Saturday, June 30, 2018

just what's happening in the studio?

well --- a lot!

the commission piece is finished

I will be delivering it to my customer next Saturday

it's pretty exciting to have this finished so I can concentrate on other projects

and this piece is finished

I have entered it in a local show, but have not yet heard if it has been accepted

because I've enjoyed doing these figures in landscapes, I'm working on creating the pattern to do this piece as the next one in that series

and this piece is finished

I have not entered this one in any thing yet -- I think it is a good candidate for Sacred Threads, and the entry for that is in the fall

this one has some unique features -- it is the first one of it's kind that I've done, and I was not sure if I make it look "real" enough -- not like a cartoon -- I'm pleased with the result -- and it's extra special because the shirt is actually made of a piece of his uniform

I was so pleased with this that I've decided to do a similar piece of my mother in law as a young woman -- as they say -- "watch this space"

this piece is being quilted!

this picture is the "thread audition" that resulted in my having a gallon ice cream bucket 2/3 full of spools of thread to be used in this process

this piece is moving right along too

the background for the barn is almost complete, then I need to create the tree

this will be ready for quilting before too long

sometimes what is happening in the larger world impacts what happens in my studio

in the last two weeks the ongoing horror on our southern border has seeped into the sanctuary of the art space and has resulted in this piece

it is 8 inches high and 16 inches wide and has been donated to a local artist that is working on a project that focuses on the building of the wall (if you are interested in seeing more about her project you can google Lea McComas and see more)

there is a call for entries from SAQA that is titled "Forced to Flee", that until a few days ago I had no ideas for anything that would be suitable

making the brick for the wall lead me to an idea for that call, so I'm working on that piece too

my garden is doing well too

so far all of the heavy hail storms have gone around us so we are already eating zucchini and green onions and we have tomatoes that a ripening

Mr Benson tells me he's having to work really hard

his duties supervising in the studio and chasing birds and bunnies out of the garden are keeping him busy!

A long overdue update

it's been so long, I hardly know where to begin

usually I bury the lead, but this seems like the time to begin with the hardest news

shortly after my last blog post, I took the DH to the doctor so he could discuss with her some issues he was having

frankly, I was thinking we were going to be told he was starting into some sort of memory issues, but it turns out he was not getting enough oxygen, so he is now using oxygen all the time

this is the concentrator that he is tethered to when we are at home, and there are two small canisters that can be filled from it that provide him with oxygen when we are out of the house (these last about 2 1/2 hours each)

while his doctor and his insurance would have been happy to allow him to have a small portable oxygen concentrator that would have allowed us the freedom to travel further, it does not properly activate for him when he breathes in, so it is not an option

meantime, he's been through a series of tests to examine the possibility that there is an underlying, treatable condition that would explain the scarring in his lungs that is causing the symptoms, only to discover that it appears to be idiopathic interstitial lung disease

it may be because he had bulbar polio when he was 12, it may be aggravated by living in a home as a child that was heated with coal and had parents that smoked, it may be added to by  the environment he worked in that involved extremely toxic chemicals -- it may be all of those things, they just don't know

the good news in this is that while many folks diagnosed with this have some quickly progressing issue, he seems to be much more stable -- his scarring has progressed very slowly over the four years that elapsed between the CT scans

because there is no established cause, there is also no real treatment -- he will continue to be on oxygen and his condition will be monitored

we're trying to adjust to this new "wrinkle" in things

Thursday, May 17, 2018

May Days

and here we are, already more than half way through the "merry, merry month of May"!

a little utilitarian stitching!

this was originally a t-shirt style top, and my daughter loved the print (I can see why!), but even though it was a size that should have fit her quite well, it was just too snug to be comfortable

so she asked me if I could cut it down the front and make it into a "jacket"

yup, I still can do that!  I even had a piece of an old orange t-shirt that I could cut pieces to neatly face that opening


work on the commission continues

after I took this photo, we decided that the bottom edge looked a little stark, so I've added some little bits of grass along there

the binding is on now, so all that is left is a sleeve, a slat and a presentation bag

this will be done well ahead of my deadline

this piece is titled "View from the Farm House Window"

it is a 12"x12" piece that is my donation to the annual SAQA fund raising auction

it will be going in the mail tomorrow morning -- the auction is in September

in among other things, I have been working on the garden

I've added the wind chimes, put some pale shadows of the arbor at the bottom and painted some lighter areas in that very dark green in the background

I think I'm ready to quilt this (I know, that's what I said before, and I may change it some more, but it is getting closer!)

sometimes when I start a piece, I decide that it is going the wrong direction

I originally started doing the barn for the next piece I'm working on in brown tones and very narrow "planks"

which did nothing but frustrate

it has been redesigned, and I'm cruising along on the new barn in weathered gray "wood"

much better!

and since I am now quilting on the last fused piece, I'm now working on the design for the next one

this is titled "Sailor Boy", and I will be doing the entire piece in blues -- like an old cyanotype

looking forward to getting started putting fabric on it

of course there is more going on than just what I'm doing in the studio

back on April 18, we had a big wind storm (70 mph gusts!) that resulted in some significant damage to our roof, so we will be having a new one put on

just waiting to be "next in line" on the roofer's schedule to have this done

from time to time when Mr. Cute has a day off from school, he gets to come and play at gramma's

I introduced him to the concept of weaving -- every kid need to have some experience with those plastic frames and loops of fabric!

if he wants to do more complex stuff, there is a 4 harness loom in my studio he can work on!!!

and of course there was a bit of playing around with the dog
and it's gardening season again

this year I basically have a "salsa garden" --- lots of tomatoes, peppers/chilis and red onions --- but I do have two zucchinis and two cucumbers out there too

now we just hope for no hail!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

End of the month update

well, once again the time has gotten away from me --- guess there's no fighting it!

that said, here's a look at what I've been up to for the past 20 days

this piece is finally finished -- the fun part (ie the embroidery on the front) has been finished for a while, but I've finally done the finishing work on it -- yeah!

I am working on the quilting of this commissioned piece now -- as of yesterday, I'm about 1/3 finished with that, so it is moving right along

the fusing on this piece is done, and it has been put together and is ready for quilting

this small piece (12"x12") is on the design wall right now -- I plan to donate this to the annual SAQA auction, so it has a June 1 deadline -- need to step it up and get this finished soon!

I think the garden is just about ready for the quilting

there are a few things that I want to do with InkTense pencils to add some details on it, but for the most part, I'm happy with it now --- no small thanks to my critique group that helped me figure out what it was about it that just wasn't working!

since I am done with the hand work on the garden, I have started on what will be the next stitched piece

this is made up from parts of four different photos, but the point of inspiration for it is the barn

I took the photo of this barn, which has been sitting in a field a couple of miles from my house for years, slowly falling apart

not long ago, it was announced that the city has given permission for it to be torn down, so it was photograph it now or loose it forever

I think I'm going to like this piece!

and I plan to use this photo for the basis of the next fused piece

this working in two different methods allows me to continue doing both small and large pieces

this is Mr Cute following in his gramma's footsteps!

last weekend his rocket ship was part of the District Art Exhibit --- I'm thrilled that he is as excited by art (and music) as he is about sports

and of course no post is complete without a photo of The Artist's Supervisor - aka Mr Benson

he thinks he's having to work awful hard, but he's trying to keep at least one eye on the artist at work!

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

March was a VERY busy month.....

sometimes I marvel that "once upon a time", back when I first started blogging, I posted almost EVERY. SINGLE. DAY!

in my defense, back then I was not cranking out much art!

that said, here's what I've been up to since the last posting out here

the commission piece is moving right along (this picture is actually from about a week ago, and there is a lot more that is finished since then)

my customer is very pleased with the whole look of this piece, and I've been pleased that the process I decided to use to create it has gone well too

this piece is all finished now

I really like the colors and the reflective look of the water -- it's been added to the list of pieces that are available to enter in shows

thanks to a friend that was visiting in Tubac, AZ, I have a photo of my two pieces that were part of the "Shock of the New West" show in the Tubac Gallery -- these were the only pieces of fiber art that were included in this exhibit -- pretty cool!

  I have been notified that this piece has been accepted to a show titled "Portraying Pets and People" that will be held in the 311 Gallery in Raleigh, NC, during the month of May

meantime, work in the studio continues on other projects as well

these two pieces will soon be "welded" together for the final piece --- I have found that it is easier to do the details of the figures on parchment first where I can "fiddle" with the colors then fuse them together then do the background and at the end the figures get added as one big piece on top

this piece is in the pattern drawing stage, and it will be a 12x12 piece that I plan to donate to the SAQA auction

and then there is this

working title is "Storm at Sea"

in my master class this year we are doing some collage work (we are to bring 4 collages to class every month -- made on a 4x6 inch card)

this was one of my collage pieces last month, and it created a lot of discussion during class, including the instructor suggesting it would make a striking fiber piece, and that no one else she is aware of is using this surreal approach in fiber work

yup, I'm thinking about boldly going where I have not gone before

and under the category "burying the lead", the biggest event during the past month was my acceptance as a Juried Artist Member (JAM) with the Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA)

I have had this set as a goal for a number of years, but over the last year and a half I have work continuously to create both a body of work and a resume of acceptance in shows that would allow me to apply for this

it still feels a little, well - surreal!

and now there will be no resting on one's laurels -- it's important to set the next goal (I'm working on that) and continue to Just Do The Work!!!!!

which means I'll continue to wear out my Artist's Supervisor on a regular basis


Monday, March 05, 2018

commission work, and new pieces

the wall is complete!  it's now ready for me to do the quilting

because I believe in the "measure twice, cut once" philosophy, I've spent the last few days working on a mini piece (12x12) to work out how to do the vines and the pictures

I think I've got it figured out

this piece has been fused and now I'm working on the quilting --- this piece is about 19 inches square, and it looks pretty good so far

now that the goose is off the design wall, I'm working on this piece

moving right along!

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Radio Silence Broken......

hey folks, I'm working here!!

as I said at the end of my last post, I am working on a commission piece

which means I've been working on stitching this background which will be the stacked stone wall basis for the pictures that will be added on top

this is the drawing (I love using tracing paper to create the layers of a piece like this so I can see what it will look like)

the plan is to add a layer of silk organza over the wall, then add the pictures (the outlined blank spaces in the drawing) and the detailed vines around them

the wall is almost done -- this is moving right along!

this piece is making it's way to North Caroline to join all of the other commemorative pieces in the 70273 Project

it is 15 inches wide and 72 inches long and contains 365 pairs of red Xs in memory of 365 disabled people murdered by the Nazis in the 1930s

while I was shipping of the memorial piece, I also sent off these two pieces out of the Parched Earth series to a gallery in Tubac, AZ for a show titled "Shock of the New West"

I learned this week that this piece was accepted into a show titled "Contrast" that will be in the Parker Art Center

for the past two years I've been thinking (and talking) about applying to be a Juried Artist Member of Studio Art Quilt Associates -- I've been a member of the organization for quite a while, served as a volunteer regional representative twice and curated a bunch of shows for the group

being a Juried Artist Member (JAM) requires submission of a portfolio of photos of a body of work, a resume and an artist statement --- becoming a JAM means recognition of your abilities and accomplishments by a group of your peers

this week I completed my package and applied to be a JAM -- the committee meets after March 1, so sometime soon I will know if I was accepted --- I'm keeping my fingers crossed

in keeping with my habit of working on more than one project at a time, this piece is currently on the design wall

because of the small size of some of the sky pieces, I will be doing this as a fused piece

this one should be fun

Benson has had a busy week playing in the snow and other craziness

we received the results of his Wisdom Panel (doggie DNA test) -- while the guess was that he was a cross between a labrador and a red heeler, the test says he's neither of those

he is actually about 1/4 Australian Shepard, 1/4 Australian Cattle Dog, 1/4 Chow Chow, and 1/4 Alaskan Husky with trace genetics of Boxer, Great Dane and Golden Retriever

as my daughter says -- 100% good dog!!

with that mixed heritage, we're likely to avoid the problems that inbred dogs have, so he's likely to be around to amuse us for a long time