Tuesday, February 28, 2012

my vine thing...

monoprint on cloth
Monoprint on cloth (using a Gelli Arts Gel printing plate of course)
monoprint on cloth
I've been stitching and cutting and drawing these vine shapes on everything!
monoprint on cloth

monoprint on cloth
I'll be teaching monoprinting on paper and cloth at Art & Soul in Las Vegas in June.

Sunday, February 26, 2012


Cloth Paper Scissors march april 2012

I'm a cover girl! My prayer flags (along with one of Martha Wolfe's) are on the cover of Cloth Paper Scissors magazine (March/April 2012) and an article on The Prayer Flag Project, written by me. Also featured in the article are flags and photos by Prayer Flag Project founder, Vivika Hansen DeNegre and Ileen Dalke Miller.
Cloth Paper Scissors march april 2012

San Diego Union Tribune 2/26/2012
And I'm in today's San Diego Union Tribune Travel Section, with one of my photos from my trip to Cuba.
San Diego Union Tribune 2/26/2012

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Kindness Chronicles

the kindness chronicles

The Kindness Chronicles. Inspired by my friend, Lyric Kinard's series of blog posts in December, with the theme of  "Making the World a better place with the joy of service and finding beauty in kindness," I'm starting a monthly post call The Kindness Chronicles. On the first Sunday of every month, I'll write a post about simple random acts of kindness. I'll write about what I've done, not in a bragging way, but to hopefully inspire you, dear reader, to do similar kinds of things. Just being conscious of those small acts, I hope, will encourage you to do more of them. Smile at strangers. Give compliments freely. Let someone ahead of you in line. Buy coffee for someone you don't know. Give a handout, a blanket, a sandwich to a homeless person. Give someone a flower. Offer a discount. Whatever.

So stay tuned. My first Kindness Chronicles post will be March 4, 2012, the first Sunday of the month. Lyric will be joining me in this, and I'll link to her blog each first Sunday and she to mine.  Would you like to join us? If you've got a blog, and want to participate, email me with your name and blog address and I'll send you the jpeg of the logo above. I just want to be kinder and encourage more kindness in the world. Maybe we can start a trend

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Polymer tiles ~ I took a workshop with Laurie Mika

polymer tiles

polymer tiles

polymer tiles

polymer tiles

polymer tiles

polymer tiles

polymer tiles
I made all these polymer tiles! (with instruction from Laurie Mika)
Laurie Mika is  a friend of mine, and one of the teachers in our Tesoro del Corazon   mixed media art retreats.  Laurie recently gave us a private workshop in her home. Woohoo! I learned how she makes her gorgeous polymer tiles, and I'll tell you, I can appreciate the level of detail, precision, skill, and creativity that Laurie uses in making her tiles. 

(Our October 2012  retreat in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico is already full. But we are planning another in Santa Fe, New Mexico in May 2013, and another in San Miguel in 2014. Email to be put on the notification list, or sign up for blog updates. )

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Published ~ Studios magazine

studios magazine spring 2012
Proud to have my little studio in the latest issue Cloth Paper Scissors Studios magazine (Spring 2012). But Buddy (above) is wondering why BeBop's photo was in the magazine and his wasn't.
studios magazine spring 2012

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Teaching...with preparation

Be yourself
You may remember that my word for 2012 is "preparation." (I wrote: "I want to become a better teacher in 2012. Yes, I'm a good teacher now, and I do get lots of wonderful, positive feedback. But I want to be better. I want to step it up, really give my students their time and money's worth. I want to be more prepared. To be prepared for my classes, to have more hand-outs, more of a structure ( but still with lots of room for creative play!) to really think through each step of the process. Good solid preparation is what I plan to be physically doing for each and every one of my classes and workshops.") And in that blog post, I asked you, dear readers, what you think makes a great teacher and boy, did you respond ~295 really excellent, thoughtful comments. I've complied those comments, as a reminder to myself, and I want to share them with you.

Be warm and genuine, with a smile and laughter. Be yourself, inspire, be sincere, be generous with your time, praise, and honesty. Be engaged with the class the whole time. Love what you’re teaching and pass on the excitement, enthusiasm and passion. Have a sense of humor, to laugh at your mistakes, and help student laugh at theirs. Answer questions like it’s the first time you’ve ever been asked. Be a good listener. Be inclusive. Encourage and motivate. Be patient.

Teachers: laugh at your mistakes
Start with detailed, accurate class descriptions and 
materials list in advance. Accurate and short supply list and use the whole list in class. Have great, complete, precise, detailed handouts with illustrations, solid resources and suppliers (include brands/substitutions) so student can refer to handout months later and complete the unfinished project. Include tips, books, and websites. Handouts can last forever, make it the best. Workshop evaluations at the end of class.
Make sure everyone can see the demo 
Student feelings:
Students may not remember what they were taught, but how they were treated. Recognize students as individuals. Give them one-on-one time with the teacher. Make connections with your students, show interest in them, admiration for their ideas.
Treat each student with respect, kindness and equality. Help every student feel successful. Try and remove  the fear, and help each student step out of their comfort zone. Tell students exactly what they need to change in order to improve 
with delicacy and encouragement to ensure student stays motivated. Enable student to learn. 
Nurture the creativity already present in each student and validate what they do.
Midwife the process rather than product. Encourage student interpretation of the lesson
Allow students to work with their own styles. Never assume your student knows what you mean. Meet the students at their level and encourage them to move them to the next level.

Demo techniques clearly and simply
State agenda and show clear organization. Know the subject inside and out. Have a supportive attitude, with knowledge and competence. Teach it all, hold nothing back. Share your successes and failures. 
Make sure everyone can see demo. Teach techniques in multiple ways: kinesthetic, auditory and visual, Demo techniques clearly and simply. Teach just one or two techniques at a time. Do a demo multiple times. Adapt and redeliver what you teach to each student. Encourage inquisitiveness. 
Explain how activities build on one another…”you’ll use this later in the day..you have 15 minutes to do this.” 
Have plenty of visual examples, and image or actual finished project. Focus on process rather than project. Have extra supplies for the forgetful. Have supplies to use in class 
Be truthful to the student. Don’t tell them it looks great when it doesn’t. Give immediate feedback to the student. 
Try and control the chatty cathy types, so they don’t disrupt the rest of the students 
Have space and time to stretch and breathe. 
Encourage participation and interaction among students 
Time to DO THE ART. Finish or come close to finishing project during class time. 
How techniques apply to other projects. Expand student boundaries. At end of class: describe the next steps. Show and tell. Closure.  

Thanks everyone for your feedback on this important subject. Now I'm off to stitch all this great advice on a sampler. ( I'm joking about the stitching part.) Here's a link to my teaching schedule, hopefully I'll be able to take to heart and put in action all your wonderful advice.

Friday, February 17, 2012

working on a quilt ~ with a little help


BeBop and Buddy
I'm thinking 'cat hair' may need to be part of my artist statement for this piece.
Follow Me on Pinterest

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

From my sketchbook: patterns and doodles and layers

my sketchbook

my sketchbook

my sketchbook

my sketchbook
The designs and patterns and shapes were inspired by the sketchbook pages below. A visit to the Art Institute of Chicago, and photos of the fascinating architectural elements.
my sketchbook
Definitely time for some stamp carving, using these designs.
my sketchbook

Sunday, February 12, 2012

San Diego workshop with me and Patti Digh

Jane LaFazio & Patti Digh
Patti Digh and I are collaborating.
We are teaching a one day workshop in San Diego, California on March 17, called Geography of Loss Workshop: Creating an Art Quilt Map.
I'm preparing and getting excited! Hope you'll join us.

stitching samples to show and teach students
bits of cloth and embellishments for each student

I'm busy assembling little bags of cloth,embellishments, a piece of beautiful felt for each student, and some handouts for stitching and more creative ideas to do with cloth.

here's the description of our workshop:

Geography of Loss Workshop: Creating an Art Quilt Map
Two master teachers, an extraordinary journey, a work of art with deep meaning.

We have all experienced loss of some kind -- death, the end of relationship, a child leaving home, betrayal, our own aging, or the loss of "what could have been." It is an integral part of the shared human condition, and yet a very personal one as well.
This inspirational workshop will combine language and art to help you find your way through loss… with a soft map…and will be limited to 25 participants.
The day will not be all about loss… but also about life, great love, and humor, and community. And beauty.
This one-day art and writing experience is a journey into that loss, on a deeply personal level. We'll combine writing, cloth and paper to create a personal art quilt about loss in your life--whatever that means to you at this moment in time. You'll write to prompts provided by Patti Digh and then with artist Jane LaFazio's guidance, creating 6 or so small, layered, stitched squares of cloth and paper as we work our way through the day together. You'll leave with a small finished art quilt and a deeper understanding of your new map through grief and loss. 

Saturday, March 17 in San Diego, California
 click here for more info and registration

Patti Digh 
Patti Digh is the author of six books, including bestsellers Life is a Verb and Creative is a Verb. She travels the world teaching others about mindfulness: to live fully, love well, let go deeply, and make a difference. Patti's comments have appeared on PBSand in The New York TimesFortune, the Wall Street Journal, the London Financial Times, and many other international publications. 

Jane & Patti
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