Sunday, November 21, 2010

The First Snow & What To Do About It

Well, here it is in Suburban Seattle, West Side of the Cascade Mountains, elevation 500 feet, and it is snowing, a whole week before Thanksgiving.  It is snowing vigorously in the mountain passes (above 3,000 feet), traction tires and chains required.  We have a good snowpack predicted this year because of La Nina.  The current event down here in the burbs is clammy and cold and coming down in big, fluffy, wet blobs.  Not sticking, as we say around here.  Not much good for enjoying the phenom, I'd say, so I am indoors in my workroom doing some R&D.

After a recent run of recycled silk sachets I have a pile of small scraps with lots of enticing tatters.  My motto is "no scrap too small," so I am trying out these small patchwork dolls, calling them Pagan Babies -- a friend once told me that the best speller in her parochial school got to name a pagan baby, so that's my takeoff point here.  When she told me that story, I was rolling around on the floor with the dust bunnies -- sometimes ethnocentricity is so ridiculous that all you can do is laugh, and fire up your imagination.

 I love the flavor of small flashes of delectable color, texture and straggling whisps of fine silk, layered and stitched by hand and relayered and restitched, until the original patterns are not quite there, and I am also trying my hand at unapologetic imperfection and immediacy.

These pagan babies are from somewhere long ago and far south of here, perhaps a high desert.  Were they buried to keep company with a sacrifice?  Found in the remains of a palace reduced to rubble?  Dropped by a pilgrim long gone?  Just another magical, mystery trip for a snowy, colorless day . . . remote sands, dry winds, ancient travel routes, not quite lost to time.   Today I don't know if  I will ever get to visit Urumchi, or the High Andes, but my imagination has plenty of frequent flyer miles.  It's a nice way to travel on a snowy day, and you don't have to worry about the snoopy body scanner, either.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I'm Rockn' The Noir Scene

'So honored to join this team of truly Noir and makers of fabulously sensuous art.  We've got everything from bustiers to door knockers and other things you may not have thought about, or in your dreams, maybe. We have a new bloggie at and of course you can link to it in my places to explore column over on the right, too.  Go for a visit and get your senses supercharged.  What really tickles me about this whole little experience, and the invitation is, well, I didn't know I was Noir, I just thought I was, well, a little different, you know . . . more shall be revealed in future posts.  Many thanks to our fearless leader, Capitaine Tattered Rouge.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Anxious Anticipation & Black Friday

 I've been working (some might call it puttering) in my studio for a regular 40 hour work week (work I love) preparing for the famous "Black Friday."

Now, I am not one to celebrate the rampant materialism and gimme spirit that has besmirched a perfectly good Winter Solstice, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Christmas or whatever you celebrate or don't holiday, but it is the time of year people pay us artists and craftspeople a bit more attention, so it does get my attention as well. 

The Etsy shop again gets a bit of a dust off and new things get made and listed.  I have to admit though, I would make these things anyway, and keep on with it, until I crowded myself out of my own nest.  Such a dilemma:  it takes a market to support us, but too much concern with the demands of a market is a sure-fire way to kill off our creativity.  What's an artist to do? 

Friday, November 5, 2010

I'm Published! It's ADQ

I am so happy to report my piece "Bottle Baby" was accepted for the Milieu Challenge in Stampington's Art Doll Quarterly.  You will get to see the poor tyke in the Winter issue.  What a treat for me to be amongst so many fine doll artists -- I truly appreciate it.

The inspiration of this piece came from deep down, with the thought of how much of who we become starts in infancy, remembering Georgia summers that made babies sweat, glistening in their tiny fat neck in rings and gummed with red clay dust, and eavesdropping the conversations of mothers at morning coffee.  Those babies not breast fed were "bottle babies," and considering how some grew to be so intimate with the bottle, as the piece developed, a message came through, but I hope, one of compassion along with irony.

This piece features all kinds of goodies:  an old gessoed, metallic painted cedar box (still fragrant) that I think is a shop project; a candy tin, a tatted medallion, antique lace, a tattered doily, scraps of a last-gasp ball gown, a candy mold, old text, tin type frame components, old costume jewelry, 19th c. marbled book end papers.  The baby doll is very small, handmade (by me) cloth body (old wool jersey sweater) just like the very old cloth body dolls were made long ago, with paper clay head, hands, and feet -- and a little old face all scrunched up, ready to let 'er rip!  It isn't always easy being a baby, is it?