Tuesday, April 11, 2017


Transpiration, mixed media artists book

About eight years or so ago I made this print from a giant leaf I found where I was living in Guadalajara. There were thousands of them really. But then what? The damn thing is a 12" x 18" sheet of (acid free!) manila construction paper. And so it waited ever so patiently because I knew eventually just the right inspiration would strike. It did once I stumbled into the world of bookmaking. This is an example of an "oxbow" binding - basically folded in half lengthwise then into fourths the other way with a slit in the middle two "pages" so it pops open and stays upright.

Transpiration, mixed media artitsts book, detail-b

How to augment those lovely networks of veining without disguising them. With embroidery floss of course. In different shades of rust, burnt orange, and tan - because that's what I like and it went well with the creamy yellow cast of the paper. I had a very firm vision of the teal and aqua french knots snuggling up to leaf's edge as it provides a delightful contrast in color and texture.

Transpiration, mixed media artists book, detail-a

As blue often suggests water it made sense to call this Transpiration- "the process where plants absorb water through the roots and then give off water vapor through pores in their leaves".

Will be listed in my shop. Stop for a visit at:

Tuesday, March 28, 2017


Saint Phocas, mixed media collage

A good person can really piss off bad people. Doubt I have much to worry about. Apparently Saint Phocas did but wasn't phased that he was a thorn in the side of the Emperor Diocletian what with aiding persecuted Christians. He even offered his legendary hospitality to the Roman soldiers sent to kill him although they didn't realize who he was at the time. (About 303 A.D.) When they learned his identity they were ready to lie to the boss. But Saint Phocas insisted, at peace with who he was (a Golden Rule practicing Christian) whatever the consequences - and he certainly wasn't going to risk these soldiers' job security. So yes he did take his creed seriously but not himself. (Reference: gallows humor)

Saint Phocas, mixed media collage, detail-d

This subject became rather than arrived fully fledged. Ironically it began as monkeying around with a creepy clown picture from a AAA Roadways magazine. Wasn't working so as I kept noodling with the paint, this somber visage appeared. Not scary, not sad necessarily. It needed counterbalancing - yellow flowers of course. It also needed an identity. With those stitched arches reminding me of halo's, I turned to the internet for a little 'saintly' research.

Saint Phocas, mixed media collage, detail-b

Saint Phocas is my man. He's a patron saint of hospitality and gardening. And as he was happening just before the rise of Emperor Constantine he does have that rather stern visage of Byzantine iconography. The pieces fell into place and now, a quiet little piece on living purposefully.

Will be listed in my shop. Stop for a visit at:

Monday, March 20, 2017

Of Knots & Loose Ends

Knots & Loose Ends, mixed media collage

An inevitable tension we've all experienced - feeling in knots, at loose ends. Do we mull it over more or act; how do we protect ourselves while revealing vulnerabilities.

Was not thinking these thoughts as I was creating this! Often a piece is made to explore combinations of materials - I like this and I like that - how can I put them together in an interesting way.

Knots & Loose Ends, mixed media collage, detail-1

I love to stitch. It's touchable mark-making. That's my excuse to bliss out and get lost in a rhythmic poke and pull. And then I have a souvenir full of color and texture.

But it's supposed to mean something, right? or at least have a point of departure for wondering minds. I like that last part - I don't want to play 'Gotcha' where the viewer either "gets it" like an in-joke or not. My intention is more a nudge or a spark for one to explore their own imagination.

Here it occurred to me that there's some tension and energy amongst the threads - some dangling loose, others tightly coiled, and still others just trying to cover ground. Much like our thoughts.

Plan to list in my shop at some point. If you'd like to see other pieces, please come by:

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Boxed In

Boxed In, mixed media textile collage

This photo was actually an image transfer "fail" that got squirreled away in my Miscellaneous/This Could Be Cool Someday box. (Actually I have several.) After being passed over for couple years, she finally declared herself Ready For Her Close-up. All because a torn scrap of window screen made an ultimatum. Don't ask.

It's out of my hands sometimes what winds up in my hands. This doll face was copied from an ancient coffee table book I've treasured since childhood. (And frankly she's shown up in another piece of mine some time back: "Deposition" /photos.google.com/album/AF1QipOkB6mp-F8p6Nf-kVhnlHrhv96Gqww1CSnRfwRb/photo/AF1QipMeFu-z-k-QfWerUQkuBIHQrD5NzuOpKNbK4gjJ ) I tried to be spontaneous and 'quick' but my fingers preferred to fuss over french knots and cross-stitches. Kinda' boxed myself in so to speak - it's a challenge to make embroidery look dashed off yet thoughtful.

Boxed In, mixed media textile collage, detail

Not yet listed. I was thinking of saving this to combine with other individual pieces into an artists book. But I may just set her loose to see what happens. It depends on hauling out the tripod and studio lights to make it official.

In the meanwhile have a look around:

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Easter Promise

Promise, mixed media artist book, detail

Couldn't think of a clever title for this post - I'm trotting out more eggs, and if you remember the last time what with the polka dots and egg salad... This go-round is "serious" but in a totally good news sort of way. A thoughtful, lovely decoration for Easter that hearkens to what this holiday means for those of the Christian persuasion.

Hopefully I'm not stepping on any toes here - my focus is on the message of rebirth and renewal. A beautiful concept no matter whose church or temple or mosque's doors you choose to walk through. Eggs make an elegant symbol for that (regardless of pagan origins). Come, celebrate, ALL ARE WELCOME at this table.

Promise, mixed media artists book, full spread

Back to nuts and bolts. The eggs and final background layer are made from scrapbooking papers onto which are sewn a patchwork of glitzy fabric scraps. I used both free-motion machine stitching (because I like its wobbly, spontaneous look) and more careful embroidery with silver thread. Each of the pages are titled: Risen, Reborn, Renewed, Rejoice. Beads add nice extra sparkle, and I also like running my fingers over them. The backside has several designer paper eggs sewn on. And the covers are layered with white and off-white scaps sewn down grid fashion.

Promise, mixed media artists book, cover

This is now offered in my Etsy and Handmade at Amazon shops, as well as Illumnio:

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Spark It

Spark It, mixed media textile collage

My heart candle started off as a vague 'what if' session of scrap play. Once the basic idea sifted out I challenged myself to push the embroidery but relax. Think of the wonderful people in my life and translate those warm fuzzies into stitches. Lots of them. Lots of pleasurable poke and pull colorful stitches. And then add beads. Because sparkly stuff is pretty too.

Although this was not intended for someone in particular I do plan to try it as a reproducible picture for cards. Which means trotting out the tripod-mounted camera and 5500K studio lights. That'll be awhile.  I'd rather just sew another one or 10 of these.

Eventually it'll live in the fabric book I have in mind as a catch all for textile collages not meant for splashy wall display. Quiet pieces that one can cozy up with while sipping tea and daydreaming.

Here's where to have a look around:

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Cracking Good Times

Crazy Good Egg Salad, mixed media artists book, partial open

Artists like to get silly too - at least this one does. Word play inspired me to make these four eggs  and combine them into a concertina bound book. Go ahead and roll your eyes, there are: Egg Citing, Egg Zalted, Egg Cellent, and Egg Zemplary, It's not specifically "Easter" but when else does one trot out egg-themed decor. If we can have rabbits cavorting in flowered hats, we can have a breakfast food tarted up with sequins.

Crazy Good Egg Salad, mixed media artist book, full spread

Each panel was made on a layered fabric background (including polka dot tissue paper laminated onto fabric) while the eggs themselves were made from textured scrapbooking paper. I added free motion stitch which lent itself well to the casual fun tone. And then I topped it off with silver embossed lettering and bead studded sequin.

Crazy Good Egg Salad, mixed media artists book, cover

The book measures 6" x 8" and unfolds to 24". The cloth covered mat board covers are sturdy for upright display on a table or shelf. The papers used are acid-free.

This is now offered in my Etsy and Handmade at Amazon shops, as well as Illumnio: