Pom-pow

New Habit

I’m still getting used to being my own boss. I’ve mostly managed to stay out of my own way, which is important since I’m not fond of being told what to do. I do have certain expectations about how much attention I pay to the whole “making art” thang but I purposely don’t have specific “numbers” associated with my production — no number of pieces by a particular date, or amount of money I need to earn. It’s still numbers that come to mind though when I evaluate how I’m doing. That’s something I want to change. Sometimes old habits can really kick your ass, and new habits take longer than you think to instill.

Since the New Year I’ve been very productive. I’ve not felt pressured so my process has been relaxed, and even though I have put in lots of hours it hasn’t felt like work. It’s been FUN. More than fun, it’s been that satisfying “all is right with my world” feeling at the end of the day. THAT feeling is how I want to “evaluate how I’m doing.” If I can continue to feel that way then I must be a damn fine boss, right? I’ll keep you posted.

So far I’ve finished a big new Pom Pow blanket, “Clown Daddy”…

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Also my second Treefort tarp, formerly known as “Winter Trees’ Dreams of Spring”…

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now has a Second Life as “The Unconscious Arsonist” (details)….

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TVAA has a juried exhibtion, “Menagerie,” coming up and I did a brand new tarp for it titled “Sss(mmm)sss…”….

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It’s big, 10 feet by 3 1/2 feet, so here it is in sections:

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I’ve been spending a lot of time lately thinking about looking at life from new angles — choosing different perspectives from our usual choices in a way that gets us out of our ruts. I don’t think we should waste our time feeling pressured to do things just so we can say we did. I do think we should DO the things we can’t stop thinking about (the life enhancing, won’t hurt anybody including you, things) in spite of the naysayers. And I think sometimes it helps to actively choose your new perspective.

Well, I’ve put making art that only stresses me out on my Fuck-it List, I’m Just Doing the kind of art that I can’t wait to get out of my head and into the world, and I make sure I get at least a couple of hours of play done every day in my studio.

I’m making a choice: instead of letting my old habits kick me in the ass, I’m going to make it my new habit to kick ass.

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Care to join me?

Just Did It, Yo!

In the spirit of “just doing it” I have been a busy girl. Making pom poms. Hundreds of pom poms. And watching Netflix. Hundreds of hours of Netflix. It’s been serious business around here. Seriously. I can make 12 medium pom poms, and 20 small pom poms in one episode of Breaking Bad. That’s 1,080 small pom poms during the series. Yo Bitch!

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I attached all those pom poms to my collection of second helping crocheted blankets and violá “POM POW An Exhibition” was born.

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We have recently turned our living room into a gallery space in which we plan to have infrequent, exclusive, random exhibitions and events, and “POM POW An Exhibition” was our soft opening.

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If you made it to the opening — Thank you for coming, it meant a lot to me!

If you couldn’t make it, I missed you, and here are the mug shots (plus titles and prices) of the bad boys you missed…

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Pandora’s Ice Box – 165

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“You’re Crazy. No, You’re Crazy.” – SOLD

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“Sanguine” – SOLD

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“Rothko Baby” – 75

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“Smells Like Snow” – 65

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“Vitamin C” – 200

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“Straight-laced Ladybug” SOLD

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“No Yellow” – 40

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“Wonderland Checkers” – 100

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“Lemon Meringue” – SOLD

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“Johnny Jump-up” SOLD

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“Chinese Checkers” – 250

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“Make Love Not War” – 125

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“Zonky” – 150

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“Ice Cream Social” – 200

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“Raspberry Jammin'” – 125

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“Spumoni” SOLD

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“Clown Baby” – 85

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“M’hija” SOLD

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“Pepe Le Pew” – 150

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“Pom Pom Harvest” – 150

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“Complementary Sorbet” – SOLD

Contact me if you see anything you like. Do it soon and I may even have some “round snacks” left to share…

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I told you I take this very seriously. Pom Pow bitch! Yo!

Perfectly Imperfect

Keeping busy takes real discipline. When I don’t have a deadline, I don’t have a focus for all my energy and I’m a little like Lula with my feet heading in one direction and my hands heading in another.

Assigning myself projects to fill the time between my “real” deadlines helps, and so this week I worked on a new Kantha stitched quilt I hope to share next week, and a new Pom pow blanket….

Before:

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After:

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I’m really working hard at being disciplined about staying busy, not falling into the gaping maw of inertia, and as a result I stepped for a moment into a different sort of rut. A rut I mentioned in my last post — the “pattern of perfect repetition” rut.

Fortunately, Lula knew just how to show me the error of my ways…

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(Click on the text above to see a video of Lula in action!)

Obviously Lula did not think this blanket had nearly enough POW in its Pom pow! So I changed that…

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And then because it wasn’t too late, I even made a quick fix on last week’s pompowsity…

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She may be a bit challenged in the perambulation department, but Lula knows how to keep me on my toes! Thank you Lula, for the reminder that around here we prefer the perfectly imperfect.

Much better!

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Keeping Busy

I’ve been good about always having a project in the works — never being entirely without some art endeavor which requires my attention so that I avoid the dreaded enervating inertia — and it seems to be working.

This week our collaborative team produced 9 unique prints for the upcoming TVAA exhibition “Four Eyes: An Optical Collusion.” Here are 3 of the more varied versions:

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Perfect repetition was never our goal, in part because we wanted to see how varying the ink would change the final result — and we really do love the variety — but also because we knew we would never be able to achieve perfect repetition and had no desire to take all the joy out of the process by having an unrealistic expectation.

As you know I also had plenty of time to make pom poms this week and this is the end result of my “Hit & Miss” marathon. Pom pow!:

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I’ve also been working on my new Inspiration Book. This one will have things I want, or that inspire me, sprouting out of heads. Here are a couple of pages. Some done. Some not done.

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I’m just keeping busy. Perfect repetition is not my goal, but repeating the pattern with room for variation seems to leave lots of room for joy in the process.

Second Helpings: Wooden Animal Puzzle

The first stop I make at my favorite secondhand store is the aisle with all the wooden objects. I’m usually hunting with a list in hand, which is never a good idea.

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(Never shop secondhand with a list. Always buy BEFORE you need it. That way you have it when you do need it, and like me, you can create your own monument to materialism.)

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I found this wooden animal puzzle when I was looking for something else — which I may, or may not, have found on some later day with a completely different, equally unrequited wish-list in hand. Such is secondhand serendipity.

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Like the crocheted blankets I collect and pom pow, wooden hobby-kit orphans are a dime a dozen at these stores. They are all made by a kindly grandpa caught in a 1968 workshop time-warp endlessly carving small pieces of wood into shapes which are vaguely reminiscent of animals or furniture or farming implements and which fit together in cunning jigsaw arrangements. Get jiggy with grandpa!

Too far?

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This puzzle is wood. Pine I believe. I paint right on the wood with the acrylic paint because the acrylic paint serves as its own primer. Some colors are absorbed more by the wood than others. Pure hues without the addition of white tend to be more translucent and require more coats. So red might take 3 or 4 coats, but pink only 1.

Once I’m happy with the surface pattern and the paint is dry then I seal it with the Minwax Polycrylic Sealer.

And…Bric-a-brac-er fire cracker sis Boom bah! There’s another Second Helpings for you…Rah Rah Rah!!

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Second Helpings: Pom Pow Blankets

Besides the XL men’s plaid flannel shirt, the item most likely to be overstocked in every secondhand store I’ve ever been in is the crocheted blanket.

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For somewhere between $1.99 and $6.99 you can find a dizzying array of lap blankets, throws and even twin sized blankets in palettes which I can only assume were dreamed up by cartoon characters passing as perfectly ordinary grandmothers. At least those are my favorites.

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Never satisfied leaving well enough alone, I decided to add pom poms. All over. I never have warmed to the “less is more” way of thinking. Don’t ever plan to.

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To make this many pom poms and have them all be consistent it is very helpful to have a tool, and my tool of choice is the Clover pom pom maker. It comes in 3 sizes and you can order it from their site, Amazon, or find it at your local craft store.

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I can make one small pom pom in 5 minutes, 12 in an hour, and cover a good sized blanket in a Lilyhammer marathon.

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Just think, you can justify your next Netflix marathon with not only keeping art out of the landfill but also bringing a smile to the hearts of obsessive crocheters everywhere. Olek excepted.

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* Pom Pow blankets are Lula approved.

Stitch in time and other Stuff

I love STUFF. I love second hand stuff. I especially love second hand stuff that no one else has seen as having any potential and then transforming it into stuff that everybody HAS TO HAVE! Squeal when you read that.
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Pretty much everything I make in my Sewing Studio would fit that description. The patchwork quilts I Kantha stitch:

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The Pom-pow blankets (did you catch that? pom-POW? Because they knock you out, they’re so dang cute):

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The tacky tourist tapestries I turn into painted, sequined pillows Anthropologie should be knocking down my door to license:

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When I think about it, the idea of change, or transformation, is pretty central to what I do. With my art, to my home, with my life in general (though I’m having some issues when it comes to changing my hair). The goal is to change it up. Make it better. Not just different. And that kind of change is “bean by bean” change. It’s gradual, which is not to say you can’t make substantive change in a short amount of time, but “owning” real change is committing to the learning curve. Which is hard for “Action Girl”. I heard that.

So, I’m going to strap on my Zen guns and give the gradual change learning curve a shot. Pom-pow baby. Pom-POW!
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