Thursday, December 18, 2014

Invitation to a Blog Hop

Nanette Zeller: NanetteSewZ

As Nanette mentioned, she was assigned as technical editor for my C&T publication Strip & Knit with Style. We bonded immediately. We have never met, face to face, yet we're always in contact over the years. That's how I got involved in this hop. Thanks, Nanette!

I answered the four questions as I had been asked. After much thought what I have came to me as I started writing the answers on the blog. 

I passed the blog hop reigns to Karen Neary of sewkaren-lycreated and took her introduction from her blog profile.

"I'm a quilt and pattern designer, award winning quilt maker, author and teacher. Since 1989, I have published well over 300 quilting patterns in magazines such as McCall's Quilting, Quilter's Newsletter, Quilt World, The Canadian Quilter and Quilter's Connection. I have contributed designs to 14 different books and co-authored Canadian Heritage Quilting with Diane Shink."

What am I working on? 

At present I am working on creating a new product for my label The Mad Hatter of Maui. I use minky (a plush fabric) as the backing for large and small children's blankets. Although the fabric yardage of 2-1/2 yards yields 2 large and 4 small blankets, there are plenty of usable scraps and I have been developing a new product from the leftovers. I have the logistics of the product worked out but now I am stymied as to the design... I could simply make it a rectangular shape, but my products for MHOM are reflective of Hawaii, and a simple geometric shape doesn't speak of this. I am drawn to the simplicity of the rectangle and the ease with which I could produce the item - that is very appealing - yet to make a fun shape is more labor intensive, and therefore less appealing - so right now I am letting the idea boil, boil - toil and bubble until I hopefully am given the epiphany I am seeking and have that, "Ah-ha!" moment that gives me my cake and the ability to eat it too!

How does my work differ from others in this genre? 

The first answer that comes to mind is, "Because it is mine!" I know that sounds a bit flip, egocentric and a non-answer answer but in essence, simply put, that is the truth. Like most (many? all?) artists, the fact that an idea or concept has been filtered through my brain makes it different from others because I believe we all are wired to process the same stimuli, information, and reality that is innate and unique. The best example I can think of are languages. Each language has a different way of conveying the same word - red, for example. Rouge, red, rojo,rot... would be a few familiar ones. Each word different yet similar and all conveying the same thing (and I have no idea why I chose the color RED).

Why do I create what I do? 

I create what I do because I see many things around me as useful art materials - and I am not just referring to the mediums that can be found in an art supply store or craft and hobby shop. But my sight is limited to that which I can relate to: just because I don't see something as being useful does not mean it isn't... it just isn't useful to me... So I create things that are a reflection of my aesthetics, my psyche... my soul; of my likes and dislikes, my personality traits and lacks thereof, of my preferences and prejudices... There is a piece of me in everything I do and if you look at my work, there is a common thread that sews all of my creativity together like a string of lights or telephone wire swagged between poles, or popped corn and sugared cranberries on an old fashioned style Christmas tree garland.

How does my creative process work? 

For some reason when I read this question I immediately thought of the saying, "Which came first? The chicken or the egg?" Does the process dictate the intended outcome or does the intended outcome dictate the process? I believe it is both. I might see something that I want to create and then I might want to create something that only I can see in my head. I might see a beautiful flower and want to document its beauty in creating it for what it is and I might "see" a cat doing the breaststroke and need to create it for what it is I know will be seen and accepted by others. Whichever it might be, the creative process is always a journey of exploration, striving to learn and to push myself artistically and technically, and to express myself by using as many of the senses as possible.

Karen will be the next on the list and then after that we both tried recruiting others to participate to only find that they had already done so. If you're just joining the hop here, then keep traveling back in the timeline and you'll surely find many, many interesting creative bloggers that might help you in your artistic pursuits.


  1. I am floored by that patchwork cake - how on earth did you do that and have the colours stay so vibrant?!? Travelling back isn't something we get to do in real time, so it's fun to do that in blogland. Merry Christmas, Mark!

  2. The cake was relatively simple - I baked the cake when I was recently in NJ for my best friend's birthday. Store bought white cake mix (I used 2 here so I would have a cake that would bake even with the rim of the pan). Divided the batter into small bowls, and then mixed food coloring into each: red, orange, yellow, green, turq. etc. (I made the cake with my dad and mom was chuckling at how much coloring we used - the colors ARE intense!) Then spoon the colors into the prepared cake pans, gently swirling and mixing colors (not too much lest you'll get a greyish/brown color). Then bake as instructed. Homemade white frosting and you're good to go!

  3. Hmmm...wonder if you could create a pattern in the batter ... like, say, a quilt block?