Wednesday, April 28, 2010

4 Leaf Clover

Must be my lucky day!
I found this today while walking with Guy.  I spotted it right away, he was far taller than all the other leaves.  This is my 3rd time finding a 4 leaf clover.  The first time was back in high school.  While running to class and I swooped down to pluck a lawn daisy.  I missed and ended up with a handful of grass, twigs and a tiny 4 leaf clover.  Totally by accident!  The second time was last year while walking Guy... maybe it's his luck?  We were doing our usual round at the Ballard Commons Park and near the edges of one of the pathways I found three 4 leaf clovers.  I picked 2 and left one for someone else to find :)  I pressed them, but I don't know where they are now. 

I guess it's not that hard to find a 4 leaf clover, check out this tutorial on Instructables.  I sometimes look for them, but the times I've found them I wasn't looking.  It's an amusing activity, ranks right up there with looking for Jesus rocks on the beach (rocks with crosses on them).
I didn't take this picture.  I just wanted to illustrate what the rocks look like.

Must be a good omen... maybe Art Chicago will go well.  I'm packing tonight and I'll be in Chicago tomorrow! Ma... Pa... I'm goin' to the Big City! :P

Friday, April 23, 2010

New Works Available

New Works Available
I have some new works available on my website.  Click on picture above for the link.
Shadow 2010
Porcelain cup, organza & thread
14¼"H x 5"W x 2¼"D

Grasp 2010
Porcelain plate, organza & thread
18"H x 6"W x ¾"D

Legacy 2010
Porcelain plate, organza & thread
14"H x 6"W x ¾"D

Cheongsam 2010
Porcelain plate, organza, cotton thread & thread
6 ½"H x 6½"W x ¾"D 

Red Slippers
Ruby Slippers 2010
Porcelain teacup, organza, cotton fabric & thread
3"H x 3"W x 2"D

Art Chicago 2010

I will be at Art Chicago this year, myself and my work included.  The Packer Schopf Gallery (Booth 12- 147) is bringing my work to the fair.  I'm hoping to spend some time at the booth on Friday, April 30th, and Saturday, May 1st.  This will be my first visit to Chicago, I'm very excited!  There's so much to see I hope 3 days is enough.

Colloquial @ Gage Academy in Seattle

Porcelain teacup, organza and thread
3”h x 3”w x 2”d

A showcase of Northwest ceramists who use clay to depict subtle narratives that range from universal allegories to specific personal experiences.
April 20th – May 15th
Artists' Reception: Friday April 30, 6:00-8:00pm
Gage Academy: Steele Gallery
1501 10th Avenue East, 3rd floor
Seattle, WA 98102

Artists include:
Akio Takamor
Tip Toland
Patti Warashina 
Myself and MORE!

I will have 3 pieces in the Colloquial exhibition at Gage Academy in Seattle.  Don't miss the artist lecture by Patti Warashina on April 30, 7pm... same time as the opening reception.  Unfortunately I won't be at the opening, I'll be in Chicago.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Booker The Bestest Crayon Of All!

Booker Crayon!
I recently finished a very special commission for Booker, a sweet little Italian Greyhound.  This dog melts my heart, easy to do it's made of butter :P.  I first saw Booker last year on Flickr (warning, photo is not for slight of heart):
Booker was on his last day of life before being rescued. Now he lives a happy and full life with his family, gumming everything in sight! You can see more of Booker on his website:

100% of the commission fee went to Paws and Hope for Paws.  If you're looking for a pet PLEASE ADOPT one from your local shelter or rescue.  They're often the most grateful and loving animals.  Some might need work, but you'll be thankful in the end.  My favorite place to look is Petfinder.  That's how I found Guy, the love of my life!

the gorgeous smile!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Hair Commission

Hair Detail for Kathie
A recent commission for Kathie.  This reminds me a lot of the old elaborate hairdos women used to have.  I like how fashion can such a period marker for culture.  Much like carbon dating is used for determining somethings age.

Hair for Kathie
Porcelain bowl, organza & thread
5" diameter by 2" high (roughly)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Why I Don't Get Out Much:

It's the small things that make life worth living.  A friend uploaded this gem.  She's The 10 Cent Designer aka Lori Andrews, who's a brilliant photographer, interior designer, artist, cook and she makes a smashing Wonder Woman!  Check out some of her books.

So from the many comments on her video I saw "Search YouTube for dueling Carls" and got this!

And my day was made... I have told you "I love you" lately internet?
If you want one you can get your own Talking Carl!

Show of Hands @ Whatcom Museum

Empty Hand
I'm very excited to be included in "Show of Hands" at the Whatcom Museum, curated by Barbara Matilski.  Come by if you're in town.  I might make it to the opening, I will update this post if I decide to/can go.  It's a wonderful line up of artists, a must see for sure. **Edit** Sadly I can't make it to the opening/preview night. 

Show of Hands: Northwest Women Artists 1880-2010
April 24 - August 8, 2010
Preview Night: Friday April 23rd, 5pm-8pm

Show of Hands Takes In-depth Look at Northwest Women Artists
Exhibition coincides with centennial of women’s suffrage in Washington State

Featuring more than 90 works of art by 63 women artists from Washington, Oregon and British Columbia, Show of Hands opens April 24 at the Whatcom Museum‟s Lightcatcher building. Celebrating women‟s contributions to the legacy of Northwest art, this unprecedented gathering of women artists examines the myriad talents women of the Northwest have displayed in all media since 1880.

Some of the artist shown include:
Mary Henry
Imogen Cunningham
Margie Livingston
Victoria Haven
Fay Jones
Claire Cowe
Marie Watt (one of my favoritest artist of all time.  OK favoritest isn't a word, but for this kind of love I need to invent something! Here's her on Flickr y'all:
Sheila Klein
and so many more I'd be doing this all day! 

On a side note:
For all you freaks, geeks and steampunks check out the American Museum of Radio and Electricity, also in Bellingham.  And while your at it, go grab a ball of yarn at Spincycle Yarns, my favorite woolly indulgence!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Vox Design Poland 2008

VOX Design
Just uploading some old press for archiving.  This was for Vox Design in Poland.  Thank you to the awesome folks at Vox for finding me and sending me a copy :)

My work in VOX Magazine! with Jonathan Shipley

Interview on Venuszine
Just uploading some old press.  This was a pretty cool interview I did with Jonathan Shipley for in April of 2008.

Fiber Arts 2008

Fiberarts Cover!!!
Just uploading some old press for archiving.  This was for Fiber Arts Sept/Oct 2008.  Big THANKS to Suzanne Beal!

Fiberarts page1

Fiberarts page 2

Seattle Magazine: Spotlight Awards 2008

Seattle Magazine 08
Just uploading some old press for archiving.  This was for Seattle Magazine's Spotlight Awards for the arts.  There were some great artists in the mix, but a pity all of the links are broken.

Seattle Magazine 08
This was in Seattle Magazine: September 2008 issue.  Thanks Brangien!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Dorries Lost At Sea - OH MY!

Finally all done and shipped!  I'm so proud of them.  These 3 gals will be going to NY for Lost At Sea at Gallery Hahahou.  Info at the bottom of the post.

Meranda for Lost At Sea
Name: Meranda
Age: 386
Species: Mermaid
Current Obsession: Going to concert, music, punk/goth fashion and having FUN!

Meranda for Lost At Sea
Linen doll w/ poly stuffing, acrylic painted face and wefted mohair scalp.  Accessories include: Mermaid tail, shell brassier, pearl & carnelian necklace... also black T-shirt, silver stretch pants, black lace skirt, B&W striped boots and bead necklace. (8 piece outfit)

Octavia the Vegan
Name: Octavia
Age: 13
Species: Octopus
Current Obsession: Eating Kelp, being Vegan, collecting T-shirts and TOTORO!

Octavia for Lost At Sea
Linen doll w/ poly stuffing, acrylic painted face and wefted mohair scalp. Accessories include: 6 T-shirts, brown pleated skirt with blue lace detail, B&W acorn print scarf and skull barrette. (9 piece outfit)

Tentacles close up
Tentacles close up. There's a pipe cleaner in every tentacle... you can mold them as you please.

Elouise Close up
Name: Elouise
Age: 8
Species: Human
Current Obsession: Collecting shells and meeting new friends.

Elouise in Lost At Sea
Linen doll w/ poly stuffing, acrylic painted face and wefted mohair scalp. Accessories include: Linen dress with B&W ribbon detail, B&W striped bloomers, Red socks, black felt mary-janes, red hair bow, Starfish necklace and bag of shells. (7 piece outfit)

Daring Fiber Artists Delve Into The Deep
May 6 - June 11
611 Broadway, Suite 730, NYC /

Opening reception: Thursday, May 6, 7-9 pm RSVP
The gallery will have these on sale on their website.  I will update this post as soon as they do.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Tools FAQ

I can go anywhere and work.
Continuing with the FAQ's...
The tools I use in my embroideries are very simple and commonly found.  A majority of the work is done with these 3 items you see in the picture.  I can literally take it anywhere and work!

When it comes to trimming thread I greatly prefer using snips (Nigiri-Basami) to scissors.  They cut much closer and with more precision.  If you want to try out this delightful tool you can purchase one at Ichiroya.  I stumbled onto their website years ago and found Yoshimi Fujiwara's work.  I always appreciate knowing the person behind the product, especially when they're as dedicated as some of these Japanese artisans. 

16 Things
When it comes to crayon carving I use a 4.5mm Hangi To from McClain's in Oregon.  These are for woodblock carving, but they work perfectly for my purposes.  I've tried using Exacto's too but they're too thin and too sharp often resulting in a snapped crayon.  I also have a hard time carving curved surfaces with Exacto's.

On a side note I've been dying to try out some of these needles made in Kyoto... but I can't quite decipher what I need from the info on the page.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Dorries Lost At Sea

Lost At Sea Peek
A sneak peek at 3 dolls I will have in the "Lost At Sea" exhibition next month at Gallery Hanahou.  This is the evolution of my prototype doll, they've sprouted hair, scales and tentacles!  I'm still working on some final details.  I might also make them a presentation box, but I really don't want to go overboard on this project (no pun intended *snort*).

Test Faces
Here are a few eyes and mouth samples I painted last night.  Thanks to TADA's vote on painting the faces on vs. embroidering it.  I really love how crisp the painted shapes looks and I also have so much more control.  In terms of play value paint can withstand more than stitches can.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Grandma Grandpa

Grandpa Grandma
Grandma and Grandpa (mom's side) in front of their home in Vietnam, surrounded by mango trees.

Grandma (mom's mom)
Just found out my grandmother passed away in March. She lived in Ninh Hoa, in Southcentral Vietnam. Because I lived with my father's family back in Vietnam I didn't have the opportunity to know her very well. We've only seen each other a handful of times, but she's definitely a tough cookie! I'm from a family of hard heads, iron fists and armour plated emotions. We don't say "I love you" or even "good job", encouragement meant not getting chewed out. Having grown up with this in my blood I don't think I would want it any other way.

Grandma was born in 1929(?). She had 12 children, my mother was #6. She has 7 surviving children, 5 daughters & 2 sons. From what my mom told me a few of my uncles passed away during the American War? Others died of illness or when they were very young.

Each phase of our life is like a completely different lifetime. I asked my mom how she felt about her father's (grandpa) death back in 1995. She said she was sad, but felt that their connection was like a thin strand stretched far away. She left her parent's home as teenager to take care of an aunt with TB... a few years later she married dad and moved to Saigon. As she explains it the life she had with her parents was only 17 years. The life she had with my father was longer than that.  Childhood was so long ago and seem to have occupied such a great span of time. It's quite a paradigm shift to realize you've lived with someone for the same duration as the years in your childhood. Standing here looking back I'm not the same person anymore, that lifetime is gone. I'm looking forward. I don't mourn the past, I carry it on my shoulders.

Grandpa (Mom's dad)
Grandpa died in 1995. His longevity was a miracle. He had stomach and/or intestinal cancer. The doctors gave him 6 months to live in the 60's? They removed 75% of his stomach and small intestines, maybe even some of his large intestines as well. I'm not sure what else was taken out. It was primitive medicine compared to today's technology and available medley of cancer treatments.

He survived the surgery and move to a small home in the countryside (top picture). He lived separately from his wife and kids, although I'm sure close contact was kept. I don't know what lead to that decision or how their relationship managed. I don't know how the children dealt with it or if anyone other than my grandfather had a say in the matter. My guess is he thought he was going to die and needed his peace before he goes. Maybe he just wanted to spend some time reflecting.

In the subsequent years he started a small farm, became a devout Buddhist. By devout I mean keeping to a strict vegan diet, observing the daily rituals and embracing the philosophy of harmony and balance. He ate what he grew and completely changed how he lived. He had a good long life in his continuing years.  My grandmother eventually came to live with him.

My grandmother ran into his surgeon years later... the surgeon apologized for not being able to do more for my grandfather and gave my grandmother his condolences. My grandma turned to him and said, "What are you talking about! My husband is still alive!". My grandfather died in his 90's.

I remember Grandpa very well. I was the trouble maker on his farm, picking things before they were ripe. I remember visiting his farm when I was 4. We lived in Saigon, a mostly urban area and I've never seen how watermelons grew. I was so impressed with the huge shiny balls of green popping out of the ground that I carried one into the house to show everyone. Along with the melon I also dragged a tangle of vines behind me. I think I must have killed a plant or two. No one could yell at me because I was so happy to show them my prize! For the remainder of my visit my grandfather shadowed me to make sure I wouldn't destroy anything else. It became a hide & seek thing. I'd detect a pair of feet behind a bush or around the corner and run to him.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Assemblage 23!

I went to an Assemblage 23 concert earlier in the week.  They've been my favorite band for awhile, but I've never seen them live.  I was blown away by the explosive energy and it kept going all night!  That experience makes me want to go out more and I'm a complete hermit.  If you're interested in more of their music start with Failure.

Let Me Be Your Armour