Friday, December 9, 2016

10 Gifts for Quilters 2016 - Off the Wall Friday

In 2014, I originally blogged this list andddddddd I thought quilters and artists deserved an update. Some practical, some whimsical, and some just darn cute!   Without further ado

 1.  Kallax Shelves from IKEA - Who doesn't like cubbie holes.  You can put little bins on them, holding fabric, paint, dye, notions, etc  - all on display.

2. Bobbin Buddies  - Now I  like my amazing bobbin cases (and mostly just use neutrals in the bobbin anyways)but some people like to have exact matching thread.  These handy, dandy idea are perfect for that  - especially if you are in the middle of  a project!

3.  Rotary Blades - 45 mm - I know boring right?  But these suckers are getting expensive and what quilter doesn't go too long  before replacing a dull one.  Not to mention a fresh rotary blade is heaven!

4.  Grayscale Markers - Can Anybody say Value Drawing???  Markers are just that much faster than pencils.  (My Christmas wishlist  this year included a set by Tombow)

5.  Quilt/Art Calendar - Does your quilter have a favorite artist??  Or quilting style??  A good calendar can keep her on track!  (My favorite is Art Page A Day Calendar - amazing quality!  Love seeing what piece of art pops up next and then I can recycle a lot of days into an inspirational notebook)

6.  A Raskog Utility Cart from Ikea - Storage, Movement, Storage, Movement - enough said

7.  Inspirational Sign for her Creative Space - I mean, seriously, Don't we all need some inspiration from time to time?

8.  Art  Book - Give the gift of knowledge!  On my wish list this year is Art: Over 2500 works from Cave to Contemporary

9.  A box of  local Take out Menus and a gift cards to go with them.  We all need to eat right?  But who wants to stop to cook the food?

10.  Time.  This has not changed since 2014 - Every quilter, every artist needs time.


Sorry this is posted late.  I'm just so poopped after work to get it done properly!!

So What Have You Been Up to Creatively?

Friday, December 2, 2016

Arrowmont Survives Barely - Off the Wall Friday

If you have been listening at all to the national news , you would have heard that that the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee were threatened this week with wildfire.  Included in that fire, was Arrowmont School of Arts and Craft, with its over 100 year old tradition in education .  Arrowmont hosts an extensive summer/fall workshop program with offering over 130 classes in assorted media.  They also blessed me with a scholarship in 2013

Fire Damage at Arrowmont
Luckily, between the work of fire fighters  and the rain, most of the Arrowmont campus was saved.  Although the school sits right in downtown Gatlinburg,  it is situated back from the main drag surrounded by  woods.  They did lose two of the main dorms and a maintenance shed (containing a lot of their equipment) to the fire.  Many more in the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge areas lost far more.  Arrowmont has created a Rebuild fund  for anybody who wants to help financially in that effort.  Their December programs will continue as an effort to return to normalcy.

 This story struck me on how  fleeting our material creative life can be.  One minute all the things you've created are there and the next, it all can be gone.  What can't be burnt away though is the knowledge and education a school like Arrowmont has been sharing for over 100 years. I am thanking God for sparing Arrowmont so that I might return one day for another magical week.

the Studio walkway that I would travel to my dorm every night (2013)

I'm in the middle of my annual 3 week Christmas rush   - working 6 long hour days a week - so sorry that this is late!

What Have Been Up to Creatively?

Friday, November 25, 2016

I'm Thankful for . . . Off the Wall Friday

Find the Week  - All Quotes Coloring Page

Perfect to color, relax, and share. . . . .



With Thanksgiving and we are in the middle of Christmas Rush - I'll just host!!

So What Have You been up to Creatively?

Friday, November 18, 2016

New Directions - Off the Wall Friday

Can you believe its less than a week to Thanksgiving?  Where did 2016 go??  I've just gotten used to writing 2016 on things and in 6 weeks it will be 2017.  Sighhhhh, so is life! 

With the new year quickly approaching, I started to day dream about what I want to get accomplished in it.  Its all still a bit fuzzy - I have 6 weeks ya know - but I like to tuck future plans in the back of my mind to ruminate - aka bake!!

One thing I've been playing with is taking my work into a new direction.  I'm not quite sure if I really want to but if I did how does one find a new direction?!?

Taking Your Art Work into a New Direction
A 4 Step Plan

Step 1:  Give Yourself Permission - Permission??  Yes, permission to let go of familiar and the secure.  Permission to try new things and to fail.  Permission to leave your old voice behind and find new things to say!

Step 2Create the Vision - You've given yourself permission to change, but seriously, do you know what you want to change into?  Start an inspirational journal, brainstorm new concepts, make lists of things you always wanted to express but never gotten a chance - Daydream!

Step 3:  Chapter of Change - Give yourself  plenty of time to explore your new direction.  Not all journeys take the most direct route.  There are going to be plenty of false starts, new techniques and hours of just exploration.  To quote Tolkien (again - grin)


Step 4Embrace the New - Show off your new voice and leave the old behind.  What do I mean?   Its like a pair of jeans, in the beginning they are a bit stiff, scratchy and feel totally alien.  After a few washings, more than a few wearings, they feel like they were made specifically for you.  Accept the change as something not really "New"  but  just another part of yourself that hasn't emerged until now.  Once you accept it, everyone else will to.

A Famous Artist who took a new direction??

Georgia O'Keeffe
Radiator Building, Night New York (1929)
Lake George  Window (1929)






Red Hill and White Shell, 1939
Off the Wall Friday will post during the Thanksgiving Weekend! 

So What Have You've Been up to Creatively?

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Off the Wall Friday

I had a really busy week between visiting Tessa at college and getting the leaves up before the snow flies . . . .so I'll just host!



So What You Been Up to Creatively?

Friday, November 4, 2016

Whistle While You Work - Off the Wall Friday

Working today in my studio, it struck me that I have a distinct routine that I have upon entering.  I first go in and turn on all the lights (and I have several different - with several different switches) and then I pick out the music for the day.  I love music while I work and I am an eclectic listener.  It just depends on the mood I'm in with what I'll be listening to.
Rani Arbo and Daisy Mayhem

And boy, these days we have a lot of choices!!    With the innovation of the internet, you literally have an abundant  number of choices.  First you gotta decide what you're going to use to listen.  Lately I've been frequenting Pandora.  I love how you can make up your stations from the artists you love the most and build on that collection from there.  You can also build a station by genre of music, like Soft Rock.  My second favorite is Amazon Prime Music.  I love that first I can access it easily from my kindle and secondly they have some pretty great play lists already made up.  The editors frequently are tweaking and adding to the playlists too.

Of course, my music centered family has a Napster/Rhapsody account (they keep changing their name back and forth over the last 20 yrs) and my teen swears by Spotify which carries more indie music.  We do have an extensive cd collection compiled mostly before 2000 but since I don't have a cd player in my studio I don't usually listen to those anymore.  My husband does listen to the cd's a lot but also frequents Youtube for most of his playlists.  Of course all of these can be hooked up to the speakers that are already  place strategically in my studio.


And what can you hear from my studio of late? I can recommend. . . .
  • Alex De Grassi ( Instrumental Acoustic Guitar)
  •  Delta Rae (Indie Modern Folk, with a nice blues vibe)
  • Ingrid Michaelson (Indie Pop)
  • Jack Johnson (Modern Folk)
  • Rani Arbo and Daisy Mayhem (Americana Eclectic)
  • The High Kings (Irish Folk)
  • The Black Keys (Rock with a strong blue influence)
  • Mercy Me, Third Day, TobyMac etc  (Contemporary Christian)
and of course  anything by  Bob Dylan - grin!

So what do you listen to while you're working - any recommendations?

And of course,What Have Been doing Creatively Lately?

Friday, October 28, 2016

Art Museum Bucket List - Part II - Off the Wall Friday



And my Art Museum Bucket List continues because. . . .well. . . .there are just so many great museums in this country.

This week I start with

Metropolitan Museum of Art (MoMA), NYC, NY

MoMA is is often identified as one of the largest and most influential museums of modern art in the world. It's collection offers an overview of modern and contemporary art, including works of architecture and design, drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, prints, illustrated books and artist's books, film, and electronic media. Personal favorites in their collection include Wyeth's Christina's World, Monet's Water Lilies Triptych,  and Van Gogh's  The Starry Night.  (I know right?!?  All of those plus a ton more under one roof!!)

Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio

What makes this notable is, not only is it my home museum but the museum has one of the wealthiest endowments in the country.  That means that it can stay true to the founder's vision and is free to the general public.  Because of this it is one of the most visited museums in the country with well over a half million visitors a year.  The museum houses a permanent collection of over 45,000 pieces displayed chronologically and also hosts large special exhibit of notable interest (Like the Modern Garden from last year).  The new football stadium size atrium is just fabulous and allows you enjoy summer on Lake Erie all year long!!



Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA

MFA is known throughout the country for its solid collection of American art including a large collection of John Singleton Copley's work as well as pieces by Sargent,  Hopper, Homer etc.  It
recently has added 10 new galleries and houses a Japanese collection (the first in America, and one of the finest in the world); and a large grouping of  Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings, including an impressive array by Monet—the second largest collection of his work in the U.S.




Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN


This 17 acre museum combines the museum’s Edward Larrabee Barnes and Herzog & De Meuron buildings with the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. More than 90 percent of the visual art objects in
the permanent collection were made after 1960 and include such international contemporary talent as Bharti Kher, Danh Vo and Gabriel Kuri. Reflecting the museum’s commitment to art in all mediums, the Walker also has an acclaimed performing arts program and a state-of-the art cinema. 








What's missing ??? Well notably  - the Whitney in NY, the Getty in LA,  a bunch in the DC area - Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Detroit, Houston, Atlanta all house art museum of note - wow this bucket list is getting long!!!  

What's Your Favorite?

So What Have Been Up to Creatively?