Saturday, December 22, 2007

A Christmas Postcard from Inge

My long-distance friend Inge Reinholdt in Denmark ( sent me this beautiful fiber-art postcard for Christmas, and I wanted to share it here. Thank you Inge, you know I love your work!

Merry Christmas to All, and to All a Good Night!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Another Bead Journal Page

... and here's the latest Bead Journal Page that I started months ago and just now finished ... now I'm "only" two months behind schedule!

(October, 2007) - She Waits

She Waits, side view. This page is very dimensional ... actually "stuffed" inside with batting.

Painted Z-Coils

I spent a couple of days painting my beloved Z-Coil shoes to wear to the Festival Hill Gay Men's Chorus Christmas Concert in Round Top yesterday, then ended up with The Dreaded Migraine, and didn't get to go. So here are my shoes, since I didn't get to wear them yesterday ;^)

Bead Journal Project

I thought I'd catch up on posting some photos of my Bead Journal pages that I've made for Robin Atkins' Bead Journal Project which she started back in June of this year. It's a year-long project, with a "page" per month. I've chosen to make my pages post-card size (4x6"), and here's what I've completed so far.

(June, 2007) Desert Tortoise - painted background, lightly beaded.

(July, 2007) Eye of the Beholder - using a painted background and a taxidermy eye.
(subtitled The Migraine.)

(August, 2007) WWND? (What Would Nancy Do?) - A reference to my friend Nancy Dickey.

(September, 2007) The Lizard Constellation - Painted background, with beaded button.

I'll post my October piece in the next day or two.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Demo Day at Copper Shade Tree Gallery

On Saturday, December 1, Gerald and Debbie Tobola had a Demo Day at their Copper Shade Tree Gallery ( in Round Top, Texas. They invited Patricia Daugherty, Jerry Potenza, Dave Hardin and me to spend the day demonstrating our various art techniques to the patrons of their gallery. It was a cool, windy day, and the Christmas Parade brought out lots of folks for the day, so it was a lot of fun.

Above is my little demo table with my beads. Along with my Bead Journal Pages that I'm doing for Robin Atkins' Bead Journal Project, I also brought a few of my beaded dolls to show ... "The Fishwife" and "Red Hot Alien Mama". "Tiny Dancer" is just visible inside the polymer clay-covered box.

Above is Dave Hardin with one of his smaller, portable looms. He makes gorgeous scarves on this little loom (I have two of them myself).

Jerry Potenza, above, did some beautiful leatherwork, and both Patricia and I were also interested in his vast array of specialty tools. He displays and sells his work in the gallery as well.

Patricia Daugherty, above, is demonstrating her method of "mokume gane" in polymer clay. She had lots of admirers, and even made some sales of some items she hadn't intended to sell!

Patricia and Denna, near the end of the day. Denna was sweet enough to go home and make up a poultice for my bee sting ... thank you so much, Denna! (I thought of posting a picture of my sting, but it was too gross!)

After Demo Day was over, Patricia and I drove out to Dave & Denna Hardin's A Light Unto My Path Retreat ( to see the new patio gate that they had had specially made from the bottoms of old wine bottles. It is gorgeous! I made Dave stand in front of it for a picture.

A Round Top Christmas

Only in Round Top, Texas ...

... does a Christmas parade begin and end with the Texas and American flags,

... include not one but two llamas,

... the obligatory longhorn / rooster / sombrero lead car,

... Santa's elves wear camouflage and clown-orange caps,

... and end with a Civil War-era cannon, the American flag, and Lady Liberty!

Last but not least, I just had to take a picture of this adorable little girl, the daughter of a local artist. Looks like she's inherited her mother's sense of style!

This was a lovely town parade, with most everyone participating. The town square is so small that the parade had to go around several times, so it would last a little longer!

A Few Quilt Festival Pics

Lynn Douglass and me.
Lynn is an A-1 Longarm quilting machine dealer with a cool blog at

Nancy Dickey, Liz Broussard, Rex Watson, Susan King, and me

Lynn with her Journal Quilt

The Dixon Concert

Even though this is such a blurry picture, it's the best one I have of Tommy and Sharon Dixon's annual country concert, and so just have to post it anyway. Their son Jared and their friend Pat plays with Tommy, and Sharon sings several songs with them. The atmosphere is always fun and funny, and children are allowed only if they are too young to understand the sometimes rowdy humor! I look forward to it every year, and this year was especially wonderful since we almost lost Tommy last year to some health problems. He's doing great now, and we were all so happy to have something to celebrate!

Barb & Betty, above, getting into the party mood, with food and beverage.

Ms. Lynn is ALWAYS in a party mood!

Grant Diffendaffer

Oh, and I forgot to post these few pics, from a class Patricia and I took with Grant Diffendaffer, courtesey of the San Antonio Polymer Clay Guild. He specializes in lathe-turned beads ...

Grant is an excellent teacher as well as a visionary clay artist, and even took the ribbing from all us "older ladies" very well.

me, Grant, and Patricia

Patricia at the River Walk in San Antonio

Dinner at the River Walk

Pre-Quilt-Festival Festivities

Oh gosh, I'm so late in posting pictures of Quilt Festival, I'm having to go back and start at the beginning.

My friend Larkin Van Horn came into town a week before Quilt Market and we had a wonderful time roaming through a bit of the Texas Hill Country before coming back to Houston in time for Market. Here are a few pics of our lunch out with my friends Sharon, Barb, and Betty, at a local Mexican restaurant.
Above is Larkin - she has the most lovely smile, to go along with her fun personality. See her website at

Larkin & Linda, "sittin' in a tree"
I'm wearing my "Lizzy the Lizard" purse, hand-made by my friend
Michelle Verbeeck (you can have one too!)

"The Cartel" ... me, Sharon, Betty, and Barb.
We don't often get the chance to have a picture of the 4 of us together ... thanks, Larkin!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Gossiping Kittehs

A YouTube video, cribbed from (where someone dubbed a previously-submitted silent video):

Translation, in case your audio isn't working:

Tux: Hey!
Calico: What?
Tux: I've seen this!
Calico: Shh!
Tux: Huh. Ass.
Calico: What?!
Tux: Never mind
Calico: *quiet slurp cough*
Tux: you..You don't listen
Calico: Since when?
Tux: Since Always! Aaah! *pause, quietly*Someone's coming. Act like a cat.
Calico: Prr Pprr!*slurp*Prrt!
Tux:*in a bored, indifferent voice* Meow..Meow..Uh..Meeow.
Calico: Pmrr!
Tux: Act real cute, and he'll give us treats!
Tux: *whisper* Here, lie down!
Tux: *muffled* slurpslurpslurp
Ish he getting the treatsh yet?
Ish he getting the treatsh?
Calico: *muffled*Not yet, keep going.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

My Winning Friend

My friend Nancy Dickey had three (count 'em, THREE) quilts in the Houston Quilt Festival this year, and I wanted to show a few pictures. Two of them were ribbon winners!

The first one shown here is "Pond Poker", which took First Place in the Hoffman Challenge, Applique Division.

Here's Nancy, graciously posing as she's being beseiged by the paparazzi ...

Here's "Oleander", one of my all-time favorites:

And here's little "Serendipity", a 12-inch square beauty. It took IQA's Third Place, Art Miniature:

More pictures to follow later ...

Saturday, November 10, 2007

2007 Journal Quilt

Having been totally remiss in posting lately, I thought I'd start catching up by finally posting my 2007 Journal Quilt. This was the last year for the Journal Quilt Project, begun in the QuiltArt List and sponsored by Karey Bresenhan at the Houston International Quilt Festival (and traveling to other Festivals afterwards), and I was proud to have taken part in the project for the past several years.

eyePod, 17x22"

and here's my Artist's Statement which is displayed with the quilt:

“eyePod” grew from two of my favorite things … Nature’s forms and puns, or plays on words. I love the pod form, and had been playing with it in some of my jewelry-making, so it naturally came to mind when it came time to create my final Journal Quilt. My “pod” just needed some eyes to complete the pun.

On my hand-painted background, I painted the orange pod and the eyes, but the pod seemed too bright, so I covered it with one of my hand-dyed silks, which toned it down and imparted some shading as well. I then stitched around the eyes and cut away the silk so that the eyes were clearly seen again, and thread-painted the eyelashes. After quilting, the final touch was to add the tiny “apple of my eye”, as well as a crystal teardrop or two.

As an experienced quilter but an insecure artist when the Journal Quilt Project began several years ago, I can safely say that this project has pushed and prodded my “creative bone”. Now, thanks to the freedom to “play” and to see my work displayed without the novice’s fear of judgment, I have gained confidence and greatly expanded my artistic horizons. I’m sorry to see the Project end. Thank you, Karey!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Pay It Forward - Random Acts of Kindness

I love the “Random Acts of Kindness” philosophy currently traveling around blogs under the title of “Pay it Forward.” So, to the first 3 people who leave a Comment of their intent to “pay it forward” in my Comment section and also a promise on their own blogs, I will send a handmade item of my choosing within the next 365 days.

Here are the rules lifted borrowed from Carla:

Pay it forward rules: I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a Comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange, and who make the same pledge on their own blogs . I don’t know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward.

Now, who wants to play? (thanks, Carla!)

Monday, October 15, 2007

Blog Action Day

My contribution to Blog Action Day ( is my renouncement of diet sodas in favor of plain old water. Not bottled water ... tap water. Considering the number of diet sodas I used to drink (5-6 per day), the plastic saved alone should ensure my place in Environment Heaven.

OK, OK, I didn't originally do this to save the environment. But since I was doing it anyway, I thought I might as well take credit for being environmentally correct, too!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Cat adopts chicks & parakeets

Oh I'm a bad girl today ... supposed to be cleaning house, but just couldn't resist figuring out how to embed this cute YouTube video here ...

My favorite part is the little yellow parakeet diving back behind the cat as soon as the human hand releases it!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Art, Nature, Creativity, Life

(The image above is Virginia's self-portrait,
printed on a proof press from a linocut.)

I'm excited to announce that Virginia Spiegel's long-awaited eBook Art, Nature, Creativity, Life will be released on Monday, October 8, with 100% of the proceeds going directly to the American Cancer Society through Fiberart For A Cause.

All the details (including reviews by well-known fiber artists Pamela Allen, Lesley Riley, Tomme Fent and Claudine Hellmuth) are on her website:

Art, Nature, Creativity, Life is an expanded version of the best of her e-newsletters. There are 19 chapters stuffed with essays, art, photos, annotated book recommendations, and poetry.

From the Introduction:
"Make a cup of tea, settle into your favorite chair and wander through the issues at your leisure. You can spend ten minutes and be refreshed or spend several hours enjoying art, nature, poetry, photography and my take on the life of an artist. Enjoy and be inspired."

Virginia's goal is raise $30,000 to join the more than $130,000 that she and her Fiberart For A Cause efforts have already raised for the American Cancer Society. Take just a second to go to the website and see what it's all about.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Art Unraveled, Part III

Patricia and I both took a class with Barbara McGuire (, "Matchbook Pendants". Barbara was so professional, she had most of the pre-work done, so that we could spend our time learning the important parts, rather than doing the "grunt work". After a short evening class, we each walked out with a completed pendant necklace that we were utterly proud of.

My sweet friend Patricia, at Art Unraveled in
Phoenix, AZ, August, 2007.

Patricia took this picture of me at the airport as we
were getting ready to leave for Phoenix ... sketchbook/journal
in hand, I couldn't wait to get started!

Barbara McGuire with one of her tiny matchbooks, which is
about to be magically turned into a fabulous pendant.

Here's the one I made, with an image transferred onto the
polymer clay.

The back of the pendant, showing the impressed stamping
and distressed painting, as well as the imported metal belt parts
that were used as findings.