Wednesday, July 27, 2011

To Love A Cactus

styling for Elle Decor by Gozde Eker
from BoligLiv via Frøken Nøs Roderier
Becca Stadt Lander
from Camilla Engman's kitchen

by Kyle Skully via Play with Fire

A warning: If you have any propensity towards cactus love to begin with, moving to the desert will increase it exponentially. Those spiky flat coins and furry ground knobs make me go nuts. I need to get some.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Made This: Gingham Check Sorbetto

So, I am very excited. Last night I made my first piece of clothing from a real pattern (read: not sketched out by me on old brown paper bags). It's the Sorbetto pattern from Colette Patterns and you can download it for free on their blog. I made it about one size too big I think but it's still adorable and very comfortable. I think I'll try for another version in black cotton, a size smaller. This gave me all the confidence I need to get going on the two other Colette patterns I bought a while back- Beignet and Sencha

One of the things I really wanted to do after we moved from San Francisco to Albuquerque was to start sewing my own clothes. I'm so glad I finally took the plunge. This is going to be fun.

Meet Brian

Meet Brian. He is my very new, five year old, Border Collie- Aussie Shepherd mix puppy. He is the best thing that has happened to me in a long time. Brian is a total ham and loves to keep me company in my new home-based studio room. So, needless to say... you might be seeing him around here some. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Indian Mithila Painting

Krishnanand Jha

Krishnanand Jha

Rani Jha

Kamlesh Roy

Leela Devi

Militha Painting stems from a centuries old tradition in the Mithila region of Bihar, India, and Nepal where women would paint grand scenes of nature or domestic bliss on the floors and walls of their homes to mark special occasions in the lives of their families. This form of folk art was discovered by westerners in the mid-twentieth century and, in response to a new market for the craft, artists began to recreate these paintings on paper and cloth. Contemporary artists are now adapting this folk style to modern issues as seen in the bottom two examples. 

I love the pattern and color palates of these works. They are totally kick-ass. More works can be seen at and can be purchased for extremely reasonable price at Exotic India.

(images and background via

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Geometric Color Stars

Turtle Island Pottery


Happy Mundane

I like these things... I especially want to try my hand at the geometric ornaments from Happy Mundane.

Made This: Watercolor Doodles

I completed the first project from Heather Smith Jones' book Water Paper Paint the other night. Super fun. I have a little experience with watercolor but not enough to feel confident using it in my work. I love the ethereal quality of the medium and I thought it might lend itself nicely as a contrast to the sharp line drawings I love to do so much.  Project one in the book is all about getting your feet wet, quite literally. The top doodle was my first attempt, just getting the feel of things and I kinda went wild. The second doodle I followed the directions more closely using what I had learned from my first attempt. I'm happy with both of them and they make me excited for the rest of the book. I rarely find art instruction books that I think are great, but this one fits the bill and I highly recommend it for anyone interested in testing the waters of this medium. Buy it.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Beginning Weaving Samples

These are some samples from the weaving students at San Francisco State University. A sample in weaving is a small segment of cloth woven to practice a new pattern or colorway for example. Many of these samples are doubleweave. Doubleweave is a type of weaving that creates two different faces on the same cloth. I would love to teach myself this technique eventually, but first things first. I have to get my loom set up and practice basic weaving before I try anything tricky.

Made This: A Crude Coil Basket, in Neon Green

I made this coil basket last weekend. It's the first thing I've made since arriving in Albuquerque. I've been brushing up on some (really) basic basketry techniques recently. I think I learned the coil method of basket weaving in the 6th grade... geez, what is that like 15 years ago or something. I can't believe I still remember it, though truth be told, I think my pottery skills make it a heck of a lot easier. I have this stash of really funky 'novelty' yarns from my mom, she loves sending me one-skein-wonders, and it occurred to me they could be very interesting juxtaposed with lovely natural materials. This basket, and the first I made (months ago) are pretty crude. I think my base cord needs to be smaller and I need to find a nicer twine to work with. There will be more of these to come, surely.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Watercolor Inspiration

Geninne D. Zlatkis

Thérèse Murdza

Ana Montiel

Lisa Solomon
I think of watercolor as the medium of folk painting... also egg tempera and gouache... but most strongly watercolor. Maybe it is because it is so easy to carry around or because it is so forgiving to use. Whatever it is... watercolor has control of my heart right now. It's all I want to do.

Pueblo Pottery

These are a few pieces of Pueblo Pottery from what is now New Mexico out of the deYoung collection in San Francisco. I believe the top two are of the Hopi Pueblo and the bottom two are of the San Ildefonso and Santa Clara Pueblos. (Please leave a correction in the comments if I am mistaken.) These two styles, the black on white slip and the burnished black clay, are my favorite traditions from the area. 

Made This: Patchwork Pillows

I made these patchwork pillows back in San Francisco right after finishing school. I had the chance to make something for the first time in a while that was entirely unrelated to school or 'art'. Pretty pillows are important for any home. They make a home more beautiful and more comfortable with relative ease. And making pillows is a snap with some basic sewing skills. These, particularly, were a great way for me to practice patchwork patterns and bust through my stash of lovely linen at the same time. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sunny Cheery Color Love

tutorial by Molly via The Purl Bee

Takura Kuwata via dear ada

James Bills via BOOOOOOOM!

It must be the New Mexico sunshine... but I'm feeling like fresh squeezed berry-lemonade lately.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Made This: Mini Friendship Quilts

My best friend and I made these little embroidered, patchwork quilts for each other as going away gifts before I left for Albuquerque. Not half bad for the first time out the door. Inspiration for this project came from Ray Hemachandra's Pretty Little Mini Quilts.

African Beadwork

Examples of African beadwork from the deYoung collection in San Francisco, CA.