Thursday, August 16, 2012

I was quite humbled and pretty excited to find a piece of my work published
in the most recent edition of “Cloth Paper Scissors” magazine.  

September/October 2012

With October being Breast Cancer Awareness month,
the magazine had put out a challenge to create a piece of art that is "bra-inspired".  

The idea came to me right away to use parts of a bra to create a piece on canvas.
But I wanted that detail to be subtle and not immediately obvious.
Here is my piece titled "STRONG" and the accompanying statement that I submitted:

I have witnessed the terrifying effects of breast cancer and other female cancers, and am amazed how STRONG a woman becomes - in ways she may never have thought possible. Although physical strength may be challenged, what often guides her are a strong support system, strong faith, strong conviction in the power of healing.  This is a tribute to these women who remain STRONG in their crusade.

I hand-dyed all the vintage fabric that makes up the collage.  It is adhered to an 8X8" canvas using antique tacks, and the sides are also covered with the fabric.  Free motion stitching emulates grass.  Look closely - there are bra parts incorporated into this piece!  The yellow handle is a cloth-covered under wire.  The borders on the top and bottom of the collage are hand-dyed bra straps, and the banner with the word "strong" is held onto the canvas with bra strap adjuster slides, which are hand-sewn onto the piece.  Under some of the fabric flowers are circles of tulle.

Last week I went to the annual church/school rummage sale in the little town where I live.  I look forward to going every year around this time.  It's my favorite kind of sale where multiple families donate their stuff, it's all set up in one place so I don't have to drive from house to house, and there's no feeling a little embarrassed when a person watches me digging through their discarded junk.  Because to find the good stuff, ya gotta dig.  And man, do I love the dig!

At the rummage sale, about half of the gym is filled with tables of neatly folded clothes, all sorted by size; dressier items and coats hang on racks at the back of the room.  Most articles of clothing are priced from 50 cents to $2.  I love guilt-free shopping!  There must be someone affiliated with the church or school who works at Victoria's Secret, because they have a seemingly endless supply of pink VS shopping bags and hangers.  Young ladies walk around asking if you'd like a bag for your goodies.  I bought my fair share of clothing, most of which I can't even think of right now, since I was frantically shoving things into my VS shopping bags.  Another bonus of this sale is that you can try on stuff in the cafeteria rest room!  Earlier this week we went to visit friends for a couple days in Duluth, MN and I wore my new $2 outfit - an Old Navy black v-neck knit top with cute flouncy sleeves, and a perfectly-matching black stretchy wrap skirt.  I then layered on several pieces of my handmade vintage silver jewelry.  Artsy and thrifty, my favorite combination!

And now, back to the sale...the tables in the other half of the gym are filled with the usual miscellaneous treasures one finds at rummage sales like porcelain Avon figurines and 50th Anniversary plates, slightly stained fabric tablecloths and curtains, slightly dusty grapevine wreaths, slightly faded Christmas and Easter decorations, slightly warped Tupperware with avocado-colored lids, slightly used exercise videos and equipment...and on and on.  MY dig turned up some sparkly chandelier crystals, a glass cloche, a few pieces of jewelry to take apart and reuse, and two antique wooden desk drawers!  I also brought home a whole VS shopping bag full of old hardcover books to use in projects.  All books were priced at 3 for 50 cents!

Well, an hour and a half later I had a healthy pile of loot stacked up near the check-out area with my name on it.  I needed help carrying it all to my vehicle, and the grand total was only $22!  A big huge thank you goes out to my friend Kathy for texting me the morning of the sale, otherwise I would have missed it!

Last night I was reading an old homemade bread recipe book I dug up at the sale, and one of the chapters starts with the words "Country people like homemade breads".  I love that so much.  THIS country person certainly likes homemade breads.  AND church rummage sales!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

YUMminess Alert

I've developed a full-fledged addiction to homemade iced coffee.
(Seriously hooked on this stuff)

Here's my non-scientific recipe: 

- Fill a sturdy glass halfway with ice cubes. 

- Pour coffee (decaf Starbucks for me) up to about two inches from the top.

- Add a packet of sweetener (natural stevia). 

- Top off with milk (organic vanilla soymilk) and a few more ice cubes and a straw.

Can also easily be made in a travel cup!

*! CHEERS !*

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

My Life in Pictures
So many times lately I've thought "I should blog about this"-
and then I don't.
I've really missed it.
My sister on the left, me on the right

An art magazine recently asked, what is the one tool you could not live without.
Mine has undoubtedly become my camera.

Truly, one of my greatest pleasures on any given day is viewing photos fresh off my camera card.
I've been blessed this summer with more than the usual amount of picture-taking occasions,
both momentous and borderline-frivolous occasions.
Lucky the Studio Cat

Another immense pleasure of mine is sharing inspirations and experiences right here on my blog.
I've always made a super-conscious effort to keep my blog reflection
of what's genuinely going on in my head and heart.

I've come to the realization (or maybe just now able to admit)
that I generally don't perform well when I'm in a hurry.
I don't mind deadlines or rush orders or busy days once in a while.
But I'm definitely at my best - both personally and creatively - when not in a rush.

My nephew Matthew and Pompeii

I don't really consider myself a fast writer; it sometimes takes awhile to come up with just the right word combinations
(shout-out to Roget's Thesaurus...hello, you). 
Of course I'm judging my writing speed by my own standards, and I tend to be a harsh self-critic.

I've never wanted my blog to be an added pressure or just one more thing to accomplish in a day.
I want to take my time and enjoy the process.
That's why there's been a lapse in blog posts lately.
It's not that things are going badly or there isn't much to blog about.
Quite the contrary, actually.
I just haven't had an adequate amount of time to do a blog post justice.  

So in the interest of time and with the realization that I don't always have to come up with something clever to say...
I've decided to give power to the cliche that 
a picture is worth a thousand words...

A friend Maddy and her dog Puffles

Our niece Madison at the lake

James & Stephanie (my friend Jody's daughter), married July 14.

I found a recipe hand-written by my Grandma.  Served the way she would have, with a pretty plate & napkin.

And now it's starting to look like Autumn in my garden.

Summer's bright fragrant blooming things are beginning to fade,
as cooler-weather flowers prepare for their time in the spotlight.

It will soon be time to slow down the pace a bit.
Not be in a rush.
I'm ready.