Saturday, August 31, 2013

I Didn't Mean It....

Really....I never meant to be away so long.  I have been on a bit of a sabbatical....looking into doing different things because I have had a very low income year and, frankly, it has been a bit depressing and disturbing.  So I decided with all of the things that had happened over the past several months, that I probably needed a I took one.

 I have been doing other things, things that will become a part of reclaiming furniture at the local trash/recycle centers and painting them....both cosmetically and artistically, giving these pieces new life and value.  I have also been working on shoes, same thing, shoes that I've bought at thrift stores or claimed at the county recycling centers.   And I will be doing the same with handbags and tote bags....some bags that I have rescued and some that I have created from rescued thrift or 'dump' items.

My images have come from nature....there is no end to the wonder of it all....add in a bit of get something, something unique and intriguing, at least if you're lucky!
The picture above is of the top of a small, handmade table that I found in the recycle shed at the 'dump'.  It was blue and grey and moldy and I could also see the cute lines (the sides, etc., that aren't in the photo) and would be a fun project.  I had no idea what I was going to do with it...other than clean it and paint it a color I like and then I thought, what the hell, I'll paint something on it....I knew I had the proper art supplies somewhere for acrylic and watercolor work, so I just started playing with it.  The images I have painted on the table top are strictly from my is incomplete but I will chart my progress and post pictures of the rest of the table, as I continue to 'play'.  I plan to finish it with a high gloss clear polyurethane so that it will be impervious to water or most other damaging things that tables and the like encounter.  The second picture is a wooden tray. and I am still not convinced that it is finished....I am about 98% sure that it is, but I have no reason to rush it along.  It will be finished with the same glossy poly stuff.  Again, this is strictly from my imagination, and I hope this blog will allow you to take a closer look at the details, such as butterflies, birds, buds, etc.  I have a larger tray just like this one that I haven't started yet, but I think it will be a seascape or sailboat or something nautical.
The picture of the palm trees and beach is about halfway complete.  I think I want to add either an umbrella or a boat that is beached or something like that.  I have made some dunesand will also add sea oats and birds and waves or ripples....still lots of things to do with this one, but again, I hope you can zoom in on it and see the details on the palm tree...I think it is pretty cool!!  This is painted on a regular canvas-covered art board that I found at the 'dump'....So my only purchases of new or retail stuff is the art supplies:  paints, brushes, that kind of thing.  I try to find as much as I can at thrift stores, but that is a rare occasion.  I do use paints from the home improvement stores that are rejects and therefore heavily discounted.  I have found some interesting colors this way...great for painting furniture and other large items.
 These shoes have very detailed flowers...they are Ecco clogs, and likely cost someone $100.00-$150.00 new.  They are a green nubuck suede and are in excellent condition.  I got them at a thrift store for myself, but they didn't work for my feet and so I decided to sell them on ebay.  Well, I had them listed for a couple of weeks but no bids, so I took them off and they were my first shoe-painting experience.  I preserved the artwork with a spray-on clear acrylic sealer in a matte finish. It did darken the color of the suede a little, so they look more khaki-ish than the original light green.  I know that they will make someone very happy, and I'll be listing them on my etsy store very soon.

Here are a couple of other pairs of shoes that I am in the process of painting....for these I have been using fabric (one is a dish towel and the other is a pillow cover, both from thrift stores, as well as the shoes) as my inspiration.  The red ones will be paisley when I am finished...The others will have the birds and flowers from the pillow cover (my yellow bird is probably going to get redone, but the pink one is quite cool!).  I am having such fun with this process...another way to make something out of nothing, or make something average into a piece of art.
These next three pictures show my source of inspiration, the photo of the butterfly enjoying a nice drink from a phlox plant.  I wanted to put this image on a handbag... then I was a little freaked out at the complexity of the butterfly I decided that first I would just try to paint the butterfly on paper and see how it went...

I have been filling in all of the flowers and greenery....just did the leaves this evening, and I am pretty proud so far...I think it will be a lovely painting!  My ultimate goal...the handbag:  this was a black leather handbag that I painted sky blue.  You are seeing the back of the bag...I was 'afraid' of starting with the butterfly (this was before I decided it might be a good idea to do it on paper first) so I painted the flowers onto the handbag.  Yesterday I drew the basic outline for the butterfly....scariest part...this is just the back of the bag, and I will have the front and the flap to contend with after I finish the back.  I have taken quite a few pictures of the butterflies, though, so I have plenty of other images to use for the other parts of the bag.  Another project that I will continue to chronicle for you and for me.
One last image for you....this is a watercolor in progress (I am good at being in progress or process or whatever you would call not quite finished...hahaha!!).  I am still trying to get the morning glories that are below the bird feeder to have more depth....and the blank spot on the left side of the railing will eventually be filled with a sleeping cat.  There is still much to be done here....the ground, the sky, etc., but I am taking my time, since this is the second watercolor I have ever done (since grade school, anyway).  It is a medium that I think I will explore till I can no longer hold a brush....I really like all the things that can be is great fun!

So, to sum it all up....this is where I've been and what I've been working on for the past two directions for GKR....all good things....I have decided that I will do clothing on a custom order basis for now, continue making bags of all kinds, and continue exploring what I can do with paint.
I vow to you, I will keep this blog updated with what I'm doing and how things are turning out.  I hope you like my is a labor of keeps a smile on my face and paint on my fingers.
Ah, and the fingers are itching to do a little more painting before bedtime, so I will bid you farewell for the night.  I send you peace and positive energy....thanks for checking in!!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Good Day's Work,,,,

2013-06-13 17.58.50.jpgI wanted to continue sharing my work....I got a lot of interesting things done today, amid crazy storms whirling and pouring on and off....thses three 'onesies' will be completed with some embroidery stitching around the appliques'...

The little white tee shirt has frogs playing the cute for girl or boy!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Creativity Flows in the Tree House...

I want to share some pictures of what I have made so far.
...2013-06-09 12.39.39.jpg2013-06-08 13.21.45.jpg2013-06-10 20.57.07.jpg2013-06-10 20.59.26.jpg2013-06-11 11.20.56.jpg   I know these aren't great pictures, and I am dealing with my phone and my netbook, so this is as good as I can get get the picture!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Treehouse Studio...

I am happily working here in Virginia...the house sits on top and off the side of a mountain.  This place has always been a haven for me and a place where I can conjure up creativity with little or no effort.  I have already finished a couple of cool things, and have more in the line-up for this coming week. 
It feels so good to have this ever-flowing artistic juice coursing through me.  I know that a few weeks ago, when I stayed at my former home, and tried to work in my former studio, I quickly realized that there was no muse there for me anymore.  It was a little sad, and a great deal reaffirming that I don't belong there...and I am glad for the experience, and knowing that I am on the right path with my work and my life. 
I will try to upload some pictures later this week and show off what I am creating here in the treehouse...right now my fingers are itching to get back to work...I keep looking over at my dressform and the partially completed dress that she is wearing, and I am anxious to see what will happen next.  I will be back in a few days...until then, may you feel as peaceful and blessed as I do at this moment....

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Time to Take my Shop on the Road...

Yep!  I will be heading for the Virginia mountains in a couple of days. I spent today picking out what I would take to work on...dresses and tops...while I'm up in the treehouse....the magical place full of love that I treasure so much...I always feel so creative there..its in the air and it buzzes all around me the whole while.  It truly is quite amazing.
A couple of weeks ago I went and stayed at the farm where I lived with my family for years, and set up my things in my old studio.  I couldn't make anything.  Everything I tried to do became a jumbled mess.  There is nothing of me left in that place.  After the first couple of days, I gave up.  I spent most of my time outside because I felt more myself there.
I know that it won't be that way in Virginia.  It is and has been a special retreat for me, and I am counting down the hours till I head that way.  I will try to post again while I'm there, and include some pictures.  Just wanted to check in. I didn't realize I'd been away for so long.  I have changed my vending schedule to include new and exciting venues, and I'll be telling you about them in the near future.  Right now I'm off to bed, and will wake up one day closer to my departure...stay safe and live peacefully.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Merry, Merry Month of May

I can't believe it is May already....mainly because the weather is still stuck in a winterish pattern....
For me, for GoodKharmaReThreads, the past month of weather ups and downs has been a definite issue as far as production (my fibromyalgia doesn't like weather changes) but I have managed to get a few things put together.  Sales have been light, not just for me, for all of my artist friends.  Weather, economy, taxes, and other shopping squashers...well, we will have faith that spring will take hold this month and give us a buffer before summer gets here.
I wanted to share a few of my creations...the first is a stunning top, in a plus size 4X.  Hard for me to show it off on the dress form but I embellished with native Jamaican/African type fabric from a dashiki.  I look forward to its person finding it.  In the meantime, I just may have to wear it over some leggings as a long tunic....maybe even this coming Saturday at the never know....but I digress...

I got several more tops remade, each different from the last....which is always the best part...each piece being original, new, fresh....I'm never bored with my work...I also got a few girls' tops completed...from infant to extra-large....much fun!!!  I have such a good time working on the girls' pieces, and I am getting ready to launch a new category....boys' tops...from baby to teen....I have had many requests from young men and even a few not-so-young...wanting something unique and fun and how can I pass up that opportunity for my own creative I will be tackling that in the near future, along with my diaper bag prototype...I will be diving into that in another month or so, as I have an order for one to be completed the latter part of June.

All These Adventures

I know that I am way, way behind in blogging. It has been here waiting for me to know what I wanted to say.
I spent this spring cursing the weather for being such a curse, cursing and parting with the full-length mirror that was apparently a source of negative energy that I was taking everywhere that I vended.  I feel like I have gotten realigned with myself and the universe that I serve.  It is good.
I am looking forward to my first time as a vendor at Hillsborough's Last Fridays event on May 31st.  I think it will be a very good venue for GKR, and I will like not having to arise before dawn to get somewhere.
On that note, I plan to get up at the crack of dawn on June 1st to do the Durham Craft Market.  I feel like the first of the month is when people have a little money to spend, so I am going to focus my crack of dawn events to coincide with that fact.  I am learning about the business end of being an artist and how to maximize my chances of producing income so that I can continue to do what I love.
I have also had a few other reckonings lately.  The most significant would have to be that I am presently farm-sitting at my former home and I brought a bunch of dresses to work on while I'm here.  Turns out that there is not an ounce of my creative juju in this house for me.  It has all been relocated.  I can't make anything here but a mess.  So I am making ribbon strips for some bows that I have to have ready for a wedding next weekend.  I think I can't hurt them too much, and if it turns into a mess, I will set it aside until I return home.
GoodKharmaReThreads is the best thing that I have ever created.  I love what I do and feel love going through me into what I make when I'm working.  It is most beautiful.
I will definitely post some pictures with my next blog entry.  I am not on my computer and so I have limited access to my files.
I will definitely show off the bows after I finish them.  I have never made bows, so it is its own kind of adventure.  I have to be a very lucky person to have so many wonderful adventures within my art.
I will go now....have farming things to tend to...more to come this week.  Until I blog at you again, may your days be filled with peace and light.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Is It Spring Yet?

I tell you what, I have had enough of this winter....and it has not been a 'bad' one, but more like a rollercoaster of cold rain and wind and a day or two of fake spring, then back to cold rain and wind.  Not the best climate for a person like me...but I don't let it get me down for long....
I have been working on some clothes....
finally!!  I know that these photos aren't the best...I am using my phone,  as my separation from my husband didn't include custody of the camera (it was not a good camera anyway, and so no worries!!).   
So the dress in the middle of this picture looks completely awful, and is very, very cute when on a shape...I promise!  I was just in a hurry to get proof that I had indeed been doing something productive...silly! I know!
The black dress on the left is a plus size, as is the turquoise tunic on the right.  I plan to make plenty of plus size creations this year.  I feel that it is a niche that needs filling with some attractive and original fashions that don't look like feed sacks and don't make the wearer look bigger or like they are wearing a feed sack.  As I hover in the 'in-between-sizes' place, between plus and regular (sounds like I'm talking gasoline!) I can appreciate the need for flattering clothing of all sizes.  I have alot of ideas to try out, and a whole closet full of raw material to choose from.  
So I just really wanted to let the world know that I'm back in business, back in work, have rejoined the world, etc.  I will be working as much as is humanly possible to prepare for the first day of the Durham Craft Market 2013, which is Saturday, April 6th.  I hope it will be really spring by then....
And here is my latest creation...sorry for the picture is a dark aubergine linen with a removable belt (could also be used on the head as a scarf or wrap).  The large applique'd piece was lowered before I sewed it on (pinned in picture) because I felt it looked too close to waistline with belt on.  So the picture did serve to show me what I needed to change.  And this is also my sewing cubby, in my studio-bedroom combination.  I am quite fond of my new workspace and living space, too.  It feels so like home and I get great joy from watching the gazillion squirrels in the yard party down every day.  They are wild and funny and drive the cats just crazy! which is also fun to watch!  
I will be posting again this month with some more new fashions and hopefully some bags as well.  I took all of my 'new' bags to the Karma Boutique a few weeks back, so I have many bags to make before April 6th....which I will try to get to this coming stay tuned!
Most of all,  may peace (and the force) be with you...

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Kharma Meets Karma...All of It Good....

I had the pleasure yesterday of taking some of my creations down to Sanford, NC, to The Karma Boutique.
I met the shop's owner, Diann, and her wonderful son and adorable pooch as well.  It was wonderful to see someone merchandising other people's art as well as her own in such a cool setting.  I am so proud to have my pieces there and hope that folks down there will appreciate my art.
It was certainly a meeting of the Karmas, too.  It is so awesome when you feel at home with someone you've just met, and feel the good vibes from the people that come in to shop and from the place itself.  And she said the same thing about me and my things.  I hope it will prove to be a long and fruitful relationship for both of us.  It was definitely 'all good'!!
If you find yourself down that sure to stop in at The Karma Boutique and then after you have shopped please head over the RR tracks and keep going straight until you see Yarborough's on the right.  They have diner food and about 15 to 20 flavors of homemade ice cream....banana pudding, chocolate malt, birthday cake, nutty coconut, and a whole bunch of others...all so creamy and good you won't be able to stand it...but you'll eat it anyway!!
And now, as the realization hits me that I just left 24 items at The Karma Boutique...I better get back to work...I have a whole lot of sewing to do....I will keep you posted on the new pieces I make as we all get ready for spring!

peace to you....

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Unfolding of Purpose

My last post was at a very profound point in my understanding of the practicing of what I preach....more lessons in the ways in which the Universe works - for us, against us, with us, without us, and through us, sometimes running over us or maybe tripping us up at an opportune time. 
I have had a huge, really huge change in my life and lifestyle - I have separated from my husband of 29 years - and I have had to take a good look at the world around me and try to see where and how I fit into it.  It has been a very positive experience so far.
I think the one most important and positive thing has been getting reconnected with a dear friend that I had kind of lost touch with...we would see each other at stores or stoplights and pass and repass...but we have been family for 12 years or more.  The interesting part of this reconnection is that it came directly from my inept attempts to help by putting those items on ebay a few weeks ago (as discussed in my last post).  She was the one person who responded to the listings, as she wanted to purchase one of the bags I had listed and then removed. 
By the time we got a chance to get together for a visit and a little wine and for me to deliver the bag she wanted to buy, I had moved out of my home and was staying on another friend's couch.  Well, the universe opened up and put us in each others' paths for a reason...I needed a new home, and she had a downstairs apartment.  She needed to get rid of a huge amount of hoarded but valuable stuff, and I knew exactly how to do that for her. 
I now have a wonderful new home, private or unprivate as I want it to be at any given time.  We are making headway cleaning out and cleaning up and starting to chip away at the 75% of her stuff that she would like to get rid of.  It is wonderful here...I am so very happy, and I am finally moved in and sewing again, getting ready for the dtown Market, getting ready for the DCM that will begin in April, getting things done, and smiling while I'm doing them.
So GoodKharmaReThreads is open for business again...relocated to Chapel Hill, NC...and it has new room to grow as do I....
 I realize that I have a long road ahead of me....and that my business has a long life ahead of it...and we are one, GKR and myself.  It feels good...
I will be back posting some pics of my new digs, new workspaces, and new items I've been working on....sorry that I had to drop out for a while but it was necessary...we begin again...and we are surrounded by love and peace and goodness...let these things wrap around you and hug you and know that good times are back soon...I promise!!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

My Lesson About Karma...

I have had occasion to think about the subject of karma and how it works versus how you would think it in point:
I wanted to raise money for a particular charity that rescues horses, as they have recently been and are still currently taking in and taking care of 10s of 20s of starved animals...
I donated several items and put them on a non-profit auction site and began advertising this on facebook to generate interest...100% of the proceeds to go to the rescue organization.  nothing was happening after a couple of days, so I thought, wow, what can I do?  So I decided that I would revise the listings to include free shipping to try and entice people....nothing.  
I tossed and turned all night about this, and got up this morning with a better understanding of what was happening....
1.  this was never personal, though I was taking it personally
2.  nothing good ever comes from whoring out your work, your art
3.  I was accomplishing nothing so much as hurting myself and my karma, 
    certainly not helping the rescue organization.  
Now this may or may not have been the 'right' thing to do, but I have removed the listings, removed all of the facebook references, and called it a day.  I will send the rescue organization some of my profit from the market I will be participating in over the coming weekend.  just a donation from me to them, not from any type of fundraising.  
From now on, I will make specific pieces for specific auctions or causes, hand them over, and let the rest take its course.  I am an artist, not an activist.  I can't make people care about something they don't want to care about or even know about.  I have to change to and keep to the proper rules of karma from now on, and I will.  This little experience will be a reminder for me.  The order of things is the order of things, and it isn't negotiable.  It is what karma is all about.
Now, I will get back to what I do best, and get busy in my studio!!
Much peace to you...