Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Holiday Bazaar

I have been working my fingers to the bone to get ready for the Ceretana Holiday Bazaar. I've been knitting, felting, quilting, making papercloth, painting, drawing... yup, to the BONE! It is on December 4th during the ususual Missoula First Friday events. I figured that I had so many extra art and craft supplies around that I had better start making something out of them and maybe even try to make some dough from them.

But I'm not the only one working hard to have tons of pretty things ready for the Bazaar. Kim Shirley has made cards and posters from her wonderful original watercolors, Patricia Thornton has tons of artworks and her lovely Manny pillows ready, Don John Linton will have some of his amazing photo prints for sale along with so many other artists and crafters!

There's going to be an art raffle and a Cheap Art Salon for artists to sell their "mess ups" and "practices" on the cheap. All art in the Cheap Art Salon will be $1 - $20.

Here's a preveiw of what I will have for sale:a smattering of fingerless mittens,

a few warm scarves (this one's camelhair/wool!),

a dash of papercloth in the form of ornaments,
a couple cute felted purses,

and more to be seen!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Home Sweet Home

I've been mute here for a while. My mind has been elsewhere. So, I'll let you know. I am in a mad fit of house hunting insanity. If this were easy, I'd have done it years ago. This will be house numero uno for our family and I want it to be the RIGHT house. One we will spend 10 years in hopefully. I want to put in a garden, paint walls, build a barn, put up a picket fence, and make it mine mine mine! It is time.

When we find new digs, I'll post up pictures. For now, just hope I don't start sobbing due to the immense amount of stress trying to decide and weigh pros and cons of buying something that costs HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS. House buying is quite literally a crazy person's endeavor. Yes, I am crazy. Or if I'm not now, I am well on my way.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Random Fact #3

Western Family (generic) body wash has the consistency of runny snot. I get the shivers every time i pour a little in my hand.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Goings on and On goings

I guess I've been busy. Probably too busy. But if I wasn't I wouldn't know what to do with myself. And besides, soon it will be winter and I'll be wrapped up on the couch for at least 4 months. SAD and all. Ick... So, what have I been doing? And what am I going to do?

Lessee, I'm about to hang some pictures in a shop downtown for our First Friday Art walk. AHH! I got finagled into it because I know the owner of the shop and her brother is photographer who has a studio at the Ceretana. It's a Ceretana group show, so I have to do this or I'll be black balled by both my friend who owns the shop and the studio peeps. I'm thinking of hanging one of my older acrylic pieces and one of the quilts I have been working on. Not certain on this yet, but I've got 3 days to think on it. We hang on Tuesday. (sounds horrific, doesn't it?)

This is the quilt I just finished. I have framed it and pinned it to foam core board rather than hanging it. It feels more "artsie" that way.

I also just got an invite to be a craft vendor at a fair in November. I have never done one of these, but the chance to unload some work and make money is tempting! I've amassed quite a few random knitting projects and I've made some Christmas ornaments out of paper cloth. I was also thinking of making prints of a couple of my favorite paintings and trying to sell them too. We'll see. I haven't said one way or the other yet. Plus it's $50 to get in. That may be the "decider".

These are some gloves I just finished. I would probably do a few more pairs for the fair. But these are MINE!

Oh yeah! Yesterday I volunteered to teach as a sub at the ZACC again. I think I like this gig. Too bad it isn't a paying one. We made Picassoesque self portraits. The kids got a kick out of that! One kid thought he'd be a skeleton with multicolored bones in the wrong places. Halloween on the brain, anyone?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

werds on a card

It's been a while since I was in an ATC swap. And I just signed up for 2 in a day. 1 is a Found Poetry swap, the other a Creative Fabric card swap. I finished 3 cards for the found poetry swap and this is what popped off the Nat Geo pages for me:I especially like this last one. It makes me feel cannibalistic and wine snobby all at once!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Work has begun!

I've been in the "studio" for a little over 2 weeks now, and things are going well. I've nearly finished my first art quilt hanging since I moved in.
I call it "A Matter of Perspective". There's still no border edging or hanger, but this is it painted and quilted. You can't see it here, but there's gold sparklies here and there in the quilt.

This is the watercolor sketch it came from:
Here's the studio itself. I'm squishing into the corners to get these shots!Yes, it is tiny! But it's mine!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


I am now an official studio artist. Rent is paid, shelves put up, supplies shuttled in. Time to make a mess!

The studio is in the Ceretana Feeds building which is an old historic grainary next to the railroad tracks in Missoula. It has since been turned into a hip gallery and studio spaces for artists in the community. And rent is CHEAP! I pay $85 per month for a place to call my own. Granted my studio is the size of a large walk in closet, but it's mine. And I have access to the gallery whenever I need more room "express".

The gallery participates in the monthly "First Friday Art Walk" in Missoula where on the first Friday of each month galleries and shops in town hang new art and have a reception night. The interesting thing about this is that my studio is right off the gallery. So, when there's a reception going on, alls I have to do is open my door and crash the party by inviting people in to my space. Voila! Instant Gallery opening! (yes, it's fine with management to do this, I've been given permission)

When I'm all done rearranging and decorating, I'll post more pictures of my loverly workshop.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Random Fact #2

It hasn't been hot this summer. It has rained a LOT. But I don't mind because I haven't watered the front yard once and it's still green.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

just another day in paradise

I had a blog all planned out about how my art class went and what we did. But I decided not to write it. I'm not feeling very originally creative lately. Nothing I write or draw or paint is coming out right. (I've had 4 typos in the last 4 lines!)

So, recap of the class: I gave a talk about nature journaling, they made journals, they made nature themed ATCs, they watercolor/sketched flowers and plants from the ZACC garden. It was fun and they all survived.

I've dropped an ATC swap that I was sure would be fun and I'd have lots to contribute... but I am blank. I've done lots of sketches and I hate them all. There's only one swap I'm in now and it's about inspiration. A tag book about art and inspiration. Sounds fun, right? *gah!* Hopefully I'll find some before the tags are due!

Part of the problem is that I have kids. My kids are great! They are young and energetic and also artistic. But they also require a lot of attention. I am used to having AT LEAST one full day a week to my self to be quiet and creative. Since the kids have been out of school I've not had one day fully alone. I am in need of some "me" time. I want to turn my music up loud and sit in front of a page and zone out. I can't really get creative until I'm in a zone... and that requires NO INTERUPTIONS! ahem...

Plus, my "me Wednesdays" have become "errand running Wednesdays". Today I sat in the lobby of Tire-O-Rama for 2 1/2 hours to get my brakes fixed for them to tell me they didn't have the right part, come back on friday.

I have been knitting up a storm though. I only learned to knit in (I think) the end of April and have so far made: 3 scarves, 3 purses, 1 project bag (think a duffel for yarn), and I'm in the middle of a beanie for my son. But following a pattern isn't the same as true creative expression.

I can't belive I'm about to say this: I can't wait for the kids to go back to school!
This is Mia being the zen warrior I wish I was

Monday, July 6, 2009

Random Fact #1

Melanie does not like to find earwigs in her coffee.


Saturday, July 4, 2009

ME? an Art Teacher??

Last Thursday I had a meeting with a fabulous artist and person, Hanna at the Zootown Arts Community Center. Hanna is the director/founder/teacher/woman extraordinaire of the ZACC. She's going on vacation to Alaska and needs a substitute for the first 2 days for a session of the kid's summer camp. And she asked ME to fill in for her! I am soooo completely flattered.

I've been volunteering on Fridays at ZACC and have put some effort into reorganizing the supply room so it's all accessible. All the people I've met there are wonderful. It's a great place.

In our meeting I got the lowdown on what I was to do in the class with the kids and how it should run. We are going to be making nature journals. How cool is that??
First day, we will put the journals together with book board and watercolor paper. We'll punch holes and thread the bindings. Then we'll do small ATC sized drawings of the plants around the building, feathers, skulls, etc. On the second day, I'm to demonstrate watercolor and pencil "observations". Then they'll do their own.

I ordered some books on Amazon to bring along and show the kids. I got "Keeping a Nature Journal: Discover a Whole New Way of Seeing the World Around You" by Clare Walker Leslie and "Creating Nature in Watercolor: An Artist's Guide" by Cathy Johnson. I just hope I get them in time! The class starts on the 20th.

I think it all sounds way too fun. Maybe I will quit my day job cleaning houses and be a full time art teacher... maybe. (keep dreaming, kid)
But seriously, I am so excited for this opportunity, I am dancing on the inside.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A new hero

"Randomizing" on ArtBreak recently I came across a journal maker extraordinaire. Her name is Bunny Mazhari (caution! Adult imagery). She has brave feminine visual imagery and text that makes you think and laugh. She definitely seems like a feminist of the highest order, but her work shows a vulnerable side as well. I so want to do journals like her! Quite a few of her pieces are centered around birth/motherhood, love/lust and the futility of life. She mixes imagery in a way that is nontraditional but works well. I envy her audacity.

Horrible bad poetry (I 'm still cleaning the garage)

Getting in touch with one's true feelings and emotions is hard work. Reporting the results to the world is harrowing.

With that said, here are some poems I wrote a few years ago and have resurrected for y'all to read. (Why?) Mostly they are about the emotions that were swirling around in the empty pot I call my mind. I was in a pretty strange place and trying to figure out what to do with myself. I had no art, no love, no family to keep me sane. So, I wrote what I knew.

I'm not saying it's good, and I'm not saying you should read it. But it's here if you really want to torture yourself by reading it like I did by writing it.


With sultry perfume it intoxicates
but salty, it scours the mouth

wanton desire drips from the chin
stains the face with envy

it's venom pulses through the bleeding heart
burning away at the delicate interior
with juice as bitter as bile

being digested completely
this fruit sends hatred seeping
through pores, saturating the mind

causing the slow death
of reality


On the wall are dreams I've had
framed in wood and behind glass
some you'll find are lovely and bright
others are dark and cheerless
every one magnificent
like a gem polished
under light
look at these dreams
and they disappear
to think of them they become
vivid as noon day sun
but they are not for your eyes
they are here
for me

Lazy Pigs

Afternoon, lazy pigs lounge
swooning over mud baths
soaking in opulence
purged of anxiety

Open snouts savor the foulness
of slop farmer-man serves up
in bone china troughs

Piggy led away in velvet collar
-an exemplary swine-
prepared for ultimate reward

cherry glazed and bacon fried
beautiful Sunday morning.

(on the insanity of luxury)


Footsteps pound ceiling-floor
authority paces heavily

Sleep comes slow
for homesick infants,
now adult,
still caged

Inside, silent screams
belated rebellion thwarted
by under-developed rage

through paper walls
game show canned sighs
garbled alcoholic rantings
listened to passively

lullaby for strangled minds


Swarms buzzing around the glow
fearing the solitude of darkness
Singing wings to secure a place
beside the light that means safety
Blinding themselves to their own selves
All they see are swarms


Sandwiched between
nowhere and somewhere
here and there
is now;
The place reserved for those
who are paying attention.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Found in a Box in the Garage

These are some REAAAALY old drawings I found in a box in the garage a couple of weeks ago. They were done before I moved to Missoula between 1999 and 2002. That seems like a lifetime ago. I had totally forgot about most of them. In fact, I've been doing so many abstract works, collages and other oddities, I almost forgot I could actually draw! Though I suppose that's still up for debate...

"Children are the Last Fairytale Creatures" & "Maestro"

"Barbie" & "My Beaufort Bedroom"

"Even Insects Get the Blues"

"My Beaufort Kitchen"

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Summer Retreat

The Gardners have just returned from our summer getaway at Camp Tuffit on Lake Mary Ronan. It was beautiful, even when it was raining and thunder storming.

There is a nice sense of community to the camp. There is a shop, a cafe, a nightly hosted campfire, cozy, fully appointed cabins and a friendly staff. Most campers have been there years in a row. It actually is hard to make reservations because most families have a "standing" reservation. This is our second year. We had to wait till someone canceled last year and plan on booking every year for at least one weekend now that we're IN. Some families have been going for generations.

The lack of water in the cabins is kind of quaint. You have to lug buckets into the kitchen and use big basins to wash dishes. There's a lot of water chucking going on in the mornings out the cabin back doors.

I think the thunder and lightning added a little mystery to the camp. Especially when my 11 year old daughter went out on a boat with friends and then the lightning started right over the lake. It was a mystery to me that I didn't panic too hard. The moment they got back to the dock a huge clap and flash went across the far shore. Yikes!

The rain was intermittent but forceful. Bright sunshine mingled with drenching downpours. It was actually kind of refreshing.

I brought a knitting project to keep my hands busy in case the fishing was bad.

And it was.

But the knitting was good! It spawned a conversation with a wonderful woman with a wonderful name. Melanie Cross. One of the awesome people who work at the Camp saw me knitting and told me about Melanie. She owns a store in Kalispell Montana called Camas Creek Yarn. I struck up a conversation with her around the campfire. She is such a cool lady! In addition to some pointers and tips for the bag I was making, I got a "free sample" button for the front. A 2-inch abalone square. NICE!

So when I got home I immediately checked out her website www.camascreekyarn.com and the store is amazing. She and her husband Andy took an old historic storefront and restored it to the original brick walls and ornate ceiling. And her yarn selection is unreal! She carries yarn of all types- hemp, wool, mohair, silk, cotton, blends- from all over the world. Tons of books, patterns, and classes if you are lucky enough to be nearby.

I'm definitely going to stop by and shop... and say hi to my new friend.

In stitches,


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Post 1

don't let your kids stay up to watch pet semetary. it's the wrong thing to do.