Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Part of my class at Make It University!

Home from Quilt Festival in Houston

Holy cow! I'm just branching out all over the place - thinking that it won't be long before I sprout leaves!

My excursion to Houston to teach at Make it University! at the International Quilt Festival was really something! I am home, and now have the experience of teaching people who actually pay to hear what I have to say. Amazing!

The Quilt Festival was fun, and I have to admit that the vendors were my favorite part. Sure, there were some completely amazing quilts on display, but I was delightedly overwhelmed by the rows and rows of vendors, selling everything from foot massages to sewing machines and buttons. It was truly amazing, and I spent more money than I meant to - but what a blast!

Teaching was really great. I was terrified, but Pokey Bolton and Lindsey Murray (from Quilting Arts, etc.) made it fun and easy for this first-timer. Seeing my name on a board with some really well-known artists was a thrill, having my name in the program was great, and teaching eager students was marvelous!

Now I have to go about the business of dreaming up a new project so I can do it all over again next time!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Home from Art Camp for Women

I'm back!! I went to camp for the first time, and it was great! It was Art Camp for Women in the Colorado Rockies, near Winter Park, CO. Six days of nothing but an occasional glimpse of a man or two, great, chef-prepared food, and art. Did I say art? Why, yes I did! What a great opportunity to meet other like-minded women and do nothing but make art. I could get used to this! Especially the chefs, Ellen and Emily. They were fabulous!

I was able to get some new techniques down, and meet one of my favorite mixed-media artists, Kelli Nina Perkins. What a treat she is!

So, I'm already planning for another art camp for 2012. The question now is whether to go back to this one or try something new.

Hmm... I hear there's going to be one in Michigan in the spring!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Another Startling Discovery!

So, invigorated by my success at publishing (almost published I think), I ventured into the realm of teaching.

I received an email from my new-found friend and publisher, Lindsay Murray at Quilting Arts Magazine, indicating that anyone who wanted to apply could turn in an application to teach a class at "Make-It University" in Houston in November. This is part of the International Quilt Festival that is held in Houston each year, and from all accounts, is wildly successful. Me, being the sucker I am, thinks, "Sure. I'll complete a proposal to do something that I have absolutely no experience in and have no intention of going to. Why not? I won't be asked to teach anyway."

Fast forward a week later, and, of course, I have a message in my email from Lindsay asking me to teach a one-hour class at the Festival. There is no mention of payment of my expenses to get there, accommodations, food, supplies, etc. Just "C'mon down, pardner!" Me, being me, thinks about it for a microsecond: I have no money, no experience, no way to get there, I can't possibly do it."

After that brief pause ended, I, of course, started making travel plans and arrangements. I have absolutely no idea what awaits me, but WHAT AN ADVENTURE THIS IS GONNA BE!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Thursday thoughts...

Once again, I am guilty of ignoring my blog. I have good reasons for not being here, but none of them good enough to be away for almost two months. I'm not going to get anywhere like that...

So I believe my article in the magazine will be a reality. I keep thinking that something will happen and I will get the email that says "Oops, we're sorry. We left your stuff on the cutting room floor". But I don't think so. I got an email saying that the publishing date is approaching, and that they needed one more thing from me (a template). So, I guess it's for real.

We just put our wonderful dog, Ozzie, to sleep on Tuesday. It's so painful, but it was time for him to go. Anyone who loves a pet knows what I am talking about. No more pets for a while, but Dave is on a campaign for a cat. Cats get on tables and kitchen counters. Yuk! But they are cute, and can be sweet (when they want to be), unlike dogs, who are sweet 24/7. I see some meowing in my future. Train wreck... He may get his cat IF he agrees that I NEVER touch a little box, and if the cat can be hairless. I've had enough pet hair for a while!

Friday, July 15, 2011


Ok. Today's the day! I am sending my beads to Pokey Bolton to be featured (well, maybe not exactly "featured") in Quilting Arts' special magazine, International Quilt Festival: Quilt Scene. I have them packaged up and ready to go - sort of like sending a child off to college (ok, not quite that dramatic). But they are going all the way to the East Coast by themselves...

I have the article for the magazine ready and will email it to the editor today as well. I have reviewed it a thousand times and had it proofed by several friends who are much smarter than I. They like it, or like to humor me. Regardless, when I get the nerve to push the "send" button, it will be on its way as well.

Then, I sit back and wait for fame and fortune to find me. Or not...

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Exciting News! REALLY Exciting News!!!

So, the other day I'm in this really boring meeting and I decide to look at my iPad and check my email. In looking at my email, I saw a message from Pokey Bolton, the editor of Quilting Arts Magazine - one of my very favorite art magazines. After I closed my jaw, I opened the message, and found she was asking if I wanted to do an article for an upcoming issue of their specialty magazine, "International Quilt Festival: Quilt Scene". Again, I closed my jaw, and tried to hide the huge grin on my face (I was still in a meeting). Really? Me? Perhaps she had the wrong Lou Haines? No, I think it was definitely me since she attached the picture of my felt beads that I had emailed to her several months ago begging for a look.

So I immediately emailed her back and said I would be happy to do an article. Actually, happy doesn't quite describe it. I am over the moon! Now comes the hard work of coming up with what is needed by July 18th! Then waiting for the magazine to be published will be torture!

I am SO glad I bought new yarn for my beads while on vacation a couple of weeks ago (Nautical Yarns in Ludington, Michigan - GREAT yarn shop!). I'm so glad I have a good portion of this weekend to work on beads and an article. I'm so glad I'm throwing myself out there!

See? Sometimes it works!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A blog is like a child...

I am feeling pretty guilty these days. I have neglected my poor blog terribly, and I feel just awful. A blog must be nurtured and cared for in order to flourish, and my blog has sat forgotten for a while now.

Ok, I'm over it. No time for this blog guilt! It's just been very, very busy this spring.

So when I last blogged, I was preparing for my first art sale, and worrying about having enough inventory. I had more than enough as I made quite a few bracelets as I sat at the show all day. But the show/sale was very successful for me, and it was a great learning experience.

I made my first necklace last night with felt beads and sari silk ribbon. I still need to take a picture, but I think it actually looks pretty good. Lots of hot pinks and oranges.

We have another show/sale in September, so I will need to dream up some new things. I like the necklaces, and also need to figure out how to attach the felt beads to hair sticks as a few ladies expressed interest in those. So many things to do - so little time...

Monday, April 18, 2011

I Have Arrived!!!

Well, sort of ! My "calendar days" have been posted at "CreateMixedMedia", and there is a direct link to my blog if you click on one of the numbers. You absolutely MUST go take a look! The colors are a little different from my original artwork, but it's so completely cool to be on a page with so many other respected mixed media artists!

Here is the link to the website:

How cool is this??? Very cool... Very, very cool !!

Monday, April 11, 2011

My First Art Show and Sale!

So with everything else that's going on this month, at the end of the month I have my very first art show/sale here at Miami University in beautiful Oxford, Ohio! My bracelets even made the flyer! I'm pretty excited about this, and will have to put it in high gear to get all of the beads made into bracelets before April 30th. My friend, Anne, and I are sharing table space, and she has a beautiful sense of design when it comes to laying out her jewelry, pottery and stained glass, so I know she will find a great place for my bracelets too!

Can you tell I'm pretty excited about this?

I have finally finished my artwork that was needed for the site. I have had a few roadblocks thrown in this month, and I was just a little behind, but Tonia Davenport at North Light Craft was such a big help. My artwork will appear at the site from April 17th through April 23, 2011. I can't wait to see it, and I hope you will stop by to see the "calendar" on April 17th. Here's the website address:

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Branching Out

I finally picked up my watercolors tonight. I have been drawing recently, and signed up for an online watercolor class. I still haven't started the class, but I did open the colors and began messing around with my drawings. I would say that I am not totally disappointed. I have lots to learn, but I am happy that I am overcoming my fear of failure!

I painted one of the Zentangles I did last week, and it looks pretty good for a beginner. I also have my cow I drew from the instructions in Carla Sonheim's drawing lab book. It's incredibly goofy, but is a good example of what your eye sees and what your hand draws! You just look at a picture, and then without looking at the paper, you draw what you see. It's pretty funny, but at least I can tell it's a cow. I doubt anyone else can, but that's ok. I added a goofy eye and some watercolors - the eye did not help, but the watercolor saved the day!

I've been making progress on my calendar art. I still don't have it done, but it's not due until April 8th. So far, I'm happy with what I've got - if I could just make up my mind about what I want to do! I think, though, that I've finally decided and now need some more small canvasses. Perhaps a trip to Hobby Lobby is in the works for tonight...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Moving on this year

So I have decided to devote more time to art this year and less time to being unproductive. I have made some pretty good inroads so far. I have found that making my colorful and fun felt beads is a good way to spend time and develop my sense of color. Putting the bracelets together with regular spacer beads is getting easier too. I will have my bracelets in a show/sale in April, and that's a first for me. This is a good thing.

I have signed up for Judy Coates Perez's online color theory class and have Carla Sonheim's drawing book. I have a sketchbook and watercolor pads. I bought fabric paints and graphite pencils. I have been drawing a lot and have been teaching myself the art of Zentangles.

I have put aside my lampwork beads and felting. I did one art quilt which was a big success, but have not done another one. I am ok with going from one thing to another - as long as I learned from it.

As I have mentioned before, I have "friended" many artists on Facebook for whom I have lots of respect. I am learning from them and the links they provide, and I am learning to throw myself out into the world a little bit at a time.

From Facebook, I have found several online groups for mixed media art, and have joined each one. One of them, CreateMixed ( has a weekly calendar that displays artwork in the form of a calendar from different artists who belong to the group. Heretofore, it has been pretty well-known artists in this particular art world. However, a week or so ago, they opened it up to unknowns and wannabe artists like me. My week is April 17th-23rd, and I am scared to death! I know this is good for me, but it is so terrifying to think that something I made is going to be seen by real artists...

It's a learning experience, and I am going to figure out the perfect way to display my numbers. I just haven't thought of it yet! I will. By April 8th. My first publishing deadline. Hooray! :)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Creative Weekend

I spent Friday and Saturday nights this weekend making bracelets. I have a number of them now, and I need to decide whether to hold on to them until the art show in April, or to put them on Etsy to see if anyone is interested. I am getting more creative with the bracelets, and more creative with putting the beads together with fibers and seed beads.

I will try to take some pictures and post them soon, but I find the best place to take pictures is in my office - I guess because the lighting is better than at home.

I really like my new camera for taking close-ups. It's just a point and click, but it's more than good enough for me.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Visions from a Mixed Media Desk: Home from the bead show...

Visions from a Mixed Media Desk: Home from the bead show...: "Anne and I went to the 'Intergalactic Bead Show' today. Starting early, we had breakfast at First Watch (unbelievably good). On to the sh..."

Home from the bead show...

Anne and I went to the "Intergalactic Bead Show" today. Starting early, we had breakfast at First Watch (unbelievably good). On to the show at the Sharonville Convention Center in Cincinnati. We found a good parking spot, which knowing how our feet would hurt by the time we left, was a good thing.

We walked in after signing up to receive emails from this bunch for the rest of our lives. I did not give them my phone number.

When we walked in the show area, it was instant shock and awe. Neither of us have been to a bead show before, and it was just amazing. Completely overwhelming just by the sheer size of the exhibits. We patrolled up and down the aisles for a couple of hours (we were very methodical) and found our fair share of treasures.

Anne does this because she actually uses the beads. I do it because I have a serious problem with stash! Tonight, I will start taking things out of bags and looking at them lovingly. Then the beads will go back into the bags until I need to take them out and look at them again! A great day was had by all.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

And Speaking of Rowan Hall...

While I was cruising the web trying to find a picture of little Rowan Hall, I found the most interesting article regarding protests at Miami University in April 1970. This was, as the article sets out, right before the Kent State University killings. I had no idea that Rowan Hall had once been the ROTC Hall. It sure has changed (and is about to be demolished for a new student center).

I couldn't get the link to work correctly, so here is the article by Dr. Phillip Shriver:

1970, Vietnam War Protests:
Anti-Vietnam War protests reached their zenith in the spring of 1970 when the ROTC offices and classrooms in Rowan Hall were occupied in a sit-in on April 15. After the Kent State shootings in May, 720 American universities closed. Miami was one of them. We closed for a week. When we reopened, it was with a plan for pass or fail grades to replace letter grades for students who opted for that alternative.

It was something you lived day by day, night by night. We had students from campuses that were closed coming to our campus, camping out in tent cities at the edge of campus, north and south. Many of them from Antioch College, and they were out to close other schools.

We had seven fires one night on campus. I received a number of death threats, and I even had a Molotov cocktail left on the front porch of Lewis Place.

It was a very difficult time, but I would say that we had a lot of cooperation from students and faculty. We closed and when we reopened, we had 930 students with the faculty standing guard in our buildings so if any fires did break out, we could get an almost instantaneous response.

Their objective at Miami was to close down the ROTC and the Air Force and the Navy as a military presence on the campus, and my argument was … far better to have the military on a civilian campus where they’re interacting with students with varying opinions day after day than to put them exclusively in a West Point or Annapolis or out in Colorado, the Air Force Academy, where all they do is talk to each other.

The flush-in was one of the events that spring. The flush-in was a terrible, terrible experience. Never forget Bill Beck calling when they had the flush-in. He said, “Dr. Shriver”… he always called me Phil, but this time Dr. Shriver … “the water in my basement is up to the piano keys.” That water was suddenly dumped on the town. When they all flushed, it had to go somewhere, pipes couldn’t carry it away. And the town immediately reacted. “This has gone far enough.” Enough is enough, so it boomeranged.

After that experience in the spring of ’70, we moved the ROTC down to Millett Hall. It was no longer in the center of the campus and not quite as visible as it had been before.

A Night at Rowan Hall

Ah... How could I have been away so long? Tonight, my dear friend, Anne, and I reinstated our commitment to make art one time a week at Rowan Hall. Rowan is at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio - not the University of Miami (Florida). Anne and I both work day jobs at Miami, and discovered Rowan Hall a couple of years ago when taking a class on making lampwork beads during a wonderful opportunity called "CraftSummer". Anyway, we had slowly gotten away from our lampworking, and tonight decided to go back to Rowan. It was wonderful. Anne sat and worked the torch, and I sat and cut felt for my beads. We talked a little, but mostly listened to the torch's blue flame and my scissors cutting away. The usual characters filtered in and out tonight, making it even more like home - Leah and Dave were there. The bus drivers came in to take a potty break, and the artist-in-residence came in to work late into the night. The usuals.

I am not so interested in making lampwork beads anymore (at least not right now), but I am interested in our warm, quiet nights spent huddled together in quiet creativity. I have missed Rowan, and am happy to be back. See you next week, friends...

Monday, February 14, 2011

Finally decided what to do with my beads!

I have finally decided that my felt beads need to be bracelets - at least some of them! I am still perfecting the method and how to do it, but I am pretty satisfied with the first results. Let me know what you think!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Ok - last post for today

So, I decided that I would start following some of my favorite artists on Facebook, and was pleased to discover that most of them are there, and that they are willing to accept "friend" requests from total strangers. Now I am connected with these pillars of mixed media art, and the information that they post on Fb. It's sort of surreal to be reading posts from these people, and then look on your bookshelf and see books with their names on them.

I have actually had one artist (probably my favorite mixed media artist, Kelli Nina Perkins) comment on my felt beads. That expanded my head a little! I've also been in touch with several other artists to ask questions or comment on a post they made. It's so great to have these resources and inspiration right at my fingertips. The down side is that I spend WAY too much time on the computer.

A few more Fabulous Felt Beads

Ok, I can't resist sharing just one more picture of the felt beads! They are just so much fun to make!

My Fabulous Felt Beads!

My latest passion - felt beads. They will make a pretty bracelet, necklace, or I have used them in an old jar (just to look at). If you love color, you will love these!
This is a cupcake pincushion (designed by Betz White) and a couple of old spools which I have decorated with grosgrain ribbon and buttons. They are good-for-nothing, but so cute!

Hello World

So I guess since I have business cards, I should have a blog. A blog to post all of my successful ventures into the world of art. Hmmm...

So far, I've only made art (is that the correct name?) for my friends and family. I seem to collect art supplies a lot more than I create art. I go from one project to another every couple of weeks. Even so, my need to create and learn about art seems to be growing stronger. I assume that's a good thing.

So, I thought I would start this blog so that I can say I have one in case anyone ever wants to know. (Doubtful, but just maybe...)