Monday, October 29, 2007

Holiday Open House at Prairie Fibers Co.

Coming soon - Holiday open house on Nov. 15 - 17 at Prairie Fibers Company, 330 Main St., Ames, Iowa. If you are in the area, be sure to stop by and say hello. The owner, my friend Kimberly, has invited me to bring my jewelry which will be on display for sale. I will be demonstrating painting on fabric during the open house.
Prairie Fibers Co. is a unique store where anyone interested in textiles, mixed media, and knitting should come. Kimberly is an expert with natural dyeing techniques as well as a gifted artist. I really hope you'll stop by if you can.

Today's pic is a denim tote that I painted using Setacolor Paints which I purchased at Prairie Fibers Co. I really appreciate that the opaque colors have good coverage on the dark denim fabric. Heat set the paint once it is dry, and the fabric is washable.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Butterfly Magic

I'm spending a couple days with Mom & one of my brothers. I didn't bring my camera this time (and I missed out on getting gorgeous shots of the moon rise).
Some years Monarch butterflies come here in droves during their fall migration. I've been thinking about them this week. One artist I enjoyed meeting on the artist studio tour designs jewelry using butterfly wings. She gets the wings from conservatories who collect them from naturally deceased butterflies. In addition to Monarchs, she used wings from Blue Morphs. One side of their wings is the most astounding irridescent blue. The other side is shades of brown with a coral red "eye". On this computer there happens to be copies of some digital play I did with pictures of a Blue Morph. That's what today's pictures are.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Lincoln Highway Artists Studio Tour Part 3

Only 2 more stops for us on this year's tour. I didn't get to all I hoped for, but I came close.
Patricia Kimle is best known for her beautifully detailed polymer clay jewelry. She has added silver work and precious metal clay design to her resume, and she has designed a unique line of jewelry combining them all. Patricia incorporates scripture and nature images in her designs to create sophisticated wearable art which can be found on her website, She is also the author of a beautiful book and several magazine articles.
Our last stop was at the glass blowing studio of Art Ciccotti. When we arrived, he was in the early stages of forming what became a very organic-looking vase. The tremendous heat from the furnace was welcome as the day was becoming quite chill. Todd treated me to a very special early birthday gift and allowed me to select one of Art's pieces from the adjoining showroom. He makes wonderful glass balls that are perfect for Christmas. I've given several of them away over the years, but never purchased anything for myself. Now I have a beautiful vessel of my own on the top of my dresser. YEAH!

What a great way to end this year's tour.

Lincoln Highway Artists Studio Tour Part 2

After today's worship service, I was back on the studio tour - solo- with my first stop at the Octagon Center for the Arts. I enjoyed a wonderful conversation with jewelry designer, Gail Hashemi-Toroghi. Her work features exquisite butterfly wings that are set in silver and protected by resin. I was also encouraged by a water media painter, Joseph Murray, who shared some great tips.

CASA is Creative Artists' Studio of Ames. I have attended several open house events there and never tire of seeing what the artists are doing. Many gifted artists create within these walls. I had extended conversations with 3 of the artists. Chris Cowan is a painter who works with several media. She was a ribbon winner in this year's Iowa Watercolor Society show. Her winning painting is gorgeous. She also shared works from the IWS workshop in Sept. Norma Wolfe is another painter who attended the same workshop and she also displayed one of her works in progress from it. Norma has another project where she allows visitors to add a piece of ephemera to the frame around her art. What fun!

My last stop at CASA was with calligrapher extraordinaire, Dot Prater. Even without reading her works, they bring pleasure with her composition and the rhythm the marks make on the page. She is also accomplished at making books which are beautiful. Dot demos her art by making bookmarks. Today's image is the bookmarks she created for us. Todd joined me on the tour at this point.
The tour continues in my next post.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Lincoln Highway Artists Studio Tour 2007

What a fun, informative, inspiring and stimulating weekend this has been attending the 4th annual Lincoln Highway Artists Studio Tour. It is held in central Iowa and includes several talented artists along or near this historic route.
Yesterday I went with two great friends, Kandy & Lucky, to State Center and Marshalltown studios and galleries. In State Center, we met several artists displaying their art in businesses located in early 20th century buildings. One of them is the Watkins Grocery museum, so we had a taste of history as well as art. Our first stop in Marshalltown was the Community College where we were delighted to find an exhibition of naturally dyed silk fabric art works. The Fisher Community Center in Marshalltown is a gem with its wonderful Impressionist collection. Another treasure was a gallery shop, The Perfect Setting. Several artists were demonstrating their work. The staff and artists were delightful. I was wearing jewelry featuring lampwork by my friend Tera of Beady Girl Beads. The staff really loved her beads. We got a tip from them for a good Mexican restaurant just down the street. It's great to have time to enjoy your friends like that.

By this time, I had to watch the clock because I had a secret mission for the day. Kandy's husband was preparing a SURPRISE birthday party for her and I needed to guide our time to get us back to her home between 4:15 - 4:30. There were several studios left to visit and everyone was acting like we had all the time in the world. So I said a prayer and asked for success getting the surprise pulled off and on time. We stopped at a fun gift store in Nevada. The plan all fell together after that and we made it to the party by 4:20. Kandy was certainly surprised.
Next post - Sunday studios

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Windy Day for Nevada Uncorked Show

I'm still trying to get my energy back after last Saturday's show. This was my first outdoor show and it was evident that I wasn't prepared for so much wind. We'll need to plan some different displays for future shows.

Attendence was pretty good considering this was the first year this event was held. Attendees were more interested in sampling the wines that were offered by local Iowa wineries than buying the art. Still, it was good exposure of my business to the locals.

When we were trying to set up, I got very discouraged when I realized I wouldn't be able have my display look the way I had planned. It was great having my husband there to help and encourage me. I was also encouraged by the positive attitude of my neighbor for the day - Brandie Butcher Isely of Little Pieces of Art. I enjoyed sharing art talk with her during the lulls.

One of my painting buddies was a real angel, too. Mari helped by getting decorative weights to help keep lighter items anchored. She helped get the jewelry arranged and brought us bottled water (which I forgot to bring.)

Last thanks go to my sister & nephew who were great helpers when it was time to pack up at the end of the day. They came nearly 100 miles just for the show.

We ended the long day with a great dinner at a local favorite, Hickory Park Restaurant. Brandie & her daughter joined my sis, nephew, hubby & me for a very enjoyable time.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Work Work Work

I'm taking a break from Nevada Uncorked preparations. The show is Oct. 6th, 1-7, THIS SATURDAY! Happily, I've had a flood of ideas to keep me moving ahead with new jewelry; however, time is running out. I still need to photograph & tag all the new items.
This past weekend, Todd & I made weights for the tent. I'm blessed to have such a clever & helpful husband. We filled 3" PVC tubing with concrete. Chain runs through the core for strength and a heavy eyelet is attached to the top of the column. We were getting set up to make them when a thunderstorm popped up. The lightning was pretty fierce, so we waited for the storm to pass before we completed the job.

The weather forecast for Saturday is showing rain, but I'm hoping and praying that will change. My prayer is for a dry, warm, and very gentle breezy day.... something like the day in the photo I posted today. This scene is taken on the road I where grew up (at the farm behind the trees on the right). I added the Irish Blessing for a special request last year.

If you're local, I hope to see you at the show Saturday.