Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Latest Adventures

August is almost over, another month of neglecting this blog.  I have had success in other areas, take a look at the most recent batch of fabric I have dyed:

The bottom image is a mass of varied fabrics in a discontinued Procion color called Tea Leaves.  I really wish that it was still available.  It is a rather unstable color, prone to separation and inconsistent color across different fabrics, but that is exactly why I love it!  I don't have to tinker with it so much to get the variety that I desire.

The Coshocton Canal Quilters' show was a modest success for me as a vendor.  They have a nice new venue for the show, I will definitely be back there next year.

As always, thank you to those of you who made purchases, and I appreciate all the input on my fabric, quilts and ideas.  I am always looking to add things and improve.  I am delighted at the demand for vintage things... I'm searching for wooden ironing boards to have at the last two shows for the year!

In an attempt to get back to posting here regularly, I am trying something new: posting again two days a week, but I am only going to give myself fifteen minutes on each post day to get this out.  If carving out creative time each day is a challenge for you, I'm right there with you!  There is so much demanding our attention, and we must make time for things.  It is not easy!  I consider this blog to be a part of my creative efforts, and I have been getting overwhelmed by dreaming up posts that are far too heavy for all that I need to do in a reasonable amount of time.  I must remind myself to keep this as a light journal of my creative adventures, not a chapter in an art history book!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

What Happened to July?

Once again, how did time slip by me again?  It has been a busy and mostly fun month, I’m back and full of rambling things to ponder here.  I am probably going to post only once a week, as I need to focus more on making things and other business concerns.  A quilt show deadline looms near, this is what my entry looks like so far:

A long way to go!  That is all my own hand dyed fabric.  Need a fix of luscious fabric like that?  I will be a vendor at the Coshocton Canal Quilters' show, August 11-13.  It is held at the Coshocton (Ohio) County Career Center, 23640 Airport Road.

I made it to the Boston Mills Artfest back in early July, and thoroughly enjoyed my return to the annual event, after missing it for about 17 years.  According to my mother, I had attended the Festival since I was a baby, and I think that the early exposure to the fine arts certainly shaped the course of my life and led to where I am now, trying to make this fabric venture work.  Thank you, Mom!  I may not be secure financially, but art does matter to the spirit and soul.  I am wealthy in creative ideas and in, as Steinbeck so eloquently wrote, “the indescribable joy of creation.”  I take delight in not only my own creations, but those of many others as well.

I cannot decide if my next post will be about Quilt National, (I am hope to view it this weekend), or a ramble about art work versus collectibles.  It will all come out in time...

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Art Journaling

I am pleased to report that I have started a monthly journaling workshop through the library where I work.  This past Monday was the first session, and I think it went very well.  I am hoping to appeal to both writers and would-be artists, and I don't expect everyone to have to do all that I offer in each session.  That said, everyone tried the painting technique that I demonstrated, and some even started helping themselves to other supplies that I had for the class... fantastic!  My biggest challenge is to come up with prompts and techniques to hold the group's interest and keep everyone coming back.

Here is a view of my art journaling table. or maybe more accurately, creative chaos!

Next week, I will have some thoughts from a visit to a major juried art fair, and maybe, getting back to sewing at long last.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Great Lakes Fiber Show

Most of my garden is now planted, not all of it, but enough to allow me to get to other things again!  It had been several weeks since the Great Lakes Fiber Show, but I want to mention a few things.  It was only my second visit to the annual event, and some years have passed since my first visit.  I am not a knitter, crocheter, spinner or weaver, so the appeal of the event is a bit limited for me.  I do a little felting, that is it for me with wool (not counting wool fabric, of course).  Despite my apparent lack of interest in animal fiber, I found these guys:

Tunis sheep!!  I'd love to have a few sheep on my tiny homestead someday.  I'm not sure that will ever happen, but I might find a way.

The only thing that I purchased at the Fiber Show was fish leather.

Not quite what I expected to find at a decidedly sheep and llama/alpaca event, at least it is still an animal product!  Since I love incorporating unusual textures in my fabric collage, I was happy to try this unusual leather.  It is thinner than cow hide leather, so it should be easier to work with.  I would raw-edge applique it to whatever I add it to, it will still create a very bulky seam.  My vintage Singer 201 should have no problems sewing through it.  My plan for the weekend is to embellish a couple of Artist Trading Cards with some of the fish leather scraps.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Springtime Distractions

The springtime vegetable planting season is on, and therefore, my posting schedule here will be sporadic for the next couple of weeks, as it has been for the last two or so.  I have a trip to the Great Lakes Fiber Show to report on, and some observations from my ongoing flower pounding adventures.  There might even be some explorations with eco-dyeing here later too.  For now, it is time for a Take Five List: five music CDs I have just received from the library:

1. Essential Tchaikovsky
2. Casablanca  original soundtrack
3. Led Zeppelin: Early Days
4. The Civil War original soundtrack
5. The Best of Leonard Cohen

Have fun trying to connect those five, I have eclectic taste in music!


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Backsides (of quilts!)

I finally started quilting the purple collage that has been featured here periodically.  It was good to sit down at my little Elna "Grasshopper" again, but the long hiatus in sewing has resulted in a regression of my already meager free-motion quilting skills.  I'm not concerned about my skills on this one, as so far I am only outlining the major pieces of fabric.  The quilting isn't readily apparent, something that I like.  There are quilters out there who make some amazing designs with thread, but for my style of art quilting,that doesn't work.  I want my quilting to be structural, and not a feature of the overall design.

I'm not a fan of scrutinizing the backside of art quilts.  I understand the importance of having even stitches with balanced top and bottom thread tension, and the concept of good craftsmanship throughout a piece, but in art quilting, the maker often has different qualities that she wants to emphasize.  All the interest in my art quilts is on the front, the back is my place to anchor everything.  There is nothing great to see back there.

I suppose my feelings about the backsides of quilts comes from my very early days in acrylic painting.  Paintings of any type are usually framed, and the back of the piece is often covered in the framing process.  No one wants to see the backside of a painting.  This is a portion of the flip side of one of my high school efforts:

Nothing at all of interest to a viewer!  There is a reason why one side perpetually faces the wall, and so it goes with art quilts in my world.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Making Buttons

At about 2:30 this morning, I realized that I cannot remember the last time I either sat at a sewing machine or had needle and thread in my hands.  It is not that I have been sitting around, I have been reading through a sizable stack of library books, doing various planning for classes and other business ideas, and trying to pull, trim and dig my garden into shape.

I had a quick orientation on the new 3-D printer at work today, and as part of the training, I had to make something with it.  I decided to make some buttons, here they are:

Bright, aren't they?  They are not of great quality, considering that they are built up from a string of melted plastic, but they would still be serviceable on a garment.  The lines are somewhat visible, the process is very similar to an embroidery machine building up an image with stitches.  These button will end up on some artist trading cards.  The down side is it took 26 minutes to make five buttons, not something feasible for any sort of quantity production.  On the plus side, it is possible to scan a button that needs a match, and print out a similar one.

My goal for the weekend is to do some sort of stitching, and hopefully I will have something beautiful to share on Tuesday,