Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Working on a Book

I'm creating a sample chapter for my BOOK! Although I haven't settled on a title, I have ideas for size and format as well as a clear idea of where I'm going.

An exciting part of this project is that there will be many opportunities to include patterns as well as paintings of food and food related images.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Crown Hat

Here is another winter hat I made as a present. This one is a new design I'm calling a Crown Hat. It is a simple triangular design which, when worn, has three peaks which looks like a crown (or perhaps a cross between a crown and a jester's hat.)

I think its delightfully wacky. My adult daughter thinks only weirdos would wear it.

I have one more present to make and then I'm done. Got to hurry now, New year's is almost here and I've promised this art group I will begin painting then -- or else.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Moving on

It was with a great sigh of happiness that I sewed the last few stitches in the tea bag dress today. As with most of these pieces it took more time than I imagined to get to the end point. The dress was quite fragile to work with and there were many logistic decisions as well as aesthetic ones along the way. So it is great to call it "finished".

I have quite a backlog of tea bags to open and empty over the next couple of weeks. I plan to take an extensive inventory with me to Australia so I will have plenty with work with there (especially without my loyal group of tea bag providers here). I will recruit my visiting family to help with the task....perfect for bonding over the holidays!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Adam & Eve

Last year I made a kirigami hanging heart with an image of Adam & Eve on it. Two angels flew overhead. It was wonderful, one of my best. I hung it with my kirigami display in the living room without thinking. At the Snowflake Party many people buy my wares from my Itty Bitty Art Gallery and someone bought my Adam & Eve before I realized it. (You take what you want and put the money in a box. I use the honor system.) I was sorry to find that my baby had left the nest.

So here is the new one I've created. Alas, it is not as fine as the old one.

Perhaps I will practice depicting the first family again next season until I am satisfied.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Tiny Kirigami Ornaments

This year I am again participating in Chandler Gallery's Holiday Artisan Bazaar. I just got a call from them asking me to bring more wares because my things are selling out. So I've been cutting more kirigami ornaments (something I do rarely) to put in the gallery. Each one is about 3-4 inches square. This lot was a three movie affair.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Milan fashion

I hadn't been shopping for dress patterns for more than 30 years. Yet it all seemed quite familiar to be browsing through pattern books at Joann Fabrics last week searching for something similar to the dress I found in the New York Times Magazine recently. The sleeveless rather 60's trapeze dress would be perfect made out of tea bags! I eventually located a McCalls pattern that would do the trick (at a surprising $15.95......whatever happened to patterns priced at $4.95?)

I've spent days sewing the folded teabags together. As with each project recently tackled, I've had to figure it out as I've been working. Today I was very happy to actually get to the point where I could cut out the front of the dress. Here's how it looks:

It may take a few more days to finish the back, put it all together and figure out the finishing details. I'm working in the house now as sewing in the chilly studio isn't very comfortable. So much for our dining room table!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Holiday Open Studios at Tip Top

Today from 5 until 8, and tomorrow from noon until 5, artists at Tip Top Art and Media Center in White River Junction will have Holiday Open Studios.  There will be artwork, refreshments, music and more.  In addition to oil, acrylic and watercolor paintings, I will be showing my floral prints both hand colored and black and white.  Please come tonight to enjoy the festive atmosphere!

The latest print in my floral series is just finished.  I think it looks like the flowers are dancing in the summer breezes....

"Foxglove and Black Eyed Susan" 
linoleum print   •   9" x 12"

"Foxglove and Black Eyed Susan"
hand colored linoleum print   •   9" x 12"

And tomorrow, don't forget the Opening of the Holiday in Miniature Exhibition at ArtisTree at 6:30.   Small works perfect for holiday gifts at the gallery just north of Woodstock on route 12.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My Holiday Elf Job

Every fall and winter evening I put on my Elf hat and make fine crafts in my "night studio" in front of the tv. Normally I cut kirigami mandalas (shown at my Itty Bitty Art Gallery in Pomfret or in my online Etsy shop HERE)

... but this year I had the urge to do some sewing as well. I created more Art to Wear: One of a kind Hats (at Something Old Something New in West Woodstock) . . .

and I've made three dozen ribbonwork hat & coat ornaments for my favorite vendors. They are on sale at Arjuna in Woodstock and the Chandler Gallery's Artisan Bazaar in Randolph, as well as my online Etsy shop HERE.

I post all my new work (nearly every day) on my art blog HERE, if you are interested.

My Elf days are numbered, however. After making a few more gifts for my family, I will be back in my studio painting.

After all, Barbara did ask me to sign in blood my promise to paint

Friday, November 26, 2010

This and that

My studio keeps calling and I seem to be able to be there most days. The two tea cozies are finished and they are quite different from one another, but both required quite a bit of engineering in the creation.

I've also been working on a new book, this time using full tea bags for the cover and the full size opened tea bags for the pages. I need to figure out a good way to bind it all together, which is a little tricky with the full bag cover.

I've also gone back to working on the canvas tryptic. Two panels are now complete and I have begun the third. I'm not sure if they will hang next to one another (which would be a piece 12 feet long) or over one another with some space between the canvases. Certainly the latter is more practical, but it really depends upon how it all looks and the space available for hanging.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Stargazer Lily and Morning Glory

It's been a busy and stressful several weeks looking for and finding our new house-to-be!  We are excited to be moving in January to Woodstock where we will be close to friends and stores and I will be able to move my studio to our house.   It has been hard to carve out time to make art and it will be very welcome to be settled in our new place in a couple of months....
Today is a wet, cold, gray November morning and so it is somehow even more pleasant than usual to work on floral prints.   They bring back memories of summer and warmth and color.
This first print is black and white....

"Stargazer Lily and Morning Glory"
9"x12" - linoleum print

The hand colored print is finished as well....

"Stargazer Lily and Morning Glory"
9"x12" - hand colored linoleum print

I now have four completed prints for the calendar I would like to publish next year.   Each one attaches to a month--and lily and morning glory are definitely some time in the summer!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Building Hat & Coat Ornaments on Cold Nights

My hat & coat ornaments have proven to be a big success on the holiday market so on these cold cold evenings I've been lounging in my Night Studio, bundled into my soft blankie, sewing ribbon into beautiful ornaments while hatching plans for new illustration projects. Here are the ones I've created in the past few evenings. (The dark one must be the one I made while watching the very dark "Book of Eli" with Denzel Washington. I changed to "Narnia" after that.)

By the way, You can find my ornaments at Something Old Something New consignment shop on Route 4 West in Woodstock, at the Holiday Bazaar at the Chandler Gallery in Randolph, and also online at my Etsy shop: www.EmerlyeArts.Etsy.com

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Cozy in Vermont

The tank swim suit was easy to finish. I haven't figured out yet how to display it.....somehow it doesn't seem right to put a swimsuit on a hanger. Maybe a clothes line would be better.......

I'm having fun creating tea cozies at the moment. The tea tag one is just about finished. In this photo the top handle hasn't been attached, but I'm thinking of using a stack of round tea bags for this purpose.

The piece I'm working on now is made from full tea bags attached to a canvas backing. It may take a few attempts to get this one down, but it's an interesting experiment. My tea bag suppliers keep supplying and the ideas keep flowing!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Tank Chic

During the past week I've been working on a tank swim suit. I sewed long lines of unopened but emptied tea bags together to form stripes, then ironed the stripes on to fusible fabric, normally used to created interfacings. I found the piece to be much more fragile that I thought it would be, but with a lot of care managed to get it together. I needed to sew tea bag trim around all the edges, giving it a lot more stability. (I've had to do this with a number of pieces and I hope that they will hold up well with this edging). Here's a photo taken before all the edging work was completed:

Carol has given me an idea for what may be the next piece. She suggested a tea cozy and right away I had a vision of what it might look like. How great to get so much support from friends and family for my work!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


I'm back from a wonderful trip to California and Chicago, just in time for some really cold weather. It was good to have the scarf pieces with me, as I had a lot of travel time in which to sew and knot the fringe on to the ends. It took close to ten hours to do it, on the plane and bus, in the airport, and relaxing overlooking the Pacific. So the scarf is finished, tea bag string fringe and all!

This week I have begun to make a tea bag swimsuit, maybe to celebrate the coming of winter. I'm playing with an entirely new technique, adhering the bags to fusible material with an iron (suggested at an Art-wise Women's group, my ever helpful friends!). It's a bit tedious, but seems to be working, so I'm hoping....

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Hat Season

Hats hats hats. I've been madly building hats for the holiday selling season. I used to create these one of a kind garments (hats, vests, jackets) a few years ago and sell them at the Norwich Farmer's Market but I took a hiatus for a couple of years due to illness. Now I'm making them again.

Art to Wear is another seasonal activity, like my kirigami papercuttings. In another month I will have enough for the season and I'll go back to painting and illustration.
Shown here is a sampler of what's new. These are for sale in my little "shop" on Route 4, West Woodstock, at Something Old Something New. Check them out!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Remembering Summer....

Now that snow has fallen here on Vulture Mountain, this is a happy memory of summer.  It was painted on a sunny July morning standing in a churchyard in Randolph.

"July Field, Randolph"  oil  8"x10"

It is a small plein air painting that attempts to capture the feeling of that warm summer day.  It is lovely to have such a view of nature available as the days are becoming gloomy and cold...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Making Ribbonwork Hat Ornaments

Once a year I spend time building one of a kind art-to-wear. This year, instead of decorating my hats with the same material they are made from, I decided to create detachable ribbonwork hat ornaments. Here are some I've been working on:

I mostly make these in the evening...

After all, at the end of the day, I want to sit down in my "night studio," put my feet up and watch a movie while working on handwork of some kind. My portable setup, consisting of a basket and several trays of flower parts is a bit cramped but it works.

Now to sew some more hats.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Just in time for chilly days

This past week a scarf of many hues has come together on my workbench. I've combined different types of tea bags in some new ways and have stayed with a light (plus red!) palette. I've used the sewing machine in combination with hand sewing.

The only part remaining will best the most tedious......sewing and tying hundreds of tea strings for the fringe. Since I'm heading out to the west coast to visit family I decided it would be a perfect airport/plane project. The end pieces, strings and needles are packed and ready to go.....I wonder if it will make the hours fly by!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Collaging Experiment II

Here are the completed four flower paintings....

I watercolored some bright yellow and orange paper and cut it into geometric shapes to add my human intrusion into the little flower paintings.  I intuited what I thought they needed to become complete....  It's difficult to see it in these photos but the yellow and orange pieces add a third dimensionality to the paintings since they warp nicely.