Sunday, November 22, 2009

Bad Cats and Funky Letters

Winter has arrived in our little corner of Washington State, the garden has been buttoned up for the winter and all of the neighbor's leaves have come to live in my yard. The southwestly winds always blow all the fall leaves right into our lawn and front flowerbed. I know they are not from the only tree I have in the front yard, they are a totally different shape and size.  Short of conducting a full CSI investigation as to the exact source of the offenders and knocking on the neighbors doors demanding they take them back I am stuck with them and have a hot date next weekend with the rake. The neighbors already think I am a little nuts anyway and I am pretty sure they all call me "That Crazy Cat Lady Down The Street" behind my back. Case in point about 3 weeks ago I thought Apollo (studio cat #2) had made it out of the yard. I could not find him anywhere, searched the yard, studio and house completely, not even the lure of shaking the kittie kibble container got a response.

So now I am in full blown panic, scouring the neighborhood in the pitch black, shining my flashlight into everybody's yard, garage and porch within a 3 block radius, yelling the requisite "Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty". Nobody came out to see what the hell I was doing, probably because they were saying to themselves and their guests "Just ignore her, Crazy Cat Lady, she loses that damn animal all the time". After an hour the husband yelled at me across the street, "He's in the house!". Apparently he had been in there the whole time, sleeping off his latest cat nip hit somewhere,  and could not be bothered to wake up and assuage my heart palpitations. I staggered into the house relieved, but filthy from getting down on my hands and knees to peer under vehicles, into crawl spaces through assorted shrubbery.  All I got from him was a sleepy "Dude...whassup?" look, similar to this one....

 If you don't talk to you're cats about catnip, who will?

The studio had been completely gone through, a futon that was taking up was too much space removed to the attic in the garage. I have gone though every single art supply I own, things are looking far more organized. But of course that only lasts for about 5 minutes once I start working on a project...sigh! I was able to spend most of the day in it though, working on some fancy letter techniques I picked up at Letter's of Joy last may. Spoiler alert to members of RainWriters who may be reading this, one of these may be my Christmas Party exchange gift.

Picture is a little blurry, I will need to get a small tripod to make these shots of smaller pieces.

Happy Thanskgiving to all.

Monday, November 2, 2009

New Journal

I signed up for an online class from Carla Sonheim here at, a nifty site for shopping and some very cool classes. I have taken Carla at a couple of ArtFest retreats and loved, loved, loved her as a teacher. The class is Rags to Stitches and a great project for me as I really did need to dust off the sewing machine that I received for Christmas a couple of years ago. I requested one from Santa with all sorts of big intentions, but only managed to make 2 napkins, 1 placemat that was unattractive enough to be re-purposed as a cat food catcher under the cats bowl and 1 extremely basic duvet cover for a foam mattress. I had acquired several books of fabric samples a garage sale and had tons of smaller pieces which were perfect for this project. Basically you sew fabric bits onto cardstock, embellish and sew in signatures. Ever since I lost my beloved Wolf kitty in January I was waiting til the loss wasn't quite so raw to make a journal for his pictures. After running one of my favorite pictures of him through some photo filtering software to give it a colored pencil sketch look I printed it onto some fabric to use as the focal image for the journal. Here is the finished product.

It was really great to get this project done, I will making more. The sewing maching got a good workout, there was no couture looking sewing involved on my part that is for sure but it was a fun journal to make. The inside pages are mix of cardstock and some Arches Text Wove. For the front I glued on some green trim that came with the D-rings already attached and hung some cat theme charms and the tag from his collar (sigh!). The second part of the class is making a scrap fabric purse, I will post pics of that when it is done.

My usual routine is to clean up the studio after I finish a project, as with most artists by the time you get to the finish line there is stuff piled everywhere and you are working in a tiny space on the desk. As I was tidying up (i.e. shoveling crap back into its allocated space) I thought of the magazines published lately that showcase peoples studio's. They always looks so very thoughtfully organized and clean as opposed to my typical pile's o' art stuff decor. So I think somebody should start a new magazine showcasing the studio's in their "natural habitat". There could be articles entitled, "Your Studio, Nuclear Fallout Zone or Hurricane Katrina?" or maybe "So How Long Has In Been Since You Lost That Favorite Stamp/Book/Inkpad/Piece of Ephemera?" Or has my husband so gently puts it "How On Earth Do You Find Anything In Here?". So I present to you in its glory the Blue Dahlia Studio, in a slightly cleaner state than usual.