Portfolio of older work

Friday, July 30, 2010

Bribe #2 for Riley

They will share!

Friday Favorites

 Oh, sometimes there are so many other blogs that are fabulous reads that I just have to share.  Here are my favorites for this Friday.

Louis Jarvis teaches you how to do a rust image transfer. I have done the regular rust dyeing where you just get rusty cloth rather than a specific image.  That is nice but sometimes you really want the imprint of the object.   I am going to try this tonight!  During vacation I went antiquing and bought some old rusty hinges that I think will transfer well.  I will let you know how it goes!

The Feisty Stitch has a short blog on the creative process.  Since I love being creative, but am often intimidated by getting started, I loved the quote  from  Twyla Tharp and Mary's experience using the quote to change her creative process.  I think I will have to read Twyla's book too.  I could use some discipline to get to where I want to be in my creative process.

Hippiewear , who proudly claims to be stuck in the 60s, is happy to show us how to do some of her tie-dyes.   If you follow the link you have till August 8 to vote on the dyeing technique for her next video tutorial.  I love the one she did on rope wrap shibori.  I have a very thick piece of rope I scavenged off the beach I think I will use to try the technique.

Elizabeth Barton shares her basic MX dyes.  I love this article and will check out my dye stock.  You know, there are thousands of colors out there but I figure I don't need to buy them all--I can mix them.  But then, there is the secret to which of the zillion of yellows is a good yellow to start with...and blue....and red.   Elizabeth shares her choice of 5 colors for a starter set.

Quilter Beth has been doing some monoprinting.  The next playdate with Beth and Rosalita will feature some monoprinting so I was excited to read Quilter Beth's process.  I was most interested in the comments about layers and tools she used.  I guess it takes more than one layer or tool to turn out really interesting fabric.

Judi Hurwitt at Approachable Art has a post about her first experience with thermafax silkscreens.  I have only gotten to play with Beth's screens at our last playdate but plan to create some of my own.  Judi had great results with her first experiments and gives some tips to those of us just beginning.

Woooo Hooooo!  Something for Free!  Watch a free show of  The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims  featuring Lara and Kerby, authors of Secrets of Digital Quilting—From Camera to Quilt.  I really love the way they incorporate photography in their quilts.  I mean it is not just a straight-out picture printed on fabric and hung up.  Take a look at their stuff and see what you think.

While on vacation I picked up many flat stones on the beach at Lake Erie.  I love them because you can see the different layers of the stone worn through by the rentless wash of the water.  I have been wondering how to incorporate them in a wall hanging when I found this video that shows how to wire wrap a  cabochon.  I have most of the tools needed and I think the technique would work really well with the stone.  I'll be giving it a try and you'll get to see the results (if it is not too big of a mess!  LOL)

I hope you enjoy these blogs as much as I did!  I learned a lot and have a lot to practice!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A bribe for Riley

Walk on the Beach

 Another piece for the Mile of Art.  None of the pieces are ART but hopefully they are interesting.   I like  pieces that have at least three visual layers. Three layers give you something to look at from far, mid-range, and close.  "Walk on the Beach"  has the quilting with various shades of brown embroidery floss, the discharging after the quilting, and the feathers I picked up at Lake Erie Beach. From far you see the feathers for which the piece is named. Then you come closer and see the variation of the discharge colors.  Lastly  it draws you in with the quilting that is less visible in person than in the picture.  Having the repeat of the natural feathers in the driftwood hanger I think also emphasizes the feel of the walk on a beach.  Does it make you feel sand in your toes and smell the water?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Key to my Heart

A small piece destined for sale at the Augusta Mile of Art Show.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Brown Bag Challenge

Remember the brown bag challenge my quilt guild had way back last Spring?  I finally got my brown bag back.  She took a couple of extra months because she was unsure what to do with my fabric.  We were supposed to put in the brown bag 3 fat quarters and some information about the type of quilt we liked and didn't like.  I put in my bag a piece of fabric I had Shibori dyed along with some coordinating fabric and beads. I asked for a whole cloth quilt.  The fabric and the request were a real challenge for the guild member.

The quilt I got back had elements I loved and some I did not care about as much.  Overall, I think the guild member had a great vision for the piece.  I love the shibori dyed fabric and I think she used it to good advantage here.  It goes wonderfully with the cone flowers that the guild woman made.  The flowers are a new technique to me and one I have already tried in other projects now.  The petals of the cone flowers are made of fabric fused to be two sided and then only attached at the flower center leaving them free to float in the breeze.  They are really great!  The flowers I did not like were yo-yos.  I think it was the color of the fabric and the size that bothered me more than the shape. 

I debated what to do and decided to redo the section I did not care for since I really liked parts of the quilt. I remembered the runching tool I had bought years ago and never used.  I had bought it and never opened it.  See the card with the instructions?  They made no sense to me so everytime I thought about using the tool, I chickened out.  Now I had the perfect motivation!  It took me 3 or 4 attempts before I got it but now I am turning out little runched flowers that I am using to finish the wallhanging. 
I need to add a few more runched flowers and some stems and leaves for them but here it is so far.   I took off the yo-yo's, am adding the runched flowers and a few more stems and leaves (also two-sided fabric attached only minimally to the background), and maybe a small butterfly in the upper left corner, and calling it done.

I hope my guild sister does not mind my slight re-working of her piece.  I think I merely finished a wonderful beginning.  And we all know that the beginning is the hardest part. 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Trees in Ohio

While in Columbus OH visiting grandkids we visited a field of cement corn statues.  I won't argue the art-worthiness of the pieces but they do  represent the history of corn in that location.  Beside the "corn" field, there was a stand of Osage Orange trees planted to illustrate their history.  Ahhh....now there was beauty!
 I have become enraptured with trees. I love the different textures of the bark.  I love the different shapes the trunks take and the different ways the branches and leaves grow.  These trees have a very textured bark, and their trunks and branches remind me of snakes in their shape.   I plan to turn these pictures into quilts of hand dyed fabric with dark lino prints of the trees laid over.  I hope I can get the essence of the trees in the quilts.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

One finished and several more to go

Do you love it?  I have shown it to you before unfinished.  This is the cloth that Beth discharged and then I added painted fusible  squares.  While on vacation I hand quilted it and put a buttonhole stitch around the edge.  When I got home I added hanging beads.  It is a little wonky, which I wanted.  I think I am in love!

While on vacation I did some hand quilting on a variety of things intended as small wall hangings or postcards to sell. Now I need to finish them and give them all the right embellishments. I will show you my other small pieces as I get them finished.

This is really my first attempt to sell my work.  I have a friend who, for 15% commission, will sell them for me at the Mile of Art in Augusta ME on August 7.  I am thrilled not to have to sit in the sun and talk to people all day.  She likes people and will enjoy the experience.  Anyway, wish me luck at selling something!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Nancy Crow Exhibit

One of the places we stopped as we cruised upper NY was the Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center in Auburn NY to see the Nancy Crow exhibit.  It was well worth the visit!  I have to say, I am not all that thrilled with the very linear pieces she is currently doing (but who am I to say they aren't fabulous?) such as the one pictured above.  I am deeply in love with some of her work from a few years back and with the few silkscreen and monoprint quilts that were shown.  They gave me some great ideas to try in my own work. 

Speaking of my own work, I came across a quote from Picasso.  He said (something like) a good artist copies others' work but a great artist steals.  I thought about that for a while.  To me that means it is okay to be inspired by others work but the goal is not to copy it exactly but to make it your own.  To add so much of yourself in the work, that the finished product may have much in common with the original but is clearly unique.  To be done so well that when someone thinks of the subject, they think first of yours and then say "oh, and someone else did it too."

Friday, July 9, 2010

Sun Dyeing with the grandkids

 Visiting the grand kids in Ohio and, of course, wanted to do some craft project with them.  So I ordered Setacolor paints to be shipped to their house and bought some shirting material to make pillowcases for each of the kids.

First we wet the material and painted it with diluted paint and water.  Frankly, the instructions tell you to wash, iron, then paint with water to wet the material.  Iron then wet?  Are you kidding??  We washed the material to remove the finish then used it fresh from the washer.  We did wet it with paint brush just to get it to adhere to the plastic and smooth the surface.  The paint was supposed to be diluted 1 part paint to 2 parts of water.  I just poured paint in the container of water.  After painting the fabric with water, then diluted paint, I poured some paint directly on the wet fabric to add some intensity in spots.  We did all that in the garage to be out of the direct sun.

Next step was putting stuff on the fabric to make the shadows. Kids used alot of their silly bands. Those left great images.  My daughter printed off some shapes on their ink jet printer.  That was doubly cool because the red bled from the red hearts onto the fabric.  The shapes that were done just in black, like the police car and butterfly, left the black and white image from the details on the paper.  KEWL!

Once all the stuff was on the painted fabric, we moved the fabric into the direct sun.  It was supposed to take 15 minutes to an hour.  We checked after 1/2 hour and they were dry and done.  Then I ironed to set the paint and turned them into pillow cases.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Wood Carvings

While we were in Vermont we found the Wilmington Antique and Flea Market!  What a wonderful find!  I bought some beads and some buttons but my bestest find was some salvaged wood carvings.  My granddaughter, Abby, is showing them off for you.

They are magnificent pieces of art in themselves but I plan to use them for printing on fabric.  Don't you think they will look fantastic printed on silk or velvet and them richly embellished?

I hesitated telling the seller my plans for the woodcarvings but when he started telling me that they were art, I agreed and told him that I was going to make more art with them.  He definitely had a reaction.  I thought he was excited about the idea that his salvaged art was going to be reproduced.  My husband thought he was horrified.  I prefer to believe my interpretation.  LOL

Saturday, July 3, 2010


I have spent the last few days in Vermont attending a conference then checking out the countryside.  Can you believe that view?

While wandering we ran across this metal sculpture in a cow pasture.  And then there was another small one by the farm house. 

While I was photographing it from the car (the BIG dog that lived there was barking and loose), the lady of the house came out and told me the artist is Johnny Swing!  How cool!  Johnny is most famous for his chairs and couches welded from coins.

But talk about inspiration everywhere!  Can't you see this picture with hand dyed fabric in the back and then black trees silkscreened and some green leaves silkscreened plus thread play over that?  I can't wait to get back to my studio!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Shibori experiment

Do you like it?  It is my latest experiment with shibori.  The material was a white on white design of little white dots.  I folded and stitched rows of half circles then pulled the thread tight before dyeing.  Between the stitching and the dots, there are two types of resist going into the dye.   This is actually the back. The front has stark white dots and the circles get lost. But I think the back is yummy!