Friday, April 29, 2011

Faces on Friday and Sketch-In Reminder

I could only see the right half of her face
He turned away after one minute or so

I didn't do any of the 3x5 quick faces this week - but I did do the work. It's good to be flexible in your methods and goal keeping. As long as you are still keeping the goal!

At the Chrysler Museum of Art
At church, and a contour drawing.
A speaker at church
I had a lovely time with a friend - talking and sketching at a coffee shop. It's a good "incognito" place to draw as people sit and stay for a bit. 
At the Chrysler Museum of Art

Tomorrow morning you are invited to a SKETCH-IN at the North Carolina Museum of Art. 10-12!
Museums are a wonderful place to draw. Statues don't move.

And the Winner Is....


 donna a 

(who said)

I really would like to learn how to incorporate handwork into my work. This would be a great opportunity to learn!
April 25, 2011 9:26 AM
(drawn by

Donna - send me an email right away with your name and address.
Lyric (at)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Fanciful Stitches: Colorful Quilts review and giveaway

Welcome to the Fanciful Stitches Blog Tour Book Review

1- You want this book because it's a fun read.
Laura Wasilowski's wit and personality shine through in her writing as well as her whimsical artwork. Instead of a dry academic tome from CSOF's dean, I found myself chuckling at titles such as "Couching Thread/ Hidden Needle." It's not all fluff though. When Laura talks about creating a stitch plan she mentions design elements and principles in a lighthearted and easily understood way. She explains what a focal point is and helps you see where you might want to add pattern, texture with your stitches.

2- The instructions are clear and well illustrated.

If you are a newcomer to fused quilts or to embroidery, have no fear. Laura walks you through each step with photos and explanations. In fact - when it comes to showing you how to make the actual embroidery stitches, the pictures do ALL the talking. Illustrations of each step of the stitch are paired with Laura's wonderful artwork so that you can see the stitches in action.

3- Patterns, Patterns, Patterns!
Each of the wonderful and whimsical quiltlets that illustrate Laura's stitches is fully laid out in with pattern and instructions so you can make your own little neighborhood of stitched wonderfun!

Now for the fun part
Leave a comment here telling me what you love about hand work. Personally, I love it's portability, it's improvisational nature (I don't plan ahead much) and spending so much time touching pretty things. On Friday I'll pick a winner from all the comments left on THIS POST. Make sure you leave a way for me to get in touch with you. Oh - and (I'm really sorry about this) this is sadly only for North American residents at the publisher's request.

Make sure to visit each of the other blogs on the tour and leave a comment on their specific tour date. That's a lot of chances to win!

April 19 - Annie Smith
April 23 - Melody Johnson
April 24 - Jane Moxey
April 25 - Lyric Kinard (right here!)
April 26 - Judy Coates Perez
April 29 - Jane LaFazio
May 2 - Susan Brubaker Knapp
May 3 - Frieda Anderson
May 4 - Connecting Threads

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Chicago School of Fusing

Ah. The illustrious 
It's been a lifelong dream of mine to earn a degree!
I spent two lovely years in the frozen north country
 where long snowbound winters drive textile artists to 
unheard of lengths of creatively insanity.

Dear Lyric,
Congratulations upon your completion of an under graduate degree in The Fine Art of Fusing from from the Chicago School of Fusing! Your abilities  as Press Squad Leader for the Iron Maidens Sports Team makes a fuser proud. May your exceptional expertise in Fusology and Iron Maintenance and Repair serve you well in the future.

And now, by the power invested in me as Dean of Corrections, I declare you a graduate of the Chicago School of Fusing.

Press On!
Laura Wasilowski

P.S. As a graduate of the school, I invite you to join our alumnae association and send me 50 bucks a year.

In honor of this grand occasion please join me in a rousing rendition of my dear Alma Matters fight song.

Tune in tomorrow for a review and the opportunity to win the dean's latest tome full of stitch wisdom.
And to clarify - you need to leave a comment on tomorrows blog post for a chance to win Laura's book.
You can leave a post on each blog in the tour on the specific day the book is reviewed for more chances.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Faces on Friday and making lemonade

Beautiful fossils from the
Natural History Museum
Yesterday was a making lemonade out of lemons day.

I had a 7yr old trooper who carried a zip-loc all around a very crowded Natural History Museum in case she threw up. I carried her all afternoon once her fever picked back up. It kept me warm on a day when we weren't quite prepared for the cold.

Audio books
 a driving mother's life saving device.
We enjoyed much more of a great audio book than we expected to as I-95 was a parking lot. Nothing like a great fantasy novel to keep a carload of tired children happy and their mother awake and less stressed about driving in the rain. Shannon Hale is one of my favorite authors for young adult literature.

Weekly progress - a face every day for a year.
So here are the faces this week. Feels a little like regression when I look at these results. Or is it just that I wasn't trying as hard most of the time - keeping it quick and light unless drawing from a photo. It was a good sketching week - enjoying it and not feeling like it was a chore. It's all about the journey.

Have you had lemons this week?
Did you do a little mental squeezing and sugaring?
Tell me about it.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Journey to HOME

"Everyday is a journey and the journey itself is home." -Matsuo Basho 

The following post is from Lesley Riley, a creativity coach and all around lovely person. I thought her words followed on perfectly with the recent musings about finding balance between art and life and keeping the passion to create alive. I think Lesley hits it spot on when she talks about being at home with yourself: who you are and what you do. 

home sweet homeIf you are not happy at home (and I mean being at home with yourself), you will not be happy anywhere, not in the next class, on the cover of a magazine, buying your next art supply or in your studio. Being at home with yourself is the result of taking control of your dreams and pursuing your passions once and for all. It means taking a no excuses approach to creating the life you want. Anyone can be an artist success. It's not about what you know or even how talented you are - its about what you DO. And here's what you need to do - create your best possible life and become your best possible self.
Yes, I know, that's much, much, easier said than done, so I'm going to give you three tips that will help you get started right now.
And let me ask you....."if not now, when?
1) Write down all the things you don't like about your present situation. Now go back over the list and see which ones are a result of your inaction. The number one reason we get down on ourselves is because we don't  DO the things we say we want to do. The cold hard truth is that only YOU can make change happen. If you don't see how, then apply your creativity to yourself and figure out how to craft the life you want.
2) To be at home with yourself, create your own recipe for happiness. Check the pantry of your heart for the ingredients you have on hand and then see what you can cook up. If you find you are missing any essential ingredients, create a shopping list and set about acquiring what you need in order to lead a fulfilling life. A tablespoon of gratitude? A cup of compassion? Spreading your gifts? Mixing in a lb of self-care?
3) Start where you are. Is your physical home in conflict with your inner home? Are you just passing through? Are you using it to complement and enhance your life or is it set up for "company," to please others, or just because that's how everybody else's home looks? Your home should be a reflection of your true self. In order to be at home with yourself, your house, your home, has to be a place of your making that gives you joy. So rearrange that furniture, toss the clutter, paint a wall with chalkboard paint and color your world.

Lesley Riley, The Artist Success Expert, is the creative founder of Artist Success, Solutions for the Struggling Artist. To receive her bi-weekly articles on creating your own success as an artist, visit

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Raleigh Sketch-In April 30th

Saturday April 30th
10:00 am -12:00pm

Meet  near the front door to the new wing - at those tables under the trees.

We'll do a couple of drawing exercises at 10:15 while everyone fills out their sketch pass.
(no tripods or easels inside, dry media and sketchbook only)
You can sketch in the permanent collections.

Or in the Museum Park.

for directions to the museum
2110 Blue Ridge Road | Raleigh, NC | (919) 839-NCMA

Monday, April 18, 2011

Fanciful Stitches Blog Tour

Hello Friends. Laura Wasilowski - an artist who's company I enjoy and who's work I admire has just published a new book and in celebration I'm taking part in a blogging blitz. Each of the following bloggers will review her book and tell you a little bit about Laura - and EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US will be giving away a copy of her book! Stop by each blog on the day Laura's book is reviewed, leave a comment, and you'll have 10 whole chances to win a little bit of the happiness that Laura's cheerful work brings into your life.

April 19 - Annie Smith

April 23 - Melody Johnson
April 24 - Jane Moxey
April 25 - Lyric Kinard (right here!)
April 26 - Judy Coates Perez
April 29 - Jane LaFazio
May 2 - Susan Brubaker Knapp
May 3 - Frieda Anderson
May 4 - Connecting Threads

Friday, April 15, 2011

Faces on Friday and Creative Students!

I spent time this week with the Peninsula Piecemakers Quilt Guild. These pictures were taken during our class "The Elements of Art." After a long day of play and design each student searched out an object and brought it back to the table. Each was then given a basic design element (texture, shape, line, color value) to concentrate on while they quickly interpreted their tableau. I love seeing the creativity and playfulness that expressed itself in each piece.
 tulips, basket, fly swatter

 branches, dandelions, sweet gum balls

tulips, cookie 

pot, glue, bowl of water 

floating leaf, plant

 tongs, water bottle, magnolia pods
These exercises were seriously "out of the box" for these lovely quilters and I am so impressed with how they willingly opened up and gave it their best. Their work was playful, lovely, creative, and wonderful.
This is why I love teaching!

And because I promised myself I would.... here are the week's faces.
Almost all of these are very quickly done.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Teaching for Tidewater

busily painting with the stamps they carved




Sitting by the inlet... beautiful.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

On-Line Class: The Artist's Toolbox

The April 22nd session of The Artist's Toolbox only has a few more spots available.

motion study by Nancy
Sign up here at

shape study by Sheila
Or read more about it here.

Shape and movement by Sue

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Passion to Create

#3 by Michael Cunningham
I'm dreadfully late in getting back to a question posed several weeks ago.... ah life. It can get in the way of the best intentions. I ruminated and pontificated on fitting art into your life in this post. It was in response to a very thoughtful and heart felt question from Michael Cuningham. Here is the long overdue answer to the second part of his question - "with all of the "life" that gets in the way of creating, how do you keep the passion going?"

As I ponder this question I think it has to do with your long term goals. Life ebbs and flows and there are seasons and times for focusing on different things. But if you have long term goals you can see past a current ebb and over the long run, life will flow in the direction of those goals.

Keep your goals realistic. I only think about one or two goals regarding my art each year. This year, they didn't even include any sort of concrete production goals. I wanted to improve my attitude (by being grateful) and develop some studio discipline. That's it. My youngest goes off to school next year and I want to be better about utilizing the uninterrupted studio time I'll gain. Right now I know I have bad habits. I waste far too much time on my computer. I need to go re-read Twyla Tharp's "The Creative Habit". It's a favorite.

Family Ties: Knit Together
So - if something fits and helps me achieve that goal then I need to work on it. If it doesn't it's OK to let it go. I let several application deadlines slide by me last week - they weren't high on my list of priorities getting towards this goal. Next year - they are part of my goal set.

Now, if you've lost the desire to finish a project or goal - is it a goal you truly want to keep working at or should you give it up? That's the first question to answer. Then ask why. Then ask why again. If you choose to keep that goal on your priority list - remember to figure out the underlying reason you have that goal. Where will it get you and is that the place you want to end up?

If yes is the answer and you still have creative ennui... first check your health. Are you taking your vitamins and getting enough sleep? Do so.

Family Ties: Knit Together
Is the task too overwhelming that you have set for yourself? Just choose to do a little chunk of it. I end up being amazingly productive if I force myself to set a timer and do actual creating of work for ten minutes BEFORE I check my email. Those ten minutes always turn into the full time I have. If I turn to the computer first whatever time I had is frittered away. 

Sometimes limitations result in greater freedom to create. Sounds a little backwards? How many times have you looked at a blank piece of cloth or canvas or sketchbook page and been frozen with fear. Or indecision. Or just plain nothing comes to mind?

What if instead, you give yourself a subject to start with. Or a color. Or a size limitation. My Family Ties series started out as a color study. Red. Using vintage and recycled cloth and lace. Funny that the first three in the series barely had any red in them at all - but I had in my minds eye an idea - a direction - a heading. Nothing says you must stick strictly to your limitations. They are simply a starting point.

I'm getting long winded again - and could go on for ages and never actually get this posted. So I'll stop for now and solicit your ideas. 

Family Ties

How do you keep the passion to create alive when LIFE gets in the way?
(Remember - I think LIFE can be more important at times - and that's OK)

Friday, April 8, 2011

DVD Giveaway!

My publisher is doing something very fun - and practically giving away downloads of my DVD
Surface Design Sampler Platter

An Hour of Instruction for 10 Cents

surface designI'm not a technophobe by any means. But unlike my colleague Jenn Mason, I am not an early adopter.

You won't see me camping out in front of the Apple store the night before a new iPad release or being the first on my block with a 3-D TV. I like other people to test the waters first, let the price come down a bit, and then I consider jumping in.
So when I first heard that you coul download a video directly to your computer, I didn't understand why everyone was so excited. I was perfectly happy with something tangible: a DVD you can hold in your hand. It was a form I was used to.

Then, at work, I was given access to a video download, so I tried it out. In just a few minutes it was on my computer. No complicated steps. No high-tech knowledge needed.
lyric kinardThe content is exactly the same as the DVD, except it's always there on my desktop, ready to view whenever want. I don't have to find it, insert it into the drive, and wait. In fact, I'm more likely to use it because it's ready to go when I am.

For me, now, downloading is the way to go.

If you've never downloaded a video—or if you have and loved the experience—here's a perfect opportunity to try it out with almost no investment.

For a limited time we're offering one of our most popular Workshop™ videos from one of our most popular artists, “Surface Design Sampler Platter” with Lyric Kinard, for just 10 cents.

You read that right: 10 cents. A dime. The little shiny disk with Franklin Roosevelt on it.

Think of it: Lyric was just named 2011 Teacher of the Year by the International Association of Professional Quilters, and you can download a workshop with her for just 10 cents.

In “Surface Design Sampler Platter,” Lyric, with her engaging personality, shows you how to carve a stamp from a vinyl eraser, cut a stencil from freezer paper, and print with found objects.

Plus, you'll get her best tips on foiling and photo transfer techniques. She shares her knowledge of the properties of the various textile paints available, too.

< href="" target="_blank" title="Surface Design Sampler Platter">take my advice and try a video download. That, and a dime, will get you more than an hour of surface design instruction from one of the nation's top teachers.
Cate Prato
Cate Prato, Online Editor
Cloth Paper Scissors Today
Spring Studios
More Cloth Paper Scissors
Free Stuff
Join Cloth Paper Scissors
Share Your Comments
What does a dime get you? An hour with artist and instructor Lyric Kinard!
Spacer 15x15 pixels
It's quick. It's easy. It's inspiration at your fingertips.
Are you familiar with our popular workshop downloads? Take advantage of this 10¢ video download and enjoy Surface Design Sampler Platter (Download) today!
Spacer 20x20 pixels
Can't choose which surface design technique you want most to learn? Try a little taste of each!

Play along with Lyric Kinard as you learn to carve a stamp from a vinyl eraser, cut a stencil from freezer paper, and print with found objects. Learn some of the properties of the various textile paints available.

For only 10¢ you'll also explore:
  • Improvisational screen printing
  • Adding some glitz and glamour with foil
  • Quick and easy photocopy transfer
Use these fun tips and techniques in your next art project and create something amazing!

Download this workshop now through Tuesday for only 10¢.
This workshop is also available at regular price on DVD.
This offer is good through Tuesday, April 12th at 11:59 p.m. Mountain Time.
Don't wait!
Spacer 15x15 pixels Surface Design Sampler Platter
Download Now! - Red - Small