," consists of a campus of sixteen "green houses," each of which will be home to a dozen residents. The quilts will hang over the fireplaces in the living rooms of the four Shaker-style homes.

I hope you'll stay tuned for future posts -- I'm excited to share my progress with such a wonderful support group as you, dear readers.

So, much like the premise set forth in the book, "The Secret," I sent my vision out into the universe, and the Law of Attraction brought me this tremendous opportunity.

Lisa Chipetine, you are truly a woman of vision!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Thank you, AQS!

A short while ago, I received a phone call from a representative of American Quilter magazine, asking for permission to use a photo of my quilt, "Color My World," in their ads promoting the 2010 AQS Show in Knoxville. You can imagine how excited I was -- I stumbled my way through an expression of gratitude and sheer delight.
And here it is! The ad appears in the September, 2009, issue of the magazine, and I couldn't be more thrilled!
Continued thanks to all of you who read and comment on my blog -- I truly appreciate our connection.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

What To Do When You're Too Pooped To Play In The Studio?

Well, I revisited one of my first passions: knitting. Quilt artist and fellow blogger Terri Cohen (click here for her wonderful on-line fabric store) renewed my interest when she posted pictures of the beautiful scarves she had knitted; the combinations of yarns which she had chosen transformed the basic chevron stitch into painted masterpieces (you can see some of them here) -- after reading her post, I was instantly hooked.

I purchased my yarns from a cozy little shop called Purl on Sullivan Street near our son's Manhattan apartment (there's a sister store down the street called Purl Patchwork that sells wonderful fabrics). As I was browsing, my eye kept wandering over to one cubicle in particular; it was stuffed with skeins of Koigu Merino wool in all shades of green -- lime, chartreuse, deep forest, apple -- in luscious variegateds and tone-on-tone solids. I chose two different colorways and discovered, as the knitting progressed, that, yes, indeed, it WAS green, all right.

And it was so much fun -- fast, too. I've started a second one in shades of blue (much calmer -- I need calm right now . . .). The pattern is featured in Joelle Hoverson's book, Last Minute Knitted Gifts, and the rhythmic repetition of the stitch makes it the perfect portable project -- great for when you need something to occupy your fingers while your mind wants to be elsewhere.

So my thanks to Terri for such a great idea -- it was just what the doctor ordered.


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