Sunday, April 29, 2007

Lazy Day?

Today I feel as though not much has been accomplished. I guess we need those kind of days to wind down. We took a long bike ride this morning, going all over town, stopping to have lunch at the Roosevelt market, which is across the street from Anna's school. It is a neighborhood market.

Having some fuel in our stomachs, we headed back home up the big hill. Since we live in the foothills, we always have to come up a hill the very last thing to get home. There are two ways to go: the longer, curvy not-as-steep hill (if you live here you know it as Shaw Mountain Road) or the shorter, steeper road (Shenandoah). Usually we take the longer way as the climb is more gradual. Today Frank wanted to do the shorter route. I find it very hard to get up the hill this way. I see others struggle on bikes, too. Sometimes I see them walking the bike. That's what I figured I might have to do as well.

But much to my surprise, I was able to make it up without stopping. Now, I do have to say that I had to do switchbacks on the steepest part, but that just means I went a farther distance, right? However, it really took the energy out of me. So, I haven't done much but play volleyball with Anna in the yard and work on the computer since.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

The New Old

Saturday I spent most of the day cleaning off one of the studio tables and moving it out of the way to make way for the new "old" bookcase, shelf combo. I purchased it several months ago from a consignment shop. It was kind of beat up , but I figured it was only going to get more beat up and it was reasonably priced. So here is a picture of Anna with her desk in the Studio. It looks so nice and clean, doesn't it? The old table we were using is the white one that is folded up against the wall behind Anna. I still have room to open it up, but it will be tight to work with more than one person.

The rest of the studio is not so nice to look at. I didn't get around to cleaning the rest of the studio or my desk. Someday I want to do built-ins around the window and not have so many miscellaneous storage pieces. That will have to wait until next summer as we will probably be working on the guest/sewing room this summer.

Here is what the rest looks like and probably what Anna's desk will look like very soon, too.

Friday, April 27, 2007

My Real Life

It has been a very busy time for me these last few weeks. I have been busy at the Boise Art Museum and my daughter's school had their big fund raiser last night. I was helping get some class cookbooks ready and helping with the program and set up. Today, there is a school concert but I get a break from the museum to go back to my "real life" as someone at the museum said to me. I thought that was kind of funny. When I'm at the art museum is that my "pretend life"?

Let me explain. I started volunteering at the Boise Art Museum in 1993. It was supposed to be an internship even though I had already graduated from college. This meant I was working with the curatorial staff. I hung around so long (years and years) that they started hiring me when they needed some extra help with installation and deinstallation of shows. This was on a contract basis. They paid me but I had to take care of the taxes and social security. I have never been there for the money. Fortunately, I can do that because my husband supports us.

Several years ago, the museum found out that for some reason the way they were doing this "contract" labor was not legal. So then I became an official part time curatorial assistant. It is basically the same thing but now they take out the taxes and social security for me.

I'm not always working there on a regular basis and they are very flexible. So I can pretty much come and go as I please, which is good as I have to pick up Anna after school. Also, when I am not working on an installation or specific project for them, I will try to go in once a week to volunteer to take care of stuff that needs to get done that nobody ever has time for (i.e. filing, slides, etc.). So I'm there and not really there at the same time. That is why I think the comment that my real life is at home and not necessarily at the museum came about. However, I have been working there for about 14 years now. It all seems real to me!

What's your "real life"?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A Little Something

Well, I was able to do a little something creative day. This is a postcard I made for my niece who just turned 14. I was trying out a DecoFabric pen. This one was white. It writes o.k. but two of those white blobs on the card were not on purpose. I guess I need a little more practice so I write without too much pressure.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Oh, to Play in the Klee!

Since I showed you an older artwork, I thought I would show you something more recent. Some of you might have seen this piece already. It is one of my favorites. I made it this past fall. Paul Klee is my favorite artist and his work was the inspiration for this piece. His name is pronounced "Clay", a play on words for the title.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Shapes in the Cupboard

All the past pictures are back and I am able to upload again. Whew. I'm glad I didn't have to reload them.

My friend, Catherine, asked me what I write on my blog every day. What I aspire to is to be able to show some art or work in progress or some thought or picture that makes you think. Obviously, pictures of Anna and other things I find interesting are slipped in, as well. But sometimes I just live the everyday life with the usual chores and routine activities.

Today I have been very busy and really have nothing to say or write about. So I leave you with a couple of pictures and the question: What shapes are in your cupboard?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Missing Pictures

I don't know where the picture from yesterday is or from several days ago. Bummer. They were there before, but gone today. Doesn't seem to want to upload today either. I don't know what's wrong. I'll keep trying.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Art from the Past

Since I have been very busy at the art museum and helping out with the school auction prep, I have not made any new artwork lately. So, I will show you something from the past. Below is a picture I did in college. It must have been my sophomore year since the date is 1988.

Here's the story behind this particular picture. My husband, Frank, and I went to the same high school. It was a very big high school. We did not run into each other much throughout our high school years. We did have one math class together. Anyway, we started dating toward the end of our senior year. We both had already decided where we would be attending college. I was going to Hope College in Holland, Michigan. He was going to University of Vermont in Burlington, Vermont. We did do the long distance relationship thing (and as you can tell, it does work out sometimes!).

One time I went to visit Frank in Vermont. He had arranged a surprise for me. One evening we went down to the lake. He had paid a couple to sail us around on their fairly large boat for an hour or two. The weather was beautiful and it was nice.

Being a college student, funds were usually limited. I wanted to get Frank a special Christmas present but didn't have a lot of money. I decided to draw him a picture using a photo I had taken while on our boat trip as the inspiration. Below is the picture. I did have to come up with some money to get it framed. I think he liked it and it did hang in his dorm room for some time.

I don't think it has hung on our walls since we have been married and living in houses. It was put away. I pulled it out not too long ago and the glass was broken. I have since unframed it and cut the glass into smaller pieces to use for monoprints. I think it will go back in the closet again. The style is so different from what I do now.

My concentration for my art degree was in drawing. I had done realistic, detailed drawings which corresponded with my perfectionistic personality. Working with fabric, I have moved away from that. (I hope I have moved away from my perfectionistic tendencies, too.) If I do have objects in my work, they are abstracted. I haven't done many detailed drawings in a long time. I probably should, to keep in practice, but most of the drawings I do now are sketches in my sketchbook.

I think I am still searching for my own personal style in my artwork. I'm feel that I am getting closer, but not there yet.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Bowling Party

Anna had her birthday party on Sunday. It was at the Boise State University bowling alley. Sunday morning was quiet and the kids had fun. They need a little work on their form. Despite having the bumpers up, several times they got balls stuck in between the bumper and the gutter and several times they landed the ball on the bumper so that it went back down into the floor.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Zen to Go

Yesterday, today and tomorrow our city library is having its annual book sale. You can fill a plastic grocery bag for $9 or buy books individually. For those who like to do collage, this is a great way to get material. I picked up on old dictionary, maps, books written in Japanese and maybe German, too. Some day I will tear out the pages to use in collages. I found a few reading books, too. One I picked up is called Zen to Go, compiled by Jon Winokur. Basically, it is a book of quotes. I collect quotes and have several books, including Barlett's.

This one is a collection of quotes that Mr. Winokur feels relates to or describes Zen essence. They are by all sorts of people. Here is one for today:

The foolish reject what they see, not what they think;
the wise reject what they think, not what they see.
-Huang Po

This quote is very interesting as I have just recently re-read Drawing on the Artist Within by Betty Edwards. She talks much about how the brain is functioning while someone is trying to draw. In very oversimplified terms, she says the left side of the brain says "I know what flowers in a vase are, can name it and generalize it". But what the eyes see is that each flower is very different in the way it looks, each petal different with different shapes and shadows and that one will not look the same as another. To draw it, you must turn off or trick the brain so that the eyes can see without the (left side) brain butting in.

Her philosophy is that everyone can draw. It is not a matter of teaching someone how to draw, but how to see. I believe everyone can draw, too and it bugs me when people say they can't draw. They draw their name all the time. I think the quote above is quite relevant to what Ms. Edwards talks about and in any problem solving realm.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Some artwork

I haven't been working on art lately. Things are pretty busy. Here is a postcard-size piece I finished today. It was mostly done before spring break. I just had to do the edging. I'm not sure which direction I like it in best.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Playing with Fire

Literally! This morning I went to the art museum thinking I would be working on the computer doing a collections project I'm working on. As soon as I walked in the door someone said to me, "Don't take your coat off, we're going outside." I didn't take my coat off since I did not have one on and went to find out what we were doing.

What we were doing was having a fire demo. There was a guy there to show us how to use the fire extinguishers. He lit a contolled fire in a trough and each one of us, the entire staff, practiced using the extinguishers to put out the fire. I think most of us wanted to keep the fire going for a while because it was a very chilly morning!

Then, we got the rest of the fire drill, so to speak: what to do if there is a fire in the museum, where all the alarms are, where the exits are, whose in charge of what, etc. I guess the fire was the most exciting part.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Happy Birthday, Anna!

What a milestone! Anna is one decade old today. 10 whole years! Here she is in her birthday outfit from her Aunt Mary. She looks adorable, just like a 10 year old.

After school, we went to Build-a-Bear workshop. She got a cat and a bear. One was from me and one was purchased with money from her Nanna. Of course, they couldn't be naked, so several outfits were chosen.

Then it was time to have ears pierced (seems like a juxtaposition with the Build-a-Bear, but such is the age). She has been very nervous about it for a while. Most of her friends have pierced ears and she has been asking them questions about their experience. She did very well. She said it really hurt. She had to sit down on the floor for a little bit while I paid the bill and then we found a bench she could lie down on because she thought she might faint. She did not and after some time, all was well. We got a fruit smoothie for nourishment, just in case.

The real party doesn't begin until this next weekend when she gets to go bowling with her friends.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Happy Easter!

We dyed our Easter eggs last night. Nothing like waiting until the last minute. It has been a busy weekend. Ours are just the usual variety eggs. Nothing fancy here, but always fun.

The Easter bunny must have been pretty wet this year as it rained all night last night. Most of the hidden plastic eggs survived. A little water got into one so the jelly beans were gooey. Yuck!

Here is Anna cracking her egg and dumping the candy into a bowl. Notice the fleece jacket. It was also pretty cool this morning (but not cold enough to make snow).

Besides some candy and loose change, here are a few other things Anna found in her eggs.

I love the fish.
Today is also Anna's very last day, forever, of living in the single digits. Tomorrow is her 10th birthday!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007


I am a collector. When it comes to something that might have some potential someday for some kind of artwork, I have a hard time getting rid of it. Shells, beads, scraps of paper, wire, polymer clay, buttons, candy wrappers, hardware, etc. With fabric, at what point does the scrap become too small to use and must be thrown away?

Today I discovered that the fusible scraps seem to never be too small to throw away. Here are some notecards I made with scraps still sitting on my ironing board from the previous Fabric on Paper pieces (see earlier posts).

The postage stamp on this is one that someone had printed on sticker paper and sent to me with some ATCs .

This purple one might still get some hand stitches.

This one reminds me of a doorway to some exotic house in a far off land. I did not plan that on purpose. I also didn't notice that the stamp was upside down until I had scanned it. I wanted the postage mark to go up to the left. It is a real stamp. On the paper, you could use the fusible web as well, but I used Liquid Fuse (which is now called something else). I found out about it from Terry Grant's blog.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007


Today I have been to my first acupuncture appointment ever. I don't like needles. But it was really cool. It was amazing what the doctor could tell about me by just taking my pulse and looking at my tongue. It wasn't as bad as I had imagined. I'm hoping it will help with my asthma which I've been having trouble with. I have no idea how big the needles were or what they look like as I never looked!

Monday, April 2, 2007


I took my sketchbook with me on our spring break trip. I did not use it. However, since we spent a lot of time in the car, I did start this bunny (and finished it today). It is needlepunch embroidery which is like rug hooking, I think. It is very small (about three by four inches) and uses three strands of embroidery floss. This was a pattern, but I changed the colors some. I can't seem to do a pattern without changing something.

I think this technique has some possibilities for art quilts. I have not tried it with any fabric other than the recommended weaver's cloth. It might work on felt. It would be easy to make your own pattern.

Last year I made a heart using this technique. It was for a piece I donated to an Aids auction. You can see the heart in the window in the picture below.

The next picture is the piece I made for this year's auction. For some reason, the ideas that pop into my head for pieces for these auctions are so much different from what I am usually doing. I don't know why. I have never done a "watercolor" quilt before. But I did it for the background of this piece.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

We're Back

We have been on spring break this past week and that is why I have not blogged for a while. For our trip, we drove to Zion National Park, down to Sedona, AZ, back to Park City, UT and then home to Boise. We had two beautiful days in Zion with warm sunny weather and a cool breeze. It dwindled from there. Our first day in Sedona was cloudy, windy and cold. The next morning was sunny but still windy and cool (didn't matter much to me as I had gotten sick the night before). I knew I would be feeling better in the afternoon but it got cloudy, rainy and cold again. My first time in Arizona and we get a cold front!

We were hoping to do some nordic skiing at the 2002 Olympic arena Soldier's Hollow in the Park City area, but there was no snow in the valley and most of the other nordic places had closed. I won't bore you with the rest of the details or the 100's of pictures we took. I will put a few here and the rest you can see on our family website at
Frank wrote more detail about the trip and the pictures are in the photo gallery in the trip section.