Portfolio of older work

Monday, December 31, 2012

Day One

Beth gave me a book for Christmas.  She did research to find the best book on Zentangles and gifted me with a book by Beckah Krahula. There are 42 days of exercises.  Here is Day One in my handmade Zentangle sketch book.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Play Date with Beth

Beth and I got together on Saturday for a wax and dye day.  Beth wanted to try a technique she found here on Edwina Mackinnon's blog.  Beth had fallen in love with the brush marks on the finished fabric. 

 She read and re-read the blog to figure out how it was done, prepared the brushes, mixed the dyes, and sent me the instructions.  I showed up. What a slacker! Beth will post her own results but here is my process and result.

I started out with a yard of white cotton fabric, pinned it on Beth's dye board, and spritzed it with soda water.
 I brushed the fabric with lemon yellow, golden yellow, turquoise, and basic blue.  I tried to leave white spaces and brush with a light stroke to leave brush marks.  I added some blue splatters for interest.

Here is a close up.
There are no pictures for the next couple of steps. We wrapped our dyed fabric in plastic and let it batch for hour.  Then we draped the batched fabric over a drying rack, turned on multiple fans, and let the fabric completely dry.

If you look really, really close, you can see the wax stripes that I have brushed on the dyed, batched, dried fabric.  I used a foam brush that Beth had notched.

Next step was to coat the dyed, batched, dried and waxed fabric with thickened dye.  I was going to only use Fuchsia but I ran out and Beth had leftover Navy Blue so I used some of it too.  I thought it would add some lovely depth.

Once again we wrapped the fabric in plastic and batched.  And there are no pictures of my washing and washing out all of that dye, hot-water rinsing to get the wax out, washing it in the washing machine, drying it in the dyer, and ironing it.

But here are the finished results--one large and several small detail shots showing all the brush stokes.  I am in love!  I think it is the best fabricI have ever done.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Friday Favorites

I will be in an art show tonight.  I'll show you pictures of the work I exhibited and the show tomorrow.  I am hoping it will go well. By well, I just mean that someone shows up and someone makes a comment and someone plays on the design board I am going to put up.  Could be the same someone but perhaps three different someones will come.  I don't expect to sell anything.  I am not opposed to selling anything but  I didn't create art stuff for the purpose of selling it at the show.  I just made my art. The two types of art are not necessarily the same.  Know what I mean?

Friday Favorites

I love the work done by Constance Rose.  This particular piece is named Before the Fall.   I love it for several reasons.  One, it is simple.  I love complicated piecing but it is good to remember that it does not have to be complex to be interesting. Two, it is eco-dyed fabric.  I have tried eco-dying and love it but it takes much more magic than dying with MX dyes.  I need to practice more to get the lovely colors she gets here.  And Three, the stitching is simple.  I have so much trouble with my stitching.  How much is just right and how much is too little or too much?  I think Connie got it right in this piece.

I had to laugh when I read Lynn Krawezyk say she loves bad art.  She doesn't really like bad art but she loves to give herself permission to make art and determine later if it is good or bad. That is one of the nice things about surface design or piecing. With surface design you can always dye or paint over or bleach it out.  With piecing you can always cut it up and sew it together into something better.  If it is still ugly then you cut it into smaller pieces and try again.

I read Lynn's post the same week I read Robet Genn's post on Autopoietic Art. For me the two fit together.  First, just experiment and see what happens. Second, let the results tell you what comes next.  Sound simple doesn't it?  It takes practice but some of my best work was created using that process.

Beth sent me to Edwina MacKinnon's blog.  I linked you to her blog rather than to a paticular post.  Beth wanted me to see the thickened dye and wax resist experiments.  I loved the rusted cloth.  Another post has experiments using flour resists.  All yummy.

If you remember, send good thoughts my way for the art show.

Monday, December 3, 2012

I just won!

Laura at Periwinkle Quilts just chose my name for this scrumptious book!  I have done some experimenting with this technique before--some more successful than others--and I am so excited to try more! 
Experiments to come!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday Favorites

These are not all my Sandy Blocks but are a sampling.  I volunteered to make 20.  I think I ended up with 23.  We are told not to send more than the number we volunteered but I have put together enough scrap quilts to know that a couple of extra blocks can let you have some choices in the arrangement of the blocks.  I will send all 23 and the volunteer putting them together can use them, donate them, or throw them away.

These are the last of the sock animals I will be making for the Maine Children's Home for Little Wanderers.  If you can't tell, they are a lion, giraffe, dog, and rabbit.  I didn't count how many I personally made in total but it was somewhere around 25 I believe.  Now I get to make one for a give-away on "And Then We Set It On Fire" and several for assorted grandchildren for Christmas presents.  The most exciting part of the sock animal saga was when I taught my 8 year-old granddaughter, Abby, to make them.  During my two day visit she made 4 of them.  Her stitches were close to mine. She is quite the artist.  Since every year their family makes things to donate in the name of one of their grandparents as a Christmas Present, Abby is donating them as a gift to her other grandmother.  Isn't my daughter doing a wonderful job of starting the children early to serve others!

Friday Favorites
Okay, I admit it.  I get PVA and PVC mixed up all the time.  One is a white glue and the other is plastic pipe.  When Working to Live-Living to Work talked about a new resist method using PVA glue, I thought she meant PVC glue.  Oops! My bad.  I have tried this resist technique using the gel type glue and it washes out very readily.  I like what she has done in her experiment!  While at her blog, I also checked out her paper-stencil technique with the silk screen.   I have tried just random paper strips but not a cut intentional pattern like she did.  I will have to give it a try soon.

It is not that Jane LaFazio needs me to hype her classes but I do like the tiny tutorial she wrote on sketch and watercolor.  She makes it look so easy! And while there, I checked out other tutorials she has on her blog and found this one on making a studio box.  While a lot of work, I think I might make a few to put the granchildren's sock animals in for Christmas.

So little time and so much to do!  I am back to the sewing machine.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday Favorites

Ever watch Wheel of Fortune when the challenge is Before and After?  I thought of that when I wrote this Friday Favorites to be posted on Black Friday.  Are you one of the people who has stood in line for two weeks to get a Black Friday Special?  Feel free to tell me all about your fabulous deals after I wake up much later in the day.

I am spending this Thanksgiving on the road to my daughter's house for the weekend.  I will be with my husband, enjoying his company, and looking forward to seeing my grandchildren.  May you also have a wonderful Thanksgiving wherever you choose to spend it.

Friday Favorites

Nina-Marie has chosen two of my favorite topics to blog about in this post--her cross series and why artists should work in a series.  She learned the importance of working in a series by practicing lessons she learned from a class with Elizabeth Barton.  I learned it from Elizabeth Barton too.  I had to chose an artist to research in one of my art classes and I chose Elizabeth.  I read years of her posts and found that all together they formed a great art class.

I have registered to make 20 Wonky Log Cabin blocks for the Sandy Quilt Block Drive.  I don't have a lot of time but then these blocks come together very quickly.  I have tons of scraps that I am always looking for a way to use. This opportunity seems a perfect match.  If you want more information about how you can help those affected by Superstorm Sandy, check out the link.

Kim from Kim's Hot Textiles has a post that shows student work from one of her newspaper workshops.  I am not a big fan of glitter but I love the way that she uses newspaper to make papercloth and then the various ways she uses the material.  I am going to be in an art show in Dec and I might try making some brooches like she suggests.  Don't miss watching her tutorials on Youtube.  The links are on the left.

I have always loved Wen Redmond's work but her current artwork is particularly inspiring to me in the way that she finishes it.  While her base fabric is a printed photo, mine tends to be deconstructed silkprints but I am never quite sure how to finish them and display them.  I like Wen's approach of adding stitching--not necessarily quilting-- and then displaying them on a painted canvas.  No mistaking these for a potholder or placemat!

Okay, I admit it. This is just my type of eye-candy from Diana Trout.  I really admire artists who can let the stitching meander and form its own shapes.  I have much more of a tendency to make the stitches say something specific or lead somewhere or highlight something.  I really need to post some examples of Diana's work in a notebook to look at before I start stitching.  I want her freedom and perhaps I will get inspired.

May gratitude fill your hearts and inspiration find you this week!

Monday, November 19, 2012

A new blog, sock animals, and Friday Favorites

I give up!  I have held this from last Friday hoping to find my camera.  I guess you will just have to use your imagination.

I have joined the Art Quilts Around the World blog.  I was really tired of deadlines when I finished a year of monthly art quilts at Interpret This!  But that was in 2010 and I am ready for the challenge again in 2013.  And for this blog challenge, I only need to finish a quilt once every other month.  That will help keep my stress levels a bit lower--or at least less often!

And here are some more sock animals that will go to Maine's Children's Home for Little Wanderers.  We have already turned in about a dozen and the staff loved them.  We have another dozen to turn in this Sunday including the bunnies, lions, zebras, horses, dogs, frogs, and skunk!

Friday Favorites

Just one this week.  I must be feeling picky.
Ann climbs on her soap box to tell us to be original in our fiber work.  I totally agree with her.  I do look at quilts made from wonderful published patterns, better than I can design or really want to put thought into designing, and think how beautiful they are. But they are not mine.  I like making my own.  I might use elements of other patterns but I will combine them with pieces that are all me.  I want my quilt to be a piece of art not a paint by number.

And each time I design something, I learn something. And my design skills are getting better.  My compositions are better.  My color combinations are getting stronger.  I am turning out art (sometimes) and not remaking the same block 100 times and measuring my corners to make sure the quilt police won't frown.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Friday Favorites and Sock Animals

I have been missing my Friday Favorites so I am starting them back up again but first let me show you some sock animals I have made to donate to a local nonprofit that provides Christmas presents to disadvantaged children in Maine.  Here are the links to the  Kitty Cat pattern I used although mine looks much different.  I am also making dogs, bunnies, lions, and a couple of frogs from free patterns on the internet or Brenna Maloney's books.  I love her book; it is full of wit and makes me laugh while I try to figure out the patterns.  If you are in the vicinity of Waterville Maine, feel free to come to a workshop to make the stuffed animal socks this Saturday, Nov 10, from 9 am to noon.


Friday Favorites
I have posted a 5-post tutorial on extreme texture on And Then We Set It On Fire.  One of the tips was to check out Sharon's blog, Pintangle, for very textural hand stitches.  Here is a tutorial of hers on creating an Open Based Needlewoven Picot.  It would be a perfect stitch to use in an Extreme Texture piece.

Nina Marie has started her 3rd Cross Quilt.  Take a look.  Isn't it going to be fabulous?  I love, love, love her blocks!  On the first quick look they simple--just slightly different crosses in slightly different locations on the block in slightly different colors. But then a closer look lets you see the additional piecing in each block that really provides the additional texture and depth to make the block unique.  That little extra work shows you that is is not a kit quilt but one created by an artist.

Lately I have started making hand bound books so I really got excited to see Diana Trout's free tutorial on making fabric cloth.  She has provided both the text and a YouTube video.  I have tried the technique once but it never occurred to me to use the finished cloth as a book cover.  Here is a picture of my first attempt and the history behind it.  I need to do some stitching on it and get it finished. Perhaps I will use it for a hand made book for my daughter to keep in remembrance of her father.

Clare at Threads of Loveliness lost her mother a couple of weeks ago and has also turned to her art for comfort. She has been sewing a beautiful small journal quilt using the poem, Do Not Stand By My Grave and Weep.  It is healing to make something beautiful out of our sorrow.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

One Yard

It was a hot Saturday and I had no commitments so it was a perfect dye day.  Not so much.  Nothing turned out that I can swallow my pride to show except for this yard of fabric.  I really like it.  It was the final piece that I dyed just to use up the last of the soda-ash treated dyes rather than to throw them away. LOL Isn't that always the way!  A full shot and then two detail shots.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Living in Coal Country--A Beginning

I just got back from vacation.  We spent some time in West Virginia and north-eastern Kentucky.  Beautiful, beautiful Appalachia country.  One of the places we stopped was David's Appalachian Crafts.
It is run by a religious ministry that provides a wide range of services for the region including a food pantry, a nutrition program, and a second-hand clothes store.  The Crafts center is where local artisans can sell their crafts.  My husband bought a handmade mountain dulcimer built by a local minister.  I bought scraps of fabric and lace. Like I need more fabric scraps!  LOL  But they were so cheap!
When I saw the scraps for sale, I decided right then and there to start a quilt series titled Living in Coal Country.  I bought some yardage of dark fabrics to piece the bright scraps into.  I want the quilts to be an abstraction of the little houses perched on the mountain sides and with all the fabric bought at the Crafts center.  I have already started to put together some small blocks for the houses.  Here they are pinned on my design wall.
My goal is to incorporate Rayna Gilman's slice and dice technique and Kathy Loomis's skinny little lines technique.  Wish me good luck!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Skinny Little Lines on The Fire Blog

Kathleen Loomis is the guest artist on the "And Then We Set It On Fire" blog this month. She gave us a tutorial on making the skinny line quilts that she is famous for.  Here is my attempt at the technique.  For more information check out the post here.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

And now for some thichened dye experiments

I have been gone for sooooo long!  I loved every minute of my print class but I am also so happy that it is over for now!  Karen Adrienne, my instructor, promises that she will have an advanced print class in Spring in the evening when I can attend.  I am looking forward to it.  But till then I have all summer and fall to play with my surface designs and art quilts!  Yeah!

Beth and I got together on Friday and played with thickened dye.  The pictures of the monoprints are posted here on the Fire Blog.  But we did so much more than monoprinting!  We put the thickened dye into needle-nosed bottles and used it to draw lines and scribbles and writing.  Here are the process pictures.

And the washed, dried, and ironed finished piece with a detail shot.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Out of Africa

Out of Africa
Framed deconstructed silk screen
12x11.5 inches

Monday, April 16, 2012

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Another little quilt top

Just finished sewing another little scrap art quilt.  The top is not quite resolved but I am ready to move on to a new one.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Journey not a Series

I got my second series, Journey, back from being graded.  I got a B+ for the concept and an A- for the technique.  I am going to enter this one into the juried student show so I need to get it framed.  From this set of pieces I learned more about what a "series" is. 

The instructor said that I had the beginning of 2-3 series.  I am not going to post all the pictures again but you can go back to here to see them all if you want.  One series is the Venus figures; another is the circus tent--I have another one like that; the third series is the clothes tree--I have a couple more like that one.  I see her point.  I could have done 10 of the Venuses or 10 of big clothes being repurposed or 10 of the clothes tree.  Those would have been series.  But including them all together under the concept of losing weight does not tie them together well enough.

I was able to help someone else in class this week who is working on a series for figure-ground.  She is really creating two series.  I like them both but they are separate series.  One is of a spidery type of shape and the other series is a spiral.  I ask her which series she was going to complete and turn in. She had planned to turn in everything.  I told her my experience and what I had learned about series.  She is going to talk to the instructor next week and then determine which direction to go in. I'll be interested to see what she decides

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Current Project

I love making scrap quits.  I have been home the last couple of days with a cold so I have started another.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Batik Play Date

Saturday Beth and I got together and did some soy wax batik. These two are about 13 inch squares of dupioni silk that I batiked using acrylic ink.

Friday, March 16, 2012

2nd Print Series "Journey"

Artist Statement
This is a pictorial travelogue of a weight loss journey. Unfortunately, weight loss, especially when it is more than just a few pounds , is a long journey. To go from a Body Mass Index (BMI) of “Obese” to “Overweight” (and let’s not even talk about the final destination of “normal”) will take saying good bye to some good and faithful friends (i.e. emotional eating), and require a lifetime of eating strange foods ( i.e. vegetables) and visiting exotic locations (i.e. gym). It is the losing of one identity and the striving towards a new identity which you hope is: 1) achievable, 2) sustainable, 3) healthier, and definitely 4) sexier even though it won’t make you younger. My artistic influence comes from Matisse’s Large Reclining Nude, Louise Bougeois, and ancient Venus figurines.

Here are the words that are printed on some of the pictures.

How much weight have you lost?

1 pound = a Guinea Pig
1.5 pounds = a dozen Krispy Kreme glazed donuts
2 pounds = a rack of baby back ribs
3 pounds = an average human brain
4 pounds = an ostrich egg
5 pounds = a Chihuahua
6 pounds = a human's skin
7.5 pounds = an average newborn
8 pounds = a human head
10 pounds= chemical additives an American consumes each year
11 pounds = an average housecat
12 pounds = a Bald Eagle
15 pounds = 10 dozen large eggs
16 pounds = a sperm whale's brain
20 pounds = an automobile tire
23 pounds = amount of pizza an average American eats in a year
24 pounds = a 3-gallon tub of super premium ice cream
25 pounds = an average 2 year old
30 pounds = amount of cheese an average American eats in a year
33 pounds = a cinder block
36 pounds = a mid-size microwave
40 pounds = a 5-gallon bottle of water or an average human leg
44 pounds = an elephant's heart
50 pounds = a small bale of hay
55 pounds = a 5000 BTU air conditioner
60 pounds = an elephant's penis (yep, weights more than his heart!)
66 pounds = fats and oils an average American eats in a year
70 pounds = an Irish Setter
77 pounds = a gold brick
80 pounds = the World's Largest Ball of Tape
90 pounds = a newborn calf
100 pounds = a 2 month old horse
111 pounds = red meat an average American eats in a year
117 pounds = an average fashion model (and she's 5'11")
118 pounds = the complete Encyclopedia Britannica
120 pounds = amount of trash you throw away in a month
130 pounds = a newborn giraffe
138 pounds = potatoes an average American eats in a year
140 pounds = refined sugar an average American eats in a year
144 pounds = an average adult woman (and she's 5'4")
150 pounds = the complete Oxford English Dictionary
187 pounds = an average adult man
200 pounds = 2 Bloodhounds
235 pounds = Arnold Schwarzenegger
300 pounds = an average football lineman
400 pounds = a Welsh pony

By this scale I have lost an average 2 year old, a human head, including the brain, and all my skin.