Thursday, May 28, 2009


I lived most of my life in California, so whenever I return certain things take me right back to my past--the golden hills in the Bay Area, oleanders and ice plant lining the freeway, the smell of pepper trees, and Spanish architecture. It feels good to revisit them.

On this trip, my friend Cindy took me to the center where she holds art retreats in the Santa Cruz mountains. I felt like I got a compressed version of my favorite bits of California in one place.

The center has beautiful Spanish architecture:

And an amazing spiritual quality to the whole place. It is a nunnery, so that would explain it. There are lovely details to be found throughout the property, such as these roses on the floor in a small chapel:

The grounds offer all sorts of places for quiet thought, including a grove of redwoods. It's a magical place, and I look forward to returning for one of the art retreats.

The trip was full of inspiration. Cindy collects vintage trims and millinary items. I could spend hours just rummaging through her stash:

We went on photography walks and couldn't stop once we got started. It inspired us to do a weekly photography exchange entitled "Evidence."

I didn't get much art done all week, but did have a few quiet moments of sketching statuary at a nursery:

I like stepping outside of my daily life for a bit and now feel ready to delve into some stitching projects.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Pitiful Offering

I'm laughing at my pitiful little offering for the week, but at least I'm keeping my promise to myself to post at least one creative bit a week. I saw some fun little 1960's looking crocheted flowers and thought I might try to follow a crochet pattern for a change. I've done plenty of freeform crochet in making my baskets, but I have a long way to go to learn to crochet. The flowers, when done correctly, make a charming little scarf.

My art group, Portland Art Collective, celebrated its 5th anniversary this week. We all celebrated the fact that the same group of 25 women has been together for 5 years and have really become a family. I've gotten so much inspiration from this group of artists that I thought I'd share some of my favorite bits from them. These are a few who keep regular art blogs. Most are mixed media artists and have a wide variety of wonderful things on their blogs. Just a few of my favorites:

Paula works in cheerful colors and does wonderful felted bits, stenciling and journals. I love the Visual Calendars she keeps regularly.

Tory does everything but usually leans towards metal and found object work. Look at these fabulous charms she made recently.

Suzanne does colorful fabric pieces, recently with recycled linens, and jewelry. One of my favorite necklaces.

Leigh is keeping a fun blog where she has challenged herself to do a sketch a day. It's great to watch someone progress over the year. Love these boots!

Z'Anne does intricate bead work. She is doing a monthly bead journal challenge that is very interesting to follow.

And Jan does photography and artwork that is usually nature inspired like this wonderful little painting.

I am heading to Calif. tomorrow for the week. I will be visiting my friend Cindy who puts on great art retreats. Just staying at her house is a mini-art retreat in itself as we get to play in her fully stocked studio. Then it's on to visit my parents.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Out of Season

It feels strange to be working on fall leaves when pink blossoms are everywhere, but this background was a leftover from Jude's Crazy Quilt Revisited "What If" challenge, and I wanted to make a fall piece with it. I had cut printed leaves out of a fabric I liked and planned on adding them to the background, but they resisted. I finally gave up on them and then the piece went in its own direction. Maybe this light, joyful version of fall has a little springtime in it.

Monday, May 4, 2009


I've been working on pieces for a potential article. Here's a little peek at one of the corners: