keeping it simple

Feb 21, 2014

President's Day was this week, and two things came to mind.  I need to prune my roses and it's free admission day at the Portland Japanese Garden.  Seeing that it was a damp and drizzly day, I chose the latter. 

I first wrote about this enchanting place last year in this blog post.  I have been meaning to visit in the springtime when the plants and trees are in bloom.  Rhododendrens and azaleas especially thrive in this wet environment, and I love the vibrancy of their flowers. 

handsome koi

Strolling through the garden is such a peaceful experience.  And I am reminded how beauty is often in the simplest of things.

This week, I worked on a small linocut of Mt Hood.  It was nice to leisurely work on a project without the worries of deadlines or expectations.  I haven't decided what I'm going to do with the prints yet.  I could leave them as they are or add details to the sky.  What do you think?

all things weaving

Feb 14, 2014

my weaving corner
a vintage mini loom and a Leclerc rigid heddle loom

My intrigue with fiber arts goes back 30 years.  When I was ten, I learned how to knit from my aunt- thereby making the longest scarf known to mankind.  At this time, I also enrolled in a weaving class and a family friend introduced me to hand quilting.

As an adult, I've had to relearn some of these skills. And it wasn't until I purchased a vintage loom in 2012 that I picked up weaving again. Like quilting or knitting, weaving is very meditative.  It's a great balance to my painting process because it's repetitive and much more tactile.  I love working with texture and color, and weaving has become for me another outlet for creative experimentation and discovery. 

When I started making handwoven wall hangings, I wasn't expecting weaving to become such a fad.  The boho chic movement has definitely helped the weaving craze.  And fiber artists are getting wide exposure as retailers, like Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters, are carrying handwoven wall hangings and weaving kits. 

The attention has been well deserved for many weavers.  I have been following a few of them for awhile now and have loved seeing their unique styles evolve.  Here are some of my favorites. 

All Roads // Janelle Pietrzak and Robert Dougherty

Native Line // Justine Ashbee

Brook&Lyn // Mimi Jung and Brian Hurewitz

New Friends // Alexandra Segreti and Kelly Rakowski

Maryanne Moodie

As for my own collection, I am currently selling some weavings on the newly launched Hunters Alley, a sister site to One Kings Lane.  My handwoven wall hangings are also available in my Big Cartel shop, and, this week, I'm running a 20% off sale thru Feb. 15th.  Just enter promo code MADEWITHLOVE at checkout.

waking from hibernation

Feb 11, 2014

seeking beauty and solace at the Oregon coast

Finding balance between two worlds- family and work- is probably the greatest challenge for a working mom/wife.  Add the home as the workplace, and the lines get blurred even more.  I pride myself on being an effective multi-tasker, but even then, there just isn't enough time in the day to get everything done.  So dishes pile up in the sink, a shower is skipped, and time at my art desk is captured in wee hours of the night.  It's not the ideal situation, but I am grateful for it. 

The last six months have been some of my busiest- new collaborations, commissions, and the holiday hustle and bustle.  With the labor force still at one (just me), juggling all the new commitments have been quite precarious.  To maintain some assemblance of sanity and order, I've had to say 'no' to many things.  I wasn't expecting one of those sacrifices to be my blog.  But looking back these past few months, it was much needed.  I guess it was a hibernation of sorts.  Animals hibernate to store energy and survive the winter.  I was trying to preserve my creative energy.

Now that the busyness has waned a bit, I'm getting back into my old routine.  I'm breaking in a new sketchbook, and I'm currently working on a couple of paintings and weavings- not commissions, just for fun.  I'd like to get back to blogging on a regular basis, ideally a couple times a week.  I have over a dozen unfinished posts sitting in my draft queue, but I'm curious to hear topics of interest from readers.  If you have an idea or two for blog posts, feel free to list them below. 

Thanks for sticking with me.   

2014 commission: 4' x 8' chalkboard drawing of Pebble Beach

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