Tuesday, December 11, 2012

made this: sit & play among the clouds quilt

I came across this darling appliquéd quilt on Pinterest a couple months ago. The quilt is designed by Nova from 'a cuppa and a catch up' blog, and it seemed like the perfect design to mimic for my little niece who was on her way.

Well, the little peach has since arrived and hustle with this project I must. So below are some in progress shots which show how the jingle bells are stitched into the side flaps (very clever, Nova) and how the edges of the appliquéd clouds are turned with ease. I printed the fabric myself, albeit messily, but like the way the yellow and the concentric circles feel like sunshine. The quilt itself is going to Vancouver, and the Pacific Northwest coastline, gorgeous as it is, can be quite gray at times, so hopefully this play quilt will be a joyful burst of color for my niece to grow up with.

So now that the appliqués and tabs are prepared and the top-piece printed, it's time to start the back-piece which will be a log cabin style patchwork complete with an embroidered secret and silky sash for cheek nuzzling. YAY!

And that there is Brian being super helpful as usual. He's starting to need glasses though... textiles and sewing can be such fastidious work.

happy colors

Over Thanksgiving break, my niece and I spent some time drawing together. At some point she showed me the colorful drawing above, which I call 'Happy' though it only contains the first three letters of the word. The colors couldn't suit me more or bring me more happiness except for the fact that my sweet niece made this and saw me worthy of having it for my own.

I love the colors in my studio room. Whenever I step back to enjoy them I feel inspired to begin something new. Isn't that what a studio should be? 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

pumpkin stitches

Baked some pumpkin muffins based on this recipe. Soooooo good.

Tried stitching with some new threads, and tested out some new image ideas. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

some art I liked

Today I knocked off a couple more hot spots from my list of places to check out in Albuquerque.

I finally drove over to Harwood Art Center. It looked impressive from the outside and felt pretty magical on the inside. There were two exhibits up. First a show by Duke City artist R. Potter (above). I've been meaning to see her work since I discovered her during a 'local research bender' sometime last year. I missed her work up at the New Mexico Museum of Art earlier this year, so I was very pleased to find is on exhibit at the Harwood this month. I really enjoyed a couple of her larger pieces that look and speak like cartographic landscapes of the human body. I love the way she manipulates textiles adding acrylic paints for create surface tension and sprays of black thread to cause a bit of wincing every now and then from the viewer. I look forward to seeing her work again.

There was also a group show up: Borders and Boundaries. It was an interesting little assemblage of works. The pieces that really spoke to me were the drawing from Celine Browning's Keeping Out Holding In series and the Watershed Topography drawings by Ellie Irons. Above is a shot of Maria Lux's Rats, 2010 (via 516 Arts blog) which was also stunning.

I also got to finally see Valerie Roybal's work up close... another one of my 'local research' gems. The papers she uses are so interesting and she has a great talent for line, composition, and color. I would love to afford a work of hers one day.

Also... I really, really wish I could go to this workshop by Megan Canning at the Textile Arts Center in Brooklyn.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Autumn Strolls

I take so much pleasure in my neighborhood strolls here in the northeast quadrant of Albuquerque. This area is very suburban in style with cozy cul-de-sacs and corners lined with all manners of houses that you just know someone's grandma lives in. All the streets are tree-lined and there's never a park too far away. In the fall and spring these walks are especially lovely, and you can see why above. 

I've pictured here a couple spots where I like to sit and read or stitch in the park across the street. I've played tennis there once or twice as well. You can also see a couple of my favorite surprises from the neighborhoods- an old turquoise gate, a beloved VW Bug. And just this morning, during a quiet Sunday stroll with Brian leashed in one hand and a mug of apple cider snug in the other, I collected a pile of all the gorgeous types of foliage that inspire me on these walks.

Be present in your life, and your life will present you much happiness and beauty.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

inspired by: red prickly bunches

red cactus uploaded to Pinterest by Leana Shefman

Mariposas by Spanish-American artist Manolo Valdés via ArtArte

vintage dress detail from Created and Collected on Etsy

Anyone who knows me, knows I love red. It's a full-fledged, passionate love affair that one can only have with a color...

...And the butterflies by Valdés? Well... His work was displayed at the Civic Center Plaza in San Francisco while I was still living there. I fell in love with Manolo Valdés' work very quickly as well. His shapes, whimsy, humor, simplicity... perfection.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

much more than a desert

One of my favorite things about moving to Albuquerque, NM is all the time I've spent outside. This city has an incredible amount of open space, within the city or just outside, for hiking, picnicking, and just plain moseying. When I can, I take pictures, because I think one of the greatest gifts of the modern age is  digital photography and the ability it grants us to share moments and places with people who are far, far away.

So, above are some glimpses I've recorded of walks and hikes that I've been on recently. As you can see, New Mexico is not just desert like many people picture the southwest to be. There are farms and forests and fields a plenty. There is also the desert, make no mistake. I the combination of all these landscapes help make New Mexico such a magical place.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Play Time

Sometimes you just have to spend some time making whatever the heck you feel like... even if it's completely useless to you in the moment. It's what studio artists call experimentation.

The textile samples above are inspired by the book Stitch Magic by Alison Reid

Below is a robe covered in sashiko stitching from the collection at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe. I've always loved the look of sashiko, which is a Japanese form of quilting using running stitches to cover a piece in patterns, but never tried it. Yesterday I gave a little go of it to mend some holes in few pairs of jeans. I loved the results.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Inspired by: Art Stitchers

Deborah Slabeck Baker,  no title, 2009

Jodi Stevens, taking measurments, 2009

Chris Niver, Fur, 2009

I came across some lovely artists who were new to me this past weekend whilst scuttling around the interweb. I love black line work, especially in thread. I'm not really sure what it is about black thread that I love. I'll have to ponder on that for a while I suppose. 

Thank you to Joetta Maue for sharing the exhibit on her blog, even two years after the date the work is brand new to me and exciting to see.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Made This: Booties and a Tart

A pair of sweet booties I crocheted last weekend for a very special baby who will be arriving in a few months. They were so much fun to make. The pattern comes from one of my favorite crochet books, Kyuuto! Japanese Crafts!: Lacey Crochet from Chronicle Books of course.

A lovely Italian Tart Recipe that always comes out perfect. And by perfect I mean that I can't stop eating it. The original recipe calls for strawberries but this time I couldn't resist the peaches. The Strawberry Italian Tart recipe comes from my favorite food blog, Always With Butter. Thank you, Julie for always sharing the most lovely recipes!

And just one snapshot from my brief but thrilling trip to the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe. These are hand-carved wooden amulets, I believe from India. Please correct me if I'm wrong. I took so many photos, so to share I think I'll just sprinkle them around the blog here and there... If ever you have the fortune to visit this collection, dedicate a whole day. It's so impressive.

Monday, July 23, 2012


I've been stitching and printing my butt off. 

So I thought I'd share.

Also, for good measure, this is how I soak my beans. It's been coming up a lot lately, people intrigued by my dry-bean-cooking. It's actually really easy once you get into the habit of it. I throw a couple handfuls of beans into some recycled pasta sauce jars, top 'em off with filtered water, soak for at least 8 hours, and then cook 'em for an hour and a half or so- depending on the bean. Then I rinse, dry, and freeze them for easy use later. Really, I do this 'bout once a month and always have beans on hand for nibbles. They make whole wheat pasta, salad, grains, eggs, pretty much everything that much better for you and that much more satisfying. Worth a try if you ask me. Plus they look cute soaking on the counter. :)

Thursday, July 19, 2012


This is a sketch I made many, many years ago of my childhood dog Fargo. He passed away earlier this year and I didn't have a chance for any goodbyes with the fluffy angel, so I put up this sketch that I found of him in my studio so I can look at him the way I remember him every day. I miss him dearly... and am sad that his smiling face won't be there to greet me the next time I'm in Montana. He was an amazing creature of the universe...

This makes me think about drawings and portraits... This quick, rough sketch is more powerful to me than any photograph I could have of Fargo, because that sketch captured not just what a moment looked like, but how it felt to me. And that feeling is there in the lines I drew with my hands... the feeling that that happy, loyal, silly mutt gave me. People say you can capture feeling with a camera, and I've seen it happen... but I think you capture a more intimate feeling, a much more personal feeling when you put an instrument to a page.

Just a thought.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

this is how we do

Kinda old school but... this is how we do.

Love the conté.