Ravenswood ArtWalk 2018

I participated this last weekend in the Ravenswood ArtWalk!  The variety of art in my location at 4500 Ravenswood was wonderful and I felt honored to show my work with three other wonderful ladies, Barb, Lilly and Sue.  Above is a picture of my Farmers Market!  Making all those felt items brought me so much joy, and it was wonderful watching the joy sneak in and burst onto people’s faces.

Above is Clara, named after Clara Bow from the twenties.  She’s dressed in her flapper dress with long black fringe with the lovely string of pearls to go along.

Amelia the hen, shown above, is stretching her wings.  Named after Amelia Earhart who was the first woman to fly by herself across the Atlantic Ocean.

If Rosie the hen had a a riveting gun in her hand, instead of holding a couple of carrots, it might be a little more obvious that she is named for all those wonderful women in the 1940’s who went to work in the factories to help the war effort, Rosie the Riveter.

If you would like to purchase any of the items, prints, hens, or felted goods, just let me know!

I really enjoyed watching people check out my Farmers Market display filled with felt “produce” and “baked goods”, my lovely hens, and prints of my sunflower paintings. They would grin, laugh, and in general have a wonderful time!  Grateful thanks to those who came, purchased, conversed and participated in the Happiness!

The Gypsy Cart of Art and More

I hope you are enjoying your summer!  With the warm temperatures and cooling nights, my summer is very enjoyable.  Much art activity has gone on during the past three months.

The Gypsy Cart this past Saturday at the Farmers Market!
The Gypsy Cart this past Saturday at the Farmers Market!

Three times now, the gypsy cart of art has made it to our Farmers Market.  I’ve been very happy with the response from people enjoy the cart and my artwork!  On the cart I have smaller original paintings, prints, hand colored prints, floral garlands, notecards, bookmarks, vegetable bags, and pallet paintings (which are actually off the cart) for sale.  The market is held downtown Iron Mountain, across from the library by the stage.  If you get a chance, stop by say hello and you may the perfect piece of art for a gift.

Some of the art for sale on top of the gypsy cart.
Some of the art for sale on top of the gypsy cart.

A few weeks ago, I helped The Friends of the Braumart to put together the “framework” for the Inaugural Mostra D’Arte show, held during the week before Italian Fest weekend.  It currently is the only gallery style juried art show in Iron Mountain.  Sixteen artists, three jurors, and numerous hours of planning and setting up and striking the show, made for a wonderful exhibition of art.  I was surprised and delighted to win the Third Place Jurors Award on my watercolor painting of The Three Graces which depicted three women stomping grapes.  Sometimes hanging a show can be challenging, but I was so happy with the ease that two women and I had in curating it.  We received many positive comments regarding the hanging!

Meanwhile, up in the studio I’ve been framing watercolor and ink paintings to hang in the gallery.  This is the week I plan to rehang!  During the week, feel free to stop by the gallery downstairs to see what’s new.

The Dig In and Bike On project continues to move along.  Through Kickstarter, 3 racks have been funded and created. Outside of Kickstarter, 3 racks are ordered and a voice agreement for another.  Ronnie Bradke is doing a fantastic job of fabricating the racks.  Two have been installed in the downtown and I hope the third can be installed this week in time for the Labor Day weekend.

May the rest of your summer and the coming weekend bring you much delight!


Mail Art entry 13!

Mail art entry 13a

What can I say? Sun was pouring through my Southern exposure drawing room window as the ideas fluttered about like the butterfly on the stamp.  I really like how this one turned out!

Mail art entry 13b

The back of this postcard is fun to trace the stitching tracks!

If you haven’t checked out where all these pieces of mail have gone, go to Two Hands Paperie’s Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Two-Hands-Paperie/282051646297?ref=ts&fref=ts

Mail Art entry 12!

Cut, sew, draw and repeat …

Mail Art entry 12a

Stage 1 of front:  I sewed the little orange ribbon on, the little butterfly cut-out, and then drew the rest with the addresses and stamp.  Still seemed ho-hum …

Mail Art entry 12b

For the flip side I cut out tulips from a rectangle piece of paper and then tore around it.  I sewed the tulip silhouettes, ribbons, and the cardboard cut-out onto the back. After stitching it onto the backside of another sheet cardboard, I scribbled into some of the border with the blue ink pen and added a request to Spring … still not pleased.

Mail Art entry 12c

Thinking a few raindrops might help, I added those, but still not enough …

Mail Art entry 12e

… I decided to darker the one set of scribbles in the border and add a second set.  The looseness of the line gives a “stitched” look to it.  Back to the front …

Mail Art entry 12f

… more color was added with marker and some Prismacolor to help give it a little more  brightness.

Off it went … with added postage.


Mail Art entry 11!

mail art 11a copy

Inspiration once again came from the stamp and wanting to play with black and white gouache .  For this piece, I began with a piece of cardboard from a sheet set that had printing on one side and blank white on the other.

mail art 11c

Knowing the paint would not want to adhere very well, I sanded the blank side with some fine sand paper. After addressing and stamping the cardboard, I set it to the side and cut a smaller piece of card stock that fit inside a printed border on the back side of the cardboard.  From a recently acquired package of miscellaneous papers, etc., I pulled out a solid teal piece and a playing card.  I sewed the teal paper in the middle and cut the card at an angle. Placing the card in strategic locations, I sewed those into place.  Next, I added a piece of red ribbon.  Finally, I sewed the new “sewed” card onto the back of the cardboard.

Knowing the paint would not want to adhere very well to the slick cardboard from the sheet, I sanded the blank side with some fine grade sand paper. The gouache stayed onto the card beautifully.

Once I finished the front and let it dry, I flipped it over, looked at that 3 of hearts and began to reminisce about all those Canasta games. That playing card brought back many memories of playing canasta with my family. Being allowed to play Canasta with the adults was truly a right of passage.  Numerous Sunday afternoons were spent playing cards with my family and visiting with cousins, aunts and uncles.  My Aunt Agnes always placed bowls of chips and chocolates onto the table only to be washed down by soda pop.  Strategy, stories, and laughter often ensued.  Enough reminiscing for now, back to the project …

mail art 11b

Originally, I thought I would draw or paint some silhouettes of figures (like those the stamp) onto the sewn back side of the card, but it seemed only right to add the Williams Rule book and a few thoughts.

Mail Art entry 7!

mail art entry 7a for blog

I love color!  I’ve accumulated various paint chips over time, in trying to decide various colors for different rooms in our home.  Over the weekend, a local store offered a free quart of paint to try out their new brand.  Trying to decide on one color was so difficult for me, as I love so many colors.

Arriving home, I looked through my collection of paint chips and thought they would make a great piece for Mail Art!  I sewed different cards together and then front to back.  Next came the fun part of deciding what to do.  I used ink to create a great contrast for all the color.  Who knows what tomorrow will hold?

mail art entry 7b for blog

Back in the Studio from ArtPrize!


I’m back … and the studio looked like I had never left!  The days up to the day before leaving for ArtPrize were jam packed with so many little details to do!  Cleaning up was not one of them!  The past two days I’ve been picking up bits and pieces and working on focusing in as to what to work on next.  Will it be paintings? mini hens? paintings of mini hens? or packing for a trip to Boston?  Boston wins and the creativity will continue!  Meanwhile, please check the previous post to check out my Changes in the Hen House installation that was at ArtPrize this year!

Story of the Dress Part V – Crunchtime!

Short of one month before the wedding and the dress is progressing along!!  The bodice returned from the cleaners without a trace of the sewing machine black grease! Whew!  After working to get more stains out of the skirt, I discovered I created new unattractive watermarks.   Next step, take  the skirt part to the cleaners to have the watermarks taken out!

It’s interesting how something bad, like a grease stain and watermarks, can actually turn into something quite wonderful!  After picking up both sections at two separate times, each part returned pressed and looking much better than when I left it!

I sewed the skirt on without an issue and even the invisible zipper went in quite smoothly!

Catherine and John came back up north this past weekend.  She tried on the dress and about an inch was taken in on each side.  Catherine put on the dress again, and she looked beautiful.  The beading was taking shape and the bodice, now, was a perfect fit!  I worked another couple of hours on gathering and sewing netting for the skirt underlining.  Catherine walked into the sewing room and said, “Look at all this poofiness!”  Poofiness indeed!  It was time again for another try-on of the dress, this time with the gathered netting sandwiched between the two underlinings.

Amazing, simply amazing!  Standing before me, looking at herself in a mirror was my beautiful daughter, glowing.  The underskirting gave more shape to the dress and support to the train.  Words cannot fully express all the emotion that came to my mind.  It was a dream come true.  I proceeded to have her turn with her back toward me as I began to plan out how the train would “bustle up” for the reception.  The pinned up train just added one more beautiful dimension of folds and highlights to the dress.  The beading, hemming, and sewing on hooks are the only items left to do and those will keep me very busy until the wedding.

I think of our matriarchal line and how important those family connections are.  I have such gratitude for my mother who took the time to teach me how to sew.   Thanks, Mom!

The Story of the Dress – Part IV

Before I start this part of the story … my website is currently under construction.  You may find my artwork website by pasting https://hanamele.com/old/ into the search line!  Sorry for the inconvenience, but when construction is done, you will have an  easier time staying up-to-date with my blog and artwork.  You’ll also be able to easily order my art through PayPal!

Last weekend we made it downstate with the bodice, the skirt and the invisible zipper.  The goal was to sew the bodice to the skirt and put in the invisible zipper.  Well, that was accomplished, at least the first time through …

On the 8-9 hour drive down, I realized I wanted to put tiny piping between the bodice and the skirt.  At that point, I also remembered I had wanted to put the same piping at the top edge of the bodice, prior to all the beading I recently finished.  “Ah well”, I thought.  “I’ll just hand sew the upper piping on after we’re home.”  We drove to the fabric store to pick up the piping and the special invisible zipper foot.    Shopping turned into a scavenger hunt!  Three stores, numerous packages of varying white seed beads, bronze beads (both of which I remembered on the drive), silk thread, piping, polyester thread, sewing machine needles, hand sewing needles, beading needles, an invisible zipper foot and 2 1/2 hours later, we headed back to the apartment.

Upon arriving at the apartment, we ate lunch and said “See you later” to our men.  Out came the sewing machine and before I knew it, the bottom tiny piping on the bodice was in place.  How beautiful and what an elegant touch it made!  Next, I aligned and pinned the skirt onto the bodice.  The sewing commenced and to my dismay, I found a pucker off-side in the front!  I felt like I was back to my old 4-H projects ripping out the sleeve to get rid of that pucker.  I re-sewed and another tiny pucker showed up!

“Grrr, but no problem. I can do this …”  soon turned to, “good enough for now, I can readjust it when I get home.  Joan, remember the goal is to get it to fit Catherine.”   She tried it on and we oooed and awed looking at the result on Catherine in the mirror!  With the pins marking placement of the zipper in back, I began sewing the zipper in place with the invisible zipper foot.  “We are making progress,” I thought.  As I adjusted and moved the heavy weight of the satin skirt, to my horror I discovered a small 1/4″ smear of sewing machine grease!

“The cleaners should be able to get that out,” I told Catherine.  “If not, we have lots of beads to cover it!”  Being done in by a spot of grease and a pucker was not on my agenda!

Now, there is nothing like the feeling of a smooth zipper sliding easily up and down after its sewn in place; unfortunately, that was nothing like the feeling I was having.  The zipper started gliding fine, until it hit the thick seam of the bodice/piping/skirt.  “Damn …”  I thought.  “I should have trimmed that seam before sewing it in!”  As I continued to force the zipper down, it began to split open.  “Arrghh!!!”

Working the zipper pull back and forth, we managed to get it on track.  Catherine tried the dress on again.  She looked beautiful!  Seeing her in the dress at this stage (tiny pucker, tiny grease smudge and partially split zipper) made it all worthwhile and I knew these minor aggravations were nothing in the big picture.  I now knew where the zipper belonged for a good fit.  Pleased with the results thus far, we packed it up to be worked on another day.

Yesterday was that day!  While working at Art Works, I took Catherine’s dress as one of my projects; I ripped out the zipper and ripped off the skirt, show and telling the dress to friends who stopped by.  My dear husband came and took the bodice to the cleaners so they could work their magic on the grease spot.  Good news!  I called today, the spot came out and it’s ready to be picked up!

Working on Catherine’s dress is just like life; you do what you can, when you can, ask for and take help where needed.  Simply, keep on tweaking until you have the result you want.   I’m off to the cleaners!

Still Playing with the Cat!

I grew up on a farm and we had lots of cats all around us!  Those images from younger days still permeate my brain.

While reorganizing my art studio, I came across a box of brass plated fasteners and thought back to elementary school with all the wonderful projects we made!  The thought occurred to me, “Why not combine the machine stitching of collage items with moving parts!?”  And so the gold cat began to form.

I like to think of this project as a result of spring boarding from the stitched bookmark;  I use similar technique, but add moving parts.

I began with a pattern I designed using a manila folder for the base.  Next, I cut out pages from old paperback novels and sewed those to the pieces but first inserting the brass fasteners into three places on the main body: 1 in the belly button area to hold upside-down u-shaped legs and two in the upper bust area to hold each arm.  After sewing the pages on, I applied a diluted mix of white acrylic paint and mat medium, with touches of metallic gold in furry areas.  Pulling out gold ribbon with wire, I fashioned a skirt and top which I sewed onto the main body.  Using a black art marker, I drew in other furry details, face and paws.  Finally, I attached the arms, legs and tail to come up with this result!