Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Way We Talked - Try Using this Word in a Sentence

It is cold in Marietta, Georgia.
Not Chilly, but Cold.

So, I am working on all of my jobs with the heat going full blast
and too many layers of clothes on.

Unlike this woman:

I came up to my graphics studio to grab the old, falling-apart dictionary
that has been crumbling on my back bookshelf
to select some pages to put in a tea bath.

Then, I started focusing on the words on those pages
and my attention went 180 degrees from what I was supposed to be doing.

Did you know that in the 1800's, there was a word that meant
Wanton-ness or Friskiness??

The word is Petulcity.
I dare you to use that word in a coherent sentence at the next office party.....

How about this one:  Pezle Mezle.
Apparently that was the phrase in the 1800's that now means Pell-Mell.
I kind of like the way that Pezle Mezle feels in my mouth.  
I can see making use of Pezle Mezle during the Holidays, can't you?

And I leave you with this:  Pettifogulize.
This juicy word meant to "use petty and contemptible tricks or quibbles".
Of course, anyone who engages in such behavior is known as a Pettifogulizer.
Know anyone like that?

I think I prefer wanton friskiness.

I do know this old dictionary will go on my bedside table for some entertaining reading.
Saved from the tea bath...

Back to work; can't sit still too long at my desk or my toes will get frost bite!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

How To Loose Weight at Warp Speed

I'm serious.
Go pour a glass of water, and let me explain
while you slurp it down.

Water simply isn't on my radar screen.
To drink, that is.
My Dad had the same blank spot.

When I was little, after a pre-school checkup, my pediatrician told my Mom 
to wake me up for school with a glass of water in her hand 
and wait until I had drunk it down before leaving the room.
Chances were, that would be the last water I would drink that day.
Go figure.  I just never thought about drinking water.
Milk, orange juice, Nehi Strawberry or Peach and sweet tea were my faves,
with Mom's good coffee laced with lots of milk and sugar sometimes.
With that to choose from, why drink tasteless water?

Last year at my annual checkup, the doc told me to cut down on salt.
He said my face was puffy from too much salt and not enough water.

That reminded of my childhood, but only briefly.  
I forgot about it, and sprinkled my new favorite smoked salt on almost everything.
This year, he studied my face, looked at my BP and said abruptly,
"Stop eating salt.  Period."
And left the room.

So, okay.  I was already on a mission to increase my water intake, so I thought,
"What the heck.  I'll go for it."
I tripled my water intake, and started squeezing lemon juice on my food.
Almost same as salt, but surprisingly tastier.

One week later, I am down 6 pounds.
That's a lot of fluid.

With a jump start like that, I'm back on my sensible eating plan of 
"Calories in, calories out".
Don't eat more calories in a day than you can burn off.
Walk every day in the fresh air,
cut down on white stuff like rice and bread,
and enjoy zipping into those jeans hung in the back of the closet.

Just in time for cold weather and layered clothes.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Sand Dunes, Sea Turtles, and High Fashion

See this?

Jonathan Saunders                                     Paul Smith

Spring/Summer 2015 Women's Ready to Wear 
by Jonathan Saunders and Paul Smith that caught my eye.

And see these little guys??
Photo courtesy Holly Beck

So, here is this,
That I designed for your Beach Cottage.

And, this:

Turtle Bay Bedding Ensemble.

Available in Basic Cotton, Linen Cotton Canvas, Eco Canvas, Cotton Silk, Silk Crepe de Chine, etc. at my Spoonflower fabric shop here .

And yes, I am still awash in the Fall Runway Shows and gobbling up the fabulous palettes and patterns being shown there - I simply can't get enough of it!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Swimming in the Milan Spring Summer 2015 Catwalk

Will you just look at this fabulous-ness?
Emilio Pucci for SS 2015.

And this from Stella Jean?

This is serious eye candy, and a sumptuous teaser for the palettes and styles you are going to see in the Spring and Summer of 2015.  

Gorgeous colors and flow-y, drape-y and swish-y styles are going to permeate the landscape of the streets, restaurants, shops and parks next Spring...how lovely is THAT??

The only thing I love more than layered swish-y fabrics is the sartorial look, which is a great counter point to this look and has a flirty tension all its own...but that post is for later.  Right now, just look at these colours and patterns!

The Milan Catwalk for Spring/Summer 2015 was simply delightful.  
The palettes and patterns presented by some of my  favorite fashion designers 
made me smile out loud.  And I'm utterly delighted that although I had no clue 
what they would present on this September's catwalks, I've apparently been 
swimming in the same pond without knowing it since April.
I had started a new collection based on one of our trips this Spring, 
but was hesitant to finish it out... 
I felt like it was too "Out There" - too Saturated.  Too Landscape-y.  
Now, I can lay those fears to rest and finish those collections with a party in my heart.

Look at Stella Jean's lovely skirt and blouse: 
Stella Jean SS 2015

And...here is my Cottage Porch Collection, started in June of this year.  When I saw Stella Jean's "Houses On a Hill" walking down the catwalk, I nearly 
fell out of my chair with delight!

Now, take a look at this close-up of one of Just Cavalli's dresses:

                                                              And this serving of scrumptiousness from Stella Jean:

Don't you want to go get a big spoon and just 
eat this up??

(In my next life
I am going to be
5'10" and have
gorgeous hands
and a long neck...)  

With these lovely images in my head and heart, how could I NOT be dancing in my studio? 

Now that I've gobbled up this catwalk, 
I can't wait to get my collections finished and 
posted to my Spoonflower shop. 
Lesson learned.  Follow your heart; always follow your heart.

Now, back to working on my new Cavalli Jean Collection!

Monday, May 26, 2014

A Report on Surtex and National Stationery Show 2014

I'm bidding a fond farewell to New York City
and heading home with my head packed with images
from the National Stationery Show
and Surtex.

Like this early evening view from my hotel window:

The Shows were beautifully presented.
Hundreds of Exhibitors and throngs of Buyers
created a great upbeat vibe throughout the Javits Center.

The artwork presented was beautiful.

Here is a tiny sampling of what I saw - all images from the artists.
Artwork of Laura Lobdell
Artwork of Sandra Jacobs

Artwork of Diane Kappa

Orange, Dusky Pink, Emerald Green, Blues, Mustard Yellow
and pops of Orchid in shades from Plum to Lavender
were the Colors of the Show.

Cactus and Succulents, cute little Forest Creatures, Vintage Kitchenware,
Paisleys, Plants in Pots, and of course lush Florals
were everywhere.  Tropical motifs, including Flamingos 
were also widely represented.
Lighthouses, Whales, Anchors and Beach Scenes 
caught my eye in some booths,
and of course there were the Seasonal workhorse motifs 
in many booths.

It was a virtual Tidal Wave of art.

By far and away, the National Stationery Show had the largest crowds and the most exhibitors, including a new section of Gifts and Creative & Lifestyle Arts
and another new section for Etsy Wholesalers.

In addition to the lovely booths offering Stationery and other Paper Goods,
there were booths displaying equipment to be used in the creation of all this lovely stuff.

Waste Not Paper was packed with buyers - both retailers and artists.

Janome had a huge booth set up with embroidering machines.
There were paper scoring machines, corner rounders, and foil finishing equipment services.
Software for personalized stationery and Hot Stamping services.

AccuCut had a booth that was hard to get into - they doing a booming business selling their Stationery Die Cutting Machine, the GrandeMARK Roller.
Image courtesy Traci Ambrust of AccuCut...the night before opening.

I jostled my way through numerous paper and stock booths,
looked over the Scotch Brand booth, 
and visited The Gift It section.

Perhaps the most amazing booth was the Hewlett Packard presentation,
where they had latex printers displayed that would print on almost any substrate,
up to Billboard Size!

Bottom line, this is the best Market I've ever attended to bring artists, artisans, agents, equipment and buyers together.

If you are an artist wanting to sell your artwork for application, do yourself a favor
and start saving up now for Surtex 2015 to at least walk the show.
If you have a small business in Stationery, Embroidery, or other hand made product,
the same goes for you.

It is truly worth the price of admission.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Pattern Genes from Mom

This is an old picture of my Mom at a Girl's Party in her Mother's front yard.
Mom is on the far left, and her Mother is second from the right.
You can see from the clothing and hair styles that fashion and grooming
even in the Depression Era was very, very important.
Grandma has on a dotted dress with tucks detailing the front,
the guest on her left has lovely tailored sleeves on her dress, and 
all of the young women are groomed prettily.
That was how Mom was raised, 
and that was how she was
all of her life.

When I was a little girl, she made most of my little dresses. 
My Dad bought her a Kenmore Sewing Machine from Sears Roebuck, 
and she could make that thing fly. 

She bought her fabrics from Wilson's Bargain Center in Florence, Alabama.

Image by Cathy Wood of the Tennessee Valley Art Association

Founded by "The Tall Man With the Low Prices", 

it had wooden floors that creaked and snapped agreeably as you walked, 
kibitzing companionably 
about the sewing project you had in mind
- a lovely, cozy connection from your feet to the fabric and trims.

We spent weeks of my life in there, with my eyes stinging 
from the copious amount  of formaldehyde used 
in the finishing process of the fabrics, but I didn't care.
I just loved fabrics, same as my Mom. 

When I was very small,
I watched as she and her sister Clara would cut apart brown paper grocery sacks,
smooth them flat, and then lay them out on her bed.
They would spend hours discussing the sleeve design, the fullness of the skirt, 
the waistband and neckline of the dress they were imagining.
And then, my Mom's scissors would start flashing through the brown paper,
following the pencil lines they had drawn and re-drawn.

They had their pattern, and it was time to cut the fabric and start sewing.

Later in life, she bought her patterns from McCalls and Simplicity,
and this was one of her favorites:

She made this one up in pink and white,
but amended the pattern
just like she always did, cutting freehand.

I made up my first pattern by folding a  brown paper grocery sack in half
and cutting out a triangle with a square sticking out from the side-
that was the sleeve, I think.

I don't sew much anymore - 
my days are filled
with happy Pattern Making of a different sort.

Instead of scissors and paper,
 needles and thread,
my tools are pens, scanners,
Photoshop and Illustrator
as I draw patterns for the fabrics
she may have chosen to sew up into dresses.

I think she would approve.

Thanks again for those art genes, Mom.  I love you.
Dorothy Louise Cornelius Sizemore, my Mother.
Happy Mother's Day.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Finding My Childhood Under A Jello Mold

Growing up in Northwestern Alabama became a challenge right about the time I hit puberty.  Gone was the enchantment of playing in the woods and planting flowers with my Mom; 
I was ready to move on, and never look back.  
All grown up, I wanted to dump that frivolous kid stuff and go search for
the Real Meaning of Life.

Or something like that.

A Buttercup Meadow near my house that reminds me of my childhood.
But for the last three weeks, pushed by a brief created by
Lilla Rogers in her Assignment Bootcamp,
I have been gently delving in memories of my childhood; 
peeling back the layers of life to get back to that sweet time
when nothing was more important than what was happening at that moment.

Just that.

Drinking it in, smelling it, tasting it, lying on the ground and rolling in it.

I have to explain 
that growing flowers and vegetables was one of the premier pastimes of my young life.
My Mom and Dad were gifted gardeners who understood in their bones and souls 
the miracle of planting tiny seeds and nurturing them to verdant
stalks that bore strenuously and gave no hint of their small, dry beginnings. 

On Spring and Summer evenings after supper, we would remove
to the yard, where soaking hoses had been laid in the flower beds.
With the smell of grass around us in the radiant evening, my Mom and Dad
taught me to lift the tiny, fragile new plants from their watery bed
and tease their roots apart.  With a poke of the finger, a welcoming cave
would be made and the newly separated and tender plant would be pushed into it,
surrounded by a muddy water bath that would nourish it to its full potential.
I loved those times.

Besides that memory, one of the most powerful recollections
 wrapping around my childhood life like a fish net are the Sundays and Holidays
spent at my paternal Grandma's house.  I say Grandma's, because
I'm a girl, she was a girl, so Grandpa didn't count as far as the house went.

Every year on the day after Christmas, we gathered at my Grandma's house 
for my Grandpa's Birthday and a huge potluck dinner.
The pride and joy of two of my aunts were their amazing Jello molds. 
I was scared to death of those things.

Can you imagine facing this when your head is only just above the level of the table?  And you have no clue what that stuff is that is trapped inside that jiggly green gelatin?  My mother, to her eternal credit, never made me take a bite "just for manner's sake" out of any of those nuclear bombs.  I love her all the more for that.

So, when Lilla Rogers gave us her mini brief on March 3 and the subject was Jello Molds, I was swept back to that time in space...

My first thought was those heart throbbing moments of sneaking past those
congealed salads and wondering - with the clarity of distance -
if there really were bugs and spiders trapped in that jello?


Then I started drawing.  From the first bug-themed jello molded salads of my nightmares came a natural progression...I'm wondering if any artist does this differently?  
What flowed out of my pen were traceries of molds, egg beaters, whisks, and of course,
gelatine molds.  Remembering the copper molds on my Mom's kitchen walls,
I smiled and dug deeper.  The molds quite naturally were
joined by botanicals.  To my great surprise, the simple bluebells of my childhood meadow
wanderings became front and center.

The molds became more ancient, more Old World and I was off down the river again.
Once you jump in, you just have to go with the flow, you know?

When the time came to post my final submission, I was still dancing in flower meadows, smelling my childhood, and unwilling to stop.
But a deadline is a deadline, and this is the real left-brain-sided world,
so I hugged my rosy cheeked child-self and posted my final:

And now I'm going back to dance some more, plant some flowers in memory
of my Mom and Dad, and just maybe...maybe make a congealed salad.  Maybe. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A Stitch In Time For Yeppoon Australia

The 7th Great Big Stitched Postcard Swap is on!

Here's the plan:

Make a Post Card using the theme Create.

Use any materials you want, but put some stitching somewhere.
Then send it to someone you've never met, from another country from where you live.

This is all orchestrated by Beth Nicholls of Do What You Love.
She is an amazing person
who inspires literally thousands of artists around the world on a daily basis.

Include stitching?

Not a problem - I have MULTIPLE sewing machines scattered around.
(Some have collected dust while I dance with the MATS Assignment Bootcamp)

Finding stuff to use is also not a problem...
I have A LOT of fabric, paper, and fringe drops.
Like most artists do.

The decisions of where to put what got harder and harder to make.
I had SO MUCH STUFF I wanted to put on my card
for my new friend in Yeppoon, Queensland, Australia.

I finally decided to use it all.
What the heck.  The theme is CREATE, for crying out loud!!
You can't hold back when in CREATE mode.

When she opens the card, she'll see these instructions:

And now, I'm going to go create something while my card is flying to Australia.

And stick it on my refrigerator door.

Off to the studio!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

When Tiny is Really Huge

Sometimes, a very tiny thing is actually quite large.  Powerful.  Eye-grabbing.

It's a tough act to pull off, but Lady Bugs and Wild Mushrooms in the forest 
manage it with a classy aplomb that I envy.

My Iphone Case, "Hello Hello".

What's all this tiny talk about?
I'm taking another Lilla Rogers class online - this time it is called Assignment Boot Camp.

All of us who have taken her previous two classes have an edge, because we've already had truck loads of information about the Surface Design Market shoveled into our psyche.

And one of those things is this:  
When you submit your artwork to a company you are simply dying to be with,  
a very good test is to shrink your submission to about the size of a postage stamp. 
Leave the room and then come back and see it grabs you.
If it reads at postage stamp size, you've cleared the first hurdle.

Sounds simple, but with all the 10 million other industry secrets that Lilla has tossed our way, it gets hard to remember.  Especially when you are in creative throes.

For our first assignment, Lilla teased us with a mini-brief.
Draw Cuckoo Clocks.
Lots and lots of them.

For a solid week, cuckoo clocks poured into our online classroom.
Some clocks looked like engineering marvels, with stag heads on top, woodmen and their wives standing on a deck in the middle, and the utterly necessary cuckoo bird screaming from the loft doorway.  It was amazing.

 I started to wonder how on earth something as detailed as a traditional Cuckoo Clock could be translated into a powerful, instant-read icon.
For the Market, remember.  For the broad Masses, you know?

Then Lilla pulled one of her famous tricks.
Take all those very detailed drawings that we had made for a week
and arrange them on an Iphone case.

You know how big/small an Iphone is, right??

She said we didn't REALLY have to put our presentation on an Iphone template, but it would be just fine if we did.  By the time the deadline arrived, I had decided not to - I couldn't choose from the icons I had and didn't want to ditch any of them.  

On Tuesday of last week, Lilla presented to the world the gallery of submissions.  And most of them were on Iphone templates...

We had been drilled to the wall with Lilla's lesson about the importance of a tiny read.
And I won't forget it again.

If you want to have access to over 400 artist's interpretations of Cuckoo Clocks, with quick links to their studios and websites, Lilla Rogers and Beth Kempton have made the class gallery accessible to the public - an amazing gift, both to us and to the public.

Here is the link:  Boot Camp February Gallery

Go take a look - I'm on Page 7!


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