Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Crescent moons

I made these as a practice exercise to stitch curvy lines.  The volunteer position to teach refugee women to sew was the reason behind it.  I heard that they are uneasy about sewing on paper.  The idea was to have them practice sewing curvy lines on paper because it's easier and also less costly (no destruction of fabric).  But, they are not comfortable with sewing on paper.  I can sort of understand, because my Eastern European family doesn't always quite get when I sew on paper.  I think it's because sewing is supposed to be a practical and useful skill.  Making garments, that's productive.  While sewing on paper is 'destructive'.  There is no purpose.  Except in art making. 
Anyway.....I though if I have them make greeting cards with crescent moons, which are cutouts from reject black and white paper, will go a bit easier.  I haven't introduced the idea to them yet.  So we'll see.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Time to return to work

My two weeks vacation is coming to an end.  Back to my job tomorrow.  It seems that I was off more than two weeks.  It was time well spent, time off to recoup, regroup, to not have to worry about having to be at any place at a particular time.  I did some crafting, I went to NYC with my husband and kids, I drove to Prescott, AZ with my husband and visited some galleries and co-ops, I got a volunteer job to teach refugee women to sew, I took my kids to Halloween parties, I did not sleep in, as I wanted to make the most of my days, I helped my dad search for a job, I watered my plants with no rush, I enjoyed my time off without feeling guilty spending it without a particular plan.  It felt great.
Here are a couple of pictures of the pine forest near Prescott.

I tried to practice some collaging.  It's new to me, I picked up a book at the library and got inspired to work on some house shaped collages. 

And some smaller ATC size ones too.  I hand stitched this time, fabric on paper.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Watch the Gap

Our recent trip to NYC involved a lot of train/subway rides, and standing on the platform, and hearing the loudspeakers repeat "Watch the gap", and hearing myself saying the same to my kids over and over and over.  But all of that also inspired some collaged art. I made these postcards with paper I recently purchased at one of my favorite local mixed media stores, Craft Fusion, stamps I already owned and some brown craft paper (my favorite).

Also I've been learning about Lenore Tawney, and no doubt I was inspired by her work.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Tote bags

Ahh one of my favorite magazines, and they were kind again to select my work to be on their pages.  This time it was mini tote bags that I made out of jean legs. 
It started like this: about a year or so ago I took my sewing machine to Omaha when I visited my mom.  She asked me to fix some pants for my nephew.  They were worn out at the knees, so I cut them off and made them into shorts.  I used the cut off part of the legs to make mini totes for my daughter and niece.  I liked the results so much, that I played with several pairs of old jeans, cutting off the legs and making mini bags.  I added some decorations with free motion stitching and handles from pieces of fabric too small to make anything else.  And those ended up in GreenCraft.
The issue is out in November.  I got my copy yesterday, and as usual I was excited listing through to find my page.  :-)  Take a look at the magazine if you get a chance.  Usually Barnes & Nobles carries it, also some craft stores like Joann's Fabrics.  Or you can order a copy on line at

Thursday, October 17, 2013


Well...what started as a funny statement by my son, ended up to a trip in New York city.  A few months ago, he was drinking chocolate milk from a cup that had a picture of the Statue of Liberty.  He said: 'mom, New York City, I am gonna go there in December'.
And so they have been on fall break for the last three weeks.  And I had vacation too.  If you recall, I was going to make a trip to my home country.  And because I once again could not afford a trip home, and couldn't cancel my vacation from work, it seemed as a good surprise to take the kids to New York City. 

'Watch the gap' - I said this over and over to my kids, who kept forgetting to be careful around train and subway platforms.  No one got hurt, so it's all good.

The Macedonian flag in front of the ice skating rink at Rockefeller Center.

Kids amaze me, because you place them in a playground with other kids, and pretty soon they have made friends.  Why can't adults do that?  Why do we shy away and barely look at other people who we don't know?

On our way to the Lego store at Rockefeller Center, I noticed this reflection of a building across the street.  I though it was neat.

Coney Island. 

Times Square.

Monday, October 07, 2013

It's October

Finally the season that gives us a reason to live in this desert.....nice and cool with 80F (26C) during the day, and probably 60F (15C) overnight.
I have been really really busy, mostly with work.  The kids have been home on fall break.  We live in a school district with year around school, so frequent breaks are common. 
Also my dad moved here from Nebraska, so he is with us for some time.  Lots of little changes to my normal routines.
Here are some pictures from a little outing we did a couple of weeks ago to Canyon Lake, east of town by the Superstition Mountains.