Saturday, July 25, 2009


Remember back in February when I was awarded a generous Educational Opportunity Grant by the Rocky Mountain Woodturners? This week is it! I will be attending a 5-day workshop given by world-renowned woodturning artist Cindy Drozda, which I know will be lots of fun, with so many wonderful things to learn!

Since I'll be away from my studio, I won't be able to mail packages until I return. I'll post new fiber tools on Monday, August 3rd, when I come back -- see you then!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tori Amos in Denver

Last night I saw Tori Amos in concert -- she was absolutely Magnificent. She (and her fantastic band) played so beautifully, with such incredible energy! It was liquid bliss!

Her set list was amazing; each song flowed flawlessly to the next. And the colors, the lights -- each tableaux seemed "painted" to show off her signature red hair! Absolute PERFECTION!

Tori's music is so incredibly powerful... so very inspiring! I feel honored and privileged to have been able to see her performance -- WOW!

There's nothing.... nothing in the world like Tori's glorious music...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Posting Day!

Greetings everyone!
"Banksia Space Station"
by Cindy Drozda

If you haven't signed up for Cindy Drozda's workshop yet, TODAY is the day! I am soooooo looking forward to it! She makes the most extraordinary boxes and lidded vessels you've ever seen! And she's teaching us how to make them! What could be better??? Check out her blog for more information, or her web site to see more of her exquisite work.

My news for today includes four new lovelies on eBay!

My roses are blooming like crazy! They're so beautifully bright in the summer sunlight -- pinks, and peaches, and reds, and fuchsias! They inspired one of my hooks today.

Lovely pink flowerets bloom on a verdant green background, golden-green vine connecting these seeds of life!

I quite enjoyed making this hook -- it's a design I've never tried before, and I think it came out quite beautifully. I'm particularly pleased with the shape of the flowers and petals, (as well as the shading within the painting part of it). So pretty!

The second hook is from my new series "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" -- it is entitled "Squid #2".

I'm particularly fascinated at the way the craft of turning can produce such a perfect squid shape. It's made me wonder what other sorts of creatures are similarly round and radially symmetrical, in hopes that I can find a way to represent those as well.

The hooks are always so much more magical in the hand than they are in photographs... and the squid hook is no exception! The "eye" is a 3mm Garnet set in Sterling Silver, and sparkles beautifully in the light, really seeming to bring the creature to "life." The tentacles wrap all the way around the hook.

This, as well as the "Summer Blooms" hook are signed pieces.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Posting Day!

Another Posting Day has arrived -- Hooray!

I've posted six lovely new crochet hooks on eBay today, including the two pictured.

Did you happen to see the blog entry below? (About the incredible opportunity to take a class with world-renowned woodturning artist Cindy Drozda? (If you didn't, check it out!) If you did... I just wanted to prove how fantastic a teacher she is! Check out my Before and After photo and story.

On to the hooks!

That little gal on the left is made from Asian Satinwood, and absolute pleasure to work with! It's so very smooth to cut, and the chatoyant stripies on the sides add such playfulness to the hook! I think that the amethyst looks absolutely stellar on that hook.

I've never done black painting before -- never really thought of it with regards to my general proclivity to color. However, I think it turned out to be a wonderful combination of colors, especially after adding the silvery colors as well.

The hook on the right is an absolute STUNNER -- sooooooo pretty. Indeed, after I uploaded the photo for eBay, I thought... ooooh, maybe I should keep this one! Soooooo gorgeous!

This beauty was inspired by "Apollo's Frock" by Tori Amos, a B-side from the Scarlet's Walk era. One of my favorite songs, another in which she uses metaphor upon metaphor, including prolific historical and literary referents. A very complicated song, and complicated meaning.

I suppose I wanted to transcend a lot of that -- it just isn't possible to create a small work of art that can express all of the meanings present in such a vastly meaningful work. Indeed, I went with the most apparent of meanings, and chose to incorporate color as a primary part of the design. The flames are obviously representative of the solar innuendo, though also include deeper parts of the lyrical meaning.

I had quite a lot of fun painting this hook -- I used various metallic acrylics: bronzes, copper, golds, etc., applying shading to the flames to give them a bit of life -- as though they truly are licking upward to the top of the hook. I added a 3mm brilliant-cut Garnet set in Sterling Silver to complete the piece... and does it! Garnet in place, the whole hook has a jewel-like effect!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Woodturning Dream!

Greetings everyone,
I thought this was too good an opportunity to pass up, so I wanted to post it here: I just found out that there are still spaces in Cindy Drozda's Workshop at Craft Supplies USA this month! You've all heard me rave about her -- she is an absolutely extraordinary teacher! She

by Cindy Drozda

can coax gorgeous works even out of raw beginners, and teach any advanced turner tricks to making exciting work.

Cindy is, quite simply, the turner to learn from. I can't even begin to tell you how much her instruction has improved my skill and artistry. Anyway, it's a 5-day workshop at the end of the month, July 27-31. Check out her web site (where you can see more of her amazing artwork), and her blog, (which has links to the workshop info & sign up).

If you've ever had interest in woodturning, this is a fantastic opportunity to learn! (I can't wait to go myself -- my bags are already packed! I hope to see you there!) It's going to be great fun!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Posting Day!

Hooray! Hooray! It's Posting Day! It's the day I get to share all of my new fiber arts tools with you!

Today I posted FIVE new crochet hooks on eBay, as well as added a couple of lovelies to my Etsy page.

Here are two of the eBay gals:

The green gal on the left is absolutely STUNNING in the hand! That CZ is so very sparkly! (Did you know that CZs have the highest refractive index aside of diamonds? -- and it absolutely shows!) I wish I could take better photographs of the gemstones -- they're brilliant-cut, and so reflect light incredibly well.... so well that it appears as a single facet in the picture. Hmm... maybe I should try different lighting angles? At any rate, the "Golden Vine" hook is a treasure!

The purple hook on the right is a special one -- I was thinking about what sort of design I'd like to create, and started off with the tiny little dots on the middle "bead." From there, my mom's advice came to mind -- she's been suggesting that I do polka dots on some of the hooks... so here it is! I had a difficult time choosing between all the colors of metallic acrylic, (they're all so lovely!), but finally chose a gorgeous cerulean -- so beautiful. Like a mix of lapis lazuli and aquamarine. Of course, I added a host of other colors in layers to create a "jewel-tone" look.

The polka dots wrap all the way around the hook, even over the very tippy top!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Posting Day!

Howdy everyone! (I am still recovering from the Symposium -- BUT, I am sooooo inspired! I've been making things like crazy, using new techniques I learned!)

Anyway, back to the business... the wonderful business at hand! I've posted six more hooks on eBay today, including some brand new nosties and a needle case in my store.

My favorite hook has got to be my new Tori Amos inspired piece -- brought to life through her American Doll Posse song: "Girl Disappearing."

This song has been quite important to me over the past couple of years -- I can certainly relate to it's thematic references -- I've lived some of those things. Indeed, I'm happy to have "boycott(ed) trends" and found a different way of being over the past ten years or so.

Reading the rest of the lyrics, I found it quite a romantic notion to escape to a constellation -- a place of there or possibly not there -- is it reachable? I don't know -- maybe. I suppose that I've never tried.

What was interesting to me while making this hook was that I normally gravitate to the chorus, the bit about "riding on backs of palominos," but whenever I thought about creating the hook, all that would come to mind was the stanza:

Envy can spread
Herself so thinly
She slipped in
Before I could notice it

And I suppose it was quite apropos for creation of a crochet hook -- after all, you can't really tell the entire story in such a diminutive format -- best to focus on the most important point.

So, I took that traditional green for envy and based the hook around that idea, "slipping" a thin band of green between the (almost pure) white of Holly -- the innocence of the protagonist of the song. After carving the spiraling designs, I painted them in varying, shading greens, allowing them to almost dissipate at the top; a metaphor for letting go of that anger, the forgiveness of self for wanting what isn't possible.

I couldn't resist adding a 3 mm Peridot gemstone, which I set in Sterling Silver, which really brings the piece home for me. This piece is engraved with my signature/artist's mark.

At any rate, I very much enjoyed making this hook -- it turned out to be absolutely gorgeous!