Friday, August 27, 2010

Christmas in August

Every year I find myself working on Christmas ideas and designs at the wrong time of the year (summer) so the Christmas products or articles can come out at the right time of the year (winter). When I design Christmas collections, like ornaments and cards, I usually work on them with my air conditioner going, drinking iced tea and eating ice cream.

I seem to have a following down under and last summer I was contacted by the Australian crafting magazine, Homespun. I was contacted by a lovely woman, Catherine Sanchez, who is the editor at the magazine. Turns out the magazine wanted to do a profile on me for the 2010 Christmas issue. Of course, I was thrilled to be asked.....could I do a fabric wall hanging of Christmas houses and trees......sure right up my alley. Since this was going to be a quilting stitchery project all of the pieces of the artwork needed to be fabric rather than the combo paper/fabric artwork I normally do. Just like all quilters and fabric artists....I hesitate to call us hoarders..... I have fat quarters and fat quarters of red and green fabric just right for Christmas projects. But just because I have plenty of fabric already does not mean I do not need to go to fabric stores in search of more.....after all I have to have half yards for the backgrounds and borders...and while I am there let’s see what else they have. I have never returned from a fabric store spending less than $20. And luckily fabric stores stock the Christmas fabrics in June.

For the last three years I have been doing Christmas projects for the Better Home and Gardens publication Holiday Crafts. I work for a delightful editor there, Ann Blevins. She asks me each year to submit some ideas for projects and then we pick the one or ones I will do for the magazine. Of course Ann also calls in summer and we usually have to work around our vacations.

I really love working on these projects...Christmas is my favorite holiday...who cannot love a holiday with so many trinkets and do-dads to buy and put in your house? In case all of you are wondering...yes I do have a lot of Christmas stuff...and how many boxes of it do I least 25.

The hardest part of doing these projects is writing the instructions. It is so hard to put into words how you do something in a way so others can understand. It takes me days to write these instructions...Gary usually likes to leave the house on the days I write the instructions.....too much cursing and sighing. Luckily the magazines have fabulous editors to clean up and correct my copy.

So enjoy the can get the BHG Holiday Craft magazine at most book or craft stores. Homespun magazine is only found in Australia.

By the way, on my last post Anna, my daughter, felt I still needed more editing.

Friday, August 20, 2010

I am really writing a blog, finally

Okay everyone, I have said I am going to start writing a blog for the past five years. I am always going to start it during the summer when I am not teaching. But every year I go back to school and I have not started it yet. Since I go back to school next week, I decided this just has to be the year I begin. So in case you do not know, writing is not my forte....expect my postings to be very conversational with lots of dots between sentences....because if you know me at all you know I love polka dots. I will write the blog most of the time but my aliases, Anna, my daughter, and Gary, my husband, may end up doing some postings. My daughter Anna is a great writer and wants to write the blog...of course, she wants to be paid for her time. But she assures me she will do a great job of writing the blog and she will write it in a professional manner. She does not plan to use dots between sentences or to sound like she is running on in her sentences like I do. Good because I have paid a lot of moolah to send her to a good school, Crossroads College Prep and to writing classes with Janie Ibur and I want to see I have gotten my money’s worth. What am I going to write about. Well for one thing, there will be no food or recipes. Since I do not cook at all (even though my husband pleads with me to just make anything at all) I can hardly help anyone else cook anything. But if you do see food shots on the blog it will be food I am eating because I do love to eat food, especially my husband’s cooking, my mom’s specialties, restaurants of any kind (but Indian), and of course my mainstay in life, chocolate. I will be posting fun things I find on my many trips to stores and estate sales, wacky signs and tacky items that tickle my fancy that I seem to see everywhere, great illustrations both current and vintage, goofy things the college students I teach at Washington University in St. Louis, say and do, things I am making for myself like my stuffies and quilts. Sorry guys, but the art I work on for my licensing clients will not be able to be shown until it is in the market... those pesky confidentiality problems....but I can show the stuff I am making for my Etsy site or for my friends. I am sure I will bore you talking about my family and friends although I find them all fascinating and wonderful. Don’t expect me to write too much about my daughter...she is very private. I may show an occasional vacation photo but most of those involve me standing in front of some large roadside attraction or outsider art sculptures. I will be showing all kinds of artwork that I like and artists whose work I find fabulous. I hope to be able to educate you at times with tips for doing art or making stuff. Mostly though my blog will be fun, silly and have lots of photos. Let the blogging begin! Corrine, my stalker, this is for you. Thanks so much to my editor hubby, Gary, without whom I would never be able to make anything sound right or be spelled right.