Evie's Ark, All Things Animal
One feisty redhead, her two adorable cats, and a whole lot of painting and sewing!
Welcome to Evie's Ark, All Things Animal! Since 2001.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Quilt class, part deux

So this morning was the second session for my quilt class that was given to me as a Christmas gift. After mastering last weekend's lesson, I decided that I wanted to try something a bit more difficult. I did some research online for various quilt block patterns. I wanted to learn how to do the "triangle technique," so when I came across the Crown of Thorns block... ding, ding, ding, I knew I had a winner! Again, I arrived at class with a tote bag full of fabrics in a variety of colors and patterns. And here is the magic that I created!

The yellow fabric has tiny bumble bees on it. It must be one of my favorites because I have a stash of about 5 yards of it, even after using it in a variety of crafts! The above block will be used with the lamb panel below.

This baby quilt will be available at the Textile art show to be held at Side Show Studios in April 2009.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What's so scary about that?

Last night was our Scary-Craft Night of the Creators! Once a month, everyone is invited to come on down to Side Show Studios for a night of all things crafty.

When I arrived, Char's mom and Krissi were already hard at work creating fabulous art. Char's mom was busy covering a cigar box with fabric. It was a super cute idea! Now, if only I could get my hands on some cigar boxes, I could go to town!

Krissi worked on finishing up two pieces that she had in the works. Here she is with her Skele-dog Lulu, who is Alyson's pup. Krissi also worked on her piece for Side Show's Body art show coming up in a few weeks. I can't wait to see her final pieces!

I put the final touches on my organic catnip toys that the students at the Art Academy helped assemble. It was easy breezy after all of the small child free labor! These catnip toys will be used to fill an order placed by Zoey's favorite pet sitter!

Later that evening, Jared dropped by to work on his creations - re-painting miniature Christmas nutcrackers. And he did it sooo Jared style! All the while, he didn't mind that Krissi and I were catching up on our girl talk!

If you'd like to join us for Scary-Craft Night of the Creators, feel free to come on down next month. It's a free craft night held every last Tuesday night from 6-9pm at Side Show Studios.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Catnip - it's not what you think it is

Today was our big demonstration day at Creative Connections Arts Academy! We were scheduled to be at the school, set up, and ready to go by 8am. So I was so thankful that when Cy arrived at my house to carpool, she brought what I lovingly refer to as "huge-ass" mochas!

After we set up each of our stations in the Dragon's Lair Art Gallery, we were able to visit with each other for a bit before the hoards of children arrived. Here's Cy trying out Lisann's needle punch felting machine.

Dy gets ready to show off her hand beading and lace work used on her one-of-a-kind costumes.

Kim prepares her fabric creations.

The plan for the morning was that over a course of 4 hours, each grade would enter the gallery for a 20 minute demo. It was fast-paced with a small group rotating to visit each of the five stations. I was pleasantly surprised at the students' enthusiasm and articulate questions.

Cy's demo explained how she presses the laundry lint from her dryer until it becomes paper-like. She then showed how she carves images out of wood blocks, applies ink with a roller, and presses it onto the lint canvas. The students were fascinated with her ability to re-use something that most people would just toss into the garbage.

I did a demonstration of my Evie's Ark organic catnip toys. I shared my stencil templates and showed how easy it is to trace the shape onto the backside of the fabric and cut it out with pinking shears. Quite a few of the students had taken sewing classes, so they understood what I meant by "whipping each piece of fabric through the sewing machine." The students had a lot of questions about the 1-pound bag of organic catnip that I brought with me. Along those same lines, I'm always overly cautious about driving anywhere with a gallon size bag of catnip because it looks so much like, well, you know! The younger students said the catnip smelled like their hamster's cage. The 8th graders just looked at the bag and giggled.

Here's a photo of the students who helped me to stuff Fiberfill into the pre-sewn cat toys. They were very cheap labor and I was thankful for the help!

Throughout the morning, we did demos for nearly 350 students. And boy, were we beat, even after our mochas! Overall, the morning was a blast. I hope that we inspired a few young minds.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Only a million more to go...

For Christmas, my dad gave me the gift of a 2-day quilt class. I was very excited because even though I have been sewing for more than 7 years, I had never had any "formal" quilt training. I wasn't sure what to expect from the teacher, and I had a rather difficult time understanding the class supply list. You see, I am a very visual person. If you give me a picture, I can create it or paint it. But if you hand me a page of text, my eyes quickly glaze over. So I proceeded to fill my tote bag with a variety of my favorite fabrics from the stash in my studio and then I headed off to class.

The JoAnn's in Citrus Heights has a small area set aside in the corner of the store for their sewing and craft classes. Large tables, ample lighting, extension cords that hang from the ceiling so that they are nicely kept out of the way. And the best part, they provide you with a loaner sewing machine - a Singer. I was able to quickly learn my way around the Singer, but must confess that I madly love my Bernina and wouldn't part with it for anything in the world!

There were only two of us in the class, so we had lots of one-on-one time with our teacher, Pinky. I showed her my fabric stash and explained that I needed to finish a baby quilt for my best friend's son. I had been struggling with this project, which is why it has yet to be completed even though Baby Jack just recently celebrated his first birthday. So we decided to do a basic 9 patch block using the green dots and blue swirls fabrics. Each square is a teensy one inch piece of fabric, so the cutting and sewing was very time consuming. But I'm a huge fan of the "assembly line method" and once I got the basic concept down, there was no stopping me! Here's a piece of the 9 patch that I completed in class. It's already several hundred little, tiny squares!

Jack's nursery was decorated in farm animals. So when I found the panel below, I did cartwheels in the fabric store. The blue and green 9 patch blocks will surround this panel.

The yellow paw print fabric will also be incorporated into the quilt, perhaps to help break up the 9 patch blocks and as the quilt backing. I just loved the idea of little animals paws walking across the quilt!

So I'm many hours into this baby quilt creating a million little green and blue squares. It's been such a huge learning experience already. And I can't wait to see how beautiful it will look when it is finished. I only hope that it will be done before the baby is driving!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Obama kitty!

Zoey voted for Obama and it shows! She was glued to the TV all day today watching the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States of America!

You can also Obamatize your own photo at www.obamicon.me.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Birds in art

For this month's Second Saturday Art Walk, I was thrilled to be asked to participate in another Animal Protection Institute fundraiser. This art show, done in conjunction with Born Free USA, was held at Body Tribe, right smack in the hub of the Sacramento art walk scene.

Here's my art on display. With two art shows booked this month, I was thankful that I already had three bird paintings in my secret art stash. So I was happy to contribute these to the fundraiser.

At one point in the evening, a lovely gentleman came up to the front table to purchase of piece of art - mine! He loved my "Optimistic Owl." When I asked him if the piece was for himself or as a gift for someone, he replied that he wanted the pink and purple owl for his own home because the vibrant colors made him happy. That just melted my heart! It's always so moving to meet the person who becomes one of your collectors.

Throughout the evening, I snapped a few photos of some of the very inspirational art on display.

Char Hall.

Here are the lovely ladies from Puppy Bird. Monica (right) did an amazing job coordinating all of the details for this art show.

Claire's Chicken Pants plushies were the night's biggest hit! She had a constant stream of traffic at her booth all night long!

Later in the evening, Mary and Tiffany dropped by for a visit. Mary wants to know - how many licks?

Vox Sacramento grand reopening!

Vox Sacramento recently moved its gallery location across the river to West Sacramento. And what better way to celebrate a grand reopening than with a reunion show? So Vox invited all of the artists who have ever shown in their gallery to participate in this Second Saturday celebration.

My friend Emily came over and we went to the art show opening reception together. Since I had dropped my art off at Jill's office, I had yet to see the new Vox space. And I was very pleasantly surprised! It's a huge, open space with ample room for art viewing. The Vox team built portable art walls to be able to accommodate all of the art. Check it out.

Here's my art on display. These are part of a series called "Frank Sinatra Girls," all painted while listening to good ol' blue eyes himself!

I snapped a few pictures of some of our favorite pieces of art on display.

Hannah Moore.

Ben Walker.

And look who we ran into! Deborah Barba, Emily Cole, and Amy Fort.

Jill Allyn Stafford.

Jared Konopitski.

Since we were splitting the night between my two art shows, we had to hit the road just as the bands were starting to play. Here's the crowd enjoying the music.

Wish we could have stayed longer, but there is never enough time on a Second Saturday! Can't wait for my next art show at Vox!

Friday, January 9, 2009


Last year, I recommended that fellow River City Quilters' Guild member Kim Brownell submit her art to the Taking Textiles Seriously art show at Side Show Studios. She kindly returned the favor with a unique opportunity for me!

I was flattered to be one of five artists invited to participate in the Fibertastic Textile Show at Kim's daughter's school, the Creative Connections Arts Academy in North Highlands. This charter school's mission is "to inspire students to extraordinary achievement every day through arts." Each month, the school features a different medium in their on-campus art gallery, the Dragon's Lair.

Today, we hung our art for this show. Here is a photo of some of my pieces - fabric wall hangings created from batiks, and of course, my Evie's Ark organic catnip toys!

Here's fellow artist, Cy Wylie, doing her best "bunny face" next to her dryer lint and block stamp art hangings!

Kim poses next to her art.

This piece was created by another RCQG member, Lisann Spencer.

Here's the wall mural outside of the Dragon's Lair Art Gallery - very cool!

Later in the month, we'll do a demonstration for the students who attend this one-of-a-kind school. Can't wait!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Happy birthday, Baby Jack!

One year ago tomorrow, my best friend Lori and her hubby Tom welcomed their first child! Jack Constantine Putnam was brought into the world on January 9, 2008. He actually arrived two days early and it's a good thing because he was a whopping 9 pounds and 21 inches!

Here is Jack's newborn photo - don't you just love his Johnny Cash hair!

And Jack today - look at how big he is! Me thinks he'll likely be driving soon....

Happy first birthday, Baby Jack! I wish I could be there to help you eat cake!

Love, Auntie Evie

Aves: A Celebration of Birds in Art

As authored by me and published by Sacramento Press at: http://www.sacramentopress.com/headline/1949/Aves_A_Celebration_of_Birds_in_Art

Sacramento's fourth annual bird show, Aves: A Celebration of Birds in Art, will be held this Saturday, January 10 from 6-10pm. This local art show is part of the National Bird Day events, which raise awareness of the plight of birds in captivity and in the wild. This fundraiser for Born Free USA united with Animal Protection Institute will be held at Body Tribe located at 920 21st Street in Midtown Sacramento.

Each year, millions of birds are captured from the wild or produced in captivity for commercial profit or human amusement, only to languish in conditions that fail to meet the instinctive behavioral and physical needs of these wild animals. The focus of National Bird Day is to raise public awareness of these birds' conditions. The goal is to foster a commitment to improve the lives of birds in captivity and to support efforts aimed at protecting birds in the wild.

Monica Engebretson, Senior Program Associate for Born Free USA united with Animal Protection Institute further shares that, “National Bird Day is not only a good time to appreciate the native wild birds flying free outside our windows, it is also a perfect time to reflect on how we treat the native birds of other countries. While we have enacted laws to protect our native birds -- such as blue jays, cardinals, and crows -- from commercial exploitation, we fail to recognize the inconsistency in allowing the pet industry to exploit the birds of other countries.”

Sadly, nearly 12 percent of the world’s 9,800 bird species may face extinction within the next century and millions of captive birds lead miserable lives languishing in cages. Born Free USA united with Animal Protection Institute strives to change those staggering statistics through various community awareness events such as the annual Bird Show, the annual Circus Show & Other Atrocities, and the upcoming fur free fashion competition in coordination with E-magazine.

Participating artists in the Sacramento Aves: A Celebration of Birds in Art show include: Alison Murphy, Ben Poulson, Caia Koopman, Carol Rogala, Char Hall, Cheryl Root, Craig Martinez, Cy Wylie, Evie Turner, Krissi Sandvik, Laurelin Gilmore, Mark Fox, Melodee Strong, Nicole Fox, Olivia E. M. Hansen, Steve Offerman, Sue Dedina, Tj Lev, and many others. Each artist will donate a portion of their art sales to Born Free USA united with Animal Protection Institute.

Aves: A Celebration of Birds in Art
Benefiting Born Free USA united with Animal Protection Institute
Saturday, January 10, 2009 from 6-10pm
Body Tribe @ 920 21st Street (between I & J)

For additional information, visit http://www.bornfreeusa.org/ and http://www.nationalbirdday.com/.

"Always Hope" by Evie Turner

"Optimistic Owl" by Evie Turner

"Overwhelmed Owl" by Evie Turner

By Char Hall: