Friday, July 31, 2009

More about the frock photos

Many of you have written that you want to see the pictures individually and not in a slide show. I have loaded them at Photoworks and if you are interested in seeing them send me a private email and I'll send you a link to view them. I am leaving town early tomorrow morning and will be driving all day. I am taking my laptop so when I get to the motel I should be able to connect and check emails.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Shameless Self Promotion!

I am so excited about these pictures Wendy took! And the young girls modeling are adorable! And now I hope these will sell. I have a good feeling as I sold two last night to a friend, Sharon Allen,who will wear them on stage when she performs. She looked stunning in them. Take time to hear a clip or two from her new CD.

Here's the slide show of some of the vintage frocks Jennifer and I will be peddling at Art Unraveled:

If you're attending Art Unraveled or live in the Phoenix area please stop by my booth and see my wearable art! I'll also have dyed silk scarves, silk flower pins, wayward thread stoles and scarves, hats, and dyed ribbon packets.

Home for a short time

Gosh, I have so much to write about and so little time. The trip to New Mexico was wonderful. Such a beautiful state. Jonny, Joanne, Jimmy, Michael, and I rented a house just outside Taos for most of the trip. Nicer than a motel and about the same cost. Here are the views we had to endure.

I got to visit with my aunt and uncle in Albuquerque which was a treat. We rode the tram up to Sandia peak and had dinner at a very nice restaurant and rode the tram back down after another lovely sunset. I had a friend who worked developing photos and he said everyone takes a picture of a sunset or ten. He said they used to yell NAFS! You figure out what that stands for (clue: it starts with "not another ....).

We visited with old friends and people played music and sang into the night, just like old times. My husband, Michael went fly fishing and I went to the plaza and visited art galleries and stores. Went to the Red Rive one day and it was so beautiful.

Now I'm home and need to get to my studio and pack for Art Unraveled. Last year for this trip my car was loaded to the gills. This year I have to leave room for Jennifer and her luggage. EEK! I may have to get the car top carrier out which I'd really like to avoid. It definitely makes me look like a "beverly hillbilly"!! Picture me in my Subaru Outback, stuffed, car top carrier, out on I10 with all those truckers ............. or not.

I downloaded all the photos my friend Wendy took of two young women, Kate & Jennifer, wearing some of the vintage frocks that will be for sale at AU vendor day. There are so many good ones I can't post them all but I'll try to pick a few out and come back to post them a little later today.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Leaving Town

I am going on a vacation tomorrow, not traveling for teaching or workshops but an actual vacation with my husband. For several years now he and I took independent vacations so someone would be home with the school aged children. Now that milestone has passed as Tony turned 18 last month and has graduated from high school, we're able to travel together again. We're going to New Mexico for 8 days, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Taos.

My son was clearing brush around our house and found this in a tree and cut it down and brought it to my attention. He knows how much I like to look (and save for god knows why) things of nature, shells, seed pods, bird feathers, you name I probably have one. Look how elaborate this little nest is built up and think of the time and effort it must have taken the small bird that built it. Amazing, I think.

My friend Wendy did a photo shoot this last Wednesday with two beautiful teenage girls. Then she left town and I haven't seen any of the pictures yet and I'm dyeing to see them. They are of the girls modeling the new vintage redesigned clothing Jennifer and I have been working so hard on. I want to give everyone interested a preview of what we'll be selling! I hope when I get back on the 29th and before I leave again on August 1st I'll be able to do that. Stay tuned.

Friday, July 17, 2009

"Ties That Bind" Update

I wrote a while back about an art doll my sister, Jan Brown, designed and constructed from decorated ties and charms that various artists across the country sent her to be auctioned off in September. (click on auction for information about the raffle to win her.) Now there is a book!

This book is an extention of the art doll....another part of the project that will carry on our collaborative spirit.

All proceeds from this book go to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.

This book is filled with gorgeous photos of the doll and some of the individual art contributions. In addition and most importantly, the Ties That Bind book captures the spirit of hope, courage, faith and love. It is bursting with inspirational quotes and stories. This book is not just about the artists or images but about what their art expresses. The content is directed towards those that need or appreciate encouragement and inspiration not just in art but in life itself.

During the design process, it became clear that artist recognition was not the only reason to design this book, but more to let the art shine. And shine it does! The finished book emerged from the idea of showcasing the artists and their work. However, it did not take long to realize that the book was much much more.

Although we could not feature each and every piece of art submitted nor could we include all the artists bios, quotes and stories that were sent in we tried our very best! Content, cost, limited space and the flavor of the book made it impossible to include everything. This book features the strong spirit of the entire Ties That Bind project. Of course, ALL artists who contributed art for the project are credited in the book!!!!

The book is a professionally bound 7x7 book of high quality. It can be ordered either as a hardcover image wrapped book or a softcover book.

You can peek at and purchase a copy of the book at the following link:

http://tinyurl. com/lesnkv

*If you have a problem with the above link you can also go to
http://www.blurb. com and type in the search window at the top the following: artfulaileen
and click on the book that comes up or you can go to the TTB blog and click on the book prevew in the sidebar.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Nature Around My World

6 a.m. on the West Coast. I used to be a night owl most all my young life but these days I can't sleep in and often relish the peaceful quietness of early mornings. The crickets have ceased their nightsong and the birds have taken over. I watch the fog swirl in and around the mountains causing the tops to look like islands floating in air. I pour a cup of coffee, sit and look out the large windows that bank the front of my rounded house to the rolling hills down to the Monterey Bay.

A spotted towhee is resting on an olive branch while doves flit across the sky. Now the cats are at the screen door wanting breakfast. This is how I begin my day.

We heard the screams of a large cat animal again last night. What we believe is a mountain lion (see previous post). Not as close to the house this time but farther down the canyon from my garden. It sounded different, not so human. Perhaps because it was farther away or maybe it wasn't the same cat? Maybe a bobcat instead. We do see the bobcats from time to time. We had a family of them living around the curve of our driveway. Once while I was taking a walk down our drive I rounded the corner to see a bobcat about 40 feet in front of me. It stopped, turned and looked right at me! Then it padded off. I followed and as it disappeared around the bend I wondered would it be crouching in wait to pounce at me? Then I told myself that was silly. As I rounded the next curve there was the bobcat stopped again, turning to watch me. Then it veered off down the mountainside. It was a unique experience. As I passed the spot I saw him leave the road I looked around but didn't see a sign of of him.

I need to finish my coffee and begin to load some things in my car as I'm headed to Berkeley today to meet with Jennifer and finalize our plans for the trip to Art Unraveled.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Beware the Mountain Lion

Last night around 9:30 I was in bed reading with the door and window open. I heard a strange sound but when I listened carefully I heard only the crickets. Then again the sound and then nothing. About ten minutes later the sound was close (near my studio for those who know my property) and it sounded like a woman screaming. I called for my husband who was in the front part of the house and asked if he'd heard that. He said that it was just our kitties running on the roof. I said no I didn't hear that I'm talking about that screaming, you better come here and listen. We soon realized it wasn't human, but sounded so much like it at times. We turned on the outside lights but couldn't see anything and once we yelled it was quiet again. We came back inside and soon there were the screams again. Very close. Real eerie sounding. We just knew it was a mountain lion (puma or cougar). This morning we walked about and saw some large paw prints that could only be a mountain lion's. So I guess we have to be careful when we're out walking past dusk to and from our studios and to remember to carry a big stick. If you're approached by a lion you're suppose to look as big as you can and be aggressive by facing them, talking sternly to them, and walk away slowly. I sure hope I could do this and not run away screaming at the top of my voice!

It's not unusual for mountain lions to be here, after all, I do live in the mountains. I read reports in local papers about these cougars attacking runners or hikers but I also read it's not in their nature to attack unless they think it's prey. Some cougars have been reported in city neighborhoods and I read they are shot. I am hoping we wouldn't have to shoot one if we encounter it. They mostly keep to themselves and if we can just not surprise one into attacking we'll be fine, I hope. That's my plan.

Here's a link to what one sounds like. The scream we heard last night seemed a little higher pitched than this but you'll get the idea!

BTW, our two cats were safe.