To Sum it All Up - in 20 Minutes or less.

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What a year.


Here's where I was in January. 

We've come a long way since then.  We are in our new house.  My new studio is functional when it is clean - though a bit chilly this time of year.  The rest of the house is coming together and every project we finish in the rest of the house frees up time & space in my studio.  (You can read more about our project on the house over at The Beorningstead.)   I've developed some new product lines and I'm slowly learning how to manage my studio time better.


I still haven't gotten to finishing those tee shirts yet but I keep playing with screen printing design possibilities and I'm feeling almost brave enough to actually get one started.


Maxx is doing much better. Fewer fits, more friends at school, generally healthier.  He is learning how to read - though it is a real struggle, especially compared with Molly who was reading almost straight out of the womb.  His math skills are excellent.  He is happier at Church and more likely to interact in lessons and pay attention and process information well.  As much as I worry about some of the pitfalls of public education, I know that Maxx is really benefiting from the environment and services he enjoys in his classroom.  His teacher this year is incredible!

Molly is doing well at school.  She is admittedly bored and frustrated with the History/Social Studies and Literature classes.  She loves many of her teachers, is doing surprisingly well in Math and thrives in Music class.  You should hear her incredible voice.  Her range has expanded and she is quite a chamelion - she can sing in a very mature, sophisticated, operatic style or she can jazz it down quite a bit.  She had callbacks for the musical last night - we'll find out this afternoon what part she gets.

Bry has a job he likes - though it is over an hour away from home.  We're struggling with how long he is gone every day.  Luckily, his supervisor is very understanding and has encouraged him to take his time and be wise about traveling on the bad roads this winter.  His assistant lives 5 minutes from the school so if the roads are awful or impassible out our way, he can take some extra time getting in.  He has reached a level of frustration with the house because he has so few hours to work each day.  We're really looking forward to some holiday time to work on the house and relax this week.

I am healthy-ish.  What a pleasant surprise that has been.  Last fall, I was beginning to think that I would rather just die and get it over with than continue to suffer with so many viral illnesses and subsequent sinus (or ear) infections over and over again.  Why am I healthy all of a sudden?  I think there are several factors:  Maxx's immunity is a bit stronger than it was so he's sick less often and not mixing up as many mutations for me.  Using Progest has had a profound effect on my entire body.  I am entirely convinced that my endocrine system was completely off kilter and estrogen dominant for most of my life (WHY couldn't doctors have figured that out 20 years ago???) and the Progest has given me a balance that I've been needing for decades.  Everything is better.  Except maybe my weight - that is proving to be a bit difficult but I have established an equilibrium in the last couple of months and hopefully that means I'll be able to start bringing it down instead of watching it continue to creep up. 

I have left Etsy.  I cannot begin to tell you what a tremendous relief that is.  My cash flow has taken a painful hit but I'm no longer playing the re-newing game and spending dozens of dollars each week just to keep my items in a search.  Want to read more about Etsy Fail?  Look here.  I'm not going to talk about it anymore. 

Now I'm examining my business plan again - or still.  There are several issues that I need to resolve in the coming weeks and I'm looking forward to taking a few days this holiday to contemplate my business goals and personal goals and how I will get them to mesh comfortably this year.  Mostly, I want to be a healthier, less-stressed mom and create more.  I really want to get back to writing and Complex Cloth.  Most of my dyeing in the past several years have been targeted for mainstream sales - which is great.  We all love having those glorious silks floating around on rinse days.  I also want to experiment with some more in-depth surface design techniques.  Hopefully I can make time and space for that in my life next year.

















. . . .

Another Front Page Appearance and Recent Work

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So -

I am totally and completely overwhelmed right now. 

But things are good.  Or mostly good.  Just very, very busy and I am very, very disorganized and slothful.  So that = Overwhelmed.

Here is a gorgeous rainbow Adventure scarf.  The photo is not good.  That blue is really an intense cerulean and the purple there near the edge is capable of burning your retinas out in real life.  Think Lisa Frank rainbows and unicorns but with less glitter and more sheen and you'll be close.   This scarf and it's velvet twin are going to the Arts Council today along with a few teal blue scarves for your buy local, buy handmade gifting pleasure.  (If you are not local and absolutely must have one of these rainbow scarves NOW or you will DIE - send me an e-mail or contact me through Facebook or my ArtFire shop and if the scarf has not been sold in the gallery, I will retrieve it for you and ship it to you in time for Santa.)

(Again - don't let this blue fool you.  It is bright cerulean turquoise blue, not midnight blue and that dark plum - screaming royal purple.  Neither of our cameras will take a good shot of these scarves because there is too much color information and the poor little pixels get all confused about what hue they are supposed to be.)

here's another collection that landed my earrings on the FP of ArtFire and made my stats skyrocket again.  I wish I could hug EarthMotherMosaics!  Thank You!



Last but not least - here is the Genesis of what I think is going to eventually become a gorgeous piece of Art Cloth.  It is a bamboo/cotton blend that I scrunched almost to death, shoved tightly into a container and dumped some Teal Blue dye over.  I love that crackley kaleidescopic look of the dye patterns. 

ArtFire Front Page

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In checking through my stats this morning for my ArtFire shop, I noticed that visits skyrocketed on Sunday.  That made me happy but perplexed.  Perhaps this Front Page Collection had something to do with it?



I love ArtFire's Front page.  Etsy has developed a very predictable look for their FP and they use a very rigid set of criteria for choosing FP items.  It always looks clean and . . . predictable.  ArtFire surprises me every day.  Sometimes the collection is bright and wild, sometimes muted and soft, sometimes supplies are featured, or "crafty" crafts, sometimes wall art, photography or jewelry or a color theme is featured.  Sometimes one of my products turns up there.

Thank you, BeautifulAdditions, for including my dragonfly in such a great collection.  And thank you, ArtFire for putting in on the FP!

Artsy Science - Gorgeous Photos

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I popped over to Kingdom of the Blind today to see an intriguing photograph of a Rat's hippocampus that was the 2nd place winner in the Olympus Bioscapes International Digital Imaging Competition.  (Amazingly artful life science photography using digital devices.) 

Melody and her co-contributers live in Australia and work for the Queensland Brain Institute.  Kingdom of the Blind is part of the Culture at Work project.  Melody has done many embroideries exploring the structure of the brain in various stages of health and disease.  It's really a fascinating project within Australia's wonderful endeavor to tie the worlds of science and art closer together.

I was very grateful for the link to the Photo contest.  I remember being impressed with 2009's winners but that was a whole year ago and I forgot to go back to the site for more inspiration what with all of the packing and moving and construction and general chaos running rampant around here.

I see lots of textile possibilities in these winners and runners-up.  How about an embroidered Dragonfly eye?

Or maybe DaddyLonglegs eyes?  (Both eye photos by Dr. Igor Siwanowicz from the Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology, Munich, Germany.)

Molly thought some screen printed pattern designs would be awesome - Silk Diatom Dress, anyone?  Yes, please!  (Photo by Dr. Michael Shribak over at the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory.  Dr. Shribak obtained this image of Diatom arachnoidiscus using incredibly cool techniques he and his team invented and are exploring with the video enhanced polychromatic polarized light microscope.  Click on his name above to find out a little more.)
Please visit the website to see all the winners and honorable mentions.  This work is simply incredible.

Thanks to Drs.  Siwanowicz and Shribak for their permission to post their photographs here. 
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