Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Lazy, crazy, hazy!

      The days of summer are zooming by and BOY have things been crazy! The month of June I had a show of my found object assemblages at The Burkholder Project in Lincoln, NE. Sales have been good and many of the pieces are still at the gallery. Stop by and see.
      Also in June I made the cake topper for two frinds wedding, Lenny and Paul. The wedding was held at an amazing antique store so the cake topper was made from vintage objects.
        More June adventures...my husband and I drove to Rochester NY for theatre meetings that he needed to attend. On the way there we stopped in Cleveland at The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Amazing place!! While in Rochester I explored all the area antique shops and flea markets, always on the look out for just the right "junk".One day I drove to Buffalo and taught my Muse pattern for a doll club there. Thanks Sylvia!!
         From Rochester we headed to Lancaster PA to visit our bestest friends/neighbors there...always a special occasion with lots of great food and conversations.Spent one day exploring architectural, salvage, and flea markets. While in Lancaster I had coffee with two specail Facebook friends and extroadany artists, Carolee Clark and Jennifer MacNeill Traynor. So nice to put names and faces together.
         From PA we went to NYC to visit our son and daughter in law, always the best place with the best people. Saw 3 Broadway shows, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert; Jerusalem and The Motherfucker in the Hat. Also saw a fantabulous performance/theatre piece called Sleep No More and Alexander McQueen's awesome show at The Met.Ate great food and loved every minute of the time.
       When we got home I had less than a week to get everything ready for my annual kids class at the DM Art Center, Fairies and Fairy Houses. So much fun for me and the girls.The Saturdayafter the class I had to go to Lincoln to pick up the pieces from one show and set up a display of my dolls at another gallery
       The following week my sister flew in from Phoenix and we drove together to Manhattan Kansas to visit our brother and for me to go to my 45th high school reunion. Got home two days ago and today I had eye surgery to hopfully correct double vision in one eye.
       I wish I could say that I now have time to catch my breath but I have 2 more gallery shows this fall and 3 art fairs! Actually,
 I'm happy to be this busy with the economy in the pits!! I did have time to do one new pattern in June, The 11" Little Critters. They'd make great stocking stuffers, but if your ife is like mine, you better get started.

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Is it Spring yet???

     Not so you'd know it!! This week we have had 70 degree days, rain, hail, snow AND tornadoes. Ah, Springtime in Iowa! My calendar and to-do list is filling up with deadlines looming!
      This morning I was on a local TV station. The interview was filmed a couple of weeks ago in my studio. Every week the CBS station visits a local atist in their studio. I think that's a great way to shine a spotlight on the artist/hermit part of the population!!I didn't get up at 7 to watch it but I did tape it. I don't know who that person wearing my clothes was but she doesn't look or sound anything like me!!I hate seing myself on TV!!!
     But sometime this year you can all see me and my studio in print as my studio will be featured in Studios magazine. Probably the Fall issue but I'll keep you posted.
     If you're anywhere near central Iowa and you want to see my studio in person, I have two classes scheduled here....an animal menagerie class is scheduled for April 16th. These are really fun little characters! You can make a lot of different animals with this technique; rabbits, bears, mice, cats, dogs, foxes etc.
A Make-a-Doll Day is planned for May 7. You pick any of my patterns and I'll help you with problems or questions.Classes are such ways to hang out with other creative people. More information is on my web site. http://www.magicthreads.com/
     My husband has meeting in Rochester NY June 21-25th. I'll be going with him and am available for teaching while I'm in the area. E-mail me if you are interested in putting a class together .
     I'm getting ready for THREE featured artist shows this summer. Two of these are with my Found Object pieces. I've got a lot to do before June, but that's the way I like it!!! Two months of taking it easy recovering from back surgery has had me climbing the walls!! Bring on the work!!
Happy Spring, I hope it's coming your way soon.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Race for the Cure

I have a customer in Pennyslvania who occasionally commissions me to make decorations or favors for parties or fundraisers she is involved with. It's always a surprise what she wants me to do.  This year she asked me to make 36 pink horse sculptures to be used at a "Race for the Cure" fundraiser.The nice thing is that I charge her my wholesale price and she sells them or auctions them off at the fundraiser.So often artists are asked to donate their art for auctions. I'm happy to do that for organizations that I am involved with or support but I often have to turn people down as I just get asked so often. This is a wonderful way to support your "starving artist" and make money for your favorite cause.I love having to figure out how to come up with a dragon hobby horse or acrobat table centerpieces!! I've put a few of these pink horses in my Etsy store. http://etsy.com/shop/magicthreadsdolls

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Clean Studio

I've spent the last week cleaning and reorganizing my studio. If you are anything like me, you just keep buying, collecting and aquiring "stuff.." As dollmakers we need lots of stuff! Not just cotton fabrics but felt, wool, silk, lace, velvet and brocade. We need different colors and styles of yarns, trims, beads, fringe, fur, feathers, pipe cleaners, buttons, bells, well, you get the idea. I'm lucky enough to have a VERY large studio so I have plenty of room to store everything but sometimes it all gets away from you You know you have something but can't begin to find it.I pulled all the fabric off my shelves and sorted through the piles, throwing away the too small scraps and making give away piles. I organize by colors and patterns. Checks are together, polka dots together, batiks together. I have an old school room organizer with 36 cuby holes.Even after getting rid of two big boxes of fabric, they are still full! I think I may have overdone the cleaning...now I'm afraid to mess it up, but not for long!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Open Studio

It seems like such a nice idea...have an open studio with a few other artists, invite your friends and customers to see your latest work, serve some cookies and punch; how hard can that be? Well, first you have to start with a clean house, because everyone will walk through the house to get to the studio. Never did like the color of that wall, this would be a good time to repaint. Living room needs tweaking, so it get's completely rearranged which means all the art has to be rearranged too. While moving fruniture discover at least a dozen doll heads, arms, tin foil balls, beads, pipe cleaners and assorted dust bunnies, all of which the cats are overjoyed to see again..
Did I mention that I'm doing all this with a ruptured disc in my back......what's a litle pain? Take a pain pill and prompt fall asleep for 8 hours. Should have started this project a couple of weeks sooner. Dive into the studio, where 90% of the Mess gets shoved into boxes and hidden in closets. Big problems will arise NEXT week when I actually have to work in the studio, Still have to send out pattern orders, ETSY purchases and start on commissions for Christmas.
I have to say that I did anticipate these conflicts and attemped to rent a empty store for the open house. It seemed like such a simply plan....but no one would rent out their already empty store. People just don't trust  crazy artists.
So I am down to one more day.Invitations were sent and e-mailed. House is almost clean, studio is almost clean, cookies aren't baked, dolls aren't arranged but at least there is no snow in the forecast which means I better get out the shovel! If you're in the central part of Iowa, please stop by and join me, Becky Kemble, Cindee Moyer, Bonnie Samuel and Cyndi Mahlstadt. The art will be stunning!!!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Lincoln Arts Festival

I'm excited to be doing the arts festival in Lincoln Ne this weekend.  This is our home town so it will be great to see old freinds and family.  Haven't been doing outdoor shows for a loooong time. Right now the forecast is 75 and sunny . One less thing to worry about., I hope. I will be bringing both dolls and my newest found objects pieces. I did a FO show at the Burkholder Project in Lincoln in Feb. and did really well so I'm hoping for a good weekend. Lots of Halloween themed pieces too.
Hope you'll come if you're in the area!!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Friday, August 27, 2010

September Sale

I'm having a sale through the month of September. If you order 3 patterns you can choose a 4th one for free. That's a 25% savings on 4 patterns. Simply fill out the order form with 3 patterns and put the name of your 4th choice in the memo section on the order form. Sale runs through September 30.........my birthday! Happy September. Now is a great time to be making Halloween decorations. Today I cut out one of my Bird of Paradise dolls, but I'm making the bird a crow and the rider a witch. Give it a try!The Secret Keeper also makes outstanding Witches. Make them with green skin!!!
Enjoy the Bewitching Magic!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Mariah, Black Hawk

I've been asked to send a doll for the "In Celebration of the Doll" doll exhibit held during the Quilt Festival in Houston. Generally it is a mad dash to finish my doll by the deadline but this year, I'm done with a month to spare. What a great feeling. The doll is named Mariah. Sometimes the dolls just makes themselves


The temperature in Iowa suddenly dropped from the 90s and humidity to a cool 65. Fall may be coming!!! So in honor of Halloween, I'm featurung my Halloween Witch patterns on my Etsy site http://magicthreadsdolls.etsy.com/ I have three pattern for Witches that are all fun and super easy to make.Don't you all love Halloween!