Wednesday, September 30, 2009

maidofclay something sublime

i just love etsy! i can't say enough about the talent i have found there. sometimes it is "my God, my God, my God" one artist after another. what imagination, what finesse, what humour, what craftsmanship, what taste, what whimsey, what a revelation and on and on and on.

today, having worked a full day and tired to sit at my sewing machine, i prefer to share with you a few of these artists.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

i love the fruits of today. after visiting my long lost and re-found friend veronica, i came home to work once again into the night which is the only serious time i have for creating. i now have approximately 40 things to sell at the upcoming street fair, including my packages of ephemera which have always brought me such good luck.

comments are much needed and welcomed since i don't want to make a fool of myself. please be as honest as you can and if this media is too personal you can always e-mail me. i am open to constructive criticism.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

today i received the biggest compliment ever on one of my flickr photos which read "when are you going to write a book about your projects?" i was so flattered. then i began looking at my sets and realizing how many things i HAVE created, it kind of blew me away that all those things were actually made by me. most of them gone now, either traded, given as gifts or sold in my humble little shop amid so many other talented artists from around the world. it would be nice to write a book, although i prefer collaboratives, i have never had very much of an ego. more than anything i would like to encourage people, spark the creative flame that is so rewarding and relaxing and fullfilling.

when i create, it is usually with an idea that comes into my mind that needs to be realized right then and there. as much as i write down ideas in a little brown notebook i carry everywhere, there are countless un-accomplished; they tend to evaporate lest i get to them right away since motion is always forward and new ideas and the new trends are coming at me each second.

just by looking at a tree, or parts of a sidewalk, an image in a magazine or blog, a face or an item stored in a drawer can bring out a convulsive need to run to the art table and create. many have called it a curse because the ideas come faster than we can actually materialize them. an art object takes, time and energy. Most fine artists take weeks to create just one piece. as altered artists we are lucky to complete a piece in a day after much struggling with hundreds of collected items in every sized box imaginable.

i am doubly cursed because i work with so many mediums: i love fabric, embroidery, painting, knitting, crochet and collage so switch back and forth depending on my mood and the sensory experience i want that day or moment.

the past few weeks all has been texture and fabric other than the assemblage crown one especially gifted night. here i share with you my latest work and work in progress WIP. I accept suggestions and input as I received from Nancy a few days ago about one of my sacred hearts where she mentioned the frame called for something else, lighter, more fragile and she was right. So please don't feel ashamed to tell me what you see could use a little something different. i am not here to brag, but more than anything to share my creative exerience and to learn from you as much as you might learn from me.

Friday, September 25, 2009

miracles do happen. last night i gathered a few of my found objects and a crown i had found at a local gift store and began to alter it. things flowed step by step effortlessly, almost miraculously as the crown took on a life that i never expected and never envisioned a priori. it seems like all the right stuff was there in front of me and that my hands were guided.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

what a busy busy week. hardly a minute to sew and that has me wanting to even more. lots of visits to friends and from friends, so stop and go most of the time. i am also trying to get organized for the trip to chile in november so went to have passport pics taken before it's too late and MUST renew the passport ASAP. then there are all the emails asking me to bring this and that, things that are not readily available there or too expensive, so listing all the trips i need to make to Costco and Columbia and Borders plus the computer stores.

so far we are a group of 5 travelling together and hope to add one more person so we can rent a minivan in puerto varas together. i can't wait. just to think i will get to eat a whole bowl of erizos(sea urchins) at La Olla for a mere $3.50 makes my mouth water. and to see the volcanoes and thousands of rivers and streams again. heaven can wait, give me chile for a month.

yet, last night, after work and a long commute home, i managed to take the time to sew two more of my reliquaries. the one with the sacred heart was labor intensive but wonderful to make since i actually stuffed the mini heart so the card is three-dimensional. i love how these are turning out and hope they will sell at the upcoming art fair. today it will be hands to work on a few aprons and more purses since i have two of my original ones reserved already and they seem be liked.

oh i wish i had more time.

Monday, September 21, 2009

"If we allow the Holy Spirit to fill us, to infuse our hearts with the very love of God, Himself, we cannot but have our hearts of stone softened and remade into an image of the Sacred Heart of Christ--open to hurt, and offered-up to Our Lord as an offering for those in our world."
Inspired by Acta-Sanctorum

Sunday, September 20, 2009

my grandparents (first cousins) on their wedding day. magnolias and a sleeveless dress, now that's avant garde.

I have always been a scapbooker the old sense of the word. i learned the art in England where just about everybody had a scrapbook. the old kind are the best since they contained miscellaneous candy wraps, bus tickets, gift cards, tube tokens, photographs, cigarrete boxes, matchbooks, anything that when looked at years into the future would take you back to a moment or a period in your life. rather than photoalbums, i have boxes now, filled with photos which my grownup children love to look through on rainy days. we all sit on the floor and look through the old photos and baby books and reminesce. they are our history in a nutshell. the other day rather than making something i decided to look through one box at a time and pull out some oldies that stood out and here they are

my great grandmother Lucrecia (founder of the Red Cross in Chile), my grandmother Edith in white hat, her sister Violeta in black hat, and my uncles Raul Silva Castro and Rene who died shortly after this picture. he was my grandmothers twin.
my grandfather Oscar in glasses, my grandmother Baxter next to him, Auntie Barbara, Uncle John, GG Harry Berger, my father Martin as a little boy, my GGrandmother Helen, my Auntie Kitten (Beatrice) and Uncle Arthur. All the men emigrated, one to South America (my grandfather, one to Africa and one to Canada. Auntie Kitten and Auntie Barbara remained in Kent all their lives.

my mother Paula, stunning huh?

guess who?

Lisa Peers my best friend at the time, me in my Montgomery and my brother Martin in Englandold passport photo of Martin (my brother) and I

my first & only husband although we don't live together anymore: Johannes Maurice Marsh Von der Forst aka as Juan

Juan and my little angel in heaven, Christopher Julian who we lost when he was 5 tender years

Juan, Christopher and the Red VW van where we "made" him

tatiana & jon


Saturday, September 19, 2009

I have forgiven my sewing machine for having hurt my index finger two days ago and have been working away for things to sell or display at the annual street fair in Thousand Oaks where my friends Veronica and Bernardita will be showing this year with me. Three different artists with three different hand mades: Veronica takes Eco Photographs, Bernardita knits and crochets & I sew and alter things so it should be a good mix. So much goes into the preparation of a one day show. I have done it once before and it is much harder than it looks.

Here is a machine sewn Country Kitchen recipe book cover I put together with a vintage crosstitched rose as the centerpiece, vintage button and vintage fabrics as well as machine embroidery and embellishments with old button and ceramic charm. I love how it turned out.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

have been working steadfastly on these vintage inspired scapulars and holy cards for weeks now and loving the state of mind they put me in.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

i was still working on this purse the other day when i posted La Nuit. here she is finished. even if she doesn't sell, i would be glad to use it Halloween night with my red cape and candelabra and fill it with potions and spells.
have been sewing my poor little fingers to the bone since i got my finger stuck on the sewing machine last night and it hurt so bad i just decided to try handsewing for a few days instead.

i woke up with the most throbbing headache. i think i haven't been taking good care of myself. what i need is a breath of fresh air, a long walk on the beach, less thinking. i sometimes try too hard. i ponder on the uncertainty of my future. do i stay here in america or do i follow my dreams to the southernmost tip of chile? but i keep remembering....wherever you go, there you are and i am not yet a self-contained person. there are unresolved chapters that i cannot close cold turkey. how does one work on these things while at the same time carrying on with the daily demands of reality?

not very clear, but that's just the way it is for me today.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

this is what happens to me after midnight when i can't sleep, i hold a vigil

& lift my eyes to the stars

artwork by Miniature Rhino en Etsy

aren't they something?

then that little mustard seed from Ruth Rae

Monday, September 14, 2009

La Nuit

Si je t’oublie pendant le jour
Je passe mes nuits à te maudire
Et quand la lune se retire,
J’ai l’âme vide et le cœur lourd
La nuit tu m’apparais immense
Je tends les bras pour te saisir
Mais tu prends un malin plaisir
A te jouer de mes avances
La nuit, je deviens fou, je deviens fou
Et puis ton rire fend le noir
Et je ne sais plus où chercher
Quand tout se tait revient l’espoir
Et je me reprends à t’aimer
Tantôt tu me reviens fugace
Et tu m’appelles pour me narguer
Et chaque fois mon sang se glace
Ton rire vient tout effacer
La nuit, je deviens fou, je deviens fou
Le jour dissipe ton image
Et tu repars je ne sais où
Vers celui qui te tient en cage
Celui qui va me rendre fou
La nuit je deviens fou, je deviens fou

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Gemma Taccogna

a curious thing happened to me yesterday which, once again, re-affirms my intuition about the people behind the art i like and collect. for years i have collected paper mache pincushions with the most darling hand painted faces. i spotted the first at a swap meet in Carpinteria many years ago and had to have her. as the years went by, i kept looking for more to no avail. then i found a couple more en e-bay and soon i had four. i also collect collage paper and had saved a black and white photograph of a similar face never realizing it was the same artist. i never knew the artists name since there was no mention anywhere on the bottoms and the papers that had originally been there with the author's info were gone.
well, yesterday, i went browsing on e-bay for maybe another and found one at an exhorbitant price. it had the artists name and an unmet Reserve Price. i was so happy to at last know who the artist behind those faces was and did a thorough search on the net about her. sigh after sigh after sigh, reading about her and arriving too late to write to her to thank her for the joy she has brought into my sewing room; she passed away not too long ago and lived right in my back yard in Palos Verdes.

May i introduce her to you? GEMMA TACCOGNA
it's happened to me a couple of times, one more recent example being that i was the first one to spot Cathy Cullis on etsy when she listed her first poetry bird and one of her first buyers. i knew NOTHING about her, she was only just starting out, and i was able, through her work, to perceive the spirit behind the work. it just seems such a gift. and now it all comes together and my pincushions have suddenly become priceless. i could never part with then after knowing the artist who created them. her spirit reigns with me in my home.