not quite what your grandma used to make...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A break from fabric.

Between projects I decided my finished good could use some organizing.  Left over from last falls craft fairs I had a box of finished cards and gift tags - none photographed (as that is my constant downfall) or organized in anyway.

The cards are all made of found imagery, collaged paper remnants, and (one of my FAVORITE materials) wallpaper samples.

Tossed aside wallpaper samples are also my most used materials - especially the vintage remakes.  The textures are much more of the appeal, I think, though the patterns are hard to beat.  


The outfits of the ladies in this Burly-Q painting are also all wallpaper.  

I think that the tactile nature of these patterned and textured papers work well on the cards - as something handheld (briefly) cherished.  

The problem now becomes that because I used found images and paper samples, they are one of a kind and once they're sold and gone - I have a hard time giving them up.  But selling them is the point - especially since I never give cards.  So my pictures of them will just have to do.  Or maybe I'll hold on to one or two...

These aren't all!  There's more on Flickr!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A little very needed relaxation.

Sunday sure was a beautiful day and I was lucky enough to spend it out of the house with the lady and the pups in New Hampshire. 

We started off with the intention of hiking, but about a half mile in the muggy heat and oncoming thunder cut it short.

    So we had a little picnic lunch, cooled off in an ice cold stream, wandered around beautiful North Conway, then had dinner at Horsefeathers (home of an amazing Asparagus Crab Bisque,  Mmmmmm!!).  It was exactly the escape from the day-to-day that I needed.  But now, weekend over, it's back to work. 
So I've spent the last two days finishing up the throw pillows and now they're just about done.  I hate to complain about sunshine and heat, but I must say, I definitely move slower in these temperatures.  But progress was made and the pillows are just about complete. 

They're already getting plenty of use too.  Looks like someone thinks they're pretty comfortable.  

I also set up a facebook page for A Retro Remedy today - hopefully another way of getting my work out there.  So far having a blog and my images on flicker, easily accessible and shareable have proven helpful;  I may have a mural commission in the works for a child's bedroom thanks to image sharing and word of mouth.  Hopefully things keep spreading (fingers crossed)!  

Well I should get back to work, these pillows won't finish sewing themselves!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

My little companion

Since I finished my BFA in May and I'm back to my 3 day work week, I've LOVED the extra time to be working on my art projects. But all that time tucked away working hard could get a little lonely. Lucky for me my little studio companion is never far from my side.

(Puella - the perfect studio dog)

My partner and I have two dogs, Puella and Kinsey, but Puella is my personal sidekick. She's a velcro dog never more than an arms length away. She's lazy, quiet, and completely content to keep me company for hours on end.
This week I've been working on the aforementioned throw pillows. Puella of course was as close as possible.

The throw pillows are coming along well, and will hopefully be finished on Monday. Most of the fabrics came from my Mother-in-Law's pretty fantastic fabric/ quilt shop, Cotton Weeds in Freeport, Maine. (Click the link to check out the shop site!)

The pillows will be pretty simple as far as pillows go, but I think the patterns make up for a simple design.

Tomorrow I'm taking a creative break and hiking in the White Mountains with The Mrs. so I'll be back at the sewing machine (and the blogging) on Monday. And, of course, Puella will be right by my side.

Have a terrific weekend!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Project Completed: Toddler Pillow

It has been a busy week in a lot of ways, but I've still managed to spend at least a few hours a day to work on my art projects. This week's primary project was a toddler pillow inspired by a recent visit with my adorable year old niece, Sophie. Having not made one before, I decided to make a test pillow for the kiddo to try out - purple micro suede with green trim to match her room with embroidered red poppies.

To keep the pillow baby-soft, I decided to crochet soft yarn into chains and sew them on
rather than do traditional embroidery and I love how the effect turned out!

Once the poppies were done I used the same crocheted chains to put my signature on the back
corner, sewed the whole thing together and stuffed it with hypo-allegernic filler.

So the first blogged project is finished! Yay! Now to send it off to little Sophie for some proper testing. After I get some feedback from my sister, i'll make some more to put on my Etsy shop.

That is also what I've been up to this week: an Etsy shop to sell my wares. If you haven' heard of it, Etsy is a pretty fantastic online venue where my fellow artisans sell their amazing handmade creations in an easy to navigate, well organized shop. Check it out by clinking the link. As of now there is nothing on my shop page, but that will hopefully be remedied by the weekend.
For now, back to day job for a few days then another productive art project weekend. Next up, I owe the apartment a few new throw pillows.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

This weeks task: a commissioned painting for a nursery. A painting of elephants, an elephant - something to that effect. Sketches are done and soon will be picked by the client.

Lately I've been doing more and more work aimed at children and their bedrooms. While children as a target audience was not something I would have ever thought of on my own, I am really enjoying making things for them. If my goal is to make precious functional art objects to be loved used and remembered, there's nothing that fits that better than the objects from your childhood.

The task then becomes how to I take my darker, surrealistic, female-centered work and lighten it up for children?

These are some of my finished pieces:

And then I remembered that my work does take freer, more childlike forms from time to time.

I realized that use of color, collage, and gestural line work can be the link between the old work and the new. And these little birds will definitely be the inspiration for the next few pieces to come. . .

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Think about Grandmothers. Or Great Aunts. Or the older lady down the street who filled in for the usual babysitter. Think about the ways they did things. How they used their hands. How everything - from the snack they fed you to sweater they bundled you up in to the mittens they knit you every time you grew or lost a pair - was hand made and precious. Precious objects that have become precious memories. The time they put into all of these everyday things made them more than just stuff, they were your prized belongings.

(My Grandmother)

I grew up with these women - Gram and her homemade everything, Ms. Simmons down the street who bought me new crayons every winter, Mrs. Richards, my fist babysitter and all of her crafts. They remain my biggest influence. Not only did I cling to my Gram's clothing style and insistence on doing everything from scratch (also known as the hard way), I'm finding overtime that all the other women in my life have influenced me just as heavily. Even the traces of women past whom I'll never get the chance to meet - like my Grandmother-in-law - continue to manage to influence me from afar - even if it is mainly through the comparisons regularly given by my partner, M.

(My Grandmother-In-Law)

These are the strongest influences in all the art and objects that I make. And that IS what this blog is to really be about: my art, my process, and my first grand attempt at getting my work out there -making (and selling) the functional, precious objects we all need in our day-to-day lives.

There's a hint of mod, a slurring of retro, and a whole lotta up-cycled, un-wasted and handmade. It'll never be quite what grandma made, but it just might fill that retro fix you've been craving...