Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ahab's Wife

i've been reading ahab's wife, by sena jeter naslund. i am almost through this mammoth novel, which is probably as long as the original book the main character, una, is inspired from. i read moby dick, way back in high school english. at the time, i thought it was so dry and boring, i barely made it 3/4 of the way through the novel, when i gave up and was forced to read the cliff notes instead. so, with that history, it definitely wasn't the connection back to melville's grand work, that reeled me in.

what was interesting to me, was that i came across the book in a second hand shop
, a few days after i had sold, my piece, the sailor's valentine.being inspired by old sailing vessels, the ocean and that particular period of time, i decided to take it on my trip with me. its been an interesting read, and will probably not end up in the unfinished pile. but more over, it has drawn me closer to the themes that i had worked with over the summer. so i thought i would share some of the visual inspiration that i am collecting for some new work that is percolating in my brain.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

re-entry and discovery

i have been home for about two weeks now. the jet lag has worn off, and every day i feel like i have a little more energy. the re-entry, from being away from my home and family for 2 1/2 weeks was a little more difficult this time.

maybe it is partly the weather; i left balmy Hong Kong at 65 degrees for VT at -2 degrees. or it could be the food or culture or the architecture.

it could be that i spent the majority of my time when i was not working alone in a small, sterile, hotel room, that overlooked that vastness of the city. i think it is independence that is the most difficult to over
come. the time that i had to myself, was priceless. even when i was in cities where the population is unfathomable, i was still alone, with myself. not having to share myself or the space around me with anyone. it may sound selfish, but it was restorative and insulating. i feel like i needed a little of that. coming back to my life the way i left after thanksgiving was a challenge. taking care of everyone, making meals, doing laundry, etc, etc.... i felt bogged down my the mundane. held back by all the stuff that has to get done.

so now, the cleansing and the de-clutter has begun. i've taken the week off from work. day by day, i pick away at the accumulations of belongings, sweeping out dust bunnies, creating bags of donations for goo
dwill, posting on free-cycle. i am moving out all the things in my life that don't work, don't fit, and taking up space. so perhaps i have started my new year already. i was done with 2009, anyway....

Monday, December 28, 2009

Thanks! Alpha Stamps!

Earlier in the fall was asked by the lovely Miz Bella at Alpha Stamps to create some ornaments for their December newsletter. It came out a few weeks ago but I have finally had a chance to post the link.

If you are not familiar with their site, Alpha Stamps are purveyors of fine quality rubber stamps and supplies to make ATC, Altered books, and any other altered art project you can dream up. Their site if full of great tutorials, fantastic inspiration pieces, and tons and tons of embellishments!

So, I wanted to give them a shout out and a mighty thanks for inviting me to contribute to their December newsletter! Here's wishing you a creative day!

Sunday, December 27, 2009


i got some of my elements back! hooray!

i would still like your help to find some cool links for backgrounds, templates, etc.

recently, from a friend's recommendation, i found my latest blog addiction is The Vintage Moth. Abigail Mooney's site for free and vintage images for mixed media artists. she is a great resource for wonderful images. make sure to check out some of her site's sponsor's, too!

i would love to hear what you design blog favs are. send me your tips/ideas and inspiration sources for a design filled life and i will enter you in a drawing for a free gift, from my etsy shop. drawing will be held on 12/31. have a creative week!

looking forward to a bright new future in 2010.


i was playing around with backgrounds and margin widths, when i accidently erased my header and my sidebar details, including all my links and inspiration sites.

that will teach me.

so i am enlisting your help to fix it up. if you were linked to me in the past, please comment with your contact info, so i can put you back where you belong. also, if you have any fantastic ideas about layouts, backgrounds, etc. hit me up. this accident is forcing me to give my blog a face lift and your
input is greatly appreciated.

so now i am officially under re-construction.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

World Traveler

Well friends and neighbors, it's that time of the year again. Time to take the show on the road and make my annual trek to Asia. My day job, for a large outerwear/snow sport manufacturer, sends me to mainland China and Taiwan, about this time very year to finish up the development cycle and put our products in to bulk production.

My job, as a Technical Design Supervisor is to oversee all the specifications for fit and construction of our outerwear lines. I work with a fantastic team of people who help me make pattern corrections, fit styles on a live model, advise sizing specification and work out all details of quality for each garment we manufacture.

This year we have add two new cities to our tour. For the first time I will be headed to Vietnam and Bangladesh to work with facilities there. It should be a very exciting learning experience. I am looking forward to working with this group and to the inspiration each country will reveal.

So, until I return, my best wishes for a safe and happy holiday.

Monday, November 23, 2009


"One day seven years ago I found myself saying to myself — I can't live where I want to — I can't go where I want to go — I can't do what I want to — I can't even say what I want to … I decided I was a very stupid fool not to at least paint as I wanted to." Georgia O'Keefe, 1923

A friend and fellow artist recently posted this on her blog. She is going to a very rough time in her life, and had been inspired by the quote. She realized she had to get back to the things that filled her life with joy. Taking some time for herself and making art was something she could control. It is the thing realized she had the most power over, in what surely feels like a chaotic and difficult existence.

I found the O'Keefe quote resounded with me as well. Just yesterday, it occurred to me that I had not worked on a "real" piece of art in almost a month. My life has been so jammed packed with the stresses of raising two children, taking care of our home, and going to work everyday at my very demanding job. I had started to forget what gave me joy. I had started to become an angry, stressed out human who lacked any connection to her true self.

Last night, I took the dog for a walk up Sunset Hill. The moon was rising above the clouds, the air was cold on my face, but invigorating. I had Kate Bush, Aerial, pumping from my ipod as we reached the top of the hill turned and looked down on the city of Burlington, the lake and the mountain beyond. It was so breath-takingly still in the darkness. I felt so overcome with possibility and verve.

I knew then, (what I still am holding tightly now,) that no matter what the future brings, I will survive. I will make it through all the trials and tribulations. The stress and the pressure of the mundane melted away, and in the end, only I remained.
I walked back down to our house feeling a renewed sense of focus and determination. I started working on some new art pieces and found I felt better.

This is not to say that I have erased all my negative thoughts and anxieties. Those things are hard to wipe out of your mind when they are deeply etched there. But I feel lighter and more present. So that's a start, and there's a beauty in that, that no one can touch or take away from me.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

the physical proportions of the typical man

Been busy with things that life seems to be throwing at me the past few weeks. i will have to post photos of the closing reception for the SPACE Gallery, Oh The Horror show. The party was this Saturday and was a blast! It was wonderful to be on display in that space. Thanks so much to Christy and Beth for having me in the show.

I've been gearing up for another craft show this weekend. I've heard through the grape vine that its a great venue, so I am really looking forward to it. Been making some new pieces. Included in what's drying right now is this great collage that is on the cover of a lined journal- The Physical Proportions of the Typical Man.

The Craft show is this Saturday, Nov 7th, at Williston Central School on Rt 2, Williston, VT. 9-4 PM. If you are in the area stop by and say hello!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

art on fire!

I am officially selling on Artfire!

Here's the link to my shop-
What an easy upload of all my ETSY product to their platform. Crossing my fingers for some robust sales!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

ghostly whispers

Pimping the hauntingly beautiful ETSY treasury that I was featured in. Thanks SimplyInvitingCards for the spotlight! My Cassandra Collage is in good company! What a wonderfully creepy treasury~

Don't forget about my 20% off sale - Celebrating Columbus day in style- PLUS receive a FREE gift with every purchase!!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

fall foliage weekend sale!

Fall has arrived in VT. Harvest markets and bounty fill the landscape !
To Celebrate you save 20% off your entire purchase at my ETSY shop this weekend!Tiny treasures in altered tin shrines
Haunting assemblages
Melancholy mixed media collage creations
ACEOS- pocket size originals, affordable art

Sales runs Friday 10/2 to Monday 10/5

Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Oh the Horror!

I think I mentioned earlier in the month that the wonderfully tal
ented Beth Robinson, asked me if I would be in a Halloween themed group show. I met her at the new gallery space at the soda plant, the S.P.A.C.E. I handed off my "spooky" new pieces to her today. Take a look at the creepy doll shrine and haunted mixed media collages that I will be showing.

Beth was impressed with
the size of my new pieces and I have to say they are
probably the largest
assemblages and collage works I have done. I am really happy with how all four of the pieces turned out.
Albeit, they are dark and haunted. The subject matter, stronger and and a little creepier than I usually approach.

But, it was great to stretch myself, both in the size of the work, the content and the process. I used some new techniques that I had been playing with and although I was up late, burning the midnight oil for many nights, this project was altogether, very satisfying.

I AM going to be early tonight, but there is no rest for the weary. With two craft shows looming in my near future, and a guest artist project due this weekend, I am pushing full steam ahead.
If you are in the area, do check out the show at

at the Soda Plant. It runs till 10/31 with a closing party on Halloween. And, you are welcome to pop in at the opening reception, this Friday from 5-8, part of the Burlington 1st Friday Art Walk.

Opening Reception Friday, October 2 from
5:00-9:00pm for the First Friday Art Walk
Closing party on Halloween

266 Pine Street, Suite 105
Burlington, Vermont“Breath-taking” works by a group of ’strange,’ yet extraordinarily talented, artists and craftsmen: Beth Robinson, Marc Awodey, Janet Van Fleet, Kevin Montanaro, Lorraine Reynolds, Jme Wheeler, Jonathan Ward, Andrea Currie. Works range in mediums from paintings to strange dolls, to mad scientist installations and vintage horror movie posters.

hope to see you there!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


my etsy pals are having a little challenge on the melange blog. glenda bailey, who is a fabric addict, has challenged all the melange members to use fabric in our art. as a costume designer, fabric is always a part of my life. this love for fabric made it's way into my art. from the first altered book i made to the dolly shrines that i have been working on this week, chances are if you are looking at one of my pieces, there's apt to be some fabric on it some where.

using fabric for me has always been about texture. besides the fact that i don't seem to have the patience (or the skill) to make anything come out "flat", i love to have texture in my work. when i started this art journey and making altered books, i quickly found that fabric had so many uses. first, i adds texture and interest to the surface, secondly, i used it to cover the myriad of mistakes i made, and lastly, it help the pages from sticking together. now, there are fewer mistakes to cover, but i still use fabric. besides, it's a resource that i have tons and tons of. there was a time when i was selling bags of fabric scraps on etsy because i had so much of it.

the scrap bin is getting smaller. mostly because i have a special project, that i have been working on for craft shows. all i am going to say right now, is that it makes excellent use of scraps, in a truly artist way.

the piece that really shows how versatile fabric can be as a medium is in my altered book, "angels have wings." the cover is a corset and fabric is found on almost every page, from the flames that engulf the workers of the triangle shirt waist factory from hand embroidered flaming heart of Mary that boldly sings out on the final page.

i love using fabric so much, it's pretty much always been a part of my art. i do recommend that you take the plunge and try it yourself if you haven't already. you might like the results!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Busy week

i've been busy working on art projects every night this week- it feels great to be so productive and moving things towards completion.

the doll shrines are coming together- the boxes are almost complete and i was busy tonight making some clothing for the dolls. tomorrow- i will finish with the sewing and assemble. tonight they are drying.

i also put another layer on to the collage on canvas that i've been working on: what remains. there are three canvases in this group that i am "salvaging" from a project that lost direction and steam. four month later, with many thanks to friends and fellow artists who helped me cut through the mental block, i am working on them again, with vigor. they still have a bit to go- but i am hoping to finish them Thursday night, i have a Friday deadline.

i have patti edmon to thank for her kind, but to the point crit of the old pieces. she helped me find focus. so thanks pat!

i promised myself i would try to get to sleep early tonight, so at 11:55, i bid you adieu. until we met again.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

what remains- WIP

it's beautiful here, today in the green mountain state. i am shuffling between chores in the house, art making and things that need to happen outside in the yard before it gets too cold. i've been very inspired and very motivated to make art this past week. so as the dishwasher is spinning, and the laundry is drying on the line, i've been painting away, outside on the deck.

i finally got the guts to paint on top of these two canvases. they were giving me such issues, the collages seemed off balance, lacking focus and just "not me." so i took a leap this morning and started in on it again. both canvases need more layers of color- but it's a start.

the best thing is- it's cleared my head as to where it's going- so now i can move forward without fear.

love when that happens.