Thursday, June 7, 2012

One Armed Paper Hanger.....

You know the saying "I'm busier than an one-armed paper hanger."?  You don't?  Well, he's pretty busy hanging all that wall paper with only one arm.  That's what I'm feeling like right now.  And I LIKE IT!  I've been plugging along lately just building up my inventory of books and journals (and then the one store that had my items on commission went out of business, so I got all of those back) thinking that EVENTUALLY and  SOME DAY I might be able to sell them SOMEWHERE where people "get" my style of art books and journals.  You artists know that look and the uncomfortable silence immediately after you show someone a piece you've done and you can hear in their head "What the hell is that and why are you showing it to me?".  Am I right?  Happens to me a LOT so I'm kind of careful about the people who are shown my work.  After a couple of years here in the country I've finally found art people I connect with!  YAY!!  
Tomorrow my work will be showcased (along with two others') at The City Gallery in downtown Galax, Virginia.  My work has been accepted and I am a member of the Gallery and I couldn't be more excited about it!  We're having a show at the Gallery in conjunction with the Leaf and String festival so we'll be open until 8.  (I'll try to remember to take my camera and show some photos.)  I've taken most of my inventory in to the gallery and now am in the process of replacing it for upcoming shows and ............ if all goes well I will be guest artist in another gallery in a nearby town!  Whew!  Better get those creative juices flowing overtime and kick my muse in the butt.  No problem..... I have so many ideas and now that I have somewhere to show them I am super revved to work on them.  That's what I mean about liking the fact that artistically I'm pretty busy right now.  
Here are some of my newest journals:
I absolutely love making the rosettes from Annie's Fabric Flowers 101 workshop over at STITCHED.  I made several for this type of cover.  I also hand strung the beaded wire that hangs below the rosette.  The ribbon is dyed with spray ink.
The flower is also from Annie's class and has an ink sprayed zipper stem with canvas scrap leaves.  The canvas is hand painted.
 The journals above and below are also hand-dyed canvas with free motion stitched flowers and more canvas scrap leaves.  I also raided my large stash of transparencies and buttons for some embellishments.
This journal has a tri-fold cover of painted canvas and cheesecloth stitched together to create fabric.  Again stitched scrap canvas leaves and ink dyed ribbon.  
 I've been loving combing a cascade of button, beads, and french knots lately, here is a close-up.
 When I can't focus on creating, one thing I do is sort and clean my studio.  While doing so last week I decided to cut my scraps and misc. papers into pages ready for journals.   It's easier to make  a cover to match the pages than the other way around for me.  So after cutting, cutting, cutting, and more cutting I then bagged and tagged the pages.  I had TONS of  2" square pages so I used canvas scraps for covers then sewed tiny fabric scraps and buttons on to several 2 inch square teeny books.  Cute!
 The city of Galax is named after a plant that grows in the wooded areas and was at one time used in floral arrangements all over the US.  One of the ladies at the gallery offered my her galax leaf stamp, but it didn't work out that day so I came home and carved my own for this cover.  The galax  journals that I create will be sold exclusively at the City Gallery in honor of Galax.
Here's one made from painted canvas.
 Detail shot of the stamp and embroidery.
 Since I live in the woods I do have galax plants all over the place so I placed an actual leaf on the cover of this book.  
 The label is free motion stitched on canvas with buttons as accents.
 I had a journal with pockets that I had made from Stampin' Up double sided scrapbook paper (I have lots of it since I used to sell SU).  It has sold at the gallery so I made some more to replace it.  Each journal has 20 pockets in which are tags and small pads of paper.  There are also 20 blank pages in between.
 And finally, this area is very well known for it's blue grass and old time musical heritage, thus the String and Leaf festival this weekend.  I'm still finishing this 4 inch square book, but so far I LOVE the cover.  The note bases are blanket stitched by hand with floss and the staff lines as well as the note stems are machine stitched.  I don't think I'll do anything more with this simple cover.  These will be sold at the gallery for the musical folks!


  1. Wonderful books ! I'd like to take a plane to Virginia, to visit the Gallery !

  2. Wonderful! Then I could fly back with you! Thank you.