edina tien: July 2006

July 31, 2006

our weekend

Finally, success! My Blogger account has not been cooperating with me this weekend RE: posting photos. Anyway, we went hiking again and here are some pics. This park is less than 15 minutes driving from our house. Although we live in suburban hell, I don't mind since we have greenspace like this nearby. I hope it doesn't change...we saw many signs in the area forewarning new housing developments (sigh).

I can't post photos of any artwork I've been doing until the recipients get a chance to see them first. Will have those up in the coming weeks!

July 25, 2006

hope, for the slow and plodding

I subscribe to Robert Genn's email letters and today's subject was "Early and Late Bloomers." He cited the research of an economist (I know, say wha?) who found that
"...some of the great artists peak early, while others don't do their best till later on. We are of two main types, he says. Some are quick and dramatic, what he calls conceptual innovators. Others are slow and plodding, what he calls experimental innovators. Picasso is of the first type, producing his best and most important work before the age of thirty. Cezanne is of the latter - steady growth and refinement until his best work comes late in life."
Not that I would dare compare myself to Cezanne, but it gives me hope to know that I still have plenty of time to improve my artwork and that there's no rush. I often feel a sense of urgency because so much of my life has been spent walking other paths and now that I'm on this one, I want to run to catch up. With what, I'm not sure...I know there's no finish line and I certainly feel no urge to compete with anyone else...it's more of my own internal clock that tick tocks away.

July 24, 2006


Do you think I have enough stuff out on my workspace to make one item?!! After several days of planning, experimenting, and finally creating, I'm close to finishing my page for Joleen's Hot Pink and Orange fatbook. It will need some embellishing after I reduce and make copies but otherwise I think I'm 99% done. Like I've said before, I can be really slow and deliberate when I create - this is an area I really need to work on improving.

So did everyone survive the scorcher last weekend? We spent one day at the coast and although it was still warm and a little humid, it was great to get away from the awful 104 degree heat here at home. It was a lovely day and we exhausted the dogs (and ourselves) after running around the beach, walking about town, and going on a 3-mile hike to another beach. I'm looking forward to returning to the second beach because it was wonderfully secluded and rife with beautiful stones. I searched for those elusive heart-shaped stones but no luck this time. However, I did pick up a vintage folding yardstick at an antique store and a 1928 book at the local library's freebie bin.

July 17, 2006

some artwork

Here's a simple collage I did a few months back that I intended to make into soldered charms for ArtFest trades. Well, I ran out of time trying to cut down those darn microscope slides, so no charms this year. Perhaps for next ArtFest...I should get started now if I want them done by then, huh?! I just love the image of the kid with his tongue sticking out - it was from one of Teesha Moore's collage sheets.

July 13, 2006


do I always feel icky after leaving a car dealership? Even when all goes pretty much as planned and the salesperson seems reasonable, I always wonder if we've been taken for a ride. Maybe I'm just falling prey to the negative stereotypes of car salesmen, but after spending hours filling out routine paperwork, it makes you wonder if you've signed your life away. Anyway, we were surprised to already have our new car since we were on a waiting list and didn't expect to get one for at least a few weeks. So this whole week we've been scrambling to get everything together to trade in our old car and prepare to buy the new one. This left me little time to get other things done. Namely, a shrine for a swap that I wanted to participate in this morning. I made a heroic effort, stayed up until the wee hours last night, and then of course, couldn't even get out of bed to get to the swap! It was also the annual picnic for the Portland Artists Collective (PAC). Very lame of me, I know, and sorry to any fellow PAC members who are reading this. I'm really sorry that I missed seeing what everyone else made, too!

I'm posting photos of my shrine as it stands right now. I think it might need a little extra work...perhaps some fibers/charms/beads hanging from the top of the driftwood legs (picked up off the beach in Fort Worden while I was at ArtFest - yay for repurposing stuff!) This was my first assemblage and I learned a lot, especially about structural engineering and how to make friends with E6000! It was a challenge to find all the elements to put in the shrine. I had to get creative with the shelf that those bottles (which are vials that my contact lenses arrive in) are sitting on and glued two toy blocks and a piece of foam core together! With more time, I could have bought and cut a piece of wood or constructed an actual shelf and nailed it into the shrine, but I think my makeshift one actually turned out well. That's one thing that I've noticed (and I know many people experience this)...when I am pressed for time and start winging it, my art often turns out better - isn't it lovely and amazing how that works? This shrine is really different than what I had originally envisioned. I had intended to use one of those vintage images of people in old-fashioned swimsuits. Holding onto that vision left me creatively blocked. Once I let that idea go, my brain clicked, I thought of using a transparency, and everything came together. I ended up with a completely different style but one that I'm ultimately more satisfied with.

beach assemblage

July 08, 2006

we have been feeling bad...

about our gas-guzzling cars for quite awhile now. And the increasing gas prices have really lit the fire under us to do something about it, so we're in the process of buying this hybrid to replace one of our cars. It's in high demand right now, perhaps because of the recent attention global warming has been getting in the media and also because of the federal tax benefit that is currently being offered.

On a related topic, I have been meaning to mention two movies that I saw recently, An Inconvenient Truth and Syriana. I urge everyone to see them both if you care at all about the future of our planet and humanity. I've heard people say they've been avoiding these movies because they're afraid of the depressing nature of the subject matter. However, I don't feel the goal of either film is to cause guilt or despair (that would be extremely unproductive and pointless) but instead to inspire us to change for the better. It may seem insurmountable, but small steps made by many people do add up. The website for the first movie suggests easy changes that the average person can make.

July 06, 2006

a great idea

Found this pattern that I think would be a perfect item to knit up those fibers from the swap! More later...I'm off to traffic court - blegh. :( Found out the hard way about the speed trap on I-5 in Chehalis/Centralia, WA!

July 05, 2006

final thoughts on aff '06

So one of my favorite parts of attending art retreats like ArtFiberFest is meeting and being inspired by all the other participants. You can get a taste of the talent and creativity from some of the above photos. The first picture is from the fiber swap I participated in with 20+ other people. Each of us brought 3 yards of fiber for every person so we all end up with a nice variety of samples. I haven't decided what to do with my stash yet, but I saw someone at the event knitting up all her fibers into something and thought that was a brilliant idea - I may have to copy that! The other three photos are of trades I received in return for the pincushions I gave away. Lots of cool stuff that people handmade or collected...a bookmark, a luggage tag, fabric, ATC's, charms, buttons, beads, and much more. The bottom photo shows some of the pins I got: a beautiful nest with eggs from Ty & Marcia Schultz and adorable buttons from Heather Simpson-Bluhm.

There's always a bittersweet feeling when I come home from these events - I'm happy to be home again but I really miss the camaraderie of like-minded artists.

July 04, 2006

happy 4th of july!