Portfolio of older work

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Tickle Me Pink

New ATCs. Theme was feathers.  I have 3 extra if anyone wants to swap. Leave me a comment if interested.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

I don't know about you but I have had a great week!  The university is closed for winter break, so few students to assist and no drawing classes for me this week.  Last Monday, a vacation day, was a play date with the FIVE.  We each worked on our own thing and I started the binding on the Black, White, and Red All Over quilt for my sister.  As you see not done yet.

I also got to meet Laurie Brooks, another Maine Artist. She was a guest of FIVE.  She is combining fiber and drawing in unusual ways. I am excited because it is putting together the two skills I am working to develop.  I will be following her blog as she develops this technique.

With the more relaxed schedule I have gotten to spend a bit more time perusing blogs this week--one of my favorite activities.  And other artists must have been having great weeks too because here is what I found this week.

Friday Favorites:
A new blog!  The link goes to the blog rather than to an individual post. She has a post on painting with thickened dyes AND a picture of her quilt for the SAQA Trunk Show AND a post comparing low-water immersion dyeing to snow dyeing AND a post....  I could keep going.  It is worth check it out if you have not found it yet. The artist's name is Elaine Quehl.

And another new artist!  Averil Stuart-Head is originally from New Zealand but now lives in Italy.  Her blog doesn't have any tutorials but her work is right up my alley (Thank you, Beth, for bringing her to my attention!) with lots of color and texture.  Here is what she says about herself "I paint with fabric. It is my favourite medium and I love it. It is tactile and soft. I love the feel of fabric and the different ways you can manipulate it."  Can't you just see her with some fabric in her hand just feeling it and a dreamy look on her face?  I know exactly what she means!

Elizabeth Barton wrote a wonderful post on drawing for fiber folks.  Is this just like serendipity all over again?  LOL  She gives 11 tips she has learned through study and practice.  I like the last one best.  Put the work on the wall and let  it "mature."  I always need to do that before I know if a piece is finished or not.  I thought it was because I lacked skill but if Elizabeth does it then it must just be the way good artists finish a piece.

The Sketchbook Challenge is having a Sketch-In on Sunday, April 17, 10 am to 4 pm in Westford MA.  At first I thought it was an event you could drop-in to play but it is a workshop with fees.  Be sure to check out the post for details if you are interested.

The Quilt Rat gives a lesson on painting on fabric.  She is using a variety of fabric paints and inks and does not go into depth on them.  She does show a step by step process of what she painted first, second, third, etc. and how she stitched it.  It is a good place for beginners to check out.

So sorry to end on a sad note but I just learned from Cheryl about the change in Southern Belle.  Southern Belle is a white muslin that is inexpensive and a pleasure to work with. Or was. Many of us surface design folks had chosen it as our "go to" fabric.  But according to Cheryl, it has changed!  Oh NO!  Have you found that true also?  If you are in the market for choosing a favorite fabric, you might want to take a look at Un-Multi-Tasking's Great Fabric Test.   Her favorite fabric also changed so she did a comparison test of 7 different materials comparing them on several different scales.  Good luck and let me know if you find the perfect fabric for surface design!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New Onesies

Co-worker had a babyshower to attend so I made some more onesies.

Nathan singing in his tie-dye Onesie

Here is a video of Nathan in his tie-dye onesie (see that makes it about quilting and not about being a proud grammy) singing Itsy-Bitsy Spider with his sister Abby. 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Update on Erosion Bundle

Still there. We have had a few days of above freezing temps so the snow has melted off of it.  I am debating putting a little kosher salt on it for flavoring.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday Favorites

Drawing Class Update:
We have started talking about value.  Our exercise was to copy a Japanese wood block print in our sketchbook.  Here is mine.

Our bigger assignment is to make a large original drawing inspired by the Japanese wood block.  Mine is not done yet--it is a multi-week project-- but here is what I have started.  Maybe I should enter it into the sketchbook challenge under the theme of Opposites. The first duck is calmly sitting on a wood plank by the edge of the ocean with a moon and palm fronds in the background.  My drawing has a bird in terrified flight from menacing claws (inspired by the palm fronds) in front of a moon. Kinda opposite, wouldn't you say?

As I keep telling you but have yet put into practice, I am taking the drawing class to increase my skills for surface design.  While it is not fabric and the tools used will differ, I figure most of the lessons on line, value, positive and negative space, composition, balance, etc. will translate well.  Elizabeth Barton is also taking an art class (not having to do with fiber) and is also trying to make some translation in her work.  It is all how about to get from here to there.

Friday Favorites:Vicki Welsh at Field Trips in Fiber is offering raffle tickets for her quilt guild's quilt--it is not bad looking--and then she is offering a drawing for hand dyed fabric for anyone buying a ticket from her.  Her hand dyes are fabulous!  Here is the link for more information. Dead line is March 15th.

Art of Day is sponsoring an exhibit of art from Deborah Lacativa.  Oh, I adore her stuff!  I just want to breathe it in.  Let the creativity fill my lungs.  Let the blood circulate it till every part of me tingles with the electricity of it.  Yea, it is that good.  And then it is worth reading her artist statement too.  I have been working on mine and I find hers a good model. She has some bundles of her hand dyes that are good for hand stitching for sale here.

Lynn Krawczyk  has posted two YouTube tutorials on screen printing with thermofax screens.  That is almost 20 minutes of free teaching by Lynn.  Thank you, Lynn!

I have saved direction after direction for making my own books.  New books out of old books, egg cartons, and empty thread spools.  I have techniques for folding, cutting, dicing, sewing, and gessoing over written pages.  I have yet to make a book.  But here is another book I will save the tutorial on how to make.  It is a butter box book. And Melanie tells us how she is going to use her's.  You go, girl, but before you grow your hair back, please consider this option.  I think you could make it work!

I keep trying to think of a tagline to use to close my Friday Favorites.  So far I have only thought of trite phrases, nothing that feels like me.  Any suggestions?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

One World One Heart

My random number generator (AKA husband) chose number 92.  That happened to be "Gracey is not my name..."  Congratulations!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

I hope you all had as great a Valentine's Day as I did.  My lover (AKA, My Maine Man, Love of my Life, Husband) made me dinner (he is a good cook), bought me my favorite ice cream (chocolate covered cherries), and gave me a dozen red roses to dye with!  How wonderful life is!  LOL

Monday, February 14, 2011

Someone likes my blog!

Cathy Tomm has presented me with the Liebster Blog Award.  Cathy even asked me if I would accept it before she gifted me with it. That was an extra nice touch.  Since I don't turn down any positive recognition I can get, I said "YES!"  and am displaying it proudly.

And I am happy to get it. Don't get me wrong.  I am glad that Cathy  has visited my blog and likes it.  I am also glad that Cathy's blog was one of three blogs who received it from Lisa at Scraps of Life who was one of three blogs that received it from Mary-Frances of Outside the Line who was one of three blogs who received it from Anne of Seize the Day Quilting who was one of three blogs who received it from Sharon of Camp Gramma all within the 14 days of February.  (Sharon got hers on January 30).  So, if I have my math correct and assuming that the other winners are also giving the award at the same speed and to three recipients, I am one of 3 to the 5th power or 243 blogs in this particular chain that have received this award in the first half of February this year.

I tried to do some history to find out how long the award has existed and who Liebster is that presumably started it or for whom it was named.  Google couldn't tell me much other than listing lots of other blogs who have also received it this year.  Lots of other blogs.  Lots and LOTS of other blogs.  Anne of Seize the Day Quilting managed to trace the award to Germany which I can believe since many of the recipients are in Europe and the UK. But there the track went cold so I don't know if there is a distinguished person or time or place or event that is associated with the award. 
My chain is all from quilters but as I have looked up other blogs from Google who have received it, they are from lots of different types of categories. I was gonna tell you some examples but, Honey, there are a few really weird ones that I could not describe.  You will just have to look them up yourself.

Apparently there are only 2 requirement for receiving the award.  The first is that someone who read your blog liked it.  For me it means that Cathy likes my blog.  The second is that you have less than 300 readers for your blog.  It has been interesting as I have looked at other recipients at how they phrase that: "Unknown blogs," "unknown, good blogs," "small blogs," and my personal favorite "talented beginners."

Okay, so the award is not very exclusive. It does not come with money, a banquet, or a shiny object to place on a mantle. The history of it is unknown and the association with fame is...well...doubtful.  It does not mean you stand out in any particular category but does require that not many people know you exist.  Does it mean nothing then? 

I guess we each have to answer that question for ourselves. For me it means that Cathy (who I don't personally know) from Leduc, Alberta, Canada (a place I have never been) likes my blog, said so without my having to prompt her or pay her or nothin',and is not ashamed to say so on her blog (for under 300 people)  to read.   It makes me feel good. 

Am I gonna pass it along?  You bet!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday Favorites

Drawing Lesson Update:  Last night we warmed up doing quick sketches of shoes. We used a new technique--cross-contour drawing.  So far the score is Contour Drawing --I suck.  Gestural Drawing--I rock.  Cross-Contour Drawing-- that one is mixed.

 Our homework is to finish in our sketchbook 2 drawings by great masters.  This one is a Rueben.  Not done yet. Still don't have the mouth right.

Friday Favorites.  In our play blog "And Then We Set It On Fire"  and play group "FIVE" the question often comes up after making some wonderful fabric, "Now What?"  Arelee helps to answer some of those questions with a series of recent posts.  Her goal is not to give you patterns for stuff to make the fabric into but to work with the fabric to let you create an art work.  My 2 favs are:   Part Two tells you to hang the fabric and let it speak to you, and Part Four that shows how to go from sketch book to the fabric.

Sometimes when I am working on a piece I know its name.  I know it before I start it.  I know where I am going. Sometimes the name changes but generally I know what I am doing.  Not always.  Sometimes what I am doing is experimenting with a technique, or even more likely, calmly meditatively just playing around.  Those pieces may be very satisfying but may not have a name at either the beginning or the end. Debbie (who lives in Jerusalem and I met through One World One Heart blog hop) had the same problem and asked for suggestions.  Here is her post with suggestions from other fiber artists about how they title a piece.
Oh Man! Oh Man!  Take a look at Terri Stegmiller's new inks! Here is the description of the inks and here is the tutorial and finished project.   I have my ink and gel pen ordered and (heads up "And Then We Set It On Fire" play mates) I am gonna be playing like this in  March!   This is the perfect next step for my drawing classes!  I am also interested and have been for a while in the difference between working with dyes, paints, and inks.  This will give me a chance to find out.

While perusing blogs this week I stumbled upon Fannie Narte.  She creates fabric she calls artful cloth.  I am linking you to her blog rather than to a specific post so that you can see more than one of her artful cloths.  Enjoy.  I did notice that her pieces start off with shibori and then get added to with wax pastels.  Good to know for those folks who asked what to do with their shibori pieces.

You may not be into handwork, and that is okay, but I discovered a new embroidery stitch that I am thinking about using on  my heart of steel series.  Most stitches that I see demonstrated are variations and combinations that just look busy and over done to me. This woven picot looks simple and I think will make a nice addition to the blanket stitch that is my 'go to' stitch for the quilt series.

Monday, February 7, 2011

An email from Judy Sall or Tie Dye Judy

Tie Dye Judy  sent me the following email with some photos too luscious not to share.

"I took a Surface Design class back in 2007 from Melly Testa when she lived here in Flagstaff... blew me away!  And that was the beginning of my adventures with soy wax batik among other techniques!
The photos are 1) a whole cloth art quilt where I pre-dyed fabric with oranges and yellows, traced on the leaf patterns, painted on the wax, then overdyed with browns;

2 and 3) fabric that was pre-soaked with soda ash solution, then dried; then I stamped with wax using various implements; finally, I applied procion mx dyes using a foam brush.  The fabrics were later used by a friend to create various products such as eyeglass cases, tissue covers, etc."

One World One Heart

Here is my entry into the One World One Heart Swap!  I am excited to be participating for the first time.  My understanding is that I am supposed to tell a little about myself in this post.  Generally I try to avoid that.  Perhaps I would rather be a woman of mystery.  I can tell you that I am a long time quilter developing into a fabric artist and I am very thankful for all my internet friends who have helped me along my path.  Perhaps you are one of them.  Here is my "door prize" for the swap.
It is called "How Much Rice Is In Your Bowl?"  I made it for the Art for Hunger show at the University of Maine at Augusta. The dark fabric in the back is hand dyed. The circles are organza sewn down with a machine satin stitch with hand embroidered seed stitches for the rice.  It is 5 inches by 5 inches and is mounted on heavy white embossed paper I use for my relief printing.  It is hung using 2 chop sticks.

If you would like a chance to win this door prize (including postage for it), please leave me a comment by February 17. I promise I will get it into the mail to you within 3 days.  I also promise that I will check out your blog.  Like I said, I have learned a lot from my internet friends and I would be happy to add you to my list of friends.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Friday Favorites

I have not been doing much cruising this week but I have found a couple of really exciting posts.

Alsokaisen at Kaizen Journey is taking the Contemporary Woven Boro workshop with Jude Hill.  She has several posts that show off her woven fabrics including her hand dyed ombre, itajime, and shibori fabrics.

Have you heard of One World One Heart?  I had not until this week but it is the fifth and last year of the challenge.  The goal is to meet other bloggers world wide.  You have until Feb 12 to become a participant.  I want to play.  Notice the button on the side of my blog--I am giving away the 5" x 5" quilt I made for the Art for Hunger Show.  Tomorrow I will post my official participating post.
Vicki Welsh at Field Trips in Fiber spent a weekend on batiks.  How lovely that she did that right at the  beginning of the month of batik for And Then We Set It On Fire!  Very nice pictures and she totally different methods than Beth has posted in her tutorial.  Always wonderful to find different ways of doing something isn't it?

Last one I am excited about this week is Madeleine's Artistically Altered post on eco-dyeing with lemons.  I wish I had seen it before I put out my Erosion Bundle.

Drawing class update

Last week we were given a drawing by Picasso and told to hang it upside so we could focus on drawing the  lines in it.  Here is mine, first as drawn and then turned around.  I drew it in pencil then went over the 'good'  lines with my ruling pen (thanks, Melanie).  You can tell which one is mine from the ink blobs where I was learning how much ink the pen can hold.  I think I will enter this in the Sketchbook Challenge. This month's theme is Opposites and the picture is upside down afterall.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Erosion Bundle

Today we got over a foot of snow.  My work was closed so I took advantage of the extra time to make my erosion bundle. 

I rolled up cherries and iron in lace and an old yellow sheet. 

Bound it with strips of cloth.

Cooked it in my designated dye pot with some alum. 

Allowed to cool.  

Placed it 7 ft in the air at the top one of my metal sculpture.  There it will stay till I get impatient.