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

Monday, January 08, 2018

It's a "Return"

I know -- it's been a long, L O O O N G time between posts out here.

The time between mid-October and Thanksgiving was extremely challenging as I was dealing with some issues that are now pretty well under control, and then I was playing "catch up" to get ready for Christmas!

So in today's blog post, we're going to play "catch up" out here!

Let's begin with the great Christmas reveal.  I work on Christmas things beginning in January, but I do keep pictures of things as I go along so I can show them all off at the end.

for a month or so my studio became the workshop for Mrs. Santa Claus!  and this year there were a lot of things that got cranked out

like these six aprons -- each one with it's own matching bias binding for trim

and seven pair of pajama pants -- two of which were made by stitching together the scraps from a number of past flannel projects

and there were six outfits for my great grand daughter's Barbie doll (I hadn't made Barbie clothes since I was a teenager --- yikes!)

and there had been knitting all through the year too -- a sweater for my daughter, a shawl for my sister and thick (double strand) mittens for my grandson to make snowballs with

then there were the hats  ..... for the great grand kids, and the DH, and the brother in law, and the little boy whose name we pulled off the Giving Tree in our local grocery store

not everything made of yarn was knit!

there was a hippo, a raccoon and two penguins (one of which was over 3 FEET tall)

and the half dozen hot pads for a friend

meantime, this piece, titled "The Silos" was accepted and appeared in a show titled "On the Street Where I Live" in a gallery in Saint Louis, MO

and this piece, titled "Headwaters" was accepted for a show titled "Life Along the Rio Grande" in New Mexico --- it is on the way there now

this piece is nearly done -- I'm working on the hand embroidered grasses along the bottom edge and then it will be ready to be faced

this piece is slowly coming together

after a long time being worked on in pieces, I'm now stitching all the parts together and filling in the blank spots

and a bit about the word of the year

I don't make resolutions for the new year

but for the past several years I have chosen a word to work by in my art for the year

last year's word was "Plan" --- and it became very clear as the year went on that sometimes even the best plans can be derailed by circumstances that are out of one's control

so this year I decided that my word is "Open"

the idea was to be "open" to new ideas, new projects, new approaches

and about three days after I decided on that word, the chance to take on a commission project that I might not have considered before was presented to me

using that new word, I stepped up and accepted that challenge

yeah for OPEN!!

hoping for the rest of the year to be as interesting