Tuesday, February 25, 2014

a runaway table

In conjunction with the embroidered dinner napkins I posted a bit ago, here is the aforementioned table runner. 

What is a table runner anyway? It's that thing, usually some form of textile, that ones puts on a table, roughly in the center, to look pretty. Ok, it may also protect the table top from hot dishes, but it's function is usually decorative. 

It may ground the spot for various tablescaping vignettes. "Tablescaping"? As in, landscaping a table? Yep. A display of candles, flowers, framed photos, odd antiques, etc. needs a mat of some kind to frame it horizontally in space on the table top.

A perfect excuse to craft a tiny quilt, in my mind.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

trip report - InCiteful Clay at Foosaner Art Museum

One of my favorite things to do while touring around is to visit art exhibits. We happened on the Foosaner Art Museum, a division of the Florida Institute of Technology, while in Eau Gallie. The current exhibit was called InCiteful Clay and consisted of 25 ceramic works curated into five categories: War and Politics, the Social and Human Condition, Gender Issues, Environmental Concerns and Popular and Material Culture. Two of the works stood out for me, both in the Environmental Concerns category (go figure). 

The first was by Paula Winokur, called "Global Warnings". The piece occupied the wall space in the corner of the room and consisted of many 5" orbs arranged in rows to form two squares facing each other. I forgot to count the rows, but there were a lot. The orbs were porcelain balls with interesting textures/fissures and some had handwritten notes discussing climate change facts and global warning quotes. I think I recognized some from 350.org, the organization I am supporting through monthly donations for 2014. I love abstract work, especially when repetition is used. Seeing this piece alone was worth the $5 admission.

The second was by Nuala Creed, called "Lament for Fukushima". It was a baby, about life size, seated in the lotus position in front of what first looked like a dark grey tree. It was not a tree, but a mushroom cloud. The baby was shiny, light grey with a red, dripping face, as if his eyes were bleeding. It was a haunting image, one that, for me, both evoked Japan's past horrors with nuclear damage and her future with the newly born generation.   

It was a well-curated exhibit with interesting, provocative pieces. Ever the art student, I felt lucky to have stumbled across such a find on a nice day out for a walk. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


The lines between art, craft and decoration are often debated. Here is my rationale for the defining lines.

Art is what I'm attempting to make with my tiny quilts.  There is no practical use they can be put to and I'm trying to explore shapes, colors and composition when I make them. That seems like art to me. 

Craft is how I make them. The technique of appliqué, the manipulation of the fabric and thread, the sewing and quilting of the layers - those are all components of craft. 

Decoration, on the other hand, is the act of applying additional embellishment to an item of practical usefulness. Decorating things is fun. At least the maker knows the item will be enjoyed while it's performing its function. I've been working on a decorative project for the past month or two. It's finally finished and, while I enjoyed working on it, I'm looking forward to getting back to making tiny quilts. 

Behold! The embroidered dinner napkins for my aunt. A table runner to follow...

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

business cards

Finally (!) decided on a design. I was stuck for awhile, trying to cram a ton of contact information on the face of the card. Nothing I came up with was looking right to me.

After a fun shopping day at People, Places and Quilts in historic Summerville SC, we stopped for coffee at Coastal Coffee Roasters. Amongst the wonderful coffee, locally baked treats, and general cool vibe, they had a shelf full of business cards. Two of the cards on the shelf were for artists (a photographer and a potter) and they were square. Square! Of course! That's exactly what I wanted. Something symmetrical and unusual. 

Then I realized I didn't need all that contact information cluttering up the card. The point of a business card is to direct people to the very reason you have a business card in the first place. The blog address, my email address - none of that needs to be on the business card. Just Etsy. Single point of contact.