Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Step 2 of The Stamping Experiment

The next step is to choose the color palette and focus in on one part of the cloth on which to begin.
Threads I will probably use
I plan on doing this artwork mostly by hand. I need a break from machine sewing after the weeks at the machine I just spent. Plus, it will be fun to practice hand stitches and maybe learn some new ones. Do you have anything you want me to show you in detail as I go? Please ask.

Monday, April 29, 2013

What To Do With A Stamping Experiment?

I'm a member of an art group called ArtsEtc. This fiscal year, we are working through the exercises in

Finding Your Own Visual Language: A Practical Guide to Design and Composition by Claire Benn, Jane Dunnewold, and Leslie Morgan. http://www.amazon.com/Finding-Your-Own-Visual-Language/dp/0955164923  One of the exercises is to carve stamps. We did that at one of our monthly meetings. At the next meeting, we stamped fabric. Our goal was not to create an artwork at the meeting. It was to discover patterns that spoke to us and to explore those patterns more at home during the month. Here is one of the pieces of fabric I stamped.
stamped textures
All of the above textures were stamped with acrylic paint mixed from black and white to make a gray. The fabric is white cotton muslin. The stamps I carved were all from Easy Cut blocks from Dick Blick

http://www.dickblick.com/products/blick-e-z-cut-printing-blocks/ I used a combination of a lino cutter and an Exacto knife to cut them. The only texture you see above not from Easy Cut is on the bottom right. That was made from sticking pieces of styrofoam (that I cut with scissors) onto a square of sticky-backed craft foam.

So over the next few days, I plan to make artwork out of it even though that wasn't the intent of stamping it. I like the look of sections of it and can see promise for it. More promise than just stapling it into my journal with some notes about it. I'll post pictures as it progresses so that you can get ideas on how to use your stamps.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Eye Candy for You

I've been so busy working on my SAQA entry for the Color Wheel of Emotion exhibit I haven't taken the time to make a new post. Yesterday I started working about 8AM and quit after midnight. I took an hour and a half break for my volunteer job helping a four-year old read in the morning and in the evening I attended an art show put on by our high school in which some of my ex students had works exhibited. It was good seeing them again. Anyway, I'm on schedule with my quilt. I have about 45 minutes of embroidery to do today still and then only the binding to put make and put on. And of course, I have to take good photos of it which is always frustrating for me. But I have plenty of time left. I can't show you photos of the quilt, but here is a photo of the silks I used on it. I absolutely love their colors and the patterns of the dyes in them. They make my heart sing!

Small part of my quilt
This is a very small part of my quilt with some of the silks and some cotton that was snow-dyed by Kelly Hendrickson. http://kellyartist.blogspot.com/  Back to work. Once I'm finished, I hope to make this blog more about you. Take care and have an artful day.

Friday, April 19, 2013


I, like so many of you have my thoughts with those in the Boston area. As I listen to the news today, it is impossible to understand the psychology of the violence involved. So for today, I leave you with a photo of a piece of a quilt I made a few months ago. It says "Peace on Earth" in many different languages.
Peace On Earth

Monday, April 15, 2013

I Digress...

I usually stick to art topics on my blog, but today was unusual for me and I want to share it with you. A rooster showed up in our yard the other day and won't leave. We drove around and found where it belonged. A lady said she just bought it and it took off and she couldn't catch it.  We told her where we lived and expected she would come and get it, but she never showed up. When I went into our garage this evening this is what I found.

I think we have a new family member. I'll have to call the vet tomorrow and find out how to care for a rooster. Our cats (indoor cats) have been very entertained seeing it patrolling our yard. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Moving In

Lucky Cat
Little by little I'm moving things into the studio. I put the dining room table that I just bought in first and put the storage units in that hold my fabrics. I put this little lucky cat in first, though. Opus, our 8 month-old, saw a squirrel outside the window and began to stalk it from on top of the window sill. Then he noticed Lucky Cat waving his arm and began to stalk it. He couldn't make up his mind which one had better potential and kept switching his attention from one to the other. It was very entertaining.
After Lucky Cat was moved in, I moved in this chair and pillow for a cat perch. (Have to make sure they are happy first.)
It came in handy already for them to watch the rooster that showed up in our yard yesterday. We can't find the owner and it doesn't seem to want to leave. I might have to go out and buy rooster food for it (whatever that is) and give it a name. Any suggestions?

Then we moved in the 8 ft table. I bought it to become my sewing table, but now that I've worked on it cutting and fusing for a few days, I think it would make a great cutting table. I'll buy something for under the legs to raise it about 6 inches taller. And I'll buy another dining room table for my sewing table.
 Everything is messy now because I don't have anything with shelves or drawers. After I buy the needed furniture, I'll paint it all and arrange the room into four areas.
1. Cutting Table
2. Sewing Table
3. Craft Table for painting, drilling, etc.
4. Reading chair with floor lamp and bookshelves for magazine collection and books.

Now back to my quilt. I need to pick up the pace to meet the deadline of April 30.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

It Has Begun

     The construction crew left this morning for the last time. I baked cookies while they were here and gave them to them as a thank you when they were leaving. I have absolutely no complaints about the whole experience. They did a good job.
     I washed the floor, put the small desk where I think it will live and moved the futon to a temporary spot before it is sold. Anyone want to buy a used futon with a nice, sturdy wood frame? It opens into a double bed.
     Then I went to the thrift store and bought a lovely diningroom table for $50. It is a perfect size for a sewing table. After school is out in June, I'll have my husband cut a corner out for the sewing machine and build it so the machine will sit flush with the surface of the table. Here is a website that has directions on how to do it. make-sewing-machine-table  and here is another one: sewing-table-tutorial. I'll let him choose which one to follow. For now, I can use the table just like I've been using our diningroom table for years with the sewing machine on top.
     After I leave you, I'll move my fabric storage boxes into the studio and set up my in-process quilt and get working cutting and fusing. It is going to be so GREAT working in a large room.  I leave you with a photo I took of an incense burner in front of candles. It represents me "in the zone". Ohm....stitch, stich, Ohm...

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


I took a break from my work on a larger quilt yesterday to make a small one (8 inches x 10 inches). There is a store/gallery downtown that has some of my quilts on display for sale. It's called Funky Trunk Treasures and if you visit the link you'll see that its logo is a peacock feather. So I made this quilt for Kimberly, the owner to display in her shop.
Kimberly's Feather
It was a lot of fun to make and I finished it off by sewing some glass beads onto it. 
Today, I painted the background of my larger quilt with some textile paints. The weather was beautiful today and some migratory birds have been coming through the yard lately. I'm expecting Indigo Buntings any day now. They always visit in mid April for a few days and I don't want to miss seeing them so I set up my fabric and paints outside on our screened-in patio. One of my cats sat on the table with me and watched every move I made. He occasionally grabbed my paintbrush as I used it. Eventually, a box turtle came out of the woods and Opus, the cat, was distracted and left me to watch the turtle make its way across the yard. I was going to go on a bike ride and take my sketching supplies but it was too nice at home.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Be Happy

I found out today that my second prayer flag quilt was also not accepted into a showing in which I had hoped to be selected. It was for QuiltingArts Magazine's "Text Me" challenge. I'm trying to be upbeat in spite of that. Here is my entry:
Spread Peace 2
You can see similarities and differences between this quilt and Spread Peace 1 quilt (which I still need to change in the area of the monk to make a better design).

I'm very happy with the fabrics that I created for these quilts and will continue to make some quilts with fabrics like them. I feel like I'm onto a worthwhile series. I'm also hoping to make some more quilts with prayer flags as the theme. Once I fix up Spread Peace 1, I'll enter it into another exhibit.
     I must say that I'm not used to getting rejected. When I was a science teacher (which I was for 23 years), I worked hard and strived to be the best teacher I could and my work was always evaluated objectively (as it should be in science). I could therefore know ahead of time if I was performing up to par or not since I knew what the criteria was. But with art, my works are evaluated subjectively (as they should) so I can't tell how I'm doing when I enter a piece into a show or a challenge. I have to get used to that.
And, I think, the bottom line is that I make my art to please me. I hope others like it and I want it to be exhibited (and sold to those who like it), but that isn't my main purpose. I'm very lucky that I'm retired from my other career and now I can pursue a passion just for me.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Thermofax Screen Needed?

I opened a can of black beans the other day and noticed a cool pattern on the inside of the lid. I took a photo and played with it in Photoshop Elements 10. I'm thinking of having a thermofax screen or two made from it and then use it with fabric paint to create a background fabric. Which version do you like best?

Version 1
Version 2
Version 3
Version 4
Version 5
Version 6

Version 7