Monday, June 28, 2010

this makes me happy

A close friend sent me this webcomic via facebook.

image courtesy of

Sunday, June 27, 2010

monday post of wonderment...

There are lots of exciting things happening here in the basement studio of Bricolage Studios. So many that I wanted to post some super sneaky peek pictures of the happenings.

Saturday this past weekend was spent with a friend. I think we both needed a "day off" from everything. For the most part we sat around and chatted but at one point I jumped up with excitement and said we were going to do a project. "Are you ready?!" I exclaimed. I think I may have startled her a bit but once we got started it was a pretty cathartic and exciting exercise.
image courtesy of amazon

I had purchased the book Hot Textiles  by Kim Thittichai about a year ago after checking it out from the library and was so fascinated that it completely shut me down. "I can't do this!" I thought, and so the book was sat aside. There was one project I remembered quite well in the book was handmade beads from various synthetic fibers and a bit of copper wire. I had recently found my stash of sheer nylon (or polyester?) fabric and I always have a bunch of old aluminum knitting needles at hand so these beads were born from my hand.

These were almost too much fun and went so quickly! I keep talking about how I need a little more spontaneity in my work and these totally delivered. Notice the little Geek Squad bug in the background. :D I love that my 6'3" husband drives this wee little thing for work, lol!

working while you work

It's no secret, I hate my job. The day job. The only one I can't afford to lose.

I have been currently weighing the pros and cons of work and how I have tolerated it this long.
Image courtesy of amazon

When I came across the book The Artist in the Office I giggled a bit at the concept... but then had an "AHA" moment. This is what had made work tolerable. The fact that I often did non work related things while working.  I only really skimmed the book because I don't work in an office so many of the silly activities didn't apply (randomly dancing with a coworker near the copy machine being one of them... I work alone all day and no copy machine exists,) I realized that this was something I already did a little bit of. When I'm at work, I get amazing ideas for new jewelry lines, sculptures, and other artwork that I would like to create. I ALWAYS have my sketchbook in my purse so that I do not lose one of these ideas by not recording it immediately. (Amazing how short our memories can be sometimes...) This is one of the small things that makes my workday tolerable.

Also, I make a lot of lists, especially when I have huge deadlines looming, like a show in 4 days that I can't be working on anything for because I'm at work. I can breakdown the things I need to do when I am no longer stuck at work and it comforts me.

I even remember one time where I had not properly tied a skein of yarn. When I went to spin the excess water out of it, it entangled itself in the worst kind of rat's nest. I took it to work with me the next day because I knew the thought of it would drive me absolutely nuts all day. I gradually got it untangled throughout the day and then used two full cases of two liters to wind the skein around. It worked quite well. :D 

Currently, I need to get a pretty massive amount of fiber dyed. It will take me several hours just to pick through and wash the fiber, then I'd still have the whole dyeing process to go through. A friend of mine, Dani, over at pumpkinhaus, recently did a whole lotta solar dyeing AND posted amazing pictures on her flickr page as a tutorial. I had planned on doing this this weekend but the mosquitos were awful and I didn't get the wool ready in time to dye. Now I feel pressed and began looking up tutorials to see how long it typically takes, etc. I came across someone's blog who just left them in her car while she was at work. Absolutely. Freakin'. Genius. I could dye every day of the week I'm at work! It is always so damn hot in my car when I get out in the middle of the afternoon, it's sure to work and I don't even have to worry about bugs getting into it or the dog trying to drink the dye bath water! I almost think I should feel guilty about this one while I'm at work...or not. :D

By the way I did notice another thing that those who work in an office do that I occasionally need to do. Filing. Though I'm not sure theirs includes getting rid of the burrs on the edges of a copper pendant. Which reminds me, jewelry update tomorrow in the shop!

How do YOU sneak art into your work day? Don't worry, your secret is safe with me. :D

Thursday, June 24, 2010


you know those adorable little magnetic things with all the different faces with specific emotions that you can "select your mood." Mine would be on the disgruntled one RIGHT NOW!!!


with how busy I have been, the house is in disarray. This means I cannot find things. SO, when my camera battery died just as I was about to take pictures of all of my jewelry for my big update tomorrow, do you think I could find the charger? all is not lost though. I did eventually find it (of course it was in a place I had already looked a few times and I just somehow missed it) and it is now charging. I am still hoping to update tomorrow, I just probably won't get sneak peeks out like I had hoped.

we won't even mention the royal eff up on the city of battle creek's part with my water bill the ENTIRE two and half years Joe and I have lived here. well I guess I just mentioned it but we won't get into it.

yea disgruntled would be my mood. 

on the lighter side of things...

I do have a few pictures of the pieces I was going to post today that I took in my booth so enjoy the pretty baubles! 

Also, I did get some weaving started which I am VERY excited about. if all goes well with it I might even be able to dedicate a wee little blog about it this weekend.

I am having an impromptu yard sale this weekend AND am going to do some solar dying of a bunch of the fleece I have acquired in the past month or so. I think I figured it out and I have over 20 pounds to pick, wash, and dye. The feels kind of nice to know that I have all of that at my disposal. Which leads me to my next topic. MASSIVE FIBER UPDATE NEXT FRIDAY JULY 2!!! Seriously. There will be locks, firestar, and batts aplenty. All hand dyed by me! Yay!!!

Also Saturday I am going to a roller derby double header in kalamazoo. Should be an exciting adventure and might get my mind off the one terrible thing going on right now...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

all this beauty...

One of my favorite 'bands' would definitely have to be the married duo of Deb Talan and Steve Tannen, a.k.a. The Weepies. I absolutely adore their music and only discovered them because I loved Deb's music so much that I craved more. (new album in August btw, I'm chomping at the bit and already snagged their single which I NEVER do...) One of their lovely older tunes is called All This Beauty and I think of it often when I witness something so simply and naturally beautiful. Listening to their music makes me get that deep down feeling of what it is like to fall in love all over again.

it's been a while

You must be thinking, "Yea, it has been a while since she posted something." While this is true, it has also been a while since I was featured in a treasury. I was pleasantly surprised today to find that one of my poppy shawl pins had been featured in an all poppy treasury put together by
You can view it while it lasts here or just take a looksie below. :D
My lack of posting has really just been because I've been sooooo busy getting ready for these shows the past two weekends. I am happy to say that I will now have about a month's break before my next show venture. Plenty of time to dye lots of fiber, work on my new jewelry lines (and the old ones too of course,) and get some one of a kind work done.

"New lines?"  you ask. Why yes, new lines. To be completely honest, I didn't start spinning just so that I could make myself fabulous yarns. I started spinning with every intention of incorporating that handspun goodness into my jewelry. I started a handspun line about a year ago, and while I was happy with the concept, I wasn't entirely pleased with the design. I began reworking it on paper several months back and only recently was able to execute it into it's newly revamped design. I debuted it at the show this weekend with just a few pieces and got an awful lot of compliments and a even sold a few. I didn't get any good photos of them yet but I did get some good photos of my new booth setup for art fairs. I typically only have my jewelry at the art fairs but am beginning to wonder if I shouldn't put my yarn in also... something to think about. Any thoughts?

I did get a few good pictures of my two new "talisman" pieces. Who knew that something as simple as a neckwire from Susan Lenart Kazmer's new Industrial Chic line of components could be so inspiring? Of course everything Kazmer does seems to inspire me. :D
I am having so much fun with these pieces! Spontaneous things are happening again which has immensely helped in the hibernating creativity department. I get in such ruts sometimes... Anyhow, these have also helped me to use some of my discarded designs and prototypes and make them into something I treasure again. Sometimes it is so disappointing to create something you love so much, only to have it be passed by when you introduce it. Very few people walked by these new pieces without admiring them so I know I've done something right by them now. Warm fuzzy feelings all around.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Wow! so I get this weekend off, start teaching Monday, and of course working all week long at the crummy job but then, OH THEN, begins two jam packed weekends of shows.

June 12 - Fiber Arts and Animal Festival (FAAF)  at Sidetrack Ice Cream in Marshall, MI
June 13 - Fulton Street Artisan Market (FSAM) downtown Grand Rapids, MI
June 19 - Art in the Park downtown at Mill Race Park Battle Creek, MI

Wanna be able to choose from some of my goods in person AND shop for other super amazing handmade wonderfulness, then YOU need to be at one of these three places. :D For more info please check out my "Schedule 2010" link below my banner.

By the way, each and every one of these shows are located very close to good eateries (specifically Microbrews which are my personal favorite.) In fact, Dark Horse Brewing Co. is just a stone's throw away from the Fiber show on June 12th and they are having their famous Crawfish Broil that day.

So anyway, please come out and support us hard workin' arty/crafty folk. Stimulate some of this mitten state's economy and shop local hey?

Oh, and by the way, go see my show at Brownstone North. I promise tags and artist statement will be up tomorrow down there. :D Proper photographs to share will follow very soon also.