Saturday, July 27, 2013

NEW! Fort Collins Creative Community Center

Words cannot express the joy I felt last night while attending a local art show. I stood all smiles there even when I wasn't interacting with people! Let me tell you why.

In our first week of my art history class (less than two weeks ago, although it sure feels like more), we learned about the Salon exhibitions at what is now the Louvre, hosted by the new art association of the day called the French Academy.  If you've been to the Louvre, you know it doesn't really look like this when they display their pictures now, but apparently back in the day, this is how it was, stacked to the ceiling:

Have a look at this, the first show ever to be held in the new Fort Collins Community Creative Center!

The event was a result of what they called an 'open-hang' show.  Between 12-4pm that very day, they invited any artist to come with hammer and nails to hang a piece. The one rule was that it had to be 6 inches from anyone else's.  I got there at 12:45 and already, people were having to stack their pieces.  By 7:00pm, when I arrived, this is how it looked.  It was so so cool!  The organizers did nothing to re-arrange or change how the artists themselves hung (or displayed) their own work.

Can you spot my tiny piece on this wall? 

 (Hint: don't look for a frame)

I'll take a better picture of it when I go again sometime in the next month, but here it is:

Here I am  with Barbara Gilhooly, who is probably my favorite artist in Fort Collins. I visited her studio last year during the Studio Tour and have been inspired ever since--she is really something!  Check out her work here.  Last night she did me the great honor of buying my piece!!!!!

I actually want to put about a thousand exclamation marks right there. 

I loved the magic of the way the show turned out, the collaboration and community, feeling like I was in some way connected to the French Academy's annual salon that happened for so many years, and connecting with the artists I admire.  Of course, Barbara made the night complete with making me feel truly legitimate amongst my peers.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Lucky Chickens of Chance

I was making a Welcome Baby card for a friend of mine recently and one of the collage bits I glued on was an illustration of a chicken. Voila! Inspiration struck! I should make a cute stuffed chicken to go along with the card!  Here is the result of that grand epiphany:

In fact, I made two, they were so frickin cute:

I can't decide if I like the orange one or the green one best.

Also this week, we got a couple of new chicks. So we introduced the live one to its stuffed brethren. It didn't quite know what to make of the whole situation.

Why "The Lucky Chickens of Chance?" you ask.  Well, I've been buying Powerball tickets and last week as I checked my numbers, Paul came around the corner with the stuffed toys in hand saying, "You need the Lucky Chickens of Chance with you!"  I can't say they proved their luckiness just then (still no lotto winner), but perhaps the orange one will bestow her luck on her new owner in Boston. 


Saturday, July 13, 2013

Stuff Sacks & Etsy Thank Yous

Last year I got into mountain biking pretty seriously. Well in Colorado, you can be going along just fine and all of a sudden a huge (cold) wind starts blowing, or a loud, rainy thunderstorm begins.  So I had to go drop some money at Go Lite (our fave local outdoor gear shop) to purchase this fine weighs-almost-nothing-and-is-small-enough-to-fit-in-my-water-pack jacket! 

It was a good purchase; I've used it more than enough times to justify the cost. But, while it's tucked safely in my backpack during the dry, warm moments, it is at huge risk for getting spilled on, poked/ripped by a key, or marked with a pen or pencil. So it needed a bag. Today's project: a stuff sack just for it:

I've been trying to learn how to do these stuff sacks for years and have gone along ok without anyone showing me how to do it.  In fact, this is the second stuff sack I've made for this jacket. (The first one got lost somewhere while on vacation earlier this summer.)  However, they aren't that easy to figure out because there's math involved and the diameter of the base circle matters.  I should say the math isn't hard, but mixing geometry and sewing is not something I do every day.  So I finally looked online for a tutorial and found this one (thanks, Queen of DIY!). The project was so much easier, faster, and less frustrating with a little help!!!  Ah, using high school math is so satisfying (small nod to my 10th grade geometry teacher, Mrs. Douglass).

The bag is (unexpectedly) fully reversible!

Here is mine with a companion bag for another person in my house who is known to put his expensive gear in direct fire of possible damages.  :)

As I've mentioned before, I've learned through selling on Etsy that it is proper etiquette to give something away as a freebie when you make a sale.  I just ran out of the thing I've been giving away, so spend half of last week's studio day making something else. I had some leftover collage from the Studio Tour and so decided to turn that into little 2x3 cards.  On some, I've embellished with random collage ephemera I have. Others I've left simply the collage (sewn on to the cardstock, of course).  As usual, they're better in person.  :)  Shop my Etsy store if you'd like to receive one of these freebies as a fun extra to your purchase! 

(Remember you can always click on these photos to see them better.)