Portfolio of older work

Monday, September 27, 2010

Out of Eden

Out of Eden is my art quilt for Interpret This! 
 Here is a corner. 
Check out the rest of it on IT!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday Favorites

 Happy Friday!  My week has been full of work on my Interpret This!  art quilt.  You have to wait till Monday to see it but I am liking it a lot!

Here is my list of blogs that I learned great stuff from during this week:

This is perhaps the best explanation/instructions I have seen for how to put a facing on a quilt rather than a more typical binding.

Chris at Dye Candy is starting a new blog specifically for art quilts.  I will let you read her description of the site but it sounds like a good site if you want to connect with other art quilt artists or those who want to buy art quilts.

Ever try to take a picture of your quilt so that it looks as gorgeous as it really is?  And how did that turn out for you?  Mine always is wonky.  Here are some instructions for how to straighten the perspective problems using Photoshop Elements.

Quilter Beth had a wonderful day of screen printing using freezer paper, glue stick resist, and  thermafax. She had problems with the thermafax screen because they did not frame it.  I agree.  Little thermafax screens seem to do well with just duct tape edges but the larger screens need more stability.  I got to burn some screens last Saturday with my SAQA group.  Here are my pictures of my feather screen print.   I know they are really hard to see--the colors of the paint are close to the color of the dye.  What was I thinking?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Monoprinting with SAQA

One of the workshops I attended last Saturday at our SAQA was on monoprinting.  My goal was to play rather than to try and turn out a masterpiece.  The technique was one that I had not tried before.  The paint is spread on a piece of plastic sheeting, manipulated with various tools (e.g. combs, wire whisk, potatoe masher, hair picks), then the plastic is inverted over the material and rubbed to transfer the pattern onto the fabric.  You then clean the plastic and start over.  Here is one monoprint that I made using this technique.

The next pictures I am showing you are a slightly different technique.   I used a pear shape stamp to paint on, then scribbled the paint with a hair pick before printing it on the material.  Here are some of my monoprints on cotton and organza.

And here are my clean up rags. They are kinda nice too!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

ATCs for my September trade

The theme for Veronica's ATC trade was Bedtime Stories and Fairytales.  Here are my 10 ATCs.  Because my joke is on the back, I am showing the front of 5 cards and the back of the other 5.  The series is named "The Monster Under the Bed."

Monday, September 20, 2010

I am becoming a Fiber Artist

1. a person who produces works in any of the arts that are primarily subject to aesthetic criteria.
2.a person who practices one of the fine arts, esp. a painter or sculptor.
3.a person whose trade or profession requires a knowledge of design, drawing, painting, etc.: a commercial artist.
4. a person who works in one of the performing arts, as an actor, musician, or singer; a public performer: a mime artist; an artist of the dance.
5.  a person whose work exhibits exceptional skill.
6. a person who is expert at trickery or deceit: He's an artist with cards.
7.  Obsolete.  an artisan

This weekend I had to proclaim myself an artist.  DID NOT WANT TO DO THAT!     I have thought about that for the last couple of days. Why the resistance? I  mean, I have under other circumstances been willing to say that I am an artist.  I looked up the definition of artist and that kinda answered the question for me.   You can be an artist if you play with art stuff, work at art stuff,or excel at art stuff.

So, am I an artist?
1.  Well, as my husband, budget, and home can attest, I play with art stuff so I am an artist in that sense. 
2.  I do not make a living at art but I certainly do work hard at learning and practicing art--would that make me a student artist?    I spend most my available hours (and many I should be doing laundry and housework) and many of my dream hours on producing or designing art.  I am starting to produce a body of work.   
3.  As far as excelling, I do have a few pieces that I like well enough to say that I am an artist but the body of my work is still too small and my personal voice still too vague for me to claim that I excel with any conviction.  I plan and prepare to be this type of artist but it is still a little in the future. 

I think when others push you to proclaim yourself an artist they are looking at the term as one who does art type stuff.  I want the term "artist" to mean more than an 18 month old with a crayon in her hand.  I want it to mean more than someone who produces lots of art type stuff or spends lots of time doing art stuff.   I want it to mean to excel, to have exceptional skill, to have worked at  producing something with a unique voice.

I would rather proclaim myself an artist to others when I have more than ambition to show and tell.  Maybe next year.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday Favorites

Here is a woman after my own heart making layered pieces using dupioni silk, organza, rust, and cutting away (I bought a new heat tool to do that with organza!  Woooo Hoooo!)  I love the piece of quilt she shows us here . The link on that bottom of the blog brought me to this post.  I have tried sashiko but, silly me, I followed patterns and was not too impressed with the results.  WHAT WAS I THINKING!  I gotta try it again.

Terry, bless you for telling me how to be organized.  Have I mentioned that I am not organized? Even the thought of getting organized makes my throat constrict and my breath become high and shallow.  Maybe I am even a bit nauseous.  Okay, I am trying to get that in control because I understand that some level of organization will be required to start entering my art into art shows beyond my local quilt guild. Terry shares with us what she has learned that works.

Tutorials I visited this week. 
Straight line quilting
Wonky Log Cabin
Making your own spray starch (I tried it this week.  It works well but can leave white spots from the corn starch on your dark fabrics)
Pieced Scrap border (a reverse of the crumbs quilt from last week)
gelatin monoprinting  No recipes but you can get them elsewhere.
Quilt label

Monday, September 13, 2010

Some of my dyeing from the weekend

Okay, I did not get everything done over the weekend that I had on my list.  But I am really, really happy with the stuff I did get done!  The rest is moved to my list for my next free weekend.

The IT quilt is coming right along. (Can't show you) 

My ATC cards for my trade are started and looking good. (Won't show you till they are done)

The vase for parfait dyeing was much bigger than expected and I dyed most every piece of white fabric I could find at home.  I think it ended up being about 4 yards.

Here it is filled with all that fabric and, in order from bottom to top, antique gold, deep orange, raspberry, chartruese, ceralean blue, and deep purple dye.

And here are all the results!  Some are wonderful and some are ready for an overdye next free weekend.

Friday, September 10, 2010

It is Friday and I have my Saturday PACKED with quilting projects!

FIRST the bestest news and then on to the good news.  The two people who wanted my wall hangings (the ones I made for the Mile of Art and did not sell) have now paid for them.  I am $50 richer!!  (SHHHHH!!. For those of you who sell your work all the time for big bucks and are not excited, please try and keep your 'big deal' thoughts to yourself).  AND the wall hanging that I donated to the UMA Women's Soccer team for the silent auction today is in a bidding war.

Tomorrow I get to play with quilts all day.  I have several projects that I want to work on. I am really excited on several levels.  First, I love a Saturday that has no definite plans--no where I have to be, nothing I have to do, just a whole day stretching out in front of me.  Second, I have felt exhausted after my vacation and working on small projects for the Mile of Art and then really busy at work and my Bridge failure. Consequently, I have not felt really inspired or creative for a month or so.  Oh, but I am feeling both now.  Woooo Hoooo!  I am alive again!  And third, everyone of the projects I want to work on have been inspired totally or mostly from reading posts from other quilt bloggers who share their knowledge.  Isn't that cool??

Here is my list.  I won't get it all done but isn't it a wonderful, fun-filled list?

  1.  I need to dye a piece of fabric brown for my IT quilt and play in photoshop to get the layout that I want for the project.
  2. I want to soy wax dye some fabric with a new technique I learned from Jane Dunnewold's DVD this week.  That one is just for fun.
  3. I bought a new vase to do layer parfait dyeing in and I would like to use it for the first time.
  4. I have read about a new technique for using Lutrador (which I have at home) and organza (that I have at home) and painting and stitching and then burning it.  I have a green hand dyed fabric that I printed with leaves using Citra-Solv.  I would love to make the Lutrador and organza leaves to add to that one.  It might be ready to quilt at that point.
  5. The Center of the Universe is ready to be basted in preparation for quilting.
  6. I have a piece of copper I want to hang a wallhanging from that I need to patina.
  7. If I am still standing I want to try some more silkscreen using Wen Redmond's suggestion for a mask.

Friday Favorites

Seems like everything this week has come in twos.

Cheryl at Fiber Art and Quilting has two posts that I enjoyed this week.  One is about a new product called Scratch-a-Print and the second is about multi-part printing or faux silkscreening.  The Scratch-A Print and Scratch-Art Mask-Ease are both products made by the same company and are for the silkscreen.  The descriptions of both make them sound really easy--kinda in the fail-safe zone. The prices were low enough at Dick Blick that I went ahead and ordered one of each for myself.  I will let you know how it works for me.  The second posting refers you to an article in Cloth Paper Scissors but Cheryl assures us that the process worked for her on fabric rather than on paper (a GREAT assurance!) and shows us the proof.  In general, Cheryl has a "technique of the week" and is really worth a read.

Debra at Debra's Design Studio sent me over to Vicki at Field Trips in Fiber to see a crumb quilt.  Vicki doesn't explain what a crumb quilt is but the quilt she shows makes it clear that a crumb quilt is really just a scrap quilt.  If that is the case, crumb quilts are one of my favorite ways to quilt.  I love taking little pieces of fabric that are too small to make anything with and sewing them all together to make a quilt top.  Something from nothing!  That surely satisfies my thrifty inner driver.  Nice quilt, Vicki!

Kim at Kim's Hot Textiles had two posts that really got me inspired.  The first is all  about her work named "Capstones."  It starts from the inspiration to the techniques and goes to the finished works. A great read on great work.  The second post that caught my attention had NINE pictures of tortured Lutrador plus a few other fabrics. The results are stunning!  Oh, MY!  I want to see some of my work look like that!  I have some Lutrador at home that I haven't done anything with yet. This weekend is the time.  If you need some more ideas of what to do with Lutrador here is another link to some Lutrador projects.

My last double goody this week is a new DVD that I received on Tuesday and watched Wednesday after work.  Two fabulous artists, Jane Dunnewold and Lisa Kerpoe, produced "Vibrant Color: Combining Soy Wax and Dye for Brilliant Results."  It is 90 minute long and has three ways to use soy wax with dye.  First is crayons and you will need to use Jane's priority soy wax to achieve the right consistency to make the crayons.  WOW!  I love this but probably won't make the crayons.  So many techniques to try and so little time.  Second is how to make the soy wax and dye into a paste that can be used for stenciling. I was not excited by this technique but then stenciling in general is not my thing. Third is using the soy wax and dye as hot wax with dipping, stamping, and using typical batik type methods.  Now this one I will be trying this weekend!  The stamped, dipped, etc fabric needs to be steamed--a method I have not done yet--but Jane and Lisa carefully take you through the steps.   I feel very clear about how to do it successfully.  I will show you some finished fabric using this technique on Monday.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

New Hand Dyes

I tried waiting till my mother left before I started dyeing but...well...I have never been known for my patience.  So, here are some results.  The first was wrapped around a pipe and dyed--twice.  I love the green but for my monthly IT! project I needed a bit more white.  You can see more white on the piece on the right that I sprinkled with bleach.  That great red stripe up the middle is just the red table cloth showing between the two pieces of fabric.

The second one is a cotton piece that I dyed black.  I was hoping for a bit more texture but it will do.  This is just low water immersion with a really really heavy concentration of black dye.  At that, it still took two dye sessions to get it that dark.

This last piece is a commercially dyed black cotton fabric that I discharged with bleach.  I loved the discharged fabric that Beth gave me so I decided to try and make some more of my own.  Expect to find this in a wall hanging in the near future along with some feathers I collected at the Windsor Fair Poultry barn.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Rocks for my Mom

The visit with my Mom went very well.  I did conserve my energy and hired someone else to clean the kitchen and bathroom while I tackled the clutter in my front room/studio.  Her memory is failing but her eyes were sharp enough to see the pins and needles on my floor that I missed.  Believe me, she could have seen worse.

She has given me some of the rocks she has smoothed in her lapidary  to incorporate onto quilts.  Here is the picture of one that I have finished.  It has the rocks secured with floss and the edges of the small quilt have overcast chenille yarn sewn on for the binding.
The second quilt is not finished but here are the wire wrapped  rocks ready to be sewn on a quilt. When she comes back through on her way home from  Newfoundland, I will present to her the two finished companion wall hangings.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Friday, September 3, 2010

Friday Favorites

This has been a hard week.  Not much creative happening in my brain.
1.  I had to admit that my IT piece was less than successful.  I do have hopes that it is salvageable but I need some time before moving forward on it. 
2.  I work at a University and Monday was our first day for the Fall semester.  I've been working long hours for a couple of weeks and have a couple more weeks of it while students gets settled in.
3.  My mother is coming this weekend.  I am looking forward to her visit but a summer of ignoring house cleaning is biting me in the behind.  Now I get to drag that tired behind home from work and clean, clean, clean. 

Not a lot creative is going on but at least I get to admire those who are getting to do fun things!

Bea at Dog in the Hole Studio has a book review of FABRIC EMBELLISHING The Basics and Beyond.  I've told you before how much I LOVE getting a preview before spending my money.  This one sounds like it will make it to my wish list.  And I quote her "I like this one because it's actually set up so that you can  try all the techniques and make a sample that will fit in a book that you make.  I like that."  She also has a great post on flour paste resist.  I especially love that post given my failure with the technique on my challenge quilt.  Hers are what I had hoped mine would look like.

Have I told you about Kate North's Stay at Home Robin?  I love the concept!  It is a Round Robin for those of us who are control freaks, at least about our art work.   And, even better, the instructions are very open so almost anything goes!  It is not too late to join.   They  are only on step 3 so it would be easy to catch up.  After my mother leaves on Monday (a holiday for me) I will get started on my SAH Robin.   In my cleaning I have collected a trash bag full of fabric scraps.  I am going to use them for the SAH Robin.  First I am going to dye them all using the same shade of blue.  Of course, they are not all 100% cotton and already have a color and a pattern.  The over-dyeing should give them cohesion but not make them identical.  I will have something to post by next Friday!

Gloria Hansen has a wonderful post on how she turns pictures into art using Photoshop.  She not only takes you through the steps she uses but tells you how she saves the different steps for future inspiration.  For people like me where the creative process is more natural than the organization process, those tips were priceless.  At the end of the post she states that she has started thinking about teaching her Photoshop skills in an online class.  You might let her know if you are interested.

Last, but certainly not least, SALES on dye and fabric paint supplies!  You might want to check your supplies, re-read Elizabeth Barton's blog on the basic colors to use to mix everything else, then check these sales out.
**  8th Annual Summer Sizzler Warehouse Sale, here at C&T Publishing on September 11/12
** Artist and Craftmens  September sales
**Dharma Trading  September Silk Paint and Silk Dye Sale 

I think I will end with Bea's mantra -- Now go and create!  Let me know how it turns out.