holiday burn-out …
and hurrah for neighbors

Posted on Dec 2, 2016 | 0 comments

holiday burn-out … and hurrah for neighbors

This fall has been a whirlwind and so the usual last minute sewing for the holidays has been ratcheted up yet another notch. And then came the holiday burn-out.

Not for me, but for my trusty sewing machine. I had taken a quick snack break and then sat down to finish up the last batch of luggage tags. Hurrah! Lovely range of blue fabrics. Flipped the switch. Silence. Tried again. Unplugged. Replugged. Checked outlet and power cord. Silence. The only sound; a muffled whimper coming from the vicinity of my soul.

Pulled out the screwdriver and a fresh batch of hope. Aha! A blown fuse on the power supply board! Hurrah, that’s easy. And look, what pretty christmas colors on the board.

fuse

Okay, not so easy. Long story short-ish. New fuses were good, until I installed them. Called Tom (at Ann’s Fabrics in Canton), again. He helped diagnose and ordered a new power supply board which will arrive next week.

In the meantime, I have the best neighbors!

Turns out you can borrow not only sugar, flour, spices, refried beans, butter, eggs, parking spaces, and pet-sitting services BUT even a fabulous aqua vintage sewing machine to get me through the coming week.

My neighborhood rocks! Thank you!!!

Read More

tip of the day

Posted on Nov 2, 2016 | 0 comments

tip of the day

Wow. How many years have I been carrying a bag with a pincushion? How many times have I pierced my finger on said pins?

Years ago, my mother wove some lovely fabric and made me the bestest pincushion and needle folder. They travel with me regularly for all those sewing emergencies that come up if your life is fabric. And many was the time when I would reach for the pincushion and stab my finger.

ow

ow

Then one day, unexpectedly, my brain kicked in and did this:

duh ...

duh …

Yeah, that should not have taken 20 years … it’s not rocket science. And that takes me back to one of my all-time favorite comedy skits Mitchell & Webb Brain Surgery. Enjoy!

Read More

quality control is everything …
mini pets for art-o-mat

Posted on Aug 12, 2016 | 0 comments

quality control is everything  … mini pets for art-o-mat

Whether it’s an apron, quilt, pillow, or toy, I take pride in sewing with quality craftsmanship. It’s just one of the lessons my mother (Dora) instilled in me.

Just finished another batch of MINI Porta-pets for the Art-o-mat folks and was able to call in some help for that all important final QC check! After careful consideration, Morrison approved and the shipment went out yesterday. Maybe they will be arriving at an Art-o-mat near you?

Don’t know what Art-o-mat is? Check out their website or Facebook page!

Read More

pet escape!

Posted on May 19, 2016 | 0 comments

A large gathering of pillow pets (and their catnip toy friends!) escaped the confines of our deck and are now roaming the fabulous Cambridge Artists Cooperative! Stop by next time you’re in Harvard Square and see them hanging out in the window and on both floors of the gallery.

Well, maybe it wasn’t really an escape … I drove. But I am thrilled to have them invited to the gallery and honored to be included with so many incredible artists. If Cambridge isn’t on your usual route, check out their website to see photos of some beautiful jewelry, fiber, ceramics, glass, leather, sculpture and more. (And what better neighborhood to grab a meal!)

Morrison's zoo

Morrison’s zoo

Cambridge Artists’ Cooperative
59A Church Street
Cambridge, MA

617-868-4434

Read More

open what?

Posted on Mar 23, 2016 | 0 comments

open what?

It’s Newton Open Studios time again!

Last year I finally took the leap and showed my work during Newton Open Studios. I shared an exhibit space with 5 gifted artisans and had a wonderful time. And told everyone I knew how much fun it was. But I was surprised by the number of questions I received from friends who had never visited an open studios event. So, since Newton Open Studios is all about community, I thought I’d share some of those questions & answers.

What is Newton Open Studios?

Newton Open Studios is an annual self-guided tour of 50 pop-up exhibits/sales in homes, studios, and shared spaces all across Newton. It’s an opportunity to visit with 160 local artists and learn about their work in a relaxed non-gallery setting. And it’s free!

What will you see?

A wide range of fine art and crafts. Painters, illustrators, jewelers, potters, weavers, photographers, printers, sculptors, fiber artists, glass artists, and more. The breadth of Newton artists is amazing.

Who are the artists?

Your neighbors! This is an open non-juried event. Some artists are hobbyists, some have non-art day jobs, and others are full-time artists showing in multiple galleries. What they have in common is extending this invitation to the community. Many artists spend a majority of their time working alone, so it’s a joy to share their work with others.

Where are the open studios?

In your neighborhood! With 50 venues scattered across Newton there is bound to be one near you. Many artists show in their own studio, either in their home or a rented space. But not all venues are in the artist’s work studio. Some artists will share a larger exhibit space; the camaraderie of community is an added bonus! As you walk/drive around town, keep an eye out for bouquets of red balloons which indicate an open studio location.

What do I do when I get there?

Most artists will have a variety of finished work available. Some, especially those who open their home studio, will have works in progress to see. Browse. Ask questions about the process, materials, and how they began making art. Be honest (but kind) about what you like or dislike. The feedback is appreciated; after all, they invited you to visit.

Do I have to buy something?

Of course not (though the artists will be thrilled if you do). Among those who have items for sale there is a wide price range. You may see a stunning precious stone necklace, an 8 ft wide oil painting, a postcard print of a watercolor painting, or a ceramic spoon rest. Enjoy the browse, support the artist if you are so moved.

Okay, how do I start?

First, you need a map. You can download one from NewtonOpenStudios.org or pick up a copy at City Hall. The map and website have thumbnail photos of each artist’s work. Interested in a particular art media? Want to focus on a neighborhood? Looking for a specific artist? The map can help you get started. Also, stop by the Newton Free Library on the evening of Wednesday, April 6 for a preview of some of the work that will be exhibited (and dessert, too)!

What are the dates?

Newton Open Studios Preview Reception

Wednesday, April 6 at 7pm
Newton Free Library

Newton Open Studios

Saturday & Sunday, April 9 &10
11am-5pm

Where will I be?

This year I will be showing again at 72 Columbus Street, Newton Highlands (the Woman’s Club Workshop building). In addition to myself, there will be six other award-winning artisans at the venue showing weaving, jewelry, ceramics, and fish rubbings. More details at Artisans at 72 Columbus St. We can’t wait to meet you!

Read More

Mo’ Mo

Posted on Mar 20, 2016 | 6 comments

Morrison the muse. Who knew his furry persona would inspire so many fabric conversations … and not just about dry cleaning bills!

Nancy Zieman’s blog (one of the thousands I seem to subscribe to) had a call for a pillow contest. I’ve been playing with fabric collage and thread painting so I thought this would be the perfect incentive for trying a pet portrait.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough daylight left before the contest entry deadline to get a good picture. But I got a better one this morning … and, of course, Morrison has an uncanny ability to sense a photo op …

mo_collage_photobomb

I made mistakes, ripped out more than a few stiches and pieces of fabric, finally got the eyes to not look possessed, and came up with a quite passable portrait. Then I added a fabric frame with a bit of flat piping and sewed it up into a pillow.

mo_collage_couchI was particularly happy with: the swirls fabric I used for part of the ears, the print did the job of conjuring the wispy fur; using thread painting to soften the eyes; and adding the flat flange inside the frame. The stuff I don’t like? I’ll think about that tomorrow.

This was a fun project and learned a lot as I worked and ripped. Thank you Nancy Z for unknowingly pushing me to do it!


Nancy Zieman's 2016 Pillow Challenge

– See more at: http://www.nancyzieman.com/blog/sewing-2/nancy-ziemans-second-annual-pillow-challenge/#sthash.xkOWMqep.dpuf

Read More

d-liver …
d-letter …
d-sooner …
d-better!

Posted on Mar 10, 2016 | 0 comments

It’s old school time! Specifically old junior high school time.

For those who don’t remember, we used to have to put all our facebook statuses, instagram pictures, and tweets on paper and then send them via snail mail to our friends. It could take a week or more before Laurie found out that Kathy had broken up with Jim at Julie’s party after making out with Steve who was supposed to be Linda’s boyfriend!!!

Anyway, in a fit of cleaning, I recently found some old letters and got the urge to play. After some photography and photoshop, I had the images printed on fabric and made some envelope-sized purses for my girlfriends who had sent those letters so long ago. (Please note the 8¢ stamp!)

And for those who don’t understand the title of this post … please enjoy the Motown’s marvelous Marvelettes and Please Mr. Postman.

Ah, so nice to occasionally get some vindication for all the “stuff” I’ve kept around for all these years!

envelope bag

Read More