Sunday, September 26, 2010

Inspired by my own Magic Babies

It's been a busy fall so far. Here is a quick post showing you what I have been up to the past few weeks.

Here is one of my Magic Baby muses with her daddy's guitar. She is wearing her fruity flower dress, one of my early prototypes. Since the knot shoulder closure proved to be difficult in dressing her, I have redesigned the shoulder closure. Still, she looks adorable, don't you think?

According to their mothers, all of my Magic Babies are growing like weeds, and need new clothes. I have gone back to my upcycling ways from thirty years ago, when I was a young mother and had to refashion existing clothes for my children. Here are a few examples that I made for the new crop of babies in the family.

This is a cute swing top with matching pants. I upcycled a sweatshirt for the top, then added some applique and a knit contrast edge. Can't wait to see her wearing it. For the pants, I had some matching stretch baby wale corduroy. Perfect!

For this next three piece outfit, I used part of a stash of clothing my sister recently gave to me. This was made from a sweater skirt and top that had been my mothers over two decades ago. I paired it with a paisley challis, made matching buttons, added some lace, and voila!

The challis was tricky to work with on top of the knit, but I just moved slowly, and it worked. I used the existing sweater neck edge, but sewed it on separately. The challis band extends around the back into cute ties. I talked my husband into filming a tutorial while I made the matching buttons. I'll post a link to that later.

The matching sweater skirt has a soft waistband and a challis and lace edge.  I added a pleated skirt from the lightweight challis, which hangs underneath the knit.
For my other little Magic Baby girl, I took an existing onesie and added a double ruffled skirt with the pre-made sheer trim. Then, from the remnants of a purchased fleece blanket, I couldn't resist whipping up the polka dot jumper!

There are many more to show you, but that is enough for now. I will finish with two new designs, not made from something else. The first is a layered skirt made from sheers and tulle. My daughter calls it the "Prom Dress." The last is a custom order I just finished. It is a size 8, and is a version of my Little Frenchy design for toddlers. I call the bigger size the Frenchy Girl.

I just finished a new coat design made with polka dots for winter. I call it the Twirl Coat. More to come!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

This Way, Please, Part 2: It's Hell Getting Old

Here are some more pix from my visit last week to Clare Murray Adams' studio. The day ended with a quick dinner at home before heading out to the gallery at BayArts for the member's show opening. My friend Gail Crum's wonderful piece, It's Hell Getting Old, was one of 50 pieces juried into the exhibition!

It's Hell Getting Old, a mixed media artwork by Gail Crum

My friend Gail inside the free-standing library. 

One of Clare's artworks onsite

Everywhere you looked, indoors and out, Clare and her artist husband are surrounded by artwork. It doesn't get any better than that!

Artwork everywhere! Here are some of John's sculptures

After an inspirational tour of the property, we sat in the living room for dessert. How can you not love the Rooster Chair?

After stopping by the opening to see Gail's new work, we headed over to a local winery to see one of our favorite musicians perform, Cletus Black.  A fabulous bluesy singer-songwriter, Cletus is also just a really cool guy. I have never seen anyone so comfortable in their own skin.

Cletus at the winery
It was the perfect ending to a fabulous day.

It may be hell getting old, but I plan to do it surrounded by art and artists; this is what keeps us young at heart.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

This Way, Please, Part 1


Ah, yes, this way, please. I love this journal, because I treasure my collection of "body parts" images, snapped by my husband at my request. I use them all the time in my artwork.

I am teaching a journal making workshop here locally next month, on October 2nd. All students (young adults welcome) will learn how to make a hand bound Japanese stab-stitch journal. In addition, we will discuss journaling techniques, and I will get the class started by showing them (this could mean YOU) how to "consecrate" their work.  The picture below shows a detail of the binding technique, which I have utilized on one of my own personal journals.

Last Friday was a rare "out of the house" day for me. I get so busy working, that sometimes weeks go by in
which I realize I haven't seen any people...and I'm a Taurus!! Believe, this can be painful. Anyway, my
artist friend Gail Crum and I made a studio visit last week. We talked art all the way there and all the way home, a total of three hours in the car. We also talked art while visiting the artist studio, of course, and we were joined by another mutual friend for lunch, so I got to talk books, as well. It was a lot of fun. Clare Murray Adams and I have been friends for a long time, and our creative paths have aligned themselves through sheer destiny, it sometimes seems.

Here is the door to Clare Murray's studio:

 It was such an inviting and inspiring location. Here is some of what we saw:
                                         Zippered rocks and zippered sticks:

                                   and a cool collaborative project Clare is doing with Oberlin artist Rebecca Cross:

And all of this before lunch! More to come in This Way, Please, Part II.