February Dress-Up Challenge: Submission

As you may already know; (followers of Sew Loquacious) February's Dress-Up Challenge topic was Gustav Klimpt in honor of his many romantic compositions. 

Since I have a giant poster of his Portrait of Eugenia Primavesi from 1916 in my bedroom, this seemed the best place to begin.

First, I found a decent reproduction online and then printed it out at 30% transparency on some fabulous fabric/paper stuff my friend Karen left at my house.  (Thanks Karen!)

My first inclination was to bead the whole dress and then I got all worried and stuff about the Dress-up Challenge being all about PAPER and thought about doing the dress in tissue flowers... remember the ones where you wrap a little square around the end of a pencil, dip into glue and then compose?....and then got the go-ahead-anyway from Angela, so I started beading.  I bought this snazzy embroidery hoop which looks great, but is only usable until there are too many beads......

The paper/fabric product held up really well and did not start to stretch or wrinkle until the very end when I was really man-handling it to get it finished.

Here is a picture of the back... I used clear thread to attach the beads so it's pretty invisible, but you can see all the holes in the paper backing.

I was working with different sized beads, some from my own box, some new to fit the color scheme and many many that were generously given to me by my friend Elise.

Here is a close up of the section near the bottom where there are two red swirly patterns (visible in the picture above prior to the beige beads being added).

So, the challenge was to not only interpret the colors and shapes, but to remain consistent with the bead color choices from earlier in the process.  This project took about 16 or so hours over many days to complete.

Here's a shot of just past half way finished!

Since I was working with large and tiny sizes of beads, many of the finest details were averaged out, however, I wanted to respect her neckline as closely as possible and used only seed beads in that area - sacrificing some color accuracy, but creating a delicate frame for her face.

After I finished (at midnight last night!), I mounted it on cardboard and then on black poster board and insterted a 100% print of her face and neck just so she didn't look so faded out with all the luster of her dress.  I debated about her hands... just bead over them, replace with a full print? I just left them as is... 'Hope you like it!

Here is a semi-side view to give an idea of the dimensionality of the piece.

This was a fabulous project... I have really only done one beading project before (see January Catch up post) and even though this is clearly a hodge podge of colors and shapes, I believe it works on its own merit!

Thanks SO MUCH for viewing my project and sharing in the process.  Please go see all the other fabulous entries for the February Dress-up Challenge!

And, a big Thank You goes out to Angela for organizing this creative challenge!

Take care,


Mice, Minidoka, and Taxes

A friend of mine told me that when you get mice in your house, it is a sign that you are focusing too much on the minutia of life....

Well, I've caught THREE mice in a live trap.  The first one died of shock? the second two, caught on successive nights ended up in a circular old fashioned fish bowl and quickly set up home.  The first one was a wee little thing and was so excited when the medium sized companion arrived.  They provided live television to one of my bostons who stood for circus-performing amounts of time on her tippy toes to catch a glimpse.

With the warm weather, I facilitated their emigration to the Haskell Indian Nation College grounds where they raced into a hollow tree and peeking out, watched me distribute nuts and raisins and some torn up fabric for their new nest.

Over the course of a resistant and arduous 15 or so hours on Monday and Tuesday, I completed my taxes.  Talk about getting some perspective.... clearly, my business model is fatally flawed.  My approach to being a successful artist has been to make what I want and hope that people purchase said creation.  To a certain extent, this has been successful, the people who respond to my style and compositions really like them.... but have I ever costed out materials, tracked expenses, weighed time input to realistic minimum financial return?
Remember the word for the year? (The word that CHOSE me?)


That would be the opposite of headlong, blinders firmly in place, directionless endeavors.

It's amazing how much resistance I am experiencing towards standing back, taking a deep breath and taking stock of my options and where to put my energy now.

Tangential Breather:

Shadows of Minidoka
Paintings and collections of Roger Shimomura at the Lawrence Arts Center from February 11 to March 12th.
Make time to see this... Not only is his work stunning, but the subject matter - his early years at a Japanese-American relocation camp in Minidoka, Idaho - is truly rich and poignant.  I have admired his work from afar and having lived in the culturally rich and historically aware PNW, been painfully conscious of the shameful actions of our government during WWII.

Being able to see these huge paintings up close and to stroll through his extensive collection of artifacts and ephemera collected from the 10 different relocation camps is a humbling experience.

Here is an excerpt from the brochure written by the Lawrence Art Center's Director, Susan Tate.

There is a striking revelation in this exhibition that while the camps were not intended to foster creativity, somehow life and creative acts persisted.  These are embodied in the works that Shimomura has collected.  Students, scholars, collectors, artists and social activists will discover juxtapositions of destruction and creation, as well as a contemporary and historical study of xenophobia and society's response to it.

Here is his website http://www.rshim.com/
and you can google many of the pieces in the show with the phrase: Minidoka on My Mind

So... back to mice....
I prefer to be focused on what is right in front of me, have difficulty formulating big picture plans, and tend to move from project to project, leaving a trail of clutter and crumbs behind me. 

Ergo: Mice.

If I ignore the mice, they will continue to nibble away at my artwork (yes...they actually ate part of a 3-d cardboard cathedral I made in the early 1990's) my art and sewing supplies, and cause my daughter to shriek and leap out of her chair with indescribably horror as they scamper across her breakfast.

Basically, although I am a strong proponent of "live and let live" (I'd love to just co-habitate with the mousies), it is now time for Action. and that is Action with a capital "A".

If I ignore the component details of an overarching plan for my business, I will go further into debt and not achieve financial satisfaction from finding a product(s) that sell and sustain the rest of my creative outpouring.

I will be costing out my cards and other products, determining that bottom-line for financial survival, looking into a refi, brainstorming with friends and colleagues about alternative venues for my art and....

I will be sending out a survey to all the peeps on the Valentine-Making Open house mailing list to get ideas and brainstorm future events. 

Please feel free to comment here and let me know what you think about:

How can I sustain my self (home and family) as an artist?

It's an age-old question without answers and then to boot, very few are actually successful, however, that shouldn't preclude me from being part of that small percentage... right?


is there an even more flexible option?

That is where explorations will be going in the next week or more.

ps. the February Dress is about 1/3 finished!  Late, yes, but surely worth the wait.


February is Flying by...

How can it be the 12th already!!?  This month is flying by. It is a relief in one sense because due to a crazy notion that occurred to me about 15 years ago, I wear skirts (or shorts) every day of the month of February in a desperate sacrifice to the gods of spring.  This worked great while living in Seattle... the weather never dipping below the 50's and the long drawn out springs gave new color and hope each day....but, heckerdoodles... this Kansas weather is killin' me! 

So.. what's new? With introductions from my good friend Heather, I met with some super folks yesterday, first was Bob Eppes of The Silk Road Travellers.  We had a great meeting: brainstorming and planning for future collaborations.

Second, I met with Cindy and Ted and I am so excited to report that I have sold cards to my first Kansas City Store! Please frequent this lovely and funky establishment Twisted Sister Cards and Gifts.  They have greeting cards for every and I mean EVERY taste and style as well as great little gifties including hand printed valentine undies for men and women by my bestest pal Elise of Pilot Valve!  Twisted Sister is on West 39th Street in a great little shopping district, practically kitty corner to Donna's Dress Shop (major vintage fashion destination!)

So today I am torn between what I wANT to do and what I must do... February dress challenge OR begin sorting my taxes.... Certainly not a fair choice and even musing here is a major distraction.  This is my first year of being "serious" about having an art business and I kept pretty good records for some of the year which means this task of filing personal AND business for the first time is one of those biiig jobs which I tend to procrastinate on... anybody else operate in the same manner?!

Unfortunately, the Dress-up 2011 Challenge February Dress will have to be my dessert.... maybe just a nibble here and there... I'll keep you posted!

Have a great weekend - and hey, it's supposed to get up to 51 degrees tomorrow! practically a heat wave!
Take care


...And the winner is...

And the winner of my first ever blog give-away is Karen! Karen, you will receive a Boston Terrier valentine (per your choice)!!!  Your card will be similar to but not identical to the one shown below.

Thank you to the 3 other contestants and to Angela at Sew Loquacious for sending over one of them!  I hope you will all stay tuned for future transmissions from this corner of blogland and let your friends know too!


First Ever Give-Away!!

Hello and welcome to the first ever MacKomics Studio Give-Away!  In the spirit of Valentine's Day, please peruse my etsy site (mackomicsstudio.etsy.com) and find the valentine card OR valentine hair accessory that you simply must have!  Leave me a comment here on the blog and tell me which one you choose and I will select the lucky winner Friday night and mail out the prize by Priority Mail this Saturday AM!  Please consider leaving your mailing address in your comment or sending it to me at liza@mackomics.com so I can turn the item around as soon as the winner is revealed!

Check out my MacKomics Studio FB page to see other brooches, hair accessories and cards not yet up on etsy and if it turns out that you are much more in love with something NOT valentine's related... just let me know - I want the lucky lucky winner to be happy happy!

Please consider being a "follower" here at blogspot.com and a "fan" on FB - I've met the greatest people in this new endeavor and can't wait to meet YOU!

Thanks especially to Angela of Sew Loquacious for promoting my artwork and for being such a creative and inspirational friend!

Valentine-making Open House!

Hooray! this year's Valentine making party was a success! Thanks to all the fantastic and creative folks who came out this year.... It was a two day extravaganza with more doilies and more stickers and more scones and more more more of everything... I even rented chairs... egads. There was a steady flow of people, with waves departing as new groups arrived... very civilized! Super conversations and information exchanged and some people even ran into friends they didn't know were coming. Thank you especially to the KC people who drove all the way in from the Big City to attend this very special event. Check out my facebook page for an album of most of the artworks created...with more hopefully on the way.

Here are a few examples and a peek into the environment!

If you are interested in being on the mailing list for next year, just pop me a note and I'll make sure you get an invite!

Stay warm!


Groundhog Day

soooo the sun came out today! white cold powder drifts
spent 1 hr 2o min shovelling my stairs, driveway and neighbor Blanche's front walk, path to street and path to mailbox... and a path for the mailman across our two lawns... gotta love our public servants who trudge through this FREEZING weather.

made the third batch of scones for the open house this weekend... banana chocolate chip... they were so good, M and I snarfed a few more than the usual one each "tester" these are pictures of the candied ginger and raisin scones

spent the day rearranging the living room, measuring tables and trying to maximize space for the party... if only 16 adults at a time show up from the mailing list of ~200 or so... we'll be just fine!

The Four Rooms Collective piece was accepted into the Globally Green Show... received our letter today!

Anne came over and we cut out tiny fox faces in sparkle vinyl... she was so brave to drive in this unplowed city!

Spent the evening cutting out lots of hearts and clamshell envelopes for the party!
Can't wait to see you all!


Retry number one

So... so much for posting EVERY day in 2011! it's the first of feb and two, count em, two rabbit rabbits so far... a bit of a cheat tho, was awake and up momentarily and then willed myself back to sleep to capture what was left of the luck!

Blizzard forcast for the day, strange misty air and everything glistening and frozen yesterday and sharp small snow flakes falling this morning.  Went for a run and went too far (like a fool) and only enjoyed approximately two blocks of endorphins... eyelash icicles are horrible!

mulling over what to do for February Dress Challenge - it's supposed to be inspired by klimpt, but i've set the bar a little high and am not sure what to create at the same caliber.  i'm contemplating a beaded piece but it's supposed to be paper...

finished up some cute diy valentine kits to take to wonderfair and perhaps sell a few at the parisole arts benefit on friday night...

I think they're pretty cute... how about you?

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