Sunday, January 10, 2010

A lovely book...

"Wild at the Edges" is a wonderful book by artist, quilter, poet & adventurer, Virginia Spiegel. I have always been inspired by Virginia's work, and the amazing amount of money she has raised for cancer research through quilt & art fundraisers. What I never knew, however, was about Virginia's "wild' side, where she and her sister renew their relationship with nature through a backpack and canoe trip - and I mean in real wilderness, bears and all!

This book is a combination of fabulous photography, tales of adventure and many of Virginia's haiku poems. Through the photos, stories & poetry, I joined the journey to the Boundary Waters (from the comfort of my couch), wishing I was brave enough to be so adventerous.

For now, I'll settle for enjoying this lovely book. Take a peek at Virginia's website,, where there is a link to the book & you can purchase your own.

Thanks, Virginia, for sharing your journey.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Bookworm 52 continues!

"Stitch Alchemy" by Kelli Perkins (Interweave Press) is the book I've chosen for my first "Bookworm 52" project of 2010. It is a colorful, happy looking book, full of ideas and techniques that will be fun to experiment with. I love both quilting and collage so this book is a natural choice for me!

One of the things I've been collecting for years is tissue paper. I also love to use dressmaker's pattern paper in my collages. I have a feeling that I'll be digging into my stash for the projects in this book. I'm also thinking that my fabric scraps are going to come in handy.

For the past four years, I have been participating in several collage exchange projects. The best one is the International Collage Exchange run by Dale Copeland of New Zealand, for details on how to participate, go to . Dale has posted one collage from each artist in archive files - you can view hundreds of original collages by visiting her site - a great inspiration! Thanks to this exchange, I have a fantastic collection of collages from all over the world. It is great fun to receive my package from New Zealand and enjoy my own little art show as I study each collage. Check it out, it's terrific!

A Clean Slate...

A New Year, a Clean Slate... I'm not big on looking back and feeling bad about things I didn't get done in the past year. I find it much more productive to create a new plan and move forward without the weight of regrets!

I'm looking out my studio window today and see a bare landscape blanketed in a white coat of snow. It reminds me of a new canvas - nothing but possibilities, its future to be determined by my hand, my direction.

I am looking forward to the creative journeys I will take in the New Year. I am planning to learning more about my camera and creating more photo-inspired quilts. I am excited about developing some collage/painting/quilt projects that I've been thinking about. I will find joy in sharing my work with others through my blog, magazine articles and, hopefully, a book project. Who knows, I may even finally open an ETSY store!

On another subject, I am weeks behind on my "Bookworm 52" blog project but I'm not going to make myself nuts trying to "catch up". It's all about moving forward! Here is a photo of the pincushions I made, inspired by the book "Pretty Little Pincushions":
They were fun to make, I used scraps of felted wool (from Goodwill store sweaters) and stitched them all by hand. I've got a new fondness for featherstitch and french knots and love my colorful box full of embroidery floss.

When I was a little girl, I remember opening a brand new box of Crayola 64 crayons. Having the "big box" with all those colors was so exciting! My studio is the big girl version of that box of crayons - surrounded by color and the tools of my chosen mediums, I feel that same little girl anticipation when I walk into the room.

So, here I am, with the blank canvas of a new year and the rainbow of ideas dancing in my head. 2010 will be a great year!