First Reviews: Private Moments Gone Public

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I just got my first review on One More Once Upon a Time!

one more once upon a time print final8-16_Page_26It’s always a scary moment. I woke up to Don saying, “You’ve got a review today.” And in my head, my mind is going, “Did they like it? Did they? Did they?”
Books have a life of their own. From the moment they’re published they will do things you can’t and go places you can’t. As an author, you just have to get over that.
Books are so private in their making and so public in their lives. You make them mostly in the silence of your study or studio. Then you put them out to do anything they will do in the world. And all of a sudden, people who don’t know you from Adam, know all kinds of things about you. I have, in the past, forgotten what I wrote and been deeply unnerved by what they knew about me.
one more once upon a time print final8-16_Page_34But that’s the wonder of books. We are broader, wider, more public, more real for having written and for reading. Our world is more deeply connected. 
Doing art is similar. You do it because it’s important, vital, to you. The miracle occurs when it matters to someone else as well. Art changes what we think, and how we perceive. It changes what we perceive. What could be more important than that?
But in the end, it was just you fuddling around in the studio. Private becomes public. But maybe, in a small corner, in a small way, we change the world.
So nothing matters quite so much as whether people get it. Did they like it? Did they?
With One more Once Upon a Time, I wanted to showcase the universality of some great older illustrators. And I had a party with the Photoshop toolbox. It’s unabashed eye candy. But who doesn’t have a hungry eye? A huge part of my happiness is when I find something that makes my eyes feel like they’re there for a reason, to see something of delight.
I also had a personal triumph. I figured out how to publish a color book in Kindle. I’m very pleased to be able to share things in another format.
So this is the very nice thing someone called Pedalpoint said about my book.

 

Not your run-of-the-mill picture book, Eddy has used her well-known creative eye and flair for color to create a whole new book experience. This collection of digitally created artwork is based on traditional illustrations used in a very nontraditional way. Be prepared for the unexpected. Some images will bring a smile, others will bring a pause to ponder. Each image is titled, then a short sentence follows to guide your thoughts…or not. And that is precisely what I suspect Eddy is encouraging each of us to do: to think, to visualize, to personalize, and look beyond the obvious. The book has few words, but is large in vision.

Thanks! From my point of view, she got it. Pretty much that’s what I had in mind. That and a party plan with eye candy in a candy bowl.one more once upon a time print final8-16_Page_08

A word about reviews. Even if you don’t like a book, review it. But especially if you do like it. Your word counts! And it helps build interest! As an author I am always grateful for every review.

Check out One More Once Upon a Time. It’s on both Kindle and in print at Amazon.com.

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Mixed Media: Changing Art Forms

Artists are creatures of habit. We talk about developing a style and a look, but it becomes so much deeper than that. Eventually, we develop a way of thinking artistically that is our own.

So one of the strangest things to do as an artist is to change media. Because it inevitably changes the way we think about how we create.collage

Strangely enough, changing from fiber art to Photoshop was not as bad a stretch as I thought it would be. They’re both done in layers, and what matters is the order of the layers.

Why the change?

I’ve gone through some health passages lately. Last year I spent around 5 months in bed with leg and foot troubles. Wailing around with fabric was hopeless. Getting into the studio was hopeless too. I started working with art that could be in my bed with me.

Matisse paper cut-out

I’m certainly not the first. Matisse was bedridden for a while and did the most amazing art cut-outs of paper painted with gouache. The art doesn’t stop because you’re ill or unable. It’s like water flowing. It finds it’s own way.

 

 

Will I go back to fiber art? I hope so. But the collage has filled a fascinating place for me, and I’m still compelled by it. And dragging large quilts through the machine is physically tough.

one more once upon a time print final8-16_Page_01So in celebration of having made a lot of eye candy, I’ve made a little book of these things. One More Once Upon a Time is a collection of collages made from illustrations of Kay Nielsen, Tenniel, Denslow, Neill, and Grandville. This is a small gallery book of these that I hope you enjoy as much as I do. Available on Amazon and in my Etsy store ( should you want a signed copy.)

You can see more collages on my web page for that.

 

So, Do I Print Them? Asking You If You’d Like These as Fabric Prints…

tea partyI love new tech. And I love new possibilities. A while back I began to experiment with Photoshop and 1900’s book illustrations from Grandville and Alice and Wonderland. I wasn’t thinking of it as fabric. I have a small publishing company and I’ve always wanted to be competent to do my own illustrations. I was training for that.

But the world is wide. After a number of these, I’ve fallen in love with the process. No surprise there. It’s layered on top of layers. Familiar, yes? But in instant time.

YES! YES! YES!

I’ve been posting these on Facebook because I’ve needed the input. And you’ve responded. Finally, someone asked me if they were for sale.

My current intent has been to put them in a book, partially as a learning exercise for putting Kindle books together.

But, why not? After finding my museum owned quilt up for a scam sale as a blanket, I might as well benefit from it. These are delicious designs, perfect for either inclusion in another fabric piece or for framing/mounting on their own. An 18″x 22″ panel would cost around $22,

roses and dragonflies
Garden Girl

So, does anyone have an interest? At this point, it’s simply an idea. I have a gallery of images available. Would you want it in quilting cotton? Canvas? Let’s test it out.

flying monkey adjusted

For the first four people interested, I’ll deliver the pieces for $15 plus shipping. Your choice of image and of material. Or is there some other way I should make them available?

 

You can see a collection of these collages on this site.

 

Blowing Off Bullies!

Nell and Dancing in the Light

36 hours ago, I found a quilt of mine being offered as a fuzzy printed blanket. There were other quilters works as well. I won, as much as I think you can. I yelled at them significantly via email. Now both their facebook page sales page with my quilt are down.
I’m actually somewhat convinced that this was a scam from both ends. Not only did they steal my image, I don’t think they were prepared to create a blanket from it. I think they scammed it straight across the board. I don’t believe anyone got a blanket who ordered on because I don’t believe they really made any.
Don’t have any idea what to say about that. It bespeaks of anonymous dishonesty that the web is full of, but I don’t believe it was necessarily Chinese. It looks like it might be Canadian or for Us. It doesn’t matter. It helps if you can’t see your victims face.
If you have been quilting for a while, and have images out there, you might want to look around to see if someone is using them. But we have to ask the question of how to stop this and I don’t have any real answers.

I do have an answer to something I’ve struggled with all my life. I’ve never been any good at backing down a bully. It was really rewarding to demand my quilt removed and have that honored. I don’t think that’s a star for US Trendy Gear. But it does remind me I have a voice of my own and the right to scream a bully or a thief down. There’s a glow to that in this mess. I may be small, but I be mighty!

There’s also the glow from the many quilters I’ve worked with over the years that supported me here. I am always grateful for the decency and kindness of the quilting community. and honored to be among them. Love you all!

 

Have You Arrived When They Start to Steal From You?

37390731_2063024557041319_8838992083273383936_n_2000xhttps://www.ustrendygear.com/products/gorgeous-dragonfly-blanket-t69?variant=12253647568983

Is this my quilt, Dancing in the Light?

Looks like it, doesn’t it?

Surprise! It’s a fuzzy blanket TrendyGear.us decided to print for sale. I am still sitting here with my head between my knees.

In a way, it probably means I’ve arrived. I’m finally valuable enough to copy. The piece itself resides in the permanent collection of the National Quilt Museum. That would have been honor enough.

But in the days of digital reproduction, all it takes is a good photo.

For those of us who have sort of aged out of the quilt world, it seems very weird to be looking at my best-known work as an object of theft. My health as of late has precluded travel and teaching. I’ve been working on other less aerobic things. I got married. I work on books and writing lately.

But this is the culmination of 35 years of professional quilting. A magnum opus as it were. To be put on a blanket and sold for $49.00.

As I understand it, this is China in the big bad west. No rules, no help. There was some suggestion that the whole site was a scam and that the blankets themselves don’t really exist.

I doubt very much there’s any recourse.  I almost want to order one to see how bad it is. Then again, I can hardly think of being scammed twice.

All art is derivative. We copy to learn. I’ve always been broad-minded about it around students because I chose to teach. If you choose to teach, you choose to share what you do, and that includes copying technique and to some extent subject matter. I’ve seen hundreds of quilts with a heron on it similar to the cover of Thread Magic. My work has always defended itself, in its complexity.  Until someone decided to print it onto a blanket.

I’m curious as to how others have handled this. I don’t often ask for advice or guidance, but this time I have no idea what do to next once I’m done praying to the porcelain goddess. Anyone with words of wisdom? What do you think?

Non-Verbal Communication: Music and Art as a Second Language

flowing-piano-keyboard-e2407I wish I’d taken a spoken language in High School. I took Latin, which is not so much a communication as a repository of history. I loved it. But it really didn’t function as communication.

I took Spanish in college. I was dreadful at it. There was no one there speaking to me in Spanish about anything I wanted to know.

Language is not vocabulary and grammar. Language is communication. I was in my forties when I realized that not only were languages different from each other, but the words that created the thoughts in that language likely couldn’t be reproduced precisely in another language.

I had a family of Bosnians move into my building and spent time doing homework help with the kids. I had days where I never heard an English word.

I never learned to speak Spanish. I got quite good at communicating in Bosnian. The difference was my need to do so. I wanted to understand and to make myself understood. The surprise with different languages is that they don’t always have the same words. And since our thoughts are expressed in words, you think differently in another language. The language forms the way we think.

When I hear school organizations suggest removing art and music from their programs, I feel like rushing into the room with the bean counters and explaining to them that they are removing major education from our children. Art and music are not enrichment. Art is the language of emotion. Music is the language of mathematics. You can’t say or think certain things without knowing their languages. Take away art and music and you might as well tie blinders on them. There’s a whole way to think and express themselves they may never learn.

Schools may not be able to afford to teach art and music. But we can’t afford not to teach it. Or learn it. It changes how the mind develops, what it can think, how we feel, what we can say.

I am studying singing with Gail Masinda and Masinda Music Studio. Because of the weather, my first class was on Skype. It was incredibly personal and fun. It also was a fair amount of exercise, which I need right now. But mostly, I could feel my brain and lungs both expand at the same time.

I hope you reach for every language available to you. I hope you learn to think in music and color. I hope you speak to your children in songs and in images. Because it doesn’t just change how we communicate. It changes how we are able to think.

Fashion Plates: An Easy Dog Sweater for a Chilly Dog

lotus and chloe 5

I recently posted pictures of our new dog to be, Chloe. We introduced her to our family dog coat, and she and Lotus proceeded to put on a doggy fashion show for the little girls at the Rural King.

Susan Viall asked me how I make their coats. This is for her and for anyone else with a chilly dog.

I’ve made these for years. They’re polar fleece, cut in one piece and serged, They wash easily, keep a dog warm in a chilly room or when they’re doing zoomies in the yard. They can be made to fit any dog, and tie instead of having a velcro closure that can abrade delicate tummy skin.

dog coat

You’ll need

  • Polar fleece the length of your dog from head to base of tail. 1 yard works for most greyhounds. Larger boys may need 1 1/8th yards.
  • A serger or sewing machine with a double-knit stitch
  • Polyester thread that stretches

Instructions:

  • fold the polar fleece so that the folded edge is roughly the length of your dog from middle of back to their tummy plus a couple inches. The fold will be uneven.
  • Cut the tab out of the single layer and the body section out of the folded section
  • Serge the neck edge ( or edge it with a double-knit stitch)
  • Serge the front seam together
  • Serge all around the edge.
  • Add a buttonhole on the side that doesn’t have the tab
  • Dress your dog! The tab goes through the button hole and you tie it softly overhand.

All of my dogs have loved having a sweater on a chilly day! They wash warm water, cold rinse. Just be careful not to dry them on high or the polar fleece becomes crispy.

Greyhounds are always cold. But other dogs feel the weather as well. Dress them up and warm their hearts!

Chloe hasn’t arrived yet. We met her last week. She’s from American Greyhound in Hobart, IN. More about her story on my site.