Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Starving Artist's Way

So, I just posted two minutes ago, but I just read this funny little quote and wanted to share it with someone, and you are my someone. This is talking about meals, if you don't get that from reading it.

"Keep it interesting: You may not have endless funds to pay your filet mignon bill, but you still shouldn't be eating the same thing everyday. If all you ate were one meal over and over, you'd probably get scurvy or some other oddball sailor's illness. At any rate, the lack of variety gets dull, and dull is not by any means the Starving Artist's Way."

I agree completely. Dull is not the starving artist's way at all. I'm liking this book already.

Books and more books!

Although I often dread the start of another school year I do always enjoy the addition to my library. This semester's lack of art history classes did not do much to add anything, but I did end up throwing a couple things into the ol' impulsive shopping cart. It has kind of been a catastrophey as far as getting my books goes though, it did end up okay... But stressful non the less. (hmmm... a fire truck just went by, I hope everything is okay...) Anyway, so UPS tried to drop off my Coffee Toddy stuff a bit ago and I missed it and then I missed it again.... so I needed to go pick that up today. And then my books, which I needed yesterday for my french classes, were missed yesterday... and so I called and told them to just leave them at the UPS distrubution center because I needed to pick up the Toddy package.... so I go to pick up the Toddy there around 4:20ish.... and my books are "out for delivery"... I just felt this immediate sense of dread that they were being delivered to my house while I was gone and I would miss them again while picking up the package that I missed the other day (irony anyone), anyway so I get out of there about 4:30 and I have images in my mind of the truck driving off and me chasing it in my car around dekalb honking and yelling like a mad woman (I wouldn't really do that would I? hope not). So get home.... walk up the steps... there is no "missed delivery" tag on my door... and there is my little package in the corner of my door (my door is really secluded)! So oh joy I got my books... but seriously, why could they have left it yesterday so I could have had my homework done for today's classes... so it goes I guess.

In fact, things like that have been happening a lot lately, I suppose for their own good reasons, but it's getting annoying... for instance two short summaries of me being thankful and annoyed at the same time.

1. The books - I'm glad he just left them and I didn't miss my books again, but I'm a bit peevish about the fact that they didn't just leave them yesterday.

2. Painting Class - I am so grateful that I am passing out of the next two levels of painting classes, it will save me a lot of money (about $2000+), it will save me time, it will save me the annoyance of dealing with "paint a square with a gradient and duotone of blue and brown and a cast shadow." It's like being forced to take a class on addition when you know how to do calculus. It's not that it's a "bad" class, it's just boring and for me a little uninspiring.... And I totally just started ranting, but I'm just going to leave it and go on... Point being... Why the heck did they tell me that there was no way no how never ever that I could just submit my portfolio to test out of painting 1-3... I mean, I could be graduating at the end of this year if I would have known that... It's just annoying... But it worked out okay.

It's just one of those things where I am so relieved and I want to be happy, but I'm not because I am annoyed at the same time... It's frustrating.

Okay, so enough of that... Books!
I received:
En Bonne Forme, which is my french textbook
The Art of Southeast Asia, which is my Southeast Asia art history class textbook
The Starving Artist's Way, which is just something that I really wanted to get and was really cheap.

On the way:
The Artist's Handbook of Materials and Techniques The Painter's Handbook: A Complete Reference En Bonne Forme: Cahier De Travail Et De Laboratoire An Atlas of Animal Anatomy for Artists The Vegetarian Family Cookbook Cats On Quilts Vegetarian Meals For People On-The-Go : 101 Quick & Easy Recipes

Mostly more textbooks, but also some cookbooks and Cats on Quilts! Okay, so I don't know why, but I really love that book, I just flip through it and get inspired! It was only $4 so I couldn't say no to it... It actually might have been less, I don't remember now, but cheap, and I enjoy it... and my sentences are getting fragmented and silly. It is a little book that is about 6"x6" and only 60 pages, maybe less, and it is just a bunch of images of cats on textiles throughout western history.... back to medieval time.

Oh yeah and on a side note... The paintings by Eduard Munch were recovered! Yea!!!!!!!!!

And on that happy note I will leave you.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Wee! More good news!

So, my painting class went really well. I talked to my professor, who is the head of the painting program, and he is going to pass me out of painting 2 and 3 and stick me right into painting 4 (which you have to take 3 times, it's essentially an independent study). I'm going to present my portfolio on Tuesday and he's going to look it over (be completely impressed I'm sure) and pass it on for comity approval (and i'm sure they will be completely impressed as well) and then I will have 2 less classes to take at the ol' niu! So, just for something to show. Here is one of the painting assignments that i did last semester that I don't want to have to do again (I have my own ideas thank you very much).

I actually like this painting and I think it turned out well enough, but the point is... I don't like candy and it was not my idea to paint it and although I did my best to make the most of the situation... I really want to focus on a theme that I could show in a gallery, I mean, candy is nice and all, but it's not something I would ever put in a gallery or use as a representitive of my own work.

This is my work, my ideas, I love it, I am proud of it, it represents who I am, my tastes, my feeling, issues that I am concerned about, it is something that I would put in a gallery.

I mean, it's not great ideas, i'm not some kind of genius or anything, but it's not somebody elses stupid idea either, and that is what makes me happy.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

School is a starting!

Really quick an update:
One more week to be entered into the drawing at crafty leftovers for a kit.
The September Swap over at Quilt Block Swap has closed, please email me if you would like to enter the October Swap.
My new gallery site is being worked on and should be up and running in a couple months, I just bought the domain, so it now has a home.
Work is also well underway on new business cards and I am going to start putting out a bi-annual catalog that will correspond with my new gallery site.

On to other things....

So today was the second day of class. I am, so fair, excited about them all... I have one tonight, but other than that I have been to them all and met all of my teachers. Time will tell, but so far I like them.

I am taking:
Advanced French grammar and composition
Introduction to Sculpture
3-D forms in fiber with an concentration on site specific work (yea! More fun outside)
India and Southeast Asian art history
Painting II

Because it is really my 4th painting class and not my second I am going to ask if I can take it as an independent study.... Hopefully he will let me, but I have not met this professor yet, except a brief "make sure you lock the cabinet when you are done" type meeting in the painting studio. We will see how it goes... I am being made to get two new sketch books (one for sculpture and one for fiber)... Like they really need to make me. I actually needed to buy a new one anyone because my primary one is almost finished.

For my sculpture class I'm thinking about making a bunch of casts of little 6 inch trees and then put them all together so they support a book.... We will see, I need to develop it more....

For my site specific work I really have no idea....

For painting if he lets me do an independent study I want to further explore the theme of my work over the summer... More organic forms, more taking pictures outdoors... Hopefully I will be able to tie it in with the site specific work....

My plan is that throughout all of my classes I maintain the same theme that I explored this summer so that way I will have a large enough body of work to 1) put in a portfolio and 2) fill a gallery space so I can have a solo show.

I also have some good news outside of school! It is okay with my new landlords that I keep my ferret (Mr b or Mr beuler as I call him) so Jason brought him back out this way and I am staying in this apartment for another year! Woo! I am so excited and happy beyond words!

I will leave you on that happy note!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Support a Starving Artist Today!

Well, so I'm thinking about taking the big leap soon into financial independents... scary right. So, why am I telling you all this? Because, I am hoping that, instead of taking out more student loans, I will be able to craft myself to financial independents. So I'm going to publish a little price list here for reference, and if you would like to order something, e-mail me at

Sewing kits: $25 ea (includes needles, pins, thread, and little scissors)

Dish Cloths: 4/$25 or $7 ea

Catnip Pillows: $6 ea

Lavender Pillows: $6 ea
(same as catnip pillows, but filled with lavender instead. Can be warmed up and put in pockets or placed in drawers to keep things fresh)

Water Bottle Sling: $25 ea

Pencil Clutch: $15 ea

Change Purse: $7.50 ea

Orders over $100 get free shipping.

All items are made when ordered, each is unique and handmade. Once your order is placed I will e-mail you about specifications (colors, style, theme, etc).

I'm thinking about offering a Crafty Leftovers Kit of the Month subscription.
It would be $15 a month and you would get your choice of a knitting or a sewing pattern.
Each kit would include enough to make two of the pattern, a copy of the pattern, and a little suprise. Let me know if you are interested.

Help support a starving artist! Order something for yourself and your friends!

Picture Time!

Okay, so I finally put the pictures I had taken of the finished sewing kit onto my computer. And here it is:

I made two more lids after this, and they are ready to go as far as the top goes, but I need to attatch the lip and make 3 bottoms (i didn't have time to make another bottom for my mom's sewing kit, so I used the first one that I had made).

I also made another dishrag from the pattern over at Crafty Leftovers. I like the way the variagated blue looks. This dishrag is much better than the first one that I made. I know it's just striped, how hard is that, but what's different about it is that it uses alternating wool and cotton, which makes it really good at scrubing pots and pans clean without scratching them. Neat aye?

Well that's about it for now. I'm about to head to work (at Encore) and have quite the busy day ahead of me. I am going to go look at two appartments when I get out of work and then start training at my new job (the art desk in the VCB) later this evening. I also have intentions of baking a cake tonight to welcome my new neighbors, and also need to call my landlords about pet policy and where to send rent money... geeze, what a day!

Have a good one!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Yea! Crafty Leftovers!

Woo, I just posted my 4th pattern over at Crafty Leftovers, you should go check it out. To give you a little taste of it here is a picture.

I just finished a project of my own, it only took me a year! I will post some pictures of that tomorrow.

Have a good Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Sewing Kit

Well it has been gifted, so now I can show you the other sewing kit lid that I made. Here she be:

I couldn't find the picture of the finished kit, so I will post that later.

That's all for now! Have a good day!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Work in Progress Friday!

Wow, so I am actually catching on and posting my first work in progress Friday! How exciting... And yes I do get really excited fairly easily.

So, I have been working on my little sewing kit all week and I finally finished it yesterday (along with other fun gifty things)! I'm so excited about the sewing kit. I used scraps of fabric, cardboard, and glue to make the box and 2-ply wool to execute the crewel work on the lid. I used all split stitch, but I already have another one in the works and it is way more complicated. It uses split stitch, satin stitch, and French knots! Geeze!

I have some good side news too. I was hired to knit a sweater for a yarn company and they are going to pay me and give me free yarn (although I don't get to keep the sweater that I knit for them, but that's okay, I don't really like sweaters made with bulky yarn anyway). I can say that it is 11 skeins of really good yarn in new fall colors and it's going to take 35 hours of knitting and that it's going to be about 1100 yards of yarn to make it and it has to be done in 2 weeks or 1 month.. But if I get it done in 2 weeks they will pay me more! I like more money! So for the next 2 weeks, in the words of Brenda of cast on, I will pick up those "pointy sticks" and "knit, knit like the wind."

I'm also in the midst of designing logos for the quilt block swap blog and crafty leftovers. This is m first try for crafty leftovers, we will see though, I may use it, or I may just play around some more.
Lets see, what else... hmm... I'm working on more sewing kits and am thinking about offering them up for sale for... Well... I'm not sure how much.. I'm going to have to see how long it takes me to make each one.

I am going to put the cabled opera gloves back on the needles soon, I need them done by winter. They will be soooo warm!

I stopped a little after this, I need to figure out the stitch counts for the thumb gusset and the cables and etc... What a pain. I suppose that's what happens when you just make up your own thing and then have to make one the exact same... So it goes.

So, I'm kind of in a tough spot, I'm going out of town this weekend, and I want to take some knitting with me (it helps me to listen and not put my foot in my mouth), but it all of my projects I'm at spots where I need to pay attention and count things... Every single knitting project! How annoying. So I got some yarn for crewel today (off the spool so it was only 50 cents and then I get an employee discount off of that! So really cheap, that's the point, all you out there who I have to justify my expenditures for). Anyway, it's some flax wool and some straight wool, I got about $4 worth. I'm going to make some more art nouveau style sewing kit tops this weekend. I knew there was a good reason I bought that book on art nouveau!

Okay, enough yacking for now, have a good weekend!


Okay, so I'm sure most of you out there in bloggerdom are not really fastinated by my reading and crafting habits, but if you are, just so you know I updated my "projects" and "current reads" lists in the sidebar. I have been crafting up a frenzy and have a lot of pictures to post, but because some of them are gifts they will not be posted until the weekend (Saturday or Sunday).

I might, if I get a chance to, post some non-gift pictures tonight... but it is looking doubtful, I'm going apartment hunting!

Happy Crafty Friday!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Craft Update Tuesday

Well there really isn't a reason why today is craft update day, it just turned out that way. So here are my works in progress and recently finished items:

This is going to be the top of a sewing kit box that I am working on for a possible crafty leftovers pattern. I used split stitch, back stitch and french knots to make the little bush and bird.

These are some catnip and lavender pouches that I made (each in their own separate pouches thank you). You can put them in the microwave to warm them up and it makes them very pungent... in the case of the catnip it drives the kitties wild. This is also and possible future crafty leftovers pattern.
And here is an shmock that is in the works, or at least was when this picture was taken. I have sence added a button and button hole on the back and trim along the bottom. I'm thinking about adding a pocket or two, but that can come later.
LinkSo that's about it for now. Go comment on Crafty Leftovers and get yourself entered into a drawing for a kit! And also go sign up for the September Quilt Block Swap!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Crafty Leftovers

Well the new pattern went up over at crafty leftovers, nothing too fancy, but an easy to make wash rag. The neat thing about it is that it is half felted for wonderful cleaning goodness. I still need to post a picture of what is looks like when completed, but I have not been able to get online with my computer, so hopefully tonight pictures will go up. Speaking of cleaning goodness I have been cleaning my apartment for, well, since Thursday... but deep cleaning. It's really been good, I'm not usually excited about cleaning, but I rearranged my studio space and organized it and that is always inspiring, it makes me want to make stuff... so I think I will. I have a bunch of projects in the works right now, how exciting! A lot of it is the test items for Crafty Leftovers. Oh I also went through and photographed all of my drawings from my life drawing class that I took last fall. It kind of makes me happy that I think all those drawings are really bad... that means that I've gotten better in the last year.

Sorry there are no pictures, maybe I will do an add in post and post pictures of my studio and the wash clothes... we will see.

Have a good Saturday!

Editted in:
Okay so this is really dark, but you can deal with it I'm sure.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Quilt Blocks!

I'm not sure how many of you check out the quilt block swap that I am hosting, so I thought I would post pictures of the blocks that I made here.

Well crap, that is the only one you can see for now because blogger won't let me add another picture... I will try again later.

Have a good day!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Chicago recap with pictures!

Okay, so finally, I put the pictures of chicago onto my computer so I could actually show them to you! So here you are:

Okay, so this is all I can post right now because I need to go to work.

Go to Crafty Leftovers and post a comment to be entered into the drawing, only two days left!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Here I am!

Oh my, almost a week since my last post! What a travesty! I am almost done with my French class so hopefully things will find a sense of regularity and I will get things back on schedule. Right now my schedule is something like: wake up, drink coffee, do homework, study, go to school, drink coffee, go to work, drink coffee, study and do homework, drink coffee, sleep... And start at the beginning again... I am getting realllllly tired, but it's almost done and it will be worth it because I get to start my advanced French classes this fall, which is so exciting!

Anyway, enough of my moaning, on to more interesting things like: those progress photos of my art project I promised and some updates.

This was my first attempt at weaving
This was later on in the project when I had made 11 others
Here were the first four that I made, the jute string was he hardest to use and I about ripped my fingernails off trying to (unsuccessfully) pack the fibers together.

Here's the finished stack of them without the ends woven in.I made a total of seven blocks and here are six of them in various stages of completion.

This was my test print on illustration board, I wanted to decide on what patterning effect to use.
This vellum is what was used for the light boxes, it is really sturdy and semi transparent, it worked perfectly!And the finished light boxes.
I just wanted to show you some close ups of the textiles, so you could see what the printed images looked like. It was suprising to see what fibers took well to the ink and which ones didn't.

Here is the textile piece in it's totality.

So that is what I spent 4 weeks of my summer doing, it was actually really time consuming, but I did enjoy it. I'm hoping to get into a gallery and sell off the 4 light boxes, but I need to find a proper lighting system for them first, I will keep you posted on that.

So, now it is time for the updates!
Nicole won the drawing over at Crafty Leftovers and she has been sent a package that includes a color copy of the water bottle sling pattern and two skiens of Paton's Decor yarn in Navy and Light Country Blue. Only two people have posted comments on the new pattern, so go make a comment and you will have a good chance of winning! You get a kit for any pattern previously posted! And I pay the postage too, so no cost to you at all.

Another note on Crafty Leftovers: Just so you know, all the patterns are free and you should make them and send me pictures. It will make me happy.

Also, thanks to Sister Diane of Crafty Pod who says that she will mention Crafty Leftovers on her show! Yah!

The August swap is officially underway at Quilt Block Swap and the deadline for the Sept swap is August 27th. There are a lot of really great blocks being made, you should go check them out. I am not personally participating in the swap this month because some admin stuff needs to get done. I am going to come up with some designs for the banner, do some shameless promotion, and write some informative posts on quilting things. For example maybe a short history of quilting, some tutorials on different techniques, maybe some short posts on fiber arts today and in the past, stuff like that. I was think I could do research now and come up with quite a few different ones and then post them periodically (like once every two weeks or so). Anyway, that it the plan, hopefully it goes well.

So now back to the "coffee, homework, coffee, study..." routine.