Saturday, July 23, 2016

write it down

when my daughter graduated from the 8th grade, her teacher talked about having a top ten list (a la David Letterman)

her top ten list began with:  #10 -- Write it Down!

in the past few months I have tried to focus on working in a series for my pieces -- or rather two series!

either way, it's a good thing to keep a list of what the ideas are for each series - preferably in a place that I can't loose them

this was my solution -- a small white board hanging in my studio to write those ideas on

and oh yes -- it's color coded -- the goal is to have every one of those ideas be written in red -- that's the "finished" color -- one down and many to go



the quilting on the background for the parched earth tree has begun

and of course as soon as I started selected thread for this I found that I had the color I wanted to use, but only a tiny bit of it

so that meant a trip to the local quilt store to get a spool of thread -- uh, since when can I buy just one spool of thread?  I came home with 5 spools -- all of them to be used on the Parched Earth series






one of those spools of thread is specifically for the bottom edge of this piece


I solved the issue of the "floating trees" by putting a small section of the "parched dirt" looking pattern at the bottom under them -- only in this piece that will be shades of gray for the ash of the fire

the pattern pieces for this have been prepared, so I can start on that applique work soon

as soon as I finish appliqueing this one that is

the entire sky for the background of the truck is done and I'm now working on the mountain --- looking good!

at the design wall the sky and most of the fields for "The Farm" are in and it was fun to put in those gloriously red trees

about 2/3 of this is done, and I'm getting antsy to have it finished and off the wall so I can start the next one

not long ago another fiber artist said to me "you need to have something you can carry to show your work to people"

at the time I didn't take that very seriously because I really didn't have a lot of work to show

this week for the first time I wished I had taken her advice when someone asked me to tell them about my work

ok -- I get it (I'm slow, but I do learn!) -- so I have ordered one copy of a small (8"x8") paperback book that has 23 pages showing my work

and my plan is to update it at the end of the year so it will reflect all of the 2016 fiber art projects

it's actually kind of exciting to see that on the screen -- and I'm thinking having the actual book in my hands will be even more so

the last of the leaves for this project are complete!

now I'm waiting for the leather for the backing and the beads for the edging to arrive -- hopefully this week

onward and upward!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

art is where you see it

Early in the week I decided that I needed a tall stool in my studio so I could work for longer periods of time without my legs and back hurting so much.  I figured it was going to be a while before I could find one that gave me what I needed at a price I could afford.

I was pleasantly surprised during my trip to Walmart to discover this lovely one that is exactly the right height, has a nicely padded seat, swivels and is actually attractive -- all that at a price I could afford!!  Whooot!!

And when I headed home from my local Walmart, I went the back road around and the DH spotted this awesome barn, so I pulled off the road and took some pictures.

I'm thinking that at least part of this will make it into a piece of work for the Parched Earth series.

It's all about being aware of what is around you.

This week I've continued to work on the leaves for the beaded piece I'm doing.

These are beaded leaves 4, 5, 6 and 7 -- moving right along here

I've just ordered the beads I need to do the outside edges of all of this piece (since I've decided to enter it in a Fire Mountain Gems competition, I'm being really picky about the finishing process).

By the time those beads get here I hope to have all the rest of the leaves finished and ready.

The quilting on the first panel of the Evolution series (The Forest) is done.  I haven't decided yet what I will be doing for the edges of these, so I'm going to defer the binding for now

The work on the design wall continues on the second panel of the Evolution series (The Farm) -- the sky is done and I'm working my way down the fields to the barn

Since the quilting was finished on The Forest, it's time to change the thread color palette and move into quilting on this piece #2 in the Parched Earth series -- no green here -- just blues, grays and browns and I'm ready to go on it having gotten the silk layer pinned on top of the colored panel

And here is the week's progress on #3 in the Parched Earth series -- at this point it doesn't look like much, but I see progress none the less


Once again this week there are wild fires filling the news. 

This is the concept "drawing" for a piece I'm working on that is tentatively titled "Fire" for the Parched Earth series

I'm not sure if I'm done "tweeking" this design yet -- right now the trees and warped studs look like they are "floating" and I'm not sure that's what I want it to look like

Still thinking about it

Not every moment was spent working on art this week

Some time was spent making up a batch of strawberry jam -- and it's quite yummy

It's been a good year for strawberries, and we didn't have any more strawberry jam in the cabinet, so it was time

I'm hoping to get my hands on some apricots to do a batch of jam from them soon


Sunday, July 10, 2016

work continues

the deadline for the challenge I was making this piece for has come and gone, and I'm not really close to having this piece finished, but it has evolved along the way to the point that I may think about entering it in the annual Fire Mountain Gems seed bead competition

yesterday I finished the third of the big leaves, so now it's on to the smaller ones

the quilting on the trees piece is coming right along
and I have most of the sky of the next piece up on the design wall

and here is a look at what these will possibly look like hanging together -- from forest to farm to sky scrapper

and yesterday I started thinking about what the fourth and fifth panel would look like

moving right along

the tree is ready for the second of the parched earth series -- I need to quilt the background panel before it can be attached, and that couldn't start until the order of silk organza arrived -- and it's here now, so this week the quilting on that can begin

and the stitching on the third of the parched earth series backgrounds has begun

this is a big piece -- 5 feet wide by a little over 2 feet tall -- but it had to be big to be the right scale for the truck!

on Friday my daughter and my grandson were here and we all played with the tye dye kit, we used a number of the t shirts that my son-in-law had as give aways from HGTV paint by Sherman Williams

our theory was that a t shirt that advertises paint should have some color to it!!


when I did the wash out in the machine, I tossed in two color catchers --- and they came out of the process black

here's where the lesson in color theory comes in:  when you are dealing with paint or dye, black is the presence of all color, and white is the absence of all color --- when you are talking about light, white is the presence of all color and black is the absence of all color ---

cool!

it's a coaster

it's about 3.5 inches square, and I crocheted it for my daughter's office in about an hour

she has a new, executive job, so a tacky piece of a bar towel on the desk as a coaster under her water bottle just won't do

it was my pleasure to do this for her --- I'm very much the proud mama here --- I love seeing her be a success!

and there is a certain irony here too -- back when I had the office job she made me a fiber coaster that I used under the cup on my desk

and so the student becomes the master.......



Monday, July 04, 2016

going faster by slowing down


last week began with a trip to Ft Logan National Cemetery for my dad's committal service --  here is what I said there:


Dad didn't want us to make a fuss.

When he told us that he was not going to do any more surgeries he said there was no need to hold a gathering 

Sorry dad, as the survivors, we just over ruled you 

A few years ago,  we took mom and dad with us to Springfield,  MO, where we were doing an art show  

Dad had a baseball cap that said WW II Veteran on it 

During that weekend I saw people stop and talk to him and thank him for his service  

He never talked about it, and we didn't really grow up thinking of him as part of what has been called the “greatest generation” -- but he was 

Which brings me to why we over ruled him  

We believe he deserves this tribute and the honor of a final salute

In the time since he passed, I have received a number of cards from people I barely know that are members of my local quilt guild -- it has been a sweet reminder that even strangers will give you a hand up if they know a little bit about you

On three occasions during that time I have had a quote from Marianne Williamson included in either a personal note or some other communication online:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.  We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?  Actually, who are you not to be?  You are a child of God.  Your playing small does not serve the world.  There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.  We are all meant to shine, as children do.  We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.  It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.  And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.



This reaching out by others has resulted in an odd phenomena -- the odd sensation that as all this caring is a stream of water pouring into the glass and running over the sides in the form of ideas and art work

here is what that art week looked like:

 the bead embroidery on both of these is complete -- I still have a few more of these to do for the project, but these came out really well!

the quilting has begun on the first piece of my Evolution series - the forest

and I have begun the work on the next piece - the farm

the tree for the second Parched Earth series - the tree is coming along well -- as soon as the order from Dharma Trading arrives with the needed silk organza I'll be able to start quilting the background of this piece too

I have finally figured out a background for the truck piece I created earlier in the year

this piece began as a "one of" stand alone, but now it will be the third of the Parched Earth series

this was what the first parched earth piece looked like before I decided to cut that top third off of it

I saved that piece because while it didn't look like dust (which was my original idea), it did look like fire
unfortunately, I had already done quite a bit of quilting on it before I decided to chop it, which meant I had to "skin" it so that I can move forward with the idea I have to make it into a piece on it's own

a piece that will involve using some of these shapes

I don't know yet is this is another "stand alone" piece or if it will fit in the parched earth series -- I'll have to decide that later

of course there is the required picture of the wild ginger dog -- we started a new obedience class on Tuesday and she is doing very well -- sometimes a totally different approach is what is required

Onward to another full week!!



 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

work continues

actually, I've been pretty productive since I last got here to post anything

the bead embroidery work on this piece is complete now, so I'm moving on to the leaf pieces that go with it

since I had finished the quilting on the two big pieces I was working on, I decided to pull out and finish the last two in the shed door series

it feels good to finish a project this big -- even if it did take me over two years to do so!

next up for this series is the photography session as there is a gallery that has expressed interest in having the entire series in their space (pretty exciting that!)

so this will be the next thing under the needle

I finished putting pieces in a few days ago, and after looking at it for that long, I've decided it's time to fuse it down, put the "sandwich" together and start quilting

and since that piece is at that stage, I've been working on the concept "drawings" for the next one in that series

this is already a "did I do that?!" moment, as this entire piece is something I created in PhotoShop from bits and pieces from a number of photos I have in my file

it's time to create the "map" and start thinking about fabrics to do the fusing of this piece

this is a close up of the bottom section of the next Parched Earth piece

and this is the concept for the finished work -- you can see there on the left side the beginning of that cracked dirt portion of the piece

as soon as the background layer is finished, I'll start in on the tree which will not get applied to this until a layer of silk is put on and the first quilting done

and since I'm thinking about how I'll do that tree, I did some experimenting with some scrap fabric

a friend of mine makes her pieces by building the individual units that make them up on a piece of parchment and fuses them together then she can put the parts together

I've been thinking about that, and wondering if that technique will work with the materials that I'm using for my pieces

this experiment shows that it will

the picture on the left is the raw parts laying on a sheet of parchment, the picture on the right is the entire unit after I ironed it to fuse it and peeled it off the parchment -- it still maintains it's "sticky note" usability, so this experiment was a success!

these 4 dogs (and one more) all came out of the same litter

except for the two black ones, they barely look related!

because Gypsy is so unlike either of the two labs we have previously had, we decided that knowing just what is in her genetic background would be a great help to better training and less angst

the DNA test kit went in the mail yesterday, so by the time she's going in to have her spaying surgery in mid July, we should have a much better idea of just what we've got

meantime she continues to entertain and baffle us

(the picture on the right should be titled:  "You talking to me?")

this week's activities include my dad's committal service at Ft Logan National Cemetery tomorrow morning, a dentist appointment and a test to determine if my ongoing gut pain is being caused by a non-functional gall bladder (I've been dealing with this since February!) -- it's going to be a full week