hello 2010!

After the euphoria of welcoming the new year, the lovely dinner with friends, the fun times with friends and family in snowy cold Boston.. the reality sets in. Back home cleaning up after the festivities, getting ready for more (Russian Christmas), doing loads and loads of laundry...one can really hit the winter doldrums...

My antidote? To see what I accomplished in 2009 and plan for 2010! So while I cannot possibly come up with a list as extensive as Lisa's (my head can't handle that much, but she always inspires me to do more), I have come up with a small list of my own:

~ I created 26 new artworks.
~ I made 30 4"x4" pieces for an art exchange with a group of artists that I belong to.
~ among those 26 new pieces are three that are part of the figure series that I am really excited about.
~ and also among those new pieces are three larger new artworks for the St. Pete series that I am still passionate about
~ I reworked nine old okoshechki/little windows pieces that I wasn't happy with.
~ I had work accepted into 10 juried exhibitions
~ one of those exhibitions is Art Quilt Elements (which still makes me want to pinch myself!)
~ I sold two pieces of art!
~ I taped a DVD for Cloth Paper Scissors Workshop!!!
~ I wrote two online tutorials for Quilting Daily
~ I answered interview questions for Embellishments Newsletter from Quilting Arts Magazine
~ I taped a segment for Quilting Arts TV Series 500
~ I designed and made costumes for Russian school Christmas play
~ I designed and am still working on costumes for the new Russian school Christmas play
~ I attended a workshop with Jane Davila
~ I spent five weeks in St. Petersburg, Russia with my children
~ I spent a week on Hawai'i for our second honeymoon
~ I shepherded a second grader and kindergartener (my most important job!)
~ I took figure drawing classes for a semester
~ and I kept a sketch journal everyday....

OK so not too shabby... I feel better now! Thanks for indulging me.

Now I am ready to dive into 2010 with enthusiasm! I have chosen my word for the year, well, two actually ~ CLARITY and PURPOSE. Those are two things that I want to achieve in 2010 for my art. Which path do I want to pursue? Why do I want to pursue it? To get myself going on this I sighed up for a Blast Off class with Alyson Stanfield which starts tomorrow (aack!!)

Now you are probably wondering what that old journal sketch from last January is doing up there at the top of the post? I'll tell ya. I will not be doing a daily sketch journal this year or a weekly journal quilt. I decided to do monthly journal art quilts. I plan to choose a journal sketch from the corresponding month of 2009 and use it as inspiration for a monthly diptych in 2010. So that red sketch up there is the inspiration for January 2010 journal diptych. How will I translate it? What size will it be? Those are all good questions that I will find an answer to this month. And whatever parameters I choose, I will keep for the rest of the year.

There. That's the plan. What's your plan?

I've got a present for you!

Because it's my birthday! Could this be a shameless ploy to get more birthday wishes? You bet! But I am not the only one in the blogosphere doing it, so there.
Here's the scoop: leave a comment here today, all day, till midnightish...and tomorrow I will randomly choose one of you to receive a gift from me.
Want to know what the gift is? It's actually two gifts, yep, feeling happy around here. The first part is a copy of my brand new DVD for Cloth Paper Scissors 'Texture Transformation: stitch, alter, recycle'
and the second part is a brand new artwork. This little piece (8.25"x6.25") was started as a sample for my segment in Quilting Arts TV series 500. It's been patiently sitting by my sewing machine, waiting for me to finish it. And last night it finally got it's wish! It's called Zakat/Закат/Sunset 2. It is comprised of completely recycled materials, mainly a dryer sheet, a color catcher sheet, muslin and fabric scraps. Painted and free-hand machine embroidered.
Come on! Leave a comment, don't be shy!


Hmmm.... I do not have any pictorial proof to show for my creativity today. I finished my secret project that I teased with yesterday and these leaves are what inspired that project. So there - another tease.
Exciting mail today though - my copy of the DVD I made for Cloth Paper Scissors workshop came today! I can finally watch it and I'm really nervous... You can watch it too, just buy the DVD here or download here. Cool huh? OK I'm off to watch it now...

Texture Transformation: Stitch, Alter, Recycle

My DVD is now available for pre-order!! Woo-hoo!!! Cloth Paper Scissors Workshop: "Texture Transformation: Stitch, Alter, Recycle". Yep, only Pokey and her crew of geniuses can come up with an awesome title like that! And doesn't the cover look cool? Mine is one the first three CPS DVD's that will be available this season. Check out the link for the other two Cloth Paper Scissors and three Quilting Arts Workshop DVD's, I think I'm going to get those for myself. Can you tell I'd just a teeny bit excited here?

may I brag a little?

I am happy to report that all three of my collages for Collage Mania were acquired yesterday and today. And Collage Mania is hopping! Virginia and Karen have been very very busy and still have one more day to go. Over $16,000 has been raised towards the $20,000 goal. So if you are in the mood for some affordable art and helping an excellent cause - check it out, still plenty available.Have you seen the latest issue of Cloth Paper Scissors? That is something else I can brag about - take a look at my first article for this magazine "Mindful Recycling".

and fun was had by all..

Honey I'm home! Wow that was fun... my first experience at the International Quilt Festival in Houston has left me enlightened, exhausted, inspired and in awe... When "they" say that quilting is a four billion dollar industry, "they" ain't kidding. The place was huge and packed with people, and "they" say things are slow this year...

First, I thought I'd share a picture of the sunrise that Jane and I saw from our hotel room every morning. This office building looked really cool when the sun reflected off it. There maybe art work coming from this picture someday, the grids are wonderful and I don't usually get inspired by grids.
Here is Jane teaching her class at MIU (Make It University) from Cloth Paper Scissors Magazine. The class was called "Stampmaking for Quilt Artists" and that get up that Jane is wearing is her Halloween costume. Halloween was the theme for this whole weekend as people started dressing up on Thursday and were still dressed up on Saturday. Scary. There lot's of interesting classes given at MIU, plenty of people were very inspired. I had fun meeting new people and hanging out with other vendors. Here's a picture of Kristin Rodriguez from Fiber on a Whim in Atlanta. She's a cool chick. On Sunday night Quilting Arts Magazine hosted Surviving the Runway 80's style. The contestants had items from which they had to fashion outfits inspired by the 80's while they were grooving to appropriate music. This was really fun to watch from the sidelines, they really got into the spirit of things. Here's everyone making it work. And here's Pokey Bolton in motion, actually this is how she was the entire time, just zipping back and forth, talking to everyone, where does she get all that energy... Oh and here's the parade of all the contestants in their outfits. That was certainly a fun way to end the Festival. I jetted away on Sunday afternoon leaving Jane to end the festival by herself, but things were quiet by then so hopefully everything went smoothly.

I did get to see the exhibits, mostly by speed walking as time was limited. The SAQA exhibits were exceptional, as were the Town and Country exhibit, Quilt National 2007 exhibit, Tactile Architecture and Sky Is the Limit. Beautiful inspiring art that makes me want to get to my studio. Sorry no pictures, some exhibits didn't allow them and I really couldn't do any of the artworks justice anyway.

I met some wonderful and inspiring artists over the weekend, let's see: I sat next to Judy Coates Perez on the way to and from Houston (we bumped into each other in the Chicago airport); I was also star struck by Lesley Riley, Frances Holliday Alford, Jamie Fingal, Leslie Jenison, Robbi Joy Eklow, Sarah Ann Smith, Kathy York, Sandy Snowden; and the really cool and hard working chicks from Quilting Arts/Cloth Paper Scissors: Barbara Delaney, Helen Gregory, Trisha Waddell and of course Pokey Bolton. Big thanks to Pokey Bolton for inviting me to do Open Studios at MIU. And the biggest thanks of all go out to my friend Jane Davila, who's fault it was... thank you Jane!

collage mania II

This was going to be an Easter food post, but something exciting happened and we interrupt regularly scheduled programming... I received the latest Cloth, Paper, Scissors issue today and during a break from the cooking marathon I sat down to peruse it. Well I jumped out of my comfy chair just a few minutes later! a FOUR page spread about Virginia Spiegel's Collage Mania II for Fiberart For a Cause.. I could not believe my eyes! I had completely forgotten about sending a collage to the editors a month ago. It's a wonderful preview with six artists works shown (yes, I am one) and little essays about what inspired each artist. Go get your copy today! Better yet on May 5th and 6th get a collage for yourself by donating to the American Cancer Society.

More than 100 artists worldwide have donated 235 fiber collages to benefit the American Cancer Society. Collage Mania II will be held May 5th and 6th with preview of all collages beginning April 28th. Check out Virginia's website for more details. 100% of the proceeds are donated directly to the ACS through Fiberart For a Cause. Virginia's amazing generosity has resulted in more than $150,000 towards cancer research and education in the past three years.