can you say overcommitted?

Where have I been? – well, there was the marking for 6 week grades (yuck!), writing even MORE job applications, getting work ready for this upcoming show (opening Friday!) cooking, cleaning, laundry… oh you get the idea. In the meantime things have slipped through the cracks, like this over at Seth’s blog – The Altered Page. Sorry Seth! I am brimful of work I can’t get to, and a bit cranky about that. But the good news is I am hoping YOU can help. I am working on this book that I started during my residency at Turkeyland Cove

a woman's work is never...

a woman’s work is never…

And I need lists – hundreds and hundreds of to-do lists, written by women (sorry guys, but the spine says – a woman’s work). Do you make lists? Would you be willing to contribute a “used” list or two to the project? If the answer is yes please email me at debraeck at debraeck dot com and I will send you my snail mail address. Please spread the word, ask all your girlfriends!! I am looking for all kinds of lists, the beautiful and the scrappy back of a napkin kind, no list too small or too large or too irrelevant or silly. Thanks in advance for your help.

busy doesn’t even come close!

Wow! I am so busy I don’t even know where to start…

This afternoon I will be found hanging the Women Create exhibit. Thank heavens we have a true professional to help us – thanks so much Colin! It is amazing to watch someone do what they do – seeing Colin reflect on what should go where and move the art around in the space was so COOL! I can’t wait to finally get everything up on the walls and cross that off my mental to-do list.

I am putting the finishing touches on the Occupy(ied in) Suburbia piece and packing to go to Sweden. And doing the shopping and cleaning to make sure my family survives while I am gone. I designed a new postcard to take on the trip with me. What do you think? It was hard to narrow down a few images that represent what I do as an artist!

Plus I am making sure that all my teaching materials are all set for next week – so that I can enjoy my trip and make the most of this huge opportunity.That means finalizing an exam and making sure all my studio students have materials for their upcoming projects. They are working with paper and wire to create self portraits right now. Thank heavens I am not teaching any new courses this term – I would be going nuts – it is hard enough just tweaking an existing course right now!

Not to mention working on a piece for the 15th Leeds International Contemporary Artist Book Fair – I am sending one of the new blackwork embroidery bindings as this year’s theme is “bound”.  It is a very large book and I can’t wait to get some pictures of it as it progresses.I am incorporating little lacy doilies to enhance the reference to Victorian collar ruffs. I think it is really going to be quite spectacular when it is finished!! (Which has to be soon!!)

Life is bustling and full to overflowing – off to have my coffee and get started on my very long list of things I still need to-do before Tuesday arrives!!

calypso meets the public

It has been a week of many blessings, so today I am trying to breathe for a second and take stock.

Firstly, my baby girl turned 16 yesterday… our house was full to overflowing with her friends helping her celebrate. Where do all those years go so quickly?

Second… Calypso is as finished as she could be in the alloted time and on  display at the Wright Gallery. The opening was lively with a lot of people in attendance, including local friends who came out to support me, for which I am so grateful!! Here she is

And Preservation is also finished and on the way to London! Wow! I am happy with how the whole thing turned out and hope that it makes a suitable impression at the opening. My big regret of course is that I am not going home too, but I hope some friends and family there will be able to see some of my work in person! Here are a few pictures of the finished product, you can check out a veritable smorgasbord of images on my facebook page here.

Paper swap #3 – cards

So… I made a whole set of ATCs for Jill my paper swap partner this month, and I lost them. So this week I made a whole new set, so on their way to Jill are these cards, and lots of other stuff I’m not going to post, just in case she stops by and sees everything and it ruins her surprise!! Next months swap is a surprise “crazy swap” so head over to Lawendula’s blog to sign up if you want to play too.  It is really stretching me trying to make stuff that I don’t usually do, and as you can see I even tried to break out of my usual colour palette as Jill is a very colourful gal. Boy was that hard work, but I think they’re OK.

So now I am going to spend the rest of my day organising my files for the classes I am teaching this semester, and putting all the old notes etc away. Then later I am heading out to the Wright Gallery downtown for an opening with my recovering artist friend Tina. The show is a group one, The Active Artist’s Alliance, featuring some friends and former students, it will be an eclectic mix of work, I’ll let you know what I see!

space at last!

As those of you who are parents and artists know, sometimes your needs get shuffled to the bottom of the pile, and that can make your inner child pretty grumpy! This has been happening around here a lot this semester, so I made a conscious decision this weekend to put a few of the things I wanted to do at the top of the list!

Friday night I went to the opening of The Producers at Jamestown Community College, it was a hoot! (disclaimer, my youngest child is in the show, so I may be a little biased) Then my hubby and I headed out after the show for a late night supper and a few drinks. Very nice.

gifts from the book fairySaturday I woke up to find that the book fairy had stopped by, this happens occasionally, people know I use old books in my work, so they drop them off. These were fabulous little children’s books, with great woodcut illustrations. So whoever you are, book fairy, I thank you. Then I decided to take $20 and go non-retail shopping at the local thrift stores, scored two new jumpers, a great pair of pants, a new handbag (oh and more books…shhh don’t tell my family!!) I’m the early bird of the house, so even after the shopping I still had a little studio time before the rest of the clan surfaced! No time to really start a  major new piece, but I did finish a little Morris-esque page meditation.

morris 1Later after lunch, my hubby drove me out to an open house in his beautiful car, we had a great time, and I did a little shopping. Thanks Pat, Sean and Lisa

DSCI0855sean earingsTo finish the day of perfectly, we ended up having the house all to ourselves, as everyone else was out! 🙂

Today its time to come back to earth again, and retake the reigns of obligation, grocery shopping, laundry, but having had a little me time, I find myself in a better frame of mind, and happy to be puttering around the house. Everyone is out but me, so I can just relax and enjoy the peace and quiet and cross a few more things off of my to-do list. Hope all of you had a relaxing weekend too.

still here… just about

my amazing hubby pretty much pushed me out the door to attend the opening for the faculty show, I am tired, I didn’t really want to play nice tonight, but he insisted so I went. I am glad I did, I really needed to see all the great people I ran into tonight, and to hear a few compliments didn’t hurt my current state of mind (burnout) either. I am not exactly feeling refreshed, but I am at least toying with the idea of getting back to some “real” work in the studio. I would especially like to thank Steve from Chautauqua Word, who barely knows me but really does seem to like my work, for taking the time to introduce himself and for listening politely to what was pretty incoherent babble about my life right now! He also wrote something really sweet about my work in this weeks edition in his  preview of tonight’s event.

LaWendula over at Woven Letters has been posting more about her one he(art) one tribe project, my contribution finally arrived after being lost in the mail for weeks, I am happy that it is at last hanging there in her tree! I am looking forward to taking part in her paper swap later in the month, I am constantly amazed at the energy of all you bloggers!!

While I’m in this more pleasant frame of mind I also want to thank Lumi for offering me a fabulous gift this week, I am really looking forward to recieving it, I am hoping it will be the spark I need to really get back to work! I am working right now on a little something to send her back in return. More about that later perhaps!

Lastly thanks to all of you who encourage me to keep on going when all I want to do is lie down and let the waves wash over my head, who keep showing up here, even when I have nothing to say!!

opening night in Wellsville

Wellsville is an amazing little town, it has managed to retain much of the character of small town America and has some absolutely stunning architecture, not to mention a shop-able main street! The library is unbelievably gorgeous, as is the post office, both reminders of a bygone era of splendour. The library has a splendid auditiorium in the basement, velvet curtains and seats, the works. I had an incredible day there on Friday… Jeff was everything helpful and it is always strange to see your work on new walls. Props to all the friendly staff at the arts center who made me feel welcome and especially to the kitchen, the food was delicious. If you live within driving distance, I recommend a visit, and not just to see my art, the whole town is special and the food will totally make the drive worthwhile! Also I must thank the LASSes who drove so far to support me, it was fun talking to you about my work. I left feeling OK, which as anyone who’s been reading this blog for a while knows is not my usual reaction to openings. Maybe I was just too exhausted after a day of taking down and rehanging a show to be so freaked out, maybe it was P’s pep talk (thanks P!). Anyway, here are some pictures…

low energy day

Oh how artist’s love drama… sometimes I swear I am just waiting to shoot myself in the foot. On a week when I really need to have my act together I am over committed and looking like a flake. I know that I am procrastinating because I can’t believe it is time for another opening. What is wrong withe me? Isn’t this what I’m supposed to live for, my 15 minutes of fame, my moment in the spotlight. GRRRR. OK I have to go do business-y things. Just needed to vent about how lucky I am to have another show opening and how happy and grateful I ought to feel…

While I haven’t been doing the things I should have been doing, like pricing my work and making sale cards and bugging everyone I know to attend, and buy something, I was doing this insteadbeautiful back viewover flashed inside with stitching and ribbon detail

which was way more fun than playing the artist, just being one… so if anyone out there would like to offer me sensible advice on how to be more gracious in public, I’m listening….

BTW the paper for this book came from this AMAZING bookstore  East Branch Books, I came across in Sherman, NY. O! How I love books and paper… OK going to be the grown up and get stuff ready…


img_0748So the day finally arrived, here I am at the opening (in the brown shirt), it was well enough attended, competing with three other shows in town and several more locally. I don’t really like my own openings, I never know what to say to people about the work, do they really want to know about it or are they just being polite? Also it perpetuates myths about genius and the cult of celebrity that I don’t agree with, I hope the work can stand and speak on its own. I’m much happier in the studio just hanging out with it. But thanks to everyone who turned out to support me, I appreciated it very much, and big hugs all round to my husband and kids who suffered through my bad temper and helped clean for the after party at the house. Feeling at a pretty low ebb, will edit and post more pictures later.