Mining your Sketchbook for Inspiration

My teacher/mentor always said never throw out old drawings, sketches, ideas but put them all in the sketchbook no matter how silly they may seem,even if you don't like them or can't figure out how to use them. She warned me that even if I didn't like something or couldn't figure out how to technically implement an idea at the time I might like it in the future or develop skills that would

Coral & Graffiti at Domes Beach Puerto Rico

Domes Beach

Most sites talk about the surfing and the beach

I haven't seen any reference to the coral that washes up on the shore or the graffiti. Despite most sites stating the beach gets crowded we were the only one's there and had the beach to ourselves (December). Most surfers seemed to be further down the shoreline. Some of the coral was really beautiful. This website talks about

Christmas Trees in Puerto Rico-Squawk!

A fellow traveler and I were fascinated with the way the many of the christmas trees were decorated in Puerto Rico. Many were covered in parrots, so we took a drive to The Lazy Parrot in the hills of Rincon thinking they MUST have some. It was a lovely drive but alas no Christmas tree parrots. The gracious owned did tell us where to find them though, at the Christmas Store (Almacen Navideño) in

Subversive Embroidery and the KISS

I am NOT pulling out the stitches on the face again, this is my third attempt and like it or not, it stays. It has been a learning experience though. The first two times I realized the scale of the stitches were too big for the size of the form and they were too uniform. So here it is unstretched, but bascially finished (just need to add my sig)
I am not too crazy on the head of the poppet doll

Old San Juan Cemetery

Cemeterio Maria Magadelena De PazzisOld San Juan, Puerto Rico
December 2009

Can one say a cemetery is beautiful? This one was with it's white marble everywhere, gravestones, statues etc. This statue was my favourite and while the figure is in contemplation, one couldn't help contemplate also while looking at it. There was a certain poignancy that came with hearing the gentle waves and

The Puerto Rico Connection

Old San JuanDecember 2009

The Connection

I read a great article in the New York Times about Carmen Herrera being the hot new thing in the art world at the age of 94. Tony Bechara, said “We have a saying in Puerto Rico,” “The bus — la guagua — always comes for those who wait.” I LOVE her response and whole attitude, she said "“Well, Tony, I’ve been at the bus stop for 94 years!” LOL! There


We all Leave Them

One way or another

"A powerful idea communicates some of its strength to him who challenges it." Marcel Proust
Knitta Please and Racial/Class Issues in Crafts
O stated"*Scratching my head* I really am not sure why there is any ambiguity when the group name is actually a play on a racial slur that has strong class implications."

The ambiguity is simple to explain, I wasn't

Repost about cheating in Art

Caravaggio Cheatedwell, not really, he just did what many artists have done throughout historyCaravaggio used 'photography' to create dramatic masterpieces.

Amor Vincit Omnia by Caravaggio
There are many purists/art snobs/dilettantes who claim that the use of projector/photograph is cheating and will dismiss the work of an artist who does use them. The problem with that view is that they

Liu Bolin and the art of camouflage

Considering how I enjoy doing camouflage dolls in some of the jafagirl yarnbombing Dayton Street, Yellow Springs, Ohiothis artists work below is just my cup of tea.

Just amazing, AND putting ideas into 

Liu Bolin Studio Website

Home Made Holiday Cards

This year I used my cheeky winter penguin photo

Xenia Ave, Yellow Springs, Ohio
still have a few of these I made last year

I seemed to go mad making all the felt birdies last Christmas.They were fun though. I took a photo of a bird then used adobe to get the look above.

Is it Culture, class or Age?

1971 (16 years old) and first major embroidery piece Donated Transfer, old pillowcase, and whatever embroidery thread I could find.

Well there are some things I am just not getting, maybe it's cultural (British vs American), maybe it is class roots and age?On a blog about yarnbombing a commentator stated her concern over the "racial overtone" of the name knitta please, but didn't elaborate

Hand Maid

A little play on words for shana since we are talking about hand made being "in" and the feminine aesthetic.

A Birds EyeI decided to experiment with stitching on the flower. Not sure what to call the stitch as I just made it up, but basically it's weaving with thread.

Turkish EmbroideryIn Turkey "textiles of all kinds were so closely connected with the Turkish way of life, embroidery was

The Healing Hand

Gosh all I've done is moan these last few posts, but since this blog is about the creative meanderings of an artists life, then whatever happens, good or bad, affects those creative meanderings.

I like what this author says: "When we make art, we tap into our creativity and into a meditative space, no matter what we are creating. We also ignite healing and peaceful responses in our bodies."

Idle Hands, NOT

It's getting cold, time for my virtual fireplace.Okay so meds have made fine drawing difficult but my hands can't stay idle too long. I've been busy baking cranberry scones, and my hands don't tremble too much to use a sewing machine. I'm making cushion covers with this cool retro fabric called "feeling groovy" from J&O fabrics(boy these guys shipped fast)Off to the movies later to see "The

Wordless Wednesday: Robin


Dear Visitor, thank you for visiting and my apologies. Unfortunately due to the continued infringement, mining and exploitation of my images by individuals, spammers and companies I no longer have the incentive to show my photographs and artwork.

Missouri Botanical Gardens

It Mocks Me

"ha ha! I knew I would see you in the docs office na!na!na!"It wasn't the coughing that did it, it was the listless disinterest in doing any art, even my embroidery that scared Mr.Jafabrit. So off to the docs I was taken.Upper Respiratory InfectionMeds & ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
But just before the coughing and meds took holdI did manage to get this done for my "shiny pretty things" Mdf board, acrylic

Next Phase:shiny pretty things

I finished the hair using a couching method with string and white floss and padded the wings (one on the left looks like it needs a bit less).

The next step is to paint the wood panel, then reattach the black fabric panel,stitch on the girl and then figure out what I want in the background(I have an idea but will share that another day).

Professional News
chuffed as punch :) which means

Building Up the Layers

It's slowly coming along, building up the layers and taking my time.I added batting to the hands and arms to give some dimension, old bits of lace for the sleeves and neckline,a button on the eye and decided to paint the pelvic wings (oil paint). She needs hair next and then I think I want to cut her out of the orange fabric and attach her to something like this below.

I cut out a piece

Experimenting: Collage, Paint and Embroidery

I'm playing with an old image just to experiment with. Figuring how to layer the paint and fabric etc was a little tricky. I painted the arms and then realized I needed to cut them out in white first and put them over the collaged black fabric. I embroidered the face after I added some black fabric for the nose and eye, cut it out, stitched onto the piece and then used acrylic colour wash

Beetoe Pees Here

JafaLad (namely Pierre), Karen, Teresa and I met up and yarnbombed today and I couldn't resist leaving this note in honor of JafaLad's Chihuahua Beetoe.

err, I did miss out one e, so Pierre had to squeeze it in , and then he added the arrow and yellow trail :) Karen sewed her quilted flowers onto my knitted/crochet patches, and Teresa added her beautiful knitting. So far I would say Knit


You know the types of haters, they have nothing nice to say or negate everything you do. It happens a lot when you're young, but even at my age I get it now and again, especially with any attention my work or public art projects get. I wonder if they ever realize how sad they look? I found this wonderful blog entry that I know is 2 years old but still very relevant called "Mean People Suck" and


Sketchbook Studies
I decided to experiment in my sketchbook with an image of my current embroidery piece and rename it."be normal"
I was thinking of our troops, of war zones and wondering how one can be normal after all this AND what is normal anyway? Is your normal my normal? How can one be normal after one,two, three tours of duty in a war zone, to see your family shot at a checkpoint, to see

The Queen of GewGaw: Aminah Robinson

You can see Aminah's World here and what an adventure.

Columbus, Ohio, artist Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson creates magical two- and three-dimensional works of art" using " traditional art materials with found objects and everyday materials such as buttons, cloth, leather, twigs, shells, and music box workings"
Aminah has an exhibit at the Springfield Museum of Art called "Along Water Street

E is for Eye on Yarnbombing and Chickens

and it's all about eye's lately

The Knit Knot Tree is back and if you live in town or plan to visit then bring a piece of your knitting or crochet to put on the tree. The measurements for the tree are on the Jafagirl blog, so get clickety clacking with those needles or crochet hooks.

I love this eye

On a more serious note: I am delighted to learn that in the uk battery(factory) farmed

D is for Discombobulated

My favourite American word is discombobulated which I seem to mutter frequently in the studio. It still stinks of dammar varnish which means I still have to demephitise the place for several days with my trusty hepa filter.Art Studio Safety Guide

Meanwhile in the Studio
My dexterous fingers are still at it, albiet a bit ragged since I never never never use a thimble. I've used a leather thimble

C is for Credit

A pal and I got it in the credits for crafting yummy sandwiches for the actors and crew during filming of this short film adapation of "love conquers all" by Irish writer Mike McCormick, thanks Vanessa.

unbeknownst to us until a couple of days ago the Knit Knot Tree was included in this book published in August
believe it or not
I am still surprised by the inclusion, but I guess us

B is for Bovvered

and bovvered I was. My daughter shared this stress reducer after my disastrous efforts to save a jar of venice turp resin (very very very very very SMELLY) from crashing to the floor in my studio. In the process I knocked over my cup of tea and dropped all my papers on the floor, arg!!!!!! All was not lost though, I decided I don't hate my effigy doll as much since I added hair, so I left the


Dr. Maya Angelou

I had a friend mention I should get over my art mood because after all I don't "have" to earn a living with it.
Nobody HAS to earn a living with art, that is a choice.
the need to create isn't
Just as talking and eating

She who ponders

Is she who scribbles in sketchbooks

and talking of sketchbooksSketchbook ProjectThe Art House Sketchbook Project made it into the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.Notethe doll is my wish doll made out of cloth, wire, my hair, leather, clay feetand wearing a Turkish evil eye bead (nazar bonjuk) on the wrist.and to my sonHAPPY BIRTHDAYDogum gunun kutlu olsun!

A duh moment

I wanted an incentive box to put by the treadmill (certain loved one's have said they will put a dollar in every time I use the treadmill for a given time) so I went to the shop to see if I could find something. I did and it cost $15 dollars and I'm thinking how ridiculous for me to spend money for a money box. That's when I had the duh moment, sheesh, I can recycle, I can make it myself using

Artistic License: Some have it and some don't

and I've got it

Yep, here it is.

I first saw it on BoingBoing and followed the link to the Evolution Control Committee to order my very own. Last week I actually had someone ask me if I had a license to put up the yarnbombing on the local pole. Oh if I only had my license on me then I would have whipped it out and said, "ah hah! as a matter of fact I do, uh huh, yes siree, here it

ChamberPot Gallery: A loo with a View

If you live in the area and can deliver an artwork to Yellow Springs for the ChamberPot Gallery then check out our website. We are putting out a call to artists for a semi permanent exhibit for June 2009. The theme is Yellow Springs and the work will stay up until it is sold or the artist wishes to remove it after a year.
I was really happy with the results of using CanvasPress for my "

Finding your inner Gargoyle

On St. Patricks day I found my inner gargoyle at Vitosha, petted George, yarnbombed graffiti alley with a new camo doll, bought Umberto Eco's book "ON UGLINESS", roamed Ann Arbor, ate Ethiopian Fare at the Blue Nile, drank a bottle of Champagne and then required assistance climbing into a HUGE four poster bed at the B&B.

It was a good St.Patricks day

I hope your's was too

May the best

Kippers and Drowning the Shamrock

Well I said I like my kippers and these are Scottish kippered herrings I picked up from my brit supply store. Sometimes it is nice to set a table with your fave breakfast on a fave piece of dinnerware (Woodfield by Steubenville from the 1940's on a fave piece of tatted lace made by a relative) instead of scarfing something down in the kitchen, at the computer or the usual kitchen table. I

What a Trifle

I hung an early sample of the dickie bird on "gulch gal" on Dayton Street for Free Art Friday

And Made a Spooky Trifle for a Dinner Party
Death by Chocolate and it is unfortunate that the sweetness did not sweeten the tongue of one of the guests. Yes folks an art work will result lol! Can you guess?

Radical Crafts
I am doing research on radical crafts for the exhibit our committee (I am part

Caravaggio Cheated

well, not really, he just did what many artists have done throughout history
Caravaggio used 'photography' to create dramatic masterpieces.

Amor Vincit Omnia by Caravaggio

There are many purists/art snobs who claim that the use of projector or a photograph is cheating and will dismiss the work of an artist who does use them. The interesting problem with that view is that they will have to

Why Art became Ugly

This writer has a theory and he makes some great points.
I read all the ism's and theories, I get it but I don't create with a thought about theories, truths, shocking , or making ugly images on purpose, etc.
Somebody on another blog made the statement
"Artists on the other hand think their plight is due to an uneducated public."
Maybe some do, but isn't that sort of buying into the theories

Sunday Snippets

I hung around town on Friday and got caught hugging a tree by "super" Dave (hey it was nice to meet you Dave), photographed a couple of things, ate a yummy sarni from the Emporium, and petted a ferret. I have never petted a ferret before and it was sooooooo sweet.

This is Romy Farrar with her pet ferret "grandpa".
She was very sweet to let me pet him and take a pic, thanks Romy.
This is what I

The Art of a Story

When was the last time you had someone tell you a story?Perhaps as a child as you drifted off to sleep?

I was invited by the Yellow Springs Storytellers, Jonatha & Harold Wright, to attend an event organized by Kevin Cordie (creator of the Story Box Project), and the guest storyteller was Native American Dovie Thomason . Little did I know at the time she is "an award-winning storyteller..

Going Green

and it's not because I'm Irish (well I am a wee bit).
Nope talking about

and thought I would introduce Green Girls Global
"an international blog about people from various different places with various different experiences, skills and interests talking about how they and people where they live are trying to live a more sustainable life."
Here is their Arts & Design section
oodles of GREAT

Tofu Stories

Tofu Stuffed Toy from Taiwan in Jafabrit's Kitchen

Madsilence did a really nice article titled " The Trouble with Tofu" and how Americans haven't been able to appreciate it. Check it out they have some great links for recipes.
I thought I would share a funny Tofu commercial from Taiwan my son sent me about tofu crying if people don't eat them.

Art House Sketchbook Project

Y is for Yarnbombing

Men's Throne Room
(also known as the ChamberPot Gallery)
at the Train Station,Yellow Springs, Ohio
Yep, the Jafagirls don't just yarnbomb, benches, posts and trees hee! hee! hee!

And NOW for something completely different
Food Porn Generates Passion
On the Menu: should you really photograph that food?
Bet you didn't know there was a term Food Porn? or did you? I didn't.
Well check out Food

Bad Manners

Are their lives that miserable!
So we are visiting the New Noodle place in the Greenecollective art project by the jafabrit clan
and it's PACKED, but we manage to find a table.
There were only four chairs and we needed one more
Ah hah! the next table has a spare one
So my son asks if we could have it
My goodness, her FACE
As she moved her coat off the chair she muttered under her

X is for X-rated


US activists, who were giving a talk in Turkey about the transformative power of art were criticized for naivete. Hurriyet Daily News

In regards to the US activists, their failure perhaps was not showing HOW art can transform by providing international and national examples. In general I find many underestimate the power of imagery until you start bringing up examples and issues of

W is for Window to Winter

winter view by c.bayrak
alphabet soup for W

U is for Under

As in under the acrylic tunnel at
Ripley's Believe It or Not Aquarium of the Smokies
this is a sawfish
alphabet soup U

Photography Issues

you witness something,
photograph it for the student newspaper you are working for and get charged.
For up to date info on censorship issues visit the blog for "The National Coalition Against Censorship" which " is dedicated to protecting rights and

R is for Rock

Graffiti Rock Bike Trail Yellow Springs, Ohio

Hum the need to leave our marks on rocks, walls goes back centuries doesn't it.

Talking about leaving our mark

What is Craftivism
This site describes it as "raising questions about the role and definition of craft and attitudes towards it as well as our relationship to, and implication in, the changing global conditions of trade through

Q is for quilt

As in quilted wood
This is a close up of a full size wooden quilt kimono I made based on a vintage 60's fabric one I bought in Dallas Texas many years ago. I did them in sections on mdf board that were then gessoed, painted, cut out and reassembled and then stitched together with coated wire.

The Boom is Over. Long Live Art.
I read this in the New York Times Sunday and anybody struggling

P is for Potato

reading art by corrine bayraktaroglu originally
posted on Jafabrit's Art. 

you for dropping by.

Repeat entry but I couldn't resist since today's letter is P and this made me laugh.
That is really one very sad looking tattie, potatoe, pitatie, spud, solanum tuberosum.

"Mrs. Neighbour" I says. "why do you have a grumpy potato on the shelf above the stove"? "eeeh, what are

O is for Oops!

I really didn't get a chance to do a photo for O LOL!
so instead you got an oldie pic titled "art snobs do me in"

Meanwhile somewhere in Ohio a new street sticker lurks

A posterized version of my felt anatomy piece

Well, err I am giving a blog radio interview today over at Dirty Footprints, EEK!!! Wish me luck :)

M is for Mouse

"give me the cheese"

Gosh who knew there were so many felt mice, they are just adorable.
I had two white pet mice once, my gosh what smelly little things, but very useful for releasing and scaring aunties' and babysitters.
My fave kind of mouse is a dormouse.
We had one that used to pop up his head behind the sink and watch mum wash the dishes when we lived in Hetton-le-Hole. Wasn't

L is for Lung

"it sucks"

I call it "it sucks" because I used to love smoking and had to quit cold turkey quite a few years ago. Yes, a disgusting habit but one I enjoyed on occasion.
It is a soft sculpture wall hanging and still a work in progress made out of felt (filled with fag ash and rice to weigh it down). At the top I will be adding lips for the felt fag.
Textile Arts
I found this at the Wooster

G is for Gum

Graffiti Alley Ann Arbor MI
photo by c.bayrak

Yes, there is such as thing as gum graffiti (gum walls)
Here is flickr set that shows how elaborate some can be.
Gum Wall of Seattle
Bubble gum alley in San Luis Obispo, California

Ben Wilson's Chewing Gum Miniature Art
then there is
Maurizio Savini who creates life size sculptures with chewed bubble gum

F is for Face

"austina powers"

I call this my austina powers look and it wasn't intentional. I seriously thought these glasses looked cool and thought I would take a pic (this is from a few years back). AND why didn't anybody tell me I had parsley between my teeth.
alphabet soup F
Sketchbook Project Page

"dead fred"
Actually I didn't know him well, but I knew his skull well.
I called him "dead fred"

D is for Doll


My uncle had me convinced that while I slept my dolls danced on the shelf all night long. I would try to trick them by pretending to be asleep and suddenly opening my eyes to catch them in the act. I tried desperately to stay awake pretending I was asleep but always falling asleep. I never did catch them out, I would wake in the morning and examine the shelf and yes they had moved

A is for Alley

As in an alleyway in Keith's Alley, Yellow Springs Ohio

Part of Pierre Nagely's mural on the right
Alphabet Soup project with Laughter Minute

Boo hoo! whaaaaaaaaaaa!
Due to the Economy, or lack thereof.
Yellow Springs lost a lovely little gallery this weekend.
The Nolaa Gallery, owned by jafagirl Jen, closed its doors this weekend.
Your wonderful little gallery and bright presence

Jan's got a Big Mouth


Photo of "keep your big mouth shut" by Jan JacksonSketchbook Project Page

This is Jan, one of the original JafaGirls (now in Albuquerque running her gallery Dreamscapes) and a photo I took of a piece of art she created for the "is it art" event Nancy, Deb and myself ran a few years back. The writing says "I never wanted Jan to keep her mouth shut-she rocks!"

I did a pencil drawing on

The business of being an artist and just being one

Business of Being an Artist involves working at it, you know like planning, promoting, selling marketing, being seen in galleries and exhibits, etc, etc etc. Some of it comes naturally, such as marketing in the sense that I have a joy of talking about art and sharing it however I am finding the rest of it so darned distracting and exhausting.

Being an artist.

I have had such joy doing

the language of trees


Little did I know when I was doing a page in the sketchbook of my dear friend and fellow Jafapal, Nancy, that growing up her families nickname for her was "tree".
Guess what my nickname was growing up, spuggy (as in sparrow, you know those little dickie birds that sit and nest in trees). Hum I just had visions of me sitting on Nancy, not sure she would like that LOL!
No wonder we had

Queen Gob

sketchbook project page
The Queen and The Drawing Teacher

"According to medieval beliefs gnomes were deformed,
usually with a hunchback and were led by a King called Gob."
Ha! More like Queen Gob
disguised as a chocolate box girl
sweet on the outside
poison on the inside
The gnome was her servant of intrigue
together they weaved mischief
and fed off its anguish
like parasites

Knit Knot Box

Photography by c.bayrak

Actually it is a story box that Nancy and I made for the Storybox Project being sponsored by the Yellow Springs Tale Spinners. We had so much fun putting this together. We decoupaged the yellow springs guide on the inside and I stitched a knitted pocket (a left over from the knit knot tree) inside to hold a cd.

How we made the box is by sewing a black felt casing

She walks in beauty

Claire's Eye by Jafabrit
Sketchbook Project Page

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens

Your Documents Please Exhibit in Berlin

Is now exhibiting at the Galerie Kurt im Hirsch, Berlin, Germany

January 9 - February 1, 2009

"ID therefore I AM"

Mr. Shit Pants

Sketchbook project page

I had a boyfriend once who asked me to marry him. His looks and his intellectual curiosity could not compensate for the creeping insults disguised

as wit or the ever increasing bouts of inebriation.

By the time “the incident” occurred I was ready to be done.

He became known as

Mr.Shit Pants

Blog Archive