Sunday, March 26, 2017

progress is being made......

I'm serving as the co-curator for an upcoming SAQA show titled Under the Western Sun.  The show opens at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum the end of April, then will travel to New Mexico and Salt Lake City.

I've been the curator for shows before, but let me tell you, the whole business of TRAVELING a show is a whole other kettle of fish.

For instance, about three times the paperwork!! (And it's well know that wrangling artists can be like herding cats)

I have managed to get some work done in the studio, however.

The stitching of the flowers has begun on this piece

I've been doing some hand embroidered grasses and weeds on the surface of this piece, and it is now ready to be cut and finished --- whoo hooo!

I've started adding the shadows and the mailboxes to this piece, and I'm pretty please with how it looks
Work at the design wall on the dog continues too --- this one amazes me every time I work on it

This is the design idea for a small piece (9 inches by 9 inches) that is for a call for entries from the Quilting Arts magazine.  I don't think this one will take very long to put together!

And this week I learned of a call for entries that is titled Life Along the Rio Grande.  I've started doing some research for this piece, and admit my knowledge of geography in the state I grew up in is pretty limited to places I've actually been.  I learned in my research that the headwaters of the Rio Grande River is right here in Colorado -- cool!

Now and then I do a utilitarian sewing project.  Mr Cute likes to draw and color when he is traveling in the car, but in warm weather, crayons are a bad idea.  The solution to that issue is the new colored pencils that are in plastic sleeves and don't even require sharpening, they just roll up like mechanical pencils. 

And of course a new box of colored pencils means they need a snappy new pencil bag -- we know what the fate of the cardboard box is!

Mr Cute had picked out this fat quarter fabric when he went to the fabric store with me last fall.  I was happy to make this (LINED!) zippered bag for him (and the zipper came out of my stash of random sewing supplies -- cool)

And no blog post is complete without a picture of the canine member of the household!  Mr Benson got a BarkBox in the mail this week (these come once a month and are full of toys and treats to keep him entertained for a month) --- this squeaky bouncy ball is a real hit --- he takes it to the top of the basement stairs and drops it down so he can go after it --- over and over again!   What a character!!

Monday, March 13, 2017

getting back to "normal"

I'm healing, and slowly adding more activity

and learning some new ways to do some things -- like using a chair in the kitchen to sit down and put things away in bottom cabinets or scoop dog food out of the container instead of bending over (which puts more pressure on those little blood vessels in my nose)

it's a slow process (and I'm already impatient with it!!)

there has been some real progress on projects in the last week, however

the columbine piece is ready for the stitching, and I'm pretty pleased with the way it looks


I've been doing the stitching on this piece

there is a layer of silk over the top of this that I am stitching through right now

the plan is to finish stitching the background, cut away the silk that is over the wheel, then stitch or paint the tall grass over the top of the wheel and the bottom edge of the piece

so far so good

which means it's time to start working on the "map" for the big piece

the background for the mail boxes is coming along nicely too -- it's been worked down far enough now that you can actually see the outline of the boxes

one of the days that Benson and I went walking, it felt like we were in a cut from the Alfred Hitchcock movie "The Birds"

the bare trees in our neighborhood were full of robins!  I had never seen (or heard) so many robins in one place

I know sighting one robin is supposed to mean spring is coming --- not so sure what a huge flock means

Benson thinks working in the studio is all about him hanging out with mom --- with the occasional posing for a photo op!

he has a new friend that he met on Wednesday -- the lady that runs the service we hired to come and pick up the yard each week so I don't have to do that (more avoidance of activities that require me to repeatedly bend over!)

on the whole, we all had a better week last week!

Sunday, March 05, 2017

learning to be flexible

when I wrote last week's blog, I had big plans to finish a couple of pieces and to be deep into another new piece

sometimes making plans is just a waste of time

because on Monday morning I ended up taking an ambulance ride to the Emergency Room to have a nose bleed taken care of

which also meant I was instructed to take it easy, not bend over, no lifting, no stairs, etc., etc., etc.

so some of the things I wanted to get done just didn't happen

this morning I can say I am slowly recovering -- the packing in my nose was removed on Thursday and a liberal dose of silver nitrate was applied to cauterize the area and I'm to continue on restricted activity this week then I can slowly work my way back to "normal" (like we have any idea what "normal" is!)

this is what I had been working on until "the incident"

the beginning of the background for the columbines

and this week I got the call for entries from the International Quilt Festival (the Houston Quilt Show) that includes a category titled "In Full Bloom" , which it would be good to enter something in -- but there's one tiny issue -- I had not planned for this piece to be as big as that category requires -- and since the flowers are all done but the background is not, I might be able to change it so it is


I need to think about that and about being able to get all of that done by the entry deadline of April 12

 quite a bit of time was spent this week doing hand work, so the sky for the mailbox piece is coming along nicely

this is the first piece I've done that includes so much color in the sky, so it feels a bit odd -- hopefully it will look good when it's finished

Benson has had a tough week, watching over mom -- which requires a lot of sleeping on the couch!

we ended the week on a lot more fun note when Mr Cute and his parents arrived to watch the CSU basketball and share dinner with us last night -- and we let them take over our kitchen and create dinner for us, which I greatly appreciated -- nice to have such great kids!!

hoping for a better week this week

Sunday, February 26, 2017

bits and pieces

last year, when I was working on the piece that is now hanging in the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum, I did a 12" by 12" sample piece to try out some techniques

I worked it through all of the fusing, then I set it aside, having solved the design ideas and needing to meet a deadline for the bigger piece

this week I decided to finish it and donate it to the annual SAQA fund raising auction -- so about half of the quilting is done now

I hope to get this finished in time to submit it for the "early bird" auction entries which are eligible to be used in SAQA's advertising -- which would be good exposure for the piece

the third columbine is finished

this week I will start on the background

and this will be a much bigger piece than the first columbines -- the big flower is wider than the whole first piece was!

the work on the dog piece has begun

in order to do the eyes (which need to be the first thing done on an animal piece), I had to get some silk fabric in the right color

I need to select all of the other black/white/gray/blue fabrics that will make up the "fur" on this piece from my stash -- this should be an interesting "shopping trip" into the many fabrics I have on hand

I redid some of the rake piece and made it longer because I wasn't sure I liked the square format

and now I'm not sure I like the longer format and I may cut it off

and yes, now the mountains in the background are bigger and darker, but I have no idea where I'm going next with this

so it's hanging on the wall for me to look at for a day or so to decide where I'm going with it

so it's time to create the background for those 5 mailboxes I made earlier

this is the concept plan for what the finished piece will look like

we'll see how close we get

time to get to it

Saturday, February 18, 2017

the work continues

last year I did a commission piece of columbines

it was a small piece and I did it in a pretty cramped time span, so I felt like I hadn't really "finished" with the subject matter

so I'm working on another one

in this case, the big flower (which is now complete) is almost  as big as the entire first piece was --- it's sort of columbines on a Georgia O'Keefe scale

and I'm about 2/3 finished with the second columbine too

moving right along!
I've been working on the design for the next piece in the Parched Earth series -- and while I like the overall design, I'm not sure how I'll execute some of what I want to do

so I'm working on a smaller section to work out those details, which I had gotten this far, and have now decided that it needs some changes because it is going to be big enough to stand on it's own when it's finished
on February 3 I was able to attend the opening of the Evolution 2017 show at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum

very cool to see my piece hanging in the exhibit

Benson likes hanging out in my office or my studio while I'm working

on Valentine's day he had fun chewing up a piece of cardboard, and one of the pieces is in the shape of a heart -- cute!  a Valentine for mommy -- and like any proud mommy, it's hanging on the wall

time to get back to it!

Thursday, February 02, 2017

reasons for a better plan

the plan was to use at least two of these pieces to enter in a show that had a January 31 deadline

uh, not so much

it helps if you read the Call for Entry closely (and really, I had no excuse -- after all I WROTE the call for entry for this show!)

each of these pieces was ineligible because it was too narrow for a call that had a minimum requirement of 24 inches in width AND height

big oops!

fortunately, I have been working on a series of pieces, and these two pieces were big enough, so I was able to enter them

now we wait to hear from the juror

meantime, I'm working on another piece in the Parched Earth series -- this one will have 5 beat up, rusty mailboxes in it

and two of them are ready -- moving along nicely

there is another call for entry coming for a show this summer that is just dog pieces

I took some photos of this lovely dog in a bead store in Ft Collins last fall, and then ran it through some steps in PhotoShop and I plan to do this piece in the same technique I used for the dog I did last year.

looking forward to seeing how this comes out

and then there was this unplanned for addition

after last summer's trial of having a very young puppy, we weren't really looking for a new dog right now

but Benson found us

he is a lab/heeler mix and he's about 8 months old, rescued by Big Bones Canine Rescue out of Roswell, NM, where he was picked up as a stray --  and as we've had him this week, it's clear that he was someone's pet

he walks on a leash like a real gentleman, and while it wasn't my original thought to be acquiring a personal trainer, it's pretty clear he has that job!

he's going to be a great companion

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Word for 2017

if the date of this post, which would have ordinarily been done on January 1, is any indication, the word I have in mind for this year is a really needed!  (in my defense, however, I came down with a nasty cold right after Christmas that then became a worse sinus infection, at least now I'm on the mend)

last year the word was FOCUS

and it seemed to work --- lots of work completed, lots of work accepted into shows -- awesome!

this year's word is PLAN

and here's why:  doing the work is important, but if I really want to be a juried artist and at some point actually sell some of my work, it doesn't just happen by magic

there needs to be a PLAN -- a plan for creating that CV that is required, a plan to create a new website that will show my work, a plan for entering more shows without having the last minute panic

yes indeed, there needs to be a PLAN