Friday, May 30, 2008

Pope John Paul XXIII

The last block received is a beautiful tribute to Pope John Paul XXIII, a man who contributed much not only to the Catholic Church but to many around the world. This square was done by Serena of
Although Pope John XXIII was Pope for only 5 years, he is noted as the most popular and beloved Popes in the history of the Catholic Church. Through his many Councils, he was successful in bringing the religion to the people of today through his many changes of outdated customs and theory's. He also reached out to all other religions which he found was the basis of our own theology. Since his beatification (the process of being a saint) he is now known as "Blessed John XXIII".
This was a nice conclusion to a project which began 6 months ago, and now is completed. I am sure many of you who submitted your quilt squares so many months ago probably think I may have forgotten you; but each quilt, a work of art in itself, will be given the honor and love that was brought forth from each of you. Unfortunately many of those who originally had signed up for the Triumph and Tragedy Quilt decided not to submit something, but what I have received will be assembled into two beautiful works of art. I really do wish to thank all of you (I will be listing each participant with a picture of their contribution on my blog within a few days). In the meantime, I hope you all have been following the progress as I have received each block and immediately posted it here for all to see.
Sorry Serena, I didn't mean to take away from your glory - so I have posted your square of Pope John Paul XXIII to share with all. Again, thanks much for everyone bringing forth to our consciousness, their imaginative talents on a subject that meant something specifically to them, and has been a subject of importance to not only us, but most of the World.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Tragedy: The Oklahoma Bombing

Who can ever forget the day of the Oklahoma Bombing. At 9:02 am on April 19,1995, I think the world stopped, as every news bulletin announced the bombing of the Oklahoma Government Building. 168 people were pronounced dead, 19 of them small children who had just been dropped off at the day-care center in the building. The one memory that always stays in my mind, as well as most other people, is the tragic picture of the Fireman coming out of the building with a small infant, one of the many casualties of that day. Cassie of "" choose that picture to memorialize the Oklahoma Bombing as a symbol of a Tragedy that many cannot forget. It is a beautiful addition to our Tragedy Quilt.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Artisan World-Catalogue II

This is a copy of my add from "Artisan World" Catalogue II. This is the second Catalogue put out by; two very talented artisans, Oded and Ilan and their assistant, Ev - of whom I have written about often throughout my blog. About 80,000 catalogues are distributed throughout the world to different artists, jewelers, etc. - I wish them and all those whose ad's are represented in this beautiful Catalogue.

ps - Besides doing the Introduction & Bio once again, I was asked to write a 2-page article on the different types of art today; many of which correlate back almost 2,000 years.
Art: In an Artisan World
“Art is something that makes us more thoughtful and inspired.” When people use the term “Art”, what generally comes to mind is “visual art”; basically anything that stimulates the human senses, as well as the human mind. It is a way of communicating inner thoughts, emotions, and feelings through the many forms of the artistic world. Aristotle’s philosophy of art is classically defined as “that which when seen, pleases. Pleasure is the final cause of beauty and thus is not a means to another end, but an end in itself.”
Artisan World’s second catalogue’s goal is to bring to the consumer a “visual art” based on a particular artist’s ideas, experiences, emotions, expressions, and beliefs. These creations show beautiful, thought-provoking works in which the artist presents his own skills and techniques. The “visual expression” of their talents and ideas are then channeled into a creative piece which reaches out to the emotions of its admirer. As you view this Catalogue, remember that this is only a catalyst through which the imagination of each artist is brought forth, and a chance to experience the many varied forms of “artisans” today.
Art can be defined in many ways. “Fine art”, refers to those paintings whose sole purpose is to exist; while “decorative art”, is that which brings to life art in a practical form to ordinary objects of everyday life. Decorative art uses specific mediums in the creation of jewelry, textiles, woodworking, sculpting, and other creative works of art. Within this realm of what we call “decorative art” is another form called “encaustic art”, which dates back over 2000 years to Greek and Roman times.
Looking at a painting, think of how the artist uses the blending of colors or his brush. Different strokes of the brush, define different emotions that the particular artist may be feeling at that time. An artist using dark bold colors may reflect inner turmoil or a more forceful personality; an artist using delicate colors and stokes is emoting an inner sense of calm and beauty. All defined as “fine art”. “Craftsmanship” is an art which involves working with specific metals, such as gold, silver or copper to create pieces of jewelry or sculptures; a reflection of the person working to make a particular artistic form. “Encaustic art” dates back to ancient times when hot liquid colors were applied to walls by means of heated irons. Today, encaustic painting is produced through a process in which the colored wax is permanently ‘burned’ into an absorbent backing such as plaster, canvas or some woods while using special irons, or scribing tools. Many of the artists then design their work into an ACEO (Art Card Edition & Original).
A new subject gaining popularity among some artisans is referred to as “Eco-art”, which is defined by the ecological impact of the environment, in relation to the artist. The eco-artist will convey a particular artwork based on the defilement of the earth’s own environment. As one artist put it, “one person can make a difference; and character and environment are everything.” They find encouragement in creating new life for would-be discards. Another word describing this type of artwork would be “recycling.” “Graffiti Art” is another modern art form which can again be traced back to
Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire. The graffiti artist will make use of materials consisting mainly of spray cans and markers to design elaborate wall paintings. Sometimes graffiti is employed to communicate social and political messages. To some, it is an art form worthy of display in galleries, while others consider it a form of vandalism. It is all in the eyes of the beholder!
A “polymer clay” artist uses various techniques to mold clay into a workable art. Although called clay, it is not something found in the earth, but is a polyvinyl chloride plastic. Tiny grains of the PVC are mixed with plasticizers and pigments to form the clay; then baked at the proper temperature forming a solid mass. Once the artist has found the right texture they need, they then design the clay into various creations. These creative art forms are in contrast to what we accept as conventional art, but in the end, all mediums of art convey the artists’ mental, moral, and imaginative experiences from within.
"Art is form and content”. “Form” takes on the elements of art, principles of design, and the physical materials that the artist uses. “Content” conveys what the artist meant to portray, and what he did portray. As you view this second edition of the “Artisan World” catalogue, you now have a better sense of the various techniques that the artists have used; their materials, their thoughts, their personalities, and the vision of the creation they wish to portray to you, the viewer.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Tragedy&Triumph: Adoption

For those of you who have thought we have forgotten about this project, I am about to begin the final stage of The Tragedy & Triumph Quilt Project.
"An ADOPTED Child is a BELOVED child"
This beautiful and poignant heart symbolizing Adoption was done by Heather of "". The heart in the center of the square represents the love for the adopted child by both the adoptive and biological parents. The two sides of the heart represents the two sets of parents, while the smaller heart represents the child. The pearl on the red side of the heart (directly opposite the tiny heart of the child) represents the tears and joys experienced by both sets of parents.
Around the heart are actual quotes, including the quote above, are from families involved in actual adoptions. Another beautiful quote is: "A Birthmother puts the needs of her child above the wants of her Heart. This square is not only beautifully done, but so beautiful in thought!

Thank you Heather.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

May Favorites

From My Shop

The Orphan Act Legislation-Update

Thursday, 15 May 2008
The Orphan Act: Update a/o May 14, 2008
by guest writer Pamela Baker

On April 29, 2008, I had an articled published by Sara’s “Crafts of Texture” regarding the Orphan Act, which I have since copied to my blog: When I first did the Article on The Orphan Act, I was quite unaware of its existence, or more importantly, it’s ramifications to all artists (painters, quilters, weavers, jewelers, potters, knitters, etc), basically anyone whose artistic is a masterpiece unto their own. Another Estian, Diane Clancy, was the first one to bring it to my attention. She also has a few articles which would be of great interest to read for those whose are still in the dark with this issue: This link will also provide a petition to sign opposing this Legislation. Diane and I have had our controversy’s with other artists who do not believe that this enactment will be presented as a bill (they feel it is just hearsay!) or that it will affect any of us. Well it has! And it does!On April 24, 2008, the Orphan Works Act was introduced into the U.S. House and Senate. These two bills are cited as the ‘‘Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008’’, and the Orphan Act of 2008.

Currently, copyright is granted the moment a work is created. The Orphan Act Legislation proposes a change in U.S. copyright that would require artists, illustrators, photographers, and any creative individual to actively maintain and defend their copyright by registering each and every work with privatized registrars. Failure to do so would leave everything you’ve ever created as an artist up for grabs by anyone who wanted to copy, reproduce, create derivative works of, or flat out steal your work since the act defines an “orphan work” as any work where the author is unidentifiable or unlocatable, and applies to both published and unpublished works, U.S. and foreign, regardless of age.I am sure that many of you who are reading are thinking how does this affect me; I am just a self-employed person with artistic abilities who sells my work over the internet. One that piece of work is placed onto an Internet site; it now becomes the full domain of any person who wishes to copy your originality. A good majority of people who see a painting, design, photograph, etc. will not take the time to research its original ownership, or see how long along this work was published. This is where you as the artist should be concerned, and unfortunately the Legislation of the Orphan Act of 2008, does not protect you as an individual. You can and should do your part to protect yourself and your fellow artists by following a few of the suggestions by the:
So far over 31, 000 letters have gone out from our Orphan Works advocacy site. You will findanswers to a few of the main questions asked:1. Q: What can we do next?Write the House Judiciary Committee. We’ve set up a special alert to contact members of this important committee. Go to our Take Action/Alert site: Look for the sample letter labeled “Contact House Judiciary Committee NOW” and send it.If your Representative is not a member of the House Judiciary Committee, this will send him a message asking him to contact his colleagues of that Committee on your behalf, urging them to oppose the bill.2. Ask for support from family and friends who support your creative work to also go to the site. They can follow the instruction to easily send a message of opposition to this reckless bill. Look for the sample letter labeled “For Supporters of Visual Artists - Wrong to Weaken Copyright Law” and send it.3. Spread the word to the public: Photosharing on Web will now be at risk: Please alert your friends who post photos to the web their personal property will be at risk. Look for the sample letter labeled “For the Image-Making Public - Protect Personal Property”and send it.We all need to start somewhere and these suggestions are a start to block this Legislation from becoming a Bill. We need to start now to protect ourselves and our work. If we don’t act now, what can we look forward to tomorrow.
By Guest Writer Pamela Baker

The full text of the Senate version of the 2008 Orphan Works bill (S.2913) is now available and SenatorPatrick Leahy's introduction of the bill has been posted on his website.[9]Section 3 introduces the idea of a Database of Pictorial, Graphic, andSculptural Works and states: "The Copyright Office must create and undertake acertification process for the establishment of electronic databases of visualworks. Certain requirements for any such registry are prescribed. The CopyrightOffice will post a list of all certified registries on the Internet."
I have to say the copyright laws as I understand them in the UK, do already suggest that every design and its colourway, theme and 'make' variations are copyrighted if you require full protection... Whereas the copyright of an idea always leaves a grey area when it comes to contesting a design's origin, sometimes leading to long and costly court cases (which is an implausible worry for most businesses). So the idea of a copyright register is not necessarily a bad idea... It does however cause problems for the small business or home crafter, who may not have the money to complete registration for every single item they lovingly produce (especially OOAK work - one of a kind).The problem of copyright infringement is not a new one, although the concept of 'Orphaned Works' has huge ramifications for today's on-line world where technology is fast outstripping laws and safe practices in terms of speed and development. From a fashion design perspective (which is my background), you can already see on the high street alone that 'copying' is rife, even in a looser sense of the term. Therefore as artists are we not prone to 'borrowed' ideas already, as much as it hurts our pride and indeed our businesses?I do feel the most important thing we can do as on-line sellers of arts and crafts (as well as opposing, or seeking more preferable amendments to such bills/laws as 'Orphan Works), is to start adding copyright 'watermarks' to our product/artwork images (completed or otherwise) before we post them to forums, social networks and shopping sites. That way it is clear where the design came from and the year it was created. Should you then wish to follow through on any unlawful copyright infringement, you the 'originator' will at least have some power to authenticate your claim. At the moment I see far too many photos of works that are unmarked by the artists... these could all easily be 'borrowed' for someone else's gain. Remember even if the
text accompanying the photo in question contains details of the author/origin of the work. The photo itself can be downloaded separately from any blog, social network, forum, search engine and some websites... in these cases if a photo is unmarked it could easily be reused in another way without any credit to it's origin, becoming an 'Orphan Work'.To me the key here is primarily in the education of artists and crafters who live an on-line existence, to protect themselves and their work first and fore mostly... Copyright infringement does exist and will always exist, regardless of bills/laws. Do not give those who will an open invitation to your hard work and lively hood!
Posted by Sara's Texture Crafts
Labels: Craft Business, Guest Writer Articles

Monday, May 5, 2008

An American Hero

A few weeks ago I discovered what makes a true "American Hero". This is about Sergeant Merlin German, a young man who graduated Woodland's High School with my sons, Keith and Ryan in June 2003. Voted Home Coming King, Merlin entered the Marine's soon after graduating. Within a year of joining the Marine Corps, he had the distinction of being the first Private First Class to ever attend the Machine Gunner's Course. In the first 6 months of his deployment, Sergeant German had remarkably found 8 IED (improvised explosive devises).
On February 21, 2005 Merlin's squad was on a mission from Jordan to Baghdad, when their Humvee was struck by a gas-fed explosive. He was blown clear of the vehicle, and when found had been burned over 97% of his total body. Given no chance of survival, he was transferred to an Army Medical Unit in San Antonio, Texas. With that 3% chance of survival, Merlin made it his motto - "Got 3% Chance of Living- What you gonna do?"
Sergeant German fought bravely for a little more than 3 years before he passed away on April 11, 2008. Instead of worrying about his own survival, he developed his dream during that time. It was a vision of starting a burn unit for children called "Merlin's Miracles". During this time
Sgt German never once lost his sense of humor; and what makes me even prouder was to see all his friends (many of whom I have known since they were very young) stand by him through his whole ordeal. Merlin even designed his own t-shirt which on the front was his "3% motto" and on the back lists his ideals, and then signed the shirt. The proceeds of his special shirt will go to help fund his dream "Merlin's Miracles". To me and all his classmates who showed up at his Memorial the other evening at their High School, he exemplifies a true American Hero.
His foundation can be found at