Posts from the beaks of Meg’s bird characters

busy busy busy

I am neglecting everything I ‘should’ be doing and learning illustrator. The more I learn the more I love it! I hope to be churning out some patterns with Illustrator soon, I am absolutely loving the process of learning and knowing I’m putting my time to good use. Here are some practice bits that took me far longer than they look like they should have.

This time of year, for the last 4 years, I’ve also waded hip deep into costume making for a theater production. This year I’m responsible for dressing the orphans for a production of Annie. That means 7 nightgowns, 7 day dresses with smocks and bloomers and 6 simple party dresses. I thought I had it all under control but then I looked at the calendar… I have about 2 weeks to get that worked out (fortunately we got a bunch of that worked out at thrift stores). At the end of the month my daughter and I are headed East for a crazy intense week of college visits. No time to breath between now and April gotta go.

Fortunately I have a quilting retreat planned mid april where I hope I’ll recover and get a second wind. So much good stuff going on!


Patterns everywhere

black and white pattern with lots of circles on a little wallet
fun little find

I spent the day shopping for costumes for a theater production of Annie with the head Costumer yesterday(the person with the big vision for the shows costumes and skills/talent for sewing amazing costumes). I get suckered in every year to do some sewing for the winter production (I love it so I’m not sure you can call it ‘suckered’). We hit as many thrift stores as we could find. I had expected to spend the day multi tasking, looking for costumes and observing patterns. I had planned to take photos of patterns I liked so I could analyze them when I got home. Trying to find my voice in pattern making includes finding what excites me in other peoples work.

We did an amazing job finding costumes and staying on budget. I, however, did a terrible job finding patterns. Two patterns are all that I brought home with me. I was very focused on the costumes for the orphans in Annie and they were solid dingy fabric mostly. I took one photo of a pattern on a shirt I sort of liked and I found this cute little purse. I checked the purse to see that my pens would fit in and I laid down an entire .53 cents for it. When I got home I went to transfer my usual pen collection over and discovered my Tombow Marker is a bit long :0). I’m calling it easy access and going with it. It was a fun day with a friend and I’m sure I fed my brain lots of inspiration that I’m not even aware of.

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It’s Not all Glamour and Glitz

lines of elements from doodling including circles, swirls, dots and lines as well as an evergreen branch and a dandelion puff

I was going to write a whole post about all the work I did over the weekend but I came across this quote from Jessica Savich and thought it did a pretty good job of summing up what I had to say. So Thank You Jessica Savich.. This post took under 15 minutes :0)

For every two minutes of glamour, there are eight hours of hard work.

-Jessica Savich


What’s this? no Bud in the picture?

Hi all,

I’m a bit confused. Meg spent the day in the studio today but she never touched any fabric or consulted with me on her next project. I was just stuck hanging out on her design wall trying to look over her shoulder to see what she was doing on her computer.

I know she recently got a call for entry to submit artwork related to ‘transportation’ so I’m thinking finally she’s going to build that portal to NH I’ve been bugging her about since I came to be. I want to go see that crazy family of hers and some other traveling.

But there on the screen I see some wheels, well, I can’t imagine a portal needs wheels. But wait… what’s that? an old red wagon? seriously? you can’t get anywhere on that thing. That would be a long uncomfortable ride to New Hampshire from Idaho.


Boys playing with a red wagon. Boy in wagon wearing goggles and a cape, ready to fly in the wagon. Another boy pushes from behind

I personally think she should have consulted me, but that’s what she’s planning on submitting for the Transportation exhibit – which is dangerously close to being due btw.

She finally finished that commission for the picnic piece. I do love it but I think a little bird rather than the little fox would have been a nice touch.

Until next week…

Bud the Bird.

woman and boy reading a book on a blanket with a stuffed toy fox

Making Patterns with Artwork Fun!

Megs artwork put digitally on and in a notebook

Oh drat!  I was supposed to get this out yesterday… ok, new news?  Meg thinks it would be super fun if she went into the store and saw her art on stuff for sale, like notebooks, mugs or napkins or other stuff. I agree, as long as it’s me.  Can you see it? Bud the bird right there in the bottom of your cereal bowl! Ha! How great would that be?  

Over the last couple of weeks Meg has been working on learning how to create patterns with her artwork, playing with some watercolor sketches she made a long time ago. That’s what todays picture is, a mock up of what it would look like if she put her stuff on a notebook. She wants to design her own fabric so she can make art with her own fabric. (she does like to complicate things.)

This could quickly become complicated and probably boring. The short story is, if she designs her own fabric and makes her work with her own fabric she can do whatever she wants with it without worrying about copyright – did you know that all that fabric is designed by artists? Those patterns are their artwork. I am so excited about the creation of her own fabric. I may just have to molt, redesign my own feathers so I can look like one of her pattern.  What do you think… should I stay gray? 

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Bud Interviews Meg

It's come to our attention the newsletter sign up isn't always working... we are putting a condensed version of the newsletter for you to enjoy here. The newsletter had more pictures.

Fabric bird on artists shoulder

Bud: I have Meg Marchiando here with me today.  She is an artist who makes happy fabric art. She used to run a website but she was bad at it, so I run it now.

Meg: nice Bud.

Bud: Right, So Meg, how old are you?

Meg: uh, um it’s not going to be a normal interview is it?  My daughter says I’m 4 and she’s pretty smart so I’m going with 4.

Bud: And, ahh, what’s in your purse?

Meg:  Bud, some general rules.. don’t ask someone’s age (particularly a woman’s) and don’t go through someones purse

Bud: particularly a woman’s?


Bud: So, you told me how old you are.. what’s in the purse?

Meg: OK.. umm A rubber duck, my library card, my license

Bud: but you’re 4. you can’t drive – and hey- can I see the duck?  What else?

Meg: pulls out velcro pen pencil fingernail file…

Bud: Booring… show me the good stuff

Meg: Lip gunk, a broken glasses repair kit, water brush a 6 sided die travel toothbrush hair tie punch card for chocolate bear watercolor set phone

Bud:  ok, enough.  How about your bottom dresser drawer?  what do you have in there?

Meg: My bottom dresser drawer? are you trying to make this an interesting interview or are you just nosey?

Bud: mostly Beaky (no nose here), but I also want to be know for asking the ‘hard’ questions

Meg: wool socks and sweaters.

Bud: Sweet, now I know where to go for nesting supplies

Meg talking with Bud who is sitting on a puffy fabric chair on top of a stack of books
Bud still perched in his groovy girl chair Meg looking justifiably exasperated

Bud: is cereal soup?

Meg: No

Bud: But I’ve seen you put potato in a bowl with lots of milk and call it soup, what’s the difference?

Meg: there are herbs and spices in with the potato

Bud: so if you put cinnamon on your cereal it’s soup

Meg: sure, that’s a fair argument

Bud: great! well, thats it folks, Today you saw Meg tell her secrets, spill her purse and crumble under the hard question of what is soup. Until next time. 

– Bud the Bird ..  

ok, let me see that duck again.


Let’s Start at the Beginning

My Version of Her Story - by Bud the Bird

Old picture of Meg, apparently 'toiling'

Meg was recently asked how she got started on these art pieces she likes to call #quirkies – I put the hashtag there because you can go to Instagram and look it up, believe me… she likes to call them #quirkies. She fumbled and rambled and reminisced until the story finally came out and it was actually kind of interesting. I’ll weed out her rambling and give you my version of what she said.

Long Long ago while living a lonely life in Northern Idaho, Meg toiled under the pressure of creating new and interesting art quilts. She… (Bud.. dial the drama back a notch, I wasn’t lonely.)

Fine. She was making art quilts and really loved making the characters, probably because one day she knew she would create me and I would enrich her life so immensely. I would.. (Bud… I thought this was about ALL of my art).

Right, anyway… she worked out the story of the quilt with the characters and a few little things to go with them, then she would start thinking about the background. She would say ‘Boooring’ it felt like the background was just filler and took away from the action. Instead she would leave them empty, usually a solid color and would fill them up with stitching and possibly embellishments like beads or whatever – I agree, booring! I’m bored. Can I get to the part about me now?

How does she twist her face up like that?

stitched stick figure leaping with joy as a painted bird watches from a tree
'Bird Watching' a little quilt I actually love even with the 'boring' background.
boy made of paper doing cartwheel, watched by bud the fabric bird
This is the prototype of 'Jack' he is about 2 feet top to bottom (or bottom to top in his case)

Ok, back to the dark ages. The fun part of the true story includes a wire bicycle decoration on her wall and her thinking it would be fun to add a character riding it or better yet, doing a one handed handstand on the seat of it! –  I totally want to do that! She drew a boy doing a cartwheel and created him out of layers of paper, cut him out and everything. But he warped and peeled and just didn’t do what she imagined. Then she got the brilliant idea -I can say that, I’m not the artist here- to make him out of fabric with a stiff backing. She created ‘Jack’ stitched him up and fell in love with the idea of building these characters without backgrounds.

fabric boy doing a cartwheel across 2 walls spanning a corner. upside down wearing shorts. 2 small tufts of grass on either side of him

She hasn’t looked back since. (actually I have once or twice but I still seem to stay with the idea of making the story without the scenery). No interrupting Meg, this is my telling of the story. So anyway, back to what I was saying… She has made pieces as big as a wall and as small as, well, me. The super fun thing about the small ones, even the big ones, is that they can hang in unusual spaces, they can cross corners and come off the wall, they can hide in little nooks and crannies around the house. Visitors to our house love to find the little surprises hidden around.

There it is, the ancient history (Bud, can I cut in and say I’ve been making these #quirkies for about 5 or 6 years now?) Meg… this is MY story of your story, so no.

Thanks for reading everyone. I hope Meg wasn’t too annoying with her butting in. I should have done this when she wasn’t around.  Enjoy the rest of your day and I’ll see you here next week!