Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Handmade Spark - Georgianne Holland, Folk Art

I am exciting to be part of a new networking site called Handmade Spark.
It is designed to help the world at large know about my folk art and my Nestle and Soar studio.
I hope you will check it out and share it with your is a fun place to look at all things handmade.

Handmade Spark - Georgianne Holland, Folk Art

Monday, August 23, 2010

Wool for a Good Cause

There is a special event happening on October 1st in Boulder, Colorado, for the benefit of The Carriage House Community Table. This fundraiser includes a silent auction, a wonderful meal prepared by Chef Antonio Laudisio (owner of Laudisio's Restaurant), and a keynote address by Buddhist monk and homeless activist, Jana Drakka.

My wool wall panel titled Bonnie's Blue Sky Day (shown here) is one of the items being auctioned to raise money for this loving place where homeless individuals receive support, aid, and nourishment.

If you would like to find out how you can participate in this special event, visit Carriage House Community Table for more details. I hope to see you on October 1st in Boulder!

Thanks for stopping by,

Sunday, August 22, 2010

It's Not Easy Being Green

Kermit the Frog may have had a hard time being green, but it is getting easier for artists every day. I think about eco-friendly ways to be artistic. This first happened when I was using a lot of stinky sprays and varnishes in my studio and I gave myself a huge headache. I had to go outside and put my head between my knees, I became so dizzy from the fumes. My nose felt burned and so did my lungs. My kids said, "You got high on the fumes!" This was not a nice kind of high. I proved it to them by losing my lunch. I wonder if this experience is why I cannot remember as well as I used to? I digress...

Choosing art supplies and materials that were created using sustainable materials or environmentally conscious manufacturing processes is now important to me. Here are a few things I have learned!
  • Strathmore Windpower Series is a line of papers made with 100% windpower, a pollution free, renewable energy resource.
  • ReBinder offers 100% recycled products including binders, folders, and journals which I love.
  • Decorative papers from Lokta has no adverse effect on forest ecology. Toxic chemicals in papermaking are a real issue, so I like the folks at a company named Mr. Ellie Pooh.
  • Eco-House offers solvents in graduated potency strengths. Using their line of solvents, I can get the job done with the mildest version.
  • I learned that the acrylic paints I use release fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs) than my previous brand. I was happy to know because I originally chose the line based on color choices. The folks at Meininger in Boulder had all of the material safety data sheets and were very helpful.
  • I now have a safe holding space for old supplies like paints and solvents. I wrote the contact info for our Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment on the box. They can help me dispose of these items properly. I keep my stash well away from my fibers. Some stains and solvents will combust and I do not want my lovely wool (or my lovely studio) to go up in flames! Visit here for more information.
  • Studio ventilation is critical. I keep windows open as weather allows for cross ventilation. I run the bathroom fan all year long to keep air moving out of the studio. I keep floor fans going to move the air during the winter. I take breaks often and enjoy sunshine and fresh air.
What kind of eco-friendly ways to you do Green? Let's compare notes!
I hope your creative life is healthy in every way,

Sunday, August 15, 2010

All's Quiet on the Western Front

I am pleased to be back to my studio after a week of time away! My dear friends Mary and Perry invited me to drive three hours into the Colorado Rockies to a lovely hot springs resort. Once there, we all witnessed the marriage of their wonderful daughter, Sarah, to her sweetheart, Patrick. It was a week filled with young love, hot soaks in natural pools that dot the mountains and valleys of a tiny town called Fairplay,  and a week filled with friendship.

I travelled with my precious daughter Laura, and she and I had a chance to relax, laugh, and spend time with these cherished family friends.

As love birds are still on my mind, I found this charming painting from Nancy Jean of The Painted Sky studio in New Jersey. I love it! If you'd like to see more of her art, you can easily visit her at  Love Bird Painting. Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by. I hope your day is filled with love, birds, and long-time family friends!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Grandma Willow Tree is Pure Poetry

In case you aren't all sick and tired of my talking about being a grandmother, here we go some more.

I found this lovely sculpture on etsy today and wanted to share it with all of you. A talented artist named Tanja Sova created this tree in remembrance of sitting under a willow tree at her grandmother's house. Isn't that a great memory! I have often thought, especially after seeing the apple tree scene in The Wizard of Oz, that trees have faces hidden in their bark. This sculpture by Tanja proves that to be true.

[Click the Wizard of Oz above and I will magically transport you to Dorothy and her friends.]

You can enjoy Tanja's etsy shop at this link.

So because I've probably crossed the line in how many times I've mentioned my grandmotherly joy, I wanted to tell you a willow tree fun fact about my childhood! Well, it is kind of a new topic...

Yes, I am a published poet since that fantastic day when Miss Sargent sent my Willow Tree poem to Highlights Magazine, and they, in their poetic wisdom, decided to publish said poem in 1967. Because I figure that if you have read this far, you'd probably read all the way to the end of this post, I will type from memory my amazing poem. Enjoy!

Willow Tree
by Georgianne Leman

As I sit under a weeping willow tree
I think now, let me see
How many times have I sat here before?
How many times have I looked out the door?
How many times have I seen the Sun, a smile on its face
Looking down on the whole human race

Thanks for stopping by. I promise to open my heart to new topics in the near future,
Georgianne, also known as gma

Monday, August 2, 2010

Freckled Birds Folk Art Pillow

I have freckles and so do my birds! This fun folk art pillow was recently featured in an Etsy article title A Colorful Countryside, and it has been fun to see how many people from around the world are enjoying these little birds! Click here to read the article. A Colorful Countryside Article.

There are many ways to applique a design like these birds. Lots of folks are enjoying the raw edge applique technique, which my design could be described as, because I did not turn under the edges of the birds when I sewed them. My birds are made of wool felt, so they will not fray or change shape. I found a helpful video about raw edge applique using a sewing machine, if you'd like to learn more.

The method I used for making my Freckled Bird Pillow involves all hand embroidery. Using embroidery floss and a simple running stitch, I apply the felt birds to the taupe linen pillow front. I know that it would be faster to sew these birds on by machine, but I like how the hand stitching looks in this design. I've sewn seed beads onto each bird to represent the freckles. It almost makes freckles seem charming...which is an attitude about freckles that I wish everyone enjoyed!

I've heard from dozens and dozens of people since the Colorful Countryside article was published this weekend. It is fun how immediate activity happens in this world of Internet retailing. I am pleased that this pillow design strikes a chord with people and I will have fun making the custom orders that are coming my way for this pillow design. I will be teaching an applique class in August and plan to teach several applique techniques. It is a time-honored method for creating quilt blocks, pillow fronts, and embellishing clothes and accessories. It is one if my favorite art forms!

Thanks for stopping by,