Friday, September 24, 2010

{Fabric Friday} framable fabric ...

I just ran across a shop this week via Etsy that I wanted to share called Mummysam. This shop is full of wonderful things that caught my attention- letterpress prints, dolls, & fabric.  The fabric combines two things that I really love- textiles & unique illustrations. This artist has her fabric digitally printed via Spoonflower which is something that I have been interested in exploring for some time now with my own work. 

I am really drawn to the style, palette, and imagery of these fabrics and would be tempted to frame them among many other things. Wouldn't they be great included in a quilt? Happy Fabric Friday! {images via Mummysam shop}

Thursday, September 23, 2010


{image via here }

I'm a huge fan of anything from Aardman Animations (creators of Wallace & Gromit) and  I was really excited when I spotted their new project Dot, on one of my favorite blogs, Kickcan & Konkers. This features the world's smallest stop-motion animation character- shot on a Nokia N8 camera phone that's fitted with a CellScope. The art piece used in the film is also called Dot, and was made by Will Studd an Ed Patterson, of Sumo Science, for Aardmann. 

As always, I am just as interested in how these wonderful little short features are made and I loved watching  this "making of" video too. -Simply amazing. Hope you enjoyed it! 

*I also wanted to say how touched I am at all of the sweet & supportive comments that were left on yesterdays post. Thank you!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Got the Blues...

I've got the blues today and I'm feeling a bit distracted. An issue arose the other day and I can't stop thinking about it. What results from thoughts like this rattling in my brain  usually, is a   complete lack of productivity. What I need to do more than anything right now, is get to the studio and work. So, I am going to put down a few words  on the subject at hand, and then be done with it. 

As an artist, the issue of ripping off other peoples ideas is one that is discussed often in  both an academic setting and just among fellow artistic people over coffee or beer. This is not an new issue or one that will go away. Being a creative person means you have to figure out your philosophy about the whole concept because chances are, sometime in your life, your ideas will be stolen or borrowed (however you like to look at it). I think it's just human nature- as sad as that may be. I have discussed this issue at great length in the painting & drawing classes that I have taught at the college along with having many conversations with my husband (who is also an artist and art prof.). The internet makes this subject so much more common and prevalent. I see it written about all the time on blogs & in tweets (on twitter). If you are an artistic individual who has chosen to have a website, blog, or FB account, where you ideas are out there in the world, then you have completely opened yourself up to being copied. I also truly believe that if you are a person that is very aware and "present" in the world, then it is very likely to come up with similar ideas to other involved & "present" people. Color, shapes, materials, and subject matter are things that often come in waves as a response to a person's surroundings. So, it would be natural to find similar things explored among creatives. But out and out stealing is another thing. Everyone has their own way of handling this sort of thing and  I thought I would share my view on it. 

Ok, so what sparked this little post (that is turning into a long post) you ask? I just saw one of my thread drawings (debuted in April) completely copied by a well known designer & available at a very large department store. My first reaction was that I wanted to barf. I studied the images over and over again - sort of in disbelief really. You see, as a small independent designer, I always assume things are easier and better if you have money and an entire staff to help design your items and help you run your company. The idea of a designer "think tank" seems really exciting to me. I would assume that there would be no reason to search for ideas to "borrow" on the web. That being said, it happened - there is no question about the fact that my drawing & idea was used. Now is when I insert my philosophy and ignore my queazy stomach. Here I go- ....I am going to take the side of feeling flattered and extremely grateful that I have the ability to generate ideas at a rapid pace. Chris and I always talk about how it is better to be the person thinking & executing the ideas , than the person stealing them. I also have to remember that I always document my artistic process openly via Facebook or this blog with no control as to what people do with that information.  After all, this sort of thing only happens if it is a good design, right? 

So that is that. I'm done.... case closed. All that is left to do now is what I always do when I am frustrated. See below... 

Ah.... now that felt good! Nothing like a little boogying & a lot of laughing to get things in perspective. Now I am off to the studio to create and make more stuff. Thanks for listening! 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Where Is Here?

I was recently asked by someone who was doing a blog feature on artists in this area,  to take a picture of myself in a favorite northwest spot. You may remember me mentioning in a previous post that I tend to shy away from the camera and the idea of having my picture taken sometimes makes me anxious. But, it sounded like a fun project so I agreed to go along with it. Besides, I am meeting so many wonderful people via the web, that it is a great opportunity to share where "here" is. In order to get this picture however, I needed Chris' help (the camera timer can only do so much). Our schedules are a bit crazy these days & Chris started teaching at the college yesterday. Which means our window of opportunity to get some photos before my deadline was very slim. Yesterday had to be the day - after class, and on the way to pick up Sayer from my parents' house, that the pictures would be taken. 

True to the reputation of this area, we have been experiencing a lot of rain lately and yesterday there was a downpour! Being that this was the only time to take pictures, I was a little concerned. However, I did want the pictures to be authentic so when Chris got home we just headed out - I grabbed a hat and that was that. One thing about the weather here, is that there are little sun breaks now and then. I have learned that it is better to go with the flow and work with the weather, rather than fight it. So we did and it was a lot of fun. We started on riverfront in downtown Mount Vernon (where the farmer's market is), then took the backroads, all the way to La Conner. We stopped when we saw something we liked. 

I have cruised these same backroads since I first got my driver's license. They are peaceful and picturesque. As much as I moan about living in my home town now- I never tire of the scenery. Chris and I both love old barns and have always dreamed of renovating one to live in. There are so many cool ones scattered throughout Mount Vernon. This is just one of them that I made Chris stop for yesterday. 

As we got closer to La Conner, we had to make another stop - for a family of deer. We were in one of my favorite Mount Vernon areas and not too far from a place I used to work in high school (a little pottery studio that is no longer there). 

So, this is where I am from and where I now hang my hat. I have to say, I am at peace with being here finally. I have fought it over the years, but having my own family and seeing it through their eyes gives me a whole new perspective. Having lived other places, I do now realize how beautiful it is in Mount Vernon.  And seriously, how many places can you see a peacock cross the road on your way home?

Monday, September 20, 2010

{Music Monday} as sweet as honey...

{images via here & here}

I discovered the Portland band, Horse Feathers, last year via NPR. They had posted a, "Tiny Desk Concert" on their music blog and I remember listening to the whole thing, then heading right over to itunes to purchase, "House with No Home". I always felt that their music seemed really seasonal- and I just started playing their music again because it felt right with the weather.  To me it's the perfect Northwest studio music. I realize, that the first video comes from the album (Thistled Spring) and is actually about Spring, so I am a bit off... but there was something about it that felt right to post it today.

One of the things that I think is pretty amazing is that this band sounds so great in a tiny little office or in any space they play. They appear genuine and accessible and I think part of me responds to that as well.  Happy Music Monday

Sunday, September 19, 2010

{Everyday Inspiration} small town snaps...

I have been a little obsessed with American Pickers lately and the idea of finding treasures or inspiration among junk has always appealed to me. You may recall the post last week about my "flash back" family vacation in a town that was a nostalgic time warp. Well, I sort of went a little nuts with the ShakeItPhoto app for my iphone throughout the weekend. There was a vintage car show going on, so that just gave me more to snap.  These are my favorite photos (or American picks) that I took from an afternoon walk one of the days. Sort of funny, but when I showed these to Chris, he told me that we had a polaroid camera like the one I photographed. He surfaced from the basement on Friday night with the polaroid camera, his mothers old Cannon camera, and a cool, vintage camera bag that he found....


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