Wednesday, May 30, 2007

My Current Top Ten

A peek into my brain. Here are the ten things you are most likely to find rattling round my head right now.

1. In the photo you can see a smidgen of the projects I have been working on this week - a series of 5 small quilts that must be in the mail before...

2. I leave for Arrowmont on Sunday for a week studying printmaking. I will be picking Cheryl Prater up at the Louisville airport on the way. This is my fifth trip to Arrow and Cheryl's first. I cannot wait to get down there and make a bunch of art and meet a lot of cool people.

3. Some of my pals and some of my close kin are going thru hard times right now and I wish they didn't have to.

4. I have the best, simplest, plainest little life on the planet.

5. The Thing Which Remains Unresolved has gone from super-exciting 6 months ago to barely on my radar. I don't think about It nearly as much as I think about WHY I don't think about it. Can't really say what it is, but if It resolves favorably, I'll let you know.

6. Our high school hired the best possible girls' soccer coach. A pro from Brazil. He is hard core and my girls love him. They have trained with him on and off for a couple of years.

7. The price of gas. I drive a Vibe because it gets great gas mileage but now it costs almost 40 bucks to fill it up. I shudder when I see somebody filling up a hummer. And I have about a 6 hr drive on Saturday.

8. I hate the "Go shake it" thing the dude on Shear Genius says. He is no Tim Gunn.

9. I changed my White Barn Candle Company Wallflower from Brown Sugar and Fig to Creamy Nutmeg. It smells really good. Then I made a pot of Caramel Truffle Coffee. My husband nearly passed out from shock when he walked in after work. He thought I was baking.

10. These are the random hodgepodge thoughts that pop in and out: Jessica Simpson and John Mayer/Blake was robbed because the last song was a Jordin song/Rosie O'Donnell/Hogzilla/Project Runway/Valley of the Dolls/Hummingbird Art Camp/running/headache/why bad things have to happen/why I read Nicholas Sparks once in a while/why I don't read more/and oh yeah, I have to make 2 journals for class notes for Arrowmont.

See, I 'm a busy girl, even if it is summer vacation.

Friday, May 25, 2007

A little old, a lot of new

Joann's was having a 40% off sale and I challenged myself to get 12 new fabrics that will work back into the stuff that I am currently working with. I am not a big fabric hoarder. I am more likely to use a particular fabric that I love in many projects until I nearly run out of it, and then it will appear in bits and pieces until it is gone. I tend to work in series, so it is a must that my fabrics relate to one another. I have two quilts done in a five piece series, so these fabrics will appear, along with the fabrics I have already used, in the next three quilts. Maybe I'll show ya sometime.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Last Week

Here are last week's journal pages in my daily art assignment for this year. It's a space theme. Can you name the song that inspired this? It might be a kinda obscure reference. It is the song I most recently added to my ipod. School is out, but I still have to go back for a bit tomorrow and finish moving into my new art room. The girls helped me all day today and worked really hard getting all my art stuff organized. The girls had soccer tonight and tied the first place team in their league. Their tournament is next week and for fun, I am tie-dying their shirts. I will post pics. Hoping I have some dye left over to do some fabric while I'm at it.

I have so many projects cooking right now!! I had one thing about 80% done - the faux french thing I was working on - and then I REALIZED IT WAS ALL WRONG. So I am starting over. If I am a perfectionist in any way, it is not in execution so much as communication. An artist - or maker, as I prefer to be called - cannot explain her work to everyone who sees it. They will see it and judge and make up their stories and have their own ideas. I want to to particpate as much as possible in that process, so I strive mostly to communicate my ideas as clearly as possible.
I saw Million Dollar Baby the other night. It was good, yet disturbing. There were parts I could not watch.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Honey Pie, Sugar Doll

Darlin' Dear, it's our annyversry! Warsh the truck! Let's go up to the Red Lobster and git us some shrimp. Can we stop at the walmart on the way home? I love you more 'an a speckled hound pup.

Seriously, today is our anniversary. JR and I have been married 18 years today. Marriage might be the ultimate act of optimism. You really don't know who that person will turn into on the way to "til death do us part". You can look at his family and background and take a guess, but there is no way to tell for sure. The best part of the last 18 years has been seeing JR become the man he is today - a perfect father to our two girls, confident and assertive, and

he talks all the time! He used to be so quiet. I hoped on May 20, 1989, that everything would turn out okay, but I had no idea it would be this good.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

ooh la la

c'est francais

n'est ce pas?


Faux French is one of my all-time favorite themes!! It's kinda hillbilly/eurotrash. Ma and Pa Kettle go to Paris.
Yee-haw, mon petite!

Here's the stuff I have pulled out for a nontraditional quilt of sorts I am going to make today. Don't worry - it's only a small quilt. This might be my favorite part of anything I make, the gathering of materials and discovering new color, pattern and embellishment combinations. This is all stuff from my studio. I didn't go shopping. That's one of the benefits of hoarding - you can just shop in your own house. The velvet is my great grandma's, the toile was $1 a yard at Walmart, the green tassels were on clearance when they closed the walmart to open the supercenter. I think I have about 4 yards of it. I like the way these pinks and greens are all slightly off and do not match or "go" exactly. The girls have a soccer match at 9:00 and another one at 4:00, so I will have a good chunk of time in the studio in the middle of the day.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I got tagged

I have "e-known" Cheryl Prater since mid- December or so. Very early on in our communication, I expressed to Ms. Prater my dislike of tagging. But did this stop her? No.
So today, she tags me to show how messy my studio is. I just took these photos of my home studio. My work table is pretty much covered right now. I haven't been working out there too much lately because of how hectic our schedules have been with the girls' sports. We are on a bit of a break right now - down to only soccer; track and basketball are over. The kids get out of school next Wednesday and I am done next Thursday. Then I can clear off the table and get down to business. I am currently working out of my giant red tote bag. I almost always have a project with me to stitch or glue while watching whatever sport they are playing. The next photo shows some of my shelves - not too bad, I guess. The last one is a canvas bin of fabric scraps. I hate neatly folded fabric. So uninspiring. I was talking to a lovely mom and daughter at the Chicago thing. They stopped by my table at the virtual studio and, as they looked at my books and stuff, expressed a frustration at not knowing how to get started on mixed media projects. They said they had bought all the stuff and had it all organized neatly in their craft room, but couldn't seem to get going. I said maybe that was the problem - that everything put away all neat and perfect is a good way to stifle creativity. I pulled out a bursting-with-stuff gallon ziploc from my giant red tote and told them to get a ziploc and toss some random junk and scraps in and see what comes out. Like I always say, You gotta break a few eggs if you're gonna bake a cake.

My beloved husband, J.R., does not approve of my mess. My real studio is above his shoe store and whenever he ventures upstairs he fusses at the scraps on the floor. That place needs a good cleaning, too. I HATE the thought of buying plastice tubs to store stuff in - they have no soul. Generally, I don't worry too much about where things are. If I am workin on something and think "now where did I put those gold wings I got from artchix?" and I start looking for them, it is altogether possible that I find something else that will work better, or at least give myself options I hadn't considered. The clutter doesn't bother me in all honesty. I feel a little bad about that. A good artist/wife/mom would not only care about the mess; she would clean it up.

I really want Blake to win American Idol, but I don't think he will. Elliot Yamin got new teeth and let his hair grow out. Dancing with the Stars was fixed to not let Cheryl win again. What do you think of The Fray? We love them. How about Matt Kearney? Have you heard anything after "Nothing Left to Lose" - what a great song.

I get to move into 2 brand new art rooms next week. Two of my schools have been building new digs this year and they are so beautiful. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that my precious students out here in rural Indiana are getting these shiny, gorgeous schools. I am getting SMARTBOARDS in both of my new rooms!! They are the perfect compliment to the current e-curriculum I am using and the kids are so motivated by the technology. Our summer break is 11 weeks this year. One week will be well-spent at Arrowmont, one in the mountains of New Mexico, one taking a class at IU to renew my teaching license. Whit starts high school in the fall, so she will start training with the high school soccer team sometime soon. We can't really plan a vacation until we know what that schedule will be like. There is no place on earth that girl would rather be than on the pitch. She used to be one of the tallest girls in her class, but she has about stopped growing at about 5'5" or so and maybe a hundred and 5 lbs. She plays like she's 5'10" and 150, not afraid of the devil himself. I wish I was that assertive. I want to be her when I grow up.

BLAKE JUST GOT INTO THE FINALS - which prolly means jordin will win, unless he cover maroon 5 again!!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Bird Doodles

Did Billy Ray get kicked off of Dancing With The Stars? Is Ami going to fire Kat? Will Blake survive another cut? WHEN is my Project Runway going to be on again?
I got my hair cut today. Just a trim and reshape. It's the cut Mariska Hargitay has on her milk commercial. She is a recovering short hair girl, too.
We have about 12 days of school left and the kids are getting wound up with the end of the year activities and stuff. This is Teacher Appreciation Week, so we are getting lots of treats at school - Starbucks Gift Card, catered lunches, handmade cards. It's fun. I got the BEST letter from a third grader.
I am starting a slew (5) of new projects. I am making myself finish this bunch of stuff before I make another pair of artjeans. The first of my current projects will be in abird theme. I don't do birds. I feel like I am impersonating an artist who does birds. But I WANT to do birds, so I shall forge ahead with birds. Here are some of the 50 or so bird doodles I have done in the last 2 days.
I think I have recovered from the mini marathon pretty well. It was a totally good experience and I felt SO SO SO blessed to be there - to have the health , the will and the freedom to do it. At the start, I thought about all the women in the world who don't have the freedom to go run a half marathon with their kids and the total support and love of a good husband. My life could not be any better.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

I did it!

I finished the Indy 500 Festival Mini Marathon - all 13.1 miles of it!!! This was my first half, and I plan to do it again next year. My girls did GREAT. They ran it in 2 hours and 4 minutes.
I was SO nervous all last week. I was struggling with the idea of it all -questioning what in the world I had done, signing up for this thing and thinking that I had any hope of finishing. It's true that they sold out the Mini this year, 35,000 people signed up and paid to run, but only 29,000 showed up yesterday. I didn't have to do it.
Yes, I did have to do it. I said I would, I paid my money, and I did the training. Most of all, I wanted to set a good example for my girls. If a Crane woman says she is gonna do something, like make art every day or run a half marathon, let's say, YOU CAN TAKE THAT TO THE BANK!
The girls followed the mini with a soccer match, playing almost all 70 minutes. All of us a sore today, but getting by. My only regret is that I was so nervous for the first 5 miles, I couldn't really enjoy myself. Next year, I'll know better.
I see the footage on t.v and I cannot believe I was actually part of that sea of humanity. I went to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the first time and stopped for a second on the yard of bricks. Danica Patrick was there when the girls were. They saw her. She was cheering her sister on. One lap is 2.5 miles - that's 10 times more than the 1/4 mile track I do laps on in town!
I knew I had it at 9 miles. I never felt sick or like I wanted to quit. The biggest trouble I had was a blister on the ball of each foot. I could feel them squishing with every step. But I finished.
Try something you're not good at - in public, in a big crowd. It's not embarrassing. It's liberating.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The jeans are done!

Here is the left front leg, the back of the rigt leg and the lower part of the front view. That gorgeous fabric on the sides is Anna Maria Bohemian. If I finish the Mini Marathon Saturday I am rewarding myself with a few yards of her new Chocolate Lollipop.
Julaine tagged me - okay 7 wierd things about myself
1. I will be 40 next month and my youngest sister is 20. We have the same parents.
2. My mom and dad got married when they were 17 and 18.
3. My last name was Crane before I got married - no we are not related.
4. Mark Kistler of the PBS tv show The Imagination Station is my friend
5. The right side of my face is the product of reconstructive surgery due to a car accident
6. I still have dial up
7. I have never been to Europe
I know I am sposed to tag 7 others..but I am too tired right now!