Thursday, March 31, 2011

Vote for Cody and Eleanor

Use the widget to the right to cast a vote! 

I am all for art, and especially kids and art. I love the county fair when I can visit the 4-H buildings and see all the wonderful projects that the children of Swift County have made all year long. One of the most popular contests in the fair is the photography contest. Kids take amazing pictures and with the age of digital what is to stop them from taking as many as they wish. How nice.

My friends, the Habben's have entered a picture of Eleanor and Cody in the West Central Tribune's photo contest. All we have to do is vote for her and to facilitate this action I have posted a widget to the right which takes you right there! How easy is that! No excuses now -- check back often as you can vote as the photos advance throught the rounds. Good luck, Eleanor and all the Habben family.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Zentangle Challenge - I Walk the Line

I can't draw a straight line! The cry of everyone who believes they cannot draw. One of the reasons I am so drawn to Zentangles is their motto "anything is possible... one stroke at a time." Anyone can draw Zentangles, for that matter, I believe anyone can draw. Drawing is a skill and that skill can be learned. In fact, as an artist, I don't believe I really ever draw a completely straight line. Even in this challenge of patterns with straight lines I waver and wobble in a most artistic manner.
I found this challenge difficult, which was a surprise for me. I have always been partial to grids, blocks, boxes, squares, straight lines. I believed that this challenge was going to be a piece of cake. And yet I was strangely at odds with my tangles. Without the ability to insert one curve I struggled to "feel" the tangle. They did not flow and move like I wished. And I tried several. So while I finally settled on one to post for this challenge, I find that I, too, can't seem to draw just a "straight" line.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Zentangle Challenge - Nondominatrix

This week's Diva Zentangle challenge was to use our non-dominant hand. For me that would be the left hand and it was a challenge. You have to relinquish a lot of control when you don't draw with the hand you normally use everyday. And as we all know it is not easy to give up control. My first attempt was frustrating because I wanted to do the tangle well. I decided that I needed to simplify my design and my expectations - hence the title - K.I.S.S.
Then just for fun I decided to do a similar tangle with my right hand and see the differences. I have posted them both. In this exercise as in life I like to have control over my environment. I often forget that I am not in control, that challenges from outside invade my life, and sometimes I need to be flexible. It seems the more I struggle to hold on tightly, the more things become complicated. And while this may yield satisfying results in the long run, I can forget that a simpler approach has it's own rewards. So I remind myself to keep it simple, stupid.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Red Lead Cottage Swap

One of my favorite websites is Red Lead Paperworks. They do a lot of altered art, have a great selection of vintage stamps and papers, and a yahoo group in which different artists participate in swapping their art. Their latest swap was to create a collage art piece using a set of three cute chipboard cottages. (Click on pictures to enlarge). 
In looking through my collection of old photos I noticed how many pictures were taken on front porches. It seemed so appropriate to use them on the litte cottages. I chose one picture of my Dad as a little boy playing happily on his front stoop with a new toy, one picture of family ancestors sitting on their porch with a picket fence in the foreground, and one picture of an old friend playing his banjo in the doorway of an old house. I can remember taking family pictures on our own porch when we lived at the beach, and while I do have a porch on my house here in Minnesota, it is enclosed and does not have the same feel as an open one or serve as a family gathering place. I miss that. So these little cottages are my homage to friendly front porches perfect for pickin', playin' and sittin'.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


I sat down this morning to post the picture of the next Make and Take project and realized this would be my 15th post this year. That was the same number of posts I had last year total. So... progress!

Make and Take this month is Monday, March 21st from 6 to 9 p.m. The project for this month is charmed ball-chain necklaces. We will be making a photo charm using either flattened bottled caps (as pictured) or a 1x1 memory frame. Add some beads, metal word tags, and any other found objects such as keys, old hardware, buttons, old earrrings or jewelry parts and you have an eclectic necklace which matches your personality. Use your own photos printed very small, or assorted vintage images from here at the shop. Make additional charms from paper tags (as pictured) or beads. Materials fee: $10. Hope to see you there.

Zentangle Challenge Blues

The Diva challenge this week was to add some blue color to our tangles. Some of my favorite tanglers online use color and I am awed by their techniques. Two who come quickly to mind are LeeAnn aka lendzer and Sandra aka Molossus. While I love those who use color in their zentangles I gravitate to the graphic black and white. But these challenges are about expanding our horizons and with that in mind I'll try not to be too "blue" about Something Blue.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Time to Tangle

Although it was a busy week at Swift Weaver's my motto is "there is always a time to tangle." For instance, on Monday waiting to enter the dentist office for a crown (what fun!) or last thing before bed. This week's Diva challenge was a real challenge for me. I don't usually only use one pattern in a zentangle and I not only had a hard time choosing just one, but a hard time making it work on its own. I have seen other zentangles with only one pattern and they all appear to be much "more" than I can seem to manage. While I don't like to use too many patterns in one piece and I like to repeat a pattern off and on in one drawing, I find I am not too fond of restricting myself to just one. I tried three different times to come up with a satisfying result and felt I fell short each time. I am posting all three looks. You be the judge!