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?

the Quilting Arts book!

I knew Pokey was planning to include me in her book a while back, but imagine my excitement when I saw the book in Houston and realized that I had a four (FOUR) page spread! wow! I am just a bit excited here... The article is "Eco-Friendly Journal Quilting Techniques" and it's an adaptation of an article I wrote for the magazine many moons ago. The one that the "Go Green" reader challege sprung from. Check out this book if you can, it is a wonderful compilation of articles from Quilting Arts magazine and a must for the book shelf of any art quilter.

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!

Houston here I come...

I cannot believe my lucky stars sometimes - I am going to Houston! Or more specifically to the International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas. My friend Jane Davila, asked me to come and help out at her booth for The Country Quilter, (that's booth # 1258). I said yes as quickly as I could (had to take care of calling Grandma to the rescue first, someone's got to take care of the kids!). Jane has the coolest collection of art quilting supplies, and now I'll get to talk all about them to folks who want to know more. How awesome will that be?! Can you tell that I am excited? But wait, there's more! Jane just happened to mention to that fun crew at Quilting Arts Magazine that I'll be coming and next thing I know ~ I am participating in Quilting Arts Open Studios! (are there enough exclamation points in this post?) So that means Saturday, November 1st from 12:30P to 2:30P, I'll be over at Make It University (MIU) in the Quilting Arts Magazine area demonstrating my work. Yep, my scraps are coming with me! See those artfully arranged pictures of scraps sprinkled throughout the first part of this post? I just spent many hours sorting them.. they were highly organized (ahem..) in my scrap basket, and now they'll be on their way to Houston so I can show everyone and anyone who is interested how I put together my Окошечки/Okoshechki/Little Windows, such as the ones you see sprinkled below in the second portion of this post... Yep, recycling at it's best! So if you'd like to see how I do that, come over on Saturday and I'll show you - it's easy and fun! I have never been to Houston's Quilt Festival before. From what everyone has told me, it's the Big Mama festival of them all. Guess I'll have a trial by fire.. I am really looking forward to meeting many of the friends I have made online in the art quilt world, artists that I admire and it can't hurt to squeeze in a bit of shopping too... ...just might find that special tool I know I desperately need... So if you are there too, will you please come by and say HI! either at Open Studios or at booth #1258? It would be really great to see you...


I am on time with this weeks journal, 20-52-08... The materials are: bubble wrap, painted with acrylic paint (and used as a stamp in another project), orange plastic bag, flannel for batting and a recycled paper back. Free-hand machine embroidered with white rayon thread and hand stitched with a chartreuse thread of unknown origin. This was fun to play with.

And I have a few bits of exciting news to report ~ first, I am one the finalists in Quilting Arts 2009 Calendar contest, second, I just found out that a piece of mine got chosen to be in the Viridian Gallery 19th International Juried Exhibition, and third my website updates are going swimmingly and should be live soon...

Also as soon as I figure out how to play with iPhoto on my laptop I will show some pictures of work in progress. I have down loaded the pictures, but can't seem to figure out how to get to them now... grrr...

QA calendar

I am very excited to announce that I am a finalist in the Quilting Arts 2009 Calendar contest. They would like me to send in both my quilts for the final judging. The theme this year was celebrating home and I thought it fit perfectly with my art, guess the editors might think so too. I can't share the pieces here just yet, but these pictures are a detail from each for a tease...

brrr....hello february...

Nasty today on the East Coast... ice storm this morning.... brrr.... but none the less it's been a good day so far. I started off with a good visit with one of my very good friends, even if I had to drive over mountainous icy roads to get to her. Well worth the visit, so nice to hang out with an old friend that I've been close to since we were twelve, surrounded by her three kids and one of mine. Bittersweet though, as she became a widow this Thanksgiving, and the heart still aches... I know mine still does, I can only imagine hers...
~ did everyone get the latest issue of Quilting Arts magazine? My journals quilts are in it! Very exciting to be published once again. Check it out! Mine is the "Go Green" article on page 72, and do enter the challenge too. I can't wait to see the results of that one...I have been back at work on my pagan quilt, she demanded some hand stitching. So I have been at it for hours now, but I am relentless, I must get this done... I have so much new stuff brewing in my head, but I can't get started on it until this is done...