There is a crack in everything (For Leonard)


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Lucky Me!!!

Take a look at this! I feel so fortunate to have stumbled my way into the fabulous StencilGirl family!


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Call me determined


Call Me Determined

I really love to stitch ~ hand stitch. It is slow, slow work, especially since I stitch on paper.

I used to make reverse applique quilts, with actual fabric, and that could be described as “laborious” as well, though it never seemed that way to me.

But I have always loved working with paper, and once I tried stitching it, I fell in love with its unique properties. I use printer paper, onto which I have printed one of my own paintings, digital or otherwise.

My mother was an impeccable seamstress, and she sewed very fast. Everything she did was done fast. Both the hand quilting and paper stitching absolutely mystified her. WHY would I not want to use a machine? And what was the point of stitching cheap paper?

I am very stubborn ~ Mom told me so many times as I was growing up, whenever I had objections to doing what she thought I should do. My pointing out that she was every bit as stubborn never went very well.

It is clear to me now that we were simply two strong females trying to deal with very different personalities.

I continue to dislike the term stubborn. If you have to name this attribute, call me determined.

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And so it begins . . . again

And so it begins                                  Creativity has been key to my lifelong modus operandi: conceive it, make it. I obsessively, constantly create.

But sharing is tricky. My aim (need?) has always been to appear accomplished, polished. Works in progress (WIPs) are messy, half-done, often ugly.  I have tried to add them to my various art blogs and websites through the years to no avail. Whether it was my insecurities, my ego, my Inner Critics (who has only one?), I could seldom do it.
That was before All Day Breakfast, my son’s daily offering of thoughts and images.

It took me a while to get warmed up to ADB. Understand that he is my grown son: grown and accomplished with a life and family of his own. A mother doesn’t want to hover, poke her nose in too often, when it comes to grown sons. But I shortly became hooked. I have to admit I tingled voyeuristically with knowing a little more of “what he was up to,” but soon I just became fascinated with the workings of the mind behind ADB. What that mind chose to share, what it revealed, affirmed, espoused, exposed, admitted, even proclaimed!

That said, let’s get back to my sharing “problem.” I saw what Jason was doing and began to realize it is far more powerful to expose my WIPs, show my raw, imperfect work, and (hopefully) how I resolve it–or don’t.

Jason has given me a brilliant method I can live with. I can write all over my WIPs, circle the problem areas, do whatever I want to and with them. But I can, and will, share them, along with some of the thoughts and doubts they breed.

I will not add Jason’s Create More Manifesto, except as a link, but I fully endorse and adopt its “life-changing stipulations.” Crack it open, if you dare.

And so it begins . . . again.

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Today It Is Official . . . .

I am now a Stencil Girl. I even have an intro to the “family” by Mary Beth Shaw!!

You can find me on the SG website, listed under the artists who create the stencils.

I have been creating stencils for a number of years now and my mind thinks stencil when I cast my eyes over the horizon.

You know how that works. As a photographer, you are always composing photos. As an artist, you see color combinations, characters that your mind weaves stories around. an author, your ears are perked for picking up conversations, accents, or a piece of a story you can weave a whole novel around.

Perhaps you wear many hats, and so your mind is fully engaged as you take in the world around you, always filtering, filtering to feed your creative stash of images, sounds, even feelings.

Well, I now have added stencil shapes to the mix. I see trees interacting and think “stencil.” I see paint spatters and think “stencil.” In fact, just about anything can get me into stencil mode these days.

To celebrate my new Stencil Girl status, I am having a give away. I created the triptych pictured here with one of my stencils, and if you leave me a comment on this post, you are eligible to win it. (Be patient–I have to OK comments). I am also posting to Facebook, so a comment there would also qualify. If you want to comment and are not my “friend,” just ask!

Am I just a little giddy? Of course I am. I love the Stencil Girl line, and being part of it is quite an honor. I am in great company.

Fantasy LifeP.S. Please see the notes on Stencil Girl about how I made this triptych. I will add further details at a later date, but today I am going to have fizzy drinks, and do wild dance steps, and say “Yahoo” a lot–really, really loudly.

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Nancy Pobanz: Desert Artist

In just three minutes Nancy inspires you . . . .

Richard's Notes

Nancy Pobanz: Desert Artist from Miro Merrill on Vimeo.

My friend Ken O’Connell sent this video along to me done by Miro Merrill about the artist Nancy Pobanz. Her hand made books are fantastic and knowing the back story on the materials makes it so much better.

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I have been thinking and thinking about something for years now. Something crazy. Something I want to do, need to do.

Many signs have pointed the way: especially when I doubted whether this was the smartest way to go. I was afraid for my reputation, ha! As if I have much of a reputation to uphold. I am just a lone artist on a path to self understanding. A few others join me periodically, bless me with their interest, the fact that they care, then head off in their own directions.

Which is just as it should be.

Anyway, in a nut shell, I have some crochet projects I have to do. You heard that right, crochet. Hardly a fine arts endeavour, right? And I say, to hell with an endeavour having to be anything other than what the artist needs to do.

Am I going to tell you what I have to do? Absolutely not. This is really private stuff, that I’ll share after a lot of experimentation. I’ll maybe reveal a peak or two here and there but . . . . . I am not making any promises on that score.

And I will keep painting, keep making paper quilts, and paper jewelry, and vessels, and art pieces for my home, because I LOVE doing all these things, too.

I am willing to sit down at any and every banquet life spreads before me. And there are a lot of them.

I am lucky that way.

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A Theme Emerging

I have spent a number of months creating a book/journal using my Cracked Paper Quilt method.

Now I am adding images and words, with collage and paint. Two pages are nearing completion.

I use deli paper behind the pages I am painting, to protect them and prevent sticking.

Do you sense a theme emerging?

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My Home Is My Canvas

My husband has been retired for some time, working valiantly on our house. It has required a great deal of attention: roofing, electrical, plumbing, walls to rip out and replace, insulation, floors to redo and renew, new furnace, new water softener, new air conditioner. It would be accurate and easier to say EVERYTHING has and is being redone. He is a consummate do-it-yourselfer, but it gets tiresome doing it all yourself.

Enter my retirement. I am working on the house as well, but Ted has brought the house to a place where I can do the more decorative elements, play with surface design.

Our entire home is now my canvas. Actually, it is more like a whole raft of canvases.

A challenge, and a joy.

Playing with cord

Here I am adding a celtic design to an interior window trim with cord and hot glue. Then I covered the result with premixed tile adhesive, let it dry and painted the result.

The result is a little “rough” but I am happy with it. If I wanted machine precision, I would have bought window trim.

I have the top section to do yet. It is curved to fit a big rounded window, so that will require quite a few more hours (days) of play, yet.

I am creating these window trim pieces on the front porch, because the glue stinks. People comment that I have so much patience, to which I reply:

“No, this is fun. What requires patience is housework.”

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Entering the warrior’s world

does not mean having to accept violence as a way to deal with the challenges we encounter.

Rather, it means embracing whatever life presents us with courage, and using our creativity to transform our challenges into something meaningful, perhaps even beautiful.

I found the following quote on Sherri B.’s site:

Rejoicing in ordinary things is not sentimental or trite. It actually takes guts. Each time we drop our complaints and allow everyday good fortune to inspire us, we enter the warrior’s world. ~Pema Chödrön

Red Line

Red Line

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