Thursday, June 16, 2016

How to Journal

I loved this article on how to treat a journal. The take away is not to feel that they must be preserved. The journal is not a piece of artwork or a memoir, it is a white space you can dump on....and when it's filled, move on to a new one.

I use mine to organize my thoughts and for list making. I make shopping lists, to do lists, lists of story ideas, lists of projects, lists of supplies, lists of things to do with my kids, lists of places to vacation to, lists of ways I want to change, lists of worries and so forth. It's a beautiful medium because it tracks the days, which at this age, seem to be slipping into blankness. My memories lack lucidity and I am often left grasping onto wisps of what actually happened.

Here's a photo of mine. It's well loved. 

If you've ever picked up last year's journal and read a thought and had that memory jump up out of nowhere at you, you will be hooked.

I also doodle in them. Putting pen to paper seems so old fashioned but there's something that rises to the surface when you are free to draw, scribble, glue things to pages (a glue stick is awesome to carry around) and then flip through those pages later on. I've used the digital medium to journal but it simply lacks the tactility, the tangibility I crave to organize my evanescent thoughts.

Here is a link to a short little exercise on doodling that I really liked. It gets your brain lubricated and pumps up your creativity. Just doing this even five minutes a day frees you up to think outside your normal box.

And, here are the journals I made and sell on my blog.
One side of each page is lined for writing and the other side I left blank for doodling. Pick one up and write all over it. Get that white cover dirty!

Food Cart Journal (for the foodie)
Bike Pyle Journal (for the avid biker)
Old Town China Town with the Hung Far Low Sign (for THAT guy)
Paul Bunyan (for the flannel wearing bearded dude)

St Johns Bridge Painting

This took me forever. And, after doing this, I realized how much more I feel like I really know this bridge. After taking a ton of photos, drawing, sewing and painting the bridge I have a much deeper appreciation of its beauty. One of my favorite parts of doing this scene was using the lamp posts to accentuate the perspective. They are very old fashioned in appearance and add to the mood of the piece. I used a lot of purple because this piece was pre purchased by a woman who told me she really liked the colors I used in my art and how they made her feel. I hope she likes this one. I plan to deliver it to her this week.
This was painted on gessoed canvas using green, yellow, blue, red and white fabric inks.

Today I also delivered my first order to Radish Underground for shirts, bags and journals. I am thrilled because I fell in love with Celeste's boutique when it was on Burnside and am a big fan.

I had to update because I was so thrilled when my neighborhood FB page asked if they could post my art as their backdrop for awhile. Can I be honest here and just say that it feels really, really good?
It feels great. 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Street Fairs

It was the weekend of two street fairs and it rained though out the both of them. It was fun talking to folks and I was really honored that one customer came up to me and prepaid!!! me for my art piece of the St. John's Bridge that I have not started sewing out yet. That made my day. Here's a photo of my booth at the St. John's Bizzare. I went simple and it seemed to work.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Swifts at Chapman

I've always been fascinated with the Swifts at Chapman School. When they make their fluid descent into the Chimney it is one awe inspiring visual. There is always a hawk or two trying to snake one of tiny swifts. Here is my sew out of that scene. I loved making it and although sewing out all the bricks and the birds took a long time, it was one of the more fun images I've made.
It is the first time I've sewn on canvas that's been gessoed and I wasn't sure how it would work out but it was great to sew on although it did produce more lint. 
I also drew the image out on the computer first which made the process of sewing it out much easier as I knew where I was going. 
I waited to paint this one until after I had sewn the image out. I am not sure how this will work out as the canvas has gesso on it, meaning my paint will have to be thicker. I will post the result once I finish it. You can also check out the final result at the Portland street fairs this weekend.
This design will be available on shirts at the St John's Bizarre on Saturday and at the Kenton Street Fair on Sunday. If you bring your own shirt, jacket or skirt I will press it on your garment for $10. Come find me!

Update. So, definitely paint BEFORE sewing. This was a huge mess and really hard to do a good painting while trying to avoid the thread. The paint had to be a little thicker and it tended to hide the black thread. I did my best. I thought it pretty much ruined the heart of Swifts.
Here's the outcome.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Mugs, journals & stickers.

Just got these mugs in and they are adorable. I'm drinking my coffee out of one of them right now.

These journals I had printed right here in Portland at Natural Press using all recycled paper. The inside front pages are lined for writing along with a corner picture of the front. The back I left blank for doodling etc as I always find myself wanting to doodle and write. They are exceptional. I am thrilled with them.

Everything is available in my Etsy store. So check it out. I am going to be doing the local street fairs like Kenton and St John's so come say hi and pick up some art from me directly.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Our dogs are friends. Happy Valentines Day.

Made this for Bill's Valentine's gift. It's Harriet and Olive sitting together on a chair that has a heart shaped back. He loved it!
Really fun to make although my daughter liked the painting better before I sewed on it. I thought the back looked kind of cool too.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Portland In Stitches shirts are ready.

I printed the Kenton design first. I think I like Paul Bunyan better on the side of the shirt rather than centered.

You can buy these on Etsy right now. Check it out!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Mount Hood in Oregon Paining

This was one of the first embroideries I made. Drawing in the shadows and trees with thread was my favorite part. I painted it after I sewed it out. I ended up framing it in a sparkly silver glitter frame and giving it to Bill, who in passing had commented on how very much he liked it.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

DEVO doll shakes his fist at Portland Demolition

My friend Michael told me about his latest art project. Not giving too much away but apparently Devo Doll is paying a visit to demo sites around Portland and waving his fist at them.
He sent me one of his photos and I made this from it. Messed up terribly on the perspective but it made me laugh a lot while sewing it out.

On this one I painted it first and then sewed over it.

It's hard to watch parts of Portland being torn down. I get the Ivy Island people in St. Johns (although I think it silly for them to fight for a piece of concrete.) I wish they'd save these trees instead.
They are being torn down on a house on a hill with the most amazing view of the St. John's bridge. It is a sad story of what happened to this property. Apparently they split it up in a most awkward way to build something right up next to it (to make mo $.) To do so they have to rip down two beautiful old trees. My guess is they could have kept that lot intact and beautiful...and made a lot more $.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

oh DiGiorno Pizza Present

Just off to meet a dear friend who was also a long term (5 years!) employee at Baby Wit, when Baby Wit could actually afford to pay people. The last time we hung out we TWO drank bottles of wine till 3 in the morning. And then we were starving. She said "Let's go grab a pizza from 7-11." I thought she was crazy. I turned up my nose at her frozen DiGiorno Pizza. But, when that pizza came out of the oven I scarfed down 3 pieces and was wanting more.

Made her this quick gift as a thank you. Had to post it. Super fun to make.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Man and Dog or Eye in the Sky

Another experiment with trying to find the balance between thread and paint. This is definitely not what I am going for but it's still kind of groovy.

It was fun to make. My partner played Television while I did the background.

Spider Woman

I've been experimenting with ways to do the paint on my embroidery and decided to try a fold-over background. Stupidly I used stabilizer which was great for the paint but immediately fell apart when I started sewing on it. I thought I'd post my unfinished spider face anyway.

I really like the idea of a random background and then searching out the story with thread.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Women Bathing Free Motion Embroidery and Painting

It's true, life is just better after a good soak. I've always loved images of women taking baths and I found a couple of images on the Internet that I loosely based these pieces on.

I had not quite learned how to properly adjust the tension on my bobbin in my weird Kenmore (so old Montevilla had a difficult time finding an electrical cord that fit) sewing machine so it took me FOREVER to write out Sylvia Plath's quote. Turns out there is a tiny screw on the bobbin holder that you cannot see until you pull it out. It kept jamming and was so frustrating that it required me to run myself a bath after I finished.

I painted this piece after I finished sewing out the image.
I framed it in a sparkly blue glitter frame I found at Freddy's and gifted it to my dear friend Kelley. who really needs more baths in her life.

This piece I painted before I sewed it out. I painted it onto a piece of Pellon so the texture is a bit odd. I based the image from a photo on the Internet and sewed the image just sort of going where the machine led me. At the last minute I decided to have her holding a heart. The back is a little weak and I'd rework that part if I sew it out again.

I ended up adding some words to it and also framing it in a sparkly blue frame. The words say "I washed myself clean with my heart." Although these pieces are not depictions of Portland, I did give this one to someone in Portland. And, I stitched it while in Portland. I wonder if that still fits with the theme.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Old Town Chinatown Free Motion Embroidery Painting

I love the Chinatown Gate in downtown Portland but for me, the Hung Far Low sign has always signaled that I'm here. I miss the Chinatowns of SF and Oakland and our Portland Old Town Chinatown feels a bit like a token representation of our Chinese community and apparently much of it has relocated to 82nd Ave. I've never eaten at Hung Far Low but the sign has been revitalized and it has been kept in tact for all of us to enjoy.

I photographed this vantage point of Old Town Chinatown last month making the lamp post a key element. With this piece I sewed it out first and then painted in the lines. I prefer painting first but I wanted to see what it looked like. It's pretty cool but felt a bit like color in the lines after sewing.

Old Town Chinatown Portland No Color

Old Town Chinatown Portland Painted

I also made a graphic out of this design for the Portland In Stitches t-shirt collection.

You Can Purchase This Old Town Chinatown T-shirt Here

Monday, January 11, 2016

N Going Bikeway

I go jogging all the time over this crazy Pedestrian Overpass called the N. Going Bikeway. It runs over Going Street before Swan Island. I run down Concord and hit this twisting concrete structure that opens up into a whale of a ribcage. There is a bizarre collection of locks, lots of locks, hanging from the top of the cage. There is also a tiny patch of grass that they've named Pittman Addition HydroPark with a couple of metal sculptures in it. I might have to eventually sew those out too.

With this piece I painted it first and then sewed it out. I like this process better because it feels more natural and less like painting inside the lines.

Cage of Locks