Thursday, January 29, 2009

And we have a winner!




My great niece Amelia is holding Teddi's name.  We had fun grasping the concept of "just one" for the first few draws and then she finally caught on.

The book will be on its way to New Mexico in trade.  I just wish I could figure out a way to go with the book and escape the snow and ice.  School has been out from Tuesday through the end of this week and I've been in since then as well. 

I was at my workshop on Monday and look what I did...

DSCN3870-1 I sliced this quilt right down the middle.  Since I did not clued me that my emotional attachment was low.  It was a collage exercise from the start and I didn't like it...I'm going to re-fashion it into something I want to hang here at home.   I'm holding a series in the back of my mind on Prayers and at first I was thinking I would make this the first one, but its better off as a study for what to do and not to do when I get to that series. 

Here is what the refashion might look like when its finished...nothing complicated...but I love the colours and the photos.


Thanks to those who expressed interest in the trade and the give-a-way. 

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I'm just a simple peasant woman

so why do I attempt to multi-task?  No, I haven't completed a quilt; no, I haven't started Color & Composition with the Debbie Babin's Yahoo group; no, I haven't scheduled the PT for the sciatica (since its gotten somewhat better, trying to wait it out); no, I haven't photographed the rest of the quilts in order to complete my website; no, I haven't completed One Hundred Years of Solitude (have 25 pages to go and I don't want it to end...I'm really gonna miss the crazy Buendias and the village of Macondo)and I'm sure there are some other things I could answer no to...BUT, yes, I've discovered Ning (see my sidebar) and I love the sites for the complete integration of all social networking on the net; yes, I found a way to get the critiques of my work on the Fiber Focus site via the Awful Truth (for the thick skinned); yes, I've talked to 2 different men on making the sewing table from the plans I ordered from Keepsake Quilting (waiting estimates so I can yea or nay the idea); yes, I'm still in love with casual forms of Calligraphy as opposed to the highly decorative scripts; yes, I've discovered Photoshop Elements (came with the scanner but I wanted to learn its big brother Photoshop which I haven't done); yes, I'm enrolled in an online workshop, Creating Custom Digital Brushes with Gail Schmidt at Creative Workshop (another Ning group); yes, I've started one of the art marketing books; and yes I have a give-a-way and a trade!!!!

I have the Premier Issue of Where Women Create, a Stampington Publication:


I'll draw a name from a bag this coming Wednesday night from commentors to this post and announce the winner Thursday with a new post.

And I'd like to trade something for the book that led to the creation of the magazine.  What you ask do I want in trade?  I dunno...make me an offer here or via email at seamless_skin (at) yahoo (dot) com for something.  I'll announce what I chose from any offers that I might receive on Thursday...if I get nothing, it will go into the grab bag at the next LAFTA meeting.


And I like to unveil one of my stamps created in PSE...for me this is a big deal!  I call it "Do you remember when we were in Paris?"

Lena in Paris

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Meditating Over It...

Yesterday I sat in silent meditation with the quilt pictured in the post below and together we decided that the size cannot change.  To address the puckering concern, round donut-shaped stones in a variety of sizes will be added on.  The solution felt BRILLIANT!  The stones echo the motif of life being circular as well as a line from the poem.  I applied the evaluation techniques I learned in the Benn/Morgan Workshop.  I saw that the cloth was not as complex in layers as I previously viewed it and wanted more, so the additional embellishments will help some with this.  One of the comments that Claire Benn had made was that American surface designers tend to lean toward less layering than their European counterparts when making complex cloth.  (Not a judgement but an observation)  I want this series to be vibrant or intense AND sophisticated in appearance.  I spent about 3 hours yesterday evaluating this quilt...not continuously...I would write my observations and thoughts down between staring at the quilt.  I took brief breaks to start on another work in progress that I've named my Prayers series...the fabric is one dyed by Helene Davis that I picked up at AQS-Paducah years ago...I stamped it with a symbol for Sankofa and quilted it a long while ago.  I started the beadwork yesterday:

DSCN3858the beads are amber-coloured but the fabric is not this warm and is even a cool brown...the lights in the dining room gives off a yellow cast plus I couldn't remember how to turn off the flash.

The inspiration for Prayers came from the beaded prayers project by Sonya Clark.  In my last year of employment I came across her work and contacted her about doing a workshop with with the clients that utilized services where I worked.  We coudn't afford her fees and the interest in fundraising specifically for this project was not present in the Development staff.  I was deflated by it because I soooo believe in the art and health connection.  I have one completed in this series (story of my life) called The Faith of the Mother.  I've shown pieces of it on the blog but not the completed quilt...will try to get it photographed soon. 

Let the blessings rain on us all! Peace,


Friday, January 16, 2009

Things Fall Apart

And no, this is not a review of Chinua Achebe's novel! I had just two days at my workshop this week...I was going in today but find myself dealing with the pain of sciatica (something new for me) so I came home and today I will play with some calligraphy between drug-induced naps. 

Shortly after Christmas I had this pain in my hip/lower back and it progressed down through my leg in days following...sometimes it would seem to get better and sometimes I wouldn't feel it  at all but then last week I had tears flowing trying to get up in the mornings.  The pain would get better as I moved around but the mornings became horrendous! Finally went to the er and followed up with my doc and I'm trying to decide whether to take the PT she ordered or wait for a few weeks to see if there is any improvement.  I really do not want to accomodate the effects of taking the pain pill and the muscle relaxer...I have stuff I need/want to do and this is such an intrusion in my plans here!  Yesterday I did fairly okay without taking anything until the afternoon and had to miss a meeting with area textile and fiber artists.

The other problem which I knew was coming, came cutting table collasped!  (My mother's voice in my head "they saw you coming)  I purchased this table at Hancock's about 2 years ago and got it for 50% off.  I paid 50 bucks and it was the last one. Boy, did I feel smug and satisfied!  Well, when I set up the workshop back in the spring there was one problem screw that would not stay in...okay, I thought, I'll contend with it and just tighten it up from time to time.  Well since then every single screw has fallen out!  I would be in my workshop and here this "ping" would be the sound of a screw falling out and hitting the floor.  Every single screw that holds the top to the legs will not stay in.  Since I've been in a printing and sewing mode I've not had to use the table for cutting and have piled supplies on it.  Thinking that the weight of the supplies held the top down I really didn't give it too much thought (or just didn't want to deal with it)...well, like I said, yesterday it gave I'm on the search for a replacement.  I've inquired about 3 wood kitchen tables on Craigslist between 20-40 bucks and am waiting for replies.  I'm thinking I could glue the current cutting surface to the top of a rectangle kitchen table and elevate it with risers.  A friend of my father's could build me one if I don't need it in hurry and he is the same one who I'm waiting to call about building me a sewing table...but he works full time at Ford and it is so up in the air when I'll have them.  I'm just kinda typing out loud here for the most cost efficient and immediate answer to this problem.

And if the sciatica and collasped table wasn't enough...with less than 1/6 of the quilting to go on the current quilt that measures 60"x40" (huge for me) I ran into some SERIOUS puckering where the fusible didn't adhere well.  I would rather make a whole new quilt than to try to take the quilting out (a hell of a lot) and pull apart the fabric from the batting to adjust I thought cutting in down in size since the puckering is near the left edge.  The puckering you can see (click on image to enlarge) is not the worst of it either...I have that section folded back to see how adjusting the width would effect the overall design.  The yellow section is also wider than in the photo. 

DSCN3845 copy 

My other idea is to sew down patches of stone and rock that form circles over the problematic area and across the quilt in other sections...The title of this quilt is "washing over the stone of our origin" or "stone of our origin" which is a line from the poem written on it. 

Ah, but the brave thing that I did yesterday was to re-fashion quilt study into postcards and trading cards...if you take a peek at my old blog, Art Going Postal, they are in the line with Urban Egression.  When I complete the edging I'll place them up for sale and trade on a page here and on my website. 

With the King Holiday and the Inaurugation to follow I'm really jazzed...I like to prepare what I call a Freedom dinner on King Holiday and listen to and read his speeches, especially The Letter From the Birmingham Jail.  I think I'm going to watch the festivities with my parents on Tuesday and possibly drop into one of the community gatherings around town.  How are you planning to spend Monday and Tuesday?


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Mean-spirited posting

Don't think I've not noticed all the recipes on blogs over the holidays that included the drug of sugar!  I have and I just think its pure meanness that compels one to share such horrible things with others. So in keeping with the spirit of things, here goes my contribution:

Princess' Potato Chip Cookies:

Cream together:

1 cup butter

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup of sugar

(if I remember to, I cut back to 3/4 cup of each sugar)

Add 2 eggs and mix well

Sift and add:

2 1/2 cups flour w/ 1 tsp. baking powder


2 tsp. vanilla

1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

1 (12 oz.) package butterscotch morsels

2 cups crushed potato chips (crush them in a ziploc bag and work out your frustrations)

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a baking sheet.  Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden.

Makes about 4 dozen.

Everything I attempted to bake over the holidays came out a mess. Finally, I decided to fall back on a trusted favorite and go with these cookies!  This recipe was first given to me by an online buddy from back in the day when I was a member of an online board for the book The Divine Secrets of the Ya-ya Sisterhood.  At the time my daughter, from the age of 10-12yo, ran a cookie business which was all her idea!  She did this alongside her cousin who is one year older and they employed me for free as I had the vehicle to deliver the goods and access to paying customers.  Anyways, she was reluctant to try this recipe but it turned into one of her most requested.  Their business was called Mo and Jo's Cookie Bakers...and just where are they today?????? 

Speaking of family, more about my beloved bro, UpfromSumDirt.  First, here is a podcast interview of him by Elijah Saint:   Real As It Gets  Its 30 mintues long and Elijah does most of the talking which translates to my bro being a "mush mouth" but since he's-family-I-still-dug-his-words-even-though-I-had-to-read-between-the-lines-and-because-I-know-him-I-knew-what-he-was-trying-to-say. 

And here is a down and dirty opinion of cell phones written by him: (but if you're offended by bastardization of the english language or profanity, stop here and come back another day)

cell phones: it can no longer be justified
Category: Goals, Plans, Hopes

and neither should it be condoned any further, but after several years of using one ive finally reached the conclusion that CELL PHONES IS EVIL! ...or cell phone COMPANIES actually. i firmly believe that the expense of maintaining them has SINGLE HANDEDLY RUINED THE ENTIRE ECONOMY! back in the day we all came up in households that had one (and if extremely privileged, then two!) phone lines - biggo yellow, tan or black boxes that clung to the walls of our mama anem's kitchens like ceramic fungus... one phone for the distribution of one family of maybe 4 individuals. one bill. it wasnt perfect but it was a damn good system. and now? nowadays, a single home averages 3 cell phones each one EQUATING TO A CAR PAYMENT PER MONTH! in some cases, folks ARE MAKING THE EQUIVALENT OF A MORTGAGE PAYMENT per month just to send 'i luv u baby' by way of text messaging... this shit is crazy. folks who have lost their homes still have cell phones. ... the system has conned us that we need to have our phones be the ultimate machines, but who continues paying indefinitely on a luxury good? want to play games? buy a playstation handheld - pay it off in a couple months. want to watch a movie? rent that shit/stick it into your dvd player/return that shit. wanna listen to music? go buy a walkman or an ipod, PAY THAT SHIT OFF and listen to your jams all day long... wanna make a phone call? go into the kitchen, dial 7 to 10 numbers say "hello" hang up and go on about your business. but we need to stop giving these cell phone companies carte blanch authority to run rampant thru our bank accounts... WHERE'S THE CELL PHONE WITH JUST THE GAHDAMN NUMBERS ON IT?!?! sprint: this is what i need my phone to do: make a call, receive a call. voice mail is a good option. but who needs to download beyonce's latest hit onto a phone when you can buy the damn cd and listen to it on the music player of your choice with no further financial obligation to your PHONE COMPANY or anyone else... this shit is illegal. they use humor to placate you! you've all seen the ads where some poor joe drops a phone book on the table and threatens to bury his family in the backyard for all the outrageous charges forced on them - it aint their fault! i cant even call it BAMBOOZLED... this is straight up piracy. they got us focusing on wall street and detroit - but one of the biggest drains on society today is being carried around in the pockets and purses of 75 percent of the american population. ...beyond 'gangsta' this shit is terrorism! and yeah, I'M CALLING SPRINT OUT! what are they gonna do? drop me? not until my contract is up you can believe that! consider this a call to arms!


Sunday, January 4, 2009

Rocket Science here?

Whew! I'm whupped! Since Christmas I've spent countless slew of hours upon hours into days, nights building 2 first one was with homestead which I was fairly pleased with until my brother shared some web hosts he had been looking being which I fell in love with and begin to get to work...I'll be deleting the one at homestead but if you get to this before I delete it, you can take a peek at

The one that I'm keeping is still not complete but because I've invested so much of my time, time that I'll can never get back, I'm deeming it blog worthy to share at this point.  Go take a peek: Karen R. Davis.  The pages that hold material are home, statement, gallery (sub pages 1 and 2), links (not working yet), contact, and a little bit in news. Nothing has been worked on in Postcards, Monochrome (the "e" doesn't show up on the button), and Poetry Series. 

Even though I worked with a template, it wasn't a simple drop in and click...I had to actually dust off some brain cells and think!  In my down time I focused on finishing up the book, One Hundred Years of of the most intriguing books I've read but also very convoluted.  Every area of humankind is covered in this book for which the author won the Nobel.  From beginning to end a lot of activity takes place on every page...couple this with the difficulty of keeping track of the genealogy of the characters that isn't easy and my mind barely has energy to walk around or open a window in my head to allow a cool breeze to blow through.  My spirit has been delighted though, but my brain is just being snarky, saying things like "so now, i guess you'll try to build a rocket next". 

Well, this sums up the ending and beginning of my old and new year!  If you have any comments, critiques, suggestions, what have you for my website...please let me know by commenting here or using the contact form on the site.