Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday, Small Business Saturday & Cyber Monday

IMG_6801x Black Friday at Lakefront Brewery
Did you survive Thanksgiving and Black Friday? We only made one shopping excursion to Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee so my husband could buy their limited edition Black Friday beer, which is only sold today.  If you are trying to do the buy local - buy handmade - support small businesses - thing, here are some suggestions for both in-person shopping in SE Wisconsin and some on-line gift guides in the form of Etsy treasuries for those of you in the rest of the world.

If you live in southeast Wisconsin and are looking for some local, handmade holiday gifts, here are some upcoming craft shows & one workshop:

Saturday, November 30, 2013
Art Vs Craft (their last year) - Milwaukee WI at the Harley Davidson Museum 

Holly Craft Fair - DePere WI

Sat & Sun December 7-8, 2013
Crafter's Marketplace (presented by the ABK Weaving Center)
at the Jazz Gallery, 926 E Center ST, Milwaukee  (I'm participating in this one.)

Sat. December 7, 2013
Holiday card making workshop at Redline Milwaukee

MKE UP Market Holiday Bazaar and Fundraiser for the Philippines at SPIN Milwaukee

Sun. December 8, 2013
Hovercraft 2013 at Turner Hall

Buy Local Gift Fair - Lakefront Brewery

There are probably plenty of others that I am missing!

If you don't live in Wisconsin, you can still shop on-line. (My Etsy shop is here)  I've also been putting together some holiday Etsy gift guides ranging from the kooky & creepy to the fun & colorful.  I've tried to keep the focus on handmade, as well as feature some folks I know both in person and on-line, though there are also strangers included along with members of the Etsy Wisconsin Street Team (WIST).  Enjoy!

Home for the Holidays (little colorful houses)

Spoiled Cats & Spoiled Dogs (gift ideas for pets & pet lovers)

Krampus (a mythical creature who accompanies St. Nicholas and punishes the naughty children)

Zombie Holidaze (and there's a lot of holiday themed zombie stuff out there) 

Kooky & Creepy Holidaze (if you prefer your holiday a little off-kilter)

Now time for leftover pumpkin pie and a nap.... 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Warped Milwaukee 2013 Artists & Hours

Following up on my last post about the 2013 Warped Milwaukee 4th Annual Fiber Arts Exhibition, if you don't live in the Milwaukee area, you can currently see a slide show of the exhibit on the Riverwest Artists Association website here. The Jazz Gallery is located at 926 E. Center Street in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Participating artists in alphabetical order are Carolyn Brady (yours truly), Susan Buss, Elizabeth Carr, Taylor Easton, Jill Engel-Miller, Jan Falk, Darlene Hagopian, Katie Haws, Judy Kabriel, Mel Kolstad, Peter McMasters, Jane Moore, Mary Rutkowski, Phyllis Schlessinger, Jennifer Nicole Triolo, Maikue Vang, Nicole Werner, and NicoleWoltman.

Big shout out to Harmonie Baker for organizing this exhibit! Read more about the great work she's doing running an afterschool fiber arts program for Milwaukee school kids here.

And here's an updated listing of upcoming times when the Jazz Gallery will be open, and you can also find the gallery calendar on the RAA website.

Sun. Nov 24th, 12-5 pm
Tues. Nov 26th, 7-9 pm Live Jazz Jam
Fri. Nov 29th, 12-5 pm
Sat. Nov 30th,  12-5 pm (Artist Gathering) and 7-9 pm (Live Jazz)
Sun. Dec 1, 11 am-4pm -Winter Farmers’ Market
Tues. Dec 3rd, 7-9 pm Live Jazz Jam
Thu. Dec. 5th, 5-8 pm
Fri. Dec. 6th, 5-8 pm

Some art may still be up Dec 7-8, 2013 as artists will be picking up their work that weekend, and the gallery will be open for the ABK Weaving Center's Crafter's Marketplace (Sat Dec 7 from 10-5 and Sun Dec 8 from 12-5).  You can do your holiday shopping and may be run into some of the artists as well.  If you are interested in participating in the Crafter's Marketplace, they are accepting applications through December 1, 2013.

Please note that the Jazz Gallery is dependent on volunteers to keep the doors open, and the above schedule may be subject to change. There is a suggested $5 cover for the Saturday night Jazz Series. Otherwise admission is free, but donations to the Riverwest Artists Association are appreciated.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Warped Milwaukee 2013

Detail of "Three Sunflowers"
Can you believe it's November already? Time for Warped Milwaukee's Annual Fiber Arts Exhibition! I have two pieces in the show, which opens this evening, November 9, 2013 at the Jazz Gallery, 926 E Center ST, Milwaukee, Wisconsin and will be up through December 7, 2013. Above is a sneak peek detail of my art quilt "Three Sunflowers" from the show.

Because the Jazz Gallery relies on volunteers to keep the doors open, the gallery schedule will vary, and I'll post the open times when I know more, but it will generally be open Saturdays 12-5 and Tuesdays 6-9 pm with additional hours expected on Sunday afternoons depending on volunteer availability. (On Tuesday nights they have live jazz.)

On the weekend of December 7 -8, 2013, I'll also be participating in the associated Crafter's Marketplace at the Jazz Gallery selling handmade goodies in time for your holiday shopping. A percentage of the sales benefits the ABK Weaving Center.

The Facebook event page for the Warped Milwaukee show is here. More information about Crafters Marketplace is here

UPDATED 11/15/13 Here is the Jazz Gallery schedule showing various times when it will be open for jazz concerts, winter farmers' market etc. Warped Milwaukee volunteers will also be gallery sitting from 12-5 pm on Saturdays and Sundays when the gallery is not already open for another event as well as Nov 29, the Friday after Thanksgiving.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Bad Influence: Day of the Dead 'zine

Lisa Vollrath has published another issue of her occasional 'zine Bad Influence October 2013: Day of the Dead (see sidebar at left), and she was kind enough to ask me to contribute. I have a set of 12 drawings, one for each month for a "Year of the Dead" plus a skull mini-art quilt. Here's a sneak peek detail of my August drawing:
You'll have to buy the 'zine to see the rest! (And check out the "Look Inside" option on Amazon to get a sneak peek  at some of the fabulous artists who I am honored to share the pages with.)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Adventures in Paper Marbling

At the end of June, the Milwaukee ATC group had Betsy Rasmussen of Ruth Ross Designs teach us paper marbling, and if you live in the Milwaukee area, we all highly recommend taking a class from Betsy (and you can find some of her upcoming workshops listed here).
She had all the workstations, paper, paint and sizing set up ahead of time so we just had to show up and follow directions to get fantastic results! Here's what I made:

IMG_5907 My marbled papers
Don't ask me what I plan to do with these yet. I haven't been able to bring myself to cut them up!

And thank you to Darlene Hagopian and Riverwest Artist Association for use of the Jazz Gallery space.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Crochet Cthulhu and Other Yarn Craziness

I didn't mean to start crocheting again, but last year in one of my half-hearted attempts to clean and organize, I pulled out the box labeled "Knit & Crochet supplies" and thought I should get rid of this because I haven't knitted or crocheted in years. Then next thing I know I'm reading books on crochet flowers and amigurumi and then I'm pinning hat patterns on Pinterest and buying more yarn. My rationalization is that I needed to make things to sell for the MARN Artibles and Warped Milwaukee holiday craft shows, of course... The nice thing about crochet is that small projects are easy to carry around and work on in my spare time.

I had made a crochet Cthulhu as a (belated) Christmas present for my dear big brother, starting with the pattern posted on the Cthulhu Crochet blog but adding more rows and stitches to get the shape I wanted. Then some of my brother's co-workers also wanted Cthulhus (see above line up & what is the plural of Cthulhu?). Apparently they have "Take your Cthulhu to work" day there. If you're interested in a basic Cthulhu, check out my Etsy shop. Not satisfied with that original pattern, I also decided to add some legs and a tail, so I now have a deluxe Cthulhu available as well.
I was also looking for a fun hat pattern and found this design by Leslie Nelle-Urinyi of Wool Mountain Studio on Etsy. I made this hat to donate to the Southeast Wisconsin Alzheimer's Association fundraiser this spring as they had a wearable art auction.
So obviously that box of knit and crochet supplies did not go away. If I am a better blogger this summer, I'll take some photos of the experiments in yarn made from old t-shirts....

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Binders Guild Book Arts Group Open House, April 27, 2013

If you live in the Milwaukee area and are interested in anything related to handmade, handbound and/or altered books, the Binders Guild book arts group will be having an open house for folks interested in joining the group on April 27, 2013 from 10 am to 12 noon at Mount Mary College. You don't have to be an expert book artist to join.

The group meets in Room 446 of Notre Dame Hall. You can find a map of the campus here: Enter from 92nd Street and park in Lot B. Follow the sidewalk to the covered walkway between buildings #1 (Notre Dame Hall) and #2 (Caroline Hall) on the map. Turn right to use the side entrance to Notre Dame Hall and take the stairs or elevator to the 4th floor. (Room 446 is near the elevator on that side of the building.)

Among the projects that group members are working on with a goal of putting on a show at Mount Mary in the fall of 2014:
  • Abecedarium (ABC book)
  • Curiosity Box
  • 12 x 12 Canvases for the theme "Opposition & Unity"
You can find the group blog here:
And a Pinterest board for inspiration here:
And see photos from our 2010 show "Books Unbound" here:

(And after the meeting stop by Artist & Display, just a block away, for their April in Paris Art Event from 12-3 pm.)
Book Bound - September 27, 2010

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Very Tiny Art

Tiny Ladies - top view
This winter my friend Mel Kolstad invited me to participate in an exhibit she was organizing to benefit the Foundation Fighting Blindness, entitled "Through Mia's Eyes." In 2011, Mel's niece Mia was diagnosed with Stargardt's disease, a hereditary condition that left her legally blind in a very short time. She is still able to see color, shapes and light, and Mel asked artist friends to make quarter-inch square art, the tiny size giving viewers a sense of the difficulty Mia now has in seeing her world. Just working on the tiny squares was a challenge, and when Mel first handed me the 1/4" chips, I asked, "What the heck am I supposed to do with these?!"  (When we were looking at these at the March Milwaukee ATC meeting, someone dubbed them "quinchies" for quarter-inchies.)

I finally decided on collage using the smallest faces I could find, portraits cut from postage stamps. I used my thinnest paint brush to add some lines and color, and I cut fine print text from a vintage book to glue around the edge. The hardest part was not being able to see clearly what I was doing, not to mention dropping my tiny pieces or having them stick to my fingers while I was working. (I ended up manipulating everything with with the tip of an X-acto blade, because my fingers were just too big and clumsy!)

The portraits and text from left to right:
Lucy Stone - "don't keep quiet"
Queen Elizabeth II - "not an old lady"
Grace Kelly - "look in her eyes"
Tiny Ladies - Side View
The show "Through Mia's Eyes" will run April 16-June 1, 2013 at the Gallery & Frame Shop in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.
Here's an article about the show in the Fond du Lac Reporter.
And the Pinterest board featuring some of the art that will be in the show.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Museum of Wisconsin Art's New Building

IMG_5522 Museum of Wisconsin Art 
My husband and I drove up to West Bend today to drop off my artwork at the Museum of Wisconsin Art, which has a brand new building opening in April 2013. The curator had told me when giving directions that it looked like the prow of a ship and "you can't miss it," and she was right. The building is wedge-shaped, wide on one end and very skinny and pointy on the other.
IMG_5525 Museum of Wisconsin Art IMG_5526 Museum of Wisconsin Art
(That's my husband testing out the sharp edge.) IMG_5528 Museum of Wisconsin Art
We didn't get to see much of the interior beyond where we dropped off my art with the registrar, but it looks a lot brighter and spacious than the old building.  We'll be back for the opening weekend, April 6, 2013.  My collage "Once Upon A Time" will be in the Wisconsin Regional Artists Association exhibit there from April 6-June 23, 2013
Once Upon A Time

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Valentines & Anti-Valentine ATCs

Flipping Valentine ATC #3
Belated Happy New Year & Happy Valentine's Day! Life has been busy but I will try to get back to doing more blogging. This past month I made some Valentine & Anti-Valentine ATCs for a Ten Two Studios design team challenge. Three had rotating centers so that they could be both for and against romance. The catch is that you have to have your axis (wire in the one above and string in the two below) exactly centered and firmly attached, or your spinning part will not turn nicely in the opening!
Flipping Valentine ATC#1
I used the new ATC-sized images that you can buy as a downloadable file at Ten Two Studios and print multiple copies, along with Valentine and Anti-Valentine themed words and Bingo cards.
Flipping Valentine ATC#2
I didn't have the patience to make more than three of what I started referring to as the Flipping Valentine ATCs, so the rest of my ATCs made for the Milwaukee ATC group's February theme "Love Actually" are more straightforward, with no moving parts!
2013 Valentine Bingo ATCs #1-6
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